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Congress had made in relation to territory; and to was: Messrs. Barton, Berrien, Bouligny, Branch, reverse the disposition which Congress had made Ezekiel Chambers, Cobb, King of Alabama, of a part of its territory. To Congress it be- McKinley, McLane of Delaware, Macon, Ridgelonged to dispose of territory; and to her it be- ly, Smith of Maryland, Smith of South Carolina, longed to repeal her own laws. The treaty John Tyler of Virginia, and Williams of Misavoided the word “repeal,” while doing the sissippi. The negative was, Messrs. Benton, thing: it used the word "abolish”—which was Eaton, Rowan, and Tazewell.-Mr. Calhoun the same in effect, and more arrogant and was then Vice-President, and did not vote; but offensive-not appropriate to legislation, and he was in favor of the treaty, and assisted its evidently used to avoid the use of a word ratification through his friends. The House of which would challenge objection. If the word Representatives voted the appropriations to carry “ repeal” had been used, every one would it into effect; and thus acquiesced in the repeal have felt that the ordinary legislation of Con- of an act of Congress by the President, Senate, gress was flagrantly invaded; and the avoidance and Cherokee Indians; and these appropriations of that word, and the substitution of another of were voted with the general concurrence of the the same meaning, could have no effect in legal- southern members of the House. And thus izing a transaction which would be condemned another slice, and a pretty large one (twelve under its proper name. And so I held the thousand square miles), was taken off of slave treaty to be invalid for want of a proper subject territory in the former province of Louisiana ; to act upon, and because it invaded the legisla- which about completed the excision of what tive department.
had been left for slave State occupation after The inexpediency of the treaty was in the ques- the Missouri compromise of 1820, and the tion of crippling and mutilating Arkansas, re- cession to Texas of contemporaneous date, and ducing her to the class of weak States, and that previous cessions to Indian tribes. And all against all the reasons which had induced Con- this was the work of southern men, who then gress,
four years before, to add on twelve thou- saw no objection to the Congressional legissand square miles to her domain; and to almost lation which acted upon slavery in terridouble the productive and inhabitable capacity tories—which further curtailed, and even esof the Territory, and future State, by the char- tinguished slave soil in all the vast expanse acter of the country added. I felt this wrong of the former Louisiana-save and except the to Arkansas doubly, both as a neighbor to my comparative little that was left in the State of own State, and because, having a friendship for Missouri, and in the mutilated Territory of Arthe delegate, as well as for his territory, I had ex- kansas. The reason of the southern members erted myself to obtain the addition which had for promoting this amputation of Arkansas in been thus cut off. I argued, as I thought, con- favor of the Cherokees, was simply to assist clusively; but in vain. The treaty was largely in inducing their removal by adding the best ratified, and by a strong slaveholding vote, not- part of Arkansas, with its salt springs, to the withstanding it curtailed slave territory, and ample millions of acres west of that territory made soil free which was then slave. Anxious already granted to them; but it was a grato defeat the treaty for the benefit of Arkansas, tuitous sacrifice, as the large part of the tribe I strongly presented this consequence, showing had already emigrated to the seven millions that there was, not only legal, but actually of acres, and the remainder were waiting for slavery upon the amputated part—that these moneyed inducements to follow. And besides, twelve thousand square miles were inhabited, the desire for this removal could have no effect organized into counties, populous in some parts, upon the constitutional power of Congress to and with the due proportion of slaves found in a legislate upon slavery in territories, or upon the southern and planting State. Nothing would policy which curtails the boundaries of a future do. It was a southern measure, negotiated, on slave State. the record, by a southern secretary at war, in I have said that the amputated part of Arreality by the clerk McKinney; and voted for kansas was an organized part of the territory, by nineteen approving slaveholding senators divided into counties, settled and cultivated. against four dissenting. The affirmative vote Now, what became of these inhabitants ?-their
property ? and possessions ? They were bought forts on the part of the British commissioners, &
out by the federal government! A simultaneous to set up a title to it, its restitution was stipuact was passed, making a donation of three hun-lated under the general clause which provided
dred and twenty acres of land (within the re- for the restoration of all places captured by cs maining part of Arkansas), to each head of a either party. But it was not restored. An TI family who would retire from the amputated empty ceremony was gone through to satisfy the
part; and subjecting all to military removal words of the treaty, and to leave the place in the that did not retire. It was done. They all hands of the British. An American agent, Mr.
withdrew. Three hundred and twenty acres of John Baptist Prevost, was sent to Valparaiso, to LE
land in front to attract them, and regular troops go in a British sloop of war (the Blossom) to receive in the rear to push them, presented a motive the place, to sign a receipt for it, and leave it in power adequate to its object; and twelve thou- the hands of the British. This was in the ausand square miles of slave territory was evacu- | tumn of the year 1818; and coincident with that
ated by its inhabitants, with their flocks, and nominal restitution was the conclusion of a conRepherds, and slaves; and not a word was said vention in London between the United States
about it; and the event has been forgotten. But and British government, for the joint occupation it is necessary to recall its recollection, as an of the Columbia for ten years—Mr. Gallatin important act, in itself, in relation to the new and Mr. Rush the American negotiators—if State of Arkansas—as being the work of the those can be called negotiators who are tied South—and as being necessary to be known in down to particular instructions. The joint occuorder to understand subsequent events.
pancy was provided for, and in these words: “ That any country claimed by either party on the northwest coast of America, together with its harbors, bays, and creeks, and the navigation of all rivers within the same, be free and open, for
the term of ten years, to the subjects, citizens, CHAPTER XXXVII.
and vessels of the two powers; without preju
dice to any claim which either party might have RENEWAL OF THE OREGON JOINT OCCUPATION to any part of the country.”—I was a practising CONVENTION.
lawyer at St. Louis, no way engaged in politics,
at the time this convention was published; but The American settlement at the mouth of the I no sooner saw it than I saw its delusive nature Columbia, or Oregon, was made in 1811. It was its one-sidedness—and the whole disastrous
an act of private enterprise, done by the eminent consequences which were to result from it to the Als merchant, Mr. John Jacob Astor, of New-York; United States; and immediately wrote and pub
and the young town christened after his own lished articles against it: of which the following name, Astoria : but it was done with the coun- is an extract: tenance and stipulated approbation of the gov
“This is a specimen of the skill with which ernment of the United States; and an officer of the diplomatic art deposits the seeds of a new the United States navy—the brave Lieutenant contestation in the assumed settlement of an exThorn, who was with Decatur at Tripoli
, and isting one, and gives unequal privileges in words
of who afterwards blew up his ship in Nootka ended perhaps by war, where no question at all
equality, -and breeds a serious question, to be Sound to avoid her capture by the savages existed. Every word of the article for this joint (blowing himself, crew and savages all into the occupation is a deception and a blunder-sug
air), -—was allowed to command his (Mr. Astor's) gesting a belief for which there is no foundation, en leading vessel, in order to impress upon the en
granting privileges for which there is no equiv
alent, and presenting ambiguities which require terprise the seal of nationality. This town was to be solved-peradventure by the sword. It captured during the war of 1812, by a ship of speaks as if there was a mutuality of countries war detached for that purpose, by Commodore on the northwest coast to which the article was Hillyar, commanding a British squadron in the applicable
, and a mutuality of benefits to accrue
to the citizens of both governments by each occuPacific Ocean. No attempt was made to recover pying the country claimed by the other. Not it during the war; and, at Ghent, after some ef- / so the fact. There is but one country in ques
tion, and that is our own ;-and of this the Brit- occupation convention of that year was promulish are to have equal possession with ourselves, gated. I wrote in advance ; and long before the and we no possession of theirs.. The Columbia ten years were out, it was all far more than is ours; Frazer's River is a British possession to which no American ever went, or ever will go.
verified. Our traders were not only driven from The convention gives a joint right of occupying the mouth of the Columbia River, but from all the ports and harbors, and of navigating the its springs and branches ;—not only from all the rivers of each other. This would imply that each Valley of the Columbia, but from the whole re, government possessed in that quarter, ports, and harbors, and navigable rivers; and were about gion of the Rocky Mountains between 49 and to bring them into hotch-potch for mutual en- 42 degrees ;-not only from all this mountain joyment. No such thing. There is but one port, region, but from the upper waters of all our far and that the mouth of the Columbia—but one distant rivers—the Missouri, the Yellow Stone, river, and that the Columbia itself: and both port and river our own. We give the equal use the Big Horn, the North Platte ; and all their of these to the British, and receive nothing in re- mountain tributaries. And, by authentic reports turn. The convention says that the “claim" of made to our government, not less than five hunneither party is to be prejudiced by the joint dred of our citizens had been killed, nor less than possession. This admits that Great Britain has a claim-a thing never admitted before by us, five hundred thousand dollars worth of goods nor pretended by her. At Ghent she stated no and furs robbed from them ;-the British reclaim, and could state none. Her ministers maining the undisturbed possessors of all the merely asked for the river as a boundary, as be- Valley of the Columbia, acting as its masters
, and ing the most convenient; and for the use of the harbor at its mouth, as being necessary to their building forts from the sea to the mountains. ships and trade; but stated no claim. "Our com- This was the effect of the first joint occupation missioners reported that they (the British com- treaty, and every body in the West saw its apmissioners) endeavored 'to lay a nest-egg for proaching termination with pleasure; but the a future pretension; which they failed to do at Ghent in 1815, but succeeded in laying in Lon- false step which the government had made indon in 1818; and before the ten years are out, a duced another. They had admitted a “claim” full grown fighting chicken will be hatched of on the part of Great Britain, and given her the that erg. There is no mutuality in any thing. sole
, under the name of a joint, possession ; and We furnish the whole stake - country, river, harbor; and shall not even maintain the joint
now to get her out was the difficulty. It could use of our own. We shall be driven out of it, not be done; and the United States agreed to a and the British remain sole possessors. The fur further continued "joint” occupation (as it was trade is the object. It will fare with our traders illusively called in the renewed convention), not on the Columbia under this convention as it fared with them on the Miami of the Lakes (and
for ten years more, but“ indefinitely," determinon the lakes themselves), under the British able on one year's notice from either party to treaties of '94 and '96, which admitted British the other. The reason for this indefinite, and traders into our territories. Our traders will be injurious continuance, was set forth in the predriven out; and that by the fair competition of trade, even if there should be no foul play. The amble to the renewed convention (Mr. Gallatin difference between free and dutied goods, would now the sole United States negotiator); and work that result. The British traders pay no recited that the two governments“ being desirous duties: ours pay above an average of fifty per to prevent, as far as possible, all hazard of miscentum. No trade can stand against such odds. understanding, and with a view to give further But the competition will not be fair. The savages will be incited to kill and rob our traders, time for maturing measures which shall have for and they will be expelled by violence, without their object a more definite settlement of the waiting the slower, but equally certain process, claims of each party to the said territory;" did of expulsion by underselling. The result then is that we admit the British into our country,
thereupon agree to renew the joint occupation our river, and our harbor; and we get no admit- article of the convention of 1818, &c. Thus, we tance into theirs, for they have none--Frazer's had, by our diplomacy in 1818, and by the perRiver and New Caledonia being out of the ques- mitted non-execution of the Ghent treaty in the tion--that they will become sole possessors of or river, our harbor, and our country; and at delivery of the post and country, batched a the end of the ten years will have an admitted question which threatened a “misunderstanding"
claim to our property, and the actual posses- between the two countries; and for maturing sion of it."
measures for the settlement of which indefinite Thus I wrote in the year 1818, when the joint time was required—and granted-Great Britain
remaining, in the mean time, sole occupant of the whole country. This was all that she could ask,
CHAPTER XXXVIII. and all that we could grant, even if we actually intended to give up the country.
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 1828, AND FURTHER I was a member of the Senate when this re
ERRORS OF MONS. DE TOCQUEVILLE. newed convention was sent in for ratification, and opposed it with all the zeal and ability of GENERAL JACKSON and Mr. Adams were the which I was master: but in vain. The weight candidates ;—with the latter, Mr. Clay (his of the administration, the indifference of many to Secretary of State), so intimately associated in a remote object, the desire to put off a difficulty, the public mind, on account of the circumstances and the delusive argument that we could terminate of the previous presidential election in the House it at any time—a consolation so captivating to of Representatives, that their names and interests gentle temperaments)—were too strong for reason were inseparable during the canvass. General and fact; and I was left in a small minority on Jackson was elected, having received 178 electhe question of ratification. But I did not limit toral votes to 83 received by Mr. Adams. Mr. myself to opposition to the treaty. I proposed, Richard Rush, of Pennsylvania, was the viceas well as opposed; and digested my opinions presidential candidate on the ticket of Mr. Adams, into three resolves; and had them spread on the and received an equal vote with that gentleman: executive journal, and made part of our parlia- Mr. Calhoun was the vice-presidential candidate mentary history for future reference.
on the ticket with General Jackson, and receivThe resolves were: 1. “That it is not expe- ed a slightly less vote--the deficiency being in dient for the United States and Great Britain to Georgia, where the friends of Mr. Crawford still treat further in relation to their claims on the resented his believed connection with the “ A. B. northwest coast of America, on the basis of a plot.” In the previous election, he had been joint occupation by their respective citizens. 2. neutral between General Jackson and Mr. Adams; That it is expedient that the joint-occupation but was now decided on the part of the General, article in the convention of 1818 be allowed to and received the same vote every where, except expire upon its own limitation. 3. That it is ex-in Georgia. In this election there was a circumpedient for the government of the United States stance to be known and remembered. Mr. to continue to treat with His Britannic Majesty Adams and Mr. Rush were both from the nonin relation to said claims, on the basis of a se-slaveholding-General Jackson and Mr. Calparation of interests, and the establishment of a houn from the slaveholding States, and both permanent boundary between their dominions large slave owners themselves—and both receivwestward of the Rocky Mountains, in the short- ed a large vote (73 each) in the free Statesest possible time.” These resolves were not and of which at least forty were indispensable to voted upon; but the negative vote on the rati- their election. There was no jealousy, or hosfication of the convention showed what the vote tile, or aggressive spirit in the North at that would have been if it had been taken. That time against the South! negative vote was-Messrs. Benton, Thomas
The election of General Jackson was a triumph W. Cobb of Georgia, Eaton of Tennessee, Ellis of democratic principle, and an assertion of the of Mississippi, Johnson of Kentucky, Kane of people's right to govern themselves. That prinIllinois, and Rowan of Kentucky—in all 7. ciple had been violated in the presidential elecEighteen years afterwards, and when we had tion in the House of Representatives in the sesgot to the cry of “inevitable war,” I had the sion of 1824–25; and the sanction, or rebuke, of gratification to see the whole Senate, all Congress, that violation was a leading question in the whole and all the United States, occupy the same ground canvass. It was also a triumph over the high in relation to this joint occupation on which only protective policy, and the federal internal imseven senators stood at the time the convention provement policy, and the latitudinous construcfor it was ratified.
tion of the constitution; and of the democracy over the federalists, then called national republicans; and was the re-establishment of parties on principle, according to the landmarks of the
early ages of the government. For although and will oppose it, that is, my knowledge, to the Mr. Adams had received confidence and office flippant and shallow statements of Mons. de Tocfrom Mr. Madison and Mr. Monroe, and had queville.“ A man of violent temper." I ought classed with the democratic party during the to know something about that contemporaries fusion of parties in the "era of good feeling,” will understand the allusion-and I can say that yet he had previously been federal; and in the General Jackson had a good temper, kind and re-establishment of old party lines which began hospitable to every body, and a feeling of protecto take place after the election of Mr. Adams in tion in it for the whole human race, and espethe House of Representatives, his affinities, and cially the weaker and humbler part of it. He had policy, became those of his former party: and as few quarrels on his own account; and probably a party, with many individual exceptions, they the very ones of which Mons. de Tocqueville had became his supporters and his strength. Gen- heard were accidental, against his will, and for eral Jackson, on the contrary, had always been the succor of friends. “Mediocre talent, and democratic, so classing when he was a senator in no capacity to govern a free people.” In the Congress under the administration of the first first place, free people are not governed by any Mr. Adams, and when party lines were most man, but by laws. But to understand the phrase straightly drawn, and upon principle: and as as perhaps intended, that he had no capacity for such now receiving the support of men and civil administration, let the condition of the counStates which took their political position at that try at the respective periods when he took up, time, and had maintained it ever since-Mr. and when he laid down the administration, Macon and Mr. Randolph, for example, and the answer. He found the country in domestic disStates of Virginia and Pennsylvania. And here tress-pecuniary distress—and the national and it becomes my duty to notice an error, or a con- state legislation invoked by leading politicians to geries of errors, of Mons. de Tocqueville, in rela- relieve it by empirical remedies ;-tariffs, to retion to the causes of General Jackson's election ; lieve one part of the community by taxing the and which he finds exclusively in the glare of a other ;-internal improvement, to distribute pubmilitary fame resulting from "a very ordinary lic money ;-a national bank, to cure the paper achievement, only to be remembered where bat- money evils of which it was the author ;-the tles are rare.” He says:
public lands the pillage of broken bank paper ;"General Jackson, whom the Americans have depreciated currency and ruined exchanges ;twice elected to the head of their government, is a million and a half of " unavailable funds" in a man of a violent temper and mediocre talents. the treasury ;-a large public debt ;-the public No one circumstance in the whole course of his money the prey of banks ;—no gold in the councareer ever proved that he is qualified to govern try-only twenty millions of dollars in silver, a free people; and, indeed, the majority of the enlightened classes of the Union has always and that in banks which refused, when they been opposed to him. But he was raised to the pleased, to pay it down in redemption of their Presidency, and has been maintained in that own notes, or even to render back to depositors. lofty station, solely by the recollection of a vic- Stay laws, stop laws, replevin laws, baseless tory which he gained twenty years ago,
under the walls of New Orleans ;-& victory which, paper, the resource in half the States to save the however, was a very ordinary achievement, and debtor from his creditor ; and national bankrupt which could only be remembered in a country laws from Congress, and local insolvent laws, in where battles are rare.”—(Chapter 17.) the States, the demand of every session. Indian
This may pass for American history, in Europe tribes occupying a half, or a quarter of the area of and in a foreign language, and even finds abet-southern States, and unsettled questions of wrong tors here to make it American history in the and insult, with half the powers of Europe. United States, with a preface and notes to en- Such was the state of the country when General force and commend it: but America will find Jackson became President: what was it when historians of her own to do justice to the nation he left the Presidency ? Protective tariffs, and al, and to individual character. In the mean time federal internal improvement discarded; the naI have some knowledge of General Jackson, and tional bank left to expire upon its own limitathe American people, and the two presidential tion; the public lands redeemed from the pillage elections with which they honored the General; 1 of broken bank paper ; no more “unarailable