Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

older States ? In New England, where numer- of all the tribes on the east of the Mississippi ; ous and warlike tribes once so fiercely contended and his plan had been acted upon in some defor supremacy with our forefathers, but two gree, both by himself and his immediate succesthousand five hundred of their descendants re-sor. But it was reserved for Mr. Monroe's admain, and they are dispirited and degraded. Of ministration to take up the subject in its full the powerful league of the Six Nations, so long the sense, to move upon it as a system, and to acscourge and terror of New-York, only about five complish at a single operation the removal of thousand souls remain. In New Jersey, Pennsyl- all the tribes from the east to the west side of vania, and Maryland, the numerous and powerful the Mississippi—from the settled States and tertribes once seen there, are either extinct, or so re- ritories, to the wide and wild expanse of Louisiduced as to escape observation in any enumeration ana. Their preservation and civilization, and of the States' inhabitants. In Virginia, Mr. Jef-permanency in their new possessions, were to be ferson informs us that there were at the com- their advantages in this removal-delusive, it mencement of its colonization (1607), in the com- might be, but still a respite from impending deparatively small portion of her extent which lies struction if they remained where they were. This between the sea-coast and the mountains, and comprehensive plan was advocated by Mr. Calfrom the Potomac to the most southern waters houn, then Secretary of War, and charged with of James River, upwards of forty tribes of the administration of Indian affairs. It was a plan Indians: now there are but forty-seven individ- of incalculable value to the southern and westuals in the whole State! In North Carolina ern States, but impracticable without the hearty none are counted: in South Carolina only four concurrence of the northern and non-slaveholding hundred and fifty. While in Georgia, where States. It might awaken the slavery question, thirty years since there were not less than thirty hardly got to sleep after the alarming agitations thousand souls, there now remain some fifteen of the Missouri controversy. The States and thousand-the one half having disappeared in a territories to be relieved were slaveholding. To single generation. That many of these people remove the Indians would make room for the have removed, and others perished by the sword spread of slaves. No removal could be effected in the frequent wars which have occurred in the without the double process of a treaty and an progress of our settlements, I am free to admit. appropriation act—the treaty to be ratified by But where are the hundreds of thousands, with two thirds of the Senate, where the slave and their descendants, who neither removed, nor free States were equal, and the appropriation to were thus destroyed ? Sir, like a promontory be obtained from Congress, where free States of sand, exposed to the ceaseless encroachments held the majority of members. It was evident of the ocean, they have been gradually wasting that the execution of the whole plan was in the away before the current of the advancing white hands of the free States; and nobly did they do population which set in upon them from every their duty by the South. Some societies, and quarter; and unless speedily removed beyond some individuals, no doubt, with very humane the influence of this cause, of the many tens of motives, but with the folly, and blindness, and thousands now within the limits of the southern injury to the objects of their care which generally and western States, a remnant will not long be attend a gratuitous interference with the affairs found to point you to the graves of their ances- of others, attempted to raise an outcry, and made tors, or to relate the sad story of their disap- themselves busy to frustrate the plan; but the pearance from earth.”

free States themselves, in their federal action, Mr. Jefferson, that statesman in fact as well and through the proper exponents of their will as in name, that man of enlarged and compre- —their delegations in Congress-cordially conhensive views, whose prerogative it was to fore- curred in it, and faithfully lent it a helping and see evils and provide against them, had long fore- efficient hand. The President, Mr. Monroe, in seen the evils both to the Indians and to the the session 1824-25, recommended its adoption whites, in retaining any part of these tribes within to Congress, and asked the necessary appropriaour organized limits; and upon the first acquisi- tion to begin from the Congress. A bill was retion of Louisiana-within three months after the ported in the Senate for that purpose, and unaniacquisition-proposed it for the future residence mously passed that body. What is

more,

W

a

the treaties made with the Kansas and Osage lapse of forty years. He was received with untribes in 1825, for the cession to the United bounded honor, affection, and gratitude by the States of all their vast territory west of Missouri American people. To the survivors of the Revoand Arkansas, except small reserves to them- lution, it was the return of a brother; to the

; selves, and which treaties had been made with new generation, born since that time, it was the out previous authority from the government, and apparition of an historical character, familiar for the purpose of acquiring new homes for all from the cradle; and combining all the titles to the Indians east of the Mississippi, were duly love, admiration, gratitude, enthusiasm, which and readily ratified. Those treaties were made could act upon the heart and the imagination of at St. Louis by General Clarke, without any au- the young and the ardent. He visited every thority, so far as this large acquisition was con- State in the Union, doubled in number since, as cerned, at my instance, and upon my assurance the friend and pupil of Washington, he had spilt that the Senate would ratify them. It was done. his blood, and lavished his fortune, for their inThey were ratified : a great act of justice was dependence. His progress through the States rendered to the South. The foundation was was a triumphal procession, such as no Roman laid for the future removal of the Indians, which ever led up-a procession not through a city, was followed up by subsequent treaties and acts but over a continent-followed, not by captives of Congress, until the southern and western in chains of iron, but by a nation in the bonds States were as free as the northern from the in- of affection. To him it was an unexpected and cumbrance of an Indian population ; and I, who overpowering reception. His modest estimate of was an actor in these transactions, who reported himself had not allowed him to suppose that he the bills and advocated the treaties which brought was to electrify a continent. He expected kindthis great benefit to the south and west, and ness, but not enthusiasm. He expected to meet witnessed the cordial support of the mem- with surviving friends—not to rouse a young genbers from the free States, without whose con- eration. As he approached the harbor of Newcurrence they could not have been passed-1, York, he made inquiry of some acquaintance to who wish for harmony and concord among all know whether he could find a hack to convey the States, and all the sections of this Union, him to a hotel ? Illustrious man, and modest as owe it to the cause of truth and justice, and to illustrious ! Little did he know that all Amethe cultivation of fraternal feelings, to bear rica was on foot to receive him—to take possesthis faithful testimony to the just and liberal sion of him the moment he touched her soil—to conduct of the non-slaveholding States, in re- fetch and to carry him—to feast and applaud lieving the southern and western States from him—to make him the guest of cities, States. so large an incumbrance, and aiding the exten- and the nation, as long as he could be detained. sion of their settlement and cultivation. The Many were the happy meetings which he had recommendation of Mr. Monroe, and the treaties with old comrades, survivors for near half a of 1825, were the beginning of the system of century of their early hardships and dangers; total removal; but it was a beginning which and most grateful to his heart it was to see assured the success of the whole plan, and them, so many of them, exceptions to the maxim was followed up, as will be seen, in the history which denies to the beginners of revolutions the of each case, until the entire system was accom- good fortune to conclude them (and of which plished.

maxim his own country had just been so sad an exemplification), and to see his old comrades not only conclude the one they began, but live to enjoy

its fruits and honors. Three of his old associates CHAPTER XII.

he found ex-presidents (Adams, Jefferson, and VISIT OF LAFAYETTE TO THE UNITED STATES.

Madison), enjoying the respect and affection of

their country, after having reached its highest In the summer of this year General Lafayette, honors. Another, and the last one that T'ime accompanied by his son, Mr. George Washing-would admit to the Presidency (Mr. Monroe), ton Lafayette, and under an invitation from the now in the Presidential chair, and inviting him President, revisited the United States after a to revisit the land of his adoption. Many of his early associates seen in the two Houses of Con- not limit themselves to honors: they added subgress-many in the State governments, and stantial rewards for long past services and sacrimany more in all the walks of private life, pa- fices—two hundred thousand dollars in money, triarchal sires, respected for their characters, and twenty-four thousand acres of fertile land in and venerated for their patriotic services. It Florida. These noble grants did not pass withwas a grateful spectacle, and the more impres- out objection-objection to the principle, not to sive from the calamitous fate which he had seen the amount. The ingratitude of republics is the attend so many of the revolutionary patriots of theme of any declaimer: it required a Tacitus the Old World. But the enthusiasm of the to say, that gratitude was the death of republics, young generation astonished and excited him, and the birth of monarchies; and it belongs to and gave him a new view of himself—a future the people of the United States to exhibit an glimpse of himself—and such as he would be exception to that profound romark (as they do seen in after ages. Before them, he was in the to so many other lessons of history), and show a presence of posterity; and in their applause and young republic that knows how to be grateful admiration he saw his own future place in his without being unwise, and is able to pay the debt tory, passing down to the latest time as one of of gratitude without giving its liberties in the disthe most perfect and beautiful characters which charge of the obligation. The venerable Mr. Maone of the most eventful periods of the world con, yielding to no one in love and admiration of had produced. Mr. Clay, as Speaker of the Lafayette, and appreciation of his services and saHouse of Representatives, and the organ of their crifices in the American cause, opposed the grants congratulations to Lafayette (when he was re- in the Senate, and did it with the honesty of purceived in the hall of the House), very felicitously pose and the simplicity of language which distinseized the idea of his present confrontation with guished all the acts of his life. He said: “It posterity, and adorned and amplified it with the was with painful reluctance that he felt himself graces of oratory. He said: “The vain wish obliged to oppose his voice to the passage of this has been sometimes indulged, that Providence bill. He admitted, to the full extent claimed for would allow the patriot, after death, to return them, the great and meritorious services of to his country, and to contemplate the inter- General Lafayette, and he did not object to the mediate changes which had taken place—to view precise sum which this bill proposed to award the forests felled, the cities built, the mountains him; but he objected to the bill on this ground: levelled, the canals cut, the highways opened, he considered General Lafayette, to all intents the progress of the arts, the advancement of and purposes, as having been, during our revolulearning, and the increase of population. Gen- tion, a son adopted into the family, taken into eral ! your present visit to the United States is the household, and placed, in every respect, on the realization of the consoling object of that the same footing with the other sons of the same wish, hitherto vain. You are in the midst of family. To treat him as others were treated, posterity! Every where you must have been was all, in this view of his relation to us, that struck with the great changes, physical and could be required, and this had been done. That moral, which have occurred since you left us. General Lafayette made great sacrifices, and Even this very city, bearing a venerated name, spent much of his money in the service of this alike endearing to you and to us, has since country (said Mr. M.), I as firmly believe as I emerged from the forest which then covered its do any other thing under the sun.

I have no site. In one respect you behold us unaltered, doubt that every faculty of his mind and body and that is, in the sentiment of continued devo- were exerted in the Revolutionary war, in detion to liberty, and of ardent affection and pro- fence of this country ; but this was equally the found gratitude to your departed friend, the fa- case with all the sons of the family. Many nather of his country, and to your illustrious asso- tive Americans spent their all, made great sacriciates in the field and in the cabinet, for the mul- fices, and devoted their lives in the same cause. tiplied blessings which surround us, and for the This was the ground of his objection to this bill, very privilege of addressing you, which I now which, he repeated, it was as disagreeable to have.” He was received in both Houses of Con- him to state as it could be to the Senate to hear. gress with equal honor; but the Houses did | He did not mean to take up the time of the Se nate in debate upon the principle of the bill, or while the grants were depending (for the bill to move any amendment to it. He admitted was passed in the Christmas holidays, when I that, when such things were done, they should had gone to Virginia, and took the opportunity be done with a free hand. It was to the prin- to call upon that great man), which showed ciple of the bill, therefore, and not to the sum his regard for liberty abroad as well as at home, proposed to be given by it, that he objected." and his far-seeing sagacity into future events.

The ardent Mr. Hayne, of South Carolina, re- He said there would be a change in France, porter of the bill in the Senatė, replied to the and Lafayette would be at the head of it, and objections, and first showed from history (not ought to be easy and independent in his circumfrom Lafayette, who would have nothing to do stances, to be able to act efficiently in conducting with the proposed grant), his advances, losses, and the movement. This he said to me on Christmas sacrifices in our cause. He had expended for day, 1824. Six years afterwards this view into the American service, in six years, from futurity was verified. The old Bourbons had to 1777 to 1783, the sum of 700,000 francs retire: the Duke of Orleans, a brave general in ( $140,000), and under what circumstances? the republican armies, at the commencement of -a foreigner, owing us nothing, and throwing the Revolution, was handed to the throne by Lahis fortune into the scale with his life, to be la- fayette, and became the “ citizen king, surroundvished in our cause. He left the enjoyments of ed by republican institutions.” And in this rank and fortune, and the endearments of his Lafayette was consistent and sincere. Ile was family, to come and serve in our almost destitute a republican himself, but deemed a constitutional armies, and without pay. He equipped and monarchy the proper government for France, and armed a regiment for our service, and freighted labored for that form in the person of Louis a vessel to us, loaded with arms and munitions. XVI. as well as in that of Louis Philippe. It was not until the year 1794, when almost Loaded with honors, and with every feeling of ruined by the French revolution, and by his ef- his heart gratified in the noble reception he had forts in the cause of liberty, that he would re- met in the country of his adoption, Lafayette receive the naked pay, without interest, of a gene- turned to the country of his birth the following ral officer for the time he had served with us. summer, still as the guest of the United States, He was entitled to land as one of the officers of and under its flag. He was carried back in a the Revolution, and 11,500 acres was granted to national ship of war, the new frigate Brandyhim, to be located on any of the public lands of wine-a delicate compliment (in the name and the United States. His agent located 1000 selection of the ship) from the new President, acres adjoining the city of New Orleans; and Mr. Adams, Lafayette having wet with his blood Congress afterwards, not being informed of the the sanguinary battle-field which takes its name location, granted the same ground to the city of from the little stream which gave it first to the New Orleans. His location was valid, and he field, and then to the frigate. Mr. Monroe, then was so informed; but he refused to adhere to it, a subaltern in the service of the United States, saying that he would have no contest with any was wounded at the same time. How honorable portion of the American people, and ordered the to themselves and to the American people, that location to be removed; which was done, and car- nearly fifty years afterwards, they should again ried upon ground of little value—thus giving appear together, and in exalted station ; one as up what was then worth $50,000, and now President, inviting the other to the great repub$500,000. These were his moneyed advances, lic, and signing the acts which testified a nalosses, and sacrifices, great in themselves, and of tion's gratitude ; the other as a patriot hero, great value to our cause, but perhaps exceeded tried in the revolutions of two countries, and reby the moral effect of his example in joining us, splendent in the glory of virtuous and consistent and his influence with the king and ministry, fame. which procured us the alliance of France.

The grants were voted with great unanimity, and with the general concurrence of the American people. Mr. Jefferson was warmly for them, giving as a reason, in a conversation with me

tion of a national distress, which those who were

not cotemporary with the state of things which CHAPTER XIII.

he described, would find it difficult to conceive

or to realize. He said : THE TARIFF, AND AMERICAN SYSTEM.

"In casting our eyes around us, the most

prominent circumstance which fixes our attenThe revision of the Tariff, with a view to the tion and challenges our deepest regret, is the protection of home industry, and to the estab- general distress which pervades the whole counlishment of what was then called, “The Ameri- try. It is forced upon us by numerous facts

of the most incontestable character. It is indican System,” was one of the large subjects cated by the diminished exports of native probefore Congress at the session 1823–24, and was duce; by the depressed and reduced state of our the regular commencement of the heated debates foreign navigation; by our diminished comon that question which afterwards ripened into merce; by, successive unthreshed crops of grain a serious difficulty between the federal govern- by the alarming diminution of the circulating

perishing in our barns for want of a market; ment and some of the southern States. The

medium ; by the numerous bankruptcies; by a presidential election being then depending, the universal complaint of the want of employment, subject became tinctured with party politics, in and a consequent reduction of the wages of lawhich, so far as that ingredient was concerned, tions, not for the sake of their honors

, and the

bor; by the ravenous pursuit after public situaand was not controlled by other considerations, performance of their public duties, but as a members divided pretty much on the line which means of private subsistence; by the reluctant always divided them on a question of construct resort to the perilous use of paper money; by

the intervention of legislation in the delicate ive powers. The protection of domestic indus

relation between debtor and creditor; and, try not being among the granted powers, was above all, by the low and depressed state of the looked for in the incidental; and denied by the value of almost every description of the whole strict constructionists to be a substantive power, mass of the property of the nation, which has, to be exercised for the direct purpose of protec

on an average, sunk not less than about fifty

per centum within a few years. This distress tion; but admitted by all at that time, and ever pervades every part of the Union, every class of since the first tariff act of 1789, to be an inci- society; all feel it, though it may be felt, at difdent to the revenue raising power, and an inci- ferent places, in different degrees. It is like the dent to be regarded in the exercise of that atmosphere which surrounds us: all must in

hale it, and none can escape from it. A few power. Revenue the object, protection the inci- years ago, the planting interest consoled itself dent, had been the rule in the earlier tariffs : with its happy exemptions from the general aanow that rule was sought to be reversed, and to lamity ; but it has now reached this interest also, make protection the object of the law, and reve

which experiences, though with less severity,

the general suffering. It is most painful to me nue the incident. The revision, and the aug- to attempt to sketch, or to dwell on the gloom mentation of duties which it contemplated, of this picture. But I have exaggerated nothing. turned, not so much on the emptiness of the Perfect fidelity to the original would have autreasury and the necessity for raising money to thorized me to have thrown on deeper and

darker hues." fill it, as upon the distress of the country, and the necessity of creating a home demand for la Mr. Clay was the leading speaker on the part bor, pro isions and materials, by turning a larger of the bill in the House of Representatives, proportion of our national industry into the but he was well supported by many able and channel of domestic manufactures. Mr. Clay, effective speakers—by Messrs. Storrs, Tracy, the leader in the proposed revision, and the John W. Taylor, from New-York; by Messrs. champion of the American System, expressly Buchanan, Todd, Ingham, Hemphill, Andrew placed the proposed augmentation of duties on Stewart, from Pennsylvania ; by Mr. Louis this ground; and in his main speech upon the McLane, from Delaware; by Messrs. Buckner, question, dweli upon the state of the country, F. Johnson, Letcher, Metcalfe, Trimble, White, and gave a picture of the public distress, which Wickliffe, from Kentucky; by Messrs. Campdeserves to be reproduced in this View of the bell, Vance, John W. Wright, Vinton, Whittleworking of our government, both as the leading sey, from Ohio; Mr. Daniel P. Cook, from argument for the new tariff, and as an exhibi- Illinois.

« AnteriorContinuar »