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vernment, were peremptorily compelled to evacuate that country.... The boundaries of the English Honduras settlements were enlarged, but in such a manner as to leavc Spain in full possession of her territorial righis and exclusive dominion.
In 1790 the controversy about Nootka Sound arose .... two years before, a settlement was inade there by an association of British merchants, on land purchased fiom the natives with a view to carry on the Fur trade. This interfering with the chimerical rights of Spain, a Spanish frigate was dispatched by the Viceroy of Mexico, which siezed the fort, and captured the English vessels trading there....a negociation took place, the vessels were restored, and the settlements agreed 10 he yielded back....but there was an express reservation on the part of Spain, of the right of sovereignty for ulterior discussior.
In 1796 Spain, in pursuance of a treaty of alliance offensive and defensive with France, declared war against G. Britain. From this short narrative it will appear that in almost every case negociation was attempted, eyen when indignity and violence had been committed. That in many instances it was successful..., that in tv'o of the three cases where hostilities were commenced, Spain was unequivocally the aggressor .... that in most of her adjustments she stood upon ground at least equal, and in some superior to Great Britain....that in all of them she maintained a high sense of character and independence, and that in points affecting the most delicate consi. derations of national honor, interest and right, and where cccurrences of a very irritating nature had taken place, and more aggravated than the one of which we justly complain.... The path of negociation was deemed the path of honor, by two of the great nations of Europe.
The practice of our government has been uniformly conformable with the principles I have endeavoured to establish, and I trust I shall be excused for bestowing particular consideration on this subject. We have heard much of the policy of WASHINGTON....it has been sounded in onr cars from all quarters.....and an honorable gentleman from Delaware (Mr.
WHITE) has triumphantly contrasted it with that adopted by , the present administration. I am not disposed to çensure it
in this case....on the contrary, I think it a high and respectable authority....but let it be properly understood in order to be rightly appreciated, and it will be found that the United States under his administration, and that of his successor, have received injuries more deleterious, insults more atrocious, and indignities more pointed than the present, and that the pacific
measure of negociation was prefered. If our national honor has survived the severe wounds it then received, it may surely outlive the comparatively slight attack now made upon it..., but if its ghost only now remains to haunt the consciences of the honorable gentlemen, who were then in power, and who polluted their hands with the foul murder, let them not attempt to transfer the odium and the crime to those who had no hand in the guilty deed. They then stood high in the councils of their country.... The reins of government were in their hands ......and if the course they at that time pursued, was diametri. cally opposite to that they now urge for our adoption....what shall we say of their consistency? What will they say of it themselves ? What will their country say of it?' Will it be be. lieved that the tinkling sounds and professions of patriotism which have been so vehemently pressed upon us, are the ema. nations of sincerity, or will they be set down to the account of juggling imposture ? Altho’ but an infant nation, our career has been eventful and interesting.... We have already had very serious collisions with three of the most powerful nations of Europe, who are connected with us by treaty, by neighborhood, and by commerce.... Great Britain, France, & Spain, have successively committed very great aggressions upon our national rights.... In stating these I have no intention of reviving feelings which I trust have ceased with the causes which gave them birth, nor of aspersing the characters of nations who certainly hold the most important and respectable station in the civilized world. ..Our differences with Great Britain were coeval with the treaty of peace.... The detention of the West, ern posts was a direct violation of that treaty....it diverted a considerable portion of the fur trade from the United States, and disabled us from bridling the hostile Indians, which was a source of immense injury This evil continued for twelve years, under every circumstance of aggravation and insult.... British soldiers issued from those forts into parts of our territory, where we exercised jurisdiction, and seized the persons of deserters without the aid or 'sanction of the authorities of the country, and these possessions served as asylums for the savages who were in hostile array against us....and as store. houses and magazines to supply them with arms, ammunition, and provisions. The seat of government of Upper Canada was also held for a time at Niagara, in the State of New York, an indignity of the most marked character....many thousands of negroes were also carrried off in violation of the treaty, and a very serious injury was thereby inflicted on the agricultural pursuits of our southern citizens. On the other hand, it was stated on the part of Great Britain that the treaty was violated by the United States, for that impediments had been interposed against the recovery of British debts by legislative acts and judicial decisions in several of the States. As there were mutual reclamations and reciprocal complaints, let us balance the account, and set off these grievances against each other.... let us suppose that both parties acted right, and that no real cause of crimination existed, still I contend that the conduct of Great Britain, independent of the inexecution of the treaty of peace, was much more aggravated than the case before us.
It is well known that we were engaged in a bloody and expensive war with several of the Indian tribes.... that two of our armies had been routed by them, and that we were finally compelled to make great efforts to turn the tide of victory.... These Indians were encouraged and aided by the emissaries of Great Britain.... British subjects were seen disguised fighting in their ranks, and British agents were known to furnish them with provisions and the implements of war. The governor general of Canada, a highly confidential and distinguished officer, delivered a speech to the seven nations of Lower Canada, exciting them to enmity against this country ; but in order to furnish the savages at war with sufficient aid, a detachment of British troops penetrated into our territory and erected a Fort on the Miami River.... Here the Indians, dispersed and defeated by Wayne, took refuge, and were protected under the muzzle of British cannon. A violation of territory is one of the most flagrant injuries which can be offered to a nation, and would in most cases justify an immediate resort to arms, because in most cases essential to selfdefence. Not content with exciting the savages of America against us, Great Britain extended her hostility to the eastern hemisphere, and let loose the barbarians of Africa upon us.... A war existed at that time between Portugal and Algiers.... The former blocked up the mouth of the Streights, by her superior naval force, and prevented the pirates from a communication with tlie Atlantic. Portugal has been for a long time subservient to the views of Great Britain.... A peace was effected through the mediation of the latter....Our unprotected merchantmen were then exposed, without defence, to the piracies of Algiers. Thus in three quarters of the globe we at one time felt the effects of British enmity.... In the mean time our commerce in every sea was exposed to her rapacity.... All France was declared in a state of siege, and the conveyance of provisions expressly interdicted to neutrals....Paper blockades were substituted for actual ones, and the staple commodities of our country lay perishing in our storehouses, or were captured on the ocean, and diverted from the lawful proprietors....Our seamen were pressed wherever found....Our protections were a subject of derision, and opposition to the imperious mandates of their haughty tyrants, was punished by famine or by
stripes.... by imprisonment or by the gibbet.... To complete the . full measure of our wrongs, the November orders of 1793 were issued; our ships were swept from the ocean, as if by the operation of enchantment....hundreds of them were captured....almost all our merchants were greatly injured, and many of them reduced to extreme poverty. These proceedings, without even a pretext, without the forms of justice, without the semblance of equity, were calculated to inflame every American feeling, and to nerve every American arm.... Negociation was however pursued, an envoy extraordinary, in every sense of the word, was sent to demand redress, and a treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation, was formed and ratified.... These events took place under the administration of Washington. The Spanish treaty, concluded on the 27th October, 1795, stipulated for a settlement of boundaries, and an adjustment of spoliations on commerce, and contained a declaration of the free navigation of the Mississippi, and a grant of the privilege of deposit at New Orleans.... This treaty for more than two years afterwards, was not executed on the part of Spain. In January, 1798, a report was made to Mr. Adams, by Mr. Secretary Pickering, and submitted to Congress, which charged Spain with retaining her troops and garrisons within the United States, with evading to run the boundary line, with stopping, controlling, and regulating the passage of our citizens on the Mississippi, and with sending emissaries among the Indians residing within our territories, in violation of the treaty and the relations of amity. Here then, a treaty securing the important benefit of deposit, was in a state of inexecution for a long periodh.... Our citizens were also interrupted in the free navigation of the Mississippi, and other aggressions, affecting our territorial rights, and our internal peace, were superadded. Was it at that time proposed by the honorable gentlemen who were then in power, as it now is, when they are deprived of it, to seize New Orleans with an armed force? Were they then so feel ingly alive to the wrongs of our western brethren? Did they manifest that irritable sensibility for national honor which is
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flow thundered in our ears with such extraordinary emphasis? If it is right for us to act now in the way they propose, what will excuse them for not pursuing the same system then? Was their political vision darkened by the eminence on which they stood? And does it require the ordeal of adversity to open their eyes to a true sense of their country's honor and interest? Let them answer to their constituents, to their consciences, and to their God.
An amicable explanation was had with Spain, and our wrongs were satisfactorily redressed. This took place in the administration of Mr. Adams, and when most of the honorable gentlemen who support this war resolution, except such as were dangling in the courts of Europe, held prominent siations in the councils of the country.
Our differences with France were of a more serious na. ture, and of a longer duration. They commenced in the administration of Mr. Washington, and were adjusted in that of his successor. Great and enormous depredations were committed upon our commerce by France, and our merchants were fraudulently robbed of compensation for provisions supplied her in the hour of distress. The treaty and consular convention were violated. The right of embassy, a sacred right, respected even by the ferocious savage, was wantonly trampled upon; and the representative of our national sovereignty was refused a reception, and ignominiously ordered out of France. A fresh attempt at negociation was made.... three ministers were sent, armed with all the powers, and clothed with all the honors of diplomacy.... They were also refused a hearing, and were forced to leave the country without experiencing the forms of common civility. The treaty was then annulled, and reprisals directed ; and when the honorable gentlemen and their friends, then in power, had worked up the passions of the nation to the highest pitch of exaspération .... When war, bloody war, was expected from all quarters.... when the war-worn soldiers of the revolution were girding on their swords, and preparing to stand between their country and the danger that menaced her, the scene suddenly changed ; the black cloud passed away; and we again beheld three ministers at Paris, extending the olive-branch, burying all animosities, and returning with a treaty of “firm, inviolable, and universal peace, and true and sincere friendship.” I shall not press this subject any further upon the feelings of the honorable .gentlemen.... I read in their countenances the emo. tions they experience.