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• In 1801, Thomas Jefferson became President of the United States. Aaron Burr, Joel Barlow, Thomas Paine, and others, were his privy counsellors. Now commenced the age of experiments. Mr. Jefferson, in his inaugural speech, recommended rotation in office, and to sell our frigates and build boats. The frigates were sold for less than the price of the rigging. In seven years thereafter, I saw the gun-boats transformed into dung-boats, transporting manure from the old Fly Market, foot of Maiden Lane, to raise pumpkins among the Dutch farmers on Long Island.
But the rotation in office was a more serious concern. The Irish rebellion of 1798 had just been suppressed ; hundreds were ordered to leave the country; America was their goal. These patriots must be provided for. A secret conclave was held in the star-chamber, Burr and Jefferson being the master-spirits. It was resolved to secure these patriots, and this would secure the votes of all their countrymen, who were daily arriving by thousands on these peaceful shores. (After Col. Burr returned from Europe, whither he had fled, after the death of Hamilton, he gave me this piece of political intrigue.) In accordance with this cold-blooded plan, I saw revolutionary men and officers who had fought with Washington, pine in the prison-ship and groan in the sugar-house. Yes, I saw them marched out of the Custom-house, Post, and every other office, some on crutches, some having one leg, some one arm, and others leaning on their staffs from wounds received in defence of their country. I saw their places filled by foreign patriots, many of them never have ing learned a letter of their own language, and not even able to speak a word of ours; but such is the gratitude of model republics.
Then commenced the flood of foreign influence, which threatens to place us on the same list with the republics that were.
I was naturalized, and voted when Washington was President; I therefore think that I have as good a right to think as any freethinker in America. I saw the rise and the fall of the French and Mexican republics; both were strangled in their birth by the hands of freethinkers and priests. The same tools are at work among us; and a few Judas Americans are selling their liberties to a foreign potentate for a mess of pottage ; and, except God work a miracle, I think, before January, 1901, our dear sister republics, France and Mexico, may look up and exclaim, · Lo, America also, may become like one of us.'
The signs of the times are portentous; with few exceptions, the pulpit and the press are silent on the subject. Having watched the republic since the day of its birth, for my brethren and companions' sake, I wish it prosperity ; for myself, there is but a step between me and death."
Be the representations of Mr. Thorburn, however, correct, or not, and there can be little doubt that they were made to him by Mr. Burr, the conduct of Mr. Jefferson subsequent to his election to the Presidency, though in favor of a modification of the naturalization law of 1798, does not seem to indicate any change in his previous opinion as to the employment of foreigners in the administration of the government; for we find him writing thus, just ten weeks after he became President, in a letter to Nathaniel Macon, Speaker of Congress :
“ A very early recommendation had been given the Postmaster General to employ no foreigner, or revolutionary tory, in any of his offices."
And in his Notes on Virginia, we have further evidence of his views and feelings on the subject. He therein expresses himself as follows:
“ Every species of government has its specific principles. Ours perbaps are more peculiar than those of any other in the universe. It is a composition of the freest principles of the English constitution, with orders derived from natural right and natural reason. To these nothing can be more opposed than the maxims of absolute monarchies. Yet from such we are to expect the greatest number of immigrants. They will bring with them the principles of the goverments they leave, imbibed in their early youth ; or, if able to throw them off, it will be in exchange for an unbounded licentiousness, passing, as is usual, from one extreme to another. It would be a miracle were they to stop precisely at the point of temperate liberty. These principles, with their language, they will transmit to their children. In proportion to their numbers, they will share with us the legislation. They will infuse into it their spirit, warp and bias its directions, and render it a heterogeneous, incoherent, distracted mass. I may appeal to experience, during the present contest, for a verification of these conjectures. But, if they be not certain in event, are they not probable ? Is it not safer to wait with patience twenty-seven years and three months longer, for the attainment of any degree of population desired or expected ? May not our government be more homogeneous, more peaceable, more durable ? Suppose twenty millions of republican Americans thrown all of a sudden into France, what would be the condition of that kingdom ? If it would be more turbulent, less happy, less strong, we may believe that the addition of half a million of foreigners to our present numbers would produce a similar effect here. If they come of themselves, they are entitled to all the rights of citizenship; but I doubt the expediency of inviting them by extraordinary encouragements.”
In an oration delivered at the request of Congress, by General Henry Lee, December 20, 1799, on the death of Washington, Mr. Lee used the following language:
“ Methinks I see his august image, and hear falling from his venerable lips these deep sinking words : « Cease, sons of America, lamenting our separation ! Go on, and confirm by your wisdom, the fruits of our joint councils, joint efforts, and common dangers ! Reverence religion, diffuse knowledge throughout your land, patronize the arts and sciences. Let liberty and order be inseparable companions. Control party spirit, the bane of free governments. Observe good faith to, and cultivate peace with, all nations. Shut up every avenue to foreign influence ; contract rather than extend national connection ; rely on yourselves only. Be Americans in thought, word and deed. Thus will you give immortality to that Union, which was the constant object of my terrestrial
thus will you preserve undisturbed to the latest posterity the felicity of a people to me most dear; and thus will you supply (if my happiness is now sought to you) the only vacancy in the round of pure bliss high Heaven bestows.'»
In 1815, on the 4th of July, the Hon. James Buchanan delivered an Oration in the city of Lancaster. From that oration we make the following extract. It is upon the subject of foreign influence and upon the policy that the United States ought to pursue towards foreign nations. Mr. Buchanan said:
“ Again we stand neutral towards all the European powers. What then shall be the political conduct of our country in future ? Precisely to pursue the political maxims adopted by Washington. We ought to cultivate peace with all nations by adopting a strict neutrality not only of conduct but of sentiment. We ought to make our neutrality respected by placing ourselves in an attitude of defence. We ought forever to abandon the wild project of a philosophic visionary of letting commerce protect itself. For its protection we ought to increase our navy. We ought never to think of embar-, goes and non-intercourse laws without abhorrence. We ought to use every honest exertion to turn out of power those weak and wicked men, who have abandoned the political path marked out for this country by Washington, and whose wild and visionary theories have been at length tested by experience and found wanting. Above all, we ought to drive from our shores foreign influence, and cherish exclusively American feelings. Foreign influence has been in every age, the curse of republics. Her jaundiced eyes see all things in false colors. The thick atmosphere of prejudice, by which she is forever surrounded, excludes from her sight the light of Heaven. Whilst she worships the nation which she favors for this very crime, she curses the enemy of that nation eren for their virtues. In every age she has marched before the enemies of her country, proclaiming peace when there was no peace, and lulling its defenders into fatal security, while the iron hand of despotism was aiming a death-blow at their liberties. Already our infant republic has felt her withering influence. Already has she involved us in a war, which had nearly cost us our existence. Let us then learn wisdom from experience, and forever banish this fiend from our society.”
William H. Crawford, while Secretary of War under the administration of James Madison, made a Report on Indian Affairs, in March, 1816, in which he expressed himself as follows, which caused him to be made the object of bitter assault from foreigners, and those who sided with them, and which, it was believed at the time, mainly defeated his nomination for the Presidency when Mr. Monroe was nominated and elected :
If the system already devised has not produced all the effects which were expected from it, new experiments ought to be made ; when every effort to introduce among them (the Indian savages) ideas of exclusive property in things as well as persons shall fail, let intermarriages between them and the whites be encouraged by the government. This cannot fail to preserve the race, with the modification necessary to the enjoyment of civil liberty and social happiness. It is believed, that the principles of humanity in this instance, are in harmonious concert with the true interests of the nation. It will redound more to the national honor to incorporate, by a humane and benevolent policy, < the natives of our forests in the great American family of freedom, than to receive, with open arms, the fugitives of the old world, whether their flight has been the effect of their crimes or their virtues.
The expression of these sentiments, as already stated, gave rise to much hostility to Mr. Crawford, especially among those of foreign birth, and among the most prominent and talented assailants was Thomas Cooper, then of Pennsylvania, but subsequently a resident of South Carolina. He addressed, through the columns of the Democratic Press, over the signature of Americus, several letters to President Madison on the subject, in which he assailed Mr. Crawford with great acrimony, denouncing him as a bigot, and his report to be wanton insult of his colleagues in office, Mr. Dallas and Mr. Gallatin,” and to the President "who appointed these well-informed and able men."
concession would have produced a readiness, which had not been manifested to strengthen the General Government, and to mark a full confidence in it. The report under consideration had, by the tenor of it, put an end to all these hopes.
Mr. Sherman regarded the slave trade as iniquitous; but the point of representation having been settled, after much difficulty and deliberation, he did not think himself bound to make opposition ; especially as the present article, as amended, did not preclude any arrangement whatever on that point, in another place of the report.
Mr. Gouverneur Morris moved to insert "free" before the word " inhabitants.” Much, he said, would depend on this point. He never would concur in upholding domestic slavery. It was a nefarious institution. It was the curse of heaven on the States where it prevailed. Compare the free regions of the middle States, where a rich and noble cultivation marks the prosperity and happiness of the people, with the misery and poverty which overspread the barren wastes of Virginia, Maryland, and other States having slaves. Travel through the whole continent, and you behold the prospect continually varying with the appearance and disappearance of slavery. The moment you leave the Eastern States, and enter New York, the effects of this institution become visible. Passing through the Jerseys, and entering Pennsylvania, every criterion of superior improvement witnesses the change. Proceed southwardly, and every step you take, through the great regions of slaves, presents a desert, increasing with the increasing proportion of those wretched beings. Upon what principle is it that the slaves shall be computed in the representation ? Are they men? Then make them citizens and let them vote. Are they property? Why, then, is no other property included? The houses in this city (Philadelphia) are worth more than all the wretched slaves who cover the rice swamps of South Carolina. The admission of slaves into the representation, when fairly explained, comes to this :—That the inhabitant of Georgia and South Carolina, who goes to the coast of Africa, and, in defiance of the sacred laws of humanity, tears away his fellow-creatures from their dearest connections, and dooms them to the most cruel bondage, shall have more votes, in a government instituted for the protection of the rights of mankind, than the citizen of Pennsyslvania or New Jersey, who views, with a laudable horror, so nefarious a practice. He would add, that domestic slavery is the most prominent feature in the aristocratic countenance of the proposed Constitution. The vassalage of the poor has ever been the favorite offspring of aristocracy. And what is the proposed compensation to the northern States, for a sacrifice of every principle of right, of every impulse of humanity? They are to bind themselves to march their militia for the defence of the southern States—for their defence against those very slaves of whom they complain. They must supply vessels and seamen in case of foreign attack. The Legislature will have indefinite power to tax them by excises, and duties on imports, both of which will fall heavier on them than on the southern inhabitants ; for the bohea tea used by the northern freemen will pay more tax than the whole consumption of the miserable slave, which consists of nothing more than his physical subsistence and the rag that covers his nakedness. On the other side, the southern States are not to be restrained from importing fresh supplies of wretched Africans, at once to increase the danger of attack and the difficulty of defence; nay, they are to be encouraged to it, by an assurance of having their votes in the National Government increased in proportion ; and are, at the same time, to have their exports and their slaves exempt from all contributions for the public service. Let it not be said that direct taxation is to be proportioned to representation. It is idle to suppose that the General Government can stretch its hand directly into the pockets of the people, scattered over so vast a country. They can only do it through the medium of exports, imports, and excises. For what, then, are all the sacrifices to be made ? He would sooner submit himself to a tax for paying for all the negroes in the United States, than saddle posterity with such a Constitution.
Mr. Dayton seconded the motion. He did it, he said, that his sentiments on the subject might appear, whatever might be the fate of the amendment.
Mr. Sherman did not regard the admission of negroes into the ratio of representation as liable to such insuperable objections. It was the freemen of the southern States who were, in fact, to be represented according to the taxes paid by them, and the negroes are only included in the estimate of taxes. This was his idea of the matter.
Mr. Pinckney considered the fisheries, and the Western frontier, as more burdensome to the United States than the slaves. He thought this could be demonstrated, if the occasion were a proper one. Mr. Wilson “thought the motion premature. An agreement to the clause would be no bar to the object of it.”
And on the question to insert free before inhabitants, only New Jersey voted in the affirmative, and all the other States in the negative. Ibid., 391.
VETO POWER OF THE EXECUTIVE.
In addition to the means of safety already noticed, designed by those who formed the Constitution to fortify the personal virtue and fidelity of the functionary in the execution of his trust, and to guard against evil from his misconduct in it, and to preserve intact, in all its parts, the republican system they aimed to establish, many other features might be enumerated, and many of which are not only wholly inconsistent with the kind of democracy now sought to be established, but expressly designed to guard against it. Their conservative policy is alike visible in the peculiar character of the Federal Constitution, and the State governments wbose Constitutions had been previously framed.
Without here referring to the then existing provisions of the State Constitutions, in proof of this assertion, sufficient guards and restrictions are to be found in the United States Constitution to show the principles which influenced the conduct of its framers. Prominent among the provisions of this character is what is now called the veto power given to the Executive.
It is, true, the first idea seems to have been to confer this power upon the Executive and the Judiciary ; but Mr. Gerry raised a doubt of the propriety of joining the Judiciary in such a power. He thought they would “have a sufficient check against encroachments on their own