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H. OF R.]
Minister to Russia.
(FEB. 3, 1831.
ary--three days before the unavoidable departure of my diplomatic service. The mind, like the fountain, is known colleague, that I endeavored, and, as I then thought not by its effusions. Let me read from one of his speeches on without some show of success, to impress the Senate with Executive powers, as published by him.--[Gales and Seathe important bearing of the recent event at Taganrockton's Register, vol. 2, p. 390.) (recent as to us) upon the new, wild, dangerous, and, as “Having thus, sir, disburdened myself of some of the I fear, fatal policy, now, for the first time, if not announc feelings that have been excited by the gallant and fearless ed, attempted to be practised upon by this rash and feeble bearing of the gentleman from North Carolina, allow me administration. Elizabeth and Burleigh were cautious to go on and question some of his positions. and powerful. The Stuarts and the Buckinghams profii. “One of them is the durability of the constitution. With gite, feeble, and rash.
It was then that I forcwarned the him and with father Paul (of the constitution of Venice) Senate that the red-hot poker of some Orloff the Balafre, I say "esto perpetuu:" but I do not believe it will be peror Orloff, the other favorite--(it was a regular household petual. I am speaking now of what Burke would call appointment of Catharine la Grande --somewhat high matter. I am not speaking to the groundlings, to irregularly filled occasionally--a la Cossaque.) It was on ihe tyros and junior apprentices; but to the grey-headed that day that I suggested to the Senate that the poker or men of this nation, one of whom, 1 bless God for it, I see the bowstring of a Zuboff, or the something else of some is now stepping forward, as he stepped forward in 1799, body else--some other Russian in off--the instrument and to save the republic. I speak of William B. Giles. I the mute nearest at hand in the Capræan styes of tyranny ak to grey heads; heads grown grey, not in the “reand lust--was ready to despatch this new successor of the ceipt of custom' at the treasury, of the people's money; Tsars--of the Constantines-of the Byzantine Cæsars. not to heads grown grey, in iniquity and intrigue; not to
“But, sir, I, the common libeller of great and good heads grown grey in pacing Pennsylvania avenue; not men, did injustice to both these legitimates; to St. Nicho- grown grey in wearing out their shoes at levees; not to las and to Cæsarovitch.
I thought too ill of one of them, heads grown grey (to use the words of the immortal Miss and too well of the other. I thought that Commodus would Edgeworth, the glory and the champion of her lovely sex
show fight.' But, sir, let us not despair of the Russian. and wretched country) in ploughing the four acres. Am In spite of Montesquieu's sneer, he can feel' for a brother, I understood? There is a little court, sir, of the “Castle's at least, even although he be not flayed alive; except now of Dublin, called the four acres; and there, backwards and and then, under the autocracy of the knout. He has not, in- forwards, do the miserable attendants and satellites of deed, yet learned to make revolutions with rose-water power walk, each waiting his turn to receive the light of --that is the political philosopher's stone, which is yet in the great man's countenance; hoping the sunshine; dreadthe womb of time, to be brought forth by some modern ing the cloudy brow. Spenser has well described the Accoucher-reformer. But he shows signs of capability sweets of this life, and technically it is called ploughing the that are quite encouraging lle cannot, indeed, redeem four acres. Now, when a certain character, in one of her inhis paper, neither can the bank of Kentucky redeem its comparable novels, Sir Ulic--I have forgotten his name, but paper; but the red-bot poker is replaced by a box of he was a McSycophant courtier, placeman, pensioner, and sweetmeats--the bowstring by a medal hung around parasite--upbraided that kind, good-hearted, wrongthe neck—the badge, not of death, but of idiocy and headed old man, King Corny, with his wretched system cowardice. Commodus is brave nowhere but in the of ploughing, the King of the Black Islands ('. every arena, with kittens, and puppy dogs, and women, for his ineh a king") replied, that there was one system of ploughantagonists; a veritable master Thomas Nero-sce Ho-ing worse even than his: and that was ploughing the four garth's progress of cruelty. A Ukase, backed by a hob-acres. This was a settler to the McSycophant." by-horse, or a mcdal, and a box of sweetmeats; goody Was a mind like this, fitted, and provided, and regulated. goodies, as the overgrown children say, is the full conside- for the labors of the statesman and great diplomatic minration paid, had, and received, for the surrender of the au- ister? Sir, when this gentleman was at the zenith of his tocratical crown of the largest empire in the world, and intellect, and in his most lucid years, Mr. Jefferson had some say the most powerful of the proud eminence of the adjudged him unqualified for such services as this apumpire of Europe. How vastly amiable and sentimental! pointment, had it been made for public purposes, called A Ukase now does what was formerly done with a red-hot on him to perform. poker, or a bowstring; a Ukase, with a most affectionate Sir, if not for the public service, then he must have fraternal letter, a box of sweetmeats, a hobby-horse, or a been appointed to preserve the machinations of the Semedal--as we, in our barbarous, slave-holding country, do cretary of State, and the administration carried on by him sometimes hang a quarter of a dollar round a child's neck under the Presidential name, from the hostility of this anto keep it in good humor--all cooled, however, with the cient adversary of all former administrations. To illusblood of a few real adnerents to legitimacy--in the per- trate and confirm this important and deeply interesting sons of the guards of the Empire, faithful among the fact, permit me to give a very brief sketch of the political faithlesser to make the charm firm and good. Would the life of this singular man. gentleman froin North Carolina reduce us to worse than At the commencement of Washington's administration, this Russian barbarism?"
he was a schoolboy. To prove this fact, and also to lay This vulgar ribaldry was spoken by this man in open open the very source and fountain of his bitter hostility to Senate; the European ministers, the Russian minister, the next President, I will read a part of one of his speeches were or might have been present. The speech, such as from Gales and Seaton's Register, vol. 2, p. 399-I have read it, was published in the newspapers, and was “Now, sir, John Quincy Adams coming into power undoubtless, as a part of the political transactions of the der these mauspicious circumstances, and with these suspiUnited States, transmitted to the Emperor of Russia, by cious allies and connexions, has determined to become his minister then in this country. After this, who could the apostle of liberty, of universal liberty, as his father have selected this man as an accomplished statesman, to was, about the time of the formation of the constitution, represent this American Government at the Russian court, known to be the apostle of monarchy. It is no secret--I was. with any hope or intention that he should, by his diplo- in New York when he first took his seat as Vice President. matic services, sustain the dignity, advance the character, I recollect--for I was a schoolboy at the time, attending or subserve the interests of this nation?
the lobby of Congress, when I ought to have been at Permit me to offer one other reason why this man could school--I remember the manner in which my brother was not have been appointed for any national purpose. The spurned by the conchman of the then Vice President, for peculiarities of his mind render him incapable of any public coming too near the arms blazoned on the scutcheon of
FEB. 3, 1831.]
Plinister to Russia.
(H. OF R.
the vice regal carriage. Perhaps I may have some of this and recommended to the consideration of Congress six old animosity rankling in my heart, coming from a race resolutions. The first was to fill up the ranks of the then who are known never to forsake a friend or forgive a foe.” existing arıny. The second recommended the raising of
From this, the waters of bitterness have flown in a ten thousand additional troops. By the third, the Presistream, so abundantly on the second and fifth Presidents dent might receive fifty thousand volunteers. The fourth of the United States. To overthrow the first of these, gave power to the President to call out the militia. Ships this man joined himself to his great polítical rival. of war were to be put in service by the fifth; and the
He grew into hostility with Jefferson in a very few sixth authorized private vessels to arm in their own deyears. For he has ever been a star without beams, ex- fence. When I say Mr. Randolph opposed these resolucept of a malign and blighting influence. Suffer me to tions, I do it merely to show his hostility to the adminisillustrate this truth by reading from his speeches: tration of Mr. Madison. I will read from Niles's Register,
“FEBRUARY 28th, 1806. --Mr. Clarke, of Virginia, vol. 1, p. 318, a small part of one of his speeches on this moved to postpone until the 3d of March, Mr. Ran- occasion, to show not only this hostility, but also to illus• dolph's resolution to amend the constitution of the Unit- trate the contempt which he has ever felt for military men
ed States, so that all the United States' judges should and measures: • be removed by the President, on the joint resolution of “No sooner was the report laid on the table, than the
both Houses of Congress. In reply to a remark made vultures were flocking round their prey, the carcase of by Mr. Conrad, Mr. Randolph said, “He (Mr. Conrad) a great military establishment-men of tainted reputa
belonged to a class of men which I highly respect, fortion, of broken fortune (if they ever had any) and of * the plain reason that I belong to it myself. He says • battered constitutions, .choice spirits, tired of the dull • the time is approaching when every man engaged in pursuits of civil life,' were seeking after agencies and
agricultural pursuits must be anxious to go home; and, commissions; willing to dose in gross stupidity over the * therefore, he does not wish at present to act on the re- public fire, to light the public candle at both ends. solution I have laid on your table. True! but when men, Honorable men undoubtedly there were, really to serve
be they agricultural, mechanical, or of any other pro- their country; but what man of spirit or self-respect *fession, undertake any business, it is their duty to go would accept a commission in the present army?". • through with it at every hazard. If the situation of af Sir, let me not be misunderstood. I am stating bistoric *fairs warranted it, I should be willing to adjourn for two facts; Mr. Randolph's hostility to the then administration, or three months. But I never can agree to adjourn in not my own opinion of that war, or of his opposition to it. the present perilous state of affairs, and leave the coun- Had I been here at that time, I might have joined that try to a blind and fortuitous destiny. I must first see opposition; for the representatives from-Rhode Island both something like land, some foothold, something like cer- opposed these resolutions; nor do I recollect that the peo. • tainty, instead of a political chaos, without form or body. ple of that State ever censured them for that opposition. * Before I consent to go home, I must see something like We might go through the whole congressional record, ' a safe and honorable issue to our differences with foreign and we should find Mr. Randolph, at all subsequent times, * Powers, and I must see, I hope, another thing-some- equally hostile to the administration of Mr. Madison. * thing like an attempt to bring the constitution of this When Mr. Monroe came into the Presidency, Mr. Ran. people back to the principles on which this administra- dolph was his advocate and supporter. In the last year tion came into power.'”
(1824–25) of his administration, he had changed fronts. On Spanish affairs-
For at that time it was one of his common sayings, “Mr. “April 5, 1806.--Mr. Randolplı moved to amend the Monroe came ino power by universal consent; and he secret journal, by inserting in it the message of the Pre- would go out with equal unanimity.” I will read from sident of the 6th of December. In the course of his Gales and Seaton's Register, vol, 2, p. 405, what he said speech he said, 'I found, from a conversation with what in the Senate (1826) concerning this venerated patriot has been considered the head of the first Executive De- statesman: “We (said he) altered the constitution to partment under the Government, that France was the guard against that scoundrel- I will not read the name of
great obstacle to the compromise of Spanish differences; the man; though he may have sinned, yet has he also im* that France would not permit Spain to come to any ac- measurably suffered--though not greater than him who,
commodation with us, because France wanted money, after the event, formed the union of honest men of all * and that we must give her money. From the moment parties.” Who, sir, was the man said to have united the I heard that declaration, all the objections I originally honest men of all parties? James Monroe. Such a coali. had to the procedure were aggravated to the highest tion might be sure of John Randolph for an adversary. *possible degree. I considered it a base prostration of Was Mr. Van Buren ignorant of all these traits in the • the national character, to excite one nation by money to character of this man? He knew them well. He knew 'bully another nation out of its property; and from that more; he was fully aware that no person on earth could moment, and to the last moment of my life, my confi- be more hostile to military men than this same Mr. John dence in the principles of the man entertaining those Randolph. In confirmation of this, I will read an extract sentiments died, never to live again.""
from one of his speeches: Whence this hostility? Had he become a federalist, "I own a natural jealousy of military men--it grows out and set himself to rebuilding the fabric which, as we are of love of country--it is strengthened and kept alive by told, he had overthrown! Not so; for rebuilding he had the multitude of examples in history, ancient and móno genius, no taste. The cause of his opposition was dern, of the fall of empires and the revolution of States; well known in those days; nor can any one doubt that a "the misery and wretchedness brought upon the human knowledge of it has come down to the present Secretary |race by the ambition and pride of military men.” Vide of State.
speech against Gen. Wilkinson. When Mr. Madison came into the Presidency, Mr. Ran. "I am willing to give to every man a just and reasonable dolph, if not with him, was not against him. His love of reward for his public services, both in pay and gratitude; change, or of opposition, or some private political grief, but the military character is so rarely satisfied with any did, in 1811-'12, bring out this statesman of Roanoke in "thing less than direct worship, that I am of opinion--I bitter bostility to this third President. The last war was always was of the opinion, we could not be too watchful the great distinguishing characteristic of Mr. Madison's of the aspiring ambition of a military commander.” Same administration. On the 20th of November, 1811, the speech. Committee of Foreign Relations reported on that subject, | No man in the nation was more adverse to General
H. OF R.]
Duty on Salt.
(FEB. 4, 1831.
Jackson's election to the Presidency than Mr. Randolph bauble, a mere child's whistle; and the people will and was in 1822. In that year, he said, in his letter to the peo- must pay dearly for this toy of their Secretary. But let plc of Charlotte--"The election of General Jackson to us be rid of it, and of this " State mission," of its memory; * the Presidency is not to be dreaded, as it can in no event if possible, of its deep and mortifying disgrace.
possibly occur: the people of the United States have If this course be taken, our relations with Russia may • not yet become so corrupted as to choose a man of mili- be redeemed, restored, and placed upon a safe and honora
tary talents to govern the national councils, in opposi- able footing. If no one else will do it, I will more to go «tion to the splendid talents of Mr. Crawford, or instead into Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union,
of any other good man in the country." See letter to for the sole purpose of moving an appropriation of nine the people of Charlotte, 1822.
thousand dollars for an outfit, and nine thousand dollars The advancement of Mr. Adams to the last Presidency for a first year's salary, to enable the President to send awakened all his animosity against that gentleman and his out to Russia an efficient mission, and one in all respects venerated father. He therefore attached himself to the different from this of the Secretary. For never, sir, since party of General Jackson, and especially to that gentle. the revolution, has there been a time when the interests man; not from esteem, respect, or friendship--not from of the United States more urgently required a fair, honorhis qualities as a man, a hero, or a statesman--but as the able, and dignified representation in the courts of Europe. only instrument by which he could exclude Mr. Adams from a second Presidential term. “Party, like calamity, brings men into company with
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 4. strange bedfellows."
Mr. Randolph soon found himself unpleasantly lodged; and before the middle of February, leave to lay on the table an amendment to the bill yester
Mr. TUCKER, of South Carolina, asked and obtained 1829, he said emphatically, "I do not attend the inaugu- day reported by the Committee on Manufactures, to reration; mark that, sir!" He left the city before that event; peal a part of the act to reduce the duty on salt. but not until, as rumor, the untiring herald of distinguish
If adopted, the bill will read as follows: ed personages, announced that he had delivered his ominous prediction. What was it?'. “Never, sir, never will posing a duty on salt, be, and the same are hereby, repeal
“ Be it enacted, &c. That all acts and clauses of acts imthe American purple again «fall on the shoulders of a ed.” gentleman.”
DUTY ON SALT. I do not pretend to say that the Secretary regarded this prediction as literally exclucling him from the succes. The House then resumed the consideration of the bill sion; but could he quietly manage his “State affairs” while yesterday reported by the Committee on Manufactures, to such a man was at Roanoke, or in Virginia, or even in the increase the present duty on salt imported; and the quesUnited States? Sooner, sir, would the fox creep into the tion being on the rejection of the bill-farm yard in the daytime, or curl himself down to sleep Mr. MAXWELL, of Virginia, said, that having prein his lair while he snuffed the huntsman, or heard the sented the memorial of the salt manufacturers of Virginia, hounds in the soutliwest breeze of the morning. Did he out of which the bill had arisen, it would, therefore, not not quiver at the mere name of this Warwick, this king- be considered unbecoming in him to detain the House a killer, and king-inaker; this John Randolph, who had set few moments with some remarks in relation to the subup Presidents, as boys set up nine-pins, to knock them ject now under consideration. It was not expected by cown again? Such a man, the Secretary knew, could not me, said he, at the time that the memorial was presented, be, for he never had been, quiet under any administration. that any legislation would arise out of it, further than that Hé had not been satisfied with the administration of Jef- many useful facts would be presented thereby to the Comferson, of Madison, of Monroe; could he be satisfied with mittee on Manufactures, which, united withi their knowthis-God only knows whose administration it is. ledge in relation to this subject, would enable them to
Sir, the Secretary has way laid, entrapped, cauglıt, er- present to this House, and this nation, many facts which ported, cxiled, and sent this man to plough the four it is important should be known, in relation to the rise, acres, át a distance of four thousand miles from his own progress, and present situation of the salt manufacturer of patrimonial fields and trees. The great object of Mr. tle United States. Nor is it my wish now, said Mr. M., Van Buren has been to get him out of his way--to send that the duty upon salt shall be either augmented or dihim abroad. As a minister, he knew he could do nothing minished during the present session, or that any disposi--he expected-he intended he shoull do nothing--de-tion of the bill shall be made, other than that it be laid serve nothing--receive nothing, but the ridicule of all upon the table, and printed, together with the report of other nations, the pity of his own, and the contempt of the cominittee. I have looked, said Mr. M., into that rethe Secretary himself and his partisans.
port, and am prepared to say that it contains useful inforThis hcartless politician has, to render this tremendous mation in relation to the manufacture of the indispensable adversary powerless at home, lured him from his indepen- article of salt--and which it appears to me that those who dence, the boast and glory of his manhood, to an old age think that the duty should be entirely repeaded, ought to of foreign surveillance; to come home soiled and spat- be in possession. I can see no well founded objection to tered to the very eyes in treasury dirt; to shrink into re- laying the bill on the table, and printing the report. , I tirement anél insignificance; and be like Piso, returned trust that the bill will not be rejected. It will certainly from the inglorious administration of his Macedonian pro- not be contended that it is best in future to legislate in the vince. Shall we, sir, in aid of these schemes of the Secre- dark upon a matter of so much interest to the nation. We tary, and to put him in a condition of quiet machination have had, said Mr. M., a bill laid upon our tables from a against the laws, the constitution, and the great interests committee of the Senate, to repeal the duty on salt entirely; of this nation, appropriate this money, and thereby legal and one from the Committee on Manufactures of the ize and sustain this measure? I trust in God we shall not. House of Representatives, to place the duty at fifteen Pay the man, if you please--for going out, for coming cents per bushel: this furnishes evidence that each memhome-send out a ship of war for him; it will adul, per- Ber ouglit to examine the subject deliberately, before le haps, less than thirty thousand dollars to the expenditure. acts upon a matter of so much importance. Some genLet him have lis nine thousand dollars outfit--the Presi- tlemen seem not to be disposed to search for information dent, it has been said, advanced it to him from his private upon this subject, or into the propriety or the impropriepurse--lestore it to him; do not suffer ourselves to be in ty of any duty, for the protection of the domestic manulibt to the Chief Magistrate of the nation. It is all a facturer of salt, but denounce all duty, by crying aloud
FEB. 4, 1831.]
[H. OF R. that it is a war tax. This only goes to prove that the this country independent of foreign nations, and to ascercourse which I now advocate, should be adopted; that tain what measure of duty should be iaid in subsequent iesuch gentlemen may obtain some information in relation gislation upon this subject. I consider it important to have to that matter, for they most certainly have not taken the the facts which I know, froin a view of the report, it controuble to examine into the history of the salt duty of the tains. I cannot subscribe to the doctrine, that because an United States. The duty upon salt did not take its rise article is indispensable, and enters into the daily consumpduring the last war, but is coeval with the legislation of tion of every family, that for this reason the Government this Government. In 1789, a duty of six cents on each should give no encouragement to the American enterprise bushel was laid on foreign salt; this duty being considered that attempts to increase the article at home. It appears insufficient to protect the domestic manufacturer, in 1790 to me, the more essentially necessary an article is to the the duty was augmented to twelve cents on each bushel: people, the more care should be taken that a supply of in 1797, the duty was augmented to twenty cents upon the such article should always be had without being dependbushel of foreign salt, and has continued uniformly from ent upon foreign nations. Let us, said Mr. M., have the the year 1790 until the beginning of the last montii, ex- report of the committee printed, that we may have inforcepting the space of seven years, during which time no mation upon this matter, and that any future legislation duty was collected upon foreign salt. I would suggest upon it may be done adviseilly. to those that are disposed to give no encouragement to
Mr. CHİLTON, of Kentucky, without renewing his opthe domestic manufacturer, for the benefit of the people, position of yesterday to the bill, (which opposition producto look into the price which the people had to pay for ed the question of rejection,) and with a view to termisalt during the period in which no duty was collected; 1 nate a debate which must be useless, and with an underthink that they will find, from the accounts of the sales ac. standing that the subject should not be called up again at tually made, that people paid a higher price for their salt the present session of Congress, moved to lay the bill and during these seven years, than during any other seren report upon the table; but withdrew the motion at the reyears since the commencement of the Government until quest of the present time. In the year 1813, an act passed fixing Mr. McCREERY, of Pennsylvania, who briefly stated the duty upon forcign salt at twenty cents, which expired the reasons why, though he had been uniformly opposed under a limitation contained within itself. The tax, laid to the reduction of the duty upon salt, he should vote to by this act, may be called a war tax. But, in 1816, an act set rid of the bill, either by rejection or by laying it upon passed continuing the duty at twenty cents. Was the duty the table. He believed that the discussion of the bill Taid upon foreign salt in 1789, 1790, 1797, and 1816, war would be a useless consumption of time, because there taxes? It may be said that the tax of 1816 was to enable was no probability of arriving at a decision in its favor at the Government to discharge the public debt that accrued the present session. There remained now but about in consequence of the war; that, in addition to the encou- twenty-three business days of the session, and a vast numragement of the domestic manufacturer of the article, I ber of bills (some of them important) yet remain to be actbelieve, was the cause of the act of 1816. Those who sup- cd upon. pose that the duty upon salt is a war tax, will certainly Mr. THOMPSON, of Georgia, objected to any course, agree to vote against the motion to reject the bill, with a with regard to this bill, which should leave it open as a view that it may be laid upon the table, and the report subject for consideration. The House had been assured printed, in order that they may obtain more correct infor- by the gentleman from Virginia, as it had been yesterday mation in relation to the salt duty. All I wish, said Mr. assured by the chairman of the Committee on Manufactures, M., is information upon this interesting and very exciting that he did not wish any legislation upon the subject at the subject. The amount of capital vested in the manufac- present session. Why, then, Mr. T. asked, was the subture of salt in the United States, is not less than seren milject introduced here at all? For what purpose? It is cerlions of dollars, which, together with the difficulty expe- tainly not to waste the small remnant of time yet hanging rienced by the people of this country during the last war, on our hands, said he, wlien all sides of the Ilouse seem in obtaining the article, ought to admonish every one of disposed to husband it. It must be to give a moral effect the importance of having full information upon the sub- to the proposition in the bill; to have the report printed ject, and of the propriety of legislating cautiously, lest the and spread over the country—and for what purpose? manufacturer of American salt be injured, and, in case of Why, sir, to force upon us, if they can, an increase of this war with a foreign nation, the same consequences result duty. He regretted to hear of the motion to lay the bill that have heretofore taken place.
on ihe table; because an agreement to a proposition of Some gentlemen think information upon this subject is that sort would give something of character to the geneinnecessary, because all encouragement to American in- ral proposition of the Committee on Manufactures. In dustry and domestic manufactures is inexpedient and the sincerity of his licart, lie said, he wished this proposiunconstitutional. The early bistory of the legislation of tion to pass off without being the cause of an increase of this country shows a different view of this maiter. The the present excitement in the Southern country: If genopinion of General Washington in 1796--the opinion of tlemen are disposed to force the measure upon us, howNir. Jefferson in 1808 and 1816--the opinion of Mr. Ma- ever, said Mr. T., let them do it at once--bring up the dison in 1809 and 1815--the opinion of Mr. Monroe in question, and decide upon it. If the Committee on Manus 1821 and 1823—and the opinion of the present Chief Ma- factures do not think proper to withdraw the proposition, gistrate, in his last message, show that to encourage the let the bill go on witlivut delay to a final decision. Iob. domestic manufacturer of such articles as are essential to ject to the second reading. the independence and prosperity of the country, and cs Mr. HAYNES, of Georgia, said, if he believed that the pecially those which are indispensable in time of war, is present discussion of this bill would lead to a further reboth expedient and constitutional. Can any be more es. luction of the duty on salt, he should not object to it: but, sential in peace or war than salt? Is it not as necessary believing that the consideration of the bill now would lead that the soldier should have his salt and rations, as a coat to nothing but a further consumption of time in debate, and musket? I have no disposition to go into an argument he moved the previous question. upon the question whether the duty upon salt should be The motion for the previous question was not seconded augmented or diminished. I have only to say, that I be- by a majority, the yeas being 78, the nay's 90. lieve a reasonable degree of encouragement should be Mr. STERIGERF, of Pennsylvania, then moved to lay given the manufacturers of salt by the Government, to en- the bill on the table. üble then to stand against foreign competition, to render The inotion was declared not to be now in order, tlıc
H. OF R.]
Duty on Salt.
[FEB. 4, 1831.
question of rejection having been renewed by Mr. THOMP Mr. WILDE, of Georgia, made a few observations son's objection to the second reading of the bill. against the postponement. Whatever was the disposition
Mr. BLAIR, of South Carolina, said he hoped the bill of this House, he thought it better that it should do at reported by the Committee on Manufactures for repealing once what it is disposed to do ultimately. the act passed at the last session, reducing the duty on Mr. MALLARY rose to correct an impression on the salt, would neither be laid on the table, nor favorably en-mind of the gentleman from Georgia, altogether erroneous. tertained by the House in any shape whatever. The There was no intention, on the part of the Committee on great excitement of the South, and particularly of that Manufactures, to repeal the law of last session. He enState which he had the honor, in part, to represent, was tered into a statement of the views of that committee, to well known to Congress and to the American people. The show the motives that had actuated them in reporting the popular indignation in South Carolina against what he and present bill, and left it to the House to take such order the people of that State considered the iniquitous and un- on the subject as they might deem proper. constitutional legislation of Congress, (especially in rela Mr. NUCKOLLS said: It will be recollected, by those tion to the tariff,) was almost universal; and it was with members of the House with whom I have had the honor difficulty they had been restrained from adopting mea- of serving on this floor for the last four years, that I have sures for their own relief, and for the redress of their own rarely trespassed on their patience, nor would I do so wrongs—much pains had to be taken to defeat the call of now, but for the strong feeling and deep interest which a convention. To what results such measures would have my constituents, in common with myself, have on this led, he would not now inquire, even if it were possible to subject. And here, sir, permit me to remark, that I difascertain them; they were at least alarming, and the con- fer, widely differ, from my political friends of the South, templation of them disagreeable. And, after what had in the course they pursue in relation to this bill. They heen done here at the close of the last session, he had seem inclined to avoid discussion, by rejecting this bill on thought the call of a convention, or any action whatever, its second reading—before it has undergone that consideron the part of South Carolina, unnecessary, premature, ation its importance demands, and even before the acand hazardous. He had, therefore, discouraged every companying report has been printed for our examination. thing of this kind. He had opposed the call of a conven-Sir, this is too nearly allied to the practice which bas tion, and he believed his colleagues would bear him out in sprung up in this hall within the last three years, to meet the assertion, that he had contributed very much to the my approbation. What is that practice? Why, sir, to defeat of that measure. He claimed no merit for this; refuse even the courtesy of a consideration to many of and believed he would not subject himself to any imputa- the most interesting topics introduced here by the retion of vanity in making the declaration, because, if the presentatives of the people. I had been taught (before present proposition succeeded, he should regret the ad- my acquaintance with it) that this was a deliberative asvice he had given to his constituents during the last sum- sembly, organized by the people, to hear, consider, dismer and fall. He had told the people at home that things cuss, and decide upon all questions affecting their inte. here were rapidly changing for the better. Among many rests, or involving their liberty. "But, sir, is this true? Are other evidences of this change, he had adverted, both we thus mindful of the rights of the people, and of the verbally, and in the newspapers, to the reduction of the respect due to those whom they send here? It is a notoduty on salt. But if, instead of advancing still further to rious fact, that there is an organized majority in this House, correct the evils of which the South complains-if, instead whose settled practice it is to scout from these walls every of going on with the reformation of the tariff system, we proposition looking to a modification of the restrictive recede, and undo the little we have already done, he system; thereby virtually refusing, to a large portion of should be ashamed to meet his constituents. He should, the American people, the constitutional right of exposing with pain and contrition, have to acknowledge that, with to public view the grievances under which they labor. the best intentions, he had given them, perhaps, wrong Sir, I have uniformly opposed every thing of this sort as advice; that he had been deceived himself; and had, in- being proscriptive in principle, disrespectful to the Ame. nocently, held out to them delusive hopes and fallacious rican people, and unbecoming the dignity of this House. expectations. He, however, was not disposed to argue I am not afraid to submit any question to their candid and the matter at this time. He took it for granted the House impartial judgment, when it shall have been fully and would reject this bill by an overwhelming majority. He, deliberately set before them by the debates in this assemtherefore, boped argument against it was unnecessary. bly, and am therefore none the less opposed to refusing Besides, his feelings, in relation to this subject, were too this bill a second reading, because I am against its princistrong to authorize him to run the hazard (at this moment) (ples and its objects. I am for giving every question a fair of saying what might be regarded as indecorous. Can-hearing, whether for or against me. dor, however, required, and an imperative duty to his Mr. Speaker, the part I have borne among the people constituents, to biīnself, and to the House, enjoined it I represent, and those of the entire State from which I upon him to declare that, if this proposition should suc- come, has been similar to that of my colleague, (Mr. ceed, the time for argument will have passed away. BLAIR,] who last addressed us. Like him, I sought to al.
Mr. HUNTINGTON, of Connecticut, said that the only lay the fervid excitement which prevailed on my return wish of the Committee on Manufactures, he believed, was among them. They had seen and felt, with the sensibility that this subject should be placed in a situation to be ex- of enlightened freemen, that their rights were invaded by amined with a view to future consideration. To do this, unjust taxation, and themselves insulted by your refusal the comnittee had taken no extraordinary course, but had to hear their representatives. Sir, I felt in my own bopresented a report stating their views of it, accompanied som that there was ample provocation for all this. But, by a bill. If, without examining either the memorial of like themselves, I was devoted to the Union, and its har. the manufacturers, or the report of the committee, the monious preservation. I exhorted to moderation, forHouse should decide to reject the bill, it would certainly bearance, and a reliance on the justice of their Northern be an unusual proceeding, to say the least of it. He and Western brethren. I alluded to the modifications of hoped, therefore, that the motion for rejection would not the tariff at the close of the last session, as affording eviprevail. With a view to enable the House to look into dence of that justice. But, sir, respect for their intellithis memorial from a most respectable class of men large- gence, and my own self-respect, would not permit me to ly engaged in the manufacture of salt, and to peruse the disguise the fact, that all those modifications, except thal report, he moved to postpone the further consideration of of the salt duty, were but adding to the effective strength the bill to this day two weeks.
and fixed character of the system of which they complain