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you passed a law authorizing the public land to be sold in tracts of forty acres, expressly for the benefit of this class of people; so that now any poor man, who can raise fifty dollars, can go into any land office in the Union and buy him a little spot to live upon. Now, sir, how the man who cannot raise fifty dollars to buy forty acres, can raise two hundred to buy one hundred and sixty acres—the quantity, for which the bill gives a preemption right—was past his comprehension, and had not yet been explained in any one of the many answers to what had been said by him when he was up before. If the pre-emption were brought down to forty acres, the poor man who could raise his fifty dollars, and no more, would have a chance under this bill. But those only who can raise two hundred dollars can avail themselves of its benefits. This fact, as well as what is known of the history of the pre-emption law of 1830, shows that the bill is intended for another and far different class of men; for men of property, who want to make a speculation, by selecting all the choice spots, and then get them at the price of “refuse land.” He felt the firmest conviction that, if the bill passed, the valuable cotton lands yet to come into market, all the fine water power and sites for towns, all your mineral country, and all the Indian improvements which the Government had paid for at the rate of perhaps twelve or fifteen dollars per acre, would be sacrificed at the price of one dollar and a quarter; and fall into the hands of men who have no claims upon the favor or charity of Congress. Mr. ASHLEY said he had risen not to enter into the merits of the bill, but mainly for the purpose of replying ot the remark of the gentleman from Ohio, [Mr. WINtoN, ) in respect to the lead mines. Mr. A. had lately express. ed it as his opinion, that it would be wise policy in the Government to sell the mines. Since then he had received the returns of the commissioners, and they had confirmed his opinion. The first sale in Missouri had taken place in 1818; the lead lands were then reserved, and so continued to be till 1829 or 1830, when they were offered at public sale, and only thirteen quarter sections had been sold in seven days, and they brought into the treasury but $1,785, being only ten dollars over the amount at the minimum of $1 25. This was the result, after they had been withheld from sale for 12 years. The effect of this policy had been, upon the whole, a loss to the Government of $1,284. The gentleman had affirmed that it was the rich who settled the public lands. Now, on that subject, Mr. A. would only ask one plain question. He would ask of any rich man in this country, whether he would risk a location on the public lands? What would he require? He would need extensive buildings; and could he secure this by the purchase of the public lands? No. It was the poor who settled the public domains. It was men who were unable to purchase in the settled parts of the country. And it was a wise and humane policy which permitted them to find a home on the lands belonging to the Government. Their doing so increased the value of the public domain, and brought it the sooner into market. And this was the reason why so much of the public land was now sold in Ohio. The country was settling, and the adjacent lands rose in value. Mr. STEWART, deprecating a longer debate, now moved the previous question; but, in the hope of a speedy decision of the bill, consented to withdraw it. The CHAIR stated that the question was on striking out the enacting clause of the bill; when some conversation arose on an inquiry whether Mr. McCAItty’s amendment had or had not been received by general consent. The Chair inquiring whether there was any objection to it, Mr. McKAY” objected, and offered a further amendment, to strike out two years as the duration of the bill.

Mr. PEYTON said that he was as much a friend to the prosperity of the new States as any member on the floor; but, situated as his own State (Tennessee) was, the bill provided no relief or benefit for it, because there were no unsold lands in the State worth $1 25. As he considered that State entitled to equal justice from the older States, he thought the bill ought to go farther. Could it be wise policy to keep our public lands a forest? A gentleman from Vermont had ins nuated that a blaze upon a tree, and the planting of a few potatoes, would be held to be occupancy under the bill. He would ask that gentleman whether any of the people from his part of the country would ever go upon the public lands, if no trees were blazed and no potatoes planted? The gentleman considered the bill as involving a great hardship upon the speculators, who came in large companies, with hundreds of thousands of dollars in their hands, to increase their fortunes by buying public lands. Iłut what injustice was there in allowing a poor man to purchase that from the Government at a reasonable price, which he must otherwise purchase from them at any price they choose to ask? That poor man who had blazed the trees and planted the potatoes had chosen that spot as the home of his children. He had expended upon it his labor. He had toiled in hope. He had given it value, and he loved the spot. It was his all. When the public sale was proclaimed, if that poor man attended it, he might bid to the last cent he had in the world, and mortage the bed he slept on to enable him to do it. Ile might have his wife and children around him to see him bid; and when he had bid his very last cent, one of these speculators would stand by his side and bid ten dollars more. And thus he would see his little home, on which he had toiled for years, where he hoped to rear his children and to find a peaceful grave, pass into the hands of a rich moneyed company. Was this a policy to be patronised, to be established, to be fixed upon the laboring classes of this'country? When the poor man had been thus stripped of his all, what tie was left to make him love his country? Such a policy would but teach the republic to alienate her children. In Tennessee, as was well known to most who heard him, land warrants had been laid upon all the valuable soil. And it would be a positive injury, instead of a benefit, to sell this refuse land at the present Government price. He would, therefore, move an amendment, proposing that all public lands unsold within the State of Tennessee be granted to that State, and be opened to location at 18; cents per acre. Mr. SPEIGHT, apprehending that amendments to this bill would so be multiplied as to prevent its passing this session, to put an end to the debate, moved the previous question. There being indications that this motion would carry, Mr. McCARTY renewed the inquiry whether the amendment he had offered was or was not understood to be accepted by general consent? The explanation resulted in declaring that it was not so received. The sense of the House was now taken on seconding: the previous question, when the vote stood: Yeas 91, noes 54. So the motion was seconded. The previous question having been put and carried, the bill read again, and the yeas and nays ordered; the question was put on its final passage, and decided in the affirmative: Yeas 124, nays 53. So the bill was passed and sent to the Senate.


On motion of Mr. POLK, the House then proceeded to consider the bill making appropriations for the payment of Indian annuities.

Mr. WILLIAMS moved an adjournment; but it was negatived.

Juss 14, 1834.]

Mr. POLK then moved that the House concur in several small amendments, which, on his motion, had been inserted in Committee of the Whole. This was agreed to; and a long list of other items of amendments were concurred in. On that item which applies 100,000 dollars, receipts of certain lands sold by the Seneca Indians, to the payment of their annuities, a debate arose, in which the propriety of adopting such an amendment was fully discussed by Messrs. An Axis, Polk, FILLMonr, PARKER, and BINNRY. The Senecas sold their lands in New York for 100,000 dollars, which was placed by treaty in the hands of the President of the United states, in trust for them, they to receive the interest annually. The money was yested in United States Bank stock, (of the old bank,) afterwards in the six per cents., and finally in the three per cents. It was afterwards, by law, placed in the treasury, to the credit of a certain fund called the Indian appropriation fund. Here it lay dead, while the Government continued to pay to the Senecas 6,000 dollars annually. The amendment proposed to pass it to the credit of the Treasury, to be applied to Indian contingencies. The amendment was opposed, as being a violation of the trust under the treaty. The amendment was amended, on motion of Mr. BINNEY, by inserting a proviso, declaring that nothing in the amendment should be considered as prejudicing the right of the Senecas to the 100,000 dollars. The amendment, with this proviso, was concurred in. Mr. HAWES renewed his amendment, moved in committee, requiring the annuities to be paid to the chiefs or to persons appointed by them; but it was negatived. The bill was then ordered to its engrossment, And the House adjourned.


Mr. McKIM asked the unanimous consent of the House to submit the following resolution:

Resolved, That a select committee be appointed to inquire into the expediency of reporting a bill to authorite the issuing of fifteen millions of dollars in treasury notes, bearing an interest of five per cent. per year, under the direction of a board of commissioners, to be appointed by law for that purpose, to be loaned out by said commissioners to such individuals of the several States, who may apply for a loan, as can give full and satisfactory security for the reimbursement of the same on the first day of July, 1836.

Mr. WILLIAMS objecting—

Mr. McKIM moved a suspension of the rule, to enable him to offer the resolution; whereupon,

Mr. WILLIAMS withdrew his objection, being wilsing, he said, that this “experiment” might have a trial Lefore the House.

The objections were, however, renewed, and the House finally negatived the motion to suspend the rule, so as to allow it to be offered; the House, which was at that time very thin, being about equally divided upon the 3 testion.


Mr. POLK rose to ask the unanimous consent of the House to take up the bill making appropriations for Indian annuities, which being objected to, he finally moved a suspension of the rule for the purpose of going into Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union on aundry appropriation bills.

Mr. WiLLIAMS desired to have some information in respect to the outlay of a former appropriation of

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he could not vote for the bill making appropriations for the payment of Indian annuities. Mr. POLK replied that he had been linformed that the sum appropriated had been disbursed as it was designed, which the accounts at the Department would show, in defraying the expenses of removing the Cherokee and Choctaw tribes of Indians, who had emigrated to the West. The inquiry of the honorable member from North Carolina, however, he thought would be more appropriately made by a call for information in a distinct proposition to that effect, than upon a bill providing for appropriations which the United States were bound by treaties to make. Mr. WILLIAMS then said that he would not embarrass in any way the passage of the Indian annuity bill, although he must acknowledge he should have been bet. ter satisfied than he was if the honorable member had been prepared to give him the information for which he had sought. Mr. DAVIS, of South Carolina, then said he rose for the purpose of putting a question to the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, and, indeed, to the committee, collectively and individually. The chairman has just moved the House to go into a Committee of the Whole, for the purpose of taking up appropriation bills, before taking any measure to redeem and rescue the public treasury from its present lawless and unconstitutional condition. I now desire, (said Mr. D.,) indeed, demand, in the name of the American people, to know whetherit is intended to adjourn and 3. the public money in the hands of the President, who himself admits that legislation is necessary, and recommends the action of this House? You are now called upon to make appropriations, when you are utterly ignorant where or what the treas. ury is. How dare we go back to our constituents— The SPEAKER having interposed, and declared the pending motion was not debatable-Mr. D. said he had risen for the purpose of stating that he could not vote for any of these appropriation bilis unless he was assured that it was the intention of the honorable member to make some legislative provision on the subject of the public treasure. Mr. POLK would state that his present object was to go into Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union, generally. After the appropriation bills were disposed of, if there was time for it, he should be much grati. fied if they could proceed even one stage on the bill, reported by the Committee of Ways and Means, to regulate the terms on which the deposites should be placed in the State banks. Mr. DAVIS. Then it is to be understood it is your intention to proceed with that bill. Mr. POLK assenting, the House, on his motion, resolved itself into Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union, (Mr. Gholson in the chair,) and took up the bill making appropriations for certain


Mr. POLK gave notice that, when the bill should be in the House, it was his intention, as he had formerly intimated, to propose reductions in the items for Castle Island, &c. Mr. WHITE, of Florida, moved an amendment for completing the fortifications and making repairs at St. Augustine, 50,000 dollars. Mr. W. explained the necessity for this appropriation, and, after a few remarks from Mr. Polk, in opposition, who expressed his hope that discussion would be deferred until the bills were in the House, it was rejected. Mr. McKIM then moved an amendment for the repairs of the works erected for the defence of Baltimore, and at the mouth of the Patapsco river, $25,000; which was

#32 J,000 for the removal of Indians. Otherwise, he said, Vol. X.--281

also rejected.

H. of R. ) Military Academy. [Jun E 14, 1834.

Mr. PARKER moved to strike out the appropriation bill under consideration, because we have now but thirof $100,000 for the fort on Throg's Neck, East river, teen days remaining in this session for the transaction of New York; which was rejected. business; and it is to be apprehended that the discussion Mr. GORHAM then proposed an amendment, merging which may arise upon it will not only delay its passage, the items for the repair of Fort Independence and the but may be a means of preventing the House from acting item for the fort on George's Island into one, and redu- upon many important subjects which still remain to be cing the sum proposed by the bill to $125,000; which was acted upon. The honorable gentleman has avowed himrejected. self to be decidedly in favor of abolishing the West Point Mr. PINCKNEY moved an amendment, to insert, in Academy, and I have no doubt he is sincere in the belief substance, “that the appropriation of $50,000 for that this is the surest way to effect his object. Charleston harbor should be expended, under the direc- I could have wished, however, that the subject had tion of the Secretary of War, at Fort Moultrie and Castle been brought before the House upon a bill introduced Pinckney, which he said he proposed in accordance with for that purpose. But, since the honorable gentleman certain resolutions entered into, and transmitted to him has chosen this method, and seems disposed to press it to from the town council of Moultrieville. a decision, I am, for one, now prepared to record my The amendment being rejected— vote upon the question. Mr. PINCKNEY notified the House that it was his in- It will be recollected that a resolution was introduced tention to renew it in another stage of the bill. by the honorable gentleman from . Kentucky, [Mr. The bill was then laid aside. Hawks,) to abolish this institution, which has been lying The bill making appropriations for the payment of on our table from the commencement of the session, claims of the Georgia militia, also the bill making addi- unacted upon, not from the want of a disposition on the tional appropriations for the national armory at Harper's part of that honorable gentleman to call it up, but because Ferry, were taken up, considered, and severally laid the several bank resolutions and the report of the Cornaside. mittee of Elections have, in fact, engrossed all the time of The committee having disposed of the light-house bill, the House which is assigned to the consideration of resowhich underwent sundry amendments— lutions. It is also within the recollection of the House A struggle commenced, as usual, in reference to what that the honorable gentleman from Maine [Mr. SM1th] business should next be considered. Mr. BINNEY mov- gave notice, some time ago, of his intention to offer an ed the bill for West Point; Mr. ASHLEY the bill to con-) amendment to the bill now under consideration; which, tinue the Cumberland road to Jefferson city; and Mr. if adopted, would, I have no hesitation in saying, effectWHITE the coin bill. ually destroy the institution. It is, perhaps, proper that The committee agreed to consider the bill making ap- I should say that the question, with respect to the expepropriations for the diency of abolishing the Academy, was o to the - - Committee on Military Affairs, upon two several resoluMILITARY ACADEMY At w EST POINT. tions transmitted to #, House . the Legislatures of . The bill having been read by sections, the word “&c.,”

- - ... two of the States in this Union, recommending it for the was, on poon of Mr. ADAMS, striken out wherever it consideration and action of congress; and that the distinoccurred.

- , , |guished chairman of that committee [Mr. R. M. Johnson] The salary of a clerk was, on motion of Mr. McKAY, recently submitted an able report on the subject, in favor reduced from 1,000 to 900 dollars. of the institution. That report (said Mr. W.) ought to An amendment was moved, to enable the accounts of be read by every American, that honorable chairman a lieutenant to be settled, who had acted as an agent to has, with his usual industry, deliberately investigated the purchase apparatus. - - - origin and history of the institution, its system of inThe second section of the bill, which went to increase

the allowance of the professor of drawing, (in the expec-
tation of retaining Leslie, who has since returned to
England,) was striken out.
Mr. HAWES moved an amendment, providing that if
any student did not complete his education at the acade-
my, or, having completed it, should refuse to serve for
years in the army, should not receive the benefit of
the bill.
Mr. EWING considered this amendment as well cal-
culated to destroy the institution, and as involving great
inequality and injustice in the treatment of the students.
He wished that the people of the West should have an
opportunity of having their children educated there, as
well as those from the old States had been.
Mr. WAR 1) WELL suggested that the amendment must

of the army and of the nation; and has put at rest for ever
the constitutional objection which has been raised by the
honorable gentleman, [Mr. DickINsos;] and I therefore
beg leave, most respectfully, to refer him to that docu-
ment for a satisfactory reply to his argument on that
I am therefore induced to think, from the imposing
character which the subject has assumed, that it is due to
the army, to the institution, and to the country at large,
that an immediate decision should be had upon it. I have
no fears, myself, as regards the result; but I trust a vote

is to be broken down or not. The honorable gentleman [Mr. DickIssos] commenced - - - - - his speech by calling in question the expediency as well be modified, as it was now inconsistent with the bill. as the constitutionality of the institution; and maintained Mr. HAWES withdrew it for the present. that, as it formed no part of the peace establishment, the

Mr. DickINSoN, of Tennessee, moved to amend the best interest of the nation required that it should be abol bill by striking out the enacting clause, (which would lished.

destroy the bill.) He supported his motion by a speech, at length, of great animation, in which he commented on the aristocratic character of the Academy, as at present conducted; extolled the value of education in a free State, but deprecated its being exclusively confined to the children of members of Congress and other influential persons.

Mr. WARD said: 1 regret that the honorable gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. DickINson] has submitted the motion to strike out the enacting clause in the appropriation

How is the fact, sir, with respect to this objection ? I will be seen, by reference to the act entitled “An ac, fixing the military peace establishment of the Unite, States,” passed the 16th day of March, 1802, that thi Military Academy was then, in its incipient stage, mad, and constituted a part of the army, in the words of the ae itself. The Academy was created at the time when ü, army was re-organized, and the act was entitled “An sc fixing the military peace establishment.” The twent sixth section of that act empowered the President of to

struction and discipline, and its effect upon the character

will now be taken, that the public may know whether it Military.dcademy.

JUNE 14, 1834.]

United States to organize a corps of engineers, to consist of one engineer, with the pay, rank, and emoluments of a major; two with the pay, rank, and emoluments of a captain; two with the pay, rank, and emoluments of second lieutenants; and ten cadets, with pay at sixteen dollars a month, and two rations a day. The twenty-seventh section of the same act provides that the corps, when organized, shall be stationed at West Point, and “constitute a Military Academy.” On the 29th of April, 1812, at a period when the country was on the eve of the late war with Great Britain, another act was passed, declaring that the Military Acad. emy should consist of the corps of engineers, and the fol. lowing professors and assistants in addition to those appointed under the former acts, viz: a professor of experimental and natural philosophy, a professor of mathematics, a professor of the art of engineering, with an assistant for each; and the number of the cadets was by the same act limited at two hundred and sixty. Previous to the passage of this act, the establishment was found to be too limited to furnish the number of well-instructed officers, in the different branches of artillery and engi. neering, which the public service called for. Now, sir, I would ask whether a reduction of any part of our present small peace establishment is called for at this time? If we compare it with similar establishments of other nations, it will be found, so far as numbers are concerned, scarcely to deserve the name of an army. In .ngland there is one soldier to every one hundred and forty of its population; in France, one to every hundred and ten; in Austria, one to every hundred; in Russia, one to every ninety; in Prussia, one to every sixty-eight; and in Sweden, one to every fifty-one; whilst in this country there is not in our service, including the cadets, enough to exceed one soldier out of every two thousand of our population. if it be necessary to keep up such a force in these respective nations, in order to preserve peace among themselves, of how much more consequence is it that we should maintain in this, the only legitimate free Government on the face of the earth, at least the skeleton of an army, in order to preserve unimpaired, from foreign aggression or intestine commotion, the rights and privileges bequeathed to us by our patriotic sires. the motion of the honorable gentleman be not the reduction of our peace establishment, can it be intended with a view to the retrenchment of the expenditure of the public funds? I should hope not; for the institution has been sustained, and that, too, without a complaint from any quarter, while our country was burdened with a national debt of upwards of one hundred millions; and now, when that debt is extinguished, and when deep solicitude prevails among our most enlightened citizens, lest the superabundance of public revenue which must ere long flow in upon our treasury may tend to corrupt the morals of our rulers and to endanger the peace of the country and 'he permanency of the Union itself in the struggle for its distribution, it seems to me scarcely possible that the country will assent to the destruction of the institution on this ground. Let us, then, for the sake of consistency and the best interests of the country, preserve an establishment which has been so long and anxiously cherished by the first

men and purest patriots in the nation, and one of which

the nation may justly be W. and happy to possess, We have now in our army, from the highest to the lowest grades, many officers of education, of talents, and of distinguished merit, some of whom have seen no little service, and most of whom have been educated at this institestion. Sir, I may here be permitted to advert to the observations of a distinguished traveller, in favor of our small

If the object of

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Weimar, a military gentleman of much experience, and who is now a general in the service of the King of the Netherlands. He states, in his book of travels through this country, that “there is scarcely an army in Europe in which the corps of officers is better composed than in the United States' service; that no one can, on any account, be an officer if he is not well educated; and that, therefore, if a young man is seen in the uniform of an American officer, it may be with confidence inferred that he is in every respect fit to maintain his place in any society.” It is seldom, it is true, that we find among the numerous travellers through this country the slightest disposition to say a word in its favor, or to do justice to our institutions; nor, sir, do l regard what they say. It is enough for us to know that our countrymen are satisfied with their present happy condition, and that they would not exchange it for that of any people on the globe. But in this gentleman we have met with an honorable exception, and one, too, who has taken great pains to inquire into the character and composition of our military peace establishment; one, too, capable of judging and estimating its value, who is willing to render justice and to speak the truth. Sir, there is every reason to believe that, if our present military establishment, small as it is, consisting of less than seven thousand, be left undisturbed, we shall find, at no distant day, that it will be the means of saving a thousand times more money to this great and growing nation than can possibly be saved by the reduction of any portion of it. And, sir, while it shall offer to those who embrace the military profession a permanent calling, there will be inducements for men of talents and character to remain in it; but if it is assailed at every session of Congress, thereby rendering the tenure of office uncertain in it, the more reflecting part of the officers will naturally look for a retreat, and leave the service as soon as they can make their arrangements so to do; nor will that be all— the spirit of the service will be destroyed, and the army itself will dwindle into that state of insignificance in which the late war found it. It certainly cannot with propriety be said that the present military establishment is useless, that it is unnecessary, and that there is no danger to be apprehended from abroad or on our Indian frontiers; for, if we look at it as a whole, we shall find it advantageously disposed of and usefully employed in sortifying our seacoasts and harbors, in improving our country by means of roads and canals, in garrisoning the forts erected to guard our maritime and inland frontiers, and, in fact, every where aiding, in good feeling with their fellow-citizens, to improve the condition of the country, and in diffusing knowledge on many subjects yet little understood among us. . It does not, like other armies, in time of peace eat the bread of idleness; it is employed more usefully and beneficially to the country than the army of any nation in the world. Its organization now approaches as near to perfection as we could expect or hope. We have this institution, where the youthful officers acquire a theoretical and practical knowledge of their profession before they are allowed to take the command of or to undertake to instruct the soldiers. We have, besides, one division, consisting of one regiment of dragoons and seven regiments of infantry—and another division, consisting of four regiments of artillery—the former posted on our inland frontier, to preserve peace among our citizens and the Indian tribes; the latter on the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, to guard our commerce, in conjunction with our naval force, and to maintain our rights within our own waters. We have, likewise, an admirably-organized ordnance corps, and a corps of engineers, composed chiefly of officers educated at West Point; and we have a staff exactly suited to the circumstances of our military ar

military establishment. I allude, sir, to the Duke Saxel rangement. The whole is, in fact, so happily constituted

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that it is capable, at a moment's warning, to render effect- the safety of our civil institutions, yet, as I have before

ive, for any service, one hundred thousand men, by in-
structing them in the manual and in the evolutions of the
line, and by employing the members of the staff to pro.
vide for transportation, quarters, fuel, pay, clothing,
arms, ammunition, forage and subsistence, hospital and
medical stores, and attendance; all of which are so essen-
tial to the comfort and very existence of an army in time
of war, that the bravest troops, for the want of them, can
be of little service.
Sir, the present military establishment, I do conscien-
tiously believe, is equal to all this; and now, sir, shall we,
the representatives of the people, for the paltry consid-
eration of a few thousand dollars, destroy its symmetry,
nay, its very efficiency, by lopping off one of its most
ornamental and most essential branches?
It is not to be wondered at that, in a country so wide
and extensive as this is, we should find advocates, among
our most worthy and intelligent citizens, for the abolition
of this institution; for, sir, we know that there are many
of our best citizens who maintain, if not with as much
ability, certainly with as much zeal as the honorable gen-
tleman from Tennessee has manifested on this occasion,
that it is inexpedient to expend the public money in
erecting forts on our seaboard, for the protection of our
cities and of our commerce; nay, sir, I have no doubt
that there are those who would be glad to see all our for-
tifications levelled with the earth. There are also those
who are in favor of dismantling our glorious navy, and
dismissing from the service our officers and seamen; and
it is to be regretted that there are many of our respecta-
ble citizens who are zealous and eloquent advocates for
repealing all laws with respect to training and disciplining
the militia; some of them on the ground, as they allege,
of the demoralizing tendency of the military parades; and
others from their aversion to bear arms, either in war or
in peace. Yes, sir, there are those who would be glad
to see that important arm of our national defence stricken
ok, on which the honorable gentleman [Mr. Dickinson]
seems willing solely to rely for our future defence. Not-
withstanding the feeling of hostility against the militia, it
must be admitted that we are measurably indebted to it
for our independence, and, consequently, for the seats
we now occupy as the representatives of a great and glo-
rious people. It was the militia that gave the first im-
pulse to the ball of the Revolution; it was the militia that
faced the enemy at J.exington and at Bunker's Hill; it
was the militia that penetrated into the Canadas, through
an almost impassable forest, and advanced victoriously to
the very gates of Quebec; and, in 1776, during that dark
period of the war, the militia nobly resisted the prowess
of the veteran troops of our enemy on Long Island, at
Fort Washington, and at Trenton. In 1777 they gained
for us the signal victory of Bennington, and aided in the
capture of Burguoyne and his army. . The defence of the
southern section of our country, during that memorable
war, was confided chiefly to them. Their services du-
ring the late war, when commanded by experienced
officers, were no less valuable. They achieved for our
country the most important victories during that war. I
allude to the action at New Orleans, and to the battle of
the Thames. And, sir, when Plattsburg was invaded by
land, by one of the best-appointed armies ever sent to
this country, the militia from Vermont and the northern
section of New York poured in from all quarters, volun-
teered their services under the gallant General Macomb,
prevented our forts from falling into the hands of the
enemy, and thereby secured for us the victory on the
lake. But although it will be conceded that it is abso-
lutely necessary that an effectual and efficient militia
should be kept up for our national defence and personal
security, and that upon their strength in a great measure

remarked, there are many advocates for its total destruc-
tion. Indeed it would seem, from some of the views taken
of this subject by the honorable gentleman from Tennes-
see, that he and many other persons have adopted a per-
suasion that this country, from its remote position and
growing strength, is placed out of the reach of danger or
annoyance from other Powers, and that, consequently,
there is no necessity for resorting to the usual precautions
for asserting our rights or defending our possessions.
They appear to think that the time will never come when
military skill or military spirit will be put in requisition;
and that, therefore, they may safely be suffered quietly to
subside in this favored country, which is in future to de-
pend entirely on its own supposed inherent strength and
fortunate position.
Such notions, sir, are, in my opinion, dangerous in the
highest degree; they are unworthy of statesmen; they
are at war with all the experience of the history of man-
kind, and they tend to the neglect of those means which
a prudent forecast will always recommend to the adop-
tion of every nation, be its situation what it may. No
nation, sir, can be safe from insult or injuries, that is
unable to resist them. To be unprepared for war is the
surest way to provoke a war; weakness ever invites in-
sult. The arts of peace, which enrich and embellish na-
tions, are incapable of defending them; and wealth, without
the power of protecting it, is ever the prey of violence.
But, sir, have we no neighbors, rivals, nor enemies, to
apprehend, that we are so willing to turn the sword into
the ploughshare? Have we no cause of apprehension from
any quarter, that we are content to lay down our arms,
and to go to sleep in the shade of the laurels acquired
for us by our distinguished sires? Is it safe to let the skill
and spirit which is necessary, not only to the defence but
the existence and independence of every nation, however
powerful or however insulated, perish under “the can-
kers of a calm world and a long peace?”
Sir, commerce makes neighbors of every nation of the
civilized world, and makes them rivals, too. It brings
their interests into collision, and rival interests make rival
nations. Does any gentleman that hears me imagine for
a moment that, because a good understanding at this
moment subsists between the United States and England,
it is to last for ever? Are we not rivals in trade on the
ocean and on the land? Yes, there and every where?
Have we no unsettled points of dispute remaining, to kin-
dle into a flame old grudges and jealousies? Is that great
and powerful nation willing to give up the right of search
and impressment? Is she prepared to admit the people
of the United States to the free navigation of the St. Law–
rence, or are they prepared to relinquish it for ever? is
the boundary line between Maine and Nova Scotia yet
settled? Or is there any reason on earth to anticipate an
everlasting calm between the two countries? Sir, the
farmer makes hay while the sun shines, and a wise sea-
man never thinks of a long calm but as the forerunner of
a tempest.
In the extremity of our confidence we seem, sir, to
have forgotten, too, that there are powerful nations grow-
ing up, and waxing stronger and stronger every day, or a
our southern as well as northern borders—Canada or a
one hand, Mexico and Colombia on the other. In the
former, the mother country, although burdened with a
heavy national debt, is laying out millions in placing her
provinces in a perfect state of defence, in erecting a for-
tress at Quebec which will compare, in point of strength.
with the fortress of Gibraltar, and in the encouragement
of immigration. It may be said that the stronger the sc
provinces grow the sooner they will throw off the yoke
of dependence on England—that they will follow our ex-
ample. Granted; but will they be less formidable when

depends the very existence of our Government and

they are independent?

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