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exercised upon the land. And amidst all these proofs of ambition and avarice, she demanded that the victims of her usurpations and her violence should revere her as the sole defender of the rights and liberties of mankind."*
It may well be believed, that in such a state of affairs, the exasperated people looked with anxious concern to #ie approaching session of Congress, and the clamor for war was increased in every part of the Union, with the exception perhaps of the larger part of New England. Mr. Madison was indisposed to extreme measures, and his cabinet were somewhat at variance with each other. Mr. Smith and Mr. Gallatin did not harmonize, and the president preferred to part with the former, who resigned, and James Monroe took the post of secretary of state, in November. "William Pinkney also, soon after, succeeded Eodney as attorney-general.
In addition to the causes already pointed out as leading to difficulties with Great Britain, there were others which tended to the same result. The British government, from the position of Canada, and the facilities which it enjoyed in consequence, paid much attention to the enlisting the Indian tribes in favor of the quarrel which it was urging forward with the United States; and there is every reason to conclude, that British emissaries were actively engaged in fomenting dissen
* Dallas's "Exposition of the Causes and Character of the Late War with Great Britain," pp. 47, 48. This ably written tract is now rarely to be met with: it was printed at Philadelphia, in April, 1815; 8vo., pp. 82.
sions and complaints which existed among the Indians in the north-west. The rapid progress of the white men's settlements, the narrowing of the hunting-grounds, the introduction of the white men's spirituous liquors, and the like, had led to serious troubles on various occasions, and the tribes in the north-west had frequently been concerned in robbing and murdering the settlers in the vicinity.
General Harrison, governor of the Territory of Indiana, had made, in 1809, a purchase of valuable land from the Miami Indians on the Wabash Elver. The sale of this tract gave great offence to Tecumseh, a Shawnee chief, whose ambition led him to aspire to the leadership of the western tribes, and whose superior abilities fitted him for that task which the noted Pontiac (vol. i., p. 250) had striven, fifty years previously, to accomplish; we mean, a confederacy and organized union of the Indians to repel the further advances of the white men. In August, 1810, Tecumseh and his warriors met General Harrison in council at Vincennes, which resulted in nothing but increased excitement and a determination on the part of Tecumseh and his twin-brother, the prophet, a crafty impostor, to proceed to extremities.
In the spring of 1811, the frontier inhabitants became seriously alarmed at the prospect of Indian outrages, which seemed to be on the increase ; and at their solicitation, General Harrison resolved to move towards the prophet's town, at the junction of the Tippecanoe and Wabash Rivers, with a body of Kentucky and
Indiana militia, and the fourth United States regiment, under Colonel Boyd, to demand satisfaction of the Indians, and to put a stop to their threatened hostilities. His expedition was made early in November. On his approach within a few miles of the prophet's town, the principal chiefs came out with offers of peace and submission, and requested Harrison to encamp for the night; but, as he suspected, this was only a treacherous artifice. At four in the morning, the camp was furiously assailed, and a bloody contest ensued, the Indians were however repulsed. The loss on the part of the Americans was sixty-two killed, and
one hundred and twenty-six wounded a still greater number fell on the side of the red men. In fact, this was one of the most desperate and hardly contested battles ever fought with the Indians. Tecuinseh was not present, and the prophet occupied himself in conjurations on an eminence not far off, but out of danger. Harrison, having destroyed the prophet's town, and established forts, returned to Vincennes, and received high praise for his successful conduct of the expedition*
* See Brackenridge's "History of the Late War," pp. 23-26; and Drake's "History and Biography of the Indians of North AmerUa," pp. 616-20.
OPENING OF THE WAR.
Assembling of Congress on the 4th of November — Henry Clny elected speaker — The president's message — Abstract of its contents — Warlike measures resolved upon by the majority — Report and resolutions of the committee on foreign relations— The debate on the resolutions — The position of the president not agreeable—Determination of the ruling party — Burning of the theatre in Richmond, Virginia — Questions relating to the financial condition of the country in respect to war — Measures adopted — The " Henry plot" — Russell's dispatches from London—Embargo laid for ninety days — Other bills of a warlike tendency — Louisiana admitted as a state into the Union — Death of George Clinton, the vice-president — Foreign affairs — Barlow's labors in France — Troubles in England — Foster's letter to Monroe — The crisis reached — Madison's war message, in full—Report of committee of foreign relations on the message—Substance of the report—Debate carried on with closed doors — Bill passed in the House and the Senate— Approved by the president — The act declaring war— The president's proclamation — Address of the minority in Congress to their constituents — Other acts of Congress — Ratio of representation — Close of the long session — Proclamation of the president appointing a day of fasting and prayer. ArrENDix To Chapter VII. Address of the minority in Congress to their constituents.
In consequence of the unsettled and critical condition of our foreign relations, the president, by proclamation, in July, summoned Congress a month earlier than usual; and, on the 4th of
November that body assembled in the city of Washington, ready to entei earnestly upon the important duties entrusted to their charge. The elections had resulted decidedly in favor of the
administration, and the democratic party felt itself strong enough to venture upon more energetic measures
than had as yet been deemed prudent. Henry Clay, who now made his first appearance in the House, and was an ardent supporter of the republican views, was elected speaker by a large vote over Mr. Bibb, whom the more moderate men of the party deBired to have placed in the chair.
On the following day, the president sent in his third annual message, in which he entered quite at large into the important questions at that time agitating the nation. He expressed himself disappointed at the course pursued by the British government, who, not crediting the revocation of Napoleon's decrees, had refused to rescind the orders in council, and had pressed with additional severity the enforcement of these odious regulations. He further spoke of " the unfriendly spirit" evinced by the British authorities, who had threatened "measures of retaliation" for the continuance of the nonimportation act, and declared, that "indemnity and redress for other wrongs have continued to be withheld, and our coasts and the mouths of our harbors have again witnessed scenes not less derogatory to the dearest of our national rights than vexatious to the regular course of our trade." The affair of the President and the Little Belt appropriately followed this statement.
With respect to France, the president said: "The justice and fairness which had been evinced on the part of the United States towards France, both before and since the revocation of her
decrees, authorized an expectation that her government would have followed up that measure by all such others as were due to our reasonable claims, as well as dictated by its amicable
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professions. No proof, however, is yet given of an intention to repair the other wrongs done to the United States; and particularly to restore the great amount of American property seized and condemned under edicts, which, though not affecting our neutral relations, and therefore not entering into questions between the United States and other belligerents, were nevertheless founded in such unjust principles, that the reparation ought to have been prompt and ample. In addition to this and other demands of strict right, on that nation, the United States have much reason to be dissatisfied with the rigorous and unexpected restrictions, to which their trade with the French dominions has been subjected; and which, if not discontinued, will require at least corresponding restrictions on importations from France into the United States."
With the other powers of Europe, the relations of the United States continued on a friendly footing.
In speaking of the "ominous indications" which required the executive to take measures for providing for the general security, the president informed Congress of the progress of the coast defences, and the putting of part of the gunboats, the navy, the regulars, and the militia, into active use; the latter in Indiana chiefly, on account of the menacing combination of the Indians there under Tecumseh and the prophet.
MADISON'S THIRD ANNUAL MESSAGE.