ePub 版

Cn. X.]




formed the American government that was principally occupied in giving atHis Majesty was willing to enter upon tention to measures for relieving the a direct negotiation for peace. The national finances from embarrassment. president accepted this proposition, and The presidential question being it was communicated to Lord Castle settled, there was less hesitation reagh that envoys would be immedi- in bringing forward certain plans which ately sent to Gottenburg, for the pur- it was not deemed expedient before pose of carrying it into effect.

this to press. Necessity compelled the When the names of the gentlemen adoption of unpopular measures. The sent on this mission came before the existing duties on imports were doubled, Senate, Adams and Bayard were con and the assessment and collection of firmed without difficulty; strong oppo direct taxes and internal duties were sition, however, was made to Mr. Gal- also provided for. latin, because, as was urged, it was This was, in fact, Mr. Gallatin's plan, manifestly improper that the office of which had been rejected previously; secretary of the treasury and that of but now, since there seemed to be no envoy extraordinary should be held by other way practicable, it was proposed the same person. At first, his nomina- to raise an annual revenue sufficient to tion was rejected by a vote of eighteen pay the ordinary expenses of governto seventeen; but having subsequently ment, and the interest of such sums as resigned the secretaryship, the Senate it would become necessary to borrow; approved the nomination. Captain and to support the war by a series of Jones, of the navy department, dis- loans. charged the duties of secretary of the Accordingly, acts were passed impostreasury in connection with those pro- ing duties on refined sugars, salt, carperly devolving on him, till the 9th riages, auction sales, licenses for disof February, 1814, when George W. tilleries, and for retailing wine, spirit, Campbell, of Tennessee, was appointed and foreign goods, with stamp duties sccretary of the treasury, in the place on bank notes, bills of exchange, and of Mr. Gallatin. Other nominations other notes; (which were expected to made by the president were treated produce $2,000,000 yearly;) and a dimuch in the same way by those sena- rect tax on houses, lands, and slaves, tors who were warm friends of De at their assessed value, amounting to Witt Clinton; and the executive was $3,000,000 a year.

But the advana good deal embarrassed, at times, by tages expected from this resumption of the opposition of those who in all other the system of internal taxation, which respects were decided friends of dem- Jefferson had so earnestly denounced, ocratic measures and principles. Mr. could not be enjoyed before the followJonathan Russell, nominated as min-ing year; and for the current year, ister to Sweden, was one of those whom another loan of $7,500,000 was authorthe Senate refused to approve.

ized. The treasury notes, five millions During this extra session, Congress of which had been issued, were, how

Vol. III.-26

ever, at a great discount; and although polar star of public credit, and of comthe former loan had been taken at par, mercial confidence, was abstracted from for six per cent. stock, this second loan, the firmament, and the needle of the apparently taken at the same rate, was compass wandered at random to the all paid in depreciated currency. The four quarters of the heavens. From finances were,

in fact, in a very serious the root of the fallen trunk, sprang up state of embarrassment. The banks a thicket of perishable suckers—never had suspended specie payments, except destined to bear fruit: the offspring of ing a few in New England. The de summer vegetation, withering at the mands upon the treasury had far ex touch of the first winter's frost. Yet, ceeded what had been anticipated; and upon them was our country doomed to when the militia was called out, they rely: it was her only substitute for the all, but particularly those of the middle shade and shelter of the parent tree. states, were found insufficiently clothed The currency soon fell into frightful and equipped in every respect. The disorder: banks, with fictitious capital, regular army, too, was deficient both swarmed throughout the land, and in blankets and clothing for the soldiers, spunged the purse of the people, often owing to the prohibition of importa- for the use of their own money, with tions from England, and the incapability more than usurious extortion. The of the home manufactures to supply the solid banks, even of this metropolis, demand.*

(Boston) were enabled to maintain In connection with the important and their integrity, only by contracting always difficult topic of the finances du- | their operations to an extent ruinous ring a state of war, Mr. Adams's re to their debtors, and to themselves. marks are worth quoting: -“ Among the A balance of trade, operating like uniseverest trials of the war, was the de- versal fraud, vitiated the channels of ficiency of adequate funds to sustain it, intercourse between north and south, and the progressive degradation of the and the treasury of the Union was renational credit. By an unpropitious plenished only with countless millions combination of rival interests, and of of silken tatters, and unavailable funds; political prejudices, the first Bank of chartered corporations, bankrupt, under the United States, at the very outset of the gentle name of suspended specie the war, had been denied the renewal payments, and without a dollar of capof its charter: (p. 753) a heavier blow ital to pay their debts, sold, at enorof illusive and contracted policy, could mous discounts, the very evidence of scarcely have befallen the Union. The those debts, and passed off, upon


government of the country, at par, their * Early in July, the legislature of Massachusetts rags-purchasable, in open market, at sent in a strong remonstrance to the House, denounc depreciations of thirty and forty per ing the war as impolitic and unjust, defending the course of Great Britain, and charging the party in power with blind devotion and even subserviency to

* "Life of James Monroe," p. 271.



Ch. X.]




Yet, as Mr. Ingersoll states, in giving as well as England, or should have the principal causes of the administra- been put off for fuller preparation.* tive success of the system of 1813, “it During the progress of events at the

may be averred, to the honor of north and west, as we have related them

our country, that never were in preceding chapters, affairs in the taxes, especially new ones, more prompt- south-west were gradually assuming a ly or cheerfully paid, nearly the whole shape calculated to excite great alarm amount accruing within the four years, and anxiety. The southern Indians, being paid within that period; when | under the humane system adopted by the currency was deranged; without Washington, had, many of them, been National Bank, or other general reg-induced to forsake the savage mode of ulation; and of what was called money, life, and very great expense was freely little more than state bank notes, most incurred to endeavor to win them to of which, during the latter part of the the ways in which their white neighwar, were not convertible into coin, but bors lived and made advances in wealth mere promises to pay. The cost of col- and happiness. The Creeks especially lection never exceeded six per cent."* had enjoyed every favor at the hand

Congress adjourned on the 2d of of the United States; their lands had August, 1813, after a session of more never been encroached upon; and they order, system, vigor, and advantage, had, to some considerable extent, inter. than is usual for the legislature of a married with the whites. Among these, country such as ours, where the right and their neighbors the Choctaws, of free discussion prevails. The ma- Chickasaws, and Cherokees, there were jority of the House, Ingersoll asserts, not a few who had learned rightly to were unanimous and harmonious. There estimate the arts of civilized life; and was some dissidence in the Senate; but who perceived that war with the Amerhardly any in the House, certainly no icans could not be successful, and might dissension, among the supporters of the bring destruction upon their nation. war, whose pressure suppressed what. These resisted the endeavors of Tecumever inherent tendency to discord there seh with great energy, and strove to might and must be in such bodies. dissuade their fellow tribesmen from The opposition were also united and joining in his perilous and perfectly active; but their efforts were bestowed hopeless scheme. Nevertheless, his inprincipally upon questions which af- fluence amongst the younger and more fected the mode of carrying on the war rather than in respect to the war itself. * At the request of Congress, the president recomThere were not many who denied the mended, that the second Thursday in September “be

observed by the people of the United States with re. Justice of the war; but the opposition ligious solemnity, and the offering of fervent supplicacontended, that it should include France tions to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of

these states, His blessing on their arms, and the speedy

restoration of peace.” That day accordingly, we aro * Ingersoll's “ History of the Second War," voli, happy to state, was observed very generally through

out the country

p. 224

ardent men, who there, as every where nessee, in alarm at the prospect, gave else, were ready for any thing new, was authority to the governor to call out very great, and he did not fail to use ten thousand militia, and make war it to its fullest extent.

upon the Creeks, even to extermination, Towards the close of. 1812, Tecum- unless the murderers were given up. seh made his appearance again in the A state of civil war soon after eventuCreek towns, not to tell of impractic ated, and the opposing parties arranged able confederacies, and the resumption themselves under their respective leadof old and half-forgotten habits and ers. Acts of violence ensued, and sevrites of the Indian races, but to arouse eral of the friendly chiefs were murdered them if he could to war. All the in cold blood. Gaining strength, they smouldering passions of the savages, proceeded to new acts of violence; re. who cherished the traditions of the gardless of the legitimate authorities, times when as yet no hated pale-faces they deposed and put to death the had trodden the western continent, and friends of peace, until the nation was who despised the effeminacy of the re-involved in general bloodshed. The creants, whom the fascinations of those war party at length prevailed, and all pale-faces had won to emulate their opposition was summarily crushed by mode of life; all the petty feuds which arbitrary force. were sure to exist in communities com Parties of hostile warriors began to posed as these were; every thing that assemble in various parts of the Creek could be employed by one skilled as he nation, with the avowed purpose of comwas, was turned by Tecumseh now to mencing hostilities against the white this end, that by attacking the United settlements of the Mississippi Territory, States in the south, whilst he and his and of Georgia, and Tennessee. Emisallies, the British, attacked them in the saries were employed in efforts north, he should obtain his personal to induce the Choctaws to unite revenge, even though he might never with them in the general league, Tehope to wreak upon these foes of his cumseh having been unsuccessful in his race the vengeance he had desired to efforts, among the chiefs of that nation. inflict on them for all the wrongs, real In these efforts, it appears, they failed. and imagined, which they were guilty Mushulatubbe, and other Choctaw of in his sight, towards his ancestors, chiefs, succeeded in preserving the naand the forefathers of the other Indian tion's loyalty to the United States untribes.

sullied. The war spirit, naturally enough grew Throughout the white settlements stronger and stronger. The party in on the Tombigbee and Alabama Rivers, favor of peace and civilization did all the liveliest alarm prevailed; and a in their power to make head against brigade of nine hundred volunteers the hostile portion; but without suc- and militia was organized by Governor cess. Murders were committed on the Holmes, to quiet the apprehensions of frontiers, and the legislature of Ten- | the settlers, and at the same time to


« 上一頁繼續 »