« 上一頁繼續 »
[H. of R.
Occupation of the Oregon River.
[Dec. 20, 1824.
the world. An ordinary whaling voyage is from two to willing to embark in the same pursuit; among these may three years, I have it from authority that cannot be be named, Louis A. Tarascon, of Shippingport, Ken. doubted, that ships have been absent for four or five known in Bordeaux and Philadelphia, as one of the most years, and, in one instance, even seven years; it is this accomplished merchants; who has been among the first which makes the real seaman.
to open the trade from the Ohio to the West Indies, and But, sir, why should we not have our own ships built buili the first ship which descended that river, for that on that sea, and fitted out from our own port on the Os- purpose, and whose commercial views have been useful, egon? Why send ships of war from this coast, from and deserve the most respectful attention of the governWashington City, to cruise in the Pacific Ocean, when ment. we can there build them, and keep on that coast a fleet, The great difficulties which Lewis and Clark met for that ocean?
with, induced adventurers to search for a more practicaMuch has been said concerning the difficulty of esta- ble route, which was soon discovered, to the south of blishing the post, and subsisting those who might em- that pursued by these early travellers. Others went bark in the enterprize. It is true, we will not, for a few still further southwardly, and continued up the Yellow. years, find as much wealth and splendor as is found in stone river, taking the fork of that river, called the Big the saloons and drawing rooms of this magnificent coun. Horn, pursuing it to its source, thence through the moun. terfeit of European royalty; neither would we find what tain, falling upon the waters of Lewis river, one of the is very common here, a heartless intercourse, and aping principal branches of the Oregon. At this point the etiquette of miserable pretenders to the “ monthly fash- waters interlock; and present very few difficulties, as ions, just from Europe.”
the whole chain of mountains differs from those known First, As to subsistence. I think myself well justi. on the Atlantic shores, inasmuch as the mountains here fied, from the concurrent testimony of all travellers and are composed of one unbroken chain: there are composvoyagers, in stating, that the salmon of the Oregon river ed of a number of detached hills, though large, and of alone, would subsist fifty thousand men a year. The great height from the base to the summit, resembling a potato grows wild there, on which the natives feed, not chain of tumuli; through these you pass with ease and only those who live on the river, hut those of the neigh- safety, so much so, that I have the most perfect confi. boring nations. Portlock and Dixon say, and their tes-dence, that even now, a wagon, with its usual freight, timony is strengthened by Messrs. Lewis and Clark, could be taken from this capital to the mouth of Oregon. that the gooseberry is to be found there in abundance; Besides these passes, there is still another, which, so is the red and black currant, strawberries, mulberries, though longer to the upper part of that river, is yet raspberries, onions, and peas. Portlock also states, that, better, where even the feeble difficulties there encounbigh up that coast, a shrub is found, the leaves of which tered, are here almost annihilated. is so good a substitute for the tea of China, that he could This route, pursued by many now engaged in that hardly tell the difference. Moreover, wheat, and all trade, holds its course from Missouri, up the Kanzas kinds of grain, can be bad in a few days from Mexico, at river, continuing some distance up the Republican fork very reduced prices. Hogs, sheep, goats, black cattle of that river; then falling on to the river Platte, thence, of every description, can be had, with ease, and in abun- entirely up that river to its source, where the Oregon, or dance, in a short time, from California, or the Sandwich | Rocky Mountain, sinks into a bed of sand, without water Islands. The difficulties to be overcome in a voyage or or timber for the space of sixty miles smooth and level. journey to that country, are ideal, and for some years on crossing the sandy plain, the traveller finds himself unknown to the enterprizing citizens of Missouri, who, in a rich extensive country, in which heads the Rio del I had almo t said, were daily in the habit of planning Norte, the Rio Colorado, of California, Rio Buenaventuand executing trips to Oregon and to Mexico, yielding ra, Timpanogos, Multnoma, on the head of Lewis' river. a profit in furs, peltries, money, and mules, beyond any It is worthy to remark, that at this point is to be found thing known to us. The journey is safe and easy, and that portion of the civilized Indians who escaped the requires, from Franklin, in Missouri, the space of fifty slaughter of the Spaniards when Montezuma was destroydays, by their present slow mode of travelling, to per. ed. This excellent people live there in all the peaceform the trip. So frequent are their journeys, that I ful abundance of a rich soil and good government. They should almost feel mysell justified in saying, that there have herds, flocks, till the soil, and manufacture various is a constant intercourse between Missouri, Mexico, and articles of cotton wool, and wood, and live in fine houses, Oregon.
some of stone, of the best workmanship; of this there is Much of the reluctance which is felt by gentlemen, no doubt-some of their fabrics, such as counterpanes, arises from a recurrence to the difficulties experienced have been sold in the markets of Missouri. by Messrs. Lewis and Clark, when visiting that coast; The course, taken from the neighborhood of these their difficulties proceeded, not from the country, but people, is near the Lake of Timpanogos, thence to the from their entire want of knowledge-which is now pos- Mulinoma, and with it to the Oregon, near its mouth; sessed, gained by a residence among the Indian nations the other, to fall on the waters of Lewis' river, and with who inhabit the country near the Oregon mountains. it, to its mouth, which is in truth the main branch of the
The course now travelled to pass those mountains, Oregon. lies far to the south of that formerly travelled, and a jour Should capital be soon employed at the mouth of that ney can now be made without meeting any obstructions river, there can be little doubt that all the beneficial reof a serious character. Much of this information bas sults here anticipated, would soon ensue; the valley of been imparted by Mr. Farnham and Mr. Crooks, gentle. the Mississippi would soon be supplied by this route, men to whom I am much indebted for many interesting with all the luxuries, and all the rich productions of the facts relative to this country, who have had an intimate Western ccean. One of the strongest of these supposed knowledge, from having been there, engaged in the difficulties, is the want of navigation on the Missouri trade of that country with John Jacob Astor, who is well river, and a want of safety at all times in ascending and known for his skin, experience, and extensive know. descending that river. This ceases to be an objection ledge in the fur trade, and is ready to vest in that pur- altogether-as I have been informed by General Jesup, sui, several hundred thousand dollars, fixing his esta- that a boat invented on the Missouri river, (by General blishment at the mouth of Oregon, so soon as this repub- Atkivson,) and constructed and put into operation, by lic will extend to her citizens the same protection which an order from his Department, can ascend and descend, even the Kings of Europe, particularly England, grant or cross that river in any direction, with ease and with to their subjects. I am also informed, that other large safety, the persons on board being free from danger of capitalists in the Western country, and in Virginia, are every kind.' His representation, all know, is to be reli
Dec. 20, 1824.]
Occupation of the Mouth of the Oregon.
[H. of R.
ed upon, as it is plain and never exaggerated. From all rope, she has Gibraltar and Malta, and other islands in the information to be had on this subject, the time taken the Mediterranean, which hold all Europe in check. On from Franklin, in Missouri, to the mouth of the Oregon, another side, she has a position in the West Indies, by the head of the river Platte, is fifty days.
in Africa, in India, and the South Seas; all chosen with Again, should capital be fixed at that point, as it soon the same intent, and all in completion of her schemes; will be, Why not have a dock yard and a naval esta. she wants nothing now to give her the entire control of blishment, to construct and repair our fleet on that all the commerce of the world, for ages to come, but a sea? Would it not also be proper for this government position on our Western Coast, which she will soon to negotiate with the republic of Mexico, or Guatimala, have, unless you pass this bill. for the privilege of passing the isthmus? In this point Mr. POINSETT, of South Carolina, ollered an amendof view, Pensacola is likely to become the greatest city ment to the bill, the effect of which would be to leave in the south, and, perhaps, one of the greatest in this re- it discretionary with the President at what point on the public. The voyage is easy, and much shorter than any Pacific the military post should be established, and supwould suppose who had never considered it. From Oreported his amendment by somne remarks, the substance gon to the Gulf of Panama, is a voyage of 22 days ; of which was understood to be, that the information in from thence, across the land, to the Bay of Mandinga, is possession of the mover, as to the geographical and tothree days; then to Pensacola, is a voyage of eight days; pographical advantages of the position at the mouth of making a voyage from the mouth of Oregon to Pensa- the Oregon, was adverse to that just laid before the cola, in thirty-three days. There is another course House by the gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. Floyd.) He which may be pursued, making the trip shorter-it is, was not very confident of the accuracy of either, and to leave Oregon for the Bay of Tehuantepec, a voyage thought it best to leave the matter to the President, who of twenty days; thence, across, to the Rio Huasecualco was, or doubtless would be, in possession of the best inin three days; and in four more to Pensacola; in all telligence which was to be had in the case. twenty-seven days.
On motion of Mr. TRACY, of N. Y. the day being Is this not an object worthy to be secured? In the many somewhat advanced, the committee then rose. treaties which we have of late been negotiating, in all of Mr. COOK moved to discharge :he committee of the wbich, in my opinion, we have been much injured, vhole on the state of the Union from the farther consiwould it not be right to secure this object to the South, deration of this bill, with a view to its reference to the that we may have some little benefit for immense injur-committee to whom so much of the President's message ies? Or, are our claims to Oregon, and our interests in as refers to this subject had already been committed. the Western ocean, really so "minute," that they cannot This course appeared to him to be proper in itself, and, be perceived ?
particularly so, as there were manifest defects in the I throw out these hints, as forming principles for our bill, which made it advisable that it should undergo recommerce and our country at large, to guide us in the vision by a committee. better way; just principles may be looked to as guides, Mr. FLOYD said, he was not at all anxious about the even when we cannot adhere to them as rules.
course this bill might take; but he could not see any neI shall, Mr. Chairman, close the few remarks I have cessity for the reference of it which was now proposed, to make, by an appeal to the House, to consider well especially as the present committee was composed of a our interests in the Western Ocean, on our Western majority of the persons who were upon the committee Coast, and the trade to China and to India ; and the by which, at the last session, this bill had been maturease with which it can be brought to Pensacola or ed. The President, it was true, had recommended the down the Missouri. What is this commerce ? Has it occupation of that territory in a military point of view. not enriched the world ? Thousands of years have pass-This bill contemplated that object, indeed; but, in aded by, and, year after year, all the nations of the earth dition, it proposed to give power to the President to have, each year, sought the rich commerce of that coun- erect the settlement into a territorial government whentry; all have enjoyed the riches of the East. This trade ever he may think proper. There must be at this setwas sought by King Solomon, by Tyre, Sidon; this wealth tlement, besides traders, many shipwrights, blacksmiths, found its way to Egypt, and, at last, to Rome, to France, and other artisans, &c.; and he stated, on the authority Portugal, Spain, Holland, England, and, finally, to this of General Rector, that, in the last season, there were Republic. How vast and incomprehensibly rich must on the waters of the Missouri sisteen hundred persons be that country and commerce, which has never ceased, engaged in the fur trade, who could not go over to the one day, from the highest point of Jewish splendor, to Columbia, because they would have been unprotecteci, the instant I am speaking, to supply the whole globe besides having high duties to pay, &c. The bill conwith all the busy imagination of man can desire, for his tained but two features-the one was the establishment ease, comfort, or enjoyment! Whilst we have so fair an of a military post, and the other was an authority to the opportunity offered to participate so largely in all this President to establish a territorial government whenever wealth and enjoyment, if not to govern and direct the he might judge it expedient. He appealed to the Amewhole, can it be possible that doubts, on mere points of rican feeling of every gentleman whether it was proper speculation, will weigh with the House, and cause us to to place under military law or the caprice of the comlose forever, the brightest prospect ever presented to mander of a post of two hundred troops, the number of the eyes of a nation?
persons who would belong to sucb a civil settlement. I will conclude my observations on this important sub- He could not, for his own part, think of such a thing for ject, with one other remark, which I beg the House to a moment. The persons there would be chiefly engagbear in mind, and give it such weight as it deserves. ed in hunting and fishing, and he thought it was just The idea of extending our military frontier, or posts, to that they should have the blessings of civil government the mouth of that river, seems to have created alarm in as soon as their circumstances would admit of it. He the minds of some gentlemen ; but, when it is well con- was, therefore, opposed to the reference of the bill to sidered, all cause of fear will vanish. It is not so im- a committee, as proposed. portant as to the number of military posts, as it is
, that Mr. COOK said, that this bill proposed certainly a they should be properly placed. I am thoroughly per very important measure. Besides the establishment of suaded, that England governs the commercial world a civil colonial government on the coast of the Pacific more by the advantageous positions she occupies in it, Ocean, it proposed the giving grants of land to settlers, than by her physical strength or powerful marine. In which were calculated to delude the people of this addition to the strength which she derives from her in- country, enterprizing as they are to produce upon sular position, which is as a bastion to the coast of Eu- ) them an impression that the country in question is adapt
Sen. & H. of R.]
Gratitude to Lafayetle.
[Dec. 21, 1824.
ed to the habits and constitutions of our citizens--to de- The question was then put on Mr. COOK'S motion to lude from their present peaceful abodes a considerable recommit the bill, and lost by a large majority. population. Before we adopt a measure of this kind, he And then the llouse adjourned. said, we ought to have some satisfactory information, upon proper responsibility, as to the character of the soil, climate, &c, of the country. Before any settlement was
IN SENATE.- Tuesday, Dec. 21, 1824. made there, the country ought to be explored by proper
GRATITUDE TO LAFAYETTE. topographical engineers, &c. The proposed undertaking was one of great importance, and the subject was The Senate then, according to the order of the day, worthy of consideration. He wished to place the whole took up the bill making provision for General Lapar. matter before the committee raised on that part of the ETTE; and, no amendment being proposed thereto, the President's message which relates to this subject, to en question was about to be put on ordering the bill to be able them to digest such measures as might äppear pro- read a third time-per to enable the House to act knowingly and delibe. Mr. MACON rose. It was with painful reluctance, he rately on this subject. At present they were leaping said, that he felt himself obliged to oppose bis voice to entirely in the dark: for one, he confessed that he was ; the passage of this bill. He admitted, to the full extent and he presumed a large portion of the House were in claimed for them, the great and meritorious services of the same situation. He wished to have information on General Lafayette, and he did not object to the precise this subject which could be relied upon, and not to sum which this bill proposed to award him; but he obtablish a grand system, for such this was, without firstjected to the bill on this ground: he considered General exploring their way, and ascertaining whether that act Lafayette, to all intents and purposes, as having been, would not have the effect to delude many of our citizens during our Revolution, a son, adopted into the family, from their present successful pursuits, to a vain search taken into the household, and placed, in every respect, after imaginary improvement of their condition. on the same footing with the other sons of the same
Mr. TRIMBLE, of Kentucky, felt some regret that the family. To treat him as others were treated, was all, in motion of the gentleman from Illinois had been made this view of his relation to us, thai could be required, Ile did not see the necessity for it even to the attain. and this had been done. That General Lafayette made ment of the mover's own object, and there was, in the great sacrifices, and spent much of his money in the ser. mean while, a weighty reason why the House should act vice of this country, (said Mr. M.) Ias firmly believe as I upon the bill at the present session. The bill had, as do any other thing under the sun : I have no doubt that had been observed, two leading features-first, the es every faculiy of his mind and body were exerted in the tablishment of a military post, and, secondly, the esta- Revolutionary war, in defence of ibis country; but this blislıment of a territorial government at such time as the was equally the case with all the suns of the family. President shall judge it to be proper. The object of Many native Americans spent their all, made great sacrithe gentleman from Illinois would be fully answered by fices, and devoted their lives in the same cause. This striking out the latter feature, to which alone his objec- was the ground of bis objection to this bill, which, he tions seemed to apply; for, certainly, when he talked of repeated, it was as disagreeable to him to state as it sending topographical engineers to survey the country, could be 10 the Senate to hear. Ile did not mean to take he did not mean to turn those gentlemen out defenceless up the time of the Senate in debate upon the principle among savages : he would surely send a military force of of the bill, or to move any amendment to it. He admitsonic description to accompany and protect them. Butted that, when such things were done, they should be it was needfnl that the House should act upon the sub- done with a free hand. It was to the principle of the ject, and for this reason : By the terms of the British bill, therefore, and not to the sum proposed to be given treaty, England and the United States are to trade in by it, that he objected. With regard to the details of common throughout that country; and the treaty stipu- the bill, however, he was rather of the opinion that lates that the rights possessed by each at the time of the would have been better to have given so much money, treaty, are to remain as they then were for fourteen which we have in the Treasury, than to have given stock years. Now, it was well known that an agent of the Ame to the amount. rican Government had gone round to Astoria, the set- Mr. BROWN, of Obin, said that this bill purported to tlement at the mouth of the river Oregon, immediate- give a compensation to General Lafayette for services ly after the conclusion of peace, and demanded that the rendered. 'He should like to know what evidence had British fag should be lowered and the American flag induced the committee to suppose that the amount prohoisted, as a signal of the possession of that part of the posed was the proper amount of compensation. He
Well, said Mr. T., the lion accordingly came should like to know how far the proposed appropriation down and the eagle went up; but, no sooner did the was grounded on claims for services or for expenditure. American agent turn his back, than down went the ea- He should, indeed, like to see the phraseology of the gle, and up went the lion again. Under such circum- bill changed. He should like to have the bill recom. stances, we made the agreement contained in the com- mitted, also, for another and a peculiar reason.
As it mercial treaty; and, if we shall leave the territory in proposed to raise money by a loan, he doubted whether possession of Great Britain until the fourteen years shall that provisiow of the bill was not invading the peculiar run out, at the end of that time it will be hers by right privilege of the House of Representatives. Under the of possession, and she may expel our traders, &c. The influence of these considerations, he moved to recommit possessłon which may now be obtained and secured by a the bill. small military torce, say of two hundred men, may not, Mr. HAYNE, of South Carolina, said he had entertainafter that time, be obtained by a much larger force, and ed the hope that this bill would have given rise to no at a much greater expense. He was, therefore, opposed | discussion; and if no other objection had been made to to the recommitment of the bill. Whilst up, he begged it than that of his friend (Mr. Macon) who was opposed leave to return his thanks, those of the people whom he upon principle, to making an appropriation, in any case, represented, and, he believed, of a great portion of the or under any circumstances, by way of compensation American people, to the gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. for losses and services in the public cause, he did not Floyd,) who had so long, and with so much assiduity, la- know that he should now have risen. But the objection bored to collect and present facts for the information of the gentleman from Ohio made it his duty to submit, and guidance of the House in a matter of so great na- as briefly as possible, bis views of this question. He tional importance as that which was now before it, and trusted, he said, that he should be able to satisfy the which he had at successive sessions brought forward. Senate, and to satisfy even the scruples of the gentle
Dec. 21, 1824.]
Gratitude to Lafayette.
man himself, that there was no occasion at this time to his favor would far exceed the amount which by this re-commit the bill. The objection of his friend on his bill it is proposed to appropriate. But this, Mr. H. said, right (Mr. Macon) went to the root of the bill; for, Mr. was not the ground on which he was disposed to rest H. said, he understood that gentleman to say that, though the measure. He would appeal to higher and more an individual might have spent his substance in the ser- generous considerations. It is not that an account is to vice of his country, and put his hand into his pocket and be settled, but a debt of gratitude is to be acknowledged paid out money for its use, that money should not be -a debt which can never be discharged. refunded to him by the government. All this, said Mr. Mr. H. stated that there was an incident in the life of H. I shall be able to shew that General Lafayette has Gen. Lafayette, which was explained by the documents done, and that the adoption of the measure now propos which he held in his band, and which presented bis coned will be not only an act of justice to him, but a duty duct in such a delightful point of view, that he could which we owe to ourselves. Mr. II. said he held in his not refrain from bringing it to the view of the Senate, hands documents which he had not intended to submit though he should not found upon it any claim for remuto the Senate, because he had already submitted them neration for the sacrifices which the General had incurvery generally to the private inspection of the members; red on the occasion alluded to. It would be recollected but, called upon, as he now was, he telt it to be his duty that, in March, 1803, Congress made a grant of 11,520 to present them publicly to the Senate. Mr. H. then acres of land to Gen. Lafayette. In the year following, submitted a statement, founded on a document which he was authorized to locate his warrant on any vacant hal been received from France by a piember of the Se land in the territory of Orleans; and, on the 7th April, nate, from which it appeared that, when General La 1806, his agent in this country did locate a tract of 1000 fayette embarked for America, in 1777, he possessed an acres vacant land adjoining the city of New Orleans. income of 146,000 francs, about $28,700-an income, On the 3d March, 1807, Congress, without adverting to which, it is well known, had been reduced by his losses this location in behalf of the General, and indeed, wholly and sacrifices in the cause of liberty throughout the unconscious of the fact that it had been made, granted world, to a very small sum.
to the Corporation of the city of New Orleans a space of It also appeared, from the same document, that, dur- six hundred yards around the fortifications of the city, ing six years, from 1777 to 1783, the General bad ex- including a valuable portion of the very land which had pended in the American service, 700,000 francs, equal been previously entered by the General. He was imme1o 140,000 clollars. Mr. H. adverted to further sacrifices diately informed of the fact; it was stated to him that which the General had made in the cause of Liberty, 23 his right to this land was unquestionable, and Mr. H. established by this document; but the only fact in it to held in his hand a statement made by an eminent lawwhich he wished particularly to draw the attention of yer and jurist, now a member of the other House, showthe Senate, was, that he sacrifices, more than forty years ing that a legal opinion was forwarded, assuring the Genago, one hundred and forty thousand dollars of his pri. eral that, in a contest with the city of New Orleans, he vate fortune in the service of this country. And how must succeed. Another document, which Mr. HAYNE was this sacrifice made? Under what circumstances ? had obtained from a different source, stated that the valWas he one of our own citizens-one of those whose ue of the land liac eyen then been discovered, and that lives and fortunes were necessarily exposed during the $50,000 could have been obtained for the General's title vicissitudes of a contest for the right of self-government to it. And what was the conduct of Lafayerte, on beNo, sir, said Mr. H. no sich thing. If he had been a na- ing informed of these facts? He promptly, and without tive American, and had lost his whole estate by the war, hesitation, communicated to his agent " that he would he would have incurred a misfortune to which all his fel “not consent ever to inquire into the validity of his tilow citizens were liable in common with himself. But *tle; that he could not think of entering into litigation he was in the enjoyment of rank and fortune in his own "vith any public body in the United States; that the country, cheered by the sniles of his Sovereign, and property had been gratuitously bestowed upon him by rich in the treasures of domestic joy. And yet he tore “the United States, and it was with them to say what himself away from his country and his home, to fight the "had been given :" and he accompanied these declarabattles of freedom in a foreign land, and to make com tions by a positive direction to his agent to relinquishi mon cause with a people to whom he owed no duty---
---- his entry and to make a location elsewhere. This has people then engaged in a contest considered almost been done, and the certificate from the Land Office nopeless. Nor was he satisfied with the devotion of his proves, that the land substituted for that which has been personal services. He equipped and armed a regiment lost, is of very inconsiderable value. General Lafay. at his own proper charge, and came here with a vessel ette, however, did not stop ilere. He had been induced freighted with arms and munitions of war, which he dis to dispose of a part of his interest in this land, to an tributed gratuitously among your people. And it is a Irish baronet, Sir Josiah Coghill. His contract with this marter of record on the pages of your history, that he gentleman created, of course, much embarrassment to put shoes on the feet of your bare-foot and suffering sol- him; but the General only considered that it might also diery: For these services he asked no recompense embarrass the Government of the United States. He made he received none. He spent his fortune for you ; he an appeal to that gentleman, who, with a liberality worshed his blood for you; and without acqu ring any thing thy of all praise, agreed to relinquish his claims to the but a claim upon your gratitude, he impoverished him. land in question, and accepteri a claim on other lands in self. And what, in recompense, has this government satisfaction for them. Lafayette stopped not even here: tlone for him? It was not until the year 1791, that they he was not satisfied while any thing remained to be gave to him the full pay, without interest, which he was done. I have myself, said Mr: H. seen and exainined entitled to haver ceived twelve or tourteen years be- on file, in the Land Office, this deed of relinquishment, fore. Did they then attempt to reinunerate him for the deposited there by Generals Lafayette, himself, to se. service, other than military, which the gallant General cure the government from all future difficulty. It only liad rendered to the country? No, sir. But, if an Amer remains for me, said Mr. H. to adıl, that, on a portion of can citizen had put his hand into his pocket, equipped the land thus generously relinquished, now stands a vala regiment for the service of his country, clothed iis na- uable part of the city or New Orleans, valued by gentle. kedness, and put shoes upon their bleeding feet, would men wellacquainted with it, (according to estimates now he no: have been entitled to compensation for such es before him) at from four to five hundred thousand dollars. penditure ? Sir, if we were to resort to a calculation of It is perfectly immaterial, said Mr. H. to inquire, pounds, shillings, and pence; if we were to draw up an whether some legal difficulty might not have existed in accrunt current with Gen. Lafayette the balance in establishing the General's title. "Nothing but a judicial
Gratitude to Lafayette.
(Dec. 21, 1824.
investigation could have settled the rights of the par- had been introduced, partly from a hope that it might ties; and, as the Generai bas relinquished his claim, and induce the settlement of the beloved family in our counluas never, at any time, claimed indemnity, that investiga- try. It would be a rich provision for the grand children tion would now be useless. But, the point on which he of Lafayette. It was thought, moreover, it would add delighted to dwell; was the magnanimity, the refinement to the grace of the measure. Without being over much of feeling, the noble delicacy of sentiment, which disposed to consult the opinions of Europe, it was imprompted the General at once to abandon his claims, to portant, as to its aspect abroad, that Congress should act refuse even to inquire into them,and, wholly regardless of upon this subject not only liberally, but gracefully. A his own interests, to look only to the interests of our thing of this sort, he might be allowed to add, to be well country.
done, should be promptly done, and with unanimity. He But there are still grounds almost as strong as its equi. intreated of gentlemen, therefore, who were favorable ly and justice, said Mr. H. upon which this claim may to the principle of the bill, to yield up the objections be placed. According even to precedent, if prece which they might feel to any part of the details, assurdents were consulted in such a case, the government ing them that much pains bad been taken to adapt them would be bound to recompense the services of Lafay to the prevailing sentiment of the members. ette. Do gentlemen doubt upon this point, I could re. There is still another consideration, which had influ. fer to numerous instances of legislation upon the same ence on the minds of the committee, and which Mr. principles on which this bill depends. Mr. K. here re. HAINE considered as not the least important connected ferred to several: to the act making compensation for with this subject. It is, that the provision to be made, the sacrifices and services" of Baron Steuben ; to that should not only be worthy of the distinguished person which appropriates, in the language of this bill, “ an for whom it is intended, but that it should be worthy of entire township of land” for a recompense to Arnold the character of the nation---worthy of the American Henry Dohrman, for similar services; to the act making people. National character is national wealth; it gives provision for the daughters of Count De Grasse ; and to à tone to the public sentiment and feeling, which add ihat providing for the widow of Alexander Hamilton. strength and energy to the country. Mr. H. was cer
But (Mr. H. said,) he would not rely upon precedent tainly not disposed to look abroad for a rule of conduct. for a justification of this measure. When the govern- He would not consult the mistaken opinion of foreign ment of a nation consults the dictates of justice, and nations, when we had any great duty to perform. And obeys the impulse of noble sentiments, it does what con yet it was highly desirable that we should always so act tributes to the glory and interest of the people. Neither as to command the respect of the world. Now, what was there any danger to be apprehended on the score would be thought of us in Europe, if, after all that has of precedent, from the passage of this bill. Can this bill, passed, we should fail to make a generous and liberal said he, ever be drawn into precedent? Can such a case provision for our venerable guest ? We have, under ciras Lafayette's ever again occur? Can the nation be born cumstances calculated to give to the event great eclat, again? Can it assume a second childhood? Can it ever invited him to our shores. We have received him with be reduced to a state of such poverty as to require simi. the utmost enthusiasm The people have every where lar services? And, if this nation could be shorn of its greeted him in the warmest terms of gratitude and af. power; be reduced to extreme distress by a second section. The attention of the civilized world has been struggle for its independence; and, in the winter of its drawn to the event, as one even of national importance. fortuves should be anxiously looking for succor, in arms, It is unfortunately too well known that the object of our in mer, and in money; and, at such a crisis, a foreign affectionate attachment has spent his fortune in the sernoblenian, bound by no ties to us, should make a cru- vice of mankind, and that we ourselves have received a sade in our behalf; embark himself and his fortunes in large portion of the wealth which he has never hesitated our cause ; pour forth his treasures, shed his blood in freely to surrender in the holy cause of freedom. Now our desence; and, whilst the scale of our destiny is in what will be thought of us in Europe, and, what is much equipoise, throw himself into the balance ; would you more important, how will we deserve to be thought of, consider the example which you will set by this bill, as one if we send back our venerable guest without any more which you ought not, in such a case, to follow ? No, sir : substantial proof of our gratitude, than vague expres. the case before us is one of its own kind; it can never sions of regard? We will be accused (and he knew not happen again; and if it could, the possibility of such a how it could be said unjustly) of pretending to sentirecurrence ought to constitute no objection to the pro. ments which we did not feel, and with paying substanposed measure.
tial services with unmeaning professions of esteem. By As to the objection which had been urged by the hon bringing Lafayette to the United States, we place him orable gentleman from Ohio, on the details of the bill, in a new and extraordinary situation in society. We Mr. II. would only observe, that it was impossible, in a have connected him with our history. You have made measure of this nature, to meet the views of every gen. him a spectacle for the warld to gaze on. He cannot tleman. The committee had found that, while great go back to France and become the private citizen he unanimity prevailed among the members as to the thing was when he left it. You have, by the universal hom. to be done, much difference of opinion existed as to the a e of your hearts and tongues, made his house a shrine, best manner of doing it. He could only conjure gentlemen, to which every pilgrim of liberty, from every quarter of therefore, who concurred in the principle, to come pre- the world, will repair. At least, let him noi, after this, pared to surrender their peculiar views in relation to want the means of giving welcome to the Americans the details. Some gentlemen prefer a grant of money ; who, whenever they visit the shores of France, will reothers stock; and others land. The committee had pair, in crowds, to his hos itable mansion, to testify their taken great pains to give to their propositions a form veneration to the illustrious compatriot of their fathers. which should be, as far as possible, acceptable to all. Lafayette will be a connecting link between the old Stock was preferred to money, because, while it was world and the new. By your voluntary act you have equal in value, and was always convertible into money, placed him in this extraorslinary situation; and, if, after even at a premium, it would furnish a secure and certain all that has been done and said, we permit him to return income, which would render the veteran comfortable in home, without passing the bill on your table, we must the evening of bis days, and smooth his path to the suffer a loss of reputation at home and abroad, which grave ; and, being the last of our debts to be redeem-time cannot repair. Mr. Hayne concluded, by regret. ed, would remain upon record as a standing monument ting that he had been compelled to say even thus much of the gratitude of a free people. The donation of land on the subject. He knew that in this House, as in thing