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He understood the gentleman from North Carolina, (Mr. ing to a certain extent. But, secondly, and principally, WILLIAMS,) as maintaining that the destruction of New that the Government was bound by an obligation in all ark by the American troops was a justifiable act. (Mr. respects perfect ; so perfect, that, if the same obligaWILLIAMS explained, that he had only relerred to the re. tion existed between two private individuals, it might be port of Gen. M'CLURE.) But whether it was, or was not, pursued and enforced in a court of law. the enemy themselves had avowed that they destroyed On the first of these points, he felt assured that the the buildings because they had been used and occupi- peculiar circumstances of those whose cause it was his ed by our army.
duty to plead, and for whose sufferings a remedy was Mr. T. denied that he had misunderstood the provi. proposed by the bill, must, when duly considered, be sions of the acts of 1816 or 1817, or had misrepre-owned to create an obligation which, though it might sented them, as the gentleman from North Carolina noi be of a legal kind, was nevertheless something more seemed to suppose. He contended that the law of than a mere appeal to humanity. Were it, indeed, no 1816 covered the whole ground on which the claimants more, it ought not to be disregarded; for a government rested their demands. They asked for no better law- is, in this respect, in the same situation as a private infor no new principle. They only sought to have that dividual-it must be humane, if it can, even where no act carried into effect. They only wished for some tri-connection whatever has previously existed between bunal that could decide according to its provisions. But the sufferer and its own acts. Suppose, for illustration, this was denied them. After passing the act, Congress that the Niagara frontier, inst ad of being wasted by a had suspended its execution; and yet they suffered it savage ens my, had suffered equal injury by an earthto stand upon the statute book as if in mockery of the quake. Could there be a question, that, in such a case, complaints and the sufferings of a large class of our fel- there would exist an obligation on the Government to low citizens. The principle laid down by the gentle afford what relief was in its power? Could he not refer man from Virginia, was the very principle of that law, to more than one example in which the Government had it was an honest principle-such as every man would ap. done this, not only to its own citizens, but even to forply to his neighbor, and in his own concerns. Under eigners? The people of New Madrid, in Missouri, when that law a tribunal was appointed to adjudge these suffering from the effect of earthquakes in that portion claims, and that tribunal had decided that these claims of the Union, bad received relief from the Government; came within the law. This was the only judicial deci- and even the people of Venezuela, who resided at a sion on the subject before the House The law of 1817, distance from our boundary, had been relieved by the he insisted, confirmed the principle of that of 1816-nor government, in a still more liberal manner. Would any had he ever been able to find a case where the principle one deny that the Government in this case performed a it laid down was disputed or denied. The peculiar duty ? The principle, then, of abstract benevolence, had hardship of these claimants was, that, while Congress attached to it a certain degree of obligation. laid down a rule, it refused them the means of bringing But the claims of the Niagara sufferers did not rest on themselves within it. If Congress will only act on the this ground. The fact that the destruction of their proprinciple of their own law, or will suffer others to act perty was in consequence of some connection it had under it, it is all ihese sufferers ask. As to compelling with the Government, and that the devastation thus each individual to come here with his petition, it is an brought upon them was great, and wide, and overwhelm. endless business. Some tribunal should be erected with ing, not only injuring, but ruining, those on whom it power to decide under the laws as they now exist. But, came, certainly entitled their case to a peculiar degree as he feared there was but little probability of this being of regard, and created an obligation which exceeded in done, the bill presumes that the cases adjudicated have its strength that which he had before been considering. been rightly decided, and proposes that the rest be set- The gentleman from Virginia had certainly been cor tled on the same foundations.
rect in maintaining that the government was not strictly He admitted the force of what was said, as to a sup. bound in cases of inere humanity as in those of abstract posed case of buildings occupied the first day, and de- justice. He knew how indefinite the nature and extent stroyed the last day, of the war-but he contended that of imperfect obligation was in itself, and bad been left all danger from this construction was obviated by the by the ordinary writers on these subjects. Yet he third section of the bill, which restricted that provision might be pardoned in insisting that, in a case like that to the cases already adjudicated. It any gentleman was before the committee, the policy of our country, the prepared to say that the cases which came fairly under nature of our Union, its design-all created a greater the law of 1816 ought not to be paid, why noi repeal obligation on a government like ours, than on Governthe law? It should be either repealed or acted upon. ments like those of Europe, to equalize public calami
(At this stage of the debate, Mr. T. gave way for a ties. Yet this too, he owned, was indefinite--no pre. motion for the committee to rise ; and to-day resumed cise line could be laid down in reference to which it his remarks, of which the following is a summary ac
could be said, Hitherto shalt thou come, and no farther. count:)
| But must we, therefore, do nothing? · In rising to address the House, Mr. T. observed, that, It had repeatedly been urged by those who opposed when, yesterday, called by a sense of duty to attempt a the bill, that other losses occasioned by the war, might reply to the objections which had been urged against as well demand indemnification as those on the Niagara the bill, he had labored under a sense of embarrasment, frontier. But, certainly, in obligations of this nature, which had, in some measure, caused bim to do less just there might be degrees arising from circumstances. ice to the subject committed to him than he might oth- The injuries occasioned by war, though widely spread, erwise have done, and he was not without a fear that the were sometimes slight. These, surely, did not create same cause might now produce a similar effect. He such an appeal as when people bad literally been ruinwould, however, endeavor not to be diffuse in what he ed-all their prospects of future comfort destroyed had to advance. His object had yesterday been, and every hope prostrated. He would illustrate this princistill was, to shew that the principle of the measure con ple by a familiar case. The obligations of a father to an templated by the bill was detensible on two grounds : adult child were not legally different from those he 1. That the Government was, in this case, bound by that owed to any other citizen. Yet he would venture to say sort of obligation which had properly been stated by that there was not one gentleman in this committee, the learned gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. P. P. Bar who, if that father's son should lose his all, and he were BOUW,) as an imperfect obligation, and which, though it utterly to refuse him relief, because he had another son certainly did not go to the extent of a perfect and legal whose crop had been slightly injured, would not call obligation, was nevertheless to be recognized as bind.'him a monster. The obligations of a Government were
of the same nature ; and it was no reason why it should had to buy.--not to sell. There was, it is true, a great not relieve some of its citizens, whose sufferings had influx of public money...but they got little or none of it. been the greatest, that it could not relieve all who had The country farther back from the enemy might be enin any degree suffered.
riched.--but they, instead of being enriched, were ruI hold, said Mr. T. that the imperfect obligation of ined. which I have been speaking, is increased in proportion. But it had been objected, that it was not good policy to the degree of connection of the property with the to grant this indemnity: 1st, because it would diminish Government which induced the loss. Now, by referring the ardor of our frontier citizens in defence of the counto the history of the late war, every one will be convinc. try and of their own property. Mr. T. said, he would ed that, on the Niagara frontier, the connection of the not insist that patriotism was a higher and a stronger country with the Government, by military occupation, motive than the love of property ; but the very fact, that existed to a far greater extent than on any other of the so many more persons presented claims on this Governfrontiers. The government, for its own purposes, havment, than ever got any thing allowed them, was itself ing a general reference to the conducting of the war, sufficient to prevent any thing like indifference or secu. concentrated in that district of country a large number rity. He fancied there were but few men on that fronof troops, whose presence and accommodation gave the tier, or on any other, who would quietly suffer their whole frontier a military character.
houses to be burnt, that they might afterwards have an The gentleman from Virginia had said, that, if there opportunity of coming to this House with a claim for inexisted no treaty stipulation respecting slaves, and the demnification. It had been urged, too, against the po. losers of them should come to Congress with a demand licy of the bill, that, if once its principle was allowed, for indemnification, he should have opposed the de. the finances of the Government would be ruined. He mand on the same ground that he opposed the present saw no force in this argument. Should more resources bill. Now, said Mr. T. I have to reply, first, that the be required from the nation for such an object, he be. case put by the gentleman does not arise, since there is lieved that nobody would object more to paying for it, a treaty stipulation with respect to slaves-(a stipula- than to paying for the support of the army, the navy, or tion by which I apprehend other claims to a great the fortifications. The same objections might be urged amount have been sacrificed)-but if it had arisen, the against the one as the other. The man in the interior claim on this government for compensation for slaves might just as well say, I will not pay for the army; it is carried off would be far from equal in strength to that not needed; I will not pay for the navy-I have no conof the Niagara sufferers for their buildings destroyed. cern in commerce; I will not pay for the fortifications A great difference exists as to the character of the pro- my farm is safe ; as to say, I will not pay for the losses perty, the one being real, the other personal. An equal on the frontier, because I do not live there. The right ly great difference respects the facility with which the of remuneration was not, indeed, so completely recog. two kinds of property might be protected. There nized at present, as the demands of the army or navy: were other points in which they differed, which he but were it once adopted as the settled policy, to pay for would not stop to examine-but these were sufficient such losses, there would be no more difficulty in raising to show that the claim of those proposed to be benefit funds for this purpose than is now experienced for the ed by the bill was much stronger than that of persons army or navy. who had lost their negroes.
The argument, that payment for such losses would inHe presumed it was unnecessary for him to go into a duce an enemy to make universal desolation of private long detail of facts to prove to the committee that the property, in order to ruin the financial means of the Go. sufferings on the Niagara frontier bad been of a most vernment, was equally unfounded. In addition to the poignant, severe, and aggravated kind. Whoever had fact, that the Government would make the indemnificathe least knowledge of the history of the war, could not tion after the war was closed, and when the revenue re. entertain a doubt on that subject. So far as extent of sources would justify, it might also be observed, that the human misery could go in giving validity to any clairs, motive which restrains an enemy from acts of wanton these were most abundantly established. The gentle desolation, is not, that the loss by the citizen is not as man from North Carolina had, indeed, said, (he took no distressing to the country as a loss by the Government. notes of his speech, but quoted from it as reported, but the fear of retaliation, the abhorrence of the whole that he h d been credibly informed that that frontier bad civilized world, and, he hoped, a proper sense of human been, on the whole, rather benefitted than injured by rights, which civilization and christianity had produced, being made, to the extent it was, the seat of war. Now, afforded the only protection against such outrages which the gentleman might have been credibly so informed, a Government could rely upon. but he could assure bim not correctly. There could be 1 In illustration that this principle of indemnification no greater mistake than to say that that region had been was not so altogether new as the gentleman had suppos. benefitted by the war. If the gentleman gave the least ed, Mr. T. alluded to the fact, that the British Govern. credit to history, he could not but know that the reverse | ment had given to their Canadian subjects on the Niawas true-that, instead of being benefitted, it had suf gara frontier, about $300,000, and had adopted other fered the utmost injury and distress by the war. The measures, by which a remuneration to the full extent of gentleman had said, that great opportunities were en their losses was making. He then proceeded to show joyed of making money there that the highest prices why the claims of our citizens on this Government were were obtained for commodities, and large amounts of much stronger than the Canadians were on theirs. In public money expended. He would not deny that, as to their case, there was no pretence of a perfect obligation: a certain portion of the country in the neighborhood of it was never pretended that the destruction of their prothat which was the immediate scene of war, this, to a perty was occasioned by its occupation by the Bricertain extent, might be true; but this fact, unhappily, tish; they had spent millions to defend them, had not increased instead of diminishing the suffering of these brought the war to their doors, and had ha no con claimants. It was the highest äggravation of their suf- nexion with them, except for the purpose of defence. ferings. The highest prices were given for produce- But, with our Government, the case was totally differbut these persons were not agriculturists. Flour was, ent. Is the obligation of this Government to our citizens, indeed, selling at forty dollars per barrel--but they less, or its sympathies more cold, than the British Goraised none. Those of them who owned farms had vernment, to its remote colonial subjects? their farms immediately on the border utterly wasted. Adverting to the debate of yesterday; Mr. T. quoted All pursuits of agriculture were interrupted, and the the observation of Mr. BARBOUR, that if, by any act of dearer provisions were, the worse it was for them. They the Government, individual property was withdrawn
from its pacic position, by the Government, or, invested quired a belligerant character. If the Government had with a warlike character, the Government was bound to had, as, in theory at least, it ought to have had, places indemnify the owners for any loss they might sustain by for the protection of its property, and barracks to shelthat act. So far the gentleman from Virginia--- who ter its troops, whenever it carried on its military operahad thus acknowledged, that if the pacific character, tions, and those places had been occupied, instead of which personal and individual property has attached to the private buildings, by the troops and stores of the arit, is changed, there is created, on the part of the Go- my, then the destruction of the private buildings would vernment, a distinct obligation, which he caller a per have assumed a very different character. The policy of fect obligation such a one as, between individuals un. the Government, however, having made this ground the der similar circumstances, could be enforced in a court scene of war, without these ordinary appendages to a of justice. Now, I do firmly believe, said Mr. T. that military frontier, the houses of individuals were made the case of the Niagara claims is altogether sustainable to serve the purposes of public buildings. upon this position of the gentleman from Virginia. That What, Mr. T. asked, was the natural conclusion of the gentleman has come to the conclusion, indeed, that enemy from this state of things? They reasoned to these claims do not come within his definition, but themselves, that, in destroying those buildings, thus uswithout any reference to the facts to sce whether they ed, they would not merely destitute that frontier, but do so or not. The proposition which I make is affirma- protect their own territory. This was the unanswerable tive, that they do come within it, and I expected that conclusion to which, upon the facts before tbem, milithe gentleman would have endeavored to show that they tary men would necessarily come. do not. But he did not do so. He seemed, after esta in this view of the subject, a character was given to blishing his case of perfect right, to take it for granted the property thus occupied for offensive purposes, difthat these cases had nothing to do with it, whereas, the ferent from that which it would have borne, if occupied circumstances of them do refer them to the very princi. for defensive purposes only. If, for example, said Mr. ple which the gentleman laid down.
T. the enemy had come to invade the city of New York, The true question for the House to determine, in re- and we, for the defence of the city, had taken possesgard to these claims, said Mr. T. is, was there any act of sion of private buildings, I should say that the right of this Government, relating to the property destroyed, the enemy to destroy those buildings would be very difwhich induced a change of its pacific character, and ferent from that which he held in regard to those build. clothed it with a warlike character, and did that change ings on the Niagara frontier, which our troops occupied produce its destruction ? If this change was thus ef- for offensive purposes. fected, it is a rule, prescribed by common sense and jus. M. T. here recurred to some of the testimony taken in tice, admitted by the gentleman from Virginia himself, regard to these claims, to shew that the facts existed in that the claimants ought to be indemnified. It is not for a degree even stronger than he had stated-exbibiting us to dive into the recesses of the human heart, to search a state of things to justify the destruction of properly on for the motives which lead to that destruction of proper- the Niagara frontier not only for general causes, but for ty. For, if there was a just cause for this destruction the particular cause of the justifiable presumption that of property by the enemy, we ought not to advert to the property occupied as barracks, &c. was the property other transactions, in other times and places, to account of the United States, and the certainty that the property for it.
. within those buildings, at least, was the property of the In regard to the general nature of the operations on Government. Mr. T here read extracts from the testithe Niagara frontier, during the late war, Mr. T. proceed. mony of Gen. Porter, whose public reputation and standed to show, that they were such as to change the char-ing in the country gave weight to whatever he said, to acter of the whole of the property on that frontier, from shew, that, so general was the occupation of private a pacific to a belligerant character. The House ought buildings by the authority of the United States, that he to bear in mind always, that our military operations on could not, upon reflection, recollect a single building on that frontier were of an offensive character, because he that frontier, fit for barracks, hospital, quarters, &c. which thought that consideration placed these claims on had not, at one period or other of the war, been princiground to make the argument in their favor conclusive. pally or exclusively occupied for one or other of those Our troops were not carried there to protect the frun- purposes. There were many other witnesses to the same tier from invasion by the enemy. That was not the pur. purpose, whom it would be impossible to discredit. pose, nor the object of the collection of the troops there. Mr. T. particularly dwelt upon the fact disclosed by the If the Government had not, for its own purposes—wise testimony, that the people of Buffalo, ibrough their comones, po doubt-chosen to make that border the theatre mittee of safety, had remonstrated with Gen. McClure in of war, there was no human probability that there would December, 1815, against his quartering troops in that have arisen there any of the consequences which did / village, expressly stating that, if he did so, they had actually occur. Of one fact in regard to this matter, reason to apprehend the lestriction of their property as there could be no doubt, namely, that the Government the consequence; to which General Mc lure said, in was, as a Government, totally destitute of any public reply, that he would pledge his honor that indemnity property on that frontier. They had neither barracks, would be paid by the Government for any losses which nor hospitals, nor arsenals, nor warehouses for the de- might be sustained, &c. Mr. T. did not mean to attempt posite of public property. Yet the Government chose to sustain these claims on the ground of Gen. McClure's to carry on offensive war from that frontier, by a con-promise, but he quoted the fact to show conclusively, tinued series of invasions of the territory of the enemy. and to carry conviction to every mind, that there did For all the purposes of hospitals, barracks to shelter the exist a state of things there which left no doubt, either soldiers at all seasons of the year, depositories of public on the minds of the people or of our military command. stores, &c. they had to rely on the buildings of the in-ers, that military occupation of the private property habitants, which they made free and general use of. would, in all probability, subject it to destruction. Gen. When these things were considered, Mr. T. said, that it McClure, whilst making the reply which any honorable would be discovered that the notoriety of this fact must man or patriot would do on such an occasion, insisted on have established, in the mind of the enemy, a positive taking possession of the buildings, which were, indeed, conviction, that the offensive movements on the part of indispensable to the shelter of the force under his com.our troops, were entirely dependent on the use of indi- mand. Not long after this, the enemy came. Mr. T. vidual property, and that measures of defence against stated the circumstances of their coming, and the manthis warfare must include the destruction of that proper. ner and time of their destroying the property. With ty. It was thus that the property on that frontier ac- regard to the motives of the enemy, gentlemen might
ascribe to them the most savage, atrocious, and diaboli-gether erroneous: but, if otherwise, even then the oblical; but, in his view of the matter, charity, even to an gations of Government were very different from what enemy, required that, where a justifiable motive was tol gentlemen had supposed them to be in such cases.' be found for his acts, we should refer them to that rather Mr. T. closed by observing that, in relation to the than to one that was merely malignant. The mass of motion to strike out the first section, he hoped, if gentestimony from our own officers, proved that the des. llemen were determined nothing should be done for truction of this property was caused by its military occu. tbese claimants, that they would vote for the motion, pation. Independent of this strong concurrent testimo. and put them out of their pain. In regard to this bill, ny, there was a body of evidence of British officers to though he felt the common affection of paternity for it, the same effect. Many of these individuals, Mr. T. said he was not tenacious of its particular features : he was he knew, because he resided in the vicinity of their willing it should be amended, if desired. His constitucountry, and he knew that they were men of as high ents, these claimants, had been tantalized so long with honor, virtue and integrity, as were any where, British hope and expectation of relief, that he hoped a final deor American, to be found. Mr. T. pursued the history cision would now be pronounced on the case. If, in of this disastrous season, with all its circumstances, to defiance of justice, reason, and equity, gentlemen were sbew that the invasion of the Niagara frontier was pure disposed to refuse the claimants any indemnity whatever Jy a military operation, &c. The occupation for military for their losses, Mr. T. hoped they would vote for the purposes, was, indeed, almost universal. Several of the pending motion, and at once put an end to the bill. buildings were destroyed by the explosion of the powder Om motion of Mr. VANCE, of Ohio, the committee and ammunition deposited in them, &c. The deposi- | then rose, and obtained leave to sit again. tions on this subject, taken together, formed a complete chain of testimony, establishing what were the motives IN SENATE_THURSDAY, DECEMBER 30, 1824. and object, &c. of the destruction of this property.
The resolution was received from the House of ReIf the language of the act of 1816 had required, presentatives proposing a joint committee to wait on to entitle the losers to indemnity, that their property General Latuve
General Lafayette, and announce to him the passage of should have been so occupied, as, upon the principles the act in his favor, and requesting his acceptance of the of civilized warfare, to justify their destruction, the case
provision therein made for him. would have been fully made out by the testimony. But,
The resolution was agreed to nem. con, and Messrs. Mr. T. said, the laws on this subject do not demand that SMITH, HAYNE, and BOULIGNY, were appointed by the occupation should be sucb, to authorize a claim for the chair the committee on the part of the Senate. indemnity, and it is obvious that they should not de.
The bill for the relief of the Columbian College in the mand it." In passing the law of 1816, Congress did not | District of Columbia, being under consideration: mean that the destruction of property should be justiha- Mr. BARBOUR said, in a report made last session in ble: for it is sufficient to constitute an absolute obliga- the Senate, a general view was taken of the necessity of tion to indemnify the loser, that there was an occupa- a College within the District of Columbia, and it was tion of his property by the Government, and that the then stated that it had been a very favorite object with destruction of his property was the consequence of that the most distinguished citizens of America, amongst occupation. Such was the law of 1816, establishing the
whom, Presidents Washington and Madison had often same rule between the Government and individuals, as
pressed on the attention of Congress the necessity of would be the law on the principles of common justice, such an institution. From cau es not necessary to be between one individual and another individual.
enumerated here, this advice was not acted upon by As regards this last point, Mr. T. said, the law has Congress, and, after the expiration of many years, some not required, reason does not require, that the conduct | free spirited and enterprising citizens, amongst whom of the enemy should be justifiable, to sustain a claim for Luther Rice stood pre-eminent, determined to do that indemnity. "Neither bave the decisions of this House which had been represented to Congress as well worthy required it. Mr. T. referred to the case of the Hen
of national patronage; and they succeeded, so far as to derson claim, for property destroyed by the enemy
lay the foundation of the institution in question. A col. on some part of the maritime coast of Virginia, in which lege was erected, but not on a scale in any way corres. it was not established, nor was there any color of evi-l ponding to the public expectation on the subject, bedence to prove, that the destruction of the property cause the only aid that has ever been granted by Conwas justifiable by the usages of civilized war: and yet, gress to this institution was a cold and reluctant consent Mr. T. said, if he was not very much mistaken, the gentle- to its existence. The only solution that was to be found man from Virginia bad himself voted in favor of that claim. to this unkind disposition, was the misapprehension that The gentlemin trom North Carolina, (Mr. Williams) bad gone abroad, that it was to be a sectarian establishwho. "to do him justice, was consistent in his opposition ment, and as such not entitled to the favor and considerto all this class of claims, bad declared in the debate onation of Congress. If this had been the case, and this that claim, that the case was not at all stronger than that establishment had been of an «xclusive nature, the ob. of the Niagara claims. His declaration was not neces- iection would have been an insuperable one, and I for sary to prove this: for if any one would look at the facts one, said Mr. B. should have voted against it. My creed, of the two cases, he would see, that whatever difference with reference to this subject, is, that it does not belong there was between them was in favor of the claimants to the constitution to dispense, in the slightest degree, on the Niagara frontier, in this view, that the military favor to one sect, to the exclusion of others. Religion occupation in the Virginia case was defensive-that in should be, as it is, placed beyond the control of governthe Niagara cases was offensive. Although, Mr. T. said, ment, and free as air. But, in this case, the fact has been he had voted for that claim, believing it a just one, it was misrepresented; the suspicion is entirely unfounded, in no degree of comparison as strong as the case of the and a reference to the history of the Institution will Niagara sufferers.
prove that it is not true. It is purely a literary estabHe had not said all he wished, but he would no longer lishment; youths from all parts of the Union are zealousdetain the committee but to say, that, under views which ly invitell, whatever may be their religion, and the atmight be presented by others, he might have oc- tention of the superiors is directed to their intellectual casion to trouble the House again on the point, made by improvement. I mention this fact again, because I the opponents of these claims, that the devastation of the know that, from the day of its foundation, it has been frontier was a retaliatory act. The views which had viewed through the jaundiced eye of suspicion, from been expressed on this point, Mr. T. said, were alto which it has suffered much. Whatever may be the fate
[Dec. 30, 1824,
of the present measure, it is due to the character of the should put your hands into your Treasury. Not that Institution to state, tbat it may be universally known you shall do to them as you have done to others, name. that this imputation was hastily thrown out, and is entire-lly, to appropriate a portion of the public lots for the bely without foundation the general improvement of the nefit of education; but simply to release a debt which mind is its object, and it is not bound to the exclusive they are unable to pay. Even in the case of individuals, support of any system of religion whatever.
where a man, by misfortune, is unable to pay his debts, By the spirit and enterprize of almost one individual, is it unreasonable for him to ask of his wealthy creditor continued Mr. B., funds were raised, and 50,000 dollars to surrender a debt which he cannot discharge, whose invested for purchasing a favorable site, and for the only effect is to keep in his hands a rod with which to erection of buildings for the reception and accommoda-chastise, unavailable to the creditor, but disastrous to tion of 100 students. In the pursuit of this object, I the debtor, repressing every motive to exertion, from 80,000 dollars were expended, consequently they ex. the hopeless conviction that every exertion is in vain! ceeded the amount of their funds by $30,000; this claim And this is all that is now asked by the Columbian Colstill exists against the Institution, and the payment of lege.--a feeble institution, full of promise, if its succeeds the interest is a heavy tax on their slender means. .. So in the little boon now asked. far as this is concerned, however, they do not propose You may retain this pleasure, if you call it a pleasure, to ask for any aid from Congress, and you will see byl of holding this rod over this institution without benefit the report, as well as by the bill, that the aid now peti. to yourselves, but ruin to it. Look to the origin of this tioned for has no connection with this sum. Last ses institution, and you will observe that it has progressed sion, it was proposed to extend some relief to the Col. | in a most extraordinary manner. Your agency towards lege; it was desirable that the Institution should pros- it bas been cold and reluctant; you were contented with per; it was one of national concern, and was of sufficient allowing it to exist; you are the only legislative body to extent to educate 100 of the American youth. The which application can be made on this subject. All the grant proposed was opposed, on the ground, that the states of the Union have shown a lively interest in the means of the inhabitants within the District were amply encouragement of such institutions; and yet an institusufficient for the end in view, and that Congress had notion in this particular district, which has been placed unright to appropriate public money for a local objeci. Ider the peculiar care of Congress, is suffered to strug
This objection was removed, in the opinion of the gle with difficulties that must overwhelm it without your committee, by the proposition to appropriate a few of aid. Your treatment towards it has been rather that of the lots belonging to the United States, acquired by the a harsh unfeeling stepmother, than that of a kind and af. cession of the territory And, as tlie United States had fectionate parent, and now that it has grown up to such given one thirty-sixth part of the public domain, in each an extent as to contain more than one hundred students, of the new States, for the purposes of education, the and asks of you only to relinquish that claim which is committee could not perceive why pursuing the same useless to yourselves, and yet presses so hard on it, will measure of aid here should be objected to. But, in- you refuse? Look at its progress : What was expectastead of asking that proportion, they had recommended tion and speculation last year, bas now become reality. only a very small appropriation. For, according to a There is no institution, considering the time it has been report presented to Congress, the value of the lots had endowed, and the number of pupils, that has presented been estimated at $2,000,000. And they were the more more distinguished specimens of literary improvement confirmed in the view they had taken, as this fund bad than this college has done. The language of the report been pointed out by Mr. Madison, as one free from every on its actual results is consoling. constitutional scruple—and higher authority on constitual These, said Mr. B. are the views which presented tional doctrine, would hardly be required by the Senate. themselves to the Committee, and are thus freely re
They therefore had presented to the consideration of presented to the Senate. I rejoice to see literary estaCongress a plan free from difficulty, by which the insti- blishments springing up every where. Permit me to tution might have been benefited, and they had a hope, offer a general remark: Jook into the annals of man. bordering on confidence, that the Senate would have kind; every page of history presents the shocking and had no difficulty in responding to their views on this disgusting view of man preying on his fellow man---of subject, by granting the required aid- the amount was millions expended in desolating the carth and destroy. limited, and they hoped, that, after this relief, the insti- ing the human species; but when we seek for acts of tution would have prospered. The Senate, bowever, beneficence done by Governments for promoting the had differed in opinion from the committee; and thus welfare and happiness of the people, we look in vain; differing, the committee had yielded; and the only factor if by chance we do discover a solitary instance, aristo be noticed, is, that the College has hitherto received ing from motives of pure benevolence, it is like the verdno favor from Congress but the privilege of existing.- ant spot which strikes and refreshes the eye of the weaThe expectation of all pecuniary aid is surrendered - ry traveller in the midst of the burning and sandy de. they ask only, that the government will give up the sert, and is the more cheering and delightful from the claim which they have on it, whose origin is disclosed contrast with the Jesolation which reigns around.. in the report. They have nothing to answer this claim If we appeal to the annals of our own country, said but two houses, for which the debt was' contracted, on Mr. B. we shall find that we are by no means entirely Greenleaf's Point; and any Gentleman who has visited free from these charges. The free institutions we lay that spot will easily comprehend that it is not very claim to, and superior intelligence we boast, in their available property : It is surrounded with desolation ; practical effects, seem to furnish the ordinary materials and though true that some of the houses have survived, for history. Millions have been appropriated here, as yet, in the course of time, without some great change, elsewhere, for warlike purposes. But where are your this property must come to nothing. The fact is, the Col. acts of beneficence? I fear but few. I therefore, said lege have never received the least, or, if any, an incon. | Mr. B. present this case to the favorable consideration siderable advantage from this property; they became of the Senate, with the flattering hope that they will responsible merely in consequence of these two houses, take this opportunity of adding one item to the very few which they believed they could render available. What that are now on record, where Governments have acted their motives might have been in acquiring this proper- benevolently for the benefit of mankind. ty, I cannot say. I merely speak to the fact, that the Mr. CHANDLER observed, that, if this institution institution has not received any benefit from this trans. was a national one, then they were bound to foster it ; action.
but, if it was not, they saw no reason why they should And what, said Mr. B. do they ask? Not that you afford it any support, beyond what they afforded to all