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May 9, 1836.]
.Appropriation Bill--Affairs of Texas.
king appropriation for the civil and diplomatic service of the United States for the year 1835. The question pending being on the motion to strike out the clause appropriating $20,000 for the publication, by Messrs. Clarke & Force, of a documentary history of the revolution, under a contract with the Secretary of State, Mr. WEBSTER stated his willingness to assent to the proposition to let the subject stand over until the next session, by which time a volume would be printed, and the work could be examined. He went into a detail of the circumstances attending the progress of this contract. Mr. SOUTHARD also went into a full exposition of the facts. The amendment was then agreed to, according to the suggestion of Mr. WebstER. On motion of Mr. ROBBINS, some changes were made in the clauses concerning the library. The amendments were then ordered to be engrossed, and the bill to be read a third time.
ENLISTMENT OF BOYS FOR NAVAI, SERVICE.
On motion of Mr. SOUTHARD, a bill to provide for the enlistment of boys for the naval service was taken up and considered. The bill was amended on motion of Mr. SOUTHARD, by introducing a provision authorizing the enlistment of others than boys, for a period of not less than five years, and also by introducing additional sections for the charge of persons enlisted before they are taken to the vessels. The bill was then ordered to be engrossed. On motion of Mr. CLAYTON, the Senate proceeded to the consideration of executive business. After the doors were re-opened, The Senate adjourned till Monday.
Mox DAY, MAY 9. the ARMY.
Mr. WEBSTFR, from the Committee on Finance, reported the act making appropriations for the army for the year 1836, with two amendments.
On motion of Mr. WEBSTER, the bill was then taken up for consideration, and the amendments were read.
Mr. W. then explained that the bill, as it came from the House, contained a provision for moving the troops from Fort Gibson to some other point on the banks of the Arkansas. The Committee on Finance had thought it better, with a view to consult the health of the army, that the point should be left to the discretion of the President, who might consider the high lands a more healthful location than the immediate banks of the river. This, therefore, was the object of the amendment.
The other amendment was to insert an appropriation of $300 for completing the medal voted to General Ripley. By an accident, this appropriation, which had been added by the committee to another appropriation bill, had been omitted in the engrossment of that bill, and it was therefore introduced into this bill.
The amendments were then agreed to; the bill was reported without further amendments, and the amendments were ordered to be engrossed, and the bill to be read a third time.
The bill was subsequently read a third time and passed.
A message from the House of Representatives was received, stating that the House had concurred in all the amendments of the Senate to the bill making appropriations for the civil and diplomatic service of the United States, with the exception of the sixth amendment.
[This amendment consists of an appropriation for the judicial department of the district of East Florida.]
Mr. WEBSTER said he thought the non-concurrence of the House in this amendment was probably the result of want of information. He did not wish to delay the passage of this bill, and it might be that the clause stricken out by the House could be introduced into another bill. He would leave it to any Senator to suggest what might be the proper course.
Mr. WRIGHT stated that, since the message was received from the House, he had received a communication from the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, by whom it was stated that the committee were of the opinion that they had voted from insufficient information. It was, however, thought best that the appropriation should be introduced into another bill, in preference to delaying this bill.
Mr. WEBSTER, assenting to this course, moved that the Senate recede from their amendment; which motion was agreed to.
AFFAIRS OF TEXAS.
Mr. PRESTON presented several memorials (all of the same tenor) from citizens of Philadelphia, praying Congress to recognise the independence of Texas; described and characterized the various transactions between that country and Mexico; and moved the reading and printing of the memorial.
The memorial was read.
Mr. PRESTON said that he was not surprised at the natural sympathy of our fellow-citizens with those who were struggling for liberty, either in the province of Texas or anywhere else. It would be strange indeed, if we, who had so lately, and under such extraordinary circumstances, achieved our own freedom—if we, in whose recollection the motives that induced us to rear the standard and fight the battles of equal rights were still fresh and vigorous—if we did not feel the strongest and deepest emotion at beholding this contest; if, when the cry of liberty was raised in any quarter, it did not find a ready echo in our bosoms, and go sounding back, cheering and animating those who were thus struggling, wherever that struggle might be. It was so in the Greek revolution; our feelings were enlisted with that gallant people, though far distant, and speaking an unknown tongue. It was so in the case of that small community, situated in the centre of Europe, surrounded by a mass of enemies who were sure to crush them. So deep and so abiding was that interest and that sympathy, that, far from being confined to newspapers and private circles, it burst forth in our public meetings and legislative halls. He alluded to the Poles. So also with South America. On the earliest occasion, and in every possible mode, did we express our hope of the final triumph of those who were striking for liberty. These facts were fresh in our memories, and were honorable to our national character. And, being so, he repeated that it was not surprising that the deepest solicitude should be felt in the result of the struggle which was going on in a province so near us; a province, the population of which professed the same religion, spoke the same language, were fighting for the establishment of the same institutions under which we ourselves were living, and were connected with us by the dearest ties of kindred. They had been seduced to emigrate by the promise of a free Government. This Government had been overthrown; and its destroyer, trampling on the fragments of a broken costitution, his passions inflamed to madness, calling to his aid all who had assisted in the old rebellion, exciting their love of plunder and their religious fanaticism, was, with these combined elements, sweeping." " fiery torrent over the country, and destroying life, property, and all that was dear and valuable.
In this state of things, (said Mr. P.,) it surely was not to be wondered at that the deepest solicitude should exist in the breast of every individual. Since he had participated in the affairs of Government, there was scarcely any thing of a public nature which he thought more deserving of attention. His own hopes had been animated: he trusted in God the Texans might succeed; and that the standard of liberty might yet wave over their desolated territory, to the utter exclusion of this barbarous and tyrannic usurper. These hopes were shared in by all who had signed this memorial. These sympathies and feelings do exist. They might be— they were—calculated to warp our sense of justice. He trusted they would not; and yet he hoped that, while we exercised the proper degree of forbearance, and did nothing in violation of the law of nations, we should put ourselves in a thorough state of preparation to meet any emergency which might arise. It was now known that Santa Anna had declared that his conquering banner should be placed upon the Capitol at Washington. To effect this, he did not rely upon his own prowess, but on the assistance of a certain set of auxiliaries whom he expected to meet on the banks of the Mississippi. The threat might not have been seriously intended: it might have originated in a mere spirit of bravado. But we ought to be forewarned and forearmed; and if there should be the slightest indication that this was not an idle taunt, then we should meet him and crush his hopes at once. If he did commit the slightest act of aggression, he believed in God the knell of his dominion in Texas was rung. For the present, he would content himself with dis. charging the duty with which he had been intrusted, by presenting these memorials; and believing that no action of Congress could be had on them, he would move that they be read, and laid on the table. Mr. WEBSTER said that, like the gentleman from South Carolina, he was not now prepared to go into a discussion on the occurrences on our southwestern frontier. He had no wish to anticipate any discussion on this subject, which might hereafter become necessary. In most of the sentiments which had fallen from the Senator from South Carolina he entirely concurred. He considered it as no more than natural that the sympathies of all classes of our citizens should be excited in favor of a war founded in the desire, and sanctified by the name, of liberty. There could be no doubt, from our education and habits, that a free Government is the sort of Government which commands our attachment; and when we see struggling to obtain such a Government those who are in some degree related to us by the ties of country, companionship, and kindred, it is not matter of wonder that we should be inspired with warm hopes for their success. But (Mr. W. said) he also agreed altogether with the Senator from South Carolina, that this is not the time for Congress to do or sanction any act beyond the preservation of our neutrality in the contest. To any thing beyond this he was opposed; but to that object he was willing to lend his hearty co-operation. In one respect only, then, (said Mr. W.,) he differed from the Senator from South Carolina. He was not for the Government encouraging the sending forth any aid. That was a matter for every individual to consider for himself, rather than for the consideration of Congress. Nor, as regarded himself, whatever opinions he might have formed as to the manner in which this war in Texas had been waged, or as to the manner in which the Mexican Government was administered, could he forget that we are on terms of peace with that Government, as it has been organized and as it is now administered. We ourselves, (the Senate,) it would be recollected, as a part of the Executive, have but recently made a treaty
.Affairs of Teras.
[May 9, 1836: with the Mexican Government, with General Santa Anna at its head, and that Government is at this moment represented in the United States by a diplomatic agent. Under these circumstances, he felt himself restrained from applying such epithets as the Senator from South Carolina had used, in reference to the head of that Government. Having been called on, in the execution of his senatorial functions, to conclude a treaty with that Government, he felt himself restrained from the use of such terms, in speaking of the acknowledged head of the Government, as might have a tendency to prevent the continuance of those relations of peace and amity which are now subsisting between Mexico and the United States. As to the actual state of things in Texas, he had perhaps as accurate information as any one else. Down to a very recent period, he had received it from persons actually resident in that country. He would, at this time, say nothing as to that state of things. He was, however, entirely willing that we should be prepared for the worst that could happen; but he was not, on that account, about to suppose the existence of that worst state of things. All he meant at present to say was, that he concurred generally in what had fallen from the Senator from South Carolina, [Mr. PREston,] reserving himself, as to any particular opinions, for a future occasion. But he did not feel himself at liberty to use language which is at war with propriety, especially towards the head of a Government with which we are on a friendly footing; because he was unwilling to do or say anything which could have a tendency to disturb the peace of the United states. He went for the peace of the United States, at the same time that he was willing to go as far in defence of our frontier as the necessity of the case should require. Mr. PRESTON said he was happy that his views met, in some measure, with the concurrence of the gentleman from Massachusetts. He should endeavor, on every occasion, to suppress all undue ebullition of feeling. It was impossible, however, under some circumstances, to measure language. He knew what was due to his coun: try, and desired nothing so much as its tranquillity and honor. But, while he would do nothing to interrupt its peaceful relations, or throw any impediment in the way of their exercise, he must be permitted to consider himself not only in his executive and legislative capacity: but as a citizen of a republic, whenever he was called upon to express an opinion in such an emergency as this. if the feelings to which this emergency had given rise should burst out in strong epithets, if he did not adhere to the cold and exact dictates of duty, he trusted an apology would be found for him. We had recognised the Government de facto of Santa Anna. We had entered into diplomatic relations with him. How and when was this Government established? By whom was it established, and what sort of a Government was it? was it the constitutional Government which once existed in Mexico? Was it a Government of long continuance, supported by the wishes and love and affection of the people? Or was it a mere despotism, and its founder a fortunate soldier? It is our policy (said Mr. P.) to recognise established Governments, no matter what their principles, or by whom founded. We have a treaty with him now; we are running a line between his territory and our own; and there existed no wish on his part to interrupt the first, or prevent the peaceful prosecution of the latter. But there was a principle of vast importance presented to his mind, and that was, the actual existing state of things on the southwestern frontier. It was absolutely necessary to consider the next step in the series of events which were transpiring there. There ought to be an augmented military force in that defenceless section of May 9, 1836.]
our country; surrounded as it was by savage and warlike tribes, ready to be acted upon by this Santa Anna– a man of unquestioned ability, already in command of a mixed, heterogeneous, and ferocious soldiery. If these threats have been made——but he would forbear, first, because he believed the policy of our country in relation to foreign Governments to be a wise and true one; but chiefly that he dare not trust the current of his feelings to sway him. He would restrain his indignation, therefore; and, in consideration of the respectful terms in which the memorial was couched, and the high standing of those who signed it, he would move that it be printed. Mr. PORTER said that his object in rising was not so much to take part in this debate as to make an inquiry of the honorable Senator from South Carolina. That gentleman had said that it was now a known and admitted fact that Santa Anna had declared that, by the aid of a certain portion of our population, he would invade this country, march through it, and take the city of Washington. Mr. P. said that this fact was not known to him, and therefore he could not admit it. If such an assertion had been put forth, he should consider it as an idle rhodomontade. But it was calculated to increase the excitement which had been already gotten up on this subject; and he should be glad if the Senator from South Carolina would favor the Senate with the evi...” which he considered the fact as known and admitted. Mr. PRESTON said it would, perhaps, have been as well if the Senator from Louisiana had let the matter rest on his (Mr. P's) personal assertion of the fact; but, as the inquiry had been made, he could answer it by referring to the Senator from Mississippi, who had in his possession conclusive evidence of the fact. Mr. WALKER said that perhaps it would have been better if there had been no call made upon him. He had received a letter from a distinguished individual in the capital of Mexico, but he did not think it proper to give publicity to the name of the writer. He had shown the letter to several Senators; and he would read to the Senate an extract from it. He had no hesitation in giving entire credit to the statements in this extract; for the writer, who was well known to many Senators, had as respectable a standing as any gentleman on this floor, and the accuracy of his statements was indisputable. The extract was as follows: “Just before General Santa Anna left on his northern campaign, he was at Tacubaya. The British and French ministers called on him. He said he intended to drive the Texans across the Red river; and, if they were defended there by the troops of the United States, he would drive them to Washington; and, turning to Mr. Pakenham, (the British minister,) he added, ‘Yes, I will drive them to Washington, and strip the laurels from General Jackson, and burn the Capitol, as your countrymen once did;’ and said it would, nevertheless, be a little something like the march of Napoleon to Moscow.” The British minister, the writer of this letter stated, was willing to confirm the truth of this statement. The gentlemen on the other side were at liberty to read this letter. He had not a shadow of a doubt that Santa Anna had made such a declaration. And (said Mr. W.) are we to sit here and listen to apologies and excuses for the atrocities of Santa Anna? Are we to be told by American Senators, in the American Senate, that we must repress our feelings, as well as have respect to our neutrality? That we are not to express those feelings of indignation which must rise in every American bosom? Who is Santa Anna? He is the Government of Mexico. He has planted a despotism in that country; has erected a central Government, and destroyed every vestige of free
dom. We have heard of rebels. Who are the rebels? They are Santa Anna, and his priests, and mercenaries, and myrmidons. They are the rebels. The people of Texas clung to the Government of Mexico as long as they possibly could do so; as long as a wreck of the constitution was discernible, or a floating plank, they did their utmost to save it from destruction. It was not until the flag of the constitution was struck, and there was no longer a hope, that they raised the flag of independence. Mr. PORTER said he deprecated every thing which had a tendency to enlist still further our feelings and sympathies in the contest now raging in the Mexican provinces. Our position, our natural character, and our true interests required a strict neutrality at our hands. This policy was so obviously the proper one, that he could not imagine, and did not mean to assert, that any Senator here wished to depart from it. But he was sorry to say that nothing better calculated to produce a departure from the position we should occupy could be imagined, than what had fallen to-day from the Senators from South Carolina and Mississippi. Our Government was a popular one. Its action necessarily sympathized with public opinion; and if that opinion was formed under excitement and passion, there was great danger it would be incorrect. He did not understand why Santa Anna should be selected of all the other despots that existed at present in the world, and made the theme of reproach. His conduct is perhaps very bad. It might be true—Mr. P. believed it was true—that he had overthrown the constitution of Mexico, and placed himself at the head of its Government, and exercised arbitrary power. But what then? Were there not a great many other despotic and arbitrary Governments in the world, with whom we felt no difficulty in maintaining relations of peace and amity? Our relations, he believed, were of the most friendly kind with the Grand Seignor at Constantinople, the Barbary Powers on the coast of the Mediterranean, and even the black empire of Hayti. We had only this session ratified a treaty with some hitherto unknown, half-civilized Power on the coast of Africa. There were no free institutions among these different nations. Despotism, absolute, cruel, and constant, prevailed amidst them all; and yet not a breath of reproach was heard against them. Our indignation was all reserved for Mexican oppression. We left to all other portions of the world the affair of living under what kind of Government they pleased, and considered that, as we permitted no foreign interference with our political institutions, we had no right to question the institutions of other countries. Mexico alone was made an exception. The honorable Senator from Mississippi had said that he had heard on this floor apologies for Santa Anna. He (Mr. P.) had heard none. He himself had never made any. He had always thought, and always said, that so long as he observed good faith with us, and maintained the treaties he had entered into with the United States, we had nothing to do with his bad conduct in the Mexican provinces. That opinion he should on all suitable occasions express, and, if in his power, enforce. He should not be deterred from doing so by any fear of misconstruction of his motives. His object was to preserve the peace of the country. He thought it her interest to preserve it—he meant not merely her pecuniary interest, but that of a higher kind, which looked at her true glory and the maintenance of the moral power which she now so advantageously possessed among mankind. And if these considerations did not influence him in the course he prescribed to himself in this matter, the vital interests of the State he had the honor in part to represent on this floor left him no discretion. The valuable and lucrative branches of trade which were now SENATE.]
in activity between Louisiana and Mexico would be broken up by a war, and the principal channel through which specie entered into New Orleans closed completely. Every interest in that State, agricultural as well as commercial, would be seriously affected by a change in our relations. He was informed, and believed, that, during the last twenty months, the trade between the city just mentioned and the ports of Mexico amounted to nearly fifteen millions of dollars, and that in the same space of time about eight millions of specie had entered the Mississippi from the same quarter. All this was to be thrown away, because they had no free institutions in the country adjoining us. He must be excused if he did not feel himself at liberty to partake in such sentiments. We were placed here to watch over the growing interests of our own country, to promote its happiness by all the means by which its wealth, population, and security can be secured, and not to indulge at its expense our own feelings, nor to carry out among other nations our abstract opinions of government. There was another consideration (Mr. P. said) for him and for the other gentlemen from Louisiana, in both Houses, with whom he had the honor to be associated. If war broke out between Mexico and the United States, the western portion of our State, and its borders, were to become the seat of it. That war, once commenced, he was afraid would not be speedily terminated. It must become, from the extent of the country and its localities, partisan in its character. And a large portion of the most wealthy and populous portions of the State was to be exposed for years to the inroads of Mexican cavalry and their Indian allies. He foresaw that, in the event alluded to, the inhabitants of that section of the State of Louisiana were to have their security disturbed and the safety of their property, particularly that of slaves, seriously endangered. He would give his aid to no meas. ures which would precipitate such a state of things. It was very well for gentlemen who came from States where peace and security could not be affected by hostilities, to indulge in aspirations after the happiness of the human race. But he protested against their doing so at our expense. He acknowledged that he felt it of much more importance that the interests and safety of the people of Louisiana should be attended to, than the settlement of the political questions now agitating Mexico. The Senator from Mississippi had told us that the individual, whose letter he had read an extract from, was a man of character and veracity. Be it so. He did not feel inclined to controvert the truth of the statement; but he must be excused if he still doubted its correctness. The individual in question did not say that he heard Santa Anna make the declaration imputed to him; nor that the British minister in Mexico had made such a statement to the informant. It was, therefore, an assertion made on the information communicated by others. And all the weight it was entitled to was, that which it might derive from the correctness of the judgment of the writer on the veracity of those from whom he had received the tale. Mr. P. said he must be pardoned if, on a question of this magnitude, he could not surrender his belief to the opinions of any man of the truth of others, more particularly when the statement itself carried with it internal evidence how highly improbable it was. He had never heard any thing more ridiculous. What was it? Why this: that Santa Anna should have declared to the British and French ministers “that he would march with his army of ten thousand men from the frontiers of the Sabine, one thousand five hundred miles, subdue four or five millions of people—and that people among the bravest and freest on earth—plant his standard on the Capitol at Washington, and tear the laurels from the brow of General Jackson.” He (Mr. P.) did not quarrel with the belief of any man who gave
credence to such a tale; but unless Santa Anna was an inmate of a mad-house, or a candidate for one, he did not believe he made such an assertion. The whole thing savored more of one of Baron Munchausen's stories than any thing he had lately heard. He concluded by repeating that he deprecated any thing like excitement on the question, and that he hoped the peace of the country would be preserved. Mr. WALKER had not intended to say a word more, but he was compelled to trouble the Senate with an additional remark, in consequence of the manner in which the letter, from which he had read an extract, was referred to. He had already told the Senator from Louisiana, and he would now tell him again, that all which was contained in that letter was true. He would vouch for the veracity of the writer, who was as respectable as any senator on that floor. The Senator from Louisiana was at liberty to read the letter itself. It was written by a gentleman intimately known to some of the Senators, who could have had no interest in giving false views, or misrepresenting the language or the movements of Santa Anna. There could not be a shadow of a doubt of the accuracy of the information. The Senator from Louisiana had replied to what had fallen from him as to apologies being made for Santa Anna. He had said that he hoped he should not hear apologies and excuses made for Santa Anna on this floor. He had not made the cap for the Senator from Louisiana. But if that Senator was disposed to take up the cap which was intended for another, let him put it on, and suffer it to be at repose there. I said (repeated Mr. W.) that I hoped there would be no apologist for Santa Anna found here, and I repeat it. - Mr. Porter replied that the Senator from Mississippi had said that he had heard apologies made on that floor for Santa Anna. He had taken down his words at the time, and could not be mistaken. The Senator now states his meaning was, that he hoped no apologies would be made for him. To the expression of such a feeling, he (Mr. P.) had not the slightest objection; and the gentleman was perfectly free to apply that hope to him. Mr. BROWN regretted very much to hear expressions that had been used in the course of the debate, calculated, in his opinion, to stimulate feelings in the people of this country, already sufficiently excited, and to encourage feelings of hostility against a nation with which we are at peace. He protested, for one, against entering into a crusade to regulate the internal concerns of any nation; he protested against any acts or the expression of any feelings calculated to involve us in a war with the Government of Mexico. He could attach no importance to the expressions said to have been used by Santa Anna with regard to this country; for, coming in the way it did, we could not, consistently with what was due to ourselves, notice it. When Santa Anna himself thought proper to address to this Government, through his diplomatic agents, or promulgate to the word officially, threats of the nature alluded to by the Senator from South Carolina, he should then be ready to resent them; but, coming in the shape these expressions have done, they were unworthy of our notice, and ought not to influence our judgments. They all knew how common it was in the city of Washington to hear of extraordinary declarations attributed to distinguished individuals, and how little credence was to be attached to them. He did not intend, he said, to question the veracity of the author of the letter; but he could not avoid questioning the correctness of his information. But the gentleman from South Carolina had invoked them, in the name of liberty, to act in favor of Texas; not at this time, for he considers it premature, but when the proper time should arrive. Was the honorable gentleman very certain that they would favor liberty May 9, 1836.]
by engaging in war in behalf of Texas? What had these Texans done to require that we should embroil ourselves in a war with a country with whom we are on terms of peace, in order to favor their cause? They had gone from a land of liberty to a land of despotism; they had cut asunder the ties which bound them to the freest and happiest country on earth; and, although they had our sympathies, they had voluntarily relinquished all claims to our support. But it was said that Santa Anna had overthrown the republic of Mexico, trampled on the constitution, and es' ablished a despotism; and that therefore we should support the Texans. We were (said Mr. B.) the last people on earth who should meddle with the internal concerns of another nation. If there was any one principle of national law more sacred than another, it was, that one nation ought not to interfere with the internal policy of its neighbor. If we set him the example, Santa Anna might take it into his head, or another foreign Government might do so, that we too were in need of reformation; that our institutions were not such as conformed to their opinions; and we might have a war on our hands, brought on us by the very example we had set. He was utterly opposed to any thing of the kind. What! (said Mr. B.) shall we become propagandists? Shall we have scenes here at this Capitol such as were witnessed at Paris in the French revolution, when individuals representing every country in Europe appeared before the National Assembly, and called on them to liberate them from their oppressors? Shall we have another Anacharsis Cloots preaching a crusade in favor of the oppressed all over the world? We are now (Mr. B. said) in a state of peace and unexampled prosperity; and shall we pursue any course calculated to jeopard that peace and impair that prosperity? He thought it due to the importance of the subject to throw out these few observations; he viewed the subject as pregnant with important consequences, and considered that our best interests depended upon pursuing a prudent and cautionary course. Mr. MOORE said, from the general tenor of the remarks of the Senator from North Carolina, [Mr. Bnow N, we might be led to infer that a very different proposition had been submitted from the one now pending. No proposition had been proposed involving the neutrality of the Government, or jeoparding the peace of the country; yet an inference of this kind was fairly to be inferred from the course of his remarks. Mr. M. said he was very sorry when a petition of a similar kind had been presented on a former occasion by one of the Senators from Ohio, coming from the citizens of Cincinnati, that an effort should have been made then, as was now made, to give the go by to this proposition, and cast some damper upon the feelings of the patriotic and brave Texans. He regretted that the proposition to lay that petition on the table (which, as far as it signifies any feeling, was an expression unfavorable to the cause of the Texans) should have come from the quarter it had. Sir, (said Mr. M.,) when petitions are presented here demanding of Congress to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia without the consent of the owners of such slaves, and a proposition is submitted to refuse to receive such petitions because Congress is considered as having no constitutional power to meddle with the matter, and that it would be highly impolitic, even if they had the power; then gentlemen can rise and talk loud and long about the right of a citizen to petition for the redress of grievances, &c.; and they imagine they see a violation of the constitution in an effort to close the door to these petitions. Now, (Mr. M. said,) he was unwilling to extend to these petitioners less respect than had been shown to abolition petitioners. He was willing to go
further, and have these petitions referred to an enlightened committee. But, said he, we have been admonished against the propriety of using reproachful epithets towards the head of the Mexican Government. And he hoped he would be pardoned if, in his feelings, he should not be able to regard such admonition. He did not hesitate to say that Santa Anna's deportment towards the Texans had been not only marked by the violation of all rules of civilized warfare, but by a ferocity and barbarity—not to say a violation of solemn P. were not only dishonorable, but even beyond what might have been looked for from a Camanchean savage. Mr. M. said some remarks had fallen from the Senator from North Carolina [Mr. Bhow N] as to the character of the Texan war, which he thought were not only not called for, but not authorized. The Texans were engaged in an unequal and fearful contest--in the defence of a republican constitution and liberty against a military despot. A company of gentlemen of high respectability, in the county in which he resided—his neighbors—had been prompted to volunteer in this cause from feelings of honorable sympathy and patriotism, and were now under the Texan banner, if not sacrificed; and he hoped they were not, for he wished them success most cordially. He could not think they were obnoxious to any censure or expression of feelings such as the Senator from North Carolina [Mr. Brow N] had gratuitously made. Mr. M. said he had had the honor of a seat on the floor of the other branch of the national Legislature when the honorable Senator from Massachusetts [Mr. Websten] had submitted his important proposition to aid the suffering Greeks; he had heard him then with much pleasure; and he could not see any thing in the present proposition so reprehensible as he had intimated. He was not disposed to violate treaties or international law, nor to compromit the neutrality of the Government; but was willing an investigation should be made, and was willing to do whatever could be done with propriety. But the Senator from South Carolina [Mr. PREston] had expressed his views more fully and eloquently than he was able to do, and he therefore would not trespass longer. i. BUCHANAN said he had received several memo. rials from the city of Philadelphia of the same character as those which had been presented by the Senator from South Carolina, [Mr. PREston.] He had intended to present them this morning to the Senate, but was prevented from doing so at the proper moment by an accidental circumstance. It was also his intention to have accompanied their presentation by some remarks. These he thought it best to offer now, rather than to wait until to-morrow morning, and then become instrumental in getting up another debate. These memorials asked Congress “to recognise the independence of Texas,
and at such time, and in such manner as may be deemed
proper, to interpose to terminate the conflict which now rages in that country.” In some remarks which he had submitted to the Senate a few days since, and which, like all other proceedings in this body, had been much misrepresented abroad, he had indulged the feelings of a man and an American. What he then had uttered were the sentiments of his heart in relation to the existing struggle in Texas. But, when he was called upon as a Senator to recognise the independence of that country, he thought it prudent to refer back to the conduct of our ancestors, when placed in similar circumstances, and to derive lessons of wisdom from their example. If there was any one principle of our public policy which had been well settled— one which imad been acted upon by every administration, and which had met the approbation not only of this