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.Affairs of Texas.
[May 9, 1836.
country, but of every civilized Government with which we have intercourse—it was, that we should never interfere in the domestic concerns of other nations. Recognising in the people of every nation the absolute right to adopt such form of government as they thought proper, we have always preserved the strictest neutrality between the parties in every country whilst engaged in civil war. We have left all nations perfectly free, so far as we are concerned, to establish, to maintain, or to change their forms of government, according to their own sovereign will and pleasure. It would, indeed, be surprising—and, more than this, it would be unnatural—if the sympathies of the American people should not be deeply, earnestly enlisted in favor of those who drew the sword for liberty throughout the world, no matter where it was raised to strike. Beyond this we had never proceeded. The peaceful influence of our example upon other nations is much greater. The cause of free government is thus more efficiently promoted than if we should waste the blood and treasure of the people of the United States in foreign wars, waged even to maintain the sacred cause of liberty. The world must be persuaded—it cannot be conquered. Besides, we can never, with any proper regard for the welfare of our constituents, devote their energies and their resources to the cause of planting and sustaining free institutions among the people of other nations. Acting upon these principles, we have always recognised existing Governments, or Governments de facto, whether they were constitutional or despotic. We have the same amicable relations with despotisms as with free Governments, because we have no right to quarrel with the people of any nation on account of the form of government which they may think proper to adopt or to sanction. It is their affair—not ours. We would not tolerate such interference from abroad, and we ought to demean ourselves towards foreign nations as we should require them to act towards ourselves. A very striking illustration of this principle has been presented, during the present administration, in the case of Portugal. We recognised Don Miguel's Government, because he was de facto in possession of the throne, apparently with the consent of the Portuguese people. In this respect, Mr. B. believed we stood alone, or nearly alone, among the nations of the earth. When he was expelled from that country, and the present Queen seemed to be firmly seated upon the throne, we had no difficulty, pursuing our established policy, in recognising her Government. A still more striking case, and one to the very point in question, had occurred during Mr. Monroe's administration. The Spanish provinces throughout the whole continent of America had raised the standard of rebellion against the King of Spain; they were struggling for liberty against oppression. The feelings of the American people were devotedly enlisted in their favor. Our ardent wishes and our prayers for their success continued throughout the whole long and bloody conflict. But we took no other part in their cause, and we rendered them no assistance, except the strong moral influence excited over the world by our well-known feelings and 9pinions in their favor. When did we recognise their independence? Not till after they had achieved it by their arms; not until the contest was over, and victory had perched upon their banners; not until the good fight had been fought and won. We then led the van in acknowledging their independence. But until they were independent in fact, we resisted every effort, and every eloquent appeal which was made in their behalf, to induce us to depart from the settled policy of the country. When the fact of their actual independence was established, we then, and not till them, did acknowledge it.
He would rejoice should similar success attend the arms of the Texans. He trusted they would yet conquer their independence against the myrmidons of Santa Anna. In that event, there was no man in the country who would vote more cheerfully to recognise it than himself. Until that time should arrive, he must continue to act upon the firmly established principle which had been our guide for nearly half a century. Mr. B. believed that no President of the United States had ever been more strongly convinced of the necessity of maintaining this principle inviolate than General Jackson. His whole conduct towards foreign Governments had made this manifest. Whilst he requires justice from all, he treats all with justice. In his annual message at the commencement of the present session, he informed Congress that instructions had been given to the United States district attorneys to prosecute all persons who might attempt to violate our neutrality in the civil war between Mexico and Texas. He also stated that he had apprized the Government of Mexico that we should require the integrity of our territory to be scrupulously respected by both parties. He thus declared to the world not only that we had determined to be neutral between the parties, but that our neutrality must be respected by both. This affords abundant evidence of his disposition neither to interfere with the internal concerns of other nations, nor to submit to any violation of the law of nations by them. Mr. B. entertained not a doubt that this line of conduct, which he had marked out for himself in the beginning, he would pursue until the end, so far as the executive Government was concerned. It was obviously necessary to concentrate a strong military force on the confines of Texas, not only to enforce our neutrality, but to protect the lives and property of our fellow-citizens. This had been done; but the commanding General had been strictly prohibited from acting except on the defensive. Such a force is absolutely necessary to preserve inviolate our treaty with Mexico. Under it, we are bound to maintain peace among the Indian nations along the frontier of the two countries, and to restrain the Indians within our territory by force, if that should become necessary, from making war upon Mexico. This obligation is reciprocal, and binds both parties. If the Indians from Texas should be let slip upon our frontier; if they, or Santa Anna, or any other power, should attempt to invade our territory, then every American would say, Repel force by force, and return blow for blow. Our cause and our quarrel would then be just. But let us not, by departing from our settled policy, give rise to the suspicion that we have got up this war for the purpose of wresting Texas from those to whom, under the faith of treaties, it justly belongs. Since the treaty with Spain of 1819, there can no longer be any doubt but that this province is a part of Mexico. He was sorry for it; but such was the undeniable fact. Let us then follow the course which we had pursued, under similar circumstances, in all other cases. Mr. B. said his blood boiled whilst contemplating the cruelties and barbarities which are said to have been committed by the Mexicans in this contest. The heart sickens and revolts at such a spectacle. But, as an American Senator, he could give the Texans nothing except his prayers and his good wishes, Mr. B. concluded with presenting the petitions to which he had referred. Mr. SHEPLEY hoped the Senate would not agree to print the memorials. He protested against giving the countenance of publicity to these petitions, which call upon the Government to interfere between Mexico and Texas, and thus to destroy that neutrality which it is the obvious policy of the United States to preserve. He would not consent to give any sanction to the opinions of these petitioners, that our neutrality ought to be compromised.
Mar 10, 1836.]
Western Frontier—Navy Bill.
The petitions had been presented, and read, and discussed, and had thus passed through all the customary processes; and nothing more was necessary, unless it was desired to influence public opinion against the Mexicans. He would not be instrumental in propagating such sentiments, because they were perfectly erroneous. Expressions had fallen from gentlemen in the Senate, which, perhaps, it would have been better had they been better considered. He did not understand, by the language of this letter which had been read, that Santa Anna gave it to be understood that he intended to come to Washington in the attitude of an aggressor; but if we' are the aggressors in the first instance, that he would then pursue the troops to Washington. There had been a disposition manifested, and he was sorry to see it so prevalent, to mix up the general Government of the United States in this controversy, to hurry us into a state of war with Mexico. But, in his opinion, we had no reason for war. He would as soon expend his sympathies upon one of the two political parties which are now disturbing the tranquillity of Spain, as permit them to be interested in the conflict between Mexico and Texas. It was a war of the same barbarous character in one country as well as the other, and there was no good reason why the feelings of the citizens of the United States should not as well be roused in reference to old Spain as to Mexico, especially as the Government of old Spain had done at least as much for liberty as that of Mexico. For one, he was wholly opposed to giving the least countenance to the opinions expressed in these memorials. We had nothing to do with the contest; no more to do with it, and should have no more feelings excited concerning it, than we have for all those who are oppressed by their Governments on the other side of the globe. We have nothing to do beyond the defence of our own rights and liberties; and the most cautious policy is advisable in order that we may not compromise our neutrality at all. He did not mean to say that to indulge our sympathies was wrong. They may have been raised entirely by the perusal of the cruelties perpetrated in Texas. He hoped it was so. But it was possible there were other matters and motives which had their influence in operating on the feelings of a great number; and, if so, any sympathies arising from such a source were unworthy of respect and consideration. He hoped the memorials would not be printed.
Mr. WEBSTER expressed his hope that the memorials would be printed, because the refusal to print might be construed into a mark of disrespect. He hoped the Senator from Maine would not press his opposition to the motion, as he thought it best to avoid even the appearance of disrespect to the memorialists. He had only further to say that he had heard no Senator offer any apology or excuse, on this floor, for the person at the head of the Mexican Government, for any act, or any imputed act, of barbarous or cruel conduct. He repeated his hope, however, that Senators would not indulge in the expression of offensive epithets in reference to that person, until they knew something certainly in regard to his conduct which would warrant such language.
The motion to lay the memorials on the table, and to print them, was then put, aud decided in the affirmative.
in the course of which the bill was amended so as to authorize the number of volunteers to be raised at 10,000 men, and to confine themselves to repelling Indian invasions. On motion of Mr. PRESTON, the authority given to the President in these words: “and shall appoint the necessary officers,” was amended by adding “above the rank of captain, which appointments shall be submitted to the Senate for its advice and approval at its next session.” Mr. SWIFT moved to recommit the bill. Mr. NICHOLAS moved to add to the motion an instruction to report the bill with a provision to raise the army to the same peace establishment as that in which it was placed at the termination of the war in 1815. The question being taken on the motion of Mr. Nicho LAs, to add instructions, the motion was negatived. The bill was then recommitted. On motion of Mr. SHEPLEY, The Senate adjourned.
TUEs DAY, MAY 10.
RELATIONS WITH FRANCF.
The following message was received from the President of the United States: WAshingtoN, May 10, 1836. To the Senate and House of Representatives: Information has been received at the Treasury Department that the four instalments under our treaty with France have been paid to the agent of the United States. In communicating this satisfactory termination of our controversy with France, I feel assured that both Houses of Congress will unite with me in desiring and believing that the anticipations of the restoration of the ancient cordial relations between the two countries, expressed in my former messages on this subject, will be speedily realized. No proper exertion of mine shall be wanting to efface the remembrance of those misconceptions that have temporarily interrupted the accustomed intercourse between them. ANDREW JACKSON.
The message was laid on the table.
On motion of Mr. SOUTHARD, the bill making appropriations for the naval service for the year 1836, was taken up as returned from the House of Representatives. All the amendments of the House were concurred in, on motion of Mr. SOUTHARD, excepting part of the following amendment made by the House: “The President of the United States be, and he hereby is, authorized, if in his opinion the public interest shall require, to send out a surveying and exploring expedition to the Pacific Ocean and South Seas: and for that purpose to employ a sloop of war, and to purchase or provide such other small vessels as may be necessary and proper to render the said expedition efficient and useful; and, for this purpose, the sum of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars be, and the same is hereby, appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated; and, in addition thereto, if ne: cessary, the President of the United States is authorized to use other means in the control of the Navy Department, not exceeding one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, for the objects required.” Mr. SOUTHARD moved to strike out so much of the above amendment as is contained in the following words: “if in his opinion the public interest shall require.”
On this proposition Mr. HILL asked for the yeas and nays, which were ordered; and the question being taken on Mr. South Ann's motion, it was decided as follows:
YEAs--Messrs. Benton, Black, Clay, Clayton, Davis, Ewing of Ohio, Grundy, Hendricks, Hubbard, Kent, Knight, Leigh, Linn, Naudain, Niles, Prentiss, Rives, Robbins, Ruggles, Shepley, Southard, Swift, Tallmadge, Tomlinson, Walker, White-–26.
Nars--Messrs. Hill, King of Georgia, Wright—-3.
The amendment of the House, as amended, was then concurred in.
On motion of Mr. CLAY, the Senate took up the bill to carry into effect the convention between the United States and Spain.
This bill had been reported from the Committee on Foreign Relations, with an amendment striking out the whole of the bill from the House, and inserting the Senate bill, which provides that the funds received under the treaty referred to should be distributed by the Attorney General instead of a board of commissioners; which amendment, after some explanation by Messrs. CLAY, TALLMADGE, and WHITE, was agreed to.
Sundry amendments were proposed by the committee to amend verbally, so as to strike out in several parts of the bill the words “commissioners and their officers,” and insert the words “Attorney General and his secretary.”
The amendments were then ordered to be engrossed, and the bill to be read a third time.
After taking up and disposing of a large number of other bills,
The Senate adjourned.
WEDN Esm AY, MAY 11. MEXICO.
Mr. CLAY, from the Committee on Foreign Relations, to which was referred the message of the President of the United States concerning an additional article in the treaty with Mexico, reported a bill to provide for carrying into effect the treaty of limits with the Government of Mexico; which was read, and ordered to a second reading.
Mr. CLAY said that the bill was in exact conformity with the former one, and was intended to revive the commission which had expired in consequence of the expiration of the treaty. The Committee on Foreign Relations were desirous that it should pass without delay. There was a peculiar propriety in so passing it, result. ing from our existing relations with Mexico. A survey was to be made; and we were endeavoring to ascertain, as precisely as possible, the true boundary line between that country and our own. In the mean time, the General commanding our forces in that quarter had taken up a position in or near this disputed territory. Existing circumstances were such as to make it absolutely neces
which Mr. Bexton's resolution proposes to expunge, being taken up and read— Mr. WHITE said he wished to have an opportunity to take the sense of the Senate on this resolution during the present session, and he should feel it to be his duty to present the views which his own mind had taken of the subject. But as he did not wish to retard the progress of the appropriation bills, if any gentleman desired to bring forward an appropriation bill, he would postpone his resolution. Mr. BENTON signifying a wish to take up the fortification bill, On motion of Mr. WHITE, the resolution was postponed, and made the special order for Monday next.
Mr. BENTON moved further to amend the bill by adding an additional section making an appropriation of $30,000 for defraying the expenses of a board of officers to examine sites, make surveys, &c., for the purpose of ascertaining the best plan of fortifications, and the most eligible situations for them; which motion was carried. Mr. BENTON then submitted the following amendment: To strike out $101,000 for fortifications at Penobscot bay, and insert $75,000 for the year 1836, and $75,000 for the year 1837. Mr. B. observed that this was in pursuance of the recommendations of the Secretary of War, that when appropriations are to be made for fortifications, it would be better for the public service to make the whole appropriation at once, so that the officers might know the extent to which they were to go, and that the works might not be delayed by waiting for appropriations, as had been the case heretofore. The principle introduced in this bill was to provide in one year for what was proposed to be done in two years. The object was to prevent delay in commencing the work early in the season. The officers employed to carry it on would have time to engage persons to do it, and to invite competition; whereas, when delayed till the summer, they had to employ laborers at an advanced price; and the consequence was, that the same amount of work cost the Government more than it ought to do. Mr. WHITE understood the recommendations of the Secretary of War were to appropriate such sums as would be necessary to finish the fortifications already commenced, and to re-examine the whole system under a board of examination for that purpose. He believed we ought to re-examine it to see whether the plan might not be reduced to one of greater economy. In his (Mr. W.'s) view, they ought to strike out every appropriation to new fortifications in the bill. [Mr. BENTON here remarked, there were none but new fortiMay 11, 1836.]
fications in the bill.] To which Mr. W. replied, that he then would go for striking out the whole. The Secretary of War, in his report, had said that, “before any expenses should be incurred for new works, a thorough re-examination should be made,” and that he would organize a board for that purpose. And as to all those places where he was certain that fortifications would be necessary, he had pointed out a re-examination of them, to see whether an improvement in the plan might not be made, and had recommended the amount necessary to be expended for those objects. But in no case of new fortifications had he recommended an appropriation without a re-examination. Mr. W. was opposed to the principle of making appropriations for a series of years. If made from year to year, their expenditure could be better examined; and so careful were the framers of the constitution on this point, that there was an express prohibition that appropriations should be made for a longer period than two years. He was opposed to all new appropriations until they had the benefit of new and improved plans. After some remarks from Mr. RUGGLES, Mr. SOUTHARD said that the position in which the bill under consideration was now placed induced him to make a very few remarks, his views on the bill hav. ing been pretty fully given on a former occasion. When this bill was taken up this morning, the Senator from Missouri [Mr. BENToN] had moved to strike out various appropriations, amounting to something more than a million of dollars, making a reduction of that sum from the amount of appropriations in a bill which they were so confidently called on a short time since to sup. port. He thought that, perhaps, by a little further delay, they might possibly find another million stricken out. Šo far as it regarded the million having been stricken out, he had no objection, and would not have objected to the process being carried on further. There was now a new principle proposed, which was, that the new works be commenced, and appropriating the whole amount, and dividing it into two years, and the next appropriation into three years. He (Mr. s.) had at least doubts as to new fortifications being com. menced before old ones were completed. He believed it to be the true policy of the country to complete the old ones first, because they were the primary ones, and the most important to the country, and, if neglected, will fall to ruin. He would have no difficulty in voting for appropriations to complete them, provided they were not so large as that they could not be economically expended. As no appropriations were made last year, it would perhaps be proper to increase the ordinary ap. propriations for this year. But there was a certain limit beyond which they could not go, without they were regardless of economy. He felt reluctant to commence any new fortifications, unless they could go on with the old ones; and, according to the reports, they could not command the labor of the country beyond the completion of the old fortifications, without pressing upon the business and interests of the country. He was of the opinion, that all that could be expended the present year, might be expended in completing and arming the old fortifications. If it were true that injustice had been done to Maine, or that injustice had been done to New Jersey, let justice, he said, be done to them hereafter. Mr. S. spoke of a change in the opinions of public officers in regard to the system of fortifications, and of the great number of men necessary to be armed in occupying them. Every day was adding nerve to the arm of our defence in our increase of wealth and population, and there was consequently a great change in the necessity of carrying out that system to its full extent. Then the difficulty was, as to what point they should stop at. The Secretary of War did not think it
necessary to carry on that system. Take Penobscot, or any other place mentioned in the bill; and, he asked, was the system of fortification proposed for that point precisely such as they would adopt at this day He regarded that amendment, offered this morning, in relation to the board of officers, worth more than the whole bill. Mr. S. said the time would come when our whole coast would be defended with steam. Our batteries on the coast would be floating batteries, instead of batteries on land. Batteries on our inlets and peninsula bays, as they were termed, would be worth more than in any other location. They needed information on both these points. The Senator from Maine, in speaking of the delay of the defences of the country, had asked where was the fortification bill? He (Mr. S.) too asked where it was? He meant the ordinary fortification bill. Here was a bill on their tables, not originating in the House of Representatives, where the fortification bill usually originated, but which was called a sortification. He understood the ordinary fortification bill was now on their tables, and he would therefore prefer that this bill should be delayed until it was acted on. He must vote against this whole bill, if compelled to vote now, with the exception of the provisions for surveys and steam batteries. He intended to propose that the bill be laid on the table: as a million of dollars of the appropriation had been stricken out, he was not prepared to say what would be the effect on the remainder. Mr. WHITE thought that it would be very unwise to adopt any plan for fortifications which there was danger they might have to abandon hereafter. The plan ought to be well considered, estimates and surveys furnished, and all the necessary information obtained from scientific and practical men, before they commenced expenditures for such important works as were intended to endure for ages. It would be remarked, that when the report of the Secretary of War was brought in, two plans were before Congress; one was, the bill making appropriations for entirely new works, then before them; and the other was the customary fortification bill, making appropriations for such fortifications as were already in a state of progress. Upon looking at the report, it plainly appeared that the Secretary recommended (all apprehensions of a war with a foreign power having ceased, and there being full time for the necessary preparations and examinations for new works) that appropriations for these should be suspended till such examination were made; while he advised that they should progress, as rapidly as circumstances would permit, with the works already begun. Immediately after, the Secretary recommended the creation of a board of officers for the examination, as well of the old works as for surveys and examinations for contemplated new ones, to determine on the best plans for improving the one and for commencing and completing the other. The Secretary also said, that if the appropriations were early made, most of the new works could be put in operation this season: but he went on to add, that, unless the corps of engineers were increased, it would be unnecessary to make any appropriations, because the number of officers now in the corps was barely sufficient to attend to the completion of the old works; and as there would be no officers to superintend the disbursement of the money, it must lie idle. Mr. W. here made quotations from the report of the Secretary of War. His interpretation of this report was, that the Secretary recommended that they should create this board of officers for examinations and surveys, and, in the mean time, appropriate $100,000 for making ex: periments for the improvement of steam batteries, and go on as rapidly as possible with the old works. We would then get the advantage of all the improvements in steam machinery that were advancing from day to day, have the benefit of the information and suggestions of SENATE.]
[May 12, 1836.
this board of officers, and, at the same time, have the country protected to a considerable extent by the completion of the old works. Why should they, he asked, deprive themselves of all these advantages, at a time when there was no prospect of hostility from any foreign Power, by unnecessary haste? It did seem to him that it would be an unwise and improvident expenditure of money to commence any new works that they might find it necessary hereafter to abandon, because not adapted to the situation of the country, the improvements of the age, and the purposes for which they were intended. Mr. SHEPLEY contended that the opinion of the Secretary of War had been misconstrued. He thought the Secretary had declared the reverse of an opinion that we should not proceed with new fortifications during the present year. Mr. S. adverted to the language of the report of that officer, in which he had said that it could not be doubted that fortifications at certain points, des. ignated in this bill, would be necessary; and that it would be to the interest of the country that they be constructed. Here, then, was a decided opinion expressed in favor of these new fortifications; and let the vote be what it might, he hoped, if it was against the bill, it would not be claimed to be based on the position that it was in accordance with the recommendation of the Secretary of War. There was none so blind as those who would not see. But for those who desired to come to the light in regard to the fortification at Penobscot bay, they would find that all had been done there that could throw any light on the subject. An examination in detail had been made, and no further knowledge could be acquired. They had all the necessary information before them now, in relation to the necessity, importance, and expense of the work. Mr. SOUTHARD said, as there had been upwards of a million of dollars of the appropriations stricken out of the bill by various amendments, which changed the features of it, and in order that they might better understand the bill as amended, he would move to Jay it on the table, and that it be printed in its amended form. Mr. WEBSTER said he wished to see the bill as it then stood, and hoped the motion to print would prevail. Mr. BENTON observed that it was wholly unneces. sary to lay the bill on the table for the purpose of printing it. Any gentleman might in a moment see it in the shape in which it then stood, by getting from the Secretary the items that were stricken out, and drawing his pen through them on the bill which belonged to his file. Mr. EWING moved that the Senate adjourn: lost— Ayes 17, noes 21. Mr. SOUTHARD then withdrew his motion to lay the bill on the table, and moved to print the amendments. This motion was also lost: Ayes 17, noes 21. On motion of Mr. KING of Alabama, the Senate then proceeded to the consideration of executive business; after which, It adjourned.
Thunspax, MAY 12. FORTIFICATIONS. The bill making appropriations for the purchase of sites, the collection of materials, and for the construction of fortifications, was taken up as the special order of the day; the question being on Mr. BENTox's motion to strike out the appropriation of $101,000 for fortifications at Penobscot bay, and to insert in lieu thereof $75,000 to be applied to the same object in the year 1836, and $75,000 in the year 1837. Mr. CALHOUN was not disposed to depart from the usual course of legislation in this case. Bills for fortifications usually originated in the House of Representatives,
and the Senate could add to or reduce the amount of appropriations contained in them, as they thought proper. They had before them two propositions: to complete old and to erect new fortifications. He thought they ought, as far as possible, to complete the old fortifications before new ones were taken up. By pursuing the course indicated, which was that of waiting for the action of the other House, it would prevent confusion, caused by the Senate sending their fortification bill to the House of Representatives, and the House of Representatives sending theirs to the Senate; while both branches would be acting on the same subject in distinct bills. Mr. C. then moved to lay the bill on the table. Mr. BENTON demanded the yeas and nays. Mr. CLAYTON thought the Senator from Missouri [Mr. Benton] would jeopardize the bill by taking it up now, when the Senate was so thin, and suggested whether it would not be better to let it lie over until tomorrow. Mr. BENTON said the Senator from Delaware had shown a disposition throughout to go on with the fortifications, and had manifested that disposition while serving with him on the committee; and there was no one to whose suggestions he would listen with more respect than his. But, under the circumstances, he was not willing to postpone it any longer. Mr. CALHOUN was not disposed to elude the question, but wished to meet it fairly. Mr. CALhou N's motion was then rejected—yeas 17, nays 22, as follows: YEAs—Messrs. Calhoun, Clayton, Crittenden, Davis, Ewing of Ohio, Kent, Knight, Leigh, Moore, Naudain, Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, Southard, Swift, Tomlinson, White—17. NAys—Messrs. Benton, Brown, Buchanan, Cuthbert, Ewing of Illinois, Grundy, Hendricks, Hill, Hubbard, King of Georgia, Linn, McKean, Morris, Nicholas, Niles, Bives, Ruggles, Shepley, Tallmadge, Walker, Wall, Wright-–22. Mr. BENTON observed that the fairest way of getting at the whole matter would be to take the question suggested by the argument of the Senator from Tennessee yesterday; that was, on a motion to strike out all the new works. This would be the best way of getting at the sense of the Senate; and he would withdraw his amendment, in order to give the gentleman an opportunity of making a motion to that effect. Mr. WHITE would not submit any motion to strike out; and if any of the fortifications were to be retained, he was inclined to think there was as much merit in the fortifications at Penobscot bay as any other. His objections were to appropriating the whole sum in gross, to be expended in different years. He had made no motion, and would not make any now. Mr. BUCHANAN said the report of the Secretary of War on the subject of fortifications was one of the ablest state papers he had ever read. He believed it had met with the decided approbation of every member of the Senate. The views of the Secretary were practical, and commended themselves to the common sense of all of us, whether military men or not. The principles established by that report were, that it would be vain and impracticable for us to attempt to erect fortifications along our coast at every point where an enemy might erfect a landing; and if we even could do so, it would render a large standing army necessary to provide them all with garrisons, and would thus be in opposition to the genius of our institutions. That fortifications should only be erected to defend our commercial cities from the attack of an enemy; and these ought to be constructed merely for the purpose of resisting an assault by sea; because it was not to be imagined that an enemy would