« AnteriorContinuar »
FEB. 1, 1837.)
Freedom of Elections.
(H. OF R.
ded his remarks; and I shall have to rely mainly on the administrations, embracing a period of just forty years; impulse of the moment for what I may chance to say. and, from what I understand to be an authentic account,
It would be premature at this stage of the bill to dis- I have learned during that period but seventy-four offi. cuss its details. I will not undertake to say they are cers were turned out of office; of which number nine perfect, or wherein they might be amended, at this instances, I think, occurred in the administration which time. I do not stand committed for or against any sin. | immediately preceded that of General Jackson. And gle provision as it now stands, and shall be happy to see although this nation has no evidence that a single one of adopted as many amendments as are calculated more those seventy-four officers was turned out for opinion's perfectly to secure the great objects of the bill. This sake, yet General Jackson, apprehending that such is a very important subject, and I grant you it is as deli- might have been the case, and looking upon such an cate as it is important; and I hope, at the proper stage, exercise of power with all that horror which it is calthe details of this bill will be investigated and scrutini- culated so naturally to excite in the bosom of every zed with all that care and attention which the solemn patriot, deemed it his duty to bring the subject before importance of the subject so imperiously demands. For the country in this solemn form. This was the prethe present I shall only attempt to demonstrate that the cept of President Jackson when first elected; but, inruinous evils enumerated in the preamble of the bill do credible to tell, in the first term of his administra. exist in a degree that threatens the overthrow of our tion, he hurled from office between nine hundred and free institutions, and briefly to urge upon the House the one thousand officers; and from that time up to this most obvious necessity of immediate and efficient action his course upon this subject has been onward, crushupon the subject.
ing as it were every thing like the freedom of elec. Wherever the principles of civil liberty have been tions with the one hundred thousand officers under his well understood, this has been thought a subject of the control. He, by the exercise of this power, not only most vital importance; and the severest penalties have makes the officers slaves to his power, but also constibeen provided against officers of Government bringing tutes them so many efficient instruments in his hands to to bear any sort of influence upon elections. Whenever | bring to bear the fullest extent of their influence upon the right of electing law-makers has been well secured all over whom they can exercise any control, at the risk to the citizen, that right has been protected and guard. of being proscribed and hurled from office. Sir, to wit. ed by legislative enactments, so as to render the choice ness the deleterious and demoralizing effects of this of the people at the poils free from all official control. monstrous practice is humiliating in the extreme, and For nothing could be a greater absurdity than for a Govern. threatens the most disastrous consequences to the counment to guaranty to its citizens the right to vote in choos. try. Whether we live in the East, the West, the North, ing their rulers, and countenance the interference of or the South, we need only to look around in the vicin. any power whalever which is calculated in any degree ity of our own residence, and we see daily this influence to interfere with or infringe upon the free exercise of of federal officers brought to bear on the freedom of that right. In Great Britain, the country from which our elections. In every county caucus, or State or na*e derive many of our notions of free government, / tional convention, we see the office-holders not only the where but one of the three departments of the law. prime movers, but most generally themselves constituting making power is elective, the most effective safeguards two thirds of the conventions. I will instance the single are tipown around the citizen at the polls, so as to ren. case of the great democratic Siate convention in Ohio, der him as perfectly free as it is possible to render him. which assembled at Columbus on the 8th of January, As early as 1691 that Government was seen providing 1834, for the purpose, amongst other party services, 10 heavy penalties against officers of Government attempt. nominate delegates to the Baltimore convention; then, ing to exercise influence in elections. And the same from a published account of the names of the different course of legislation has been followed up by Parliament officers and the offices they respectively filled, it apto the year 1809, when the fine for such interference pears, of the one hundred and seventeen members at. was increased to £500, and many other disqualifica. tending, one hundred and six were officers; and out of tions.
the nineteen congressional committees appointed by ibat in 1801 the attention of Mr. Jefferson was called to convention for the State of Ohio, consisting of fifiy-two this subject, and, in a letter to Governor McKean, he members, thirty were office holders. I have no doubt, uses the following language: “One thing I will say as if the subject were looked into, quite as large a propor. to the future inierference with elections, whether of tion of office holders would be found in the numberless Siate or General Government, by officers of the latter, public meetings of this sort, which we constantly witness should be deemed cause of removal, because the con
in the various other sections of this country. stitutional remedy by the elective franchise becomes Now, when it is recollected that more than one twennothing if it may be smothered by the enormous patron- tieth of all our voters are, in effect, office-holders of the age of the Federal Government." If the patronage of Federal Government, either directly or indirectly, upon the Federal Government was su enormous in 1801, when the supposition that there are one hundred thousand is annual expenses were comparatively small, as to set
office-holders, which includes, I suppose, all persons reat Daught the elective franchise, how great must be ceiving a direct emolument from the Government, we the danger now that the annual expenses are between may readily have a view of the tremendous power which 30,000,000 and 40,000,000 dollars, and the number of a President may wield by executive power; having, upon federal ufficers mu tiplied in about the same p'opor- an average throughout the country, in every twenty votion?
ters one who is dependent upon him for the bread upon Again, in 1829, the attention of this nation was called which bis wife and children have to depend for subsist. to llus subject, in the most solemn manner, by General ence, and who knows the only reliance for the continued Jackson, in his first inaugural address, in which he em- lavor of his Government is bis unceasing party services. plays the following language: “The recent demonstra. Sir, under the practical operation of the present party 11ons of public sentiment inscribe on the list of executive discipline, the President has not only all the office-hold. daties, in characters too legible to be overlooked, the ers complete slaves to his power, but he also controls task of reform; which will require, particularly, the rather an indirect, but still a very powerful, influence correction of abuses that have brought the patronage of over all the relations and friends of the office-holder; the Federal Government into conflict wiih the freedom and he exercises, if possible, a still more powerful influsf elections.” Anterior to this period we had had six ence by operating upon the hopes of the numberless
hungry applicants for office, outnumbering, by two or his day, when there was less light in the world, he three fold, in all probability, the whole number of offi- bought men with money, and conquered with his men
In Great Britain, a number equal to one seventh in the bloody field of battle. In our day, men are part of all the voters in the kingdom hold office; in con- bought with money, and their masters conquer through sequence of which, it was seen there that a corrupt and the ballot-box. This new pass to conquest I am for profligate King, holding the appointments to and remo. barring against every slave, and throwing open to every vals from office in his own hands, might exercise a power freeman. over the vote of the citizen inconsistent with liberty. To General Jackson, in his veto to the land bill, said, remerly this crying evil, every lover of liberty in the “money is power. This he declared to the world as his kingdom set about the work of reform, not by words, opinion, and I believe it is about the only political opin. but acts, and provided a most effectual remedy, which, ion which he has not changed. In this he seems to have as was shown by the honorable member from Tennessee, an abiding confidence; and he has not only given a pracat one sweep disfranchised office-holders to the number tical illustration of his belief in this opinion, but, in the of forty thousand, exceeding one seventh, as I remark. late canvass for the presidency, he has constrained all to ed, of the entire voting population of the kingdom. / admit its truth. And such were the indignant murmurs in Parliament
General Jackson, in his letter to Mr. Monroe, upon from all sides, both whigs and tories, when Lord North his elevation to the presidency, said to him: “Now is intimated that he could not perceive the impropriety of the time to exterminate that monster called party spirit." a Government officer exercising his personal influence Would to God, sir, that he would now say to his comin elections, that the distinguished lord could scarcely manding majority in both Houses, exterminate this monproceed with his remarks.
ster, liberate the hundred thousand wbom executive patSir, I profess myself to be a Jeffersonian democrat; Ironage and power have bound down in chains. am for depriving no free white citizen of a vote; I look Slavery begets meanness. Who has not beheld, for upon it as a most sacred prerogative; but I am not for the last eight years, with grief and mortification, the extending it to slaves, for the suffrage of a slave would ) standard of public morals lowering its once lofty top, only be the reflected will of his master. Extend to such until it is now prostrate in the dust? Who has not seen a population this high privilege, and you thereby only truth, and virtue, and patriotism, all that is beautiful and increase the votes of the master to the full number of lovely in the land, sinking, decaying, dying, beneath the slaves under his power. At this my democracy revolts; onward and blighting power of proscription? I hold that the poorest and humblest peasant at the bal- It appears, from a slip which I cut from a newspaper, lot-box should bave the same number of votes and the which purports to present an official return from all the same power as that of the most potent nabub in the land. States, that a change of five hundred and ninety votes The great beauty in our system is, that all men have would have changed the result of the late presidential equal privileges, and, if equally honest, should be equal. election in the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Rhode ly esteemed. But unwilling as I am to restrict the right Island, and Connecticut. The federal officers in those of suffrage, I unhesitatingly go either for making ihe Slates would much exceed this number; and if so, Mr. whole corps of official slaves free, or divest them of | Van Buren, surely, did not receive the votes of a majorfree suffrage; because it can do them no good, and, ity of the free voters of those States. And can any genunder the control of a bad master, may do the country tleman seriously contend that persons holding office, inuch harm.
and, consequenily, under so much terror of the EsecuSir, whether useful legislation shall grow out of this tive of these United States, were independent volers in subject at this session, or not, I, for one, am resolved to the late presidential election? stir the subject; and hackneyed as it may seem, as long I do not deny but that some of the subordinate officers as I retain my station here, be the consequences what of the Government are of the opposition, but I hesitate they may, I will never cease my efforts, humble and un. not to give it as the result of my deliberate opinion that availing as they may prove, until some remedy shall be ninely-nine out of every bundred of the offices worth provided. For unless a change can be wrought from having are held by friends of the administration, unless the present state of things, by which one man, by the under peculiar circumstances, such as in some instances money and patronage of the Government, controls half I have known, and many I have heard of, where the ina million of voters, this Government has no charms for cumbent was required to vote for the Government can
I may have in my nature the elements of a tyrant, didate, and allowed the poor privilege of retaining the but, thank God, not of a slave. Sir, I am opposed to name of a member of the opposition. There are many proscription for opinion's sake, under any aspect in little cross-road post offices, where the emoluments are which the subject can be presented, and against the sla- literally nothing, and where there resides but one fa.mivish principle I swear eternal hatred, and wage an inter- ly; and in such cases, I suppose, an opposition man is ocminable war.
casionally appointed to an office. No candid man, unless shamefully ignorant of the Gentlemen have solemnly asserted on this floor that a history of the times, can deny that in this, the only majority-yea, I think the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. entirely free form of government on earth, hundreds of | LANE] said, the other day, a large majority-of the officethousands of the freeborn citizens are enslaved in the holders under this administration are opposed to it; und most inexorable bondage by the patronage and money of cited, as a proof of the assertion, that even bere, in this the Government.
District, a large majority of the clerks are in the oppo. It is the duty of every patriot to stand by his country sition. Sir, I regret to hear such assertions made here, in this hour of trial, and call men and things by their because I feel myself constrained to assert, in my place, proper names. I denounce that man as an enemy to his that he who ventures such an assertion says that which country and its constitution, let him be high or low, in in the very nature of the case, it is impossible he could or out of slation, who will either himself practise or know to be true; for 1 will venture my existence iba sanction in others the punishment, by means of Govern- not a member on this floor knows one twentieth part o ment power, of the citizen for voting at the polls ac. the clerks in this city even by name, much less their cording to his own free choice.
politics. If I assert that to be true, of the truth o Cæsar said, give me money, and I will buy men; give which, in the nature of the case, I could not know, sure me men, and I will conquer the world. He verified, to ly I state that which is substantially untrue. Sir, ih the entire satisfaction of the world, this declaration. In I clerkships in this District are much sought after, for th
FEB. 1, 1837.)
Freedom of Elections.
(H. OF R.
officers get well paid for all they do; and, without pre- up last year, in my opinion, specifically in reference tending to any knowledge on this subject other than to the then pending presidential election, to exceeding what I infer from that which I have seen and known to $38,000,000, three-fold as much as the average annual exist elsewhere, I venture to say that not one out of appropriations of any previous administration in time of twenty, if indeed there be one out of the whole number, peace, together with $40,000,000 of surplus revenue, openly acknowledges he is opposed to the adminis. with which to buy up the influence of all the venal banks tration. I know, sir, in confidential conversations with in the country, Mr. Van Buren failed to get a majority members of the opposition, they sometimes freely unbo. of the votes cast, I ask every candid mind, does it not som themselves, and think as badly, and speak as un. speak volumes for the purity of the people; and is it sparingly, of the men and measures of the party as I do, not conclusive proof to ihe opposition that the elements and yet say, notwithstanding, they call themselves sup- of a successful resistance to the principles of spoils and porters of the administration. Sir, what I speak I know, plunder are with us; that we should wait for the bap. and so do other members on this foor. No, sir; tell me pening of no future event, out of which new parties are not that the clerks, here or elsewhere, in the employ. io be formed, but fight on? Let the watchword with ment of this Government, even if they disapprove and every patriot be victory or death! condemn both the men and measures of the administra- Friends of the opposition, if, in selecting a candidate tion, dare express it. I know it is not the case, but, under whose banner we are to rally in future, there upon the other band, they are slaves, and fear to speak be an unworthy member among us, whose attachment the truth; and that is not ball: their innocent daughters to any particular man, or whose personal views, will and wives are also afraid to speak out the truth. This I cause bim to stand out against the choice of a majorhave witnessed, and never before did I behold a speciality of our friends, let him retire from our ranks, and cle that filled my soul with so much disgust and loathing take a station among those whose souls are more conge. for their oppressors. The tendency of these things is nial with his own; he is not worthy of a station in the disgraceful to the enlightened age in which we live. ranks of those who are now fighting the battles of the And, sir, I appeal to your party, who have unlimited constitution against corruption and bribery. We fight porer, in both branches of this Congress, to come for- not for office, nor place, nor merely for the sake of amward, and give us a remedy for these intolerable griev.bition and victory; but for the restoration of those conances. I invite you to look back to the history of the stitutional principles for which our fathers fought through revolution of parties in all Governments on earth, and the Revolution of '76. He amongst us who fights for a say whether you can always expect to keep in the ascen. less worthy motive is not entitled to a station amongst dency; whether you see nothing in the late presidential Wheiher in great political struggles, or on the canvass which should produce misgivings. Do you not bloody battle field, oppressors cannot compete with see, with all of General Jackson's unrivalled popularity, equal numbers of the oppressed. Sir, the slaves of a and the $40,000,000 of surplus revenue, you were una- tyrant's power were taught by the oppressed, on the ble to carry for Mr. Van Buren a majority of the votes field of San Jacinto, the folly of attempting to subjugate actually cast; and that your success is attributable more those whose bearts were imbued with the principles of to the weakness of their adversaries, growing out of di- freemen; and I now warn the advocates of party and vision atong themselves, than to your own strength? spoils to profit by the example. Now, that you must soon part with these two mainstays Under the fullest conviction of the utter indefensibili. of your party, Jackson and the money, had you not bet- ty of proscription, the most despicable of all political ler agree on terms before another contest?
heresies, gentlemen of the administration attempt to jusMr. Speaker, I think I fully understand the confident, tify themselves, not upon principle, by alleging that the ardent, and perhaps the too sanguine character of my opposition, if in their situation, would act as they do. oen organization. 'But, after making all due allowance This, sir, í humbly trust, would never be the case; but for it, I feel the most encouraging confidence that all is if it were, surely it would not render right that which is not yet gone, but that the elements of a successful resist. in and of itself so utterly wrong. ance are yet in full and vigorous existence in this coun. Sir, I admit that in some of the State Governments, try; that it requires the happening of no future event, where the opponents of this administration bave gained out of which new parties are to be formed, before suc- the ascendency, they have, to some partial exteni, turneessful resistance can be made. What proof need I ad. ed out of office their political opponents. This, sir, I duce in support of this opinion, other than the result of admit to have been wrong in them, and I never will atthe laie presidential election, and the circumstances at- tempt to justify it, whether practised by friends or ene. iending it? True, there exist some differences on subor. mies. If, however, any measure which in itself is wrong dinale points in the great whig party who opposed Mr. could possibly be excused, surely there is the best sort Van Buren; but these differences are mainly upon gone of apology for this impropriety in those States where by and now settled questions. And but one principle the enemies of the administration have been ground into in the late canvass animated that party; it was that whig the dust by federal power, and been swept en masse spirit which stood up for our free constitution in oppo. from every office of the Federal Government. It seems bition to the ruthless march of spoils and of party. We to be a natural impulse of our nation when stricken to Frre divided in opinion, sir, in different portions of the strike back, when oppressed to resist oppression; and l'aion, as to the most available opposition candidate when it is conducted upon the principles of “spoils and upon whom to unite; the consequence was, a want of plunder," the savage mode of warfare, where neither that inspiring confidence of success which is ever indis. sex, age, nor condition, is spared, it would be more than pensable to bring the voters to the polis. The people, human, when pressed to the last extreme of desperation, bowever, seeing no possible chance to elect at the polls not to carry the war into the territory of the enemy, and Eather of the opposition candidates, attended the elec- even to use, in a spirit of revenge upon the oppressors, tions barely as a sort of homage to the constitution; many their own savage weapons; and as wrong as this may thousands, however, failed to come out through de- seem in our judgment upon principle, so long as frail icondency. Notwithstanding all these disadvantages, Mr. human nature remains what it is, it will to some extent Fan Buren failed to receive, by several thousand, a ma- be observed. jority of the votes actually given. If then, sir, with all But, sir, such policy is at war with every principle of be popularity of General Jackson, all the patronage the constitution, and no true.hearted whig, who underof this Guvernment, growing out of appropriations run stands the principles of his party, will ever approve this
H. OF R.]
Freedom of Elections.
(FEB. 1, 1857.
as a correct rule of action. Sir, when I say whig, I mean vert the principles of civil liberty, without the spilling
new life that skeleton of the only free form of govern There is not an office-holder in this Government to. ment on earth. ward whom I have one unkind feeling, and I regret that I will not, for a moment, allow myself to doubt that public duty requires of me to allude to the case of any all is yet safe, if we but emulate the example of our fa. individual, particularly, in my own region of country. Thers who bequeathed to us, at the price of much blood, As this subject has been voluntarily obiruded upon the this our beloved form of government. notice of the House by those who have, in debate here, There is no one cause which will more certainly pro. assumed to take upon themselves the defence of this ad. duce its specific effect, than that the proscriptive policy of ministration, I, as a representative of the people, do not this administration, the turning out of office the incumfeel at liberty to consult my inclinations when opposed bent for daring to vote according to his own free will, to my convictions of duty. In Kentucky there are in- the punishment of the citizen for opinion's sake, unless stances where appointments to office under this adminis- arrested, must soon render this the corruptest Governtration have been conferred on the most irresponsible ment on earth. Human nature is the same all over the characters, over the heads of the best citizens. In my earin, and is subject to be acted upon by the same own district, the office of postmaster was conferred upon causes, whether in a free or despotic Government. You an individual wbo, though he had lived in the county for will find most of vice and corruption where there is twelve or fifteen years, where he has from eight bun. most inducement to lead to crime, and least to deter dred to a thousand political friends, could not procure a from its commission. And let it not be supposed, besingle individual who would go his security for paying cause we have the only truly free and republican form over to the Government the proceeds of the office. Sir, of government on earth, that our citizens are incorrupthe had been notoriously and utterly insolvent for the last ible. Once establish it as the constitutional doctrine that ten years; and yet he held the office for about six
your President has the power to remove for opinion's monibs; and at last, when he could not procure security, sake, and let public sentiment sanction it, and then give and was apprized he could not longer keep it without him what General Jackson had in the late presidential security, he very civilly did what every man that I ever canvass, one hundred thousand offices at bis disposal, heard speak of the subject predicted he would do when with thirty odd millions of appropriations to expend, and dismissed: he kept whatever had not been drawn out
do not dictate and appoint his successor, it will be better the di
forty millions of surplus revenue in his hands, and if he of his bands; which the Postmaster General informed me in an official communication but the other day. The cause he is a Washington, and not a Jackson. Thank sum was small; it amounted but to eighty-six dollars and God, these principles are not yet sanctioned by the peoninety cents. This is truly a very inconsiderable amouni, ple of these United States; but whenever they are, I now but it answers to illustrate the degrading tendency of proclaim it, that, believing such a Government not worth the policy of this administration. In another instance, preserving, I will be for revolution; yes, sir, a revolution the office of postmaster in a very respectable village was purified by the blood of every traitor who dares to menconferred on a man that had not credit to hire a borse tion such ruinous, damning principles. to ride to his wedding, and was compelled to make the Sir, it has been said here, on ibis floor, that General trip on foot. Sir, uncler such policy as bas characterized Jackson should have swept from office every opponentor this administration, corruptions as naturally grow up as This doctrine for a while was too chilling for this medoes vegetation spring forth in the spring. They im- ridian. It first made its appearance at a distance, in a periously demand some remedy,
northern clime; an ominous region, I fear; it was thrown The most extravagant and high-wrought eulogies have out as a feeler, first, I believe, in the State from which been poured forth by gentlemen upon this floor on Gen- the President elect comes. Now, sir, we find it advoca. eral Jackson and his administration; and, in a tone apo ted in every section of the country, and acted upon as proaching defiance, we are told, with all the solemnity the governing rule of this administration. It is not the for which the style of the venerable gentleman from doctrine of the constitution; and no man, it seems to me, Louisiana is so remarkable, that General Jackson is not can believe it is. Go, sir, to the framers, the authors of surpassed by Washington in the field, and Jefferson in the constitution. Go to that great man, Jefferson, who the cabinet. He said, wo be to that man whose name draughted your constitution, and what do you learn shall be found on the page of his country's history as the Without one exception, the language of all who bavi accuser of Andrew Jackson! Sir, it was not my pleasure spoken upon the subject pronounces this to be an uncon that this subject should bave been brought up upon this stitutional power; that he who, as President, would dare occasion; but, as it has been brought before the country, to practise it, should be impeached and hurled from of I am not the man to shrink from the responsibility of fice. Shall I insult the understanding of this House by : speaking what I think is the truth of any man; and, sir, stopping to prove that every man should be as free and with a full knowledge of the import of what I am about as unrestrained in the natural bent of his inclinations, a to utter, and with the greatest possible deliberation, I the ballot-box, as the water that flows along the down say that, if I were vain enough to suppose my name ward current? Once settle it that your President has th would ever be handed down to posterity as the friend constitutional power, and that public sentiment sanction and defender of the liberties of my country, there is no its exercise, to hurl from office every incumbent wh page of history which I should so much desire to occupy votes against the Government candidate, and you no as that of pronouncing upon this floor, as an American only make slaves, in the mode already pointed out, Congressman, in the noontide of General Jackson's ad. one fourth of your voters, but you will have arrayed ministration, that he has done more, in the short space under the control of one man's will, a mighty host ! of eight years, to lower the standard of public morals, war against the bulwarks of public liberty. to corrupt the source of all legitimate power, and sub- If the President does not derive from the constitutio
the power to turn out officers on political grounds, from 28th March last, with the Ottawas and Chippewas. The whence does he derive this most alarming prerogative provisions of the bill covered the entire period of the to take the money of the people, intrusted to him as a constitutional being of the nation. There was not an act public servant, solely to promote the public good, to of our political intercourse with the Indians, which it gratify his own personal malignity in the punishment of did not directly or indirectly reach. The present was, an enemy, or to gratify his private and individual attach- | therefore, a fit opportunity for examining the treatment ments to a political favorite, who has won his favor by of the Indians by the United States, and their respective
fawning, flattering, and lying? Sir, he derives it from rights and obligations; and upon this subject he proposed 5
the same source that the outlaws of every nation derive to address the House, the prerogative of committing piracy on the high seas; His object, he said, in debating this matter, was not the same source from whence the highway robber de. political agitation. Nor was it personal effect. On the rives the prerogative to demand of the traveller his purse, contrary, he felt admonished that, in the performance of under the penalty of death; the same source from which this undertaking, he should have to tread on difficult and I, as the employed agent of a company that had intrust. dangerous ground. Nevertheless, be was impelled to it, ed me with $30,000,000, to be laid out and expended by in the first place, by perceiving that the true state of the me in a specific way, for their benefit, would derive the case between the United States and the Indians, as it prerogative to use their means as an engine to oppress a now exists, was not fully comprehended out of doors, at personal enemy, or to divide it among my friends or least in that part of the country from whence he came. children, which is simply the possession of the physical Men speak and think of the subject just as they did power, the brute force.
seven years ago, when it was a still depending question, Just as well might General Jackson march the regular whether the Indians should remain within the chartered amy, of which he is, by virtue of his station, command- limits of the several States in which they are, or should er-in-chief, to the doors of this Capitol, and demand the remove beyond the Mississippi. Meanwhile, the United head of every member or Senator who has dared to States had entered upon a new line of policy and of genspeak the truth of him, as to wreak bis vengeance, or eral conduct towards the Indians. Another set of facts that of some unprincipled subaltern, upon the helpless had, in the course of events, come up, to which it was officer, by hurling him from his slation, for daring to time the public attention should be turned, if any thing discharge his constitutional right at the polls. Yes, a of a practical nature was to be done. He wished, so far thousand times better would it be for the country; for, as bis humble means of influence might go, to contribute in the one case, the people would see and understand something to the accomplishment of that end. This was the object of the movement, and would fly to the rescue, one consideration. And he was impelled, in the second and deal out summary vengeance on such a blood-thirsty place, by a desire to begin to discharge the duty which despot; whilst, in the other case, the same object is at- he owed, as a public man and a member of Congress, tained by the concentration of all power in the hands of to the broken remnant of the aboriginal masters of this one man, but in a secret, sly, and insinuating mode, continent. which it seems the acuteness of the public vision has not We, (said Mr. C.,) who are members of Congress in Fet so clearly discerned.
opposition to the administrators of the Government, have If the King of England or of France were thus openly but a secondary part assigned to us in public affairs. to require ibat every office holder, under the penalty of We seldom have the power to carry through any impordisenssal from office, should vote, in elections of members tant act. We can agitate political topics, for effect on 19 Parliament or Chamber of Deputies, for the candi- the popular mind abroad, or on those about us here. date of bis choice, it would produce an instantaneous We can make suggestions, communicate facts, propose convulsion; and nothing short of the head of the King
We can support those plans of the adminis. would pay the penalty. Sir, even in those kingly Gov- tration which we think to be just and wise, and resist ernments, their laws and constitution guard most sedu- those which seem unjust or unwise. In all these condilocsly the freedom of the elective franchise. Here the tions, we influence the action of the Government chiefly cficer is turned out who fails to operate to the fullest by force of argument addressed to the judgment or the extent of his influence in favor of the Government can- fears of that controlling majority in either House, which didate.
represents or executes the will of the administration. Before Mr. Graves bad finished his remarks, as given we may thus be useful to prevent evil and to promote entire above, the House, on motion of Mr. CAMBRELENG, good, to persuade, to deter, to correct, where we have proceeded to the orders of the day, the
no power to command. An opposition frequently exerINDIAN APPROPRIATION BILL.
cises valuable functions in the originating and furthering
of great measures, which, at length, when thus comThe bill making appropriations for the current ex- mended to general favor, are adopted and sanctioned by penses of the Indian department, and for fulfilling treaty the administration; signal examples of which might be tipulations with the various Indian tribes, for the year cited from the bistory of the English Parliament, as well 1837, coming up; and the question being on concurring as of Congress. In a word, I conceive that we should ush the Conimittee of the Whole in the amendments be wanting to ourselves and to our country, if we did Dade thereto
not bring the acts of the Government, in which the inMr. CUSHING said that the bill before the House, terest of the nation, its honor, and its well-being, are inbaking appropriations for the current expenses of the volved, to the test of temperate and candid debate; and lodian department, threw open to discussion the whole I shall make no further apology for presenting my views policy of the Government of the United Stales in relation to the consideration of the Ilouse. to the lodians. On comparing the bill with the estimates What, then, is the system of policy which regulates presented by the Committee of Ways and Means, the the relations of the United States and the Indians, at the Honge would see that it embraced annuities and other present time, and what our duty, as practical statesmen, payments to the Indians, under the trealy with the and as men of business, in reference to the Indians? Creeks of the 7th August, 1790, and the treaty conclu
We call ourselves Americans. But we, who now ocSed ut Greenville on the 3d August, 1795, for the gen. cupy the country, are, in ourselves, or in our immediate tral pacification of the Wyandots, Delawares, Shawa. progenitors, emigrants from the distani shores of Europe.
es, and others of the northwestern tribes, and so We are not of the indigenous races of the continent. We down, through intervening years, to the treaty of the constitute a vast republic, divided into populous and