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(May 21, 1836.
Cost of con-
Statement of forts which are finished on the scaboard of that in repeated instances. Here is his latest recomthe United States.
mendation, in his report of April 8th:
"There are two bills for fortifications now pending before Congress. One, before the House, amounting to
$2,180,000, and intended to prosecute works already Name and where located.
actually commenced. The estimates for this bill may therefore be considered necessary in themselves, under any view of the general subject, and not unreasonable
in amount for the present year, because they include Fort IIamilton, New York har
the operations of two years. The incidental expenses, bor,
however, may be safely reduced one-balf, as it will not Fort Lafayette, New York
be necessary to make such extensive repairs as were harbor,
considered requisite when the estimates were prepared. Fort Washington, Potomac
" The bill pending before the Senate contains approriver, Maryland, - •
priations for nineteen new works, and for the sum of Fort Macon, North Carolina, - 75,000 349,384
$600,000 to be expended for steam-batteries. The 5 Castle Pinckney, South Caro
estimates on which this bill was founded were prepared lina, - -
at a time when prudence required that arrangements 6 Fort Morgan, Alabama, 693,292 1,026,777
should be made for a different state of things from that Fort Pike, the Rigolets, Louis
which now exists. An examination of the general sysL iana, - 264,517 314,597
tem of defence was not then expedient; and the means 8 Fort Wood, Louisiana, . 264,517 378,642
of protecting the most exposed points, agreeably to in9 Fort Jackson, Louisiana, . | 392,927 638,766
formation previously collected, was asked of Congress. 10 Battery Bienvenu, Louisiana, - 94,582 96,447
It was no time then to stop, and, instead of prosecuting 11 Tower at Bayou Dupre, LouT
established plans vigorously, to lose the period of action 16,677
by surveys, and examinations, and discussions. But the
opportunity is now afforded, without danger to the After this exhibition, Mr. B. hoped that there would
public interest, of applying the principles suggested to be less pertinacity about these plans and estimates. He the works under consideration believed the conjectural estimates, made by the engi “It cannot be doubted but that fortifications at the neer department, and founded upon the number of following places, enumerated in this bill, will be necesguns, to be as safe a guide as the detailed estimate, found
sary: ed upon calculations made by the engineer board; for, in
"At Penobscot bay, for the protection of Bangor, &c. one case, there was a judgment upon the whole, founded “At Kennebec river. upon the size of the work and the cost of labor and “At Portland. materials at the place; in the other, there was an arith " At Portsmouth. metical calculation, founded upon assumed data, and in " At Salem. which the smallest error in the basis of calculation led to “At New Bedford. great errors in the result. Finally, Mr. B. had one “At New London. further view to present of the utility of these famous “ U pon Staten island. estimates, which he hoped would give the quietus to "Ai Soller's fiats. these incessant demands for them; it was this: that we "A redoubt on Federal point. made no use of the plans and estimates which we have!
“For the Barrancas We do not look at them! We do not call for them! “ For Fort St. Philip. We do not mention them! We do not allude to them! “ These proposed works all command the approach In every case in which we have the plans and estimates | to places sufficiently important to justify their construc. for the fort, no call is made for it! In the few instances tion under any circumstances that will probably exist. I in which there are none, an incessant cry is set up for | think, therefore, that the public interest would be prothem! Now, why not use those that we have? Simply moted by the passage of the necessary appropriations because it would be of no use to do so! Because no for them. As soon as these are made, such of the popractical benefit could Aow from it. What is a plan? sitions as may appear to require it can be examined, Nothing but a diagram on paper--a figure of sides and and the form and extent of the works adapted to existing angles with dots and marks for guns and batteries. circumstances, if any change be desirable. The conVery pretty to look at; but which no legislator can re struction of those not needing examination can com. mark upon, or criticise, or in any way presume to alter. mence immediately, and that of the others, as soon as None but professional men, and they upon the spot, the plans are determined upon. By this proceeding, could presume to give an opinion upon the plan of a therefore, a season may be saved in the operations." fort; and, therefore, it was useless for Congress to view Another objection to forts is, that they are to lead to the plan. The number of guns was the essential thing a standing army in time of peace. Nothing can be more for them to know; for that governed every thing else, erroneous. A few regulars to keep them in order in and enabled them to say whether they would defend time of peace, is all that is wanting; in war, they are exthe place or not.
pressly intended to be garrisoned by militia and volunMr. B. said the fortifications seemed to have a hard teers. The body of the garrison is to be the yeomanry fate, and to be incapable of being brought forward at of the country, with a few artillerists and regulars. The any time, or in any form, to escape opposition. At the peculiar recommendation of forts in our country is their last session, the three million appropriation was lost adaptation to defence by militia and volunteers; and because it was not specific, and because it was not offi- upon that ground they have been constantly advocated cially recommended by the President; now, the appro- and defended. It is a panic at nothing, to take fright at priations for the same object are opposed again, and by a standing army, thus conjured up to defeat the bill. It the same gentlemen, although they are specific and are is to dispense with regulars, and to provide positions for recommended by the President. The President has the yeomanry to defend, that forts are wanted in our expressly recommended these works, and that in writing country. The Secretary of War has also recommended them, and Mr. B. wished to impress upon the Senate that the MAY 21, 1836.]
forts proposed in this bill were but a continuation of a to no other in importance, and hitherto almost wholly system commenced forty years ago, recommended under neglected by the general Government." every administration, and partly executed. The limita Mr. B. deprecated the sectional tone which had pertions proposed by the Secretary of War, and approved vaded a part of this debate. It seemed to be supposed by the President, would affect the size of some of the that the North was to be benefited, and the South nelarge forts, but would not much diminish their number. glected. Not so the fact. The forts heretofore erected Forts in open roadsteads are objected to; forts of large were principally in the South, and of those proposed, size are objected to, on account of their size. In this, the South had he would not say her share, for this was the President and Secretary strike the main objection not a case for dividing out shares, but for extending dewhich was taken to the system of fortifications fifteen fence wherever it was needed, and the South was atyears ago by those who were then styled radicals. Fort tended to, to the full extent of its need. Besides five Monroe covers sixty-four acres of ground; it covers forts finished in the delta of the Mississippi, and a superb nearly as much ground, and costs nearly as much money, one in Alabama, costing about a million of dollars, there as the twelve forts put together, which are contained in were others intended at Lake Barrataria, and on the Misthis bill. Fort Calhoun, built near it, is nearly as large; sissippi, at Mobile bay, Perdido bay, Pensacola bay, St. the two together cost nearly four millions of dollars. Rosa's bay, St. Joseph's bay, Apalache bay, Apalachicola They were objected to fifteen years ago by those who bay, Espiritu Sancto bay, Charlotte barbor, Key West, were then stigmatized as radicals; they are objected to and the Dry Tortugas, making near a dozen works, and now by the President and Secretary of War, and every. costing, by estimate, near six millions of dollars; and all body applauds the objection. No more such are pro. for the security of western commerce; all for the protecposed.' 'No more such will be built on this continent, |tion of the commerce of the western States, which, pagg. though a powerful fort will be wanted at Key West, or ing out of the mouth of the Mississippi, must go through the Dry Tortugas. The forts proposed in the bill, and the Gulf of Mexico, and pass between Key West, through those which will be proposed hereafter, are the mode. a narrow passage, before it could reach the great ocean. rate sized works contended for by the reproached radi. Every fort built on the Gulf of Mexico, Mr. B. said, was cals, in 1821, and applauded now by everybody.
a western fort; a fort for the benefit of the western • Mr. B. read an extract from the message of Governor States, just as much so as the forts in the Chesapeake Everett of Massachusetts to the General Assembly of that bay were for the defence of Maryland and Virginia. State, at its last session, and relied upon it, not only to Turning on the other side of the peninsula of Florida, sustain the propriety of erecting some of the forts enu. 1 it would be seen that the extreme southern coast was not merated in the bill, but also to show the necessity of neglected. Georgia was well attended to. Besides the early appropriations, and to make it manifest that the fort now under construction on Cockspur island, estimapublic service had already suffered by the delay which ted by the board of engineers to cost $375,000, and had taken place. The following is the extract read: which has cost thus far $290,000, and is expected to cost “In the course of the last winter, resolutions were
$240,000 more--besides this fine fort, other works are adopted by the Legislature, instructing our Senators and proposed in the Savannah river, and along the coast, at requesting our Representatives in Congress to use all Ossabaw sound, St. Catharine's sound, Sapelo sound, proper means to obtain the requisite appropriations for Dolby inlet, Altamaha sound, St. Simon's sound, St. Anthe repair of the fortification on Castle island, and the drew's sound, Cumberland sound, to St. Augustine in vigorous prosecution of the works commenced on Florida-mostly small works, estimated to cost nearly George's island, in Boston harbor. Their exertions two millions of dollars. Continuing the view to Baltiwere so far successful, that the requisite appropriations more, and Mr. B. said it would be found that more mointroduced into the fortification bill, in the Senate of the ney had been, and would be, expended on forts to the United States, by way of amendment, received the sanc. south, than to the north of that point; but the comparison tion of the committees of the other branch of Congress was absurd, and he would not continue it. Defence was to which they were referred, and passed through all but not to be proportioned out, but to be given where it was the last stage of legislation in the House of Representa-needed, without regard to lines or latitudes. tives. The entire bill was unfortunately lost, in conse Mr. B. deprecated also the extravagant manner of opquence of the introduction of another amendment in the posing this bill, as a plan to line the whole coast with House of Representatives, on which the two Houses dis- batteries-as a plan to shut out a foreign army from agreed. Notwithstanding the failure of the new appro landing at any point--as a plan to raise a great standing priations, some progress was made on both the works, army. All this he treated as panical, and intended to particularly on that upon George's island, during the frighten weak nerves and weaker heads. The forts propast season, by means of the unexpended balance of the posed were small in extent-confined to the defence of appropriations of the year 1834. I have the satisfaction cities-were to be manned by a few artillerists in time to inform you, that, for the present year, large appropri- | of peace, and were to look to the militia and volunteers ations have been recommended for both objects by the for their main garrisons in time of war. He showed the Department of War. The rapid progress of these works necessity of forts to prevent cities from being sacked, is of extreme importance; and it is much to be desired plundered, and bombarded; and the folly of depending that the appropriations should be so early made, as to upon men alone, no matter how brave, with muskets and prevent the loss of some of the best months in the season, rifles in their hands, to defend a city against thirty-six which frequently occurs, in this branch of the public inch bombs, flying four thousand yards through the air, service, in consequence of the delay in the passage of and bursting with a bushel of fire and shot among the the appropriation bills. Among the documents accompa dwellings of the citizens. Forts to keep off fleets and nying the report from the War Department, at the com cruisers could alone do this. mencement of the present session of Congress, is a state But it was not to defend cities only that forts were wantment of several new works, proposed by the board of ing. They were needed to cover navy yards and dock engineers, for the defence of the coast, and arranged in yards, and to serve as places of refuge to the military and different classes, according to their importance. Among commercial marine of the country. We have a great comthose of the first class, to be commenced as soon as merce, he said, and many merchant ships; these ships possible,' I notice, with great satisfaction, five or six must bave ports of refuge, places where they can be works, which, when executed, will complete the de- safe from pursuit and attack. We have determined to fences of Boston harbor; a part of the seaboard second have a navy; and that determination increases the neces.
(Mar 21, 1836,
sity for forts. Ships of war must have ports of refuge, / again taken up, and, after some remarks from Mr. CAL as well as merchant vessels; they must have places where HOUN in opposition to the amendment, the question they can lie secure when pressed by superior force. All was taken, and it was adopted by the following vote: naval Powers provide places of refuge and protection for Yeas---Messrs. Benton, Brown, Buchanan, Cuthbert, their ships, not only at home, but abroad. England, Ewing of Illinois, Grundy, Hill, Hubbard, King of AlaFrance, and Holland, are eminent examples. Why does bama, Linn, Morris, Niles, Preston, Robinson, Ruggles, England seize upon commanding positions all over the Shepley, Tallmadge, Walker, Wall, Wright-20. globe-Gibraltar, Malta, the Cape of Good Hope, Mada. NAYS--Messrs. Black, Calhoun, Davis, Ewing of gascar, Jamaica, and so many other places, except as Ohio, Hendricks, King of Georgia, Mangum, Naudain, naval stations, to protect her own marine and to com- Nicholas, Robbins, Swift, Tomlinson, White--13. mand others in time of war? We, on the contrary, with Mr. BENTON then moved to fill the blank with ample means in our bands, are delaying and neglecting $75,000, so as to make the appropriation for Penobscot to establish places of refuge for our marine, even upon for two years, $75,000 for each year; which, after some our own coasts, and upon that gulf, upon whose bosom, remarks from Mr. PRESTON, who thought the sum and through whose outlet between Key West and Cuba, / too large, was agreed to. the whole commerce of the mighty West is to float. Mr. PRESTON then moved to strike out the approForts and naval stations upon that gulf are western ob-priation of $100,000 for fortifications at Kennebec jects, for which every western man, here or at home, river, that being one of the places for which there should perseveringly contend.
were no estimates or surveys. Mr. B. concluded with his standing remark, that Con After some remarks in support of the motion from gress was now in the sixth month of the session, and not Messrs. CALHOUN and PRESTON, and from Mr. a shilling voted yet for fortifications! That we were BENTON in opposition to it, the question was decided going on two years withiout appropriations for a single in the negative: Yeas 7, nays 21, as follows: fort!
Yeas-Messrs. Calhoun, Ewing of Ohio, King of When Mr. Benton bad concluded,
Georgia, Mangum, Preston, Robbins, White-7. Mr. SOUTHARD addressed the Senate in opposition Nays-Messrs. Benton, Brown, Buchanan, Cuthbert, to the bill.
Davis, Ewing of Illinois, Grundy, Hendricks, Hill, Hub. Messrs. HILL and WALL severally addressed the bard, King of Alabama, Linn, Morris, Nicholas, RobinSenate in favor of the bill; after wbich,
son, Ruggles, Shepley, Tallmadge, Walker, Wall, Mr. CALHOUN moved that it be laid on the table, to Wright-21. enable him to make a report from the committee of con- Mr. BENTON moved further to amend the bill by ference; which motion was agreed to by general con striking out the appropriation of $100,000 for fortifica. sent.
tions at Kennebec river, and inserting $100,000 for the CONFERENCE.
same object for the year 1836, and $200,000 for the Mr. CALHOUN then, from the committee of confer
year 1837. ence appointed to confer with a similar committee of the
Mr. PRESTON moved that the Senate adjourn-lost: House on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses as to
Ayes 12, noes 13. the Senate's amendment to the bill authorizing the
Mr. WALL moved to amend the amendment, so as to President to accept the services of ten thousand volun
make it read $100,000 per annum for two years; which teers, and to raise an additional regiment of light dra
motion was agreed to. goons, reported that they had had a meeting with the
The question was then taken on the amendment as committee of the House of Representatives, and that
amended, and it was adopted: Yeas 19, nays 9, as fol
lows: they had jointly agreed to recommend an amendment to their respective Houses, in substance as follows:
YEAS-Messrs. Benton, Brown, Buchanan, Cuthbert, The President is authorized to accept the service of
Grundy, Hill, Hubbard, King of Alabama, Linn, Mor. volunteers, the number not exceeding ten thousand, in
usand in ris, Nicholas, Niles, Robinson, Ruggles, Shepley, Tall.
IS, companies, regiments, brigades, and divisions; the offi madge, Walker, Wall, Wright-19. cers to be commissioned in the manner prescribed by
Nays-Messrs. Calhoun, Davis, Ewing of Ohio, Hen. the laws of the several States from which these volun
dricks, King of Georgia, Mangum, Preston, Webster, teers may offer themselves. Where regiments, brigades. White--9. or divisions volunteer, they shall be commanded by
Mr. BENTON moved further to amend, by striking the same officers by whom they shall be commanded at
out the appropriation for fortifications at Portland, and the time of volunteering; and that, for volunteers offer.
inserting for the same object $75,000 per annum for ing their services in single companies, the President two years; which motion was carried in the athrmative: shall organize them into battalions, regiments, brigades,
Yeas 20, nays 8, as follows: and divisions, and apportion the battalion and field offi
1 YEAS-Messrs. Benton, Brown, Buchanan, Cuthbert, cers among the States from which said companies shall
i Grundy, Hill, Hubbard, King of Alabama, Linn, Morcome.
ris, Nicholas, Niles, Preston, Robinson, Ruggles, Shep. After some remarks from Messrs. KING, of Alabama, 1
ley, Tallmadge, Walker, Wall, Wright-20. and CALHOUN, the report was laid on the table.
NAYS-Messrs. Calhoun, Davis, Ewing of Ohio, Hen. At a subsequent period of the day, a message was re
dricks, King of Georgia, Mangum, Webster, White-8. ceived from the House of Representatives by Mr.
Mr. PRESTON moved that the Senate adjourn--lost: FRANKLIN, their clerk, stating that the House had
Ayes 11, noes 15. adopted the report made by their committee of confer
Mr. PRESTON then moved to strike out the approence, and asked the concurrence of the Senate therein.
priation for fortifications at Portsmouth, which motion On motion of Mr. CALHOUN, the report and mes
| was lost without a division. sage of the House were then considered; and on the
Mr. BENTON moved further to amend the bill, by question, Shall the Senate concur in the amendment
inserting in lieu of the appropriation for fortifications recommended by the committee of conference! it was
at Portsmouth, " for fortifications at Portsmouth, decided in the affirmative.
$150,000 annually, for two years."
On taking this question, it was found that there was FORTIFICATION BILL.
| not a quorum voting On motion of Mr. BENTON, the fortification bill was The following is the vote:
MAY 23, 1836.]
Recognition of Texas.
YEAS-Messrs. Benton, Brown, Buchanan, Cuthbert, fore thought the time had not yet arrived when it was Grundy, trill, Hubbard, King of Alabama, Linn, Nicho-proper, in his judgment, to act. las, Niles, Robinson, Ruggles, Shepley, Tallmadge, Mr. PRESTON, with great satisfaction, tendered to Walker, Wall, Wright--18.
his friend from Mississippi the use of the memorial on Nays — Messrs. Black, Hendricks, White-3.
the subject of Texas presented by him some days since. Mr. DAVIS noved that the Senate adjourn--lost: It might have been supposed that he would call up this Ayes 8, noes 13.
memorial himself, and he had proposed to do so this There still veing no quorum,
morning; but he had much rather second the views of On motion of Mr. GRUNDY,
the gentleman from Mississippi, and follow in his wake, The Senate adjourned.
than take the lead himself. There was much propriety in this movement coming from that quarter; the zeal
and ardor which that gentleman bad manifested on the MONDAY, MAY 23.
subject, and the powerful interest in the affairs of Tex
as which bis constituents had exbibited, alike qualified RECOGNITION OF TEXAS.
him to take the lead on this occasion. He was glad, for Mr. WALKER rose and said there had beeg forward another reason, that the gentleman from Mississippi was ed to him the proceedings of a large and respectable the first to move in this business. He himself was in the meeting of citizens of the State of Mississippi, held at minority, belonging to that party which had no control the court-house of Warren county, which he had been over the destinies of this country, except by repulsion; requested to present to the Senate. The resolutions and, therefore, the motion, coming from a distinguished contained in these proceedings (Mr. W. said) instruct member of the party of the administration, would have ed their Representatives and requested their Senators a more powerful effect than one coming from him. It in Congress to use their utmost endeavors to obtain showed the strength of the cause of Texas, and indicated from this Government the immediate recognition of the the feelings of the administration party in its behalf; or, independence of Texas, stating the reasons which have if it did not indicate such feelings, it showed that a pow. induced the people of this county to urge this measure. erful current of public sentiment was urging them on. The time had now arrived (Mr. W. believed) for action He had expected this morning to follow the lead of other on this subject; and he therefore moved the reference | Senators. He had expected that the Senator from New of these proceedings to the Committee on Foreign Re. York would have presented a memorial on this subject lations.
from that great State, containing such a vast number of Mr. W. banded up to the table the resolutions in a signatures as to put all others in the shade; and he had printed form; upon which,
also expected that a memorial of the same nature would The CHAIR stated that a paper in that form could have been presented by the Senator from Pennsylvania. not be received; that it must be attested by the real sig- The period had now arrived, when, if public informnatures of some of the parties, or accompanied by a ation was not false, some action on the part of this Gov. letter vouching for its authenticity.
ernment would be proper. He did not mean direct Mr. WALKER said that he was himself satisfied of and positive, but initiatory action, to put things in a the authenticity of the proceedings; their having been course of investigation. If a tithe of that information sent in a printed form, was merely for the convenience was true, no one could question but that the domination of transmission; and that he had received a letter on of the President of Mexico was forever at an end. If the subject, but that, in consequence of its containing | it was true that his army was dispersed, his person capalso matters of a private nature, he did not wish to com tured, and the Texan army triumphant, Texas was in municate it for publication.
the situation supposed, some days since, by the Senator The CHAIR 'stated that the rule of the Senate was from Massachusetts, having a Government de facto, and imperative on this subject.
being to all intents and purposes independent. They Mr. WALKER said that if it was out of order to re had, it was true, received no official confirmation of this ceive this paper, he would, in obedience to the instruc intelligence; and therefore it was not proposed to do tions of his constituents, move the reference of the pro more than take the initiatory steps to obtain further inceedings of the citizens of Cincinnati, having a similar formation through the Committee on Foreign Relations; object in view, presented some days since by the Sena but, without overestimating the feelings of the Senator tor from Ohio, (Mr. MORRIS.]
from Mississippi, he would take it for granted, that if, inMr. MORRIS did not feel disposed to take up these stead of these rumors, they had been in possession of resolutions at this time. This was a very important | official confirmation of the Texan victory, the gentleman question, which would, in all probability, produce some would at once have laid a resolution on the table for the excitement in the country, and he was not prepared to immediate recognition of the independence of Texas.. act on it before it became necessary. He was not will. Mr. WALKER accepted with great pleasure the proing to take all he had heard as facts, until officially comceedings tendered him by the Senator from South Caromunicated. It was true, it was a glorious struggle, in lina, (Mr. Prestox.] which our citizens, and he among the rest, felt a deep Mr. MORRIS said he would not now object to the use interest; nevertheless, he did not go the length of the of the Ohio proceedings by the Senator from MissisSenator from Mississippi, (Mr. WALKER.) He had re- sippi. ceived from the capital of bis State proceedings of a Mr. WALKER then moved the reference of all the meeting of highly respectable citizens, warmly espous-proceedings and memorials in relation to Texas to the ing the cause of Texas; and he was the first to present Committee on Foreign Relations. He said that his feel to the Senate proceedings on this subject. The recog. ings had perhaps been more deeply excited than those nition of Texas involved a question which did not meet of any other Senator, by the fact, that he attributed the the eye, and which was beyond the mere recognition of death of a very near and much beloved relative, in pass. ber independence--a question that would convulse this ing through Texas immediately preceding the late strugUnion from one end to the other; and the observance gle, to the unwarrantable proceedings of the Mexican of prudence and caution was necessary. While there authorities in Texas. Mr. W. said he spoke and acted was agitation on this subject, it was not the most appro- on this subject upon his own responsibility, and not, as priate time for action upon it. It might have a material was supposed by the Senator from South Carolina, (Mr. effect upon some portions of the country, and he there- PAESTON,] as the organ of the administration. Mr. W. SENATE.]
Recognition of Texas.
(May 23, 1856.
said he had no authority to represent the President's would naturally present her claims to her neighbors, to views on this subject; but that, were he to give his own be recognised as an independent nation. He did not opinion of those views, Mr. W. could not doubt but say that it would be necessary to wait for this event, but that, as a man, the President could not be otherwise he thought it would be discreet to do so. He would than friendly to the cause of those who were struggling be one of the first to acknowledge the independence of for liberty against usurpation in any quarter of the Texas, on reasonable proof that she had established a globe; that the love of liberty still glowed as warmly | Government. There were views connected with Texin the bosom of our venerated President as when in the as which he would not now present, as it would be premorning of life he shed his blood in the defence of his mature to do so; but he would observe that he had recountry in the war of the Revolution; that, whatever ceived some information from a respectable source, might be the feelings of the President, as a man, he which turned bis attention to the very significant exwould no doubt so discharge the duties of his office as pression used by Mr. Monroe in his message of 1822, to preserve unsullied the national faith and the national that no European Power should ever be permitted to honor.
establish a colony on the American continent. He had If (said Mr. W.) the accounts we had received from no doubt that attempts would be made by some EuroTexas were official, he would have moved a resolution pean Government to obtain a cession of Texas from the for the immediate recognition of the independence of Government of Mexico. Texas. Mr. w. believed these accounts to be true; / Mr. MORRIS said that on this question he was in but, as the information was unofficial, he had moved the hopes he should be able to make himself fully underreference of the Texas menorials to the Committee on stood. He explained bis views of the effect of the moForeign Relations, in the expectation that they would tion of the Senator from Mississippi, (Mr. WALKED, ] immediately investigate the subject, and be enabled to which he thought was premature and hasty. Mr. M. present the facts to us in the authentic form which disclaimed being under Executive influence in this malwould justify immediate action. When South America ter. He went with and for the people of the State he was not yet wholly disenthralled from the power of represented. It was true he respected the Executive Spain--when the scale was still balancing, and the will, when he knew it officially. But, he asked, where question not yet entirely determined which should pre-was the Government or the authorized agents of Texas? ponderate, liberty or despotism, Congress had acted Those gentlemen who were here as agents, he believed, upon the question of South American independence. had shown no credentials from the authorities of Texas. And, at a late period, when the struggle in Greece was He would go as far as any gentleman on this floor in still progressing--when her classic soil was still the the favor of civil and religious liberty, and held that all atre of a sanguinary and doubtful conflict--when the men were born free and equal. When he acted as the Moslem crescent had not yet faded before the dawn of humble organ of a portion of the people of this Gorliberty--ibe distinguished Senator from Massachusetts ernment, he desired to act on something official. He had moved to accredit an agent to Greece. If we were would be prepared to act on this most important event warranted in thus acting upon that occasion, why refuse at the proper time, and he believed that time would now to investigate, through the appropriate committee, soon arrive. He could sympathize in the feelings of the the situation of affairs in Texas? The intelligence is, Senator from Mississippi, (Mr. WALKER.] That Senathat a division of the Mexican army has been overthrown, tor had reason to feel in this matter, havir
with and the survivors of the contest captured by the troops the loss of a near relative. But he ought not to suffer of Texas; that Santa Anna, the leader of the Mexican ar- , his judgment to be misled by the intensity of his feelmy, and the head of the Mexican Government, the very ings. They might, out of these walls, act in their indi. man in whose person that Government was concentra. vidual capacity like men; but when acting as Senators, ted, was also a prisoner; and that he had consented to they should be cautious. But as the Senator from Mis. the exaltation of Texas, and the immediate recognition sissippi said time would be taken for consideration by of her independence. if, then, (said Mr. W.,) Texas the committee, if referred to the Committee on Foreign bas maintained, upon the field of battle, that declaration Relations, and as that committee was an able one, he of independence made by her many months since-if | would withdraw his objection to the reference. that independence has been acknowledged by the head
Mr. WALKER stated that, from the observations of of the Mexican Government, and Texas evacuated by the Senator from Obio, it would seem that the gentlethe Mexican troops--if there be now a Government de man supposed that his course on this occasion had been factoin operation in Texas, and her enemies overthrowo)-- dictated by the impulses of his heart, and not by his we must, upon the principles that have always guided judgment. The gentleman was deeply mistaken; for; our course, recognise at once the independence of there was no one subject upon which he had more Texas.
deeply reflected, and more deliberately consulted bis Mr. WEBSTER said that if the people of Texas had judgment, than on the subject of Texas. At the peestablished a Government de facto, it was undoubtedly riod when the treaty was made, by which the valley of the duty of this Government to acknowledge their inde the Mississippi was dismembered, and Texas surrenderpendence. The time and manner of doing so, bowed to a foreign Power--at that period, not yet having ever, were all matters proper for grave and mature con arrived at the age of manhood, and not being entitled sideration. He should bave been better satisfied, had this to a vote, he had expressed his conviction against that matter not been moved again till all the evidence had been treaty, and, by addresses in 1826 in the public papers collected, and until they had received official informa over his own signature, had shown his opposition to that tion of the important events that had taken place in unwise and improper measure. Texas. As this proceeding had been moved by a mem. These were the deliberate dictates of his own judgber of the administration party, he felt himself bound to ment, before he ever had a relative in Texas, before understand that the Executive was not opposed to take he was a resident of a southern State, and before he the first steps now, and that in his opinion this proceed- ever expected to have a seat on this floor. These, he ing was not dangerous or premature. Mr. W. was of said, were not southern feelings-they were not northopinion that it would be best not to act with precipita ern feelings--no, they were the feelings which were tion. If this information was true, they would doubt. wholly American, prompted by an ardent zeal for civil less before long hear from Texas herself; for as soon as and religious liberty; and which, be trusted, would ever she felt that she was a country, and had a country, she have influence in every American bosom. It was the