Imagens das páginas

Mar 24, 1836.

Fortification Bill.


that we shall bring into this debate too ardent a temper- the same general considerations now require. What ament for a fair discussion and judicious determination of would then be the dictate of good sense, of sound dis. the whole matter.

cretion, would now be suggested under the influence of ! I have said, sir, that no Senator would wish to go the same safe principles. If we were certain that, after further than the Senator from South Carolina professes the expiration of five years, war, with all its evils, were bimself willing to go in making appropriations for this to visit our land, there is no man who loves his country, branch of the public defence. There can be no dispo. there is no patriot, who would not exert all his exergies sition wastefully, extravagantly, with no regard to to be prepared for the calamity; to strengthen our weakeconomy, to appropriate the public money for fortifica. | ness, to fortify every vulnerable point, to render impregtions. We have light upon this subject sufficient for nable our seacoast and our lake frontiers, to put in perour guidance. We have no occasion, at this day, to en. fect defence our whole country: this would be the gage in unprofitable experiment, whatever may have course of every patriot. And, Mr. President, just this been the injudicious application of the public money course should be observed now, with reference to this upon fortifications at certain points heretofore. From subject. actual surveys, from the most careful and scientific ex Mr. WEBSTER admitted the great importance of aminations, we have now shed upon this whole subject | Portsmouth harbor, and expressed his entire willingness the most ample and satisfactory information. The proper to vote for the original appropriation; but he must vote location of the public fortresses, for general defence and against the amendment. permanent protection, the kind of fortifications expedi- The question was then taken on the amendment, and ent and necessary, are matters settled by approved decided as follows: authority. The documental history with which we have Yeas-Messrs. Benton, Brown, Buchanan, Cuthbert, been furnished, clearly shows at what points upon our Ewing of Illinois, Grundy, Hill, Hubbard, King of Alaseaboard, upon our extended maritime frontier, further bama, Linn, Rives, Robinson, Ruggles, Shepley, Talldefences are required.

| madge, Walker, Wright-17. In connexion with this subject, the surplus revenue is NAYS-Messrs. Black, Calhoun, Crittenden, Davis, constantly presented to our consideration. That subject Ewing of Ohio, Goldsborough, King of Georgia, Leigh, is arrayed before us in the most imposing form.

Mangum, Naudain, Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, TomlinThe Senator from South Carolina says that all the son, Webster, White-16. projects embraced in this bill, and all the projects in Mr. FRESTON then moved to strike out the approcontemplation connected with the general defence, can. I priation for Portsmouth, on the ground that there were not by any possibility reduce the revenue to the wants no estimates and surveys for fortifications at that harbor, of the Government. Be it so. I shall rejoice if the 1 Mr. CALHOUN said this question involved so imporpredictions of the Senator shall become history. But tant a principle, that, without plans or estimates, he was sball our course be governed by the miserable and sordid not willing to trust it even to the discretion of the Secrepolicy, that the amount of appropriations for public de- ! tary of War, and must, therefore, oppose it. fence is to be regulated by the effect to be produced Mr. HUBBARD had addressed the Senate on this upon the surplus fund? That we are to withhold ap- subject, the other day, at some length. He was so well propriations, if that fund should thereby be lessened, so satisfied of the course of the Senator from South Caroas to render it unimportant to make distribution of the lina, heretofore, in relation to this subject, that he had remainder among the States? I protest against any such expected he would have voted for this provision of the policy. What, sir, have we to do with the state of the bill. Mr. H. exhibited to the Senate, in detail, the Treasury, any further than to ascertain whether its con great necessity and importance of this fortification, as dition will bear the appropriation contemplated? What a means of commercial protection, as well as defence have we to do with the surplus money, in deciding where, against invasion. and how, and when a fortification shall be erected for the Mr. BENTON referred to a report, in detail, made purpose of permanent and public defence! Sir, whether by the proper department in 1821, in which every thing the passage of this bill, and whether the adoption of all the that was necessary for the information of Senators on projects proposed by the chairman of the Committee on this subject, was contained. In regard to these fortifi. Military Affairs should have the effect mentioned by the cations, there were two questions involved: one was of Senator from South Carolina, or whether it should have a political character, and the other professional. The the effect to exhaust every dollar in the Treasury, save political question was, as to whether the point of location what might be necessary for the support of the Govern. was worth defence; and the professional question was, ment, would be to me wholly immaterial. I would go as to the plan and estimates, which, when made, no on steadily and perseveringly to appropriate and expend statesman would undertake to question. for these great objects as fast as I could, in the exercise Mr. B. adverted to the period, in 1794, when the first of a sound discretion, and with a proper regard to econ- act of Congress was passed in relation to forts generally, omy, until our chain of fortresses shall be perfected upon and the recommendation of General Washington, in our maritime frontier. This would be my policy; and I which this one was named. The conjectural estimate shall endeavor to exercise my best judgment where of its cost was $500,000, and 100 guns would be required fortifications are necessary, with a view to defence and to arm it. He spoke of the uncertainty of estimates. A security. And there, sir, I would erect them, and of slight error, he said, in the basis of a calculation, led to such materials that the lapse of time can have no effect a large one in its result. It was like two travellers sepa. upon their durability, be the cost, the charge, the con- rating at a diverging point of a road. When they began sequent expenses ever so large.

to separate, you could scarcely see them dividing; but I know of no better principle to guide us in our ac- after they had progressed a considerable distance, they tion upon this bill, than to suppose that our country, were a great way apart. after a lapse of five years, will be inevitably and unal. Mr. CALHOUN said that in detailed estimates the terably involved in a war with the most powerful nation quantity of materials of each kind was minutely put in Christendom. What, then, Mr. President, would be down, and, when the cost of construction greatly exour action upon this bill? What would be the voice of ceeded the estimates, they knew who was to blame. wisdom, of prudence? . What would a proper regard to But, he asked, upon whom did the responsibility rest in public and private security, to general and individual the case of conjectural estimates! They did not do protection, demand at our hands? Precisely, sir, what I their duty in regard to the trust reposed in them by SENATE.]

Fortification Bill.

(Mar 24, 1836.

acting in this general way, and there was something Mr. DAVIS said it was late in the day; and though more at the bottom of this than mere fortifications. the Senate seemed to be exhausted, literally worn out

Mr. HUBBARD had been utterly astonished that with this subject, as in one form and another it had octhis fortification had not more particularly claimed the cupied much of the session, he hoped they would bear attention of Congress. The first committee who re- with him a short time, while he explained the principles ported on it had placed it in the first class and the which would guide him in all the votes he should give. seventh, in the order of fortifications, and yet not a The proposition now is to increase the appropriation dollar was voted for it since the report of 1821, notwith for a fort at Salem, from seventy-five to one hundred standing its yearly recommendations from that day to and fifty thousand dollars, and to divide it equally for this. Portsmouth, it seemed, had not been the favorite the two coming years. It seems to be understood of any administration. At Penobscot, a conjectural es that, as this fortification is in Massachusetts, I shall timate bad been made by Messrs. Bernard, Totten, and not have the courage to oppose it, even in this une Elliot. But his friend from Maine, anticipating this precedented form. In this gentlemen are mistaken-objection, had procured a survey and estimate, which greatly mistaken; for I ask no indulgence for that bad increased the amount only one thousand dollars State beyond what I am willing to concede to others. over the conjectural estimate.

I hope no sound rule of policy will be violated, no Mr. BENTON, after referring to a late estimate, said unnecessary or wasteful expenditure of the public that, in regard to plans, so many guns were placed on money will be proposed, with an expectation that I shall one side of a fort and so many on another; and there vote for it, or that the people of that State will approve was not a Senator there, if he bad the plan before him, I of it, because the money is to be disbursed in one of its would presume to say a single gun should be changed harbors. No, sir; gentlemen need not flatter themin its location.

selves with success in any such schemes, for they will Mr. CALHOUN asked why the Senate should act be. not triumph by mercenary appeals to a people that have fore the surveys and estimates were made, when the at all times, and under all circumstances, defended Secretary of War himself would think it unwise to pro themselves and maintained their liberties without fortificeed without them? They were in no danger of a war cations. You may make such appeals to the weak, the at this time with any European Power; and why the ne timid, such as seek protection behind stone and mortar, cessity of acting at this time with such precipitation? and the bristling bayonets of a trained soldiery; but it

Mr. BENTON asked how it came that the whole will be treated with scorn by those who have the manly stress of the opposition was laid on the want of esti courage and patriotism to meet fearlessly whatever crisis mate? There were some ten or eleven cases in which may come, and to trust in their own strong arms and there were estimates, and nobody asked to use them. stout hearts, instead of the embattled hosts of this GoyBut here was one case in which there was none, and in ernment. it they were called for. It would be perfect ridicule Sir, this is called a fortification bill to enlarge the defor Senators to criticise on one of these estimates. In ' fence of the country by the erection of new works. cases where the cost exceeded the estimates, it was This purports to be the object, upon the face of it; but, asked where was the responsibility, and who was to if one may be allowed to judge from all he sees and blame! As an evidence of how little reliance was to hears in this chamber, from the repeated and urgent be placed on estimates, he adverted to a case of a fort application to the Departments to ascertain the greatest in Virginia, where the cost exceeded the detailed esti- sum that ean be expended, from the reiterated prophemate as two to one.

cies that there will be no surplus found in the Treasury, Mr. CALHOUN said if Congress should make a call from an apparent determination to make appropriations on the engineer in the case of a detailed estimate, he two or three years in advance, there is some object becould explain where the fault was, and who was to yond fortifying the country, some ulterior purpose, blame. He stated the reason of the excess of cost in which is not openly avowed, while it is secretly and arthe case of Fort Calhoun, which was owing to its being dently desired. When extraordinary measures are urgbuilt on a sand-bar.

ed upon us, we have a right to look for extraordinary * Mr. CRITTENDEN inferred that $200,000 would motives; and what motive is there for lavish appropria. not be sufficient for this work, as in all probability it tions at this moment!--for appropriations two and three would cost over $500,000; and how much over ihat years in advance? It seems to me that one object is to amount, it was not known.

squander the public money, lest there should be a surMr. PRESTON said the arguments of gentlemen plus to go to the people; another, to secure the use of went to show that no estimates were to be relied on. it to the deposite banks as loans, without interest, for Heretofore the cost exceeded the estimates about thirty them to speculate upon, while it is thus gradually wastper cent. But notwithstanding that variation, they stilling. Who does not perceive that, if a million and a half opened up the way to some information, some approxi- of dollars is appropriated by this bill for 1837, it will be mation to the amount necessary to be appropriated. He left in these banks, and that they will have the use of had gone to the Department, and found estimates on file, it till drawn out, a year to eighteen months, and two which he had examined, and the examination only satis. years hence? Who cannot understand that, at the lowfied him that the Department had done its duty. He est estimate, this would amount to 100,000, or 120,000 would not pretend to say that conjectural estimates were dollars, as a clear gratuity? These banks now hold not to be relied on, as well as those detailed ones that about forty millions, which gives them a clear income were made so long since.

or gift of more than two and a half millions of dollars Mr. HUBBARD believed the estimate was made as annually, under any the most unfavorable view of the high as it could be; and he was of the opinion that when matter, to secure the allegiance and fidelity of the stockthe work should be completed, the cost would be found holders to this Government. The effect of this upon to come within the amount of them.

the mercenary is fearful; and I shall give no vote to perAlter some remarks from Mr. PORTER, the ques. petuate it, either under pretence of defending the countion was then taken on the amendment: Yeas 10, nays try, or in any other way; for we have no right thus to 25.

bestow the use of the public money upon individuals, to Mr. BENTON then moved to amend the bill by strik | the exclusion of the people. ing out " for fortifications at Salem, Massachusetts, I will not detain the Senate with this view of the mat$75,000," and inserting " $75,000 per annum."

ter, but will consider the measure as it purports to be

MAY 24, 1836.)

Fortification Bill.


a bill to fortify certain places--and examine its merits and are seldom encountered except for some object in that point of view. We have for a long time heard nearly certain of accomplishment. Whatever army inthe cry of defence, of alarm, of fortifications, as if some vades us will assuredly meet with the fate of Burgoyne imminent peril threatened us, demanding such pruden- and Cornwallis; and if, in that day of small things, with tial arrangements. Yet it is a time of peace and tran- a population of three millions and no resources, we quillity, so far as regards the maritime frontier, and could subdue seven thousand, what, with like resolution, promises to continue so. It is but a short year since no and our present resources, may we not do? entreaty could prevail on the House of Representatives But, sir, we are a commercial people, having propto grant a dollar to mount a gun for the defence of Bos- erty to a vast amount scattered everywhere upon the ton, where the forts are totally dilapidated. Where surface of the high seas; and this is not to be abandoned, was this glowing patriotism then, while a war with unless we are willing to give up our trade and interFrance was impending? We heard nothing then of the course with foreign nations. Our course, then, is plain, bleeding country, and the cries of its distressed inhabit. if we adopt a system of defence adapted to our condiants! Nothing of the urgent necessity of surrounding tion. We must go forth upon this great highway, and ourselves with walls! This, again, would seem to indi- | maintain our right to be there. We must protect our cate some fresh impulse, some new motive for afloat, keep open the channels of communicapriations.

|tion belween us and nations with whom we have amicaWhile I protest against passing fortification bills to ble relations, compel our adversary to concentrate his empty the Treasury into the banks, I am decidedly forces and to move cautiously, and Aing from our fronfriendly to defending the country against all assaults, tier the calamities of war, hy making this ocean the great within and without, upon our frontiers and upon our theatre of conflict. treasure.

All these considerations point to a navy as the first That the country must be defended, can admit of no great available means of defence against European ag. doubt; but I trust our patriotism is not to be measured gression. Could there be greater folly than to incase by the height and length and breadth of the walls we the country with fortifications, and sit down behind them advocate for that purpose. There are other more sen to wait for the approach of an enemy at his leisure, who, sible methods of testing our love of country, and, above if in undisputed possession of the high seas, would all, our love of public liberty and free government. spread his ships out in every direction, and make an easy

Sir, I am no military man, and make no pretensions prey of your commerce? What gallant, high-minded to military science and skill; but we are required as people could consent to abandon their property, their public men to judge of the propriety and expediency countrymen, and their rights, to the seas, and sit waiting of the measures submitted to us; and, for one, I can no for the ravages of war to be brought to their own fronmore yield my judgment, or submit to leading-strings in tier? Not those who have proudly borne the flag in settling the fundamental principles of defence, than in triumph to the remotest portions of the earth, amid any other matter. The defence of the country is not a dangers and perils that seemed insurmountable. Not new thing, an invention of this session, as some seemed those who claim and are willing fearlessly to assert their almost to imagine: but it is an affair towards which the right to the great highway of nations. Sir, we cannot country has occasionally turned its attention, when its be so unwise as to abandon these great natural means necessities were quite as urgent as at this time, and of defence; we cannot suffer our commerce to be there are some things to be considered besides pouring broken up, and our property wasted, without an effort out all the treasure in the erection of walls and batte- to inflict like injury upon our adversary. Our experiries. What are they? In settling this question with ence demonstrates that small means are capable of exordinary sagacity, we must inquire, who is to be our ecuting much; so much, that we have no occasion to probable enemy? How be is to approach us? What is despair, and little more to fear any attempts at invasion. his situation? What natural obstacles stand in the way! But, sir, maritime defence recommends itself to us What use we may make of them? And, above all, what for greater and more urgent reasons. A navy is more kind of preparation is suited to our country, and conge- congenial to our institutions than an army. It consorts nial to its free institutions? These are considerations better with a republican government. This kind of that should be weighed with the greatest care before defence is kept upon its own element, and is separated we adopt the ordinary European tactics.

from the people. They therefore experience little of We are then about to fortify our maritime frontier; that vicious influence and corrupting power which inand who is to assail us in that quarter? There is no sinuates itself into every community that mingles with Power upon which we need bestow a thought, short of an array of soldiers. We see little of a navy. It is by Europe. An enemy from that hemisphere must ap- itself; and, whatever of the despotic spirit of military proach us by sea; and the broad Atlantic, three thou. | rule may belong to it, belongs to it alone. This is sand miles wide, rolls between us, and must be passed doubtless a principal reason why Great Britain has en. before we can be assailed. This great natural barrier 1 joyed a greater share of public liberty than the contiis in itself a better defence than armies. Aside from nental Powers. The absence of armies has permitted the dangers of a long voyage, it is no easy matter to liberal principles to expand with the growth of the transport an army that distance, with its necessary ma- nation, and the increased knowledge and civilization of teriel of war and provisions. We have it from good an improving country. Not only is this force kept by authority, that it employed four hundred ships to trans- itself, but no admiral attains to civil distinction. They port the French army of forty thousand men into Egypt. are neither made ministers, the governors of provinces, What hope of any permanent or considerable success nor placed in any high stations. A sailor is seldom heard could forty or fifty thousand men have to invade this of, except in defending the honor and redressing the country against a population of fifteen millions, with all wrongs of his country, their resources around them? It would be the extreme But, further: look at our own country; at achievements of folly and madness to make the attempt; while we are which filled every bosom with surprise and joy; which a united people, no nation--not England herself, with redeemed the honor of the nation, and acquired for it a her thousand ships--has resources sufficient to venture fame as illustrious and imperishable as will be the history upon such a bazardous undertaking. The disadvan- of our naval victories. In all times, and under all cirtages under which an army moves, when three thou cumstances, our naval history is almost without blemish. sand miles from its resources, are incalculably great, | The valor, the intrepidity, and the skill of our country

Vol. XII.-98


Fortification Bill.

(Mar 24, 1836.

men come near to being all we could desire; and their sides; because they are the people themselves, doing magnanimity, patriotism, and disinterestedness have service in time of peace, as a patriotic and not as a mernever, I am confident, been surpassed. Where is the cenary act; and because their interests are identified sailor who bas dishonored the deck upon which he has with the preservation of peace, the perpetuity of popular trod, or has tarnished the flag that waved over his head? rights, and the dominion of law. They mostly hold the To no other class of men can the honor and interests of elective franchise, and thus constitute part and parcel the country be more safely confided, for they pour their of the elements of the Government itself! Thus bound blood out for us as freely as water. And to their honor be to us by every tie of affection and interest, and exempt it said--and let a grateful country acknowledge it--they from all dependence on the Government, they consti. ask nothing in return but the monthly wages we by law tute a force on which we may safely rely; a force that promise to them. They demand no places of honor, of can have no motive to follow an ambitious leader, or to trust, or emolument. They claim no stations as a reward conquer the liberties of the country. They are, in truth, for public service. They touch not a foot of your public the people themselves, who become soldiers for no other lands; and though your tables here (I speak it without purpose than to preserve the country. This force reproach, for no one feels more grateful for valuable constitutes a part of our organization; a part of our re. military services) have for years groaned under the weight publican system. It is the strong arm on which the of petitions for pensions, when have you ever heard framers of the constitution relied; and are we about to among them the name of a sailor? Sir, as a singular pass it by, as of no account in the defence of the country? illustration of this disinterested, lofty patriotism, petitions Sir, we have fallen upon new, if not unpropitious times. have for more than ten years been pending on your files Efforts have been made here, year after year, to give for remuneration for that gallant achievement, the de- some encouragement to the militia. We bave been enstruction of the frigate Philadelphia, in the harbor of treated by the states to turn our attention to the matter, Tripoli; and I believe not one of that devoted band has and to place this force upon a more respectable and a ever put his name to any of these or any other papers, more honorable footing; but, as far as my memory asking for the bounty of this Government, though the serves me, we have never even condescended to take the sum proposed to be given has never been less than a matter into consideration, while scarce a day passes withhundred thousand dollars. It is enough for the sailor out an exhortation to increase the army, or to enlarge to sustain the honor of the country, and to preserve its the fortifications. Sir, I bave a confiding reliance on a liberties. All be asks in return is the proud distinction gallant, patriotic people, that they will never suffer of having borne her flag in triumph to the remotest cor- their country to be dishonored; and when they cease to ners of the earth, without soiling a fold of it.

justify that trust, they will cease to have a Goveroment Sir, we bave little to fear from such a class of men; in which they will participate. It is plain to me that and yet even for the navy I want no extravagant, lavish our fathers relied upon a navy and the militia for appropriations of money; no unnatural growth; but a the protection and defence of the country, except in firm, steady advance in strength, which will enable us to great and urgent emergencies; and I feel an earnest compel all adversaries to respect our rights, because we desire that their great principles in this matter, so are able to defend them.

| intimately connected as they are with our future hopes, And now, sir, let me ask the attention of the Senate may not be abandoned. The militia, if properly re. to the militia, which ought and was designed to be our garded, is daily becoming more and more effective, by great reliance for land defence and protection at all times, the great facilities for intercommunication which are now except in cases of actual invasion. Yes, to the militia. afforded by steam. Forces to a great amount may now Perbaps the word itself may strike some ears with sur. | be suddenly collected at important points along the sea. prise; for, in this long debate, this endless discussion coast, without the fatigue of long and dilatory marches, about the defences of the country, the militia have nei which must add greatly to our military strength and se ther been mentioned nor thought of. I beg permission curity. Indeed, the expediency and wisdom of relying to recall attention to that class of men-to the armed citi upon this force was never, at any moment, more appazens who seem to be cast by as unworthy of notice | rent than now. among the splendid preparations for war. Let us not . While I contend for these, as leading matters of a deforget that those who achieverlour independence thought fence founded upon enlightened views of our position the citizen soldier the most suitable defender and guar- and our republican Government, I by no means deny dian.of their rights, the only force in harmony with the propriety of fortifying to some extent. The chief our institutions-a force (however fashionable it may be cities and places of commercial business ought to have to laugh and jest at which has fulfilled the highest some protection; but I object to such fortifications as hopes of the country, by proving its courage and skill that at Old Point Comfort, containing over sixty acres equal to every great crisis which has occurred from the of land, and costing about two millions of dollars. This battle of Bunker's Hill and that of Saratoga to this day, is a system of defence belonging to standing armies and The name of a million and a half of armed men is worth burdensome taxation. Our republic should shun both. more than a wall of brass. It is a living fortification that I would construct, at important points, forts of suitable no enemy will disregard. Who, without an overwhelm-dimensions and strength to guard against surprise or ing force, will venture upon an armed, organized pop- sudden assaults by an enemy. For the rest, I would ulation? It is this organization which, at all times, has rely on the emergency. Sir, if the whole coast is to be saved the country from inroads, from its earliest settle. fortified, and the fortifications are to be of this gigantic ment. And bas the day come when, in the pride of character, is not this preparation to be the apology for a power, in our zeal to be defended, we are about to standing army, and for an annual expenditure that will abandon the militia, and substitute a regular army? oppress and bow down the people under burdens grievSir, we have always been taught that military power in ous to be borne? If the people would see what comes a free Government is dangerous; that it does not har- of splendid Governments, let them look into Europe, monize with republican institutions; that it is arbitrary and see the laborer toiling through a life of poverty and and violent in its character; that its lessons are obedi- wretchedness to sustain them. Let them see the inexence and submission, and all its elements the opposite of orable decree which binds him to the earth, and fleeces popular liberty. We have been instructed, also, that him with tithes and taxes. the militia--in other words, armed citizens--can be trust. Sir, when the people, or the people's representatives, ed, because they are the protectors of their own fire-l are captivated with military glory; when the tap of the MAY 24, 1836.]

Fortification Bil.


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drum is heard daily in the street; when a military spirit Let us proceed upon the old and safe principles: deal
has seized us; when our thoughts run upon the achieve- justly, and cease to hunt for injuries and to give proro.
ments of arms, the acquisition of territory, the enlarge cation, and we shall have few wrongs to redress. I have
ment of our limits; when we become belligerant in our no objection to beginning new works where they are
feelings, quarrelsome and overbearing towards our neigh necessary, as I believe most of those in this bill are; but
bors; when we are for drawing the sword and unfurling I cannot vote for these long and extravagant appropria-
the banner to settle every controversy; when, in a word, tions. I have said that great forts are not necessary;
we begin to play the bully, and to rely on our strength, and in proof of this, and that nothing urgent presses
instead of dealing justly and temperately, the signs of upon us, I do not recollect that any town, however
the times must be viewed as ominous of evil, for our in- poorly fortified, was ever entered by an enemy's ship,
stitutions are peaceable in their character, and always from the settlement of the country to this time, except
suffer when touched by the jarring elements of war. in the war of the Revolution, when the British had in
Let that state of sentiment be aided by a concentration the outset possession of most of the important posts.
of public affection in military leaders and a standing | And yet we were, in colonial times, involved in long and
army, and we may read our fate in that of Athens under bitter wars. These two hundred years of experience,
Pericles, republican Britain under Cromwell, and repub-when we were weak, ought to be worth something.
lican France under Napoleon. The transition is easy; The history of them furnishes a striking contrast to the
and the history of the world shows that, under these symp- present day--a contrast humbling to our pride. The
toms, it is certain, from a free Government to a military spirit of chivalry that sustained a feeble community has
despotism. Names usually remain unchanged, but the vanished, and, like tortoises, we are crawling into shells.
power is shifted from the many to one. Let me, then, For one, sir, I have no distrust of the manly courage
entreat the Senate to be no way instrumental in creating and patriotism of the people; they will, come what may,
a necessity for a standing army, which is the bane of a save the country from dishonor, unless you teach them
free Government. A standing army enjoys no liberty, to rely for protection upon standing armies.
and knows not how to appreciate it; it is acquainted I have another objection to the present plan of opera-
with nothing but obedience and dependence; it feeds tions. The apology for anticipating the demands for
from the public crib, and is too often faithful to the mas-future years is to enable the engineers to make long
ter that deals out its daily bread, or promises it an op. contracts. This is the most unpropitious of all times
portunity to plunder others. All example teaches us, to make long contracts; every thing is run up to the
by the melancholy fate of others, to shun this certain highest price, and nothing could be more unwise than
destruction. I would listen with strong distrust to all to make long contracts at the present value of labor
propositions to increase the army, or to erect works and materials. To force works now, when there is no
which will make such an increase necessary; and so will pressing emergency, would not only be a great waste of
the people of Massachusetts. Do gentlemen suppose public money, but, if extensive new works are commence
that a people who have been nursed in the cradle of lib.ed, then the United States becomes a bidder for labor
erty-d people whose soil was once stained with the and materials against other public works and improve.
tread, and whose churches were desecrated by the ments, as well as against individual operations; and, sir,
sports of armies brought here to defend the royal Gov. it requires no sagacity to predict that the weaker party
ernment--will be seduced from their principles by a prof-must yield. It has been said that no such effect can be
fer to spend in their harbors one or two hundred thousand produced, because millions upon millions are expending
dollars? Sir, you must come with heavier bribes, if you in New York to rebuild the burnt district, and no such
would tempt the mercenary spirit of that people, or se result has followed. Sir, ! have before me evidence
duce them from their steady, firm, and unchangeable proving that this course has pressed so heavily on other
love of public liberty. You must first blot from their portions of the country as actually to suspend works
memories the history of the Revolution, before you will under contract.
succeed in teaching them that standing armies are in bar. I have, sir, as all know who have observed my public
mony with our institutions. This scheme, therefore, of course, been the unwayering advocate of the laboring
placing a fort in each State, will not recommend to us class of the public. My most sincere desire, at all times,
double and triple appropriations, or a lavish waste of has been, that they should realize a just and liberal com-
public money. The object and the effect are apparent. pensation for their work; for no other state of things can

No one doubts, Mr. President, that if you insist on give a vigorous prosperity to the country. These opinfinding out how much money can be spent, the military ions remain unaltered. I am still under the firm belief bureaus will send you projects that would absorb the that labor must be well paid, to make a happy and wellrevenues of the earth.' Look, sir, at the monstrous / regulated community. But how is labor best encour. sums which this report proposes to disburse for the army aged? How is it that employers in this country can and the navy. Sixty-two millions for the former, and afford to pay higher wages than are paid for like services seventeen for the latter; making about eighty millions. | in Europe? One great reason is this: public improveSir, such propositions are not to be listened to for a moments here have been pushed forward to an extent unment. What follows? According to the annunciation exampled. The canal, for example, from Lake Erie to just made by the chairman of the Committee on Military Albany, opens a line of water communication thousands Affairs, these estimates are not large enough by one of miles in extent, and brings into action the resources third or more. We should then have forts enough to of a vast country which before were dormant. A barrel employ one hundred thousand men in time of war; and of flour may probably be delivered from the Lakes at how many in time of peace, I know not; but an army at New York at less expense of transportation than a like least to absorb like a sponge the earnings of the laborer. transit of fifty miles over land in Germany. Here, then,

Sir, let us abandon this lavish spirit, and return to the labor acts with a power of production unknown in great cardinal virtues--economy in the expenditure of Europe. It can make more grain; send into the market the public money and reform of abuses. I will not, for more of the fruits of its action in all ways; and hence it one, be tempted into a violation of these great princi- is justly entitled to more compensation. Such is the ples, under the delusive cry of defence, defence! An effect of all internal improvements, all facilities of transhonest, upright, and just course of policy will seldom portation, which bring products at less expense into the call for any defence. It is the noisy tone of brayado that market. Every line of railroad opens new resources, demands defence, and generally makes it necessary. I gives employment to new capital, and to labor invigora

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