Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

SENATE.)

Burning of Public Buildings.

[FEB. 14, 1837.

Mr. NORVELL moved to amend the bill by annexing tion, after deba'e by Messrs. EWING of Ohio, PRES. a provision for the construction of certain roads in Michi- TON WALKER, ROBINSON, LINN, and NORVELL, gan).

was carried in the affirmative, as follows: After debate, by Messrs. TIPTON, NORVELL, YEA8—Messrs. Bayard, Black, Brown, Calhoun, Clay,

YON, HENDRICKS, PRESTON, and EWING of Clayton, Crittenden, Kent, King of Alabama, King of Ohio, the amendment was lost: Yeas 9, nays 27.

Georgia, Lyon, Moore, Niles, Norvell, Parker, Prentiss, Mr. CLAY, after a few remarks in favor of only gra. Preston, Rives, Ruggles, Southard, Spence, Strange, ding the road, and against hastening its progress by the Swift, Walker, Wall, White-26. appointment of an extra number of agents and officers, NAIS-Messrs. Benton, Cuthbert, Ewing of Illinois, moved to strike out the second and third sections of the Ewing of Ohio, Fulton, Grundy, Hendricks, Hubbard, bill, which provide for such appointments.

Knight, Line, Morris, Mouton, Nicholas, Robbins, Rob. After debate, by Messrs. HENDRICKS, CLAY, and ) inson, Sevier, Tallmadge, Tipton, Wright-19. TIPTON,

Mr. PRESTON also moved to amend the bill by reMr. TIPTON moved to amend the second section by ducing the appropriation for Illinois, so that the whole requiring that the appointment of agents and officers by amount to be expended would be $130,000; which mo. the President should be made by and with the consent tion prevailed, as follows: of the Senate; which amendment prevailed.

Yeas--Messrs. Bayard, Black, Brown, Calhoun, Clay, Mr. EWING, of Olin, moved io amend the second Clayton, Kent, King of Alabama, King of Georgia, Lyon, section by allowing each superintendent only two assist. Moore, Niles, Norvell, Parker, Prentiss, Preston, Rives, ants, at a fixed compensation of three dollars per day Ruggles, Southard, Spence, Strange, Swift, Walker, for their services, instead of a salary in the discretion of Wall, White-25. the President or the Department. The amendments, Nays - Messrs. Benton, Cuthbert, Ewing of Illinois, were adopted.

Ewing of Ohio, Fulton, Hendricks, Hubbard, Knight, The question recurring on striking out the second and Linn, Morris, Mouton, Nicholas, Robbins, Robinson, Se. third sections of the bill, it was discussed by Messrs. vier, Tallmadge, Tipton, Wright-18. PRESTON, HENDRICKS, and CLAY, and carried in Mr. WALKER moved to amend the bill by adding, as the affirmative, by yeas and nays, as follows:

a proviso to the first section, that no part of the money YE48—Messrs. Bayard, Black, Brown, Calhoun, Clay, appropriated by the bill should be paid out of the Treas. Clayton, Cuthbert, Kent, King of Alabama, King of ury of the United States, but out of the fund heretofore Georgia, Knight, Lyon, McKean, Moore, Norvell, 'ar. granted to Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, for the purpose of ker, Prentiss, Preston, Rives, Soutbard, Spence, Strange, the bill. Swift, Tomlinson, Walker, While-26.

Alter debaie, by Meses! WALKER, NILES, and Nars-Messrs. Benton, Ewing of Illinois, Ewing of CLAY, the amendment was lost, by the following vote: Ohio, Fulton, Hendricks, Hubbard, Linn, Morris, Nich YEAS— Messrs. Black, Brown, Calhoun, King of Alaolas, Niles, Robbins, Robinson, Sevier, Tallmadge, Tip.bama, King of Georgin, Lyon, Moore, Norvell, Parton, Wall, Wright--17.

ker, Preston, Rives, Ruggles, Strange, Walker, Wall, Mr. CLAY moved to amend the bill by requiring that White-16. the road in Illinois should not be stoned or gravelled, un NAIS-Messrs. Bayard, Bentor, Clay, Clayton, Crit. less at a cost not exceeding the average expense of do- tenden, Cuthbert, Ewing of Illinois, Ewing of Ohio, ing it in Ohio and Indiana; which amendment, after de. | Fulton, Hendricks, Kent, Knight, Linn, Morris, Moubate by Messrs. EWING, of Illinois, and CLAY, was ton, Nicholas, Niles, Robbins, Robinson, Sevier, Southadopted.

ard, Spence, Swift, Tallmadge, Tipton, Tomlinson, Mr. PRESTON moved to amend the first section of Wright-27. the bill by reducing the appropriation for Indiana from Mr. NORVELL moved to amend the bill by striking $100,000 to $50,000, on the ground that $80,000 remain out that portion of it which required the money to be ed unexpended.

repaid into the Treasury of the United States, from the After debate, by Messrs. HENDRICKS, PRESTON, fund granted to Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, by the UniTIPTON, BENTON, WALKER, and CLAY,

ted States. Mr. NORVELL moved to lay the bill on the table; After a few remarks from Mr. CLAY, disapproving which motion was negatived, as follows:

the provision proposed to be stricken out, as deceptive, YEAS--Messrs. Black, Brown, Calhoun, Hubbard, the motion to strike out was carried in the affirmative, as King of Alabama, King of Georgia, Lyon, Norrell, Par

follows: ker, Prentiss, Preston, Ruggles, Strange, Walker, YEAS-Messrs. Bayard, Black, Brown, Calhoun, Clay, White--15.

Clayton, Crittenden, Cuihbert, King of Alabama, King NAYS— Messrs. Bayard, Benton, Clay, Clayton, Cuth-, of Georgia, Lyon, Moore, Mouton, Norvell, Parker, bert, Ewing of Illinois, Ewing of Ohio, Fulton, Grundy, Preston, Rives, Ruggles, Southard, Strange, Walker, Hendricks, Kent, Knight, Linn, Morris, Nicholas, Niles, White--22. Robbins, Robinson, Sevier, Southard, Spence, Swift, NAYs--Messrs. Benton, Ewing of Illinois, Ewing of Tallmadge, Tipton, Wall, Wright-26.

Ohio, Fulton, Grundy, Hendricks, Linn, Morris, NichoThe question on Mr. Preston's amendment was then las, Niles, Robinson, Sevier, Swift, Tallmadge, Tipton, tried, and decided in the affirmative, as follows:

Wright--16. Yeas-Messrs. Bayard, Black, Brown, Calhoun, Clay, On motion of Mr. HENDRICKS, the provision in a Clayton, King of Alabama, King of Georgia, Lyon, former act, requiring a continuous construction of the Niles, Norvell, Parker, Prentiss, Preston, Rives, Ruge road, was by this bill repealed. gles, Southard, Spence, Strange, Swift, Walker, Wall, The bill, with the amendments, was reported to the White--23.

Senate. NAYS—Messrs. Benton, Cuthbert, Ewing of Illinois, Mr. EWING moved to amend the bill so as to appro: Ewing of Ohio, Fulton, Grurdy, Hendricks, Hubbard, priate $150,000 for Ohio, $125,000 for Indiana, and Linn, Morris, Nicholas, Robbins, Robinson, Sevier, Tall $100,000 for Illinois. madge, Tipton, Wright-17.

on motion of Mr. CALHOUN, and by consent, the Mr: PRESTON moved further to amend the bill by message of the President received to-day, in relation 10 reducing the appropriation for Ohio from $290,000 to $90,000, the balance on hand being $100,000; which mo

the seizure of slaves by the authorities of Bermuda, was, with the documents, ordered to be printed.

FER. 15, 1837.)

Burning of Public Buildings-- Trade wilh Belgium, &c.

(SENATE.

After a few remarks on Mr. Ewing's amendment, by the Senate yesterday, he had promised to ascertain from Messrs. BAYARD and PRESTON,

the Department the comparative state of the Dutch and The Senate adjourned.

American tonnage, as employed in the Holland trade during the past year.

He had done so; and it appeared WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15.

from the result that the amount of Dutch tonnage was

increasing rapidly on the American. He did not know BURNING OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS.

whether this was owing to the discriminating duty imThe bill to alter and amend the act of 1790, for the posed by the Dutch Government in favor of their own punishment of certain crimes against the United States, vessels in Dutch ports, or not; but if such was the fact, being taken up-

then the provisions of the act of 1824 should be promptly Mr. PRENTISS said he was so much opposed, in applied by the Executive. Mr. B. then read the folprinciple, to the provisions of the bill, the punishment lowing statement: imposed by it appeared to him to be of so sanguinary a In the year 1834, the amount of American tonnage in this character, so much behind the spirit of the age, that he felt trade was (in round numbers) 17,000 tons. constrained to resist it, and record bis name against it in In 1835,

15,000 every stage of its progress. The bill not only inflicts the In 1836,

8,500 punishment of death upon any person who shall mali- while the amounts of Dutch tonnage, on the contrary, ciously burn, or procure, command, counsel, or advise any had proportionably diminished. one to burn, any public building, but it contains no lim. In 1834, the Dutch tonnage was 1,651 tons. itation upon the prosecution of the offence; so that a In 1835,

3,058 person may be arraigned and tried at any distance of

In 1836,

5,401 time, however remote, when he may be wholly unable, by Mr. CLAY said that, when we saw, for three succeslapse of time, to avail himself of the testimony necessary sive years, a regular diminution of American tonnage, for bis defence. It was to be further observed that the and a regular increase of the competing foreign tonnage, bill was not confined to the burning of the public offices, there could be no doubt that both results proceeded containing the public records, but cxtended to the burn from a common cause. The act of 1824 proceeded on ing of any public building, such as an engine-house, a the principle of entire and perfect reciprocity. That wood-house, or even a waich-house.

principle bad been departed from by the Government The punishment, under the existing laws, was confine of flolland, while Belgium was in union with Holland. ment lo bard labor, and but one instance of the commis- There was much reason to believe that the present rel. sion of the offence bad occurred in balf a century. We ative condition of the navigation of America and of were now about to change the law, and substitute the Holland was the result of that departure. Under those punishment of death for confinement at hard labor; and circumstances, it seemed that, though the Senate could we were doing this at a time when England and many not well refuse to pass the present bill, which did nothother Governments in Europe were engaged in reform- ing but put Holland and Belgium on the same footing, ing and ameliorating their criminal code. The bill put the Executive was bound to enforce the provisions of the offence on the same grade with murder and treason, the act of 1824 to both Governments. He trusted this the highest crimes known to law.

would be done. The object of punishment was the prevention of Mr. DAVIS, who had not been present when the bill crime; and all experience showed that the certainty of was introduced, was desirous that the bill should lie over punishment was much more effeciual than the severity of for one day, in order that he might have an opportunity punishment in the prevention of crime. The burning to look a little into the returns stating the existing conof a public building was undoubtedly a very high offence, dition of the trade, with a view of judging of the true but it was well known that the difficulty of conviction was cause of the present state of things. Possibly this act always increased in proportion as the punishment was might be construed as an evidence that this Government aggravated. If there was absolute certainly in human was prepared to extend the relaxation of the provisions testimony, the objection to the bill might not be so of the act of 1824, though he was very sure the Senator strong; but the reverse was true, for the history of crim- who introduced the bill bad no such intention. inal trials showed that many innocent persons had been Mr. BUCHANAN concurred in the views expressed convicted and executed. Mr. P. was opposed to the by the Senator from Kentucky, and explained that the bill on the great principles of justice and humanity; he proviso in this bill had been introduced with an express was opposed to it as destroying all just distinctions be view to enable the President to apply the provisions of tween crimes, as inflicting a punishment vastly dispro- the act of 1824 to both Holland and Belgium. portionate to the offence, and altogether inconsistent Mr. CUTHBERT contended that the true standard by with the general spirit of our criminal code; and he felt which to judge of the existing indulgence to Holland compelled to ask for the yeas and nays.

was not the immediate effect of it on the comparative The bill was ihen passed, by the following rote: navigation of the two countries, but its effect as an ex

YEA8--Messrs. Bayard, Benton, Black, Clay, Clayton, ample and a precedent, which was likely to induce other Cutbbert, Dana, Ewing of Ohio, Fulton, Grundy, Hub- nations to pursue the same course which had been adoptbard, King of Alabama, King of Georgia, Lion, Lyon, ed by the Dutch Government. Morris, Mouton, Nicholas, Norvell, Page, Preston, Rob. The question was then taken, and the bill was passed. bins, Ruggles, Sevier, Strange, Tallmadge, Tipton, White, Wright--29.

CUMBERLAND ROAD. Nars--Messrs. Buchanan, Davis, Ewing of Illinois, The Senate proceeded to the further consideration of Hendricks, Kent, McKean, Moore, Niles, Parker,

the bill to continue the Cumberland road in the States Prentiss, Rives, Rubinson, Southard, Swift, Walker, of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Wall, Webster--17.

*On motion of Mr. CLAY, the appropriations were so

amended as to allow Ohio $190,000 in addition to the TRADE WITH BELGIUM.

unexpended balance, Indiana $100,000, and Illinois The bill respecting the discriminating duties on Dutch $100,000; making an aggregate of $390,000, besides unand Belgian vessels and their cargoes coming up on its expended balances. passage-

The remaining amendments, made as in Committee of Mr. BUCHANAN said that, when this bill was before the Whole, were severally considered, and, after a re

SENATE.)

Pay of Volunteers-- Increase of the Army.

(FEB. 16, 1837.

ate.

newal of the former discussions, were adopted in Sen- few words, and they should be very few. He could not

assent to the bill. The object it proposed was useless, On motion of Mr. CLAY, the bill was further amend- and a good deal more ihan useless. The bill proposed ed by adding a proviso to the end of the first section, re to increase our existing military establishment, as a quiring that the construction of the road should be let peace establishment, too, by the addition of 5,500 mer, out, in suitable sections, after due notice, to the lowest making the aggregate amount of the army over 12,000 bidders,

men, and augmenting the expense of its maintenance by Mr. WALKER moved to amend the third section of a million and a balf or two millions of dollars. Was this the bill by inserting a disclainier of the faith of Governo necessary? He contended that it was not, and that there ment being pledged by this bill to do any thing further never was a time when there was so little necessity for a in the construction or repair of the Cumberland road. measure of this character. Abroad we were at peace

After debate, the amendment was lost, as follows: with all the world; and as to Mexico, be believed nogen

YEAS— Messrs. Black, Brown, Calhoun), Hubbard, tleman seriously contemplated that we were to go to war King of Alabama, King of Georgia, Lyon, Moore, Nor- with her. Never bad there been a time when so little vell, Page, Parker, Preston, Rives, Strange, Walker, force was necessary to put our Indian relations upon the Wall, White--17.

safest footing. Our Indian frontier had, within a few NAYS— Messrs. Benton, Buchanan, Clay, Clayton, years, been contracted to one half its former dimensions. Crittenden, Cuihbert, Ewing of Ilinois, Ewing of Ohio, had formerly reached from Detroit all the way round to Fulton, Hendricks, Kent, Knight, Linn, Morris, Rob the mouth of the St. Mary's, in Georgia; whereas, at present, bins, Robinson, Sevier, Southard, Swift, Tallmadge, its utmost extent was from St. Peier's to the Red river. Tipton, Tomlinson, Wright--23.

To guard this frontier, the Government lad nine regiThe bill was then ordered to be engrossed for a third ments of artillery, seven of infantry, and two of dragoons. reading, by yeas and nays, on the call of Mr. NORVELL, lle would submit to every one to say whether such a line as follows:

could not be amply defended by such a force. Suppo. Yeas--Messrs. Benton, Buchanan, Clay, Crittenden, sing one regiment to be stationed at St. Louis, and Cuthbert, Ewing of Ilinois, Ewing of Ohio, Fulton, another at Balon Rouge, there still remained seven Hendricks, Kent, Knight, Linn, Morris, Nicholas, Niles, regiments to be extended from St. Peter's to Red river. Page, Robbins, Ruggles, Sevier, Southard, Spence, Supposing one of them to be stationed at St. Peter's, Swift, Tallmadge, Tipton, Wright--25.

one upon the Missouri, ore in Arkansas, and one upon NATB-Messrs. Black, Brown, Calhoun, Clayton, the Red river, there were still three left at the disposal Hubbard, King of Alabama, King of Georgia, I.yon,

of the Government. He contended that this force was Moore, Norvell, Parker, Prentiss, Preston, Rives, not only sufficient, but ample. He should be told that Strange, Walker, Wall, White--18.

There was a very large Indian force upon this frontier.

That was very true. But the larger that force was, the PAY OF VOLUNTEERS.

more secure did it render our position; provided the On motion of Mr. CRITTENDEN, the Senate pro. Government appointed among them faithful Indian ceeded to consider the bill to make compensation to the agents, who enjoyed their confidence, and who would be Kentucky and Tennessee volunteers, who were dis

sustained by the Government in measures for their bene. charged without being called into service.

fit. Of what did ibis vast Indian force consist? In the Mr. BENTON moved to amend the bill by allowing first place, there were the Chociaws, who had removed the above volunteers one month's pay.

beyond the Mississippi with their own consent; a people Mr. WAITE moved to amend ibis amendment by always friendly to this Governnent, and whose beast it striking out one month, and inserting three months. was ihat they bad never shell, in a hostile manner, one

After debate, by Messrs. PRESTON, CRITTENDEN, drop of the white man's blood. Their friendship was GRUNDY, White, and WRIGHT, Mr. WHITE's moreover secuied by heavy annuities, which must at amendment was tried and lost.

once be forfeited by any hostile movement. Whenever The amendment of Mr. Berton, allowing one month's this was the case, ine Government possessed complete pay, was then carried, without a division.

control, by the strong consideration of interest. Next On motions of Messrs. MOORE and WALKER, the came the friendly Creeks, who had all gone voluntarily names of Alabama and Mississippi were annexed to those to the west bank of the river. Then came the friendly of Kentucky and Tennessee in the bill.

Cherokees, who had done the same thing; and next the Mr. CRITTENDEN moved further to amend the bill. Chickasaws, whoin we also held by heavy annuities. All by confining the compensation to those volunteers whose this vast body of Indians were friendly toward the United services were accepted. Carried: Ayes 18, noes 10. States, save a little branch of the Creeks; and it would

The bill, with the amendments, was then ordered to be easy for any prudent administration, by selecting be engrossed for a third reading.

proper agents, and sustaining them in wise measures, to The Senate adjourned.

keep the whole of these people peaceable and in friend

ship with this Government, and they would prove an efTHURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16.

feciual barrier against the incursions of the wild Indians

in the prairies beyond. But to increase largely our miliINCREASE OF THE ARMY.

tary force would be the most certain means of provoking The bill to increase the military establishment of the a war, especially if improper agents were sent among United States being at its third reading, and the question them-political partisans and selfish land speculators. being on its passage

Men of this cast would be the more bold in Their meas. Mr. SOUTHARD demanded the yeas and nays, and ures, the more troops were ready to sustain them; every they were ordered by the Senate.

body knew that Indian force, when fairly opposed to Mr. CALHOUN addressed the Senate at length in op. while in the field, was as nothing. Where there were no position to the bill, not, however, as he said, with the least hope of preventing its passage; there was money in

swamps and fastnesses, but they had to contend in the the Treasury, and it must be spent; and this he knew

open field, they were not more formidable than buffalo. would prove, with many gentlemen, a reason why tie

Now, they were congregated in a high, dry, prairie bill must pass. Yet, bearing a certain relation to this

country, and in a country of that description, opposed to branch of our establishment, he felt called upon to say a

boree or artillery, they could do nothing:

Mr. C. then proceeded to denounce the bill as a measure

FEB. 16, 1837.]

Increase of the Army.

(SENATE.

of extravagance, designed chiefly to expend the money and file, because it increases the general staff, and be. in the Treasury for objects not only unnecessary but per. cause it increases the expense of the army. It also sur. nicious. He went into some general observations on the ther so happens that his report and his speech are not corrupting tendency of the present course of policy, and only on the same subject, but actually on the same then observed that every change that had been made in measure! for the peace establishment of 1815 was the army had gone to destroy its morale. He had not authorized by a law which retained a force of 12,656 the least confidence that the proper materiel would be men; and this bill is to raise the present force of the selected in the bestowment of the many prizes which army to about 12,500. The two establishments, then, this bill proposed to create. All must remember what are practically the same; the object of the present bill bad been the history of the regiment of dragoons in this is to revive the establishment of 1815, with some dimi. respect. Who had been appointed to command in that nution in the general staff, but, as establishments, they corps? In many instances cadets who had been discharged may be considered as the same. Tlie Senator from for misconduct in the Military Academy. Persons of this South Carolina (Mr. Calhoun) opposes the present in. cast had been set over those who had gone through crease, and opposes it in all its branches-rank and file, the whole course in that institution in a manner most general staff, and expense; and he opposes it upon all highly creditable. The effect had been demoralizing, the grounds which can be assumed against a standing and he feared that the results of this bill would prove army in time of peace-unnecessary, unwise, dangerous, still more so. Mr. C. then proceeded in a course of contrary to republican maxims, only tending to expend general objection to all measures calculated to increase public money without public advantage, alarmingly inthe powers of the General Government; dwelt on the creasing the patronage of the Government, multiplying central tendency of our system; the necessity of dimin. the sources of corruption, and endangering all that is ishing and generalizing the action of this Government, as dear in the eyes of the patriot, the sage, and the stalesour population increased. He compared the Government man, and preventing a distribution of the surplus. Very to a partnership. While there were but few partners, good, (said Mr. B.) Fine charges, these, against the the regulations might be minute and particular; but 12,500 men proposed to be re-established by this bill! when they were numerous, and amounted to bundreds, Let us see how they will be answeted in a report in de the system must be more general.

fence of the same establishment, when in fact they were Our chief arm of defence was the navy. This was 12,656; and when the population of the country was exterior in its character, and less dangerous on the only half what it now is, and its frontier much less; for ground of patronage; and it would be bis policy to in. | Florida was not then acquired. crease this arm of the national force, and to render it Mr. B. then read: respectable in the eyes of foreign nations. Then, this “In compliance with a resolution of the House of Rep. Government needed a sound Judiciary and a well-regu- resentatives, passed the 17th of April last, (1818,) lated Post Office; and beyond this he would not advance directing the Secretary of War to report, at an early one inch. He concluded by remarks of a general char period of the next session of Congress, whether any, acter on the state of the Treasury, and the determina and, if any, what reduction may be made in the military tion to expend the surplus, that it might not be returned peace establishment of the United States with safety to to the people.

the public service,' &c., I have the honor to submit the Mr. BEN ION replied to the Senator from South following report: Carolina, (Mr. Calhoun,) and congratulated himself on “Pursuing the subject in the or 'er in which it has been the easy task which he had to perforin in answering all stated, the first question which offers itself for consider. his objections to this bill; for he had nothing to do but ation is, whether our military establishment can be re. to bring the gentleman who was Secretary at War under duced with safety to the public service, or can its exMr. Monroe's administration, to answer the gentleman penditures be with propriety reduced, by reducing the wbo was now Senator in Congress from the State of army itself. South Carolina. The quondam Secretary would answer The military establishments of 1802 and 1808 bare the Senator most completely; and to enable the Sen. been admitted, almost universally, to be sufficiently ate to make the full application of what he should read, small. The latter, it is true, received an enlargement he would first remind them of the circumstances under from the uncertain state of our foreign relations at that which the former Secretary at War had made the re. time; but the former was established at a period of pro. port, which was now to be produced as an answer to the found quiet, (the commencement of Mr. Jefferson's Senator's speech.

administration,) and was professedly reduced, with a It would be remembered, (said Mr. B.,) that at the view to economy, to the smallest number then supposed close of the late war with Great Britain, the war estab to be consistent with the public safety. Assuming these lishment of the army was reduced to a peace establish. as a standard, and comparing the present establishment ment, and that this peace establishment was still further with them, and taking into comparison the increase of reduced in 1821, when the Treasury, from a dream of the country, a satisfactory opinion may be formed on a inexhaustible surplus revenue in which it had been in subject which might otherwise admit of a great diversity dulging for a few years, was suddenly waked up to the of opinion.

Our military peace establisli. reality of empty coffers, unavailable funds, and unrelia ment is limited, by the act of 1815, passed at the ter'.

The aggregate of the peace establish: mination of the late war, at 10,000 men. The corps of ment of 1815 was 12,656. In the year 1818 it was pro- engineers and of ordnance, by that and a subsequent act, posed in Congress to reduce that number; and to enable were retained as they then existed; and ibe President members to act with full information on the subject, thie was directed to constitute the establisbment of such Secretary of War, then happening to be the present portions of artillery, infantry, and riflemen, as he might Senator from South Carolina now objecting to this bill, jucige proper. The general orders of the 17th of May, was called upon to report whether, with safety to the 1815, fix the artillery at 3,200; the light artillery at public service, any reduction could be made, either in 660; the infantry 5,410; and the rifle 660 privates and the rank and ble of the army, or in the general staft, or matrosses. Ducument A exhibits a statement of the in the expense of the establishment itself. The Secre- military establishment, including the general staff, as at tary answered upon all three points; and it so happens present organized; and B exhibits a similar view of those that he has spoken to the same three points this day. He of 1802 and 1808; by a reference to which it will ap. has objected to this bill because it increases the rank ! pear that our military establishments, at the respective

*

ble resources.

SENATE.)

Increase of the Army.

[Feb. 16, 1837.

periods, taken in the order of their dates, present an “In fact, no part of our military organization requires aggregate of 3,323, 9,996, and 12,656. it is obvious more attention in peace than the general staff. Ti is in that the establishment of 1808, compared with the then every service invariably the last in attaining perfection; population and wealih of the country, the number and and, if neglected in peace, when there is leisure, it will exient of military posts, is larger in proportion than the be impossible, in the midst of the hurry and bustle of present; but the unsettled state of our relations with war, to bring it to perfection. It is in peace that it France and England at that period renders the com should receive a perfect organization, and that the offiparison not entirely just. Passing, then, that of 1808, cers should be trained to method and punctuality; so let us compare the establishment of 1802 with the pres- that, at the commencement of a war, instead of creating ent. To form a correct comparison, it will be necessary anew, nothing more should be necessary than to give to to compare the capacity and necessities of the country it the necessary enlargement. In this country, particu. then with those of the present time. Since that period larly, the staff cannot be neglected with impunity. Diffi. our population has nearly doubled, and our wealth more cult as its operations are in actual service every wbere, than doubled. We bave added Louisiana to our posses- it has here to encounter great and peculiar impediments, sions, and with it a great extent of frontier, both mari. from the extent of the country, the badness and fretime and inland. With the extension of our frontier, quently the want of roads, and the sudden and unex. and the increase of our commercial cities, our military pected calls which are often made on the militia. If it posts and fortifications have been greatly multiplied. could be shown that the staff, in its present extent, was

If, then, the military establishment of 1802 be not necessary in peace, it would, with the view taken, assumed to be as small as was then consistent with the be unwise to lop off any of its branches which would be safety of the country, our present establishment, when necessary in actual service. With a defective staff, we we take into the comparison the prodigious increase of must carry on our military operations under great disadwealth, population, extent of territory, number and vantages, and te exposed, particularly at the commencedistance of military posts, cannot be pronounced extrava ment of a war, to great losses, embarrassments, and gant; but, on the contrary, after a fair and full com disasters. parison, that of the former period must, in proportion “ The next question which presents itself for considto the necessities and capacity of the country, be admit- eration is, can the expenses of our military establishted to be quite as large as the present; and, on the ment be reduced without injury to the public service, assumption that the establishment of 1802 was as small by reducing the pay and emoluments of the officers and as the public safety would then admit, a reduction of the soldiers! There is no class in the community whose expense of our present establishment cannot be made, compensation has advanced less, since the termination of with safety to the public service, by reducing the army. the war of the Revolution, than that of the officers and In coming to this conclusion, I have not overlooked the soldiers of our army. While money has depreciated maxim that a large standing army is dangerous to the more rapidly than at any other period, and the price of liberty of the country, and that our ultimate reliance all the necessaries of life has advanced proportionably, for defence ought to be on the militia.

To their compensation has remained nearly stationary. The consider the present army as dangerous to our liberty effects are severely felt by the subaltern officers. It partakes, it is conceived, more of timidity than wisdom. requires the most rigid economy for them to subsist on

their pay and emoluments. Documents marked F and “The staff, as organized by the act of the last session, G exhibit the pay and subsistence during the Revolucombines simplicity with efficiency, and is considered to tion and as at present established; and document be superior to that of the periods to which I have refer- marked Hexbibits the allowance of clothing, fuel, ence. In estimating the expenses of the army, and forage, transportation, quarters, waiters, stationery, and particularly that of the staff, the two most expensive straw, at the termination of the revolutionary war, and branches of it (the engineer and ordnance depariments) in 1802, 1815, and 1818. By a reference to those docought not fairly to be included. Their duties are con uments it will be seen that, under most of the heads, the nected with the permanent preparation and defence of variations of the different periods have been very small, the country, and have so little reference to the existing and that, on a comparison of the whole, the pay of an military establishment, that if the army were reduced to officer is not near equal now (if allowance is made for a single regiment, no reduction could safely be made in the depreciation of money) to what it was during the either of them. To form a correct estimate of the duties Revolution. I will abstain from further remarks, as it of the other branches of the staff, and consequently the must be obvious, from these statements, that the ex: number of officers required, we must take into consid pense of our military establishment cannot be materially eration not only the number of the troops, and, conse reduced without injury to the public service, by redu. quently, the number of officers required, but, what is cing the pay and emoluments of the officers and sol. equally essential, the number of posts and extent of diers.” country which they occupy: Were our military estab Having read these extracts from the report of the then lishment reduced one half, it is obvious that, if the same Secretary at War, and now Senator from South Carolina, posts continued to be occupied which now are, the same (Mr. Calhoun,) Mr. B. said that every word of it applied number of officers in the quartermaster's, commissary's, with double force in favor of the bill which that Senator paymaster's, medical, and adjutant and inspector gen was now opposing. Every reason which he gave against eral's departments would be required.

reducing the military establishment in 1818 applies with “To compare, then, as it is sometimes done, our staff double force in favor of raising it now to what it was with those of European armies assembled in large bodies, then. That report was then sanctioned by Congress. is manifestly unfair. The act of the last session, it is it prevented the reduction of the army. Not a man was believed, has made all the reduction which ought to be reduced at that time, nor for three years afterwards, nor altempted. It has rendered the staff efficient, without until the exhausted state of the Treasury compelled reduce making it expensive. Such a staff is not only indispen- tions of expense at all practicable points, and included sable to the efficiency of the army, but is also necessary the army in the objects on which retrenchment sell. The to a proper economy of its disbursements; and should report prevented ihe reduction in 1818; the empliness an attempt be made at retrenchment, by reducing the of the Treasury caused the reduction in 1821; and now, bly prove wasteful and extravagant. present number, it would, in its consequences, proba- when the Treasury is full again, and when the wants of

the service are so urgent for an incrcased force, and

« AnteriorContinuar »