Page images

Special Session-President's Inaugural Address.

preferment, or title to secure for him place, it will be his privilege, and must be his acknowledged right, to stand unabashed, even in the presence of princes, with a proud consciousness that he is himself one of a nation of sovereigns, and that he cannot, in legitimate pursuit, wander so far from home that the agent whom he shall leave behind in the place I now occupy, will not see that no rude hand of power or tyrannical passion is laid upon with impunity. He must realize that upon every sea, and on every soil, where our enterprise may rightfully seek the protection of our flag, American citizenship is an inviolable panoply for the security of American rights. And, in this connection, it can hardly be necessary to reaffirm a principle which should now be regarded as fundamental. The rights, security, and repose of this Confederacy reject the idea of interference or colobe||nization, on this side of the ocean, by any foreign Power, beyond present jurisdiction, as utterly inadmissible.

32D CONG.....3D SESS.

One of the most impressive evidences of that wisdom is to be found in the fact that the actual working of our system has dispelled a degree of solicitude which, at the outset, disturbed bold hearts and far-reaching intellects. The apprehension of dangers from extended territory, multiplied States, accumulated wealth, and augmented population, has proved to be unfounded. The stars upon you banner have become nearly threefold their original number, your densely popula-him ted possessions skirt the shores of the two great oceans, and yet this vast increase of people and territory has not only shown itself compatible with the harmonious action of the States and the Federal Government in their respective constitutional spheres, but has afforded an additional guarantee of the strength and integrity of both.

With an experience thus suggestive and cheering, the policy of my administration will not controlled by any timid forebodings of evil from ⚫ expansion. Indeed, it is not to be disguised that our attitude as a nation, and our position on the The opportunities of observation, furnished by globe, render the acquisition of certain possessions my brief experience as a soldier, confirmed in my not within our jurisdiction, eminently important own mind the opinion, entertained and acted upon for our protection, if not, in the future, essential by others from the formation of the Government, for the preservation of the rights of commerce and that the maintenance of large standing armies in the peace of the world. Should they be obtained, our country would be not only dangerous, but unit will be through no grasping spirit, but with a necessary. They also illustrated the importance, I view to obvious national interest and security, and might well say the absolute necessity, of the milin a manner entirely consistent with the strictest itary science and practical skill furnished, in such observance of national faith. We have nothing in an eminent degree, by the institution which has our history or position to invite aggression; we made your Army what it is, under the discipline have everything to beckon us to the cultivation of and instruction of officers not more distinguished relations of peace and amity with all nations. for their solid attainments, gallantry, and devoPurposes, therefore, at once just and pacific, will tion to the public service, than for unobtrusive be significantly marked in the conduct of our for-bearing and high moral tone. The Army, as oreign affairs. I intend that my administration ganized, must be the nucleus around which, in shall leave no blot upon our fair record, and trust every time of need, the strength of your military I may safely give the assurance that no act within power, the sure bulwark of your defense-a nathe legitimate scope of my constitutional control tional militia-may be readily formed into a well will be tolerated on the part of any portion of our disciplined and efficient organization. And the citizens which cannot challenge a ready justifica- skill and self-devotion of the Navy assure you that tion before the tribunal of the civilized world. An you may take the performance of the past as a Administration would be unworthy of confidence pledge for the future, and may confidently expect at home, or respect abroad, should it cease to be that the flag which has waved its untarnished folds influenced by the conviction that no apparent over every sea, will still float in undiminished advantage can be purchased at a price so dear as honor. But these, like many other subjects, will that of national wrong or dishonor. It is not your be appropriately brought, at a future time, to the privilege, as a nation, to speak of a distant past. attention of the coödinate branches of the GovernThe striking incidents of your history, replete with ment, to which I shall always look with profound instruction, and furnishing abundant grounds for respect, and with trustful confidence that they will hopeful confidence, are comprised in a period com- accord to me the aid and support which I shall so paratively brief. But if your past is limited, your much need, and which their experience and wisfuture is boundless. Its obligations throng the dom will readily suggest. unexplored pathway of advancement, and will be limitless as duration. Hence a sound and comprehensive policy should embrace not less the distant future than the urgent present.

The great objects of our pursuit, as a people, are best to be attained by peace, and are entirely consistent with the tranquillity and interests of the rest of mankind. With the neighboring nations upon our continent we should cultivate kindly and fraternal relations. We can desire nothing in regard to them so much as to see them consolidate their strength, and pursue the paths of prosperity and happiness. If, in the course of their growth, we should open new channels of trade, and create additional facilities for friendly intercourse, the benefits realized will be equal and mutual. Of the complicated European systems of national policy we have heretofore been independent. From their wars, their tumults, and anxieties, we have been, happily, almost entirely exempt. Whilst these are confined to the nations which gave them existence, and within their legitimate jurisdiction, they - cannot affect us, except as they appeal to our sympathies in the cause of human freedom and universal advancement. But the vast interests of commerce are common to all mankind, and the advantages of trade and international intercourse must always present a noble field for the moral influence of a great people.

With these views firmly and honestly carried out, we have a right to expect, and shall, under all circumstances, require prompt reciprocity. The rights which belong to us as a nation are not alone to be regarded, but those which pertain to every citizen in his individual capacity, at home and abroad, must be sacredly maintained. So long as he can discern every star in its place upon that ensign, without wealth to purchase for him


pacity, wherever there are duties to be performed. Without these qualities in their public servants, more stringent laws for the prevention or punishment of fraud, negligence, and peculation will be vain. With them, they will be unnecessary.

But these are not the only points to which you look for vigilant watchfulness. The dangers of a concentration of all power in the General Government of a Confederacy so vast as ours, are too obvious to be disregarded. You have a right, therefore, to expect your agents, in every Department, to regard strictly the limits imposed upon them by the Constitution of the United States. The great scheme of our constitutional liberty rests upon a proper distribution of power between the State and Federal authorities; and experience has shown that the harmony and happiness of our people must depend upon a just discrimination between the separate rights and responsibilities of the States and your common rights and obligations under the General Government. And here, in my opinion, are the considerations which should form the true basis of future concord, in regard to the questions which have most seriously disturbed public tranquillity. If the Federal Government will confine itself to the exercise of powers clearly granted by the Constitution, it can hardly happen that its action upon any question should endanger the institutions of the States, or interfere with their right to manage matters strictly domestic according to the will of their own people.

In expressing briefly my views upon an important subject which has recently agitated the nation to almost a fearful degree, I am moved by no other impulse than a most earnest desire for the perpetuation of that Union which has made us what we are, showering upon us blessings, and conferring a power and influence which our fathers could hardly have anticipated, even with their most sanguine hopes directed to a far-off future. The sentiments I now announce were not unknown before the expression of the voice which called me here. My own position upon this subject was clear and unequivocal, upon the record of my words and my acts; and it is only recurred to at this time because silence might perhaps be misconstrued. With the Union my best and dearest earthly hopes are entwined. Without it, what are we, individually or collectively? What becomes of the noblest field ever opened for the advancement of our race, in religion, in government, in the arts, and in all that dignifies and adorns mankind? From that radiant constellation, which both illumes our own way and points out to struggling nations their course, let but a single star be lost, and, if there be not utter darkness, the luster of the whole is dimmed. Do my countrymen need any assurance that such a catastrophe is not to overtake them while I possess the power to stay it?

In the administration of domestic affairs you expect a devoted integrity in the public service, and an observance of rigid economy in all departments, so marked as never justly to be questioned. If this reasonable expectation be not realized, I frankly confess that one of your leading hopes is It is with me an earnest and vital belief, that as doomed to disappointment, and that my efforts, the Union has been the source, under Providence, in a very important particular, must result in a of our prosperity to this time, so it is the surest humiliating failure. Offices can be properly re- pledge of the continuance of the blessings we have garded only in the light of aids for the accomplish- enjoyed, and which we are sacredly bound to ment of these objects; and as occupancy can confer transmit undiminished to our children. The field no prerogative, nor importunate desire for prefer- of calm and free discussion in our country is open, ment any claim, the public interest imperatively and will always be so, but it never has been and demands that they be considered with sole refer- never can be traversed for good in a spirit of secence to the duties to be performed. Good citizens tionalism and uncharitableness. The founders of may well claim the protection of good laws and the the Republic dealt with things as they were prebenign influence of good government; but a claim sented to them, in a spirit of self-sacrificing patriotfor office is what the people of a Republic should ism, and, as time has proved, with a comprehensive never recognize. No reasonable man of any party wisdom which it will always be safe for us to conwill expect the Administration to be so regardless sult. Every measure tending to strengthen the of its responsibility, and of the obvious elements fraternal feelings of all the members of our Union of success, as to retain persons, known to be under has had my heartfelt approbation. To every theory the influence of political hostility and partisan of society or government, whether the offspring prejudice, in positions which will require not only of feverish ambition or of morbid enthusiasm, severe labor, but cordial coöperation. Having no calculated to dissolve the bonds of law and affecimplied engagements to ratify, no rewards to be- tion which unite us, I shall interpose a ready and stow, no resentments to remember, and no per- stern resistance. I believe that involuntary servisonal wishes to consult, in selections for official tude, as it exists in different States of this Constation, I shall fulfill this difficult and delicate trust, federacy, is recognized by the Constitution. I be admitting no motive as worthy either of my char-lieve that it stands like any other admitted right, acter or position which does not contemplate an and that the States where it exists are entitled to efficient discharge of duty and the best interests of efficient remedies to enforce the constitutional promy country. I acknowledge my obligations to the visions. I hold that the laws of 1850, commonly masses of my countrymen, and to them alone. called the "compromise measures," are strictly Higher objects than personal aggrandizement gave constitutional, and to be unhesitatingly carried into direction and energy to their exertions in the late effect. I believe that the constituted authorities of canvass, and they shall not be disappointed. They this Republic are bound to regard the rights of the require at my hands diligence, integrity, and ca-South in this respect as they would view any other

Special Session-Committees.

32D CONG.....3D SESS.

legal and constitutional right, and that the laws to enforce them should be respected and obeyed, not with a reluctance encouraged by abstract opinions as to their propriety in a different state of society, but cheerfully, and according to the decisions of the tribunal to which their exposition belongs. Such have been and are my convictions, and upon them I shall act. I fervently hope that the question is at rest, and that no sectional, or ambitious, or fanatical excitement may again threaten the durability of our institutions, or obscure the light of our prosperity.

But let not the foundation of our hope rest upon man's wisdom. It will not be sufficient that sectional prejudices find no place in the public deliberations. It will not be sufficient that the rash counsels of human passion are rejected. It must be felt that there is no national security but in the nation's humble, acknowledged dependence upon God and his overruling providence.

We have been carried in safety through a perilous crisis. like those which gave us the Constitution, prevailed to uphold in Lee the period be remembered as an admonition, and not as an encouragement, in any section of the Union, to make experiments where experiments are fraught with such fearful hazard. Let it be impressed upon all hearts, that, beautiful as our fabric is, no earthly power or wisdom could ever reunite its broken fragments. Standing as I do almost within view of the green slopes of Monticello, and, as it were, within reach of the tomb of Washington, with all the cherished memories of the past gathering around me, like so many eloquent voices of exhortation from Heaven, I ca express no better hope for my country than that the kind Providence which smiled upon our fathers may enable their children to preserve the blessings they have inherited.


The President having concluded his address, the Senate returned to its Chamber, and resumed its business.*

THE INAUGURATION attracted to the metropolis a greater number of persons from places more or less remote than any previous occasion of the kind, or indeed any ceremonial whatever. Possibly the census of our district cities has been increased within a week upwards of twenty thousand, so that all our hotels, boarding-houses, and places of public entertainment, not to mention the great extension of private hospitalities, have been crowded as never before. Every contrivance that ingenuity and a spirit of accommodation could devise has been put into requisition, in many estabfishments, to render the vast and sudden influx of strangers all the comfort possible. Though many persons residing within moderate distances from the city returned home after the conclusion of the ceremonies, by railroad and private vehicles, still the places of public entertainment are fully occupied.

At an early hour this morning drums beat and music reBounded in various parts of the city, as it were to arouse and prepare the people for the pageant of the day. The country adjacent poured in upon us from every point of the compass, by carriage, horse, and foot, until at length there must have been for a time approximating seventy or eighty thousand persons within our city limits. During the forenoon, Pennsylvania avenue was lined with patiently-expectant spectators, either standing at favorable positions on the sidewalks, or thronging the windows commanding the line of procession. The weather was not pleasant; a raw northeasterly wind, wafting a pretty con tinuous, though fast melting snow, made its effects felt.

As per programme, the military companies of our own and other places (eighteen in number) met on the parade ground in front of the City Hall, where they were organized under the command of Colonel William Hickey, commanding the volunteer regiment of the District of Columbia. The other constituent parts of the procession took position upon the same ground. They then, about noon, marched thence down Louisiana to Pennsylvania avenue, to escort the President elect from his lodgings (Willard's Hotel) to the Capitol. Arrived at the hotel, the procession was joined by an open barouche, containing the President and President elect, the Hons. Jesse D. Bright and Hannibal Hamlin, of the Committee of Arrangements; the barowche being surrounded by the Marshal of the District of Columbia and his Aids, and followed by several Democratic and Fire


men's associations.

By prior arrangement, in order to accommodate the people as much as possible in their view of the ceremony of the inauguration, the large gates of the Capitol yard were closed to carriages. The President's party and the diplomatic corps were admitted by the north side gate, and a covered way to the north door of the Capitol. The remaining (pedestrian) portion of the procession, with the people at large, entered by the northern side gate.

The President. President elect, and Committee of Arrangements. Marshals, &c., having arrived in the Senate Chamber, after the usual formalities there, they proceeded

thence to the platform erected for the occasion over the steps leading up to the eastern portico. The President elect then stood forward, and, holding up his right band, took the oath of office, which was administered by the Chief Justice of the United States. The new President then delivered his Inaugural Address.-National Intelligencer.


On the motion of Mr. RUSK, it was ordered that the daily hour of meeting shall be twelve o'clock, m.


On motion by Mr. WELLER, it was ordered that when the Senate adjourns, it adjourn to meet on Monday next.

On motion by Mr. PETTIT, the Senate adjourned.

MONDAY, March 7, 1853. Prayer by the Rev. C. M. BUTLER.

The Journal of the proceedings in the special session on Friday last, embracing the proclamation of the President of the United States by which it was convened, was read.

On the motion of Mr. FISH, the Journal was corrected. It was stated that his colleague [Mr. SEWARD] was present on Friday last, whereas he had beer temporarily cauca home by indisposition

in his family. COMMITTEE TO WAIT ON THE PRESIDENT. Mr. WALKER submitted the following resolution; which was considered by unanimous consent and agreed to:

Resolved, That a committee, consisting of two members, be appointed by the President of the Senate to wait on the President of the United States, and inform him that the Senate is assembled, and ready to receive any communications he may be pleased to make.

Mr. WALKER and Mr. PHELPS were appointed the committee.


Mr. CLAYTON. I submit the following resolution:

Resolved, That the President be respectfully requested, if compatible in his opinion with the public interest, to communicate to the Senate the propositions mentioned in the letter of the Secretary of State accompanying the Executive message to the Senate of the 18th February last, as having been agreed upon by the Department of State, the British Minister, and the State of Costa Rica, on the 30th of April, 1852, having for their object the settlement of the territorial controversies between the States and Governments bordering on the river San Juan.

Resolved, That the Secretary of State be directed to communicate to the Senate such information as it may be in the power of his Department to furnish, in regard to the conflicting claims of Great Britain and the State of Honduras to the islands of Roatan, Bonacca, Utilla, Barbarat Helene, and Morat, in or near the Bay of Honduras.

I desire to say, that whenever that resolution can come before the Senate without interfering with the necessary business of the Senate at this time, it is my purpose to discuss the topics which are suggested by the resolution. I hope to have the opportunity of doing so at an early period.


Mr. MORTON submitted the following resolution for consideration:

Resolved, That there be paid out of the contingent fund of the Senate to the honorable David L. Yulee, a sum equal to the amount of mileage and per diem compensation of a Senator, from the commencement of the first session of the Thirty second Congress to the 27th of August, 1852, the day on which the Senate decided that the honorable Stephen R. Mallory, whose seat in the Senate was claimed by him, was duly elected a member of the Senate from the State of Florida.

REPAIRING OF CAPITOL ROOMS. Mr. JONES, of Iowa, submitted the following resolution for consideration:

Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate ay the amount which may be allowed by the Committee to Audit and Control the Contingent Expenses of the Senate, for the expenses incurred during the last session, in repairing and fitting up for use two rooms in the basement of the Capitol.


Mr. SOULE. I present to the Senate the memorial of several members of the General Assembly of the State of Louisiana, protesting against the action of the Legislature of that State in electing my present colleague [Mr. BENJAMIN] to the seat which he now occupies. The question raised is as to the legality of that election by the Legislature of 1852. The Legislature has this year declined into a new either indorsing the action of the Legislature In 1952, or conceding that they had no right to proceed to a new election. Such being the circumstances under which the memorial has been sent to me, I comply with the request directing me to present it to the Senate, but shall decline taking any further action upon the subject.


The memorial was received, and ordered to lie upon the table.


Mr. MASON. I have been requested to ask leave to withdraw the petition and papers of the heir of William Lindsay, an officer in the Revolution, praying an allowance of five years' full pay on behalf of the lady who is his only heir. They were presented in 1843.

Leave was given.

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT. Mr. WALKER. The Select Committee, whose duty it was made to wait on the President of the United States and inform him that the Senate had met and was ready to receive any communications which he had to make, has performed that duty, and received for answer that he would forthwith communicate to the Senate in writing.

Several messages in writing, which the President of the Senate announced to be Executive messages, were subsequently received from the President by Mr. SYDNEY WEBSTER, his Private Secretary.


On motion by Mr. MASON, the Senate proceeded to the consideration of Executive business, and after some time spent therein, the doors were reopened, and

The Senate adjourned.

TUESDAY, March 8, 1853.

Prayer by the Chaplain, Rev. C. M. BUTLER. Mr. BRIGHT. It is necessary, to carry out the organization of the Executive session, to appoint committees. Each side of the Chamber has conferred and agreed upon the list which the honorable Senator from North Carolina [Mr. BADGER] holds in his hand. It requires unanimous consent to permit him to present that report, and to have it acted upon. The report which he makes will be temporary-for this session only; and at the next session of Congress there will be a reorganization. I move that he have unanimous consent to present that list, and that it be acted upon without proceeding to ballot, as is prescribed by the rules of the Senate.

[blocks in formation]

On Indian Affairs.-Mr. Sebastian, chairman; Messrs. Walker, Cooper, Rusk, and Smith.

On Claims.-Mr. Brodhead, chairman; Messrs. Adams, Pratt, Chase, and Wade.

[ocr errors]

On the Judiciary. Mr. Butler, chairman; Messrs. Toucey, Geyer, Stuart, and Phelps.

On the Post Office and Post Roads.-Mr. Rusk, chairman; Messrs. Soulé, Morton, Hamlin, and Smith.

On Roads and Canals.-Mr. Bright, chairman; Messrs. Douglas, Geyer, Adams, and Sumner.

On Pensions.-Mr. Jones, of Iowa, chairman;

Messrs. Weller, Foot, Evans, and Toombs.

On the District of Columbia.-Mr. Shields, chairman; Messrs. Norris, Badger, Mallory, and Cooper.

On Patents and the Patent Office.-Mr. James, chairman; Messrs. Evans, Dawson, Stuart, and Smith.

On Territories. Mr. Douglas, chairman;


Special Session-Personal Explanation by Mr. Badger.

in my hand, taken from a political newspaper
printed in the town of Wilmington, North Caro-
lina, which I ask may be read as the basis of the
observations which I have to submit to the Senate.
The Secretary read it as follows:

32D CONG....3D SESS.

Messrs. Weller, Cooper, Houston, and Jones of

To Audit and Control the Contingent Expenses of the Senate.-Mr. Dodge, of Iowa, chairman; Messrs. Foot and Bright.

On Public Buildings.-Mr. James, chairman; Messrs. Badger and Hunter.

On the Library.-Mr. Pearce, chairman; Messrs. Bayard and Atherton.

The committees were agreed to.


Mr. MORTON. I desire to ask the Senate to take up for consideration the resolution which I submitted yesterday, in relation to the per diem and mileage of my late colleague, [Mr. YULEE.] I am anxious that it should receive the action of the Senate, one way or the other.

Mr. CLAYTON. I hope the Senator will not press his request now.

Mr. MORTON. If there are any other matters before the Senate, I will not press it this morning. Mr. CLAYTON. I hope the Senator will permit the resolutions I submitted yesterday, to

be taken up.

Mr. MORTON. I withdraw my request.

"THIS WEEK.-The close of business on Thursday night
virtually concludes the present Administration of national
affairs. At twelve o'clock on Friday, Franklin Pierce
will take the oath of office as President of the United States.
"The present Congress will also end at the same time,
and there is great reason to fear that it will go out without
having done anything for our river or bars. The only
chance now is with the Senate, and both the Senators from
this State turn their backs upon the affair and upon us.
Whig or Democrat, Federalist or Republican, we must
have a Cape Fear Senator, if we hope to have anything
done for the interests of this portion of the State. Messrs.
Badger and Mangum care for us about the value of a chew
of tobacco. Perhaps, however, Mr. Ashe may yet be able
to effect something through others; but it is an up-hill busi-
ness, when even the urgent resolutions of the Legislature
of their own State cannot induce our North Carolina Sen-
ators to cooperate with him. That they have refused to
do so, we know."


The Senate proceeded to the consideration of the resolutions submitted yesterday by Mr. CLAYTON, as follows:

Resolved, That the President be respectfully requested, it compatible, in his opinion, with the public interest, to communicate to the Senate the propositions mentioned in the letter of the Secretary of State accompanying the Executive message to the Senate of the 18th February last, as having been agreed upon by the Department of State, the British Minister, and the State of Costa Rica, on the 30th of April, 1852, having for their object the settlement of the territorial controversies between the States and Governments bordering on the river San Juan.

Mr. BADGER. The second session which 1
served in this body, I was called upon by the in-
habitants of Wilmington, and others who were
immediately interested in the navigation of Cape
Fear river at and below that town, to endeavor to
secure some appropriation furnishing lights and
I set myself to work, as of
buoys for that river.
course I was bound to do, and endeavored to have
that measure of just relief extended to the people
of that portion of the State; and I was successful
in procuring the first and, so far as I know, the
only effectual measure for giving security to the
On that and on every
navigation of that stream.
occasion, it has been my custom rather to endeavor
to do what the interests of my constituents re-
quired, than to make a public exhibition of myself
on this floor as their friend, always preferring to
have measures adopted for their relief rather than
to make speeches by which I might hold myself
forth as their special champion. This winter my
attention was early called to the necessity for an
appropriation in respect to the entrance of Cape
Fear river, the case made being this: The Gov-
ernment of the United States had established cer-
tain jetties to protect the site of Fort Caswell,
the effect of which had been to make that side of
the entrance firm, but to turn the current to Bald
Head, on the opposite point; and by washing loose
sands to precipitate them into the channels, and so
to promote a rapid filling up, the consequence of
which was that the channel was shallowed from
twenty to twelve feet, and was losing its present
depth at the rate of nine inches a year. The Le-
gislature of the State adopted a resolution on the
subject, which I had the honor to present here,
and had referred to the Committee on Commerce.
I felt the absolute necessity for something being
done, and done promptly; that it was a condition
of things not only that required relief, but which
did not admit of delay in affording that relief.

I learned afterwards, from my friend who is at
the head of the Committee of Commerce, [Mr.
HAMLIN,] that the committee had declined to re-
port any separate measure, and would allow these
things to be considered only upon a general bill.
I thought that was unjust to the particular locality
of which I have spoken, and having provided my-
self with a communication from Professor Bache,
showing not only the necessity of the work, but
that it was indispensable that it should be imme-
diately commenced, I procured the unanimous
consent of the Committee on Naval Affairs to re-
port an amendment proposing an appropriation of
$50,000 for the object. At the same time the
similar amendment for removing wrecks from the
committee unanimously concurred in reporting a
Savannah river, in the State of Georgia; and as I
was called upon by you, sir, to relieve you in
part from the oppressive labors brought upon the
Chair by the close of the session, it was agreed
between me and the late Senator from Georgia
(Mr. CHARLTON) that the amendment should be
offered by him. I signified to several of my
friends on this floor, particularly my friends on
the Democratic side of the Chamber-among
whom it gives me great satisfaction to say that I
bave many warm ones-that this was a measure
not only right and proper in itself; not only re-
quiring immediate provisions by law, but that I
felt a personal interest and anxious personal de-
sire that the amendment should be adopted. The

Resolved, That the Secretary of State be directed to communicate to the Senate such information as it may be in the power of his Department to furnish, in regard to the conflicting claims of Great Britain and the State of Honduras to the islands of Roatan, Bonacca, Utilla, Barbarat, Helene, and Morat, in or near the Bay of Honduras.

Mr. CLAYTON addressed the Senate for more than two hours upon the resolutions, and without concluding, gave way to a motion to postpone the further consideration of the resolutions until tomorrow; which was agreed to.


On motion by Mr. MASON, the Senate proceeded to the consideration of Executive business, and after some time spent therein, the doors were reopened, and

The Senate adjourned.

WEDNESDAY, March 9, 1853.

Prayer by the Chaplain, Rev. C. M. BUTLER.

Mr. BADGER. In proposing the committees yesterday, an oversight was made in regard to the Committee on Printing, which, as it may be necessary in the course of the Executive session, I ask the unanimous consent of the Senate to have now appointed. I propose that the following be the members of that committee: Mr. BORLAND, chairman; Messrs. HAMLIN and SMITH.

The motion was agreed to.


Mr. BADGER. I desire to ask a few minutes
of the time of the Senate this morning, for the
purpose of making what is commonly called a
personal explanation. It is the first time in the
course of my service in the Senate-which has
now extended into the seventh session-that I have
ever troubled myself with any matters which hap-
pen outside of the Chamber, and have ever thought
any personal concern of mine important enough
to excite the attention of this body. I am in the
habit of looking on every assault made against me
in the public press with indifference, bordering
very strongly on contempt, and perhaps have car-
ried the matter rather further than a just considera-
tion of what is due to my position and to my con-
stituents exactly warranted. But a case has now
arisen which I feel myself bound to make an ex-
ception to the general rule of silence, indifference,
and contempt, which I have observed, because it
is necessary to do so, both in justice to myself and
to Mr. MANGUM, my late colleague in this body.
A friend has transmitted to me a slip which I hold


two amendments were proposed by the late Sen-
ator from Georgia. They were adopted. They
were sent to the House of Representatives, which
refused its concurrence. The honorable chairman
of the Committee on Naval Affairs, [Mr. GWIN,]
who was upon the two Committees of Conference
between the two Houses upon the Navy appro-
priation bill, knows, that at my earnest instance,
he made it a point to insist upon those amend-
ments; and my friend from Georgia, also, [Mr.
DAWSON,] a member of the committee, who is not
now present, joined him in insisting upon it; and
feeling the present necessity, as well as yielding
to my personal wishes and solicitation on the sub-
ject, offered in committee that he would surrender
the appropriation for the river in his own State,
if the House committee would agree to permit
this appropriation for Cape Fear to pass.

In all these proceedings I had the cheerful,
hearty, and anxious concurrence of Mr. MANgum,
my late colleague, who in each and every respect
acted as became an American Senator and as a
North Carolinian, feeling it his special duty to pro-
vide for what was necessary for any and every
resented on this floor.
portion of the State which jointly with me he rep-


In these proceedings, Mr. President, I discharged At nothing more than I felt to be my duty. I desired no thanks. I expected no commendation. ter from which the extract which has been read least I knew I should receive none from the quarBut I did think, and do think, that it is a little hard, when a gentleman has thus endeavored to procure what is desired for a particular locality in his State, that he should be falsly denounced as having utterly refused to coöporate with the gentleman who represents that district in the other House, in endeavoring to procure this relief, and turned his back as in scorn and contempt to the application.

Mr. President, I feel desirous, now and ever, to vindicate myself from the suspicion that under any circumstances I could permit personal or political considerations, public or private griefs, to induce me to neglect any duty which belongs to me as an American Senator, and especially any State of North Carolina. This communication duty which belongs to me as a Senator from the remarks, that it is absolutely necessary, in order to have these things done, that the Cape Fear porfloor. I have no doubt that there are many gention of the State shall have a Senator upon this tlemen there who could represent the State on this floor with far greater ability than myself, and possibly with greater ability than my fate colleague; but this I venture to assert, that no man from that or any other section of the State, can ever represent it with truer devotion, and more earnest and interest of North Carolina of which the General unfaltering attention to the promotion of every Government has charge; and I will add another thing, that, if any gentleman shall be sent here from the Cape Fear region, and he expects to procure the aid or assistance of the Senate in promoting measures of internal improvements, whether of harbors or rivers, which he may deem essential in his own State, he will have to adopt a different system of tactics, and avow a different system of principles from those which have generally been avowed by the representatives of that portion of the State. It is not the most persuasive method of getting gentlemen who represent other portions of the country to do anything for North Carolina, to announce that he who asks the assistance or favor is utterly opposed to doing anything for any other portions of the country.

Mr. President, I am sorry to have trespassed upon the Senate, and especially that I have been obliged to make this statement, containing necessarily so much of egotism; but I felt that it was due to myself. I did not choose that my constituents, who are just and honorable men, should, stituents in North Carolina, my Democratic conthe unworthy person which I am represented in by anything in the party press, suppose me to be that publication to be. I take this method, in justice to my late colleague and myself, of putting this matter right, because the leading Democratic journal here, being one of the official reporters of the Senate, this explanation will appear in its columns, and be read by hundreds in North Carolina who never otherwise would see it. I believe I

Special Session-Clayton-Bulwer Treaty.

sentatives to lose the bill, or else give this appropriation among others which they had refused. I have always said, and always will say, that although the Senator from North Carolina does not make much noise about his State here in the Senate, yet, whenever the interests of his State are before a committee, he attends to them with as much zeal and fidelity as any member of the body attends to the interests of his constituents. I have never known him to be wanting on any proper occasion.

Mr. HAMLIN. I think it but just that I should bear testimony to what has fallen from the Senator from North Carolina, so far as the action of the Committee on Commerce is concerned, and so far as his application in relation to the subject before the committee is concerned. An actual report was made to the Senate, embracing estimates for all appropriations for harbors, rivers, and lakes; and in that communication were estimates for the two places he has named: Cape Fear river and the Savannah river. So earnest was the Senator from North Carolina to have these subjects separate and distinct from all others, that he came personally before the Committee on Commerce and solicited its separate action. In the judgment of the committee, there was no difference between these cases and others contained in the general estimates, except in degree; and if there was a more urgent necessity for these cases, there was still an urgent necessity for other cases; and while I, as chairman of the committee, was in favor of separate reports in the case, the com- mmittee overruled me, and were unwilling to separate it from a general bill. I think the Senator from North Carolina has erred in one particular, and I think the Senate has a right to complain, but not his constituents; and that was, taking the matter from the appropriate committee to which it belonged and carrying it to a committee which had not the subject before them, and getting an appropriation here somewhat by indirection. I do not find fault with him. I did not know that the recommendation of the Committee on Naval Affairs had been made until it was adopted. The Senator from North Carolina knows very well that I opposed a similar appropriation when offered by the Senator from New York; and he also knows very well that I would have opposed his proposition if I had been in my place when it was offered. But inasmuch as it was adopted by the Senate at the earnest solicitation of the Senator from North Carolina, I withdrew the motion to reconsider it.

32D CONG.....3D SESS.

might appeal, if necessary, for confirmation of what I have said to the honorable Senator from California, [Mr. GWIN,] the chairman of the Committee on Commerce, [Mr. HAMLIN,] and to other Senators, but I have done.

Mr. GWIN. I consider it an act of duty to the honorable Senator from North Carolina, to corroborate every word he has stated with regard to this matter. He brought that subject to the notice of the Committee on Naval Affairs before the naval appropriation bill had come from the House of Representatives, and he always pressed it upon me as an important measure, and manifested an earnest desire to have the subject considered when we met at the proper time. When the naval appropriation bill came from the House of Representatives, it was at so late a period in the session, that without being fully considered, I am sure without being considered at all in the Committee on Finance, it was reported without amendment, and the responsibility was thrown upon the Naval Committee, of proposing amendments to it. And I will say that when the Naval Committee met for the purpose of proposing amendments which they had prepared to the bill, the first one that came up was the amendment for the appropriation for the improvement of Cape Fear river, and in order that it should have that consideration to which the committee thought it entitled, when the bill came up for consideration in the Senate, I gave way, as chairman of the Naval Committee, to allow the Senator from Georgia, [Mr. CHARLTON]-the honorable Senator from North Carolina [Mr. BADGER] being in the chair-to make a motion to consider this amendment first, so that if there was any contest with regard to it, there might be a full and fair opportunity of discussing it, in order to show the necessity of the appropriation.

Further than that: the amendment passed this body, as is known, without any serious opposition; and when the Committee of Conference was raised, the Senator from North Carolina came to me, and I believe to the Senator from Georgia [Mr. DawSON] also, who was a member of the Committee of Conference, and urged, with all the earnestness and power he possessed, the necessity of this appropriation, and he brought reasons to bear on my mind which were imperative, for insisting upon it. It is well known that I voted against the river and harbor bill on account of its partial operation. I looked upon this as an improvement that was necessary, because the obstruction was created by the Government itself. Not only did I advocate it in the Committee of Conference, as I stated to the Senator that I would, but the committee broke up on this especial item, and the one connected with the naval depôt at New Orleans. And when a second Committee of Conference was called, of which I was a member, that committee on three different occasions were prepared to separate, because the Senators from Georgia and Louisiana refused peremptorily to give up this appropriation at the earnest suggestion of the Senator from North Carolina. There never was a greater injustice done to any man than that of saying that he has not exerted himself, from the beginning to the end, in order to get the appropriation. He may not have spoken in the Senate on this subject, it is true, but he did speak to that portion of this body to whom the power of bringing the measure forward was intrusted-the Committee on Naval Affairs.

Mr. BADGER. I was in the chair. Mr. GWIN. I will say further, that when the first committee broke up, and we came back and reported that we could not agree, it is well known that the Senator from North Carolina moved that we should adhere to our amendments; and he withdrew that motion at my solicitation, in order that we might agree with the House on all the amendments which we were willing to give up. And then he intended to move to adhere, and make it imperative upon the House of Representatives to reject the bill, or agree to this amendment. But, at the earnest solicitation of the chairman of the Committee on Finance, and other members of the Senate, I retained the floor, and made the motion to insist, and agree to another committee of conference. The Senator from North Carolina voted against that motion, because he wanted to adhere, and make it imperative upon the House of Repre

Mr. BORLAND. I hope I will be permitted to say one word in connection with this subject. As is well known, I have as little political sympathy with the Senator from North Carolina as any other member of this body. I am proud to say, however, that personally our relations are, and always have been, of the most pleasant character. In regard to this particular matter, it so happens that I can speak to one point of some importance. When the appropriation came before the Senate, or rather when I knew it was coming before the Senate, I expressed an opposition to it; not that I objected to the removal of the obstructions, but objected to it as a separate measure, and insisted that it should take its stand among the appropriations for removing obstructions in other rivers and harbors. The Senator from North Carolina came to me, and made an appeal in behalf of this particular work, and put its character and its necessity in such a light before me, that I yielded to his request; and I must be permitted to say, however it may reflect on me generally as a legislator, that I was as much influenced by my personal relations and kindness for him as any conviction of the importance of the work.


The Senate resumed the consideration of the resolutions submitted on Monday last by Mr. CLAYTON.

Mr. CLAYTON concluded the remarks which he commenced yesterday. His speech is as lows:

Mr. CLAYTON. In rising for the first time, after a long absence, to address the Senate, I labor under some embarrassment, from observing that the gentlemen around me are generally strangers to me, and that not a single individual of all my ||


ancient associates who served with me in this body twenty-four years ago is now present. I am irresistibly led back to the events of a period over which nearly a quarter of a century has spread its mantle, when those who filled this Chamber as the representatives of the sovereign States of this Union mingled in discussion on the great issues then before the country, and when the walls of this Chamber daily rung with the echoes of their voices, as they poured forth the logic and the wisdom and the wit" for which they were so preeminently distinguished. Their debates were but justly compared to the procession of a Roman triumph moving in dignity and order to the lofty music of its march, and glittering all over with the spoils of the civilized world. They are gone; and 1, the youngest and humblest of their body, am left to tell the tale. The last of them who left this scene of their strifes and contentions, was the present Vice President of the United States, the Hon. William R. King, who presided over the deliberations of the Senate nearly twenty years with unsurpassed ability and impartiality, and who, during a long period, occupied the post of chief distinction here as the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations.

"Statesman, yet friend to truth, of soul sincere, In action faithful, and in honor clear!"

I confess, also, a feeling of embarrassment from another source. I am called upon to vindicate myself against charges of the grossest character preferred against me here during my absence. It is the first time in the course of a long life that I have found it necessary to defend myself against degrading imputations before any public tribunal. The calumnies which have been uttered here, were all made in connection with the treaty of the 19th of April, 1850; and I intend, if health and strength permit, to vindicate the course which I adopted while acting as Secretary of State under the administration of the lamented Taylor, in regard to the negotiation of that treaty. It is a duty incumbent on me to speak; not, however, merely for my own vindication, but to enable others now in the administration of the Government to understand a subject upon which truth has been more perverted, and falsehood more industriously propagated, than on any other topic of the day. In discharging this duty, I shall endeavor to speak of others with all possible respect, consistently with what I owe to truth, to the country, and to myself. All who recollect my course of conduct while I occupied a seat in this Chamber, will bear me witness that I never assailed any man personally in debate-never was engaged in any controversy, personal in its character, with any one unless it was previously provoked by him. Odi accipitrem. But now let it be well understood by all here, that for every word I utter in debate, I hold myself personally responsible everywhere, as a gentleman and a man of honor. I have very great contempt for that class of puppies whose courage is evinced by their silence when they are hung up by the ear. When attacked, I will defend myself without the slightest regard to consequences; and in doing that, as I am liable to the infirmities of other men, I will carry the war into Africa whenever I think the assailant worthy of my notice. On this occasion much of what I intended to say must be omitted, in consequence of the absence of the distinguished Senator from Michigan, [Mr. CASS,] who introduced the discussion in this Chamber of Thursday, the 6th of January last. I regret his absence, and the cause of it. I cannot say those things which I had intended to say to him if he were here, for I do not much approve of the modern plan of attacking absent men, who can have no opportunity of defending themselves on the spot. However, in speaking of the subjects referred to in that debate, in which that Senator was my principal accuser during my absence, I must necessarily speak of him, because my own defense, for which I have demanded liberty of speech at the first moment after the Senate could possibly hear me, would otherfol-wise be unintelligible. And I will say further,

that I am willing to remain here till harvest if necessary, in order that all others who may choose to reply to anything I shall say, may have full and ample opportunity of doing so.

At the time to which I have referred, the 6th of January last, the Senator from Michigan rose in

32D CONG.....3D Sess.

his place, and demanded an opportunity to make a personal explanation. In the course of that explanation he distinctly charged me, as all the reports of his remarks which appeared in the public prints on that and the succeeding day will show, with having recognized the British title in Honduras, commonly called the Balize. My letter to Mr. Bulwer, on the 4th of July, 1850, completely disproves this accusation, and shows that I carefully avoided the very thing of which he accused me. Another version of his speech afterwards appeared, charging me with having admitted by my letter that Central America was not Central America at all, and that the treaty did not apply to any territory where Great Britain had any sort of claim. This also is disproved by the letter. Both these statements did me gross injustice, and they went on the wings of the lightning to all parts of the country before I could possibly refute them. It is said falsehood will travel a league before truth can put on his boots, and so I found it.

But, sir, there was a much more grave and serious accusation than that. If I understand it at all, it was a charge that I had inserted in the letter to Sir Henry L. Bulwer a direct falsehood; that I had stated that Mr. King, the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, the chosen organ of the Senate to communicate with me--as much the organ of this body as I was the organ of the President to communicate to the Senate through himhad informed me that the Senate perfectly understood at the time they voted upon the treaty of the 19th of April, 1850, that British Honduras was not included in that treaty. The Senator from Michigan declared in the presence of the American Senate, that he had that very morning himself waited on Mr. King, and had received from Mr. King's own lips the positive denial of the assertion. Now, Mr. President, I can understand this: a man of hasty impulses might make a great mistake even in reference to a subject of that character, and might misunderstand Mr. King.

Special Session-Clayton-Bulwer Treaty.

to-day, that we cannot come to an understanding
in relation to these matters.

The correspondence of Mr. King, and his whole
conduct towards me while I was acting as Secre-
tary of State, were worthy of my highest respect.
He was frank, open, and manly, in all his com-
munications with me on all occasions. He was
ever true to his word. I consulted him as one of
the fathers of the Senate, and as one of the chief
constitutional advisers of the President in reference
to the treaty, as it progressed from time to time.
We both agreed that we never could, and never
would recognize any title to the eminent domain,
as existing in Great Britain, in what was called
British Honduras or Balize. We concurred ex-
actly with the report of the honorable chairman of
the Committee on Foreign Relations, that all the
title that Great Britain had in the territory called
Balize, was the right of occupancy in the territory
pointed out in the treaty of 1786 between Great
Britain and Spain.

Sir, there were other extraordinary statements made on that occasion. It was stated by some one in debate that General Taylor's executive message to the Senate, communicating the treaty of the 19th of April, 1850, had described the country within which the British were not to occupy, fortify, colonize, or assume or exercise any dominion, as extending from the southern part of Mexico to the interior of New Granada. The President had stated in that executive message, that the treaty provided for the protection of all the routes between the points which I have just named; but the country from which the British were excluded by the treaty, was the country described in the first article. The eighth article speaks of protection to be given to the Tehuantepec route and the Panama route; and a sad blunder was made by somebody in quoting that passage to show that British Honduras was included in that treaty. It is unnecessary for me to expose what is at once made palpable to every one who will look at the eighth section of the treaty.

Again: it was insinuated in debate, if I understood it, that the President and Cabinet had not been informed of my proceedings at the time of the exchange of the ratifications. On what authority such an insinuation may have been made, it is impossible for me to conjecture, for I think at this very moment one of the Cabinet of President Taylor is within hearing of my voice, and will bear testimony with me, as every other member would, that the whole subject was referred to the President, and perfectly understood by every Cabinet minister, as well as by the President himself. It is only necessary to mention these things, and have done with them. It is painful to allude to accusations built upon such miserable statements as this.

But on the Saturday succeeding that debate there appeared in the public papers of this city, under my own hand, a vindication of myself against the charge, and Mr. King's own letter, dated at the very time I was writing the letter to Sir Henry L: Bulwer, informing me, in the very words used by me in the letter to Sir Henry, "that the Senate perfectly understood that British Honduras was not included in the treaty." I have the original letter now before me. The Senator from Michigan surely saw that letter in the newspaper, or he heard it here in debate; for some of my friends, to whom I owe great acknowledgments for their defense of me on the occasion, brought that letter to the notice of the Senator; and it appears from the card of Mr. Bragg, a gentleman of the other House and a friend of Mr. King, published on the Tuesday succeeding, in the public papers of the city, that the honorable Senator from Michigan must himself have seen Mr. King after the morning on which he made his accusation against me, and received from Mr. King's own lips a denial of the statement which the Senator made on this floor. And, sir, what follows that? The Senator came into the Senate on the Monday following, and, as Mr. Bragg tates in his letter, reiterated the accusation against It does not appear upon the debates that he did so; but this did appear: that he was entirely silent in regard to the whole matter of his charge. In referring to the letter of Mr. King, he only said that he had nothing to do with it. This left Mr. King in an unpleasant position as well as myself; and the Senator never did me the justice on any occasion to retract the statement which he had made here on the 6th day of January. Of that I feel that I have great cause to complain. There was nothing in the personal relations of the Senator from Michigan with myself to warrant me in the expectation that he would make such an assault upon me. So far as I understood those relations we had been very friendly. He had been kind to one who was dear to me, and I thought I had repaid the obligation by being as kind to one who stood in the same relation to him. In all the intercourse which I had with him there was no evidence whatever of personal hostility, and I should as soon have suspected any other man of doing me injustice as the Senator from Michigan. It is for that reason that I regret he is not here


At the instance of the Senator from Michigan,
a resolution was adopted by the Senate on the 27th
of January last, referring my correspondence
with Sir H. L. Bulwer, at the time of exchanging
ratifications, to the Committee on Foreign Rela-
tions, with instructions to that committee to in-
quire what measures were necessary on the part
of the Senate to be taken on account of it. On
the 11th of February, the committee reported a
resolution that Mr. Bulwer's declaration and my
reply to it "import nothing more than an admis-
'sion on the part of the two Governments, or
'their functionaries, at the time of exchanging
'ratifications, that nothing contained in the treaty
was to be considered as affecting the title or ex-
isting rights of Great Britain to the English set-
'tlements in Honduras Bay, and consequently,
'that no measures are necessary on the part of the
'Senate to be taken because of Sir Henry's dec-
'laration and my reply."


To this part of the report, which acquitted me of the imputations cast upon me, I of course do not object. The committee have negatived all the statements of those who declared that the Senate did not understand the treaty as I had explained it to Mr. Bulwer, or have deemed them unworthy of their notice. My triumph over these accusations is completed by the report of the very tribunal selected by my accusers in my absence to try me. But there is one part of the committee's report, which, although it is not necessary for my, justification to refute it, yet is indispensable as an excuse for those who assailed me. My attitude

[ocr errors]

fensive. I deny the statements of the committee
is, therefore, in this respect, no longer merely de-
so far as they go to excuse those who assailed me,
ment of the committee to which I mean to except
and I become the accuser in my turn. The state-
is, that "the boundaries allotted to the British
'settlements on the Balize by the treaties of 1783
and 1786, lie altogether within the territory of
'the Republic of Guatemala." I mean to main-
tain that this opinion or statement of the commit-
tee, whether considered politically, geographical-
ly, or historically, is utterly and absolutely erro-
neous; and that the British settlements within the
boundaries allotted to them by the treaties of 1783
and 1786 are and ever have been, from the earliest
history of that country, within that intendency of
formed a portion, and do not at this day form a
Mexico called Yucatan, or Merida, and never
portion, either of the State of Guatemala, or of the
ancient viceroyalty of Guatemala, or of that coun-
try which is known among statesmen by the name
of Central America.

The term Central America has been used among
some blundering geographers and careless travelers
as applicable to many different parts of this hemi-
sphere. I can supply the committee with several
such books as "Johnson's Gazetteer," which was
quoted in debate, and which describes it as con-
taining a large portion of Mexico and the whole Re-
public of New Granada. Such was the character
of the authority relied upon in debate here by some
Senators, to prove that they understood, when
they voted on the treaty of the 19th of April, 1850,
that British Honduras was included in that treaty.
Of course, then, they understood that the treaty
covered not only a large portion of Mexico, but the
statesmen and legislators, the boundaries of a coun-
whole Republic of New Granada! Now, among
which their own Governments have recognized un-
try designated by a particular phrase are those
der that designation. We made a treaty, on the
5th of December, 1825, with Central America, or
"Centro-America," and we have repeatedly ac-
credited ministers, for whose missions Congress
has made appropriations from time to time, to the
time we have sent other men as ministers to New
Government of Central America. At the same
another Government-special agents to Yucatan,
Granada as a separate Government-to Mexico as
and consuls to British Honduras. The writers of
gazetteers and careless travelers may classify coun-
tries according to fancy, and nobody is hurt by it
if they happen to extend the name of Central
America to the whole isthmus between North and
South America, or even to the arctic circle; but a
statesman is expected to speak, when writing a
treaty, in the language and according to the meaning
of the terms employed by his own Government in
former treaties and laws. Our treaty with "Centro-
America," or Central America, of December 5th,
1825, was a treaty with the confederated States of
Guatemala, San Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua,
and Costa Rica; and the constitution of the Re-
public of Central America, adopted on the 22d of
November, 1824, and officially communicated to
our Government before we made the treaty with
that Republic, described its territories as embracing
only the ancient viceroyalty of Guatemala, with
the exception of the province of Chiapas. What-
ever was excluded by Central America from her
own limits, could not be embraced in any treaty
with that Government, or any treaty respecting its
territories with any other Government. So far,
the committee and I agree. They have repudi-
ated the preposterous and silly conclusions arrived
at by certain gentlemen in the debate of the 6th of
January. These are errors of which a schoolboy
ought to be ashamed, and I content myself with
referring to the facility with which the committee
have rejected the geography of such learned The-
bans, and adopted the conclusion that the treaty
of 1850 includes nothing more than the Central
America embraced in her own constitution. But
the report of the committee shall not cover the
confidence here that British Honduras was inclu-
ignorance of others, who asserted with so much
ded in the treaty. I shall proceed to prove, be-
yond the power of successful denial, that the set-
dements at Balize, within the limits of the treaty
of 1786, could not by possibility be included in the
down the gauntlet, not only to all these wise men
territory of Central America; and I now throw

« PreviousContinue »