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The Gardiner Claim-Mr. Olds.

32D CONG.....2D SESS.

that the friend to whom he had reference was Mr. Thomas Corwin, and that he would go and see him. Governor Young went away. I am not sure whether it was the same day or the next morning that he returned and said that it was satisfactory to Mr. Corwin to leave it to him (Governor Young) to determine what the value of the claims was; and Governor Young said, if I was satisfied, it should be the understanding. I told him I was satisfied. Governor Young afterwards brought me a valuation of the claims, (this was along that season,) and I paid about $80,000 for them. I recollect that there was an interest in the Gardiner claim included. I think it was in all a little over $80,000 (but not much) that I paid; but I cannot say how much I paid for the Gardiner claim in particular. I gave my check for the amount for all the claims, or Mr. Corwin's interest in them."

Again, Mr. Law says:

"I purchased those claims as a favor to Governor Young, who was a friend of mine, and in whom I had entire confidence. He seemed to be desirous and anxious to relieve Mr. Corwin from this embarrassment, in the way of going into the Cabinet. Witness had very little acquaintance with Mr. Corwin he knew him by sight; but he (the witness) would have done the same thing for any other person to oblige Governor Young, having full confidence in him."






"I did not know anything of the value of the claims, except what was stated to me by Governor Young. My ob ject was not to make or lose money, but to do Governor Young a favor." "I made the purchase, relying upon Governor Young's judgment and integrity. I did not undertake to go into the matter in detail.”



Now, Mr. Speaker, what is the only true inference to be drawn from such testimony? Why simply this, sir: Governor Young, the sub-treasurer of New York, the custodian of the Government money in that city, was the personal friend of Mr. Corwin. Perhaps, sir, his continuance in the office of sub-treasurer depended upon Corwin's assuming the control of the Treasury Department. Perhaps, too, sir, the fact of Governor Young's being the sub-treasurer, and controlling the enormous revenues of the Government in New York, will explain George Law's great confidence in, and extreme willingness to oblige him. Perhaps, sir, Governor Young's control of the Government money made it necessary, to save appearances, to use George Law, or some other third person, lest it might be said that the Government money, in the hands of Governor Young, had been used in this transaction. Perhaps the fact that George Law was one of Governor Young's sureties, his name being upon his official bond for $400,000, will account for his great confidence in the Governor, and the loose and unbusiness-like manner in which, by his own showing, he seems to have conducted this whole transaction.

Be all these conjectures as they may, there can be no doubt but that Governor Young was extremely anxious to have Mr. Corwin enter the Cabinet of President Fillmore; and in order to relieve his "feelings of delicacy," undertakes to negotiate a sale of Corwin's interest in these various Mexican claims. And to oblige Governor Young, without any investigation or examination, the sagacious George Law agrees to purchase those claims. This he does without the least anxiety or hesitation, as Governor Young is to assess their value. This, too, is satisfactory to Mr. Corwin, inasmuch as the claims are to remain untransferred, and his partner and nephew is also to assess their value. Mr. Corwin's "feelings of delicacy" are relieved, and he takes his position in the Cabinet. Governor Young and Bob Corwin wait until the award of the claims commission is known, or as Mr. Law says, until "some time along that season, and then they assess the value; and then, and not till then, the contract is consummated and the bargain reduced to writing. The precise time, the committee inform us, was in November, more than four months after Mr. Corwin had entered the Cabinet of President Fillmore.


Mr. Speaker, a careful reading of this testimony has satisfied me that Governor Young, Mr. Corwin's sub-treasurer in New York, and not George Law, was the real purchaser of Corwin's interest in these Mexican claims, if such a loose unbusiness-like transaction as this could be dignified with

the name of a sale. The extracts already read
from Mr. Law's testimony lead the mind imper-
ceptibly to this conclusion; and the following ex
tract from the testimony of Robert G. Corwin,
taken before the committee, confirms the impres-

"Robert G. Corwin appeared as a witness, and was


66 Question by Hon. Thomas Corwin. Were you concerned with me, as counsel, in prosecuting claims before

If 80,

he late commission under the treaty with Mexico?
state whether I sold out all my interest in those claims,
and when, and to whom.

"Answer. I was concerned with you in the prosecution of
claims up to the time when you went into the Cabinet of Mr.
Fillmore. Your interest was sold prior to your going into
the Cabinet, and your interest was represented afterwards
Governor John Young, of New York. I don't know
exactly by whom the whole arrangement was made with
Governor Young. The assignment of his interest was made
to Jacob Little; he afterwards transferred his interest in
these claims to George Law. I understood that Young was
the negotiator, and that the assignment was made to Little
to enable Young to get the money from him fairly; then it
was transferred to Law, from whom the money was re-
ceived. The sale was made prior to the organization of Mr.
Fillmore's Cabinet, which was some time in July, 1850; but
it was agreed that Governor Young and myself should esti-
mate the value of your interest in all the claims you were
concerned in. We were concerned in thirty-seven claims
in all. We, Governor Young and myself, concluded the
examination of all the papers, and made out the estimate a
short time prior to the next regular session of the board in
November, 1850."

Now, Mr. Speaker, I ask, in all fairness, does
not this case really assume this one aspect? Corwin
must sell his interest in these claims before enter-
ing the Cabinet of President Fillmore. Conse-

quently, he sells to Governor Young at such price
as Governor Young himself, and Robert G. Cor-
win should fix upon them; giving them time to
wait until the award of the commissioners should
be known, before fixing the value. And then, as
Governor Young was Mr. Corwin's sub-treasu-
rer in the city of New York, George Law, the in-
timate friend and surety of Governor Young, is
used to throw an obscurity over the transaction,
and give it the semblance of a sale.

Why, sir, when you have exposed and set aside George Law's connection with this transaction, you have taken from it the veil of obscurity, and it stands, like Moore's Prophet when the veil was lifted, exposed in all its "hideous deformity." And yet, sir, this is what the gentleman from New York calls exonerating Mr. Corwin, "and turning back upon me the odium!"

These five specifications, Mr. Speaker, in the very order in which I have named them, embrace all the duties imposed by the resolution of the House upon the Committee of Investigation. That resolution, sir, nowhere charged the committee with the duty of inquiring into Corwin's knowledge of the fraudulent character of Dr. Gardiner's evidence. No such specification is made in the resolution, and as a matter of course no testimony was adduced before the committee to establish any such inference or implication. If any such thing had been attempted, Mr. Corwin, if he chose, could at once have objected to the jurisdiction of the committee, and have told them that they were going beyond the duty assigned them by the House.

Mr. BROOKS. Will the gentleman from Ohio
allow me to read the preamble to the resolution?
Mr. OLDS. Certainly, sir.
Mr. BROOKS. It is as follows:

"Whereas, a strong suspicion rests upon the public mind that fraudulent claims have been allowed by the late Mexican Claim Commissioners, with one of which it is suspected Thomas Corwin, Secretary of the Treasury, has been improperly connected; therefore," &c.

Will the gentleman from Ohio incorporate it in his speech?

Mr. OLDS. Certainly I will. But, Mr. Speaker, it does not in the least change the interpretation of the resolution, neither does it in the least change the character of the specifications against

Mr. Corwin.

Why, sir, the committee do not hesitate to say
that the commissioners allowed fraudulent Mexi-
can claims. The suspicions of the public then,
as affirmed in this preamble, were well founded.
Is it not, sir, equally as clear, that the connection
of Mr. Corwin with one of them, as affirmed in

the preamble, was improper? If not, sir, why
do the committee, as they have done in the bill
now under consideration, seek to make, in future,
precisely such a connection, a misdemeanor, even
though the claim may not be a fraudulent one?
all his friends can make out of this preamble.
Mr. Corwin, sir, is welcome to the full benefit of

Now, sir, with these facts before us, will the
honorable gentleman from New York, or any hon-
orable gentleman, rise in his place and say, that
the committee have not fully sustained every spe-
cification made in the resolution of the House? I
may, perhaps, be told that, in the remarks which


I had the honor to submit to the House, at the time I introduced the resolution calling for this committee of investigation, I made certain charges against Mr. Corwin, which the committee felt itself called upon to investigate; and that upon those charges they have acquitted Mr. Corwin, and "turned back upon me the odium" of being an "infamous slanderer.


On the 5th of March last, in my remarks in this House upon the land bill, I charged that Corwin had been employed in this case, that it might receive the aid, not of his legal abilities, not of his great eloquence, but of his political position, and the influence of his great name. He is not charged with being a party in the fraud, but the charge is, that he sold his political position and political influence in aid of a claim, fraudulent. in itself, and sustained by perjured testimony. I repeated the same language, showing my precise meaning in the remarks I submitted at the time of calling for the committee of investigation. That I may place myself right, and be correctly understood, I will read from the remarks then made, as reported in the Congressional Globe, page 2303, part 3d of the 24th volume, and repeated in the Appendix to the same volume, page 266:

"Sir, let me divert the attention of this committee for a single moment to charges that common rumor fasten upon the present Secretary of the Treasury, and which the country demand to have investigated by this Congress. I refer, sir, to his connection with the Gardiner claim. Public rumor charges, sir, that Mr. Corwin received $79,000 as the agent of this Gardiner claim. Now, sir, the inquiry naturally arises, Why did Mr. Gardiner stipulate to pay Mr. Corwin this enormous fee? Was Mr. Gardiner so dumb that he could not act as the agent of his own claim? Not so, sir; he is a man belonging to one of the liberal professions, and cannot be supposed to be devoid of common sense; and, sir, if his claim was a just one, he could himself present it before the proper tribunal and ask a decision upon its merits. But if his claim was bad, he would naturally desire to bring the stronger influence to its support. He could not have selected Mr. Corwin because of his great eloquence; for, sir, a plain, simple statement of facts was all that was allowed before the tribunal. He could not have selected him on account of his legal acumen in taking and arranging testimony, for, sir, this case was prepared and the testimony taken in Mexico; and every one knows that Mr. Corwin, though a great favorite in Mexico in consequence of his bloody hand and hospitable grave' sentiinents, was never in Mexico. Nay, more, sir; a grand inquest of the country, upon their oaths, have said that this whole case is a forgery. Why, then, sir, was Mr. Corwin selected? The answer is obvious: Mr. Corwin is a great man with his party. He has been made so, sir, by the Whigs of Ohio. They made him their Representative first in this House; then, sir, they made him their standardbearer of the party in Ohio, by selecting him as their candidate for Governor; then, sir, they sent him to the Senate of the United States. But this is not all; he was at one time the favorite of his party in Ohio, as a candidate for the Presidency. His name, in connection with that office, was at the mast-head of his party press. Sir, Mr. Gardiner, as a shrewd man, knew all this. He knew that this man must be possessed of great influence with a Whig Administration; and for the exercise of this influence, for the power of this position, Mr. Gardiner could afford to give Mr. Corwin $100,000, if thereby he could get allowed his claim of $480,000. But, sir, in what light does it present Mr. Corwin before the country? The people had sent him here to guard their interests; they were paying him eight dollars per day to watch the National Treasury; they supposed, sir, that with the vigilant and ever-watchful eye of Mr. Corwin upon the Treasury, all would be safe. But, sir, rumor says that they were mistaken in their man; for whilst receiving pay from the people to watch and guard their Treasury, this Mr. Gardiner, knowing his man, feed him on the other side -he outbid the people. Gardiner's $100,000 was as omnipotent over your National Treasury as was the 'Open sesame of Ali Baba over the cavern of the Forty Thieves.""

Mr. Speaker, the evidence of General Thompson himself, as well as that of Edward M. Johnson, the secretary of the board of Mexican claims commission, fully demonstrate it was political influence that Gardiner desired to aid and strengthen his claim, and not forensic eloquence or legal ac


Johnson, in his testimony, says:

"After the first instances, the board became satisfied that Dr. Gardiner himself understood his own case better than anybody else, and that the best means of arriving at the truth would be to receive his own statements, and cross-examine him on all these points."

Gardiner, then, was fully competent to the management of his own case; and in the selection of his counsel and agents, his object was to secure the aid of such persons as had power and influence with the commissioners.

This is shown in the testimony of Waddy Thompson, who, in speaking of the employment of Major Lally, a near connexion of one of the commissioners, says:

The Gardiner Claim-Mr. Olds.

both endeavored to negotiate a loan for him, and failed.
We also failed in our efforts to sell a share of the claim.
Capitalists were afraid to invest, because, as they remarked,
the commissioners had yet several months to sit, and in the
mean time it might occur that Gardiner's claim facked sup
port, and the board had the power to revoke all it had done
in his regard. At this time Dr. Gardiner came to me and
insisted that I should purchase a share of his claim.
first averse to the proposal, my objections were gradually
overcome, and I purchased one fourth of Dr. Gardiner's
claim for the sum of over $40,000. This being a larger
amount than I could command, and one half being a cash
payment, I raised the money by getting my friends in Wasb-
ington and Ohio to indorse my paper. Among others, I
asked Thomas Corwin, and you know Corwin signs every-
body's note.

32D CONG....2D SESS.

"Some time in the fall of 1849, or early in 1850, Dr. Gardiner called at my room and told me that he had been advised to employ Major Lally in this case. I protested strongly against it, and said it would be an act of great injustice to me to do so-to employ him or anybody else without my consent. I knew nothing of Major Lally or his character which would justify any imputation on that account, but I knew that such imputations would be made, as he was nearly connected with one of the commissioners, and, as I had been informed, was not a lawyer; and that he, Gardiner, had certainly counsel enough."

Gardiner, Mr. Speaker, most undoubtedly employed all these men, and gave them most enormous fees, that he might have the influence, not only of their political, but also of their personal position, in aid of his doubtful and fraudulent claim.

The charge against Mr. Corwin was, and is, that he sold his political position, being United States Senator, and his great personal influence with the Whig commissioners, in aid of a claim, fraudulent in itself, and sustained by perjured testimony.

I am aware, sir, that my colleague, [Mr. CAMPBELL,] in a speech delivered by him in this House in August last, by the quotation of a single paragraph from a speech of mine, made in July previous, not upon this subject, but upon the state of political parties, attempted to make me the accuser of Mr. Corwin, as being a party in the forgery and perjury committed in this case. In reply to my colleague on this precise point, I took particular pains to be correctly understood, and consequently put my exact meaning into the form of specific charges. They may be found on page 2303 of the 3d part of the 24th volume of the Congressional Globe. They are as follows:

First. "That Mr. Corwin, while acting as Senator, and receiving eight dollars per day for watching and guarding the National Treasury, took a contingent fee, said to amount to $100,000, for the prosecution of a claim against that Treasury."

This specification, excepting so much as fixes the amount of Corwin's fee, is fully sustained by the committee, who say "that in May the Hon. 'Thomas Corwin, then a member of the United 'States Senate, was employed as counsel in the Gardiner claim by General Waddy Thompson."

Second. "That when about to become the head of the Treasury Department, he sold his contingent fee to a citizen of New York for a large amount, said to be $79,000, and that said claim, amounting to nearly half a million of dollars, was paid upon the draft or warrant of Mr. Corwin."

The finding of the committee upon this specification has already been stated. It is, that "the 'Hon. Thomas Corwin resigned his seat in the 'Senate, and accepted the appointment of Secretary of the Treasury, in the month of July, 1850. In the same month, and previous to his going into the Cabinet of President Fillmore as Sec'retary of the Treasury, a sale of his fee interest in, and also of his half of the one fourth part of the Gardiner claim, was negotiated through the 'intervention of Governor John Young, of New York, to George Law, Esq., of New York;" and further, that "the money for the sale, $80,357, was received by Thomas Corwin, and on the 23d of November, was deposited by him to his 'credit with Messrs. Corcoran & Riggs.'



Third. "That Thomas Corwin and Robert G. Corwin, his nephew, through Mr. Corcoran, purchased the one fourth interest of this claim for the sum of $15,000. That with this $15,000 Dr. Gardiner twice visited Mexico in the preparation of his papers and evidence, to be presented to the Board of Commissioners."

"After this I proposed to Mr. Corwin that as we had been associated as lawyers in the case, and heretofore in business, he should join me in my purchase of an interest in the Gardiner claim. He did so after weighing the matter in his own mind, and finding no valid objection to such a course. This was in March, 1850."

from Mexico, he says:

"Dr. Gardiner was now in an embarrassed condition. The destruction of his property in a foreign country had left him almost destitute. As one of the consequences, he had left the country largely in debt, and deemed it unsafe to return in his present condition His old triend Perez Galvez was dead, and he had no powerful friends in Mexico on whom he could rely. He had no money for so expensive a journey. In this dilemma, General Thompson and myself

Again, in his testimony before the committee,
Robert G. Corwin says:

"I purchased the one-fourth of his claim. His reason for selling it was to raise money to go to Mexico and get this additional proof."

There is not a remaining doubt, then, but that, as charged, this sale was made in consequence of Gardiner's necessity to have money to visit Mexico. And the fact is equally as well established, that, with this money, he actually visited Mexico, with the instructions of Corwin and Thompson in his pocket, and that he returned with his forged testimony.

Fourth. "That Dr. Gardiner's claim was founded upon his right to a silver mine in Mexico, from which he alleges he was expelled by the Mexicans."

The committee say:

"The claim of George A. Gardiner was a claim for damages alleged to have been sustained by him, by reason of his expulsion, on the 24th day of October, 1846, by the Mexican authorities, from mines which he alleged he was extensively engaged in working in the State of San Luis Potosi, in Mexico,"

Fifth. "That no such silver mine as the one claimed by
Dr. Gardiner, ever existed."

Upon this specification, the committee say:

"Upon examination of the evidence taken by them, it appears from the testimony of José Antonio Barragan, that he is well acquainted with the place in the department of Rio Verde, State of San Luis Potosi, in Mexico, where Gardiner's evidence locates his mine; that there are silver mines in the State of San Luis Potosi, but that there is none at that place, or in the department of Rio Verde."

Again, the committee say:

"Two witnesses, John Baptiste Barragan and Pantaleon Galvan, testify to the forgery of the documentary evidence of Gardiner; and both testify that they are acquainted with the locality of Laguinillas, in the State of San Luis Potosi, and that there is no silver mine there. These three witnesses are Mexicans, residing in the vicinity where Dr. Gardiner's testimony locates his mine; they are all gentlemen of character and respectability in their own country. The first named, José Antonio Barragan, held, from 1843 to 1846, the office of collector of the customs at Rio Verde. Laguinillas belongs to this district. He now holds the office of comptroller general of the State of San uis Potosi. They all came to the United States as witnesses, under an arrangement made by George W. Slacum, Esq., an agent of the United States Government, who went by direction of Hon. R. P. Letcher, the American Minister in Mexico, to the State and city of San Luis Potosi, for the purpose of investigating the character of the claim of George A. Gardiner, and the Mears claim, and obtaining testimony in relation to them."

The Sixth and last charge. "That the evidence upon which the Mexican claims commissioners awarded nearly half a million of dollars to Gardiner, Corwin & Co., was a forgery from beginning to end.”

I have already shown from the finding of the committee, that "John Baptiste Barragan and Pantaleon Galvan, gentlemen of character and respectability, testify to the forgery of the documentary evidence of Dr. Gardiner."

The committee add:

"From the evidence before the committee, (the above being only a summary of the more important facts testified to by the witnesses,) the committee are constrained to believe, upon the first branch of the investigation committed to them, that the claim of George A. Gardiner, upon which an award was made by the Board of Commissioners for the sum of $428,750, was sustained before the commissioners by false testimony and forged papers, and is a naked fraud upon the Treasury of the United States."

These charges, Mr. Speaker, let it be recollect

Ho. oF REPS.

and made the specifications as I have made them. And yet, sir, the gentleman from New York would call this an honorable acquittal of Mr. Corwin, and " turning back upon me the odium by my


own party.

Mr. Speaker, I will not say that at the time I offered the resolution calling for this committee of investigation, that I had not a settled conviction upon my mind, that Corwin must have known, or at least have strongly suspected, the fraudulent character of this claim. That conviction has not been changed, but greatly confirmed, by the evidence reported by the committee. But, sir, notwithstanding these convictions, I had no purpose of making any such charge in the resolution, knowing the utter impossibility of proving a man's thoughts or impressions. Nothing in the language of the resolution, or in the remarks with which I accompanied the resolution, can be construed into such a charge. Upon this precise point, sir, in commenting upon my colleague's account of Corwin's connection with this transaction, in which contradictions, I used the following language: I supposed he had involved himself in seeming

"What, sir, is to be the interpretation of these contradictory statements? I fear me, sir, that my colleague himself will convict Mr." Corwin of being a party to this fraud. I fear me, sir, (that from my colleague's own showing,) this case is likely to be far more serious upon Mr. Corwin than his worst enemies had apprehended."


This language does not look as though I desired, at that time, making Corwin a party to the fraud. I repeat, sir, no matter what might have been my settled convictions, this language shows that I designed making no such charge. It shows, sir, that I designed imposing no such inquiry upon the committee. Yet, sir, because the committee inserted in their report, a paragraph simply stating the fact that "no testimony has been ad'duced before the committee proving, or tending to prove, that the Hon. Thomas Corwin had any knowledge that the claim of the said Gardiner was fraudulent, or that false testimony or forged 'papers had been, or were to be, procured to sus'tain the same,' 99 1 am to be told that the committee have acquitted Mr. Corwin of the actual charges, and turned back upon me the odium." Why, sir, I never for a moment supposed that the cunning, sagacious Corwin, had so committed himself, as that his knowledge of the fraud would be proved. He would have been a fool, indeed, had he not well covered up his tracks; and notwithstanding he was surrounded by his friends and accomplices, kept his own secrets closely locked up in his own bosom. But, sir, apply to Mr. Corwin a principle universal in your courts of judicature, "that a man's inward intentions shall be judged by his outward acts," and then tell me if you can, sir, that Corwin has established his honest intentions, and vindicated his innocence.


I have already shown, from the report of the committee, that Thomas Corwin and Robert G. Corwin purchased the one fourth of the Gardiner claim for a sum of over $22,000 instead of $15,000. The report of the committee also shows that after receiving this money, Dr. Gardiner proceeded to Mexico to complete his testimony. But to substantiate fully the charge that with this money Dr. Gardiner proceeded to Mexico with the instructions of General Thompson and Thomas Corwin in his pocket, allow me to refer again to Robert G. Corwin's Lebanon speech, in which, in speaking

of the necessity of procuring additional testimony ed, were drawn up before the taking of any testi- equally as strong to Mr. Corwin? They say:

mony in this case. And yet, sir, every one must
admit, from the finding of the committee, after
having all the testimony before them, that if they
had desired to put the facts of this case, as they
report them, into specifications for the purpose
of introducing articles of impeachment against
Mr. Corwin, they would have used the language,

But, sir, the committee do not undertake to say that Corwin had no such knowledge. They merely assert a fact, viz: that no such evidence was adduced before the committee. Upon the contrary, the inference to be drawn from the declaration and the action of the committee is, that they did infer that Corwin must have had suspicions, amounting almost to a certainty, that the whole case was a fraud. For it must be admitted upon all hands that the commissioners who allowed the claim had no better information as to the character of the claim than had Mr. Corwin, the confidential counsel and agent of Mr. Gardiner.

It is not to be presumed that Mr. Corwin would have purchased one fourth of so large a claim without having as closely scrutinized its validity and honesty as did the commissioners. Neither is it to be presumed that if the case had been devoid of suspicion that the Messrs. Corwin could have purchased one fourth of $428,000 for the sum of $22,000.

The committee do not hesitate to censure the commissioners. Does not that censure apply


"The committee, at the same time, are of opinion that there were circumstances developed during the course of the trial which should have induced the Board of Commissioners to have given the case a more thorough invesügation.

"It is in proof, from the testimony of the secretary of the board, that the claim was suspected by the board from the first, and that Gardiner was frequently called on for explanations."

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Foreign Policy-Cuba-Mr. Marshall.

Call you this bill, sir, exonerating Mr. Corwin from all suspicions?


32D CONG....2D SESS.

Were not these circumstances and suspicions as well known to Corwin as they were to the commissioners? To suppose anything else, is to deny to him that sagacity which his friends so fully accord to him.

Mr. Speaker, the committee do not undertake to say that Corwin had no knowledge of the fraudulent character of this claim. They merely assert the fact that no such evidence was presented to the committee. But, sir, is it not fair to infer

the opinion of the committee as to the guilt or in

nocence of Mr. Corwin from the recommendation
made by the committee to the House? That
committee, sir, had been appointed and instructed
to investigate Corwin's connection with the Gar-
diner claim. And what is their finding? Why,
that Corwin, whilst acting as Senator, had been
connected with this claim as the agent or counsel
of Gardiner; the committee find, sir, that the
Messrs. Corwin had a large fee interest in the
claim; they find, sir, that Thomas Corwin and
Robert G. Corwin had purchased the one fourth
of this claim; they find that the claim was most
fraudulent; and they find that it was sustained
and allowed upon forged testimony. And what
do they do, sir? Why, they report the facts to
that report
this House, and they accompany
a bill making the recurrence of just such transac-
tions as Corwin had been guilty of a misdemeanor,
and punishable with fine and imprisonment.

Mr. Speaker, every line, every word of that bill speaks trumpet-tongued the opinion of the committee as to the guilt or innocence of Mr. Corwin. The very caption of the bill has a significance in it not easily misunderstood. Listen to it:

"Mr. PRESTON KING, from the Select Committee appointed to investigate the connection of the Hon. Thomas Corwin with the Gardiner claim, reported the following bill."

I will admit, sir, that if this bill had been reported from one of the standing committees of the House, the case would have presented a different committee appointed to investigate Corwin's conaspect. But not so, sir. The bill comes from the nection with the Gardiner claim. If that connection had been all right and honorable, why has that committee reported this bill? Scrutinize this


every section of it has been drawn by a master-
bill, sir; examine all its provisions. Why, sir, SPEECH OF HON. E. C. MARSHALL,
ation within the walls of the penitentiary, exactly
hand, to meet precisely, and punish by incarcer-
such a case as that presented by the committee
against Mr. Corwin.

January 6, 1853,

In the Committee of the Whole on the state of the
Union, on the conduct of the present Adminis-
tration in regard to Cuba, and our foreign policy

Mr. Speaker, if this committee designed exon-
erating Mr. Corwin from all censure, they have
done him great injustice by reporting this bill.
For it is impossible to separate Mr. Corwin's con-
nection with the Gardiner claim, from the neces-
most fearful and stringent bill.
sity which has called from that committee this

And yet, sir, with all these facts staring him in the face, the gentleman from New York has the hardihood, may I not say the audacity, to tell this House and the country, that the committee have exonerated Mr. Corwin, " and turned the odium back upon me.


A bill for what, sir? Why, "A bill to prevent frauds upon the Treasury of the United States." Does not this imply that a fraud had been committed upon that Treasury? And does it not connect Mr. Corwin with that fraud? Mr. Speaker, let me ask honorable gentlemen to listen to the reading of the bill, section by section, and then let them say if it is not a most fearful censure cast by the committee upon Mr. Corwin for his connection with the Gardiner claim:


will it cause suits to be instituted against them, to
recover back into the National Treasury their por-
tion of this enormous plunder?

Be the action of Congress what it may, sir, I
have discharged my duty, and am content to abide
the result.

Why, sir, this bill, if it were a law, would not the Gardiner claim, except the case of Thomas reach the case of any of the parties interested in Corwin. It would not reach Waddy Thompson, for he is not a member of Congress. It would not reach Bob Corwin, or Mr. Curtis, or Major Lally. They are not members of Congress, neither are they connected with any of the Departments. If, then, the committee desired to exonerate Mr. Corwin from all censure, why do they seek to punish, by incarceration within the walls of a dungeon, any Senator or Representative in Congress, who shall do precisely what Mr. Corwin has done?

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all transfers and assignments hereafter made of any claim upon the United States, or any part or share thereof, or interest therein, whether absolute or conditional, and whatever may be the consideration therefor; and alí powers of attorney, orders, or other authorities, for receiving payment of any such claim, or any part or share thereof, shall be absolutely null and void, unless the same shall be freely made and executed in the presence of at least two attesting witnesses, after the allowance of such claim, the ascertainment of the amount due, and the issuing of a warrant for the payment thereof.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That any officer of the
United States, or person holding any place of trust or profit,

or discharging any
or in connection
with, any Executive Department of the Government of the
United States, or under the Senate or House of Representa-
tives of the United States, who, after the passage of this act,
shall receive any gratuity from any claimant against the
United States, or shall act as an agent or attorney for prose-
cuting any claim against the United States, or shall in any
manner, or by any means otherwise than in the discharge of
his proper official duties, aid or assist in the prosecution or
support of any such claim or claims, shall be liable to in-
dictment, as for a misdemeanor, in any court of the United
States having jurisdiction for the trial of crimes and misde-
meanors; and, on conviction, shall pay a fine not exceeding
twice the amount of gratuity, fee, or compensation received
by the person so convicted, or suffer imprisonment in the
penitentiary not exceeding one year, or both, as the court,
in its discretion, shall adjudge.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That any Senator or Representative in Congress who, after the passage of this act, shall receive any gratuity from any claimant against the United States, or shall, for compensation paid or to be paid, certain or contingent, act as agent or attorney for prosecu ting any claim or claims against the United States, or shall in any manner or by any means, for such compensation, aid or assist in the prosecution or support of any such claim or claims, shall be liable to indictment, as for a misdemeanor, in any court of the United States having jurisdiction for the trial of crimes and misdemeanors; and, on conviction, shall pay a fine not exceeding twice the amount of the gratuity or compensation received by the person convicted, or suffer imprisonment in the penitentiary not exceeding one year, or both, as the court, in its discretion, shall adjudge.

Suppose, Mr. Speaker, that this bill had been
nection with the Gardiner claim, what would
passed into a law, prior to Mr. Corwin's con-
have been the consequence? Would he not have
Would he not have been
been indicted under it?
liable to its pains and penalties? Mr. Corwin is
innocent then, only from the fact, that we have no
law to punish just such a case as the committee
make out against him. But the committee recom-
mend the passage of a law making it a misde-fatal
meanor, and punishable with fine and imprison-
ment, to do precisely what Mr. Corwin has done.
The truth is, Mr. Speaker, that a stupendous,
fraud has been perpetrated against the Govern-
ment. The National Treasury has been robbed
of nearly $500,000. So barefaced has been the
fraud, that the committee informs us "that in
July, 1852, the United States instituted a chancery
'suit in the circuit court of the District of Colum-
'bia, to enjoin in the hands of Corcoran & Riggs
moneys and stocks belonging to G. A. Gardiner,
to the amount of between $90,000 and $100,000;
' and also in the same month, in the circuit court
' of the southern district of New York, to enjoin
in the hands of the New York Life Insurance
and Trust Company moneys and stocks belong-
ing to George A. Gardiner, to the amount of




SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That the provisions of this act, and of the act of July twenty-ninth, eighteen hundred and forty six, entitled "An act in relation to the payment of claims," shall apply and extend to all claims against the United States, whether allowed by special acts of Congress or arising under general laws or treaties, or in any other manner whatever; and every offense against the provisions of this act shall be a misdemeanor.

Mr. MARSHALL said:

Mr. CHAIRMAN: I had not wished or intended to claim the attention of the committee to the remarks I propose to make to-day. I had intended, and still intend (unless the duty is discharged by some one who can bring before the House the authority of a greater name) to offer a resolution to this effect: That the Committee on Ways and Means be directed to report a bill placing at the disposal of the President of the United States the sum of five or ten millions of money in the Treasury, and not otherwise appropriated, to meet any exigencies which may arise before the meeting of the next Congress in our foreign relations. I wished to have presented some such resolution in the House, not only that it might give rise to discussion of matters of a practical and important bearing on the might be followed by some action on the part of interests of the country, but that such discussion this House which would have significance before the people. I had hoped, and still hope, that a vote of the House, giving unequivocal expression and I entertain the fullest confidence that that vote of opinion upon practical questions will be taken, will have the happiest effect at home and abroad. The expression here in committee of abstract opinions on questions which may never arise, and which certainly will only arise in the remote future, is no part of my purpose to-day.

There are affairs now pending in regard to which the action of the Executive, so far as any action has been had, has been, as I think, and as I shall endeavor to prove, ruinous to the interests and

Gardiner, it seems, sir, is to be made to disgorge his portion of this fraudulent claim-Gardiner is subjected to a criminal prosecution-Gardiner, the humble citizen, in all probability will be convicted, and suffer the extreme penalty of the law. But, sir, what will be, or rather, what ought to be done with the other parties interested with this stupendous fraud?

The Messrs. Corwin and Waddy Thompson, no matter what might have been their original impressions about this claim, are now fully aware that it was a naked fraud upon the National Treasury. Will they come forward like honest men and refund their portion of the plunder? or will they tighten their grasp upon their ill-gotten gain?

to the honor of the nation. Fortunately, our foreign policy may yet be changed, or rather, a foreign policy may be established consistently while the public interests are protected and the with the faith of treaties and all our obligations, national honor redeemed. The resolution which I propose to introduce will announce to the incoming Administration our perfect confidence in it, as the popular vote in the late election has done on the part of the people themselves. It is offered not as a war measure, but simply implies that a change of policy is desired, and that the Executive will of Congress. A vote of confidence of this charachave the support, the earnest and effectual support ter is not without precedent in our history; and it is also established firmly in the Government from which many of our usages and laws are derived. party as a peace measure, and one which strikes I shall urge this measure upon the Democratic me as the most important upon which we shall have to act, in its effects upon our national character and national interests. The subject of our in committee, and questions have been debated foreign relations has been introduced by gentlemen think render necessary the vote of confidence of which, although not identical with those which I which I have spoken, are yet cognate questions; and as the points to which I attach the greatest trines inculcated of the worst influence upon the importance have been almost neglected and docto give my own views of those questions at this State which I represent, in part, I have determined time, although I think the subject would have come up with more propriety and effect upon a resolution before the House. I shall call the attention of the committee to the diplomacy of this Government in the Island of Hayti and the Republic of Nicaragua, because there we have incurred the deepest shame and sustained the greatest loss, and because these evils are not without easy remedy

The committee, sir, have reported a bill to prevent and punish the recurrence of such transactions. Will this Congress content itself with the passage of this bill? Or in case of the neglect or refusal of Thompson, Corwin & Co. to refund,

Foreign Policy-Cuba-Mr. Marshall.

ers were weaker than ourselves. Now, sir, let me
say in behalf of Young America, and the pro-
gressives, with whose opinions I sympathize, that
we desire to do no one thing which is not consist-
ent with the sound principles of public law, and
the rights of all our neighbors. That we do not
desire war for conquest, or any purpose; that we
regard it as the greatest evil, except dishonor.
And further, that we advocate no measure of for-
eign policy which ought, or which we believe will,
lead to war.
We contend for no new doctrine;
we merely insist upon the strict observance of
principles well established by authority, and ne-
cessary for our own peace and safety. I shall, in
another connection, state the doctrines to which I
allude, while I now consider some of the leading
propositions of the gentleman, [Mr. VENABLE,]
which I believe constitute a faith common to the
gentleman and the more conservative portion of
the Whig party.

If I understood the gentleman, he was opposed
to the annexation of Cuba at any time, and in any
way, on the ground that the Union could not with
safety embrace any additional territory. I will
also state what I believe is the real operative rea-
son of the objection of that gentleman. It is a
conviction, now nearly universal, that the progress
of slavery in American territory is arrested. That
in all future acquisitions, from the operation of
many active causes, the institution of slavery will
not exist. It is clear that whatever the reason as-
signed, the ground of opposition to the acquisition
of a country so manifestly advantageous to the
South as Cuba would be, either as a free or slave
State, is jealousy of the North.

Mr. Chairman, the time is past when the question of slavery in any territory about to be acquired, can produce the agitation and danger which has arisen from it. The principle is settled by the compromise, that the citizens of such territory, at the time, shall determine for themselves this question; and if the North should, by its greater enerand aptitude for emigration, acquire the popular power, and the right under the rule so settled by the compromise, to declare any territory seeking admission into the Union, free, the South could not, if it would, under the Constitution and laws, and would not if it could, resist a measure beneficial to the whole nation. The South should be satisfied with the guarantees of the Constitution and the laws, for their peculiar institution; and even if it be receding, if the conditions of human society, and the progress of free States militate against it; if with the protection thrown round it by the organic law of the land, it be yet in its own nature temporary and evanescent, and about to disappear before the democratic energies and the laws of political economy, there is neither the wisdom of a statesman, nor the generous patriotism of a good citizen, in seeking to impede the advance, and check the development of States where no such institution obtains.

32D CONG.....2D SESS.

and for the further reason that the State which I represent in part has a special and local interest in the policy of the Government as regards the Gulf of Mexico, its islands and shores.

It is true, as a general principle, that in a Confederacy like ours, the more remote members are, and ought to be, more jealous of the honor, and more sensitive to every indication of weakness of the Union, than those nearer the political and geographical center. Civis sum Americanus is uttered with more pride on the shores of the Pacific than the Potomac.

We lean upon the General Government for support; and nowhere within the ample boundaries of the Union does there exist the same sentiment of confiding dependence that we feel. At the same time there are none of the States which have felt with such poignant shame the sacrifice of honor and principle, and the deep humiliation, brought on us as a people by the present Administration.

We believe, we know, that there is strength enough in the Government, under a manly and patriotic Administration, to protect all its parts in all their rights. The eagle's wing is strong enough to bear its flight over the continent, and its beak and talons sharp enough to guard its charge, even though the lion of England should array himself against it in his acknowledged power.

The interest so universally felt in the subject of inter-oceanic communication, and much of that felt in regard to the islands and shores of the Gulf of Mexico, has arisen since, and depends on the acquisition of California. Commercial necessity forces us to transmit, monthly, nearly three millions of specie through an independent republic, and under the very gans of fortresses which have only to hold us in the contempt we have merited to become hostile; and the inestimable rights of every kind of our citizens are exposed through the same causes, and to the same dangers. I feel obliged, therefore, even on occasions not peculiarly appropriate, even when the effort will not be productive of immediate action, to assert the doc-gy trines I hold, and to expose the imbecility and corruption, from which even now we are suffering. The Island of Cuba, and the possibility and probability of its annexation to the Union, and the policy of the Administration toward the Government on which it is dependent, have produced much debate. The danger of collision between Spain and ourselves seems to me to have passed for the present, and, right or wrong, the questions between us are settled. I do not think that in good faith the next Administration can, or that it will, assert any claim or principle likely to renew the late difficulties, or to change materially our relations with Spain or Cuba. I cannot see that any immediate necessity exists for a change in our policy, or that any practical question is likely to arise. Neither the next Administration, nor the present generation, will be called on to act in regard to it, and I am willing to leave it to the wisdom and courage and patriotism of those who will, by the course of events, and in the fullness of time, have to meet it. I cannot but allude to one significant fact, of which I have seen no explanation, which goes to prove that the Administration is by no means confident of the propriety of its course in the most exciting and threatening of the Cuban difficulties, The American Consul in Havana, who had pursued precisely the course consistent with the expressed views and instructions of the Government, who carried out with a tameness and cowardice, which should have made him Secretary of State, the will of the Executive, was by that very Executive dismissed with dishonor, and given over to the execrations of the whole unanimous people, without one word of explanation or defense.

The gentleman from North Carolina, [Mr. VENABLE,] who introduced this discussion, did not confine himself to an examination of the policy of the Administration in respect to Cuba, but went on to the assertion of general principles, which I was surprised to hear from him, and in which I by no means concur. That gentleman also indulged himself in a general reprobation of the doctrines of progress, and the plans of filibusters, and seemed to intimate a belief that some political party, or section of a party, were desirous of lawless conquest, and in favor of predatory incursions upon neighboring Powers, especially if those Pow


I believe myself, and I speak only for myself, that there will be no more slave territory annexed to the United States. The history of the country, and especially of California, establishes the fact, and illustrates the principle which governs the Look at California. If slavery could ever progress, it would have obtained there. Slavery is only advantageous to the slaveholder in countries where the largest amount of labor can be bestowed on the smallest surface, and where it pays the heaviest profit. Now, sir, since man first left the Garden of Eden, there has been no place discovered where these conditions are so wonderfully met, as in California-and yet I tell gentlemen that there never was a time when slavery could have been introduced there, nor is such a time coming. We approved the compromise; but the character of our State was fixed without it. Labor was imposed as a curse, (and it is awful in my private opinion,) and free citizens will not submit to have it made dishonorable, as well as disagreeable, by slave competition. Free men will be the first emigrants, and they have, and will protect their aristocracy of labor from the action of organized capital, in the shape of slavery.


But as regards the proposition now beginning to be urged in the most unexpected quarter, that any extension of territory is dangerous to the Union, I shall say only a few words. The directly opposite proposition would seem true upon its


mere statement-certainly everyaddition of territory, voluntarily connecting itself with an existing government, increases the physical force and resources of every kind, at the disposition of the constituted authorities of the whole.

It is true that a pure democracy can only exist within narrow territorial limits, and with a very small population, for the obvious reason that where the people assemble and pass laws directly, that only a very few can meet or act in concert. Our own observation and experience proves that such democracy should consist of fewer citizens than compose this House, if prompt and efficient legislation is the thing desired. But that difficulty, which is as old as the formation of society, was obviated by the system of responsible representatives of the people themselves. The other objection, that a legislature assembled from vast distances, could not wisely provide for the local wants of regions remote, and to the great majority of its component members, wholly unknown, has been met only conclusively in the history of the world by our own system, partly national and partly federal. The establishment of the doctrine of State rights, as a security for efficient local legislation, and a Federal Legislature, Executive, and Judiciary, for the arrangement of foreign relations and of domestic affairs, throwing its guardian arm over all, is perfect in theory and in practice. It appears to give the only absolute security against the prevalence of dangerous faction, by placing always, in the hands of the National Government, the force of more than half of the Confederacy; and against foreign invasion it is a self-evident security-and these internal factions and foreign wars exclude all the perils which can menace a nation. I confess that I can see only one limit to the safe extension of territory, and that is in a distance so great that the constituent citizens would be unable to hold the representative to the rigid responsibility which is the basis of the whole sys


Such a Government seems to me to grow stronger with each accession of territory, and like a wellconstructed arch, to acquire greater firmness from increased pressure and accumulated weight. But suppose the worst did happen, from the annexation of Cuba, or any other province-suppose the worst to have come-that the parts could no longer hold together, but must dissolve: what then? I say, still, that the experiment is worth trying, and that good would result even from the temporary union. We would have introduced new ideas; we would have taught the lesson of selfgovernment, of resistance to oppression, of freedom, of the equality of men in the eye of the law, of the dignity of the individual, without which teachings, man had better not be.

We would have made converts to the faith of human liberty, and given their true value to a nation; and whether we continued to exist in one Union, or broke into fifty free republics, the world would be improved by the diffusion of that knowledge, which alone makes life tolerable. The great Union so broken, would be like a fractured diamond, less valuable certainly in its fragmentary state, but still the same precious material, reflecting from each brilliant part the light of American civilization, intelligence, and liberty.

No one can have less sympathy than myse with the wild excesses into which doctrines liberal, but at the same time safe and prudent, have been sometimes carried. I would by no means defend the vagaries of Anacharsis Clootz, or such sects as he represented. I mean to be never the advocate of wild and self-sacrificing propagandism; but I prefer it much, in its worst form, to the extreme of conservatism-that conservatism which would, in terror and suspicion, withdraw from all foreign intercourse into Japanese solitude; that conservatism which, in dread of entangling alliances, would refuse to declare a principle of public law, or in the maintenance of strict neutrality neglect to defend its citizens, plundered by both belligerents; that conservatism which instructs the representatives of a great Republic to avoid in monarchical courts the expression of the sentiment of the country they represent, or the inculcation abroad of the free principles which alone give value to government; that conservatism which has already made our own diplomatic corps mere evidences of the power, mere trappings and circumstances to swell

32D CONG.....2D SESS.

Foreign Policy-Cuba-Mr. Marshall.

tion, not solely or principally with a view to pecu-
niary advantage, but a periodical which shall be
the jealous guardian of the rights of the people
and the honor of the nation; which shall speak
with the boldness of conscious knowledge on all
subjects of public importance. Upon this ques-
tion of Hayti, the Republic copies the article of
the Union as being perfectly in accordance with the
views of the Administration. Did not the Union
know, had its editor never heard, that the Demo-
cratic party, so far as it had expressed, by the
press or otherwise, its opinions on this point, had
visited, with the deepest reprobation, the course of
the Administration ?-but the article itself contains
(what every one in the country knows, and noth-

more) enough to convict itself of absurdity,
and the Executive of weakness and disregard of
one of the fundamental principles of American
policy. It says:

"In general, the foreign policy of President Fillmore's
administration has not been in accordance with our notion
of what the foreign policy of this country should be, and we
have been constrained in some instances to express an em-
phatic disapprobation of negotiations which seemed to us
to compromise the dignity and to surrender the rights of the
United States. For this reason, any instances of an ener-

the pomp and flatter the insolence of those poten-
tates to whom their very presence should be a sol-
emn warning; that conservatism which dares not
interpose in friendly mediation between its own
neighbors, without calling in the crowned heads
of Europe to destroy its influence, and laugh at its
folly. Liberal opinions and bold policy may run
into inconsiderate rashness; but prudent conserva-
tism may also degenerate into cowardly imbecility.
The notions of an hundred years past are not ne-
cessarily or generally suitable or safe at this date.
The conservatism of the present day is a mere
eddy in the rushing and resistless tide of human
development and progress. The position of our
continent, its mere geographical position, makes
impossible the policy of conservatism. Placed being
tween the civilization of the Orientals, which the
maturity of despotism has well-nigh destroyed,
and the nations of Europe still fresh and vigorous
even under the curse of monarchical and aristo-
cratic institutions, commercial necessity, like the
attraction of gravitation, forces contact with both.
Commerce must have its agents, must be protect-
ed. Representatives of the Government, with
political character higher than the mere consul,
and hedged round by the sacred jus postliminii, in-getic or wise administration of the foreign affairs of the
troduce the very atmosphere of the republic to the
court of the monarch-opinions are diffused, sym-
pathies are created, interests spring up, which
may be affected by the terms of treaties to which
we are not parties; wars and pacifications, trans-
fers of territories by which our rights and privi-
leges may be sacrificed, so blended become the
interests of commercial nations that an injury to
one is an injury to the other. The United States
must either adopt a Japanese seclusion, or she
will be forced into entangling alliances, and will
become the involuntary propagandist of the hide-
ous principle of republican liberty. Conservatism
is impossible: we must go backward or forward.
We must decline into worse than colonial feeble-
ness, or we must accomplish a mission of world-
wide beneficence. Fogyism itself would look hope-
fully forward from one of our California prom-
ontories, around which break, unchecked in their
wild play for six thousand miles, the giant waves
of the Pacific ocean. (Plenipotentiaries from China
offering unrestricted intercourse)-Fogyism itself
would become a convert to progress, and fancy
the very continent a vast ship voyaging triumph-
antly into that future, which opens bright but
boundless around humanity.

country by an Executive whose general policy we have been
constrained to condemn, will the more readily command
our warmest commendation. Such an instance of wise
diplomacy do we regard the efforts of this Government, in
conjunction with Great Britain and France, to arrest the
sanguinary designs of the negro Emperor of Hayti against
the republic of Dominica.

I have said, Mr. Chairman, that the subject to which I should ask the attention of the committee, was of a practical character. In the investigation of the policy of the Administration in the Island of Hayti, I shall attempt to prove that the doctrine of Mr. Monroe, and the principles of national law, and the dictates of humanity, and the impulses of universal manhood, that all the settled and necessary rules of conduct peculiar to the United States, as between it and the Powers of Europe, in the adjustment of the affairs of this continent, and the instruction and all-pervading sense of dignity and personal consequence which regulates the deportment of man to man, have been openly and absurdly violated. That the rights and interests of the United States, the rights and interests of a sister Republic, have been continually and wantonly sacrificed. These are strong terms, but I shall endeavor to establish the title of the Administration to yet stronger epithets. And here, sir, in advance of the argument, and assuming, for a moment, what I propose to prove, I must express my astonishment and mortification at the course of the central Democratic journal, (The Union,) in regard to this affair. This journal, which should be the organ of the party-which should exert an immense influence in the formation of public opinion-which should gather, with patient labor, correct information for general diffusion; this paper which should be a vigilant sentinel over the doings of the Administration, has selected this disgraceful negotiation for its approbation. The Union has exhibited the last degree of ignorance and thoughtlessness in its article upon this subject, and has not only failed to throw any light upon it, but has not even reflected truly the conclusions or reasoning of even the most careless observers of passing events. We want beyond everything a party organ which shall be conducted, not as a commercial specula

"By som emeans, publicity has been given to the correspondence between the State Department and Mr. Robert M. Walsh, its agent in the negotiation for the pacification of Hayti. In the various papers which constitute this correspondence, the motives and purposes of the Administration in proffering its good offices in behalf of the Dominican republic, are frankly and clearly set forth.

"In 1821, the Spanish portion of the Island of St. Domingo voluntarily subjected itself to the government of Hayti, then presided over by Boyer. On the expulsion of Boyer, and on account of the wrongs and grievances which they had endured, with a repetition of which they were menaced, the Dominicans threw off the subjection of negro government and established an independent republic. To this step the Spanish inhabitants of St. Domingo were driven by the necessity of self-preservation. Not only were their political rights and their liberty invaded and trampled upon by the black barbarians of Hayti, but the doom of indiscriminate slaughter and extermination was incessantly held before them in the threats of the Macaya and Dessalines.


"By the most imperious necessity, then, were the Do-
minicans impelled to set up an independent government.
Nevertheless, their act of separation was regarded as a re-
volt by the negroes of Hayti, who prepared to reduce the
rebel whites to subjection by the strong arm of force. All
the efforts of the Haytian government were unequal, how-
ever, to the reconquest of Dominica. The Spaniards de-
fended themselves with valor and energy, and, despite the
disparity of numbers, successfully repelled the invasions of
their foes. They achieved and established their independ-
ence. France formally recognized the republic of Domi-
nica. England and the United States recognized it by their
Still Soulouque refused to acknowledge the inde-
pendence of the Dominicans, and persisted in his efforts to
reduce them to subjection. In this juncture, under the
apprehension of a very formidable attack by Soulouque, the
Dominican government solicited the mediation of the Uni-
ted States, Great Britain, and France, to restore, if possible,
peaceable relations with its savage neighbors. Great Britain
and France promptly acceded to the proposition, impelled
thereto by every consideration of justice and humanity.
Without reluctance, the United States followed their exain-
ple. The Government dispatched Mr. Walsh to the
tian court, to cooperate with the representatives of Great
Britain and France in the humane endeavor to persuade
the Emperor Soulouque to abandon his hostile designs
against the Dominicans.

"Persuasion could not appease his ferocious wrath, nor could threats drive him from his bloody purposes. He persisted in his designs against Dominica, and would in no manner acknowledge its independence. The utmost the mediating Powers could effect was the prolongation of an existing truce.

"And this was the issue of a negotiation for which the Administration deserves credit. It originated in an impulse of humanity, and sought to protect a civilized community from the oppression and ferocity of a blood-thirsty savage. The mission of Mr. Walsh was a mission of peace and true philanthropy."

Even in the imperfect history of the Island of Hayti here given, it is clear that the Dominicans were entitled to their independence in the judgment both of the Union and the Administration; that being so entitled, and in fact being independent, they invited the United States to protect them against a savage whose power was originally founded on murder, and continued and sustained by lawless outrage. The Union indorses this paragraph from the instructions of Mr. Webster to Mr. Walsh, the agent who conducted the negotiation:

"You will then, conjointly with your colleagues, require the Emperor to conclude a permanent peace with the Do


minican government upon the basis which you may jointly prescribe to him, or to consent to a truce with that governinent of not less than ten years.

"The Emperor should be made properly aware of the dangers which he and his country may encounter, if he should be unfortunately advised to reject reasonable terms of pacification; but you will stop at remonstrance until further notice."

But leaving the Democratic organ to the consolation to be derived from the sympathy of the Republic, I will examine the course of the AdminHay-istration in regard to Hayti, by the light of its

own official correspondence, and other reliable sources of information. The momentous importance of this island to the United States in a commercial point of view, and its still greater importance as a naval depôt, has been strangely overlooked. I do not speak of the policy of its annexation, nor do I contemplate its acquisition by the United States; nor do I believe that the course of the next Administration ought to be or will be shaped with any such purpose; but this I do say is obvious from a single glance, that its independence of Europe is of more moment to us than that of Cuba; and that the protection of the white republic, which embraces two thirds of its surface, against the negro empire which holds and ruins while it holds the other third, is at once our duty and our interest, and that such interference should be without the cooperation of any European Power; but that in that island, more than elsewhere, the interference of Europe, whether as joint mediators, or in any other way, should be effectually prevented. The devendence of Cuba on Spain is the cause of the embarrassments and difficulties which have sprung up in that direction. Hayti has for nearly thirty years been wholly independent of all European power. The island contains about thirty thousand square miles. Of

Now, if this means anything, it means that the United States assert a right to intervene forcibly, if necessary, in the affairs of the island, and that that intervention has been made in a way that calls for "the warmest commendations" from the Union. Those warmest commendations are bestowed upon the total failure "to appease his (Soulouque's) ferocious wrath," or "drive him from his bloody purpose." "" If the Union desired to defend or explain this contemptible failure, it would have been generous to the Administration; but to bestow the warmest commendations upon it for permitting a bloody savage-not acknowledged by the very Administration itself as one of the recognized Powers of the earth-to mock and defy it, while he does the very thing about which the issue has been made, is self-evident nonsense. This is the plain statement: The United States says to Soulouque, You shall not make war on the republic of Dominica; Soulouque says, I will make war on the republic of Dominica; and the United States don't say anything more-but the Union says, it is "an energetic and wise administration of the foreign affairs of the country.

Oh, shade of Dogberry! rejoice, that at length thy profound teachings are appreciated by a Whig Administration and a Democratic editor:

"Dogberry. You shall comprehend all vagrom men ; you are to bid any man-Stand, in the prince's name. "Watchman. How if he will not stand? "Dogberry. Why then, take no note of him, but let him go; and presently call the rest of the watch together, and thank God you are rid of a knave."

But, sir, the Union seems wholly unconscious that the Administration has not been content to render itself simply ridiculous, and contemptible; but that to do so effectually, it has violated a principle, the very clearest and least liable to dispute in our entire foreign policy. I allude to the doctrine of Monroe. The Union makes itself responsible for the joint mediation of France and England, accepted by the Administration in direct and apparently intentional, gratuitous, and wanton violation of the policy which is essential alike to our safety and our honor. In another connection, I will state the doctrine, and what I conceive to be its meaning and effect; but for the present purpose, I would only direct the attention of the Union to the National Intelligencer of December 23d, where "non-interference on the part of European Powers with the independent Governments of the New World," is stated as an admitted principle of all parties-apparently in the same happy oblivion of the course of the Administration in this and other transactions, as the Union.

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