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But this is not all. In the seaboard towns, where the free colored population of the United States for the most part now exists, these persons are generally engaged as domestics, servants, and day laborers in various necessary menial duties. The removal of this useful portion of their population from the Atlantic towns would necessarily create a vacuum there. This vacuum, by enhancing the rate of wages of such persons in the places where it existed, would certainly tempt others to resort thither. The free colored people from the country contiguous and adjacent to these towns would probably first rush in to supply the void, so creating a new vacuum in the places from whence they went. This new void would inevitably be supplied by fugitive slaves escaping from their owners in the slaveholding States. The system would, therefore, be productive at first of much temporary inconvenience and of some loss to the inhabitants of the seaboard towns, and must occasion, ultimately, real and permanent injury to the slave property in all the slaveholding States.

This committee, believing themselves to be correct in all the views which they have taken of this subject, do not therefore find it necessary to examine particularly the character and objects of the American Colonization Society, to which it is asked that the aid and protection of this Government should be extended. Of the generous feelings and philanthropic purposes of the members of this society the committee do not entertain the slightest doubt. But they can not refrain from stating that, in a Government like this, the establishment of a selfcreated society at the seat of this Government, which society numbers in the list of its members many of the most distinguished officers and · agents of the Government itself, and which extends its influence throughout the Union by means of affiliated associations formed in the different States, is an exhibition which, under any circumstances, would merit attention. Should the objects and plans of that society be in any way connected with the action of this Government, either to invite, to stimulate, to restrain, or to prevent the exercise of any of its acknowledged or supposed powers, such an institution, in despite of the purity and intelligence of its members, must be looked at with suspicion and distrust. But when such a society professes to draw distinctions, for any purpose, between the different classes of our population; to establish colonies; to erect governments; nay, to found new empires, independent of the United States, the example of such an association can not be productive of any benefit. Much better would it be for the peace and good order of society if the Government, instead of lending its aid and extending its protection to such an institution, should take the whole subject at once into its own hands, and regulate it in the customary mode by agents directly responsible to the people and to the States. This, however, as the committee believe, the United States can not and ought not to do; and as they can not assist they ought not to countenance the plans of such an institution, but should leave it to be dealt with by the several State sovereignties as to their wisdom may seem best.

The committee, therefore, pray to be discharged from the further consideration of all the petitions, memorials, and resolutions upon this subject which to them have been referred.

(Leg. Jour., p. 333.)

[See pp. 6, 47, 120, 355.]


February 8, 1832.

As to expediency of maintaining at foreign courts ministers of a higher grade than are maintained by such governments in the United States, and whether the number of our ministers and chargés d'affaires to foreign courts is not greater than the interests of the country require, Mr. Tazewell reported as follows:

That although in the opinion of this committee it is not generally expedient for the Government of the United States to maintain at any foreign court a minister of higher grade than is here maintained by such foreign nation, yet, as it is impossible to foresee what events may occur in the course of our political relations with other countries, or what may be the influence of these relations upon the future policy of the United States, this committee would deem it unwise to establish any fixed rule upon this subject, at this time, to which an inflexible adherence should be recommended hereafter. It is a matter which may be very properly, and by the Constitution is, left to the President of the United States, who (aided by the advice and consent of the Senate) will decide upon every particular case as it may arise, and with due regard to all the special circumstances which may then exist, to cause each case to be considered as a proper exception to the general course which the general honor and interests of the United States dictate. It is not probable that any general rule which might be established either now or at any other time would be, or ought to be, constantly attended to hereafter; and there exists no reason to doubt that both the Executive and the Senate, when called to act upon the special circumstances of any future case, will be unmindful of what is due to the character of their country under such circumstances. The committee, therefore, seeing no cause now for imposing any new conditions either upon the Senate or the Executive in regard to the grade of our foreign ministers, do not think it expedient to recommend to the Senate any change or alteration whatever in what has been the established practice of the Government of the United States from its foundation.

As to the other subject into which the committee, by the resolution aforesaid, is instructed to inquire, they have performed this duty also, and nothing which they have learned has induced them to believe that the number of our diplomatic agents at foreign courts is greater at this time than the interests of the country require. The unsettled condition of many foreign States, with each of which the United States now maintain diplomatic relations, is such that it is at least possible, if not probable, that at no distant day it may be proper for us to discontinue some of these relations. But this condition of such foreign States furnishes, of itself, the strongest argument to induce this country to continue its diplomatic agents at such courts yet a while longer. Should future events show the propriety of reducing the number of such agents anywhere, no doubt exists that such reduction will be made by the Executive; and as the subject is at all times under the control and regulation of Congress, it has not occurred to this committee that there was a necessity for any unusual exertion of the authority of the Senate over it at this time.

(Ex. Jour., Vol. 4, pp. 207, 208.)

[See pp. 6, 46, 120, 355.]

April 14, 1832. As to the propriety of mission to Belgium, Mr. Tazewell reported as follows:

That the new matter communicated in the documents aforesaid induces this committee to view the subject of the proposed mission to Belgium differently from what they did when their last report upon this subject was made to the Senate, on the 8th day of February, 1832, and now recommend the approval of the nomination of the charge to that Kingdom, as a leading consideration in the adoption of this opinion on the part of the committee is found in the fact of the intention of the King of Belgium to send a diplomatic agent to the United States, which is announced in the letter of the Secretary of State, this committee recommend to the Senate the adoption of the following resolution:

Resolved, That the Senate, while advising the President to appoint, and consenting to the appointment of, Hugh S. Legare as chargé d'affaires of the United Slates to the King of Belgium, do also advise the President not to dispatch this officer until he shall have received information that a diplomatic agent from the King of Belgium to this country has been appointed by that sovereign.

(Ex. Jour., vol. 4, p. 210.)

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April 14, 1832. On letter of Secretary of Senate communicating statement of his proceedings respecting the confidential documents in his office, Mr. Tazewell reported as follows:

Resolved, That the injunction of secrecy may be removed from such papers belonging to the executive files of the Senate as the Secretary of the Senate may deem proper documents to be included in the present reprint of Congressional documents: Provided, That no document be published until the same shall have been submitted to the Secretary of State and the publication thereof approved by him.

(Ex. Jour., vol. 4, p. 210.)

[See pp. 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 69.]

January 6, 1835.

[Senate Report No. 40.) Mr. Clay, from the Committee on Foreign Relations, made the following report:

The Committee on Foreign Relations have, according to order, had under consideration that part of the message of the President of the I'nited States which refers to the present state of our relations with France, and having attentively examined the correspondence which has passed between the two Governments, communicated to Congress, and deliberated on the whole subject with an earnestness commensurate with the high respect due to the views of the Chief Magistrate and demanded by the delicacy of the questions and the magnitude of the interests involved, beg leave now to submit the following report:

The committee must, in the first place, express their entire concur

rence with the President as to the justice of the claims of the citizens of the United States for which indemnity is stipulated by the treaty of the 4th of July, 1831. They had their origin in a series of measures of the French Government which prostrated the clearest principles of public law and violated the most solemn engagements consecrated by pledges of national faith. The veil, by which their enormity was attempted to be covered, of prior aggressions authorized or inflicted upon the neutral commerce of the United States by the enemy of France was too thin to create the slightest deception. Nothing in the conduct of one belligerent can justify the perpetration of an injury upon an innocent third party; but even if an overruling necessity of self-preservation should in any case prompt the infliction of such an injury, nothing could excuse it but ample and immediate reparation. At the period when these aggressions were committed the United States would have stood fully justified in the face of the whole world if they had appealed to arms to avenge their wrongs and vindicate their rights. And it is known to those who are conversant with the history of the times that a resort to hostile measures against France was seriously considered and actually proposed in the councils of the United States. It was deemed expedient not to adopt them, but to declare war against the other belligerent. This selection of their enemy by the Government of the United States did not proceed from any insensibility to the injuries of France, but was prompted by a conviction that a war with France in the actual condition of things would be unattended with any practical consequences, whilst Great Britain, it was believed, might be made to feel the effects of her more violent and unjust


Whilst, however, the Government of the United States felt itself constrained by prudential considerations to abstain from an appeal to arms at that period against France, it resolved never to acquiesce in the injustice which citizens of the United States had experienced at the hands of France, but unremittingly to persevere in demanding the indemnity to which they were justly entitled. It was due to ancient relations with France, to the interests of the two countries, and to the nature of the case, since the injuries were not resented when they were fresh, that redress should be first sought by friendly negotiation. As early as 1812 a distinguished citizen of the United States was deputed to France, when the power of her Emperor was at its greatest height, to demand satisfaction. His sudden and unexpected death probably prevented the accomplishment of the object of his mission. From that period down to the signature of the treaty under consideration every American administration and every American minister at Paris, with the exception of a short period of forbearance, dictated by delicacy and friendly feelings toward France, have earnestly pressed for the indemnity to which we are entitled. From the multitude and the nature of the aggressions committed by France it is difficult to ascertain at this day their precise amount, and it never, probably, can be exactly verified, even by judicial investigation, owing to the loss of evidence and other causes. But the committee concur perfectly with the President in the opinion he has expressed in his message, that it is "absolutely certain that the indemnity falls far short of the actual amount of our just claims, independently of damages and interest for the detention." During the progress of the negotiation and at the moment of signing the treaty the American minister who concluded it had in his possession authentic documentary evidence demonstrating that the measure of indemnity was far below the measure of wrong.

The President is therefore fully justified in saying "that the settlement involved a sacrifice in this respect was well known at the time.” Although the commission which has been created to decide on the claims has not yet closed its labors, enough has been already disclosed to establish that this sacrifice is even greater than that which the American minister ought to have known at the signature of the treaty.

Nevertheless intelligence of the conclusion of the treaty was received in the United States by the people and their councils with general satisfaction. Time blunts the force of injuries; the aggressor and his victim alike fall beneath the unsparing scythe; and the people of the United States saw in the treaty at least a partial though tardy justice rendered to those injured citizens, who yet linger behind, and to the descendants of those who died unredressed. Above all, the people of the United States saw in the treaty the removal of the only obstacle to the restoration of that perfect harmony with France which has ever been near their hearts.

Never on this side of the ocean could the people of the United States believe that a treaty which, at least upon its face, after its mutual ratification, bore all the solemnities of a perfect obligation of both parties was to be violated on the other side. So confident was Congress of its faithful execution that it hastened to pass the laws necessary to give to France the full advantage of the stipulations inserted for her benefit and to render the sums stipulated to be paid to American citizens as available as possible; Congress also provided by law that when the installments should be received they should be invested in a productive fund. It was prior to this latter provision that the Secretary of the Treasury made a draft in favor of the Bank of the United States upon the treasury of France for the first installment, which was protested. It might have been delicate toward France-it certainly would have been more fortunate-if this draft had not been made until information had been obtained of the necessary appropriation by the French Chambers to meet it, but the committee are unanimously of opinion that the mode adopted was fully justified by the terms of the treaty and that no objection against it can be fairly drawn from them.

Near two years have elapsed since, on the 2d February, 1833, the first installment of the indemnity became due without any provision for its discharge. During the greater part of this time, from the moment of the protest of the draft, the American Government has strenuously urged upon France the fulfillment of the treaty; and it is with profound regret that the committee find that its earnest endeavors have hitherto been unsuccessful.

The President justly remarks that the idea of acquiescing in the refusal of the execution of the treaty will not for a moment be entertained by any branch of the American Government. The United States can never abandon the pursuit of claims founded on the most aggravated wrongs. And if, contrary to all just expectations, France should persist in the nonfulfillment of the treaty, when negotiation shall be completely exhausted, it will then become the bounden and painful duty of the United States to consider what measures are called for on the occasion by their honor, their interests, and the justice due to their injured citizens.

The period, in the opinion of the President, has already arrived for entertaining the consideration of this momentous question. It is his conviction "that the United States ought to insist on a prompt exe

S. Doc. 231, pt 6- -4

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