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tofore acted, in the same concern. It is notorious, that within the last half century she has again and again, excited the Greeks to rebellion against the Porte, and that she has constantly kept alive in them the hope that she would, one day, by her own great power, break the yoke of their oppressor. · Indeed, the earnest attention with which Russia has regarded Greece, goes: much farther back than to the time I have mentioned. Ivan the third, in 1482, having espoused a Grecian princess, heiress of the last Greek emperor, discarded St. George from the Russian arms, and adopted in its stead the Greek two-headed black eagle, which has continued in the Russian arms to the present day. In virtue of the same marriage, the Russian princes claimed the Greek throne as their inheritance.
Under Peter the Great, the policy of Russia developed itself more fully. In 1696, he rendered himself master of Azoph, and in 1698, obtained the right to pass the Dardanelles, and to maintain, by that route, commercial intercourse with the Mediterranean. He had emissaries throughout Greece, and particularly applied himself to gain the clergy. He adopted the Labarum of Constantine, “ In hoc signo rinces;" and medals were struck, with the inscription, “ Petrus I. Russo-Græcorum Imperator.". In whatever new direction the principles of the Holy Alliance may now lead the politics of Russia, or whatever course she may suppose Christianity now prescribes to her, in regard to the Greek cause, the time has been when she professed to be contending for that cause, as identified with Christianity. The white banner under which the soldiers of Peter the first usually fought, bore, as its inscription," In the name of the Prince, and for our country.” Relying on the aid of the Greeks, in his war with the Porte, he changed the white flag to red, and displayed on it the words, " In the name of God, and for Christianity.” The unfortunate issue of this war is well known. Though Anne and Elizabeth, the successors of Peter, did not possess his active character, they kept up a constant communication with Greece, and held out hopes of restoring the Greek empire. Catharine the second, as is well known, excited a general revolt in 1769. A Russian fleet appeared in the Mediterranean, and a Russian army was landed in the Morea. The Greeks in the end were disgusted by being required to take an oath of allegiance to Russia, and the empress was disgusted because they refused to take it. In 1774, peace was signed between Russia and the Porte, and the Greeks of the Morea were left to their fate. By this treaty the Porte acknowledged the independence of the khan of the Crimea; a preliminary step to the acquisition of that country by Russia. It is not unworthy of remark, as a circumstance which distinguished this from most other diplomatic transactions, that it conceded the right to the cabinet of St. Petersburg, of intervention in the interior affairs of Turkey, in regard to whatever concerned the religion of the Greeks. The cruelties and massacres that happened to the Greeks after the peace between Russia and the Porte, notwithstanding the general pardon which had been stipulated for them, need not now to be recited. Instead of retracing the deplorable picture, it is enough to say, that in this respect the past is justly reflected in the present. The empress soon after invaded and conquered the Crimea, and on one
of the gates of Kerson, its capital, caused to be inscribed, “The road to Bysantium.” The present Emperor, on his accession to the throne, manifested an intention to adopt the policy of Catharine the II. as his own, and the world has not been right, in all its suspicions, if a project for the partition of Turkey did not form a part of the negotiations of Napoleon and Alexander at Tilsit.
All this course of policy seems suddenly to be changed. Turkey is no longer regarded, it would appear, as an object of partition or acquisition, and Greek revolts have, all at once, become, according to the declaration of Laybach, “criminal combinations."
The recent congress at Verona exceeded its predecessor at Laybach, in its denunciations of the Greek struggle. In the circular of the 14th of December, 1822, it declared the Grecian resistance to the Turkish power to be rash and culpable, and lamented that “the firebrand of rebellion had been thrown into the Ottoman empire.” This rebuke and crimination, we know to have proceeded on those settled principles of conduct, which the continental powers had prescribed for themselves. The sovereigns saw, as well as others, the real condition of the Greeks; they knew, as well as others, that it was most natural and most justifiable, that they should endeavour, at whatever hazard, to change that condition. They knew, that they, themselves, or at least one of them, had more than once urged the Greeks to similar efforts; that they, themselves, had thrown the same firebrand into the midst of the Ottoman empire. And yet, so much does it seem to be their fixed object to discountenance whatsoever threatens to disturb the actual government of any country, that, Christians as they were, and allied as they professed to be, for purposes most important to human happiness and religion, they have not hesitated to declare to the world, that they have wholly forborne to exercise any compassion to the Greeks, simply because they thought that they saw, in the struggles of the Morea, the sign of revolution. This, then, is coming to a plain, practical result. The Grecian revolution has been discouraged, discountenanced, and denounced, for no reason but because it is a revolution. Independent of all inquiry into the reasonableness of its causes, or the enormity of the oppression which produced it; regardless of the peculiar claims which Greece possesses upon the civilized world; and regardless of what has been their own conduct towards her for a century; regardless of the interest of the Christian religion, the sovereigns at Verona seized upon the case of the Greek revolution, as one above all others calculated to illustrate the fixed principles of their policy. The abominable rule of the Porte on one side, the valor and the sufferings of the Christian Greeks on the other, furnished a case likely to convince even an incredulous world of the sincerity of the professions of the Allied Powers. They embraced the occasion, with apparent ardor; and the world, I trust, is satisfied.
We see here, Mr. Chairman, the direct and actual application of that system which I have attempted to describe. We see it in the very case of Greece. We learn, authentically and indisputably, that the Allied Powers, holding that all changes in legislation and administration ought to proceed from kings alone, were wholly in. exorable to the sufferings of the Greeks, and wholly hostile to their
success Now it is upon this practical result of the principle of the continental powers, that I wish this House to intimate its opinion. The great question is a question of principle. Greece is only the signal instance of the application of that principle. If the principle be right, if we esteem it conformable to the law of nations, if we have nothing to say against it, or if we deem ourselves unfit to express an opinion on the subject, then, of course, no resolution ought
If, on the other hand, we see in the declarations of the Allied Powers, principles not only utterly hostile to our own free institutions, but hostile also to the independence of all nations, and altogether opposed to the improvement of the condition of human nature; if, in the instance before us, we see a most striking exposition and application of those principles, and if we deem our own opinions to be entitled to any weight in the estimation of mankind; then, I think, it is our duty to adopt some such measure as the proposed resolution.
It is worthy of observation, sir, that as early as July, 1821, Baron Strogonoff, the Russian minister at Constantinople, represented to the Porte, that, if the undistinguished massacres of the Greeks, both of such as were in open resistance, and of those who remained patient in their submission, were continued, and should become a settled habit, they would give just cause of war against the Porte to all Christian states. This was in 1821. It was followed, early in the next year, by that indescribable enormity, that appalling monument of barbarian cruelty, the destruction of Scio; a scene I shall not attempt to describe; a scene from which human nature shrinks shuddering away; a scene having hardly a parallel in the history of fallen man.
This scene, too, was quickly followed by the massacres in Cyprus; and all these things were perfectly known to the Christian powers assembled at Verona. Yet these powers, instead of acting upon the case supposed by Baron Strogonoff, and which, one would think, had been then fully made out; instead of being moved by any compassion for the sufferings of the Greeks; these powers, these Christian powers, rebuke their gallantry, and insult their sufferings, by accusing them of “throwing a firebrand into the Ottoman empire."
Such, sir, appear to me to be the principles on which the conti nental powers of Europe have agreed hereafter to act; and this, an eminent instance of the application of those principles.
I shall not detain the Committee, Mr. Chairman, by any attempt to recite the events of the Greek struggle, up to the present time. Its origin may be found, doubtless, in that improved state of knowledge, which, for some years, has been gradually taking place in that country. The emancipation of the Greeks has been a subject frequently discussed in modern times. They themselves are represented as having a vivid remembrance of the distinction of their ancestors, not unmixed with an indignant feeling, that civilized and Christian Europe should not, ere now, have aided them in breaking their intolerable fetters.
In 1816, a society was founded in Vienna, for the encouragement of Grecian literature. It was connected with a similar institution at Athens, and another in Thessaly, called the “Gymnasium of
Mount Pelion.” The treasury and general office of the institution was established at Munich. No political object was avowed by these institutions, probably none contemplated. Still, however, they have, no doubt, had their effect in hastening that condition of things, in which the Greeks felt competent to the establishment of their independence. Many young men have been, for years, annually sent to the universities in the western states of Europe for their education; and, after the general pacification of Europe, many military men, discharged from other employment, were ready to enter even intó so unpromising a service as that of the revolutionary Greeks.
In 1820, war commenced between the Porte and Ali, the well known pacha of Albania. Differences existed also with Persia, and with Russia. In this state of things, at the beginning of 1821, an insurrection appears to have broken out in Moldavia, under the direction of Alexander Ypsilanti, a well educated soldier, who had been major-general in the Russian service. From his character, and the number of those who seemed disposed to join him, he was supposed to be countenanced by the court of St. Petersburg. This, however, was a great mistake, which the emperor, then at Laybach, took an early opportunity to rectify. The Porte, it would seem, however, alarmed at these occurrences in the northern provinces, caused search to be made of all vessels entering the Black Sea, lest arms or other military means should be sent in that manner to the insurgents. This proved inconvenient to the commerce of Russia, and caused some unsatisfactory correspondence between the two powers.
may be worthy of remark, as an exhibition of national character, that, agitated by these appearances of intestine commotion, the sultan issued a proclamation, calling on all true mussulmans to renounce the pleasures of social life, to prepare arms and horses, and to return to the manner of their ancestors, the life of the plains. The Turk seems to have thought that he had, at last, caught something of the dangerous contagion of European civilisation, and that it was necessary to reform his habits, by recurring to the original manners of military roving barbarians.
It was about this time, that is to say, at the commencement of 1821, that the Revolution burst out in various parts of Greece and the Isles. Circumstances, certainly, were not unfavorable, as one portion of the Turkish army was employed in the war against Ali Pacha in Albania, and another part in the provinces north of the Danube. The Greeks soon possessed themselves of the open country of the Morea, and drove their enemy into the fortresses. Of these, that of Tripolitza, with the city, fell into the hands of the Greeks, in the course of the summer. Having after these first movements obtained time to breathe, it became, of course, an early object to establish a government. For this purpose delegates of the people assembled, under that name which describes the assembly in which we ourselves sit, that name which “freed the Atlantic,” a Congress. A writer, who undertakes to render to the civilized world that service which was once performed by Edmund Burke, I mean the compiler of the English Annual Register, asks, by what authority this assembly could call itself a Congress. Simply, sir, by the same authority, by which the people of the United States
have given the same name to their own legislature. We, at least, should be naturally inclined to think, not only as far as names, but things also, are concerned, that the Greeks could hardly have begun their revolution under better auspices; since they have endeavoured to render applicable to themselves the general principles of our form of government, as well as its name. This constitution went into operation at the commencement of the next year. In the meantime, the war with Ali Pacha was ended, he having surrendered, and being afterwards assassinated, by an instance of treachery and pertidy, which, if it had happened elsewhere than under the government of the Turks, would have deserved notice. The negotiation with Russia, too, took a turn unfavorable to the Greeks. The great point upon which Russia insisted, beside the abandonment of the measure of searching vessels bound to the Black Sea, was, that the Porte should withdraw its armies from the neighbourhood of the Russian frontiers; and the immediate consequence of this, when effected, was to add so much more to the disposable force, ready to be employed against the Greeks. These events seemed to have left the whole force of the Empire, at the commencement of 1822, in a condition to be employed against the Greek rebellion; and, accordingly, very many anticipated the immediate destruction of their cause. The event, however, was ordered otherwise. Where the greatest effort was made, it was met and defeated. Entering the Morea with an army which seemed capable of bearing down all resistance, the Turks were nevertheless defeated and driven back, and pursued beyond the isthmus, within which, as far as it appears, from that time to the present, they have not been able to set their foot.
It was in April, of this year, that the destruction of Scio took place. That island, a sort of appanage of the Sultana mother, enjoyed many privileges peculiar to itself. In a population of 130,000 or 140,000, it had no more than 2000 or 3000'Turks; indeed, by some accounts, not near as many. The absence of these ruffian masters, had, in some degree, allowed opportunity for the promotion of knowledge, the accumulation of wealth, and the general cultivation of society. Here was the seat of the modern Greek literature; here were libraries, printing presses, and other establishments, which indicate some advancement in refinement and knowledge. Certain of the inhabitants of Samos, it would seem, envious of this conparative happiness of Scio, landed upon the island, in an irregular multitude, for the purpose of compelling its inhabitants to make common cause with their countrymen against their oppressors, These, being joined by the peasantry, marched to the city, and drove the Turks into the castle. The Turkish fleet, lately reenfor, ced from Egypt, happened to be in the neighbouring seas, and learning these events, landed a force on the island of 15,000 men. There was nothing to resist such an army. These troops immedi ately entered the city, and began an indiscriminate massacre.
The city was fired; and, in four days, the fire and the sword of the Turk, rendered the beautiful Scio a'clotted mass of blood and ashes. The details are too shocking to be recited. Forty thousand women and children, unhappily saved from the general' destruction, were