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tone of sentiment preserved in it with regard to the British government and nation. In this case I trust every discerning mind will perceive the difference between the oblivion of past resentments, and the resistance to present hostility. The animosity which we have now to encounter from Britain is purely national. It is rather discountenanced than stimulated by the government, and is inspired by the two deepest and most malignant passions of the human heart revenge and envy revenge for the national humiliation of two successive wars, envy at the unparalleled growth and prosperity which associate with all their thoughts of America the torturing terror of a rival growing every day more formidable to them. Can a stronger illustration of this truth be given than in the elaborate dissertation of the British author of the campaigns of Washington and New Orleans, to prove that in the next war with the United States, the only possible chance of successful warfare for Britain will be a systematic destruction of all our populous towns a system which he admits would be too atrocious for a war with the people of a monarchy, but which he maintains would be perfectly justifiable against Republicans. What a vulture must be pouncing on that heart which could heave up such a sentiment for the execration of mankind! That vulture is pouncing constantly on the heart of the British nation, and it is well that we should be aware of it, that we may be duly prepared to meet that form of British hostility whenever it may be displayed.
It is to cater for that vulture that all the literature of Britain is so generously and so incessantly employed in depreciating the intellectual and vilifying the moral character of the American people. It is for that vulture that their travellers cross the seas, and that their daily, monthly and 1 George Robert Gleig (1796-1888).
quarterly journals, Whig and Tory, concoct with emulous industry the aliment. It is the vulture which prompts a distinguished peer of the realm to avouch a despicable radical lampooner of America, for the corruption of our elections, and hence to infer the superior purity of the rotten borough system. With a few, a very few exceptions, it pervades them all.
It is not too much to say that the literature of the public journals in Britain has more influence both upon the nation and upon their neighbors than the government.
It was upon this consideration that I did not think it beneath the dignity of the day, nor incongruous to the station of the speaker, to allude to some of the most venomous effusions of the British periodical press. It will be obvious that in retorting upon their bombastic pretensions to superior inventive genius, I have not intended to discredit their real discoveries and inventions, or to shed ridicule upon their ardent and meritorious pursuits in the fine or mechanical arts, or in the fields of literature and science. Though I think the steamboat an invention of more extensive usefulness to mankind than all their inventions since our Declaration of Independence put together, yet I would to God that there was not an useful invention of which they can boast, but for which we could show them a counterpart of our own.
In this warfare of the mind which we are compelled to maintain, in defence of the character of our country, I hope you will consider me as a follower and fellow labourer of your own. If even the Aristarchs of Edinburgh had taken your castigation kindly, and made a fair and honest apology for the insidious hostility which you had exposed, with due promise of amendment, I would not have disturbed the truce. But the Edinburgh article upon your book is every
way exceptionable; it shuffles between candid avowal and ingenuous recantation, without either the spirit to defend or the generosity to atone for its offence.
It inculcates a political doctrine in my estimation of the most pernicious tendency to this country, and the more pernicious, because it flatters our ambition the doctrine that it is the duty of America to take an active part in the future political reformation of Europe. It is most especially to that doctrine that a passage alludes in the address, which the hearers generally understood as referring only to the South American contest. The principle applies to them both, and my intention in pronouncing it was to reply both to Edinburgh and Lexington.1
There are passages in the address to which I cannot expect your assent. Those I mean which have reference to what we call the religious reformation. I know not how far to a philosophical Roman Catholic, which I know you to be, the doctrine of infallibility upon earth is an article of faith, or a mere article of church discipline. But I take it for granted that at this day, the usurpation of the ecclesiastical power during the middle ages may be descanted upon without departing from that liberality which should be observed towards all religious opinions. It was indeed impossible to treat the subject upon which I was called to speak in the manner which I thought most appropriate to it, without connecting the religious revolution of the 16th century with the origin of the doctrines which issued in our Independence. I have only to assure you that nothing could be farther from my intention than to reflect upon articles really essential to the Catholic faith, or to wound the feelings of those who receive the doctrines of the Church even in wider latitude. I need not say that this letter is entirely private and con1 A reference to Henry Clay.
fidential. I have wished to assure you that I am not insensible either to your good opinion, or to the manifestations of it which you have more than once given to the world. And I know not of a more suitable occasion to give you this assurance than on requesting your acceptance of a copy of this address, of which, although particular passages may differ from your opinions, I flatter myself the general scope and tenor will meet with your approbation.
I have the honor of enclosing for your revision the draft of a letter to the Baron de Neuville concerning the case of the Apollon. As there are passages in it which would appear intemperate, but for those which provoked them, I enclose translations of his letter of 4 April and of his note of the 9th instant, requesting of you to examine them particularly with reference to the reply, and if anything deserving of notice in his letter is omitted in the reply, that you would have the goodness to point it out, that I may make the necessary additions.
I am satisfied in my own mind of the legality of the seizure of the Apollon, both by the laws of the United States and the laws of nations. The latter rest upon the principle of natural and unquestionable justice. The former seem to me strongly fortified by the 14th section of the collection law, which expressly includes the river St. Mary's (not limited
to the middle of the river) within the revenue district. The principle that the jurisdiction of a nation for the execution of its revenue laws extends much beyond its territorial jurisdiction properly so called, I take to be settled by universal usage. And the question in this case appears to be of such magnitude, as a question of existing authority in the government, that I would suggest to your consideration, whether it would not be expedient to instruct the District Attorney in Georgia to defend the action against the collector brought by Captain Edou, and if it should turn upon the point of legality of the seizure, to have the cause, in case the decision should be against the collector, brought up to the Supreme Court for a solemn decision by them.
As Mr. Roth is on the point of departure for France, I must beg the favor that the draft may be returned to me as soon as will suit your convenience.
The enclosed letter from Mr. Forbes at Buenos Ayres is the only important communication received at this Department since I had the honor of last writing to you.
I am, etc.
TO CHARLES JARED INGERSOLL
WASHINGTON, 23 July, 1821.
I thank you very sincerely for your kind and flattering letter. It has been one of the most delicious fruits of my compliance with the invitation to "speak out" which my fellow citizens here gave me in their disappointment on application to a more competent orator. For I did consider it as an invitation to speak out, and I very honestly thought there never was a moment in our history when there was a