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Page:Register of debates in congress, v6.djvu/61

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American humbled in the dust. Hear, sir, the language of that day; I read from pages 301 and 302 of the Olive Branch: “Let no man who wishes to continue the war, by active means, by vote or lending money, dare to prostrate himself at the altar on the fast day.” “Will federalists subscribe to the loan? Will they lend money to our national rulers? It is impossible. First, because of the principle, and secondly, because of principal and interest.” “Do not prevent the abusers of their trust from becoming bankrupt. Do not prevent them from becoming odious to the public, and being replaced by better men.” “Any federalist who lends money to Government, must go and shake hands with James Madison, and claim fellowship with Felix Grundy. [I beg pardon of my honorable friend from Tennessee; but he is in good company. I had thought it was ‘James Madison, Felix Grundy, and the Devil.’] Let him no more call himself a federalist, and a friend to his country; he will be called by others, infamous,” &c.

Sir, the spirit of the people sunk under these appeals. Such was the effect produced by them on the public mind, that the very agents of the Government (as appears from their public advertisements, now before me) could not obtain loans, without a pledge that “the names of the subscribers should not be known.” Here are the advertisements: “The names of all subscribers (say Gilbert and Dean, the brokers employed by Government) shall be known only to the undersigned.” As if those who came forward to aid their country in the hour of her utmost need, were engaged in some dark and foul conspiracy, they were assured “that their names should not be known.” Can any thing show more conclusively the unhappy state of public feeling which prevailed at that day, than this single fact? Of the same character with these measures was the conduct of Massachusetts, in withholding her militia from the service of the United States, and devising measures for withdrawing her quota of the taxes, thereby attempting, not merely to cripple the resources of the country, but actually depriving the Government (as far as depended upon her) of all the means of carrying on the war: of the bone, and muscle, and sinews of war—“of man and steel—the soldier and his sword.” But it seems Massachusetts was to reserve her resources for herself; she was to defend and protect her own shores. And how was that duty performed? In some places on the coast neutrality was declared, and the enemy was suffered to invade the soil of Massachusetts, and allowed to occupy her territory, until the peace, without one effort to rescue it from his grasp. Nay, more, while our own Government and our rulers were considered as enemies, the troops of the enemy were treated like friends; the most intimate commercial relations were established with them, and maintained up to the peace. At this dark period of our national affairs, where was the Senator from Massachusetts? How were his political associates employed? “Calculating the value of the Union?” Yes, sir, that was the propitious moment, when our country stood alone, the last hope of the world, struggling for her existence against the colossal power of Great Britain, “concentrated in one mighty effort to crush us at a blow”—that was the chosen hour to revive the grand scheme of building up “a great Northern Confederacy”—a scheme, which, it is stated in the work before me, had its origin, as far back as the year 1796, and which appears never to have been entirely abandoned. In the language of the writers of that day, (1796) “rather than have a constitution such as the anti-Federalists were contending for, [such as we now are contending for] the Union ought to be dissolved;” and to prepare the way for that measure, the same methods were resorted to then, that have always been relied on for that purpose—exciting prejudice against the South. Yes, sir, our Northern brethren were then told “that, if the negroes were good for food, their Southern masters would claim the right to destroy them at pleasure.”* Sir, in 1814, all these topics were revived. Again we heard of “a Northern Confederacy.” “The slave States by themselves;” “the mountains are the natural boundary;” we want neither “the counsels nor the power of the West,” &c. &c. The papers teemed with accusations against the South and the West, and the calls for a dissolution of all connexion with them were loud and strong. I cannot consent to go through the disgusting details. But to show the height to which the spirit of disaffection was carried, I will take you to the temple of the living God, and show you that sacred place (which should be devoted to the extension of “peace on earth and good will towards men,” where “one day’s truce ought surely to be allowed to the dissensions and animosities of mankind”) converted into a fierce arena of political strife, where, from the lips of the priest standing between the horns of the altar, there went forth the most terrible denunciations against all who should be true to their country, in the hour of her utmost need.

“If you do not wish,” said a reverend clergyman, in a sermon preached in Boston, on the 23d July, 1812, “to become the slaves of those who own slaves, and who are themselves the slaves of French slaves, you must either, in the language of the day, cut the connexion, or so far alter the national compact as to ensure to yourselves a due share in the Government.” (Olive Branch, page 319.) “The Union,” says the same writer, (page 320) “has been long since virtually dissolved, and it is full time that this part of the disunited States should take care of itself.”

Another reverend gentleman, pastor of a church at Medford, (page 321) issues his anathema—“let him stand accursed”—against all, all, who by their “personal services,” or “loans of money,” “conversation,” or “writing,” or “influence,” give countenance or support to the unrighteous war, in the following terms: “that man is an accomplice in the wickedness; he loads his conscience with the blackest crimes; he brings the guilt of blood upon his soul, and in the sight of God and his law he is a murderer!”

One or two more quotations, sir, and I shall have done. A reverend doctor of divinity, the pastor of a church at Byefield, Massachusetts, on the 7th of April, 1814, thus addresses his flock [321.] “The Israelites became weary of yielding the fruit of their labor to pamper their splendid tyrants. They left their political woes. They separated; where is our Moses? Where the rod of his miracles? Where is our Aaron? Alas! no voice from the burning bush has directed them here.”

“We must trample on the mandates of despotism, or remain slaves forever.” [p. 322.] “You must drag the chains of Virginian despotism, unless you discover some other mode of escape.” “Those Western States, which have been violent for this abominable war, those States which have thirsted for blood—God has given them blood to drink.” [323.]——Sir, I can go no further. The records of the day are full of such sentiments, issued from the press, spoken in public assemblies, poured out from the sacred desk! God forbid, sir, that I should charge the people of Massachusetts with participating in these sentiments. The South and the West had there, their friends—men who stood by their country, though encompassed all around by their enemies. The Senator from Massachusetts [Mr. Silsbee] was one of them, the Senator from Connecticut [Mr. Foot] was another, and there are others now on this floor. The sentiments I have read were the sentiments of a party embracing the political associates of the gentleman from Massachusetts. If they could only be found in the columns of a newspaper, in a few occasional pamphlets, issued by men of intemperate feeling, I should not consider them as affording any evidence of the opinions even of the peace party of New England. But, sir, they were the common language