The Writings of Carl Schurz/Grant's Usurpation of the War Powers


Mr. President:—Three speeches have now been made in reply to the Senator from Massachusetts [Mr. Sumner], and although they were strong in imputations, with all due respect be it said, I did not find in them a vast accumulation of argument. The Senator from Indiana [Mr. Morton] first intimated that the Senator from Massachusetts had delivered his remarks for the purpose of forestalling the effect of the report of the commission that had been sent to San Domingo, and thus, perhaps, to prevent the ratification of the treaty. Being somewhat acquainted with the Senator from Massachusetts, I think I can give my friend from Indiana the consoling assurance that nothing of the kind was in the mind of the Senator from Massachusetts. Whatever the report of the commission sent on a mission of investigation to San Domingo may be, I do not think it is likely to shed such a flood of light on the subject as to materially alter the judgment of the Senate. I should therefore deem it unnecessary to forestall anything with regard to the San Domingo treaty, for I am living in the hope that the fate of that treaty is already sealed.

The Senator from Wisconsin [Mr. Howe] opened with a most beautiful exordium, revealing to us a very remarkable acquaintance with the events of ancient and modern history. He slaughtered, one after another, Solomon, Cicero, Brutus, Cassius, Casca, William Pitt and Daniel Webster, with merciless rigor, and finally closed the column with my friend from Massachusetts. Really, sir, it was a brave sight to see him standing, with his fatal hatchet, scalping one after another, and proving that all these great men, toward the close of their lives, had entirely lost their mental faculties. Very sad, indeed. But as to the conclusion he desired to draw, that the course of the Senator from Massachusetts is also owing to a failure of his mental faculties, I cannot refrain from replying that the difficulty seems to be far less with the failure of the mental strength of the Senator from Massachusetts than with the failure of the moral strength of others.

I do not enter into this debate for the purpose of affecting in any way the result of the San Domingo negotiation; for my arguments against that treaty stand on a different ground. I enter into it solely for the purpose of raising my voice in vindication of sound Constitutional government; for no man can have listened to the discussion on the floor of the Senate on these very resolutions without having been struck by the sinister looseness of Constitutional notions which has been exhibited to us; by the continual confounding of the President's person with the Government of the United States, just as if the whole Government of the United States consisted of only one man. It is for the purpose of vindicating the Constitutional division of powers that I enter upon this debate; and to bring the discussion back to a legitimate basis it is well that we should once more have a rapid survey of the facts.

The President, of his own motion and accord, as he had a Constitutional right to do, made a treaty with Buenaventura Baez for the annexation of the Dominican republic to the United States. The Dominican republic was disturbed by revolutionary parties hostile to Baez. The Dominican republic was also said to be threatened by the neighboring republic of Hayti, whose people were unfavorably disposed with regard to the project of the annexation of a part of that island to this Union, in which they saw danger to their own independence. The President then ordered certain naval officers of the United States, in command of a heavy naval armament, to protect the Government of the Dominican republic against any interference on the part of Hayti by force of arms, and to capture and destroy the ships of the republic of Hayti, according to circumstances. In pursuance of such orders, a rear-admiral of the United States, in command of heavily armed vessels, sails into the port of Port-au-Prince and informs the Haytian Government that whatever their relations with the Dominican republic may be, he will use his guns to capture and destroy their ships as soon as they attempt to interfere in any way with the Dominican republic. More than that, the commanders of the naval armament of the United States in Dominican waters proclaim themselves also instructed, not only to protect the territory of the Dominican republic against foreign invasion, but also to protect the existing Government, that is, the personal power of Baez, against the citizens of that republic; and they actually aid Baez in his military operations.

Is there any Senator on this floor who will deny these facts? They all appear from the documentary evidence which I have on my desk. And such orders, instructing the naval officers of the United States to commit acts of war with arms of the United States, are issued by the President without the least authority from the Congress of the United States. Will any Senator deny this fact? And such orders are continued in force not only during the pendency of the projected treaty before the Senate, but after that treaty had expired on the 29th of March, 1870, and even after it had been formally rejected by a vote of the Senate on the 30th of June, 1870, while not even a shadow of a treaty is existing between the Government of the United States and that of the Dominican republic.

I submit that these are the facts; and every one of these facts is proven by the documentary evidence before us, furnished by the Executive department of the Government of the United States. What do these facts signify? It is affirmed by the Senator from Massachusetts that the orders thus issued by the President constituted a violation of the fundamental law of this Republic. Let us see. If it can be proven that these orders were unconstitutionally issued, then I suggest that all the glowing rhetoric about General Grant's past services, and all the vituperation heaped upon the Senator from Massachusetts and others, will be utterly without avail.

Let us strip the whole argument, then, of its flowers and go to its core. The Constitution of the United States provides that the Congress shall have power to declare war; but my eloquent friend from Wisconsin steps in and says, as I understood him, although Congress may have the sole power, with the approval of the President, to declare war, yet war can be made, acts of war can be committed, without the authority of Congress. Did I understand the Senator correctly?

Mr. Howe. Yes, sir.

Mr. Schurz. What is that great safeguard of our peace and security, as it is written in the Constitution, that Congress, and not the President alone, shall have the power to declare war — what is it worth if an Executive officer of the Government can initiate or make war without Congressional authority? I have high respect for my friend from Wisconsin, but I cannot refrain from thinking such an argument would be ruled out of any justice of the peace court in the West. That the Executive department of the Government shall not commit any act of war except in case of the invasion of the territory of the United States, unless expressly authorized by Congress, that must be the meaning, and the only meaning, of that Constitutional provision; and if it be anything else it is not worth the paper on which it is written.

Mr. Howe. If my friend will allow me, he did not misunderstand what I said, but he evidently misunderstands what I intended by it. I simply said that the President could, in the discharge of his authority over the Army and Navy, commit an act of war. I did not say he could rightfully do it, but I said he would be amenable to our Government for any such conduct.

Mr. Schurz. That is another thing.

Mr. Howe. I was only trying to make a distinction between an act of war and a declaration of war.

Mr. Schurz. Very well; then let us lay down the meaning of the Constitutional provision in these terms: that the Executive department of the Government shall not commit an act of war except in case of an invasion of the United States by a foreign enemy, unless expressly authorized by Congress. Is that it?

Mr. Howe. Will you repeat that?

Mr. Schurz. I will repeat it once more.

Mr. Sumner. It will bear repeating.

Mr. Schurz. Certainly, it will bear repeating, and I think in our times it can hardly be repeated too often. The meaning of the provision of the Constitution that Congress shall have power to declare war is simply this and nothing else: that the Executive department of the Government shall not commit an act of war except in case of an invasion of the territory of the United States, unless expressly authorized by Congress. Is that it?

Mr. Howe. No, sir.

Mr. Schurz. Let me hear what it is, then.

Mr. Howe. I admit that the President should not and ought not to commit an act of war unless under such circumstances as will justify him in that act in the judgment of the tribunals of the country, whether they are legislative or judicial.

Mr. Schurz. Very well. The definition of the Senator from Wisconsin, then, if I understand him correctly, is this: the President shall not commit an act of war unless under circumstances which are approved by Congress as being such that he may rightfully commit an act of war. Is that it?

Mr. Howe.I will accept that.

Mr. Schurz. Very well. Now, sir, that in this case Congress has not declared war or authorized the commission of acts of war is absolutely certain. Then the question occurs, were acts of war actually committed? The President ordered officers of the Navy of the United States to employ the force of arms to capture or destroy the ships of a foreign nation with whom the United States were at peace. Is not that so? Is not this order in itself, standing alone, unsupported by anything else, an act of war as far as the Executive department can commit an act of war?

Mr. Howe rose.

Mr. Schurz. I would ask the Senator from Wisconsin to be patient a moment; I have to add something. The President does not himself in his own person load and fire the gun; he can only order the gun to be loaded and fired; and he did so order. It is true the President made the actual use of arms, that is to say, the flagrant, bloody act of war, dependent upon a certain contingency. But, I ask the Senator from Wisconsin, has the President the power under the Constitution at his own arbitrary pleasure and discretion to define a contingency in which the arms of the United States shall be used against a nation with whom the United States are at peace? Has he the unlimited discretion to order the use of arms in a contingency so defined by himself? Let us consider. If he has that discretionary power to define a contingency in which the arms of the United States shall be used in the actual commission of a belligerent act, then he has power to use the arms of the United States to commit acts of war in contingencies of his own choosing; that is to say, whenever he pleases. And what becomes of that provision of the Constitution lodging the war-making power in Congress? It signifies nothing at all; it is written in water. Sir, that simple provision of the Constitution that Congress shall have power to declare war cannot by any rule of construction be interpreted to mean anything else but that Congress, and not the President alone, shall define the contingencies in which the belligerent power of the United States is to be used. I therefore affirm that the President in ordering the naval commanders of the United States to capture and destroy by force of arms the vessels of a nation with whom the United States were at peace, in a contingency arbitrarily defined by himself other than self-defense, did usurp the war-making power of Congress.

Mr. Howe. Will the Senator answer me this question? Does he mean to say that the President can only employ force in a case where its employment has been preceded by an actual declaration of war by the Congress of the United States?

Mr. Schurz. We know very well that when the territory of the United States is invaded he has the right to employ force.

Mr. Sherman. On the high seas?

Mr. Schurz. There also in case of an attack.

Mr. Howe. The Senator then admits that force may be employed in cases where Congress has not declared war; that cases may exist in which the President may employ force where war has not been declared by Congress. He admits that.

Mr. Schurz. I said so.

Mr. Howe. Then will the Senator answer me this other question: who shall determine in what cases the President may or may not employ that force where war has not been formally declared by Congress, if President Grant shall not?

Mr. Schurz. I think the Senator had better formulate his question in this way: who shall determine whether an invasion of the United States is an invasion or not? Is not that it? Who shall determine whether an attack upon a vessel of the United States——

Mr. Stewart. Allow me to ask the Senator——

Mr. Schurz. In one moment. Who shall determine whether an attack upon a vessel of the United States on the high seas is an attack or not? Why, sir, is not that trifling with the common-sense of the people?

Mr. Stewart. Will the Senator allow me to ask him a question?

Mr. Schurz. Yes, sir.

Mr. Stewart. Suppose an American citizen in a foreign country is maltreated in any way, deprived of his rights, and our Navy is cruising in the waters of that country, has the President of the United States any right to use force for the protection of that citizen?

Mr. Schurz. If the Senator from Nevada will take the Congressional Globe for the year 1859, and look at a discussion which took place on this floor on the 18th of February of that year, he will find that President Buchanan asked of Congress power to protect by warlike means the safety of citizens of the United States on the transit route of Panama, and that the Senate indignantly refused such discretionary authority.

Mr. Stewart. Let me ask the Senator, if the Navy of the United States has no power to protect our citizens abroad without an act of Congress declaring war, when it is perfectly obvious in most cases that all the virtue and all the benefits of that protection will pass by before the convening of Congress, before an act can be had, why have an expensive navy cruising in foreign waters?

Mr. Schurz. Is that all the Senator has to ask?

Mr. Stewart. Yes, sir.

Mr. Schurz. I do not think that question deserves an answer.

As I have said, I repeat that the President in ordering the naval commanders of the United States to capture and destroy by force, without being attacked, without our territory being invaded by force, the vessels of a nation with whom the United States were at peace, in a contingency arbitrarily defined by himself, did usurp the war-making power of Congress; and I repeat it.

That a warlike collision between the forces of the United States and those of a foreign nation resulting in the actual use of arms and the shedding of blood did not occur, is true; but I affirm, also, that the President after having given those orders cannot claim the benefit of that circumstance. The order to use force, to destroy or capture Haytian vessels, and to protect the Baez Government against all comers in certain contingencies was given in the expectation, or, if it better please you, in the apprehension at least, that such contingencies would happen; for had that apprehension not existed the orders, in all probability, would not have been given. It was believed that the Haytians were actually invading the Dominican republic, and that revolutionary parties in the Dominican republic were actually threatening the Baez Government. It was with reference to this very contingency that the order to use force was given, and it was most emphatically enjoined upon our naval commanders, as the record shows, that there should be no failure in this matter; and when our war-vessels, with such orders, had sailed on their mission, the effect of those orders was just as much out of the President's control as the cannon ball when it has left the muzzle of the gun is out of the control of him who fired the piece.

You are not permitted to say, gentlemen, that it would have been an unfortunate accident if a collision had actually occurred, for it was a most fortunate accident, but a mere accident for all that, an accident absolutely uncontrollable by the President, that a collision and bloodshed did not happen. When the order had left our shores, the President had done all that he could do to bring on that collision. It was out of his power then to prevent it, for not even the telegraph could reach our naval vessels stationed on the coast of San Domingo. As far as the peace and honor of the country could be jeopardized and compromised by him, he had actually jeopardized and compromised it. As far as war could be made by the President alone, the President actually had made war. Who will deny it? It was an accident out of his control that a bloody collision did not take place. I therefore repeat that these orders, in themselves, constitute a usurpation of the war powers of Congress, under the fundamental law of this Republic.

Now let us see what Senators have to say to controvert this argument or to weaken its force. It is claimed that when the President had agreed upon a treaty of annexation with the Government of a foreign country, an inchoate right of the United States in that foreign country had been created, and that then the President had under the Constitution the power to protect by force of arms that inchoate right against all interference, just as he would have the power to protect the territory of the United States against invasion. Let us see what logical results will follow from such a doctrine as that.

From whom does the President claim to obtain the power to protect by acts of war the inchoate right in a foreign country assumed to have been created by a treaty not perfected by the consent of the Senate? He certainly does not claim to have obtained that power from Congress, from the only branch of the Government in which by the Constitution the war-making power is lodged, for Congress had not been consulted on the subject and Congress had not spoken. By virtue of what, then, does the President claim such power to enforce an inchoate right? By virtue of the mere project of a treaty, which, although concluded between himself and a foreign power, had not become the law of the land by the sanction of the Senate; and who made that project of a treaty? The President made it himself, of his own motion and pleasure, in conjunction with a foreign Government.

Thus, then, gentlemen claim that the President, of whom nobody pretends that he possesses the power to initiate a war of his own motion under the Constitution, still does possess the power, by making a treaty, to create an inchoate right of the United States in some foreign country, and having by his own arbitrary act created that inchoate right, he has the power at his own arbitrary pleasure, without authority from Congress, to commit acts of war for the enforcement of that inchoate right. In other words, it is claimed that the President, by an act performed of himself at his own arbitrary pleasure, in conjunction with a foreign Government, may obtain for himself alone the war-making power, which the Constitution expressly vests in Congress. I look upon this as perhaps the hugest absurdity, the most audacious preposterosity, the most mischievous, dangerous and anti-republican doctrine that ever was broached on the floor of the Senate. When we hear advocated in the American Senate so wild a heresy, as that the President, by a mere sleight-of-hand, may steal from Congress the war-making power, does it not occur to you, Senators, that it is at last time that such theories and such acts should be sifted to the bottom by independent men?

But I am asked, may not the United States during the pendency of a treaty of annexation assume a protectorate over the country to be annexed, so as to prevent foreign intervention? Most assuredly the United States may do that. The United States may do that by force of arms, may do it by acts of war, may in every possible way en force that protection. The United States may do that by a simple exercise of their sovereignty, may do it even without a treaty, may do it just as the United States, by a simple exercise of their sovereignty, may declare war, with or without reason, against any country in the world. But where does that sovereignty reside? Does that sovereignty reside in the President alone? This is, perhaps, the first time in the history of this country that such a doctrine has been imported upon the floor of the American Senate.

The Constitution tells you that, as to the power to initiate war, that sovereignty is vested in Congress, and not in the President alone. If, then, an inchoate right assumed to have been created by the President's own act is to be enforced by acts of war, the United States can certainly do it, but Congress, and not the President alone, is, according to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution, the branch of this Government to decide the question whether such protection involving a question of war shall be enforced or not. If the President desired to protect an inchoate right in the republic of San Domingo after he had initiated the treaty with the Baez Government, he had a very plain way to do that. Congress was at that very moment in session. When the orders were given to the naval commanders to enforce that inchoate right by sinking or capturing the ships of a Government with whom the United States were at peace Congress was assembled in these halls. You, Senators, occupied these seats when the President, unmindful of the Constitutional prerogatives of the National Legislature, over your very heads issued that order to the naval commanders.

It cannot, therefore, be claimed that the President had not an opportunity to consult Congress and to do so without loss of time. But he did not. If the President alone, as he did in this instance, presumes to decide for the Government the question whether the inchoate right shall be enforced by force of arms, and to act upon his decision in that case without being authorized by Congress, then, I repeat, he commits a palpable act of usurpation; he violates the Constitution of this Republic.

Thus it turns out that the President in this case simply made the mistake of taking himself to be the United States of America, the mistake of acting upon the mighty presumption that he had absorbed in himself all the sovereignty of this great Republic. And this is what I call an indefensible usurpation of those powers which the Constitution withholds from the Presidential office. If the Senator from Wisconsin, or the Senator from Indiana, or the Senator from New Jersey still deny this, I shall look for their arguments with a high degree of curiosity.

I venture to express the hope that this most absurd, most audacious and most un-republican doctrine that the President can, under the Constitution, steal the war-making power from Congress under the shallow pretense of having created by his own arbitrary act an inchoate right of the United States in a foreign country, thus creating for himself the power to use belligerent measures to enforce that inchoate right, will not be heard on the floor of the Senate again. It is indeed time that such a heresy and such practices, so strongly smelling of personal government, should be held up to the contemplation of a republican people, and that a republican Senate, who have sworn to maintain the fundamental laws of this Republic, should openly and emphatically pronounce their disapproval of them.

Senators have been unsparing in their denunciation of the Senator from Massachusetts because he made his speech. I think the Senator from Massachusetts is entitled to the gratitude of every American citizen for having brought this momentous subject to the notice of the country, a subject which has been treated with so much levity, and it is to be hoped that the Senate will not hesitate to do its duty.

Now, sir, I have to follow the Senator from Indiana and the Senator from New Jersey a little further in their discoveries. All Constitutional argument, it seems, having failed, the defense of the President's act of usurpation resorts to the last, and, as I look upon it, the most dangerous and desperate expedient, a justification by precedent. I call it a most dangerous and desperate expedient, for the justification of evil deeds by precedent once recognized as generally admissible would be utterly subversive of all our public and private morals. If a crime could once be committed with impunity, is that a reason why it should be regarded as less criminal when perpetrated a second time? If an act of usurpation was once submitted to without resistance, is that a reason why its repetition should not be condemned, rebuked and resisted? If so, then the integrity, nay, the very existence of republican government in this country hangs on a very slender thread indeed. I venture to say that the levity with which bad precedents are sometimes employed and admitted as arguments in the discussion of public questions bids fair to produce a confusion of moral, legal and political notions which will have a most sinister influence upon the popular conscience.

But now, let us look at what the Senator from Indiana [Mr. Morton] calls the precedent relied upon to cover the President's usurpation of the war-making power of Congress. It appears that at the time when the treaty for the annexation of the republic of Texas was pending before the Senate the then President of the United States dispatched certain war vessels to the Gulf of Mexico and certain military forces to the Texan frontier. Who was the President of the United States who did that? His name was John Tyler. And who was the Secretary of State, his principal adviser? His name was John C. Calhoun. This is a significant spectacle indeed. What desperate straits the defenders of President Grant's acts must have been driven into to crawl under the shadow of John Tyler and John C. Calhoun for protection! To appeal to John Tyler's and John C. Calhoun's example for the justification of President Grant's acts! To set up John Tyler and John C. Calhoun as the great models after which President Grant shaped his policy! The distress must indeed be extreme when such a refuge is resorted to. If you looked over the whole history of the United States for the names of men whom you would like to quote in justification of your own acts, I suppose John Tyler and John C. Calhoun would be the very last. It is very strange company into which gentlemen have introduced General Grant; and, I am sorry to say, even that company begs to be excused.

If you look carefully at the records of history you will find that even the conduct of Tyler and Calhoun cannot in any important particular serve as a precedent for the usurping act of General Grant. In the first place, President Tyler did not order the military and naval forces of the United States to sustain by acts of war the then existing Government of the republic of Texas, either against foreign aggression or against revolutionary movements set on foot by its own citizens. President Tyler sent certain naval and military forces to the Gulf of Mexico and to the Texan frontier merely for purposes of observation.

Now, let us compare the documents in the two cases. First, I will read a dispatch addressed by John C. Calhoun to Mr. Shannon, referred to yesterday by the Senator from Indiana. He said it was too long to read it. Had it been read in its full length, things would have appeared which might not have agreed very well with the Senator's argument. John C. Calhoun says in his dispatch to Mr. Shannon:

The President has fully and deliberately examined the subject, and has come to the conclusion that honor and humanity, as well as the welfare and safety of both countries, forbid it; and that it is his duty, during the recess of Congress, to use all his Constitutional means in opposition to it——

You will notice this dispatch treats of the question of Mexican aggression upon Texas. I read again——

and that it is his duty, during the recess of Congress, to use all his Constitutional means in opposition to it; leaving that body when it assembles to decide on the course which, in its opinion, it would be proper for the Government to adopt.

In accordance with this conclusion, the President would be compelled to regard the invasion of Texas by Mexico, while the question of annexation is pending, as highly offensive to the United States.

If Mexico has thought proper to take offense, it is us who invited the renewal of the proposition, and not she who accepted it, who ought to be held responsible; and we, as the responsible party, cannot, without implicating our honor, permit another to suffer in our place. Entertaining these views, Mexico would make a great mistake if she should suppose that the President would regard with indifference the renewal of the war which she has proclaimed against Texas.

That is all, sir. Do you find there the sending of a military and naval armament to sink or capture the ships of Mexico? No; it is simply a diplomatic representation informing the republic of Mexico that certain acts which might be committed by her would be looked upon with great disfavor by the United States, a thing which happens within the history of a nation like this in almost every decade without resulting in the least in the commission of any act of war or in the issuing of any order to commit an act of war.

Now I come to the orders given by John Tyler to his military commanders.

Mr. Morton. Does the Senator mean to say that he has read all of that dispatch?

Mr. Schurz. No, sir; I have not. Is there anything else in that dispatch than simply this: that the Secretary of State of the United States declares to the Government of Mexico that if they should attempt to invade Texas during the pendency of the treaty it would be looked upon by the United States with great disfavor and as an unfriendly act? Is not that all; or is there anything beyond that?

Mr. Morton. The whole dispatch amounts to this in substance: that the invasion of Texas at that time would be regarded as highly offensive to the United States, and that Mexico would be held responsible for the act. The language was the diplomatic language; but it was the language of war, and was so understood at the time. I think if the Senator will turn back to the files of the Globe of the ensuing session he will see that that dispatch was so regarded at the time. Of course the Navy was not ordered into Texas; it could not sail there very well; but the language was the language of war; and I think nobody can read the dispatch through without so understanding it.

Mr. Schurz. Does the Senator pretend that this dispatch contains anything to indicate President Tyler's determination of his own will, without calling upon Congress for authority, to make war on Mexico?

Mr. Morton. I do. I maintain that the dispatch in itself gave Mexico to understand that her invasion of Texas at the time would be resisted; and a Senator suggests to me that it was followed by the march of troops to the disputed territory, and there never was a declaration of war by Congress.

Mr. Schurz. I will show the Senator directly what that march of troops signified. In this very dispatch Mr. Calhoun tells Mr. Shannon——

That it is his [the President's] duty, during the recess of Congress, to use all his Constitutional means in opposition to it, leaving that body, when it assembles, to decide on the course which, in its opinion, it would be proper for the Government to adopt.

Mr. Morton. Precisely; that he shall use all the Constitutional means. He does not say what they were. Perhaps he might take the same view that President Grant did in reference to what were Constitutional means. Of course the question would be referred to Congress when Congress met, if actual hostilities took place. What I maintain is, that that dispatch must convey the impression to the Senator, as it did to my mind and as it will to the mind of any man who will read it, that an invasion of Texas would be resisted if it was then made. I do not want to quibble about it.

Mr. Schurz. It conveys the impression to my mind that the President of the United States, through the Secretary of State, made a declaration to Mexico which our Executive, under the Constitution of this country, can always make to a foreign Government, a declaration which, in the course of our diplomatic relations with England, we were frequently on the point of making, and which we would have found no fault with the President for making if——

Mr. Stewart. Will the Senator allow me a word?

Mr. Morton. Allow me to make one suggestion.

Mr. Schurz. One at a time, gentlemen.

The Vice-President. To which Senator does the Senator from Missouri yield?

Mr. Schurz. The Senator from Indiana.

Mr. Morton. The Senator from Massachusetts yesterday read an extract from Benton's Thirty Years View, I believe, showing that Mr. Bent on put that construction upon the dispatch that I say the dispatch bears, and it is trifling with the meaning of that dispatch to say that it does not mean that.

Mr. Schurz. I am always glad to hear the Senator from Indiana, but I desire to say a few words now. If the Senator from Indiana had not been so hasty, or perhaps if he had gone through all the papers in this case with some care, he would in other dispatches have found an interpretation of the meaning of the very language I have just quoted. He would then have found that it meant something very different from the acts which are now under discussion as having been performed by President Grant. If he will now permit me to proceed with the dispatches, I think I shall be able to satisfy him. Here is the message from President John Tyler, of May 15, 1844. In that message he says:

It will also be perceived by the Senate, by referring to the orders of the Navy Department, which are herewith transmitted, that the naval officer in command of the fleet is directed to cause his ships to perform all the duties of a fleet of observation, and to apprise the Executive of any indication of a hostile design upon Texas, on the part of any nation, pending the deliberations of the Senate upon the treaty, with a view that the same should promptly be submitted to Congress for its mature deliberation. At the same time——

And here President Tyler expresses his personal opinion——

it is due to myself that I should declare it as my opinion that the United States having by the treaty of annexation acquired a title to Texas, which requires only the action of the Senate to perfect it, no other Power could be permitted to invade and by force of arms to possess itself of any portion of the territory of Texas, pending your deliberations upon the treaty, without placing itself in a hostile attitude to the United States, and justifying the employment of any military means at our disposal to drive back the invasion.

Mr. Morton. Precisely; that is it.

Mr. Schurz. Precisely; and yet John Tyler, who is the only great authority of the Senator from Indiana, does not arrogate to himself the right as President of the United States, without consulting Congress, without having any authority from the National Legislature, to issue an order to commit belligerent acts.

Mr. Morton. The last clause contradicts your argument.

Mr. Schurz. I beg the Senator's pardon. The facts in the case contradict his.

Mr. Stewart. Will the Senator allow me to ask him a question?

Mr. Schurz. Certainly; I will at last yield to the Senator from Nevada.

Mr. Stewart. I should like to ask the Senator how that war actually begun; whether, after this warning, Mexico did not enter over the line, and war commenced, and Congress never did declare war, according to my recollection?

Mr. Conkling. Congress declared that war existed by the act of Mexico.

Mr. Stewart. The President sent a message to Congress after the disobedience of this warning that war was actually existing, and Congress passed a resolution, “Whereas war exists by the act of Mexico,” etc.

Mr. Schurz. If the Senator from Nevada is through I will give him my attention. This happened two years afterward, and the war was accepted as having been originated by the republic of Mexico.

Mr. Stewart. How was it originated? Was it not by disobeying that warning and by resistance on the part of the United States to that disobedience?

Mr. Thurman. Will the Senator from Missouri give me the date of that document?

Mr. Schurz. Which document, Calhoun's dispatch or the message of the President?

Mr. Thurman. Either.

Mr. Schurz. The President's message is dated May 15, 1844.

Mr. Thurman. Texas was annexed fully, completely, and represented in Congress before there was a particle of war with Mexico.

Mr. Schurz. That point is settled then. There is one thing I forgot to read in another message of President Tyler. If the Senator from Nevada had not interrupted me, I should have kept the order of my remarks. It was this:

Since that time Mexico has, until recently, occupied an attitude of hostility toward the United States; has been marshaling and organizing armies, issuing proclamations and avowing the intention to make war on the United States, either by an open declaration or by invading Texas. Both the Congress and convention of the people of Texas invited this Government to send an army into that territory, to protect and defend them against the menaced attack. The moment the terms of annexation offered by the United States were accepted by Texas, the latter became so far a part of our own country as to make it our duty to afford such protection and defense.—Senate Documents, first session Twenty-ninth Congress, vol. 1, 1845-46.

Mr. Sumner. That was after the passage of the joint resolution.

Mr. Schurz. Does the Senator from Indiana see the difference? The joint resolution had passed both Houses; the republic of Texas had accepted and ratified the conditions of annexation; and then the President regarded it as the duty of the President of the United States to defend that territory as part and parcel of the territory of the United States according to the Constitution.

Now I come to the orders which President Tyler issued, in pursuance of which a naval and military armament was sent down to the Mexican waters and the Texan frontier.

Navy Department, April 15, 1844. 

To Commodore David Conner,
Commanding Home Squadron, Pensacola:

I will not read the whole order, but the main part of it:

If, while the question of ratification is pending, an armed force shall threaten an invasion of Texas, you will remonstrate with the commanding officer, and you will accompany your remonstrance with the assurance that the President of the United States will regard the execution of such a hostile purpose toward Texas, under such circumstances, as evincing a most unfriendly spirit toward the United States, and which, in the event of the treaty's ratification, must lead to actual hostilities with this country.

So far the Navy. Now as to the Army.

Adjutant General's Office,

Washington, April 27, 1844. 

Brevet Brigadier-General Z. Taylor,
Commanding First Military Department,
Fort Jesup, Louisiana.

You will take prompt measures, in the first instance by a confidential officer, and subsequently by the ordinary mail or special expresses, as you may deem necessary, to put yourself in communication with the President of Texas, in order to inform him of your present position and force and to learn and to transmit to this office (all confidentially) whether any, and what, external dangers may threaten that Government or its people. Should such danger be found to exist and appear to be imminent, you will collect and march the forces above indicated to the Sabine river, but not proceed beyond the frontier without further instructions, keeping in readiness, in the case supposed, all necessary means of transportation, as well as ample stores of subsistence and ammunition.

Now, a few documents in explanation of all these acts. Mr. Murphy was the accredited agent of the United States near the then Government of the republic of Texas, and Mr. Murphy addressed a note to Mr. Jones, who was then the Secretary of State of the republic of Texas, in which he says:

You therefore ask of me some pledge for the security of Texas pending such negotiations, previous to the appointment of a special Minister to act with Mr. Van Zandt, your chargé d'affaires near the Government of the United States, in opening and conducting that negotiation at Washington city, for the annexation of Texas to the United States.

Sir, I have no hesitation in declaring, on the part of my Government, that neither Mexico nor any other Power will be permitted to invade Texas on account of any negotiation which may take place in relation to any subject upon which Texas is or may be invited by the United States to negotiate; that the United States having invited that negotiation will be a guarantee of their honor that no evil shall result to Texas from accepting the invitation; and that active measures will be immediately taken by the United States to prevent the evils you seem to anticipate from this source.

That was the promise given by Mr. Murphy, the representative of the United States, to Mr. Jones, the Secretary of State of the Texan republic, and with regard to this promise having been applied for by the representative of the Texan republic, John Nelson, Secretary of State ad interim of the United States, administers the following polite rebuke to Mr. Murphy:

Entertaining these views, the President is gratified to perceive, in the course you have pursued in your intercourse with the authorities of Texas, the evidences of a cordial coöperation in this cherished object of his policy, but instructs me to say that while approving the general tone and tenor of that intercourse, he regrets to perceive, in the pledges given by you in your communication to Hon. Anson Jones of the 14th of February, that you have suffered your zeal to carry you beyond the line of your instructions, and to commit the President to measures for which he has no Constitutional authority to stipulate.

Does the Senator from Indiana understand that language? The dispatch goes on:

The employment of the Army or Navy against a foreign Power, with which the United States are at peace, is not within the competency of the President.

Does the Senator from Indiana understand that language?

And while he is not indisposed, as a measure of prudent precaution and as preliminary to the proposed negotiation, to concentrate in the Gulf of Mexico and on the southern borders of the United States, a naval and military force to be directed to the defense of the inhabitants and territory of Texas at a proper time, he cannot permit the authorities of that Government or yourself to labor under the misapprehension that he has power to employ them at the period indicated by your stipulations.

I think the Senator from Indiana will no longer question the position of the Government of the United States at that time.

Now, sir, let us compare with the attitude of John Tyler the record of the present Administration:

Secretary of the Navy to Rear-Admiral Poor, at Key West

Navy Department, January 29, 1870. 

Proceed at once with the Severn and Dictator to Port au Prince, communicate with our consul there, and inform the present Haytian authorities that this Government is determined to protect the present Dominican Government with all its power. You will then proceed to Dominica, and use your force to give the most ample protection to the Dominican Government against any Power attempting to interfere with it. Visit Samana bay and the capital and see the United States power and authority secure there. There must be no failure in this matter. If the Haytians attack the Dominicans with their ships, destroy or capture them. See that there is a proper force at both San Domingo city and Samana.

If Admiral Poor is not at Key West, this dispatch must be forwarded to him without delay.

And now I would again ask the Senator from Indiana whether John C. Calhoun and John Tyler really do not have reason to beg to be excused from being quoted in the company of President Grant's San Domingo policy?

Mr. Morton. Does the Senator want an answer?

Mr. Schurz. Yes, sir.

Mr. Morton. The Senator has read a dispatch from Mr. Nelson, as I understand it; but he does not contradict the position I took yesterday in regard to the dispatch of Mr. Calhoun. I gave the correct construction of that dispatch, and he cannot gainsay it. That dispatch meant just what I said it meant, and Mr. Benton gave it the same construction. As to their complaining of being found in General Grant's company, that is perhaps a question of taste. I should suppose the Senator himself would not now take very much exception to being found in Mr. Calhoun's company.

Mr. Schurz. Does the Senator from Indiana really believe that he can pass off upon this Senate, composed of intelligent men, and upon a people composed of intelligent citizens, the preposterous notion that a simple declaration in a diplomatic dispatch informing a foreign Government that certain acts of that Government, which are apprehended, would be received with disfavor by our Government, is equivalent to a declaration of war? Is there a school boy in the United States who does not know the difference between a diplomatic dispatch specifying a certain act as unfriendly to the country and a declaration of war? I am astonished to see the Senator from Indiana with such perseverance reasoning himself into that absurdity.[2]

Now, sir, having read these dispatches, these orders, these proclamations, these messages issued by John Tyler and other members of the Executive department, and compared them with the order issued by the Secretary of the Navy, I should like to ask, is not in this point the difference between the two cases as clear as sunlight? There, an instruction to observe events, and before committing any belligerent act to wait for further orders; here, the order to commit the belligerent act distinctly and emphatically given, with the imperative addition, “there must be no failure in this matter”; and this not only before the treaty of annexation is ratified; nay, sir, these orders even continued in force long after the treaty of annexation had been formally rejected by the Senate and wiped out of existence. If Tyler did indeed entertain any such intention as the Senator from Indiana ascribes to him, he was very successful in concealing it; at any rate, he was very careful not to give effect to it. There were the naval and military forces in his case, quietly and patiently lying on the lookout; but here we see a rear-admiral of the United States, with a heavy armament, steaming into the port of a Power with which the United States are at peace, and saying to them, with his hand at their throats, “If you attempt to do a thing”—which, the Senator may say what he pleases, was still within the province of their independent sovereignty to do——

Mr. Morton. Will the Senator allow me to make a statement?

Mr. Schurz. I should be glad to be permitted to finish my sentence.

The Vice-President. Does the Senator yield?

Mr. Schurz. Yes, sir.

Mr. Morton. The Senator reads certain instructions given to the commander of the naval forces, and a dispatch to Mr. Murphy from Mr. Nelson. Now, if he intends to state it fairly, and of course I must assume that he does, the case stands thus: Mr. Calhoun instructed Mr. Shannon at Mexico to make a statement that meant war, was so understood at the time, was afterward commented upon by the historian of Congress as meaning war. The Army of the United States was to be marched to the border, and was to threaten war. Mexico was to understand that we meant war. The fleet was to be placed so that it would threaten war and Mexico must so understand it. The world understood at the time that we meant war. The Mexican Government understood at the time that we meant war. The private dispatch sent to the commodore and given to Mr. Murphy does not at all change the situation so far as the world is concerned. The dispatch that I referred to yesterday, taken altogether, is a clear and distinct menace of war if Mexico invaded Texas while those negotiations were going on, and that dispatch was laid before the Government of Mexico by the instructions of Mr. Calhoun.

In pursuance of that dispatch the Army was ordered to the frontier, the fleet was ordered on the coast of Mexico and Mexico was given to understand, not only by the dispatch, but by the position of the Army and Navy, that if she did invade Texas we would make war upon her. The private instructions afterward given do not change the face of the affair. No doubt Mr. Calhoun meant what he said at that time. What Mr. Nelson may have meant afterward is another thing. The Senator vindicates the truth of my statement, notwithstanding all attempts to cast confusion upon it. It was understood at the time that we menaced Mexico with war if she did invade Texas, and the result was she did not do it; she maintained the peace, and in this case Hayti has maintained the peace, and Hayti has made no complaint.

Mr. Schurz. If I did not know that the Senator from Indiana has had some experience in foreign affairs, being a member of the Committee on Foreign Relations, I should think that the subject was entirely new and foreign to his mind. His attempt to compare the case he just cites, of a dispatch informing a foreign Government that a certain act will be looked upon as an unfriendly one, with the orders given in this case to sink or capture ships, with due respect to him I cannot refrain from calling positively ludicrous. There is no resemblance between the two cases. No complaint is made in this case of any dispatch that may have been sent to the Haytian Government through the accredited Minister there. But complaint is made of this: that the Executive gave orders to a rear-admiral of the United States to commit belligerent acts against a foreign Power, in a foreign country, and is taking an active part in its internal conflicts, without the authority of Congress.

I have shown the Senator from Indiana clearly from the dispatches issuing from the State Department at the same time, with relation to the same subject, that the use of armed force at the discretion of the President was not the intent and purpose of those proceedings in the Texas case. The Senator from Massachusetts calls my attention to another letter from Mr. Calhoun, in which he says:

Should the exigency arise to which you refer in your note to Mr. Upshur, I am further directed by the President to say that during the pendency of the treaty of annexation he would deem it his duty to use the means placed within his power by the Constitution to protect Texas from all foreign invasion.—Senate Documents, Twenty-eighth Congress, first session, vol. 5, page 349.

And what those means confided to him by the Constitution are is explicitly and clearly enough stated in the dispatches to Mr. Nelson and Mr. Murphy.

Mr. Howe. Is it not also stated in the Constitution which confides to him the Army and Navy?

Mr. Schurz. Yes, sir; but it does not confide to him power to use that Army and Navy against a foreign nation with which we are at peace, at his own discretion.

Mr. Howe. It confides to him those means, and he says he will use the means the Constitution confides to him.

Mr. Schurz. Well, now, I must declare this is felt to be a desperate case by the Senator, and if it were transacted—I have to use the simile again—in the court of a justice of the peace in Nebraska or Kansas, then I could understand such arguments; but I cannot appreciate them upon the floor of the Senate.

Mr. Pomeroy. I protest against the justices of the peace of my State being brought up.

Mr. Schurz. The Senator from Kansas protests that even in the offices of the justices of the peace of his State such arguments would not be tolerated.

Mr. Pomeroy. No, I protest against any reflection upon the justices of the peace in my State.

Mr. Schurz. Well, it would be a reflection to be sure.

Mr. Tipton. The Senator from Missouri will allow Nebraska to put in a disclaimer also.

Mr. Schurz. With the greatest pleasure. Now as to the second point in which the case of John Tyler and John C. Calhoun differs from that here under consideration. President Tyler attempted to justify what he did while the Texas annexation treaty was pending before the Senate. But here we see the naval forces, the warships of the United States kept at their unholy business long after the treaty for the annexation of San Domingo has been formally rejected by the Senate of the United States, and while not even the pretense of a treaty engagement exists between the United States and the Dominican republic. And now, sir, here are the reports of the naval officers, showing under what instructions they acted and how they even went so far as to carry the troops of Baez in their warfare against the revolutionary attempts of his own fellow-citizens, from one place to another, long after the treaty of annexation had been rejected by the Senate.

Why, sir, it is a fact, probably unknown to most Senators on this floor, that even while the commission we sent there, recently, were at their work, a scientific party was carried to a certain place in the steamer Nantasket, Commander McCook, and that the same war vessel of the United States which carried that scientific expedition, carried arms, munitions and stores of war for Baez from one division of his troops to another.

Mr. Sumner. To be used against Cabral.

Mr. Schurz. To be used against Cabral, Baez's own fellow-citizens in insurrection.

Now, sir, is there even the merest pretense of a treaty between the Government of the United States and San Domingo in existence at the present moment? Here is the President's message, laid before Congress in December last, proving that no new treaty was in existence then, and asking Congress to authorize him to send a commission to San Domingo, so that then a new treaty might there after be framed. Does the Senator from Indiana still fail to see the difference?

But even this is not all. President Tyler sent a military and naval force to the Texan frontier and coast for the purpose of observation as to the apprehended invasion of Texas by a foreign Power; but here we see our naval officers ordered not only to observe events, but to interfere by force of arms, and not only to interfere in case of invasion by a foreign Power, but in case of a rising of the citizens of the Dominican republic against their present ruler, Baez; thus to use force, not only against foreign invaders, but against the people of the very country that is to be annexed; thus to protect, not only the territory of the country to be annexed, but to protect the person of Baez, in the control of that Government; ay, sir, Baez, who himself had become the ruler of that country by a revolutionary act, overturning the constitutionally-elected Government of that country, Baez is to be protected in the possession of his usurped power by the arms of the United States against the people of his own country if they should attempt to restore their constitutional Government.

Mr. Morton. There is nothing of that kind in the whole evidence, not a word.

Mr. Schurz. Ah! I am glad the Senator from Indiana calls my attention to that. Let us see. Here is the report of the Secretary of the Navy, which the Senator from Indiana will undoubtedly acknowledge to be good evidence of a documentary character:

Instructions to Commodore Green

Navy Department, February 9, 1870. 

While that treaty is pending, the Government of the United States has agreed to afford countenance and assistance to the Dominican people against their enemies now in the island and in revolution against the lawfully constituted Government, and you will use the force at your command to resist any attempts by the enemies of the Dominican republic to invade the Dominican territory by land or sea, so far as your power can reach them. Of course, a great deal must be left to your discretion, but by communicating freely with President Baez he will show you the stipulations of the agreement drawn up between the United States and the Dominican Government, which will explain to you how far you are authorized to act. While strictly complying with the agreement between the United States and the Dominican Government, you will avoid difficulties with foreign Powers when it is possible to do so, and will warn any naval force fitting out from Hayti, or any part of the Dominican republic now in revolution, that the United States will not permit any hostile acts to be committed against the Dominicans.

Does the Senator from Indiana understand and appreciate that language?

Mr. Morton. I do, sir.

Mr. Schurz. I will go further. The Secretary of the Navy says to Lieutenant-Commander Allen, of the Swatara:

Navy Department, January 31, 1870. 

Sir: You will proceed with all dispatch, without waiting for inspection, to the city of San Domingo, in the east end of the island of Hayti, and report to the commanding naval officer at that place.

If you find when you get there that the Dominican Government require any assistance against the enemies of that republic you will not hesitate to give it to them.

There is no exception made of revolutionary movements in the interior of the country.

Next I read from Rear-Admiral Poor to the Secretary of the Navy:

United States Flag-Ship SEVERN,  

San Domingo, March 12, 1870. 

In a recent interview with President Baez he informed me that the British consul at Puerto Plata——

Which, as far as I am, and as the Senator from Indiana is informed, is a place in the republic of San Domingo——

(Mr. Farrington) recently arrived here, stated to him that there was a party at that place inimical to the policy of the United States in reference to the annexation of San Domingo, principally composed of foreign merchants and consuls; that they had collected a sum of money equal to $8,000, to supply Generals Cabral and Luperon, who appear to be predatory in character and ready to espouse the cause of any party that will pay them and afford them the opportunity of pillaging.

The Nantasket will be dispatched to Puerto Plata immediately, to inquire into the truth of the report and to inform the people of that place who entertain hostile feelings toward the United States of the determination of our Government to protect San Domingo and its present administration.

Does the Senator from Indiana understand that language?

Mr. Morton. Certainly.

Mr. Schurz. I read next from copy of a dispatch to Rear-Admiral C. H. Poor from Lieutenant Commander F. M. Bunce, commanding the Nantasket, dated Puerto Plata, March 24, 1870:

The morning after this conversation——

With somebody in Puerto Plata——

I called with the consul upon General Caseras, commanding the province and that of Santiago. I asked him if he had any knowledge of an opposition party existing among the foreign merchants here. He said he had heard rumors to that effect, but nothing positive; but he was keeping a lookout upon them. I told him it would be against their interests to aid Luperon, for even if he obtained possession of the city you had a heavy squadron about the island and would drive him out; probably, in doing so, destroying the town and all the property in it.

That was a Dominican town, as the Senator is aware.

Mr. Morton. That does not change the case.

Mr. Schurz. It does not?

Mr. Morton. No, sir.

Mr. Schurz. I think by this time, however, the Senator from Indiana will be ready to admit that our United States vessels did interfere against the people of San Domingo.

Mr. Morton. Not as between Baez and his own people. There is no instruction of that kind that can be found.

Mr. Schurz. Well, now, before heaven and earth I declare if even this documentary evidence that I have read does not penetrate the brain of the Senator from Indiana, I despair of all human means of persuasion. If anything is clear here, it is not only that they were ordered to do so, but that they did actually do so, and I shall have a few more facts for the Senator:

Commander Green to the Secretary of the Navy, October 8, 1870,
Inclosing the Following Report from Commander Irwin

United States Steamer YANTIC,  

Santa Barbara de Samana, September 3, 1870. 

Mark you, long after the treaty of annexation was rejected——

We left Kingston, August 26, and arrived at San Domingo, August 29.

August 30, President Baez . . . informed me that he had dismissed General Hungria, his minister of war, and had just received a note from the British consul informing him that General Hungria had sought an asylum at the British consulate. The note . . . was informal and non-committal . . . did not state whether he would afford General Hungria the protection of his flag. . . .

The President was anxious to add to the force at his disposal in the city of San Domingo, as he feared an outbreak, and asked me if I could not bring him some of his men that were at Azua; I acceded to his request . . . and on the 2d instant landed sixty-five officers and men that we had brought from Azua.

Now, in the name of common sense, will the Senator from Indiana still deny that our naval vessels coöperated in the war upon citizens of San Domingo as carried on by President Baez, that the Navy of the United States took part in the military operations of Baez against his own subjects?

But I am not through yet.

Rear-Admiral Lee to the Secretary of the Navy

United States Steamer SEVERN,  

San Domingo, January 9, 1871. 

Sir: The Severn arrived at Samana, December 24, 1870, and found the English man-of-war Raccoon there, of eighteen guns, Captain Howard, with Mr. Farrington, the English vice-consul, on board, bound for San Domingo city.

Captain Howard then called on board and asked me as to the extent of our protectorate over Dominica, and if it extended to our making good the Dominican bonds. I answered in substance that pending the treaty between Dominica and the United States the latter protected the former against its enemies in the island; and that I did not suppose the United States insured speculations in Dominican paper, etc.

Is the Senator from Indiana not yet satisfied?

Here is more:

Residence of the Executive——

If the Senator from Indiana will be kind enough to favor me with his attention, here the great Baez himself steps upon the scene——

Residence of the Executive,  

San Domingo, September 2, 1870. 

Commander John Irwin, U. S. N.,
Commanding United States Steamer “Yantic,”
  San Domingo City.

My dear Sir: I beg to thank you for the service you have just rendered the republic in transporting the troops from Azua to this city, in accordance with the desire I expressed to you in my communication of the 31st of last August.

So it seems our men-of-war were, to a certain extent, governed by instructions received from President Baez!

I take advantage, therefore, of the occasion for expressing the necessity at present of a man-of-war in this port, and that none would be more convenient than the Yantic for the facility of entering the river Ozama owing to her size. I hope that on your arrival at Samana you will determine what you may deem most convenient in this matter, assuring you that I confide greatly in your good disposition.

There, then, is President Baez thanking a naval officer of the United States for what? Not for the protection afforded him against invaders from a foreign soil, but for having transported troops to be used against his own fellow-citizens within the walls of the very capital of that republic; and yet the Senator from Indiana asserts that the naval forces of the United States have not been used against the citizens of the very country that we were to annex!

Here is still more:

Lieutenant Commander McCook to Commander Irwin, Forwarded
in Rear-Admiral Lee's Letter of January 10th [9th?]

Yesterday the captain of the Raccoon called officially to ask me how far our Government protected the Dominican Government. He said that in making his report to his admiral he would like to be able to give some statement about it. As the Englishman has been exercising his boats and small-arm men a good deal, I thought it possible he might intend to take some summary action here, so I concluded to give him a pretty strong hint that I would disapprove of his taking any action whatever, and informed him that we would protect the Dominican Government against any internal enemies, or revolutionary party, and that in case he should consider it necessary to take any steps here, the very least I could do, under my instructions, would be to make a decided protest.

I should be glad to know whether the thing is not clear to the Senator from Indiana yet. Well, sir, after all this, will it be pretended that there is not a fundamental difference between the case under the Presidency of John Tyler and the case which is now under discussion?

At this point the Senate went into executive session. March 29, Mr. Schurz continued:—

Mr. President, when I was interrupted in my remarks yesterday by the vote to go into executive session, I had been endeavoring to prove, and I think I did prove to the satisfaction of every fair-minded listener, that the conduct of the Government of the United States in the case of the annexation of Texas did not furnish a precedent in any manner which can serve as a justification of the acts of the present Administration now under discussion. The difference between the Texas case and the San Domingo case I designated as threefold. In the first place, in the Texas case, the naval and military forces of the United States were sent to Mexican waters and to the Texan frontier for purposes of observation only, with instructions to abstain from hostilities, and in case of any hostile demonstration on the part of Mexico to wait for further orders. There was no extension of belligerent aid to the Texan Government as long as annexation was not consummated, on the distinct ground that the President of the United States alone had no Constitutional power to order acts of war; while in the San Domingo case there was not only a diplomatic threat, but there was a positive order to use the naval forces of the United States, in the capture and destruction of the ships of a nation with whom the United States are at peace, in certain contingencies; and all this without the least authority from Congress.

I think I have also shown the futility of the objection brought forward by the Senator from Indiana, which was based upon a dispatch addressed to our Minister in Mexico by Mr. Calhoun; a dispatch which contained virtually nothing else but a declaration that in case the republic of Mexico should interfere with the independent republic of Texas during the pendency before the Senate of a treaty of annexation to this Republic, it would be looked upon as an act highly unfriendly to the Government of the United States. I say I think I proved the futility of that objection, and I added that many instances can be found in our history where similar language was employed in our correspondence with foreign Powers, without the remotest idea that such representations were equivalent to orders given to the Navy at once to sink or to capture the vessels of a foreign Power without the authority of Congress.

For instance, I might call the attention of the Senator from Indiana to the fact that during the occupation of Mexico by French forces, Secretary of State Seward protested against that again and again, and informed the French Government in most pointed language, more than once, that the presence of French troops on Mexican soil was looked upon as an act highly offensive and unfriendly to the Government of the United States, a declaration which the Executive department of the Government had a right to make; and yet the then President of the United States never went so far, never thought of going so far, as to give orders to the Navy to use their guns in sinking and destroying and capturing French vessels in case an attempt was made to land French reënforcements upon Mexican soil.

It must be known also to the Senator from Indiana that it was not until two years after the negotiations and transactions I have referred to took place, that the Mexican war commenced, long after Texas had been annexed to the United States by joint resolution, and the conditions of that annexation had been complied with by the republic of Texas; and I remind the Senator from Indiana that when the supplies were voted in Congress for our troops engaged in the Mexican war the preamble of the act read thus: “Whereas war has commenced by the act of Mexico.” I am sure the venerable Senator from Kentucky [Mr. Davis], who took an active part in the debate at that period, will certainly bear me out as to the correctness of my statement.

The second difference which I noted between the Texas case and the San Domingo case was this: that in the San Domingo case the protection by armed force of the Baez Government was continued, and is being continued now, long after the treaty has expired by its own limitation; not only that, but long after the treaty has been formally rejected by the Senate, thus being doubly dead.

The third difference was this: that the United States Government at that time never thought of protecting the Government of Texas then existing, against any revolutionary movements that might have sprung up among the citizens of Texas against their Government, while the protection of Baez, not only against hostile interference on the part of the Haytians, but against the revolutionary attempts of his own subjects, as I may truly call them, seems to be one of the chief objects of the naval expedition to San Domingo.

And here I cannot refrain from taking notice, by way of episode, of a fine flight of oratory indulged in yesterday by the Senator from Wisconsin [Mr. Howe] with regard to Baez. Do you remember, sir, how touching his description was of the patriotic unselfishness of that man, who was going to sacrifice all his power and all his honors in transferring the republic of San Domingo to the United States? He, the powerful ruler of that republic, to step voluntarily back into private life; and all that not for reward, not for his own personal advantage, but merely for the good of his fellow-citizens; an example of sublime disinterestedness hardly paralleled in the history of mankind. This morning I happened to see an abstract of the forthcoming report of the commission that was sent down to San Domingo—by the way, as I understand, the whole report will be in the newspapers very soon—and in that abstract I find a very interesting piece of information about the sublime unselfishness of the pure and disinterested patriot. It is this:

The public debt statement is to be compared with the letter to-day received by the commission to see if they have been furnished with the correct figures. As now made up, the debt is, in round numbers, $1,400,000; additional pending claim, $204,000; inclusive of $70,000 by President Baez for personal property destroyed in the Spanish war, and under the first head $600,000 for back salaries.

Ah! what a disinterested and pure patriot Baez is! How his heart aches to get rid of all his worldly honors and possessions, merely for the purpose of turning over his country to the tender care of the United States! How impatient he is to sacrifice himself for the welfare of his fellow-citizens with the snug sum of $70,000 damages in his pocket, and $600,000 to be divided among, mark you, brothers and relatives who constitute the chief officeholding force of the republic of Dominica, and Baez himself!

Considering that Baez is sure to be driven from his office as soon as the war vessels of the United States cease to sustain him, it will be admitted that for him and his relatives and friends disinterested patriotism, with a bonus of $670,000, is not an unprofitable business.

Having now stated the main points of difference existing between the Texas precedent, so called, and the San Domingo case, I would ask the Senator from Indiana, when he looks at that picture and at this: there, forces sent down merely for the purpose of observation, under strict instructions not to commit any belligerent act; there, mere diplomatic remonstrance with regard to the possibility of an invasion by Mexico; there a positive recognition of the incompetency of the President under the Constitution to order belligerent interference; and here a positive order to sink and capture ships by the use of American guns, in case certain emergencies happen, and active interference in the internal broils of the Dominican republic; I ask the Senator from Indiana, does not the difference sear his very eyeballs? In defending President Grant's course he appears to me like the drowning man who catches at a straw, and that straw John Tyler! And even that straw begs to be excused, and President Grant's case has to sink or swim on its own merits!

But the Senator from Indiana may learn some sound Constitutional doctrine with reference to the same case from another authority. I hold in my hand the message of President Polk of December 2, 1845; mark you, long after Calhoun had written the Senator's favorite dispatch. Mr. Polk speaks as follows:

Since that time Mexico has, until recently, occupied an attitude of hostility toward the United States, has been marshaling and organizing armies, issuing proclamations, and avowing the intention to make war on the United States, either by an open declaration, or by invading Texas. Both the Congress and convention of the people of Texas invited this Government to send an army into that territory to protect them against the menaced attack.

I would request the Senator's attention.

The moment the terms of annexation offered by the United States were accepted by Texas the latter became so far a part of our own country as to make it our duty to afford such protection and defense.

So far President Polk. But here is a dispatch addressed by Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Donelson, dated Washington, May 23, 1845:

I am instructed by the President to inform you that as soon as the existing Government and the convention of Texas shall have accepted the terms proposed in the first two sections of the joint resolution for annexing Texas to the United States, he will then conceive it to be both his right and his duty to employ the Army in defending that State against the attacks of any foreign Power.

No belligerent aid, therefore, until annexation is Constitutionally and legally completed! A significant spectacle again—the defense of President Grant's acts put to shame by James Buchanan!

So much for the Texas precedent. Were there any precedent for the usurping act now under discussion in all this, I think it would be high time to upset and disavow and condemn that precedent as a rule for future action. But it was no such precedent; and thus it may be affirmed that the President's usurpation of the war-making power in this case stands absolutely and utterly without a parallel in the history of the United States. And here I desire to address a solemn word of warning to the Senate. If even an attempt could be made, as it has been made on this floor, to use President Tyler's conduct as a precedent in justification of a palpable act of usurpation, such as is now before us, I ask you, sir, what precedent will this act make, and what sinister things may it serve to justify in future times if we let it pass without the mark of our disapprobation?

And now permit me, sir, to devote a few remarks to a letter concerning this subject, signed by the Secretary of the Navy, which I found in yesterday's newspapers.

It appears that our commission, while on their travels in San Domingo, desired to have a conference with the so-called rebel chief Cabral; that they wanted to travel across the country, and that the commander of the Tennessee, Captain Temple, gave them to understand that it would be rather unsafe for them to do so under existing circumstances. His letter is so remarkable that, although it has already been quoted by the Senator from Massachusetts, I cannot refrain from calling attention to it once more. It is addressed to Mr. Wade and dated “On board the Tennessee, Azua bay, February 24, 1871”:

I understand that several of the gentlemen belonging to the expedition are to start to-morrow overland for Port au Prince. It may not have occurred to these gentlemen that, by so doing, they will virtually place themselves in the position of spies; and, if they are taken by Cabral's people, they can be hung to the nearest tree by sentence of a drumhead court-martial according to all the rules of civilized warfare. For they belong to a nation that, through the orders of its Executive to the naval vessels here, has chosen to take part in the internal conflicts of this country; they come directly from the headquarters of Cabral's enemies; they are without arms, uniform, or authority of any kind for being in a hostile region. They are, in fact, spies. They go expressly to learn everything connected with the enemy's country, and their observations are intended for publication, and thus indirectly to be reported back to President Baez. Surely Cabral would have a right to prevent this if he can.

It can well be understood how the publication of that letter in the newspapers startled the Navy Department, for here was a captain of the Navy who undoubtedly had some knowledge of the instructions issued to naval commanders in Dominican waters, telling the whole story and construing those instructions as meaning that the United States, as allies of the Baez Government, were actually at war with the so-called revolutionists of San Domingo; and the captain, so understanding those instructions, drew the most natural and logical conclusion that persons in the service of the ally of Baez, if they fell into the hands of Cabral, were liable to be treated as enemies, according to the rules of civilized warfare.

Our Secretary of the Navy found it necessary to reply to that startling letter in an indirect way. I suppose most Senators have read the reply, and yesterday it was handed up to the Secretary of the Senate by the Senator from New Jersey [Mr. Frelinghuysen] with an air that seemed to indicate that he rather considered it a most triumphant document.

Mr. Frelinghuysen. I trust my manner was not offensive.

Mr. Schurz. Not at all, sir. On the contrary, I think the manner of the Senator was only intended as a compliment to the Secretary. In his letter the Secretary of the Navy sets forth that Captain Temple is entirely wrong in his construction of international law, and in order to controvert his position he makes some statements of fact. He says, for instance:

But neither the United States nor its Executive has chosen to take part, or has taken part, in the internal conflicts of the Dominican republic.

That the United States have not chosen to take part in the internal conflicts of the Dominican republic is absolutely certain, for I am sure the United States, as represented by Congress, never thought of doing so. But when the Secretary of the Navy goes so far as to say that the Executive has never chosen to take part in the internal conflicts of the Dominican republic, I beg leave respectfully to differ with him.

What has so often amazed me in this business is the exceeding shortness of men's memories. It would seem that when a Secretary had issued orders and sent an official document to the Senate of the United States to be published here and laid before the world, he should remember at least something of its contents. Yesterday I gave the Senate a long string of orders and reports in which naval commanders represented themselves as having actually taken part in the internal conflicts of the Dominican republic. But, if the Secretary of the Navy could be presumed not to know what reports were sent to his own Department by the naval commanders as to their doings in foreign waters, he ought at least to remember the language and purport of his own orders. Here is one of them, the instructions issued by the Navy Department to Commodore Green:

While that treaty is pending, the Government of the United States has agreed to afford countenance and assistance to the Dominican people against their enemies now in the island, and in revolution against the lawfully constituted Government——

Do you understand that, sir?——

and you will use the force at your command to resist any attempts by the enemies of the Dominican republic to invade the Dominican territory by land or sea, so far as your power can reach them. Of course, a great deal must be left to your discretion, but by communicating freely with President Baez, he will show you the stipulations of the agreement drawn up between the United States and the Dominican Government, which will explain to you how far you are authorized to act. While strictly complying with the agreement between the United States and the Dominican Government, you will avoid difficulties with foreign Powers when it is possible to do so, and will warn any naval force fitting out from Hayti, or any part of the Dominican republic now in revolution, that the United States will not permit any hostile acts to be committed against the Dominicans.

And now the same Secretary of the Navy is found to put over his own signature the statement that the Executive department has not chosen to take part in the internal conflicts of the Dominican republic! Truly, sir, the memory of Secretaries has grown wonderfully short. Let me attempt to revive the recollection of certain events in the Secretary's mind. Yesterday I called attention to the fact—and undoubtedly the Secretary of the Navy must have heard of it, for it is reported in his own document—that a United States man-of-war actually transported Dominican troops from Azua to San Domingo city at the request of President Baez, to be used against an apprehended insurrection there. Now, in the name of common-sense, I ask you, is the transportation of troops a belligerent act or not, when a conflict is pending? What would you have said, gentlemen, if an English man-of-war during our late rebellion had taken on board a division of rebel troops at Mobile bay and transported them to Charleston for the accommodation of the Southern Confederacy? Would that not have been considered an act of war by every sane man? Would that not have been considered active interference in the internal troubles of this country? Would we not have resented it as such? And what else was the transportation of Baez's troops by a United States warship during a revolutionary struggle in the Dominican republic?

But that is not all. I referred yesterday to the case of the Nantasket, which, with even a part of the scientific force of the United States commission on board, went from one place to another, at the same time transporting arms and ammunition for the military forces of President Baez. Why, sir, the very ship Tennessee, with the United States commission on board, went from San Domingo city to Azua, carrying Baez and his whole military staff to a place where he was to take personal command of his army. And not only that, but while the Tennessee, with the commission, was lying off San Domingo city, bodies of Dominican troops were shipped there in lighters from the wharf to Dominican schooners in the harbor, to go to Azua, where an expedition against Cabral was being organized, and those lighters carried the flag of the United States over them, under the very eyes of our commissioners; and not only that, but when Baez started that expedition against Cabral that expedition carried a United States flag at the head of the column, so as to make Cabral's people believe that they had to fight the United States!

Now, sir, I ask every intelligent man in this country whether all the things I have recited, most of which are taken from the Secretary's official report, do constitute interference in the internal conflicts of that republic or not. I should like to know what flight of fancy can have seduced the Secretary of the Navy into the unfathomable absurdity of his statement. Perhaps he may receive one of these days a report from one of his naval commanders informing him of the following circumstance: that the United States man-of-war Congress one night lay off Monte Christi, and that an attack from the revolutionary chief Luperon being expected, the commander of that vessel sent some rockets and lights on shore to Baez's troops with instructions that in case an attack by Luperon should actually happen those signals should be lighted, whereupon the commander of the United States war vessel would send reinforcements from his ship ashore to aid Baez's troops in repelling the attack of Luperon. The Dominican troops, Baez's men, not being very experienced in the use of fireworks, felt somewhat uncertain whether the lights or rockets which had been handed to them would go off, and so they resolved to try one or two of them. They did go off, and the commander of the United States vessel, believing that Luperon's attack was being signaled, manned his boats with armed men from his ship and put for the shore. Whether they actually landed or learned of the false alarm before the land was reached I do not know. But they were actually put on boats and went to assist Baez's troops in repelling the attack of a force of Dominican revolutionists, which attack, however, fortunately did not take place. So the story was told to me by a gentleman who accompanied the commission; and I shall not be surprised if the Secretary of the Navy should very soon receive official information of it.

In the face of all this the Secretary of the Navy blandly tells us that the Executive department of the Government has not chosen to take any part in the internal conflicts of the Dominican republic! Now, let me proceed with the letter. The Secretary writes:

The situation is this: the President of the United States has, by the Constitution, the right to make treaties, subject to the ratification of the Senate.

Of this we are aware.

The Congress of the United States in 1866 appropriated a considerable sum of money for the understood purpose of acquiring by lease or purchase a part of the island of San Domingo.

Where does the Secretary obtain that information? The official journals of Congress say nothing of this story.

The bay and peninsula of Samana were considered most appropriate for our purpose as a naval station; and the republic of San Domingo itself, with its favorable position and natural resources, its friendly Government and people, seemed for the purposes of commerce and civilization far the most desirable for us of those fragments of our continent which lie across the gateways of our domestic commerce and shut up the entrance to our great inland sea. To initiate all treaties is the Constitutional right of the President and thus he had the Constitutional power to negotiate treaties for the cession of Samana and the annexation of the Dominican republic. If, upon proper consideration, he thought it right and for the interest of the country whose interests are to this extent intrusted to his judgment, it was his Constitutional duty to do so.

Nobody questions that.

In pursuance of this Constitutional right he did negotiate such treaties with the existing Government of the republic, confessedly the Government, both de facto and de jure.

That is to say, it confesses itself that it is de jure!

These treaties were of course inchoate, and subject to be confirmed or defeated by the action of the Senate of the United States and of the people of the Dominican republic; but by such treaties and pending such final action the United States acquired an interest in the thing negotiated for which could not be rightfully disturbed by any other Power; and it was the plain duty of the Executive to protect, if need be, the integrity of this Constitutionally acquired interest, so that the subject of the negotiation might remain intact until the final action of the ratifying Powers could be properly had.

Here let me stop a moment. In asserting that it was not only the right but the duty of the Executive to enforce by means of war an inchoate right which had been acquired by the act of the Executive himself, the Secretary was only falling into that confusion of ideas which seems to have spread from the Executive department of the Government even to the floor of the Senate; that confusion of ideas which I designated yesterday as confounding “the Government,” “the United States,” and “the President,” as entirely convertible terms. But then, for argument's sake, I will for a moment accept that theory. He says that during the pendency of such a treaty and negotiations the Government had the power to protect the inchoate interests of the United States there. Sir, what power had the Government then, according to the Secretary's own reasoning, after the pendency of such treaties and negotiations had ceased? It is a fact as well known to the Secretary as it is to me and every well-informed man in this Republic, that there has been no treaty between San Domingo and the United States since the 30th of June, 1870; and yet all these things are still going on under the Secretary's immediate supervision. Nay, sir, there have not been even ostensible negotiations for a treaty, for you will not consider as negotiators the commission who were sent to San Domingo to explore the land. They went there, like the Pickwick Club, for the investigation of all human, earthly and heavenly things, and in pursuit of useful knowledge, but not to initiate or carry on diplomatic negotiations. So that not only there was not a treaty pending or in existence, but there were not even formal negotiations for a treaty going on; and yet this barefaced, most undeniable interference in the internal conflicts of the Dominican republic by the war vessels of the United States protecting Baez was continued from day to day.

Thus, sir, even upon the Secretary's own assumptions, the bottom drops out of his statement.

And, after all this, it seems to me that Captain Temple was not quite wrong when he cautioned Mr. Wade against coming into contact with revolutionists with whom the United States, by an act of their Executive, were at war, expressing the apprehension that the peaceable commissioner, turned into a spy of a belligerent Power, might all of a sudden be strung up to the limb of a tree. The captain had evidently a clearer perception of our international position than the Secretary.

But now I arrive at the richest part of the Secretary's letter. He says:

The duty——

To enforce such an inchoate right——

is plain, and in every case of valuable acquisition the execution of it will be expected and approved by the people.

Mark you, sir.

It was in the discharge of such duty that, in the early part of the present century, President Madison marched the armies of the United States into and actually took and held possession of the territory then known as West Florida (including what is now the State of Alabama), for which territory negotiations were then pending, afterward concluded and settled with Spain. This action was approved by Congress and the people, not as an exercise of war power, but as the protecting of an interest Constitutionally acquired, and which the Executive was bound to maintain intact while it remained in us.

Why, sir, the Secretary seems to be just as conversant with the history of this case as the Senator from Indiana yesterday showed himself to be with the Texas precedent. What did the Secretary mean to intimate to us by a statement like this? If he meant it to have any bearing upon this case at all, he desired to make us believe that the United States had made a treaty with Spain for the cession of what was called West Florida, that such treaty was pending before the Senate, and that during the pendency of that treaty, before it had been acted upon, in order to protect an inchoate right accrued to us there, President Madison ordered the Army into that territory to take and hold military possession. Sir, this is perhaps one of the most glaring misrepresentations of our history I ever heard of from any official, nay, I had almost said from any respectable source.

Mr. Frelinghuysen. Does the Senator question that President Madison did send the Army?

Mr. Schurz. Ah! I am about to tell the Senator what I do question.

Mr. Frelinghuysen. I suppose the point the Senator makes against the Secretary is on the question whether the troops were sent there in reference to the question of boundary, or whether they were sent there pending the treaty.

Mr. Schurz. No, sir. If the Senator will permit me I will make my own points.

Mr. Frelinghuysen. Well, sir, I will not interrupt you again.

Mr. Schurz. With due respect, I am always glad to be interrupted by the courteous Senator from New Jersey, but then I cannot permit him to make for me other points than those which I intended to make for myself.

Now, sir, the origin of that case the Secretary of the Navy might have discovered if he had simply referred to a very popular book on the history of the United States—I mean Hildreth's work, second series, volume three. He would have found there, on page 223, the following statement:

The success of the French in Spain, and the probability of that kingdom being obliged to succumb, had given occasion to revolutionary movements in several of the Spanish American provinces. This example set by the Caracas, where Miranda had again reappeared, and imitated in Buenos Ayres, had been followed also in that portion of the Spanish province of West Florida bordering on the Mississippi. The inhabitants, most of whom were of British or American birth, had seized the fort at Baton Rouge, had met in convention, and had proclaimed themselves independent, adopting a single star for their flag, the same symbol afterward assumed by the republic of Texas. Some struggles took place between the adherents of the Spanish connection and these revolutionists, who were also threatened with attack from Mobile, still held by a Spanish garrison. In this emergency they applied through Holmes, Governor of the Mississippi Territory, for aid and recognition by the United States, modestly claiming all the unlocated lands, pardon for all deserters from the United States Army, of whom there were many among them, and an immediate loan of $100,000.

The President, however, preferred to issue a proclamation, taking possession of the east bank of the Mississippi, occupation of which, under the Louisiana treaty, had been so long delayed, not from any defect of title, but out of conciliatory views toward Spain. Indeed, its present occupation by the United States, so the proclamation stated, was for the equal benefit of Spain, whose rights and interests were put in jeopardy as much as those of the United States by the present movement, while in the occupancy of the United States the territory would still remain a subject for friendly negotiation and arrangement. Simultaneously with the issue of this proclamation Claiborne, Governor of the Orleans Territory, then at Washington, was dispatched to take possession. In case he should meet with resistance, which was not anticipated, he was authorized to call upon the regular troops stationed on the Mississippi, and upon the militia of the two adjoining Territories; but no force was to be used against such places as might be held by Spanish garrisons, however small.

Thus it turns out that there was not a treaty pending between Spain and this Republic for the annexation of that territory by virtue of which the President considered an inchoate right to have accrued to the United States which would give him the power to march troops into that territory, but that by virtue of the Louisiana purchase, a treaty duly consented to by the Senate, duly ratified by the United States as well as France, the United States claimed that territory to belong to them as part of their own domain.

Mr. Frelinghuysen. The Senator certainly is not ignorant of the fact that from 1803 to 1819 just that territory was claimed by Spain. She claimed that the Louisiana purchase was bounded on the east by the Mississippi river, while we claimed, as the Senator knows, that it was bounded by the Perdido.

Mr. Schurz. I know that very well; but will the Senator pretend that President Madison took military possession, in the way indicated, of that territory by virtue of an inchoate right created by a treaty from which he assumed to have derived the power to march troops in there to protect the interests of the United States? No, sir; I will convince the Senator, out of President Madison's own mouth, that he claimed that territory as having come to the United States under the Louisiana purchase.

Mr. Frelinghuysen. That is a question of fact, not what the President claimed. The fact is that pending that treaty he did send troops. For political reasons, one cause may have been given or another; but the fact was that the troops were sent there.

Mr. Schurz. Does the Senator say there was a treaty pending at that time?

Mr. Frelinghuysen. Not pending. The treaty was made in 1819.

Mr. Schurz. Ah, exactly.

Mr. Frelinghuysen. And from 1803 to 1819 the controversy was going on. The true position, as I understand it, is that a treaty need not be pending; that the President of the United States represents the Nation, and has the right to negotiate a treaty and to protect the dignity of the Nation while it is being negotiated.

Mr. Schurz. Precisely. So it appears, from the statement of the Senator, that President Madison took possession of West Florida in 1810, by virtue of a treaty which was made in 1819! Now let us see. Here is a message of President Madison addressed to the Congress of the United States, January 3, 1811:

Taking into view the tenor of these several communications, the posture of things with which they are connected, the intimate relation of the country adjoining the United States eastward of the river Perdido to their security and tranquillity, and the peculiar interest they otherwise have in its destiny, I recommend to the consideration of Congress, the seasonableness of a declaration that the United States could not see, without serious inquietude, any part of a neighboring territory, in which they have in different respects so deep and so just a concern, pass from the hands of Spain into those of any other foreign Power.

I recommend to their consideration also the expediency of authorizing the Executive to take temporary possession of any part or parts of the said territory, in pursuance of arrangements which may be desired by the Spanish authorities, and for making provision for the Government of the same during such possession.—Annals of Congress, Eleventh Congress, third session, page 1251.

And here is a proclamation of the President issued on the 27th day of October, 1810:

Whereas the territory south of the Mississippi territory and eastward of the river Mississippi, and extending to the river Perdido, of which possession was not delivered to the United States in pursuance of the treaty concluded at Paris on the 30th of April, 1803, has, at all times, as is well known, been considered and claimed by them as being within the colony of Louisiana conveyed by the said treaty in the same extent that it had in the hands of Spain, and that it had when France originally possessed it;

And whereas the acquiescence of the United States in the temporary continuance of the said territory under the Spanish authority was not the result of any distrust of their title, as has been particularly evinced by the general tenor of their laws, and by the distinction made in the application of those laws between that territory and foreign countries, but was occasioned by their conciliatory views, and by a confidence in the justice of their cause and in the success of candid discussion and amicable negotiation with a just and friendly Power;

And whereas a satisfactory adjustment, too long delayed, without the fault of the United States, has for some time been entirely suspended by events over which they have no control;

And whereas a crisis has at length arrived subversive of the order of things under the Spanish authorities, whereby a failure of the United States to take the said territory into its possession may lead to events ultimately contravening the views of both parties, while, in the meantime, the tranquillity and security of our adjoining territories are endangered, and new facilities given to violators of our revenue and commercial laws and of those prohibiting the introduction of slaves——

I will not read the whole document——

Considering, finally, that the acts of Congress, though contemplating a present possession by a foreign authority, have contemplated also an eventual possession of the said territory by the United States, and are accordingly so framed as in that case to extend in their operation to the same:

Now be it known, that I, James Madison, President of the United States of America, in pursuance of these weighty and urgent considerations, have deemed it right and requisite that possession should be taken of the said territory in the name and behalf of the United States.—Ibid., page 1258.

Thus it appears that no new treaty had anything to do with it, that there was no question of an inchoate right, no question of any right that the President of the United States claimed to derive from any act of his own, but a right derived from an old treaty with France, which had been duly ratified, and which had become the supreme law of the land, and the possession being at the same time endangered by an adverse revolutionary movement. The Secretary of the Navy may possibly have been a little at sea with regard to his facts, geographical as well as historical. Did he perhaps confound the West Florida case with the East Florida case? In the latter indeed an “army” was moved into that territory, but not by the President of his own motion, at his own arbitrary pleasure upon the assumption of inchoate rights created by him, but in pursuance of an act of Congress, authorizing the President to “take possession of, and occupy all or any part of the territory lying east of the river Perdido and south of the State of Georgia and the Mississippi territory,” and, “in order to maintain therein the authority of the United States, employ any part of the Army and Navy of the United States which he may deem necessary.”

This act was approved January 15, 1811, and if the Secretary wishes to acquaint himself with the document he will find it in the third volume of the United States Statutes-at-Large, page 471. In pursuance of this act of Congress, General Matthews, with a military force, was sent into the territory, and in his orders, which I have here, that act was referred to as the legal basis of the whole enterprise. The Secretary of the Navy may there discover in what manner such business was transacted by Presidents whose supreme rule of action was the Constitution of the Republic, and in what manner our Executive now ought to have acted in the San Domingo case.

There is still one sentence in the Secretary's letter, which I cannot refrain from referring to, for it is of great import. It is the following:

Under the orders of the Executive, it is a part of the duty of those ships of your fleet which are at any time cruising in the waters of San Domingo to maintain this status against every Power, and while we would not yield the right to interfere with it to the most powerful Government, we cannot concede that right even to the weakest.

So there is, after all, something in what the Senator from Wisconsin said yesterday, that our menace was not directed against Hayti alone, but that even a possible conflict with greater Powers was contemplated in the program. Sir, it was indeed not entirely without the limits of possibility. Is not the debt of the republic of San Domingo rather in a confused state? Are not Englishmen somewhat concerned in it by loans? And might not the British Government, in consideration of the interests of some of its subjects, accidentally make a claim against the Government of San Domingo and try to enforce it, our arrangements with Baez notwithstanding? Might not in a country with a lawless Government like the Dominican republic, by wrongs inflicted upon foreigners, grave complications arise with Powers more formidable than Hayti, in which we would suddenly find ourselves involved? And the Secretary bravely defies the most powerful nations of the world.

Sir, look at this. By the President's arbitrary act, for the success of a scheme in which neither Congress nor the people of the United States take any interest, to jeopardize the peace of this Republic, as the Secretary of the Navy himself confesses! Sir, is not that a recklessness most appalling? Have you ever heard of it that the Executive of this Republic in any juncture of its history involved with such levity the country in unknown and dangerous responsibilities at his own arbitrary pleasure?

So much for the letter of the Secretary of the Navy. I find in it such a jumble of glaring misstatements of facts, and of illogical Constitutional doctrines, that I have come to the conclusion the letter was properly addressed to a seaman, for the Secretary of the Navy probably himself felt that his story was well fit to be told to the marines. The Secretary—for whom I have profound respect as a gentleman, and whom I cherish highly as a friend and a most excellent companion—the Secretary, if he goes on in that way, is in great danger of acquiring the reputation of a profound Constitutional lawyer among sailors, and of a mighty sailor among Constitutional lawyers!

I deem it scarcely necessary to say a single word in reply to the argument brought forward by the Senator from Wisconsin yesterday, that the President's belligerent interference on the island of San Domingo was not reprehensible because it was really an act of benefaction to those people in preserving the peace there and in keeping them from shedding one another's blood. Will that Senator really make us believe that the President usurped the war power of Congress merely for philanthropic purposes, merely acting upon the impulses of his benevolent good nature? Sir, can a Senator of the United States, making such an argument, possibly be in earnest? If the people of the United States really consider it their mission to employ their guns in maintaining peace among the different nations of this and the other hemisphere, does the Senator from Wisconsin, or any other Senator, think the American people, against the principles of their own Constitution, would leave it to the philanthropic impulses of the President alone, of one man, to decide when those philanthropic impulses shall be given vent to, when the guns of the United States shall be sent upon such a belligerent peace mission? Does it not occur to the Senator that if we give such discretionary power to our Chief Magistrate in spite of our Constitution, that Presidential benevolence, that philanthropy of the nineteen-inch caliber might involve us unaware in any trouble that is going on in any part of the world? If I know anything of the people of the United States, they respectfully beg to be excused. Really, sir, this chapter in the Senator's speech, with due respect to his ability be it said, does not rise to the dignity of an argument.

But even the pretext of intentions and purposes merely benevolent, when you look at the facts, appears utterly without foundation. Had the President been actuated only by such motives, they could easily have found other more useful and more magnificent theaters of action. Why did he not show the least desire to interfere in some of the revolutions which have happened on the continental part of this hemisphere during his Administration, or a desire to send his philanthropic artillery down to Paraguay, where blood was flowing in streams, in order to interfere in a war in which, against our desire, we came so near being involved? No, sir; it will not do to tell this benevolence story to an intelligent people. What was done was done to further, by force of arms, if need be, a pet scheme of the White House, in which neither the Congress nor the people of the United States had shown the least interest. It was for this that the war-making power of Congress was usurped, that the Constitution, in one of its most essential and vital points, was invaded, and that the peace and the honor of this Republic were recklessly put in jeopardy.

And now let me say to the Senators who have attempted to defend these things that they have undertaken a hopeless, I might almost say an utterly impossible, task, and to judge from appearances they feel it. However eloquently the Senator from New Jersey may speak of the personal merits and great services of General Grant, all of which we recognize; however deeply the senior Senator from Wisconsin may dive into the treasures of ancient lore, and however frequently the Senator from Indiana may quote Calhoun's dispatch to Shannon, it is all in vain. You cannot justify what is wrong. You cannot hide what is clear and patent to every eye in this Republic. You cannot defend what is indefensible. Give it up, gentlemen; let this case stand or fall upon its own merits. Others may follow in the footsteps of those who have already spoken, and they may heap abuse upon the Senator from Massachusetts and myself, abuse more bitter than already has been showered upon us. That also will be all in vain, gentlemen. Neither legal quibbles nor personal vituperation will alter a single fact in the case; it will not close the eye of a single honest and patriotic man in this country.

To-day I read in a newspaper that my only object in stepping forward in this debate was to injure the President in the opinion of the people. Sir, I am too well aware of the peculiar position which General Grant holds in this country, not to know that his Administration cannot be broken down, unless it breaks down itself; and what it has accomplished in that direction falls upon its own responsibility. No, sir; I have not spoken because I have any personal feeling against the President, for I have not, but because I have a very strong personal feeling for the fundamental laws of this country and for the cause of Constitutional government; because, I believe that it is time, at last, in the face of these glaring facts, that we should do our utmost to dispel that most dangerous confusion of ideas which represents to us the United States, the Government and the person of the President as one and the same thing; it is high time to check the growth of irresponsible power which is gradually and with a cat-like step creeping upon us in various forms. That is the object for which I am struggling; it is the impulse which I obey; and I desire to have it understood.

Senators, this is no small question. Do not indulge in that delusion; the country will not regard it so. Never in the history of this Republic would this subject have been lightly treated. There never was a time when it should be treated more seriously, for Congress never had to confront a stronger attempt at what might properly be called personal government. In the history of France you read of Louis XIV., how he entered the Parliament in session slapping his whip upon his riding-boots, and proclaiming, “I am the State.” What do you see here? You see the Executive stepping before the people and proclaiming, “I am the war-making power of this Republic.” That is the fact, gentlemen, which we have to deal with.

Recently I expressed my apprehension that the annexation of the tropics might lead to military usurpation. Is there anybody on this floor who will still deny it? It is with military usurpation that it has commenced. We have heard Senators speak of extending the blessings of republican government to San Domingo. I would respectfully suggest to those Senators, it is time to see to it that the integrity of republican government be preserved at home. In the face of these facts we have a solemn duty to perform. Put the mildest, put the most charitable construction upon all these acts—do not call it a crime what the President has done, do not call it a misdemeanor, call it by the mildest term—an involuntary mistake—and still that great duty remains. It is the duty to vindicate the Constitution of the United States.

Sir, what was the oath we took before entering upon the discharge of our duties in this Chamber? It was that we should support the fundamental law of this country. So we have sworn; and we are now called upon to uphold the Constitution in one of its most essential points. The power to declare and initiate war is one of the highest attributes of sovereignty. More than any other, it involves the welfare, the peace and the honor of a people. Therefore this power was expressly lodged in that branch of the Government in which the sovereignty of the people is most comprehensively represented: in the Legislature. It cannot be otherwise in a truly republican government. This is a conditio sine qua non of republican institutions. Let that power pass into the hands of the President, and the dearest interests of the people are at the mercy of one single man.

I ask you, Senators, has not the power of the Executive, through the immense patronage at his disposal, become alarmingly great already? Is it not to a fearful extent already encroaching on the independence of the Legislature of this Republic, and exercising a most dangerous influence upon the morality of our public life? Permit the Executive, in addition, to arrogate to itself the war-making authority, and you create a one-man power in the new world stronger and more dangerous in some respects than you find it in some of the constitutional monarchies of the old. Some newspapers have been indulging in extravagant statements about the despotic power of the Emperor of Germany. Why, sir, the Emperor of Germany cannot declare war without the consent of the Federal Council. The Emperor of Germany cannot remove, at his arbitrary pleasure, the officeholders of the empire.

Concede to the President, in addition to the patronage which he wields, the war-making power, or even so much of it as he arrogates to himself, and you are in a fair way of making him in some respects more absolute than the Emperor of Germany himself, only that we shall elect our monarch every four years; and continuing to descend on the dangerous slope, it is very questionable how long you will enjoy that pleasure. But you say you will not concede to the President any such power. Not concede it! But will you permit it to be taken? What a trifling play with words and facts would that be! In the face of what has been done, we are told that we shall not undo it, and shall not even make a demonstration of our disapproval. So, at least, I interpret the speeches of the Senators from New Jersey, Indiana and Wisconsin. Is not this strange? Has the President grown so great that we must submit to everything that proceeds from him? Or has Congress grown so small that we dare not refuse our acquiescence in the command from above, even if it appears in the form of a violation of the fundamental law? Indeed, if there be anything more alarming in all this than the transgressions of the Executive, it is the indifference, nay, the willingness to surrender which we notice in so many representatives of the people.

The Senator from New Jersey made a touching appeal yesterday. He recounted to us all the services rendered by General Grant, how his image is engraven on the hearts of many hundred thousands of people, and how universally he enjoys the confidence of the country. If it be so, if the President does enjoy the confidence of the country, is that an argument why he should be permitted to overleap the Constitutional limitations of his power and to usurp the prerogatives of another branch of the Government? If he does possess the confidence of the people, is that a reason why he should be permitted to abuse it? If so, I shall join in the prophetic exclamation of one whose name is never pronounced here without respect, almost amounting to reverence. I mean William Pitt Fessenden. He uttered these words in a debate to which I have already called the attention of the Senate. It was in the year 1859, when President Buchanan asked of the Congress of the United States the power to protect by belligerent measures the safety of United States citizens on the Panama transit route; it was on that occasion that William Pitt Fessenden uttered the following memorable words:

I hope the time never will come when we shall have a man at the head of this Republic who has so much the confidence of the people that we shall be willing to invest in him powers, and trust them to his discretion, which the Constitution has vested in us. It was for wise purposes that our wise ancestors said the people should judge of the propriety of making a war against another people. As I said before, I hope the time will never come when we shall have a President in whose hands we shall be ready to trust so much power.

Thus Mr. Fessenden, of whom friend and foe agree that he had the pride and independence of a true man and the conscience of a true representative of the people. Remember once more the subject of that debate. President Buchanan asked for power by warlike means to protect the safety of United States citizens abroad; and not only his political opponents denied this power, but even the Senators of his own party, and foremost among them Jefferson Davis, protested against intrusting even a President who was a mere tool of the slave-power with such discretionary authority. But here, gentlemen, the question is not to protect the safety of American citizens. Here the question is to protect a usurper, Baez, in a foreign country. And, now, you speak of the confidence with which we shall surrender such powers to the Executive! It is humiliating, indeed, that Republican Senators should have to take a lesson of independence of spirit even from Jefferson Davis and his partisans.

If you raise the question of confidence, we are not called upon to ask whether the President possesses it; but the proper question to ask is whether, in view of this act and to this extent, it is safe to give it to him. What has he done? In order to further a scheme of his own, he has ordered naval commanders to commit warlike acts without the authority of Congress. Thus he transgressed his Constitutional powers and usurped those of the National Legislature; he jeopardized the peace and the honor and the safety of this Republic. Doing this, he has either proved that he does not understand the Constitutional limitations of his power, or that he is reckless enough knowingly and willfully to break through them. In either case, if he does possess the confidence of the people, it is, in view of these acts, high time for the people to consider whether that confidence is safely bestowed. The people may well ask themselves if the President, impelled by such inducements as the San Domingo scheme offered, went so far, how far he may be inclined to go under the impulse of temptations still stronger.

Sir, I do not speak of the President without that respect which is his due. Nor do I put upon the things he has done a harsh construction. The President's education was that of military life. He was unused to the operations of the checks and balances of power which constitute the rule of civil government. If the habits of peremptory command on the one side and of absolute obedience on the other impressed themselves strongly on his mind, it was not his fault. So he was elected President, and suddenly transferred to the complex duties of the most responsible civil position of this Republic. If his temper is not such as to shake off the force of life-long habits with ease; if it is not supple enough to accommodate itself to a position no longer one of undivided power and responsibility, it may be called his misfortune; but let it not, by a confidence beyond reasonable bounds, become the misfortune of the American people. Confidence, is your cry? In his cradle every American has learned to repeat by heart the grand old watchword, “Vigilance is the price of liberty.” Have the people so utterly forgotten it? But if the people had forgotten it, we as the guardians of the rights and liberties of the people, have no right to forget it. In view of a flagrant infraction of the Constitution of the Republic, of a usurpation of power, we have no right to be lulled by the confidence game.

Sir, it was with astonishment and mortification that I heard the just criticism passed by the Senator from Massachusetts upon the President's act denounced as a blow struck at the Republican party! The Republican party! What, sir, is Ulysses S. Grant the Republican party? Is the San Domingo scheme the Republican cause? Is that most preposterous and dangerous doctrine, that the President may acquire the war-making power by a sleight-of-hand, the Republican platform? Republican Senators would do well to pause before they commit themselves on so fatal a position. If it has come to this, if you really could make the people of the country believe that fidelity to the Constitution and republican government, that hostility to the San Domingo scheme and to usurpation, means hostility to the Republican party, then you will find that Presidential party uncomfortably small. I warn my Republican friends not to identify the cause of their party with one man and with the acts of one man. I warn them not to impose such a tax upon the consciences of honest and independent people.

So far the responsibility for all this rests upon the President alone. There let it rest. But you relieve him by an approval of his acts, and you will load that responsibility upon the back of the Republican party. And here I boldly assert that any party which assumes such a responsibility must inevitably break down under the burden. As long as republican institutions are dear to the hearts of the American people, no party in this land can bear such a load with impunity. No party in a Republic like ours, among a noble and independent and liberty-loving people like ours, can hope to maintain itself with unmanly submission to that which is wrong, even if that wrong be committed by its chief.

The mere fact that a Republican President did those acts, the Republican party can endure; but what the Republican party cannot endure is to place itself in the attitude of having committed those acts itself. And I venture to predict, that the time is not very far when those will be looked upon as the truest Republicans who did not hesitate to expose themselves to suspicion and vituperation and obloquy in order to relieve the Republican cause of this most intolerable burden—for the Republican party will be once more the party of independent men.

The Senator from Wisconsin in a fine strain of classic eloquence likened the Senator from Massachusetts to Brutus striking his dagger into Caesar's breast after Casca and Cassius had already done their work. It was a beautiful figure, and the likeness is better than the Senator from Wisconsin thought. To be sure, the dagger was not leveled at the breast of Republicanism, but the weapon went straight into the heart of Caesarism; and the Senator from Wisconsin, scholar as he is, will remember that the world has long been agreed to call Brutus “the noblest Roman of them all.”

And now I appeal to Senators, what are we to do under these circumstances? Can we do less, I ask them most candidly, than endeavor to undo, as far as now in our power lies, the iniquity which has been perpetrated? Can we do less than express our disapproval in ever so mild a form? Can we, in the face of that solemn oath which we have sworn at that desk, do less? I see here many Senators sitting around me who were upon this floor in the impeachment of Andrew Johnson. I would ask those who voted for his conviction on charges insignificant by the side of the facts now before us, on evidence dim and uncertain by the side of this open documentary confession—I ask them, can those Senators now do less than what it is proposed to declare in the resolutions before us? I would ask Senators whether they are willing to let it go out to the world that the Constitution of the United States may be invaded not only with impunity, but even without the poor satisfaction of a protest?

Have you considered what the consequences of your submission to these things will be? Have you thought of the meaning of your acquiescence? It will mean simply this: you tell the President of the United States, “Go on, sir, without fear; whatever powers you may desire to claim for yourself, claim them; in whatever way you may break through the Constitutional limitation of your authority, do it; you can always rely upon a ready apology and justification upon the floor of this your ever-faithful Senate.” Such a precedent we are about to set for all time to come. Is any Senator here prepared to stoop to that attitude?

Our duty seems to me clear as sunlight. We owe it to ourselves, we owe it to the people who sent us here, we owe it to posterity, to whom we have to transmit these republican institutions unimpaired, to look that duty boldly in the face. I know it is very hard to pronounce judgment in a case like this. The acts we are discussing are the acts of our President. We elected him, and we had hoped with cordiality to support his Administration from beginning to end. We would gladly exonerate him from all blame if we could; and yet our duty remains the same; and it is this duty that tests our metal. It is no great thing to watch and restrain within the Constitutional limits of his power an Executive to whom you are politically opposed. There is nothing brave, nothing to be proud of in that. But to watch with conscientious care that your friends in power do not encroach upon the rights and liberties of the people, arrogating to themselves illegitimate authority, that is the thing which marks the true and faithful guardian of the laws, the thing which distinguishes the patriot from the mere partisan. If I see the danger of usurpation looming up anywhere, it is in that blind and reckless party spirit which will complacently wink at and be ready to defend any wrong when perpetrated by a friend, which it would most violently denounce when merely attempted by a political opponent. While it is a hard, I say, therefore, it is a stern and a proud duty.

But this is not all. The Chief Magistrate, whose acts we now consider, is not only our President, and, as we have fallen into the habit of calling him, not only the official chief of our party; he is also a man who has well deserved of this Republic, whose name is identified with some of the heroic pages of our history, and whose fame, perhaps, is an object of somewhat tender solicitude to the American people. I, sir, would be the last man to be unmindful of the great services he has rendered. Not one of us, I am sure, is inclined to forget the deeds he did in the field for his country, and because we are not inclined to forget those deeds we cannot but deplore most sincerely that, after having contributed so much to the salvation of this Republic in war, he has done things so dangerous to republican institutions in peace.

The American people are enthusiastic admirers of war-like glory; but I should be loath to blame the American people for not permitting their enthusiasm to close their eyes to the short-comings of their heroes on other fields of action. In this respect they are by no means peculiar. The President, if his political acts meet with censure, is in distinguished company. I repeat, I would be the very last man on earth to detract from that just renown which he has earned; but there were men before him who had won great renown on the field of battle and then failed in the high responsibilities of civil life. No man in modern history has given so much glory to the arms of old England as the Duke of Wellington; and yet all that glory could not protect his windows against the stones thrown by multitudes of indignant citizens when, as a minister, he had forfeited the favor of the people. The vote of the House of Commons which drove him from power did not wipe out the glories of the Peninsular campaign nor dim the luster of Waterloo; but all the Peninsular glories, and the luster of Waterloo, were not strong enough to give success and popular approval to the Duke's civil administration. Our disapproval of a Presidential act of General Grant will not diminish our appreciation of the capture of Vicksburg and the victory of Richmond; but the laurels of Vicksburg and Richmond cannot make his acts now under discussion Constitutional, nor can they turn a Presidential blunder into an act of wisdom.

If the Duke of Wellington was a great captain and a poor minister, the British people show their gratitude by remembering his brilliant successes in war and generously forgetting his failures in peace. If the Duke of Wellington could rise up from the dead to-day, hale and hearty, the British people would make him general again, but they would make him minister no more. And if General Grant meets with a similar fate at the hands of his most appreciative fellow-citizens, he has no reason to complain of “the ingratitude of republics.”

Sir, I do not want this Republic to be ungrateful. No, sir, let us pay all our debts of gratitude to the utmost farthing. In our school-boy days we were apt to grow enthusiastic over the stem republican spirit of ancient Greece and Rome. In the history of Greece we read of Miltiades, who saved the independence of his republic on the field of Marathon, and then died in chains. In the history of Rome we read of Manlius, who, by his resolute bravery, repulsed the barbarians from the Capitol, and on the very theater of his exploit he was precipitated from the Tarpeian rock. And of neither of them is it recorded that he was guilty of acts more dangerous to republican liberty than those we have been now discussing.

Sir, nothing could be farther from my mind than to recommend the punishment inflicted upon the Greek and the Roman hero as examples worthy of imitation. However much more grievous the transgressions now before us may be than those of Miltiades and Manlius, surely nobody here thinks of chains and Tarpeian rocks. Let all these evil deeds pass without the correction which the Constitution provides for them. We all are ready, even in our judgment, to temper justice with gratitude and charity. Yes; let us be grateful. It is true, he who has deserved well of the Republic should never forget, as Washington never forgot it, that the highest reward of a true republican consists in the greatness of his country and the assured rights of his fellow-citizens. But if he wants more, let him have more. Give him riches with a lavish hand; cover him all over with gold; steep him in luxuries; but let not your gratitude to one make you unmindful of your duty to all. I beseech you, let not gratitude seduce you to throw the laws of the Republic at his feet.

No nation deserves to be free and great, no nation will remain free and great—nay, sir, that nation has already ceased to be free and great that will pay a debt of gratitude at the expense of its Constitutional rights and liberties.

Senators, do not underrate the importance of this subject. The consequence of your action in this case may be felt for good or evil throughout the whole future of this Republic. Do not indulge in the pleasant delusion that you are permitted to dismiss this business with a mere shrug of the shoulder. Let us not, I entreat you, attempt to shirk our responsibility by evasive expedients. I have heard it rumored that a motion will be made to lay these resolutions on the table, or to avoid action by dilatory tactics. Sir, I trust it may not be so. On an occasion like this the people have a right to expect that their representatives should have the courage of a great duty. Let this first precedent of acquiesence in an act of usurpation by a successful soldier pass into our history, and you will have struck a blow at the cause of Free Government that will resound throughout the earth. The nations of the world will ask: Have the American people become so tired of their Constitutional rights that the guardians of the Constitution can permit them to be invaded not only with impunity, but even without a remonstrance? The question will be repeated: Is it true then, what so frequently has been said, that the United States issued from their first revolution as a Republic only by accident, an accident depending upon the sublimely unselfish spirit of Washington, who, instead of grasping the crown, modestly retired to the plow of Cincinnatus? But, on the other hand, you vindicate the Constitution against the President, a President of your own choice and the world will understand that in this Republic at least no man can grow so great as to overtop the majesty of the laws; that here at least republican institutions are safe, for they are in the keeping of men who “know their rights, and, knowing, dare maintain.”

  1. Speech in the U. S. Senate, Mar. 28 and 29, 1871. The Senate had under consideration Mr. Sumner's resolutions relative to the employment of the naval forces of the United States in the waters of San Domingo.
  2. The correctness of the view here expressed is still further and most conclusively proven by a dispatch addressed by Mr. Calhoun to Mr. Howard, September 10, 1844, with direct reference to the quoted dispatch of Mr. Nelson to Mr. Murphy. Mr. Calhoun says: “The President approves of the construction which you placed on the letter of Mr. Nelson, Acting Secretary of State ad interim, to Mr. Murphy, and on mine to Mr. Van Zandt, in relation to the assurances to which the Texan Secretary of State refers; but he instructs you to assure the Government of Texas that he feels the full force of the obligation of this Government to protect Texas, pending the question of annexation, against the attacks which Mexico may make on her in consequence of her acceptance of the proposition of this Government to open negotiations on the subject of annexing Texas to the United States. As far as relates to the Executive department, he is prepared to use all his powers for that purpose. But the Government of Texas is fully aware that they are circumscribed by the Constitution within narrow limits, which it would not be possible for the President to transcend. All that he can do is to make suitable representations to the Mexican Government against the renewal of the war pending the question of annexation and the savage manner in which it is proposed to conduct it, accompanied by appropriate protests and indications of the feelings with which he regards both, and to recommend to Congress to adopt measures to repel any attack which may be made.”—Schurz's note in pamphlet edition.