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liberty of speech is incompatible with the discipline of a camp; and that of the press is the more dangerous, when it is made the vehicle of conveying intelligence to the enemy, or exciting mutiny among the soldiery. To have suffered the uncontrolled enjoyment of any one of those rights during the time of the late invasion, would have been to abandon the defence of the country. The civil magistrate is the guardian of those rights; and the proclamation of martial law was therefore intended to supersede the exercise of his authority, so far as it interfered with the necessary restriction of those rights, but no farther.

Here, sir, is his own exposition of the pure and patriotic motives—an exposition that ought to have softened down the heart of that “ British inebriate,” though that heart had been made of stone. Nothing, however, could move the inexorable Judge: he spurned the defence from the record, and the enormous fine of one thousand dollars was imposed on the saviuor of the city. It was excessive-it was enormous; so excessive, so enormous, that it ought to be remitted. Here is common ground where all can stand. Here the gentleman from New York, from Massachusetts, from Kentucky, might stand ; common ground, where both my colleagues (Messrs. Peyton and Dickinson) might have stood, both in their speeches and their votes--the enormity of this fine. It equalled the net income of one whole year of General Jackson's resources. Whatever any man may think of his power to declare martial law, no man can doubt the purity of his motives. That purity should have disarmed the law of its vengeance, and wrapped its victim in the mantle of mercy, gratitude and honor.

Mr. Chairman: I fear that much of the reluctance of gentlemen to the passage of this bill is to be found in the fact that this was a pecuniary punishment. Suppose, instead of a fine your Commanding General had been cast into the prisons of Louisiana. Suppose the same mail that brought you the news of that unparalleled victory had brought the news that your General was in a dungeon ; that whilst the brave army which he had commanded had returned home in safety and honor, its heroic commander was pining in prison for the very act which had closed the second war of Independence in a blaze of glory! How long, think you, would Mr. Madison, then President of the United States, have permitted him to remain unpardoned and unliberated from that loathsome condition. How long would it have been, before the Congress of the United States, then in session, would have interceded, if necessary, in his behalf? Sir, that whole Congress would have rushed from both ends of the Capitol, and gone in solemn procession to implore his instant liberation. Would the gentleman from New York (Mr. BARNARD) have deserted from the lines of that procession, and exclaimed, as he has now done, “We have a Constitution to preserve," and therefore let him rot in jail? Would the gentleman from Kentucky, [Mr. Grider,] then have said, let him pine in his dungeon, because he and his constituents were entitled to their share of the glory of his achievements? Would my colleague, (Mr. Peyton] have travelled onward in a procession whose object, if obtained, would strike down the noblest monument of his glory, pluck the proudest feather from his war-plume, and dim the lustre of the brightest jewel that glitters in the coronet of his fame? Would the venerable gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Adams) have been seen then lingering far behind in that procession, and refusing to ask for the liberation of the man by whose defence on a previous occasion he had secured his warmest lodgement in the hearts of his countrymen? No, sir; there would have been no halting and hesitating in such a case in the Congress of 1815. All men of all parties—save only those who loved England, whose proud myrimdons he had conquered, more than they loved their own country--would have rushed to the Executive mansion, and implored the liberation of General Jackson. His punishment by fine stands on the same principle as his punishment by imprisonment. With the same patriotic ardor that the Congress of 1815 would have implored the remission of the one, the Congress of 1844 ought to remit the other.

But the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. SCHENCK] has just told us that this was not the right time; that, if done at all, it should have been done on the day when the fine was imposed. I fear, sir, the right time will never come with him and his party friends, who evince such a never-dying opposition to this bill. Thirty years have now rolled over the memorable scenes of New Orleans; but they have neither dimmed the gratitude of his country, nor softened down the malevolence of his enemies. This is the 8th of January, the day which he has rendered ever memorable in the annals of his country; it is the very day on which this cruel and unjust judgment should be reversed—when this excessive and enormous fine should be remitted. He has rendered it illustrious by the noblest victory on record; let us render it, if possible, still more illustrious, by a great act of national justice and honor.


On the Correspondence of Mr. Webster with the British Minis

ter, in relation to the surrender of Alexander McLeod. Delivered in the House of Representatives, July 9th and 10th, 1841.

The following resolution being under consideration in the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union:

Resolved, That the President of the United States be requested to inform this House, if not incompatible with the public service, whether any officer of the army, or the Attorney General of the United States, has, since the 4th of March last, been directed to visit the State of New York for any purpose connected with the imprisonment or trial of Alexander McLeod; and whether, by any Executive measures or correspondence, the British Government has been given to understand that Mr. McLeod will be released or surrendered; and, if so, to communicate to this House copies of the instructions to, and report of, such officer.

Mr. A. V. Brown, of Tennessee, addressed the House as follows:

Mr. SPEAKER: I offer no apology for further discussion of this subject. It has not been discussed enough yet. It was not discussed enough last winter, when the British Government half confessed that she had invaded our soil, burnt our property, and murdered our people. She so nearly confessed it, that when her minister's letter was received, containing the impudent avowal “that the destruction of the Caroline was the public act of persons in her Majesty's service, obeying the orders of their superior authorities,” this hall rung with indignation from one side of it to the other.

The now chairman of the Ways and Means, and the present Postmaster General, both coming from the region of country where this outrage was perpetrated, made the most animated appeals to our sympathies and patriotism.

But the cold suggestion was made then, as now, that the negotiation was yet pending, and we must beware how we aroused the sleeping lion of English power. Soon afterward, the Committee on Foreign Relations submitted a report, rather spirited in its tone, commenting with some slight severity on British aggression and ambition; when we were again admonished of her fleets and armies, and the ease with which she could reduce our towns and cities to ashes.

These admonitions were effectual. Debate subsided; the first flashes of our indignation died away; and we adjourned, half regretting that we had dared to debate the subject at all.

Sir, Lord Palmerston observed all and read all that was uttered in this hall; and concluding, from the too cautious temper of that debate, that Mr. Forsyth would not be sustained in the lofty stand he had taken, determined at once to make a peremptory demand upon us—to appeal to our fears “ of the serious consequences of a refusal.” I hope in God that no action of this House, on this resolution, will ever confirm his degrading estimate of its disposition and determination to resist all foreign aggression at every hazard.

It is time, high time, for us to speak out boldly, and without reserve. England's ministry have spoken the words of burning shame to the insulted honor of this country. One of her members of Parliament has even threatened to arm our slaves, and to excite all the Indian tribes against us. And shall an American Congress be afraid to speak-afraid to call even for necessary information-lest, peradventure, it should embarrass our future negotiations? Sir, I am free to declare that I desire to embarrass all such negotiations as have been lately going on. Were I the American Executive, my Secretary of State should never write another line in the way of negotiation, until England withdrew that degrading threat, which is yet hanging over my country, and which Mr. Webster has never had the heart to repel-all American as that heart is, according to the gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. Wise.]

But, sir, can this call, by any possibility, embarrass future negotiation? It cannot, for the resolution on its face confers on the President a boundless discretion in giving or withholding the information. Besides, a large portion of the call relates

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