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that "public force," he will and ought to be acquitted.
But the Supreme Court will require him, as Mr. Webster ought to have done, to produce the order under which the party acted. They will look closely to the extent of that order; and if that order was exceeded, he must die. No subsequent approval of the British Government can shield him-no oversight of the American Secretary can set aside the strict and impartial administration of Justice. Die he must; and all the thunder of the British navy cannot frighten the American people from approving and applauding the sentence.
If such should be the fate of McLeod, there remains but one question to be considered and that is, one of peace and war. Will Great Britain feel bound and pledged to declare war against this country to avenge his death? Sir, England would never have thought of such a thing, but for the timid policy and unwise admissions of the Secretary of State. As it is, she may, and probably will, venture to appeal to that “ultimo ratio regum ;" and, sir, in the very declaration in which she appeals to arms, she will present the correspondence of our own Secretary to vindicate the act. She will spread it before all Europe as her justification, and will engrave it on the very banner under which she will march to the conflict.
Mr. Speaker, it is to avert the horrors of war that this apparent severity of remark on the course of the Secretary has been indulged in; and, if it must come, we wish to rescue the country from the imputation of having induced it, by having too tamely surrendered the rights of our citizens.
It is not too late yet for Mr. Webster to review the fatal admissions he has made, and to place this correspondence on a more elevated and more defensible foundation. If no exhortation on this floor can prevail with him, let him learn it from Lord Palmerston himself. Let him learn it in the reply of that nobleman to Lord Stanley in the British Parliament on the 9th of February, 1841. On that occasion he stated:
“With regard to the ground taken by Mr. Forsyth, in reply to Mr. Fox, I think it right to state that the American Government undoubtedly might have considered this transaction either as a transaction to be dealt with be. tween the two Governments, by demands for redress by one to be granted can citizens on the British side of the border,-as matter to be dealt with by the local authorities.
“ But the American Government chose the former course, by treating this matter as one to be decided between two Governments; and this is the ground on which they are entitled to demand redress of the British Gov. ernment for the act of its subjects ; and from that ground they cannot be permitted to recede.”
Sir, here is an admission of our original right to seize and punish McLeod, infinitely stronger than is any where asserted by Mr. Webster;-an admission but little weakened by the sophistry which seeks to show that this original right had been lost by an appeal to the British Government for redress. That redress has never been granted-nay, it has not even been promised; and, therefore, upon every known principle this Government stands remitted to her original right to punish McLeod whenever she can get hold upon him. She has him now. She recurs to that admitted original right, notwithstanding its surrender by Mr. Webster.
I wish now to refer to another speech of Lord Palmerston, in reply to Mr. Hume in the same debate. He said:
“With regard to Mr. Forsyth's letter, I beg leave to say that the principle stands thus : In the case of the American citizens engaged in invading Canada, the American Government disavows the acts of those citizens, and states that the British authorities might deal with them as they pleased, and that they were persons who were not in any degree entitled to the protection of the United States. But in the other case they treated the affair of the Caroline as one to be considered as that of the Government, and not to be left on the responsibility of individuals. Until, therefore, the British Government disowned those persons, as the American Government disavowed their citizens in the other case, they would have no right to change their ground on the question.”
Now, sir, observe the position taken in this last extract by Lord Palmerston. Until the British Government disown the persons who made the attack on the Caroline, they were not to be treated as the British authorities treated the Americans taken on the Canada side. And how was that? By maki them responsible to the local authorities. And why not treat them on both sides alike? Because we have not disowned our people, say they, as you have done yours. But if you have
their acts to be yours? No, never.
For two years we demanded of the British Government to say whether it did or did not disown these persons; but she utterly failed during all that time to say whether she did or not. In the mean time, whilst she is standing mute and will not utter a single word either way, McLeod returns to the United States, impudently brags of his exploits in the affair, is arrested, and confined for trial. Up to this time, we could not get England to say a word on the subject; but now she comes very suddenly to her speech. One of her felon subjects is about to get the rope around his neck, and she speaks up at once with full volubility. Is she entitled to her demand? Is she entitled to take our people on her side of the border, and hang them up at the yard-arm or shoot them like dogs; whilst her people, taken on our side, with their hands yet reeking with the blood of our fellow-citizens, may stalk, and strut, and vapor through our land, with utter impunity?
Sir, Mr. Webster virtually says all this may be done. He virtually surrenders the rights and privileges of our border citizens, and lays them exposed to every marauding expedition that may be set on foot against them in Canada. But, sir, were this the last public act of my life, I would protest against his doctrines, and appeal from his decisions.
On the Tariff, delivered in the House of Representatives,
June 18, 1842.
The House having resolved itself into Committee of the Whole, and the
bill reported by the Committee of Ways and Means, and that by the Committee on Manufactures, together with the amendment offered to the latter by Mr. HABERSHAM, being under considerationMr. A. V. Brown addressed the Committee as follows:
Mr. CHAIRMAN: I have searched most diligently for some redeeming virtue in the two bills reported by the committees, which might so far reconcile me to their provisions as to excuse any participation on my part in their discussion. But I have searched in vain. I can find nothing-literally nothing —to rescue them from the deepest and most unmitigated abhorrence. They both seek to revive the odious principle of direct protection, and to repudiate the most solemn and sacred covenant ever entered into since the formation of the Federal Constitution. But I mean to speak only to one of these billsto the one reported by the Committee on Manufactures. That, sir, is the one which the dominant party in this House mean finally, by the mere power of numbers, to force upon the people of this country. I will not speak to the Ways and Means, for they would not speak to their own bill--having thrown it upon the House, without any report illustrating its principles, or explaining its details. They seem to have gotten it up on the spur of the occasion, and to rely on nothing for its support but the enormity of its exactions, and the poor device which they have labelled on its front—that it is a bill for the raising of revenue.
Mr. Chairman, by the act of 1833, all the duties above twenty per cent., by whatever law imposed, were brought down to that amount; and, by the act of 1841, all duties below twenty
in the act.
By these two acts, we have a full, complete, and perfect tariff system, for the supply of the treasury, without further legislation on the subject. Hence it is that I assume the position, that beyond the correction of the error of last session, in regard to the list of free articles, and the enactment of a few obvious provisions in relation to home valuation, we ought to have nothing to do with this delicate and exciting subject. To take it up for thorough revisal, and the establishment of a higher rate of duty, I hold to be an act of legislative perfidy, which can find no parallel in the history of this country. To no member here can it be necessary to refer to the fierce collision of parties on the tariffs of 1816, 1824, and 1828. It is enough to say that, in every conflict, the doctrine of protection was victorious. What sort of protection? Was it only incidental ? or was it claimed as a distinctive and independent principle of the Constitution? Let the father of the whole system tell you. Hear him who, in 1833, informs us that he had cherished it with paternal fondness, and that his affections even then (though he had been compelled to abandon it) were undiminished. Replying to Mr. Webster, who was then separating from him on the compromise act, he says: “all that was settled in 1816, in 1824, and in 1828, was, that protection should be afforded by high duties, without regard to the amount of the revenue they would yield.” Mark the emphatic admission of Mr. Clay—"protection without regard to revenue.” It was on this very ground that all three of these acts had been so warmly opposed; but yet there was no declaration on their face that such was their object. The doctrine dared not to show itself there, lest the judicial tribunals of the country should pass sentence of condemnation upon it. No, sir; it skulked behind the revenue power, meanly evading the just and manifest principles of the Constitution. Such a device could not long be sustained, nor its enormous exactions endured. It disquieted and almost convulsed the country. It filled the land with apprehensions of ruin and disaster on the one hand, and civil war on the other. It became so abhorrent to the American people, “that he who had sustained it with paternal fond