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of Washington's army, in the vicinity of Boston, possible? Captain Manley, a Massachusetts Irishman, who, in the schooner Lee, captured the British transport Nancy, in November, 1775, off Boston Harbor, and handed over to the army more munitions of war than the United Colonies could have produced in eighteen months.
Historian Maclay has called attention to the doings and history of the privateers of the Revolutionary War; his figures are astounding and conclusive. When Gustavus Conyngham and John Paul Jones carried the flag of the revolted colonies through both the English and Irish Channels, and flaunted the new-born bunting actually under the guns of England's coastwise castles of defense, the moral influence of their acts bore results greater, perhaps, than the fall of Ticonderoga or "Mister" Washington's surprising success over the Hessian hirelings at Trenton. The presence of hostile vessels off their own harbors brought the war home to the people in a vivid way; marine insurance rose fifty per cent; and, after Conyngham's first successful cruise, over onefourth were French vessels loading in the Thames,— an absolutely unheard of thing before. The American privateers that swarmed out of every port of the Atlantic seaboard, from Maine to South Carolina, made it exceedingly difficult for the few national vessels to secure necessary complements; for the sailor who worked for government in those very early days worked for glory. alone, and so it was with the officers; all the prize money went into the public coffers, although I dare say and sincerely hope that enough was side-tracked to recoup them for personal losses. The pay of a captain was $32.50; that of a seaman, $6.50.
knowledge the fact that, within a very few years after the acknowledgment of our independence, when France, in like case, was fighting for her own liberty against the combined powers of Europe, we fell at odds, and serious trouble might have resulted had not the actions of our spunky little warships convinced the French Government that we were not to be trifled with, at least on the seas.
It was the little neglected navy of the new country that humbled the Barbary powers; but the gunboat policy of Mr. Jefferson, his hatred of the navy, and his misunderstanding of its value, had brought the service to a dangerous pass a hundred years ago. The British fleet at Halifax alone quite equalled in tonnage any that the United States could have set afloat early in 1812. Yet what resulted? It would be a trite recital of facts to repeat the well-known chronology. Let us sum it up in a few words.
The navy saved the country; Perry on Lake Erie and McDonough on Lake Champlain fended off invasion from Canada. The unexpected victories of Hull, Decatur, Bainbridge, Lawrence, Biddle, Stewart, Porter, and the rest, awoke in the British ministerial mind a caution that ultimately brought a keen desire for peace.
Although we could claim twenty-seven victorious single actions at sea, and the loss of but two ships when the odds were equal, the United States could point to but one signal victory on land,- the overwhelming and awful slaughter in the low-lying morasses of Louisiana, - a battle that, had the world known cable or wireless or even the slowest steamship, could never have taken place, for it was fought on the 8th of January, 1815; the Peace had been signed at the Hague the month before. Few people are aware, however, that to the victory at New Orleans an American sailor and the crew of a little privateer contributed in great measure. In the harbor of Fayal, in the Azores, in November, 1814, lay at anchor the privateer brig General Armstrong, commanded by Captain Samuel Chester Reid. There appeared at the entrance to the harbor a line of battleships flying the British ensign and two small frigates; they were the Plantagenet, the Rota, and the Carnation. Let us tell the story in a few words.
Angered at the sight of the American flag, the British senior captain determined to cut out the little privateer and destroy her; and this despite the international laws respecting the sacredness of a neutral port. It was a rash decision; almost every school boy knows the result; how the heavy-laden boats from the British vessel were smashed and torn by the General Armstrong's broadsides, and how her "Long Tom" dared to send a few impudent
shots at the big bullies across the bay. Forced to destroy his vessel with his own hand, Reid and his men retreated to a church above the town and defied capture. For days the British squadron remained there, burying their dead. The boats were laden with troops and stores for the British army at New Orleans. Had Pakenham, the British general, brought on the action four or five days earlier, New Orleans would have fallen; the reinforcements from up the river had not arrived.
In the war with Mexico, there was less need for a navy; the two countries were separated by a river, fordable at many points for the most part of the year; but it must not be forgotten that it was by sea that General Scott's army was transported to the scene of action, and that the naval batteries contributed to the fall of Vera Cruz, where the first foothold was obtained. It was through this base, held and established by the warships, that Scott's army was reinforced and kept in the field.
What brought about the conclusion of the Civil War? The crushing and anaconda-like hold of the blockade on the coast: the entering wedge was driven by Farragut and his wooden ships when they passed Fort St. Phillip and Fort Jackson. It was the newly born force of our rather heterogeneous navy that gave Great Britain and France pause, at the time that we were so deeply embroiled in the sad doings on our own shot-furrowed soil.
The Red River expedition of Porter's gunboats into Texas and in the direction of the Mexican border, was a hint to Napoleon III, in his ambitious furthering of the poor Maximilian's fortunes; it was unnecessary and rather disastrous as a war measure, but seemed to serve the purpose of a hint. When the Trent affair brought Lord Palmerston almost to the point of a tearful beseeching of Parliament for a declaration of war, it was the caution inspired in the same Parliament by the birth of our ironclad, quite as much as the friendly offices of Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort, that kept this. revival of "The Right of Search" from being a casus belli. Russia's friendly overtures in 1864 and 1865 were dictated as much by growing admiration of our sea power as by hatred for Great Britain, France, and the New Confederation of the Italian States. As an ally, we were useful only for the reason that we had ships and the men to man them.
How about the war with Spain? Brave though our soldiers may have been, it was Manila Bay and Santiago. that decided the question. Pitiful, indeed, it is to recall the words of Cevera addressed to the Cortes, when on the eve of being sent on his suicidal voyage he complains of the lack of preparation and frankly states that it is his
belief that one of the American warships could whip his whole squadron. But did we know that? Look at the scare on the New England coast. The 5th Army Corps would have died in their ditches around Santiago from disease had there been great danger or difficulty in transporting them back to America. Then there was the bluff of sending that phantom fleet to the shores of Spain, that halted the Spanish vessels sent to retake the Philippines at the gate of the Red Sea. We did not have to send them; only let it be known we had them to send.
The days of the privateer and the letter-of-marque have gone. The naval branch of any service must now be a national one. It has been pointed out that the troops of both the North and South, who through the Civil War fought so bravely in the victories that each had gained, - that these troops were State troops, so designated by the name and number of their regiment. But the navy, of the North at least, was a national service, under one directing head and managed by one system. The officers in the new age of steam power that had just begun, were already beginning to be the product of one school; a school fed by the country at large, but turning out men hallmarked by an institution. And thus it has been since they are vouched for by their country; they are responsible to her for their actions and able to maintain her dignity abroad. As we have only had to turn back to history to prove the value of our naval service and to show how a total lack of it would have spelt disaster, we have got to imagine how its neglect and decline will affect our standing our standing as a peace-loving and peace-wielding nation.
No longer is it possible to call upon the merchant sailor to man the old broadsides and to handle swab and rammer; no longer is it possible to turn his craft into a war vessel with the aid of saw, hammer, and nails. We must foster him, produce him the modern sailor-man. He is not a by-product, an off-shoot, but a direct product, one of a directed and energetic school, the graduate of a stern curriculum; he is specialized in his class, as much as the ships themselves are; he is necessary, and if we are to maintain our place in the most favored nation class, uphold our dignity, and, possibly in the future, through wiser legislation than we have had in the past, resurrect our moribund merchant marine, that in 1790 was 5,000,000 tons, in 1860 nearly 3,100,000, and in 1910 but 718,000, - I say, if we maintain our place or if we progress at all, it will be because-and here I repeat again the words of "Thomas Lediard, Gent.," written nearly two hundred years ago and not forgotten by his appreciative country-because:—
It is a most undoubted Maxim, that the Honour, Securiety and Wealth of this Country depend upon the Protection, and Encouragement of Trade, and the Improving and right Managing the Naval Strength thereof; And we have instances of several Nations, who were formerly great and powerful at Sea, who, by Neglect and Mismanagement, have lost their Trade, and seen their Maritime Strength entirely ruined.
I have said that the needs are different. The requirements have changed, but we must believe that the old spirit still exists, a useless spirit, a hampered spirit, if without the means for exercise. I believe and there is no member of this organization who does not believe with me that the spirit of '76, of 1812, of '61, of 1898, will prove itself alive if occasion should call for its display, and if a big, big “if”—if we have the ships. And we must have them, to hold our proper place, to maintain our dignity, to help maintain the peace, and to go to war if great needs and a great cause urge such a dire necessity upon us.
I began with a doggerel; perhaps I might be allowed to finish with a plain statement, in plain verse, of our plain beliefs:
Oh, they sang a song of Wind and Sail, In the days of heave and haul,
Of the weather gauge, of tack and sheet,
They sang brave songs of the old broadsides,
Hi! cutlass and pike as the great sides strike!
Ho! the cheers of the ne'er-afraid!
For they cheered as they fought, did those sailor men,
They stripped to the buff for the fray,
It was blade to blade, it was eye to eye,
They sang of the men on the quarter-deck
And was praised in the days of old!
Let us sing the song of the fighting men,
Gone are the days of the heave and haul (Think ye our blood has thinned?),
We're slaves of science, steel, and steam,
Not laborers of the Wind!
Oh, into the lockers the cable comes
And no one lifts a hand;
The clang of a bell sounds out, "That's well!" And the engines understand.
We make 'gainst wind and the tide at night,
Forge out 'gainst the storm in the morn. (But, think ye, our arms have lost their might, Think ye, our locks are shorn?)
They serve their guns, they aim them straight,
The spirit and strength and will are there:
REMARKS OF MR. WARD
By the exercise of scientific management on the part of the Navy League, we have been able to get Mr. W. Morgan Shuster with us to-night. I say scientific management, because we cabled him on his way out of Persia to London. He arrived in New York this morning; arrived in Washington at nine o'clock this evening; and will speak, for the first time in public in this country, here to-night.
ADDRESS OF HON. W. MORGAN SHUSTER
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Navy League: It is a very great pleasure for me to be here this evening, after traveling pretty continually for the last forty days. It is particularly gratifying to me personally for two reasons. To address a naval gathering of this sort I feel more fitted than ever before, because I still have my "sea legs" with me. And then I am home again. I have only been here an hour and a half, but it is very pleasant, and I am glad to be here.
There is very little that I can say this evening to you on the subject that is in the minds of all. The time is short. Perhaps one little observation which it has been my privilege to make while I have been away from the United States, in the past eight or nine months, might interest you, because it so happens that it bears upon our navy. Admiral Sigsbee, with that modesty which always becomes a brave naval officer, has referred to the navy as a "regrettable necessity." As a civilian, I prefer not to consider it in that light. Time was, perhaps, when the navy of a nation was regarded purely as an aggressive force, a force for conquest, a force to rule the seas, a force to increase and magnify the power of the nation it represented. I believe that in the future, and in the very near future, the armed forces of nations, and particularly the mobile forces in the larger sense, the floating forces which can go to any part of this world, will have a greater rôle to play than that of mere defense.
The best minds of the world to-day, of the civilized nations of the world, are bending their thought and their energy towards bringing about peace, world peace, practical peace, peace which shall rid us forever of the
horrors of war and its consequent loss to humanity in every way. I do not believe that there is a broad-minded navy or army officer in this country or in any other country that is not in hearty sympathy with that, but it must be accomplished by practical means and not by mere theory.
The men who can solve the difficulty before which every peace society and every peace conference and every discussion of the means of bringing about world peace has quailed, to wit, how to enforce justice in the international sense, will have rendered the greatest service to humanity, perhaps, that has ever been rendered. We all know that we want peace. The whole world knows more or less what justice and honesty and decency and fair dealing are in the large relations of mankind, as well as in our private and individual ones; but we step beyond the bounds of the present functions of each individual government when asked how we are going to impel and compel right dealing and fair dealing upon a member of the group of nations which gets over the line of international justice.
Who is to do it? And how? We have no international police force. That has been suggested. Rather a complicated thing; because, if such a thing were organized, circumstances might arise when the different units of the police force themselves might get into disagreement with each other. Now, I believe, and it is only a theory, naturally untried, but I believe that progress towards world peace can be accomplished only along the same lines by which law and order have been established in the civilized communities of the world; and that must be by the action of individuals, or groups of individuals, who are strong enough in their principles, with an abiding faith in the justice of what they are doing, and with the physical courage and means of putting their principles into effect. I believe that if we succeed in time, within the next few generations, in bringing about even an approximation of world peace, it must come from the leading nations of the world of which I believe we are one making up their minds that they have that same duty to perform towards world peace that a good citizen, in a small community where law and order have not yet been established, finds it his duty to perform if law and order are to prevail over the lawless elements.
It is useless to preach theories — I believe even our good friends, the ministers, will admit that — to a man who is holding a pistol to your head. It is useless to try to persuade people that they must do what is right, when they are determined upon doing what is wrong. There is only one answer to the man, or to the group of men, or
The day that three of the big nations of the world,of which I hope sincerely our nation will be one, not by arbitration treaties or by mere agreement, but by the well-tried and well-tested sentiment of their peoples, shall decide that war is to cease as a means of settling trade or other disputes, that day we will have world peace, and no sooner. And no nation and no group of nations can dare to assume that attitude before the rest of the world unless they have two qualifications: one, the sense of moral righteousness, the consciousness that what they do is not to be for their own selfish ends; and the other, that they have a big enough force to see that the principles which they lay down and for which they are willing to fight shall prevail.
I believe that those nations exist in the world to-day; and I believe that the United States has shown itself to be the foremost nation of that class. I do not think our record is flawless from a purely theoretical standpoint, going back over the path of the history of over one hundred years. I do not think any country in the world, any more than any individual, is faultless in its record; but I do believe that a fair review of history will show that the United States has not been a purely selfish and sordid nation in its relations with the other nations with which it has come into contact. I believe, on the contrary, that there are significant acts, especially during the past fifteen or twenty years, which show that the United States, and the people who rule the United States and direct the functions of its government and its national principles, believe that there is something else in this world besides mere territorial acquisition; that there is something else beyond merely extending commerce as such; that there is something else worth while beyond mere seeking for the dollar, of which we are in Europe so often accused. And I believe that the next twenty years will show the United States in the position of the leading moral exponent of justice and fairness and law and order in international relations, just as at times in our history we have ranged ourselves on the side of right and justice, whatever the cost, even at the penalty of a frightful internal struggle.
And it is for those reasons that I believe and suggest that we should have a large and efficient navy, because I
do not think that the people of the United States would ever permit that weapon to be used as one of mere oppression and cruelty. Other nations may perhaps, if the temptation is too strong, permit themselves to be drawn into wars of conquest. We occupy a different geographical position. We have ample territory; we have ample means for self-support; we do not need to expand in the sense that some of the more crowded European nations do; and we are, therefore, wholly apart from the mere moral question, in a position to-day to take a different line from practically any other nation in the world, and I hope, with all my heart, for the lasting credit and honor of the American people, that we will take it.
Coming from the City of Washington, in the District of Columbia, I think I am freed of the slightest taint of political idea when I say that I believe that the credit and honor there can be no dispute about the safety — of our nation and our citizens depend largely upon our navy. We can always protect ourselves from invasion. by armed forces. I do not think there is any serious danger of the heart of the United States being invaded by a foreign army from any source. But we have a little larger rôle to play in the world as a member, a prominent member, of the family of nations, than merely protecting our nation and our wealth from injury by a foreign
We have the same part to play in the congress of nations that an individual has to play in any law-abiding community in which he lives. He can not remain outside. He must be an element for good, or an element for evil, and it is so, I believe, exactly so, in international affairs; each nation must be regarded by its fellow nations as an element or force for good or for evil. I hope we may be judged in the family of nations as a force for good. I believe that the world movement in favor of peace is indicative of what is in the minds of men, not only the bankers and those who stand to lose the most money by war, but of the people who would suffer in other senses of humanity in general from which the heaviest toll is taken by the horrors of war. And I believe that the greatest contribution that this nation can give to world peace is to evidence the determination to the world that it proposes to stand, as far as within its power lies, for fair dealing, honesty, and justice in all its international relations, and that it proposes to build and maintain a navy so large and so efficient that, as time goes on, any nation or any combination of nations would think twice before they would run athwart of it.