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will try to put this point briefly in a clear fessedly open to modifications by time light. A clause of an Article in the and circumstance. It would be considConstitution of Texas (See Art. viii., ered, as it is, an unwarranted and most Sec. 1) holds this language. “ The Le- dangerous introduction into our Republic, gislature shall have no power to pass laws of an entirely new and unrepublican feafor the emancipation of slaves, without ture. This, then, may undoubtedly furthe consent of their owners ; nor without nish occasion, unless Texas remove the paying their owners, previous to such clause from her constitution, of re-openemancipation, a full equivalent in mo- ing the question to the consideration of ney," &c.
Congress. And it is not a point for Now, let every lover of his own State party discussion. Not only the Whigs and of our Confederacy-in whatever will be called upon to consider it, but all section of the Union-fairly consider of the opposing party, possessing any what is implied in those words marked knowledge whatever of the nature of in italics. They embrace a position and our confederation, cannot fail to speak a law, such as should belong to no State in strongly upon it. We only hope that, the Union, and such as no State, nor any in the discussion to which this provision part of the citizens of any State, could now of the Constitution of Texas may give be persuaded to assume. It will be per- rise, there will be no angry or unkind ceived that, by the construction of the feelings of either a party or sectional nalanguage, the law contained in the clause ture. stands absolute, entirely unconnected Another topic that will provoke no with any modification by contingent or little discussion will be that of the public supposed conditions of compensation, debt of Texas. The resolution of Angeneral consent, or otherwise,) but na nexation expressly stipulates against its kedly setting forth, that under no possible assumption by the United States; yet change of circumstances shall the State there is a prevailing sentiment, that ihe dissolve an institution unquestionably new State must not come in with the subject to constant and unforeseen stigina of repudiation; and, inasmuch as changes, but shall allow any possible Texas cannot out of her public lands, fraction of its original supporters, one the only property she reserves, provide fifteenth, or one-twentieth, (the rest as the means of discharging the debt, or senting to its dissolution,) to maintain it even of paying the interest upon it with still in existence if so determined—and punctuality, it has been suggested, that that even though they might be offered a These lands should be ceded by her in fee reasonable compensation for the loss of to the United States for a sum that will property therein. Now the institution suffice to extinguish the debt. This is a of slavery has been secured to each State suggestion by no means free from diffiof this Confederacy, as long as such State culties. Noi the least of these is the unshall choose to continue it
, by the most certainty of, and the apparent impossisolemn guaranties of the Federal Consti- bility of ascertaining the amount of, that tution ; and no one has any right to urge debt—so great seems to have been the its abolition, except through the action carelessness of the accounting and reof each State by itself. It will also be cording officers of the Texas Treasury. remeinbered that, by the Missouri Com Another and perhaps more formidable promise, the contingency was deliberately objection will arise from the very general provided for of new Slave holding States persuasion that the calculation upon such arise to within certain prescribed limits a provision for the debt of Texas entered lines of latitude and longitude consider- largely into the schemings and intrigues ately traced out--within which the same which prompted and mainly accomplished institution should be indefinitely recog- annexation. This will be a strong ground nized and upheld. But most assuredly of opposition to any arrangement, in any the idea would have been scouted then shape, by which the United States shail in connection with this Compromise, as be made instrumental in redeeming this it would now by any State in the Union, debt. that it, or any State yet to arise should, The feeling, too, which at the close of in the most solemn constitutional forms, our revolutionary war was so strongly bind itself never to allow the Legislature appealed to against discharging at par, or to act even upon the expediency of dollar for dollar, a debt of which the eviabolishing either this or any other social dences had been so much depreciated as institution or condition of things, so con to pass for not more than one-fourth or
one-fifth of the value on the face of them, Republican party, will now before. will not fail to mingle in this question. most—not directly, but by circumlocution
It is to this day made a party reproach and expedients meant to deceive-virtualagainst ALEXANDER HAMILTON, that he ly to assume the debts of a foreign State devised and carried through the funding incurred under circumstances similar to, system, whereby ample and honorable but certainly not more sacred than that of provision was made for the debt contract. their own country, which yet, their great ed in the struggle for independence, and prototypes not only refused to provide for, which was strictly the price of freedom; but stigmatized the honest patriots who but which, owing to the pressure of war did so, as a corrupt stock-jobbing aristocwhile it lasted, and after its close, of the racy. poverty and almost anarchy of the con There is, too, a general impression, federation, had run down so low as hard- which we merely refer to, without ly to retain any value in exchange. To any intention of analyzing its justnesshave opposed or supported Hamilton's that, among the speculators in Texas sefunding system is still occasionally used curities, are included many, who in offias a distinguishing test between parties, cial stations contributed to annexation, and the name of republican, or, in more and who were moved thereto at least as modern phraseology, of democratic, is much by the hope of personal advantage, expressly claimed for the party which as by patriotic solicitude. Of this imresisted that honest measure, and resisted pression, we repeat, it is not our purpose it on the double ground--first, that by to examine the justness, but its existence funding the debt, a favored class of citi. is as general and unquestionable, as it zens were raised up, interested in sustain- will obviously be adverse to the success ing the government, however administer- of any project of a redemption of these ed; because upon that government they securities through the means or credit of were dependent for the payment of their the United States. stocks--and secondly, that in redeeming From these various considerations it at par a debt which had passed at merely will be readily perceived that, whatever nominal rates from its original holders, the abstract view of many leading men from those who had rendered the service and presses may be, there are strong, into the hands of grasping cormorants, practical and well-grounded reasons for not those who, in reality, had made sacri- resisting any project of making this fices for, and shown their confidence in country responsible for the debt of Texthe cause, were benefited, but those who as. Moreover, some of the States of the speculated upon the necessities of the Confederacy are suffering the dishonor of well-deserving patriots, and who, or repudiation ; why not, it will be asked, some of whom, by witholding supplies first go to their assistance ? Give them the exaggerating difficulties, and propaga- value of their share of the public lands ting doubts and fears, had been enabled we already possess, before we add to our eventually to buy up, for the merest trifle, untold millions of unproductive acres, the certificates of debt.
many millions more to be paid for out of It will now be seen whether those who the present resources of the Union. This claim to be the representatives, at this day, seems reasonable, and possibly there of the anti-Federal party of our earlier may result from these conflicting interannals, will maintain the same line of ests and opinions a compromise which argument in respect to the debt of Texas; shall substantially satisfy all parties. a debt recommended by no such sacred For the virtual assumption of the associations and patriotic appeals as that debt of Texas, in spite of the positive of our revolution, and which, not less disclaimer of the resolution of Annexathan that, has passed almost entirely from tion, will be most warmly pressed by that the hands of its original holders, into party, which has most strenuously resistthose of mere speculators. From past ed every proposition at home, to approindications there is little reason to doubt priate the proceeds of the sales of the that, in this particular, as in so many oth- public lands to the respective states. Is ers, there will be found a very decided this not an occasion then, when the contradiction between the practice of the Whigs may say to their opponents, We democracy, and the principles it professes; will meet you half way. Do for the and that we shall see those who, wearying States now composing the Union what the popular ear with declarations that you propose in respect of the new Siate they are the true disciples of the original about to be admitted to it and we will co
operate with you throughout. Engraft ters that in the practical working of the on your bill for buying the lands of Tex- conjoint or coördinate power of the as at a price which will extinguish her Executive and the Senate, the tendency debt, the substance of Mr. Clay's bill, and to Executive encroachment has been conwe are ready to vote with you. Less stant, though insidious, and that the histhan this the Whig party should not ask, tory of our government for several years, and without such a provision, or some presents an unbroken series of such enone analogous to it, they will hesitate croachments. It has been argued, that very long about consenting to pay the the relation in which the President stands debt of a foreign State, while leaving te the Senate, when acting under the those of several of our own States treaty-making power, is essentially difwholly uncared for.
ferent from the other relations prescribed Questions will arise concerning the by the Constitution. He has Executive boundaries of Texas. These properly duties to discharge in which the Legislabelong to the treaty-making power. It ture have no participation—duties, which appears, nevertheless, that the President ordinarily commence when theirs have has, of his own mere notion and authority, terminated. Information in his possesundertaken, to declare, and to seize upon, sion, relating to that branch of his pubthe Rio del Norte, as the western boun- lic duties, it is his right to communicate dary of Texas. If this be so, and it to, or withold from Congress, as in his shall stand, the Senate, as part of the opinion may best subserve the public intreaty-making power, is, for the second terest. By the Constitution, also, the time in this matter, to be ousted of its ex- exclusive right of nomination to office is clusive prerogative, and Congress must given to him, and the Senate are called determine whether or not they will sustain on only to approve or disapprove. There, the Executive decision, and stand by all too, he acts distinct from the Senate, and the consequences.
possesses a discretion, though perhaps If the claim, asserted on our behalf by more limited, than with regard to the coman army with banners, to the left bank munication of information. But with the of the Rio del Norte, on the sea-board, subject of treaties, the case is evidently is to be extended upward along the course different. They are to be made, by and of that river to its source, a large part of with the consent of the Senate. Upon what has been hitherto known and ac that subject, every step, preliminary as knowledged as New Mexico, including well as final, ought, in the spirit of the the city of Santa Fé, will, under the Constitution, to be submitted to the name of Texas, be transferred to our do- Senate. minion. However desirable such an ac Such, we repeat, is the interpretation quisition of territory may seem, and so given, not very long ago, by very high distinct a boundary as this great river, it authority to this provision of the Constiwill not comport with the scrupulous re tution, and the contrary practice of congard for the faith of treaties, nor with the ceding to the Executive the preliminary respect for the rights of others, which steps in a negotiation, is accounted for distinguish the Whig party, to lend their on the score of convenience, and by no sanction to the armed occupation and means as establishing a right. seizure thereof.
It is not a light confirmation of this view Perhaps, too, the discussion of this of the true meaning and spirit of this point may present as favorable an oppor- Constitutional provision, that the first and tunity as is likely to occur to call public greatest President of the United States, attention to, and invoke an authoritative GEORGE WASHINGTON, before commencdecision upon, the true construction to being any new negotiation, laid before the given to that clause of our Constitution Senate the views of the Executive, the which declares the Senate coördinate instructions proposed to be given to minwith the President in making treaties. isters, and all the information in his pos
The language of the clause runs thus session, and then asked the benefit of (Art. II., Sec. 2, Part 2):
In this singular regard to the coördinate “He[the President,] shall have power by and with the advice and consent of the rights of the Senate, it is believed that no Senate to make treaties, provided two-thirds succeeding President has followed the of the Senate present, concur,” &c. &c.
great example; but if this be the right con
struction, the case is not likely soon to ocIt has been contended in high quar- cur, when more advantageously than now,
it can be re-affirmed and established. For, Honor, Justice and Courtesy. With such according to all present appearances and a crime, the Whig party can, under no information, the President, antecedent to circumstances, have any participation. negotiation, has decided the issue of that It is, however, plain, from the considerconcerning which negotiation was to be ations thus hastily enumerated, that alhad; and when diplomatic intercourse though to a certain extent accomplished with Mexico shall be restored, and the and irrevocable, Annexation yet prePresident shall have occasion to ask the sents many questions that will seriously consent of the Senate, either to the ap- occupy Congress, and that will appeal to pointment of ministers to Mexico or to the Whigs in particular for their most any treaty that may be framed with that considerate attention and fearlessjudgment country, he will have forestalled both
The next great issue of the Presidentheir judgment and action by a sweep of tial election, which, it is now insisted, was the Executive sword.
determined against the Whigs, is the This surely must be deemed an “en TARIFF, We hold still, as during the croachment,” even by those who may not contest we held, and without abating one dislike the result thus attained, and there- jot, that Protection—direct Protectionfore, we say again, an opportunity is is a legitimate object of legislation; and presented under very favorable circun- the merit of the existing Tariff in our stances, of reviewing and revising, if so eyes is, that it is directly, and not merely it shall be deemed wise, the practice under incidentally Protective. Others may bold this provision of the Constitution. a more qualified doctrine on this head;
Some subordinate questions connected but, deriving ours, both from the justice with Annexation will occasion discussion. and necessity of the case, and from the Among these is the pretension that officers explicit avowal of those who framed the of the army and navy of Texas shall be Constitution, and of those who sat in the transferred with like rank to our service. first Congress under it, that it was deThis seems a claim at once so impudent signed and desired to lay duties for the and so preposterous, that we do not know encouragement and protection of domesthat it will be seriously urged. If it tic manufactures, we shall not, even on should be, it will, it is quite safe to as the ground of expediency, take up with sume, be summarily rejected.
the equivocal phraseology of the day At a time when hundreds of our own about a tariff for revenue with incidental highly educated and accomplished young protection. army officers, who have not thought it ne According, however, to the manifestacessary to qualify themselves for true alle. tions of the party papers, except in Penngiance and conscientious and intelligent sylvania, even incidental protection is now service to their own country, by taking to be denounced and renounced, and the up arms in another land and in a quarrel favorite theorem of the ultra free-trader not their own, are eagerly waiting their is to be adopted, that revenue, and revetime to exchange their brevets for commis nue only, is the legitimate object of sions—and when, in the naval service, a tariff, and that, if there be any dismidshipmen are growing gray for lack of crimination, it should against, and not promotion, and when no degree of past in favor of, articles produced or manufacservice or present merit can advance an tured at home. officer a single grade, and when, notwith While writing these remarks there are standing such discouragements, the ap- indications that Pennsylvania--whose inplications for warrants are counted by terests in coal and iron made and keep hundreds, not to say thousands, for every her a Tarifi Siate, and who voted for Mr. vacancy,--at such a time to propose to Polk upon assurances; who was credulous incorporaie with our military and naval enough to believe that he was a tariff corps, composed of picked men-educa- man--is becoming alarmed at the signs of ted, intelligent, moral, modest and brave the times; and meetings are in progress, -a promiscuousiband of soldiers of for- affirming that the undivided voice of the tune, who, looking upon war as a trade, State is against any interference with, or and indifferent in what cause, or in what disturbance of, the existing tariff. service, or with or against whom it is To these manifestations, it may be waged, so only that the trade flourishes, found politic to yield; and if so, it will and its wages are to be duly paid-lo poi- be easy enough, on the score of the inson our gallant and patriouc service with creased expenditure rendered necessary an admixture, on any footing, of such in- by the military and naval moveinents in giedients, were a crime alike against Texas and the Gulf of Mexico—and by
the preparations that cannot longer be pose to say that, although our title to the postponed with safety for eventual, and whole of that region is certainly as good not very distant, war-to hold on yet a as that of any other nation, and prolittle while longer to a systein which, bably better, we have ourselves, on rewith all its alleged injustice to consumers, peated occasions, virtually admitted that it fills the national coffers, while stimulating was not so complete and unquestionable, all branches of home industry.
as to preclude all other claims to any porWho, indeed, but a forty-bale theorist, tion of it. can look around the country and fail to In 1818, in 1824, and in 1826, we fo. see, that all is well—that labor meets fered to settle the disputed title to this with ready employment and remunera region between us and Great Britain, by ting wages-that agriculture, pursued prolonging beyond the Rocky Mountains with the skill and the diligence which and to the Pacific Ocean, the line which alone comunand success in other pursuits, divides our possessions on the hither side is flourishing—that the mechanical arts of those mountains, the 49th parallel of and manufacturing industry are prosper- north latitude. For reasons of her own, ous—and that commerce, the nursery of Great Britain on each of these occasions the navy-the improver, the civilizer and declined the proposed arrangement, and refiner of nations-is abroad on every sea, for thirty years the territory has been and only asks at the hands of govern- open to setilement and joint occupation ment, permanency in all legislation which by the citizens of both nations, without is to affect it? To the eye of common prejudice to, or preference of, the rights sense, and of comprehensive patriotism, of either. These reminiscences seem all is well in these various pursuits-yet abundantly to prove that we ourselves the abstractions of theorists, always the have heretofore been willing to negotiate most obstinate and impracticable of men, for the quiet and undisturbed possession and the ignorant clamors of ward-meet- of that to which, nevertheless, the Presiings appealing to a fancied shibboleth of dent in his inaugural message, declares party, are aiming to disturb this general we have a full and undoubted title. prosperity, and to substitute therefor a What, then, has occurred to change the system, which, abandoning the care of relation of the country to this question, our own labor, and preferring, by delib- or to render it a duty of patriotism to inerate avowal, the workshops of Man- sist upon immediate and entire occupation chester to those of Lowell, would open of the whole territory? We are at a loss our ports to the unchecked competition to answer this interrogatory satisfactoof a world which shuts its ports against rily. competition from the products of our skill It is, indeed, sometimes assumed that and industry.
among the issues determined by the Pres.. There can be no error in assuming, idential election was that of Oregon; and that the Whigs in united phalanx from that it is only in conformity with the north to south will be found in opposi- popular behest, that the President has tion to experimental philosophy such as adopted such a positive tone. this, and will resist to the utmost every In confirmation of this view, we are effort to break down the legislation which referred to the resolutions adopted at Balscatters blessings and abundance through timore by the Convention which nominathe land.
ted Mr. Polk, and which, it is contended, The subject of Oregon, though here were received and acted upon, as the arintroduced after others, is in truth likely ticles of the Democratic creed. But this to be that one which will take precedence argument, if it proves anything, proves too of all others, if treated as now there much ; for if the resolution put forth by seems reason to suppose it will be, by the that Convention respecting Oregon, is to be Adininistration.
considered as having, by the result of the Into the history of this question, and Presidential election, been adopted and of our claim to the territory known by ratified by the people, then is negotiation the name of Oregon-extending westward of any sort in relation to this subject forfrom the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific, bidden and foreclosed. and from the 120 degree of north latitude to That resolution is in these words : 54° 40'; comprehending an area of nearly “ Resolved, That our title to the whole 400,000 square miles-it is not now our of the territory of Oregon is clear and design, nor within the limits prescribed unquestionable—that no portion of the in this paper would it be possible, to same ought to be ceded to England, or enter. It is sufficient for our present pur- any other power, and that the re-occupa