Графични страници
PDF файл

always binding, in law as well as in morals? No, Gentlemen; repudiation does nothing but add a sort of disrepute to acknowledged inability. It is our duty, so far as is in our power, to rouse the public feeling on the subject; to maintain and assert the universal principles of law and justice, and the importance of preserving public faith and credit. People say that the intelligent capitalists of Europe ought to distinguish between the United States government and the State governments. So they ought; but, Gentlemen, what does all this amount to? Does not the general government comprise the same people who make up the State governments? May not these Europeans ask us how long it may be before the national councils will repudiate public obligations?

The doctrine of repudiation has inflicted upon us a stain which we ought to feel worse than a wound; and the time has come when every man ought to address himself soberly and seriously to the correction of this great existing evil. I do not undertake to say what the Constitution allows Congress to do in the premises. I will only say, that if that great fund of the public domain properly and in equity belongs, as is maintained, to the States themselves, there are some means, by regular and constitutional laws, to enable and induce the States to save their own credit and the credit of the country.

Gentlemen, I have detained you much too long. I have wished to say, that, in my judgment, there remain certain important objects to engage our public and private attention, in the national affairs of the country. These are, the settlement of the remaining questions between ourselves and England; the great questions relating to the reciprocity principle; those relating to colonial trade; the most absorbing questions of the currency, and those relating to the great subject of the restoration of the national character and the public faith; these are all objects to which I am willing to devote myself, both in public and in private life. I do not expect that much of public service remains to be done by me; but I am ready, for the promotion of these objects, to act with sober men of any party, and of all parties. I am ready to act with men who are free from that great danger that surrounds all men of all parties,— the danger that patriotism itself, warmed and heated in party contests, will run into partisanship. I believe that, among the sober men of this country, there is a growing desire for more moderation of party feeling, more predominance of purely public considerations, more honest and general union of well-meaning men of all sides to uphold the institutions of the country and carry them forward.

In the pursuit of these objects, in public life or in a private station, I am willing to perform the part assigned to me, and to give them, with hearty good-will and zealous effort, all that may remain to me of strength and life.



Pending the negotiation of the treaty of Washington, in the spring and summer of 1842, Mr. Webster was made acquainted with the existence at Paris of a copy of D'Anville's map of America on a small scale, on which the boundary between the British Provinces and the United States was indicated by a red line, in a manner favorable to the British claim. This map (which was soon extensively known as the red-line map) had been discovered by President Sparks in the foreign office at Paris. He also found a letter from Dr. Franklin to the Count de Vergennes, from which it appeared that the boundary had been delineated by Dr. Franklin upon some map, at the request of the Count, and for his information. There was no proof, however, that this letter referred to the map discovered by Mr. Sparks.

After the negotiation of the treaty, and the publication of the debates in the Senate on the question of its ratification, much importance was attached by the opposition press in England to this map, as proving incontestably the soundness of the British claims relative to boundary. It was also absurdly made a matter of reproach against Mr. Webster, that he had not, as soon as he became acquainted with the existence of this map, communicated it to Lord Ashburton.

So conclusive was this piece of evidence deemed in England in favor of the British claim, and so much importance was attached to it in the debates in Parliament, that it became necessary for Sir Robert Peel, byway of offset, to refer to another map not before publicly known to exist; namely, the copy of Mitchell's map which had been used by Mr. Oswald, the British commissioner for negotiating the provisional treaty, and by him sent home to his government. This map had been preserved in the library of George the Third, and with that library was sent to the British Museum. On this map the line as claimed by the United States is boldly and distinctly traced throughout its whole extent, and the words " Boundary as described by Mr. Oswald" written in four places with great plainness. It was asserted by Lord Brougham in the House of Peers, that these words are in the handwriting of George the Third.

« ПредишнаНапред »