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revolutions in trade, sometimes arose from apparently slight causes, and that, however far it might be from your purpose, or even your apprehensions, it was possible that your legislation might occasion us the loss of our foreign market, our only resource—that the result of that loss to us would be poverty and utter desolation, that our people in despair, would emigrate to more fortunate regions, and the whole frame and constitution of our society would be seriously impaired and endangered, if not dissolved entirely. And we adjured you not to persist in a course of legislation of which the benefit to yourselves, even were they unquestionable, were nothing in comparison of the danger to which they exposed us-a danger which, however contingent or remote, involved our whole existence, and could not be contemplated without well-founded alarm.--Sir, I repeat to you nowI repeat to the representatives of the whole South on this floorthe words then addressed to the house on a different subject. Let well alone. Resist this uncalled for innovation, of which no one can foresee the whole extent nor the ultimate results. Mark what your Secretary of the Treasury has told you, in the very paper in which he reveals the project on the table-YOU PRODUCE TOO MUCH COTTON. Go home, gentlemen of the South, and tell your people that their successful industry is a vice—that the fertility of their soil is a curse--that their excessive production occasions disorders in the state—and that the remedy for our troubles is that they should live on short commons.

Let them co-operate with our political economy, by depriving themselves of the little mercantile capital they have-let them abolish those corporations to which people, who cannot themselves do business—the widow and the orphan-have contributed their means for the accommodation of commerce-let them but do this, and their docility will be adınirable, and shall have our approbation.

Sir, before I take my seat there is one other topic that I feel it my duty to advert to-I mean to the supposed injurious effects of banking institutions upon the laboring classes of society. Although I have no doubt but that there are many defects in the constitution, as well as the management of those institutions in this country, and should be most willing to co-operate, if occasion served, in reforming them, I have no hesitation in acquitting them at least of this charge. Who that has ever heard of the relation between capital and labor, between wages and profits, but must see at once, that it is unfounded; and accordingly Hume objects to banks that by their issues they raise wages, and so hurt the manufacturing interests of a nation. I have already remarked that one of the effects of an increasing currency is to a distribution of the wealth of society more favourable to the industrious classes of it-to confiscate, in a manner, the property of those who lived on fixed incomes, for the benefit of those who produce the commodities on which those incomes are laid out. It is for this reason that the radicals of England-Mr. Atwood, for example-are all strenuous advocates of paper money, and even of inconvertible paper. The idea that the poor are to gain by a return to metallic currency is, so far as I know, confined to their friends in this country, whose zeal is certainly greater than their knowledge. It is true, sir, that, among other disadvantages attending frequent fluctuations in the currency, it is said that wages are the last thing that rises in a case of

expansion. And that may be so in countries where the supply of labor is greater than the demand, but the very reverse is most certainly the fact here where the demand-especially, when stimulated by any extraordinary increase, real or fictitious, of capital—is always greater than the supply. All price is a question of power, or relative necessity between two parties, and every body knows that in a period of excitement here wages rise immediately, and out of all proportion more than anything else, because the population of the country is entirely inadequate to its wants. During the last year, for instance, the price of labor became so exorbitant, that some of the most fertile land in South-Carolina, rice fields which have been cultivated a hundred years, were in danger of being abandoned from the impossibility of paying for it. Sir, as a southern man, I represent equally rent, capital and wages, which are all confounded in our estates-and I protest against attempts to array, without cause, without a color of pretext or plausibility, the different classes of society against one another, as if, in such a country as this, there could be any natural hostility, or any real distinction between them-a country in which all the rich, with hardly an exception, have been poor, and all the poor may be rich-a country in which banking institutions have been of immense service, precisely because they have been most needed by a people who all had their fortunes to make by good character and industrious habits. Look at that remarkable picture—remarkable not as a work of art, but as a monument of history—which you see in passing through the Rotunda. Two out of five of that immortal committee were mechanics, and such men !* In the name of God, sir, why should any one study to pervert the natural good sense, and kindly feelings of this moral and noble people, to infuse into their minds a sullen envy towards one another, instead of that generous emulation which every thing in their situation is fitted to inspire, to breathe into them the spirit of Cain, muttering deep curses and meditating desperate revenge against his brother, because the smoke of his sacrifice has ascended to heaven before his own! And do not they who treat our industrious classes as if they were in the same debased wretched condition as the poor of Europe, insult them by such an odious comparison ?-Why, sir, you do not know what poverty is—we have no poor in this country, in the sense in which that word is used abroad. Every laborer, even the most humble, in the United States, soon becomes a capitalist; and even, if he choose, a proprietor of land, for the West with all its boundless fertility is open to him. How can any one dare to compare the mechanics of this land, (whose inferiority in any substantial particular—in intelligence, in virtue, in wealth—10 the other classes of our society, I have yet to learn,) with that race of outcasts, of which so terrific a picture is presented by recent writers—the poor of Europe? A race, among no inconsiderable portion of whom famine and pestilence may be said to dwell continually-many of whom are without morals, without education, without a country, without a God! and may be said to know society only by the terrors of its penal code, and to live in perpetual war with it. Poor bondmen! mocked with the name o: liberty, that they may be sometimes tempted to break their chains, in order that, after a few days of starvation in idleness or dissipation, they may be driven back to their prison-house, to take them up again, heavier and more galling than before :severed, as it has been touchingly expressed, from nature, from the common air and the light of the sun; knowing only by hearsay that the fields are green, that the birds sing, and that there is a perfume in flowers.* And it is with a race, whom the perverse institutions of Europe have thus degraded beneath the condition of humanity, that the advocates, the patrons, the protectors of our working men, presume to compare them ? Sir, it is to treat them with a scorn, at which their spirit should revolt, and does revolt! Just before I left Charleston, there was a meeting called for some purpose, which was regarded by the people of that city as unfavorable to public order. There was something, I suppose, in the proceedings, which looked to the invidious distinction of which I have been speaking; for it led, as I have heard, to an expression of sentiment from one of our mechanics, which struck me as noble beyond all praise. He said, he wondered what could be meant by addressing, to the industrious classes particularly, all inflammatory appeals against the institutions of the country-as if they were not a part of the community, as much interested in its order and peace, as any other-as if they had no ties of sympathy or connection with their fellow-citizens-above all, as if they had not intelligence and knowledge enough to take care of their own interests, but were reduced to a state of perpetual pupilage and infancy, and needed the officious protection of self-constituted guardians! Sir, that

* Franklin and Sherman, signers of the Declaration of Independence.

* Michelet.

+ Mr. Henry J. Harby.

was a sentiment worthy of a freeman, and which may be recorded, with honor, among the sayings of heroes.

Mr. Chairman, I thank the committee for the attention with which it has honored me. I have detained it long: but I was full of the subject which appears to me to be one of vast importance, in all its bearings. I have spoken what I felt and thought, without reference to party, But I will say one word to those with whom I have generally acted on this floor. I have heard that some of them disapprove this measure, but are disposed to vote for it to oblige their friends. Sir, this is a strange and great mistake. A true friend ought to be a faithful counsellor.* Let them remember the deep reproach which the great poet puts in the mouth of one of his heroes :

Hadst thou but shook thy head, or maile a pause,
When I spoke daikly what I purposed;
Or turned an eye of doubt upon iny lace!-

ου δυνασαι μοι

[* Phocion to Antipater. Plutarch de Adulatore et Amico. και φιλο κρησται και κολακι τουτ' εςι, και φιλο και μη φι?...]

VOL. 1.-_-41


Speech, delivered in the House of Representatives of the United States,

December 18, 1838.

Mr. SALTONSTALL, of Massachusetts, having presented a meinorial praying for the recognition of the Republic of Hayti, and the establishment of international relations with her, and having moved its reference to the committee on Foreign Affairs

Mr. LEGARÉ desired further information as to the nature of the memorial, and the grounds on which it asked for its object.

The Chair said there was no question before the House but the question of reference.

Mr. Legaré raised the question of reception. He objected to the memorial being received. There was a wide difference between petitions which were presented bona fide by our merchants with a view to relieve themselves from a difficulty or embarrassment under which they labored in their business, and petitions of similar form got up by abolitionists for purposes of political effect, and to promote the ends of abolition. were a petition of the former character, he saw no difficulty in receiving it. He was aware how difficult it was to distinguish practically between them. Still, if it were a memorial of the latter kind, it was virtually an act of war against one portion of the Union, and the House had not only a clear constitutional right to reject it, but was under the most solemn and imperative duty to do so. He had been desirous of an opportunity of expressing his views in relation to this subject; and it was certainly much to be regretted that a question of such vital importance to a great and growing confederacy, whose members were continually multiplying, and with them the diversities in condition, character, pursuits, and interests, that made the administration of a Federal government so very delicate a matter—a question, too, which must, in the nature of things, be perpetually recur

ring-should be smothered in this manner. But he was out of · order, he knew, and he would not press his remark further.

[Cries of “Go on! go on!”] If not out of order, I should really like to address a few words to this question. The gentleman from Massachusetts, (Mr. Adams), in a spirit, I must be permitted to say, less offensive than he usually displays on this subject, has contended that the aniendment of the constitution

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