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Dec. 31, 1828. ]
Occupancy of the Oregon River.
(H. Or R.
I said that I would not enter upon the merits of the bin, Government, but conferred something, (though not as nor attempt to discuss the policy or expediency of practi- much as he wished it did.). It at least gave them our concally assaming the exclusive right of occupancy in the sent to go, and our good wishes to accompany them. The Oregon territory. I shall keep my promise. If the ho- United States are to supply their fort with artillery and norable gentleman can so modify this bill, that it shall not munitions of war; but was this, trifling as it is, without a conflict with the terms of our convention, nor thereby bonus? Do they not agree, on their part, to explore the compromit the faith and honor of the nation, I do not country, and report to the Government; to carry seeds know that I shall oppose it; but even admitting that the and the implements of husbandry, into that savage and time has arrived when it is our duty to take possession of yet unexplored territory; to cultivate peace with the nathis country, I would still forbear to act in the matter, un- tives ; to keep an armed force, not only for their protectil the stipulated twelve months' notice shall have been gi- tion, but for others that may go there? They propose to ven to the British Government. Then, when they are be the pioneers in the settlement of the country; to take fairly warned, I would go on to legislate. If the bill shall upon themselves the dangers, hardships, and privations, receive any modification which shall leave the subject for incident to the new establishment. Is this nothing?. He the present as it now stands, I do not know that I shall op- thought that the amendment did not interfere with the pose it. One thing I am decidedly in favor of. That is, to principles of the bill, and that it should be adopted. He explore the country thoroughly. At present we know less would adopt it as evidence of our good wishes, and to proabout this country than we do respecting any other part tect them from the odious epithet of squatters, often apof the territory claimed by this Government. If the coun- plied to the best and most useful class of our population. try is but half as important as it has been said to be, this He would say a few words, in answer to the objections is obviously the first step we ought to take. Let us know made both to the bill and amendment. It had been said, the truth of the matter before we commit ourselves. Be- that the provisions of the bill would violate our convenfore we move, let us know where we are going. If wetion with Great Britain. He thought this a mistake. The want to build a fort, let us know with certainty where is convention placed both Governments on the same foot. the best place to build it, and let us not allure our citizens ing. It confers reciprocal rights, and imposes reciprocal to leave the comforts and blessings of an improved coun-obligations. Great Britain has given a practical constructry, and encourage them to undergo the privations and suf- tion of the convention. She has erected forts, and, in fcrings inseparable from the condition of early settlement 1821, extended her laws and civil jurisdiction over the in a new and distant country, till we know what they are country. He thought that the United States might do the to meet, what will be their prospect of support, and what same. If Great Britain bad violated the convention, it was the probability of ultimate remuneration. As the bill now no longer binding on us ; if she had not, neither should we stands, I cannot support it, because, in my apprehension, by the passage of the bill
. He differed from gentlemen it proposes a violation of the national faith.
who predicted war from the adoption of this measure. He The question being then taken on the amendment offer- was sure it would give no just cause of offence to Great ed by Mr. LYON, which went to insert the name of Al- Britain. It was doing only what the other party had done. fred Town, and his associates, among the settlers to whom He valued the public faith above all things else appertaincertain privileges were to be granted, it was decided in ing to the Government. He would observe it most scruputhe negative. So the amendment was lost.
lously. But, at the same time, he would not abandon our The question then recurring on the amendment of rights, even at the expense of war.
Great Britain had as Mr. GURLEY, proposing to grant to John M. Bradford, much to lose by a war as we had, and she had too much and his associates, permission to erect a fort, and engaging prudence and foresight to engage in it unnecessarily. If, to arm the same at the expense of the United States- however, an unprovoked war, as it surely would be,
Mr. GURLEY said he would detain the committee but was to be the consequence of this measure, he would meet for a moment. His principal object was to call the atten- it as we did the last, and furnish new evidence to the tion of the Committee to the amendment he had offered, world of our ability to defend ourselves in a just cause, and from which they had been diverted by a long and and in vindication of our rights. somewhat diversified debate. He felt no particular interest He was decidedly opposed to the exploration of the in its fate. He had offered it to the consideration of the country before the occupation of it, as was suggested by Committee from a sense of duty, as coming from a portion the gentlemenfrom Missouri and New York. They should of those he had the honor to represent, and believing it be simultaneous. He could see no possible object in it, reasonable and just in itself, he had given it his support. unless we were prepared to surrender it, if it did not equal He was satisfied, from the remarks of gentlemen, that our expectations, which he presumed all would disclaim. it was not well understood. The principal objections If it was as barren as the deserts of Siberia, we should urged against it were, that it was granting to those compa- never surrender it, and he would do nothing that could be nies a monopoly; that it authorized them to extinguish so construed, as would necessarily be such a proposition. the Indian title to the land; and that it approved and rati. He said we could not surrender the territory if we would. fied their articles of compact and union. These were We were already committed on this subject, having long the objections of the member from Missouri, (Mr. Bates] since made and published to the world that no foreign but, if that gentleman had examined the amendment, as Power should plant a colony on this continent. We could inodified, he would have found no place for his argument. not, therefore, without violating our own honor, truth, It so happened that no such power was proposed to be and sincerity, voluntarily surrender this territory to any granted. They had no right, under the amendment, to ex. foreign Power. He respected the power and resources tinguish the Indian title.
There was no monopoly grant- of Great Britain. He held sacred our national faith; and ed: for, they were to receive lands, as other emigrants, if he could believe for a moment that this measure would under the 3d section of the original bill; and that part of violate the latter, he would abandon it. The former he did the original amendment which approved and ratified the not fear. We had come out of two wars with that nation, compact of union submitted by Bradford and his associates, with honor both at home and abroad; and if it was the will had been stricken out. The only plausible objection he of Heaven that we should again be involved in that calahad hcard, was from an honorable member from New mity, the same result would follow. York, (Mr. Taylor) that it literally conferred nothing. The gentleman from Missouri (Mr. BATEs] he thought He preferred the original amendment, but consented to mistaken, in supposing that this territory could not be. modify it to make it acceptable to his friends. He admit- come a part of the confederacy. He believed the Stony ted that, in its present form, it took nothing from the Mountains, in time, would be passed with as much facility
H. of R.]
Occupancy of the Oregon River.
(Dec. 31, 1828.
as are now the Alleghany. The improvements of the That, when he looked around and beheld these poor mis. age remove the obstacles imposed by distance and nature. erable Indians--the aborigines of this hemisphere--the Twenty years ago, a person predicting that a voyage from natural owners of that moiety which we now claim as our New Orleans to Louisville would be made in eight days, rightful domain, even to the Pacific Ocean, he could not as it now is, would have been considered insane. He but feel for their miserable condition. Most of the would have gained credence with nobody. Now a voyage new States, and some of the old, have tribes, or parts of of ten days is considered tedious, and boats are seldom tribes, remaining in them, all of whom must, sooner or that long in performing it. At that period, too, a journey later, be driven out. It is true, sir, (said Mr. W.) we profrom the Atlantic to the Ohio River was considered a great fess to make treaties with them, and to be disposed to and hazardous undertaking. It is now made over a com- treat them humanely and justly; nay, sir, we even go far. fortable road in three days. But admitting that it can never ther: we invite them to consider our Chief Magistrate become a member of the confederacy, are we to abandon their political friend and father, and to come here to have it to a foreign Power? Sooner than he would consent to talks with him, and to get justice done them; and we de. this, he would unite in wishing, with the gentleman from clare to the world that our feelings towards them are kind Missouri, (Mr. BATES) that it was sunk in the ocean. He and paternal, whilst, at the same time, we are lending a adverted again to the amendment, and recommended it to favorable ear to propositions like the amendment, which, the favorable consideration of the Committee. The origi- if adopted, must and will prove their certain destruction, nal had been modified at the suggestion of the gentleman without a possibility of escape. Now, Mr. Chairman from Massachusetts, Mr. EVERETT) so as to make provision [said Mr. W.) what are Indians? Are they not men, for Kelly and his associates, and he had calculated much although I admit they are “wild men--whose hands have upon the accession of strength it would receive by his sup- been prophetically pronounced to be raised against every port. He regretted that the honorable gentleman had man, and every man's hand raised aganst them-archers, abandoned them on their journey. He could have portray- who were to live by their bow," and pronounced, on this ed with great force the advantages of settling the country foor, to be living by accident; still they are men-human in the way proposed; of the importance of sowing the beings--and as such, accountable, according to the light seeds of civilization in that savage willerness; of erecting afforded them; and although not blessed like ourselves the standard of civil and religious liberty on the waters of with the Gospel, yet “they have a law written upon their the Oregon; and of displaying, on the shores of the Pacific, hearts,” by an honest and correct attention to which, they that well known emblem of our power and freedom, the too are to be saved. I am aware, sir, [said Mr. W.) that sight of which would cheer the sea-worn mariner, and I am subjecting myself, not here, but elsewhere, to the inspire him with hope and confidence.
charge of fanaticism, for such opinions: but that is of Mr. EVERETT observed, in explanation, that the gen- little consequence; I feel it my duty to endeavor to entleman from Louisiana appeared to think that he had list a feeling in their behalf; and wherever duty points the abandoned his amendment to the bill, after having made way, I trust I shall never be found unwilling or afraid to himself responsible for it; but the gentleman mistook pursue it. him. He cannot but recollect that, when he first moved his I do, therefore, most earnestly entreat this august assemamendment, he [Mr. E.) rather objected to it as containing blage-this the American nation, in her representative the principle of monopoly, and my objection to it is not yet character--by all those obligations growing out of the laws entirely removed. All I asked was, that, if the amend of Christianity, morality, and of honor, to save those poor, ment was to prevail, those whose memorial I had the illiterate, unfortunate inhabitants of the wilderness from honor to present, might be included with the rest. The total annihilation. And how are we to do this, unless we honorable gentleman himself, has told us, that the amend preserve, in our own right, some portion of this immense ment, as modified, confers, in effect, almost nothing on territory as their asylum--their last dernier refuge? And his constituents. If so, why should he be so strenuous where so suitable as those distant regions, now so coveted for its adoption? He agrees with me in the opinion that by white men, that we, to gratify them, shall unnecessarily little will be gained by it; but, whether little or much, I enter into obligations that shall hereafter oblige us, in good never was its defender, and therefore, cannot justly be faith, to protect them, to the destruction of the whole eharged with deserting it.
Indian race? Will gentlemen attempt to justify this, by Mr. WEENS said it had not been his intention to of the plea that our ancestors did it before us? And to discon. fer a single remark on the subject now under considera- tinue the warfare would be to denounce their conduct. tion, had not the honorable mover of the amendment, If so, I will beg leave to ask such, if there be no difference (after at first professing to care very little about its fate between our situation and theirs? They fled to this, then in this Committee) used all his argumentative talents in a western wilderness, not only from starvation, but from pressing its acceptance, and so powerfully, as to create a religious persecution, even worse than the dangers they fears on his mind, least it should be adopted, and, in had to encounter; whereas we have already more lands that event, would not be able to relieve his (Mr. W's] than we know what to do with, the States refusing to take, own mind, of that condemnation which his silence might, almost gratuitously, that which is owned by the United and would, no doubt, confirm. That he had waited to States within their several geographical limits; possessing the last moment, in hopes that some one better able and freedom and every other blessing most desirable, and no more conversant with the subject, might offer that view where else to be found, at least so extensive, together with which had appeared to his wind most important, at this the right of worshipping God under our own vine and fig time, to be taken of it. That, however, not having been tree. Whilst thus situated, we can have no excuse, cer. done, he felt himself constrained to claim the indulgence tainly none from the example and the conduct of our an. of the Committee for a very few minutes, intending to cestors, until our situation has become like theirs. Then confine himself, at this stage of the debate, almost ex- the plea, that “necessity has no law,” may be raised, but clusively to the amendment, the effect of which, as pre- surely at this time it cannot. I repeat the call upon this sented to his mind, (he hoped he should be pardoned for Committee, by all that is desirable to us as a nation, and the term) he could not but look at with abhorrence. Sir, and as men, religious, moral, and honorable, to cultivate what is the amendment? That you shall authorize, by a something like charity towards this unhappy, illiterate, solemn charter, a private company to purchase out the helpless people, and not to enter into an obligation that is Indian title to forty miles square, (he believed it was, how- to be the foundation of their murder. I have no objection ever, the quantity was not material) to erect a fort, &c. (said Mr. W.] to take possession of this whole territory, and then to furnish them, forever thereafter, protection. it it be necessary, so soon as it can be done consistent with
Dec. 31, 1828.
Occupancy of the Oregon River.
(H. OF R.
our treaty stipulations; but upon this branch of the sub-claimed, shall remain “free and open” to the subjects and ject I will not trouble the Committee. The honorable citizens of both nations. Whilst this stipulation continues member from New York, who has just addressed the Com- of force, we would not admit that Great Britain could con. mittee (Mr. STRONG] has so clearly illustrated all the facts, fer a title to any part of the territory upon a British subas to render it unecessary for me to repeat them. He has ject; and if she cannot, as, by the treaty, she is placed upon defined, most rationally and forcibly, the distinction be an equal footing with us, neither can we. Were this bill tween establishing a civil government on the Oregon, and to become a law to-day, it is obvious that no title could be that of sending an armed force for exploring purposes, &c. given to an American settler; nor is it possible that any Indeed, sir, after the several, but contradictory descrip. can, until the sovereignty be vested in the United States. tions, which have been given of this immense and almost When that event occurs, the United States alone can exentirely unknown region, I would say, explore it by land tinguish the Indian title. This power, so far as relates to and by water, and take every other necessary and legiti- lands occupied by Indian tribes, out of the limits of a mate step to settle and secure your title to every foot of it, State, but within the territory of the United States, be. even up to the 54th degree 40' north; but then preserve longs to the United States; it is exclusively granted to them it unencumbered by any obligation, (such as this amend- by the constitution, and they cannot delegate it to others. ment proposes) for future operation and use, when all At present, then, all grants to land in the territory we are things may combine much better and more auspiciously speaking of, must be utterly void. To promise them, by then at this time, for the proper appropriation of it, and any act of legislation, would be premature and delusive. thereby save the lives of the two hundred thousand sa- That the execution of the fourth section of the bill vages represented as already living there, as well as those would be a violation of our treaty with Great Britain, now within the limits of our several States, for whom we has been so fully shown by the gentleman from New must provide a place of refuge, or consent, after all our York, (Mr. Stouns) that I shall not incumber what he pretended philanthropy, to become their murderers. has said, by adding to it any arguments of mine. My rea.
The question being then taken on the amendment of sons against the fifth section I stated upon a former occa. Mr. GURLEY, it was negatived.
sion; I will, therefore, not be guilty of a repetition of Mr. STORRS now spoke in opposition to the bill, and them. The amendments which I now offer will provide more especially against the 4th section, which went to for all the objects necessary to be acted upon. They will extend the United States' revenue laws to the proposed ensure a protection to our citizens in the pursuit of their territory, as being in direct contravention to our con- distant traffic, and enable the Executive, by being posvention with Great Britain, which leaves all the ports of sessed of the knowledge required by a scientific explorathat region free and open to the ships of both nations. tion, to select the most eligible positions for military posts.
Mr. RICHARDSON made some statements in expla- It is contemplated that the engineers to be appointed for nation, and quoted the articles of the convention refer- the expedition shall be accompanied with a suitable esred to.
cort, that they may conduct their operations in safety. Mr. DRAYTON proposed to amend the bill, by strik. For that purpose, I shall move, at a future time, to fill the ing out all after the enacting words, except the last sec- blank in the 6th section with an adequate sum. tion, and, in lieu thereof, to insert
Mr. FLOYD, of Virginia, said that he felt it incumbent ** That the President of the United States be hereby on him to rise in support of the bill, which he had the
Miscon. authorized to erect a fort or forts on that part of the honor to bring before the notice of the House. Northwest Coast of America which is situated west of ceptions had prevailed relative to its nature, and misconthe eastern base of the Stony Mountains, between forty-structions had been made as to its object and purport; and two and fifty-four degrees and forty minutes of North
it was therefore necessary that the Committee should be latitude, and to garrison them with a competent num
putin possession of the real facts of the case, and of the ber of the United States' troops, not exceeding four hun- advantages to the Union generally, with which the prodred.
posed measure was pregnant, before the House was called “Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the President be, upon to legislate upon the subject. He could not but ohand he is hereby, authorized to cause the aforesaid ter serve, in the first place, that some of the remarks of the ritory to be explored by such officers of the corps of en
honorable gentleman from New York, [Mr. STORRS,) gineers as he shall select, and that he may delay sending British act of Parliament of the year 1821. That gen.
were not, according to his conception, authorized by the thereto any of the troops of the United States, until after tleman assumed, if he had correctly heard his observa. such exploration shall have been made.”
tions, that Great Britain had as clear a right to extend her In supporting my amendment to the bill under discus-civil and criminal jurisdiction over the Oregon territory sion, (said Mr. Drayton] I shall trespass very little upon as she had to exercise it in her East Indian possessions. the time of the committee. My objections to some of its (Mr. STORRS here begged to interrupt the gentleman details I have already submitted; upon some other parts from Virginia. He had said that the British authorities in of it, in consequence of observations subsequently made, Upper Canada had a right to try their own subjects for I will offer a few remarks. As I propose to retain only crimes and misdemeanors committed in that wild and unthe leading feature of the bill, which is to be found in its occupied country, in like manner with the power which second section, in order to express my meaning clearly, was exercised by the Courts in Westminster Hall, for the it becomes necessary to strike out all the sections of it
, punishment of all offences committed within their colonies except the last, in which the appropriation is contained. and settlements in foreign parts. ]
The third section allows to settlers, being citizens, cer- Mr. FLOYD resumed. He might have mistaken the tain quantities of land. In the existing state of things, words of the gentleman from New York; but the substance this is unattainable. Unless the sovereignty over the ter- of his argument was uninjured by the correction. He ritory, and the ownership of the soil, be in the United held in his hand, at that very time, the act of Parliament States, they cannot grant a title to any part of it to indi- which gave that extensive power to the Anglo-American viduals. However we may regard the sovereignty and courts. It provided for the punishment of offenders in the ownership of the United States to be capable of the all parts of North America, not within the limits of Upper plainest proof, yet Great Britain contests them, and we or Lower Canada, or amenable or subject to the civil juhave stipulated, by treaty, that, until the question between risdiction of any State or Territory in the United States. us be decided, neither party shall be acknowledged as That provision of the British law, it must be perceived, sovereign or owner, but that the whole of what is mutually was susceptible of an indefinite extension. The authoriH. OF R.]
Occupancy of the Oregon River.
[Dec. 31, 1828.
ties of British North America might, by virtue of that act independent of the vast supply furnished by that active of the British Parliament, exercise a sovereign control and powerful body corporate, the Hudson Bay Company. over all the citizens of the United States residing in that And yet the House must be gravely and seriously (if the large tract of country which remained unsettled, or which extraordinary assertion did not defy all powers of gravity was not organized into States or Territories, between the and seriousness to listen to it) told, that this trade was not Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains. He might there worth the caring for. It was of no value. It amounted also correct an error of the gentleman from New York, to but a very small sum, some two or three hundred thou[Mr. STORRS) which would not admit of so speedy an ex- sand dollars annually; and that the expenses of carrying planation as the former one, which he had alluded to. into execution the bill then before them, would only inThere was no such company in existence, then, as the volve the nation in great expenses, unattended by an corBritish Northwest Company ; the affairs of that company responding advantages? Such was the argument, if arguhad, from some cause or other-mismanagement it might ment it could be called, which was advanced by the oppobe presumed-become embarrassed, and the shares of it nents of the bill in the very face of plain facts, of official state. had been purchased by the Hudson Bay Company. The ments, of figures, which demonstated the benefits of that former was merely a private association of individuals, trade to Great Britain—of that Britain which was their great engaged in the fur trade for their joint and mutual benefit. commercial rival on every sea and in every market of the The latter was an incorporated body; the objects of both world--of that Britain, finally, from whom America muist companies were now pursued, and their business transact- purchase furs for her own use, at whatever price might be ed by virtue of the Royal Charter. Much had been said put upon them, if she tamely consented to the surrender by gentlemen, in particular on the part of the honorable of a country which was justly hers by virtue of the great member from Missouri, (Mr. Bates) as to the insignifi- basis of all valid titles—discovery, occupancy, and treaty; cant amount and unprofitable nature of the trade in furs and which was as necessary for the security of her western and peltry; but what appeared to be the circumstances boundaries, as it was desirable for the best interests of her with respect to the question, from which a correct result commerce. He was really at a loss to account for the could be deduced?
peculiar objections made to the bill. The principal one The statement of a plain and simple matter of fact was merely an incessant reiteration of the cry, “What will would show that, more fully and explicitly than he possess- England think? How will England receive the intelligence ed language to depict. The shares in the Hudson Bay that we mean to occupy the territory in question?" Why, Company, which originally were of the value of £20 each, what was it to them, as the Representatives of a free and were now selling in the market at the enormous price of independent nation, what England thought, or whether £200 sterling. Would any body, in the face of such a she condescended to think at all about the matter? Were decisive and self-evident argument as that, have the hardi- they to sit in that House and legislate for a great nation under hood to say that that was not a valuable stock; and that fear of the displeasure of England? He knew and apprethe trade which paid the interest upon, and returned the ciated the power and influence of the British empire; profit for, the enormous amount of capital employed by but he did not fear it: for, as to giving cause of displeasure, the Hudson Bay Company, was not a higlıly lucrative that country had, it was indisputable, as much reason for branch of commerce? It appeared perfectly clear to him, apprehension on that score as the United States could and he was confident must be equally apparent to that possibly have. He must now advert to another observaHouse, that the persons who negotiated that convention ortion of the gentleman from Missouri, (Mr. Bates) respecttreaty with Great Britain, were either deplorably ignorant, ing the trade in furs. He would not go so far as to charge or entirely regardless of the best interests of the nation any gentleman with blowing hot and cold in the saine relative to that important and necessary article of furs; and breath, but there certainly was a singular discrepancy in saying that
, it was not his intention to enlarge upon between the different parts of the statement made by the what the British called a waiving on the part of the United honorable meinber. After an eloquent and impressive acStates, of what he, (Mr. Florv} in common with every count of the utter sterility of the country--after a terrific gentleman in that House who would reflect upon the sub- description of difficulties, dangers, burk canoes sewed ject, considered their incontestable rights of sovereignty. with thongs and plastered with gum, horrors, and howling The Committee should bestow on every branch of the wildernesses, he said that the value of furs annually, subject that attentive consideration to which its impor- brought into St Louis, a little town of five or six thousand tance, in every point of view, rendered it so eminently enti- inhabitants, (those were his very words) amounted to two tled. There was a tract of country nearly nine hundred or three hundred thousand dollars! And yet, that was an miles in extent each way; from the western base of the inconsiderable and insignificant branch of trade! Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, and on the sea thanked the gentleman for that remark, notwithstanding board from the Russian settlements in the latitude of 54° 40' its inconsistency with the foregoing parts of his statement. north, down to 42°. Was not that vast region, containing, He thanked him for it, he said, as it developed the se as it did contain, six or seven hundred thousand square cret of the hustility manifested in some quarters to the miles, worth their notice and care-notwithstanding the fact bill. The gentleman from Missouri was afraid, to use his might be as represented by the gentleman from Missouri, own figure of speech, that the rich and abundant streams of [Mr. Bates) that some portion of the country was rocky, commerce would be turned into other channels; and that barren, and unproductive? But they should not omit to the town of St. Louis would not, in future, obtain so large bear in mind, that it was the only country which produced a portion of the rich and fructifying alluvium, which, in its furs in any considerable quantity; it was the only part course, it usually left behind. The trade, again to cite from which the United States could obtain those valuable the gentleman's own words once more, would be cencenarticles, which were alike necessary for home consumption, trated in New York and Boston-those sinks of capital, as and for the carrying on of that great staple of American he had denominated the two greatest commercial cities commerce, the trade with China. Was the committee of the United States; so that it might appear, without aware of the fact, that the duty paid in England, during the stretching the argument beyond its legitimate limits, that last year, on the importation of foreign furs alone-foreign the opportunity ofadding ten-fold to the welfare of the Union furs only, it must be observed-amounted to upwards of generally, in one of the vital sources of its prosperity, was to eleven hundred thousand dollars? The preceding year be sacrificed, because it might, peradventure, injure a litle the same duties poured into the British treasury more town of five or six thousand inhabitants.
Was there any than one million seven hundred thousand dollars. For thing, he would ask, wise, statesman-like, or dignified, in foreign furs only, he could not too often repeat; entirely such a course of legislation Mr. F. then went into a series of
Dec. 31, 1828.]
Occupancy of the Oregon River.
[H. of R.
statisticlal details on the extent and amount of the British with such peculiar feelings of hostility, on the part o fur trade. It appeared, by the fiscal reports laid before the some of the opponents of the bill. Mr. F. again adBritish Parliament, that the furs shipped from the port of verted to the advantages the bill would afford to the comQuebec to England, during the year 1827, amounted to the merce of the Union. By the facility which it would give enormous sum of three millions of dollars. Those reports did of sending sandal wood, furs, and the other valuable pronot state what portion of the furs was exported on American ducts of that country, and the adjoining regions, to China account, but the statement of the import duties to which and the East, America would ultimately monopolize the he had invited the notice of the House showed that more commerce of the whole of the Western Ocean. They could than one-third of the amount, or upwards of one million have no rivals : for the merchants south of the new settleof dollars, was paid on furs exclusively foreign.
ments, the merchants of the new republics, setting aside Mr. F. then discussed, at great length, the advantageous their comparative inertness of disposition and want of enoperation of the bill on the great commercial interests of terprise, could not, on all their extent of coast, froin Calthe Union. He wished the Committee to take a large ifornia to Cape Horn, procure a sufficient supply of tinand comprehensive view of the subject-a view commen- ber to construct their vessels, but would be obliged to aurate with the magnitude of its importance to the com- send to the valley of the Oregon for it. The gentleman munity generally, All the riches drawn by the nation from New York (Mr. Storrs) had been frightened by from the commerce of the South Sea, the fruits of the the phantom, conjured up by his own imagination, with refishery on the coasts, and of the hunting within the inte- spect to the awful consequences to be apprehended from rior of the territory in question, depended upon the sta- the extension to that territory, and the port of entry withtion which the bill proposed to fix at the mouth of the in it, of the regulations of the new tariff-the enormous Oregon River. Every body conversant with the nature of tariff, he should say, for that he understood that was conour commercial intercourse with those parts must know, sidered the better phrase. That observation would have that the exertion of American skill and industry in the been more in character had it come from some gentleman on pursuit of those branches of commerce, produced a regu- his side of the great political question of the age. So, lar and continued influx of wealth into the United States, then, the gentleman from New York was apprehensive from sources which, through the bounty of Providence, that the tariff was calculated to reduce the price of blanwere both abundant and inexhaustible. He had not men- kets. (A member here said, in an under tone of voice, tioned the sandal wood which was cut by their hardy and “So it is.”] An honorable gentleman on his left had enterprising navigators, in the intermediate islands, between [Nir. F. said] just observed that such was the tendency of the western coast of the continent of America and the port the tariff. It might be so; but, at all events, he would of Canton, to the amount of three hundred thousand dol. not trouble the Committee with arguments on a subject lars a year.
That sum in itself was not the maximum of already worn thread-bare. He would cheerfully leave it profit derived even from that apparently inconsiderable to the gentleman from New York to settle the price of source of trade. The sandal wood and the seals caught blankets. off the Islands of the Southern Archipelago, and in Another objection bad been made: he meant with retheir vicinity, were exchanged in China for silks, nan- spect to the smallness of the sum, fifty thousand dolkin, porcelain ware, and teas ; one third of which return lars, proposed by the bill to be appropriated for carrycargo, on an average, was carried to Europe and sold ing it into effect. The gentleman from Missouri (Mr. there for specie, or for articles either of domestic neces- Bates] had referred to the estimate made by General sity, or intended for re-exportation, and the other two- Jesup, to show that the sum was wholly insuficient for thirds were brought into the United States; the aggre- the objects in view, and had entered into a calculation gate wealth of which, it was evident, was increased to the respecting the expenses of carrying troops to the Oregon amount of the importations. He asked the Committee to country at so much per head. Among other things, lowlook at the question in all its various and extended ramifi- ever, he hoped the Committee would allow him to obcations, and then to say, whether a measure which tend. serve, that the gentleman from Missouri had omitted to ed to shower wealth upon the adventurous merchant, to take into consideration the fact, that all expenses, direct dispense, through a hundred channels, prosperity to the or contingent, attendant on the marching or conveyance tradesman and comfort to the laborer, and to fill the cof- of detachments of troops were provided for from the apfers of the public treasury, should not be adopted without propriations specifically made for the purposes of the ara single dissenting voice being raised within these walls. my. Mr. F. then entered into a detailid statement of the [Mr. F.continued.] The objections made by the gentleman causes which led to the sum of fifty thousand dollars beimmediately below him, (Mr. Srouns) and by the gentle ing decided upon, as the amount necessary to liquidate the man on his left, (Mr. Werms] that the bill was premature, contemplated cost of carrying the bill into execution. It and that it would produce a collision with Great Britain, rest- had been originally intended to confine the object in view ed, in his opinion, upon no solid foundations. The bill, it to a mere survey of the bays, harbors, and inlets, on the surely could not but be perceived, was merely conditional ; coast ; and the Secretary of the Navy had estimated the the carrying of it into operation was not intended to be im- sum necessary for the effecting that purpose, by one of the mediate, but dependent upon contingent events. The national vessels cruising in that occan, at scren thousand President of the United States would of course give the dollars. When it was decided to give a widler and more notice of twelve months, required by the convention, pre-extended range to the subject under inquiry, eighteen viously to taking military possession of the territory. thousand dollars had been added to that suin, making it, Such a step, it must be obvious, would not be taken until in the whole, twenty-five thousand dollars. In the bill a due regard for the interest of the country rendered it which he hadd introduced he had doublecl that amount, imperatively necessary. The section respecting the es- with the express design of obviating the injurious consetablishment of a port of entry, and the extension of the quences likely to result from the occurrence of any casualUnited States' revenue laws thereto was merely prospec- ty which might defeat previous calculations, and render tive. At a future period, the adoption of such a measure necessary an increase of the sum appropriated. After would be indispensable ; and the provisions respecting it some further observations on the statements of General had been inserted in the bill for the occupation of the ter- Jesup, he proceeded to observe that he full well rememritory, merely for the purpose of preventing the necessity bered the expedition to the Yellowstone River', which the of enacting a new law on the subject hereafter. Such, gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Batis] had referred to; and such alone, was the motive of the framers of the bill and he recollected, also, the immense expenditure lavishin introducing that section, which seemed to be regarded cl on that account, and which the honorable gentleman