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their Southern brethren; and in saying so, I but quoted the words of one of the best and wisest of the statesmen of the South. Reproach my brethren for an evil which has fallen upon them in the apportionment of Providence? I would as soon reproach a man for having lost an eye, or an arm, or having a deformed limb, as for having been born in a country where he received by inheritance the control of the labor of slaves. In every movement the South has made to relieve themselves from the pressure of this heavy burden, I have ever felt the deepest sympathy. No man personally interested in the horrible catastrophe of the last summer, felt more acutely on that calamitous occasion and yet I am to be reproached with having insulted the South, merely because a certain petition was asked to be read, that all might act understandingly in permitting it to be put out of the House, in a manner that should vindicate the courtesy of the country. Stir up an excitement! Injure the South! Sir, there is not a person there to whom I would not extend the hand of amity; but there are those there in regard to whom the most fervent aspiration of the most sympathetic heart is too feeble. Did I desire the day to come, when cannon were to be their orators, and powder and ball their arguments? How can any man so blaspheme all the feelings of brotherhood! thus rend asunder all the bonds, which ought to bind us together, not merely as men, but as Americans? Could the gentleman have so understood me? Of all the most mortifying occurrences which have happened to me in this Hall, this is the most so. When I have labored, with but little of strength and of life hanging about me, to be perfectly understood by the gentlemen of the South, and when I would be the first man to bring the waters of the ocean upon the earliest flame which the demon of discord might kindle to destroy the peace of a flourishing and happy land; then to be thus openly accused of reproaching the South for the slavery which exists there! I have said it was a curse-I shall ever consider it so, and will go as far as any living man, in conformity with the wishes of the South, to relieve them from it; but never would I take a step against their will.

"As to the threatening language which the gentleman has used; let him understand, that it will have no influence with me. I did not come from a race which is to be put down by hard words and savage looks. I may be drawn by a twine thread; but never will be driven by the club of Hercules."1

'The force of many of Mr. Burges's allusions are lost, unless the character or appearance of his opponents are known. Mr. Blair was a gentleman more than six feet high, and of a frame in proportion to his heighth. While Mr. Burges was speaking, Mr. Blair, among other members, approached near enough to catch his deepest intonations; and when he concluded, by saying that he would not be driven by the club of Hercules, it was one of those happy applications, which even Mr. Blair could not resist. He immediately came to Mr. Burges's seat; and thus terminated the controversy, by a cordial interchange of friendly feelings.


Trial of Governor Houston before the House of Representatives, for an assault on Mr. Stanberry.-Speech of Mr. Burges.

A RESOLUTION was before the House, in March, 1832, by which it was moved to refer a complaint against the Collector of Wiscassett, to the Secretary of the Treasury, that, if found guilty, he might be removed from office. Mr. Stanberry of Ohio, opposed the Resolution, contending that if the allegations were found to be true, he would not remove the Collector from office; "For," said he, "was the late Secretary of War removed, in consequence of his attempt fraudulently to give to Governor Houston the contract for Indian rations?" The whole speech, as corrected and prepared by Mr. Stanberry, was published in one of the newspapers on the second of April. The next morning he received a note from Governor Houston, inquiring "if his name had been used in debate; and if so, whether his words had been correctly quoted." Mr. Stanberry and his friends, believed this note was written, not for explanation, but for purposes of hostility. By their advice, he was provided with weapons of defence against the meditated violence.

On the evening of the thirteenth of April, as Mr. Stanberry was walking to visit a friend, he was met by Governor Houston, who came suddenly out of the shadow of the buildings, where he had stood unseen, and accosted Mr. Stanberry, in courteous tones; at the same instant, with a heavy hickory bludgeon, struck him a blow on the temple, so violent as to deprive him of the power of defence; Houston continued to multiply his blows, until Mr. Stanberry ceased to struggle, and was almost insensible. Thus was a citizen of the United States, a Representative of the American People, within a few yards of the

National Capitol, beaten, wounded, and left almost dead, merely for words spoken in debate.

By a Resolution adopted by a large majority of the House, Governor Houston was arrested, and brought to trial for the offence. During the term of twenty-four days, the House was almost exclusively employed in the trial; in hearing objections to his arrest, or motions for delay; in the examination of his witnesses, or in listening to his advocate, or to himself, in his defence. The excitement in Congress and in every section of the Union was manifested in the strongest terms. Violence had been committed against our institutions-the blow which had been struck, was aimed at the whole American People; and wherever the story should be related, there would the friends of freedom lament the outrage.

The trial of Houston, elicited a discussion in which the most prominent members of the House participated. Mr. Burges, was particularly solicited to close the controversy, on the part Mr. Stanberry, and in favor of the great principles of a republican government-freedom of speech, and freedom of the press. His effort on this occasion, was distinguished by a boldness of expression, which subjected him to a menace from some friend of Houston. Mr. Burges, however, was not intimidated; for he felt that the rights and dignity of the People had been assailed, in the person of a Representative; and that it was his imperative duty to speak of the protection claimed by members, and the punishment due to such an outrage upon their privileges.

The theory invented by the respondent in this case, was, that the House is, for its defence, and, therefore, for the uninterrupted exercise of all its legislative power, entirely dependant on the Judiciary department of the Government. "Sir," observed Mr. Burges, "we know what our highest judicial tribunal is nowthe most perfect human transcript of that to which the patriarch alluded, when he said, 'Will not the Judge of all the earth do right? What may the tribunals of that department come to be, in future time? Ambition-other than judicial, political ambition—as she walks up and down in the land, may, at some future time, step over the threshold of our sanctuary of justice.

What judge will be able to preserve the purity of independence when he has once commenced a traffic of ambition, and is laboring to barter the judiciary ermine for the purple of executive power? Avarice, Sir, debasing and inglorious avarice, may, as wealth aud luxury advance in our country, reach his unclean hand to the fountain, and corrupt the streams of justice. If neither of these shall ever operate on that department, still the limitary doctrines, so rife in some portions of our country, may reach the bench, and send this House away from that forum, unprotected.

"Let us, however, admit the Court to be, and I trust it always will be, independent, incorruptible, and, if you please, not doubtful of its power to punish in a case like this. Say that the Court condemns, and sentences to imprisonment, and that, too, for some high-handed outrage on the freedom of legislation in this House. Let it be that the Court, in such a case, directs the marshall to take the prisoner to the penitentiary. May not, at that moment, a pardon from the President be placed in his hand?—a pardon, whereby the delinquent shall be let loose again in the street, and the judicial and legislative power be prostrated under the foot of the Executive ?

"Sir, the moment this House shall place its independence in the safe-keeping of any court, and thereby at the will of any President-let him be patriotic, like Titus, or rash and bloody as Domitian; should he, as Cromwell was, be the crafty and cruel tyrant, or, like Alfred, the devoted father of his country, no matter—the very instant we give up to him the power to protect this House, and each one of all its members, we shall surrender the independence of the Legislative to the Executive department of this Government; and from that moment we are traitors to the people of these United States, who have made us the trustees for their own use and benefit, of their power, their rights, and their liberties."

And again--" Will the people endure this attempt, made by the respondent, and sustained by his learned advocate, to abridge the freedom of the press, by violence; when, thirty years ago, they would not endure a law, because it might, in its remote

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