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for such a nation to give, and such a man to receive, no American imagined, though such was the fact, that we had been doing honors to the most meritorious man in Europe-all men believed that it was but the expression of national gratitude to the soldier, the Revolutionary soldier, who had devoted his youth, his fortune, and his blood, in defence of our independence! Is there no such sentiment now in the bosom of our nation, embracing, warmly embracing, these, his venerable brothers in arms?

At the last great national festival of Independence, the first jubilee of our country, why were these men, by a kind of simultaneous sentiment "beating in every pulse," through the nation, called out to assist at the solemnities, and to partake of the joys and festivities of the day? Was this done, Sir, merely to tantalize their hopes? or was it done to assure them, that already the voice of the People had awarded to them this provision, and that they were only to wait until the forms of law had given efficiency to this awarduntil the recorded enactments of their Representatives in Congress had embodied and promulgated this great voice of the People?

Sir, the character of your bestowment on Lafayette depends on the fate of this measure. Make this provision for the remainder of your Revolutionary army, and this and that will forever stand on the page of history, as illustrious deeds of national gratitude. Send away these, his meritorious brothers in arms, to "beg their bread through realms their valor saved," and your gifts to that illustrious foreigner will, in the eyes of other nations, and of posterity, serve only to purchase for you the character of a poor and a pitiful ostentation.

After all, Sir, what is this vast sum, which, if bestowed on the survivors of the army, may, as some anxious gentlemen have intimated, exhaust the National Treasury? It is three millions of dollars; three dimes a head to our whole population of the last census. This too, in a stock; a legacy charged on the rich inheritance which, as we hope, will be transmitted by us to our children, and who will rejoice that we have left them something to do in memory of these venerable friends of their fathers. The annual interest of this sum, at five per cent. will amount to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Our very school boys would pay it. Yes, Sir; they would pay it. I have a boy nine years old; quite as much, and no more patriotic than the children of each gentleman in this

Hall; and I do believe, Sir, I could reckon up among my constituents six hundred and ninety-nine more, the fathers of such sons, all middling-interest men too; nor is it doubted that every gentleman of this House might, from his own district, bring into the enumeration quite as long a list. There are, Sir, of this description of boys in the United States, at the least, one hundred and fifty thousand. They have heard much, and already read something of the war and of the army. We give to them some small annual subsidy, more or less, to purchase the toys and the sports of childhood; indeed, how interesting to that young age of cheap delights! Should we, on the quarter-day of this little annuity, say, each of us, to our little sons, shall I give you all this dollar, or take out one quarter to pay the aged survivors of the army: what, Sir, would be the answer— the unprompted, simultaneous answer, and in the most animated note of delighted childhood, and heard, too, if such a voice could be so heard, from one end to the other of our country-what would it be? Why, Sir, with eyes glistening with ecstacy, with imploring hands, and a voice hurried with eagerness, they would exclaim, "Give it, dear father, give it to the old soldier; we can be very happy with much less play; but they cannot live without bread.”


IN January, 1831, Mr. Stanberry, of Ohio, moved to amend the clause in the General Appropriation Bill, appropriating salaries to foreign ministers, by striking out the word Russia, and substituting forty-five for fifty-four thousand dollars. Upon this motion, Mr. Burges addressed the Committee, in the following


MR. CHAIRMAN-The present is, I believe, no unusual discussion. In the short term of my service in this hall, I have witnessed sitting after sitting of a Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, where the quantum of salary, compared with the service of foreign ministers, was the subject of most stirring debate. When has the competency of this House to move such debate been questioned? Never, until the present sitting of this committee. If I am mistaken, I ask the chairman of the committee on Foreign Relations to tell me when that question was made by the friends of the last administration? The question is put to him because of his proximity to the executive department, and because, if he will not give it a candid answer, such answer can be expected from no gen. tleman in this hall..

What call, then, can, by any usage, be at this time made on this branch of the government to throw itself at the very foot of executive subserviency? Do the people expect this from us? They have placed the national funds at our control, but with a full confidence in our fidelity and diligence, and under no fear that we should unlock the treasury, unless paramount public interest call upon us to turn the key. We cannot do this merely because required to do it by cabinet ministers, or by the executive under their advise. This House has ever claimed and exercised the right to deliberate, to debate, and, under a sound discretion of its own, to decide and determine all claims for appropriation, by whomsoever,



or for whatsoever purpose they may have been made. If missions of minor importance were, in years past, questioned, under the vigi. lance of a spirit of retrenchment, without a fellow in former times, may we not now-although that spirit has been touched, and put to sleep by the caduceus of the State Department-may we not call to our aid so much of the sober watchfulness of the best days of our republic as may enable us, with due diligence, to examine such a question of appropriation as this item of this Bill has brought before us? It relates to no mission to an infant nation, or some inconsiderable State; but to our long-established legation to a court among the most illustrious of Europe, and involving relations pre-eminently interesting to our country. Innovations relative to this distinguished mission do, above many others, place our national interests in jeopardy. Our relations with Russia have hitherto been cher. ished and sustained by a Minister Plenipotentiary residing near that court, at that court, in the royal city of Petersburgh, and within the political and social circle of the Emperor himself, the high dignitaries of his government, and the diplomatic envoys of all the nations of Europe, and many of those of Asia.

What, then, is the question before the committee, under the item of appropriation? The gentleman from Ohio, (Mr. Stanberry,) has moved to strike from the Bill the nine thousand dollars proposed to be appropriated for payment of the current year's salary to the gentleman said to have been despatched as Minister to Russia. He has ably, though briefly, sustained his motion. I trust the committee will indulge me in a few remarks on the same side of the question.

The item itself bears no mark distinguishing it from others of the same kind, or giving us any warrant for rejecting this while those are allowed. We must look to other documents for information concerning this mission, and our obligations to furnish money for supporting this minister at the court of St. Petersburgh. The paper which I now take from the desk before me contains that information. It purports to be the annual message from the President of the United States to Congress, at the present session. It certainly bears his signature, and was sent to this House by that high dignitary. Notwithstanding these facts, the document must be received and considered entirely as the production of cabinet ministers. No literary gentleman in this hall-I mean, no member of this House

-who reads and examines this communication, made to us so much at length, could, I think, say, without hazard of their reputation, that he believes one sentence of it was composed by the distinguished gentleman whose name is placed at the end of it. This, Sir, is not said for any purpose of derogation from the eminent official character of our first magistrate, but for a very different, a much more important purpose. Are gentlemen aware of the extent of our importation of European politics? Have we not brought home, and put into use, the high tory maxim of their monarchies, that the king can do no wrong? Was there ever a time in our country when the friends of any administration, other than the present, believed and practised this article of political faith with more unscrupulous devotion? The cabinet ministers of our executive have taken artful council from this fact. As European ministers, being answerable with their heads for what the king, their master, may, from the throne, communicate to his Lords and Commons, will not suffer any speech but of their own contriving to be thus communicated, so, the adroit ministers of our cabinet, taking shelter under the executive subserviency of the times, have not put upon the nation this message, but the President, a man who, if he moved at all, always marched straight forward to his object, they have betrayed into the crooked counsels which may, by diligent examination, be found in this message, sent to Congress by them, while they lie sheltered under the imposing name of the first dignitary of the nation. If the king can do no wrong, thank God ministers may, even in these times, be made accountable for the counsels which they have given him. "The right divine in man" to rule, “the enormous faith of many made for one," comprehends in its creed no permanent provision for any sycophant to skulk and screen himself behind the throne, and play the little tyrant with security.

That part of this message, from which we learn the character of this mission to Russia, is all of it which now it concerns us to examine. Our foreign relations are a branch of the Department of State; and this mission was contrived, and the account of it contained in the message, has been given to us by the Secretary of that Department. The gentleman from North Carolina, (Mr. Carson,) has read this account for one purpose-suffer me to read it for another.

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