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fested on this subject, and I have no hesitation in saying so. If I have any thing to reproach them with, or taunt them for, it is for what appears to me as an unreasonable and precipitate abandonment of that spirit. And if anybody desires on this account, or any other account, to brand me as a member of the peace party, I bare my bosom, I hold out both my hands, to receive that brand. I am willing to take its first and deepest impression, while the iron is sharpest and hottest. If there be any thing of shame in such a brand, I certainly glory in my shame. As Cicero said, in contemplation of any odium wbich might attach to him for dealing in too severe or summary a manner with Catiline, “ Eo animo semper fui, ut invidiam virtute partam, gloriam, non invidiam, putarem!

But who, who is willing to bear the brand of being a member of the war party? Who will submit to have that Cain-mark stamped upon his brow? I thank Heaven that all men, on all sides, have thus far refused to wear it. No man, of ever so extreme opinions, has ventured yet to speak upon this question without protesting, in the roundest terms, that he was for peace.

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Even the honorable member from Illinois, who was for giving the notice to quit at the earliest day, and for proceeding at once to build forts and stockades, and for asserting an exclusive jurisdiction over the whole Oregon Territory at the very instant at which the twelve months should expire, was as stout as any of us for preserving peace. My venerable colleague, (Mr. Adains,) too, from whom I always differ with great regret, but in differing from whom on the present occasion, I conform not more to my own conscientious judgment than to the opinions of my constituents and of a great majority of the people of Massachusetts, as I understand them — he, too, I am sure, even in that very torrent of eloquent indignation which cost us for a moment the order and dignity of the House, could have had nothing but the peace of the country at heart. So far as peace, then, is concerned, it seems that we are all agreed. " Only it must be an honorable peace;" — that, I think, is the stereotyped phrase of the day; and all our differences are thus reduced to the question, What constitutes an honorable peace ?

Undoubtedly, Mr. Speaker, the answer to this question must

depend upon the peculiar circumstances of the case to which it is applied. Yet, I will not pass to the consideration of that case without putting the burden of proof where it belongs. Peace, sir, in itself, in its own nature, and of its own original essence, is honorable. No individual, no nation, can lay a higher claim to the honor of man or the blessing of Heaven than to seek peace and ensue it. Louis Philippe may envy no monument which ever covered human dust, if it may justly be inscribed on his tombstone, (as has recently been suggested,) that, while he lived, the peace of Europe was secure! And, on the other hand, war, in its proper character, is disgraceful; and the man or the country which shall wilfully and wantonly provoke it, deserves the execrations of earth and heaven. These, Mr. Speaker, are the general principles which civilization and Christianity have at length ingrafted upon the public code of Christendom. If there be exceptions to them, as I do not deny there are, they are to be proved specially by those who allege them. Is there, then, any thing in the Oregon controversy, as it now stands before us, which furnishes an exception to these general principles ? - any thing which would render a pacific policy discreditable, or which would invest war with any degree of true honor? I deny it altogether. I reiterate the propositions of the resolutions on your table. I maintain,

1. That this question, from its very nature, is peculiarly and eminently one for negotiation, compromise, and amicable adjustment.

2. That satisfactory evidence has not yet been afforded that no compromise which the United States ought to accept can be effected.

3. That, if no other mode of amicable settlement remains, arbitration ought to be resorted to; and that this government cannot relieve itself from its responsibility to maintain the peace of the country while arbitration is still untried.

I perceive, sir, that the brief time allowed us in debate will compel me to deal in the most summary way with these propositions, and that I must look to other opportunities for doing full justice either to them or to myself. Let me hasten, however, to do them what justice I may.

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fested on this subject, and I have no hesitation in saying so. If I have any thing to reproach them with, or taunt them for, it is for what appears to me as an unreasonable and precipitate abandonment of that spirit. And if anybody desires on this account, or any other account, to brand me as a member of the peace party, I bare my bosom, I hold out both my hands, to receive that brand. I am willing to take its first and deepest impres. sion, while the iron is sharpest and hottest. If there be any thing of shame in such a brand, I certainly glory in my shame. As Cicero said, in contemplation of any odium wbich might attach to him for dealing in too severe or summary a manner with Catiline, " Eo animo semper fui, ut invidiam virtute partam, gloriam, non invidiam, putarem !

But who, who is willing to bear the brand of being a member of the war party? Who will submit to have that Cain-mark stamped upon his brow? I thank Heaven that all men, on all sides, have thus far refused to wear it. No man, of ever so extreme opinions, has ventured yet to speak upon this question without protesting, in the roundest terms, that he was for peace. Even the honorable member from Illinois, who was for giving the notice to quit at the earliest day, and for proceeding at once to build forts and stockades, and for asserting an exclusive jurisdiction over the whole Oregon Territory at the very instant at which the twelve months should expire, was as stout as any of us for preserving peace. My venerable colleague, (Mr. Adains,) too, from whom I always differ with great regret, but in differing from whom on the present occasion, I conform not more to my own conscientious judgment than to the opinions of my constituents and of a great majority of the people of Massachusetts, as I understand them — he, too, I am sure, even

- , in that very torrent of eloquent indignation which cost us for a moment the order and dignity of the House, could have had nothing but the peace of the country at heart. So far as peace, then, is concerned, it seems that we are all agreed.

Only it must be an honorable peace;" — that, I think, is the stereotyped phrase of the day; and all our differences are thus reduced to the question, What constitutes an honorable peace?

Undoubtedly, Mr. Speaker, the answer to this question must

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depend upon the peculiar circumstances of the case to which it is applied. Yet, I will not pass to the consideration of that case without putting the burden of proof where it belongs. Peace, sir, in itself, in its own nature, and of its own original essence, is honorable. No individual, no nation, can lay a higher claim to the honor of man or the blessing of Heaven than to seek peace and ensue it. Louis Philippe may envy no monument which ever covered human dust, if it may justly be inscribed on his tombstone, (as has recently been suggested,) that, while he lived, the peace of Europe was secure! And, on the other hand, war, in its proper character, is disgraceful; and the man or the country which shall wilfully and wantonly provoke it, deserves the execrations of earth and heaven. These, Mr. Speaker, are the general principles which civilization and Christianity have at length ingrafted upon the public code of Christendom. If there be exceptions to them, as I do not deny there are, they are to be proved specially by those who allege them. Is there, then, any thing in the Oregon controversy, as it now stands before us, which furnishes an exception to these general principles ? — any thing which would render a pacific policy discreditable, or which would invest war with any degree of true honor? I deny it altogether. I reiterate the propositions of the resolutions on your table. I maintain,

1. That this question, from its very nature, is peculiarly and eminently one for negotiation, compromise, and amicable adjustment.

2. That satisfactory evidence has not yet been afforded that no compromise which the United States ought to accept can be effected.

3. That, if no other mode of amicable settlement remains, arbitration ought to be resorted to; and that this government cannot relieve itself from its responsibility to maintain the peace of the country while arbitration is still untried.

I perceive, sir, that the brief time allowed us in debate will compel me to deal in the most summary way with these propositions, and that I must look to other opportunities for doing full justice either to them or to myself. Let me hasten, however, to do them what justice I may.

There are three distinct views in which this question may be presented, as one peculiarly fit for negotiation and compromise. In the first place, there is the character of the subject-matter of the controversy. Unquestionably there may be rights and claims not of a nature to admit of compromise, and as to which there must be absolute and unconditional relinquishment on one side or the other, or a conflict is inevitable. I may allude to the impressment of our seamen as an example, - a practice which could not be renewed by Great Britain at any moment, or under any circumstances, without producing immediate hostilities. But here we have as the bone of our contention, a vast and vacant territory, thousands of miles distant from both countries, entirely capable of division, and the loss of any part, I had almost said of the whole, of which, would not be of the smallest practical moment to either of them; - a territory the sovereignty of which

;might remain in abeyance for half a century longer without serious inconvenience or detriment to anybody, and in reference to which there is certainly not the slightest pretence of a necessity for summary or precipitate action. We need ports on the Pacific. As to land, we have millions of acres of better land still unoccupied on this side of the mountains. What a spectacle it would be, in the sight of men and of angels, for the two countries which claim to have made the greatest advances in civilization and Christianity, and which are bound together by so many ties of nature and art, of kindred and of commerce, each of them with possessions so vast and various, to be seen engaging in a conflict of brute force for the immediate and exclusive occupation of the whole of Oregon! The annals of barbarism would afford no parallel to such a scene!

In the second place, sir, there is the character of the title to this territory on both sides. I shall attempt no analysis or history of this title. I am certainly not disposed to vindicate the British title ; and as to the American, there is nothing to be added to the successive expositions of the eminent statesmen and diplomatists by whom it has been illustrated. But, after all, what a title it is to fight about! Who can pretend that it is free from all difficulty or doubt? Who would take an acre of land upon such a title as an investment, without the warranty

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