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clothes, if they were dearer at all, would be dearer in more senses of the word than one. They would be associated with that National Pride, of which, even the coldest abstractionist in these halls could not fail to have felt some touches, as he visited the late National Fair; and which, though it may be derided by politicians and economists, is to the common heart above all calculations of moneyed value. They would be associated, too, with that National Independence, which was but half achieved by the arms of our Fathers, and which remains to be consummated by the arts of their sons. The workingmen of this country, I verily believe, if interrogated upon such a point, would answer, as Benjamin Franklin answered at the bar of the British House of Commons in the days of the Stamp-Act:
“ What used to be the pride of Americans ?”
“ To indulge in the fashions and manufactures of Great Britain.”
“ What is now their pride?”
“ To wear their old clothes over again, until they can make new ones for themselves."
Mr. Chairman, there are many other points which I had proposed to touch, but I have only time to conclude with the following propositions, which briefly embody all that I have said, and much that I would have said.
I maintain, then:
1. That provision ought promptly to be made for furnishing the government with whatever additional revenues and resources may be necessary for bringing the existing war with Mexico to a just and speedy conclusion, and establishing an honorable peace.
2. That no additional revenue can be relied on from the bill now under consideration, either as originally reported, or with the modifications which have been proposed by the Secretary of the Treasury; but that, on the contrary, the whole experience of the country shows that the operation of such a bill would be materially to diminish the revenue.
3. That this bill is, at best, a mere experiment, and one which, there is great reason to fear, would result in both curtailing the resources of the government, and crippling the industry of the people; and that in adopting an entire system of ad valorem duties, it would open the door to all manner of inequalities and frauds, and would be especially oppressive to the honest American merchant.
4. That the tariff of 1842 has proved itself for three years past emphatically a revenue tariff; yielding, with signal uniformity, and in precise correspondence with the calculations of its framers, a net average annual revenue of nearly twenty-seven mil lions of dollars, and at once protecting the labor and enriching the treasury of the
nation ; and that no substantial modification - certainly no material reduction - of the duties which it imposes, would be likely to yield any thing like an equal amount to the government.
5. That an issue of eight or ten millions of treasury notes, and the imposition of moderate specific duties on tea and coffee, for a short term of years, and for the single purpose of defraying the expenses of the war, are the only measures for increasing the resources and revenues of the nation which can be adopted with any reasonable prospect of success; and that, unless the administration and its friends intend to take the responsibility of resorting to direct taxation, or of incurring a large national debt, these measures ought to be adopted by them without delay.
WHIG PREDICTIONS AND WHIG POLICY.
A SPEECH DELIVERED AT THE STATE CONVENTION OF THE WHIGS OF
MASSACHUSETTS, IN FANEUIL HALL, SEPTEMBER 23, 1846.
I SHOULD have preferred on many accounts, Mr. President, to remain still longer a listener on this occasion, and to postpone until a later hour, if not altogether, any remarks of my own. But I cannot hesitate to respond, without further delay, to the unequivocal and cordial summons which has now been made upon me. Indeed, Sir, I am proud to participate, at any time, and in ever so humble a way, in the proceedings of such a meet. ing as I see before me. The mere presence at it, to those who have been so lately and so long confined to far other company, is a privilege which you and I, at least, know how to appreciate. I rejoice to see once more the faces of so many true-hearted Whigs of Massachusetts; — faces, not a few of which have been familiar to me in other years, and in other fields of public or political service; — faces, all of which I may greet as the faces of friends, if there be any thing of truth in the saying of the great Roman orator, that one of the strongest bonds of human friendship is, “ to think alike concerning the Republic.”
Nor, Sir, can I find it in my heart to regret that this Convention is assembled here, in this city, covered with memorials of the patriotism of the fathers, and of the philanthropy and munificence of their sons; and in this hall, devoted, from the first, to human liberty, and whose echoes are ever true to the cause to which it was consecrated. And not of liberty alone, much less of Boston alone, or of Massachusetts alone, do these venerated columns, or yonder votive canvas, speak to us, but of “Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable.”
* Hon. Charles Hudson was in the Chair, having just returned with Mr. Winthrop from a protracted session of Congress.
We meet this day, Mr. President and Gentlemen, under circumstances of more than ordinary interest. Rarely, if ever, have so many momentous issues been presented at once to our consideration. When we were assembled in this hall last
the administration, against whose accession to power we had so vigorously but so vainly struggled, had but just entered on the threshold of their career. Their principles and purposes had only found expression on paper or in words, in the resolutions of some Baltimore convention, in the manifestoes of some mass meeting, or in the hardly more dignified phrases of an inaugural message. We had, then, some reason, or at least some room, for hoping, that their practice might fall short of their professions ; that their bite might be less bad than their bark; that they might not be quite willing, or if willing, not quite able, to carry out to their full consummation the plans they had so boldly avowed. A year
of action has since ensued; a year of busy, earnest, varied, crowded, action. Their whole policy has now been practically disclosed and developed. There is scarcely a subject in the whole wide field of national legislation, which has failed to receive the impression, the deep and strong impression, of their ruling hand. Questions foreign and questions domestic, questions of currency and questions of commerce, questions moral and questions material, questions of peace and questions of war, questions of labor and questions of liberty, have been drawn, with startling rapidity, within the sphere of their deliberation, and have received the unequivocal stamp of their decision.
Their acts are now before us. We now know them by their fruits. And it well becomes us to examine those fruits, and to see for whom they are meat, and for whom they are poison.
In pursuing such an examination ever so cursorily, Mr. President, no man who hears me can fail to be struck with the complete coincidence which is found, between the predictions which were pronounced by the Whig presses and the Whig speakers, two years ago, as to the consequences of Mr. Polk's election to
the Presidency, and the facts as they have now occurred. A great poet tells us of
“Some juggling fiend, who never spoke before,
But cries, ‘I warned thee,' when the deed is o'er." Not such are the cries, “we warned you," "we warned you,”' which the Whigs are now everywhere ringing through the land. In the columns of a hundred newspapers, at the corners of a hundred streets, the precise results which are now before us and upon us, were read or heard two years ago, in the language of prophecy, but, as it now appears, with the literal exactness of history. We may, indeed, say with him of old, not a little of whose patience we are called upon to exercise, “the things which we greatly feared are come upon us, and that which we were afraid of is come unto us."
I know, Mr. President, of but a single catastrophe, which was foreboded as the consequence of the defeat of our party at the last Presidential election, which has been in any degree averted. I mean, a war with Great Britain for the Territory of Oregon. And certainly, certainly, I do not underrate the importance of this exception to the general assertion I have made. Nor would I withhold from the administration any measure of credit, which it may deserve, for having saved the country from so unspeakable a calamity. But what degree of credit does it deserve? Who can say, this day, upon his conscience, that it was by the statesmanship, by the moderation, by the wisdom, by the civilized policy and Christian principle of the President, or his cabinet, or the general mass of his supporters, that this result was accomplished? Who, on the other hand, can forget the intemperate and braggart counsels, which brought the two countries to the perilous edge of such a war as never raged before, and which were only restrained, (under God,) by the patriotic firmness and independence of half a dozen of the nominal friends of the ad. ministration, seconded and sustained by the great body of the Whigs in Congress? Yes, Sir, the Whigs in Congress, and more particularly the Whigs of the Senate, with our own everhonored and illustrious Daniel Webster in their front ranks, may claim the true glory of having saved the peace of the country and of the world, in this case; and of having brought