Imágenes de páginas

votes about which honest men may differ; votes as to which I myself may have doubted at the time, and may still doubt. But examine the record fairly and candidly; nothing extenuate, nor set down aught in malice; and you will find that I have neither been false to the North nor to the South, to the East nor to the West. You will find that, while I have been true to my constituents, I have been true, also, to the Constitution and to the Union. This, at least, I know, Sir — my conscience this day bearing me witness — that I have been true to myself, to my own honest judgment, to my own clear convictions of right, of duty, and of patriotism. And we all remember how justly, as well as how nobly, it has been said:

** This above all, to thine own self be true;
And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man." And now, Mr. Chairman, I would gladly turn to some serious consideration of the great questions of the day, but I am admonished that my hour is almost exhausted, and I must reserve what I had proposed to say on these topics for another, and I trust an early opportunity. Having once swept this offensive rubbish of personalities out of my path, I shall no longer be obstructed in dealing with the weightier matters which are before us. I cannot conclude, however, on this occasion, without a few distinct declarations.

In the first place, Sir, I have no hesitation in saying, that the admission of California into the Union as a State, under the constitution which she has herself adopted, is, in my judgment, the first and greatest measure to be accomplished at the present session of Congress. For that I am ready; and I shall bring to it whatever powers I possess.

In the second place, Sir, I do not believe that slavery does now exist, or can ever exist, in any of the Territories recently acquired from Mexico, without the positive sanction of law. And such a sanction, I, for one, shall never aid in giving.

In the third place, Sir, while I reserve to myself the full liberty to act and to vote upon every question which may hereafter arise, as my judgment at the time, and under the circumstances, may dictate; I have no hesitation in expressing my

opinion, that the plan proposed by the President of the United States is the plan to which we must come at last, for the settlement of these exciting and difficult questions. I do not say that it is the plan of all others which some of us could have wished to carry out. But the question is not what we wish, but what can we accomplish. “If to do, were as easy as to know what

“ , it were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men's cottages rich men's palaces.” We must aim at something practical and practicable. The President has done so; and, by following out his suggestions, I believe southern sensibilities may be allayed, northern principles satisfactorily vindicated, domestic peace maintained, and the American Union preserved.

And, Mr. Chairman, the American Union must be preserved. I speak for Faneuil Hall. Not for Faneuil Hall, occupied, as it sometimes has been, by an Anti-slavery or a Liberty party convention, denouncing the Constitution and Government under which we live, and breathing threatenings and slaughter against all who support them; but for Faneuil Hall, thronged as it has been so often in times past, and as it will be so often for a thousand generations in times to come, by as intelligent, honest, and patriotic a people as the sun ever shone upon; I speak for Faneuil Hall, and for the great masses of true-hearted American freemen, without distinction of party, who delight to dwell beneath its shadow, and to gather beneath its roof; I speak for Faneuil Hall, when I say, “ the Union of these States must not, shall not be dissolved!”

The honorable member from Ohio, (Mr. Giddings) alluded, the other day, in terms of reproach and condemnation, to a sentiment which I proposed at a public dinner, in this same Faneuil Hall, on the 4th of July, 1845. I am willing that the House and the country should pass judgment upon that sentiment. I am sorry that it is not better; but, such as it is, I reiterate it here to-day. I stand by it now and always. It is my living sentiment, and will be my dying sentiment:

“Our COUNTRY — Whether bounded by the St. John's and the Sabine, or however otherwise bounded or described, and be the measurements more or less ; -still our country, to be cherished in all our hearts, - to be defended by all our hands!” Ν Ο Τ Ε.



DEAR Sır: I am in receipt of your note, requesting me to state whether there was a meeting of the Whig members of the House of Representatives on the morning of the day when the war with Mexico was declared ? Whether Mr. Winthrop was there, and made a speech urging the whole Whig party to vote for the war; and whether I was there, and made a speech to the same purport?

I have no recollection of having been present at that meeting — and if I ever knew that such a meeting was held, the recollection of it has wholly faded away from my memory. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


[ocr errors]


WASHINGTON, April 1, 1848. DEAR SIR: I have received your letter of the 30th ult., with a copy of the Boston Atlas of 23d March.

The only answer I can inake to your inquiries is to inform you that I was not in this city on the eleventh day of May, 1846. I left the Capital late in April, to visit my residence in New York, and did not return till the 12th of May, the day after the War bill passed the House.

Mr. Culver is mistaken in his impression that I was present at any meeting held on the day to which he refers.

Very respectfully yours,

W. HUNT. Wm. Schouler, Esq., Editor of the Atlas, Boston.


WASHINGTON, April 1, 1848. Sir: Iu relation to the meeting of the Whigs on the morning of the 11th,


I had strong

(May,) I will say to you, as I have said to Mr. Giddings in a full conversation with him on the subject, that I am satisfied that he confounds that meeting with another, which took place at another time and place, on another subject. The news of the conflict between our forces and those of Mexico came into this city on Saturday evening after the adjournment of the House. On Sunday evening some gentlemen told me that it was thought desirable that the Whigs should have a meeting in the morning before the session of the House, as it was expected that the President would send in a war message. I went to the committee-room in the morning, and found not more than half a dozen there; we waited till near the hour of the meeting of the House before we called to order. The members came in slowly, not more than twenty or twenty-five being present at last. I think Mr. Winthrop was not present. But I am perfectly confident that he did not make a speech urging the Whigs to vote for any war measure. convictions against the propriety of any such measure, and if one of my own colleagues had made such a speech as has been imputed to Mr. Winthrop, I am satisfied that I could not have forgotten it. Besides, boarding as I did with Messrs. Delano, Culver, Root, and King, all of whom voted as I did against the bill, the vote of Mr. Winthrop was a subject of very frequent and very free remark, and yet I never heard any allusion to such a speech, nor, indeed, to any speech of Mr. Winthrop made in caucus on the morning of the 11th May during that or the following session — the first intimation of such a speech coming to my knowledge since Mr. Winthrop was chosen Speaker. My impressions on this whole subject are the more distinct, because those who voted against the war were immediately assailed, and on the 14th of the same month I made a speech against the war, and in justification of my vote.

The Whig meeting on the morning of the 11th of May was in the room of the Committee on Foreign Affairs; but the meeting which I think Mr. Giddings confounds with this was held in the evening in the committee room on Public Lands, in another part of the Capitol. At the last named meeting Mr. Winthrop, Mr. Vinton, Mr. Giddings, and, I think, Mr. Hunt, spoke; but this meeting was some time in the winter, and the subject was the Oregon notice, which had been recommended by the President in his message. In conversation with Mr. Giddings this winter, we both recollected this meeting so well as to be able to point out to each other the position in the room where the speakers respectively stood when they addressed the meeting, and agreed as to the speakers, but differed in our recollections as to the subject under consideration. At this Oregon meeting there was a marked difference of opinion between Mr. Winthrop and Mr. Giddings, and some little warmth was manifested in the debate - Mr. Winthrop being opposed to giving the notice, and Mr. Giddings taking the opposite view of the question, according to my recollection. I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHARLES Hudson. Col. William Schouler, Editor of the Atlas.


WASHINGTON, April 1, 1848. I have to state that I have no recollection of any meeting of the Whigs on the morning of the 11th of May, 1846. . I never heard of any until the present session of this Congress. I do not believe that Mr. Winthrop attended


such meeting, for the reason that I am under a strong impression — I may say, that I have as clear a recollection of the fact as of almost any that occurred on that memorable day — that Mr. Winthrop did not leave Mrs. Whitwell's that morning until we left together, near the hour of the meeting of the House, and that we went to the House together, and it was called to order about the time we entered. I may add, there was a very free and full discussion of our votes on this bill for some weeks after, at Mrs. Whitwell's, and that I never heard of Mr. Winthrop's attending any caucus of the Whigs on the day war was declared, or making a speech urging the Whigs to go for the war.

« AnteriorContinuar »