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exhausted treasury shall be replenished, whether the country shall be defended, and whether any attempt shall be made, by giving a sound currency to the country, to revive business and confidence, and restore public and private credit.

THE LETTER, (REFERRED TO ABOVE.)

“SIR: I herewith send you the vote of DANIEL WEBSTER, on several occasions, while a member of Congress during the war.

“ 1st. On the 7th of January, 1814, he voted against an appropriation for defraying the expenses of the navy.

“ 2d. On the 19th of January, 1814, he voted against a proposition more effectually to detect and punish traitors and spies.

“ 3d. On the 25th of March, he voted against the bill to call forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union and repel invasion.

“ 4th. On the 1st of December, only a few days before the sitting of the Hartford Convention, he voted against a bill to provide additional revenue for defraying the expenses of the Government, and maintaining the public credit.

" 5th. On the 10th, he voted to postpone indefinitely a bill authorizing the President of the United States to call upon the several States for their respective quotas of militia to defend the frontier against invasion.

“6th. On the 13th, he voted against the same bill.

“ 7th. He also voted against a bill to provide additional revenue for the support of Government and the public credit, and also against an appropriation for rebuilding the Capitol, which had been destroyed by the enemy.

“The above is taken from the public records at Washington. I could give you more, but the above is enough. Such is the vote of a Tory, now called Whig. Sorry I am to find you in such company, with such a leader. [What follows is of a private nature.]

“Respectfully yours."

THE STATEMENT.

A true and exact statement of the case, in regard to each of these votes, as appears from the Journals and the printed debates.

The charges are: I. “On the 7th of January, 1814, he voted against an appropriation for defraying the expenses of the navy." This is exceedingly disingenuous, for two reasons :

1st. Because the matter is not accurately stated, nor the reason for the vote given, as that now appears in the debates. A bill had passed the House of Representatives, and without opposition, either on the question of its engrossment or the question of its final passage, “making partial appropriations for the service

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of 1814.” The Senate inserted, as an amendment, an appropriation of one million of dollars for the expenses of the navy. It was quite unusual, at that time, and indeed it is believed unprecedented, for the Senate to originate, by way of amendment, such large grants of money for the public service.

On this ground, alone, the amendment was opposed by some who had been the warmest friends of the navy from the time of General Washington. It was a question of the regularity of proceeding, a question of the order of business, merely. The record shows that Nathaniel Macon, and other Administration men, voted with Mr. Webster, on that question, against concurring with the Senate in their amendment.

2d. Because it is well known that, throughout the whole war, Mr. Webster was constantly urging upon Government greater extension of our naval means, and augmented expenditure and augmented efforts on the sea. The navy

had been exceedingly unpopular with the party then in power. This every body knows; and Mr. Webster was attempting to argue it into popularity.

The Journal shows that, on the 8th November, 1814, the House went into committee on the bill from the Senate to authorize the President to build twenty vessels of war, to carry a certain number of guns. Mr. Reed moved to increase the number of guns more than twofold for each ship. Mr. Webster voted in the affirmative, but the motion was lost, and the bill then passed without opposition. Doubtless many other votes of this kind may be found in the Journal, for the debates show that Mr. Webster constantly urged the increase of our naval power as the best means of meeting our enemy, the proudest maritime power in the world.

In respect, then, to the vote here complained of, the fact is, that it was not a vote against an appropriation to defray the expenses of the navy, but was a vote against the assumption of the Senate to originate, by way of amendment, large appropriations of money for military service.

It was then, and is now, thought by many, exclusively the legitimate office of the House of Representatives, to originate all the principal grants of money for the support of Government. Would it be considered fair to charge Nathaniel Macon and others, the friends of Mr. Madison, and distinguished supporters of the war, with a disposition to withhold the means of defending the country, because he and they voted against the extraordinary amendment of the Senate ? Certainly not; and, therefore, the same charge now made against Mr. Webster with voting with Nathaniel Macon on that question, is unfair, if not ridiculous.

II. “On the 10th January, 1814, he voted against a proposition more effectually to detect and punish traitors and spies.”

This is absolutely untrue.

On the 10th of January, 1814, Mr. Wright, of Maryland, moved the follow. ing resolution :

Resolved, That a Committee of the Whole House be instructed to inquire into the expediency of extending the second section of the act for the establishment of rules and articles for the government of the armies of the United States, relative to spies, to citizens of the United States.".

The effect of extending the rules and articles of war relative to spies to citizens of the United States, would have been to expose every American citizen visiting the encampment of the American army, to be charged with being a spy, and have that charge tried and determined by a drum-head court-martial, and that trial followed by death.

It would have withdrawn from our citizens that great shield of American liberty — the right of trial by jury — and placed the whole country, and all our citizens, at once under martial law. So thought Mr. Webster, and he voted

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against it. So thought Mr. Cheves and Mr. Farrow, of South Carolina ; Mr. Duvall, Mr. Ormsby, and Mr. Clark, of Kentucky; Mr. Eppes, of Virginia; Mr. Kent, of Maryland; Mr. Seybert, of Pennsylvania ; Mr. Fisk, of Vermont, (or New York ;) Mr. King, of North Carolina, (now Senator from Alabama, and late President of the Senate ;) Mr. Richardson, (late Chief Justice of New Hampshire ;) Mr. Robertson, of Louisiana; and many others of the warmest supporters of the administration of Mr. Madison; and they voted with Mr. Webster; and there is no more truth in this charge against Mr. Webster than in the same charge, should it be made, against Mr. Eppes, the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, son-in-law of Mr. Jefferson, and leader of the then Democratic party in the House of Representatives.

III. “On the 25th of March, he voted against the bill to call forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union and repel invasion."

This is wholly a mistake, or misstatement. The Journal the 25th of March shows no such question voted upon, or pending.

IV. “On the 1st of December, only a few days before the meeting of the Hartford Convention, he voted against a bill to provide additional revenue for defraying the expenses of the Government, and maintaining the public credit.”

This reference to the Hartford Convention is merely for effect, and to make unfair and false impressions; as it is known to all, who are not wilfully ignorant, that Mr. Webster had nothing to do with the Hartford Convention.

The opponents of Mr. Webster have been, again and again, challenged in vain to the proof, that he was in any manner connected with the Hartford Convention, its origin, or proceedings. No such proof has been or can be presented. And yet the charge, so falsely made, and so often refuted, continues to be repeated.

As for the rest of the fourth allegation, it only appears that Mr. Webster was in a very small minority against a bill laying taxes on various articles, to some of which taxes there were very serious objections, however important the object, while money could be raised in other modes.

This bill proposed a direct tax upon various articles. It laid duties upon sales at auction, on the postage of letters, on licenses to retail wines, on licenses to retail spirituous liquors and foreign merchandise, on carriages for the convey. ance of persons, and on plate, harness, &c. It is but fair to ascribe Mr. Webster's vote against this bill to his objection to the form of some of the taxes, because the Journal shows that, a few days before, he voted in the affirmative on a proposition to increase other taxes.

The yeas and nays given in the Journal show that the vote on the tax bill referred to was not, by any means, a test of parties, or a party vote — most of the leading Opposition members having voted in the affirmative. The Journal of the 26th of October, 1814, shows that Mr. Webster proposed and voted for some of the taxes provided for by this bill, but, as he disapproved of other taxes contained in it, he voted against the whole bill.

V. “On the 10th, he voted to postpone indefinitely a bill authorizing the President of the United States to call upon the several States for their respective quotas of militia to defend the frontier against invasion."

VI. “On the 13th, he voted against the same bill."

The answer to these stands on the same ground as those to some of the preceding. The reason is not given, but the debate shows a reason, fair and honest at least, whatever may be thought of its strength and validity. Mr. Webster never gave a vote against defending the country, against repelling invasion, or

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against executing the laws. He was as ready to defend the country as the warmest patriot; and we have seen it stated, what is no doubt true, that when Portsmouth, the town in which he then lived, was supposed to be in danger of an immediate attack by the enemy, he was placed, on the nomination of John Langdon, at the head of a committee raised for its defence.

In Mr. Webster's speech, 21st March, 1838, in reply to Mr. Calhoun, he challenged that gentleman to show that he ever gave an unpatriotic vote, during the war or at any other time. He admitted that, with Mr. Calhoun, he had preferred to carry on the war with England on the ocean, and had indicated that preference by his votes, as had Mr. Calhoun and others. It is well known that, on the occasion referred to, Mr. Calhoun, who has served with Mr. Webster for nearly thirty years in Congress, and who well knew what his votes were during

was perfectly silent when this challenge was made.

the war,

VII. “ He also voted against a bill to provide additional revenue for the support of the Government and the public credit, and also against an appropriation for rebuilding the Capitol, which had been destroyed by the enemy."

The answer given to the fourth charge is the answer to the seventh, except that under the seventh head is contained, also, a very disingenuous charge — that Mr. Webster voted against a bill to provide for the rebuilding of the Capitol after it had been destroyed by the enemy.

The unfairness and falsity of this charge are shown by an examination of the record. The Journal shows the following legislation in respect to rebuilding the Capitol. It is to be remembered, however, that, in consequence of a domestic calamity, Mr. Webster did not take his seat in Congress, in 1814, until the 15th day of October. On the 26th of September, Mr. Fisk, of New York, a distinguished friend of the administration of Mr. Madison, moved for a committee " to inquire into the expediency of removing the seat of Government, during the session of Congress, to a place of better security and less inconvenience.” The motion prevailed; ayes 72, noes 51. This was not a party vote, as the record shows.

On the 3d of October, the committee reported “ that it was inexpedient, at this time, to remove the seat of Government;" but Mr. Fisk himself moved to amend the report by striking out the word “ inexpedient,” and substituting “expedient.” On this motion the vote stood 68 to 68, and the Speaker (Mr. Cheves) declaring himself for the amendment, it was adopted, and the amended resolution was referred to a Committee of the Whole House.

October 4. The order of the day on this subject being called for, Mr. Newton moved its indefinite postponement. This was negatived; yeas 61, nays 77; and not a party vote, as the Journal shows.

October 6. The report of the committee, having been reported back to the House from the Committee of the Whole House, was taken up; and on the question to agree to it, the vote stood, ayes 72, and 71 noes. So the report recommending the removal of the seat of Government from Washington to some more convenient place was agreed to, and a committee was appointed to bring in a bill..

October 13. Mr. Fisk reported a bill for the temporary removal of the seat of Government.

On the 15th of October, Mr. Webster took his seat for the first time for that session, and on this day the question was taken upon a motion to reject the bill, and it was negatived, ayes 76, noes 79, Mr. Webster voting in the negative ; that is to say, he voted against the rejection of a bill, brought in by a leading friend of the Administration, and on which there had been in no stage of it a party vote, providing for the removal of the seat of Government from Washington VOL. III.

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The bill, not being rejected, was read a second time, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House. Being reported back from the committee to the House, it was moved to amend the bill by inserting a section which provided that the President's House and the Capitol should be rebuilt on their former sites in the city of Washington, which was rejected without a division.

In the Committee of the Whole the bill had been amended, and one of the amendments was to name the place to which the Government should be removed. (The place does not appear upon the Journal, but is believed to have been Lancaster, Pennsylvania.) The question then being put upon the engrossment of the bill, it passed in the negative; ayes 74, noes 83. And so the bill was lost. Mr. Webster voted in the affirmative. This was not a party vote; the Northern men generally voted to remove the Government to Lancaster, and the Southern were against it.

The next proceeding that appears upon this subject took place on the 20th of October, when Mr. Lewis, of Virginia, (whom Mr. Jefferson called the residuary legatee of all the federalism of the State of Virginia,) moved for a committee to inquire into the expediency of rebuilding the President's House and the Capitol, and the necessary expense for that purpose. The resolution was adopted without objection, and a committee appointed, which reported on the 21st of November; and on that day Mr. Lewis obtained leave to bring in a bill making an appropriation for repairing or rebuilding in the city of Washington.

It does not appear that any further proceedings took place in the House in regard to the bill introduced by Mr. Lewis ; but on the 8th of February, a bill from the Senate to provide for the rebuilding of the President's House and the Capitol being under consideration in the House of Representatives, it was moved that no part of the money should be expended antil the President laid before Congress a report stating the principles upon which the Capitol, President's House, and the Post-Office should be rebuilt, with an estimate of the cost. This motion was rejected. Then Mr. Stanford, of North Carolina, an ardent supporter of the Administration, moved “that the bill be recommitted, with instructions to report such change and plan of construction of the public buildings as shall comport with the convenience of the Government." This motion was lost. Mr. Eppes, of Virginia, as appears by his vote, was of opinion that the money ought not to be voted without some kind of change in the old plan of construction, nor without some plan being laid before the House to show what the construction was to be, and the expense of it. Mr. Webster was of this opinion also ; and on the third reading of the bill there were 67 yeas and 55 nays, and the bill passed. Mr. Webster voted in the negative, and this is the crime he is accused of. Mr. Eppes, the Democratic leader of the House, and chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, voted with him. Mr. Farrow, of South Carolina, voted with him. Mr. Kerr, of Virginia; Mr. Udree, of Pennsylvania ; Mr. Taylor, of New York; Mr. Ingham, of Pennsylvania ; Mr. Murfree, of North Carolina ; Mr. Williams, of North Carolina ; Mr. Conard, of Pennsylvania; Mr. Stanford, of North Carolina; and other stanch Democrats, voted with Mr. Webster; and many of Mr. Webster's political friends voted for the bill.

The truth is, it was no party proceeding, and there was no party vote on it; and all that can be made of it is, that Mr. Webster was not willing to vote away the money of the people until he knew how it was to be laid out and expended, any more than Mr. Eppes.

Every public man knows, all fair-minded men admit, that justice can be done to no man by picking out a vote here and a vote there, and publishing them without their proper connection, without accurately stating the occasion, and without giving the reason on which they were founded.

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