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Mount Pelion." The treasury and general office of the institution was established at Munich. No political object was avowed by these institutions, probably none contemplated. Still, however, they have, no doubt, had their effect in hastening that condition of things, in which the Greeks felt competent to the establishment of their independence. Many young men have been, for years, annually sent to the universities in the western states of Europe for their education; and, after the general pacification of Europe, many military men, discharged from other employment, were ready to enter even into so unpromising a service as that of the revolutionary Greeks.
In 1820, war commenced between the Porte and Ali, the well known pacha of Albania: Differences existed also with Persia, and with Russia. In this state of things, at the beginning of 1821, an insurrection appears to have broken out in Moldavia, under the direction of Alexander Ypsilanti, a well educated soldier, who had been major-general in the Russian service. From his character, and the number of those who seemed disposed to join him, he was supposed to be countenanced by the court of St. Petersburg. This, however, was a great mistake, which the emperor, then at Laybach, took an early opportunity to rectify. The Porte, it would seem, however, alarmed at these occurrences in the northern provinces, caused search to be made of all vessels entering the Black Sea, lest arms or other military means should be sent in that manner to the insurgents. This proved inconvenient to the commerce of Russia, and caused some unsatisfactory correspondence between the two powers. It may be worthy of remark, as an exhibition of national character, that, agitated by these appearances of intestine commotion, the sultan issued a proclamation, calling on all true mussulmans to renounce the pleasures of social life, to prepare arms and horses, and to return to the manner of their ancestors, the life of the plains. The Turk seems to have thought that he had, at last, caught something of the dangerous contagion of European civilisation, and that it was necessary to reform his habits, by recurring to the original manners of military roving barbarians.
It was about this time, that is to say, at the commencement of 1821, that the Revolution burst out in various parts of Greece and the Isles. Circumstances, certainly, were not unfavorable, as one portion of the Turkish army was employed in the war against Ali Pacha in Albania, and another part in the provinces north of the Danube. The Greeks soon possessed themselves of the open country of the Morea, and drove their enemy into the fortresses. Of these, that of Tripolitza, with the city, fell into the hands of the Greeks, in the course of the summer. Having after these first movements obtained time to breathe, it became, of course, an early object to establish a government. For this purpose delegates of the people assembled, under that name which describes the assembly in which we ourselves sit, that name which "freed the Atlantic," a Congress. A writer, who undertakes to render to the civilized world that service which was once performed by Edmund Burke, I mean the compiler of the English Annual Register, asks, by what authority this assembly could call itself a Congress. Simply, sir, by the same authority, by which the people of the United States
have given the same name to their own legislature. We, at least, should be naturally inclined to think, not only as far as names, but things also, are concerned, that the Greeks could hardly have begun their revolution under better auspices; since they have endeavoured to render applicable to themselves the general principles of our form of government, as well as its name. This constitution went into operation at the commencement of the next year. In the meantime, the war with Ali Pacha was ended, he having surrendered, and being afterwards assassinated, by an instance of treachery and perfidy, which, if it had happened elsewhere than under the government of the Turks, would have deserved notice. The negotiation with Russia, too, took a turn unfavorable to the Greeks. The great point upon which Russia insisted, beside the abandonment of the measure of searching vessels bound to the Black Sea, was, that the Porte should withdraw its armies from the neighbourhood of the Russian frontiers; and the immediate consequence of this, when effected, was to add so much more to the disposable force, ready to be employed against the Greeks. These events seemed to have left the whole force of the Empire, at the commencement of 1822, in a condition to be employed against the Greek rebellion; and, accordingly, very many anticipated the immediate destruction of their cause. The event, however, was ordered otherwise. Where the greatest effort was made, it was met and defeated. Entering the Morea with an army which seemed capable of bearing down all resistance, the Turks were nevertheless defeated and driven back, and pursued beyond the isthmus, within which, as far as it appears, from that time to the present, they have not been able to set their foot.
It was in April, of this year, that the destruction of Scio took place. That island, a sort of appanage of the Sultana mother, enjoyed many privileges peculiar to itself. In a population of 130,000 or 140,000, it had no more than 2000 or 3000 Turks; indeed, by some accounts, not near as many. The absence of these ruffian masters, had, in some degree, allowed opportunity for the promotion of knowledge, the accumulation of wealth, and the general cultivation of society. Here was the seat of the modern Greek literature; here were libraries, printing presses, and other establishments, which indicate some advancement in refinement and knowledge. Certain of the inhabitants of Samos, it would seem, envious of this comparative happiness of Scio, landed upon the island, in an irregular multitude, for the purpose of compelling its inhabitants to make common cause with their countrymen against their oppressors. These, being joined by the peasantry, marched to the city, and drove the Turks into the castle. The Turkish fleet, lately reenforced from Egypt, happened to be in the neighbouring seas, and learning these events, landed a force on the island of 15,000 men. There was nothing to resist such an army. These troops immediately entered the city, and began an indiscriminate massacre. The city was fired; and, in four days, the fire and the sword of the Turk, rendered the beautiful Scio a clotted mass of blood and ashes. The details are too shocking to be recited. Forty thousand women and children, unhappily saved from the general destruction, were
afterwards sold in the market of Smyrna, and sent off into distant and hopeless servitude. Even on the wharves of our own cities, it has been said, have been sold the utensils of those hearths which now exist no longer. Of the whole population which I have mentioned, not above 900 persons were left living upon the island. I will only repeat, sir, that these tragical scenes were as fully known at the Congress of Verona, as they are now known to us; and it is not too much to call on the powers that constituted that Congress, in the name of conscience, and in the name of humanity, to tell us, if there be nothing even in these unparalleled excesses of Turkish barbarity, to excite a sentiment of compassion; nothing which they regard as so objectionable as even the very idea of popular resistance to power.
The events of the year which has just passed by, as far as they have become known to us, have been even more favorable to the Greeks, than those of the year preceding. I omit all details, as being as well known to others as to myself. Suffice it to say, that with no other enemy to contend with, and no diversion of his force to other objects, the Porte has not been able to carry the war into the Morea; and that, by the last accounts, its armies were acting defensively in Thessaly. I pass over also the naval engagements of the Greeks, although that is a mode of warfare in which they are calculated to excel, and in which they have already performed actions of such distinguished skill and bravery, as would draw applause upon the best mariners in the world. The present state of the war would seem to be, that the Greeks possess the whole of the Morea, with the exception of the three fortresses of Patras, Coron and Modon; all Candia, but one fortress; and most of the other islands. They possess the citadel of Athens, Missolunghi, and several other places in Livadia. They have been able to act on the offensive and to carry the war beyond the isthmus. There is no reason to believe their marine is weakened; probably, on the other hand, it is strengthened. But, what is most of all important, they have obtained time and experience. They have awakened a sympathy throughout Europe and throughout America; and they have formed a government which seems suited to the emergency of their condition.
Sir, they have done much. It would be great injustice to compare their achievements with our own. We began our revolution, already possessed of government, and, comparatively, of civil liberty. Our ancestors had, for centuries, been accustomed in a great measure to govern themselves. They were well acquainted with popular elections and legislative assemblies, and the general principles and practice of free governments. They had little else to do than to throw off the paramount authority of the parent state. Enough was still left, both of law and of organization, to conduct society in its accustomed course, and to unite men together for a common object. The Greeks, of course, could act with little concert at the beginning; they were unaccustomed to the exercise of power, without experience, with limited knowledge, without aid, and surrounded by nations, which, whatever claims the Greeks might seem to have had upon them, have afforded them nothing but discouragement and
reproach. They have held out, however, for three campaigns; and that, at least, is something. Constantinople and the northern provinces have sent forth thousands of troops;-they have been defeated. Tripoli, and Algiers, and Egypt, have contributed their marine contingents; they have not kept the ocean. Hordes of Tartars have crossed the Bosphorus;-they have died where the Persians died. The powerful monarchies in the neighbourhood have denounced their cause, and admonished them to abandon it, and submit to their fate. They have answered them, that, although two hundred thousand of their countrymen have offered up their lives, there yet remain lives to offer; and that it is the determination of all, "yes, of ALL," to persevere until they shall have established their liberty, or until the power of their oppressors shall have relieved them from the burden of existence.
It may now be asked, perhaps, whether the expression of our own sympathy, and that of the country, may do them good? I hope it may. It may give them courage and spirit, it may assure them of public regard, teach them that they are not wholly forgotten by the civilized world, and inspire them with constancy in the pursuit of their great end. At any rate, sir, it appears to me, that the measure which I have proposed is due to our own character, and called for by our own duty. When we shall have discharged that duty, we may leave the rest to the disposition of Providence.
I do not see how it can be doubted, that this measure is entirely pacific. I profess my inability to perceive that it has any possible tendency to involve our neutral relations. If the resolution pass, it is not, necessarily, to be immediately acted on. It will not be acted on at all, unless, in the opinion of the President, a proper and safe occasion for acting upon it shall arise. If we adopt the resolution to-day, our relations with every foreign state will be to-morrow precisely what they now are. The resolution will be sufficient to express our sentiments on the subjects to which I have adverted. Useful to that purpose, it can be mischievous to no purpose. If the topic were properly introduced into the Message, it cannot be improperly introduced into discussion in this House. If it were prop
er, which no one doubts, for the President to express his opinions upon it, it cannot, I think, be improper for us to express ours. The only certain effect of this resolution is to express, in a form usual in bodies constituted like this, our approbation of the general sentiment of the Message. Do we wish to withhold that approbation? The Resolution confers on the President no new power, nor does it enjoin on him the exercise of any new duty; nor does it hasten him in the discharge of any existing duty.
I cannot imagine that this resolution can add anything to those excitements which it has been supposed, I think very causelessly, might possibly provoke the Turkish government to acts of hostility. There is already the Message, expressing the hope of success to the Greeks, and disaster to the Turks, in a much stronger manner than is to be implied from the terms of this resolution. There is the correspondence between the Secretary of State and the Greek Agent in London, already made public, in which similar wishes are expressed, and a continuance of the correspondence apparently in
vited. I might add to this, the unexampled burst of feeling which this cause has called forth from all classes of society, and the notorious fact of pecuniary contributions made throughout the country for its aid and advancement. After all this, whoever can see cause of danger to our pacific relations from the adoption of this resolution, has a keener vision than I can pretend to. Sir, there is no augmented danger; there is no danger. The question comes at last to this, whether, on a subject of this sort, this House holds an opinion which is worthy to be expressed?
Even suppose, sir, an Agent or Commissioner were to be immediately sent,—a measure which I myself believe to be the proper one, there is no breach of neutrality, nor any just cause of offence. Such an agent, of course, would not be accredited; he would not be a public minister. The object would be inquiry and information; inquiry, which we have a right to make; information, which we are interested to possess. If a dismemberment of the Turkish empire be taking place, or has already taken place; if a new state be rising, or be already risen, in the Mediterranean, who can doubt, that, without any breach of neutrality, we may inform ourselves of these events, for the government of our own concerns?
The Greeks have declared the Turkish coasts in a state of blockade; may we not inform ourselves whether this blockade be nominal or real? And, of course, whether it shall be regarded or disregarded? The greater our trade may happen to be with Smyrna, a consideration which seems to have alarmed some gentlemen, the greater is the reason, in my opinion, why we should seek to be accurately informed of those events which may affect its safety.
It seems to me impossible, therefore, for any reasonable man to imagine, that this resolution can expose us to the resentment of the sublime Porte.
As little reason is there for fearing its consequences upon the conduct of the Allied Powers. They may, very naturally, dislike our sentiments upon the subject of the Greek Revolution; but what those sentiments are, they will much more explicitly learn in the President's Message than in this resolution. They might, indeed, prefer that we should express no dissent upon the doctrines which they have avowed, and the application which they have made of those doctrines to the case of Greece. But I trust we are not disposed to leave them in any doubt as to our sentiments upon these important subjects. They have expressed their opinions, and do not call that expression of opinion, an interference; in which respect they are right, as the expression of opinion, in such cases, is not such an interference as would justify the Greeks in considering the powers as at war with them. For the same reason, any expression which we may make, of different principles and different sympathies, is no interference. No one would call the President's Message an interference; and yet it is much stronger, in that respect, than this resolution. If either of them could be construed to be an interference, no doubt it would be improper, at least it would be so, according to my view of the subject; for the very thing which I have attempted to resist in the course of these observations, is the right of foreign interference. But neither the Message nor the resolution has that character. There is not a