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capable of helping us maintain this Republic, if they were an inferior race?
The next effort at acquisition was the Danish West Indies, and that is pending. The proposition is before us to-day. A resolution is now, I believe, upon the Calendar of the Senate to acquire the Danish West Indies. The simple acquisition of Hawaii is not all that is in this contest. It is the adoption of a policy of conquest and acquisition that must destroy the very fundamental principles upon which this Government is founded.
Years ago the proposition was presented to acquire the Danish West Indies. They are three little islands east of Puerto Rico in the Tropics, in the West Indies. They are inhabited not by white men, for there are none, and never have been. The Danes tried to live there two centuries ago. The climate was so unhealthy that they found it impossible to do so. The population there is composed of negroes. They produce sugar. If we admit the Danish West Indies, we remit the duty we now collect upon sugar from that country, which will amount to $600,000 a year. It is simply another sugar job. It is another chance to acquire enormous wealth by taxing the people of the United States. That, added to the remission of duties to Hawaii, would amount to nearly $10,000,000 a year. Mr. Wharton says:
There is no printed executive summary of the negotiations for the Danish West Indies.
So far as can be learned from the archives of this Department, negotiations were commenced by Mr. Seward, Secretary of State, on July 17, 1866, by a note to the Danish minister, General Raasloff, offering $5,000,000 gold for the three islands to be delivered, with all fixed public property therein, without conditions or incumbrances. General Raasloff having shortly afterwards returned to Denmark to accept the ministry of war, the negotiations were transferred to Copenhagen, where they were conducted by Mr. Yeaman, our minister there, on our part, and for the Danish Government by Count Frijs, minister of foreign affairs, and General Raasloff. No counter proposal was made until May 17, 1867, by the Danish Government. Then Count Frijs told Mr. Yeaman that Denmark expected $15,000,000 gold for the three islands, and that it would not cede them without the consent of the inhabitants; but that as his Government could not dispose of Santa Cruz without the consent of France, he was willing to cede St. Thomas and St. John for $10,000,000 gold, and to treat separately as to Santa Cruz.
On May 27, 1867, Mr. Seward sent Mr. Yeaman the draft of a convention such as he desired. In it he offered $7,500,000 for the three islands on the conditions above stated. And in addition he instructed Mr. Yeaman that in no case was a stipulation for the consent of the inhabitants to be inserted in the convention; that permission would be granted them to leave the island at any time within two years after the United States took possession of it, if they preferred their original allegiance to that of the United States; and that the convention must be ratified on or before August 4, 1867.
These terms not proving acceptable to Denmark, the negotiations were prolonged until finally Mr. Seward gave up the attempt to fix the date of ratification, concurred in a stipulation in the convention for the consent of the inhabitants, and offered $7,500,000 for St. Thomas and St. John.
On this basis a treaty was concluded on October 25, 1867: This was promptly ratified by Denmark, but the United States Senate delayed action on it, and finally rejected it in the session of 1868, as appears by the records of the Department of State.
Denmark had no particular desire to sell to the United States, but was persuaded to do so. The inhabitants of the islands had already voted to accept the United States as their sovereign. The late Mr. Charles Sumner, then chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, who was engaged in a personal quarrel with the Administration, simply refused to report back the treaty to the Senate, and he was supported by a sufficient number of his committee and of Senators to enable the matter to be left in this position. It required new negotiations to prolong the term of ratification, and it was with great difficulty that in a subsequent session the treaty was finally brought before the Senate and rejected. As may be imagined, our friendly relations with Denmark were considerably impaired by this method of doing business.
So we have refused on all occasions to acquire territory in the Tropics, where the population is not capable of selfgovernment.
[At this point, without having concluded his speech, MR. PETTIGREW yielded for a motion to proceed to the consideration of executive business.]
Those who favor a different policy now and who favor 1. Speech in the Senate June 23, 1898.
a departure from those customs and practices that have created the proudest pages of our history say it is manifest destiny. Throughout all recorded time manifest destiny has been the murderer of men. It has committed more crimes, done more to oppress and to wrong the inhabitants of the world than any other attribute to which mankind has fallen heir.
Manifest destiny has caused the strong to rob the weak and has reduced the weak to slavery. Manifest destiny built the feudal castle and supplied the castle with its serfs. Manifest destiny impelled republics that have heretofore existed and perished to go forth and conquer weaker races and to subject their people to slavery, to impose taxation against their will, and to inflict governments odious to them. Manifest destiny is simply the cry of the strong in justification of their plunder of the weak. This cry sent forth the nations of Europe to divide among them the weaker nations of Asia and of Africa. This cry has allowed Great Britain to gather the harvests on the banks of the Nile, to lay burdens upon the people of Egypt unusual, intolerable, worse than that of individual slavery. It is this cry of manifest destiny which causes the guns
of Great Britain to echo daily around the world and excuses the massacre and assassination of the weaker people of the earth. Her operations in Africa she justifies by this specious plea. During the last seven years she has killed twenty or thirty thousand of the people of Africa, bombarded towns filled with women and children, and herself has lost in this unequal contest but seven men—all this in the name of manifest destiny. So colonies have been planted by the nations of Europe. They have gone forth to conquer the weaker nations of the world. But the result upon themselves has not been such as to induce us to emulate their example.
Great Britain to-day, with all her mighty power and her vast possessions, has not conferred upon the people of England the comfort and satisfaction and happiness which should come with a proper and honest national policy. One-tenth of her people are' paupers. Two out of three of her laborers who reach the age of 60 years either are or have been paupers.
Two hundred and twenty-two thousand of her people own all the property. More than two-thirds of the people of Great Britain have no property at all. This is a result of her course in working out to its legitimate conclusion the theory of manifest destiny.
If we pursue it, if we annex the weaker nations of the world and undertake to govern them, such will be the result with us.
If we annex nations to which we can not apply our system of government, if we acquire territory in the Tropics where men can not live who are capable of self-government, then republican forms can not exist in those distant possessions. The vigorous blood, the best blood, the young men of our land, will be drawn away to mix with inferior races and to hold them in subjection. Gradually the reflex action of the
onquest and government of these inferior races by tyranny, by a new form of government unknown to us will work its effect upon our own people, and free institutions will disappear from this land as well as from the land we conquer and undertake to hold in subjection. Why should we change our policy as a people? Why should we go back upon our history and our past? What argument can be presented in behalf of an abandonment of the principles and policies that have made us a great nation?
If these islands contained a population as dense as that of Iowa to-day, they would be occupied by 240,000 people; if a population as dense as that of Illinois, they would have 460,000 people.
But, Mr. President, tropical countries produce and maintain populations much more dense than countries in the temperate zone, because it takes less to clothe and feed and care for their people, because their demands and wants are less, and because of the wonderful food-producing power of the soil of the Tropics.
The island of Java has an area no larger than the State of Iowa, and it contains 24,000,000 people. It is within the Tropics. It is reasonable to suppose that the Hawaiian Islands will maintain a population in proportion to their area equal to those of other tropical countries.
But what kind of a population, Mr. President? The more of them the worse. What kind of a population is it, then, that we propose to admit into this country? But our friends who are favoring annexation say American laborers will go over to Hawaii to till the soil and gain easy subsistence. There is not a colony of European or Anglo-Saxon laborers within 22° of the equator anywhere on the globe. No English, no French, no Germans, no Scandinavians, no Russians, none of the people whose blood flows in the veins of our people have colonized any portion of the globe within 22° of the equator. American enterprise and Anglo-Saxon thrift seek the region in the northern hemisphere or the southern hemisphere, if you will, between the thirtieth and fifty-fifth degrees of north or south latitude. They will not go elsewhere.
Is it claimed that these people are not colonists; that they have not gone forth to conquer the world and settle new countries?
On the contrary, they have planted their colonies around the world, though never within this tropical belt, for the reason that they do not flourish there.
Jamaica has been an English colony for two hundred years. Jamaica has 4,200 square miles, two-thirds as much as the islands of Hawaii. It lies within the Tropics. It has a population of 633,000 people. How many Englishmen; how many Europeans? Including the garrison, including the officers, including the attachés of the Government, 14,600, and that is all. The rest are blacks. This island lies within the Tropics. It has an elevation of 7,000 feet. It is one of the most healthful of all the tropical islands.
That which may be said of it may be also said of Hawaii. And yet the European will not locate there. He goes to New Zealand, to southern Australia, to Canada. He abides where the frost chills man's blood and where clothing made of the wool of the sheep helps to keep him warm. I think you can lay it down as a proposition which can not be refuted that self-government and independence and high civilization are only embraced by the people who find it necessary to wear warm clothes and who feel the tingle of the frost in their veins during a portion of a year.