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WASHINGTON CITY, JANUARY 30, 1819.
Printed and Published, every Saturday, by Lawrence, Wilson, & Co. at five dollars per annum.
FOR THE NATIONAL REGISTER.
facts? Spain, during the war of 1812, suffered the great injury and loss of the United States. She British to destroy her neutrality in Florida, to the was called upon to vindicate that neutrality, according to the injunctions of the law of nations and the provisions of the treaty of 1795. What was her answer? She was unable to do it. The government of the United States, in compassion, let that pass. Peace was restored with Great Britain, but Spain still suffered British agents to linger in the bosom of Florida, to stir up the Indians to pillage and bloodshed. Remonstrance was again addressed to her. In vain! The pretext still was inability. Great Britain, too, was reminded of the necessity of her restraining her subjects from exciting the Indians to war. She
To the Honorable Henry Clay, Speaker of the House of Representatives. SIR,―The part which you have taken against general Jackson, has surprised every body: not less because you have been supposed to be a lover of your country, than on account of your being known as a lawyer. The public had considered you not as a mere county court attorney, but as a liberal professor of the legal science: not as a pal-admitted the necessity and disavowed her subtry dabbler in the quibbles of the bar, but as an|jects. What, then, remained? Here was a comenlightened apostle of those widely-extended prin- bined band of British outlaws, negro fugitives, and ciples which give security to the rights of man Indian plunderers, scalping, burning, and pillagand contribute to the happiness of nations. Howing, the inhabitants and property of the frontier much your fellow-citizens have been mistaken of Georgia: Residing ond the limits of the will appear from your speech on the famous re- United States, it is true; but on a space of earth port of the mild and humane Mr. Thomas M. Nel-where no restraining Christian authority would son, concerning the conduct of general Jackson interfere. What would you have done in this during the war in Florida. case? Read to them, perhaps, Mr. Vattel's TreaYou have asserted-at least, so Mr. Gales hastise on the Law of Nations, the Constitution of told us in his paper-that general Jackson has, the United States, and the Acts of Congress. but that the President has not, violated the laws Doubtless, from their well-known gentle natures, and the constitution. And what is your argu-you would have instantly subdued them into peace ment? Why, that the general took, and the Presi. and good behavior. What would the pious Mr. dent restored, St. Mark's and Pensacola. But, Sir, Mercer have done? Exorcised from them, peradwhat was it that constituted, in the opinion of any venture, the evil spirits which infested them, man, the violation of the Spanish territory? Was with "bell, book, and candle." Or the wordy, it not the crossing, with an armed force, the boun- law-quoting, wire-drawing, net-weaving, “Algerdary line of Florida? And did not the President | non Sidney," of the "Richmond Enquirer”—what authorize general Jackson to cross it? You know course would he have pursued on the occasion? he did. If there was a violation of territory at all, || Set, presume, a fly-trap. This latter gentleit was the passing the line. All the rest was inci-man, (God bless him!) has learnt from the books dental to that leading circumstance. Your argu- that an "outlaw" is merely a man who is judicialment, therefore, is nugatory; for, on the supposi-ly proclaimed as such. He will not believe tion of a violation, it was the President's order to that there can be any one outlawed of nations as cross the boundary, and not the seizure of the well as of courts of justice: that there can be Spanish posts, in which it is to be found. You "land pirates as well as water pirates:" or that have been famed for perspicacity; but in this in- any thing more is necessary to punish villains than stance the force of your understanding was par- the writing of four or five formal essays, addressed alyzed. You are only an able logician when you to the editor of the "Richmond Enquirer," who, speak upon the right side of a question; and that by the way, has lately been very remarkable for proves that God gave you talents for the purpose the velocity of his political sensations. Or, it is of your always and only being an honest politi- likely, this Mr. "Algernon Sidney," (known, i am told, for being an honorable legislator, who commonly makes his speeches in the newspapers instead of making them in the House) would, like Miss who is going to be married, and
Contents of this No. of the National Register. ORIGINAL-Letter to Henry Clay, 65.-Editor's Cabinet
Joseph Lancaster, 78-Banking, 79-History of Congress,
-Battle of Waterloo, 80, SELECTED.-Cobbett against Fearon, 68.-Foreign Affairs -Netherlands, 70-France, 71.-Mediterranean, 72.Miscellany-American prisoners at Malaga, 72.-Death of colonel Irwin, 72.-Proceedings of Congress, 72.-Selected Verses, 77,
I deny, in the most positive terms, that either the President or general Jackson has violated the laws or the constitution. What are, in brief, the
who insists on all the introductory formalities of to fulfil the stipulations of the treaty of 1795? I courtship, wedding-dress, bride's maid, wine, do not believe it. With all your patriotism, you cakes, and so forth-it is likely he would act || love popularity too well to avow that determinaagainst this outlawed, fugitive, and savage, band, with all the preliminaries usual in the case of war It has been even gravely contended that the between civilized nations. He would, it may be, President made war contrary to law. Yes! grave. have despatched to the prophet Francis, and to Arly contended. Worthy Mr. Cobb, is this true? buthnot and Armbrister, a written remonstrance; What! were the outcries from Georgia, of Indian next, a written rebuke; then, a herald of defiance, scalpings, burnings, and murders, a sham? Alas! according to the ancient forms of chivalry; or, in what are we to believe? Nobody can deny the conformity to the modern mode, a proclamation President's power, under the act of February, of war. He would, of course, have marched his 1795, to repel Indian aggression without the inarmy to the territorial boundary of Florida: Andtervention of Congress. You, Mr. Clay, will not there, O! immortal Vattel, a part of thy book-deny it yourself. Were the Georgians, then, not but not the applicable part*—would have arrested to be credited? Were there really no pillagings, his progress. New negotiations must then have no massacres, no inroads? What says governor taken place with Spain: Don Luis de Onis would Rabun? Did he not press general Jackson to have been consulted, and the great maxim of Spa- come to his aid? Did he not raise an army himnish diplomacy-procrastination would have been self, and give the command of it to that famous finely played off. Meanwhile the bloody combi-officer captain Obed Wright, who made war, not nation of British outlaws, fugitive negroes, and Indian spoilers, would have been busily at work with the rifle and tomahawk; and "ashes slaked with blood" would, in countless instances, have marked their track of desolation.
on the hostile Indians, but on the friendly ones? You say nothing of Obed Wright and his villainous murders at the Chehaw. That is glossed over: But general Jackson, who drove the savages from the Georgian border; general Jackson, who effectually put an end to Seminole incursion, is denounced as a despotic chief, and faithless to the laws and constitution of his country. Georgia cries out for succor; and when she is defended and protected, some of her representatives clamor for vengeance on the man who was her de.
From this digression, allow me to return more distinctly to my subject, and to you. In truth, what ought to have been done, by a government at once wise and temperate? Spain had been applied to, and alleged inability. Great Britain had disavowed her subjects, was passive, and left them to their fate. It was impossible, under such cir-liverer from danger. I think, Mr. Clay, that you cannot, yourself, approve of such conduct as this.
cumstances, to put an end to the Seminole war without pursuing the Indians into Florida: It was useless to pursue them there, if they were allowed to find refuge in the Spanish forts. Would you have had general Jackson draw up all the troops of the southern division of the army, by way of cordon, along the Georgian frontier, and there have remained; receiving reports of Indian mas-flog themselves by way of penance. Lay on, Mr.
Clay. But I see no blood on your lash as yet.
I admire, I confess, the humility which is evinced by some of the congressional orators: they are so politically devout: they can see no sin but in their own rulers. Whip! whip! whip! This reminds me of the Flagellants, who
sacres, only that he might have transmitted them to the Secretary of War? Would you have placed Military despotism! What is it! Is it military yourself, on such air occasion, in a situation so truly despotism to fight and beat the enemies of your ridiculous? No, Sir. What was done, is precisely country? General Jackson's conduct at New Orwhat ought to have been done. The President's leans has been cited as an example. Unfortuorder to cross the Florida line was indispensable nate allusion! If there is one incident in the mi---was lawful: and being once crossed, the busi.litary life of the general more worthy of praise ness of general Jackson was not to play at diplo-than another, it is his behavior in the defence matic shuttlecock with the Spanish authorities, of that place. The lives and fortunes of the citi who refused to punish, and actually protected,zens, the virtue of the women, the honor of the the foe, but to crush the enemy at once. Youmen, were all at stake: Beauty and Booty" will allow that it was necessary to bring the war were the rallying words of the enemy. In a to an end in some shape or another. Would you crisis like that, with a British veteran army withhave voted for war against Spain to compel her in eye-shot of the city, a few malcontents and a piddling judge insisted on the observance of the forms of civil law. Will posterity believe it? The forms of law! when law, gospel, and every thing else that is valuable to human nature, was at
Vattel is. in the law of nations, what the bible is in religion. Ignorance and kuavery pervert the meaning of both. Infidelity draws weapons from Holy Writ, and demagogues draw the doctrines of public law from Vattel, Vide divers speeches in congress and sundry essays in the newspapers.
stake on the event of a battle! General Jackson won that battle; and victory had no sooner declared in his favor, than, although at the head of a triumphant army, he submitted to the civil authorities; peaceably yielded himself to the sentence of the very judge whom he had personally offended, and was fined. Who could have acted more like a genuine patriot? Would Cincinnatus himself have behaved with more humility? The people of New Orleans, sensible of his merits, instantly paid the fine of a thousand dollars.
Guilty or not guilty, however, it is asserted that general Jackson had no power to try Arbuthnot and Armbrister. But what is the truth?
Great Britain would not interfere to restrain or punish them.
Spain would not, or could not, punish them. The Indians regarded them as friends, and, of course, would not meddle with them in the way of vengeance.
If guilty, then, they could only be punished by the United States.
What should have been the mode of punishing them? I assert, without the fear of contradiction from any sound lawyer
But Arbuthnot and Armbrister-honest souls!they, it seems, were foully murdered. They never did any harm; not they. They were peaceably, no doubt, pursuing a fair, a free, an honorable, trade, with the Seminoles. Were they, indeed! Now, I dare say, Mr. Clay, that you have read the story of the Devil's visit to Paradise. His Satanic majesty, you know, was a trader, too, in the garden of Eden. He neither stole any thing nor made war upon the animals and property there. He was, like Messrs. Arbuthnot and Armbrister, a simple, honest gentleman, merely employed, like them, upon his lawful concerns. But you will recollect, Sir, that this Devil, whilst thus inAllow me, Sir, in this place to remark, that all nocently engaged, did, by certain false sugges- allegations against general Jackson with respect tions and false representations, induce Madam to the nature of the testimony, and the finding of Eve to do a thing which damned the whole hu-the culprits guilty, are misdirected. The court man race for about three thousand years. Yet could the Devil have been hung or shot for it, by any of Adam's sons, I have not the least doubt but Mr. Cobb would have thought it an act of military despotism, and a most cruel and wicked transaction!
were the jury. If the parties were convicted upon feeble or false evidence, it was not his fault, but that of the court. He submitted the case to their decision. He did not find the prisoners guilty himself: he only applied the law. This, Mr. Clay, you are well aware, is the usual course in the ordinary courts of justice; and you ought not to condemn general Jackson for following the practice.
1. That they were subject to be put to death by the public authorities of the United
full authority to put them to death, after they were found guilty.
1. They were subject to be put to death. And here, Mr. Clay, as you are fond of the books, I will give you a brief quotation from Vattel. "He "who is injured by foreign subjects (says Vattel, "§ 52, b. 4, ch. 4,) does himself justice by his own power, when he meets with the offenders in his own territories, or in a free place: for instance,
on the open sea; or if he pleases, he requires justice from their sovereign: but on seizing "them even in a free place, every one does him. "self justice. In this manner pirates are treated. "And, to avoid all misunderstanding, it is agreed "that every private person committing hostilities with "out a commission from their sovereign should meet "with the same treatment."
2. That they could not be tried and punished by the civil courts of the United States.
3. That a court martial is the only tribunal that could legally try them.
4. And that general Jackson, as commander in chief of the southern division of the army, had
Here is law for you, exactly in point. Here were Arbuthnot and Armbrister, committing hostilities, (the one by exciting to war, the other by person. ally leading in it,) without a commission from their sovereign. General Jackson caught them, and treated them as the law of nations prescribesas pirates-and put them to death.
2. They could not be tried and punished by the civil courts of the United States. It is not necessary to dwell on this point. The jurisdiction of the courts of the United States, it is notorious, is confined to offences committed at sea, or within the limits of the United States and their territories, or on lands guaranteed to the Indians by treaty. Offences within a foreign jurisdiction are not cog. nizable by them.
3. A court martial is the only tribunal that could
legally try them. This point is established by the well known fact that all military offences can be tried by such a court alone. The offences of Arbuthnot and Armbrister were strictly military. They fomented war; they furnished supplies; they led to battle,
4. General Jackson had full authority to put them to death after they were found guilty. By the Rules and Articles of War, all sentences may be confirm led and executed in time of war, by the general of
ficer ordering the court. (Laws U. S. page 22, vol. 4.)
Now, Sir, do you or any other man, by fair reasoning, drive me from these positions if you can. I defy you to the experiment. It is not in the power of the human intellect to do it.
I regret, exceedingly, the necessity of this address. I have had hopes of you, which I should be sorry to see wholly disappointed. You have a certain quickness of parts, a certain portion of abilities, and you are a speaker sufficiently agreea ble, to make you respectable in the eyes of your fellow citizens. Bet do not destroy yourself by self-delusion. You are neither a man of erudition, a profound calculator, a master of elocution, nor have you in the proper degree the command of your temper, to make you what I call a great statesman. There are not wanting those who think they see in you that unsteadiness, that wavering, which indicate an eventual downfall in the political world. I confess I do not go so far. What you might be, I think I can perceive: What you will be, time must develop. Resort to severe study and deep meditation. Examine yourself with rigor: Chastise and control your passions. This is the sincere advice of a friend, whom you do not know, but who does not wish your useful ness to the public to be lost. I have marked your progress from the Senate to the House; from the House to Ghent; from Ghent to London; and from London to the House again. I have sometimes feared for you; for trust me, Mr. Clay, government is an engine of potent operation; and deeply as I know you think yourself versed in its arcana, you are as yet a mere novice in the paramount principles of its tremendous machi
Without any particular reference to you, but assuredly with a reference to many of the orators and writers who have taken part in the discussions concerning the Seminole war, I shall conclude with a quotation from David Hume's introductory section of "An inquiry concerning the Principles of Morals." Read it, Mr. Clay; and recommend it, I beseech you, to the perusal of all those who take part with you in this affair:
phistry and falsehood. And as reasoning is not "the source whence either disputant derives his "tenets, it is in vain to expect that any logic, "which speaks not to the affections, will ever engage him to embrace sounder principles." THEMISTOCLES.
To the Editor of the National Advocate. Hyde Park, January 9, 1819. fore yesterday, giving some extracts from a book SIR, Before I saw your paper of the day bepublished in England, by one Fearon, I had written part of the following article, and had prepar ed to send it home as part of a Register, of which I send one every week. Your paper enabled me to make an addition to the article; and in the few words below, I have this day sent the whole off to be published in London. If you think it worth inserting, I beg you to have the goodness to give it a place, and I beg the same favor at the hands of all those editors who may have published Fearon's account of what he calls his visit to me. 1 am, sir, your most obedient and most humble WM. COBBETT. servant, There is, I am told, one Fearon, who has gone home and written and published a book, abusing this country and its people in the grossest manner. [ only hear of it by letter. I hear also that he how far he knew me: I live at a country house 20 speaks of me as if he knew me. I will tell you miles from New York. One morning, in the summer of 1817, a young man came into the hall, and introduced himself to me under the name of Journal: "A Mr. Fearon came this morning and Fearon. The following. I find about him in my had breakfast with us. Told us an odd story about having slept in a black woman's hut last night for sixpence, though excellent taverns at odder story about his being an envoy from a host every two miles along the road. Told us a still of families in London to look out for a place of settlement in America-but he took special care not to name any one of those families, though we asked him to do it.
We took him, at first, for a sort of spy. William thinks he is a shopkeeper's clerk. I think he has been a tailor. Fobserved that he carried his elbow close to his sides, and his arms below the elbow in a horizontal position. It came out that he had been with Buchanan, Castlereagh's con sul at New York; but it is too ridiculous-such a thing as this cannot be a spy-he can get access no where but to taverns and boarding houses."
This note stands in my journal or diary of 22d August, 1817. I remember that he asked me Disputes with men, (says Hume,) pertina- some very silly questions about the prices of land, "ciously obstinate in their principles, are, of all cattle, and other things, which I answered very shortly. “others, the most irksome; except, perhaps, emigrating, and the very words I uttered in anHe asked my advice about the families "those with persons entirely disingenuous, who swer were these: "Every thing I can say in such "really do not believe the opinion they defend, but | a case, is to discourage the enterprise. If Engengage in the controversy, from affectation,glishmen come here, let them come individually, and sit down amongst the natives: no other plan is "from a spirit of opposition, or from a desire of rational." "showing wit and ingenuity superior to the rest "of mankind. The same blind adherence to "their own arguments is to be expected in both; "the same contempt of their antagonists; and the
What I have heard of this man since, is, that he spent his time, or greater part of it, in New York, among the idle and dissolute young Engglishmen, whose laziness and extravagance had put them in a state to make them uneasy, and to same passionate vehemence in enforcing so-make them unnoticed by respectable people.
That country must be bad, to be sure, which || circumstances to emigrate, even in the present would not give them ease and abundance without state of England. In his opinion a family who can labor or economy. barely live upon their property, will more consult their happiness by not removing to the United States. He almost laughs at Mr. Birkbeck's settling in the western country. This being the first time I had seen this well known character, I viewed with no ordinary degree of interest. A print by Bartolozzi, executed in eighteen hundred and one, conveys a correct outline of his person. His eyes are small, and pleasingly good natured. To I have no doubt, however, that the reviews and a French gentleman present, he was attentive; newspapers in the pay of the borough-mongers,||with his sons familiar; to his servants easy; but to will do their best to propagate the falsehoods all, in his tone and manner resolute and detercontained in this man's book. But what would mined. He feels no hesitation in praising himyou say of the people of America, if they were to self, and evidently believes that he is eventually affect to believe what the French general said of destined to be the Atlas of the British nation. the people of England. This man, in a book His faculty of relating anecdotes is amusing. In which he published in France, said that all the stances when we meet. My impressions of Mr. English married women got drunk, and swore like Cobbett are, that those who know him would like troopers; and that all the young women were him, if they can be content to submit unconditistrumpets, and that the greater part of them had bas-onally to his dictation. Obey me, and I will treat tards before they were married. Now, if the peo-you kindly, if you do not, I will trample on you,' ple of America were to affect to believe this what seemed visible in every word and feature. He should we say of them? Yet this is just as true appears to feel, in its fullest force, the sentiment, as this Fearon's account of the people of America. "I have no brother, am like no brother, As to the facts of this man's visit to me, my son "I am myself alone." William, who is by this time in London, can and will vouch for their truth at any time, and if ne cessary, to Fearon's face, if Fearon has a face which he dares show.
Now what can such a man know of America He has not kept house; he has never had any circle of acquaintances amongst the people; he has never been a guest under any of their roofs; he knows nothing of their manners or their charac-him ters; and how can such a man be a judge of the effects of their institutions, civil, political, or re ligious?
It is unlucky for this blade, that the parties are alive, First-let the "English woman" speak for herself, which she does, in these words:
Since writing the above, the New York papers have brought me a specimen of Mr. Fearon's per formance. I shall notice only his account of his visit to me. It is in the following words:
"I remember, that, about a week after I came to Hyde Park, in 1817, a man came to the house in the evening, when Mr Cobbet was out, and that he came again the next morning. I never knew, or asked, what countryman he was. He "A visit to Mr. Cobbett-Upon arriving at Mr. came to the back door. I first gave him a chair Cobbett's gate, my feelings, in walking along the in a back room; but, as he was a slippery looking path which led to the residence of this celebrated young man, and as it was growing late, my hus man, are difficult to describe. The idea of a per- band thought it was best to bring him down into son self-banished, leading an isolated life in a the kitchen, where he staid till he went away. I foreign land-a path rarely trod, fences in ruin, had no talk with him. I could not know what conthe gate broken, a house mouldering to decay, addeddition Mr. Cobbett found the house in, for I did to much awkwardness of feeling on my part, not come here 'till the middle of August. I never calling upon an entire stranger, produced in heard whether the gentleman that lived here bemy mind feelings of thoughtfulness and me. fore Mr. Cobbett was an American or not. I nelancholy. I would fain almost have returned ver in my life said a word against the people of without entering the wooden mansion, ima- the country; I am very glad I came to it; I am dogining that its possessor would exclaim, "whating very well in it; and have found as good and intruding fellow is here coming to break in upon kind friends amongst the Americans, as I ever had my pursuits?" But these difficulties ceased' ai- in all my life. MARY ANN CHURCHER. most with their existence. A female servant (an Hyde Park, 8th Jan. 1819." English woman) informed me that her master was from home, attending at the county court. Her language was natural enough for a person in her situation: she pressed me to walk in, being quite certain that I was her countryman; and she was so delighted to see an Englishman, instead of those nasty guessing Yankees. Following my guide through the kitchen (the floor of which, she as- As to the house, it is a better one than he ever serted, was imbedded with two feet of dirt when entered, except as a lodger or a servant, or to carMr. Cobbett came there-(it had been previously ry home work. The path, so far from being trackin the occupation of Americans) I was conducted less, was as beaten as the highway. The gentleto a front parlour, which contained but a single man who lived here before ine was an Englishman chair and several trunks of sea clothes. Mr. C's whose name was Crow. But only think of dirt, first question on seeing me was, are you an two feet deep, in a kitchen! All is false. The American sir?' then, what were my objects in the house was built by judge Ludlow. It is large, United States? was I acquainted with the friends and very sound and commodious. The avenues of liberty in London? how long had 1 left? &c. of trees before it the most beautiful that I ever He was immediately familiar I was pleasingly saw. The orchard, the fine shade and fine grass disappointed with the general tone of his man-all about the house, the abundant garden, the ners. Mr. C. thinks meanly of the American people, beautiful turnip field; the whole a subject worthy but spoke highly of the economy of their govern-of admiration; and not a single drawback. Á ment. He does not advise persons in respectable hearty unostentatious welcome from me and my
Mrs. Churcher puts me in mind, that I asked her what sort of a looking man it was, and that she said that he looked like an erciseman, and that Churcher exclaimed; “Why, you fool, they don't have any excisemen and such fellows here!" I never was at a county court in America in my life. E was out shooting.