« 이전계속 »
present session, in more guarded and measured terms, declare it to be the solemn and imperative duty of the Federal Government faithfully to maintain every obligation it is under toward the State of Maine, touching the establishment of our North-Eastern Boundary Line; that the question is one not local in its character to this State, although this State is allowed to be more interested than any other in its adjustment, but that it concerns the whole Union; that the Government is bound in defence of its own honour, not to concede to Great Britain any claim not strictly founded in right and justice; and that it is the duty of Maine to trust the decision of the matter to the counsels of the Union, and to abide thereby, whatever it may finally be, and whether exactly consistent with her own wishes or not. They further declare, that they should deprecate a resort to force, until every honourable peaceful expedient has been exhausted; and while they are ready to go to war, if Congress so says, they should deeply regret to see the State of Maine take any rash step which might tend to plunge her sister States into a war, more through sympathy and feeling on their part, than from any deliberate choice and determination.
To the more advisory and admonitory tone of these Alabama Resolutions the Committee do not except, though it is somewhat more collected and grave than we have been accustomed to, in our painful condition, from our sister States. We may assent to their fitness, and be content with the assurance they contain; and we may feel further all the force and propriety of the appeal. Yet, may we ask, what other State in the Union is there that could thus bear to see a district of its .# torn from its own possession, and held under the hostile flag of a foreign Power—its citizens interrupted and harassed in their peaceful pursuits—even those who bear the official signet of its authority, treated with violence and disgrace, and its dearest and most vital rights trampled upon, as those of Maine have been 2 These wrongs may well be imagined to require all her patience, and to admit of much alleviation. Alabama, we may be sure, does not mean to add to all this sense of what this State has experienced and yet endures, the most distant idea, in any contingency or event, of being laid under the ban of the Union.
To a people whose pursuits in life are moral and peaceful, and which cherishes a deep sensibility to all the guilt and wretchedness of war, it may be . to see that a profound conviction must be required of the purity and righteousness of a cause which could, by any possibility, be exposed #. its vindication to so great a calamity. Nor is there any occasion to colour or pourtray the consequences of such an alternative. It may well be admitted that something more that the ordinary apology for even defensive war may be demanded in this advanced and enlightened age of humanity and civilization, and we will not hesitate to say of religion also: one to be looked for only in the nature and circumstances of the case, such as must show themselves in unsullied purity and unblenching strength, so as to constitute an absolute justification in the moral view and judgment of mankind. If such may ever be found, it might surely be in the character of a conflict, to which a community like ours might be subjected, in defence of what is nearest to our homes and hearths, of our dearest rights and native land—a strife to which we might be exposed to preserve the inheritance we received from our ancestors before the Revolution, and the patrimony bequeathed to us by the patriotism of our fathers in the war of independence—a struggle to prevent the removal of our ancient land-marks, and subverting the very soil of our free institutions —points that are vital, let us be allowed to say, to the very principles of our social existence and prosperity. Such a cause as this, if it cannot ensure protection, may at least escape reproach.
Resolutions have just been received from Maryland, accompanied by a Report of much merit from the pen of one who has had official opportunity to become acquainted with the subject, declaring the perfect conviction which the Legislature of that State entertains of the justice and validity of the nation and of Maine to the full extent of all the territory in dispute; and subjoining that the Legislature of Maryland looks to the Federal Government with entire reliance upon its disposition to bring the controversy to an amicable and speedy settlement; but that if these efforts should fail, the State of Maryland will cheerfully place herself in the support of the Federal Government, in what will then become its duty to itself and to the State of Maine. After the expression of such opinion and assurance, these Resolutions say that the State of Maryland feels that it has a right to request this State to contribute, by all the means in its power, towards an amicable settlement of the dispute upon honourable terms; and they volunteer a suggestion, respecting a reasonable mode of mutual accommodation and adjustment, to which it strikes the minds of your Committee, that it will be time enough for Maine to attend, when it comes recommended to her consideration, as it would be by the condition with which it is connected, namely, that Great Britain should acknowledge the title of the State of Maine. The Committee were apprized, that Resolutions had been presented, together with the able and critical Report that has been alluded to, to the Legislature of Massachusetts; and those Resolutions, accompanied by the Report, have been received and committed, in order to be acknowledged, while this Report was passing through the press. The Commonwealth has never failed, on any and every occasion, to testify her faithful interest in favour of those just rights which we have derived through her, and with which her own continue to be so closely associated. If we had not heard from her at this time, we should not have been left in any doubt of her disposition. But it is none the less satisfactory at this period, to be reassured, that, in her opinion, our right to require of Great Britain the literal and immediate execution of the terms of the original Treaty, relating to the Boundary in question, remains, after more than half a century, unimpared by the lapse of time or by the interposition of multiplied objections; that although there may be no cause to apprehend any immediate collision upon this subject, it is extremely important that a speedy and effectual termination should be put to a difference which might, even by a remote possibility, produce consequences that humanity would deplore; that anything is to be regretted coming from Great Britain, of the character of the late Report made to that Government under its late Commission of Survey, (though not understood to have received its sanction,) calculated to produce, wherever it is examined in the United States, a state of the public mind unfavourable to that conciliatory temper and confidence in mutual good faith, without which it is hopeless to expect a satisfactory result to controversies of this nature; that the interest and honour of Massachusetts alike demand a perseverance, not the less determined, because it is temperate, in maintaining the rights of Maine; that they now cheerfully repeat their often recorded response to her demand, that justice so long withheld should be speedily done her; and that while they extend to her their sympathy for her past wrongs, they again assure her of their unshaken resolution to sustain the territorial rights of the Union. The Committee may, perhaps, deem themselves in some measure called upon, under the existing posture of circumstances, not without some hesitation, to touch upon a point of some delicacy; and which relates to the part this State may be in future required to perform in the further prosecution of this question, and in regard to bringing it to a determination. This point is presented, in the first place, by two distinct orders, one from the House of Representatives, and the other from the Senate, both referred to the immediate consideration of this Committee. The one requires the Executive authority of this State to be employed to expel the British force now quartered upon our territory; the other proposes to invoke the constitutional obligation of the Federal Government, and to call upon the National Executive for the prompt fulfilment of this duty. The alternative presented by the forms of these different legislative orders, dictated alike, as your Committee entirely believe, by the spirit of what was due, and even demanded, to the occasion, brings directly into view the continuance—they would not say the competency or propriety—of that former course of action, which the State qrescribed to itself, at those periods, which have been noticed, when the proper powers of the Federal Government appeared to be in abeyance as to us, if not abdicated here. And the Committee do undoubtedly conceive that this State would be untrue to itself, insensible to its own character, interest, and honour, to renounce or repudiate the position in which it was involuntarily placed, or the principles which it pronounced at any time, under the imperious necessity and duty imposed upon it of self-protection. It would be forgetful of the illustrious examples of virtue and patriotism, which were ever before the eyes of our cherished and devoted Lincoln, to disclaim the ground, or abandon the stand, which he so firmly and intrepidly took upon this question, when its gulf was first opened before us, and he was called to contemplate and survey the sacrifice. Neither would we bury with him the principle on which he acted. But we look upon it as having succeeded; and that we are now enjoying the value and benefit of it in the elevated position to which the progress of it has raised and carried us in the estimation of Congress, the respect of the Govern. ment, and the confidence of the country. Your Committee conceive and trust, that that point is now passed; a point ever intended to be taken and sustained in entire submission to the sense of the nation, and to be carried out only in subordination to its supreme constitutional authority, whenever it did or should become necessary, that is to say, to resort to the original principle of self-preservation, which is never to be recurred to only when all other resource fails, and which Maine alone means to reserve for extreme emergency, or the last extremity. The immediate legitimate objects of that just and necessary course of proceeding on our part adopted by her Executive and Legislative counsels, Maine is now disposed, your Committee apprehend, to regard and look upon as fulfilled. It has been fulfilled so far, certainly, at a great and enormous expense and even sacrifice to her; for which, as in performance of an important duty devolved upon her in discharge of the public service, she is entitled in return to cast herself upon the just consideration of the Republic. Henceforth she conceives herself to have acquired a perfect right to rely on the strengh as well as sympathy of the country, and upon the powerful arm of the National Government for vindication and support. That otherwise the object would not have been answered; but its real and proper purpose would have failed. The remainder might be more than she is equal to ; but it would be ungrateful, now that her cause has been so perfectly affiliated, and the country asks us to accept its solemn assurance, to pursue any other course at present; and, as we value and cherish the pledge it has given us, not to be anxious to avoid anything to forfeit our title to its protection. In coming toward a conclusion of the subject of this Report, and to the final consideration of the best course to be pursued, under the existing and actual state of circumstances, the Committee can see no other than to adopt and stand upon the late Resolves of the preceding Legislatures, that is to say, so far as they are not varied and altered, and accordingly required to be modified, by time and other circumstances, connected with the prolonged and pending state of negotiation. They can see no other course, they repeat, than to continue to call still upon the General Government to vindicate and maintain the rights of this State to its indisputable and indefeasible territory, by one of the two modes pointed out by the last Resolves. Gratitude towards that Government for what it has already done toward what it has solemnly promised, affection to our sister States who have come forward so freely and so cordially in our favour, the necessity which disables us from coping singlehanded with our real and formidable antagonist, and the Constitution which authorizes and requires us to cast the burden of our defence entirely upon the General Government—all these, combined with the consideration and remembrance of what is equally due to ourselves and mankind, under all these circumstances, direct, if they do not compel, us to this course. We wish we could add, that we had more confidence in the efficacy of the means that have so far been adopted (we will not say those likely to be employed) and used to vindicate and establish those rights. We wish we could see an end to the perpetual course of procrastination, or any immediate prospect of the present negotiation being brought to a decisive or satisfactory termination. The Committee are constrained to say that they cannot. On the contrary, they feel themselves obliged to agree in the opinion of his Excellency the Governor of Massachusetts, in whom they know this State has always a fast friend upon this subject, that they do not see any disposition on the part of the British Government to determine it. - . . The Committee are concerned to inquire, also, what is to be the state of the Disputed o in the mean time, and especially of that portion of it lying northward of the St. John? And what is to be done for its protection, and the intermediate preservation of all the rights of the State to its property and jurisdiction? They inquire in vain. It is clear, that the State can enter into no compact with New Brunswick on the subject, even if the authority there had not passed into other hands. Such a thing is impossible. It is forbidden by the Constitution, without the consent of Congress, which is not to be implied, nor even in the view of your Committee, to be desired. If it were proper to listen to any suggestion of that nature, or to any proposition from that quarter, there is no power that can apparently be depended upon (though far from questioning by any means the integrity of the disposition that exists), but there is none in New Brunswick that seems to be competent for the fulfilment of any such compact or assurance. Maine could not come into any agreement, such as was recommended to her, on that point. The objections to it, in her view, are insuperable. Worse than the shackles that might be thus imposed upon her, it might only prove a snare for her, and become an endless source of mischief and regret. She sees not, in any way, how she can go further on this subject, than she has already done by her Resolves of 1839; and that is only in the same earnest desire to come to an amicable adjustment of the whole controversy, to forbear to enforce her jurisdiction in that part of the territory which is now usurped by New Brunswick, so far as she can do so, consistently with the maintenance of her previous Resolves for the protection of the whole territory against trespass and devastation. So far as, under this limited restraint, she is obliged to yield to the continuance of the illegal usurpation at the proper original settlement of Madawaska, so far she supposes she must submit to see the sphere of her own sovereignty circumscribed. But she cannot consent to see the space widened. She cannot allow its being extended to the Fish River, or upon the south bank of the St. John, above the western bend, up to which Maine has at least regained, and made good her ground. It is still less possible for this State to consent to any change in the character of that possession, from civil, as it was only pretended, to military; and further still, to be content to see that change assume a permanent form; in the first place, the whole district converted into a military depôt, and then to take the more decided character of a military establishment. How long we are to remain in this condition, or how we are to be relieved from it, we cannot say, except by pointing to our past Resolves, and putting our trust in the Government of the Union. All that we can say further, perhaps, at this moment, with propriety, is, that it cannot be submitted to with passiveness, and that it cannot be submitted to, at any rate, much longer. The spirit, the patriotism, the self-respect, the native energy, the irrepressible and indomitable determination of the people of this State, will not endure it. They might sooner wish to see the territory sunk in the ocean, than to be made the scene of a bloody war, above all between the kindred and connected races; but they cannot, silently, see it surrendered to a foreign Power in this manner. They are calumniated by the pretext on which it is challenged. They demand, in advance, the protection of the Federal Constitution. They require that the invading force shall be removed; and if this can only be effected by counter force, they request the Government of the United States, with no more delay, to cause possession of the Disputed Territory to be taken, by the suitable and necessary methods. But while the State thus makes these strong and urgent demands, it may be justly expected, that it will not, in any respect, or in any event, be wantin to itself. While it earnestly seeks, and wishes, to put itself under the broad shield of the General Government, and pray for the protecting power of the whole country, and solicits to be released from the incumbent duty and present heavy burden of its own defence, and desires to do this without retreating from the ground or relinquishing the stand it has hitherto been obliged to take, and does not ask to be released from its position, it well offers to go as far as any of its sister States have done, and to place its whole powers and resources, without reserve, at the public disposal. We will consent to almost any sacrifice—we will pay any reasonable price for our own peace, and for that of the country; and we are willing to purchase it upon the same terms, as “the tranquillity and safety of a camp are secured by the sufferings and privations of its devoted exterior outguards.” Maine feels herself, unavoidably, to be the forlorn hope of the Union. As such she is ready to go forward, and to pursue the path that lies before her. As such she is prepared to occupy the pass to which she may be directed, to present her breast as a bulwark for the country—and of those of her brave and beloved sons, the self-devoted band S
that shall be sent upon this service, to leave the writing upon the soil, in the best blood of the State, to tell the country, and be carried back to the capital, that they lie there in obedience to its laws.
The Committee would now, respectfully, bring the performance of this part of their service to a conclusion, by recommending the following Resolutions. By order of the Committee, (Signed) CHARLES S. DAVEIS. March 30, 1841.
STATE OF MAINE.
Resolved, THAT the Legislature sees no occasion to renew the declarations herefore made of the right of this State to the whole of its territory, according to the Treaty of 1783, unjustly drawn into question by Great Britain, (entirely recognized by the unanimous Resolutions of Congress in 1838,) nor to repeat its own former Resolutions on the subject; and it regards with grateful satisfaction, the strong, increasing, and uniform demonstrations, from all parts of the Union, of conviction thereof, and of determination to support the same. Resolved, That this Legislature adopts and affirms the principles of former Resolves of preceding Legislatures in relation thereto, in all their force and extent; that it approves their spirit, insists on their virtue, adheres to their terms, and holds the National Government bound to fulfil their obligations; that it deprecates any further delay, and cherishes an earnest trust and expectation, that the National Government will not fail, speedily, to cause our just rights, too long neglected, to be vindicated and maintained either by negotiation or by arms. Resolved, That we truly appreciate the patriotic spirit with which the Federal Government espoused, and our Sister States embraced our cause, and the country came to our side, in a most severe and critical emergency; and that, confiding in their continued sympathy and support, and confirmed in the strength of our course, we feel warranted to rely for safety on the sovereign power of the Union, the people of this State maintaining all their constitutional rights. Resolved, That in accordance with the generous examples of our sister States, and not to be behind their free-will offerings on our behalf, this State also voluntarily tenders its whole powers and resources, without reserve, to the supreme authorities of the Union, to sustain our national rights and honour; and it stands ready, furthermore, obeying the call and abiding the will of the country, to go forward and occupy that position which belongs and shall be marked out to it; and engages, that it will not be wanting in any act or duty of devotion to the Union, of fidelity to itself, and, above all, to the common cause of our whole country. Resolved, That this State is suffering the extreme unresisting wrong of British invasion, begun in 1839, repeated in 1840, and continued to this time, in violation of solemn and deliberate pledges from abroad, guaranteed by our own Executive Government; that the President of the United States, therefore, be requested and called upon to fulfil the obligation of the Federal constitution, by causing the immediate removal, or expulsion, of the foreign invading force now stationed within the bounds of Maine; and, other methods failing, to cause military possession to be taken of the Disputed Territory. Resolved, That the Government of the United States be earnestly invoked to provide for our future protection against foreign aggression, by proper establishments of military force upon the frontier, and by the due exertion of its constitutional powers to liberate and relieve this State from the present heavy burden of its own needful, unavoidable defence. Resolved, That the Government of the United States is bound to cause the Commission appointed to explore and trace the north-eastern boundary