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present ruinous measures. Foreign war hang. | King, I will not say that they can alenate the ing mver your heads by a slight and brittle affections of his subjects from his crown, but } thread; France and Spain watching your con- will affirm that they will make the croion not Juct, and waiting for the maturity of your er- worth his wearing. I will not say that the King cors, with a vigilant eye to America and the is betrayed, but I will pronounce that the king temper of your colonies, more than to their own dom is undone. concorns, be they what they may.
To conclude, my Lords, if the ministers thus The motion, after a long debate, was isst by persevere in misadvising und misleading the a vote of 68 to 18.
OF LORD CHATHAM ON A MOTION FOR AN ADDRESS TO THE CROWN, TO PUT A STO! TU HOS
TILITIES IN AMERICA, DELIVERED IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS, MAY 30, 1777.
INTRODUCTION. LORD CHATHAM has now been prevented by his infirmities from taking bis place in the House of Lord: for more than two years. Anxious to make one effort more for ending the contest with America, he made bis appearance in the House on the 30th of May, 1777, wrapped in flannels, and supported on cratches, and moved an address to the King, recommending that speedy and effectual measares be taken to put an end to the war between the colonies and the mother country. He spoke as follows:
SPEECH, &c. My Lords, this is a flying moment; perhaps among them to annihilate the Congress, and of but six weeks left to arrest the dangers that sur- your powerful forces to disperse their army. I round us. The gathering storm may break; it might as well talk of driving them before me voith has already opened, and in part burst. It is this crutch! But what would you conquer -difficult for government, after all that has pass. the map of America ? I am ready to meet any ed, to shake hands with defiers of the King, de general officer on the subject [looking at Lord fiers of the Parliament, defiers of the people. I Amherst.) What will you do out of the pro. am a defier of nobody; but if an end is not put tection of your fleet? In the winter, if togeth to this war, there is an end to this country. I er, they are starved; and if dispersed, they are do not trust my judgment in my present state of taken off in detail. I am experienced in spring health; this is the judgment of my better days hopes and vernal promises; I know what minis. -the result of forty years' attention to America. ters throw out; but at last will come your equjThey are rebels; but for what? Surely not for noctial disappointment. You have got nothing defending their unquestionable rights! What in America but stations. You have been three hate these rebels done heretofore? I remem- years teaching them the art of war; they are ber when they raised four regiments on their apt scholars; and I will venture to tell your own bottum, and took Louisbourg from the vet. Lordships that the American gentry will make eran troops of France. But their excesses have officers enough, fit to command the troops of all been great: I do not mean their panegyric; but the European powers. What you have sent must observe, in extenuation, the erroneous and there are too many to make peace—too sew to infatuated counsels which have prevailed; the make war. If you conquer them, what then? door to mercy and justice has been shut against You can not make them respect you; you can them; but they may still be taken up upon the not make them wear your cloth; you will plant grounds of their former submission. (Referring an invincible hatred in their breasts against you, to their petition.]
Coming from the stock they do, they can never I state to you the importance of America: it respect you. If ministers are founded in saying is a double market—the market of consumption, there is no sort of treaty with France, there is and the market of supply. This double market still a moment left; the point of honor is still for millions, with naval stores, you are giving to safe. France must be as self-destroving as Enyour hereditary rival. America has carried you gland, to make a treaty while you are giving her through four wars, and will now carry you to America, at the expense of twelve millions a your death, if you don't take things in time. In year. The intercourse bas produced every thing the sportsman's phrase, when you have found to France; and England, Old England, must yourselves at fault, you must try back. You pay for all. I have, at different times, made difhave ransacked every corner of Lower Saxony; ferent propositions, adapted to the circumstances but forty thousand German boors never can con in which they were offered. The plan containquer ten times the number of British freemen. ed in the former bill is now impracticable; the You may ravage--you can not conquer; it is present motion will tell you where you are, and impossible ; you can not conquer the Americans. what you have now to depend upon. It may You talk, my Lords, of your numerous friends produce a respectablo division in America, ané ananinity at home; it will give America an op- This was the only moment lest before the fate tion; she has yet had no option. You have of this country was decided. The French court, said, Lay down your arms; and she has given he observed, was too wise to lose the opportunity you the Spartan answer, "Come, take.” (Here of effectually separating America from the dobe read his motion.) “That an humble address minions of this kingdom. War between France be presented to his Majesty, most dutifully rep- and Great Britain, he said, was not less probable resenting to his royal wisdom that this House is becanse it had not yet been declared. It would Jeeply penetrated with the view of impending be folly in France to declare it now, while Amernig to the kingdom, from the continuation of an ica gave full employment to our arms, and was andgtural war against the British colonies in pouring into her lap her wealth and produce, America; and most humbly to advise his Maj- the benefit of which she was enjoying in peace. esta to take the most speedy and effectual meas- He enlarged much on the importance of Amer. ures for putting a stop to such fatal hostilities, ica to this country, which, in peace and in war, apon the only just and solid foundation, namely, he observed, he ever considered as the great the removal of accumulated grievances; and to source of all our wealth and power. He then assure his Majesty that this House will enter added (raising his voice), Your trade languishes, upon this great and necessary work with cheer- your taxes increase, your revenues diminish. alness and dispatch, in order to open to his Maj- France at this moment is securing and drawing sty the only means of regaining the affections to hersell that commerce which created your of the British colonies, and of securing to Great seamen, fed your islands, &c. He reprobated Britain the commercial advantages of these val. the measures which produced, and which had uable possessions ; fully persuaded that to heal been pursued in the conduct of the civil war, in and to redress will be more congenial to the the severest language; infatuated measures givgoodness and magnanimity of his Majesty, and ing rise to, and still continuing a cruel, unnatural, more prevalent over the hearts of generous and self-destroying war. Success, it is said, is hoped free-born subjects, than the rigors of chastisement for in this campaign. Why? Because our army and the horrors of a civil war, which hitherto will be as strong this year as it was last, when hare served only to sharpen resentments and it was not strong enough. The notion of conconsolidate union, and, if continued, must end in quering America he treated with the greatest finally dissolving all ties between Great Britain contempt. and the colonies.”
After an animated debate, in which the mo: (His Lordship rose again. The proposal, he tion was opposed by Lords Gower, Lyttelton. said, is specific. I thought this so clear, that I Mansfield, and Weymonth, and the Archbishop did not enlarge upon it. I mean the redress of of York, and supported by the Dukes of Graston all their grievances, and the right of disposing and Manchester, Lord Camden and Shelburne, of their own money. This is to be done instan- and the Bishop of Peterborough, taneously. I will get out of my bed to move it The Earl of Chatham again rose, and in reply on Monday. This will be the herald of peace; to what had fallen from Lord Weymouth, said: this will open the way for treaty; this will show My Lords, I perceive the noble Lord neither apParliament sincerely disposed. Yet still much prehends my meaning, nor the explanation given must be left to treaty. Should yon conquer this by me to the noble Earl (Earl Gower) in the blue people, you conquer under the cannon of France ribbon, who spoke early in the debate. I will, -under a masked battery then ready to open therefore, with your Lordships' permission, state The rooment a treaty with France appears, you shortly what I meant. My Lords, my motion must declare war, though you had only five ships was stated generally, that I might leave the quesof the line in England, but France will defer a tion at large to be amended by your Lordships. treaty as long as possible. You are now at the I did not dare to point out the specific means. mercy of every little German chancery; and the I drew the motion up to the best of my poor pretensions of France will increase daily, so as abilities; but I intended it only as the herald of to become an avowed party in either peace or conciliation, as the harbinger of peace to our afwar. We have tried for unconditional submis. flicted colonies. But as the noble Lord seems tion; try what can be gained by unconditional to wish for something more specific on the subredress. Less dignity will be lost in the repeal, ject, and through that medium seeks my partic. than in submitting to the demands of German ular sentiments, I will tell your Lordships very chanceries. We are the aggressors. We have fairly what I wish for. I wish for a repeal of invaded them. We have invaded them as much every oppressive act which your Lordships have as the Spanish Armada invaded England. Mer- | passed since 1763. I would put our brethren ey can not do harm; it will seat the King where in America precisely on the same footing they te ought to be, throned on the hearts of his peo- stood at that period. I would expect, that, being ple; and millions at home and abroad, now em- | left at liberty to tax themselves, and dispose of ployed in obloquy or revolt, would pray for him. their own property, they would, in return, contrib.
[In making his motion for addressing the King, | ute to the common burdens according to their Lord Chatham insisted frequently and strongly means and abilities. I will move your Lordship: on the absolute necessity of immediately making for a bill of repeal, as the only means left to ar. peace with America. Now, he said, was the rest that approaching destruction which threat. crisis, bet ve France was a party to the treaty. I ens to ove vhelm us. My Lords, I shall no doubt hear it objected, “Why should we submit | dress. We have injured them; we .... on. or concede ? Has America done any thing on deavored to enslave and oppress them. (poc her part to induce us to agree co so large a this ground, my Lords, instead of chastisement, ground of concession ?” I will tell you, my they are entitled to redress. A repeal of those Lords, why I think you should. You have been laws, of which they complain, will be the first the aggressors from the beginning. I shall not step to that redress. The people of America trouble your Lordships with the particulars; look upon Parliament as the authors of their mis:hey have been stated and enforced by the noble eries, their affections are estranged from their and learned Lord who spoke last but one (Lord sovereign. Let, then, reparation coine from the Camden), in a much more able and distinct man- hands that inflicted the injuries ; let conciliation ner than I could pretend to state them. If, then, succeed chastisement; and I do maintain, that we are the aggressors, it is your Lordships' bo. Parliament will again recover its authority; thet siness to make the first overture. I say again, his Majesty will be once more enthroned in the this country has been the aggressor. You have hearts of his American subjects; and that your made descents upon their coasts; you have burn- Lordships, as contributing to so great, glorious, ed their towns, plundered their country, made salutary, and benignant a work, will receive the war upon the inhabitants, confiscated their prop- prayers and benedictions of every part of the erty, proscribed and imprisoned their persons. British empire. I do therefore affirm, my Lords, that instead of exacting unconditional submission from the colonies, we should grant them unconditional re- The motion was lost by a vote of 99 to 28.
OF LORD CHATHAM ON A MOTION FOR AN ADDRESS TO THE THRONE, AT THE OPENING OF
PARLIAMENT, DELIVERED IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS, NOVEMBER 18, 1777.
INTRODUCTION. . This was Lord Chatham's greatest effort. Though sinking under the weight of years and disease, no seems animated by all the fire of youth. It would, indeed, be difficult to find in the whole range of parliamentary history a more splendid blaze of genius, at once rapid, vigorous, and sablime.
SPEECH, &c.' I rise, my Lords, to declare my sentiments on envelop it, and display, in its full danger and true this most solemn and serious subject. It has colors, the ruin that is brought to our doors. imposed a load upon my mind, which, I fear, This, my Lords, is our duty. It is the proper nothing can remove, but which impels me to en function of this noble assembly, sitting, as we do, deavor its alleviation, by a free and unreserved upon our honors in this House, the hereditary communication of my sentiments.
council of the Crown. Who is the ministerIn the first part of the address, I have the where is the minister, that has dared to suggest honor of heartily concurring with the noble Earl to the Throne the contrary, unconstitutional lan. who moved it. No man feels sincerer joy than guage this day delivered from it? The accusI do; none can offer more genuine congratula- tomed language from the Throne has been aptions on every accession of strength to the Prot- plication to Parliament for advice, and a reliance estant succession. I therefore join in every con- on its constitutional advice and assistance. As gratulation on the birth of another princess, and it is the right of Parliament to give, so it is the the happy recovery of her Majesty.
duty of the Crown to ask it. But on this day, But I must stop here. My courtly complai- and in this extreme momentous exigency, no resance will carry me no farther. I will not join liance is reposed on our constitutional counsels ! in congratulation on misfortune and disgrace. no advice is asked from the sober and enlightenI can not concur in a blind and servile address, ed care of Parliament! but the Crown, from itwhich approves, and endeavors to sanctify the self and by itself, declares an unalterable demonstrous measures which have heaped disgrace termination to pursue measures and what and misfortune upon us. This, my Lords, is a measures, my Lords? The measures that have perilous and tremendous moment! It is not a produced the imminent perils that threaten us; time for adulation. The smoothness of flattery the measures that have brought rain to our doors can not now avail can not save us in this rug- Can the minister of the day now presume to ged and awful crisis. It is now necessary to in- expect a continuance of support in this ruinous struct the Throne in the language of truth. We infatuation? Can Parliament be so dead to its inust dispel the illusion and the darkness which dignity and its duty as to be thus deluded into
the loss of the sne and the violation of the other? • This was reported by Hugh Boyd, and is said To give an unlimited credit and support for the - have been corrected by Lord Chatham himself steady perseverance in measures not proposed lur nur parlamer.tary advice, but dictated and to rescue the ear of majesty from thi, Jelusions forted upon us—in measures, I say, my Lords, which surround it. The desperate state of our #bich have reduced this late flourishing empire arms abroad is in part known. No man thinks to ruin and contempt! “ But yesterday, and more highly of them than I do. I love and honor England might have stood against the world : the English troops. I know their virtues and
cu none so poor to do her reverence."'2 I use their valor. I know they can achieve any thing the words of a poet; but, though it be poetry, it except impossibilities; and I know that the con. is no fiction. It is a shameful truth, that not quest of English America is an impossiblity. only the power and strength of this country are You can not, I'venture to say it, you can not conWasting away and expiring, but ber well-earned quer America. Your armies last war eflccted glories, her true honor, and substantial dignity every thing that could be effected ; and what tre sacrificed.
was it? It cost a numerous army, under the France, my Lords, has insulted you; she has command of a most able general (Lord Amherst), encouraged and sustained America; and, wheth- now a noble Lord in this House, a long and laer America be wrong or right, the dignity of this borious campaign, to expel five thousand Frenchcountry ought to spurn at the officious insult of men from French America. My Lords, you can French interference. The ministers and embas. not conquer America. What is your present sadors of those who are called rebels and enemies situation there ?. We do not know the worst; are in Paris; in Paris they transact the recip. but we know that in three campaigns we have rocal interests of America and France. Can done nothing and suffered much. Besides th there be a more mortifying insult? Can even sufferings, perhaps total loss of the Northern our ministers sustain à more humiliating dis- force, the best appointed army that ever took grace? Do they dare to resent it? Do they the field, commanded by Sir William Howe, has presume even to hint a vindication of their hon retired from the American lines. He was obligea or, and the dignity of the state, by requiring the to relinquish his attempt, and with great delay dismission of the plenipotentiaries of America ? and danger to adopt a new and distant plan of Socb is the degradation to which they have re-operations. We shall soon know, and in any daced the glories of England ! The people event have reason to lament, what may have whom they affect to call contemptible rebels, happened since. As to conquest, therefore, my bat whose growing power has at last obtained Lords, I repeat, it is impossible. You may swell the name of enemies; the people with whom every expense and every effort still more exthey have engaged this country in war, and travagantly; pile and accumulate every assistagainst whom they now command our implicit ance you can buy or borrow; traffic and barter support in every measure of desperate hostility- with every little pitiful German prince that sells this people, despised as rebels, or acknowledged and sends his subjects to the shambles of a for. as enemies, are abetted against you, supplied eign prince; your efforts are forever vain and with every military store, their interests consult impotent-doubly so from this mercenary and on ed, and their embassadors entertained, by your which you rely; for it irritates, to an incura. inveterate enemy! and our ministers dare not ble resentment, the minds of your enemies, te interpose with dignity or effect. Is this the overrun them with the mercenary sons of rapine honor of a great kingdom? Is this the indig. and plunder, devoting them and their possessions nant spirit of England, who “but yesterday" to the rapacity of hireling cruelty! If I were gave law to the house of Bourbon ? My Lords, an American, as I am an Englishman, while a the dignity of nations demands a decisive con- foreign troop was landed in my country, I never duet in a situation like this. Even when the would lay down my arms-never-never--never greatest prince that perhaps this country ever Your own army is infected with the contagion saw, filled our throne, the requisition of a Span- of these illiberal allies. The spirit of plunder ish general, on a similar subject, was attended to, and of rapine is gone forth among them. 1 and complied with ; for, on the spirited remon- know it; and, notwithstanding what the noble strance of the Duke of Alva, Elizabeth found Earl (Lord Percy) who moved the address has berself obliged to deny the Flemish exiles all given as his opinion of the American army, 1 poantenance, support, or even entrance into her know from authentic information, and the most dominions; and the Count Le Marque, with his experienced officers, that our discipline is deeply few desperate followers, were expelled the king wounded. While this is notoriously our sinking dom. Happening to arrive at the Brille, and situation, America grows and flourishes; while finding it weak in defense, they made themselves our strength and discipline are lowered, hers are masters of the place; and this was the founda- rising and improving. tion of the United Provinces
But, my Lords, who is the man that, in addi My Lords, this ruinous and ignominious situ- tion to these disgraces and mischiefs of our army ation, where we can not act with success, nor has dared to authorize and associate to our arn: muffer with honor, calls upon us to remonstrate the tomahawk and scalping-knife of the savage ? in the strongest and loudest language of truth, to call into civilized alliance the wild and inhu. ** Bat yesterday the word of Cesar might
man savage of the woods; to delegate to the Have stood against the world; now lies he there,
merciless Indian the defense of disputed rights, And none so poor to do him reverence."
and to wage the horrors of his barbarous war Julius Cesar, Act III., Sc 6 |
3 General Burgoyne's army.
agrinst our brethren ? My lords, these enor-, and mutual interest that united both countries mties cry aloud for redress and punishment. This was the established sentiment of all the Unless thoroughly done away, it will be a stain Continent; and still, my Lords, in the great and on the national character. It is a violation of principal part, the sound part of America, tais the Constitution. I believe it is against law. wise and affectionate disposition prevails. And It is not the least of our national misfortunes there is a very considerable part of America yel that the strength and character of our army are sound-the middle aud the southern provinces. has impared Infected with the mercenary Some parts may be factious and blind to their spirit of robbery and rapine; familiarized to the true interests; but if we express a vise an: horrid scenes of savage cruelty, it can no longer benevolent disposition to commuuicate with their boast of the noble and generous principles which those immutable rights of nature and those con. lignily a soldier; no longer sympathize with the stitutional liberties to which they are equalls dignity of the royal banner, nor feel the pride, entitled with ourselves, by a conduct so just and pump, and circumstance of glorious war, " that bumane we shall confirm the favorable and con make ambition virtue !" What makes ambitionciliate the adverse. I say, my Lords, the rights virtue ?—the sense of honor. But is the sense and liberties to which they are equally entitled of honor consistent with a spirit of plunder, or with ourselves, but no more. I would particithe practice of murder? Can it flow from mer-pate to them every enjoyment and freedom which cenary motives, or can it prompt to cruel deeds ? | the colonizing subjects of a free state can posBesides these murderers and plunderers, let me sess, or wish to possess; and I do not see why ask our ministers, What other allies have they they should not enjoy every fundamental right acquired? What other powers have they asso- in their property, and every original substantial piated to their cause? Have they entered into liberty, which Devonshire, or Surrey, or the coun alliance with the king of the gipsies ? Nothing, ty I live in, or any other county in England, can my Lords, is too low or too ludicrous to be con- claim; reserving always, as the scred right of sistent with their counsels.
the mother country, the due constitutional de. The independent views of America have been pendency of the colonics. The inherent supremstated and asserted as the foundation of this ad- acy of the state in regulating and protecting the dress. My Lords, no man wishes for the due navigation and commerce of all her subjects, is dependence of America on this country more necessary for the mutual benefit and preserva. than I do. To preserve it, and not confirm that tion of every part, to constitute and preserve the state of independence into which your measures prosperous arrangement of the whole empire. hitherto have driven them, is the object which The sound parts of America, of which I havo we ought to unite in attaining. The Americans, spoken, must be sensible of these great truths cortending for their rights against arbitrary ex- and of their real interests. America is not in actions, I love and admire. It is the struggle of that state of desperate and contemptible rebellfree and virtuous patriots. But, contending for ion which this country has been deluded to be. independency and total disconnection from En- | lieve. It is not a wild and lawless banditti, who, gland, as an Englishman, I can not wish them having nothing to lose, might hope to snatch success; for in a due constitutional depend something from public convulsions. Many of ency, including the ancient supremacy of this their leaders and great men have a great stake country in regulating their commerce and navi- in this great contest. The gertleman who congation, consists the mutual happiness and pros. ducts their armies, I am told, has an estate of perity both of England and America. She de- , four or five thousand pounds a year; and when rived assistance and protection from us; and we | I consider these things, I can not but lament the reaped from her the most important advantages. | inconsiderate violence of our penal acts, our dec. She was, indeed, the fountain of our wealth, the larations of treason and rebellion, with all the nerve of our strength, the nursery and basis of fatal effects of attainder and confiscation. our naval power. It is our duty, therefore, my! As to the disposition of foreign powers which Lords, if we wish to save our country, most se- is asserted in the King's speech] to be pacific riously to endeavor the recovery of these most and friendly, let us judge, my Lords, rather by beneficial subjects; and in this perilous crisis, their actions and the nature of things than by perhaps the present moment may be the only interested assertions. The uniform assistance one in which we can hope for success. For in supplied to America by France, suggests a diftheir negotiations with France, they have, or | ferent conclusion. The most important interests think they have, reason to complain; though it of France in aggrandizing and enriching herself be notorious that they have received from that with what she most wants, supplies of every power important supplies and assistance of va- naval store from America, must inspire her with rious kinds, yet it is certain they expected it in different sentiments. The extraordinary prepa more decisive and immediate degree. Amer- arations of the house of Bourbon, by land and lis ica is in ill humor with France; on some points sea, from Dunkirk to the Straits, equally really they have not entirely answered her expecta- and willing to overwhelm these defenseless iela tions. Let us wisely take advantage of every ands, should rouse us to a sense of their real dis. possible moment of reconciliation. Besides, the position and our own danger. Not five thou. natural Jisposition of America herself still leans sand troops in England ! bardly three : bonsand Loward England; to the old habits of connection lin Ireland! What can we oppose to ibe cons.