The Beaver radical. (Beaver, Pa.) 1868-1873, January 03, 1873, Image 1

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$Uc Reaver HatHnrt.
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Publication Office: In The Radical Building
Corner Diamond, Beaver, Pa.
All communications and business letters should
he addressed to SMITH CURTIS, Beaver, Pa.
History of These Long-Standing; and
Dented Debts—Their Origin and Jus-
tice-.* Chapter of American History
—The Government’s Criminal Neg-
lect In the flatter—The Claims Near-
ly Alt In the Hands of the Heirs of
the Original Owners—Remarks of
JUr. Cameron in the Senate In Favor
of their Adjustment and Satisfac-
The following speech, delivered in the
Penate on the 16ih ult.-by Senator Cam
eron, on the bill to provide for the ad
justment and satisfaction of claims of
American citizens for spoliations ccm
mitted by the French prior to the 31st
day of July, 1801, will be read with in
terest by the people of Philadelphia,
The bill being before the Senate, Mr.
Cameron said:
Mr. President: The bill which I
lave had the honor to present to the
Senate is the same bill that was intro
duced by the Senator from Massachus
etts [Mr. Sumner] on the 9th of March,
| 1871. Its main feature is, that it pro
| vides for the payment to the claimants of
| the sum of $5,000,000 in lieu of iall de
mands which may be made upqn the
Government. The original claims were
supposed to be about $20,000,000, and
upon that interest has been accruing for
seventy years; but it is proposed now to
pay these people in full by giving them,ooo—one-fourth of the original
c’aim, without any interest,
Mr. President, it is equally beyond my
h°pe or my expectation to say anything
new on a subject which has been pressed
upon the attention of Congress for sev
enty years. Forty-three Congressional
reports have exhausted the facte, and the
masterly Jpeech delivered in the Senate
on the pd and 24th of March, 1846, by
Hon. Jjbn M. Clayton has exhausted the
argument on this just and equitable claim.
An elaborate restatement of these facts
and arguments is also unnecessary; for
taat has been done so eloquently and
* e Iby lbe honorable Senator from Mas
sachusetts [Mr. Sumner] in his report on
Uis subject of April 4, 1864, that: it
nu ’* n opinion, be a waste of time
o go over ground again which has been
« o ten traveled. But the convenience of
jo enate may require a brief reminder
ie main points in this case, and to
* 111 shall confine myself.
t , tbe French people had beheaded
- Ci r king and declared the Republic.
f e .H f ° Und themsel *es called on to de
their country against a vast and
t r , Cldu ' !ea S ue °f monarchs determined
r punish the regicides and then restore
e alien French dynasty; and to, lolly
- honestly consider the facts from
J ’c■ i our commerce suffered, it will be
tet- 00 f l ° describe the charac
n the war waged against France by
coalition. In performing this duty I
canfr °nted with facts so horrible and
°ciousthat nothing but official docu
ents will justify any one in stating
( ni. The failure of her harvests had
r , ogbt Prance to : the brink of starva
°n. The £orts of Europe were closed
o :,' n f famishing people, and so her
■ } hope for food was from abroad, and
mainly from us. This last resource her
J. S. RUTAN, Proprietor
, -•> ’ "* *• ” • V,i » ' v ‘ -f ' • v ,• , .
enemies determined to cat off, and the
shockihg policy was announced that
France was to be starved into submission.
England, while peace continued between
her and France, detained all vessels in
her ports loaded with provisions and des
tined for French ports- A reliable histo
rian, writing of this outrage, says r
“These violations of the law of nations
of treaties, and of neutral rights were
committed when England was in a de
clared state of neutrality and peace with
France, and while a French minister was
in London begging the Ministry to re
main at peace and to permit the exporta
tion of provisions to keep his country
men from starving. So atrocious, indeed,
were these acts that the British Ministry
were compelled to take refuge under an
act of {indemnity to escape impeachment
and punishment."
, A Kussian fleet was sent to the Atlan
tic under Admiral Goff, who bore these
orders for bis guidance:
“We are bound, according to our stipu
lations with his Majesty the King of
Great Britain, to endeavor to prevent
these French, who persist in their rebel
lion, from receiving any supplies of which
they may be in need. The hostile meas
ures employed against them are not strict
ly comformable to the natural laws of war
when it unfortunately takes place be
tween nations under lawful government;
but as thlese measures are taken against
these arrant villains who have overturned
all duties observed toward God, the laws,
and the government—who have even
gone so far as to take the life of their own
sovereign—the means of punishing these
villians ought, in justice, to be employed"
in such a manner as to accelerate and in
sure success in so salutary an affair. We
have made a representation to the courts,
of Sweden and Denmark, but our just de
mands have not been satisfactorily answer- j
ed. We have, therefore, declared to them
that we cannot see with indifference pro
visions of stores sent to France to nourish
rebels. By this you will .clearly see our
intentions, and we order you to seize all
French vessels you may meet with,* and
send back to tbeir own ports all neutral
vessels bound to Prance."
Prussia adopted the same cruel policy,
as shown by the third article of her treaty
with England, signed July 14, 1793, as
“Abt. 3. The high contracting parties
having taken the resolution to shat all
their ports against French ships, and not
to permit the exportation in any cases
from the said ports for France of any
military or naval stores of corn, grain,
salt, meat, or other provisions, they re
ciprocally engage to continue these meas
ures, and promise to employ all other
means which shall be in their power for
injuring the commerce of France and
bringing her, by such means, to just con
ditions of peace.”
These official contracts will show, in
some degree, the situation when the spoli
ations on our commerce occurred. The
allied sovereigns had determined to starve
the French people because they had
chosen to become a republic. The starv
ing French must procure bread or suc
cumb. And so the attention of both par-
ties was directed to our shores. Our old
friends and allies were anxious to procure
the sorely-needed food we had to spare.
The seas between were swept by cruisers
bent on preventing our breadstuff's reach
ing France. And the French, driven to
desperation, ordered :
“The capture of all neutral vessels
which should be found laden, in whole or
in part, either with articles of food be-
longing to the neutral powers, and fo-
unded for an enemylCport, or with mer-
chandise belonging to an enemy.”
The consequence of these measures of
retaliation was that our commerce was
driven from the ocean, many of our mer-
chants were ruined, and our finances were
seriously crippled. Representations were
made to the French government concern
ing these outrages on our people and our
commerce, and assurances were given that
reparation should be made ; but these as-
surances failed t d restore to our merchants
their commercial liberties and rights,
which continued to be crushed between
the cpntending forces. At last our Gov-
ernment interfered and attempted to re-
store our maritime interests, and so re-'
lieve the finances now suffering from the
destruction of our foreign trade. To this
end the following circular was addressed
by the Secretary of State, Mr. Jefferson,
under date August 27,1793. to our mer-
chants :
“Gentlemen : Complaint having been
made tp the Government of the United
States of some instances of unjustifiable
vexation and spoliation on onr merchant
vessels by the privateers of the powers at
war, and it being possible that other in*
I ’ -.Alrf . , *
stances may have happened of which no
Information has been given to the Gov*
erhment, I have it in charge from the
President to assure the merchants of the
United States engaged in foreign com*
, merce or navigation that due attention
will be paid to any injuries that may suf
fer on the high seas or in foreign cottn
tries, contrary to the law of nations, or
to existing treaties, and that ontheir for
warding hither well-authenticated evi
dence of the same, proper proceedings
will be adopted for their relief.**
This assurance, in conformity with the
absolute duty .of, every.government, to
protect its citizens in the enjoyment of all
their legitimate rights, restored our com
merce to some extent. But, so far as the
claims now under consideration are con
cerned, it proved to be a snare to the un
wary rather than & shield of protection.
It only allured oqr merchants and ship
owners to again risk their property to the
perils of the war-swept ocean, and when
they had been engulfed in ruin no redress
was given, although the losses they had
suffered had been incurred under a sol
emn assurance of protection by which
they had again been entrapped into spoli
ation and ruin 1
I do not assert or imply that our Gov
ernment did not endeavor to procure pay
ment for these losses off our citizens-' On
the contrary, it was constant, persistent,
importunate in its efforts to' procure in
demnification, and at last did secure from
France full satisfaction for these claims—
a hundred times told—and has for more
than seventy years- retained the consid-
(ration, tbs receipt of which is acknowl
edged in the convention of 1800 between
Prance and the United States. The cbh-
trqyersy settled ; by that convention is
' simply this: we claimed from' France
more than twenty millions for indemnity
for spoliations committed upon the pro*
perty of our citizens., France claimed
from ns the fulfilling, of treaty obligations
in the future, and inestimable damages
for past neglect of these duties-—damages
so* vast that our claim became only icon*
A brief outline of the French claims
set up as an offset to ours may not at this
point be inappropriate, and I shall devote
a few minutes to that part of the subject,
saying nothing beyond a reference to the
main points of the case.
In 1778 our whole country was thiilled
with the joyful intelligence that Benja
min Franklin, our minister at Paris, had
secured the alliance of France for our
struggling patriots. The succor came at
a critical juncture. The campaign of 1771
had closed with the defeat at Brandywine
in September, and the disaster at German
town in October. Washington had led
his beaten, dispirited, half naked, starved
army into winter quarters at Valley
Forge. Even his serene courage gave
way at that terrible time. We can esti
mate the general gloom when we read
the sorrowful and desponding words t>f
the great chieftain. He says:
“Four days of bad weather will destroy
this army.”
And with it, we may well conclude, the
hopes of ultimate liberty which up to
that dreadful moment had nerved the
courage of our ancestors. It was then
that the camp at Valley Forge, the whole
land, rang with shouts of triumph at the
prospect of the powerful aid of Prance.
Of this aid, and of the’ treaty which
pledged it, Mr. Clayton saysi
“I am cer&in this treaty secured the
independence of the United States.”
I have no desire to weaken that state
ment ; nor do I weaken it when I qualify
it by saying that this treaty and the be
nign favor of God in a just cause secured
to us the victory over our powerful foe.
But the price we were to pay for the aid
of Prance was incalculable. Men strug
gling for the right to enjoy life and to
promote liberty, and desperately pressed
in the noble struggle, do not atop to esti
mate the cost of that which brings tbqjp
relief from immediate peril and salvation
from ultimate destruction. To make ap
parent this cost I need only quote two ar
ticles of the treaty of 1778, and recount
the, French possessions on our hemis-
phere. I now quote articles eleven and
twelve of the treaty of February 6, 1778,
between France and the United Slates:
“Art. 11. The two parties guarantee,
mutually, from the present time, and for-
ever, against all other powers, to wit:
The United States to his most Christian
Majesty, the present possessions of the
Crown of France in America, as well as
those it may acquire by the future treaty
of peace. And his most Christian Majes-
ty guarantees, on his part, the United
States, their liberty, sovereignty, and in
dependence, absolute and unlimited.
“Art. 12. In order to fix more precise
ly the sense and application of the pre
ceding article, the contracting parties de-
dare lhat*|ia case of a rapture between
France and*England, the reciprocal guar*
antees decided in the said article shall
have full force and effect the moment
such war break out.”
I Here wehave our guarantee to France
to protccfeher territory in America in
caseofw»betweon her and England;
and the pjpseselong thus guaranteed com
prise elewislands in the West Indies,
&&, (San pomingo, Martinique, Guade
loupe St. Vincent,; Tobago,
Deseada.l&Pierre, Marie s Galante, Miq
nelon, ahd -firenada,) and Cayenne and
the of Orleans on the main land.
Owing subsequent participation of
England hmhe great struggle to reduce
Franceand thO naval war which followed,
many of these valuable ■ possessions were
torn froih.Fiance,' while every condition
which bowll us to defend them was in
full weakness of our nation
then a good excuse for
sapinely pejfmitting many of these fine
ialaads lo be wrested from our faithful
ally; but,-|f that be a sufficient excuse, the
case is ohe'fchlch would justify a nation
much weaker than oura then was in wish
ing for power to tehythe plunderers of a
brave natfon from their prey, and to en
able us fo fulfil the reciprocal duties which
honor, public faith, and gratitude alike
and e very feeling of generosity
urged perform. If weakness alone
was the cause of our neglect of duty, I
submit tba| (he fact bears, .with peculiar
weight On pur obligation, nowthat we
are come to the aid of those
who sufforeiffrotD dur Inability then to
foifil the great bargain, aud {
haveforth?ee quarters' of a century snf-
of tbit weakness
fromgsheiiHon to generation.
. ' *.<• •„ * '■ f.‘ * ♦ - n - --
But a candUd eiaminatiod of this mat
ter it didnotshpw,
that bui^woliction did not proceed en
tirely froth liability to perform duty
A change had come over dur policy. s The
Federaljuarty, governed by their sympa
thy for Jnglahd, were iotent on rebuking
the of the' French revolutionary
day; and’while public sentiment was
drifting away from our ally the French
did. much to accelerate the change in
American sentiment. Unwise diplomatic
agents of the Republic urged us tothe
performance of our treaty obligations
with more zeal than judgment—always
bad policy. The language held by these
representatives, wastjnpre that of a master
than a friend; and at last their pertinacity
and insolence weakened the ties which
bound the.two nations together, for the
load of obligation we owed to France was
lightened by the too frequent reminders
we received that it was inexpressible.
This state of feeling and the constant ir
ritation of the public mind of Our people
caused the .authorities to cast about for
relief from a; friendship the continuance
of which was more intolerable than open
enmity. Our minister, at London began
negotiations fqr a treaty of neutrality be
tween the United States and Great Brit
ain, and in time a treaty was signed and
ratified between the two nations.
This treaty, known as the Jay treaty,
annulled the exclusive rights of France in
our ports (so far as one party to a con
tract can annul It) secured to her by the
treaty of amity and commerce signed on
the same day as the treaty of alliance, by
giving the British equal privileges otshel-
ter, equal rights for bringing into our
ports and selling her prizes, and indeed in
everything which had heretofore been en
joyed by France exclusively. I do not
trust myself to criticise the justice of our
policy in this affair. passing it by as
a chapter in our history best studied in
silence, I merely remark that the Jay
treaty caused an outburst of anger in
France which came very near involving
us in war with the nation to which we
owe in an eminent degree our national
Retaliation was at once declared.
Smarting under a sense of wrong, and
goaded to desperation by our bad faith
and the atrocious attempt to starve her
whole people, orders were issued by the
French government to seize our merchant
vessels and carry them and their food in
to French ports, and these spoliations be
When we submitted claims for these
spoliations France set up an offset, and I
think a just one, against our claims. For
seven years or more neither would- agree
to the only settlement then possible in the
impoverished condition of the two na-
tions. But at last, in 1800, both France
and.the United States agreed to set off
their claims against each other ; and in
consideration of our abandonment of our
claims against her we were released from
responsibility for past due obligations
and from all future guarantees of Frencb
territory on this hemisphere. All alli
ance, the end of which none; could see,
and a responsibility which none could
estimate, was ended. For the first time
in our existence we were re
lieved from that “entangling alliance”
which would have inevitably drawn us
into the tempestuous dangers and endless
troubles^©(/European' complications and
wars, in;which we bad all to lose and
nothing to gain. And now the time had
come when the whole force of the mind
of our people could be directed to home
developments; and the mighty progress
which has since blessed us is but one of
the many benefits we have enjoyed by the
emancipation from . these guarantees,
which emancipation was secured through
the confiscation of the property of those
whose heirs now ask us to pay them
a tithe of what their ancestors lost.
This very imperfect, outline of the case
before us shows, I think, that to secure
national release from an'immense claim,
and national exemption from perpetual
onerous duties, from complications and
dangers reaching Into futurity, from in
ternational obligations which must have
brought on us the danger and the curse
of European politics, the Government of
the United States bartered claims of its
citizens placed in its possession for col
lection, at the invitation of i Thomas Jef
ferson, by direction of George Washing
ton. These claims were for losses, incur
red in the pursuit of legitimate trade;
they were caused by a condition of af
fairs at once novel to the sufferers and
disgraceful to us; they were* suffered be
cause no adequate 9 protection was afford
ed by the Government to its citizens in
the pursuit of their lawful calling; they
were increased on the plain promise- of
the authorities to assist the plundered
merchants and ship-owners in obtaining
redress and indemnity; they were confis
cated for a lasting public benefit, and
these benefits have been constantly en
riching our people, while those whose
property was bartered have died in pov
erty and disappointment.
How mUch longer can wo hear the di*
brings 5Ur
our generosity ? How long shall the
heirs of the sufferers come, cap in hand,
to the descendants of the beneficiaries
and piteously beg us to give a part of
what our fathers took from theirs ? How
long shall our criminal neglect of these
poor * people fill the land with stalk
ing shadows who witness against us so
eloquently? And for how many more
weary years shall they furnish living wit
nesses of that most shocking thing, that
all property is in perpetual peril in a na
tion which, in violation of its fundamen
tal law, takes private property for the
public use without just compensation ?
I hope the end of these things has
come. I cannot believe that a Congress
now called on to appoint commissioners
to distribute indemnity for losses so like
the Frencb spoliation claims will busy
themselves with the Alabama award, and
neglect to order that our own Treasury
shall now disgorge the money so long and
sp unwisely withheld from the poor peo
ple for whom I plead. What conjunction
coaid be more felicitous ? What occasion
so singularly just ? I sincerely trust that
the Senate will promptly pass this bill,
and so earn the plaudits of all just and
merciful men.
I have only to say in conclusion that I
am surprised to find that nearly all these
claims are in the hands of the descend
ants of the first owners. Such confidence
had the first owners of these claims upon
the Government that almost every one
of them gave a dying injunction to his
children never to barter them away, be
cause they felt that the Government,
when it became able to pay, would pay
so just a debt.
—The Pittsburgh Mail says: The
Florida United States Senatorsbip is .ex
ctting»as much interest as the late elec
tion for Senator in South Carolina did.
The election takes place on the 15th of
January, and the candidates are the pres
ent Senator, Mr. Osborn, Governor Reed
and John Tyler, Jr., with the chances
evenly divided between the two first
named. The fact that the Democrats in
the Legislature have no hope of electing
the Senator, has induced those gentlemen
to tender their votes to any Republican
who will undertake to defeat Osborn.
During the recess a special House com
mittee, consisting of Messrs. Merriman, of
New York; Colton, of Iowa; and Cox, of
Alabama; will visit New York Intake evi
dence as to the cause of the Ices of $185,-
000 of Government stamps by Johnson’s
well-remembered defalcation in the As
sistant Treasurer’s office. The object is to
provide remedial legislation for defects In
existing rulesandlaw.
| Prof. P. A. Allen, of Tioga county, was
introduced as instructor for the week.,--
He made some very well timed remarks :
on the great importance of teaching; the :
power that the teacher can exert over the /
children, owing to the relation sustained!
to them; knowledge and training were
necessary. He alluded to his own expe
rience, having entered upon it without
any correct conception of its responsibili
ties ; referred to the fact that so many
teachers are experimenting—forty per
cent, teach only one year ; urged the ne
cessity of professional teachers; alluded
to the Teachers’ Institute, so necessary
for the teacher; gave some practical sug
gestions with reference to the plan of
managing the Institute. Prof. Allen
took up the subject of School Economy ;
referred to the bargain made between di
rectors and teachers, usually one sided
on the part of the former. In order that
the teacher be successful he must baye a
plan, and should know what each pupil
ought to study. He referred to the archi
tect, hhtplnne In rearing a building; com-
teacher aBA., ||ider, working
as teachers we should nave just as clear
an idea of what we are building, as defi
nite a plan, as the architect. In speak
ing of school organization he stated that
all school life divided itself into two pe
riods: Ist. How or fact period; in which
we want only to know facts, or how
things are; in the other we seek for
reasons, which may be termed the Philo
sophical period. JVhen the child enters
school be should nave but three lessons,
namely: language, mathematics and sci
ence, and should continue with but three,
no more no less, until be graduates. The
lecturer spoke of the multiplicity of
classes and studies in our schools. In one
instance, when be had gone into an
Academy of forty-five pupils, there were
forty-four classes. In teaching Languages,
teach the pupil how to talk, embracing
everything relating to the subject. In
teaching Mathematics, make the instruc
tion practical, using mathematical forms
and solids, objects that will give the pupil
clear illustrations of the subject. la
teaching the Sciences, first a little Geogra
phy, then Physiology, and at a proper
time of the year, when flowers are bloom
ing, Botany.
Prof. Allen then entered upon the sub
ject of Geography. He slated that teach
ers know too little about the subject, and
make the mistake by studying the book
and not the subject; pointed out preva
lent errors in commencing the study; we
should proceed from the things we. know
to things we do not knoie, from the known
to the unknown. First teach the child to
understand the points ofHhe compass. At
this point the Prof, requested the teach
ers to rise, gave the command to face the
South. The result was that many of the
class were facing all the cardinal points of
the compass. This circumstance caused
much merriment. He would teach dis
tance by actual meamrement ; children
should be taught this la such a manner
that they may be able to estimate distance
accurately in after life; gave some very
good illustrations of how to teach dis
tance practically. "
The subject of Spelling was next con
sidered, and teachers were called upon to
give their methods of teaching the bsaneh.
Mrs. Marquis, of the Beaver public
schools, taught by using both the oral
and written methods, combining-the two.
Miss Bunn, Principal of the above
schools, taught it by dictation exercises,
having the pupils write sentences upon
the board; For the timebeing Professor
Allen sustained the relation of pupil.
Miss Bunn as teaches, and an exercise
The Ajiirteenth annual session of the
BeaveirCounty Teachers’ Institute was
held in the Court House of Beaver, com*
mencing Monday, the 16th of December,
and closing on Friday noon of same week.,
The attendance of teachers was large.
Directors and friends of education gener-.
ally were present, and manifested great
interest in the proceedings. \
The Institute was called to order by.
Prof. M. L. Knight, County Superintend
ent, and the opening prayer was made by
Rev, I). P. Lowary. Mr. Knight made
some remarks, addressed to the teachers
present, stating that the Institute for the
-time being would be conducted as a Nor
mal school, and insisted on each teacher
being punctual and regular in attendance
during the session. The Institute was
organized by P. Todd, of
Bridgewater, Recording, Secretary, and
L. Wise, of Industry,; and Mrs. 8. D.
Marquis, of Beaver, enrolling Secreta
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