the strength inspired by a nation's confidence. I fear that his successor will not have this source of strength. His address, which you will doubtless see in the papers, is a miserable composition, but calculated to please the people, and I think has already given great satisfaction. The currency and foreign affairs will occupy the attention of our Government for some time. It is proposed to establish a national bank at New York, with a capital of fifty millions of dollars. This subject will probably be commended to Congress at the approaching extra session on the 31st of May. With regard to foreign affairs, I trust that nothing will occur to require any action of our Congress. You know that, under our Constitution, the House of Representatives alone has the power of declaring war. We are all for peace. Even Pickens, when the time to vote cones, will hesitate, I think. His Report was mere brutum fulmenhere. Nobody regarded it; few read it, till its horrid echo reached us from England, resounding across the Atlantic. It is an absurd, illiterate, and mischievous production, by which sensible people have been disgusted, as much in America as in England. Do not be anxious about McLeod. He will not come to harm. I have reason to know that our Government are disposed to do all that you and the law of nations can expect. You have adopted the burning of the ‘Caroline’ as your act. Of course, all individual liability is merged in the Queen's responsibility. We cannot justly condemn McLeod more than the French the Duke of Wellington, if any one should pursue him at Paris for a murder committed after the battle of Waterloo. But, I think, all English lawyers will see that there are difficulties in arranging the manner of taking advantage of the defence which McLeod has. He has been indicted; and, unless the Attorney-General of the State of New York, who is the prosecuting officer, is willing to take the responsibility of entering a nolle prosequi,— which I presume he will not do,—the defence must be set up at the trial, that the act charged is not cognizable by the court. Be assured that this will all be arranged in conformity with the law of nations. Next comes the question of the ‘Caroline.’ There again you are in the right. On the facts as stated, you were justified in destroying that ship, as you did; and of this opinion are all the soundest men with whom I have conversed. This is the opinion of the first jurist and publicist of my country, and the oldest judge of the Supreme Court of the United States,—Mr. Justice Story. I think you will be struck by the short and simple annunciation of the death of President Harrison by his Cabinet. This was written by Mr. Webster, who is the soul of our Government. Harrison died, after holding power thirty days, ere the shoes were old in which he had taken the oath of his high office. He was loved much, and the country expected much from him. I think of all your family with the strongest attachment, and trust they are well. I hope you will let me hear from you soon. I have great faith in the sincere desire for peace which animates the rulers of both our countries. We love England; and I hope you will believe it, notwithstanding the vulgar cries to the contrary. Believe me ever and ever, dear Morpeth, Sincerely yours,
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 16 : events at home.—Letters of friends.— December , 1837 , to March , 1839 .—Age 26 - 28 .
Chapter 17 : London again.—characters of judges.—Oxford.—Cambridge— November and December , 1838 .—Age, 27 .
Chapter 18 : Stratford-on-avon.—Warwick.—London.—Characters of judges and lawyers.—authors.—society.— January , 1839 , to March , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 19 : Paris again.— March to April , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 20 : Italy .— May to September , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 21 : Germany .— October , 1839 , to March , 1840 .—Age, 28 - 29 .
Chapter 22 : England again, and the voyage home.— March 17 to May 3 , 1840 . —Age 29 .
Chapter 23 : return to his profession.— 1840 - 41 .—Age, 29 - 30 .
Chapter 24 : Slavery and the law of nations.— 1842 .—Age, 31 .
Chapter 25 : service for Crawford .—The Somers Mutiny.—The nation's duty as to slavery.— 1843 .—Age, 32 .
Chapter 27 : services for education.—prison discipline.—Correspondence.— January to July , 1845 .—age, 34 .
Chapter 28 : the city Oration,— the true grandeur of nations. —an argument against war.— July 4 , 1845 .—Age 34 .
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