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conditional ratification.” The only reason for sending it back to the Senate was, that the Senate might have not understood the convention as not including British Honduras, and so might object to the ratification of it, as thus explained by the negotiators. The correspondence between Mr. Clayton and Mr. King tells the result:
“ JULY 4, 1850. "DEAR SIR,—I am this morning writing to Sir H. L. Bulwer, and while about to decline altering the treaty at the time of exchanging ratifications, I wish to leave no room for a charge of duplicity against our government, such as that we now pretend that Central America in the treaty includes British Honduras.
“I shall therefore say to him, in effect, that such construction was not in the contemplation of the negotiators or the Senate at the time of coufirmation. May I have your permission to add that the true understanding was explained by you, as Chairman of Foreign Relations, to the Senate, before the vote was taken on the Treaty? I think it due to frankness on our part. Very truly yours,
“ JOHN M. CLAYTON. * To Hon. W. R. KING, U. S. Senate."
" JULY 4, 1850. "My Dear S1B,—The Senate perfectly understood that the treaty did not inclule British Honduras. Frankness becomes our government; but you should be careful not to use any expression which would seem to recognize the right of England to any portion of Honduras. Faithfully your obedient servant,
· W. R. KING. " To Hon. John M. CLAYTON, Secretary of State."
So the proper organ of the Senate reported that they perfectly understood that the convention did not include British Honduras. The accusing senators will not impeach the chairman; and if they do, I shall not go with them. I respect and honor that distinguished man—nay, sir, I love him. I have received injuries, many of them, here. The memory of them died in the hour in which they were committed. But I have received kindnesses, benefits too, and many of these were received at the hands of Willian R. King. Not one of these shall perish in my memory, until I give an account of them to his Creator and mine. And now, since those honorable senators have so broadly assumed to speak for us all, they will not now deny that they did not know what we all “perfectly understood.”
Just what Mr. King advised was done by the secretary. He took effectual care not to use any expression which should seem to recognize the right of England to the portion of Honduras that is, to British Honduras—which she possessed. That right remains just as it was before. Good or bad, it is not made worse or better by the treaty. As to the Bay of Islands, if it was in fact a dependency of British Honduras on the 4th of July, 1850, then the formation of a colony there is not a violation of the convention. If it was not then in fact a dependency, then that transaction is a violation of the treaty. But in either case it has nothing to do with the present question.
The Senator from Louisiana, (Mr. Downs) in the very wantonness of censure, has supposed that not only the Senate, but the late President, General Taylor, was kept in ignorance of the conditions of ratification, and this upon the ground merely that General Taylor sickened on the 4th, and died on the 9th of July. But the Committee on Foreign Relations now appear to have known those conditions on the 29th of June, and the President may be presumed to have been intrusted by the Secretary with a fact that was officially communicated to the Senate. Whatever else might have been the errors or misfortunes of that administration, want of mutual confidence between the Secretary of State and his distinguished chief was not one of them. They stood together firmly, undivided, and inseparable to the last. Storms of faction, from within their own party and from without, beset them; and combinations and coalitions, in and out of Congress, assailed them with a degree of violence that no other administration has ever encountered. But they never yielded and never faltered for an hour. They went on firmly, and firmly united together in their great work of consolidating the then newly extended republic upon
the foundations of universal liberty, and establishing its continental power on the foundations of commercial interests and republican systems. The administration which they conducted was beaten down not by human hands, nor by human words, nor by human votes; but it went down only under a providential visitation, that, if it had happened on the field of Monterey or at Buena Vista, would have either forever lost, or long postponed, the extension of our borders to the shores of the Pacific ocean. Those who have profited by political changes consequent on that sad event may listen unmoved to the censures which for two years past have howled, and still are howling, equally around the Secretary of State in his retirement, and over the veteran and war-exhausted President in his grave. Let me, on the other hand, who had some humble portion of their confidence, and knew their fidelity to each other and to their country, perform, though it may be alone, the duty of vindicating them against the clamors of prejudice and error.
And let me say to the Senator from Louisiana, and to the Sena tor from Ohio, and even to the Senator from Michigan, that, long as their careers respectively may be protracted, even, as I hope they may, to the ends of natural lives, in ripened age, and diligent and devoted as I know they are, yet that it will be happy for them, and for us all, if even then they shall have established claims upon the affections of their country, and the gratitude of mankind, equal to those which were perfected in that administrationbroken off in its seventeenth month, but wisely conducted for that short period by John M. Clayton, the eminent statesman of Delaware, and presided over by Zachary Taylor, the hero who indicated and opened the way of the American armies to the golden gates of Mexico.
DEATH OF SENATOR UPHAM.*
JANUARY 18, 1868.
MR. PRESIDENT,—How true it is that every day we spend here brings some fresh event to impress upon our minds the fraternity of the states and the comprehensiveness of the republic! We began the week with surveying our interests in the Caribbean Sea; we went from thence to examine the defences of the youngest member of the Union on the Pacific coast; and now, at the end, we are called to make a visit of condolence with the eldest of the adopted states in her eastern mountain home.
Last summer, I stood beside the grave of Ethan Allen, on the shore of Lake Champlain. The lightning had descended and had riven the native marble slab which covered it, as if nature herself had been willing to mark her appreciation of the free, yet turbulent character of the founder of Vermont, and captor of Ticonderoga. But the rudeness and turbulence of the earlier age of Vermont have passed away, while her intelligence and love of freedom remain, increased and refined by art and learning.
WILLIAM UPAAM was of Vermont, a consistent exponent of her institutions the most equal institutions enjoyed by man in this country and in the world. He was a man of strong and vigorons judgment, which acted always by a process of sound inductive reasoning, and his compeers here will bear witness that he was equal to the varied and vast responsibilities of the senatorial trust. He was a plain, unassuming, unostentatious man. He never spake for display, but always for conviction. He was an honest and just man. He had gotten nothing by fraud or guile; and so he lived without any fear of losing whatever of fortune or position he had attained. No gate was so strong, no lock so fast and firm, as the watch he kept against the approach of corruption, or even undue influence or persuasion. He exacted little for his own state, but, like her, was liberal to all others. His national policy was the increase of industry, the cultivation of peace, and the patronage of improvement. He adopted his opinions without regard to their popularity, and he never stifled his convictions of truth, nor suppressed their utterance through any fear of power or of faction; but he was, on the contrary, consistent and constant,
* Remarks on the death of Hon. William Upham, a Senator from Vermont, who died in Washington, Janaury 11th, 1858.
“ As pilot well expert in perilous wave,
I was honored with a place in his friendship, and Vermont is intimately related to the state from which I come; and, therefore, I have thought it my right and duty to speak a just panegyric over his remains. I wish that the wreath I have contributed were more fit to adorn the bier and grace the tomb of so true a representative, and so upright a statesman.
NOTE.- For a continuation of Speeches and Debates in the Senate of the United States, see Vol III