If the people of the United States wish this House to carry the treaty into effect immediately, and notwithstanding the continued aggressions of the British, if their will was fairly and fully expressed, I would immediately acquiesce; but since an appeal has been made to them, it is reasonable to suspend a decision until their sentiments are known. Till then I must follow my own judgment; and as I cannot see that any possible evils will follow a delay, I shall vote against the resolution before the committee, in order to make room, either for that proposed by my colleague, Mr. Maclay, or for any other, expressed in any manner whatever, provided it embraces the object I have in view, to wit, the suspension of the final vote—a postponement of the laws necessary to carry the treaty into effect, until satisfactory assurances are obtained that Great Britain means, in future, to show us that friendly disposition which it is my earnest wish may at all times be cultivated by America towards all other nations.
OF MASSACHUSETTS. (BORN 1758, DIED 1808.)
ON THE BRITISH TREATY, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, APRIL 28, 1796.
It would be strange, that a subject, which has aroused in turn all the passions of the country, should be discussed without the interference of any of our own. We are men, and therefore not exempt from those passions; as citizens and representatives, we feel the interests that must excite them. The hazard of great interests cannot fail to agitate strong passions. We are not disinterested; it is impossible we should be dispassionate. The warmth of such feelings may becloud the judgment, and, for a time, pervert the understanding. But the public sensibility, and our own, has sharpened