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Piractical Expeditions against Cuba

Brownson's Quarterly Review, January, 1852

Art. III. - The Piratical Expeditions of American Citizens against the island of Cuba, and the Relations of the United States with Spain resulting from them.

It is well known that our government and people have long been desirous of obtaining possession of the island of Cuba, the queen of the Antilles, and annexing it to the Union. Spain having very naturally refused to sell it, and no plausible pretext having offered itself for taking posses­sion of it by the avowed authority of the government, efforts have been made to induce the inhabitants to rebel against their sovereign, and, under assurances of assistance from this country, if not from the government, at least from its citizens, to declare themselves independent, and to form themselves into a democratic state, with a view to future annexation. The most false and calumnious reports of the tyranny and oppression of the Spanish authorities have been circulated to excite our democratic and monar­chy-hating citizens, and to prepare them to fly to the as­sistance of the Cubans, as to the rescue of an ill-used and oppressed people, and false and exaggerated accounts have been forged of the disaffection of the Cubans, and of their readiness and determination to resist and declare themselves independent of the mother country.

Disaffected or speculating Cubans, chiefly residing in this country, good patriots only in leaving their country, in  concert with certain American speculators and European refugees, havc been induced to form what they call a "provisional government" to contract loans, to enlist troops, and commission officers in the name of the imaginary people or Republic of Cuba. This appears to havc been done with a doublc object; first, to secure to these excellent patriots and their Amcrican advisors the plunder of the island, and in case of success the powcr to oppress its in­habitants, and second, to remove any scruples our citizens might feel as to engaging in an avowedly piratical entcr­prise. Our people hold that they have a right to assist any band of rebels, who profess to be rebelling against monarchy, in favor of democracy. They hold that all au­thority emanates from the people, and they nevcr take the trouble to inquire whether what they call the people are a perfect people, complete and independent, or are only a mob. They outlaw monarchy and monarchists, and hold any number of the inhabitants of a given country to be the sovereign people, if they are only opposed to monarchy and in favor of democracy, although in point of fact they are not more than one in a thousand of the whole population. God has given the dominion of the world to democray;, and they have the right, whenever they please and are ablc, to oust the old proprietors and to takc possession of it. A self-constituted provisional government, having no author­ity even from the people, no authority, indeed, but what its individual members assume, is for them the sovereign authority of any country subjected to the monarchical form of government, and in it are vested all the rights of a sover­eign state, the power to form alliances, to declare war, and to make peace. Rccognizing thus the self-styled provisional government of Cuba, and General Lopez as its chief, they could feel that, in enrolling themselves under his banner and making piratical cxpeditions against a colony of Spain, they would cngage in a legitimate war, and in killing and plundering Spanish subjects be only obeying a legal au­thority and performing meritorious acts. Under the pre­tended authority of this pretended government, an expedi­tion was set on foot in 1849, in this country, for invading and taking possession of Cuba. That expedition was pre­vcnted from sailing by the interposition of the Federal government; but the adventurers, collected at Round Isl­and, were suffered to disperse with their arms, without even so much as a reprimand for the violation of the law of nations, our treaty with Spain, and our own municipal law. Emboldened by the impunity, they with others as­sembled again the following year, and this time succeeded in makng a descent upon the island. whence they were soon forced to reembark for the United States.  Again no punishment was inflicted npon them by our government. A few indictments were found, but they were all finally withdrawn by order of the government, and no one was prosecuted to conviction.

The checks hitherto experienced frorn the government, or from the resistance of the Spanish authorities, only served to stimulate the zeal of the so-called liberators.  During the last summer a new expedition was fitted out, and em­barked in an American Steamer, which cleared in open day at the custom-house at New Orleans for Cuba, where, to the numbcr of some five hundred, the majority Arnerican citi­zens, they effected a landing, and commenced their work of liberation. After several engagements with detachments of the Spanish troops, in which several Spanish officers and soldiers lost their lives, they were defeated, and to a man either killed or taken prisoners.
Before the whole band were dispersed, while the contest with the invaders continued, and reinforcements from the United States were threatened, a party of fifty, designated as Colonel Crittenden's party, apparrently attempting to effect their escape from the island, were discovered and cap­tured by a Spanish war-steamer, and, on their confession or having formed a part of the gang which had landed, and of having shared in their piratical ads, were executed, in obedience to an order of the Spanish government, and in ac­cordance with a proclaimation the Captain-General of Cuba issued before the sailing of the expedition from New Orleans, and with the unquestionable legal rights of Spain.  When the news of the execution of this party was confirmed in this country, the friends of the expedition were highly exasperated. A mob collected at New Orleans, at­tacked the Spanish consul and forced him to seek refuge for his life in a prison, seized the Spanish flag, dragged it through the mud, and afterwards burnt it with every mark of indignity and insult, destroyed the oflice of the Spanish newspaper La Union, and plundered the shops and dwell­ings, we believe, of nearly every Spanish resident in the city. Another mob on the same occasion collected at Key ·West and entered and plundered the houses and shops of the Spanish residents. At Mobile the mob attacked and threatened to lynch sixty-seven persons belonging to the Spanish brigantine Fernando VII., wrecked near our coast, and who sought refugc in that port, and escaped with their lives only through the extraordinary exertions of the Span­ish vice-consul, Sr. Don Manuel de Cruzat. The Spanish consul, the Spanish residents in New Orleans and Key West, and the poor shipwrecked women and children at Mobile were guilty of no offence against either our govern­ment or our citizens, but that of being Spanish subjects. The atrocious outrages committed upon them were all directed against Spain, who was all along the sole injured party, and whose sole offence was, that she would not suffer without resistance American citizens to invade her territory, and murder and plunder her subjects, and that she did not choose to treat a gang of captured pirates as ordinary prisoners of war. Her offence was, that, when attacked by a robber, she knocked him in head, instead of keeping quiet and suffering herself to be robbed.

Here are a few of the outrages committed by American citizens against Spain and her unoffending subjects. For these she very natnrally complains to the Federal govern­ment. That she has suffered gross injustice, and that she is entitled to indemnification, there is no room for doubt; and we should suppose that our government could not hesitate to admit it. For years our citizens have been suffered to labor to excite revolution in Cuba, to keep that province in a state of perpetual uneasiness, essentially hurt­ful to its prosperity, and compelling the Spanish government to maintain itself there in a manner extremely expen­sive and more embarrassing than war. They have been suffered to invade the territory of a friendly state, to mur­der and plunder her subjects on her own soil, to outrage her consul, under the protection of his exequator from onr government, to insult her flag, and to plunder her subjects peaceably residing amongst us, and, in violation of express treaty stipulations, to attempt the lives of her shipwrecked sailors seeking refuge in our ports; and we cannot easily conceive that the government can be so insensible to the claims of justice, or to its own honor, as to refuse to ac­knowledge these wrongs and to make just reparation for them. Yet we are told that it has peremptorily refused to make any reparation. It takes the ground, it is said, that it did all that any government is bound to do to prevent the acts complained of; that it is in no scnse rcsponsible for them, and therefore owes Spain neither compensation for wrongs nor apology for insult; and if Spanish residents have been wronged, our courts are open to them, and they are free to bring suits and recover damages against those who have wronged them.

We hope, for the honor of our country and the crcdit of our institutions, that there is some mistake here, and that before our Review issues from the press our government will have retrieved its character and complied with the too moderate demands of Spain. Spain has been most griev­ously wronged, and, although the press seems generally to take the ground said to be taken by the Secretary of State, we cannot accept the statement that our govern­ment owes her neither apology nor indemnification. To pretend it seems to us to be simply adding insult to injury. It is not true that our government did all that any govern­ment is bound to do to prevent the outrages complained of. It was bound both by the law of nations, and by the obli­gations of treaty, not only not to officially to authorize or to approve the wrongs committed, but to do its best to pre­vent them. The acts done werc in violation of both inter­national law and of our own municipal laws, and the gov­ernment was bound by the former to Spain, and by the lat­ter to its own citizens, to prevent them, if in its power. No government fulfils its obligntions to a foreign powcr with which it is at peace, by simply disavowing the injuries done by its subjects to that power, and leaving it, if their authors chance to fall into its hands, to deal with them as it pleases. Peacc between two states is not simply a peace between thcir respective governments, as governments, but also peace between their respective citizen, or subjects, and this peace between their respective subjects each state is bound to maintain to the best of its ability; and if either fails to prevent its breach, it is bound to punish the offenders, or to deliver them up to be punished by the other; and when the peaee has been broken through the carelessness or neglect of the government, it is bound to make a just compensation to the injured for the wrong done.

This is more especially true in the case between us and Spain, because we are bound to her by special treaty obli­gations. By the first article of the treaty of 1795: still in force, it is stipulated that "there shall be firm and in­violable peace and sincere friendship between her Catholic Majesty, her successors and subjects, and the United States and their citizens, without exception of persons or places." By the fifth article of the same treaty, "both parties oblige themselves expressly to restrain, by force, all hostilities on the part of the Indian nations living within their boun­dary; so that Spain will not suffer her Indians to attack the citizens of the United States, nor Indians belonging to their territory; nor the United States permit these last-­mentioned Indians to engage in hostilities against the sub­jects of her Catholic Majesty, nor her Indians, in any man­ner whatever"; and in the fourteenth article it is laid down that no "citizen, subject, or inhabitant of the United States shall apply for or take any commission, or letters of marque for arming any ship or ships, for  the purpose of harassing the subjects of her Catholic Majesty, or taking possession of their property, from any prince or state with which her Catholic Majesty shall be at war; and if any person of either nation shall talw such commission, or letters of marque, he shall be punished as a pirate."
It is clear from these stipulations, that the United States are obliged to maintain firm and inviolable peace and sin­cere frienndship between all their citizens and those of Spain, to restrain by force the Indian tribes within their borders from violating it, and that they have declared any citizen, subjeet, or inhabitant of our country, who shall take any commission or letters of marque with a hostile purpose to Spain from any power with which she is at war, to be a pirate and to be punished as such. The provision with regard to the Indian nations throws light on the first article. The importance of restraining onr citizens or subjects from com­mitting acts of hostility on the subjects of Spain cannot be less than that of restraining the Indian tribes, and the in­troduction of a special clause restraining the latter, who are not precisely either citizens or subjects, but quasi-inde­pendent, and therefore not necessarily included under the denomination of either citizens or subjects, proves that the high contracting parties considered the obligation of restrain­ing the former as sufficiently expressed in the first article. The prohibition to any citizen, subject, or inhabitant of the United States to take any commission or letters of marque with a power with which Spain is at war, to prey upon her subjects or her property, can hardly be rcstricted simply to a commission to arm privateers, but, in its spirit at least, extends to any commission from any power with which Spain is at war to commit any kind of acts of hos­tility against her or her subjects. If no such commission can be accepted from a recognized prince or state, then, a fortiori, none from an unrecognizcd revolutionary chief like Lopez, or a mere sham government like the so-called "Provisional Government of Cuba."     

The expedition of Lopez, which was fitted out in and sailed from the United States, was dearly a violation of that "firm and inviolable peace and sincere friendship" between the subjects of her Catholic Majesty and our own citizens established by the first article of the treaty of 1795 ; and as the government by entering into that treaty became specially bound for itself and all its citizens or subjects, without exception of persons or places, it was specially bound to prevent it, and having failed to do so, it is re­sponsible for it. It was bound to do this, even under the general law of nations. "The nation or the sovereign," says Vattel (Lib. II. 72), "ought not to suffer its citizens to do an injury to the subjects of another state, much less to offend that state itself; and this not only because no sovereign ought to permit those who are under his COIl1 mand to violate the precepts of the law of nature, which forbids all injuries, but also because nations ought mutually to respect each other, to abstain from all offence, from all injury, from all wrong, - in a word, from every thing that may be of prejudice to others. If a soverign who might keep his subjects within the rules of justice and peace suffers them to injure a foreign nation either in its body or its members, he does no less injury to that nation than if he injured it himself. In short, the safety of the state and that of human society requires this attention from evcry sover­eign. If you let loose the reins to your subjects against foreign nations, these will behave in the same manner to you; and instead of that friendly intercourse which nature has established between all men, we shall see nothing but one vast and dreadful scene of plunder between nation and nation." Certain it is, then, the United States were bound to prevent the piratical expedition against Cuba, and they cannot, since they did not prevent it, plead that they did all that they were bound to do, if they were able to pre­vent it.

Now, we are quite sure that our government would not take it as a favor to be told that it is unable to fulfil the duties imposed by international law, or that it lacks power to enforce upon its subjects its own laws. The notori­ous and undeniable fact is, that it did next to nothing to prevent the atrocious outrages against Spain and her sub­jects. It, indeed, issued some tardy orders to its officers, most of which came too late to be of service, even in case they had been obeyed; sent forth certain proclamations, forbidding all such expeditions, and informing those Amer­ican citizens who should engage in them that they would be liable to punishment by the laws of their own country, and out of its protection if they should fall into the hands of the Spanish authorities. Thc proclamations were worded well enough; but they were about as valuable as so much waste paper, and welll known before they were issued to be worth not much more. Who in this country retains respect enough for any public authority, to refrain in con­sequence of a proclamation from any act to which he is impelled cither by his passions or his interest? Presi­dential or any other proclamations, except issued by rebels or pirates, are of no value here, unless they are backed up by un armed force adequate to compel their observance. Some vessels of war were indeed, after the sailing of thc expedition, ordered to cruise in the Gulf, but apparently less to protect the rights of Spain than to protect our own,­ less to prevent the pirates murdering and plundering Span­ish subjects, than to prevent the Spanish authorities and the Spanish war-vessels from violating the rights of peace against us, or to find some pretext for the government it­self to interfere against Spain, and, perhaps, take posses­sion of Cuba and Porto Rico. Call you this discharging your duty to Spain? Do you pretend that having done this much authorizes you to wash your hands of the whole affair, and to tell Spain that she has no ground of com­plaint against you for her soil invaded, and her subjects murdered and plundered by your citizens?             

The government cannot plead ignorance of what was going on. The proceedings of the so-called Liberators were not carried on in private; they were open, proclaimed through the public journals, friendly and unfriendly, and known to the whole country. The adventurers were en­rolled and drilled publicly in New Orleans, and they hardly even affected to conceal their import and destination. The Pampero, on which they ernbarkcd, and on which they were well known to be embarked, cleared publicly at the custom-house for Cuba. Where was the vigilance of the government?  Where were its lynx-eyed officers? It is folly to pretend that the government was not well in­formed, long before the departure of the expedition, of what was in preparation. It must have known at least some or the principal actors, and might at any moment have put a stop to the procedings, by simply arresting Lopez and Sigur, Quitman and Houston, and a few others. If it could not otherwise prevent the expedition, why did it not order the Home Squadron to the Gulf to intercept it, or to keep on the look·out near the Cuban ports for which it was likely to sail, to prevent. its landing? The govenment either was or was not able to prevent an expedition at­tempted or renewed for three successive years, and avowed and defended by many of the journals of the country. If it was not, then it is incompetent to the duties of an independent nation, and has no right to pretend to negotiate or to enter into treaty obligations with other nations on the footing of equality. But we will not make the humiliating concession that the goverment is unable to dischargre fully and promptly all the obligations of an independent state, whether imposed by the law of nations or by special treaty. A tithe of the vigilance and activity it has displayed in watching and defending its own rights against Spain, who has shown no disposition to violate any one of them, em­ployed in watching and defeating the machinations and guilty measures of its own citizens against her, would have nipped in the bud every hostile expedition attempted within or from our territory against her. It had the whole force of the nation at its command, and could have used it for this purpose if it had chosen. If it could have prevented the expedition, it has not done its duty, and is responsible to Spain for whatever wrongs she has suffered from it.       

We arc not willing to concede that the United States are less able to fulfil on their part the obligation imposed by the treaty of 1795, than Spain is to fulfil them on her part. The obligations of that treaty arc reciprocal, and Spain on her part has religiously fulfilled them. Even in the early part of 1845, as soon as it became apparent to her that war must SOOIl break out between this repuhlic and that of Mexico, she from her own sense of duty has­tened to issue instructions, that, throughout all her dominions and by all her subjects, the strictest neutrality should be observed, and when our Minister at the Court of Ma­drid notified her, in July, 1846, that war existed between the two republics, and demanded that her subjects should be prevented fom taking out Mexican letters of marque, she was able to inform him that all necessary steps for that purpose had already been taken. The want of confidence in Spain manifested by our government, its unwillingness to be satisfied of her good faith without actually inspecting the orders she had issued, and its sending of a ship of war to Cuba to watch her and see that she violated none of thc laws of neutrality, and other matters of this sort, insolent in themselves, and hard to bear by a high-minded and honorable nation, on which much might be said not creditable to the Federal govcrnment, we pass over. Only one case of infraction by Spanish subjeds of the neutrality enjoined, that of the bark Unico, occurred during the war with Mexico. That bark, indeed, put to sea with Mexican letters of marque, in violation of the treaty, their owners having availed themselves of pretended letters of Mexican citizenship, and other stratagems, to conceal their crime. When we consider the faeilities for eludiding the vigilanee of the Spanish government afforded by the similarity of language, manncrs, customs, and even names, between Spaniards and Mexicans, it speaks well forr that government that only this one case occurred; but notwithstanding all the difficulties of the case, and all the arts resorted to, the criminal parties, without any agency of ours being needed, and solely through the action of the Spanish authorities, were arrested and cornpelled to observe the laws of their country, which of course include the treaty of 1795. The bark was se­questered by virtue of a judicial sentence, its crew were condemned to a punishment which they are, or lately were, still undergoing, and the Carmelite, belonging to the United States, detained for a short time at Barcelona, was declared to have the right of claiming indemnification against its owners for whatever injuries or losses it had sustained in consequence of a brief detention. In no instance, since the treaty of 1819, has Spain given our government the slight­est cause of offence, and she has, notwithstanding numer­ous and grievous insults from both our government and people, religiously fulfilled all her treaty obligations entered into with our republic.To do this she has had only to enforce her own laws upon her own subjects; and all our government would have had to do, in order to have fulfilled its obligations to her in a manner equally satisfactory, was; simply to enforce the observance of its own laws upon its citizens or subjects. Is our government, which elaims to be a model government for all the world, prepared to say that it is not bound, or that it is less able, to enforce its own laws on its subjects than Spain is to enforce her laws upon her subjects?

No doubt there are cases in which, notwithstanding the loyalty and utmost vigilance of the government, its citizens will break its laws, and do injury to a foreign state, or to its subjects; but in such cases it is bound either to punish them or to give them up to thc justice of the injurcd party. Unhappily, our govemment, in the case before us, has fully and faithfully done neither. It has wellnigh quarrelled with Spain for punishing those of the pirates who fell, without any agency of ours, into her hands. It sent a ves­sel of war to Havana, with orders to make an insulting in­vestigation into the circumstances of the execution of Crit­tenden and his fellow-pirates, takcn by a Spanish war­steamer, and confessedly guilty of piracy; and we have not blushed to solicit Spain to liberate the pirates whom she detains as prisoners, but whose lives her clemency has spared. We have in reality, at least in regard to the last two piratical expeditions, used no force to repress them, and we have punished no individual implicated in them. We have neither by our vigilance prevented our own laws from being broken to the injury of Spain, nor by our jus­tice vindicated their breach. We have failed utterly to execute the laws against men within our jurisdiction, noto­riously, we may say, ostentatiously, guilty of the most grave offences against them. A vessel or two may have been confiscated; a few prosecutions have beon commenced against individuals, all ending in smoke; a couple of cus­tom-house officers have been dismissed; and this is all, as far as we can learn, that the government has done in the way of punishing those of its citizens guilty of violating its own laws, of insulting the majesty of Spain, and of being accessory at least to the piratical invasion of her ter­ritory, and the murder of her subjects. True, it arrestcd at one time Lopez, Quitman, Henderson, and a few others; but, notwithstanding thesc men really avowed their guilt, the indictments found against them were withdrawn by order of the government itself, and they were suffered to go at large, Lopez to head a new piratical invasion of Cuba, and to receive his reward from the Spanish authorities. Does thc government call this doing its duty? Is this the way Spain treated the crew of the Unico, or those of her subjects that violated her laws to our prejudice?                            

It will not, be pertinent for our government to plead that it has done all that it was bound to do, because it has done all that it could do under its internal laws and the forms of its judicial tribunals. Were this, as it is not, the fact, it were nothing to the purpose. Spain has the right to de­mand of us the exact fulfilment of our treaty obligations, and if we cannot fulfil them with exactitude under our in­ternal laws, thc constitution of our courts, and their rules of procedure, that affects neither her right nor our duty. We have in such case no right to assume the rank of an independent nation, and must pay the penalty of assuming to be able to perform the duties of such a nation when we are not. Other nations have the right, in such case, to treat us as a false pretendcr, and to insist on excluding us from the family of independent states, and placing us un­der guardians. In fact, no plea of inability will avail the government. It has never ceased to assure Spain that her province of Cuba was in no danger of being invaded from our territories; it has from the first sought to quiet every alarm she expressed, and assured her that it was both able and willing to execute the laws, - that it· both could and would prevent their violation to her prejudice. We know it had the power to keep its promise. The treaty of 1795, as are all treaties formcd with foreign nations, is the law, and the supreme law, of the land, and the government has the whole power of the nation at its command to enforce it. It was its duty to employ all the force necessary to that purpose, and if it had so done, no man can doubt that it would have succeeded. The simple fact is, the government did not lack the ability, but it lacked the courage, to do its duty. It trembled before the influence the pirates and their friends might exert on the election of 1852.  It per­sonally wished, no doubt, to fulfil its treaty obligations and do justice to Spain, but it considered it safer to wrong her, and brave the scorn of the civilized world, than to run the hazard of losing the support in the coming election of the pirates and their sympathizers. The loss of votes would be irreparable, but refusal of justice to Spain could at worst only lead to war with that power, and that wonld afford, perhaps, the opportunity to take possession of Cuba and Porto Rico and annex them to the Union, - the very thing desired by our government and people, and unsuc­cessfully thus far attempted by the piratical expeditions complained of.

The government, we say, therefore, and in saying it we are only repeating its constant assurances to Spain, could have prevented the piratical expeditions against Cuba, if it had been sincerely and eamestly disposed to do so. We have already proved that it was bound to prevent them, and therefore, not having done so when it could, it is re­sponsible for them. Both our government and people seem to labor under a mistake as to the extent of the re­sponsibleness of the state for the injuries caused by its citi­zens to foreign nation. It seems to be supposed that it is responsible for no expedition or acts of its citzens against foreign nations, unless it formally approved Ol' ratified them, and that its official disavowal of them is sufficient to ex­onerate itself in the eye of international law from all blame. But this is by no means the fact. Vattel, indeed, says that, "if a nation or its sovereign approves and ratities the act of the individual, it then becomes a public concern, and the injured party is to consider the nation as the real au­thor of the injury"; but he docs not say, and there is no respectable authority that does say, that the nation is an­swerable for only those acts of its subjects which it ex­pressly approves and ratifies. A nation, being bound in natural justice to prevent its subjects from committing any injury as far as it is able, is responsible for all the injuries they commit, whether against their fellow-subjects or against a foreign state or its subjects, in which it directly or indirectly concurs, or in which it cooperates either posi­tively or negatively. The rule here for nations is the same with the rule for indivicluals, for both are alike bound by the principles of natural justice, and those principles are the same for both. The general principle applicable to individuals by which they may be held rcsponsible for the injuries done immediately by others, and for which they are bound to make restitution to the injured party, as universally held, is summed np by a respectable living authority in the following rule: "Principium generale est eos teneri ad restitutionem, quando efficaciter influunt in damnum, sunt que illius causa, licet non unica; vel quando non impediunt damnum quod ex justitia impedire tenentur." (footnote: Carriere, De Justitia, 334.  See, also, St. Thomas, Summa, Q. 62, a. 7, who maintains the same doctrine.--end of footnote)  We have already proved that a sovereign is helel ex justicia to prevent his subjects from doing injury to anyone, and we may therefore lay it down that the sovereign who might, but does not, prevent them, is answerable for  the injury they do. The nation itself stands in this respect under the same obligation that the individual does, and is bound to restitution under precisely the same conditions that the in­dividual is. The individual is not, indeed, always bound to make restitution for the injury to another which he might, but docs not, prevent; he is so bound only when he is held to prevent the injury ex justicia, or by virtue of his state, charge, or office. "Hi vero," says Billuart, "tenentur impedire ex justitia, qui tenentur ex contractu aut quasi­contractu, hoc est, ex officio; quia qui suscipit officium, implicite se obligat ad praestanda ea quae sunt illius officii.  Hinc inferes, principes, magistratus, gubernatores, praetores, et alii quibus incumbit ex officio invigilare tranquillitati communi et indemnitati civium, tenentur ad restitutionem omnium damnorum quae ex sua negligentia sequuntur," & c. (footnote: De Jure et Justitia, Diss. VIII. Art. 13, [Section] 7--end of footnote)  Silvius, as cited by Billuart, says, "Si princeps aut praetor videat suos subditos nocere aliis non sibi subditis, et non impediat cum potest, tenetur ad restitutionem, etsi non teneatur procurare bonum illorum non subditorum," because, as Billuart himself adds, "inter principes et consequenter eorum praetores interveniat virtualis contractus =seu tacita conventio pro bono et tranquillitate communi, ne sui subditi subditis alterius nocceant.....Unde principes ex justitia obligantur non solum erga suos subditos, sed etiam erga alienos." (footnote--Ibid.)

These authorities, to which we might add indefinitely were it necessary, fully sustain us in saying that the prin­ciple of natura1 justice, as applicable to the question under consideration, is, that the individual is bound to restitution for any injury which he is held ex justitia to prevent, but does not prevent when he might; consequently, that a nation, always bound to prevent its subjects from doing any injury, is accountable for all injury done by its subjects, which it might and did not prevent, and therefore is bound to indemnify the injured party. The rule our government ap­pears disposed to follow, and which Great Britain also as­serts when it suits her convenience, must, then, be restricted, and the nation be held to have approved and ratified im­plicitly those injurious acts of its subjects which it might have prevented, but did not, for it is through its fault as well as that of its subjects that they have been committed. A restriction of this sort is absolutely necessary, especially in a composite government like ours. If the individual cit­izens of the Union may injure our neighbors by invading their territory without implicating the Federal government any farther than it avows or does not formally disavow their acts, nothing prevents anyone of the States of the Union from doing the same, and making war with its whole moral and material force on a foreign state or its subjects, without necessarily disturbing the peace relations between that power and us. The Federal government would only have to disavow the act of the State, and then we might see the edifying spectacle of one of our own States making war on a foreign nation whilc the Union re­mained at peace with it. This would be a great injustice, because the foreign nation could not retaliate on the hostile State without making war on the Union, which it could not do, because, according to the doctrine set up, the Union would have given it no just cause of war. It would be very convenient for us to carry on our wars in this way; the State could do all the fighting, and the Union would have nothing to do but to employ the Federal forces in holding the nation attacked to the rights of peace against us. Something like this we have alrcady seen, although the aggressors were not a State, but its citizens. Our gov­ernment has suffered these citizens to carry on hostilities against Spain, and employed its force, as far as it has with much eflcct employed it at all, in compelling Spain to defend herself against them without violating the rights of peace; thus securing to its citizens the rights of war against her, and allowing her only the rights of peace against them. Under the doctrine we oppose, a nation might remain at peace with a foreign power, while through its citizens, acting on their own responsibility, officially dis­avowed by the government if you will, it robbed that for­eign power of province after province, till it had annihilated its independence, and annexed its whole territory to its own dominions, as was seen in the case of Texas. Our citizens literally stole that province from Mexico, as they are hoping to steal some more provinces from the same republic, and as they still hope to steal Cuba from Spain. To say that the crime of that theft is not imputable to the nation is to outrage common sense. Who does not know that the citizens of a country cannot be at war with a foreign power and its government remain at peace with it? A rule that would allow our nation by the hostile acts of subjects to destroy a foreign state, without disturbing its pcaee relations with it, is and can be no part of inter­national law.

We consequently reject this rule, which seems invented only to give us virtually all the rights of war against our neighbors, while we hold them to the rights of peace against us, and assert that an injury committed by the subjeds of a nation which it might by the proper exercisc of its power prevent, but does not, is imputable to the na­tion itself, for which it it bound to indemnify the aggrieved party. If we may believe our government itself, it could have prevented the injuries that Spain has received from the hands of American citizens. It is therefore responsible for them, and bound to make just and ample reparation to Spain for them; and it will be guilty of gross injustice, and forfeit the respect of the civilized world and every de­cent man among its own subjects, if it does not.          

Thus far we have considered the ground, said to be taken by our government, mainly to its tenableness un­der international law; but the question itself between us and Spain is to be decided under the treaty of 1795. Under international law, even in the absence of treaty stipulations, we should be bound to indemnify Spain for what­ever injury she has received from the piratical expeditions against Cuba, because we could have prevented them with due diligence; but under the treaty we should be bound to indemnify Spain, even in case we had done all that a government could reasonably be expected to do to prevent them, and perhaps, also, even under international law in the absence of treaty. By the treaty the governmcnt ex­pressly stipulates, not merely that there shall be peace be­tween itself and the Spanish government, but also between its citizens and the subjects of Spain, without exception of persons or plaees. It thus binds itself specially, and under the express and solemn obligation of treaty, for each one of its citizens, and pledges its faith for the peace of each one of them. Neither the express nor implied condition here is that it will do it if it can. It must do it, or if it fail, even though unintentionally and unavoidably, it must make just satisfaction to the party injured. It has entered into an express contract, and the peace of all its citizens, without exception of persons or places, is what on its side it has contracted. This peaee is a debt which it owes and has bound itself to pay to Spain, and it must pay it in the form stipulated, or the damage the creditor suffers from its not paying it in that form. There is no escaping this conclu­sion. We have broken the treaty, broken the contract, and even if we have not done so designedly, we must still repair the injury we have done, and make a suitahle apol­ogy for it so far as not reparable. The damage we have done to Spain is only in part reparable; we can repair only the pecuniary damage; we cannot repair the deprava­tion of those of her subjects we have seduced from their allegiance. We cannot restore to life the brave officers and soldiers, to mothers the sons, to wives the husbands we have murdered for loyally defending her rights, and for these and other irreparable wrongs we ought to express our deep regret, while we make ample indemnification for the public and private property we have destroyed, and for the very heavy expense she has necessarily incurred in guard­ing and defending her possessions against the machina­tions and invasions of our citizens. It is in this way Spain herself interpreted her own obligations to us under the treaty, as is evident from the case of the privateer Unico, and her interpretation of the treaty obligations to her own disadvantage deserve:; as much respect as our interpretation of them in our favor. She arrested the ofIenders against us, punished them, and indemnified the injured party. She did this of her own accord, from a sense of justice, and we all know that our government would have been satisfied with nothing less. It would never have considered it a valid answer to its reclamations against the fitting or sail­ing of the Unico, that the Spanish government disapproved it, and abandoned the bark and crew to their fate if taken by one of our cruisers. If we insisted, as we certainly should have insisted, if Spain had given us an opportunity, on her arresting the piratical expedition of her subjects, punishing the guilty party, and indemnifying our citizens for the in­judes they suffered from the offences committed, or threat­ened to be committed, against them, we cannot under­stand why less is due from us to her. The obligations of the treaty are reciprocal, and it cannot be to thc credit of the United States to hold a double balance, and to adopt one rule for interpreting the obligations of Spain to us and another for interpreting our obligations to her. Surely the Secretary of State is lawyer enough to under­stand, that, when one of the contracting parties breaks the contract, though by no fault of its own, it is responsi­blc for the damages the other party has suffered in consequence. The only difference betwccn the case of a breach of contract through the moral fault of thc failing party and that of a breach without any such fault is, that in the former there is a case for vindictive justice, or exemplary damages, and in the latter case for simply commutative justice, or remuneration for the actual damage suffered, although the peremptory refusal of the remuncration would give to the party wrongcd the right of vindidive justice, which, be­tween nations, is the right of war. Now, as the injuries done were not only a breach of the gcneral law of nations, but of express contract, it is undeniable that our government owes Spain full indemnification for them, even sup­posing them to have been committed through no bad faith, complicity, or remissness of our government.

The other questions arising out of these piratical expeditions need not detain us long.  These are 1. The injury to to the honor of Spain in the attack on her consul and the insult offered to her flag in New Orleans; 2. The outrages committed on sixty-seven shipwrecked persons seeking rcf­uge in the port of Mobile; and 3. The destruction of the property of Spanish subjects by the mob in New Orleans and Key West. A grave injury to the fame or the honor of a nation has in all ages and countries been held a justifiable cause of war, and even light injuries become so, if the party committing them refuses to make satisfaction for them; for such refusal is a denial of justice, and the denial of jus­tice is always a justifiable cause of war, at least. as against the party denying it. (Footnote: Vide Suarez, De Bell. Tract. de Charitate.  Disp. XIII.sect. iv. Also, 2 Reg. x.--end of footnote) A consul, indeed, has not the invio­lability of person or effects of an ambassador; but in his official capacity he has in some sense a representative char­acter, and to injure him as consul is to injure his nation; and the government. granting him his exequator is bound to make reparation for the injuries he receives. The national flag is the symbol of the nation, and to insult it is to insult the nation itself. Clearly, in the attack on the Spanish consul and the Spanish flag at New Orleans, the honor of Spain was wounded, and our government owes her repara­tion and apology. Nations are accustomed to guard their honor with great jealousy, and it is proper that they should. A nation that suffers its honor to be attacked with impu­nity confesses thereby either her insensibility to her own honor or her inability to vindicate it. In either case she exposes herself to insult and invasion, which, since it is an injustice to her subjects, she is bound to prevent, if in her power. It is also against the general peace and welfare of nations that anyone nation should be constantly open to insult and invasion from her neighbors, and therefore every nation is bound to its own subjects and to the general family of nations to respect, and, as far as in its power, to cause to be respected, its own honor. No nation is more ready than our own to resent insults to our national honor. Who knows not, that., if the cases had been reversed, and our consul and flag had been insulted at Havana or Bar­celona, instant satisfaction would have been demanded, and, if refused or delayed, the whole press of the country would have called upon the government to declare war against Spain. The evils of war are great; but the loss of national honor is greater. Yet we may do well to remember that we may lose our honor by refusing to respect the honor of others, as well as by being remiss in vindicat­ing our own. It is well to demand nothing but justice, and to submit to no injustice, but it is better to adopt for our rule, Do no wrong, and submit to none. This last is the rule, not for individuals, for they are often required to submit to injustice; but for states, because the mission of the state is to proteet and vindicate the rights and interests of its subjeets.

The Spanish brigantine Fernando VII. was wrecked last August on our coast, and the persons on board, to the num­ber of sixty-seven, sought refuge in the port of Mobile, and were there attacked by the mob, inhumanly treated, and, as we have said, escaped being lynched only through the extraordinary exertions of the Spanish vice-consul. The outrages upon them were in violation of the laws of hu­manity, of the international law of all Christian nations, and of the treaty with Spain. We will here simply cite the sixth and tenth articles of the treaty of 1795, confirmed by that of 1819.
" ART. VI. Each party shall endeavor, by all means in their power, to protect and defend all vessels und other effccts belonging to the citizens or subjects of the other, which shall be within the extent of their jurisdiction by sea or by land, and shall use all their efforts to recover and cause to be restored to the right owners, their vessels and effects which may have been taken from them within the extent of their said jurisdiction, whether they are at war or not with the power whose subjects Have taken possession of the said effects. "

"ART. X. When any vessel of either party shall he wrecked, foundered, or otherwise damaged, on the coasts or within the domin­ion of the other, their respective subjects or citizens shall receive, as well for themselves as for their vessels and effects, the same assistance which would be due to the inhabitants of the country where the damage happens, and shall pay the samc charges and dues only as the said inhabitants would be subject to pay in a like case: and if the operations of repair would require that the whole or' any part of the cargo be unladen, thcy shall puy no duties, charges, or fces on the part which they shall relade and carry away."
What has our government to say to this? Will it pre­tend that it owes no satisfaction for these outrages?

The government owes indemnification to the Spanish residents for their property destroyed by the mob. In jus­tice, and we believe, in most civilized states, in law, the state is held to indemnify its subjects for the destruction of their property by mobs; for the state is held ex officio to  prevent all mobs and riotous assemblies of its subjects. This is one of tho principal ends of government itself, and its obligation in this respect is the same to foreigners resid­ing on its territory and under its protection as to its own subjects. It will not answer for the government to say that it could not prevent the mob, and therefore is not an­swerable for its consequences, for it was its duty to prevent it, and if it eould not, though free from  moral blame, it would still be bound, as far as able, to repair the evil, by pecuniary indemnification of the sufferers. But the fact is, the government in the present case did not try to prevent the mobs. No efforts were made by the authorities in either place to prevent or quell them. In this case, it matters not whether the authority bound as between ourselves to prevent or quell the mob was the Federal authority or  the State authority; for the Federal authority is the only public authority in the country that foreigners are permit­ted to know, and it is answerable to them for whatever the public authority of the country can be held answerable for. For internal and domestic purposes the public authority with us is divided between the Federal government and the several State governments, but in regard to foreign powers it is not divided, and the Federal government is the supreme and only public authority of the country.  Hence Mr. Jeflerson was accustomed to say, Internally and in re­lation to ourselves we are many independent govcrnments; externally aml in relation to foreign powers, we are one government or state. The  Federal government is as an­swerable to foreign governments for the puhlic delinquen­cies of the States as if they were its own, There certainly was public delinquency, and therefore as to Spain on the part of the United States, though in fact, as a domestic question, chiefly on the part of Louisiana and Florida. Then, again, is our government, which, as we have said, proposes itself as a model to the whole world, prepared to concede that it cannot prevent or quell mobs, nor maintain either thc external or internal order and tranquillity of its subjects? The citizcns of New Orleans and Key West were no doubt exasperated, though unjustly exasperated. But were not the Cubans also exasperated? Spain had given American citizens no cause of exasperation; all the wrong had been done by them against her, and all the causes of exasperation were of their own creating. Yet, not content with doing foul injustice to Spain, they rise in wrath, and wreak their fury on unoffending Spanish resi­dents. How was it on the other side? The press of this country was teeming with abuse of Spain and the Spanish authorities of Cuba. Mcn from this country, enrolled un­der officers who had served in our army, connected with men high in office under the Federal government, cheered on by the prcss and the people of the United States, wcre on the island murdering and plundering Spanish subjects, without the least right and without the least provocation. And yet there was no mob, no rising of the populace; the laws were strictly enforced, and  not a single outrage was committed on the Anerican consul or a single American resident. Had our government  less power to enforce its laws and to protect the Spanish consul and Spanish resi­dents against its eitizcns, who had no cause of exasperation but their own crimes, than Spain had to enforce her laws and to protect the American consul and American resi­dents against her suujeets, who had so rnany just causes of exasperation against Americans?  If so, pray tell us in what consists the boasted superiority of American repnbli­canism.

We call the Spaniards cruel and bloodthirsty; but how favorably does their conduct contrast with that of the Anwrieans? The latter arc willing, unprovoked, to carry fire and sword into a country with which the government professes to be at pence, to murder innocent people with whom they have no cause of quarrel, and, when checked, they wreak their unprovoked wrath on the peaceable sub­jects of the unoffending country within their reach, plunder them of their property, and threaten and indanger their very lives. Turn now to your cruel and bloodthirsty Spaniards. The Spanish troops, it is proved to you on all hands, after they had received orders to grant quarters, trcated the prisoners  they took, whose hands were still red with the blood of their murdered officcrs and comrades, with the greatest kindness and humanity, sharing with them their humble pittance, and doing all in their power to solace their suffer­ings. The sick and wounded were carried to the hospitals and tenderly nursed; the others were imprisoned in airy rooms, and every imdulgcnec was allowed them compatible with their saftety; their friends were permitted to visit them, and all their little wants were carefully attended to. Surely words have lost their meaning when we call Span­iards cruel, bloodthirsty, and vindictive, and ourselves mild, humane, and forgiving. A more cruel, barbarous, or vindic­tive people than our own, when their passion Ol' interests are excited, it perhaps would be hard to find among civ­ilized nations. We are vain boasters, and boast always of the virtues which we lack.

It is reported that our government has suggested that it may be a question whether Spain herself  has not given us offence, under the seventh article of the treaty of 1795, in executing Crittenden and his associates without the for­malities of trial, as secured by that article to American citizens seized for committing offences against her within her jurisdiction. We can hardly believe this. It is undenia­ble that we had previously violated that treaty, and the violation of any article of a treaty by one party dispenses the other. We cannot suffer our citizens in violation of treaty and of international law to wage war against her, and hold her to the rights of peace against us. We cannot own those who from our territory wage war against hcr, and claim for them any rights secured hy treaty to Amer­ican citizens, without avowing ourselves rcsponsible for their deeds. Our citizens, when they turn pirates, cease to be citizens, and when it is once evident that they have turned pirates, our government can claim for them no right of citizenship. If the fact of piracy is sufficiently established against them, our government, unless it would avow itself their accomplice, has not a word to say, and no ques­tion can arise under the treaty as to the formality of their trial, or the tribunal before which they are tried. Critten­den and his party were undeniably pirates, the moment they embarked in the Pampero for the invasion of Cuba, or at least the moment they landed on the island, and from that moment ceased to be citizens of the United States; they were outlawed by the law of nations; and Spain was free to capture them within her own jurisdiction or on thc high seas, and to deal with them according to her own pleasure, without offence to us or to any other state, be­cause pirates are of no nation, but the common enemies of mankind. The most our government had any right to do was to ascertain the simple fact whether they did or did not land on the island as a part of the piratical expedition, an inquiry not under the treaty, but under the law of nations, and that inquiry could be answered affirmatively at once, by their own confession. That fact is certain, undenied, and undeniable, and nobody pretends to doubt it. Thc government can go no further. To claim for them after this any right secured to American citizens by treaty is to make the crime its own. The government, there­fore, we must believe, since it has disavowed their crime, has not suggested thc possibility of any question of the sort alleged.
It is also said that our government has interceded or is interceding with the governnment of Madrid to liberate the pirates whose lives she has spared, but whom she retains as convicts. This we suppose must be true, but we are sorry to believe it. These convicts were criminals under our laws, and we werc ourselves bound to Spain to pun­ish them; and now we beg Spain, against whom they have committed the most grievous offences known to the law of nations, to oblige us by pardoning them. Nay, we have, if reports can be trusted, almost demanded their liberation as a right, by making it a condition of our consenting to make some slight acknowledgment of our wrongs to her!  This is carrying impudence to its extreme, and plaees our government in the most mortifying light. It proves it deserving the scorn of the civilized world, for it proves that, whatever its professions, it sympathizes with their crimes. Indeed, we feel that the government, though it would appear to be just, really applauds their deeds, or would have done so if they had been successful. For her own security and our honor, we hope Spain will refuse to listen to the intercession. She has treated the pirates too leniently; and if she supposes that by leniency she will make a favorable impression on our countrymen, and makc them less hostile to her, she entirely mistakes their character. Is she not a monarchy? Does she not profess the Catholic religion  As long as she is the one, or professes the other, and has any territory on which we can speculate or which we can annex to the Union, let her be assured that her only security from piratical attacks is in her power to enforce her rights, and in her not suffer­ing a singlc hostile invader of her soil to escape with impunity, - we would say with his life.

When we had written thus far, we received the Annual Message of the President to both Houses of Congress, which treats the Cuban question at some length. It confirms the report of the intercession of our government for the liberation of the pirates, and the insincerity or the imbecility of the administration in regard to the procedings we have been discussing. We have, even taking the ac­count of the Message as strictly correct, only one statement to modify. We have stated that the Pampero cleared at the custom-house in New Orleam;; the Message says that it "left New Orleans stealthily and without a clearanee." It was stated in the journals at the time, and, as far as we are aware, has not been before contradicted, that the steam­er did depart with a clearance, and that the collector of the port was in consequence removed from his office, and a new collector appointed.
The Message throws no new light on the suhject, and relieves the government from none of the charges against it. The President acknowledges the illegality of the expe­dition, but seems to think there was nothing discreditable to the government in it, and that the government has a scrupulous regard for the rights of other nations, because we have very good laws against such expeditions. With all respect to the chief magistrate of the Union, we must remind him that the complaint is not that the laws are not good, but that they have not been enforced. We are well aware that Congress has enacted laws to prohibit, under severe penalties, even the beginning to prepare or to set on foot such expeditions, and that under international law, and our treaty with Spain, which is the supreme law of the land even in the absence of special acts of Congress, they would be prohibited; but we are not aware that those laws have ever been fairly executed. The President knows far better than we do that they have remained for the most part a dead letter, and that our citixens have repeatedly, and in the most open and shameless manner, violated them with impunity. The President would more effectually prove the American respect for the rights and honor of foreign nations by showing that these laws have not been violated, or, if violated, not with impunity, than by simply allowing that we have such laws. The laws prove noth­ing, if they are not enforced.

The President cxpresses grcat sympathy for the relations and friends of the pirates, and for the criminals themselves, but he expresses none for the relatives and friends of those Spanish subjects murdered by these piratical invaders of the Spanish possessions. We know no reason why he should reserve all his compassion for pirates and their friends, and have none for their victims. He tells us the govenment has interceded for the liberation of the invad­ers whose lives have been spared, but adds, with charming simplicity, if it be not downnright hypocricy, "It is to be hoped that sueh interposition with the government of that country [Spain] may not be eonsidered as affording any ground of expectation that the government of the United States will, hereafter, feel itself under any obligation of duty to intercede for the liberation or pardon of such per­SOns as are flagrant offenders against the law of nations and the laws of the United States." Wherefore did the government "feel itself under any obligation of duty" in the present case? Was it not its duty to punish these "flagrant offenders against the law of nations and the laws of the United States"? On what ground was it obliged in duty to intercede for their liberation and pardon? Was it the first., the second, the third, or the fourth time that American citizens had been guilty of the like offences ? And what reason can the government have now for inter­ceeding that it will not. always have in like cases? It is not the first, nor will it be the last time the government will intercede for flagrant offenders against the law of nations and the law of the United States, and it is folly to sup­pose that our citizens will not regard it as a precedent.

The President undertakes to throw the blame of the ex­pedition on foreigners, and to excuse our own citizens.  This is ridiculous. The foreigners engaged found on their coming here our own citizens preparing for the invasion of Cuba, and were rather enlisted by American eitizens than American citizens by them. Then what class of foreigners were those engaged in it? They were the President's favorites, the Hungarians, the companions of that very Kossuth whom he sent a ship to bring here, and who laughs at our simplieity, or hopes to cajole us into active measures for the dismemberment of the Austrian empire. It is cruel in the President to undertake to throw all the blame on his dear Hungarians. Does not the President know that foreigners were put forward in the expedition as a screen to the shrewder and less open and frank Americans, who wished to secure all the advantages of the expe­dition without exposing their own breasts to Spanish bul­lets, or their necks to the halter? No, for very shame's sake let us not attempt to make foreign refugees, who have sins enough of their own to answer for, the scape­goat of our own delinquencies. For the expedition fitted out from our country the Anglo-Americans are alone responsible; for if we had shown ourselves a law-loving and a law-abiding people, foreign rebels and traitors would nev­er have dared come here to organize expeditions against powers with whom our govcrnment is at peace. We must ourselves bear the shame of these piratical expedi­tions, and our wisest way is to suffer the shame to lead us to repentance and reformation.
The President half hints, and thc country generally, if we may judge from the press, holds, that if the Creole pop­ulation had been in a state of revolt, and really fighting for independence of the mother country, it would have excused, if indeed it would not have fully justified, thc invaders. Here is the root of the evil. Thc United States, govern­ment and people, hold that in snch cases it is perfectly lawful for who will to interfere in behalf of the rebels.  Nay, they go further, and hold that they havc a perfect right to interfere to cstablish popular institutions wherever they please, although they may be restrained from doing so by prudential reasons; and the Message clearly hints that the government is preparing to enlist in a Jacobinical war for the propagation of democracy, under the pretext that the sovereigns of Europe are preparing to attack our principles,- a pretext without the slightest foundation. The sovereigns of Europe have the right of self-defence, and our conduct may force them to combine to resist our lawless and revolutionary interference in their domestic affairs, but not to make any attack on us. Mr. Webster's letter to the Austrian Charge d' Affaires was of course a declaration of hostility to all Continental monarchical gov­ernments, and was intended to advertise them that this countru and all its influence would be thrown on the side of their rebellious provinces and subjects. That was no after-dinner letter; it was the expression in an official form of the long entertained and settled hostility of its author to the monarchical institutions of Europe, excepting always the quasi-monarchy of Great Britain. The interposition of the administration and of Congress in the liberation of Kossuth, and the opportunity thus afforded him of aiding the Red-Republican conspiracy organized throughout all Europe, proves that thc government and people of the United States take that letter as the official expression of their convictions aud resolution. The conduct of the Amcrican Minister at the Court of St. James, in relation to the reception of Kossuth, although his opportune sickness prevented him from directly committing his government, and the speech of ex-Secretary Walker at thc Kossuth banquet at Southampton, indicate that thc English gov­ernment is expected to cooperate fully with ours. This it is expected will provoke Austria and Russia to take pre­cautions against us, and these precautions which we provoke are to be made, as is more than hinted in the Mes­sage, pretexts for active interference in behalf of European rebels, more especially, we presume, in behalf of Hungary, although the battle must be fought in Francc or Germany.

Now, so long as both government and people hold these views and such a course just, it is in vain to expect that our people will, any further than they deem it prudent, respect thc rights of nations. It is idle for the President, avowing principles, as he does in his Message, identical, although less broadly expressed, with those of the letter of tbe Hon. Secretary of State to which we have referred, to talk against such expeditions as that against Cuba. He must, if he would speak with effect, condemn the principle on which thc American people justify it. As long as he proclaims, whether through his Message or the official cor­respondence of his Secretary of State, that prineiple, he only sanctions the expeditions he condemns. The grand error of our government and people is that they outlaw, in their own minds, all monarchical governments, and there­fore render it lawful for who will to make war on them or their subjects, - subject only to prudential restraints. This serves our people as a pretext for any scheme of robbery and plunder they choose to undertake. It is not that in general they care whether other countries arc monarchical or democratic, but that they must have some sort of cloak for their dcpredations upon the possessions of others. The real motive is the sordid thirst for gold, or the in­sane desire to extend the territory of the Union, for the sake of the wealth that fortunate speculators may acquire. No check to their land-stealing can be put till every pre­text is removed, and they are obliged to call their acts by their real name.  Then, perhaps, there will be found honest men enough in the country to make them desist.
But we have exhausted our space. We have spoken strongly, and have not spared our countrymen; we have done so, because as a Christian and a patriot we could not do otherwise. We love our country, but we blush for the immoralit.y of our countrymen. We have been severe on the government, but, culpable as it has becn and we believe it far better than the active and influential portion of the people it represents. The active mass of our people, those who influence public affairs and give tone and character to the country, we believe to be utterly destitute of all sense of religion or morality, and capable of any iniquity demanded by their interests or their passions.  They are ingenious, skilful, energetic, but in transferring the property of others to themselves. The boasted skill and energy of the Anglo-Saxon race on this continent have been most strikingly displayed in landstealing. The word is hard, we know it, but it is true.  We started with fair and honorable principles towards foreign nations, for then we were weak, aud must solicit, not command. Now we fancy ourselves strong, and we are strong, and there is no nation that could have a war with us without suffering scverely. We  are strong, and we believe ourselves even stronger than we are, and we become overbearing and aggressive, especially to our weaker neighbors. We are strong, and we are preparing to use our strength, in dcfiance of honor and justice, against the peace of the world.  We know that we gain no friends by saying this; we know that we war agaimt our own interest in saying it; but it is true, and it is true that it was said by an American, not in wrath or exultation, but in true love and deep sorrow. It is not yet too late to amend our faults, and to return to the paths of justice and honor. At present both are aban­doned; law receives no respect; the most sacred obliga­tions are thrown off and we are heedless of every duty that it does not please us to perform. Can things continue thus with us, and we not rush to speedy destruction?

We claim to be an order-loving and a law-abiding peo­ple; yet no law here can be enforced that is not backed by public sentiment. What you call your neutrality Iaws me every day violated with impunity. Your Fugitive Slave Law, have you fairly executed it in a single locality where public opinion was strongly against it? Have you succeeded in convicting a singlc one of those who have noto­riously conspired to resist its execution '! Let us, my countrymen, cease boasting and endeavor to see ourselves, for once, as we really are. Be assured that we have ample reason to humble ourselves collectively and individually, as really the most lawless and shameless people on the globe, that elaims to be ranked among civilized nations. We have forgotten God, we have bowed low at the shrine of Mammon; and in vain do we trust to our riches and our material prosperity. These will not save us. 'I'he pride and selfishness, the insensibility to honor, the indifference to all lofty moral principle, because so universal, are dun­gerous enemies, not merely to our virtue, but to our national existence. Let us remember that justice exalteth a nation, and sin is a reproach to any people. Let us re­memher that no nation can long prosper that disregards virtue, and that gives loose reins to every base or sordid passion of corrupt nature. It is to recall these things to the remcmbrance of our countrymen that we have written as we have, and it matters little what they do or say to us if they will only profit by what we have written. Their own consciences will bear us witness that we have spoken nothing of them that is not true, and which may not be said without malice.

Let not our readers, however, suppose that we believe our countrymen are the only people in the world that de­serve to be censured. Other nations have their faults, as well as we ours, but it is our business to ascertain and COrrect our own faults, not theirs. We are a young people, and seldom is it that a people grows more virtuous as it grows older, stronger, and wealthier. There are, no doubt, large numbers of our countrymen who abound in the human virtues, but, unhappily, they have little to do with public affairs, and it is the lawless, the grasping, the vicious, that give a tone to our national charactcr, and determine our public policy.