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About Oregon spectator. (Oregon City, O.T. [i.e. Or.]) 1846-1855 | View This Issue
DESERTION OP SEAMEN.
For the Oregon Hjifcliilof.
Mr. Kditor: In tho iiumlior of tho
.Spectator, datJ thn flth of August, you liavo
called llio attention of your readers to tho
Mulijoct f deserting wjumen. In your ro
marks iiori this mntter, you havo suggested
tho propriety of passing ti law " preventing
deserters from holding land cluiitis or voting
at elections, arid considering them in every
sense outlaws." I agree with you, Mr.
Kilitor, that thin subject n our of groat im
iiortanre to tho people of Oregon, and one
vitally atii'Oting mcir irauo aim (Misnit-ia
s;tiif rally ; hut while I agree with you us I
in the importance of some ejlicieiit law to j
uruvuiit seamen from deserting their viihsoIs,
I cannot agree that tho measures you rccom-'
iiilmiiI should heroine tin: law of Oregon. A '
short examination will show that such men. .
-ures cannot ho panned hy our legislature,
while our prencnt Organic Law cxiMs. That
fundamental law gives the right of citizen
ship to "every In-c uial" descendant of a ,
white man who has n sided in the territory
i mouths." The law ih also a part of the
Orirauic Imw, and that eaimot he altered by
our legislature -mi as to exclude any pervii ,
ly that law entitled to huhl a elaun. The
only right or power tin- legislature has to
deprive a citizen of his citizenship, is incase
if crime, and it is only i r the commission of
rent crimes that a punishment so severe
i ould he indicted ; for our ( Irgnrw Law de.
i lares that "no cruel or unusual punish,
incuts. shall he indicted." Besides, it would '
-ecin that such a puni'-.hmen' for the men
violation (if :i unf fim'nul, in ilr-. Iiuin.ui
.ui'l enlightened age, would he too severe, I
and wotild defeat itself, hy enlist wj puM.e '
vrfip.tli in hehalf nl the sutler' i. Ii I
tin not mistaken, there is a statute of Ore-
m, pi"N iilint.' for 'he pp mpt arrest nl all
"c-crtiug seamen : -wh", upon examination,
it found to he desi rters, are to he promptly '
lelivi Pil to the m.isier of the -sel. 1 dm
not remeuihi r all the '.he provisions of the
.et and a I crnnot at thin tine i fer to it,
I inii-v only state its sub-taut c I helirve
hat it-, provisions ;:re a-, severe and prompt. !
ii tho--of any r i'iizeil M ite in ll'ir poor
mi-rica. Hut if the law can he made
m ire efficient hy ainc'idm"it, I am well satis- ,
lie I that the next legislature will he prompt J
in its action in regard to this matter. I, for !
me, am -.'lad that vnu Inyvi c.il'ed puhlie at.
tention to this siihjeet, and agree with you,
that something ought 1 1 he done. It occurs '
tome, that the first tlpm; to ! don , is to in
form the ('(immunity of th" real nature of,
the case, that puhlie opinion may he pnier-1
v directed. ( Mir people are "ciicrally i.om
the western "talcs, fur from the sen-hoard, .
and are not aware of the grent iuiHirtanoe ,
nf seamen doing their ilutv ; hut thev onlv
need to he properly enlightened, to apply the
proper remedy. I do not feel myself very
upahlu of doing justice to this subject ; hut
I will made a few suggestions, which I hope
will he of use. The importance of coin
inercc is so evident, that no one can he igno
rant of it. The contract hetwocn tho mas
ter of a vessel and a seaman is onlv a civil
contract ; hut its violation on the part of the
seaman, is l very grave importance, much
more so, than the violation of ordinary civil
contracts; and the reason is ohvious, upon
a little rellection. The art of seamanship,
is one of great difficulty, not to ho acquired
hut hy long practice ; consequently, new
hands cannot ho employed upon any occa
sion. If tho seamen desert a vessel in a
country like this, with u few inhabitants,, it
may ho impossihlo for the vessel to employ
others well qualified, and the consequences
limy he ruinous. Long experience has
taught tho mercantile community to insure
their goods. This is generally done too, hy
ship owners. Tho contract of insurance
always requires tho ship to he well manned
with good and skillful seamen ; and tho ship
is hound to proceed on her voyage witjnul
delay, unless that delay is occasioned Miy
.some unavoidable uct ; such as contrary
winds, and other like acts of God. italic
ship should not have n sufficient mimborNif
good'seamen, on hoard, in proportion to hor
size, and any accident or delay should hap
pen, tho merchant, as well as the ship owner,
would loso his" -Ifisuranco ; and tho chief
owner, in such case, would ho liable for tho
wholo cargo, for tho law makes it hU duty
to keep his vessel well manned. Tho vessel
must first bo sea-worthy; well manned, and
well managed, hefore tho insurance offico
WrMward thn Star of Empire take iU way
Vol. I. Oregon City, (Oregon Ter.) Thursday, September 3, 1846. No. 16.
can lie made responsible for any low that
may happen. The desertion of ono seaman
might therefore, (wcusion the loss of a ves
sel and cargo, worth many thousands of dol
lars. And oven in case of no actual loss to
any very great amount, a vessel may lie de
tained fyr mouths in consequence of the de
sertion of Hcumcn. In all countries, where
much commerce, is curried on, the violation of
his engagement hy a seaman, is considered
an uct highly immoral and unjustifiable ;
uud it is still worse, where the desertion
tukes place far from home, where the vessel
lias no xwcr or opKirtunity to employ other
good liundh. 1 (lo hoie and trust that our
people will do all in their power to arrest tho
evil. 1 am satisfied they will. 1 am con.
vinced that the great muss of our people are
honest and intelligent, and we all know that
it is our luuliril mtcrcil, that ships may visit
our parts with safely. I.
Washington, Friday, Jan. 10.
Ilnuxr of Representatives. The House
then resolved itself into committee of the
wholo on the state of the Union, Mr. TiltX
natts in the cuair, aun resumed inc consider
ation of the joint resolution heretofore re
jxirleil by Mr. Charles J. Ingersoll, from the
committee on Foreign A Hairs, providing for
the twelve mouths' notice to Great Britain
of the termination of the convention between
that government and the United States, re
njmetine, the Oregon territory ; and of the
amendments thereto pending.
Mr. Rockwell, uPConnccticut, being enti
tled to the door, roe and mode a speech
uguiustv war und wur measures. lie read a
memorial from the people of his state, sta
ting the amount of business they havo con
cerned in the commerce of the country, and
the ii.sk they would thus run in case of war.
Vi t if war was to come, no matter whut their
risk or losses, they would lie found on the
side of tho country. Ho offered an amend
ment, to defer notico till Congre'ss adjourns.
The amendment was declared not to he now
Mr. Pollock, of Pennsylvania, next took
the door, in favor of tho notice, and for claim
ing all Oregon. lie maintains that this is
no party, hut un American question.
Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20.
In Senate. Mr. Sturgeon, of-Pa. present
ed a memorial from citizens of Pennsylvania,
against any compromise of the Oregon line
claiming' the wholo territory up to 54 de
grees '10 minutes.
Washington, Thursday, Jan. 22.
.In Senate. Mr. Allen called attention to
statements attributed to him, in tho report of
tho Union of lost night, in Mr. Calhoun's re
marks, in which Mr. C. is reported to have
" I was happy to hoar from tho chairman
of the committee that u " masterly inactivity"
would not lead to war, but that the courso
lie (Mr. Allen) recommended tvould lead to
Mr. Allen denied that ho (Mr. A.) had ad
mitted that thn notice would lead to war.
Ho did not beliovo it would.
Mr. Calhoun explained what ho said yes
terday, and was happy to hear Mr. A. say
now that ho did not beliovo tho notice, if
givon would lead to war.
House of Representatives. The Houso
had up this morning a resolution to distribute
Fremont's report, which caused a short de
bate, and much ill feeling was manifested hy
some of the members.
. Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 27.
In Senate. Mr. Webster's resolution call
ing on the President for all information rela
tive to tho Oregon negotiation, was laid over
until Thursday. Mr. Benton, speaking on
tho bill fo construct sixteen war stoamers,
believed thero.waB no necessity foe aoDre
heusions or"n$f, and moved to postpone tht
bill until the 1st of May. Mr. Dickinson of
New York, believed war wan unavoidable.
Mr. Hannegan and Mr. Fairfield followed.
House of Representatives. A bill for the
relief of tho heirs of Robert Fulton, and one
to continue naval pensions, were read twice.
A debate then followed on the Oregon no
tice. 7 Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 28.
House of Representatives. Mr. C. J. In
gcrsoll made a proposition to end the Oregon
debate on Thursday of next week, which
Tho Oregon question was next taken up.
Mr. Owen "spoke his hour in pointing out
our claim to the territory, and in favor of
giving the tvvelvorJionths' notice.
Mr. Thurrnun followed, and stated the
claims of each country. He remarked that
the treaty provided for the notice. The
question now is, shall said notice be given by
direction of Congress. He defined elabo
rately the three great powers of govern
ment, and goes decidedly for giving the no
tice. P. S. The Senate adjourned for the day,
after speeches from Messrs. Fairfield, Bag.
by, Miller, Cass, Speight, Hannegan, &c,
on the bill to build steamers. The 'House
also consumed the day in debate on Orogon.
Messrs. Owen, Thurman, and Thompson, all
supported our claim to tho territory, and ad
vocated the giving of the notice.
Washington, Wednesday," Jan. 29.
. ,n Senate. Mr. Webster's resolution call
ing on the President for late correspondence
on the Oregon question, was adopted.
House of Representatives. Mr. Ingor
soli's resolution to stop further dsbato on the
Oregon question on Thursday, was laid on
tho table bv a vote of 84 yeas and 52 noes.
Mr. Holmes spoke against the giving of
tho notice and against war.
Mr. H. Erving spoke in a very earnest
manner against the notice being given and
In Senate. Tho Senate adjourned for the
day, without taking the question on " the bill
to "appropriate fourteen millions of dollars
for a steam Navy." '
Washington, Monday, Feb. 2.
House of Representatives. Mr. Dargin,
of Ala., offered a resolution to settle the Ore
gon question by tho 49th deg. of parallel,
and civiti" Vancouver's Island to Great
Mr. Tibbatts, of Kentucky, submitted a
proposition on the same subject, that the Pre
sident give notico forthwith of the abroga
tion of tho joint occupancy, and to accom
pany the notico with tho expression of an
earnest desiro to continue tho pt aceful rela
tion between tho two countries.
Mr. Brown, of Va., and Mr. Petitt, of la.,
offered propositions on the same subject.
''The several propositions were referred to
the committee of tho whole, which has the
subject under consideration.
From the London Time, Jan. 2.
Oregon, should the American population
ever attain a substantial preponderance,
would not long remain a British colony ; but
occupancy, though an irresistablo power, is
not u right, and depends on numborsnot
Tho terms of tho message imply, then,
tho alternative of war, or conclusive nego
tiation. War is too monstrous to bo thought
of for a moment, except after every effort at
a compromiso has been exhausted. Britain
and Amorica must bo too sensible of their
mutual benefits, mutual dependence, and
mutual respect, to peril the substantial bles
sings they now enjoyj and are daily multi
plying in tho relations of peace, for tho bloody
and precarious'glories of war.
Ah ! John, iny undo has been in New
York, and your's hasn't. Well, what of that?
My uncle has been in prison and yourn hasn't.
Pramta New YmkfaJtn. 8.
to Ofg .
New Project. Members of Coagress r
debating the Oregon question, andreifttting
the surest and beat mods of settling the title
to that territory. A railroad ought and must
bo built to the South Pass, and tpe sooner it
is cpRimeocad tho better fir the country and
its interests. A correspondent suggests that
tho governawnt take the jobitselfT Thou
sands of mechanics and laborers would go
on with 'the diftrent branches of the (work,
under the protection of the govenuaent, and
they could be paid in land" and thus there
would be a eontimul settlement along the
whole line of the ro4 sufficient to protect it,
and instead of making one man independent
ten times over, thousands would be placed
beyond want and made happy. Five hun-
dred thousand people emigrate from the east
and north, to the west or south, every year,
and our territories are now ready to become
states, with the single exception of Oregon.
It is therefore the policy and duty ofthe
government to guide this 'emigration in the
most advantageous direction, and no time
should be lost in pushing on a work upon
which we hope to carry to our Atlantic cities,
the valuable productions of the Asiatic
From the New York Sbb, Jan. 24.
Another Project. Preliminary negotiations
are on foot for the purpose of constructing
a great central line of railway to connect thf
cities of Halifax and Quebec, in British
North America, with the view to ite ultimate
extension, in the laps of years, to the mouth
of the Columbia, in the, Oregon territory,
and the following specific bonuses or advan
tages, in addition to the usual general privi
leges of a chartered or incorporated company
are included the heads of a draft, act or
charter of incorporation by the respective
legislatures of Nova Scotia, New Bruns
wick, and Canada. The following plan is
in imitation of the one proposed by Mr.
Whitney for a railroad from the Atlantic
states to the same point.
"1st. A free grant for ever of .all the
unlocated Crown landsin the several Prov
inces over which tha railway shall pass, to
getlier with permission to .use such timber
and other materials, along the course of the
railway as shall be required forthe construc
tion of the works.
2d. A pre-emptive right to the promo
ters ami shareholders to become the purcha
sers, at each station on the line, of blocks of
land of not less in extent that 20,000 acres
each, at a minimun price per acre, the pur
chase money to be paid in ten equal yearly
instalments ; of which the first shall become
payable at the end of six months from the
opening of such several portions of the rail
way as shall be connected with the stations
to which the said blocks are attached.
3d. A pledge from the Provincial Gov
emments that, in the event of the returns on
the-cfipital invested in the construction of
the works, in the operations of the Compa
ny, during the first five years from the open
ing of the entire line, not realizing to the
shareholders 5 per cent, on their money,
the said Provincial Governments collectively
shall, for five years', make up such deficien
cy, so as that an annual dividend of 5 per
cent., during the period specified, may be se
cured by all holding stock in the Company."
From the U. 8. JeonaL
BAIL ROAD TO O1B0ON.
1st. It will bring two oceans within two
weeks of each other.
2d. It will open the interior of our coun
try to settlement, and make two great roar
kets, embracing the world for its products.
3d. It will be the channel of trade between
Europe and the East Indies, with all inter
mediate and neighboring islands, countries,
&o., and as such will be a bond of peace
between those nations and the U. States.
4th. It will increase the eastern, and cre
ate a western commerce for our country al
most too vast to be conceived of.
6th. It will enable the United States to do
fend its shores with greater facility.
6th. It will encourage emigration, and
diffuse a hardy race of people over the whole
west. "' '
7th. It will ameliorate the condition of .the
east, and cause emigration from Japan and
other eastern powers, who will .reach vtns
new world without sailinfc xound it. . .
8th. It will enable ina United States to.
collect a revenue for the jnippart.of fWl