But [they say] this war is unjust. This charge has been refuted more than a thousand times. But that makes no difference; they can renew it. The right of Blockade, Orders in Council, and Imprisonment [of American sailors] are brought up, and all justified with greater obstinacy than in the British Parliament.
We are charged with driving the aborigines from their inheritances. It is but a short time since Mr. Jefferson was an object of ridicule, for his regard for the Indians and his disposition to civilize them. Now, that they are the allies of his Majesty, all hostility against them is evidence of a determination to exterminate them. Never was a charge more unfounded, cruel, or pernicious. We have used them as children. They had no ground of complaint against us. What good motive could have induced [the Governor of Massachusetts] to infuse into the minds of ... these Indians, that the United States are determined to drive them off. It will awake them to vengeance, and the innocent blood which may flow in consequence, may one day be required of us, who disseminate charges so groundless, and injurious.
COMMENT: John Holmes (1773-1843) was at the beginning of a long political career, which would lead him to become a member of Congress, and then for two terms a Senator from the newly created state of Maine. But now his was denouncing the opposition of the Federalist-controlled state of Massachusetts to the War of 1812, in a long speech (of which we have quoted only a few excerpts) that was widely reprinted and is, indeed, still in print (Library of Congress, “Three speeches of Mr. Holmes, in the Senate of Massachusetts. 1814”). Note: When I place the title of an article in quotation marks, I am taking it directly from the Otsego Herald.