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THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
AT THE FIRST SESSION OF THE FIFTH CONGRESS, BEGUN AT THE CITY OF
PHILADELPHIA, MAY 15, 1797.
The first session of the Fifth Congress, under A
message from the House of Representatives the Constitution of Government of the United informed the Senate that the House have appointStates, commenced at the city of Philadelphia, ed a joint committee on their part, together with agreeably to the Proclamation of the PRESIDENT such committee as the Senate may appoint, to OF THE UNITED STATEs, of the twenty-fifth day wait on the President of the United States, and of March last, and the Senate accordingly assem- inform him that a quorum of the two Houses is bled on this day, being
assembled, and ready to receive any communica
tions that he may be pleased to make to them. Monday, May 15, 1797.
Resolved, That the Senate do concur in the
appointment of a joint committee, and that Messrs. Thomas JEFFERSON, Vice President of the LIVERMORE and Langdon be the joint committee United States and President of the Senate. on the part of the Senate. John LANGDON and SAMUEL LIVERMORE, from
Mr. LIVERMORE reported, from the joint comNew Hampshire;
mittee, that they had waited on the President of BENJAMIN GOOdhue, from Massachusetts ;
the United States, and had notified him that a THEODORE Foster and William BRADFORD, quorum of the two Houses is assembled ; and that from Rhode Island;
the President of the United States acquainted the JAMES HILLHOUSE and Urian Tracy, from committee that he would meet the two Houses in Connecticut;
the Representatives' Chamber at 12 o'clock toIsaac TICHENOR, from Vermont; John LAURANCE, from New York ;
A message from the House of Representatives William Bingham, from Pennsylvania ;
informed the Senate that the House have resolvHENRY LATIMER, from Delaware ;
ed that two Chaplains be appointed to Congress, John E. HOWARD, from Maryland;
for the present session, one by each House, who STEVENS T. Mason, from Virginia ;
shall interchange weekly; in which they desire ALEXANDER MARTIN and Timothy Blood- the concurrence of the Senate. WORTH, from North Carolina;
The Senate proceeded to consider the said reJOHN HUNTER, from South Carolina;
solution; and, Josiah TATTNALL, from Georgia.
Resolved, That they do concur therein, and that The Senators whose names are subjoined pro- lain on the part of the Senate.
the Right Reverend Bishop White be the Chapduced their credentials on the 4th day of March last, and took their seats in the Senate, viz: Mr. FOSTER, Mr. GOODHUE, Mr. HillHOUSE, Mr. HOWARD, Mr. LATIMER, Mr. Mason, Mr. Ross,
TUESDAY, May 16. and Mr. TICHENOR.
William Blount, from the State of TennesWilliam Cocke, appointed a Senator by the see; THEODORE SEDGWICK, from the State of MasState of Tennessee, produced his credentials, and sachusetts; and John Vining, from the State of the oath required by law being administered, he Delaware, severally attended. took his seat in the Senate.
A message from the House of Representatives Ordered, That the Secretary wait on the Pre- informed the Senate that the House are now sident of the United States, and acquaint him ready to meet the Senate in the Chamber of that that a quorum of the Senate is assembled. House, to receive such communications as the
Ordered, That the Secretary acquaint the President of the United States shall be pleased to
House of Representatives, for the purpose above A message from the House of Representatives expressed. informed the Senate that a quorum of the House The Senate returned to their own Chamber is assembled, and have elected JONATHAN Day- and a copy of the Speech of the President of the Ton their Speaker.
United States, this day addressed to both Houses
of Congress, was read. (For which, see House On motion, that the report, as amended, be Proceedings, post.)
printed for the use of the Senate, it passed in the Ordered, That Messrs. Tracy, LAURANCE, negative. and LIVERMORE, be a committee to report the Ordered, That the consideration thereof be draught of an Address to the President of the postponed until Monday next. United States, in answer to his Speech this day to both Houses of Congress. It was further ordered that the Speech be
MONDAY, May 23. printed for the use of the Senate.
John Brown, from the State of Kentucky, and Resolved, That each Senator be supplied, dur- Jacob Read, from the State of South Carolina, ing the present session, with copies of three such severally attended. newspapers, printed in any of the States, as he John RUTHERFURD, appointed a Senator from may choose ; provided that the same are furnish- the State of New Jersey, produced his credentials, ed at the rate of the usual annual charge for such which were read, and the oath required by law papers.
being administered to him, he took his seat in the
The Senate took into consideration the draught,
reported by the committee, of an Address to the Richard STOCKTON, from the State of New President of the United States, in answer to his Jersey, attended.
Speech at the opening of the session, and having The committee appointed yesterday not being agreed to sundry amendments, adjourned. ready to report, the Senate adjourned.
Tuesday, May 23.
The Senate resumed the consideration of the
dress, in answer to the Speech of the President of informed the Senate that the House have pro- the opening of the session. ceeded to the choice of a Chaplain to Congress On motion, to expunge the following paraon their part, and the Rev. Ashbel Green is graph, to wit: duly elected. Mr. Tracy, from the committee, reported the
“ We are happy, since our sentiments on the subject draught of an Address to the President of the
are in perfect unison with yours, in this public manner United States, in answer to his Speech to both been just and impartial to foreign nations, and that
to declare, that the conduct of the Government has Houses of Congress, at the opening of the ses
those internal regulations, which have been established sion; which was read.
for the preservation of peace, are, in their nature, proOrdered, That it lie for consideration.
per, and have been fairly executed :"
It was determined in the negative-yeas 11, Friday, May 19.
nays 15, as follows: John Henry, from the State of Maryland, Henry, Hunter, Langdon, Martin, Mason, Tazewell
YEAS—Messrs. Bloodworth, Blount, Brown, Cocke, attended.
and Tattnall. On motion, by Mr. Tracy,
Nays—Messrs. Bingham, Bradford, Foster, GoodOrdered, That the report of the committee, ap- hue, Hillhouse, Howard, Laurance, Latimer
, Liverpointed to draught an Address, in answer to the
more, Read, Rutherfurd, Sedgwick, Stockton, TicheSpeech of the President of the United States at
nor, and Tracy. the opening of the session, be recommitted. And it was agreed that Messrs. Henry and TazewELL
And the report being further amended, was be added to the committee.
adopted, as follows: The Vice PRESIDENT laid before the Senate a
Sir: The Senate of the United States request you letter from the Secretary for the Department of to accept their acknowledgments for the comprehenState, communicating, by order of the President sive and interesting detail you have given, in your of the United States, sundry papers, No. 1 to 18. Speech to both Houses of Congress, on the existing respecting the situation of affairs of the United state of the Union. States with France, Spain, and Holland; which of the Legislature, we wish to express our entire ap
While we regret the necessity of the present meeting papers were read.
probation of your conduct in convening it on this moOrdered, That they lie for consideration.
The superintendence of our national faith, honor, SATURDAY, May 20.
and dignity, being, in a great measure, constitutionally
deposited with the Executive, we observe, with singular Mr. Tracy, from the committee to whom was satisfaction, the vigilance, firmness, and promptitude, recommitted the report of an Address in answer exhibited by you, in this critical state of our public to the Speech of the President of the United affairs, and from thence derive an evidence and pledge States, to both Houses of Congress, at the open- of the rectitude and integrity of your administration. ing of the session, reported sundry amendments; And we are sensible it is an object of primary importwhich were read.
ance, that each branch of the Government should adopt May, 1797.]
a language and system of conduct, which shall be cool, lose their affections, so long as its administration purjust, and dispassionate ; but firm, explicit, and decided. sues the principle upon which it was erected. And
We are equally desirous, with you, to preserve your resolution to observe a conduct just and impartial peace and friendship with all nations, and are happy to to all nations, a sacred regard to our national engagebe informed, that neither the honor nor interests of the ments, and not to impair the rights of our Government, United States forbid advances for securing those desi- contains principles which cannot fail to secure to your rable objects, by amicable negotiation with the French administration the support of the National Legislature, Republic. This method of adjusting national differen- | to render abortive every attempt to excite dangerous ces is not only the most mild, but the most rational and jealousies among us, and to convince the world that humane, and with Governments disposed to be just, our Government, and your administration of it, cannot can seldom fail of success, when fairly, candidly, and be separated from the affectionate support of every good sincerely, used. If we have committed errors, and can citizen. And the Senate cannot suffer the present ocbe made sensible of them, we agree with you in opin- casion to pass, without thus publicly and solemnly ex. ion that we ought to correct them, and compensate the pressing their attachment to the Constitution and Gov. injuries which may have been consequent thereon; ernment of their country; and as they hold themselves and we trust the French Republic will be actuated by responsible to their constituents, their consciences, and the same just and benevolent principles of national their God, it is their determination, by all their exertions, policy.
to repel every attempt to alienate the affections of the We do, therefore, most sincerely approve of your de- people from the Government, so highly injurious to the termination to promote and accelerate an accommoda- honor, safety, and independence of the United States. tion of our existing differences with that Republic, by We are happy, since our sentiments on the subject negotiation, on terms compatible with the rights, duties, are in perfect unison with yours, in this public manner interests, and honor, of our nation. And you may rest to declare, that we believe the conduct of the Governassured of our most cordial co-operation, so far as it may ment has been just and impartial to foreign nations, and become necessary, in this pursuit.
that those internal regulations which have been estabPeace and harmony with all nations is our sincere lished for the preservation of peace, are in their nature wish; but, such being the lot of humanity, that nations proper, and have been fairly executed. will not always reciprocate peaceable dispositions, it is And we are equally happy in possessing an entire our firm belief, that effectual measures of defence will confidence in your abilities and exertions in your statend to inspire that national self-respect and confidence tion to maintain untarnished the honor, preserve the at home, which is the unfailing source of respectability peace, and support the independence of our country; to abroad, to check aggression, and prevent war.
acquire and establish which, in connexion with your While we are endeavoring to adjust our differences fellow-citizens, has been the virtuous effort of a princiwith the French Republic, by amicable negotiation, the pal part of your life. progress of the war in Europe, the depredations on our To aid you in these arduous and honorable exertions, commerce, the personal injuries to our citizens, and the as it is our duty, so it shall be our faithful endeavor. general complexion of affairs, prove to us your vigilant And we flatter ourselves, sir, that the proceedings of care, in recommending to our attention effectual meas- the present session of Congress will manifest to the ures of defence.
world, that, although the United States love peace, they Those which you recommend, whether they relate will be independent. That they are sincere in their to external defence, by permitting our citizens to arm declarations to be just to the French, and all other nafor the purpose of repelling aggressions on their com- tions, and expect the same in return. mercial rights, and by providing sea convoys, or to in- If a sense of justice, a love of moderation and peace, ternal defence, by increasing the establishments of ar- shall influence their councils, which we sincerely hope, tillery and cavalry, by forming a provisional army, by we shall have just grounds to expect peace and amity revising the militia laws, and fortifying, more complete between the United States and all nations will be prely, our ports and harbors, will meet our consideration, served. under the influence of the same just regard for the se- But if we are so unfortunate as to experience injuries curity, interest, and honor, of our country, which dic- from any foreign Power, and the ordinary methods by tated your recommendation.
which differences are amicably adjusted between naPractices so unnatural and iniquitous, as those you tions shall be rejected, the determination “not to surstate, of our own citizens, converting their property render in any manner the rights of the Government” and personal exertions into the means of annoying our being so inseparably connected with the dignity, intrade, and injuring their fellow-citizens, deserve legal terest, and independence of our country, shall by us be severity commensurate with their turpitude.
steadily and inviolably supported. Although the Senate believe that the prosperity and
THOMAS JEFFERSON, happiness of our country does not depend on general
Vice President of the United States, and extensive political connexions with European na
and President of the Senate. tions, yet we can never lose sight of the propriety as well as necessity of enabling the Executive, by suffi- the Address wait on the President of the United
Ordered, That the committee who prepared cient and liberal supplies, to maintain, and even extend, States, and desire him to acquaint the Senate at our foreign intercourse, as exigencies may require, reposing full confidence in the Executive, in whom the what time and place it will be most convenient Constitution has placed the powers of negotiation.
for him that it should be presented. We learn, with sincere concern, that attempts are in
Mr. Tracy reported from the committee that operation to alienate the affections of our fellow-citizens they had waited on the President of the United from their Government. Attempts so wicked, wherever States, and that he would receive the Address they exist, cannot fail to excite our utmost abhorrence. of the Senate to-morrow, at 12 o'clock, at his A Government chosen by the people for their own safe- own house. ty and happiness, and calculated to secure both, cannot Resolved, That the Senate will, to-morrow, at
(May, 1797. 12 o'clock, wait on the President of the United ted States fitting out privateers, taking the comStates accordingly.
mand, or entering on board of them, and commit
ting spoliations on the commerce of the United WEDNESDAY, May 24.
States, be referred to Messrs. LIVERMORE, Lav
RANCE, and READ, to consider and report thereon; Elijah Paine, from the State of Vermont, at- and that the said committee be authorized to retended.
port by bill or bills, or otherwise. Agreeably to the resolution of yesterday, the
On motion, by Mr. SEDGWICK, Senate waited on the President of the United
Ordered, That so much of the President's States, and the Vice President, in their name, Speech as relates to a revision of the laws for orpresented the Address then agreed to.
ganizing, arming, and disciplining the militia be To which the President made the following referred to Messrs. HOWARD, LATIMER, TIChenor, reply:
Foster, and LAURANCE, 10 consider and report Mr. Vice President,
thereon; and that the said committee be authorand Gentlemen of the Senate :
ized to report by bill or bills, or otherwise. It would be an affectation in me to dissemble the On motion, by Mr. Sedgwick, that so much of pleasure I feel on receiving this kind Address.
the President's Speech as relates to the establishMy long experience of the wisdom, fortitude, and ment of a permanent system of naval defence, and patriotism, of the Senate of the United States, enhances authorizing the arming of vessels the property of in my estimation the value of those obliging expressions individuals, be referred to a select committee to of your approbation of my conduct, which are a gen- consider and report ; and that the said commiterous reward for the past, and an affecting encourage- ' tee be authorized to report by bill or bills, or othment to constancy and perseverance in future.
erwise. Our sentiments appear to be so entirely in unison, A motion was made that this motion be postthat I cannot but believe them to be the rational result poned until to-morrow; and it passed in the neg. of the understandings and the natural feelings of the
ative. hearts of Americans in general, on contemplating the
On motion, by Mr. Tazewell, that the words, present state of the nation. While such principles and affections prevail, they erty of individuals," be expunged, it was deter
"and authorizing the arming of vessels the propwill form an indissoluble bond of union, and a sure pledge that our country has no essential injury to ap
mined in the negative-yeas 11, nays 17, as fol
lows: prehend from any portentous appearances abroad. In a humble reliance on Divine Providence, we may rest YEAS—Messrs. Bloodworth, Blount, Brown, Cocke, assured, that, while we reiterate with sincerity our en- | Hunter, Langdon, Livermore, Martin, Mason, Tazedeavors to accommodate all our differences with France, well, and Tattnall. the independence of our country cannot be diminished, Nays-Messrs. Bingham, Bradford, Goodhue, Hillits dignity degraded, or its glory tarnished, by any na- house, Howard, Latimer, Laurance, Marshall, Paine, tion or combination of nations, whether friends or ene. Read, Ross, Rutherfurd, Sedgwick, Stockton, Tichenor, mies.
Tracy, and Vining.
JOHN ADAMS. And it was agreed that the original motion be The Senate returned to their own Chamber, referred to Messrs. Goodhue, Bingham, Bradand adjourned.
FORD, HENRY, and RUTHERFURD.
Ordered, That so much of the President's THURSDAY, May 25.
Speech as relates to providing means of addition
al defence, by an augmentation of the regular arThe Senate transacted no business to-day.
tillery and cavalry, and making arrangements for
forming a provisional army.be referred to Messrs. FRIDAY, May 26.
TRACY, SEDGWICK, MARSHALL, Ross, and VinHUMPHREY Marshall, from the State of Ken- ING, to consider and report thereon to the Senate;
and that the said commitee be authorized to retucky, attended. The Senate adjourned, without transacting any
port by bill or bills, or otherwise. business, to Monday.
TUESDAY, May 30.
Conformable to notice given yesterday, Mr. James Ross, from the State of Pennsylvania, Read bad permission to introduce a bill prohibitaitended.
ing, for a limited time, the exportation of arms Mr. Read gave notice that he would, to
mor- i and ammunition ; which bill was read a first time, row, move for leave to bring in a bill to prevent and ordered to the second reading. the exportation of arms and ammunition from the United States, for a limited time. On motion, by Mr. SEDGWICK,
WEDNESDAY, May 31. Ordered, That so much of the President's The bill prohibiting for a limited time, the exSpeech as relates to building and equipping, with portation of arms and ammunition, was read the in the United States, cruisers to commit depreda- second time, and referred to Messrs. Read, Brown, tions on the commerce of the United States, and and BloodWORTH, to consider and report thereon so much thereof as relates to citizens of the Uni- to the Senate.