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[NOVEMBER, 1797. Friday, November 17.
Wednesday, November 22. Two other members, to wit: from New Jersey, Two other members, to wit: from PennsylvaMark Thomson ; and from Pennsylvania, John nia, David BARD, and SAMUEL SITGreaves, apA. HANNA, appeared, and took their seats in the peared and took their seats. House.
A message was received from the Senate inOrdered, That a Committee of Elections beforming the House that the Senate had formed a appointed, pursuant to the Standing Rules and quorum, and that they had elected Mr. Read as Orders of the House:
President pro tem. And a committee was appointed, of Mr. Coit, Mr. Williams moved that a committee be apMr. Varnum, Mr. John Williams, Mr. Hartley, pointed, jointly with one to be appointed by the Mr. Dent, Mr. Baldwin, and Mr. EVANS. Senate, to wait on the President of the United
And then the House adjourned until Monday Slates, to inform him that quorums of both Houses morning, eleven o'clock.
are assembled, and are ready to receive any com-
proper to make
to them. Monday, November 20.
The motion was agreed to, and Messrs. Otis, Several other members, to wit : from New mittee for the purpose.
Rutledge, and Dawson, were appointed a comHampshire, JONATHAN FREEMAN and William GORDON; from New Jersey, James SCHUREMAN; forming the House that they concurred with them
A message was received from the Senate infrom Maryland, WILLIAM Matthews; and from in the appointment of a committee to wait on the Virginia, Abraham Venable. appeared, and took President, and that they had appointed Messrs. their seats in the House. The House did not form a quorum for some
Bingham and Tracy, a committee on their part. time after the Speaker had taken the Chair; when
Subsequently, the committee reported that they it was formed,
had performed the service, and that the President Mr. Macon, from the Committee of Revisal and had signified that he would meet both Houses in Untinished Business, made a report in part; which the Representatives' Chamber to-morrow at 12 being read, was ordered to be printed for the use of
o'clock. the members.
CUSTOM-HOUSE REGULATIONS. The House having sat for a considerable time without business, and the SPEAKER having declared Mr. RUTLEDGE presented a memorial from the there was none before it,
merchants of Charleston, complaining of the opeMr. New said, as he understood there was not ration of the law for the regulation of the custumyet a quorum in the Senate, he should move that house at that place, by which the collector is to the House adjourn.
cause to be weighed by his own officers, all goods The motion was carried, and the House ad- and wares imported, which were heretofore weighjourned accordingly.
ed by the proprietors of the wharves, who kept persons for the purpose, and which added consid
erably to the value of the private property of the Tuesday November 21.
individuals owning the said wharves. They state Several other members, to wit: from Massa- nience, and pray for redress. Referred to the
this grievance to have put them to great inconvechusetts, Dwight Foster; from New York, Phi
Secretary of the Treasury. LIP VAN CORTLANDT; and from Virginia, CÁRTER B. Harrison, appeared, and took their seats in ENCOURAGEMENT OF THE ARTS. the House.
Mr. Coit observed that there were, in his Mr. Coit, from the Committee of Elections, opinion, some inconsistencies in the act for the made a report that the newly returned members encouragement and protection of the useful arts. were entitled to their seats. Mr. HARPER said, as he understood the late inventor of any improvement, and paying the
By this act, any person swearing that he is the Committee of Claims was not now in existence, expense of the patent, may obtain one; and if any he should move for the appointment of such a
person infringes it, he has his remedy by suing committee. The motion was carried, and a committee of define who was the real inventor; this was left to
him. The general scope of the act did not go to seven members were appointed, viz: Messrs. be determined. In the former act on this subject, Dwight Foster, Coir, Thomson, Hanna, Baer, certain of the Heads of Departments were to deterJones, and STANFORD.
mine whether any object proposed for a patent Mr. Livingston moved that a Committee of was really a new invention. În looking further Commerce and Manufactures be also appointed. The motion was agreed to, and a committee of inconsistent with the general tenor of the law,
into the act he found two clauses which he thought seven members appointed, viz: Messrs. LIVING- [these he read,) and therefore moved that a comston, Champlin, Griswold, SCHUREMAM, Swan- mittee be appointed to inquire whether any, and if WICK, Grove, and DENT.
any, what alterations are necessary to be made in After the reception and disposition of several the said act. Agreed to, and a committee of three private memorials, the House adjourned. members appointed.
[H. OF R.
which included the subject of an establishment of Mr. Findley presented the memorial of Benja- a marine hospital, and other important matters. min Wells, collector of revenue for the fourth sur- He wished this subject referred to a Committee vey of the district of Pennsylvania, who states of the Whole. Agreed to, and made the order for that, in the years 1791, 1792, 1793, and 1794, and Tuesday, particularly in the last year, he had been greatly
Several other reports were moved for, and simiobstructed in the performance of his duty by per
larly disposed of. sons opposed to the laws which he had to exe- Mr. Venable thought it not right that business cute, by which he had experienced considerable which was perfectly new to many members should loss and injury. He acknowledges having received be thus referred to Committees of the Whole. from the commissioners, in pursuance of the act He did not think the resolution of the Committee passed on this subject, upwards of eight hundred of Revisal and Unfinished Business went so far. dollars, but this sum being inadequate to his com- He thought that it meant only that the petitions pensation, he prays for further relief.
and reports should be taken up and read, and then Mr. F. moved that this memorial, being a sin- disposed of as the House should think proper.
The SPEAKER decided that the order taken was gular case, and the petitioner being in town waiting the issue of his application, should be referred agreeable to the reported resolution of the Committo a select committee. This motion was second tee of Revisal and Unfinished Business, which ed by Mr. HARTLEY, and opposed by Messrs. Coit had been agreed to. and Macon, who were of opinion that the subject A message was received from the Senate inwould come properly under the cognizance of the forming the House that they had agreed to a resoCommittee of Claims, and that it was desirable, lution for the appointment of two Chaplains, one in order to preserve a uniformity in their proceed- for each House, to interchange weekly, and that ings, to have this and all other claims, referred to they had appointed on their part the Right Revthe standing committee. Mr. Macon therefore erend Bishop White. moved that this petition should be referred to the Committee of Claims; but, at the request of Mr. HARTLEY, both motions were withdrawn, and the
THURSDAY, November 23. petition was ordered to lie on the table.
Two new members, to wit: William C. C. Mr. Findley gave notice he should call it up CLAIBORNE, from the State of Tennessee; and to-morrow.
Thomas PINCKNEY, returned to serve as a memUNFINISHED BUSINESS.
ber of this House for the State of South Carolina,
in the room of William Smith, appointed MinisOn motion of Mr. Harper, the report of the ter Plenipotentiary of the United States to the Committee of Revisal and Unfinished Business Court of Lisbon, appeared, produced their credenwas taken up, and the following resolution having tials, and took their seats in the House; the oath been read, was agreed to:
to support the Constitution of the United States “ Resolved, That all petitions depending and unde- being first administered to them by Mr. SPEAKER, cided upon at the second session of the fourth Congress, according to law. and at the last session, ought to be taken up and acted Two other members, to wit: from Virginia, upon by the House, as the same may be called for by Thomas ClaiBORNE and John Clopron, appearany member, or upon the application of the individual ed, and took their seats in the House. claimant or petitioner.” Mr. Harper then observed, that amongst the
PRESIDENT'S SPEECH. unfinished business, there was a report on the pe
The hour of twelve being near at hand, the tition of Henry Hill, which was favorable to the SPEAKER announced it, and a message was sent to petitioner. He wished, as the business had been the Senate to inform them that they were met
, long before the House, to have it early decided and ready to receive the communications of the upon, and would move, therefore, that it be com- President of the United States, agreeably to his mitted to a Comunittee of the Whole House. appointment. Agreed to, and made the order for Monday.
The members of the Senate attended accordMr. Livingston said, amongst the unfinished ingly, and about a quarter after twelve the Presibusiness, he found a bill for the relief of refugees DENT OF THE United States (after visiting the from Canada and Nova Scotia. He wished it to Senate Chamber) entered the House, accompanied be referred to a Committee of the Whole. Agreed by his Secretary and the Heads of Departments, to, and made the order for Monday.
and, being seated, rose and delivered the followMr. Harper observed, that towards the close ing Address : of the last session, a very distressing case was Gentlemen of the Senate, and brought before the House, and postponed for want Gentlemen of the House of Representatives : of time; he meant that of Antonia Carmichael, widow of William Carmichael. He moved that necessary, on account of the contagious sickness which
I was for some time apprehensive that it would be the report be referred to a Committee of the Whole. afflicted the city of Philadelphia, to convene the NaAgreed to, and made the order for Tuesday. tional Legislature at some other place. This measure
Mr. Livingston said, there was a report of a it was desirable to avoid, because it would occasion select committee on the operation of the act for much public inconvenience, and a considerable pubthe relief and protection of American seamen, lic expense, and add to the calamities of the inH. of R.]
habitants of this city, whose sufferings must have ex- agriculture, fi:heries, arts, and manufactures, are concited the sympathy of all their fellow-citizens. There- nected with and depend upon it; in short, commerce fore, after taking measures to ascertain the state and has made this country what it is, and it cannot be decline of the sickness, I postponed my determination, destroyed or neglected without involving the people in having hopes, now happily realized, that, without haz- poverty and distress ; great numbers are directly and ard to the lives or health of the members, Congress solely supported by navigation—the faith of society is might assemble at this place, where it was next by law pledged for the preservation of the rights of commercial, to meet. I submit, however, to your consideration, and seafaring, no less than of the other citizens. Under whether a power to postpone the meeting of Congress, this view of our affairs, I should hold myself guilty of a without passing the time fixed by the Constitution, neglect of duty, if I forebore to recommend that we upon such occasions, would not be a useful amendment should make every exertion to protect our commerce, to the law of one thousand seven hundred and ninety- and to place our country in a suitable posture of defence, four.
as the only sure means of preserving both. Although I cannot yet congratulate you on the re-es- I have entertained an expectation, that it would have tablishment of peace in Europe, and the restoration of se- been in my power, at the opening of this session, to curity to the persons and properties of our citizens from have communicated to you the agreeable information of injustice and violence at sea, we have nevertheless the due execution of our treaty with His Catholic Maabundant cause of gratitude to the Source of Benevo- jesty, respecting the withdrawing of his troops from our lence and Influence, for interior tranquillity and person territory, and the demarkation of the line of liaits; but al security, for propitious seasons, prosperous agricul- by the latest authentic intelligence, Spanish garrisons ture, productive fisheries, and general improvements ; were still continued within the limits of our country, and, above all, for a rational spirit of civil and religious and the running of the boundary line had not been comliberty, and a calm, but steady determination to sup
menced. These circumstances are the more to be report our sovereignty, as well as our moral and religious gretted, as they cannot fail to affect the Indians in a principles, against all open and secret attacks.
manner injurious to the United States; still, however, Our Envoys Extraordinary to the French Republic indulging the hope that the answers which have been embarked, one in July, the other early in August, to given, will remove the objections offered by the Spanish join their colleague in Holland. I have received intel- officers to the immediate execution of the treaty, I have ligence of the arrival of both of them in Holland,
from judged it proper that we should continue in readiness to whence they all proceeded on their journey to Paris, receive the posts, and to run the line of limits. Further within a few days of the nineteenth of September. information on this subject will be communicated in the Whatever may be the result of this mission, I trust that
course of the session. nothing will have been omitted on my part, to conduct
In connection with the unpleasant state of things on the negotiation to a successful conclusion, on such equita
our western frontier, it is proper for me to mention the ble terms as may be compatible with the safety, honor, and interests of the United States. Nothing, in the mean attempts of foreign agents to alienate the affections of time, will contribute so much to the preservation of the Indian nations, and to excite them to actual hostilipeace, and the attainment of justice, as a manifestation ties against the United States ; great activity has been of that energy and unanimity of which, on many for- exerted by these persons, who have insinuated themmer occasions, the people of the United States have selves among the Indian tribes, residing within the given such memorable proofs, and the exertion of those territory of the United States, to influence them, to resources for national defence, which a beneficent Pro- transfer their affections and force to a foreign nation, to vidence has kindly placed within their power.
form them into a confederacy, and prepare them for war, It may be confidently asserted, that nothing has oc
against the United States. curred since the adjournment of Congress, which ren- Although measures have been taken to counteract ders inexpedient those precautionary measures recom- | these infractions of our rights, to prevent Indian hostilimended by me to the consideration of the two Houses, ties, and to preserve their attachment to the United at the opening of your late extraordinary session. If States, it is my duty to observe, that, to give a better that system was then prudent, it is more so now, as in- effect to these measures, and to obviate the consequencreasing depredations strengthen the reasons for its ces of a repetition of such practices, a law, providing adoption.
adequate punishment for such offences, may be necessary. Indeed, whatever may be the issue of the negotiation The Commissioners appointed under the fifth article with France, and whether the war in Europe is or is of the Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, not to continue, I hold it most certain that perfect tran- between the United States and Great Britain, to ascerquillity and order will not soon be obtained. The state tain the river, which was truly intended, under the of society has so long been disturbed ; the sense of name of the river St. Croix, mentioned in the Treaty of moral and religious obligations so much weakened; Peace, met at Passamaquoddy Bay in October, 1796, public faith and national honor have been so impaired; and viewed the mouths of the rivers in question, and respect to treaties has been so diminished, and the law of the adjacent shores and islands; and being of opinion, nations has lost so much of its force; while pride, am- that actual surveys of both rivers to their sources, were bition, avarice, and violence, have been so long unre
neces:ary, gave the agents of the two nations instrucstrained, there remains no reasonable ground on which tions for that purpose, and adjourned to meet at Boston to raise an expectation, that a commerce, without pro- in August : they met; but the surveys, requiring more tection or defence, will not be plundered.
time than had been supposed, and not being then comThe commerce of the United States is essential, if not pleted, the Commissioners again adjourned to meet at to their existence, at least to their comfort, their growth, Providence, in the State of Rhode Island, in June next, prosperity, and happiness. The genius, character, and when we may expect a final examination and decision. habits of the people are highly commercial ; their cities The Commissioners appointed in pursuance of the have been founded, and exist, upon commerce ; our sixth article of the treaty, met at Philadelphia in May
[H. of R.
last, to examine the claims of British subjects, for debts public defence was provided for, chiefly at the expense contracted before the peace, and still remaining due to of indiviiluals, a system of loans has been introduced. them, from citizens or inhabitants of the United States. And as no nation can raise, within the year, by taxes, Various causes have hitherto prevented any determina sufficient sums for its defence, and military operations in tions; but the business is now resumed, and doubtless time of war, the sums loaned and debts contracted have will be prosecuted without interruption.
necessarily become the subjects of what have been called Several decisions on the claims of the citizens of the funding systems. The consequences arising from the United States, for losses, and damages, sustained by continued accumulation of public debts in other counreason of irregular and illegal cap!ures, or condemna tries, ought to admonish us to be careful to prevent their tions, of their vessels or other property, have been made growth in our own. The national defence must be by the Commissioners in London, conformably to the provided for as well as the support of Government; but seventh article of the treaty ; the sums awarded by the both should be accomplished, as much as possible, by Commissioners have been paid by the British Govern- immediate taxes, and as little as possible by loans. The ment; a considerable number of other claims, where estimates for the services for the ensuing year will, by costs and damages, and not captured property, were the my direction, be laid before you. only objects in question, have been decided by arbitra- Gentlemen of the Senate and tion, and the sums awarded to the citizens of the United States have also been paid.
Gentlemen of the House of Representatives : The Commissioners appointed agreeably to the 21st
We are met together at a most interesting period ; article of our Treaty with Spain, met at Philadelphia the situations of the principal Powers of Europe are in the Summer past, to examine and decide on the singular and portentous: connected with some by claims of our citizens for losses they have sustained in treaties and with all by commerce, no important event consequence of their vessels and cargoes having been there can be indifferent to us; such circumstances call taken by the subjects of His Catholic Majesty, during unite in all those measures on which the honor, safety,
with peculiar importunity, not less for a disposition to the late war between Spain and France ; their sittings and prosperity of our country depend, than for all the have been interrupted, but are now resumed.
exertions of wisdom and firmness. The United States being obligated to make compensation for the losses and damages sustained by British and hearty concurrence.
In all such measures you may rely on my zealous subjects, upon the award of the Commissioners acting
JOHN ADAMS. under the sixth article of the Treaty with Great Britain,
UNITED States, November 23, 1797. and for the losses and damages sustained by British subjects, by reason of the capture of their vessels and Having concluded his Speech, and delivered merchandise, taken within the limits and jurisdiction of copies of it to the President pro tem. of the Senate, the United Sates, and brought into their ports, or and to the Speaker of the House of Representataken by vessels originally armed in ports of the United tives, the PRESIDENT retired, the SPEAKER resumed States, upon the awards of the Commissione's acting the Chair, and the House being come to order, he, under the seventh article of the same treaty, it is neces. as usual, read the Speech from the Chair. This sary that provision be made for fulfilling these obligations. being done, on motion, it was referred to a Com
The numerous captures of American vessels by cruisers mittee of the Whole House, and made the order of the French Republic, and of some by those of Spain, for to-morrow. It was ordered also to be printed. have occasio ed considerable expenses, in making and
CHAPLAIN TO THE HOUSE. supporting the claims of our citizens before their tribunals. The sums required for this purpose bave, in divers in- Mr. Williams observed it was not usual to stances, been disbursed by the Consuls of the United attend to much business on the day the Speech States ; by means of the same captures, great numbers was delivered ; but he should wish that they might of our seamen have been thrown ashore in foreign take up the resolution of the Senate respecting the countries, destitute of all means of subsistence, and the appointment of Chaplains. sick in particular have been exposed to grievous suffering. The motion was agreed to, and the resolve of
The Consuls have, in these cases also, advanced the Senate having been read, moneys for their relief; for these advances they reasona- Mr. Macon objected to the form of it. If they bly expect reimbursements from the United States.
were to agree to a resolution of this kind, he hoped The Consular act relative to seamen requires revision it would be in the usual form. The Senate, withand amendment ; the provisions for their support in out their concurrence to the resolution, had proforeign countries, and for their return, are found to be ceeded to elect a Chaplain, which was contrary to inadequate, and ineffectual. Another provision seenis former practice. They ought first, he said, to have necessary to be added to the Consular act ; some foreign known that this House would agree to have Chapvessels have been discovered sailing under the flag of lains before they had proceeded to an election. the United States, and with forged papers. It seldom He called for the reading of the former resolution. happens that the Consuls can detect this deception, be.
Mr. Williams did not think the variation macause they have no authority to demand an inspection of
i terial. the registers and sea letters.
Mr. Venable wished to have the question diviGentlemen of the House of Representatives :
ded, as the resolution and election were two disIt is my duty to recommend to your serious conside tinct things. He therefore moved to strike out the ration those objects whicb, by the Constitution, are placed particularly within your sphere-the national Mr. Dwight Foster saw no necessity for stridebt and taxes.
king out any part of the resolution. It might very Since the decay of the feudal system, by which the well be divided. He therefore moved that the
H. OF R.]
Answer to the President's Speech.
sense of the House might first be taken on the
The CHAIRMAN declaring it would be in order former part.
to read the proposition in his place, Mr. Lyon read Mr. VENABLE consented, and the first part was as follows: agreed to.
Resolved, As the opinion of this committee, that the Mr. Williams then moved that the House pro- various subjects submitted to the consideration of Conceed to the election of a Chaplain. Agreed to. gress by the President of the United States, in his
The SPEAKER informing the House that pre- Speech to both Houses at the commencement of the vious nomination was necessary,
present session, ought to be taken into full and inature Mr. Williams nominated the Rev. Ashbel consideration by this House, and proceeded on with GREEN.
that due attention and despatch which their respective The Sergeant-at-Arms was directed to collect importance and a just regard to the public interest may the ballots, and Messrs. GRISWOLD and N. SMITH demand; and that a committee of members be apwere appointed tellers.
pointed to wait on the President, and in the name of The votes being examined, Mr. Griswold re- the House respectfully to assure him of its ready coported the result to be:
operation with the other Departments of Government, For Dr. Green
54 in all such measures as may be deemed advisable for For Dr. Priestley
the public good, and to promote the peace, happiness, For Dr. Blair
and welfare of the United States." For General Williams
1 Mr. Harper supposed it was not necessary to For Mr. Ustick
1 use any arguments to show the propriety of adoptDr. GREEN was of course declared duly elected. ing the same resolution which had hitherto been
After reading a few private petitions which were thought proper. He believed the occasions for inreferred to the Committee of Claims, the House novation should be evident and strong, before they adjourned.
were resorted to. He had never heard any reason, in private or in public, for departing from the rule
which had been laid down by their predecessors. Friday, November 24.
With respect to the propriety of this mode of pro
ceeding, if it should be called in question, he ADDRESS TO THE PRESIDENT.
doubted not that there were members present who Mr. Harper moved that the House form itself would show that it was proper, and had been into a Committee of the Whole on the Speech of adopted after serious consideration; but the mode the President of the United States.
proposed having been the constant practice since The motion was agreed to, and Mr. Dent was
the adoption of the present Government, was a called to the Chair. The Speech having been sufficient reason for continuing it. The gentleman read by the Chairman,
from Vermont had said, “it was a very troubleMr. 'Harper and Mr. Lyon rose together. The some and much derided ceremony." With reChairman determining the former to have the spect to its being troublesome, that was the fault precedence,
of gentlemen who were opposed to the measure. Mr. HARPER observed that it had been usual for They might make objections to every sentiment the House to present an Address in answer to the in an Answer, and by that means produce a long communications of the President. He said he had debate; otherwise the business would not be a in his hand the resolution which had heretofore troublesome one. As to its being a derided cerebeen adopted, which he should submit to the con- mony, he knew gentlemen who had caused themsideration of the committee. It was to the follow- selves to be subjects of derision by their attempts ing effect :
to deride it; but whether those attempts had re“Resolved, That a respectful Address be presented by dounded to their own honor, or made them appear the House of Representatives to the President of the ridiculous, he left every one to decide. United States, in answer to his Speech to both Houses Mr. Otis inquired whether the resolution of the of Congress at the commencement of the present ses- gentleman who had just sat down was in order. sion, containing assurances that the House will take The CHAIRMAN replied, that the motion of the into consideration the various and important matters gentleman from South Carolina must first be derecommended to their attention."
Mr. Lyon said he was opposed to a resolution It was then put and carried by 52 votes in the of this kind. He had risen to have made a differ- affirmative. ent one, but the preference had been given to the The committee then rose and reported the resogentleman from South Carolina. He wished to lution. The House took it up; when get rid of a debate of ten or fourteen days about Mr. Havens called for the yeas and nays; the wording of an Answer to the President's which having been agreed to, Speech. He had it in contemplation to have re- Mr. Venable said, the yeas and nays having turned an Answer directly from the House, by been determined to be taken, as he intended to appointing a committee to inform the President vote in the negative, he thought it necessary to they were ready to go on with their business; as give his reasons for doing so. He did not wish he wished also to get rid of the troublesome and to enter into a long discussion on the subject at greatly derided custom of turning out en masse to present. It was well known, that the mode of wait upon the President. If he were in order, he proceeding in answering the Address, had occawould read what he intended to have moved. sioned considerable embarrassment in the House.