Imágenes de páginas

NOVEMBER, 1797.]

Benjamin Wells.

[H. OF R.

It was not out of any disrespect to the Chief Ma- The SPEAKER said it was not now in order to gistrate that he was opposed to it. The gentle say what the Address should be. The gentleman man from South Carolina had said, that except might, after the committee was appointed, make inconveniences had grown out of the practice, it his motion by way of instruction to the commitought not to be altered. If the gentleman would tee; or, when the Address should be reported, he stand on this ground, he would pardon his vote. might move his as a substitute. It was not from a wish to innovate, that he wished Mr. Lyon questioned the opinion of the the custom departed from, but because it had been SPEAKER as to his being out of order. found to be attended with real inconveniences. The SPEAKER declared he was so; if the genIt was well known that heretofore two or three tleman still thought otherwise, he might appeal to weeks had been consumed in debating upon an the House. answer to the Speech, which he thought an unne- Mr. LYON submitted, and a committee of five cessary waste of time, and delay of public busi- was appointed to draught an Answer, viz: Messrs. ness.

This he thought a serious evil, and a suffi- Otis, Dawson, RUTLEDGE, BAYARD, and Baldwin. cient reason for departing from the former precedent, which was established at a time when this

COLLECTION OF INTERNAL REVENUE. inconvenience was not seen. He was, therefore, Mr. HARPER said, amongst the unfinished busiwilling to change it.

ness of last session, there was a bill for the more Mr. Lyon said, it did not argue much for the effectual collection of certain internal revenues. age we live in, that they were to follow customs, He wished it to be committed to a Committee of merely because they had been established, which the Whole. was all the reason the gentleman from South Ca

Mr. Gallatin said it was unusual to go into rolina had given for adopting his resolution. He the consideration of a bill which originated in a thought the gentleman last up had shown suffi- former session, in this summary way. cient ground for departing from the old practice.

The SPEAKER said he was about to observe, He himself had attended to every argument he that the resolution of the Committee of Revisal had heard in that House and out of it on the sub- and Unfinished Business, which had been agreed ject, in its favor, and he did not think them of any to, did not comprise bills; they must of course be weight. He should wish to hear the reasons proceeded with according to the rule of the House which gave rise to it. It was his opinion that on that subject, which he read. they ought not to be bound by precedent, but Mr. HARPER consented, and withdrew his every day endeavor to do better than they did motion. the last.

FOREIGN COINS. The question was put, and decided in the affir

Mr. Venable moved that a committee be apmative-yeas 57, nays 20, as follows:

pointed to consider whether any and what alteraYeas-John Allen, George Baer, jr., Abraham Bald-tions are necessary in the law for regulating foreign win, James A. Bayard, Stephen Bullock, John Chap- coins. He said 'very considerable loss had been man, Thomas Claiborne, James Cochran, Joshua Coit

, experienced in different parts of the country by William Craik, Samuel W. Dana, George Dent, Wil

, foreign coins, particularly by French crowns, and liam Edmond, Thomas Evans, William Findley, Abiel he thought some regulation on this subject was Foster, Dwight Foster, Jonathan Freeman, Henry immediately necessary. Glen, Chauncey Goodrich, William Gordon, Roger Griswold, John A. Hanna, Robert Goodloe Harper,

Mr. Macon and Mr. HARRISON spoke of the Thomas Hartley, William Hindman, David Holmes, necessity of the measure, and a committee of three Hezekiah L. Hosmer

, James H. Imlay, Walter Jones, was appointed. Edward Livingston, Samuel Lyman, James Machir,

BENJAMIN WELLS. William Mathews, Daniel Morgan, Lewis R. Morris, Harrison G. Otis, Isaac Parker, Thomas Pinckney, min Wells, collector in the western part of Penn,

Mr. Findley moved that the petition of Benja. John Reed, John Rutledge, jr., James Schureman, William Shepard, Thomas Sinnickson, Samuel Sit- sylvania, for further redress for injury sustained greaves, Nathaniel Smith, Richard Sprigg, jr., John by the insurrection, presented the other day, be Swanwick, George Thatcher, Richard Thomas, Mark referred to a select committee. Thomson, Thomas Tillinghast, John E. Van Alen,

Mr. Macon objected to its being sent to a speJoseph B. Varnum, Peleg Wadsworth, John Williams, cial committee, on the same ground as when it and Robert Williams.

was presented. Nars—David Bard, William Charles Cole Claiborne, Mr. HARTLEY spoke in favor of a select commitMatthew Clay, John Clopton, John Dawson, Lucas tee, on account of the singularity of the case,

and Elmendorph, Albert Gallatin, Carter B. Harrison, Jona- went into the merits of the claim. than N. Havens, Matthew Locke, Matthew Lyon, Na- Mr. SITGREAVES wished it on account of desthaniel Macon, Blair McClenachan, Anthony New, patch, as the petitioner was waiting. William Smith, Richard Stanford, Abraham Trigg,

Mr. Cort acknowledged that select committees John Trigg, Philip Van Cortlandt, and Abraham

were generally more favorable to claims than the Venable.

standing committee, but he did not think this Mr. Lyon said, the House had now determined ought to make them depart from their usual pracupon an Address. He would move what he tice, particularly as the rule of the House was exthought would be the proper form. [He then press on this head. (He read it.] read the substance of his resolution.]

Mr. Gallatin was in favor of a select comH. oF R.]

Contested Elections.

[NOVEMBER, 1797.

mittee, as the petition involved the question whe- “ Fourthly. Every person deposing shall make oath ther any further relief ought to be granted to per- or affirmation to testify the whole truth, and shall subsons of this description. He did not wish this scribe the testimony by him or her given; which shall because he was in favor of further recompense, for be reduced to writing only by the magistrate taking the he and the people in his part of the country deposition, or by the deponent, in his pressnce. The thought there had been already more than suffi- deposition so taken, together with the certificate of the cient granted. He wished the question, however, notices and proof of the service of them, shall be sealed to coine into discussion, and to have a decision up by the magistrate who took it, and transmitted to and as the Committee of Claims uniformly throw the Speaker of the House. out all claims which were not founded upon in this manner, and no other, shall hereafter be admit

Resolved, That the examination of witnesses, taken some law, they would certainly throw out this, as

ted on trials of contested elections. it asked a favor, rather than demanded a right; he

Resolved, That copies of any papers recorded in was in favor of its going to a select committee.

any office of record, provided those copies be attested The question was put on reference to the Com- under the hand and seal of the recording officer, shall mittee of Claims, and carried—38 to 37.

be admitted at all such trials, in the same manner as EVIDENCE IN CONTESTED ELECTIONS. the original would be, if produced. In like manner,

Mr. Harper said, he should lay upon the table copies of any other papers of a public nature, and resome resolutions respecting the mode of taking admitted, when attested under the hand and seal of

maining in the possession of a public officer, shall be evidence in contested elections. It would be re- that officer. collected, he said, that the House had experienced

Resolved, That great inconvenience for want of some fixed mode shall be forwarded forth with to the Executive of every

copies of these resolutions of taking evidence in such cases. Persons had State, with a request that they will cause the managers been obliged to attend here for instructions, they of every election, in their respective States, to be fur. had gone back to take the evidence, and before nished with at least one copy. they could return the session probably had closed.

The resolutions were committed to a Committee To remedy this inconvenience, it had been thought of the Whole for Wednesday, some permanent mode might be adopted so as to

The House then adjourned till Monday next. prevent these double journeys and consequent expenses. The motion which he now submitted was brought forward in the session before last, but

MONDAY, November 27. postponed for want of time.

A new member, to wit: Bailey Bartlett, reThe resolutions were as follows:

turned to serve in this House as a member for Resolved, That the method of taking evidence to Massachusetts, in the place of Theophilus Bradbe adduced in the trial of contested elections for this bury, who has resigned his seat, appeared, proHouse, shall hereafter be as follows:

duced his credentials, and took his seat in the First. The party intending to contest an election House; the oath to support the Constitution of the shall give notice of such intention to the person return- United States being first administered to him by ed. If it be an election in the usual course, this notice Mr. SPEAKER, according to law. shall be given at least weeks before the time when

Several other members, to wit: from Massachuthe said person is to take his seat; if not in the usual setts, Samuel Sewall; from New York, David course, but to fill a vacancy, then the notice shall be Brooks; from Maryland, John Dennis; from given within days after the persons appointed to hold the election shall have made known, publicly, the Virginia, John Nicholas and Josiah PARKER; state of the poll. The notice shall be delivered in writ- and from North Carolina, Thomas Blount, aping, at the usual residence of the person returned ; and peared and took their seats in the House. if he be absent, shall be left there open.

REPORT ON CLAIMS. Secondly. That the party intending to take examinations shall then apply to some justice or judge of the

Mr. Dwight Foster, from the Committee of courts of the United States, or some chancellor, justice, Claims, presented a report, which stated that the or judge of a supreme, superior, or county court, or committee having examined the files and Journals court of common pleas, of any State ; or some mayor of the second session of the fourth Congress, found or chief magistrate of a town or city, and shall obtain a sundry petitions and memorials referred to the notification, under his hand and seal, directed to the Committee of Claims, which, for want of time, opposite party, and requiring him to attend by himself, had not been reported upon; and that some of the or his attorney, duly authorized, and cross-examine the petitioners being now attending to learn the issue witnesses. This notification shall state the time and of their applications, they proposed a resolution place of examination, and the names of the witnesses ; | for the adoption of the House to the following and it shall be served on the opposite party, or his at- effect: torney, duly authorized, as either may be nearest to such place; provided either is within one hundred miles of

Resolved, That all claims which, during the second it, for attendance. After receiving the notification, one

session of the fourth Congress, were referred to the day, exclusive of Sundays, shall be allowed for every be, and the same are hereby, referred to the Committee

Committee of Claims, and not by them reported upon, twenty miles.

Thirdly. In all cases where either party shall give of Claims, to be by them reported upon agreeably to notice to the other of his having appointed an attorney

the rules of the House." for the purpose aforesaid, it shall be necessary to serve

The resolution was agreed to. the above mentioned notification on the attorney. The SPEAKER observed, that there had been an NOVEMBER, 1797.)

Answer to the President's Speech.

[H. OF R.

order made last week contrary to the rules of the persuading a committee to report it; if not, it was
House, by committing a bill to a Committee of better that it should be amended before its intro-
the Whole, which had originated at a former ses- duction. He believed, therefore, that they had
sion, without introducing it in the way directed better go on in their usual way, and avoid inno-
by the rules. It would be necessary, therefore, to vation.
discharge the committee from the committal. Mr. Gallatin said, as this motion was in con-

Mr. Livingston accordingly moved that the formity to the constant practice of the House, he
Committee of the Whole, to whom was referred could not see with what propriety it could be call-
the bill relative to refugees from Canada and Nova ed an innovation.
Scotia, be discharged from the consideration. Mr. SITGREAVES believed the rules of the last
Agreed to.

House were already the rules of this, by a resoluMr. Williams then moved that a committee be tion of last session. appointed to prepare and bring in a bill for that The motion was put and negatived-37 to 32. purpose. Agreed to, and a committee of three ap


Mr. Williams said, it was generally allowed RULES OF THE HOUSE.

that the present militia laws were not only very Mr. Livingston observed, at the beginning of expensive in their execution, but very inadequate the first session of the last Congress, a committee in their effects. The subject had before been was appointed to prepare and report standing rules under consideration; but, for want of time, was for the regulation of the House. He moved that passed over. He, therefore, proposed a resolution such a committee be now appointed.

to the following effect: Mr. Harper thought, on consideration, the gen- Resolved, That a committee be appointed to report, tleman would find this motion to be unnecessary. whether any and what amendments are necessary to They had been in the habit, it was true, of hereto- the act providing an uniform militia system throughout fore appointing a committee to report a new set of the United States.” rules; but he believed it would be allowed that Agreed to, and a committee of five appointed. the usefulness of rules depended in some degree ADDRESS TO THE PRESIDENT. upon their permanency. He thought they were

Mr. Otis, from the committee appointed to changed too often, without good reason, which produced an uncertainty in the conducting of busi- draught an Address in answer to the Speech of

the President of the United States, reported the ness. He saw no inconvenience which would attend the adoption of the present rules. He thought following, which was twice read, and referred to

a Committee of the Whole for to-morrow: them sufficient; and if any gentleman wished to introduce any new rule, or to change an old one,

Sir: While our sympathy is excited by the recent he might do it by way of motion.

sufferings of the citizens of Philadelphia, we particiMr. Livingston said, the usual course was to pate in the satisfaction which you are pleased to exappoint a committee to report a set of rules; and press, that the duration of the late calamity was so in the mean time the old ones were declared bind- limited, as to render unnecessary the expense and ining. With respect to the present rules, he had dis- convenience that would have been incident to the concovered several inconveniences.

vention of Congress in another place: and we shall

He would men- readily attend to every useful amendment of the law tion one, which was that requiring all bills to be which contemplates the event of contagious sickness introduced in the same way, though they had un

at the seat of Government. dergone discussion at a former session; the incon

In lamenting the increase of the injuries offered to venience of which had just been seen, and which the persons and property of our citizens at sea, we he thought a dilatory practice. The idea of the gratefully acknowledge the continuance of interior gentleman from South Carolina that they ought tranquillity, and the attendant blessings of which you not to change their rules, he did not think deserv- remind us, as alleviations of these fatal effects of ined all the weight which he gave it. Every House, justice and violence. by the Constitution, was to be the judge of its own Whatever may be the result of the mission to the rules, and the adopting those of a former House French Republic, your early and uniform attachment was merely a temporary expedient. If the House, to the interest of our country; your important services however, should not think proper to go into a re- in the struggle for its independence, and your unceasvision of the old rules, he should move such alte. ing exertions for its welfare, afford no room to doubt of rations in them as appeared to him necessary.

the sincerity of your efforts to conduct the negotiation Mr. Harper replied, it'the inconvenience which to a successful conclusion, on such terms as may be had been mentioned had existence, it might be compatible with the safety, honor, and interest of the

United States. We have also a firm reliance upon the removed by a particular motion; but he was doubtful whether the thing complained of was an

energy and unanimity of the people of these States, in

the assertion of their rights, and on their determination inconvenience. He believed they were seldom too slow in passing laws; the contrary was more fre sources in providing for the national defence.

to exert, upon all proper occasions, their ample requently the case. The more formalities required.

The importance of commerce, and its beneficial inand the greater number of aspects in which a law fluence upon agriculture, arts, and manufactures, have was seen, the more likely it would be to be good. been verified in the growth and prosperity of our counIf a gentleman, wishing to introduce a bill, had try. It is essentially connected with the other great drawn it up well, he would have no difficulty in interests of the community. They must flourish and

5th Con.—21

H. OFR.]

Answer to the President's Speech.

[November. 1797.

decline together; and while the extension of our navi- Mr. Coit would have no objection to agreeing gation and trade naturally excites the jealousy, and to the resolution, if the mover would consent to a tempts the avarice of other nations, we are firmly per- small alteration in its form. He wished, theresuaded, that the numerous and deserving class of citi- fore, that the committee should be appointed “to zens engaged in these pursuits, and dependent on them inquire whether such a law be expedient.” for their subsistence, has a strong and indisputable Mr. HARPER said, if it was the intention of the claim to our support and protection.

gentleman to transfer the power of judging the The delay of the Spanish officers to fulfil the treaty expediency of the measure from the House to a existing with His Catholic Majesty is a source of deep select committee, he should certainly object to it

. regret. We learn, however, with satisfaction, that you still indulge hopes of removing the objections which He believed the resolution would be best in its have been made to its execution, and that you have present form. continued in readiness to receive the posts. Disposed

Mr. LivingSTON said, there were two courses to perform, with fidelity, our national engagements, to be taken in the introducing of bills. The genwe shall insist upon the same justice from others tleman from South Carolina had chosen that which we exercise towards them.

which directed the appointment of a committee Our abhorrence cannot be too strongly expressed of to report a bill. He might have adopted the mode the intrigues of foreign agents to alienate the affections proposed by the gentleman from Connecticut; of the Indian nations, and to rouse them to acts of hos- but there could be no question as to the propriety tility against the United States. No means in our of the present motion. power should be omitted of providing for the suppres- Mr. Baldwin observed that the way in which sion of such cruel practices, and for the adequate pun- the gentleman from Connecticut might obtain his ishment of their atrocious authors.

end, would be, by moving to commit the motion, Upon the other interesting subjects noticed in your Address, we shall bestow the requisite attention. To be committed.

Mr. Coir accordingly moved that the motion preserve inviolate the public faith, by providing for the due execution of our treaties ; to indemnify those who mode of proceeding, which might be urged in ordi

Mr. Baldwin added, that the objections to this may have just claims to retribution upon the United States for expenses incurred in defending the property nary cases

, were not applicable in this; because and relieving the necessities of our unfortunate fellow the committee appointed would see the several citizens; to guard against evasions of the laws in solemn decisions which had heretofore been had tended to secure advantages to the navigation of our

on this subject, and would calculate whether it own vessels ; and especially, to prevent, by all possible would be worth their while to go over the same means, an unnecessary accumulation of the public ground which had heretofore been trodden with debt, are duties which we shall endeavor to keep in so little success. If he recollected right, the late view, and discharge with assiduity.

colleague of the present mover in the business inWe regard, with great anxiety, the singular and troduced the measure in the first session of Conportentous situation of the principal Powers of Eu- gress under the present Government; but it was rope. It was to be devoutly wished that the Uni- attended with so many difficulties, that the gentleted States, remote from this seat of war and dis- man himself was discouraged from proceeding cord; unambitious of conquest; respecting the rights with it. Almost every Congress since have had of other nations; and desirous, merely, to avail them- the subject before them. He believed that not less selves of their natural resources, might be permitted to than live or six bills had gone out the same behold the scenes which desolate that quarter of the course. Our country, he said, was so extensive, globe with only those sympathetic emotions which are and our interests so various, that no system of banknatural to the lovers of peace and friends of the human

But we are led by events to associate with these ruptcy, he believed, could be formed to suit all its feelings a sense of the dangers which menace our secu- the several bills heretofore rejected, could suggest

parties. If, indeed, the committee, after revising rity and peace. We rely upon your assurances of a zealous and hearty concurrence in such measures as any new provisions which might appear to obvimay be necessary to avert these dangers; and nothing ate former objections, or if there should appear to on our part shall be wanting to repel them, which the them to be any new circumstances in the present honor, safety, and prosperity of our country may re- situation of the country which should even call for quire.

the law with its former deficiencies, they will of Mr. Harper said, that in pursuance of the no

course report a bill. If the contrary should be the tice which he had given, he now rose to move a

course, they will report it as their opinion. resolution to the following effect:

The motion was agreed to, and a committee of

five was appointed, viz: Messrs. HARPER, Coit, Resolved, That a committee be appointed to pre- Nicholas, SITGREAVES, and Baldwin. pare and report a bill for providing an uniform system of bankruptcy throughout the United States." Mr. H. added, that it was unnecessary, he sup

TUESDAY, November 28. posed, to enlarge upon the usefulness of such a Samuel Smith, from Maryland, appeared and law. That the passing of it would be attended took his seat. with difficulties, he was ready to allow; but, as Mr. Otis presented the petition of Deborah Ganthese could only be properly judged of when the nett, praying compensation for her services as a bill was reported, he trusted no objection would soldier in the Revolutionary war, under the name be made to the appointment of the proposed com- of Robert Shirtcliff; stating that she is able to promittee.

duce certificates, not only of her having served, but



NOVEMBER, 1797.]

Answer to the President's Speech.

[H. OF R.

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also of having been wounded. Referred to the Mr. VENABLE said, it was an objection to the Committee of Claims.

proposed amendment, that the same phraseology

occurred in the last paragraph. He thought, thereADDRESS TO THE PRESIDENT.

fore, it would be best to change the words in the Mr. Coit moved for the order of the day on the way he had suggested; for, though the word reported Answer to the President's Speech. erpect was less harsh, he thought it equally forci

The motion being agreed to, the House accord- ble with insist. ingly resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole Mr. BAYARD was in favor of the amendment upon that subject, and the Address having been of the gentleman from South Carolina ; and if the read through by the Chairman, it was again read same phraseology had been proposed in the select by paragraphs. The first four were read, without committee, he should there have supported it. He any objection being offered to them. The fifth did not think the substitute which had been probeing gone through,

posed by the gentleman frem Virginia would proMr. Pinckney said, he had to propose a small duce the effect intended by the gentleman from alteration to this clause: he wished to make the South Carolina. It was the intention of the comlatter part of it a little less harsh. Instead of say- mittee who reported the Address, to say something ing; we shall insist upon the same justice from on the subject; but the proposed substitute said others,” &c., he thought it would have the same nothing. As to the objection of the gentleman, effect, and the terms would be less objectionable, on account of the same phraseology occurring in if the passage ran thus: “Nothing shall be want- another part of the Address, there would be no difing on our part to obtain the same justice from ficulty in rectifying that, so as to produce that others.” &c. The expression used, he said, might variety which the gentleman seemed so desirous be perfectly justifiable, but, if we could obtain what of having. we wished without the possibility of giving offence, Mr. DAYTON (the Speaker) approved of the he thought that mode ought to be preferred. It amendment of the gentleman from South Carolina, was on this account that he wished the phraseol. but not from the reasons which that gentleman had ogy to be changed.

urged in support of it, but for those which his colMr. VENABLE would suggest an amendment, league had produced against it ; not because it which he thought would produce the effect wished was more smooth, but because it contained more by the gentleman last up, without changing the of decision and firmness. He thought, in this rephraseology so much as he had proposed. The spect, this country had been trified with, and any way in which this might be done, would be by opinion expressed by them upon this subject striking out the word "insist," and inserting that ought to be done with a firmness of tone. of erpect.

Mr. Livingsron said, as gentlemen thought it Mr. PINCKNEY did not think this amendment necessary to give the reasons of their vote upon would produce the effect he wished. Expectation, this occasion, be would just mention his. If it he said, might be entertained, without making an were intended to be inferred by the phraseology effort to obtain the object. We had already er- used upon this occasion, (as some gentlemen pected a long time, without effort. He wished to seemed to suppose,) that they were disposed to go express the same firmness which the committee to war in support of the Executive in their conintended by their report, but, at the same time, to struction of the negotiation with Spain, he was avoid anything like harshness. If the effect of the not prepared to say this for his constituents. He proposed substitute had appeared to be the same, did not think the subject was sufficiently matured he should have been sorry to have cavilled about to give this decision. He considered the proposiwords.

tion as a general one, and preferred the amendment Mr. Rutledge said, as a member of the commit of the gentleman from South Carolina to the origitee who reported the Address, he did not feel tena- nal. He did not, indeed, think it materially differcious as to the wording of it. At first, he thought ent, until he heard the objections urged against it with his colleague, who proposed the amendment, by a gentleman who was upon the committee, that the word insist was rather harsh ; but, upon (Mr. ŘUTLEDGE.) He had said they might insist a little reflection, his objections to the phrase were in argument. , How insist in argument? What removed. Indeed, he thought the proposed amend- had the House to do with argument? Were they ment would make the passage stronger than it to carry on the treaty? No. All the insisting they was in the original. They might insist, he said, could show must be by acts, and not by argument. in argument; looking upon the treaty as a good The question on Mr. PINCKNEY's amendment one, they might insist upon its execution ; but if was put and carried, there being sixty-two memit were not to be effected withoyt going to war, bers in the affirmative. they might afterwards relinquish it. The amend- The reinainder of the Address was then gone ment he thought more forcible. It said “nothing through, without further observation. shall be wanting to obtain," &c.; which would be Mr. Harper inquired, whether it would now be to say, we look upon the treaty as a good one, and in order to go back to the first paragraph. On the nothing shall be wanting on our part to obtain its Chairman's informing him it would, he said he fulfilment. The words might even be considered thought there was an expression in the latter part to say, that we are determined to have the treaty of that paragraph which would require alteration. carried into effect, though war should be the price He meant that part which spoke of the law which of the determination.

contemplates contagious sickness at the seat of

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