« AnteriorContinuar »
FER. 7, 1827.]
The Colonization Society.
NAYS.-Messrs. Barton, Bell, Benton, Branch, Chan liances whatever ? But when it is proposed that we der, Chase, Cobb, Dickerson, Eaton, Findlay, Hendricks, should not only depart from these habits and principles, Holmes, Johnson, of Kentucky, Macon, Marks, McKinley, but that we should establish a Colony of rude and untu. Noble, Randolph, Reed, Rowan, Ruggles, Seymour, Smith, tored People on the other side of the Atlantic, and on of South Carolina, Tazewell, White, Willey, Woodbu- the Continent of Africa, the proposition needs but to be ry.-27.
stated, to make its extravagance apparent. Even this, So the bill was again rejected.
however, is not the view of the subject which I feel dis
posed, at this time, to press on the consideration of the WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 1827.
Senate. I will show, from the official documents before THE COLONIZATION SOCIETY.
us, that, whether it be the object of the Colonization So.
ciety or not, the effect of their engaging the assistance Mr. CHAMBERS presented the Memorial of the Colo- of the United States at this time, in behalf of their ill-ad. nization Society, stating the object of the Society, and its vised and ill-fated Colony, must be to engage this country progress, and praying that Congress should extend to in a war with the native tribes on that Continent, and to them such assistance as it may, in its wisdom, think pro- involve us in serious difficulties with other nations. It is, per. Mr. C. moved its reference to a Special Committee. perhaps, not generally known, but I have the evidence of The Memorial was read.
the fact now before me, that the Agents of this Coloni. Mr. HAYNE said he seized the very moment when this zation Society, on the coast of Africa, instead of being question was, for the first time, presented to the Senate, employed in peaceful pursuits, are engaged in warlike to enter his protest against the right of the Federal Go- enterprises ; that the Colony has been organized into Milivernment to appropriate the money of the People for the tary corps ; and that, under their gallant leader, the Revepurpose of establishing Colonies abroad, or of transport. rend Dr. Ashman, they have made war upon the Spaniards ing, at the public expensc, any portion of the inhabitants and the French, as well as on the natives ; that they have, of this country to the coast of Africa, or elsewhere. At with force and arms, invaded and broken up several esthe very threshold, he denied the constitutional power of tablishments, have made numerous captives, and, in short, the Government so to act; and if they had the power, he are proceeding, as all such Colonies always will proceed, should still deny the policy, justice, and humanity, of such with a high hand, to extend their influence and power by proceeding. The petition of the Colonization Society, the sword. In proof of these assertions, I beg leave to turn which had been just read, calls upon this House to do two the attention of the Senate to the documents transmitted things, neither of which could be done, without an entire to Congress by the Navy Department, during the present departure from the fundamental principles and settled session. In these documents will be found a corresponpolicy of this country. They propose
dence between Dr. Ashmun, the Agent of the Coloniza1st. That the United States shall appropriate money to tion Society, (and Superintendent of their Colony at Montransport to the coast of Afr ca free persons of color, rovia,) and the Secretary of the Navy, from which I will " and such others as the humanity of individuals and the now read a few passages. In a letter from Dr. Ashmun to “laws of the United States may hereafter liberate." And, ths Secretary of the Navy, dated Cape Mesurado, Oct. 14,
2d. That the United States should take into their own 1825, he states, in substance, that the Spanish schooner hands, and under their own government and protection, Clarida, owned by several merchants of Havana, and rethe Colony which this Society has established on the coast gularly documented, had arrived in Liberia Bay, in July, of Africa
for the purpose of obtaining slaves to be delivered at a With regard to the first object, [said Mr. H.) I submit town to the Northward, belonging to a man named Yel. that it not only relates to a subject with which the Fede: low Will, and “subject to the jurisdiction of King Brisral Government can have nothing to do, but which it will tol”-that an English brig, the Tom Cod, also arrived in be extremely dangerous for them to meddle with. It is October, and the Spanish schooner having lost her an. not for me to admonish this House of the impolicy, injus- chor, her crew went on board of the English brig, and tice, and danger, of touching a subject with which the forcibly took away an anchor and other articles ; in confeelings and interests of a large portion of the Union are sequence of which unlawful acts, he (Dr. Ashmun) hav. so closely connected. On this topic, however, (on which ing received the testimony of six individuals, determined I always touch with extreme reluctance,) I should not to capture the Spanish vessel, and obtained of Captain Doenlarge. I must be permitted to say, however, that, Potter, (the English Captain,) the use of his brig for that of all the extravagant schemes that have yet been devised purpose. Dr. Ashmun then proceeds to give the followin this country, I know of none more wild, impracticable, ing account of the expedition : or miscbievous, than this of Colonization ; and should a « The military of this colony is organized into a corps of fair occasion ever present itself I shall make good this Independent Infantry, consisting of thirty-six young men, assertion. Avoiding, however, that unpleasant topic, ! and a corps of Artillerists, consisting of forty-eight. From will bring the attention of the Senate to the great political the former I made a requisition of twenty-five men, to act question presented by this petition—that of establishing under Capt. James C. Barbour, their commander, and Colonies abroad ; and I will ask the Senate it a question their other officers. Twenty-two Artillerists, under Capt. of graver character, or of greater magnitude, could possi. F. James, the commanding officer of their corps, at my bły be submitted to their consideration? And I will put request, volunteered to attend me on board the Tom it to them to say, whether they are now prepared even to Cod. i then gave Captain Barbour written instructions entertain such a question ? I do not kwow to what part to proceed the same evening with his force, taking two of the history of the world we are to look for arguments days' provisions, to the mouth of the St. Paul's; sending in favor of the Colonial system. Colonies, we had been one division by the Stockton, in boats, and conducting the taught by the experience of other countries, and espe. other along the beach, encamp at the place of rendezvous cally of England, had been, at all times, the fruitful sources till daylight on the eighth, and then advance by the beach of wars, of injustice, and of oppression. They were a upon Digby, awaiting further orders, which I was to send curse, not only to the Colonies themselves, but also to the him from the brig. But, should the brig, by any accident, Mother country. If, then, the Colonial policy had been fall into the hands of the pirates, or pursue her out to sea, fatal to other nations, what argument could possibly be he was to seize upon the factory at Yellow Will's, and urged in favor of its adoption, at this time, by us, whose make the best of his way back with the prisoners, slaves, hab.us, institutions, and fundamental principles, oppose an and property, captured in it. In this young officer's pru. almost insuperable bar to all foreign connexions and alo! dence and intrepidity, and in the exact discipline and firm.
The Colonization Society.
(FEB. 7, 1827.
ness of his men, I knew I could entirely confide. With the pense, as per the same statement, the residue, amounting twenty-two volunteers under Capt. James, I went on board to ninety-one dollars and fifty cents, was equally divided the Tom Cod at 4 o'clock, taking along two carriage guns, between the captors and the United States. A quantity and a suitable provision of ammunition, belonging to the of spars, belonging to the Schooner, found at Will's place, agency. Of these brave fellows, eight had, on two former were burnt, and the rice collected at the factory, which occasions, fought at my side for nearly three hours, in our could not be conveniently brought off, was distributed bloody conflicts with the natives ; and I knew they would among the natives." all follow wherever it might be necessary for me to lead Thus ends the bulletin of the first expedition of the them. Their number was greater than the crew of the Rev. Dr. Ashmun, which resulted, as we have seen, in Spaniard by six men, and our weight of metal considera the invasion of the territory of King Bristol, the forcible bly superior ; so that there is little doubt, had we fallen possession of Yellow Will's town for forty-eight hours ; in with the pirate, that she must have been taken. But the capture of five Spaniards, and all the slaves and proit was not our lot to engage him. During the night I had perty belonging to their factory ; the destruction of a brought the brig to the windward of Digby, upon which quantity of spars belonging to the schooner, and of the we bore down, under the American flag, at daylight on rice collected at the factory, without any other object, ex. the morning of the eighth, ready for action. The morn. cept to punish a Spanish vessel, and to prevent her from ing was thick, and it was not until after half past one o' carrying on a trade sanctioned by the laws of Spain. clock that I was able to ascertain the absence of the Cla
The next military expedition is related in Dr. Ashmun's rida ; whom, I afterwards learned, had not communicated letter to the Secretary of the Navy, dated Cape Mesurado, with the shore, nor been seen from Digby, since the rob- October 25th, 1826, in which he states, in substance, that, bery of the brig: Captain Barbour's division having now having received information that certain slaves, destined arrived, I landed with five men, through the surf, order for the Spanish schooner, were secreted at a French facing the brig to lie off and on, till she should receive a sig- tory, on the St. Paul's, he undertook a military espedi; nai to return to Mesurado ; and, at a few minutes past tion against that place, which he entered in the night, and nine, entered Yellow Will's town; but found the factory the next morning took six prisoners. This bulletin conabandoned, and the slaves and nearly all the property cludes in the following triumphant style : gone. I soon learned that the whole had been conveyed “ The whole party returning, arrived at Monrovia in across Poor river, a broad and deep stream, which has its safety, after a most fatiguing expedition of twenty-five course parallel with this part of the coast, and at only two hours ; in which all, except myself and a guard of seven miles distance from it. Messengers were immediately des- men only, including the boatmen, had, without sleep, perpatched to King Bristol and Will
, conveying my friendly formed a forced march of thirty-five miles, through a pathassurances ; but insisting on the immediate delivery of the less country, of which one half was traversed in the depth Spaniards, and all the slaves and property belonging to of night, and the other under the full power of an African the factory, into my hands. In reply, I was openly in. sun. It gives me pleasure to add, that such a cheerful formed, that both refused to comply with the demand, but zeal in the cause of African emancipation animates this assured secretly, by one of the head wen, that the King little corps, that not a murmur of impatience was, during was willing to see me seize upon the concern, provided the whole time, heard in the ranks. So inured are the the business could be so managed as to save the appear. men to the climate of their adopted country, that not an ance of treachery to their customers, on the part of him- individual has suffered in his health from the extreme exself and his People. I perceived the force and intention posure and fatigue of the expedition ; and, in such handof this hint at once, and took my ineasures accordingly. some military style was the affair conducted, that the very After a personal interview with Bristol and Will, I return- inhabitants of the country through which the route of the ed, and, with twelve men, crossing the Poor river in a party lay, were scarcely apprised of the movement, besmall canoe, which could carry but four men at a time, fore its termination, in the return of the People to their soon obtained possession of the Spaniards, at a town sit. homes." uated a short distance from that in which the wreck of the It has been said of certain animals, that, when they have factory was concealed. In the meantime, I had perfectly once tasted of blood, they will be satisfied with no other. informed myself of the exact state of the concern at that food. And thus it was with the reverend and gallant leadtime. Two of the four Spaniards left ashore were ill. er of the Colony of Monrovia. His appetite once whetGoods of the value of ninety slaves had been already ad. ted, with what he calls “his bloody conflicts of nearly vanced to the country dealers, on which only fourteen had three hours with the natives," and his “ zeal once excited yet been received at the factory. Goods equal in value to in the cause of African emancipation,” he appears restabout six hundred dollars only, remained in the factory less and dissatisfied when not engaged in martial enteron the morning of the eighth, when, in the confusion prises. caused by the alarm at daylight, nearly the whole had fal.
The Bulletin of the next expedition, is dated Cape Melen into the hands of the country People ; who, under the surado, Dec. 8, 1825, and relates the particulars of the capcolor of assisting the Spaniards to secure their goods, had ture and destruction of a French Slave Factory, on the carried them off. But the fourteen slaves had been pre. St. Paul's, five miles direct distance) froin the Cape. The served. None of the four Spaniards now in my custody occasion of this expedition is stated to be that “ five of the were on board the Clarida at the time of her committing men liberated at Digby, impelled by an innate love of the piracy on the fifth, nor had communicated with her country, had absented from the establishment,"--and it since that act, and there was not even presumptive proof seeirs, had been taken up and detained at this French that the character of the vessel was piratical
, by the laws Factory. As the letter is short, I will read the whole of it. of Spain, previous to the perpetration of the robbery of that date. The slaves and all the property remaining,
“U. S. AGENCY FOR RECAPTURED AFRICANS, were surrendered into my hạnds by the mate, Zugaste, at
“ Cape Mesurado, Dec. 8th, 1825. three o'clock, on the ninth, and the four Spaniards dis- “Sir : I have the honor to state that another unforecharged from custody, on the grounds just stated. A part seen occurrence has placed at my disposal the large addi. of the goods, as per the accompanying statement, amount. tional number of ninety-nine Africans, whom I caused to ing to forty-thrce dollars, was restored to the mate, for be released from their irons this morning at eight o'clock; the purpose of subsisting himself and his companions, till and whom I judge to be proper objects of the beneficent an opportunity should offer to take passage for some other provision made by the Government of the United States part of the world. After several other deductions for ex-l for persons liberated from illegal bondage, under the laws
FEB. 7, 1827.)
The Colonization Society.
for suppressing the Slave Trade. On the fourth of No had contracted for as many as should be delivered to him, vember, four of the men liberated at Digby on the ninth at ten dollars per head, which sum he considers himself of the preceding month, impelled by that innate love of entitled to receive from the United States, together with country, which none of the vicissitudes of life can extin. a bounty of fifty dollars for each of them. in his letter guish in the human bosom, deserted from the establish of 220 January, 1826, he states that the number of slaves ment, passed the Mesurado river, and disappeared in the captured in three expeditions, were 130. “They have boundless woody region which extends to an unknown dis nearly completed,” says he, “a village, &c. Every in. tance in the interior. Knowing that if not speedily brought “dividual of their number is in perfect health, and, as an back, they must inevitably terminate their desperate en assemblage of rude and ignorant People, gathered out terprise in hopeless slavery, I had recourse, without de." of nearly twenty different tribes, pursue their labor lay, to every means for their recovery which promised to “ with a good deal of spirit, union, and success." succeed, but to no purpose. Intelligence of their deser- A little further on, he adds : “But at present it would tion, with the offer of reward for their restoration, was im “be the height of imprudence to suffer them to want the mediately conveyed to the different tribes in friendly cor- “constant guardianship of their superintendents. Seve. respondence with the settlement, but no information was “ral have already been driven, by their fears, to attempt, had of the fugitives before the fifth instant, when I re- “ and a few have, it is thought, effected their escape," ceived, from a source e::titled to credit, intelligence that &c. &c. three of their number had heen reduced to slavery and In Dr. Ashmun's letter of 11th December, 1825, he loaded with chains at the French Slave Factory, on the sc. states, “that the French Factors, whose establishment Paul's, fire miles (direct distance) from the Cape. On the " at St. Paul's was br ken up, have announced their inmorning of the sixth, I despatched three men to demand “tention to appeal to their Government for redress.” the deserters in the name of the United States ; and to in. Now, from these documents, Mr. President, it is maniquire by what means they had fallen into the hands of the fest that the Colony at Monrovia, under Dr. Ashmun, Pactors. The demand was evasively replied to, but, in have made war upon the Spaniards, the French, and the answer to the inquiry, It was stated that two Frenchmen, natives—and it is absolutely certain, that a perseverance agents resident at the Factory, had bought them. I then in such a course of conduct, must inevitably lead to the deinstructed the messengers charged with the order, to restruction of the Colony, unless the strong arm of the peat it; they did so, but with no other effect than to draw United States shall be interposed to rescue them from from the two factors a written declaration of their purpose the natural consequences of their rashness and folly. It to detain the people indefinitely. Finding the recovery is expressly declared by Dr. Ashmun, that “he has in of the men by mere rational methods too doubtful to jus- " view the introduction of a measure, on the part of the tify any further delay, which, as a French schooner was “United States, for which he believes the time has ar. lying near, ready to receive slaves, might subject them to rived, and of which the object shall be entirely to abol. be transported in a very few hours forever beyond the “ish the slave trade, with the concurrence of the native reach of the Government of the United States, and obliged "authorities along a given line of coast, contiguous to the to regard the ground taken by the Factory as that of vir- “ agency ;" and his proceedings are doubtless intended to tual defiance, which justified, from a growing concern, prepare the way for « that measure.” The prisoners taken founded in avarice and iniquity, the apprehension of even and put to labor under“superintendents” (or, as weshould tual consequences fatal to the benevolent objects of this call them, overseers, are, doubtless, found to be very conAgency, I had no hesitation in resolving upon the un- venient helps in a Colony so much in want of physical pleasant duty of forcibly subverting the establishment al strength, and productive labor. No doubt they are treat. together. Captain James C. Barbour, of the Infantry, ed as kindly as such “a rude and ignorant People” ought with eighteenmen, was accordingly charged, last night at to be ; but so little gratitude have they to “ their deliv. nine o'clock, with the accomplishment of this service. erers," that they are only prevented from “effecting Two boats were provided, in which this little force em. their escape,” by the "constant guardianship of their subarked at two o'clock this morning. Ascending the Stock- perintendents." ton, they arrived on the St. Paul's at day break; twenty Let it not be said, sir, that the Colonization Society are minutes afterwards the men were landed at the Factory. not justly chargeable with these unwarrantable proceed. In ten minutes the slaves, to the number of forty-three ings on the part of their Agent. They have sanctioned, men, thirteen women, and forty-three children, of both and approved of them. It is true, sir, (and I am sorry to sexes, (in all ninety-nine,) were in the custody of the of be obliged to say so) that Dr. Ashinun is also the Agent ficer, and in full march along the beach for Monrovia. of the United States, under the act of 3d March, 1819, The boats received the invalids and feeblest of the chil- for transporting captured Africans from the United States dren, and stood along shore at musket shot distance a. to their own country-an act which never authorized the breast of the party advancing by land. The whole ar. slightest connexion with any Colony in Africa, but which, rived safely at Monrovia, at eight' o'clock the same morn- most unwarrantably, has been so used. Of Dr. Ashmun's ing, just six hours after the setting out of the party, and conduct, however, our Government has formally disapeleven only after the first intimation given to the officer proved. The Secretary of the Navy, in his letter of 10th wboso handsomely conducted it, that its services would August, 1826, written for the purpose of being commube required Of these People, ninety-seven are in per- nicated to Dr. Ashmun, says : fect health, two only in a feeble condition, caused appa- “Should it appear, hereafter, that some of the re-cap. rently by rigorous treatment. Respectfully, &c. tured Africans have been taken to Trade 'Town, confined,
and were about to be sold again into slavery, and that Mr. "P. S. In the number of persons rescued are included Ashmun went no further than was found necessary to resthe three deserters.
cue thcm, his conduct, as the Agent of the Government,
will nut be condemned. So far as be has acted for the The Hon. SAMUEL L. SOUTHARD, Secretary U. S. Navy, Washington City, U. S.” look to that Society, both to explain his conduct, and to
Colonization Society, in re-capturing the Colonists, he will Before I leave these letters, I must briefly notice one or be justified or condemned by it. The same remark is two other points. Dr. Ashraun states, in his letter of applicable to the previous expeditions. So far as he act28th October, 1825, that he regarded himself as undoubted as the Agent of the Society, the Government does not cdly possessed of the right to control the purchase" of mean to interfere with his responsibility to it. But the the eighty slaves destined for the Clarida, and that he President thinks it necessary to disapprove of his conduct
The Colonization Society.
(Feb. 7, 1827.
in those expeditions, so far as he has any connexion with signed : and, on examination, it was found that no signa• the Government. As Agent of the United States, for a ture was attached to it. specified object, he had no justifiable cause to break up Mr. KING said, he believed it was a rule of the Senate, establishments supposed to belong to the owners of the that a member must present a memorial or petition as his Clarida, or any other persons, and to take the People own, or it must be signed by the petitioner or memorial. found there to the Agency, to be maintained at the pub. ist. Therefore, the gentleman from Maryland did not lic expense. Our Government, in establishing the Agen- assume it, he did not see how the Senate could act upon cy, had one object, only, in view—to provide a place to it, as it was not possible to determine whence it came, not which Africans, illegally brought into the United States, being signed. or lawfully captured by our cruisers upon the ocean, Mr. CHAMBERS was not disposed to assume the me. might be carried, and taken care of, until they could, morial as his own ; still, he considered that, as it was en. with propriety, be restored to their own country, tribe, titled the Memorial of the Colonization Society, and that or nation. It has not intended to authorize, nor has it Society being well known, he thought it sufficiently plain authorized, a forcible and warlike attack upon the citi- whence the document came. In answer to the gentleman zens or subjects of any nation, with a view to suppress from Alabama, Mr. C. could give assurance, that this acthe Slave Trade, or to accomplish any other object, no tually was the memorial of the Colonization Society. matter how desirable, to advance the cause of humanity. Mr. BERRIEN said, the objections extended a little You will, therefore, furnish to Mr. Ashmun a copy of this further. It was the petition of a body of persons who letter, that he may see the light in which his conduct is bad really no legal existence. If it had been the petition viewed by the Government. He has made a claim for of an individual, and the member presenting it could the bounty allowed by the third and fourth sections of verify his handwriting ; or, if the individuals forming that the act of 3d March, 1819; but it cannot be granted. Society had placed their names to this memorial, the SenThe case of Africans liberated from their captors on the ate might act upon it. But the petition of no body, with. shores of Africa, does not come within the provisions of out a legal existence, could be sustained before the that act. It is understood, from his several letters, that Senate. about 170 Africans were liberated, in his various expedi Mr. CHAMBERS answered the objections of the gentions, and brought to the Agency, and are now on expense tleman from Georgia. He thought that no rule of the there. The accounts for their support to this time, will Senate ought to exclude any citizen, or body of citizens, perhaps be paid; but they must cease to be a charge to from presenting their wishes to the Senate, unless that the Government, and restored to their tribes as speedily rule was exerted for some useful purpose. The rule was as possible, or supported in some other mode. The fund made to preserve the Senate from deception, and to guard devoted to this object is now much reduced, and, unless against entertaining petitions from fictitious applicants, increased by Congress, will not bear a continuance of the But it was sufficient if the petition was vouched for, and burden. Should captures be made during the year, re- the style in which it was worded was unexceptionable. course must be had to another appropriation, to enable Mr. SMITH, of South Carolina, in commenting on the the Department to comply with the law. For the same memorial, observed, that it was before the Senate without reason, the reward of ten dollars, offered by him for each any solid form. It was a mere name, and no person was negro delivered, is not approved. It was not prudent, designated by it, to whom an appropri:tion might be nor authorized by his instructions from the Government.” given, should Congress see fit to make it. It was the
I will not stop to comment on the nice distinction here duty of Congress to know who to refer to, and who was taken, which adopts for the Government all the lawful responsible : but as, in this matter, no one was known, acts of Dr. Ashmun, and throws all the rest on the Colo- and as privileges or donations could not be granted to a nization Society. But, I must remark, that the Society mere name, he thought the Senate could not act upon seems very willing to take all these on themselves : for, at the memorial. In continuance, he gave a slight glance at the celebrated meeting, at which this very petition had the history of the origin and the progress of the Society, its birth, the thanks of the Society were unanimously and alluded to the proceedings at the late meeting in the given to Dr. Ashmun, for the "faithfulness, zeal, and Representatives' Hall, at which, he remarked, it had been * ability, with which he has fulfilled his duties as Agent of stated that the object of the Society was, to transport, an" the Society;" and that, too, with a full knowledge of all nually, to Africa, 6,600 free blacks, which, it was said, the facts which I have noticed.
would cost 1,040,000 dollars ; and this was to be given, And now the question arises, is it proper for the Senate although, but a few days since, they could hardly afford even to refer to a Committee, or to entertain, for a mo- to reduce a few hundred thousand dollars on the Salt tax. ment, this petition, embracing objects so important and But he saw another object in all this, which must be con. so questionable, and coming here at a period, and under nected with the colonization of the free blacks, and which circumstances, which forbid a calm and deliberate exami- he did not wish to touch upon. The free blacks, he nation of the subject? For my own part, I confess the thought, would be better where they were, than to send claims set up in the petition are such, that I should at no them to Africa, and he was opposed to the scheme. time be willing even to consider them. The mere state. There was more designed by this application, than appear. ment of them is enough for me. But, if gentlemen think ed on the face of it. It was an entering wedge, which otherwise if they should think that the proposition of he should oppose. He, therefore, moved that the meapplying the national funds to transporting colored peo. morial be laid on the table. ple abroad, and the establishment of a Colony in Africa, The CHAIR then observed, that it would refer the is worthy of consideration, still I would submit, that they Senate to a rule by which discussion was prohibited on a ought not to be received and considered at this time. The question to be decided by the Chair. It ought to have sessior has nearly passed away-but two weeks more re been mentioned before. The decision of the Chair was, main. This subject cannot be finally acted on. And why, that no petition could be acted upon unless signed, or therefore, should we embarrass ourselves, create need- written in the presence of the member, or unless the less excitement, and waste the precious time of this handwriting was averred by the member presenting it. House, on an odious and most unprofitable subject ? Such was the rule in Jefferson's Manual. hope, sir, the petition will be laid on the table, and I shall Mr. CHAMBERS said he could not take it upon him. make you that motion as soon as gentlemen, who may self to aver it; and (after some further conversation on desire to explain their views, shall have been heard. the subject)
Mr. CHANDLER inquired by whom the memorial was The papers were, for the present, withdrawn.
FEB. 7, 1827.)
The Judiciary.--Claims for Slaves.
ner; whether the United States shall take the money, The bill further to amend the act establishing the Judi. shall invest it in four per cent. stock ? Of course, if the
and the claimants four per cent for the use of it, or ciary of the United States, passed in 1789, was read a claimants are not hereafter willing to take the stock, the third time. Mr. ROWAN said, that he understood this bill was to United States will pay them the money. It will not force
them to take depreciated stock. give the Government power to become assignees, in cer. fain cases, and to commence certain suits. He thought United States the parties in a petty stock operation The
Mr. SMITH, of Maryland, had no idea of making the the jurisdiction of the United States was sufficiently large bill was to give the claimants power to come to the Treaat present. Why, then, should it be enlarged? It was, to be sure, a small matter, but it extended the jurisdiction sury and claim their dividends, and four per cent. upon of the United States, and, he thought, placed Govern them. Why was the Government to be involved in this
trouble? It was never done to mercantile claimants, who ment in an inappropriate posture-that of an assignee, or trafficker in small matters ; giving a power which ap-vernment did not want to take this money as a loan ; why,
never received the interest on their claims. The Go. peared to him inexpedient to be given, and extending, unnecessarily, the power of the courts of the United then, was this provision made, and why was it proposed States.
to make a very difficult matter of one that was clear in Mr. BERRIEN, as the gentleman from the Judiciary strike ont the last section of the bill
itself? To remove this difficulty, he would move to Committee who reported that bill (Mr. HOLMES) was not present, moved to lay the bill on the table ; which was the money, it would be perfectly proper to retain it in
Mr. SILSBEE thought, if the United States wanted carried.
the Treasury, and pay an interest on it of four per cent. ; CLAIMS FOR SLAVES.
but, should the Secretary of the Treasury invest the moOn motion of Mr. BERRIEN, the bill to provide for ney in stock, and, when called for, that stock should be the settlement of claims under the first article of the at a discount, would it not be productive of much diffi. Treaty of Ghent, was taken up, and having been read culty and discontent? second time, its objects and details were briefly explained Mr. BERRIEN said that the gentleman who made the by Mr. BERRE N.
motion was mistaken. He had probably not read the Some conversation took place between Messrs. SAN. bill. He seemed to suppose that the bill enforced upon FORD and BERRIEN, on the details of the bill, when the United States the alternative of either taking the an amendment offered by Mr. B., to fix the limits of the money, and giving four per cent. interest, or of investing term of the commission to the close of the next session it in four
cent. stock. But it was not so. On the of Congress, was adopted.
contrary, it left to the Secretary of the Treasury the Mr. CHANDLER inquired what was the object of the choice of doing the one or the other, or neither, as he provision in the 10th section, in relation to the investment should see fit. Did the United States want the money? of the fund in four per cent. stock.
Then take it, and pay the four per cent. If they did not Mr. HOLMES observed that, as it would be a consider- want it, then invest it in some stock that shall yield four able period before the sum would be paid to the claim- per cent., and let the claimants have the benefit of it. ants, it was considered desirous that the money should The only object of this provision was, to make, if possinot lie unproductive.
ble, some exertion of the powers of Congress for the Mr. CHAMBERS observed that the benefit would be benefit of these claimants, and, if possible, to the advanderived by the claimants, who would receive their claims tage of the United States. Why should the discretionawith interest.
ry power be taken from the bill in which it was inserted Mr. KING objected to the power given to the Secreta- for the benefit of the claimarts, who had been long enough ry of the Treasury, to invest the money in stock, as, deprived of their property, and ought to be given every when the claimants came and demanded their respective advantage possible? He would repeat, that it was not amounts, where would the money be? It would be in obligatory upon the t'nited States to follow either of the vested : and would they be satisfied to receive stock? The courses pointed out. When the last section of this bill stock might at that time be depreciated ; and, if they took was framed, he [Mr. B.] was desirous to ensure thislittle it, instead of being gainers, they might lose by the invest- boon to the claimants, in addition to the share they would ment. He was fearful that the money of the claimants receive on the division of the fund allotted for their pay. would be swallowed up by the complicated means of ment. If the Senate approved of it, he should be transacting the business. He should prefer the simple gratified. process to all this machinery; and he was afraid that three Mr. SMITH, of South Carolina, thought the 10th secCommissioners, with salaries of three thousand dollars, tion ought to be stricken out. The United States did not and a Secretary and Clerk, would rather impede than want to loan the money : part of it had been already advance the interests of the claimants.
paid, and he had understood that the United States had Mr. HOLMES said he had objected, like the gentleman commuted with the United States' Bank for eleven per from Alabama, to the Board of Commissioners. But that cent. Why should this be? Why not let the Commis. gentleman proposed no other method; and how then sioners give the interest and profit on this sum, due the should they come at any improved mode? The money claimants, to them? Why should not the Commissioners must be distributed, and it was necessary that some body give to each claimant a draft on each Branch Bank of the should be charged with that duty. The claimants them- State in which he resides, for the principal and interest in selves could not do it; and it was plain that somebody full, from the time the money was placed in the hands of Dust be appointed. It had been proposed in the com- the United States ? The gentleman from Georgia had mittee, to appoint but onc Commissioner ; but the ques- stated that the provision was not imperative; and that the tion arose, whether the claimants would be satisfied with course to be taken was discretionary. But, he believed, the decisions of one Commissioner ; it was thought that that, if the provision was retained, the claimants would they would not, and it was deemed better to appoint three, receive their shares in stock, and whether it was depreto serve for two years. It was now pretty well ascertain- ciated or not, was a chance which they would risk. Some ed that the duties of the Commission would last about two immediate application ought to be made, as the claimants years; and the question is, whether the money due these' had lain out of their money ten years, and it seemed to claimants, and now in the Bank of the United States, him high time they should receive their money. shall lie idle, or shall be employed in a productive man- | Mr. JOHNSTON, of Louisiana, commented at some