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And a majority of the whole number of Members of the House being present,
The House proceeded by ballot to the election of a Speaker, and, upon an examination of the ballots, it appeared that HENRY CLAY, one of the Representatives from the state of Kentucky, was duly elected: Whereupon,
Mr. Clay was conducted to the Speaker's chair, from whence he made his acknowledgments to the House, in the words following:
GENTLEMEN: I pray you to accept my most respectful thanks for the honor which you have just conferred on me. The station of Speaker of this House bas been always justly considered as one of great respectability and dignity, as well as of high responsibility. But, at the present period, when we are assembled under a new cen. sus, with our number considerably enlarged, and the highest interests of a greatly augmented population committed to our charge, it has acquired much additional importance, which requires from the favored object of your selection his most grateful acknowledgments and the expression of the profoundest sensibility. The principles which should regulate the execution of the duties of the incumbent of the chair are not difficult to comprehend, although their application to particular instances is often extremely delicate and perplexing. They enjoin promptitude and impartiality in deciding the various questions of order as they arise; firmness and dignity in his deportment towards the House; patience, good temper, and courtesy, towards the indi. vidual members; and the best arrangement and distribution of the talent of the House, in its numerous subdivisions, for the despatch of the public business, and the fair ex. hibition of every subject presented for consideration. They especially require of him in those moments of agitation from wbich*no deliberative assembly is always en. tirely exempt, to remain cool and unshaken amidst all the storms of debate, carefully guarding the preservation of the permanent laws and rules of the House from being sacrificed to temporary passions, prejudices, or interests. It is on such occasions as these, too, that the chair stands most in need of your support, of your candor, of your liberality, of your unbiassed judgment. I am not so presumptuous, gentlemen, as to promise you that I shall perform the arduous duties of which I have presented an imperfect sketch. All I dare say, is, that I will exert an anxious, faithful, and unremitting endeavor to fulfil the expectations by which I have been so much honored. And may we not indulge the hope, that, with the blessing of Divine Providence, all our deliberations and all our proceedings may tend to sustain the dignity of the House, to maintain the honor and character of the country, and to advance the public welfare and happiness?
The oath to support the Constitution of the United States, as prescribed by the act, entitled “ An act to regulate the time and manner of administering certain oaths," was then administered to the Speaker, by Mr. Newton, one of the Representatives from Virginia; and the same oath (or affirmation) was then administered, by the Speaker, to all the other members present.
A motion was then made by Mr. Campbell, of Ohio, that Matthew St. Clair Clarke, Clerk to the late House of Representatives, be appointed Clerk to this House;
And the question thereon being taken, It passed in the affirmative, unanimously. The oath to support the Constitution of the United States, together with the oath of office, as prescribed by the act aforesaid, were then administered to the Clerk, by the Speaker.
On motion of Mr. Newton, it was Resolved, unanimously, That Thomas Dunn be appointed sergeant-atarms: Benjamin Burch, doorkeeper; and John Oswald Dunn. assistant doorkeeper to this House; and that they, severally, give their attendance accordingly.
Henry W. Conway appeared, produced his credentials, and took his seat, as the delegate from the territory of Arkansas; the oath to support the Constitution of the United States, being first administered to him by the Speaker.
On motion of Mr. Tomlinson, it was Ordered, That a message be sent to the Senate, to inform them that a quorum, of this House have assembled, and have elected' HENRY CLAY their Speaker, and that this House is now ready to proceed to business; and that the Clerk do go with said message.
On motion of Mr. Newton, Ordered, That the daily hour to which the House shall stand adjourned, be twelve o'clock in the forenoon, until otherwise ordered.
On motion of Mr. Little,
Resolved, That the rules and orders established by the late House of Representatives, be deemed, and taken to be, the rules and orders of proceeding to be observed in this House, until a revision or alteration of the same shall have taken place.
On motion of Mr. Newton, Resolved, That a committee be appointed, on the part of this House, to join such committee as have been, or may be, appointed on the part of the Senate, to wait on the President of the United States, and inform him that a quorum of the two Houses have assembled, and are ready to receive any communications he may be pleased to make to them.
Ordered, That Mr. Newton and Mr. Van Rensselaer be the committee on the part of this House; and that the Clerk do acquaint the Senate therewith.
On motion of Mr. Allen, of Massachusetts, Resolved, That the Clerk be directed to cause the members to be furnished with such newspapers as they, respectively, may elect; the expense of each member not to exceed the price of three daily papers per annum.
A message from the Senate, by Mr. Cutts, their Secretary:
Mr. Speaker: I am directed to inform this House, that a quorum of the Senate have assembled, and are ready to proceed to business. They have concurred in the resolution for the appointment of a joint committee to wait on the President of the United States, and inform him that a quorum of the two Houses have assembled, and are ready to receive any communications he may be pleased to make to them; and have appointed a committee on their part. And then he withdrew.
And the House adjourned.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 1823.
Several other Members, to wit: from Pennsylvania, Philip S. Markley and Andrew Stewart; from Maryland, Raphael Neale, John S. Spence, and Henry R. Warfield; from Virginia, John Randolph; from North Carolina, Hutchins G. Burton and Thomas H. Hall; from South Carolina, John Carter and Andrew R. Govan; from Ohio, Thomas R. Ross; and, from Indiana, Jonathan Jennings and William Prince, appeared, produced their credentials, and took their seats; the oath to support the Constitution of the United States, being first administered to them.
Mr. Newton, from the joint committee appointed yesterday to wait on the President of the United States, and to inform him that a quorum of the two Houses of Congress have assembled, and are ready to receive any communications he may be pleased to make to them, reported, that the committee had performed the duties of their appointment, and that the President answered, that he would make a communication, in writing, to the two Houses, this day.
The Speaker laid before the House a letter from the Secretary of War, transmitting a statement, comprising the names of the persons whose accounts have been settled agreeably to the act of the first of March last, entitled “ An act in addition to the act, entitled • An act for the prompt settlement of public accounts;" which letter and statement were ordered to lie on the table.
The Speaker laid before the House another letter from the Secretary of War, transmitting a statement, showing the number of Revolutionary Pensioners on the rolls of the several states and territories of the United States, made in conformity to a resolution of the House of Representatives, of the first of March last; which were ordered to lie on the table.
The Speaker laid before the House a letter from the Clerk, covering four statements, prepared in obedience to the resolution of Congress, of the first of March last, "requiring from the Secretary of the Senate, and Clerk of the House of Representatives, an annual statement of the expenditures from the contingent fund of the two Houses;" which letter and statements were ordered to lie on the table.
A message from the Senate, by Mr. Cutts, their Secretary:
Mr. Speaker: The Senate have passed a resolution authorizing the appointment of a joint Committee for Enrolled Bills, and have appointed Mr. Knight of the said committee on their part. They have also passed a resolution authorizing the appointment of two Chaplains, of different denominations, during the present session, one by each House, who shall interchange weekly; in which resolutions the Senate ask the concurrence of this House. And then he withdrew.
The said resolutions were read, and respectively concurred in by the House; and
Mr. Foot, of Connecticut, and Mr. Leftwich, were appointed of the Committee on Enrolled Bills, on the part of this House. Ordered, That the Clerk do acquaint the Senate therewith.
On motion of Mr. Lathrop, it was Ordered, That this House will, on Monday next, the 8th instant, proceed to the appointment of a Chaplain to Congress on their part.
A message in writing was then received from the President of the United States, by Mr. Everett, his Secretary, which was read, and is as follows: Fellow-citizens of the Senate
and House of Representatives: Many important subjects will claim your attention during the present session, of which I shall endeavor to give, in aid of your deliberations, a just idea in this communication. I undertake this duty with diffidence, from the vast extent of the interests on which I have to treat, and of their great importance to every portion of our Union. I enter on it with zeal, from a thorough conviction that there never was & period, since the establishment of our Revolution, when, regarding the condition of the civilized world, and its bearing on us, there was greater necessity for devotion in the public servants to their respective duties, or for virtue, patriotism, and union, in our constituents.
Meeting in you a new Congress, I deem it proper to present this view of public affairs in greater detail than might otherwise be neces
sary. I do it, however, with peculiar satisfaction, from a knowledge that, in this respect, I shall comply more fully with the sound princi. ples of our government. The people being with us exclusively the sovereign, it is indispensable that full information be laid before them on all important subjects, to enable them to exercise that high power with complete effect. If kept in the dark, they must be incompetent to it. We are all liable to error, and those who are engaged in the manage ment of public affairs are more subject to excitement, and to be led astray by their particular interests and passions, than the great body of our constituents, who, being at home, in the pursuit of their ordinary avocations, are calm but deeply interested spectators of events, and of the conduct of those who are parties to them. To the people, every department of the government, and every individual in each, are responsible, and the more full their information, the better they can judge of the wisdom of the policy pursued, and of the conduct of each in regard to it. From their dispassionate judgment, much aid may always be obtained, while their approbation will form the greatest incentive, and most gratifying reward, for virtuous actions, and the dread of their censure the best security against the abuse of their confidence. Their interests, in all vital questions, are the same, and the bond by sentiment, as well as by interest, will be proportionably strengthened as they are better informed of the real state of public affairs, especially in difficult conjunctures. It is by such knowledge that local prejudices and jealousies are surmounted, and that a national policy, extending its fostering care and protection to all the great interests of our Union, is formed and steadily adhered to.
A precise knowledge of our relations with foreign powers, as respects our negotiations and transactions with each,
is thought to be particularly necessary. Equally necessary is it, that we should form a just estimate of our resources, revenue,
kind of improvement connected with the national prosperity and public defence. It is by rendering justice to other nations, that we may expect it from them. It is by our ability to resent injuries, and redress wrongs, that we may avoid them.
The Commissioners under the fifth article of the treaty of Ghent, having disagreed in their opinions respecting that portion of the boundary between the territories of the United States and of Great Britain, the establishment of which had been submitted to them, have made their respective reports, in compliance with that article, that the same might be referred to the decision of a friendly power. It being manifest, however, that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for any power to perform that office, without great delay and much inconve. nience to itself, a proposal has been made by this government, and acceded to by that of Great Britain, to endeavor to establish that boundary by amicable negotiation. It appearing, from long experience, that no satisfactory arrangement could be formed of the commercial intercourse between the United States and the British colonies in this hemisphere, by legislative acts, while each party pursued its own course, without agreement or concert with the other, a proposal