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States upon railroads constructed by private corporations under the authority of the several States. The reliance which the General Government can place on those roads as a means of carrying on its operations, and the principles on which the use of them is to be obtained, cannot too soon be considered and settled. Already does the spirit of monopoly begin to exhibit its natural propensities, in attempts to exact from the public, for services which it supposes cannot be obtained on other terms, the most extravagant compensation. If these claims be persisted in, the question may arise, whether a combination of citizens, acting under charters of incorporation from the States, can, by a direct refusal, or the demand of an exorbitant price, exclude the United States from the use of the established channels of communication between the different sections of the country ; and whether the United States cannot, without transcending their constitutional powers, secure to the Post Office Department the use of those roads, by an act of Congress, which shall provide within itself some equitable mode of adjusting the amount of compensation. To obviate, if possible, the necessity of considering this question, it is suggested whether it be not expedient to fix by law, the amounts which shall be offered to railroad companies for the conveyarce of the mails, graduated according to their average weight, to be ascertained and declared by the Postmaster General. It is probable that a liberal proposition of that scrt would be accepted.
In connection with these provisions in relation to the Post Office Department, I must also invite your attention to the painsul excitement produced in the South, by attempts to circulate through the mails inflammatory appeals addressed to the passions of the slaves, in prints, and in various sorts of publications, calculated to stimulate them to insurrection, and to produce all the horrors of a servile war
There is, doubtless, no respectable portion of our countrymen who can be so far misled as to ieel any other sentiment than that of indignant regret at conduct so destructive of the harmony and peace of the country, and so repugnant to the principles of our national compact, and to the dictates of humanity and religion. Our happiness and prosperity essentially depend upon peace within our borders—and peace depends upon the maintenance, in good faith, of those compromises of the constitution upon which the Union is founded. It is fortunate for the country that the good sense, the generous feeling, and the deep-rooted attachment of the people of the nonslaveholding States to the Union, and to their fellow-citizens of the same blocd in the South, have given so strong and impressivea tone to the sentimentsentertained against the proceedings of the misguided persons who have engaged in these unconstitutional and wicked attempts, and especially against the emissaries from foreign parts who have dared to interfere in this matter, as to authorize the hope, that those attempts will no longer be persisted in. But if these expressions of the public will shall not be sufficient to effect so desirable a result, not a doubt can be entertained, that the non-slaveholding States, so far from countenancing the slightest interference with the constitutional rights of the South, will be prompt to exercise their authority in suppressing, so far as in them lies, whatever is calculated to produce this evil.
In leaving the care of other branches of this interesting subject to the State authorities, to whom they properly belong, it is nevertheless proper for Congress to take such measures as will prevent the Post Office Department, which was destined to foster an amicable intercourse and correspond
ence between all the members of the Confederacy, from being used as an instrument of an opposite character. The General Government, to which the great trust is confided, of preserving inviolate the relations created among the States by the constitution, is especially bound to avoid in its own action, any thing that may disturb them. I would, therefore, call the special atteniion of Congress to the subject, and respectfully suggest the propriety of passins such a law as will prohibit, under severe penalties, the circulation in the Southern States, through the mail, of incendiary publications intended to instigate the slaves to insurrection.
I felt it to be my duty in the first message which Icommunicated to Congress, to urge upon its attention the propriety of Amending that part of the Constitution which provides for the election of the President and the Vice President of the United States. The leading object which I had in view was the adoption of some new provision, which would secure to the People the performance of this high duty, without any intermediate agency. In my annual communications since, I have enforced the same views, from a sincere conviction that the best interests of the country would be promoted by their adoption. If the subject were an ordinary one, I should have regarded the failure of Congress to act upon it, as an indication of their judgrent, that the disadvantages which belong to the present system were not so great as those which would result from any attainable substitute that had been submitted to their consideration. Recollecting, however, that propositions to introduce a new feature in our fundamental laws cannot be too patiently examined, and ought not to be received with favor, until the great body of the people are thoroughly impressed with their necessity and Talue, as a remedy for real evils, I feel that in renewing the recommendation I have heretofore made on this subject, I am not transcending the bounds of a just deference to the sense of Congress, or to the disposition of the people. However much we may differ in the choice of the measures which should guide the administration of the Government, there can be but little doubt in the minds of those who are really friendly to the republican features of our system, that one of its most important securities consists in the separation of the Legislative and Executive powers, at the same time that each is held responsible to the great source of authority, which is acknowledged to be supreme, in the will of the People constitutionally expressed. My reflection and experience satisfy me, that the framers of the Constitution, although they were anxious to mark this feature as a settled and fixed principle in the structure of the Government, did not adopt all the precautions that were necessary to secure its practical observance, and that we cunnot be said to have carried into complete effect their intentions until the erils which arise from this organic defect are remedied.
Considering the great extent of our Confederacy, the rapid increase of its population, and the diversity of their interests and pursuits, it cannot be disquised that the contingency by which one branch of the Legislature is to form itself into an electoral college, cannot become one of ordinary occurrence, without producing incalculable mischief. What was intended as the medicine of the constitution in extreme cases, cannot be frequently used without changing its character, and, sooner or later, producing incurable disorder.
Erery election by the House of Representatives is calculated to lessen the force of that security which is derived from the distinct and separate
character of the Legislative and Executive functions, and while it exposes each to temptations adverse to their efficiency, as organs of the constitution and laws, its tendency will be to unite both in resisting the will of the People, and thus give a direction to the Government anti-republican and dangerous. All history tells us that a free people should be watchful of delegated power, and should never acquiesce in a practice which will diminish their control over it. This obligation, so universal in its application to all the principles of a republic, is peculiarly so in ours, where the formation of parties founded on sectional interests, is so much fostered by the extent of our territory. These interests, represented by candidates for the Presidency, are constantly prone, in the zeal of party and selfish objects, to generate influences unmindful of the general good, and forgetful of the restraints which the great body of the People would enforce, if they were, in no contingency, to lose the right of expressing their will. The experience of our country, from the formation of the Government to the present day, demonstrates that the People cannot too soon adopt some stronger safeguard for their right to elect the highest officers known to the Constitution, than is contained in that sacred instrument as it now stands.
It is my duty to call the particular attention of Congress to the present condition of the District of Columbia. From whatever cause the great depression has arisen which now exists in the pecuniary concerns of this District, it is proper that its situation should be fully understood, and such relief or remedies provided as are consistent with the powers of Congress. I earnestly recommend the extension of every political right to the citizens of the District which their true interests require, and which does not conflict with the provisions of the constitution. It is believed that the laws for the government of the District require revisal and amendment, and that much good may be done by modifying the penal code, so as to give umiformity to its provisions.
Your attention is also invited to the defects which exist in the Judicial system of the United States. As at present organized, the States of the Union derive unequal advantages from the Federal Judiciary, which have been so often pointed out that I deem it unnecessary to repeat them here. It is hoped that the present Congress will extend to all the States that equality in respect to the benefits of the laws of the Union which can only be secured by the uniformity and efficiency of the Judicial system.
With these observations on the topics of general interest wlich are deemed worthy of your consideration, I leave them to your care, trusting that the legislative measures they call for will be met as the wants and the best interests of our beloved country demand.
ANDREW JACKSON. WASHINGTON, December 7, 1835.
The reading of the message having been concluded,
On motion of Mr. Beardsley, it was Resolved, That the message of the President of the United States be committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, that ten thousand copies thereof, with the documents accompanying the same, be printed for the use of the members of the House.
A motion was subsequently made by Mr. Wise, to reconsider the vote adopting this resolution, for the purpose of increasing the number of copies
to be printed of the message and documents; which motion to reconsider was agreed to.
Mr. Wise then moved that 15,000 copies of said message and the accompanying documents be printed; wheretipon
Mr. Beardsley modified his said resolution to read as follows:
Resored, That the Message of the President of the United States be committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, that 15,000 copies thereof, with the documents accompanying the same, be printed ; and also, that 5,000 copies of said message without the documents be also printed for the use of the members of the House.
In this form, the resolution was adopted by the House.
I. A letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, transmitting his annual repirt on the state of the finances; which report was ordered to lie on the table.
Ordered, That fifteen thousand copies thereof be printed for the use of the members.
II. A letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, transmitting the annual report of the Commissioner of the General Land Office, referred to in the annual report of the Secretary on the state of the finances; which report from the Commissioner, was ordered to lie on the table.
III. A letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, transmitting the esti mates of the appropriations proposed for the service, for the year 1836, arounting to seventeen millions, five hundred and fifteen thousand, nine hundred and thirty-three dollars and twenty-seven cents; which letter and estinates were ordered to lie on the table.
IV. A letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, transmitting a printed copy of the accounts of the receipts and expenditures of the United States for the year 1834, prepared in obedience to the order of the House of Representatives of December 30, 1791, from which it appears that the receipts for the year amounted to $33,494,840 86, and that the expenditures amounted to $ 24,601,982 44; leaving a balance in the Treasury on the 31st of December, 1834, of $8,892,858 42; accompanying said letter is also a summary statement of the receipts and expenditures for the three first quarters of the year 1835; which letter and accounts were laid on the table.
A message from the Senate, by Mr. Lowrie, their Secretary.
Mr. Speaker: I am directed to inform the House of Representatives, that the Hon. Nathan Smith, a Senator of the United States from the State of Connecticut, died, at his lodgings in this city, on the 6th instant; and that his funeral will take place to-morrow (the 9th) at 12 o'clock; and then he withdrew. And thereupon, it was
On motion of Mr. Toucey. Resolved, unanimously, That this House will attend the funeral of the Hon. Nathan Smith, late a member of the Senate, from the State of Connecticut, to-morrow at 12 o'clock; and as a testimony of respect for the memory of the deceased, will go into mourning and wear crape for thirty days.
And then, as a further mark of respect for the memory of the deceased,
The House, on motion of Mr. Judson, adjourned until to-morrow, 12 o'clock meridian.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9, 1835.
Another member, to wit: from North Carolina, Jesse A. Eynum, appeared, was sworn to support the constitution of the United States, and took his seat.
And then, for the purpose of attending the funeral of the Hon. Nathan Smith, deceased, late a Senator of the United States, from the State of Connecticut,
The House adjourned until to-morrow, 12 o'clock meridian.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 1835. On motion of Mr. Briggs, Ordered, That when the House shall adjourn to-day, it will adjourn to meet on Monday next.
Several messages in writing were received from the President of the United States, by Mr. Donelson, his private Secretary, which were dedivered in at the Speaker's table.
The House proceeded to the consideration of the following resolution submitted by Mr. Mann, of New York, on the Sth instant:
Resolved, That the Rules and Orders established by the late House of Representatives, for the twenty-third Congress, be adopted for the government of this House, until otherwise ordered.
A motion was made by Mr. Gillet; that, previous to the decision on the motion to adopt the said rules, they be amended by inserting in the 55th rule, the following, viz:
“There shall be a standing committee on the militia, whose duty it shall be to take into consideration, and report on, all subjects connected with the organizing, arming and diciplining the militia of the United States."
This proposition was agreed to by the House.
A motion was then made by Mr. John Quincy Adams; that the said Rules be further amended, by inserting after the 57th Rule, the following:
" At every session of Congress, commencing on the first Monday of December, it shall be the duty of the Committee of Ways and Means, within thirty days after their appointment, to report the general annual appropriation bills, for the civil and diplomatic expenses of Government, for the
rmy, the Navy, and for the Indian Department, and Indian annuities; or in failure thereof, the reasons of such failure.
" And general appropriation bills shall be in order in preference to any other bills of a public nature, unless otherwise ordered by a majority of the House."
And pending the question on this motion,
That the Rules and Orders of the House of Representatives of the twenty-third Congress, as modified in the 55th Rule by the present House, be referred to a select committee, to consider and report thereon, whether any amendment be necessary, and until the report of said committee be acted upon definitely by the House, the Rules and Orders of the last House, as modified by the present House, shall be the Rules and Orders of this House.
Mr. Mann's motion taking precedence of the amendment moved by Mr. Adams,