« AnteriorContinuar »
Ordered, That the said resolution be referred to the consideration of a Committee of the Whole this day.
H. OF R.
nine; which sum shall be deducted from his proportion collected on articles of the growth, produce, or manuof the prize money, which may be procured from the facture, of the United States; and, wherever any AmerDanish Government in satisfaction of the claim afore-ican articles have been returned from foreign countries, said. the duty is believed to have been invariably remitted, or rather none has ever been demanded. Codfish, taken by American fishermen, in American vessels, are not chargeable with duty, whether imported in the vesThe House accordingly resolved itself into the sel in which they were caught, or on any other Amerisaid Committee, and after some time spent there- can bottom; surely, then, oil of the American fisheries in, the Committee rose and reported to the House must be entitled to a similar exemption from duty. The committee are of opinion that Congress ought to their agreement to the same. Whereupon, Resolved, That this House do agree with the charged to them, without the authority of law to warrelieve the petitioners from the payment of the duty Committee of the whole House in their agree-rant it; and they beg leave to submit the following ment to the said resolution.
Ordered, That a bill, or bills, be brought in pursuant thereto; and that the Committee of Claims do prepare and bring in the same.
A message from the Senate informed the House that the Senate have passed a resolution appointing a committee, jointly, with a committee to be appointed on the part of the House of Representatives, for the purposes expressed in the "Act for the further support of a Library."
Resolved, That the prayer of the petitioner is rea-.. sonable, and ought to be granted.
The report was referred to the Committee of the Whole to-morrow.
THURSDAY, February 27.
The SPEAKER laid before the House a letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, transmitting The House resolved itself into a Committee of a report of the Commissioners for the district the Whole on the bill sent from the Senate, enti-east of Pearl river, of British grants for lands lytled "An act to regulate the laying out and making in the said district, pursuant to the provisions ing a road from Cumberland, in the State of of the seventh section of the act, entitled "An act Maryland to the State of Ohio." The bill was regulating the grants of land, and providing for reported with several amendments thereto.
REMISSION OF DUTIES.
Mr. CROWNINSHIELD, from the Committee of Commerce and Manufactures, having considered the petition of Tristram Hussey, of the island of Nantucket, in the State of Massachusetts, made the following report:
The petitioner, with Edward Cary, jun., and others, merchants, of Nantucket, were, and still are, the owners of the ship Union. This vessel has been, for some time past, employed in the whaling business, with an American master and crew, regularly documented as
the disposal of the lands of the United States south of the State of Tennessee;" which were read, and ordered to be referred to the Committee on the Public Lands.
On motion, it was
consider the expediency of amending the law relResolved, That a committee be appointed to the useful arts; and to report thereon by bill, or ative to patents for inventions or discoveries in otherwise.
Ordered, That Messrs. DANA, FISK, SPALDING, mittee pursuant to the said resolution. ALEXANDER, and SMILIE, be appointed a com
A petition of sundry inhabitants of the Territory of Lousiana was presented to the House and. read, praying that such of them as had families, or were actual inhabitants of the said Territory, on or before the 20th of December, 1803, may have granted to them, respectively, a tract of land of one mile square, together with the usual allowance granted to the wife and family of each settler, according to the usages and customs heretofore established in the said Territory.
a vessel of the United States. In the year 1801, on the passage to the Brazils, and before they arrived at the Cape de Verd Islands, they obtained eight casks of spermaceti oil, and sent the same to New York in an American vessel. The collector charged seventy-two dollars and fifteen cents duty on the oil, notwithstanding it was the produce of American fisheries. Upon a second voyage in the same ship, in the following year, they procured twenty-seven casks of oil, from whales taken on the passage, prior to passing the Cape de Verd Islands, and shipped the same also in an American bottom to New York, where the collector again Also, a petition of sundry inhabitants of the demanded. a duty on its importation, and they were district of Vincennes, in the Indiana Territory, obliged to pay a further sum of three hundred and praying, for the reasons therein set forth, that furtwenty-three dollars and twenty-five cents for the du-ther time may be allowed to them for filing noties. In both instances, the oil was not landed at any tices, and making proofs of claims to lands within foreign port. It was actually taken from the ship the said district. Union, and put on board American vessels; and the proof exhibited to the committee is incontestable that it was the produce of the American whale fishery. The collector of New York might, with equal propriety, have charged a duty on the whole cargo of oil imported in the Union, had she entered at that port, as in the two cases under consideration. It appears that American oil cannot be subject to any duty what ever. There is no law known to the committee that seems to authorize a similar charge. No duty can be
Ordered, That the said petitions be severally referred to the Committee on the Public Lands.
Mr. CROWNINSHIELD, from the Committee of Commerce and Manufactures, who were directed by a resolution of the House, of the fifth instant,
to inquire into the expediency of authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to cause a survey to be made of the shoals of Cape Hatteras, Cape Lookout, and the Frying Pans," made a report
H. OF R.
Importation of Slaves-Journals of Congress.
thereon; which was read, and ordered to lie on the tale.
Mr. CROWINSHIELD, from the same committee, presented a bill directing the Secretary of the Treasury to cause the coast of North Carolina, between Cape Hatteras and Cape Fear, to be surveved; which was read twice and committed to a Committee of the Whole on Monday next.
An engrossed bill to continue in force an act, entitled "An act to authorize the Secretary of War to issue military land warrants, and for other purposes," was read the third time, and passed.
Mr. G W. CAMPBELL, from the committee to whom were referred, on the tenth of December last, the petition of the Legislative Council of the Territory of Orleans; and, on the third ultimo, a memorial of the House of Representatives of the said Territory, made a report thereon, in part, which was read, and ordered to be referr d to a Committee of the Whole House on Monday next. The House proceeded to consider the resolution of the Senate appointing a committee, jointly with a committee to be appointed on the part of the House of Representatives, for the purposes expressed in the "act for the further support of a library:" Whereupon
Resolved. That this House doth agree to the said resolution, and that Mr. JOSEPH CLAY, Mr. T. M. RANDOLPH, and Mr. DANA, be appointed a committee on their part.
The House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on the bill removing the limitation of the right of suffrage in the Mississippi Territory, and empowering the Legislature thereof to increase the number of Representatives in the Gen eral Assembly by a given ratio to that of electors; and, after some time spent therein, the Committee rose, and had leave to sit again.
IMPORTATION OF SLAVES.
An engrossed bill for imposing a tax of ten dollars on all slaves hereafter imported into the United States, was read the third time.
A motion was made, and the question being put, that the farther consideration of the said bill be postponed indefinitely, it passed in the negative-yeas 42, nays 69, as follows:
YEAS-Willis Alston, jr., George M. Bedinger, Silas Betton, Phanuel Bishop, William Blackledge, Thomas Blount, Willliam Butler, John Campbell, Levi Casey, Martin Chittenden, Christopher Clark. Matthew Clay, Jacob Crowninshield, Samuel W. Dana, John Davenport, jr.. Elias Earle, Peter Early, James Elliot, Caleb Ellis, Edwin Gray, John G. Jackson, Thomas Kenan, Duncan MacFarland, Robert Marion, Josiah Masters, William McCreery, David Meriwether, Thomas Moore, Gurdon S. Mumford, Timothy Pitkin, jr., John Randolph, John Rhea of Tennessee, Thomas Sandford, John C. Smith, Thomas Spalding, William Stedman, Samuel Tenney, Thomas W. Thompson, David R. Williams, Richard Winn, and Thomas Wynns.
Charles Goldsborough, Peterson Goodwyn, Andrew
Ordered, That the said bill be recommitted to Mr. SLOAN. Mr. Fisk. Mr. EPPES, Mr. QUINCY, Mr. J. C. SMITH, Mr. J. CLAY, and Mr. MARION. PRIZE MONEY.
A bill for the relief of Peter Landais was read a first, second. and third time, and passed. The petitioner claimed prize money due him in 1799; his clain was upward of $12,000.
Mr. SMITH, who reported the bill, stated that he believed the petitioner at present wished but a part of the sum due him; and he would thank any gentleman to name a sum with which to fill the blank.
Mr. NICHOLSON gave a very affecting statement of the petitioner's situation, and moved to fill the blank with $6,000. It was so filled without a dissentient voice.
JOURNALS OF CONGRESS.
Mr. CLAY called for the resolution to purchase one hundred and thirty sets of Folwell's edition of the Journals of Congress under the Confederation.
Mr. JACKSON.-I do not perceive that these Journals are more valuable, in a political view, or more necessary for members of Congress, than many other works that could be mentioned. I see not why the laws of Congress, or the laws of nations, highly valuable and necessary treatises, should not claim a place in point of utility as soon as the Journals of the Old Congress. I am opposed to the resolution, not on account of the sum. but from my dislike of the principle. You may as well take so much money from the Treasury, and purchase what books you please. There are many new members in this House, who are interested; the books are for the new members of this and succeeding Congresses. I have some doubts of the propriety of their voting.
Mr. LEIB. The new members are interested; voted for the purchase of these Journals for themso also were the members who have heretofore
NAYS-Evan Alexander, Isaac Anderson, Jos. Bar-selves. I received. when I became a member of ker, Burwell Bassett, Barnabas Bidwell, John Blake, this House, a set of these Journals; I wish those jr., Robert Brown, John Chandler, John Claiborne, who come after me may also receive them. I Joseph Clay, Frederick Conrad, Leonard Covington, would mete to others the measure that is meted to Richard Cutts, Ezra Darby, William Dickson, Ebenezer Elmer, William Ely, William Findley, James Fisk,
Mr. ALSTON.-Our predecessors have not all
been furnished with these Journals. Perhaps this resolution is intended to favor some printer, who has these volumes, and finds it difficult to dispose of them.
Mr. TALLMADGE.-There are 300 copies of these Journals now in the Library.
Mr. LEIB.-These, I presume, are for the use of the members while here.
Mr. BLOUNT.-They are for the use of members here; here they are wanted. I can see no just title that members can have to take home these Journals, more than any other books they may wish to read or to possess.
H. OF R.
Blake, jun., James M. Broom, Robert Brown, John Campbell, Levi Casey, John Chandler, John Claiborne, Chris. Clark, Joseph Clay, G. Clinton, jun., Fred. Conrad, Orchard Cook, Jacob Crowninshield, John Davenport, jun., Elias Earle, Peter Early, Caleb Ellis, Ebenezer Elmer, William Ely, William Findley, James Fisk, Silas Halsey, Seth Hastings, David Holmes, Walter Jones, James Kelly, Nehemiah Knight, Mirick Magruder, Josiah Masters, William McCreery, Dachael Leib, Joseph Lewis, junior, Matthew Lyon, Patvid Meriwether, Nicholas R. Moore, Thomas Moore, Jonathan O. Mosely. Gurdon S. Mumford, Jeremiah Nelson, Thomas Newton, jun., Joseph H. Nicholson, Timothy Pitkin, junior, Josiah Quincy, John Rea of Mr. JACKSON. Why not also deliver every Pennsylvania, John Rhea of Tennessee, Jacob Richnew member copies of the proceedings of Con-ards, John Russell, Thomas Sandford, Martin G. gress, and the laws, since the commencement of the present Constitution? There are three hundred sets of these volumes in the Library, for the use of members. At the commencement of a session any member can take out a set, take them to his lodgings, keep them during the session, and return them at its close. This has been my prac
Mr. NICHOLSON.-I observe several new members disinclined to vote on this occasion. When I was a new member, I voted in favor of a similar resolution with great readiness. I consider these Journals as the best volumes in my library. I wish a greater extension to the circulation of these volumes. Let the events of those times be more fully known, and remembered, that they may be handed down to posterity. I fear we are forgetting those times; we are forgetting the occurrences of those days; and, sir, forgetting the great principles which governed the Revolution. Let us bring back those principles. Hard, distressing, indeed, were those times; times they truly were in which the souls of men were tried. Such may I never see again; but, would to God I could discover a return of the great and excellent principles that reigned in those days.
Mr. JACKSON.-I rise to make some remarks in reply to the gentleman from Maryland.
Schuneman, John Smilie, John Cotton Smith, John Smith, Henry Southard, Richard Stanford, William Stedman, Lewis B. Sturges, Samuel Taggart, Benjamin Tallmadge, Samuel Tenney, David Thomas, Philip R. Thompson, Thomas W. Thompson, Uri Tracy, Philip Van Cortlandt, John Whitehill, Eliphalet Wickes, Alexander Wilson, and Thomas Wynns. NAYS-Burwell Bassett, William Blackledge, Thomas Blount, William Butler, Martin Chittenden, Leonard Covington, Richard Cutts, William Dickson, James Elliot, James M. Garnett, Peterson Goodwyn, liam Helms, David Hough, John G. Jackson, Duncan Edwin Gray, Andrew Gregg, Isaiah L. Green, Wil MacFarland, John Morrow, Gideon Olin, Peter Sailly, Thomas Sammons, Ebenezer Seaver, James Sloan, Samuel Smith, Thomas Spalding, Joseph Stanton, Joseph B. Varnum, Peleg Wadsworth, David R. Williams, and Richard Winn.
Ordered, That a bill, or bills, be brought in pursuant to the said resolution; and that Messrs. CLAY, SANDFORD, and ELLIS, do prepare and bring in the same.
FRIDAY, February 28.
Ordered. That the committee to whom was referred, on the third ultimo, the memorial of the House of Representatives of the Territory of Orleans, be discharged from the farther consideration thereof, and that such part of the said memorial as remains unacted upon, be referred to the Com
Mr. NICHOLSON.-Will the gentleman suffer me to explain? In my observations I had no reference whatever to the gentleman from Virgi-mittee on the Public Lands. nia, nor to his arguments.
Mr. JACKSON.-I am extremely sorry that, in the course of my remarks, I should ever be obliged to take notice of the gentleman from Maryland, or of his arguments; it is not from any respect I bear him.
Mr. NICHOLSON.-I much regret that anything which I may have said should have given rise to such ebullition of wrath as has been exhibited by the gentleman from Virginia. I am not desirous of obtaining that gentleman's respect; if I wished it, I might court it by pursuing a line of conduct like his. I might thus obtain his respect; but I prefer the pursuit of my own ways, that I may be able to respect myself.
The yeas and nays were called. The yeas were 76-nays 31, as follows:
YEAS-Evan Alexander, Willis Alston, jun., Isaac Anderson, Joseph Barker, George M. Bedinger, Silas Betton, Barnabas Bidwell, Phanuel Bishop, John
Mr. SAILLY, from the committee to whom was referred on the nineteenth instant, the amendment proposed by the Senate to the bill. entitled "An act to extend jurisdiction, in certain cases, to State Judges and State Courts," reported to the House their agreement to the same, with several amendments.
The House proceeded to consider the said amendments and agreed to the same.
The House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on the report of the committee, appointed on the seventh instant, to inquire whether any, and if any, what additional provisions are necessary to prevent the importation of slaves into the territories of the United States ;" and, after some time spent therein, the Committee rose and reported a resolution thereupon, which was twice read. and agreed to by the House, as follows:
Resolved, That it shall not be lawful for any person or persons to import, or bring into the Ter
H. OF R.
Defence of Ports and Harbors.
ritories of the United States, any slave or slaves that may hereafter be imported into the United States.
Ordered, That a bill, or bills, be brought in, pursuant to the said resolution; and that Mr. DaVID R. WILLIAMS, Mr. JACKSON, Mr. SPALDING, Mr. KELLY, and Mr. BLACKLEDGE, do prepare and bring in the same.
DEFENCE OF PORTS AND HARBORS. On motion of Mr. DAWSON, the House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union.
The resolutions of a select committee relative to the fortification of ports and harbors were read. The first resolution appropriates one hundred and fifty thousand dollars to this purpose.
Mr. DAWSON advocated the adoption of this
to be supported by empty declamations, but by energetic measures: and I hope our protection will arise from our measures, and not consist only in words.
Fifty were for the rising of the Committee of the Whole, and fifty-six against it.
Mr. Cook moved to strike out $150,000, the sum to be appropriated to fortifications, for the purpose of inserting $300,000.
Mr. BIDWELL. I am opposed to striking out. The object of the appropriation is not to put our fortifications in a state of defence against a large fleet; the object is only to repair. I am inclined to distrust the possibility of defending our ports and harbors by land batteries; but I am in favor of repairing. For one, therefore, I hope the metion will not prevail.
For striking out 46-against it 67.
Government; it was once found that money could not be procured on the credit of the United States for less than eight per cent. per annum.
Mr. MACON. I cannot but consider the present Mr. CLINTON. The only question is the most resolution as the commencement of a system of suitable means of defence. If it should be con- fortifications from one end of the continent to the cluded that defence by fixed batteries would be other. I can see neither the necessity nor the impracticable, let us vote a large sum for the build-policy of this second trial of the credit of this ing of gunboats; or go further, and vote a large sum for the increase of our navy. Something must be done. New York has been the scene of pointed insult: seamen have been taken from the Three modes of defence are embraced in the bosom of her harbor: and what redress have we resolutions; fortifications, gunboats, and line-ofhad? Why, the President has remonstrated, and battle ships. It is in my apprehension much betthe officer who was guilty of this flagrant miscon- ter to expend, if we conclude to expend at all, on duct has been punished by being taken from a one of the proposed ways only. Great Britain frigate, and placed in the command of a seventy-has no fortifications of consequence; she places four. I would have wished that notice had been her defence in her navy. No nation can support previously given when this subject would be called both. up, for I am unprepared to meet it, having left at my lodgings papers relating to it.
Mr. SMILIE. I shall move that the Committee rise and I will briefly assign my reasons. I am friendly to the fortification of our ports and harbors; but if we are willing to crouch under all the injuries and insults that have been or hereafter may be imposed upon us, I see no need of fortifying. On the other hand, if there be still left among us some portion of the American character, some of that spirit that was wont to belong to it, then let us defend it by the building of gunboats, the erecting of fortifications, &c. But I first wish to know what this House intend to do, with respect to commercial restrictions and non-intercourse. I think that subject ought to be first settled: I hope therefore the Committee will rise, and have leave to sit again.
Mr. Cook.-I hope we shall prepare for hostility before we provoke it. I trust we shall not compel a declaration of war before we are in a situation to resist. I hope the Committee will not rise. Mr. DAWSON.-I also hope sincerely that the Committee will not rise. It is to me a matter of astonishment, that in and out of doors nothing is heard but complaints that no effectual measures are adopted, in these times that call so loudly for them: and yet, when an attempt is made to come to something decisive, the first sound that invades our ears is a cry for postponement. If we intend to support the American name and character, it is time something should be done; they are not
Gentlemen tell us of an American spirit. I hope I have as much of it as any gentleman; but it is as much the character of the American spirit to conclude cooly, and act accordingly, as to talk loudly. Members of this House are not the only persons to judge of this spirit; our constituents are the proper judges.
We have about a million of dollars to spare in the Treasury; the appropriations which these resolutions contemplate, amount to nearly that sum. Cannot the money be put to a better use? All the money we have spent in fortifications has been useless. If we expend a small sum like this, it will be in vain; we must calculate to a great amount, if we expect completely to fortify. What would $60,000 do towards defending the city of New York? It would effect no defence.
On the subject of the seventy-fours. I am for a different plan. We ought not to think of building till we have navy yards suitable; but, above all, we ought to prepare ourselves to be able to build: We ought to create a vast debt, to fund a debt, for the purpose of building forty or fifty of those seventy-fours. For what can we do with six only in the time of war? They will not dare to venture out. They must be docked here in the Eastern Branch. Six might answer the purpose on the Barbary coasts; but you must have a fleet equal to Great Britain if you expect defence in this way. We cannot build and support such a fleet. I believe it was once demonstrated, by as able a man as ever graced this or any other Legis
lature, that no nation was ever able to build and maintain a large navy. On the subject of gunboats, I believe them better adapted to the defence of our harbors than any other. If we were now at war with any nation, however gentlemen may be surprised at the declaration. I think we should do well to lend our navy to another nation also at war with that with which we might be at war; for I think such nation would manage it more to our advantage than ourselves.
Mr. DAWSON.-The honorable Speaker has enlarged on the whole of the resolutions instead of confining himself to the one before the House. He calls this the commencement of a system of fortifications. He must know that it commenced under the former, and has been continued by the present Administration.
Mr. Cook. I am not sorry that this debate has taken the range it has. Indeed the three resolutions are so connected with each other, that many of the arguments which apply to the first, may with equal propriety apply to the others; they all amount to the question of policy or impolicy of adopting or rejecting this system of defence.
I am in favor of the report of the select committee, because it provides for a species of defence, which alone can be brought into action, against every offending nation.
H. of R.
gation; and the planter will become dependent on the fortuitous arrival of belligerent ships for a market and a price.
What is the consequence if you do not guard your commerce? The rates of premium will be advanced to an incalculable amount. True, the consumer eventually pays; but the consumers are all your people; who would thus indirectly pay a tax perhaps treble or quadruple the amount of cost in providing and maintaining a naval defence; and which is the most honorable? Which will most impair your revenue, already greatly injured from want of protection?
I have said that the ocean is the common highway of nations; such it ought to be; but new principles are interpolated into the law of nations: robbers and pirates now infest every sea. The Mediterranean no longer excites superior dread; spoliations, insults and injuries, are now brought home to our shores: whole kingdoms are about to be declared in blockade; and I know not what will escape being considered as contraband of war. What, sir, are now the rights of neutrals, but the right to complain? The modern law of nations, sir, is now what a single nation chooses to fashion it for maritime domination,
Sir, it is fairly presumable that a large majority of this House are indignant at our wrongs, and disposed to resent them on the subject of means only we differ.
I consider every class of American citizens as equally entitled to the protection of your Government; and that such was the expectation at the adoption of the Constitution. Are not all classes equally bound to obey your Government? Surely they are. They have all then equally a right to your protection; for protection and obedience are reciprocal duties. Your merchants and your mariners are then as much entitled to protection in their pursuits, as are those whose pursuits are agricultural. Shall your laws give protection to your seamen, your merchants and their property, while in your rivers and ports, or within soundings; and will you abandon them on the high seas, the common property of all nations? Where will you draw the line of demarkation beyond which they shall be at the ban of the empire? They must be protected, sir, in all places. Our dominions consist of land and water-we have a property in severalty, and one in common and undivided. The ocean is this property-it is the highway of nations. The limits of a maritime country, sir, are undefinable. In encouraging and protecting commerce, you equally encourage and protect agriculture. They depend on each other. A wound given to the one, affects the other. Agriculture and commerce, sir, are not, as some suppose, in hostility to each other; they are co-ordinate and co-relative; the speed of the ship is the speed of the plough. Without the active commerce of this country, agriculture would be choked by a surplus of produce and the want of a market. At a time of peace, at this very time, sir, what ships but Americans can transport the indigenous productions of the country, at a common freight and peace premium? There are none, We are the second commercial nation in the sir, the increased premium is an abatement of the world, having upwards of a million tons of shipprice of exports. Depress the enterprise of the ping. Is our navy any way proportionable? By our merchant; abandon the protection of your navi-commerce and our numbers, compared with other
Many gentlemen are in favor of acts of non-importation. But will this amount to protection? to that protection, sir, to which our commercial brethren are so justly entitled? Our merchants have suffered greatly; some half, and some wholly ruined. Shall we, for their satisfaction, tell them and others, that they may haul their vessels into dock to rot, while a non-importation act may continue to operate? Is this granting them protection? Whence is it that your revenue is derived, by which your national debt is lessened; by which your civil list is paid, your very Government supported? From commerce; and will you muzzle │the_ox that treadeth out your corn? What but commerce has raised this country to so enviable a height of prosperity? What but commerce, or taxes on commerce, has enabled you to build the navy you have; has empowered you to resist the encroachments and insults of foreign governments; or furnish the means to save our western brethren from the inroads of the savage? Of what benefit was it to the Northern States that millions of the public money were spent in support of a western army, and in defence of Mississippi navigation? This is not a question to be asked; for Government was, and is bound to protect every part, and the rights of every class of citizens. E Pluribus Unum is the motto of our Government. If disdnion, geographical distinctions, and local interests are nourished, we shall become the dupes of our own sordid views and an easy prey to any foreign assailing foe.