Imágenes de páginas


NOVEMBER, 1820.]

[H. OF R. This ballot having been also ineffectual ; an Mr. RANDOLPH made it a point of order wheother motion was made to adjourn, but without ther the Clerk had any right to express to the

House his opinion of their powers, or to decide The House then proceeded to the seventeenth for them what was, or was not, in order. ballot, which resulted as follows-73 necessary The Clerk declared, that, under the rules of to a choice: For Mr. Lowndes 72 ; for Mr. the House, which prescribe the mode of elecTaylor 44; for Mr. Smith 17; for Mr. Sergeant tion by ballot, he could not receive this motion. 11.

Some brief debate took place on the point of No election being made, the House went into order, Mr. RANDOLPH protesting against what the eighteenth ballot, when the following result he pronounced an assumption of power on the was announced—73 necessary to a choice : For part of the Clerk, and asserting the right of Mr. Lowndes 66; for Mr. Taylor 55; for Mr. any member to propound any question to the Smith 21; for Mr. Sergeant 2.

House through the Clerk, the Speaker's Chair No one having yet a majority of the votes, being vacant, or from himself, if he thought the House proceeded to the nineteenth ballot, proper. which resnited as follows-73 necessary to a Other gentlemen, Mr. STORES, Mr. LITTLE, choice: For Mr. Taylor 66; for Mr. Lowndes Mr. SERGEANT, Mr. MERCER, and Mr. LIVER65 ; for Mr. Smith 14.

MORE, expressed their opinions, and the followThis ballot being also ineffectual; a motion ing rule of the House was read : was made to adjourn, which motion prevailed,

“In all other cases of ballot than for committees, ayes 76—and, about five o'clock, the House ad- a majority of the votes given shall be necessary to journed.

an election; and, when there shall not be such a majority on the first ballot, the ballot shall be repeated

until a majority be obtained.” WEDNESDAY, Novernber 15. Several other members appeared, and took

Mr. LITTLE, asserting his right to make the their seats, to wit:

motion, yet, not desiring to prolong discussion From Vermont, Charles RICH; from Penn- in regard to it, waived the moving of it himself. sylvania, GEORGE DENNISON ; from Maryland,

The House then proceeded to ballot the Thomas BAYLY; from North Carolina, CHARLES

The whole number of

twenty-second time. Fisher; and from South Carolina, ELDRED SIM- votes was 148—75 necessary to a choice. The

votes were—For Mr. Taylor 76; for Mr.

Lowndes 44; for Mr. Sunith 27 ; scattering 1. Election of Speaker.

So John W. Taylor, Esq., a Representative The House, having been called to order at from the State of New York, was elected twelve o'clock, proceeded to ballot, the twen- Speaker; and, having been conducted to the tieth time, for a Speaker, in the place of Mr. Chair by Mr. Newton and Mr. Mosely, ad

dressed the House as follows: Clay, resigned.

The votes having been counted, it appeared Gentlemen I approach the station to which your that the number of votes given in was 141— favor invites me, greatly distrusting my ability to neces:ary to a choice 71. Of which there fulfil your just expectations. Although the duties of were: For Mr. Taylor 67; for Mr. Lowndes the Chair have become less arduous by improvements 65; for Mr. Smith 8; scattering 1.

in its practice during the administration of my disNo choice having been made, the House pro- their responsibilities without a firm reliance on your

tinguished predecessor, I should not venture to assume ceeded to ballot the twenty-first time; when. the result was declared as follows: Whole num

indulgent support. In all deliberative assemblies,

the preservation of order must depend in a greater ber of votes 147—necessary to a choice 74. Of degree upon the members at large than upon any which there were: For Mr. Taylor 73 ; for Mr. efforts of a presiding officer. The forbearance and Lowndes 42 ; for Mr. Smith 32.

decorum which characterized this House in its forNo choice having yet been made, the House mer session, at a period of peculiar excitement, afford was about to ballot again; when

of their continued exercise a happy anticipation. For Mr. LITTLE rose, and, reinarking on the ex the confidence with which you have honored me, be traordinary aspect of the present proceedings of pleased to accept my profound acknowledgments. the Hoase; the necessity for choosing a Speak- In my best endeavors to merit your approbation, er : the uncertainty, under present appearances, which shall not be intermitted, I can promise nothwhen a choice would be made ; the weariness ing more than diligence, and a constant aim at imof the House at these repeated ballotings, &c.— partiality. I can hope for nothing greater than that moved, that the House do come to a resolution,

these endeavors may not prove altogether unavailing. that the lowest on each ballot should be drop The new members having been sworn inped at the succeeding ballot, and that any votes A message was received from the Senate, ingiren for such lowest person should not be forming the House that a quorum thereof was taken into account.

formed, and that they were ready to proceed to The CLERK of the House, after reading the business. resolve, expressed doubts of the power of the On motion of Mr. Nelson, of Virginia, a Hoose to pass such a resolution, consistently similar message was returned to the Senate. with the rules established for its government. On motion of Mr. Nelson, also, a committee


H. OF R.] Missouri State Constitution-Citizenship of Free Colored Persons. [NOVEMBER, 1820. was appointed, jointly with such committee as priations for the erection of fortifications shall be so should be appointed by the Senate, to wait made as to require a less sum annually, by extending upon the President of the United States, and the time within which they shall be completed. inform him of the organization of the two

6. Resolved, That the act making an appropriation Houses, and of their readiness to receive any of the Navy, be so amended as to extend the time

of one million of dollars per annum for the increase communication he may have to make to them.

within which such increase shall be made, and to re

duce the annual appropriation to the sum of five hunThursday, November 16.

dred thousand dollars. Several other members appeared and took

7. Resolved, That it is expedient to recall from ac

tive service one-half the naval force now employed, their seats, to wit: From Massachusetts, Walter FOLGER, Jr.;

and to place the same in ordinary.

8th Resolution refers the subjects of the preceding from North Carolina, HUTCHINS G. BURTON; resolves to the proper standing and select committees, and from Georgia, JOEL CRAWFORD and Robert to bring in bills pursuant thereto. RAYMOND REID.

The House having agreed to consider these Constitution of Missouri.

resolutionsMr. Scott laid before the House a manu

Mr. COBB said, he had no intention to bring script attested copy of the constitution formed on the discussion of them at this time, liaving on the 19th day of July, 1820, by the conven- presented them by way of notice to members, tion assembled at St. Louis

, in the Territory of that they might be prepared to discuss and deMissouri, for the government of the contem- cide on them when called up. He was not plated State of that name; which was referred even himself prepared at this moment to give to a select committee, and Mr. LOWNDES, Mr. his views of the subjects embraced in these resSergeant, and Mr. Smith, of Maryland, were olutions; nor did he know that the House appointed the said committee.

ought to proceed to act on them, until it should have received, first, the annual report of the

Treasury, and, secondly, a report from the SecMonday, November 20.

retary of War, required by a resolution of the Several other members appeared and took House at the last session, of a plan whereupon their seats, to wit:

a reduction of the Army might be advantaFrom Virginia, John Floyd and Severn E. geously made. To place these resolves in a sitParker; and from Tennessee, HENRY H. Bryan uation which would enable him to call them up and ROBERT ALLEN.

at any time, he moved their reference to the Solomon SIBLEY appeared, produced his cre Committee of the Whole on the state of the dentials, was qualified, and took his seat as a Union. Which motion was agreed to. delegate from the Territory of Michigan, in the room of William W. Woodbridge, resigned.

THURSDAY, November 23.

Missouri State Constitution-Citizenship of WEDNESDAY, November 22.

Free Colored Persons. Another member, to wit, from South Caro

Mr. Lowdnes, from the select committee to lina, CHARLES PINCKNEY, appeared, and took whom was referred the constitution formed for his seat.

their government by the people of Missouri, deReduction of Erpenditures.

livered in the following report: Mr. COBB, of Georgia, presented to the Chair

The committee to whom has been referred the conthe following series of propositions :

stitution of the State of Missouri respectfully report :

That they have not supposed themselves bound to 1. Resolved, That it is expedient that the annual inquire whether the provisions of the constitution reexpenses of the Government should be reduced; that, ferred to them be wise or liberal. The grave and for the accomplishment of this object, it is further difficult question as to the restraints which sbould be

2. Resolved, That such offices as are not imme- imposed upon the power of Missouri to form a condiately necessary for the transaction of public busi- stitution for itself was decided by the act of the last ness, and the abolition of which would not be detri- session, and the committee have had only to examine mental to the public interest, shall be abolished. whether the provisions of the act have been complied

3. Resolved, That the salaries of all civil officers with, In the opinion of the committee, they have whose compensation has been increased since the been. The propositions, too, which were offered in year 1809 shall be reduced to what they were at that the same act to the free acceptance or rejection of period.

the people of Missouri, have all been accepted by 4. Resolved, That it is expedient to reduce the them. But there remains a question too important Army to the number of six thousand non-commis- to be overlooked. sioned officers, musicians, and privates, preserving We know that cases must often arise in which there such part of the corps of engineers, without regard to may be a doubt whether the laws or constitution of that number, as may be required by the public inter a State do not transcend the line (sometimes the obest; and including such reduction of the general staff scure line) which separates the powers of the differas may be required by the state of the Army when ent governments of our complex system. It appears reduced as herein proposed.

to the committee, that, in general, it must be unwise 5. Resolved, That it is expedient that the appro- in Congress to anticipate judicial decisions by the ex

NOVEMBER, 1820.]

[H. OF R. position of an equivocal phrase, and that it would be abandoned. On the other hand, if Congress shall yet more objectionable, by deciding on the powers of determine neither to expound clauses which are obå State just emerged from territorial dependence, that scure, nor to decide constitutional questions which it should give the weight of its authority to an opin- must be difficult and perplexing, equally interesting ion which might condemn the laws and constitutions to old States, whom our construction could not, as to of old, as well as sovereign States. The committee the new, whom it ought not to coerce, the rights and are not unaware that a part of the twenty-sixth sec- duties of Missouri will be left to the determination tion of the third article of the constitution of Mis- of the same temperate and impartial tribunal which souri, by which the Legislature of the State has been has decided the conflicting claims, and received the directed to pass laws to prevent free negroes and confidence, of the other States. malattoes from coming to, and settling in, the State," The committee recommend the adoption of the has been construed to apply to such of that class as following resolution : are citizens of the United States, and that their exclusion has been deemed repugnant to the Federal | the resolution therein referred to was read, as

This report having been read by the Clerk, Constitution. The words which are objected to are

follows: to be found in the laws of at least one of the Middle States, (Delaware,) and a careful examination of the

Whereas, in pursuanco of an act of Congress passclanse might perhaps countenance the opinion that it ed on the sixth day of March, one thousand eight applies to the large class of free negroes and mulat- hundred and twenty, entitled “An act to authorize toes who cannot be considered as the citizens of any the people of the Missouri Territory to form a con. State. But, of all the articles in our constitution, stitution and State government, and for the admission there is probably not one more difficult to construe of such State into the Union on an equal footing with well, than that which gives to the citizens of each the original States, and to prohibit slavery in certain State the privileges and immunities of citizens of the Territories,” the people of said Territory did, on the several States; there is not one, an attention to nineteenth day of July, in the year one thousand whose spirit is more necessary to the convenient and eight hundred and twenty, by a convention called for beneficial connection of the States; nor one of which the purpose, form for themselves a constitution and too large a construction would more completely break State government, which constitution and State govdown their defensive power, and lead more directly ernment, so formed, is republican, and in conformity to their consolidation. This much, indeed, seems to to the provisions of the said act: be settled by the established constitutions of States Be it therefore resolved by the Senate and House of in every section of the Union; that a State has a Representatives of the United States of America in right to discriminate between the white and the black Congress assembled, That the State of Missouri shall man, both in respect to political and civil privileges, be, and is hereby declared to be, one of the United though both be citizens of another State ; to give to States of America, and is admitted into the Union on the one, for instance, the right of voting and of serv an equal footing with the original States, in all reing on juries, which it refuses to the other. How spects whatever. far this discrimination may be carried, is obviously

The resolution was then read a second time. a matter of nice and difficult inquiry. The committee

Mr. LOWNDES moved to refer the resolution to do not propose to engage in it. They believe it best, whenever a case occurs which must necessarily in a Committee of the Whole on the state of the volve the decision of it, that it should be remitted to Union, which would put it in the power of the judicial cognizance.

House to act upon it at any time it thought In this view (which narrows their inquiries and proper. He need not say, that there was no duties) the committee are confirmed, by a consider- disposition to act upon this subject without full ation of the embarrassments and disasters which a notice to all parties concerned; and if no other different course of proceeding might sometimes pro- person did, he should himself, when proposing duce. When a people are authorized to form a State, to call for the consideration of the report, give and do so, the trammels of their territorial condition a day or two notice of his intention to do so. fall off. They have performed the act which makes Whilst up, he took occasion to say, that this rethem sovereign and independent. If they pass ar port, as indeed all reports of committees, must unconstitutional law, and we leave it, as we should be considered as the act of a majority of the that of another State, to the decision of a judicial committee, and not as expressing the sentiments tribunal, the illegal act is divested of its force by the of every individual of the committee. operation of a system with which we are familiar. The control of the General Government is exercised

The reference was agreed to. in each particular case, in support of individual right, the State retains the condition which it has just

FRIDAY, November 24. Sequired, and would not easily renounce. But a decision by Congress agaiust the constitutionality of a

Two members appeared and took their seats, law pased by a State which it had authorized the viz: from Maryland, Thomas CULBRETH, and establisiment, could not operate directly by vacating from Virginia, Joun Tyler. the law; por is it believed that it could reduce the State to the dependence of a Territory. In these circumstances, to refuse admission into the Union to

Monday, November 27. such a State, is to refuse to extend over it that judi

Another member, to wit, from Mississippi, cial authority which might vacate the obnoxious law, CHRISTOPHER Rankin, appeared, and took his and to expose all the interests of the Government seat. within the territory of that State, to a Legislature A new member, to wit, from Massachusetts, and a Judiciary, the only checks on which have been | BENJAMIN GORIAM, elected to supply the va

H. OF R.]

Vaccine Institution.

(DECEMBER, 1820. cancy occasioned by the resignation of Jonathan I were induced to accept of a proposition made Mason, also appeared, was qualified, and took by Dr. Smith, to establish an institution here in his seat.

the capital of the country, from whence should

issue gratuitously the vaccine matter to such TUESDAY, November 28.

States, counties, or towns, as should subscribe a

certain amount for the establishment and enAnother member, to wit, from New York, couragement of this institution ; by which James Guyon, junior, appeared, and took his means every class in society, the poor as well seat.

as the rich, would receive the matter free of

expense. In six of the adjacent States $26,000 FRIDAY, December 1.

were subscribed on the 1st day of January last, Another member, to wit, from North Caro- , and no doubt a considerable addition has been lina, William Davidson, appeared, and took his These subscriptions have been made to Dr.

made during the present year to that sum. seat.

Smith, who is the agent for vaccination; and, Vaccine Institution.

in the event of his death, without the passage The engrossed bill to incorporate the Man- of some such bill as the one before you, would agers of the National Vaccine Institution, was be lost to those who made them with such beread the third time; and, on the question of its nevolent views. The bill does not propose to passage

take from the Treasury one dollar, its only obMr. LIVERMORE, of New Hampshire, moved ject is to withdraw from the hands of Dr. Smith to recommit the bill, so as to allow of its being the whole amount of those subscriptions, and amended in one particular, and thus obviating place them under the control and direction of the only objection which he had to its passage. six discreet, judicious managers, who are named His object was to incorporate in the bill the in the bill, and whose successors are to be apwords “ within the District of Columbia.” | pointed by the President of the United States. There was not a general agreement of opinion It has been under the hope of the securing the as to the power of Congress to establish corpo- full benefit of such liberal subscriptions, that I rations to pervade the United States; but there have been induced to advocate the bill, and now was no doubt of its power within the District, ask for the concurrence of the House in its to which therefore he wished expressly to limit passage. the corporate authority proposed to be conferred Mr. BURWELL, of Virginia, was opposed to by this bill.

the recommitment, on different ground from Mr. FLOYD, of Virginia, said, he saw no un- that taken by other gentlemen. He adverted constitutional feature in the bill, which he to a construction which had been recently put hoped, therefore, would be permitted to pass as upon the powers of Congress within the States, it stood. The object of the bill was to aid in in the case of the lotteries authorized by Conthe eradication of the small-pox from our gress,) and said that he believed that construccountry-an object which all must admit to be tion was too absurd to be entertained by many not only innocent but laudable. The gentleman men of sense in this country, and he regarded who had been most earnest in asking from Con- it as very unfortunate that such a construction gress the passage of this bill, had devoted him- had been sanctioned by the names of any men. self to this object with a perseverance seldom of sense and character. Believing that Congress exceeded, and with desirable success. To enable had not the power to make this law operative those who took an interest in this matter, to within the States, and that inserting the words avail themselves of the donations of charitable proposed inight, by implication, give countepersons in all parts of the United States, it was nance to what he considered the most dangernecessary that a company should be incorporat- ous and absurd construction ever given to the ed, with power to erect the necessary buildings. constitution, he was opposed to limiting, by

Mr. KENT, of Maryland, said, the gentleman words in the bill, what he considered as already from New Hampshire appeared to be under limited by the constitution. some misapprehension in relation to the bill Mr. LIVERMORE said he was as friendly to the first read. By its provisions, said Mr. K., the object of this bill as any gentleman within these National Vaccine Institution is to be established walls, and he had no desire to impede its pashere, and this provision renders unnecessary sage. But, he said, Congress have a power the gentleman's proposition. It will be recol- within the District which they have not beyond lected by the House that, some years past, the it. They have here the power of exclusive oppointment of an agent for vaccination was legislation ; beyond it, they have not that authorized by law, with the privilege of frank-power. Within this District, he did not know ing his letters; and, although this measure gave that their power was any thing less than absosome facility in the transmission of vaccine lute. He did not know of any restraints upon matter to the different parts of the country, yet it but reason and a sound discretion. It was a it was found too limited in its effects for the question whether Congress had the power to accomplishment of an object fraught with such extend a corporate authority into the States; incalculable benefits to the community. IIence, and he did not see that the remarks of gentlethe citizens of several of the adjacent States men in favor of the bill had obviated the diffi.


DECEMBER, 1820.]
State of the Finances.

[H. OF R. culty. A corporation inhabits a house not was charged with publishing a copy of a letter from made by man; it inhabits all space—it is every an American diplomatic character in France to a where and nowhere. It has no body, as it is member of Congress in Philadelphia ; also, for aidsometimes said to have no soul. For his part ing, assisting, and abetting in the publication of said

letter. he wished this charter to be restricted to the District of Columbia, where almost every ano

He states said letter was written by Joel Barlow to

Abraham Baldwin, then a member of Congress. He malous thing was to be found.

denies that he printed said letter, or aided or abetted Mr. MERCER, of Virginia, opposed the recommitment of the bill, on the ground that such a used his endeavors to suppress it, by destroying the

in the printing of it; but, on the contrary, that he coorse would have the effect to give it a quietus copies which came into his possession. He states for the remainder of the session, especially after that, owing to the political party zeal which prevailed the notice this morning given by Mr. Lowndes. in the United States at that time, much unfairness Mr. M. said he concurred with his colleague in was used in the trial, both by the marshal in sumhis view of the recent opinion of some gentle- moning the jury, and the judge who presided, in his men learned in the law, on the subject of the instructions to them, and thereby a verdict of guilty powers of Congress. He did not see, however, was returned against him by the jury; and upon how, by possibility, the passage of this bill that verdict the court sentenced him to pay a fine could countenance that opinion. Mr. M. re

of $1,000, the costs of suit, be imprisoned four calferred to the nature of the bill, and its unobjec- endar months, and until the fine and costs were tionable character, as arguments in favor of its paid. He states that, by virtue of said judgment, he

was arrested and confined in a dungeon, the compassing the House, and without recommitment. Mr. ° Cook suggested a modification of the distant from the place of his trial, although there was

mon receptacle of thieves and murderers, fifty miles question, so as to propose a recommitment of a decent, roomy jail in the county in which he lived, the bill to the Committee on the District of and in the town where the trial was had, which Columbia, with instructions to report the jail the Federal Government had the use of; that specific amendinent suggested by Mr. LIVER- much severity was exercised towards him during his

imprisonment; that he languished in the loathsome Mr. LIVERMORE having assented to putting prison more than six weeks in the months of October, the question in this shape

November, and December, in the cold climate of VerIt was so put and negatived.

mont, without fire, before he was allowed, at his own And the bill was passed, and sent to the Sen- expense, to introduce a small stove, or to put glass ate for concurrence.

into the aperture which let in a small glimmer of light through the iron grate.

He states that he is poor, and asks Congress to reMonday, December 4.

fund to him $1,000, the fine which he has paid, the

costs of suit, for one hundred and twenty-three days' Another member, to wit, from Massachu- pay as a member of Congress, while he was unconstisetts, NATHANIEL SILsbee, appeared, and took tutionally detained from a seat in that body, reasonhis seat.

able damages for being suddenly deprived of his Case of Matthew Lyon.

liberty, put to great expense, and disabled from pay

ing that attention to his concerns which, in other Mr. McLEAN, of Kentucky, from the com- circumstances, he would have been allowed to do, mittee appointed on the meinorial of Matthew and such interest on those sums as public creditors Lyon, made a report thereon, accompanied with are entitled to. a bill for his relief; which, by leave of the

Your committee state that the prosecution against House, was presented, read the first and second the said petitioner, the judgment, imprisonment, and time, and committed to a Committee of the payment of $1,000, the fine, and $60*96, the costs of Whole to-morrow. The report is as follows:

suit, are proved by a copy of the record of proceed

ings in said cause, which is made a part of this reThe petitioner states that, in violation of that pro- port. The committee are of opinion that the law of vision of the Constitution of the United States of Congress under which the said Matthew Lyon was America which says, Congress shall make no law prosecuted and punished was unconstitutional, and abridging the freedom of speech or of the press,” Con- therefore he ought to have the money which has gress, in July, 1798, passed the act commonly called been paid by him refunded; but should they be misthe sedition law; that, some time previous to the pas taken as to the unconstitutionality of this law, yet tage of this bill, there appeared in the Philadelphia they think there are peculiar circumstances of hardFederal papers a violent attack upon his character, ship attending this case which call for relief. Your estrated from the Vermont Journal, charging him committee, therefore, ask leave to report a bill. with many political enormities, particularly with the high crime of opposing the Executive ; that he wrote

State of the Finances. a reply to this charge in Philadelphia, on the 20th of

The SPEAKER then laid before the House a June, 1798, and on the same day put the letter, directed to the editor of the said Vermont Journal, letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, into the post office at Philadelphia, twenty-four days transmitting his annual report on the state of before the passage of the sedition law. For the pub- the Treasury; and, on motion of Mr. Stores, lication of this letter he was indicted in October fol- | three thousand copies thereof were ordered to lowing, in the circuit court of the United States in be printed for the use of the House. The rethe Vermont district. In the same indictment, he port is as follows:

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