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[H. OF R.
not glimmer dimly through the intricate wind Mr. BOUDINot said, he could have wished that, ings of various provisions. These ought to have as the House had gone into a Committee of the been natural conclusions, resulting from the prin- Whole, the gentleman [Mr. MURRAY) had brought ciple, rather than the sources from which it is to forward a proposition, as he is abundantly able to be inferred. It ought to have been settled as soon do, which would give the bill the consistency he as the bill came in, and before a vote indicative of wished for. He then entered into a defence of the it had been moved. As the whole of this subject proposition, and justified its friends from the charge had been hitherto completely sifted, he would of inconsistency. He had been in favor of forty make but one or two remarks. The framers of thousand; if that had been agreed to, he should the Constitution could never have thought of this have applied it as it is now proposed in respect to mode of applying a ratio. All the guards in favor thirty thousand. He replied to several objections, of State Governments, show that the States were by explaining the Constitution. viewed respectively and severally. The laws rela Mr. Benson moved an amendment as a substitive to elections are entirely and exclusively in tute for Mr. Vining's proposition, expressly apthe hands of the States. Had the Convention in portioning the representation on the aggregate tended the aggregate of the whole, and not of number of the people of the United States. This States, should be the object of apportionment by he moved in conformity to the idea of Mr. Murratio, they would have kept the election law in Ray, who contended that there was no principle the hands of Congress; they would have empow- in the bill. ered Congress to divide the Continent into dis Mr. VINING, on this, withdrew his proposition. tricts. If New Hampshire has five members here, The debate was continued on Mr. Benson's and her aggregate divided by thirty thousand would motion, and was finally negatived—33 to 24. give her but four, (which is the case,) she will The Committee then rose, and had leave to sit have an undue influence on this floor; as the weight again. and power that any State has here, ought to be but equal to her numbers. It has been laid down as doctrine here, that every member represents
Friday, February 17. the whole. He could not comprehend the force The SPEAKER laid before the House a Letter of that position in the use and latitude in which and Memorial from D. L. Morell, of the Island of it was applied. He would not annex any mean- St. Domingo, suggesting a plan for the civilization ing to theoretical truths, which did not admit of of the Indians; which were read, and ordered to a wholesome practice. A member here represents lie on the table. his constituents; he legislates for the whole. The On a motion made and seconded, Resolved, people whose rights and interests are the subject That it be a Standing Order of this House that, of legislation, are a whole; from their unity of whenever confidential communications are receivinterests, and from their union of Government, ed from the President of the United States, the results the general duty of the Representative. House shall be cleared of all persons except the His responsibility to his own circle of constitu- members and the Clerk, and so continue during ents, is on his duty discharged or neglected to the the reading of such communications, and during whole; because the true good of the several parts all debates and proceedings to be had thereon. And consists in the general prosperity of the whole. that, when the SPEAKER, or any other member, Where a member represents one district, he meant shall inform the House that he has communicato give, and show à truth, on the use of which tions to make, which he conceives ought to be alone he could conceive a practical operation to kept secret, the House shall, in like manner, be the principle of responsibility could be obtained.cleared till the communication be made; the House Any other idea of responsibility which he had shall then determine whether the matter commuever heard, was too refined for common use. If nicated requires secrecy or not, and take order aca member from one part of the Union is to be the cordingly. Representative of a part which does not elect him,
APPORTIONMENT BILL. agreeably to this fractional doctrine, he cannot be held in check or control by them; and the very The House again resolved itself into a Commitreason that may make him hateful to them, may tee of the Whole House on the bill for an Apporingratiate him among those from whom he actu- tionment of Representatives among the several ally comes. Instead of cementing confidence, such States according to the first Enumeration; and a predominance given any one State, beyond what making provision for another Enumeration, and her numbers entitle her to, will sow discord and an Apportionment of Representatives thereon, to jealousy. He had an amendment ready to offer, compose the House of Representatives, after the which was, to strike out the words “within the third day of March, one thousand seven hundred several States," and to insert these words: “agree- and ninety-seven; and after some time spent thereably to a ratio of one member for every thirty in, the Committee rose and reported progress and thousand.” He would vote against the motion, obtained leave to sit again. and against the principle on which it was founded, which, though not specified in the bill, was obvious, and take the liberty of moving his amend
Friday, February 20. ment, if the motion now before the Committee A memorial and petition of sundry merchants failed, which he hoped would be the case. of the State of North Carolina, engaged in com
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Apportionment Bill-Settlement of Claims.
merce, previous to the late Revolution, was pre- nathan Dayton, Nicholas Gilman, Benjamin Goodhue, sented to the House and read, stating the peculiar Andrew Gregg, James Hillhouse, Israel Jacobs, Philip hardships under which they labor, from the two- Key, Aaron Kitchell
, Samuel Livermore, Andrew Moore, fold causes of the operation of the fourth article Nathaniel Niles, John Page, Cornelius C. Schoonmaof the Definitive Treaty of Peace, and so much ker, Joshua Seney, Jeremiah Smith, Israel Smith, Joof the act of Congress for funding the public nathan Sturges, Peter Sylvester, George Thatcher, and debt, as redeems the old Continental money, at Thomas Tudor Tucker25. the rate of one hundred dollars thereof, for one
N418.—John Baptist Ashe, Abraham Baldwin, Eg. dollar specie; the former requiring them to pay
bert Benson, John Brown, William Findley, Thomas their British debts in sterling money, with full Fitzsimons, Samuel Griffin, William Barry Grove, interest to the present time, and the latter depriv- John Laurance,' Nathaniel Macon, James Madison,
Thomas Hartley, Daniel Huger, John W. Kittera, ing them of all’hope of indemnity, from the effects Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, William Vans Murof depreciation and tender laws, to which they ray, Josiah Parker, William Smith, Samuel Sterrett, were exposed during the war, and praying relief. Thomas Sumpter, Thomas Tredwell, Abraham Venable, Referred to the Committee of the Whole House John Vining, Anthony Wayne, Alexander White, and on the state of the Union.
On filling up the blank in the fourth section The House again resolved itself into a Com- taken and stood thus :
with "thirty thousand,” the yeas and nays were mittee of the Whole House on the bill for an Apportionment of Representatives among the several bert Benson, John Brown, William Findley, Thomas
YEAS.-John Baptist Ashe, Abraham Baldwin, Eg. States, according to the first Enumeration, and Fitzsimons, Samuel Griffin, Thomas Hartley, Daniel making provision for another Enumeration, and Huger, Philip Key, John Laurance, Nathaniel Macon, an Apportionment of Representatives, after the James Madison, Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, Wilthird day of March, one thousand seven hundred liam Vans Murray, John Page, Josiah Parker, Corneand ninety-seven.”
lius C. Schoonmaker, Joshua Seney, Samuel Sterrett, Mr. Seney moved that the third and fourth sec- Thomas Sumpter, Peter Sylvester, Thomas Tredwell, tions, which provide for an apportionment of the Thomas Tudor Tucker, Abraham Venable, John Vinrepresentation on the Second Census, &c. should ing, Anthony Wayne, Alexander White, and Francis be struck out. This motion occasioned some de Willis 29. bate, and was disagreed to.
Nars-Robert Barnwell, Elias Boudinot, ShearjaThe blank for the ratio of representation on the shub Bourne, Benjamin Bourne, Abraham Clark, JoSecond Census, was filled with "thirty thousand.” nathan Dayton, Nicholas Gilman, Benjamin Goodhue,
The bill was then reported to the House with Andrew Gregg, James Hillhouse, Israel Jacobs, Aaron the amendments. These were taken into conside- Kitchell, John W. Kittera, Amasa Learned, Samuel ration, and severally agreed to.
Livermore, Andrew Moore, Nathaniel Niles, Jeremiah Mr. DAYTON then moved to strike out the se
Smith, Israel Smith, William Smith, Jonathan Sturges, cond section, which provides for a second enume
and George Thatcher–22. ration in five years; and called the yeas and nays; The other amendments to the said bill were which were taken, and stood as follow :
then severally again read, and agreed to. YEAS.-Robert Barnwell, Elias Boudinot, Shearja.
Ordered, That the said bill, with the amendshub Bourne, Benjamin Bourne, Abraham Clark, Jo-ments, be engrossed, and read the third time tonathan Dayton, Nicholas Gilman, Benjamin Goodhue, James Hillhouse, Philip Key, Aaron Kitchell, Amasa
Mr. LIVERMORE laid a motion on the table to Learned, Samuel Livermore, Nathaniel Niles, Corneli- the following purport : "That a committee should us C. Schoonmaker, Joshua Seney, Israel Smith, Jona- be appointed to report a bill authorizing the offithan Sturges, Peter Sylvester, George Thatcher, Tho- cers of the Treasury to settle the claim on the esmas Tredwell, Thomas Tudor Tucker, and Alexander tate of General Greene, so as that the said estate White-23.
may be indemnified from the claims against it, by Nays. John Baptist Ashe, Abraham Baldwin, John virtue of his having become security for certain Brown, William Findley, Thomas Fitzsimons, Andrew contractors, who furnished clothing and rations Gregg, Samuel Griffin, William Barry Grove, Thomas to the army of the United States, in the State of Hartley, Daniel Huger, John W. Kittera, John Lau- South Carolina.” rance, Nathaniel Macon, James Madison, Andrew Moore, Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, William
SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS. Vans Murray, Josiah Parker, William Smith, John The House went into Committee of the Whole Steele, Samuel Sterrett, Thomas Sumpter, Abraham on a bill providing for the settlement of the claims Venable, John Vining, Anthony Wayne, and Francis of certain persons, under particular circumstances, Willis 26.
barred by the limitations heretofore establishedMr. SENEY renewed his motion for striking out Mr. W. Smith in the Chair. the third and fourth sections, which respect the The object of this bill is, to admit the claims of ratio of representation on the Second Census, and such officers, soldiers, artificers, sailors, and macalled for the yeas and nays; which were taken rines, as may have been inevitably precluded from and stood as follow:
presenting them, within the times prescribed by Yeas.-Robert Barnwell, Elias Boudinot, Shearja- the ordinances of the late Congress, dated the 28 shub Bourne, Benjamin Bourne, Abraham Clark, Jo- November, 1785, and 230 July, 1787.
Election of President-Apportionment Bill.
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The Committee agreed to sundry amendments, John W. Kittera, John Laurance, Amasa Learned, Sam. which were reported. The House adopted seve- uel Livermore, William Vans Murray, Nathaniel Niles, ral of them; others were proposed, but not decided Cornelius C. Schoonmaker, Theodore Sedgwick, Israel on. Adjourned.
Smith, William Smith, Peter Sylvester, Thomas Tudor
Nars.-Abraham Baldwin, John Brown, Nicholas
Gilman, Samuel Griffin, William Barry Grove, NathanA message from the Senate, informed the House iel Macon, James Madison, Andrew Moore, Frederick that the Senate disagree to the last, and agree to Augustus Muhlenberg, John Page, Josiah Parker, Joshua all the other amendments proposed by this House Seney, Jeremiah Smith, Samuel Sterrett, Jonathan Sturto the bill sent from the Senate, entitled "An act ges, Thomas Sumpter, George Thatcher, Thomas Tredrelative to the election of a President and Vice well
, Abraham Venable, John Vining, Anthony Wayne, President of the United States, and declaring the Alexander White, Hugh Williamson, and Francis officer who shall act as President in case of vacan
Willis. cies in the offices both of President and Vice Pre
APPORTIONMENT BILL. sident.” The Senate have also appointed a com
An engrossed bill for an Apportionment of Remittee, jointly, with such committee as shall be appointed on the part of this House, to consider and to the first Enumeration, and making provision for
presentatives among the several States, according report what business is necessary to be done by another Enumeration, and an Apportionment of Congress in the present session, and what part of the business now depending may, without great Representatives, after the third day of March, one
Representatives thereon, to compose the House of inconvenience, be postponed to the next session, thousand seven hundred and ninety-seven, was that the proceedings may
be so regulated as to close read the third time, and the blanks therein filled this session by the first Tuesday in April next.
up; and, on the question that the said bill do pass, Mr. GOODHUE, Mr. WADSWORTH, Mr. Lau
it was resolved in the affirmative--yeas 34, nays RANCE, Mr. White, and Mr. Macon, were appoint. 16, as follows: ed a committee on the part of this House, for the purpose expressed in the message from the Senate. Benson, Abraham Clark, William Findley, Thomas
YEAS.—Abraham Baldwin, Robert Barnwell, Egbert ELECTION OF PRESIDENT, &c.
Fizsimons, Samuel Griffin, William Barry Grove, ThoThe House then proceeded to reconsider their mas Hartley, Israel Jacobs, Philip Key, John W. Kit
tera, John Laurance, Nathaniel Macon, James Madilast amendment, disagreed to by the Senate, to son, Andrew Moore, Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, the bill sent from the Senate, entitled "An act re- William Vans Murray, John Page, Josiah Parker, lative to the election of a President and Vice Pre-Cornelius C. Schoonmaker, Joshua Seney, William sident of the United States, and declaring the offi- Smith, Samuel Sterrett, Thomas Sumpter, Peter Sylcer who shall act as President, in case of vacancies vester, Thomas Tredwell
, Thomas Tudor Tucker, in the offices both of President and Vice Presi- Abraham Venable, John Vining, Anthony Wayne, dent.” Whereupon, the said amendment being Alexander White, Hugh Williamson, and Francis read as follows:
Willis. Strike out the ninth section in the words fol Nars.-Fisher Ames, Shearjashub Bourne, Benjamin lowing:
Bourne, Jonathan Dayton, Nicholas Gilman, Benjamin “ And be it further enacted, That in case of removal, Learned, Samuel Livermore, Nathaniel Niles, Theo
Goodhue, James Hillhouse, Aaron Kitchell, Amasa death, resignation, or inability, both of the President and Vice President of the United States, the President dore Sedgwick, Israel Smith, Jonathan Sturges, George
Thatcher, and Jeremiah Wadsworth. of the Senate pro tempore, and in case there shall be no President of the Senate, then the Speaker of the House
SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS. of Representatives, for the time being, shall act as Presi
The House resumed the consideration of the dent of the United States, until the disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.”
amendments reported by the Committee of the
Whole House yesterday, to the bill providing for the And in lieu thereof, insert :
settlement of claims of persons under particular " And be it further enacted, That, in case of removal, circumstances, barred by the limitations heretofor death, resignation, or inability, both of the President and established; and the same being read was agreed Vice President of the United States, the Secretary of to. The said bill was then further amended, and, State, for the time being, shall act as President of the together with the said amendments, ordered to be United States, until the disability be removed, or a Pre
engrossed, and read the third time to-morrow. sident shall be elected.”
THE MILITIA BILL. A motion was made, and the question being put, that the House do recede from the said amend The House resolved itself into a Committee ment-it passed in the affirmative-yeas 31, nays of the Whole House on the bill more effectually 24, as follows:
to provide for the national defence, by establishing Yeas.-Fisher Ames, Robert Barnwell, Egbert Ben- an uniform Militia throughout the United States. son, Elias Boudinot, Shearjashub Bourne, Benjamin The first section being readBourne, Abraham Olárk, Jonathan Dayton, William Mr. STURGES said, that he conceived some Findley, Thomas Fitzsimons, Elbridge Gerry Benja- amendment was necessary to this section. It apmin Goodhue, Thomas Hartley, James Hillhouse, Da- pears to consider the militia of the several States, niel Huger, Israel Jacobs, Philip Key, Aaron Kitchell, as the militia of the Union ; whereas the Consti
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The Militia Bill.
tution considers it as belonging to the respective stitution, and when they came to the section makStates; that the States alone are to say of what ing exemptions, he hoped they would make them description of persons the militia shall consist, and on a very liberal scale, that the militia should who shall be exempt from militia duty ; Congress consist of such persons as would be capable of have only power to organize them, when thus de- rendering service. signated. He therefore moved that the section Mr. Wadsworth opposed the motion. He obshould be amended, by striking out the clause, served that the subject had been managed in which he considered as involving the principle he such manner, as to pare the bill now under conwas opposed to.
sideration, down to such an inadequate, defective Mr. Seney observed, that the consequence of system, that he did not feel much interested in its the gentleman's motion would be, to render the fate. Still he hoped the motion would not prepower of Congress in organizing, arming, and dis- vail, for he considered it as better than no proviciplining the militia, entirely nugatory.
sion at all. He said that the militia of the several Mr. BARNWELL enlarged on the ideas suggested States exist at the present moment more by geneby Mr. SENEY.
ral consent of the persons forming them in the Mr. Livermore made some general remarks on several States, than in consequence of any laws the terms used in the Constitution, to designate of the particular States. The people in several the power of Congress in respect to the militia. States already avow the sentiment, that they He contended that they were the most vague and think that Congress alone has the power to form indefinite that could possibly have been adopted. the militia. He agreed substantially with Mr. Sturges. It is Mr. Sedgwick enlarged on the ideas of Mr. the militia of the several States that Congress WADSWORTH. He further remarked that theamendhave power to organize, and provide a mode of ment proposed would operate extremely unequal, discipline for. It is not a militia to be formed, or and would defeat the public expectations of an created—it already exists. He therefore thought efficient military defence, such an one as was conit best to leave it to the respective States to make sistent with a free Government. their own militia laws.
Mr. Sturges supported his motion. He was Mr. Barnwell observed, that the consequence surprised to hear gentlemen express their appreof the gentleman's proposition would be a total hensions that we should have no militia at all
. want of uniformity in the militia, and a clashing Adverting to the Constitution, he explained what from different militia systems. That it was in he considered the meaning of organizing, &c. vain to expect an effective militia, except Con- It simply relates to forming, arming, and arranggress should exercise the powers so expressly de- ing in a particular way, those materials which legated to them in this respect.
are furnished by the militia laws of the several Mr. Boudinot observed, that from the experi- States. In reply to the objections derived from ence Congress has had in the preceding sessions, the inattention and aversion of the States, to such of the difficulties attending this subject, he was requisitions as Congress may make, he said it was fully of opinion that a plan of conciliation alone not to be supposed that the States would be so inwould ever procure a passage through the Legis- attentive to the means of their own preservation, lature for a militia bill. He adverted to the pow- as to neglect their duty in this respect. ers of Congress on this subject, and to those re Mr. Niles supported the motion. served to the States; to the latter, was expressly Mr. Murray observed, that in no particular reserved the power of appointing the officers, and point of view was the people to be considered as if they refuse to do it, there is no power in Con- united for a general purpose, more than in that of gress to compel them. He therefore accorded with the general defence. The militia, contemplated the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. STURGES] in the Constitution, certainly does not mean an in opinion that the law which Congress shall pass, existing militia; for many of the States have no must be very simple in its construction, and refer militia nor militia laws; and therefore the clause to as few objects as possible.
must respect a militia to be formed or created. Mr. Hillhouse controverted the sentiments ad- He enlarged on the necessity and wisdom of the vanced by Mr. Boudinot. He said the natural in- provision. The appointment of the officers he
that Congress possesses no power at all considered as being properly left in the power of in the case ; for, if what that gentleman advances the States. is true, no provision that Congress can possibly The motion was negatived. make will be of the least avail. He contended A motion by Mr. Fitzsimons, to exempt perthat Congress, by virtue of the powers vested in sons who are not able to arm and equip themthem, are empowered to organize the militia, to selves, from any penalty on that account, while say what descriptions, ages, &c., the militia shall that disability continues
, occasioned some debate. consist of; to form them into companies, corps, Mr. SUMPTER entered into a general consideraregiments, &c.; and that when this is done, the tion of the subject. He denied that Congress had States are to appoint the officers; for, previous to any right to interfere with the regulations of the such an organization, the States cannot exercise several States in respect to their militia ; their the power of appointing the officers. He hoped, whole power respects only the calling the militia therefore, that the motion would not be agreed to; into actual service in cases of invasion, insurrecbut that the Committee would proceed in the mat- tion, or rebellion ; and when thus called into serter agreeable to the express powers of the Con-vice, they may provide for the organizing and ar
The Militia Bill.
ranging them in companies, corps, and battalions ; left in the bill, and to strike out this would render and it is the duty of the General Government then the militia a fallacious source of defence, and efto provide them with the means of defence; but fectually destroy every idea of uniformity. they have no right to say that the militia, previ Mr. Kitchell's motion was negatived. ous to being thus called out, shall be at the ex The motion to expunge the exemptions was sepense of arming themselves. He hoped the bill conded by Mr. Dayton. would take a different direction, and that Con Mr. Boudinot opposed it. He urged, in brief, gress would not so far interfere in this business as the several reasons which were offered on a former to designate the persons who shall bear arms, and occasion in support of the exemptions. to say how they shall be armed. It seems to be Mr. Dayton said, it appeared to him unreasonthe opinion of some gentlemen, according to the able to.exempt persons from militia duty, and observations which have fallen from them, that from paying an equivalent, too, who, from their the militia service shall be imposed on a compa- station in life, are best qualified to pay those equiratively small part of the citizens; and this ine- valents. It appeared to him to be unjust and imquality is to be increased by obliging those per- politic. sons to at the expense of arming themselves. Mr. J. SMITH opposed the motion. He observed He hoped that such injustice would not take place that the experience of the Eastern States, where
Mr. Niles, adverting to the Constitution, ob- the militia is on at least as respectable a footing served, that it appeared to him that a provision as in any part of the Union, was against the spirit for arming the militia was reserved to the States, of the motion. There various exemptions are so far as it respects the common defence. He made, and the prejudices of the people are in favor considered the requisition in the bill as operating of the practice. Many exemptions are necessary, like a capitation tax; and this species of tax, he and many characters in society cannot, and ought observed, was to be assessed only in a certain way, not to be compelled to bear arms-Ministers of agreeably to a particular clause in the Constitu- the Gospel, &c. To combat these prejudices, tion. He concluded by moving that the clause in would be little better than attacking a windmill. the bill which contained this provision for arming, Several other gentlemen spoke on the subject. should be struck out.
The motion was finally negatived. This motion was negatived.
The third section being readMr. Fitzsimons withdrew his motion, which Mr. J. Smith moved that these words, after the provided for a certificate from two Justices of the word "companies," " in such manner as the PrePeace, to admit a substitute, which provides that sident of the United States shall see proper to dithey shall be excused, if, in the judgment of the rect,” should be struck out. He observed, that, as commissioned officers to whose company they be the President of the United States has, by the long, they are not able to furnish themselves. Constitution, no command over the militia till This substitute was adopted.
they are called into actual service, he cannot, with Mr. Kitchell moved that the clause should be any propriety, be invested with this power. It struck out, which provides that the calibres of the lies with the Legislatures of the several States to guns should be of one bore. He observed that make the provision requisite in this case. The this provision was unnecessary, and in fact impos- Executives of the several States must be more sible to be complied with.
competent to determine the number of regiments, Mr. SUMPTER asked what was to be done with &c., into which their respective militia should be the arms which the militia now have in their divided. hands. Are they to be thrown away? Besides, Mr. LAURANCE said, the Constitution, by investhe thought the provision inconsistent with the ac- ing. Congress with the power of organizing the tual state of the military force of the country, the militia, appears necessarily to have included the laws for the regulation of which contemplate the power in question. enrolment of riflemen among the regular forces of Mr. LIVERMORE said, he was in favor of striking the country. Adverting to the expense which out the words, on two accounts. He did not know would attend this provision, he observed it was how the power could be exercised, and he was opalmost totally impracticable to carry it into exe- posed to retaining phrases which, however soundcution. He hoped it would not be agreed to, as ing and pompous they may be, contained no meanit would involve an enormous and unnecessary ing. This he conceived to be the case in respect expense.
to the words in question. They propose to invest Mr. MURRAY offered some similar remarks. He a power in the President, which I do not see how did not conceive that the excellency of the militia he can exercise; or, if he can, certainly not with of the United States consisted in their being armed so much propriety as the Legislatures of the seveall with muskets of the same bore. He did not ral States. consider the bill in the light that some gentlemen Mr. HillHOUSE was opposed to striking out the appeared to do. It was, in his opinion, merely a pro- words. He said he could conceive of no disadvision to keep alive á military germ that shall
, vantage which would result from giving the Prewhen occasion calls, spring up, and diffuse its in-sident the power of making a uniform arrangefluence among the people in such manner as to ment of the militia. It appeared to be necessary, furnish the most competent means of defence. in order to his being able to determine how to call
Mr. Wadsworth objected to the motion. He them into service, should public exigencies resaid this was one of the very few good regulations quire it, in such proportions and drafts as shall be