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H. OF R.]
The Militia Bill.
most equal to the people, and most conducive to tived, and the Committee rose, and the House the public service.
adjourned. Mr. Page observed, that it appeared necessary to retain the clause, in order to effecting the ob
WEDNESDAY, February 22. ject of uniformity; for, if the power is invested in fifteen different bodies, or individuals, it cannot be An engrossed bill providing for the settlement expected that they will ever agree in one uniform of the claims of persons under particular circumplan. Nor did he conceive that this regulation stances, barred by the limitations heretofore estawould, in the least, interfere with the essential blished, was read the third time and passed. powers of the several States. He was as much Mr. Fitzsimons, from the committee to whom averse as any man from abridging any of the pow. were referred the Message from the President ers of the several States, but this regulation would of the United States, of the eighth of this month, not interfere with those powers in any manner and a Letter from the Secretary of State acwhatever.
companying the same, together with an account of Mr. Seney was in favor of striking out. He John Brown Cutting, against the United States, thought it was a sufficient reason to reject the made a report; which was read, and ordered to clause, but the President could not be supposed so
lie on the table. competent to the business as the authority of the
The SPEAKER laid before the House a Letter several States.
from the Secretary of State, accompanying a copy Mr. SUMPTER was in favor of striking out. The of the laws adopted and published by the Governor scope of his observations was, that the United and Judges of the territory Northwest of the Ohio; States have power only to say how the militia which were read, and ordered to lie on the table. shall be organized, but it must be left to the seve- INDEMNITY TO GEN. GREENE'S ESTATE. ral States to carry the plan into execution. Mr. LAURANCE stated the difficulties which
On a motion made and seconded, that the House would result from the want of uniformity, in case
do come to the following resolution: of the militia being called into actual service. “Whereas the late Major General Nathaniel Greene,
Mr. Niles observed, that the relative bounda- on the eighth day of April, one thousand seven hundred ries of towns, States, and districts, rendered the and eighty-three, the more effectually to procure rations uniformity contended for impracticable, and there and supplies for the Southern Army of the United fore the clause is nugatory. A great variety, as States, became bound as surety for John Banks and to numbers, in the companies and regiments of Company to Newcomen and Collet
, merchants in the Continental Army, actually existed during the Charleston, for the payment of eight thousand seven late war,
and yet no difficulty occurred from that hundred and forty-three pounds, fifteen shillings and circumstance.
sixpence, sterling money, being the condition of said
bond: The motion for striking out was carried.
“And whereas, on the first day of May, one thousand It was then moved to insert: “In such manner
seven hundred and eighty-six, the balance of principal as the Legislatures of the respective States shall and interest of said bond, being then eight thousand six direct.” This was agreed to.
hundred and eighty-eight pounds six shillings sterling, Mr. Gilman moved that the clause in the fourth was paid by the said General Greene: Therefore, section, which provides that the aids shall be taken “ Resolved, That the United States shall indemnify from the line, and the words “ with the rank of the estate of the said General Greene for the said sum Major" should be struck out. He observed, that, last mentioned, and the interest thereof: Provided, The in the regular service, on the principles of econo- Executors of the said General Greene shall account for my, this arrangement takes place; but he con- a sum, being about two thousand pounds, be the same ceived this would be unnecessary in the militia, if more or less, received of John Ferrie, one of the partnot injurious to the service.
ners of the said Banks and Company, to be in part of This amendment was agreed to.
the indemnification aforesaid ; and also shall make over, The sixth section, which specifies the times of for the use of the United States, all mortgages, bonds, mustering and training the militia, says that the covenants, or other counter-securities whatsoever, now artillery, light infantry, troops of horse, &c., shall due, which were obtained by the said General Greene rendezvous four times a year, and the rest of the account of his being surety for them as aforesaid, to be
in his lifetime, from the said Banks and Company, on militia twice a year.
sued for in the name of the said executors, for the use Mr. J. Smith rose to inquire the reason of the of the United States :" distinction between the companies. Mr. BARNWELL moved to add a proviso, autho
Ordered, That the said resolution be committed rizing the States to pass laws enjoining musters to a Committee of the Whole House immediately. as often as they may see proper.
The House accordingly resolved itself into a Mr. Boudinot answered Mr.J. Smith's inquiry. Committee of the Whole House on the said resoHe said the object was to form a nursery of off-lution; and, after some time spent therein, the cers for the militia, whenever detachments shall Committee rose, reported progress, and obtained
leave to sit again. be suddenly called into actual service.
Mr. J. Smith objected to Mr. BARNWELL's proviso. He conceived that the States already fully
THURSDAY, February 23. possessed this power.
Mr. BOUDINOT, from the committee to whom The proviso, after further debate, was nega- | were referred sundry petitions of the tanners of
[H. OF R.
New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, made a compliance with the resolution would operate a report; which was read, and ordered to lie on against the interest of the United States. the table.
The officers of the Treasury are proceeding in A message from the Senate informed the House this business; no charge of remissness has been that the Senate have passed the bill, entitled “An adduced; they have already made greater proact for making farther and more effectual provi- gress in settling the old accounts, since the new sion for the protection of the frontiers of the United Government came into operation, than had been States," with several amendments, to which they done in many years previous thereto; and their desire the concurrence of this House.
investigations receive no interruption but what
arises from the more important business of the UNPAID BALANCES.
present Government. On motion that the House do come to the fol It was inquired what would be the effect of this lowing resolution:
resolution. It would bring forward one thousand “ Resolved, That the Secretary of the Treasury cause or fifteen hundred names of persons apparently to be laid before this House a statement of the balances debtors to the United States; but the principal remaining unpaid, if any, which may have been due by part of whom were either creditors, or did not owe individuals to the United States previous to the fourth the public one farthing. What is intended to be day of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty- done as a consequence of this disclosure? Is it nine, and whether any, and what, steps have been taken designed that suits shall be instituted against these to recover the same; and also a statement of the sundry persons? That would induce an unproductive sums of public money which may have been intrusted to individuals, previous to the said fourth day of March, expense to an amount which cannot now be estione thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, and have mated. The Comptroller is empowered by law to not been accounted for :"
sue every delinquent; but is he to exercise no It was moved and seconded that the said reso- been stated, as a reason for adopting the resolu
discretion in the discharge of his duty? It had lution be committed ; and, on the question for tion, that its object was to ascertain to what commitment,
amount these balances, if any, would supercede It was resolved in the affirmative-yeas 31, the necessity of additional taxes; but, it was asked, nays 27, as follows:
would the Government be justified in assessing Yeas.-Fisher Ames, Abraham Baldwin, Robert one farthing, less on account of these balances, Barnwell, Egbert Benson, Elias Boudinot, Shearjashub which must be considered in a great measure as Bourne, Benjamin Bourne, Abraham Clark, Jonathan fictitious? It was further said, that it was utterly Dayton, William Findley, Thomas Fitzsimons, Benja, impossible for the officers of the Treasury to make min Goodhue, Andrew Gregg, Thomas Hartley, Daniel out the statement in question during the present Heister, James Hillhouse, Daniel Huger, Israel Jacobs,
session. John W. Kittera, Amasa Learned, Samuel Livermore, Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, William Vans Mur- did not imply, either directly or indirectly, any
In support of the resolution, it was said that it ray, Theodore Sedgwick, William Smith, Samuel Sterrett, Jonathan Sturges, Peter Sylvester, Jeremiah Wads- imputation against the Comptroller--the House worth, Anthony Wayne, and Francis Willis.
has undoubtedly a right to call on any of its offiNars.—John Baptist Ashe, John Brown, Elbridge cers for information. It is an opinion abroad, that Gerry, Nicholas Gilman, William Barry Grove, Philip there are large sums due from individuals, and the Key, Aaron Kitchell, Richard Bland Lee, Nathaniel public has a right to be satisfied that the proper Macon, James Madison, Andrew Moore, Nathaniel steps have been taken to recover those sums. Niles, John Page, Josiah Parker, Cornelius C. Schoon- Those steps may have been pursued, but it is not maker, Joshua Seney, Jeremiah Smith, Israel Smith, known that they have; further, it was said, that John Steele, Thomas Sumpter, George Thatcher, Tho- this information was necessary in order to be able mas Tredwell, Thomas Tudor Tucker, Abraham Vena- to form a competent judgment of the state of the ble, John Vining, Alexander White, and Hugh Wil- public accounts; that the information in question, hamson.
the House had a most undoubted right to receive; Ordered, That the said resolution be committed and that it was a very strange idea, indeed, to to Mr. Boudinot, Mr. Dayton, Mr. GERRY, Mr. suppose that it contained any reflection on the Smith, of New Hampshire, and Mr. BOURNE, of Comptroller, or any other officer of the Treasury; Rhode Island.
it was further said, that no difficulties ought to Against the resolution, as originally proposed deter the House from going into the investigation; by Mr. Macon, it was objected that it was in- it was immaterial whose names were brought forformal; that the law instituting the Treasury De- ward in consequence, the balances due to the partment had made every competent provision in public ought to be known. That similar objecthe case; that the duty of the Comptroller was tions to those now offered will always lie against particularly designated; and that, if he has been going into this investigation, and in proportion to deficient, the proper mode would be to call him to the urgency of the inquiry will be the strength an account, and if found remiss' he should be im- and ingenuity of those objections.
With respect peached. The resolution contained an imputation to the disclosure of names, it was observed, that on that officer, and yet no gentleman had come the truth once known would set every man's forward with any direct charges against him. It character in a just point of light; the inquiry, so was further said, that information had been re- far from proving injurious to such characters, apceived from the Comptroller on this subject; that | pears to be the most direct method to do away the
H. of R.]
Gen. Greene-Protection of the Frontier-Georgia Election. [FEBRUARY, 1792.
prejudices and suspicions that have been circu- of the transaction between John Banks and Company lated against them. It is said to be problematical with Messrs. Newcomen and Collet, in which General whether there are any balances due; but, if it Greene was security for the said Banks and Company, should appear that there are, they may be obtained, it shall appear that neither General Greene nor his and a much greater sum 'realized 'than is now Executors shall have received any payment or compenthought of, and new burdens on the people to that sation for. Provided, The Executors of the said Gene
ral Greene shall account for a sum, being about two amount may be prevented.
thousand pounds, be the same more or less, recovered of INDEMNITY TO GENERAL GREENE.
John Ferrie, one of the partners of the said Banks and The House then again resolved itself into a company, to be in part of the indemnification aforesaid. Committee of the Whole House on the resolution And also shall make over, for the use of the United to indemnify the estate of the late General Na- States, all mortgages, bonds, covenants, or other counter thaniel Greene for a certain suretyship entered securities, whatsoever, now due, which were obtained into by the said Nathaniel in his lifetime on the by the said General Greene in his lifetime, from the said public behalf; and, after some time spent therein, for them as aforesaid, to be sued for in the name of the
Banks and Company, on account of his being surety the Committee rose, and had leave to sit again.
said Executors, for the use of the United States."
The House proceeded to consider the said resoFRIDAY, February 24.
lution; and, after some time spent therein, an adA petition of sundry merchants of Philadelphia, journment was called for, and carried. trading to India and China, was presented to the House and read, praying the protection and encouragement of the General Government, either
SATURDAY, February 25. by prohibiting foreigners from interfering in the PROTECTION OF THE FRONTIERS. trade, or making a greater distinction than now exists, between the duties imposed upon goods
The House proceeded to consider the amendimported into the United States, immediately from ments proposed by the Senate to the bill, entitled Asia, and those brought by the way of Europe.
“An act for making farther and more effectual Referred to the Committee of the Whole House provision for the protection of the frontiers of the on the state of the Union.
United States;" and the same being read, some A message from the Senate, by Mr. Otis, their were agreed to, others amended and agreed to, and Secretary, informed the House that he had brought
other disagreed to. to the House, the bill for making farther and more
Ordered, That the Clerk of this House do aceffectual provision for the defensive protection of quaint the Senate therewith. the frontiers of the United States, together with a fair transcript from their Journal, of the amend
MONDAY, February 27. ments thereto; to which amendments the Senate desire the concurrence of this House.
A Report was received on the petitions of the
importers of teas from India, which was in favor INDEMNITY TO GENERAL GREENE.
of the petitioners; and proposes extending the
time for payment of the duties from one to two The House then resolved itself into a Commit- years. Laid on the table. tee of the Whole on the resolution to indemnify On motion of Mr. W. Smith, the laws for the the estate of the late Major General Nathaniel government of the Western Territory, received Greene for a certain suretyship entered into by the from the Secretary of State, were committed to said Nathaniel, in his lifetime, on public account; the committee on the petition of Judge Turner. and, after some time spent therein, the Chairman reported that the Committee had again had the
GEORGIA CONTESTED ELECTION. resolution under consideration, and directed him
This being the day assigned for the trial of the to report the same, amended to read as follows:
contested election in the case of the petition of "Whereas the late Major General Nathaniel Greene, James Jackson, complaining of an undue election on the eighth day of April
, one thousand seven hundred and return of Anthony Wayne, one of the memand eighty-three, the more effectually to procure rations bers returned to serve in this House for the State and supplies for the Southern army of the United States, of Georgia, the House proceeded to take up the became bound as surety for John Banks and Company, same for consideration, and the petitioner, on his to Newcomen and Collet, merchants in Charleston, for prayer, being admitted to the bar of the House, the payment of eight thousand seven hundred and fortythree pounds , fifteen shillings and sixpence, sterling last postponement had not afforded sufficient time
Mr. Wayne rose, and after observing that the money, being the condition of the said bond:
“And whereas, on the first day of May, one thousand to receive the evidence which he meant to bring seven hundred and eighty-six, the balance of principal
forward on this occasion, offered a resolution for and interest of the said bond, being then eight thousand a further postponement to the Monday in six hundred and eighty-eight pounds six shillings ster
March next. ling, was paid by the said General Greene: Therefore, On motion, it was unanimously voted that a seat
" Resolved, That the United States shall indemnify the be assigned for the petitioner, Mr.JACKSON, in which estate of the said General Greene for the said sum last he might, either by himself, or his attorney, state mentioned and the interest thereof, or for such sum as, his objections, if any, to a further postponement. upon due investigation by the officers of the Treasury, Mr. Jackson accordingly took a seat within the
Protection of the Frontier— Militia Bill.
[H. OF R.
bar, and addressing the Chair, offered several ob-Brown, be appointed managers at the said conjections to a further postponement.
ference, on the part of this House. To these objections Mr. Wayne replied; and On the question that this House doth insist on after sundry observations from various parts of the their disagreement to the amendment of the SeHouse, the question on taking up the order of the nate for striking out the fourteenth section of the day was put and carried.
said bill, in the words following, to wit: The resolution for a postponement was then
“And whereas, in case the forbearing to raise the further discussed and amended, and finally agreed whole, or some part of the said three additional regito in the following words, viz:
ments, should be deemed not consistent with the public “ Resolved, That the trial of the contested elect- safety, it will still be desirable that all unnecessary exion of ANTHONY WAYNE, returned as a member pense should, as far as possible, be avoided ; and, to that of this House to represent the State of Georgia, be end, that the officers of the same should only be appostponed to the second Monday in March next.” | pointed from time to time, as occasion may require
Thirty-six members rose in favor of the motion. “ Be it enacted by the Senate and House of RepreMr. Baldwin informed the House, that he had sentatives of the United States of America in Congress received certain papers relative to this election assembled, "That the President alone be authorized to from the Supreme Executive of the State of Geor- make all such appointments as may not be required pregia, which he asked leave to lay on the table agree-vious to the close of the present session of the Senate, ably to instructions.
and may become necessary before the next session of Many objections were made to receiving these Congress :" pa pers from all parts of the House.
It was resolved in the affirmative-yeas 43, Mr. Baldwin, after remarking that they con- nays 9, as follows: tained many documents which the House must YEAS.-Fisher Ames, John Baptist Ashe, Abraham necessarily recur to in the course of the trial; and Baldwin, Robert Barnwell, Elias Boudinot, Shearjashub that he had so far pursued his instructions, as Bourne, Benjamin Bourne, John Brown, Abraham would fully exculpate the Executive of Georgia Clark, Jonathan Dayton, Elbridge Gerry, Nicholas from any charge of remissness in duty on the occa- Gilman, Benjamin Goodhue, Andrew Gregg, William sion, took back the papers.
Barry Grove, James Hillhouse, Daniel Huger, Philip Whereupon, as well the sitting member as the Key, Aaron Kitchell
, Amasa Learned, Nathaniel Macon, petitioner, being fully heard on the subject-matter James Madison, Andrew Moore, Frederick Augustus of the said application:
Muhlenberg, William Vans Murray, Nathaniel Niles, Resolved, That the trial of the said contested John Page, Josiah Parker, Cornelius C. Schoonmaker, election be postponed until the second Monday in Theodore Sedgwick, Joshua Seney, Jeremiah Smith, March next.
William Smith, John Steele, Samuel Sterrett, Jonathan
ander White, and Hugh Williamson.
Nars.—Egbert Benson, Thomas Fitzsimons, Thomas PROTECTION OF THE FRONTIERS. Hartley, Daniel_Heister, Samuel Livermore, Israel
Smith, Thomas Tredwell, Anthony Wayne, and FranA message from the Senate informed the House cis Willis. that the Senate recede from some and insist on
MILITIA BILL. other of their amendments disagreed to by this House to the bill for making further and more The House again resolved itself into a Comeffectual provision for the protection of the fron-mittee of the Whole House on the bill more effecttiers of the United States.
ually to provide for the national defence, by esThe House proceeded to consider the said mes- tablishing a uniform Militia throughout the United sage. Whereupon,
States; and, after some time spent therein, the Resolved, That this House doth recede from the Committee rose and reported progress. amendment to the thirteenth amendment proposed by the Senate to the eighth section of said bill, and doth agree to the said thirteenth amendment with
WEDNESDAY, February 29. out amendment: also, that this House doth recede A message from the Senate informed the House from their disagreement to the amendment pro- that the Senate agree to the conference proposed posed by the Senate to the sixth section of the by this House on the subject matter of the amendsaid bill.
ments depending between the two Houses to the Resolved, That this House doth insist on their bill entitled " An act for making further and more disagreement to all the other amendments pro- effectual provision for the protection of the fronposed by the Senate to the said bill, on which the tiers of the United States," and have appointed Senate hath insisted; and also doth insist on the managers at the said conference on their part. amendment to the third amendment proposed by Ordered, That Mr. STEELE be appointed one the Senate to the sixteenth section of the said bill, of the managers at the said conference, on the part to which the Senate hath disagreed.
of this House, in the room of Mr. Dayton, incaResolved, That a conference be desired with pacitated by sickness. the Senate, on the subject matter of the amend The SPEAKER laid before the House a Letter ments disagreed to; and that Mr. SEDGWICK, Mr. from the Treasurer of the United States, accomWilliamson, Mr. White, Mr. Dayton, and Mr. I panying his account of receipts and expenditures
H. OF R.] John Churchman-Militia Bill-Protection of the Frontier. [MARCH, 1792. of public money between the 1st of October and navigation, the Congress of the United States may, the 31st of December, 1791, inclusive; which were with great propriety, patronize such a person as Mr. read, and ordered to be referred to Mr. Fitzsi-Churchman, and grant him such aid as may be necesMONS, Mr. LAURANCE, and Mr. AMES.
sary to enable him to prosecute his laudable inquiries to The Speaker laid before the House a Letter good effect;' but the committee submít to the wisdom of from the Secretary of the Treasury, covering his the House to say whether, in the present circumstances report on the petition of the executors of Edward of the United States, such grant shall now be made. Carnes, deceased ; which was read, and ordered to as to that part of the memorial which states that, in be committed to a Committee of the Whole House the act for the encouragement of learning, by securing
the copies of maps, charts, and books, to their authors on Monday next. A memorial of the merchants of New York tra- copying such maps and charts was too small, and by no
and proprietors, the penalty annexed to the offences of ding to India and China was presented to the means adequate to the offence, and praying for an act House and read, praying the patronage and en- to amend the same, the committee are of opinion that couragement of the General Government, either the prayer of the memorialist is reasonable
, and that the by prohibiting foreigners from interfering in the copyright of maps, charts, tables,
and prints, ought to said trade, or making a greater difference than now be secured to their respective authors, or their assigns, exists between duties on goods imported into the by greater penalties than those declared in the act aforeUnited States immediately from Asia and those said.” brought by the way of Europe.
Ordered, That a bill or bills be brought in, purOrdered, That the said memorial be referred to suant to the said report, and that Mr. Page, Mr. the Committee of the Whole House on the state Goodhue, and Mr. Grego, do prepare and bring of the Union.
in the same. Mr. Smith, of South Carolina, from the committee appointed to examine whether any, and
MILITIA BILL. what, alterations are necessary to be made in the The House again resolved itself into a Comacts establishing the Treasury and War Depart- mittee of the Whole House on the bill more efments, made a report; which was read, and order- fectually to provide for the national defence, by ed to be committed to a Committee of the Whole establishing a uniform Militia throughout the House on Tuesday next.
United States; and, after some time spent therein,
the Committee rose and reported progress. PETITION OF JOHN CHURCHMAN. The House proceeded to consider the report of
THURSDAY, March 1. the committee to whom was referred the petition of John Churchman. Whereupon,
Mr. Goodhue, from the joint committee of the Resolved, That this House doth agree to the two Houses appointed to consider and report what said report, in the words following:
business is necessary to be done by Congress in
the present session, made a report; which was “ That the said Churchman, having pursued his inqui- read, and ordered to lie on the table. ries into his theory of the variation of the magnetic Mr. Williamson, from the committee appointneedle, has found a number of observations, made in ed, presented a bill to amend an act entitled “ An different parts of the world, which confirm his hypothe act to promote the progress of Useful Arts;" which sis ; that, animated by this circumstance, and applauded was received, and read the first time. for his ingenuity by several learned societies in Europe, which have looked up to him for the prosecution of his
The House again resolved itself into a Commitplan for establishing the truth of his theory, he has been tee of the Whole House on the bill more effectemboldened to ask again the aid of the General Govern- ually to provide for the national defence, by estabment of the United States to enable him to gratify the lishing a uniform Militia throughout the United expectations of the philosophical world, and to put his States; and, after some time spent therein, the theory to an immediate and the strictest scrutiny. The Committee rose and reported progress. committee are free to declare it as their opinion, that Mr. Churchman's ingenuity, displayed in proposing and
PROTECTION OF THE FRONTIERS. supporting his theory, and his labors in prosecuting his Mr. Sedgwick, from the managers appointed on examination thereof, entitle him to the applause of the the part of the House to attend the conference enlightened world, and to the encouragement and sup with the Senate on the subject matter of the port of his country. And it is the opinion of the com- amendment depending between the two Houses mittee that, as a more perfect knowledge of the laws of to the bill entitled " An act for making further and magnetism, and the variation of the magnetic needle, is more effectual provision for the protection of the greatly to be desired, as it would furnish a ready means frontiers of the United States," made a report. of adjusting and preventing disputes respecting the boundaries of ancient surveys of land, and of correcting
Whereupon, many inaccuracies in geographical charts, and in the
Resolved, That this House doth recede from journals of the courses and distances run by vessels at their disagreement to the amendment of the Se sea, every possible encouragement ought to be given to nate for striking out the fourteenth section of the all persons who, by their theories, confirmed by observa- said bill; also, that this House doth recede from tions, contribute towards the perfecting this desirable their disagreement to the amendments of the Se knowledge ; and that, as the United States are peculiar- nate to the sixteenth section, and doth agree to ly interested in whatever can adjust or prevent disputes the said several amendments without amendment. between their citizens, and can improve geography and Resolved, That this House doth agree to an