Imágenes de páginas

H. OF R.)

Georgia Contested Election.

[MARCH, 1792.

which he could not bring his mind to consent to? charges, and he begged leave to assure the House Mr. Jackson made a variety of other observations, that he would conform as much as possible, in the which continued until an adjournment was called mode of producing the evidence, to the wishes of for. Next day

some gentlemen yesterday; and the first testimony Mr. Jackson proceeded in his observations, and he would read would be that of Daniel Miller, remarked to the House, that some members had who was one of the clerks of the check of the poll been solicitous to see a law of Georgia where a of Camden, and a necessary officer under the law qualification was rendered necessary, previous to of Georgia, which he produced, and whereby it a magistrate's entering on the duties of his office; appeared that the superintending officers at electthat he had been uncertain yesterday whether he ions are empowered to appoint three clerks to had the law present with him or not; that he now attend, and to keep three rolls or checks, setting felt himself happy in being able to satisfy those down the names of the voters therein, with the members on that point.

names of the candidates, &c. He observed that it (He here produced the law, and which appeared would appear by Miller's testimony that he was positively to require the magistrates taking and one of these clerks; that the check was preserved, subscribing the oath therein prescribed, previous and sent on annexed to the testimony; that the to their entering on any official duty.]

whole number of votes at the legal poll was but Mr. Jackson then observed that he would, as twenty-five, fifteen for General Wayne, and ten he was on the Effingham business, beg leave to for himself; that poll was closed agreeably to law, produce the Constitution of Georgia, to ground on or about sunset; that he had scarcely daylight what he had advanced yesterday respecting the to complete the return by which it was made out right of Mr. Gibbons, Mr.

Putnam, and Mr. Moore's by him, and signed by the presiding magistrates voting at Effingham. From the 1st section, 4th outside the door; that a person by the name of article of the Constitution of Georgia, it required Allen Thomas was spoken to, to carry the said six months' residence in the county; this he read express to the Governor; that the return was then in his place, and said he considered the grounds of lodged in his hands for safe keeping until the next his charges respecting the Effingham return and day. This testimony Mr. Jackson read, which election so well established, that he would take up further proved that Mr. Osborne had taken the no more time of the House on that business. return from Miller, with a promise of returning it

He observed to the House that the next charge in the morning, Miller having been sent for by was that of the suppression of the Glynn return; Osborne in the might; that Mr. Wright, one of the but as the House had been pleased to indulge him magistrates at the first poll, advised with Mr. Milin the mode of conducting the prosecution, he ler, with a proposal of Osborne's of adding the would beg the permission to pass over the second, legal and the night election together, and to which and come to the third charge, that for the county Wright, at that time, seemed adverse, but afterof Camden.

wards consented, telling Miller that Osborne had And here he came, he said, to a scene of iniqui- not returned the first or legal return, having made ty indeed, a scene which had improved upon Bri- out another more to his mind, having found fault tish corruption, and had left ancient and modern with some of the words of the former, adding that story all behind; we read, it is true, of a Roman Mr. Osborne was a very good patcher, and that, if consul who stole the votes from the forum, to pre- it was a measure insupportable, he would not have vent an election of the people, and we have heard done it, and that he had given up, as Miller beof British sheriffs falsifying returns in favor of lieved, his opinion to the better one of Judge Ostheir friends; but here was a Judge of the land, the borne; Miller's testimony likewise proved that the great check upon the Executive Department, (and legal return was suppressed or destroyed. To agreeably to the principles of free Government, corroborate the testimony of Miller, Mr. JACKSON they ought to be separate and distinct,) acting as observed that he would produce the testimony of the Executive officer, the sacred guardian of the Samuel Śmith, the sheriffof Camden county, whose laws, the liberties, and privileges of his fellow-presence at the election was made necessary by citizens, violating them all

, and trampling them law. Mr. Smith proved that he attended the beneath his feet; who not only set down more election, performing the duty required of him. Mr. votes than the county had, but added to the polls Smith proved that the poll was continued till after names which were never known. Here the sacred sunset; that after the poll was closed. he saw the office of a judge became subservient to the views return made out by one of the clerks appointed to of party, and the possessor of it the tool of faction; keep the checks; that he saw it signed by the prebut he forbore, he said, to animadvert on his noto-siding magistrates, viz: Henry Wright, Langley rious conduct; he had been tried, impartially tried; Byan, and Hugh Brown. he had been convicted, and been punished; and by That

an express was engaged to carry the return that punishment the character of his country had to the Governor, and that the number of votes at been restored. Yes, said he, Georgia, thou hast set the said election did not exceed thirty; that the an example worthy of thy elder sisters ! thou hast business of the day being concluded, and it being hung out a warning to tyranny and its supporters! then dark, he returned to his lodgings, two miles thou hast set an example which must be respected, distant from the place of election; that some time and I trust will be followed, in similar circum- after he got there, he received a message from stances, in the United States, to the end of time. Osborne, requesting his return with the people

He would proceed to offer the evidence on the I there with him: that he observed to those about

MARCH, 1792.]

Georgia Contested Election.

[H. OF R.

him that he supposed the business of that day at and illegality of the Camden election, and he end, and that he should not return until next begged them to observe the chain of evidence; morning.

you find, says he, Miller, a public officer, doing his That, when he returned in the morning, he was duty at the election, who swears that the legal poll told that a second poll had been held the evening consisted but of twenty-five votes, that fifteen were before, a certified return of which he had seen, for Mr. WAYNE, and ten for himself; you find the containing eighty-nine votes, and that he did not poll was closed at sundown, agreeably to law; you believe that, at that time, there were above seventy find that Miller had scarcely daylight to complete persons entitled to vote in the county. That he the return by; you find that presiding magistrates, was well acquainted with Miller, who acted as on that account, signed the return outside the door; one of the clerks of the check, and that he was a you find the return delivered to Miller for safe man of veracity, and well respected.

keeping, and you find an express applied to; you Mr. Jackson next produced the testimony of find the number from Smith's testimony, who was Dr. John M. Scott, one of the surgeons of the first the sheriff of the county, and a necessary officer at regiment of the United States; a gentleman, he the poll, corroborating the testimony of Miller, that said, who had been as delicate in coming forward the number of votes did not exceed thirty; an exas his opposers could wish. It had been with diffi- press was absolutely engaged to carry the return culty he had procured his evidence, but Dr. Scott, to the Governor, and that after the law had been when he did come forward, had given his testi- complied with, the electors had generally dismony to prove that a second or illegal poll had persed; you next find, by the testimony of Dr. been held. The doctor's evidence set forth that Scott and Gray, the arrival of Mr. Osborne after he was in Camden, at the station on St. Mary's, dark, that a torch was brought to show them the in the month of January, 1791; that he went to landing; you find him sending again for the peothe election with some gentlemen in a boat; that ple, and here you observe the answer of the sheriff

, on the passage they fell in with Osborne. that the business of that day was at an end, and

That they arrived at Gray's about dark, and he should not return; notwithstanding this cauthat Osborne examined Gray respecting the elec- tion, you view, from their evidence, Osborne protion, and begged him to come on board and pilot ceeding to a second election, and setting down him to the place of election; that Gray showed absentees' names, who were not present at the first them the landing, and that a torch was brought poll, and among them James Seagrove and Philip them to show them where to land; that, on going Goodbread. You find here the question of Dr. up to the house where the election was held, the Scott, Is this the mode of conducting business at judge inquired what time the people went away; elections in Georgia? Why that question, said he, that it was answered the poll was closed at sun- but that the honest dictates of a virtuous heart down; that Osborne sent for several of the electors spurned at such abominable villany. Mark the to return, and that the poll was again opened; that answer of this iniquitous judge, “You never mind." the whole number did not exceed twenty; that Evasion, dark, designing evasion, which carried Mr. Seagrove's name was put down as a voter, guilt in its countenance; he dared not explain; but who was not present; that Osborne inquired the deed would not bear the light. Shall we rest of Gray the names of those who were not present here a moment, said he, and search whence this at the first election, and that their names were right of proxy? Is it found in the laws or the likewise set down as voters; that he did not see a Constitution of the Continent? Is it expressed in ticket or ballot given in; that he asked the judge the laws or the Constitution of Georgia? Is it to if this was the common mode of doing business at be met with in any of the laws or Constitutions elections in Georgia, to which Osborne replied to of the respective States? In France it is exploded; him, Never to mind.

in England it is only admitted to the Lords, Mr. Jackson now produced the affidavit of whose right is hereditary; in no free country on Gray, to which some objections were made by Mr. earth, said he, is this right established. Shall the Lewis, on behalf of the sitting member, and on United States then be the first to sanction this perwhich an argument, and reading the statement of nicious principle? Shall she who has lighted up the magistrate, was admitted. Gray corroborated the flame of liberty in other nations, who has asthe evidence of Dr. Scott in a full' manner, and tonished the universe, and loosened the trammels proved the absentees' names being set down to the on the rights of men, be the first to nourish this poll, particularly Seagrove's and Goodbread's. tyrannic vulture in her bosom? View how far it

Mr. Jackson next brought forward the testi- leads, see how far it extends, and there is not a mony of Abner Williams, to which objections were freeman who hears me, but must fire with indiglikewise made by Mr. Lewis, that it did not appear nation at the attempt. If admitted to one, shall to be written in the magistrate's presence: many we stop there? Shall we stop at ten, at twenty, nice and refined distinctions and reasonings were at one hundred, or one hundred thousand ? Shall given, and the testimony was ultimately rejected. we stop at a township, a county, a district, or a

Mr. Jackson observed that he had other testi- State? Sir, the glory of our Constitution is that mony of the same nature from Camden, which, our rights are equal; and if one citizen may be as the House had decided against the testimony of permitted to vote by proxy, the whole rights of the Williams, he should not produce.

community may be in like manner delegated, and From the testimony Mr. Jackson had produced, the consequence might be, that a Dionysius or a he thought he had fully established the iniquity Nero might be palmed upon us by authority. He

H. OF R.]

Georgia Contested Election.

[March, 1792.

did not like to be severe; he would repress what Mr. J. then proceeded, by observing that he he felt, out of respect to the House; but with what should now close his evidence and observations on view did this wicked judge come to that election ? the Camden election; he thought he had perfectly He was not actuated by a love of country, for his established his charges on this head, as well as on attempts, if successful, would have damned its the Effingham election ; he had proved that the liberty; not acting as a magistrate

, because, as a legal return had been suppressed, and that the magistrate, he was bound by the law, but here he second election had been illegal altogether. was barefacedly breaking it; but, void of principle, He would now proceed to the last article of and, from his character, he believed he never pos- charge, the Glynn return, and here he should offer sessed any; regardless of oaths, and worked on by the testimony of Colonel Samuel Hammond, a prejudice and party, he came there at all events, gentleman of the greatest veracity, who would and by any means, however base or abominable, prove-[Here Mr. Jackson was called on by Mr. to prevent his being elected.

Lewis to produce the evidence, and was desired Let it be remembered, sir, if this can obtain in not to inform the House of the contents of the Georgia, it can in other States, and the corruption testimony.] will be general. But, supposing there is right of Mr. Lewis objected to Colonel Hammond's proxy admitted, he would produce the census of evidence, on the grounds he had formerly made Georgia, under the official signature of the Secre- to the testimony of Williams, and, on argument, tary of Śtate, taken by the marshal of the district it was finally rejected. of Georgia, whereby it would appear that the Mr. Jackson here observed that it was not for whole number of male inhabitants consisted of him to do otherwise than suppose that the decibut eighty-one persons; here were eight more sion of the House was proper, however hard it votes than the whole contained, and sixty-four might bear on him, which, he must be permitted more than the legal poll; but admit, said he, that to say, it did; that, however, by the failure of the there are as many voters as the return mentions, receipt of this testimony, his charge must fall to Is it not extraordinary that, whilst other counties the ground, as the evidence of Hammond was the have polled but one-half

, and some not one-fourth principal ground on which he rested his charge, of its citizens, this county should have every and that he must, therefore, decline bringing forelector attending? But let us take the two elec- ward the other testimonies relating to this busitions, said he, and add them together, and how ness before the House. will they then stand, as appears by the testimony He said he felt himself now bound in duty to before the House ? Dr. Scott swears there were produce to the House the decision of the State of not more than twenty persons at the second elec- Georgia on the impeachment of Judge Osborne, tion. Twenty, therefore, at the second election, and he did not produce it without an expectation and twenty-five at the first election, are but forty- of its being objected to; but he begged leave to five, so that forty-four votes are still wanting, at offer some reasons why it should be received. the utmost extent; but, take Gray's testimony, Baron Gilbert, in his excellent treatise on eviand this deficiency is much greater. [Mr. Giles dence, had quoted Mr. Locke, to prove that the here asked the question, whether the eighty-one degrees of evidence were various, and that they male persons, returned by the census, were the extended from perfect certainty and demonstrapersons above the age of 16 or 21?] Mr. Jack- tion, quite down to improbability and unlikeliness, son, after thanking the honorable gentleman for even to the confines of impossibility. Perfect the question, as it had escaped him in observation, certainty was defined to be a clear and distinct said that the eighty-one were the free males above perception with one's own senses; probabilities, 16, so that one-fifth of those, which was the near- on which, in a greater or lesser degree, all other est proportion, ought to be deducted for those be- evidence 'rested, consisted of obscure views, or tween 16 and 21, and which would bring it to what was seen or heard by the report of others. sixty-five, which number was corroborated by the The first kind of evidence was not in the power testimony of Smith, the sheriff

, who had sworn of the House, because none of the facts alleged that the whole number of voters did not exceed, were within their views; but they were comat that time, the amount of seventy. He observed pelled to, and did, by their resolutions, depend on that the testimony of Smith must be of weight, for the second kind of evidence, or what was heard he was the sheriff of the county, who knew, or must by the report of others in Georgia. The House, be supposed to know, all the residents, who sum- in receiving the testimony offered, would receive moned all jurors

, and served all judicial processes. evidence taken at least on as careful grounds as Mr. Jackson here begged leave to offer a state that taken under the resolutions; the facts were ment he had made out, not as testimony, but to the same; the point at issue was the same, wheassist the minds of the House of those particular ther corruption had or had not taken place at this elections, and in the particular views in which election; the person accused was present, with they might be received.

his attorneys, to cross-examine; two of the attor[Here follows a statement of the polls in the neys of the sitting member were employed as different counties. Mr. Barnwell here inter-counsel, on that occasion, for Mr. Osborne, and rupted Mr. Jackson, as did also Mr. Benson, by one of them actually cross-examined the evidence; opposing the reading of any calculation ; but Mr. it must therefore be supposed that, from the ex Madison insisted that the petitioner had a right alted station of that gentleman, every industry to state the numbers at the different polls.] would be used, every exertion be made by them,

[ocr errors]

MARCH, 1792.]

Georgia Contested Election.

[H. OF R.

as well to clear the character of their client in Here, again, he would ask for their law, their Georgia as to establish the right of the sitting power to do so; and even then, could they dismiss member here. It was, he said, a decision of the the State officers convicted of corruption? Sir, highest court of the State of Georgia, founded on added he, could the united wisdom of this House an express article of the Constitution -a court have removed Mr. Osborne from the bench of having competent jurisdiction to decide, and an Georgia? Secure in his seat, he would have authority which the members of that State here minded the fulminations of Congress no more were not only called on to acknowledge, but to than the fulminations of the Court of Rome. respect. A decision of faction, he said, it could But, he supposed, it would be objected to on not be supposed, for whoever heard of a unani- another ground, that it was not agreeably to the mous faction? Faction signified a party in a strict rules of law, and therefore inadmissible, as State; here was a political phenomenon, which the parties were not the same. Although he addid not happen in a political age-a whole people mitted, in some degree, that the doctrine might of one way of thinking--a House of Representa- hold, yet still it was not unfrequently allowed to tives unanimously convicting. How, he asked, admit decisions in other courts, on trials between should the voice of the people be known? Here other parties. Thus, for instance, a sentence of were but two ways: by petition from the people a court of admiralty, where goods had been conat large, or by the declared sense of the Legisla- demned in a case of piracy, was admitted, as eviture. If he had taken the former, would not the dence, in a court of common law, in action of trover. gentleman have come forward to object to it? A sentence, in an ecclesiastical court, was admitted Would not there have been room to charge him as evidence of the right to the thing there decreed. with undue influence in procuring it? The voice A decree in chancery was not usually admitted of the people, therefore, would be best known by at common law. And he recollected one strong the Legislature of the State; for, notwithstanding case, where a judgment of ouster against the bailthe nice-spun sophistry of the day, he could not iffs of a corporation was admitted as evidence distinguish between the people and the State. against the person claiming a title under their Who was the State, but the society which com- election. This last case was precisely in point, pose it? Who, then, were the people, but the and he begged leave to impress it on the House, State? Would Congress, then, not receive the and the sitting member claiming under the return sense of the State of Georgia? Would they hush of Mr. Osborne. He acknowledged the advantage that voice which says we are not represented ? the learned counsel had of him here, having his Would not the world perceive how short-lived books to resort to, but he did not mean to rest Republican virtues were, and the British King fully on those cases, because he conceived the behold acts for which they had denominated him House bound by their own laws, and not by the a tyrant? The Government was founded on the laws of any inferior court; but where could be basis of the States and people; and, at least, a the danger of admitting it? Were the House a decent respect should be so far paid them as to common jury, liable to be imposed on by artifice, receive their complaints. If it be said that Con- or biassed by prejudice, they could not examine gress have the sole power of judging of the re- the evidence, reject what ought to be rejected, turns, elections, and qualifications of its own and suffer that to impress them which ought to members, without denying this position, he would impress them. beg leave to observe, there were powers delegated Here Mr. Lewis objected to the admission of by the Constitution which were not exclusive; these papers, and was astonished that they should that a power was given to the States to prescribe be offered to the House. He argued that the imthe times

, manner, and place, for holding the elec- peachment of Judge Osborne was unconnected tions, but Congress might alter those regulations. with the business in question; that it was altoHere, then, was a right in Congress which was gether ex parte, and therefore hoped the House pot exercised; the States were in the exercise of would reject it, and not suffer the proceedings of this power; every member in the House had been the State of Georgia, dignified as it was, to influelected under State laws; the State officers exe ence Congress in a matter which was entirely cuted the laws; and who had the cognizance of within their own jurisdiction.. their malfeasance but the States under whom The House refused to receive them. Wherethose officers held their appointments? Besides, upon the farther hearing on the said trial was who, he asked, could so well detect corruption as adjourned until to-morrow. the States, who were so much interested to do it? Could Congress detect this corruption ? Would

WEDNESDAY, March 14. individuals hazard their lives and fortunes, at the end of every election, to attend Congress to in that the Senate insist on their amendments to the

A message from the Senate informed the House form them of it? Would Congress establish in- bill entitled "An act to ascertain and regulate the quisitions in the respective States to find it out? Claims to half-pay and to invalid pensions," and Would the people of America submit to inquisi- have made a farther

amendment to the said bill ; tions? Had Congress the power to compel evi

use dence to attend ? Where was their law-where to which they desire the concurrence of this their compulsory process? He had seen neither.

GEORGIA CONTESTED ELECTION. But, suppose all this got over, and corruption de The House resumed the hearing on the contected, can Congress punish the authors of it? | tested election in the case of James JACKSON, com

H. OF R.]

Georgia Contested Election.

[March, 1792.

plaining of an undue election and return of An- returned to serve in this House for the State of THONY WAYNE, one of the members returned to Georgia; and the Counsel for the sitting member serve in this House for the State of Georgia; and having concluded his defence, the petitioner was application in writing having been made by the pe- heard in reply ; after which, the parties retired titioner as follows:

from the bar. « That the decision of the Senate of the State of A motion was then made and seconded, Georgia, on the impeachment of Judge Osborne, so far “That certain proceedings of the House of Repreas respects the Camden return for a member to representatives of the State of Georgia, accompanied with sent the State of Georgia, on the 3d day of January, other papers, transmitted agreeably to their resolution, 1791, be received as evidence in the present trial of that under the signature of the Governor and the seal of the election, to establish the corruption of Judge Osborne." State, relative to the election of a member to represent As well the petitioner as the sitting member, the Eastern District of the said State in this House, be

received." by his Counsel, were fully heard on the subject of the said application ; and the question being taken,

On which motion, the previous question being that the House do agree to the same, it was passed called for by five members, to wit: “Shall the in the negative-yeas 20, nays 41, as follows: main question to agree to the said motion be now YEAS.—John Baptist Ashe, Abraham Baldwin, Elias put ?" it passed in the negative, and so the said

motion was lost. Boudinot, Abraham Clark, Elbridge Gerry, William B. Giles, Andrew Gregg, William Barry Grove, Daniel

An adjournment was then called for and car

ried. Heister, Israel Jacobs, Philip Key, Aaron Kitchell, Nathaniel Macon, Cornelius C. Schoonmaker, John Steele, Thomas Sumpter, George Thatcher, Thomas Tred

FRIDAY, March 16. well, Thomas Tudor Tucker, and Francis Willis, Nars.-Fisher Ames, Robert Barnwell

, Egbert Ben- tested election in the case of the petition of James

The House proceeded to a decision on the conson, Shearjashub Bourne, Benjamin Bourne, John Brown, William Findley, Thomas Fitzsimons, 'Nicho-Jackson, complaining of an undue election and las Gilman, Benjamin Goodhue, Samuel Griffin, Tho- return of ANTHONY WAYNE, one of the members mas Hartley, James Hillhouse, Daniel Huger, John W. returned to serve in this House for the State of Kittera, John Laurance, Amasa Learned, Richard Georgia; and, after debate thereon, a motion beBland Lee, Samuel Livermore, James Madison, John ing made and seconded that the House do agree Francis Mercer, Andrew Moore, Frederick Augustus to the following resolution: Muhlenberg, William Vans Murray, Nathaniel Niles, Resolved, That Anthony WAYNE was not duly John Page, Josiah Parker, Theodore Sedgwick, Joshua elected a Member of this House :" Seney, Jeremiah Smith, Israel Smith, William Smith, Samuel Sterrett, Jonathan Sturges, Peter Sylvester, by yeas and nays, every member present voting

It was unanimously resolved in the affirmative, Abraham Venable, John Vining, Jeremiah Wadsworth,

in the affirmative. Artemas Ward, Alexander White, and Hugh Williamson.

Another motion was then made and seconded,

“That the SPEAKER do transmit a copy of the said The petitioner then proceeded to conclude with vote to the Executive of the State of Georgia ;" the exhibits and proofs in support of the remain-and, debate arising thereon, ing charges of his petition, after which, the sitting

Ordered, That all farther decision on the said member, by his Counsel, entered into the defence, contested election be postponed until Monday and produced sundry exhibits and proofs in oppo- next. sition to the said charges; and having made some progress therein, an adjournment was called for. mittee to whom was referred the report of the

Mr. BOURNE, of Rhode Island, from the comWhereupon, Ordered, That the farther hearing on the said | Commissioners of Loans for the States of New

Secretary of the Treasury on the petitions of the trial be postponed until to-morrow.

Hampshire and Rhode Island and Providence

Plantations, made a report; which was read, and THURSDAY, March 15.

ordered to be committed to a Committee of the A message from the Senate informed the House Whole House on Tuesday next. that the Senate have passed the bill entitled "An

The House proceeded to consider the amendact declaring the consent of Congress to a certain ments of the Senate, disagreed to by this House, act of the State of Maryland, and to continue for and insisted on by the Senate, to the bill entitled a longer time an act declaring the assent of Con- | "An act to ascertain and regulate the claims to gress to certain acts of the States of Maryland, half-pay and to invalid pensions." Whereupon, Georgia, and Rhode Island and Providence Planta

Resolved, That this House doth recede from tions," so far as the same respects the States of their disagreement to the said amendments, and Georgia and Rhode Island and Providence Planta

doth agree to all the amendments of the Senate to tions.

the said bill.

Ordered, That the Clerk of this House do acGEORGIA CONTESTED ELECTION.

quaint the Senate therewith. The House resumed the hearing on the con Ordered, That the Report of the Secretary of tested election, in the case of the petition of James the Treasury, relative to the act entitled "An act Jackson, complaining of an undue election and re- repealing, after the last day of June next, the duturn of ANTHONY WAYNE, one of the members ties heretofore laid upon distilled spirits imported

« AnteriorContinuar »