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[April, 1792. respecting a claim of the State of Maryland: of Representatives should amount to one hundred, Whereupon,
after acquiring which number by that rule only, Resolved, That the claim of the said State be allowed a qualified discretion is admitted; that the opifor the sum of two hundred and forty-two pounds eight nions of the gr.at bulk of the people of America shillings and three pence, current money of the said were in favor or an increased representation, at State, paid to Nicholas Ruxton Moore, for the amount least as far as the utmost limits prescribed by the of a judgment rendered against him in the General Constitution; that tais circumstance was eviCourt of the said State, on account of horses purchased denced by the Conventios which adopted the for the use of the United States during the late war; Constitution; that it was jurther evidenced by and that the Commissioners for settling the accounts the several Legislatures wnic. adopted the probetween the United States and individual States, be posed amendments before alluded to; that it was authorized and directed to adjust and settle the said still further evidenced by the nu ber of Repreclaim, with the agent of the State aforesaid, on the sentatives in the respective State Legislatures; same principles as other claims of the several States are that this last circumstance is renderes reculiarly adjusted and settled ; any limitation in the acts of Con- forcible by a comparative view of the wyjects of gress to the contrary notwithstandiug.
legislation chartered to the Governmeni o. the Ordered, That a bill or bills be brought in pur- United States, and those retained to the State suant to the said resolution, and that Mr. SENEY, Governments. The objects of legislation caldia Mr. GERRY, and Mr. SUMPTER, do prepare and tered to the Government of the United States, bring in the same.
are wholly national and important; the objects
of legislation retained to the State Governments APPORTIONMENT BILL.
are comparatively local and subaltern: those peThe House resolved itself into a Committee of culiarly prompt temptation and invite corrup the Whole House on the bill for an Apportion- tion—these offer no inducements to either. În ment of Representatives among the several States, the Government of the United States, the constiaccording to the first Enumeration; at the ratio tuents of the Representative body are complex of one for every thousand persons, in the re- and diversified; in the State Governments they spective States.
are comparatively simple and assimilated. That Mr. Giles observed, that, although this subject a sympathy with the feelings of the people should has been heretofore thoroughly discussed, and the characterize this branch of the Government; wisminds of gentlemen probably fatigued with the dom is the expected characteristic of the Senate; discussion, yet he could not help trespassing upon and despatch of the Executive. the patience of the Committee, by mentioning To the inequality of representation relatively some of the principal reasons which would influ- to States suggested to result from the application ence his vote against the motion, and in favor of of this rule, Mr. G. replied that the inequality that ratio which will afford the greatest number complained of is rather ideal than real; that to of Representatives authorized by the Constitution. determine how far this consideration really ought He was induced to do this from an opinion that, to exist among States, it is right and proper to in the usual course of things, arguments will have ascertain the whole comparative Government: an effect upon the public mind in some measure and the issue of this inquiry will be, that those proportioned to their own solidity, and the purity States in whose favor the rule is said to operate, of the motives which actuate them. That the possess the least governmental influence in the compound of these qualities form a common stand-Senate, proportioned to numbers; and that the ard, by which all arguments would and ought to casual gain here is no equivalent for the certain be measured by the great majority of the people; loss there. As far, therefore, as the governmental and he had no objections to submitting his rea- influence of States in relation to numbers is to sons to the application of this common standard; operate, it will furnish a motive of preferment for he meant, however, to confine himself to general the rulé he contended for. remarks, and not to fatigue the Committee unne It has been said (continued Mr. G.) that the recessarily with minute exemplification of them.
presentation of the States in the Senate is strictly He proceeded by observing, that the expression defined by the Constitution, and that therefore the in the Constitution induced and justified the gene- consideration of the relative influence of the States, ral expectation among the people of the United then, should not be resorted to as an argument in States, that one Representative for every thirty the apportionment of Representatives to this House. thousand persons was secured to them by the But, it should be observed, that the rule contendConstitution; that a definitive certainty in the ed for, though not so strictly defined, is equally number of Representatives, as well as the manner within the pale of the Constitution; and the most of procuring them, is, in its nature, of Constitu- extended use to be made of this consideration is, tional and not of Legislative provision, and affords to manifest the impropriety of resorting to the a reason against varying the ratio mentioned in pretended inequality among States, as a concluthe Constitution, although that ratio be expressed sive argument to vary that ratio of representation in terms of latitude; that Congress had confirmed for this House which is admitted to be the most the general expectation in the public mind by the proper, upon its intrinsic merits, and when viewed proposed amendments to the Constitution, and had without a reference to that consideration. This at least given a solemn opinion in favor of the particular subject suggests a peculiar equity and ratio of one to thirty thousand, until the number 1 propriety, in taking into consideration the com
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parative governmental influence of the States in cure; but he conceived it to be a sore of that sort the Senate, proportioned to numbers; because, it which it would be unwise to irritate or tamper is in consequence of a representation by States, with: and he conceived, also, the present propothere, that they gain this unequal influence: and sition not to be without its irritating qualities. nothing more is contended for by this rule than a Mr. G. then proceeded to consider, upon generepresentation of the people through the medium ral principles, of increasing the representation in of the several States, here. The rule of repre- this House to the full extent authorized by the sentation is not the cause of the present inequality, Constitution, and particularly with a view to the as far as it may appear to exist; it is a mere con- necessity of establishing, in this branch of the Gotingent circumstance, depending upon arbitrary vernment, a permanent sympathy with the landed facts and numbers, which cannot be rendered sub-interest. He observed, that all Representative Goservient to any general rule. It should also be vernments appeared to possess a natural tendency remarked, that most of the States supposed to be from Republicanism to Monarchy; that, great inefavored by the operation of this rule, have, here- qualities in the distribution of wealth among
intofore, been unequally represented in the extreme; dividuals
, consequent upon the progress of all and from the extent and rapid population of these Governments, appeared to be the cause of their States, it may be concluded, with certainty, that political evolutions; that no competent remedy previously to the expiration of the present appor-against this evil had been heretofore discovered, tionment, the real inequality of representation in or at least practically applied by any Government; this House, as well as in the Senate, will continue that perhaps this great political light may first to bear particularly hard upon them. Perfect shine forth through the medium of the American equality is unattainable; and the proposed ratio Constitutions, and serve, as some others have preis, in the principle, equally subject with any other viously done, to illumine not only the American, to all the inconveniences which it is intended to but the European world. remedy.
The peculiar circumstances of the United States, The inconveniences of the rule he contended however, since the late Revolution, and in the infor, in their utmost extent, can never be very great, fancy of the American Governments, favored exbecause the same rule is applied in the same man- tremely this natural principle of the growing inener to the respective States; and the most ex- quality in the distribution of wealth amongst intended scope for its unequal operation must be dividuals. An extensive, unexhausted, fertile confined to the casual result of the fractional num-country furnished full scope for agriculture, the bers within the several States. In reflecting upon plenty and cheapness of provisions and rude mathis argument of inequality of representation in terials for manufactures
, and an unshackled comrelation to States, an idea had presented itself to merce for the merchant; and to these were added his mind which seemed to him both novel and the blessings of peace, and laws securing to the important; and that is, that a quality exists in the individual the exclusive possession of the fruits of Government, from its peculiar organization, which his own industry, however abundant. There enables a minority of constituents, through the were intrinsic circumstances; there was a continmedium of a majority of Representatives, to give gent one. A public debt-the price of the Revolaw to a majority of constituents, absolutely against Iution itself and its consequent blessings-had been the will of their minority of Representatives. This incurred, and, from the imbecility of the then exquality of the Government arises from the State isting Confederacy, and other causes, was deprerepresentations in the Senate; and it exists not ciated considerably below its nominal value; but merely in speculation or idea—it has been sensibly it was then in small masses, and not very unequalfelt in practice, and there is a real tendency in ly spread amongst the individuals throughout the the Government to make it still more so. The whole United States. The Government of the very bill now under consideration will probably United States, instead of managing this continfurnish one strong evidence of its efficacy in prac- gent circumstance with caution, and declaring so tice; it would have passed very differently from in its ministration, seized upon it with its fiscal the present proposition, if it had not met with this arrangements, and applied it as the most powerful unnatural check; and I am concerned, said he, to machine to stimulate this growing inequality in remark, that almost in every important measure the distribution of wealth-a principle perhaps too of the Government, the minority of the people of much favored by other existing causes. The Gothe Union had given law to the majority of the vernment, not satisfied with tħe debts contracted people, against their consent, as far as this can be by the former Confederacy, assumed the payment evidenced through the medium of their Repre- of a great proportion of the debts contracted by sentatives
. This, it is to be feared, is a radical the respective State Governments, and established evil in the Government, and its magnitude would funds for paying the interest of the whole. This be in a great measure proportioned to the exten- measure produced two effects, not very desirable sion of the objects of legislation by this Govern- amongst individuals. It gathered these scattered ment. if the people be the only legal source of debts, at a very inferior price, from the hands of governmental authority, and this right of indivi- the many, and placed them into the hands of the duals be equal, this is certainly a heterodox prin- few; and it stimulates the value of them. Thus ciple in the Government. He would not pretend collected into greater masses, beyond all calculato say, however, that this was a cancer upon the tion, by the artificial application of fiscal mechabody politic too inveterate and vital to admit of al nism, it produced a variety of serious effects with
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respect to the Government. In opposition to the mark, that, acting under impressions produced by agricultural or republican, it enlisted a great mo- these considerations, and strengthened by others neyed interest in the United States, who, having not less pertinent and important, suggested by a embarked their fortunes with the Government, number of gentlemen, in the course of the discuswould go all lengths with its Administration, sion of this subject, and believing that a full rewhether right or wrong, virtuous or vicious, by presentation of the people will furnish the only rendering the debt but partially redeemable, pass-chance of remedy for the existing, and a compeing perpetual tax laws, and mortgaging their pro- tent protection against future evils
, he should ducts to the payment of the interest of this per- feel himself criminal if by his vote he should give petually-existing debt. It gave the Executive a up a single Representative authorized by the Conqualified control over the best moneyed resources stitution. The same impressions would have inof the United States, not contemplated by the Con- duced him to have voted for the proposition which stitution, nor founded in wisdom. It gave rise to gave one hundred and twenty members, had it an unauthorized incorporation of the moneyed in- not been for a conscientious and paramount regard terest, and placed it as far as possible from the for the preservation of the Constitution. The difreach of future Legislative influence. It estab- ference of the position of the members throughout lished the doctrine that one systematic financier the United States, which would have been aswas better able to originate money bills and tax sumed by the difference in the manner of making the people of the United States, than the whole the apportionment, never amounted to the minicollected wisdom of their Representatives, with mum of a consideration with him against the prothe aid of a reciprocity of feeling. It gave rise to position ; for he felt a conviction that the agriculthe idea of a Sinking Fund, without limitation as tural or equalizing interest was nearly the same to amount, to be placed in the hands of a few throughout all parts of the United States; and he trustees, and there to be protected from Legisla- hoped that the increased representation would furtive control by all the sanctions and securities an-nish strong testimonies of the truth of the position. nexed to private property. In short, it established He would remark, generally, the Government of the doctrine that all authority could be more safe- America was now in a state of puberty, that is, ly intrusted to, and better executed by a few, than at this time. She is to assume a fixed character, by many; and, in pursuance of this idea, made more and he thought it in some degree rested upon the continual drafts of authority from the Repre- vote now to be given, whether she would preserve sentative branch of the Government, and placed the simplicity, chastity, and purity of her native it in the hands of the Executive; lessening, by representation and Republicanism, in which alone this mechanism of administration, the constitu- the true dignity and greatness of her character tional influence of the people in the Government, must consist; or whether she will, so early in and fundamentally changing its native genius and youth, prostitute herself to the venal and borroworiginal principle. He (Mr. G.) knew of no compe- ed artifices and corruptions of a stale and pamtent remedy against the abominable evils to be ap- pered Monarchy ? Whatever his own opinions prehended from the future operation of these unor suspicions may be respecting the tendency of hallowed principles, but a permanent establish the present Administration, and whatever may be ment of the candid or Republican interest in this the discussion of to-day, he should still preserve a House; and the best chance of effecting this great hope that the increased representation, supported object he conceived to be a full representation of by the enlightened spirit of the people at large, the people. His alarms respecting these fashion- will form an effectual resistance to the pressure able, energetic principles were greatly increased of the whole vices of the Administration, and may by a perspective view of some of the proposed yet establish the Government upon a broad, permeasures of Government. He saw systems intro-manent, and Republican basis. duced to carve out of the common rights of one When Mr. Giles had concluded, the Commitpart of the community privileges, monopolies
, ex- tee rose, and reported an amendment, viz: to fill clusive rights, &c., for the benefit of another, with up the blank with the word “ thirty-three;" which no other view, in his opinion, but to create nurse was carried in the affirmative-yeas 34, nays 30, ries of immediate dependants upon the Govern- as follows: ment, whose interest will always stimulate them YEA8-Fisher Ames, Robert Barnwell, Egbert Bento support its measures, however iniquitous and son, Elias Boudinot, Shearjashub Bourne, Benjamin tyrannical, and, indeed, the very emoluments which Bourne, Abraham Clark, Jonathan Dayton, Thomas will compose the price of their attachment to the Fitzsimons, Elbridge Gerry, Nicholas Gilman, BenjaGovernment will grow out of a tyrannical viola- min Goodhue, James Gordon, Andrew Gregg, Thomas tion of the rights of others. He would forbear to Hartley, Daniel Heister, James Hillhouse, Daniel Humention a variety of other circumstances, to prove Amasa Learned, Samuel Livermore, Nathaniel Niles,
ger, Israel Jacobs, Aaron Kitchell, John W. Kittera, that principle having a tendency to change the Theodore Sedgwick, Jeremiah Smith, Israel Smith, very nature of the Government, have pervaded William Smith, Jonathan Sturges, Peter Sylvester, even the minutest ramifications of its fiscal ar- George Thatcher, John Vining, Jeremiah Wadsworth, rangements, nor would he dwell upon the undue and Artemas Ward, influence to be apprehended from moneyed fo Nars-John Baptist Ashe, Abraham Baldwin, John reigners, who had become adventurers in the funds, Brown, William Findley, William B. Giles, Samuel nor the various avenues opened to facilitate the Griffin, William Barry Grove, Philip Key, John Layoperation of corruption. He would merely re-rance, Richard Bland Lee, Nathaniel Macon, James
(H. OF R.
Madison, John Francis Mercer, Andrew Moore, Frede- granted for the payment of the duties on certain
An engrossed bill for apportioning RepresentaTucker, Abraham Venable, Alexander White, Hugh tives among the several States, according to the Williamson, and Francis Willis.
first Enumeration, at the ratio of one for every Ordered, That the said bill, together with the thirty-three thousand persons in the respective amendments, be engrossed and read the third time States, was read the third time and passed. to-morrow.
Mr. Findley, from the committee to whom was A message from the Senate informed the House referred the petition of Henry Hill, on behalf of that the Senate agree to the amendment proposed himself and others, made a report; which was by this House to the bill sent from the Senate, en read, and ordered to be referred to the Committee titled “ An act supplementary to the act for the of the Whole House on the bill to indemnify the establishment and support of light-houses, beacons, estate of the late Major General Nathaniel Greene buoys, and public piers."
for a certain bond entered into by him for the The House proceeded to consider the bill sent public service, during the late war. from the Senate, entitled " An act for altering the Mr. MUHLENBERG, from the committee to whom times of holding the Circuit Courts in certain Dis was referred the petition of Moses Young, made a tricts of the United States, and for other pur- report; which was read, and ordered to lie on the poses.” Whereupon the said bill was amended at table. the Clerk's table, and was then read the third time Mr. Seney, from the committee appointed, preand passed.
sented a bill to direct the settlement of a certain Ordered, That the Clerk of this House do ac- claim of the State of Maryland; which was requaint the Senate therewith.
ceived, and read twice and committed. The SPEAKER laid before the House a Letter The House resolved itself into a Committee of from the Secretary of War, accompanying sundry the Whole House on the bill to indemnify the papers and documents, relative to the late cam- estate of the late Major General Nathaniel Greene paign, under General St. Clair, transmitted pur- for a certain bond entered into by him for the suant to the directions of the President of the public service, during the late war; and, after United States.
some time spent therein, the Chairman reported Ordered, That the said Letter and papers be that the Committee had had the said bill under referred to the committee appointed to inquire consideration, and made several amendments into the causes of the failure of the late expe- thereto; which were severally twice read, and dition under Major General St. Clair.
agreed to by the House. The House resolved itself into a Committee of And then the question being put, that the said the Whole House on the bill to extend the time bill, together with the amendments be engrossed, heretofore granted for the payment of the duties and read the third time to-morrow, it was resolved on certain teas imported after the third day of in the affirmative-yeas 37, nays 23, as follows: March, one thousand seven hundred and ninety
YEAS.—Fisher Ames, Abraham Baldwin, Robert one; and, no amendment being made thereto, Ordered, That the said bill be engrossed, and Barnwell, Egbert Benson, Shearjashub Bourne, Benja
min Bourne, William Findley, Thomas Fitzsimons, Elread the third time to-morrow. The House resolved itself into a Committee of Gregg, Samuel Griffin, Thomas Hartley, Daniel Heister,
bridge Gerry, William B. Giles, James Gordon, Andrew the Whole on the bill sent from the Senate, enti- Daniel Huger, Philip Key, John W. Kittera, John Lautled “ An act concerning Consuls and Vice Con- rance, Amasa Learned, Richard Bland Lee, Samuel Lisuls;" and, after some time spent therein, the Chair-vermore, James Madison, John Francis Mercer, Fredeman reported that the Committee had had the rick Augustus Muhlenberg, William Vans Murray, John said bill under consideration, and made several Page, Josiah Parker, Theodore Sedgwick, Upton Sheriamendments thereto; which were severally twice dine, William Smith, Samuel Sterrett, George Thatcher, read, and agreed to by the House.
Abraham Venable, John Vining, Jeremiah Wadsworth, Ordered, That the said bill, together with the and Francis Willis
. amendments, be read the third time to-morrow. Nays.—John Baptist Ashe, Elias Boudinot, John
Brown, Abraham Clark, Benjamin Goodhue, William
Barry Grove, James Hillhouse, Israel Jacobs, Aaron Tuesday, April 10.
Kitchell, Nathaniel Macon, Andrew Moore, Nathaniel Ordered, That Mr. Gerry be appointed, in the Niles, Cornelius C. Schoonmaker, Joshua Seney, Jereroom of Mr. Sedgwick, on the committee to miah Smith, Israel Smith, John Steele, Jonathan Sturwhom it was referred to inquire into the causes Ward, Alexander White, and Hugh Williamson.
ges, Thomas Sumpter, Thomas Tredwell, Artemas of the failure of the late expedition under Major General St. Clair.
The House proceeded to consider the amendThe bill sent from the Senate, entitled " An act ments proposed by the Senate to the bill, entitled concerning Consuls and Vice Consuls,” together" An act more effectually to provide for the nawith the amendments thereto, was read the third tional defence, by establishing an uniform Militia time and passed.
throughout the United States;" and the same beAn engrossed bill to extend the time heretofore I ing read, several were agreed to.
was ever to be united, if not commanding; and The House resolved itself into a C how far the Marshals and Judges of the Courts of the Whole House on the bill to direci the Union ought not to have a power on this sub- ment of a certain claim of the State oi ! ject, deserved more time than the House seemed and, after some time spent therein, the inclined at present to give this bill. He would reported progress, and obtained leave is all be take the occasion to declare he had no jealousy as to abuses of power; but this Government is to be administered according to written law, applying
Friday, April 13. to defined objects and situations. It was a Go
The House resolved itself into a Committee of vernment of definition, and not of trust and dis- the Whole House on the Report of the Secreary cretion. After the objects are well described up- of the Treasury respecting the act, entitled " An on which the military force is to act, the evidence act repealing, after the last day of June next, l'e of 'the occasion settled, and the sphere and du- duties heretofore laid upon distilled spirits, and ration limited, he would heartily support the most laying others in their stead, and also upon spirits energetic mode in which the object should be distilled within the United States, and for approreached, and the occasion obeyed. He therefore priating the same;" and, after some time spent hoped the amendment would be negatived, and leave therein, the Chairman reported that the Committee given for a committee to bring in a separate bill. had had the said report under consideration, and
The main question being now put, that this House agreed to several resolutions thereupon; which doth
agree to the said amendment, as amended, it were read, and ordered to lie on the table. passed in the negative-yeas 24, nays 37, as follows: A Message from the President of the United
YEAS.-Fisher Ames, Robert Barnwell, Egbert Ben- States laid before the House a communication of son, Shearjashub Bourne, Benjamin Bourne, William the eleventh instant, from the Minister PlenipoFindley, Thomas Fitzsimons, Nicholas Gilman, Benja- tentiary of Great Britain to the Secretary of State, min Goodhue, James Gordon, Andrew Gregg, Thomas relative to the commerce of the two countries; Hartley, James Hillhouse, John W. Kittera, John Lau- together with their explanatory correspondence, rance, Amasa Learned, Jeremiah Smith, William Smith, and the Secretary of State's Letter to him on the Samuel Sterrett, Peter Sylvester, George Thatcher, subject
. The communication and letters referred John Vining, Jeremiah Wadsworth, and Artemas Ward. to in the said Message were read, and ordered to NAYS.—John Baptist Ashe, Abraham Baldwin, Elias
lie on the table. Boudinot, John Brown, Abraham Clark, Elbridge Gerry, William B. Giles, Samuel Griffin, William Barry
A memorial was presented from William HaGrove, Daniel Heister, Daniel Huger, Philip Key, Aaron burn, setting forth that he had applied yesterKitchell, Richard Bland Lee, Samuel Livermore, Na- day to the Judges of the Circuit Court in this city thaniel Macon, James Madison, John Francis Mercer, to be put on the pension list pursuant to a late law Andrew Moore, Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, Wil- of Congress; and that the Court having refused liam Vans Murray, Nathaniel Niles, John Page, Josiah to take cognizance of his case, he was obliged to Parker, Cornelius C. Schoonmaker, Joshua Seney, Up- apply to Congress for relief. ton Sheridine, Israel Smith, John Steele, Jonathan Stur The sitting Judges were Messrs. Wilson, Blair, ges, Thomas Sumpter, Thomas Tredwell, Thomas Tu- and Peters; and from an account which Mr. Boudor Tucker, Abraham Venable, Alexander White, Hugh Dinot gave in his place, it appeared that the Court Williamson, and Francis Willis.
thought the examination of invalids a very extraResolved, That this House doth disagree to the ordinary duty to be imposed on the Judges; and said amendment.
looked on the law which imposes that duty as an The last amendment was then again read, and unconstitutional one, inasmuch as it directs the on the question put thereupon, was disagreed to. Secretary of War to state the mistakes of the
Ordered, That the Clerk of this House do ac- Judges to Congress for their revision; they could quaint the Senate therewith.
not, therefore, accede to a regulation tending to Ordered, That a committee be appointed to render the Judiciary subject to the Legislative and prepare and bring in a bill or bills for calling forth Executive powers, which, from a regard for liber. the militia, when necessary, to execute the laws ty and the Constitution, ought to be kept carefully of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel in- distinct; it being a primary principle of the utvasions; and that Mr. White, Mr. GERRY, and most importance, that no decision of the Judiciary Mr. Murray, be the said committee.
Department should, under any pretext, be brought Ordered, That the bill sent from the Senate, in revision before either the Legislative or Execuentitled " An act for regulating processes in the tive Departments of the Government, neither of Courts of the United States, and providing com- which have, in any instance, a revisionary authopensations for the officers of the said Courts, and rity over the judicial proceedings of the courts ot for jurors and witnesses,” together with the amend-justice. ments thereto, which were reported by a com Another objection on the part of the Judges mittee on the fourth instant, be committed to a was, that, whereas, there are laws now in force, Committee of the Whole House to-morrow. prescribing a day, beyond which the Courts shali
Ordered, That Mr. Findley be appointed, in not sit; this new law declares that the Court shall the room of Mr. GERRY, on the committee to sit five days for the purpose of hearing claims, whom it was referred to inquire into the causes of whether they be offered or not; and leaves nothing the failure of the late expedition under Major to the discretion and integrity of the judges, to sit General St. Clair.
as long as they have public business to do.