Page images


Cumberland Road.

(March 20, 1826.

State had all the lands within the State, that, in the shape dont mean to enter into the earth, as long as I can keep of Receiverships and other ways, these States might above ground. It is the height of folly in us, as it would not be brought under the influence of this ten miles be in any other nation under the sun, to acquire by consquare. In other words, I wish that all the patronage of quest, whether by the conquisitio of Blackstone, which he the Land Office was in the hands of the individual States, says means purchase or conquest by force of arms, territoand not in the hands of the General Government. I am ries—in order that these territories may govern us instead the friend of State rights, and will cut down the patronage of our governing them; this I deem to be madness or folly, of this General Government, which has increased, is in. not wisdom; my doctrines are not, I know, at all orthodox, creasing, and must be diminished, or we the States shall and why? I go on the principle that the first duty of a be not only “shorn of our beams," sir, but “abolished nation is to itself; aye, and of a man, too, sir-jf Old Eng. quite.” Having cleared the ground so far, let me state to land was to admit Representatives, black or white, from the gentleman that such is the difference between the her fifty millions of Hindoos, according to a certain ratio, measure meted out to the new States and to the old ones, in the Commons House of Parliament-or even from Scotthat in consequence of my having missed the post this land and Ireland, they would govern Old England, in. morning, I shall have to-morrow to send a servant two stead of Old England ruling them-and if as an Englishhundred miles; and why? because my attorney in fact, as man, I would never consent to be governed by Scotland well as counsel at law, resides near Halifax Court-house, or Ireland, a fortiori I would not submit to be ruled by eighteen miles beyond my own dwelling, and about two Canada, by the East Indies, or by New Holland, Vir. hundred miles from Washington; and, so far from my pos- ginia acted very foolishly when she followed this Ignis sessing any of those facilities which the gentleman de-fatuus of equality of rights to her own undoing. I say scribes, I cannot get an answer to a letter from Halifax Tgnis fatuus: for, whenever it leads to her advantage, it is Court-house under three weeks, even if there be no mis- not allowed to be the true guide. For is not the smallest carriage of the mail. Ever since I have been in Congress, State, as a State, on a footing with the largest here? gentlemen from Lexington, Kentucky, could get answers What, then, do you tell me about a Representation per to their letters sooner than I could to mine. I shall then capita in the Federal Government? I dont care a pinch of be told it is owing to the great Serbon: an Bog between snuff whether your Representation be per capita, or wheNeabsco and Chappawamsick; but to pass that bog, the ther your districts, like every sheet of paper in this quire, mail from Richmond to this place takes only a day and a consists of an equal number of square inches or square night, even when the navigation prevents its being avoid lines. You may make your districts thus equal in superficial ed by the steamboat-but then, sir, when it comes from area or in population-you may provide, that, if a woman Richmond to my county, which is only one hundred in the chequer A, be brought to bed of twins, that one of miles—it is only ninety-five miles from Petersburg—I can. the children shall be removed into chequer B, to preserve not get an answer to a letter sometimes under a month: equality of Representation-for any uncertainty is fatal in and it is only in consequence of a cross post from Fre. the certain sciences a miss is as good as a mile. These slericksburg to Farmville, that I can get an answer in the notions of applying geometry and arithmetic to Gorerntime that I do. I intended to have mentioned this to the ment is the Government of Lagado--it is Lapulan-it is gentlemen from Kentucky: if we were only one-half as Lilliputian--mathematics have no more relation to Gowell off in post offices and post roads as that querulous vernment than chemistry. You might as well undertake to country, we should make our bow and be thankful. Such construct a Government upon chemical principles for the is not the fact-I can send to Savannah—from Savannah to use of man. Boston, and get back an answer sooner than I sometimes I don't pretend to be more learned on the subjects of can from here to my own home—for any miscarriage adds the partition of this Territory than the gentleman from a week to the delay. The Postmaster General-1 dont Ohio-but Congress did reserve the power of carving five attribute any blame to him-has very kindly promised me or three States out of the lands on the other side of the "to rectify the procedure;” and how? By a mail twice a River Ohio—did reserve to itself the power, and, in the week, which will enable me then to get an answer in one. act defining the boundaries of Ohio, gave to that State half the time—say in ten days on an average-and I shall territories which ought to be part of the State of Michithen almost consider myself as half a freeman on the sub- gan—I mean beyond the Miami of the Lake. I don't ject of Post Offices and Post Roads—I shall feel almost, mean to enter into a squabble, whether it is your land or not altogether as if I did not belong to one of the “Negrde my land: this is what I mean, sir-Congress, after having States." Now, sir, the only difference between the gen- passed this act, which, by cession of the State of Virginia, tleman from Ohio and myself is this and it is vital—that did what? It said, as long as 30,000 men shall remain in gentleman and myself differ fundamentally and totally, Pennsylvania, in the county of Washington, they shall and did differ when we first took our seats in Congress send one Representative here: and, as an integral part of he as a Delegate from the Territory Northwest of the Pennsylvania, shall send their proportion of her two Sen. River Ohio, I as a Momber of the other House from the ators-let only these men strike their tents, and go in State of Virginia; he was an open, zealous, frank sup-quality of emigrants, and set down in one of those politiporter of the sedition law and black-cockade Administra- cal diagrams called States, beyond the Ohio, and they tion; and I was as zealous, frank, and open an opponent shall not only send a member, whether they have the reof the black-cockade and sedition law Administration. quisite number or not, (each State shall have at least one We differ fundamentally and totally—we never can agree Representative) but they shall send two Senators hereabout measures or about men—I do not mean to dictate to to counterpoise Pennsylvania or New York. That is, that the gentleman-let us agree to differ as gentlemen ought 30,000 men in one place have rights that the very same to do, especially natives of the same State, who are anti- men have not in another place; upon the principle that the podes to each other in politics. Ile, I acknowledge, just rights of men depend upon the question of numbers, and now, the zenith and I the nadir; but unless there is some- nothing else—which is manifestly contradictory and ab. thing false in the philosophy of the schools, in the course surd. Did they do no more than that? I am a matter of of time even these will change their places. I shall not fact man, sir, aid abhor abstraction in politics, and in evehere enter into a lecture on the precession of the equi- ry thing clse, except pure mathematics and metaphysics; noxes, much less on the figure of the earth–I dont know which last I have long since given up to the boarding whether it is established by the modern Philosophers that schools for young ladies-but did not this same State of it is hollow at thc South pole as well as at the North--but Missouri, which is not even now lawfully in the Union, I dont mean to enter into that question, sir, because I which by its one member would have controlled the

March 20, 1826.

Cumberland Road.


whole thirty-seven of New York—did not this State of the intermeddling with the internal affairs of Virginia: Missouri, which is not now Constitutionally one of the and why? No Government can be safe for Virginia, that United States, make the Chief Magistrate of the Union is not a Government of persons having a common feeling by the vote of one single man in the other House? Does --a common interest-a common right with Virginia; and the gentleman consider this as nothing? Is this the no- this holds good in every Government under the Sun. thing given to the Western country? Aye, sir; is it not | Therefore it was that the British Parliament was not the by this nothing given to that country, that the voice of the proper Representative of this Country-therefore it is, majority of the People of the United States has been suf. that the saints and fanatics are not the proper Represenfocated—strangled--and countervailed; and are we, be- tatives of Jamaica; and if Jamaica was strong enough she cause we are not in favor of it, to hold our peace? It would tell them so. would be prudent in us to do so, perhaps gentlemen think This is not a Court of Law where we are to plead, but it would be very civil in us to do so, and no doubt it it is a deliberative Assembly-I throw out these imperwould be more agreeable to them--but I shall not do so fect hints, and if my opinion is worth nothing, it may

I have no hesitation in saying, that never were People so serve to excite a train of thought in others, and elicit that wild as we have been in the pursuit of this ignis futuus, which is of great value. We should cease to be a deliberanot only across the Ohio, but beyond the Mississippi-be- tive Assembly if we did not deliberate if we were logivond Aurora and the Ganges-to barter away their in- cians in the schools it would be otherwise--if, when a dependence to the control of one man, and the State of man comes into the world to converse with mankind, he Virginia stood looking on in helpless impotence there were to put on the armor of the schools and courts of lawwas only one man in her delegation who was capable of to deal in syllogisms and enthymems—and rebutters and voting for the present incumbent (Mr. Newton)-verily surrebultersto set a price upon his tobacco by syllohe shall have his reward—but not from us—from him. gism, and court his wife by a dilemma of marriage or Yes, sir, we twenty helpless individuals stood by to see single blessedness, he would only show himself to be a the single Delegate from Missouri countervail the vote of learned fool. It will not do to bring into a parliamentary the ancient and renowned Commonwealth, whose true Re. body the technical habits of a profession that is more presentatives we were. I speak of the fact, that one De- remarkable for sharpening the perception, than for enlarglegate was put in one scale, and Virginia, with her two ing and liberalizing the understanding. A good deal has and twenty members, in the other-we kicked the beam, been said, sir, about the dignity of this Assembly; about sir--we were not merely balanced, but we kicked the its being improper to talk vernacular English here-we beam for the Missouri vote settled the question. Is this must speak so superfine and mincing that nobody but an nothing?. Is this a correct statement, or is it the romance accomplished lady from a female seminary”can understand of love-sick girls—or boys—"all for love, or the world us. is that the case in the House of Commons, or even well lost”—the ascendency of old Virginia destroyed-1 in the House of Peers? Again, sir, on the subject of speak not of her ascendency abroad, but at home-not talking beside the question; can you conceive any quesover other States, but over her own unquestioned territo- tion more foreign to the business of the House of Peers ry-In Virginia herself, all for lore of our Western bre- than a contested election in the House of Commons Any thren, of liberty and equality—the liberty of being dic-thing more foreign to the subject here, be it what it may, tated to by them, not in the election of President, but up: than a contested election in the other House? Yet, sir, on our own soil—of being upon a footing of equality with on what subject did Lord Chatham make that great speech Missouri, upon this very Cumberland Road, and on the in which he put down Lord Mansfield, who, endeavoring subject of our black population, involving not only all to shelter himself under forms and technicalities, the reour property, but what money cannot buy. I dont want fuge of the bar, declared that the House could not en. to have an ascendency over our brethren beyond the tertain the question on the expulsion of Wilkes? It was Ohio, or North of the River Potomac, or-Eust, I was go-on that occasion that Chatham made that great speeching to say, of the Western boundary of Pennsylvania-- in which he did only not call him, to his face, a rogue: Yes I do want to get back to the country of Yohiogha- for, after praising two other great luminaries of the law, nia. I owe my seat here to no favor, or affection from for their integrity, and legal science, and attainments, he any man under the Sun-and the moment it is to be kept said, I vow, my Lords, I think the noble Lord (Mansfield,] hy conciliating opinions that come in direct collision with equals them both in abilities. When you know how my own, unless they come in a shape that I ain bound in much depends on the tone—the eye-the finger-though duty and in honor to respect; in that of the Legislature and a man may not be disciplined to prit out his hand and People whom 'I represent-I am ready to resign it-I do place it on his breast—"here's my hand, and liere's my not set up the claim of acting independently of instruc- heart; I never will deceive you”—it is self evident that tions, to what I know to be the sentiments of the State, he could not have called him a dishonest man in terms far froin it--I think any man here who does go against more forcibly than by this inuendo." what he knows to be the sentiments of the State which he Again, sir-have not assertions, not the most delicate, represents, is in the situation of a Foreign Minister who goes been made on the floor of both líouses of Parliament, in against what he knows to be the opinions of his Court, the Ilouse of Peers, with all its robes and wigs, and eve. and violates the instructions which he has received; and ry thing else? Was it not broadly insinuated, over and be who deliberately violates such instructions I consider over again, that there was an adulterous intercourse beto be ripe-did I say?-rotten rather, and fit for every tween the Dowager Princess of Wales and the Earl of mischief. Suppose, what is not to be supposed, an ex- Bute, the favorite? Is this very delicate? Is this very treme case, a real case of conscience--let him resign. sentimental and refined? And was there not, when I

Having used some pretty plain langnage on this sub. was last in England, a Bishop obliged to fly from the ject, all that I have now to say is, that that'sort of equal-country for the commission of a crime not to be named ity which gives to thirty thousand People on one of these amongst Christians? And would not this have been indiagrams, power in this House equal to the largest of the vestigated and tried in open Court? Courts of law are good old United States—which gives to them an influence somctimes very coarse things; they have to call spades, in the first instance over the Presidential election in a spades, to try tough cases, whomsoever's fastidious deliratio treble of that population in the Electoral College, cacy they may offend. So are legislative bodies coarse and, in a certain contingency, equal power with the largest things it is there where the passions of men are brought and oldest of the original States, is an equality that I do into collision; and when the strife is for empire, that if you not understand. I would not concede it to them if their expect to carry on the intercourse as you would at a mectpop ulation was equal to ours; so far, at least, as relates to' ing of ladies and gentlemen, where every body is in the


Cumberland Road.

March 20, 1826.


most amiable disposition possible, and where nothing in our brother's eye. You, sir, are the first Vice President, the slighest degree

indelicate can be endured, you are within my recollection, since the days of George Clinton, grossly mistaken-This body must probe every thing who has discharged the duties of the office, as well as re. that comes before it, in the same manner that the ceived the salary_who has deemed that, as the laborer was Tlouse of Peers in England probes every thing, without worthy of the hire-so was the hire worthy of the laborer. consulting the delicate sensibilities of young misses of If I make any mistake I beg pardon-I know I am preteither sex, or going to the circulating library, or the Sor- ty correct on one important point—so long as the Vice rows of Werter, or Rousseau's Nouville Heloise, where President was content to receive the salary, without disthe most abominable sentiments are covered up in the charging the duties incident to the office, the chair was most elegant yet voluptuous language, or one of Anacre filled by your countryman, so ably and so well, that it on Moore's songs, which the poor little things sing, and was, perhaps, a saving of trouble, that he should have the do not know that they are singing all the time-what appointment of the Committees, because he was responcannot be named. The refinement of a nation is in lan- sible to the House, on the principle, qui facit alium guage always in the inverse ratio of the purity of their facit per se; but when that state of things was changed, it manners. Did not the House of Commons compel Sir became proper for the Senate to take the appointment John Trevor to put the question himself whether or not he into its own hands. At some future time I will enter into had been guilty of bribery, and corruption, as their Speak- an explanation of this thing I shall then refer to the gener? They would not let the Clerk put it-he was reduc- tleman before me, who compared notes with me, on ed to propound it himself, and when it had voted that this and another subject, early in the session, and, it is unhe was guilty, they expelled him, and he had to walk out necessary to say that our opinion has no reference at all and make his humble bow of thanks that he was not to the gentleman who presides over this body. If that kicked out.

appointment is to be given to any Vice President, I have I have said these things to put myself rectus in curia no greater objection to its being exerted by the present here-we dont come here to pay compliments to one Vice President than by any who shall succeed him. another-we dort come here to blink any question—to After some explanatory conversation between Messrs. call bribery and corruption "influence"-we dont come HOLMES and RANDOLPH, the question was taken on here to call military despotism“ a vigor beyond the law” the motion to stike out the appropriation, and decided in -We come liere to do our duty as men, to be the faith the negative, by yeas and nays, as follows: ful Representatives of the States that send us here. Hay. YEAS-Messrs. Berrien, Chandler, Clayton, Cobb, Dicking done that, sir, according to my views of the true in- erson, Findlay, Hlavne, king, Macon, Randolph, Sanford, terests of Virginia, I shall feel indifferent myself whether Van Buren, White, Willey, and Woodbury—15. J fall under the censure of any other State, or subdivision NAYS-Messrs. Barton, Benton, Chase, Eaton, Ed. of States, beyond a certain mystical line, a parallel of la- wards, Harrison, Hendricks, Holmes, Johnson, of Ken. titude, not having a common feeling and common interest Johnston, of Lou. Kane, Knight, Marks, Mills, Noble, with me, and which I will not trust to legislate within t!e Reeds, Robbins, Ruggles, Seymour, Smith, Thomas.—21. limits of the State of Virginia on any subject, unless they Mr. COBB next moved to strike out the item of $ 750 can shew me the grant in this blue book, (holding up the for repairs made on the Cumberland Road in 1825; which Constitution,) and when they can, I cannot gainsay it-motion was lost. but never, under pretence of districting the States, or any Mr. COBB then moved to strike out the following other however plausible, shall they put their hands within words: “for defraying the expenses incidental to making the limits of that State, and do any one act that by the examinations, surveys, &c. preparatory to, and in aid ot, terms of the Constitution they cannot now lawfully do. the formation of Roads and Canals, $50,000.” On this

I have said a great deal, as I generally do, that I did motion some discussion took place between Messrs. COBB, not intend to say-I came out for the express purpose of RANDOLPH, HARRISON, CHANDLER, SMITH, and voting against this bill, sick as I am, and to give the his. JOHNSON, of Ken. tory of the manner in which Missouri was let into the Union In the course of this debate Mr. HARRISON said, that -not admitted, but let in—not through the gate, but he could not refrain from making his acknowledgments over the fold—for that express purpose-ani having dis- to the gentleman from Virginia for the notice he had been charged that duty, I shall relieve the Senate from any fur- pleased to take of him. He has been pleased to say, ther annoyance on my part.

that, in the administration of Mr. Adams, I was a FedeWhile I am on my feet I give notice, that I shall, un- ralist, and he comes to that conclusion from the course less some other member undertakes it, seize the earliest | pursued by me in the session of 1799–1800. At that ses. occasion, consistently with my views and my strength, to sion, the gentleman and myself met for the first time-2 reinstate this body in its Constitutional privilege of ap- in the station of Representative from Virginia, and I in the pointing its own committees—I have exchanged opinions more humble one of Delegate from the Northwestern on this subject with the gentleman before me, as well as Territory. Having no vote, I did not think it proper to other members of the Senate, at the very outset of the take part in the discussion of any of the great political session, and I take this occasion to say, that, indisposed questions which divided the two partics. My business to yield this power to one of our own body, dependent was to procure the passage of the bills which I had introupon us for his appointment, I shall never be brought to duced for the benefit of the People I represented. The yield it to an irresponsible authority, over whose appoint- gentleman had no means of knowing my political princiment we have not a shadow of control. Whatever con- ples, unless he obtained them in private conversation. As fidence I may be disposed to yield that authority, how. I was upon terms of intimacy with the gentleman, it is ve. ever bent on backing every effort to reduce the Presi- ry probable that he might have heard me express senti. dent's patronage, I am afraid that he, or some of his ments favcrable to the then administration. Í ccrtainly agents, will remind us that this is “ a question involving felt them—so far, at least, as to the course pursued by it sa departure, without example, from the established in relation to the Government of France. Nor, said Mr. “ usage of the Senate, on the inotives of which, not be. He was I unsupported in that opinion by those who had a

ing informed of them, they do not feel themselves com- right to control my actions, if not my opinions. In no

petent to decide”—but, inasmuch as no Vice President part of the country were those measures more decidedly has ever been entrusted with this power before, they will approbated than by my immediate constituents—the Le. charitably insinuate that we had better take the beam out of gislature of the Northwestern Territory; as the address of our own eye, before we attempt to pull the mote out of that body to the President, during that session, will show.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

March 21, 22, 1826.]

Indian Relations-Executive Proceedings.



For Mr. Adams, said Mr. H. I entertained at that time, and assigned that power is not this department. Further rehave ever since entertained, the greatest respect. i be. Alection had, however, satisfied him, that, though he could lieved him to be an honest man and a pure patriot, and not himself have originated such an inquiry, the correct his conduct during that session proved him to be such. mode of meeting it was by the Judiciary Committee. He This opinion I know, said Mr. II. was entertained by should not, therefore, throw any obstacles in the way of the those two able and upright statesmen, Jony MARSHALL gentleman's proposition for inquiry. and JAMES A. BAYAND. (To the question asked by Mr. The resolution was then concurred in. RayvoLPH, whether Mr. H. recollected a conversation The Military Appropriation bill was read a third time, between Mr. NICHOLAS and himself, in relation to the Ne- Passed, and returned to the House. groes and politics of Virginia, Mr. H. answered:) I re

EXECUTIVE PROCEEDINGS THIS DAY. collect it perfectly well, but can this be adduced as an evidence of my favoring the sedition law? Mr. Nicholas was my relation and intimate friend; the conversation was entirely Mr. BENTON submitted the following motion: jocular, and so considered by that gentleman at the time, Resolved, That the injunction of secrecy be removed and ever after. I will never, said Mr. H. resort to any from the President's Message of December 26th, 1825, reonc to support an assertion of mine on a matter of fact. lative to the proposed Assembly of American Nations at But, if I choose to do so, the gentleman from Maryland, Panama, and from all Executive communications made, and who sits opposite to me, (General Smiril,) and who was documents sent to the Senate in relation thereto, and from the brother-in-law of Mr. Nicholas, knows the undeviating all proceedings in the Senate upon that subject, from which friendship and support which I received from Mr. Nicho- the injunction of secrecy has not yet been removed; and las through his whole political life. Mr. Jefferson was at that six thousand copies of the whole be printed. Also, that time Vice President of the United States, and was that the injunction of secrecy be removed from all commuupon the most intimate terms with Mr. Nicholas. He took nications relative thereto, received from the Executive bis seat as President of the Senate within fifteen minutes since the Senate's decision upon the Mission, and that an after the conversation alluded to had passed. If it had equal number thereof be printed as an appendix to the been considered in any other light by Nr. Nicholas than proceedings had, and documents first sent. Also, that all as a joke, Mr. Jefferson would certainly have heard of it, papers and documents sent, and communications made by and he would as certainly have withheld those evidences the Executive to the House of Representatives, and not of his confidence and regard which I received from hin sent or made to the Senate, shall in like manner be printed through the whole course of his subsequent administra- in a second appendix, distinguishing the papers and pastion. But, sir, said Mr. H. my opposition to the alien and sages sent to the House and not to the Senate, and those sedition laws was so well known in the territory, that a pro- sent to the Senate, and not to the House. Also, that the mise was extorted from me by my friends in the Legisla- resolution of December 28th, shall be transferred to the ture, by which I was elected, that I would express no Legislative Journal of the Senate. opinions in Philadelphia, which were in the least caculat. The Senate proceeded to the consideration thereof. ed to dcicat the important objects with which I was On motion, by Mr. MILLS, charged. As I had no vote, I was not called on to ex

That the further consideration thereof be postponed press my sentiments in the House. The Republican par. until to-morrow; ty were all in favor of the measures I wished to have It was determined in the negative-yeas 6, nays 30. adopted. But the Federalists were the majority. Pru- The yeas and nays being desired by one-fifth of the Se. dence, therefore, and my duty to my constituents, render- nators present, those who voted in the affirmative, arc, ed it proper that I should refrain from expressing senti- Messrs. Barton, Chase, Edwards, Mills, Sanford, Sey. ments which would injuriously affect their interests, and mour.-6. which, if expressed, could have not the least influence Those who voted in the negative, are, upon the decisions of Congress.

Messrs. Denton, Berrien, Bouligny, Chandler, Clayton, The question being taken on the motion of Mr. COBB, Cobb, Dickerson, Eaton, l'indlay, Harrison, Ilayne, Hend. last above stated, was decided as follows:

ricks, Holmes, Johnson, of Ken. Johnston, of Lou. Kane, YEAS—Messrs. Berrien, Cobb, Dickerson, Findlay, King, Knight, Macon, Marks, Noble, Reed, Robbins, Hayne, King, Macon, Randolph, Sanford, Van Buren, Rowan, Ruggles, Smith, Van Buren, White, Willey:-—30. White, Willey, and Woodbury. -13.

On the question to agree to the motion, (of Mr. Bentox,) NAYS--Messrs. Barton, Benton, Chase, Edwards, Har- It was determined in the affirmative-yeas 33, nays 3. rison, Hendricks, Holmes, Johnson, of Ken. Johnston, of The yeas and nays having been desired by one-fifth Lou. Kane, Knight, Marks, Noble, Reed, Robbins, Rug- of the Senators present, those who voted in the affirmagles, Seymour, Smith, and Thomas-19.

tive, are, The bill was then passed to a third reading; and

Messrs. Barton, Benton, Berrien, Bouligny, Chandler, The Senate adjourned.

Chase, Clayton), Cobb, Dickerson, Eaton, Findlay, Harri

son, Hayne, Hendricks, Holines, Johnson, of Ken. JohnTuesday, March 21, 1826.

ston, of Lou. Kane, King, Knight, Macon, Marks, Noble, The resolution submitted by Mr. HOLMES, yesterday, Reed, Robbins, Rowan, Ruggles, Sanford, Smith, Van vas considered and concurred in.

Buren, White, Willey, Woodbury:33. The Senate then proceeded to consider the resolution

Those who voted in the negative, are, submitted by Mr. REED, yesterday.

Messrs. Edwards, Mills, Seymour.–3. Mr. BERRIEN said, when this resolution was presented yesterday, it occurred to him that the principle which di

WEDNESDAY, March 22, 1826. rected that inquiry, was in itself so exceptionable, that he The Senate took up, in Committee of the whole, the thought it was his duty, as a member of this House, and the bill making appropriations for the Indian Department, for Representative of a State, to express his conviction, that the year 1826. neither a Committee of this House, nor this Body, nor both Mr. KING objected to the item of ninety-five thousand Houses together, have the right to do what this resolution dollars, for contingencics, on the ground, generally, that proposes shall be done. He meant to say it was not com- the information in possession cf the Senate, as to the proba. petent for this House, or both Houses, to decide what a ble amount and nature of the contingencies, requiring the sovereign State, in the exercise of its sovereignty, can, or appropriation of so large a sum, was not precise, or full cannot do. The department to which the Constitution has lenough, to authorize its passage, without further inquiry.

[ocr errors]


Accountability of officers, &c.

(March 23, 24, 1826.

He, therefore, moved to recommit the bill, that more in- man speaking more than an hour, in support of the prin. formation on the subject might be obtained and reported. ciple of the bill. Finally, the question was taken on

This motion brought on some discussion, on the part of Mr. KANE'S amendment, and negatived without a diviMessrs. KING, BERRIEN, HOLMES, and BENTON, in sion; and which the objection of Mr. KING was combatted, and The amendments reported by the Committee were which resulted in a disagreement to the motion for recom- agreed to; and the bill was ordered to be engrossed for a mitment.

third reading Mr. EATON then moved to lay the bill on the table; which was negatived-ayes 12, noes 15; and the bill was

THURSDAY, March 23, 1826. then ordered to a third reading, without amendment.

On this day considerable business was done, but none ACCOUNTABILITY OF OFFICERS.

which produced any Debate or incident of particular imThe Senate then resumed, as in Committee of the portance. Whole, the bill to secure the accountability of disbursing officers and others.

Friday, March 24, 1826. The following are the first and third sections of the bill, Mr. BENTON rose, to ask leave, of which he gave noon which the discussion principally turned:

tice on Wednesday, to bring in a bill for the relief of Don Be it enacted, Esc. That no money, appropriated by Carlos Dehault Delassus. This individual, said Mr. B., any act or law whatever, shall be paid to any person for was the King of Spain's Governor in Upper Louisiana, at his salary, compensation, or emolument, who is, or shall be, the time of the cession of that province to the United indebted to the United States, until such person shall have States, and upon the cessation of his functions there, he accounted for, and paid into the Treasury, all sums for was transferred to Baton Rouge, and became the King's which he may be so indebted.”

Governor over the province of West Florida. It is known The Committee of Finance, to which the bill was re- to every body that we claimed this province, as far as the committed, had reported, among others, the following Rio Perdido, under the terms of the Louisiana Treaty, and amendment:

that the King of Spain denied our right and refused to “ To the third section add the following proviso: Prn- give it up. In this posture of demand and refusal, the vided, That nothing in this section shall extend to any per question continued until the night of the 23d of Septemson who shall become indebted to the United States, ex- ber, 1810, when the American inhabitants of the West cept as a Collector or Receiver, or in some office or place end of the province rose in arms against the Spanish auwhich entitles him to receive, and makes it his duty to ac- thorities, captured the fort in which they resided, killed count for, public money."

some, and made prisoners of the others, including the Mr. BERRIEN moved to amend this proviso so as to ap- Governor. The Federal Government of the United States ply it to the first as well as the third section.

had nothing to do with this affair. It excited no body to On these amendments, and on the principles and merits insurrection, nor seized any thing by the hands of its of the bill itself, a long, and, considering the confined na-agents; but the Federal Governor of Louisiana was hard ture of the subject, a very able debate took took place. by, and after a decent interval, the fort and its armament,

The amendment of Mr. BERRIEN, was advocated by with the province and its population, was delivered up to the mover, and by Messrs. MILLS, JOHNSON, of Ken. him; and, after a further interval, the captors, for their and HARRISON, as necessary to deprive the bill of a trouble and expenses in the premises, were gratified with character of rigor, that would amount, in many cases, to some seventy or eighty thousand dollars out of the 'Treacruelty and injustice; to shew which, and against which, sury of the United States. In the mean time the prisonthey adduced examples, and argued at much length, and ers, by order of the Governor of Louisiana, were set at lithe two first named gentlemen repeatedly.

berty: but the sum of thirteen hundred dollars, taken by The opposite grounds were taken by Messrs. HOLMES, the captors out of the Governor's private desk, and reWHITE, and COBB, who opposed the amendment, and claimed by him as his own, and the further sum of six supported the principle of the bill at considerable length, thousand dollars, taken out of the military chest, and remaintaining that the principle had proved highly sa- claimed by him as the King's money, (sent to him for the lutary, so far as it had been tried, was necessary to pro- payment of salaries, his own salary included;) these sums, cure general fidelity, and that cases of individual hardship | I say, were not given up, but applied by the captors to should not prevent the adoption of a rule correct in prin- the payment of their own men, and the Governor was ciple and good in practice.

told to look to the United States for his indemnification. The question was, after two hours' debate, taken on These, Mr. President, are the facts upon which is Mr. BERRIEN'S amendment, by yeas and nays, and ne- founded the application for leave, which I now make, to gatived, as follows:

bring in “ A Bill for the relief of Don Carlos Dehault DeYEAS-Messrs. Berrien, Bouligny, Chase, Clayton, lassus.Eaton, Edwards, Harison, Hayne, Johnson, of Ken. Mills, With the bill, I shall present his petition, supported Noble, Seymour, Smith, Willey.--14.

by vouchers; and, at the proper time, I shall, by a referNAYS-Messrs. Barton, Benton, Chandler, Cobb, Dick-ence to these, prove the truth of every word of the statecrson, Findlay, Hendricks, Holmes, Kane, King, Macon, ment which I have made. But my bill differs from his Marks, Randolph, Reed, Rowan, Ruggles, Sanford, Tho- petition in the measure of relief which it proposes to give. mas, White, W'illiams, Woodbury.-21.

The petitioner prays for the restoration of his own money, Mr. KANE then moved to amend the proviso proposed with interest, and for so much of the King's as would pay by the Committee on Finance, by attaching thereto the the arrearages of his salary to the day of his capture. He following additional proviso:

prays for this, and for nothing more nor less. He has not and provided, also, That nothing in this section shall be framed his petition, like a suitor in chancery, with a dou. so construed as to prohibit the re-appointinent to office. of ble aspect, looking to this, if he cannot get that. But, as a any person so indebted, who shall make it clearly appear good chancellor always grants relief according to the case that such indebtedness accrued from unavoidable accident made out, and not according to the suitor's prayer, so we or inisfortune.

in my opinion, should give to the petitioner in this case On this motion, also, a long discussion enstied, in which the relief to which he is entitled, whether he has asked it Messrs. KANE, WOODBURY, HOLMES, MILLS, EA- or not; with this impression, I have drawn the bill for the TON, and RANDOLPH, engaged the last named gentle whole amount taken, and conceive it our duty to make

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »