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Dec. 13, 1831. ]
French Spoliations prior to 1800.

(H. or R. On the Affairs of the Library.--Messrs. Everett, of Mas- him, (Mr. Drayton,) there had been but one report on sachusetts, Verplanck, of New York, Wayne, of Georgia. the subject of these claims, for the last six years. He

A great number of petitions were presented this day. would do the gentleman the justice to allow that the reaAmongst others,

son of the neglect, if it might be so called, last year, was Mr. EVERETT, of Massachusetts, presented a petition the fact that a select committee of the other House had praying for the settlement of the Oregon territory under made a report on the subject, thus, amid the pressure of the authority of the United States. Lest his opinions on business, rendering it less urgent upon the Committee on the matter involved should be mistaken from the fact of Foreign Relations in this House to give their attention to it. his having presented the petition, he considered it a duty He did not think that the claimants ought to suffer further to state that he could not urge the granting the prayer of from a delay, the continuance of which up to the present the petition at this time; because it would be impossible time had kept many of them in the state of afflicting to grant it, without violating the stipulations of the treaty penury into which the French spoliations had plunged on this subject with Great Britain. There was, however, them. He therefore thought that the consideration of one view of the subject in which it required the consi- their case ought to be referred to a select committee. deration of the House. It is stated in the memorial that Mr. HOFFMAN, of New York, was of opinion that, fourishing settlements of British subjects existed in the unless gentlemen wished to reduce the Committee on FoOregon territory. If this were so, it was in violation of a reign Relations to a state of complete inaction, it was prostipulation agreed to between Great Britain and the Unit- per to refer the petition to them, since he was convinced ed States, that, during the convention, no settlement that it came within their province to report on those should be authorized to be made on the debatable lands, claims; first, on account of their intimate connexion with by the citizens of either country. This was a matter that affairs in which they were supposed to be well versed, required to be looked to, and was an appropriate subject and, secondly, on account of the magnitude of the claims of inquiry for the Committee on Foreign Relations. prayed to be allowed by the petitioners. These claims, FRENCH SPOLIATIONS PRIOR TO 1800.

he said in the course of his remarks, were old acquaint

ances of this House, and were not, as he thought, entitled Mr. ELLSWORTH, of Connecticut, presented the to a different course from that heretofore pursued, of rememorial of sundry citizens of Connecticut, interested in ferring them to a standing committee. the claims for spoliations by French cruisers prior to 1800, Mr. ADAMS, of Massachusetts, regretted bis inability which claims were relinquished by the Government of the to think with the gentleman from New York, (Mr. HorfUnited States by the treaty of 1803, praying relief in the man.] He [Mr. RA.) thought that a reference of that premises at the hands of Congress.

petition to the Committee on Foreign Affairs would be This memorial Mr. E. moved to refer to a select com- altogether injudicious. It was undoubtedly true that it mittee, observing that, from the large number of indivi- had formerly, with others of the same class, been referred duals preferring those claims, the subject merited the to that committee, but the reasons for such reference no especial consideration of the House. He did not think longer existed, or rather, from the changed light in which that the consideration of those claims came within the the claims petitioned for then stood, were as strong arguprovince of the Committee on Foreign Relations, and was ments against that reference, as they had formerly been of opinion that the magnitude of the interests involved in for it. When first those claims were presented, a doubt the claims called for a select committee.

existed in the minds of the claimants concerning whom Mr. POLK, of Tennessee, thought that, from the na- they should look to for reimbursement, whether to the ture of the memorial, its consideration belonged properly Government of France, or to that of their own country. to the standing Committee on Foreign Relations, and he During such a state of things, it was, of course, proper moved to refer it to that committee. (By the rules of the that their petition should be referred to the Committee on House, this motion has priority of right over a motion for Foreign Relations. But such a state of things no longer a select committee.]

existed. Mr. ELLSWORTH replied in support of his original It was known to a majority, but perhaps not to all the position. He still thought the petition should be referred members of this House, that the claims of which the peto a select committee.

tition presented by the gentleman from Connecticut formMr. EVERETT made a few observations to the same ed one, had been the subject of a negotiation between the effect as those of Mr. Ellsworth.

Governments of the United States and France, in the Mr. HOWARD, of Maryland, said that this was one of year 1800. That this negotiation terminated in a treaty, a numerous class of claims, and it was fair that the wishes one article of which, relating particularly to these claims, of others equally interested in the subject with the pre- he would, with the permission of the House, now read. sent petitioners should be consulted as to the course pur. Mr. A. here read the second article of the treaty of sued. It was impossible to examine or decide on one case, 1800, as follows: without, at the same time, affecting the fate of all; and he Art. 2. The ministers plenipotentiary of the two partherefore thought that something was due to the wishes of ties not being able to agree at present respecting the treaty a very large majority of the claimants, who preferred that of alliance of 6th February, 1778, the treaty of amity and nu action of the House, even by a reference to any com-commerce of the same date, and the convention of 14th mittee, should take place at present. They had commit- of November, 1788, nor upon the indemnities mutually ted the management of their claims to an individual who due or claimed, the parties will negotiate further on these was authorized to speak for them, and who represented subjects at a convenient time; and, until they may have nine-tenths, or perhaps more, of the whole amount of the agreed upon these points, the said treaties and convention claims thus depending. As far as they were concerned, shall have no operation, and the relations of the two counit was not desired that this House should take up the sub-tries shall be regulated as follows. ject, and he therefore moved to lay the petition upon the The treaty thus concluded was by the President of the table.

United States laid before the Senate, who, in February, 1801, Mr. DRAYTON, of South Carolina, said the claims of advised and consented that it should be conditionally ratithis class of petitioners bad been before the House for a fied, provided that this article which he had just read number of years. The case they had made out was clear- should be expunged. It was therefore ratified by the ly a just one, none could be juster, or doubtless they were President conditionally, and sent back to France, where entitled to relief. The gentleman from Massachusetts this conditional ratification was accepted by the French (Mr. EVERETT) might be right; but if his memory served Government with the annexation of another condition,

H. OF R.]

French Spoliations prior to 1800.

(Dec. 13, 1831.

namely, that the claims to which reference was had in the cidled by usage. The gentlemen who had served on the expunged article should be considered as renounced. Committee on Foreign Affairs for the last six years,

When the treaty, thus ratified with this condition upon would bear lim out in the statement that a great deal of condition, came back to the United States, it was by Pre. the business before that committee related to claims unsident Jefferson sent again to the Senate, asking again der the Florida treaty, and in no degree affecting our their advice and consent, before he gave it the last sanc- present relations with any foreign Power. A difficult tion by proclaiming it to be a law of the land; and the question of private claim, growing out of our convention Senate thereupon resolved that they considered it as fully with Algiers, but without any possible bearing upon our ratified, and sent it back to the President for proclamation present relations with that regency, had been before the

The expunged article, it has been seen, contains a sti- Committee on Foreign Affairs for several of the last sespulation that the parties would thercafter negotiate again sions. The present claims, as had already been slated, upon these claims, (which, on the part of the United had been repeatedly before that committee. In reply to States, were, to a very large amount, belonging to a nume- a remark which he had made when up before, the genrous and most meritorious class of citizens,) and, also, tleman from South Carolina (Mr. Draytox] expressed a that they should, at the same time, negotiate concerning doubt whether the subject had been reported upon more the renewal between the two countries of the treaties of than once by the Committee on Foreign Affairs. Mr. 1778, which had been annulled by the Congress of the E. observed that he now held, in the volume before hiin, United States. The claims, to a vast amount, were al- a report which he had made when he had the honor to be most all for indemnities to enure in behalf of the United the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Afairs. It States and their citizens. The renewal of the treaties was a sizable book of itself, over one hundred pages, was understood to be for the benefit of France--those made up, however, for the most part, of a compilation treaties containing a guaranty by the United States to from a very large volume of papers, published by order France of her possessions in the West Indies. That of the Senate, on this subject, in the year 1826. In this guaranty was very onerous to the United States, because report, he would not pretend that he had done justice to it exposed them to the danger, unavoidable by them while the subject; but he had bestowed his best attention upon it lasted, of being involved in every war in which France it, and devoted considerable time to its preparation; parmight engage, at least with Great Britain.

ticularly to the selection of the most important parts from Now, the exclusion from the treaty of the expunged the volume of between eight hundred and nine hundred article relieved the United States forever from the bur- pages already alluded to. Gentlemen would find the reden of the guaranty to France of her possessions in the port No. 82, of the second session of the twentieth ConWest Indies; and the condition annexed on the part of gress, and he believed the collection of documents apFrance to her assent that it should be expunged, was that pended to it would be found to contain most of the mathe claims, upon making indennity, for which she had by terials requisite to make up an opinion of the case.

In the same article agreed to negotiate, should be considered the concluding paragraph of this report, express mention as renounced. The claimants then, by the act of their is made of a report on the same subject, at a former sesown Government, have lost their just demand upon sion, in the case of Blenkenship, which Mr. E. also had France. Their property has been disposed of without the honor to make from the Committee on Foreign Afconsulting them, and without their consent, for an equi- fairs. It was short, and, for reasons stated, waived a disvalent which enures to the benefit of the people of the cussion of the subject. He believed he had made another United States, namely, the release, forever, from a bur- report on the same topic, but was not sure. densome and dangerous guaranty.

A word or two in reply to the gentleman from New This, Mr. A. said, he took to be the principle upon York, [Mr. HOFFMAN,] who spoke of these high claims as which the claimants now came forward to ask for indem- an old acquaintance of the House.” Mr. E. feared the nity. It was upon the justice of their own country, and House was not always governed by the rules of courtesy not upon the generosity of another, that they relied. observed in private life; and was apt to treat its old acHeretofore there might be a doubt whether, not with quaintances with less kindness than new comers, though standing the peremptery dictation of the First Consul that perhaps less deserving of its notice. He knew that it the claims should be considered as renounced, there was against a claim, to have been long and unsuccessfully might not be a remnant of pretension still to be urged before the House; and yet, if the claim is just, he hoped upon France, and then there might be a propriety it was no reason for not paying it, that payment had been in referring the claims to the Committee on Foreign Af- long and injuriously delayed. But there was an importfairs. Now, all such expectations were extinct, and they ant fact on this subject, which he would ask permission to had no more to do with foreign affairs than with the affairs state to the House. In the year 1826, a volume of papers of the people of the moon. The question was between was published by order of the Senate, which had been the petitioners and their own country. The principle of furnished, on a call of that body, by the Department of their demand was the same with that of one well known State. Sir, that volume contained the materials for a comto the gentleman from New York and to the House un- plete demonstration of the justice of these claims; mateder the name of claims from the Niagara frontier, and for rials till then locked up in the archives of State. Since which large inclemnities had been paid by this country. the appearance of that collection of papers, the current Mr. A. thought it would not have been more incongruous of opinion, in both Houses of Congress, had set strongly to have referred one of the petitioners of those claims to in favor of the claims. He had already observed that in the Committee on Foreign Affairs, than it would be now this House two, and he believed three, committees had to refer to them the petitions on these claims. He hoped, reported in its favor. In the Senate, since the same petherefore, that the motion of the gentleman from Con- riod, four, if not five, favorable reports had been made, necticut would prevail, and that the petition would be re- some of them accompanied with bills providing for the ferred to a select committee.

payment of the claims. Two of these reports proceeded Mr. E. EVERETT observed that he was sorry again to from the present Secretary of State, Mr. Livingston; they trouble the House, although the subject was one well de were very able, he would say conclusive, and established serving the share of its time and attention which it had both the justice and equity of the claims, in the most in. received. He was indifferent what committee the sub-controvertible manner. Since the case had been underject went to, provided it went to a committee that would stood, there had not, he believed, been an adverse exdo it justice. The reference of subjects to the different pression of opinion by any committee of either House. committees of .be House, was often in a good degree de. | Mr. E. begged leave to make one more remark. It

Dec. 14, 1831.]

Committee on Roads and Canals. --Internal Improvement.

[H. OF R.

was believed that, by the late convention with France, Resolved, that there shall be appointed, for the present provision is made for the payment of our claims on that session, and hereafter, at the commencement of each sesPower accruing since 1800. As the payment of our sion of Congress, a committee of seven members of this claims similarly situated on other European Powers will House, to be styled “a Committee on Roads and Canals," follow as a matter of course, we shall then have this ex- whose duty it shall be to take into consideration all such traordinary state of things--that, of all the claimants for petitions and matters or things, relating to roads and caacts of spoliation by foreign Powers, the present class are nals, and the improvement of the navigation of rivers, as the only ones to which justice is to be denied. Our old shall be presented, or may come in question, and be reclaims on Great Britain, of the year 1794, were paid; our ferred to them by the House; and to report thereupon; claims on Russia, Sweden, Denmark, and Spain, have together with such propositions relative thereto, as to been paid; our claims on France and other Powers for them shall seem expedient. spoliations under the continental system are now to be A debate arose on this resolution between Mr. MITpaid: and the present claimants, whose demand has been CHELL, of South Carolina, and Mr. MERCER. The forequitably transferred to our own Government, will be left mer gentleman protested against the adoption of the resothe only class unsatisfied. In other words, our own Go- lution as unnecessary, because a select committee had vernment will be the only Government which will not do always been found competent to take charge of this busijustice to our own citizens.. He was sure this was a state ness beretofore, but especially because the adoption of of things to which no gentleman would wish to give his such a resolution would lead to an impression that the sanction; and he trusted that the gentleman from New House was disposed to systematize internal improvement, York, old as the claim is, would take it into his candid and with it the present high duties on imports, &c. He consideration; and in that case he felt sure he would find was disposed to soften and sooth, rather than to irritate it to rest on the strongest foundations of justice. existing discontents, as he believed the adoption of this

Mr. McDUFFIE wished to know if it were intended resolution would. Mr. M. took occasion to say, that toparticularly to refer the spoliations prior to 1800 to a se- wards this object (conciliation) he was more than glad to lect committee, or to include all claims of the same kind in hear the patriotic remarks which had fallen from the genthe reference. If the first, he should oppose it: he asked tleman from Massachusetts (Mr. ADAMS) yesterday. for information.

Mr. MERCER expressed unfeigned astonishment at the Mr. ELLSWORTH replied that he considered the ground taken by the gentleman from South Carolina, beclaims of the present petitioners of sufficient magnitude lieving that there was nothing in the resolution which went to merit a reference by themselves, and that it was his in any manner to commit the House either upon the geopinion they should be so referred, without a reference neral principle of internal improvement, or to any partito others.

cular action under that principle. No one could be more Mr. McDUFFIE then, in reply, stated himself to be disposed to the course of conciliation recommended by opposed to the reference of the claims in question to a that gentleman than he [Mr. M.] was. But he could not select committee.

perceive any connexion between that argument and the Mr. Speaker: My belief is that there is no occasion resolution before the House, which was a mere matter of for a select committee. These claims have heretofore form, intended to raise a general committee for all cases been sent to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, where of a similar nature, instead of appointing general committhey seem to belong, as the right to call on this Govern- tees on particular cases, as was done yesterday. A standment is supposed to grow out of certain diplomatic ar- ing committee of this character had for many years existrangements made between it and France. According to ed in the other branch of Congress, to the great convenimy recollection, in 1800, the agents of the two Powers ence of that body, and he could see no possible substantial negotiated a treaty or convention, but were unable to ad- objection to the same course here. just these claims, as the French Government put in cer- Mr. CRAIG, of Virginia, not perceiving any benefit to tain counter claims growing out of an undertaking on the arise from prolonging the discussion, moved to lay the repart of the United States to guaranty to that nation the solution on the table. peaceable and undisturbed enjoyment of her colonies. This motion was negatived. A treaty was agreed upon, leaving both matters unsettled; Mr. SPEIGHT, of North Carolina, wishing to present but it afterwards was so modified as that the claims on his views on the subject, and not desiring to proceed tothe one side and the other are now supposed by these day, because of the lateness of the hour, moved to postclaimants to be extinguished; and as this Government pone the further consideration of the resolution until to. was relieved from an onerous engagement, in considera- morrow. tion of surrendering these claims, the claimants contend The House refused to postpone it; but, before any deciit received a good consideration for releasing them, and sion of the question, ought now in justice and equity to pay them. These, The House adjourned. sir, being the substance of the facts, it is obvious that the right to come here, if it exist at all, grows out of an as

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14. sumption of the claims by this Government in conse

INTERNAL IMPROVEMENT. quence of a diplomatic arrangement; and it'seems to me the matter falls appropriately within the jurisdiction of The House resumed the consideration of Mr. MERCER'S the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the petition ought motion for adding to the standing committees of the House to be referred to them.

a Committee on Roads and Canals. The question was then taken on referring the memo. Mr. SPEIGHT remarked that he felt it his duty to oprial to the Committee on Foreign Relations, and decided pose the passage of the resolution. He understood the in the affirmative.

gentleman from Virginia on yesterday to say that the The House proceeded to the election of a Chaplain, adoption of the resolution would imply no espression of when the Rev. Rev Byx Post, having received a majority opinion on the part of this House as to its legitimate scope of the votes, was duly elected Chaplain on the part of this in relation to internal improvement. For his own part, House.

he could conceive of no possible way in which this House COMMITTEE ON ROADS AND CANALS.

could express its opinion of the legitimate power it had

over roads and canals, but by the appointment of a standThe House then proceeded to the consideration of the ing committee on that subject. He had never heard it following resolution, proposed by Mr. MERCER: contended for, that Congress had the constitutional power H. Or R.]

Duties and Drawbacks.--Silk.

[Dec. 15, 1831.




to tax the people to construct roads and canals. But, con- and that we are about to engage in such works on a scale tended Mr. s., pass this resolution, and what is to be the more general and extended than has been heretofore at: inference? Why, that this House claims the right over tempted. Hence considerable uneasiness and alarm will the soil of the States to construct roads and canals. Why be excited in some sections of the country. This, of itself, is it that you have in this House a standing Committee on is an evil to be deprecated, and, at this crisis, ought to be Foreign Relations, &c. &c.! Because those subjects be- avoided, if possible. But, further, we shall hold out enlong legitimately to Congress. He regretted that this couragement which will cause our table to be loaded with resolution had been brought forward. If it passed, it petitions, soliciting appropriations for local and sectional would seem to imply no disposition on the part of this objects. Then, sir, should a standing committee be apHouse to relieve the people from the unjust burden of pointed favorable to such appropriations, we may expect, taxation under which they are laboring. This Congress before the close of the session, to have propositions bewas anxiously looked to as the one which is to do some- fore us for the expenditure of some fifty or a hundred milthing to relieve the country from the burdens that now lions of dollars; and combinations of local and sectional inhang over them. This feeling did not only exist in the terests will be formed, and press upon us with a force so agricultural States, but all over the country; and if the strong as to impede the independent action of this House. vehicles of information were as important in the North as The resolution may appear to be harmless, but I apprein the South, we should hear of but one general sentiment hend mischief is concealed in it. of disgust. But, sir, in those States, for whose benefit Mr. MERCER replied; being followed, in further oppomy constituents are taxed, we have no means of knowing sition to the resolution, by Mr. MITCHELL, of South Cathe general dissatisfaction which prevails among the poor- rolina, whose speech was cut off by the rule of the House er class of the community. He hoped that the present ses- which limits the consideration of resolutions to the first sion was not to pass off without materially reducing the hour of each day's sitting. tariff. Should that be done, the gentleman's system of

DUTIES AND DRAWBACKS. roads and canals would, of necessity, stop; because we should have no money to give him. He considered the

The SPEAKER laid before the House a letter from the two systems as one, and whenever one fell, the other Secretary of the Treasury, transmitting a statement of the would of course follow. lle had very recently read in amount of duties and drawbacks on the several articles immost of the public journals which favored the pretensions ported into the United States, and re-exported therefrom, of a certain individual, and who might with propriety be during the years 1828, 1829, 1830. From this statement considered as the father of this system, that that indivi- it appears, dual had never advocated a system of taxation for the pur- That, in the year 1828, the accruing duties pose of improving roads and canals. We had read it with

- $29,951,915 much pleasure, because he thought it ominous of better

the drawbacks payable 4,001,665 times. But see, we are met at the threshold with a pro- In the year 1829, the accruing duties were 27,689,731 position which threatens to rivet the system of taxation on

the drawbacks payable 4,213,168 Mr. S. said there was another objection he had to the In the year 1830, the accruing duties were 28,299,159 resolution. The President, in his message at the opening

the drawbacks payable 4,511,182 of the session, had said nothing on the subject of internal

SILK. improvements. One gentleman on his left had said “it

The SPEAKER laid before the House a long and inteshould be there if it was not. The gentleman from Vir- resting communication from Peter S. Duponceau, of Phigina hail stated on the floor that no mention of the sub-ladelphia, upon the subject of silk manufactures, accomject was made in the message; and therefore it was the panied by samples of plush for hats, manufactured at gentleman had introduced his resolution now. He should Philadelphia from American silk; of gros de Naples, for not impute any thing like improper motives to the gen- ladies' dresses, manufactured at Manchester, in England, tleman, but he would speak of the cffect of the gentle from American silk; and thrown silk, in the unboiled state. wan's course. It would be to hold up the President to his internal improvement friends as opposed to the sys-on Agriculture.

The letter and samples were referred to the Committee tem, when, in fact, and in truth, no such thing existed. The President bad very properly omitted to say any thing on this distracting subject; but a department of the Go

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15. vernment had, in a very delicate manner, brought it to After the presentation and reference of various petithe view of Congress. Upon the whole, he thought the tions and resolutions, resolution was wholly unnecessary, and that it would, at The House resumed the consideration of the following this time, be highly improper to pass it. lle rejoiced that resolution, moved by Mr. MERUER: his friend from South Carolina had yesterday mei it in such Resolved, that there shall be appointed for the present an able manner.

session, and hereafter, at the commencement of each sesMr. DOUBLEDAY said: Inexperienced, as he was, in sion of Congress, a committee of seven members of this legislation and debati, it became him not to occupy much House, to be styled “a Committee on Roads and Canals," of the time of the House." When this subject was before whose duty it shall be to take into consideration all such the House yesterday, he supported the several motions to petitions and matters or things, relating to roads and capostpone its consideration, because lie deemed it one of nals

, and the improvement of the navigation of rivers, as great delicacy and importance, which ought not to be has- shall be presented, or may come in question, and be refertily dccided. After mature deliberation, said Mr. D., 1 red to them by the House; and to report thereupon; tofind myself constrained by a sense of duty to oppose the gether with such propositions relative thereto, as to them adoption of the resolution. I hope, sir, the question of shall seem expedient. national local internal improvements is so far put at rest, Mr. MITCHELL, of South Carolina, concluded the that it will not be necessary for this House to adopt any speech in opposition to the resolution, which he commencnew measures for the despatch of this description of bus.. ed yesterday.

But if we pass this resolution, I conceive these re- Mr. WILDE moved to refer the question to a Commitsults will follow. It will be understood by the public, (and tee of the Whole on the state of the Union, to test the perhaps it is so intended by gentlemen who support the disposition of the House to entertain a wide debate on so resolution,) that we consider works of internal improve- narrow a ground. iment within the serpe of our legitimate powers and duties; Mr. DAVIS, of Massachusetts, considered the whole


Dec. 19, 1831. ]

Postage on NewspapersThe Laus, &c.--Slaves in Dist. Col.— Impost Duties.

[H. OF R.

debate unimportant. Standing committee or select, there 1st. That, to all actual subscribers, newspapers and must be one. Names were nothing.

pamphlets, not exceeding one sheet, should pass through Mr. MITCHELL called for the yeas and pays on the the mail free of postage. question of agreeing to the resolution, and they were 2d. That all owners of printing presses and types, and taken as follows:

all persons actually working and employed as printers, YEAS.-Messrs. Adams, Chilton Allan, Allison, Apple should be permitted to receive their letters free of postage. ton, Arnold, Babcock, Banks, Noyes Barber, Isaac C. 3d. That the two cents at present allowed to postmasBates, John Blair, Boon, Briggs, Búcher, Bullard, Burd, ters for delivering free letters be dispensed with. Burges, Cahoon, Carr, Choate, Condict, Condit, Eleuthe- 4th. That, so soon as the national debt shall be paid off, ros Cooke, Bates Cooke, Cooper, Corwin, Coulter, Craw-the whole expense of the Post Office Department be deford, Creighton, Daniel, John Davis, Denny, Dickson, frayed out of the general fund. This proposition, he preDoddridge, Duncan, Ellsworth, George Evans, Joshua sumed, would meet the views of gentlemen who are so Evans, Edward Everett, Horace Everett, Findlay, Ford, much alarmed to know what shall be done with the accruGilmore, Grennell, Heister, Howard, Hughes, Hunt, ing and increasing revenue. Huntington, Ingersoll, Irvin, Jenifer, Kendall, Kennon, 5th. The fifth proposition he considered a very import. Kerr, Leavitt, Lecompte, Letcher, Marshall, Maxwell, ant one. It was, that all the newspapers within the United McCarty, Robert McCoy, McKennan, Mercer, Milligan, States should be permitted to publish the laws of the Pearce, Pendleton, Pitcher, Potts, John Reed, Russel, United States, and the advertisements of the Post Office Slade, Southard, Spence, Stanberry, Standifer, Stewart, Department, and that each should receive one hundred Storrs, Sutherland, Taylor, Francis Thomas, Philemon dollars per annum for such publication. Every man in Thomas, John Thomson, Tompkins, Tracy, Vance, Vin- this country was presumed to know the law; and he was ton, Washington, Watmough, Wilkin, Elisha Whittlesey, held amenable to the law, as knowing it. Such being Frederick Whittlesey, Edward D. White, Wickliffe, the fact, he thought that much pains should be taken to Worthington, Young.–96.

let those who are subject to the laws know what the laws NAYS.--Messrs. Adair, Alexander, Robert Allen, An- were. As at present promulgated, there was not, he derson, Angel, Archer, John S. Barbour, Barnwell, Bar- would venture to say, one man in a thousand, who ever ringer, Barstow, James Bates, Beardsley, Bell, Bergen, saw the laws that were there enacted. Bethune, James Blair, Bouck, Bouldin, Branch, John Mr. A. concluded by moving that the petition be laid Brodhead, John C. Brodhead, Cambreleng, Carson, Chand- on the table and printed; which motion was agreed to. ler, Chinn, Claiborne, Clay, Coke, Collier, Conner, Craig, SLAVES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. Davenport, Warren R. Davis, Dayan, Dewart, Doubleday, Drayton, Felder, Fitzgerald, Foster, Gaither, Gordon, trict of Columbia, made the following report; which was

Mr. DODDRIDGE, from the Committee for the Dis. Griffin, Thomas H. Hall, William Hall, Harper, Hawes, Hoffman, Hogan, Holland, Horn, Hubbard, Jarvis, Jew. read, and concurred in by the House: ett , C. Johnson, C. C. Johnston, Kavanagh, A. King, cording to order, had under their consideration the me

The Committee for the District of Columbia have, acJohn King, Henry King, Lamar, Lansing, Lent, Lewis, morials of sundry citizens of the State of Pennsylvania, Mann, Mardis, Mason, William McCoy, McDuffic, Thomas R. Mitchell, Muhlenberg, Newnan, Nuckolls, Plummer, to them referred, praying the passage of such a law or law's Polk, Edward C. Reed, Roane, Root, A. H. Shepperd, slavery and the slave trade within the said District, and

by Congress, as may be necessary for the abolition of Soule, Speight, Wiley Thompson, Verplanck, Ward, Wardwell

, Wayne, Weeks, Wheeler, c.p. White, Wilde. beg leave to report thereon, in part: --90.

Considering that the District of Columbia is composed Adjourned to Monday.

of cessions of territory made to the United States by the

States of Virginia and Maryland, in both of which States MONDAY, DECEMBER 19.

slavery exists, and the territories of which surround the

District, your committee are of opinion that, until the POSTAGE ON NEWSPAPERS--THE LAWS, &c. wisdom of State Governments shall have devised some

Mr. ARNOLD presented the petition of Samuel Mar- practicable means of eradicating or diminishing the evil tin, of Campbell's station, in the State of Tennessee. The be unwise' and impolitic, if not unjust, to the adjoining

of slavery, of which the memorialists complain, it would petition, Mr. A. remarked, presented several new and interesting questions, which would, no doubt, at some

States, for Congress to interfere in a subject of such deliperiod not far distant, call forth the action of this House. cacy and importance as is the relation between master and

slave. He therefore moved that the petition be read; which being done,

If, under any circumstances, such an interference on Mr. A. resumed, and said he felt bound to make a pass- are satisfied that the present is an inauspicious moment for

the part of Congress would be justified, your committee ing remark. It might seem to some gentlemen that the

its consideration. propositions contained in the petition were wild and visionary. He confessed that, when he first received the

Impressed with these views, your committee offer for petition, the boldness of some of the measures petitioned the consideration of the House the following resolution: for startled him; but, upon reading it a second time, and bia be discharged from the further consideration of so

Resolved, That the Committee for the District of Colum. after a moment's reflection, he was convinced that all the much of the prayer of the memorialists

, citizens of the propositions contained in the petition were worthy of con- State of Pennsylvania, to them referred, asking the passideration, and that some of them, he honestly believed, deserved the highest consideration. All its propositions sage of such law or laws as may be necessary for the abohave the same tendency. They tend to open up the foun- lition of slavery and the slave trade within said District, tains of information to the whole people; and if, as he as relates to the first of these objects, the abolition of thought all must admit was the fact, the stability and

slavery within said District.

permanence of this Government, with all its boasted institu

IMPOST DUTIES. tions of freedom, depended upon the virtue of the people, Mr. DEARBORN submitted the following resolution to and if the virtue of the people depended upon their intel- the consideration of the House: ligence, then he was certain that he had not attached too Resolved, That the Committee of Ways and Means be much importance to this petition. Mr. A. asked what the instructed to inquire into the expediency of exempting petition proposed. It contained five distinct propositions. from duty teas, coffee, wines, pepper, spices, indigo, and

VOL. VIII.--91

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