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YEAS-Messrs. Chandler, Dana, Dickerson, Knight, Lanman, Lloyd, Lowrie, Macon, Roberts, Sanford, Talbot, and Trimble.
NAYS-Messrs. Barbour, Eaton, Edwards, Elliott, Gaillard, Holmes of Maine, Holmes of Mississippi, Hunter, Johnson of Kentucky, Johnson of Louisiana, King of Alabama, King of New York, Mills, Morril, Noble, Otis, Parrott, Pleasants, Ruggles, Smith, Stokes, Thomas, Tichenor, Van Dyke, Walker of Alabama, Wal-mit a copy of the foregoing resolution to each of our ker of Georgia, Williams of Mississippi, and Williams Senators and Representatives in the Congress of the United States.
"Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives, That our Senators and Representatives in Congress be requested to use their exertions in procuring the passage of a law, providing for the removal of the obstructions in the entrance of Erie harbor; and that this Commonwealth will co-operate with the United States in the accomplishment of that object.
"Resolved, That the Governor be requested to trans
The several amendments were then concurred in by the Senate, with some additional provisions, amongst them one offered by Mr. WALKER, of Alabama, to extend the relief to purchasers who have laid off towns on their land, and those who hold lots or contiguous land under them.
The bill was then ordered to be engrossed for a third reading-36 to 5, as follows:
YEAS-Messrs. Barbour, Dickerson, Eaton, Edwards, Elliott, Gaillard, Holmes of Maine, Holmes of Mississippi, Horsey, Hunter, Johnson of Kentucky, Johnson of Louisiana, King of Alabama, King of New York, Lanman, Lloyd, Mills, Morril, Noble, Otis, Parrott, Pleasants, Ruggles, Sanford, Smith, Stokes, Talbot, Taylor, Thomas, Tichenor, Trimble, Van Dyke, Walker of Alabama, Walker of Georgia, Williams of Mississippi, and Williams of Tennessee. NAYS-Messrs. Chandler, Dana, Lowrie, Macon,
The Senate took up and considered the bill to establish an uniform system of bankruptcy throughout the United States, as amended; and, on motion, the Senate adjourned.
MONDAY, February 12.
Mr. LLOYD presented the memorial of the merchants and underwriters of the city of Baltimore, suggesting to Congress the expediency of augmenting the naval force of the United States in the Pacific ocean, to an extent equal to the protection of our commerce there; and the memorial was read, and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
The bill, entitled "An act for the relief of Robert Buntin" was read the second time, and referred to the Committee on Public Lands.
mas W. Todd; and, on motion by Mr. PLEASANTS, it was laid on the table.
Mr. LOWRIE Communicated the following resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of Pennsylvania; which were read.
"In the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:
The bill, entitled "An act to authorize the collectors of customs to pay debentures issued on the exportation of loaf sugar, and spirits distilled from molasses," was read the second time, and referred to the Committee on Commerce and Manufac
The bill for the relief of the legal representatives of Alexander Montgomery, deceased, was read the second time.
The Senate proceeded to consider the report of the Committee of Claims, on the petition of Tho
"JOHN GILMORE, "Speaker of the House of Representatives. "WM. MARKS, Jr., "Speaker of the Senate.
"Approved February 1, 1821.
"JOSEPH HIESTER." The Senate proceeded to consider the report of the Committee on Pensions, on the petition of Dean Weymouth; and, on motion by Mr. HOLMES, of Maine, it was laid on the table.
The Senate resumed the consideration of the report of the Committee of Claims, on the petition of George Jackson; and it was postponed until to-morrow.
REMISSION OF DUTIES.
The Senate took up successively the reports of the Committee on Finance, unfavorable to the petitions of James Graham, William Whitehead, and Joshua Aubin.
[The petitioners state that, in the month of October, 1814, they, being subjects of Great Britain, imported certain British goods into Castine, a port of the United States, then in the possession of the British, with whom the United States were at war; that they entered the goods at the British custom-house, and paid the duties; that at the time the United States regained the possession, the collector demanded the duties and that they paid them; and they pray that the duties so paid may be refunded.]
Mr. OTIS moved to reverse the reports of the committee and instruct it to bring bills for the relief of the petitioners; and after a long debate in which the reports were defended by Messrs. HOLMES, of Maine, EATON, and MACON, and were opposed by
Relief to Land Purchasers.
Messrs. OTIS, MILLS, DANA, SANFORD, KING, of
The motion was agreed to; and the committee were directed to report bills accordingly.
The Senate resumed the consideration of the bill to establish a system of bankruptcy. A number of amendments were made to its details, and others were offered, on which, as well as on the merits of the bill, a good deal of debate took place, in which Messrs. VAN DYKE, TALBOT, OTIS, MILLS, and HOLMES, of Maine, chiefly participated.
Mr. TALBOT closed his remarks against the bill by offering the following motion:
Resolved, That the bill to establish an uniform system of bankruptcy throughout the United States be committed to the Committee on the Judiciary, with instructions to report amendments thereto which shall secure to all classes of the community, other than the descriptions of persons contained in the first section of the bill, the privilege, at their election, of becoming voluntary bankrupts, with the consent and approbation of a major part in value of all the creditors of such voluntary bankrupt, previously obtained and duly certified; and further providing that such bankrupt shall be subjected to the same proceedings, and liable to the same penalties, fines, and forfeitures, and be entitled to all the privileges, benefits, and advantages, as are provided for, and made applicable to, all other bankrupts by the regulations of the said bill.
man from Kentucky, (Mr. JOHNSON.) I had also gleaned some arguments which escaped those gentlemen, and which were intended to have been presented to the Senate in favor of that bill if it had been necessary. It would have given me great that bill had the sanction of my judgment, and pleasure to have done so, because the provisions of was in accordance with the feelings of my heart. That bill contained three principles, which, in my view, covered the whole justice and equity of the case. The first was the permission to surrender any portion of the land, and apply the payments to the part retained. The second offered an inducement for prompt payment by giving a discount, which was afterwards fixed by the Senate at 37 per cent. The third authorized the payment by eight annual instalments, without interest, and without limitation as to quantity. This provision was afterwards so limited by the Senate as to apply to 320 acres only, and an oath was required from each person embracing this provision, stating that he held no more land unpaid for than 320 acres. A section was also added releasing all interest now due. Now, I beg leave to remind the Senate that it was in support of this bill, with these provisions, that the able speeches of the gentlemen, to whom I have alluded, were made. With them I acted in concert until they abandoned the bill they had so ably supported.
To allow this motion, and an amendment offered by Mr. HOLMES, of Maine, (not affecting the principle of the bill,) to be printed, the bill was laid on the table.
But, sir, that bill has been postponed. We have now to pass upon another and a very different one, to which I call the attention of the Senate while I examine its provisions.
RELIEF TO LAND PURCHASERS. The engrossed bill for the relief of the purchasers of public lands, was read the third time.
The first section contains the principle of the first bill word for word. Connected as it is, however, with the subsequent provisions, it promises no practical effects. Before I resume my seat, I will show that this principle, great and valuable as it was in the former bill, will, in this one, be Mr. LowRIE observed, that, from the course this almost entirely inoperative. The second section bill had taken, he found himself placed in a situa-releases the interest due; in this it coincides with tion in which his views without some explanation the first bill. The third section contains the folmight be misunderstood. He asked the attention lowing provisions: of the Senate, while he compared the provisions of the bill just read, with the one reported by the Committee on Public Lands.
To purchasers at the rate of three dollars and upwards per acre, a discount of 33 per cent. is given, and to those who purchased at a rate less than three dollars, a discount of 25 per cent.
This subject was brought before Congress by the President's Message-by the report of the Secretary of the Treasury, and by a large number of petitions, as well as by resolutions offered by gentlemen in both Houses. All these were referred to the Committee on Public Lands. Being a member of that committee, I know something of the difficulty and embarrassment they experienced in coming to a conclusion, and in digesting a system, that, without going too far, would give such equitable relief as the situation of the country required. At that time, sir, I was among the warmest friends of this measure; and few gentlemen, except those whose constituents were immediately interested, were willing to give relief to the same extent that appeared to me equitable; I am still willing to go as far as was at first proposed.
The bill reported by the committee has been very ably elucidated by the observations of the
The principle of discrimination between the purchasers above and those below three dollars is to me peculiarly objectionable. I cannot reconcile
two members from Illinois, and by the gentle-it with any sound principle of legislation. If any
The residue of the debt thus reduced, is divided into three classes. Those purchasers who have made one payment form the first class; the second comprises those who have made two payments; and those who have made three payments, form the third.
The debt of the first class is made payable in eight, the second class in six, and the third class in four annual instalments respectively. The debt on each instalment bears interest, but it is provided that this interest shall be remitted, on the instalments being punctually paid.
Now, sir, it is to me matter of astonishment that, with these provisions, the Senate are about to pass this bill.
Relief to Land Purchasers.
discrimination be made, it should be the reverse of this the preference should be given to the man who cultivates the land. It cannot be denied that the great majority of the poorer class purchased their land at the minimum price-while your land merchant (I do not use the word speculator) attended your sales and bought the choice land, with a view to his own profit. I know, by our regulations for the sale of public lands, no distinction has been made heretofore, and, therefore, none is now expedient; but my feelings towards these two classes are very different, and, if an extra favor is now to be given, I would bestow it on the man who earns his bread by the sweat of his face.
Sir, this point was discussed last Saturday, and it is not necessary to repeat the arguments then used. In support of the principle, it was stated, that this provision was for the benefit of those who purchased at a high rate south of the Mississippi river. But high prices were also given north of the Ohio river. In the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri, the sum received, up to the 30th September, 1819, above minimum price, was $1,179,179; there can be no doubt that much of this was at a price above three dollars the acre, and thus it appears that, in the last mentioned States, you carry this invidious distinction. It is a singular fact, also, that the purchaser at $275 per acre, will, where three payments are now due, owe a larger sum than if he had purchased at three dollars.
But these objections are of minor importance, when compared with the other provisions. After reducing the debt by 333 and 25 per cent. you propose to give eight, six, and four years credit, and release the interest on the instalments, if paid when due. If we take the interest which will become due on these instalments, it brings us to the following results: eight years, 27; six years, 21; and four years, 15 per cent. If the discount is taken, we find the following: eight years, 20; six years, 16; four years, 12 per cent. Neither of these modes of calculation, however, is the proper one to be applied to this subject. I have therefore taken the mean between the two, which produces the following: eight years, 23; six years, 183; four years, 133 per cent. By adding these respective sums to the discount given in the bill, the extent of the reduction is ascertained:
not be disputed; they are as certain as figures themselves.
With these facts in view, let me ask the Senate of what use is the first section of this bill? Will any individual surrender part of his land to pay for the residue, when he can pay his debts with 51 cents in the dollar. If this principle has any operation, it will only be when the land is not worth half the price at which it was originally purchased; and land only of the most inferior quality will be surrendered to the Government.
Mr. L. observed, if this bill is passed, more will be done than any person has yet asked for. He referred to the petitions signed by thousands. All that was asked or expected was a reduction of the existing debt to the present minimum price. But, pass this bill, and you lay the ground for present discontent among the inhabitants, and of future application for relief to other classes. Will A be satisfied to pay you $1 25 per acre, when you have reduced the debt of B from $2 to $1? Will the Legislature of the Nation refuse to hear the man who tells them, that, with great sacrifice and exertion, he paid his debt to the last farthing; that his neighbor, who made no such exertion or sacrifice, has been relieved of half his burden? But, suppose this class rejected; will you, after passing this bill, refuse to hear those whose lands have been forfeited? They will show by the records of the Treasury, that from them you have received $412,670. In the Cincinnati district alone, they will show you $130,756. They will plead the provisions of this bill; and I do not see on what principle you can refuse them.
In this bill you have entirely lost sight of the system of prompt payment. That part of the system is at this time one of no ordinary importance. The Secretary of the Treasury estimates the receipts from land, for the ensuing year, at not more than $1,600,000, unless some inducement for prompt payment should be offered. With proper inducements, he estimates the receipts at $2,500,000. The difference between these two, in the present embarrassed situation of the Treasury, is not to be disregarded. This advantage was strongly relied upon in pressing the first bill on the favorable attention of the Senate. In the bill now before us nothing is retained that will be of immediate advantage to the Treasury, and the estimate of the officer at the head of that Department is disregarded.
It would have given me great pleasure to have the first bill been sustained by the Senate, I would voted for a bill giving relief on this subject. Had have given it all the support in my power. It is not a common or a cold feeling I have for the persons interested in this measure. Many of my neighbors and acquaintances have removed to, and settled in the States concerned. My best wishes are for their prosperity; and, if the whole subject should fall by its own weight, which is at least a probable event, I am not to blame-my course on this measure has been a liberal one; it has been consistent and uniform.
In these cases the average reduction on the original payments is 45 per cent. The mean between 431 and 45 is 49 per cent., which is the average reduction on the whole debt due from the purchasers of public land. Besides all this, the interest now due is remitted. These results can-Representatives for concurrence.
The bill was passed and sent to the House of
The Bankrupt Bill.
TUESDAY, February 13.
The credentials of ELIJAH H. MILLS, appointed a Senator by the Legislature of the State of Massachusetts for the term of six years, commencing on the fourth day of March next, were read, and
laid on file.
Mr. LANMAN presented the memorial of John Parish and others, inhabitants of the county of Windham, in the State of Connecticut, praying for the establishment of a certain post route; and the memorial was read, and referred to the Committee on the Post Office, &c.
Mr. RUGGLES presented the petition of Robert Caldwell and others, inhabitants of Morgan and Guernsey counties, in the State of Ohio, praying for the establishment of a cer ain post route; and the petition was read, and referred to the Committee on the Post Office, &c.
Mr. SMITH, from the Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the petition of William Pancoast, made a report refusing the prayer of the petitioner; which was read.
On motion, by Mr. PLEASANTS, the Committee on Naval Affairs were discharged from the consideration of the resolution of the 12th of January, "to inquire whether there are any obstructions to the navigation of the river Thames, in the State of Connecticut, which were placed there by the American ships blockaded during the late war, and, if any, what measures ought to be adopted for the removal of such obstructions ;" and it was referred to the Committee on Finance.
Mr. MILLS, from the Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the petition of Samuel Parker, made a report, accompanied by a bill to extend the term of Samuel Parker's patents, for his improvement in currying and finishing leather of all kinds; and the report and bill were read, and the bill passed to a second reading.
Mr. THOMAS, from the Committee on Public Lands, to whom was referred the bill to establish a new land office in the State of Mississippi, and for the better regulation of certain land districts in the States of Alabama and Mississippi; reported
it without amendment.
The Senate resumed the consideration of the report of the Committee of Claims on the petition of George Jackson; and, on motion, by Mr. BARBOUR, it was laid on the table.
THE BANKRUPT BILL.
The Senate resumed the consideration of the bill to establish an uniform system of bankruptcy, the question being on the motion, made by Mr. TALBOT, to recommit the bill, with instructions so to modify it as to allow all other classes, as well as merchants, to become bankrupts, on their voluntary application to avail themselves of the pro
visions of the act.
Messrs. VAN DYKE and LANMAN opposed the motion, the latter at some length; and Mr. TALBOT advocated it.
Johnson of Kentucky, Macon, Morril, Pleasants, Ruggles, Smith, Stokes, Talbot, Walker of Alabama, and Walker of Georgia—13.
NAYS-Messrs. Dickerson, Elliott, Gaillard, Holmes of Mississippi, Horsey, Hunter, King of New York, Knight, Lanman, Lloyd, Lowrie, Mills, Noble, Otis, Palmer, Parrott, Roberts, Sanford, Thomas, Tichenor,
Trimble, Van Dyke, Williams of Mississippi, and Wil
ilams of Tennessee-24.
The question being taken on agreeing to the motion, it was decided in the negative, by the following vote: YEAS-Messrs. Barbour, Chandler, Holmes of Maine,
So the proposition to recommit and amend the bill was rejected.
The question then was stated on the following amendment, submitted yesterday by Mr. HOLMES, of Maine, as a new section:
"SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That whenever any rson, resident within the United States, not be. ing a merchant or person actually using the trade of merchandise by buying and selling in gross or by retail, nor dealing in exchange, nor as a banker, broker, factor, underwriter, or marine insurer, shall do or sufclared to be an act of bankruptcy, any one creditor, or fer any act or thing which is herein described, or deshall amount to five hundred dollars, or any two or a greater number, being partners, whose single debt
more creditors whose debts shall amount to one thous
and dollars, may petition, in writing, against such person in the same manner, and the same proceedings shall be had therein, as directed and prescribed in the second section of this act; and the commissioners designated by the said judge shall, moreover, issue a summons under their hands and seal, notifying and commanding such person to appear at a certain time and place before said commissioners, to show cause why he or she may not be declared a bankrupt, and the same commissioners shall cause personal service to be made on such person, and reasonable notice of the time and place to be given; and if such person shall not appear, or, appearing, shall consent to a commission of bankruptcy, then, and not otherwise, such person may be declared a bankrupt, and shall be subject to all the provisions of this act."
Mr. VAN DYKE deemed the argument against Mr. TALBOT's proposition as applicable to this amendment, and therefore did not conceive it necessary to add any thing on this question, except to say that, were he a farmer, he should not desire to place this power in the hands of his creditors. Mr. HOLMES defended his amendment in detail, and at some length.
Mr. KING, of New York, spoke against the proposition, and in support, briefly, of the expediency and constitutionality of a single bankrupt system, applicable only to the trading class.
Mr. BARBOUR replied to Mr. KING, and argued in support of the justice of extending the bill to farmers and other classes, as well as traders, to which the consent of the debtor being rendered necessary, obviated all objection; stating, in conclusion, that if the amendment did not prevail, he should attempt an amendment, to confine the operation of the bill entirely to dealings between merchant and merchant, and to leave the claims of others on them unimpaired.
Mr. VAN DYKE argued to show that the amendment would produce an incongruity in the system, and was in principle inexpedient.
The question was then put on the amendment,
YEAS-Messrs. Barbour, Chandler, Eaton, Holmes of Maine, Holmes of Mississippi, Knight, Macon, Pleasants, Ruggles, Smith, Walker of Alabama, Walker of Georgia, and Williams of Tennessee-13.
NATS-Messrs. Dickerson, Elliott, Gaillard, Horsey, Hunter, Johnson of Kentucky, Johnson of Louisiana, King of Alabama, King of New York, Lanman, Lloyd, Lowrie, Mills, Otis, Parrott, Roberts, Sanford, Stokes, Talbot, Thomas, Tichenor, Trimble, Van Dyke, and Williams of Mississippi-24.
Mr. BARBOUR replied, and Mr. LLOYD rejoined, in illustration and support of their opinions on the effect of the amendment.
Mr. VAN DYKE contended that the amendment was totally inconsistent with the principles of a bankrupt system.
The amendment was negatived-yeas 11.
The bill was then laid on the table, for the purpose of receiving a report necessary to be acted on to-day.
So this amendment was also rejected. Mr. BARBOUR then moved the amendment which he had intimated, and which was to insert a clause providing that, in the dividend of a bankrupt's estate, the debts due to those whose occupation excluded them from the operation of the act, should first be paid. Mr. B. spoke briefly, to show that, as other classes were not to have the benefits of the law, they ought not to suffer by it, and that, therefore, it ought to be confined to debts between merchants, and not affect the lien of the farmer.
Mr. KING, of New York, spoke in particular reference to what he deemed the correct course of proceeding in joint meetings; thinking it consistent with the Constitution, and with propriety, that the House should come to the Senate, if the apartment had not rendered it inconvenient; and that, when a convenient plan should be completed for joint meetings, he hoped the practice heretofore prevailing would not be considered in the light of a precedent, but that they should repair thither, and the President of the Senate preside in the joint meeting, &c. He was opposed to the settlement of any litigated question in joint meeting, where the Senate, as a body, would be lost; and argued that, whenever any such should arise, it would be always proper that the two Houses should separate.
Mr. MACON offered some remarks, explanatory of the views of the committee on the points before
Mr. LLOYD argued that this amendment, so far from having the effect to preserve or guard the in-them-some thinking the votes of Missouri ought terest of the farmers, would destroy all the chance to be received and counted, and others that they which the bill now gave them of deriving any good ought to be rejected; that they had agreed on the from it, and would, in fact, be absolutely injurious second resolution as the most likely course to reconcile any difficulty. As to the place of meeting, the Chamber of the Senate would have been recommended, (he was understood to say,) but for the reason that it could not accommodate comfortably the two Houses.
to their interest.
The question being put on the first resolution, it was agreed to, nem. con.
On the second resolution a long debate took
place. It was opposed by Messrs. SMIth, Talbot, WILLIAMS, of Tennessee, and LANMAN, on various grounds; principally, for the reasons that it was not competent in the Senate to decide such a question in anticipation; that the proper time to Constitution; that the two Houses would not be consider and settle it was the day appointed by the bound to-morrow by this report; that it was useless to touch the question now, whether Missouri was a State or not, or had a right to vote; that her votes could not be legally known now, &c.
The resolution was defended by Messrs. BARBOUR, OTIS, and JOHNSON, of Kentucky, on the grounds that, as the question would certainly arise uch better to to-morrow in joint meeting, it was that it was wrong to allow the pleasure and good adjust it now, and prevent all difficulty or trouble; feelings growing out of the event of to-morrow, a great and pleasing incident illustrative of our free institutions, to be disturbed by a question which could be so well settled previously, &c.
Mr. KING, of New York, in accordance with the opinions he had submitted, wished some amendment introduced to prevent the mode of proceeding from being quoted as a precedent hereafter-an amendment declaring that, if any question should arise relative to any votes, in joint meeting, that the two Houses would separate to consider the case, and not decide it jointly.
Mr. BARBOUR said that, on the present occasion,
ELECTION OF PRESIDENT.
Mr. BARBOUR then, from the joint select committee appointed on the subject, reported the following resolutions :
Resolved, That the two Houses shall assemble in the Chamber of the House of Representatives on Wednesday next, at 12 o'clock, and the President of the Senate shall be the presiding officer; that one person be appointed a Teller on the part of the Senate, to make a list of the votes as they shall be declared; that the result shall be delivered to the President of the Senate, who shall announce the state of the vote, and the persons elected, to the two Houses assembled as aforesaid; which shall be deemed a declaration of the persons elected President and Vice President of the United States, and, together with a list of the votes, be entered on the Journals of the two Houses.
Resolved, That if any objection be made to the votes of Missouri, and the counting or omitting to count which shall not essentially change the result of the election; in that case they shall be reported by the President of the Senate in the following manner: Were the votes of Missouri to be counted, the result would be for A. B., for President of the United States, votes; if not counted, for A. B., as President of the United States, votes; but, in either event, A.
B. is elected President of the United States; and in the same manner for Vice President.
Mr. BARBOUR explained, in detail, the reasons which influenced the committee in adopting the resolutions which it recommended.