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The Bankrupt Bill.
as the election could not be affected by the votes of any one State, no difficulty could arise; and that it was his intention hereafter to bring the subject up, to remedy what he considered a casus omissus in the Constitution, either by an act of Congress, if that should appear sufficient, or, if not, by proposing an amendment to the Constitution itself. The second resolution was then also agreed to; and the Senate adjourned.
WEDNESDAY, February 14.
The Senate proceeded to the appointment of a Teller on their part, in pursuance of the report of the joint committee appointed to consider and report a mode of examining the votes for President and Vice President of the United States; and Mr. BARBOUR was appointed.
Mr. KNIGHT presented the petition of Lemuel White, of Rhode Island, praying a pension; which was read, and referred to the Committee on Pen
Mr. JOHNSON, of Louisiana, presented the memorial of François Dufossat, son of Guy Dufossat, representing that certain forts have been erected and established on his land in Orleans county, in said State, and praying that other lands may be granted to him of equal value in lieu thereof; and the memorial was read, and referred to the Secretary of War.
Mr. SANFORD, from the Committee on Finance, in pursuance of instructions of the 12th instant, reported a bill for the relief of William Whitehead, Joshua Aubin, and James Graham; and the bill was read, and passed to the second reading.
Mr. VAN DYKE, from the Committee on Public Lands, to whom was referred the petition of P. P. Saint Guirons and others, French emigrants, engaged in the cultivation of the vine and olive, made a report, accompanied by a resolution, that the prayer of the petitioners ought not to be granted. The report and resolution were read.
Mr. ROBERTS, from the Committee on the Public Buildings, to whom was referred the bill, entitled "An act making appropriations for the public buildings," reported it with amendments; which
Mr. JOHNSON, of Kentucky, laid on the table the copy of a letter from him to the President of the Bank of the United States, and the answer thereto; which were read, and laid on file.
The bill to extend the term of Samuel Parker's patents, for his improvement in currying and finishing leather of all kinds, was read the second time.
The Senate proceeded to consider the report of the Committee on the Judiciary on the petition of William Pancoast; and it was laid on the table. BANKRUPT BILL.
The Senate took up and considered the bill to establish an uniform system of bankruptcy throughout the United States, as amended.
Mr. KNIGHT said, it had been stated by the honorable mover of the bill, (Mr. VAN DYKE,) that it is intended particularly for those who are subject to risks and losses, in their lawful business; for those who intrust their property out of their control and on the ocean. In this provision, I perfectly agree with the honorable gentleman, said Mr. K. And, as the bill does not provide for every class of our citizens, who are subject to great risks and losses in their business, I now move, sir, to amend the bill, by inserting in the line of the first section, after the word merchant, the word manufacturer. The bill will then read, that, if any merchant, manufacturer, or other persons.
In order to show that manufacturers are entitled to the benefit of the provisions of this bill, permit me to state a few facts. It is well known to gentlemen living in the Eastern section of the United States, that the freshets occasioned by the breaking up of one of our Northern Winters, often do great damage to the mills, mill-dams, and other property belonging to manufacturing establishments. I have known, sir, many persons nearly ruined by these disasters, their labor, toil, and savings for many years, entirely swept away by one of those freshets.
A motion was made by Mr. KNIGHT, of Rhode Island, to include manufacturers in the operation of the system. On which, Mr K. made the following remarks:
But, sir, water is not the only element to which they are exposed; fire, too, hath made its ravages. I believe, sir, a larger proportion of this kind of property has been destroyed by fire within the last fifteen years than of any other species within the United States. In fact, so frequent has been the destruction of manufacturing establishments by fire, that no prudent person will insure against it. The offices to the East totally reject all applications for insurance on cotton mills. They would not be taken even at what would be called by the merchant a war risk-a premium that no regular business can give in this or any other country. If this amendment is adopted, it will not only include cotton manufacturers, but the manufacturer of hats, woollen, hemp, powder, &c. I would ask, sir, who among us would insure on a powder mill? I presume, nobody, at any premium that could be afforded by the proprietor, unless it was a person willing to be blown up. Then, sir, the manufacturer is compelled to risk and endure all losses that may happen; and, if so unfortunate as to lose his property by fire or other casualty, he is doomed to everlasting misery while on earth; while the merchant, who can be insured, and thereby divide his loss among the community, you exonerate from responsibility; you set him free to seek new fortunes, and to provide for himself and family the means of a comfortable subsistence
[Here it was observed by Mr. VAN DYKE, that the manufacturer, who gets his living by buying and selling, was embraced in the bill.]
It is now suggested by the honorable mover of the bill, that manufacturers are embraced in the operations of the bill. Be it so. But, if they are embraced in the bill by implication, why object to the amendment? Why not have it clearly expressed? I admit there is no music in the word, yet it will not destroy the harmony of the bill if it should be inserted. Besides, sir, I have been
Electoral Votes for President.
taught to believe that statutes are to be construed strictly, that little is to be taken by implication; and unless manufacturers are particularly mentioned, as such, they cannot participate in the benefits, nor be subject to the operations of the law. Can it be said, sir, that the manufacturer, who merely purchases the raw material, manufactures it into cloth or other commodity, sends it to his factor or agent to sell, is a trader within the meaning of the bill? He does not make a living by buying and selling, and in my mind does not come within the purview of the law. I hope, sir, the amendment will prevail.
Mr. MILLS, of Massachusetts, replied, that he believed the object of the gentleman was now attained; that the manufacturer did carry on trade in such a manner as to be clearly within the meaning of the bill. And to insert manufacturer, was too broad a term; that not only the persons designed by the gentleman would be embraced, but shoemakers, carpenters, and all mechanics, would come in under that provision.
Mr. VAN DYKE repeated, that the manufacturer who gets his living by buying and selling, was now embraced in the bill.
The question being taken on Mr. KNIGHT's motion, it was lost; but ten rising in its favor. The bill was laid on the table.
ELECTORAL VOTES FOR PRESIDENT. A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that the House of Representatives have rejected the resolution of the Senate declaring the admission of the State of Missouri into the Union. The House of Representatives concur in the report of the joint committee appointed to make arrangements upon the subject of counting the votes for PRESIDENT and VICE PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES, and have appointed tellers on their part, and are now ready to receive the Senate to perform that ceremony.
Whereupon, the two House of Congress, agreeably to the joint resolution, assembled in the Representatives' Chamber, and the certificates of the Electors of the several States, beginning with the State of New Hampshire, were, by the President of the Senate, opened and delivered to tellers appointed for the purpose, by whom they were read, except the State of Missouri; and, when the certificate of the Electors of that State was opened, an objection was made by Mr. LIVERMORE, a member of the House of Representatives from the State of New Hampshire, to counting said votes. Whereupon on motion, by Mr. WILLIAMS, of Tennessee, the Senate returned to their own Chamber.
A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that the House of Representatives is now ready to receive the Senate in the Chamber of the House of Representatives for the purpose of continuing the enumeration of the votes of the Electors for President and Vice President, according to the joint resolutions agreed upon between the two Houses.
On motion, by Mr. BARBOUR, it was
House of Representatives in order to conclude the counting of the votes for President and Vice President of the United States, according to the last of the joint resolutions adopted for that purpose.
Whereupon, the two Houses having again assembled in the Representatives' Chamber, the certificate of the Electors of the State of Missouri was, by the President of the Senate, delivered to the tellers, who read the same, and who, having examined and ascertained, the whole number of votes, presented a list thereof to the President of the Senate, by whom it was read, as follows:
To the Senate of the United States:
I transmit to Congress a report from the Director of the Mint, enclosing a statement of the Treasurer, submitting the operations of the Mint for the last year. JAMES MONROE. WASHINGTON, February 14, 1821. The Message and report were read. Mr. SANFORD presented the petition of Charlotte Read, widow of Thomas M. Read, deceased, late a Captain in the Army, praying to be allowed a pension, in consideration of the military services of her late husband; and the petition was read, and referred to the Committee on Pensions.
Mr. SANFORD, from the Committee on Finance, to whom was referred the bill, entitled "An act making appropriations for the support of Government for the year 1821," reported it with an amendment; which was read.
Mr. ROBERTS gave notice that, to-morrow, he should ask leave to bring in a resolution declaring the admission of the State of Missouri into the Union.
THURSDAY, February 15.
The following Message was received from the tioners ought not to be granted. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:
Mr. HORSEY gave notice that, to-morrow, he should ask leave to bring in a bill concerning divorces and alimony in the District of Columbia.
On motion, by Mr. NOBLE, the Committee on Pensions were discharged from the consideration of the petitions of John B. Chatard, David Mallory, William Sizer, and William Plumbe; and John B. Chatard and William Plumbe had leave, respectively, to withdraw their petitions and pa
original order for building the barracks at Sackett's Harbor, together with all the communications between the War Department and Major General Brown relative thereto, and the amount of public moneys expended thereon.
On motion, by Mr. BARBOUR, the Committee on Foreign Relations were discharged from the consideration of the memorials of the Chamber of Commerce of the city of New York, and the merchants and underwriters of the city of Baltimore; and they were respectively referred to the Secretary of the Navy.
On motion, by Mr. TRIMBLE, the Senate took up and considered the report of the Committee on Pensions on the petition of Dean Weymouth; and the resolution accompanying the same was amended, and agreed to as follows:
Resolved, That the prayer of the petitioner ought to be granted, and that the committee be instructed to report a bill allowing him a pension at the rate of twelve dollars and fifty cents per month.
Mr. SMITH Submitted the following motion for consideration:
Resolved, That the President of the United States be requested to cause to be laid before the Senate the
The bill for the relief of William Whitehead, Joshua Aubin, and James Graham, was read the second time.
The Senate proceeded to consider the report of the Committee on Public Lands on the petition of P. P. St. Guirons and others; and, in concurrence therewith, resolved that the prayer of the peti
Bank of the United States.
third section of the bill was so amended as to provide that the facts of any case shall be tried by a jury, at the election of either party, instead of at the discretion of the court or judge.
Mr. LowRIE then, with the view, as he remarked, of making the system entirely prospective in its operations, and not touch existing debts at all, moved to add a provision to the sixty-first section, declaring that the act should "release no person who may hereafter be declared a bankrupt from any debt existing at the passage of this act."
On this proposition a long debate ensued; in which Mr. LoWRIE and Mr. ROBERTS maintained the amendment, on the ground of its expediency, without reference to the Constitutional question; and Mr. EDWARDS spoke briefly on the proper construction of the bill as it now stood. Mr. HOLMES, of Maine, and Mr. WALKER, of Alabama, argued that a discharge of debts existing at the passage of the act would be unconstitutional; which opinion was answered and opposed by Messrs. MILLS, OTIS, and VAN DYKE.
Mr. WALKER, of Georgia, though opposed to the bill altogether, was opposed to the amendment, and advocated an entire discharge of the debtor, if the system passed at all.
The question being taken on the amendment, it was negatived by the following vote:
YEAS-Messrs. Barbour, Chandler, Eaton, Holmes of Maine, King of Alabama, Lloyd, Lowrie, Macon, Morril, Pleasants, Roberts, Talbot, Trimble, and Walker of Alabama-14.
NAYS-Messrs. Dana, Dickerson, Edwards, Elliott, Gaillard, Horsey, Hunter, Johnson of Kentucky, Johnson of Louisiana, King of New York, Knight, Lanman, Mills, Noble, Otis, Palmer, Parrott, Sanford, Stokes, Taylor, Thomas, Tichenor, Van Dyke, Walker of Georgia, Williams of Mississippi, and Williams
Mr. TALBOT moved to strike out of the bill that clause of the sixty-third section, which gives to the circuit courts of the United States jurisdiction of all cases in law or equity arising under the act. This motion was assented to by the friends of the bill, and was agreed to.
Mr. TALBOT next moved to reduce the term to which the duration of the bill is limited, from five years (the time with which the blank had been filled) to two years.
Mr. OTIS proposed to split the difference with the gentleman, and make it four years.
Mr. TALBOT agreed to change his proposition to three years, and in that shape it was adopted.
After one or two unsuccessful attempts by Mr. ROBERTS to amend certain features of the bill, to which he objected; and no other amendment being offered
The question was then taken on ordering the bill to be engrossed, as amended, and read a third time, and it was decided in the affirmative by yeas and nays, as follows:
YEAS-Messrs. Dana. Dickerson, Edwards, Elliott, Gaillard, Horsey, Hunter, Johnson of Louisiana, King of New York, Knight, Lanman, Mills, Otis, Parrott, Stokes, Thomas, Tichenor, Van Dyke, and Williams of Mississippi-19.
NAYS-Messrs. Barbour, Chandler, Eaton, Holmes
of Maine, Johnson of Kentucky, King of Alabama, Lloyd, Lowrie, Macon, Morril, Palmer, Pleasants, Roberts, Talbot, Trimble, Walker of Alabama, Walker of Georgia, and Williams of Tennessee-18.
FRIDAY, February 16.
The PRESIDENT communicated a letter from the Secretary of War, transmitting, in compliance with a resolution of the Senate, of the 15th of May last, statements exhibiting the number of militia from each State, that were called into the public service by orders of the President of the United States; the number furnished by each State; the number recognised by the United States from each State, and the period of their service; the amount of fines imposed for neglect of duty, distinguishing the number of persons on whom fines have been imposed, the sums collected, and the sums paid into the Treasury; and the expenses of courts martial in the several States; and the letter and statements were read.
Mr. PINKNEY presented the petition of Nathaniel W. and C. H. Appleton, merchants, and late copartners in Baltimore, praying for the restitution of certain moneys illegally exacted from them for duties on goods imported into Castine, whilst in possession of the British, and the petition was read, and referred to the Committee on Finance.
Mr. HORSEY obtained leave to bring in a bill concerning divorces and alimony in the District of Columbia; and the bill was twice read by unanimous consent, and referred to the Committee on the District of Columbia.
Mr. H. laid on the table a communication from the vaccine agent in Baltimore, exhibiting the present state of the vaccine institution.
The Senate proceeded to consider the motion of yesterday, requesting the President of the United States to lay before the Senate the original order for building the barracks at Sackett's Harbor, and other documents connected therewith; and agreed thereto.
SAMUEL L. SOUTHARD, appointed a Senator by the Legislature of the State of New Jersey, to supply the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of James J. Wilson, produced his credentials, was qualified, and took his seat in the Senate.
The Senate, according to the order of the day, took up the bill from the other House, to reduce the Military Peace Establishment; when,
On motion by Mr. SMITH, who wished to offer some remarks on the subject, for which he was not prepared to-day, the bill was postponed to and made the order of the day for Monday next.
BANK OF THE UNITED STATES. The Senate then resumed the consideration of the bill to amend the charter of the Bank of the United States, the question pending being on the amendments offered by Mr. ROBERTS; first to make the notes of the bank and its branches receivable by the United States only in the States where they are made payable, except notes of the amount of five dollars, which shall be receivable at the bank
Admission of Missouri.
lution to send to the other House as an original proposition, he thought it highly probable it would prevail there. With the best intentions, that resolution had been sent there; it had been rejected; and the Senate was as yet ignorant of the form of admission which would be acceptable to that body. He hoped the Senate would keep back, a little longer at least, any new proposition; and therefore moved that the motion to grant the leave asked for, be postponed until Monday next.
Mr. ROBERTS was of opinion that the Senate might, without the slightest departure from propriety or dignity, receive the resolution; and then he should have no objection to laying it on the table for some days; it would then be before the Senate, and gentlemen could give it due reflection. Mr. R. said he offered this resolution from a strong and serious conviction of duty; and, as the session was near its end, he trusted that the Senate would not allow any punctilio to interfere with an object so important. He was one who had been unable to vote for the former resolution which passed the Senate; that having failed in the other branch, he now offered such a one as he could support. He earnestly desired the admission of the State into the Union; it was an object all important to the nation and to its public councils, and he hoped the Senate would so far indulge him at least as to entertain his proposition, and then, if it saw fit, lay it by for future decision.
Mr. WALKER, of Georgia, viewed this proposition as a kind of peace offering on the part of those gentlemen of the Senate who had opposed the former resolution. He was extremely anxious that the question should be settled, and that nothing should be left undone to effect a settlement of it. He therefore acknowledged himself much obliged to the gentleman from Pennsylvania for Mr. VAN DYKE, of Delaware, said he hoped bringing this proposition forward. Whatever may the gentleman would not understand him, in ma- be the decisions of the other branch, said Mr. W., king the motion which he was about to make, as let us do all we can to preserve the peace and haroffering any disrespect towards him or his propo- mony of the Union. He hoped no point of etisition; but, Mr. VAN DYKE said, he should con-quette would interfere with the motion, but that sider it unfortunate for the Senate now to take the leave would be granted; that the proposition any step in this business. The Senate ought to would be ultimately adopted, and the tranquillity recollect the course this subject had taken; they of the nation be restored by the admission of the had at an early period sent to the other House a State without more delay. resolution for the admission of the State into the Union, containing a proviso which it was hoped would obviate all objection to it. That resolution, however, had been rejected by the House of Representatives. They have informed us, by message, of its rejection, without any indication of what would be acceptable to them; and that message is scarcely cold before we have a proposition to bring forward another resolution. He thought the Senate had better not stir in the subject again so soon; but that it would be more expedient to wait a while at least, and see what the other House should do, if it did any thing. He had no objection to make another effort to get the State admitted, but to make it so soon after the fate of the first proposition had been announced from the other House, would be premature, he thought, and unwise. If the Senate had not moved first in this business, but had now its reso
Mr. MORRIL, of New Hampshire, adverted to the unpleasant feelings and effects of this long agitated Missouri question; the great portion of time which it consumed of the last and of the present session; the embarrassment it produced in the public business. It pursues us, said he, every where in the House, and from one House to the other, into the committee rooms and out of doors. He sincerely hoped that it might be terminated at the present session, and was a little surprised that his friend from Delaware should make an objection to receiving a proposition which might bring the subject to a favorable issue. The act of the last session concerning Missouri, Mr. M. said, passed both Houses of Congress, and received the Executive sanction. Had that act been properly met by Missouri, there would have been no difficulty in her admission; the former question was considered as settled, and, but for the clause now
or any of its branches. Secondly, that it shall not be lawful for the bank to establish more than one branch in any State without the consent of the Legislature of such State, &c.
Much discussion took place of these propositions, and the others embraced in the amendments, in the course of which,
Mr. RUGGLES moved so to amend the amendment as to make the consent of the Legislature of a State necessary to the establishment of any branch of the bank in such State.
This motion was negatived without a division, and, soon after the bill was laid on the table for the purpose of acting on the message which was received from the other House.
Mr. ROBERTS asked and obtained leave to bring in a resolution declaring the admission of the State of Missouri into the Union.
The resolution is as follows:
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That the State of Missouri shall be, and is hereby declared, one of the United States of America, and is admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States in all respects whatever: Provided, That the following be taken as fundamental conditions an terms upon which the said State is admitted into the Union, namely that the fourth clause of the twenty-sixth section of the third article of the constitution, submitted by the people of Missouri to the consideration of Congress, shall, as soon as the provisions of said constitution will admit, be so amended, that it shall not be applicable to citizens of any State in this Union; and that, until so amended, no law, passed in conformity thereto, shall be construed to extend to any citizen of either State in this Union.