Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

tiations and intercourse with the Indian tribes;" and the report was read.

The PRESIDENT also communicated a report of the Secretary of War, made in obedience to a resolution of the Senate of the 19th of April last, "directing the Secretary of War to lay before the Senate, at the commencement of its next session, a statement of all annuities payable by the United States to Indians or Indian tribes, or under treaties with Indians; distinguishing the several annuities; the periods during which they are respectively payable; and exhibiting the capitals or present values of such annuities, computing annual interest at six per centum;" and the report was

read.

Mr. WILSON, from the Committee of Claims, to whom was referred the petition of John Holmes, made a report, accompanied by a bill for the relief of John Holmes; and the report and bill were read, and the bill passed to a second reading.

DECEMBER, 1820.

citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens of the several States.'

Mr. KING, of New York, observed that the decision had been deferred yesterday at his request. For himself, he could discover no good effect which the proviso would produce. Such a declaration could not weaken the effect of the repugnant article of the constitution adopted by Missouri, or alter in any respect, he conceived, the question as it already stood before the Senate, concerning the admission of the new State. He therefore could not, viewing it as he did, assent to this proposition.

Mr. WILSON, of New Jersey, offered the followsition of Mr. EATON, which, Mr. W. said, would ing substitute, by way of amendment to the propoanswer better his view of the subject, being more specific and particular than the proviso already offered:

"That nothing herein contained shall be construed On motion, by Mr. WILSON, the Committee of as giving the assent of Congress to so much of the Claims, to whom was referred the petition of John B. Timberlake, were discharged from the further constitution of the State of Missouri making it the consideration thereof; and the petition was refer-duty of the Legislature of said State to pass a law 'to prevent free negroes and mulattoes from coming to and settling in said State, under any pretext whatsoever,' as may be repugnant to that provision of the Constitution of the United States which prescribes that the citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States.'

red to the Committee on Naval Affairs.

Mr. ROBERTS submitted the following motion for consideration, which was twice read by unani

mous consent:

Resolved, That Mountjoy Bayly, Sergeant-at-Arms and Doorkeeper of the Senate, be, and he is hereby, authorized to employ a fit person for the purpose of attending the furnace constructed for warming the Senate Chamber, and the expense hereby incurred shall be defrayed out of the contingent fund.

Mr. HORSEY, from the Committee on the District of Columbia, to whom was referred the bill entitled "An act to incorporate the managers of the National Vaccine Institution in the District of Columbia," reported it without amendment.

Mr. TRIMBLE obtained leave to bring in a bill to authorize the appointment of commissioners to lay out a canal in the State of Ohio; which was twice read by unanimous consent, and referred to the Committee on Roads and Canals.

The bill to continue in force, for a limited time, the act entitled "An act for establishing trading houses with the Indian tribes," was read the second

time.

The bill from the House of Representatives to provide for paying to the State of Illinois three per cent. of the net proceeds arising from the sale of the public lands in that State, was taken up; and, after being explained and supported by Messrs. THOMAS and EDWARDS, the bill was ordered to a third reading.

ADMISSION OF MISSOURI. The Senate then resumed the consideration of the resolution for the admission of Missouri into the Union; the question being on the following proviso, offered yesterday by Mr. EATON:

"Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to give the assent of Congress to any provision in the constitution of Missouri, if any such there be, which contravenes that clause in the Constitution of the United States which declares that the

[ocr errors]

Mr. EATON said, his wish was that Congress should avoid giving an opinion at all on the doubtful clause, or any particular clause of the constitution of Missouri; and the amendment offered by Mr. WILSON differed from his own in this only, that it did designate a particular feature in the He did not think this course so eligible as the one constitution which was declared unacknowledged. suggested by his own motion, and therefore could not accept the amendment in lieu of his. Mr. PINKNEY was opposed to the amendment offered by Mr. WILSON, because the clause which it pointed out was not before Congress in any manner whatever, and he would accompany the clause, even should the Legislature of Missouri resolution of admission with no opinion on that legislate to the utmost verge of the clause. The first amendment being general, he had no objection

to it.

amendment, the Senate divided, and there appearOn the question to agree to Mr. WILSON'S ed nine only in the affirmative; so it was rejected, and the question recurred on the proviso offered by Mr. EATON.

Mr SMITH viewed this amendment as inoffensive, and therefore had no strong objection to it; but as he saw nothing in the constitution of Missouri which was not republican and conformable to the Constitution of the United States, and of the correctness of which opinion he was convinced, without assuming any thing on the score of talents, he could satisfy any member of the Senate he could not vote for an amendment which implied a doubt of the constitutionality of that document.

The question was then taken on adopting Mr.

[blocks in formation]

EATON's proviso, and was decided in the negative, by yeas and nays, as follows:

YEAS-Messrs. Brown, Chandler, Dana, Eaton, Edwards, Gaillard, Holmes of Maine, Holmes of Mississippi, Horsey, Hunter, Johnson of Louisiana, King of Alabama, Lloyd, Parrott, Pinkney, Taylor, Thomas, Trimble, Van Dyke, Walker of Alabama, and Williams of Mississippi-21.

NAYS-Messrs. Barbour, Burrill, Dickerson, Elliot, Johnson of Kentucky, King of New York, Lanman, Lowrie, Mason, Mills, Morril, Noble, Otis, Palmer, Pleasants, Roberts, Ruggles, Sanford, Smith, Talbot, Tichenor, Walker of Georgia, Williams of Tennessee, and Wilson-24.

The question being then stated on the resolution going to a third reading

Mr. SMITH made a few remarks, to say that as it seemed to be the wish of the Senate to take the question without debate, he would not thwart that wish, although it might be expected of him, from his situation of chairman of the committee which reported the resolution, to enter into some defence of it against the objections which had been indicated. As a member of the Southern States he was ready to maintain the ground he had assumed, but would yield to the desire for a quiet decision unless called out by gentlemen on the opposite side.

Mr. BURRILL, of Rhode Island, addressed the Chair.

[Mr. B., in attempting to rise and address the President, found his surtout entangled by his chair, and was so long detained by the embarrassment, that the Secretary had begun to call the yeas and nays, and one gentleman had actually answered. Mr. B. apologized to the President for not rising sooner, by stating the embarrassment, when Mr. BARBOUR, of Virginia, jocularly observed across the House that the gentleman ought to regard it as an omen of defeat, and yield to it accordingly; to which Mr. B. replied, "I fear no omen in my country's cause."]

Mr. B. proceeded. No other gentleman, he said, seemed disposed to address the Senate in defence of the opinions which he entertained on this question, and as he was a member of the committee which reported the resolution, from which he dissented, it was in some measure incumbent on him to submit briefly the reasons which governed him, especially after the remarks of gentlemen on the other side. We conceive, said Mr. B., that it would be contrary to the Constitution of the United States to accept this constitution sent up by the people of Missouri. The people of Missouri did not assemble under their own authority to frame this constitution, but under the authority of Congress. After performing this duty in a way that they deemed proper, they had sent it here for acceptance, and it was the duty of Congress, Mr. B. conceived, to examine and pronounce upon the legality of the instrument presented. He stated that it had been the practice heretofore to admit the members from new States to their seats in both Houses, in various ways; but inquiry had generally been made into the constitutions adopted by new States, and Congress sa

SENATE.

tisfied that they were conformable to the acts authorizing them to be formed. The States had been admitted into the Union, some in one way, some in another; the latest mode, Mr. B. thought, ought to be the one which should have most weight on the present occasion. The three States last formed had been admitted much in the same mode; their constitutions had been formed nearly in the same way, and on the same models; Louisiana only was an exception to the usual form of admission-in her case more form was observed, and obvious reasons made it necessary.

It appeared to him, Mr. B. continued, to be right and proper for Congress to examine the constitution now presented, and ascertain whether it was in conformity with the Constitution of the United States, and republican: in other words, whether it was conformable to the terms on which the people of that Territory were authorized by Congress to form a constitution and State government. Some gentlemen entertained a different opinion. New States, said Mr. B., are admitted into the Union by the consent of Congress-that consent was given to Missouri at the last session; by it she had many things to do. She had first to decide whether she would accept the terms offered to her; by it she was prohibited from interfering with the rights of navigating the Mississippi; she was confined to certain boundaries, which she could not change or exceed; she was restrained from any interference with the public lands. These things were all in the act; and Mr. B. asked if it would not be idle to insert conditions, if Congress possessed no right to ascertain and decide if they had been complied with by the people to whom they were offered? It was in the nature of a contract between the United States and the people of Missouri, and it was competent for Congress, and was its duty, to see if that contract had been faithfully observed. It was held by some gentlemen that, as soon as the convention of Missouri was dissolved, it became a State, and had a right to all the immunities and attributes of a State. But suppose, Mr. B. said, the people of Missouri had taken no notice of those conditions of the act which he had referred to, but had disregarded or contravened them, would gentlemen then say the constitution ought to be received? Mr. B. offered some other arguments to show that the consent of Congress was necessary to the admission of the State; otherwise it admitted the strange doctrine, that the State might come into the Union in spite of Congress. This consent, he contended, ought not to be given, unless all the conditions of the aet had been complied with.

In general, Mr. B. said, this constitution was sufficiently republican; and in one respect, he might say, it was almost too much so; for it took no notice whatever of the act under which the convention assembled which formed it. Its language is, "We the people of Missouri, do mutually agree to form and establish a free and independent Republic." In Alabama, where every thing in the formation of their State government was conducted with much propriety, their convention set out by saying they assembled under the authority

[blocks in formation]

of an act of Congress. The constitution of Missouri is entirely silent on this point, although some of its language could not be understood without referring to the act of Congress authorizing a convention; they declare that they establish, ratify, and confirm, certain boundaries, but they nowhere recognise the authority which prescribed these boundaries to them. Mr. B. repeated, that he thought Congress ought not to vary from the former mode of declaring its assent to the admission of new States. They would have to admit other States hereafter, and a departure now from the practice of the Government in receiving the constitutions of new States, would form a precedent which might in future cases be deplored.

DECEMBER, 1820.

not a slave or a foreigner-but born in the United States, and a free man-going into Missouri, he has the same rights as if born in Missouri; after complying with the conditions prescribed by the laws to qualify him for the exercise of these rights, he stands precisely on the same footing, and his rights are in every respect the same as if he had been born there. The question then was, Mr. B. said, had the people of Missouri the Constitutional right to prohibit from entering that State a large class of persons who were citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts? To establish the negative of this proposition, Mr. B. adduced various other arguments in addition to the preceding, and endeavored to show that even many laws of But proceeding to the question, whether this the United States would become inoperative in constitution was such an one as ought to be ac- Missouri, if the clause which he opposed could be cepted, Mr. B, said his objection to it arose on the maintained in force; and, as an instance, he refollowing clause, which he found in the 26th sec-ferred to the laws against kidnapping. In regard tion of the 3d article: "That it shall be the duty to this crime of kidnapping, Mr. B. remarked, the ' of the General Assembly of the State, as soon as constitution of Missouri had done nothing; for, may be, to pass such laws as may be necessary according to it, all people of color who are car(among other things) to prevent free negroes and ried there must, ipso facto, be slaves, inasmuch as 'mulattoes from coming to and settling in this a free negro could in nowise go there, admitting C State, under any pretext whatsoever." This the clause to have its full effect. clause Mr. B. conceived to be entirely repugnant to the Constitution of the United States. It prohibits a very large class of persons from entering the State at all; it does not say what shall be done when they get there, but it peremptorily prohibits their entering it under any pretext whatsoever. Even if soldiers of the United States, people of this proscribed class cannot enter Missouri without violating the constitution of the State. It was well known, Mr. B. said, that we have colored soldiers and sailors, and good ones, too, but under no pretext, whether of duty or any other motive, can they enter Missouri. He did not suppose if people of this description, in the service of the country, should enter the State, it would be attempted by the State authorities to exclude them; but it was sufficient, he thought, to show the unconstitutionality of the clause.

Great difficulty seemed to arise in deciding the question, as to what constituted citizens in the different States. Citizens of one State were entitled to the rights of citizens of all the States; yet the different States exercised the power of prescribing certain probationary rules to those coming from another State, to entitle them to all the privileges. If a citizen of Massachusetts removes to another State, he cannot vote as soon as he enters it-a certain residence is required of him-and the people of Missouri were competent by law to impose a residence of one or more years on a citizen going there, to entitle him to all the privileges of citizens of the State; he complies with no more than is exacted of all, and which the State has a right to require. This was a question, however, which they did not touch; they avoided it altogether, and have declared that a certain class shall not come into their State at all, even though they may be citizens of other States, enjoying all the privileges of such.

Mr. B. did not himself conceive it difficult to define what constituted a citizen. If a person was

Mr. B. said he was not prepared at present to affirm that Missouri might not pass laws to prohibit persons from carrying there negro or mulatto convicts, or perhaps foreigners from coming into the State; this was a question on which no opinion now was necessary; but he contended that the clause as it stood prohibited the entrance of a large portion of people who were, to all intents and purposes, citizens in other States. Admit the legality of this clause, and, Mr. B. said, the Legislature of Missouri might, with the same right, go still further, and pass laws to exclude citizens born in certain portions or districts of the United States. This was a measure, he argued, which one independent nation could not adopt towards another. England could not pass such a law against the people of France, or of any other friendly nation; such a measure would be too offensive to be borne, and would be considered to amount almost to a declaration of war. If distinct and independent nations dare not enact such laws towards each other, how was it possible, Mr. B. said, that the power could be exercised by one of these States towards other States of the Union?

All the distinctions among citizens which arise from color, rested, Mr. B. said, on State laws alone-there was nothing in the Constitution of the United States which recognised distinctions. In Massachusetts there was no distinction; a man of color possessed there precisely and identically the same rights as a white man born in the same State, and he asked if it was possible for Missouri, consistently with the Constitution of the United States, to exclude any of those people from that State, who should think proper to remove from Massachusetts to Missouri? The States of this Union were not distinct and independent nations they are, said Mr. B., a confederacy of kindred republics; when they formed their constitution of government, they used the language, "we, the people of the United States," and it is not in the

[blocks in formation]

power of one of the members of this confederacy to enforce the clause Missouri has adopted, and ít is the duty of Congress to reject it.

Mr. B. said he would add nothing more about the right of Congress to decide this question; he would merely say, Congress must from necessity decide it; it must admit the members of Mis• souri; in that act the question was involved, and they were obliged, therefore, to decide it. It was useless, therefore, to talk of referring the question to the judiciary. As Congress "might admit new States" into the Union, it was clear to his mind that Congress must determine the conditions on which they should come in.

Mr. B. said he would offer a few words as to the dangers which were apprehended by some gentlemen from a rejection of the constitution offered by Missouri. What were the consequences, Mr. B. asked, which would follow the rejection? The only one which he could perceive was, that Missouri must remain one year longer out of the Union. Was this such a hardship? And to avoid this trifling consequence, must we, said Mr. B., give a vote which will violate the Constitution we have sworn to support, and which we are all so deeply interested in maintaining? As a Territory the people of Missouri had gone on, he said, very prosperously, and no great inconvenience could result from continuing in the territorial condition one year longer. It is said they have formed a constitution, and under it have elected a Governor and Legislature, and, having assumed the functions and character of a State, if they are not now admitted into the Union, they will go on without our consent. Mr. B. said he presumed the people of Missouri felt the same attachment to the Union, and to the tranquillity, and honor, and glory of it as we do; and he would not believe, he would not do them the injustice to believe, that rather than endure the small inconvenience of retaining the territorial character a few months more, they would rashly throw away all the interest they had in the greatness and glory of their country. They might possibly still think that their constitution ought not to have been rejected on account of this offensive clause, and may feel some excitement on the occasion; yet they must see the necessity and propriety of some sacrifice to the conscientious opinion of Congress, and would consent to qualify their constitution in the objectionable feature. But, said Mr. B., if we ratify it as it is, we establish a precedent and admit a point that the judiciary will never be able to overthrow; do not then leave to another tribunal the decision of a question which belongs to us, but let us meet and decide it ourselves.

If the constitution were not accepted, Mr. B said it would be easy to obviate any difficulty by passing an additional act authorizing the people of Missouri to form another convention and revise their constitution; and he was confident this odious feature would be expunged. These people, Mr. B. said, were not Missourians, properly so distinguished, but were Americans, collected there from all the States, the same people as ourselves. They would appreciate the motives of Congress,

SENATE.

and do them justice; they would recollect, also, that this act passed in a spirit of compromise and accommodation, from a desire to preserve peace and quietness in every part of the Union; and reassembling with such views, finding the clause could do no good, they would repeal it. Sanction this improper clause now, said he, and you sanction it for all time to come; and however we may desire hereafter to avoid it, it will be irrevocably established.

Mr. B. said, the little he had spoken had exhausted his strength, and he could add nothing more if he wished to do so.

When Mr. B. had concluded

Mr. SMITH, of South Carolina, intimated an intention of replying to Mr. B.; but, as he would have to refer to several constitutions and other authorities, in the course of his argument, he asked a short time to prepare them, and moved the postponement of the subject until to-morrow; which motion prevailed, and it was postponed accordingly.

FRIDAY, December 8.

Mr. PLEASANTS presented the memorial of Charlotte I. Bullus, widow of John Bullus, deceased, late navy agent for the port of New York, praying that the accounting officer of the Navy Department may be directed to credit the account of the deceased at the rate of $2,000 per annum during the time he performed the extra duties of navy agent on the Lakes; and the memorial was read, and referred to the Committee on Naval Affairs.

Mr. SMITH presented the memorial of the citizens of Charleston, South Carolina, protesting against any increase of the duties at present imposed on imported goods; and the memorial was read, and referred to the Committee on Commerce and Manufactures.

Mr. ROBERTS presented the memorial of Paul Beck, junior, and Thomas Sparks and others, of Philadelphia, manufacturers of, and dealers in, shot, praying that an additional duty may be laid on imported shot; and the memorial was read, and referred to the Committee on Commerce and Manufactures.

Mr. HOLMES, of Mississippi, presented the petition of John M. Whitney and John Snodgrass, in behalf of the legal representatives of Alexander Montgomery, deceased, praying that a law may be passed directing a warrant to be issued to them for a quantity of land in Mississippi, as an indemnity for a like quantity of their land improperly disposed of by the Register and Receiver of the Land Office west of Pearl river; and the petition was read, and referred to the Committee on the Public Lands.

Mr. PINKNEY presented the petition of Rebecca Hodgson, widow of Joseph Hodgson, deceased, praying remuneration for the loss of the house burnt in the year 1800, whilst occupied by the Government as the War Office; and the petition was read, and referred to the Committee on Military Affairs.

Mr. THOMAS, from the Committee on Public

[blocks in formation]

Lands, to whom was referred the bill from the House of Representatives, entitled "An act to amend the act, entitled 'An act for the relief of the legal representatives of Henry Willis," reported the same without amendment; and, on motion by Mr. EATON, the Senate proceeded to consider the said bill, as in Committee of the Whole, and, no amendment having been proposed thereto, the President reported it to the House; and it passed to a third reading.

Mr. WILSON, from the Committee of Claims, to whom was referred the petition of Morgan Brown, made a report, accompanied by a bill for the relief of Morgan Brown; and the report and bill were read, and the bill passed to a second reading.

The bill for the relief of John Holmes was read the second time.

The bill, entitled "An act to provide for paying to the State of Illinois three per cent. of the net proceeds arising from the sale of the public lands within the same," was read the third time, and passed.

ADMISSION OF MISSOURI.

The Senate then resumed the consideration of the resolution declaring the admission of the State of Missouri into the Union on an equal footing with the original States.

Mr. SMITH, of South Carolina, addressed the Senate, as follows:

He observed that, on any subject, however interesting it might be, he could not flatter himself with a hope that he could entertain the Senate. But, what he had to offer at present, on this very important occasion, would consist very much of references, and he feared might prove tedious; therefore he felt more necessity than on most occasions to ask for a little patience and their kind indulgence.

DECEMBER, 1820.

new and entire member of the United States of 'America." (1) On the 31st of October following, Mr. Robinson took his seat in the Senate, (2) and on the 4th of November Mr. Bradley took his seat. There was no constitution either submitted to, or required by, Congress. Nor were there any traces of a constitution of that new State to be found previous to the 9th of July, 1793. Congress never supposed at that day they had a power to require a constitution from a new State coming into the Union, nor to examine if such constitution was republican. Mr. S. said he knew very well that the people of that respectable State contend it was one of the original States. We know of none but thirteen original States. Vermont would have made fourteen; and it was treated of, and so called at the time, as a territory. It was detached from New York, and, by the express consent of the Legislature of New York, she was received into the Union.

Kentucky was the next new State admitted into the Union. (3) On the 18th of December, 1789, and after the adoption of the Federal Constitution, the Legislature of Virginia passed the act authorizing Kentucky to form a separate State. (4) On the 4th of February, 1791, Congress passed an act of consent that Kentucky should become a separate State, and be admitted into the Union on the first day of June, 1792. On the 19th of April, 1792, its constitution was formed, but was never submitted to Congress. (5) On the 5th of November, 1792, Messrs. Brown and Edwards, as Senators from that State, took their seats in the Senate, without even an inquiry for a constitution.

repugnant to the Constitution of the United States, it was a nullity, because the Constitution of the United States was paramount." And this appears to have put an end to the objection.

Tennessee formed her constitution on the 6th of February, 1796. This was the first constitution of a new State submitted to Congress. There does not appear to have been any reference made of this constitution to any committee, or any other order taken upon it. There is to be found in the The resolution declaring the admission of Mis- debates of the 5th and 6th of May, 1796, an objecsouri into the Union, he thought, was nothing tion made to one provision of that constitution, more than a matter of form, and might be dis- inasmuch as it was repugnant to the Constitution pensed with. He had examined the journals of of the United States. This objection was made the Senate and House of Representatives for the by a member from South Carolina, and was recourse heretofore pursued by Congress on the ad-plied to by Mr. Baldwin of Georgia, "that, if mission of new States into the Union, and found it had been various. He would give their history. Vermont was the first new State admitted after the adoption of the Federal Constitution. On the 9th of February, 1791, President WASHINGTON laid before Congress documents received from the Governor of Vermont, expressing the consent of the Legislature of New York, and of the Territory of Vermont, that the said territory shall be admitted to be a distinct member of our Union. (1) On the 18th of the same month, (2) an act of Congress was approved for the admission of Vermont into the Union, without any of this formality, that her constitution should be republican, &c. The act says, "Vermont, having petitioned Congress, &c., on the 4th day of March, &c., shall 'be received and admitted into this Union, as a

(1) Senate Journal, 241.

(2) Public Laws, 2d vol. page 193.

Union. (6) On the 30th of April, 1802, the law Ohio was the next new State adopted into the passed authorizing Ohio to form a constitution and State government. On the 29th of November, 1802, she formed her constitution. (7) On the 7th January, 1803, it was laid before the Senate, and was referred to a committee, which never re

(1) Vide 1 vol. new ed. Senate Journal, 332.
(2) Ib. 336.

[ocr errors]

(3) Laws of the U. S. 3d vol. 191.
(4) Ib. 192.

(5) Vide Journal, 451.

(6) Laws of the U. S. vol. 3d, page 496.
(7) Vide Senate Journals.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »