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to be constructed principally of hewn stone, the but according to the amount appropriated, in an Government must employ skilful mechanics. insufficient and inevitably partial manner. This would be a sufficient answer to those gen. Mr Fisk said he would add but litile to what tlemen who suppose that our regular army is had been already said in opposition to the motion competent to this duty, and therefore that no fur- for striking out; for the objections had been many ther aid is necessary from the Government. and the arguments in favor of it but few, the prin
As to the question of the sum which it is pro- cipal argument being that the situation of the per to appropriate, it does appear that some gen-country did not require the appropriation. The ilenien think we have not got an overflowing Secretary of War had estimated the sum necesTreasury, and therefore they will not appropriate sary for New York at $340,000, a sum considermoney for this species of defence. If this be true, ably larger than the whole sum proposed to be the observation will equally apply to any other ex- appropriated by the mover of the amendment. penditure. If the erection of fortifications be ne- He said he did not know what works were carrycessary, whether the money comes in by impostsing on, but he knew that considerable fortifica. or loans, it shall have my support. If it be nottions had been commenced and were in a state of of importance to fortify the country, and obtain forwardness in New York and at other places. money for this purpose, let the Government say When the whole sum
proposed by the gentleman so, and let the fortifications go to decay. We have from Virginia (Mr. Burwell) was divided befortifications in an incipient state, and the questween the different places to be fortified, it would tion is, shall we leave them as they are, to go back be found that there was not an opportunity for to the earth whence they came, or shall we com- the agents to make contracts, as every man of pru. plete them? For one, I am free to declare that dence would do in a work of this kind. We are in a time of the most profound peace which a told (said Mr. F.) that we are in no danger, that Government can see, and I hope and trust that we are secure. The way to be secure is to be we are on the eve of it, I would fortify and de- prepared for danger. The permanent, solid, subfend the nation most permanently and com- stantial defence of the seacoast must be fortificapletely, and would grant all the means necessary tions; and we are told that we are not to carry io that purpose. When I say this I do not mean them on-why? Because the Treasury will not that I would appropriate as large a sum of money permit it. This is not a good reason against it; as we have heretofore done ; but when I consider the spirit of the nation calls for it, and its resourthat $750,000 is the maximun which the Secre- ces are sufficient. We know that estimates have tary of War has thought proper to offer for the generally fallen short of the actual expense, and consideration of the House, I do not wish to di- ihat it has been necessary to appropriate money minish it. I am willing to come precisely up to to supply the deficiency in many cases. I rather the mark; and should it not be found necessary suppose that the present estimate does not exceed 10 expend the whole, I have not the smallest doubt the amount to be applied, but probably falls short that it will remain in the Treasury, subject to the of it. What is the use of calling for information appropriation of Government. Under all the views if you will not take it as a guide, especially when of the subject which I can take, I am unwilling gentlemen are not able to show that it is incorrect? to diminish the sum proposed by the Senate, and My object is not only to make New York but the am therefore opposed to the motion.
whole country more secure. I never knew that Mr. Quincy said that it appeared to him that any one contemplated making a cordon round us, gentlemen had nol taken that point of view which like the wall betwixt the Tartars and Chinese, or ought solely to occupy this question, which was, that the nation was competent to do it; but it is not whether it was proper to begin the fortifica- the opinion of practical men that New York may tions, but whether it was proper to complete them be completely fortified. It is asked why New in the mode and in the various places in which York has not contributed to her own defence. I they had been commenced. Upon this question cannot put my hands on documents on the subhe said he did not perceive that there appeared ject, but at different times money has been approto be any difficulty, Gentlemen did not say that priated by the State of New York, to a large it would be improper to make them complete. In amount. It is said that the Treasury cannot meet reply to the argument that the money would not this expenditure unless we resort 10 loans, and be expended there was but one answer, and that that they are anti-republican. I do not know that was complete, viz: that the Secretary of War they are, when necessary for purposes of public says, in his opinion that it can be done. Mr. Q. utility, and I should not be incorrect to hazard said he wished gentlemen to remember that when the assertion that in fifty hours we might borrow ever a less sum was granted than was necessary fifty millions on account of the United States at to carry on the work, the House would thereby five per cent. I merely rose to call the attention convey an intimation that it was not their inten- of the House to the amount of appropriation. The tion to complete them. And whilst there was a daily appropriation for the works at New York scramble, amongst the advocates for different for- is $1,000; and there is no doubt but the share of tifications, for their share of a small appropria-appropriation for that city will be expended before tion, what would be the situation of the Secre- the next meeting of Congress. tary of War? He must either totally omit ap- Mr. Emo'rt observed that the sum of $450,000 plying it, or divide it, not according to the interesis was appropriated only last February, of which of the United States, or to the contracts made, $265,000 had already been expended. If this sum
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JUNE, 1809. had been expended in so short a time, he might Newton, Wilson C. Nicholas, John Nicholson, Joseph say that he conceived that at least the sum in the Pearson, Benjamin Pickman, jr., Timothy Pitkin, jr., bill would be necessary before the next meeting Peter B. Porter, Josiah Quincy, John Rhea of Tennesof Congress. A word as to the necessity of the see, Erastus Root, John Ross, Ebenezer Sage, Thomas expenditure.-Was it necessary to go on lo com- Sammons, Benjamin Say, Daniel Sheffey, Geo. Smith, plete the fortifications? Gentlemen had said that John Stanley, William Stedman, James Stephenson, the nation is now in a state of peace. Was it re
Lewis B. Sturges, Samuel Taggart, Benjamin Tallcollected that but a day or two ago a bill had been madge, John Taylor, John Thompson, Uri Tracy, reported by the Committee of Foreign Relations, George M. Troup, Jabez Upham, Archibald Van Horn, the purport of which was to place us in a posture Wheaton, Ezekiel Whitman, and James Wilson.
Killian K. Van Rensselaer, Robert Weakley, Laban of resistance towards France ? If this bill were passed, was it not possible that the French Em. So that the House refused to insert a smaller peror might think that we had done him an in- sum than seven hundred and fifty thousand doljury? If it was ever in his power to do anything lars. And the bill was ordered to be read a third to injure us, would it not be by sending out a fleet time to-morrow. of armed ships of war, if they could outstrip the English fleet? And were not our sea ports io be
Friday, June 9. put in a state of defence against such armaments ? Another member, to wit: Nicholas Van Dyke, There was an absolute necessity for this appro- from Delaware, appeared, produced his credenpriation. If ever there existed a necessity that tials, was qualified, and took his seat in the House. the ports and harbors should be fortified, the work
Mr. Love, from the Committee for the District having been commenced, it existed peculiarly at of Columbia, presented a bill respecting the cirthis moment. Why would gentlemen, after ap- cuit courts of the District of Columbia; which propriating so much money, now say that fortif
was read twice, and committed to a Committee cations were not necessary? Why would they of the Whole on Monday next. not complete those which had been commenced ?
A message from the Senate informed the House After having given a pledge to fortify the seaports that the Senate have passed a bill, entitled “ An by commencing the works, he hoped the House act authorizing the appointment of an agent for would not withdraw it by refusing to complete the land office at Kaskaskia, and allowing comthem.
pensation to the commissioners and clerk," with On the question of striking out the word seven, amendments; to which they desire the concurwith a view to insert one, the vote slood, yeas 47, rence of this House. The Senate have also passed nays 84, as follows:
a bill, entitled " An act for extending the benefit Yeas—Lemuel J. Alston, David Bard, Burwell Bas- of a drawback of the duties upon exportation on sett, William W. Bibb, Adam Boyd, Robert Brown, all goods, wares, and merchandise, subject thereto, William A. Burwell, William Butler, Joseph Calhoun, that may be transported by land from the district Matthew Clay, John Clopton, James Cochran, William of Newport to the port of Boston, and from said Crawford, Henry Crist, Richard Cutts, Joseph Desha, Boston to said Newport;" to which they desire John W. Eppes, Meshack Franklin, Barzillai Gannett, the concurrence of this House. Thomas cholson, jr., Peterson Goodwyn, James Hol- Mr. Rhea, from the Committee on Post Offices land, Richard M. Johnson, Thomas Kenan, William and Post Roads, presented a bill to alter and esKennedy, John Love, Aaron Lyle, Nathaniel Macon, tablish certain post roads; which was read twice, John Montgomery, Thomas Moore, Jeremiah Morrow, and committed to a Committee of the Whole on John Porter, John Randolph, John Rea of Pennsylva- Monday next. nia, Matthias Richards, John Roane, Lemuel Sawyer,
Mr. Nelson, from the committee to whom was Ebenezer Seaver, Samuel Shaw, John Smith, Samuel referred so much of the Message of the President Smith, Henry Southard, Rich'd Stanford, Jacob Swoope, of the United States as relates to the Military Robert Whitehill, Richard Winn, and Robert Wither- Establishment and Mr. RANDOLPH's resolution spoon. Nars-Willis Alston, jr., William Anderson, Eze- " that under existing circumstances it would be
for disbanding the troops lately raised, reported kiel Bacon, William Baylies, Daniel Blaisdell, James impolitic and unwise to disband any part of the Breckenridge, John Brown, John Campbell, John C. Chamberlain, Wm. Chamberlin, Epaphroditus Cham
Military Establishment of the United States.” pion, Martin Chittenden, Orchard Cook, James Cox,
Report referred to a Committee of the Whole. Samuel W. Dana, John Davenport, jr., John Dawson,
FORTIFICATIONS. William Ely, James Emott, William Findley, Jonathan
The bill sent from the Senate, entitled "An act Fisk, Barent Gardenier, Gideon Gardner, Chas. Goldsborough, Thomas R. Gold, William Hale, Nathaniel tions commenced for the security of the ports and
making appropriations to complete the fortificaA. Haven, Daniel Heister, William Helms, Benjamin harbors of the United States, and to erect such Howard, Jonathan H. Hubbard, Jacob Hufty, Richard fortifications as may be necessary for the protecJackson, jr., Robert Jenkins, Walter Jones, Herman Knickerbacker, Joseph Lewis jr., Edward St. Loe Liv. I tion of the Northern and Western frontiers of the ermore, Robert Le Roy Livingston, Matthew Lyon, United States," was read the third time; and, on Robert Marion, Vincent Matthews, Archibald McBride, the question that the same do pass, it was resolved Alexander McKim, Pleasant M. Miller, William Mil- in the affirmative-yeas 77, nays 43, as follows: nor, Nicholas R. Moore, Jonathan 0. Mosely, Gurdon YEAS-Willis Alston, jr., William Anderson, EzeS. Mumford, Roger Nelson, Thomas Newbold, Thomas kiel Bacon, William Baylies, Daniel Blaisdell, James
Miranda's Expedition-Olmstead Case.
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Breckenridge, John C. Chamberlain, William Cham- the ship Leander, Thomas Lewis, commander ; that,
racy, from the circumstances of suspicion that attached Nars-Lemuel J. Alston, David Bard, Burwell Bas- to their situation, and not from any act of that kind sett, William W. Bibby Adam Boyd, Robert Brown, committed by them. That the ten others above menWilliam A. Burwell, William Butler, Joseph Calhoun, tioned were sentenced to death, and the petitioners, Matthew Clay, James Cochran, William Crawford, some of them to eight and others ten years slaveryHenry Crist, Joseph Desha, John W. Eppes, Meshack the punishment of which sentence they are now sufferFranklin, Barzillai Gannett, Thomas Gholson, jr., Pe-ing, under heavy irons, and other circumstances of terson Goodwyn, James Holland, Richard M. Johnson, distress, painful to the feelings of humanity to relate. William Kennedy, John Love, Aaron Lyle, Nathaniel The committee, under a persuasion that the facts Macon, Samuel McKee, John Montgomery, Thomas stated by the petitioners are substantially true, and on Moore, Jeremiah Morrow, John Randolph, John Rea a full view of all the circumstances of this case, are of Pennsylvania, Matthias Richards, John Roane, Ebe- / induced to submit the following resolution for the connezer Seaver, Samuel Shaw, John Smith, Sam. Smith, sideration of the House : Henry Southard, Richard Stanford, Jacob Swoope,
Resolved, That the President of the United States Robert Whitehill, Richard Winn, and Robert Wither-be requested to adopt the most immediate and efficaspoon.
cious means in his power to obtain the liberation of the MIRANDA'S EXPEDITION.
petitioners, if it shall appear, to his satisfaction, that
they were involuntarily drawn into the unlawful enterMr. McKim, from the committee to whom was prise in which they were engaged; and that dollars referred the petition of sundry citizens of the be appropriated to that purpose. United States confined at Carthagena, in South
OLMSTEAD'S CASE. America, made a report thereon ; which was read, and referred to a Committee of the Whole on The following Message was received from the Monday next. The report is as follows: PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES : The committee to whom was referred, on the 31st ult., To the House of Representatives the petition of sundry American prisoners, confined
of the United States : under sentence of slavery at Carthagena, in South In consequence of the request of the Legislature of America, report:
Pennsylvania I transmit to Congress a copy of certain That it appears, from the statement of the petition of its proceedings, communicated for the purpose by ers, they were, by various misrepresentations and de- the Governor of that State. ceptions, incautiously drawn into the service of General
JAMES MADISON. Miranda in an expedition, hostile in its intention, against JUNE 4, 1809. some of the Spanish settlements in South America;
[The enclosed document was the detailed rethat they were engaged under various pretences of serv- port of the Legislature, with the instructions of ing their country, and acting in conformity to its laws-the Legislature to the Senators and Representasome ostensibly were to go to New Orleans and act as guards to the United States mail, others were to follow
tives.] their different mechanical professions in that country, document, Mr. Lyon objected to the motion.
And on motion made to print the Message and and the residue were engaged for a direct voyage to St. Domingo and back to New York—and that they
Mr. J. Porter advocated it on the ground of had no suspicion that they were engaging in a hostile its being the usual course pursued by the House enterprise against a nation in amity with the United in all communications from the constituted auStates.
thority of a State. That, aceordingly, the petitioners were embarked at Mr. Milnor opposed the printing, principally New
York, in the month of February, 1806, on board because no act was now to grow out of it. 'The 11th Con. Ist Sess.—9
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paper had been drafted to meet a case then cess issued from the courts of the United States. pending, and difficulties which then had existed. The marshal executed it; and in compliance Since the adoption of these resolves, these diffi- with the process the money had been paid. The culties had been done away by an act of the Legis- case appeared to be completely at rest; and the lature of Pennsylvania. "It appeared to Mr. M. resolutions of the Legislature appeared to be botalso that no proceedings would be necessary in tomed on a false foundation, so far as they conconsequence of those papers, if only necessary to templated a difference between the United States prevent the recurrence of similar cases in future. and Pennsylvania. The Judiciary of the United
Every one who had attended to the reading of States must in this case have been as impartial these papers must have seen that they related to as any tribunal could be. There was not, in this a case of difficulty which had arisen when this case, one cent claimed by the United States or Government was merely a confederation of States, any officer of the United States; the judges were when its powers were confined within such par- not interested by any affinity with the parties row limits that Congress could not enforce its de- claiming it; and, if not in this case free from precrees, when its acts were nothing more than re-judice, it was impossible that they ever should commendations to the State Legislatures. At be so. Believing, if the judges of the courts of that period this question had arisen from a dis- the United States had erred, it was an error in pute between the United States and the State of judgment and not from corrupt motives, he could Pennsylvania, how far each had jurisdiction in never consent that, in a case of this kind, the the Courts of Admiralty and courts of appeal. Congress of the United States should proceed No such case could in future arise, because the to any further act. He hoped therefore that the Constitution had been framed by the people of papers would not be printed, but would be ordered the States which vested in the Congress of the to lie on the table. United States the entire power of appointing No other gentleman rising to speak, the motion courts of admiralty jurisdiction. No State could for printing was negatived, 63 to 50; and the now take cognizance of admiralty cases; in fu- Message and documents ordered to lie on the ture there could be no clashing of jurisdiction on table. this subject. Whether the courts of the United States or those of Pennsylvania were correct in
BARRED CLAIMS. the principles which they had set up in the case Mr. Johnson, from the Committee of Claims, under consideration, appeared to him to be a ques- made several reports on petitions; amongst which tion which it was not necessary to examine al were two or three on petitions of old soldiers, &c. this moment. The case had been completely on these the committee reported, without entersettled by the payment of the money to Gideon ing into the merits of the several cases, that they Olmstead. He had hoped that the dispute had were barred by the statute of limitations, and been by that means wholly put to rest; and from therefore recommended that the prayer of the a belief that it ought to be so, he did not wish petitioners ought not to be granted. A report his document to be printed, but merely to lie on similar to this having been made on the petition the table. The resolution of the Legislature of of Hannah Forster of Philadelphia, widow of Pennsylvania which recommended to the Rep- a Revolutionary officer, it was negatived by the resentatives and instructed the Senators from that House. State to endeavor to effect such an alteration in
A motion was made to reconsider this report, the Constitution as should establish an independ on the suggestion of Mr. STANLEY that the quesent tribunal for the trial of such causes, had been tion had not been understood by the House. produced by the idea that the case of 'Olmstead Mr. GOLDSBOROUGH opposed the motion. He was a dispute between the United States and the hoped the House would not sanction by its vote State of Pennsylvania. It had never appeared the broad principle that every claim, however otherwise to him than as a dispute between the just, should be barred by the statute of limitations; Judiciary of the United States and the constitu- but that they would decide that it should be no ted authority of the State of Pennsylvania. On bar to the payment by Congress of all just claims. the part of the Judiciary of the United States it Mr. Johnson (the Chairman of the Committee was an attempt to carry what it believed to be of Claims) expressed his satisfaction that this its legal powers into effect. Resistance was made question had been brought up for the consideraby the constituted authority of Pennsylvania, under tion of the House, that by its decision the Comthe idea that this conduci of the Judiciary of the mittee of Claims might be guided in its future United States was in consequence of a power as conduct. The committee were every day presumed by them, a power not delegated by the sented with cases of hardship which created painConstitution or the institution of their office. If ful sensations in the breasts of the committee, but the judges of the Courts of the United States which they were compelled, from the uniform had misconceived their authority, if in their de- conduct of the Committee of Claims heretofore, cisions they had acted contrary to the Consti- to reject because they were barred by the statute tution or the laws, then are they liable to im- of limitations. Thus in the present case the compeachment for the conduct which they have pur- mittee had reported, not that the claim was not sued; but it could not be said that it was a con-just, but that they had not examined it because test between the Governments. The Government barred by the staiute. He should feel happy at a of the United States never interfered. The pro-decision which should open the statute to particuJUNE, 1809.
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lar claimants, and should not, as a member of the the Sinking Fund had the same power to borrow, committee, ever shrink from the investigation of in relation to the new stock created by the exthem. He found himse!f bound to vote for a re- change, which the law gave them in relation to consideration of the vote on this report, because that which was thus exchanged. if the statute was to be opened to particular cases, Mr. Dana observed that this bill appeared to be it should be done by some general rule, and not by a form to supply a deficiency actually existing or a decision on a single case.
apprehended in the revenue of the United States. .Messrs. HOLLAND and Nelson said that they He was not certain that it was the best mode of never had believed that Congress were barred by borrowing money for the current service of the the statute of lipitations; they believed it was year, to borrow it under the name of a loan for the only intended to bar a settlement at the Treasury redemption of public debt. He also doubted of document claims—of claims against which the whether the mode proposed was the most proper; length of time that they had been suffered to sleep for himself he said he should prefer that no loan was strong presumptive proof. If this principle should be made until public notice should be given set up by the Committee of Claims was to be ad- of the time and place of making it, so that the hered to, to what purpose was any claim referred Bank of the United States should not have any to a committee? The reason why these petitions particular privilege ; and that individuals disposed were presented to the House was, that the claims to loan money might have an opportunity of comwere barred by the statute; for, if not barred, peting with the bank in the loan. For, such a they would long ago have been settled at the contract for a loan of three or four millions, given Treasury Department. These reports of the to a particular individual or institution, in the Committee of Claims had long been considered as existing state of commerce, might be very valureflecting dishonor on the House; and it was able, perhaps worth many thousands of dollars. believed that the Committee of Claims ought to The simple fact that the interest on stock of the examine into the equity of cases presented to United States was payable quarter yearly, gave them, without reference to the statute of limita - it a preference to other stock, and other considertions. If that was to bar all claimants, there was ations enhanced its value; that the United States a much more ready way of obtaining their an- six per cent. stock generally sold in advance. He swer than by a report of a Committee of the should therefore wish that public notice should House; on application to the Treasury, their be given by the Secretary of the Treasury of the claims would be rejected without delay.
loan when made, as had heretofore been done in The House refused to reconsider the report, 50 similar cases. to 42; and
Mr. Eppes replied, that the bill did not conOn motion of Mr. Eppes, the report was re- template any new principle, but merely to accomcommitted to the Committee of Claims, with in-modate the law to the change of stock. Circumstructions to report on the merits of the case, 68 stances might cause a deficiency in the revenue, to 38.
which this provision would meet; but for the [This decision is understood to operate as an change in the denomination of the stock, it would instruction to the Committee of Claims in future have been met without the necessity of any new to report on the merits of all cases, without con- provision. sidering the statute of limitations as a bar to their This debate was continued for two hours. liquidation by Congress.]
Messrs. Dana, Quincy, LIVERMORE, TallmaDGE,
and RandolPH, contended that, should there be a FINANCES.
possibility of the revenue falling short of the sum On motion of Mr. Eppes the House resolved of eight millions annually pledged (after the payitself into Committtee of the Whole on the billment of six hundred thousand dollars for the civil supplementary to the act entitled an act making list) for the payment of the public debt, then such further provision for the support of public credit, a law as this would be absolutely necessary for and for the redemption of the public debt. This the support of public credit; but such a deficiency bill provides
being almost out of the compass of probability, it “ That the powers vested in the Commissioners of the was almost immaterial wheiher the bill passed or Sinking Fund, by the tenth section of the act to which not. That a deficiency would exist in the reve. this act is as supplement, shall extend to all the cases nue of the United States for the current expenses of reimbursement of any instalments or parts of the of the year, after paying the civil list and public capital, or principal, of the public debt now existing, debt, could not be doubted; but such a deficiency which may become payable according to law. And in could not be supplied by borrowing for the payevery case in which a loan may be made accordingly, ment of the public debt, without a misapplication it shall be lawful for such loan to be made of the Bank of the public money. It was also said, that if of the United States, although the same may exceed money was wanting for the current expenses it the sum of fifty thousand dollars."
must be had, but ought to be obtained by a special Mr. Eppes stated the object of the bill to be to ac-loan, public' notice of which should be given. commodate the provision of a former law to the This bill could not be acted on but in a supposed existing state of the public debt. On the 11th case (which it was said would not occur) of a February, 1807, a change was made in the stock ; deficiency in the sum of eight millions six bunand it had been made a question by the Bank of dred thousand dollars, annually pledged for the the United States whether the Commissioners of payment of the civil list and public debt; and