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UNITED STATES SENATE, SELECT COMMITTEE OF APRIL 17, 1850.

Thursday, June 27, 1850.

The Committee met pursuant to adjournment.

PRESENT :-The Hon. Mr. Pearce, Chairman.

Mr. Phelps,
Mr. Rusk,
Mr. Bell,
Mr. Shields,
Mr. Soule.

Mr. Benton and Mr. Foote also attended.

The following witnesses attended :

Mr. Butler,
Mr. Dickinson,
Mr. Fremont.

The Hon. Mr. Butler of South Carolina, summoned at the request of Mr. Foote, being duly sworn, according to law, testified as follows:

E.camined by Mr. Foote.

Question 1. Did you see Mr. Foote at the time of his assuming his defensive attitude near your seat on the day of the disorder in the Senate? If so, please say whether Mr. Foote's pistol was raised and heli in a shooting attitude, directed towards Mr. Benton's person? Were you in a situation to have seen him thus raise and direct his pistol, bad he done so? What occurred between you and Mr. Foote at that moment?

Answer. I saw him when he passed me, and believe I was the first person who spoke to him after he left his place, and then it was that I either asked him why he left his place or asked him to go back to it, and then it was I first learned he had a pistol, from his own declaration. I am sure I did not see the pistol. I think I was in a position to see if he had raised his pistol and directed it towards Mr. Benton's person. After. wards, upon some remark of my own, Mr. Foote said he assumed that place to use his pistol in defending himself if he was rushed on or approached.

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Mr. Butler was then discharged by the Committee.

The Hon. Mr. Fremont of California, summoned at the request of Mr. Foote, having been previously sworn, testified as follows:

Examined by Mr. Foote.

Question 1. You said, upon a former examination, that Mr. Bentas had informed you that he left his own seat, upon the morning of the 17th of April, and, walked in the direction of the seat of Mr. Foote, for

the purpose of hearing what he should say. Did he say what he intended to do if Mr. Foote's words should prove offensive to him ?

Answer. I have no distinct recollection of his having told me any. thing farther than what I said,

Question 2. Did he never, upon any occasion, declare to you his intention to have committed violence upon Mr. Foote's person, if he had continued in his place, and had spoken in a manner disagreeable to him?

Answer. It is somewhat difficult for me to answer the question. I cannot divide what I heard from one or another person at table ; which was the only place I could have heard such a thing. I think I heard Mr. Benton say that he would have punished Mr. Foote if he had persisted in his abusive language.

Cross-examined by Mr. Benton.

Question 1. Was it before or since you were examined that you heard Mr. Benton speak on this point? And did you, or did you not, hear him say that if Mr. Foote was offensive, and if the Senate did not stop him that he would ? ., Answer. I cannot say to the words; but that was the general purport of what I heard him say. The time referred to in the former an. swers, I think, was before my first examination. The above is the best of my recollection, but I am not positive.

Question 2. Did you or did you not hear Mr. Benton say if the Senate did not stop him, then he would do so himself?

Answer. I have read that, and heard that, so often, that I presume I have heard that from Mr. Benton. . I think I can answer it positively in the affirmative.

Re-exanined by Mr. Foote.

Question 1. You said formerly that Mr. Benton told you that he left his seat in order to hear what Mr. Foote was saying ; you have said this morning, in answer to Mr. Foote's interrogatory, that you were not able to say whether it was Mr. Benton, or some other person at his table, who spoke of what he would have done, had Mr. Foote's words proved offensive. Do you now say that you are positive that you ever heard Mr. Benton say anything upon this point ?

Answer. In regard to the first question, I understood it to apply to the time of the occurrence of the 17th of April, or to conversations had with Mr. Benton very soon thereafter, to which I could answer distinctly. The other questions being general, and referring to the whole interchange of conversations in Mr. Benton's family, at times before and since the occurrence, I have not been able to answer positively, but to the best of my recollection.

Question 2. The following questions were propounded to you on a former examination, and the following responses given by you :

you ever hear Mr. Benton state his purpose in leaving his own seat and going in the direction of Mr. Foote's on the occasion of the 17th of April ?

66 Did

“I recollect to have heard Mr. Benton state what his purpose was. “ State, if you please, what he avowed to be that purpose ?

“As nearly as I can remember, Mr. Benton said, that he went to, or towards Mr. Foote's desk to hear what Mr. Foote should say."

Do you now oonfirm your former questions, or, upon reflection, would you be induoed to modify what you then said in any particular ; if so, in what particular ?

Answer. I confirm the questions as I answered them, and do not in. tend to modify them in any particular. The others were not positive answers.

Hon. Mr. Fremont was then discharged by the Committee.

The Hon. Mr. Dickinson of New York, summoned at the request of Mr. Foote, being duly sworn according to law, testified as follows :

Examined by Mr. Foote.

Question 1. If you witnessed the disorder in the Senate upon the 17th of April, please narrate particulars, so far as they are recollected, stating the particulars which occurred near your seat?

Answer, Mr. Foote was standing nearly in front of my seat, with the pistol in his hand, the muzzle pointing obliquely towards the floor. I stepped from my seat and took hold of the barrel of 'the pistol near the muzzle, and said, "General give this to me;" he turned his eye on me, and released it to me. I put it in my desk and locked it up.

Question 2. Would you have been likely te see the pistol pointed in the direction of Mr. Benton's person had this been done?

Answer. I did not see it so pointed; but I think I should if it had been so pointed.

Question 3. Did you observe Mr. Foote's aspect and manner? If so, say whether it was cool and apparently free from expressive or strong feelings of any kind, or the reverse ?

Answer. I did not notice much about his manner until he got back to his seat, and I thought it uncommonly.cool for the occasion.

Question 4. Would you, or not, have supposed from Mr. Benton's demeanor, at the time he left his seat and came towards Mr. Foote's, that his intention was to do personal violence ?

Answer. I supposed, when he started, from his rapid movements, tha: he was going to attack him, there having been previous difficulties betweet those gentlemen, one having just spoken, and the other speaking in reply

Hon. Mr. Dickinson was then discharged by the Committee.

The Hon. Mr. Dodge, of lowa, and the Hon. Mr. Howard, of Texas were then discharged by Mr. Foote.

The Committee then adjourned to Saturday next, at half-aster nim o'clock, A. M.

JAMES J. DICKENS,

Clerk to the Select Committee.

Senate of THE UNITED STATES, Select COMMITTEE OF THE SENATE

OF APRIL 17, 1850.

Saturday, June 29th, 1850.

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The Committee met pursuant to adjournment

PRESENT—The Hon. Mr. Pearce, Chairman,

Mr. Phelps,
Mr. Rusk,
Mr. Bell,
Mr. Shields.

Mr. Benton and Mr. Foote also attended.

The following witnesses attended :

Mr. Fremont,
Mr. Dodge, of Iowa. •

Mr. Fremont appeared and desired to state as follows:

" It seems to me that during the 27th instant, the questions and answers to me of a previous day were improperly collated with those of the 27th, and I desire distinctly to repeat, and to have entered upon the record that

I consider the questions upon those different days to be entirely distinct, is that of a previous day being particularly referring to a specified event, and

those of the 27th being general, and referring to numerous occasions, I desire to repeat this in order that no one may be misled by the record.”

The Hon. Mr. Jones, of Iowa, the Hon. Mr. Dodge, of Iowa, and the Hon. Mr. Bradbury, of Maine, were discharged by Mr. Benton.

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Adjourned until further notice.

JAMES J. DICEKNS,

Clerk to the Select Committze,

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