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extraordinary or incredible that this Henry should be sent on the same errand by Governor Craig 7 The occurrences of those times place the fact out of doubt. I perfectly recollect that, on my return home from this place in March, 1809, I was informed of this Henry having passed through the eountry; and it was then conjectured that he was on the very business which he now states. But, say gentlemen, he libels and calumniates the Government Why, sir, he does not more so than has often been done on this floor, by a gentleman not now present, or than has been done for years by one description of presses and newspapers in this country. The division of the Union is not a new subject. As early as the time the Jay Treaty agitated this country, I saw two numbers in the “Centinel.” printed at Boston, holding out the idea of a separation of the States. I am very far from believing it was ever the wish of the great body of the Federal party, or that they would knowingly join the enemies of this country, to effect such a purpose, but that there are some who call themselves Federalists, and who in principle and feeling are Englishmen, that would do it, I have no doubt. From the very nature of things, all monarchical and despotic Governments must always be inimical to, and seek the destruction of this Government, while it remains a free one; and the only ineans of effecting this, is by somenting divisions among us; angering one party against the other, and thereby dividing the Union. I believe this to have been the constant object of the British Government, from the date of our Treaty of Peace until now, and they will always join the minority, be its political character what it may. And I o hope this occurrence will be received as a solemn admonition by all citizens of this country, to unite in support of their Government and liberties, and convince them in what estimation they are held, notwithstanding the professions of friendship made toward this country by the British Government and its agents. Mr. SMI lie said the character of this man was nothing to us, though it might be to him, and he therefore should not follow the example of gentlemen who had made so free with it. There was one point in which he considered the publication of these documents, which was of real importance; that they exhibited to the American people what sort of a nation we had to deal with. It appeared to him that Great Britain considered no means dishonorable provided they would accomplish the attainment of her object. With respect to Mr. Wright's idea, that the publication of the papers would throw an odium on the leading parties in this country, said Mr. S., none of those papers said anything more disrespectful to the parties in this country than those parties had frequently said of each other in the public prints. He never had believed that the mass of the Federal party wished a separation of the Union; but that there were men in it, attached to the British interests, he knew to be true. There was at least enough in these papers to put every man on his guard with respect to the insidious, dishonorable
conduct of that Government, and he would, therefore, vote for printing 5,000 copies. Mr. Macon said, this was one of those debates which sometimes arose in the House, in which all were on one side of the question. Nothing can be more true than that these papers do prove that Great Britain has not yet ceased her attempts to disturb the peace of this nation. That they were genuine, he believed, although they came from a man whom that Government had employed. There was nothing new in the manner of communicating them. How was it in the conspiracy of Blount and Liston ? Mr. Adams communicated the disclosure to Congress. I imagine that Burr's conspiracy was communicated by some one who was or had been engaged in it. In this case, a man who had been in the service of this Government, preferring the British, was, while in Canada, engaged by Governor Craig, to go into a part of this country to endeavor to procure a division of the Union. Mr. M. said he had, four years ago, stated that both Great Britain and France had agents in this country. Had they not had them in other countries? They had ; and he cited Holland as a particular inStance. The Constitution, said Mr. M., is founded on the Union of these States, and, (if I may be allowed to use a word once fashionable,) on the indivisibility of the Empire. And, what was the object of Great Britain 7 For what did she employ this man 3. To separate the Union; to destroy the Constitution, the greatest work of the greatest men this country has produced., Sir, I was almost struck with horror, when such documents were reading, to see that any man could laugh at them. They expose an attempt, not to stab an individual, but to stab a nation. Owing to our relative situation, in consequence of our Revolution, you can never expect Great Britain to look upon you with as much friendship as other nations. There is another reason for her jealousy; we have predicted over and over again, that we shall, at one time or other, clip her maritime wing. She believes it; and the existence of the nation depends on her preventing it. The only question that presents itself is, Is the information useful to ... } Does it not confirm every man in the belief that, while she is making professions of friendship through her Minister here, Great Britain is, in another direction, plotting our destruction by her secret agents 3 It would be happy for us if we had not also French agents here. I never did believe the Federal party had any notion of joining Great Britain; but this nation, favored as it is, has yet not been clear of discord; and, to say that there is not a man in the Federal or Republican parties who would wish a union with Great Britain or France, would be to say what I do not believe. So long, sir, as both belligerents remain as they have been, for the last hundred years, willing to disturb the peace of the world, so long we ought to watch their motions. Let the Executive have obtained these papers as he might, it became his duty to communicate them to Congress. They
will convince every man in the nation, it appears to me, that all the talk about the friendship and good disposition of the British nation toward us was a mistake. May we not reasonably suppose that Great Britain moved the Prophet? Whenever we come near a point with Great Britain, do not the Indians move 7 How was it before Jay's Treaty, and whenever she is likely to assume a hostile attitude 7 Exactly at those moments are the Indians moved upon you. To conquer this country by force of arms, if united, is impossible. France and England together could not do it. I do not believe the world could. All we want is union at home. As to this man, he is just such a one as the British usually employ for these purposes; he is one of their own agents. Can England complain of our giving credit to a man with whom her first Secretary of State and the Governor General of Canada correspond? I care nothing about the cause which brings him here, it is an affair between him and them... The question is, Has he told the truth? I verily believe he has. I understood enough of the papers, as read, to know that he was the agent of the British Government, sent here to sow disunion, and that was enough for me. So long as we are governed by interest, mutual wants, or common sense, so long shall we continue united. We are placed in such a situation that, we ought to love each other, and we always should, did not our mad passions sometimes run away with us. One part of the nation delights in using the sea; another in agriculture; we supply each other's wants; we ought never to dream of separation. And, sir, when these messengers of hell are sent here, shall we not look at them 3 Let us have the papers printed, sir. This is the second attempt Great Britain has made to divide the country, and I believe France would do the same; for I have no confidence in the morality of either. Our affairs are in such a state, that, with one, we must try what has been called the last resort of Kings. I have made up my mind on the subject, and, whenever we are ready to declare war, I shall vote for it. Mr. Johnson said, he did not feel disposed, nor was it a time, to say much—the documents spoke for themselves—nor did he address the House to identify the Federal party with this British conspiracy to dismember the Union; nor did he intend to load the individual who had made this communication to the President with the opprobrious epithet of spy and traitor; but to call the attention of the House, and the gentleman from Vir#. to the position which had been taken by imself and others upon the discussion of our for. eign relations, respecting the British influence in stimulating the savages against our infant and innocent settlements upon the frontiers. Mr. J. said, when he had ascribed the hostility of the Indians to British influence, the gentleman from Virginia could not place any confidence in such intimations; and he moreover stated, that if such influence could be proven, he would himself join heart and hand in measures against Great Britain, and would even march himself to Canada, if ne:
cessary, to expel and destroy the British authorities in that quarter. Mr. J. said, he wished to know whether the House had not now record evidence of an attempt on the part of the British Government to alienate the affections of the people from their own Government—to organize opposition to the laws of Congress, and to produce a dissolution of our happy Government, a dismemberment of the Union, and the erection of a monarchy upon its ruins—and whether such a case did not call for equal union ? Mr. J. asked, who would now assert that Great Britain was friendly disposed towards us; that she was fighting our battles, or the battles of freedom; that she stood between us and universal domination; that good men would pray that our arms might not be successful against that Government, which had so
long trampled upon our rights; that Great Brit
ain was acting upon the principle of retaliation towards France 7 Mr. J. said, it was now reduced to a certainty that the hostility of Great Britain towards us, in the continuance of her orders in Council—in the impressment of our seamen—originated in a determination to destroy the union of the States, and from a belief that a separation could be effected, in case of a war with Great Britain. It was now evident, that the disavowal of Mr. Erskine’s arrangement, and her subsequent conduct towards the United States, arose from the delusive hope that the people of the New England States would join Great Britain in the conflict. This communication also accounts for the news we are daily receiving of the hostile intentions of the savages upon our borders. Mr. J. said, he wanted 5,000 copies to be printed, that the people might judge whether Congress had wantonly sported with their rights, or whether they had not been driven to the brink of war by a conduct on the part of Great Britain that would disgrace the most abandoned, the most savage, and the most piratical nations on earth. Mr. J. said, he hoped the House would no longer debate what course to pursue, and that no additional arguments would be required to convince them of the propriety of breaking up the rogues' harbor, and taking possession of the Canadas; without which, the United States never could enjoy, in tranquillity, those rights which were transmitted to the citizens of the United States by their ancestors. Mr. STAN Ford suggested the propriety of a reference of the subject to a Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union. Mr. Key made some remarks which were not all distinctly heard by the Reporter. He wished that the publication could have been accompanied with some refutation of its contents, as it would go to alarm the people with an idea of the existence of a spirit in one section of this country which he was sure did not exist. He was not only for committing the subject, but for following it up with a full and prompt examination. Sure I am, said Mr. K., that the people of Europe have mistaken the American character. Whatever difference of opinion may exist among ourselves, there can be none as to the propriety of supporting the integrity of the Union. There can
be no doubt that the people of this country, of all descriptions, will rally around the Constitution. France had heretofore supposed she possessed a party in this country, but there was not a man of sense in the country who believed it. Foreign nations would err in this way, having no correct knowledge of the sentiments of the people. If we were soon to be involved in war, it was proper that no distrust should exist in one part of the community against another; and he therefore regretted that a complete investigation could not be had before the papers were published. Mr. RANDolph wished to say one word, and only a word, in addition to his previous observations. He rose for the purpose of suggesting to the House whether, if it were their intention to
act with anything like despatch or efficacy in .
this business, it was not necessary immediately to decide whether these papers should or should not be referred to a committee, and that committee clothed with power to send for persons and papers. For it was perfectly obvious, if this day's session was spun out on the mere question of printing, it was giving the party, whom it would certainly be the object of the committee to examine, fair notice to abscond ; for, whatsoever may have been the rank and grade of the gentleman, and however respectable in some eyes it might appear, he would hardly be ambitious of exhibiting himself here. Mr. R. said he could only say, as he was up— he should certainly not have risen for the purpose of saying it—to the gentleman from Kentucky, that when he had examined the subject, he would give that gentleman and the House his opinion on it. Until then he must be excused. I had much rather, said Mr. R., my opinion should follow an examination than precede it. Mr. Boyd made some remarks in favor of printing. This was the old course of Britain—divide and conquer. The existence of such agencies was sufficiently known before. These papers only went to prove it. The President would not have sent these papers publicly to Congress if he had not intended they should go to the public. Mr. WRight rose in explanation of his former remarks. He wished it to be distinctly understood that he had no objection to the publication of these papers. Mr. MilNon said his purpose in rising now was to express the anxious desire he felt that on this question there might not be the least division of sentiment manifested in the House. He should be extremely sorry at any time; above all, at a period of our national progress when it was thought that a change of circumstances of the most important kind was about to take place ; that at this time an opinion should be imbibed that any portion of the people of this country were favorable to England. The candor of the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. WRight) redounded to his honor. He was extremely glad to find gentlemen acknowledge, with respect to the party in which he stood enrolled, whatever might be our internal differences, &c., that they could not be suspected of hostility to the Union;
there could be no idea entertained by sensible men of either party that there was among us any considerable portion of men who are inimically disposed to the union of the States. That these papers proved a dishonorable attempt on the part of the British Government, Mr. M, said he had no doubt. Although a strong sensation would probably be produced by the discovery of this circumstance, and it might be perverted much to the injury of the feelings of particular individuals, he hoped the good sense of the community would induce them, while they properly appreciated this attempt of a foreign Government, not to be led into rash or injudicious measures. He really wished the affair might be probed to the bottom; and that the British Minister having in one case come forward with a disavowal for his Government, would say in some shape or other what was the real state of the case now before the House. Mr. RhEA again spoke in amplification of his former remarks. He said that be this man, Mr. Henry, who he might, he had done an important service to the country in exposing the views of the British Governinent; and it behooved the House to ascertain their truth, &c. The motion for printing was unanimously agreed to. Mr. Bibb moved to amend his motion for reference to the Committee of Foreign Relations, so as to give the committee power to send for persons and papers. Mr. TRoup said that on occasions of this kind, great care should be taken lest the House be hurfied by a momentary excitement into an act of precipitancy. He had confidence in the discretion of the Committee of Foreign Relations, but the vesting such a power in the committee might be considered as an instruction by the House to #." under any circumstances to bring Mr. enry before them. He had no doubt in his own mind that the communication had been voluntary on the part of Mr. Henry, but he entertained as little that there may have been certain stipulations and conditions which the Executive would feel itself under the strongest obligations of good faith to comply with, and which would exempt the individual making the disclosure from any responsibility of any kind. Whatever may be thought of the motives of Mr. Henry in making the disclosure, or whatever the ... applied to him in debate, certain it was, Mr. Henry had done service to the country, and ought to be protected by it. If the committee should, on examination, think proper to proceed to summon persons, or call for papers, the House would not hesitate to vest them with the necessary powers. Mr. GRUNDY stated what was his impression as to the course he should incline to pursue as a member of the Committee of Foreign Relations, if these papers should be referred, as proposed, to that committee. If any engagement, express or implied, had taken place between the Administration and Mr. Henry, that he should be free from detention, &c., he should not, as one of the committee, consent to violate that engagement.
H. of R.
Mr. Bibb said, as there appeared to be considerable difference of opinion on this subject, and as the committee could apply for the power if they wished it, he should for the present withdraw his motion. Mr. RANDolph renewed it. Mr. Pitkin spoke in favor of the motion. He thought this course due to the people in that section of the Union whose character was implicated in these papers. Mr. Fisk said there was no fear of of this person absconding ; he was not that sort of a man. But were this man out of the world, there is evidence enough to prove the truth of all he had said without a syllable from him. As to this course being due to those implicated, Mr. F. said he came from one of the States (Vermont) about which most was said in Henry’s letters, and he felt no uneasiness on that score; and he could not see why others should. Mr. Bibb accepted Mr. RANDolph's proposition as a part of his motion, as he had only been induced to withdraw it by a desire to accommodate. Mr. MAcon required a division of the question; and The question on reference was carried unanimously.
The question to clothe the committee with compulsory power was carried—104 to 10, as follows:
Yr As—William Anderson, Stevenson Archer, Ezekiel Bacon, John Baker, Burwell Bassett, William W. Bibb, Abijah Bigelow, William Blackledge, Harmanus Bleecker, James Breckenridge, Elijah Brigham, Robert Brown, William A. Burwell, William Butler, John C. Calhoun, Epaphroditus Champion, Langdon Cheves, Martin Chittenden, Matthew Clay, James Cochran, Lewis Condict, William Crawford, John Davenport, jun., Roger Davis, John Dawson, Joseph Desha, Samuel Dinsmoor, Elias Earle, William Ely, James Emott, Asa Fitch, Meshack Franklin, Thomas Gholson, Thomas R. Gold, Charles Goldsborough, Peterson Goodwyn, Isaiah L. Green, Felix Grundy, Bolling Hall, Obed Hall, John A. Harper, Jacob Husty, Richard Jackson, jun., Joseph Kent, Philip B. Key, William R. King, Abner Lacock, Lyman Law, Joseph Lewis, jun., Peter Little, Robert Le Roy Livingston, William Lowndes, Aaron Lyle, Thomas Moore, Archibald McBryde, William McCoy, Samuel McKee, Alexander McKim, Arunah Metcalf, James Milnor, Samuel L. Mitchill, Jeremiah Morrow, Jonathan 0. Moseley, Hugh Nelson, Thomas Newton, Stephen Ormsby, Joseph Pearson, Israel Pickens, Timothy Pitkin, jun., James Pleasants, jun., Benjamin Pond, Peter B. Porter, Elisha R. Potter, Josiah Quincy, John Randolph, William Reed, William M. Richardson, Henry M. Ridgely, Samuel Ringgold, John Rhea, William Rodman, Ebenezer Sage, Thomas Sammons, John Sevier, Adam Seybert, Samuel Shaw, Daniel Sheffey, George Smith, John Smith, Richard Stanford, Silas Stow, Lewis B. Sturges, Samuel Taggart, John Taliaferro, Uri Tracy, Charles Turner, jun., Pierre Van Cortlandt, jun., Laban Wheaton, Leonard White, Robert Whitehill, William Widgery, Thomas Wilson, and Robert Wright.
Nars—Willis Alston, junior, David Bard, Adam
Boyd, James Fisk, John M. Hyneman, Nathaniel Macon, Jonathan Roberts, Ebenezer Seaver, John Smilie, and George M. Troup.
Tuesday, March 10.
Mr. WRight, from the committee appointed on that part of the President's Message which relates to filling the ranks and prolonging the enlistments of the regular troops, to detachments of militia, and to such a preparation of the great body as will proportion its usefulness to its intrinsic capacity, to whom was referred the bill from the Senate “to establish a Quartermaster’s Department, and for other purposes,” reported several amendments thereto; which were read, and, together with the bill, committed to the Committee of the Whole to-morrow. A message from the Senate informed the House that the Senate have passed the bill “concerning the Naval Establishment,” with amendments; in which they desire the concurrence of this House. An engrossed bill for the relief of Thomas Wilson was read the third time, and passed. An engrossed bill for the relief of Thomas Orr was read third time, and passed. The bill from the Senate “respecting the enrolling and licensing of steamboats” was read the third time and passed. The amendments proposed by the Senate to the bill “concerning the Naval Establishment” were read, and, together with the bill, referred to the committee appointed on that part of the President’s Message which relates to the Naval Establishment. The House proceeded to consider the report of the Committee of the Whole on the report of the Committee on the Public Lands, made on the petition of the Mayor and Aldermen of the city of New Orleans; and the question that the House do concur with the Committee of the Whole in their disagreement to the resolution contained in the report of the Committee on the Public Lands, being taken, it was determined in the negative. The resolution was then agreed to, and the Committee on the Public Lands instructed to bring in a bill. The bill giving further time to the purchasers of public lands northwest of the river Ohio to complete their payments; passed through a Committee of the Whole, and was ordered to be read the third time to-morrow. The House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on the bill making an appropriation for building a jail in Alexandria county, in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes; and, after some time spent therein, the Committee rose and had leave to sit again. GENERAL ST. CLAIR. An engrossed bill for the relief of Arthur St. Clair was read the third time; and on the question that the same do pass, it was resolved in the affirmative–yeas 67, nays 39, as follows: YEAs—John Baker, Abijah Bigelow, William Blackledge, Harmanus Bleecker, James Breckenridge, Elijah
Brigham, William A. Burwell, William Butler, Lang
don Cheves, Martin Chittenden, Matthew Clay, John Davenport, jr., Roger Davis, John Dawson, Elias Earle, James Emott, William Findley, Asa Fitch, Thomas Gholson, Thomas R. Gold, Charles Goldsborough, Edwin Gray, Felix Grundy, Richard Jackson, junior, Joseph Kent, Jacob Husty, Joseph Lewis, jun., Peter Little, Robert Le Roy Livingston, William Lowndes, Thomas Moore, Archibald McBryde, William McCoy, Samuel McKee, Alexander McKim, Arunah Metcalf, James Milnor, Sainuel L. Mitchill, Jeremiah Morrow, Hugh Nelson, Anthony New, Thomas Newbold, Thomas Newton, Stephen Ormsby, Joseph Pearson, James Pleasants, jun., Elisha R. Potter, Josiah Quincy, William Reed, Henry M. Ridgeley, Samuel Ringgold, Jonathan Roberts, John Sevier, Adam Seybert, 1)aniel Sheffey, George Smith, Philip Stuart, Silas Stow, Lewis B. Sturges, Samuel Taggart, John Taliaferro, George M. Troup, Pierre Van Cortlandt, jun., Laban Wheaton, Leonard White, Thomas Wilson, Richard Winn, and Robert Wright. Nars—Willis Alston, jun., Stevenson Archer, Ezekiel Bacon, Burwell Bassett, William W. Bibb, Adam Boyd, Robert Brown, John C. Calhoun, James Cochran, Lewis Condict, Joseph Desha, Samuel Dinsmoor, James Fisk, Peterson Goodwyn, Isaiah L. Green, Bolling Hall, Obed Hall, John A. Harper, Jacob Hufty, John M. Hyneman, Abner Lacock, Joseph Lefever, Aaron Lyle, Israel Pickens, Benjamin Pond, Peter B. Porter, William M. Richardson, John Rhea, William Rodman, Ebenezer Sage, Thomas Sammons, Samuel Shaw, John Smilie, Richard Stanford, William Strong, Uri Tracy, Charles Turner, junior, Robert Whitehill, and William Widgery.
An engrossed bill providing for the removal of the causes depending in the respective District Courts of the United States, in case of the disability of the Judges thereof, was read the third time, and passed : Whereupon, a motion was made by Mr. Newton, that the House do recon. sider the vote on the passage of the bill, and the question thereon being taken, it was determined in the negative—yeas 30, nays 80, as follows:
YEAs—Willis Alston, jr., William Anderson, David Bard, William Blackledge, Robert Brown, William A. Burwell, William Butler, Matthew Clay, James Coch. ran, Lewis Condict, William Crawford, Roger Davis, Joseph Desha, Isaiah L. Green, Bolling Hall, John A. Harper, Jacob Hufty, John M. Hyneman, Abner Lacock, William McCoy, Alexander McKim, Thomas Newton, John Rhea, Ebenezer Sage, Samuel Shaw, William Strong, John Taliaferro, Charles Turner, jr., and Robert Whitehill.
NAYs—Stevenson Archer, Ezekiel Bacon, John Baker, Burwell Bassett, William W. Bibb, Abijah Bigelow, Harmanus Bleecker, Adam Boyd, James Breckenridge, John C. Calhoun, Langdon Cheves, Martin Chittenden, John Davenport, jun., Elias Earle, William Ely, James Emott, William Findley, James Fisk, Asa Fitch, Thomas Gholson, Thomas R. Gold, Charles Goldsborough, Peterson Goodwyn, Edwin Gray, Felix Grundy, Obed Hall, Richard Jackson, junior, Joseph Kent, William R. King, Lyman Law, Joseph Lefever, Joseph Lewis, jun., Peter Little, Robert Le Roy Livingston, Aaron Lyle, Thomas Moore, Archibald McBryde, Samuel McKee, Arunah Metcalf, James Milnor, Samuel L. Mitchill, Jeremiah Morrow, Jonathan O. Moseley, Hugh Nelson, Anthony New, Stephen Orms
by, Joseph Pearson, Israel Pickens, Timothy Pitkin, junior, James Pleasants, jun., Benjamin Pond, Peter B. Porter, Elisha R. Potter, Josiah Quincy, William Reed, William Richardson, Henry M. Ridgely, Samuel Ringgold, William Rodman, Thomas Sammons, John Sevier, Daniel Sheffey, John Smilie, George Smith, Richard Stanford, Philip Stuart, Silas Stow, Lewis B. Sturges, Samuel Taggart, Benjamin Tallmadge, Uri Tracy, George M. Troup, Pierre Van Cortlandt, jr., Laban Wheaton, Leonard White, William Widgery, Thomas Wilson, Richard Winn, and Robert Wright.
Wednesday, March 11.
Mr. MoRRow, from the Committee on the Publie Lands, presented a bill for relinquishing to the Corporation of the city of New Orleans the use and possession of a lot in said city ; which was read twice and committed to a Committee of the Whole to-morrow. Mr. MoRRow, from the same committee, also presented a bill making provision for certain persons claiming lands under the several acts for the relief of the refugees from the British Provinces of Canada and Nova Scotia; which was read twice and committed to a Committee of the Whole on Friday next. A message from the Senate informed the House that the Senate have passed the bill “authorizing a loan for a sum not exceeding eleven millions of dollars,” with an amendment; in which they desire the concurrence of this House. A motion was made by Mr. RhEA, that the select committee appointed on the letter from Cowles Mead, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Mississippi Territory, enclosing a presentment of the Grand Jury of Baldwin county, against Harry Toulmin, Judge of the Superior Court of Washington District, in that Territory, be discharged; which was negatived. An engrossed bill giving further time for the purchasers of public lands northwest of the river Ohio to complete their payments, was read the third time, and passed. The amendment of the Senate to the bill, “authorizing a loan for a sum not exceeding eleven millions of dollars” was read, and concurred in by the House. The House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on the bill to enable the people of the Mississippi Territory to form a constitution and State government, and for the admission of such State into the Union on an equal footing with the original States; and, after some time spent therein, the Committee rose, and had leave to sit again. BANK OF THE UNITED STATES.
The House proceeded to consider the bill repealing the tenth section of the act to incorporate the subscribers to the Bank of the United States, reported by the Committee of the whole House: When, a motion was made by Mr. Roberts, to amend the bill by striking out the words “shall be, and the same is hereby repealed,” and to insert, “is hereby declared to have expired on the fourth day of March, 1811.”