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H. OF R.

The Mint-Salaries of Officers.

JANUARY, 1808.

the Legislature of the State of Ohio to make ap- first resolution, he would send an answer to the plication to the General Government for the ob- House in writing; and, in relation to the second, jects included in the following resolutions; as be that he would give to the House such information meant to move for their reference to a Commit- not improper to be disclosed, as comes within the tee of the Whole, it was unnecessary to offer scope of that resolution, and which might be in any argument on them:

possession of the Executive department. Resolved, That the President of the United States Mr. Dawson, from the committee to whom was be authorized to loan to the State of Ohio, for the term referred a resolution on the subject, reported a bill of seven years, seven thousand stand of arms, for the for procuring a formidable train of field artillery purpose of arming in part the militia of the said State ; for the service of the United States; which was under such restrictions and regulations as to safe keep- read twice and referred to a Committee of the ing and re-delivery as the President may prescribe. Whole on Monday next.

Resolved, That ihe President of the United States be authorized to loan to the State of Ohio, for the term of

SALARIES OF OFFICERS. seven years, twenty pieces of field artillery, with car- The House proceeded to consider the amendriages complete, for the use of the artillery companies ments proposed by the Senate to the bill, entitled of militia in the said State; under such regulations and / "An act to continue in force, for a limited time, restrictions as to safe keeping and re-delivery as the an act, entitled 'An act continuing, for a limited President may prescribe.

time, the salaries of the officers of Government The resolutions were referred to a Committee therein mentioned :"> of the Whole on Monday next.

The amendments were to strike-out in the THE MINT.

fourth and fifth lines of the engrossed bill, the The House went into Committee of the Whole, words, "continue in force for the term of three on the bill for continuing the Mint at Philadel years, and to the end of the next session of Conphia; and

gress thereafter, and no longer," and to insert, in Mr. Alston said, having been the chairman lieu thereof, the words“ hereby is made perpetual;" who reported the bill, although hostile to the also, to strike out the words for a limited time"

id bill: Mint Etablishment altogether, he moved to fill in the first line of the title of the the blank for its continuance with five years.

On concurring with this amendment some deMr. Dawson suggested that the present law

bate arose. continued the Mint till 4th March, 1809, and

Mr. GARDNER thought the salaries too high ; wished the Committee to rise, that they might be but he was willing to make them permanent, refused leave to sit again.

in order to prevent them from being raised still After some conversation on the construction of higher. the former law, and a motion being made to fill

Mr. Dana thought it would be well to render up the blank with a specific time from which the the salaries permanent, but he conceived they were continuance for five years should take date.

not at present duly proportioned. The subject After considerable and desultory conversation required more attention than had been bestowed on a motion for the Committee to rise, and ask upon it. He was, therefore, opposed to renderleave to sit again, it was carried—46 to 40.

ing the present act permanent, without further consideration.

Mr. W. Alston replied, that when the act was Friday, January 15.

passed in 1804, it received all the attention and Mr. Parke, from the committee appointed on investigation that was wished by any gentleman. the thirteenth instant, presented a bill extending Mr. Leon was against rendering the act perthe right of suffrage in the Indiana Territory; petual. He wished always to keep the subject in which was read twice and committed to a Com- the power of the House. He hoped the Republimittee of the Whole on Tuesday next.

can majority would not do that which the party Mr. Porter from the committee appointed on exclaimed against when there was a Federal mathe twenty-third of December last, presented a jority in the House. For himself, he had always bill supplementary to an act, entitled "An act for been consistent in his sentiments on the subject the relief of persons imprisoned for debt;" which of salaries; and he hoped the Republicans would was read twice and committed to a Committee of all be consistent in their conduct. When a mathe whole House on Monday next.

jority, he hoped they would not do that which, Mr. G. W. CAMPBELL, from the Committee of when in a minority, they reprobated. Ways and Means, presented a bill for the relief of Mr. Desha also opposed the amendment. The Edward Weld and Samuel Beebee; which was House ought to keep the power in their hands. read twice and referred to a Committee of the From his legislative experience, he had found it Whole on Monday next.

much easier to raise than to diminish salaries. Mr. Randolph, from the committee appointed Mr. Sloan said the House ought always to to wait on the President of the United States keep in their reach all grants of salaries. He with two resolutions passed on Wednesday last, would not for himself depart from what he contogether with certain documents laid on the table ceived to be the true ground-work of Republican of this House, reported that they had obeyed the principles. order of the House, and had received for. an- Mr. TAYLOR advocated the amendment. From swer from the President that, in relation to the the repeated continuance of these salaries, an arJANUARY, 1808.

Government Contracts.

H. OF R.

gument might be drawn in favor of rendering Butler, Joseph Calhoun, John Campbell, Peter Carlthem permanent. It was aristocracy to give low ton, John Chandler, Martin Chittenden, Matthew Clay, salaries; for in that case you drive from office Samuel W. Dana, John Davenport, jun., John Dawall men of talents who are not possessed of ample son, Josiah Deane, Joseph Desha, Daniel M. Durell, fortunes.

William Ely, Meshack Franklin, Barent Gardenier, Mr. Smilie supported the amendment. He did James M. Garnett

, Charles Goldsborough, Edwin Gray, pot wish the subject discussed every three years, John Harris, John Heister, William Hoge, Benjamin for neither party gained much credit by it. The Howard, Daniel Ilsley, Robert Jenkins, James Kelly, party in the minority had always opposed raising Joseph Lewis, junior, Edward St. Loe Livermore, John

Philip B. Key, William Kirkpatrick, John Lambert, or continuing the salaries, because their friends Love, Matthew Lyon, Nathaniel Macon, Robert Marwere not to have them. This was the true secretion, Josiah Masters, William Milnor, Daniel Montof the business, and it reflected no credit upon gomery, jun., John Morrow, Jonathan 0. Mosely, either party.

Gurdon S. Mumford, John Pugh, Josiah Quincy, John Mr. Chưrtenden opposed the amendment. He Randolph, John Rea of Pennsylvania, John Rhea of believed the former salaries were sufficient to Tennessee, Jacob Richards, Matthias Richards, Samcommand the requisite talents. There seemed to nel Riker, John Rowan, John Russell, James Sloan, be no difficulty in finding men to accept public Samuel Smith, John Smith, Henry Southard, Richard offices.

Stanford, William Stedman, Clement Storer, Lewis B. Mr. Lyon spoke once more against the amend- Sturges, Peter Swart, Samuel Taggart, Abram Trigg, ment. It is said that we can lower the salaries, if George M. Troup, Jabez Upham, James I. Van Allen, necessary ; meaning by we, the Senate and Presi. Nicholas Van Dyke, Archibald Van Horne, Killian dent also. Mr. L. did not wish to extend the co- K. Van Rensselaer, Robert Whitehill, Isaac Wilbour, partnership. He wanted to say we, the House of Marmaduke Williams, Alexander Wilson, Richard Representatives. He feared the time would come Wynn, and James Witherell. when they must lower the salaries, because they

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS. would not be able to pay them. Now the Republicans were a majority, he hoped the House would On motion of Mr. BASSETT, the House went not give up the purse-strings of the nation to the into Committee of the Whole on the resolutions other branches.

submitted by him some days ago relative to the Mr. Taylor thought the salaries of 1799, pass

contractors. ed in the time of Mr. Adams's Administration, was The first resolution being under consideration, not the mill-stone which hung round their necks, as follows: for as soon as we came into power we took up the Resolved, That provision ought to be made by law to same cross, and have borne it upon our shoulders. prohibit the officers of Government from making any We continued the act, and, as Mr. T. thought, contract

, on behalf of the United States, with any perought to make it perpetual.

son being a member of either House of Congress, or Mr. Holland had always conceived the sala- with any other person for his or their use. ries ought to be permanent. It would save much Mr. Bassett said, he presumed that this prounnecessary time spent in debate upon what might position possessed sufficient intrinsic merit not to be called splitting of hairs. It made but the dif- require the aid of extensive talents or laborious exference of three or four thousand dollars. No ertions of any gentleman to advocate it. He asman had complained since the removal of the sumed it as an axiom, that fundamental princiGovernment to Washington City that the salaries ples must rest for their security on the purity of were too high.

the Representative body. He should however, Mr. Bibe moved to strike out the words "made trust the support of this measure to its own imperpetual,” and insert “is continued in force un- portance. til repealed.”

The résolution was carried-59 to 15. Mr. GARDNER wished to know the difference The second resolution being under considerabetween the words to be stricken out and those to tion, as follows: be inserted.

Rcsolved, That every contract hereafter to be made on Mr. Bibb's motion was lost without a division. the part of the Government of the United States, shall

The question was then taken on concurring in contain a clause or condition to render the contract abthe amendment of the Senate, and lost-yeas 26. solutely void, if the contractor should be elected a memDays 82, as follows:

ber of either House of Congress. YLAS—Willis Alston, jr., David Bard, William W. Mr. Rowan objected to its passage, inasmuch Bibb, George W. Campbell, Epaphroditus Champion, as it was adding a qualification to RepresentaHowell Cobb, Richard Cutts, James Eliot, William tives, which Congress had no right to do, and as Findley, Francis Gardner, Isaiah L. Green, William it might operate as an ex post facto law, vacating Helms, James Holland, Walter Jones, William Mc-contracts already made. Creery, Nicholas R. Moore, Jeremiah Morrow, Thomas Newbold, Thomas Newton, John Porter, Dennis Smelt,

Mr. CAANDLER objected to it, as it might have John Smilie, Jedediah K. Smith, John Taylor, Daniel a tendency to prevent the fulfilment of contracts. C. Verplanck, and Jesse Wharton,

A man might have made a contract, received a Nars-Evan Alexander, Lemuel J. Alston, Eze- sum of money on account of it, and, by being kiel Bacon, Joseph Barker, Burwell Bassett, Thomas elected a member of Congress, could 'evade the Blount, Robert Brown, William A. Burwell, William fulfilment of his contract; or might be deprived

H. of R.

Government Contracts.

JANUARY, 1808.

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of an advantageous contract by being elected a for undue influence by permitting a person to member without his consent.

come here and vote for a contract, and go to the Mr. G. W. CAMPBELL wished to see no gentle public offices and immediately become parties to men contractors on this floor. This resolution the same contract? He thought there was, and only went to affect contracts hereafter to be made. this he wished to guard against. He was not surAlthough no member of this or any future Con-prised at objections made to any general proposigress might be affected by existed contracts, he tion; human nature was so prone to differ on wished to do away every inducement whatever, general topics, that he supposed gentlemen might either to increase salaries or remunerate officers. differ with him in opinion. But for this he should As to the Constitutional power of adopting this have been much surprised at the objection made measure, a moment's reflection would show that by the gentleman from Maryland; for he, being a it was not intended to add a qualification to a professional man, must know that money advanced member of Congress. If a man holding a con- on a contract could be recovered by law on a tract became a member of Congress, it was intend- breach of that covenant; and surely it was in the ed that his contract should thereafter cease. power of the Legislature to annex any condition

Mr. Kev.-Suppose a contract made with a per- io contracts. The objection taken by the gentleson not a member; if this person becomes a mem- man from Massachusetts would have weight if it ber, his contract is absolutely void. It would were correct on principle; it could be remedied operate as an encouragement for violating con- by making it necessary for a contractor to accept tracts. Every person holding a contract on which the office before his contract would be void. Mr. he had received advance or which he did not like, B. had no idea of a man's having an office forced might, by being elected a member, vacate his con-. upon him, to his prejudice or injury. He thought tract; which could not be intended by the honor- it better to let ihe propositions stand upon the able mover of the resolution.

broadest possible basis; and when the bill was
Mr. Bassett said, he was more sensible now brought forward, if objectionable, it could be
than heretofore of an embarrassment, in speaking amended. He was willing to admit any modifi-
on a subject of so much importance, proceeding cation; but hoped gentlemen would be content to
from his having been so little in the habit of ad- take the sense of the House on the general princi-
dressing a public body, which prevented him from ple, and see whether the Constitution would bear
expressing with ease those sentiments which oc-ihem out in ruoding this parallel, for parallel he
curred to him. : He did feel, however, that there might be permitted to call it; as the same princi-
was not a principle contained in these resolutions ple which prevented a man from voting for the
which was not perfectly consonant with the Con- establishment of an office which he might obtain,
stitution—not a position which did not bear prop- would prevent a man from voting for contracts in
erly, on the subject. Mr. B. referred to this clause which he participated; and if the Constitution pro-
in the Constitution : "No Senator or Representa-hibited public officers from having a seat on this
tive shall, during the time for which he was floor, the same principle would apply to contrac-
elected, be appointed to any civil office under the lors. Had not a contractor the same liens on his
authority of the United States, which shall have mind, as if he received money as a public officer ?
been created, or the emoluments whereof shall He believed when they saw the practice of the
have been increased during such time; and no country so strongly enforcing this principle; when
; person holding any office under the United States they saw the public officers refraining from mak-

shall be a member of either House during his ing contracts with members of Congress, and
continuance in office." He feared that even in members refusing to accept of them from a con-
reading this clause, he could not be heard by every viction of its impropriety, it would not need argu-
gentleman ; but, it surely was not necessary to ment or eloquence io show that they should pro-
tell gentlemen that it was a fundamental principle vide by law against the possibility of a contrary
that no man should have a vote in creating any practice taking place.
office in which he would be interested. What was

Messrs. Southard and W. ALSTON suggested the case in making contracts ? Did they not vote the propriety of altering the phraseology of the almost daily large sums for contracts, and might resolution; for as it stood at present, if a person they not become participators in their profits? were employed to build a ship, and he should be And if this had not been the case heretofore, how elected a member of this House without his had they been restrained ? by the disposition of knowledge, the contract was void, and the public the officers of Government not to make contracts business would be arrested, and the man might be with members, and by the conviction of the mem- ruined. The same might be said of contracts for bers themselves, that it would be contrary to the carrying the mail of the United States. Suppose spirit of the Constitution. If this conviction did a person contracting to carry the mail from the not exist, the largest contractors in the nation City of Washington to New Orleans, were to be would be found in this House. If it were only to elected a member of this House, the contract guard against this principle of favoritism, he would be void, and the mail totally arrested. should perhaps have supported the proposed mea. When a man entered into a contract with the sure; but there was a Constitutional ground on United States, he gave security for his compliance which he wished to act. The Constitution had with the conditions of the contract; he is elected declared that the Representatives of the people a member of Congress, he has committed a breach should be pure. Was there not a door open here l of contract, and he and his securities must suffer

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JANUARY, 1808.

Naturalization Laws.

H. OF R.

a very heavy loss. On the other hand, if a man observed in this House; and after some time spent had received money in advance, he might avail therein, the Committee rose and reported their himself of his eleciion to a seat' in Congress to agreement to the same, with several amendments. vacate his contract.

The House proceeded to consider the amendments, Mr. Smilie suggested to the mover the pro- and ordered that the farther consideration of the priety of the Committee's now rising, reporting report and amendments be postponed until Friday assent to the first resolution, and asking leave that next. it might be refused to sit again on the others; as the first resolution embraced the principle, and the

TUESDAY, January 19. others went to detail, which could be as well accomplished in the bill.

Mr. Boyle presented a petition, in the French Mr. Macon said the introduction of this prin- language, and a translation of the same, from sunple was only intended to guard against the evils dry inhabitants of the Territory of Michigan, whose which might arise. Whilst they were pure was names are thereunto subscribed, praying that furthe time to guard against corruption. The ex-ther time may be allowed for making entries of ceptions which had been made were merely ver- claims to lands in the said Territory; and that bal. The only question in deciding on general such provision may be made as Congress in their resolutions of this kind was, whether the subject wisdom may deem proper, to grant to all persons was worthy the attention of the House. Would within the said Territory, titles in fee simple to any one say after hearing the provisions of the lands justly claimed by them, whether consisting Constitution which had just been read, that it was of one or more parcels; and, also, that an extennot aceording to the spirit of the Constitution, or sion may be made of the lands in the old settlethat it was not important that this body should ment, on the river Detroit, for the reasons therein be as pure as purity itself, and therefore that its specified.-Referred to the Committee on the Pubmembers should have no concern with the public

lic Lands. money? It was to be supposed that those officers

On motion of Mr. PARKE, who made contracts on the part of the United

Resolved, That the Committee on Public Lands States, would sufficiently guard them from eva- be instructed to inquire into the expediency of ansion ; but even granting all that had been con- nexing to the Vincennes district the tract of countended for, whether was it better that the United try purchased of the Piankeshaw tribe of Indians, States should lose the benefit of a good contract, on the thirtieth of December, one thousand eight or continue a contractor on this floor? There hundred and five; and that they have leave to could be no hesitation in deciding upon general report by bill, or otherwise. principles that they should in preference give up

Resolved, That the Committee on Public Lands The contract. He thought, however, that this be instructed to inquire into the expediency of anresolution need not be adopted, as the first con- nexing the lands that lie on the eastern part of the tained the principle, and this would be merely an district of Vincennes to the Jeffersonville district; instruction to the committee to whom the other and that they have leave to report by bill, or othwas referred.

erwise. Mr. Bassett moved that the Committee should

Mr.CHITTENDEN, from the committee appointed rise and report assent to the first, with a view of on the third ultimo, presented a bill, in further addimoving that they be discharged from the consid- tion to an act, entitled "An act to amend the Jueration of the remaining resolutions.

dicial system of the United States;" which was After some objections to the detail of the prop: Whole on Friday next.

read twice and committed to a Committee of the osition, from Messrs. Holland and Quincy, the Committee rose and reported the first resolution,

The SPEAKER laid before the House a letter from which was agreed to by the House, and referred the Secretary of the Treasury, transmitting a reto a committee of five members to bring in a bill. port prepared in pursuance of the “ Act regulating Mr. Newton moved for the order of the day on States;" also, the copy of a letter to him from the

the currency of the foreign coins in the United the report of the Committee of Commerce and Director of the Mint; which were read, and referManufactures on the memorial of merchants of Philadelphia, praying a modification of the em- further to prolong the continuance of the Mint at

red to the Committee of the Whole, on the bill bargo law. But before it was taken up, a motion to that

Philadelphia. effect being made, the House adjourned.

Mr.Newton, from the Committee of Commerce and Manufactures, presented a bill to erect a light

house on Point Judith, in the State of Rhode IslMONDAY, January 18.

and; which was read iwice and committed. An engrossed bill making making appropria

NATURALIZATION LAWS. tions for the support of Government, during the Mr. BURWELL begged leave to offer a resolution year one thousand eight hundred and eight, was to the consideration of the House, on the subject read the third time and passed.

of which it was not his intention now to make any The House resolved itself into a Committee observations; it was upon the subject of the natthe Whole on the report of the select commit-uralization laws of the United States. Upon extee appointed to prepare and report such standing amination of the Constitution, it would be found rules and orders of proceeding as are proper to be that Congress had now, since the 1st of January,

H. OF R.

Army and Navy-The Militia.

JANUARY, 1808.

1808, full power to act on the subject, and dispose

THE MILITIA. of it in such manner as the public good might require. It was now in their power to exclude for- into a Committee of the whole, on the bill more

On motion of Mr. M. Clay, the House went eigners from the country altogether, or admit them under such restrictions as might be deemed con- effectually to provide for the national defence by

the militia of the United States. sistent with the public interest. He therefore hoped the resolution would be agreed to, and give him The first section being read, as follows: an opportunity of introducing such a bill as he “ That all the militia of the United States, liable to contemplated, and on which the House might then do duty, over twenty-one and under - years of age, decide. The resolution is as follows:

shall be deemed and held in requisition, and called the Resolved, That a committee be appointed to inquire junior class of militia. And the President of the Uniinto the expediency of amending the act of Congress, ted States shall be, and he hereby is, authorized, on passed the 14th of April, 1802, entitled “ An act to es- the appearance of national danger, to order out the tablish an uniform rule of naturalization, and to repeal same, or any part thereof, to any part of the United the acts heretofore passed on that subject.”

States or their territories, for not more than one whole The resolution was agreed to, and Messrs. BUR- year at any one time. And whensocver a part of the WELL, Quincy, Macon, G. W. CAMPBELL, Smilie, said junior class shall, by the President of the United Fisk, and J. MONTGOMERY, were appointed the States, be called into actual service, such call shall comcommittee, with leave to report by bill, or other- mence with those that are lowest in number, as to age

first, and so in rotation: the same shall not be comwise.

pelled to do duty a second time until the whole of the ARMY AND NAVY.

said junior class shall have served one tour; and when On motion of Mr. Dawson, the House went shall be armed and equipped by the United States.

called into the actual service of the United States, they into Committee of the Whole, on the report of the For this purpose two hundred thousand stand of arms committee on our Military and Naval Establish- complete, shall be deposited in such places as the Presiments.

dent of the United States shall direct, and whensoevor The first resolution contained in the report, the whole, or any part of the said junior class of miliwhich provides for increasing the Army of the tia, shall be called into actual service by the United United States, being under consideration, States, and shall be armed and equipped by the same,

Mr. Dawson said it was not at this time intended it shall be lawful, and they, and each of them, are here-
to fill the blanks in the resolution, which would be by permitted to retain the said arms and accoutrements,
the subject of the bill ; but, as the details of such a as their own property, any law to the contrary not-
bill would require considerable time, he hoped the withstanding.'
Committee would immediately agree to pass the Mr. M. Clay said it was necessary to fill the

blank in the first section, before they proceeded The second resolution, which provides for the any further, and it was incumbent on those who increase of the Marine corps, being under consid- were friends to this project, to show, that there eration,

were defects in the militia law as it now stood; Mr. Dawson said, the same observation would and, if they could prove to the House that the apply to this

, to which, if the House would agree, system offered was better than the old one, he he should not call up the third, (for increasing the presumed there could be no objection to the bill Navy of the United States) but he would offer a under consideration. At all events he wished fourth resolution. A law had been passed for the gentlemen to take a serious view of the subject; erection of a large number of gunboats, thirty of it was a great national question, on which the which he was informed were ready for service, salvation of the country depended. He would and no provision made for a single sailor to man endeavor to bring forward the best testimony that them. It was known that the seamen in some of could be had to prove that the present system was the Northern ports were much discontented from defective, and he hoped he should be able to do it. being out of employ. In this state of things, he I will commence with the adoption of the Conhoped no objection would be made to employ such stitution under which we are now acting. We a number of men as should be necessary for the find that President Washington always kept this public service. He therefore moved the follow- subject in the view of the National Legislature. ing resolution :

This shows that there was something in his opinResolved, That it is expedient to authorize the Pres- ion to do; it was not his business to tell us what ident of the United States to employ on board the gun- it was, bút ours to find out. If gentlemen will boats such additional number of seamen, not exceeding take up the Presidential communications from the

-, as in his opinion the public service may require. commencement of the Government, they will find

These resolutions being agreed to without de- that the subject has been uniformly recommended bate, the Committee rose and reported them to the by each successive President of the United States House, when the first was agreed to—ayes 66; the to the present time. I state this as a strong evisecond, without a division; the third, ayes 64; and dence that, in their opinion, a change was wantreferred to the same committee who reported them, ing somewhere. Next to this I will call your to bring in a bill or bills.

atiention to the communications made from the Leave was obtained for the Committee to sit State Executives to their Legislatures. We find again on the resolution relative to an increase of also, that the State Legislatures, almost every the Navy-ayes 61.

year, and in every session, have had the subject

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