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JANUARY, 1808.

Maryland Contested Election.

H. of R.

conceived that an inquiry ought to be had in this ing proof that could be adduced is my election to matier, as, were it true, it would certainly be a a seat in this honorable body. disqualification ; be therefore moved that the Mr. Macon did not think this the proper way Committee should rise, for the purpose of recom- of getting at the proposed inquiry. He was opmitting the report.

posed to blending the two cases together in decidMr. Key rose to second the motion of the gen- ing on the title of the gentleman from Maryland tleman from Vermont: it was his wish that a to his seat in the House. There was one quescharge insinuated privately should be examined tion now before the House; by uniting the ocher publicly. He himself had never concealed the with it, it might produce an improper bias on the foibles or follies of his early life ; but he had, ever mind of the House. A report was now made, since he came into the councils of his country, and could be decided on, but if recommitted, the relinquished all claim to any imaginary rank, and two distinct questions would be perplexed by beto any profit which he had derived from a foreign ing joined together. It was a rule, in justice to Government. He was convinced that the mode a sitting member, that decisions should be diswhich had been adopted, of attacking him by in- tinctly had on the specific facts stated by the persinuations, was peculiarly fatal; like the wound sons contesting his election. of the poisoned dart, which, though it heals to Mr. Bacon said that the gentleman from North appearance, in time inflicts a certain death. Carolina (Mr. Macon) had probably stated, with Messrs. Dana and Smilte supported the motion, House usually hold themselves bound in cases of

correctness, the general principles on which the for the purpose of investigating the allegation.

this sort. That the reason why they usually conMr. GARDENIER opposed it.

fine themselves to the case stated by the ComMr. Key said, as these assertions had been mittee of Elections on the specific grounds of obmade, it was surely incumbent on the House to jection which had been laid before them by those examine into the facts, for, were the allegations who came forward to contest the election of a true, it would be good ground on which to vacate sitting member, was from a principle of justice his seat. It was true that, when a person was to the member whose seat was in question, in once declared entitled to a seat, it required two- order that he might not be surprised by objections tbirds of the House to expel him, but he would which he could have had no fair opportunity to never take shelter under this provision. If a ma-meet; but as this rule was adopted only from a jority of the House thought he was not entitled regard to the rights of the sitting member, it could to his seat, he would not hold it for a moment; not surely be improper for the House to depart but he wished that the matter should be investi- from it, when they had the consent of that memgated immediately, that the House might decide ber to do so. What was the state of the case now whether or not he was entitled to his seat; for, before the House ? The gentleman from Verthe impressions against him being removed, they mont states, in his place, that he had been informcould, without bias, decide whether or not he was, ed from a source which, in his mind, entitled it according to the report of the committee, duly to credit, that a fact existed in relation to the genelected. He was, therefore, in favor of the Com- tleman from Maryland who claimed a seat, which mittee rising, 10 give an opportunity for investi- was not stated in the report of the Committee of galion; he cared not for the mode of inquiry Elections, but which would have a governing inwhich should be afterward adopted. He under-Auence in determining the right of the member to stood that this matter had been hinted at in the retain his seat. This fact was denied by the latCommittee of Elections, but had been there aban- ter, and an inquiry into the truth of it was solidoned for the want of foundation for the report. cited by him. Certainly, then, the House could He had heard it asserted that, when Mr. Monroe not do justice either to themselves or the sitting arrived, documents were expected to be received member, without giving an opportunity for such to prove the existence of such a fact. He knew inquiry; and if there was, as had been suggested, that Mr. Monroe had been written to, and during any departure from the customary course of prothe contest preceding Mr. K.'s election it had ceeding in the mode proposed by the gentleman been industriously, circulated and reiterated at from Vermont, it was with the consent and desire every meeting against him. Mr. M. bad returned of all the parties concerned, and it was a well from England, and had passed some time in this known and correct maxim that consent took away city, yet nothing had fallen from him to contra- | error ; he was, therefore, in favor of the motion dict the denial of these assertions which Mr. K. now before the Committee. had made. His constituents knew the very cir- After some observations from Messrs. QUINCY cumstances of the follies of his early life, and his and Lyon in favor of the rising of the Committee, enemies had represented to them that having been in the course of which Mr. Lyon observed that opce, twenty years ago, in the British army, he sixteen months had elapsed, in which time, had was not a proper person to represent them. The there been truth in the report, the opponents of people scouted the idea, said Mr. K.; they knew the sitting member would have collected evidence me from my infancy, and knew my follies; but I in proof of it, and would have come forward on had returned to my country, like the prodigal son that ground to contest his electionto his father, bad felt as an American should feel, Mr. Dawson said, that the name of Mr. Monwas received, forgiven, and restored to the confi-roe being mentioned on this floor by the gentledence of the people, of which the most convinc-man from Maryland, (Mr. Key,) in order, he pre

H. OF R.

Classification of the Militia.

JANUARY, 1808.

sumed, to have some bearing on this question, or B. Key. After some time spent therein the Comto make some impression on this House, he deem- mittee rose, and were refused leave to sit agaio. ed it proper in him to state a fact. When Mr. Ordered, That the Committee of the Whole be Monroe was in this city, said Mr. D., I had a con- discharged from farther consideration, and that versation with him on this subject, in which he the said report be recommitted to the Committee stated that, while in London, he received one or of Elections, farther to consider and report there. more letters requesting him to make an inquiry on to the House. at the proper office relative to Mr. Key's situa

THE MILITIA. tion with the British Government; but considering it not within his official duties, and for rea- On motion of Mr. Clay, the House went into sons conclusive in his judgment, he declined so to

a Committee of the Whole on the bill for classing do: that he never did make the inquiry, and was the militia. Mr. Clay's motion for filling the totally uninformed on the subject. Mr. D. said, blank with “twenty-six” being yet under considhe had thought it due to Mr. Monroe and to jus- eration. tice to make this statement, lest an erroneous im

Mr. Chandler moved to fill it with “lwenty• pression should be made on the House.

nine” years. Negatived-yeas 5. Messrs. Desha, SLOAN, GARDENIER, Rusa, and The question was then taken on Mr. Clay's HOLLAND, supported the motion for the rising of motion and carried, 41 to 36. the Committee, that an investigation might be

Mr. SOUTHARD moved to strike out the first had to do away unfavorable impressions from the section, (virtually to reject the bill,) in order to existing report to the prejudice of Mr. Key. try the sense of the House ou the principle of clasMr. GARDENIER contended that every person

sification. was eligible to a seat in this House, except ex

Messrs. HOLLAND, NICHOLAS, Macon, Clay, pressly disqualified by the Constitution. Now, and CHANDLER, supported the general principle There was nothing in the Coostitution which dis of classification ; Messrs. SouthARD, KELLY, Tallqualified a person from being elected a member Madge, and Quincy, opposed it. on account of his receiving a pension from a for- When the Committee rose without taking the eign Government: so that, even were the report question, and the House adjourned till Monday. correct, it was not connected with the matter under consideration by the Committee of the Whole,

MONDAY, January 25. which simply was, whether Mr. Key was duly elected. With regard, however, to the feelings Mr. GEORGE W. CAMPBELL, from the Commitand prejudices of gentlemen, he should vote for tee of Ways and Means, presented a bill making the rising of the Committee, because, though the appropriations for the support of the Navy of the oretically right, he might be wrong, and perhaps United States, during the year one thousand eight he ought not always to adhere too closely to cor- hundred and eight; which was read twice and rect principles.

committed to a Committee of the Whole on WedAi this point the Committee rose, and had leave nesday next. to sit again.

On a motion made by Mr. Lewis, that the House do now proceed to the consideration of the amend

ments proposed by the Senate to the bill, entitled FRIDAY January 22.

"An act authorizing the erection of a bridge over On motion of Mr. MARMADUKE WILLIAMS, the river Potomac, within the District of Colum

Resolved, That a committee be appointed to in- bia ;" and the question being taken thereupon, quire into the expediency of passing a law to pun- it passed in the negative. ish any person holding an office of profit or trust, Ordered, That the said bill and amendments either civil or military, under the Government of do lie on the table. the United States, who shall receive money, or Mr. Newton, from the Committee of Commerce accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, and Manufactures, made a report unfavorable to from any King, Prince, or foreign State, without the memorial of the first and second chambers of the consent of Congress; and that they have leave the Council of the City of Washington, stating to report by bill or otherwise.

that the fees of the collector of the port of GeorgeOrdered, That Mr. MARMADUKE Williams, town, at present including Washington, do not Mr. LIVERMORE, Mr. Troup, Mr. John MORROW, sufficiently compensate him, inasmuch as he now Mr. DANIEL MONTGOMERY, Mr. DURELL, and Mr. receives $200 annually in addition from the pubVan Horn, be appointed a committee, pursuant lic Treasury; for which reason they have thought to the said resolution.

the prayer for the establishment of a port of entry A message from the Senate informed the House at Washington, unreasonable.- Ordered to lie on that the Senate have passed the bill, entitled "An the table, 46 to 36. act authorizing the erection of a bridge over the Mr. Chandler said, he wished to propose a river Potomac, within the District of Columbia,” resolution relating to the pay and emoluments of with several amendments; to which they desire the militia of the United States when called into the concurrence of this House.

actual service. The law at present existing on The House again resolved itself into a Com- this subject provided that the pay and clothing mittee of the Whole on the report of the Commit of the militia when called into actual service tee of Elections, relative to the election of Philip should be the same as that of the regular army.

JANUARY, 1808.

Naval Establishment.

H. OF R.

In the laws relative to the regular army, the Uni- phraseology had been established in the laws ted States having in their pay no officer higher heretofore passed on this subject. in rank than a Brigadier General, there was no Mr. Dawson.-I am not scrupulous as to the provision for compensation of a Major General particular form; nor is it material; my object is when called into service, or for a Brigade Inspector io procure seamen at this particular moment. or Quartermaster General. He, therefore, moved The committee did not consider the employment the following resolution, which was adopted, of these men as an addition to the peace estaband Messrs. CHANDLER, TallMADGE, J. Smith, lishment of the United States, as the gentleman BLOUNT, and Desha, appointed the committee: from North Carolina seemed to consider it. If

Resolved, That a committee be appointed to inquire the gentleman wishes to add them to the Naval whether any, and, if any, what alterations are neces- Establishment of the United States, his motion sary to be made in the law providing for the pay and might be necessary; but the opinion of the comclothing of the militia of the United States when called mittee was different, they considered it as a war into actual service, and that they have leave to report measure. by bill or otherwise.

Mr. Macon.-There is not the least fear that I NAVAL ESTABLISHMENT.

shall ever wish to increaseour Naval Establishment.

Everybody knows that I am opposed to the navy; Mr. Dawson, from the Committee to whom the I am not afraid of being called a navy man. I resolution on the subject had been referred, report- am aware that this phraseology has been used in ed a bill authorizing the President to employ an former laws; it originated with the twelve regiadditional number of seamen in the service of the ments. I was then opposed to it, aòd have been United States.-Read twice and referred to a ever since, and ever shall be. I am for giving to Committee of the Whole.

each department its proper share of responsibility. Mr. Dawson said, he need not impress upon To prevent this from being considered as a part the House the necessity of a speedy passage of of the Peace Establishment, if my amendment this bill, as there were many seamen now out of takes place, it will be easy to say at the end of employ, and several gunboats as yet unmanned; the bill that it is a war measure. My objection he, therefore, moved that it be made the order of is to the putting that responsibility on the Presithe day for this day. The motion was seconded dent which belongs to another department of the by Mr. Newton. Agreed to, nem. con.

Government. Every President may raise this On motion of Mr. Dawson, the further con- number of men under the law; I cannot tell what sideration of the bill for classing of the militia may happen. I do not want a Naval Establishwas postponed; and the House went into a Com- ment; but I am opposed to giving to the President mittee of the Whole, yeas 72, on the bill this day the power of raising an army of marines, or of reported authorizing the employment of an addi- any description whatever, with a discretionary tional number of seamen.

power to raise them or not. I wish to say absoA letter was offered from the Secretary of the lutely that they shall or shall not be raised; and Navy, and read, stating that the whole number of that Congress may say whether or not the public seamen authorized by the law amounts to 1,425; exigency requires their service. This discretion that 1,272 are required in addition to the present is what I have always thought wrong; and no establishment.

argument has ever convinced my mind to the The blank in the bill for the number to be contrary. employed was then filled with 1,272, without a Mr. Dana.-The argument of the gentleman division.

from North Carolina might have answered several The bill was gone through, and the question years back much better than at the present time; put that the Committee rise and report it. such arguments were then used. For several Mr. Macon.-It may be necessary to raise years past

, however, such arguments have not these men; but there is a principle contained in been urged according to former practice, when it this bill to which I can never consent. It gives was very strenuously urged that a discretionary the President a discretionary power; he may or power should not be vested in the President of may not raise these seamen as he pleases. I ob-ihe United States. The gentleman was pretty ject to it on another ground; it is a partial bill. correct about the origin of the practice; but really I always consider the President as required to it has been confirmed so often since, that it has put such a law as this into operation when he is now received the strongest sanctions. I think I authorized to do it; and I wish the law to be ex- have heard the gentleman himself lay it down as pressive of the intention.

a correct principle, that two decisions form a preMr. CHANDLER. I have no objection to leave cedent in any case. Since 1801, there have been the President to raise these men according to the more than two decisions on this point: so that exigency of the times; but I object to their being the gentleman must consider it correct in practice continued in service for a longer time than until if not in theory. When we come to examine the the next session of Congress. They should be subject, we shall find it to be correct on principle. continued in service as long as the 'exigency of If it be decided by the Legislature that certain the case may require, or till the end of the next troops shall be raised, it is either decided that session of Congress.

under present circumstances they may be raised, Mr. Newton differed with the gentleman from or that under a certain contingency they may be North Carolina on this subject; as the same raised. The execution of such a law is necessarily

H. OF R.

Naval Establishment.

JANUARY, 1808.

committed to the Executive authority. It is a practice is coming round to its former standard, fair exercise of our powers to say that such a and I shall be in the majority, and he in the mithing shall be done under such circumstances, and nority, whenever an authority is given it is in this dis- Mr. SmiļIE.- This is a subject which has herecretionary manner. We give the President a full tofore been warmly agitated. Taking the subject power to carry the law into effect or abstain from as it presents itsell, I think one reason why disit, if he chooses. In many cases it may not be cretionary powers should be vested, in some inproper to say that the President should or should stances, in Executive officers, is, that Legislatures not abstain from the execution of the law. Every cannot see what events may arise during the time species of military or naval force is but an instru- of their recess. Would it be better for the people ment for executing the laws. The authority given and the country to pass this law absolutely, that to the President in this case is not a general dele- these seamen shall be raised, when we do not gation of power, but merely entrusting him with know the circumstances which may arise, or that an instrument for the execution of our general the situation of our country may be such as to system of laws; for by the Constitution he is au- render such a force necessasy? On the other thorized to take care that the laws be executed by hand, may it not be necessary for them to be raispeaceable means if they can; but if not, by forci-ed while the Legislature is not in session ? I ble means. The whole force of the nation is should be sorry, if there were no necessity, that sometimes necessary for the execution of the laws; they should be raised; if there were a necessity, we, therefore, place at the disposal of the Presi- I should regret that they were not raised. The dent the whole force of the country, at the same Constitution does not restrict us on this point, or time saying that, if he does not want the whole, contain any provision one way or the other; but, he may abstain from using it, or take but a part. in point of economy and safely, the measure It is well known that we have given the President should be placed at the discretion of the Presiauthority even to suspend laws. For instance, dent. the non-importation law, over which we have Mr. Lyon said, he expected to be in the minorstumbled so often-even this law the President of ity on this question, as he had all along been, on the United States was authorized to suspend the the subject of complimenting the President with moment we passed it.

the powers vested in Congress. The Constitution Mr. Macon.-One word in reply. I think it had placed the power in Congress, of declaring very likely that I may have stated what the gen- war, raising and supporting armies, and providing tleman bas ascribed io me—that I consider two for the maintaining a navy. He had, under the decisions as forming a precedent. That is true former Administration, opposed the relinquishas to ordinary matters, but never on a Constitu- ment of those powers to the President, on Contional question. The passage of lwenty sedition stitutional ground. The Republicans universally laws would not convince me that it was a Con- opposed the relinquishment; he saw, and lamenistitutional exercise of power to pass such laws; ed to see, a strong disposition in the Republican nor, I suppose, if we were to repeal twenty judi- majority of the present House, to yield those ciary laws, would the gentleman from Connecti- powers particularly delegated to Congress, and to cut allow that we acted Constitutionally in so compliment the Executive department of the doing. Precedent cannot affect the construction Government, as he ever did in the Federal maof the Constitution. I have no expectation that jority, under the former Administration. This this force is intended to affect the execution of the he considered as another proof, among the many laws; such arrangement would be as well applied he had seen, that power makes men Tories. Mato a standing army of 100,000 men, or to a navy jorities will have an idol, to whom they will pay of fifty ships-of-the-line, as to these twelve hun-their adulation. But, why do gentlemen contend dred sailors. This is a subject on which I have for paying this compliment of their Constitutional often stated my opinion, and I may also tell gen- powers at this time, when there was the most tlemen that I never have found a majority of the evident necessity for employing the seamen consame opinion with myself on this point; but as templated by the bill ? If there was no other reaoften as a measure of ihis kind comes before us, son, he should be disposed to employ them during so often shall I make a similar motion, till i the time of the embargo, to keep them from going succeed.

to Nova Scotia, to get into the British service. Mr. DANA.-I am very glad that I referred to Mr. L. did not blame the Federalists for adherthe opinion of the gentleman from North Caro- ing to their old principles. The gentleman from lina, for the sake of the nice though just distinc-Connecticut had felicitated himself in having a tion he has made, though I do not recollect that majority under the former Administration on the gentleman's definition of precedent occurred these questions, and exulted in being now in the on a Constitutional question, but on the subject majority. This was not to be wondered at. But, of claims; for on that subject the gentleman is said Mr. L., it does not sit very well on my mind to peculiarly orthodox. It is competent for any gen- see gentlemen, with whom I formerly voted on ileman to call in question the constitutionality of this great Constitutional principle, turning their a measure; though I rather think the gentleman back upon their old arguments and principles. . I must now have the misfortune of being in the want to see gentlemen stick to their text, in fair minority. Of late he has generally been in the weather as in foul. majority, and I in the minority; but now the Mr. Cook said that, in many cases, a limited

JANUARY, 1808.

Naval Establishment.

H. OF R.

discretion must devolve upon the Executive. In they could find occupation in various other many cases, he had voted for vesting discretiona- modes. The gentleman from South Carolina bad ry powers, and in ao case had they been exceed- mentioned that these men should be employed in ed." The reason why he seconded the motion of throwing up fortifications. Mr. B. said, whoever the gentleman from North Carolina was, that knew the life of a seaman, must know at once there was an immediate necessity for raising that this was not the class of men to be employed these men, not only to guard and protect the in this way, if it were necessary; one million of country, but to employ so many men out of ser- dollars had been already appropriated, and Govvice. It was not necessary that he should here ernment would employ such men in the accomsay anything of the state of the minds of those plishment of the end as would be the most proper. men, which was such as to make it necessary that He could not subscribe to the doctrine that they they should be employed.

were to relieve this particular class of men, beMr. HOLLAND.—The present question is to raise cause they might suffer by the embargo. All men for manning the gunboats, as I understand must suffer, but they not more than others. If it

. We have, this very session, passed a law giv- the gentleman who had introduced the bill would ing the President a discretionary power to build show that this number of seamen were necessary, gunboats; if the erection of the gunboats is at in addition to the present number, he would vote his discretion, certainly the raising of men to man for the bill, but, until tbe gunboats were built, he them should also be discretionary.

saw no reason for employing such an additional The amendment proposed by Mr. Macon was number. With respect to the employment of now negatived by a considerable majority. seamen, all the corporations in the different sea

Mr. CHANDLER moved to strike out the words port towns had shown a disposition to provide for at the end of the bill, and insert "and may be them, and to ameliorate their condition. He did continued in service till the end of the next ses- not believe that, in the five or six weeks, since the sion of Congress, if the public exigency may re- imposition of the embargo, that so much distress quire the same."

could prevail among this class of people. He Mr. Ruea, of Tepnessee, called for a division knew, from the nature of their habits, that they of the question, taking it first on striking out.

were not generally prudent men; but he thought The question being so taken, was negatived.

it hardly possible that they could already suffer so Mr. TAYLOR asked the chairman of the Com: ation, why could they not apply to the various

much inconvenience. If they were in this situmittee whether there were not in the statute book dock-yards for employment? Was it possible regulations for the employment of these seamen? that the public agents would not give employment He thought the Government should be authorized in preference to this class of men? If they did to employ these men. not only on board gunboats not, they would deserve public reprobation. For or other vessels, but to aid in the erection of for these reasons, he hoped the House would not agree tifications, or in other business. He believed, unless some rule were now adopted, that they could to the number reported by the Committee of the only be employed in the line of duty as seamen. In some of the seaport towns, the public authori-ed to the report from the Secretary of the Navy,

Mr. Dawson said, if his colleague had attendties had employed seamen in other business than which had been read, he would have spared his the mere service of the sea.

observations. The Secretary of the Navy had Mr. Dawson said, these seamen were intended stated that thirty gunboats were prepared for serto be placed in the same situation as other sea- vice, except that they were not manned, and one men of the United States. If the gentleman thousand iwo hundred and seventy-two was the wished to render them liable to duty other than precise number of seamen wanting for service. on board of ships, he might bring in a bill for the They were wanted for the vessels now prepared purpose of amending the present naval system. for the defence of our ports and harbors. If they

The Committee then rose, and reported the bill were wanted, why should they not be employed ? as amended.

They were told, by the proper authority, that The question being put on concurring with the there were so many deficient; let them, then, be report of the Committee of the Whole for filling procured. the blank with 1.272

Mr. Masters said, he would much rather, iqMr. Burwell hoped the House would disagree stead of diminishing the number, increase it to to the number reported by the Committee. He three or four thousand. These men were a valuhad heard nothing from the chairman of the Com- able class of people; when in employ, exposed to mittee, or the gentlemen who had spoken on the the greatest hardships, forever tossing to and fro, subjeci, to prove to his mind that this number and, when out of employ, from the peculiarity of was necessary. The gentlemen had talked about their habits, prevented from acquiring a livelihood giving them employment and subsistence, as they any other way. His opinion was, that their situsuffered materially from the embargo. Mr. B. ation at this time required that they should be said it was the same with every class of citizens, employed. They were a distinct class of citizens, and as the necessity of the case had required the and, more than any other, subject to the pressure adoption of the measure, it ought to affect all of want during the continuance of the embargo. equally. They should not employ these men He could have wished the number to have been merely for the sake of employing them, because larger, though, as the question now presented

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