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Removal of the Seat of Government.


peculiar felicity by the gentleman from New day, which was ordered to lie on the table, in York, (Mr. GARDENIER.) They were, indeed, the words following, to wit: very safe from the evils of a populous city, so long Resolved, That two other members be added to the as they remained at Washington.

committee called “the Committee of the District of It had been said that the Legislature, if in a Columbia.” commercial city, might be unduly influenced by And the same being twice read, was on the commercial men. Mr. B. would invert the argu- question put thereupon, disagreed to by the House. ment. He imagined that the inhabitants of the

The following Message was received from the city would be beneficially influenced by the Le- PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED States: gislature. Erroneous sentiments might be more To the House of Representatives of the United States : easily corrected, and true statements of facts more

In my Message of January twentieth, I stated that generally presented to the public. For proof of

some papers forwarded by Mr. Daniel Clark of New this, he would adduce a late important occurrence Orleans, to the Secretary of State, in one thousand in the town of Boston. A petition had been pre- eight hundred and three, had not then been found in sented to the Selectmen, purporting to be signed the office of State ; and that a letter bad been adby a large number of seamen, complaining that dressed to the former Chief Clerk, in the hope that he they were out of employment, and in a state of might advise where they should be sought for. By extreme penury and distress. The Legislature of indications received from him they are now found. Massachusetts, who then happened to be in ses- Among them are two letters from the Baron de Caronsion, directed an inquiry to be made into the case, delet, to a officer serving under him at a separate post; and it appeared, on inquiry, that few of the sea in which his views of a dismemberment of our Union men could be found, and the petition was base are expressed. Extracts of so much of these letters as imposition on the public.

are within the scope of the resolution of the House, are It had been contended that this was a very im- now communicated. With these were found the letproper time for removal. He, in reply, conceived ters written by Mr. Clark, to the Secretary of State, in that this crisis of our national affairs called for a

one thousand eight hundred and three. A part of one removal. In the city of Philadelphia, the opera enclosed for the information of the House. In no part

only of these relates to this subject, and is extracted and tions of war could be more effectually directed, of the papers communicated by Mr. Clark, which are and our fiscal concerns better managed. He therefore thought this the very period for remov. letters, have we found any intimation of the corrupt

voluminous, and in different languages, nor in his ing the Government.

receipt of money by any officer of the United States, Mr. Love, of Virginia, had hoped that the ques- from any foreign agent. As to the combinations with tion would be taken without debate; for the more foreign agents for dismembering the Union, these it is discussed, the more unfit is the House for the papers and letters offer nothing which was not probably discussion of any other subject. But he conceived known to my predecessors, or which could call anew himself called upon to support, in reply to what for inquiries, which they had not thought necessary to had been said on the other side, the impropriety institute, when the facts were recent, and could be of removing the Government. He then went at better proved. They probably believed it best to let length into a discussion of the subject, and sup. pass into oblivion transactions, which, however culpaported the objections which he had urged on a ble, had commenced before this Government existed, former day.

and had been finally extinguished by the treaty of one The House adjourned, without taking the thousand seven hundred and ninety-five. question.


The said Message, and the papers accompany. THURSDAY, February 4.

ing the same, were read, and ordered to lie on the Mr. POINDEXTER presented a representation of table. the Legislative Council and House of Repre

On motion of Mr. NEWTON, sentatives of the Mississippi Territory of the Uni- Resolved, That the Committee of Commerce ted States, stating various matters for the consid- and Manufactures be instructed to inquire into eration of Congress, relating to the acts for the the necessity of making a proper disposition of sale of lands belonging to the United States in the charts of the coast of North Carolina, pubthe said Territory; to the right of suffrage within lished in conformity with a resolution which the same; to the appointment of commissioners passed the second of March, one thousand eight to lease, for a limited time, the section of land hundred and seven. granted for the use of Jefferson College, in the said Mr. Clinton presented a representation of Territory; to a free navigation of the Mobile and Thomas Paine, stating various services performed Tombigbee rivers, and to an extinguishment of by him for the United States, during the Revothe Indian title to the lands in the Yazoo country; lutionary war with Great Britain; and praying and praying that such measures may be adopted that Congress will take the same into consideraby the Legislature of the United States as will tion, and grant him such compensation therefor, tend to promote the general interest of the people as to their wisdom and justice shall seem meet.of the Territory aforesaid-Referred to the Com. Referred to the Committee of Claims. mittee on the Public Lands.

The bill sent from the Senate, entitled "An On motion of Mr. Love, the House proceeded act to revive and continue certain causes and to consider a resolution proposed by him yester- proceedings in the District of Columbia," was


Removal of the Seat of Government.

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read twice and ordered to be read the third time rights. Can the place flourish in such circumto-morrow.

stances ? It is impossible. The people here hang The bill sent from the Senate, entitled "An act on the Government; they expect to live on the to provide for the payment of certain expenses in-Government. Our time is taken up in legislatcurred in the inquiry into the conduct of Johning for them; we must even repair their roads Smith, a Senator from the State of Ohio," was and bridges. Let the subject be coinmitted, and read twice and committed to a Committee of the receive a fair discussion, in the usual way. Whole on Monday next.

Mr. Van HORNE, of Maryland, said, he would

not now enter into the discussion; but he would REMOVAL OF THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT. briefly reply to the gentleman from New York.

The House resumed the consideration of the He says that this District has no rights; he would, resolution offered by Mr. Sloan, for the removal also, by his conduct, say that they should have of the seat of Government to Philadelphia. no property. If this city is abandoned, the State

Mr. Lewis, of Virginia, said, his object in mov- of Maryland is not bound to receive it, and, I ing an indefinite postponement, was to obtain an trust, would not receive it. Every disposition of immediate decision, but not, as had been said, the human heart ought to excite the members of to preclude discussion. But, as some gentlemen the House to make a speedy decision. It is said who concurred with him thought it best, ke would some great and responsible officer of the Governwithdraw that motion, with a hope that the ques- ment has stated that $150,000, or $200,000, a year tion would now be taken on the resolution itself. may be saved by a removal. I should be glad to

Mr. Sloan, of New Jersey, immediately rose bave him named to the House; I should be glad i to move that the resolution take the usual course, to know who among the officers of Government and be referred, like all other important subjects, is intriguing for a removal to Philadelphia He to a Committee of the Whole. There had, he conjured the House to decide speedily whether said, been attempts made to harass, to intimidate they were for or against the resolution ; for a dethose who had brought forward this resolution, lay of the subject would almost have the effect of and whose views were as pure as the crystal a removal. stream. It had been said that he was actuated Mr. Masters said, the city had been declining by base motives. I trust, said he, that the num- ever since Congress came here, and even before ber of those is small who expect to terrify us. It that time. He knew a gentleman from the State is not the first time in which my life has been of New York, who had laid out $40,000 in this threatened for doing what I conceive to be my city, and the property was now not worth five duty. As I was coming to the House this morn- hundred dollars. ing, I was insulted by a parcel of boys, who cried Mr. Van Horne, in reply, stated that there were out: “ There goes the damned old Quaker rascal, six thousand souls in this city. All the houses who ought to be hung.” This was by boys, who which have been finished, are inhabited. Propwere old enough to know better. He concluded, erty has fallen in some places, and risen in others. with moving that the resolution be referred to a But one great reason why the city does not flour, Committee of the Whole, and made the order of ish, is, that a man caunoi find a lot here to purthe day for next Monday two weeks, when he chase; for the lots have been so often sold and pledged himself to show the reasons that induced mortgaged, and been so long in the law, that the him to bring forward the subject.

real owner cannot be discovered. Mr. Lyon, of Kentucky, thought the insult of- Mr. Taylor, of South Carolina, opposed the fered to Mr. Sloan, ought to occupy the first motion of commitment. It has been said that, by attention of the Government. He was unwilling a removal we can economise. I deny it. But are to sit here a single moment without taking some we to go a begging, and, like old King Lear, to notice of it.

live with one of our daughters, who can, at any Mr. MASTERS, of New York, was in favor of time, kick us out of doors. You have heard no the commitment. He had heard it said that the complaiuts; po petitions for a removal have been Government could be supported much cheaper at laid on the table. some other place, and wished a due inquiry might Is this the time, when you are buffeted by the be made. The Government has been here seven nations, when you may be compelled by the exyears. What is the commerce and the tonnage igencies of the country to borrow millions, is this of this place?. It is said this place ought to have the time to violate the national faith? is this the the preference to Philadelphia. Look at the com- time to agitate a question of this sort ? I wish no merce of that city, its manufactures, and its tale of your faith's being violated. If your hands wealth. When Congress were insulted at that are to be untied in respect to the fourteen or fifplace, it was at the close of the Revolutionary teen millions here, let us not go to work by halves, war, and before its police was formed. Will any let us get rid of the fifty millions of our national man say its police is not now good ? Besides, at debt. There is the same material principle in this place, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. both cases. Sloan) has been insulted for only bringing this As to the place, Philadelphia, I will say nothing resolution before the House. This fact furnishes about its being unhealthy. I will only say that the strongest reason for our going away.

the advocates of this measure do not tell us where We have been told that the citizens of this we are to go, when we get there; whether we place have been disfranchised ; that they have no shall meet in the streets or on the house-tops. I

H. OF R.
Removal of the Seat of Government.

FEBRUARY, 1808. hope we shall not decide to go, without knowing be paralyzed. He did not believe that such would where to go.

be ihe result of continuing the question until a The gentleman from New York (Mr. GARDE-fair discussion could be obtained. He was in posNIER) speaks of his martyrdom in staying here. session of a fact which proved that no possible He looks well. It must be a suffering of the mind. proceeding, on the part of the House, could preBut what will he think, when he has laid the vent improvements here. ploughshare to the city, fixed by his great Wash- A neighbor of mine, said Mr. K., bought a lot ington, whom those of his way of thinking claim in this city, for which he gave about four hunexclusively as their own. When he also consid- dred dollars. A tax, of which he was ignorant, ers those ladies in the galleries, whom he is leav- of ninety cents, was due at the time of the puring, his martyrdom will be doubled and trebled, chase. On account of this tax the lot was sold, He hoped that those who, for some years, bad and produced but sixty-five cents, and the furprophecied instability in the National Councils, ther improvement of this place was, then, at an would not, by their conduct, assist in verifying end. their own prophecies, and afterwards urge it as a

The motion to commit the resolution to a Comcomplaint against the Government. There is, said Mr. T., another subject of deli- mittee of the Whole, was further supported by

Messrs. Bacon, Fisk, LIVERMORE, ALEXANDER, cate consideration, but which deserves to be men and Bibb; and opposed by Messrs. J. Rhea, of tioned. I believe that there is, in Philadelphia, Tennessee, HOLLAND, and Macon. The quesJess sympathy than in either New York or Bos- tion was finally taken by yeas and nays, and reton, for a certain subject, in which the Southern solved in the negative-yeas 61, nays 63, as folStates are deeply interested. When formerly lows: there, one Warner Mifflip, and his associates, continually kept Congress in hot water, by teasing w. Bibb, John Blake, jr., Robert Brown, Epaphrodi

YEAS-Evan Alexander, Ezekiel Bacon, William and pestering them with something about slavery. tus Champion, Martin Chittenden, Matthew Clay, SamThey had no regard to our feelings.

uel W. Dana, John Davenport, jr., Daniel M. Durell, Mr. Blount, of North Carolina, was astonished James Elliot, William Ely, William Findley, James that the friends of the resolution should want more Fisk, Barent Gardenier, Francis Gardner, Edwin Gray, time. They had been three months preparing John Harris, John Heister, William Hoge, Reuben this subject. He had himself heard, a month Humphreys, Robert Jenkins, James Kelly, Edward St. ago, the mover of the resolution say that he Loe Livermore, Matthew Lyon, Josiah Masters, Wilthought of bringing it forward, and he understood liam Milnor, Daniel Montgomery, jr., Thomas Moore, some doubts were entertained, whether the Pres. Jonathan 0. Mosely, Gurdon 8. Mumford, Thomas ident would sign a bill for this purpose. The Newbold, Timothy Pitkin, jr., John Porter, Josiah friends of the measure had been long deliberating Quincy, John Rea of Pennsylvania, Jacob Richards, how to bring forward the subject, and they had Matthias Richards, Samuel Riker, John Rowan, John when some members, hostile to the measure, might Clement Storer, Lewis B. Sturges, Peter Swart, Samthought of waiting until the close of the session, Russell, Lemuel Sawyer, James Sloan, John Smilie,

Jedediah K. Smith, Samuel Smith, William Stedunan, be gone. If this resolution is adopted, I shall, when I go home, think it my duty to tell my con- Jabez Upham, Nicholas Van Dyke, Killian K. Van

uel Taggart, Benjamin Tallmadge, John Thompson, stituents they can have no further confidence in Rensselaer, Robert Whitehill, Isaac Wilbour, Alexanthe Goveroment. I will agree to sit here night der Wilson, and James Witherell. and day, until the question is determined, and shall vote against every adjournment.

Nars-Lemuel J. Alston, Willis Alston, jr., David

Bard, Joseph Barker, Burwell Bassett, Wm. BlackMr. Sloan called on the gentleman last up to ledge, Thomas Blount, John Boyle, William A. Burprove, by one respectable witness, that he had well, William Butler, Joseph Calhoun, George W. ever said he doubted whether the President would Campbell, John Campbell, John Chandler, John Clopsigo a bill for removing the Government. He ton, Howell Cobb, Richard Cutts, John Dawson, Josihad always said, he believed the President would ah Deane, Joseph Desha, John W. Eppes, Meshack not counteract the wishes of the people.

Franklin, James M. Garnett, Charles Goldsborough, Mr. Blount replied that, when the gentleman Peterson Goodwyn, Isaiah L. Green, William Helms, from New Jersey obtained his information from Daniel Ilsley, Richard M. Johnson, Walter Jones, Thos.

James Holland, David Holmes, Benjamin Howard, a great officer of the Government, he pledged Kenan, Philip B. Key, William Kirkpatrick, John himself to prove hy that officer the truth of what Lambert, Joseph Lewis, jr., Edward Lloyd, John Love, he had said.

Nathaniel Macon, Robert Marion, Wm. McCreery, Mr. Kelly, of Pennsylvania, supported the pro- John Montgomery, Jeremiah Morrow, John Morrow, priety of committing the resolution, and giving it Thomas Newton, Wilson C. Nicholas, John Rhea of à fair discussion, in the usual way. He conceived Tennessee, Ebenezer Seaver, Dennis Smelt, John it necessary that more information relative to the Smith, Henry Southard, Richard Stanford, John Tay. subject should be obtained, before the House pro- lor, Abram Trigg, George M. Troup, James I. Van ceeded to give a final decision.

Allen, Archibald Van Horne, Daniel C. Verplanck, It had been said that the question might be Jesse Wharton, Marmaduke Williains, and Richard

Winn. compared to daggers, suspended by a hair, over the heads of the people in this District ; that prop- On motion, the Committee rose, and the House erty would fall in value, and every improvement, then adjourned.

Removal of the Seat of Government.

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FRIDAY, February 5.

Mr. Nicholas said, the expense at Philadelphia Mr. Holmes, from the Committee of Claims, to would not be greater than here, except in particwhom were referred, on the twenty-sixth ultimo, ular points, into which he trusted an inquiry would two petitions, one of Matthew Smith and Darius not be made. They had already been four days Gates of East Haddam, in the State of Connecti- deliberating on the main question, and the mind cut, the other of the said Darius Gates, presented of every gentleman must be made up on the suba bill for the relief of Matthew Smith and Da-ject. rius Gates, jointly, and Darius Gates, separately;

Mr. Rhea, of Tennessee, moved to postpone this which was twice read and committed to a Com-resolution till tomorrow. mittee of the Whole on Monday, the fifteenth in- Mr. Taylor said, if any information for the instant.

struction of the House in deciding the main quesMr. Lyon, submitted the following resolution : tion could be acquired by this resolution, he should Resolved, That a Committee of Privileges be ap-resolution were to produce information of a sav

most willingly agree to adopt it; but, even if this pointed, with power to inquire what measures, if any, are necessary to secure to the members of the National ing of $120,000 or $150,000, (which gentlemen Legislature the privileges appertaining to them by the had positively asserted, and which he as positively Constitution; which committee shall have power to denied,) he should not be influenced by it. We report by bill, or otherwise.

are now, said he, in the situation of Athens, when The resolution was read, and ordered to lie on Themistocles proposed to the Assembly that he the table.

had a project most beneficial to the community, Mr. Newton, from the Committee of Com- but on which it was improper to address them merce and Manufactures, reported a resolution in publicly; but, if they would appoint a committee the form of a concurrent resolution of the two or name a person, he would tell his project to that Houses, to authorize the disposition of certain committee or that person, and upon this report charts of the coast of North Carolina ; which was the Athenians mighi decide. They chose Aristiread, and, on motion of Mr. MILNOR, referred to des. The two great men conferred together-and a Committee of the Whole on Monday next.

what was the project? To seize the Grecian fleet,

then in the harbor of Athens, by which the AtheREMOVAL OF THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT. nians might secure the predominance over the

On motion of Mr. Nicholas, the House resumed Grecian States. Aristides, in making his report the consideration of a resolution proposed by to his countrymen, observed that indeed the proMr. Sloan, on the second instant, for a removal ject might be beneficial to his country, but that it of the seat of Government of the United States was most unjust. For this very decision of this to the city of Philadelphia ; and the said resolu- great man he obtained the surname of " The Just.” tion being again read in the words following, to Although this title were given to the individual, wit:

the honor and credit was greater to the Assembly Resolved, That it is expedient, and the public good which he addressed. That same inconsistent, requires, that the seat of Government be removed to wavering, democratic society, which we hear só the city of Philadelphia for - years; and that a often denounced, at once gave a decided negative committee be appointed to bring in a bill for that pur- to the proposition. From the observations made pose.

yesterday; from the observations addressed to the Mr. MASTERS offered the following resolution, feelings of members on the floor; from the anxiwhich the House agreed to consider-56 to 49: ous countenances by which we have been and now

Resolved, That a committee be appointed to inquire are surrounded; we have at last come to the single into the loss or gain to the Treasury of the United States, proposition, Will it be just ?-will it be consistprovided the seat of Government should be removed ient with good faith? If it will not be just, why from the City of Washington.

make the inquiry ?-why ask if the various stateMr. Love opposed the motion, on account of ments which have been made are true? I hope the delay which the passage of it would occasion the present proposition will not be adopted-that to the progress of the main question of removal. the subject will have an end, with that delibera

Mr. Leon supported it, from a desire for the tion and prompt decision on it which this House inquiry; the result of which, he had no doubt, owes to the community, to itself, to the individuwould do away with many false estimates on the als awaiting our decision, and to the major part subject.

of the people of the United States, whose feelings Mr. Dawson had no objection, if he thought the are sensibly alive to our proceedings. resolution would produce information; but, inde- Mr. Masters withdrew his resolution, as he had pendently of its being out of the power of the De- not expected to cause a discussion by moving it. partments to make the estimate, there was now on The House having taken up for consideration the files of the House, and in the printed reports, Mr. Sloan's resolution for the removal of the seat an exact account of the expenses of removal from of Government to Philadelphia, the city of Philadelphia, from which an estimate Mr. Sloan withdrew his resolution, and might be formed of the expense of moving back. Mr. BLOUNT renewed the motion. He did not

Mr. Masters said the gentleman had mistaken renew it because he intended to vote for it, but the object of the resolution; it went not to inquire because it was important, since it had been agiinto the expense of the removal, but into the com- tated, that it should be decided; and because, since parative expense of Government at each place. yesterday, another meeting (caucus) had been held

10th Con. Ist Sess.-50

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Removal of the Seat of Government.


by the friends of the measure, to determine on the Mr. W. ALSTON could readily conceive that course proper to be pursued. He had said yester- gentlemen possessing the same sentiments as the day, and he would repeat it to-day, that the adop- gentleman from Connecticut could vote, as that tion of this resolution would be a most flagrant gentleman had done, for a reference; but genileviolation of the faith of the nation. If it should men who could not be induced to vote for a remonow be adopted, he would immediately lay upon val under any circumstances would vote as Mr. A. the table a resolution to repeal the Funding sys- did-against it. This, said Mr. A., is my situatem-not to vote for it himself, but to quiet the tion. No arguments could have influenced me in fears of the people, which would be excited by voting for a removal, and therefore I should give such a measure. He was yesterday, and now, de- my vote against it in any shape. This question prived of saying much that he very much wished has been discussed in various ways, but the refuto say on this subject, by a severe pain in the head. sal 10 refer yesterday decided the principle that

Mr. Dana wished, if it were designed to repeal there was a majority of the House against remothe Funding system, that a resolution should be val on any principle whatever. The vote for comlaid on the table for that purpose, and that both mitment having been negatived by a small mathe resolutions should be referred to a committee jority, might induce a belief that but a few were for discussion. I confess, for my own part, said against removal. For this reason, it is proper to Mr. D., that I am not perfectly satisfied of the pro- show the sense of the House by an immediate priety of removing the seat of Government; and decision of the resolution, as well as to settle the when the question comes I shall vote against it, question—to put the matter to rest and prevent because I would not vote for any positive meas- agitation of the public mind; for no question could ure without being satisfied of its propriety. But, be discussed which could agitate the public mind as to all this noise-this talking of the breach of equally with this. He therefore hoped it would faith, of the public debt, and these menaces to in- be decided. dividuals they do not influence me. We are not Mr. GARDENIER rose to inquire whether the sent here by our constituents several hundred miles motion was in order. In introducing the resoluto be controlled or influenced to deviate from the lion, the gentleman had said he should vote against ordinary course by the feelings or displeasure of it himself; it was therefore introduced, not for the those interested in this District. If this operated purpose of being carried, but for the purpose of in any way, it would induce me to vote for remov- taking up the time of the House uselessly; and ing the seat of Government, because the attempt he submitted it to the Speaker, whether a motion to control the freedom of deliberation is not to be was in order, when the mover of it declared he tolerated. The correct course for every individ- should himself vote against it-whether it was not ual, is, not to suffer his mature or better judgment inconsistent with the honor and dignity of the to be influenced by such considerations. Not be- House. In this Hall, no proposition should be ing perfectly satisfied on the subject, I wished to submitted which the mover does not mean to pergive it a fair discussion. This was my opinion. sist in; nor should any member be permitted to I should vote for the reference of any motion on introduce a motion calculated uselessly to consume general principle, and give any subjeci a fair dis- the time of the House. Was it in order ? cussion in the usual course, except it were so pal- Mr. Macon asked whether the House had agreed pably wrong that no man of sense or information to consider the motion ? Mr. M. objected to the could support it. I was not at liberty to refuse a waste of time which would be occasioned by this reference to this on this ground, from a knowledge motion, if the House agreed to consider it-not of its advocates. As gentlemen wish a decision that he was one of those who thought they wasted on this question, my own vote will be against time when they did nothing: as he thought, the removal, because I have not been convinced of its less they legislated the better. If the House had propriety. As to the breach of public faith, this not agreed to consider, he hoped they would not. argument does not influence me. I do not consider The SPEAKER first decided the question of the that there is a Constitutional injunction against gentleman from New York, stating there had oco removal. I consider it as an honorary pledge of curred in this session an instance in which a genthe public faith, which constitutes, not a perfect tleman from Virginia (Mr. Randolpa) made a obligation, as in case of debt, but an imperfect ob- motion, against which he had declared at the time ligation-a case of estimation and uncertainty. of making it that he himself should vote. This I would rather cherish a caution as respects devi- motion was, therefore, in order. He then said the ation from the course of public faith-would rather House had not yet agreed to consider the motion. err from excessive scrupulousness than from too Several gentlemen rising to speak, much laxity. This is my view of the subject. The The Speaker declared that debate on this mo. real question is one on which gentlemen of inform- tion was inadmissible. ation, ability, and unsullied integrity, may well The question on considering Mr. Sloan's resodiffer; it takes in so many questions-geograph. lution, as renewed by Mr. Blount, was then negical, political, and moral—ihat we may well differ; atived-yeas 51, nays 68, as follows: and its being an imperfect obligation renders it a YEAS—David Bard, Joseph Barker, Burwell Bassett, peculiarly difficult question. The arguments in William Blackledge, Thomas Blount, John Boyle, Wilfavor of the removal not having been sufficient to liam A. Burwell, Joseph Calhoun, George W. Campsatisfy my mind, I shall vote against it

, from my bell, John Campbell

, John Chandler

, John Clopton, present impressions.

Richard Cutts, John Dawson, Josiah Deane, Joseph

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