« ForrigeFortsett »
pointed out, and it was contended that the supply of arms for the United States ought to be of so certain a character as not to depend on the contingency of private contracts; that the system commenced by the law of this session for arming the whole body of the militia would require a much larger supply than the present armories would furnish, and that the public armories should be so extended as to furnish the number of arms which would be annually required under that law. On the other hand it was contended that the sources of supply were already ample, and that arms made by contract would generally be of a better quality, if properly inspected, than those made at the public works; that it would be at least eighteen months before a gun could be finished at any new armories if they were instantly to be set about it, so that for the present supply the public service would be more benefited by the purchase of arms from private manufacturers, &c.
Mr. RhEA moved to amend the report by striking out the words “ or elsewhere,” after the word “Louisville.”—Motion lost.
Mr. BLAckledge moved that the report lie on the table.—Motion negatived.
After further desultory debate, the question was taken on the report, which was adopted without a division.
CLAIM FOR DRAWBACK.
Mr. Newton, from the Committee of Commerce and Manufactures, made a report on the petition of Ebenezer Rollins; which was read, and ordered to lie on the table. The report is as follows:
That the petitioner, on or about the 20th of May, 1810, shipped on board the ship Rebecca Coffin, in the port of Boston, for Gottenburg, in the kingdom of Sweden, 29 hogsheads, 4 barrels, and 52 bags of coffee; which articles were imported in the district of Portland and Falmouth, on the 9th of June, 1809. That the said merchandise was loaded on board the said ship, on the 17th of May, 1810, for the benefit of a drawback; that she cleared out at the custom-house in Boston, and was ready for sea, on the 7th June, 1810, and every requisite complied with to entitle the petitioner to the drawback, on the said 7th of June. The petitioner further states, that, owing to a violent storm from the Northeast, the said ship did not sail from the port of Boston until the 13th of June, 1810. That, on application to the Collector for his debenture, he refused to grant it, on the ground that the said merchandise was not exported within the period of time for which drawbacks are allowed—twelve months having elapsed from the day of importation. On the 9th of June, 1810, the twelve calendar months expired. This claim for the drawback on certain goods which have been exported, has been refused by the Treasury Department, on the application of the petitioner. The committee cannot sustain the prayer of the petition, as the law is peremptory. The goods must be exported within twelve calendar months, to be entitled to the drawback. The goods for which the drawback is claimed, were exported after the time specified for the allowance of drawbacks had expired. Some rule
must be observed, in cases of this kind, or the revenue will be liable to suffer great diminution.
If the committee were to authorize a departure of one day beyond the twelve calendar months, the committee might, on the same principle, extend the term to two or more years.
Averse to any innovation on the present system of drawbacks, as authorized by law, the committee beg leave to recommend the adoption of the following res. olution :
Resolved, That the prayer of the petitioner ought not to be granted.
Mr. Gholson, from the Committee of Claims, made a favorable report on the petition of Anna Young; which was read, and concurred in.
The report is as follows:
That it appears the said Durkee commanded a regiment in the Army of the United States, in the Revo. lutionary war; that he was severely wounded, and that he died in the year 1782, in the military service. That, under the resolve of Congress, of the 24th day of August, 1780, the widow of the said Durkee be. came entitled to the seven years' half-pay of a Colonel, to which Durkee himself would have been entitled, had he lived and served to the end of the war. That the widow of the said Durkee is dead, and the petitioner is the sole claimant.
It seems that this claim was, at an early period, demanded of the Government; but that the allowance of it was withheld, in consequence of a balance of $5,150, which appears, from the account of Col. Dur. kee, to be due by him to the United States. It is supposed at the Department of War, that this balance, in paper emissions, was appropriated by Colonel Durkee to his own use, in July, 1777, when paper money had become much depreciated. This sum should therefore be reduced to a scale of depreciation applicable to that period.
The committee are of opinion that the petitioner, on account of the services of her father, is entitled to his seven years’ half-pay as Colonel, and interest thereon, after deducting therefrom the aforesaid balance, (reduced, as it should be, by the scale of depreciation,) which appears due by Colonel Durkee, in his account with the United States. The committee, therefore, ask leave to report a bill for the petitioner's relief.
Mr. Gholso N, from the Committee of Claims. presented a bill for the relief of Anna Young, heiress and representative of Colonel John Dur. kee, deceased ; which was read twice, and committed to a Committee of the Whole on Wednesday next.
Mr. TURNER, from the Committee of Accounts, made a report upon the nature of the contingent expenses and the application of the contingent fund of the House ; which was read and referred to a Committee of the Whole on Wednesday next. The report is as follows:
That it appears that the contingent expenses of the House have been gradually increasing, and will, for this session, amount to at least forty thousand dollars: an increase which, among other causes, is principally due to the great mass of printing ordered by the House; to which must also be added a new source of expense,
riz: the repairs of the buildings and furniture, which had heretofore been defrayed from another fund. That the Clerk of the House has heretofore acted as the agent of the House and of the Treasury with respect to that branch of expenditure; advances being made from time to time by the Treasury to him on his own application, and his disbursements, after being approved by the committee, being ultimately settled by the accounting officers of the Treasury in the same manner as other accounts. That those services appear to have been rendered without any law or resolution to that effect, and that the agency of the Clerk of the House, though not properly belonging to his official duties, has arisen from the nature of the services which, from his situation, he was more competent to perform than any other officer. That, although owing to those circumstances the services have heretofore been performed without any compensation being allowed to that officer, and without his giving security for the trust thus reposed in him, it appears to the committee that, considering the large sums which now pass through his hands, and the increased labor and responsibility resulting therefron, it would be just to allow him a reasonable compensation for those services; while, at the same time, the public may be secured against any eventual loss by requiring him to give security in the same manner as other officers intrusted with public moneys. The com
mittee, therefore, submit the following resolutions:
Resolved, That the Clerk of the House be allowed a commission of two and a half per centum on all the moneys disbursed by him on account of the contingent expenses of the House, provided that the whole amount allowed shall not exceed five hundred dollars in any one year.
Resolved, That the Clerk aforesaid shall give bond In the sum of ten thousand dollars, with security, to be approved by the Comptroller of the Treasury, for faithfully accounting for the moneys received by him on account of the said contingent expenses.
Tuesday, March 31.
Mr. Gholson, from the Committee of Claims, presented a bill for the relief of Aaron Greely; which was read twice, and committed to a Committee of the Whole on Thursday next. Mr. MoR Row, from the Committee on the Public Lands, presented a bill for ascertaining the titles and claims to lands in that part of Louisiana, which lies east of the river Mississippi and Island of New Orleans; which was read twice, and committed to a Committee of the Whole on Friday next. An engrossed bill to continue in force “An act to provide for persons who were disabled by known wounds received in the Revolutionary war,” was read the third time, and passed. The amendments proposed by the Senate to the bill. “for the relief of the officers and soldiers who served in the late campaign on the Wabash,” were read, and, together with the bill, referred to the committee appointed on that part of the President’s Message which relates to Indian affairs. The bill from the Senate “to authorize the President of the United States to ascertain and des. ignate certain boundaries” was read twice, and committed to the select committee appointed to
inquire into the expediency of confirming the northern boundary of the State of Ohio. The amendinents proposed by the Senate to the bill, “relinquishing to the corporation of the city of New Orleans the use and possession of a lot in the said city,” were read, and concurred in by the House. The bill from the Senate “to incorporate Moses Austin, John Rice Jones, Henry Austin, and others, into a company, by the name of ‘The Louisiana Lead Company,” was read twice, and committed to the Committee on the Public Lands. A message from the Senate informed the House that the Senate have passed a bill “for the relief of Charles Minifie;” and a bill “for improving the navigation of the river Potomac, opposite the City of Washington;” as also a bill “to provide for designating, surveying, and granting the military bounty lands;” in which bills they desire the concurrence of this House. The House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on the bill authorizing the granting of patents for land according to the surveys that have been made, and to grant donation rights to certain claimants of land in the district of Detroit, and for other purposes. The bill was reported with an amendment, which was concurred in by the House; and the bill was ordered to be engrossed, and read the third time to-morrow. The House again resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on the bill providing for the government of the Territory of Louisiana; and, after some time spent therein, the Committee rose, reported progress, and had leave to sit again.
An engrossed bill for the relief of William Hubbell was read the third time; and, on the question that the same do pass, it was resolved in the affirmative–yeas 60, nay's 25, as follows:
YEAs—Willis Alston, jr., William Anderson, Stevenson Archer, Ezekiel Bacon, Burwell Bassett, Abijah Bigelow, William Blackledge, Harmanus Bleecker, Martin Chittenden, Matthew Clay, William Crawford, John Davenport, jr., Roger Davis, John Dawson, Joseph Desha, Samuel Dinsmoor, William Ely, William Findley, James Fisk, Asa Fitch, Thomas Gholson, Thomas R. Gold, Bolling Hall, Obed Hall, John A. Harper, Richard Jackson, junior, Richard M. Johnson, Joseph Lefever, Archibald McBryde, Samuel McKee, Alexander McKim, Arunah Metcalf, Jeremiah Morrow, Jonathan O. Moseley, Anthony New, Thomas Newton, Israel Pickens, William Piper, Timothy Pitkin, jr., James Pleasants, jr., Benjamin Pond, Josiah Quincy, William Reed, Henry M. Ridgely, John Rhea, Jonathan Roberts, William Rodman, Ebenezer Sage, Adam Seybert, Samuel Shaw, Daniel Sheffey, George Smith, John Smith, Lewis B. Sturges, Samuel Taggart, John Taliaferro, George M. Troup, Charles Turner, junior, Laban Wheaton, and Leonard White.
Nars—Adam Boyd, Elijah Brigham, Robert Brown, Wm. A. Burwell, Meshack Franklin, Peterson Goodwyn, Isaiah L. Green, Jacob Hufty, John M. Hyneman, William R. King, Abner Lacock, Aaron Lyle, Nathaniel Macon, Hugh Nelson, Ebenezer Seaver, John Smilie, Richard Stanford, Silas Stow, William Strong, Robert Whitehill, David R. Williams, William
Widgery, Thomas Wilson, Richard Winn, and Robert Wright.
Mr. JENNINGs, from the committee to whom was referred the memorial of the Legislature of the Indiana Territory, praying to be admitted into the Union upon an equal footing with the original States, made a report there on ; which was read, and committed to a Committee of the Whole on Monday next. The report is as follows:
That the Territory of Indiana is a part of the original territory northwest of the river Ohio, and includes so much of the latter as was ordained by the ordinance for the government thereof to form a separate and independent State. That the acts of Congress establishing the Territories of Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois, have bounded the territorial limits of the former by the Territory of Michigan on the North; by a line drawn due North from the mouth of the Great Miami river on the East; by the river Ohio on the South; and by the river Wabash, from its confluence with the Ohio to Vincennes; and from thence by a line to be drawn due north on the West. That the Territory of Indiana has been governed according to the provisions of the ordinance aforesaid, which likewise ordains that the Territory northwest of the Ohio, should be formed into not less than three nor more than five States, and that each might respectively be admitted into the Union with a population less than sixty thousand free inhab1tants.
Notwithstanding the General Government has extended the hand of relief to the Territory now under consideration, to the great advantage of its citizens, who must necessarily submit to its temporary existence and authority, by dispensing with some of the most arbitrary features of the ordinance; yet a com
lete emancipation from a Territorial government is g
not only desirable, but, in the opinion of your committee, should be granted as soon as it may be compatible with the interest of the United States and the said Territory. The committee, therefore, submit the following resolution : Resolved, That the Indiana Territory should be admitted into the Union as an independent State, under ths conditions of the Constitution of the United States, and a law to be provided for that purpose, whenever the population of its Federal numbers shall amount to thirty-five thousand, and the fact thereof shall have been ascertained by a census to be taken under the authority of the said Territory.
Wednesday, April 1.
The bill from the Senate designating and laying out the military bounty lands; the bill for improving the navigation of the river Potomac, opposite the City of Washington; and the bill for the relief of Charles Minifie, were each twice read, and committed. • ,
The bill respecting the patenting of lands in the district of Detroit, which was yesterday ordered to be engrossed for a third reading, was read a third time, and passed.
The House resumed, as in Committee of the Whole, the consideration of the bill respecting the government of Louisiana.
The motion made yesterday, by Mr. LAcock, to prohibit the admission of slaves into the said Territory, was negatived—ayes 17. Mr. Rhea moved to amend the bill by striking out sirty thousand—the number of souls to entitle the Territory in future to become a State— and to insert in lieu thereof thirty five thousand.” Motion negatived—ayes 29. The Committee rose without debate, and reported the bill with its amendments, in which the House concurred. The bill was then ordered to be engrossed for a third reading. GOVERNOR OF INDIANA TERRITORY. Mr. JENNINGs offered the following resolution: Resolved, That the committee to whom was referred the memorial of sundry inhabitants of the Territory of Indiana, complaining of the arbitrary conduct of the Governor thereof, in withholding his approbation to an act of their Legislature, be and hereby is instructed to inquire into the expediency of authorizing a change of venue in certain cases in said Territory, and that they have leave to report by bill or otherwise. Mr. J. made a number of remarks on presenting his resolution. He lamented the general prevalence of a party spirit in the community, which, in the Territory in question, actuated every officer, from the Executive to the lowest—the judicial officers not excepted—insomuch as to corrupt the fountain of justice. The sheriffs were appointed by the Executive, and juries selected at their discretion, &c. . It was essential, he said, to the interests and welfare of every individual in the community, that the purity of jury-trial should be preserved ; and, for that purpose, he wished some provision to be reported by the committee referred to in the resolution. Mr. PoindextER said he could see no objection to the inquiry; but he conceived it superfluous, because by law every citizen of the Territory, in common with others, was entitled to trial by jury, and to judicial proceedings, according to the course of common law, by which, as a matter of course, he would be entitled to a change of venue, if he could not otherwise come safely to trial. Mr. SMIlie said, he believed a serious difficulty existed on this subject, and that was sufficient ground for inquiry. He could see no reason for objection to such inquiry. We had seen in history and experience enough of packed juries to guard against them, as far as possible, and to induce us to secure the primary rights of the citizen. Mr. Pitkin could see no objection to the inquiry, and hoped the resolution would be adopted. The resolution was then adopted accordingly. POST ROADS. The House then resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on the bill concerning post roads. About 1 o'clock the Committee rose and reported progress, because, at that time, a Message was received from the President of the United States which the Speaker declared to be of a confidential nature. The galleries were accordingly cleared, and strangers ordered to withdraw. The House remained in session, with closed doors, until past 3 o'clock, when they adjourned.
APRIL. 1812. Campaign on the Wabash. - H. O.F. R.
Thursday, April 2.
A message from the Senate informed the House that the Senate have passed a bill “giving further time for registering claims to land in the Eastern district of the Territory of Orleans; in which they desire the concurrence of this House. They have also passed the bill “for the relief of Thomas Orr;” and the bill “for the admission of the State of Louisiana into the Union, and to extend the laws of the United States to the said State,” with amendments to each ; in which they also desire the concurrence of this House.
Mr. Nelson, from the committee to whom the subject had been referred, made a report, concluding with the following resolution:
Resolved, That provision should be made for securing to both officers and soldiers of the Revolutionary army of Virginia on that establishment, in the land or sea service of the said State, the bounty lands which were promised to them, either by law or resolution of the said Commonwealth, out of the lands not otherwise appropriated, and lying on the northwest of the river Ohio, within the Virginia cession, to be of good quality, according to the true intent and meaning of the promises made on the part of Virginia : and that if a sufficiency of good land, within the meaning aforesaid, cannot there be found, that these bounties shall be satisfied out of any other public lands of the United States not otherwise appropriated.
The report was referred to a Committee of the Whole.
CAMPAIGN ON THE WABASH.
Mr. McKEE, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, made a report on the amendments of the Senate to the bill for the relies of the officers and soldiers who served in the late campaign on the Wabash. The report recommends the disagreement to some, and the agreement to other of the said amendments. After some observations from Mr. McKEE against concurring in that amendment of the Senate which strikes out the additional month’s pay to those engaged in this campaign—
Mr. Stu ART made some remarks in support of it. He was opposed to granting this additional pay. Whatever was done in the battle of Tippecanoe, he said, was done by the regular troops; and if the regulars had not been there, the militia would have been cut to pieces.
Mr. McKEE assented to the truth of this observation; and he added, if the militia had not been there, the regulars would have been cut to pieces; they mutually supported each other. Mr. M. spoke warmly in praise of the conduct of the militia, particularly of Kentucky, to whose good conduct both Colonel Boyd and Governor Harrison had testified. If the Congress had been called upon to give a vote of approbation, said Mr. McKee, the history of our country presents no instance of good conduct more worthy of such a reward. The citizens engaged in this enterprise had disinterestedly left their homes without a moment’s notice, in support of their country’s cause, on a service where danger and everything terrible to the human mind menaced them at every step; a service too in which laurels could
12th Con. 1st SEss.—40
scarcely be won. And should the approbation of their country be withheld from such men 3 The report of the committee was concurred in : and that amendment of the Senate disagreed to which goes to deprive the officers and soldiers of the additional pay. Mr. GRUNDY said that, in the absence of the chairman, he had been instructed by the Committee of Foreign Relations to make certain propositions to the House, which he was particularly instructed to do in a confidential manner. He therefore requested that the galleries should be cleared. - The galleries were cleared accordingly, and all persons other than the members and officers of the House were excluded, until a little past four o'clock; when the House adjourned.
FRIDAY, April 3. Mr. SEYBERT presented a petition of Oliver Evans, praying that he may be allowed, and authorized to demand three per cent. on the net profits accruing to millers by the use of his improvements in the manufacture of flour.—Referred to Mr. SEYBERT, Mr. MAcon, Mr. DiNs Moor, Mr. Lewis, and Mr. QUINcy. Mr. LAcock presented the petition of Bartholomew White of Pennsylvania, stating that he underwent considerable difficulties in consequence of a prosecution commenced against him in the year 1807, under a groundless suspicion of his being concerned in the conspiracy of Aaron Burr, by the expenses attending which he has been nearly or quite ruined, and praying indemnification from Congress. Some debate took place on the motion for reference of the petition; Messrs. Gholson, Fisk, and RHEA, opposing the reference, and Messrs. LAcock and STANFord supporting it. Its reference was supported on the Constitutional ground of the right of petitioning, and consequent claim to be heard; and opposed on the plea of the palpable unreasonableness and manifest impropriety of acceding to the prayer of the petition. The motion for reference was negatived by a large majority, and a vote passed that the petitioner have leave to withdraw his papers. Mr. SPEAKER laid before the House a presentment of the grand jury for the district of St. Louis, representing as a grievance that the Judges of the General Court do not reside within the district, and have no interest in the country over which they legislate; it states also the necessity of some provision on the subject of land titles. Mr. RhEA moved a reference to the Committee of Public Lands. Motion negatived. It was then ordered to lie on the table. Mr. Gholson reported favorably on the petition of Thomas F. Riddick; and leave being obtained. Mr. G. reported a bill for the relief of Thomas F. Riddick; which was twice read and committed. Mr. Gholson reported the bill from the Senate for the relief of Charles Minifie, without amendment; and it was referred to a Committee of the Whole. Mr. Lewis reported a bill for conferring certain
powers on the Levy Court of Washington county, District of Columbia; which was twice read and committed.
Mr. BAcon reported a bill allowing additional compensation (of one hundred and fifty dollars per annum) to the Collector of the port and district of Plymouth, North Carolina. Twice read and committed.
The following Message was received from the PREsident of the UNITED STATEs:
To the House of Representatives of the United States :
Having examined and considered the bill, entitled “An act providing for the trial of causes pending in the respective district courts of the United States, in case of the absence or disability of the judges thereof.” which bill was presented to me on the 25th of March past, I now return the same to the House of Representatives, with the following objections:
Because the additional services imposed by the bill on the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States are to be performed by them, rather in the quality of other judges of other courts, namely, judges of the district courts, than in the quality of justices of the Supreme Court. They are to hold the said district courts, and to do and perform all acts relating to the said courts, which are by law required of the district judges. The bill therefore virtually appoints, for the time, the justices of the Supreme Court to other distinct offices; to which, if compatible with their original offices, they ought to be appointed by another than a legislative authority, in pursuance of legislative provisions authorizing the appointments.
Because the appeal allowed by law from the decision of the District Courts to the Circuit Courts, whilst it corroborates the construction which regards a Judge of the one Court as clothed with a new office by being constituted a Judge of the other, submits for correction erroneous judgments, not to superior or other Judges, but to the erring individual himself, acting as the sole Judge in the Appellate Court.
Because the additional services to be required, may, by distances of places and the casualities contemplated by the bill, become disproportionate to the strength and health of the Justices who are to perform them, the additional services being moreover entitled to no additional compensation; nor the additional expenses incurred to reimbursement. In this view, the bill appears to be contrary to equity, as well as a precedent for modifications and extensions of judicial services encroaching on the Constitutional tenure of judicial offices.
Because, by referring to the President of the United States questions of disability in the district Judges, and of the unreasonableness of delaying the suits or causes pending in the District Courts, and leaving it with him in such cases to require the Justices of the Supreme Court to perform additional services, the bill introduces an unsuitable relation of members of the Judiciary Department, to a discretionary authority of the Executive Department.
An act providing for the trial of causes pending in the respective District Courts of the United States in case of the absence or disability of the Judges thereof.
Be it enacted, That whenever satisfactory evidence shall be shown to the President of the United States, that, from the necessary absence or disability of the Judge of either of the district courts of the United States, the decisions of the suits or causes pending therein will be unreasonably delayed, he is hereby authorized to require the Justice of the Supreme Court allotted to that circuit in which such district court ought by law to be holden, to hear and determine all such causes; and it is hereby declared to be the duty of said Justice, during the continuance of such absence or disability to hold the said district court at such time and place, at which the same is by law directed to be holden, and determine all suits or cases pending therein, and to do and perform all such acts relating to the said court which are by law required of the district judge: Provided, That the said justice shall be authorized to adjourn the said court to such time as he shall think it expedient; and he shall also have authority to hold special terms of the said district court for the trial of such causes as may arise, during his exercise of the duties required by this act, whenever in his opinion the same shall be necessary. And the President of the United States is hereby authorized to determine when such absence or disability shall cease to exist.
H. CLAY, Speaker of the House of Representatives. W. H. CRAWFORD,
- President of the Senate pro tempore.
On motion of Mr. Gold, the Message was ordered to be printed; and on motion of Mr. STAN Ford, it was ordered that to to-morrow be assigned for the reconsideration of the said bill, in the mode prescribed by the Constitution.
Mr. Port ER said he was instructed by the Committee of Foreign Relations to submit to the House a proposition in their opinion requiring secrecy. Whereupon, the galleries and House were cleared of all other persons than the members and officers of the House, and so remained till 11 o'clock, when the House adjourned.
SATURDAY, April 4.
Immediately after reading the Journal, the House was cleared of all persons except the members. Clerk, Sergeant-at-Arms, and Doorkeeper, and the doors wers closed; and, after remaining so for some time, they were again opened, and the House adjourned about 2 o'clock.
Mon DAY, April 6. A message from the Senate informed the House that the Senate have passed the bill “to authorize a detachment from the militia of the United States,” with amendments; to which they desire the concurrence of this House.
LOUISIANA CONVENTION, Mr. BAcox, from the Committee of Ways and Means, upon leave given, reported a bill, authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to suspend the payment of certain bills drawn by John Armstrong, late Minister of the United States at the