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Annexation of West Florida to the Mississippi Territory.
tical knowledge: this is incorrect, as no person should be permitted to take charge of the health and lives of seamen, in whose capacity iris fellowcitizens cannot confide ; those, therefore, who have not graduated at a respectable college or university, should be obliged to submit to an examination before they are commissioned. We have not noticed the capacity or the sites necessary for the hospitals; we conceive, however, that from eight to ten acres of ground would be necessary for each hospital, and, to the hospital and asylum, at least fifteen acres, more if convenient. o entlemen intended for the situation of hospital mates should be examined by those who may be appointed hospital surgeons, to ascertain their ability to perform the duties of their station. We beg leave to submit the propriety of making a distinction between the two hospital mates, as, for example, the senior and the junior; the former to be capable of performing the duties of naval surgeon. We are unacquainted with the extent of your views respecting the hospital establishment; we have, therefore, reported the number of medical officers, &c., for one hundred men; but if for a greater number, it will be necessary to increase the establishment by an addition of medical officers, whose duties must be defined. We have the honor respectfully
above remarks. -
to submit the
ANNEXATION OF WEST FLORIDA TO THE MISSISSIPPI TERRITORY.
[Communicated to the House, November 20, 1811.] To the Honorable the Senate and House of Irepresentatives of the United States: We, the inhabitants of West Florida, your petitioners, represent to your honorable body, that, while we rejoice in the late event which has brought about our emancipation from the iron shackles of despotism, or rather released us from the more horrid calamities of anarchy, we still labor under the painful apprehension that your enlightened body will either continue us a separate Territory, or attach us to the Territory of New Orleans, instead of incorporating us with the Mississippi Territory, which we most ardently wish, for the following reasons: . The geographical and relative situation of West Florida and the Mississippi Territory plead powerfully in favor of the measure. The climate, the soil, the people, the manners, and the politics of both countries, are the same, being only divided by an ideal boundary. We are all Americans by birth, and in principle; but if we are united with the Territory of Orleans, we will be subjected to all the inconveniences and miseries resulting from a difference of people, language, manners, cus
toms, and politics. The safety, and, indeed, the political salvation of the Government of the Uni. ted States, entirely depend on the unanimity of all its parts, which is best insured by combining persons and things homogeneous in their nature. If this he true, and if West Florida and the Territory of Orleans differ in every material respect, (of which there can be no doubt,) it follows that a coalition of the two countries would be productive of discord, the evil genius of republican Governments. - Your petitioners are aware of the policy suggested by some, of adding us, who are all Americans, to the people of the Territory of Orleans, who are chiefly French, in order to counteract the French influence. This may be sound policy, but to make us the instruments of effecting that object, at the same time that it might be advantageous to the United States in general, it would be destructive to our individual happiness; a sacrifice too great, we trust, to be required of us to make by a Government wise in its Constitution, and just in its Administration. If, to counteract French influence, and subvert French politics, by populating the country with Americans, be the policy of the Government, your petitioners conceive that object will be shortly effected by the very great emigration of Americans from all parts of the United States. If those emigrants are subjected to all the inconveniences which we deprecate from a similar connexion, the case is not so hard with them as it would be with us, because they have voluntarily chosen that situation. e But, waiving all objection on the score of dissimilarity betwixt us and the people of Orleans, nature herself seems to have thrown a barrier in the way to oppose the union. The city of New Orleans is, and in all probability will continue to be, the seat of government of that country; where, of eourse, all public business must be transacted, and which will, therefore, induce the necessity of the personal attendance of a great proportion of the people within the jurisdiction of that government, at the city of New Orleans; which will be extremely inconvenient to the inhabitants of West Florida, on account of the largeness and difficult navigation of Lake Pontchartrain, which completely insulates us from the city of New Orleans, If, however, your honorable body should deem it unadvisable to attach us to the Territory of Orleans, in order to prevent a measure calculated to continue us under a separate Territorial government, we beg leave to state that, owing to the local situation of our country, it is not susceptible of a thick settlement; that, if it were settled with as many persons as the nature of the country will admit, yet we do not believe there would be wealth enough among us to defray the expenses of a government, without operating a very serious injury to us. But, admitting we are able to bear the expenses of a Territorial government, if the Mississippi Territory, and the Territory of Orleans should become States, independent of us, we would forever remain a Territory; for, neither
Union Canal in the State of Pennsylvania.
in point of numbers, nor in point of extent of country, would we ever arrive at the proud magnitude of claiming an admission into the Union. as a free, sovereign and independent State. Our only hope of participating with the rest of our brethren on the Continent in the rights and bles. sings of State sovereignty, is built upon the pleasing anticipation of becoming a part of the Mississippi Territory. By that means, independent of our own individual interests, the Mississippi Territory will derive the advantage of an extensive seacoast, of which she will otherwise be deprived. *, * For the foregoing reasons, we humbly trust that your honorable body will grant our request, by adding all that tract of country now in posses. sion, by virtue of the President’s proclamation of 1810, to the Mississippi Territory. There is also another subject in which your petitioners are deeply interested, to which we beg leave to call your attention. Your petitioners have generally emigrated to this country since the cession of Louisiana to the United States. When possession of New Orleans, and that of the country west of the Mississippi was taken, and the Province of West Florida left in possession. and under the exclusive jurisdiction of Spain, we took it for granted that the Government of the United States either did not claim, or, if they did, meant not to insist upon their claim to West Florida; we, therefore, have made settlements on lands, under the rules and forms of the Spanish Government, expecting to hold our lands to ourselves and our heirs forever. ... We, therefore, pray your honorable body to confirm to us our settlement rights, made between the time of the cession of Louisiana, until the time of taking possession of West Florida, wherever they have been made bona fide, and not with an intention to monopolize unreasonable quantities of lands, under such regulations as may best comport with the wisdom and justice of Congress. We humbly trust that your enlightened body will grant this request, when you take into view all the circumstances which it involves. The consequences to us and our families are all important. If we are deprived of our possessions, we are deprived of our property; and consequently, will be reduced to the extremes of want and
wretchedness. GEORGE PATTERSON, And four hundred and ten others.
UNION CANAL IN PENNSYLVANIA.
[Communicated to the Senate, December 6, 1811.] Philadelphia, Nov. 19, 1811.
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States in Congress assembled so the memorial of the President and Managers of the Union Canal. Company of Pennsylvania, respectfully showeth : That, in the year one thousand seven hundred
and ninety-one and two, the Legislature of Penn
sylvania, for the purpose of opening a communication between the eastern and western parts of the State, by canals and locks, incorporated two companies under the titles of “The Schuylkill and Susquehanna Navigation,” and “The Delaware and Schuylkill Canal Navigation,” with such powers, privileges, and immunities, as were then deemed requisite for the accomplishment of the
object. 'ri. a number of citizens (some of whom were greatly distinguished by former services, civil as well as military, rendered to their country in the contest which secured and established her independence.) actuated by a regard for the public good, and by an ardent desire of strengthening and cementing that Union which had then so recently been established, made liberal contributions of their wealth to a large amount, and engaged in the measures necessary to the opening of the contemplated communication, with a spirit of zeal and enterprise worthy of the patriotic undertaking. That large sums of money were expended for the purpose of exploring the country, and deciding on the best route, and afterwards in the purchase of the soil through which the canals were to pass, and in partial openings of them to a considerable extent; and the most sanguine expectations were entertained that the works would proceed rapidly to their completion. Encountered, however, with difficulties which had not been anticipated (many of them arising, doubtless, from the novelty of such an undertaking in this country, and the want of experience in the mode of accomplishing it,) the affairs of the companies became embarrassed. Unfortunately, too, the allurements of external commerce. promising enormous advantages, (which have since, however, proved so precarious and delusive) fascinated the public attention to such a degree, that the moderate and progressive, though certain and permanent advantages of internal commerce, were, for a season, neglected and forgotten, and the canal companies were left to languish. Many years elapsed; until, at length, the outrages committed by foreign nations upon the property of our commercial citizens taught us the expediency and the necessity of looking at home for those sources of wealth and national greatness which we had persuaded ourselves were to be found exclusively in foreign commerce. Your memorialists regard with inexpressible satisfaction the resolution of the Senate of the United States of the 2d of March, 1807, which required the Secretary of the Treasury to report on public roads and canals. The discussions on that occasion, and the publication of the report of the Secretary, have recalled the public atten. tion to the all-important interests of internal com: merce; and your memorialists are impressed with a firm conviction that if the countenance and aid of the Government are, in a due degree, extended to those who have engaged, or are willing to engage, in the execution of canals, the United States will; ere long, rival the nations of Europe in works of this description.
Complaint against Judge Toulmin.
Your memorialists further represent that the Legislature of Pennsylvania, actuated by the same patriotic motives which have produced the measures taken by the Federal Government, and regarding those measures as a pledge that its aid would not be withheld, by an act of the 2d of April last, united the two canal companies before mentioned, and incorporated your memorialists, and the other stockholders therein, under their present title of “The Union Canal Company of Pennsylvania,” with increased powers and privileges; and, to enable them to embrace the object of the Federal Government in its full extent, the Legislature have expressly authorized this company to extend the route of their canal so as to communicate with Lake Erie, or other waters of any neighboring State. Since the incorporation of the Union Canal Company your memorialists have engaged themselves in extricating the affairs of the former companies, in organizing the new one, and in forming such plans as, uniting prudence with a due portion of enterprise, will be best calculated to insure ultimate success. It is their determination to avail themselves of the assistance of practical and scientific engineers; and, having no personal interests to consult in the choice of the route, they will have a single eye to the interests of the public, which must be the interests of the company. Your memorialists have some ground for be. lieving that the desired communication between the lakes and the Atlantic can be effected in Penn. sylvania with less delay than by any other route, and at less expense. They feel, however, no jealousy of canals projected by their neighbors, but, on the contrary, are desirous of co-operating in the promotion of them, being convinced that, by two or more such communications, the public interests will be better subserved, and no injury or diminution of profit suffered by the individuals or companies who may undertake them. Your memoralists will not misuse the time and attention of your honorable bodies by adducing facts, or entering into arguments to show the powerful tendency which an easy communication, and frequent intercourse with our Western brethren, would have “to increase union,” insure domestic tranquillity,” and J.'s the general welfare of the people of the United States;” but, resting the truth of these positions on the broad basis of universal opinion, strengthened by what they are persuaded is the sentiment of the enlightened Representatives of the nation, they will content themselves by praying that your honorable bodies will give such aid to the Union Canal Company of Pennsylvania as in your wisdom shall seem proportioned to the usefulness and greatness of their undertaking, and the extensive means and munificence of this great and growing Republic. And your memorialists will ever pray. CHAS. G. PALESKE, President. JAS. MILNOR, Vice President. G. SIMPSON, Treasurer. W.M. MEREDITH, Counsellor. JOSEPH WATSON, Auditor.
complaiNT AGAINST JUDGE TOULMIN.
[Communicated to the House, December 16, 1811.] - WAshingtoN, M. T. Nov. 20, 1811. Sir : By a resolution of the House of Representatives of the Mississippi Territory, I have the honor to forward to you a copy of a presentment of the grand jury for the county of Baldwin, against Harry Toulmin, Esq., Judge of the Superior Court for the district of Washington. The House over which I have the honor to preside, deeming the charges therein contained worthy of further investigation, has required me to transmit another copy to the Delegate of this Territory, to be laid before the House of Representatives of the United States in Congress assembled, accompanied with a transcript of the resolution which gives me the honor of this communication. With high consideration and respect, I am, &c. - COWLES MEAD, Speaker of the House of Representatives. To the Hon. the SPEAKER, Of the House of Reps. United States.
To the Honorable Legislative Council and House of Representatives of ń. Mississippi Territory in General Assembly convened, the presentment of the Grand Jury of Mississippi Territory for Baldwin county to the Legislature of the Territory : We, the grand jury in and for the county aforesaid, do represent unto your honorable body, that we hold the pure and impartial administration of justice the firmest bond to secure the cheerful submission of a free people to their Government; and whenever an individual, who has been clothed with the office of a judge to effect this object, has betrayed the trust consided to him by the Government, and oppressed the people, it becomes the absolute duty of the unfortunate citizens, over whose lives, liberty, and property, he may ultimately decide, to represent his nefarious conduct to that body who can, with the whole voice of the Territory, call on that tribunal who has the power, constitutionally placed in them, to examine the conduct of such officer, and to deprive him of that office if found guilty. As such, we, as the grand jury of our country, the guardians of our fellow-citizens' lives, liberty, property, and reputation, do most solemnly call the attention of your honorable body to the conduct of H. Toulmin, Esq., who has presided ever since the year eighteen hundred and five, as judge of the Superior Court for Washington district. Although he has not scrupled to prostitute his dignity, and betray the sanctity of his office, decency and truth ..shall guide the way in our presentment. We present the following acts of his mal-administration : 1st. Making decisions in vacation, and at the next term having them made a matter of record. 2d. Uniting in himself the character of judge and party, in making a challenge of a juror. 3d. Acting partially in his office as judge of the Superior Court for Washington district. 4th. For having refused an unfortunate prisoner, when on his trial, to consult with his counsel, or his counsel with him, in private ; declaring that there should be no secrets, but what advice was to be given should be given in open court. 5th. For having ordered the Attorney General for Washington district to file an ear officio information against a citizen of this country for a capital offence, in violation of the Constitution of the United States. 6th. For having ordered a jury to find a citizen of this country guilty, after they had returned their verdict of not guilty to the court. 7th. For having established a rule of court for the district of Washington, that no person shall dismiss a suit, except in open court, and that with leave of the same. 8th. For having holden a court of examination in the garrison of Fort Stoddart, and examined witnesses at the point of the bayonet. 9th. For having carried on a verbal as well as a written correspondence and intercourse with the Government of Spain, heretofore exercised in West Florida, with intent to influence the conduct of the said Government in relation to the dispute with the United States, as to the sovereignty of West Florida, and to defeat the measures of the Government of the United States. WILLIAM BUFORD, Foreman.
Eartension of Patent Rights.
Resolved by the House of Representatives of Mississippi Territory in General Assembly comremed, That the Speaker of this House be requested, without delay, to forward three copies of the presentment of the grand jury of Baldwin county, made to this House against Harry Toulmin, Esq., Judge of the Superior Court for Washington district, one copy to the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States, one copy to the President of the United States, and one copy to the honorable George Poindexter, our delegate in Congress, together with a transcript of this resolve, to be by him laid before the House of Representatives of the United States in Con
gress assembled, for their consideration.
COWLES MEAD, Speaker of the House of Representatives. Attest: - THOS. B. REED, Clerk.
EXTENSION OF PATENT RIGHTS.
Communicated to the Senate, December 23, 1811.] o the honorable the Senate of the United States of America in Congress assembled, the memorial of Aaron Ogden, of Elizabethtown, in the State of New Jersey, most respectfully showeth : That your memorialist, having full confidence in certain improvements on Boulton and Watt's steam engine, now patented to Mr. Daniel Dod, of Windham, in New Jersey, did, many months since, make with him a contract for a steam engine upon his improved plan. That your memorialist did also, about the same
time, make another contract for building a suitable boat, to be propelled by the said engine, for the better accommodation of passengers between New Jersey and New York. That the said machinery and boat are now nearly completed, at a very great expense, already incurred and to be incurred, in fulfilling the said contracts, all which will be chiefly lost and sacrificed, and a very great public accommodation prevented, if your memorialist shall be precluded from the free use of his boat by any law of the United States hereafter to be passed. That your memorialist has been informed, by persons skilled in this kind of machinery, and himself verily believes, after full examination, that the plan he has adopted will not interfere with any now secured to Mr. Fulton by any patent or patents which he has obtained under the Constitution of the United States; and that if the above patentee should bring suit, under present existing laws, for an interference with any of his said supposed right against your memorialist, that your memorialist believes that he will be able to prove fully at the trial that the thing which may be alleged to be so secured by the patent, and so interfered with, “was not originally discovered by the said patentee, but that the same had been in use, or had been described in some public work anterior to the said supposed discovery;” under which testimony, agreeably to the express provisions of the law of the United States, on the 21st February, 1793, judgment must be rendered sor the defendant. That, if the bill now before the Senate should pass into a law, it will become necessary, under the third section thereof, for a defendant further to prove that such thing had been in effectual use or operation within three years next before the time when a steamboat was first brought into public use by Mr. Fulton; whereby steamboats lawfully built, and constructed at very great expense, and for public benefit, may be totally useless, and lost both to the public and the owners. Your memorialist will not further transgress, by urging considerations arising from the terms of the Constitution, which, in article 1, section S, makes provision for the exclusive rights of discoveries for the benefit of inventors only ; from the inferences, in respect to the existing rights of Mr. Fulton, to be drawn from his application for a special law in his favor; from the general nature of retrospective legal provisions; from the public inconvenience in the extension of monopolies; finally, from the prescribing a particular mode of trial and proof in favor of particular persons, differing from the mode prescribed in similar cases by the general law of the land. Your memorialist, entirely confiding that the rights of all the citizens of the United States will be duly considered in regard to the premises, most humbly prays that the bill now before the Senate, and above referred to, may not pass into a law. And your memorialist, as in duty bound, shall
ever pray, &c. AARON OGDEN.
Personally appeared before me, Caleb Halsted, Junior, Mayor of the borough of Elizabethtown, Aaron Ogden, within named, who, having been duly, sworn, deposes and says, that the matters herein set forth as his own acts and deeds, are true, and, as far as regards the acts and deeds of others, he believes to be true.
Sworn before me at Elizabethtown, New Jersey, this 18th day of December. 1811. CALEB HALSTED, Jr., Mayor. .
To the honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, the memorial of Isaiah Townsend, in behalf of himself and others of the city of Albany, in the State of New York, proprietors of the steamboats Hope and Perseverance, of said city, respectfully showeth :
That your memorialists, in the year 1811, built two boats at an expense of upwards of fifty thousand dollars, under a conviction that they had a right to navigate the same under the existing laws of the United States; that the said boats have successfully plied between the cities of New York and Albany, on the Hudson river, for the greater part of the last season for the accommodation of passengers. That a suit has been commenced in the circuit court of the United States for the district of New York, against your memorialists, by Robert Fulton, of the State of New York, under a pretence that your memorialists have invaded certain patents granted to him from the Department of State. to recover from your memorialists treble damages, under the third section of the act of Congress, passed the 17th day of April, 1800; which suit is now depending and undetermined. That your memorialists, under the full conviction that the said Robert Fulton is not, in fact, the inventor or discoverer of the mode of propelling boats by steam, have instituted proceedings in the district court of the United States for the district of New York, pursuant to the tenth section of the act of Congress, passed the 25th day of February, 1793, to effect a repeal of the patents granted to the said Robert Fulton ; which proceedings are also pending and undetermined; and your mémorialists are confident that, upon the trial, they will be able satisfactorily to prove that the said Robert Fulton is not the discoverer or inventor of the mode of propelling boats by steam. Your memorialists would, therefore, most respectfully submit to your honorable bodies the propriety of any legislative interference, while the rights of the said Robert Fulton and your memorialists are thus pending in the competent judicial tribunals of the country, where a fair, full, and impartial investigation can be had, under the existing laws of the United States, under which the said patents have been granted, Your memorialists view the application made to. your honorable bodies by Mr. Fulton for relief
(if granted to him.) as contravening that sound policy, which forbids legislation in particular cases falling within the scope of general laws, as it is introductive of an odious and oppressive favoritism, in subversion of justice and of right. Your memorialists will conclude, by submitting one other consideration in relation to the bill now pending before the honorable the Senate, for “extending the time of certain patents granted to Robert Fulton,” and which to them appears of itself to be a sufficient objection to passing the same into a law. The patents to Mr. Fulton are of recent date, and it is yet to be ascertained (if it is decided that Mr. Fulton's patents are valid) whether he will not be fully and amply remunerated at the period of their expiration. And if, at that time, it shall appear that his merit has not been sufficiently rewarded, your memorialists confidently believe that he may then, with a certainty of success, apply to an American Congress, who will ever yield to genius its due, and to merit its reward. • And your memorialists, as in duty bound, will
to make application to the Congress of the Uni
ted States for their co operation and aid in making a canal navigation between the Great Lakes and Hudson river, which, in the opinion of the Legislature of New York, will encourage agriculture, promote commerce and manufactures, facilitate a free and general intercourse between different parts of the United States, tend to the aggrandizement and prosperity of the country, and consolidate and strengthen the Union. To these powerful incentives we feel it a duty to add our conviction that, in a fiscal point of view, this object is not unworthy of public regard, seeing that, by a good navigation from the lakes to the ocean, and by that alone, the speedy sale of, and payment for, many million acres of the public lands can be effected. o We might add other considerations, but, as doubts may, in course of the business arise, and explanations be required, we have deemed it advisable to depute two of our members, De Witt Clinton and Gouverneur Morris + + to be the bearers of this application to the seat of Government, with instructions to enter, from time to time, into all needful expositions. We crave, on the part of the State of New York, the credence and favorable notice of their