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bert, Slocumb, S. Smith, Ballard Smith, Alexander Smyth, Speed, Stewart of North Carolina, Strong, Strother, Stuart of Maryland, Taylor, Terrill, Terry, Tompkins, Townsend, Upham, Walker of North Carolina, Wendover, Westerlo, Whitman, Williams of Connecticut, Williams of New York, Williams of North Carolina, Wilkin, Wilson of Massachusetts, and Wilson of Pennsylvania.
The question was then taken on striking out the 11th sention; and also determined in the negative. he question was then taken, Shall the said bill be engrossed and read a third time 7 and passed in the affirmative—yeas 95, nays 51, as follows:
YEAs—Messrs. Abbott, Anderson of Pennsylvania, Anderson of Kentucky, Ball, Barbour of Virginia, Barber of Ohio, Bassett, Beecher, Bellinger, Bloomfield, Boden, Burwell, Campbell, Claiborne, Cook, Crafts, Cruger, Culbreth, Desha, Edwards, Ellicott, Floyd, Forney, Forsyth, Hale, Hall of North Carolina, Harrison, Hasbrouck, Herkimer, Hitchcock, Hogg, Holmes of Massachusetts, Hubbard, Irving of New York, Johnson of Virginia, Jones, Kinsey, Kirtland, Lawyer, Linn, Little, Livermore, McCoy, Marchand, Marr, Merrill, Moore, Mumford, Murray, H. Nelson, T. M. Nelson, New, Ogle, Owen, Palmer, Parrott, Patterson, Peter, Pleasants, Poindexter, Porter, Quarles, Rich, Ringgold, Robertson of Kentucky, Robertson of Louisiana, Sampson, Sawyer, Scudder, Settle, Seybert, Shaw, Silsbee, S. Smith, Ballard Smith, Speed, Spencer, Strother, Tallmadge, Tarr, Taylor, Terrill, Tompkins, Townsend, Trimble, Tucker of Virginia, Tucker of South Carolina, Tyler, Walker of North Carolina, Walker of Kentucky, Wallace, Wendover, Whiteside, Wilkin, and Wilson of Pennsylvania.
NArs—Messrs. Adams, Allen of Massachusetts, Allen of Vermont, Baldwin, Bayley, Bennett, Boss, Clagett, Cobb, Cushman, Darlington, Earle, Folger, Gage, Hall of Delaware, Holmes of Connecticut, Hopkinson, Hunter, Huntington, Lowndes, McLane, W. P. Maclay, Mason of Massachusetts, Mason of Rhode Island, Mercer, Middleton, Moseley, Jeremiah Nelson, Ogden, Pawling, Pindall, Pitkin, Reed, Rhea, Rice, Richards, Ruggles, Schuyler, Sergeant, Slocumb, Alexander Smyth, Stewart of North Carolina, Strong, Stuart of Maryland, Terry, Westerlo, Whitman, Williams of Connecticut, Williams of New York, Williams of North Carolina, and Wilson of Massachusetts.
The bill was then ordered to be read a third time, on Wednesday next.
TUESDAY, March 24.
Another member, to wit: from Pennsylvania, Thomas J. Rogers, elected to supply the vacancy occasioned by the resignation P}. Ross, appeared, produced his credentials, was qualified, and took his seat.
The SPEAKER presented a petition of John Anderson, praying that the bills which have been reported at this session for his relief, may be taken up and finally disposed of, with as little delay as possible.—Laid on the table.
Mr. Little, from the Committee of Accounts, who were instructed by resolution to inquire into the causes of delay, in laying on the tables of the
members of this House, the Message of the President of the United States, of the 14th instant, with its accompanying documents, made a report thereon, which was read and ordered to lie on the table. Mr. Williams, from the Committee of Claims, made a report on the petition of Adam Kinsey and Thomas French, which was read; when, Mr. W. reported a bill for the relief of the said Adam Kinsey and Thomas French, which was read twice, and committed to a Committee of the Whole. Mr. HUgh Nelson, from the Committee on the Judiciary, reported a bill concerning the Territory of Alabama, which was read twice, and ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, on Saturday next. Mr. PleasANTs, from the Committee on Naval Affairs, made a report on the petition of Jarius Loomis, and James Bassett, sailing-masters in the Navy of the United States, and commanding gun vessels, Nos. 149 and 154, which was read; when, Mr. P. reported a bill authorizing the payment of a sum of money to the officers and crews of gunboats Nos. 149 and 154, which was read twice, and committed to a Committee of the Whole. Mr. PLEASANTs also reported a bill concerning the heirs and legatees of Thomas Turner, deceased, which was read twice, and committed to a Committee of the Whole. Mr. TAYLoR, from the select committee appointed on the subject, reported a bill fixing the time for the next meeting of Congress, which was read twice, and the further consideration *†go until Tuesday, the 31st instant. The SPEAKER laid before the House, a report of the Secretary of the Navy, on the petitions of Samuel Cheney and Robert Ramsey, which was read and ordered to lie on the table. The SPEAKER also laid before the House, a letter from Richard Bland Lee, Commissioner of Claims, transmitting reports of the facts in fiftysix cases, all from the State of New York, with the evidence accompanying each, taken under a second commission, attended by a special agent on the part of the United States.—Referred to the Committee of Claims. A message from the Senate informed the House that the Senate have passed bills of the following titles, to wit: An act authorizing a subscription for the eleventh volume of State Papers; and an act regulating the pay and emoluments of brevet officers; in which bills they ask the concurrence of this House. The said bills were respectively, read the first time. On motion of of Mr. Scott, Resolved, That the Committee on the Public Lands be instructed to inquire into the expediency of granting or securing to the town of St. Louis, in the Missouri Territory, as a commo all the sand bar or batture, formed by the recession of the Mississippi river, between the said town and low water mark; and to prohibit the location of any floating claim in the said Terri”
thereon, or if any location should have been | The act of Congress authorizing a deduction of du.
made, to prohibit by law the issuing of a patent therefor. Resolved, also, That the Committee on the Public Lands be instructed to inquire into the expediency of prohibiting by law the location of any floating claim, on any lands in the Territory of Missouri, the right of pre-emption to which land has been secured to any settler, by the act of the 12th of April, 1814, or if any such location should have been made, to prohibit by law, the issuing a patent therefor. Resolved, also, That the Committee on the Public Lands be instructed to inquire into the expediency of prohibiting by law the location of any floating claim, in the Territory of Missouri, on any lands, the right, title, or claim to which, has been at any time heretofore given notice of, or filed with either of the Boards of Commissioners in said Territory, or with the recorder of land titles, acting as such under any law of Congress, for the adjustment of land titles in said Territory, or, if any such location should have been made, to prohibit by law the issuing of patents therefor. esolved, also, That the Committee on the Public Lands be instructed to inquire into the expediency of prohibiting by law the location of any floating claim in the Territory of Missouri, on any town lot, village lot, out lot, common field lot, or common, in, adjoining, or appertaining to any of the towns or villages in the Territory of Missouri, or if any such location shall have been made to prohibit by law the issuing of patents therefor. An engrossed bill, entitled “An act for the relief of Narcissus Broutin, and others,” was read the third time, and passed. An engrossed resolution * directing the Secretary for the Department of State to prepare an index to the acts and resolutions of Congress, after the close of every session,” was read the third time, and passed.
REMISSION OF DUTIES.
Mr. McLANE, from the Committee of Commerce and Manufactures, made a report on the etition of Oliver H. Hicks, and Lockwood de orest, which was read, and the resolution therein contained was concurred in by the House. The report is as follows: The petitioners state, that on the 8th of June, 1816, they imported into the district of New York, in the schooner Eliza, from Berbice, thirty-nine tierces and one barrel of coffee ; that, immediately upon landing it, the wharf being crowded, it was removed into the store of the petitioners; that, some time afterwards, they sold it by samples taken from a number of the casks, and on the 8th August following commenced delivering it to the purchaser. It was then discovered that eighteen of the casks were damaged, and, upon an application to the collector for an appraisement, and deduction of the duties, he had no power to act, the time allowed by law having expired. The petitioners then had it examined by the wardens of the port, and appraised by four merchants, and they pray Congress to pass an act authorizing a deduction of the duties in proportion to the damage.
ties on damaged goods provides that no such allowance for the damage on goods that have been entered, and on which the duties have been paid or secured, and for which permit has been granted, and which on an examination prove to be damaged, shall be made, unless proof to ascertain such damage shall be lodged in the custom-house within ten days after landing such merchandise. In this case the coffee had been entered, the duties secured, permit granted, and the merchandise actually in the possession of the owners, and under their observation, two months before any damage was alleged; and the case is therefore, within both the letter and spirit of the law. Although it may be proper for Congress to grant relief in cases coming within the letter of the law, though not within its spirit, it would be a dangerous precedent to relieve in a case coming clearly within the mischief designed to be guarded against, and that too by the act of the owner. The act of Congress is intended to guard against all the means of fraud, and has allowed the owner ten days for the discovery of the damage, presuming it necessary for the safety of the revenue that a longer time should not be afforded. In this case, the owners took the merchandise from the wharf at their owa risk; if they neglected to examine it sooner, it is their own fault, and there is no reason shown to the committee why a greater indulgence should be given than is allowed in ordinary cases. It does, however, appear that this coffee did not altogether escape the observation of the petitioners; they actually sold it by samples; and though it so happened that the samples were all taken from the sound casks, it is not an accident for which the Government should be liable. The committee, therefore, recommend the following resolution: Resolved, That the prayer of the petitioners ought not to be granted.
The House then resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on the bill to alter the flag of the United States [providing that from and after the fourth day of July next, the flag of the United States be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be twenty stars, white in a blue field; and that, on the admission of every new State into the Union, one star be added to the Union of the flag, and that such addition shall take effect on the fourth day of July then next succeeding such admission.]
Mr. Wendover rose. In complying with a duty incumbent on me, said Mr. W., as resulting from a proposition I had the honor to submit to the House, for altering in part the flag of the United States, I feel no disposition to consume much of the time of the Committee, or to indulge in the many observations which the nature of the subject might appear to justify. But I ask the patience of the Committee while I state a few of the considerations which present themselves in favor of the bill now on your table.
Sir, the importance attached to a national flag, both in its literal and figurative use, is so universal, and of such ancient origin, that we seldom
inquire into the meaning of their various figures, as adopted by other nations, and are in some danger of forgetting the so. application of those composing that of our own. Were we now about to devise suitable emblems for a national flag, I doubt not we should see much diversity of sentiment, and perhaps some efforts for local gratification; but I presume we should unite in some general and appropriate figures, referring not to sectional but national objects. But on this subject we need not differ. Suitable symbols were devised by those who laid the foundation of the Republic; and I hope their children will ever feel themselves in honor precluded from changing these, except so far as necessity may dictate, and with a direct view of “Fiji by them their original o: r. Chairman, I am not particularly informed as to the origin of our flag; but have repeatedly heard it was first used by a citizen of Philadelphia, on his own vessel, and afterwards adopted by the Congress of the Revolution, as appropriate to and emblematical of these confed. erated States, contending for the rights of man, and the rich boon of an independent Government. At its adoption our flag was founded on a representative j. and in the arrangement of its parts made applicable to the number of the States then united against the common foe. The same representative principle was retained and applied when the flag was altered ; but experience having shown that a similar extension of numbers throughout, the flag would now be improper and inconvenient. It is worthy the attention of the National Legislature again to consider the subject, and see if it be practicable to retain in it the object contemplated by its founders, as pointing to the component parts of the nation, without losing sight of the original formation of this Government as a free republic. Sir, the flag of the United States having undergone some change, and in its present state being altogether inappropriate, we are called upon to determine whether a further change be not advisable, and, if it be, what alteration will be most proper, and best to apply to the present and relative state of the nation, consistent with the representative character of the flag. If you do not alter it, you do injustice to the States admitted into the Union since the former alteration ; and if you alter in the way as before, you will destroy the conspicuity of your flag, and render it too indistinct to be known at a distance, and increase the inconvenience already experienced. At the present day, and particularly since the commencement of the late war, there are few vessels, however small, if they carry a mast, but are furnished with a flag of some description; and it is well known to gentlemen living on the seaboard, and others, that it is impracticable for small vessels to conform even to the present law; and the law itself does not correspond with the existing or original facts. The flag of the United States was altered by law, from thirteen to fifteen stripes and stars, on the first of May, 1795, to apply to the admission
of Vermont and Kentucky into the Union. On the first of June, 1796, Tennessee was admitted. Thus the alteration was applicable to the fact on which it was predicated, for the short space of one year and one month. On the 19th of February, 1803, Ohio was admitted, Louisiana on the 36th of April, 1812. Indiana was admitted at the last session of Congress, and Mississippi at the present session, and you now have on your table a bill for the admission of another State. Calculating on such a result caused many to regret the former alteration ; and no doubt the same reason operated in the House of Representatives when the bill passed, and will account for the small majority of eight by which it succeeded. ... none will now advocate the propriety of continuing the fifteen stripes as at present; that number was sounded on a mere contingency, which has since repeatedly happened, and will frequently occur; whereas the number proposed by the bill refers to our national origin, and is equally interesting to all. Sir, it cannot be deemed proper to go on and increase the stripes in your flag. There are now twenty States; what number they will ultimately extend to none can conjecture. For my own part, I doubt not there will in time be accessions from the East, from the North, from the West, and from the South. Sir, I am not now speaking of conquest. I am willing every people should * manage their own affairs in their own way.” But I can no more believe that any portion of the earth will remain in perpetual thraldom, and be forever tributary to a foreign Power, than I can subscribe to the doctrine of a ceaseless succession of legitimate kings. Sir, it cannot be deemed desirable, under the existing state of things, in relation to the stripes and stars in the flag, to retain it in its present situation; it is not only inapplicable, but both parts refer to the same thing, and the one is a duplicate of the other; but the alteration proposed will direct the view to two striking facts in our national history, and teach the world an important reality, that republican government is not only practicable, but that it is also progressive. Is it desirable to produce greater uniformity 7 Most undoubtedly it is. In the navy the law is generally conformed to, but it is well known that uniformity does not elsewhere exist. If evidence were wanting, among other and numerous instances, I would refer you to the flag at this moment waving over the heads of the Representatives of the nation, and two others in sight, equally the flags of the Government: while the law directs that the flag shall contain fifteen, that on the Hall of Congress, whence laws emanate, has but thirteen, and those at the Navy Yard and Marine Barracks have each at least eighteen stripes. Nor can I omit to mention the flag under which the last Congress sat during its first session, which, from some cause or other unknown to me, had but nine stripes. But even that flag, with all its defects, was entitled to much honor, for it was not only striped, but, to use another British cant, it was “Ragged Bunt
ing,” and was the first flag hoisted on the Hall of Congress, after the proverbial “Bulwark of Religion” had here, in this city, shown its anxious solicitude to promote the useful arts. Sir, I consider the plan proposed as in unison with the original design; it points to the States as they commenced and as they now are, and will, with an inconsiderable addition, direct the mind to a future state of things. The necessary alteration, either now or hereafter, can be made by almost any person, at any place and at any time; and the proposition, if adopted, will in future save the expense of legislating on the subiect. #. committee who reported this bill deemed it advisable to direct that the stripes be horizontal; this is now the form in use; but it results from example, and not from the act, and would be equally conformable to law, if the stripes were arranged in a perpendicular direction. There is, indeed, one exception in practice. Under the laws for the collection of impost and tonnage, the Executive has directed that the cutters and boats employed in this service shall carry ensigns and pennants, with perpendicular stripes, and other marks of distinction; but this being alterable at the pleasure of the President, forms no objection to the proposition in the bill ; and it is obviously proper to define the form in this particular, when it is considered that in this only has been the distinction between the flags of two different nations, and was recently the case as regarded those of France and Holland. As to the particular disposition of the stars in the union of the flag, the committee were of opinion that might be left at the discretion of persons more immediately concerned; either to arrange them in the form of one great luminary, or in the words of the original resolution of 1777, “representing a new constellation.” Mr. Chairman, in viewing this subject, there appears to be a happy coincidence of circumstances, in having adopted the symbols in your flag, and a peculiar fitness of things, in making the proposed alteration. In that part designed at a distance to characterize your country, and which ought, for the information of other nations, to appear conspicuous and remain permament, you present the number of the stars that burst the bands of oppression, and achieved your independence; while in the part intended for a nearer, or home view, you see a representation of your happy Union as it now exists, and space sufficient to embrace the symbols of those who may hereafter join under your banners. Sir, could s". so fortunate as to escape the charge of mistaking fancy for fact, and be permitted, on this figurative subject, to draw a parallel, I should attempt to show that, in another point of view there is a propriety and an aptness in having adopted and in now restoring the thirteen stripes. Sir, you have recently been at war with a powerful nation; that war, from its declaration to its final termination, continued precisely three years. In that war, though your arms were generally victorious, yet in a more
signal manner, in the first year, you beat the enemy on the ocean; in the second year, on the lakes; and in the third year, on the land. Thus, then, by triplication, indicated by the time three years, or by the fact of conquest over the three descriptions of force arrayed against you, and viewing your flag as of right composed of thirteen stripes, you i. but executed the authority vested in the Israelites of old in cases of controversy, and beaten the enemy with forty stripes, sate one. Sir, the proposition before you is predicated on the fact already stated, that your flag has been altered. Were it not so, I presume it would n now be changed; it is at present inapplicable to original or existing sacts; let it now be made to refer to both. Where is the American who feels not a becoming pride and gratitude in retrospecting to the days of the Revolution; when the blood of our fathers profusely flowed, to procure for us a rich inheritance 7 In their memory, and to their honor, let us restore substantially the flag under which they conquered, and at the same o engraft into its figure the after-fruits of their toll. Mr. Chairman, I hope this bill will pass, and wish it to pass with much unanimity; not only because I believe it will meet the public approbation, and be best calculated to give sufficient permanency to the form of your flag, but because there yet remains a few, and, indeed, but few, who first nerved their arm to raise this banner of freedom, and nobly defended it, through carnage and blood, to victory and to peace. With hoary locks and tottering frame they have been preserved to see it acquire a renown which I trust will never fade; and have lived to witness in their sons that heroic spirit, which assures them that their privations and their arduous struggle in defence of liberty have not been in vain. Sir, I believe it is now the time to legislate on this subject; your flag now stands pre-eminently high in the estimation of other nations, and it is justly the pride of your own. And although, for a moment, your flag was veiled at Detroit, and left to droop at Castine; and although (if I may so express it) it was made to weep at Washington, it has not lost its lustre-it remains unsullied. No disgrace has attached to your “starspangled banner.” . It has been the signal of victory on the land, of successful valor on the lakes, and waved triumphantly on the ocean. And even on those who predicted that in “nine months the striped bunting would be swept from the ocean,” it possessed the wonderful charm, that before the nine months had elapsed, “fir-built frigates” and “Yankee cock-boats” were magnified into “ships-of-the-line;” and His Majesty's faithful officers, careful for the preservation of British Oak, sought protection for their frigates under the convoy of seventy-four-gun ships. Sir, this subject has for some time been before the public; it has been examined and approved by many gentlemen of rank and experience in the Navy and Army of the United States; it
meets the approbation of the gentlemen at the
head of these departments; and, as far as I am informed, that of the public generally; and I presume none will doubt the propriety of endeavoring to produce greater uniformity in the use of the flag, as well as to give it a more significant application than it now has.
But, sir, whatever be the fate of this bill, I hope the time is not distant when you will give to your flag its deserved honor, as the guardian of your citizens; when your hardy seamen shall no i. be doomed to the degradation to ask for, nor you to give them, paper protections; but,
hen they shals point aloft to the flag of their ountry, and say, “This is the protection of freemen; under this we desire peacefully to traverse the ocean and sail to every clime. But perish the arm that shall attempt to seize upon our persons; and wo to the nation that shall dare to infringe our country's rights!” And whenever called to the contest by the voice of their country, may they rally round the “star-spangled banner,” and emphatically exclaim
“High-waving, unsullied, unstruck, proudly showeth,
Mr. Chairman, I shall add no more. The subject is plain and well understood; and though not of a character to be classed with those of the highest national importance, is still proper to be acted on, and worthy the attention of the Representatives of a people whose flag will never be insulted for want of protectors, and which, I hope and believe, will never be struck to an inferior or equal force. Mr. PoindextER moved to amend the bill by reducing the number of stars to seven, the number of States added to the Union since the declaration of Independence, leaving the number of stripes as the bill proposed; so that the stars might represent the number of new States, and the stripes answer to the number of the original thirteen States; which motion Mr. P. advocated by several arguments. Mr. SMITH, of Maryland, made a few remarks in opposition to this motion; to whom r. Robertson, of Louisiana, replied, and supported the motion of Mr. Poindexter against the proposition contained in the bill. M. oindexTER’s motion was lost without a division, and the Committee rose and reported the bill to the House without amendment. Mr. P. then renewed his motion without success; when Mr. Folger moved to strike out the second section of the bill, providing for the additional star for every new State, and to amend the first section by fixing the number of stars at thirteen instead of twenty. This motion was negatived, and the bill was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading.
SPANISH AMERICAN PROVINCES.
The House went into Committee of the Whole on the appropriiation bill; the clause appropriating thirty thousand dollars for compensation to the Commissioners, sent to South America by the Executive in December last, under consideration. Mr. Clay wished to know if this appropriation was to defray the expenses of the commission lately sent to South America; if so, he would ask of the chairmen of the Committee of Ways and Means and the Committee of Foreign Relations, whether those Commissioners were furnished with credentials, and if their appointment had been confirmed by the Senate; also, to what ports of South America they were sent, and the robable duration of the commission; and, also, if it would not be looking too much into its objects, he would be glad to know what those obJects were. Mr. Lowndes said, that although he had not all the information required by the Speaker, yet, he was possessed of something on the subject more than newspaper intelligence. It must be recollected that the objects of the Committee of Ways and Means were confined merely to the financial department; they had, however, some information on this subject, received in reply to some inquiries that the committee had, in the performance of their duties, addressed to the Deartment of State, which would answer the peaker's inquiry as to the credentials and the probable duration of the commission. The other points did not coine within the objects belonging to the Committee of Ways and Means. The papers referred to by Mr. L. were handed up by him, and read as follows:
DEPARTMENT or STATE, March 2, 1818.
SIR : I have the honor to enclose a copy of the commission from this Department with which Messrs. Rodney, Graham, and Bland, were furnished by direction of the President. They have, as you will perceive, no distinct diplomatic rank. They are expected to be absent seven or eight months; and the compensation allowed them by the President is $6,000 each, and $2,000 to their Secretary. Their expenses on the voyage, until their return, except while on shore in South America, are likewise allowed; and Messrs. Rodney and Graham having been appointed in June last, and prepared to go, but by various accidents detained until the beginning of December, when they sailed, claim on that account a further allowance. If, after their arrival at Buenos Ayres, they find it advisable that one or more of them should remain on that continent, and go to Chili, that measure is within their discretionary powers. As this contingency was, however, not expected as probable ; and, if it should occur, it was not foreseen to what extent of time it might go, no specific allowance was fixed upon for it. Under these circumstances, it was anticipated that the sum of thirty thousand dollars would not more than suffice to cover the expenses of the mission.
I am, with great respect, sir, your very humble and
obedient servant, JOHN Q. ADAMS. W. Low NDEs, Esq., Chairman, &c.