H. OF R.]

Direct Taxes.

[JANUARY, 1797.

States had been truly stated. In the Western Union, and would produce uneasiness from its parts, there were few slaves. He said, in the re- partial effects. He did not know how the detail presentation to that House, the labor of the negroes would be arranged. He had been of the number had been considered as five to three, with respect who were desirous to see the collection-law, before to white persons; therefore, the ability of the State they decided on the resolution before them, so as to pay was considered in the same proportion. to have possessed the whole subject. At present, His colleague from the mountains [Mr. G. Jack- he saw so many difficulties from incorporating this SON) should consider that, if the holders of slaves species of tax into the plan, he could not assent were not to pay a portion of the tax imposed on to it. the State of Virginia, it would fall very heavy Mr. Nicholas said, he did not understand the upon his constituents, and those of his colleague, objections of the gentleman from New Hampwhere few blacks were kept.

shire, [Mr. J. Smith.] He did not see how he He hoped, therefore, it would pass.

could produce an equal value in land in every part Mr. JEREMIAH Smith was aware that a tax on of the Union. The tax, he said, would be apporslaves would lighten the tax on land in the South- tioned according to the number of persons, and not ern States, and therefore he did not wonder at the according to the number of acres in any State. Representatives from those States wishing it to If the gentleman from Connecticut [Mr. Goodtake place; but, by so apportioning the tax, would Rich] would rely upon his information, he might not the land-holders in the Southern States pay be assured, that an annual enumeration of slaves less than the land-holders in parts of the Union would not cost so much as an assessment of land where no slaves were kept ?' He believed they made once in ten years. With respect to the tax would. A person, for instance, in New Hamp- being uncertain, he was totally mistaken. It was shire, holding the value of £1,000 in land, would the most productive tax in the Southern States. pay a larger portion of the tax than a holder of If the tax was laid wholly upon land, it would be fand to the same extent in Virginia. He believed laid on a great part which would be unsaleable, this would be unjust, and an objection to this and when a report came to be made of the collecmode of taxing the Southern States, as, though tion, there would be found great deficiencies; but, the tax would fall more equally on them, it would with respect to slaves, there would be no failure, not be so with respect to other States.

because they were a species of property which Mr. GOODRICH said, this tax was introduced into would always find a ready sale in the Southern the system for the accommodation of that part of market. the Union where slaves were numerous.

Mr. S. Smith said, he had heard much on that A disposition to render the plan as acceptable, floor with respect to equality of taxation. It was in every part of the country, as it could be made, impossible, he said, to make taxes fall exactly consistently with the interests of the whole, ought equal; they will fall, in some cases, heavier than to prevail. But, before a tax on slaves was adopt-in others. He would state a case. When a tax ed, its operation on the Union, and its effects, as on carriages was under consideration, they found it respected different districts, should be con- the gentlemen from Connecticut voting without sidered.

scruple, because that State paid only two or three A direct tax ought to fall as equally as possible hundred dollars annually, when Maryland paid everywhere; that on land and houses, with their five thousand dollars a year to that duty. There improvements, which had been agreed to, would was no equality in this; yet those gentlemen be laid by a valuation seldom repeated—perhaps, winked at the disproportion. He hoped they once in ten or fifteen years. The expense of its would do so in the present case. assessment and collection would be nearly equal Mr. Potter said, if this part of the resolution throughout the United States; but, with respect was agreed to, it was to apportion a tax on the to a tax on slaves, there would be required fre- personal property of the Southern States, which, quent enumerations—at least, an annual enume- no, doubt, they would be glad of; and if genration. This would be attended with considerable tlemen from those States could point out any expense, to be defrayed, not by the particular dis way by which the personal property of other tricts

, for whose benefit this species of tax was in- States could be come at, he would agree to the troduced, but by the United States.

present proposition; but he believed this could not There was another objection. A land tax was be done; and, if not, he saw no reason why the certain-it might, and undoubtedly would, be personal property of those States should be made made a lien on the real estate on which it was to bear a part of the proposed burden, whilst perlaid. It would be liable to little, if any, loss. Not sonal property in other States was suffered to go so with a tax on slaves. Such a tax, he appre- free. It was a hard case, he said, that a man who hended, would be uncertain, exposing the revenue possessed three or four hundred dollars in land, to considerable defalcations. If a provision could should be made to pay a portion of the direct tax, not be made to place the loss on the districts where whilst men of affluence, who possessed many it happened, by retaxing them it would operate thousands in public securities, or loaned on interunequally. He imagined a retaxation for defal- est, should pay nothing. cation, if it could be made, would be considered The Speaker reminded the House, that the as unjust

, and create discontent among the indi- question was very much lost sight of; it was not viduals who were subjected to it; and if that whether a tax should be laid on carriages or percould not be done, the deficiency must fall on the sonal property, but whether they would agree to

JANUARY, 1797.]

Direct Taxes.

[H. OF R.

the report of the Committee of the Whole, viz: ) the deficiency, if there should be any, upon the " that a tax should be laid on slaves, with certain land. He thought, therefore, the objections which exceptions."

had been urged against this tax, would be comMr. HENDERSON said, he should vote against pletely obviated. this proposition, because it was a direct tax, as he Mr. Coit allowed, that nothing was more clear should vote against every question of that kind, than that the manner in which the Southern until every source of indirect taxation was ex- States paid their apportionment of the proposed hausted; and he thought this was not the case at burden, could make no difference to the Northern present.

and Eastern States; but the gentleman from PennMr. CLAIBORNE said, he thought, also, that di-sylvania [Mr. GALLATIN] allowed there was some rect taxes should not be resorted to until indirect weight in the objections, with respect to the assources were exhausted; but, he believed, they sessment and collection of the tax. were now exhausted, and that direct taxes were If he understood that gentleman, he said that the only means left to them of raising money. As the making an enumeration of slaves would make he lived in a country which was unfortunately no difference in the expense. He did not know cursed with negroes, he wished the present mo- how this could be. If two objects were to do, viz: tion to pass, for the sake of making the tax bear, to value and assess the land, and to enumerate and in some degree, equally in the Southern States; value the slave, it was new doctrine to him, if but, if he thought with his colleague [Mr. Jack these two things would not cost more than if only SON] that a tax on slaves bore any affinity to a one had been done; or, if this business would be capitation tax, he should also oppose it; but he done for nothing, it would be one of the first had no such idea.

things the United States had had done upon those Mr. GALLATIN said, he would just notice what terms. had fallen from the gentleman from Connecticut Upon the collection, there would also be an ad[Mr. Goodrich) which was the only thing like ditional expense and a probability of loss; the more argument which had been used against the pre- detail there was in the business, the greater liasent proposition. As to what had been said about bility to error and loss to the United States; and the quantum of tax falling on different States, or in proportion to this loss would these States pay what had been said by the gentleman from Rhode less than others. Island [Mr. POTTER] with respect to the personal Mr. Hartley said, he should at present vote for property of the Eastern States, he did not see how the proposition ; but should feel himself at liberty it applied to the present question. If the proposed to vote differently on the bill, if he did not aptax was certain, and the expense of collection prove it. Difficulties arose in' his mind as to the would not be greater than would attend the col- propriety of taxing personal property in one State lection of the tax in other States, he did not see and not in another, by which means a bounty any objection to it.

seemed to be given on land in the Southern States The gentleman from Connecticut had said, that to the amount of the difference of the taxes bethe expense of an annual enumeration of slaves tween the land in those States, and that, in other would be great, and that it would fall upon the States, upon which purchasers would naturally United States

. He would inform that gentleman calculate. This difficulty might probably be reand the House, that when no assessment took moved from his mind; and, therefore, in order to place, but merely an enumeration, it would be give the whole of the business a fair chance, he attended with no expense on the collection of the should wish the resolutions to go back to the Comtax. The distinction which he made was, when a mittee of Ways and Means, to bring in a bill. valuation and an enumeration were both neces- Mr. Page did suppose that gentlemen coming sary, and when an enumeration alone was neces- from States which were in the habit of collecting sary. In the first instance, the value of the pro- direct taxes, would have endeavored to accommoperty was to be ascertained, and the tax laid ac-date the business to the situation and circumcordingly; but where an enumeration was only stances of different States, so as to make the syswanted, (the tax per head, according to age, &c., tem the most convenient to each.

He did suphaving been settled,) no expense would be in pose that, whenever it should have been detercurred.

mined to enter upon direct taxation, that sums Mr. G. said, he spoke from experience. In would have been apportioned to each State, and Pennsylvania there was a certain tax on personal that they would have been left to themselves to property, the taking an account of which did not have raised the money in the way which they increase the expense. Every three years there thought most convenient. Insuperable objections, was an assessment of personal property, amongst however, it seemed, had been found against this which was slaves; but the enumeration was man- system, as appeared from the report of the Secreaged in this way: the collector called twice upon tary of the Treasury; but it was unreasonable persons-the first time he gave them notice to that the Northern States should complain that the pay, and took an account of their property, which, Southern States would pay the tax with greater consisting of few articles, and the value being al- facility than them. They might, he said, as well ready fixed, he could tell them at the time, the complain against the richness of 'their soil, or the amount to be paid at his next call.

warmness of their climate. As 10 any degree of uncertainty apprehended With respect to the tax falling lighter on them from this tax. that might be removed by throwing than on other States, those who held slaves would H. OF R.]

Direct Tares.

[JANUARY, 1797.

find it lighter, but those who had none, would not would pay more than a land-holder to that amount But he thought it extraordinary that, whilst they in the Southern States. And was this, he asked, were upbraided with holding a species of property a subject of regret? If the State of Virginia paid peculiar to their country, they should also be up- the amount required of her in a manner which braided with wishing to pay a duty upon that bore most equally upon the whole of her citizens, property

ought that to displease the citizens of other States Mr. P. said, he did not see what difference it He thought not. He was of opinion, that it would could make to other States, that they raised a part be a desirable thing that the tax should be found of the tax required of them from slaves. The Se- to fall equally on the citizens of every State. cretary of the Treasury had recommended this Another objection, produced by the gentleman mode, the Committee of Ways and Means had from Connecticut [Mr. Goodrich) was, that a reported accordingly; and they were ready to pay tax on this species of property would not be so a tax for their slaves, in addition to the expense secure as a tax on land. "If that gentleman had they were at for them already; for, it should be been acquainted with the situation of the Southrecollected, persons holding slaves, contribute ern States, he would have known that slaves largely to the duties collected from imposts, by formed the most certain fund of those States; for, the purchase of flannels and cloth, rum, molasses, whilst their wide and extensive waste lands would &c., necessary for their food and clothing. not command any price, slaves were always ready

If a person living in a State where slavery did sale. Hence it arose, that the States were not not exist; paid something more for his land, the able to raise a tax on Sand, whilst a tax on slaves difference was certainly not equal to the satisfac- had never failed to be productive. tion he must enjoy in reflecting, that his State With respect to the inconvenience or expense was free from that evil. His land, on that account, attending a tax on slaves, in Virginia, he said, po would be worth three times as much as land of expense would be necessary; because it was the the same quality in the Southern States. Why, custom of that State to take, annually, a list of then, do gentlemen complain? The Southern their slaves, which was regularly recorded in the States themselves might have objected to this tax; archives of the State. If gentlemen were, therethey might have doubted the constitutionality of fore, so economical that they would not expend a it ; indeed, he did doubt it, but he had agreed to few of the public pence to get a list of this proit; and he believed there was no better way of perty, let them recur to the document he had menmaking the tax go down in those States, than by tioned, which might be done without expense. the present measure. For his own part, Mr. P. said, he wished he ern States, the remarks made by the gentleman

To those who know the situation of the Southlived where there was no slavery; and if he could from Pennsylvania [Mr. Gallatin) must have find a climate he liked as well, he would change been irresistibly impressive. Almost the whole his situation on that account.

of the lower part of the country possessed properMr. Brent said, it was a very extraordinary thing that gentlemen who represented States y of the kind, whilst the upper parts had scarcely

any. where there were no slaves, should oppose a tax

a tax was, therefore, imposed upon land on that species of property, and that the Southern tremely aggravated, and would murmur, and they

only, the upper part of the country would be exStates where slavery existed, should be advocating would murmur with justice. that tax. By the report of the Secretary of the Treasury, the Representatives of the Southern States to

Gentlemen from the Eastern States called upon there appeared a deficiency of revenue, and in order to supply that deficiency, they had determined point out a mode by which they might come at to have recourse to direct taxation; and, after the the personal property of their States. But, he amount which each State ought to furnish, had would ask them, if, independent of land with its been ascertained, he thought it should have been improvements, they possessed any other species of left to the different States to have raised the mo- property which could not be eluded ? He believed ney from such funds as they judged best, provided they could not point it out; why, then, call upon they had been secure. This, he thought, would gentlemen from the Southern States to do, what only have been liberal and proper. It had, bow-they, who certainly knew best their ow

resources, ever, been determined otherwise; but, from a

were unable to do? knowledge that, by introducing land and slaves The gentlemen from the Southern States, he together, as objects of taxation, the lax would be said, had discovered those objects which they more equally levied in the Southern States, if thought best able to bear the burden ; and if the that plan had been adopted. And, surely, he said, Representatives of the other States were not satisit could have given no satisfaction to any other fied with the tax on land, let them come forward State, that, by laying a tax on land only, it should and say what other property they have equally have operated in a very oppressive manner in secure, upon which a tax may be laid. some parts of the Southern States, and scarcely It was a phenomenon, he would again say, that have been felt at all in other parts of those States; the Representatives of States where slavery exand yet, this would appear to be the opinion of isted, should be contending for a tax upon slaves, the gentleman from New Hampshire; for, he said, and ihat members from Siates where slavery was if this law passed, a person possessing lan led pro- not tolerated, were opposing it. He could not perty in New Hampshire, of the value of £1,000, help believing that the real object of gentlemen

JANUARY, 1797.1
Direct Taxes.

(H. or R. had not been avowed. It was something hidden thony New, John Nicholas, Alexander D. Orr, John and unseep.

Page, Josiah Parker, John Patton, Francis Preston, Mr. Kittera said, that the opposers of this part Robert Rutherford, Samuel Sewall, Samuel Sitgreaves, of the resolution were the opposers of a direct tax Isaac Smith, Samuel Smith, William Smith, Richard altogether. It was observable that those upon Sprigg, jr., John Swanwick, John E. Van Allen, Philip whom the tax would fall, did not complain. It Van Cortlandt, Abraham Venable, and John Williams. was extraordinary that the complaints should

Nars.-Fisher Ames, Theodorus Bailey, Theophiof his colleague [Mr. Hartley) that part of the Henry Dearborn, Abiel Foster, Dwight Foster, Jesse come from another quarter. As to the objections lus Bradbury, Nathan Bryan, Dempsey Burges, Ga

briel Christie, Samuel W. Dana, James Davenport, tax being laid on slaves in the Southern States, Franklin, Nathaniel Freeman, jun., James Gillespie, would affect the value of land, it would make no Roger Griswold, Wade Hampton, Robert Goodloe Hardifference whether the tax was on land or slaves, per

, Thomas Henderson, James Holland, Andrew Jackas it affected land, its operation would be the son, George Jackson, Matthew Locke, Samuel Lyman, same. It was therefore no solid objection against William Lyman, Samuel Maclay, Nathaniel Macon, the resolution.

Francis Malbone, Elisha R. Potter, John Reed, John On the question, that the House do agree to the S. Sherburne, Jeremiah Smith, Nathaniel Smith, Zephalast part of the said resolution, in the words fol- niah Swift, George Thatcher, Richard Thomas, Mark lowing, to wit: “A tax on slaves, with certain ex- Thompson, Joseph B. Varnum, Peleg Wadsworth, and ceptions;" it was resolved in the affirmative-yeas

Richard Winn. 68, nays 23, as follows:

Ordered, That the Committee of Ways and Yeas.-Fisher Ames, Abraham Baldwin, Thomas Means do prepare and bring in a bill or bills, purBlount, Theophilus Bradbury, Richard Brent, Daniel suant to the said resolution. Buck, Samuel J. Cabell, Gabriel Christie, Thomas Clai

UNITED STATES LAWS IN TENNESSEE. bome, Isaac Coles, William Cooper, William Craik, James Davenport, George Dent, George Ege, William

The House then went into a Committee of the Findley, Abiel Foster

, Jesse Franklin, Albert Gallatin, Whole on the bill for giving effect to the laws of James Gillespie, Nicholas Gilman, Henry Glen, Chris- the United States in the State of Tennessee. topher Greenup, Andrew Gregg, William B. Grove, A considerable debate took place on the subject Wade Hampton, George Hancock, Robert Goodloe of the salary of the District Judge to be appointed Harper, Carter B. Harrison, Thomas Hartley, John under the act. The bill provides that he shall be Hathorn, Jonathan N. Havens, William Hindman, paid 1,000 dollars a year. Mr. Swift moved to James Holland, Andrew Jackson, John Wilkes Kit- amend the bill by striking out $1,000, to insert in tera, Matthew Locke, Samuel Lyman, Samuel Maclay, its place $800. This motion was supported by Nathaniel Macon, James Madison, John Milledge, An- Messrs. Williams, HendeRSON, W. SMITH, W. drew Moore, Frederick A. Muhlenberg, William Vans Lyman, and Kittera, on the ground of 800 dolMurray, Anthony New, John Nicholas, Alexander D. lars being sufficient to afford a handsome mainteOrr, John Page, Josiah Parker, John Patton, Francis nance in that country; that it was equal to the Preston, Robert Rutherford, Samuel Sewall, Samuel Sitgreaves, Israel Smith, Isaac Smith, Samuel Smith, duties he would have, and the cheapness of living;

pay of any Judge in the Union, considering the William Smith, Richard Sprigg, jun., William Strudwick, John Swanwick, John E. Van Allen, Philip Van that if compared to the salaries allowed by that Cortlandt, Abraham Venable, Peleg Wadsworth, John State to its officers

, it was a high salary, as their Williams, and Richard Winn.

District Judges were allowed only 68 dollars a Nars.-Nathan Bryan, Dempsey Burges, Joshua circuit, and their Governor only 650 dollars a Coit, Samuel W. Dana, Henry Dearborn, Dwight Fos- year; that if more was allowed, it would be doter, Nathaniel Freeman, jun., Chauncey Goodrich, ing an injury to the State, as it would tend to Roger Griswold, Thomas Henderson, George Jackson, make their officers dissatisfied with their pay: William Lyman, Francis Malbone, Elisha R. Potter, that to pay a larger sum would bring a charge of John Reed, John S. Sherburne, Jeremiah Smith, Na- extravagance upon the Government: that the thaniel Smith, Zephaniah Swift, George Thatcher, District Judge of Vermont had only $800; and Richard Thomas, Mark Thompson, and Joseph B. that if $1,000 were given to the Judge of TennesVarnum.

see, it would not only lead him to expect an augAnd then the main question being taken, that mentation of salary, (which he had already apthe House do agree to the resolution, as reported plied for) but every Judge in the Union would by the Committee of the Whole House? it was expect to be advanced. This, it was said, was a resolved in the affirmative-yeas 49, nays 39, as serious consideration, since a Judge's salary could follows:

not be lowered, and to hold out an idea that they YEAs Thomas Blount, Richard Brent, Daniel Buck, might be increased on application, would have Samuel J. Cabell, Thomas Claiborne, Joshua Coit, the effect to make the Judges in some degree deIsaac Coles, William Craik, George Dent, George Ege, pendent on that House. The present want of William Findley, Albert Gallatin, Nicholas Gilman, money also cautioned them against extravagance. Henry Glen, Chauncey Goodrich, Christopher Greenup,

On the other hand, Messrs. A. Jackson, HolAndrew Gregg, William B. Grove, George Hancock, LAND, Blount, Macon, Buck, Thatcher, and S. Carter B. Harrison, Thomas Hartley, John Hathorn, Smith, were in favor of the salary being 1,000 Jonathan N. Havens, William Hindman, John Wilkes dollars. In order to induce men of abilities to Kittera, James Madison, John Milledge, Andrew Moore, accept of such offices, they wished them to be Frederick A. Muhlenberg, William Vans Murray, An- liberally paid ; that no Judge in the Union had a

dollars per

H. OF R.]
Military Establishment.

[JANUARY, 1797. less sum, except the Judge of Vermont, whose

MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT. salary they hoped would be increased; that though

The House then went into Committee of the most of the necessaries of life were tolerably low; Whole on the subject of the Military Establishyet every article imported was very high in that

ment. The following report from the Committee country, owing to their distance from the sea;

was read : that he would have four times a year to travel through the wilderness, which was always at

Resolved, That, in their opinion, all such parts of tended with danger, and which, if a war should the act which relate to the light dragoons, ought to be at the risk of his life: that the salaries of the State of the third section of the said act, together with all at any time take place with the Indians, would be repealed. That a Major General

, and his staff, are not

longer necessary ; they therefore recommend a repeal officers ought to be no rule in this case, since the other parts thereof, which relate to the Major General State was poor, and they had generally been ac- and his staff; and they recommend the following resocepted from patriotic motives; it was added that lutions, viz : they had not been in the habit of being guided by Resolved, That there shall be one Brigadier General, the practice of States, who were mostly too penu- who may choose his Brigade Major and Inspector from rious in the pay of their officers; the members of the captains and subalterns in the line; to cach of whom Congress received double the pay of the members there shall be allowed the monthly pay of — dollars, of any of the State Legislatures, and they heard in addition to his pay in the lines, and two rations exof no complaint on that ground.

traordinary per day; and whenever forage shall not be The question on the amendment was put and furnished by the public, to ten dollars per month in carried-39 to 35. The Committee then rose and lieu thereof. That there shall be one Brigade Quarterobtained leave to sit again. Adjourned to Mon- master, one Brigade Paymaster, and one Judge Advoday.

cate, who shall be taken from the commissioned officers of the line, and each of whom shall be entitled to re

ceive two rations extra, per day, and MONDAY, January 23.

month, in addition to his pay in the line—and when

ever forage shall not be furnished by the public, there Thompson J. SKINNER, from Massachusetts, in shall be allowed to the Brigade Quartermaster, place of THEODORE Sedgwick, appointed a Sena- dollars per month, and to the Brigade Paymaster and tor of the United States, appeared, produced his Judge Advocate, each dollars per month, in lieu credentials, was qualified, and took his seat in the thereof. House.

Resolved, That so much of the 23d section of the Mr. Swanwick, from the Committee of Com- said act, as may be construed to affect the Brigadier merce and Manufactures, reported a bill in addi- General and his staff, be, and is hereby repealed. tion to an act for mitigating and remitting certain

Resolved, That eight privates be added to each penalties incurred under the revenue laws, making company of infantry:

Resolved, That from and after the day of it to extend to the acts relative to the registering of ships, and to vessels employed in the fishing dollars, and that of the Ensigns, twenty-five dollars per

next, the pay of the Lieutenants shall be thirty and coasting trade. The bill was twice read and month. That to the Brigadier, while Commander-inordered to be committed to a Committee of the Chief, there shall be allowed rations per day Whole on Wednesday next.

extraordinary; and each officer commanding a separate Mr. S. also reported a bill relative to the com- post, shall be entitled to receive twice the number of pensation of certain officers employed in collect rations to which he otherwise would be entitled. ing duties on imposts and tonnage, proposing to Resolved, That the Majors be entitled to receive allow the Collectors of the several ports, instead four rations per day, for their subsistence.” of their present salaries, a certain per centum on Mr. Baldwin said, that the question ought to be the amount of duties collected, with sundry other taken, first, on the dismission of the dragoons in regulations. It was read a second time, and or- the first part of the report. dered to be committed to a Committee of the

Mr. DAYTON (the Speaker) said, that he wished Whole on Thursday next.

the select committee would inform the CommitMr. Gilman, from the Committee to whom tee of the Whole whether this part of their report was referred the business relative to the refugees was the result of a conviction that cavalry would from the British provinces of Canada and Nova be unnecessary for the defence of the frontiers, or Scotia, reported å bill, which was read twice, whether they meant to substitute two companies and committed to a Committee of the Whole on of militia horse in the place of the regular corps Thursday next.

proposed to be dismissed. If the latter was the

object, Mr. D. hesitated not to say that it ought UNITED STATES LAWS IN TENNESSEE.

not to be adopted. It was well ascertained that The House resolved itself into a Committee of the militia cavalry were more expensive than the the Whole on the bill for extending the laws of regulars; that the former were far more harassing the United States into the State of Tennessee, to our citizens than the latter, and that, on account which having gone through without further of their attention being necessarily divided beamendment, the Committee rose, and reported tween their families and their military duty, less the bill. The House then took it up, and having real service could be expected or required from agreed to the amendment, ordered the bill to be them. If, therefore, any horse were necessary, he engrossed for a third reading to-morrow. was persuaded that those now in service should

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