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grace which it would take a century to wipe off. There existed, he argued, no such right on the part of a belligerant, as the right to destroy private houses, or individual property, from which an enemy has been driven. is such a right had been admitted and acted upon in Europe, what would have become of the splendid buildings dedicated to military purposes, or of the private buildings occasionally employed for them? He expressed his surprise to find gentlemen in this discussion transferring themselves to the Niagara frontier, as if their general principles applied there only, instead of sweeping the whole continent. He illustrated the principle which had been laid down on this subject, by applying it to he city of New York, if, in any future war, an enemy should obtain possession of it; and demanded if the right to ravage that city with fire could be derived from the fact that troops called in for its defence were quartered in private buildings. Upon the whole, he concluded that it would be neither Just nor wise for this government to recognize any such principle as the right of an enemy to destroy private property because it may have been employed, for a time, either for military deposites, or for barracks. with regard to the distinction which had been drawn as to the right of the enemy to destroy private property, that the war on the Niagara frontier, was, on our part, an offensive war, Mr. M. remarked, that, whether a war was offensive or defensive, must be determined by its origin, and not by any particular incident of the war. The gentleman from New York, (Mr. Stonas,) had answered the argument of his colleague, (Mr. Taacy,) by contending that the war on the Niagara frontier was calculated to call the attention of the enemy from the frontier of the state of Ohio, which he was in the act of invading. Whether a particular expedition was offensive or defensive, he repeated, must depend entirely upon the plan of the campaign. An invasion of the territory of the enemy might be necessary to call his attention from our own seaboard. A member from New York, (Mr. CAMBaelena,) had told the committee, indeed, that this country would never again be invaded. He was very glad to hear it, he said; and yet nations as strong as this had been invaded. And, in reference to the possibility of such an event, as well as upon general principles, he objected to the establishment of a new law of nations, which would subject the public treasury to all the losses of property it might occasion. Mr. M. concluded his observations, by some remarks on the general subject of claims of this description— He said he should probably vote against the bill, in any and every shape in which it should be presented to the House; being of opinion, that those of the claimants who were entitled to relief ought to present themselves by petition to the House. In particular cases, sufficient reasons might be assigned for the allowance of particular claims: but he had always been opposed to the passage of any general bill on this subject. He was unwilling to establish a principle now, by the passage of this bill, which, on some future occasion, he would be under the necessity of abandoning. Mr. FORSYTH said he had not any intention to call in question, at this late day, the conduct of the Commissioner of Claims. At a proper season he had done so, and, he believed, with some effect. He had not spoken of misconduct on the part of the Commissioner, but of an extraordinary construction of the law by him; and, so far from its being previously sanctioned by the President, the language of his message on the subject to Congress, was, that the law had received “such a construction by the Commissioner,” that he had thought proper to interfere and suspend the further execution of the law. Mr. F. quoted that part of the Message of the President to Congress in December, 1816, which relates

curious to ascertain what were the views of Congress on this subject, would find them clearly indicated by the various amendments, &c. which were proposed to the bill, which grew out of this Message of the President. Mr. DWIGHT, of Mass, said he did not rise to enter into the discussion of the general question upon the merits of the bill, as it originally stood; to that bill, unmodified, he was himself opposed. But limited, as it now was, by the amendment of his honorable friend from New York, (Mr. Stonas,) to the destruction of buildings or other property in the actual occupation of our own Government, at the time of the destruction, he gave his most hearty co-operation. He rose merely to point out an error of the honorable gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. MenceR,) who had just taken his seat, and upon which the argument of the honorable gentleman against the present bill seemed entirely to be founded. That is, that the laws of 1816 and 1817, in behalf of persons who had property lost, captured, or destroyed, by the enemy during the last war, were not founded in principle, and went further than the Government were bound to go in relief of individual distress. To shew that the error was in the laws of 1816 and 1817, and not in the administration of them, the honorable gentleman from Virginia had attempted to shew that the Commissioner, acting under the authority of those laws, had invariably been guided by the opinion of the Government, as to the extent of the allowances which he was to make.— To support this position, the honorable gentleman had read a part of the correspondence between the Commissioner and the Secretary of the Treasury, as to the extent of his ability to make allowances. And thence, the gentleman had induced the belief that, because the Commissioner had consulted the Government, he had, in all instances, been governed by the result of that consultation. So far indeed was this from being true, he was himself prepared to shew, from the documents which the honorable gentleman had just read, that the Secretary of the Treasury had, in his answer to the Commissioner, confined relief to the destruction of buildings actually in the occupation of the Government for military purposes. The committee were not ignorant, that, so far from this salutary principle being the governing one, the Commissioner had allowed some thousands of dollars in one instance to be paid for a building in the City of Washington, in regard to which the proof was by a British deserter, that it was destroyed by the enemy because a single musket was found in one of the apartments. He might add, (he said,) other instances of a wide departure from what was now considered the spirit of the laws of 1816 and 1817. They were, he presumed fresh in the recollection of gentlemen who were, unlike himself at that time, conversant with those proceedings.He would ask the honorable gentleman if the policy of the laws of 1816 and 1817 were so generally questionable, why they had not been repealed? It was true, he admitted, that the President had long since suspended the powers of the Commissioner. But that had not repealed the law. The President, indeed, had no more power over that repeal than the humblest individual of the nation. He appealed to the committee for the correctness of the assertion, that the universal public feeling at that time, was, that the decisions of the commissioner (though he had no doubt they were honest, ) would involve the government in payments which it was not in contemplation of the laws of 1816 and 1817 to make them responsible for. The fact that the laws now remained unqualified and unrepealed upon the statute book, was unequivocal evidence of the correctness of their policy; while the suspension of the powers of the commissioner at that early period, by the President, went as clearly to show that he had not, in the opinion of the government, been guided by a sufficiently cautious policy in the administration of those laws. He

to this subject, and said that any gentleman who was

would submit, then, he said, to the committee, the ques

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tion, whether the honorable gentleman was authorized to found an argument against the present bill, upon a supposed resemblance to the o: of 1816 and 1817. The coincidence, if any, was in favor of the present bill, and not against it. True it was, the law of 1816 contained a qualification not embraced in the present bill, and that was, that it should appear “that the occupation by our government was the cause of the destruction of the building for which payment was demanded.” He would ask gentlemen if it were worthy of our government, who had violently seized upon the house of an individual, and turned his family out to cover their houseless troops, to des and of him, when he asked remuneraion for a burning by the enemy, when so occupied, to prove that such occupancy was the cause of its destruction? He thought not. Every principle which binds a government to its citizens, or one citizen to another, was at war with such a requisition. He would say, in the language of the gentleman from Vermont, the other day, (Mr. Ba Adlex,) who then was, but now he presumed would not be, against the bill before the committee— “The Government have taken the property of an individual, and while in their hands it was destroyed; they are bound to restore it or make compensation” Equally clear, he contended was the principle laid down by the honorable gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. BARBoun,) who had the other day gone so fully and ably into the discussion of the met its of the original question. This was a case, in the language of that gentleman, of destruction in pursuance f the usages of civilized warfare; and, if so, there can be no doubt the government are bound to compensate to the full extent of their ability. The sum asked for was but small, under the amendment, and he hoped it would prevail. He would, before he sat down, ask the committee to look at the situation of the petitioners, who, upon every principle on which we had founded our opinion upon private claims, were entitled to relief. Their misfortune hitherto seems to have been that their claims were involved with a mass of less questionable cases, and, year after year, to have been refused relief, because a bill intended for them embraced others not so clearly within the settled principle which had governed this House. In this case, the maxim of charity was equally applicable as a maxim of justice. “Bis dat, qui cito dat,”—he gives twice who gives quickly Let this be applied to them, and your deserving citizens who have given up their houses for barracks, shall not be compelled to add to the ten years in which they have been in vain asking for remuneration. He would not occupy further time, as he had only risen in reply to the observations which had Just fallen from the gentleman from Virginia. Mr. BUCHANAN, of Pennsylvania, said, he rose to make a few observations on the bill before the committee, which he would not have done, had his views of the subject been exhibited by any other gentleman. He said, he would state, as a clear proposition, which had not been much disputed in the course of the discussion, that this government was bound, as a matter of right, to indemnify individuals for the destruction of their property by the enemy, provided such destruction were in pursuance of the rules of civilized warfare. If that were not the case, then we were not compelled by any principles of public law to make such an indemnity.— Every motive of policy would forbid it. Then, said Mr. B. the question is, was the devastation of the whole Niagara frontier and the burning of Buffalo, acts justified by the laws of war? Can this be a subject of serious doubt at the present day? If we pass this bill, we proclaim that our denunciations of the conduct of the British army on that frontier, which has met the reprobation of the people of the United States, and, he trusted, of the whole civilized world, were unjust and unfounded. The Congress of the United States will declare, that the acts of that army were measures of

lawful war, and, as such, they were bound to grant indemnity to the sufferers. This is the principle upon which he bill has been rested by its friends, and the only principle upon which it can rest. Let us then, said Mr. B. inquire into the justice of this proposition. Had the enemy a right to burn and destroy the whole Niagara frontier, because most of the private houses were occupied as barracks and places of military deposite ” On this subject he concurred generally with the views of his friend from Virginia, (Mr. MEacer.) If this were established as a correct principle of national law, the consequence would be dreadful, and in many cases, the general devastation of the private property of unoffending individuals must inevitably ensue. War would no longer be a civil game between independent sovereigns; but each individual of the hostile nations would be liable to ruin, by the destruction of his property. I will illustrate my views, said Mr. B. by an example. Let an enemy land upon our shores and drive our army beyond the line of our fortifications, what would then be the consequence Private houses must of necessity be used as places of military deposite and as a shelter for the soldiers. Once, then, establish the principle embraced by this bill, and you justify an enemy in destroying and laying waste the whole country over which he advances. Nay, you do more; you offer him the strongest temptation to commit such outrages. Such, said Mr. B. has never been the practice of civilized nations; and he trusted this government would never sanction the propriety of such outrageous acts on the part of an enemy. Mr. B. said there was another view which this subject presents, which adds the guilt of perfidy to that of the violation of the laws of war. Whilst the village of Buf. falo still presented a hostile front to the enemy, a capitulation was entered into by Col. Chapin of our army, with Gen. Rial, who commanded the British forces. By that instrument, it was solemnly agreed “that private property and private persons should not he molested or injured.” Upon the faith of this capitulation the British forces entered the town. The testimony proves, that, before its date, they were well acquainted with the fact, that a large body of the United States’ troops had been quartered there, and that many of the houses were places of military deposite. With a full knowledge of those circumstances, they entered into the capitulation : What was then their subsequent conduct Instead of separating the military stores from the houses in which they were deposited; instead of destroying public and saving private property, they involved the whole village in one common conflagration. At the most inclement season of the year, in a northern climate, regardless of their faith, they set fire to the town, and drove its inhabitants to seek shelter and bread from the compassion of strangers. And this under pretence of what they well knew before the capitulation, that there were military stores deposited in many of the private houses. And yet this destruction is attempted to be justified by the laws of war established among civilized nations. Again, said Mr. B. pass this bill, and no member of the committee can form any just estimate of the number and amount of the claims to which it will give birth. The inhabitants of the Niagara frontier are neither better nor worse than their fellow countrymen. This bill is chiefly intended for their benefit. It is to embrace a tract of country of considerable extent, within which the whole mass of people feel a common interest in obtaining from the Government as much as possible. Self love, and the prejudices which necessarily, result from it, will induce them to bring every case in their power within the language of the law, and to place the highest value possible upon the property which was destoyed. This bill is without limit, and without bound; and what will be the extent of the appropriation necessary to carry it into effect, the committee cannot even conjecture.

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Sir, said Mr. B. I may be asked if I am unwilling to afford these sufferers any relief? I answer, without hesitation, I am not. They have claims upon our generosity, not upon our justice. I would mitigate their calamities, not indemnity them for their losses. They have suffered more than the common misfortunes of war; they are therefore entitled to the compassion of a paternal government. I would grant them such relief as, whilst it would not be too burdensome on the Treasury, nor produce those ruinous consequences to the nation which must result from establishing as a principle that we will pay the value of private property destroyed by the enemy in violation .# the laws of war, might yet mitigate their sufferings. I believe l know several genulemen of the committee to be of the same opinion. I would give them 150,000 or 200,000 dollars, to be distributed pro rata, in full satisfaction of all demands. If, said Mr. B., you adopt a priciple of this nature, you will at once know the extent of your donation, and you will make it the interest of the sufferers themselves to watch over the claims of each other, and see that none are established except those which are supported by principles of justice. *

Mr. MALLARY, of Vermont, said, that, in giving a vote upon this bill, he should do so with reference equally to the policy of the Government and the claims of individuals. It was well known, he said, that at the time of the passage of the law of 1816, and the amendatory law of 1817, there had been a serious investigation of the merits of those laws. Ten years have elapsed since the passage of those laws, and Mr. M asked if it was not almost impossible now to establish a rule, different from that which was established when the subject was fresh in the minds of the members. As a matter of expediency, he thought there would be very great difficulty in ascertaining any other rule by which those claims could be disposed of. The inquiry then was, What has the Government done, and in what condition are the claims of these individuals Some gentlemen had expressed a wish that these claims should be decided upon the principle of the law of 1816. Mr. M. said, he was perfectly willing, for his part, that those claims should be presented, and determined, upon the rule of the act of 1816, that payment should be made for private houses or other buildings occupied by the United States, and destroyed whilst so occupied. This, he said, was a sate rule, founded on the principles of the Government, recognized by the constitution, that when the Government takes the property of an individual for private purposes, it shall, in such case, make compensation for it if lost or destroyed. But, he said, as for compensating the losses of a whole frontier, destroyed by a wanton act of violence by the enemy, under pretence that our armies had marched in that direction, it was opening so wide a drain upon the Treasury as no Government could safely sustain. Were we to sanction such a principle at this time of day, said Mr. M. we should abandon our duty. I would vote any amount of money, said he, which might be necessary to carry into effect the principle of the acts of 1816 and 1817. If there be any individuals on the Niagara frontier whose cases came within the principle of those acts, Mr. M. said, they should cheerfully have his vote, and he presumed they would have the decided and unanimous vote of the House in their favor. The carrying into execution, in favor of claimants, of the principle of the law of 1816, was all that could be expected of Congress, &c.

As to the idea, which had been suggested by one gen tleman, of opening the Treasury, and scattering among the people on the Niagara frontier a portion of the public funds to enable them to retrieve their losses, Mr. M. apprehended a great many difficulties in the way of such a provision, as to how this fund was to be distributed among the respective sufferers on the Niagara, at Plattsburg, and on the Potomac. The safest course, he

thought, would be to adhere to the rule already laid
down, as by the act of 1816, &c.
Mr. STORRS said, that it appeared to him to be high
time that the House should be brought back to the ques-
tion actually before it, from which the debate had con-
siderably wandered. This was no question as to paying
for all the losses sustained by the incursion of the enemy
on the Niagara frontier. There was not, he said, one
twentieth part of the destruction upon that frontier pro-
posed to be provided for by this bill, which referred on-
ly to the cases of certain persons, whose buildings were
actually in occupation as barracks, or military store hou-
ses, &c.
With respect to the suggestion that Buffalo was burnt
in contravention of the capitulation, Mr. S. said, that
very capitulation showed the sense in which the British
understood the occupation of that village. By the ca-
pitulation, private property was to be respected. But,
where this private property was occupied by the public,
it was burnt, because it was not private property, in the
sense of the capitulation, but public. The very citation
of that capitulation, showed what were the views which
the enemy entertained of the character of the private
property converted to public use at Buffalo.
This bill, Mr. S. said, as far as he understood it, would
cover losses to the amount of an hundred and fifty, or
two hundred thousand dollars, on that frontier it would
also, however, cover losses in other portions of the
Union. It was not a bill for the Niagara frontier, or
for the state of New York ; it was to cover losses in
other parts of the United States; and yet, said he, we are
told it is to scatter a million of dollars from the Treasury
among the inhabitants of the Niagara frontier. Let us
have done with these arguments, said Mr S. and come

to the merits of the bill, which apply equally to all

parts of the Union. If the object of the bill be just, ho-
norable, and fair, the amount of the money it will re-
quire ought to be no object.
We are brought back, said he, to this question: whe-
ther property of individuals, so occupied as to give it a
military character, may be lawfully destroyed. What, sir!
Is it at this day to be maintained, that a military canton-
ment, in the vicinity of a town, may not be destroyed in
lawful warfare * That dockyards, marine barracks, arse-
nals, &c. are not subject to destruction by an enemy
It appears to me, on the contrary, that every thing
which gives a military character to property, subjects it
to destruction. I ask, said Mr. S. on what principle
was the Parliament House of Little York destroyed by
your own troops when you invaded Canada 2 The bar-
racks at Fort George were destroyed, on its capture,
and wherever we invaded Canada, the public property
was not spared. And, said he, are we prepared, there-
fore, to justify the burning of Buffalo 2 To put into the
mouth of our late adversary that argument against us *
No, said he all public property, barracks, arsenals, and
military stores, are lawfully subject to destruction—as
much so as cannon foundries, which no one will deny
the right of an enemy to destroy. An enemy has as much
right to destroy the barracks as to destroy the public
ships of the country. There must be some sense in
which the gentleman from Virginia had spoken of the
rights of a belligerant on this subject, which he, (Mr. S.)
had failed to comprehend.
Mr. S. supposed the case of a stone house on a fron-
tier, occupied as a military station. That house, he said,
was as lawful a subject for destruction as a fort in any
other form. So with regard to the village of Buffalo";
it was, during the war, one great cantonment, and he
could call upon more than one gentleman in this House,
whose duty it had been to take possession of the build-
ings for the military service, or who had knowledge of
its being done, &c.
As to charity and humanity to the People of the Nia-
gara frontier, there was no such principle embraced in

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this bill. It was a general bill for the benefit of suffer ers in every part of the Union, and involved a question not of generosity, but of absolute right. Mr. COOK, of Illinois, moved to amend the amendment of Mr. Stonas, by adding he words “and was abandoned by the United States in consequence of the enemy.” Mr. TAYLOR, of New York, said he should support the original bill, not because it embraced any new principle, but was to carry into effect one already established, and he should oppose the amendment proposed by the gentleman from Illinois, because to adopt them would be to introduce a principle upon which Congress has not yet legislated. It would be difficult, he said, unless the principle of his colleague was the true one, to find any principle on which the Niagara claims should be paid. The construction which had been given, by some of the committees of this House, to the 9th section of the act of 1816, was, that the proviso to it should be so construed as to defeat the objeet of that section—an interpretation contrary to every rule of construction. What case can occur said he, in which it may not be said, that destruction of property by an enemy was wanton, and could have occurred whether the property had been occupied for the use of the Government or not * The allowance of this objection would destroy, at once, the whole effect of the 9th section of the act of 1816, and it never could bave entered into the minds of the framers of that act, that it could be so construed. I was here, said Mr. T. at the passage of the act of 1816, and the object of it, if I understood any thing in regard to it, was to pay for all losses of private property occupied for military purposes, and destroyed according to the rules of civilized warfare. Property so occupied, had become public, and the loss of it ought to fall on the public, to whose use it had been converted. The report of the Committee of Claims, in 1818, proved, conclusively, that the committee themselves believed there were many cases of property destroyed on the Niagara frontier, which, upon the principles of the acts of 1816 and 1817, Congress were bound to provide for. Mr. T. Quoted the report to show this admission, and to show, also, the reasoning of the committee that, because some of the claims were not of this description, they would therefore pay for none of them. This report was concluded by a recommendation of the allowance offif. ty per cent. of the amount of loss proved upon buildings, and thirty per cent. on the amount of other property destroyed, without discrimination—and why? For this reason: that the loss by wanton destruction of property was as severe as the other, and grew out of the destruction of property that was occupied by the military, &c. If it were true that these were cases of destruction of buildings, because of their military occupation, was it for Congress to say to the claimants, in those cases: we will not pay you, because others have had their property destroyed under the influence of other considerations? The principle of the amendment, now under consideration, was, that, as it is the duty of the Government to protect the property of individuals, it must, in all cases, pay for losses of it. Now, Mr. T. said, he admitted it to be the duty of a Government to grant protection to its citizens, but it was a duty qualified by the extent of the ability of the Government, and of course not exceeding it. Was it a fact that private property, occupied during the late war by the Government, had been destroyed to such an extent, that the Treasury was unable to pay for it? When such a case exists, let it be presented and considered of: but such was not the case now. The total amount of private property lost in that way, throughout the United States, could scarcely, if at all, exceed a million of dollars. Is it proper, said he, to withhold payment in cases where your own act has been the occasion of the loss? I rose, said Mr. T. merely to say, that I am in favor of

an extension of the principle of the act of 1816, and of giving to the 9th section the only construction which, upon legal principles, it appears to me possible to give to it. We are led astray, in debating this subject, by going into a consideration of motives on the part of the enemy. We lose sight of the facts of the occupation of the property by the enemy, and we go to the motive of the destruction on the part of the enemy. In doing so, you ask for what you cannot obtain. There may have been a variety of motives, and in that case you must go into a metaphysical inquiry, to ascertain which of them was the predominating motive. . This, Mr. T. said, was the cause of the error into which some gentlemen had fallen, which they would have avoided by confining their attention to facts, &c. On motion of Mr. ROSS, of Ohio, the committee then rose, reported progress, and obtained leave to sit again.

IN SENATE–Tuesday, JANUAhr 4, 1825.

The Senate having resumed the consideration of the bill “to abolish imprisonment for debt,”

The first part of the first section of the bill being as follows:—“That no bail or security for the appearance of any defendant or defendants shall hereafter be required upon the service of the original, or mesne process, issuing out of the Courts of the United States, in any action or suit whatever, founded on contract, express or implied, which shall be made or entered into after the 4th of July next, unless the plaintiff, or some other person, shall make oath or affirmation, before the clerk or officer attesting the said process, who is hereby empowered to administer the same, or before some other person authorized by law to administer oaths, that the defendant or defendants named in the process, are justly indebted to the plaintiff or plaintiffs in the sum claimed by him or them, and shall further make oath or affirmation, that he or they have reason to believe that the said defendant or defendants intend to remove from the state or territory, or intend to leave the United States:”

Mr. TAZEWELL moved, for reasons which he assigned in some detail, to strike out the clause printed above in italics.

Mr.JOHNSON, of Kentucky, deeming this proposition to effect, in a considerable degree, the principle of the bill, opposed it with much earnestness. Mr. VAN BUREN also opposed the amendment at some length.

Mr. TAZEWELL and Mr. MILLS severally supported the amendment at considerable length, as expedient and necessary, without any intention to impair the principle of the bill, or limit its scope more than the rights of creditors, as well as debtors, required.

Mr. JOHNSTON, of Louisiana, delivered at large his sentiments in support of the bill and against the amendarent.

The question being taken on the amendment proposed by Mr. TAZEWELL, it was decided as follows, by yeas and nays.

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The resolution of Mr. LIVINGSTON, proposing a plan for the education of Officers of the Navy, being under consideration, some conversation took place between the mover and Mr. FULLER, who offered an amendment to strike out the whole of the resolution after the word Resolved, and to insert a provision instructing the Committee on Naval Affairs to inquire into the propriety of establishing a school for the instruction of Midship. men, and other warrant officers of the Navy, when not at sea. Mr. LIVINGSTON objected to the substitute, as not going so far as the system he wished to see adopted.— The substitute restricted the instruction to midshipmen, but he wished a preparatory school, which should take up young men before they entered the service. Mr. L. said, it was owing to the want of an establishment of this kind, that the Navy was going down. Yes, sir, said he, the Navy, I repeat it, is going down in point of the attainments of those who are entering it. There is, in this respect, a marked distinction between those who are entering the two branches of our military service. Those who enter the Army are decidedly superior in previous attainments. The want of a good system of elementary instruction for the naval service, begins to be felt already. It may be felt when it is too late. The future commanders of our maritime force should be prepared now, while we have opportunity and time for it. But, without a school, this can never be done. The actual service may make seamen, but it alone will never make officers. Mr. FULLER gave the gentlemar from Louisiana mucl. credit for his enlarged and statesmanlike views on this subject. He commended his desire to place the education of our naval commanders on a broad and permanent basis; and he knew of no objection, at present, which would prevent his voting for the gentleman's resolution. But he must apprize the gentleman, that, before he was a member of Congress, this same subject had been before them; and the Committee on Naval Affairs had made great efforts for its accomplishment. They had confined even their hopes to the education of warrant officers in service, and had used much exertion to reconcile the minds of gentlemen who were opposed to the measure, but had not been able to do it; and he would leave it to the candor of the gentleman from Louisiana to say, if those who refused to grant even the half of the plan he proposed, were likely to accede to the whole of it. Mr. F. disclaimed being swayed by any feelings of pride, as a member of the Naval Committee, which might be supposed to render him jealous of a similar attempt by the gentleman from Louisiana; his only objection was, the difficulty of finding means. He would, however, withdraw his amendment. Mr. MERCER then observed, that, as he heard it whispered by some gentlemen who sat near him, that, under the resolution of the gentleman from Louisiana, there was concealed a system of burdensome expense, of great extent, he thought it his duty to state that he was warranted by the gentleman who presided over the Navy Department, in saying that the object might be accomplished at a very small expense. It had been even proposed to place such an institution, without any farther grant from Congress, in the barracks erecting at the fortification at the mouth of the Chesapeake. As the buildings were there already provided, all that would have to be granted, would be an appropriation for the salaries of two or three professors, which was a trifling expense in comparison with the good to be attained Midshipmen are now taken on board our vessels on trial only—they go one voyage to sea—and if, from that experiment, they appear to discover talents for public usefulness, they receive a warrant, and regularly enter the service—just as young men are received as cadets at

West Point. The House was aware that the Government could assemble the Midshipmen at any point it might judge proper, and thus afford to the Navy some of those benefits which the Army derives from the Academy at W, st Point. Mr. REYNOLDS, of Tennessee, rose, not to oppose the measure proposed by the gentleman from Louisiana, but only to assure that gentleman that this was not the Plan which would keep the Navy from “going down.” The difficulty lay at a previous point—there was almost no such thing as apprentic s in our merchant service. Merchants found the applications so numerous, to take out young lads on trial, and the measure was in general attended with so much trouble and so little profit, that they generally refused to do it. Hence there was no such thing as a proper nursery for our young seamen— and, unless some law was passed compelling ship owners to take a certain quota of apprentices, in proportion to the tonnage they owned, we should soon have no seamen of our own raising. The proper measure was to go at once to the foundation, and, by some such law as he had suggested, provide an effectual nursery for both services. The question was then put on Mr. Livingston's reso. lution, and lost—58 members only rising in its favor. Mr. SAUNDERS, of N. C., offered, with a brief explanation, the following proposition: “Resolved, &c. That the following amendment to the Constitution of the United States be proposed to the Legislatures of the several states; which, when ratified by three-fourths thereof, shall be a part of the said Constitution. “That, for the purpose of choosing a President and Vice President of the United States, each state shall be divided by the Legislature thereof into a number of districts, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which such state may be entitled in the Congress of the United States. Each district shall be composed, as nearly as may be, of contiguous territory, and shall contain a number of persons entitled to vote, as nearly equal as circumstances will permit. “And on such day as Congress shall determine, which day shall be the same throughout the United States, the citizens of each state, who may be qualified to vote for a Representative in Congress, shall meet at such places, within their respective districts, as the Legislature of each state shall appoint, and in such manner as such Legislature shall direct, shall vote for one person as Elector of President and Vice President; but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector. “The electors appointed shall meet at such place in their respective states as the Legislature thereof may direct, and on such day as may be appointed by Congress, which day shall be the same throughout the United States; and in case of the non-attendance of any one of the electors, from death, sickness, inability, or other cause, the vacancy of such elector shall be filled in such manner as the Legislatures of the respective states may direct. The whole number of electors shall then vote for President and Vice President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the persons voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice President; and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice President, and of the number of votes for each, which list they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate ; the President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted: the person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be President, if such number be one-third of the whole number

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