« ForrigeFortsett »
JAN. 26, 1825.] Powers of the
Supreme Court. [H. of R.
have been rendered, by the force of circumstances, the zealous, the honest, if the humble advocates of state rights, unfashionable as they may be, and the firm and unyielding, if feeble, opposers of judicial encroachments upon them. Those doctrines and principles which loosed our tongues and released our persons from the operation of alien and sedition laws, which secured the ascendency of republican principles, and achieved the political victory of 1800—such principles as we believe must sooner or later prevail, are these we advocate; in pressing this subject upon the consideration of the House, we are animated both by a firm conviction of the correctness of the principles embraced in the resolutions, and a sense of duty to those whom we represent on this floor. we do not solicit you to remedy a local grievance, but we urge that grievance as one cogent reason for the adoption of a national measure, which we are persuaded is sanctioned by the character of our institutions, and called for by a proper regard for their prosperity and perpetuity. Mr. I.F.TCHER moved to fill the blank in the resolution with the word “five,” so as to require the concurrence of five judges to set aside a state law. Mr. C.I.AY observed that he had not been aware of the intention of his colleague to call up the resolution at this time. He had, however, no objections to it. He now rose chiefly for the purpose of presenting an inquiry to the chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary. The whole House, as well as that gentleman, were perfectly aware. that some alteration was requisite in the Judicial system of the United States, so as to make it comprise all parts of the Union, and to extend it to those six or seven states, which are at present out of the pale of its benefits. He had hoped that the House would have received, before now, a bill for that purpose from the Judiciary Committee—a bill that should either go to alter the whole system, or, if that was not to be done, at least to extend it in its present form to all the states. . He should be glad to know whether there was any probability of such report being made. If any new Judges were to be added to the present number of those on the bench of the Supreme Court, it would require the blank to be differently filled. If there was any probability that such a report would soon be presented, he should advise his colleagues to defer the consideration of the present subject until the House should have the bill before it, which the committee might report. Mr. webstER said, the inquiry of the honorable gentleman was entirely natural ; and yet he was afraid that he ought to consider it as proof how little attention his labors had attracted : for he had reported, from the committee to which he belonged, a bill “making further provision for the administration of justice,” at the last session, which was now on the Order Book, and he was anxious to seize the earliest moment to call it up. In his opinion, the honorable gentleman had not at all overstated the necessity for some new provision for the administration of justice. The present system was, in his conviction, essentially inadequate, so far as regarded the Western states, and he thought they had a fair right to complain. He had given this subject a great deal of consideration last session, and had, on no occasion, taken more pains to ascertain the opinions prevailing with different gentlemen, and in different parts of the country. There were three modes of making the requisite provision, which had been suggested. One was, the establishment of circuit courts, and the confining of the duties of the Judges of the Supreme Court exclusively to the bench of that court. A bill to this effect had been reported by the Judiciary Committee, some sessions, ago, before he had the honor to belong to it. The President had recommended it, also, at the commencement of the present session. Another plan was, to ap
point Circuit Judges, where they were wanted, leaving
to the Judges of the Supreme Court still the perform. Wol. I.-24
ance of such a portion of circuit duties as they might be supposed able to fulfil, without excess of labor, or too much consumption of time. One branch of the Legislature had, some years ago, passed a bill upon this pian. A third mode was merely the extension of the present **. by providing for the appointment of an additional number of judges on the bench of the Supreme Court. In bringing the subject before the House, he should take occasion to state, fully, his own opinions, and hoped to be benefitted by those of others. It was a most important subject, and, as he thought, a most pressing one, and he was prepared to perform his duty in regard to it, whenever the House would take it up. In regard to the present subject, (Mr. Letcher's resolutions,) on which the committee had just heard an able speech, he would not presume to dictate to—hardly, perhaps, under the circumstances, ought he to presume to advise—the honorable mover of the resolutions; but he rather wished that the resolutions might not be further discussed, till the general subject of the judiciary should be considered. If the gentleman, however, thought otherwise, and was disposed now to take the sense of the committee, he should feel it his duty to submit a few observations upon the proposition, before the vote was taken. Mr. CLAY observed, in reply, that he was not una. ware that the bill referred to had been reported at the last session, and now lay on the table. But, as he had observed no movement with respect to it, he had begun to fear, that it was intended to suffer it to lie there. He was glad to learn that it was to be called up. There was not a case of more crying injustice to be found in the Union, than that presented by the present organization of the Judiciary system of the United States. Seven, (and indeed he night say nine,) states were cut off from the enjoyment of its benefits. There was, to be sure, one Judge to hold circuits in all these states; but the task was vastly beyond the strength of any individual, and the constitution of the present Judge was suffering under the burden. Two states were occasionally favored by the presence of the Judge ; the remaining seven had no aid whatever from the United States Courts. He was confident, he said, that gentlemen would agree with hin in the sentiment, that the principle of representation was not more important in legislation itself, than in the administration of justice. In the present state of things, the Judges of the Supreme Court know as little about the local laws of some of the Western and Southern states, as if they did not belong to the confederacy. Of the great variety of different codes exisitng in those states, not one was represented on the bench of the Supreme Court, and the people of the West had certainly a right to expect that if Congress did not approve the present system, they would alter it, or if they did approve it, that they would then extend its operations to the Western states. Mr. C. closed with observing, that, important as the bill was, which had this day been ordered to its third reading, the object of which was to punish crimes against the United States, it was not more important nor more necessary, than that which went to secure the administration of justice by the Courts of the United States, throughout nine states of this Union. Mr. LETCHER expressing an acquiescence in the suggestion that the consideration of this resolution should be deferred, The Committee rose, and obtained leave to sit again. Mr. WEBSTER, alluding to the conversation which had passed in the committee, said, that there were two important subjects now under special notice, for the consideration of the House. He meant the appropriation bill, and the measure in charge of the honorable member of South Carolina, for compensating the state of Massachusetts for her militia expenditures during the late war. He could not certainly interfere to prevent the progress of eithcrofthose important measures; but he
intended, as soon as they should be disposed of, to call up the bill making further provision for the administration of justice by the courts of the United States. He would now give notice for Tuesday, and would call up the bill either on that day, or as soon afterwards as the measures to which he had referred should have been acted on.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES-Thuns. JAN. 27.
The following Message was received from the President of the United States; which was read : To the House of Representatives of the United States: Being deeply impressed with the opinion, that the removal of the Indian tribes from the lands which they now occupy within the limits of the several States and Territories, to the country lying westward and northward thereof, within our acknowledged boundaries, is of very high importance to our Union, and may be accomplished on conditions and in a manner to promote the interest and happiness of those tribes, the attention of the Government has been long drawn, with great solicitude, to the object. For the removal of the tribes within the limits of the state of Georgia, the motive has been peculiarly strong, arising from the compact with that state, whereby the United States are bound to extinguish the Indian title to the lands within it, whenever it may be done peaceably and on reasonable conditions. In the fulfilment of this compact, I have thought that the United States should act with a generous spirit; that they should omit nothing which should comport with a liberal construction of the instrument, and likewise be in accordance with the just rights of those tribes. From the view which I have taken of the subject, I am satisfied that, in the discharge of these important duties, in regard to both the parties alluded to, the United States will have to encounter no conflicting interests with either. On the contrary, that the removal of the tribes from the territory which they now inhabit, to that which was designated in the Message at the commencernent of the session, which would accomplish the object for Georgia, under a well digested plan for their government and civilization, which should be agreeable to themselves, would not only shield them from impending ruin, but promote their welfare and happiness. Experience has clearly demonstrated, that, in their present state, it is impossible to incorporate them in such masses, in any form whatever, into our system. . It has also demonstrated, with equal certainty, that without a timely anticipation of, and provision against, the dangers to which they are exposed, under causes, which it will be difficult if not impossible to control, their degradation and extermination will be inevitable. The great object to be accomplished is, the removal of those tribes to the territory designated, on conditions which shall be satisfactory to themselves, and honorable to the United States. This can be done only by conveying to each tribe a good title to an adequate portion of land, to which it may consent to remove, and by providing for it there, a system of internal government, which shall protect their property from invasion, and,by the regular progress of improvement and civilization, prevent that degeneracy which has generally marked the transition from the one to the other state. I transmit, here with, a report from the Secretary of War, which presents the best estimate which can be formed, from the documents in that Department, of the number of Indians within our States and Territories, and of the amount of lands held by the several tribes within each; of the state of the country lying northward and westward thereof, within our acknowledged boundaries; of the parts to which the Indian title has already been extinguished; and of the conditions on which other parts, in an amount, which may be adequate to the object contemplated, may be obtained. By this report, it appears
that the Indian title has already been extinguished to
extensive tracts in that quarter, and that other portions may be acquired, to the extent desired, on very moderate conditions. Satisfied I also am, that the removal proposed is not only practicable, but that the advantages attending it to the Indians may be made so apparent to them, that all the tribes, even those most opposed, may be induced to accede to it at no very distant day. The digest of such a Government, with the consent of the Indians, which should be endowed with sufficient powers to meet all the objects contemplated; to connect the several tribes together in a bond of amity, and preserve order in each; to prevent intrusions on their property; to teach them, by regular instructions, the arts of civilized life, and make them a civilized people, is an object of very high importance. It is the powerful consideration which we have to offer to these tribes, as an inducement to relinquish the lands on which they now reside, and to remove to those which are designated. It is not doubted that this arrangement will present considerations of sufficient force to surmount all their prejudices in favor of the soil of their nativity, however strong they may be. Their elders have sufficient intelligence to discern the certain progress of events in the present train, and sufficient virtue, by yielding to momentary sacrifices, to protect their families and posterity from inevitable destruction. They will also perceive, that they may attain an elevation to which, as communities, they could not otherwise aspire. To the United States, the proposed arrangement of. fers many important advantages, in addition to those which have been already enumerated. By the establishment of such a Government over these tribes, with their consent, we become in reality their benefactors. The relation of conflicting interests, which has heretofore existed between them and our frontier settlements, will cease. There will be no more wars between them and the United States. Adopting such a Government, their movement will be in harmony with us, and its good effect be felt throughout the whole extent of our terri tory, to the Pacific. . It may fairly be presumed that, through the agency of such a Government, the condition of all the tribes inhabiting that vast region may be essentially improved; that permanent peace may be preserved with them, and our commerce be much extended. With a view to this important object, I recommend it to Congress to adopt, by solemn declaration, certain fundamental principles, in accord with those above suggest ed, as the basis of such arrangements as may be entered into with the several tribes, to the strict observance ot which, the faith of the nation shall be pledged. I recommend it also to Congress to provide by law for the appointment of a suitable number of commissioners, who shall, under the directions of the President, be authorized to visit and explain to the several tribes, the objects of the Government, and to make with them, according to their instructions, such arrangements as shall be best calculated to carry those objects into effect. A negotiation is now depending with the Creek nation, for the cession of lands held by it, within the limits of Georgia, and with a reasonable prospect of success It is presumed, however, that the result will not be known during the present session of Congress. To give effect to this negotiation, and to the negotiations which it is proposed to hold with all the other tribes within the limits of the several States and Territories, on the principles and for the purposes stated, it is recommend ed that an adequate appropriation be now made by Con gress. JAMES MONROE
Washington, 27th January, 1825.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES-FRIDAY, JAN. 28.
The House took up the unfinished business of yesterday, which was the bill regulating the Post Office Department. The bill, with the amendments yesterday made in committee of the whole, were read. Mr. LONG, of N. C. objected to concurring in that amendment of the bill which extends the period during which members of Congress are authorized to frank letters and documents, from thirty to sixty days; and supported the motion by a short speech. The question on concurrence was taken and decided in the affirmative— ayes 85, noes 54. So the amendment extending the privilege to sixty days was retained in the bill. Another amendment proposed to exempt, from the prohibition of an union of the station of Postmaster and Contractor, all contracts in existence previous to the passage of this act. Mr. COCKE opposed this amendment, and Mr. J. T. Johnson supported it; when the amendment was agreed to. Among the existing provisions of the bill is one, for limiting the papers to be received in exchange by printers, to the number of fifty. Mr. SAUNDERS, of N. C. moved to strike out this section, and substitute another, which went in effect to restore the law as it now stands, which allows each printer to exchange one paper with every other printer of a newspaper in the United States, free of postage. Mr. s. supported the amendment by a few observations on the unfavorable effect which such a restriction as was proposed would have upon the editors of papers in the country, who are all in the habit of drawing much of the matter in their papers from the great Atlantic cities, and such other large towns as are the foci of political and other intelligence, and who, from the limited circulation of their papers, cannot afford to pay Postage, &c. Mr. J. T. JOHNSON, (the Chairman of the Post Of. fice Committee,) having intimated that he should not object to the amendment— The question was taken thereupon, and it was agreed to. So the limitation was expunged from the bill. Several attempts were again renewed in the House, which had been rejected in committee, to increase the :ompensation of several different Postmasters, but without success. The debate on the other details of the bill was conducted by Messrs. J. T. JOHNSON, of Ken. Chairman of the Committee,) Mr. EDWARDS, of N. C Whig HT, LIVERMORE, CULPEPER, COCKE, WOOD, and SAUNDERS. Mr. SAUNDERS moved to strike out the clause of the bill which provides a compensation of one thousand dollars in addition to the surplus of the fees of office of the Postmaster of this city, and supported the motion by several addresses to the House. It was opposed by the Chairman of the Committee, and on the question being put, the motion to strike out was carried—Ayes 68, Noes 62. Mr. TAYLOR, of New York, then moved a clause granting to that officer eight hundred dollars in addition to the surplus of the commissions, &c., and made a few remarks in support of the motion, which was carried in the affirmative–Ayes 64, Noes 59. The bill was then ordered to a third reading.
ROAD FROM DETROIT TO CHICAGO.
The House having resolved itself into a committee of the whole on the bill “to authorize the surveying and *pening a itoad from Detroit to Chicago, in the State of onos”—and Mr. CLAY, (Speaker,) having invited the Delegate from Michigan to present a statement of the “cts bearing on the bill—
Jas. 28, 1825..] Regulations of the Post Office.—Road from Detroit to Chicago.
Mr. RICHARD rose, and went into an exposition of the merits of the bill, of which the following is an abstract :
Every body, said Mr. R. knows that the contemplated road is of the greatest importance, not only to the territory of Michigan, but also to the General Government; and the consequence is, that it ought to be done immediately. This road will connect the east of the Union with the west. The grand Canal of New York will be completed next July. When the said canal is finished, we consider Detroit in contact with New York. Last fall, I was on Lake St. Clair, on board a vessel built during the preceding winter, with a moveable keel, rea: dy and calculated to go down, through Lake Erie and the whole of the Canal, te land at the battery in New York.
In relation to our military operations, the utility of a road across the peninsula of Michigan, from Detroit to Chicago, is obvious. This road will afford a facility to transport munitions of war, provisions, and troops, to Chicago, Green Bay, Prairie du Chien, and St Peter's River, &c. When our upper lakes are frozen, an easy communication will be constantly kept open, in sleighs, on the snow. Every body knows, that, during the last war, for want of a proper road across the Black Swamp, our Government incurred an expenditure of ten or twelve millions of dollars, which would have been avoided by having a good road, made in due time. Make this road now, when you have the full sovereignty over the Territory of Michigan, before it becomes an independent State, and you may easily anticipate how beneficial this road will be to your finances. There are more than seventeen millions of acres of, generally, good and fertile land, in Michigan proper, (without speaking of the ninety-four millions of acres in the Northwest Territory.)— Without a road to go to those lands, they have no value. We are credibly informed, that, on our inland seas, 1 mean Lakes Erie, St. Clair, Huron, and Michigan, no less than one hundred and fifty vessels are plying up and down, on board of which whole families do come, sometimes, with their wagons, horses, sheep, and milk-cows; land in Detroit, ready to go in search of good land, to settle on it, and having their money ready to give to the Receiver of the Land Office. No road to go into that immense wilderness! What disappointment During about twelve months, last elapsed, more than one hundred thousand dollars have been actually paid into the hands of the Receivers of Public Moneys, in the Territory of Michigan, for land purchased. How much more would have been paid, if the proposed road had been made " We can learn from the Commissioner of the Ge. neral Land Office, that about ten surveyors have been employed in surveying public lands in the interior of Michigan Territory, between 1)etroit and Chicago, dur. ing last winter. These lands will soon be advertis. ed to be sold. If there is no road to come to them, who will purchase them *But let this road be made : let it be determined by this House that it shall be made; then you will have purchasers enough : they will come as a torrent from the Eastern states. It cannot be questioned that the land along the intended road will sell for two or three hundred per cent. more than it would if there were no such road ; and so, in nearly the same propoltion, the adjacent lands will be increased in price. If you ask me what will this road cost 1 beg leave to answer, it will cost nothing to the Government. I might say it will cost less than nothing. The balf of the land along the road only, will, after the road is made, or determined to be made, sell for a great deal more than the whole would, without the road. What an immense profit for your Treasury you can derive from the sale of this immense wilderness, which remains entirely unprofita. ble, if you have no road to come at it this road is, therefore, to be beneficial to your finances, and your military operations, and to all parts of the Union, as
H. of R. & Sen.] Road from Detroit to Chicago.-Suppression of Piracy. [JAN. 28, 31, 1825.
well as to Michigan itself; as it will afford all kinds
IN SENATE–Mox DAY, JANUAny 31, 1825.
SUPPRESSION OF PIRACY.
The Senate proceeded to the consideration of the bill “for the Suppression of Piracy in the West Indies;” the motion to strike out the third section, which authorizes the blockade of the ports of Cuba, (under certain circumstances,) being still pending
Mr. MILLS rose, and said, that, when this subject was under discussion on a former occasion, I moved for its postponement, not with a view to enter at large into the discussion of the bill, but to obtain some time to examine into the facts recently submitted by the Executive, and to allow other gentlemen a similar opportunity, The state of my health has unfortunately been such as to preclude my going into that examination, with any satisfaction to myself, but, what little I have made, has not, in the least degree, weakened my confidence in the propriety of the measure proposed by the present bill. I shall not attempt to enter fully into the discussion of the merits of all the questions, which have been brought into discussion. It would be inexcusable in me thus to tax the patience of the Senate, and the state of my health admonishes me of my inability to accomplish such a task.
This bill has already undergone a full discussion, and the chairman of the committee has acquitted himself so
entirely to my satisfaction, that I do not wish to trench
JAN. 31, 1825.]
with Spain? No sir. Shall we, when a blockade is instituted under the limitations contained in the third section of the bill, be at war with Spain? No, sir. It is only an additional remedy for the suppression of this enormous evil—the only means of securing the success of the enterprise. With whom, then, are we at war With none but those with whom all the nations of the earth are at war—with pirates. On what terms is this blockade to be instituted After they have found shelter and protection in the ports of the island; when the civil power has thrown over them the shield of authority; is this to be submitted to ? Can Spain complain with any shadow of justice If she is unable to check the progress of these bandits, and if she really wishes to discharge the great duty she owes to the whole civilized world, so far from uttering a complaint, she will co-operate with us in any measures we may adopt for its suppression. If the local authorities are conniving at these depredations, and sharing the spoil with these robbers, and they find refuge and protection from them, then nothing can be more clear than that they make themselves a particeps criminis, accessories after the fact, and are liable to the same punishments as the pirates themselves. In this case you only blockade a port which has been converted into a den of Pirates, and put itself out of the rotection of the laws of nations. Spain must place erself in this situation, as companion of the pirates, if she complains, under these circumstances, that you invade her rights of sovereignty by taking them in their fastnesses. But, sir, we do not impute any such designs to Spain; we do not suppose she wishes to encourage these villanies; we impute it alone to her imbecility that they are suffered to exist, and the whole civilized world will justify usin our proceeding. Suppose, sir, that, whilst we were in fresh pursuit of a piratical vessel, she should come athwart a Spanish armed ship, and that ship should shelter the pirates with her guns, Would it be an attack on the sovereign rights of Spain if you were to reclaim the piratical vessel, and if necesssry, to force her from the vessel that was thus rotecting hero Could Spain complain of this with any justice ’No, sir, she could not. By the act of affording them shelter, in this fresh pursuit, they would make themselves pirates, and subject themselves to the punishment due to pirates. Where then is the difference between protection extended to a piratical ship on the ocean,and protection extended to a piratical crew onland? Let us suppose, sir, that this piratical vessel, instead of seeking protection under the guns of a Spanish ship, runs into the harbor of Havana or Matanzas, and there finds protection from the civil power. In this case, it is my opinion, sir, that a much more rigorous measure than blockade, would be perfectly justifiable. , I will not say how far the strict laws of nations would justify our proceeding in this case, but I feel no hesitation in saying that they would deserve to have the town bombarded about their ears, instead offeeling the comparatively trifling inconvenience of a blockade. It is impossible that, in a case like this, you can apply the laws of civilized warfare. They are not in any way applicable. Your enemy is entitled to none of their humane provisions; he is not a prisoner of war when taken, but a culprit liable to be tried by the tribunal of any civilized power, and subject to condign punishment. There are no rules of civilized warfare that can be extended to him. It is to be observed, then, that the object of this provision is not to humble Spain, or to interfere with her rights, or trench on her sovereignty, but to punish the outlaws of every nation. Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos, is as often a maxim of justice and policy, as it is of snagnanimity; but where and to whom is it applied ? To those who acknowledge their error and evince a disposition to atone for it, and not to those who, though weak and imbecile, continue their depravity and heap insult upon injury. However weak such a power may be, it is neither politic nor just always to spare them.
Suppression of Piracy.
But not only Spain, we are told, will be injured, but other nations may take umbrage at this course-nations who are called neutrals. Sir, I should be glad to know who are neutrals in this warfare 2 There are none. The whole civilized world are our allies in this conflict, and will cheerfully unite with usin our efforts to subdue their as well as our enemy. Sir, by a fair construction of the provisions of this section, and a prudent exercise of the powers vested in the Executive, I think we shall avoid giving offence to other powers. May we not presume that these powers will be prudently exercised ? Are we to §.if all power, from a jealous apprehension that that power will be abused Can we imagine that the Executive will institute a blockade and rush into difficulties, and precipitate the nation into a war, without cause, without necessity 2
Sir, I entertain no such suspicion. A reasonable confidence must be placed in the depositaries of power. I am willing to place that confidence, and will go as far as any man to hold the Executive responsible for the faithful exercise of that power; but I am not willing to weak. en and paralyze his efforts by any unreasonable suspicion. The course indicated by the third section of the bill, will unquestionably be faithfully pursued by the Executive; negotiations will be pursued, arrangements made, and an understanding will be effected with other nations, if it should ever be necessary to exercise this power conditionally invested in the President on this occasion. But, sir, why should we be more scrupulous on this subject than other nations * Look at Great Britain—more than once she has landed on the coasts of these Islands, and scoured the country in pursuit of these marauders; and once, at least, if newspaper authority is to be depended on, she has instituted a strict blockade of the inlets and harbors of the whole Isle of Pines, to secure the success of this pursuit. What was the result of this bold measure ? An American vessel and cargo were snatched from the grasp of these robbers, and the crew rescued from death—the blood hounds were hunted from their dens and fastnesses—were shot down like wild beasts, or captured and deservedly consigned to the gibbet. What, further, was the result of this measure ? Twelve vessels,
dismantled and plundered, were found concealed in one
of these inlets, and, horrible to relate, not one human being of all their crews left to tell the dismal fate of his. comrades; and will you, with such evidence as this before your eyes, with all this horrible detail brought to light, will you speculate and refine with metaphysical subtlety on the rights of sovereignty, and the sanctity of territorial dominion, instead of adopting the only measures that can suppress the evil Is not this the very case where “right goes hand in hand with necessity and the exigency of the case ?” Sir, it seeins to me that, if a case can be found where that well known principle of the law of nations is to be applied, this is the very case, and you are right in making use of all the means necessary to accomplish the object--those means are pointed out by the third section of the bill, and are not such as transcend the necessity of the case. But it is said you may employ municipal regulations, you may interfere with your own citizens, and prohibit the trade with Cuba altogether. But, sir, it is very ob. vious that this is no remedy for the evil. It is not the trade to Cuba alone that is exposed to these depredations, but the whole of the trade that passes through the Gulf of Mexico, and all the coasting trade, as far as New Orleans is concerned. This will afford no remedy, but will only cut you off from a valuable trade, without any equivalent. Objections of various kinds have been suggested to this measure, and while in one breath you decide that it is a measure likely to involve us in war and in great difficulties, in the next breath it is laughed at as a measure of extreme imbecility, and altogether inadequate to effect the object proposed. If so, if the powers intended to be given by the third section of the bill are not ad