« ForrigeFortsett »
ascribe to them the most savage, atrocious, and diabolical, but, in his view of the matter, charity, even to an enemy, required that, where a Justifiable motive was to be found for his acts, we should refer them to that rather than to one that was merely malignant. The mass of testimony from our own officers, proved that the destruction of this property was caused by its military occupation. Independent of this strong concurrent testimohy, there was a body of evidence of British officers to the same effect. Many of these individuals, Mr. T. said he knew, because he resided in the vicinity of their country, and he knew that they were men of as high honor, virtue and integrity, as were any where, British or American, to be found. Mr. T. pursued the history of this disastrous season, with all its circumstances, to shew that the invasion of the Niagara frontier was purely a military operation, &c. The occupation for military purposes, was, indeed, almost universal. several of the buildings were destroyed by the explosion of the powder and ammunition deposited in them, &c. The depositions on this subject, taken together, formed a complete chain of testimony, establishing what were the motives and object, &c. of the destruction of this property. if the language of the act of 1816 had required, to entitle the losers to indemnity, that their property
should have been so occupied, as, upon the principles
of civilized warfare, to justify their destruction, the case would have been fully made out by the testimony. But, Mr. T. said, the laws on this subject do not demand that the occupation should be such, to authorize a claim for indemnity, and it is obvious that they should not demand it. In passing the law of 1816, Congress did not mean that the destruction of property should be justifiabie: for it is sufficient to constitute an absolute obligation to indemnify the loser, that there was an occupation of his property by the Government, and that the destruction of his property was the consequence of that occupation. Such was the law of 1816, establishing the same rule between the Government and individuals, as would be the law on the principles of common justice, between one individual and another individual. as regards this last point, Mr. T. said, the law has not required, reason does not require, that the conduct of the enemy should be Justifiable, to sustain a claim for indemnity. Neither have the decisions of this House required it. Mr. T. referred to the case of the Henderson claim, for property destroyed by the enemy on some part of the maritime coast of Virginia, in which it was not established, nor was there any color of evidence to prove, that the destruction of the property was justifiable by the usages of civilized war; and yet, Mr. i. said, if he was not very much mistaken, the gentleman from Virginia had himself voted in favor of that claim. The gentleman from North Carolina, (Mr. Williams) who, to do him justice, was consistent in his opposition to all this class of claims, had declared in the debate on that claim, that the case was not at all stronger than that of the Niagara claims. His declaration was not necessary to prove this: for if any one would look at the facts of the two cases, he would see, that whatever difference there was between them was in favor of the claimants on the Niagara frontier, in this view, that the military occupation in the Virginia case was defensive—that in the Niagara cases was offensive. Although, Mr. T. said, he had veted for that claim, believing it a just one, it was in no degree of comparison as strong as the case of the Niagara sufferers. He had not said all he wished, but he would no longer detain the committee but to say, that, under views which might be presented by others, he might have occasion to trouble the House again on the point, made by the opponents of these claims, that the devastation of the frontier was a retaliatory act. The views which had been expressed on this point, Mr. T. said, were alto
gether erroneous: but, if otherwise, even then the obligations of Government were very different from what gentlemen had supposed them to be in such cases. Mr. T. closed by observing that, in relation to the motion to strike out the first section, he hoped, if gentlemen were determined nothing should be done for these claimants, that they would vote for the motion, and put them out of their pain. In regard to this bill, though he felt the common affection of paternity for it, he was not tenacious of its particular features: he was willing it should be amended, if desired. His constituents, these claimants, had been tantalized so long with hope and expectation of relief, that he hoped a final decision would now be pronounced on the case. If, in defiance of Justice, reason, and equity, gentlemen were disposed to refuse the claimants any indemnity whatever for their losses, Mr. T. hoped they would vote for the pending motion, and at once put an end to the bill. On motion of Mr. VANCE, of Ohio, the committee then rose, and obtained leave to sit again.
IN SENATE–Thursday, DEcEMBER 30, 1824.
The resolution was received from the House of Representatives proposing a joint committee to wait on General Lafayette, and announce to him the passage of the act in his favor, and requesting his acceptance of the provision therein made for him. The resolution was agreed to mem. con, and Messrs. SMITH, HAYNE, and BOUI.IGNY, were appointed by the chair he committee on the part of the Senate. The bill for the relief of the Columbian College in the Distric of Columbia, being under consideration: Mr. BARBOUR said, in a report made last session in the Senate, a general view was taken of the necessity of a College within the District of Columbia, and it was then stated that it had been a very favorite object with the most distinguished citizens of America, amongst whom, Presidents Washington and Madison had often pressed on the attention of Congress the necessity of such an institution. From causes not necessary to be enumerated here, this advice was not acted upon by Congress, and, after the expiration of many years, some free spirited and enterprising citizens, amongst whom Luther Rice stood pre-eminent, determined to do that which had been represented to Congress as well worthy of national patronage; and they succeeded, so far as to lay the foundation of the institution in question. A college was erected, but not on a scale in any way corresponding to the public expectation on the subject, because the only aid that has ever been granted by Congress to this institution was a cold and reluctant consent to its existence. The only solution that was to be found to this unkind disposition, was the misapprehension that had gone abroad, that it was to be a sectarian establishment, and as such not entitled to the favor and consideration of Congress. If this had been the case, and this establishment had been of an exclusive nature, the objection would have been an insuperable one, and I for one, said Mr. B. should have voted against it. My creed, with reference to this subject, is, that it does not belong to the constitution to dispense, in the slightest degree, favor to one sect, to the exclusion of others. Religion should be, as it is, placed beyond the control of government, and free as air. But, in this case, the fact has been misrepresented; the suspicion is entirely unfounded, and a reference to the history of the Institution will prove that it is not true. It is purely a literary establishment; youths from all parts of the Union are zealously invited, whatever may be their religion, and the attention of the superiors is directed to their intellectual improvement. I mention this fact again, because I know that, from the day of its foundation, it has been viewed through the jaundiced eye of suspicion, from which it has suffered much. Whatever may be the fate of the present measure, it is due to the character of the Institution to state, that it may be universally known that this imputation was hastily thrown out, and is entiresy without foundation—the general improvement of the mind is its object, and it is not bound to the exclusive support of any system of religion whatever, By the spirit and enterprize of almost one individual, continued Mr. B., funds were raised, and 50,000 dollars invested for purchasing a favorable site, and for the crection of buildings for the reception and accommodation of 100 students. In the pursuit of this object, 80,000 dollars were expended, consequently they exceeded the amount of their funds by $30,000; this claim still exists against the Institution, and the payment of the interest is a heavy tax on their slender means. So far as this is concerned, however, they do not propose to ask for any aid from Congress, and you will see by the report, as well as by the bill, that the aid now petitioned for has no connection with this sum. I.ast ses. sion, it was proposed to extend some relief to the College; it was desirable that the Institution should prosper; it was one of national concern, and was of sufficient extent to educate 100 of the American youth. The grant proposed was opposed, on the ground, that the ineans of the inhabitants within the District were amply sufficient for the end in view, and that Congress had no right to appropriate public money for a local object. This objection was removed, in the opinion of the committee, by the proposition to appropriate a few of the lots belonging to the United States, acquired by the cession of the territory And, as the United States had given one thirty-sixth part of the public domain, in each of the new States, for the purposes of education, the committee could not perceive why pursuing the same measure of aid here should be objected to. But, instead of asking that proportion, they had recommended only a very small appropriation. For, according to a report presented to Congress, the value of the lots had been estimated at $2,000,000. And they were the more confirmed in the view they had taken, as this fund had bean pointed out by Mr. Madison, as one free from every constitutional scruple—and higher authority on constitutional doctrine, would hardly be required by the Senate. They therefore had presented to the consideration of Congress a plan free from difficulty, by which the institution might have been benefited, and they had a hope, bordering on confidence, that the Senate would have had no difficulty in responding to their views on this subject, by granting the required aid—the amount was limited, and they hoped, that, after this relief, the institution would have prospered. The Senate, however, had differed in opinion from the committee; and thus differing, the committee had yielded; and the only fact to be noticed, is, that the College has hitherto received no favor from Congress but the privilege of existing.— The expectation of all pecuniary aid is surrendered— they ask only, that the government will give up the claim which they have on it, whose origin is disclosed in the report. They have nothing to answer this claim but two houses, for which the debt was contracted, on Greenleaf's Point; and any Gentleman who has visited that spot will easily comprehend that it is not very available property: It is surrounded with desolation; and though true that some of the houses have survived, yet, in the course of time, without some great change, this property must come to nothing. The fact is,the College have never received the least, or, if any, an inconsiderable advantage from this property; they became responsible merely in consequence of these two houses, which they believed they could render available. What their motives might have been in acquiring this property, I cannot say. I merely speak to the fact, that the institution has not received any benefit from this transaction.
Senate.] Columbian College. [Dec. 30, 1824.
And what, said Mr. B. do they ask * Not that you
should put your hands into your Treasury. Not that you shall do to them as you have done to others, namely, to appropriate a portion of the public lots for the benefit of education; but simply to release a debt which they are unable to pay. Even in the case of individuals, where a man, by misfortune, is unable to pay his debts, is it unreasonable for him to ask of his wealthy creditor to surrender a debt which he cannot discharge, whose only effect is to keep in his hands a rod with which to chastise, unavailable to the creditor, but disastrous to the debtor, repressing every motive to exertion, from the hopeless conviction that every exertion is in vain." And this is all that is now asked by the Columbian College---a feeble institution, full of promise, if its succeeds in the little boon now asked. You may retain this pleasure, if you call it a pleasure, of holding this rod over this institution without benefit to yourselves, but run to it. Look to the origin of this institution, and you will observe that it has progressed in a most extraordinary manner. Your agency towards it has been cold and reluctant; you were contented with allowing it to exist; you are the only legislative body to which application can be made on this subject. All the states of the Union have shown a lively interest in the encouragement of such institutions; and yet an institution in this particular district, which has been placed under the peculiar care of Congress, is suffered to struggle with difficulties that must overwhelm it without your aid. Your treatment towards it has been rather that of a harsh unfeeling stepmother, than that of a kind and affectionate parent, and now that it has grown up to such an extent as to contain more than one hundred students, and asks of you only to relinquish that claim which is useless to yourselves, and yet presses so hard on it, will you refuse Look at its progress: What was expectation and speculation last year, has now become reality. There is no institution, considering the time it has been endowed, and the number of pupils, that has presented more distinguished specimens of literary improvement than this college has done. The language of the report on its actual results is consoling. These, said Mr. B. are the views which presented themselves to the Committee, and are thus freely represented to the Senate. I rejoice to see literary establishments springing up every where. Permit me to offer a general remark: Look into the annals of mankind; every page of history presents the shocking and disgusting view of man preying on his fellow man---of millions expended in desolating the earth and destroying the human species; but when we seek for acts of beneficence done by Governments for promoting the welfare and happiness of the people, we look in vain; or if by chance we do discover a solitary instance, arising from motives of pure benevolence, it is like the verdant spot which strikes and refreshes the eye of the weary traveller in the midst of the burning and sandy desert, and is the more chcering and delightful from the contrast with the desolation which reigns around. If we appeal to the annals of our own country, said Mr. B. we shall find that we are by no means entirely free from these charges. The free institutions we lay claim to, and superior intelligence we boast, in their practical effects, seem to furnish the ordinary materials for history. Millions have been appropriated here, as elsewhere, for warlike purposes. But where are your acts of beneficence 2 I fear but few. I therefore, said Mr. B. present this case to the favorable consideration of the Senate, with the flattering hope that they will take this opportunity of adding one item to the very few that are now on record, where Governments have acted benevolently for the benefit of mankind. Mr. CIHANDLER observed, that, if this institution was a national one, then they were bound to foster it; but, if it was not, they saw no reason why they should afford it any support, beyond what they afforded to all
Dec. 30, 1824.]
institutions of a similar description in the United States. The sum was a small one, and he did not object to the amount, but objected to making the institution a national one in an indirect manner. They would advance step by step, and, by and by, after thus aiding the institution, they would have to support it as a national one. He thought it a very useful institution, and was willing it should be supported on a similar footing with all the others; but, . he gave his votein its favor, he must first see the question settled whether it was or was not a national institution. ir. R. M. JOHNSON, of Kentucky, said, after the interesting and able view which had been taken of this subject by the chairman of the committee, (Mr. BARmous,) it would be useless for him to occupy much of the time of the Senate on it. You, sir, said Mr. J. are well aware of the power of education on the human race as it regards religion, morals, politics, arts, and sci&nces; and its effects in promoting the happiness and welfare of mankind. Turn to the annals of this country, and there is abundant proof of the munificence and liberality of Congress in promoting the literary efforts of the new states which are admitted into the Union, by a grant of the public domain for the support of these institutions. It was the policy pursued under the administration of the Father of his Country, and has been con tinued, under the distinguished men who succeeded him, to the present time. There was no voice in opposition to the policy which dictated the donations to the infant states admitted into the Union. Could gentlemen say this was a partial appropriation ? Would the honorable gentleman oppose an appropriation which tended to raise man from the savage state, and bestow on him all the benefits of civilized life? Congress has shown its beneficence to the rising youth of the country, to whom is to descend the invaluable legacy of liberty, for which our fathers fought and bled, and for which my honorable friend from Maine has shown his devotion on all occasions. In vain we fight for our country, in vain we defend the liberty we have received, if we are to be deprived of the blessings of education, which are enjoyed by all civilized nations. We well know, said Mr. J. how the mind even of the philosopher is biassed, as regards government and religion, for want of liberal education, and we know how their morals differ from those who receive instruction from the divine book which comprises all good.
In what relation, continued Mr. J. does this unhappy District stand to the other portions of the United States? The people of it are without a representative, without those immunities which are enjoyed by the other classes of citizens; deprived of the active exercise of all those principles which dignify the human character, and remind us we are men. Although they may, in reality, be happy, yet they cannot mix in the debates of this or any other body. By the policy of the General Government, we have made liberal donations for the support of education; and there is not a state in the Union but possesses two or three seminaries of learning, where the higher branches of education are taught; but this college is not endowed by Government—by the only government that can endow it, or to which it can look for aid. They say you have a claim on them, it presses very heavy on them, and they ask you to release them from this claim. After having expended 100,000 thousand dollars, they are still 30,000 dollars in debt. If it is believed that we possess the power, is there a bosom that will not sympathise with them In the progress of this institution, the character of a man is brought before us, who seems to have lived for nothing else but to serve the public in promoting institutions for the benefit of the
rising generation, without the least advantage to him
self, or any expectation of reward, save that arising from a good conscience. When I reflect on the character of mankind, and how few there are, amongst the millions
of human beings who are devoted to the cause of humanity, a sentiment of admiration, mingled with surprise, fills my mind in regarding the character of this individual. I know, said Mr. J, the individuals who conduct this institution; they have little or no remuneratiop, and even that little is devoted to the improvement of the establishment. I know these individuals, and pledge myself for the truth of what I state. Whatever we may think of this appropriation, we may rest assured that it is not for the purpose of individual aggrandizement. And why, he asked, should not this be a national institution 2 Are we afraid of forming a precedent? If I thought it would be of any service to plead for this institution, I would do it; but I have not the talent, nor would such an appeal have any influence on this honorable body. All the institution asks of you is to relinquish the claim upon them, that they may say, “we have no mortgage, no pressure upon us but the balance of the debt incurred in establishing our institution.” Let Congress assist it, and it will encourage individuals from all parts to lend their assistance; and, by giving a little to this institution, a favorite wish of our immortal Washington will be realised. . We have the exclusive legislation for this territory; therefore, they appeal to you, and say, “forgive us, remove from us this, heavy burthen, which bears us to the earth, so will our institution flour. ish and prosper.” Mr. HOLMES, of Maine, said, the Senate ought not to deceive itself as to what was asked of it. The plain statement of the case was this: We are to give them the sum of $25,000 dollars, because their affairs are so em. barrassed they cannot go on without it. He considered it the same as paying so much money out of the Treasury, & when they have obtained this,they may ask for an equal sum to discharge any other debt. The question is, said Mr. H. will you give them this sum For my part, if it is necessary for them, standing in the relation they do with respect to us, I see no difficulty in the way. I don't, however, said Mr. H. look upon it as a national institution. I dislike the term ; we are every day becoming a little too national. It is a territorial institution, instituted in this territory, over which we have exclusive legislation, and being so, it is our duty to legislate properly for them, and promote the happiness of this district. Whether the people connected with this college have acted purely from disinterested motives, it is not for me to inquire; they have acted as other men have done, who wish to establish a literary institution. If the object is a good one, I don't wish to inquire into their motives. They say their funds are insufficient; and, how far you are to go in assisting them, is the question you are now to settle. It may be said, if you give to this institution, you must give to every one throughout the States. But I hold it a very important principle, that Government should never patronise or endow an institution over which it has no control. , You may make a grant, and another State may legislate; but in this instance you grant and you legislate likewise. I think we are bound to give this sum. It may be objected that we are beginning at the wrong exd, by endowing an establishment for the higher branches of education, while we neglect the primary schools. I, said Mr. H. do not regret, as some gentlemen seem to do, that this District has no representative in Congress, The circuinstance of Congress possessing the District, and fixing the seat of Government here, has given it more influence than the largest State in the United States has, or ever will have. I hope the time will never come when an alteration in the constitution shall be necessary to give this District a lepresentative. It is always the case that, where the seat of Government is, there the people will possess great influence: only look at the appointments made and the offices held. They | need no Representative to give them influence. We should legislate for them as we would for our children,
[Dec. 30, 1824.
or as a State Legislature legislating for a State. we people of it were as able to pay for the education of Dec. 30, 1824.]
are now on the subject of the education of a people over whom we have supreme control—they are in want ef $25,000; and the questison is, shall we give it to them or not? Mr. MILLs, of Massachusetts, observed that, before this bill was passed, it would be well to consider the character of the corporation for whose relief the bill was reported. If it is allowed to be a national institution, said Mr. M. then they have a right to appeal to the na: tional legislature. The question whether there should be a national university at the seat of Government, has been agitated at different periods, and has been, from time to time, recommended by the distinguished individuals who have presided over the nation. . I recollect very well the history and origin of this institution. when their application for a charter came before the Senate, all intention of asking pecuniary aid from Congress was disavowed. They came forward and prayed that an act of Congress might pass for their incorporation, for the better management of the funds that had been raised by individual subscription in the different parts of the Union, for erecting a college here. It is purely an eleemosynary institution, and Government has no control over it except the power to modify or change, or, if necessary, repeal their charter. It Fo no visitorial power, or any control over the unds. They selected the spot themselves for its erection in the District of Columbia, and their locating it inthis District, by their own will, no more entitles them to aid from Government, than if they had located it in Illinois or Maryland. Therefore, this is not a national institution. If the time comes when we shall see a national university established, I hope, said Mr. M. to see it endowed with a liberality and munificence commensurate with the means and resources of the country. This institution disclaims every idea of the kind, and is on the same footing with every similar institution throughout the country. - - - the honorable gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. Bannoun) had stated the manner in which the debt originated. The college assumed this debt voluntarily, but have they, said Mr. M. received nothing for it? Why did they guaranty it? what business had they to meddle with it? I hope they were not so incautious as to assume a debt without receiving a quid pro quo. If, in speculation, they have involved themselves,they stand on the same footing with other individuals or corporations who have met with a similar misfortune... I have not yet seen any reason why Government should extend its li: berality to them by giving up this debt. Any individual who is a debtor to the Government, may as well say he cannot carry on his business unless the Government will give up the debt. I wish to know how they became responsible, and what value they have received for it. Mr. MACON observed, that claims on Congress were something like wine and spirits; they improved by age. He agreed to every word the honorable gentleman from Kentucky had said on the subject of education, and the freedom with which students of all religious persuasions were admitted in this college. But that had nothing to do with the question. It appeared to him that, by some bargain or other, the college was indebted to the United States. This bargain was made between the Secretary of the Treasury and the Trustees of the college, and was like all other bargains. They thought they had made a profitable one, but they were mistaken. Congress might jay a tax on the District for the purposes of education. In all the states there were taxes laid for the purpose of education; and there was not a college in the Union but received students of every denomination of religion. They never asked what was his creed; but, if he was moral and studious, he was admitted. Although this District had no representative, Mr. M. said, it was in a better situation than any other part of the Union, from the quantity of public money expended in it; and the
their own children as any state in the Union. Their advantages were immense. This bill did not go so far as it did last session: it asked now only for 25,000 dollars; but, if it were for only 25 cents, his objections to it would be the same. Mr. BARBOUR again rose. He begged leave to observe, that this was not considered a national institution. If, said he, I had presented it to the notice of the Senate as such, I should have been ashamed to have made a beginning with a bad debt of $25,000 for its endowment; surely any man would be ashamed of such a thing. It is only an institution diffusing benefit throughout the nation, but not the child of national patronage. If gentlemen will give themselves the trouble to refer to the report, they will perceive that it is an institution which draws after it the advantages of a national university, although not created by the Government, or making any claim upon it. A homogeneous people is produced by being educated in a similar manner; and every one is aware what effect similarity of feeling produces. Its effects are most evidently calculated to guaranty the continuance of our Government. If we had a national institution, equal to that suggested by Washington and Madison, the youth of the country would resort to it from all parts of the Union; they would there form those fine feelings of friendship, which are the strongest tie between man and man throughout life; and these good feelings would have the most salutary influence on the councils of the nation. I do not speak of this institution as created by the nation; but, from its locality, it presents itself favorably to Congress, and that is the whole extent of the view I have taken. But, said Mr B. there is a scarecrow placed here. You must not do right now, lest you do wrong hereafter. The gentleman (Mr. Mills) has stated that there was an intimation or promise, at the time of the incorporation, that no aid should be asked for. At that time they thought none would be necessary; they had received $50,000, and they thought they could accomplish their object from individual assistance alone. The success which had thus attended the exertions of the friends of this establishment, arising from voluntary grants, justified the opinion they had formed of being able to stand alone. But we all know that great pecuniary distress had fallen upon the land, of which thousands had been the victims. Instead, therefore, of firding the same liberal aid which they had experi nced in the commencement, they found every hand closed, and to be opened only by their own imperious necessities. It is said, if we give in this instance, we shall be obliged to give to every state establishment of the kind; but where is the resemblance between this District and any other place Here we have entire control; here is property belonging to the territory, which we obtained by accepting the territory; they have no legislature to which they can resort but to Congress. In the new states, I repeat again, one 36th part of the public lands has been allotted to the purpose of education; but is that the case here * Out of lots owned by the Government in this city, to the amount of two millions, not a cent has been devoted. This college, said Mr. B. differs from similar institutions, in other parts of the Union, inasmuch as its benefits, from the centrality of its position, will extend to the remotest parts of the United States—and what do they ask * Although my friend is not governed by dollars and cents, others may be, and it is frequently a weighty argument. The honorable gentleman says, he considers it as a grant of $25,000; but this is not the case ; it is the mere release of a debt, which is never to be recovered by the United States; it is of no advantage to the states. but lies like an incubus on the college. There is a vast difference between paying away $25,000, and releasing: a bad debt to that amount
Some remarks have been made with respect to the
hold which Congress possesses over this Institution. It is, said Mr. B. as absolute a despotism as any tyrant could wish. By the charter, the moment you withdraw your assent, they cease to exist--they live but in your presence; and I beg leave to ask, what greater control you would wish than that It has been remarked that this territory ought to be extremely rich, and the gentleman from Maine says he does not wish to see it represented in Congress; but this does not involve the question before the Senate. On that point, however, Mr. B. said, it is the genius of the constitution that the American people should be represented wherever they may be placed. Why should you wish to disfranchise them, and have a race of people placed beyond the scheme of the constitution 2 I must now, said Mr. B., address myself to my friend from Massachusetts, in regard to his quid pro quo. We will take it, says he, for granted, that the trustees did receive a compensation for the debt: nominally, indeed, they did; but it was unavailable, and it has been a most unproductive transaction. Thousands of contracts are made, and prove ruinous; and, in such a case, would not every generous man do his utmost to relieve the sufferers ? There has been no quid pro quo. It appeared at first that there was something like equality in the contract between the parties, but it was merely nominal, and now we know that it was a total loss on the part of the College. I have, said Mr. B., no talent for illustrating the subject of education; but the fruits it has already brought forth in this very college, must make an immense impression on the public mind. An individual, without legislative aid, establishes an institution without any prospect to himself of earthly good, except the consciousness of a good deed; he lays the foundation—it takes root, and flourishes; and, from such a beginning, it now contains 120 of the future legislators of the country. From the specimens which have been produced, there is unequivocal evidence of the superior manner in which this institution is conducted. Yet it only asks release from a debt which it cannot pay, and which bears heavy on it; and is it a matter of fair argument to say that such an institution has no stronger claims than an individual asking for relief? The subject is now before you I have endeavored to acquit myself according to my view of it, and I recommend it to the favorable consideration of the Congress of the United States. Mr. HOLMES, of Maine, could not agree with the reasoning of his friend from Virginia. He says the corporation is in debt, and cannot pay, therefore forgiveness must be extended to it. This is the last reason he should have thought of applying to a corporation. The next thing would be that the Bank of the United States would be asking them the favor to cede stock. Every corporation that comes to want is to be considered in the light of an individual debtor; but, in this instance, Mr. H. did not know who they were to forgive. The honorable gentleman had spoken of the right of representation in this District; but he would only answer him
in the words of the Constitution, and that was a sufficient | Let them pay it when they pleased, but only give the
answer for him.
buildings, but all of it cannot be. What was then the question Should the Government, by a rigid enforcement of their account, involve this valuable institution in destruction f He, for one, said No. On the ground taken, that the District was within their exclusive jurisdiction, that they had no representative, and were thrown on Congress, he wished the debt should be remitted. They had done much for education in other places, then why hesitate in this instance 2 Mr. MILLS said he understood that the corporation had assumed the debt amongst themselves since the completion of the buildings. It was an unwise and unnecessary speculation, which they ought not to have meddled with. Mr. JOHNSON, of Kentucky, in reply, assured him that he labored under a misapprehension—that the houses were purchased by Luther ltice, in his own name, for the use of the college. The proposition was made to the trustees of the college, to take the property, and give their note to a certain amount. The houses stand mortgaged to the Government of the United States, and the Secretary of the Treasury, knowing the debt was for the benefit of the college in the first instance, had placed it in the name of the college. Mr. LLOYD, of Mass., requested to know with what view the purchase was originally made. Mr. JOHNSON, in reply, stated that they were bought for the express purpose of accommodating the agents of the college, and carrying on the affairs of the institution before the college buildings were erected. Mr. MII.LS was not satisfied with the information obtained in this way, but desired to have precise information as to the subject in question; and, for the purpose of obtaining it in a proper form, he moved the recommitment of the bill, that a report of the facts might be made. Mr. BARBOUR stated that the buildings were bought by I. Rice, the founder of the institution, because he thought it would promote the object in view. The Secretary of the Treasury thought he could not be injured; for what he took was so much gained. After the incorporation took place, the Secretary knew it was connected with this institution, and carried on the negotiation to make the debt a debt due from the Columbian College. These houses, said Mr. B., bear no proportion to the amount of the debt; and, if it can be paid, it must be by the sale of the college, and, even then, the proceeds would be insufficient to satisfy the demand, as the college owes other debts having a prior claim. The very existence of the college is involved in the question, and you may, if you please, have the college cried through the streets, like a horse, and knocked down for what it will fetch. Mr. CIIANDLER recommended that the bill should be recommitted, and a report made to call on the Secretary of the Treasury for precise information regarding the debt. As to selling the college, they would, he hoped, never find it necessary to do that. The Government would never press the institution to their injury.
House the necessary information to act on.
from the debt, the college ought, at least, to give up to
the Government the property for which the debt was