« ForrigeFortsett »
H. Of R.]
Seat of Government.
[JULY 6, 1790.
against which no provision can be made. If of Congress, and not their residence, are the that is an objection, it holds good against any objects of concern to the people. Those States law that can be passed. If those States that who think that they shall be injured it cannot may have a superiority in Congress at a future be expected will acquiesce. He then gave an day will pay no respect to the acts of their pre- account of the process of this measure the last decessors, or to the public good, there is no session. The travelling has been mentioned. power to compel them.
This, he said, could not be considered as an arBut I flatter myself that some respect will gument in favor of the bill, for the expense is be paid to the public interest, and to the plight- not paid by particular States, it comes out of ed faith of the Government. As to centrality, the common treasury. He asserted that the the best evidence we have at this time in favor accessibility to New York is better than that to of the Potomac is the different travelling of the the Potomac. He contended the risk by land members; and this, sir, proves incontestably is greater than that by water. He stated the that the proposed place on the Potomac is near advantages that the Southern members derived the centre. If any arguments could be brought from coming to the Northward, while, on the against it, it is its being too far to the North-other hand, is there, asked he, any thing to baward. For the mileage South of the Potomac lance the risk and difficulties which the Northis twelve thousand seven hundred and eighty: ern members must encounterin such a Southern two miles, to the North of it twelve thousand situation. He said it was highly unreasonable four hundred and twenty-two miles. If to this to fix the seat of Government in such a position Rhode Island be added, it will not be more as to have nine States out of thirteen to the than equal. If the bill once passes, I am not Northward of the place. He adverted to the under any apprehensions of a repeal; but if sacrifices which the Northern States are ready danger of a repeal does exist, it is of that kind to make in being willing to go so far South as against which we cannot guard. Sir, we should Baltimore. He contended that the explicit calculate on accepting the bill as it now stands; consent of the Eastern States ought to be obwe ought not to risk it by making any amend-tained, before they are dragged still further ment. We have it now in our power to pro- South. He ridiculed the idea of fixing the Gocure a Southern position. The opportunity may vernment at Conococheague. He did not think not again speedily present itself. We know the there was any serious intention of ever going to various and jealous interests that exist on this this Indian place. He considered the whole subject. We should hazard nothing. If the business as a mere manœuvre. Baltimore holds Potomac is struck out, are you sure of getting out the only prospect of a permanent seat of Baltimore? May no other places be proposed? Government. He recapitulated the account Instead of Baltimore, is it not probable we may which before had been given. From this he have Susquehanna inserted, perhaps the Dela- adverted to the general expectation of the pubware? Make any amendment, sir, and the bill lic with respect to the Government's tarrying will go back to the Senate. Are we sure that here till the permanent seat was established. it will come back into our possession again? He particularized the expenses that had been By amending, we give up a certainty for an uns incurred by the citizens, and for which they certainty. In my opinion, we shall act wisely, merited great honor. He said, it had been proif we accept the bill as it now stands, and I beg mised to New York that this place should be leave to press it on gentlemen not to consent to the temporary residence of Congress, and on any alteration, lest it be wholly defeated and this engagement they came into an uncondithe prospect of obtaining a Southero position tional adoption of the Constitution. Should vanish for ever.
this bill pass, what can it be denominated but a Mr. Genny said, he rose with greater reluc- delusion, a deception, sanctioned by Congress tance on this than he ever did on any former itself? He remarked on the several observaoccasion; and it is because it appears pretty tions offered by Messrs. Madison, LEE, Stone, evident the advocates of the bill are sure of a and Scott.' majority, and are determined not to change Mr. VINING.-When I find arguments made their minds let what arguments will be offered use of to inílame the minds of gentlemen against on the subject. The business of establishing the members of this House, I think it my duty the permanent residence is contrary to the to notice such observations. Attempts are made sentiinents of a majority of the members of this to hold up, in an odious point of light, the memHouse, and of the Senate, as they have both nega-bers of Pennsylvania. Sir, it is a fact, which tived a bill for this purpose the present session. your Journals will justify, that the members It is to be regretted that it has ever been brought Irow Pennsylvania voted the last session against forward, for it is very evident that it has had a Philadelphia. I trust that none of those observery pernicious influence on the great business vations will have the least influence on the of funding the public debt. He then mentioned mind of one single individual. We are sent the former removals of Congress, which had here to do the public business, and I trust that never been complained of, as the public busi- our constituents have not sent men that are to ness was never neglected. He said, that if the be deterred from doing their duty by such insipresent bill is carried into execution, a very dious insinuations, such ill founded suggestions great uneasiness will ensue; for the measures of deceiving and deluding the citizens of this
JULY 7, 1790.]
Seal of Government.
[H. OF R.
place. Mr. V. added some more strictures on for the plaininess of their manners, and their Mr. Gerry's observations, and then entered benevolence. Nay, should the gentleman go largely into the merits of the question. He to Philadelphia, he will find that these people supported the bill on general principles, and will treat him as well as any other society. noticed the several objections that had been They merit not the abuse which has been so made by different members. He imputed the frequently thrown upon them. embarrassments of the public business to the Mr. BloodWORTH thought that if the New assumption, and not to the subject of resi-York senators had acted wrong, yet the people dence.
should not be blamed for it. The proposition Mr. Clymer made a few remarks on the ob- of Mr. Burke was so reasonable and just that servations of Mr. BURKE, which were not dis- he said he could not avoid approving of it. tinctly heard.
Mr. LAWRENCE defended the New York seThe committee rose, and reported progress. nators, and explained the reasons of their
former conduct, which, when it was known,
he believed, would rather merit the approbation WEDNESDAY, July 7.
of the people. He then proceeded to remark GENERAL POST-OFFICE.
upon the conduct of New York during the war A message from the Senate informed the and since. Her revenue had been thrown into House, that they have passed the bill to esta- the Treasury of the United States, and every United States with several amendments, to ed the dispute of residence could be left to the blish the post-office and post-roads within the succor that could possibly be expected was
received from her. Upon the whole, he wishwhich they desire the concurrence of this
decision of the three Northern and three SouthHouse.
ern States; and he appealed to the House, as SEAT OF GOVERNMENT.
politicians and men, for the justice of the case. The House again resolved itself into a com- Mr. WADSWORTH rose next. He was promittee on the bill for establishing the temporary ceeding when he was called to order. After and permanent seat of Government, Mr. Bou- some altercation on the question of order, Dinor in the chair.
Mr. PAGE spoke to the merits of the quesMr. Burke made some remarks on the ob- tion, in which he introduced several conciliaservations of Mr. VINING, in which he excul- tory observations, and then added, as to the pated himself from all design to excite mobs place for the permanent residence of Congress, and tumults among the citizens of New York, any unprejudiced disinterested man in the as bad been insinuated by that gentleman. He world, looking over the map of the United declared that he believed the citizens incapable States, would put his finger on the district of behaving so much out of character. For pointed out in the bill, and say, * This is your himself, he disclaimed any such idea. He sur place, sir.” As to going to Philadelphia, it is ther observed, that the delegates from Penn not my wish to go and stay there as proposed sylvania were fully competent to advocate the in the bill; but I say, with my colleague, (Mr. interest of their particuiar State; they had giv- Madison,) that I consent to go there to get en abundant evidence of their abilities; they into a more central position, and to be fairly on therefore did not need the assistance of the our way to the permanent residence on the gentleman from Delaware.
As to our present situation, the ciMr. HARTLEY observed, that it was the fault tizens of New York themselves acknowledge, of the New York senator's last year that they nay, even the member himself who has called did not vote for a four years' residence in their me to order, acknowledges that it has no preown city, and the permanent one at German- tensions to be the permanent residence, and it town, which they could then have carried. He must be confessed that in proportion as it is defended himself and his colleagues from any improper for the permanent residence it must charge of want of generosity, and also defend - be improper for the temporary residence. The ed the character of the Quakers. The gentle continuance of Congress here has been acman (Mr. BURKE) is not acquainted with the quiesced in by the Southern States, merely on people called Quakers or their history, or he the supposition that a removal to the permanent would entertain
different sentiments concern- residence would take place sooner if Congress ing them. Under the famous William Penn, sat here than at some other place more central. they settled the former Province of Pennsylva- The wise and virtuous citizens of New York nia, between the years 1680 and 1690, near the know this,
and cannot resist the removal. close of the last century; and such was their Sir, I was not apprehensive that the observajustice, wisdom, moderation, and good policy tions inade by gentlemen yesterday could exthat they gained reputation abroad. Men emi- cite an improper resentment in their minds; grated from the European world to this Land there is not a city in the world in which I of Freedom. They preserved peace at home, would sooner trust myself and Congress than for it was not until the year 1753, when a war, in New York; for it is superior to any place I fomented on the borders of another Province, know for the orderly and decent behavior of that an inhabitant of Pennsylvania was killed its inhabitants; but, sir, when the meinber always been remarkable for their
moral laws, when he was last up, said that they were in
H. OF R.]'
Seat of Government.
[JULY 7, 1790,
- jured and robbed by Congress, I told him, as a to show that there could be no danger of an infriend, that had I been in the chair I should surrection or rebellion against the Government. have called him to order.
Congress is vested with a sufficient power to I confess I was shocked to hear that gentle-protect themselves from every insult whatever; man's declarations repeated by a member on they have a right to call forth the whole militia the other side of the House, who is remarkable of the Union for their protection. [Here Mr. for his coolness and his peculiar attention to G. was called to order, and some altercation every sentiment offered in debate (Mr. GERRY). ensuing, Mr. G. said he would say nothing I took the liberty, when the House adjourned, further on this particular topic.). He then proto tell that gentleman, perhaps too freely, what ceeded to state his arguments against the PotoI thought respecting those declarations; if I mac, in the course of which he noticed some gave him, or the member behind me any offence, observations which had fallen from Messrs. I ask their pardon; but I still think I should VINING and CLYMER. One of the gentlemen have done my duty, had I taken notice of the - had said that “ Pennsylvania had a right to the impropriety of their declarations in my place seat of the General Government." This he in the House, as a friend to order and freedom denied; he said no State in the Union could of debate.
pretend to such a right, Congress alone has Mr. LIVERMORE said, that the motion for strik- | a right to determine where the seat of Governing out the Potomac and inserting Baltimore ment shall be. He entered into a lengthy disis so reasonable in itself, that I cannot conceive cussion on the merits of the Potomac, and there should be one person opposed to it. He among many other observations asserted that observed, that Baltimore is as far South as the taking so Southern a situation would amount Potomac; the members will then have as far to a disqualification of many of the Northern to go to one as the other. There is a river, members, who would forego their election it is said, which runs two hundred miles into rather than attend the National Legislature on the country as far as the Allegany mountains; that river. what advantage can this be to Congress? Mr. VINING read a report of a committee of can conceive none, except that it may be to send the late Congress, respecting two seats of Gothe acts of Congress by water to the foot of the vernment, in which report Georgetown was Allegany mountains. "He thought that the cen- mentioned. Mr. Gerry, being one of this tre of population was the only true centre. It committee, rose to explain. is not pretended that the Potomac is at present Mr. Sedgwick, in a speech of considerable this centre; but it is said that it will in time length, stated bis objections to so Southern a become the centre of population. What rea- situation as either Baltimore or the Potomac, son is there for any such supposition? The and said that he should have the unhappiness, place in which this favorite spot is has been as he feared, of dividing on the question from his long settled as any other part of the Continent, colleagues. but the population has not kept pace with many Mr. SHERMAN offered some calculations reother parts of the United States; it is therefore specting distances, and made Baltimore to be entirely chimerical and problematical whether the nearest to the centre of any other place that it ever will become the centre of population. had been mentioned. He then enlarged on the superior advantages Mr. White said, he had no idea of altering of a populous city for the seat of Government, the sentiments of a single member of the comand concluded by repeating that the amend- mittee; he did not expect the gentleman froina ment is so reasonable in itself, that he hoped New Hampshire would agree with him. The every member of the committee would vote for it. gentleman from Massachusetts has said some
Mr. GERRY.-In discussing this subject yes- thing about the Government going into the terday, I made use of such arguments as ap- wilderness; he said it was true that there was peared to me pertinent to the occasion. But, not at present every accommodation which gensir, those arguments have had the inost extra- tlemen might wish; but there is every probaordinary construction put on them by the gen- bility that there will be. He said that such tleman from Delaware; they have been repre- improvements were making in the navigation sented as tending to excite mobs, and to raise of the Potomac as will render it a place afford. insurrections in this city. Sir, I'insist that the ing every accommodation whether Congress go observations I made had a direct contrary ten- there or not. He instanced several places on dency. I said that the bill contained those the Potomac which were at this day sufficiently malignant principles which had a direct ten-populous to accommodate Congress. He then dency to agitate and inflame the minds of the adverted to situation, and observed that a line citizens of America. Those principles I was from the Atlantic, east and west, to the exendeavoring to expose, and to show what must treme point mentioned in the bill, will interbe their obvious effects. Is this exciting mobs? sect the State of New Jersey, include the Directly the reverse, in my opinion. I never whole of Delaware and Maryland, and will had any such idea; and as to the citizens of throw thirty-one members of the representation New York, I have too just a sense of their wis- in the Southern division of the United States. dom and good judgment to barbor such a sen. He then observed, that after the present fertiment. He then adverted to the Constitution, ment is subsided, this position will be considerJULY 7, 1790.]
Seat of Government.
[H. OF R.
ed as a permanent bond of union; and the word “ Potomac,” and inserting “ Baltimore, Eastern States will find their most essential it was negatived-37 to 23. interests promoted by the measure. He ad- Several other amendments were offered, and verted to the trade of Massachusetts, which negatived without a division. he said was greater to Virginia than to the
Mr. Burke then made the following motion: whole Union besides; the Southern States will be cordial in promoting their shipping and ad. New York two years from last May; and from the
“ That the seat of Government should remain in vancing their interests, when they observe that the principles of justice influence them on this expiration of that time to the year 1800, that the seat
of Government should remain in Philadelphia.” great national question. He then remarked on the observation of Mr.
The committee rose, and the resolution lay SHERMAN respecting the repealing of the law, upon the table. and reprobated the principles on which such observations are founded; he remarked on the
THURSDAY, July 8. attraction of populous cities, and trusted that
INVALID PENSIONERS. other ideas would prevail in this country than what influenced in fixing the seats of Govern- House that they have disagreed to the bill to
A message from the Senate informed the ment in Europe.
authorize the issuing of certificates to a certain Mr. Smith, of South Carolina, said, he was description of invalid officers; and that they in favor of the motion, as the only one which have passed the bill further to provide for the held out a probability of ever fixing on a payment of the invalid pensioners of the UniSouthern residence. He enlarged on the diffi- ted States, with an amendment, to which they culty and improbability of ever removing from desire the concurrence of this House. Philadelphia. He said that it was evident, from
COLLECTION OF DUTIES. the present representation, and what is most likely it will be ten years hence, that Congress Mr. Goodhue, from the committee appointed could not be removed from that place. He on the subject, presented a bill to regulate the then stated the number of the members to the collection of the duties imposed by law on goods, southward and northward of Philadelphia, and wares, and merchandises, imported into the observed that the Congress that would exist at United States, and on the tonnage of ships or the expiration of ten years may think entirely vessels, which was twice read and committed. different from the present, and will not think
SEAT OF GOVERNMENT. themselves bound by the law; but if they should, The House again went into a committee on what can the measure be denominated but le- the bill for establishing the temporary and pergislating for the next century. A system pro- manent seat of Government, Mr. Boudinot in posed the last session, which combined a much the chair. greater interest than the present, failed; and The amendment yesterday proposed by Mr. what reason have we to suppose that this bill Burke being taken up, will ever be carried into execution? He said Mr. BURKE observed, that he was induced to no gentleman pretends that the place proposed make this motion from a wish to accommodate; is now ready for the reception of the Govern- as a delegate from South Carolina he consiment; and'even if the buildings were now erect- dered himself in a proper situation to come ed, is there any gentleman who would give his forward on this occasion; the New York vote for going there? He would agree to a and Pennsylvania members are parties conplace in the neighborhood of Baltimore, and cerned in the business, they are judges in their this he supposed was the furthest Southern po- own cause; and in this view it may be expected sition the gentlemen from the Eastward will that they will be partial to their respective inever consent to. From all the views he could terests; he therefore conceived that a motion take of the measure, he was fully convinced by a member from a State not specially interthat the Potomac was tacked to the bill merely ested might be made with the greatest propriety; to carry Philadelphia; he wished gentlemen be repeated some observations respecting the seriously to consider the consequences of pass- injustice of so suddenly quitting New York, ing a law which would so intimately and inau- and adverted to their particular situation respiciously affect the interests of so many people. specting the term of their leases which expire
Mr. Madison objected to the motion for in the first of May, and on this account he proserting Baltimore, as it would be risking the posed that that should be the time at which the bill with a place which has already been re- removal of Congress should take place. peatedly rejected by the Senate; he religiously Mr. LAWRENCE entered into a consideration believed, he said, that if Baltimore was inserted of the pretensions of New York. He said she the bill would never pass the Senate; and the had a claim to the seat of Government from fate of the bill which the gentleman mentions the various circumstances which had attended ought to be a serious warning to us never to the residence from the time Congress first came risk this with an amendment; the instance, to this city, and from the exertions which it had therefore, produced by the gentleman is very recently made. Mr. L. did not particularly much against his own argument.
refer to the improvements of the city for the The question being put for striking out the accommodation of the Government. His ob
H. OF R.]
[JULY 8, 1790. servations were general, and respected the po- clause in the bill is not only constitutional but licy and expediency of the measure.
proper. Mr. Page opposed the amendment. He ob- Mr. Tucker said, he should move to divide served that as to the claims of New York, he the question; but he had his objections to the did not conceive that she had any claims what- passing a bill for a purpose which a joint resoever. It is true she had put herself to a consi-lution was fully competent to effecting; his derable expense to accommodate the Govern- argument against the bill turned upon this idea, ment, and he was ready to acknowledge her that Philadelphia would become the permanent. patriotism on this account; but, said he, there residence, and this be conceived to be the main is not a city of equal magnitude in the Union object; for, said he, it will become the duty of that would not have done the same; and she is Pennsylvania to prevent Congress ever leaving reimbursed by the advantages she has derived, that city, if, at the expiration of the period of and goes receive by the money that is expended ten years, they shall think that Philadelphia is here in consequence. He said that the accom- the best place in which to continue the seat of modation of the people at large ought to be a Government. He said he was sorry to hear prime consideration with the Legislature, and the arguments which had been brought forward in this view, to avoid any risk respecting the on this question respecting losing the bill if it bill, and to settle a business which has much was amended; he thought them calculated to agitated the public mind, he should vote against abridge a fair legislative discussion of the methe motion. There is one argument indeed rits of the subject. Mr. T. spoke in handsome which deserves attention. I mean that which terms of the citizens of New York. is founded on the supposition tbat the bill is Mr. Gerry was in favor of putting the ques. unconstitutional, and that this was the opiniontion as originally moved. The complexion of of my colleague on a former occasion. Sir, it the bill affects the temporary residence of Conwas then my opinion also; but we were then gress; to form a judginent of the amendment overruled by this House, and now have the proposed it is necessary to take a view of the opinion of the Senate also against our construc- proposition as it stands in the bill. The State tion of the Constitution. However, I rely not and city of New York are differently situated merely on this circumstance, for I find, upon from any other place at which Congress ever an examination of all that the Constitution says sat; the accommodations of all other places at about an adjournment, that the clause in the which Congress has evel' sat have been an approbill is perfectly constitutional, as there are but priation of their public buildings. When the two sentences in the Constitution respecting Constitution was adopted, Congress determinAdjournments. The last clause of the fifth sec-ed that the first meeting should be in New tion of the first article, and the third section York; and from this determination it became of the second article, the former of which runs necessary that accommodations should be prothus: “ Neither House, during the session of vided. Had not New York done this, they Congress, shall, without the consent of the would have been charged with parsimony or other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to disaffection, or with both. It would have been any other place than that in which the two said, that this city having been a British garri. Houses shall be sitting.” Now, sir, to be in- son was careless and indifferent in respect to consistent with this clause of the Constitution, the Government; these considerations and their the bill should direct that adjournments shall attachment to the Constitution produced the take place without the consent of the Senate; elegant building in which the sessions of Conbut the bill before us was framed by the Senate, gress have been held; in addition to this, they and a perfect concurrence of the three branches have incurred other heavy expenses to beautify of the Legislature is proposed to the adjourn and render more, convenient the seat of Goment now under consideration; how, then, can verninent. These expenses the city has init be inconsistent with the third section of the curred to do honor to the new Government, second article of the Constitution, which gives and they have not been reimbursed; will it not the President a right to interfere in case of a then be considered as the height of ingratitude disagreement respecting the time of an adjourn to quit the place under such circumstances? ment? It might, indeed, be said, upon a ques. Let us now consider the bill in a national tion concerning common adjournments, that point of view. He acknowledged that Philathe two Houses would do well to retain the delphia was undoubtedly nearer the centre of right of adjourning without the consent of the wealth and population than New York; but President. But, sir, is this an extraordinary the Potomac was more uncentral than the place case, in which it will be happy for Congress at which we now sit. He said, that provided and their constituents if the business of ad- Philadelphia is the temporary seat, and should journment shall depend upon the joint consent thence become the permanent residence, we of the three branches of the Legislature, and shall go but ninety miles out of two hundred not on that of the two Houses alone. Without and filty, the proposed centre on the Potomac. this check, after getting to Philadelphia on an He recapitulated his former observations, and adjournment, we might be brought back to said, civilities ought to meet civilities, and are New York, and then carried back again; and as much obligatory on States as individuals. so on without end. I think, therefore, that the If there is any weight in the argument, it will