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HISTORY

OF

THE PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES

OF THE

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES,

AT THE THIRD SESSION OF THE FIRST CONGRESS, HELD AT PHILADELPHIA,

DECEMBER 6, 1790.

On which day, being the day appointed by | (of S. C.) were appointed a committee, to act the adjournment of the two Houses for the with a committee from the Senate, to wait on meeting of the present session, the following the President of the United States, to inform members appeared and took their seats, to wit: him that a quorum of the two Houses is assembled. From New Hampshire-ABIEL FOSTER, NICHOLAS GILMAN, and SAMUEL LIVERMORE.

From Massachusetts-FISHER AMES, BENJAMIN GOODHUE, and GEORGE THATCHER.

From Connecticut-BENJAMIN HUNTINGTON, GER SHERMAN, and JONATHAN STURGES.

A message from the Senate informed the House, that Messrs. LANGDON and MORRIS were appointed a committee, to join the comRo-mittee of this House, to wait upon the President.

From New York--EGBERT BENSON, WILLIAM
FLOYD, JOHN LAWRENCE, and PETER SYLVESTER.
From New Jersey-ELIAS BOUDINOT, LAMBERT
CADWALADER, and JAMES SCHUREMAN.

From Pennsylvania--GEORGE CLYMER, THOMAS
FITZSIMONS, FREDERICK AUGUSTUS MUHLENBERG,
PETER MUHLENBERG, and HENRY WYNKOOP.
From Maryland-JOSHUA SENEY.

From Virginia-JOHN BROWN, SAMUEL GRIFFIN, and JAMES MADISON, Junior.

From North Carolina-TIMOTHY BLOODWORTH, and HUGH WILLIAMSON.

From South Carolina-WILLIAM SMITH.
From Georgia--ABRAHAM BALDWIN.
Which not forming a quorum of the whole
number, the House adjourned until to-morrow.

TUESDAY, December 7.

Mr. BOUDINOT, from the Joint Committee to wait on the President, reported that the President would attend to make a communication to both Houses to-morrow, at twelve o'clock, in the Senate Chamber.

WEDNESDAY, December 8.

ELBRIDGE GERRY and JONATHAN GROUT, from Massachusetts; ANDREW MOORE and ALEXANDER WHITE, from Virginia; and THOMAS TUDOR TUCKER, from South Carolina, appeared and took their seats.

A message from the Senate informed the House, that they are ready to meet the members of this House in the Senate Chamber, to receive the usual communication from the President of the United States.

Mr. SPEAKER, attended by the members of DANIEL HEISTER and THOMAS SCOTT, from this House, then withdrew to the Senate ChamPennsylvania; RICHARD BLAND LEE, from Vir-ber, for the purpose expressed in the above mesginia; and DANIEL HUGER, from South Carolina, appeared and took their seats.

WILLIAM B. GILES, from Virginia, returned in the place of THEODORIC BLAND, deceased, also appeared, produced his credentials, and took his seat.

A quorum of members being now present, a message was received from the Senate, by Mr. Oris, their Secretary, informing the House that a quorum of the Senate is assembled, and ready to proceed to business.

A message was returned to the Senate, informing them that a quorum of this House is assembled, and ready to proceed to business. Messrs. BOUDINOT, LAWRENCE, and SMITH,

sage.

And being returned, the SPEAKER laid before the House a copy of the Speech, delivered by the President, (which will be found in the Proceedings of the Senate, page 1770.)

Which being read, it was, on motion, committed to the consideration of a Committee of the whole House to-morrow.

On motion,

Resolved, That two Chaplains, of different denominations, be appointed to Congress, one by each House, who shall interchange weekly.

Ordered, That a committee be appointed to prepare and bring in a bill for establishing the Post-office and post roads of the United States,

H. OF R.]

Proceedings.

[DEC. 10, 1790.

and that Messrs. SHERMAN, CLYMER, and WIL- representation, it will be worth while for a prinLIAMSON form said committee.

NEWSPAPERS FOR MEMBERS.

Mr. WILLIAMSON, after some introductory observations on the importance of diffusing information among the people, and the utility of newspapers for that purpose, inoved,

That the Clerk of the House be directed to furnish each of the members with three of the public newspapers printed in this city, at their own electionthe papers to be left at their respective lodgings. Laid on the table.

THURSDAY, December 9.

ter to set up a paper merely to supply Congress. He said, he was disposed to give encouragement really advantageous to the country, by renderto the press in printing books which would be ing importations unnecessary; but as to news papers, they are a species of printing which dies with the day. He mentioned the number of papers formerly taken by the House, among which were some that were never read by any body. He was for limiting the number, and therefore had mentioned three; still he was not tenacious of that number; but whatever else was determined in the business he thought there ought to be a limitation.

Mr. LIVERMORE said, he should vote for the JAMES JACKSON and GEORGE MATTHEWS, from resolution; which being put, was carried in the Georgia, appeared and took their seats. affirmative-22 to 15.

ADDRESS TO THE PRESIDENT.

On motion, the House resolved itself into a Committee of the whole on the speech of the President of the United States, Mr. LIVERMORE in the chair.

On motion of Mr. LAWRENCE, the committee agreed to a resolution, which the committee rose and reported to the House, which was concurred with as follows:

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this committee, that an Address ought to be presented by the House to the President of the United States, in answer to his speech to both Houses, with assurances that this House will, without delay, proceed to take into consideration the various and important matters recom

mended to their attention.

And Messrs. MADISON, AMES, and TUCKER, were appointed to prepare the Address.

NEWSPAPERS FOR MEMBERS.

Mr. WILLIAMSON's resolution yesterday laid on the table, in relation to supplying the members with newspapers, being taken up,

Mr. FITZSIMONS said, he hoped the resolution would not be agreed to. The subject had frequently been discussed, and much expense of time had been incurred. For his own part, he knew of no reasons which existed that should induce the House, at this session, to deviate from former practice, and the custom which had always been observed by the old Congress. Debating the subject would probably be attend ed with as much expense as taking the papers in the usual way.

Mr. MADISON offered some objections to the motion. He was in favor of taking the whole of the publications, or none; as taking a part would be giving a preference to particular presses, and would savor of partiality.

CHAPLAINS.

A message was received from the Senate, informing that they have concurred in the resolution of the House for the appointment of Chaplains; and have, on their part, appointed the Right Reverend Bishop WHITE.

On motion of Mr. SMITH, to-morrow was assigned by the House for the election of a Chaplain. The Rev. Dr. BLAIR and the Rev. Mr. GREEN were nominated.

KENTUCKY.

A message was received from the President of the United States, with the papers mentioned in his speech, respecting the admission of Kentucky as a member of the Union.

ELECTORS FOR ELECTING PRESIDENT.

Mr. BENSON gave notice, that he should move for a committee to be appointed to bring in a bill or bills, for determining the time of choosing the Electors, in the several States, of President and Vice President; also determining, in case of vacancy of the office of President and Vice President, by death, or absence from the seat of Government, who shall exercise the office of President.

REGISTERING VESSELS.

On motion, a committee was appointed, consisting of Messrs. FITZSIMONS, GOODHUE, and LEE, to bring in a bill to amend the act for registering ships and vessels, and regulating the coasting trade, and for other purposes.

WESTERN EXPEDITION.

A letter was received from the Secretary of War, addressed to the Speaker, accompanying sundry papers respecting the Western Expedition, and the expenses attending the same.

USEFUL ARTS.

On motion of Mr. WILLIAMSON, a committee was appointed, consisting of Messrs. WHITE, amend the act to promote the progress of the SENEY, and BALDWIN, to bring in a bill to useful arts.

Mr. WILLIAMSON supported the motion. He begged gentlemen to consider, that if no limitation was to be set to the number of newspapers; what the expense might amount to. He did not know the exact number printed in the city, whether ten or fifteen; but if Congress made it a rule to take all that was, or might be printed, they may be increased to a hundred; and after the increase of the House, by the addition to the JONATHAN

FRIDAY, December 10. GEORGE PARTRIDGE, from Massachusetts; TRUMBULL and JEREMIAH WADS

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CHAPLAIN.

The House, according to the order of the day, proceeded by ballot to the appointment of a Chaplain to Congress, on the part of this House; and upon examining the ballots, a majority of the votes of the whole House was found in favor of the Rev. Mr. BLAIR.

ELECTORS FOR ELECTING PRESIDENT.

MR. PRESIDENT—Gentlemen:

[H. OF R.

The news has reached our ears--FRANKLIN is no more!--FRANKLIN the citizen of the world!-All nations are indebted to him for instruction in every

branch of science. They are all bound to participate in the grief occasioned by this common loss. But the Assembly of the Representatives of the Commonalty of our Capital, thinking it their duty, in addition to the general mourning, to pay to his memory a further tribute of honor, have ordered, by a public decree, that the virtues and talents of this great Philosopher should be perpetuated to distant ages, in a Ordered, That a committee be appointed to public and solemn Eulogy--the first of the kind, ever prepare and bring in a bill or bills for determin-bestowed by our Nation, on civic worth. ing, agreeable to the provision in the first section By order of the Assembly, I transmit it to your of the second article of the Constitution, the hands; and with the most lively sensations of pleatime when the Electors shall, in the year which sure, embrace the opportunity of paying due homwill terminate on the third of March, one thou-age to a body of men, who not only possess, but are sand seven hundred and ninety-three, and so in justly entitled to enjoy the sweets of Liberty. every fourth year thereafter, be chosen, and the day on which they shall give their votes for declaring what officer shall, in case of vacancy both in the office of President and Vice President, act as President; for assigning a public office, where the lists mentioned in the second paragraph of the first section of the second article of the Constitution, shall, in case of vacancy in the office of the President of the Se-To the PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS nate, or his absence from the seat of Government, be in the mean time deposited; and for directing the mode in which such lists shall be transmitted; and that Messrs. BENSON, HUNTINGTON, HEISTER, MOORE, and PARTRIDGE, be of the said committee.

UNIFORM MILITIA.

Ordered, That a committee be appointed to prepare and bring in a bill or bills more effectually to provide for the national defence, by establishing a uniform militia throughout the United States; and that Messrs. BOUDINOT, P. MUHLENBERG, GILMAN, FLOYD, GROUT, WADSWORTH, SMITH, of Maryland, BLOODWORTH, GILES, SMITH, of South Carolina, and MATTHEWS, be of the said committee.

EULOGIUM ON FRANKLIN.

May the approbation of your Assembly attend as well the present itself, as the fraternal and respectful sentiments, with which I am, Mr. President--Gentlemen, Your most obedient humble servant, BENIERE, Doctor of the Sorbonne, Suppletory Member of the National Assembly, and President of the Commonalty of Paris.

of the United States.

the Eulogium on Dr. FRANKLIN, delivered by The letter accompanied twenty-six copies of the Abbé Fauchet, pursuant to a decree of that body.

Mr. BOUDINOT proposed that thirteen copies of the Eulogium be returned to the President of the United States and the Senate, which was

done.

be proper to request the President of the United Mr. SMITH (of S. C.) observed, that it would States to return an answer to the President and Commonalty of Paris, or that a Joint Committee of the House and Senate should be appointed for the purpose. He was not tenacious of any particular mode, but supposed it highly proper that some notice should be taken of the polite A message from the Senate conveyed to the attention shown the Government, by the PresiHouse, a letter from Monsieur Beniere, President of the Commonalty of Paris. The business dent of the Commonalty of Paris, addressed to was specially committed to the SPEAKER. the President and Members of Congress of the United States, with twenty-six copies of a Civic Eulogium on Benjamin Franklin, pronounced the twenty-first of July, one thousand seven hundred and ninety, in the name of the Commonalty of Paris, by Monsieur the Abbé Fauchet.

ADDRESS TO THE PRESIDENT.

Mr. MADISON, from the committee appointed, presented an Address to the President of the United States, in answer to his speech to both Houses of Congress, which was read, and ordered to be committed to a Committee of the whole House to-morrow.

SATURDAY, December 11.

A translation of the Letter from the President of the Commonalty of Paris, addressed to the Federal Legislature, was read as follows:

A letter was received from the Commissioners of the city and county of Philadelphia, giving an account of the measures taken to accommodate the Federal Legislature, during their residence in Philadelphia, by preparing the new Courthouse in the best manner the size of the building would permit, and appropriating the same to their use.

Agreeably to the order of the day, the House resolved itself into a Committee of the whole, to take into consideration the Address to the President of the United States, in answer to his speech to both Houses, as reported yesterday. Mr. LIVERMORE in the chair.

The Address was read by the Clerk, and then discussed by the committee in paragraphs.

On reading the clause respecting the Western expedition against the Indians,

H. OF R.]

Address to the President.

[DEC. 11, 1791.

The paragraph respecting encouraging our own navigation being read,

Mr. JACKSON rose and observed, that he was He said, he would not at present engross any as fully impressed with the importance of an In- more of the time of the House, only to give nodian war, and of extending the protection of tice that, at a future opportunity, he should move Government to our defenceless frontiers, as any that the President of the United States be reman whatever; and had no doubt of the neces-quested to lay before the House, for their consisity of the measures taken to chastise the ban-deration, the Treaty with the Creek Indiansditti on the Ohio; but as a Representative from not excepting the secret articles. the State of Georgia, he should think himself inexcusable were he not to express his astonishment that no notice is taken in the President's speech of the Treaty with the Creek Nation; a treaty which has spread alarm among the people of that State-a treaty by which more than three million acres of land, the property of the State of Georgia, guarantied to that State by the Constitution of the United States, are ceded away without any compensation. Mr. J. then adverted to several articles of the treaty, which he said controverted the plainest principles of the Constitution, particularly those parts which secure to every citizen the rights of property. He contrasted the present situation of the inhabitants of Georgia, with what it was under the British Government, and said this treaty placed them in a less eligible situation, in respect to the Indians. It had been said, exclaimed he, that there are secret articles in the treaty. Good God! at this early period, are there to be secret articles isting between the United States and any other Nation under heaven! Treaties by the Constitution are to be considered the supreme law of the land; but will Congress permit the laws of the United States, like those of Caligula, to be placed where they cannot be read, and then punish the people for not obeying them? The people will never submit to be bound by secret articles.

Mr. SMITH (of S. C.) observed, that he did not rise to propose any alterations in the style of the Address, the language was such as might be expected from the acknowledged abilities of the gentleman who drafted it. The paragraph just read, he conceived, pledged the House to take measures in respect to our own navigation, which may, in the issue, prove injurious to the agricultural interests of the United States. At this early period of the session, it appeared extremely improper for the House to commit itself, especially as few, if any of the States, are fully represented on the floor. He was afraid that the mode of expression adopted in the Address would conduce to the exclusion of foreign bottoms altogether. If the opinion of the committee should be adopted by the House, he conceived it would be anticipating a decision to the ex-precluding future discussions of the subject. He foresaw that this paragraph would be called up at some future period, and brought as an argument against any different propositions that might be offered-and thus the question be determined without any debate. He thought the Address went into too minute a consideration of the several parts of the speech, and could have wished that more general terms had been used. As a substitute for the paragraph under consideration, he moved the following amendment in substance:

[Here the Chairman interrupted Mr. JACKSON, by inquiring whether his observations were intended as introductory to any motion on the paragraph just read.]

"We shall consider with attention the best means of guarding against the embarrassments you mention, and will take such measures as may remove every obstruction to the prosperity of the commerce and agriculture of the United States."

Mr. J. replied, that it was his intention, at a future day, to introduce a motion, that the President be requested to lay before this House the treaty with the Creek Indians-not excepting Mr. WILLIAMSON observed, that he saw no the secret articles. He then expatiated on the material difference between the paragraph in the sufferings of the people of Georgia, and asked Report, and the amendment proposed. The what must be their feelings, when they reflect mode of expression adopted by the committee is on the preparations made to chastise the Wa-in so general terms, that he hoped it would have bash banditti, while the exertions of Congress have not been called forth to their relief. The President sent three Commissioners to Georgia (not one of whom was a citizen of that State) they investigated the truth of her representations, and made a report favorable to her claims, that the lands in dispute were fairly purchased, and as fully obtained as the Confederation, or the nature of the case would admit; but what has been the result? The treaty, so far from recognizing the rights of Georgia, has sacrificed them-the Report of the Commissioners does not appear to have been attended to. On the other hand, a savage of the Creeks has been invited and brought to the seat of Government, and there loaded with favors, and caressed in the most extraordinary manner.

met the full approbation of every member of the committee. The President proposes that the commerce of the United States should be relieved from all injurious restrictions; nothing can be more just and reasonable; and this is perfectly compatible with supporting the agricultural interest of the country; the promotion of the former involves that of the latter. He touched on the impositions of Great Britain on our commerce, and observed, that reason and justice point out the propriety of seeking redress. He, however, saw no opposition in the two propositions; but as the obvious design in bringing forward the substitute is to preclude such an inquiry as the exigency of the case seems to require, he hoped it would not be adopted.

DEC. 11, 1790.]

Address to the President.

[H. OF R.

Mr. JACKSON observed, that he had seconded ing the fact, he inquired, what could be done the motion of the gentleman from South Caro- with the Southern produce, in case of the exlina, because he thought there was an obvious clusion of foreign bottoms? It must rot in the difference in the two modes of expression. He planter's hands. With respect to the amendthen entered into a discussion of the subject ge- ment's being as positive as the clause in the Renerally; and enlarged on the injurious conse-port, as had been asserted, if that is the case he quences which would result to the Southern could see no objection to its being adopted. States particularly, by enhancing the duties on Mr. TUCKER said, he thought it improper that foreign bottoms. He said, that the tonnage was in an Address on this occasion the committee at present so high as to prevent foreigners from should go into a particular detail on every subbecoming our carriers; several instances of this ject; much less commit their judgment without had been mentioned to him from good authori-a previous discussion. The President may ty; and while the American shipping was in- have maturely considered the subject during competent to the object, and he called on gen- the recess-but the committee cannot be suptlemen to show that it was, the exclusion of fo-posed to be prepared for a decision. The thinreign ships from our ports must be ruinous to ness of the House was a further objection, in South Carolina and Georgia; therefore, he his opinion, to entering into a discussion of the hoped, the amendment would take place. question. He was not pleased with the paragraph in the Report, as it seemed to imply that nothing had been done for the encouragement of our own navigation, the reverse of which was fact. The posture of affairs in Europe suggested no stronger reasons for giving further encouragement to our own navigation than what was presented last session; the expediency of the measure is not therefore apparent from any change of circumstances. Though he was dissatisfied with the Report, the amendment proposed fell short of his wishes. It did not recognise what had been done for the encouragement of American shipping. He would, therefore, propose a substitute by leave of his colleague; which he did to the following purport: "The encouragement of our own navigation has at all times appeared to us highly important, and has employed a large share of our deliberations; we shall continue to pay due attention to the subject, and consider by what means our commerce and agriculture may be best promoted."

Mr. SHERMAN said, that the words in the Report appeared to him less exceptionable than those in the proposed amendment, even on the principle supported by the gentleman in favor of the amendment. In the Report it was only said, we should consider what ineans, &c. but the amendment declared we should take effectual measures. The words in the Report only binding us to consider-those in the amendment obliging us to act. He thought the answer should be general, and was therefore against the amendment.

Mr. SMITH (of S. C.) observed, that the member last up had confined his observation to the first words in the paragraph objected to. If he will take the trouble of reading a little further, he will see, that as the Report stands we give it as our opinion, that foreign bottoms ought to be excluded, which would be severely felt by the States of South Carolina and Georgia. We cannot wholly depend upon our own vessels for the exportation of our produce; they are not sufficiently numerous, nor will they be for many years; therefore, let us not at this time, in a hasty manner, declare, that all articles exported shall be carried in our own bottoms. To settle this important question, Mr. S. thought that some time should be given to reflect, and a day fixed for discussion; in the mean time, he thought it improper at this stage of the session, that the opinion of the House should be given. Mr. WILLIAMSON remarked, that the Report did not say that we should have no dependence on foreign bottoms; but that we should not depend altogether upon them for the exportation of our produce. He had no idea of excluding foreign bottoms. He was for making provision in case that resource should fail.

Mr. SMITH withdrew his motion, to admit Mr. TUCKER'S.

Mr. SENEY said, he could not conceive what ground of apprehension there was in the Address, to lead gentlemen to suppose that the opinion of the House would be committed by its adoption. He thought it couched in the most general and unexceptionable terms. The amendment proposed he did not think essentially variant from the paragraph under consideration; but as the original was well expressed, he saw no reason for expunging the clause; it contained an assertion, the truth of which he supposed would not be controverted. As to the objection against going into a detail of particulars, it was fully justified by precedent in the last AdMr. JACKSON.-To show the importance of dress; the gentleman from South Carolina, he foreign shipping to the Southern States, and the will recollect, was on the committee who framed inadequacy of our own, to transport their pro-it; that Address more pointedly committed the duce, notwithstanding the low duty on Ameri-House than the present. can shipping, Mr. J. read a statement of the tonnage duties paid by each, in the State of Georgia, for the same period; the foreign tonnage amounted to eight thousand two hundred and twenty-seven dollars, the American to six hun-swer. dred and twenty-nine dollars only. This be

Mr. MADISON thought proper to take some notice of the objections that had been made to the Report. There were two modes of proceeding, which might be adopted in drawing up the anThe first method was generally to declare, that the House would take into their

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