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Address to the President.

[Dec. 13, 1790.


serious consideration the business recommend- The committee having waited on the Presied to their attention by the President. And dent, Mr. Madison reported, that the Presithis, he observed, would be saying nothing, for, dent was pleased to return for answer, that, at as by the Constitution it was the President's two o'clock on Monday next, he would receive duty to communicate what matters he judged of the Address at his own house. importance, so it was undoubtedly that of the Messrs. Williamson and SHERMAN were House to pay attention to the objects recom- added to the comınittee on the bill to amend the mended. The second method was, to enter act for promoting the progress of the useful into a detail of the different points mentioned arts. in the President's Address, and in such cases Mr. Matthews was appointed on the comwhere there was no doubt as to the propriety of mittee on the militia bill, vice Mr. JACKSON, measures being taken, assure him in the answer, who begged leave to decline serving, as his colthat measures would be adopted; and if any league had been heretofore on that business, thing doubtful occurred, merely promise that and must consequently be better acquainted the subject would be attended to. This rule with the subject than he was. the committee had followed in drawing up their Report, and as in the business mentioned in the

Monday, December 13. paragraph now before the House, they did not George LEONARD, from Massachusetts; hesitate to believe some measures necessary, John Vining, from Delaware; Josiah Parker, they could see no impropriety in assuring him from Virginia; John Baptist Ashe, from that the best would be adopted. He added, North Carolina; and EDANUS BURKE, from that as it is clear that a war in Europe would, South Carolina, appeared and took their seats. by depriving us of foreign bottoms to export our

PUBLIC CREDIT. produce, injure this country; and as wars were doubtful, it was of the utmost importance that from the Secretary of the Treasury, accompa

The SPEAKER laid before the House a letter footing as not to need foreign aid for the expor establishment of the Public Credit, made purtation of her produce. He further observed, that the answer returned last session was more suant to an order of the House of the ninth day full, and went even to give the President assu- of August last; which were read, and ordered rances that the House would concur in certain to be committed to a Committee of the whole points proposed for their consideration in his House on this day sevennight. Address. He concluded by remarking, that EULOGIUM ON DR. FRANKLIN. the amendment proposed was binding on the Mr. Smith (of $. C.) introduced the followHouse quite as much as the paragraph in the ing motion, which was read, and laid on the Report.

table: Mr. Smith (of S. C.) said, it was true those who reported the Address the last session ad- tention of the Commonalty of Paris, in directing an

This House being highly sensible of the polite atverted to particulars; but were cautious in their Eulogium to the illustrious memory of Dr. BENJAMIN mode of expression, and adopted ambiguous FRANKLIN, pronounced before them, to be transmitlanguage to avoid giving an opinion. This ted to the President and Congress of the United would appear by recurring to that Address. States, Resolve, that the Speaker communicate the The charge of inconsistency, on his part, was sense of this House in a letter addressed to the Presitherefore not well founded. Mr. S. read some dent and Commonalty of Paris. paragraphs of that Address, and observed, that

EVIDENCES OF PUBLIC DEBT. the House was not pledged by the expressions then read; but in the present Address there is

Mr. Lee laid the following motion on the an opinion given. It says that we ought not to

table: depend on foreign bottoms, because in case of " That a committee be appointed to bring in a bill war we may be deprived of that resource. directing the mode in which the evidences of the These declarations originated the objections, public debt of the United States, which may have and gave rise to the amendinent. He proposed, been, or shall be lost, shall be renewed." therefore, as gentlemen appear to have no ob- ADDRESS TO THE PRESIDENT. jection to either mode of expression, that they

At two o'clock, the House, preceded by the would accommodate for the sake of harmony Sergeant-at-Arms, waited on the President of and unanimity. The question on the amendment was lost by SPEAKER delivered the following Address in an

the United States, at his house, where the a considerable majority.

swer to his Speech to both Houses:The remainder of the Address was read, and

Sir: The Representatives of the People of the agreed to by the committee. The committee United States have taken into consideration your Adthen rose and reported, and the House adopted dress to the two Houses at the opening of the preit unanimously.

sent session of Congress. A committee was then appointed to wait on We share in the satisfaction inspired by the prosthe President of the United States, to know at pects which continue to be so auspicious to our what time and place it would be convenient for public affairs. The blessings resulting from the him to receive the Address.

smiles of Heaven on our agriculture, the rise of pub

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Dec. 14, 1790.]

National Bank.

(H. OF R:


lic credit, with the further advantages promised to of the militia and other subjects unfinished at the last it, and the fertility of resources which are found so session, and shall proceed in them with all the deslittle burthensome to the community, fully authorize patch which the magnitude of all, and the difficulty our mutual congratulations on the present occasion. of some of them, will allow. Nor can we learn without an additional gratification, Nothing has given us more satisfaction than to that the energy of the laws for providing adequate find, that the revenues heretofore established have revenues have been so honorably seconded by those proved adequate to the purposes to which they were classes of citizens whose patriotism and probity were allotted. In extending the provision to the residuary more immediately concerned.

objects, it will be equally our care to secure suffiThe success of the loan opened in Holland, under ciency and punctuality in the payments due from the the disadvantages of the present moment, is the Treasury of the United States. We shall also never more important, as it not only denotes the confidence lose sight of the policy of diminishing the public debt, already placed in the United States, but as the ef- as fast as the increase of the public resources will perfects of a judicious application of that aid will still mit; and are particularly sensible of the many consifurther illustrate the solidity of the foundation on derations, which press a resort to the auxiliary rewhich the public credit rests.

sources furnished by the public lands. The preparatory steps taken by the State of Virgi- In pursuing every branch of the weighty business nia, in concert with the District of Kentucky, to- of the present session, it will be our constant study to wards the erection of the latter into a distinct mem- direct our deliberations to the public welfare. What. ber of the Union, exhibit a liberality mutually honor- ever our success may be, we can at least answer for able to the parties. We shall bestow on this important the fervent love of our country, which ought to anisubject the favorable consideration which it merits. mate our endeavors. In your co-operation, we are and with the national policy which ought to govern sure of a resource, which fortifies our hopes, that the our decision, shall not fail to mingle the affectionate fruits of the established Government will justify the sentiments which are awakened by those expressed confidence which has been placed in it, and recomin behalf of our fellow-citizens of Kentucky.

mend it more and more to the affection and attachWhilst we regret the necessity which has produc- ment of our fellow-citizens. ed offensive hostilities against some of the Indian To the foregoing Address the President was tribes Northwest of the Ohio, we sympathise too pleased to reply: much with our Western brethren, not to behold with approbation the watchfulness and vigor which have Address are entitled to my particular acknowledg

GENTLEMEN: The sentiments expressed in your been exerted by the Executive authority, for their protection; and which, we trust, will make the ag

Having no object but the good of our coun. gressors sensible that it is their interest to merit, by try, this testimony of approbation and confidence, a peaceable behavior, the friendship and humanity from its immediate Representatives, must be among which the United States are always ready to extend my best rewards, as the support of your enlightened to them.

patriotism has been among my greatest encourageThe encouragement of our own navigation has, at

ments. Being persuaded that you will continue to a'd times, appeared to us highly important. The be actuated by the same auspicious principle, I look point of view under which you have recommended it forward to the happiest consequences from your de. to us is strongly enforced by the actual state of things liberations during the present session.

GEO. WASHINGTON. in Europe. It will be incumbent on us to consider in what mode our commerce and agriculture can be best relieved from an injurious dependence on the

Tuesday, December 14. navigation of other nations, which the frequency of their wars renders a too precarious resource for

JEREMIAH Van RensSELAER, from New conveying the productions of our own country to York, and Thomas Hartley, from Pennsylvamarket.

nia, appeared and took their seats. The present state of our trade in the Mediterra- The following message was received from the nean seerns not less to demand, and will accordingly President of the United States : receive the attention which you have recommended.

UNITED STATES, December 13, 1790. Having already concurred in establishing a Judi: Gentlemen of the Senate ciary system, which opens the doors of justice to all

and House of Representatives: without distinction of persons, it will be our disposi

Having informed Congress of the expedition which tion to incorporate every improvement which expe. had been directed against certain Indians Northwest rience may suggest; and we shall consider, in parti- of the Ohio, I embrace the earliest opportunity of cular, how far the uniformity which in other cases is found convenient in the administration of the Gene- have been received upon that subject.

laying before you the official communications which ral Government through all the States, may be intro

GEO. WASHINGTON. duced into the forms and rules of executing sentences issuing from the Federal Courts.

The official communications referred to in The proper regulation of the jurisdiction and func- the said message were read, and ordered to lie

on the table. tions which may be exercised by Consuls of the Uni

NATIONAL BANK. ted States in foreign countries, with the provisions stipulated to those of His Most Christian Majesty

The SPEAKER laid before the House a letter established here, are subjects of too much conse- from the Secretary of the Treasury, accompaquence to the public interest and honor not to par- pying his Report, number two, of a plan for the take of our deliberations.

institution of a National Bank, as referred to in We shall renew our attention to the establishment I his letter of yesterday, which was read, and orH. OF R.)

On the President's Speech.

(Dec. 15, 1790.


dered to be committed to a Committee of the it paragraph by paragraph, and the committee whole House on this day sevennight.

would determine respecting them as they saw Ordered, That a committee be appointed to proper; this appeared to him to be the natural bring in a bill or bills directing the mode in way of doing the business. which the evidences of the debt of the Mr. INING said, the difficulty appeared to United States, which have been, or may be, originate in the mode; for his part, he thought lost or destroyed, shall be renewed; and that the least circumlocutory the best, and for that Messrs. LEE, TRUMBULL, and CADWALADER, reason had seconded the motion by the gentlebe of the said committee.

man from South Carolina. UNIFORM MILITIA.

The motion of Mr. Smith lay on the tableMr. Boudinot, from the committee appointed and the Chairman proceeded to read the Speech for the purpose, brought in a bill to establish

in paragraphs. On reading the paragraph reuniform militia throughout the United States; specting the Indian expedition, Mr. S. moved which was twice read, and committed.

that the article should be inserted in the blank in his motion.

Mr. LAWRENCE supposed it best to pass over Wednesday, December 15,

this article. Mr. Jackson moved that leave be given to Mr. Vining concurred in the sentiment with bring in a bill to continue an act, declaring Mr. LAWRENCE. the assent of Congress to certain acts of the Mr. HARTLEY was opposed to passing this States of Maryland, Georgia, and Rhode Island matter over; the prospect that further hostilities and Providence Plantations, which will expire would take place between the inhabitants of the the 10th day of January next.

frontiers and the Indians, rendered it highly A committee was accordingly appointed, con- necessary that something should be done immesisting of Messrs. JACKSON, Ames, and Stur- diately. GES.

Mr: Seney said, he had no idea that any genPRESIDENT'S SPEECH.

tleman in the committee had it in view to pass On motion of Mr. Smith, (of S. C.) the House over this business entirely; still he thought it resolved itself into a Committee of the whole, impossible to determine at once what is proper Mr. LIVERMORE in the chair; and took into to be done on every subject. The mode proconsideration the Speech of the President of posed by the gentleman from South Carolina the United States to both Houses of Congress. appeared to him calculated to commit the judgThe Speech was read by the Clerk; after which ment of the House. Mr. Smith, of South Carolina, recapitulated the Mr. Lee observed, that as the committee, as several subjects specially suggested to the con- such, had no right to appoint a committee of sideration of the House by the Speech; he dis- any kind, he thought that any thing further than tinguished such parts of the Speech as were expressing the sense of the committee on the sealready in train, by being referred the last ses- veral parts of the Speech would be improper; sion to heads of Departments, and others which with this view he submitted a resolution to the have been referred to committees; and then following effect, on the paragraph respecting moved a resolution with a blank to be filled up Indian affairs, viz: with such articles as are not already particular- Resolved, that it is the opinion of the committee ly provided for, by being referred or commit- that the present posture of Indian affairs requires ted.

the serious attention of the Legislature. Mr. Boudinot was in favor of choosing a This was seconded by Mr. Seney. committee to confer with the Senate on the Mr. Smith objected to this motion as it did mode of taking up the several parts of the not bring the object fully before the committee. Speech.

If the gentleman would consent that it should Mr. Vining was in favor of Mr. Smith's go so far as to propose the appointment of a Semotion.

lect Committee, he should have no objection Mr. LAWRENCE said, that it appeared to him to it. that the usual mode of considering the Speech Mr. LEE supported his motion. would be the best; he, therefore, thought it Mr. LAWRENCE observed, that it appeared to proper that it should be taken up in paragraphs; him that nothing more was necessary to be done and where it appeared that particular parts were in this business, than providing the means of already disposed of, to let them be passed over; defraying the expense; he had supposed it and with respect to others, committees might be would strike the committee in this point of light. appointed, as the Committee of the whole may The expediency or inexpediency of the expedidetermine.

tion he presumed was not now to be discussed. Mr. CLYMER supposed, that agreeable to the The President does not appeal to the House to determination of the House last session, the determine the propriety of his conduct. The whole business should be taken up de novo. The Chairman observed, that as the whole in their answer to the President's Speech. He

expedition has been approved of by the House Speech was now before the committee, it re- therefore moved the following: mained to proceed to the discussion of the se. Resolved, As the sense of this committee, that imveral parts; pursuant to which he should read | mediate provision ought to be made to defray the ex. Dec, 16, 1790.]

On the President's Speech.

[H. or R.

penses of the expedition against the Indians, North. bills providing for the establishment of a uniform west of the Ohio.

standard of weights and measures throughout the Mr. Lee withdrew his motion; and that of United States. Mr. LAWRENCE being put, it was agreed to. Mr. BOUDINOT suggested the propriety of

The paragraph respecting our navigation be- passing over this business at present; he mening read, Mr. GoodHue observed, that the rea- tioned a reason offered by the Secretary of son assigned by the gentleman from South State, that there was to be a Convention in EuCarolina, for passing over that part of the Pre: rope on this particular business; the result of sident's Speech, that this subject was connected the meeting is not yet known. with the fisheries on which a Report from the Mr. LAWRENCE proposed that as the Report Secretary of the Treasury was expected, did of the Secretary of the Treasury had not been not appear sufficient to him to justify, their acted upon, that it should now be referred to a passing it over. He, therefore, moved ihe fol. Committee of the whole House. lowing:

Mr. VINING observed, that if that Report was Resolved, As the sense of this committee, that a to be discussed by the House, they must divest committee ought to be appointed to bring in a bill for themselves of the character of politicians, and the further encouragement of the navigation of the assume that of philosophers; the discussion he United States.

conceived would employ the committee till Mr. Smith observed, that he thought the sub- next March twelve months. He thought the ject was referred to the Secretary of State. He mode he proposed would be found more simple, read a paragraph from the Speech to show it was and the committee appointed would naturally connected with the fisheries. He wished for a avail themselves of the Secretary's Report. suspension of the business, as the exact state of

Mr. Smith (of S. C.) was in favor of taking affairs in Europe was at present unknown. up the Secretary's Report in Committee of the Mr. FitzSimons said, ihat the reasons offered

whole. were sufficient to prevent a sudden decision;

Several members spoke against Mr. VINING's but did not, in his opinion, render it improper to motion, which being put, was lost. take up the subject immediately. He should

The committee then rose, and reported the be opposed to an ultimate decision till the foll-resolutions they had agreed upon to the House; est information is obtained.

which being read, are as follows: Mr. Vining entered into a general considera- Resolved, As the opinion of this committee, that imtion of the subject. He thought the present the mediate provision be made to defray the expenses of critical moment in which this interesting busi- the expedition against the Indians, Northwest of the ness should be discussed on its own proper

Ohio. principles; he thought the proposed resolution This resolution was agreed to, and referred ilid not enter fully enough into the merits of the to the Secretary of the Treasury. subject, agreeable to the ideas suggested by the Resolved, As the sense of this committee, thať a President; he, therefore, proposed a resolution committee ought to be appointed to bring in a bill or which went to express the sentiments of the bills making further provision for the encouragement House respecting making provision for the trans- of the navigation of the United States. portation of American produce in American

Agreed to by the House, and referred to a bottoms.

Mr. Goodhue objected to the motion of Mr. committee of twelve.
Vining at the present moment; though he fully

Resolved, That such parts of the President's Speech accorded with him in principle, he thought the as refer to the Mediterranean trade be referred to motion he had submitted would more generally the Secretary of State. meet the present ideas of the committee,

On motion of Mr. Boudinot, it was Mr. JACKSON opposed Mr. Vixing's motion; Resolved, that the Report of the Secretary of the he said, though he was against taking any mea. Treasury on the subject of the unappropriated lands, sures at present, he preferred the resolution of and the instituting a land-office, be referred to a Comthe gentleman from Salem.

mittee of the whole House on Friday next. Mr. VINING withdrew his motion. Mr. Goodhue's motion being put, passed in

On motion of Mr. Smith, of South Carolina, the affirmative.

the Report of the Secretary of State on the sub? The paragraph respecting the Mediterranean |ject of weights and measures was referred to trade being read, Nir. Smith moved the fol- a Committee of the whole House on Wedneslowing:

day next. Resolved, That such part of the President's Speech as relates to the trade to the Mediterranean be refer

Tuursday, December 16. red to the Secretary of State.

A petition of John Churchman, praying that the Agreed to. On the subject of weights and measures, Mr. gress, for permission to undertake a voyage to

application he made at the first session of ConVINING moved the following:

Bafiin's Bay, at the public expense, for the purResolved, As the sense of this committee, that a pose of making magnetical experiments to ascommittee ought to be appointed to bring in a bill or certain the causes of the variation of the needle,

H. OF R.]


(Dec. 16, 1790.

and how near the longitude can be thereby as- Mr. Gilman's motion being put, was carried certained, may now be determined.

in the affirmative. Ordered, That the said petitions do lie on the Mr. Fitzsimons suggested to the consideratable.

tion of the coinmittee, whether it would be the Mr. Jackson, from the committee appointed most eligible mode to subject all the citizens for the purpose, presented a bill to continue an froin eighteen to forty-five years of age, without act for declaring the assent of Congress to cer- exception, to turn out as soldiers. A much tain acts of the States of Maryland, Georgia, smaller number would, in his opinion, answer and Rhode Island.

all the purposes of a inilitia. He thought the MILITIA.

active inilitia might be comprised within a much The House resolved itself into a Committee smaller number, to be proportioned to the citiof the whole on the bill to establish a uniform zens of each State. The militia law of Pennmilitia throughout the United States, Mr. LI- sylvania had been of this general complexion, VERMORE in the chair.

and had never compensated in its operation for The committee made some progress in the the uneasiness it had excited, and the tax and discussion of the bill. Several amendments grievance it had been to the people. and alterations were proposed, and some of Mr. BOUDINOT said, that the idea now sugthem adopted.

gested was debated in the committee; and they Mr. PARKER observed, the clause which could not agree upon any other mode than that enacts that every man in the United States shall proposed in the bill. He very much disapprov“provide himself” with military accoutre-ed the idea of making a soldier of every man ments would be found impracticable, as it must between eighteen and forty-five years of agebe well known that there are many persons who there is a manifest impropriety in the measure; are so poor that it is impossible they should and he wished some gentleman would propose comply with the law. He conceived, therefore, an alteration. that provision should be made for arming such Mr. LAWRENCE said, that the idea of the genpersons at the expense of the United States. tleman from Pennsylvania struck at the princiHe then gave notice that, in the course of the ple of the bill; but as the hint may not be undiscussion of the bill, he should move an amend worthy of consideration, he proposed that he ment to this purpose.

should form a motion, and reduce it to writing. Mr. Gilman observed, that obliging persons Mr. Fitzsimons apologized for engrossing to turn out in the militia till they were fifty the time of the committee, especially as he had years of age, agreeable to the bill, would be not prepared an amendment to that part of the found unnecessary and inconvenient, and is bill to which he objected, not having contemcontrary to the practice of the several States; plated the subject sufficiently; but on perusing few, if any, requiring militia duties to be per- the bill, it had been forcibly impressed on his formed after the age of forty-five. He moved mind, that subjecting the whole body of the peotherefore, that filiy be struck out, and forty-five ple to be drawn out four or five times a year inserted.

was a great and unnecessary tax on the commuMr. VINING objected to the motion. He ob- nity; that it could not conduce either to the acserved, that a great proportion of our citizens, quisition of military knowledge, or the advance. especially those at the Eastward and North- ment of morals. As far as the whole body of ward, were as capable of military services at the people are necessary to the general defence, fifty as at any period. Many in the ranks of they ought to be arıned; but the law ought not the late Continental army, were, he believed, to require more than is necessary; for that would fifty and upwards, who were as good soldiers as be a just cause of complaint. any in the service. He thought the alteration Mr. Wadsworth said, that it appeared to unnecessary.

him the gentleman's objections went only to Mr. GILMAN replied, that he conceived the that part of the bill which points out the numgeneral practice of the States, which was found ber of days to be devoted to training the inilion experience to be the best, was a sufficient tia; as lie had conceded timt all from eighteen answer to the gentleman las speaking, and to forty-five ought to be armed. would sanction the adoption of the amendment Mr. Jackson said, that he was of opinion that be proposed.

the people of America would never consent to Mr. Lawrence said, that by the laws of the be deprived of the privilege of carrying arms. State of New York, persons above forty-five Though it may prove burthensome to some inyears of age are not enrolled to do duty in the dividuals to be obliged to arm themselves, yet militia; and he thought that fifty was a period it would not be so considered when the advantoo late in life

be subject to military hard - tages were justly estimated. Original instituships, if it could be avoided.

tions of this nature are highly important. The Mr. Williamson was in favor of the motion. Swiss Cantons owed their emancipation to their Though he had seen men in the field who were militia establishment. The English cities renadvanced in life, it had not been without pain. dered themselves formidable to the Barons, by He thought from sixteen to eighteen too early putting arms into the hands of their inilitia; and a period. Many at that tender age fell sacri- when the militia united with the Barons, they fices to sickness and fatigue.

extorted Magna Charta from King John. In


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