« ForrigeFortsett »
Dec. 16, 1790.]
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France, we recently see the same salutary ef- ments-and no difficulty has resulted from the fects from arming the inilitia. In England, the law. Penalties on default are exacted and colmilitia has of late been neglected the conse- lected; but this proposition will produce great quence is a standing army. In Ireland, we inequalities; it will excite jealousies and dishave seen the good effects of arming the militia, cord between the Governments—but if left to in the noble efforts they have made to emanci- the States, the officers will be more exact to pate their country. If we neglect the militia, a prevent impositions on the particular State from standing army must be introduced; but if the which they receive their appointments. idea suggested by the gentleman from Pennsyl- Mr: PARKER agreed to alter his motion agreevania is adopted, certain classes must be drawn able to Mr. HUNTINGTON's idea. out, and kept for months together, which would Mr. BOUDINOT said, that there did not ap. prove as great a burthen as a standing army: pear to be any necessity for the amendment, as None of the States, he observed, have adopted the bill makes provision for excepting persons such a plan. In Georgia, the militia service who are unable to purchase arms, in case the has been as strict as is contemplated by the State Legislatures choose to make such excepbill, but they have never complained. 'In a tiuns. Republic every man ought to be a soldier, and Mr. Giles said, he was opposed to the moprepared to resist tyranny and usurpation, as tion on principle; but if that was not the case well as invasion, and to prevent the greatest of he should object to it in its present form as it all evils--a standing army. Mankind have been was not full enough. He did not suppose that divided into three classes, Shepherds, Hus- it was intended that the United States should bandmen, and Artificers-of which the last make a present of the arms thus furnished-but make the worst militia;, but as the arts and the motion does not provide for their return, sciences are the sources of great wealth to the when not in use. His principal objection to community, which may excite the jealousy and the motion, however, arose from its being an imavarice of neighbors, this class ought to be pecu- proper interference with the authority of the liarly qualified to defend themselves and repel State Governments. They may, or may not invasions; and as this country is rising fast in comply with the law. If they should not, it manufactures, the arts and sciences, and from would prove nugatory-and render the authoriher fertile soil may expect great affluence, she ty of the United States contemptible. For these ought to be able to protect that and her liberties reasons, and others which had been advanced, from within herself.
he thought the amendment improper. Mr. PARKER bere introduced his motion, to Mr. BLOODWORTH observed, that as the miliamend the bill by a proviso, that persons who tia was to be organized and disciplined under shall make it appear that they are not able to the authority of the United States, and to be equip themselves, shall be furnished at the ex-employed for the general defence, whenever pense of the United States.
and wherever Congress should direct, it appear: Mr. WADSWORTH objected to this amended but reasonable that those who were benefited ment. He said, it would empower the officers by them should be at the expense of arming to create an enormous charge against the United them. States. He saill, he had read alinost all the mili- Mr. Sherman said, it appeared to him, that tia Jaws of the several States, and had found no by the Constitution, the United States were to such provision in one of them; there is not a be put to no expense about the militia, except considerable number of such persons in any of when called into actual service. The clause is the States; and rather than have this proviso not so explicit as might have been wished; but inserted, he would prefer a clause to excuse it will be difficult to fix the construction menthem altogether.
tioned by the gentleman from North Carolina. Mr. Parker said, that in Virginia there is a What relates to arming and disciplining law, which provides that poor persons, not able means nothing more than a general regulation to arm themselves, should be equipped at the in respect to the arms and accoutrements. expense of the State. In every State there are There are so fèw freemen in the United States doubtless many such persons, who ought to be who are not able to provide themselves with provided for by the General Goverunient; and arms and accoutrements, that any provision on if they are not, the law is rendered impractica- the part of the United States is unnecessary ble; as you require more than is possible for and improper. He had no doubt that the peothem to perform. As to excusing such poor ple, if left to themselves, would provide such persons from military duty, they would be arms as are necessary, without inconvenience found in cases of emergency, very useful to de- or complaint; but if they are furnished by the send those, who do not choose to risk their own United States, the public arsenals would soon persons.
be exhausted-and experience shows, that pubMr. HUNTINGTON said, if the gentleman lic property of this kind, from the careless manwould vary his motion, so that the expense ner in which many persons use it, is soon lost. should be incurred by the State, he did not The espense and inconvenience would, in his know but he should agree to it. There is one opinion, far overbalance any good that would State, said he, in which every person is obliged be derived from such a proposition. to provide himself with arms and accoutre- Mr. VINING observed, that the greatest objec
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[Dec. 16, 1790.
tion against the motion is, that it stops short in Union. With respect to apprentices, every the regulation of the business. No provision, man knew that they were liable to this tax, ani! it is said, is made for the return of the arms to they were taken under the idea of being provid. the public; and it gives a discretionary power ed for by their inasters; as to minors, their pato the officers to dispose of the property of the rents or guardians would prefer furnishing then United States; but he conceived these difficul- with arms themselves, to depending on the Unities were not beyor:d the reach of remedies; the ted States wben they knew they were liable to . wisdom of the House, he doubted not, would having them reclaimed. devise such as were adequate to the object. He The question on Mr. Parker's motion was asked by what means minors were to provide lost. themselves with the requisite articles? Many On motion of Mr. TEISTER, a proviso was of them are apprentices. If you put arms into added to the section in the following words: their liands, they will make good soldiers; but how are they to procure them? It is said, if
“ That every citizen so enrolled, and providing they are supplied by the United States the pro- aforesaid, shall hold the same exempt from all exe
himself with the arms and accoutrements required as periy will be lost; if this is provided against cutions, or suits for debt, or for the payment of every objection may be obviated. He then offered an addition to the motion, providing for the return of the arms to the commanding of- Mr. FITZSIMONS moved to strike out the ficer.
words “ provide himself,” and insert “ shall The Chairinan then stated the motion with be provided.” the amendmeut.
This motion was objected to by Messrs. BovMr. Tucker observed, that the motion in its Dinot, HUNTINGTON, JACKSON, PARTRIDGE, VIpresent form differed from the original propo- ning, and Madison. It was said that it would sed by the gentleman from Virginia. He con- be destructive of the bill, as it would leave it ceived the gentleman had no right to alter it, optional with the States, or individuals, whenor could it be done without a vote of the com- ther the inilitia should be armed or not. mittee. He preferred the motion in its original This inotion was lost by a great majority. state-for the United States may, without | The second section comprises the characters doubt, furnish the arms—but he very much that are to be exempted from enrolment or iniquestioned their right to call on the individual litia duty. States to do it.
Mr. Madison moved to strike out that part Mr. WILLIAMSON was in favor of the ques: which related to members of Congress, their oftion's being taken with the amendment admitted ficers and servants, attending either Houseby Mr. PARKER. He wished to know whether and to insert“ inembers of the Senate and Congress meant to tax the individual States in House of Representatives whilst travelling to, this unusual inauner. Perhaps as they had as- attending at, or returning from the sessions of sumed the State debts upon this principle, or Congress.” He saw no reason for a total exrather without any principle, they might think emption from militia service; exceptions in fathey had a right to call upon them to furnish vor of the framers of laws ought not to be exquotas in proportion, this would be getting some- tended beyond what is evidently necessary. thing for something; and not like the other mea- The members of Congress, during the recess, sure, losing something for nothing.
are at liberty to pursue their ordinary avocaMr. Vining said, he could not understand tions, and may participate in the duties and what was meant by saying that the amendment exercises of their fellow-citizens. They ought was dictating to the States. What is the whole to bear a part in the burdens they lay on others. bill but dictating; a law that affects every indi- which may check an abuse of the powers with vidual, touches the whole community. With which they are vested. respect to the constitutionality of the measure, Mr. Jackson observed, that this alteration there can be no doubt; every grant of power to might interfere with the public interest; in cases Congress necessarily implies a conveyance of of alarm or juvasion, the members might be every incidental power requisite to carry the called to a great distance in the militia at the grant into effect.
moment when their presence was required to Mr. W ADSWORTH apologized for detaining the attend the session of the Legislature. It would attention of the committee a moment, while he be well therefore to consider whether their serasked the gentlemen who favored the motion vices in the militia would be of equal importwhat was the extent of their wishes? The mo- ance to the public interest, as their services in tion at first appeared to be in favor of poor inen, Congress. who are unable to purchase a firelock; but now Mr. Boudings objected to the amendment; it seems, minors and apprentices are to be pro- not that he would exempt members of Congress vided for. Is there a man in this House who froin burdens imposed on their fellow-citizens; would wish to see so large a proportion of the but the motion he conceived was inconsistent community, perhaps one-third, armed by the with this very idea. The bill provides that exUnited States, and liable to be disarmed by empts shall pay a certain equivalent; it would them? Nothing would tend more to excite be unjust to impose this equivalent, and comsuspicion, and rouse a jealousy dangerous to the I pel the members of Congress to turn out in the
Dec. 16, 1790. ]
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militia. He concluded by saying, that he con- the burthen very unequal on the whole, which ceived the independence of the Legislature was would be palpably unjust. The examples of connected with this exemption.
the State Legislatures is sufficient to show that Mr. WADSWORTH said, that he thought there some exemptions are agreeable to the ideas of was no necessity to exempt inembers of Con- the people; and the independence of the Legisgress. If the Constitution did not grant them lature being essentially concerned, leaves no such a privilege, he doubted whether they room to doubt the propriety of the measure.
could assume it by an act of their own. He He informed the committee that when they . was therefore for leaving this matter to the dis- came to the clause specifying the sum proposed cretion of the State Legislatures; no inconveni. as an equivalent for personal service, he should ence would result if this was done.
move for an alteration. Mr. HARTLEY was in favor of the exemptions Mr. Hartley observed, that the Constitution being specified by act of Congress; and he con- declares that the persons of members shall be ceived ihey had the plainest directions to fol- privileged from arrest during their attendance low, in the universal practice of all the State on Congress; in going to, and returning from Legislatures; and this practice was founded in the session; with a special reference to the in. the reason of things, the incompatibility of the dependence of the Legislature. He conceived duties; they are distinct in their natures, and that it would counteract the spirit of the Concannot be exercised together.
stitution to render the members liable to be Mr. MADISON supported his motion, he con called on to discharge duties incompatible in sidered it as important that the Governors and their nature; on this principle also, it would be the governed should feel their mutual relation in the power of a designing President, should to each other; on this principle he thought that such a character ever be elected, to prevent the no exemption should be allowed, except in cases members assembling by calling out individuals where an attendance on militia duty was in- to attend military duties at the moment when compatible with the performance of other du- their attendance would be necessary in Conties; for these reasons, he wished that the whole gress. The States individually, as well as the clause should be struck out; in cases of difficul- Parliament of Great Britain, have set us a good ty a court-martial would be competent to doing example in this respect. justice to the parties.
Mr. BOUDINOT agreed in sentiment with Mr. Mr. Giles followed Mr. Madison in a simi- HARTLEY, that the independence of the memlar train of reasoning in respect to rulers sym-bers was an important object. The ideas of the pathizing with the ruled in all public burthens; gentlemen from Virginia (Messrs. MADISON he adverted to the different plans of organizing and Giles) that legislators ought to participate the militia which had been contemplated by the in the burthens imposed on others, ought never committee, and the reasons which induced ihem to be lost sight of--but in the present instance, to adopt that in the bill. With respect to the the doctrine would be carried into practice; for plan of selecting particular classes to form a mi- at the end of every two years, the members litia, it could not, in his opinion, be done, but would revert to the mass of citizens, and feel by enlistments, which was a mode that the free- in common with others the influence of the men of America revolted from. He said, that laws. The business of legislation is more arno insuperable difficulties would result from duous and momentous than any other; and rendering all liable to be called upon. Should ought not to be impeded, or rendered liable to the clause be struck out, the equivalent men- be frustrated by any other. This he thought tioned in another part of the bill will be unne- would be the case by adopting the amendcessary, and the article may be expunged. He ment. concluded by saying, that if it was thought proper Mr. Madison supposed nothing would be that the members of Congress should be ex- risked by the amendinent, as the Constitution empted, it would be best that the exemptions had sufficiently secured the independence of should be made by the State Legislatures. the members. He had not anticipated so much
Mr. SHERMAN said, it was the practice of the debate on the motion. He was satisfied in his several States to exempt their own Legislatures, own mind of its propriety. The possible cases and the other descriptions of persons mentioned which had been stated did not, in his opinion, in the clause. He conceived a seat in the Fe- justify the violation of the great principle he had deral Legislature would equally entitle to an mentioned; but, to simplify the question, he exemption. He was opposed to the amend- would withdraw his motion, so far as only to ment, though he would agree to strike out the propose to strike out from the exemptions, " the whole, and leave the business to the State Le members of Congress.” gislatures.
Mr. TUCKER said, that it appeared to him Mr. Jackson observed, that leaving the ex- that some general ideas on the subject of exemptions from militia duty to the discretion of emptions should be incorporated in the bill. If the State Legislatures might be productive of the committee descend to particulars, they will great inequalities; besides it would not comport find it extremely difficult to make such distincwith the idea of the bill in the grand object of tions as are proper. He was opposed to leaving uniformity. Some States might make great ex. the exemptions to be made by the State Go. ceptions, others none at all; this would make vernments. It might create difficulties, as
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[Dec. 20, 1790.
some States might exempt their members, and In committee of the whole on the Militia bill, others might not. These partial exemptions the subject of exemptions occasioned further would be attended with great inconveniences; debate. The committee agreed to sundry althe members may be necessarily engaged in terations, and proceeded in the discussion to making their arrangements to attend their duty the third section; they then rose and reported in Congress, previous to the time of setting out progress. for the seat of Government, and be interrupted by being called to the field to attend militia
Monday, December 20. duty. The number of persons it will be found MICHAEL JENIFER STONE, from Maryland, eligible to exempt, will not be so great as to appeared, and took his seat. render the defence of the United States preca- The engrossed bill to continue an act derious for want of their personal services in the claring the assent of Congress to certain acts militia. He concluded by observing, that the of the States of Maryland, Georgia, and Rhode principle of uniformity, and the competency of Island was read the third time and passed. the Federal Legislature to making adequate
PUBLIC DEBT. provision in the case, point out the inpropriety The bill from the Senate, supplementary to of leaving the business to the State Legisla- the act making further provision for the paytures.
ment of the debts of the United States, was Mr. Smith pursued the idea of Mr. Tucker, read the second time. and observed, that, to be consistent, the motion Mr. Benson, from the committee appointed ought to go further, and extend to exempting for the purpose, presented a bill declaring the offiministers of the Gospel, only while engaged in cer who, in case of vacancies both of the offices preaching; the schoolmaster, while teaching; of President and Vice President of the United the miller, while attending his mill, &c. In States, shall act as President; also a bill deshort, it ought to be so particular as to amount claring the respective tiines when the electors to no exemption at all.
to vote for a President of the United States Mr. White spoke in favor of the motion. shall be appointed and shall give in their votes; The Constitution, said he, has sufficiently de- also a bill directing the mode in which the lists fined the privileges of the members. With res of the votes for a President shall be transmitspect to the State officers, he was in favor of ted to the seat of Government; which passed leaving them to be exempted by the State Le- their first reading. gislatures; nor was he apprehensive they would
MILITIA. abuse the power by exempting half their citi- The House went again into a Committee of zens, as this would only increase the burthen the whole on the bill for establishing a uniform on the other hall.
militia, Mr. LIVERmore in the chair. Mr. Jackson said, he would be still opposed Mr. Fitzsimons moved an amendment, by to the motion from this interesting considera- which the light infantry or riflemen, one comtion, if no other existed. That it might, in its pany of artillery and one troop of horse should operation, deprive 30,000 citizens of their vote be selected from the militia without reference in the National Legislature.
to any particular age. He said the clause Mr. Vining added a few observations in fa- which enacts that these companies should be vor of the motion; and then the question being composed of persons from eighteen to twenty: taken, it was negatived, twenty-four to eigh- tive years of age would operate against several teen.
particular interests, especially mechanics and
manufacturers. Friday, December 17.
Mr. Madison remarked that by the bill all
persons between the ages of eighteen and twenJohn Hathorn, from New York, and John iy-five were to serve in those companies; it Sevier, from North Carolina, appeared, and was not confined to artificers alone. The agritook their seats.
cultural interest had as much cause to connBENJAMIN Bours, a member returned from plain. But the intention of making the youth Rhode Island, produced his credentials, and perform double duty was that they might took his seat.
speedily be taught the military art, and be en. An address was presented from the people abled to defend their country, if her situation called Quakers, praying an exemption from called for their aid. militia duties and penalties on that account. Mr. JACKSON was opposed to it. He said
The bill for continuing an act declaring the that from eighteen to twenty-one was found to consent of Congress to certain acts of several be the best age to make soldiers of. After that States was read a second time, and ordered to period men become engaged in the concerns of be engrossed for a third reading.
life, get married, have children, enter into buA message was received from the Senate, in-siness, &c. It would not bear harder on the forming the House that they have passed a manufacturers and mechanics than on the farbill supplementary to an act making further mers; and as the seaports have generally more provision for the debts of the United States, in at stake, it seems to follow that the obligation which they desire the concurrence of the is stronger on them to turn out in the militia. House, which was read the first time.
Mr. Heister was in favor of the motion.
Dec. 20, 1790. ]
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Mr. Fitzsimons said he was misunderstood. Mr. Giles said, he was disposed to think He did not mean that persons from eighteen to this proviso more extensive than gentlemen twenty-five should be excused from military | imagine. It may, in its operation, exempt all duty. His wish was that such persons should the companies in the United States. The exnot be particularly pointed out for this duty. pression is so general and indefinite that it
Mr. LAWRENCE was in favor of the motion. may not answer the purpose intended, as those He observed that it was not age alone that was companies are known by different denominato be considered in forming light infantry or tions, while it may be productive of great diffiartillery companies; there are other considera- culties from its want of precision. tions, as size, agility, &c. He thought the mo- Mr. Ames gave an account of the several in-, tion a good one.
dependent companies in Massachusetts, partiMr. Ames was also in favor of the motion. cularly that known by the name of the Ancient He thought confining the selections for those and Honorable Artillery, a company which poscompanies to the particular period mentioned sessed funds, and had for many years been in would deprive us of the services of many of possession of a charter from Government. It the soldiers of the late Continental army, whose had been considered as a military school for a knowledge and experience would be highly long time; it is composed of generals, colonels, useful. He suggested difficulties which would and inferior officers, and other respectable perresult from collecting the persons of the above sons. This, with other independent compaage from different parts of the country in order nies, rendered essential services in the time of to forming them into such companies.
the insurrection in that State; and they prove Mr. STURGES observed that he thought a sim- by their example a stimulus to the militia; they ple regulation that all the militia should be have incurred great expenses to equip themcalled out so many times a year would be suffi- selves, and it is supposed merit the privileges cient. This general plan would leave the seve and distinctions they have long enjoyed. ral independent corps as they now are; and Mr. STURGES observed that the proviso was these particular companies would be selected defective, as it does not point out the duties as heretofore.
which these companies ought to perform. Mr. PARTRIDGE was opposed to the amend- Mr. HUNTINGTON said, these companies ment. The object of the bill being to discipline were, he believed, under the orders of the regi. the militia, it seemed to follow of course that mental colonels; at least, that was the case in persons of an age the most likely to learn some of the States. should not be excepted.
Mr. SENEY moved, that as there were inde. Mr. GILES said, that gentlemen did not ap- pendent companies who are not incorporated, pear to take a comprehensive view of the bill, it would be proper to strike out the words “inone object of which is to establish a military corporated by the acts of the several States." school. In order to do this, the bill proposes that He said, if this proviso should pass without his persons should commence their military course amendment, it would give exclusive privileges at an early age. If such persons are called to particular companies who happen to be inupon oftener than those of more than twenty-corporated, while the same privileges will not five years, it does not follow that it is unequal; be extended to other companies, equally meritheir military knowledge must be supposed tó torious, who do not happen to be incorporated. be less. He obviated the objection of the gen- Mr. Smith's (S. C.) motion being put, was tleman from New York by saying that as negatived. military knowledge is necessary for all, it fol- The section which provides that the militia lows that young persons of every size may be shall turn out four times a year in companies trained in one or the other of these companies. Mr. HARTLEY objected to. He said it would
Mr. FitzsimonS still supported his motion, be too frequent. He did not consider the miliand said the difficulty started by the gentleman cia as a military school; and such frequent asfrom Massachusetts, (Mr. Ames, ) arising from semblings of the people had a tendency to dislocal circumstances, had not been obviated. sipate the manners of the people, especially
Mr. Boudinot said the difficulty on account youth. He moved that the clause should be of manufacturers had not escaped the commit- altered, so that companies and battalions should tee; but it could not be avoided without de- be obliged to turn out only twice a year. stroying a principal feature of the bill. He said Mr. WADSWORTH suggested an alteration in the objection might, however, be in some mea- the amendment, that the clause should be altersure lessened by altering the clause fromed to read once a year in battalion, and four eighteen to twenty.
times in companies. The question being taken, it passed in the Mr. Gilman moved another amendment, that affirmative.
the militia should turn out in companies three Mr. Smith's (S. C.) proviso respecting in- times, and once in battalion. dependent corps was read. It provided that Mr. Jackson regretted that one principle of companies in the respective States, incorporat. the bill was struck out respecting light infantry ed by the Legislatures, should not be disband companies. He did not suppose that though ed or included in the militia, but retain their we are obliged to have some standing troops former station.
we were to depend on them. He should regret