Dec. 24, 1790. ]


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support of the laws. He then entered more be laid before you; together with a copy of the Re. fully into a consideration of the subject, and port of the Secretary of State upon the same subobjected to the exemption, as creating an un-ject.

GEO, WASHINGTON. warrantable distinction between citizens; throw

The report and papers referred to in the said ing a burthen on the majority to relieve the minority; giving the minority privileges for message were read, and ordered to be sent to shrinking from their duty. What criterion is the Senate for their information.

The House resumed the consideration of the there, he asked, to determine whether a man amendments agreed to by the Committee of the is under the impression of conscience and con- whole to the bill for establishing a uniform cluded by saying, a fine can only determine militia throughout the United States. the existence of this principle. Mr. VINING was in favor of the exemption,

The subject of exemptions being under con

sideration, but did not think it would be satisfactory to the people without qualifying it with an equi proposition in favor of persons religiously scru

Mr. Madison withdrew for the present his valent. Quakers, said he, are easily distin

pulous of bearing arnis. The question then guished; every body knows them. Mr. Smith, of South Carolina. --- This debate be exclusively vested in Congress, or be exer

was, whether the power of exempting should seems to be 'detailed, when gentlemen appear cised partly

by the several States. to think very much alike upon the subject. The

The question being called for, question is, how the fine qr penalty shall be assessed; though some appear disposed to exempt and the question for striking out the words,

Mr. Stone moved that it should be divided, those people not only from personal service but from all commutation. It then seems neces- admit the proposed amendment being put, was

except as hereinafter excepted,” in order to sary that the question should be first determin- negatived; the substitute was superseded of ed whether an equivalent shall be paid or not. According to the sentiments of some gentle

Mr. Moore proposed as an amendment to men, it is proposed to go further than even the first section, to add these words, “or with a ber of these persons exist; for when in conven- good rifle, a shot bag, &c." which was agreed to.

The amendments to the second session being tion, the question was taken for striking out read, the debate on exemptions was renewed. the penalty, only seven or eight members rose The'amendment by which the particular States in favor of it. But he thought this proposition improperly added to the first amendinent, and the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial offwished it might be withdrawn till the question whether the exemptions should be made by the cers of the respective States was agreed to by

a great majority. States or by the General Government is deter

Mr. MADISON then renewed his proposition mined. Mr. Madison replied to Mr. Smith. He bearing arms, in a different form from that be

in favor of persons religiously scrupulous of said that he conceived his motion a proper fore offered, and to the following effect: amendment at this place, as the gentleman from Connecticut only moved that the exemptions

“ That all persons religiously scrupulous of bearing made by the several States should be sanction- arms, who shall make a declaration of the same before ed by the General Government; but it is con- ing militia duty; but be liable to a penalty of

a civil magistrate, shall be excused from performceded that this exemption is not made by the dollars, to be appropriated as the moneys arising several States, and therefore ought to be here from the post-office are appropriated.” specified. He said he should acquiesce in an equivalent, though he would prefer a gratuitous that it should lie on the table for further con

After some debate, Mr. Madison proposed exemption The House adjourned before the debate was

sideration. brougght to a close.

Friday, December 24.

Messrs. Fitzsimons, Foster, and SylvesTHURSDAY, December 23.

TER, were appointed a committee to prepare a THEODORE SEDGWICK, from Massachusetts, bill to ascertain how far owners of ships and appeared, and took his seat.

vessels shall be liable to the freighters of goods The following message was received from the on board thereof. President of the United States:

UNITED STATES, December 23, 1790.

The House resumed the consideration of the Gentlemen of the Senate

report of the Committee of the whole on the and House of Representatives:

bill for establishing a uniform militia, Mr. MAIt appearing, by the Report of the Secretary of the dison's proposition in favor of persons consciGovernment Northwest of the Ohio, that there are entiously scrupulous of bearing arms being certain cases respecting grants of land within that under consideration. A majority of the speakterritory which require the interference of the Legis- ers appeared to be in favor of exemptions being lature of the United States, I have directed a copy of left to the several States. In support of this said Report, and the papers therein referred to, to l opinion,

H. OF R.]

Public Lands.

[Dec. 27, 1790.

Mr. BOURN observed, that if the General Go- be laid and collected upon all distilled spirits of comvernment should take up the matter, and sub- mon proof, and in like proportion for all other distillject the Quakers to a penalty as an equivalented spirits which shall, after the

day of

be for personal service, their situation would be imported into the United States. rendered less eligible than it is at present-for,

Also, that from and after the

day of in several of the States, they are not only ex- next, a duty of eleven cents per gallon be imposed empted from militia duty, but from all 'fines upon all spirits of the first class of proof, distilled and penalties in lieu thereof. He instanced the within the United States, from sugar, molasses, or States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, tion, on all other classes of proof.

other foreign materials; also, a duty, in like proporRhode Island, and Connecticut. Another memorial from the society of Qua: first class of proof, distilled within any city, town, or

Also, a duty of nine cents upon all spirits of the kers on the Eastern shore of Maryland, against | village, within the United States, from materials of the sixteenth section of the bill, was presented the growth or production of the United States; also by Mr. Smith, member from that State, and

a duty in like proportion on all other classes of proof. read.

That for each still employed in distilling spirits in A motion of Mr. CLYMER, to amend the mo- any other place than a city, town, or village, there to tion of Mr. Madison, after some discussion, be collected and paid, a yearly sum of cents for was negatived; and the original motion being every gallon, English wine-measure, of the capacity also put, was disagreed to; so that, as the bill of each still, including its head. now stands, the exemption of persons religiously scrupulous of bearing arms is to be provided Chairman reported the resolutions, which were

After which the committee rose, and the for by the respective States. Mr. Smith (S. C.) then renewed his propo- mittee of five members was appointed to presition respecting independent companies, which, mittee of five members was appointed to pre. he informed the House, he had so modified as part and bring in a bill agreeable to said reto avoid the objections before offered to it. It solutions. The committee appointed are Messrs.

SEDGWICK, TRUMBULL, LAWRENCE, WYNKOOP, is to the following effect:

and SMITH, Maryland. Whereas certain independent corps of artillery, The Committee of the whole was then disinfantry, and dragoons, now exist in the several charged from further consideration of said reŞtates--It is hereby enacted, that nothing in this act shall be construed to the disbanding or incorporating


Mr. Fitzsimons moved, that a committee be said companies in the militia; they, at the same time, being liable to the performance of'the military duties appointed to bring in a bill on the other parts of herein required.

the report, for altering the mode of coliecting

the duty on wines and teas, and to allow a It being understood that the bill should be re; longer time for collecting the same. This mocommitted to a select committee, it was voted tion was referred to the foregoing committee. that this proposition be referred, with the bill. On motion of Mr. LIVERMORE, the ninth sec

PUBLIC LANDS. tion of the bill was expunged. A motion by The House then went into Committee of the the same gentleman, to strike out the tenth and whole on the state of the Union, Mr. LIVEReleventh sections, was negatived.

MORE in the chair. The report of the SecretaIt was then moved that the bill be recommit- ry of the Treasury on the establishment of land ted; which being put, passed in the affirmative. Offices for the disposal of the vacant lands beMessrs. Wadsworth, Giles, and Tucker, longing to the United States was taken up, were appointed the committee.


Mr. Boudinot offered the following resolu

tion: MONDAY, December 27.

Resolved, 'That it is the sense of the committee that Mr. BURKE's motion respecting a bill for al- a Land office be established at the seat of the Genertering the time of the meeting of Congress was al Government, under the direction of -Comtaken into consideration, and negatived. missioners.

Mr. Fitzsimons, from the committee appointed for that purpose, reported a bill to ascertain

Mr. Scott wished the House to take a genhow far the owners of ships or vessels shall be eral view of the business before they went into liable to the freighters. Read a first and second the particulars of the Secretary's report. Upon time, and committed.

the whole, he was pleased with the plan drawn PUBLIC CREDIT.

up by that officer; one part, however, he object

ed to--that part of the report which provided The House resolved itself into a Committee for the distribution of the land. He did not of the whole on the Report of the Secretary of approve of setting apart tracts for particular the Treasury, on a further provision for the es- descriptions of purchasers. As an amendment, tablishment of the public credit; Mr. LIVER- he offered seven propositions, which he wished, MORE in the chair.

for the present, to lie on the table, and which The committee agreed to the following reso- he proposed to offer as substitutes to different Jutions:

parts of the Secretary's report, as they came That an additional duty of eight cents per gallon l before the House. His principal object was to

Dec. 27, 1790. ]

Public Lands.

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let the tracts which Congress proposed to sell, Mr. Scort moved as a substitute, bis second be indiscriminately located.

proposition, that such districts as shall be set Mr. Boudinot thought the committee could apart for sale, shall include the actual settlenot then enter into the minutiæ of the business. ments, and be left to be indiscriminately locatIt was enough to fix the general principles, viz: ed. He said it was improper to set aside difWhether there shall be a General Land-officer ferent tracts for different modes of location-and two subordinates? Whether they shall be some in large tracts, others in small lots. He under the direction of Commissioners? And conceived it would be the interest of Governwhether certain tracts of land should be re- inent to let every one purchase where he pleasserved by Congress for certain purposes? And ed, and as much or as little as he chose. From then to appoint a committee to bring in a bill on experience, he knew that those parts were althose principles, and to take into consideration ways settled with the most celerity that were the minutiæ of the business. Great changes, not bound down to any of those restrictions. he observed, had taken place since the report For his part, he could see no good argument in was drawn up. The committee might consider favor of them. He wished some of the gentlewhat should be the greatest quantity fixed as a men who approved of this mode would give him limit to the sales made by the General office, some reasons for preferring it. There could be and what for the subordinate.

no fear of individual settlers scattering and Mr. SHERMAN offered a resolution, that there losing themselves in the back woods; there was be a General Land-office established.-Agreed. a sufficient check to prevent it--the Indians

Mr. Boudinot. That there be two subordi- would keep them compact much more effectunate offices, one in the Government to the north ally than any regulations Congress could make. west, the other south of the Ohio.-Agreed. If, after granting certain scattered tracts to in

Mr. Boudinor moved, that all sales made at dividual settlers, a considerable tract, includ. the General Land-office shall be above

ing these, was wanted, he could see no inconacres; then all below that quantity would be venience in granting it, reserving to the former made at the subordinate oflices. It should also settlers their rights. be determined whether Congress woull fix the Mr. Williamson rese to give the gentleman quantity, or leave it to the commissioners. It last up one reason for opposing indiscriminate appeared to him a matter of importance. location. Hitherto, be owned, much inischief

Mr. Scott moved that the blank be filled had not arisen from this mode of settlement; with one thousand.

but now there were persons rich in securities Mr. White moved five thousand.

and cash, ready to take up considerable quanMr. Boudinot thought the number of acres tities of land, which, if they were permitted to too large. Persons who wished to purchase so select here and there, would select every choice large a tract could afford, and would have no tract they could; and those who might not have objection, to come to the seat of Government to the same means of purchasing immediately at make the purchase.

command, could only obtain the indifferent parMr. SedgwiCK observed, that it would be a cels. Many, he knew, had it in contemplation great advantage to have the contract for large to do this, if the opportunity offered. He inpurchases made under the immediate eye of stanced North Carolina as an example of the Government. The House, however, he thought, injurious tendency of this liberty; where many was not prepared to fill up the blank; he wish-tracts are unsaleable owing to this circumed it left open.

stance. If these tracts were to be purchased The motions for filling the blanks were with by actual settlers, the case would be different; drawn.

they would only be taken up by persons under Mr. Boudinot proposed that all smaller quan- the name of actual settlers. Such a practice tities be sold at the subordinate offices, to pre-would be an impediment to such companies of vent the confusion that selling the same quantity Europeans as might wish to settle among us. at the different offices might occasion.-- Mr. Scott said, he expected the gentleman Agreed.

would have offered more solid objections to his Mr. SMITH (S. C.) wished it determined un- plan, and more forcible arguments in favor of der whose directions these offices should be; the other. Though the first settlers had the whether of one or three Commissioners, or of choice of the lanıl, yet he conceived the remainany officer already appointed. He thought one ing part would acquire a considerable additionofficer would be most eligible; there would be al value from the surrounding settlements. As more responsibility and uniformity.

for the European companies who might be Mr. SHERMAN wished the determination of tempted to settle among us, he did not contemthis particular delayed. His mind was not plate it as an object so desirable. A body of made up. The motion was delayed.

French people settling in that way would preMr. BoUninor proposed that no lands shall serve their language and manners two thousand be sold previous to settling the Indian claims. years perhaps. This would not be for the true --Agreed.

interest of the country; all its inhabitants That part of the report was read, which sets should, by mutual intercourse, become assimiapart certain lots for certain particular purposes, lated, and no name be known but that of Ameand directs the manner of locating them. ricans.

H. OF R.)

Land Offices.

[Dec. 28, 1790.

Mr. Boudinot, was against indiscriminate already gone to a considerable expense, be fixed location. He had seen the bad effects of it in on for sale, instead of the tracts proposed to be the State from which he came. Persons had set apart by that article. bought up the low Jands, and sold them again Mr. Sherman was against the motion. He to such as absolutely needed a water lot to their said it would be confining the settlers to too farm, at enormous prices. He mentioned an- narrow bounds in making their choice. other objection to the plan-the tendency it had Mr. CLYMER wished to know how much land to create law-suits. He said more money had these seven ranges included. been spent at law, in disputes arising from that Mr. SCOTT said he could not give the exact mode of settlement, in New Jersey, than would information. have been necessary to purchase all the land of The committee rose, and reported progress. the State. The late Congress, he was inform

PORT OF PHILADELPHIA. ed, had adopted a method to obviate the inconveniences of the former mode-the lands were

Messrs. FITZSIMONS, White, and BOURN, laid out into a mile square; these were divided were appointed a committee to prepare a bill to into four equal squares, and in that form sold. enable the Collector of the district of Pennsyl

Mr. WHITE proposed' that such as shall not vania to permit the landing of goods at other improve their purchases within a fixed reasona- 1 places within his district than the Port of Philable time, should forfeit the same.

delphia, when the river Delaware shall be ob Mr. Boudinot wished it left to a committee structed by ice. to determine. He had no objection to leave the power with the Commissioners.

Tuesday, December 28. Mr. Scort approved of the idea thrown out

PUBLIC CREDITORS. by Mr. White, and agreed to amend the pro- A memorial and remonstrance of the public position in conformity with the opinions of creditors in New Jersey were presented, comMessrs. Boudinot and White.

plaining of the insufficiency of the provision Mr. Boudinot conceived it would be very made for the public creditors by the act of last difficult to determine what an actual settler session.-Referred. was. A purchaser would go and spend a few

EVIDENCES OF DEBT. days on his land, and call himself an actual

Mr. LEE, from the committee appointed for settler. Mr. WHITE proposed, that a man holding in which evidences of the debt of the United

the purpose, reported a bill directing the mode only a certain proportion of uncultivated land States which may be lost or destroyed, shall be to the improved, should be called an actual set-renewed; which was twice read and committed. tler.

RIVER DELAWARE. Mr. Sedgwick disliked indiscriminate loca

Mr. Fitzsimons reported a bill to provide for tion. He was confident that if the districts so the delivery of goods in cases of obstructions to be settled were extensive, there would be in the river Delaware by ice, which was twice too great room for speculation and monopoly.

read and committed. Mr. Scott said, there were tracts of land which it is impossible to sell, even by offering

LAND OFFICES. good parcels with them. Between Philadelphia

The House then went again into a Commitand his home there were spots which were only tee of the whole on the state of the Union, Mr. intended by nature for the birds and beasts— Boudinor in the chair. The report of the Sethat could be of no value for cultivation. He cretary of the Treasury on the subject of a could not see much probability that the best Land-office being under consideration, land would be picked out. The difficulty of Mr. Scott said, he was ready to give some exploring a wild and uncultivated desert oppos- information relative to the extent of the seven ed a considerable barrier to such attempts. ranges. He produced a map, of them, from Mr. Scott's amendment was lost.

which it appeared that they included thirty-five Mr. Fitzsimons moved to strike out from the lots, each six miles square. The tract is in the clause the limitation of one hundred acres to shape of a triangle, of which one leg measured each settler.

about sixty, and the other forty-two-in all, Mr. Scott disliked the limitation. He wish- about twelve hundred square miles. His ed it amended, so as to leave it to Congress to amendment was agreed to. fix the limitation by act.-Agreed.

The next article was agreed to, with a trifling To the next paragraph, in the following amendment, without debate. words,

Then the following was read: “ The other tracts shall, from time to time, be set “ That the price shall be thirty cents per acre, to apart for sales in townships of ten miles square, ex. be paid either in gold or silver, or public securities, cept where they shall adjoin upon a boundary of computing those which shall bear an immediate insome prior grant, or of a tract so set apart; in which terest of six per cent. as at par with gold and silver, cases there shall be no greater departure from such and those which shall bear a future or less interest, if form of location, than may be absolutely necessary." any there be, at a proportional value.”

Mr. Scott moved an amendment, that the Mr. Scort moved that thirty cents should be seven ranges which, in laying off, Congress had struck out.

Dec. 28, 1790.)


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Mr. SHERMAN was in favor of inserting fifty cretionary power to determine the price with cents per acre. He said there was every rea- any persons whatsoever. It had been producsonable probability the lands would be worth tive of mischievous consequences in the State that sum in a few years.

of Georgia. He was for fixing a price, and the Mr. LAWRENCE said, that as the quality of highest price—the best the lands would bear; the land would vary, it appeared proper to fix when that is sold, if the residue will not bear on two prices at which they should be sold, viz: the price established, it can then be reduced. That the price shall not be more than

Mr. Scott objected to the motion. He stated less than a He submitted the idea to the several difficulties; the principle was, that foconsideration of the committee.

reigners would be deterred from adventuring, Mr. SEDGWICK preferred the insertion of a owing to the uncertainty in the price; for when sum below which the lands should not be sold. they arrive in the country to settle, they must

Mr. WILLIAMSON suggested the propriety of purchase, and they will then lie at the mercy of making a difference in the price to those who speculators. purchase large quantities, from the price to Mr. LAWRENCE.-The people have great dethose who purchase emall quantities.

pendence on the Western territory as a fund to The motion for striking out was lost.

extinguish their debt; it therefore becomes the Mr. Sedgwick then moved to amend the duty of the Government to obtain the best price clause, by inserting " that the price per acre they can for it. The question is, whether we shall not be less than thirty cents.”

shall fix a price, or adopt the plan proposed by Mr. Stone objected to the motion. He said the gentleman from Massachusetts. He was in the operation of it would be to leave it discre- favor of the latter, and said he doubted not it tionary with the Surveyors to fix the price of would be easy to make a discrimination in the the various tracts. This would be to constitute relative qualities of the lands. This difference a tribunal in a measure independent of the Go- in price may render it worth while for the vernment. He thought the policy of the Go- Commissioners to have the land of a particular, vernment should be to fix on a price, which district explored. He replied to the objection shall be so reasonable, that persons may feel from the want of integrity in the Surveyors. every inducement to pay it before they take up Admitting the full force of the objection, it was the lands; for it has been found by experience, probable that the United States would gain by that when once a tract of distant country is it; at any rate, it would not lose; and it was taken possession of, you never can get any thing probable that, to avoid suspicion, if the Surmore than the settlers are willing to pay. He veyors should be interested in the tract survey. insisted that it was impracticable to fix the rel- ed, they would give more than thirty cents. ative value of unlocated lands-it had been re- With respect to foreigners, after they arrive in peatedly tried without effect. He asked if any the country, they then will be on the same footof the States had ever established various rates ing with our own citizens. He adverted to the for their lands? He knew of none.

mode which had been adopted by New YorkMr. Sedgwick answered the inquiry respect. they had sold lands in every way, at a certain ing the relative value of lands being ascertain price, at auction, and are now selling them at ed in the several States. He said, that so far the discretion of Commissioners, at a rate not as his information extended, which respected below a certain sum. only the States of New York, New Hampshire, Mr. STONE objected to the mode of leaving and Massachusetts, this had invariably been the price unfixed, as it would involve a comthe case. Every man knows there is a most es- plex system, subjecting the purchasers to great sential difference in the value of lands. Those inconvenience, perplexity, and uncertainty. on navigable rivers may be ten times as valua- He reprobated the system adopted by New ble as those on the top of a mountain. This York, and asked the gentleman (Mr: Lawevery individual is so 'sensible of, that a differ- RENCE) whether New York had not been subence in the price is constantly made. And why jected to great loss and vexation in consequence the Government should not make a difference, of the plan they had pursued? He wished the it is iinpossible to say; any man, by casting his system of New York should be fully under: eye upon a map, can at once determine that stood, in order that the United States may some part of the land is unspeakably more va- avoid it. He concluded by saying, that he was luable than other parts. He was certain that in favor of fixing a price, and supposed that the vesting a discretionary power, in the disposal Western territory, sold at thirty cents per acre, of the land, would be productive of the great would sink the whole of the national debt. est advantage to the United States, and on this Mr. LAWRENCE replied to Mr. STONE. He principle he could not conceive why the Sur said, that when the State of New York sold veyors should not determine the relative quali- their lands at a fixed price, there had been comty, that the United States may stand some plaints on account of the best tracts being taken chance of getting the value of this property. up. When they had sold them at auction, the

Mr. LIVERMORE was in favor of Mr. Seng-value of the lands had been generally realized WICK's motion, and enlarged on the unreason in proportion to the quality. With respect to ableness of fixing a particular price.

the last mode adopted, the result was not yet Mr. Jackson was opposed to investing a dis. I known.

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