H. OF R.)

River Delaware.

[Dec. 29, 1790.

Mr. WHITE said, if the gentleman had pro- Mr. Scott's motion was negatived. posed the amendment to the clause which ret Mr. LAWRENCE then proposed that public sespects large purchases, he should not have ob- curities should be struck out. The gold and jected to it. He, however, objected to it in the silver, said he, received for the land, may be present case; and, in order to show that a fixed appropriated to sinking the debt, agreeable to price was most eligible for small quantities, he the provision already made for appropriating instanced the practice of Lord Fairfax, who the surplus revenue. had been a great proprietor in Virginia;

and also Mr. Jackson objected to the motion. He obthe practice of the first proprietors of Pennsyl- served, that the lands in the Western territory vania. These sold their lands, good and bad, had always been considered as a fund for sinkat one price; their experience for such a length ing great part of the public debt of the Union; of time, near a century, he thought sufficient to he wished not to lose sight of this object. Many show that mode to be most eligible. He would not persons have securities in their possession, object to fixing that condition to special contract. who may be disposed to apply them to the

Mr. Sedgwick obviated the objection in the purchase of lands. Those persons may not find first instance, by saying that the officers will be it convenient to turn their paper into gold and able to determine, with very considerable pre- silver, and I see no necessity for this roundcision, what will be for the interest of the Unit- about process -a more simple method is to be ed States. He said experience had proved that preserred. As the gentleman last up had thought there were no insuperable difliculties in the case. proper to allude to the act passed the last ses

Mr. Moure observed, that the actual value of sion, making provision for the reduction of the the best lands in that territory was about thirty public debt, he begged leave to offer a few recents per acre. When all of that description marks on that subject. It is true we appropriis sold, the next will bring the same price, from ated a surplus revenue of one million of dollars whence he inferred, that there could be no dif- to be applied to purchasing the public debt, in ficulty or loss attending fixing the price. He the market, while at a reduced price; but what stated some difficulties which would result from is the result? By the report of the Commisadopting the mode proposed.

sioners, it appears that only two hundred thouMr. SHERMAN observed, that the committee sand dollars of the debt have been bought; the was now only settling, principles. The princi- securities have risen, and one description of pal objection to the idea of leaving the price them is nearly at par. Why the whole sum has discretionary, appeared to rise from the difficul- not been applied to make purchases when the ty of carrying it into execution. He endeavor- price was low, I am not able to say; but the ed to obviate the difficulties. He said there benefit to the public derived from the measure was undoubtedly a great difference in the value is so trifling, that it suggests a sufficient reason of the lands. He had been informed by a sur-to my mind for not agreeing to appropriate any veyor, that some of these lands are worth a more money in that way. guinea per acre. He doubted not that such in- Mr. LAWRENCE, in answer to Mr. JACKSON, formation may be obtained by the surveyors, as observed, that it is true the sum of one million that a very great saving may be made to the of surplus revenue was appropriated as a sinkUnited States.

ing fund the last session; but it was well known Mr. BloodWORTH said, he was in sentiment that that sum was not then in the Treasury, nor with the gentleman from Virginia. His expe- was the whole expected to be realised till torience in the State of North Carolina was en wards the close of the year; this would account tirely in favor of fixing a price.

for the whole amount not being appropriated. Mr. Sedgwick's motion being put, was lost. With respect to the proceedings of the Com

Mr. Scott then moved, that the clause which missioners, he was not so fully informed as to makes a discrimination in the securities to be give the committee full information on the subpaid for the land, should be struck out. His ject; but doubted not that their transactions idea was, that all the securities should be receiv-would be found to be perfectly conformable to ed at their face for the land. He said, this he the spirit and meaning of the law under which considered as the only apology the United States they acted. could make to their creditors, for not paying 'The motion for striking out public securities them six per cent. on the whole of their deinand. was lost.

Mr. FITZSIMONS objected to the motion. He said it would be reducing the price of the land

WEDNESDAY, December 29. to one-half the sum already agreed to. Mr. LAWRENCE preferred to Mr. Scott's mo- and took his seat.

Daniel Carroll, from Maryland, appeared tion, striking out all that relates to public securities, and making gold and silver only a tender

RIVER DELAWARE. for the land.

Agreeably to the order of the day, the House Mr. SEDGWICK was in favor of the article as resolved itself into a Committee of the whole, in the report. He enlarged on the importance Mr. Boudinot in the chair, on the bill to proof sinking the public securities, and making vide for the delivery of goods, wares, and merprovision for extinguishing the deferred stock chandise, in the river Delaware, in the State of in a particular manner.

Pennsylvania, in case of obstruction by ice.

JAN. 3, 1791.]

Sandy Hook.

[H. of R.

The committee made sundry amendments,

PRISONERS AT ALGIERS. which were reported to the House; the same were read. Other amendments were proposed of the United States, communicating a report

A message was received from the President in the House, which were agreed to, and the bill from the Secretary of State, upon the subject as amended was ordered to be engrossed for a of the prisoners who are in captivity at Algiers. third reading.

On motion,

Ordered, That the Secretary of the TreasuThe House proceeded to consider a motion ry be directed to report to this House the made yesterday by Mr. Tucker. that the com- amount of the exports from the several districts mittee appointed to prepare and bring in a mili- within the United States respectively; also, the tia bill, be instructed to bring in a clause to this amount of duties arising on imports and toneffect:

nage from the first of August, 1789, to the thirBe it enacted, That the militia of the several be fro:n thence to the end of the year.

tieth of September, 1790, and as soon as may States of the Union, consisting of such persons as are or may be enrolled by them respectively, shall be

MEDITERRANEAN TRADE. organized, armed, and disciplined in the manner The SPEAKER informed the House that he following:

had some communications to make of a private And on the question to agree to this motion, nature, respecting our trade in the Mediterrathe yeas and nays being called for, it passed in nean. The galleries were ordered to be shut. the negative. YEAs.--Messrs. Ashe, Bloodworth, Floyd, Grout,

Friday, December 31.
Livermore, Thatcher, Tucker, Williamson. --8.
Nars.--Messrs. Ames, Baldwin, Benson, Boudiled and took his seat.

John Steele, from North Carolina, appearnot, Bourne, Brown, Burke, Cadwalader, Carroll, Fitzsimons, Foster, Gerry, Gilman, Goodhue, Griffin,

PETITION OF HENRY LAURENS. Giles, Hathorn, Hcister, Huntington, Lawrence, The petition of Henry Laurens, of South Lee, Madison, Matthews, Moore, P. Muhlenberg, Carolina, as guardian to his grand-daughter, Parker, Partridge, Van Renssclaer, Scott, Sedg- Frances Eleanor Laurens, the orphan daughter wick, Seney, Sevier, Sherinan, Sylvester, Sinnick of the late Lieutenant-Colonel John Laurens, son, Smith, of Maryland, Smith, of South Carolina, was presented, praying for interest on an alStone, Sturges, Trumbull, Wadsworth, White, Wyn- lowance made by a resolution of the late Conkoop.--43.

gress, for the services of her late father on an The House again resolved itself into a Com- embassy to France. --Referred. mittee of the whole on the state of the Union,

JUDICIARY. Mr. Boudinot in the chair.

The SPEAKER laid before the House a letter The committee proceeded to the further con- from the Attorney General, accompanying his sideration of the report of the Secretary of the report on such matters relative to the adminisTreasury respecting the establishing Land-ofhi- tration of justice under the authority of the ces for the disposal of vacant lands belonging United States, as may require to be remedied; to the United States.

and, also, such provisions in the respective caFurther progress was made, but the coinmit- ses as he deems advisable, made pursuant to an tee rose without finishing the discussion. order of this House of the fifth of August last;

which were read, and committed to a CommitThursday, December 30.

tee of the whole House. RIVER DELAWARE.

LAND OFFICES. The engrossed bill to provide for the unlad- The House again resolved itself into a Coming of goods, wares, and merchandise, in case mittee of the whole on the state of the Union, of obstructions by ice, was read a third time Mr. Boudinot in the Chair. The Report of the and passed.

Secretary of the Treasury on the subject of esDUTY ON SPIRITS.

tablishing a land-office being under consideraMr. Sedgwick, from the committee appoint- the report; and having agreed to a number of

tion, the committee finished the discussion of ed for that purpose, reported a bill repealing, resolutions, rose and reported the same, which after a certain time, the act heretofore passed, were ordered by the House to lie on the table. imposing duties on distilled and other spirits imported from abroad, and laying others in their

Monday, January 3, 1791. stead; and for altering the mode of collecting

SANDY HOOK. said duties, &c. which was read the first and second time, and referred to a Committee of the A message was received from the President whole House on Tuesday next.

of the United States, with the copy of an act Mr. Clymer presented a petition from the of the Legislature of New Jersey, ceding to College of Physicians in Philadelphia, praying the United States the lot of ground at Sandy that such heavy duties may be laid on distilled Hook, on which the light-house is erected. spirits, as shall be effectual to restrain their in- The House then took into consideration the temperate use.

report of the Committee of the whole, on the H. OF R.]

Public Lands.

[Jan, 4, 1791.

report of the Secretary of the Treasury rela

TUESDAY, January 4. tive to the establishment of Land-offices for the

UNIFORM MILITIA. sale of lands in the Western territory. The SPEAKER read the report.

Mr. WadSWORTH, from the committee to The first resolution provides for the establish whom was recommitted the bill more effectualment of a General Land-office at the seat of ly to provide for the national defence, by esGovernment. The second, for two subordi- tablishing a uniform militia throughout the nate Land-offices in the Western territory

United States, presented an amendatory bill, one to the south, the other to the northwest of which was twice read and committed. the Ohio. The third, that all sales above

TREASURER'S ACCOUNTS. acres shall be negotiated at the General Land- The SPEAKER laid before the House a stateoffice. Fourth, Indian titles to be extinguished ment of the Treasurer's accounts of receipts and previous to any sale. These resolutions were expenditures, from the first of July to the thiradopted by the House, without a division. The tieth of September last, which was ordered to fifth resolution provides that convenient localie on the table. tions shall be set off for actual settlers. This

PUBLIC LANDS. resolution, on motion of Mr. Scott, was struck out. He proposed a substitute, which, after The House again resumed the consideration some debate, was disagreed to. The sixth re of the report of the Committee of the whole on solution provides, that the seven ranges already the state of the Union, on the report of the Selaid out shall be surveyed and sold. This was cretary, and agreed to the following resoluadopted. The seventh, thai any quantities tions: within natural boundaries, or lines, or both, Rcsolved, That it is expedient that a General Landmay be sold. This was agreed to, with an ad- office be established and opened at the seat of Godition proposed by Mr. Burke, that for every vernment of the United States. chain surveyed and sold on the banks of a na- " That two subordinate Land-offices be establishvigable river, the purchaser shall be obliged to cd and opened; one in the Government northwest of take chains back. The eighth resolution the Ohio, and the other in the Government south of states, that the price of the land shall be thirty the Ohio. cents per acre, to be paid in gold or silver, or

“ That all contracts for the sale of land above the in the public securities, estimating the six per quantity of acres, shall be exclusively made at cents at par with specie, and those of an infe- the General Land-office. rior value at a proportionate rate.

“ That no land shall be sold, except such in reMr. Boudinot proposed that this resolution spect to which the titles of the Indian tribes shall should be altered, so that all the securities bave been previously extinguished, should be received in payınent for the land, as

“ That the seven ranges already surveyed be sold

in lots as laid out. at par. He stated sundry objections to discrimination between the several denominations of

“ That any quantities may be sold by special con

tract comprehended either within natural boundaries the securities, and urged the justice of making all an equal tender for the land. By this means made on a river; but in the proportion of

or lines, or both; but no survey shall in any case be

- chains the United States will do some justice to the back from such river for every chain along the bank public creditors, in respect to the deferred part thereof. of the debt; besides, it will conduce more ra- “ That the price shall be thirty cents per acre. pidly to sinking the public debt, and expedite * That warrants for military services be put on the selling of large quantities of the land. He the same footing with warrants issuing from the moved an amendment to this purport—this was Land-office; and that the exclusive right of locating seconded by Mr. STEELE, and supported by the same in Districts set apart for the army cease Mr. LEE.

after the day of Mr. LIVERMORE was in favor of selling the “ That no credit shall be given for any quantity land for deferred stock and three per cents less than a township of six miles square, nor more only.

than two years' credit for any quantity. Mr. FITZSIMONS, Mr. SEDGWICK, Mr. Smith “ That in every instance of credit, at least one of South Carolina, and Mr. SENEY, were op- and security, other than the land itself, shall be re.

quarter part of the consideration shall be paid down, posed to Mr. Boudinot's motion. They considered it as interfering with the funding sys- quired for the residue. And that no title shall be tem; it would open the doors to speculation, given for any tract or part of a purchase, beyond thic and, in its effects, would be giving a douceur to quantity for which the consideration shall be actually

paid. persons to whom the United States are under

« That the of each subordinate office shall no special obligations whatever. Mr. BOUDINOT's proposition so far obtained, warrants for all locations in the tracts to be set apart

have the management of all sales, and the issuing of as to alter the resolution, to read that gold and for the accommodation of individual settlers, subject silver, or public securities, (without discrimi- to the superintendency of the of the General nation,) should be received in payment for the Land-office, who may also commit to them the maland.

nagement of any other sales or locations, which it A motion to strike out thirty cents was nega- may be found expedient to place under their direc


JAN. 5, 1791.]

Dulies on Spirits.

[H. OF R.

“ That preference be given for a limited time to Ordered, That a bill or bills be brought in those actual settlers whose titles are not secured by pursuant to said resolutions, and that Messrs. the former Governments of that country and the ex- | WHITE, Scott, and BLOODWORTH do prepare isting ordinances and acts of Congress.

and bring in the same. “That there shall be a Surveyor General, who sliall have power to appoint a Deputy Surveyor General in each of the Western Governments, and a

WEDNESDAY, January 5. competent number of Deputy Surveyors to execute

DUTIES ON SPIRITS. in person all warrants to them directed by the Sur

The House, agreeably to the order of the veyor General, or the Deputy Surveyor Generals, day, resolved itself into a Committee of the within certain Districts to be assigned to them re-whole, (Mr. Boudinot in the chair,) and took spectively. That the Surveyor General shall also into consideration the bill repealing after a cerhave in charge all the duties committed to the Geotain time the act laying duties on distilled grapher General by the several resolutions of Con- spirits, &c. and imposing others in their stead. gress.

Mr. PARKER moved that the whole bill should “ That all warrants issued at the General Land. office shall be signed by

and shall be directed be again read. This was objected to as a needto the Surveyor General. That all warrants issued less expense of the time of the committee, esat a subordinate office shall be signed by and pecially as the substance of the bill had been shall be directed to the Deputy Surveyor General printed. Mr. P. insisting on bis inotion, and within the Government. That the priority of loca- the rules for conducting business in the comtions upon warrants shall be determined by the times mittee of the whole being called for and read, of the applications to the Deputy Surveyors; and in the opposition to reading the bill was withcase of two applications for the same land at one drawn. time the priority may be determined by lot.

The bill being read through, and the first “ That the Treasurer of the United States shall paragraph being repeated by the Chairman, be the receiver of all payments for sales made at the Mr. JACKSON moved to strike out the essenGeneral Land-office, and may also receive deposites tial part of the first clause. He stated his obof money for purchases intended to be made at the jections at large against the principles of the subordinate offices; his receipt or certificate for bill, and reprobated the funding system, and w bich shall be received in payment at those offices.

an excise in particular as an auxiliary to it. “ That the Secretary of each of the Western Governments shall be the receiver of all payments aris- that this mode of taxation was odious, unequal,

The tenor of his observations were to show ing from sales at the office of such Government.

" That controversies concerning rights to patents unpopular, and oppressive, more particularly or grants of land shall be determined by the of

in the Southern States; in which be observed that office under whose immediate direction or juris- its unequal operation would be most sensibly diction the location, in respect to which they may telt, as the citizens of those States have no alarise, shall have been made.

ternative to adopt by which they can diminish “ That the of the General Land-office, Sur- the weight of the tax-no breweries or orchards veyor General, Deputy Surveyor General, and the to furnish a substitute for spirituous liquors;

of the Land office in each of the Western Go- hence they become a necessary article. He vernments shall not purchase, nor shall others pur-contended that they were not only necessary, chase for them in trust, any of the public lands. but salutary in the Southern regions. This,

" That the Secretaries of the Western Govern- he said, had been acknowledged by an Eastern ments shall give security for the faithful execution author, Mr. Morse, an authority which he preof their duty as receivers of the Land-office. sumed would not be disputed by the Northern

“ That all patents shall be signed by the President gentlemen, especially when it was considered of the United States, and shall be recorded in the he was a 'clergyman. Mr. M. declares that office of the Secretary of State. “That all officers acting under the laws establishing Southern States.

grog is a necessary article of drink in the the Land-office shall make oath or affirmation faith

Mr. J. took notice of the petition of the Colfully to discharge their respective duties, previously lege of Physicians, which had been lately read to their entering upon the execution thereof, “That all surveys of land shall be at the expense He disapproved highly of their interfering in

in the House on the subject of distilled spirits. of the purchasers or grantees.

“ That the fees shall not exceed certain rates, to the business. He thought they might with be specified in the law, affording equitable compen- equal propriety interpose their offices to presations for the services of Surveyors, and establishing vent the use of many other articles which were reasonable and customary charges for patents and deemed pernicious or of a poisonous quality. other office papers, for the benefit of the United He instanced mushrooms; they might petition States.

Congress to pass a law interdicting the use of “ That the of the General Land-office shall, ketchup, because some ignorant persons had as soon as may be, from time to time, cause all the been poisoned by eating mushrooms. rules and regulations which they may establish to be Mr.J. then gave a short sketch of the history published in one gazette at least, in each State, and / of excises in England. He said they always in each of the Western Governments where there is had been considered by the people of that couna gazette, for the information of the citizens of the try as an odious tax, from the time of Oliver United States."

Cromwell to the present day; even Blackstone,

H. OF R.]

Duties on Spirits.

[Jan. 5, 1791.

a high prerogative lawyer, has reprobated them. through the country, prying into every man's He said, he hoped this country would take house and affairs, and like a Macedonian phawarning by the experience of the people of lanx bear down all before them. And though Great Britain, and not sacrifice their liberties the Government has proceeded with a degree of by wantonly contracting debts which would prosperity and success beyond the most sanrender it necessary to burthen the people by guine expectations, yet he very much doubted such taxes as would swallow up their privileges. the policy of trying its strength by an experiWe are, said he, too much in the habit of imi- ment of this nature. tating that country; and I plainly perceive that Recurring to the actual and probable produce the time will come when a shirt shall not be of the duties already laid, he attempted to show washed without an excise. He then expatiated that the additional sum of upwards of eight on the unequal operation of excises, and in- hundred thousand dollars, contemplated to be stanced the experience of this state. A few raised by this bill, is not necessary. He concountries, said he, approximate to the capital, troverted the policy of the measure, and conhave borne the weight of the whole, while the tended that it would, in all probability, rather distant parts of the State did not feel the bur- diminish than increase the revenue of the United then; and by an indication of several particu- States. For the mercantile part of the commulars he showed its unequal operation in the nity, who have been applauded for acting, so Southern States. It will deprive the mass of honorably in making their entries, and paying the people of almost the only luxury they enjoy, the impost, will find it for their interest to alter that of distilled spirits. He did not see the their conduct; they will combine to defeat the necessity of passing this law the present ses- excise, which will in its operations bear so unsion. The amount of the produce of the duties equally on them. laid last session is not yet known, nor is it yet "He objected very particularly to the bill on ascertained whether the citizens will subscribe account of its tendency to promote smuggling. to the assumption. Let us not lay a tax for a Mr. P. said, no man was more heartily dispurpose which may never exist; for my part, I posed than he was to give his approbation to hope they never will subscribe. He then ad-every just measure for supporting, the public verted to the excess of the duties alreadly laid, credit, and doing every thing in his power to and the probability of a great increase of that support the constitutional operations of the excess; and urged the propriety of waiting at Government; but this mode of raising a reveleast another quarter to see what that excess nue he considered as particularly odious to the may amount to.

The observations he enforced people; and at the present moment he was not by recurring to the recent transactions of the satisfied that such an increase to the public States of Maryland, Virginia, and North Caro- burthens is necessary. Jina; and he expected to hear very shortly that Mr. Stone said, he had no objection to the the Assembly of Georgia had expressed similar design of the bill so far as an additional revenue opinions with the latter States on the business was necessary; but the mode of raising it by of the assumption. He concluded by express. excise he exceedingly disliked. He had no ing a general disapprobation of the various parts doubt that other means might be devised; but of the bill.

at present he thought the committee was not Mr. Parker said, he had seconded the mo- sufficiently informed respecting the actual and tion of the gentleman from Georgia, not because probable amount of the revenue from the duties he was inore averse to this particular clause already imposed, to determine the necessity of than to the subsequent parts of the bill. He an addition to the revenue. He therefore movexceedingly disliked the several provisions coned that the committee should rise without any tained in it. He then adverted to the general further discussion of the bill at this time, and process of the revenue business the last session; that a select committee should be appointed to and observing on the conduct of the mercantilé make the necessary previous inquiries upon the interest, to which so much credit had been subject, and report to the House. given, said, he thought they were not entitled Mr. FITZSIMONS observed that there was alto the liberal encomiums which had been be- ready on the table a statement from the proper stowed on them for their promptitude in paying officers of the product of the revenue, from the duties, as the certainty and increase of the September, 1789, to September, 1790. revenue had served to enhance the value of the This statement was read. public securities, of which it is well known they The motion for the committee's rising was

put and lost. He then touched on the subsequent parts of The question on Mr. Jackson's motion for the bill, which he reprobated as hostile to the striking out the clause was put, and negatived liberties of the people, as contrary to the gene: by a great majority. ral sentiment, not only as partial and unequal Mr. Fitzsimons moved that the third clause in the mode of assessment, but particularly on should be struck out, and that a clause should account of the mode of collecting the tax. It be inserted referring to a clause in the collecwill, said he, convulse the Government; it will tion law. The object of this motion was to let loose a swarm of harpies, who, under the shorten the proposed term of credit for the du. denomination of revenue officers, will range ties to four months, which Mr. F. observed

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