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GALES & SEATON'S
Register of Debates in Congress.
TWENTIETH CONGRESS... SECOND SESSION:
FROM DECEMBER 1, 1828, TO MARCH 3, 1829.
DEBATES IN THE SENATE.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1828.
sand dollars of the people's money, and then say, by their At 12 o'clock M. the Hon, SAMUEL SMITH, Presi- neglect of the road, that they had been prodigal upon a dent of the Senate pro tempore, took the chair.
useless matter. He had, at a former time, introduced a Thirty-two members appeared, and answered to their motion, which passed both Houses, providing for the erec
tion of toll-gates upon this road, which had afterwards The usual messages were interchanged between the two been defeated upon constitutional principles. At an earHouses relative to the formation of a quorum, &c. and a ly day in the last session, he had introduced a bill, which committee appointed to wait upon the President of the was referred; but, from the pressure of other more important United States.
business, it was not possible to act upon it until the close of the session. The road had now become so bad that it
was almost impossible to travel it, either upon horseback TUESDAY, DEс. 2, 1828.
or in carriages, and it must soon be abandoned by the mail Mr. JOHNSTON, of Louisiana, from the Committee ap- carriers: for they would not be able to travel upon it, and pointed yesterday to wait upon the President of the fulfil their contracts. The State of Maryland, he believed, United States, and inform him that a quorum of the two (and if he was mistaken the President would be able to Houses had assembled, &c. reported that they had per correct him) had given up to the United States all ju. formed the duty assigned them, and that the PRESIDENT risdiction over such part of the road as went through their would make a communication to the two Houses to-day at sovereignty: The State of Pennsylvania had also given 12 o'clock.
the General Government power to erect toll-gates within A message was shortly after received from the Presi- their limits. The State of Virginia now only retained any dent of the United States, by Mr. John Adams, his Se authority over the road: and as it was only fifteen miles cretary, (which will be found in the Appendix.] from Alexandria where it left that State, he did not think
The message was read; and three thousand copies of that it was essential to have the privilege; for it was the message, and fifteen hundred of the documents accom- not necessary to have a gate within their limits; and even if panying it, were ordered to be printed for the use of the Virginia should withhold such liberties as might be desiraSenate.
ble, still the road might be preserved.
It was important, not only to the interest of the West. WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3, 1828.
ern States, but to the character of this country. It was
not possible that the Senate would allow its wisdom to be THE CUMBERLAND ROAD, &c.
impeached, by saying, that we can expend the people's Mr. JOHNSON, of Ky. gave notice that he should, to- money upon this object, but we cannot improve and premorrow,or on some subsequent day, move for leave to intro- serve it after it is completed. It was not of much conseduce a bill, entitled “ A bill for the preservation and repair quence to him, but he called solemnly upon the Senate to of the Cumberland Road.” He said, the subject had call. consider the subject; to know if it was not their duty, ed for and received the attention of Congress for the last either to abandon the road to the States through which it twenty years, and that one million seven hundred thou- passed, or to exert the power given to them, for its preser. sand dollars had been expended upon the road, and that vation. The road was the grand thoroughfare between at this time the road from Cumberland to Wheeling was the East and the West, by which goods and travellers from going rapidly to destruction. The road which has been all the Atlantic cities approached the Western country; and the boast of the United States, and a credit to the country, yet this leading communication would soon be abandoned would not, in a few years, be worth a single cent. It by the traveller, by the mail-contractor, and by the naseemed to him, that it was the duty of Congress to act up- tion. on this subject, and to dispose of the road in some man- We might as well have thrown the bills into the fire, ner; and not let it be said to the American people that or have melted the silver and thrown it to the four winds Congress could expend one million seven hundred thou- of heaven, as have expended one million seven hundred
Cumberland Road.-Printing for Congress.Judiciary System, &c.
(Dec. 4 to 16, 1828.
he might say two millions of dollars upon this road, and
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 1828. then to leave it in its present condition.
No business of importance was transacted this day. While he was up, he would take the liberty to inquire into a new order of the Senate. It had been the practice,
THURSDAY, Dec. 11, 1828. for many years, for members of the Senate to introduce their friends upon the floor of the Senate chamber. He
The Senate was chiefly occupied in business of a prehad been called out this morning to see a gentleman from liminary nature. Adjourned to Monday. his own State, and when about to lead him into the chamber, he had been stopped by the officer, who said he had
MONDAY, DEC. 15, 1828. the President's written order to admit no person but the
PRINTING FOR CONGRESS. members. He did not dispute the authority of the Presi- Mr. EATON asked and obtained leave to introduce the dent, but as he had been deeply mortified, he thought it following joint resolution, amendatory of the joint resoluproper to ask for an explanation. The President (Mr. SMITH of Maryland) called for and ordered to a second reading:
tion of 3d of March, 1819; which was read the first time, the reading of the 47th rule of the Senate, which gives certain powers, in relation to the admission of persons into
“Resolved, &c. That, within days before the adthe chamber, to the President of the Senate.
journment of every Congress, each House shall proceed Mr. SMITH said that he had been requested, by sever
to vote for a printer to execute its work for and during the al of the members, to issue the order in question; that he of all the votes given, shall be considered duly elected;
succeeding Congress; and the person having a majority had doubted the right, but, although being satisfied in that respect, he had still declined interfering, preferring that and that so much of the resolution, approved the 3d of it should be postponed until the arrival of the Vice Pre- March, 1819, entitled “A resolution directing the manner sident, (Mr. CALHOUN.) The members replied to his in which the printing of Congress shall be executed, fixing objection, that it was a necessary order; and that the soon
the prices thereof, and providing for the appointment of er it was made the better; that the new gallery bad been a printer or printers," as is altered by this resolution, be, constructed for the use of the members, and to that place and the same is hereby, rescinded.” they could take their friends, instead, as formerly, of intro- In offering this resolution, Mr. E. said that he might as ducing them upon the floor. He had therefore given the well declare his object in doing so at this time as at any order; but he was perfectly willing, if it was agreeable to other. It would be recollected that, at the last Congress, the Senate, to countermand it.
a gentleman from Delaware, (Mr. CLAYTON) had submitMr. JOHNSON replied that he wished to give no trou- ted a resolution to change the mode of electing a public ble to the Senate. He had been greatly mortified at the printer, by requiring a majority of votes to elect, instead refusal to admit his friend, or rather his friend's friend, a of a plurality, as prescribed in the joint resolution of 1819. gentleman from his own State. He might be wrong, but It was at that time maintained, that, as it was a joint resohe differed in opinion with the members who had request- lution of the two Houses which prescribed that a plurality ed the order. He had derived great advantages from of votes should elect, the Senate was incompetent, of it. having his friends upon the floor, where he could converse self, to change the mode. The amendment now submitted with them without leaving the chainber; the chamber had by him, Mr. E. observed, was intended to do that directly, been frequently crowded to hear the eloquent gentlemen and by law, which had been attempted to be done by the around him upon great and important questions. It gave vote of one House of Congress only. solemnity to the body to have them so surrounded. There had never been any complaint about the conversa
TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 1828. tion in the room. If it was put to him to say, he should
THE JUDICIARY SYSTEM, &c. vote against the change; but, as it was, he should say no more about it.
The following resolution, yesterday submitted by Mr. WHITE, was taken up for consideration:
“Resolved, That the Committee on the Judiciary be inTHURSDAY, DECEMBER 4, 1828.
structed to inquire into the propriety and necessity of so This day's sitting was principally taken up in debating amending the Judicial System of the United States as to whether the Standing Committees should be appointed this place all the states in a similar situation; and furnish to day or on Monday next. A resolution for appointing them the citizens of each an equal opportunity of having a due on Monday finally prevailed.
administration of justice.”
Mr. WHITE observed, that, in submitting this resoluFRIDAY, DECEMBER 5, 1828.
tion for the consideration of the Senate, he had merely CUMBERLAND ROAD.
performed a duty imposed upon him by the Legislature of Agreeably to notice given on Wednesday, Mr. JOHN- hisown State. They had instructed him to keep the attenSON, of Kentucky, asked and obtained leave to bring in a Tennessee, but all the States, were placed upon the same
tion of Congress directed to the subject until not only bill for the preservation and repair of the Cumberland road; which was read a first time. Adjourned to Monday. footing in his State there were two classes of United
States' Courts—the District and the Circuit Courts. He Monday, Dec. 8, 1828.
then went into a statement of the duties of the Courts in
the several States, and said that, in Tennessee, they had The Senate, agreeably to the orders of the day, pro- nominally the assistance of the Judge of the Supreme ceeded to the election of their Standing Committees, and Court, but so much other business was there to be trans. succeeded in electing five of them.
acted, that the Associate Judge of the Supreme Court
could but seldom attend, and the assistance was but nomi: TUESDAY, Dec. 9, 1828.
nal; it was not in the power of the Judge to attend to his The Senate concluded the balloting for the remainder other duties, and regularly attend the Courts where he of their Standing Committees.
(Mr. WHITE] lived. The object of this resolution was to The President communicated the annual Report of the obtain for the subject the attention of the committee, to Secretary of the Treasury on the state of the Finances; the end that they might propose some course by which, which was read, and 1500 extra copies ordered to be print- what was considered sufficient and proper for one State, ed for the use of the Senate. (See Appendix. )
should be conceded to all the twenty-four States. Three Dec. 16, 1828. ]
Pension Bills.-Congress Printing.
plans had been talked of for the purpose of obviating the shall be opened by the presiding officer, and in the predifficulties under which some of the States now labored. sence of the Senate, and those made to the Clerk of the Some had thought that the best course would be to in. House shall be opened by the presiding officer, and in the crease the number of the Judges of the Supreme Court, presence of the House; and the election of printers shall so that they might be enabled to transact their business be made at such time thereafter as each House may think here, and have sufficient time to travel upon the Circuit. proper.” Others had thought it advisable to have the Circuits without the interference of the Supreme Court Judges, and was economy; as it was his impression that much more was
Mr. KNIGHT said, the only object of this amendment had therefore proposed to lessen
the number of those paid for the printing than was necessary. They did not, Judges, to take from them their circuit duties, and let the by the adoption of this amendment, bind themselves to District Courts discharge all those duties. Others had elect the person sending in the lowest proposals. He supthought that it would be an improvement to have the Suposed it might be done for a much less sum than it was ‘at preme Court located at one place, and if it was unsafe to present; and when they had before them the several prohave District Judges alone, to appoint Circuit Judges for positions, they could elect whomsoever they pleased. It their assistance. His object was to have the subject con- I would also produce competition, the result of which would sidered by the intelligent Judiciary Committee; to leave it be a reduction in the prices. He was confident that at entirely to them; and for them to propose one of these least twenty-five per cent. more was paid than it could be courses if they believed it to be correct, or, if not, some done for, and equally well done. The same course, of adother.
vertising for the lowest proposals, was pursued by all the His impression was, that, if the Circuit duties were taken Departments, and as he believed that it would save a con, altogether from the Judges of the Supreme Court, leaving siderable sum, he hoped the course he proposed would that only an appellate Court, that the present number of be pursued by Congress. Judges was larger than was necessary. There were now
Mr. EATON hoped that the amendment would not be seven of them. Since the last session of Congress their adopted. When he was first in Congress, the system proponumber had been decreased by the death of one of the sed by the gentleman from Rhode Island was the regular Judges. If the number of Judges was ever to be lessened, system pursued; but all who remembered the time he it should be done at a time like the present, when there was spoke of, and remembered the manner in which the work not only no incumbent, but there had been no nomination was done at that time, would oppose a return to the sysmade for an appointment to fill the vacancy. No man, tem. The work was miserably done, and the Secretary therefore, would be unfairly treated by being turned out of of the Senate was frequently obliged to apply to other than his office, and no man's feelings were interested in favor the regular printer to the body, to have the work done in of any applicant.
The Senate ought not to ask any printer to do He hoped the resolution would be adopted, believing their work for less than it was worth. If too much was the present as favorable
a time as could present itself to paid for it, let the sum be reduced; and if too little, let it have a consideration of the whole subject. The commit- be increased; but he was opposed to the plan of setting it tec would have it in their power to recommend any plan up to the lowest bidder. He wished to have the journals they should think proper, either one of those he had men and documents go down to posterity printed in a proper tioned, or any other; and with this short explanation of
The Senate, perceiving the difficulties under the objects of the resolution, he left it.
which they labored, had, a few years since, referred the The resolution was then agreed to.
subject to Mr. Wilson, a member from New Jersey, who Agreeably to notice yesterday given, Mr. NOBLE asked had been all his life a printer. He graduated the prices, and obtained leave to introduce bills-granting pensions to and they had been the established prices ever since that sundry Revolutionary and other officers and soldiers, and time. The price of labor had not diminished in the country for other purposes; and for the relief of sundry officers, since that time; the price of paper and materials had not soldiers, and widows; which were read the first time.
diminished; and he did not know that the work could be Mr. NOBLE, in introducing the first of these bills, made afforded any cheaper. Still he had no objection to an ina few remarks to show that no blame was imputable to the vestigation of the subject, and to having the price lowered Chairman of the committee for their not passing through if too much was now paid. Many men would be induced both Houses at the last session. The bills came to the to do it for a very reduced price, and at no profit, for the Senate too late to allow a proper examination of the papers sake of doing it; but he was in favor of having it done well. connected with the respective cases; and he would tell the His proposition was a very simple one, merely having for Senate now, that, in case these petitions, memorials, and its object the change in the mode of electing, so that a bills, were not acted upon, he would not be held responsi- majority, instead of a plurality, should be necessary to the ble for the delay. He said so now.
choice. This was a common course in elections, and in CONGRESS PRINTING.
many States even the members of Congress were elected
by majorities. This same proposition had been made two The joint resolution yesterday introduced by Mr. EATON years ago, at which time the Senate were in favor of it. was taken up, read a second time, and considered.
The object of it was, that no person could get the place Mr. EATON moved to fill the blank with the word who was not the choice of the Senate. The result of the thirty, which was carried. Mr. KNIGHT then submitted the following, as an ad- amendment would be, that five, six, or a dozen men, would
come there with their propositions; the Senate would be ditional section:
bothered with them; it was putting the printing of the “ And it is further resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate up to the lowest bidder, and an individual not the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives, at choice of the Senate, had an opportunity of being elected. every session of Congress, (including the present) when Mr. KNIGHT thought the gentleman from Tennessee such printers are to be chosen, shall severally give notice, misconceived the object of his amendment. He only in three of the public papers, printed in the City of Wash- asked for that information which was necessary to aid ington, six weeks in succession, for sealed proposals to be him in the choice, and which those who had not been made to either of them of the terms for which the public in the Senate so long as the gentleman from Tennessee printing will be performed for each House, for the suc. were in want of. The same course had been adopted ceeding Congress; and that such proposals shall be and in the several Departments. No alteration was made in remain
unopened, until the last Monday in February follow- the original resolution, and it was merely an addition, ing, when those made to the Secretary of the Senate which did not interfere with it.
(Dec. 17, 1828.
Mr. EATON could see no object in applying to print- to change the mode of election from a plurality to that of ers for their terms, unless the Senate were to be governed a majority. by those terms after they were received. He therefore Mr. KNIGHT said that, when he proposed his amendmoved that the whole should be laid upon the table, and ment to the resolution, the object of it appeared so palthe amendment be printed; which motion prevailed. pable upon the face of it, that he did not suppose it
would meet with any opposition at all. The amendment
he proposed was in accordance with the practice of GoWEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 1828.
vernment for many years. The Departments all did the The Senate, on motion of Mr. EATON, proceeded same thing. The Navy Department always advertised for to the consideration of the joint resolution providing the the lowest proposals to furnish them with provisions; the mode for the election of a public printer; the question War Department always advertised in this manner, being on the amendment offered by Mr. KNIGHT. through the Commissary, for clothing for the army, &c.;
Mr. EATON rose and said he had a few remarks the Post Office Department for the lowest proposals to to make upon this subject. It was a rule of the Sen- carry the mails; the Treasury Department always advertisate that, when a bill or resolution had passed to its ed for its loans, and other objects applicable tɔ that Desecond reading, either to consider it in a Committee of partment. They do not, however, always give the conthe Whole, or refer it to a Committee. In this case he tract to the lowest bidder. His amendment merely propreferred the former course. If it were any thing in- posed to advertise for the lowest proposals; but would not volving an important principle, he should think it proper bind the Senate to select the person who bid the lowest. to have it considered by a Committee; but this was not a They could, after receiving the necessary information, case of that sort; it was merely a proposition to amend take all things into consideration; and, if the lowest was the joint resolution of the two Houses upon this subject, able to carry his contract into execution, it was for the by changing the mode of election, and making a majority general good that he should be elected. The resolution of the whole votes necessary to the election, instead of a was inore for information, than for the purpose of forming plurality—to know whether a majority or a mere plurality a contract. The information he wanted was, whether they should rule there, and govern them in their elections. were now paying too much; it was his impression that they The resolution of 1819 says, the choice shall be by the were; if his amendment was adopted it would tend to prohighest number of votes given. Now five or six persons mote competition. It was proper to give the printer a might apply for the situation, and by dividing the votes, fair compensation for his services; and when the informaone might be elected by only thirteen or fourteen votes; tion ior which he asked was obtained, they would be able and thus a person be foisted upon us who was not of to vote understandin upon that point. At a former sesour choice. This mode of advertising for proposals, as sion, the Senate had pursued this course, in directing the proposed by the gentleman from Rhode Island, was put. War Department to advertise for proposals for furnishing ting it up to the lowest bidder: for he could make nothing a certain number of copies of the military tactics; the else of it, although the gentleman had endeavoured to ex- Department did so, proposals were received, the Senate plain a difference. Why should we call upon them if we do acted upon them, and there was no complaint that the not mean to be compromitted in our choice by the propo- work was not well done. That was the system he now sals sent in? If the gentleman thinks the schedule of proposed to adopt, If this course was now pursued, a prices adopted in 1819 is unfair, and that we are paying number of proposals probably would be before the Senate, too much, let the matter be referred to a Committee, who and some judgment could be formed. It was a fact, that shall receive proposals, and fix the proper prices; but that every body was acquainted with, that the price of printthe prices were too high, no man there was competent to ing was now lower than formerly. Type was made in vasay--he believed that they were not. When he came rious parts of the country, paper was cheaper, and steam into the Senate, in the year 1819, a person was printer to had been applied to the purpose of printing. Taking all that body, who was selected on account of the lowness of these things into consideration, he had arrived at the conhis proposals, and it was frequently the case, that the clusion that the Senate was paying too much for its printSecretary was ordered to get the printing done by private ing. At the last session we had paid $22,000 to our print
He was not prepared to go back to such a state er. This was a very considerable item in the expenditure; of things. The printing was now done well, and done in the House it was more considerable. His opinion was, upon the schedule of prices fixed by a member who was that the printing might be done, and well done, for a less himself a printer; he took that fact as prima facie evidence amount than we now paid. The adoption of the amend. that they were not paying too much for their printing. ment would give them information: they would have all It was fixed, for the common documents, at one dollar a the facts before them, and the Senate could make choice page, and at that price the six hundred copies were printed. of whomsoever they pleased. He had done no more than A close miserly way of paying for the printing was not the his duty in bringing it before the Senate for their consitrue economy. Pay well for the work that was economy. deration. In regard to the manner in which the work had Some of the documents, printed upon the old system, at formerly been executed, previous to 1819, and of which the lowest price, were upon so poor paper that they almost the gentleman from Tennessee complained, they had alfell to pieces upon being turned over. It was the worst ways stipulated for the manner and form in which the work kind of economy, that which was called cheapness. He should be done, and it was always in their power to take could not conceive the propriety of changing the present another, if the printer did not do his work to their satisfacsystem, or the object to be attained by the addition of the tion. proposed amendment. It was said that it was the plan Mr. JOHNSON, of Kentucky, said, it was not his purpursued by the War Department, and the Commissariat pose to start objections to the amendment of the gentleDepartment, both of which advertised for proposals to man from Rhode Island. The gentleman said it was not furnish clothing and other necessaries at the lowest prices. his object to bind the Senate to choose the person who It was proper that they should; an immense saving might should send in the lowest proposals, and yet he made a probe made by it: but the Senate could save nothing by the position to that effect, connected with the mode of electing adoption of a similar course, as they did not know what the printer. He wished it had been made an isolated prowas a fair price to pay, and might be disappointed in the position, and submitted for the consideration of a commitwork. He would ask the gentleman from Rhode Island tee, that they might send for persons and papers, and exnot to press this amendment to his resolution, when it had amine the subject, and if too much had been paid, reduce no bearing upon the resolution—the object of which was the prices. Such a proposition would have received the