« ForrigeFortsett »
Dec. 17, 1828.]
sanction of every member of the Senate. He wished that it Rhode Island had made a proposition simply to ascertain had come before them, not in connexion with any thing else. whether too much was paid for the printing, he should If you go on the principle of economy in the selection, have voted for it: for he agreed with the gentleman that make that the principle; but if you choose the printer, the printing had heretofore cost too much; but that it cost having high confidence in his integrity and character, then too much now, he was not prepared to say. When he set before him the terms on which you propose to have said that the printing had heretofore cost too much, he did it your work executed. The gentleman said, that he would from the knowledge that it was as well done now for a not bind the Senate to elect the person making the lowest less price, than was formerly paid. It seemed to him bid. The Departments never deviate from the principle that the information the gentleman asked for would be of taking the lowest bid, if the person making that lowest given to the Senate just at the moment when they were bid is a responsible person, and able to carry his contract into called upon to act upon the subject, and would have execution. He did not rise so much to oppose the amend- an undue influence upon the minds of the Senators in ment, as to say that, so long as he was a member of the the choice. The gentleman from Rhode Island proSenate-so long as he was in public life-now, and to all posed for bids, after the manner of the Departments. time-he would put his veto upon this he would say, The reason they advertise for proposals is, because it is were it not for the respect be bore the gentleman from not in their power to know what are fair prices for the Rhode Island, and did he not fear that gentleman would articles they wish to obtain. The Senate, on the conattach the remark to the amendment now under considera- trary, could ascertain the prices at which the printing tion, which application he did not intend—he would say should be done. He should be unwilling to trust the this contemptible and scandalous system of offering the printing to any person who would do it for less than he public printing to the man who would make the lowest could afford to do it for; the printer must be able to do bid. Men would bid, for the sake of having the work, the work in the manner and form required. who could not possibly do the work. If the Postmaster He would state a case, which proved that the printing General advertised for proposals for carrying the mail, was now done cheaper than formerly. 'Tother morning, and if the Commissary General advertised for proposals to in a committee room, he had occasion to examine two furnish beef, it was because they did not, and could not, documents, in which were several pages of rule work; know the fair price of those articles. But the Senate he found that they were done upon a new plan, in which could know, and did know; the prices were fixed; they as much was contained upon a single page, for which could elect their printer to do the work at those prices, they paid three dollars and fifty cents, as formerly cost and were in want of no contract. There ought to be no them seventeen dollars. In the documents accompanycontracts made in the country, for doing the public busi- ing the President's message, there was as much on a page ness; it had introduced more fraud and low cunning than for which they paid four or four and a half dollars, as any thing else in the world. The printing had been fixed they had been in the habit of paying eleven dollars for; at a fair price, and he would not introduce the principle so that he concurred with the gentleman from Rhode that the lowest bidder should be entitled to the place. Island, that they had heretofore paid too much. Whether He would not introduce the principle that the lowest bid- they did now or not, he could not say; but in his judgder should be made a member of Congress; that the lowest ment, it was as cheap as it could be done by contract. bid should elect the Secretary, Doorkeeper, &c. &c. In providing a printer, they should never choose a person These things were not exactly so, but it was the same
who would do it for less than he could afford to do it for. principle; and he would not establish the principle that Mr. KNIGHT observed that he should not have said Judges of the Supreme Court and members of the House another word on the subject, had it not been for the term of Representatives should take their places because they contemptible," applied to his amendment by the Senawere willing to work cheaper than any body else. Teil tor fom Kentucky (Mr. Johnsos.] me the difference in principle-Where is the difference The CHAIR said he had not understood the gentleman between electing a member of Congress, and electing a from Kentucky as applying his remark to the amendment printer to Congress? If you give too much for the print of the Senator from Rhode Island. ing, and if you give your public officers too much for Mr. KNIGHT said he had certainly so understood the their services, curtail the one, and lessen the salary of gentleman, but was happy to learn that he had misunderthe other, but do not establish this contemptible princi- stood him. ple of doing every thing by contract, and with the lowest Mr. JOHNSON, of Kentucky, considered it due to him. bidder. The Senate could fix the salaries for their offi- self to say, that his former expression was, that, “ but cers; they could fix the price for their printing; there for the respect he bore for the gentleman from Rhode was no necessity for a contract; and he would say, that Island, and fearing that he would apply the remark to he felt an instinctive abhorrence at doing every thing the present proposition, he should have said the system by contract. He should vote against any proposition of of advertising for a bidder was contemptible.” He had the kind, at any time, and he was sorry that this was intro- used the same remark again, as applied to the system out duced to clog and embarrass the passage of a simple pro- of the House. If he could have so little respect for the position to amend the rule, in a point which he consider. Senate, whatever he might think, he could not have so ed important.
little respect for others, and had too much respect for Mr. CHANDLER thought it proper, if they were pay himself, to make use of such expressions. ing any men too high for their services, to curtail the ex. The CHAIR again said, that, had he understood the penses; but what had that to do with this subject? He gentleman from Kentucky as applying his remarks to the did not say they were not paying too much. If the gen- amendment of the Senator from Rhode Island, he slıould tleman from Rhode Island had offered a resolution to certainly have called him to order. raise a Committee to inquire into the subject, he should Mr. JOHNSTON, of Louisiana, said, that he went upon have voted for its passage. If he would do it now, he the principle that a majority of votes should always go(Mr. C.) would vote for it. But this was merely relating vern in cases of election. He was of opinion that all to another subject, a transaction by itself, and they would such appointments as the one which was now the subject act upon it by itself. If the amendment was adopted they of discussion should be made by a majority. He was opcould not act upon the whole together, but would be posed to the amendment, because he conceived that the obliged to divide the questions.
mode proposed was the very worst mode that could be Mr. KANE said he should trouble the Senate with adopted. Previous to 1819 the practice had been to put but a few words upon the subject. If the gentleman from out the printing to the lowest bidder, as is contemplated
(Dec. 17, 1828.
by the amendment of the gentleman from Rhode Island, Mr. BENTON said there was such a thing as too much and the effect of it was to have the printing done with the legislation. It was idle for the farmer to plant and repoorest materials, and on the worst possible plan. In- plant, without giving time for a crop. But fifteen or sixdeed, he had been informed that a bill of a highly impor- teen days of the session had transpired, and they were setant nature had been put off for a whole year, in conse- riously at work on this subject of printing. Last springquence of the neglect of a printer who performed the no, (said Mr. B.) last summer we had adopted a very saluwork under a contract. The minority would not act tary regulation, by joint resolution, and, without waiting without further information, and the majority were afraid for the effect of that resolution, we were at work on the to act without the requisite information. The effect of matter again. He would call the attention of the Senate competition was to attract here a number of persons, all to the resolution of the 24th May last, and which would be anxious to get hold of the public money, who, ignorant found at page 153 of the Laws. Those who have been any of calculations, and not aware of the expenses to be en- time in Congress will perceive that the resolution to which countered, were willing to take the work at prices ruin- he had referred, will cause a reduction in the price of ous to themselves, and disadvantageous to the Government printing, of one-half, and in some instances three-fourths. The expenses of the Congressional printer are necessarily The ordinary method of printing had been, frequently, to very great; a large amount of capital is expended by make four pages where only one was found to be neceshim for materials and machinery; and the vast number of sary. Here was a saving of three-fourths of the expensepersons employed by him subjects him to heavy and con- this the effect of dispensing with title pages. In most tinued expenses. How, then, was it to be expected that cases it would be found that one-half the expense would a person could be prepared, immediately on the accept- be saved. This was a great deduction from the profits of ance of his bid, with the materials and competent work. the printer. Again, the resolution provided that the yeas men, to execute the printing in a proper manner, with the and nays should be printed as ordinary matter, and not be reduced prices which competition would exact? He well set in columns, as had heretofore been done. Here was recollected that, under the contract system, the printing another saving, but not so great. The resolution also prowas executed in the most slovenly manner, and that the vided that Executive documents, reports, &c. should be difficulties experienced by it forced an investigation of the bound together-here was an improvement, but no saving. subject. Three modes of obviating those difficulties were Mr. B. then referred to the statement which had been proposed: to continue the contract system with some made by Mr. Kane, of the great economy of printing, at modification; for each House to execute its own printing, the present session. This fact, he said, was not confined to by the establishment of an office, entirely under the con- the single act of printing, but affected the binding also. trol of the Government; and, lastly, by electing a printer Where there was tabular work, exceeding the size of a and fixing the prices of the work. The first having been page, it necessarily had to be folded, and greatly swelled found so objectionable, was abandoned; the second, Con- the size of the volume; and, when much used, it looked gress was not disposed to adopt, because it was deemed like a rolled heap of straw. He did not know whether but an experiment, the effects of which would be extremely the prices at present allowed were too high or too low, doubtful; the third proposition, of electing a printer, and but he knew that the resolution to which he referred had fixing the prices, was determined on by the resolution of the effect of lessening the cost of the printing, and, con1819, and experience had fully demonstrated, that that sequently, the profits of the printer. was the most preferable method of executing the printing Let us wait a little longer, (said Mr. B.) and ascertain of Congress. He was not prepared to say whether the the practical effects of the resolution. The Secretary and prices were too high or too low. He was perfectly wil. Clerk had wisely discharged their duties, as prescribed by ling to refer that subject to a Committee, to inquire and it, and the whole matter was under their control now. report upon; and, indeed, the suggestion of the gentle. There was no necessity for the interference of the Senate. man from Illinois had satisfied him that an inquiry was ne- As to the amendment of the Senator from Rhode Island, cessary. If, said he, the language of the resolution was it provides that the proposals shall not be opened until the so vague as to enable one printer to put a construction Senate were to act upon them. What would be the efupon it by which seventeen dollars was charged for a fect of this? Why, to swell the profits of the printer: for, piece of work which another charges but three dollars for, when carried into effect, it would be found that the work it is time that it should be amended. The subject had had been done in a manner different from what the probeen before the Retrenchment Committee of the other posals specified. The paper would be of an inferior House, at the last session, and it was found by them, that, quality, and the work done with the sole view to profit. by a construction put upon the language of the resolution, How different was the case where Congress itself demore had been charged for some of the work than was termined the prices, and the printer went to work with a necessary. The difficulty, however, with him, (Mr. J. proper understanding of the matter. The gentleman from said,) was not as to the prices given; but the great evil Rhode Island had spoken of the amount paid for printing consisted in the vast number of useless documents which at the last session of Congress. But the amount named by were annually printed. We were inundated with useless him did not form a part of the current expenses of the documents; the volumes were swelled to an exorbitant session. The Executive Journal, Jefferson's Manual, the extent, and seventeen or eighteen volumes were annually Treasury Reports, &c. had been ordered to be printed, and bound. How many of these were actually necessary, he it was not right to throw out the idea to the public that left it for the Senate to decide; most of them were cer- the Senate had been more extravagant in their expenses at tainly entirely unnecessary. The Retrenchment Com- the last session than formerly. With regard to this plan mittee had recomended that a Standing Committee should of putting out the printing to the lowest bidder, he had be constituted by each House, who should decide on the another remark to make. The printing of Congress was quantity of printing necessary to be done. This, (said frequently of a confidential nature. We are obliged to inMr. J.) will be the true economy. Mr. J. did not see the trust our printer with many matters requiring secrecy, utility of the last part of the resolution, which went to and he his journeymen. It was necessary, then, that we repeal part of the resolution of 1819, but he entirely con- should elect a man of character, on whom we can rely for curred with the gentleman from Tennessee, that a major- the discreet performance of his duties. Many of these conity of votes should determine the choice of a printer. As fidential matters related to foreign nations, and the agents to the contract system, it might do for the several De- of foreign Governments would freely give, in many partments, but it was neither proper nor expedient cases, more than the whole amount paid for the public here.
printing, to be put in possession of these matters. The obDec. 17, 1828. ]
ject of the gentleman from Tennessee, in offering his keepers, as to the printer ; that they were all provided resolution, was understood and approved of by all parties, for by the constitution. In former times, very learned and and he hoped the amendment would be rejected, and the worthy men had passed the resolution fixing the choice of question put upon the original resolution. He had no printer, and he considered the experience of nine years doubt it would pass.
as worth something in matters of legislation. But, accordMr. KNIGHT said, that gentlemen did not yet seem to ing to the gentleman from Maryland, no person but the understand his proposition. It did not go to the effect that President of the United States could appoint the officers the Senate should elect the individual who should send in of the Senate. the lowest proposals. It was merely calling for informa- Mr. CHAMBERS repeated the reasons to show that the tion; the Senate could choose whom they pleased. The printer was the officer of the Senate, and asked how he whole length and breadth of his proposition was to get in- could be considered the officer of the Government at formation, that they might act upon the subject under- large,orany one of the other departments of the Government, standingly.
constituted, directed, controlled, and destroyed as he was The question was then taken upon Mr. KNIGHT'S by the Senate alone. The instances mentioned of the Secamendment, and lost.
retary and Sergent-at-arms, were precisely analogous in The question then recurred upon the adoption of Mr. principle to that of the printer. The power of the SenEATON'S resolution.
ate to appoint them was derived froin the same clause in Mr. CHAMBERS said he had never been satisfied that the constitution, and it had never been deemed necessary this was a proper subject for legislation. The constitution or properto invoke the aid of the House of Representatives had, by the inost express terms, given authority to the or the President to direct our proceedings in relation to Senate' alone to choose its own officers, and he could not their appointment. He would, however, ask the gentle. perceive the propriety of calling in the aid of the other man from Tennessee, whether the printer to the Senate branches of the Government to assist them in exercising was, or was not, an officer of the Senate ? this power. He read the clause of the constitution confer.
Mr. EATON apologized for the misconstruction he had ring the power. The only question is, whether the print. put upon the remarks of the gentleman from Maryland, er be the officer of the Senate, and he presumed no doubt and replied to his question, that the printer was not an could be entertained about it. He was not the officer of officer of the Senate. the Government, regarding it as composed of the three Mr. CHAMBERS.-If he is not an officer of the Senate, legislative branches: they do not unite in his election, in whose officer is he? He is elected by the Senate, and if the designation of his duties, nor do they exercise any con- he is not the officer of the Government, or of a Depart. trol over him. He was appointed by the Senate alone; ment, it necessarily followed that he was the officer of the his duties were directed by the order of the Senate; and, Senate. as had been assumed in debate, and he supposed properly Mr. WOODBURY asked for the reading of the amend. assumed, his official existence might be terminated by them. ment, and it was read accordingly.
If, then, he be the officer of this body, and the consti. A division of the question was then called for, and it tution gave to this body the sole power to appoint, it was was determined first to take the question on striking out. necessarily the constitutional right of the Senate alone, to Mr. TAZEWELL said, if he understood the amend. determine the manner of their proceeding in the appoint- ment of the gentleman from Maryland, it went to do away ment. The only argument which he could anticipate was, with the whole of the joint resolution of 1819. Nine-tenths that the joint resolution of 1819, (which had all the forms of a of that resolution goes to describe the duties of the printer. law,) had still left the act of appointment to be performed Did the gentleman mean to do away with the resolution by the Senate. This argument admitted legislation on the altogether? I will read the resolution, (said Mr. T.) for the subject to be entirely unnecessary and superfluous. But gentleman's information. (Mr. T. read that part of the it is not exactly in conformity with the facts of the case: resolution which describes the manner in which the work the resolution of the Senator from Tennessee (Mr. Eaton) shall be done, and then added) and in this way it goes on. goes upon the principle, that the law must be altered be. Surely the gentleman does not mean to do away with all this. fore the Senate can control the manner of their own pro- If this be his object, or if it be not, let me make a remark ceedings; it looks to the provisions as binding upon the or two. Is there no danger of the two Houses, in electing Senate in its substance and in its form, and professes to their printer, coming into contact for, while the printer to derive all our authority, not from the constitution, one shall do his work in pica, the printer to the other may whence it arises, but from this legislative act.
do it in brevier, &c. Hence the necessity for the joint The propriety of revising the whole system seemed to resolution, defining the manner in which the work shall be be conceded by some, because they were already per- done, to produce a uniformity in its execution, and in the suaded the prices paid were extravagant; by others, be prices. With regard to a violation of the constitution, he cause they had doubts, and by others because they were disagreed with the Senator from Tennessee, and concurred willing to receive information. By repealing the law or with the Senator from Maryland, that the printer to the joint resolution of 1819, the power of the Senate would be Senate was an officer of the Senate, and this he derived made to rest, as he thought it should, upon the positive from the constitution. The constitution had prescribed provision of the constitution; and at a future and conve- the powers of Congress, and provided for the passage of nient day in the session a committee might be raised to such and such laws. But it is said we must not use in our regulate the system of duties, emoluments, and other mat- laws the terms made use of in the constitution. And why ters connected with it, as the deliberate judgment of the not? The constitution provided for the impeachment of Senate should find to be proper.
Judges, declared the tenure of their office that they These considerations induced him to move to strike out should hold them during good behavior, &c. &c.; and shall all after the enacting clause, and insert the following: we not say that Judges may be impeached, and fix the
“That the joint resolution, approved the 3d of March, tenure of their office? Every law may contain the exact 1819, entitled " A resolution directing the manner in which words of the constitution. And do you, in using them, do the printing of Congress shall be executed, fixing the that which is wrong? With regard to the printing of prices thereof
, and providing for the appointment of a prin-Congress, each House had always the power to appoint ter or printers,' be, and the same is hereby, repealed.”
their printer, and each House had always exercised it; but
mischief had resulted from the mode of appointment, and Mr. EATON replied, that the same principle applied to prevent its recurrence again, the joint resolution of also to the election of the Sergeant-at-arms, and the Door- | 1819 was passed. In this, both parties agreed. Some le
The Lead Mines in Missouri.
(Dec. 18, 1828.
gislation on the subject was necessary. The spirit of the The time might arrive, when the Senate might wish to act resolution, however, should be preserved.
upon the subject, and to repeal a part or the whole of the Mr. CHAMBERS again took the floor. If (said he) the resolution; if the concurrence of the House was not obhonorable Senator had attended to the remarks he had tained, they would be shorn of their own powers, and be submitted, he would have perceived that the course pro- deprived of a proper control over their printer, &c. He posed by him did not involve the inconveniences suggested. approved of the principle that a majority should govern, He had suggested the repeal of the resolution of 1819, not in all cases. with a view to leave the prices and duties of the printer The question was then taken on striking out the original entirely unprovided for, but expressly with a view to the resolution, and negatived. future action of the Senate upon it, when a more perfect The question then occurred on engrossing the resolution and satisfactory system should be provided. All who had for a third reading, which was carried in the affirmative. addressed the Senate on the subject, except the Senator from Missouri, (Mr. Bexton) had expressed a willingness to see this matter in charge of a committee; he could only
THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 1828. judge of the opinions of those who had not engaged in de
THE LEAD MINES IN MISSOURI. bate by looking to the apparent concurrence in opinion of The bill for the sale of the lead mines in the State of those who did, and he had thus been led to believe the Missouri (introduced by Mr. Berton) was taken up and Senate was prepared to act upon the subject with effect. considered as in Committee of the Whole.
In this state of things, the resolution of the Senator from Mr. BRANCH said, he should like to hear the reasons Tennessee, (Mr. Eaton) is stripped of every claim to the assigned for the passage of the bill, as he did not see the consideration of the other legislative branches except as necessity of disposing of the public property in this manto its asking their authority and permission to enable us to They were already hurrying the property into marprescribe the mode in which the constitutional power of ket faster than there was any occasion for; and there was this body is to be exerted.
no reason, in his mind, why these mines should be exposed The Senator from Virginia, (Mr. TAZEWELL) says it is to sale. entirely proper that the Legislature should enact laws in Mr. BENTON said, the same subject had been frequentthe very words of the constitution, and instances the case ly before the Senate, and had, during the last session, he of the Judges. The constitution authorizes and directs believed, passed this body, and been sent to the other Congress to legislate on the subject of Courts and Judges: House. The facts had often been exposed to the consi. and although it would seem to be very unnecessary and deration of the Senate, and of committees, and very elaboridle legislation to introduce amongst other enactments ate reports had been made, filling several hundred pages, this, that Judges should hold their commissions during of their proceedings. This bill did not apply to the lead good behavior, yet it would seem to be a most strange and mines of the Upper Missouri, but was confined to those singular idea, that an act of Congress should be passed, within the bounds of the State of Missouri. Those upon having no other object but exclusively to enact, in the very the Upper Missouri were first discovered about the year words of the constitution, that "Judges shall hold their offi- 1720, and had been worked from that time to the present; ces during good behavior.” Such, he contended, was the but the mines in Missouri had been, for a long time, uncase now before the Senate. The sole object of the re- worked; the land had been but scratched over, or had been solution he proposed to strike out was, to clothe the dug some fifteen or twenty feet. The mines in Missouri Senate, by the authority of a law, with a power which they were very little profit to any body, and reports from that already possessed, derived from the constitution.
section stated, that very little was received from them; Mr. C. then modified his amendment, by adding to it the they were neither profitable nor desirable property to the words, “so far as the same refers to the appointment of Federal Government. This bill barely authorized them to printers.'
be offered for sale; it did not order their sale; there was Mr. NOBLE said, he did not wish to intrude: but we no coercion-on the contrary, the notice of the sale was had all to answer for our sins, and he presumed we should not of the ordinary kind. Public notice was to be given all have to do it on the same plan. The resolution had not in every State in the Union, in some newspaper, six yet been referred to a Committee. He thought it should months before the sale. It was five and twenty years since take that course, and he would move its reference to the Louisiana came into the possession of the United States, Committee on the Judiciary. If it did not go to that com and it was five and twenty years since these mines were mittee, he should be in favor of referring it to the Com. discovered: an early law of Louisiana provided for the remittee on the Contingent Expenses of the Senate. It would servation of certain of these lands, so that they could not then come under the eye of the intelligent gentleman from be sold. He thought it time to have them explored, and Illinois, (Mr. KANE) who, from his remarks to-day, had made productive. He did not see why the gentleman evidently given his attention to the subject. If in order, from North Carolina opposed the bill, and wished to he would move that the resolution and amendment be re- stretch the sceptre of barrenness over the whole of the ferred to the Committee on the Judiciary:
State of Missouri. The Government would be no loser The question being taken on referring the subject to the by the sale; and, if no advantages were to accrue to the Committee on the Judiciary, it was determined in the Government of the United States, or to any body else, by negative.
keeping the mineral country of Missouri in a state of bar. Mr. NOBLE said he would make another motion, and renness, why should the bill be opposed? that was, to refer the matter to the Committee on the Con- Mr. BRANCH replied, that it was generally conceded, tingent Expenses of the Senate. He begged leave to say that, where authority was given to the President of the that he had no object in view, but to get at the merits of United States, or to any of the Departments, that it was the case. If he was now called upon to vote, he might do equivalent to saying that the power might be exercised; it in the dark. He hoped the Senate would agree with and, although the authority given by this bill was discre. him as to the necessity of a reference.
tionary, only, he conceived that it would, in fact, be per: The motion of Mr. NOBLE was decided in the negative. emptory; for, if the President of the United States had
Mr. JOHNSTON, of Louisiana, said he was satisfied liberty to dispose of these lands, he would be importuned that the Senate had the right to elect its own officers, in its by speculators until he had thrown the whole into the mar. own way, and without the concurrence of the other House. ket. And why should they force the sale of what it was He was in favor of the resolution, as offered by the gentle- not necessary to sell, and why should the State of Missou. man from Tennessee, but thought it did not go far enough. ri be so anxious to have them disposed of? Is not this the
Dec. 22, 23.]
Commerce of the West.
wealth of the country? Is not this the general treasure, which had been reported by the Committee on the Public purchased by the public money? Is Missouri alone inter- Lands, and stated that the question would be upon
the ested in these lead mines? No, sir, this is the public pro- amendment; which was explained by Mr. BARTON. perty. He would ask the honorable senator, if the mines Mr. BENTON then replied, that very ample reports belonged to the State of Missouri, whether he would be had been made, both by Government agents and others. so willing to throw them into the market now? Would he The United States appointed an agent there, many years not keep them until there was a demand for them? Would ago, with a salary of $1,500 dollars per annum, who had he not wait until a more propitious period? He (Mr B.] examined the country; and reports had also been made by thought he would.
persons who had been a long time resident in that country. Mr. BARTON said, the Senate must be well acquainted As it was early in the session, he was willing the bill with the fact, that, at the time the State of Louisiana was should lie over, that the gentleman might examine the repurchased, the Missouri mines were but little known, and ports on the subject. that the general idea was, that they were immensely valu- The question being taken on the amendment proposed able. Among the first laws passed by the State of Louis- by the committee, it was adopted, and the bill was then iana, was one making large reservations of land, in the ordered to be engrossed for a third reading. neighborhood of these mines. Since that time, much more Adjourned to Monday. was known of the mines than at that carly period. It was now known, that almost the whole of the southern part of
Monday, Dec. 22, 1828. the State of Missouri, which was a broken and poor country, was a mineral country. It was also known, that the ing a bill for the relief of Susan Decatur et al.
The Senate was principally occupied this day in discuss. most valuable lead mines in the United States were north of the State of Missouri. The Spanish lead mine was
TCesday, Dec. 23, 1828. there, and the whole of the valuable mineral country was in a triangle, made by the boundary line of Missouri and
COMMERCE OF THE WEST. the Mississippi river. It was necessary for the United A bill “allowing duties on foreign merchandise, imStates to cover this country with tenantry, and their ported into Louisville, Pittsburg, Cincinnati, and St. Loumines were almost inexhaustible. The whole of this other is, to be secured and paid at those places," was taken up country had been examined, and people were anxious to and considered. work it. The mining business was known to be extreme- Mr. WOODBURY (Chairman of the Committee on ly uncertain, and it was also extremely fascinating; it was commerce) said, this was the same bill which had been something like gambling, exciting high hopes, which were before that committee, and passed the Senate, at its last frequently not realized. Under the present United States' session, but was not acted upon in the House of Reprelaws, several cases had occurred in which lands had been sentatives. Full security was afforded to the public, by sold to individuals, and lead ore afterwards being discov- its provisions, that the duties would be paid; and, as the ered upon the lands, the patents were withheld. Now the convenience of the merchants of the Western country Government did not want these lands; they had already would be promoted, and the public lose nothing by the inexhaustible stores in the Spanish mine, the Fever river proposed arrangement, he saw no obstacle to the passage lead mines, in the State of Illinois, and upon the east and of the bill. west sides of the Mississippi. The project of this bill Mr. MARKS said, he recollected that, two sessions since, was not to force the sale. The gentleman from North Car- he had presented a memorial from the merchants of Pittsolina had supposed, that, because the Government could burg, praying that that place might be made a port of endispose of them, they must necessarily; but it did not follow; try. Since that time, he had understood that the citizens the President of the United States might have firmness of Pittsburg did not require the passage of a law on the enough to resist improper importunities. He would state subject; they were altogether indifferent to its passage, a case of the difficulty of which he had complained. In and he was not certain whether they would approve of it. the village of Belle Vue, a tract of land had been sold by He merely rose to give the Senate this information. It the Government to an individual as long ago as the year was altogether immaterial to him what order the Senate 1806; lately, ore has been discovered, not upon his tract, took upon the bill. but in the neighborhood of it, in another part of the town, Mr. WOODBURY said, the gentleman from Pennsylva. in consequence of which his patent had been withdrawn. nia had not, certainly, paid attention to the provisions of
Under this state of things, in the course of time, almost the bill. He would state, for his information, that the bill the whole State of Missouri will be reserved, and withheld did not provide for the establishment of ports of entry: from sale, and subject to this system. The mines on the it was not the intention of the committee to make such a Upper Missouri, and north of the State, were so much provision. It was at first contemplated; but, for himself, more valuable, and, as they were worked, the settlers and he was against it. The bill provides merely that the dulaborers had left the State of Missouri and gone up to ties on goods to be imported into Louisville, &c. shall be them. This bill only abolished the law of reservation and secured to be paid at those places: the bonds will then be restriction, which had been found to be extremely injurious sent to New Orleans, and paid at such places as the colto that country, and which must ultimately be the ruin of it. lector of that port might direct. While on the floor, he
Mr. CHANDLER observed, that, as the genilemen would state, that an amendment had been made to the bill, from Missouri must know more of the subject than they at the last session, which was not contained in it as introwho lived at a greater distance, he would ask them if this duced by the senator from Missouri, viz. to include land had ever been surveyed by authority of the Govern- "Nashville, in the State of Tennessee,” as one of the ment, and whether there were any reports upon the sub- places at which, also, duties on foreign merchandise might ject; if so, he should like to see them, that he might have be secured to be paid. For the purpose of extending some more information, and make up his mind--as it might the same privilege to that place, he would move that the be advisable to sell all these lands, or it might be better to words he had named be inserted in the bill. sell only a part. There were always many speculators The motion of Mr. W. prevailed. about a new country, and, as the gentleman from North Mr. MARKS explained, that he had not paid attention Carolina very justly observed, if the President once had to the provisions of the bill, and repeated, it was immatethe liberty, he would be constantly importuned until he rial to him whether it passed or no. had thrown the whole of them into the market.
Mr. BENTON stated, that the object of the bill was to The PRESIDENT here read an amendment to the bill, give facilities to those persons in the Western country