« ForrigeFortsett »
that shook my confidence in the then adminis- ter some time, I left my lodgings alone. I was tration.
alone when attacked. Q. Were you, when met, as you have stated, Q. by Mr. WAITTLESET, of Ohio. What has by the accused, on your way to attend any been your acquaintance and intimacy with Mr. committee of this House, or any other official Ewing before he took his seat in the Senate, business?
and down to the time when you made the A. I will state that I was on business con- speech? nected with my duties in the House. Mr. Ew A. Mr. Ewing lives about 25 miles from me, ing bad informed me that a colleague of mine, in a neighboring town. We have practised at in a speech in the House, had made severe the bar together, and have been acquainted for charges against me. I was not present in my 15 years. We have been intimate friends ever seat at the time. Mr. E. informed me that it since, and are now. was incumbent on me to reply to it. The char Q. by Mr. WuITTLESET, of Ohio. Were you ges, I understood, made against me, by my col- wounded by the blows given, and to what exleague, were in reference to these same re- tent? marks, denying the truth of the charge I had A. The severest injury I received was on the made. When I left my lodgings, I intended head. Violent blows on the head have preto call on Mr. Ewing, at his lodgings at Mr. vented me, more than any other injury, from Davis's. I was on my way there at the time ; attending to my duty. One bone of my left • and I intended also to call on Gen. Green, for hand is fractured. My left arm is also much the purpose of consulting with him as to the bruised. I received a severe blow on the right proof that could be obtained to substantiate the arm, at the elbow, and a severe one on the fraud relative to the contract for Indian rations, back of my right hand. I have other marks of in order to enable me to defend myself against violence on different parts of my person, which the charge of my colleague, or to institute some do not give me much pain. inqury on the subject in this House.
A reference was here made to a former part Q. by Mr. Craid, of Virginia. Do you re- of the testimony as to sending the speech for collect
, certainly, that you referred to General publication. Mr. Stanbery said it was sent to Houston by name, upon the floor of Congress, the Intelligencer office by a messenger of Mr. in the speech you supposed to offend him, or Gales. The correction was entered on the did you afterwards add the name when you Journal. wrote it over for the press ?
Mr. COULTER here announced that the A. I mentioned his name in debate. committee had no further questions to put to Q. by Mr. Dickson, of N. York. Do you the witness. intend it to be understood that Mr. Dickson, Q. By Mr. Bates, of Maine. You have of this House, has any other knowledge of the stated you were on your right side when you facts in relation to the contract, than such as he drew your pistol. On which side of you was has derived from third persons ?
the pistol, and in which hand did you hold it? Mr. Craig objected to the question ; but it A: The pistol was in my right pocket, and I
drew it with my right hand. A. Some publication which I have seen has Mr. COULTER stated, that by the order of denied that the accused was in partnership with the House, it was for the accused now to open Gen. Van Fossen. I have heard Mr. Dickson his defence. The committee, therefore, would Bay
not put any more questions to the witness. Mr. JEWITT objected to this testimo of
Mr. KEY, the Counsel for the accused, put what persons had been heard to say.
another question. The Speaker desired that he would reduce Q. Was there, or was there not, some perhis objection to writing
son with you near the door of your boarding The objection, as read from the Chair, was, house just before the assault was commenced? that he shall not go into a statement of what he If so, who was that person? had heard Mr. Dickson say. The objection
A. There was no person. was sustained by the House.
The Counsel for the accused then stated that Mr. STANDERT. I suspect Mr. Dickson has he wished to examine the Hon. Cave Johnson. no other knowledge but that derived from third Mr. McDUFFIE offered a resolution for the persörts.
continuance of the investigation by the comQ. by Mr. Bates, of Maine. Did you use mittee, instead of the House, but it being obGov. Houston's name in this House, in the same jected to by the accused, it was withdrawn. connection and language as in the printed re Mr. VANCE stated, that as he intended toport?
morrow to leave the city for a few days, if the Mr. STAYBERT. I believe I did.
Counsel for the accused wished to examine Q. by Ms. Coulter, on the part of the com- him, he should prefer giving his testimony tomittee. Was any person with you when you day. 1.ft your lodgings, immediately before the as The Hon. JOSEPH VANCE was accord. sault, when you crossed the street where the ingly sworn and examined in his place. assault was made?
By the Counsel for the accused. A. I had been sitting with a gentleman of Q. When, and from whom did you first hear be mess in the dining room, after supper. Af- of the affidavit of Luther Blake, and did you
was ordered to be put.
know before it was given to you, that he could having understood that some difficulty existed prove the fact therein stated, and by whom? between him and Mr. Stanbery, I hesitated
A. On Monday morning last, (the 16th,) 1 about taking the note lest I should be involved am not certain whether before or after the in its consequences, and I intimated to Gov. House was called to order, Mr. Prentiss ob- Houston what my apprehensions were on that served that he had an affidavit, which he hand-head, and was going to apologize to him for ed to me, and which I read. I had not heard not taking the letter. Gov. Houston, how. of it before. I do not know Mr. Blake, nor ever, stopped me by informing me that the whether he is able to prove the facts or not. I letter was not of the character that I appre. know nothing of the transaction. I suppose it hended. He then opened the letter, and asked was handed to me because I had been the per-me to read it, which I did: after having read son who had instituted the inquiry.
the letter, and seeing the nature of it, I inQ. Was the affidavit then sworn to, and at formed Gov. Houston that I would carry the what hour on Monday did you receive it? letter, but on condition that I was to be no
A. It was sworn to; and never was out of my farther concerned in any thing that might possession but for a few moments, to take a grow out of that letter; that I thought it my copy of it, until.I sent it to my colleague after duty to deliver the letter as he had asked it
, the first interrogatory was put. I handed it to but that I desired not to be connected with him the door keeper, there being a considerable as a friend in any future transaction that might crowd in the House, and requested him to give grow out of it-with this understanding I reit to my celleague, believing it to be evidence ceived the letter and delivered it to Mr. Stan. on the interrogations. I have before stated bery in his seat, remarking to him that Gov. that I do not know the hour it was handed to Houston would like to have an answer to his
letter as early as convenient. On the next Q. Do you know whose hand writing it is? morning, about the time the House met, Mr. A. I do not.
Creighton of Ohio delivered to me the reply.-Q. Did you understand when you received I discovered that the letter was addressed to the affidavit that the said Blake had left the me personally, and read it with some considercity, or had shown it to your colleague, or had able surprise—when I looked over the letter, informed him of its contents before you sent the general apprehension that he could not it to him?
recognize the right of Mr. Houston to make A. I did not then understand that Blake had the request contained in his letter, induced me left, or was about leaving the city. I had not to believe that Mr. Stanbery either meant to shewn the affidavit to my colleague, or inforý-take personal exception to Governor Houston, ed him of its contents. i had showed it to a few which might involve me in difficulty with him, of my messmates and other persons, from whom or that he intended to avail himself of his Par. he must have got it, if he had it at all. I think, liamentary privilege in not recognizing his on reflection, I showed it to General Green, but right. I think I then mentioned to Mr. CreighI am not certain.
ton the difficulty which I had in regard to the Q. Is Wm. Prentiss, from whom you received proper construction of the letter, and that I the affidavit, the same person whose letter is should consider a personal exception was in. published in the United States Telegraph? tended by it to be taken to Gov. Houston: I
A. I understand him to be the same person should be personally involved in the contro. I do not know that there are two William Pren- versy, which I regretted, and should dislike.tisses.
I then asked of Mr. Creighton an explanation Q. Was, or was not your knowledge of this whether Mr. Stanbery intended to avail himself affidavit intended to be kept from the accused of his Parliamentary privilege in not recognizing and was, or was not such the request of said the right of Gov. Houston, or intended to take Prentiss?
personal exception to him. Mr. Creighton reA. Mr. Prentiss made no such request of me, plied to me, as I understood him, “either that nor said how, or in what way I was to use it. he had no explanations to give," or that he He left it entirely to my own discretion. was not authorized to give any beyond the face
A motion for postponement was here moved of the letter itself.” I think I then replied to by Mr. MANN, but negatived; ayes 79, noes 81. Mr. Creighton something like this; that if Mr.
The Hon. CAVE JOHNSON, of Tennessee, Stanbery did intend to take personal exception was then sworn and examined, and testified as to Governor Houston, he would find an indi. follows:
vidual who would play the game out with him. It will, perhaps, be more satisfactory for me I said something to this effect, and perhaps to commence and give a narrative of all the used this very language. Some short time after circumstances of this affair, as far as I have the conversation between Mr. Creighton and been connected with them, if such a narrative myself, after reflecting on the subject, I went would suit the purpose of the counsel in pro-to my desk, with a view of addressing a letter posing this interrogatory. Governor Houston to Mr. Stanbery, in reply to the one which he applied to me in the lobby of the House, to bad addressed to me, demanding of him a more present a letter from him to Mr. Stanbery; the explicit statement whether he excepted per date of the letter which has been given in sonally to Gov. Houston, or intended to avail evidence will show on what day. When Gov. himself of his Parliamentary privilege. When Houston applied to me to present this letter, I came to my desk, preparatory to writing the
letter, I read over again the letter of Mr. Stan. had taken on this subject individually; and bery to me. I thought upon the second read. also on the request of Governor Houston to ing of the letter, that it was sufficiently ex- ask him to inform Mr. Stanbery that he would plicit that Mr. Stanbery did mean to stand upon consider what course it would be proper herehis Parliamentary privilege; and that I ought to after to plırsue. I could not find Mr. Creighhave nothing to do with it. I then, before I ton in the House; I discovered Mr. S. sitting in acted, thought it prudent to consult with some this part of the House, and invited him to walk
friends in the House, in relation to the into the lobby with me. course I ought to pursue, and did so. I showed. I then explained to Mr. Stanbery what had the letter to a member of the House in whose taken place between Gov. H. and myself when judgment I had confidence, and his opinion his letter to Mr. S. was first handed to me, and concurred with my own as to the propriety of I also explained to him the difficulty I had as to delivering the letter over to Gov. Houston; and the construction to be given to the letter rehaving nothing further to do with it. The last ceived by me in reply to it. I mentioned the interpretation of the letter being deemed the apprehension which I had at first entertained true one, I then delivered over the letter of that I should be involved personally in the con Mr. Stanbery to Gov. Houston, at the back of troversy, and the regret which I had felt at the the Speaker's chair in the lobby.
idea of it. I also mentioned my consulting Governor Houston read the letter in my per- with my friends as to the construction to be put Bence, whilst I was standing by him, and com- on the letter, and that I had delivered the letter mented upon it as he proceeded with the peru- over to Governor Houston, also mentioned Gov. sal, in harsh language, concerning Mr. Stan- H's request that I would inform Mr. Stanbery bery, as to various parts of his letter. I recol- that he would consider what would be zeh prolect particularly when he came to that part of per course for him to pursue hereafter; and I the letter in which his own letter is described, mentioned to Mr. S. that I then had done with as being a letter signed Samuel Houston, he it
, or had washed my hands of it-that I inseemed
very much provoked, and using some tended to have nothing further to do with the harsh epithet, that he would introduce him- controversy between Mr. S. and Gov. H.; duself to the damned rascal,” or some' harsh epi-jring the time of this narrative, Mr. S. I think, inthet of that sort. He made comments on va-terrupted me by speak'ng only tw ce, to my rerious parts of the letter till he got through it. collection: whilst I was speaking of being perI do not recollect particularly all that he said, sonally involved in the controversy, he remarkbut in general he used very harsh epithets to ed “that he would not have replied to Gov. Mr. Stanbery. After he had read over the let. H's letter at all, had it not been out of respect ter, with a great many harsh observations to- for me, or he thought I was entitled to it from warris Mr. Stanbery, he became extremely vio- him.” The second time he interrupted me lent, and said he would whip the damned ras. was whilst I was speaking of the difficulty of cal before he left the House." This language being personally involved in case of the excephe used two or three times. I then urged Go- tion to Governor Houston being personal; he vernor Houston by all the arguments which remarked that he reserved that point for future presented themselves to my mind at the time, consideration. I do not recollect myself of any against the propriety of a course of that sort. other facts that are material. After what I have What particular arguments I used I do not re- already narrated, I d.d not consider my self to collect; but among other things I mentioned to have any thing more to do with the maiter. him that it would be a contempt to the House. Mr. EVERETT, of Vermont, offered a reAfter I had said what seemed to me to be pro- solution to the effect of assigning the duty of per, Governor Houston resorted to a variety of continuing the interrogation of the witnesses to arguments, to show that the course whion he the comm.ttee; but proposed to pursue was a correct and proper Before any order was taken on the motion, course. He replied to my argument that it The House adjourned. would be a contempt
, that he would, “right or wrong, wherever it was given, even were it in Two millions ot palm leaf hats were manuthe court of heaven." A good deal was said factured last year in the United States, chiefly between us, pro and con, in relation to the sub. in Massachuseets. The pr.ce is from 10 cents ject
. It is impossible that I should specify every to a dollar. thing that was said, but I think that this was
Mr. Humboldt says that, in the thirteenth the substance of the whole of what passed century, the pract ce of eating human flesh perI was about then to leave Governor Houston to vaded all classes in Egypt. Even phys.cians take my seat in the House, when he stopped me, and thanked me for what I had done for tients under a pretence of sickness.
were devoured who were called to visit pa. him," and said that “ I had acted right in del v. ering him the letter," and he requested me to
Sir Walter Scott, say the papers, has had the sy to Mr. Stanbery that he would consider honor of being presented to the King of Nawhat would be the proper course for him to ples. The Sabirist says, that the King of Ná: pursue hereafter. I then searched for Mr. ples has bad the honor of being presented to Creighton in the House, for the purpose of con- Sir Walter Scott. versing with him upon the subject, with a v.ew
Connterf.it five dol'ar bills have been detectof explaining to Mr. Creighton the course Iled on the United States Bank of Balleriet
REVOLUTIONARY PENSIONS. sion, as to the merits of this bill, we must care
fully analyze its leading principle, and under. SPEECH OF MR. JOHNSTON, OF VIRGINIA, stand, distinctly, the foundation on which it rests. ON THE PENSION BILL.
In this matter, the friends of the bill are not a.
greed among themselves. Some gentlemen say Mr.CHAIRMAN: When, three days ago, I asked that it pays a debt; others claim for it the grace of the committee the opportunity which is now of a generous justice, as they please to term it
, offered me, of discussing the merits of the bill or, in other words, a simple act of gratitude to now under consideration, I then stated, that I those who achieved our liberties. Of each of made the request from my unwillingness to give these in their order. a silent vote against any measure, bearing, how This bill then, Sir, deserves no support on ever improperly, the name of relief to the sol- the gronnd first assumed; it neither recognizes, diers of the Revolution. This unwillingness nor provides for, the payment of any of the proceeds, as well from the convictions of my debts of the Revolution. 'A large amount of judgment on the merits of the bill, as from my these debts remain still unpaid, and none of personal feelings on this subject. I beg to say, them are ever hinted at in the bill of these, once for all
, that no man would go further than the first in order are the claims of the widows I, in the just and generous relief of the veterans and children of those officers and soldiers who, of the war of our Revolution. All the most either under contracts of enlistment, or under cherished recollections of my early youth are contracts for their continuance in service until associated with the fire-side legends of that the end of the war, were entitled to bounties in war, from the lips of one who bore part in it: money or to full or half pay. These claims and now, if I have, (and I hope I have,) any were distinctly acknowledged by the old Con. fixed principles, any attachments to the gener-gress, just at the close of the war, and in various ous liberty in which all our institutions are subsequent acts of its legislation. The act of founded, they have all been drawn, as from a Congress of May, 1828, provides for satisfaction, living fountain, from the life, and conversation, in the shape of fearly pay, to those officers and and constant admonitions, of one of the men of soldiers who were then living, slighting altothat time. These very feelings and principles gether the equal obligation due to the widows impel me to oppose this bill ; not only because and children of those who were dead, and tax. it would, if passed, engraft a new principle in ing, in their poverty, those widows and chil. the pension laws, inconsistent with the limited dren, to render to others the justice denied to powers of this Government, administered in the them. A second class of debts is composed of honest spirit of the Constitution, but because it claims for bounty lands, due to soldiers of some does not deserve the name which is claimed for of the States ; these claims could be easily sa. it by its friends, of “The Old Soldiers' Bill.” tisfied out of the inexhaustible fund of our pub. This is not an “old soldiers' bill ;" gentlemen lic lands. may give it some name more significant of its A third class of claims is composed of debts true character ; they may call it " a waste dam due the several States, from this Governmenty to let off surplus revenue." “ A safety valve on account of the expenses of the war, and ac of the high pressure engine.” They may give knowledged by the act of assumption in 1790. it any other name of less obvious import, which The State of Virginia has a claim against this they may please to select, but they have no Government, under the principles recognized right to miscall it “the old soldiers' bill.” It in the acts of settlement and assumption amountdeserves not that name, because it does not ren- ing to several hundred thousand dollars, for the der equal justice to those whom it professes to payment of which she is now making applica. to relieve ; but it creates, on the contrary, most tion to this Congress. She has knocked again invidious and unjust distinctions amongst those at your door during the present session; she is who fought the battles of liberty; and operates now knocking at it, and her claims and calls are very unequally on the different states, and par- disregarded, whilst you are devising schemes of ticularly on the “old thirteen." I beg leave, prodigal gratuíty. I beg, however, Sir, that it Sir, here to say, that in the observations which may not be supposed, that either I, or any other I deem it my right and my duty to make, on the member from Virginia, will weary the House general tendencies of this bill, as well in regard with importunate solicitations in her behalf: we to its operation on individuals, as on its forming will content ourselves with a fair and true es a measure of political tactics with a view to bear position of her claims, to this Congress, and on the approaching struggle between the two will rest confident in our appeals to your jusgreat parties now in this House; I mean no per- tice. I have only alluded to the subject now, sonal disrespect, either to the honorable Chair- to show how completely the House is reversing man, or any other member of the Committee by the ordinary rule of public as well as private which it was reported. I mean, Sir, nothing morality, and is hastening to be generous before offensive, either to any individual, or to any par. it has proved itself to be just, ty in this House. Feeling the kindest respect Much stress has been laid by the friends of for every gentleman present, I shall discuss a the bill, and particularly by the honorable grenmeasure of large operation, with the decent tlemen from Rhode Island, (Mr. BURGES,) on freedom of debate, which the importance of it the payments made by the old Congress to the demands.
soldiers of the Revolutionary army, in depreciatBefore we can arrive at any certain conclu- ed continental paper, and we are now asked to
repair the injury which they then sustained, by Here, then, we see, Sir, that on this occasion
to hold up his certificate, and received its full va. "Hamilton's financial system had then passed. lue, or who enriched himself by the spoils of It had two objets
. 1. As a puzzle to exclude po- his brother soldiers. puler understanding and inquiry. 2. As a ma. I may then, Sir, after this brief examination, chine for the corruption of the Legislature. It say with confidence, that none of the debts of is well known that during the war, the greatest the war of the revolution are provided for in this difficulty we encountered, was the want of mo- bill; its provisions have not received the slighney or means to pay our soldiers who fought, test modification with the view of satisfying or our farmers, manufacturers, and merchants, those claims on the honesty of the Government, who furnished the necessary supplies of food arising from its obligation to comply with all and clothing for them. After the expedient of the contracts which it has made. The bill is paper money had exhausted itself, certificates founded in the principle (if principle it can be of debt were given to the individual creditors, called) of unguarded, undiscriminating, prodi.. with the assurance of payment, so soon as the gal bounty; it provides equally for the sound V. States should be able. But the distresses of and the maimed: the combatantand the non-comthese people often obliged them to part with batant: the poor and the rich, and will at once these for the half, the fifth, or even a tenth of recruit an army of pensioners larger than our their value; and speculators had made a trade army of soldiers. The honorable gentleman of cozening them from the holders, by the most from Massachusetts (Mr. Choate) is mistaken fraudulent practices and persuasions that they as well in the origin of our present pension syswould never be paid in the bill for funding tem,as in the the manner in which this Govern. and paying these, Hamilton made no differencement assumed jurisdiction over the subject. between the original holders and the fraudulent The pension system traces its birth much furpurchasers of the paper. Great and just re-ther back than the law of 1806. In the year pugnance arose at putting these two classes of 1785, the old Congress recommended to the secreditors on the same footing, and great exer- veral States to grant pensions to such of the sol. tions were used to pay the former the full value, d'ers as had actually received wounds in service and to the latter the price only which they had during the war, and were unable to support paid, with interest. But this would have pre- themselves : recommending further, that the vented the game which wax to be played, and for pensioners should be formed into corps, and rewhich the minds of greedy members were al- quired to do garrison duty. The recommendaready tutored and prepared. When the trial of tion was adopted, and
many pensionets received strength on these several efforts had indicated on the pension lists of the respective States. the form in which the bill would finally pass
, Afterwards, wherr the first adjustment of acthis being knowl within doors sooner than with counts between the confederation and the seve. out, and especially than to those who were in ral States was attempted, the Congress in 1788 different
parts of the Union, the base scramble recognized the payments made by the States to began. Couriers and relay horses by land, and the pensioners on their lists respectively as swift sailing pilot boats lvy sea, were Aying in charges against the confederacy. Soon after all directions. Active partners and agents were the adoption of our present
Constitution, Conassociated and employed in every State, town, gress, by an act passed in 1792, recognized the and country neighborhood, and this paper was obligation of the General Government, under bought up at five shillings, and even as low as the arrangement made between the States and two shillings in the pound, before the holder the old Congress, to pay all pensioners
who had knew that Congress had already provided for its been admitted on the pension lists of the differedemption at par. Immense sums were thus rent States. As, however, even in that early fiched from the poor and ignorant, and fortunes stage of the pension laws, many frauds had been accumulated by those who had themselves been successfully practised by applicants for penpoor enough before.