« ForrigeFortsett »
of many of our wealthy and enterprising citi- lation proposed, upon the score of expense,and
as an inducement to a compliance with the It is when one or more of these causes exist, requirements proposed by the bill, the expense and exert a separate or combined influence, that of making the inspection of the boat and of explosions have taken place, when there was testing the valve, as proposed, the bill provides no deficit of water in the boiler, and no unu- that the cost shall be paid by the United sual pressure of steam upon the engine ; and, States. in many cases, when the pressure of steam at
The time necessary to make the inspection the time was less than had ordinarily been giv. and trial, cannot exceed six hours in every six en. Without an inspection and trial of streigih, months. The apprehension of having their in some such mode as that herein indicated, boilers condemned, will excite men to vigilance how is it possible to guard against or prevent and care on the part of the masters and enexplosions, by any skill or vigilance on the gineers. They will be induced more fre. part of the engineer? All the plans of safety- quently to remove the incrustations, of salt or valves and improvements recommended in their lime, which are constantly forming in the construction or management, cannut, will not, boilers, and in progress of time will, more or prevent explosions from one or all of the three less, affect their strength. first causes stated. They may appear plausi. ble in theory, but would be unavailing in prac. mittee have been induced to consider and
In connection with this subject, the com. tice,
Those explosions, produced by the sixth inquire into other causes of danger to the lives cause, viz. a defect of water in the boilers, &c. and property on board of steamboats, and have may, more or less, if not altogether, be guarded ventured to propose, fo: the consideration of against by the vigilance and skill of the en
the House, the possible means of preventing gineer, when the engine is properly construct them; at least, of mitigating the extent of the ed; so that the force pump shall be competent, evil consequences incident to them. The first by its action, to supply the water as fast as it to which your committee will advert, is the may be converted into steam. Sometimes the
destruction of steamboats by fire. Three cases functions of this pump are suspended by acci- of this description have recently occurred, one dent, at others, by design on the part of the in the waters of New York, and two on the engineer. If by accident, then the skill of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. On board of ope engineer may be competent to detect and avert of the boats recently destroyed on the Ohio the evil.
river, there were 174 passengers, 100 of whom It often happens, when a steamboat is were burned to death, or drowned, in attempt stopped to take in, or let out, passengers, oring to escape from the flames. When a steam. loading, when detained for the purpose of boat takes fire in the upper deck or cabin, the "wooding," that the engineer neglects or fails Alames spread with such rapidity, it often hap: to ungeer his wheels or paddles, and keep his pens that she is consumed before she reaches
the shore. engine in motion, by which the steam would be worked off regularly, and the boiler Every boat should be provided with a comsupplied with water; be trusts too long and too petent number of long boats and yawls, to fatally to his safety-valve and the strength of the enable the passengers to seek safety in fight
, hofter. The fires are kept up, the water is in case of fire, or sudden destruction, by sinking: converted into steam that becomes heated, the Such was not the case in the instance alluded water sinks below the Aues, which become to, and in other cases of a similar kind; when heated to excess ; and when the engine is the passengers bave been compelled to choose started, the water is thrown into the boilers in between the dread alternatives of either rean increased quantity, which coming in contact maining on the boat, and be consumed by fire with the flues heated to a red heat, is instantly
or jumping into the river and be drowned. converted into steam in greater quan ities than Every steamboat, before she is licensed or can be worked off by the engine, or escape registered, the owner or master should be rethrough the safety valve. Thus it is, almost quired to provide, as a part of her furniture, a all of the explosions which have taken place suitable fire engine and hose; also, a competent from this cause bave occurred, while the boat number of long boats or yawls, to be regu, was stationary, or immediately after getting hated in proportion to her tonnage ; and
he should be bound to carry the same in To guard against accidents of this descrip-good order, upon every voyage. tion, the committee propose to make it the tional expense would be trifling. With t'e aid duty, under a heavy penalty, of a master of a of a fire engine, it is believed that the fire of boat and the engineer, whenever his boat is any steamboat, taken in time, might be extinstationary, for any cause, to ungeer the wheels, guished, certainly checked, so far us to enable keep the engine in motion, supply the boilers, the passengers to escape. with water, and work off the steam.
The next cause of danger, to which your Neither of these regulations can prove bura committee would invite the attention of the thensome or inconvenient to the navigation of House, and invoke for it, as for the others, its steamboats. It is believed they will furnish legislative interposition is, that of steamboats some security to the lives of passengers. To moving in opposite directions in the night, obviate all possible objections to the first regu- coming in contact. This often happens when
both are using every exertion to avoid such on the internal commerce “among the several contact.
States," to provide the means of preserving the It is often impossible for the pilot ofone bont to lives of those on board from danger of steam, of tell the direction of the other; and frequently, at fire, or of water. the moment when least expected, they come in The conditions which the committee propose contact, producing disasters most faial to the to add to those already imposed, on the fulfil. lives of passengers on board. This difficulty ment of which, steam vessels are enrolled and has been felt on the rivers of the west, and in- obtain licenses to navigate the waters of the juries to such an extent sustained, that some United States, are not burthensome or inconregulation by Congress is imperiously de- venient; they are reasonable and proper, and manded.
if enforced, will give additional securiiy to the Upon advising with a gentleman, whose ex- lives and property of the most enterprising perience entitles him to great consideration, he citizens. recommended that it should be made the duty The committee, therefore, report a bill and of the commandant of the boat, descending the earnestly entreat the House to give to it that river, to shut off his steam and permit his boat consideration which the nature and importance to float with the current, whenever of the two of the subject demand; and if the same shall be boats came withir. one half mile of each other. approved, that the House will pass upon it at The ascending boat would then assume the the present session; and, as far as possible, give responsibility of steering clear of the descending quiet and repose to the public mind, which has boat. The master or pilot, on board of the been so long and so anxiously directed to this ascending boat, in that event, would labor subject. under no mistake as to the particular direction of the one descending, as he must know that her Mr. WICKLIFFE, from the Select Committee direction was regulated by the current of the to which the subject had been referred, restream. This regulation, it is true, would not ported the following bill: apply to boats navigating the bayş, lakes, and tide-water rivers of the United States; but it is A BILL to provide for the better security of equally true, that in these waters, such regula.
the lives of passengers on board of vessels tion is not so much required, because of the
propelled in whole or in part by steam. greater width and depth of channel. It is Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Repotherwise in the rivers, and particularly in the resentatives of the United States of America in rivers of the west, where the channels are nar- Congress assembled, That it shall be the duly of row and in places very shoal.
all owners of steamboats, or vessels propelled To guard against accidents on tide walers, in whole or in part by steam, on or before the the bill makes it the duty of the master and first day of October, one thousand eight bun. owner of the boat to keep suspended, in the dred and thirty two, to make a new enrolment bow and stern of his boat, a light, at least three of the same, under the existing laws of the Unifeet above the deck of his ves:el, whenever the ted States, and take out from the collector or same shall be navigated at night.,
surveyor of the port, as the case may be, where If it be asked of the committee, whence is such vessel is enrolled, a new license, under the power of Congress derived to enact these such conditions as 'are now imposed by law, regulations and impuse these conditions, upon and as shall be imposed by this act: the navigators of steam vessels? they respond Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That it shall to the inquiry, by referring to the same general not be lawful for the owner, master, or captain grant of power, under which Congress has of any steamboat, or vessel propelled in whole undertaken 10 regulate the navigation and to or in part by steam, to transport any goods, prescribe the duties and responsibilities of wares, and merchandize, or passengers, in or masters of ships and vessels at sea, or engaged upon the bays, lakes, rivers, or other navigable in the coasting trade.
waters of the United States, from and after the If Congress possess the power 10 compel said first day of October, one thousand eight the master or owner of a vessel, sailing from hundred and thirty two, without having first the United States to a foreign port or.country, obtained, from the proper officer, a license un10 provide for the use and benefit of his crew, a der the existing laws, and without having com. medical chest; or 'to preseribe the quantity and plied with the conditions imposed by this act'; kind of provisions and water he shall take on and for each and every violation of this section, board; (and surely no one will be found, at this the owner or owners of said vessel shall forteit day, lo question this power so long exercised and pay to the United States the sum of fire by the Congress of the United States;) then, it hundred dollars, one half for the use of the inis respectfully contended by the committee, that former ; and for which sum or sums the steam. the like power exists and should be exerted to boat, or vessel so engaged, shall be liable, and enact and enforce all the regulations which may be seized and proceeded in against, sumthey have recommended and embodied in the marily, by way of libel, in any district court of bill reported. If Congress lave power to re- the United States having jurisdiction of the of. quire the captain of a ship to provide his crew fence. with the means of preserving health on board,
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That it shall the like power exists to compel the masters be the duty of the President to appoint at such and owners of steamboats, engaged in carrying ports on the navigable waters, bays, lakes, and
rivers of the United States, as, in his judgment, thereof, he or they shall forfeit the license
way of said boat or vessel, or when the said buat Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the or vessel shall be stopped for the purpose of person who shall be called upon to inspect the discharging or taking in cargo or passengers
, hull of any steamboat or vessel, under the pro- or when "wooding," and the steam in said boil. visions of this act, shall, after a thorough exa. er shall be equal to one the ascertained mination of the same, give to the owner or mas- strength of said boiler, he or they shall keep, ter, as the case may be, a certificate, in which the engine of said boat or vessel in motion sufshall be stated the age of said boat or vessel, ficient to work the pump, give the necessary when and where originally built, and the length supply of water, and to keep the steam down of time the same has been running. And he in said boiler to what it is when the said boat is shall also state whether, in his opinion, the said under headway, at the same time lessening the boat or vessel is sound and fit to be used for the weight upon the safety valve, so that it shall transportation of freight or passengers ; forgive way when the steam in said builer is equal which service so performed on every boat or to one of its ascertained strength, under vessel, the inspector shall be paid and allowed the penalty of two hundred dollars for each and by the Secretary of the Treasury, the sum otevçry offence. dollars.
Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That the Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That it shall penalties imposed by this acı may be sued for, be the duty of the person or persons who shall and recovered in the name of the United States, be called upon to inspect the boilers and machi- in the district court of such ditrict or circuit nery, under the third section of this act, fully where the offence shall have been committed and thoroughly to inspect and examine the en- or the forfeiture incurred, one half 10 the use of gine and machinery of said boat, and state his the informer, and the other to the use of the opinion of its soundness ; and he shall, moreo- United States. ver, provide himself with a suitable hydraulic Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That it shall pump, and, after examining into the state and be the duty of the owner and master of every condition of the boiler or boilers of such boat steam vessel engaged in the transportation of .or vessel, it shall be his duty to test the strength freight or pssengers, to provide, and to carry and soundness of said boilers by applying to the with the said boat or vessel, upon each and ev. same an “hydraulic pressure, equal to three ery voyage, one long-boat or yawlfor e:ch fifty times the pressure that the boilers are allowed tons of said boat or vessel, which long-boat or to carry in steam," and if he shall be of opinion, yawl shall be competent to carry at least twelve after such examination and test, that the said persons; and for every failure in this particular, machinery and boiler are sound and fit for use, the said master and owner shall forfeit and pay he shall deliver to the owner or master of such three hundred dollars. yessel or boat duplicate certificales to that ef. Şec. 10. And be it further enacted, That it fect, stating therein the age of the said boilers; shall be the duty of tne master and owner of one of which it shall be the duty of the said every steamé vessel, 10 provide, master and owner to deliver to the collector or necessary furniture, a suction hosė, and fire en. surveyor of the port wherever he shall apply gine and hose, suitable to be worked on said for license, or for a renewal of a license, the boat in case of tire, and carry the same upon other he shall cause to be posted up, and kept each and every voyage in good order, and for in some conspicuous part of the said boat for the a failure to do which, they, and eacs of them, infopination of the public; and, for each and ev. shall forfeit and pay the sum of three hundred ery inspection and test of the boiler so made, dollars. the inspector shall be paid, by the Secretary of Sec, 11. And be it further enacted, That it the Treasury, the sum of ten dollars. shall be the duty of a master and pilot of a
Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That it shall steamboat, except those navigating ride water, be the duty of the owners and masters of steam. when descending any river or stream in the boats to cause the inspection, provided under night, where the descending boat shall come the fourth section of this act, to be made a within one halt mile of an ascending steamboat, least once in every twelve months; and the ex. to shut off steam, and permit bis boatão float amination and trial of the strength of the boilers upon the current of the river, until the ascendof his boat, required by the fifth section, at ing boat shall have passed, and the master and least once in every three months, and deliver to owner of the ascending boat shall then assume the collector or surveyor of the port, where his the responsibility of steering clear of the de. boat or vessel has been enrolled or licenced, the scending boat, and liable, in damages, to the certificate of such inspection; and, on a failure extent of the injury which may be sustained.
as a part of the
Sec. 12. And be it further enacted, That it regarding each representative apportioned to a shall be the duty of the master and owner of er State as the representative of the number of ery steamboat running in the night to suspend inhabitants included in that ratio, leaves a re. iwo lights, (at least three feet above the deck mainder in each State, and in the aggregate, a of his boat,) the one at the bow and the other very large population, unrepresented. The at the stern, under the penalty of two hundred only reason urged in defence of this course, is,
that each of the said remainders is less than the
assumed ratio, ard therefore not entitled to a APPORTIONMENT.
representative. Now, if a ratio were assumed
larger than the population of Delaware, and HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Delaware were, on that ground, deprived of a MONDAY, MAY 7.
member, the Constitution would be exprressly
violated: but if a number of representatives be REPORT OF THE MINORITY.
assigned to a State less than its due proportion, The minority of the committee to which the entitle it to another member, the spirit of the
on the ground that the assumed ratio does not bill for the apportionment of the House of Constitution is violated in the same way. It is Representatives under the fifth census was the result of a process, not only not prescribed referred, dissenting from the views express, by the Constitution, but actually rendering it ed in the report of the majority, beg leavé impossible fully to execute the rule of the Con. to submit to the House the following state-stitution, which is, that representatives as well ments and considerations:
as taxes, shall be apportioned among the Slates The majority of the committee recommend a according to their respective numbers. disagreement with the amendment of the The process of proportionment is not preSenate. The minority are of opinion that scribed by the Consti ution, Could a result the amendment of the Senate is founded mathematically exact be attained, all processes on correct principles, and that jhe bill, as it would be indifferent, because they would all passed the llouse, is liable to objections on come to the sanie thing. But an exact propor. the score of constitutionality and justice. The tion cannot be bad. The nearest possible ap. grounds of this opinion will be briefly stated: proach to it must, therefore, be made, and that
The object of the bill is to carry into effect process must be adopted which gives the the provision of the Constitution, which directs nearest possible approach. an apportionment of representatives every ten But though the Constitution does not exyears, according to each successive enumera- 'pressly direct"a process, it is believed that it tion of the inhabitants.
suggests, "by obvious inference, the process That provision is expressed in the following which is followed in the Senate's amendment. terms, viz. "Kepresentatives and direct taxes It prescribes that "representatives and direct shall be apportioned among the several Sta es taxes shall be apportioned among the several which may be included in this Union, according States, according to their respective numbers." to their respective numbers.
Now, when a tax is to be apportioned, the sum The number of representave shall not exceed to be raised is fixed, and each State is assessed one for every thirty thousand, but each ştate its just share of thať sum. The analagous proshall have at least one representative.". cess
, in apportioning representatives, is to fix This clause requires three things, in which is the whole number of the House to be chosen, comprehended the whole of the constitutional and give to each State its nearest proportionate provision touching the number of represen- number: tatives.
If this principle is departed from, and an 1st. That the representatives shall be appor- arbitraty ratio assumed, some States will have tioned among the several States according to less than their nearest proportionate number, their respective numbers.
and others more; and both in violation of the 2d. That the number of representatives shall Constitution. not exceed one for every thirty thousand. The present bill, in the opinion of the
3d. That each state shall have at least one minority of the committee, from the necessary member.
imperfection of the process, violates the Con. These provisions are all equally obligatory, stitution in both of these ways. It apportions and there is no more constitutional authority to 240 members among the several States, not depart from one than from another. It would according to their respective, numbers, but be as unconstitutional to assign representatives giving to some States more, and some less than to the States in any other proportion than that ibis proportion, of their respective numbers, as it would be to
Thus the five States of New York, Pennsyl. fix on a rutio less than thirty thousand, or, fix. vania, Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky, contain ing on a ratio higher than the population of the 5,847,844 inhabitants, and their proportion of smallest State, to deprive that
' siate entirely of 240 representatives if 118. The other nineits representation. And the undersigned con- teen States contain 6,080,787 inhabitants, and ceive ihat the bill violates the first principle in their proportion is 122 representatives, being the same way as the third principle would be an excess of four members, on the part of the violated in the last supposed case.
nineteen States, over the five enumerated.The bill, by assuming an arbitrary ratio, and But the bill gives the five large States 121
members, and the nineteen 119 members, an These statements demonstrate that represen excess of two in favor of the five large States; tatives are not apportioned by the bill among being, in the whole, a difference of six between the several States according to their respective the numbers assigned by the bill, and a due numbers. proportion.
It has been already conceded that it is not Pennsylvania receives by the bill just as possible that a proportion mathematically ex. many members as Vermont, New Hampshire, act should ever be attained. So long as a cerMassachusetts, and New Jersey; but the aggre- tain number of representatives is to be chosen gate of their population exceeds hers by one within and for each of the several Slates, it is hundred and thirty thousand, nearly enough for conceded that it is impossible to allot them in a three additional members, the ratio assumed by proportion mathematically exact. As the Con. the bill.
stitution did not intend to prescribe that a thing The bill gives to New York forty members, should be done every ten years, which it is and to Vermont five, or eiglit times as many to impossible ever to do at all, it follows that the New York as to Vermont; but New York wants practical rule of the Constitution is, to come as more than three hundred thousand inhabitants near the true apportionment as possible. This of being eight times as large as Vermont, a dif. the minority believe not to be done in the bill
, ference greater than the entire population of but to be done on the principle of the amend. Vermont. Representatives are, therefore, cer- ment. The principle of the amendment is this, tainly not apportioned to these States accord that the whole number of the proposed House shall ing to their respective numbers.
be apportioned among the several States dccord The same rule of proportion, which gives ing to their respective numbens, giving to each Vermont five members, wordd give New York State that number of members which comes near but thirty-four instead of forty, a différence ex. est to her exact mathematical part or proportion. ceeding the entire representation of Vermont, This result will be attained by the following The representatives of the two States are so far rule of proportion. As the aggregate of the frum being apportioned according to their re- federal numbers to be represented is the entire spective numbers, that New York has an ex- House, so is the population of each State to its Cess of six members over what sich a propor- number of members. This may be" illustrated tion would give her. She has a like excess of by an example in the following manner : Sup. four members over what she ought to have, posing the federal population to be 11,928,731
, were her representatives assigned to her in the the whole House to be 256, and the population same proportioni as those of Alabama. of Vermont to be 280,657, the process will be
The Constitution, as has been observed, as 11,928,731 is to 256, so is 280,6.. to 6, with unites representatives and direct taxes in one a' remainder of 1,081, giving to Vermont © clause, in providing that they shall be appor-/members. -See table A. tioned among the several States according to But it is ouvious that, in consequence of the their respective numbers. The bill proposes existence of such a remainder, which in some to apportion 240 members among the several cases may be very large, the whole numbers to States. The Constitution requires that each be represented will not be absorbed by this di. State should have the same portion of 240 mem vision, and the whole number of members of bers as it would pay of $240 tax. Of a tax which the House is to consist will not be ap. of 240 dollars, New York would pay. precisely portioned. If the number at which the House $38 59. Her proportion of representatives, lis fixed be 256, the number apportioned by therefore, expressed in figures, would be 38.59: the first step of the process will be 244, leaving But, as the nature of the
case requires that tlie 12 members still to be apportioned ; and this it number of representatives should be a whole is proposed on the principle of the amendment number, it is evident that, instead of 38.59, to do, by giving to each State an additianal we must take either 38 or 39, the number next member, wherever such addicional member below or next above the exact number. The will bring its weole number nearer to the exact principle of the amendment, under considera. proportion. tion, in this and all other similar cases, takes The minority of the committee believe that that whole number which comes nearest the the principle of the amendment of the Senate true number ; and, in this instance, adopts 39 is well known to the legislation of the States, rather than 38, because 39 comes nearer to in their senatorial and other apportionments
. 38.59. But the bill gives New York 40 mem. The journals of the House of Assembly in New bers, which is neither her exact proportionate York" present a case exactly parallel. The number, nor the number nearest to the exact former constitution of that State directed that number. The provision of the Constitution is, the Senators, being twenty-four in number, therefore, violated in its letter and in its spirit. should be apportioned among the four great
This is not an accidental result. It is the districts as near as may be. The Assembly alnecessary effect of the process pursued by the so was to be justly apportioned to the number bill, which is that of a previously assumed ar- of electors in each county, on the return of each bitrary ratio-a process not prescribed by the enumeration. A report upon the journals for Constitution.
the year 1791, after stating the number of elec. Neither is it a temporary evil; but one which tors for the Senate and the Assembly, and that will increase in magnitude, in proportion as the the Senate was to consist of 24, and the Aslarge States grow still larger, and the ratio assembly of 70, adus, that "the quota was im. sumed is higher.