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before it could be accompanied by any facts in
refutation, which an investigation might bring
to light. with respect to the first motion for
the previous question, on the day of which he
had spoken, sorry he was that such a proposi-
tion came from one who represented on that
floor a part of the land of his. (Mr. Hawks'.)
nativity—least of all, indeed, did he expect it
to come from Virginia. If the House had pro-
ceeded to act on the motion of the honorable
gentleman, (Mr. Dopponso) and had merely
thought it right to cut off from gentlemen the
opportunity of advocating the cause or the ac-
cused, he should have theught that soch anac
tion, proceeding from that State—he should
have thought, he said, it denoted no small
change in that venerable commonwealth since
the time that he, (Mr. H.,) had been a memo
ber of it. Neither, he observed, could he have
expected that such a motion, at a late period
of the day, would have been made by his co-
league, the gentleman from Kentucky, (Mr.
Wickaroo, ) for it was a motion, in his opinion,
contrary to equity, justice, and right. The
only excuse, perhaps, that could be thought
of it, for it was that it had been prompted by
the state of the appetite—that it had been
made on the presumption that the person mak-
ing it was hungry and anxious for his dinner.
Mr. HAWES proceeded to observe, at some
length, that he was in favor of an immediate
trial of Mr. Houston, with a view that the ac-
cusation and the defence should appear before
the public, as nearly as could be, at once. He
claimed it as a right of the accused to bear.
raigned of the alleged offence without delay,
after which the House could act accordingly,
as he might be prepared for, or desirous of
proceeding with the trial. He said, in conclu-
sion, that he believed the house had already
transcended its power in issuing its warrant in
this case—on a proper oceasion, he should
contend that they had no right to act as they
had acted—but now, that the warrant had been
served, and that the accused was in custody,
he should content himself by asserting that he,
o prisoner, had a right to an immediate
trial. -
Mr. WICKLIFFE said, he very much re.
grewed that his young colleague, (Mr. Hawks,
—he must call host-for whom he had enter.
tained a high respect, should have though
proper, on his denouement in that House as a
debater, to call in question the motives of one.
who, if he lood any thing of which he could
boast as a public man, it was integrity of pur.
Pose. His colleague, in objecting to the mo
tion which he (Mo...W.) had made, on the pre
ceiling day, for the previous question, had
ascribed to in a design to prejudice the cast
of the individual which wo now before the
House; and, in addition to this, had intimated
an opinion, that he (Mr. W) was, in so doing,
governed likewise by his so M. W.
odid not think that such charges were
altogether on with propriety, or with
that respect which was due too on. colleague

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decide as to what were the necessary and salutary privileges of members of that House, and at the same time were to keep a watchful eye on the rights of the citizen, so as not to pass the narrow barrier betwixt the exercise of right and the infliction of wrong. Whilst endeavor. ing then, to ascertain and exercise those rights which are necessary to distinguish a deliberative body, guided by the light of reason, and acting on the dictates of justice—from a mere mob, driven by force, or influenced by threats; and at the same time desirous carefully to avoid infringing upon the rights of individuals—he had thought it becoming that the House should act cautiously and with reflection; he thought it a subject as well entitled to deliberation, mature deliberation, as any subject which had ever been brought before that House; and yet, had the call for the previous question, made by the gentleman from Virginia, been sustained by the House, that momentous subject would have been disposed of almost without an argument.

Mr. D, then entered into a detail as to the debate on the preceding day, and stated the various opinions expressed by different members up to the time, when the call for the previous question was made by the member from Virginia. Mr. D, ther proceeded to state, that he did feel it as a species of treason, a violation of the spirit, an attack on the genius and fundamental principles of the Constitution, to make such a motion at a time when a subject of such weight had been but superficially discussed

ed than entered into-when the views and sen

timens of but a few individuals on that flooroo

had been expressed upon it. Surely, (said Mr. D.,) if there ever was a subject--if there even was a stage of any subject--at which the call for the brevious question ought not to have been made-it was the subject then before the House, and the time, to which he had referred. He considered that call as a sort of comment on the very point before the House-namely, the freedom of debate Was it commendable, then, was it right, when about to prepare for the de

and endeavor to destroy its outworks? Mr. D. said, he thought the difference of opinion which was subsequently found to exist amongst members—as expressed by them in the debate which took place—justified his assertion, that the subject had not been fully discussed when the call for the previous question was made. Mr. D. concluded by re-assuring the honorable members from Virginia and Massachusetts, that he had intended no offence to their feelings, "... nor any aspersion of their characters; if they thought the expression he had used was harsh —if it had pained them—he assured them it pained him to think it had done so; there were no individuals on that floor for whom he had kinder feelings, or a more profound respect.

M; hoboringo said, I would remind the gentleman that he commenced his excellent

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and able speech with the words of which mo

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fence of the citadel of that right, thus to assailo

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ny members supposed they had a right to com:
lain.
p Had the matter ended here, it would, per-
haps, have been imputed to a little warmth at
the moment; but, after the gentleman had ar-
gued the subject at great length and with abili
ty, it was supposed there had been time to
cool; but he concluded his speech with the
same offensive words with which he commenced.
But, after what the gentleman has just said,
it is impossible for me to remain dissatisfied,
and I feel free to declare that the gentleman
from South Carolina is among the last men, not
only in this House, but in the nation, towards
whom I would wish to cherish an unkind feel.
11- -
#now proceed to answer the question pro-
pounded to me by the gentleman from South
Carolina, and I will do this with that sincerity

which the gentleman has invoked, and in which
he has been pleased to express an unqualified
confidence.

Mr. Speaker, my vote in favor of the arrest of the individual was founded on the written statement of the member of this House, com. plaining of an outrage committed on his person. I did not found my vote on the affidavit produced. I very much regret the production of that paper, fearing that in future it may be used as a precedent, requiring of an abused member of this House the humiliation of an af. fidavit, for I never can admit that the honor of a member of this body is not as much to be depended on as that of a member of the House of Lords in the country from which we are descended. Mr. FITZGERALD said, that the House ought not to forget that in the present case they were acting upon a charge of breach of privilege—that they were assuming the func= tions of judges, and yet at the same time they were stated to be the party injured. In the exercise of the undefined power which it was asserted belonged to the House, it was in the highest degree necessary that they should pause upon their rights, and reflect deeply be: fore arriving at a conclusion. The people who had invested the members of that House had not thought that in giving them their confidence and trust, they were empowering them as one branch of the legislature to actirresponsibly without the check of the other; and yet - he said they were now sitting in judgment on - the liberty of an American citizen, and grasping at a power without having previously decided whether they had a right to the possession of that power or not. They were doing this of themselves, he repeated, in the case affect. ing the liberty of a citizen, when in a case af. fecting merely property, it was known that they sould not expend or disburse a single dol. lar of the public money without the consent of the co-ordinate branches of the Government. Where there was a doubt of the right of power he for one never would exercise of had voted on Saturday against the arrest, from this flouet, and for the reason that we ought to have time for deliberation

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F. proceeded, in a long and discussive aro-
ment, to review the grounds for the assumption
and exercise of this power by the House. In
the course of his remarks, he expressed an oni-
nion that the right of exemption from question
for what might be said in debate, was to pro-
tect members from responsibility in courts of
law. He referred to the immunity enjoyed by
attorneys, who, although not subject to action
for anything that might be said by them on
the point in issue before a court, were yet
stripped of their privileges and rendered liable.
like other persons, for language used when
travelling out of the record. What was the
case in relation to this matter in a debate on
the subject of certain charges against the col.
lector of the port of Wiscusset, the member
from Ohio, (Mr. Sroeur.) accused Governor
Houston of participating in an attempt to com-
mita splendid fraud upon the Government.
What had that to do with the question before
the House? If it was not travelling out of the
record, he, (Mr. F.) was at a loss to know
what could be considered so. He had thought
at the time that it was, and that the gentleman
was travelling on dangerous ground. He ar-
gued that if such a power as that now contend-
ed for, should be granted, members of Con-
gress would become irresponsible, and that
persons visiting this city might be outraged by
them with impunity; the courts of law being
closed against them, and their own hands being
tied down by this authority to punish for con-
tempt or breach of privilege. It would lead
to the destruction of that American *
which ought always to resent a slander or *
other injury upon character and reputation.
The immunity of members was never intended
to protect them from wanton insults to their
fellow citizens; and the best mode of preservo-
ing the dignity of that House would be pro-
priety of conduct and deportment, and purity
of life on the part of its members. This would
be their best shield, and under such a course it
would be assuredly thrown over them by the
moral opinion of the people of the United
States.
He observed, that the term ruffian had been
applied to Gen. Houston. He had lung known
that gentleman, and he would say that such a
term was, in every respect, inapplicable to
him. Mr. E. entered into an eulogy of the

respecting it. Mr. that they, themselves, would some time or

character, merits, and services of Gen. H. and
adverted, in the course of it, to the fact of his

having risen from the ranks when he carried a
musket for his country and received a wound
in its defence, which had disabled a limb. He
had risen from this state, he said, to that of
Governor of Tennessee; he had, himself, re-
cently been a member of Congress, and it was
not to be wondered at, that when he was
accused of a splendid fraud, he should show
some feeling under such a degrading accusa-
tion. If there was an unction which rendered
members of that House sacred, his friend Gen.
Houston had been, therefore, long since
sprinkled with it. He begged them to recollect

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BREACH OF PRIVILEGE,

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words, by explaining the circumstances under which Samuel Houston was elected Governor. His election took place at a time, he would inform the House, when Tennessee was laboring under a powerful and peculiar political excitement; and it was merely the force of that excitement which placed that individual in the gubernational chair. mately, that Samuel Houston was a sort of a pot-o peculiar favorite of the present Chief Mogistrate, whose popularity, at that time, with a swelling tide swept everything before t; and thus it happened, that, laying hold of the skirts of that popularity, Samuel Houston

It happened, unfortu

was borne onward by the current, and carried

into the governorship of Tennessee.

Mr. A said it was not his intention then, to

enter into any further examination, or state any
of the views which he held as to the public or -
private character of the individual in question;-
though he had views on that subject which
might be interesting to the House; he was as

well acquainted with the character of Governor Houston as his colleague was; he had met him,

had measured arms with him in debate before The people of Tennessee—to use a western phrase, he knew him from a to izzard. suggested to me, said Mr. A., by a member rom Ohio, that there is an impropriety in thus expressing an opinion as to the character of an individual, upon whose guilt or innocence of a certain choge, we sit here as judges. (Mr. A.) saw the difficulty. But had he given any opinion as to that charge?

even intimated what his opinion was upon that subject?

It is

He, Had he

No. He had merely risen to perform what he conceived a duly to his State—after the House had heard the remarks of his colleague; and he, (Mr. A.,) would rather absent himself from his seat, and not give a vote as to The guilt or innocence of the accused party, on his particular charge, than have sat silently in his seat and heard the character of his state

traduced as it had been by the remarks of his
colleague.
rise above all paltry consideratios in deciding
on the question of the guilt or innocence of the

Mr. A. said he hoped o:

accused—he hoped that he could do justice to is state, and yet do justice to Samuel Houson. When this motter is investigated, if it

shall appear from the testimony that he is an

innocent man, said Mr. A., he shall have my vote. No matter what might be his opinion of any man—were it the veriest renegado that ever disgraced the country, he would do him impartial justice. If, however, it were considered improper of indelicate, holding such opinions concerning the party as he had expressed to the House, that he should vote on the question of his guilt or innocence of the present charge, he, Mr. A. would not vote. Mr. A. concluded by saying he would not trouble the House any further, though he had much more to say on this subject; he would close his remarks in reply to the eulogy of his rend, by stating that so dark was oscow of public indignation against Governor Houston,

that he was carcely warm in his seat before he

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make his escape to the Indians.

Mr. Root, of New York, was proceeding
to discuss the question as it respects the power
of the House, and the mode of proceeding
which should be adopted now that the party
was in custody; when, -
Mr. MITCHELL, of South Carolina, mov-
ed for leave to withdraw his motion, which
being granted, the proposition was accordingly

withdrawn
Mr. DAVIS, of Massachusetts, shortly re-
peated the reason which had induced him to
offer the resolution he had submitted, and in-
timated his wish, inasmuch as gentlemen ap-
eared, desirous that the party should be
É. to the bar, to modify it to that effect.
Mr. SPEIGHT suggested a modification to
o effect that the party should be brought to
the bar and interrogated on written interroga
tories on the charge against him, and that the
same should be put by the Speaker, and en-
tered on the journal of the House; and is the
House thought proper, that then the further
proceedings should be conducted by a com:
mittee. -
Upon this and upon other propositions and
modifications as to the course to be adopted, a
long and desultory discussion arose. Messrs.
Davis, of Massachusetts, Pook, ELLs won ro,
Jonifer, Huntingrox, Kean, Iavis, Inoka-
solo, Bruu, Bates, of Maine, and Wicross
severally expressed their views on the subject.
The proposition of Mr. Sorror was with
-drawn by that gentleman, and the resolution of
- Mr. Davus, of Massachusetts, with a modifica-
tion proposed by Mr. Wicklore, was agreed
to with but few dissenting voices in the follow-
ing form: -
That Samuel Houston be brought to the bar
of the House, “to answer the charge of hay-
ing assaulted and beaten William Staubery,
- a member of this House from the State of Ohio,
-- for words spoken by said stanbery, in his place
- as a member of this House, in debate upon a
question depending before this House.”
Mr. Houston was hereupon conducted to the
bar of the House, attended by the Sergeant-at-
Arms, and was addressed by the speaker in the
following terms: -
Sao Houstos, you have been brought
before this House, by its order, to answer the
charge of having assaulted and beaten william
Stanbery, a member of the House of Represen.
tatives from the State of Ohio, for words spo-
ken by him in his place as a member of the
House, in debate, upon a question then de-
pending before the House.
Before you are called upon to answer in an
manner to the subject-matter of this charge, i.
is my duty, as the presiding officer of this
House, to inform you, that if you desire the aid
of counsel, the testimony of witnesses, time to
prepare for defence, or have any other reques
to make in relation to the subject, your request

will now he received, and considered by the
House. -

-

found it expedient to abdicate the chair, and witnesses, or further time, but are now ready

The House then adjourned

on Privileg
port : - - - -
The Committee of Privileges, who were in

o to proceed to the investigation of the charge, on you will state it, and the House will take order o accordingly. Whereupon, the said Samuel Houston an- |-swered: - - o

Mr. Soon-Sir: I wish no counsel, I shall
require the attendance of witnesses, having
but this morning been apprised of the course
which would be pursued by the House, and
believing, as I do, that the investigation is to
form a precedent essentially involving the lib-
erty of American citizens, I will claim at least
twenty-four hours to prepare my response
to the accusation.
He was then conducted from the bar in the
same form, attended by the sergeant-at-Arms.
Mr. DAVIS, of Massachusetts, moved the
appointment of a Committee of Privileges, to
consis of seven members, to conside oud re-
port the proceeding proper to be observed by
The House in the trial of the case,
The resolution was agreed to without debate,
and the following members were forthwith ap
pointed by the chair to compose the committee,
viz: Messrs. Davis, of Mass. Dorox, Tor-
Lon, WAror, Huono, Co., and Eis-
-on- -

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o, Davis, of Mass, so the committee
es, presented the following re-

structed by the House to report a mode of
proceeding in the case of Samuel Houston,
who is now in custody, under a warrant issu-
ed by order of the House, upon the complaint
of William stanbery, one of its members, so
assaulting and beating the said Staubery for
words spoken in his place on the floor of the
House, recommend one adoption of the fol-
lowing order: - -
Ordered, That the following course of pro-
ceedings be observed, namely:
said Samuel Houston shall be again placed
at the bar of the House, and the letter of said
Stonbury shall be read to him to aster which -
the speaker shall put to him the following in
terrogatory: -
Do you admit or deny that you ssaulted and
Beat the said stanberry, as he has represented
in the letter which has been road, opy of
which has been delivered to you by or of
the House?
If the said samuel Houston admit that he dio
assault and beat the said story, as in so
letter is represented, then the speaker *
put to him the following interrogatory:
Do you admit or deny that the same soul.
and beating were done for and on accouno
words spoken by the said sombey in the
House of Representatives in debate
If the said Samuel Houston admit to o
sault and beating and that they were to

If, however, you neither wish for counsel,

cause aforesaid, then the House shall conside
-

-

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