[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

of March hot, to take into consideration the Senate, been attempted to be justified? Why vote of our Senator, the Hon. G. Moore, on the did not the meeting recently held here, or their nomination of Mr. Van Buren to the Court of committee, the ostensible authors of their preSt. James, Col. Patrick Norris, a soldier of the amble and resolutions, attempt to demonstrate, revolution, was called to the Chair, and Willis] upon the facts of his case, that Mr. Van Buren Crenshaw, appointed Secretary. The object had beed unjustly assailed, and that he was not of the meeting having been explained by Wm. guilty as he stood charged before the Senate M. Murphey, Mr. Wandegraaff moved that a of the United States? Why no single remark committee be appointed to prepare resolutions offered in vindication of his anti-American inexpressive of the sense of the meeting. The structions to Mr. McLane? Why not one sylCharthen appointed Wm. J. Vandegraaff, Sol. lable upon the subject of his political opinions, McAlpin, J. C. McAlpin, and Wm. M. Mur- now or heretofore entertained? phy; who, after retirement, reported to the Without stopping to inquire into the question house the following preamble and resolutions: of Mr. Van Buren's gulit—his sincerity—his The Committee appointed by the meeting in political creed—or the nature or occasion of accordance with the foregoing resolution, in a his present adhesion to the administration, his ther time after their appointment, offered for friends here, seem to deem it a sufficient charge the consideration of the meeting the following against our Senator, that his vote was offensive report: to the President. For that sin’t were presumpYour Committee cannot brot express their tion in him, to supplicate for pardon. Your umffected regret, that any citizen should have committee cannot be mistaken in the opinion, deemed it necessary or proper, at this time, to that the community to which Gov. Moore is produce an excitement,in public feeling, in re-responsible for his vote, will look to the real lation to the name of Martin Van Buren for questions involved in the merits and demerits which purpose only, as they conceive, was the of Mr. Van Buren—the truth or falsehood of

meeting held in this place on the 19th instant the charges preferred against him, and upon

convened. As, however, for such purpose an which he has been condemned, before they attack has been made upon the Senate of the proceed to pronounce sentence of condemnaUnited States, for an upright exercise of its |tion upon their Senator. -:

constitutional authority, and particularly upon It is believed that the people of Alabama, Gov. Moore, as a member thereof, from this much as they esteem and admire the President; State. It canno be improper in us, to contri-will never enjoin it upon their Representatives bute our voice in the vindication, at least, of in Congress, or elsewhere, blindly to support our implicated Senator, from the most unjust every measure of which he is the advocate, of

and wanton crimination and abuse. every nomination, right or wrong, which he It is certainly remarkable,th it the prominent may make of an individual to office. complaint, the heart and core of all the com- The Senate of the United States not only

plain's put forth against Gov. Moore, is, that heretofore, but now also, the most august dehis vote upon Mr. Van Buren's nomination to liberative assembly in the world, was not instithe Senate of the United States, as our Minis- tuted by the wisdom and patriotism of our fa-. to to the Court of St. James, was not in accor-|thers thus to worship at the shrine of any indi-. dance with the expressed and known wishes|vidual's popularity. and predilections of the President; as if that It lies within the wide compass of possibiliSenator's busines at Washington was, upon all|ty at least, that the President is not a perfect occasions,to consult, and like a good and faith-being, and if he be subject, like other men, ful *ject, exactly obey the wishes, express to the prejudices and passions of poor human of implici, of him who is at the head of the nature, he may occasioually err. Executive Government. It would be time better employed, therefore, But uur Senator has the gratification to to examine the charges preferred against Marknow, that a free and enlightened people, who tin Van Buren, and to determine upon the justly appreciate the maxim, that government |facts established by the evidence, whether they is not instituted for the glory of rulers, but sole.|are or are not well founded, than to be engaged ly to promote and secure the public weal, in the fabrication of arguments and rhetorical would expect him, as their faithful representa- flourishes, to prove that the accusations ought to to overlook the individual wishes and par. to be rejected as groundless, for reason meretalities of even Gen. Jackson himself, when-lly, that the party implicated is a favorite at over and as of en as those wishes and partiali. Court. , Your committee will not enlarge upon to could not be gratified consistently with the the indefensible character of Mr. Van Buren's Mobic good. And in voting upon Mr. Van instructions to Mr. McLane, as his new-born Bureh's nomination, therefore, it is presumed, friends in Alabama have forborne to attempt a * did not so much inquire what this or that justification of them; what, indeed, could be individual wished, as what the good of the said, even to palliate the offence of that citizen,

only demanded at his hands. who has deliberately invited a foreign govern. I. is thus, that we would have our represen |ment, (out rival al all points,) to take part in alives to act, our domestic political divisions, and to assist the

Why has not, your Committee would res- party in power, effectually to crush and destroy Pectsully inquire, Mr. Van Buren's conduct in that portion of our fellow citizens who happen *pect to which he was condemned by the to be attached to another and less fortunate

party! It may be well taken for granted that these instructions admit of no palliation, for, otherwise, surely the friends of their author, founded upon the merits of his case, instead of resting his defence, as they have done, upon the high authority of the President’s approbation. The prospects of this happy and flourishing Republic will, indeed, be clouded in deep gloom, whenever that day shall arrive, which beholds, in the popularity of any one citi. zen, sufficient influence to close up the avenues of inquiry into iniquity and crime. But it is said that Governor Moore voted contrary to the known wishes of the people of Alabama. If, indeed, our Senator had reason to believe, and did believe, that his constituents

the Hon. William R. King, our other Senator in Congress, voted from honest motives, and that, although we cannot approve of his vote, he still retains our confidence, as an upright and faithful pulc servant. 4. Resolved, That a copy of the proceedings of this meeting, authenticated by the signatures of the Chairman and Secretary, be forwarded to the National Intelligencer and Washington City Telegraph for publication, also in the Greene County Gazette. PATRICK NORRIS, Chairman. Willis Caenshaw, Secretary.


expected and desired him to vote for every measure recommended by the President, right or wrong, and the proposition were really true, it might be justly said, that he wilfully disregarded the wishes of his constituents. The proposition however happensto be preposterous. It was known to that Senator that he was the Representative of a high-minded and independ. ed people, who would exact of him a faithful and unremitting attention and attachment to their and his country's welfare, without respect to the peremptory dictation of any individual whatever. Governor Moore certainly knew, what every body knows, that Martin Van Buren had been known in Alabama previous to his nomination, as the master intriguer and political juggler o! age, and that his appointment to the office of Secretary of State, was unfavorably regarded by General Jackson's best and oldest and most steadfast friends. Governor Moore, also knew that Mr. Van Buren has been and is the devoted friend of the American System, in all is ramifications, and that, after having given a deceitful pledge to oppose, he flagiciously supported by his talent for intrigue, that ultra measure, the tariff of 1828, approved by no par ty, and which has driven the whole south very nearly to the point of exasperation. How could Governor Moore have imagined that such a man was to become a favorite in Alabama, an individual opposed to us in politics upon those very vital questions, which so much agitate at this moment the confederacy, and which have brought South Carolina to the verge of open resistance to the authorities of the General Go. vernment, and to civil war. Governor Moore could not have discharged his duty as a faithful Representative of the south, had he contributed, in any degree, to brighten Mr. Van Buren's prospect of succeeding to power. Your com mittee, therefore, respectfully recommend the adoption of the following resolutions: 1. Resolved, That we heartily approve of the vote of the Hon. Gabriel Moore, one of our Se. nators in Congress, upon Mr. Van Buren's nomination, as being right in itself, and as having been honestly and independently given. 2. Resolved, That we have increased confi dence in his independence, and in his devotion to what he conceives to be the interest of his country. 3. Resolved, That we do also believe that

The followers of Van Buren demand specified charges against him. They shall be gratified, and we trust that “investigations” may still be the order of the day. The charges which we are about to bring against him have no reference to his conduct towards our party, but to his wire-workings in his own. It is not our business to find fault with him for blowing up the sublime Jackson party, which he seems to have done pretty effectually, but we have a right to express our contempt for the means whereby he has attempted to rise—means which prove him to be alike destitute of the honor of a patriot and the spirit of a man. We charge Martin Van Buren with having fomented, instead of attempting to subdue, the dissentions of a domestic nature by which Gen. Jackson was surrounded after forming his first Cabinet, and for the sole purpose of self. advancement—and we say that he who obtains power, by such base means, cannot be an honor able man. PWe charge him with having driven from Gen. Jackson, by artful intrigues, his earliest, his most generous, most faithful, efficient, and disinterested supporters, which he would not have done. were he a sincere friend of the President, or an honest member of his party; because he thereby compromised the honor of the President and endangered the welfare of the said party. PP'e charge him with having caused the dissolution of the first Cabinet, every member of which did his duty faithfully, according to Gen. Jackson's written certificates, because Ingham, Branch, and Bertien, would not become his partizans, and lend their exertions and their influence in furtherance of his selfish and corrupt designs. * We charge him with having used his influence to control, in an improper manne, the social relations of the community at Washington, for the purpose of gaining the affections of the President, whose feelings were interests ed in behalf of the individual who gave rise to the disturbance of said social relations, and thereby enlisting the President as one of his partizans. Our authority for these charge is the speech delivered by Robert Y. Hayne, in the United States’ Senate, on the nomination of Van Buren as Minister to England, which speech.*ill be |

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

maro Hayne expressly states that he has examined

•, a] into the truth of all the charges he brings sm: gainst Van Buren—that he relies upon facts, silk some of which have fallen under his own thertulin, and that he has most unquestionable edios ources of information as to others. We beatus|| Here no Van Buren press has been found ank] sufficiently profligate and sufficiently impudent not to question the honor or doubt the veracity of into Gen. Hayne, ARE These changes specific Exorps' mo, soCONGRESSIONAL. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. o, WEINEspar, APRIL 18, 1832. o TRIAL OF SAMUEL HOUSTON. The House assembled at 12 o'clock.

o Mr. C. J.0HNSON wished to offer a resoluo tion to the House, that Samuel Houston, the s accused party, should be allowed the assistance of counsel, for the purpose of examining witnesses, and to assist him in any legal questions

which might arise in the course of his trial.— Mr. Houston had, on reflection, thought that such assistance might be desirable, and it was at his request that he, (Mr. J.) offered this resolution to the House, The resolution was then read and agreed to: Mr. THOMAS then said, he had a resolution to offer, which he doubted not the gallantry and courtesy of the House would sustain. As many ladies were present, desirous of hearing their proceedings in this case, and the galleries were very much crowded, he thought it would be proper that they should be allowed to occupy the privileged scats on the floor of the House, Mr. T. moved a resolution to that effect which was adopted. Mt. PATTON submitted a resolution prohibling reporters admitted upon the floor, and editors of newspapers and others, from printing * Publishing the testimony in the case, pending the trial, Mr. PATTON said, he had not offered this resolution until he had consulted many members oftot House, whose experience and discretion he thought entitled to regard. He hoped it would be adopted without discussion. The onobjection he had felt to offering it was, that the necessity of what it proposed, might, of itself be conceived sufficient, without the enonent of a resolution of that house. He * indeed, have conceived this obligation "icing, if there had not been already, what * conceived a most flagrant violation of proPriety in this respect. He had, therefore, thought proper to propose this resolution as a *mn warming against future publications, cal

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

this resolution be violated by any, one printer, and they must be again involved in a trial as to the orders and privileges of that House. For this reason, he (Mr. W.) thought it would be better to leave the matter to their reporters; if they should transgress what were conceived to be the bounds of decorum and propriety, the House might then take such order upon their conduct as it should think proper. Mr. DICKSON objected, that in the form in which the resolution stood, it would preclude the publication of the proceedings, not only then, but at any other time. Mr. PATTON said, that such was not the case. * The resolution was then again read, and Mr. DICKSON withdrew his objection, perceiving that the restriction was only whilst the trial was pending. Mr. DAVIS said, he wished to make one inquiry of the gentleman who had offered this resolution; from whence did that House derive the authority to say that what was done and said there should not be published to the American people? Mr. PATTON said, he was surprised at such . an inquiry; and the more so from the gentleman from whence it came. What were they about to do? They were proceeding to the trial of an individual charged with a breach of the rules and privileges of that House. They were about to do this in a judicial character, and the proceeding had been urged and justified by an analogy with certain proceedings of judicial courts. A gentleman, (Mr. D.) who had been most conspicuous in his exertions for the protection of the House in all its liberties, now asked, from whence they derived an authority to protect themselves, during this prosecution, from the operation of appeals and statements which might be made through the medium of the public papers. The course which he proposed was a practice which had been pursued, and a privilege which had been exercised by every judicial tribunal in criminal causes, without dispute or question. Mr. P. said, he had, on presenting his resolution, adverted to the considerations which induced him to offer it to the House. Let him again refer to those considerations somewhat more at large. Yesterday, (said Mr. P.,) or the day before, one of the papers of this city contained an editorial paragraph, purporting to give a statement of the facts connected with this alleged outra and breach of privilege; that statement was obviously, and on the face of it, highly discolored and exaggerated, and as he had since been informed by one of the parties implicated, grossly false in all its essential particulars. He, (Mr. P.,) knew notif it was so; but what was the period at which the charge was made? Samuel Houston, the accused party, was at that time in

alated to bias the public mind, and thereby Povent a fair trial of the case before this House.

Mt. WAYNE had no doubt the motives of *gentleman from Virginia, (Mr.P.) were ve. § Food; but he would ask that gentleman, if he had considered one point—it was this. Let

[ocr errors]

custody of the officer of that House; he was dis. armed and powerless; and would have been guilty of a new breach of privilege and contempt of the House, if he had dared to publish any statement of facts relative to this transaction; whilst in this predicament, before one

[ocr errors]

word of evidence had been heard for or against the accused; before his trial had commenced; before he had been brought to the bar of this House—this statement had gone forth, calculated to inflame the public mind against the accused, as much as any statement he, (Mr. P.,) had ever seen; and, if any statement could operate unfavorably on that body against him, as much calculated so to operate as any which could have been devised. On the very morning of the publication alluded to, and whilst the accused stood in the situation to which he had adverted, a subscription paper had been handed round that hall, proposing to publish an extra number of the paper in question. It was not described as containing that inflammatory paragraph. Its caption professed it to contain the debate and proceedings in the case of Houston, and a letter from Judge Brackenridge to General Jackson. This subscription paper had been presented to him, (Mr. P.,) but he at once refused to subscribe; he had the paper long enough however to perceive that one gentleman had subscribed for 300 copies; who that gentleman was he could not say, so little attention did he give to the paper. Whilst then they were . there, engaged in the protection of one privilege, by means of the abuse of another privilege—and it was a privilege as much abused as any—he meant the franking privilege—this inflammatory article, calculated to prejudice the public mind against the accused, and to shake them from the poise of impartiality as jurors, was sent forth on the wings of the wind, to the uttermost corners of this great empire. He would ask them if it was not the duty of that House to arrest and prevent the continuance of the evil? If it were as clear to him as it seemed to be to others, that the House had a jurisdiction and a right to punish in such cases as that of Houston, or in such cases as this, he should think it necessary to move the institution of a proceeding, similar in its nature and purposes to that which the House had adopted in the former case. It was not his intention, however, to do so. He merely wished the proceedings of the House to be conducted in a way that would give the accused the benefit of a fair trial. He thought the individuals alluded to in his resolution, bound to refrain from the course it prohibited; but at the same time he wished the House to give them a solemn warning that they must do so. Mr. DRAYTON said, the power of the House to carry this resolution into effect, was as undoubted as any other power which it possessed, however the expediency of exercising it in the manner proposed by the resolution might be questioned. It was derived from that article of the Constitution, which gave each House the power to direct the manner of its own proceedings. Congress was authorized to exclude from the knowledge of the public, what took place in either of its branches, if it be judged of suf. ficient importance to the public service that secresy should be observed. If they were empowered to do this in extraordinary emergencies, why should they not also have the power

to effect the object of the present resolution, which was o, that a fair, candid, and impartial trial should be secured to the party accused. It was to prevent the public mind from being prejudiced against him, and to provide that, as he was to be tried for what was justly considered a high and grave offence, an alleged breach of the privileges of the House of Representatives, he should be allowed to stand before them on the merits of the case alone, without having his case, in a manner, prejudged, or his character injured by exparte statements. The House was called upon to perform a solemn constitutional duty, and if, in this trial, it had not the power to regulate its own proceedings, so as to arrive at their due end, the ad. ministration of impartial justice, it was a prostitution of law and justice to bring an individual before them. If, upon a charge against a party, they should see in the papers of the morning, details of alleged facts, letters and other infor. mation professing to prove the moral guilt of the party, before an examination into his case was even commenced—and if an innocent man should be dragged to their bar for conviction on charges which these statements went to support, he asked whether, if they convicted him without taking the proper steps to ensure him a fair trial, they might not justly be reproached as ancillary to it as a party to the conviction of the innocent, than which no fouler stain could rest upon any public tribunal? He proceeded to observe, that this was a mere precautionary or admonitory step. The House was not necessarily bound to suppose there would be cause for their action upon it. Still even, he would say in reply to the question of the gentleman from Georgia, (Mr. WAYNE,) as to whether they would consume the time of the House by trying the printers, &c. for contempt; he would reply to this, he said, that if such proceedings should be necessary, it was their in: cumbent duty to enter into it, without regard to the consumption of time. He adverted again to the measure being merly an admonitory one, and concluded by expressing a hope that the resolution would be adopted. Mr. M'DUFFIE looked upon the resolution as a mere notice and as nothing more, that the House did not expect the proceedings to be published pending the trial. With regard to the power of the House to punish for contempt he conceived their could be no doubt, but he greatly doubted the expediency of prohibiting the publication of what took place publicly be: fore them, or of acting upon this resolution in the event of its adoption. He regsetted the remarks which had fallen from the gentleman from Virginia, in introducing his resolutionthey were not of a conciliatory temper. He (Mr. M'D.) had not seen the publication alluded to, but he apprehended that the comments which it contained on this matter, were published before the House was sitting as a judicial tribunal. Mr. PATTON said, the gentleman from S. Carolina, (Mr. McDuffie,) labored under a mistake. The publication appeared the day

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

rors; but he had never heard that it was an ob

oft, fives, he observed, had been correctly statedject to prevent such an effect on the mind of

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

y his fieldstom South Carolina, (Mr. Dhayros.) He had intended the resolution only as a motive of warning. The gentleman from S. Camlins, (Mr. McDuffix,) was in error, also, when he rebuked him for introducing the resohtion, with remarks which he considered not conciliatory. He had used these remarks only when called on by the gentleman from Massathusetts to sustain his resolution. He had answered that call as he had proposed the resolution, with a view of preventing a repetition of such publications as these he complained of. Mr. DAVIS said, he had but a single remark tomake. He did not doubt the right of the gentleman from Virginia to offer his resolution, or the power of the House to adopt it; but he would ask the gentleman if he supposed that a resolution of admonition to the presses of the land, to abstain from publishing these proceedings, would, in effect, change or modify the laws ofthe land—whether # in this city, or elsewhere, a person should disregard this admonition, they would be amenable to the House, and punishable under this resolution? If it was meant as a mere admonition, that persons must be on their guard against inning in this respect, it was well enough, but he could not readily believe it could have the

effort of changing or extending the laws of the had upon the subject to which it related.

Mr. WILDE said, it seemed to him a constitutional right, as important as the freedom of debate, that persons should be allowed to express their sentments in an article of a newspaper: an" he thought that, whilst endeavoring to

protect that privilege of debate, they ought to

the Judges. Now, he would ask the House, in what situation they were to be regarded in this case. Was it as jurors, or was it as judges. It appeared to him as the latter. For these reasons he must object to the gentleman's resolution.

Mr. WAYNE said, he did not rise now to enter into any protracted discussion of the point. He would make but a few remarks on the reso

power to punish, in the case to which it refer-
red, that resolution could not extend that pow-
er; if they had not the power, under the consti-
tution, then the resolution ought not to be
made. For his own part, he (Mr. W.) must
utterly deny that the House had such power. It
could not be founded in the constitution, nor in
any analogy to the power of the courts in cases
of contempt, nor in the parliamentary proceed-
ings of Great Britain. The reporters, it should
be recollected, were not officers of that House;
and in this, it appeared to him, the mistake of
the analogy which had been drawn, as to the
powers possessed by the courts, those powers,
it was contemplated, should be confined by the
courts to their own officers, or to the publica-
tion of matters which were calculated to excite
public feeling, or by which jurors might have
their minds unduly influenced; but, as the gen-
tleman from Georgia had remarked, they were
not sitting there in the character of jurors, but
in that of judges. If the resolution were to be *
adopted, it would be out of an intention of ten-
derness to the accused—and, he thought he had
shown, since the commencement of this pro-
ceeding, that he possessed no other feelings

take care they did not violate another of equal onsequence. He (Mr. W.) was not prepared to that, if the House should adopt this resohio, and a reporter or printer should, not**ing, biblish these proceedings, that it would be an infringement of the constitutionalpolegos of that House, if it would be so, it was incoisequence of certain privileges being good by the constitution, and not from any additional right accruing to them from that solution. The honorable member from S. Carolina had conceived that there would be a do of power in the house to punish such An offence. If so, the resolution ought not to *, adopted, inasmuch as they ought not to makean order which they were not prepared to enforce. The liberty of the press was of the

towards that party—but, he believed, the adop-
tion of such a resolution would tend rather to
his injury than his benefit. All that would be
published would be the questions and answers;
and what, he would ask, could be the harm of
that, when their galleries were filled with hun-
dreds, listening to their proceedings, who were
at liberty to write down whatever they heard,
and to publish it if they, thought proper. If
the reporters were not allowed to report these
proceedings whilst sitting in the seats assigned
to them on that floor, all they would have to do
would be to walk up into the galleries. Mr.
W. concluded by saying that, if he stood alone,
he would give his single vote against this resolu-
Mr. WAYNE was about to move to lay in on

first importance to this country; for his own the table, when

Pao, so strong was his respect and attachment

Mr. ARCHER said he did not rise with a view

"that liberty, that where liberties had been of engaging in the debate. He wished, on the

oken by it with himself—where even the last oberty had been taken of making him spea *ense in his own proper person—he had freely forgiven it. Mr. W. then proceeded to * the reasons for which, in some cases, it #been found necessary by the courts to pro

contrary, to repress a discussion which he saw would consume the whole day, unless it could be now stopped. He suggested to his colleague, (Mr. Patton,) to withdraw the resolution. Mr.DRAYTON strongly replied to Mr. warse,

and in the course of his remarks, observed that

of the publication of proceedings pending a 'no one more highly prized the liberty of the

oil. One great object was to

revent them press than himself. He proposed to the gen

owing, from comments which might be made |tleman from Virginia, to modify his resolution so

lution offered to the House. If they had the 2.

« ForrigeFortsett »