« ForrigeFortsett »
H. or R.)
[Dec. 21, 1790
the time when this country would depend on as to the seat of Government of the United States, standing army. He enlarged on the import- were read the second time and ordered to be ance of disciplining the militia. This, said he, committed to a Committee of the whole. is consistent with the strictest principles of re- Messrs. LAWRENCE, Seney, FITZSIMONS, Vipublicanism. He believed the preservation of sing, and GoodHUF, were appointed a commitliberty very much depended on a good militia. tee to bring in a bill to establish Health Offices He thought four times a year 'would not be in the principal ports of the Union. too burthensome, and he was pretty sure it was
MILU'IA. little enough to answer any essential purpose. The House again went into a Committee of
Mr. Sherman was in favor of four tiines in the whole on the bill for establishing a uniform companies at least, and in battalion as might Militia, Mr. Livermore in the chair. be found convenient.
Mr. BloodWORTH said, that in his opinion Mr. Wadsworth observed, that less than the House had entered too much into the minu four times would answer no good purpose at tiæ of the business, and in a great measure all. Indeed, it is said, nothing is to be ex
were about depriving the States of the power pected; if that is the case, let us give up all granted to them by the Constitution. The thoughts of a militia bill; but what, then, be- General Government ought only to organize comes of your national defence?
the militia, and direct the mode of discipline. Mr. HARTLEY's motion was lost.
The militia, he observed, was only under the di. Mr. Sherman moved that the clause be rection of the General Government when callamended, to read, that regiments turn out once ed out in the actual service of the United States; a year.-Carried.
different States had the appointment of the On motion of Mr. Wadsworth, the times of officers and the right of training them; but rendezvousing in regiments and companies are owing to the many particulars attended to in to be regulated by the officer commanding the the bill, he could see but little room left to the brigade.
States for the exercise of their power. He The clause which provides for a Commissary thought that endeavoring to establish a perfect of military stores for each State, Mr. Parker uniformity in fines would render that part of moved should be struck out. He said the several the system very defective; as the same fine States are competent to taking care of their own might be justly complained of as heavy in one military property. This motion was agreed to part of the country, and at the same time be
Mr. Wadsworth moved that the adjutant considered so trifling in another part as to rengeneral should have the rank of brigadier, in- der it ineflectual; he therefore wished that this stead of lieutenant colonel as proposed by the part of the business might be left to the States bill.
to perform. He moved for striking out a numMr. SHERMAN observed, that according to ber of clauses containing several of the particuthe last regulations of the army no staff officer lars he objected to. -Not carried. was to have any rank. Mr. Wadsworth replied, that the regulation tions were read. The first two passed without
The twelfth, thirteenth, ond fourteenth secwhich the gentleman had mentioned respected. alteration; the third was struck out. staffofficers only who never have any command;
Mr. Madison said, he conceived it would be but an officer of such importance as the adju; necessary to pass a law authorizing a President tant general, on whom so inuch depended, and of the United States to call out the militia, as who might be invested with a very important the Constitution only says that he shall be command, he conceived ought to rank higher commander-in-chief of the militia when in the than a lieutenant colonel. This motion was service of the United States, without giving adopted. The committee rose and reported progress,
him the power of ordering it out.
Mr. FitzSIMONs wished a clause inserted in and had leave to sit again.
the bill, granting to the President that power.
Mr. Boudinot conceived it was not the inTUESDAY, Ded mber 21.
tention of the Constitution that he should be The bill from the Senate supplementary to granted to him by a special act of Congress.
possessed of such a power. It could only be the act making further provision for the payment Mr. Smith read a law passed last session, of the debts of the United States, was read the and still in force, giving him that authority; third time, and passed.
The sixteenth section, providing penalties The bill declaring the officer who, in case of for those not performing milítia duty, and pointvacancies both in the offices of President and ing out exemptions, being read, Vice President of the United States, shall act Mr. SHERMAN moved to have it struck out. as President;
It was, he said, an absolute poll-tax, and not The bill declaring the respective times when levied according to the number of inhabitants, the electors to vote for a President of the Uni- which was in violatiop of the Constitution. ted States shall be appointed or chosen, and Mr. Burke said, it was contrary to the intershall give their votes; and,
est of the militia to establish so many exempThe bill directing the mode in which the lists tions as had been provided. He gave notice of the votes for a President shall be transmitted that when the report canie before the House,
Dec. 21, 1790.]
[H. OF R.
he would move for their reduction, and gave himself in his office in conformity to the laws his reasons fully. It was contrary to the Con- passed by the States. stitution, he also observed, to lay a tax upon Mr. Smith moved that that clause which certain classes of citizens; not being consonant leaves the appointment of this officer to the with the principles of justice to make those President be struck out, and that it only be conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms pay specified that such an officer be appointed. for not acting against the voice of their con- Mr. Boudinot considered this officer as apscience. This, he said, was called the land of pointed to assist the President. It was necesliberty, in it, we boasted, that no one suffered sary that the commander-in-chief should be on account of his conscientious scruples, and acquainted with the state of the militia through yet we are going to inake a respectable class of out the Continent; it was impossible for him citizens pay for a right to a free exercise of to gather this information without assistance; their religious principles; it was contrary to the officer was appointed for that purpose; he the Constitution; it was contrary to that sound should be considered as a Continental officer, policy which ought to direct the House in es- and as such was to be paid by the General Gotablishing the militia.
vernment. Mr. Jackson said, he certainly should oppose Mr. Smith said, if his motion prevailed of the principle started by the gentleman last up. having this officer appointed by the States he Who are to know, he asked, what persons were would also move that his salary be paid by really conscientiously scrupulous? There is no them. He was a militia officer and as such tribunal erected to make them swear to their was in the appointment of the States. scruples. If the principle were adopted, he con- Mr. LAWRENCE wished the clause struck ceived very few would be found, if their own out, and the duty of inspector left to be perword was to be taken, not conscientiously formed by the adjutant general. In New York scrupulous. There were other sects, he said, this is the case. besides the Quakers averse to bearing arms. Mr. Boudinot said, he thought the duty too If the principle be adopted of requiring no com- great, and the salary such an oflicer would repensation from the exempted, it will lay the quire more than the States would consent to axe to the root of the militia, and, in his opin- give; the officer would not be appointeil, and ion, the bill might as well be postponed alto the President could not receive the necessary gether. He did not choose to enter into the information. The inspector was not a militia subject fully at this time; he would wait until officer, but appointed to collect the informathe bill came before the House.
tion the President should want, for the benefit The seventeenth section, providing inspect of the Union. ors of the militia, was read.
Mr. Fitzsimons gave it as his opinion that Mr. SENEY said, Maryland, he thought, the officer should be under the appointment of provided by the section. That State, he ob- Mr. Sherman said, there appeared to be a served, was divided by a wide and sometimes distrust of this inspector, unless appointed by dangerous bay, which could not at all times be the President; he thought there could be no crossed. Two inspectors were agreed to for just foundation for entertaining this opinion, if Maryland, one to reside on the Eastern, and he should be appointed by the States. He was one on the Western shore.
certainly appointed for the good of the Union; Mr. LAWRENCE saw an impropriety in pro- but if the several States did not pay his salary, viding the same allowance for all the inspect the expense would in the end devolve on the ors without regard to the quantum of duty to United States. be performed. The duty, he observed, of an It was agreed to leave the appointment to inspector in the State of Rhode Island could the States. not be near so great as that of the inspector in Mr. Stone moved that the clause giving to the State of New York. He moved that their inspectors the rank of lieutenant colonel be different salaries be fixed and specified in the struck out. He observed, that since the apbill.
pointment of those officers was left to the States, It was agreed; and the blanks left to be fill- the House could not with propriety fix the rank. ed up with such sums as shall be deemed pro- Mr. WADSWORTH hoped it would not be per when the House shall take that part of the struck out. He observed, that as the House bill into consideration.
had the power of organizing the militia, and Mr. SHERMAN was of opinion that some of were about determining that there should be the duties, by this section to devolve on in- inspectors, they could with the same propriety spectors, ought to be left to the States to exer- say what rank those inspectors should hold. cise. Their duty should be confined to super- He was as much averse as any man to granting intending the exercise and maneuvres. unnecessary titles; but where great trust was
Mr. BlOODWORTH was averse to appointing reposed, and severe duty required, there rank an officer to be directed by State laws. He should also follow. These inspectors were should be appointed by the State.
placed in a very important station, which they Mr. Wadsworth said, in his opinion, he could not properly fill without the weight of ought to be a Continental officer, and conduct some military rank.
H. of R.)
[DEC. 22, 1790.
Mr. STONE withdrew his motion.
Mr. BLOOD WORTH proposed an amendment Mr. Bloodworth moved that the rank of to the second section, by which all persons exbrigadier should be given to them.-Agreed. empted by the laws of the respective States
Mr. BENson moved for an additional clause should also be exempted by this law. This to the bill, for granting to the President of the was objected to by several members. United States the power of calling out the mi- Mr. LIVERMORE said, it was so general, that litia into the service of the United States, &c. it opened the door to an almost universal exto repel invasions or suppress insurrections. emption; it likewise involved an uncertainty
Mi. SHERMAN observed that the proposed with respect to the present and future laws of clause was not explicit enough. The General the several States, which ought not, in his opinGovernment, by the Constitution, had not the ion, to be admitted. power of calling out the militia to suppress in- Mr. BlOODWORTH said, he moved the amend surrections in the States without the special ment, because he was fully persuaded that the request of the States.
United States had nothing to do with the exMr. BLOODWORTH hoped the additional sec-emptions heretofore usually made by the partition would not be adopted, it would be a dan-cular States. It is proper for Congress only gerous provision,
to exempt their own particular officers; but Mr. Benson agreed to withdraw his motion he considered the bill of a very important pafor the present, to bring it before the House ture, one that will undergo the strictest scruwhen the principles of the bill came to be dis- tiny, and may either be made very agreeable cussed by them.
to the States, or very much the reverse. He The committee, having gone through the bill, adverted to the Constitution, and said that the l'ose, and reported the saine, with sundry powers of Congress only extend to the mere amendments, which were laid on the table. arrangement of the militia; but, in its present PUBLIC DEBT.
form, it is a Government bill, and goes to the The Speaker laid before the House a report minutiæ of the regulations in the militia. from the commissioners appointed for the pur- Mr. Giles objected to the motion. He conpose, of the amount of the purchases which had sidered the section, as it stood without the amenubeen made of the public debt, which was order ment, useless, and therefore the amendment is ed to lie on the table. The amount purchased unnecessary; for if the States possess the powwas $278,687, for which the sum of $150,239 er of making the exemptions in themselves in specie had been paid.
they cannot be deprived of it. He was conse
quently against the present motion, and should WEDNESDAY, December 22,
move to obliterate the whole, so far as it interENROLLED BILLS.
feres with the power of the particular States. A joint committee was appointed for the ex- Mr. SHERMAN was opposed to the particular amination of enrolled bills, consisting of Mr. interference of the General Government any Foster, of the Senate, and Messrs. Floyd and further than they are expressly warranted by P. MUHLENBERG, of the House.
the Constitution. The powers of Congress, he MILITIA.
contenderl, were very much limited in respect The House took up the report of the Com to the militia. Jie moved a more general momittee of the whole of yesterday on the bill for dification of the section; by which the officers establishing an uniform militia. The amend of the General Government, such as the memments being reau,
bers of Congress, the Executive officers, postMr. Boudinot moved, that the persons of officers, postmasters, and mail-carriers should the militia should be exempt froin civil process be designated, and all other persons that are, on the days of rendezvous.
or shall be, exempted by the laws of the several Mr. LIVERMORE opposed the motion. He States. conceived it was an unconstitutional interfe- Mr. Bloodworth acceded to this modificarence with the internal police of the individual tion. States. The States have an exclusive right, Mr. Giles objected to the proposition as said he, to regulate the times of training the amended, as blending and confusing the powmilitia; and Congress has no right to say that ers of the General Government with those of the citizens shall or shall not be liable to a legal | the particular States. He objected to it as it arrest on such occasions.
went to extend the privileges of the members Mr. Boudinot admitted, that there was some of Congress, whose privileges are defined in the weight in Mr. LIVERMORE's objections; but, at Constitution. He objected to it also as it viothe same time, observed, that the principle lates the principle which had before been laid once admitted that Congress has a power to down, that the lawmakers ought to syropathize discipline the militia, every incidental power with those on whom the laws are designed to to carry that idea into effect must follow. He operate, and pursuing the idea, said Congress should, however, reserve himself to offer some may go on to exempt themselves from every further remarks on the subject.
public duty. The question being taken, it passed in the Mr. Williamson, adverting to the Constiaffirmative. The amendment, as thus amend-tution said, that it was plain Congress are to ed, was put and carried.
provide for arming and disciplining the militia;
but who are the militia? Such men, he pre- larged on the obligations which every man owes sumed, as are declared so to be by the laws of to society to afford his personal services to asthe particular States, and on this principle he sist and defend the community; protection and was led to suppose that the militia ought to service are reciprocal. Those who are exemptconsist of the whole body of citizens without ed ought to pay a full equivalent on every prinexception. If this construction be just, the ciple of justice and equity. He then adverted propriety of the motion is apparent. He did not to exemptions generally, and advocated those anticipate an abuse of the power of exemption of the members of Congress; but, with respect on the part of the States; he thought the period to all others, he was absolutely opposed to them; far distant when the United States would trust and said they were so numerous as to destroy their defence to mercenaries. He objected to the militia bill altogether. The consequence the numerous exemptions proposed to be made would be, we must resort to a standing force by the General Government, and observed that for the general defence. he feared great impositions and evasions would Mr. Vixing was opposed to giving the genebe practised in consequence of them; the power ral power of making such exemptions as they will be exercised by the States, and ought not please to the several States. The Legislature to be by Congress.
of the Union is compeient to making such as Mr. Burke said, no man was more in favor are necessary. He enlarged on the mischievof an efficient and competent militia than he ous consequences of delegating this power. It was; but the various exemptions contended for will, said he, destroy every appearance of uniare so many that he conceived the consequences formity; nor is there any danger that the memwould be subversive of the whole plan. Ob-bers of the House will abuse this power by unservations had been thrown out which he was due exemptions. With respect to the Quakers, sorry to hear, that except these exemptions he replied to some observations of Mr. JACKSON, took place, the bill would be lost. lle then who had asked, what will become of our boasted mentioned the several classes proposed to be independence in case of the exemption of the exempted, by which the whole country would, Quakers? He asked, were there no Quakers in effect, be divided into two tribes; and the in the late war? He adverted to the conduct rich, the governors and rulers of the land of the first settlers of Pennsylvania, who were would be relieved from the buthen, while the Quakers; their peaceful principles were promechanics, the farmers, the laborers, the hard-ductive of the happiest consequences; and in working part of the community would be made this view their conduct had been an example, to sustain the whole weight of the service in which, in proportion as mankind shall recede defending the country. Ile was opposed to from the force of turbulent passions, will be exempting members of Congress; in the recess more and more imitated. He, however, supthey may attend militia duty. It was agree-posed that an equivalent might be assessed on able to the practice of South Carolina; he had these people without difficulty, and which, from himself performed militia duty during the re- their numbers, supposed to be one-twentieth cess. He thought that all should equally be part of the people, would amount to a sum sufmade to turn out in the ranks, high and low, ficient to support a militia; at least, to furnish rich and poor, old and young, and thus make them with arms, drums, colors, &c. the militia honorable. I know, said he, it is Mr. LAWRENCE observed, that it appeared to the policy of the day to make the militia odious; him that the object of the motion is to revive a but I hope such policy will not be adopted by subject which has already been decided in the this House. He was not, however, opposed to committee; he had not, however, altered his all exemptions; he would exempt the people opinion, he still thought it would be impolitic, called Quakers, and all persons religiously if not dangerous, to delegate a power which scrupulous of bearing arms, stage-crivers, and they can exercise themselves. instructors of youth; but their pupils, the stu- He adverted to the observations of Mr.Giles, dents in colleges and seminaries of learning, that Congress cannot extend their privileges; should not be exempt; youth is the proper time and observed that the clause in the Constitution to acquire military knowledge. He hoped that refers to the privileges of being exempt from the House would not make two distinct tribes arrest, that they might not be precluded from or classes of people. There ought to be no attending their duty in Congress; with respect such distinctions in a free country.
to its being an extension of their privileges to Mr. JACKSON said, he was sorry that his ho provide for their exemption, there cannot be norable friend was so determined to have two any force in this, as it is conceded that Contribes of people; but he set out with that reso-gress may designate the age of the militia; now lution, and now concludes with the same idea. if their ages are restricted from eighteen to He then adverted to tlie exemption of Qua- forty-five, it effectually exempts many of the kers, provided for in the bill. He said, that members of Congress; but this exemption from the operation of this privilege would be to make arrest is not the only privilege that members of the whole community turn Quakers; and in Congress possess; and he had no doubt of their this way it would establish the religion of that right in the present case to exempt themselves; denomination more effectually than any positive the expediency of the measure is sanctioned by law could any persuasion whatever. He en the practice of every State in the Union.
H. OF R.)
[Dec. 22, 1790.
Mr. Boudinot asked what is the object of turn Quakers. He did not believe that the the bill? It is to provide an uniform militia, citizens of the United States would hypocriticompetent to the defence of the country; it is cally renounce their principles, their conscience, not to take money out of the pockets of the and their God, for the sake of enjoying the expeople. He then adverted to the idea that was emption. maintained by several gentlemen, that the mi- Mr. SHERMAN seconded this motion. He litia ought to consist of every person in the said that persons conscientiously scrupulous of United States, and said that this, so far from bearing arms could not be compelled to do it; conducing to the formation of a national de- for such persons will rather suffer death than fence, would prove the reverse; for it would commit moral evil; they may be punished, it is necessarily include persons religiously scrupu- true, by fines and penalties, but whether this lous of bearing arms, men in years not able to would be eligible or not remains to be determinbear them, and a great variety of characters ed. We, however, have the sense of these peonot suitable to bear them.
ple on the subject. He suggested whether With respect to exemptions, he contended, some expedient cannot be devised to operate that the right of Congress to make them is al- as an indemnity, by excusing part of the militia ready conceded; for it is already agreed that from a poll tax, so as to equalize the exempthe militia shall consist of persons of particular tion, if made gratuitous. ages, consequently all under eighteen and above Mr. Livermore said he disliked the whole forty-five are expressly exempted; the reverse amendment. He also disliked the bill on seveof this principle will give the states the abso- ral accounts, more particularly as it interfered lute control of the General Government. He too much with the regulations of the several then observed, that the amendment ought not States. The present proposition, he thought, to be adopted; because it would be throwing a would come in more properly in the second burthen on others which Congress ought to bear section. themselves; because it will destroy every idea Mr. Jackson said, he was glad that the moof uniformity; because it invests a power in tion of the gentleman from Virginia had been the States to impose fines and penalties which brought forward; it might serve to ascertain may operate oppressively on many descriptions the sentiment of the House on this important of persons; because it invests the States with a subject. He observed that, in his opinion, the power to make partial exemptions, create invi- gentleman had not argued with his usual ingedious distinctions, and excite unwarrantable nuity and knowledge of the human heart, in competitions among different classes and pro- respect to the exemptions proposed in favor of fessions. He then adverted to the Quakers, the Quakers. It is too evident that mankind and asked, what would become of our inde- stand in greater dread of present evil than of pendence, if one thousand troops were to at- future punishment. The influence of conscience tack us, and we had an army of ten thousand is a weak defence against the powerful temptaQuakers to oppose them; what dependence can tions of pecuniary advantages; and as he had be had on men who are forced into the field? been informed since he came to this city that He had trusted that the rights of men were so one Quaker will convert ten men to Quakerism well defined at this enlightened period, that before ten of a different persuasion will conthe principles which had been advanced would vert one Quaker. With the assistance of this not have been applied on this occasion. He law the converts will be ten times as numerous. entered into a defence of the exemptions gene- He conceived that the natural operation of it rally provided for, and justified them on prin- would be to destroy the whole militia bill. He ciples of justice and policy. He was sorry that insisted on their being liable to a penalty in the distinctions mentioned by the gentleman lieu of personal service, and enlarged on the from South Carolina had been brought forward. reasonableness of paying their proportion to He had no idea of different tribes or classes. the general defence. He replied to Mr. BouThe members of this House at the end of every DINOT's query respecting ten thousand Quakers; two years revert to the mass of the people, and they would all run away, said he, and one then become liable to bear their proportion of thousand men in this case would subjugate the militia duty as well as their fellow-citizens. country
Mr. Madison moved to insert among the exemptions, persons conscientiously scrupulous the exemption of the Quakers, and gave his of bearing arms. It is the glory of our country, reasons; protection and personal services resaid he, that a more sacred regard to the rights sult from society; they are due from every of mankind is preserved than has heretofore individual, and it is a violation of moral duty been known. The Quakers merit some atten- to withhold this personal service. He was tion on this delicate point, liberty of conscience. in favor of exempting every man from doing When they had it in their power to establish that which his general conduct evinced was their reliigion by law they did not. He was contrary to his conscience; but it cannot be disposed to make the exemption gratuitous, but said that it is against the conscience of a Quasupposed it impracticable. He replied to Mr. ker to hold and possess property; therefore Jackson's observations, that exempting such every man who receives the protection of the persons would induce the people generally to laws ought to contribute his proportion to the
- COMEN'Yules observed, that he was opposed to