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Title: Abridgment of the Debates of Congress, from 1789 to 1856, Vol. II (of 16)
Author: Benton, Thomas Hart, 1782-1858
Language: English
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ABRIDGMENT OF THE DEBATES OF CONGRESS,

FROM 1789 TO 1856.

FROM GALES AND SEATON'S ANNALS OF CONGRESS; FROM THEIR REGISTER OF
DEBATES; AND FROM THE OFFICIAL REPORTED DEBATES, BY JOHN C. RIVES.

BY

THE AUTHOR OF THE THIRTY YEARS' VIEW.

VOL II.

NEW YORK:
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY,
448 AND 445 BROADWAY.
LONDON: 16 LITTLE BRITAIN.
1861.

ENTERED according to Act of Congress, in the year 1856, by
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court
for the Southern District of New York.



FOURTH CONGRESS.--SECOND SESSION.

BEGUN AT THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, DECEMBER 5, 1796.

PROCEEDINGS IN THE SENATE.


MONDAY, December 5, 1796.

PRESENT:

JOHN ADAMS, Vice President of the United States, and President of the
Senate.

JOHN LANGDON and SAMUEL LIVERMORE, from New Hampshire.

BENJAMIN GOODHUE, from Massachusetts.

WILLIAM BRADFORD, from Rhode Island.

JAMES HILLHOUSE and URIAH TRACY, from Connecticut.

ELIJAH PAINE, and ISAAC TICHENOR, from Vermont.

JOHN RUTHERFORD and RICHARD STOCKTON, from New Jersey.

WILLIAM BINGHAM, from Pennsylvania.

HENRY LATIMER, from Delaware.

HUMPHREY MARSHALL, from Kentucky.

WILLIAM COCKE, from Tennessee.

JACOB READ, from South Carolina.

JAMES GUNN, from Georgia.

The number of Senators present not being sufficient to constitute a
quorum, they adjourned to 11 o'clock to-morrow morning.


TUESDAY, December 6.

ALEXANDER MARTIN, from the State of North Carolina, and WILLIAM BLOUNT,
from the State of Tennessee, severally attended.

The VICE PRESIDENT communicated a letter from PIERCE BUTLER, notifying
the resignation of his seat in the Senate, which was read.

The credentials of the after-named Senators were severally read:--Of
BENJAMIN GOODHUE, appointed a Senator by the State of Massachusetts, in
place of GEORGE CABOT, resigned; of ISAAC TICHENOR, appointed a Senator
by the State of Vermont, in place of MOSES ROBINSON, resigned; of JAMES
HILLHOUSE, appointed a Senator by the State of Connecticut in place of
OLIVER ELLSWORTH, whose seat is become vacant; of URIAH TRACY, appointed
a Senator by the State of Connecticut, in place of JONATHAN TRUMBULL,
resigned; of JOHN LAURANCE, appointed a Senator by the State of New
York, in place of RUFUS KING, whose seat is become vacant; of RICHARD
STOCKTON, appointed a Senator by the State of New Jersey, in place of
FREDERICK FRELINGHUYSEN, resigned; also, of WILLIAM BLOUNT and WILLIAM
COCKE, appointed Senators by the State of Tennessee;--and, the oath
required by law being respectively administered to them, they took their
seats in the Senate.

A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that a
quorum of the House of Representatives is assembled, and ready to
proceed to business.

_Ordered_, That the Secretary wait on the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES, and acquaint him that a quorum of the Senate is assembled.

_Ordered_, That the Secretary acquaint the House of Representatives that
a quorum of the Senate is assembled, and ready to proceed to business.

A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that
they have appointed a joint committee, on their part, together with such
committee as the Senate may appoint, to wait on the PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES, and notify him that a quorum of the two Houses is
assembled, and ready to receive any communications that he may be
pleased to make to them.

_Resolved_, That the Senate concur in the above resolution, and that
Messrs. READ and LIVERMORE be the joint committee on the part of the
Senate.

_Ordered_, That the Secretary acquaint the House of Representatives
therewith.

Mr. READ reported, from the joint committee appointed for that purpose,
that they had waited on the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and had
notified him that a quorum of the two Houses of Congress are assembled,
and that the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES acquainted the committee
that he would meet the two Houses in the Representatives' Chamber, at
twelve o'clock to-morrow.


WEDNESDAY, December 7.

JOHN HENRY, from the State of Maryland, attended.

A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that
they are now ready to meet the Senate in the Chamber of that House, to
receive such communications as the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES shall
be pleased to make to them.

Whereupon, the Senate repaired to the Chamber of the House of
Representatives, for the purpose above expressed.

The Senate returned to their own Chamber, and a copy of the Speech of
the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, this day addressed to both Houses of
Congress, was read. [For which, see the proceedings in the House of
Representatives of December 7, _post._]

_Ordered_, That Messrs. READ, TRACY, and BINGHAM, be a committee to
report the draft of an Address to the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, in
answer to his Speech this day to both Houses of Congress.

It was further ordered that the Speech of the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES, this day communicated to both Houses, be printed for the use of
the Senate.

_Resolved_, That each Senator be supplied, during the present session,
with copies of three such newspapers printed in any of the States as he
may choose, provided that the same are furnished at the rate of the
usual annual charge for such papers.


THURSDAY, December 8.

JOHN LAURANCE, from the State of New York, attended, and, the oath
required by law being administered to him, he took his seat in the
Senate.

_Ordered_, That Messrs. STOCKTON, READ, and BINGHAM, be a committee to
inquire whether any, and what, regulations are proper to be made, on the
subject of the resignation of a Senator of the United States.


FRIDAY, December 9.

TIMOTHY BLOODWORTH, from the State of North Carolina, attended.

A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that
they have resolved that two Chaplains be appointed to Congress for the
present session--one by each House--who shall interchange weekly; in
which they desire the concurrence of the Senate.

Whereupon, the Senate

_Resolved_, That they do concur therein, and that the Right Reverend
Bishop WHITE be Chaplain on the part of the Senate.

Mr. READ, from the committee appointed for the purpose, reported the
draft of an Address to the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, in answer to
his Speech to both Houses of Congress, at the opening of the session;
which was read.

On motion that it be printed for the use of the Senate, it passed in the
negative.

On motion, it was agreed to consider the report in paragraphs; and,
after debate, a motion was made for recommitment, which passed in the
negative; and, having agreed to amend the report, the further
consideration thereof was postponed.


SATURDAY, December 10.

_Address to the President._

The Senate resumed the consideration of the report of the committee in
answer to the Address of the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES to both
Houses of Congress; and, after further amendments, it was unanimously
adopted, as follows:

      We thank you, sir, for your faithful and detailed exposure
      of the existing situation of our country; and we sincerely
      join in sentiments of gratitude to an overruling Providence
      for the distinguished share of public prosperity and
      private happiness which the people of the United States so
      peculiarly enjoy.

      We are fully sensible of the advantages that have resulted
      from the adoption of measures (which you have successfully
      carried into effect) to preserve peace, cultivate
      friendship, and promote civilization, amongst the Indian
      tribes on the Western frontiers; feelings of humanity, and
      the most solid political interests, equally encourage the
      continuance of this system.

      We observe, with pleasure, that the delivery of the
      military posts, lately occupied by the British forces,
      within the territory of the United States, was made with
      cordiality and promptitude, as soon as circumstances would
      admit; and that the other provisions of our treaties with
      Great Britain and Spain, that were objects of eventual
      arrangement, are about being carried into effect, with
      entire harmony and good faith.

      The unfortunate but unavoidable difficulties that opposed a
      timely compliance with the terms of the Algerine Treaty,
      are much to be lamented; as they may occasion a temporary
      suspension of the advantages to be derived from a solid
      peace with that power, and a perfect security from its
      predatory warfare; at the same time, the lively impressions
      that affected the public mind on the redemption of our
      captive fellow-citizens, afford the most laudable incentive
      to our exertions to remove the remaining obstacles.

      We perfectly coincide with you in opinion, that the
      importance of our commerce demands a naval force for its
      protection against foreign insult and depredation, and our
      solicitude to attain that object will be always
      proportionate to its magnitude.

      The necessity of accelerating the establishment of certain
      useful manufactures, by the intervention of the Legislative
      aid and protection, and the encouragement due to
      agriculture by the creation of Boards, (composed of
      intelligent individuals,) to patronize this primary pursuit
      of society, are subjects which will readily engage our most
      serious attention.

      A National University may be converted to the most useful
      purposes; the science of legislation being so essentially
      dependent on the endowments of the mind, the public
      interests must receive effectual aid from the general
      diffusion of knowledge; and the United States will assume a
      more dignified station among the nations of the earth, by
      the successful cultivation of the higher branches of
      literature.

      A Military Academy may be likewise rendered equally
      important. To aid and direct the physical force of the
      nation, by cherishing a military spirit, enforcing a proper
      sense of discipline, and inculcating a scientific system
      of tactics, is consonant to the soundest maxims of public
      policy. Connected with, and supported by such an
      establishment, a well regulated militia, constituting the
      natural defence of the country, would prove the most
      effectual, as well as economical, preservative of peace.

      We cannot but consider, with serious apprehensions, the
      inadequate compensations of the public officers, especially
      of those in the more important stations. It is not only a
      violation of the spirit of a public contract, but is an
      evil so extensive in its operation, and so destructive in
      its consequences, that we trust it will receive the most
      pointed Legislative attention.

      We sincerely lament that, whilst the conduct of the United
      Sates has been uniformly impressed with the character of
      equity, moderation, and love of peace, in the maintenance
      of all their foreign relationships, our trade should be so
      harassed by the cruisers and agents of the Republic of
      France, throughout the extensive departments of the West
      Indies.

      Whilst we are confident that no cause of complaint exists
      that could authorize an interruption of our tranquillity or
      disengage that Republic from the bonds of amity, cemented
      by the faith of treaties, we cannot but express our deepest
      regrets that official communications have been made to you,
      indicating a more serious disturbance of our commerce.
      Although we cherish the expectation that a sense of
      justice, and a consideration of our mutual interests, will
      moderate their councils, we are not unmindful of the
      situation in which events may place us, nor unprepared to
      adopt that system of conduct, which, compatible with the
      dignity of a respectable nation, necessity may compel us to
      pursue.

      We cordially acquiesce in the reflection, that the United
      States, under the operation of the Federal Government, have
      experienced a most rapid aggrandizement and prosperity, as
      well political as commercial.

      Whilst contemplating the causes that produce this
      auspicious result, we must acknowledge the excellence of
      the constitutional system, and the wisdom of the
      Legislative provisions; but we should be deficient in
      gratitude and justice did we not attribute a great portion
      of these advantages to the virtue, firmness, and talents of
      your Administration--which have been conspicuously
      displayed in the most trying times, and on the most
      critical occasions. It is, therefore, with the sincerest
      regret that we now receive an official notification of your
      intentions to retire from the public employment of your
      country.

      When we review the various scenes of your public life, so
      long and so successfully devoted to the most arduous
      services, civil and military, as well during the struggles
      of the American Revolution, as the convulsive periods of a
      recent date; we cannot look forward to your retirement
      without our warmest affections and most anxious regards
      accompanying you, and without mingling with our
      fellow-citizens at large in the sincerest wishes for your
      personal happiness that sensibility and attachment can
      express.

      The most effectual consolation that can offer for the loss
      we are about to sustain, arises from the animating
      reflection, that the influence of your example will extend
      to your successors, and the United States thus continue to
      enjoy an able, upright, and energetic Administration.

                          JOHN ADAMS,
                          _Vice President of the United States,
                          and President of the Senate._

_Ordered_, That the committee who prepared the Address, wait on the
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and desire him to acquaint the Senate at
what time and place it will be most convenient for him that it should be
presented.

Mr. READ reported from the committee, that they had waited on the
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and that he would receive the Address of
the Senate on Monday next, at twelve o'clock, at his own house.
Whereupon,

_Resolved_, That the Senate will, on Monday next, at twelve o'clock,
wait on the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES accordingly.


MONDAY, December 12.

THEODORE FOSTER, from the State of Rhode Island; JOHN BROWN, from the
State of Kentucky; and HENRY TAZEWELL, from the State of Virginia,
severally attended.

_Address to the President._

Agreeably to the resolution of the 10th instant, the Senate waited on
the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and the VICE PRESIDENT, in their
name, presented the Address then agreed to.

To which the PRESIDENT made the following reply:

      GENTLEMEN: It affords me great satisfaction to find in your
      Address a concurrence in sentiment with me on the various
      topics which I presented for your information and
      deliberation; and that the latter will receive from you an
      attention proportioned to their respective importance.

      For the notice you take of my public services, civil and
      military, and your kind wishes for my personal happiness, I
      beg you to accept my cordial thanks. Those services, and
      greater, had I possessed ability to render them, were due
      to the unanimous calls of my country, and its approbation
      is my abundant reward.

      When contemplating the period of my retirement, I saw
      virtuous and enlightened men, among whom I relied on the
      discernment and patriotism of my fellow-citizens to make
      the proper choice of a successor; men who would require no
      influential example to ensure to the United States "an
      able, upright, and energetic Administration." To such men I
      shall cheerfully yield the palm of genius and talents to
      serve our common country; but, at the same time, I hope I
      may be indulged in expressing the consoling reflection,
      (which consciousness suggests,) and to bear it with me to
      my grave, that none can serve it with purer intentions than
      I have done, or with a more disinterested zeal.

                          G. WASHINGTON.

The Senate returned to their own Chamber, and then adjourned.


WEDNESDAY, December 21.

THEODORE SEDGWICK, appointed a Senator by the State of Massachusetts, in
place of CALEB STRONG, resigned, attended, produced his credentials, and
the oath required by law being administered to him, he took his seat in
the Senate.


TUESDAY, December 27.

JOHN EAGER HOWARD, appointed a Senator by the State of Maryland, in
place of RICHARD POTTS, resigned, produced his credentials, and the oath
required by law being administered, he took his seat in the Senate.

JOSIAH TATTNALL, from the State of Georgia, attended.


WEDNESDAY, December 28.

JAMES ROSS, from the State of Pennsylvania, attended.


WEDNESDAY, January 11, 1797.

JOHN VINING, from the State of Delaware, attended.


THURSDAY, January 12.

AARON BURR, from the State of New York, and STEVENS THOMSON MASON, from
the State of Virginia, attended.


FRIDAY, January 27.

JOHN HUNTER, appointed a Senator by the State of South Carolina, in
place of PIERCE BUTLER, resigned, attended, produced his credentials,
and the oath required by law, being administered to him, he took his
seat in the Senate.


THURSDAY, February 2.

MR. SEDGWICK reported, from the joint committee appointed on the part of
the Senate, on the subject of the election of PRESIDENT and VICE
PRESIDENT, that, in their opinion, the following resolution ought to be
adopted, viz:

      "That the two Houses shall assemble in the Chamber of the
      House of Representatives on Wednesday next, at twelve
      o'clock; that one person be appointed a teller on the part
      of the Senate, to make a list of the votes as they shall be
      declared: That the result shall be delivered to the
      President of the Senate, who shall announce the state of
      the vote and the persons elected, to the two Houses
      assembled as aforesaid; which shall be deemed a declaration
      of the persons elected President and Vice President, and,
      together with a list of votes, be entered on the journals
      of the two Houses."


WEDNESDAY, February 8.

A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that
they are ready to meet the Senate in the Chamber of that House,
agreeably to the report of the joint committee, to attend the opening
and examining the votes of the Electors for PRESIDENT and VICE PRESIDENT
OF THE UNITED STATES, as the constitution provides.

The two Houses of Congress accordingly assembled in the Representatives'
Chamber, and the certificates of the Electors of sixteen States were, by
the VICE PRESIDENT, opened and delivered to the tellers, appointed for
the purpose, who, having examined and ascertained the number of votes,
presented a list thereof to the VICE PRESIDENT, which was read as
follows:

      For John Adams, 71 votes; for Thomas Jefferson, 68; for
      Thomas Pinckney, 59; for Aaron Burr, 30; for Samuel Adams,
      15; for Oliver Ellsworth, 11; for George Clinton, 7; for
      John Jay, 5; for James Iredell 2; for George Washington, 2;
      for John Henry, 2; for Samuel Johnson, 2; for Charles
      Cotesworth Pinckney, 1;

Whereupon the VICE PRESIDENT addressed the two Houses of Congress as
follows:

      In obedience to the Constitution and law of the United
      States, and to the commands of both Houses of Congress,
      expressed in their resolution passed in the present
      session, I now declare that

      JOHN ADAMS is elected President of the United States, for
      four years, to commence with the fourth day of March next;
      and that

      THOMAS JEFFERSON is elected Vice President of the United
      States, for four years, to commence with the fourth day of
      March next. And may the Sovereign of the Universe, the
      ordainer of civil government on earth, for the preservation
      of liberty, justice, and peace among men, enable both to
      discharge the duties of these offices conformably to the
      Constitution of the United States, with conscientious
      diligence, punctuality, and perseverance.

The VICE PRESIDENT then delivered the votes of the Electors to the
Secretary of the Senate, the two Houses of Congress separated, and the
Senate returned to their own Chamber, and soon after adjourned.


THURSDAY, February 9.

The VICE PRESIDENT laid before the Senate the following communication:

      _Gentlemen of the Senate_:

      In consequence of the declaration made yesterday in the
      Chamber of the House of Representatives of the election of
      a President and Vice President of the United States, the
      record of which has just now been read from your journal by
      your Secretary, I have judged it proper to give notice
      that, on the 4th of March next at 12 o'clock I propose, to
      attend again in the Chamber of the House of
      Representatives, in order to take the oath prescribed by
      the Constitution of the United States to be taken by the
      President, to be administered by the Chief Justice or such
      other Judge of the Supreme Court of the United States as
      can most conveniently attend; and, in case none of those
      Judges can attend, by the Judge of the District of
      Pennsylvania, before such Senators and Representatives of
      the United States as may find it convenient to honor the
      transaction with their presence.

_Ordered_, That the Secretary carry an attested copy of this
communication to the House of Representatives.

_Ordered_, That Messrs. SEDGWICK, TAZEWELL, and READ, be a joint
committee, with such committee as may be appointed on the part of the
House of Representatives, to consider whether any, and if any, what
measures ought to be adopted for the further accommodation of the
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, for the term commencing on the 4th day
of March next.

_Ordered_, That the Secretary desire the concurrence of the House of
Representatives in the appointment of a joint committee on their part.

A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that
they have agreed to the report of the joint committee appointed to
ascertain and report a mode of examining the votes for PRESIDENT and
VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and of notifying the persons
elected of their election.

Mr. SEDGWICK, from the joint committee to whom it was referred to join
such committee as might be appointed by the House of Representatives to
ascertain and report a mode of examining the votes for PRESIDENT and
VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and of notifying the persons
elected of their election, reported that, having further concurred with
the committee appointed by the House of Representatives, that, in their
opinion, the following resolution ought to be adopted by the Senate:

      "_Resolved_, That the Secretary of the Senate be directed
      to give, by letter, to the Vice President elect, a
      notification of his election."

On motion, it was agreed to insert the PRESIDENT of the Senate instead
of the Secretary; and,

On motion, it was agreed to reconsider the resolution, and to recommit
the report from the joint committee.

Mr. SEDGWICK reported, from the joint committee last mentioned, that the
committee on the part of the House of Representatives considered
themselves discharged from their commission.

_Resolved_, That the Senate disagree to the report of the joint
committee on the mode of notifying the VICE PRESIDENT elect of his
election; and that a committee be appointed on the part of the Senate,
to confer with such committee as may be appointed on the part of the
House of Representatives, on the report of the joint committee above
mentioned; and that Messrs. SEDGWICK, LAURANCE and READ, be the managers
at the conference on the part of the Senate.

_Ordered_, That the Secretary acquaint the House of Representatives
therewith.

On motion, that it be

      "_Resolved_, That the Secretary of the Senate be directed,
      and he is hereby directed, to lay before the President of
      the United States a copy of the journal of yesterday,
      relative to the opening and counting of votes for President
      and Vice President of the United States, and the
      declaration of the President of the Senate thereon; and,
      also, to present to the President of the United States a
      copy of the notification given by the President elect of
      the time, place, and manner, of qualifying to execute the
      duties of his office."

_Ordered_, That the motion lie until to-morrow for consideration.


FRIDAY, February 10.

The Senate resumed the consideration of the motion made yesterday, that
the Secretary of the Senate wait on the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,
and notify him of the election of PRESIDENT and VICE PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES, to commence with the 4th day of March next.

On motion, to insert "a committee" in place of "the Secretary," it
passed in the negative. And the motion being amended, was adopted as
follows:

_Ordered_, That the Secretary of the Senate lay before the PRESIDENT OF
THE UNITED STATES a copy of the journal of the 8th instant, relative to
the opening and counting the votes for PRESIDENT and VICE PRESIDENT OF
THE UNITED STATES, and the declaration of the PRESIDENT of the Senate
consequent thereon; and, also a copy of the notification given by the
PRESIDENT elect of the time, place, and manner of qualifying to execute
the duties of his office.

A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that
they agree to the report of the joint committee appointed by the two
Houses to confer on a proper mode of notifying the VICE PRESIDENT elect
of his election.

Mr. SEDGWICK, from the committee of conference above mentioned, reported
that the following resolution should be adopted by the House of
Representatives:

      "_Resolved_, That the notification of the election of the
      Vice President elect be made by such person and in such
      manner as the Senate may direct."

On motion, that it be

      "_Resolved_, That the President of the United States be
      requested to communicate (in such manner as he shall judge
      most proper) to the person elected Vice President of the
      United States, for the term of four years, to commence 4th
      day of March next, information of his said election:"

It passed in the negative.

_Ordered_, That the resolution this day agreed to by the House of
Representatives, relative to the notification of the election of the
VICE PRESIDENT elect, be referred to Messrs. MASON, HILLHOUSE, and
SEDGWICK, to consider and report thereon to the Senate.

Mr. MASON reported, from the committee last appointed; and, the report
being read, was amended and adopted as follows:

_Resolved_, That the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES be requested to
cause to be transmitted to THOMAS JEFFERSON, Esq., of Virginia, VICE
PRESIDENT elect of the United States, notification of his election to
that office; and that the PRESIDENT of the Senate do make out and sign a
certificate in the words following:

      Be it known, that the Senate and House of Representatives
      of the United States of America, being convened in the city
      of Philadelphia, on the second Wednesday in February, in
      the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and
      ninety-seven, the underwritten Vice President of the United
      States and President of the Senate did, in the presence of
      the said Senate and House of Representatives, open all the
      certificates and count all the votes of the Electors for a
      President and for a Vice President; by which it appears
      that THOMAS JEFFERSON, Esquire, was duly elected, agreeably
      to the constitution, Vice President of the United States of
      America.

      "In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal,
      this 10th day of February, 1797."

_Ordered_, That the Secretary lay this resolution before the PRESIDENT
OF THE UNITED STATES.


MONDAY, February 13.

On request, the VICE PRESIDENT was excused from further attendance in
the Senate after Wednesday next.


WEDNESDAY, February 15.

      _Withdrawal of the Vice-President, (now President elect of
      the United States,) and his Valedictory to the Senate._

After the consideration of the Executive business, a motion was made
that the Senate now adjourn; when the VICE-PRESIDENT addressed them as
follows:

      _Gentlemen of the Senate_:

      If, in the general apprehension of an intention to retire
      in that most eminent citizen, to whom all eyes had been
      directed, and all hearts attracted, as the centre of our
      Union, for so long a period, the public opinion had
      exhibited any clear indication of another, in whom our
      fellow-citizens could have generally united, as soon as I
      read that excellent Address, which announced the necessity
      of deliberation in the choice of a President, I should have
      imitated the example of a character with which I have
      co-operated, though in less conspicuous and important
      stations, and maintained an uninterrupted friendship for
      two and twenty years. But, as a number of characters
      appeared to stand in the general estimation so nearly on a
      level, as to render it difficult to conjecture on which the
      majority would fall; considering the relation in which I
      stood to the people of America, I thought it most
      respectful to them, and most conducive to the tranquillity
      of the public mind, to resign myself, with others, a silent
      spectator of the general deliberation, and a passive
      subject of public discussions.

      Deeply penetrated with gratitude to my countrymen in
      general, for their long continued kindness to me, and for
      that steady and affecting confidence, with which those who
      have most intimately known me, from early life, have, on so
      many great occasions, intrusted to me the care of their
      dearest interests; since a majority of their Electors,
      though a very small one, have declared in my favor, and
      since, in a Republican Government, the majority, though
      ever so small, must of necessity decide, I have determined,
      at every hazard of a high but just responsibility, though
      with much anxiety and diffidence, once more to engage in
      their service. Their confidence, which has been the chief
      consolation of my life, is too precious and sacred a
      deposit ever to be considered lightly; as it has been
      founded only on the qualities of the heart, it never has
      been, it never can be, deceived, betrayed, or forfeited by
      me.

      It is with reluctance, and with all those emotions of
      gratitude and affection, which a long experience of your
      goodness ought to inspire, that I now retire from my seat
      in this House, and take my leave of the members of the
      Senate.

      I ought not to declare, for the last time, your
      adjournment, before I have presented to every Senator
      present, and to every citizen who has ever been a Senator
      of the United States, my thanks, for the candor and favor
      invariably received from them all. It is a recollection of
      which nothing can ever deprive me, and it will be a source
      of comfort to me, through the remainder of my life, that
      as, on the one hand, in a government constituted like ours,
      I have for eight years held the second situation under the
      Constitution of the United States, in perfect and
      uninterrupted harmony with the first, without envy in one,
      or jealousy in the other; so, on the other hand, I have
      never had the smallest misunderstanding with any member of
      the Senate. In all the abstruse questions, difficult
      conjectures, dangerous emergencies, and animated debates,
      upon the great interests of our country, which have so
      often and so deeply impressed all our minds, and interested
      the strongest feelings of the heart, I have experienced a
      uniform politeness and respect from every quarter of the
      House. When questions of no less importance than difficulty
      have produced a difference of sentiment, (and difference of
      opinion will always be found in free assemblies of men, and
      probably the greatest diversities upon the greatest
      questions,) when the Senators have been equally divided,
      and my opinion has been demanded according to the
      constitution, I have constantly found, in that moiety of
      the Senators from whose judgment I have been obliged to
      dissent, a disposition to allow me the same freedom of
      deliberation, and independence of judgment, which they
      asserted for themselves.

      Within these walls, for a course of years, I have been an
      admiring witness of a succession of information, eloquence,
      patriotism, and independence, which, as they would have
      done honor to any Senate in any age, afford a consolatory
      hope, (if the Legislatures of the States are equally
      careful in their future selections, which there is no
      reason to distrust,) that no council more permanent than
      this, as a branch of the Legislature, will be necessary, to
      defend the rights, liberties, and properties of the people,
      and to protect the Constitution of the United States, as
      well as the constitutions and rights of the individual
      States, against errors of judgment, irregularities of the
      passions, or other encroachments of human infirmity, or
      more reprehensible enterprise, in the Executive on one
      hand, or the more immediate representatives of the people
      on the other.

      These considerations will all conspire to animate me in my
      future course, with a confident reliance, that as far as my
      conduct shall be uniformly measured by the Constitution of
      the United States, and faithfully directed to the public
      good, I shall be supported by the Senate, as well as by the
      House of Representatives, and the people at large; and on
      no other conditions ought any support at all to be expected
      or desired.

      With cordial wishes for your honor, health, and happiness,
      and fervent prayers for a continuation of the virtues,
      liberties, prosperity, and peace, of our beloved country, I
      avail myself of your leave of absence for the remainder of
      the session.


THURSDAY, February 16.

The VICE-PRESIDENT being absent, the Senate proceeded to the choice of a
PRESIDENT _pro tempore_, as the constitution provides, and the
honorable WILLIAM BINGHAM was duly elected.

_Ordered_, That the Secretary wait on the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES, and notify him of the election of the Honorable WILLIAM BINGHAM,
to be PRESIDENT of the Senate _pro tempore_.

_Ordered_, That the Secretary notify the House of Representatives of
this election.

On motion,

_Ordered_, That Messrs. SEDGWICK, BURR, and TRACY, be a committee to
prepare and report the draft of an answer to the Address delivered
yesterday to the Senate, by the VICE PRESIDENT of the United States.


TUESDAY, February 21.

The bill to accommodate the PRESIDENT was read the third time; and,
being further amended,

On motion that it be _Resolved_, That this bill pass, it was decided in
the affirmative--yeas 28, nays 3, as follows:

      YEAS.--Messrs. Bingham, Bloodworth, Blount, Bradford,
      Brown, Foster, Goodhue, Gunn, Henry, Hillhouse, Howard,
      Langdon, Latimer, Laurance, Livermore, Marshall, Martin,
      Pain, Read, Ross, Rutherford, Sedgwick, Stockton, Tattnall,
      Tazewell, Tichenor, Tracy, and Vining.

      NAYS.--Messrs. Cocke, Hunter, and Mason.

So it was _Resolved_, That this bill pass; that it be engrossed; and
that the title thereof be, "An act to accommodate the PRESIDENT."

Mr. SEDGWICK reported from the committee appointed for the purpose, the
draft of an answer to the Address of the VICE PRESIDENT of the United
States, on his retiring from the Senate; which was read.

On motion, that it be printed for the use of the Senate, it was
disagreed to.

_Ordered_, That the report lie for consideration.


WEDNESDAY, February 22.

The Senate took into consideration the report of the committee, in
answer to the Address of the VICE PRESIDENT of the United States, on his
retiring from the Senate.

On motion to recommit the report, it passed in the negative: and the
report being amended, was adopted, as follows:

      SIR: The Senate of the United States would be unjust to
      their own feelings, and deficient in the performance of a
      duty their relation to the Government of their country
      imposes, should they fail to express their regard for your
      person, and their respect for your character, in answer to
      the Address you presented to them, on your leaving a
      station which you have so long and so honorably filled as
      their President.

      The motives you have been pleased to disclose which induced
      you not to withdraw from the public service, at a time when
      your experience, talents, and virtues, were peculiarly
      desirable, are as honorable for yourself, as, from our
      confidence in you, sir, we trust the result will be
      beneficial to our beloved country.

      When you retired from your dignified seat in this House,
      and took your leave of the members of the Senate, we felt
      all those emotions of gratitude and affection, which our
      knowledge and experience of your abilities and undeviating
      impartiality ought to inspire; and we should, with painful
      reluctance, endure the separation, but for the consoling
      reflection, that the same qualities which have rendered you
      useful, as the President of this branch of the Legislature,
      will enable you to be still more so, in the exalted station
      to which you have been called.

      From you, sir, in whom your country have for a long period
      placed a steady confidence, which has never been betrayed
      or forfeited, and to whom they have on so many occasions
      intrusted the care of their dearest interests, which have
      never been abused; from you, who, holding the second
      situation under the Constitution of the United States, have
      lived in uninterrupted harmony with him who has held the
      first; from you we receive, with much satisfaction, the
      declaration which you are pleased to make of the opinion
      you entertain of the character of the present Senators, and
      of that of those citizens who have been heretofore
      Senators. This declaration, were other motives wanting,
      would afford them an incentive to a virtuous perseverance
      in the line of conduct which has been honored with your
      approbation.

      In your future course, we entertain no doubt that your
      official conduct will be measured by the constitution, and
      directed to the public good; you have, therefore, a right
      to entertain a confident reliance, that you will be
      supported, as well by the people at large as by their
      constituted authorities.

      We cordially reciprocate the wishes which you express for
      our honor, health, and happiness; we join with yours our
      fervent prayers for the continuation of the virtues and
      liberties of our fellow-citizens, for the public prosperity
      and peace; and for you we implore the best reward of
      virtuous deeds--the grateful approbation of your
      constituents, and the smiles of Heaven.

                          WILLIAM BINGHAM,
                          _President of the Senate pro tempore_.

_Ordered_, That the committee who drafted the Address wait on the VICE
PRESIDENT, with the Answer of the Senate.


THURSDAY, February 23.

Mr. SEDGWICK reported, from the committee, that, agreeably to order,
they had waited on the VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, with the
answer to his Address, on retiring from the Senate--to which the VICE
PRESIDENT was pleased to make the following Reply:

      An Address so respectful and affectionate as this, from
      gentlemen of such experience and established character in
      public affairs, high stations in the Government of their
      country, and great consideration, in their several States,
      as Senators of the United States, will do me great honor,
      and afford me a firm support, wherever it shall be known,
      both at home and abroad. Their generous approbation of my
      conduct, in general, and liberal testimony to the
      undeviating impartiality of it, in my peculiar relation to
      their body, a character which, in every scene and
      employment of life, I should wish above all others to
      cultivate and merit, has a tendency to soften asperities,
      and conciliate animosities, wherever such may unhappily
      exist; an effect at all times to be desired, and in the
      present situation of our country, ardently to be promoted
      by all good citizens.

      I pray the Senate to accept my sincere thanks.

                          JOHN ADAMS.


WEDNESDAY, March 1.

_Executive Veto on the Army Bill._

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES having stated his objections to the
bill, entitled "An act to alter and amend an act, entitled 'an act to
ascertain and fix the Military Establishment of the United States,'" the
House of Representatives proceeded to consider the objections to the
said bill, and have resolved that it do not pass.



SPECIAL SESSION


SATURDAY, March 4.

_Installation of Thomas Jefferson as Vice President of the United States
and President of the Senate, and inauguration of John Adams as President
of the United States._

      _To the Vice President and Senators of the United States
      respectively_:

      SIR: It appearing to be proper that the Senate of the
      United States should be convened on Saturday, the fourth of
      March instant, you are desired to attend in the Chamber of
      the Senate, on that day at ten o'clock in the forenoon, to
      receive any communications which the President of the
      United States may then lay before you touching their
      interests.
                          G. WASHINGTON.

      March 1, 1797.

In conformity with the summons from the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,
above recited, the Senate accordingly assembled in their Chamber.

PRESENT:

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Vice President of the United States and President of
the Senate.

JOHN LANGDON and SAMUEL LIVERMORE, from New Hampshire.

THEODORE SEDGWICK and BENJAMIN GOODHUE, from Massachusetts.

THEODORE FOSTER, from Rhode Island.

JAMES HILLHOUSE and URIAH TRACY, from Connecticut.

ELIJAH PAYNE and ISAAC TICHENOR, from Vermont.

JOHN LAURANCE, from New York.

RICHARD STOCKTON, from New Jersey.

JAMES ROSS and WILLIAM BINGHAM, from Pennsylvania.

JOHN VINING and HENRY LATIMER, from Delaware.

JOHN HENRY and JOHN E. HOWARD, from Maryland.

HENRY TAZEWELL and STEVENS T. MASON, from Virginia.

JOHN BROWN and HUMPHREY MARSHALL, from Kentucky.

ALEXANDER MARTIN and TIMOTHY BLOODWORTH, from North Carolina.

WILLIAM BLOUNT, from Tennessee.

JACOB READ, from South Carolina.

JAMES GUNN and JOSIAH TATTNALL, from Georgia.

Mr. BINGHAM administered the oath of office to the VICE PRESIDENT, who
took the chair, and the credentials of the following members were read.

Of Mr. FOSTER, Mr. GOODHUE, Mr. HILLHOUSE, Mr. HOWARD, Mr. LATIMER, Mr.
MASON, Mr. ROSS, and Mr. TICHENOR.

And the oath of office being severally administered to them by the VICE
PRESIDENT, they took their seats in the Senate.

The VICE PRESIDENT then addressed the Senate as follows:

      _Gentlemen of the Senate_:

      Entering on the duties of the office to which I am called,
      I feel it incumbent on me to apologize to this honorable
      House for the insufficient manner in which I fear they may
      be discharged. At an earlier period of my life, and through
      some considerable portion of it, I have been a member of
      Legislative bodies, and not altogether inattentive to the
      forms of their proceedings; but much time has elapsed since
      that; other duties have occupied my mind, and, in a great
      degree, it has lost its familiarity with this subject. I
      fear that the House will have but too frequent occasion to
      perceive the truth of this acknowledgment. If a diligent
      attention, however, will enable me to fulfil the functions
      now assigned me, I may promise that diligence and attention
      shall be sedulously employed. For one portion of my duty, I
      shall engage with more confidence, because it will depend
      on my will and not my capacity. The rules which are to
      govern the proceedings of this House, so far as they shall
      depend on me for their application, shall be applied with
      the most rigorous and inflexible impartiality, regarding
      neither persons, their views, nor principles, and seeing
      only the abstract proposition subject to my decision. If,
      in forming that decision, I concur with some and differ
      from others, as must of necessity happen, I shall rely on
      the liberality and candor of those from whom I differ, to
      believe, that I do it on pure motives.

      I might here proceed, and with the greatest truth, to
      declare my zealous attachment to the Constitution of the
      United States, that I consider the union of these States as
      the first of blessings and as the first of duties the
      preservation of that constitution which secures it; but I
      suppose these declarations not pertinent to the occasion of
      entering into an office whose primary business is merely to
      preside over the forms of this House, and no one more
      sincerely prays that no accident may call me to the higher
      and more important functions which the constitution
      eventually devolves on this office. These have been justly
      confided to the eminent character which has preceded me
      here, whose talents and integrity have been known and
      revered by me through a long course of years, have been the
      foundation of a cordial and uninterrupted friendship
      between us, and I devoutly pray he may be long preserved
      for the government, the happiness, and prosperity, of our
      common country.[1]

On motion, it was agreed to repair to the Chamber of the House of
Representatives to attend the administration of the oath of office to
JOHN ADAMS, President of the United States; which the Senate accordingly
did; and, being seated, the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (attended by
the Heads of Departments, the Marshal of the District and his officers)
came into the Chamber of the House of Representatives and took his seat
in the chair usually occupied by the SPEAKER. The VICE PRESIDENT and
Secretary of the Senate were seated in advance, inclining to the right
of the PRESIDENT, the late SPEAKER of the House of Representatives and
Clerk on the left, and the Justices of the Supreme Court were seated
round a table in front of the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. The late
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, the great and good WASHINGTON,[2] took a
seat, as a private citizen, a little in front of the seats assigned for
the Senate, which were on the south side of the House, the foreign
Ministers and members of the House of Representatives took their usual
seats--a great concourse of both sexes being present. After a short
pause, the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES arose, and communicated the
following Address:

      "When it was first perceived, in early times, that no
      middle course for America remained, between unlimited
      submission to a foreign Legislature, and a total
      independence of its claims, men of reflection were less
      apprehensive of danger, from the formidable power of fleets
      and armies they must determine to resist, than from those
      contests and dissensions, which would certainly arise
      concerning the forms of government to be instituted over
      the whole and over the parts of this extensive country.
      Relying, however, on the purity of their intentions, the
      justice of their cause, and the integrity and intelligence
      of the people, under an overruling Providence, which had so
      signally protected this country from the first, the
      Representatives of this nation, then consisting of little
      more than half its present number, not only broke to pieces
      the chains which were forging, and the rod of iron that was
      lifted up, but frankly cut asunder the ties which had bound
      them, and launched into an ocean of uncertainty.

      "The zeal and ardor of the people, during the Revolutionary
      war, supplying the place of government, commanded a degree
      of order, sufficient at least for the preservation of
      society. The Confederation, which was early felt to be
      necessary, was prepared from the models of the Batavian and
      Helvetic Confederacies, the only examples which remain,
      with any detail and precision, in history, and certainly
      the only ones which the people at large had ever
      considered. But, reflecting on the striking difference, in
      many particulars, between this country and those where a
      courier may go from the seat of Government to the frontier
      in a single day, it was then certainly foreseen by some who
      assisted in Congress at the formation of it, that it could
      not be durable.

      "Negligence of its regulations, inattention to its
      recommendations, if not disobedience to its authority, not
      only in individuals but in States, soon appeared, with
      their melancholy consequences: universal languor;
      jealousies and rivalries of States; decline of navigation
      and commerce; discouragement of necessary manufactures;
      universal fall in the value of lands and their produce;
      contempt of public and private faith; loss of consideration
      and credit with foreign nations; and, at length, in
      discontents, animosities, combinations, partial
      conventions, and insurrection, threatening some great
      national calamity.

      "In this dangerous crisis, the people of America were not
      abandoned by their usual good sense, presence of mind,
      resolution, or integrity. Measures were pursued to concert
      a plan, to form a more perfect union, establish justice,
      ensure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common
      defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the
      blessings of liberty. The public disquisitions,
      discussions, and deliberations, issued in the present happy
      constitution of Government.

      "Employed in the service of my country abroad, during the
      whole course of these transactions, I first saw the
      Constitution of the United States in a foreign country.
      Irritated by no literary altercation, animated by no public
      debate, heated by no party animosity, I read it with great
      satisfaction, as a result of good heads, prompted by good
      hearts; as an experiment, better adapted to the genius,
      character, situation, and relations, of this nation and
      country, than any which had ever been proposed or
      suggested. In its general principles and great outlines, it
      was conformable to such a system of government as I had
      ever most esteemed, and in some States, my own native State
      in particular, had contributed to establish. Claiming a
      right of suffrage, in common with my fellow-citizens, in
      the adoption or rejection of a constitution which was to
      rule me and my posterity, as well as them and theirs, I did
      not hesitate to express my approbation of it, on all
      occasions, in public and in private. It was not then, nor
      has been since, any objection to it, in my mind, that the
      Executive and Senate were not more permanent. Nor have I
      ever entertained a thought of promoting any alteration in
      it, but such as the people themselves, in the course of
      their experience, should see and feel to be necessary or
      expedient, and by their Representatives in Congress and the
      State Legislatures, according to the constitution itself,
      adopt and ordain.

      "Returning to the bosom of my country, after a painful
      separation from it, for ten years, I had the honor to be
      elected to a station under the new order of things, and I
      have repeatedly laid myself under the most serious
      obligations to support the constitution. The operation of
      it has equalled the most sanguine expectations of its
      friends, and from an habitual attention to it, satisfaction
      in its administration and delight in its effects upon the
      peace, order, prosperity, and happiness of the nation, I
      have acquired an habitual attachment to it, and veneration
      for it.

      "What other form of government, indeed, can so well deserve
      our esteem and love?

      "There may be little solidity in an ancient idea that
      congregations of men into cities and nations are the most
      pleasing objects in the sight of superior intelligences:
      but this is very certain, that, to a benevolent human mind,
      there can be no spectacle presented by any nation more
      pleasing, more noble, majestic, or august, than an assembly
      like that which has so often been seen in this and the
      other chamber of Congress, of a Government, in which the
      Executive authority, as well as that of all the branches of
      the Legislature, are exercised by citizens selected, at
      regular periods, by their neighbors, to make and execute
      laws for the general good. Can any thing essential, any
      thing more than mere ornament and decoration, be added to
      this by robes and diamonds? Can authority be more amiable
      and respectable, when it descends from accidents, or
      institutions established in remote antiquity, than when it
      springs fresh from the hearts and judgments of an honest
      and enlightened people? For, it is the people only that are
      represented: it is their power and majesty that are
      reflected, and only for their good, in every legitimate
      Government, under whatever form it may appear. The
      existence of such a Government as ours, for any length of
      time, is a full proof of a general dissemination of
      knowledge and virtue throughout the whole body of the
      people. And what object or consideration more pleasing than
      this can be presented to the human mind? If national pride
      is ever justifiable or excusable, it is when it springs,
      not from power or riches, grandeur or glory, but from
      conviction of national innocence, information, and
      benevolence.

      "In the midst of these pleasing ideas, we should be
      unfaithful to ourselves, if we should ever lose sight of
      the danger to our liberties, if any thing partial or
      extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair,
      virtuous, and independent elections. If an election is to
      be determined by a majority of a single vote, and that can
      be procured by a party, through artifice or corruption, the
      Government may be the choice of a party, for its own ends,
      not of the nation for the national good. If that solitary
      suffrage can be obtained by foreign nations, by flattery or
      menaces, by fraud or violence by terror, intrigue, or
      venality, the Government may not be the choice of the
      American people, but of foreign nations. It may be foreign
      nations who govern us, and not we the people who govern
      ourselves. And candid men will acknowledge, that, in such
      cases, choice would have little advantage to boast of, over
      lot or chance.

      "Such is the amiable and interesting system of Government
      (and such are some of the abuses to which it may be
      exposed) which the people of America have exhibited to the
      admiration and anxiety of the wise and virtuous of all
      nations, for eight years, under the administration of a
      citizen, who, by a long course of great actions, regulated
      by prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude, conducting
      a people, inspired with the same virtues, and animated with
      the same ardent patriotism and love of liberty, to
      independence and peace, to increasing wealth and unexampled
      prosperity, has merited the gratitude of his
      fellow-citizens, commanded the highest praises of foreign
      nations, and secured immortal glory with posterity.

      "In that retirement which is his voluntary choice, may he
      long live to enjoy the delicious recollection of his
      services, the gratitude of mankind, the happy fruits of
      them to himself and the world, which are daily increasing,
      and that splendid prospect of the future fortunes of this
      country, which is opening from year to year. His name may
      be still a rampart, and the knowledge that he still lives a
      bulwark, against all open or secret enemies of his
      country's peace. His example has been recommended to the
      imitation of his successors, by both Houses of Congress,
      and by the voice of the Legislatures and the people
      throughout the nation.

      "On this subject it might become me better to be silent, or
      to speak with diffidence; but as something may be expected,
      the occasion, I hope, will be admitted as an apology, if I
      venture to say, that if a preference upon principle, of a
      free Republican Government, formed upon long and serious
      reflection, after a diligent and impartial inquiry after
      truth; if an attachment to the Constitution of the United
      States, and a conscientious determination to support it,
      until it shall be altered by the judgments and wishes of
      the people, expressed in the mode prescribed in it; if a
      respectful attention to the constitutions of the individual
      States, and a constant caution and delicacy towards the
      State Government; if an equal and impartial regard to the
      rights, interest, honor, and happiness, of all the States
      in the Union, without preference or regard to a Northern or
      Southern, an Eastern or Western position, their various
      political opinions on unessential points, or their personal
      attachments; if a love of virtuous men of all parties and
      denominations; if a love of science and letters, and a wish
      to patronize every rational effort to encourage schools,
      colleges, universities, academies, and every institution
      for propagating knowledge, virtue, and religion, among all
      classes of the people, not only for their benign influence
      on the happiness of life in all its stages and classes, and
      of society in all its forms, but as the only means of
      preserving our constitution from its natural enemies, the
      spirit of sophistry, the spirit of party, the spirit of
      intrigue, the profligacy of corruption, and the pestilence
      of foreign influence, which is the angel of destruction to
      elective governments; if a love of equal laws, of justice,
      and humanity, in the interior administration; if an
      inclination to improve agriculture, commerce, and
      manufactures, for necessity, convenience, and defence; if a
      spirit of equity and humanity towards the aboriginal
      nations of America, and a disposition to meliorate their
      condition, by inclining them to be more friendly to us, and
      our citizens to be more friendly to them; if an inflexible
      determination to maintain peace and inviolable faith with
      all nations, and that system of neutrality and impartiality
      among the belligerent powers of Europe, which has been
      adopted by this Government, and so solemnly sanctioned by
      both Houses of Congress, and applauded by the Legislatures
      of the States and the public opinion, until it shall be
      otherwise ordained by Congress; if a personal esteem for
      the French nation, formed in a residence of seven years,
      chiefly among them, and a sincere desire to preserve the
      friendship which has been so much for the honor and
      interest of both nations; if, while the conscious honor and
      integrity of the people of America, and the internal
      sentiment of their own power and energies must be
      preserved, an earnest endeavor to investigate every just
      cause, and remove every colorable pretence of complaint; if
      an intention to pursue, by amicable negotiation, a
      reparation for the injuries that have been committed on the
      commerce of our fellow-citizens by whatever nation, and, if
      success cannot be obtained, to lay the facts before the
      Legislature, that they may consider what further measures
      the honor and interest of the Government and its
      constituents demand; if a resolution to do justice, as far
      as may depend upon me, at all times and to all nations, and
      maintain peace, friendship, and benevolence, with all the
      world; if an unshaken confidence in the honor, spirit, and
      resources of the American people, on which I have so often
      hazarded my all, and never been deceived; if elevated ideas
      of the high destinies of this country, and of my own duties
      towards it, founded on a knowledge of the moral principles
      and intellectual improvements of the people, deeply
      engraven on my mind in early life, and not obscured, but
      exalted by experience and age; and with humble reverence, I
      feel it to be my duty to add, if a veneration for the
      religion of a people who profess and call themselves
      Christians, and a fixed resolution to consider a decent
      respect for Christianity among the best recommendations for
      the public service, can enable me, in any degree, to comply
      with your wishes, it shall be my strenuous endeavor, that
      this sagacious injunction of the two Houses shall not be
      without effect.

      "With this great example before me, with the sense and
      spirit, the faith and honor, the duty and interest, of the
      same American people, pledged to support the Constitution
      of the United States, I entertain no doubt of its
      continuance in all its energy, and my mind is prepared,
      without hesitation, to lay myself under the most solemn
      obligations to support it to the utmost of my power.

      "And may that Being who is supreme over all, the Patron of
      Order, the Fountain of Justice, and the Protector, in all
      ages of the world, of virtuous liberty, continue his
      blessing upon this nation and its Government, and give it
      all possible success and duration, consistent with the ends
      of His Providence."

The oath of office was then administered to him by the Chief Justice of
the Supreme Court of the United States, the Associate Justices
attending. After which, the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES retired, and
the Senate repaired to their own Chamber.

On motion,

_Ordered_, That Messrs. LANGDON and SEDGWICK be a committee to wait on
the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and notify him that the Senate is
assembled, and ready to adjourn unless he may have any communications to
make to them.

Mr. LANGDON reported, from the committee, that they had waited on the
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, who replied, that he had no
communication to make to the Senate, except his good wishes for their
health and prosperity, and a happy meeting with their families and
friends.

The Senate then adjourned without day.



FOURTH CONGRESS.--SECOND SESSION.

PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES

IN

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.


MONDAY, December 5, 1796.

This being the day appointed by the constitution for the annual meeting
of Congress, in the House of Representatives, the following named
members appeared and took their seats, viz:

_From New Hampshire._--ABIEL FOSTER, NICHOLAS GILMAN, JOHN S. SHERBURNE,
and JEREMIAH SMITH.

_From Massachusetts._--FISHER AMES, THEOPHILUS BRADBURY, HENRY DEARBORN,
DWIGHT FOSTER, NATHANIEL FREEMAN, Jr., SAMUEL LYMAN, WILLIAM LYMAN, JOHN
READ, GEORGE THATCHER, JOSEPH B. VARNUM, and PELEG WADSWORTH.

_From Rhode Island._--FRANCIS MALBONE.

_From Connecticut._--JOSHUA COIT, CHAUNCEY GOODRICH, ROGER GRISWOLD,
NATHANIEL SMITH, and ZEPHANIAH SWIFT.

_From New York._--THEODORUS BAILEY, WILLIAM COOPER, EZEKIEL GILBERT,
HENRY GLENN, JONATHAN N. HAVENS, JOHN E. VAN ALLEN, PHILIP VAN
CORTLANDT, and JOHN WILLIAMS.

_From New Jersey._--JONATHAN DAYTON, AARON KITCHELL, and ISAAC SMITH.

_From Pennsylvania._--ALBERT GALLATIN, SAMUEL MACLAY, FREDERICK AUGUSTUS
MUHLENBERG, JOHN RICHARDS, SAMUEL SITGREAVES, and JOHN SWANWICK.

_From Delaware._--JOHN PATTON.

_From Maryland._--GEORGE DENT, WILLIAM HINDMAN, and RICHARD SPRIGG, Jr.

_From Virginia._--JOHN CLOPTON, ISAAC COLES, GEORGE JACKSON, JAMES
MADISON, ANTHONY NEW, and ROBERT RUTHERFORD.

_From Kentucky._--CHRISTOPHER GREENUP.

_From North Carolina._--THOMAS BLOUNT and MATTHEW LOCKE.

_From South Carolina._--WILLIAM SMITH.

_From Georgia._--ABRAHAM BALDWIN.

The following new members appeared, produced their credentials, were
qualified, and took their seats, viz:

_From Tennessee._--ANDREW JACKSON.

_From Maryland._--WILLIAM CRAIK, in place of JEREMIAH CRABB, resigned.

_From Connecticut._--JAMES DAVENPORT, in place of JAMES HILLHOUSE,
appointed a Senator of the United States.

The SPEAKER laid before the House a letter from the Governor of
Pennsylvania, with the return of the election of GEORGE EGE, to serve as
a member of the House in place of DANIEL HEISTER, resigned.

A quorum, consisting of a majority of the whole number, being present,
it was ordered that the Clerk wait on the Senate, to inform them that
this House was ready to proceed to business; but it appeared that the
Senate had not been able to form a quorum by one member, and had
adjourned.

Mr. WILLIAM SMITH presented a petition from Thomas Lloyd, proposing to
take, in short-hand, and publish the Debates of Congress at $1,000 per
session salary. The expense of printing, &c. he estimated at $540, for
which he would furnish the House with five hundred copies of that work;
engaging to use every possible precaution, and pay prompt attention.

Mr. S. referred to the unfavorable reception of a proposal of this
nature at the last session, and supposed this would not be more
successful; however, he moved that it be referred to a committee.

The motion was agreed to, and Mr. W. SMITH, Mr. GALLATIN, and Mr. SWIFT,
were appointed to examine the petition, and report thereon to the House.


TUESDAY, December 6.

Several other members, to wit: from Vermont, ISRAEL SMITH; from New
Jersey, MARK THOMPSON; from Pennsylvania, RICHARD THOMAS; from Virginia,
CARTER B. HARRISON, JOHN HEATH, and ABRAHAM VENABLE; and from North
Carolina, JESSE FRANKLIN, WILLIAM BARRY GROVE, JAMES HOLLAND, and
NATHANIEL MACON, appeared, and took their seats in the House.

The SPEAKER observed, that, as there were several returns of new
elections of members to serve in this session, it was proper that,
pursuant to a rule of the House, a Committee of Elections be appointed.

A committee was accordingly appointed, of Mr. VENABLE, Mr. SWIFT, Mr.
DENT, Mr. DEARBORN, Mr. BLOUNT, Mr. MUHLENBERG, and Mr. A. FOSTER.

Mr. MACON moved that a Committee of Revisal and Unfinished Business of
last session be appointed, pursuant to the Standing Rules and Orders of
the House, observing that, as the session would be but short, it would
be necessary to be early in the appointment of committees.

Whereon Mr. GILMAN, Mr. R. SPRIGG, Jr., and Mr. MACON were appointed.

Notice was received that a quorum of the Senate was formed.

On motion, it was, therefore, resolved, that a committee of three
members be appointed to wait on the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, in
conjunction with a committee from the Senate, to inform him that a
quorum of both Houses was assembled, and ready to receive any
communications that he may please to make. Mr. AMES, Mr. MADISON, and
Mr. SITGREAVES, were accordingly appointed.

A message was received from the Senate informing the House that they had
formed a quorum: whereupon the Clerk went to the Senate with the
resolution of this House. The Secretary soon after returned, informing
the House that the Senate had concurred in the resolution, and formed a
committee for that purpose.

Mr. AMES, from the committee appointed for that purpose, reported that
the committee had waited on the PRESIDENT, who was pleased to signify to
them that he would make a communication to both Houses of Congress
to-morrow, at 12 o'clock, in the Representatives' Chamber.


WEDNESDAY, December 7.

Another member, to wit, SAMUEL SEWALL, from Massachusetts, in place of
BENJAMIN GOODHUE, appointed a Senator of the United States, appeared,
produced his credentials, was qualified, and took his seat.

A message was sent to the Senate, informing them that this House was
ready, agreeably to appointment, to receive communications from the
PRESIDENT; whereon the Senate attended, and took their seats. At 12
o'clock the PRESIDENT attended, and, after taking his seat, rose and
delivered the following Address:

      _Gentlemen of the Senate, and of the House of
      Representatives_:

      In recurring to the internal situation of our country,
      since I had last the pleasure to address you, I find ample
      reason for a renewed expression of that gratitude to the
      Ruler of the Universe, which a continued series of
      prosperity, has so often and so justly called forth.

      To an active external commerce, the protection of a Naval
      force is indispensable: this is manifest with regard to
      wars in which a State is itself a party. But besides this,
      it is in our own experience, that the most sincere
      neutrality is not a sufficient guard against the
      depredations of nations at war. To secure respect to a
      neutral flag, requires a Naval force, organized and ready
      to vindicate it from insult or aggression. This may even
      prevent the necessity of going to war, by discouraging
      belligerent powers from committing such violations of the
      rights of the neutral party as may, first or last, leave no
      other option. From the best information I have been able to
      obtain, it would seem as if our trade to the Mediterranean,
      without a protecting force, will always be insecure, and
      our citizens exposed to the calamities from which numbers
      of them have but just been relieved.

      These considerations invite the United States to look to
      the means, and to set about the gradual creation of a Navy.
      The increasing progress of their navigation promises them,
      at no distant period, the requisite supply of seamen; and
      their means in other respects favor the undertaking. It is
      an encouragement likewise that their particular situation
      will give weight and influence to a moderate Naval force in
      their hands. Will it not, then, be advisable to begin,
      without delay, to provide and lay up the materials for the
      building and equipping of ships of war, and to proceed in
      the work by degrees, in proportion as our resources shall
      render it practicable without inconvenience; so that a
      future war of Europe may not find our commerce in the same
      unprotected state in which it was found by the present?

      Congress have repeatedly, and not without success, directed
      their attention to the encouragement of manufactures. The
      object is of too much consequence not to ensure a
      continuance of their efforts in every way which shall
      appear eligible. As a general rule, manufactures on public
      account are inexpedient. But where the state of things in a
      country leaves but little hope that certain branches of
      manufacture will for a great length of time obtain, when
      these are of a nature essential to the furnishing and
      equipping of the public force in time of war; are not
      establishments for procuring them on public account, _to
      the extent of the ordinary demand for the public service_,
      recommended by strong considerations of national policy, as
      an exception to the general rule? Ought our country to
      remain in such cases dependent on foreign supply,
      precarious, because liable to be interrupted? If the
      necessary articles should in this mode cost more in time of
      peace, will not the security and independence thence
      arising form an ample compensation? Establishments of this
      sort, commensurate only with the calls of the public
      service in time of peace, will, in time of war, easily be
      extended in proportion to the exigencies of the Government,
      and may even, perhaps, be made to yield a surplus for the
      supply of our citizens at large, so as to mitigate the
      privations from the interruption of their trade. If
      adopted, the plan ought to exclude all those branches which
      are already, or likely soon to be established in the
      country, in order that there may be no danger of
      interference with pursuits of individual industry.

      It will not be doubted that with reference either to
      individual or national welfare, agriculture is of primary
      importance. In proportion as nations advance in population,
      and other circumstances of maturity, this truth becomes
      more apparent, and renders the cultivation of the soil more
      and more an object of public patronage. Institutions for
      promoting it grow up, supported by the public purse; and to
      what object can it be dedicated with greater propriety?
      Among the means which have been employed to this end, none
      have been attended with greater success than the
      establishment of Boards, composed of proper characters,
      charged with collecting and diffusing information, and
      enabled by premiums, and small pecuniary aids, to encourage
      and assist a spirit of discovery and improvement. This
      species of establishment contributes doubly to the increase
      of improvement, by stimulating to enterprise and
      experiment, and by drawing to a common centre the results
      every where of individual skill and observation, and
      spreading them thence over the whole nation. Experience
      accordingly has shown that they are very cheap instruments
      of immense national benefits.

      I have heretofore proposed to the consideration of Congress
      the expediency of establishing a National University, and
      also a Military Academy. The desirableness of both these
      institutions has so constantly increased with every new
      view I have taken of the subject, that I cannot omit the
      opportunity of once for all recalling your attention to
      them.

      The Assembly to which I address myself is too enlightened
      not to be fully sensible how much a flourishing state of
      the arts and sciences contributes to national prosperity
      and reputation. True it is that our country, much to its
      honor, contains many seminaries of learning highly
      respectable and useful; but the funds upon which they rest
      are too narrow to command the ablest professors in the
      different departments of liberal knowledge for the
      institution contemplated, though they would be excellent
      auxiliaries.

      Amongst the motives to such an institution the assimilation
      of the principles, opinions, and manners of our countrymen,
      by the common education of a portion of our youth from
      every quarter, well deserves attention. The more
      homogeneous our citizens can be made in these particulars,
      the greater will be our prospect of permanent union; and a
      primary object of such a national institution should be the
      education of our youth in the science of Government. In a
      Republic, what species of knowledge can be equally
      important? and what duty more pressing on its Legislature,
      than to patronize a plan for communicating it to those who
      are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the
      country?

      The institution of a Military Academy is also recommended
      by cogent reasons. However pacific the general policy of a
      nation may be, it ought never to be without an adequate
      stock of military knowledge for emergencies. The first
      would impair the energy of its character, and both would
      hazard its safety, or expose it to greater evils when war
      could not be avoided: besides, that war might often not
      depend upon its own choice. In proportion as the observance
      of pacific maxims might exempt a nation from the necessity
      of practising the rules of the military art, ought to be
      its care in preserving and transmitting by proper
      establishments the knowledge of that art. Whatever argument
      may be drawn from particular examples, superficially
      viewed, a thorough examination of the subject will evince
      that the art of war is at once comprehensive and
      complicated; that it demands much previous study; and that
      the possession of it, in its most improved and perfect
      state, is always of great moment to the security of a
      nation. This, therefore, ought to be a serious care of
      every Government; and for this purpose an Academy, where a
      regular course of instruction is given, is an obvious
      expedient, which different nations have successfully
      employed.

      The compensations to the officers of the United States in
      various instances, and in none more than in respect to the
      most important stations, appear to call for Legislative
      revision. The consequences of a defective provision are of
      serious import to the Government.

      If private wealth is to supply the defect of public
      retribution, it will greatly contract the sphere within
      which the selection of character for office is to be made,
      and will proportionally diminish the probability of a
      choice of men, able, as well as upright. Besides, that it
      would be repugnant to the vital principles of our
      Government virtually to exclude from public trusts,
      talents, and virtue, unless accompanied by wealth.

      While in our external relations some serious inconveniences
      and embarrassments have been overcome, and others lessened,
      it is with much pain and deep regret I mention that
      circumstances of a very unwelcome nature have lately
      occurred. Our trade has suffered, and is suffering,
      extensive injuries in the West Indies, from the cruisers
      and agents of the French Republic; and communications have
      been received from its Minister here which indicate the
      danger of a further disturbance of our commerce, by its
      authority, and which are, in other respects, far from
      agreeable.

      It has been my constant, sincere, and ardent wish, in
      conformity with that of our nation, to maintain cordial
      harmony and a perfectly friendly understanding with that
      Republic. This wish remains unabated; and I shall persevere
      in the endeavor to fulfil it to the utmost extent of what
      shall be consistent with a just and indispensable regard to
      the rights and honor of our country; nor will I easily
      cease to cherish the expectation that a spirit of justice,
      candor, and friendship on the part of the Republic will
      eventually ensure success.

      My solicitude to see the Militia of the United States
      placed on an efficient establishment has been so often and
      so ardently expressed that I shall but barely recall the
      subject to your view on the present occasion; at the same
      time that I shall submit to your inquiry, whether our
      harbors are yet sufficiently secured.

      The situation in which I now stand, for the last time, in
      the midst of the Representatives of the people of the
      United States, naturally recalls the period when the
      administration of the present form of government commenced;
      and I cannot omit the occasion to congratulate you and my
      country on the success of the experiment; nor to repeat my
      fervent supplications to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe
      and Sovereign Arbiter of Nations, that His providential
      care may still be extended to the United States; that the
      virtue and happiness of the people may be preserved; and
      that the Government which they have instituted for the
      protection of their liberties may be perpetual.

                          G. WASHINGTON.

      UNITED STATES, _December 7, 1796_.

When the PRESIDENT had concluded his Address, he presented copies of it
to the PRESIDENT of the Senate and the SPEAKER of the House of
Representatives. The PRESIDENT and the Senate then withdrew, and the
SPEAKER took the Chair. The Address was again read by the Clerk, and on
motion, committed to a Committee of the whole House to-morrow.


THURSDAY, December 8.

JAMES GILLESPIE, from North Carolina, appeared, and took his seat in the
House.

A new member, to wit, GEORGE EGE, from Pennsylvania, in place of DANIEL
HEISTER, resigned, appeared, produced his credentials, was qualified,
and took his seat.

_Address to the President._

On the motion of Mr. W. SMITH, the House went into a Committee of the
Whole on the PRESIDENT's Address, according to the order of the day. The
Speech was read by the Clerk.

Mr. D. FOSTER moved the following resolution: |

      "_Resolved_, That it is the opinion of this committee, that
      a respectful Address ought to be presented from the House
      of Representatives, to the President of the United States,
      in answer to his Speech to both Houses of Congress, at the
      commencement of the session, containing assurances that
      this House will take into consideration the many important
      matters recommended to their attention."

Which was unanimously agreed to, and Mr. AMES, Mr. BALDWIN, Mr. MADISON,
Mr. SITGREAVES, and Mr. W. SMITH were appointed a committee to draw up
the Address. The committee rose, and the resolution was adopted by the
House.


FRIDAY, December 9.

DAVID BARD, from Pennsylvania, JOSIAH PARKER, from Virginia, and NATHAN
BRYAN, from North Carolina, appeared and took their seats in the House.

_Address to the President._

The SPEAKER said, that it had been usual for the House to come to some
order on the PRESIDENT's Address, which was to refer it to a Committee
of the Whole on the state of the Union. On which Mr. WILLIAMS moved,
that it be committed to a Committee of the Whole on the state of the
Union, which was done accordingly.

Mr. BAYLEY moved, that a Committee of Commerce and Manufactures be
appointed, when Mr. WILLIAM SMITH, Mr. SEWALL, Mr. COIT, Mr. PARKER, Mr.
BLOUNT, and Mr. DENT, were named for that committee.

Mr. BAYLEY then moved, that when this House adjourn, it adjourn till
Monday at eleven o'clock.

[The reason stated during the last session for the House not meeting to
do business on Saturdays was, that the standing committees were
numerous, besides many special committees for different purposes, whose
business was frequently very important and troublesome, it was therefore
necessary that Saturday be allowed for the committees to sit, else
business would be much protracted, and become too burdensome on
gentlemen in committees.]


MONDAY, December 12.

Several other members, to wit: from New York, EDWARD LIVINGSTON; from
Pennsylvania, ANDREW GREGG; from Maryland, GABRIEL CHRISTIE; from
Virginia, WILLIAM B. GILES, ANDREW MOORE, and JOHN NICHOLAS; and from
South Carolina, ROBERT GOODLOE HARPER, appeared, and took their seats in
the House.


TUESDAY, December 13.

Two other members, to wit, THOMAS CLAIBORNE and JOHN PAGE, from
Virginia, appeared and took their seats in the House.

A new member, viz: WILLIAM STRUDWICK, from North Carolina, in place of
ABSALOM TATOM resigned, appeared, produced his credentials, was
qualified, and took his seat.

_Address to the President._

Mr. W. SMITH then moved for the order of the day on the report of the
committee in answer to the PRESIDENT's Address.

Mr. GILES said, that as the printed copy of the answer was but just laid
before the House, he hoped the gentleman would not insist on his motion,
as he declared he had not had time to read it; he would therefore move
that it be deferred till to-morrow.

Mr. PARKER seconded the motion. He said he was not able to judge whether
the answer would meet his approbation or not; he wished time to be given
for the consideration of it.

Mr. W. SMITH said he knew no instance in which the answer to the
PRESIDENT's Address had been laid over, and he thought it ought to be
despatched with all possible speed.

Mr. HEATH said, he hoped his colleague would not insist on his motion
for letting it lie over till to-morrow; he thought it could as well be
acted on to-day.

Mr. AMES observed, that it would look very awkward to let it lie over
till to-morrow, as it was very unusual, if not unprecedented, so to do;
he thought gentlemen might make up their minds about it if laid on the
table about an hour; they could, in the mean time, despatch other
business, which would come before them.

Mr. GILES said, he had experienced extreme inconvenience from gentlemen
pressing for a subject before it had been matured in the minds of
members; he thought it would be extremely improper and unusual, and in
its consequences disagreeable, to go into the subject before gentlemen
had time to reflect on it.

Mr. SITGREAVES said, that the more expeditious the House were on the
answer to the PRESIDENT's Address the greater the effect of it would be.
He hoped, therefore, that there would be no delay. He had in
recollection a Message which was received from the PRESIDENT respecting
the Colors of the French Republic, at the last session. Those very
gentlemen who now wished a delay, then thought that, to let the subject
lie over, would lose its principal effect, although several of the
members wished it to lie over, and but for one day. Surely we have as
much respect for the PRESIDENT as we have for the French Republic. He
really hoped the business would not lie over.

Mr. W. LYMAN hoped gentlemen did not look upon this answer to the
PRESIDENT's Address as merely complimentary. He declared he took it up
in a very different light; he viewed it as of the most extensive
consequence; it related to the subjects recommended to the notice of the
House by the PRESIDENT, which might relate to the alteration of the
laws, and, perhaps, to the forming new laws; and could gentlemen have
time to form their minds on such an important part of their business? He
had only seen the report this morning, and hoped he should have time to
consider it before it passed through the House.

The SPEAKER said, that the subject before the House now was, whether the
unfinished business should be postponed in order to make room for a
Committee of the Whole to sit on the report of the committee on the
answer?

Mr. PARKER observed, that he could not say whether he approved or
disapproved of the answer before the House. He had not read the report;
he therefore hoped that the unfinished business would be taken up and
this postponed: he thought it was too important to be hastened. He
wished gentlemen to be very careful how they committed themselves at a
juncture so critical, and on business so momentous. We had just been
told by the PRESIDENT that we did not stand well with the French nation;
and the Senate, in their answer, had accorded with his observations on
that subject. [Mr. P. was here informed that the business of the Senate
ought not to be introduced here.[3]] He therefore hoped a day might be
allowed to take the subject into consideration.

Mr. WILLIAMS said, he had searched and could find no precedent in the
journal to encourage a delay of this business. He found that when a
report was made by the committee on such an occasion, it was usual to be
taken up by a Committee of the whole House; and if gentlemen disagreed
on the subject, it should be recommitted to the same committee who
formed it, to make such alterations whereby it may meet more general
approbation, or be amended by the House and passed. He hoped no new
precedent would be made.

The SPEAKER again observed, that the question was on postponing the
unfinished business to take up this report.

Mr. W. SMITH said, that if this business was delayed, it ought to be for
substantial reasons. The principal reason gentlemen had urged was, that
they had not had time to acquaint themselves with the answer. How, then,
he asked, could they make their observations on it as they had done? The
committee had, he thought, drafted it in such general terms that it
could not be generally disapproved. There are but two parts in which he
thought there would be differences of opinion, viz: that which related
to the French Republic, and that which complimented the PRESIDENT for
his services. As to the first, he thought it so expressed as to need no
delay in the answer. With respect to the latter, he hoped no gentleman
would refuse to pay a due regard to the PRESIDENT's services.

The SPEAKER again informed the House what was the question.

Mr. W. SMITH said, we ought not now to reflect on any thing we may judge
has not been done as we could wish. Could we refuse a tribute of respect
to a man who had served his country so much? He thought a delay at
present would have a very unpleasant appearance. He hoped we should go
into this business immediately, agreeably to the former practice of the
House on similar occasions. The unfinished business was yesterday
postponed for want of proper information, and he thought the same reason
was yet in force with respect to it. He hoped nothing would impede this
business, lest it should appear like a want of respect in us. He hoped
to see a unanimous vote in favor of a respectful answer to the Chief
Magistrate, whose services we ought zealously to acknowledge.

Mr. GILBERT saw no reason to depart from a practice which had been
usual; he therefore hoped the report might come under consideration
to-day. He thought if it laid on the table an hour or an hour and a
half, gentlemen could then be prepared to consider it.

The SPEAKER again put the House in mind of the question.

Mr. NICHOLAS said, if the business was pressed too precipitately,
gentlemen may be sensible of their error when it was too late. Many bad
consequences might attend hastening the subject before it was well
matured. He could see no reason why the business should be precipitated
upon the House--a proper delay would not show any want of respect to the
PRESIDENT, as some gentlemen think. Would it be more respectful that an
answer should be sent by this House, which, for want of time, had not
been sufficiently considered? Certainly not. Far more so will it appear
that after mature deliberation the members are unanimous in their
answer. I therefore think the object of respect which the gentleman from
North Carolina has in view will be completely answered by the delay.

Gentlemen talk about precedent. I am ashamed to hear them. There may be
no precedent on the subject. But are we always to act by precedent?
There is scarcely a circumstance occurs in this House but what is
different from any that was before it. The PRESIDENT's Addresses to this
House are always different. They relate to the circumstances of things
that are, have been, and may be. Then, to talk of precedents where
things cannot be alike, is to trammel men down by rules which would be
injurious in the issue.

The Message of the PRESIDENT respecting the French Colors had been
referred to. If gentlemen were then wrong, is that a reason why they
should continue to act wrong? But this circumstance materially differs
from that. That was merely an expression of sentiment, which could at
once be determined, but this of sentiment, accompanied with deep and
solemn reflection--it is so interwoven with the politics of the country
as to require great circumspection. I hope gentlemen will not go into it
until they are properly prepared. I wish to pay all possible respect to
the Chief Magistrate, and cannot prove it better than by a sincere
desire for an unanimous vote to the answer, which is only to be obtained
by proper deliberation; and thus let him depart from his office with
credit, and the enjoyment of our best wishes in his retirement.

The question for postponing the unfinished business to take up this
report was then put and negatived--43 to 31.


WEDNESDAY, December 14.

THOMAS HENDERSON, from New Jersey, and THOMAS HARTLEY, from
Pennsylvania, appeared and took their seats in the House.

_Reporting of the Debates._

Mr. W. SMITH moved for the order of the day on the petitions of Thomas
Lloyd and Thomas Carpenter, whereupon the House resolved itself into a
Committee of the Whole, when, having read the report of the committee to
whom it was referred,

Mr. MACON wished some gentleman who was in that committee, would be so
good as to inform the House what would be the probable expense, and for
what reason the House should go into the business. He thought the
expense altogether unnecessary, whatever it may be.

If the debates of this House were to be printed, and four or five copies
given to each member, they would employ all the mails of the United
States. He also adverted to the attempt at the last session to introduce
a stenographer into the House, which failed.

Mr. SMITH informed the gentleman that Mr. Lloyd's estimate of the
expenses is, that he will supply the House with his reports at the rate
of three cents per half sheet. His calculation is that he can supply the
members at the expense of about $1,600 for the session. With respect to
the gentleman's reference to last session, this was materially different
from that: that motion was to make the person an officer of this House,
and at an expense much greater. He thought this attempt would be of
great use to the House. Regular and accurate information of the debates
in the House would be a very desirable thing; he therefore hoped the
resolution would prove agreeable to the House.

Mr. WILLIAMS said, that the House need not go into unnecessary expense:
the members were now furnished, morning and evening, with newspapers,
which contained the debates; then why should the House wish for more? If
one person in particular has the sale of his debates to this House,
will it not destroy the advantages any other can derive from it? We
ought not to encourage an undertaking of this kind, but let us encourage
any gentleman to come here and take down the debates. Last year they
were taken down very accurately and dispersed throughout the Union.

By passing this resolution you will destroy the use of the privilege to
any other than the person favored by this House. Why give one a
privilege more than another? He observed, it had been common to give
gentlemen the privilege to come into the House and take down the
debates, which had been, last year, delivered time enough to give
satisfaction to the members.

Mr. THATCHER said, he should wish for information from the committee how
many persons there were to publish debates, as he understood there were
several, and the members were to supply themselves from whom they
pleased. He should likewise wish for information, how many each member
was to have to amount to the value of $1,600.

Mr. W. SMITH said, there had been petitions received from only two
persons--Thomas Lloyd and Thomas Carpenter. They intended, each of them,
to publish the debates. There might be others; he knew not. There was no
intention of giving any one a preference--gentlemen could subscribe for
that they approved of most. At the calculation of Mr. Lloyd the members
would have five copies each for the $1,600.

Mr. W. LYMAN said, the question was, whether the House would incur the
expense of $1,600 to supply the members with copies or not? He thought
there was no need of the expense. If the House do not think proper to
furnish the members, they can supply themselves. A publication of them
is going on at present, and many gentlemen had subscribed to it already.

Mr. DEARBORN did not think that $1,600 thus laid out would be expended
to the best possible advantage. From the number of persons which we see
here daily taking down debates, he thought we might expect to see a good
report of the occurrences in the House. There was a book going about for
subscriptions, which appeared to be well encouraged; he saw many of the
members' names in it. He thought that, by a plan like that, the reports
may be as accurately taken as we may have any reason to expect if the
House incurs this expense.

Mr. NICHOLAS observed, that members were now served with three
newspapers. He thought to vote for this resolution on account of
obtaining a more full and complete report than was to be had in the
newspapers; thus it would supersede the necessity of taking so many
papers. He thought this plan more useful to the members, and generally
of more advantage to their constituents, as they could disperse those
debates where otherwise they would not be seen.

Mr. THATCHER said, if the object of the motion was to supersede the
receiving of newspapers, he certainly should vote against it. He did
not consider the main reason why members were served with the newspapers
was, that they may obtain the debates. No. He thought it more important,
in their stations, that they should know the occurrences of the day from
the various parts of the United States as well as from foreign nations.
Though he might favor an undertaking of this kind, yet he would give
preference to a newspaper, if they were to have the one without the
other.

Mr. HEATH did not wish that the members, being furnished with debates
agreeably to the motion, should supersede the receiving of newspapers,
yet he should vote for it. Gentlemen had said the debates were taken
more correctly last session than before, yet he had heard a whisper
which was going from North to South, that our debates are not
represented impartially. He wished the House and the people to be
furnished with a true report; such a thing would be very useful:
however, he did not wish to encourage a monopoly to those two persons.
No. He would wish to give an equal chance to all who choose to come and
take them. Shall we repress truth? I hope not; but disseminate it as
much as possible. Last session, when I was, under the act of God's
providence, prevented from attending the House, a member sent for a
gentleman from Virginia, who was to act as stenographer, with whom the
House and a printer in this city were to combine. Warm debates ensued on
the propriety of the measure, and the gentleman returned home after the
motion was negatived. I hope gentlemen will not grudge 1,600 dollars
towards the support of truth. What we see now in the newspapers is taken
from the memory, and not by a stenographer. The people will thank you
that you have taken means to investigate truth. If any gentleman can
point out a better mode to obtain this object, I hope he will do it that
it may be adopted; till then I shall support the resolution.

Mr. SHERBURNE did not think, with the gentleman last up, that the
interest of the country was concerned; the only thing they were
concerned in was the payment of the money. The printing of this work did
not depend on the motion of this House. Whether the House adopt it or
not, the book will be published. It is a matter of private interest; a
speculation in the adventurer, like other publications. The question, he
conceived, meant only this: Should the members be supplied with these
pamphlets at the expense of the public, or should they put their hands
in their own pockets and pay for them individually? He thought the House
had no greater reasons to supply the members with this work than other
publications; they might as well be furnished with the works of _Peter
Porcupine_, or the _Rights of Man_, at the public expense.

Mr. W. SMITH said, the gentleman was mistaken with respect to the work
going on, whether supported by the House or not. It was true as it
respected the work proposed by Mr. Carpenter; but, with respect to Mr.
Lloyd, he declared he could not undertake it, except the House would
subscribe for five copies for each member.

Mr. SWANWICK considered the question to be to this effect: whether the
debates be under the sanction of the House or not? A gentleman had said,
it will be a great service to the public to have a correct statement of
the debates. I think the most likely way to obtain it correctly is to
let it rest on the footing of private industry. We have a work, entitled
_The Senator_, in circulation. I have no doubt but the publisher will
find good account in the undertaking. Why should the House trouble
itself to sanction any particular work? Gentlemen would then have enough
to do every morning in putting the debates to rights before they were
published, as they would be pledged to the accuracy of the reports. I
never heard that, in the British House of Commons or Lords, such a
motion was ever made, nor have I ever heard of such in any other
country; then why should we give our sanction and incur a responsibility
for the accuracy of it. He said he should vote against the motion, but
would encourage such a work while it rested on the footing of private
adventure.

Mr. THATCHER said, he differed much from the gentleman last up, as it
respected the responsibility of the House on such a publication. He
thought it might as well be said, that because there had been a
resolution for the Clerk to furnish the members of this House with three
newspapers, the House was responsible for the truth of what those
newspapers contained; if it was so, he should erase his name from his
supply of them, as he thought, in general, they contained more lies than
truth. Two considerations might recommend the resolution. It would
encourage the undertaking, and also add to the stock of public
information: on either of these, he would give it his assent. Soon after
he came into the city, a paper was handed him with proposals for a
publication of this kind (_The Senator_). He, with pleasure, subscribed
to its support; as to general information, that was given already by
newspapers, and though each member was to be supplied with five copies,
yet very few would fall into hands where the newspapers did not reach.
The work would go forward at any rate. If he thought the work depended
on the motion, he should rejoice to give his vote toward its aid. On the
question being put, only nineteen gentlemen voted in favor of the
resolution; it was therefore negatived.

The committee then rose, and the House took up the resolution.

Mr. THATCHER observed, the question was put while he was inattentive: he
wished it to lie over till to-morrow.

Mr. GILES wished to indulge the gentleman in his desire.

Mr. THATCHER then moved for the vote of the House, whether the report of
the Committee of the Whole be postponed. Twenty-four members only
appearing for the postponement, it was negatived.

The question was then put, whether the House agreed to the report of the
Committee of the Whole and disagreed with the report of the select
committee; which appeared in the affirmative. The motion was therefore
lost.

_Address to the President._

The House again resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on the
Answer to the PRESIDENT's Address; when the Answer reported by the
select committee was read by the Clerk, and then in paragraphs by the
Chairman, which is as follows:

      SIR: The House of Representatives have attended to your
      communication respecting the state of our country, with all
      the sensibility that the contemplation of the subject and a
      sense of duty can inspire.

      We are gratified by the information that measures
      calculated to ensure a continuance of the friendship of the
      Indians, and to maintain the tranquillity of the _interior_
      frontier, have been adopted; and we indulge the hope that
      these, by impressing the Indian tribes with more correct
      conceptions of the justice, as well as power of the United
      States, will be attended with success.

      While we notice, with satisfaction, the steps that you have
      taken in pursuance of the late treaties with several
      foreign nations, the liberation of our citizens who were
      prisoners at Algiers is a subject of peculiar felicitation.
      We shall cheerfully co-operate in any further measures that
      shall appear, on consideration, to be requisite.

      We have ever concurred with you in the most sincere and
      uniform disposition to preserve our neutral relations
      inviolate; and it is, of course, with anxiety and deep
      regret we hear that any interruption of our harmony with
      the French Republic has occurred; for we feel with you and
      with our constituents the cordial and unabated wish to
      maintain a perfectly friendly understanding with that
      nation. Your endeavors to fulfil that wish, (_and by all
      honorable means to preserve peace, and to restore that
      harmony and affection which have heretofore so happily
      subsisted between the French Republic and the United
      States_,) cannot fail, therefore, to interest our
      attention. And while we participate in the full reliance
      you have expressed on the patriotism, self-respect, and
      fortitude of our countrymen, we cherish the pleasing hope
      that a _mutual_ spirit of justice and moderation _on the
      part of the Republic_ will ensure the success of your
      perseverance.

      The various subjects of your communication will,
      respectively, meet with the attention that is due to their
      importance.

      When we advert to the internal situation of the United
      States, we deem it equally natural and becoming to compare
      the tranquil prosperity of the citizens with the period
      immediately antecedent to the operation of the Government,
      and to contrast it with the calamities in which the state
      of war still involves several of the European nations, as
      the reflections deduced from both tend to justify, as well
      as to excite, a warmer admiration of our free constitution,
      and to exalt our minds to a more fervent and grateful sense
      of piety towards Almighty God for the beneficence of His
      providence, by which its administration has been hitherto
      so remarkably distinguished.

      And while we entertain a grateful conviction that your
      wise, firm, and patriotic Administration has been signally
      conducive to the success of the present form of Government,
      we cannot forbear to express the deep sensations of regret
      with which we contemplate your intended retirement from
      office.

      As no other suitable occasion may occur, we cannot suffer
      the present to pass without attempting to disclose some of
      the emotions which it cannot fail to awaken.

      The gratitude and admiration of your countrymen are still
      drawn to the recollection of those resplendent virtues and
      talents which were so eminently instrumental to the
      achievement of the Revolution, and of which that glorious
      event will ever be the memorial. Your obedience to the
      voice of duty and your country, when you quitted
      reluctantly a second time the retreat you had chosen, and
      first accepted the Presidency, afforded a new proof of the
      devotedness of your zeal in its service, and an earnest of
      the patriotism and success which have characterized your
      Administration. As the grateful confidence of the citizens
      in the virtues of their Chief Magistrate has essentially
      contributed to that success, we persuade ourselves that the
      millions whom we represent participate with us in the
      anxious solicitude of the present occasion.

      Yet we cannot be unmindful that your moderation and
      magnanimity, twice displayed by retiring from your exalted
      stations, afford examples no less rare and instructive to
      mankind than valuable to a Republic.

      Although we are sensible that this event, of itself,
      completes the lustre of a character already conspicuously
      unrivalled by the coincidence of virtue, talents, success,
      and public estimation, yet we conceive that we owe it to
      you, sir, and still more emphatically to ourselves and to
      our nation (of the language of whose hearts we presume to
      think ourselves at this moment the faithful interpreters)
      to express the sentiments with which it is contemplated.

      The spectacle of a whole nation, the freest and most
      enlightened in the world, offering by its Representatives
      the tribute of unfeigned approbation to its first citizen,
      however novel and interesting it may be, derives all its
      lustre--a lustre which accident or enthusiasm could not
      bestow, and which adulation would tarnish--from the
      transcendent merit of which it is the voluntary testimony.

      May you long enjoy that liberty which is so dear to you,
      and to which your name will ever be so dear. May your own
      virtues and a nation's prayers obtain the happiest sunshine
      for the decline of your days and the choicest of future
      blessings. For your country's sake--for the sake of
      Republican liberty--it is our earnest wish that your
      example may be the guide of your successors; and thus,
      after being the ornament and safeguard of the present age,
      become the patrimony of our descendants.

Mr. VENABLE observed, on a paragraph wherein it speaks of the
"tranquillity of the interior frontier," he did not know what was the
meaning of the expression: he moved to insert "Western frontier" in its
stead.

Mr. AMES observed that the words of the report are in the PRESIDENT's
Speech; however, he thought the amendment a good one. It then passed.

In the fourth paragraph are these words: "Your endeavors to fulfil that
wish cannot fail, therefore, to interest our attention." At the word
"wish," Mr. GILES proposed to insert these words: "and by all honorable
means to preserve peace, and restore that harmony and affection which
have heretofore so happily subsisted between the French Republic and
this country;" and strike out the words that follow "wish" in that
paragraph. He said, his reasons for moving this amendment were to avoid
its consequences. He really wished the report entirely recommitted, as
there were many objectionable parts in it. He had been very seriously
impressed with the consequences that would result from a war with the
French Republic. When I reflect, said Mr. G., on the calamities of war
in general, I shudder at the thought; but, to conceive of the danger of
a French war in particular, it cuts me still closer. When I think what
many gentlemen in mercantile situations now feel, and the dreadful stop
put to commerce, I feel the most sincere desire to cultivate harmony and
good understanding. I see redoubled motives to show the world that we
are in favor of a preservation of peace and harmony.

Mr. W. SMITH said, he should not object to the amendment; but he thought
it only an amplification of a sentiment just before expressed. He did
not see any advantage in the sentiment as dilated, nor could he see any
injury which could accrue from it. He hoped every gentleman in the House
wished as sincerely for the preservation of peace as that gentleman did.

Mr. AMES wished to know of the gentleman from Virginia, whether he meant
to strike out the latter part of this paragraph; if he did, he would
object to it.

Mr. GILES said, he did not mean to strike out any more of this
paragraph.

Mr. AMES wished it not to be struck out. By the amendment to strike out,
we show the dependence we place on the power and protection of the
French. While we declare ourselves weak by the act, we lose the recourse
to our own patriotism, and fly, acknowledging an offence never
committed, to the French for peace. He hoped the gentleman would be
candid upon this occasion.

Mr. GILES said, he only wished this House to express their most sincere
and unequivocal desire in favor of peace, and not merely to leave it to
the PRESIDENT. He said, he had spoken upon this occasion as he always
had done on this floor. He always had, and he hoped always should state
his opinions upon every subject with plainness and candor.

The amendment passed unanimously.

Mr. GILES then proposed an amendment to the latter part of the same
paragraph which would make it read thus: "We cherish the pleasing hope
that a spirit of mutual justice and moderation will ensure the success
of your perseverance." The amendment was to insert the word "mutual." He
thought we ought to display a spirit of justice and moderation as well
as the French. This amendment, he thought, would soften the expression,
and, acting with that spirit of justice and moderation, accomplish a
reconciliation. The amendment was adopted.

On the Chairman's reading the last paragraph except one in the report,
which reads thus: "The spectacle of a whole nation, the _freest and most
enlightened in the world_," Mr. PARKER moved to strike out the words in
italic. Although, said he, I wish to believe that we are the freest
people, and the most enlightened people in the world, it is enough that
we think ourselves so; it is not becoming in us to make the declaration
to the world; and if we are not so, it is still worse for us to suppose
ourselves what we are not.

Mr. HARPER said he had a motion of amendment in his hand which would
supersede the necessity of the last made, which, if in order, he would
propose: it was to insert words more simple. He thought the more simple,
the more agreeable to the public ear. His amendment, he thought, would
add to the elegance and conciseness of the expression. He did not
disapprove of the Address as it now stood, but he thought it might be
amended. This, he said, would add to the dignity, as well as to the
simplicity of the expression. He thought it would be improper to give
too much scope to feeling: amplitude of expression frequently weakens an
idea.

Mr. GILES said he saw many objectionable parts in the amendments
proposed by the gentleman just sat down. He wished to strike out two
paragraphs more than Mr. HARPER had proposed; indeed, he wished the
whole to be recommitted, that it might be formed more congenial to the
wishes of the House in general, and not less agreeable to the person to
be addressed.

Mr. SMITH observed, that as the answer had been read by paragraphs
nearly to the close, he thought it very much out of order to return to
parts so distant.

The Chairman said that no paragraph on which an amendment had been made
could be returned to; but where no amendment had been made, it was quite
consistent with order to propose any one gentlemen may think proper.

Mr. W. SMITH opposed striking out any paragraph. It was, he said, the
last occasion we should have to address that great man, who had done so
much service to his country. The warmth of expression in the answer was
only an evidence of the gratitude of this House for his character. When
we reflect on the glowing language used at the time when he accepted of
the office of PRESIDENT, and at his re-election to that office, why,
asked he, ought not the language of this House to be as full of respect
and gratitude now as then? particularly when we consider the addresses
now flowing in from all parts of the country. I object to the manner of
gentlemen's amendments as proposed, to strike out all in a mass. If the
sentiments were agreeable to the minds of the House, why waste our time
to alter mere expressions while the sentiment is preserved? No doubt
every gentleman's manner of expression differed, while their general
ideas might be the same. He hoped mere form of expression would not
cause its recommitment.

Mr. GILES did not object to a respectful and complimentary Address being
sent to the PRESIDENT, yet he thought we ought not to carry our
expressions out of the bounds of moderation; he hoped we should adhere
to truth. He objected to some of the expressions in those paragraphs,
for which reason he moved to have the paragraphs struck out, in order to
be amended by the committee. He wished to act as respectful to the
PRESIDENT as any gentleman, but he observed many parts of the Address
which were objectionable. It is unnatural and unbecoming in us to exult
in our superior happiness, light, or wisdom. It is not at all necessary
that we should exult in our advantages, and thus reflect on the unhappy
situation of nations in their troubles; it is insulting to them. If we
are thus happy it is well for us; it is necessary that we should enjoy
our happiness, but not boast of it to all the world, and insult their
unhappy situation.

As to those parts of the Address which speak of the wisdom and firmness
of the PRESIDENT, he must object to them. On reflection, he could see a
want of wisdom and firmness in the Administration for the last six
years. I may be singular in my ideas, said he, but I believe our
Administration has been neither wise nor firm. I believe, sir, a want of
wisdom and firmness has brought this country into the present alarming
situation. If after such a view of the Administration, I was to come
into this House and show the contrary by a quiet acquiescence, gentlemen
would think me a very inconsistent character. If we take a view of our
foreign relations, we shall see no reason to exult in the wisdom or
firmness of our Administration. He thought nothing so much as a want of
that wisdom and firmness had brought us to the critical situation in
which we now stand.

If it had been the will of gentlemen to have been satisfied with placing
the PRESIDENT in the highest possible point of respect amongst men, the
vote of the House would have been unanimous, but the proposal of such
adulation could never expect success. If we take a view into our
internal situation, and behold the ruined state of public and private
credit, less now than perhaps at any former period however, he never
could recollect it so deranged. If we survey this city, what a shameful
scene it alone exhibits, owing, as he supposed, to the immense quantity
of paper issued. Surely this could afford no ground for admiration of
the Administration that caused it.

I must acknowledge, said Mr. GILES, that I am one of those who do not
think so much of the PRESIDENT as some others do. When the PRESIDENT
retires from his present station, I wish him to enjoy all possible
happiness. I wish him to retire, and that this was the moment of his
retirement. He thought the Government of the United States could go on
very well without him; and he thought he would enjoy more happiness in
his retirement than he possibly could in his present situation. What
calamities would attend the United States, and how short the duration of
its Independence, if one man alone can be found to fill that capacity!
He thought there were thousands of citizens in the United States able to
fill that high office, and he doubted not that many may be found whose
talents would enable them to fill it with credit and advantage. Although
much had been said, and that by many people, about his intended
retirement, yet he must acknowledge he felt no uncomfortable sensations
about it; he must express his own feelings, he was perfectly easy in
prospect of the event. He wished the PRESIDENT as much happiness as any
man. He declared he did not regret his retreat; he wished him quietly at
his seat at Mount Vernon; he thought he would enjoy more happiness there
than in public life. It will be very extraordinary if gentlemen, whose
names in the yeas and nays are found in opposition to certain prominent
measures of the Administration, should come forward and approve those
measures: this we could not expect. He retained an opinion he had always
seen reason to support, and no influence under Heaven should prevent him
expressing his established sentiments; and he thought the same opinions
would soon meet general concurrence. He hoped gentlemen would compliment
the PRESIDENT privately, as individuals; at the same time, he hoped such
adulation would never pervade that House.

I must make some observation, said Mr. G., on the last paragraph but
one, where we call ourselves "the freest and most enlightened nation in
the world:" indeed, the whole of that paragraph is objectionable; I
disapprove the whole of it. If I am free, if I am happy, if I am
enlightened more than others, I wish not to proclaim it on the house
top; if we are free, it is not prudent to declare it; if enlightened, it
is not our duty in this House to trumpet it to the world; it is no
Legislative concern. If gentlemen will examine the paragraph, [referring
to that contained in the parenthesis,] it seems to prove that the
gentleman who drew it up was going into the field of adulation; which
would tarnish a private character. I do think this kind of affection the
PRESIDENT gains nothing from. The many long Addresses we hear of, add
nothing to the lustre of his character. In the honor we may attempt to
give to others we may hurt ourselves. This may prove a self-destroyer;
by relying too much on administration, we may rely too little on our own
strength.

Mr. SITGREAVES said, that whatever division of the question gentlemen
would propose, was indifferent to him; the words of the answer were
perfectly congenial with his wishes, and he was prepared to give his
opposition to any of the amendments proposed. On mature deliberation,
there was not a sentiment in the report but he highly approved. He could
not see any thing unnatural or unbecoming in drawing just comparisons of
our situation with that of our neighbors; this is the only way we can
form a just view of our own happiness. It is a very necessary way to
come to a right knowledge of our own situation by comparing it with that
of other nations. He would not reproach another people because they are
not so happy as we are; but he thought drawing simple comparisons in the
way of the report was no reproach. He was not against bringing the
comparison down to private life, as the gentleman from Virginia had
done; he should think it wrong in a man to exult over his neighbor who
was distressed or ignorant, because himself was wealthy or wise. Yet he
saw no impropriety in his own family of speaking of their happiness and
advantages, compared with that of others; it would awaken in them a
grateful sense of their superior enjoyments, while it pointed out the
faults and follies of others, only in order that those he had the care
of may learn to avoid them: thus while our happiness is pointed out, the
miseries of nations involved in distress are delineated to serve as
beacons for the United States to steer clear of. He did not, with the
gentleman from Virginia, in any degree, doubt of the wisdom or firmness
of the Administration of America. In the language of the Address, he
entertained a very high opinion of it, "a grateful conviction that the
wise, firm, and patriotic Administration of the PRESIDENT had been
signally conducive to the success of the present form of Government."
Such language as this is the only reward which can be given by a
grateful people for labors so eminently useful as those of the PRESIDENT
had been. This was not his sentiment merely, it was the sentiment of the
people of America. Every public body were conveying their sentiments of
gratitude throughout the whole extent of the Union. Why then should this
House affect a singularity, when our silence on these points would only
convey reproach instead of respect. If these sentiments were true, why
not express them? But if, on the contrary, what the gentleman asserted,
that the Administration of the PRESIDENT had been neither wise, firm,
nor patriotic, then he would concur with the motion for striking out;
but he was not convinced of the truth of this assertion; and while this
is not proved, he should vote against the motion.

Mr. SITGREAVES said, he could not agree with the motion of the gentleman
from South Carolina, (Mr. HARPER,) because his motion was for
substituting other words in the place of those in the report, without
any reason whatever. If the gentleman, by altering the phraseology, can
make the sentiment any better, by all means let it be done: but if the
sentiment is not to be changed, why alter it merely to substitute other
words? On the whole, Mr. S. observed, that he did not see the answer
could in any degree be reproached. There are no sentiments in it but
what are justifiable on the ground of truth; they are free from
adulation. It is such an expression of national regret and gratitude as
the circumstance calls for; a regret at the retirement of a faithful and
patriotic Chief Magistrate from office. A regret and gratitude which he
believed to be the sentiment of Americans.

Mr. SWANWICK began by observing that there were points in the Address in
which all gentlemen seemed to agree, while on other parts they cannot
agree. We all agree in our desire to pay the PRESIDENT every possible
mark of respect; but we very materially disagree wherein a comparison is
drawn between this and foreign nations. If we are happy and other
nations are not so, it is but well for us; but he thought it would be
much more prudent in us to let other nations discover it, and not make a
boast of it ourselves. It is very likely that those nations whom we
commiserate may think themselves as happy as we are: they may feel
offended to hear of our comparisons. If we refer to the British
Chancellor of the Exchequer in his speeches, he would tell us that is
the happiest and most prosperous nation upon earth. How then can we
commiserate with it as an unfortunate country? If, again, we look to
France, that country which we have pointed out as full of wretchedness
and distress, yet we hear them boast of their superiority of light and
freedom, and we have reason to believe not without foundation. A
gentleman had talked about the flourishing state of our agriculture, and
asserted that our late commercial calamities were not proofs of our want
of prosperity, which the gentleman compared to specks in the sun. That
gentleman speaks as though he lived at a distance. Has he heard of no
commercial distresses, when violations so unprecedented have of late
occurred? One merchant has to look for his property at Halifax, another
at Bermuda, another at Cape Françoise, another at Gonaives, &c.; all
agree that they have suffered, and that by the war. These are distresses
gentlemen would not like to feel themselves. Mr. S. said he had felt for
these occurrences. We are not exempt from troubles: probably we may have
suffered as much as other nations who are involved in the war. It is a
question whether France has been distressed at all by the war. She has
collected gold and silver in immense quantities by her conquests,
together with the most valuable stores of the productions of the arts;
as statues, paintings, and manuscripts of inestimable worth; and at sea
has taken far more in value than she has lost: besides, her armies are
subsisting on the requisitions her victories obtain. And has England
gained nothing by the war? If we hearken to Mr. Pitt, we may believe
they are very great gainers. Surely the islands in the West and East
Indies, Ceylon, and the Cape of Good Hope, the key to the East Indies,
are advantages gained; besides the quantity of shipping taken from our
merchants. Mr. S. thought if we were to compare, we should find those
nations had gained by the war, while we had lost; and of course there
was no reason for us to boast of our advantages.

Mr. W. SMITH next rose, and observed that gentlemen wished to compliment
the PRESIDENT, but took away every point on which encomium could be
grounded. One denies the prosperity of the country, another the free and
enlightened state of the country, and another refuses the PRESIDENT the
epithet of wise and patriotic.

Mr. GILES here rose to explain. If he was meant, he must think the
gentleman was wrong in his application. He said he had never harbored a
suspicion of the good intentions of the PRESIDENT, nor did he deny his
patriotism; but the wisdom and firmness of his Administration he had
doubted. He thought him a good meaning man, but often misled.

Mr. SMITH again rose, and said, he must confess himself at a loss for
that refinement to discover between the wisdom and patriotism of the
PRESIDENT, and that of his Administration. It was moved to strike out
this acknowledgment of wisdom and firmness. What were we to substitute
as complimentary to him in its place? The first paragraph proposed to be
struck out related to our speaking of the tranquillity of this country,
compared to nations involved in war. Could this give offence, because we
feel pleasure in being at peace? It was only congratulating our own
constituents on the happiness we enjoy. To appreciate the value of
peace, it was necessary to compare it with a state of war. It was the
wisdom of this country to keep from war, and other nations hold it up as
exemplary in us. The gentleman himself has declared his wish for the
preservation of peace; and though he admires it, and nations admire it
in us, yet we are not to compare our state with nations involved in the
calamities of war, in order to estimate our enjoyments. The words of
this Address are not a communication to a foreign minister, it is a
congratulation to our own Chief Magistrate of the blessings he, in
common with us, enjoys. Mr. S. hoped the words would not be struck out.

Mr. DAYTON (the Speaker), said, that he did not rise to accept the
challenge given by the gentleman who spoke last from South Carolina, and
to point out a nation more free and enlightened than ours; nor did he
mean to contest the fact of ours being the freest and most enlightened
in the world, as declared in the reported Address, but he was
nevertheless of opinion that it did not become them to make that
declaration, and thus to extol themselves by a comparison with, and at
the expense of all others. Although those words were in his view
objectionable, he was far from assenting to the motion for striking out
the seven or eight last clauses of the Address. The question of order
having been decided, Mr. D. said he would remind the committee, that if
they wished to retain, or even to amend, any section or sentence of all
that was proposed to be struck out, they ought to give their negatives
to this motion, as the only means of accomplishing their purpose. It was
sufficient, therefore, for those who were opposed to the question for
striking out the whole, to show that any part included within it ought
to be preserved. Not unnecessarily to waste time, by lengthening the
debate, he would take the clause first in order, and confine his remarks
to that alone. This part of the Address had certainly not been read, or
had been misunderstood and misrepresented by the member from
Pennsylvania.

Mr. AMES said, if gentlemen meant to agree to strike out the whole as
proposed, in order to adopt those words substituted by the gentleman
from South Carolina (Mr. HARPER), he must observe that he thought this
would be as far from giving satisfaction to others, who, it appeared,
wanted no substitute. He, therefore, hoped that kind of influence would
not prevail on this occasion. The gentleman who made the motion did it
to accommodate matters, and not because he himself objected to the
answer reported.

It is well known that a committee of five members, opposite in
sentiment, was appointed to prepare a respectful Address in answer to
the PRESIDENT's Speech. [Here the original instructions were read.] As
it was the duty of the committee to prepare a respectful Address, it
cannot be matter of surprise, although it may of disapprobation with
some, that the committee did their duty, and have taken notice of the
several matters recommended to the House in that Speech. Respecting the
particular notice they have taken, it might have been thought that some
difficulty would occur. He said he need not observe, that the committee
had reason to imagine that the form of the report would be agreeable to
the House, as they were unanimous; although there had been in the
wording some little difference of opinion, yet all agreed substantially
in the Address, from a conviction of the delicacy of the subject. For
that reason, if that only, unless the sentiments in the report of the
Address should be found inconsistent with truth, he hoped no substitute
of a form of words merely would prevail, as it would no longer be that
agreed to in the committee, nor could come under their consideration
equal to the printed report. He therefore trusted that when the
committee came to the question, whether to strike out or not, gentlemen
would be guided by no other motive to vote for striking out, than an
impropriety in the sentiments through an evident want of truth in them;
and if such cannot be discovered, why strike out the expressions?

It had been observed by some gentleman, that the cry of foreign
influence is in the country. He did not see such a thing exist. He would
not be rudely explicit as to the foundation there was for such a cry;
but when it was once raised, the people would judge whether it was fact
or not. He could not tell how this influence was produced, but the world
would draw a view how far we were under foreign influence. Mr. A. here
alluded to the influence which foreign agents wished to have over the
minds of the people of this country, in order to support a factious
spirit, probably to the appeal lately made to the people. He also
alluded to a circumstance when the Imperial Envoy, M. Palm, in 1727, at
London, published a rescript, complaining of the conduct of that Court;
the spirit of the nation rose, and discord was sown. In consequence of
which the Parliament petitioned the King to send the Envoy out of the
country for meddling with the concerns of their nation. That is the
nation which we call corrupted. Yet a similar affair has occurred here,
and it is not to be reprobated; we are not to complain of it, nor even
hear it, according to this doctrine. Independence is afraid of injuries,
and almost of insults. We must forbear to exult in our peace, our light,
our freedom, lest we should give offence to other nations who are not
so. This may be the high tone of independence in the views of some
people, but I must confess it is not so in mine; but it is probable
those people may be wiser than I am, and their views extend farther.
Foreign influence exists, and is disgraceful indeed, when we dare admire
our own constitution, nor adore God for giving us to feel its happy
effects. He thought, respecting the recent complaints of the French
Minister, that there was not even a pretext for the accusation.

It had been observed by a gentleman, that the PRESIDENT, no doubt, is a
very honest man, and a patriot, but he did not think him a wise man.

Mr. GILES here rose to explain. He said that, in his assertions, he
meant not to reflect on his private character. He referred to his
Administration. No doubt but the gentleman possessed both.

Mr. AMES said, he considered well what the gentleman had said. As a
private man, his integrity and goodness cannot be doubted; but in his
Administration--here we are to stop short; not a word about that; it
won't bear looking into; it has been neither firm nor wise. If the
House, in their Address to him, were to say, we think you a very honest,
well-designing man, but you have been led astray, sometimes to act
treacherously, and even dishonest in your Administration--we think you a
peaceful man, and though much iniquity may have been practised in your
Government, yet we think you are not in fault; on the whole, sir, we
wish you snugly in Virginia. Such sentiments as these I do not like. Is
this an Address or an insult? Is this the mark of respect we ought to
show to the first man in the nation? Mr. A. observed, that he did not
agree with the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. SMITH), who said, that
the President would carry daggers in his heart with him into his retreat
from public life, if we refuse him our testimony of gratitude. No, he
bears in his breast a testimony of his purity of motive; a conscious
rectitude, while in public life, which daggers could not pierce. He
would retire with a good conscience; perhaps it would be said this was
adulation, but let it be remembered this was truth; this was not
flattery; let gentlemen deny this; let them prove that this is not the
will of their constituents. The country would judge our opinions when we
come to give our yeas or nays; then the real friends of that man would
be known.

The gentleman wishes him back to Virginia, was glad he designed to go;
he did not regret his resignation. His name will appear in that opinion.
The whole of the PRESIDENT's life would stamp his character. His
country, and the admiring world knew it; and history keeps his fame, and
will continue to keep it. We may be singular in our opinions of him, but
that will not make his character with the world the less illustrious. We
now are to accept of his resignation without a tribute of respect. We
are not to speak of him as either wise or firm. We can only say he is an
honest man: this would scarcely be singular; many a man is honest
without any other good qualifications. What circle would gentlemen fix
the committee in to amend this Address, if they are not to give scope to
these sentiments? Better appoint no committee at all. If we address the
PRESIDENT at all, I hope it will be respectfully, for loth respect is
insult in disguise. I hope we shall not alter the original draft of the
Address, but agree according to our former intentions to present a
respectful and cordial Address.

Mr. SWANWICK rose to explain to those parts of the observations of some
gentlemen who had lately spoken (Mr. DAYTON and Mr. AMES) on that part
of the paragraph, which speaks of our gratitude to Providence. He should
be sorry if such an idea was entertained from any thing he had observed.
It was not that part of the paragraph, but the part where we are
contrasted with other nations, that he objected to principally.
Although, he must observe, it was not spoken in a style common to
devotion, to tell Providence how wise and enlightened we were. It does
not boast of our philanthropy, to say how much wiser and better we are
than other nations. He thought the gentleman's reference to a clergyman
very curious. It would not be right in us to say to God, we thank thee,
we are wiser or more enlightened than others! If we are so, let us
rejoice in it, and not offend others by our boasting. Gentlemen say, we
are happier than though we were at war; are we at peace? No: we are
involved in the worst of wars. Witness our spoliations from Algerine,
English, and French cruisers, from some of which he himself had suffered
materially. The PRESIDENT does not think we are at peace: he recommends
a navy as the only efficient security to our commerce. How could that
little island (England) command such influence in foreign dominions? It
is by her navy. We cannot boast of such power. While we think ourselves
much happier and stronger than others, others think us more diminutive;
let us not boast. He feared that the revenues of this country would
suffer materially through the great stagnation of commerce. He did not
think they would be as productive as formerly. He feared it was too
generally known, that this was not a time of very great prosperity. As
he did not, for one, feel the prosperous situation of the country, he
could not consent to violate his feelings by speaking contrary to them.
The gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. AMES) last session, spoke with
great eloquence and at great length of the horror of war; which he
considered as inevitable if the British Treaty (then the subject of
debate) was not carried into effect.

Mr. CHRISTIE moved for the committee to rise. The House divided on the
motion; 43 members appeared against it, 31 only in favor of it. It was
lost.

Mr. GILES rose and observed that he should not have troubled the
committee with any further observations, but his ideas had been
misrepresented; although he endeavored to prevent a possibility of
misconstruction, yet it seems he had not been able to accomplish his
wish. It was not wonderful, he said, that the PRESIDENT's popularity
should be introduced into the debate when it had been so long in
question. It had been too commonly done, he thought, but he hoped the
influence of it would not be very great. As to the unanimity of the
committee who drew up the Address, he cared very little about it; he
should be extremely sorry to see it have any influence on the members of
that House.

Gentlemen have said, that if we take out the expressions of our sense of
the wisdom and firmness of the Administration of the PRESIDENT, they
cannot find any ground on which to compliment him; if so, he for one
would not be willing to present an Address at all. But his views were
quite different; he thought it could be effectually done without
adulation. He could not consent to acknowledge the wisdom and firmness
of his Administration. Gentlemen had inquired for instances in evidence
of this assertion. He said, that without seeking for more instances,
that of the British Treaty was a standing proof in support of the
assertion. Though many gentlemen believe nothing has been done injurious
to the United States through that treaty, yet I acknowledge I see very
great danger; we are not now in that state of security which could be
wished. It is well known that the operation of the British Treaty is the
groundwork of all the recent complaints of the French Government. It may
be said that many of the complaints of the French Minister originated
from actions previous to the British Treaty. It may be so, but that was
the means of calling forth complaints which, perhaps, would otherwise
never have been made; else why did not this calamity befall us before?
It certainly may be ascribed to that instrument. Gentlemen may talk as
they please about the law of nations; but the law of nations is, that a
neutral nation shall not do any thing to benefit one belligerent power
to the injury of another. Mr. G. said, he thought matters carried a
serious aspect, and he very much disapproved of the declaration of a
gentleman (Mr. AMES) who says, now is the time of danger; we are on the
eve of a war with France, now let us boldly assert our rights. At the
time the British Treaty was debating on, that gentleman was overcome
with the prospect of a war; he then depicted it in horrible forms; but
now how different his language! He now seems not afraid to embrace all
its horrors, and was zealously calling out for the nation to support the
Administration. Why did we not hear this when the British spoliated on
our commerce! If we are upon the eve of a war with France, as the
gentleman supposes, it will be disastrous to this country; we have
reason to deplore it; it will be calamitous indeed. France has more
power to injure this country than any nation besides, and none we can
injure less. What an influence can she command over our commerce? She
can exclude us from our own ports; spoil our trade with Great Britain,
and from her own extensive country; she can shut us out from the East
Indies, as well as the West Indies; ruin our trade in the Mediterranean,
which, owing to the late conquests of the French, may be rendered very
flourishing and important to us; and by her alliance, offensive and
defensive, with Spain, we not only have another enemy, but lose our late
advantages in the navigation of the Mississippi. Suppose, by the
influence of her politics, the doctrine of liberty and equality were to
be preached on the other side of the Alleghany mountains, what numerous
enemies may they breed in our own country? France can wound us most, and
we have the least reason to provoke her. It would be policy in her to go
to war with us; by ruining our trade with England, she could give a
violent wound to her enemy; yet that gentleman says, now is the time to
assert our rights, now we are in danger. The war-whoop and the hatchet,
of which the gentleman spoke so feelingly last session, is no longer in
his thoughts. If this was the only reason he had, it would be enough to
influence his vote against an acknowledgment of the wisdom and firmness
that has dictated our Administration.

Mr. WILLIAMS rose and said, he was sorry to trouble the committee at
such a late hour, but he could not be satisfied with giving a silent
vote on an occasion when the PRESIDENT's popularity was doubted. He
thought members ought to speak the will of the people they represent. He
could assert that it was not merely his own opinion he spoke, but that
of his constituents, when he voted for the Address as reported. He was
sorry to hear the gentleman last up speak in the style he had done,
although he owned it was not altogether new to him. The gentleman
wished the first clause to be struck out. Mr. W. thought it was the duty
of every pious man to thank God for the benefits he enjoys. And shall
not we, as a nation, thank him for keeping us from a state of war?
Gentlemen's ideas were to strike the whole out in a mass; but he hoped
they would not be gratified. Mr. W. said, he was very sorry to hear the
gentleman speak against the wisdom and firmness of the PRESIDENT, which
assertion seemed to have its foundation in the Treaty concluded with
Great Britain. He would ask the gentleman whether that act of ours
should have any influence on our situation with France? Wherein have we
differed from the compact made with France by our treaty made with that
country? We surely had a right to treat with Great Britain, else we
could not be an independent nation; and France will not deny this. In
1778, the Ambassador of France informed the British Court that his
nation had entered into a treaty with the United States, and at the same
time informed them that great attention had been paid by the contracting
parties not to stipulate any exclusive advantage in favor of the French
nation, and that there was reserved, on the part of the United States,
the liberty of treating with any nation whatsoever upon the same footing
of equality and reciprocity. But the gentleman (Mr. GILES) says, we
ought not to give an advantage to an enemy. Mr. W. said, that no
advantage was given to Britain, but, on the contrary, the article
complained of must be of advantage to France; it is an encouragement for
American vessels to go to their ports; it insures them against loss, if
they are interrupted in their voyage. It had been said that it would be
to the interest of France to go to war with us; if they consider it so,
all that gentleman can say will not prevent it. When we reflect on a
Treaty entered into on this principle with Great Britain, should France
complain?


THURSDAY, December 15.

_Address to the President._

The House, according to the order of the day, resolved itself into a
Committee of the Whole on the answer to the PRESIDENT's Address, Mr.
MUHLENBERG in the chair.

The question before the committee was Mr. GILES' motion for striking
out.

Mr. NICHOLAS said, he sincerely wished that such an answer might be
agreed to, as would give a general satisfaction. He hoped some mode
would be adopted to unite the wishes of every gentleman; his
disposition, he said, led him to vote for the paragraph; he thought
himself at liberty so to do, as he was satisfied the Administration had
been, in many instances, wise and firm. He thought it improper that such
debate should take place at the present time. He could see no
inconvenience that could arise from voting for the Address. The words on
which most stress had been laid, were those expressive of the wisdom
and firmness of the PRESIDENT's administration. He declared he thought
it had much contributed to the success of this country; and if success
had attended his measures, there could be nothing inconsistent in their
acknowledging it; which was all the compliment necessary to give
satisfaction.

Mr. RUTHERFORD.--My colleague has in a great measure anticipated my
sentiments on this occasion. I am sorry for the mistaken zeal the
gentlemen of the committee should have shown for the PRESIDENT, by
introducing expressions into the Address so exceptionable, and which
should be subject to such an uncomfortable exposure of that character.

I was able yesterday only to attend a part of the debate, through
indisposition, but what I did stay to hear, hurt me very much. I heard
gentlemen speak ill of the common parent of our country, whom we all
revere; and was a slip, but one criminal slip, to rob the PRESIDENT of
his good name? We have seen the goodness of the heart of that man, and
with satisfaction. We have seen him wrestling with his own feelings to
continue in the important and weighty business of Government; we have
seen him contending with two great rival nations, and yet preserved
peace. When he had made a slip, the people of America have stepped
forward to assist him, and dropped the generous tear, sensible that to
err is human, and that we are all liable to do wrong. I am sure that my
colleagues and every one in the House hold the character and virtue of
that man in high esteem. I am sorry to see that division of sentiment
which has taken place; it would make the world believe that we wish to
rob him of those qualifications. It is the justice and duty of this
House to do that man, that patriot, all the honor they can, whilst it is
the interest of this nation to hold in view those great points with
generous satisfaction, and good wishes to the man who has stepped
forward, and not in vain, to the support of our Republic in the war, and
under Divine assistance was made our deliverer. And now for gentlemen to
come here and speak of the troubles of the country, ascribing all our
adversity to him, it is like applying cold water where the strongest
energy is necessary. Again I would repeat, that if that man, our common
parent, has committed errors, it is no more than we all may do--it is
the general lot of all. If there have been faults in the Administration,
I do not think they lie at his door, but at his counsellors'; he has had
bad counsellors; his advisers are to blame, and not him. I never saw how
he could have done otherwise than he did. And now, sir, said Mr. R., it
is our duty to bear those great actions and generous sentiments in our
view, that, on his retirement from his public station, we may render him
all the respect due to his character. Nor would I less remember our
situation with France, that great and generous Republic, under whom we
owe our liberty. Let us not give offence to her, but by every mark of
gratitude and respect, act a part consistent with a just sense of our
peaceable intention. Let us act with the greatest circumspection and
deliberation.

Mr. LIVINGSTON was sorry the answer was not drafted so as to avoid this
debate. He said it was his sincere desire and hope that the candor of
gentlemen who advocated the Address in its present form, and those who
wished it amended, would so combine as to make it agreeable to all. He
said he intended to oppose the amendments which had been proposed,
although he did not see the Address every way right; with a view to
reconcile parties, when the present motion was disposed of, he should
move to strike out some words, in order to insert others. He could not,
like some gentlemen, draw consolation from the misfortunes of other
nations; their distresses were rather matter of regret; nor did he see a
propriety, as another gentleman had done, of likening our affairs with
those of the members of a family; but, even if it would bear, he could
not see that tranquillity in this family as was expressed. His only
objection, he said, to the paragraph in question, was the words
"tranquil prosperity." He believed the United States did not enjoy that
tranquil prosperity; on the contrary, he thought this was a time of
great calamity in the country, and he thought that it was owing,
principally, to the measures of the Government. There were other clauses
in the Address, he said, he should, when they came to be considered,
make objections to, and he thought they could be all easily removed by
motions suitable; however, he said there were many sentiments in the
Address in which he heartily concurred. He should vote against the
striking out the eight clauses in question, as he thought such
amendments could be proposed as would make the Address meet his hearty
concurrence, and he believed give general satisfaction.

Mr. GILES' motion was then put, to strike out those clauses, and
negatived.

Mr. PARKER renewed the motion he made yesterday, to strike out the words
"freest and most enlightened in the world."

Mr. AMES hoped that the motion to strike out would not prevail; for,
without being over tenacious on the subject, he must give a preference
to the copy of the report which was printed; the members had the
advantage of weighing it in their minds, which they would lose by
adopting the substitute; besides, he thought the ideas were so crowded
in that proposed, as to render it heavy; he hoped the reported Address
would be agreed to.

Mr. HARPER's motion was then put and negatived. Twenty-five members only
voting for the motion.

Mr. PARKER again moved to strike out "freest and most enlightened," &c.

Mr. W. SMITH said yesterday, in the discussion on the subject, gentlemen
had assigned for their reason to strike out those words that other
nations would be offended at us. It was usual, he said, for nations to
applaud themselves, and he thought it could give no offence to any. He
did not hear gentlemen mention what nation was meant. He presumed the
only nation that could be alluded to was the French Republic. If,
however, it can be proved that they have used similar language, he
supposed it would give gentlemen some ease as to this particular. In
looking over some papers, he had seen several bombastical expressions in
a note of Barthelemy, a report to the Convention of Laviere, and of
Cambaceres, in the name of the three committees. In one are these words,
"a Government so powerful as the French." In another, he calls it "the
most enlightened in the civilized world." In another, "the first in the
universe." He hoped that while that nation could use expressions like
these, the gentlemen of this House would not think the expressions
referred to would give offence to that or any other nation.

Mr. PARKER said, when he made the motion he did not refer to any
particular nation; he had neither France nor England in view; he did not
wish to see us contrast our political situation with that of any other
country. His objections to the words, he said, arose from our making the
declaration ourselves. Our Government, he acknowledged, was free; it was
the best, in his opinion, any where. He wished to believe the people as
enlightened as any other; he believed they were, and if they were not,
they had only themselves to blame; but however enlightened or free we
were, in his opinion, we were not the proper organs to declare it;
however enlightened we might be, he thought the last four years
Administration had convinced many, as well as himself, that the
Administration was not the most enlightened; if they had, they would not
have suffered such shameful spoliations on our commerce, and shameful
acts of cruelty to our seamen. He said the two little monarchies of
Denmark and Sweden, neither of which, in point of extent, can be
compared with the United States, more (to use the comparison of the
gentleman from Pennsylvania yesterday) than a speck is to the sun; nor
are they either of them in population nearly equal to the United States;
and although they are surrounded by the greatest warlike powers in a
belligerent state, yet they have preserved their neutrality inviolate;
their ships have not been wantonly seized, nor have their seamen been
torn from their ships, or whipped at the gang-way of British
ships-of-war, or been shot by their press-gangs. To mention the
instances of British cruelty towards our seamen in every instance that
could be adduced, would take up time unnecessarily; one alone, that
recently happened, I shall relate:

The brother of a member of this House (Mr. FRANKLIN, of N. C.) was
impressed on board a British ship-of-war in the West Indies; he was
unacquainted with seamanship, having only made a passage from North
Carolina to the Islands; being awkward and not being a seaman, he was
discharged. The same evening, a press-gang of the same ship fell in
with him and made him a prisoner; in attempting to make his escape, he
was shot at. The ball was aimed at his body; it was not winged with
death, but the young man was wounded in the hand.

Mr. AMES said, if any man were to call himself more free and enlightened
than his fellows, it would be considered as arrogant self-praise. His
very declaration would prove that he wanted sense as well as modesty,
but a nation might be called so, by a citizen of that nation, without
impropriety; because, in doing so, he bestows no praise of superiority
on himself; he may be in fact, and may be sensible that he is less
enlightened than the wise of other nations. This sort of national
eulogium may, no doubt, be fostered by vanity, and grounded in mistake;
it is sometimes just, it is certainly common, and not always either
ridiculous or offensive. It did not say that France or England had not
been remarkable for enlightened men; their literati are more numerous
and distinguished than our own. The character, with respect to this
country, he said, was strictly true. Our countrymen, almost universally,
possess some property and some pretensions of learning--two distinctions
so remarkably in their favor, as to vindicate the expression objected
to. But go through France, Germany, and most countries of Europe, and it
will be found that, out of fifty millions of people, not more than two
or three had any pretensions to knowledge, the rest being, comparatively
with Americans, ignorant. In France, which contains twenty-five millions
of people, only one was calculated to be in any respect enlightened,
and, perhaps, under the old system, there was not a greater proportion
possessed property; whilst in America, out of four millions of people,
scarcely any part of them could be classed upon the same ground with the
rabble of Europe. That class called vulgar, canaille, rabble, so
numerous there, does not exist here as a class, though our towns have
many individuals of it. Look at the lazzaroni of Naples; there are
twenty thousand or more houseless people, wretched, and in want! He
asked whether, where men wanted every thing, and were in proportion of
29 to 1, it was possible they could be trusted with power? Wanting
wisdom and morals, how would they use it? It was, therefore, that the
iron-hand of despotism was called in by the few who had any thing, to
preserve any kind of control over the many. This evil, as it truly was,
and which he did not propose to commend, rendered true liberty hopeless.
In America, out of four millions of people, the proportion which cannot
read and write, and who, having nothing, are interested in plunder and
confusion, and disposed for both, is small. In the Southern States, he
knew there were people well-informed; he disclaimed all design of
invidious comparison; the members from the South would be more capable
of doing justice to their constituents, but in the Eastern States he was
more particularly conversant, and knew the people in them could
generally read and write, and were well-informed as to public affairs.
In such a country, liberty is likely to be permanent. They are
enlightened enough to be free. It is possible to plant it in such a
soil, and reasonable to hope that it will take root and flourish long,
as we see it does. But can liberty, such as we understand and enjoy,
exist in societies where the few only have property, and the many are
both ignorant and licentious?

Mr. CHRISTIE wished to make an amendment to the paragraph, which he
thought would answer the end equally as well as striking it out; if
agreeable to the gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. PARKER,) he would move to
put the word "among" after the word "freest," which would read "the
freest and _among_ the most enlightened." He could not say we were the
most enlightened, but he did think us the most free; not that he was
afraid of offending any nation, but he thought this a more consistent
declaration.

Mr. SWANWICK said, nobody doubted but we were free and enlightened, but
he thought their declaration was no evidence of the truth of it. He
thought the last amendment very good, but it would be still better if
the gentleman would put the word "among" a little further back, so as to
read "among the freest and most enlightened." A pacific disposition
could not be proved by any thing so well as treating others with respect
as well as ourselves; we may not be exclusively free or enlightened. He
hoped it would be thus altered.

Mr. CHRISTIE thought we were the freest people in the world; he,
therefore, could not agree to the amendment last proposed.

Mr. COIT could not say with the gentleman last up, that we were the
freest, but he was very willing to agree with the amendment of a
gentleman, that we were among the freest and most enlightened; he
thought the first amendment much improved by this; he said it removed
great part of the difficulty from the minds of many gentlemen; however,
he hoped no unnecessary time would be taken up with such trifles.

Mr. DAYTON (the Speaker) said, that some of the observations which had
been brought into the present debate, were of too delicate a nature to
be commented upon or even repeated; he should not, therefore, follow the
gentleman who spoke last, in his inquiry, how far this country was
exposed to be annoyed by France in the possible, though happily not
probable, event of a rupture with France?

As to the words "freest and most enlightened," which were more
immediately the subject of discussion, he did not object against them on
the ground of fact, but he considered the expression as resolving itself
into a question of decorum and delicacy, the rules of which appeared to
him to be violated, in their ascribing to themselves such a superlative
preference, however true, in a comparison with every other people. The
amendment of the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. CHRISTIE) very much
softened the terms and rendered them more palatable.

Mr. KITCHELL thought we had given a very good proof that we are not the
most enlightened people in the world, by this discussion; and if we
declare to the world that we are, that declaration will be a still more
glaring proof. It appeared to him quite unnecessary; he thought it
spending a great deal of time to no purpose; it was not important enough
for that waste of time, when the session was to be so short; he
therefore wished the question to be put.

Mr. SITGREAVES agreed that a very useless and improper latitude had been
assumed in the discussion, and he thought that a few moments would not
be misspent in recalling the attention of the committee to the real
question before them. The assertion that we are the freest and most
enlightened nation in the world was found fault with, and while some
gentlemen moved to strike it out altogether, others proposed to qualify
it in different ways. Mr. S. believed that, in any modification of the
expression, the criticism was, in itself, extremely unimportant; and if,
as some gentlemen had treated it, it was a mere question of decorum, he
should feel perfectly indifferent whether it was rejected or retained.
But when he heard one member deny that we are the most free, and another
that we are enlightened; and most especially when he heard that the
expression was contended to be improper in relation to the acts and the
administration of the Government, he confessed it did appear to him to
be of some consequence not to part with the expression, lest, by doing
so, the House should give countenance to these objections. For his own
part, he believed the proposition to be true; he conceived the word
"enlightened," as applicable to political illumination; and not to our
rank in arts, sciences, or literature; and he considered the sentence as
equivalent to an assertion that we enjoy the most enlightened system of
political freedom extant. In this view of it, he thought it literally
true; and, if true, he could not discern the indecorum of declaring so
on the present occasion. He was strongly impressed with the propriety of
the idea which he had suggested yesterday, that this should be
considered as an act of intercourse purely domestic, an expression of
self-gratulation on our superior happiness, which, by the forms of
society, ought not to be noticed by any other nation. We may be deemed,
without too bold a figure, to be speaking in soliloquy; and to listen to
what we say would be no better than eavesdropping: the indecorum would
rest with those who overhear us, and not with ourselves. It could not be
denied that such a belief of the superiority of our political situation
ought to be cherished among us. If we did not believe it, we should take
shame to ourselves, because our Government is the work of our own hands.
If the belief that we are free and enlightened is valuable, the
expression of it is also valuable, because it tends to preserve us so;
it is a sentiment which we cannot dwell upon too much.

But, he contended, the propriety of this or any other expression could
not be justly estimated by considering it in the abstract--it ought to
be viewed in its application and use. We are about to lose the services
of the PRESIDENT, who is admitted on all hands to have been a useful and
patriotic officer. The House of Representatives are desirous that he
should take with him to his honorable retirement the only reward which
the nature and spirit of our political institutions admit of--the
approbation of his country. It will surely be admitted that we ought to
give to the expression of this approbation all the value of which it is
susceptible; and it is obvious, from the slightest perusal of this
paragraph in the Address, that the words in question give to it all its
force and energy, and that without them, it would be an unmeaning
compliment. The spectacle of a nation, neither free nor enlightened,
offering to its first Magistrate the tribute of approbation and
applause, would neither be "novel nor interesting," since the days of
history are stained with numberless instances of prostituted praise and
courtly adulation; but when it is the voluntary homage of a free and
enlightened people, offered with sincerity to an illustrious
fellow-citizen, it is truly a precious reward for patriotic labors.
Those who object to this expression, therefore, ought to move to strike
out the whole paragraph. To reject the words would totally defeat the
intended compliment; to qualify them would spoil it. Mr. S., therefore,
wished to retain them as they were reported.

Mr. THATCHER said, he did not think the object of the present question
of much consequence, nor did he care much about it; however, he would
wish to see the members more unanimous on the subject; he would,
therefore, propose an amendment, which he thought would have some
tendency towards it, which was to leave out the superlative, and let the
passage read, "The spectacle of a free and enlightened nation."

Mr. HENDERSON commended the ingenuity of the last motion, as he thought
it would more concentrate the ideas of the members. He would vote for
it.

Mr. CHRISTIE's motion was then put, and negatived.

Mr. THATCHER's motion was put, and passed in the affirmative.

Mr. LIVINGSTON then moved to strike out the words from the next
paragraph, "Wise, firm, and patriotic Administration," and insert in
their place, "Your wisdom, firmness, and patriotism has been." He could
not say that all the acts of the Administration had been wise and firm;
but he would say, that he believed the wisdom, firmness, and patriotism
of the PRESIDENT had been signally conducive to the success of the
present form of government. He was willing to give him every mark of
respect possible, but he believed some of his public acts of late
rendered the present motion necessary.

Mr. W. SMITH opposed the amendment, as he thought the gentleman who
proposed it conceived the words to imply more than was meant by
them--they are not meant to include every act of the Executive. He
thought that the Administration in general had been wise, firm, and
patriotic; that the wisdom and firmness of the PRESIDENT had been
conducive to the success of the present form of government. Had not the
words been put in the reported Address, he thought it would not have
been of consequence whether they were ever inserted; but the difference
is very great. Now they are inserted, they are made public, and, to
erase them now, and substitute words in any manner deficient in
sentiment to them, would be to carry censure and not respect. That the
Administration of that valuable man had been wise and conducive to the
good of this country, will not admit of a doubt; and for us to rob him
of that honor which is his due, would be insult. And any thing short of
the words in the Address he thought would not carry a proper mark of
respect.

Mr. GILES observed, that he thought the Administration had been very
deficient in wisdom. Many gentlemen, he said, were very particularly
opposed to the British Treaty and to the great emission of transferable
paper. Could it then be supposed these gentlemen could, in this
instance, so change their opinion? The gentleman last up had said, that
because the words were in the reported Address they ought not to be
struck out. He thought that the House had now as much power to act as
though the committee had made no report. He thought they ought not in
any way to be influenced by the report of the select committee, but act
as though they had to form the Address themselves. He believed that the
PRESIDENT possessed both wisdom and firmness. He was willing to
compliment the PRESIDENT as much as possible in his personal character,
but he could not think it applicable to his Administration. He thought
the amendment proposed would meet his concurrence, and he hoped it would
be agreed to.

Mr. GILBERT hoped and presumed that the motion of his colleague would
not obtain. He understood that the House addressed the PRESIDENT in
answer to his Speech, always as a public man, and not in his private
capacity. How extraordinary, then, will it appear in this House to refer
only to his private conduct! It is, in substance, complimenting him as a
private man, while the very words reprobate him in his public station.
We are now to address him as PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. We may tell
him of his wisdom and his firmness, but what of all that unless we
connect it with his Administration?

Mr. ISAAC SMITH.--The sin of ingratitude is worse than the sin of
witchcraft; and we shall damn ourselves to everlasting fame if we
withhold the mighty tribute due to the excellent man whom we pretend to
address. Posterity, throughout all future generations, will cry out
shame on us. Our sons will blush that their fathers were his foes. If
excess were possible on this occasion, it would be a glorious fault, and
worth a dozen of little, sneaking, frigid virtues. I abhor a grudging
bankrupt payment, where the debtor is much more benefited than the
creditor. The gentleman from Virginia misrepresents his own
constituents--I am sure he does all the rest of the Union. On the
present occasion we ought not to consult our own little feelings and
sensibilities. We should speak with the heart and in the voice of
millions, and then we should speak warm and loud. What! "Damn with faint
praise:" and suppress or freeze the warm, energetic, grateful sensations
of almost every honest heart from Maine to Tennessee! I will not do it!
Every line shall burn! This is a left-handed way of adoring the people.

Mr. DAYTON (the Speaker) said, the motion then before them was of great
importance, and every man who thought favorably of the PRESIDENT's
Administration should there make a stand. For, if the words were struck
out, it would convey an idea to the world that it was the opinion of
that House that the Administration of the PRESIDENT had neither been
wise nor patriotic. Gentlemen might very well concur in the Address in
its present form, who did not think that every single act of the
PRESIDENT had been wise and firm, since it was his Administration in
general which was referred to, and not each individual act. He hoped,
therefore, the amendment offered would be decidedly opposed, and that
the words proposed to be struck out would be retained.

Mr. GALLATIN thought the words objected to were conceived to mean more
than they really did mean by gentlemen who supported the present motion;
nor could he conceive how the words "firmness and patriotism," proposed
to be inserted, could apply to any thing but the public character of the
PRESIDENT. On the first view of the Address, Mr. G. said, he thought
with the gentlemen from New York and Virginia, and it was not without
considerable hesitation that he brought himself to agree to this part of
the Address. He found, however, on further examination, that they did
not go so far as he at first thought they did. Had they approved of
every measure of the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, he should have
voted against them. But, in the first place, he would observe, that his
Administration did not include Legislative acts; so that whatever evils
had arisen from the funding or banking systems were not to be charged to
the PRESIDENT. They did not mean to pay compliments to themselves but to
the PRESIDENT: therefore, the words in question related only to the
Administration of the PRESIDENT alone, and not to those officers of
State which had been supposed by some gentlemen. The first question was,
then, whether that Administration had been marked with wisdom, firmness,
and patriotism? And, he would briefly say, so far as related to the
internal situation of the country, it had borne these marks. He did not
recollect any instance where he could say here was any want of wisdom,
or there of firmness or patriotism. If they proceeded to foreign
affairs, a great number of members were found (he for one) who wished
that certain acts had not taken place; and, if he thought, in giving
approbation to this Address, he was approving of these measures, he
would certainly vote against it. But, as the gentlemen from South
Carolina and New Jersey (Mr. SMITH and the SPEAKER) had observed, as the
approbation went to the Administration in toto, it had respect to no
particular act. Nor did he believe the literal sense of the words would
apply to the business of the late treaty. [He read the words.] The most
clear meaning of these words related to the present Government and
constitution; and the word "success" could apply to those parts of the
Administration only which had had time to be matured. He did not believe
that at the present period it could be said that the Treaty with Great
Britain had been successful, and, therefore, could not be included
within the meaning of the expression. Not meaning to pledge an
approbation of that act, and not conceiving that the sentence could have
such a meaning, he would vote against the proposed amendment, and for
the original.

The question was put on the amendment and negatived. The committee then
rose, reported the Address with the amendments, when the House took them
up, and having gone through them--

On the question being about to be put on the answer as amended, Mr.
BLOUNT wished the yeas and nays might be taken, that posterity might see
that he did not consent to the Address.

The main question being put, it was resolved in the affirmative--yeas
67, nays 12, as follows:

      YEAS.--Fisher Ames, Theodorus Bailey, Abraham Baldwin,
      David Bard, Theophilus Bradbury, Nathan Bryan, Gabriel
      Christie, Thomas Claiborne, John Clopton, Joshua Coit,
      William Cooper, William Craik, James Davenport, Henry
      Dearborn, George Dent, George Ege, Abiel Foster, Dwight
      Foster, Jesse Franklin, Nathaniel Freeman, jr., Albert
      Gallatin, Ezekiel Gilbert, James Gillespie, Nicholas
      Gilman, Henry Glenn, Chauncey Goodrich, Andrew Gregg, Roger
      Griswold, William B. Grove, Robert Goodloe Harper, Carter
      B. Harrison, Thomas Hartley, Jonathan N. Havens, John
      Heath, Thomas Henderson, William Hindman, George Jackson,
      Aaron Kitchell, Samuel Lyman, James Madison, Francis
      Malbone, Andrew Moore, Frederick A. Muhlenberg, John
      Nicholas, John Page, Josiah Parker, John Patton, John Read,
      John Richards, Samuel Sewall, John S. Sherburne, Samuel
      Sitgreaves, Nathaniel Smith, Israel Smith, Isaac Smith,
      William Smith, Richard Sprigg, jr., William Strudwick, John
      Swanwick, Zephaniah Swift, George Thatcher, Mark Thompson,
      John E. Van Allen, Philip Van Cortlandt, Joseph B. Varnum,
      Peleg Wadsworth, and John Williams.

      NAYS.--Thomas Blount, Isaac Coles, William B. Giles,
      Christopher Greenup, James Holland, Andrew Jackson, Edward
      Livingston, Matthew Locke, William Lyman, Samuel Maclay,
      Nathaniel Macon, and Abraham Venable.

_Resolved_, That the SPEAKER, attended by the House, do present the said
Address; and that Mr. AMES, Mr. MADISON, and Mr. SITGREAVES, be a
committee to wait on the PRESIDENT to know when and where it will be
convenient for him to receive the same.


FRIDAY, December 16.

Mr. AMES, from the committee appointed to wait on the PRESIDENT to know
when and where he would receive the answer of this House to his Address,
reported that he had appointed to receive it at his house this day at
two o'clock.

_Address to the President._

The SPEAKER informed the House that the hour was nearly at hand, which
the PRESIDENT had appointed for receiving the Address of the House, in
answer to his Speech. The members, in a body, accordingly waited upon
the PRESIDENT, at his house; and the SPEAKER pronounced the following
Address:

      "SIR: The House of Representatives have attended to your
      communication respecting the state of our country, with all
      the sensibility that the contemplation of the subject and a
      sense of duty can inspire.

      "We are gratified by the information, that measures
      calculated to ensure a continuance of the friendship of the
      Indians, and to maintain the tranquillity of the Western
      frontier, have been adopted; and we indulge the hope that
      these, by impressing the Indian tribes with more correct
      conceptions of the justice, as well as power of the United
      States, will be attended with success.

      "While we notice, with satisfaction, the steps that you
      have taken, in pursuance of the late treaties with several
      foreign nations, the liberation of our citizens, who were
      prisoners at Algiers, is a subject of peculiar
      felicitation. We shall cheerfully co-operate in any further
      measures that shall appear, on consideration, to be
      requisite.

      "We have ever concurred with you in the most sincere and
      uniform disposition to preserve our neutral relations
      inviolate; and it is, of course, with anxiety and deep
      regret we hear that any interruption of our harmony with
      the French Republic has occurred; for we feel with you, and
      with our constituents, the cordial and unabated wish to
      maintain a perfectly friendly understanding with that
      nation. Your endeavors to fulfil that wish, and by all
      honorable means to preserve peace and to restore that
      harmony and affection, which have heretofore so happily
      subsisted between the French Republic and the United
      States, cannot fail, therefore, to interest our attention.
      And while we participate in the full reliance you have
      expressed on the patriotism, self-respect, and fortitude of
      our countrymen, we cherish the pleasing hope that a mutual
      spirit of justice and moderation will ensure the success of
      your perseverance.

      "The various subjects of your communication will,
      respectively, meet with the attention that is due to their
      importance.

      "When we advert to the internal situation of the United
      States, we deem it equally natural and becoming to compare
      the present period with that immediately antecedent to the
      operation of the Government, and to contrast it with the
      calamities in which the state of war still involves several
      of the European nations, as the reflections deduced from
      both tend to justify as well as to excite a warmer
      admiration of our free constitution, and to exalt our minds
      to a more fervent and grateful sense of piety towards
      Almighty God for the beneficence of His providence, by
      which its Administration has been hitherto so remarkably
      distinguished.

      "And while we entertain a grateful conviction that your
      wise, firm, and patriotic Administration has been signally
      conducive to the success of the present form of government,
      we cannot forbear to express the deep sensations of regret
      with which we contemplate your intended retirement from
      office.

      "As no other suitable occasion may occur, we cannot suffer
      the present to pass without attempting to disclose some of
      the emotions which it cannot fail to awaken.

      "The gratitude and admiration of your countrymen are still
      drawn to the recollection of those resplendent virtues and
      talents which were so eminently instrumental to the
      achievement of the Revolution, and of which that glorious
      event will ever be the memorial. Your obedience to the
      voice of duty and your country, when you quitted
      reluctantly, a second time, the retreat you had chosen, and
      first accepted the Presidency, afforded a new proof of the
      devotedness of your zeal in its service, and an earnest of
      the patriotism and success which have characterized your
      Administration. As the grateful confidence of the citizens
      in the virtues of their Chief Magistrate has essentially
      contributed to that success, we persuade ourselves that the
      millions whom we represent, participate with us in the
      anxious solicitude of the present occasion.

      "Yet we cannot be unmindful that your moderation and
      magnanimity, twice displayed by retiring from your exalted
      stations, afford examples no less rare and instructive to
      mankind, than valuable to a Republic.

      "Although we are sensible that this event, of itself,
      completes the lustre of a character already conspicuously
      unrivalled by the coincidence of virtue, talents, success,
      and public estimation; yet we conceive we owe it to you,
      sir, and still more emphatically to ourselves and to our
      nation, (of the language of whose hearts we presume to
      think ourselves at this moment the faithful interpreters,)
      to express the sentiments with which it is contemplated.

      "The spectacle of a free and enlightened nation offering,
      by its Representatives, the tribute of unfeigned
      approbation to its first citizen, however novel and
      interesting it may be, derives all its lustre (a lustre
      which accident or enthusiasm could not bestow, and which
      adulation would tarnish) from the transcendent merit of
      which it is the voluntary testimony.

      "May you long enjoy that liberty which is so dear to you,
      and to which your name will ever be so dear; may your own
      virtues and a nation's prayers obtain the happiest sunshine
      for the decline of your days and the choicest of future
      blessings. For our country's sake, for the sake of
      Republican liberty, it is our earnest wish that your
      example may be the guide of your successors; and thus,
      after being the ornament and safeguard of the present age,
      become the patrimony of our descendants."

To which the PRESIDENT made the following Reply:

      "GENTLEMEN: To a citizen whose views were unambitious, who
      preferred the shade and tranquillity of private life, to
      the splendor and solicitude of elevated stations, and whom
      the voice of duty and his country could alone have drawn
      from his chosen retreat, no reward for his public services
      can be so grateful as public approbation, accompanied by a
      consciousness that to render those services useful to that
      country has been his single aim: and when this approbation
      is expressed by the Representatives of a free and enlighted
      nation, the reward will admit of no addition. Receive,
      gentlemen, my sincere and affectionate thanks for this
      signal testimony that my services have been acceptable and
      useful to my country. The strong confidence of my
      fellow-citizens, while it animated all my actions, ensured
      their zealous co-operation, which rendered those services
      successful. The virtue and wisdom of my successors, joined
      with the patriotism and intelligence of the citizens who
      compose the other branches of Government, I firmly trust,
      will lead them to the adoption of measures which, by the
      beneficence of Providence, will give stability to our
      system of Government, add to its success, and secure to
      ourselves and to posterity that liberty which is to all of
      us so dear.

      "While I acknowledge, with pleasure, the sincere and
      uniform disposition of the House of Representatives to
      preserve our neutral relations inviolate, and, with them,
      deeply regret any degree of interruption of our good
      understanding with the French Republic, I beg you,
      gentlemen, to rest assured that my endeavors will be
      earnest and unceasing, by all honorable means, to preserve
      peace, and to restore that harmony and affection which have
      heretofore so happily subsisted between our two nations;
      and with you, I cherish the pleasing hope that a mutual
      spirit of justice and moderation will crown those endeavors
      with success.

      "I shall cheerfully concur in the beneficial measures which
      your deliberations shall mature on the various subjects
      demanding your attention. And while directing your labors
      to advance the real interests of our country, you receive
      its blessings; with perfect sincerity my individual wishes
      will be offered for your present and future felicity.

                          "G. WASHINGTON."

The members then returned to the House, and having resumed their places,
the SPEAKER presented a copy of the PRESIDENT's Answer to the Clerk;
which he read.


MONDAY, December 19.

JOHN HATHORN, from New York, and JOHN MILLEDGE, from Georgia, appeared
and took their seats.

A new member, to wit, ELISHA R. POTTER, from Rhode Island, in the place
of BENJAMIN BOURNE, resigned, appeared, produced his credentials, was
qualified, and took his seat in the House.


MONDAY, December 26.

_National University._

Mr. HARPER moved the order of the day, for the House to go into a
committee on the establishment of a National University. The House
accordingly formed itself into a committee--Mr. COIT in the chair.

When the report was read, Mr. MACON said there was the word
"appropriation" in the report. He did not recollect any having been made
for that purpose. He wished to know what was meant?

Mr. CRAIK said, authority was given for the PRESIDENT to appropriate
about twenty acres of land for the erection of this building; this he
supposed to be what was meant.

Mr. NICHOLAS said, that some time or other the institution of a Seminary
in this District may be of use, but at present, and in the manner
contemplated in this report, it would not do. If carried into effect
thus, it will sometime need an appropriation. We are now, said Mr. N.,
going into the subject, but we know not to what lengths it may carry us;
we do not know where it will end. He did not think the time had arrived
to incorporate a company for building a National University. It would be
taking money from those districts of country which can do for
themselves, and would receive no benefit from this institution. It would
be inconvenient and inconsistent for people living at a considerable
distance to send their children to this University; besides, he thought,
the further children are from home, by being less under the eye of their
parents, the more their morals would be injured. If it be a National
University, it must be for the use of the nation. It will then be
necessary to open funds for the purpose of its support. It is
recommended by the PRESIDENT, it is true; but this is no argument why we
should precipitate the business: it is the last time he will have an
opportunity to address this House, and it being an object he should like
to see encouraged when it was practicable, he took that opportunity to
express it. We are not now in a situation to forward its establishment.
It may be done at some time, but Mr. N. thought it would be many years
first. That district of country would be many years before it could
encourage the hope of such a plan prospering. He thought gentlemen from
other parts of the Union would not say they wanted it for their youth.
He thought if the House once entered into the subject, the
responsibility would fall on it to keep up the institution.

Mr. HARPER said, it did not appear to him that the gentleman last up had
attended sufficiently to this report, for he seemed to be much mistaken
as to its principle. There was nothing in it that contemplated pledging
the United States to find funds for its support; nor was it the object
of the report to establish a National University. He agreed with the
gentleman, that we were not arrived at a period for such an institution.
But gentlemen would see that the object of the commissioners was not to
establish a National University or obtain money from the United States,
but their direct object was, to be incorporated, so as to be enabled to
receive such legacies and donations as may be presented to the
institution, and hold it in trust for that purpose. The PRESIDENT had
already given nineteen acres of land, and signified his intention to
give fifty shares in the Potomac canal whenever there was proper
authority to receive endowments. It appears that there is no authority
at present. The memorial goes no further than to authorize them to
receive such benefactions as may be made, and hold them in trust. How
far, then, this went towards involving this House in its support, he
should leave the good sense of gentlemen to judge. Mr. H. thought the
amount of this memorial could not have any evil tendency, but it may
have a good one; for which reason he hoped it would be agreed to.

Mr. BALDWIN did not know any thing, according to his present views,
which could be injurious in the report. At present it seemed favorable
to him. He had two principal ideas in his mind, which made it appear so;
if neither of which was cleared up otherwise, he should vote for it. The
first thing he should ask was, Is such a thing desirable? And then, Is
there a Seminary so near the spot contemplated, as to make it hostile in
this House to encourage this University? He believed there was none that
this will injure, but that an establishment like this would be very
agreeable in that District. If it was desirable, who could undertake it,
who encourage it, like this House? They could not do it themselves. If,
then, the step is a proper one, it can never be too soon to commence it,
although it may be many years before it may be wanted. The objection may
be, that it would be wrong to incorporate a Literary Society; but we
have frequent instances of incorporation, and nothing can prove it
improper, since no pecuniary aid is required, no grant of money is
asked. If it was, I should, like the gentleman before me, (Mr.
NICHOLAS,) disapprove of it, but not now seeing reason to object, I
shall vote for the report.

Mr. CRAIK.--After the caution the committee had observed in forming
their report, to prevent objections, I am sorry they should be charged
with things they do not in the least merit. If the report contemplated
the raising a fund for the support of this institution from the United
States, there might have been some ground for gentlemen's objections;
but, as there is not the most distant view of such a thing, I am
surprised to hear it objected to. I did not expect it from that
gentleman, (Mr. NICHOLAS.) I did not expect to hear him say, that
institutions of this kind were not wanted there; it might have come
better from gentlemen residing in more distant parts of the United
States.

If this subject was now before the House, sir, I should not be against
proving, at this time, that it is the duty of the United States to
establish a University, and that the sooner it was done the better. But,
as this is not the case, as we are only asked to permit its
encouragement, by allowing these people to receive benefactions, how can
we refuse? Shall we shut the door against individual benevolence? There
are appropriations already made to this institution. There is a fund now
of fifty shares in the canal, which is now valuable and increasing in
value daily. I think the situation for this purpose very good; and the
probable increase of the city of Washington will induce many persons to
benevolence for this purpose. I know of no situation more central, and
believe there is no place of the kind in its neighborhood; and from an
established knowledge it would be a very useful and desirable
institution, shall vote for it.

Mr. W. LYMAN.--As far as I can understand, the land which is now to be
appropriated for this University is the property of the United States.
Does not this look as though the United States are to patronize and
support the establishment? If we take this step, I shall very much
wonder if our next is not to be called upon to produce money. I do not
expect much from the liberality of individuals; and can it be expected
that people from the remote parts of the United States will send their
children to this Seminary? Surely not; and consequently their money will
be lost. It will be a natural source of discontent to them to pay their
money merely for others to obtain the advantage. It may be very good for
people thereabout, but remote parts cannot derive the least advantage
from the institution. We are going quite too fast into this business,
without attending to probable consequences.

I think it would have been more proper, if these people had only wanted
this power, for them to have applied to the State Legislature of
Maryland; it would be more to their interest and duty to encourage a
Seminary if one is wanted in that place. They have sufficient power
vested in them to encourage all such laudable undertakings. For us to
encourage this would be to do injury, instead of having a number of
schools planted in various parts, they are now all to centre in one; and
the people are to neglect all to support this one; as others would
become very weak.

I flatter myself to have as liberal sentiments on such institutions as
other gentlemen, but I do sincerely think small academies are as useful
as this institution for a University. The large institutions are
generally out of the reach of people in general, and of the middling
class in particular. These small academies have produced many eminent
literary characters in the country. If it should be necessary at any
time to form a Seminary for the use of that District, Congress would not
refuse its encouragement; but to draw money for a National University I
hope they never will agree. But gentlemen say this is not asked; true it
is not at this time, but there is that in the principle that will most
certainly lead to it.

Mr. DAYTON (the Speaker) said, if it should ever be the policy of the
United States to establish a National University, he was of opinion this
was an improper time for making the decision. He did not believe the
committee who made the report meant to do more than had been stated; but
the effect, he said, would be what he predicted; this measure would be
looked upon as an entering wedge, and they should hereafter be told they
must go through with it. If gentlemen were prepared to sanction an
institution of this kind they would of course do it; he was not prepared
to vote for the measure, but should give it his negative.

Mr. NICHOLAS said he had not been convinced by the observations of
gentlemen who had spoken in favor of this report that all the mischiefs
would not follow this measure which he before predicted. He inquired
into the purpose of establishing a National University. The PRESIDENT
had said (and the commissioners after him) it was to establish a
uniformity of principles and manners throughout the Union. This, he
believed, could not be effected by any institution. If, said he, you
incorporate men to build a University, are you not pledging yourselves
to make up any deficiency? and, as the building must be commensurate
with the object, they would have an enormous empty house continually
calling upon them for contributions to its support. Whatever moderation
had been observed in framing this report, Mr. N. said it was like many
others which came before them: it was so covered as not to show half the
mischiefs which would attend it. If a plan of education was wanted for
that District, let members from that part of the country say so, and he
would be ready to afford them every necessary assistance; but he would
not think of going into the scheme of a National University.

The district of country from whence it came might stand in great need of
seminaries of learning, as had been hinted by the gentleman from
Maryland, (Mr. CRAIK,) but their ignorance must continue until they were
sensible of their want of instruction. He believed there was no Federal
quality in knowledge, and no Federal aid was necessary to the spreading
of it. Every district of country was competent to provide for the
education of its own citizens, and he should not give his countenance to
the national plan proposed, because the expense would be enormous, and
because he did not think it would be attended with any good effect, but
with much evil.

If a University is wanted for the use of that District, or any other
part, Mr. N. said he would give it all the encouragement possible, but
he could not agree to go to such great lengths--lengths which were not
yet explored.

Mr. R. SPRIGG considered the report before them as of a very harmless
nature. The PRESIDENT, he said, had appropriated land upon which to
erect the University in question. They were not called upon to sanction
that appropriation. His power to give it was full and ample. The thing
was done, and he had promised a future donation. The apprehensions of
the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. NICHOLAS) seemed to arise from his
conceiving they were about to sanction a National University, such as
had been recommended by the PRESIDENT. If this were the case, although
the Representative of that District, he should not give his vote in
support of the measure. On the contrary, he said, they were called upon
merely to authorize proper persons to receive donations for a
University. What sort of institution this should be, would be for the
future consideration of Congress. Mr. S. said he should always be ready
to give his support to every measure which had a tendency to spread
knowledge throughout the United States, as he believed the progress of
knowledge and liberty would accompany each other. The gentleman from
Virginia seemed to think this institution would only benefit a small
circle. He did not think the State of Maryland would be much benefited
by it, as they had already two good universities; but he thought it
doing no more than justice to the owners of property in the Federal City
that this institution should be encouraged. What was asked of them would
not commit them at all for any thing further, and it would be a mean of
turning the attention of the people to the support of an institution of
this kind. For these reasons, he hoped the House would agree to the
report.

Mr. LIVINGSTON said he had thought, like the gentleman last up, that
there was nothing in it but what was perfectly harmless, until,
recurring to the law for establishing the permanent seat of Government,
that something more might be intended than the eye could at first
discover. Mr. L. said, he turned the thing a variety of ways in his
mind, and could not account for some of its obscurities. If nothing was
intended but a mere incorporation, why not apply to the State that could
incorporate such a body? Something further seemed to be intended: public
patronage was wanted to support this institution. They were called upon,
at a moment's notice, to give their encouragement to this National
Institution. It is true, they were called upon from very respectable
authority. They were not called upon to appropriate the public funds to
this purpose; but how far the commissioners are justifiable in laying
out public lands for that purpose, he knew not. He had not the law
itself at hand, but he was doubtful about the just disposal of it, if in
this manner. This land was for public use. The use of this land was to
erect buildings on for the benefit of Congress; and if these
commissioners had power to appropriate it for building a National
University on, they had the same power to give it or make use of it for
any other purpose. Such institutions are not public, but private
concerns.

This, said Mr. L., I view as the effects of the resolution, were it to
be adopted; but I would not be thought as in the least reflecting on the
motives of the gentleman who brought it forward. I believe it will
operate (as a gentleman has justly said) as an "entering-wedge;" and at
some future time we shall be told, we must go on--now we have encouraged
its institution, we must support it. We shall hear more about it at a
future day. Gentlemen tell you, sir, that nothing is intended, but
merely to permit its institution. Why cannot they obtain this power
which is asked of us of the State where it is wanted? The laws there
will permit it, and, most likely, it could be obtained. If this report
is agreed to, the time will arrive when this institution will pretend to
a just claim on this House for its support; and the reasons they will
then urge will have a force which will not be easily repelled.

Mr. MADISON said he was very far from considering, with some gentlemen,
that this is a question of right or policy. These ideas are not
comprehended in the present question. It is not whether Congress ought
to interpose in behalf of this institution or not; it is whether
Congress will encourage an establishment which is to be supported
entirely independent of them. He did not consider it would ask a single
farthing from us, nor that it would pledge Congress to endow the
establishment with any support. The State of Virginia thought proper,
during the war, to present the PRESIDENT with fifty shares in the
Potomac canal, in consideration of his services, which he refused
accepting for his own use. He has now offered to give it to this
Seminary.[4] Some other individuals have likewise destined part of their
land for its support, and other benefactions may be expected. The amount
of this motion before the committee is whether we will grant power and
security to persons to receive such donations in trust for the
institution? He conceived it only in this simple point of view, and he
thought if it was worthy of patronage, it ought to be from the United
States.

The gentleman from New York (Mr. LIVINGSTON) seems to say it is not
necessary for Congress to interpose, as the laws of Maryland allow that
Legislature power to do it, and they are the most proper. Congress has
the sole jurisdiction over that District: it is not with the power of
that Legislature. Their power in that District could only operate by
virtue of a grant from the United States; although it is necessary,
until that District becomes the permanent seat of Government, the laws
of Maryland should be in force there. This being the situation, the
commissioners applied to Congress to give them the power to receive
benefactions.

Another thing which gentlemen had objected to, is its being called a
National University. The report does not call it so; it calls it "A
University in the District of Columbia;" which, he thought, was
materially different. Congress may form regulations for institutions
which may be very good, and yet, not be viewed as national institutions.
It was in this qualified light (for he wished not to consider it a
burden on the nation) he meant to vote for the report.

Mr. SPRIGGS said it had been inquired why the Legislature of Maryland
could not have granted the commissioners what they now pray for? He
answered that they could make no law for that District which should
extend beyond the time at which the seat of Government was to be removed
there. He mentioned some instances that had taken place while he was a
member of that Legislature. This, he said, accounted for the application
of the commissioners to Congress.

On motion, the committee rose, and had leave to sit again.


TUESDAY, December 27.

DEMPSEY BURGES, from North Carolina, appeared, and took his seat.

_National University._

The order of the day was called for on the report of the committee to
whom was referred the memorial of the commissioners of the Federal City,
and that part of the PRESIDENT's Speech, which referred to the
establishment of a National University. The House accordingly resolved
itself into a Committee of the Whole on that subject, when the
resolution, reported by the select committee, having been read, no
gentleman rising on the subject, the Chairman inquired if the committee
were ready for the question, and on being answered in the affirmative,
the question was put and negatived by a great majority.

The committee rose, and the Chairman reported their disagreement with
the select committee.

The House then took up the subject.

Mr. MURRAY rose, expressing his great surprise at the unexpected
decision on the question in the committee. He was very much surprised to
see the committee so changed, no opposition, and yet the report so
quickly negatived; surely gentlemen must have mistaken the question. It
is matter of regret such an important subject should have so little
consideration. The language of the report is perfectly moderate and
just. The gentleman from Virginia, yesterday, gave us to understand that
this institution was to draw its support from the National Treasury; but
on examining the report I can find no such idea held out or intended;
and also he told us this was a National University. The gentleman's
observations are grounded in mistake, or it was effected by an
imagination of evils, of which there could not be the most distant
apprehension. If we refer to the memorial of the commissioners we shall
see they ask no money from Congress; they only ask you to erect a number
of gentlemen into a corporate capacity to enable them to receive
donations from those who are well disposed towards instituting a useful
Seminary in that District; this is no more than they have a right to
expect from Congress, and is the duty of Congress to grant. Yet the
determination of the Committee of the whole House has been carried
against this very desirable and reasonable request. I would again repeat
that the language of the memorial is only to enable them to support a
seminary of learning in that place, and not a single shilling is asked
from the nation. They only want a medium to act upon--an act of
incorporation.

The PRESIDENT has generously signified his intention to make a valuable
benefaction, not less than £5000 sterling, and the wise and good in all
parts of the United States would probably follow his example,
particularly in that neighborhood, if Congress would put them in a way
to receive it; a building would then be begun and some advances made
towards the execution of the institution, in proportion to the fund.
Instead of allowing this to be the case, every possible view has been
given unfavorable to the plan, and every possible supposition formed,
though without grounds, which could tend to blast it. The ideas of
gentlemen have been inferred that a large empty house would arise;--that
it would draw from the United States funds for its support. It may be
possible, but it is no way probable. Is it not more probable that these
gentlemen, knowing they cannot expect national support, will keep
themselves within the bounds of their funds, if they mean to carry on
the institution? Certainly this seems most consistent with the wisdom
and prudence of men in that capacity. Nothing is asked of the public in
the report of the select committee:--nothing they have a right to ask. I
therefore hope, as the request is perfectly reasonable, gentlemen will
not be too hasty to oppose such a measure without due consideration.

Mr. CRAIK.--I must confess I feel as much surprised as my colleague on
the decision which has just been given in the Committee of the Whole.
Some gentlemen who opposed the report yesterday conceived there was some
secret poison lurking within it--some dangerous principle not to be
discovered on its face, which would some time produce baneful
influences--this has been insinuated though not directly said. If so it
must come there by accident, or of itself, which those gentlemen must
allow if they will give themselves the trouble to examine the true
principle of it, and give it a just decision. When we examine the
materials of which this report has been formed, viz: the PRESIDENT's
communication on this subject in his Speech, and the memorial of the
commissioners;--we should be led by those gentlemen to believe, that
this, which is the groundwork of the report, is connected to convey
something which may extend further than it seems to carry its object;
this perhaps is the secret poison hinted at. Were I in the situation of
the PRESIDENT, I am free to confess, had I studied my own feelings and
the great use of the institution, I should have recommended it. It has
been justly said, that the PRESIDENT, from the impulsive importance of
it, has taken this opportunity--this last opportunity to recommend it.
He has recommended it with earnestness; which gives an additional proof
of his sincere regard for the welfare of his country. I hope this will
not be conceived in favor of the idea suggested. The commissioners
seemed to have anticipated the objections which have been made to a
National University, and have purposely avoided inserting it in their
memorial. They have cherished similar ideas which I have, of the
eligibility of such an institution, but foreseeing that plan would not
be approved, they have relinquished that, and only requested
incorporation to enable them to act in trust for the institution. They
do not call upon this House to put their hand into the Public Treasury;
they seem to have possessed somewhat of the prophetic, to see the
necessity of forming their memorial so little objectionable; and yet
there is supposed to be danger in this simple request.

Gentlemen have supposed a responsibility, a peculiar obligation to
support it, would be attached to the United States, were they to give
this privilege. As well might it be said that Congress, by allowing a
bridge to be built, or a road to be cut, would incur the expense, or if
it could not otherwise be done for want of money in the applicants,
would be engaged to do it for them at the national expense. If there are
objections of force in one instance they will apply to the other. If
this is denied it proves that District to be wretched outcasts, being
denied a request the most reasonable, natural, and just that can be
contemplated. Many of the objections urged, indeed most of them, against
the admission of this report, do not go so much to the exclusion of the
measure, as to the danger of Legislative interference. Gentlemen say, if
we move in it--if we put our hands at all to it, we pledge ourselves to
effect it. If this is the situation with the people of Columbia, the
year 1800 will be a woful year to them; this is an unhappy presage of
the jurisdiction to be exercised on that country. If it is inexpedient
for that District to have a Seminary of Learning, let gentlemen who
could state it with truth, come forward and say so. If the objections of
gentlemen are not grounded on the danger of this House pledging itself
to support the institution nor on the inexpediency of such a thing in
that District, I am at a loss, for my soul, to conceive on what ground
their objections are formed. I was surprised yesterday to hear the
opposition come from the quarter it did; and am equally surprised to
find such an opposition now. In my view there is a very great want of
Seminaries of Learning in that District.

If we take a view on the south side of the Potomac, for a considerable
extent of country, there is no institution to answer any desirable
purpose. There is the greatest probability of a rapid increase in the
population. Is it not reasonable, then, that an institution of this kind
should be established in that place? And if reasonable at all, are we to
wait till the period arrives when the country is thickly inhabited
before we commence a building and project the plan? I have long thought
that in this young country such a thing was necessary. It should be now
begun, to grow up with its growth and strengthen with its strength. We
should now lay the corner-stone--the foundation to build upon. Though
such a Seminary cannot be established now, it may fifty years hence; and
it can never be too soon to commence a good institution. We are not
called upon to travel into the fields of speculation for the purpose of
finding funds to support this plan; there are funds which present
themselves to view. We only want a grant to secure the benefactions in
prospect. The PRESIDENT has employed a handsome benefaction for this
purpose; and I much wonder that gentlemen from that part of the Union
should oppose measures that would only encourage its reception. When I
take a view of the extent of country which lies much in want of a
Seminary, I feel surprised that such measures towards its growth should
be denied.

If there are any gentlemen here who oppose the advancement and growth of
that District which they have taken under their wing, they should come
forward and declare it; we then should have ground to account for their
conduct. If we are determined to deny these people common justice, we
dispirit them. There is no circumstance which can occur that will tend
so much to discourage the growth of that State; if we forbear to do them
this justice, we exclude them looking up for those common rights which
could be enjoyed in any other Territory of the United States. I hope
this House will never deny to that people, rising into existence, this
small privilege. Is it a strange thing, I would ask gentlemen, for a
State to grant charters? I answer, no. And for this State to be denied
this privilege only to secure a fund for such an excellent institution,
I believe is quite a novel idea. I hope if there are any doubts on this
subject, they will lie over for future consideration; and I hope we
shall be careful not to damp the attempts of that people by a conduct
which could not be refused by any State in the Union; and that Congress
should refuse it without assigning a sufficient reason is unprecedented.
I hope it will lie over for future consideration, and not be refused so
quickly.

It was moved that the subject should lie over until the second Monday in
January.

The question for postponement was put and carried--ayes 37, noes 36.


WEDNESDAY, December 28.

_Relief to Savannah._

Mr. W. SMITH wished the House to resolve itself into a Committee of the
Whole on the resolution, which he had the other day laid upon the table,
proposing to afford some relief to the sufferers by the late fire at
Savannah. For his part, he said, he could see no reasonable objection
which could be made to so benevolent a proposition. A gentleman in the
House had got a plan of the ruins of the city; it was, indeed, a most
distressful scene. There had never occurred so calamitous an event of
the kind in the United States, or which had so strong a claim upon the
General Government for relief. He said they had granted assistance to
the sufferers by fire at St. Domingo; and surely if it were justifiable
to grant relief to foreigners in distress, it was at least equally so
when the objects were our own citizens. If gentlemen had objections to
the measure, he wished they would state them. The sum with which he
should think of filling up the blank would not be such as to materially
affect our finances.

Mr. MILLEDGE said, if the unfortunate had any claim upon the Government
for relief, none could have greater than the citizens of Savannah. Few
houses, he said, were remaining of that city, and those few were the
least valuable. Not a public building, not a place of public worship, or
of public justice--all was a wide waste of ruin and desolation, such as
scarcely could be conceived, and as it were impossible to describe. He
hoped some relief would be afforded to distress so unexampled.

Mr. COOPER said, it was a very unpleasant thing to come forward to
oppose a measure of this sort; but, when they looked into different
parts of the Union, and saw the losses which had been sustained at New
York, Charleston, &c., it would appear only reasonable that, if relief
was afforded in one case, it ought to be extended to another; and, if
this resolution were agreed to, he should certainly move to have some
relief afforded to New York. He hoped, however, the business would not
be proceeded with. If the principle were a good one, it would bear going
through with; but it would be seen this would, on the contrary, prove a
dangerous one. What they did to-day, he said, should bear repeating
to-morrow. If they were to make good losses by fire, there would be no
occasion for insurance companies, nor any inducement to build with brick
in preference to wood. He felt as much as others for the distresses of
the people of Savannah, but was of opinion it was not a proper business
for the interference of that House.

Mr. W. SMITH agreed with the gentleman last up that this would be
considered as a precedent; he agreed that they ought not to do that
to-day which ought not to be done to-morrow. It might be brought forward
as a principle upon which we should be bound to relieve New York or
Charleston; but the question is, whether this is not a distinct case?
This is a case awfully distinguishable from all others; and if a case
like the present will not be often found, this House are certainly not
bound to grant relief in others, though in this. He trusted such a case
would not be again found to solicit relief. Charleston, he said, had
experienced a great calamity by fire, but had not asked relief of that
House; and it was probable if it had it would not have been granted,
because its distresses are not so great. In a distressing situation like
that now before us aid can be afforded by the many towards alleviating
the distresses of the few. Hence arises the advantages from public
contributions; and would that House, he asked, refuse their assistance?
It would not be felt by the public purse. It has been said, to adopt
this resolution would have a dangerous tendency, inasmuch as it would
encourage a neglect of insurance. But the evil has come; the unfortunate
circumstance has occurred; four-fifths of that unfortunate city has been
destroyed, and their distress is great. Such a circumstance may not
again happen for a century. The amazing value of £500,000 sterling
damages is done; and shall we refuse to give a trifle to assist, with
others, towards removing the present distressed situation of some of the
unfortunate inhabitants? I trust not. It is not asked of the House to
indemnify the loss of these sufferers. No, sir; it is only asked that
the General Government should give the trifling sum of fifteen or twenty
thousand dollars to afford these people some relief.

The question was then put for the House to resolve itself into a
Committee of the Whole on the subject, and lost--yeas 38, nays 39.

It was then moved that the committee be discharged from the further
consideration of the subject.

Mr. W. LYMAN hoped the business would not be disposed of without going
into a Committee of the Whole. He thought more respect was due to the
feelings of the sufferers than to dispose of the subject without
discussion. He hoped the committee would not, therefore, be discharged.

Mr. HARTLEY trusted the committee would not be discharged. He believed
the destruction of Lisbon by an earthquake did not occasion greater
mischiefs than the late fire had done to Savannah. The Legislature of
Pennsylvania, which had no greater power than the General Government to
afford relief to these sufferers, had given $15,000. Indeed, he thought
it more the province of the General Government than of State Governments
to afford relief in such cases.

Shall we, said he, treat the citizens of Savannah with more disrespect
than the people of St. Domingo? This House then gave $10,000 or more for
the relief of those people, and shall we not now have liberty to discuss
the subject, whether to give or not to our own citizens? Although, he
said, he would not wish to draw a precedent from English transactions,
yet he would observe that their generous benevolence to the unfortunate
sufferers by the earthquake at Lisbon, though only commercially
acquainted was worth imitation, to whom they gave £100,000. Mr. H. was
sorry gentlemen should endeavor to prevent this by bringing in the
calamities in New York and Charleston. Those were only personal losses;
this was a general conflagration, a catastrophe unprecedented; and he
hoped, for the sake of humanity and national honor, this House would
never withhold relief.

Mr. SPRIGG hoped the committee would not be discharged, but that they
would go into the business at an early day. He said, he had not made up
his mind how far they had power to afford relief in a case like the
present. There was an instance in the relief afforded to the daughters
of the Count de Grasse, as well as that given to the sufferers at St.
Domingo. He wished for further time to make inquiry on the subject. If
there were not insuperable objections to the measure, he hoped relief
would be afforded.

Mr. HARPER acknowledged that it was sound policy in Government to keep a
strict eye over its Treasury; but this watchfulness ought not to go to
the rejection of all claims, however just and proper. He thought the
tenaciousness of approaching the Treasury was carried too far in the
present instance. He would ask, what was the use of society if it were
not to lessen the evils of such calamities as the present, by spreading
them over the whole community, instead of suffering them to fall upon
the heads of a few individuals? He thought it the duty of Government to
alleviate such peculiar distress as the present. It was said this would
prove a dangerous precedent, and prevent necessary provisions against
fire. If they were about to make good the whole of the £500,000
destroyed, there might be some ground for the alarm; but when fifteen or
twenty thousand dollars only were contemplated to be given, no great
danger could surely be apprehended. The fires at New York, Baltimore,
and Charleston, had been mentioned; but what were the means of Savannah
when compared with New York? Not as one to twenty. New York was rich
enough to bear her loss, but this could not be said of Savannah, all the
inhabitants of which were reduced to poverty and distress. They could
not, therefore, get relief from their fellow-citizens; and to whom could
they look for protection and relief with so much propriety as to the
General Government? When compared to Charleston, the loss of Savannah
was of ten times the magnitude as that experienced by it. The loss of
Charleston was alleviated by a subscription of $30,000 from its own
citizens, besides the handsome contributions which were made in other
parts of the Union; but there was no property left in Georgia to afford
relief to the sufferers. Suppose, said Mr. H., we were to give thirty
thousand dollars towards this loss, what would it be when divided among
the whole Union? And yet it would be enough to draw down countless
blessings upon us from these objects of distress. He hoped, therefore,
the committee would not be discharged. It was a case of peculiar and
almost unprecedented affliction, such as he hoped would not again occur;
and a decision in their favor would be applauded by every man, woman,
and child in the Union.

The question was then taken for going into a Committee of the Whole on
the subject, and carried by a considerable majority, there being 45
votes for it.

The House accordingly resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole,
when

Mr. W. SMITH said, he did not propose to fill up the blank at that time.
If the resolution was agreed to, the sum could be put in when the bill
came into the House. He himself should not think of proposing to fill
the blank with more than 15,000 dollars. This, it was true, was but a
small sum, but it would afford relief to the poorer class of sufferers,
and others could not expect to receive the amount of their losses. He
should move that the committee might rise and report the resolution.

Mr. HARTLEY called for the reading of the act allowing relief to the
sufferers by fire at St. Domingo. [It was read. It allowed 15,000
dollars for their relief, which sum was to be charged to the French
Republic, and if not allowed in six months, the relief was to be stopped
after that time.]

Mr. MACON wished the act allowing a sum of money to the daughters of
Count de Grasse to be read also. He did not think either of them in
point. The sufferings of the people of Savannah were doubtless very
great; no one could help feeling for them. But he wished gentlemen to
put their finger upon that part of the constitution which gave that
House power to afford them relief. Many other towns had suffered very
considerably by fire. He believed he knew one that had suffered more
than Savannah in proportion to its size: he alluded to Lexington in
Virginia, as every house in the place was burnt. If the United States
were to become underwriters to the whole Union, where must the line be
drawn when their assistance might be claimed? Was it when three-fourths
or four-fifths of a town was destroyed, or what other proportion?
Insurance offices were the proper securities against fire. If the
Government were to come forward in one instance, it must come forward in
all, since every sufferer's claim stood upon the same footing. The sum
which had been given to the sufferers at St. Domingo was to be charged
to the French Republic, and that given to Count de Grasse's daughters
was in consideration of their father's services. But New York had as
great right to come forward and expect relief as Savannah. He felt for
the sufferers in all these cases, but he felt as tenderly for the
constitution; he had examined it, and it did not authorize any such
grant. He should, therefore, be very unwilling to act contrary to it.

Mr. RUTHERFORD said, he felt a great deal of force on what gentlemen had
said. There were two circumstances which were perfectly conclusive in
his mind. He saw it our duty to grant relief from humanity and from
policy. Savannah was a city of a minor, helpless State; it was a very
young State, yet it was a part of the Union, and as such, was as much
entitled to protection as any State under such a direct misfortune; and
it became Congress to alleviate their great distress. They have lost
much; they have, many of them, lost their all. To say we will not assist
to relieve, when almost every State in the Union is putting their
shoulders to support these people's burden, is wrong. The State of
Pennsylvania has done itself immortal honor in the relief it has
afforded, and shall we not help to support this part of the family in
their distress? This State is a branch of the great family of the Union;
it would be, in my idea, extremely inconsistent to neglect them. He
hoped the motion would be adopted, and he hoped it would never be said
that the General Government refused to provide help in such a poignant
distress occurring in one of its principal towns.

Mr. HARTLEY said, that the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. MACON) had
voted against both of the bills which had been referred to. He knew no
difference between the Constitution of the United States and that of
Pennsylvania, yet a vote in their House had been carried unanimously. He
thought the law for the relief of the sufferers of St. Domingo perfectly
in point; for, notwithstanding what was said about negotiation, the
distress of those people had consumed all the money before the six
months were expired. If ever there was a case in which they could grant
relief, this was one. The losses at New York and Charleston would bear
no comparison with that of Savannah; they were rich and flourishing
places, whilst Savannah was a small city of a new State, and the
sufferers generally poor. He hoped, therefore, the resolution would be
agreed to.

Mr. MOORE said, the laws which had been adduced as precedents were not
in point; for the one sum we were to have credit with the French
Republic, and the other was in consideration of past services. The
distress of the people of Savannah was not an object of legislation;
every individual citizen could, if he pleased, show his individual
humanity by subscribing to their relief; but it was not constitutional
for them to afford relief from the Treasury. If, however, the principle
was adopted, it should be general. Every sufferer had an equal claim.
Lexington, in Virginia, contained only one hundred houses, and all
except two had been destroyed by fire. He should therefore move to add
Lexington to Savannah in the resolution before them; though he would
observe, as he did not approve of the principle, he should vote against
them both.

Mr. VENABLE did not see the difference between the two cases which was
so distinguishable to the gentleman last up. Because Savannah was a
commercial city, its distress, according to that gentleman, was
indescribable, but when a like scene was exhibited in a small town, it
was no longer an object which touched his feelings. His humanity went no
where but where commerce was to be found. He asked whether the United
States might not as well lose revenue in the first instance, as put
money into the people's pockets to pay it with? Humanity was the same
every where. A person who lost his all in a village, felt the misfortune
as heavily as he who had a like loss in a city, and perhaps more so,
since the citizen would have a better opportunity by means of commerce
of retrieving his loss. He was against the general principle, as he
believed, if acted upon, it would bring such claims upon the Treasury as
it would not be able to answer.

Mr. MURRAY thought the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. VENABLE) carried his
idea of relief too far. He had no idea that that House, or any
Legislature, could undertake to make good individual misfortunes. He was
of opinion that the lines which separated individual from national
cases, were very observable; the one was happening every day, the other
seldom occurred. When a large town is burnt down, and that town is an
important Southern frontier town, it is surely a national calamity, and
has a claim upon the humanity of the country. It was true, the claim was
not of such a nature as to be brought into a Court of Justice, but it
was a calamity in which the whole nation sympathized. It was not only a
claim upon the humanity of the nation, but also upon its policy, as, by
restoring it to its former situation, it would be able to bear its
wonted part in contributing to the revenue of the country, and would
continue to carry population, arts, and wealth to that distant part of
the Union. In case of war, Savannah was a most important place. It was
necessary the Union should have a town in that situation, and he could
not consider any money which might now be advanced as given away, but as
lent to that town, which might enable it, in a few years, to resume its
former situation, whilst the withholding of it might prevent its ever
rising from its present ruins.

Mr. KITCHELL was opposed to the amendment and to the resolution itself.
He had doubts if even they were to give the citizens 15,000 dollars, as
was proposed by the gentleman from South Carolina, whether they should
not, instead of service, be doing them an injury; because, if the
General Government were only to give this sum, the State Legislatures
would proportion their donations accordingly, and probably give much
less than they would otherwise have done, if they had not had this
example before them. He had doubts as to the constitutionality of the
measure; he thought the constitution did not authorize them to make such
use of public money; however, he thought it might be a very flexible
instrument; it would bend to every situation, and every situation to
that. He thought, in this instance, if we grant money, while we attempt
to serve, we shall eventually injure. As to what the gentleman from
Virginia says of Lexington, Mr. K. thought it had been fully relieved;
however he should vote against both propositions.

Mr. PAGE said, that he was sorry that his colleague had made this
amendment, as he had done it with a view to defeat the original
resolution. If humanity alone were to direct his vote upon this
question, and if the amendment had been proposed more early and singly,
he might have voted for it. But that not being the case, it, as well as
motives of general policy, influenced him in favor of the original
motion. He had reasons which could not apply to the amendment. He should
vote against it. He was bound by order to confine himself to the single
question before the committee. This is, Shall the amendment be received
or not? He declared it as his opinion that the case of Lexington ought
not to be connected with that of Savannah, which had been, as stated by
the member from South Carolina, materially different. He was restrained
by order from entering into the merits of the original resolution, but
he thought that he had a right to hint at the motive of policy which
would apply to the resolution, and not to the amendment. This was, that
Savannah being an important place, it would be wise and politic to
prevent its revival from being owing to any other aid than that of the
General Government of the United States. It ought not to be under
obligations to individuals, or single States, and much less to a foreign
power.

Mr. HARTLEY hoped the amendment would not prevail. If the loss of the
people at Lexington had been greater than they could support, they would
doubtless have applied to the Legislature of Virginia, but he had not
heard of any such application having been made. He agreed with the
gentleman last up, that the General Government ought to relieve
distresses of this kind.

Mr. MURRAY inquired when the fire happened at Lexington?

Mr. MOORE answered, about nine months ago. He thought it was the duty of
the United States first to pay the claims which were made upon them by
distressed soldiers and others for past services, who were denied
justice because they had passed an act of limitation. If they were to
act from generosity, he said that generosity ought to be extended
universally. It was a new doctrine that because a sufferer by fire did
not live in a commercial city he was not equally entitled to relief with
the inhabitants of a city, and that though such persons were called upon
to contribute to the losses of others, they could have no redress for
their own. This seemed as if favorite spots were to be selected upon
which special favor was to be shown. He was opposed to all such
humanity.

Mr. CLAIBORNE was against the amendment, but he hoped the resolution
would be agreed to. He was sorry any gentleman should propose an
amendment like this, purposely to defeat a motion which would tend to
relieve such sufferers as those of Georgia must be. He was not certain
whether he could vote upon constitutional grounds or not. It was a sharp
conflict between humanity to that suffering country and the
constitution. If any case could be admissible, he thought this could; it
ought to be remembered, that that part of the Union has suffered much.
Georgia was a slaughter-pen during the war, besides being continually
harassed by the hostile Indians. He thought 15,000 dollars would not be
ill-spent, as from motives of policy it would be of more advantage to
the United States from the quick return the revenue would gain. Indeed,
if constitutional, he hoped the sum would be made more than proposed.
These are your fellow-citizens who are suffering, and if not speedily
relieved, the whole interest will be involved. If in order, he would
vote that the committee rise, to enable him and, perhaps, many others,
to consult whether relief could be constitutionally granted? He said he
felt a great propensity to do it.

The question was put on the amendment and negatived--there being only 26
in favor of it.

Mr. BALDWIN said, he had doubted whether to make any observations on
this motion; not that he was insensible to the calamitous situation
which had been the cause of it, but from an apprehension that it might
be thought he was too strongly affected by it. Though it might be
disagreeable to one to give his judgment and urge his opinions, when his
own relation to the question was different from that of others, yet some
of the reflections might not be useless to those who were to determine
it. He was sure it was not a want of disposition to relieve the unhappy
sufferers that had or would draw forth an observation on this occasion,
but merely doubts as to the powers of the Federal Government in money
matters. The use of a written constitution, and of that provision in it
which declared that no money should be drawn from the Treasury but under
appropriations made by law, was very manifest from the caution which it
gave in the expenditure of public money and in laying burdens on the
people; yet he believed it impossible to obtain absolute directions from
it in every case. The objection is, that Congress is empowered to raise
money only to pay the debts and to provide for the common defence, and
the other purposes, exactly as specified in the 8th section. The
objection has often been made, but many laws have passed not exactly
specified in that section. He mentioned the private acts before alluded
to, the law for establishing light-houses, to aid navigation in the
improvement of harbors, beacons, buoys, and public piers, establishing
trading-houses with the Indians, and some others, to show that though
the constitution was very useful in giving general directions, yet it
was not capable of being administered under so rigorous and mechanical a
construction as had been sometimes contended for.

Mr. GILES said, if the present resolution passed it would make them
answerable for all future losses by fire. The small sum of $15,000 was
not of any consequence when compared with the establishment of a
principle of that House acting upon generosity. He believed that
neither the money nor humanity, but the establishment of the principle,
was the thing aimed at. The unanimity with which a resolution had passed
the Pennsylvania Legislature, was a proof that they believed they had
the power to pass such a law. It was said the General Government
possessed the authority. The gentleman from Georgia had said that
"affairs of men" made it necessary to depart from the strict
constitutional power. For his part, he did not think they ought to
attend to what "the affairs of men" or what generosity and humanity
required, but what the constitution and their duty required.

The authority of that House, he said, was specified, beyond which they
ought not to go. This was a principle not within the constitution, but
opposed to it.

There had, he said, been several cases introduced. That of the sufferers
of St. Domingo was not a case in point. They looked for a reimbursement
of the money. He believed it had been repaid. And when the daughters of
the Count de Grasse had $4,000 given them, it was thought to be
necessary to introduce their father's services as a consideration. His
feelings, he said, were not less alive to the calls of humanity than
those of other gentlemen; but, by granting the money required, they
should go beyond their powers, and do more real injury than good.

Mr. CLAIBORNE said, the more he heard, the more he found himself in
favor of the resolution. By the discussion it had undergone, he was
inclined to think it was, perhaps, reconcilable with the constitution;
perhaps it was, he said, for he was not certain. The annual revenue, he
said, of that place, was seventy thousand dollars to the United States,
besides the great consideration of it as a frontier town. He had
compared the advantages and disadvantages with respect to its relief in
his own mind, and thought it would be highly consistent with policy to
grant relief. It was a place which had been in great distress, and had
great struggles with enemies in times past. Can it be possible to
suppose that we have not power to assist in erecting that place again,
and putting it upon a footing to do good to the United States by a
return of her revenue? Certainly not. Would the committee be willing
that Savannah should be erased from the revenue? Are they willing to let
it rest, and lose it? This is impossible. Then, surely, it becomes
policy to give aid towards its re-erection. Unless the people do receive
some aid, it will be a long time before seventy thousand dollars will be
again produced from the revenue of that place.

The committee then rose and reported their disagreement, when the House
took it up.

The question was then taken, and the yeas and nays demanded, "that the
House do agree with the Committee of the whole House in their
disagreement to the motion," and resolved in the affirmative--yeas 55,
nays 24, as follows:

      YEAS.--Theodorus Bailey, David Bard, Thomas Blount,
      Theophilus Bradbury, Richard Brent, Samuel J. Cabell,
      Gabriel Christie, John Clopton, Joshua Coit, Isaac Coles,
      James Davenport, George Dent, Abiel Foster, Jesse Franklin,
      Nathaniel Freeman, jr., Ezekiel Gilbert, William B. Giles,
      James Gillespie, Nicholas Gilman, Chauncey Goodrich,
      Christopher Greenup, Roger Griswold, William B. Grove,
      Carter B. Harrison, John Hathorn, Jonathan N. Havens, James
      Holland, Andrew Jackson, George Jackson, Aaron Kitchell,
      John Wilkes Kittera, Edward Livingston, Samuel Lyman,
      William Lyman, Samuel Maclay, Nathaniel Macon, Andrew
      Moore, Anthony New, John Nicholas, Josiah Parker, Francis
      Preston, John Read, Samuel Sewall, Nathaniel Smith, Israel
      Smith, Richard Sprigg, jr., William Strudwick, John
      Swanwick, Zephaniah Swift, Richard Thomas, Philip Van
      Cortlandt, Joseph B. Varnum, Abraham Venable, Peleg
      Wadsworth, and John Williams.

      NAYS.--Abraham Baldwin, Dempsey Burges, Thomas Claiborne,
      William Craik, George Ege, Dwight Foster, Henry Glenn,
      Andrew Gregg, Robert Goodloe Harper, Thomas Hartley,
      William Hindman, Francis Malbone, John Milledge, Frederick
      A. Muhlenberg, William Vans Murray, John Page, Elisha R.
      Potter, John Richards, Robert Rutherford, John S.
      Sherburne, Samuel Sitgreaves, Jeremiah Smith, Isaac Smith,
      and William Smith.


THURSDAY, December 29.

GEORGE HANCOCK, from Virginia, appeared, and took his seat.

_Canadian Refugees._

Mr. WILLIAMS moved for the order of the day, that the House resolve
itself into a committee on the reports of committees to whom were
referred the petitions of sundry refugees from Canada and Nova Scotia.

The first resolution read from the last report of the select committee
on this subject, was in these words:

      "_Resolved_, That the prayer of the Petitioners, Joseph
      Green and others, from Canada, praying a bounty in lands
      and other pay, for services rendered in the late war with
      Great Britain, ought not to be granted."

This resolution was agreed to. The second was thus:

      "_Resolved_, That a tract of land, not exceeding ----
      acres, be laid off north-west of the Ohio River, beginning
      at the mouth of the Great Miami, and extending down the
      Ohio, not exceeding three times the breadth in length, be
      immediately appropriated to compensate the refugees from
      the British provinces of Canada and Nova Scotia, pursuant
      to the resolves of Congress of the 23d of April, 1783, and
      the 13th April, 1785."

Mr. WILLIAMS hoped the situation of the land would not be mentioned in
the resolution; there were many circumstances that would render it
unnecessary and improper.

Mr. HARTLEY wished to know where the land was to be, because the value
of the land in different places was various; he thought they ought to
have land: he would not be thought to object to the resolution.

Mr. VENABLE did not think it necessary to mention at this time what land
should be appropriated for this purpose. A bill would be introduced in a
few days, it could then be determined. If there were objections to
appropriate the land mentioned, he hoped gentlemen would then propose a
spot that would suit every conveniency better. These people, he said,
ought to be satisfied: it was time they were.

Mr. DAYTON said, that the Chairman of the committee said there was no
land near Lake Erie of that description belonging to the United States;
he wished to know what foundation the assertion had?

Mr. GREENUP said, the committee had made what inquiry they could on the
subject, of persons well informed, who told them there was no land
belonging to the United States of that description.

Mr. SITGREAVES would vote for striking out the clause as it stood, not
from any knowledge he had on the justice of the claims, but, if just,
satisfaction should be given. The committee had not reported as to the
value of land necessary to be given; the value of land was proportioned
to its different qualities and location; he thought it would be as well
for these people, to give them military land warrants, and let them
locate by lot: this had heretofore been the method, and he thought it
would be as advantageous to them as any, and avoid many difficulties
with respect to the grant.

Mr. MACON hoped the question would be divided; he liked the proposition
of the gentleman last up, to strike out, and insert the words proposed;
he therefore would wish the committee to rise, and report progress; or,
if the House do not adopt the substitute, he hoped it would be
recommitted.

Mr. DAYTON moved to strike out the words relative to location, and
substitute the following resolution:

      "_Resolved_, That provision ought to be made by law for
      granting donations of land to Canadian and Nova Scotia
      refugees, in conformity to the resolves of Congress of the
      23d of April, 1783, and the 13th of April, 1785."

This resolution was adopted.

The third was--

      "_Resolved_, That five hundred acres of land be granted to
      each refugee from Canada and Nova Scotia."

This resolution was attended with three explanatory restrictions. It
passed, and the Chairman read the first of these rules, which was, "that
the applicant shall make proof, before some Court of record, of his
actual residence in one of the provinces aforesaid, previous to the ----
day of ----."

Mr. GREENUP supposed this was meant merely as the outlines of a plan to
be completed when the bill was brought in; at this time it was necessary
that instruction should be given to the committee that they may bring in
a bill consistent with the will of the House.

Mr. DAYTON objected to this, and the two following clauses. He objected
also to the resolution for an indiscriminate grant of five hundred acres
of land to each refugee. Some of these people would be found to deserve
more and some less, in proportion to their exertion and sufferings. Some
might have lost large property, or have had large families. If Mr.
DAYTON had observed what the committee were doing, he would have
objected to the passing of that clause. He likewise opposed the present
one. This clause and the remaining two were negatived.

The Committee of the Whole then rose. The Chairman reported progress.
The House took up the report. The first resolution and the second, as
altered in the committee, were agreed to.

The question on the third resolution was then put.

Mr. MACON thought that it would be exceedingly improper to grant an
equal quantity to each; it ought to be entirely circumstantial.

Mr. GREENUP was of the same opinion; he said some of these people had
suffered more than others. The circumstances of some were such that they
were in irons, in close confinement twelve or fourteen months, many of
them had the warrant signed for their execution, and a variety of
cruelties were exercised: these distresses required consideration.

Mr. BALDWIN hoped it would be struck out; the House should not go into
particulars of the quantity to be given, or the circumstances of the
persons; he had seen great difficulty attending these specifications. He
did not like this loose way of doing business; they need not open land
offices for that purpose; some way would be found out to give the people
satisfaction.

Mr. WILLIAMS hoped the committee would not be restricted.

The question on the third resolution was then put, and lost.

A committee was then appointed of Messrs. GILMAN, WILLIAMS, and GREENUP,
with instructions to bring in a bill pursuant to the resolutions as
amended.


_Kidnapping Negroes._

Mr. SWANWICK called the order of the day on a report of the Committee of
Commerce and Manufactures, made the last session, on a memorial from the
State of Delaware, respecting the kidnapping of negroes and mulattoes.
The House accordingly resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on
the subject.

Mr. SWANWICK said, that there was a mischievous practice in use of
carrying these people away from the place of their residence, by masters
of vessels, and selling them in other parts. The plan of the committee
was to get instructions from the House to bring in a bill making it
necessary for every master of a vessel to have a certificate of the
number and situation of any negroes or mulattoes he may have on board.
He hoped the measure would not at all be opposed, as it only prevented
thefts in this case.

Mr. COIT wished to know whether it was necessary for the United States
to intermeddle with this? He wished the report had been more
satisfactory, and stated the principles upon which it was formed with
more precision. The evil, he doubted not, existed, but the law might
create a greater evil than that it was intended to cure. It appeared to
him that the laws in the several States were fully adequate to the
subject without further provision; he was not ready to give a vote on it
either way at present.

Mr. SWANWICK said, the report was grounded on an application from the
Legislature of Delaware. [Mr. S. here read the memorial from that State
to Congress.] The practice, he said, was very injurious and dangerous to
that State, and he hoped a remedy would be attempted, as it was in the
power of Congress to provide one by this method; some of the States had
made an attempt to remedy this evil, but their laws were broken with
impunity. If the resolution of the committee passed, he should move that
the committee bring in a bill in pursuance thereto.

Mr. SWANWICK said, the laws of the different States forbade the stealing
of negroes; but they had no remedy that would take effect out of their
own State: and although each had effect in their own State, yet they had
no power on the water. The intention of the present measure was to
oblige masters of vessels, when they cleared out of any ports in the
Delaware, when they took any negro or mulatto on board, to have a
certificate of their being free. The situation of the State of Delaware,
communicating with both the Delaware and Chesapeake, was, in this
respect, particularly exposed to insult and injury; but this remedy, he
thought, would be effectual. The gentleman last up wished the committee
to rise, in order to recommit it: he should vote for it if the gentleman
was willing to add, "to bring in a bill." The gentleman was in the
committee, if he had stated his objections there, it might have saved
time.

Mr. MURRAY wished to know what was fully meant by the idea of preventing
kidnapping. He confessed he did not rightly understand the meaning of
the word. Was the intention of the committee to have reference to the
taking of free negroes and selling them as slaves, or the taking slaves
to make them free?

Mr. SWANWICK said it was intended to prevent both evils. It was intended
to prevent their being stolen from their masters; and, also, to prevent
the power of the master taking them to the other States to sell them.
This measure, he thought, would prevent both. The State of Maryland had
taken measures to prevent it themselves; they had made it a heavy
penalty to take a negro out of the State; but that is not effectual to
prevent the evil now complained of. This was meant to prevent the
practice of examining ships before they sailed and when they arrived.

Mr. W. SMITH wished the committee to rise; not with a view of
recommitting the report, but to get rid of the business altogether. The
subject, he said, involved many serious questions; it required very
serious consideration, and he wished it had never come up. It was a
question with him how far Congress had a right to meddle with it at all.
He felt alarmed on the subject as brought from that State. He considered
it as a kind of entering-wedge, as a gentleman had lately said, on
another occasion. It was altogether a municipal regulation, and not at
all connected with trade or commerce, and therefore ought to be left to
the State Legislatures to settle. He did not think the constitution
allowed that House to act in it.

Gentlemen had said, that the laws of the States took no effect on the
waters. This, he thought, was founded on a mistake. The laws of the
States could prevent robbery on water as well as on land, if within the
jurisdiction of the United States. He hoped the committee would rise,
and dismiss the subject.

Mr. ISAAC SMITH thought the gentleman knew not the proper meaning of the
report. It was not to make a law against stealing merely, but against
its being done successfully; many instances, he said, had occurred,
where they had been hid many days on board the ships and taken away in
the night to the West Indies, and other parts of the world to sell them.
It was impossible that the existing laws of the States should prevent
this fraudulent practice: the intent of this law was to prevent this
practice; by being examined, and forced to take certificates along with
them, it could not be easily done. The particulars of the remedy would
be more readily seen when the bill was brought in; it would explain
itself; it then might be modified, altered, or rejected altogether. He
thought it could give no offence or cause of alarm to any gentleman; and
he was sure it was no way contrary to the constitution.

Mr. MACON wished the committee to rise, and not have leave to sit again.
He began to see more of the impropriety of the measure than before, and
for the same reasons as the gentleman from South Carolina, (Mr. SMITH.)

Mr. SWANWICK said, this House had ascertained a certain proof, by which
our seamen are known, by giving them a certificate of their citizenship,
specifying their person and freedom, which had operated against
impressment: and was it not equally necessary, and would it not be
equally competent, to protect a man from injuries to which his color has
exposed him? Our unfortunate negroes and mulattoes are exposed by their
color to much insult. In some places, he said, they were so exposed,
that color alone was evidence of slavery. He would not enter into the
question, whether all ought to be free, because it was not immediately
before the House; but if these people were black or white, if free, they
ought to be protected in the enjoyment of their freedom, not only by
State Legislatures but by the General Government.

Mr. MURRAY did not expect to have raised the sensibility of the
gentleman last up. It really arose from his ignorance, he said. He
wished to know the origin of the matter; he did not know whether it had
originated in a memorial, or whether it came from the humanity of some
patriotic member, unsolicited. Great and manifold evils did exist in
this point; he meant to make a motion on the subject, as Maryland felt
heavily from the practice. He confessed he was not sufficiently
acquainted with the English language to know the proper meaning of the
word _kidnapping_; he therefore wished to know if it extended to the
object he had in view. He declared he did not wish to encourage the
harboring of negroes; far from it; he wished to prevent it. He did not
think the law extended far enough on that point; at present, negroes,
through the influence of their own minds, or the insinuations of others,
or both, frequently leave their masters, and are harbored by other
persons. The law takes no notice of this, except it can be proved that
the negro is some person's property, and has absconded: this is very
difficult to prove; therefore great evils attend its lenity. 'Tis true,
if it can be proved that the negro has absconded and was harbored, there
was a very heavy penalty inflicted; but, he said, this was difficult to
prove. This, he owned, was his _insinuation_, as the gentleman termed
it; and upon this subject he meant to claim the attention of the House.
This evil, he said, might arise from the false philosophy and misplaced
philanthropy of the advocates of emancipation. He was ever willing to
give the question a fair trial, and thought himself bound to thank the
gentleman for his extreme benevolence in advocating it.

Mr. SWANWICK, to satisfy the gentleman from Maryland, told him, that the
subject came before the House from the State of Delaware.

Mr. W. SMITH said, he did not know how far the committee should go, he
should not vote for the matter to go into the committee. He said, it was
that kind of business which, by the constitution, was to be left to the
different States, he could not agree to the subject going any further.
The observations of the gentleman from Pennsylvania had convinced him
that that House ought not to interfere with the individual States on the
subject; the interests and policy of the different States were so
various, that it would be a dangerous thing to meddle with. He thought
it an improper question for discussion; he conceived it would be sound
policy not to touch it in that House. The gentleman had gone too far to
make use of the word _emancipation_. He feared lest the use of it should
spread an alarm through some of the States. It might imperceptibly lead
from step to step till it ends in mischief.

Mr. NICHOLAS hoped the business would not be dismissed. We, said Mr. N.,
who reside in the Southern States, are unfortunately possessed of such a
kind of property as has a considerable odium attached to it; but, if we
unfortunately hold slaves, we ought not to contribute to the making
slaves of free men, but I would wish to establish them in their freedom.
If we can give relief as the thing exists, let it be; by all means do
it, whether it incur the pleasure or displeasure of some of the
slaveholders. He hoped the subject would have full investigation.

The question was then put for the committee to rise. Fifty-four members
rising in the affirmative, it was carried.

Mr. SITGREAVES then moved for the Committee of the Whole to be
discharged from the further consideration of the report; this, he said,
was in order to make way for another motion to refer it back to the
committee, to report by bill or otherwise.

The question was put, and the committee discharged.

Mr. SWANWICK moved that the business be recommitted to the Committee of
Commerce and Manufactures, to report by bill or otherwise.

Mr. COIT wished the subject to be postponed for further consideration
before it was sent to the committee. He had doubts as to the propriety
of sending it at all. He thought it had not had that discussion a
subject so important required.

Mr. W. SMITH said, he believed this was the first time it was considered
in the House. It had been tried in a committee but never taken up by the
House, and now gentlemen wished to send it back to the committee, with
instructions to bring in a bill. The Committee of Commerce and
Manufactures was considerably deranged since last session, when this
business came before them; many new members were added, and it required
more information before it could come to the conclusion prescribed.

Mr. SITGREAVES said, if any one good purpose could be derived to the
House or to the gentlemen, he would not oppose it; but he was at a loss
to know what good object could be attained by a delay. With respect to
what had been said by the gentleman, (Mr. SMITH,) that the committee
were forced to bring in a bill, he was surprised that such an idea
should be formed. If that committee report a bill, this House is not
even pledged to pass it. When the subject is sent to the committee with
that instruction, can it be conceived that committee is forced to report
a bill? There is no such thing intended nor included in the words, as
either this House should be pledged to pass a bill, or that the
committee should report one. The object is, that the House, through the
medium of the committee, should have a plan prepared for their
consideration, and the word "otherwise" leaves the committee to exercise
its own discretion as to the report.

The gentleman from Connecticut, with a prudence and consistency highly
becoming, wishes time to think on the subject. But how is that gentleman
to have foundation for his reflections until a bill is drawn? Mr. S. did
not know what were the resources of that gentleman's mind, but for
himself, he must own that in all the attitudes in which this subject
had presented itself, he could not distinctly see the plan. One
gentleman had said there was no remedy the United States could apply but
what was incompatible with the laws of the individual States. Mr. S.
presumed that until he saw the mode to be adopted, he could not say
whether it was easy or difficult. On the whole, he thought to postpone
the subject could answer no good end, while it might delay the object,
and do injury.

Mr. COIT said, very probably the resources of his mind may not be equal
to that gentleman's, he therefore wished the subject to be delayed that
he might have time to get into the knowledge of the business.

Mr. COIT'S motion for postponement was then put and carried--yeas 46,
nays 30.


_Hugh Lawson White._

Mr. BLOUNT then called for the order of the day on the report of the
Secretary of War on the petition of Hugh Lawson White, a soldier under
General Sevier, against the Indians. The House accordingly resolved
itself into a Committee of the Whole.

The following report from the Committee of Claims was then read:

      That the claim set forth in the said petition, is intended
      to establish a principle that will apply to the whole of
      the militia which were called out under Brigadier General
      Sevier, in 1793, to act offensively against certain Indians
      south-west of the Ohio.

      That the expedition against these Indians, as appears from
      the muster-rolls, comprehended a period of above five
      months, or from the 22d July to 31st December, 1793.

      That it was undertaken without authority derived from the
      President, under the laws of the United States, and for the
      avowed purpose of carrying the war into the Cherokee
      country.

      That the tenor of the instructions from the Department of
      War to the Governor of the South-western Territory forbade
      offensive operations.

      Having given these facts, it may be proper to add, that it
      appears, by a recurrence to official papers, that the
      Indians had greatly perplexed and harassed by thefts and
      murders, the frontier inhabitants of Tennessee; and
      previous to the service, for which compensation is
      demanded, had shown themselves in considerable force, and
      killed at two stations (one of them within seven miles of
      Knoxville) fifteen persons, including women and children:
      that it must rest with Congress to judge how far these
      aggressions of Indians, and such other circumstances as can
      be adduced to the parties, constitute a case of imminent
      danger, or the expedition a just and necessary measure.

Mr. A. JACKSON[5] said, by a recurrence to the papers just read, he
doubted not it would appear evident, that the measures pursued on the
occasion alluded to were both just and necessary. When it was seen that
war was waged upon the State, that the knife and the tomahawk were held
over the heads of women and children, that peaceable citizens were
murdered, it was time to make resistance. Some of the assertions of the
Secretary at War, he said, were not founded in fact; particularly with
respect to the expedition being undertaken for the avowed purpose of
carrying the war into the Cherokee country; indeed they were
contradicted by a reference to General Smith's letter to the Secretary
of War. He trusted it would not be presuming too much, when he said,
from being an inhabitant of the country, he had some knowledge of this
business. From June to the end of October, he said, the militia acted
entirely on the defensive, when twelve hundred Indians came upon them
and carried their station, and threatened to carry the seat of
Government. In such a state, said Mr. J., would the Secretary (upon whom
the Executive power rested, in the absence of the Governor) have been
justified, had he not adopted the measure he did of pursuing the enemy?
He believed he would not; that the expedition was just and necessary,
and that, therefore, the claim of Mr. White ought to be granted.

He therefore proposed a resolution to the following effect:

      "_Resolved_, That General Sevier's expedition into the
      Cherokee Nation, in the year 1793, was a just and necessary
      measure, and that provision ought to be made by law for
      paying the expenses thereof."

Mr. HARPER said, this appeared to be a subject of considerable
importance; he hoped the resolution would, for the present, lie on the
table. He therefore moved that the committee rise and ask leave to sit
again.

Mr. COIT said, the report wanted some more preparation before it should
have come before the House; he would therefore move that it be referred
to the Committee of Claims; he knew of no reason against this reference,
as many reports from Heads of Departments had been so referred.

Mr. BLOUNT hoped the motion would not prevail. The expedient of
referring it to the Secretary at War was resorted to, when it first came
before the House. He hoped now it would not be deferred, but decided on.
He thought the Committee of Claims, from having once had it before the
House, knew as much of the case as they could know, and perhaps all was
included in this report.

Mr. D. FOSTER made the same observations in effect as Mr. BLOUNT.

Mr. COIT said, gentlemen had not given a shadow of a reason why it
should not be referred to that committee.

Mr. JACKSON owned he was not very well acquainted with the rules of the
House, but from the best idea he could form, it was a very circuitous
way of doing business. Why now refer it to the Committee of Claims, when
all the facts are stated in this report, he knew not. If this was the
usual mode of doing business, he hoped it would not be referred.

Mr. W. LYMAN thought, the time it was under consideration before, when
referred to the Secretary at War, was the time to have thought of
referring it to that committee; but now it was too late; now the House
had a report before it. It appeared to him a mere formality. It looks
like throwing the business out. He had not made up his mind which way he
should vote, but he thought one report was sufficient; he, therefore,
hoped it would come under consideration.

Mr. BLOUNT said, when he first presented the petition, he moved it to be
referred to the Committee of Claims; it was then rejected, and sent to
the Secretary at War.

The Committee rose, and obtained leave to sit again.


FRIDAY, December 30.

_The Chickasaw Claims._

ALEXANDER D. ORR, from Kentucky, appeared, and took his seat.

Mr. ANDREW JACKSON presented a petition of George Colbert, one of the
chiefs and warriors of the Chickasaw nation of Indians, complaining of a
non-performance of stipulations entered into in certain _talks_ held
with Governor Blount and other agents of the United States, in which
they agreed in defensive support of each other's rights; that their
nation was invaded by the red people, (the Creeks,) when they applied,
according to treaty, for aid; that their brother, James Robertson, said
he had no orders to send them any assistance; and that he must first
have orders from their father the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
However, a detachment of volunteers under the command of Colonel
Mansker, came to their aid. He asked compensation for supplies furnished
to that detachment during sixty days. He said he had applied to his
beloved friend the Secretary at War, who told him that Congress had set
apart no money out of which it could be paid; he, therefore, applied to
Congress for relief.

This petition was referred to the Committee of Claims.

_Hugh Lawson White._

The House again resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on the
petition of Hugh Lawson White.

The resolution of Mr. ANDREW JACKSON having been read,

Mr. COIT called for the reading of the petition upon which the report
was founded. It was read.

Mr. A. JACKSON said, the rations found for the troops on this expedition
had already been paid for by the Secretary of War, and he could see no
reasonable objection to the payment of the whole expense attending the
expedition. As the troops were called out by a superior officer, they
had no right to doubt his authority. Were a contrary doctrine admitted,
it would strike at the very root of subordination. It would be saying
to soldiers, "Before you obey the command of your superior officer, you
have a right to inquire into the legality of the service upon which you
are about to be employed, and, until you are satisfied, you may refuse
to take the field." This, he believed, was a principle which could not
be acted upon. General Sevier, Mr. J. said, was bound to obey the orders
he received to undertake the expedition. The officers under him were
also obliged to obey him. They went with full confidence that the United
States would pay them, believing that they had appointed such officers
as would not call them into the field without proper authority. If even
the expedition had been unconstitutional (which he was far from
believing), it ought not to affect the soldier, since he had no choice
in the business, being obliged to obey his superior. Indeed, as the
provisions had been paid for, and as the ration and pay-rolls were
always considered a check upon each other, he hoped no objection would
be made to the resolution which he had moved.

Mr. COIT said, he had called for the reading of the petition, because he
could not see the connection between it and the resolution under
consideration. The petition prayed for recompense for the services of
the petitioner, and the men under his command, and the proper resolution
would be that the prayer of it ought or might not be granted; but,
instead of this, the resolution before them went to the whole troops
employed in General Sevier's expedition.

Mr. A. JACKSON said, by referring to the report it would be seen that
the Secretary of War had stated, that to allow the prayer of this
petition, would be to establish a principle that would apply to the
whole of the militia in that expedition. If this petitioner's claim was
a just one therefore, the present decision ought to go to the whole, as
it was unnecessary for every soldier employed in that expedition, to
apply personally to that House for compensation.

Mr. RUTHERFORD observed, that the gentleman from Tennessee had set the
matter in so fair a light that it was not necessary to say much more on
the subject; but, as he had been acquainted with the frontier from his
infancy, he would just give it as his opinion, that the expedition was a
necessary one, and that the expense ought immediately to be paid. He
hoped, therefore, the resolution would be agreed to unanimously.

Mr. HARPER was not prepared to say, without more information than he had
on the subject, that the measure was just and necessary, or the
contrary. He felt disposed to think favorably of the expedition; but he
thought the House should have further information before it came to any
resolution on the subject. They had, it was true, a letter from General
Smith, the then Secretary, but he thought this was not sufficient. He
thought it would be better to refer the report and other papers to a
select committee, with instructions to inquire into the necessity and
propriety of the expedition, and report thereon. He hoped, therefore,
the present resolution would be disagreed to, and the committee would
rise. He would then bring forward a resolution to that effect. The
Secretary of War, he said, had not gone fully into the subject; he had
given them copies of two letters, but not his opinion. He did not think
that an expedition of so important a nature, and which must involve in
it a very heavy expense, should be decided upon without further
information.

Mr. CRAIK agreed in sentiment with the gentleman from South Carolina,
(Mr. HARPER.) He said there was great difficulty in forming an opinion
from the report itself; though the Secretary of War seemed to think the
calling out of the Militia necessary, there were other expressions in
the report which appeared to convey a contrary sentiment. He referred to
the letter of General Smith, but mentioned that there were other papers.
He could not say the expedition was not necessary; but he thought
further information was desirable, and the report should be committed to
a select committee, for the purpose of gaining that information.

Mr. W. SMITH agreed with the two gentlemen last up, that further
information was necessary. The question, he said, involved a number of
important points. In the first place, a question was involved, whether,
if the expeditions was necessary, as it was not authorized by law, the
expense ought to be defrayed by the United States? By the report of the
Secretary of War, it had appeared that Congress were well apprised of
all the circumstances which rendered the expedition necessary, yet they
did not think proper to authorize it. In the letter of the Secretary of
War to Governor Blount, on the subject, was this passage:

      "If those difficulties existed while the Congress were in
      session, and which, it was conceived, they alone were
      competent to remove, they recur, in the present case, with
      still greater force; for all the information received at
      the time Congress were in session, was laid before both
      Houses, but no order was taken thereon, nor any authority
      given to the President of the United States; of consequence
      his authority remains in the same situation it did on the
      commencement of the last session. It is, indeed, a serious
      question to plunge the nation into a war with the Southern
      tribes of Indians, supported as it is said they would be."

Mr. S. also read from the report "that the expedition was undertaken
without authority," &c. The Secretary afterwards, indeed, stated, in his
report, the disagreeable situation of the country at the time, by way of
palliative; but, as Congress were possessed of these facts, and did not
authorize offensive operations, it became a nice point to determine
whether the expedition in question was justifiable. He would not say
that such a situation of things might not occur as would justify a
measure of the kind, but it was of consequence to determine whether this
was such a case, which could not be done hastily. Neither had the House
any information of the magnitude of the expense, whether it would be
two or three hundred thousand or half a million of dollars. He should,
therefore, hope the Committee of the Whole would be discharged, and that
the subject would be committed to a select committee.

Mr. MADISON saw no necessity for referring this subject to a select
committee. If it was suggested that the official information which was
before them was inaccurate, and that a more full explanation of the
situation of things was necessary, there would be some ground of
reference; but he did not find that this was the case. The Secretary of
War stated facts, and referred to documents to prove "that the Indians
had greatly perplexed and harassed, by thefts and murders, the frontier
inhabitants of Tennessee, had shown themselves in considerable force,
and killed at two stations fifteen persons." If this was a state of
facts, and it could not be doubted, the words of the constitution on the
subject were clear: "No State shall, without the consent of Congress,
lay any duty on tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace,
enter into any agreement or compact with another State, or with a
foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such
imminent danger as will not admit of delay."[6] There could be no doubt,
therefore, Mr. M. said, but this expedition came within the meaning of
the constitution. In many cases, he said, it was difficult to determine
betwixt offensive and defensive operations, as it was sometimes
necessary, when acting on the defensive, to use an offensive measure. He
had no doubt on the subject, and thought the expense of the expedition
should, by all means, be paid.

Mr. DAYTON (the Speaker) said, that he was not prepared to adopt the
resolution which was moved by the member from Tennessee, nor even to
decide finally upon it, unless he could be persuaded that the gentleman
from Virginia (Mr. MADISON) was correct in saying that the report before
them contained all the information which it was possible for them to
obtain. He was convinced that there were other official papers and
documents which would throw additional light upon the subject, and
therefore, ought to be in possession of the Committee of the Whole
before they took any decisive step. He alluded to the confidential
communications from the PRESIDENT, in December, 1792, which gave rise to
lengthy discussion, with closed galleries, upon the measures that ought
to be adopted in consequence of the hostile acts and threats of those
very south-western Indians, who were the objects of the expedition for
which they were called upon to pay. The House of Representatives then
decided that they would neither declare war against those nations of
Indians, nor authorize the PRESIDENT to carry an offensive expedition
into their country, if, in the recess of Congress, he should deem it
proper, in consequence of their continuance in hostility. As the acts of
Congress upon this very application would operate in future as a
precedent and kind of commentary on that part of the constitution which
limited the instances in which a State might levy troops and act
offensively, without the previous assent of the General Government, they
could not, Mr. D. said, be too particular in their investigation, nor
too strict in their reference to dates and facts. He hoped that the
Committee of the Whole, would be discharged, and the report of the
Secretary of War referred to a select committee, whose duty it would be
to report those facts, with their dates, which gave rise to the claim in
question, and which justified, under the provision in the constitution,
the raising of troops and carrying on an offensive war, without the
previous consent of Congress or approbation of the PRESIDENT.

Mr. NICHOLAS believed, on a reference to dates, it would be seen that
these attacks of the Indians were subsequent to those which were in the
knowledge of Congress at the time mentioned, as they took place while
Governor Blount was at Philadelphia; and he thought no further
information was necessary on the subject than the letter from General
Smith to the Secretary of War, printed with the report, to prove that
the expedition was both just and necessary. General Sevier's going into
the Cherokee country was no proof that his operations were offensive. If
other information could be obtained by referring the business to a
select committee, he should have no objection; but he believed this
would not be the case. He wished the letter of General Smith to be read.
[It was read accordingly.]

Mr. BALDWIN was not able to recollect how great a portion of the members
present were in the House when this business was brought before Congress
in the year 1792. His own recollection was fresh upon the subject. It
was a period when they were much alarmed for our Indian frontier, North
and South. The North was fortified, and it was recommended to have a
legion on the South. The gentleman from South Carolina, he recollected,
was opposed to the measure, and thought the Executive had determined too
soon upon hostility. Mr. B. said he had at that time frequent
conversations with the then Secretary of War, who informed him that he
had written to the Governor of Tennessee that, in case the pressure of
the Indians was so great as to require it, he must call out the militia.
The Governor was well known, and sufficient confidence was placed in him
that this power would not be abused. He believed the troops on the
Northern frontier had not proved sufficient, and that they had already
paid the expense of troops which were called in to their assistance. At
this period, Mr. B. said, the danger which threatened the country was
great, and it was happy for us it had been so well got over. He believed
it was well that the legion for the Southern frontier was not equipped,
though he at that time thought it necessary. The expense of the
expedition in question, he said, would be nothing compared with that
which would have taken place had the legion contemplated been equipped.
Mr. B. said, he had no doubt with respect to the propriety of paying the
expense of this expedition. He did not think the number of men was
great, or that the charge would be very heavy.

Mr. DAYTON (the Speaker) said, he was inclined to believe the attacks of
the Indians, which provoked the expedition of General Sevier, were
subsequent to those in the knowledge of Congress at the time the subject
was under discussion.

He was one of those, he said, who thought that the hostile dispositions
shown by those Indians at that time called for force, and he had
introduced a resolution, by means of his colleague, to that effect. It
was not, therefore, that he did not think the expedition authorized, but
because he had a desire to have the facts relative to the subject
clearly stated, that he wished the business to be committed to a select
committee.

Mr. RUTHERFORD said, they were not particular about the manner of doing
the business, provided it was done. He was confident the expense of the
expedition ought to be paid. When the Indians were upon them, what could
the Governor do? Was he to send forward to the seat of Government to be
instructed what to do? No; resistance was necessary, and it was not
becoming in them now to say, "You did not act perfectly regular--the
thing was not exactly as it should have been." It was a critical period,
he said, and if the expenses were not paid, it might have a bad effect
in future.

Mr. KITCHELL was in favor of the committee rising. He remembered the
transactions which took place on this business, as mentioned by his
colleague, (Mr. DAYTON.) He said, he was one of those who voted against
the proposition of using hostile means, because he thought it possible
to ward off the evil. It had been warded off; but he believed there was
sufficient ground for calling out General Sevier, and he doubted not, if
the business was referred to a select committee, the result would be
satisfactory to those gentlemen who brought forward the business.

The committee rose, and leave not being granted to sit again, on motion,
the report and papers accompanying it were referred to a select
committee of Messrs. A. JACKSON, J. SMITH, BLOUNT, DENT, and HARPER.[7]


FRIDAY, January 20, 1797.

_Direct Taxes._

The House then took up the consideration of the resolution reported
yesterday by the Committee of the Whole, on the subject of further
revenue.

Mr. COIT wished for a division of the question, viz: that the
proposition for a tax on land and that for slaves should be put
separately.

Mr. SWANWICK called for the yeas and nays. They were agreed to be taken.

Mr. NICHOLAS thought the resolution should not be divided, but that the
propositions for a tax on land and a tax on slaves should go together,
as he should object to vote for the tax on land except that on slaves
accompanied it. He thought the gentleman had better try the question, by
moving to strike out what respected slaves.

Mr. MADISON thought it would be best for the two propositions to go
together; but if they did not, he did not think the embarrassments
insuperable. If the question was divided, those who thought a tax on
slaves necessary must vote for the first part; and if the second was
rejected, there would not be wanting an opportunity of voting against
the tax on land. It was necessary to observe, that it had been found
expedient to associate these two taxes together, in order to do justice,
and to conform to the established usage of a very large tract of
country, who were entitled to some degree of attention, and to whom a
tax on land, without a tax on slaves, would be very objectionable.

Mr. COIT said, he could not gratify the gentleman from Virginia by
varying his motion, as it would not answer the purpose he had in view.

Mr. NICHOLAS supposed, if the motion was persisted in, he was at liberty
to move to insert _slaves_ in the first part of the resolution. The
gentleman certainly knew his own views best; or he thought it was
possible to have settled the business he proposed.

Mr. W. SMITH saw no difficulty on the subject. Gentlemen would vote for
the first part of the resolution, in hopes that the second would pass;
but if it did not pass, they would have an opportunity of voting on the
main question, and thereby defeat the whole.

Mr. VAN CORTLANDT would vote for both together, but not separately.

Mr. GALLATIN inquired as to a point of order, whether, if the first
part of the resolution was carried, and the second negatived, the
question would not then be taken upon the resolution as amended?

The SPEAKER answered in the affirmative.

Mr. WILLIAMS said, it would save time if the question was taken upon the
whole resolution together; for if several gentlemen voted against the
first proposition, lest the last should not pass, the whole might in
this way be defeated. He thought a vote might be safely taken upon the
whole together, as no one would be bound by the vote in favor of the
bill, if he should not approve of it. For his own part, he wished to see
the plan, though he did not know that he should vote for it.

Mr. NICHOLAS supposed there was not the difficulty mentioned by the
gentleman from New York. Gentlemen would not risk the whole by voting
against the first part of the resolution; since, if the second was not
carried, they could afterwards reject the whole.

The question was then put, that the House agree to the first resolution,
viz:

      "_Resolved_, That there ought to be appropriated, according
      to the last census, on the several States, the sum of----,
      to be raised by the following direct taxes, viz:

      "A tax ad valorem, under proper regulations and exceptions,
      on all lands, with their improvements, including town lots,
      with the buildings thereon."

It was resolved in the affirmative--yeas 48, nays 39.

The second part of the resolution, relative to slaves, was about to be
put, when

Mr. GALLATIN said, before the question was taken on this division, he
would just mention why this species of personal property was brought
under view, whilst all other personal property was unnoticed.

It was very true, that stock upon a farm in the Northern and Eastern
States paid nearly as great a proportion of the taxes of those States as
the negroes did those of the Southern States, and therefore it might
seem somewhat wrong to introduce negroes in the one case and not cattle
in the other. The reason which induced the Committee of Ways and Means
to adopt this mode was, that negroes are confined to certain spots of
land in the Southern States, while horses and cattle extend nearly over
a whole country. And a land tax, unaccompanied with a tax on slaves,
would be very unpopular in those States, as it would throw too great a
burden upon farmers who did not hold slaves, and fall too lightly upon
those whose property chiefly consisted of slaves. There was this
difference betwixt the two species of property: A farmer in the Northern
or Eastern States would not think himself aggrieved by not paying a tax
upon his farming stock; but a farmer in the Southern States would think
himself aggrieved if his land was taxed, whilst the slaves of the
slaveholder were not taxed. It was on this account that this species of
property was introduced.

Mr. MURRAY was not struck with the observations of the gentleman last
up, so as to say he would ultimately vote for this species of tax; at
present, he should vote for a bill to be brought in; but unless he found
the bill could reconcile the principle more, and do greater justice in
the case than he at present conceived, he should then oppose it.

He said, he considered slaves in the Southern States as laborers, and
unless gentlemen could show him where laborers were taxed, he should not
think it right to vote for that part of the bill. He was decidedly in
favor of a land tax, but against the other part of the question. Mr. M.
said, he merely mentioned this that he might not hereafter be charged
with inconsistency, in case he should vote against the bill. He
repeated, unless provision be made for taxing labor in other parts of
the United States, he must vote against this part of the bill if brought
in, because the tax would operate very unequally.

Mr. HARPER said, though he was entirely opposed to the tax proposed by
the resolution, and should vote against the whole, yet he thought it
right that a tax on slaves should be introduced with a tax on land; for,
as this direct tax was to be raised by apportionment through the States,
whether the Southern States paid on slaves, or the Northern States on
land, made no difference in effect; each paid in its own way; one mode
was more convenient for the Northern, another for the Southern, and
another for the Eastern--no injury was done by this to any other State.

Mr. G. JACKSON said, he was against all species of direct taxation, but
particularly on this species; and, if a tax on land was carried, he
should bring forward a resolution to lay a tax upon all property vested
in public securities. He wished for the yeas and nays on this question.

The yeas and nays were agreed to be taken.

Mr. NICHOLAS wondered to hear the observation of his colleague. He
should vote for the question, though he and his constituents would be
affected by it; but, in the district which that gentleman represented,
there were no slaves; and it was therefore his constituents' interest to
have a tax on slaves, in order to lighten that on land.

Mr. G. JACKSON said, it was not so much on account of the interest of
himself or constituents that he opposed this tax, but he objected to it
as a capitation tax.

Mr. MOORE said, the situation of the Southern States had been truly
stated. In the Western parts, there were few slaves. He said, in the
representation to that House, the labor of the negroes had been
considered as five to three, with respect to white persons; therefore,
the ability of the State to pay was considered in the same proportion.
His colleague from the mountains (Mr. G. JACKSON) should consider that,
if the holders of slaves were not to pay a portion of the tax imposed on
the State of Virginia, it would fall very heavy upon his constituents,
and those of his colleague, where few blacks were kept.

He hoped, therefore, it would pass.

Mr. JEREMIAH SMITH was aware that a tax on slaves would lighten the tax
on land in the Southern States, and therefore he did not wonder at the
Representatives from those States wishing it to take place; but, by so
apportioning the tax, would not the landholders in the Southern States
pay less than the landholders in parts of the Union where no slaves were
kept? He believed they would. A person, for instance, in New Hampshire,
holding the value of £1,000 in land, would pay a larger portion of the
tax than a holder of land to the same extent in Virginia. He believed
this would be unjust, and an objection to this mode of taxing the
Southern States, as, though the tax would fall more equally on them, it
would not be so with respect to other States.

Mr. GOODRICH said, this tax was introduced into the system for the
accommodation of that part of the Union where slaves were numerous.

A disposition to render the plan as acceptable, in every part of the
country, as it could be made, consistently with the interests of the
whole, ought to prevail. But, before a tax on slaves was adopted, its
operation on the Union, and its effects, as it respected different
districts, should be considered.

A direct tax ought to fall as equally as possible every where; that on
land and houses, with their improvements, which had been agreed to,
would be laid by a valuation seldom repeated--perhaps, once in ten or
fifteen years. The expense of its assessment and collection would be
nearly equal throughout the United States; but, with respect to a tax on
slaves, there would be required frequent enumerations--at least an
annual enumeration. This would be attended with considerable expense, to
be defrayed, not by the particular districts, for whose benefit this
species of tax was introduced, but by the United States.

There was another objection. A land tax was certain--it might, and
undoubtedly would, be made a lien on the real estate on which it was
laid. It would, be liable to little, if any, loss. Not so with a tax on
slaves. Such a tax, he apprehended, would be uncertain, exposing the
revenue to considerable defalcations. If a provision could not be made
to place the loss on the districts where it happened, by retaxing them
it would operate unequally. He imagined a retaxation for defalcation, if
it could be made, would be considered as unjust, and create discontent
among the individuals who were subjected to it; and if that could not be
done, the deficiency must fall on the Union, and would produce
uneasiness from its partial effects. He did not know how the detail
would be arranged. He had been of the number who were desirous to see
the collection-law, before they decided on the resolution before them,
so as to have possessed the whole subject. At present, he saw so many
difficulties from incorporating this species of tax into the plan, he
could not assent to it.

Mr. NICHOLAS said, he did not understand the objections of the gentleman
from New Hampshire, (Mr. J. SMITH.) He did not see how he could produce
an equal value in land in every part of the Union. The tax, he said,
would be apportioned according to the number of persons, and not
according to the number of acres in any State.

If the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. GOODRICH) would rely upon his
information, he might be assured that an annual enumeration of slaves
would not cost so much as an assessment of land made once in ten years.
With respect to the tax being uncertain, he was totally mistaken. It was
the most productive tax in the Southern States. If the tax was laid
wholly upon land, it would be laid on a great part which would be
unsaleable, and when a report came to be made of the collection, there
would be found great deficiencies; but, with respect to slaves, there
would be no failure, because they were a species of property which would
always find a ready sale in the Southern market.

Mr. S. SMITH said, he had heard much on that floor with respect to
equality of taxation. It was impossible, he said, to make taxes fall
exactly equal; they will fall, in some cases, heavier than in others. He
would state a case. When a tax on carriages was under consideration,
they found the gentlemen from Connecticut voting without scruple,
because that State paid only two or three hundred dollars annually, when
Maryland paid five thousand dollars a year to that duty. There was no
equality in this; yet those gentlemen winked at the disproportion. He
hoped they would do so in the present case.

Mr. POTTER said, if this part of the resolution was agreed to, it was to
apportion a tax on the personal property of the Southern States, which,
no doubt, they would be glad of; and if gentlemen from those States
could point out any way by which the personal property of other States
could be come at, he would agree to the present proposition; but he
believed this could not be done; and, if not, he saw no reason why the
personal property of those States should be made to bear a part of the
proposed burden, whilst personal property in other States was suffered
to go free. It was a hard case, he said, that a man who possessed three
or four hundred dollars in land, should be made to pay a portion of the
direct tax, whilst men of affluence, who possessed many thousands in
public securities, or loaned on interest, should pay nothing.

The SPEAKER reminded the House that the question was very much lost
sight of; it was not whether a tax should be laid on carriages or
personal property, but whether they would agree to the report of the
Committee of the Whole, viz: "that a tax should be laid on slaves, with
certain exceptions."

Mr. HENDERSON said, he should vote against this proposition, because it
was a direct tax, as he should vote against every question of that
kind, until every source of indirect taxation was exhausted; and he
thought this was not the case at present.

Mr. CLAIBORNE said, he thought, also, that direct taxes should not be
resorted to until indirect sources were exhausted; but he believed, they
were now exhausted, and that direct taxes were the only means left to
them of raising money. As he lived in a country which was unfortunately
_cursed_ with negroes, he wished the present motion to pass, for the
sake of making the tax bear, in some degree, equally in the Southern
States; but if he thought with his colleague (Mr. JACKSON) that a tax on
slaves bore any affinity to a capitation tax, he should also oppose it;
but he had no such idea.

Mr. GALLATIN said, he would just notice what had fallen from the
gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. GOODRICH) which was the only thing like
argument which had been used against the present proposition. As to what
had been said about the quantum of tax falling on different States, or
what had been said by the gentleman from Rhode Island (Mr. POTTER) with
respect to the personal property of the Eastern States, he did not see
how it applied to the present question. If the proposed tax was certain,
and the expense of collection would not be greater than would attend the
collection of the tax in other States, he did not see any objection to
it.

The gentleman from Connecticut had said, that the expense of an annual
enumeration of slaves would be great, and that it would fall upon the
United States. He would inform that gentleman and the House, that when
no assessment took place, but merely an enumeration, it would be
attended with no expense on the collection of the tax. The distinction
which he made was, when a valuation and enumeration were both necessary,
and when an enumeration alone was necessary. In the first instance, the
value of the property was to be ascertained, and the tax laid
accordingly; but where an enumeration was only wanted, (the tax per
head, according to age, &c., having been settled,) no expense would be
incurred.

Mr. G. said, he spoke from experience. In Pennsylvania there was a
certain tax on personal property, the taking an account of which did not
increase the expense. Every three years there was an assessment of
personal property, amongst which was slaves; but the enumeration was
managed in this way: the collector called twice upon persons--the first
time he gave them notice to pay, and took an account of their property,
which, consisting of few articles, and the value being already fixed, he
could tell them at the time, the amount to be paid at his next call.

As to any degree of uncertainty apprehended from this tax, that might be
removed by throwing the deficiency, if there should be any, upon the
land. He thought, therefore, the objections which had been urged against
this tax would be completely obviated.

Mr. COIT allowed, that nothing was more clear than that the manner in
which the Southern States paid their apportionment of the proposed
burden, could make no difference to the Northern and Eastern States; but
the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. GALLATIN) allowed there was some
weight in the objections, with respect to the assessment and collection
of the tax.

If he understood that gentleman, he said that the making an enumeration
of slaves would make no difference in the expense. He did not know how
this could be. If two objects were to do, viz: to value and assess the
land, and to enumerate and value the slave, it was new doctrine to him,
if these two things would not cost more than if only one had been done;
or, if this business would be done for nothing, it would be one of the
first things the United States had had done upon those terms.

Upon the collection, there would also be an additional expense and a
probability of loss; the more detail there was in the business, the
greater liability to error and loss to the United States; and in
proportion to this loss would these States pay less than others.

Mr. HARTLEY said, he should at present vote for the proposition; but
should feel himself at liberty to vote differently on the bill, if he
did not approve it. Difficulties arose in his mind as to the propriety
of taxing personal property in one State and not in another, by which
means a bounty seemed to be given on land in the Southern States to the
amount of the difference of the taxes between the land in those States,
and that in other States, upon which purchasers would naturally
calculate. This difficulty might probably be removed from his mind; and,
therefore, in order to give the whole of the business a fair chance, he
should wish the resolutions to go back to the Committee of Ways and
Means, to bring in a bill.

Mr. PAGE did suppose that gentlemen coming from States which were in the
habit of collecting direct taxes, would have endeavored to accommodate
the business to the situation and circumstances of different States, so
as to make the system the most convenient to each. He did suppose that,
whenever it should have been determined to enter upon direct taxation,
that sums would have been apportioned to each State, and that they would
have been left to themselves to have raised the money in the way which
they thought most convenient. Insuperable objections, however, it
seemed, had been found against this system, as appeared from the report
of the Secretary of the Treasury; but it was unreasonable that the
Northern States should complain that the Southern States would pay the
tax with greater facility than them. They might, he said, as well
complain against the richness of their soil, or the warmness of their
climate.

With respect to the tax falling lighter on them than on other States,
those who held slaves would find it lighter, but those who had none,
would not. But he thought it extraordinary that, whilst they were
upbraided with holding a species of property peculiar to their country,
they should also be upbraided with wishing to pay a duty upon that
property.

Mr. P. said, he did not see what difference it could make to other
States, that they raised a part of the tax required of them from slaves.
The Secretary of the Treasury had recommended this mode, the Committee
of Ways and Means had reported accordingly; and they were ready to pay a
tax for their slaves, in addition to the expense they were at for them
already; for, it should be recollected, persons holding slaves,
contribute largely to the duties collected from imposts, by the purchase
of flannels and cloth, rum, molasses, &c., necessary for their food and
clothing.

If a person living in a State where slavery did not exist, paid
something more for his land, the difference was certainly not equal to
the satisfaction he must enjoy in reflecting, that his State was free
from that evil. His land, on that account, would be worth three times as
much as land of the same quality in the Southern States. Why, then, do
gentlemen complain? The Southern States themselves might have objected
to this tax; they might have doubted the constitutionality of it;
indeed, he did doubt it, but he had agreed to it; and he believed there
was no better way of making the tax go down in those States, than by the
present measure.

For his own part, Mr. P. said, he wished he lived where there was no
slavery; and if he could find a climate he liked as well, he would
change his situation on that account.

Mr. BRENT said, it was a very extraordinary thing that gentlemen who
represented States where there were no slaves, should oppose a tax on
that species of property, and that the Southern States where slavery
existed, should be advocating that tax.

By the report of the Secretary of the Treasury, there appeared a
deficiency of revenue, and in order to supply that deficiency, they had
determined to have recourse to direct taxation; and, after the amount
which each State ought to furnish, had been ascertained, he thought it
should have been left to the different States to have raised the money
from such funds as they judged best, provided they had been secure.
This, he thought, would only have been liberal and proper. It had,
however, been determined otherwise; but, from a knowledge that, by
introducing land and slaves together, as objects of taxation, the tax
would be more equally levied in the Southern States, if that plan had
been adopted. And, surely, he said, it could have given no satisfaction
to any other State, that, by laying a tax on land only, it should have
operated in a very oppressive manner in some parts of the Southern
States, and scarcely have been felt at all in other parts of those
States; and yet, this would appear to be the opinion of the gentleman
from New Hampshire; for, he said, if this law passed, a person
possessing landed property in New Hampshire, of the value of £1,000,
would pay more than a landholder to that amount in the Southern States.
And was this, he asked, a subject of regret? If the State of Virginia
paid the amount required of her in a manner which bore most equally upon
the whole of her citizens, ought that to displease the citizens of other
States? He thought not. He was of opinion, that it would be a desirable
thing that the tax should be found to fall equally on the citizens of
every State.

Another objection, produced by the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr.
GOODRICH) was that a tax on this species of property would not be so
secure as a tax on land. If that gentleman had been acquainted with the
situation of the Southern States, he would have known that slaves formed
the most certain fund of those States; for, whilst their wide and
extensive waste lands would not command any price, slaves were always
ready sale. Hence it arose, that the States were not able to raise a tax
on land, whilst a tax on slaves had never failed to be productive.

With respect to the inconvenience or expense attending a tax on slaves,
in Virginia, he said, no expense would be necessary; because it was the
custom of that State to take annually, a list of their slaves, which was
regularly recorded in the archives of the State. If gentlemen were,
therefore, so economical that they would not expend a few of the public
pence to get a list of this property, let them recur to the document he
had mentioned, which might be done without expense.

To those who know the situation of the Southern States, the remarks made
by the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. GALLATIN) must have been
irresistibly impressive. Almost the whole of the lower part of the
country possessed property of this kind, whilst the upper parts had
scarcely any. If a tax was, therefore, imposed upon land only, the upper
part of the country would be extremely aggravated, and would murmur, and
they would murmur with justice.

Gentlemen from the Eastern States called upon the Representatives of the
Southern States to point out a mode by which they might come at the
personal property of their States. But, he would ask them, if,
independent of land with its improvements, they possessed any other
species of property which could not be eluded? He believed they could
not point it out; why, then, call upon gentlemen from the Southern
States to do, what they, who certainly knew best their own resources,
were unable to do?

The gentlemen from the Southern States, he said, had discovered those
objects which they thought best able to bear the burden; and if the
Representatives of the other States were not satisfied with the tax on
land, let them come forward and say what other property they have
equally secure, upon which a tax may be laid.

It was a phenomenon, he would again say, that the Representatives of
States where slavery existed, should be contending for a tax upon
slaves, and that members from States where slavery was not tolerated,
were opposing it. He could not help believing that the real object of
gentlemen had not been avowed. It was something hidden and unseen.[8]

Mr. KITTERA said, that the opposers of this part of the resolution were
the opposers of a direct tax altogether. It was observable that those
upon whom the tax would fall, did not complain. It was extraordinary
that the complaints should come from another quarter. As to the
objections of his colleague (Mr. HARTLEY) that part of the tax being
laid on slaves in the Southern States, would affect the value of land,
it would make no difference whether the tax was on land or slaves, as it
affected land, its operation would be the same. It was therefore no
solid objection against the resolution.

On the question, that the House do agree to the last part of the said
resolution, in the words following, to wit: "A tax on slaves, with
certain exceptions;" it was resolved in the affirmative--yeas 68, nays
23, as follows:

      YEAS.--Fisher Ames, Abraham Baldwin, Thomas Blount,
      Theophilus Bradbury, Richard Brent, Daniel Buck, Samuel J.
      Cabell, Gabriel Christie, Thomas Claiborne, Isaac Coles,
      William Cooper, William Craik, James Davenport, George
      Dent, George Ege, William Findlay, Abiel Foster, Jesse
      Franklin, Albert Gallatin, James Gillespie, Nicholas
      Gilman, Henry Glenn, Christopher Greenup, Andrew Gregg,
      William B. Grove, Wade Hampton, George Hancock, Robert
      Goodloe Harper, Carter B. Harrison, Thomas Hartley, John
      Hathorn, Jonathan N. Havens, William Hindman, James
      Holland, Andrew Jackson, John Wilkes Kittera, Matthew
      Locke, Samuel Lyman, Samuel Maclay, Nathaniel Macon, James
      Madison, John Milledge, Andrew Moore, Frederick A.
      Muhlenberg, William Vans Murray, Anthony New, John
      Nicholas, Alexander D. Orr, John Page, Josiah Parker, John
      Patton, Francis Preston, Robert Rutherford, Samuel Sewall,
      Samuel Sitgreaves, Israel Smith, Isaac Smith, Samuel Smith,
      William Smith, Richard Sprigg, Jr., William Strudwick, John
      Swanwick, John E. Van Allen, Philip Van Cortlandt, Abraham
      Venable, Peleg Wadsworth, John Williams, and Richard Winn.

      NAYS.--Nathan Bryan, Dempsey Burges, Joshua Coit, Samuel W.
      Dana, Henry Dearborn, Dwight Foster, Nathaniel Freeman,
      Jr., Chauncey Goodrich, Roger Griswold, Thomas Henderson,
      George Jackson, William Lyman, Francis Malbone, Elisha R.
      Potter, John Read, John S. Sherburne, Jeremiah Smith,
      Nathaniel Smith, Zephaniah Swift, George Thatcher, Richard
      Thomas, Mark Thompson, and Joseph B. Varnum.

And then the main question being taken, that the House do agree to the
resolution, as reported by the Committee of the whole House, it was
resolved in the affirmative--yeas 49, nays 39.

_Ordered_, That the Committee of Ways and Means do prepare and bring in
a bill or bills, pursuant to the said resolution.


MONDAY, January 23.

THOMPSON J. SKINNER, from Massachusetts, in place of THEODORE SEDGWICK,
appointed a Senator of the United States, appeared, produced his
credentials, was qualified, and took his seat in the House.


FRIDAY, January 27.

_Appropriations for 1797._

The House then resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole, on the
subject of appropriations for the year 1797, when the article which
relates to the contingent expenses of the two branches of the
Legislature, amounting to twelve thousand dollars, being read,

Mr. BALDWIN said, he had often before made the remark, (and he thought
it not unseasonable now to repeat it,) that the House was too apt to be
merely formal and superficial in passing on the general estimate for the
year. He was sorry to observe that this item had within this year or two
been considerably increased; he believed the price of wood, stationery,
and other articles purchased for the session, was now much the same as
in 1795, though the printer's bill might be higher; yet, as the session
would be but three months, he thought the sum allowed for 1795 would be
sufficient. He had always thought this charge for the contingencies of
the two Houses, one of the strongest instances of that kind of loose
economy which it has been complained, and perhaps with too much justice,
pervades all the operations of the Federal Government--we have often
been reminded that, to make an expedition into the woods to an Indian
town, or to build a frigate, or to coin one hundred tons of copper,
costs us a great deal more than it ever did any other Government in this
country. If this is a strong instance of that style of economy, let us
begin the reformation with ourselves, and not be so prodigal this year
in our contingent expenses; our circumstances call on us for greater
attention to economy. He was sensible the place for correcting these
evils was ordinarily on passing the law authorizing the expense, and not
on the appropriation for the payment of it; but this item, and many
others, depended on no law--changing the sum in the estimate will
control the expense. If any one will take the trouble of looking over
the vouchers on which these accounts have been settled for past years,
he will see that there is room for more economy. One branch of the
Legislature consists of about thirty members--four thousand dollars is
a great sum for the purchase of their wood, quills, and paper, and for
furnishing them with copies of business under consideration. Is it
possible that twelve thousand dollars can be necessary for the two
Houses? The whole yearly expenses of some of the State Governments do
not amount to a much greater sum--he hoped this would be struck out, and
the sum which was allowed for 1795, and some preceding years, be
inserted.

Mr. SMITH presumed the estimate was founded upon information received
from the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of that House. He did not
conceive it would make any difference in the expenditure, whether a
larger or smaller sum be appropriated; as he did not suppose the Senate
or that House would print the less because a less sum was appropriated.
The gentleman, he said, might, by his speech, give an idea to the
public, that this would be a saving of so much money; but it would, in
reality, make no difference.

After a few observations from other members, the question was put and
negatived--37 to 30.

The committee then rose, and had leave to sit again. And the House
adjourned till Monday.


MONDAY, January 30.

GEORGE LEONARD, from Massachusetts, appeared, and took his seat.

_Manumitted Slaves._

      [Mr. SWANWICK presented the petition of Jacob Nicholson and
      Jupiter Nicholson, Job Albertson and Thomas Pritchet, dated
      at Philadelphia, stating that they had been the slaves of
      persons in Perquimans County, North Carolina, who had
      manumitted them, and whose surname they took--that
      afterwards they had been seized by other persons and sold
      into slavery under a law of the State--that to escape from
      this bondage they had fled to Philadelphia, where they had
      been seized under the fugitive slave act: and pray relief
      from Congress.]

The petition being read--

Mr. SWANWICK said, he hoped it would be referred to a select committee.

Mr. BLOUNT hoped it would not even be received by the House. Agreeably
to a law of the State of North Carolina, he said they were slaves, and
could, of course, be seized as such.

Mr. THATCHER thought the petition ought to be referred to the Committee
on the Fugitive Law. He conceived the gentleman much mistaken in
asserting these petitioners to be absolute slaves. They state that they
were slaves, but that their masters manumitted them, and that their
manumissions were sanctioned by a law of that State, but that a
subsequent law of the same State, subjected them to slavery; and if even
there was a law that allowed them to be taken and sold into slavery
again, he could not see any propriety in refusing their petition in
that House--THEY CERTAINLY (said Mr. T.) ARE FREE PEOPLE. It appeared
they were taken under the fugitive act, which he thought ought not to
affect them; they now came and prayed the House so to model that
fugitive act, as to prevent its affecting persons of their description.
He therefore saw great propriety in referring their petition to the
committee appointed to amend that act in another part; they could as
well consider its relation to the present case. He could not see how
there would be a propriety in rejecting their petition; they had an
undoubted right to petition the House, and to be heard.

Mr. SWANWICK was surprised at the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr.
BLOUNT) desiring to reject this petition; he could not have thought, nor
could he indulge the suspicion now, that the gentleman was so far from
acknowledging the rights of man, as to prevent any class of men from
petitioning. If men were aggrieved and conceive they have claim to
attention, petitioning was their sacred right, and that right should
never suffer innovation; whether the House ought to grant, was another
question. The subject of their petition had a claim to the attention of
the House. They state they were freed from slavery, but that they were
much injured under a law of the United States. If a law was ever made
that bore hard on any class of people, Mr. S. hoped that the door would
never be shut to their complaints. If the circumstance respecting these
people was as they stated, their case was very hard. He animadverted on
the atrocity of that reward of ten dollars offered for one of them if
taken alive, but that fifty should be given if found dead, and no
questions asked. Was not this, he said, encouragement to put a period to
that man's existence? Horrid reward! Could gentlemen hear it and not
shudder?

Mr. BLOUNT said, the gentleman last up was mistaken in calling the
petitioners free men; the laws of North Carolina, as he observed before,
did not suffer individuals to emancipate their slaves, and he should
wish to know what evidence there was to prove these men free, and except
that was proved, the House had no right to attend to the petition.

Mr. SITGREAVES, in answer to the gentleman last up, said he would
reverse his question, and ask what evidence he had to prove that these
men are not freemen; can he prove they are slaves? They have stated that
a law has been made in North Carolina with a view to affect their case,
and bring them again into a worse slavery than before; they want to know
whether they cannot obtain relief by their application to the Government
of the United States. Under these circumstances, Mr. S. wished to know
why their petitions should not be taken into consideration? Was there
any thing in these men, he asked, that should prevent every kind of
assistance being bestowed on them? Had they not an equal right to be
heard with other petitioners? He hoped the House would not only give
them a hearing, but afford them all the consolation of which their
unfortunate case was susceptible. If the House were obliged, through a
want of power to extend to the case, to object compliance with the
prayers, yet, he hoped it would be done with all due tenderness; before
hearing them, he thought it would be exceedingly unjust to decide. These
people may produce documents sufficient to obtain favorable attention;
therefore, it was impossible before they were heard to conceive whether
the House could constitutionally grant relief or not. He could see no
impropriety in referring it; the object of referring a case, was to
inquire into facts; thus, the committee prepared the way for discussion
in the House; and why the House should refuse to deliberate and discuss
this case, he knew not.

Mr. HEATH was clearly convinced these people were slaves, and therefore
hoped their petition would lie on the table. He would remind the
gentleman that, if they undertook this business, they would soon have
petitions enough of the same kind, and public business would be thereby
prevented. It appeared to him to be more within the jurisdiction of the
Legislature of that State; indeed, the United States had nothing to do
with it.

Mr. MADISON said, he should be sorry to reject any petition whatever, in
which it became the business of the House to attend; but he thought this
case had no claim on their attention. Yet, if it did not come within the
purview of the Legislative body, he thought, it might be suffered to lie
on the table. He thought it a judicial case, and could obtain its due in
a Court of Appeal in that State. If they are free by the laws of North
Carolina, they ought to apply to those laws, and have their privilege
established. If they are slaves, the constitution gives them no hope of
being heard here. A law has been passed to prevent the owners of those
slaves emancipating them; it is therefore impossible that any relief can
be granted. The petitioners are under the laws of North Carolina, and
those laws cannot be the interpreters of the laws of the United States.

Mr. SITGREAVES said, he was not prepared to deny that this petition is
in the situation the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. MADISON) states; nor
was he prepared to prove that it came under the power of the General
Government; but he could see no kind of reason why it should not be sent
to a committee who should examine the case and report whether it
required Legislative interference, or whether it was a subject of
judicial authority in the country whence the petitioners came. Many
petitions, he said, were sent to the House, who referred them for
investigation to a committee, and many had been reported as being under
judicial power only, and as such been rejected here. If this underwent
the same order, and should be found to be of a judicial nature, the
committee would report so, and the House would honorably refuse it. This
he thought the only just method.

Mr. RUTHERFORD concurred with the gentleman from Pennsylvania, that this
memorial ought to be referred to a committee who would report whether
these people had been emancipated, according to a law of the State of
North Carolina, or not. The circumstances attending this case, he said,
demanded a just and full investigation, and if a law did exist either to
emancipate, or send these poor people into slavery, the House would then
know. He doubted not, every thing just and proper would be done, but he
hoped every due respect would be paid to the petition. In short, he was
assured every member in the House would wish to act consistently. This
case, from the great hardships represented in the petition, applied
closely to the nicest feelings of the heart, and he hoped humanity would
dictate a just decision.

Mr. GILBERT hoped the petition would be referred to the committee
proposed; he thought it laid claim to the humanity of the House. He
thought every just satisfaction should be given, and attention paid, to
every class of persons who appeal for decision to the House.

Mr. W. SMITH said, the practice of a former time, in a similar case,
was, that the petition was sealed up and sent back to the petitioners,
not being allowed even to remain on the files of the office. This
method, he said, ought to be pursued with respect to the present
petition. It was not a matter that claimed the attention of the
Legislature of the United States. He thought it of such an improper
nature, as to be surprised any gentleman would present a petition of the
kind. These men are slaves, and, he thought, not entitled to attention
from that body; to encourage slaves to petition the House would have a
tendency to invite continual applications. Indeed it would tend to
spread an alarm throughout the Southern States; it would act as an
"entering-wedge," whose consequences could not be foreseen. This is a
kind of property on which the House has no power to legislate. He hoped
it would not be committed at all; it was not a proper subject for
Legislative attention. He was not of the opinion of some gentlemen, that
the House were bound to sit on every question recommended to their
notice. He thought particular attention ought to be paid to the lateness
of the session; if this subject were to be considered, too much time of
the House would be devoured which was much wanted on important business.

Mr. THATCHER said, he was in favor of referring this petition. He could
see no reason which had been adduced to prove the impropriety of
receiving a petition from these people. The gentleman from North
Carolina (Mr. BLOUNT) is of the opinion that these people being slaves,
the House ought not to pay attention to their prayer. This, he said, was
quite new language--a system of conduct which he never saw the House
practise, and hoped he never should. That the House should not receive a
petition without an evidence to prove it was from a free man. This was a
language which opposed the constitutional freedom of every State where
the Declaration of Rights had been made; they all declare that every man
is born equally free, and that each has an equal right to petition if
aggrieved--this doctrine he never heard objected to.

The gentlemen from Virginia (Mr. MADISON and Mr. HEATH) had said, it was
a Judicial and not a Legislative question; they say the petition proves
it, and that it ought not to be attended to. Mr. T. said, he saw no
proof whatever of the impropriety of the House receiving it. There might
be some Judicial question growing out of the case; but that was no
reason, because it might possibly undergo a Judicial course, that the
General Government were not to be petitioned. The gentleman from South
Carolina (Mr. SMITH) had said, "that this was a kind of property on
which the House could not legislate;" but he would answer, this was a
kind of property on which they were bound to legislate. The fugitive act
could prove this authority; if petitions were not to be received they
would have to legislate in the dark. It appeared plainly that these men
were manumitted by their masters; and because a number of men who called
themselves legislators should, after they had the actual enjoyment of
their liberty, come forward and say that these men should not remain at
liberty, and actually authorize their recaptivity, he thought it
exceedingly unjust to deprive them of the right of petitioning to have
their injuries redressed. These were a set of men on whom the fugitive
law had no power, and he thought they claimed protection under the power
of that House, which always ought to lean towards freedom. Though they
could not give freedom to slaves, yet he hoped gentlemen would never
refuse to lend their aid to secure freemen in their rights against
tyrannical imposition.

Mr. CHRISTIE thought no part of the fugitive act operated against
freedom. He thought no good could be derived from sending the petition
to a committee; they could not prove whether they were slaves or not. He
was much surprised any gentleman in the House should present such a
petition. Mr. C. said, he was of the same opinion with the gentleman
from South Carolina (Mr. SMITH) that the petition ought to be sent back
again. He hoped the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. SWANWICK) would
never hand such another petition into the House.

Mr. HOLLAND said, the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. THATCHER) said,
"the House ought to lean towards freedom." Did he mean to set all slaves
at liberty, or receive petitions from all? Sure he was, that if this was
received, it would not be long before the table would be filled with
similar complaints, and the House might sit for no other purpose than to
hear them. It was a Judicial question, and the House ought not to
pretend to determine the point; why, then, should they take up time upon
it? To put an end to it he hoped, it would be ordered to lie on the
table.

Mr. MACON said, he had hearkened very closely to the observations of
gentlemen on the subject, and could see no reason to alter his desire
that it would not be committed. No man, he said, wished to encourage
petitions more than himself, and no man had considered this subject
more. These men could not receive any aid from the General Government;
but by application to the State, justice would be done them. Trials of
this kind had very frequently been brought on in all the different
courts of that State, and had very often ended in the freedom of slaves;
the appeal was fair, and justice was done. Mr. M. thought it a very
delicate subject for the General Government to act on; he hoped it would
not be committed; but he should not be sorry if the proposition of a
gentleman (Mr. SMITH) was to take place, that it was to be sent back
again.

Mr. W. SMITH observed, that a gentleman (Mr. THATCHER) had uttered a
wish to draw these people from their state of slavery to liberty. Mr. S.
did not think they were sent there to take up the subject of
emancipation. When subjects of this kind are brought up in the House
they ought to be deprecated as dangerous. They tended to produce very
uncomfortable circumstances.

Mr. VARNUM said, the petitioners had received injury under a law of the
United States, (the fugitive act) and not merely a law of North
Carolina, and therefore, he thought, they had an undoubted right to the
attention of the General Government if that act bore hard on them. They
stated themselves to be freemen, and he did not see any opposition of
force to convince the House they were not; surely it could not be said
that color alone should designate them as slaves. If these people had
been free, and yet were taken up under a law of the United States, and
put into prison, then it appeared plainly the duty of the House to
inquire whether that act had such an unjust tendency, and if it had,
proper amendments should be made to it to prevent the like consequences
in future. It required nothing more under that act than that the person
suspected should be brought before a single magistrate, and evidence
given that he is a slave, which evidence the magistrate could not know
if distant from the State; the person may be a freeman, for it would not
be easy to know whether the evidence was good, at a distance from the
State; the poor man is then sent to his State in slavery. Mr. V. hoped
the House would take all possible care that freemen should not be made
slaves; to be deprived of liberty was more important than to be deprived
of property. He could not think why gentlemen should be against having
the fact examined; if it appears that they are slaves, the petition will
of course be dismissed, but if it should appear they are free, and
receive injury under the fugitive act, the United States ought to amend
it, so that justice should be done.

Mr. BLOUNT said, admitting those persons who had been taken up were
sent back to North Carolina, they would then have permission to apply to
any of the courts in the State for a fair trial of their plea; there are
very few courts in which some negroes have not tried this cause, and
obtained their liberty. He agreed with the gentleman from Massachusetts,
on the freedom of these men to procure their rights; it did not appear
to him that they were free; true they had been set free, but that
manumission was from their masters, who had not a right to set them free
without permission of the Legislature.

Mr. KITCHELL could not see what objection could obtain to prevent these
people being heard. The question was not now, whether they are or are
not slaves, but it is on a law of the United States. They assert that
this law does act injuriously to them; the question is, therefore,
whether a committee shall be appointed to inquire on the improper force
of this law on the case of these men; if they are freemen, he said, they
ought not to be sent back from the most distant part of the United
States to North Carolina, to have justice done them, but they ought to
receive it from the General Government who made the law they complain
of.

Mr. K. said, he had not examined the force of the law on the subject,
and was not prepared to decide; there could be no evil in referring it
for examination; when the committee would report their opinion of the
subject and gentlemen be prepared to act on it.

On the question for receiving the petition being put, it was
negatived--ayes 33, noes 50.[9]


TUESDAY, February 7.

THOMAS SPRIGG, from Maryland, appeared, and took his seat.

_Increase of Salaries._

A bill was also received from the Senate for increasing the compensation
of the members of the Legislature and certain officers of Government;
which was read, and, on motion that it be read a second time, it was
carried, 33 to 30. It was accordingly read a second time.

The bill contemplates an advance of $5,000 to the present salary of the
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and $2,000 to the VICE PRESIDENT, to
commence on the 4th of March next, and continue for four years; and that
the members of the Senate and House of Representatives, the Secretary of
State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of War, Attorney
General, Postmaster General, Assistant Postmaster General, Comptroller
of the Treasury, Auditor, Register, Commissioner of the Revenue,
Accountant of the War Department, the Secretary of the Senate, the Clerk
of the House of Representatives, and the principal clerks employed by
them, the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives, the
Door-keepers and Assistant Door-keepers of both Houses, have an advance
of 25 per cent. upon their present compensation.

Mr. PARKER moved that the further consideration of this bill be
postponed till the first Monday in December next. He said they had
lately had the subject of augmenting the salaries of all the officers
here mentioned, except the PRESIDENT and VICE PRESIDENT and themselves,
under consideration; and as they had resolved to refuse an advance to
others, he trusted they should also refuse it to themselves. He thought
the present an improper time to go into the subject.

Mr. HARTLEY wished the gentleman would consent to some day next week. He
could not say he was ready to agree to the whole of the advances
proposed, but he wished the subject to be taken into consideration, and
perhaps by the time he had mentioned they might have some further
information on the subject of our finances.

Mr. MACON said, the most regular way for the gentleman from Virginia to
obtain his object, would be to move to have the bill committed to a
Committee of the Whole, and made the order of the day for the 4th of
March.

Mr. PARKER made that motion.

Mr. HARTLEY hoped this motion would not be agreed to, as it was a sort
of manoeuvre to get rid of the subject, which he did not approve. He
would either have the bill negatived at once, made the order of some day
in the present session, or postponed till the next.

Mr. AMES said gentlemen had no doubt a right to govern their own votes
according to their own notions of propriety. No man had a right to
prescribe to another. His conscience was no rule to any other man. But
he thought he was authorized to say, they neither had nor claimed a
right to do a right thing in a wrong way. To agree to the motion
proposed, would be an insincere way of putting a negative upon the bill.
He trusted gentlemen who wished this would do it in a more direct way.
The compensation of the PRESIDENT and VICE PRESIDENT could not be
augmented, he said, after they had entered upon their office; and to say
they would take up the subject for consideration at a time when their
powers would not exist, was an evasive manner, which he approved not. It
was an easy thing for gentlemen to say _no_ on the question, without
taking this circuitous way of putting an end to the subject.

Mr. VENABLE thought the view of his colleague would be answered as well
by a postponement to the 3d of March as to the 4th, and it would be more
orderly. Nor did he think this way of disposing of the business called
for the censure which the gentleman from Massachusetts had thrown upon
it. It was a question upon which that House had already decided by a
considerable majority. No new light had been thrown upon the subject,
and he thought it by no means disrespectful to postpone it. It was well
known that the effect of this motion would be a postponement for the
present session. This was what he wished; and if his colleague would
consent to alter his motion to the 3d of March, he should not hesitate
to vote for it.

Mr. PARKER had no objection to the motion standing for the 3d of March,
though he did not consider the motions for the first Monday in December
or the 4th of March as unparliamentary. He thought the salaries of the
PRESIDENT and VICE PRESIDENT high enough. The salaries of some of their
public officers might at present be somewhat too low, but the time would
soon come when the price of living would become lower, and then they
would be fully adequate; and therefore he did not wish to see them
advanced at present.

Mr. BUCK was opposed to putting off the question till the time
contemplated by the present motion. To get rid of the subject in such a
way, would be descending from that state of independence which they
ought to preserve, and would have the appearance of a slight cast upon
another branch of Government. If they were prepared to meet the
question, they might as well meet it now as then. To agree to the motion
proposed, would show a degree of cowardice, and effectually put it out
of their power to consider and determine upon the subject. The Senate,
he said, had found sufficient reason to originate this bill, and he
thought, if it were only out of complaisance to them, the subject should
not be treated in the way proposed. It was said that this subject had
already been decided, but he did not think so. There had been no general
proposition for augmenting compensation. They had had the subject under
view partially, but he knew there were some members (he knew of one at
least) who voted against any partial advance, because they thought it
should be general. This was his motive. He thought all the officers of
Government were upon an equal footing, and therefore he voted against
advancing the salary of one and not of another--not because he thought
they were already sufficiently compensated; he did not think they were.
He wished, therefore, the subject for a general augmentation to come
under discussion. If he should be convinced an advance was improper, he
should give it up, and should be against putting the subject off to a
time when it could not be considered.

Mr. HARTLEY again urged the propriety of postponing for a shorter
period: he mentioned the 17th instant.

Mr. MACON said he was opposed to the bill _in toto_, and he considered
the motion of the gentleman from Virginia as meant to try the question.
He wished it to stand for the 4th of March, as at first proposed,
because, if it stood for the 3d, the subject might be called up and
acted upon on the last day of the session. He should therefore renew the
4th of March, because, if there were a majority who wished the bill to
be rejected, it was desirable that as little time as possible should be
lost upon the subject.

The question for postponing till the 4th of March was put and negatived,
46 to 45.

Mr. PARKER then moved to have it postponed till the 3d of March.

Mr. HENDERSON thought it more proper to postpone till the 3d than till
the 4th. He was ready, he said, to meet the question, either in a direct
or indirect way. He had made a calculation, and found that the advances
proposed would amount to from $100,000 to $110,000. Mr. H. believed our
finances were not in a state to admit of this addition to our expenses;
besides, he trusted every necessary of life would soon be reduced in
price, so as to render any advance of salary to our officers
unnecessary.

The question was put and negatived, 57 to 32.

On motion of Mr. HARTLEY, Friday week was proposed and negatived, there
being only 35 votes for it.

Mr. GALLATIN moved that the subject should be made the order for this
day. He said he had voted for postponing it till the 4th of March, with
a view of getting rid of it; but since it must be considered, he wished
it to be disposed of as soon as possible.

Mr. SITGREAVES proposed that it be made the order of the day for Monday.

The sense of the House was first taken for Monday and negatived, there
being only 41 votes for it. It was then put for this day and carried,
there being 58 votes for it.


WEDNESDAY, February 8.

_Election of President._

The SPEAKER informed the House that the hour was come at which they had
appointed to meet the Senate, for the purpose of counting the votes for,
and declaring the election of a PRESIDENT and VICE PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES, and that the Clerk would inform the Senate they were
ready to receive them.

The Clerk accordingly waited upon the Senate, and the PRESIDENT and
members of the Senate soon after entered and took their seats, the
PRESIDENT on the right hand of the Speaker of the House of
Representatives, and the members of the Senate on the same side of the
Chamber; when the President of the Senate (Mr. ADAMS) thus addressed the
two Houses:

      _Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of
      Representatives_:

      The purpose for which we are assembled is expressed in the
      following resolutions. [Mr. ADAMS here read the resolutions
      which had been adopted by the two Houses relative to the
      subject.] I have received packets containing the
      certificates of the votes of the Electors for a President
      and Vice President of the United States from all the
      sixteen States of the Union: I have also received
      duplicates of the returns by post from fifteen of the
      States. No duplicate from the State of Kentucky is yet come
      to hand.

      It has been the practice heretofore, on similar occasions,
      to begin with the returns from the State at one end of the
      United States, and to proceed to the other; I shall
      therefore do the same at this time.

Mr. ADAMS then took up the packet from the State of Tennessee, and after
having read the superscription, broke the seal, and read the certificate
of the election of the Electors. He then gave it to the Clerk of the
Senate, requesting him to read the report of the Electors, which he
accordingly did. All the papers were then handed to the tellers, viz:
Mr. SEDGWICK, on the part of the Senate, and Messrs. SITGREAVES and
PARKER on the part of the House of Representatives; and when they had
noted the contents, the President of the Senate proceeded with the other
States, in the following order:

FOR JOHN ADAMS.
North Carolina,    1
Virginia,          1
Maryland,          7
Delaware,          3
Pennsylvania,      1
New Jersey,        7
New York,         12
Connecticut,       9
Rhode Island,      4
Massachusetts,    16
Vermont,           4
New Hampshire,     6
                  --
                  71

FOR THOMAS JEFFERSON.
Tennessee,         3
Kentucky,          4
Georgia,           4
South Carolina,    8
North Carolina,   11
Virginia,         20
Maryland,          4
Pennsylvania,     14
                  --
                  68

FOR GEORGE WASHINGTON.
North Carolina,    1
Virginia,          1
                  --
                   2

FOR THOMAS PINCKNEY.
South Carolina,    8
North Carolina,    1
Virginia,          1
Maryland,          4
Delaware,          3
Pennsylvania,      2
New Jersey,        7
New York,         12
Connecticut,       4
Massachusetts,    13
Vermont,           4
                  --
                  59

FOR AARON BURR.
Tennessee,         3
Kentucky,          4
North Carolina,    6
Virginia,          1
Maryland,          3
Pennsylvania,     13
                  --
                  30

FOR SAMUEL ADAMS.
Virginia,         15

FOR OLIVER ELLSWORTH.
Rhode Island,      4
Massachusetts,     1
New Hampshire,     6
                  --
                  11

FOR SAMUEL JOHNSTON.
Massachusetts,     2

FOR JAMES IREDELL.
North Carolina,    3

FOR JOHN JAY.
Connecticut,       5

FOR GEORGE CLINTON.
Georgia,           4
Virginia,          3
                  --
                   7

FOR CHARLES COTESWORTH PINCKNEY.
North Carolina,    1

FOR JOHN HENRY.
Maryland,          2

All the returns having been gone through, Mr. SEDGWICK reported that,
according to order, the tellers appointed by the two Houses had
performed the business assigned them, and reported the result to be as
above stated.

The PRESIDENT of the Senate then thus addressed the two Houses:

      _Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of
      Representatives_:

      By the report which has been made to me by the tellers
      appointed by the two Houses to examine the votes, there are
      71 votes for John Adams, 68 for Thomas Jefferson, 59 for
      Thomas Pinckney, 30 for Aaron Burr, 15 for Samuel Adams, 11
      for Oliver Ellsworth, 7 for George Clinton, 5 for John Jay,
      3 for James Iredell, 2 for George Washington, 2 for John
      Henry, 2 for Samuel Johnston, and 1 for Charles C.
      Pinckney. The whole number of votes are 138; 70 votes,
      therefore, make a majority; so that the person who has 71
      votes, which is the highest number, is elected President,
      and the person who has 68 votes, which is the next highest
      number, is elected Vice President.

The PRESIDENT of the Senate then sat down for a moment, and rising
again, thus addressed the two Houses:

      In obedience to the Constitution and law of the United
      States, and to the commands of both Houses of Congress,
      expressed in their resolution passed in the present
      session, I declare that

      JOHN ADAMS is elected President of the United States, for
      four years, to commence with the fourth day of March next;
      and that

      THOMAS JEFFERSON is elected Vice President of the United
      States, for four years, to commence with the fourth day of
      March next. And may the Sovereign of the Universe, the
      ordainer of civil government on earth, for the preservation
      of liberty, justice, and peace, among men, enable both to
      discharge the duties of these offices conformably to the
      Constitution of the United States, with conscientious
      diligence, punctuality, and perseverance.

The PRESIDENT and members of the Senate then retired, and the House came
to order; when Mr. SITGREAVES made a report on the business, which was
read and ordered to be entered on the journals.


THURSDAY, February 9.

_Election of President._

Mr. SITGREAVES, from the joint committee appointed to confer with a
committee of the Senate on the subject of the election of a PRESIDENT
and VICE PRESIDENT, made a further report, viz: that they had agreed
with the committee of the Senate to recommend to the House of
Representatives the following resolution:

      "_Resolved_, That the Clerk of this House be directed to
      give, by letter, to the Vice President elect, a
      notification of his election."

This resolution was agreed to; but some time afterwards, Mr. PARKER (one
of the committee) wished it to be rescinded, as he understood, though
the committee from the Senate had concurred in this mode of notifying
the VICE PRESIDENT of his election, the Senate would not agree to it,
but wished to follow the mode adopted on a former occasion, viz: a
message was sent from the House of Representatives to the Senate,
directing that the persons elected should be notified in such a manner
as they should direct. He wished, therefore, to prevent delay, the
resolution might be rescinded and a different one agreed to. This motion
occasioned a good deal of conversation. It was observed by the SPEAKER
that the resolution was already before the Senate, (where it seemed it
was not intended to be sent, as it was a distinct resolution of that
House, a similar one to which was proposed for the adoption of the
Senate by the joint committee.) It was at length, however, agreed to be
rescinded. Immediately after which a message was received from the
Senate, informing the House that they had disagreed to the resolution,
and appointed a committee of conference. The House accordingly took up
the message, and also agreed to appoint a committee of conference.

_Compensation to Public Officers._

Mr. PARKER then renewed his motion, and the House resolved itself into a
Committee of the Whole on the bill respecting compensations, Mr.
MUHLENBERG in the chair; when

Mr. PARKER moved to strike out the first clause. He thought it necessary
to make some additional allowance to the PRESIDENT, but he would do it
in a different way from that proposed. When the present PRESIDENT came
into office, he said, he had a quantity of furniture presented him,
which might now be nearly worn out, and be of little value. It might be
proper, therefore, to purchase new furniture for the gentleman just
elected. It would be also during the period of the present Presidency
that Government would remove to the Federal City, which would be
attended with a good deal of expense to the PRESIDENT. He should wish,
therefore, that a provision should be made for defraying that expense,
and also for the purchasing of new furniture, but he should be opposed
to the making of any addition to the salary at present.

Mr. HARTLEY spoke in favor of retaining the clause.

Mr. R. SPRIGG said he should vote against the proposed advance of
salary, and could not consent to any other mode of augmenting the
present compensation allowed to the PRESIDENT. He could by no means
agree to the plan proposed by the gentleman from Virginia; for, if they
were to renew the furniture of the PRESIDENT every four or eight years,
it would be found a pretty expensive business. That gentleman had also
mentioned the removal of the Government, as taking place during the next
Presidency; but, he said, the new election would happen about the time
of removing the Government, and provision for paying that expense might
be made at that time. He thought the salaries were already sufficiently
high, and that it would be with difficulty that money was found to pay
the present expenses of Government.

Mr. WILLIAMS was of opinion, on the score of economy, that it would be
better to advance the compensation of the PRESIDENT in the way proposed
by the present bill, and let him purchase his own furniture, than to
purchase new furniture, which, perhaps, when the Government was removed,
would not be suitable for his house in the Federal City. Mr. W. said he
was one of the committee on the subject of compensation, and they
endeavored to ascertain whether the twenty-five thousand dollars allowed
to the PRESIDENT were an adequate compensation. It was generally
believed it was not. They ought, he said, to enable their First
Magistrate to live in a style becoming his situation. All their
Executive officers should receive such salaries as would enable them to
see company agreeably to their rank, otherwise the respectability
attached to those offices would suffer greatly in the public opinion. He
hoped, therefore, the section would not be struck out.

Mr. BUCK said, as the motion now made was to try the principle, it would
be well to go into an examination of the subject. He said he had never
been a champion for raising salaries, or a stickler for lowering them;
but, as the subject was brought before them, he should cheerfully
declare his sentiments upon it. He conceived the true question to be,
whether it was right and just that they should augment the salaries of
the officers of Government and the members of the Legislature, or
whether the present compensations were just and adequate to the
sacrifices which they made in undertaking the business of Government.
Because he did not believe, with some other gentlemen, that they were to
estimate the compensations of their officers in proportion as money was
scarce or plentiful in the Treasury, nor did he believe there was a
real distress in Government for want of money; but their difficulties
arose from a difference of opinion in that House on the mode of raising
money. He believed there were persons who thought Government squandered
away the public money; that its officers divided the loaves and fishes
amongst them; and that the only way in which this profusion of expense
could be checked was by pursuing a system of direct taxation, which
would make the people feel the amount which they contributed to the
support of Government. He should not undertake to examine this
principle, nor deny that such facts might exist. It would be enough to
look at existing circumstances in our country, and see how far they
would apply. Our Government, he said, rested on public sentiment for
support, and must always be regulated by it. He was willing, he said, to
go all lengths with gentlemen in adopting a system of taxation
calculated to raise a permanent revenue. Nor was he apprehensive for the
result, when dictated by reason and justice.

Contemptible must be that state of Government, said Mr. B., where its
public officers are starved for want of a proper spirit in the people to
support them. Is America, said he, arrived at this melancholy state? If
she were, God forbid she should ever experience another revolution! Is
this all our boasted acquisition, in return for the struggle we have
made for our country? No; he denied the fact. America was not reduced to
that state which will not allow her to pay the expenses of her
Government, nor is she unwilling to pay them; neither is public
sentiment so debased as not to approve of any measure which shall be
taken to secure a handsome maintenance for our officers. There was no
occasion for hypocrisy in the business; he was willing to state the
whole truth plainly to his constituents. He should not think of telling
them they were giving too high salaries for their officers, when he
knew, that, owing to their insufficiency, they were diminishing their
own private fortunes. Nor did he wish to intrench on his own property in
serving the public; he believed there was no occasion for this. He
should, therefore, speak plainly to them.

Mr. B. said, he would inquire whether the present salaries were a
reasonable and just compensation for the services performed? In respect
to the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, it was said that he had already a
large salary. He knew that twenty-five thousand dollars had a great
sound in the ears of many, but he trusted the people of the United
States not only possessed just views of Government, but that they also
possessed virtue to support the just measures of Government, and would
not consent that their Executive officers should be placed on such a
footing as to be looked down by officers from foreign countries who
moved in a lower sphere. Therefore, when they looked into the reason of
the thing, and found their present salaries were unequal to their
support, not in the style of splendor observed in foreign courts, but
according to the manner of living in Philadelphia, would they not be
willing to increase them? He believed they would.

The present PRESIDENT, he said, was a man of fortune, and never took
from the Government more than would support his table, either during the
war or during his Presidency. And what, he asked, did these expenses
amount to? To the whole sum allowed him by law. But were they always to
expect to have a PRESIDENT who would give his services to his country?
Or had the PRESIDENT set a bad example, by living in a style of
extravagance and splendor? He believed this was not the opinion of
Americans, or that of foreign countries. If, then, the present PRESIDENT
had lived upon his own fortune, and the whole of his compensation had
gone to defray the expenses of his table, if this compensation was not
advanced, how were future Presidents to come forward, to support the
same style? They could not do it without infringing on their own
fortunes. And do the citizens of the United States, he asked, wish their
First Magistrate to be placed in this situation? He could not think so.
He believed they meant to make ample provision for his support; and if
the present provision was found inadequate, they would condemn their
Representatives; they would say they did not support the dignity of
their country, if they neglected to advance it.

The same observations, Mr. B. said, would apply to the VICE PRESIDENT,
and to other officers of Government. He did not wish the salaries of
their officers to be such as should enable them to make fortunes out of
them, but he would have them sufficient to afford a handsome living.
Were they so at present? He believed not. It had been said, the other
day, that they could not afford to live in the same style with persons
who stood on the same footing with them before they went into office. He
could not say whether they were obliged to intrench on their own private
fortunes; if it was so, he asked if it were reasonable or just that they
should be so placed? It certainly was not; and, therefore, convinced as
he was that the people of the United States were willing and able to
support the expenses of their Government, and that they wished their
officers to have a just and reasonable compensation, which should not
only enable them to make a respectable appearance in the eyes of their
own citizens, but in those of foreigners, he should have no scruples in
giving his consent to the advances proposed.

As to the compensation allowed to the members of that House, here he had
knowledge; he could speak from experience. He could say that he had
diminished his income one thousand dollars a year since he had a seat in
that House. Did his constituents, he asked, wish this? He believed not.
They did not wish him to intrench on his private fortune while he was
serving them. They did not expect him to squander away their money in
profusion, nor did he; he lived in the most economical style; but they
wished his reasonable expenses to be paid. Besides, said Mr. B., were
the rates of compensation, when first established, established upon this
principle? He thought not. They were then thought to be a just and
reasonable compensation; and, if it was not then unreasonable, it could
not now be reasonable. Was it right, he asked, when every kind of labor
was higher by one third or one-half than at that time, that the
compensations allowed to persons employed by Government should remain
stationary? He could not conceive that this was either just or proper,
or that the citizens of the United States wished it.

If any conclusion might be drawn from the practice of individual States,
they would be warranted in making the proposed advance, since many of
their Legislatures had advanced the pay of their members. Indeed, he
believed the people were generally convinced of the necessity of
advancing the compensations allowed to the officers of Government and
members of the Legislature, under the present circumstances.

Mr. B. said he was not for making a permanent increase of salaries,
except to the PRESIDENT and VICE PRESIDENT. He did not conceive that the
members of the Legislature ought to have more than was sufficient to
support them, without obliging them to infringe upon their own fortunes.
He wished the advance thereof to operate no longer than until the
present existing circumstances were removed; he should move, therefore,
to have the duration of this regulation for one year, instead of two, as
it was possible in the mean time the price of living might be so reduced
as to make the additional allowance no longer necessary.

Mr. RUTHERFORD said, if gentlemen reasoned together for a moment, they
would be convinced this measure was altogether improper and unjust. Our
present PRESIDENT, said he, is looked up to with reverence, as to
Cincinnatus, as a good republican. When the commissioners from the
Republic of Holland went to treat with Spain, they went in a style of
such simplicity as to command the greatest respect. They afterwards
appointed a Stadtholder, a man of great reputation and patriotism
doubtless, like our PRESIDENT; but, as soon as they suffered themselves
to lose sight of their simplicity and plainness of manners, and got into
the policy and splendor of Courts, they were enslaved by their
Stadtholder; for, within these few years, the office of Stadtholder has
been declared hereditary. What an extravagance is this; that a man
should be born a Stadtholder or a King! While the Roman people
maintained their simplicity of manners, while Cincinnatus was amongst
them, they were a happy people; but when they lost sight of their
plainness of manners, they lost sight of their happiness. Let us look at
our sister rising Republic, and observe how they are doing away all pomp
and pageantry in their Government and country, and aiming at a
simplicity of manners; but, said he, I fear we have not lost sight
sufficiently of kings, priests, and courts. This was his dread. It was
necessary to bound these ideas. Patriotism could not be purchased, and
should they despair of getting a man to fill the office of PRESIDENT
without they increased the salary? Must they hire a man for this
purpose? No, they should not be obliged to do this; there would always
be found men of abilities and patriotism to fill that office, without
any view to pecuniary advantage.

Mr. DENT said the question was to make an amendment by striking out the
first section. Being in favor of that part which contemplated the
addition of five thousand dollars to the salary of the PRESIDENT, and
opposed to any addition to that of the VICE PRESIDENT, he wished the
question divided, in order to accommodate his vote.

The Chairman said the motion was to strike out the whole section, and it
could not be divided.

The motion for striking out was then put and carried--56 members being
in favor of it.

_Election of President._

A message was received from the Senate informing the House that the VICE
PRESIDENT had laid before them the following communication:

      _Gentlemen of the Senate_:

      In consequence of the declaration made yesterday in the
      Chamber of the House of Representatives of the election of
      a President and Vice President of the United States, the
      record of which has just now been read from your journal by
      your Secretary, I have judged it proper to give notice
      that, on the 4th of March next, at 12 o'clock, I propose to
      attend again in the Chamber of the House of
      Representatives, in order to take the oath prescribed by
      the Constitution of the United States to be taken by the
      President, to be administered by the Chief Justice or such
      other Judge of the Supreme Court of the United States as
      can most conveniently attend; and, in case none of those
      Judges can attend, by the Judge of the District of
      Pennsylvania, before such Senators and Representatives of
      the United States as may find it convenient to honor the
      transaction with their presence.


FRIDAY, February 10.

_Naval Policy: Purchase of a Site for a Navy Yard._

The next resolution which came under consideration, was that proposing
the purchase of a site for a navy yard.

Mr. PARKER doubted, from the spirit which seemed to be shown on this
occasion, that this resolution would not pass.

Mr. W. SMITH hoped this would be agreed to. Whatever gentlemen may now
think or determine on, it was probable we should at some time become a
naval power; and even with the most distant prospect of that, it would
show economy to prepare for it. He said it never could be too soon to
begin the business, and the most effectual method of procuring live
oak, and preserving it, was to take the earliest means to obtain, and
secure it, when obtained, for seasonable use. He read an extract from
the Secretary of War's report in support of the plan.

Mr. COIT said he was alarmed at the expense of this business. He saw in
the report the salaries of two persons already at Norfolk and
Portsmouth, for taking care of the timber, at 500 dollars each, 1,000
dollars. If they were to pay at this rate for overlooking the timber for
one ship, what might they expect would be the expense of a navy yard?

Mr. PARKER said, the persons to whom these salaries were paid, took care
of the timber at Norfolk and Portsmouth. It was necessary that some
person should look after it, or it should be disposed of; but, in case
the present resolution was agreed to, there would be no occasion in
future to pay these persons, as all the timber and other materials would
be stored in the navy yard. He said he had received an estimate from the
War Office of the expense which would be likely to attend the
establishment of a navy yard. The expense of 100 acres of land, and all
the necessary buildings, was estimated at 37,210 dollars.

Mr. NICHOLAS said, after having squandered so much money in getting
timber for these vessels, he thought some change of habit should take
place before they embarked largely in this matter. They had given twice
or thrice as much as the timber was worth, yet they were now called upon
to go on in the same course. It was not a time for going into this
business. If such a thing was even proper, two or three years could make
but little difference, and there could be little doubt but every thing
could then be bought at half price. This, however, was not his principal
objection. It was this: he did not want to see any such establishment; a
navy would never do any real good to this country, but would increase
the unhappiness of it. It would require large sums of money to support
it; its benefits were doubtful, and it might be of very mischievous
consequence to the nation.

Mr. SWANWICK said he entirely agreed with the gentleman from Virginia
(Mr. NICHOLAS) that there was a necessity for some change of habit; they
appeared to be getting that change at present, and whatever their habits
were at present, he supposed they would come right at last. Whatever
might be their opinion of the necessity of a naval force, the European
nations, he believed, would convince them of the necessity of it, if
they only gave them time enough.

It was an extraordinary thing to look at the progress of economy in that
House with respect to these frigates. In the first place, six frigates
were necessary; they were afterwards reduced to three, and because an
officer was appointed to take care of the timber left on hand, a
gentleman from Connecticut wondered that $500 should be so employed. A
motion had been made to confine the Executive to finish the hulls of the
ships only. This would have been a strange economy. Indeed, such
attempts were made at economy on this business as were never introduced
upon any other. The gentleman from Virginia (Mr. NICHOLAS) had observed
there was no use for ships at all. If the House were of that opinion,
such a resolution had better at once be come to; but the strange sort of
hesitating conduct which was adopted, exceeded all that he had heard of
in legislation.

Had gentlemen who declared these vessels to be of no use, contemplated
the situation of this country; that it depended wholly upon commerce for
revenue; that that commerce was now put in jeopardy, and that no
substitute had been found for the revenue thence arising? And would not
all this hesitation, whenever the subject of a navy came under
consideration, tempt European nations to continue their unjust
depredations upon our property at sea? It certainly would.

But even gentlemen who wished to confine themselves merely to the
finishing of the vessels at present, would not surely think it improper
for them to establish a navy yard, and to secure timber for future use.
Did those gentlemen consider what it was to deprive the country of a
rich mine of ship timber? If they hesitated on this subject, they surely
did not.

What had been said by the gentleman from Maryland on the subject of
Algiers, was very just; and the want of a navy power would have a
similar effect upon all our negotiations, as foreign nations would rise
or fall in their demands, according to our power at sea. The money
thrown away upon Algiers to purchase peace, would have been much better
employed in building ships; for if we had a few ships, that power would
not have committed the depredations upon us which she had done. And
whether the money was paid to Algiers or expended in building ships, it
was in both cases for the same purpose, viz: the protection of commerce.
But there was this great difference between the two expenditures. In the
one case, the dollars were shipped off to a foreign country, and in the
other, they were paid to our own citizens. The iron used was from our
own mines; the guns from our own manufactories; the hemp, and every
other material, were of our own growth and manufacture, so that the
money went into the hands of our artisans, manufacturers, and farmers.
And, therefore, though the frigates had cost a great deal of money, it
was some modification of the expense to consider that the money was gone
into the pockets of our own citizens. But, he asked if the loss we
sustained for the want of a naval power could be estimated? He said it
could not. We not only lost our property, but our seamen, and they were
not only lost to us, but were probably in the service of those countries
which were committing depredations upon us. The loss of property might
be recovered; but a hardy race of seamen once lost, could not be
recovered.

What an affecting spectacle had we the other day of sixty of these
unfortunate men returning from Algerine slavery? They were received into
the arms of their country with all the sympathy which the occasion
called for; but could gentlemen help feeling, at the same time, for the
impotence of our Government, when they recollected that the liberty of
these men had been purchased at a very high price from a petty despot?
And shall we continue to go on thus, and encourage the Barbary powers to
enslave our seamen by showing so great a reluctance to enter upon any
measure which might afford a defence against their depredations?

Mr. MURRAY believed it would be a very prudent measure to secure the
ship-timber in question; for if we did not, it was probable some foreign
nation would get possession of it. He did not know whether the laws of
Georgia would permit foreigners to purchase the land upon which this
timber grew; but if they would not, it would be no difficult thing to
get possession of it through the medium of an individual. If this
country were to become a maritime power, and no one who considered the
subject for a moment could doubt it, this was too rich a mine to be
neglected. What had been said about adopting the Chinese policy, might
serve to amuse them; but when they looked at the commerce of the
country, it was impossible they should not see the necessity of a naval
force to protect that commerce against the depredations of any nation
who chose to attack it. Indeed, it was come to this, they must either
provide for the protection of commerce, or deny the utility of it, and
give it up altogether.

But the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. NICHOLAS) was afraid if these
frigates were sent out to sea, they would involve us in a war. What!
said he, can it be supposed that three frigates would give us that
ridiculous kind of spirit which would induce us at any rate to go to
war? This would be a species of insanity which he did not think it was
probable we should fall into. No: these vessels would serve to protect
our coasts, and preserve our commerce from attacks, at least, within a
small distance from our own ports. How far they might serve to render us
of some importance in the eyes of foreign nations, he could not tell;
but he believed that three frigates would have a greater effect in this
respect with us, than ten to Sweden, Denmark, or Holland. We lie, said
he, near the high road of commerce to the West Indies, and these three
frigates, backed by national wealth, would show a disposition to become
a maritime power, and would have their effect upon European nations.

Besides, Mr. M. said, these vessels would be the foundation of a future
Navy. He was for shaping our means of defence to the means of offence
employed against us by other nations; for until the European nations
became wise enough to cease from war, it was necessary to provide means
of defence against their attacks. He should, therefore, always give his
support to every means of national defence. He wished our nation to
stand upon a respectable footing as a nation, since the most magnanimous
conduct was no security against the attacks of foreign powers. He
should, therefore, be in favor of a naval yard, and of providing
ship-timber for future use.

Mr. HARPER said, the two resolutions respecting a naval yard and a
provision for timber should come under consideration together; because,
if no provision was made for purchasing timber, a naval yard would be of
no use.

This question, he said, was capable of being considered under two points
of view: the one whether the measure was proper; the other, if the
measure was proper, whether it would not be better postponed for the
present. Both of these points required a considerable degree of
attention. There was a variety of considerations on both sides of the
question, and it remained for them to determine for the best.

Was it proper for this country, he asked, to turn its attention towards
marine strength? Did not our situation, and the circumstances in which
we stand, compel us to turn our attention to this object? He thought
they did, and for one or two reasons which he would submit to the
consideration of the committee.

It appeared to him out of the question that any kind of commerce should
be continued without some ships-of-war to protect it. This was the
dilemma in which we were placed. It was said by some gentlemen that this
dilemma might be avoided, by suffering commerce to go on unprotected,
and subject it to all risks; and that even then, there would be
sufficient benefit arising from it, to induce its continuance. This he
did not believe. If persons engaged in commerce could have no dependence
upon the protection of Government, a very few years, perhaps a few
months more, might convince them that the business could not and ought
not to be continued.

The present Government, he said, had only been in existence eight years,
and for nearly four of them commerce had been subject to every kind of
depredation. The usual calculation with respect to Europe was, that
during every ten years, it would be subject to war, and that these wars
would have a duration of from six to eight years, in the course of which
our property and citizens would be subject to the same violations and
injuries which they had for the last four years experienced, if no
provision was made, by a naval power, to prevent it.

Brought to this dilemma, said he, which side will you take? Will you
give up commerce, or build a Navy to protect it? Besides, he said, a
great part of our citizens who had been trained up in commerce from
their infancy, could not be driven from that kind of employment to which
they had always been accustomed. They could not be induced, like the
Chinese, to stay at home; they would be engaged in commerce, their
favorite pursuit. If they, then, were compelled to protect commerce, he
asked if there was any other way of doing it than by a Navy? He believed
not. Treaties afford a feeble and very inadequate protection; they were
broken whenever it suited the interest of a nation to break them.
Letters of marque might afford some protection; but this would operate
as a heavier tax upon the people than even the support of the Navy. The
money which a merchant expended in this way would eventually come upon
the people in the price which they would be obliged to pay for their
merchandise, and the means would be very inadequate to protection.

In China and the East Indies, Mr. H. said, the inhabitants could shut
themselves up within their own territory, and avoid any intercourse with
foreign nations. In countries so far removed from Europe, as to prevent
any one nation from making a monopoly, of its trade, this policy might
exist. But could America lay up her ships, and say she would open her
ports to all nations? No; that very instant you give up your trade to
that nation which has the greatest power at sea; for she will
immediately block up your ports, and oblige you to trade with them only.
In order, therefore, to trade with all nations, we must be the carriers
of our own produce, for other nations would not leave us at liberty to
do so. The strongest power would say to the others, you shall not trade
with these people, you shall do so and so, or we will go to war with
you. You must, therefore, said he, protect your own trade.

Will these resolutions, then, said he, if adopted, tend to this point?
He believed they would. To provide a dock-yard, and to take care of a
supply of timber suitable for the purpose of ship-building, were very
essential steps. Much expense, he said, would be saved in carrying on
the building of several ships together in one yard, instead of having
them scattered in different parts of the Union. Timber might also be
laid up to season in this yard, so as always to be ready for use; for,
he believed that much of the delay which had attended the building of
the ships now on the stocks, had been owing to the difficulty which had
attended the procuring of proper timber. Besides, Mr. H. said, its being
known to foreign nations, that you had provided a dock-yard, would have
some weight; it would at least have the appearance of an intention of
building a Navy.

With respect to the purchasing of land clothed with live oak timber, he
thought it a very desirable measure. It was well known that this timber
was confined to a few spots--a few sea islands on the coast of South
Carolina and Georgia, and some small strips along the seashore; and in
each of these places there were only a few trees of a sufficient size
for building large ships. The land upon which these trees grew, since
the cultivation of cotton had been introduced into those parts, was
become valuable land for that purpose. This induced the people to cut
down the timber and burn it, for the sake of getting the land, and there
was no way of arresting this practice, but by securing the land; and
being of so good a quality, when the trees were cut down, it would
probably sell for a greater price than was originally given for it.

Mr. GALLATIN saw no connection between the two resolutions, which the
gentleman who had just sat down thought it necessary to connect
together. The last resolution proposed the purchase of land clothed with
live oak; the present proposed the appropriation of a sum of money for
purchasing the site of a naval yard, &c., as a foundation for a Navy.
The last went only to the securing of timber for the building of a Navy,
if at any day it should be thought necessary; he believed he should vote
for the last, but certainly against the first.

They had been told that no commerce could exist without protection, and
that that protection must be a Navy; from whence it would follow, that
if a Navy was necessary to protect commerce, it must be a Navy competent
to vie with the navies of other nations. He would here ask, how
gentlemen drew their conclusion, that commerce could not exist without
the protection of a Navy. He wished they would show from the example of
any nation in Europe, or from our own example, that commerce and navies
had gone hand in hand. There was no nation, except Great Britain, said
he, whose Navy had any connection with commerce. No nation, except
England and Holland, had more to do with commerce than this country, and
yet we had no Navy; and though for the four last years this commerce had
been subject to continual depredations, it was not exceeded by any
nation, except the two he had named. And if they looked to Europe, they
would find there was no connection between navies and commerce. Russia
and Sweden had considerable navies, but little commerce; whilst Holland,
whose Navy was by no means large, ranked next to England with respect to
commerce. Hamburg, he said, was one of the first commercial States in
Europe, yet she had no Navy. Navies, he said, were the instruments of
power, more calculated to annoy the trade of other nations than to
protect that of the nation to which they belong.

But there was another position which he should take in opposition to
gentlemen who supported the creation of a Navy, viz: that however useful
or desirable a Navy might be, this country was not equal to the support
of one. We might have two or three frigates indeed, but, when he said we
could not support a Navy, he meant to say we could not support such a
Navy as should claim respect, in the sense which those gentlemen spoke
of it; such as being an object of terror to foreign nations. If they
calculated what the three frigates had cost, considered the scanty
manner in which this country was peopled, our inability to raise any
very large revenue, and the high price of labor, the truth of this
assertion would appear evident.

Again, if such a Navy were created, how was it to be manned? He wished
gentlemen to point out any mode in which a Navy could be manned in this
country without having recourse to the abominable practice of
impressment. If the nations of Europe found it impossible to man their
fleets without having recourse to these violent means, he believed it
would be impossible, without breaking down those barriers which secured
the liberty of every citizen, to man a Navy in this country.

Perhaps he might be asked, if we were, then, to be left without
protection? He thought there were means of protection which arose from
our peculiar situation, and that we ought not to borrow institutions
from other nations for which we were not fit. If our commerce had
increased, notwithstanding its want of protection; if we had a greater
number of seamen than any other nation, except England, this, he
thought, pointed out the way in which commerce ought to be protected.
The fact was, that our only mode of warfare against European nations at
sea, was by putting our seamen on board privateers, and covering the sea
with them; these would annoy their trade, and distress them more than
any other mode of defence we could adopt.[10]


MONDAY, February 13.

_Purchase of Live Oak Lands._

Mr. HARPER said, that though the House had declined coming to a
resolution to authorize the PRESIDENT to purchase certain lands in
Georgia, clothed with live oak and red cedar timber, as a reserve for
future naval purposes, yet there seemed to be a disposition to cause an
inquiry to be made on the subject. He therefore proposed a resolution to
the House to the following effect:

      "_Resolved_, That the President of the United States be
      authorized and requested to cause to be made and reported
      to this House as early as may be after the meeting of the
      next session of Congress, an inspection of lands furnished
      with live oak and red cedar timber, with the relative
      advantages of different situations with respect to their
      fitness for naval purposes, and the rates at which
      purchases may be made."

Ordered to lie on the table.

_John de Neufville._

On motion of Mr. MADISON, the House resolved itself into a Committee of
the Whole on the following report of the committee, to whom was referred
the memorial of Anna de Neufville, widow of John de Neufville, deceased.
They report--

      "That the services and sacrifices of the said John de
      Neufville to the United States, during the war of their
      Revolution, as stated in the said memorial, and vouched by
      the testimonies herewith reported, constitute a reasonable
      claim, in behalf of his, at present, very distressed widow
      and children, on the justice of the United States. That it
      being impossible, from various and peculiar circumstances
      incident to the services rendered, to ascertain and
      liquidate the compensation due into a precise sum, it is
      necessary for Congress to decide on and provide for such
      allowance as may be deemed equitable and right. That, in
      the opinion of the committee, the sum of three thousand
      dollars may be a proper allowance. They therefore propose
      the following resolution:

      "_Resolved_, That provision ought to be made, by law, for
      granting to the widow and two children of John de
      Neufville, the sum of three thousand dollars, to be equally
      divided among them."

This report was advocated by Messrs. HARPER, W. SMITH, SWANWICK, HAVENS,
HEATH, THATCHER, VARNUM, and RUTHERFORD. They stated that the husband of
the petitioner, John de Neufville, was an eminent merchant at Amsterdam;
that he was an influential character there, and, at an early period of
our Revolutionary war, entered with great zeal into the interests of
America; that, meeting with Mr. William Lee, the Commissioner of the
United States, he endeavored to bring about a treaty between the United
Netherlands and the United States, which being discovered by the
British, that Court used its influence with the Government of that
country to harass and drive him out of the country; that during his
residence at Amsterdam, his house was a constant asylum for American
citizens; that he had made large advances in money for the service of
the United States, which obliged him to extend his credit beyond what
was warranted by the regular course of trade, and a failure in the
payment of which (owing to the embarrassed circumstances of the United
States at that time) had greatly injured him, and left him to the mercy
of his creditors. The consequence was, he was reduced from affluence to
poverty at an advanced period of life. Some years ago he arrived at
Boston with his wife and two children, where he subsisted in a very
humble manner upon the bounty of his friends in Holland; those friends
having, by the reverses occasioned by the Revolution, been much injured
in their property, could afford him but a scanty pittance; but Mr. de
Neufville being dead, the petitioner was deprived of this assistance;
and, to add to her repeated misfortunes, the son of her late husband,
from their multiplied sufferings, had been deprived of his reason. Under
this pressure of grievances, the petitioner was come from Boston to lay
her case before Congress, and pray relief. This peculiarly distressing
case was supported with great zeal and feeling by its advocates,
particularly by Mr. HARPER.

The claim was opposed by Messrs. COIT, SWIFT, and NICHOLAS. An
application, it seems, was made by Mr. de Neufville, during his
life-time, for redress; upon which the then Secretary of State (Mr.
JEFFERSON) reported. This report, after stating all the facts upon
which the claim was founded, gave it as his opinion, that the petitioner
had no real claim on the United States. This report, it seems, had never
been acted upon. The reading of it, as well as of all the documents
relative to this claim, was called for, and they were accordingly read.
The opposers of this claim acknowledged the distressed situation of the
petitioner, but denied the justice of her claim upon the United States;
the treaty which Mr. de Neufville proposed to enter into with Mr. Lee,
they supposed, was a treaty which he believed would prove beneficial to
his country, and not to the United States: that there were many claims
in our own country from persons who had been injured by the war, the
justice of which was less equivocal, and the distress at least equal.
Mr. NICHOLAS said, a few days ago only, a poor man, whose health had
been so much impaired in the war, that he was unable to earn his living,
had applied to him to bring his case before Congress, yet, as the
pension law affords no relief to any person, except he had been wounded,
he was obliged to inform him that he could do nothing for him. There
were multitudes of such instances, equally distressing with the present,
to which no relief could be afforded.

Mr. THATCHER moved to have the three thousand dollars struck out, and
five inserted. This was negatived--45 to 37; but the resolution was
agreed to as reported--yeas 63, nays 25.


THURSDAY, February 16.

_John C. Symmes._

Mr. GALLATIN said, a report had been made upon the contract between John
C. Symmes and his associates, and the United States, which it was of
importance to pass into a law this session, as the object was four
hundred thousand acres of land, which was worth about eight hundred
thousand dollars.

The House accordingly resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on
the subject, when the report, which was very long, having been read, the
committee agreed to the resolution reported, which was in the following
words:

      "_Resolved_, That a committee be appointed to bring in a
      bill to authorize the President of the United States to
      grant, in fee simple, to John C. Symmes and his associates,
      that part of a tract of land, the boundaries whereof are
      ascertained by a survey executed in conformity to the act
      of Congress, entitled 'An act for ascertaining the bounds
      of a tract of land purchased by J. C. Symmes,' and returned
      to the Treasury Department the 10th of January, 1794, which
      is not included within the bounds of a grant already made,
      on September 8, 1794, to the said J. C. Symmes and his
      associates; excepting and reserving out of the same the
      lots reserved by the original contract, entered into
      between the United States and the said Symmes and his
      associates; provided that the said Symmes and his
      associates shall previously, in conformity to the terms of
      the original contract, make the requisite payment for the
      tract to be granted to them, and for the 47,625 acres, part
      of the grant already made to them on the 30th September,
      1794, for which they have not yet paid any consideration;
      and provided, also, that the township reserved for an
      Academy shall have been previously laid off and secured,
      according to the terms of the contract, and of the
      resolutions and law of Congress relative thereto."


FRIDAY, February 17.

_Increase of Duties._

BROWN SUGAR.

Mr. W. SMITH said, the proposed increase, it was calculated, would raise
110,000 dollars, and as the article was not liable to be smuggled, nor
its consumption to be decreased, it would be a certain, and he thought,
an eligible tax.

Mr. HOLLAND had no doubt but this tax would augment the revenue; but he
knew also that it would fall more upon the poor than upon the rich, and
he thought they ought not to add to their burdens. He thought there were
other articles which would bear some addition, but either brown sugar or
salt would be much felt. If they studied that which would be burdensome,
here they might fix, but he hoped this was not the principle. By
advancing an article so universally used, a rise of labor (already too
high) must naturally follow.

Mr. KITCHELL believed the rich and opulent would bear their portion of
this tax as well as the poor, as it would fall upon fine sugar as well
as upon brown. It would therefore be paid in proportion to the sugar
used, and would fall as equally as any other tax which could be laid.

In this instance, Mr. K. said, gentlemen seemed apprehensive of the poor
bearing too great a part of the burden; but, if the direct tax on land
were to take place, would it not, he asked, fall much heavier upon the
poor than a tax on sugar? He believed it would; since the poor who held
lands would be called upon to pay their portion of it, whilst the rich
who held no lands, would escape it. He, therefore, thought this a far
preferable tax.

Mr. DEARBORN said, if further revenue was necessary, he could not
conceive any article which would bear an advance of duty better than the
one proposed. The present duty, he said, was one and a half cent a
pound, and could it be supposed that to lay an additional half cent upon
it, could make much difference to the consumer, or that it would ever be
felt, or that, at the end of a year, it would be discovered whether one
and a half or two cents duty had been paid upon a pound of sugar? He
should have no objection, instead of half a cent, to lay an additional
cent upon this article. In various parts of the country, brown sugar was
retailed at from 12 to 20 cents a pound, the price being much increased
from the present distressed situation of the West Indies. But they would
find sugar of the same quality selling in one place for 12, in another
for 14 or 16 cents; therefore, whether the duty was one or two cents, he
did not think it would be felt by any body. It was true, that it was an
article used by the middling and lower classes of the people; but the
tax falling upon fine as well as brown sugar, all parts of the community
would bear an equal share in the burden.

Mr. WILLIAMS moved to strike out the half cent, and insert a cent. It
appeared to him that such an advance could not materially affect the
consumer. The people, it was true, might use less; but, if they did so,
as it was an article of luxury, every pound of sugar less which was
consumed, would be of benefit to the country, by keeping the money which
it cost in a foreign market at home. But he did not believe that this
would be the case; or that the proposed additional duty would increase
the price of labor, as had been suggested. He believed the price of
labor would be regulated by the price which the farmer was enabled to
get for his produce. Whatever the farmer could afford to give his
laborer (especially in this country where agriculture is the true
interest) would fix the price of all other labor.

Mr. HOLLAND said, perhaps the constituents of the gentleman last up
might manufacture their own sugar, and therefore would not be affected
by this tax; but the greater part of his constituents were obliged to
use and purchase their sugar; and if it were a luxury, it was one he did
not wish to deprive them of, but that they might have it upon the same
terms as usual. He looked upon it as a necessary of life, already at too
high a price, and he should, therefore, oppose any advance of duty upon
it.

Mr. GALLATIN said, he and his constituents were in the same situation
with the gentleman from New York (Mr. WILLIAMS) and his constituents.
They manufactured almost the whole of their own sugar; very little
imported sugar was used; indeed, they sometimes exported sugar; but
though this reason seemed to act pretty powerfully upon the gentleman
from New York, it would not have the same effect upon him. Whenever a
measure operated partially upon other parts of the Union, though it
might operate in favor of his constituents, he should feel himself in
duty bound to oppose it. On the ground of their being Representatives of
the whole Union, as well as on the ground of policy, he did not believe
it was right to endeavor to throw a burden upon one part of the Union,
because the part in which they were most particularly interested, would
escape it. He hoped the amendment would be rejected, and after the sense
of the committee should have been taken upon it, he also would move an
amendment. At present, brown sugar paid one and a half cent a pound
duty, and molasses three cents per gallon. He should, therefore, move to
have an additional cent laid upon molasses, in order that the two
articles might be increased in the same proportion. He was against any
increase at present; but if the duty on one article was increased, the
other ought also to be increased.

Mr. WILLIAMS observed, that he had said the people in the part of the
country from whence he came, made their own sugar during the war; if
they were to make it now, it would cost them more than double the price
at which they might purchase it. He said, when the gentleman from
Pennsylvania (Mr. GALLATIN) found the land tax was not likely to pass,
he wished to defeat every proposition for an indirect tax. He had
attempted, therefore, to defeat an additional tax on sugar, by proposing
to add molasses to the resolution. He did not think this fair; he wished
every proposition to stand upon its own ground. A few days ago that
gentleman had insisted upon the necessity of laying a direct tax; but
now he came forward, and said no additional revenue was wanting. He
wished not to have a compulsory tax, but a tax which persons might pay
or not. If they did not like to pay the tax on sugar, they might do
without it.

Mr. COOPER said he was against any additional duty on salt or sugar,
though he and his constituents (as well as his colleague and his
constituents) should bear no part of the burden, as they made not only
sufficient for themselves, but for sale. Indeed, he said, a duty on salt
exported out of the United States, would produce revenue, as a
considerable quantity was sent into Upper Canada.

Mr. WILLIAMS denied that his constituents made any salt; they had no
salt but what paid duty; nor did his constituents make one-fourth of the
sugar they used; nor did he believe his colleague's (Mr. COOPER's)
constituents made one-half of the sugar they used, as he well knew that
a large quantity of sugar was sent to that district by way of Albany.

Mr. READ hoped the amendment would obtain. Although such persons as
lived at a distance from market manufactured their own sugar, and
consequently would be excused from this duty, yet they labored under
many disadvantages in other respects, on account of their remoteness
from market, and therefore he had no objection to their being excused
from the operation of this tax. He did not believe this tax on sugar
would fall upon poor persons. Farmers, indeed, used a little brown
sugar, but they would rather pay a little more for this article than
have their land taxed.

Mr. CLAIBORNE was against the amendment. If an additional duty of one
cent was laid upon brown sugar, the different dealers would make it
three or four, so that it would be materially felt.

Mr. GALLATIN then moved to amend the resolution, by adding an additional
cent per gallon upon molasses. At present the duty on brown sugar was
one and a half cent per pound, and on molasses three cents per gallon.
The advance of 33 per cent. on the present duty would be the same that
had been agreed to be laid upon sugar.

Mr. SWANWICK seconded the motion. The only way in which the tax on brown
sugar could be secured was by advancing the duty on molasses in the same
proportion, otherwise molasses would be used in the place of sugar, and
the duty would be evaded. But he would have gentlemen consider in what
situation they placed the revenue in respect to drawbacks. The person
who paid the duty was probably not the same who drew the drawback on
exportation; the United States run the risk, therefore, of paying the
drawback, without receiving the duty. Though he thought the tax on sugar
highly objectionable, yet if it were adopted, he thought it right that
it should be accompanied by a proportionate tax on molasses as a
security to the duty being paid. One cent a pound on sugar, it was said,
was a trifle; but it was well known that the price of that article was
at present very exorbitant, from the disorders which had taken place in
the West Indies.

Mr. NICKOLAS hoped the amendment would be agreed to. His principal
objection to a tax on sugar was, because, having been successful in
making one addition, it would be an argument for making future ones, but
if molasses was added to it, the tax would then fall more equally on the
poor of different parts of the Union, and be a means of keeping down the
tax.

Mr. BUCK said, if he thought the advocates of this amendment would vote
for the resolution when amended, he might be induced to vote for it; but
he believed they did not mean to do so. If an increase of the duty on
brown sugar would fall upon the poorer class of the people, an
additional duty on molasses would fall much heavier upon them. But he
thought gentlemen were mistaken with respect to the operation of the tax
on brown sugar; in the country it would not fall upon the poor, though
in the cities it might do so; though in increasing the duty on brown
sugar, that on fine was also increased. In the country it was the rich
who used brown sugar; they had not got to that pitch of refinement which
called for the use of fine sugar; they used brown sugar, and the poor
used none; they sweetened with molasses. Notwithstanding this, if he
thought gentlemen meant to vote for the resolution when amended, he
would not object to the addition on molasses, as he did not think so
small an advance would be materially felt.

Mr. RUTHERFORD hoped they should not agree to lay an additional duty on
either of these necessaries of life. He hoped there was sufficient good
sense in the House to oppose such a measure. They were used by all
classes, from the infant to the stoutest man; particularly by many poor,
infirm, aged persons, who looked upon them as nutritious and balmy
nourishments. He hoped, therefore, they would not increase the price of
those articles; for, if an additional cent was added, the dealers would
add two, three, or four cents, which would be more than the poor could
afford to pay for them.

Mr. CHRISTIE believed the gentleman from Pennsylvania meant, by the
introduction of this amendment, to defeat the tax on sugar altogether;
he should, therefore, vote against this amendment; but if the additional
tax on sugar should be carried, and the additional tax on molasses
should be introduced alone, he would vote for it, but he would not vote
for them together. He did not think the tax on sugar would fall upon the
poor, particularly as fine sugar would be taxed equally with the brown.
He thought it was a fair object of taxation. He believed they should
want revenue, and he did not know an article from which it could be
better raised.

Mr. FINDLAY was at a loss to know how a tax on molasses would operate;
but his doubts had been removed by the gentleman from Vermont, (Mr.
BUCK,) who had informed them it was used by the poor in place of brown
sugar. In many parts of Pennsylvania molasses was scarcely known, and
brown sugar was generally used by the poor; if, therefore, the same
class of persons in one part of the country used molasses for the same
purpose for which brown sugar was used in other parts, it was only
reasonable that both should be taxed in the same proportion.

His colleague (Mr. GALLATIN) had mentioned that his constituents would
not pay any of this tax, as they made their own sugar. It was so with a
part of his constituents, but not with the whole. As it would be unjust
to pass one tax without the other, he should be in favor of the
amendment.

Mr. GALLATIN said, it had been charged against him, that he had
introduced his amendment with a view to defeat the tax on sugar. He had
already said that he did not wish for any indirect tax during the
present session; but, at the same time, he considered it his duty, if a
majority should choose to pass the resolution, to make it as good as
possible before he voted against it, for this purpose he had introduced
his amendment. Whenever the duty on sugar was increased, that on
molasses should also be increased. With respect to what had been said
about the duty on brown sugar not falling upon the poor, it was
contradicted by the quantity every year imported into the United States.
When they knew that this amounted to twenty-two millions of pounds
weight, they must conclude that it was used by the poor as well as the
rich; for though the Eastern States used a great deal of molasses, it
was not the case in the Middle, Southern, and Western States; all
classes of citizens in those States used sugar. The voting for the
amendment now was the same as voting for it in any other shape. It was
doing now what would be done hereafter, if now omitted. There was
nothing informal in it. He saw no reason which could be urged for one
taking place, which would not equally hold with respect to the other.

Mr. SWANWICK thought that those gentlemen who separated the articles of
sugar and molasses, would wish to defeat the object; thus it was with
the gentleman last up. This was introduced with a view of securing the
collection. Mr. S. said he had before stated the injury the United
States might sustain in case of a failure of pay from the imported, and
need not repeat that he objected _in toto_ to the tax.

Mr. BUCK asked if, when on the question on the resolution, (if,
adopted,) a separate vote could be given? He was answered no. Then he
would observe to the gentleman that, if it could not be separated, he
hoped it would not be introduced, it having been said the duty on sugar
would operate on the poor; now, he said, here was an article introduced
with it that would operate worse than the other; therefore, he should
oppose both, if put together, when, if separated, he should have voted
for the tax on molasses alone, as sugar was a great means of sustenance
and use.

The Chairman again remarked (in reference to what had fallen from Mr. W.
SMITH) that the amendment was in order, though he did not think it the
most fair way of introducing the subject.

Mr. GALLATIN conceived that he was the best judge of the fairness of his
proceedings; and as the Chairman had declared the amendment to be in
order, he expected a question would be taken upon it.

Mr. NICHOLAS begged leave to differ in opinion from the Chair in this
instance, though he must own much deference was due to it: he thought
the proceedings perfectly fair. Mr. N. would vote for this, in order to
have the two connected; that gentleman could now vote against the
addition of molasses, then he would have an opportunity to vote on sugar
alone. He should wish it extended to both alike. The gentleman (Mr.
BUCK) was mistaken in his application on this subject; it was not taxing
the sustenance of the poor in one article more than another, for the
sugar would most affect one part, yet molasses would as much affect
another; he, therefore, hoped, if gentlemen wished fair and equal
taxation, that this association would take place; this equalization
would go to prevent any opposition to the tax, which would otherwise be
hazarded.

Mr. BUCK was satisfied with this explanation; therefore, supposing
gentlemen who supported the amendment would vote for both, according to
this modification, he should go with them; if not, he should oppose the
amendment.

Mr. DAYTON (the Speaker) said, he did not rise to speak to the point of
order; he considered that as already settled by the Chairman. Every
member, he said, against laying an additional tax upon molasses, would,
of course, vote against the amendment; and all those who had no
objection to the tax, but who did not wish it to be thus introduced, of
whom he found there was not a few, might join them, as, after the
additional tax on sugar was agreed to, that on molasses might be again
introduced.

Mr. S. SMITH said, he had some doubt before the last gentleman was up,
of the propriety of tacking these two articles together, but now he had
none. One part of the Union, he supposed, would be for voting out
molasses: but his constituents would not like the tax on sugar, except
it was accompanied with that on molasses; as a subject of sweetening he
thought they should both go together. Mr. S. said, he had another
article of sweetening, which he wished also to add to the resolution:
great quantities of sugar-candy were manufactured in Holland and sent
all over Germany; it was used with tea and coffee, in the place of
sugar. This article, he said, was finding its way among the Germans in
this country. At present it only paid a duty of 10 per cent. _ad
valorem_, which was a very inadequate duty, when compared with that paid
on sugar. Mr. S. said, he was against going into the subject of indirect
taxes, but he thought with the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr.
GALLATIN) that it was his duty to make the resolution as good as he
could. Nothing had been said to prove that we had not revenue enough for
the present; but he would, however, move to add nine cents a pound upon
sugar-candy imported.

Mr. S. said, he agreed with the Secretary of the Treasury, that sugar
was amongst the most proper articles upon which to lay an additional
impost; but he wished for some permanent source of revenue, and not
adopt the trifling modes proposed. Gentlemen talked of deceiving the
people; he said they could not be deceived; they would know there were
two parties in that House, the one for direct, the other for indirect
taxes. Those gentlemen who were opposed to direct taxes brought forward
these articles in place of it. The people need not be told this; they
saw it evidently enough.

Mr. HOLLAND said, though he was opposed to direct taxes, he was also on
sugar and molasses; he saw all the disadvantages of some other gentlemen
on taxing West India produce at this critical juncture; but if it must
pass, he should think it his duty to endeavor to make it pass as
unexceptionably as possible; however, he should oppose both, and though
it affected his constituents differently from those of Vermont, yet he
should not include them as necessarily connected. Mr. H. thought if
these were opposed, there might be many articles more proper to lay a
tax on; but he thought there was no necessity for any this session.

The question for adding one cent per gallon on molasses was then put and
carried.

Mr. S. SMITH then moved that nine cents per pound be laid on sugar-candy
imported, observing that it was much used by the Dutch, and there being
much sweetening in it, it should bear a proportionate duty.

Mr. W. SMITH wished the gentleman to be candid on the motive of his
proposition.

Mr. S. SMITH answered, that his conduct with respect to the subject had
always been fair and unequivocal; he wished the whole proposition to be
defeated, which he had before declared, but, to make it equal and
consistent, he proposed the addition.

It was then put and carried.

The question was put on the whole resolution, as amended, and
carried--yeas 52.


FRIDAY, February 17

_Increase of Duties._

SALT.

Mr. HARPER then proposed that an additional duty of five cents per
bushel should he laid upon all salt imported in the United States. [Mr.
H. read the letter of the Secretary, wherein he mentions salt as being
at a much lower rate of duty than in other countries, and that no tax
laid upon it could be evaded, from its necessity and bulk.] Mr. H.
added, as, in his opinion, satisfactory answers had been given to the
objections which had been urged against this tax, it was not necessary
to say more on the subject.

Mr. GALLATIN said the arguments of the Secretary of the Treasury were
excellent fiscal arguments, and went to say, "provided we can get money,
no matter how." He says salt cannot be smuggled; that we know: whether
the duty was increased, or remain as it was, the people must consume the
same. This was true, and the same arguments might be used for taxing the
light or the water. Of all the necessaries of life, a duty was most
easily collected upon salt; and this was the reason which had induced
other countries to tax it so heavily; and yet this was used as an
argument for increasing the duty here; but he was not one of those who
felt any consolation, upon such an increase of duty, that there were
other countries where the duty was yet higher.

Mr. G. said, as to any satisfactory answers which had been given to the
objections to this tax, he had not heard them; he believed they had not
been answered at all; except, indeed, sullen silence might be deemed
satisfactory answers; if it were, they had indeed been answered
satisfactorily.

Mr. G. here repeated the objections to the tax which he had made on a
former occasion, viz: that it would operate as a poll-tax; that it would
fall partially on some districts of country, and upon some classes of
citizens more than others. He said salt in that part of the country from
which he came was already upwards of four dollars a bushel, and that it
would be therefore oppressive to increase the evil, by adding fresh
duties upon it.

Mr. NICHOLAS said a tax on salt was equally objectionable, whether it
was considered as a poll-tax, or as a tax upon agriculture. As a
poll-tax, every one would see the injustice of charging all men alike
with a tax, without respect to their ability to pay it; as a tax upon
agriculture, he was able to say something from experience. He was
willing to give all the authority to the opinion of the Secretary of the
Treasury which he could wish, but he could not yield his opinion to him.
He knew that agriculture was at present very much depressed by the high
price of salt; he had himself refrained from the use of it, by its
dearness, though he believed his cattle had been the worse for it. The
poorer class of citizens in the part of the country from which he came
were generally owners of cattle, and employed themselves in taking care
of them. These men found it at present as much as they could do to make
a comfortable living, and any additional tax on salt would be very ill
received by them. He was satisfied that it was a tax which would operate
with great inequality; it was a tax upon one kind of employment--upon an
employment which was generally pursued by the poorer classes, and
consequently least able to pay it. It might be said, five cents a bushel
was a trifle; but he said he objected to it from the principle of taking
money where it could be got, as, if five cents were now to be added, the
same argument would hold for adding another and another five on a future
day.

Mr. HOLLAND was opposed to the amendment; he said no article which could
be mentioned would bear a greater augmentation than salt; indeed the
whole revenue of the United States might be raised from it, because it
must be used by every person; but that was no reason why the whole
burden should be laid on it. In North Carolina, Mr. H. said, it was four
dollars per bushel, which was sufficiently high without adding to the
price, and was always a cash article, and difficult to be had for that.
It being an article of absolute necessity, the rich would not pay more,
if so much, as the poor.

Mr. RUTHERFORD said, he was against this tax for two reasons; the first
was on account of its inequality, and the next on account of its
odiousness. A tax on salt, he said, was almost like taxing the common
air. Farmers were obliged to use large quantities of it for their stock;
it rendered them docile and easy to be managed. Indeed it could not be
done without; a person was nothing without salt. The price at present
was enormous on the frontier, and this duty would add prodigiously to
it; for this reason he should give it his flat opposition.

Mr. FINDLAY said, because salt was necessary, and because it could not
be smuggled, would not surely be sufficient arguments for increasing the
duty upon it. The law of reason, he said, was the law of justice. Mr. F.
gave an account of the progress of this tax. His colleague (Mr.
GALLATIN) must have been mistaken as to the price which this article
bore in the Western country. He had himself lately paid six guineas for
six bushels of salt. Indeed this was considered as the greatest
inconvenience in that part of the country, and they could not at present
be relieved from it. Providence, who generally bestowed the necessaries
of life in a very general manner, had not provided them with salt. And
shall we, for this reason, monopolize a revenue upon it? For the same
reason would hold good for paying the whole upon it as a part. He
trusted they would not be so unjust to the people of that country.

Mr. HARPER said, after all the time which had been taken up in
discussing this subject, he would not occupy the attention of the
committee longer than while he made one or two remarks.

The gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. GALLATIN) had said that no answer
had been given to his objections against an additional tax on salt. He
should not enter into a dispute with that gentleman upon what might be
deemed an answer; but he believed many members of that House would
remember that an answer was given, and probably they might also think it
a satisfactory one; at least it was so to one person. The objections
brought against this tax would be well-founded, if the whole revenue was
proposed to be raised from it; or if it were intended as a substitute
for a land tax, or any other great object; if two or three millions were
wanted from it, then it might be objected to upon good ground; but when
one hundred thousand dollars only were proposed to be drawn from this
source, he did not think the objections would hold. Admitting, said Mr.
H., that there was some inequality in the operation of this tax, those
persons upon whom it fell heaviest were exonerated from many other taxes
which other parts of the country had to pay. They had, for instance,
just agreed to increase the duty upon a certain species of cotton goods,
of which they would not purchase a single yard. The present revenue was
six millions four hundred thousand dollars, of which salt pays near
three hundred thousand dollars. The people on the frontier, who pay for
salt, are in a great measure exempt from other articles taxed; they
purchased neither foreign wines nor spirits, high priced dresses nor
furniture; all they wanted was corduroys, &c., which was very
unfrequent. If five cents per bushel was laid on salt, those persons
would have about a dollar a year more to pay, and nine-tenths not half a
dollar. What could be more easy? Indeed, except the people were told of
the duty they would not know it, as its effects would be so trifling.

With respect to the price of salt at Fort Pitt, as a gentleman had
observed, it might be high, but was this occasioned by a duty? No, but
by the situation of the country. Ought they not, then, he asked, to
devise some species of tax by which to draw some part of the revenue
from the inhabitants of the back country? He thought so far from this
being wrong, that justice required it. This subject did not address the
understanding, but the sensibility of the House, or perhaps the
sensibility of those out of the House.

The objections against the tax which had been urged, he thought, ought
not to have any weight, since it would operate with the greatest
equality upon the whole, and there would be safety, propriety, and
justice, in making the augmentation in question. Suppose two cents were
put, instead of five; this would raise a good sum, and be very easy.

Mr. S. SMITH moved that the committee rise; which was negatived--there
being only twenty-five in favor of it.

Mr. W. SMITH said the question had best be taken on blank cents, then
five, four, or any number of cents could afterwards be added.

The question was then put, and lost--yeas 41, nays 48.


SATURDAY, February 18.

_Naval Appropriation._

The House then resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on the bill
granting an appropriation for finishing the three frigates, and also
upon the bill repealing that part of the act which provided for the
officering and manning the frigates, both having been committed to the
same Committee of the Whole. That for repealing a part of the former law
came first under consideration.

Mr. W. SMITH said he could not abandon the idea of our some time
becoming a naval power; he very much disliked the repealing this act; in
order, however, to make the bill more palatable, and to remove some of
the embarrassments which the Senate would otherwise have to encounter,
he would move to substitute, instead of the word "repeal," the words
"suspend for ---- years."

Mr. COIT thought the very beginning of the frigates a wild notion, and
hoped the most distant idea of manning them would not enter gentlemen's
minds; he should therefore oppose the motion.

Mr. VENABLE said, it seemed the gentleman who moved the amendment did
not think it necessary the ships should now be manned. The operation of
the amendment appeared to put it in the power of one branch of the
Legislature, at a future day, to man the ships, and send them to sea. He
was surprised at the changeableness of the gentleman who moved and
favored the equipment. When a naval armament was first proposed, it was
objected to, as looking like forming a Naval Establishment. They then
told us it was expressly to repel the encroachments of the Algerines;
and that, as soon as peace was obtained with that power, the building of
them was to stop. Now they come forward, and avow a desire to have a
Navy Establishment. Thus originate evils which if not stopped early,
would spread and become dangerous. The only fair argument they have on
the subject is, that a Navy is now become necessary. Certain it is,
that, if they intend to have a Naval Establishment, to protect our
commerce and repel our injuries, three frigates will be very incompetent
to the object. He should not object to finishing them, and only because
so much had been expended on them already, but should ever oppose
fitting them for sea.

Mr. SWANWICK asked the gentleman what security there was in a peace with
Algiers? Could he say we were at peace with them now? Certainly we are
in a worse situation with that power now than then; we are parting with
our cash, (which makes it such a scarce article,) and yet we have no
benefit. Now it is said it is altogether a vision--a fancy or a dream.
Then gentlemen get up and ask what we are to do with three frigates? He
would answer, that so far as they went, they gave stability and
protection to our commerce. True, they were not thirty frigates, but he
believed, few as they were, they would save more than five times what
they cost in only one year. The richest ships we have are now taken and
robbed by every picaroon and pirate infesting the seas, because we have
no security; and he was surprised it was not worse. He had no doubt but
it would be an emolument; it would be a protection to the great revenue
we enjoy. That very trade, he said, which was subject to spoliation from
such petty robbers, paid into the revenue five or six millions of duty
annually. If this was still permitted to be encroached on, it was an
error, and it would soon be seen; and this was by a people called "free
and enlightened." He had no doubt they would soon be enlightened enough
to see they had done wrong. If gentlemen are against finishing these
frigates, why do they not come forward and declare it? Let us sell them,
said he, at public auction. What will be the effect if we have it told
at our wharves that we object to man them, because we have peace with
Algiers? He hoped they would be manned, or else have tacked to the bill,
that, when finished, they were to be sold for East Indiamen or
something. If that were gentlemen's wish, this was the time to come
forward and say so, and let it be put in the bill. He would ask, Was
there any thing in the name of Government, if it operated in this
manner? It was extraordinary conduct, indeed.

Gentlemen say they will not vote to finish these frigates, except the
repeal for manning is included. When it goes up to the Senate, may they
not say they will not vote to finish, except it be to man them? But, Mr.
S. said, he supposed gentlemen depended upon negotiation, if any thing
was wrong. What were the consequences of our late negotiation? We have
two things before us--treaty or ships. As for treaty, we have seen our
money sent across the Atlantic, and scattered a thousand ways: this was
throwing it into the ocean. He had heard of a Doge of Venice throwing a
ring into the sea to marry it: it seemed this money was gone for the
same purpose, and its use would be no better than the Doge's ring. He
thought the most complete treaty was, power to resist aggression. This
business of negotiation is very unprofitable. You may obtain fair
promises from foreign ministers, but very poor redress, if any.

The question on the amendment was put and lost--ayes 30, noes 51.

Mr. HARRISON moved for the committee to rise and report the bill without
amendments.

Mr. NICHOLAS said, it seemed that gentlemen were making a new business
of this. At the time it was brought forward, gentlemen voted in favor of
it, because the law was to be repealed. He voted to separate the bills,
because he conceived it would not be right to say to the Senate, You
shall do two things together, or neither. He hoped the committee would
rise, that the House may not have such power over the business as to
keep it back. If the other bill pass the Senate, said he, we can take up
this, and pass it in a short time.

Mr. PARKER thought this a most extraordinary procedure, to say we will
not pass the appropriation bill till we know the Senate have agreed to
that for repealing. He thought the Senate had as great a right to
exercise their discretion as that House. He never expected to have heard
such expressions. This was holding out a _dictum_ for their conduct:
this he thought neither fair nor proper.

Mr. VENABLE thought the bills were connected. He wished to vote merely
for finishing the frigates. He hoped the committee would not rise, but
that it might be so amended as to add the other bill to it. When he
voted for the appropriation, he said, he voted for it only in such a
manner as should be reconcilable with his judgment. If the gentleman
would waive his motion, and the House would so connect it, he should be
gratified.

Mr. HARRISON said, as the last gentleman's ideas were fully to his
purpose, he should withdraw his motion.

On motion being made for connecting the bills--

Mr. BUCK hoped it would not prevail. The only reason he saw to object,
(and he thought that very forcible,) was, that it discovered a jealousy
in that House of another branch of the Government, which he thought very
unjustifiable. He had voted for the repeal, but should not vote for the
appropriation. He thought they ought to act for themselves, without
reference to the other branch. Any member may vote which way he pleased,
but to say he would not vote for one without they go to the other, was
unfair. He could see no justice in such a mistrust from this branch of
the Legislature. Suppose, he said, the bills go to the Senate
separately, they may concur in the appropriation, and reject the appeal.
Even in that situation, were it to be left, the Executive could not man
the frigates, unless they could obtain further appropriations--to
obstruct which would be preferable, and would put it out of the power of
the Senate to embarrass the House.

Mr. VENABLE said his vote was given without any relation whatever to the
Senate. He thought any act passed by this House could not, when sent up
to the Senate, be termed disrespectful, for each branch had a right to
act for themselves. He was surprised to hear the gentleman last up say
he should not vote this appropriation; for he had heard him say, on a
former occasion, that he would vote an appropriation for any treaty,
law, or whatever should exist to call for it. Mr. V. confessed himself
to be of a very different opinion; for he always thought the House had a
discretionary power to grant it or not, but that gentleman had long said
it had none.

Mr. BUCK said, as his doctrines had been called in question, he must beg
indulgence to explain. He never said that the House had not a right to
judge on the propriety of appropriation in an existing law. He conceived
a treaty quite another thing. The PRESIDENT and Senate have a
constitutional power to make a treaty; in that, he said, he did advocate
that that House had no right to withhold appropriations; but in laws,
where the power of making appropriations rests partly in that House,
they had a right to grant or withhold. This, he said, he had always
held.

Mr. NICHOLAS said, this appeared to him a very unreasonable clamor in
behalf of the Senate. The gentleman last up seemed very careful not to
awaken the jealousy of the Senate. How could he know what part would
awaken that idea of disrespect? He had formed his mind to vote on the
subject, and surely every member might do so, without a fear of showing
disrespect to another branch. The gentleman had said that this House may
refuse to appropriate for a law. Now, suppose the Senate refuse to
repeal without we appropriate, we are then forced to choose one of two
evils. Very often, Mr. N. said, the House were obliged to appropriate
for a law, it may be, so far executed that they could not refuse.
Suppose the PRESIDENT should, after this, appoint officers to enlist men
for the frigates, how could the House refuse to pay them? While a law
existed to man these ships, it would be difficult to prevent it: it
would enable those who were friendly to the measure to carry it into
effect. He hoped, therefore, the House would not run the risk by leaving
it open to such possible intrusion.

Mr. S. SMITH thought this was a very unfair way of doing business, but
he had been used to such things. He thought this form of _tacking_ was
very improper and unfair. It had been observed that we were the most
free and enlightened people, but he thought those who advocated these
measures proved the very contrary.

Mr. SWANWICK said, it appeared to him a kind of Legislative stratagem.
The whole intention of the business could be easily discovered. If there
was nothing improper, why should they fear to trust the Senate with it?
Having the yeas and nays on both bills, gentlemen could not easily
excuse them for voting for the repeal, as it would go out into the
country that many had voted contrary to their arguments. Thus we are
forced to vote against our own opinion, or not have the frigates
finished. He could plainly see that gentlemen meant to defeat the
object, and, he thought, in a very unfair way.

Mr. W. LYMAN spoke much of the impolicy and impropriety of the measures
of those gentlemen who supported naval preparations. Some time back, he
said, those very gentlemen were advising us to cultivate our land, and
not regard commerce--it was a broken reed to depend on; but now, they
want to put the nation to an enormous expense to protect that commerce
they thought so lightly of! The frigates would cost more than double
the money which was at first estimated: this would be a disgrace to any
nation. The whole process of the business had been bad, and he had no
doubt but the estimate now before the House would be found deficient.
Though he thought a small Navy would be useful, yet, until he saw its
process conducted more fairly, and with more discretion, he should not
vote a shilling to it: for the waste of money which had been discovered
in this, had given him a distaste to it.

A remark having fallen from Mr. L., on the constitutionality of this
appropriation--

Mr. W. SMITH said, that, what the gentleman observed, only respected an
Army. The constitution says, an appropriation for the Army shall not be
made for more than two years, but it said not a word about restricting a
Navy; and it is certain that the framers of the constitution had a view
to a Navy, as in three different parts it makes mention of it. [Here Mr.
S. read those parts from the constitution.] The question was not whether
to repeal the law or not, but whether the appropriation bill was to be
_tacked_ to the repeal. When before taken up, a majority voted for two
bills, and they are accordingly reported, and now the two are to be
united. This, said he, is directing the Senate to vote a certain way,
because this House saw it right. This was a kind of coercion which would
oblige them (if they support their independence, which they certainly
will) to reject the repeal. This, he said, was a spirit which every
gentleman in the House felt. He therefore hoped there would be two
bills.

Mr. GALLATIN did not conceive this a question on the constitution; it
was not on the power of the House as to the subject of appropriation,
but merely on connecting the two bills. He conceived it perfectly right
and proper to connect them, because the subject of them was the same. It
was not novel: appropriation and repeal had before been connected.
Indeed, he thought it improper to hold the Senate in any consideration
at all. He should not be guided by any apprehensions of what they would
do. The gentleman last up had said, it was unfair to connect them, as it
would oblige members who opposed one to vote for both. Now, a majority
will always decide, and those in the minority will always be affected.
That gentleman would rather take a question on each; but Mr. G. said he
would rather on both together. But both will not be material, more than
in a certain degree. He further observed that a decision had been come
to to keep the subjects apart. This, Mr. G. said, was only in order to
give leave to the committee to report one or two bills. But that could
not now affect the decision. The House might now do as they pleased. He
looked upon the first act of the law as rather explanatory of the other.
A law passed last year for the equipment of the frigates. The first law
expired as to the manning them. It is therefore only for fear the word
"equipment" should be so construed as to mean "manning," that we wish a
connection of these bills.

He thought it more candid and fair to have both the objects before the
Senate at one time than to separate them. If they think it an attack
upon their privileges they would act consistently therewith.

Mr. WILLIAMS could not see where the difference was, whether the bills
were apart or not. He was sorry any jealousy should be discovered
towards another branch; if the amendment were to go to the Senate they
had power to reject any part. The next Congress would take a view of the
subject, and do what they thought right, as the frigates would not be
fit to be manned till then.

Mr. BUCK again repeated his objections to uniting the bills.

Mr. N. SMITH thought there could be no good reasons for uniting the
bills. There had not yet been any appropriation made, and the money was
nearly expended; he thought the appropriation should be passed
immediately, as he had no doubt but both Houses would ultimately unite
in this object. If, therefore, any money was to be appropriated, let it
be done, and then if the House thought proper to agree to the repeal, it
could be done, as no delay ought to be made.

The gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. GALLATIN) said the other day, that
he would not, under any situation, vote the supply until he knew whether
there was any intention to fit them for sea or not. This, Mr. S. thought
the principal point; but except that gentleman, with others, thought the
ships were to remain in the same situation as at present, it certainly
was necessary to agree to the appropriations; this was voted on all
hands, though some could not agree to go all lengths. He did not believe
many could be found in the House who would wish them to remain and rot
on the stocks; but for gentlemen to say they would not agree to grant
the supply except the other part was repealed, he thought wrong. It was
true, they had the power to withhold even appropriations for the
PRESIDENT's salary, Senate, &c., but if such opposition was supported,
Government could not long exist. That House had power over the Senate,
and, _vice versa_, the Senate over that House--each had a right to think
and do as they pleased, but it would be wrong in one to curtail the
privilege of the other by an ill-timed opposition; this was merely to
show a spleen which could not but be to the detriment and delay of
business.

Mr. W. SMITH rose to answer some observations made by Mr. GALLATIN and
Mr. VENABLE, and proceeded to show the impropriety of tacking the bills;
he said it would produce insurmountable difficulties. He never could
agree to this _tortus discordans_ being sent up to the Senate.

Mr. VENABLE answered. The question was then put for tacking the two
bills, and carried, ayes 41, noes 36.

The committee then rose, and the House took up the amendments reported
by the Committee of the Whole. Whereupon, the first amendment reported
by the Committee of the Whole House, for adding a new section, to be the
second section of the said bill, being read, in the words following, to
wit:

      "_And be it further enacted_, That the sum of ---- dollars
      be, and the same is hereby appropriated for the purpose of
      finishing the frigates now building, called the United
      States, Constitution, and Constellation; and that the same
      be paid out of the surplus of revenue and income, which may
      accrue to the end of the year one thousand seven hundred
      and ninety-seven, after satisfying the objects for which
      appropriations have been heretofore made."

Mr. W. SMITH said, as the question would first be taken on the amendment
and then upon the resolution as amended, a member who wished to vote for
the finishing of the frigates, but not for the repeal, would not have an
opportunity of showing his sentiments by the yeas and nays. In order
that members who thought with him might have an opportunity of showing
their vote, he called for the previous question upon the proposition.

The SPEAKER declaring that this motion was not in order, Mr. W. SMITH
called for the yeas and nays upon the amendment.

Mr. SITGREAVES said, rather than not obtain an appropriation for
finishing the frigates, he should vote in favor of the amendment, though
he was of the same opinion with the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr.
W. SMITH) as to the unfairness of the proceeding.

Mr. DENT was of the same opinion.

Mr. MUHLENBERG said as the amendment stood annexed to the other bill, he
should vote against it; though, if the subject had continued in a
separate bill, he should have voted in favor of it.

The question was then taken on the amendment, and decided in the
affirmative, 59 to 25, as follows:

      YEAS.--Theodorus Bailey, Abraham Baldwin, David Bard,
      Thomas Blount, Nathan Bryan, Dempsey Burges, Thomas
      Claiborne, John Clopton, Joshua Coit, Isaac Coles, William
      Cooper, Henry Dearborn, George Dent, William Findlay, Jesse
      Franklin, Nathaniel Freeman, jr., Albert Gallatin, Ezekiel
      Gilbert, James Gillespie, Henry Glenn, Christopher Greenup,
      Andrew Gregg, Carter B. Harrison, John Hathorn, Jonathan N.
      Havens, James Holland, Andrew Jackson, John Wilkes Kittera,
      George Leonard, Edward Livingston, Matthew Locke, Samuel
      Lyman, William Lyman, Samuel Maclay, Nathaniel Macon, James
      Madison, John Milledge, Andrew Moore, Anthony New, John
      Nicholas, Alexander D. Orr, John Page, John Patton, John
      Richards, Robert Rutherford, John S. Sherburne, Samuel
      Sitgreaves, Thompson J. Skinner, Jeremiah Smith, Israel
      Smith, Isaac Smith, Richard Sprigg, jr., Thomas Sprigg,
      Zephaniah Swift, Philip Van Cortlandt, Joseph B. Varnum,
      Abraham Venable, John Williams, and Richard Winn.

      NAYS.--Theophilus Bradbury, Daniel Buck, Samuel W. Dana,
      James Davenport, George Ege, Abiel Foster, Dwight Foster,
      Chauncey Goodrich, Roger Griswold, Robert Goodloe Harper,
      Thomas Hartley, John Heath, William Hindman, Francis
      Malbone, Frederick A. Muhlenberg, William Vans Murray,
      Josiah Parker, John Read, Samuel Sewall, Nathaniel Smith,
      Samuel Smith, William Smith, John Swanwick, George
      Thatcher, and Peleg Wadsworth.

The bill was then recommitted to a Committee of the Whole, in order to
have the blank for the sum to be appropriated for finishing the vessels
inserted, and was filled with $172,000.


TUESDAY, February 21.

_Negotiation with the Mediterranean Powers._

Mr. W. SMITH moved that the House should go into a committee on the
business, which would require the galleries to be closed; the SPEAKER
accordingly put the question for going into a Committee of the Whole on
the bill to authorize a negotiation with the Mediterranean Powers,
which, being carried, the galleries were cleared accordingly.

After the galleries were cleared, the bill was agreed to with
amendments, and ordered for a third reading to-morrow.

On motion that the House come to the following resolution:

      "_Resolved_, That the injunction of secrecy upon the
      members of this House, so far as it relates to that part of
      the communication made by the President, by his Message of
      January 9, which has been printed, be taken off, and that
      all future debates and proceedings thereon be had with open
      doors."

A motion was made to insert, after the words "be taken off," "together
with the letter of Messrs. Barlow and Donaldson, of April 5, 1796." The
question on the amendment was taken by yeas and nays, and lost--yeas 19,
nays 65.

The main question was then taken by yeas and nays, and resulted--yeas
53, nays 36.

      Reports of the Secretary of State, relative to the present
      situation of affairs with the Dey and Regency of Algiers,
      accompanying the following confidential Message from the
      President of the United States, received the 9th of
      January, 1797:

      _Gentlemen of the Senate, and of the House of
      Representatives_:

      Herewith I lay before you, in confidence, reports from the
      Departments of State and the Treasury, by which you will
      see the present situation of our affairs with the Dey and
      Regency of Algiers.

                          G. WASHINGTON.

      UNITED STATES, January 9, 1797.

      _To the President of the United States, the Secretary of
      State respectfully makes the following brief representation
      of the affairs of the United States, in relation to
      Algiers_:

      When Colonel Humphreys left America, in April, 1795, he was
      accompanied by Joseph Donaldson, Esq., who had been
      appointed Consul for Tunis and Tripoli; and him Colonel
      Humphreys was authorized to employ in negotiating a Treaty
      with Algiers, while he should proceed himself to France,
      for the purpose of obtaining the co-operation of that
      Government in this negotiation.

      They arrived at Gibraltar on the 17th of May. Colonel
      Humphreys concluded that it was expedient for Mr. Donaldson
      to go first to Alicant, rather than Algiers, in order to be
      near at hand, to ascertain facts and profit of occasions.
      He gave him instructions accordingly; and having also
      instructed Mr. Simpson, our Consul at Gibraltar, to renew
      our peace with the Emperor of Morocco, Colonel Humphreys
      sailed from Gibraltar the 24th of May, and arrived at Havre
      de Grace on the 26th of June; from whence he set off
      immediately for Paris. The object of his mission was
      communicated by our Minister, Colonel Monroe, to the
      Committee of Public Safety. On the 1st of July he had
      received only a verbal answer, that the French Government
      was disposed to interest itself, and to do every thing in
      its power, to promote the accomplishment of our wishes on
      the subject in question. On the 28th, assurances were
      received that immediate measures should be taken for giving
      particular instructions to the agents of the Republic, to
      use its influence in co-operating with us. The multiplicity
      of affairs with which the officers of Government were
      occupied, and the getting from London a sum of money
      necessary to purchase the usual peace presents, prevented a
      conclusion of this arrangement at Paris until September. It
      had been judged expedient, by Colonel Humphreys and Colonel
      Monroe, that Joel Barlow should be employed in the
      negotiation with the Barbary States, and his consent had
      been obtained. By the 11th of September, all the writings
      on the part of Colonel Humphreys were prepared for Mr.
      Barlow, to proceed with the instructions and powers from
      the Government of the French Republic to its agents in
      Barbary, in favor of our negotiation.

      Colonel Humphreys left Paris the 12th of September, and
      reached Havre the 14th, where he found the master and mate
      of the United States brig Sophia, both sick with fevers.
      While waiting there impatiently for their recovery, he
      received intelligence from our Consul at Marseilles, that
      Mr. Donaldson had concluded a Treaty of Peace with the Dey
      of Algiers; nevertheless, Colonel Humphreys thought it
      expedient that Mr. Barlow should proceed with the presents
      prepared and preparing at Paris; for, if not needed at
      Algiers, they would be wanted in the negotiation with Tunis
      and Tripoli.

      About the 5th of October, Colonel Humphreys sailed from
      Havre, and after a stormy passage of more than forty days,
      arrived at Lisbon on the 17th of November. There he found
      Captain O'Brien, who had arrived about the 1st of October,
      with the Treaty with Algiers.

      On the 3d of September Mr. Donaldson arrived at Algiers,
      and on the 5th the Treaty was concluded, and the peace
      presents immediately given, by a loan. Mr. Donaldson,
      knowing that funds had been lodged in London to answer his
      stipulations, engaged to make the payments in three or four
      months.

      Colonel Humphreys had received advice, under date of the
      30th July, from the Messrs. Barings, in London, to whom the
      funds had been remitted, that, having made progress in the
      sales of the United States' stock, they should hold, at his
      disposal, the whole of the value of $800,000, meaning to
      furnish, by anticipation, the value of that part which
      remained unsold, if the service of the United States
      required it. Colonel Humphreys, counting on the money as
      always ready after this period, sent Captain O'Brien from
      Lisbon to London, in the brig Sophia, to receive it. Owing
      to contrary winds, she did not leave Lisbon till the 24th
      of December. The other details, relative to the pecuniary
      transactions, appear in the report of the Secretary of the
      Treasury.

      The disappointments in the pecuniary negotiations, put the
      Treaty in jeopardy; the Dey threatened to abandon it, and
      it was with extreme difficulty that it was prevented. Mr.
      Barlow did not arrive at Alicant until February, 1796,
      where he proposed to wait the arrival of the funds: but,
      after a little time, his intelligence from Algiers showing
      that our affairs were in a critical situation, he
      determined to go thither immediately, with the hope of
      soothing the Dey. He arrived there the 4th of March; they
      had before prolonged the time to the 8th of April for the
      payment of the stipulated sums. On the 3d of this month the
      Dey declared what should be his final determination--that
      in eight days Mr. Barlow and Mr. Donaldson should leave
      Algiers; and if, in thirty days after, the money was not
      paid, the Treaty should be at an end, and his cruisers
      should bring in American vessels. Under these
      circumstances, and as the last hope of saving the Treaty,
      they were induced to offer the present of a frigate--this
      fortunately succeeded. For the particulars of this
      transaction, the Secretary begs leave to refer to the
      enclosed letter from Messrs. Barlow and Donaldson.

      Colonel Humphreys not deeming himself authorized to confirm
      this promise of a frigate, referred the matter to the
      Executive of the United States; and for this end despatched
      Captain O'Brien, in the brig Sophia, to America. There was
      evidently no alternative; and the promise was confirmed.

      The frigate is now building in Portsmouth, New Hampshire,
      and is expected to be finished in the spring. Captain
      O'Brien returned to Lisbon, where he arrived on the ---- of
      July. Colonel Humphreys had advantageously negotiated bills
      on London for $225,000. This sum was embarked on board the
      Sophia, and, on the 3d of August, Captain O'Brien set sail
      for Algiers. He has not since been heard of, and there is
      room to fear that some misfortune has befallen him. The
      money was insured at a small premium, against the danger of
      the seas; against all risks they demanded so high a premium
      as Colonel Humphreys judged it inexpedient to give, seeing
      the Sophia was a vessel of the United States, having a
      special passport from the President, as well as a passport
      in the Turkish language, under the seal of the Dey of
      Algiers.

      Such arrangements have been made by Mr. Barlow and Mr.
      Donaldson, at Algiers and Leghorn, as will doubtless insure
      the payment of the $400,000 originally expected from the
      latter place; and the same house have become engaged to the
      Dey and Regency for the residue of the money due as the
      price of peace, without which he would not agree to the
      redemption of the captives.

           The Secretary of the Treasury estimates
           these further sums to be provided to fulfil
           the terms of the Treaty                      $255,759
           For two years' annuities to the Dey            99,246
           To which are to be added the 10,000
           sequins promised by Mr. Barlow and Mr.
           Donaldson, mentioned in their letter           18,000
           And the expenses of the captives performing
           quarantine at Marseilles, and transporting
           them to America, estimated by
           the Consul at Marseilles, at about              6,500
                                                         -------
                                                         379,505

      On the 31st ultimo I received a letter from Mr. Barlow,
      dated the 13th of July, informing that the agent, Mr.
      Famin, at Tunis, who had been recommended to him by the
      French Consul Herculias, had concluded, with the Bey of
      that Regency, a truce for six months, from the 15th day of
      June last, and that without any presents.

                          TIMOTHY PICKERING,
                          _Secretary of State._

      DEPARTMENT OF STATE, January 6, 1797.


WEDNESDAY, February 22.

_Mediterranean Powers._

The bill for making appropriations to defray the expense of negotiations
with Mediterranean powers, was also read the third time. The provisions
of this act, (which has been the subject of the various discussions
which have lately taken place with closed galleries) are to the
following effect:

      "That the President of the United States be, and he is
      hereby authorized to apply a sum not exceeding 255,759
      dollars and three cents, to the expenses which may have
      been incurred in any negotiations with Mediterranean
      powers, beyond the sums heretofore appropriated; and that
      the said sum of 255,759 dollars and three cents, be, and
      the same is hereby appropriated for that purpose; and that
      a further sum not exceeding 96,246 dollars and 63 cents,
      be, and the same is hereby appropriated for discharging the
      two first years' annuity to the Dey and Regency of Algiers,
      pursuant to treaty, in addition to the gum appropriated for
      that purpose by the act of the sixth of May, 1796."

On the question being put that the bill do pass, Mr. GREENUP said he
never liked the bill in any shape whatever; he would therefore express
it now. He then called for the yeas and nays, which were taken, and
stood ayes 63, noes 19, as follow:

      YEAS.--Fisher Ames, Abraham Baldwin, Theophilus Bradbury,
      Nathan Bryan, Daniel Buck, Dempsey Burges, Thomas
      Claiborne, Joshua Coit, Isaac Coles, William Cooper, James
      Davenport, Henry Dearborn, George Dent, George Ege, William
      Findlay, Dwight Foster, Jesse Franklin, Nathaniel Freeman,
      jr., Albert Gallatin, Ezekiel Gilbert, Henry Glenn,
      Chauncey Goodrich, Roger Griswold, Robert Goodloe Harper,
      Carter B. Harrison, Thomas Hartley, Jonathan N. Havens,
      Thomas Henderson, William Hindman, Aaron Kitchell, John
      Wilkes Kittera, George Leonard, Matthew Locke, Samuel
      Lyman, James Madison, Francis Malbone, John Milledge,
      Andrew Moore, Frederick A. Muhlenberg, John Nicholas,
      Alexander D. Orr, John Page, Josiah Parker, Elisha R.
      Potter, John Richards, Robert Rutherford, John S.
      Sherburne, Samuel Sitgreaves, Thompson J. Skinner, Jeremiah
      Smith, Nathaniel Smith, Israel Smith, Isaac Smith, Richard
      Sprigg, jr., Thomas Sprigg, Zephaniah Swift, George
      Thatcher, Richard Thomas, Mark Thompson, Philip Van
      Cortlandt, Joseph B. Varnum, Peleg Wadsworth, and John
      Williams.

      NAYS.--David Bard, Thomas Blount, Samuel J. Cabell, Gabriel
      Christie, John Clopton, James Gillespie, Christopher
      Greenup, John Hathorn, John Heath, James Holland, Andrew
      Jackson, George Jackson, William Lyman, Samuel Maclay,
      Nathaniel Macon, William Strudwick, John Swanwick, Abraham
      Venable, and Richard Winn.

On motion of Mr. GALLATIN, the title was changed to "a bill to authorize
the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES to apply further sums to defray the
expenses of the negotiation with the Dey and Regency of Algiers."[11]

_John Cleves Symmes._

On motion of Mr. GALLATIN, the House took up the bill in addition to an
act for granting certain lands to John Cleves Symmes and his associates;
when

Mr. COIT moved to strike out the first section. His object, he said, was
to gain information, particularly with respect to the survey.

Mr. GALLATIN (who was Chairman of the Committee which made the report)
gave a concise history of the business; which satisfied Mr. COIT, who
withdrew his motion; and the bill was ordered to be read a third time
to-morrow.

The particulars of this case are as follows:

John Cleves Symmes and his associates entered into a contract with the
United States in the year 1787, for a million acres of land in the
North-western Territory, at a time when the geography of that country
was not well understood. The tract was to extend twenty miles up the
Great Miami to the Little Miami; but when this line came to be measured,
it was found that it cut the Little Miami in several places on land
which had been reserved by Virginia at the cession of this Territory to
the United States. Mr. Symmes was down in the country before he knew the
line thus drawn would thus cut into the lands of Virginia. The first
thing he did was to take possession of the country which is between Fort
Washington and the Little Miami, and to sell as much as he could of it.
General St. Clair, the Governor of that Territory, threatened to drive
Mr. Symmes and the settlers off this territory to which he had no right.
The innocent settlers, who had purchased the land of Mr. Symmes, sent
forward representations of their case to the PRESIDENT, which, together
with the representations of the Governor, produced an act to change the
boundary line of the purchase, which was passed April 12, 1792. This act
describes the boundary line of the tract of land to be between the two
Miamis and the Ohio. Mr. Ludlow was sent to survey it in 1793, when it
was found, that instead of there being one million of acres, there were
only five hundred and forty-three thousand nine hundred and fifty, which
was duly surveyed, and the survey lodged in the Treasury Office on the
10th of January, 1794. Here arose the first difficulty. The act passed
to change the boundary line could not take place without the consent of
Mr. Symmes. In consequence, the law was said to be enacted at the
request of Mr. Symmes. In 1794, Mr. S. had not made any request,
consequently the law was a nullity. He might at that time have said, he
would not have the land upon any other than the original contract, and
that it was the business of the United States to make up the deficiency;
and, if he had so acted, it is probable Congress would have been obliged
to have found him one million of acres of land, agreeably to his
contract; but, at that time, lands were not raised to so high a price as
they were now, and Mr. S. did not think it necessary to avail himself of
his contract. On the 11th April, 1792, a petition was presented in his
name, stating, that from an advance in the price of certificates,
resulted the impossibility of fulfilling his contract, and prayed that
an abatement might be made in the price of the land. On the 27th
September, 1794, instead of saying he would not abide by the new
boundary, he requests an alteration may be made in the boundary.
Notwithstanding this request, Mr. S. now says, he did not know any thing
of the survey, though more than nine months since it was made. At first
sight, it would be supposed the contract was void for want of
fulfilment; but as he says he never received from the public a
counterpart of the contract (though it is generally supposed he had in
some way got possession of a copy, but no proof existing of it,) the
claim was not forfeited. A circumstance was mentioned which seemed to
convey a strong supposition that Mr. S. was acquainted with the survey.
The day following the request he had made for the new boundary, was
issued to him a patent for three hundred thousand acres, referring to
that survey. Mr. S. now objects to the releasement which was given of
his first purchase as not being complete. It was stated that he had
taken possession of land to which he was no way entitled. The necessity
of the act being immediately passed appeared from an advertisement
(which Mr. GALLATIN read from a newspaper of that country) inviting
persons to come and purchase, under an assurance that his original
purchase would be completed. Mr. G. said that he had been offered some
part of the land at a dollar an acre; he was informed that it would sell
for two to settlers. Mr. G. said he knew it to be very capital land; and
if the four hundred and fifty thousand acres which remained would sell
for nine hundred thousand dollars, while he only gave three hundred
thousand for the whole, he would have made a good bargain.


THURSDAY, February 23.

_Direct and Indirect Taxes._

INCOME AND EXPENDITURE.

Mr. GALLATIN hoped that the motion would not prevail. He believed he was
the only person who had said, that he was not desirous that the bill
laying a direct tax should pass this session. For it was true, that,
although he was a strong advocate for a direct tax--although he thought
a sufficient permanent revenue could not be drawn from any other source,
yet he did not wish the law to pass during the present session; and the
reason was, because he had not a sufficient reliance upon his own
opinion, to wish a subject of this sort to come into being against the
opinion of so many members of this House as appeared to be opposed to
it. When the United States shall think it necessary to go into the
measure, he trusted it would pass with great unanimity. At present, he
doubted whether a majority of the country was not against the measure,
especially when he not only saw so great a division in that House, but
apparently a local division, as he believed only four members East of
Hudson's River, and but five South of Virginia had voted for the
measure, by which it appeared to be a mode desired only by the Middle
States. Until, therefore, gentlemen from those parts had returned home
and consulted their constituents upon the subject; until he knew that
the law could be carried into effect with more unanimity than at this
time appeared, he did not wish to press it. He was willing, therefore,
to take all the blame which was imputable to this circumstance upon
himself. He never wished the powers of Congress to be exercised in a way
which should not meet with pretty general concurrence. Yet, had he
thought the situation of the United States had been such, that
additional revenue was absolutely necessary to support the public
credit, and it could not have been conveniently raised from any other
source, every other consideration would have given way to that
necessity. But he did not think that any thing which had been said by
the gentleman from South Carolina showed that there would be any
deficiency in the revenue for the present, which would require
additional taxes to supply it.

He would just observe, that the great argument in favor of direct
taxes--an argument which had almost wrought conviction upon the mind of
the gentleman from South Carolina himself--was the uncertainty of a
revenue derived from commerce; and yet, from this circumstance, the
friends of indirect taxes wish to extend that plan to the utmost, and
raise every thing from it. He should have drawn different conclusions;
and from that uncertainty, he should have wished never to have gone
beyond those bounds which they knew were safe.

As to the receipts of 1797, Mr. G. said, we had well ascertained them,
because they arose from the importations of 1796, which they knew
amounted to 6,200,000 dollars, and which sum, with the internal duties,
would be fully adequate to the expenses of the Government for this year.
Yet some gentlemen thought the calculation too close, and therefore the
additional duties before them had been consented to, which he believed
every one must acknowledge would be fully equal to any deficiency that
could possibly arise. The arguments of the gentleman from South Carolina
applied to the year 1798. He said we did not know what might be the
amount of the importations of the present year; that it might be less
than last year, and therefore, that revenue ought to be provided to
supply the deficiency, if there should be any. The arguments would be
good, if the gentleman's data were true; but he had forgotten that the
expenses of 1798 would be less than those of the present year by 700,000
dollars, including not only the current expenses, but the instalment of
the Dutch debts, which in that year would only be 100,000 dollars. The
instalment this year is 400,000, so that in this item there will be a
difference of 240,000 dollars; in the next place, the 280,000 dollars
which this year has been agreed to be paid to the Dey and Regency of
Algiers, will not occur again; and also, the 180,000 dollars
appropriated for finishing the frigate, would not be to provide another
year. These three items made the 700,000 dollars which he had mentioned.
In addition he would add, that this year there had been a charge of
200,000 dollars for the defence of the frontier in 1795; but perhaps
something might be wanted in that quarter another year, and therefore he
would pass over that sum. But he thought there could be no danger of a
want of revenue in the year 1798.

Mr. G. said, he would not pretend to say that it would not be desirable
to increase the revenue, in order that they might pay a part of such
instalments of the foreign debt as would become due after the year 1801.
Certainly the sooner our debt could be paid, the better; but he meant
only to show that there was no necessity for increasing the revenue for
1798. If it were necessary to raise additional revenue, it would be for
two principal objects, the payment of the Dutch debt and the eight per
cent. deferred stock; but as these did not become due till the year
1801, they were not under the necessity of providing the means for it at
present.

During the next session, Mr. G. said, they should have time to compare
the two systems of taxes together, and to discover which offered the
best and most permanent sources of revenue. For the reasons he had
given, he should be opposed to the motion.

Mr. W. SMITH said, he should not adduce many arguments to show the
propriety of advancing the duty upon this article any more than that
upon any other; but he wished to bring before the committee a true
statement of the receipts and expenditures of the United States, in
order to show what sum of money would probably be wanted to answer the
demands of the United States. As he differed considerably from the
gentleman from Pennsylvania as to our real wants, he considered it as
his duty to lay this statement before the committee. He had investigated
the subject with as much accuracy as possible. He had attended to the
documents which had been laid before them, to the laws which would
probably pass this session, and to the probable increase of revenue. The
result of this examination was, that there would be a deficiency of
about a million of dollars. To what the additional imposts already
agreed to would amount, he could not say, but he believed they would
make 200,000 dollars, which would leave a deficiency of 800,000 dollars.
He made the following statement:


_Expenses of 1797._

Civil list,                                      $634,322
Military and Naval Establishment and pensions,  1,284,532
Deficiency of 1796,                               201,000
Algerine appropriation,                           376,500
Interest of Domestic Debt,                      3,471,972
Interest on Dutch debt,                           614,241
Instalments do do. 1797,                          400,000
Premium remitt. &c.                                50,000
Appropriations for frigate,                       171,000
                                                ---------
                                                7,213,567
                                                =========


_Revenues of 1797._

Impost,                                        $5,588,961
Internal revenues,                                337,255
Post Office,                                       35,000
Bank stock,                                       150,000
Stock redeemed,                                    88,636
Sundries,                                             746
                                                ---------
                                                6,200,598
Additional imposts in 1797,                       200,000
                                                ---------
                                                6,400,598
Probable deficiency of revenue,                   812,969
                                                ---------
                                                7,213,567
                                                =========

It would be observed, Mr. S. said, that the gentlemen from Pennsylvania
and Maryland, had calculated the impost at 6,200,000 dollars, whilst he
made it only at 5,588,961, which he took from the Secretary of the
Treasury's statement, and he believed this was the safest calculation.
He would not go into any very long argument on this subject, because it
had frequently been under discussion.

Mr. GALLATIN inquired from what document Mr. SMITH took his
calculations?

Mr. W. SMITH answered, from the report of the Secretary of the Treasury,
which was calculated upon a permanent plan. In calculations on the
subject of revenue, the largest amounts should not be taken. It was not
policy in gentlemen to adopt that plan; they should make allowances for
deficiencies and accidents. The situation of this country at present
required it, and it would be safe, prudent, and discreet, to do so. The
Secretary of the Treasury had estimated the internal revenue at 337,255
dollars, while those gentlemen made it 469,579. This they stated from
the revenue of last year, which it was probable would be considerably
more than this. He thought there was as much reason for taking one as
the other statement; and the Government would be exposed to hazard and
danger, unless allowances were made for deficiencies.

The deficiency, according to his calculation, was 1,012,969 dollars, and
after deducting from that sum 200,000 for the additional duties in the
bill before them, there would remain a balance of 812,969 dollars.
Admitting the gentleman's own statement to be true, there would still be
a deficiency of 100,000 dollars, and this without making any allowance
whatever for accidents and occurrences which will always happen, without
making any provision for the purchase of the public debt, which might at
this time be purchased to great advantage. If there had been money in
the Treasury for the purpose, instead of paying the debt at par, it
might have been bought up at 16 or 17s. in the pound. And he was of
opinion, from the present situation of things, the public debt would
remain low, and that a surplus in the Treasury might be well employed in
purchasing it.

So much for the revenue and expenses of the present year. With respect
to 1798, there was no necessity to go much into that subject. The
gentleman from Pennsylvania had estimated the instalment of the Dutch
debt, payable in this year, at 160,000 dollars only; but he asked
whether it would be wise to pay only that sum? And whether it had not
been in the contemplation of that gentleman, as well as others, to pay
as much as they could yearly? He knew they should not be obliged to pay
more; but he believed it would be a wise policy to pay an equal sum
every year. That gentleman made another deduction of 280,000 dollars,
which had been granted to the Dey and Regency of Algiers this year; but
might they not expect items which they did not contemplate, to this
amount? Contingencies, he said, occurred, which always swelled the
expenses greater than were contemplated. There was always something of
an extraordinary nature occurring to call for money; either an Indian
war, or insurrection, depredations of foreign powers, or attacks by the
Algerines. There was no guarding with certainty against them. The next
deduction was 100,000 dollars for the frigates. Whether this would be
saved or not, was uncertain. The next House might agree to go on with
the frigates.

Upon the whole, Mr. S. said, it would be prudent to provide a
sufficiency of revenue, and there was no prospect of getting it from any
other than the objects contained in the bill before them. A land tax was
agreed to be laid aside for the present, as gentlemen from the Eastward
seemed wholly against it, and those of the Middle States seemed to have
grown lukewarm upon the subject. The duty on stamps, which would have
provided considerable revenue, was also laid aside. They had agreed to
lay low duties upon distilled domestic spirits; no increase could
therefore be expected from that quarter. They could, then, only resort
to such articles of impost as would be likely, from their general demand
and other circumstances, to produce additional revenue. As, therefore,
no prospect appeared of getting other revenue than by the article before
them, he should be compelled to agree, though with reluctance, to the
advance of the duty on sugar.

With respect to their lands, they had authorized public stock to be
received in payment; and, though he thought this a very valuable
regulation, both for facilitating the sale of the land, and for paying
off the debt, the lands, on this account, would not produce much cash
into the Treasury.

Mr. S. SMITH said, very early in the present session, he read, with some
attention, the report of the Secretary of the Treasury on the subject of
direct taxes. He cast his eye upon certain articles which he thought
proper subjects upon which to raise further sums from indirect sources,
among which were salt, sugar, tea, and the whole of the 10 per cent.
class of goods; he communicated his sentiments to other gentlemen, and
they had been brought forward.

He supposed the House would have gone into a system of direct taxes.
This he had always considered as a difficult subject, and he never
could, himself, form a plan adequate to effect it; but he was desirous
that the subject should have been taken up, that in case of extremity it
might be called into operation. He did not think any immediate wants of
the revenue required this tax to be put into execution, but he wished to
take it into consideration, to see what could be done with it. He had
still his doubts whether it could be carried into execution; if it
could, it would doubtless form a valuable source of revenue, which could
not be injured. He had no doubt, however, of the present revenue being
equal to our present wants. The gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. W.
SMITH) had taken his calculations from the report of the Secretary of
the Treasury; but the Secretary went into a permanent calculation for a
period of 18 years, in the course of which he calculated the sinking of
the whole debt.

The trade of 1796, Mr. S. said, would give nearly a million of dollars;
of course there could be no apprehensions upon the minds of gentlemen
that the receipts of 1797 would not be equal to the wants of Government.
The tax upon sugar would produce 300,000 dollars. The gentleman from
Pennsylvania (Mr. GALLATIN) was correct on this subject.

The gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. W. SMITH) had said, it was not
wise to calculate upon the highest returns; but Mr. S. SMITH said it
was right to calculate upon a preceding year, and when they knew that
there would be received in this year from 700,000 dollars to one
million, there could be no doubt of the year 1798 falling far short of
that sum. For he was not one of those who thought the revenue arising
from this year would be much inferior to that arising from the last.

The gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. HARPER) had supposed that the
British spoliations had not affected our revenue, but that those of the
French would be severely felt. He saw no difference between them, and
believed they would be felt alike in proportion to their extent. [Mr.
HARPER explained.] He believed the United States would only consume a
certain portion of the goods imported; the rest would be re-exported,
and the drawback received upon them; and, as he did not believe the
consumption of the United States had been lessened, it would follow that
it had been the re-exportation which had been diminished, and, of
course, that it would not be the duties which would be decreased, but
the drawbacks. This being the case, little was to be apprehended from a
defalcation of the revenue this year.

Indeed, he was of opinion, that the revenue arising from the present
year, would be equal to any preceding year. The expenses of 1797 would
be as follows:


ESTIMATE FOR THE YEAR 1797.

Instalment due on part of the Dutch debt, with interest
  on the whole debt, together about            $ 992,000
Annual 8 per cent. and 6 per cent. stock,      2,324,175
Annual interest on 3 per cent. do.               587,926
    Ditto on 5-1/2 per cent. do.                 101,689
    Ditto on 4-1/2 per cent. do.                   7,920
    Ditto on supposed unfunded debt,              78,261
    Ditto on Bank loans,                         372,200
                                             -----------
                                               4,463,971
  Internal expenditures (as below)             2,255,255
                                             -----------
                                              $6,719,226
                                             ===========

Civil List, Mint, and Diplomatic, (agreeably to the
  Secretary's report, estimated on the session of six
  months,)                                      $564,753
Deduct savings arising on the session of
  four months only,                               52,800
                                             -----------
                                                 511,953
Bill for foreign intercourse,                     40,000
Light-houses,                                     45,647
Miscellaneous claims,                             12,000
                                             -----------
                                                $609,600
                                             ===========

MILITARY DEPARTMENT.

Pay of four regiments and artillery corps,      $256,450
Subsistence,                                     236,900
Clothing,                                         75,000
Bounties,                                         16,000
Hospital Department,                              25,000
Ordnance                                          40,000
                                             -----------
                                                 649,350

Amount brought forward,                         $649,350
Two instructors,                                   1,450
Quartermaster's Department,                      150,000
Defensive protection,                             60,000
Indian Department,                                90,000
Contingencies of War Department,                  15,000
Repairing fortifications,                         20,000
Military Pensions,                                93,350
Naval Department,                                190,000
Balance due on Algerine business,                376,505
                                              ----------
Internal expenses of 1797,                    $2,255,255

The expenses of the Quartermaster's Department would in future be
considerably lessened; for, said Mr. S., heretofore great expense had
been incurred by land carriage, which in future would be avoided, as the
forage would all be conveyed by water. Indeed it had not been an unusual
thing for the horses employed in conveying forage from one post to
another, to eat the whole of it in their journey to and from their
destination, and some horses had been known to die from want on the
road. The conveyance being now by water, a great destruction of horses
would be prevented, and he doubted not that one hundred thousand dollars
would be saved under this head.


FRIDAY, February 24.

_Amy Dardin._

The House proceeded to consider the report of the Committee of Claims,
of the sixth ultimo, to whom was referred the petition of Amy Dardin,
which lay on the table; whereupon, the said report was read at the
Clerk's table, in the words following, to wit:

      "That the most important, and all the material facts
      respecting this claim, are stated in the former report of
      the committee appointed to consider the said petition. To
      that report the committee now ask leave to refer. Whatever
      justice there might originally have been in this claim
      against the United States, it is now, and for many years
      past has been, as clearly within the statutes of
      limitation, as a multitude of others, which have been
      rejected. The committee regret that no relief can, with
      propriety, be granted to the petitioner, upon her
      application. So many evils would result from a suspension
      of the limitation act, for the admission of claims similar
      to the one under consideration, the committee cannot
      recommend that measure to be adopted. They are of opinion
      the prayer of the petition ought not to be granted."

The question was taken that the House do agree to the said report, and
passed in the negative--34 to 27; when Mr. GALLATIN moved that a
committee be appointed to bring in a bill in favor of the petitioner.
This motion occasioned some debate.

Mr. GALLATIN said, he rejoiced in the vote which had passed in respect
to the report before them, as it was a precedent against the act of
limitation. When a claim was clear, it was a denial of justice not to
pay the debt. He did not think it was more justifiable in a Government
to refuse to pay its debts, than it was in individuals to do so. Though
an act of limitation had been passed, they ought only to consider it, in
a modified sense, as a guard against fraud; but, in cases where they
were convinced a debt was justly due, he did not see upon good
principles they could refuse to pay it. He was sure there was not a
member on that floor that would do so in his individual capacity. Nor
did he believe they needed to be operated on by the fear of a number of
these claims being brought: he believed their number was small. But,
said he, shall we fear that we shall be called upon to pay a few more
just debts? He trusted so unworthy an apprehension would not prevent
them from doing what was right. The act of limitation was produced, he
said, by an incapacity to pay the claims which were made upon
Government, and now they took advantage of that capacity, by refusing to
pay the just demands which were made upon them. The certificates which
had been given, not worth more than one-eighth of their nominal value,
had been scattered all over the United States, and the distance from the
seat of Government had been the reason application had not been made for
payment. He spoke from his own knowledge. He had some of them put into
his hands. Some of them he was fortunate enough to get paid before the
act of limitation passed; others were yet unsettled. It was only since
the erection of this Government, which had given them the ability to
pay, that these claims were brought forward; for six or seven years
every kind of claim was mustered, and the public debt was considerably
swelled by them, but now a contrary extreme was observed, and no claim,
however just, had a chance of being satisfied. He had never troubled the
House on a subject of this kind before, but he had taken advantage of
the fortunate decision of this morning to say a few words on the
subject.

Messrs. HEATH, MACON, WILLIAMS, and D. FOSTER, were against a committee
being appointed to bring in a bill; they hoped no partial regulation
would take place, but that if any exception was made, from the operation
of the act of limitation, it would be done in a general way, as there
was a great number of claims equally well entitled, with Mrs. Dardin's,
to payment. Indeed, Mr. D. FOSTER, Chairman of the Committee of Claims,
(who was not present when the question was taken upon the report,) said,
if this claim was granted, it would bring forward a thousand others.

The report, petition, and papers, were committed to the whole House on
Monday.


SATURDAY, February 25.

_Suability of States._

On motion of Mr. HARPER, the House then resolved itself into a Committee
of the Whole, on the report of the select committee on the resolution
sent from the Senate, authorizing the PRESIDENT to make inquiry of
certain States whether they had adopted the proposed amendment to the
constitution with respect to the suability of States.

The select committee did not confine themselves to this single
amendment, as reported from the Senate, but went back to the year 1789,
when twelve amendments were proposed by Congress; for though they state
eleven States out of fourteen had ratified ten of these amendments in
the year 1791, yet they were of opinion that a doubt might arise whether
eleven States ought to be considered as the three-fourths of fourteen;
they therefore wished the PRESIDENT to be requested to make inquiry also
from the non-ratifying States on the subject of these ten amendments.

Mr. NICHOLAS said, the resolution of itself was only exceptionable as it
had connection with the statement which went before it, in which it was
made a question whether the ten last amendments of the twelve proposed
by Congress to the States in March, 1789, were ever made part of the
constitution. He did not wish a doubt to be expressed on this subject.
This doubt, in the opinion of the committee, it seemed, rested on a
supposition that eleven were not three-fourths of fourteen. He could not
conceive how any doubt could arise on this subject, since it must be
acknowledged by every one that eleven was more than three-fourths of
fourteen. If the objection arose from fourteen not being divisible in
equal fourth parts, it was an objection to the constitution as
originally made. It was formed by thirteen States, which was no more
divisible into fourths than fourteen. On this ground, an amendment could
never have been made to the constitution. He hoped the Chairman of the
committee would give them some information on the subject.

Mr. HARPER said, it was not of much importance whether the committee had
doubts, or whether those doubts were well founded. The committee stated
they had these doubts. He had them; not whether eleven was three-fourths
of fourteen, according to arithmetical calculation--every school boy
knew, that, in that view, eleven was more than three-fourths of
fourteen; but it was, whether you could make a division of States. He
believed it could not be done; he believed there must be twelve
ratifying States to be three-fourths, as intended by the constitution,
because that number would be three-fourths of sixteen, which was the
nearest number to fourteen capable of four equal divisions. Whether this
doubt was well founded or not, there could be no harm in directing the
inquiry to be made; it would be made as soon for thirteen amendments as
for one, and if any other State should have ratified the ten amendments
in question, all doubt would be removed. Mr. H. noticed an error or two
which had escaped the committee in their report.

Mr. GALLATIN said, the resolution under consideration went to direct the
PRESIDENT to apply to all those States, by whom, as far as can be known
from the official documents heretofore transmitted, all or any of the
amendments at any time proposed by Congress still remained to be
ratified. There could be no occasion to make the inquiry with respect to
all these amendments, unless it were taken for granted that none of them
had yet been ratified. He was, therefore, of opinion, with the gentleman
from Virginia, that such an application would be very improper, as
bringing the ten last amendments into doubt, which he believed to be as
much a part of the constitution as any other article in it; he also
thought them a very valuable part, and not to be trifled with.

But, upon what ground, said Mr. G., do the advocates of this report
prove that 11 is not three-fourths of 14? The idea was so novel that he
could scarcely understand what principle they adopted in order to create
a doubt on their minds on this subject. To him the position that 11 was
more than three-fourths of fourteen appeared to be one of those
self-evident axioms which hardly admit of a proof. The principle on
which the doubt arose must be so very nice, so abstract, that he did not
know whether he was capable of comprehending it. Anxious as he was to
avoid saying any thing which might be construed as misstatement, he
would, however, attempt to analyze what he conceived to be the ground of
the gentleman from South Carolina, (Mr. HARPER.)

It appeared to him that that gentleman thought three-fourths in itself
was not a fraction of the unit, was not a number conveying to the mind
the simple idea of a fraction; but that it was a compound of fractions,
and that the only way by which the idea of three-fourths could be
conceived was by a decomposition. Because the idea of three-fourths was
by our numerical arithmetic expressed by the two figures 3/4, that
gentleman was unable to conceive what it meant except by decomposition,
by dividing the unit into four equal parts and multiplying the result by
3. And if that idea of three-fourths had happened to be expressed by the
fraction nine-twelfths, (which was the same thing as three-fourths,)
that gentleman could not have conceived it except by dividing in the
first place the unit into twelve parts and then multiplying the result
by nine. In fact he denied the existence of any number, part of a unit,
except as it consisted of an aggregate of such parts as the unit could
exactly be divided into.

Thus, when speaking of fourteen States, although he (Mr. GALLATIN) could
at once understand that three-fourths of fourteen was ten-and-a-half,
and, therefore, (admitting, as he did together with that gentleman, that
the vote of a State was indivisible) that eleven States were more than
three-fourths of fourteen, the gentleman from South Carolina proceeded
in a different way. The fourth part of fourteen being three-and-a-half,
he says that, as a State cannot be divided, you must take four States
instead of three-and-a-half for the fourth part of fourteen, and then
multiplying these four States by three, in order to get the
three-fourths, he concludes that twelve States are three-quarters of
fourteen--that the twelve States out of fourteen are necessary to ratify
the amendments. He believed the gentleman would allow that he had not
misstated his opinion.

Let us now see, said Mr. G., how this doctrine will operate. It would go
to prove, in some instances, that three-fourths of a number is greater
than the whole. Suppose, for instance, the case of five States.
One-fourth of five is 1-1/4; but as the vote of a State cannot be
divided, you must call it two; or, as the gentleman expressed it, five
not being divisible into four equal parts, you must take the nearest
number to five capable of such division, that is to say 8, the fourth
part of which is two; two, therefore, must be considered as the fourth
part of five States, and as three multiplied by two is six, it follows,
according to that gentleman's doctrine, that the three-fourths of five
is six! Suppose that, in the constitution, instead of the expression
three-fourths, it had been said that nine-twelfths were necessary. The
number of States when the constitution was framed was thirteen. In that
case one-twelfth of thirteen being one and one-twelfth, you must, the
vote of a State being indivisible, call it two; so that in that way of
reckoning, nine-twelfths (which is the same thing as three-fourths) of
13 is 18! Consequently, the consent of eighteen States would have been
necessary in order to ratify any amendment to the constitution of a
nation consisting only of 13 States.

Let us, said he, examine a little farther. The same part of the
constitution which provides for amendments of the constitution, says,
that an amendment shall be proposed by two-thirds of both Houses of
Congress; but he supposed the vote of a man was no more divisible than
that of a State. He wished to know, therefore, how the gentleman would,
on his principle, calculate what were two-thirds of the members present
when their whole number was not divisible by three?

In making treaties he wished to know what was meant by two-thirds of the
members of the Senate present? If the number present happened not to be
divisible by three, would that gentleman say, that, in that case, the
next number above the number present must be taken, which would be
divisible by three, and that if two-thirds of that number did not concur
in the vote for the treaty, no treaty should be ratified? On that
principle, in some instances, a greater proportion of the Senate would
be necessary to ratify a treaty than had been usually understood,
according to the generally received opinion of the sense of the
constitution in this respect.

Upon the whole, he believed it would be best to reject the report, as,
besides the objections alluded to, it was confessedly inaccurate in some
of its parts, and adopt the resolution sent from the Senate, which
applied only to the amendment respecting the suability of States. If the
House meant to go any further, they might introduce the first and second
amendments proposed at the same time with the other ten, but which had
not yet been ratified.

Mr. HARPER said, he would add a word or two to what he had already
offered on this subject. He did not know whether the House thought with
him on this subject, that it was a doubtful point whether the ten
amendments in question had been ratified according to the sense of the
constitution. If they did, they would of course, vote for the report.
The gentleman from Pennsylvania, he acknowledged, had not only shown his
knowledge in arithmetic, but also his wit, which had not until now been
brought before them. In the enjoyment of the last he had participated in
common with the House.

Mr. DAYTON (the Speaker) was in favor of rejecting the resolution
reported by the select committee, as it embraced too many objects, and
held out a kind of invitation for States to come forward and propose
amendments to the constitution. He trusted the first of the amendments,
proposed in 1789, relative to the proportion of representation, never
would be agreed to, as it would have extremely mischievous effects.
Indeed, if any thing were done with respect to that amendment, he should
think it ought to be to request those States which have not adopted it,
not to do it, and those who have agreed to it, to revoke their vote in
favor of it.

The question was then taken on the resolution reported, and negatived,
without division.

The resolution was as follows:

      "_Resolved_, That the President of the United States be
      requested to apply, as speedily as may be, to all those
      States, by which, as far as can be known from the official
      documents heretofore transmitted, all or any of the
      amendments, at any time proposed by Congress, still remains
      to be ratified; and to obtain from them authentic
      information of the proceedings had by them, respectively,
      on the subject of those amendments, or any of them."

The question was then taken on the resolution of the Senate, and agreed
to. It was as follows:

      "_Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of
      the United States of America in Congress assembled_, That
      the President be requested to adopt some speedy and
      effectual means of obtaining information from the States of
      Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia,
      Kentucky, Tennessee, and South Carolina, whether they have
      ratified the amendment proposed by Congress to the
      constitution, concerning the suability of States: If they
      have, to obtain the proper evidences thereof."


_Accommodation of the President._

On motion of Mr. GALLATIN, the House resolved itself into a Committee of
the Whole on the bill to accommodate the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES;
when

Mr. HENDERSON said, he wished for information on this subject, as he had
not sufficient to convince him of the propriety of granting 14,000
dollars, in addition to the furniture now in possession of the
PRESIDENT; he therefore moved to strike out the 14,000, for the purpose
of inserting 5,000. The bill informed them that this sum, in addition to
what might arise from the sale of such of the present furniture as may
be decayed, out of repair, or unfit for use, was to be laid out in
furnishing the household for the PRESIDENT. It was very lately that they
had received a proposition from the Senate to advance the salary of the
PRESIDENT 5,000 dollars; the bill was rejected by that House. It
appeared to him that this bill went to effect the same thing in a
different way. If the object was merely to furnish the household of the
PRESIDENT, he thought a much less sum would be adequate to that purpose.
He thought 5,000, with the proceeds of the sale of such of the present
furniture as was unfit for service, might be sufficient. He had no doubt
that the sum would make the furniture of the PRESIDENT for four years to
come equal to what it had been for four years past.

Mr. NICHOLAS wished the gentleman would leave the sum blank, instead of
inserting 5,000.

Mr. HENDERSON consented.

The question was taken, and negatived--42 to 39.

The committee then rose, and the House having taken up the subject--

Mr. NICHOLAS said, as a majority of the House was against striking out
this sum, he wished to have some information why this sum was fixed
upon, and for what purpose it was to be applied. No one wished more than
he did to place the PRESIDENT in a situation conformable to his station;
but according to his information, this sum was more than was given to
the present PRESIDENT on his entering upon the office, though there
remained the whole of the furniture, most of which was worth as much at
this time as it was when first purchased.

Mr. SITGREAVES said, he would give to the gentleman all the information
which he had on the subject. In the year 1778 or 1779, by a resolution,
of the old Congress, an household was established for the PRESIDENT of
Congress. This remained until the present Government went into operation
in the year 1789. It was then resolved, that Mr. OSGOOD should be
requested to fit up the House in a proper manner for the reception of
the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. In that year the law passed for
compensating the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, which enacted that a
salary of 25,000 dollars should be allowed him, together with the use of
the furniture then in his possession belonging to the United States.
This furniture cost the United States 13,657 dollars, 83 cents. During
the period from 1779, when the household was first established until
1789, when the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES entered upon his office,
the furniture which had been purchased for the PRESIDENT by Congress,
was so much decayed, that it required nearly 14,000 dollars to replenish
it. It was the opinion of the joint committee, therefore, that in a
lapse of eight years, viz: from 1789 to the present time, the furniture
then purchased must have experienced equal dilapidation and decay, and
that a sum at least as large as was then allowed (particularly when it
was considered that the price of goods was very much advanced since that
time) should now be allowed for putting the present household upon the
same footing of respectability and convenience with that at New York in
1789. Mr. S. did not know that he could give any further information on
the subject. It was a matter of notoriety that a great part of the goods
then purchased were worn out and destroyed; such as the household linen,
crockery ware, &c., and that the PRESIDENT had renewed them at his own
expense; insomuch that if he were to take out of the House the furniture
which he had supplied, there would little remain in it besides tables,
chairs, bedsteads, and a few such articles; since all the carpets and
ornamental furniture of the House had been purchased by himself.

Whilst he was up, he would wish to obviate the only objection which had
been adduced to this bill. The gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. HENDERSON)
had supposed that this allowance was meant to carry into effect what had
been rejected in another way, alluding to the proposed advance of
salary. That gentleman might see a very obvious distinction between the
two things. If $5,000 had been added to the salary of the PRESIDENT, he
could have disposed of it as he pleased; but the money now proposed to
be granted, was to be employed in the purchase of furniture, &c., which
would remain the property of the United States, and would devolve upon
the next PRESIDENT. Mr. S. said, he would add, that in the joint
committee there was not a dissenting voice to the proposition, and he
hoped there would not be one in the House.

The question was put for engrossing the bill for a third reading, and
carried, there being fifty votes in favor of it. This day and Monday
were mentioned for the third reading; the question was carried for the
most distant day, 40 to 35.


MONDAY, February 27.

_Accommodation of the President._

The bill to accommodate the PRESIDENT was read the third time; when Mr.
HEATH moved to have the bill recommitted, for the purpose of striking
out $14,000 to insert $8,000. He thought $14,000 too large a sum to be
given to purchase new furniture; $8,000 he thought would be a
sufficiently handsome sum for the purpose. They were apt to be too
lavish with the public money on some occasions, and too sparing on
others. He had not been satisfied with the reasons which had been given
by the Chairman of the committee for giving the sum now in the bill. At
a time when our Treasury was so much in want of money, he did not wish
so large a sum to be given for this purpose; nor did he think it
necessary, except it were to put our PRESIDENT in the style of a
potentate or prince. And this he was sure the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES would not wish, as he believed he was a gentleman of great
economy, and would spurn at any thing like tinsel or expense. Five
thousand dollars had been thought a sufficient sum for this purpose, but
he was willing to give $8,000. He hoped the bill would therefore be
recommitted, and this sum be inserted.

Mr. MACON seconded the motion for recommitting the bill. He was against
it altogether. He did not see why they should furnish the house of the
PRESIDENT any more than that of any other of their officers. He thought
the thing improper at first, and that it was wrong to continue the
practice. If the salary was not large enough, it should be made larger,
though he thought it sufficiently large.

Mr. RUTHERFORD concurred with his colleague, Mr. HEATH. It was
necessary, he said, that Republicans should be consistent. If we thus
give away the people's money, said he, shall we not be charged with
rapaciously putting our hands into their pockets? Have we not, he added,
refused to redress grievances and injuries, and to do justice to many
deserving and distressed citizens, because our Treasury is low? And
shall we now, when there is no right reason for it, lay hold of the
public Treasury, and lavish away $14,000? For what? For adding new
furniture to the house of the PRESIDENT. No; he was willing to render
him all possible respect; he remembered well his letter to our sister
Republic of Holland. He had a pretty good memory. He remembered well his
patriotism; but he saw no reason to give him $14,000. He would give him
$8,000, which he thought would be a very pretty compliment; but to give
$14,000 would outrage every idea of that economy and Republican
simplicity which ought to characterize the American nation. Why, said
he, shall we, who are a Confederacy of the Democratic Republicans,
everlastingly keep our eyes upon the pageantry of Eastern Courts? Let us
rather attend to our own character than that of any despotic nation upon
earth. He hoped the bill would be recommitted.

The question for recommitting was carried--45 to 40.

The House accordingly resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on
the bill, when--

Mr. HEATH moved to strike out $14,000 and insert $8,000.

Mr. GILLESPIE called for the estimate, which he understood was in
possession of the committee.

Mr. SITGREAVES said there was no estimate before the House or committee.
All that he had seen was a list of the furniture which had been
purchased for the PRESIDENT in 1789. He himself had not had patience to
go through it; but if the gentleman wished it, it might be read to the
House.

Mr. HARTLEY hoped there would have been no objection to this
appropriation. He thought the Chairman of the committee had fully shown
the propriety of granting the $14,000 to the PRESIDENT, who was not
merely an officer of the Government, but a branch of it. It was not
giving the money away, but merely advancing it on account of the United
States. He was not in favor of high salaries, but he wished the
situation of the PRESIDENT to be made comfortable and respectable.

Mr. HEATH said, he believed a great part of the furniture which was
purchased in 1789, was at present as good as when laid in; this was
particularly the case with respect to the mahogany furniture; and he
thought the $8,000 would be a sufficient sum to replace all articles of
a perishable nature, such as carpets, linens, &c.

Mr. HOLLAND was in favor of striking out, because it was only necessary
to appropriate as much as might be necessary whilst Government remained
here, as, when it should be removed, the furniture now used might not be
suitable for the house at Washington. At that time, he supposed a
further sum would be called for, and therefore he thought a less sum
than $14,000 would be sufficient for the present purpose.

Mr. WILLIAMS was in favor of the bill as it stood. He had been told that
it was the intention of the State of Pennsylvania to make an offer to
the PRESIDENT of the house which had lately been erected in this city;
if so, perhaps the furniture which might be purchased for it would be
suitable for the house in the Federal City. He had before said that he
thought it would have been better to have augmented the salary of the
PRESIDENT, and let him purchase his own furniture. But as that had not
been agreed to, he wished the committee now to rise and report progress,
that information might be gained on the subject; because he thought if
he was to have that house, that sum would not be too large.

Mr. SITGREAVES said, he did not know whether the Legislature of this
State would conclude to make the PRESIDENT the offer which the gentleman
last up had mentioned; but of this he was sure, that if they did, he
could not afford to accept of it. For, if this bill passed, he was
certain that, under such circumstances, he could not remove into that
house, because he would not be able to furnish it.

Mr. S. said, he was surprised the House should so suddenly change their
opinion. He thought he had given sufficient information on the subject
to have shown the necessity of the grant. [Mr. S. here repeated what he
had before noticed respecting what had been allowed on a former
occasion.] When gentlemen entered minutely into the subject, they seemed
to have information which was not very correct. He believed the sum
mentioned in the bill not more than sufficient. The decay which had
taken place in the PRESIDENT's household would require that sum to make
it good. The gentleman from Virginia supposed there were many articles,
not perishable in their nature, which could not have been injured by
their use. He was mistaken. There was nothing but about $800 worth of
plated ware and the mahogany furniture which could at all come under
this description. Indeed, any gentleman who was in the habit of paying
his respects to the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES must have seen with
regret that the appearance of his furniture was so far inferior to that
which was to be found in the houses of any of our wealthy citizens, or
even of those in moderate circumstances. When this was a notorious fact,
what ground, he asked, could gentlemen have for comparing the household
of the PRESIDENT to the pomp and splendor of Eastern Courts? On the
contrary, he thought there was a humility of appearance in the house of
the PRESIDENT, which he would not say was a disgrace to the country, but
which at least proved its rigid economy.

Mr. NICHOLAS said he voted for going into Committee of the Whole on this
subject from an idea that the sum proposed to be given to the PRESIDENT
was larger than was necessary, though he confessed he could not say what
that sum ought exactly to be; he was for giving enough and rather too
much than too little. Indeed, when he considered that the whole sum was
not to be expended, except it should be found necessary, and that a
certain style was expected to be observed in this station, he was not
for stinting the sum to what he thought just enough for purchasing
furniture. If the whole of the money granted must of necessity be
expended in furniture, he should have had more hesitation on the
subject; but as the expenditure would be left to the discretion of the
PRESIDENT, he could not suppose, from the well-known habits of economy
of that gentleman, it would be improperly disposed of. He therefore felt
no difficulty in agreeing to the sum in the bill; for though he thought
the sum too large, yet he would not so confine the appropriation as to
oblige their officer to go about the streets to look out for cheap
purchases of furniture.

Mr. BUCK said, previous to these measures being brought forward, they
had decided against any advance to the salary of the PRESIDENT. All that
time a committee was appointed to inquire into the state of the
PRESIDENT's household, and to report whether any, and what, further
accommodation was necessary to be afforded. He conceived that it was the
wish of that House that the gentleman who was coming into office should
have accommodations equal to those which had been given to the gentleman
who was leaving it. The committee had examined into facts, made a
report, and a bill had been brought in accordingly. The committee had
informed them upon what principles they had acted; and it did not appear
that they either intended to increase the splendor of the household of
the PRESIDENT, nor to add to his salary. If any member could come
forward and show that the report of the committee was erroneous, they
should have some ground upon which to reject it. He had heard no man say
this, and therefore all that had been offered on the subject ought not
to weigh against that report. When the bill was before them on Saturday,
there was a considerable majority in favor of it, and as they had no new
information on the matter, he saw no reason for a change of opinion.

Some members, Mr. B. said, had held out an idea that they were about to
give this money away, to enable the new PRESIDENT to live in the style
of foreign Courts. If the inhabitants of this city had adopted this
style, then it would be chargeable against the PRESIDENT, but not
otherwise, since it was acknowledged he had not kept pace with them in
this respect. The appropriating this money would only be converting it
into so much public property; for, when his term of office should
expire, he could not carry away a single article. It was not, therefore,
giving away a farthing, but merely providing for our own convenience to
enable the PRESIDENT to fill the office with comfort and reputation; and
as they had nothing before them to show the sum too large, he saw no
propriety in rejecting it, for the purpose of inserting any other.

Mr. RUTHERFORD said, if the House had committed an error one day, it
would be well for them to correct it another. If they were to give
$14,000 away on the present occasion, he thought they would commit a
very serious error. The gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. SITGREAVES) had
said many of the citizens of Philadelphia lived in a superior style to
the PRESIDENT. If so, he would say they were very bad citizens, since it
was proper that the citizens of this rising Republic should cultivate a
simplicity of living and of manners.

Mr. MACON thought some of the arguments introduced on this occasion were
very improper; such as the habits of economy or private fortune of the
gentleman who was to succeed to the Presidential chair. They were about
to settle a permanent principle, which it was proper to do at this time,
before a new Presidency commenced. He knew nothing of the private
property of the person who was to fill the office, nor had it any thing
to do with the matter. The question was, whether they were to go over
the same ground every four or eight years of furnishing the house of a
new PRESIDENT? He did not wish that it should be so; he wished the
salary to be the only consideration which the PRESIDENT should receive
for his services. If it had not been settling a permanent principle, he
should not perhaps have opposed it.

It had been said that the old PRESIDENT of Congress had a household
furnished him, but he received no salary from the United States except
his household. He considered this sum as an advance upon the salary paid
to the PRESIDENT by the different States, and before any salary was
fixed by the United States; but now, as an ample salary was paid to the
PRESIDENT, he did not think such a provision should be continued. It was
sometimes said that it was no matter what sum was appropriated, as, if
it was not wanted, it would not be expended; but, he believed, whatever
sum was appropriated would be expended; for he was not one of those who
thought that revenue could not be found. He believed if the money was
granted, it would be both found and spent.

Mr. SITGREAVES wished to correct the gentleman last up with respect to
one fact. He had said the PRESIDENT of the old Congress had no salary.
It was true that he did not receive any thing under that name, but there
was a provision, not merely for the furniture of his house, but for the
constant provision of it; and this was so considerable that from 1778 to
1779, in one year, eighty-three thousand dollars were paid for that
purpose.

Mr. MACON wished to know what sort of money this was; he supposed it was
in depreciated paper.

Mr. SITGREAVES was not certain what kind of money was meant.

Mr. JEREMIAH SMITH said, in settling an affair of this kind, it was
proper to have respect to the office, and not to the man who was to fill
it. He could himself consider the establishment of the PRESIDENT's
household in no other light than in the nature of a compensation for his
services, in the same way that he considered the privilege of franking,
stationery, and newspapers, allowed the members of both Houses, to be
such; because, if they were not allowed to them, they would have to
purchase those articles themselves; and if furniture was not provided by
Government for the house of the PRESIDENT, he must himself furnish it
out of his salary, or from his private purse. To refuse to provide the
necessary furniture would therefore be to reduce his salary; for it was
true that this plan of presenting furniture to the PRESIDENT was adopted
before the salary was fixed, so that it must have been considered as
being additional to the salary. And was that salary, he asked, near so
valuable now as it was when fixed? Certainly not. He trusted, therefore,
they should not reduce it.

This sum, Mr. S. said, was mentioned, from a consideration that four
years hence the seat of Government would be removed, and that then the
furniture would be in a great degree useless. They, therefore, only
recommended such a sum as they thought would be sufficient to put the
furniture in a proper state for that term. He believed that fourteen
thousand dollars would not do more than that.

Mr. MACON said he was always opposed to the privileges allowed to
members of franking, &c. Gentlemen talked about a statement; he did not
know what that might contain, he had not seen it; but he did not know
how it could require fourteen thousand dollars to repair furniture which
at first cost only thirteen thousand.

Mr. JEREMIAH SMITH said, the gentleman last up was inaccurate in his
statement. The thirteen thousand dollars which were allowed for
furniture for the late PRESIDENT, was in addition to the furniture
which had already been in possession of the PRESIDENT of Congress.

Mr. SHERBURNE said, the question was with respect to the quantum of
money to be granted, as every one seemed to allow that a certain sum was
necessary. By having recourse to what was done for other officers of the
Government, they might, perhaps, form an estimate of what would be
reasonable on the present occasion. A practice had been established of
allowing our Ministers to foreign countries a sum as an outfit equal to
one year's salary; so that nine thousand dollars were allowed a Minister
for this purpose, though it might happen that he would not be employed
more than a few months in the service. He thought, therefore, that
fourteen thousand dollars could not be thought too large a sum for the
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, whose term of service was for four
years, and which would go to his successor in office; whereas, the nine
thousand dollars allowed to a foreign Minister were entirely at his
disposal, though he might not be in the service more than a month.

Mr. AMES said, it appeared to him that it would be desirable to proceed
according to precedent, as nearly as they could. It was not desirable to
innovate or change the established order of things, except strong
reasons existed for the change. On inquiring what had been the practice
heretofore, they found the PRESIDENT of the old Congress, as well as the
PRESIDENT now going out of office, had establishments made for their
household similar to that now proposed. If they looked forward to that
period when the seat of Government was to be removed, and considered the
furniture which would be necessary for the house in the Federal city, it
would be seen that there would be a necessity for a new establishment at
that time, as it was evident that the present furniture or what might be
purchased with the sum now contemplated, would be wholly inadequate to
the furnishing of that house. He supposed an additional grant of twelve
or fifteen thousand pounds would be necessary for that purpose.

We have chosen an elective Government, said Mr. A., and if it were meant
to be kept pure, they must encourage the people to make choice of such
men, without respect to fortune, as they think will serve them best, but
if instead of providing a suitable household for the PRESIDENT, they
left him to provide for himself in this respect, men of large fortune
only could engage in this part of the public service. And would this, he
asked, be doing honor to the Republican Government? He thought not.

The question for striking out was put and negatived--55 to 36. The
committee then rose, and when the question was about to be put in the
House--

Mr. GALLATIN said, the provision of the bill left it to the discretion
of the PRESIDENT whether he would expend the whole of the money, or not.
His opinion was, that the sum was too large; but the question for
striking it out having been negatived, the expenditure must be left to
the discretion of the PRESIDENT. He did not mean to go into any detail.
He did not wish to place the gentleman coming into office in a worse
situation than that of him who was going out; and as he felt no
objection to leave it to the PRESIDENT to make use of the whole or a
part of this money, as his discretion should direct, he should vote for
the bill.

Mr. CLAIBORNE said, as provision had been made for furniture for the
gentleman now in office, he was inclined to vote for the fourteen
thousand dollars proposed now to be granted for the same purpose to the
gentleman who was to succeed him.

Mr. HENDERSON wished to give his reasons for voting against this bill.
He wished to place the PRESIDENT coming into office in as comfortable
circumstances as he who was going out; but it appeared to him that the
sum proposed was larger than necessary for this purpose. Indeed, said
Mr. H., when he read an article of the constitution touching this
subject, he had his doubts with respect to the constitutionality of the
proceeding. That article said, "that the PRESIDENT should receive a
compensation which should neither be increased nor diminished during the
period for which he should have been elected; and that he should not
receive within that period any other emoluments from the United States,
or any of them."

Mr. SITGREAVES believed there could be no doubt as to the
constitutionality of the proposed grant of money, as the clause ran,
"during the period for which he should have been elected," which would
not prevent them from passing any number of acts before he went into
office.

The question on the passing of the bill was then taken by yeas and nays,
and stood 63 to 27, as follows:

      YEAS.--Fisher Ames, Theodorus Bailey, Abraham Baldwin,
      Theophilus Bradbury, Daniel Buck, Dempsey Burges, Thomas
      Claiborne, Joshua Coit, William Cooper, William Craik,
      Samuel W. Dana, James Davenport, George Dent, George Ege,
      Abiel Foster, Dwight Foster, Nathaniel Freeman, junior,
      Albert Gallatin, Ezekiel Gilbert, Nicholas Gilman, Henry
      Glenn, Chauncey Goodrich, Roger Griswold, William B. Grove,
      Robert Goodloe Harper, Carter B. Harrison, Thomas Hartley,
      William Hindman, John Wilkes Kittera, George Leonard,
      Edward Livingston, Samuel Lyman, William Lyman, James
      Madison, Francis Malbone, Andrew Moore, Frederick A.
      Muhlenberg, William Vans Murray, John Nicholas, John Page,
      Josiah Parker, John Patton, Elisha R. Potter, John Read,
      John Richards, Samuel Sewall, John S. Sherburne, Samuel
      Sitgreaves, Thompson J. Skinner, Jeremiah Smith, Nathaniel
      Smith, Isaac Smith, Israel Smith, William Smith, Richard
      Sprigg, junior, Thomas Sprigg, John Swanwick, Zephaniah
      Swift, George Thatcher, John E. Van Allen, Philip Van
      Cortlandt, Peleg Wadsworth, and John Williams,

      NAYS.--Thomas Blount, Nathan Bryan, Samuel J. Cabell,
      Gabriel Christie, John Clopton, Isaac Coles, Jesse
      Franklin, James Gillespie, Christopher Greenup, Andrew
      Gregg, Wade Hampton, John Hathorn, Jonathan N. Havens, John
      Heath, Thomas Henderson, James Holland, Andrew Jackson,
      George Jackson, Aaron Kitchell, Matthew Locke, Nathaniel
      Macon, John Milledge, Anthony New, Alexander D. Orr, Robert
      Rutherford, William Stradwick, and Richard Winn.

_Military and Naval Appropriations._

The House went into a Committee of the Whole on this subject, when,
after some discussion respecting the price of rations, Mr. GALLATIN
insisting upon seventeen cents being a sufficiently high calculation,
and Mr. W. SMITH abiding by the estimate of the War Department at twenty
cents; the latter was agreed upon thirty-six to thirty-four, and the pay
and subsistence of the Army was settled, but which has since undergone
an alteration, owing to the two companies of cavalry being added by a
new bill. The sum for forage and clothing was also agreed upon, but
which afterwards, of course, from the above alteration, underwent an
augmentation. The hospital department being under consideration,

Mr. W. SMITH moved to fill the blank with thirty thousand dollars.

Mr. GALLATIN moved to fill it with ten thousand. He said, they had this
year had a statement of the expense of the Military Establishment, by
which they found that the hospital department had cost six thousand nine
hundred and five dollars. It had been the uniform practice of the House
to appropriate from thirty to forty thousand dollars under this head,
though the expense had never exceeded seven thousand; and to apply the
surplus to other purposes. He thought it wrong to appropriate four times
the sum necessary, and had therefore proposed to fill the blank with ten
thousand dollars, which was fifty per cent. more than had ever been
expended for the purpose.

Mr. PARKER believed than ten thousand dollars would be enough to pay for
physic for the Army. Indeed he believed it was generally expended in
wine and luxuries by the officers, and that little of it went to the use
of the subordinates.

The question for ten thousand dollars was put and carried.

The blank for the Ordnance Department was filled with forty thousand
dollars; and that for the fortifications of the ports and harbors of the
United States with twenty-four thousand dollars.

Mr. GALLATIN moved to fill the blank for the Quartermaster's Department,
the Indian Department, the defensive protection of the frontiers,
bounties, and all the contingent expenses of the War Department, with
three hundred thousand dollars.

Mr. VENABLE said, if the sum necessary for each of the above items could
be specified, he would rather have it so expressed than have the whole
in one sum.

Mr. W. SMITH said it would come to the same thing, if the several items
were voted in an aggregate sum, as they were all contingent expenses. He
should move to have the blank filled with four hundred and forty-six
thousand dollars.

Mr. GALLATIN observed there were two motions before the committee: one
to fill the blank with four hundred and forty-six thousand dollars, the
other with three hundred thousand. He would observe that one of the
items in this estimate, viz., that for the fortifications of West Point,
ought not to be included under this head; but, as to the other items, he
would mention, in answer to what had fallen from the gentleman from
Virginia (Mr. VENABLE) what was the reason which had induced the
committee to put them in one sum, which was to obtain the very object he
had in view in wishing to have all the items stated separately.

It would be recollected that they had had a letter from the Secretary of
the Treasury, in which he said, "that the appropriations for the
Military and Naval Establishments were considered as general grants of
money; and, though they were to be accounted for according to law, yet
it was the practice of the officers of the Treasury not to consider each
appropriation as specific, but the whole as a general grant of money."
This practice was making the law a mere farce, since the officers of the
Treasury did not consider themselves as at all bound by the specific
sums. He therefore concluded it to be proper to pass the law in such a
manner as to confine the expense to the appropriation for the different
items. It was said to be impossible to carry the law into execution on
this principle. It was said there were a number of contingent expenses
which could not be exactly ascertained, and that therefore it was
necessary the officers of the Treasury should have a certain discretion
given them to make use of the surplus of any item for which more than
was necessary had been appropriated. He believed the uncertainty here
mentioned existed, and therefore it had been concluded to be best to put
the contingent articles together in one sum, in order to give bounds to
the discretion of the Department.

Having given the reasons which caused the bill to be brought in in this
shape, Mr. G. said he would mention the items upon which the sum he had
proposed to fill up the blank was composed. For defensive protection,
sixty thousand dollars; for the Quartermaster's Department, one hundred
and fifty thousand dollars. This latter sum has been estimated at two
hundred and fifty thousand dollars, but upon what ground he was at a
loss to know. The Army would now be fixed in garrison, and would not
have to march from post to post. None of the reasons given last year for
this expense would now apply; and he thought it unreasonable that the
same sum should be allowed for this item which was allowed at the time
when they were engaged in an Indian war.

In 1789, when we had eight hundred
  men in garrison, the expenses of this
  department was                           $11,076
In 1790, he did not recollect the number
  of troops, but not more, he believed      45,763
In 1791                                     92,223
In 1792 (in the height of the Indian war)  206,510
In 1793                                    178,602
In 1794                                    263,000
In 1795                                    317,647

What would be the expense of 1796, could not be exactly ascertained. It
appeared by the statement which they had received that upwards of two
hundred and four thousand dollars had been expended. Whether there were
any further demands unsettled, he could not tell. It appeared,
therefore, that the expense of that Department had increased from eleven
thousand to three hundred thousand dollars. This had been owing to two
causes--the increase of the Army, and by the Indian war. There had also
been a great loss of horses from having forage to fetch great distances.

Mr. DEARBORN could see no reason for making the appropriation so large
as had been proposed by the gentleman from South Carolina. It must be
recollected that the Army was in garrison, where there were
barrack-houses convenient for the officers and men, and contracts had
been entered into for delivering provisions at the different forts, and
there would therefore be a great deduction on account of the
transportation, in which seven or eight hundred horses had been used up,
and the horses on hand might also be sold. Camp equipage was a heavy
article of expense, but which would not be wanted whilst the troops were
in garrison. These two articles would of themselves make a very
considerable part of the whole item. There would also be a saving in the
purchase of horses, as the cavalry made more than half the expense. He
did not think more than one hundred thousand dollars could be wanted
under this head, except it were wanted for making new forts or
fortifications. There would now be no necessity for building officers'
houses, and huts for the soldiers for winter quarters. All these
circumstances considered, he thought the sum he had mentioned would be
sufficient.

The question for filling the blank with four hundred and forty-six
thousand was put and negatived, there being only thirteen votes in favor
of it. The sense of the committee was then taken upon three hundred
thousand, and carried--there being 51 votes in favor of it.

Mr. W. SMITH then moved to add to the bill, "For the repairs of the
fortifications of West Point, twenty thousand dollars."

Mr. COIT inquired if there was any estimate of this item.

Mr. GALLATIN said there was no estimate respecting West Point.

Mr. W. SMITH said there was an estimate for Niagara, Oswego, Detroit,
&c., which might include West Point, he proposed therefore to change the
motion, and insert "Niagara, Oswego, Detroit, &c.," which would include
West Point, if necessary.

Mr. GALLATIN wished the gentleman from South Carolina to say whether he
had any information with respect to West Point.

Mr. W. SMITH said, he had no particular information on the subject, but
as it was of importance the works there should be very complete, he
thought it prudent to grant something for that object.

Mr. GALLATIN hoped the proposition would be rejected. There was no
necessity for repairing the fortifications of the posts mentioned more
than any other of the forts upon the Lakes. They knew nothing of them,
but that they were too large for the garrisons in them; but he believed
if they once begun to appropriate money for this purpose, it would
become a yearly expense, And whilst they had been parsimonious with
respect to the ports and harbors of the United States, having only
appropriated twenty-four thousand dollars to that purpose, he could see
no reason for granting twenty thousand dollars for repairing the forts
of Niagara, Oswego, and Detroit, against a few Indians; as it was well
known that a block-house was as good a fortification against the Indians
as any other. When the regiment was raised to go and take possession of
that country, they built all their forts as they went along, without any
expense, except the price of a few tools. He hoped, therefore, they
should not by voting for this sum, introduce a new item of expense into
their annual appropriations.

Mr. W. SMITH agreed with the gentleman last up, that enough had not been
appropriated for the defence of the ports and harbors of the United
States; but if they had done wrong in one instance, it was no rule why
they should continue to do so. He thought it very important that the
forts he had mentioned should be so secured at least as that they should
not go to ruin. Under this item was included West Point, which was a
fort of great consequence; and he would rather forty thousand dollars
were appropriated than twenty thousand for this purpose.

Mr. DEARBORN said, as far as the proposition related to Niagara, Oswego,
and Detroit, he thought it improper to appropriate money for their
defence. He believed it would require a year or two to know what was
necessary to be done there. At Niagara, the works were large enough for
six or seven thousand men, and it would become a question whether they
should be reduced, or kept up as they were; at Oswego, nothing more
could be necessary than a block-house. It was true, there were
considerable works there, but until it was decided what they should do
with them, it would be improper to appropriate money for their repair.
The same thing might be said of Detroit. He had no idea that the
PRESIDENT could have information from those places of what was
necessary. Whatever temporary repair might be required there, the troops
themselves would be able to effect. As to West Point, he did not know
any thing about it, except that it was a place of consequence; he also
knew that a great deal of money had been laid out upon it. He hoped they
should get into a new system with respect to the defence of our ports
and harbors; and until that was done, he should be against granting any
considerable sum for this purpose. If gentlemen were in possession of
any information on the subject, he perhaps might be induced to vote for
a small sum: but not until he knew more of the matter.

Mr. LIVINGSTON spoke of the importance of the fort at West Point, and of
the necessity of keeping it in proper repair.

Mr. COIT said, the question seemed to have taken a new turn. He presumed
that West Point was not in the idea of the Secretary of War when he made
the estimate upon which this bill was founded. If it had been, it would
have been very improper to have begun with Oswego, and include West
Point in the _et cetera_. In June, 1796, 20,000 dollars, he said, were
appropriated for the repairs of this fort, and they had not been
informed that it had been expended.

Mr. GALLATIN said, there had been 7,000 dollars expended at West Point;
the other 13,000 dollars were not intended for that fort. The present
appropriation was doubtless intended for the forts mentioned, and those
in the same quarter. If any thing was wanted for West Point, a distinct
proposition should come before them for that purpose.

Mr. W. SMITH observed that the gentleman last up had stated that only
7,000 dollars had been expended at West Point; that was only the amount
which had been expended at the time the estimate was made; but the whole
might have been since laid out, as then only 520,000 dollars of the
appropriation of the Military Establishment had been expended.

Mr. GALLATIN said, that the total expenditure of the estimate alluded to
was 1,280,479 dollars.

The question was put and negatived, there being only 19 votes in favor
of it.

The committee then rose and had leave to sit again.


TUESDAY, February 28.

_Algerine Captives: Ransom._

The Secretary of State, to whom was referred the petitions of George
Smith and John Robertson, who prayed for a repayment of the money which
they had themselves paid for their ransom from Algerine slavery,
reported that the ransom of George Smith cost $2,426, of which Colonel
Humphreys had paid $1,526, and George Smith the remainder; that by the
late return of our citizens from Algiers, the expense attending the
redemption of each man was ascertained to be $2,396, independent of the
expense of the general negotiation, and allowing for small inaccuracies
on account of some expenses which could not at present be ascertained.
He recommends, therefore, that George Smith have paid him $873, which,
with the sum paid by Colonel Humphreys, would make about $2,400. John
Robinson paid for his own ransom $1,518, the interest upon which came to
$516; the Secretary therefore recommends that $2,034 be paid to him.

On motion of Mr. SWANWICK, this report was referred to a select
committee, viz: Messrs. SWANWICK, BLOUNT, COIT, SEWALL, and PARKER.

_General Appropriation Bill._

The amendments from the Senate to the bill making appropriations for the
support of Government for the year 1797, were taken up and agreed to, as
also those to the bill laying additional duties on sundry articles of
impost. The amendments which were agreed to were to add to white cotton
goods, "velvets and velverets, whether printed, stained, colored, or
otherwise, and all muslins and muslinets, two and a half per cent." And
also a new section, enacting that an addition of 10 per cent. should be
laid upon these articles when imported in ships or vessels not of the
United States. The duties are to take place after the 31st of December
next.

_Military and Naval Appropriations._

The House again resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on the
Military and Naval Appropriations; when, the pay and subsistence of
three captains in the Naval department being under consideration--

Mr. SWANWICK thought it would be necessary to have a laborer or two
employed to take care of the vessels and materials.

Mr. W. SMITH said, the estimate for the captains was $4,200; if the sum
was made $5,000, there would be sufficient for the payment of any
laborers which might be necessary. Agreed to.

The blank for the payment of Military Pensions was agreed to be filled
with $96,350.

And for making good the deficiencies of the Military Establishment of
1796, $76,312.

Also, for the payment of the expedition of General Sevier into the
Cherokee nation, $22,816.

The committee now rose, and had leave to sit again.

_Executive Veto on the Army Bill._

The following Message, in writing, was received from the PRESIDENT OF
THE UNITED STATES, containing his objections to the bill for fixing the
Military Establishment:

      _Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

      Having maturely considered the bill to alter and amend an
      act, entitled "An act to ascertain and fix the Military
      Establishment of the United States," which was presented to
      me on the twenty-second day of this month, I now return it
      to the House of Representatives, in which it originated,
      with my objections.

      _First._ If the bill passes into a law, the two companies
      of light dragoons will be, from that moment, _legally_ out
      of service, though they will continue afterwards _actually_
      in the service; and for their services during this
      interval, namely, from the time of _legal_ to the time of
      _actual_ discharge, it will not be lawful to pay them,
      unless some future provision be made by law. Though they
      may be discharged at the pleasure of Congress, in justice
      they ought to receive their pay, not only to the time of
      passing the law, but at least to the time of their actual
      discharge.

      _Secondly._ It will be inconvenient and injurious to the
      public to dismiss the light dragoons as soon as notice of
      the law can be conveyed to them, one of the companies
      having been lately destined to a necessary and important
      service.

      _Thirdly._ The companies of light dragoons consist of one
      hundred and twenty-six non-commissioned officers and
      privates, who are bound to serve as dismounted dragoons
      when ordered so to do. They have received, in bounties,
      about two thousand dollars; one of them is completely
      equipped, and above half of the non-commissioned officers
      and privates have yet to serve more than one-third of the
      time of their enlistment; and, besides, there will, in the
      course of the year, be a considerable deficiency in the
      complement of infantry intended to be continued. Under
      these circumstances, to discharge the dragoons does not
      seem to comport with economy.

      _Fourthly._ It is generally agreed that some cavalry,
      either militia or regular, will be necessary; and,
      according to the best information I have been able to
      obtain, it is my opinion that the latter will be less
      expensive and more useful than the former in preserving
      peace between the frontier settlers and the Indians, and,
      therefore, a part of the Military Establishment should
      consist of cavalry.

                          G. WASHINGTON.

      UNITED STATES, _February_ 28, 1797.

On motion,

      "_Resolved_, That to-morrow be assigned for the
      reconsideration of the said bill, in the mode prescribed by
      the Constitution of the United States."

The question to concur was put and carried--40 to 37.


WEDNESDAY, March 1.

_Military Establishment._

Mr. GALLATIN wished the bill for fixing the Military Establishment,
which had been returned by the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, with his
objections, to be taken up.

Mr. W. SMITH hoped this subject would be taken up, but before it was
entered upon, he wished the Committee of the Whole to be discharged from
the consideration of it, as he found, in a former instance of a similar
kind, the business had been settled in the House. The committee was
accordingly discharged. The House then proceeded to reconsider the bill,
agreeably to the direction of the constitution. The bill was first read,
and then the objections of the PRESIDENT.

The SPEAKER then read the clause in the constitution which directs the
proceedings on such an occasion, and which says, that in case two-thirds
of the House wherein it originated shall be in favor of passing the
bill, it shall be sent to the other, and if two-thirds of that House be
also in favor of it, it shall become a law. The votes of both Houses to
be determined by yeas and nays.

Mr. NICHOLAS said, he meant to vote against the bill, but he did not
wish to stand charged with refusing to pay the men for the time they
were in service. He thought this bill was by no means liable to a charge
of this kind; as it could scarcely be supposed that, at the time they
were making a voluntary gift of $100 to every officer discharged, the
Legislature meant to defraud the men of their pay.

Mr. W. SMITH did not see any necessity for the observations of the
gentleman from Virginia. There was nothing in the Message of the
PRESIDENT which charged that House with an intention to defraud the men
of their pay. Whatever was the design of gentlemen, this was not the
charge. But certain it was that this would be the result of the bill,
and it would be six weeks or two months before they could be notified
that the act was passed. It was the legal opinion of the Attorney
General, therefore, that they would not be entitled to pay during that
time.

Mr. NICHOLAS was sorry that the gentleman from South Carolina and he did
not think alike on the subject; he thought the objections he had made
were necessary, and he had made them for the purpose stated. He thought
the PRESIDENT ought not to have doubted their willingness to have
allowed the pay in question. He was of opinion the House had given some
extraordinary proofs of their liberality this session; amongst other
proofs of this, they had determined to appropriate money for the
building of a thirty-six gun frigate, which he had caused to be built
without authority. But the pay of these men was so much a point of law,
that he believed the men would have been entitled to pay.

Mr. W. SMITH said, their having agreed to give each of the officers
$100, without mentioning the men, rather went against the gentleman's
conclusion; because, if any thing had been intended to have been given
to them, they would also have been mentioned.

Mr. WILLIAMS was sorry that some things had not been more attended to,
when that bill was under consideration; and, although there would be a
difficulty respecting the Brigadier General and Staff, yet he thought
the objections well founded, and would vote against the passing of the
bill, in order that a new one might be brought in to avoid the
objections, from the demands lately made for the protection of the
frontiers of Georgia and Tennessee, which amounted to upwards of
$300,000; he fully agreed with the PRESIDENT that it would be less
expense to keep up the two companies of dragoons than to employ militia
horse.

The yeas and nays were then taken, and stood 55 to 26.

The bill being accordingly lost, Mr. NICHOLAS moved that a committee be
appointed to bring in a new bill, which being agreed to, a new bill was
reported (exactly the same as the former, except an omission of the
parts objected to by the PRESIDENT.) It was ordered to be engrossed for
a third reading, and afterwards passed.

_Case of Hanging Maw._

Mr. BLOUNT called for the order of the day on the report of the
Committee of Claims on the petition of the widow of the late
Scollacuttaw, or Hanging Maw. The House accordingly went into a
committee thereon, when the report was read, as follows:

      "That the complaints against the conduct of one John Beard,
      and a number of armed men, who, she states, in the year one
      thousand seven hundred and ninety-three, contrary to law
      and the good faith of Government, attacked the
      dwelling-house of the petitioner and husband, killed and
      wounded a number of well-disposed Indians; burnt, and
      destroyed, and carried away their property, and wounded the
      petitioner. She now prays that some provision may be made
      for her.

      "After examining the statement made by the petitioner, and
      the facts upon which she rests her present application, the
      committee have found some difficulty in deciding what
      measures would be most advisable for the House to adopt.

      "Previous to the attack on the Hanging Maw, the frontier
      settlers of Tennessee and the Indians in that quarter had
      been guilty of mutual acts of aggression and hostility. A
      party of the Indians had killed some settlers; their trail
      was discovered, conducting across the Tennessee--this
      circumstance induced a belief in their pursuers that the
      Hanging Maw had been concerned in that business, and
      occasioned his being wounded, and the misfortunes
      complained of by his widow. The general opinion, however,
      represents the Hanging Maw as having been uniformly
      friendly to the settlers; as vigilant to apprise them of
      the approach of banditti; and constant in his exertions, on
      all occasions, to compose difficulties between them and his
      nation; and, withal, as possessing considerable influence
      over the Indians. The same disposition is also attributed
      to his widow, the present petitioner; who, instead of
      exciting her people to acts of retaliation, has abated
      nothing in her friendship to the white people.

      "All these circumstances seem to countenance, if not to
      require for her a pension from the Government, or some
      other relief from the Legislature. Such a provision might
      also be considered as extending its influence beyond the
      particular object; or, as an inciting cause to other
      Indians to pursue a similar line of conduct, under
      circumstances alike cruel and distressing, should they
      happen.

      "But, on the other hand, it is to be considered that there
      are citizens on the frontiers who have suffered injuries as
      cruel, and deprivations as severe by the Indians; and who
      have been thereby left in situations of distress that would
      equally call for assistance from the Legislature. Questions
      arise whether both descriptions of sufferers ought not to
      be provided for? Whether the abilities of Government would
      be competent to meet all possible claims of this nature?
      And whether help can be extended by law to the one, and
      consistently refused to the other?

      "It may be said that those who settle on the frontiers
      voluntarily assume all the risks and dangers attached to
      that position; and, therefore can have no just claim upon
      the Government for consequences resulting from their
      choice; whilst, on the contrary, policy requires that the
      minds of the Indians, who may be roused to hostility by
      acts of the settlers, should be quieted by small pecuniary
      interpositions.

      "Under these views of the subject, the committee have
      hesitated what report to make; but, upon the whole, as the
      authority vested in the Executive Department is competent
      to meet this claim; and should the petitioner, from her
      sufferings and her attachment to the United States, appear
      to the Executive to be entitled to any annual relief, as it
      may be afforded out of the appropriations for contingent
      expenses in the Indian Department, without any interference
      of the Legislature, and as this mode will probably involve
      the fewest difficulties, the committee think she should
      apply to that department; and that the prayer of her
      petition ought not to be granted."[12]

The committee reported their agreement with the resolution reported from
the Committee of Claims.

The question was taken, that the House do agree with the Committee of
the whole House in their agreement to the said report, and resolved in
the affirmative.


THURSDAY, March 2.

The bill for the relief of American seamen was read the third time and
passed.

_Military Appropriations._

On the motion of Mr. W. SMITH, the House went into a committee of the
Whole on the bill making appropriation for the Military Establishment,
when the following items were agreed to without debate:

For the payment of the army,                 $256,450
For the subsistence of the officers,           47,395
For the subsistence of the non-commissioned
  officers and privates,                      245,283
For forage,                                    14,904
For clothing,                                  83,050

Mr. W. SMITH then proposed to insert a new item, in consequence of the
bill just passed, "For the purchase of horses and the equipment of the
cavalry, $16,085."

Mr. GALLATIN said, the items which had been agreed to were upon the
ground of an increase of 126 dragoons which was not in the former bill.
The item now under consideration went to provide horses and equipments
for an additional company of cavalry. It appeared that this company was
heretofore without either, so that they must have been employed as
dismounted dragoons; and if they now appropriated the sum before them,
they would, in fact, add a company of horse to the establishment. He
believed it to be the general opinion that they had cavalry sufficient
at present; indeed, it was the opinion of a large majority of that House
that none were necessary; but if they did appropriate for any, he
thought they ought not to go beyond the present establishment.

Mr. W. SMITH said, if they refused to make the appropriation under
consideration, they declared that one of the two companies of cavalry
should act as infantry. By the bill passed yesterday, it was left
altogether to the option of the PRESIDENT to employ them either as
cavalry or infantry: but if this appropriation was withheld, he would be
under the necessity of employing them as infantry only, and this House
would now exercise a discretion which only yesterday they had vested in
the Executive.

It would be observed, that, in the message of the PRESIDENT, he had
fully stated the reasons why dragoons would be requisite. The business
upon which one of the companies was at present employed was to escort
the Commissioners employed in running the boundary lines betwixt the
territory of the United States and the Indians; the other was
indispensable for the protection of the frontiers.

What, Mr. S. asked, would be the consequence of refusing this
appropriation? One of the companies of dragoons would be obliged to act
as infantry, and Government would be compelled to employ militia-horse
at a great expense. If this was economy, he was mistaken in his ideas of
economy. The sum was conformable to the estimate which he had received
from the War Office.

Mr. HARTLEY was in favor of the appropriation, that the PRESIDENT might
be at full liberty to employ the troops on foot or on horse-back,
according as the service might require.

Mr. NICHOLAS thought, while they were making appropriations, this
subject might as well be included. If these men were to be kept, they
ought to be properly equipped. He said it was the opinion of the
PRESIDENT and the Secretary of War that cavalry was necessary, and
therefore he had concluded it would be proper, and wished them to be
kept up, so as to be called into service whenever necessary.

Mr. MILLEDGE thought there was great need of cavalry; it would be an
object of policy, as, by information he had received from the Governor
of Georgia, (which he had in his hand, and which was corroborated by a
late Governor,) horse were absolutely necessary--he thought three
companies--on the frontier. He therefore was in favor of the
appropriation.

Mr. VARNUM had no doubt but the gentleman from Georgia, and every
gentleman in the House, would be glad to have horse and infantry too
kept up in their State: every part would be glad to have the public
money expended upon it. He could not see why a body of cavalry should be
kept up in a time of peace. He thought the Legislature had as good a
right to judge as any person, notwithstanding the authorities produced
to sanction the appropriation. Mr. V. had no doubt, if this was granted,
that application would soon be made again for a similar purpose. He
hoped this appropriation would not take place; it would be a small
saving, and might as well be made, as there was so much want of it. He
could have wished the troops reduced to two regiments, which he thought
quite sufficient for a Peace Establishment. He hoped the PRESIDENT's
ideas on the subject would not obtain to govern the decisions of the
House, as we have the power, said he, to withhold appropriations; and
what gentlemen who were locally concerned should say, he could not be
guided by; as soldiers would consume their produce and spend money
amongst them, consequently they were interested.

Mr. CRAIK really lamented that the gentleman had not been in the House
yesterday, at the time the subject was more under consideration: he
might then have inveighed against the PRESIDENT. The observations might
have come with more propriety, if they had been made before the bill
passed, and when under discussion; but, after a law has passed the
proper authorities--after it has been resolved to have these troops of
horse--to say, we will not appropriate money to carry it into effect, is
strange conduct. If the determination of the gentleman was to oppose the
bill, he should have used every means to that purpose, and if not
effectual, at least to suffer others to enjoy their will--especially a
majority. For the sake of consistency, he hoped the gentleman would
withdraw his opposition, and not in this side-way try to defeat the
operation of a bill which has passed. The cavalry were voted because
they were supposed to be necessary, and now a gentleman comes forward,
endeavoring to excite the jealousy of the House on the Executive's
meddling with the Military Establishment. Mr. C. said he was pleased
that the PRESIDENT had refused it, if it was only to convince some
gentlemen that he had power to refuse that or any other bill. [Here Mr.
DENT asked the gentleman if he was in order.] Mr. CRAIK said he only
wished to prove the inconsistency of the member's conduct. He thought
the House should not betray a want of consistency. He believed, from the
statement of the member from Georgia, and the reasons of the PRESIDENT,
that horse were necessary, and he therefore should wish the
appropriation to be passed.

Mr. KITCHELL said, gentlemen seemed to be mistaken; they were
continually alluding to the law passed yesterday. There was not a word
about two troops of horse yesterday. All we then said, was, that we
would not say there should not be two troops of horse; the Message of
the PRESIDENT did not say that two troops should be mounted, nor do I
say, said Mr. K., that horse are not necessary; I think some are
necessary; but the inquiry seemed to be, now, whether the House were to
vote for more.

Mr. W. SMITH said, the gentleman's observations were very extraordinary;
he surely could not have attended to the subject, to say that the House
had not passed the law authorizing two troops of horse. We have a law in
force, said he, to ascertain and fix the Military Establishment, in
which we authorize the PRESIDENT to employ the two troops of dragoons,
to serve either on horse or foot at his discretion. The bill we sent up
yesterday does not repeal that law, and yet gentlemen would now come
forward to oppose the appropriation, and determine they shall act on
foot. He could not think with what propriety the restriction could be
made as the gentleman from Massachusetts wishes, nor could he think how
the gentleman from Jersey had attended. Should we now say they should be
at our direction, and that we would not grant money without? This would
be strange conduct--an assumption of power which he hoped the House
would never arrogate.

Mr. KITCHELL said his meaning was, that the horse were not established
yesterday, but before.

Mr. HARTLEY said it appeared, from good testimony, that the troops were
requisite to save the people on the frontiers from the depredations of
the Indians; he thought, therefore, that they having been established
before, the House were bound to make the appropriation to give effect,
or show the great inconsistency.

Mr. NICHOLAS said it was not his intention to vote for these men at all;
but if they must have them, perhaps it would be most economical to equip
them. With respect to their power of withholding the appropriation, he
had no doubt; and though they had yesterday passed a law establishing
two companies of cavalry, it was in the power of that House, of the
Senate, or of the PRESIDENT, to refuse an appropriation. This was the
sense of the constitution. When the bill came before the House, he
should give his negative to the additional horse; for, if they were
always to keep up the same number of men, whether in war or peace,
except two-thirds of both Houses were found to oppose the will of the
PRESIDENT, they might bid adieu to all restraint upon Executive power,
and count upon a military Government, if ever an Executive should be
found whose will it should be to make it so. If these were to be kept
up, he would still say the House had better go to $100,000 expense to
mount them on horse-back.

Mr. VARNUM said it was observed by gentlemen that those troops were not
mounted; if so, there must have been a very lavish waste of money.
However that might be, gentlemen who state this matter ought to state it
fairly. They ought not to say that two companies of cavalry were
yesterday voted. No, they were part of the old War Establishment. It was
true, the House had not the power to repeal the law; but one thing was
in their power, and that they ought to do, if they see this part of the
standing army necessary. The constitution returns the power to act on it
once in every two years to each branch of the Legislature. The House, he
thought, had good right to exercise their own opinion on the necessity
of mounting these men. It was not in the power of one branch to repeal
the law which keeps these men, but we ought to consider whether they are
to be put in the same situation as in time of war. Mr. V. said he
discharged his duty in voting against this appropriation. The House had
a right to judge, and it was not in the power of the PRESIDENT to act
for them.

Mr. HEATH said that the subject had been fully discussed, and therefore
he should only observe, that, from the authority which had recommended
the mounting of these cavalry, he should vote for the appropriation.

Mr. MILLEDGE repeated his arguments on the local situation of the
country, and asserted the absolute necessity of the troops.

The motion was put and carried--there being 56 in favor of it.

_Naval Appropriations._

Mr. W. SMITH then proposed to add $172,000 for finishing the frigates
United States, Constitution, and Constellation.

Mr. NICHOLAS said he should be against appropriating so large a sum for
this purpose. It was the sense of the House, on a former occasion, that
it would be proper to appropriate such a sum as should put them in such
a situation as to secure them from injury, but to stop short of making
them fit for sea, that the expense of manning them might be avoided.

Mr. SWANWICK said a new view of the subject seemed to be brought forward
at present. Before, they had determined to finish the frigates; but now,
they were not to finish them, lest they should be manned, but to finish
them in part only. A gentleman yesterday said, when speaking on the
subject of the PRESIDENT's Message, that he could not suppose they would
have refused to pay the soldiers, though there might be some deficiency
in the expression of the act; and might he not suppose, said Mr. S., if
the frigates were so nearly finished, he might go on to finish them, and
trust to the Legislature to furnish the money? These frigates, he said,
were a very extraordinary concern. It seemed as if it was only when it
was to be made a present of to Algiers, that a frigate could be
finished, and not when it was for the protection of our own commerce. He
trusted, however, that there would not be a majority found in that House
who would vote against finishing the frigates: as to manning them, that
would remain for a future consideration.

Mr. PARKER said, it would require all the money which had been named for
finishing the frigates, without rigging, though there would be a
considerable quantity of materials left on hand. There need be no
apprehension of their being manned, whilst seamen's wages remained at
the price they were, because men could not be got on the terms
stipulated in the law for this purpose. If a smaller sum than was
mentioned were to be granted, they might as well give nothing.

Mr. SITGREAVES supposed the blank was now proposed to be filled with the
same sum which had been agreed upon on a former occasion. If this were
the case, it ought to dissipate the fears of the gentleman from
Virginia, (Mr. NICHOLAS,) as it was well known that the sum was
predicated upon a supposition that the frigates were not to be manned.
If they were to be manned, a further appropriation would certainly be
necessary.

Mr. NICHOLAS said, it appeared to him that if all gentlemen were agreed
that this business should go no further than the building of the
frigates, they could have no hesitation to leave undone some of the
internal finishing work of the vessels; if they did not wish to put them
into such a situation as that they might force them into service upon
the spur of an alarm, they could have no objection to their being left
in such a situation as to be perfectly secure, but not finished fit for
sea.

Mr. SITGREAVES said this subject had heretofore undergone a very full
discussion. A motion was then made merely to finish the hulls, which was
negatived. It was then said that contracts were made for all the
materials, and that except the frigates were finished, the engagements
which had been entered into could not be fulfilled. But there was
another security against the danger apprehended. They had lately come to
a determination to make all appropriations specific and particular. What
was the language of the present appropriation? It was for finishing the
frigates, not for manning them. If it had been said to be for carrying
into effect the law for the Naval Establishment, there might have been
some little ground for apprehension; but, as it now stood, the Executive
could not proceed to man the vessels.

Mr. NICHOLAS said, when they voted the sum now asked for finishing the
frigates, the expenditure was accompanied by a law to repeal the manning
clause of the former act. He had made inquiries respecting contracts,
and found the money in hand was equal to the fulfilment of them; if
there had been any others, he supposed they should have heard of them.
He again said there were many ornamental parts of the vessels which
might be as well thrown upon the expense of next year as of this.

Mr. SWANWICK said, if Government could have had foresight sufficient to
have known that there would have been any objections made to the
finishing of the frigates, they would certainly not have entered into
any contracts to that extent, but they could not possibly do this. He
wished, if gentlemen were determined the frigates should not be made use
of, that they would say at once they should be sold on the stocks. With
respect to manning of them from the money proposed to be appropriated,
that was impossible, and he saw no reason for making the business
_doubly sure_ by any other precaution.

Mr. HOLLAND said it was, with great propriety, intended by many members
in the House to keep the frigates in such a state as to prevent their
being manned. If we appropriate to finish them, said he, we shall be
exposed to all the difficulties depicted by the gentleman from
Pennsylvania; for some way would be devised to procure and pay men, if
the House put it in the power of the Executive to do it: therefore he
hoped, to avoid all that trouble and expense, they would not vote to
finish them. For what purpose, said he, should they be finished, unless
it were intended to man them? To avoid every danger of that kind, he
should vote against the sum proposed.

Mr. HARTLEY said, that last year the six frigates which had been before
voted for were reduced to three, with intent to complete them. Was it
not probable then, he would ask, that the PRESIDENT would proceed to
complete those frigates, according to the power given him? Was it not to
be supposed that contracts were entered into for that purpose? No person
could suppose but contracts were made. Then certainly the House ought
not to expose the Executive to the ridiculous situation of receding from
his contracts! They would not be finished before next session, and
therefore no danger of equipping could be apprehended. It may be
necessary to use them, but at any rate it would be running no risk to
have them finished, as they could not be manned by this appropriation.

Mr. GALLATIN said, there seemed to be involved in the present
consideration the question whether or not we should have a Navy. As to
himself, he should vote against the present appropriation, because if
the frigates were completely finished, he should fear they would get to
sea. When they had on a former occasion consented to finish them, it was
under the condition of the law for manning being repealed; but they now
stood upon new ground. Mr. G. said he had been charged with
inconsistency of opinion, from having before said that he thought the
PRESIDENT would not be authorized to proceed in the manning of the
vessels under the present law, whilst he was now apprehensive that he
might do so. He wished to be on sure ground. He did not know but the
PRESIDENT might put a different construction upon the law from him.
Indeed, from the experience they had had of Presidential discretion,
they need not be surprised if the vessels were sent to sea, though no
appropriation was made for the purpose, should the PRESIDENT suppose
there was any plea for doing so. As a proof of this power having been
exercised heretofore, Mr. G. referred to the Western insurrection. In
that case, he said, no appropriation was made for the expense; but the
law authorizes the PRESIDENT to call out the militia when he shall see
occasion to do so; he called them out, and got money from the Treasury.
Indeed, the building of a frigate for Algiers, without any authority,
and the pledging of the faith of the nation to pay the expense of the
law-suits of our citizens in London, were strong proofs of what the
Executive could do.

Mr. G. said he did not mean to bring into view any arguments relative to
the propriety of establishing a Navy in this country. He should vote
against the present motion, because he did not wish to see the frigates
at sea, and because he conceived a Navy to be prejudicial to the true
interests of this country. Something had been said about contracts, but
he did not believe any existed. They had last year been told the same
thing. Any person reading the statements which had been furnished to
them, would perceive that the business was not done by any contract, but
that men were employed by Government, and regular wages paid to them.
The frigate which had been built for Algiers had been built by contract,
they had an estimate of it at so much a ton, but this was not the case
with respect to any other of the frigates.

Mr. W. SMITH did not wish to go into a long debate on the subject, when
they had so much business before them, in order to show whether it was
proper for this country to have a Navy or not; the only question now
was, whether they ought to appropriate money for finishing the three
frigates. If they did not do it, all the money which had been already
expended would probably be lost. The only objection to the doing of this
seemed to arise from a fear that the vessels would be manned, though
when this subject was before them, the other day, the gentleman from
Pennsylvania (Mr. GALLATIN) moved to postpone the bill relative to the
repealing or suspending the law for manning the vessels till next
session, from an opinion that, by the present law, the PRESIDENT was not
authorized to man them. That gentleman seemed now, however, in
contradiction to himself, to fear the PRESIDENT would put a different
construction upon the law: if he did not believe the PRESIDENT would
violate the law, he could not account for his refusing now to vote the
money which was merely necessary to finish the vessels. Mr. S. read an
extract from the report of the Secretary of War, to show the forward
state in which the vessels were, and added, that they were bound in duty
to finish them, were it only to prevent the loss of the money already
expended upon them.

Mr. DEARBORN observed, that if he was convinced, from the documents
which had been laid before them, that the sum now asked for was
necessary merely to finish the frigates, he should not hesitate to vote
for it; but it was not a little extraordinary that the gentlemen on that
committee (not even the Chairman, who seemed to have the business so
much at heart) could not say whether this sum was necessary for
finishing and rigging, or finishing without rigging, or for finishing,
rigging, and manning. The frigate building in this city, the captain had
told him, was calculated in point of size to carry 62 guns, instead of
44; which was one of the reasons they had cost so much more than they
had been estimated at. Mr. D. said, he suspected that the sum proposed
would not only be sufficient to finish the hulls, but to rig and fit the
vessels for sea, and until he had more satisfaction on the subject he
could not consent to give his vote for it.

Mr. KITTERA observed, that gentlemen first said, that under the present
law, the PRESIDENT could not proceed to man and send the vessels to sea,
but now they were apprehensive this might be done, though no
appropriation was made for the purpose. This, he thought, somewhat
inconsistent; but he believed whilst thirty dollars a month was given to
seamen by merchants, and their law only authorized eleven to be given,
there was not much to be feared on this head.

Mr. AMES said, that gentlemen opposed to the finishing of the frigates,
seemed to be also opposed to all ideas of this country ever becoming a
naval power; the necessity of this, he was persuaded, would ere long
appear. It was not to be supposed that a nation whose commerce was
greater than that of any other, except Great Britain, should go on long
without a naval protection; and he believed the more strenuous the
opposition shown against this measure, the sooner it would be
accomplished; he was not therefore displeased to see the present violent
opposition to every thing which looked towards this object.

It was not enough, Mr. A. said, for gentlemen to discourage the building
of ships, they would also discredit the administration of Government;
and nothing was more natural than that those who thought so ill of it
themselves should endeavor to spread those opinions. This was done
continually. With respect to the building of the frigates, he thought it
was a wise step; and as to the extra expense and delay which had
attended the business, he believed, gentlemen might take a share of the
blame upon themselves, on account of the versatility which had been
shown upon the occasion in this day agreeing upon one thing, and that
upon another. It was true, that another cause of extra expense was owing
to a resolution which had been taken to make the ships much larger than
was contemplated by the House; the vessel building here, he believed,
was nearly 1,600 tons. He was glad that this alteration of plan had been
adopted; not because more money would be expended on this account; not
because contrary to the direction of the Legislature, but because true
wisdom required it; they would now be an overmatch for any frigate, or
any vessel which the Algerines could send out against them. These, he
believed, were the views of the Executive in having them built of the
size they were. The number of the frigates agreed to be finished had
been reduced to three; and these they last session passed a law to
finish. But what was now to be done? It was said they should not be
finished. Who said this? Did the people? did the Government say it? No;
that House alone said it: so that that House were about to usurp the
supreme authority. We are the Government, we are the people, we are
every thing.

But, if there be a law which says that these three frigates should be
built and equipped for sea, was it not necessary, before it was
concluded that they should not be so built and equipped, that this law
should be repealed by all the branches of the Legislature? No, say
gentlemen, we can appropriate or not, according to our sovereign will
and pleasure. If they possessed the power to nullify what was enacted by
all the three branches of Government, it was greatly to be lamented. But
if they could appropriate according to their will, they were bound to
do it also according to their consciences too. It was not only a weapon,
but a shield, which it was their duty to use with great caution, and
according to law; for, if they were to use it contrarily, it would be to
make that House the supreme power, it would be to usurp the supreme
authority.

Mr. COIT believed the only real question before them was, what sum they
would appropriate for this object; he wished the mover would consent to
leave the item blank.

Mr. W. SMITH had no objection to its being left blank.

Mr. VENABLE said, if this was a mere question of expense, it was very
extraordinary that it should have called forth such a philippic from the
gentleman from Massachusetts, (Mr. AMES,) who had charged the House with
arrogating to itself all the powers of Government; as being omnipotent.
Upon what ground could he found such charges? If it were a question of
expense merely, there could certainly be no ground for such charges; but
if it were to be considered as a question of power, if they were to be
told they dared not to withhold the appropriation in question, here he
would intrench himself as a Representative of the people; he had a
right, as a member of that House, to vote against the expense which he
thought improper, and he would exercise that right. Every branch of
Government had the same right, and he wished them to exercise it. And he
would not be told, when he was about to exercise this right, that he was
arrogating to himself all the powers of Government. He was determined to
exercise his discretion on every question which came before him for
decision, and he would vote against this expense.

Mr. NICHOLAS said, the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. AMES) seldom
spoke without casting some denunciation against that House. He had,
however, allowed that the PRESIDENT had done, with respect to this
fleet, all that any gentleman had charged him with doing; he had even
put the case stronger than any other person had put it; for he had said
that the Executive had determined to build the vessels of a larger size
than had been contemplated by the Legislature, in order to be an
overmatch for any other frigate. All this, said Mr. N., may be right,
and the approbation he gave this conduct, was a proof the gentleman
thought so; all he had to say was, that it was not legal; it might be
patriotic, and be done with an intention to serve the country; the
PRESIDENT might understand the interests of the country better than
they; but it was a conduct which would not meet with the same
approbation from him that it met with from the gentleman from
Massachusetts. That gentleman had also said that a law imposed a duty
upon the House to find the means for carrying it into effect. Were they
not, then, to be called upon for money to man the frigates? He asked
those gentlemen whether the PRESIDENT had not a right to man the
frigates, and if so, whether they should not be _obliged_ to find the
money?

The powers of this House to control appropriations, had, however,
already been settled. It was, indeed, an absurdity to call a body a
Legislature, and at the same time deny them a control over the public
purse; if this were not so, where would be the use of going through the
forms of that House with a money bill? The Executive might as well draw
upon the Treasury at once for whatever sums he might stand in need of. A
doctrine like this would be scouted even in despotic countries.

And what was all this power that so much alarmed the gentleman from
Massachusetts? It was merely a negative power to refuse to do what they
thought it would be mischievous to do. Mr. N. said there was a very
fashionable doctrine of throwing all power into the hands of the
Executive. If there were to be extremes, however, he believed an excess
of power would at least be as safe in their hands as in those of the
Executive; and if this were his opinion, and the ground upon which he
acted, the gentleman from Massachusetts never failed to take an opposite
direction. He never thought any Executive power too great.

Mr. PARKER remarked, that it had been said the frigates would carry 62
guns; it might have been possible to have made them so, but they were no
more than a large sized 44-gun frigate. They might be a little larger
than any other of that number of guns, but not so much. It was true they
were not at first contemplated to be so large, but strong reasons were
offered for making them of the present size; the expense was not
increased by the increase of size, in proportion to their usefulness. He
therefore himself approved of what the PRESIDENT had done; and, if he
had had the management of the business, he should have done the same. It
had been doubted whether the sum proposed to be granted would not only
finish, but equip and man the vessels. If the gentleman who had these
doubts would refer to the report which had been made on the subject, he
would find that $220,000 would be required for that purpose; the
$172,000 proposed would barely make them ready for sea in other
respects.

The gentleman from Pennsylvania, (Mr. GALLATIN,) who was generally very
correct in his statements, had supposed that if the frigates were
finished, the PRESIDENT might go on to man them without consulting the
Legislature upon the occasion; and, to show the possibility of doing
this, he had alluded to his having built a frigate for the Algerines
without the approbation of Congress. He lamented the situation in which
we stood with that country, but he believed the building of the frigate
was necessary. The Western insurrection, and the law-suits in London had
also been named, which he should not stop to notice.

In answer to the gentleman from Pennsylvania, he would say, that if the
PRESIDENT could man the vessels and send them to sea independent of
Congress, he might also finish them without their aid; but he did not
believe he would place himself in the same situation with respect to
them as if he had to do with a foreign nation. In relation to foreign
nations, he had great power; but, if he went beyond his power with
respect to internal regulations, he would be liable to impeachment, and
he would be one of the first to promote an impeachment, were such to be
his conduct.

Mr. AMES said, he understood the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. NICHOLAS)
to say, that the conduct of the Executive was illegal; but certainly if
a frigate was estimated to cost $12,000 and it cost $15,000, the
expenditure of the additional $3,000 was not illegal.

Mr. NICHOLAS said, he had made use of the gentleman's own words with
respect to the change in the plan of building the frigates, which he had
called illegal.

Mr. AMES said, as to the size of the vessels, that was Executive
business. The gentleman from Virginia (Mr. VENABLE) seemed to take the
observation which he had made with a degree of sensibility perfectly
natural, because it went to touch the power which he had claimed as a
member of that House. The gentleman said, "Here I intrench myself behind
my privileges." Nothing was said about the public good; all was self.

And was it to be considered, he asked, that they enjoyed the powers
committed to them in their own right, as barons of empire, as sovereign
despots? Or was the power placed in them to be exercised like other
duties, according to justice and propriety? He believed no one would
deny that the latter was the truth.

How did the matter stand? They had attempted to repeal a law, but
another branch of the Legislature had refused to accede to the repeal;
of course it could not be effected. Were they then to act as if the law
had been repealed? Yes, say gentlemen, we will refuse to appropriate the
money since we think the thing unnecessary. He hoped, however, the day
would soon come (as melancholy would be the period until it did arrive)
when this power of refusing an appropriation to carry an existing law
into effect, should no longer be countenanced by a majority of that
House.

Mr. VENABLE was of opinion, that if the gentleman from Massachusetts had
only the public good in view, which he had spoken of, he could have had
no inducement to have gone into the arguments which he had introduced on
this occasion. He could assure that gentleman that he felt himself as
strongly bound to consider the public good in all his conduct as he
could be. He believed no instance could be named in which he had not
consulted that interest. As to what was, or was not, calculated for the
public good, he must be left at liberty to judge for himself. But the
gentleman had not put the business on this ground, but because gentlemen
differed in opinion from others, they were charged with assuming
absolute authority, with principles of despotism, overturning the
Government, &c.

Mr. V. said, it was his opinion, that in all laws which came before that
House, every member had a full right to say yea or nay, for which they
were not accountable to that gentleman, or to any other. The other
branches of Government had also the same power. Indeed, the other House
had exercised this right in negativing the repeal of the law relative to
the manning of these vessels. He trusted both Houses would always
continue to assert their right thus to use their discretion and
privilege.

Mr. AMES said, he had not charged that House with usurping power, or
breaking down the other branches of Government; nor did he say they had
not a discretion; but that their discretion ought to be regulated by
duty.

Mr. SWANWICK said, amidst all the foreign objections which had been
urged against this appropriation, he wished the act passed last session
to be referred to. [Mr. S. read an extract from it.] Here, in April
last, said he, it is provided that the frigates shall be finished, and
yet now gentlemen wished the House to come to a conclusion only to half
finish them. What, he asked, would the world think of such a versatility
of conduct?

Mr. KITCHELL thought, if they meant to get through the business which
lay before them, it was time they disposed of this question. He thought
the debate upon it had been sufficiently long.

Mr. BRENT said, when this subject first came before the committee, he
had determined to give the sum necessary to complete them; nor had he
ever wavered on the subject, until he heard the ground which had been
taken by the gentleman from Massachusetts, (Mr. AMES.) He did most
feelingly participate in the sentiments expressed by his colleague (Mr.
VENABLE) on the occasion. It was really difficult to know what was the
amount of his doctrines. In the first instance, he understood the
gentleman to rise for two purposes, viz: to justify the Executive from
certain charges which had been brought against him, and to show the
obligation which the House lay under to grant the money.

In the first place, the gentleman said the Executive had been charged
with violating the law; and, when he went into the subject, he
understood him to say, as his colleague understood him, that the
Executive had changed the plan; he understood him to say, that though
Congress had ordered 44-gun frigates, he had ordered 74's, which remark
he concluded by expressing his approbation of the PRESIDENT's conduct.
If he admitted that the Executive had violated the law, and yet
felicitated him upon having done so, he might enjoy his pleasure, he
would not participate with him.

With respect to the second part of his observations, as to the absolute
necessity under which every member lay to vote for the sum required for
finishing the frigates, because the building of them was directed by
law, this was a most important point. He thought this involved one of
the most valuable principles which that House possessed, and which
should never be lost sight of, viz: the right of every member to
exercise his discretion upon every question, appropriations as well as
others, which came before him. Did not the gentleman know that the most
solemn decision had taken place last session on this subject, by a large
majority? Indeed, said he, this sentiment was so ingrafted in the
constitution that the House could not divest themselves of it; for the
gentleman to say they did not possess it, was to make a dead letter of
their privileges. There could be no doubt on the subject; and it was a
sacred and essential principle which would go further to preserve our
liberties than any other which they possessed. He trusted, therefore,
they should guard it with special care.

Mr. GALLATIN said, he did not mean to follow the gentleman from
Massachusetts in what he had said on this subject, because he had not
felt the force of what he had advanced, nor very well understood what he
meant. Both his meaning and his motive for bringing this subject before
them to-day were to him mysterious. He had brought before them the
Treaty question anew, and it would be recollected what were the feelings
of the House on that occasion; but he could see no relation which it
bore to the present question; and though a number of members in that
House had asserted that they were bound to appropriate money to carry a
treaty into effect, he did not believe they were ready to say the same
with respect to laws.

The gentleman from Massachusetts had said, that if they put a meaning
upon the constitution in this respect different from him, that they
arrogated the supreme power to themselves. Did not he know that the
doctrine applied to the Senate as well as to that House? and did he not
see that that would be a check upon the abuse of it in either House,
since it was a weapon which both could use?

The gentleman had said they were bound to obey the law. Bound to obey
what law? The law for authorizing the building of the three frigates? He
did not understand how this law was to bind them. This was a mere
administrative law, which did not extend to the citizens of the United
States, but gave power to the PRESIDENT to do a certain act; therefore,
as citizens, they had nothing to do with that law, except they were to
obey it by appropriating the money necessary to carry it into effect.
Yet the gentleman allowed there might be cases in which it would be
right to use discretion in the appropriation of money. For his part, he
did not understand the being bound and not bound at the same time; to
have discretion and no discretion. He wished either that the one or the
other opinion might be adopted; and that they might be told that they
had, or that they had not, a right to exercise discretion in the
appropriation of money. If this exercise were to be allowed in any case,
why could it not be allowed in the present? He wondered, therefore, that
gentlemen in favor of this motion should have touched upon this ground.
He agreed with the gentleman that they had this discretion, and that it
ought to be used with caution, and not upon trifling occasions. But he
conceived this to be one of those occasions in which it was necessary
for those opposed to a Naval Establishment, to vote against this
appropriation. He meant against the appropriation in its extent. It was
because he considered a Naval Establishment as highly injurious to the
interests of this country, he should vote against every measure which
had a tendency to produce it. That gentleman, and others who thought
differently, would vote accordingly.

Mr. G. moved an amendment, viz: that before the word "frigates," to add
"the hulls of." On the question, ayes 45, noes 44--the Chairman giving
his vote against the amendment, it was not carried. It was then put in
the original form, to finish the frigates, the sum of ---- dollars, and
carried--ayes 54.

The question on the blank being filled with $172,000 was then put, and
carried--ayes 47.

Mr. GALLATIN moved to add an item to pay the bounty of one hundred
dollars which they had agreed should be paid to every officer discharged
from the military service in consequence of the regulations which had
taken place in the establishment.

This item was filled up with three thousand dollars.

Mr. GALLATIN moved to add the following words: "which several sums shall
be solely applied to the objects for which they are respectively
appropriated."

Mr. W. SMITH wished, as much as the gentleman from Pennsylvania, to
confine the expenditure to the sums appropriated; but the provision for
some objects might fall short, while others might have a surplus, which
he thought ought to be made use of to supply deficiencies in cases of
emergency. Ever since the establishment of the present Government, the
whole appropriation for the Military Establishment had been considered
as an aggregate fund out of which any of the objects of that
establishment might be paid for; but the expense of each object was now
to be confined to the specific appropriation. He was afraid, however
well this might look in theory, it would be found very mischievous in
practice. He wished the gentleman would amend his proposition by adding,
"so far as may be consistent with public exigency;" this would restrict
the expenditures, except in unforeseen cases of emergency, to provide
for which some latitude of discretion ought to be left to the Executive.

Mr. SITGREAVES did not see the necessity or propriety of the amendment
of his colleague, when the House had distributed the appropriations
amongst the different objects; as the amendment, he conceived, meant
nothing more than the department should not expend any more than the sum
appropriated for the different items, which they had no right to do if
there were no amendment. Heretofore, when appropriations were made in a
mass, the Secretary of War did not feel himself bound to govern himself
by the estimate which he had given in, but by particularizing the
different items, the former evil was corrected.

Mr. GALLATIN said, if the fact was exactly as it had been stated by his
colleague, his amendment might be unnecessary, but the Treasury
Department had not acted upon the principle which he had stated. They
had, notwithstanding the distribution of the appropriation, thought
themselves at liberty to take the money from an item where there was a
surplus, and apply it to another, where it was wanted. And when this was
objected to, as taking from the Legislature their appropriating power,
they answered that the Legislature had entered so much into detail that
they could not attend to their directions. They had, last session, made
the appropriations more specific than at present, yet the Secretary of
the Treasury, in a letter written to the House during this session,
said, "that it was well known to have been a rule since the
establishment of the Government, that the appropriations for the
Military Establishment were considered as general grants of money,
liable to be issued to any of the objects included under that
department." Therefore, unless this amendment was introduced, it would
leave the power as before. In order to make the business more easy, all
the contingent expenses were appropriated in one sum.

The object of this amendment, said Mr. G., was that no part of the pay
of the Army should go to the Quartermaster's Department, &c., and that
none of them should go to the building or equipping the frigates; but if
this were not the case, money might be found to get the frigates to sea
from the appropriations for the Military Department, if the PRESIDENT
should think it necessary so to apply it. As to the amendment, it would
do away the intention of it altogether.

Mr. HARPER was against the amendment. He thought the Department ought to
be at liberty, in case of an appropriation proving deficient, to have
recourse to other funds where there might be a surplus, and as none
would be taken, except where there was a surplus, he could see no
objection to this being allowed. Indeed, for want of such a privilege
very serious inconveniences might arise to the service, in case of
accident or unforeseen events.

Mr. GALLATIN said, the law did not operate in the manner which the
gentleman last up supposed. They had lately voted a sum of forty
thousand dollars to make good a deficiency of last year, which had been
used for some other purpose; in consequence the deficiency fell upon the
pay of the Army, although that could not increase, because the number of
men was never increased; it might be less, as the nominal, not the
actual number of men was appropriated for.

Mr. KITTERA thought the amendment a bad one. Suppose, said he, a boat
should be overset with tents in the lake, or a magazine blown up, the
losses could not be repaired, because, though there might be surplus
sums in the Treasury from other items in the establishment, yet, if this
amendment prevailed, they could not be touched. He thought this would be
the effect; he was against innovations.

The amendment was put and carried, there being fifty-four votes in favor
of it.

The committee then rose, and the House took up the amendments.

And then the main question, "to finish the frigates ---- dollars," was
taken by yeas and nays, as follows:

      YEAS.--Fisher Ames, Abraham Baldwin, Theophilus Bradbury,
      Richard Brent, Daniel Buck, Dempsey Burges, Joshua Coit,
      William Cooper, William Craik, Samuel W. Dana, James
      Davenport, Henry Dearborn, George Dent, George Ege, William
      Findlay, Abiel Foster, Dwight Foster, Nathaniel Freeman,
      jr., Ezekiel Gilbert, Nicholas Gilman, Henry Glenn,
      Chauncey Goodrich, Roger Griswold, William B. Grove, Robert
      Goodloe Harper, Carter B. Harrison, Thomas Hartley, John
      Heath, William Hindman, John Wilkes Kittera, Edward
      Livingston, Samuel Lyman, Francis Malbone, John Milledge,
      Frederick A. Muhlenberg, William Vans Murray, John
      Nicholas, Alexander D. Orr, Josiah Parker, Elisha R.
      Potter, John Read, Samuel Sewall, Samuel Sitgreaves,
      Jeremiah Smith, Nathaniel Smith, Isaac Smith, William
      Smith, Thomas Sprigg, John Swanwick, Zephaniah Swift,
      George Thatcher, Richard Thomas, Mark Thompson, John A. Van
      Allen, Philip Van Cortlandt, Joseph B. Varnum, Peleg
      Wadsworth, and John Williams.

      NAYS.--Theodorus Bailey, David Bard, Thomas Blount, Nathan
      Bryan, Samuel J. Cabell, Gabriel Christie, Thomas
      Claiborne, John Clopton, Isaac Coles, Jesse Franklin,
      Albert Gallatin, James Gillespie, Christopher Greenup,
      Andrew Gregg, Wade Hampton, John Hathorn, Jonathan N.
      Havens, James Holland, Andrew Jackson, George Jackson,
      Matthew Locke, William Lyman, Samuel Maclay, Nathaniel
      Macon, Andrew Moore, Anthony New, John Patton, John
      Richards, Israel Smith, Richard Sprigg, jr., William
      Strudwick, and Abraham Venable.

The question to fill the blank with $178,000 was then put and
carried--ayes 47, noes 42, and the bill ordered for a third reading
to-morrow.


FRIDAY, March 3.

_Call for Statements._

Mr. GALLATIN said, he wished to propose to the House three resolutions,
calling for statements relative to the War Department, which he wished
to be laid before the House at the next session. They had heard it said
upon that floor, by gentlemen who were considered to be well acquainted
with the subject, that many expenses had taken place in that Department
which ought to have been checked. Conceiving a check of this kind to be
necessary, and knowing the expense of the Military Department was
increasing from year to year, beyond what the increase in the number of
troops would warrant, it was proper to lay the foundation of an inquiry
into the subject. Indeed, having just passed a pretty severe law
relative to the Receivers of Public Money, and understanding that the
Secretary of the Treasury had a long list of delinquents, he was
desirous of taking some steps in the business. From these
considerations, he offered the following resolutions for acceptance:

      "_Resolved_, That the Secretary of the Treasury be directed
      to lay before the House of Representatives, within the
      first week of January next, abstracts of the accounts of
      all paymasters, quartermasters, contractors, agents for the
      purchase of supplies, and generally of all the Receivers of
      Public Moneys, paid from the Treasury from the 1st of
      January, 1791, to the 1st of January, 1797, on account of
      the Military Establishment, so as to exhibit a detailed
      statement of the whole amount of moneys thus expended to
      that period; and whether any of the accounts be not finally
      settled; and shall lay before the House an estimate of
      moneys not accounted for.

      "_Resolved_, That the Secretary of the Treasury be directed
      to lay, at the same time, before the House of
      Representatives similar abstracts of the accounts of all
      the Receivers of Public Money expended for the building of
      the frigates.

      "_Resolved_, That it shall be the duty of the Secretary of
      the Treasury to lay before the House of Representatives,
      within the last week of January in each year, a statement
      of money expended for the Military Establishment during the
      next preceding year, distinguishing the sums expended under
      each head, for which specific appropriations have been
      made, and an estimate of the probable unsettled demands in
      relation to each of those heads."

The resolutions were severally agreed to.


EVENING SESSION.

_Military and Naval Appropriations._

The bill appropriating money for the Military and Naval Establishments,
was received from the Senate with an amendment, proposing to do away the
restriction which had been introduced into the bill to confine the
expenditure of money to the specific objects for which each sum is
appropriated.

Mr. DANA hoped the House would recede from the amendment.

Mr. GALLATIN said that, by the constitution, no money was to be granted
but by a law passed in the regular mode. Now, said Mr. G., this is not
by law, if, after a certain sum is granted for one item, it be not used
for that purpose, but put to some other object. This was certainly
according to the spirit of the constitution, and if you do not strictly
abide by that, you may as well set aside the constitution, and say we
will appropriate $6,000,000 for the support of Government for the
present year. If we mean to carry the constitution into effect we must
reject the amendment.

Mr. SITGREAVES observed, that his opinion on this point was, that the
House had a constitutional power to depart from any identifying of
articles to sums granted, and that departure grew out of necessity; for
the extreme embarrassment which would attend the practice of a strict
adherence, would render it impracticable. But, as he did not mean to
stand responsible for the motion, he should be satisfied with calling
for the yeas and nays; which were agreed to be taken.

Mr. NICHOLAS thought, that when gentlemen went on supporting such
unlimited measures as had lately taken place, and voting such a waste of
money, it would be very dangerous. When we see large sums voted for an
army and navy in time of peace, said he, it would justify us in adopting
some regulation to prevent it. The difference between the operation of
this and the other mode is, that in this you confine your public
officers to the identical object for which a sum is appropriated;
otherwise they might use what they would call overplus money for any
object they might think fit. According to this method, proposed by the
Senate, any sum may be taken from any certain object, and placed to any
other, which Mr. N. thought too unbounded a power to be placed in the
Executive.

Mr. PARKER said, he would not pretend to justify the expenditure on the
Military Establishment, but he could not help observing that the
casualties to which the forage and clothing, &c., which is transported
to our garrisons, are exposed, are very great. Though at peace with the
Indians, it is but a temporary one, and we cannot be sure they will not
intercept our stores; besides other accidents to which it is exposed,
all which make it necessary that the hands of the Executive should not
be tied from using the surplusage of some, for the accidental and
unforeseen deficiencies of others; without this the Army may be exposed
to the most poignant distress, owing to a deficiency in the
appropriation, while the Treasury has money in hand as surplus from
other objects. Considering the great importance of an appropriation, he
hoped gentlemen would not so incline to oppose the bill, especially,
said he, when our existence will not, as a Legislative body, be more
than four hours, and, in that time, it must pass other authorities
before it can be put into effect; if it is lost, the effects will be
bad. Mr. P. said he had as many scruples as any gentleman, and would
take every measure to preserve the constitution inviolate, but he should
be sorry if, under the fear of offending it, the Government should be
stopped.

Mr. HEATH.--If my existence was to be but for one moment, I would stand
here and oppose this resolution; to let it pass, is precluding the
freedom of inquiry into the conduct of our public officers. If we were
to commence this loose kind of a way of appropriating, we may go on to
do this, that, and the other, until we were too far to stop. Were we to
indulge ourselves to go into the wide fields of accident, we might
suppose this and that, but our imaginations would have no end. He
lamented the shortness of the time they had to discuss it.

Mr. GILBERT acknowledged this was the age of reason, but he was sorry
the House should be inclined to adopt an entire new doctrine of
privileges. We should not hazard a new position, when it may be attended
with the greatest danger; therefore he hoped they would agree with the
Senate.

Mr. HARPER thought it would not be very difficult to convince gentlemen
who oppose it, that the amendment was calculated to secure the very
object they wished. It was not a violation of the constitution, as some
gentlemen supposed. He would ask, could not an appropriation be made for
the use of the Military Establishment in general terms? Yes, he would
answer; else how could an appropriation in general terms have been made
for the intercourse with foreign nations? Certainly it could not be
unconstitutional to appropriate the overplus of one article to supply
the deficiency of another. One moment's reflection, Mr. H. thought,
would convince members of the error of a contrary opinion. It might not
be safe to do it without law, but here is a law allowing it. The whole
must suffer if the War Department is deficient, which cannot be avoided
if one is not to assist another branch, for it is scarce possible to
guard against every contingency. He thought the amendment beneficial in
the highest degree, and without it, would stop the War Department in its
operations. He hoped no delay would take place, as it endangered the
bill.

Mr. VARNUM said, that notwithstanding all that gentlemen might produce
to prove the necessity of giving the Executive large powers, yet it was
dangerous; he instanced that, if the Executive were determined to man
and equip the frigates for sea, they would have power to do it from
money appropriated, and intended for other purposes; thus it was
transferring a power, solely vested in the Legislature, into the
Executive Department. He thought it was an infringement on the
constitution; it was putting the power where it never was intended to
be; although he had great respect for that department, yet he did not
wish to see its powers extended too far. A gentleman had intimated he
should not wish the bill to be altered, if he was sure there would not
be war with the Indians. He would answer that there could not be a war
until the Legislature met again.

Mr. V. said, that there was one-fifth more money appropriated than could
be used before the next meeting of Congress, for there would be two
months of the present year's appropriation, during any part of which
another bill might be passed.

Mr. SWANWICK thought there was no danger of the bill being lost; it was
necessary to discuss a principle which appeared to admit of danger; it
was throwing the whole of the money to the mercy of the Treasury
Department.

Mr. PAGE said he should vote for the amendment, but he rose to express
his disapprobation of it, and he should have been glad if there was time
to make another bill. We must either suffer the community to abide under
great disadvantages, or ourselves. If they could exist, politically, he
said he should be happy to destroy that bill. He must acknowledge that
it was crammed down his throat.

Mr. LIVINGSTON said, that the reasons urged by the gentleman from
Massachusetts, instead of the end he proposed, would have a contrary
effect. Mr. L. believed that this amendment had a tendency to lessen the
privileges of the House; believing this, no object of convenience, no
view to the general opinion, should ever prevent him voting against it.
He believed it pregnant with mischief. The Civil and Military
Departments would be too easily connected; if the one wanted assistance,
while the Treasury had money in hand it would be supplied. He thought
the House had voted sufficient to answer every purpose intended, and he
believed, whatever specious arguments may be used, the House would not
recede. If any evil attended, he was willing to take his part of the
blame; but he was not apprehensive of any.

Mr. W. LYMAN hoped it would not pass, as it was full of danger and bad
principles.

Mr. W. SMITH said, the appropriation to the Military Establishment had
always been considered a general grant of money; therefore it would
introduce no new principles, but the manner of this bill, passed in this
House the day before the close of the session, and sent up to the Senate
the very day of the adjournment.

Mr. S. said gentlemen talked about the constitution, but he thought they
had wrong ideas of the evils of this business: it was not whether they
gave too much power to their officers, but the Military Establishment
could not go on; then the PRESIDENT would be obliged to alarm the whole
nation, and incur a vast expense to get the Congress together, and all
for want of due time and regulations: and now we must cram it down the
throats of the Senate. Surely gentlemen should have some moderation, and
not be so hightoned as to prevent any other branch of the Legislature
from exercising their powers as well as us.

On the question being taken to concur with this amendment, the yeas and
nays stood, 38 to 52, as follows:

      YEAS.--Theophilus Bradbury, Daniel Buck, Dempsey Burges,
      Joshua Coit, Wm. Cooper, William Craik, Samuel W. Dana,
      James Davenport, George Dent, George Ege, Abiel Foster,
      Dwight Foster, Ezekiel Gilbert, Nicholas Gilman, Chauncey
      Goodrich, Roger Griswold, Robert Goodloe Harper, Thomas
      Hartley, William Hindman, John Wilkes Kittera, George
      Leonard, Samuel Lyman, Francis Malbone, John Page, Josiah
      Parker, Samuel Sewall, Samuel Sitgreaves, Nathaniel Smith,
      Isaac Smith, William Smith, Zephaniah Swift, George
      Thatcher, Richard Thomas, John E. Van Allen, Peleg
      Wadsworth, and John Williams.

      NAYS.--Theodorus Bailey, Abraham Baldwin, David Bard,
      Thomas Blount, Richard Brent, Nathan Bryan, Samuel J.
      Cabell, Gabriel Christie, Thomas Claiborne, John Clopton,
      Isaac Coles, Henry Dearborn, William Findlay, Jesse
      Franklin, Nathaniel Freeman, jr., Albert Gallatin, James
      Gillespie, Christopher Greenup, Andrew Gregg, Wade Hampton,
      John Hathorn, Jonathan N. Havens, John Heath, James
      Holland, Andrew Jackson, George Jackson, Edward Livingston,
      Matthew Locke, William Lyman, Samuel Maclay, Nathaniel
      Macon, James Madison, John Milledge, Andrew Moore,
      Frederick A. Muhlenberg, Anthony New, John Nicholas,
      Alexander D. Orr, John Patten, Elisha R. Potter, John Read,
      John Richards, Robert Rutherford, John S. Sherburne,
      Thompson J. Skinner, Richard Sprigg, jr., Thomas Sprigg,
      William Strudwick, John Swanwick, Joseph B. Varnum, Abraham
      Venable, and Richard Winn.

The bill was again sent to the Senate, and was soon after returned with
the amendment receded from.

_General Lafayette._

Mr. HARPER moved that a resolution, which he laid on the table
yesterday, respecting Major General Lafayette, should be taken up for
consideration. The motion was seconded by Mr. W. SMITH. The resolution
was in the following words:

      "This House, strongly impressed with a just sense of the
      important and disinterested services rendered to their
      country during the late war by their fellow-citizen, Major
      General Lafayette, and deeply regretting the sufferings to
      which he is now subjected from a long and rigorous
      imprisonment, and which have equally excited their
      sympathy, and the ardent wish of their constituents for his
      deliverance, do resolve that the President of the United
      States be informed, that this House will see with the
      highest satisfaction, any measures which he may deem
      expedient to adopt towards effecting the restoration of
      their said fellow-citizen to liberty."

The question was taken for the House to take it up, and lost--ayes 32,
noes 52.

Mr. LIVINGSTON said he had some time been wishing to put forward
something similar; he really hoped some negotiation would be carried on
to effect his liberation. It would be honorable to this country to
interpose in behalf of this man, who has a claim on American service.
While suffering for us on his part, let gratitude, and every feeling
that can affect the heart, be ours. Abandoned by his own country, and to
increase his sufferings, precluded from almost every enjoyment of life,
it would be honorable in us to interest ourselves in his behalf,
appropriating some small sum which may enable the PRESIDENT to make some
progress towards his releasement. Thus, while it is honorable to
America, if it has no effect, it may afford some comfort to the
unfortunate sufferer, to think he is not forgotten. He then proposed a
resolution, not materially varying from that just offered by Mr. HARPER,
hoping that the little variation would prevent it suffering a similar
fate.

Mr. PARKER said, as it was a personal question, he hoped it would lie on
the table.

Mr. COIT thought it a delicate question, and one which ought not to be
agitated, and therefore moved the previous question.

Mr. HARTLEY spoke of Mr. PARKER's observing its personality. He answered
that the man suffered much for this country, and therefore was entitled
to regard. He acknowledged with Mr. COIT, that there was much delicacy
in the business, and therefore hoped it would speedily be discussed; it
ought not be postponed; the man is now suffering in a most distressing
confinement. If any of the soldiers of 1789 were here with whom he was
in council, there would not be a dissenting voice to using every
exertion. He hoped the House would never forget such brilliant services.

Mr. SWANWICK said, there need not be a dissenting voice, but we ought to
be cautious how we multiply our negotiations, as this could not be done
without entering into a negotiation with the Emperor of Germany in the
regular way. It is not want of respect that should prevent us, but are
we provided to go into all the consequences attending a new negotiation?
There is a delicacy in it, of which we ought to be careful. There is not
the least doubt but the PRESIDENT has as much desire for his release as
any gentleman, but he, no doubt, deliberated, and saw the danger of it.
Mr. S. said he lamented our foreign negotiations _in toto_. There was no
good derived from them, and he could not anticipate any from new ones.

Mr. NICHOLAS said, he felt as much disposition to take measures for his
release as any man, but he thought the business undertaken too hastily.
Suppose you give instructions to the PRESIDENT, and he does not think
proper to act on it, so far from being a compliment to Lafayette, it
would hurt his mind, should he hear it had been agitated.

Mr. CLAIBORNE saw no difficulty attending the resolution. He hoped the
House would render this essential service to the unfortunate sufferer,
if even in the last hour of the Congress.

Mr. CHRISTIE said, it was an improper time to take up the resolution,
but as they had to sit there two or three hours longer and no business
to do, this might as well occupy the attention of the House as not.

Mr. LIVINGSTON would be sorry to impose a burden upon the country, but
he thought this a duty incumbent on them. He hoped gentlemen would
openly come forward and avow their sentiments, and not shelter
themselves under the previous question. Remember, he came here from the
pompous ease of a foreign court; he voluntarily served the cause of
America, and bled for her; he, in a great measure, procured the interest
which formed the alliance with France in our defence; besides spending a
princely fortune in our cause, he asked nothing, nor would accept any
compensation for his services: and now he is abandoned to the most
dreadful situation possible; some of that compensation, justly due to
his services, is refused him as a balm to his former woes by not
attempting his release. This is the situation of the man for whom this
House is asked only to express their desire for his comfort; this is the
man who was met with pleasure in every part of the United States; all
the people rejoiced to express their gratitude to him; he was
accompanied with testimonials of admiration and thanks from the whole
Continent: and now we should not say that we will feel with pleasure
measures taken towards obtaining his liberty! We can pity him, and
regret his situation, but refuse to lend him the least assistance to
soothe his distress. We do not call upon the House to vent its infantine
sorrow, to show its womanish pity. No. We call on it to express a will,
predominant throughout the United States, in the behalf of this
unfortunate man. But it is said that we should get the ill will of the
nations who persecuted him. Unless they bid adieu to all the tender
feelings of humanity, they never can take offence. It has been also
supposed it would be ineffectual; he had no doubt but the Executive
would take those measures which would be most effectual and least
endangering to the nation; it could not make the situation of the
sufferer worse, and if we succeed in procuring his liberty, it would
give pleasure to every heart who can sympathize with the distressed, or
feel gratitude for high obligations: and if it does not have that happy
effect, still we may feel consolation at having done our duty. If these
measures were taken, it would illuminate the loathsome horrors of a
dungeon the most dreadful; it would sweep away the reproach "that
Republicans know no gratitude;" that we, who had his best exertions
whilst in prosperity, do not forget him in adversity. Mr. L. said he
really believed that if he had not known the principles of liberty here,
and helped us in our struggle for it, he would have never existed in
misery in the dungeon at Olmutz, and therefore the highest obligations
were laid on the United States to exert herself in his behalf.

Mr. HEATH hoped, that, although the gentleman had labored to excite the
pathetic, yet he would not charge the House with a want of Republicanism
if the measure was not adopted. Mr. H. thought it extremely improper to
be introduced in the House. He said the PRESIDENT knew the will of the
United States on the subject, and therefore, if he saw proper, he could
take it up. He hoped the gentleman would remember this was a complicated
case; for, since he had left this country, he had become a citizen of
another country. Mr. H. said he felt for his unfortunate situation: he
had fought under his banner. We are not to be charged with a want of
patriotism and feeling for this suffering hero, because we think it
imprudent to interest and involve ourselves in his behalf, merely to
indulge the flighty fancy of a few individuals. We might go, said he,
and address the PRESIDENT to exert himself as far as he saw proper in
his behalf, as a body of individuals, but not as a Legislature.

Mr. W. SMITH could see no kind of impropriety in the measure. It had
been said it was a new subject, and, therefore, ought not to be taken up
now; but it was not introduced yesterday! Did gentlemen want an age to
express an opinion which every member feels--which the whole nation
feels? The motion only went to express a wish that measures may be taken
according to the judgment of the Executive: if he had a thought or wish
to adopt measures, this would encourage him to carry them into effect.
Europe might feel a pleasure that we interested ourselves in his behalf.
Did he not embark his all for this country? It has been well said, said
Mr. S., that if the motion had been made in 1779 or 1780, no previous
question would then have been called--no opposition then made. Read the
journals of the National Representation for 1780 and 1783: there we find
one member from each State was appointed to take leave of him in behalf
of the whole. [Mr. S. here read the journals of that time, which insert
at length the proceeding, address, and answer, attending the
transaction.] There, said he, they expressed their zeal for his future
welfare, and gratitude for his favors, accompanying it with a letter to
the French King, requesting him to bestow his favors upon him. From the
frequent respectful mention made of his services on the journals of the
House, there appears to have been much attention paid to his services by
Congress. Even the Parliament of Great Britain, he said, had discussed
the question of his confinement; and should this House refuse, who are
so much obliged by his services? Nothing that had been said, in
opposition to it, could convince him but that we were called upon, by
every tie of gratitude, to adopt the measure. The satisfaction of
knowing that his services are not forgotten may render him more
comfortable in his dungeon--may follow him into the deserts of Siberia,
or wherever the cruel hand of oppression may send him.

Mr. MADISON did not think there was time to do all the business
requisite to render due justice to the motion, and he hoped the House
would do more than was intended by the motion. He believed the only
regular mode would be to appoint a committee to bring in a bill. He
therefore moved that the House go into committee for that purpose.

Mr. SITGREAVES said, according to the motion there was no necessity for
this mode, as it was of a nature not to require the aid of another
branch of the Legislature; it was quite sufficient if the House passed
the resolution. He was sorry to hear the previous question called for to
get rid of the subject, but he hoped it would not prevail: he thought
this motion required early attention. He said attention was due to
LAFAYETTE; America was highly indebted to him. It is a debt of justice,
and ought to be paid; and while this House delays to interpose in his
behalf he must remain in confinement. Those gentlemen who thought the
House ought to interpose should think this is the very time, if any good
is intended to be done: he therefore hoped they would not delay.

Mr. HARPER said, if the subject was on the sending an ambassador to
negotiate for the liberation of this man, it might with more propriety
be opposed. He was surprised that any gentleman in the House should be
opposed to expressing a wish for measures to be taken which may prove
effectual for that purpose.

When he had no need of our caresses, the United States resounded with
his name: he was then met with tokens of respect and congratulation
wherever he went. But now, pining under the cruel hand of despotic
vengeance in a loathsome dungeon, weighed down by chains, with a scanty
allowance; when we view his present, contrasted with his past,
situation--embarking from the magnificent splendor of a French court,
displeasing his sovereign--embarking himself, and hazarding every thing
that was dear to him, in support of American liberty--is this the man,
Mr. H. would ask, to whom America said, he should never cease to have
her best wishes and endeavors for his good, when, in the most grievous
captivity, we refuse to express a desire for a morsel of comfort to his
depressed mind! What avail our toasts--our boasted recollections of him,
and regret at his fate--if we take not every opportunity to alleviate
that distress? But the worst of his misfortunes is not to lie in a
dungeon: he is now racked with a fear of being sent into the
inhospitable deserts of Siberia, whence is no hope ever to expect his
return into the civilized world; and, with this unwelcome intelligence,
the American Legislature refuses to express a wish for his deliverance!
Who knows but the power in whose custody he is may expect America to
interest herself in his favor? And by a pretext like this he might be
liberated, or at least his fear of removal dissipated, and his present
misery alleviated. Mr. H. said he was sure it would be highly gratifying
to the citizens of America to hear of the measure; they had long
expected it, and, if undertaken, he had the greatest hopes of its
success, in a measure. If it should but tend to soften his present
distress, it would be a happiness; but if its effects should be to
restore to liberty one to whom America is so much indebted, it would
amply repay whatsoever trouble is taken towards its accomplishment.

Mr. W. LYMAN did not doubt of the services of the Marquis Lafayette; he
was always the subject of adoration and the toast of this country.
Besides, it has made him liberal grants for his services, and he thought
there could be no proof that we were wanting in marks of esteem for him.
With respect to the motion, Mr. L. asked, to whom was application to be
made? Does any gentleman on this floor know who confined him, or by
order of what government? No court are willing to avow it. Britain,
France, and Prussia disavow it, and he believed the Emperor also. Until
that was clear, the measure would be improper. May not the agitation of
such a question in the House awaken a jealousy in some of those powers
towards us, which may militate to our injury, and injure the man whom
the attempt is meant to serve? Gentlemen have depicted his sufferings in
very lively colors, said Mr. L., and were it in my power, or were it
consistently in the power of the House, I should be very happy to afford
relief. Until some of the difficulties in its way were cleared, he said,
he should be forced to put his negative to it. He thought gentlemen who
saw the matter so necessary, and the way so clear, had reason to
reproach themselves for letting it sleep so long, and for having
introduced it at the last hour of the session of the Houses.

Mr. HARPER and Mr. LIVINGSTON said that nothing but the constant press
of public business had prevented their motions sooner, and they thought
there was even now time enough, as it only required the expression of a
desire of the House for the object.

Mr. BUCK said the services and sufferings of the Marquis were indelibly
written on the hearts of all the citizens of America, and he thought
there was no need of that torrent of oratory which had been displayed to
affect the feelings of the House. He thought it would prove its weakness
to suffer its feelings to predominate. We ought to give a decision only
by the force of judgment, after due deliberation; for _feeling_ could
not look forward to consequences. Were we implicitly to obey it, we
should take many bad steps. Do we not know, said Mr. B., that he is
among the persons proscribed by France? and, considering the very
brittle situation of our peace with that country at present, we should
be induced rather to strengthen than weaken our ties; for the motion
goes to authorize the PRESIDENT to take _any_ measures to support
Lafayette. This being the situation, we know not where the measures may
end, and it would be a serious thing to be plunged in a war with France
on that account. He hoped the House would not precipitate the business,
but give themselves time to examine the consequences. This, Mr. B. said,
had induced him to oppose the motion. Though congenial to his feelings,
he therefore should vote for the previous, and against the main
question.

Mr. CLAIBORNE was against the previous question. He would hazard any
thing for the happiness of a man we owe so much to--who sees, said he,
the unfortunate man with his lady and daughter, under all the miseries
that despotism and tyranny can inflict, in a wretched dungeon, without
even the comforts of life! Here he appealed to the feelings of the
members in a very forcible manner, and, with the most bitter invective,
ardently wished the destruction of his cruel oppressors. He observed on
the uneasiness the members of the House were in if public business
detained them half an hour after the usual time of their dinners, and
applied the case to this unfortunate man in continual confinement, and
after all with miserable fare.

The previous question was then put, "Shall the main question be now
put?" and negatived--ayes 25.

Mr. LIVINGSTON then brought forward a similar resolution, which caused
very considerable debate, and was at length got rid of by the previous
question. The principal objection to the adoption of this motion seemed
to be the late period at which it was brought forward. All were agreed
as to the merits and the misfortunes of the man, and had the motion been
introduced at any other time than on the eve of the rising of the
session, there could be little doubt it would have been agreed to by a
very large majority.[13]

_Thanks to the Speaker._

Mr. BLOUNT said he wished to offer a resolution to the House, which, as
he was certain there could be no opposition to it, would occupy little
of their time. He should wish the Clerk to read it, and take the sense
of the House upon it. It was in the following words:

      "_Resolved_, That the thanks of this House be presented to
      JONATHAN DAYTON, in testimony of their approbation of his
      conduct in discharging the arduous and important duties
      assigned him while in the chair."

The Clerk accordingly put the resolution, and it was unanimously
carried; when--

The SPEAKER thus addressed the House:

      "GENTLEMEN: I feel myself deeply impressed with this fresh
      proof of your approbation of my conduct in the chair. The
      confidence and support which you have in every instance
      afforded me, in the station assigned to me, have alone
      enabled me to discharge the important duty with
      satisfaction to myself, and with advantage to the public."

_Adjournment of the Session._

A message was received from the Senate, informing the House that they
had appointed a committee to join a committee of that House, to wait
upon the PRESIDENT to inform him they had finished their business, and,
except he had any further communications to make, they were ready to
adjourn, without day.

The House then agreed to appoint a committee to join that of the Senate
to wait upon the PRESIDENT, and Messrs. SITGREAVES, PARKER, and
SHERBURNE being named, they accordingly waited upon the PRESIDENT; and--

Mr. SITGREAVES reported that the PRESIDENT had no further communication
to make, except "that he wished them a happy return to their families
and friends."

The SPEAKER then adjourned the House _sine die_, at about eleven
o'clock.[14]



FIFTH CONGRESS.--FIRST SESSION.

BEGUN AT THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, MAY 15, 1797.[15]

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,--JOHN ADAMS.


LIST OF MEMBERS.


SENATORS.

_New Hampshire._--John Langdon, S. Livermore.

_Vermont._--Nathaniel Chipman, Elijah Paine.

_Massachusetts._--Benj. Goodhue, Theodore Sedgwick.

_Rhode Island._--Theodore Foster, Ray Greene.

_Connecticut._--James Hillhouse, Uriah Tracy.

_New York._--John S. Hobart, John Laurance.

_New Jersey._--John Rutherford, R. Stockton.

_Pennsylvania._--William Bingham, James Ross.

_Delaware._--Henry Latimer, John Vining.

_Maryland._--John E. Howard, James Lloyd,

_Virginia._--Stevens T. Mason, Henry Tazewell.

_North Carolina._--Timothy Bloodworth, Alexander Martin.

_South Carolina._--John Hunter, Jacob Read.

_Georgia._--James Gunn, Josiah Tattnall.

_Tennessee._--Joseph Anderson, Andrew Jackson.

_Kentucky._--John Brown, Humphrey Marshall.


REPRESENTATIVES.

_New Hampshire._--Abiel Foster, Jonathan Freeman, William Gordon, Peleg
Sprague.

_Vermont._--Matthew Lyon, Lewis B. Morris.

_Massachusetts._-Bailey Bartlett, Stephen Bullock, Dwight Foster,
Nathaniel Freeman, Samuel Lyman, Harrison G. Otis, John Read, Samuel
Sewall, William Shepard, Thompson J. Skinner, George Thatcher, Joseph B.
Varnum, P. Wadsworth.

_Rhode Island._--C. G. Champlin, Thomas Tillinghast.

_Connecticut._--John Allen, Jona. Brace, Joshua Coit, Samuel W. Dana,
James Davenport, O. Goodrich, Roger Griswold, Nathaniel Smith.

_New York._--David Brooks, John Cochran, Lucas Elmendorph, Henry Glenn,
J. N. Havens, Hezekiah L. Hosmer, E. Livingston, John E. Van Allen,
Philip Van Cortlandt, John Williams.

_New Jersey._--Jona. Dayton, James H. Imlay, James Schureman, Thomas
Sinnickson, Mark Thompson.

_Pennsylvania._--David Bard, Robert Brown, John Chapman, William
Findlay, Albert Gallatin, Andrew Gregg, John A. Hanna, Thomas Hartley,
Joseph Heister, John W. Kittera, Blair McClenachan, Samuel Sitgreaves,
John Swanwick, Richard Thomas.

_Delaware._--James A. Bayard.

_Maryland._--George Baer, William Craik, John Dennis, George Dent,
William Hindman, William Matthews, Samuel Smith, Richard Sprigg.

_Virginia._--Richard Brent, Samuel J. Cabell, Thomas Claiborne, Matthew
Clay, John Clopton, Isaac Coles, John Dawson, Thomas Evans, Carter B.
Harrison, David Holmes, Walter Jones, James Machir, Daniel Morgan,
Anthony New, John Nicholas, Josiah Parker, Abram Trigg, John Trigg, A.
B. Venable.

_North Carolina._--Thomas Blount, Nathan Bryan, Dempsey Burges, James
Gillespie, William B. Grove, Matthew Locke, Nathaniel Macon, Joseph
McDowell, Richard Stanford, Robert Williams.

_South Carolina._--Lemuel Benton, R. G. Harper, Thomas Pinckney, John
Rutledge, William Smith, Thomas Sumter.

_Georgia._--A. Baldwin, John Milledge.

_Tennessee._--William C. C. Claiborne.

_Kentucky._--Thomas T. Davis, John Fowler.



PROCEEDINGS IN THE SENATE.


The first session of the Fifth Congress, under the Constitution of
Government of the United States, commenced at the city of Philadelphia,
agreeably to the Proclamation of the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, of
the twenty-fifth day of March last, and the Senate accordingly assembled
on this day, being


MONDAY, May 15, 1797.

PRESENT:

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Vice President of the United States, and President of
the Senate.

JOHN LANGDON and SAMUEL LIVERMORE, from New Hampshire.

BENJAMIN GOODHUE, from Massachusetts.

THEODORE FOSTER and WILLIAM BRADFORD, from Rhode Island.

JAMES HILLHOUSE and URIAH TRACY, from Connecticut.

ISAAC TICHENOR, from Vermont.

JOHN LAURANCE, from New York.

WILLIAM BINGHAM, from Pennsylvania.

HENRY LATIMER, from Delaware.

JOHN E. HOWARD, from Maryland.

STEVENS T. MASON, from Virginia.

ALEXANDER MARTIN and TIMOTHY BLOODWORTH, from North Carolina.

JOHN HUNTER, from South Carolina.

JOSIAH TATTNALL, from Georgia.

The Senators whose names are subjoined produced their credentials on the
4th day of March last, and took their seats in the Senate, viz: Mr.
FOSTER, Mr. GOODHUE, Mr. HILLHOUSE, Mr. HOWARD, Mr. LATIMER, Mr. MASON,
Mr. ROSS, and Mr. TICHENOR.

WILLIAM COOKE, appointed a Senator by the State of Tennessee, produced
his credentials, and the oath required by law being administered, he
took his seat in the Senate.

_Ordered_, That the Secretary wait on the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES, and acquaint him that a quorum of the Senate is assembled.

_Ordered_, That the Secretary acquaint the House of Representatives that
a quorum of the Senate is assembled, and ready to proceed to business.

A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate, that a
quorum of the House is assembled, and have elected JONATHAN DAYTON their
Speaker.

A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that the
House have appointed a joint committee on their part, together with such
committee as the Senate may appoint, to wait on the PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES, and inform him that a quorum of the two Houses is
assembled, and ready to receive any communications that he may be
pleased to make to them.

_Resolved_, That the Senate do concur in the appointment of a joint
committee, and that Messrs. LIVERMORE and LANGDON be the joint committee
on the part of the Senate.

Mr. LIVERMORE reported, from the joint committee, that they had waited
on the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and had notified him that a
quorum of the two Houses is assembled; and that the PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES acquainted the committee that he would meet the two Houses
in the Representatives' Chamber, at 12 o'clock to-morrow.


TUESDAY, May 16.

WILLIAM BLOUNT, from the State of Tennessee; THEODORE SEDGWICK, from the
State of Massachusetts; and JOHN VINING, from the State of Delaware,
severally attended.

A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that the
House are now ready to meet the Senate in the Chamber of that House, to
receive such communications as the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES shall
be pleased to make to them. Whereupon,

The Senate repaired to the Chamber of the House of Representatives, for
the purpose above expressed.

The Senate returned to their own Chamber, and a copy of the Speech of
the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, this day addressed to both Houses of
Congress, was read.

      _Gentlemen of the Senate, and Gentlemen of the House of
      Representatives_:

      The personal inconveniences to the members of the Senate,
      and of the House of Representatives, in leaving their
      families and private affairs, at this season of the year,
      are so obvious, that I the more regret the extraordinary
      occasion which has rendered the convention of Congress
      indispensable.

      It would have afforded me the highest satisfaction to have
      been able to congratulate you on a restoration of peace to
      the nations of Europe, whose animosities have endangered
      our tranquillity; but we have still abundant cause of
      gratitude to the Supreme Dispenser of national blessings,
      for general health and promising seasons; for domestic and
      social happiness; for the rapid progress and ample
      acquisitions of industry, through extensive territories;
      for civil, political, and religious liberty. While other
      States are desolated with foreign war, or convulsed with
      intestine divisions, the United States present the pleasing
      prospect of a nation governed by mild and equal laws,
      generally satisfied with the possession of their rights;
      neither envying the advantages nor fearing the power of
      other nations; solicitous only for the maintenance of order
      and justice, and the preservation of liberty; increasing
      daily in their attachment to a system of government in
      proportion to their experience of its utility; yielding a
      ready and general obedience to laws flowing from the
      reason, and resting on the only solid foundation--the
      affections of the people.

      It is with extreme regret that I shall be obliged to turn
      your thoughts to other circumstances, which admonish us
      that some of these felicities may not be lasting; but, if
      the tide of our prosperity is full, and a reflux
      commencing, a vigilant circumspection becomes us, that we
      may meet our reverses with fortitude, and extricate
      ourselves from their consequences with all the skill we
      possess, and all the efforts in our power.

      In giving to Congress information of the state of the
      Union, and recommending to their consideration such
      measures as appear to me to be necessary or expedient,
      according to my constitutional duty, the causes and the
      objects of the present extraordinary session will be
      explained.

      After the President of the United States received
      information that the French Government had expressed
      serious discontents at some proceedings of the Government
      of these States, said to affect the interests of France, he
      thought it expedient to send to that country a new
      Minister, fully instructed to enter on such amicable
      discussions and to give such candid explanations as might
      happily remove the discontents and suspicions of the French
      Government and vindicate the conduct of the United States.
      For this purpose he selected from among his fellow-citizens
      a character whose integrity, talents, experience, and
      services, had placed him in the rank of the most esteemed
      and respected in the nation. The direct object of this
      mission was expressed in his letter of credence to the
      French Republic, being "to maintain that good understanding
      which, from the commencement of the alliance, had subsisted
      between the two nations, and to efface unfavorable
      impressions; banish suspicions, and restore that cordiality
      which was at once the evidence and pledge of a friendly
      union;" and his instructions were to the same effect,
      "faithfully to represent the disposition of the Government
      and people of the United States (their disposition being
      one) to remove jealousies and obviate complaints, by
      showing that they were groundless; to restore that mutual
      confidence which had been so unfortunately and injuriously
      impaired, and to explain the relative interests of both
      countries and the real sentiments of his own."

      A Minister thus specially commissioned, it was expected,
      would have proved the instrument of restoring mutual
      confidence between the two Republics; the first step of the
      French Government corresponded with that expectation. A few
      days before his arrival at Paris, the French Minister of
      Foreign Relations informed the American Minister, then
      resident at Paris, of the formalities to be observed by
      himself in taking leave, and by his successor preparatory
      to his reception. These formalities they observed; and on
      the ninth of December presented officially to the Minister
      of Foreign Relations, the one a copy of his letters of
      recall, the other a copy of his letters of credence. These
      were laid before the Executive Directory: two days
      afterwards, the Minister of Foreign Relations informed the
      recalled American Minister that the Executive Directory had
      determined not to receive another Minister Plenipotentiary
      from the United States until after the redress of
      grievances demanded of the American Government, and which
      the French Republic had a right to expect from it. The
      American Minister immediately endeavored to ascertain
      whether, by refusing to receive him, it was intended that
      he should retire from the territories of the French
      Republic, and verbal answers were given that such was the
      intention of the Directory. For his own justification he
      desired a written answer; but obtained none until towards
      the last of January; when receiving notice in writing to
      quit the territories of the Republic, he proceeded to
      Amsterdam, where he proposed to wait for instruction from
      this Government. During his residence at Paris, cards of
      hospitality were refused him, and he was threatened with
      being subjected to the jurisdiction of the Minister of
      Police, but with becoming firmness he insisted on the
      protection of the law of nations, due to him as the known
      Minister of a foreign power. You will derive further
      information from his despatches, which will be laid before
      you.

      As it is often necessary that nations should treat, for the
      mutual advantage of their affairs, and especially to
      accommodate and terminate differences, and as they can
      treat only by Ministers, the right of embassy is well
      known, and established by the law and usage of nations; the
      refusal on the part of France to receive our Minister is
      then the denial of a right; but the refusal to hear him,
      until we have acceded to their demands, without discussion,
      and without investigation, is to treat us neither as
      allies, nor as friends, nor as a sovereign State.

      With this conduct of the French Government, it will be
      proper to take into view the public audience given to the
      late Minister of the United States, on his taking leave of
      the Executive Directory. The speech of the President[16]
      discloses sentiments more alarming than the refusal of a
      Minister; because more dangerous to our independence and
      union; and at the same time studiously marked with
      indignities towards the Government of the United States. It
      evinces a disposition to separate the people of the United
      States from the Government; to persuade them that they have
      different affections, principles, and interests, from those
      of their fellow-citizens, whom they themselves have chosen
      to manage their common concerns; and thus to produce
      divisions fatal to our peace. Such attempts ought to be
      repelled with a decision which shall convince France, and
      the world, that we are not a degraded people, humiliated
      under a colonial spirit of fear and sense of inferiority,
      fitted to be the miserable instruments of foreign
      influence; and regardless of national honor, character, and
      interest.

      I should have been happy to have thrown a veil over these
      transactions, if it had been possible to conceal them; but
      they have passed on the great theatre of the world, in the
      face of all Europe and America, and with such circumstances
      of publicity and solemnity that they cannot be disguised,
      and will not soon be forgotten; they have inflicted a wound
      in the American breast; it is my sincere desire, however,
      that it may be healed. It is my desire, and in this I
      presume I concur with you, and with our constituents, to
      preserve peace and friendship with all nations; and
      believing that neither the honor nor the interest of the
      United States absolutely forbid the repetition of advances
      for securing these desirable objects with France, I shall
      institute a fresh attempt at negotiation, and shall not
      fail to promote and accelerate an accommodation, on terms
      compatible with the rights, duties, interests, and honor of
      the nation. If we have committed errors, and these can be
      demonstrated, we shall be willing to correct them. If we
      have done injuries, we shall be willing, on conviction, to
      redress them; and equal measures of justice we have a right
      to expect from France and every other nation.

      The diplomatic intercourse between the United States and
      France being at present suspended, the Government has no
      means of obtaining official information from that country;
      nevertheless, there is reason to believe that the Executive
      Directory passed a decree, on the second of March last,
      contravening, in part, the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, of
      one thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight, injurious to
      our lawful commerce, and endangering the lives of our
      citizens. A copy of this decree will be laid before you.

      While we are endeavoring to adjust all our differences with
      France by amicable negotiation, the progress of the war in
      Europe, the depredations on our commerce, the personal
      injuries to our citizens, and general complexion of
      affairs, render it my indispensable duty to recommend to
      your consideration effectual measures of defence.

      The commerce of the United States has become an interesting
      object of attention, whether we consider it in relation to
      the wealth and finances, or the strength and resources of
      the nation. With a sea-coast of near two thousand miles in
      extent, opening a wide field for fisheries, navigation, and
      commerce, a great portion of our citizens naturally apply
      their industry and enterprise to these objects. Any serious
      and permanent injury to commerce, would not fail to produce
      the most embarrassing disorders; to prevent it from being
      undermined and destroyed, it is essential that it receive
      an adequate protection.

      The Naval Establishment must occur to every man who
      considers the injuries committed on our commerce, the
      insults offered to our citizens, and the description of
      vessels by which these abuses have been practised. As the
      sufferings of our mercantile and seafaring citizens cannot
      be ascribed to the omission of duties demandable,
      considering the neutral situation of our country, they are
      to be attributed to the hope of impunity, arising from a
      supposed inability on our part to afford protection. To
      resist the consequences of such impressions on the minds of
      foreign nations, and to guard against the degradation and
      servility which they must finally stamp on the American
      character, is an important duty of Government.

      A Naval power, next to the Militia, is the natural defence
      of the United States. The experience of the last war would
      be sufficient to show, that a moderate Naval force, such as
      would be easily within the present abilities of the Union,
      would have been sufficient to have baffled many formidable
      transportations of troops from one State to another, which
      were then practised. Our sea-coasts, from their great
      extent, are more easily annoyed and more easily defended by
      a Naval force than any other. With all the materials our
      country abounds; in skill, our naval architects and
      navigators are equal to any; and commanders and seamen will
      not be wanting.

      But although the establishment of a permanent system of
      Naval defence appears to be requisite, I am sensible it
      cannot be formed so speedily and extensively as the present
      crisis demands. Hitherto I have thought proper to prevent
      the sailing of armed vessels, except on voyages to the East
      Indies, where general usage, and the danger from pirates,
      appeared to render permission proper; yet the restriction
      has originated solely from a wish to prevent collusions
      with the powers at war, contravening the act of Congress of
      June, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-four, and not
      from any doubt entertained by me of the policy and
      propriety of permitting our vessels to employ means of
      defence, while engaged in a lawful foreign commerce. It
      remains for Congress to prescribe such regulations as will
      enable our seafaring citizens to defend themselves against
      violations of the law of nations; and, at the same time,
      restrain them from committing acts of hostility against the
      powers at war. In addition to this voluntary provision for
      defence by individual citizens, it appears to me necessary
      to equip the frigates, and provide other vessels of
      inferior force to take under convoy such merchant vessels
      as shall remain unarmed.

      The greater part of the cruisers whose depredations have
      been most injurious, have been built, and some of them
      partially equipped in the United States. Although an
      effectual remedy may be attended with difficulty, yet I
      have thought it my duty to present the subject generally
      to your consideration. If a mode can be devised by the
      wisdom of Congress to prevent the resources of the United
      States from being converted into the means of annoying our
      trade, a great evil will be prevented. With the same view I
      think it proper to mention that some of our citizens
      resident abroad have fitted out privateers, and others have
      voluntarily taken the command, or entered on board of them,
      and committed spoliations on the commerce of the United
      States. Such unnatural and iniquitous practices can be
      restrained only by severe punishments.

      But besides a protection of commerce on the seas, I think
      it highly necessary to protect it at home, where it is
      collected in our most important ports. The distance of the
      United States from Europe, and the well-known promptitude,
      ardor, and courage of the people, in defence of their
      country, happily diminish the probability of invasion:
      nevertheless, to guard against sudden and predatory
      incursions, the situation of some of our principal seaports
      demands your consideration; and as our country is
      vulnerable in other interests besides those of its
      commerce, you will seriously deliberate whether the means
      of general defence ought not to be increased by an addition
      to the regular artillery and cavalry, and by arrangements
      for forming a provisional army.

      With the same view, and as a measure, which even in a time
      of universal peace ought not to be neglected, I recommend
      to your consideration a revision of the laws for
      organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, to render
      that natural and safe defence of the country efficacious.
      Although it is very true, that we ought not to involve
      ourselves in the political system of Europe, but to keep
      ourselves always distinct and separate from it if we can,
      yet to effect this separation, early, punctual, and
      continual information of the current chain of events, and
      of the political projects in contemplation, is no less
      necessary than if we were directly concerned in them. It is
      necessary in order to the discovery of the efforts made to
      draw us into the vortex, in season to make preparations
      against them. However we may consider ourselves, the
      maritime and commercial powers of the world will consider
      the United States of America as forming a weight, in that
      balance of power in Europe, which can never be forgotten or
      neglected. It would not only be against our interest, but
      it would be doing wrong to one half of Europe, at least, if
      we should voluntarily throw ourselves into either scale. It
      is a natural policy for a nation that studies to be
      neutral, to consult with other nations engaged in the same
      studies and pursuits. At the same time that measures ought
      to be pursued with this view, our treaties with Prussia and
      Sweden, one of which is expired, and the other near
      expiring, might be renewed.

      _Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

      It is particularly your province to consider the state of
      the public finances; and to adopt such measures respecting
      them as exigencies shall be found to require. The
      preservation of public credit, the regular extinguishment
      of the public debt, and a provision of funds to defray any
      extraordinary expenses, will of course call for your
      serious attention. Although the imposition of new burdens
      cannot be in itself agreeable, yet there is no ground to
      doubt that the American people will expect from you such
      measures as their actual engagements, their present
      security, and future interests demand.

      _Gentlemen of the Senate, and Gentlemen of the House of
      Representatives_:

      The present situation of our country imposes an obligation
      on all the departments of Government to adopt an explicit
      and decided conduct. In my situation, an exposition of the
      principles by which my administration will be governed
      ought not to be omitted.

      It is impossible to conceal from ourselves or the world,
      what has been before observed, that endeavors have been
      employed to foster and establish a division between the
      Government and people of the United States. To investigate
      the causes which have encouraged this attempt is not
      necessary; but to repel by decided and united councils
      insinuations so derogatory to the honor, and aggressions so
      dangerous to the constitution, union, and even
      independence, of the nation, is an indispensable duty.

      It must not be permitted to be doubted, whether the people
      of the United States will support the Government
      established by their voluntary consent, and appointed by
      their free choice, or whether by surrendering themselves to
      the direction of foreign and domestic factions, in
      opposition to their own Government, they will forfeit the
      honorable station they have hitherto maintained.

      For myself, having never been indifferent to what concerned
      the interests of my country, devoted the best part of my
      life to obtain and support its independence, and constantly
      witnessed the patriotism, fidelity, and perseverance of my
      fellow-citizens, on the most trying occasions, it is not
      for me to hesitate or abandon a cause in which my heart has
      been so long engaged.

      Convinced that the conduct of the Government has been just
      and impartial to foreign nations; that those internal
      regulations, which have been established by law for the
      preservation of peace, are in their nature proper, and that
      they have been fairly executed; nothing will ever be done
      by me to impair the national engagements, to innovate upon
      principles, which have been so deliberately and uprightly
      established, or to surrender in any manner the rights of
      the Government. To enable me to maintain this declaration,
      I rely upon God with entire confidence, on the firm and
      enlightened support of the National Legislature, and upon
      the virtue and patriotism of my fellow-citizens.

                            JOHN ADAMS.

_Ordered_, That Messrs. TRACY, LAURANCE, and LIVERMORE be a committee to
report the draft of an Address to the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, in
answer to his Speech this day to both Houses of Congress.


WEDNESDAY, May 17.

RICHARD STOCKTON, from the State of New Jersey, attended.


THURSDAY, May 18.

HENRY TAZEWELL, from the State of Virginia, attended.


FRIDAY, May 19.

JOHN HENRY, from the State of Maryland, attended.


MONDAY, May 22.

JOHN BROWN, from the State of Kentucky, and JACOB READ, from the State
of South Carolina, severally attended.

JOHN RUTHERFORD, appointed a Senator from the State of New Jersey,
produced his credentials, which were read, and the oath required by law
being administered to him, he took his seat in the Senate.


TUESDAY, May 23.

The Senate resumed the consideration of the report of the committee of
the draft of an Address, in answer to the Speech of the PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES to both Houses of Congress, at the opening of the session.

On the motion to expunge the following paragraph, to wit:

      "We are happy, since our sentiments on the subject are in
      perfect unison with yours, in this public manner to
      declare, that the conduct of the Government has been just
      and impartial to foreign nations, and that those internal
      regulations, which have been established for the
      preservation of peace, are, in their nature, proper, and
      have been fairly executed."

It was determined in the negative--yeas 11, nays 15, as follows:

      YEAS--Messrs. Bloodworth, Blount, Brown, Cocke, Henry,
      Hunter, Langdon, Martin, Mason, Tazewell, and Tattnall.

      NAYS--Messrs. Bingham, Bradford, Foster, Goodhue,
      Hillhouse, Howard, Laurance, Latimer, Livermore, Read,
      Rutherford, Sedgwick, Stockton, Tichenor, and Tracy.

And the report being further amended, was adopted, as follows:

      SIR: The Senate of the United States request you to accept
      their acknowledgments for the comprehensive and interesting
      detail you have given in your Speech to both Houses of
      Congress, on the existing state of the Union.

      While we regret the necessity of the present meeting of the
      Legislature, we wish to express our entire approbation of
      your conduct in convening it on this momentous occasion.

      The superintendence of our national faith, honor, and
      dignity, being, in a great measure, constitutionally
      deposited with the Executive, we observe, with singular
      satisfaction, the vigilance, firmness, and promptitude,
      exhibited by you, in this critical state of our public
      affairs, and from thence derive an evidence and pledge of
      the rectitude and integrity of your administration. And we
      are sensible it is an object of primary importance, that
      each branch of the Government should adopt a language and
      system of conduct which shall be cool, just, and
      dispassionate, but firm, explicit, and decided.

      We are equally desirous, with you, to preserve peace and
      friendship with all nations, and are happy to be informed,
      that neither the honor nor interests of the United States
      forbid advances for securing those desirable objects, by
      amicable negotiation with the French Republic. This method
      of adjusting national differences is not only the most
      mild, but the most rational and humane, and with
      governments disposed to be just, can seldom fail of
      success, when fairly, candidly, and sincerely used. If we
      have committed errors, and can be made sensible of them, we
      agree with you in opinion that we ought to correct them,
      and compensate the injuries which may have been consequent
      thereon; and we trust the French Republic will be actuated
      by the same just and benevolent principles of national
      policy.

      We do, therefore, most sincerely approve of your
      determination to promote and accelerate an accommodation of
      our existing differences with that Republic, by
      negotiation, on terms compatible with the rights, duties,
      interests, and honor of our nation. And you may rest
      assured of our most cordial co-operation, so far as it may
      become necessary, in this pursuit.

      Peace and harmony with all nations is our sincere wish;
      but, such being the lot of humanity, that nations will not
      always reciprocate peaceable dispositions, it is our firm
      belief, that effectual measures of defence will tend to
      inspire that national self-respect and confidence at
      _home_, which is the unfailing source of respectability
      _abroad_, to check aggression, and prevent war.

      While we are endeavoring to adjust our differences with the
      French Republic, by amicable negotiation, the progress of
      the war in Europe, the depredations on our commerce, the
      personal injuries to our citizens, and the general
      complexion of affairs, prove to us your vigilant care, in
      recommending to our attention effectual measures of
      defence.

      Those which you recommend, whether they relate to external
      defence, by permitting our citizens to arm for the purpose
      of repelling aggressions on their commercial rights, and by
      providing sea convoys, or to internal defence, by
      increasing the establishments of artillery and cavalry, by
      forming a provisional army, by revising the militia laws,
      and fortifying, more completely, our ports and harbors,
      will meet our consideration, under the influence of the
      same just regard for the security, interest, and honor of
      our country, which dictated your recommendation.

      Practices so unnatural and iniquitous, as those you state,
      of our own citizens, converting their property and personal
      exertions into the means of annoying our trade, and
      injuring their fellow-citizens, deserve legal severity
      commensurate with their turpitude.

      Although the Senate believe that the prosperity and
      happiness of our country does not depend on general and
      extensive political connections with European nations, yet
      we can never lose sight of the propriety as well as
      necessity of enabling the Executive, by sufficient and
      liberal supplies, to maintain, and even extend, our foreign
      intercourse, as exigencies may require, reposing full
      confidence in the Executive, in whom the constitution has
      placed the powers of negotiation.

      We learn, with sincere concern, that attempts are in
      operation to alienate the affections of our fellow-citizens
      from their Government. Attempts so wicked, wherever they
      exist, cannot fail to excite our utmost abhorrence. A
      Government chosen by the people for their own safety and
      happiness, and calculated to secure both, cannot lose their
      affections, so long as its administration pursues the
      principle upon which it was erected. And your resolution to
      observe a conduct just and impartial to all nations, a
      sacred regard to our national engagements, and not to
      impair, the rights of our Government, contains principles
      which cannot fail to secure to your administration the
      support of the National Legislature, to render abortive
      every attempt to excite dangerous jealousies among us, and
      to convince the world that our Government, and your
      administration of it, cannot be separated from the
      affectionate support of every good citizen. And the Senate
      cannot suffer the present occasion to pass, without thus
      publicly and solemnly expressing their attachment to the
      constitution and Government of their country; and as they
      hold themselves responsible to their constituents, their
      consciences, and their God, it is their determination, by
      all their exertions, to repel every attempt to alienate the
      affections of the people from the Government, so highly
      injurious to the honor, safety, and independence of the
      United States.

      We are happy, since our sentiments on the subject are in
      perfect unison with yours, in this public manner to
      declare, that we believe the conduct of the Government has
      been just and impartial to foreign nations, and that those
      internal regulations which have been established for the
      preservation of peace, are in their nature proper, and have
      been fairly executed.

      And we are equally happy in possessing an entire confidence
      in your abilities and exertions in your station to maintain
      untarnished the honor, preserve the peace, and support the
      independence of our country; to acquire and establish
      which, in connection with your fellow-citizens, has been
      the virtuous effort of a principal part of your life.

      To aid you in these arduous and honorable exertions, as it
      is our duty, so it shall be our faithful endeavor. And we
      flatter ourselves, sir, that the proceedings of the present
      session of Congress will manifest to the world, that,
      although the United States love peace, they will be
      independent. That they are sincere in their declarations to
      be just to the French, and all other nations, and expect
      the same in return.

      If a sense of justice, a love of moderation and peace,
      shall influence their councils, which we sincerely hope, we
      shall have just grounds to expect peace and amity between
      the United States and all nations will be preserved.

      But if we are so unfortunate as to experience injuries from
      any foreign power, and the ordinary methods by which
      differences are amicably adjusted between nations shall be
      rejected, the determination "not to surrender in any manner
      the rights of the Government" being so inseparably
      connected with the dignity, interest, and independence of
      our country, shall by us be steadily and inviolably
      supported.

                          THOMAS JEFFERSON,
                          _Vice President of the United States,
                          and President of the Senate_.

_Ordered_, That the committee who prepared the Address wait on the
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and desire him to acquaint the Senate at
what time and place it will be most convenient for him that it should be
presented.

Mr. TRACY reported from the committee that they had waited on the
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and that he would receive the Address of
the Senate to-morrow, at 12 o'clock, at his own house.

_Resolved_, That the Senate will, to-morrow, at 12 o'clock, wait on the
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES accordingly.


WEDNESDAY, May 24.

ELIJAH PAINE, from the State of Vermont, attended.

Agreeably to the resolution of yesterday, the Senate waited on the
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and the VICE PRESIDENT, in their name,
presented the Address then agreed to.

To which the PRESIDENT made the following reply:

      _Mr. Vice President, and Gentlemen of the Senate_:

      It would be an affectation in me to dissemble the pleasure
      I feel on receiving this kind Address.

      My long experience of the wisdom, fortitude, and patriotism
      of the Senate of the United States, enhances in my
      estimation the value of those obliging expressions of your
      approbation of my conduct, which are a generous reward for
      the past, and an affecting encouragement to constancy and
      perseverance in future.

      Our sentiments appear to be so entirely in unison, that I
      cannot but believe them to be the rational result of the
      understandings and the natural feelings of the hearts of
      Americans in general, on contemplating the present state of
      the nation.

      While such principles and affections prevail, they will
      form an indissoluble bond of union, and a sure pledge that
      our country has no essential injury to apprehend from any
      portentous appearances abroad. In a humble reliance on
      Divine Providence, we may rest assured, that, while we
      reiterate with sincerity our endeavors to accommodate all
      our differences with France, the independence of our
      country cannot be diminished, its dignity degraded, or its
      glory tarnished, by any nation or combination of nations,
      whether friends or enemies.

                          JOHN ADAMS.

The Senate returned to their own Chamber, and adjourned.


FRIDAY, May 26.

HUMPHREY MARSHALL, from the State of Kentucky, attended.


MONDAY, May 29.

JAMES ROSS, from the State of Pennsylvania, attended.


SATURDAY, June 24.

The following confidential Message was received from the PRESIDENT OF
THE UNITED STATES:

      _Gentlemen of the Senate, and of the House of
      Representatives:_

      The Dey of Algiers has manifested a predilection for
      American built vessels, and, in consequence, has desired
      that two vessels might be constructed and equipped, as
      cruisers, according to the choice and taste of Captain
      O'Brien. The cost of two such vessels, built with live oak
      and cedar, and coppered, with guns and all other equipments
      complete, is estimated at forty-five thousand dollars. The
      expense of navigating them to Algiers may, perhaps, be
      compensated by the freight of the stores with which they
      may be loaded on account of our stipulations by treaty with
      the Dey.

      A compliance with the Dey's request appears to me to be of
      serious importance. He will repay the whole expense of
      building and equipping the two vessels; and as he has
      advanced the price of our peace with Tripoli, and become
      pledged for that of Tunis, the United States seem to be
      under peculiar obligations to provide this accommodation;
      and I trust that Congress will authorize the advance of
      money necessary for that purpose.

                          JOHN ADAMS.

      UNITED STATES, _June_ 23, 1797.

_Ordered_, That it lie for consideration.


SATURDAY, July 1.

JAMES GUNN, from the State of Georgia, attended.


WEDNESDAY, July 5.

The VICE PRESIDENT obtained leave of absence for the remainder of the
session.


THURSDAY, July 6.

The VICE PRESIDENT being absent, the Senate proceeded to the choice of a
President _pro tempore_, as the constitution provides, and the Hon.
WILLIAM BRADFORD was duly elected.


FRIDAY, July 7.

A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that the
House have passed a resolution, that the President of the Senate, and
the Speaker of the House of Representatives, be authorized to close the
present session, by adjourning their respective Houses on Monday, the
10th day of this month; in which they desire the concurrence of the
Senate.


MONDAY, July 10.

_Ordered_, That Mr. TRACY and Mr. READ be a joint committee on the part
of the Senate, with such as the House of Representatives may appoint on
their part, to wait on the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and notify
him that, unless he may have any further communications to make to the
two Houses of Congress, they are ready to adjourn.

A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that the
House have appointed a joint committee on their part to wait on the
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and notify him that, unless he may have
any further communications to make to the two Houses of Congress, they
are ready to adjourn.

Mr. TRACY reported from the joint committee, that they had waited on the
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, agreeably to order, who replied, that he
had no further communication to make to Congress, except a respectful
and affectionate farewell.

The PRESIDENT then adjourned the Senate without day.



FIFTH CONGRESS.--FIRST SESSION.

PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

In pursuance of the authority given by the constitution, the PRESIDENT
OF THE UNITED STATES, on the 25th day of March last, caused to be issued
the Proclamation which follows:

      BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

      A PROCLAMATION.

      Whereas the Constitution of the United States of America
      provides that the President may, on extraordinary
      occasions, convene both Houses of Congress; and whereas an
      extraordinary occasion exists for convening Congress, and
      divers weighty matters claim their consideration, I have
      therefore thought it necessary to convene, and I do by
      these presents convene the Congress of the United States of
      America, at the City of Philadelphia, in the Commonwealth
      of Pennsylvania, on Monday the fifteenth day of May next,
      hereby requiring the Senators and Representatives in the
      Congress of the United States of America, and every of
      them, that, laying aside all other matters and cares, they
      then and there meet and assemble in Congress, in order to
      consult and determine on such measures as in their wisdom
      shall be deemed meet for the safety and welfare of the said
      United States.

      [Sidenote: [L. S.]]

      In testimony whereof, I have caused the seal of the United
      States of America to be affixed to these presents, and
      signed the same with my hand. Done at the City of
      Philadelphia the twenty-fifth day of March, in the year of
      our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-seven, and
      of the Independence of the United States of America the
      twenty-first.

                          JOHN ADAMS.

      By the President: TIMOTHY PICKERING, _Secretary of State_.


MONDAY, May 15, 1797.

This being the day appointed by the Proclamation of the PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES, of the 25th of March last, for the meeting of Congress,
the following members of the House of Representatives appeared, produced
their credentials, and took their seats, to wit:

_From New Hampshire._--ABIEL FOSTER and JONATHAN FREEMAN.

_From Massachusetts._--THEOPHILUS BRADBURY, DWIGHT FOSTER, NATHANIEL
FREEMAN, Jr., SAMUEL LYMAN, HARRISON GRAY OTIS, JOHN READ, SAMUEL
SEWALL, WILLIAM SHEPARD, GEORGE THATCHER, JOSEPH BRADLEY VARNUM, and
PELEG WADSWORTH.

_From Rhode Island._--CHRISTOPHER G. CHAMPLIN and ELISHA R. POTTER.

_From Connecticut._--JOSHUA COIT, SAMUEL W. DANA, JAMES DAVENPORT,
CHAUNCEY GOODRICH, ROGER GRISWOLD, and NATHANIEL SMITH.

_From Vermont._--MATTHEW LYON.

_From New York._--DAVID BROOKS, JAMES COCHRAN, LUCAS ELMENDORPH, HENRY
GLENN, JONATHAN N. HAVENS, HEZEKIAH L. HOSMER, EDWARD LIVINGSTON, JOHN
E. VAN ALLEN, PHILIP VAN CORTLANDT, and JOHN WILLIAMS.

_From New Jersey._--JONATHAN DAYTON, JAMES H. IMLAY, and MARK THOMPSON.

_From Pennsylvania._--DAVID BARD, JOHN CHAPMAN, GEORGE EGE, ALBERT
GALLATIN, JOHN ANDRE HANNA, THOMAS HARTLEY, JOHN WILKES KITTERA, BLAIR
M'CLENACHAN, SAMUEL SITGREAVES, JOHN SWANWICK, and RICHARD THOMAS.

_From Maryland._--GEORGE BAER, Jr., WILLIAM CRAIK, JOHN DENNIS, GEORGE
DENT, WILLIAM HINDMAN, WILLIAM MATTHEWS, and RICHARD SPRIGG, Jr.

_From Virginia._--SAMUEL JORDAN CABELL, THOMAS CLAIBORNE, MATTHEW CLAY,
JOHN CLOPTON, JOHN DAWSON, THOMAS EVANS, WILLIAM B. GILES, CARTER B.
HARRISON, DAVID HOLMES, WALTER JONES, JAMES MACHIR, DANIEL MORGAN,
ANTHONY NEW, JOHN NICHOLAS, ABRAM TRIGG, and ABRAHAM VENABLE.

_From North Carolina._--THOMAS BLOUNT, NATHAN BRYAN, JAMES GILLESPIE,
WILLIAM BARRY GROVE, MATTHEW LOCKE, NATHANIEL MACON, RICHARD STANFORD,
and ROBERT WILLIAMS.

_From South Carolina._--ROBERT GOODLOE HARPER, JOHN RUTLEDGE, Jr., and
WILLIAM SMITH, (of Charleston District.)

_From Georgia._--ABRAHAM BALDWIN and JOHN MILLEDGE.

And a quorum, consisting of a majority of the whole number, being
present,

The House proceeded, by ballot, to the choice of a SPEAKER; and, upon
examining the ballots, a majority of the votes of the whole House was
found in favor of JONATHAN DAYTON, one of the Representatives for the
State of New Jersey: whereupon,

Mr. DAYTON was conducted to the chair, from whence he made his
acknowledgments to the House, as follows:

      "Accept, gentlemen, my acknowledgments for the very
      flattering mark of approbation and confidence exhibited in
      this second call to the chair, by a vote of this House.

      "Permit me, most earnestly, to request of you a continuance
      of that assistance and support, which were, upon all
      occasions, during the two preceding sessions, very
      liberally afforded to me; and, without which, all my
      exertions to maintain the order, and expedite the business
      of the House, must be, in a great degree, unsuccessful."


TUESDAY, May 16.

Several other members, to wit: from New Jersey, JAMES SCHUREMAN and
THOMAS SINNICKSON; from Virginia, JOHN TRIGG; and from South Carolina,
THOMAS SUMPTER, appeared, produced their credentials, were qualified,
and took their seats in the House.

_President's Speech._

It being near twelve o'clock, the SPEAKER observed that it had been
usual on similar occasions to the present, to send a message to the
Senate, to inform them that the House is now ready to attend them in
receiving the communication of the PRESIDENT, agreeably to his
appointment: such a message was agreed to, and sent accordingly.

Soon after, the members of the Senate entered, and took the seats
assigned them; and a little after twelve, the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES entered, and took the chair of the SPEAKER, (which he vacated on
the entrance of the Senate, the President and Clerk of the Senate being
placed on the right hand of the chair, and the Speaker of the House of
Representatives and the Clerk on the left.) After sitting a moment, he
rose and delivered the following Speech. [See Senate proceedings,
_ante_.]

Having concluded his Speech, after presenting a copy of it to the
President of the Senate, and another to the Speaker of the House of
Representatives, the President retired, as did also the members of the
Senate; and the Speaker having resumed his chair, he read the Speech:
after which, on motion, it was ordered to be committed to a Committee
of the Whole to-morrow.


WEDNESDAY, May 17.

Several other members, to wit: from New Hampshire, WILLIAM GORDON and
JEREMIAH SMITH; from Pennsylvania, ANDREW GREGG; appeared, produced
their credentials, were qualified, and took their seats.

_The President's Speech._

The House then went into a Committee of the Whole, Mr. DENT in the
chair, on the President's Speech. It was read by the Clerk.

Mr. CRAIK then moved a resolution, which, he observed, was merely a
matter of form, as there had been one to the same effect, on every
similar occasion. It was, "that it is the opinion of this committee,
that a respectful Address should be presented to the President in answer
to his Speech to both Houses of Congress, containing assurances, that
this House will take into consideration the various and important
matters recommended to their consideration." The committee agreed to the
resolution. They rose, and it immediately passed the House in the common
form.

On motion, it was _Ordered_, That a committee be appointed to prepare an
Answer to the Speech.

Mr. VENABLE, Mr. KITTERA, Mr. FREEMAN, Mr. RUTLEDGE, and Mr. GRISWOLD,
were nominated to report the Answer.


FRIDAY, May 19.

RICHARD BRENT, from Virginia, appeared, produced his credentials, was
qualified, and took his seat.

_Documents Referred to in the President's Speech._

The SPEAKER informed the House that he had received a communication from
the Department of State, containing sundry documents referred to by the
President in his Speech to both Houses, numbered from 1 to 18. He
proceeded to read No. 1, viz:

1. A letter from General Pinckney to the Secretary of State, dated
Paris, December 20, 1796, giving an account of his arrival at Bordeaux;
of his journey from thence to Paris, in which, from the badness of the
roads, he broke three wheels of his carriage; of the ill treatment he
received from M. Delacroix, &c. He remarks, that it is not surprising
that the French Republic have refused to receive him, since they have
dismissed no less than thirteen foreign Ministers; and since they have
been led to believe by a late emigrant, that the United States was of no
greater consequence to them than the Republics of Genoa or Geneva. He
also mentions, that it seemed to be the opinion in France, that much
depended on the election of the President, as one of the candidates was
considered the friend of England, the other as devoted to France. The
people of France, he observes, have been greatly deceived, with respect
to the United States, by misrepresentation, being led to believe that
the people and Government have different views; but, adds he, any
attempt to divide the people from the Government, ought to be to the
people of the United States, the signal for rallying. Gen. Pinckney
several times mentions Mr. Monroe in this letter with great respect; and
says that before his arrival the Directory had been very cool towards
him, but, since that time, they had renewed their civilities to him.

2. Is a report of Major General Mountflorence to General Pinckney, dated
December 18, 1796, on the subject of American vessels brought prizes
into the ports of France.

3. Extract of a letter from Gen. Pinckney to the Secretary of State,
dated Paris, January 6, 1797, in which he mentions the distressed
situation of American citizens, arriving in the ports of France, who
were immediately thrown into prison, and could not be released, until an
order was got from the American Minister, countersigned by the French
Minister of Foreign Affairs; and no Minister being acknowledged there at
present, no relief could be afforded. He, however, applied to M.
Delacroix on their behalf, by means of the secretary, Major Rutledge,
and got them attended to through the Minister of General Police. General
Pinckney gives a further account of conversations which passed between
his secretary and M. Delacroix, on the subject of his quitting Paris, in
which he told him he must do so, or be liable to the operation of the
police laws; but refused to commit his orders to writing. He mentions
Barras's answer to Monroe's address as a curious production; but says it
was not particularly calculated as an answer to what was said by Mr.
Monroe, as he had it prepared, and was unacquainted with what would be
said by Mr. Monroe.

4. Extract of a letter from Gen. Pinckney to the Secretary of State,
dated Amsterdam, February 18, informing him, that, having had official
notice to quit the French Republic, he had gone to Amsterdam.

5. Extract of a letter from General Pinckney to the Secretary of State,
dated Amsterdam, March 5, in which he observes, that before he left
Paris, it was rumored that the Dutch were determined to treat American
vessels in the same manner as the French had done. He now believes that
the French wished them to do so, as he had lately received intelligence
that the Dutch had objected to do this, alleging that it would be a
great injury to them, as they should then lose their trade with this
country, and if so, they would be deprived of furnishing that support to
the French which they then gave them. France acquiesced because she saw
it was her interest; and having 25,000 troops in Batavia, it was
generally known that they could do what they pleased with that country.
The General adds, with detestation, that there are American citizens
who fit out privateers to cruise against the trade of this country.

6. Extract of a letter from Major General Mountflorence to General
Pinckney, dated Paris, February 14, mentioning the capture of a vessel
from Boston, and another from Baltimore, by an American citizen on board
a privateer: adding, that American citizens of this class are
continually wishing for more rigorous laws against American commerce.

7. Extract of a letter from the same to the same, dated Paris, February
21, giving an account of two more American vessels being brought into
L'Orient by the same man, and of another vessel taken by a French
privateer.

8. Extract of a letter from General Pinckney to the Secretary of State,
dated Amsterdam, March 8, mentioning the capture of several American
vessels; he also speaks of the disagreeableness of his situation; and
was of opinion that the new third of the French Councils would determine
whether this country and France were to remain at peace or go to war.
Though the former was desirable, he wished the measures of our
Government to be firm.

9. Speech of Barras, President of the French Directory, on Mr. Monroe's
recall.

10. The decree of the Executive Directory of March 2, relative to the
seizure of American vessels.

11. Extract of a letter from John Quincy Adams, Esq., Minister Resident
of the United States, near the Batavian Republic, to the Secretary of
State, dated at the Hague, November 4, 1796, giving an account of the
disposition of the people of that country towards this, which he states
to be friendly; and this he attributes to its being their interest to be
so. This country, he remarks, is the only quarter from which they
receive regular payments. He adds, however, that they have no will in
opposition to the French Government.

12. Extract of a letter from the Committee of Foreign Relations of the
Batavian Republic, to the above Minister, dated September 27, 1796,
making it appear very desirable that the United States should join them
in their common cause against Great Britain, reminding him of the many
services which they had rendered to this country.

13. Extract of a letter from John Quincy Adams in answer to the above,
wherein he says he shall not omit to forward their letter to this
country.

14. Extract of a letter from John Quincy Adams to the Secretary of
State, dated Hague, February 17, 1797, representing the French Republic
as paying as little attention to other neutral powers as to the United
States. He alludes to their conduct towards Hamburg, Bremen, Copenhagen,
&c.

15. Extract of a letter from Rufus King, Esq., to the Secretary of
State, dated London, March 12, 1797, to the same effect.

16. A letter from the Minister of Spain, resident in Philadelphia, to
the Secretary of State, dated May 6, 1797, complaining of the injurious
operation of the British Treaty against Spain, in three respects, viz:
as it destroys the doctrine of free ships making free goods; as it makes
certain articles contraband of war, which in former treaties were not
considered so; and as it gives to Great Britain a right to navigate the
Mississippi, which that Minister insists belonged not to us to give, as
it belonged wholly to Spain before it gave the right to the United
States, by the late treaty, to navigate that river. He concludes his
letter with saying, that the King of Spain is desirous of harmony
between the two countries, and relies upon the equity of his complaints
for satisfaction.

17. A letter from the Secretary of State to the Spanish Minister, in
answer to the above; in which he acknowledges that the treaty lately
concluded between the two countries had proved satisfactory to the
United States, as it put an end to a dispute which had existed for many
years respecting the navigation of the Mississippi, and also as it
afforded satisfaction to our mercantile citizens for the capture of our
ships and cargoes. All these, he allowed, were acts of substantial
justice; but all the other stipulations were wholly voluntary, and
perfectly reciprocal. With respect to the three articles of complaint
respecting the British Treaty, he justified the stipulations as being
just and consistent, and such as this country had a right to enter into.

18. A letter from General Pinckney to the Secretary of State, dated
Paris, February 1, stating that the day after the arrival of the news of
Buonaparte's successes in Italy, he received a letter from M. Delacroix,
directing him to leave Paris. General Pinckney concludes this letter
with observing, that the French seem to speak of this country as if it
were indebted to them for independence, and not to any exertions of our
own. Our treaty with Great Britain is execrated; they wish us to have no
connection with that country; they wish to destroy the trade of Great
Britain, and they look upon us as her best customer.

The whole of these documents having been read, on motion, they were
committed to the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union, and
500 copies ordered to be printed.


MONDAY, May 22.

JAMES A. BAYARD, from Delaware, appeared, produced his credentials, was
qualified, and took his seat.

_Answer to President's Speech._

On motion, the House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole, Mr.
DENT in the chair, on the Answer reported to the President's Speech,
which was read by the Clerk, as follows:

      The committee to whom it was referred to prepare an Answer
      to the Speech of the President of the United States,
      communicated to both Houses of Congress, on Tuesday, the
      16th May, 1797, report the following:

      _To the President of the United States_:

      SIR: The interesting detail of those events which have
      rendered the convention of Congress at this time
      indispensable, (communicated in your Speech to both
      Houses,) has excited in us the strongest emotions. Whilst
      we regret the occasion, we cannot omit to testify our
      approbation of the measure, and to pledge ourselves that no
      considerations of private inconvenience shall prevent, on
      our part, a faithful discharge of the duties to which we
      are called.

      We have constantly hoped that the nations of Europe, whilst
      desolated by foreign wars, or convulsed by intestine
      divisions, would have left the United States to enjoy that
      peace and tranquillity to which the impartial conduct of
      our Government has entitled us; and it is now with extreme
      regret we find the measures of the French Republic tending
      to endanger a situation so desirable and interesting to our
      country.

      Upon this occasion, we feel it our duty to express, in the
      most explicit manner, the sensations which the present
      crisis has excited, and to assure you of our zealous
      co-operation in those measures which may appear necessary
      for our security or peace.

      Although the first and most ardent wish of our hearts is
      that peace may be maintained with the French Republic and
      with all the world, yet we can never surrender those rights
      which belong to us as a nation; and whilst we view with
      satisfaction the wisdom, dignity, and moderation, which
      have marked the measures of the Supreme Executive of our
      country, in its attempts to remove, by candid explanations,
      the complaints and jealousies of France, we feel the full
      force of that indignity which has been offered our country
      in the rejection of its Minister. No attempts to wound our
      rights as a sovereign State will escape the notice of our
      constituents: they will be felt with indignation, and
      repelled with that decision which shall convince the world
      that we are not a degraded people; that we can never submit
      to the demands of a foreign power without examination, and
      without discussion.

      Knowing, as we do, the confidence reposed by the people of
      the United States in their Government, we cannot hesitate
      in expressing our indignation at the sentiments disclosed
      by the President of the Executive Directory of France, in
      his Speech to the Minister of the United States. Such
      sentiments serve to discover the imperfect knowledge which
      France possesses of the real opinions of our constituents.
      An attempt to separate the people of the United States from
      their Government, is an attempt to separate them from
      themselves; and although foreigners who know not the genius
      of our country may have conceived the project, and foreign
      emissaries may attempt the execution, yet the united
      efforts of our fellow-citizens will convince the world of
      its impracticability.

      Happy would it have been, if the transactions disclosed in
      your communication had never taken place, or that they
      could have been concealed. Sensibly, however, as we feel
      the wound which has been inflicted, we think with you, that
      neither the honor nor the interest of the United States
      forbid the repetition of advances for preserving peace; and
      we are happy to learn that fresh attempts at negotiation
      will be commenced; nor can we too strongly express our
      sincere desires that an accommodation may take place, on
      terms compatible with the rights, interest, and honor of
      our nation. Fully, however, impressed with the uncertainty
      of the result, we shall prepare to meet with fortitude any
      unfavorable events which may occur, and to extricate
      ourselves from the consequences, with all the skill we
      possess, and all the efforts in our power. Believing with
      you that the conduct of the Government has been just and
      impartial to foreign nations; that the laws for the
      preservation of peace have been proper, and that they have
      been fairly executed, the Representatives of the People do
      not hesitate to declare that they will give their most
      cordial support to the execution of principles so
      deliberately and uprightly established.

      The many interesting subjects which you have recommended to
      our consideration, and which are so strongly enforced by
      this momentous occasion, will receive every attention which
      their importance demands; and we trust, that by the decided
      and explicit conduct which will govern our deliberations,
      every insinuation will be repelled which is derogatory to
      the honor and independence of our country.

      Permit us, in offering this Address, to express our
      satisfaction at your promotion to the first office in the
      Government, and our entire confidence that the pre-eminent
      talents and patriotism which have placed you in this
      distinguished situation, will enable you to discharge its
      various duties with satisfaction to yourself, and advantage
      to our common country.

The Clerk having finished reading the Answer, the Chairman proceeded to
read it paragraph by paragraph. The three first paragraphs were read
without any thing being said upon them; but, upon the fourth being
read--

Mr. EVANS moved, that instead of "will be felt with _indignation_,"
should be inserted, "will be felt with _sensibility_," as a milder
phrase; as he wished to avoid using expressions more harsh than was
necessary.

Mr. NICHOLAS said, if his colleague would give him leave, he believed he
had an amendment to offer, which would be proper to be offered before
one he had moved, as he believed there was a rule in the House which
forbids the striking out a clause after it had been amended; and if the
amendment he should propose obtained, it might be necessary to strike
out a part of that paragraph. It was his intention to move a new
paragraph, to be inserted between the first and second. He believed it
would be in order to do so.

The Chairman wished the proposition to be read.

Mr. NICHOLAS asked if it was not always in order to insert a new
section.

The Chairman believed it was, provided it was not intended as a
substitute for another.

Mr. NICHOLAS said he should candidly avow it to be his intention to
insert several new sections. For the information of the committee, he
would, therefore, read the whole, though he meant at present, to move
only one.

The following are the propositions which Mr. N. read in his place; the
first of which was under consideration:

After the first section insert:

      "Although we are actuated by the utmost solicitude for the
      maintenance of peace with the French Republic, and with
      all the world, the rejection of our Minister and the manner
      of dismissing him from the territories of France, have
      excited our warmest sensibility; and, if followed by
      similar measures, and a refusal of all negotiation on the
      subject of our mutual complaints, will put an end to every
      friendly relation between the two countries; but we flatter
      ourselves that the Government of France only intended to
      suspend the ordinary diplomatic intercourse, and to bring
      into operation those extraordinary agencies which are in
      common use between nations, and which are confined in their
      intention to the great causes of difference. We therefore
      receive with the utmost satisfaction, your information that
      a fresh attempt at negotiation will be instituted; and we
      expect with confidence that a mutual spirit of
      conciliation, and a disposition on the part of the United
      States to place France on the footing of other countries,
      by removing the inequalities which may have arisen in the
      operation of our respective treaties with them will produce
      an accommodation compatible with the engagements rights,
      duties, and honor of the United States.

      "We will consider the several subjects which you have
      recommended to our consideration, with the attention which
      their importance demands, and will zealously co-operate in
      those measures which shall appear necessary for our own
      security or peace.

      "Whatever differences of opinion may have existed among the
      people of the United States, upon national subjects, we
      cannot believe that any serious expectation can be
      entertained of withdrawing the support of the people from
      their constitutional agents, and we should hope that the
      recollection of the miseries which she herself has suffered
      from a like interference, would prevent any such attempt by
      the Republic of France; but we explicitly declare for
      ourselves and our constituents that such an attempt would
      meet our highest indignation, and we will repel every
      unjust demand on the United States by foreign countries;
      that we will ever consider the humiliation of the
      Government as the greatest personal disgrace."

Mr. THATCHER observed, the gentleman from Virginia had read three or
four paragraphs, in the form of amendments. He presumed he did not mean
to add these, without striking out some part of the report. He wished
him to say what part he meant to strike out, that they might see how the
Answer would stand when amended in the way he proposed. If they stood
together, they would be inconsistent.

Mr. GILES presumed it was the object of the committee to bring into view
a comparison of ideas in some shape or other, and he thought the
amendment proposed was calculated to produce this effect. If he
understood the Answer as reported, it was predicated upon the principle
of approving all the measures which had been taken by the Executive with
respect to France, whilst the amendment avoided giving that approbation.
The simple question was, which of the two grounds the House would take?
He believed the best way of ascertaining this, would be to move to
insert, and if the amendments were carried, to recommit the report, to
be made conformable to them.

Mr. GALLATIN said, when an amendment was carried which affected other
parts of a composition, it was not usual to strike out, but to
recommit.

The Chairman having declared the motion to be in order,

Mr. NICHOLAS said, the present crisis was, in his mind, the most serious
and important which this country had known since the declaration of its
independence; and it would depend much, perhaps, upon the Answer which
they were about to return to the Speech of the President, whether we
were to witness a similar scene of havoc and distress to that which was
not yet forgotten; such as had been passed through upon an important
occasion, but such as could be entered upon only as a last resource. The
situation in which we stood with respect to France called for the most
judicious proceeding; it was his wish to heal the breach, which was
already too wide, by temperate, rather than widen it by irritating
measures. He hoped, on this occasion, they should get rid of that
irritation which injury naturally produced on the mind. He declared he
felt for the insult which had been offered to Mr. Pinckney; and he felt
more for him, from the dignity with which he had borne it, which had
proved him a proper character for the embassy. He was sorry that it
should have been thought necessary by the French Republic to refuse to
acknowledge him as the Minister of this country; but he did not think it
right to suffer this first impression to influence their proceedings
upon this business. If the insults offered were a sufficient cause for
war, let the subject be examined by itself, separate from all others;
but, if it be our wish to proceed with negotiation, he thought it wisest
and best to adopt a firm but moderate tone.

As he before observed, he felt for the situation of the gentleman
employed by this country; he thought it was a trying one, and did great
honor to himself, and he deserved the thanks of his country for the good
temper with which he had sustained it; but Mr. N. confessed the subject
did not strike him with all the force with which it seemed to have
impressed the mind of that respectable character. He did not consider
the insult offered to Government as going further than the ill-treatment
which our Minister had received. He believed that the circumstances,
which appeared in the papers laid before them, in some degree accounted
for the conduct of the French Government. It appears that at first the
Directory were willing to receive Mr. Pinckney, but when they saw his
credentials they refused to acknowledge him. This circumstance, he said,
seemed to give a character to the transaction which explained its
meaning.

It will be recollected, said Mr. N., that since the cause, or imagined
cause (let it be one or the other) of complaint against this country,
that there has been an intercourse between the two Governments on this
subject. It was to be expected that if there had been any intention in
Government to have come to an adjustment of the difference between the
two countries, our Minister would have been clothed with some power of
accommodation. Mr. N. supposed that when the French Directory agreed to
receive him, this was their opinion; but upon seeing his letters of
credence, they found no such power was given or intended. [He read the
object of his mission from the President's Speech, viz: "faithfully to
represent," &c.]

If these, he said, were all the objects expressed in his letters of
credence--and if there had been more, the President would doubtless have
informed them of it--the matter perfectly justified the character he had
given of it.

He made these observations, because he thought on an occasion like the
present, the truth should be made to appear, and though an insult had
been offered to this country, which could not fail to produce
irritation, yet that irritation should stop short of the point where it
would produce action, as he was certain any steps taken which might
hazard the peace of the country, would not conduce to the welfare of its
citizens.

There was a subject, he said, which seemed to have involved itself with
this, and of which he should take some notice, viz: a charge against
certain persons with being attached to the French cause. It might,
perhaps, be the opinion of some members of that House, more particularly
of strangers, that he was improperly influenced by party zeal in favor
of the French, a zeal which it had been blazoned forth existed to an
immoderate degree in this country. He had frequently heard insinuations
of this sort, which he considered so groundless as to be worthy only of
contempt; but when charges of this kind were made in the serious manner
in which they were now brought forward, it was necessary to call for
proof. Who, said he, is the man who has this proof? He knew of none. For
his own part, he had no intercourse with the French but of the commonest
kind. He wished those who possessed proofs of improper conduct of this
kind, would come forward and show them--show who are the traitors of
whom so much is said. He was not afraid of the impressions any such
charges brought against him, might make upon his constituents, or where
he was known; indeed, he had not the arrogance to believe the charge was
levelled against him, though he believed he was frequently charged with
a too great attachment to the French cause.

When he first came into that House, he found the French embroiled with
all their neighbors, who were endeavoring to tear them to pieces. He
knew what had been the situation of this country when engaged in a
similar cause, and was anxious for their success. Was there not cause
for anxiety, when a nation, contending for the right of self-government,
was thus attacked? Especially when it was well known, that if the powers
engaged against France had proved successful, this country would have
been their next object. Had they not, he asked, the strongest proofs
(even the declarations of one of their Governors) that it was the
intention of England to declare war against America, in case of the
successful termination of the war against France? It redounded to the
honor of the citizens of this country, he said, that they had never
shown a disposition to embark in the present European war.

The difference, Mr. N. said, between the Address reported, and the
proposition he had brought forward was this: the former approved all the
measures of the Executive, and the latter recommended an inquiry
relative to the operation of the British Treaty. It was this question
upon which the committee would decide, and it was of importance, he
said, that they should weigh the causes of difference between us and the
French Republic, and not decide that we are right, without examination,
because, if, after being brought to hostility, we are obliged to
retract, it would show our former folly and wantonness.

Mr. N. said he would inquire into the rights of France as they respected
three principal subjects, which were more particularly causes of
complaint between the two countries. These were, the right of our
vessels carrying English goods, the article respecting contraband goods,
and that respecting the carrying of provisions. He knew no better way to
determine how far we could support those articles of the British Treaty,
than by extracting the arguments of our own ministerial characters in
support of these measures. With respect to the question of free ships
making free goods, his impressions were very different from those of the
Secretary of State. He says, with respect to the regulation of free
ships making free goods, it is not changing a right under the law of
nations; that it had never been pretended to be a right, and that our
having agreed to it in one instance, and not in another, was no just
cause of complaint by the French Government. He advocates this
transaction in his letter to Mr. Adet last winter. Mr. N. said, he knew
not what was the origin of the law of nations upon the subject; he knew
not how it came into existence; it had never been settled by any
convention of nations. Perhaps, however, the point now under
consideration came as near to a fixed principle, as any other of what
are called the laws of nations ever did, as only one nation in Europe
could be excepted from the general understanding of it. Mr. Pickering,
he thought, seemed not to have given full force to this circumstance,
but seemed to have weakened the evidence. [He referred to what Mr.
Pickering had said upon the subject.] It was Mr. Pickering's idea, that
the stipulation of free ships making free goods, was a mere temporary
provision; that it was not an article in the law of nations, but a new
principle introduced by the contracting parties. In order to prove this
was not the case, Mr. N. referred to the provisions entered into by the
armed neutrality of the north of Europe; to a treaty between France and
Spain; to a note from the Court of Denmark; and to the declaration of
the United States themselves on the subject.

With respect to contraband articles, he had little to say. It was
asserted that the articles stipulated in the British Treaty as
contraband, were made so by the law of nations. Where the doctrine was
found he could not say. It had been quoted from _Vattel_; this authority
might be correct; but he never found any two writers on this subject
agree as to this article. In a late publication on the law of nations
(_Marten's_) he found it directly asserted that naval stores were not
contraband. But he said, if the contrary were the law of nations, they
were bound to extend the same privilege to France which they gave to
England: they could not have one rule for the one nation, and a
different one for the other.

The 18th article of the British Treaty, respecting the carrying of
provisions, always struck him as a very important one. It had heretofore
been contended that this article did not go to any provisions except
such as were carrying to besieged or blockaded places; but he believed
the British had constantly made it a pretence for seizing provisions
going to France. Indeed, if he was not mistaken, the British Minister
had publicly declared in the House of Commons, that the provisions on
board the vessels intended for the Quiberoon expedition had been
supplied from what had been captured in American vessels.

Mr. N. contended that this was the opinion of the Executive of this
country, as published in all the public papers, and of course known to
the Government of France. In the letter of Mr. Jefferson to Mr. Pinckney
in 1793, he declares that there is only one case in which provisions are
contraband, and shows the necessity of a neutral nation observing the
same rules towards all the powers at war. But, in the present case, the
right was ceded during the present war.

It was an unfortunate circumstance against the neutrality of this
country, to find a doctrine so differently applied at different times.
It was a strong proof of the progress of the passions. It might be
considered as a fraudulent thing, in one instance, to give up a right
for a compensation to ourselves.

Mr. N. concluded with observing that he had gone over the subject, he
feared, not without being considered tedious by the committee; but he
felt himself greatly interested in the present decision. He believed any
additional irritation in their measures would place peace out of our
reach. He believed, therefore, it was their business to avoid it. He
believed it would be for the honor and happiness of the country to do
so.

Mr. W. SMITH said, as the gentleman last up had taken a wide range of
argument, he must excuse him if he confined himself, in his reply, to
those parts of his observations only which appeared to him essentially
to relate to the subject under consideration.

He believed the question was, whether they should alter the report in
the manner proposed; that is, whether they should strike out words
which expressed the sensibility of this House at the unprovoked insults
offered by the French Republic to our Government and country, or adopt
the gentleman's amendment, which he read.

If they agreed to this amendment, they must necessarily expect from the
French Republic fresh insult and aggression; for it seemed to admit that
hitherto no insult had been intended.

The amendment might be divided, Mr. S. said, into two parts. The first
went to vindicate the French from any intentional insults towards this
country: it even held out an idea that the Executive ought to offer some
concessions to France, and even designated the kind of concession. He
should, therefore, without taking notice of what the gentleman had said
about the political parties of this country, or what he had said
respecting himself personally, confine his observations to the points in
question.

The first point was, whether the conduct of France was justifiable in
rejecting our Minister, and sending him from the Republic in the manner
they had done?

He thought the committee had abundant materials before them completely
to refute the first proposition; and he was surprised, knowing that
these documents were in the hands of every member, that the gentleman
from Virginia could expect to impress their minds with the idea that no
indignity whatever had been offered by the French Government to this
country in that transaction.

Mr. S. said, that it appeared most clearly that the French Directory
intended to treat this Government with marked indignity; for though the
gentleman from Virginia suggested an opinion that their refusal to
receive Mr. Pinckney was owing altogether to his not being invested with
extraordinary powers, this was evidently not the case, as the Directory
had been well informed as to the character in which Mr. Pinckney came,
before they received his letters of credence, as appears by the letter
of M. Delacroix to Mr. Monroe, styling Mr. Pinckney his successor, and
by other documents communicated by the President, (which he read.) There
was no doubt, then, with respect to the Directory being well acquainted
with the character in which Mr. Pinckney went to France, viz: as
Minister Plenipotentiary or ordinary Minister; but, after keeping him in
suspense near two months, on the day after the news arrived of
Bonaparte's successes in Italy, he was ordered, by a peremptory mandate,
in writing, to leave the French Republic. This mandate was accompanied
by a circumstance which was certainly intended to convey an insult; it
was addressed to him as an Anglo-American, a term, it is true, they
sometimes used to distinguish the inhabitants of the United States from
those of the West India Islands, but, in his opinion, here evidently
designed as a term of reproach, as he believed no other similar
instance could be mentioned. Upon this circumstance, however, he laid no
stress; the other indignities which our Minister had received were too
great to require any weight to be given to this circumstance.

The gentleman from Virginia had confined the complaints of the French
Government to three articles of the British Treaty; though, if the
committee referred to the letter of Mr. Delacroix, it would be found
that they did not confine them within so narrow a compass. They
complain, first, of the inexecution of treaties; there are several
points of complaint relative to that head. 2d. Complaints against the
decrees of our Federal Courts. 3d. Against the law of June, 1794; and,
4th. Against the Treaty with Great Britain. Yet the gentleman confines
himself altogether to the latter. And really he did not expect at this
time of day, after the subject had been fully discussed, and determined,
and the objections refuted over and over again, that any gentleman would
have endeavored to revive and prove their complaints on this head well
founded. The three articles were: 1st, that free ships did not make free
goods; 2d, the contraband article; and 3d, the provision article.

1. The stipulation with respect to neutral vessels not making neutral
goods in the British Treaty, was not contrary to the law of nations; it
only provided that the law of nations was to be carried into effect in
the manner most convenient for the United States. But this doctrine, he
said, was no new thing. It had been acknowledged most explicitly by Mr.
Jefferson, Secretary of State, in July, 1793, and was so declared to the
Minister of France; yet no objection was made to it until the British
Treaty was ratified, though long previous thereto French property was
captured on board our vessels. Mr. Jefferson, writing on this subject to
the French Minister, said: "You have no shadow of complaint;" the thing
was so perfectly clear and well understood by the law of nations. This
happened as long ago as July or August, 1793. But two years afterwards,
when the British Treaty was promulgated, the whole country was thrown
into a flame by admitting this very same doctrine. France herself had
always acted under this law of nations, when not restrained by treaty:
in _Valin's_ Ordinances of France this clearly appears. The armed
neutrality was confined to the then existing war; Russia herself, the
creator of the armed neutrality, entered into a compact with England, in
1793, expressly contravening its principles. The principle was then not
established by our Treaty with England; but such being the acknowledged
law of nations, it was merely stipulated that it should be exercised in
the manner least injurious to us.

2. The next article of complaint was with respect to contraband goods.
If gentlemen will consult the law of nations, they will find that the
articles mentioned in the British Treaty are by the law of nations
contraband articles. They will find that in all the treaties with
Denmark and Sweden, Great Britain had made the same stipulation. Indeed,
the gentleman had acknowledged that it was so stated by some writers on
the law of nations; but he wished to derogate from the authority of
those writers, in the same way as Mr. Genet, in his correspondence with
Mr. Jefferson, had called them "worm-eaten folios and musty aphorisms;"
to _Vattel_ might be added _Valin's_ Ordinances, a very respectable work
in France. How, then, can the gentleman with truth say that we have
deviated from the law of nations?

3. The last point which the gentleman took notice of was the provision
article. There was no doubt that this Government would never allow
provisions to be deemed contraband, except when going to a besieged or
blockaded port. Though he made this declaration, yet it was but candid
to acknowledge that this was stated by _Vattel_ to be the law of
nations. [He read an extract from _Vattel_.]

When this was stated by Lord Grenville to Mr. Pinckney, our then
Minister in London, Mr. Pinckney acknowledged it to be so stated in
_Vattel_, but very ingeniously argued that France could not be
considered as in the situation mentioned in _Vattel_, since provisions
were cheaper there than they were in England, and therefore the case did
not apply. When our Envoy was sent to London, both parties were
tenacious on this ground. Our Minister was unwilling to agree to this
construction of the law of nations; but the British Minister insisted
upon it, and if there had not been some compromise, the negotiation must
have been broken off, and a war probably ensued. The result was,
therefore, that, without admitting it to be the law of nations, it was
agreed that where provisions were contraband by the law of nations, they
should be paid for, but not confiscated, as the law of nations
(admitting that construction) would have authorized. Therefore some
advantage was secured to France, for if Great Britain had confiscated
our vessels going to France with provisions, it would certainly have
damped the ardor of our citizens employed in that commerce; but under
this regulation our merchants were certain of being paid for their
cargoes, whether they arrived in France or were carried into England.
These were the three grounds of objection which the gentleman from
Virginia had stated as grounds of complaint by the French against the
British Treaty.

Before he went further, he would observe that, admitting (which he did
not admit) that there had been solid grounds of objection against the
British Treaty, before it was ratified, yet they ought now to be closed.
It had received a full discussion at the time; it had been carried into
effect, was become the law of the land, and was generally approved of by
the country. Why, then, endeavor to stir up the feelings of the public
against it by alleging it to be just cause of complaint? If the
committee wanted any proof of the approbation which that instrument had
received, he thought it might be gathered from the general approbation
which had been given of the administration of the late President on his
retirement from office, in doing which the people had doubtless taken
into view the whole of his conduct. Nor did he think the people had
shown any hostility to the Treaty in their late election of members to
that House. Indeed, he believed that the approbation which the Treaty
received increased in proportion as the subject came to be understood.

Admitting further, that the Treaty had changed the existing state of
things between Great Britain and France, by having granted commercial
favors to Great Britain; by the 2d article of our treaty with France,
the same favors would immediately attach to France, so that she could
have no reason to complain on that ground. Indeed France had herself new
modified the treaty between that country and this, and had taken to
herself what she deemed to be the favors granted to Great Britain. [Mr.
S. read the decree on this subject of 2d March last.]

Mr. S. said, he believed he had examined all the observations of the
gentleman from Virginia, relative to the Treaty, which were essential to
the subject under consideration. He did not wish to go much farther on
the present occasion, because he agreed with him, that it was proper
they should keep themselves as cool and calm as the nature of the case
would admit; but he thought whilst so much deference was paid to the
feelings of France, some respect ought to be paid to the feelings of
America. He hoped the people of America would retain a proper respect
and consideration for their national character; and however earnestly he
wished that the differences subsisting between the two countries might
be amicably settled, yet, he trusted that our national dignity would
never be at so low an ebb as to submit to the insults and indignities of
any nation whatever. In saying this, he expressed his hearty wish to
keep the door of negotiation with France unclosed; but at the same time
he strongly recommended to take every necessary step to place us in a
situation to defend ourselves, provided she should still persist in her
haughty demeanor.

Mr. S. said, as he knew indecent and harsh language always recoiled upon
those who used it, he did not wish to adopt it; but, at the same time,
it was due to ourselves to express our feelings with a proper degree of
strength and spirit. He was not in the habit of quoting any thing from
M. Genet, but there was one expression of his which he thought contained
good advice, "all this accommodation and humility, all this
condescension attains no end."

After the gentleman from Virginia had dwelt sufficiently upon the danger
of irritating the French, he had emphatically called upon us to
recollect our "weakness." It might have been as well if he had left that
to have been discovered from another quarter. He hoped we had
sufficient confidence in the means of defence which we possessed, if
driven to the last resort; and he believed if there was any one more
certain way of provoking war than another, it was that of proclaiming
our own weakness.

He hoped such a language would now be spoken as would make known to the
French Government that the Government and people of this country were
one, and that they would repel any attempt to gain an influence over our
Councils and Government. The gentleman had said that there did not
appear to be any design of this kind, and had endeavored to do away what
was stated as the opinion in France, in General Pinckney's letter. He
did not mean to rest this altogether upon the reports of an emigrant,
whom General Pinckney mentions as having represented this country
divided, and of no greater consequence than Genoa or Geneva, but he took
the whole information into view. [He read the extract relative to this
subject.]

It was evident, Mr. S. said, from this information from France, that an
opinion had been industriously circulated there that the Government and
people of this country were divided; that the Executive was corrupt and
did not pursue the interests of the people; and that they might, by
perseverance, overturn the Administration, and introduce a new order of
things. Was not such an opinion of things, he asked, calculated to
induce France to believe that she might make her own terms with us? It
was well known what the French wished, and it was time to declare it
plainly. His opinion was that they designed to ruin the commerce of
Great Britain through us. This was evident. They talk of the British
Treaty; but they suffered it to lie dormant for near twelve months,
without complaining about it. Why were they silent till within a few
weeks before the election of our President? Why did they commit
spoliations upon our commerce long before the British Treaty was ever
dreamt of? Their first decree, directing spoliations of our property,
and the capture of our provision ships, was on the 9th of May, 1793, a
month before the provision order of Great Britain, which was dated June
8, 1793; and why have they, from that time to this, been committing
spoliations on our commerce? The British Treaty was published in Paris
in August, 1795; a year after, in July, 1796, they determine to treat us
in the same way that we suffer other nations to treat us, and this
decree was not made known to our Government till the October following,
a few weeks before the election of President.

But this was not all; the French had pursued similar measures towards
all the other neutral powers. Sweden, in consequence, had no Minister in
their country, and was on the eve of a rupture. The intention of the
French evidently was, to compel all the neutral powers to destroy the
commerce of Great Britain; but he trusted this country had more spirit
than to suffer herself to be thus forced to give up her commerce with
Great Britain; he trusted they would spurn any such idea.

Mr. S. hoped the observations which he had made would not be construed
into a wish to see the United States and France involved in a war. He
had no objection to such measures being taken for preserving peace
between the two countries as should be consistent with national honor.
It was a delicate thing for them to suggest what the Executive ought to
do. It was out of their province to direct him. The Executive had
various considerations to take into view. We had injuries to complain of
against France, for the spoliations committed upon our commerce. If the
Executive conceive we have a right to redress, that subject will of
course constitute a part of our Envoy's instructions. Would it then be
proper, said he, for this House to interfere with the Executive, to
obtrude its opinion and say, "You must give up this point; we take upon
us (without any authority by the constitution) to give _carte blanche_
to France, without any indemnification or redress."

The gentleman says it is the object of the amendment on the table to
recommend to the Executive to remove any inequalities in the treaties;
that was alone sufficient to vote it out.

There had been no period since the Revolution which had so powerfully
called on Americans for that fortitude and wisdom which they knew so
well how to display in great and solemn emergencies. It was not his
intention to offend any one by stating the question in such strong
terms; but he was persuaded that when the present situation of our
affairs with respect to France was well understood, it would be found
that to acquiesce in her present demands was virtually and essentially
to surrender our self-government and independence.


TUESDAY, May 23.

Two other members, to wit: from North Carolina, JOSEPH MCDOWELL, and
from Virginia, JOSIAH PARKER, appeared, produced their credentials, were
qualified, and took their seats.

_Answer to the Presidents Speech._

The House then went into a Committee of the Whole, Mr. DENT in the
chair, on the amendment of Mr. NICHOLAS to the report of the select
committee, in answer to the President's Speech.

Mr. FREEMAN first rose. He observed, that in his observations on the
subject before the committee, amid the conflicting opinions of gentlemen
whom he respected, he did not mean to express his own either with
confidence or with zeal. Though one of the committee that had reported
the Address, he could not approve it _in toto_. He had two principal
objections to it. First, to that part which went to an unequivocal
approbation of all the measures of the Executive respecting our foreign
relations; and, secondly, to that part which contained expressions of
resentment and indignation towards France. In framing an answer to the
President, he conceived the committee should have refrained from
expressing an unqualified approbation of all the measures of the
Executive. To omit it would not imply censure. By introducing it, it
forced all those who entertain even doubts of the propriety of any one
Executive measure to vote against the Address.

The principal causes of the irritation on the part of France, insisted
upon in the Answer, were the rejection of our Minister, and the
sentiments contained in the Speech of the President of the Directory to
our late Minister. If gentlemen would look into the documents laid
before the House by the President, he was confident they would find the
true reason for the refusal to receive our Minister. He came only as an
ordinary Minister, without any power to propose such modifications as
might lead to an accommodation, and when the Directory discovered this
from his credentials they refused him. In answer to this, it had been
urged that M. Delacroix, Minister of Foreign Affairs, from the first,
well knew that Mr. Pinckney was only the successor to Mr. Monroe, and
that his coming in that quality was not the reason why the French
refused to receive him. Mr. F. referred to the documents which had been
laid before the House on this subject, from which it appeared that the
secretary of M. Delacroix had suggested a reason for the apparent change
of opinion on the subject of receiving Mr. Pinckney. Suppose, the
secretary observed, that M. Delacroix had made a mistake at first in the
intentions of the Directory, was that mistake to be binding on the
Directory?

He did not wish to be understood to consider the conduct of the French
as perfectly justifiable; but he could not conceive that it was such as
to justify, on our part, irritating or violent measures. As to the
Speech of the President of the Directory, he could not say much on it,
he did not perfectly understand it. As far as he did, he considered it a
childish gasconade, not to be imitated, and below resentment. [He read
part of it]. It was certainly arrogant in him to say that we owed our
liberty to their exertions. But if the French could derive any
satisfaction from such vain boasting he had no objection to their
enjoying it. There was another part of the Speech that had been
considered as much more obnoxious. It was said to breathe a design to
separate the people here from their Government. The part alluded to was
no more than an expression of affection for the people; he could see
nothing in this irritating or insulting; it was a mode of expression
which they used as to themselves, and by which they wished to convey
their affection for the whole nation. The term people, certainly
included the Government, and could not with propriety, therefore, be
said to separate the people from it.

An idea had been thrown out by the gentleman from South Carolina, that
the people generally approved of the British Treaty; he inferred it from
the fate of the late elections. For his part he could see no great
alteration to have been produced by the late elections; and if there had
been it would not have been an evidence to his mind that the people
approved of the British Treaty. He believed, for his part, that the
opinions of a great majority of the people had been uniformly averse to
it; and those who advocated it were by this time nearly sick of it. It
was true a spirit was aroused by the cry of war at the time the subject
of appropriation was pending, that produced petitions, not approving
however of the stipulations of the treaty, but asking that it might be
carried into effect since it had reached so late a stage.

Another engine, he observed, had been wielded with singular dexterity.
Much had been effected by the use, or rather abuse, of the terms
federalist and anti-federalist, federalism and anti-federalism. When the
Federal Constitution was submitted to the people, to approve it, and
endeavor to procure its ratification, it was federalism. Afterwards,
when the Government was organized and in operation, to approve every
measure of the Executive and support every proposition from the
Secretary of the Treasury, was federalism; and those who entertained
even doubts of their propriety, though they had been instrumental in
procuring the adoption of the constitution, were called
anti-federalists. In 1794 to be opposed to Madison's propositions, the
resolution for the sequestration of the British debts, and the
resolution prohibiting all intercourse with Great Britain, was
federalism. In 1796 it was federalism to advocate the British Treaty;
and now he presumed that it would be federalism to support the report of
the committee and hightoned measures with respect to France. In 1793 he
acknowledged that federalism assumed a very different attitude from what
it had on the present occasion; it was then the attitude of meekness, of
humanity, and supplication. The men who exclusively styled themselves
federalists, could only deplore with unavailing sighs the impotence of
their country, and throw it upon the benevolence and magnanimity of the
British Monarch. Their perturbed imaginations could even then see our
cities sacked and burnt, and our citizens slaughtered. On the frontier
they heard the war-hoop, and the groans of helpless women and children,
the tortured victims of savage vengeance. Now we are at once risen from
youth to manhood, and are ready to meet the haughty Republic of France
animated with enthusiasm and flushed with victory. Mr. F. observed, that
he rejoiced however that gentlemen adopted a bolder language on this
than had been used on the former occasion. He felt his full shame in the
national degradation of that moment. He was in favor of firm language;
but he would distinguish between the language of manly firmness and
that of childish petulance or ridiculous bombast.

Mr. GRISWOLD said, if he understood the state of the business, the
question was, whether the committee would agree to the amendment
proposed by the gentleman from Virginia? If it contained sentiments
accordant to the feelings of the committee, it would of course be
adopted; if not, it would doubtless be rejected.

He supposed it would form an objection to this amendment, if it were
found to be inconsistent with the other parts of the report. He believed
this to be the case; but he would not make objections to it on this
ground. He would examine the paragraph itself, and see whether it
contained sentiments in unison with those of the committee. He believed
this would not be found to be the case, and that when the committee had
taken a view of it, it would be rejected.

If he understood the proposition, it contained three distinct
principles, viz:

1. To make a new apology for the conduct of the French Government
towards this country.

2. That the House of Representatives shall interfere with and dictate to
the Executive in respect to what concessions ought to be made to the
French Republic.

3. It depends upon the spirit of conciliation on the part of France for
an adjustment of the differences existing between the two Governments.

The apology, he said, was a new one, and one which the French had not
thought of making for themselves; for they tell us, as it appears from
Mr. Pinckney's letter to the Secretary of State, "they will not
acknowledge or receive another Minister Plenipotentiary from the United
States, until after the redress of the grievances demanded of the
American Government, and which the French Republic has a right to expect
from it." We say (or rather the gentleman from Virginia says in his
amendment) they rejected our Minister because he had not power enough;
therefore, for the apology now made for the French Government they were
indebted to the ingenuity of the mover.

Now, said Mr. G., I do not wish that the House of Representatives should
undertake to make apologies for the conduct of the French Government
towards this. It was true they needed apology; but he did not think it
was proper for us to make it for them. Further, as this apology was not
made by themselves, but wholly different from their own assertions, it
was not likely that they would fall into it. They say, "Permit us to
sell our privateers in your ports; annul treaties and repeal laws, and
then we will tell you on what terms we will receive Mr. Pinckney, and
peace from you." After this declaration, he did not think it would be
proper to attempt any new apology for them. He therefore supposed, that
so far as this proposition offered a new apology for the French
Republic, it could not meet with the approbation of the committee.

The next proposition contained in the amendment was, that the House of
Representatives should interfere with the Executive power of this
country, and dictate to it what sort of steps should be taken towards
reconciling the French Government. He asked whether this was consonant
to the principles of the constitution? Whether the constitution had not
delegated the power of making treaties to other branches of the
Government? He believed it had, and that therefore we had no right to
dictate to the Executive what should or what should not be done with
respect to present disputes with the French Government. On this ground,
therefore, he considered it as improper.

In the next place, the amendment contained another proposition, viz:
that we rely upon a spirit of conciliation on the part of France for an
accommodation of differences. And, said Mr. G., do we really rely upon
this? Have we such evidence as should incline us to rely upon it? Have
the French Government expressed any inclination to settle the
differences subsisting between them and us? The communications which
were received from the Supreme Executive, do not bear this complexion.
The communication from the French Minister to this Executive does not
wear it. Our proclamations are called _insidious_; our Minister is
insulted and rejected; and attempts are made to divide the people of
this country from their Government. Is this conciliation? Does it not
rather appear as if they intended to alienate the affections of the
people from their Government, in order to effect their own views? He was
convinced it did, and that they could not rely upon a spirit of
conciliation in them. For his own part, he did not rely upon it; he
relied upon this country being able to convince the world that we are
not a divided people; that we will not willingly abandon our Government.
When the French shall be convinced of this, they will not treat us with
indignity. Therefore, he trusted, as the proposed amendment did not
contain such sentiments as were likely to accord with the feelings of
the committee, that it would be rejected.

Mr. GILES said the subject under discussion was a very important one. It
appeared to him, from various documents, that all the steps taken by the
Executive had a view to an eventual appeal to arms, which it was his
wish (as it was the wish of many in that House) to avoid. It was proper,
therefore, that the clashing opinions should be discussed. If the
proposition brought forward for this purpose was not sufficiently simple
and explicit, he wished it might be made more so. For he believed the
question to be, whether the committee be prepared to pass a vote,
approving of the whole course of the conduct of the Executive, or
whether France should be put upon the same ground with the other
belligerent powers. That she is at present upon the same footing, no
gentleman had attempted to show. Gentlemen who wish to get rid of this
ground, say this is a thing which should be left to the Executive. He
thought it was, however, a proper subject for their discussion; for
whatever power the Executive had with respect to making of treaties,
that House had the means of checking that power. Suppose, said Mr. G., I
were on this occasion called upon to tax my land, was it not necessary I
should inquire into the subject, and endeavor to avoid a measure which
would probably prove a serious drain upon the blood and treasure of the
country? He was unwilling to have his land taxed for the purpose of
supporting a war on this principle. It was evident that the French took
one ground in this dispute, and the United States another, and whilst
this continued to be the case, no negotiation would have any effect.
Indeed, said he, it is war; and if the measure proposed was taken, we
make war if we do not declare it.

Mr. BALDWIN said, he had taken the liberty to express his concern
several years ago, that this custom of answering the PRESIDENT's Speech,
which was but a mere piece of public ceremony, should call up and demand
expressions of opinion on all the important business of the session,
while the members were yet standing with their hats in their hands, in
the attitude of receiving the communications, and had not yet read or
opened the papers which were the ground of their being called together.
It applied very strongly in this instance, as this was a new Congress,
and a greater proportion than common of new members; he thought it an
unfavorable attitude in which to be hurried into the very midst of
things, and to anticipate business of such vast importance to the
country, before they had time to attend to the information which had
been submitted to them. He trusted some fit occasion would before long
be found to disencumber themselves of a ceremony, new in this country,
which tended only to evil and to increasing embarrassments. He observed
that it was under the influence of these impressions, he had made it a
rule to himself, for many sessions, to vote for those amendments and
those propositions in the Address which were most delphic and ambiguous,
and while they were respectful to the PRESIDENT, left the House
unpledged and open to take up the business of the session as it
presented itself in its ordinary course. It was on this ground he should
vote for the amendment now under consideration.

Mr. RUTLEDGE said, when the report of the committee should be before
them, he should have some remarks to make upon it; but at present he
should offer only a few observations upon the proposed amendment.

He said he had strong objections to the amendment; but one so strong
that he need not urge any other: it was, that in agreeing to it they
should dictate to the Executive, which he believed would be infringing
upon the Executive power. As it was his peculiar duty to give
instructions to Ministers, it would be improper in them to say what
should be the instructions given to a Minister; but if it were not so,
he should not vote for those of the gentleman from Virginia.

In the instructions of a Minister, it was usual to comprise a variety of
propositions. Certain things were first to be proposed; if these could
not be obtained, he was instructed to come forward with something else,
and if this could not be got, he went on to his ultimatum. But, if the
proposition of the gentleman from Virginia were to obtain, his
instructions would be publicly known. In vain would it be for him to
offer this or that, they will say the House of Representatives has
directed you what to do, and we will not agree to any thing else. This
would be contrary to all diplomatic proceedings; for that reason he
should be opposed to the House saying what should be his instructions.
Indeed, if it were usual, he should be against it in this instance, as
he believed it would encourage an extravagant demand. What, said he,
have they said to our Minister--or rather to the person who was formerly
our Minister, but who then had no power? They told him to go away; they
had nothing to say to him: they would receive no more Ministers from the
United States until their grievances were redressed. This country is
charged with countenancing an inequality of treaties. The French have
said, redress our grievances in a certain way. But, said Mr. R., if we
do this, we shall put ourselves under the dominion of a foreign power,
and shall have to ask a foreign country what we shall do. This was a
situation into which we must not fall without a struggle.

Mr. SITGREAVES said, though he had wished to have taken a little more
time before he had troubled the committee with his observations; yet, as
there now appeared an interval, he should take the opportunity of
occupying it for a few minutes.

He should not answer the observations of the gentleman from Georgia,
with respect to the style of the Answer reported; but he believed that
those gentlemen who would look at it without a perverted vision, would
not discover the faults in it which that gentleman had discovered. He
thought it rather remarkable for the simplicity of its style than for a
redundancy of epithet. He discovered more of the latter in the amendment
than in the original report. It was true that the superlative was used
in different places, but he thought it was used where it ought to be. He
would not, however, detain the committee with matter so immaterial, but
would proceed to what appeared to him of some consequence.

A stranger who had come into the House during this debate, and heard
what had fallen from the mover of the proposed amendment, and from
members who had followed him, would have supposed, that instead of an
act of ordinary course being under discussion, they had been debating
the question of a declaration of war against France.

He would declare, for himself at least, on the subject of war, that he
agreed in certain of the sentiments of gentlemen on the other side of
the House. A state of war was certainly a curse to any nation; to
America it would be peculiarly a curse. It ought to be avoided by all
possible means. It was not only impolitic, but madness, to run into war.
But he thought there were two sides of the subject. He thought that
peace was the greatest of all possible blessings; but he also thought
that peace might be purchased too dearly, and war avoided at too great
an expense. He thought peace might cost a greater value than money--our
independence. This was no new sentiment in this country. It was thought
that peace might be bought too dearly in the Revolutionary war; they
then thought it better to be at war than to submit to the alternative
evils. France also shows that she prefers a state of war--a war carried
on at an unexampled expense of blood and treasure--to a state of peace
with despotism. He thought, therefore, that we should hold a language of
a firm and manly tone. To preserve peace by all honorable means, but not
by dishonorable means. As he observed last session, on a similar
occasion, we should cultivate peace with zeal and sincerity; but
whenever our intention of doing so was publicly expressed, it ought to
be accompanied with an opposite assertion of a determination, if our
endeavors to maintain peace fail, that then every resource of the nation
shall be called into existence in support of all that is dear to us.
Such a declaration, at this time, was extremely proper. At present, he
said, all the observations which had been made relative to war, were
very premature. They might be brought into consideration, when any
measure should be discussed which might lead to a war with France. Then
would be the time to count the cost and the benefit. At present, he
conceived, our only object was, to inquire what were the feelings which
the conduct of France had created in our minds, and whether we were
prepared to express those feelings.

Shall we, said he, from a fear of irritating the French Republic, in a
communication with our own Executive, suppress our feelings, or what is
worse, suppress the truth? For his own part, he saw nothing in the
present business but an expression of feelings naturally excited by the
occasion; nothing but a declaration of facts. This being the case, the
question was, whether, from fear of irritating the French Government,
they should suppress these feelings.

It would be well to consider what would be the consequence of this
condescension. He did not think they were warranted in believing that
they should put France in a better humor with us by this means. He was
sure that gentlemen who were in the last Congress would recollect that
the Answer to the Address was reported in very mild terms, from a spirit
of accommodation in the committee who formed it, and that it was
afterwards pruned in the House with care, yet there had been no
amelioration of the disposition of the French towards this country.
Instead of inducing them to behave better to us, had it not been with a
knowledge of this that they have offered us fresh insult and indignity?
Indeed, Mr. Pinckney suggests an idea that this moderation of ours may
have been one of the operating causes of sending our Minister from their
country. Besides, gentlemen have not pointed out the particular
expressions which they consider as irritating in the report. For his own
part, he thought the amendment might be considered as more irritating
than the draft of the committee. What was the language of the amendment?
[He read it.] He gave it as his opinion, that there was more of war and
bullying in it than in the original report. It was true the threat it
contained was accompanied by an _if_. Now, all the difference between
the draft and the amendment was, that in the former, instead of using
the _if_, they had at once expressed indignation at the insults offered
to this country by the French Republic, and given assurances to the
Executive that they would repel indignity with indignation.

But, said he, let us, on this occasion, confine ourselves to the real
question now before us. We have been informed, said he, by the
PRESIDENT, in his Speech to both Houses, of the conduct of the French
towards this Government, and have since received the documents upon
which this report was founded. He had not yet heard any gentleman
justify the conduct of the French. He had heard, indeed, some attempts
to palliate or apologize for it, but none to vindicate it. His ideas of
these things were, that the French had not only injured us, but added
insult to injury; and while he retained this belief, he could not help
feeling indignation and resentment. The question before the House was
not, Will we resent it? Our actions, better than our words, show our
desires for peace. It was a desire in which we were too much interested,
to be doubted; yet it was proper that this desire should be accompanied
with expressions of our feelings on the occasion. What objections could
there be to this? If we were sunk so low, if our fears of the French
Republic are so great, that we dare not express what we feel, our
situation was become really deplorable. He hoped this was not, nor ever
would be the case. He hoped we should cultivate peace with sincerity,
but with firmness. For if the French Republic is so terrible to us, that
we must crouch and sink before her; if we hold our rights at her nod,
let gentlemen say so. And if we are to give up ourselves to her, let it
be an act of the Government; do not let us conceal under the appearance
of spirit, actual submission. Nations, it was true, might be brought
into such a situation as to be obliged to surrender some of their rights
to other nations; but when this is done, it should be done with some
degree of character. Let it not be done as a confession of guilt. Let
us, said he, however, surrender any thing, sooner than the fair fame of
our country. He was not a military man, nor did he know how he should
act upon such an occasion; but he knew what we ought to do. We ought,
rather than submit to such indignity, to die in the last ditch. Why
insinuate that the Government had been wrong? was it not enough to
submit to injury; shall we not only receive the stripes, but kiss the
rod that inflicts them?

Mr. OTIS observed, that he was so little accustomed to the mode of
conducting a debate in that honorable House, that he hardly knew in what
manner to apply his remarks to the subject before the committee. A
specific motion had been laid on the table by the gentleman from
Virginia, which reduced the true question before them to a narrow
compass; but the mover, in discussing his own proposition, had enlarged
upon subjects dear to his mind, and familiar to his recollection. In
this circuit he had been ably followed by the gentleman from South
Carolina, and others; so that the whole subject of the Address to the
PRESIDENT, and the reply of the committee, was brought into view, with
many considerations that did not belong to it. It was his design to have
remained silent until the subject had been exhausted by other gentlemen,
and if any remark of an important nature had been omitted, which was not
likely to have been the case, he would have suggested such ideas as
might have presented themselves to his mind; but a motion having been
made for the committee to rise, he would then offer a few observations,
not so much for the sake of illustrating the question, which had been
done most successfully, but in order to declare his sentiments upon this
important occasion. He so far agreed with the gentleman from Georgia,
that he believed, upon ordinary occasions, an Answer to the PRESIDENT's
Address should be calculated to preserve an harmonious intercourse
between the different departments of Government, rather than to pledge
either branch of the Legislature, collaterally, upon subjects that would
come regularly under their consideration. But the present was not an
ordinary occasion, and the situation of the country required that the
Answer should not be a spiritless expression of civility, but a new
edition of the Declaration of Independence. He expressed his regret that
upon this question gentlemen should have wandered into a review of
measures and subjects, so frequently examined, so deliberately settled,
and which had a tendency to rekindle party animosity. If they would
never acquiesce in the deliberate acts of the Government, because their
personal sentiments had been adverse to them in the season of their
discussion, there could be no end to controversy. For his part he
conceived that all party distinctions ought now to cease; and that the
House was now called by a warning voice, to destroy the idea of a
geographical division of sentiment and interest existing among the
people. His constituents and himself were disposed to regard the
inhabitants of the Southern States as brothers, whose features were cast
in the same mould, and who had waded through the same troubled waters to
the shore of liberty and independence. He hoped that gentlemen would, in
their turn, think the other part of the Union entitled to some
consideration.

The Address of the PRESIDENT disclosed, for the contemplation of the
committee, a narrative of facts, and of the existing causes of
controversy between the French Republic and ourselves; the overtures for
reconciliation, which were to be repeated by attempts to negotiate, and
the measures of defence that might be proper, in case negotiation should
fail. The injuries sustained by us were of a high and atrocious nature,
consisting in the capture of our vessels, depredations upon the property
and persons of our citizens, the indignity offered to our Minister; but
what was more aggravating than the rest, was, the professed
determination not to receive our Minister until the complaints of the
French should be redressed, without explanation and without
exception--until we should violate treaties, repeal laws, and do what
the constitution would not authorize, vacate solemn judgments of our
courts of law. These injuries should not be concealed. He did not wish,
however, to indulge in unnecessary expressions of indignation, but to
state in plain and unequivocal terms the remonstrances of injured
friendship. If any man doubted of the pernicious effects of the measures
of the French nation, and of the actual state of our commerce, let him
inquire of the ruined and unfortunate merchant, harassed with
persecutions on account of the revenue, which he so long and patiently
toiled to support. If any doubted of its effects upon agriculture, let
him inquire of the farmer whose produce is falling and will be exposed
to perish in his barns. Where, said he, are your sailors? Listen to the
passing gale of the ocean, and you will hear their groans issuing from
French prison-ships. Such were the injuries, and such the requisitions
of the French nation; and he defied the ingenuity of any gentleman to
draw a comparison between the Directory and the British Parliament, in
favor of the former; and insisted that the demands of Charles Delacroix
were upon a parallel with those of Lord North. He enlarged upon the
analogy of the circumstances attending the pretensions of the British
Government to bind us, when we were colonies, and of the French to
subjugate us, now we are free and independent States. He thought it
expedient to cultivate the same spirit of union, and to use the same
firm and decided language. He regretted that questions should be
agitated upon this occasion, which had been formerly the cause of party
spirit and dissensions; and did not believe that the immortal men who
framed the noted instrument which dissolved the charm of allegiance and
shivered the fetters of tyranny, condescended to differ about verbal
criticisms and nice expressions, through fear of giving offence; nor
that it was incumbent upon the members of the committee to repress the
assertion of their rights, or smother a just and dignified expression of
their susceptibility of insult, because the French had been once our
friends, or because the commencement of their revolution was a struggle
for liberty. There was a time when he was animated with enthusiasm in
favor of the French Revolution, and he cherished it, while civil liberty
appeared to be the object; but he now considered that Revolution as
completely achieved, and that the war was continued, not for liberty,
but for conquest and aggrandizement, to which he did not believe it the
interest of this country to contribute.


WEDNESDAY, May 24.

WILLIAM SMITH, from Pinckney district, South Carolina; SAMUEL SMITH,
from Maryland; JOHN ALLEN, from Connecticut; and WILLIAM FINDLAY, from
Pennsylvania, appeared, produced their credentials, were qualified, and
took their seats.

_Answer to President's Speech._

The House again went into Committee of the Whole on the Answer to the
PRESIDENT's Speech, and Mr. NICHOLAS' amendment being under
consideration,

Mr. SWANWICK opened the debate. He lamented the loss of time which was
generally experienced at the opening of every session in debating the
Answer to the Speech of the PRESIDENT, when, perhaps, business of the
first moment called for immediate attention. It was much to be wished
that committees appointed for this purpose would confine themselves to
the instructions which were given to them on the occasion, which were in
general terms, viz: "to prepare a respectful Address, assuring the
PRESIDENT that the House will take into their serious consideration the
various important matters recommended to their attention." If Answers
were drawn in general terms, conformably to these instructions, he
thought very many of the embarrassments which they now experienced would
be avoided, and every member would be left at liberty to pursue such
measures as appeared to them right, when they came before him in the
ordinary course of business unclogged by any creed which he might have
been called to assent to before he had an opportunity of considering the
subjects it contained. It also often occasioned much warmth in debate,
and served to divide the House into two parties on the very threshold of
their business. This could not possibly have any good effect, but the
contrary; he should therefore be happy to see the practice simplified or
abolished altogether.

The effect at present has been, that no sooner had the committee
appointed to draft an Address made a report, than the gentleman from
Virginia proposed a substitute, which, according to his idea, was more
proper. A warm debate had taken place, and he believed that either might
be adopted without effect, as they were merely a form of words leading
to no conclusion. Suppose a majority of _one_ was obtained on the
report, what end would be produced? None; for it might be that the very
persons who voted on this general question, might vote against
particular subjects when they came under consideration; as every one
would recollect the difficulties which had been experienced in getting
three frigates built, and this difficulty, he doubted not, would again
occur. Since, however, these two forms of an Answer were before them,
and they were called upon to say which they would adopt, it might be
proper to go into some consideration of the subject.

The difference between the two productions seemed to be, that the one
reported seemed to express great indignity on account of the injuries
received from the French Republic, and a determination to repel them;
that produced by the gentleman from Virginia was of a more conciliatory
tone, recommending to the PRESIDENT to begin his negotiations with
placing the French Republic on the same ground with the other
belligerent powers; so that the difference was simply as it respected a
few words.

What were the arguments in favor of the warm tone? They were told it
would have a great effect on the French Republic, because if a spirited
Answer were given to the PRESIDENT's communication, signifying (as his
colleague Mr. SITGREAVES had strongly expressed it) that we were
determined to _die in the last ditch_, it would strike them with terror.
If he thought this effect could be really produced, it might be some
inducement for him to agree to it.

Mr. S. remarked, that they were told by Mr. Pinckney, in his letter to
the Secretary of State, that it was probable that two events had
contributed to his dismissal from the French Republic, viz: one, the
victories of Bonaparte in Italy, the other, the Addresses of the Senate
and House of Representatives in answer to the Speech of the PRESIDENT at
the last session. With respect to the Answers alluded to, no opinion
could be formed from this assertion, because, though that of the House
of Representatives was tolerably moderate, yet that of the Senate was as
warm as any thing could be produced. He read extracts from both, and
compared them with each other, giving the credit which, in his opinion,
was due to the most moderate.

The first and most necessary step to be taken was, to put all the
belligerent powers upon the same footing, which could not be an offence
to any. But it was said that to recommend this measure to the Executive,
was to dictate to him; that it was carrying humility on the front of the
Minister who should be employed. What! said Mr. S., would it be to carry
humility in his front to say, "I come to place you on the same footing
with the most favored nation?" It certainly could not; since it was the
language of right reason, of justice.

As to dictating to the Executive, could it be called dictating when we
merely express our opinion and advice to him, on points which he has
himself laid before us; and, in order to deliberate on which we were
thus unusually called together? Very low and debasing, indeed, must be
the situation of this House, if they were to be muzzled and prevented
from laying their sentiments before the Chief Magistrate of the Union!
When treaties are made, we are told they are laws over which we have no
power. If we dare not speak on the subject before they are made, is this
House reduced merely to the odious task of laying taxes, without being
allowed to exercise its sense on any other public measures connected
with them? Why does the PRESIDENT communicate these things to us, if we
are not allowed to express any sentiments about them? Why do the people
elect their representatives all over this widely extended empire, if,
when they are convened, they are not allowed the privilege of expressing
their opinions on the dearest interests of their constituents? But it is
stated that this will create division among the branches of the
Government, who ought always to act and think alike. Were this the case,
there was no use to divide the Government, as our constitution does,
into three branches; they might all have been left in one, and then no
accident of this kind would have happened; but the fact is, this very
division of the branches was devised in order that they might operate as
checks on each other. The people thought it better that a division of
this kind should prevent acting at all, than that we should act hastily
and unadvisedly. Thus when a law, after mature deliberation, passes this
House as wise and good, the Senate were not obliged on this account to
see it in the same light; they judge for themselves, and, if they see
cause, reject it, and no complaint takes place on our part because they
do so. In another Government, indeed that of England, all the branches
have been contrived into the most perfect union, Kings, Lords, and
Commons, all agree, but has the Government been the better for this?
Happy had it been for that nation, had this not been the case. Many an
unwise measure they have gone into, might then, fortunately for the
nation, have been totally prevented.

But it has been said we ought to express the highest indignation at the
conduct of France. Let us examine for a moment on what this is founded.
Three grounds have been mentioned; the dismission of our Minister, the
spoliations on our ships, and the interference with our Government, in
attempting to divide the people from it. As to the first, the dismission
of our Minister, said Mr. S., nobody can feel more sensibly than I do,
this indignity; but it only leads me to regret, as I have often already
expressed my regrets, at our sending so many diplomatic gentlemen to
Europe. Wretched will be our case, if we are embroiled whenever these
gentlemen shall be refused, or uncivilly treated. All history is full of
instances of wars, founded on such points of etiquette as these, and
they admonish us against employing embassies, as much as possible, to
avoid these dangers from our foreign connections. But it seems, the
Directory, by Mr. Pinckney's letter, at the same time sent away thirteen
other foreign Ministers; yet we do not hear that these nations went to
war on this account. One of them was Sweden, a very powerful maritime
nation, possessed of a considerable fleet; her Minister was dismissed;
she contented herself with sending away the French Minister also, and
here the dispute ended. But, surely allowance ought also to be made for
the present revolutionary state of France. If all things do not proceed
there with the order they ought, it is perhaps because of their present
warlike and revolutionary position, which cannot but mend every day, and
should induce us to make some allowance for them.

Mr. LIVINGSTON said that, having listened to the gentlemen who had
preceded him with the most respectful attention, and heard their ardent
expressions of patriotism and the lively sense which they entertained of
the true dignity of our Government, he should not attempt to follow them
into a field which had been exhausted, but would leave it to the
consideration of the committee and his country to determine upon his
sentiments and the measures which he should suggest whether he was not
equally disposed with others to promote the peace and honor, the
happiness and security of his country and Government; he would leave it
for his measures to speak for him; he would not be led away by any idle
or extraneous vanity from objects so solemn and important; he should
speak freely as became an American at a crisis so very pressing. First,
then, he should notice the Address that was before the committee, and
the amendment which had been proposed to be made to it; he was sorry to
observe the manner in which they had been discussed. It had been
considered, on one side, that to adopt any language in reply to the
Address but that which has been laid before the committee in the report,
would amount to a surrender of all our rights, privileges, and
independence, as a nation, to France; on the other, it has been held
that the differences between us and France are distorted, and that we
should at least not shut up every avenue to negotiation by an obstinate
and blind assertion of our own infallibility. If he believed with those
of the former opinion, that we should in any shape incur the stigma of
degrading ourselves, or if he suspected even that we should sacrifice
one right of our country or Government by an adoption of the amendment
proposed, or he thought we should not endanger our national character
and safety by the adoption of the report, he should most certainly
reject the amendment and adopt the report; or if he believed, with the
gentleman from Massachusetts, (Mr. OTIS,) that the demands of France now
were any wise analogous to those of Great Britain on a former occasion,
sooner than consent to a dereliction of independence and national
character he would not stop short of the language of that report; but as
he could not force his judgment to so outrageous a misconstruction, as
he saw on the contrary numerous reasons to entertain a very different
opinion, he would not consent to incur the perils and the errors in
which that report would involve us; he could not consent to so hasty, so
precipitate, and inconsiderate a step.

The question properly before the House at this time is, whether we shall
continue to express so perfect a reliance on all the acts of our own
Government; whether we shall say obstinately to France that there is no
possible case in which our judgment could have been misled or mistaken
in our conduct towards her; and, by determining to adhere to our former
conduct, preclude every possibility to an amicable adjustment; or leave
a reasonable opportunity open for an effectual discussion and adjustment
of differences, wherever they may subsist.

The scope of the Speech of the PRESIDENT to both Houses, it must be
confessed, goes to bind us to the former conduct; and it is too evident
that the report, in strict coincidence with the sentiments of several,
but not all its supporters, bears that same dangerous tendency. From
which line of conduct are we to expect the most beneficent issue, to
treat with a complaining power by a determination to show that its
complaints are groundless, or by examining the complaints and the
evidence in amicable negotiation and deciding afterwards? Let us examine
the complaints of France, and then determine whether they are all so
frivolous as to excite irritation at the mere mention of them; unless we
are so convinced, unless we are thoroughly satisfied that they are so,
we cannot vote the Answer as it is reported. Should we discover in such
an examination that some of our measures have been founded at least in
mistake, would it then be proper to adopt the language of the Address?
But should we persist under such a possibility of mistake, what do we
risk? an evil much more fatal than the worst that could follow the most
sober resolution which we can now adopt; we risk the alternative of
abandoning it after a war in which we may be sufferers, and after we may
have retarded the increasing prosperity of our country half an age. We
have an example before us in a nation that was eager to snatch at a
remote pretext for an assumed interference in her Government; we have
seen that nation, among the most powerful and haughty in Europe, the
most vain of her dignity, (real or unreal,) the most apt to interfere in
the government of others; we have seen her enter into a war, and we have
seen her driven to the lowest state of humiliation; we have seen her
obliged to pursue the most abject means of solicitation to obtain a
peace from that very nation whom she had irritated to a war; and we saw
her more humiliated still, by the rejection of those propositions which
she had made to obtain peace. Have we a better prospect than that
nation? Are our means equal to hers? Are we, indeed, ready to embark in
a war--with France, too--and present such a lesson to the world as
America at war with France, after France has defeated the efforts of all
the world? He again asked, have we the means? Let gentlemen who are
willing to plunge us into that dilemma make the reply; but let not
gentlemen indulge in so hateful a picture. But, although we have no
means, he was still against surrendering the honor of our country;
fortunately, no such sacrifice is demanded, no such measure is
necessary; and were we ten times more destitute even than we are, he
should never submit to our national degradation, were there a power so
insolent as to expect it.

It was, he knew, a very ungracious, and often an unpopular task, to
display the errors of our own Government; there was a national vanity, a
vain and unmeaning pride, which sought to be bolstered up by frippery of
words and acts of dissimulation. He knew that this empty and pernicious
vanity often assumed the post and place of the true dignity of a
country, and blinked contumely on him that was disposed to prefer the
plain, frank, open path of integrity and truth. He would choose between
these opposite passions of a nation, and preferring his duty to
unmerited reproach, he would neither repress the sentiments of his mind,
nor foster those which he conceived to be pregnant with ruin; he would
glory more in promoting the justice of his country than in conducting
her to the most brilliant triumphs in an unjust cause; he would,
therefore, calmly examine whether France had just cause of complaint;
and whether she had or not a just cause, he would assert that France
might, without exciting indignation, think herself injured; that she
might, was a sufficient reason with him for preferring the amendment, as
it left an opening for rather amicable discussion and accommodation,
rather than the report which had the opposite character.


THURSDAY, May 25.

Mr. GILES rose.--He said that he had always been against this form of
giving Answers, since the time the practice first began; it was derived
from the British House of Commons, which was a bad source for
precedents. In that House, however, the Speech and the Answer were both
known to be the work of the Minister, and treated with great freedom.
Mr. G. thought that it would be better to direct the Committee of Rules
and Orders of the House, to make one standing Answer, which would serve
regularly for all Speeches. This would be an improper time for such a
regulation, but though we could not now get rid of a bad habit, it was
not necessary to vindicate it. He said, that Mr. LIVINGSTON had
yesterday taken part of the ground which he intended to take. The
question before the House amounted to this: shall we recommend it to the
PRESIDENT to place all nations on a level as to commerce, and to remove
the inequalities between them? To assist him in deciding this point, he
would refer to facts and dates; and, as he did not wish to represent
things in false colors, he would be glad to be corrected, if he should
happen to go wrong. He would begin at the 1st of February, 1793, when
England dismissed the French Minister, and the Republic, in consequence,
declared war against her. On the 22d of April following, the PRESIDENT
declared this country to be in a state of neutrality, and warned the
citizens to observe it. At this time, about the 10th May, M. Genet
landed and raised a considerable alarm by commencing an improper
correspondence with our citizens. Government from that time took a wrong
impression, and acted under the idea of a dangerous French influence in
this country. All this was a mistake. Genet was universally reprobated,
unless by a few disorderly people, and Government from that trial should
have learned to trust us. In consequence of the disturbance that Genet
made, many societies entered into resolutions to support government.
Even the pulpit reviled Genet. If execration, disappointment, and
contempt, could fill up the measure of punishment, he had it. From the
arrival of Genet to that of Fauchet, some sentiments were kept alive,
and some phrases that he would review. The _Friends of Order_ and the
_Disorganizers_ were two of them. Then we had the reign of _moderation_,
but of so frantic a kind, for the short time which it lasted, as to
exercise the greatest of despotism over opinion. This _order_,
_moderation_, and _disorganization_, were all gone and no more said
about them. Among Mr. G.'s constituents, when notice came of the Western
insurrection, they were all ready to march in support of Government;
instead of calling themselves the friends of order, they proved that
they were so. The country remained from this time in a tranquil state
till the arrival of Mr. Jay's Treaty. On the 5th of December, 1793, a
Message was received from the PRESIDENT, speaking of France in the most
friendly terms. In spite of Genet's quarrel there was no
misunderstanding with the Republic, and Mr. G. quoted this circumstance
to prove that there was no serious difference till the arrival of Mr.
Jay's Treaty. Mr. G. said that he would review what was in the mean time
passing in Europe. During the summer of 1793, Britain made no less than
six treaties with different nations, and one stipulation in each of them
was that the contracting parties should stop all provisions going to
France, and force all other nations to do so. The first of these
treaties was made with Russia, on the 20th of March, 1793: the second
was with Spain; the third with Prussia; the fourth with the Emperor; the
fifth with Portugal; and the last with the King of the two Sicilies. It
was said that France preceded Britain in the order for stopping
provisions; Britain did not publicly issue such orders until the 16th of
June, 1793; but Britain had, in reality, adopted the practice long
before. The French orders fluctuated; but, at one time, the United
States were exempted from stoppage, when others were stopped. He then
noticed the stoppage of provisions to the West Indies; the Orders of the
6th of November, 1793, and the 8th of January, 1794. In the very short
interval between these two dates, France had gone on so fast that
Britain found it better to ameliorate the condition of neutral States.
During this time, England also made a truce for Portugal with Algiers,
and this truce has cost us fifteen hundred thousand dollars, besides
what it may cost hereafter. Timber had been promised to be cut for the
Algerines, of a kind which this country could not furnish in due
quality. Some of it was to be brought so far as from the north-west
branch of the Susquehanna. He would pass over Lord Dorchester's speech
to the Indians, and the British soldiers and savages joining the
tomahawk against our Western frontiers. He mentioned these things,
merely to keep them in view. There was something, he said, which he
could never think of without surprise. This was a conversation between
Lord Grenville and Mr. Pinckney. It was related in a letter, dated the
9th of January, 1794, from Mr. Pinckney. It took notice of Lord
Grenville telling Mr. Pinckney the desire which the British Government
had of maintaining harmony with the United States, and their readiness
to support the Government of this country against a dangerous Jacobin
faction who wanted to overturn it. Mr. G. said, that this betrayed more
interference on the part of Britain than there ever had been on the part
of France. From this time our Government had taken a leaning towards
Britain. French influence was only a sentiment which we felt for the
sake of liberty, but which was sometimes conjured up as a chimera to
serve certain purposes. The United States had a real interest in
cherishing the sentiment, which never could be dangerous.

As for British influence, it was a matter much more substantial. That
people speak the same language with us, are scattered from one end of
the continent to the other, intermarry with us, and have a very great
commercial intercourse. Lord Grenville's proposition had led to Mr.
Jay's Treaty. As to France trying to engage us in the war, any other
nation in the world would be glad to do so. France had addressed the
people of America, and was resisted: Britain had addressed our
Government; and Mr. G. feared that the latter had not made so firm a
stand. While Congress were taking proper measures to check the
depredations, Mr. Jay, to the astonishment of mankind, was named
Ambassador to England. The Treaty was signed on the 19th of November,
1794. The instructions, Mr. G. had never seen, but if we may judge from
the Treaty itself, they were extremely full. For the making of such a
Treaty he had never heard a reason, nor had he ever been able to learn
one good consequence likely to accrue from it. It had been called an
instrument of peace, and its first effect was, that we were summoned to
fight with France, Spain, and Holland. One of the articles was that free
ships do not make free goods. This was highly injurious both to France
and the United States; it implied a breach of the law of nations,
because, before you can search for an enemy's goods you must stop
neutral ships. This regulation could only be understood as operating
against France. If we could not help the practice going on, we should at
least have suffered it to stand as it was, without any countenance. All
the principal articles of export from the United States were declared
contraband, except tobacco, and, indeed, that might be included under
the general title of provisions, as people would sometimes be in want of
a chew. He spoke of this provision clause as infamous. He referred to
Count Bernstoff, Minister of Denmark, who had kept his country in a more
honorable situation than perhaps any other in Europe had done during the
present war. Mr. G. read the refusal of Count Bernstoff to comply with
the British requisition to that effect. During the armed neutrality, the
United States had owned that free bottoms should make free goods. Was
there any reason since to alter our opinion? He would be glad to hear
gentlemen answer if there was any. He had always said that the provision
article was unjust to France, and yet on account of the British Treaty
we are to plunge into a war before we know whether we are in the right
or in the wrong. Gentlemen who had promoted the British Treaty now came
forward to support it, but it would now be more manly to declare at once
that we cannot do so. In Citizen Adet's complaints, many articles were
unjust and trifling, but this was always the case in productions of that
sort. Mr. G. then referred to the speech of Barras: he said that Britain
still went on robbing and impressing American seamen. Mr. HARPER had
yesterday said that the impressments were few; but how were we to be
certain of that? The men are not allowed to write to us, and Mr.
Pinckney informs us that vast numbers of them are in French jails. He
had always wondered at our having so few communications on this head
from the Executive. A law had passed in this House and in the Senate
upon this subject, without any information from that quarter. Gentlemen
had allowed that it would be just enough to grant an equality of
privileges to every foreign nation; but, Mr. HARPER had objected, that
if this were granted to France, she would still continue to demand. When
she makes an unjust claim, said Mr. G., we should stop; he would not be
for going any further. The French had not acted on vague claims; they
take neutral and contraband articles; they take the ships, and when they
find our seamen on board of British vessels, they threaten to treat
them as pirates, and will not allow them to prove that they were
impressed.


TUESDAY, May 30.

JOHN FOWLER, from Kentucky, appeared, produced his credentials, was
qualified, and took his seat.

_Answer to President's Speech._

The House again resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole, on the
Address reported in Answer to the Speech of the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES; when

Mr. COIT said he thought that part of the 5th paragraph which related to
the Executive Directory would be less exceptionable, and equally convey
their disapprobation of such sentiments, if it were expressed more
generally, and without any allusion to M. Barras. He proposed,
therefore, to strike out from "at," in the 4th line of the 5th
paragraph, to "United States," in the 6th line, and to insert "any
sentiments tending to derogate from that confidence; such sentiments,
wherever entertained, serve to evince an imperfect knowledge of the real
opinion of our constituents."

Mr. W. SMITH objected to the amendment of the gentleman from
Connecticut, (Mr. COIT,) because it was hypothetical. He wished, as the
fact was clearly established, to have a direct reference to the Speech
of Barras, in their indignation at the sentiments. As the matter had
appeared of sufficient importance to find a place in the PRESIDENT's
Speech, he thought it was also worthy of their notice. He insisted upon
its being an attempt to divide the people of this country from their
Government, by speaking insultingly of the latter, and flattering the
former. He did not exactly know what was meant by the "suggestion of our
former tyrants," but he supposed it meant bribery, and that by
"perfidious people," General Washington was included.

Mr. W. SMITH said, that by the Government, the Executive only was meant.
He was convinced of this from the manner in which he had seen the word
used in the French Government paper, entitled the _Redacteur_.

Mr. COIT believed, that whatever M. Barras had said, it was not worth
their attention. We might defy France or Frenchmen to say worse of us
than they themselves said. He did not himself know how far the Speech of
Barras was an act of Government; for, said he, when we directed our
Speaker to reprimand Randal and Whitney, the words he used upon the
occasion were not an act of the House. On another occasion, when the
House were about to receive the French flag, they could not call what
was said by the Speaker on that occasion, an act of the House.

Mr. WILLIAMS said, if Mr. Pinckney's letter was an authentic paper, the
Speech of Barras was likewise so; and if so, it was doubtless an
indignity to Government. He did not think with the gentleman from
Massachusetts, (Mr. FREEMAN,) that it was "childish gasconade." He
believed it was intended as an insult to the Government of this country.
As to the gratitude which had been said to belong to the French nation,
for their assistance in the war, he thought their services were amply
repaid by the separation of this country from Great Britain. Besides, he
added, the French never came to the assistance of this country until
they saw we were likely to be successful in our struggle.

Mr. GORDON said there could be no doubt of the authenticity of Barras'
Speech, since it stood upon the same ground as the rest of the
documents. It was a flagrant insult upon Government, in his opinion, and
warranted all that had been said upon it, as it was doubtless an attempt
to separate the people from the Government.

Mr. THATCHER said the question was, whether or not any notice should be
taken of the insulting Speech of Barras. When, said he, the French flag
was presented to this House, we were told we were not to stop to reason,
but to express forthwith our feelings of affection. But now, when the
most unexampled insult is offered us, such as one man would not receive
from another, we are not to notice it at all, lest it should offend the
French Republic. He knew of only one reason for passing it over in
silence, and that, it was true, had some weight with him. That Barras
spoke as the organ of the French nation, there could be no doubt; but he
had his doubts whether he knew himself what he said. The Speech had
strong marks of _delirium_, and he could not help believing that, when
he delivered it, he was either _drunk_ or _mad_. If the world went on
for six thousand years to come, they would never again behold such a
production.

Mr. MCDOWELL was in favor of the amendment. He did not think himself
bound, as had been insinuated by the gentleman from South Carolina, to
echo all the sentiments in the PRESIDENT's Speech. He wished to have an
opinion of his own. He agreed that Barras' Speech was an indignity to
the United States. He felt it, and would express it: but he did not
think this the proper time. He denied the justness of the construction
put upon the Speech by the gentleman from South Carolina. He supposed by
"perfidious persons," was meant the persons in this country, generally
called the "British faction." He differed in opinion also with that
gentleman on the subject of dividing the people and Government, and
could not allow that the phrase "good people" was intended as an insult.
He allowed it was going too far to say that we owed our liberty to
France; but being in some respect true, it took off from the offence. He
was sorry to see on one side of the House constant attempts made to
excite the resentment of the people of this country against France. It
was not necessary at present to raise such feelings. They were not about
to unsheath the sword, and to say, "We conquer or die." What gentlemen
could not effect by reason, they seemed inclined to effect in a
different way. He did not think this fair conduct.

Mr. VENABLE supported the amendment. He did not think any of the
objections made against it had much weight in them. He thought the mode
of expressing our sense of the indignity shown to this country by the
Speech in question, was judiciously chosen by the gentleman from
Connecticut. It was most consistent with dignity. It was not wise in
them to take notice of every harsh expression which might be used
against this country in any foreign nation; for, if such were our
conduct, foreign nations would have good ground of complaint against us,
and on that floor the account would be settled. Nor did he think it very
becoming or dignified in gentlemen in that House so to express
themselves as to excite frequent risibility; nor was it very honorable
to that Assembly. [Alluding to the gentleman from Massachusetts.]

Mr. SITGREAVES had no doubt of the Speech of Barras being an official
paper, and that its object was to divide the people from the Government.
If he proved this, he trusted the language of the report would be
preserved. It would be allowed that Barras was the mouth of the
Directory, and that the sentiments which he speaks, are not his own, but
what were beforehand agreed upon. It was doubtless, therefore, a solemn
official act. With respect to the observation of the gentleman from
Virginia, that what he said respecting our Government was not applicable
to the Executive, but to the people at large, he believed he was wholly
mistaken, as the word Government, in the French language, constantly
meant Executive, as was abundantly clear from the way in which it was
used in Mr. Adet's notes. [He quoted a number of passages to prove his
assertion.] It was generally used for the Executive in contradistinction
to Congress, or any other of the constituted authorities. If it were
clearly intended to convey an insult upon our Executive, (and there
could be no doubt of it,) even the mover of the amendment could not
think it unbecoming in that House to express themselves in the words of
the Address.

Mr. GALLATIN said, whatever might be the insult intended by the Speech
of the Executive Directory, he thought it best to notice it in general
terms as it was the sentiment which was objectionable and not the
Government of France. But as so much had been said about Government and
people, he would say, that an insult offered to the people could not be
less offensive than one offered to the Government. He supposed they
alluded to the British Treaty, which was as much the instrument of
Congress as of the Executive, and of the people as either, since they
very generally petitioned in favor of it. He then took notice of the
perversions which the gentleman from South Carolina had put upon the
words of Barras, and denied that there was the least ground for them,
and said that the _Gazette of the United States_ might as well be
called a Government paper of this country, as the _Redacteur_, that of
France. If, said Mr. G., it be our intention to declare war at once,
then there might be some propriety in taking hold of every word which
would bear to be construed into an insult, but if we wished for peace,
it was unwise to do so. Besides, he said, this Speech was not
communicated in an official manner, nor could it be so communicated. It
was sent by Mr. Pinckney in a newspaper, from which the copy sent to
them was translated, but the translation was not even authenticated, as
usual. He did not dispute the fact, but it was a thing which they were
not bound to notice; indeed, an error with respect to a name appeared on
the face of the paper; and being delivered to Mr. Monroe, who was no
longer Minister, it could not be officially communicated. He therefore
thought it was not worth their notice.

Mr. OTIS thought it right to pay respect to what was recommended by the
PRESIDENT. The question was whether they should notice the insult
generally, or in reference to the Directory. He was in favor of the
first; but as this was the only opportunity given in the Address of
expressing their opinion of the conduct of the French Government, he
wished the Address to stand as reported.

Mr. O. remarked upon Barras' Speech. He did not know what was meant by
granting peace. When parties were at war, one granted the other peace;
or sometimes a stronger power suffered a weaker to be at peace. He
supposed the French meant it in the latter sense towards this country.
On condition that we respect her sovereignty! What was meant here? If it
was sovereignty over their own nation, we had nothing to do with it; if
it was any other, it must be the sovereignty they had over us. He
concluded by remarking, that if there were any members in that House
upon whom any imputation could rest of their being unduly attached to
the French cause, he thought it a good opportunity to come forward and
convince the world that the charges were unjust.

Mr. LIVINGSTON took notice of what had fallen from the gentleman last
up, and showed the folly of adopting an irritating tone; as, if we
charged a foreign government with making use of one disrespectful
expression, they would have no difficulty in retorting the complaint, as
in the course of that debate, the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr.
HARPER) had called the King of Spain the humble vassal of France, and
had not been sparing of his epithets to other powers; and the gentleman
from Massachusetts (Mr. THATCHER) had termed Barras drunk or mad. He
also noticed the constructions put upon the words "granting peace," and
"sovereignty," as very extravagant. The Speech, he allowed, was bad
enough, but he saw no reason for torturing it in this manner.

Mr. GILES said the gentleman from Massachusetts had called upon persons
who might lie under imputation of being friends to France, to come
forward, and show the imputation false. He informed that gentleman that
he did not feel his reputation hurt by any imputation which he or any
other person might throw upon him. He would rather the gentleman would
convince them they were wrong, than call them names.

Mr. OTIS explained. He declared he meant only to say that they had been
unjustly charged with those imputations, and that such a conduct would
show it.

Mr. W. SMITH again urged the propriety of retaining the words in the
Address as reported, as the amendment proposed had no reference to the
PRESIDENT's Speech, as that referred to an official act; whereas the
amendment had no relation to France, but would apply to the people of
China, or the people of this country, as well as to those of France. He
believed the discussion had been of some use, because it was now on all
sides acknowledged that the Speech of Barras was an insult, which was
not allowed at the beginning of the debate. He could only say that
gentlemen died hard; to use the expression of his friend from
Pennsylvania, (Mr. SITGREAVES,) they seem determined to _die in the last
ditch_. The objections to the words of the present Address, were like
the objections of _Thomas Paine_ to the writings of Moses. He denied
that there was any similarity between expressions used in debate in that
House, and expressions used by an Executive authority. No notice, he
said, ought to be taken of what fell from members in that House, whilst
they were allowed to be in order; and if foreign Ministers attended to
hear their debates, and heard things which they did not like, they ought
not to take exceptions at it, since they came there uninvited, and it
was their duty to say what appeared to them right at the time.

The question was put on the amendment, when there appeared 49 votes for
it, and 49 against it. The Chairman declared it carried in the
affirmative.


WEDNESDAY, May 31.

_Answer to the President's Speech._

The House again resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on the
Answer to the PRESIDENT's Speech, Mr. DAYTON's amendment being under
consideration.

Mr. HARTLEY was persuaded there was but one wish in the House with
respect to peace, notwithstanding insinuations to the contrary; but he
could not agree with the proposed amendment, as he wished the
negotiation to be left wholly to the PRESIDENT. The treaty entered into
with France provided for their being placed on the same footing with
other nations, and wished that right to be recognized by negotiation,
and he doubted not the PRESIDENT would do it; for as he must see that
peace was the desire of all, he would take such steps as would be best
calculated to lead to it. He was against encroachments on the Executive,
as, if they once begun, there was no knowing where they could stop. He
thought there was no danger of war; it would be a disagreeable thing
for men who fought in the Revolutionary war, to be obliged to unsheathe
their swords against France; but he trusted before they rose, means
would be taken for putting the country into a state of defence.

The question was then taken on the Address as amended, and resolved in
the affirmative--yeas 62, nays 36, as follows:

      YEAS--John Allen, George Baer, jr., Abraham Baldwin, David
      Bard, James A. Bayard, Theophilus Bradbury, David Brooks,
      John Chapman, Christopher G. Champlin, James Cochran,
      Joshua Coit, William Craik, Samuel W. Dana, James
      Davenport, John Dennis, George Dent, George Ege, Thomas
      Evans, Abiel Foster, Dwight Foster, Jonathan Freeman,
      Nathaniel Freeman, jr., Albert Gallatin, Henry Glenn,
      Chauncey Goodrich, William Gordon, Roger Griswold, William
      B. Grove, John A. Hanna, Robert Goodloe Harper, Carter B.
      Harrison, Thomas Hartley, William Hindman, David Holmes,
      Hezekiah L. Hosmer, James H. Imlay, John Wilkes Kittera,
      Samuel Lyman, James Machir, John Milledge, Daniel Morgan,
      John Nicholas, Harrison G. Otis, Elisha R. Potter, John
      Read, John Rutledge, jr., James Schureman, Samuel Sewall,
      William Shepard, Thompson J. Skinner, Thomas Sinnickson,
      Jeremiah Smith, Nathaniel Smith, Samuel Smith, William
      Smith, (of Charleston,) George Thatcher, Richard Thomas,
      Mark Thomson, Abram Trigg, John E. Van Allen, Peleg
      Wadsworth, and John Williams.

      NAYS--Thomas Blount, Richard Brent, Nathan Bryan, Samuel J.
      Cabell, Thomas Claiborne, Matthew Clay, John Clopton,
      Thomas T. Davis, John Dawson, Lucas Elmendorph, William
      Findlay, John Fowler, William B. Giles, James Gillespie,
      Andrew Gregg, Jonathan N. Havens, Walter Jones, Edward
      Livingston, Matthew Locke, Matthew Lyon, Nathaniel Macon,
      Blair M'Clenachan, Joseph McDowell, Anthony New, Josiah
      Parker, Samuel Sitgreaves, William Smith (of Pinckney
      District), Richard Sprigg, jr., Richard Stanford, Thomas
      Sumter, John Swanwick, John Trigg, Philip Van Cortlandt,
      Joseph B. Varnum, Abraham Venable, and Robert Williams.

_Resolved_, That Mr. SPEAKER, attended by the House, do present the said
Address; and that Mr. VENABLE, Mr. KITTERA, and Mr. NATHANIEL FREEMAN,
Jr., be a committee to wait on the President, to know when and where it
will be convenient for him to receive the same.

And then the House adjourned.


SATURDAY, June 3.

A report was received from the Commissioners of the Federal City, which
was ordered to be printed.

_Answer to the President's Speech._

Mr. VENABLE, from the committee appointed to wait on the PRESIDENT OF
THE UNITED STATES, to know when and where it will be convenient for him
to receive the Address of this House, in answer to his Speech to both
Houses of Congress, reported that the committee had, according to order,
waited on the PRESIDENT, who signified to them that it would be
convenient to him to receive the said Address, at twelve o'clock this
day, at his own house.

Mr. LYON said he yesterday voted against the appointment of a committee
to wait upon the PRESIDENT to know when and where he would receive their
Address, because he believed the PRESIDENT should always be ready to
receive important communications. He wished to make a motion, which was,
"that such members as do not choose to attend upon the PRESIDENT to
present the Answer to his Speech, shall be excused." He wished to be
understood. He thought the motion a reasonable one, because it proposed
to leave them at liberty to do as they pleased. And by the rules he saw,
he was obliged to attend, except sick, or leave of absence was obtained;
now, as he hoped not to be sick, he wished to put himself out of the
power of the Sergeant-at-Arms, if he did not attend. He had been told he
might stay behind without being noticed; but this was not enough for
him, as he was a timid man, and the House had the law on their side, as
he recollected something of a reprimand which had been given to Mr.
WHITNEY. [The SPEAKER reminded him it was out of order to censure the
proceedings of the House on any former occasion.] He said he stood
corrected, and proceeded.

He had spoken, he said, to both sides of the House (_as they were
called_) on the subject. One side dissuaded him from his motion, and
laughed at it; the other side did not wish to join him in it, because it
would look like disrespect to the person lately elected, who was not a
man of their choice; but he trusted our magnanimous PRESIDENT would,
with the enlightened yeomanry of America, despise such a boyish piece of
business. This, he said, was no new subject with him, he had long heard
the folly of the wise made a matter of wonder in this respect. It was
said this was not the time to abolish the custom; but this was the cant
used against every kind of reform. No better time could ever arrive, he
said, than this, which was the threshold of a new Presidency, at a time
when the man elected to the office was beloved and revered by his
fellow-citizens; he was as yet unused to vain adulation; he had spent a
great part of his life amongst a people whose love of a plainness of
manner forbids all pageantry; he would be glad to see the custom done
away. Were he acting in his own personal character, he perhaps might
conform to the idle usage, but acting as he was for eighty thousand
people, every father of a family in his district would condemn him for
such an act.

Mr. BLOUNT said he had seconded the motion of the gentleman from
Vermont, in order to give him an opportunity of stating his reasons for
making it, and not from any desire to rescind the rule.

Mr. DANA observed that the House would not wish to do violence to the
gentleman's feelings. It was true some of the most respectable men in
the United States had waited upon the PRESIDENT in a similar way, yet,
if the gentleman thought it would not comport with his own dignity to do
it, he hoped he would be excused.

The motion was put, and carried unanimously.

The SPEAKER informed the House the hour was arrived at which the
PRESIDENT had appointed to receive them.

Mr. MACON moved that the House do now adjourn. He should wait upon the
PRESIDENT; but it seemed to be understood that members were obliged to
go. He thought, however the power of the House might extend to bringing
a member into the House, there was no power to carry him out.

The motion was negatived without a division.

The House then withdrew, and waited upon the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES with the following Address:

      _To the President of the United States_:

      Sir, the interesting detail of those events which have
      rendered the convention of Congress, at this time,
      indispensable, (communicated in your Speech to both
      Houses,) has excited in us the strongest emotions. Whilst
      we regret the occasion, we cannot omit to testify our
      approbation of the measure, and to pledge ourselves that no
      considerations of private inconvenience shall prevent, on
      our part, a faithful discharge of the duties to which we
      are called.

      We have constantly hoped that the nations of Europe, whilst
      desolated by foreign wars, or convulsed by intestine
      divisions, would have left the United States to enjoy that
      peace and tranquillity to which the impartial conduct of
      our Government has entitled us; and it is now, with extreme
      regret, we find the measures of the French Republic tending
      to endanger a situation so desirable and interesting to our
      country.

      Upon this occasion we feel it our duty to express, in the
      most explicit manner, the sensations which the present
      crisis has excited, and to assure you of our zealous
      co-operation in those measures which may appear necessary
      for our security or peace.

      Although it is the earnest wish of our hearts that peace
      may be maintained with the French Republic, and with all
      the world, yet we will never surrender those rights which
      belong to us as a nation; and whilst we view with
      satisfaction the wisdom, dignity, and moderation, which
      have marked the measures of the supreme Executive of our
      country, in its attempts to remove, by candid explanations,
      the complaints and jealousies of France, we feel the full
      force of that indignity which has been offered our country
      in the rejection of its Minister. No attempts to wound our
      rights as a sovereign State will escape the notice of our
      constituents; they will be felt with indignation, and
      repelled with that decision which shall convince the world
      that we are not a degraded people, that we can never submit
      to the demands of a foreign power without examination and
      without discussion.

      Knowing as we do the confidence reposed by the people of
      the United States in their Government, we cannot hesitate
      in expressing our indignation at any sentiments tending to
      derogate from that confidence. Such sentiments, wherever
      entertained, served to evince an imperfect knowledge of the
      opinions of our constituents. An attempt to separate the
      people of the United States from their Government, is an
      attempt to separate them from themselves; and although
      foreigners, who know not the genius of our country, may
      have conceived the project, and foreign emissaries may
      attempt the execution, yet the united efforts of our
      fellow-citizens will convince the world of its
      impracticability.

      Sensibly as we feel the wound which has been inflicted by
      the transactions disclosed in your communications, yet we
      think with you, that neither the honor nor the interest of
      the United States forbid the repetition of advances for
      preserving peace. We, therefore, receive with the utmost
      satisfaction your information that a fresh attempt at
      negotiation will be instituted; and we cherish the hope
      that a mutual spirit of conciliation, and a disposition on
      the part of France to compensate for any injuries which may
      have been committed upon our neutral rights; and, on the
      part of the United States, to place France on grounds
      similar to those of other countries in their relation and
      connection with us, if any inequalities shall be found to
      exist, will produce an accommodation compatible with the
      engagements, rights, duties and honor of the United States.
      Fully, however, impressed with the uncertainty of the
      result, we shall prepare to meet with fortitude any
      unfavorable events which may occur, and to extricate
      ourselves from their consequences with all the skill we
      possess, and all the efforts in our power. Believing with
      you that the conduct of the Government has been just and
      impartial to foreign nations, that the laws for the
      preservation of peace have been proper, and that they have
      been fairly executed, the Representatives of the people do
      not hesitate to declare that they will give their most
      cordial support to the execution of principles so
      deliberately and uprightly established.

      The many interesting subjects which you have recommended to
      our consideration, and which are so strongly enforced by
      this momentous occasion, will receive every attention which
      their importance demands; and we trust that by the decided
      and explicit conduct which will govern our deliberations,
      every insinuation will be repelled which is derogatory to
      the honor and independence of our country.

      Permit us, in offering this Address, to express our
      satisfaction at your promotion to the first office in the
      Government, and our entire confidence that the pre-eminent
      talents and patriotism which have placed you in this
      distinguished situation, will enable you to discharge its
      various duties with satisfaction to yourself and advantage
      to our common country.

To which the PRESIDENT returned the following answer:

      _Mr. Speaker, and Gentlemen of the House of
      Representatives_:

      I receive with great satisfaction your candid approbation
      of the convention of Congress; and thank you for your
      assurances that the interesting subjects recommended to
      your consideration shall receive the attention which their
      importance demands; and that your co-operation may be
      expected in those measures which may appear necessary for
      our security or peace.

      The declaration of the Representatives of this nation, of
      their satisfaction at my promotion to the first office in
      the Government, and of their confidence in my sincere
      endeavors to discharge the various duties of it, with
      advantage to our common country, have excited my most
      grateful sensibility.

      I pray you, gentlemen, to believe, and to communicate such
      assurance to our constituents, that no event which I can
      foresee to be attainable by any exertions in the discharge
      of my duties, can afford me so much cordial satisfaction as
      to conduct a negotiation with the French Republic, to a
      removal of prejudices, a correction of errors, a
      dissipation of umbrages, an accommodation of all
      differences, and a restoration of harmony and affection,
      to the mutual satisfaction of both nations. And whenever
      the legitimate organs of intercourse shall be restored, and
      the real sentiments of the two Governments can be candidly
      communicated to each other, although strongly impressed
      with the necessity of collecting ourselves into a manly
      posture of defence, I nevertheless entertain an encouraging
      confidence that a mutual spirit of conciliation, a
      disposition to compensate injuries, and accommodate each
      other in all our relations and connections, will produce an
      agreement to a treaty consistent with the engagements,
      rights, duties, and honor of both nations.

                          JOHN ADAMS.

      UNITED STATES, June 3, 1797.


MONDAY, June 5.

_Defensive Measures._

The House then resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on the
state of the Union, and the Speech of the PRESIDENT, at the opening of
the session, having been read,

Mr. W. SMITH said, he wished to lay upon the table a number of
resolutions, which it appeared, if it should not be found advisable to
carry the whole of them into effect, were at least worthy of discussion.
He did not, however, at present, pledge himself to support the whole:
they were as follow:

      "1. _Resolved_, That further provision ought to be made by
      law, for fortifying the forts and harbors of the United
      States.

      "2. _Resolved_, That further provision be made by law, for
      completing and manning the frigates United States,
      Constitution, and Constellation.

      "3. _Resolved_, That provision be made by law, for
      procuring by purchase a further naval force, to consist of
      ---- frigates of ---- guns, and ---- sloops of war of ----
      guns.

      "4. _Resolved_, That provision be made by law, for
      empowering the President to employ the naval force of the
      United States, as convoys to protect the trade thereof.

      "5. _Resolved_, That provision be made by law, for
      regulating the arming of the merchant vessels of the United
      States.

      "6. _Resolved_, That the existing Military Establishment
      ought to be augmented by an addition of one regiment or
      corps of artillerists and engineers, and ---- companies of
      dragoons.

      "7. _Resolved_, That provision be made by law, for
      empowering the President to raise a provisional army, to
      consist of ---- regiments of infantry, one regiment of
      artillery, and one regiment of dragoons, by commissioning
      the officers, and by volunteers or enlistments, whenever
      the circumstances of the country shall, in his opinion,
      render the said army necessary for the protection and
      defence of the United States: _Provided_, That neither the
      officers nor soldiers shall receive any pay or emoluments
      until called into actual service.

      "8. _Resolved_, That provision be made by law, to authorize
      the President to borrow, on the credit of the United
      States, a sum not exceeding ---- dollars, to defray the
      expense which may arise in providing for the defence and
      security of the United States.

      "9. _Resolved_, That provision be made by law, to raise a
      revenue adequate to the reimbursement, within ---- years,
      of such sum as may be borrowed, as aforesaid.

      "10. _Resolved_, That provision be made by law, to
      prohibit, for a limited time, the exportation of arms,
      ammunition, and military and naval stores."

The resolutions having been read from the chair,

Mr. W. SMITH moved the first of them.

Mr. GILES wished the gentleman would reverse his propositions, and let
the one for raising money come first. He did not know whether they were
prepared to meet this expense. He did not mean to oppose the present
motion; he supposed it would pass. But he thought they were about to be
too precipitous in their measures. At a time when all Europe seemed to
be tired of war, and about to make peace, we seemed to be disposed to
rush into it. He did not believe that much good would be done by this
system of fortification. He did not think the United States were more
secure now, than before they had a single work of the kind. We have,
said he, an extensive sea-coast, and it was not to be expected that an
enemy would choose to come to precisely the place where a fortification
stands. It was his opinion that the interests of the country would be
served, by letting this matter lie over till next session.

Mr. WILLIAMS observed, that the sense of the committee should be first
taken upon the propriety of going into the measure; if there was a
majority in favor of it, (and he could not doubt it,) the matter would
be referred to a select committee, who would make their report upon it.

Mr. S. SMITH was in favor of going into this measure; for if the war
continued in Europe, he thought it probable we might be drawn into it.

Mr. SWANWICK should not be opposed to the present motion, because he
agreed with the gentleman from Maryland, that whilst the war continued
in Europe there was a probability of this country being drawn into the
vortex. But he thought there was some weight, also, in the observation
of the gentleman from Virginia, with respect to the ways and means;
because, if, after they should agree to carry into effect certain
measures, they should disagree about the means, their time would have
been spent to no purpose.

The question was put and carried, there being 62 votes in favor of it.

_Completing and Manning the Frigates._

Mr. GALLATIN said, if the question was to determine the principle of
manning the frigates, the resolution stood right as it was. But if it
were not intended, by adopting this resolution, to commit any man, but
only to say that they would take the business into consideration, and if
found useful and necessary, and funds were attainable, they would carry
it into effect, then the amendment of the gentleman from New York (Mr.
LIVINGSTON) would be proper. As to the committee's rising, he could see
no ground for it, as these propositions were not new--they had had them
before them for three weeks in the Speech of the PRESIDENT. Of course,
so far as related to the frigates, gentlemen must have formed an
opinion; yet he agreed that it was desirable to see some documents on
the subject, before a decided affirmative or negative was given. He was,
therefore, in favor of the amendment for a committee to be appointed. He
wished all those subjects which were of a doubtful nature to be then
determined. On the other hand, those upon which members were ready to
decide at once, either by an acceptance or rejection, might be voted
upon in the form in which they were introduced.

Mr. PARKER read the motion which was entered into last year, and thought
it would be a good model for the present.

Mr. W. SMITH was of a different opinion. He thought the committee should
first decide the abstract principle. He thought it would be wrong to
refer to a select committee a business in which every member was so
intimately interested, and he doubted not gentlemen were ready to decide
upon this abstract question. With regard to expense, he was of opinion
that if the situation of the country required it, that should be no
object. If gentlemen thought differently, they would of course negative
the proposition. Any information on the subject could be got before the
business was finished. He thought they should first say what were the
necessary objects of expense, and then provide the money, which might be
done by borrowing or by taxes. If there was a necessity for the expense,
there was no doubt the money would be raised. If gentlemen were not
prepared to discuss the subject, he had no objection to the committee's
rising, and, in the House, the Secretary of War might be called upon for
information.

Mr. NICHOLAS thought the question was not fairly presented. It was
whether they should man the frigates. But when they were called upon to
determine this, they should know when they would be ready to receive the
men. The probability was that the frigates would not be ready to receive
the men before the next session of Congress.

Mr. DAYTON (the Speaker) was in favor of the original proposition. He
wished to provide for manning all the frigates which could be got ready
before the next session of Congress. He believed if they adopted this
plan, unnecessary delay would be prevented.

Mr. PARKER was ready to vote for the proposition of the gentleman from
South Carolina. He believed the frigate in Philadelphia might be
equipped, rigged, and manned, in three months. The only reason why he
varied his motion was, that he might include the next proposition; but
he believed it would be better for them to stand separate, as, before he
voted for the additional vessels, he should wish to know how the means
were to be got, and for what purpose they were to be used. The vessel
at Boston, he said, would not be ready so soon, but it would be in
readiness before the next meeting of Congress; that at Baltimore would
be in readiness to receive her men in four months.

Mr. S. SMITH said, the frigate building at Baltimore would be launched
on the 4th of July, and the equipments were in greater forwardness than
those for the frigate at Philadelphia.

Mr. BALDWIN was against referring this proposition to a select
committee. It would be desirable, indeed, to know what the cost of doing
the business would be, but every one knew how little to be relied upon
were estimates of this kind. He was ready to vote for manning the
frigates; indeed there was no question upon which he was so ready to say
aye, as upon this.

The question was about to be put on Mr. LIVINGSTON's motion, when

Mr. VARNUM said he thought the wording of the resolution improper, as
the word "completing" would clash with the act of last session.

The question was put and negatived, 50 to 34.

Mr. MACON wished the frigates to be completed, but not manned, he
therefore moved to strike out the words "and manning."

The question was put and negatived; there being only twenty-four votes
in favor of it.

Mr. GILES moved to strike out the word "completing;" but, after some
conversation, the motion was withdrawn, and the original resolution was
carried.

The third proposition next came under consideration.

Mr. NICHOLAS hoped the gentleman who introduced this motion, would tell
them for what purpose these additional vessels were wanted. He supposed
this resolution to be connected with the next, and if so, he thought
they should be considered together. What, he asked, were to be the
instructions given to the commanders of these vessels? He thought it a
very embarrassing business, and one that would certainly lead to war;
nay, indeed, the thing seemed to be a war operation in itself.

Mr. W. SMITH wished the gentleman had made his inquiries before. They
would have come more properly when the frigates were under
consideration, as the same objection would be against both; and the next
resolution had no more connection with this than with that already
agreed to. The gentleman seemed to have let go the opportunity of
calling upon him; as, however, he did not wish to evade his call,
(though he was not willing to say he would himself vote for the
measure,) he would say that it appeared to him, from the present state
of the commerce of this country, to be necessary to provide convoys for
our vessels. These vessels might not, indeed, be employed as a regular
convoy, but partly confined to the coasts and harbors.

Mr. NICHOLAS expected the gentleman from South Carolina would have
acknowledged that the two resolutions were connected. Indeed he must
have intended those vessels to be employed in this way, or such a
resolution would not have been introduced. With respect to Sweden's
treaty for a reciprocal convoy, there was some ground for it, as there
was a difference between the Northern Powers of Europe, as to the
principle of free ships making free goods; but where there was no
difference as to the principle, no such thing could take place.

Mr. GALLATIN said the present resolution was certainly in some degree
connected with the next. It was understood that the purchasing of
frigates and sloops of war, was for the purpose of convoying our trade.
Under the present circumstances of this country, he should be opposed to
this proposition; not that he denied the right of neutral powers to
afford convoys to their merchant vessels; but, because under present
circumstances it was impolitic to adopt the measure, not only for the
reasons urged by the gentleman from Virginia, but on account of our
situation with respect to France at the present moment. By our treaty
with France, enemy's property was to be respected on board of American
vessels, and certain articles used in the building of ships were not
considered as contraband; the PRESIDENT would, of course, be obliged to
give orders to have our vessels protected in this situation, and who
could not see that this would be the source of war; and if the convoy
were not to be employed to enforce these two privileges, he did not see
what use it could be of. He knew that depredations without number had
been committed in the West Indies; but he was led to believe that this
was done by pirates more than by any other vessels. But suppose it were
practicable to distinguish between those vessels which were regularly,
and those which were piratically taken; yet, he must confess he would
not be for running the risk of a rupture, by sending out armed vessels
to contest the point, especially when we have reason to believe that
these attacks are unauthorized by the French Government.

Mr. G. thought it would only be necessary to extend our navy in case of
war, and were this unhappily to be our situation, vessels might easily
be purchased without delay; but whilst we were at peace, he did not
think the advantages which could be derived from a convoy would be a
sufficient inducement to go into the measure. Besides he was induced by
another motive to give this proposition his negative. He knew the
depredations upon our commerce had been great; but he did not look upon
this loss as falling only upon merchants. There was not an individual
who did not bear a part of it.[17] For instance, if a merchant paid ten
or fifteen per cent. additional upon his cargo, he will put a
proportionably high price upon his commodities, which must eventually be
paid by the consumer. Therefore, so far as an argument might be drawn
from this circumstance, it became a question of expediency, and he
thought it would be granted, that the loss to individuals would be less
in this way than if they had to support a navy to protect our trade.

Mr. W. SMITH acknowledged that there was considerable weight in the
arguments of the gentleman from Pennsylvania, though he did not find
sufficient weight in them to change his opinion of the propriety of the
measure. The gentleman from Virginia had endeavored to show that, as
there was no difference of opinion as to principle between France and
this country, the regulations entered into with Sweden did not apply;
whilst the gentleman from Pennsylvania had produced arguments to show
that we were in that situation. With respect to the treaty articles in
dispute, it would be an easy matter for the President to give the
commanders of our vessels proper instructions on that head. And would
any gentleman say it was not right to defend our vessels against
pirates? Would not the French say, if they were applied to for redress,
"You knew these were pirates; why did you not defend yourselves against
them?" The expense, which seems so much to alarm gentlemen, should be
put out of the question. The only question, said he, is, if your
property is unjustly attacked, will you defend it?

But it was said the loss did not fall upon the merchant, but upon the
consumer. Mr. S. asserted it fell upon the country; and so far from the
expense of the proposed armament being equal to the loss sustained by
captures, it would not, in his opinion, be a tenth part of the amount,
for whatever the plunderers got this country lost. Mr. S. said he had
made a rough calculation of what would be the expense of three frigates,
of 32 guns, and six sloops of war of 16 guns, and found it to be
$926,000, including the equipment and manning for one year.

Mr. GILES said, the gentleman from South Carolina talked of defensive
measures, but his plans were offensive. That gentleman had undertaken to
doubt the right of France to declare her ports rebel ports. Was this
defensive? Every nation had this right. It was not long since Great
Britain exercised it against us. Yet, aided by a convoy, he wished to
push our trade to these ports. This would not only be hazarding the
peace of the country, but taking the direct road to war.

Besides, said Mr. G., could it be expected that six or ten frigates
could convoy all our vessels? No; not a twentieth part of them. They
could, therefore, be of little use, but might be the means of producing
the greatest evil to the country.

Mr. BALDWIN said, in all their determinations with respect to a naval
force, however great the emergency, it has always been determined to
build, rather than purchase vessels, and he saw no reason for departing
from this mode in the present instance.

After some objections from Mr. W. SMITH to the building plan, which he
said would take three or four years to furnish the proposed vessels,
whereas merchant vessels might be immediately purchased, which would
answer the purpose of small frigates, the committee rose, reported the
two resolutions, which the House took up and agreed to, and committees
were appointed to report upon them by bills or otherwise.


WEDNESDAY, June 7.

_Defensive Measures._

ARMING MERCHANT VESSELS.

The 5th, which was in the following words, having been read,

      "_Resolved_, That provision be made, by law, for regulating
      the arming of merchant vessels of the United States,"

Mr. SWANWICK inquired, with what view these vessels were to be provided?
Against whom they were to be employed? and in what cases they were to
defend themselves? The information which he might receive on these
inquiries, he said, would have considerable weight in influencing his
vote.

Mr. HARPER said the detail would be brought forward in the bill; the
principle was now only to be determined. He had not thought of all the
modifications which might be given to it, though he had thought of many;
but it would be best discussed in its general form. The gentleman, if he
thought proper, might introduce into the resolution any principle which
he might wish to have inserted in it.

Mr. WILLIAMS said it was well known that a number of our merchantmen
were arming in different ports of the Union, and it was, therefore,
necessary to regulate this business, to prevent mischief being done.
Gentlemen might differ in opinion with respect to the marine law or laws
of nations on this subject; but all would wish, since vessels were
arming, that they should be put under some restraint. When he voted for
manning the frigates, he did it with a view to have them employed in the
defence of our coasts, and not as a convoy. Our situation, he said, was
truly critical, and he was undetermined how far it would be proper to
arm the merchant vessels of the United States; but to prevent mischief,
he wished the resolution might be agreed to, reserving to himself the
right of voting ultimately for or against it. It might afterwards
undergo such modifications as should be found necessary.

Mr. LIVINGSTON said the gentleman from Pennsylvania had very properly
inquired what was the scope of the present resolution, and he expected
some answer would have been given. The gentleman from South Carolina had
said they must vote for the principle, and the detail would come of
course. So that without knowing its object, whether it was defensive or
offensive, they were called upon to agree to the principle. This
deficiency had been supplied in some degree by the gentleman from New
York. He says the merchants have undertaken to arm their vessels. He
wished to know whence he derived his information? The only information
before them was in the PRESIDENT's Speech, where he says he has
forbidden such armament, except in the East India trade. He therefore
supposed the fact not well founded. What, he asked, was intended to be
done with these armed vessels? He said they must argue hypothetically.
He supposed they were intended to protect our trade. He did not believe
they were meant to operate offensively. But he would ask if this were
the case, if it would not lead directly to war? since individuals would
be left to determine the laws of nations, and of course the peace of the
country would be placed at their disposal, and all precautions, on the
part of Government, would be in vain, since individuals, who might have
an opposite interest to that of the Government, might be continually
committing acts of hostility.

Mr. S. SMITH acknowledged that the present was a very delicate subject;
but had not the PRESIDENT forbidden the arming of merchant vessels, he
should have been of opinion that the merchant vessels of a neutral power
had always a right to arm for their own defence. But he believed it was
necessary that something should be done. Merchants would arm their
vessels from the right given to them by the law of nations, and, if not
restrained, might go on to do acts which could not be justified. Though
he believed merchants possessed the right of arming their vessels, yet,
rather than do any thing which would involve the country in war, he
believed they would desist from the practice, and bear the losses which
they might, for the want of arms, suffer. He moved to strike out the
word "regulating," and to insert in the place of it "restricting in
certain cases."

Mr. GALLATIN said it seemed as if the motion of the gentleman from South
Carolina was susceptible of any shape, since the amendment now
incorporated into it seemed to have a different view from the original.
At present he would state his objections to the principle of the
resolution itself. The first inquiry was, whether the law of nations
permitted the merchant vessels of neutral nations to arm? If they had
not a right to permit it, whether they are not bound to prohibit it? He
had examined the law of nations on this subject, and found no such
authority, nor did the practice of modern times justify the practice. He
took a view of the different stages of society, to show that whenever
regular governments were established, the public defence was always
placed in them, and it was their duty to protect individuals, since they
did not give them leave to protect themselves.

Mr. G. said he knew of no exception but in case of letters of marque and
reprisal, and he did not know a single instance within the last century
where these had been granted, but war had been the consequence, so
repugnant were they to the present state of society. It was true,
nations might be in such a state as to find it necessary to grant such a
power; as when a nation with which it has to do is unable to support the
common relations of intercourse. Two instances of this kind presented
themselves, viz: the East India trade and the Mediterranean trade. In
carrying on our trade with the East Indies, our vessels were met by
those of a number of uncivilized powers, upon whom no restraint could be
had, so that no remedy was left to us, but immediate resistance. Nearly
of the same nature was the situation of the Barbary Powers in the
Mediterranean; and, although we enter into a treaty with them, we have
not a perfect reliance upon their observing their engagements; our
merchant vessels are therefore permitted to trade to those parts armed.
He knew it might be said that, at present, the West Indies were in a
similar situation. He believed, in some respects, they were; and this
could be the only plea for adopting a measure like the present. If it
were to be understood that there was to be an end of the negotiation
with France, or that the privilege of arming would not be abandoned, it
might be proper to authorize the arming of merchant vessels; but he
believed, if it were considered that such a permission would be almost
certain to involve us in war, it would appear to be much more wise to
await the event of the negotiation with France; not that he was afraid
of offending France by a measure of this kind, but he was afraid of
involving our country in a war.

Mr. S. SMITH conceived that Congress were called together to adopt such
measures as were best calculated to preserve the peace of the country,
by means of negotiation, and to fix upon such means of defence as would
not be injurious to the country. It was his opinion that the President
was not authorized by law to prevent the vessels of merchants being
armed; but the merchants of the United States would readily submit to
any loss rather than go to war. He knew that this was the opinion of the
Philadelphia merchants: he had seen many of them. Nor had he met with
one native American who wished to go into this arming plan; they believe
it would infringe our neutrality, and throw us into a war. When he came
here, his mind was scarcely made up on the subject. He did not like to
give up his right to defend his property; but he had found this to be
the general opinion, and therefore he brought forward the amendment,
which had been well amended by the gentleman from Connecticut. The
gentleman from South Carolina had since added _West Indies_, and this
brought them to an issue; for it was war or no war.

If the latter amendment was agreed to, he should be for striking out the
whole, leaving it general; because, with West Indies in it, it would be
particularly pointed.

They had been told of the loss sustained by spoliations, and where it
fell. He believed it fell upon the great body of the people of America,
and that the fall in the price of produce had been occasioned
principally by the British Admiral having forbidden the carrying our
provisions to Hispaniola. The British fleet in the West Indies, he said,
was supplied with provisions from Ireland, whilst the French depended
upon this country for supplies; so that they were our best customers
there.


FRIDAY, June 9.

STEPHEN BULLOCK, from Massachusetts, appeared, produced his credentials,
was qualified, and took his seat.

_Defensive Measures._

NAVAL FORCE.

Mr. W. SMITH said, he had waived a consideration of the third and fourth
resolutions, in order to pass to the fifth, because he thought it was
probable the committee would have determined upon arming our merchant
vessels; and if so, it might have influenced the votes of members on
those; but, as the committee had just decided against arming merchant
vessels, he should propose another resolution to the committee. It was
well known that the three frigates which had been agreed to be manned,
would not be ready for sea for several months; in the mean time there
might be occasion for some armed vessels; he should, therefore, submit
to them the following resolution:

      "_Resolved_, That it is the opinion of this committee, that
      the _President of the United States_ ought to be authorized
      by law to provide a further naval force, whenever, in his
      opinion, the circumstances of the country shall require the
      same; and that ---- dollars be appropriated for that
      purpose."

The CHAIRMAN said the resolutions of the gentleman from North Carolina
were first in order.

Mr. W. SMITH said he had no objection to the proposition of the
gentleman from North Carolina, as a part of a plan of defence, but he
thought it also necessary to attend to the protection of our commerce.

Mr. BLOUNT said, it was perfectly indifferent to him whether the
gentleman from South Carolina considered his plan as a part or the whole
of a system. That gentleman had accused those who voted against his
proposition, with being unwilling to place the country in a posture of
defence. Now, he had voted against, and should continue to vote against,
his proposition--but he was willing, notwithstanding (as he believed all
those who voted with him were) to put the country in a state of defence.
It was his opinion that internal defence only was necessary. He thought
the system which he had proposed would be sufficient. When they had
adopted this resolution, it might be considered whether any thing more
was necessary. He had no idea of creating a naval force for defence; on
the contrary, he believed it would be the means of plunging us into
fresh difficulties. For this reason, if the resolution he had proposed
were passed into a law, he should go home satisfied, with a belief that
he had done all that was necessary. And he was convinced that his
constituents would believe that he never wanted a disposition to defend
his country when in danger.

Mr. W. SMITH did not think these propositions could be of any use at
present; they would be very proper in case an invasion was apprehended.
He thought the principal object, at this time, was to defend our
commerce, and thereby secure the revenue arising from it, either by an
effectual naval armament, or by an embargo; and he thought he was
correct in saying, in reference to this defence, that the gentleman
opposed every thing, and proposed nothing. Gentlemen, he said, were very
ready to propose things which would cost the public nothing: the militia
measure proposed would cost no more than the passing of the law; but, if
ever any expense was to be incurred, then all was opposition.

The commerce of the country could not be defended, without calling upon
the people for revenue; and he thought those gentlemen who stepped
forward to advocate such measures as involved expense, and which were
consequently in some degree unpopular, deserved the gratitude of their
constituents. He had never hesitated to do this, when he thought it
necessary. He should not, however, object to the passing of this
proposition; he only rose to say, he did not think it immediately
necessary.

Mr. W. SMITH called for the reading of a similar resolution passed in
1794; which being read, and a wish expressed that the present might be
made conformable to it, Mr. BLOUNT gave his consent; and, after a few
observations from Mr. WILLIAMS in favor of the resolution, though he
denied that it could be carried into effect without expense, the
resolution was agreed to.


SATURDAY, June 17.

A bill was reported forbidding citizens of the United States from
entering into the service of any foreign Prince or State in a state of
war, which was read twice and committed to a Committee of the Whole on
Monday.


_Stamp Duties._

Mr. W. SMITH, from the Committee of Ways and Means, reported a bill for
laying a stamp duty on vellum, parchment, and paper, viz:

      For a license to practice as a counsellor, attorney, &c.,
      five dollars.

      For every grant, or letters patent, four dollars.

      For every exemplification or certified copy of
      letters-patent, two dollars.

      For every receipt or discharge for any legacy of fifty
      dollars and not more than one hundred dollars, twenty-five
      cents; above one hundred and not more than five hundred
      dollars, fifty cents; and for every additional five hundred
      dollars, one dollar; but not to extend to legacies left to
      a wife, children, or grand-children.

      For every policy of insurance of vessels or goods from one
      district of the United States to another, twenty-five
      cents.

      For every such policy of insurance to a foreign port, for a
      sum not exceeding five hundred dollars, twenty-five cents;
      if it exceeds five hundred dollars, one dollar.

      For every exemplification, of what nature soever, fifty
      cents.

      For every bond, bill, or note, (except the note of the
      chartered banks which may be now or hereafter in
      existence,) not exceeding one hundred dollars, ten cents;
      above one hundred dollars, and not exceeding five hundred
      dollars, twenty-five cents; above five hundred dollars, and
      not exceeding one thousand dollars, fifty-cents; above one
      thousand dollars, seventy-five cents. (If payable within
      sixty days, they will be chargeable with only two-fifths of
      these duties.)

      For every protest of a note, twenty-five cents.

      For every letter of attorney, twenty-five cents.

      For every certificate or debenture, for drawing back any
      duty on the re-shipping of goods, one dollar.

      For every note or bill of lading, for goods from one
      district to another, within the United States, (not in the
      same State,) ten cents.

      For ditto to a foreign port, twenty-five cents.

      For every inventory or catalogue of furniture, goods, or
      effects, in any case required by law, (except in the case
      of distraining for rent, or an execution,) fifty cents.

      For every certificate of a share or shares in the Bank of
      the United States, or other bank, ten cents.

The bill was twice read, and ordered to be committed to a Committee of
the Whole on Monday.


WEDNESDAY, June 21.

_Expatriation._

The SPEAKER having informed the House that the unfinished business of
yesterday, viz: the bill prohibiting citizens of the United States from
entering into the military or naval service of any foreign Prince or
State, had the priority.

Mr. GALLATIN moved to have it postponed, in order to take up the bill
respecting an additional naval armament. This motion was supported by
Mr. GILES, and opposed by Mr. W. SMITH, and negatived, 35 to 34.

The bill respecting foreign service was then taken up, and, on motion of
Mr. HAVENS, it was agreed to leave the time for its taking place a
blank.

Mr. COIT moved to strike out the sixth section.

      [It defined the mode in which a citizen of the United
      States might dissolve the ties of citizenship, and become
      an alien.]

Mr. SEWALL hoped it would be struck out. In every country in the world
where civil society was established, the citizens of that society owed a
certain duty to their Government, which they could not readily get rid
of; but they were about to establish a principle to put it in the power
of the citizens of the United States, at their will, and without any
pretence, to say they would be no longer subject to the Government; and
this is at a moment of danger, when citizens of other countries might
be called home from this country. He thought this would be extremely
wrong; it would be giving an opportunity for insult to our courts and
country, and he was sure no nation would show us so much complaisance in
return.

Mr. CLAIBORNE thought it no more binding for citizens born in the United
States to continue citizens of the United States, than it was for a
Roman Catholic or Protestant to continue of that opinion, when he
arrived at the years of maturity and could judge for himself. He
insisted upon it, men had a natural right to choose under what
government they would live; and they had no reason to fear our citizens
leaving us whilst our Government was well executed. He did not wish
citizens of the United States to be in the situation of subjects of
Great Britain, who, though they had left the country forty years ago,
were liable to be considered as subjects of that Government. He trusted
the rights of man would not be thus infringed, but that they should
allow the right of expatriation unclogged.

Mr. SEWALL said, there was a great difference between the two cases
which the gentleman had stated. A man born and educated in a country
certainly owed it obligations, which were not to be shaken off the
moment he chose to do so. The different societies of the world, he said,
were like so many families independent of each other; and what family,
he asked, would suffer any of its members to leave it and go into
another when they pleased? He thought it unreasonable that it should be
so.

Mr. W. SMITH said, that the doctrine of perpetual allegiance was derived
from Great Britain, and, though it might be good in theory, was not so
in practice. They had departed from many doctrines derived from that
country, and the time was come, he believed, for departing from this.
The idea of a man being compelled to live in this country, contrary to
his will, seemed to be repugnant to our ideas of liberty. He thought
when a man was so disgusted with a country as to resolve to leave it,
for the purpose of becoming a citizen of another country, he should be
at liberty to do so on his complying with certain formalities, and
should never again be re-admitted. It was upon this principle that this
section is founded, and he thought it valuable.

Mr. S. thought this section essential, as it would be a means of
preventing quarrels with foreign countries. For instance, if a citizen
of this country took command of a French ship of war, and were to commit
hostilities on the property of citizens of the United States, if he were
taken he might allege that he was a citizen of the French Republic, and
that Government might claim him as such; but if this bill passed, no man
could cover himself under this pretence who had not complied with the
requisitions in this act. He mentioned the case of Mr. Talbot.

Mr. S. said they held out inducements for persons to come to this
country. We did not allow they owed allegiance to any other country
after they had become citizens of this. To grant this would be a fatal
doctrine to this country. It would be to declare that, in case we were
at war with another country, that country might recall persons from
this, who formerly came from thence. Many persons of that description
were amongst us. At present they enjoy all the benefit of our laws and
vote at our elections; and yet, if this doctrine were admitted, these
persons might be recalled as aliens; and if they were not recalled, they
would be considered as qualified aliens, and not as real citizens.

This law, Mr. S. said, was necessary, as at present there was not
sufficient energy in the Government to punish persons serving on board
foreign ships of war. This bill would cure the evil, and give an
opportunity for turbulent, discontented characters to leave the country
for ever. He believed it was the general opinion of the citizens of this
country that they had the right to expatriate themselves, and he thought
it was now a proper time to pass some regulations on this subject.

Mr. SITGREAVES thought this one of the most delicate and important
subjects that ever came before Congress. He saw a number of
difficulties, but he thought they were not of a nature to discourage
them from considering the bill. He trusted they should meet them with
firmness.

The evil, he said, which gave rise to this bill was a great and growing
one. In the first war which had taken place in Europe since our
independence, they found this doctrine of expatriation, as claimed by
our citizens, endangering our peace with a foreign nation, and if this
principle were admitted he feared we should always be liable to similar
embarrassments.

Mr. S. took notice of the different objections made to this section. He
observed there seemed to be much doubt on the subject, which he thought
ought to be removed by passing a law of this sort. He wished he could
agree in the opinion that no citizen had a right to expatriate himself
from this country. He thought it a doctrine essential to the peace of
society. He wished it was generally recognized; but he believed the
major opinion in this country was different; and, though not directly,
it had in a great degree been recognized by the Executive and Judiciary
in the cases of Hinfield and Talbot. He feared, therefore, it was too
late for them to say the right did not exist. It was time, however, for
Congress to declare an opinion on the subject. If the proposition in the
bill was not a proper one, it should be made so.

In the State of Virginia this doctrine was legalized, and in the
constitution of Pennsylvania it was strongly indicated, as it said
"emigration should not be prohibited." It was a favorite idea of a
republican Government not to forbid it. He did not agree with the
principles of the clause in all its parts. He thought citizens ought not
to be allowed to expatriate in time of war, as their assistance would
be wanted at home. It was his intention to have moved an amendment
allowing expatriation only in the time of peace, and an express
provision against it in time of war. He thought the doctrine of the
gentleman from Maryland, viz: that our citizens ought to go into other
countries to learn the art of war, was chimerical. When they had
obtained rank and wealth in a foreign country, it would be in vain to
call them back; they would not return. He hoped, therefore, the section
would not be struck out, but that they should proceed to amend it.

Mr. N. SMITH was sorry that the committee who reported this bill had
thought it necessary to report the sixth and seventh sections. The
doctrine of expatriation on one hand, and perpetual allegiance on the
other, were subjects they had all heard much about; but expatriation,
under limitation and restraint, was a new business. From its novelty it
became doubtful. This being the case, he wished the subject had been
deferred to an ordinary session; particularly as it appeared to be no
more connected with other parts of the bill than with many other laws
now extant. If we were to have a law on this subject, he should wish to
have it in a separate bill. For his part, he could not see how the
committee could suppose it to be a part of their duty to report these
sections. If he had thought it had, he should not have voted for
appointing a committee on the occasion.

Gentlemen advocating these clauses, say they would not allow of
expatriation in time of war. He would go further and say he would not
allow of it when there was a prospect of war, for it is idle to prohibit
it in one case and not in the other. He then asked if this was not the
very state in which we now were? If it were, why pass such a bill at
this time, when it could not go into operation? He thought this a good
reason for rejecting these clauses.

There was a mutual obligation, Mr. S. said, between a Government and all
its citizens. The Government owed protection to its citizens, and
citizens owed obedience to their Government. These duties were mutual
and co-extensive; and they might as well say that Government could
abandon its citizens when it pleased as that citizens could desert their
Government when they pleased. Yet he would allow that Government might,
on certain occasions, legalize expatriation, but not on the ground of a
citizen's having a right to expatriate when he pleased. He should have
no objection to take up the subject at a time when they could do justice
to it, but he thought the present was not that time.

The question for striking out the 6th section was put and carried, 45 to
41.

The committee accordingly rose, and the House took up the amendments.
Having come to that part for striking out the 6th and 7th sections,

Mr. DENT called for the yeas and nays, which were agreed to be taken.

Mr. VENABLE said, it seemed to be admitted that a right of expatriation
existed in our citizens; and if so, he thought there should be some mode
of exercising that right. He had no particular objection to the mode
marked out in these clauses. It had been said this was not the proper
time; but he thought it was, since it was in some degree connected with
the present bill. The gentleman from Connecticut had stated allegiance
and protection to be mutual. He did not think they were so, to the
extent which he stated. This Government was not bound to protect
citizens who went into foreign service, as in doing so they chose the
protection of another Government.

Mr. HARPER asked for an instance in which the Executive and Judiciary
had countenanced the doctrine of expatriation.

Mr. W. SMITH, in answer to his colleague, produced the case of Talbot,
and the opinion given by the Secretary of State and the Judiciary Court,
on that occasion, in favor of the right of expatriation.

Mr. GILES thought there could not be a doubt in the minds of Americans
on the subject of expatriation. Indeed, he said, this was the foundation
of our Revolution; for they were not now to be told they owed allegiance
to a foreign country. It had not only been the ground of the Revolution,
but all their acts had been predicated upon this principle. He referred
to the act respecting the rights of naturalization, which makes every
new citizen swear to support the Constitution of the United States, and
to renounce all other allegiance.

Mr. GALLATIN was opposed to these sections. With respect to
expatriation, having himself exercised the right, he could not be
supposed to be opposed to that right. Perpetual allegiance was too
absurd a doctrine to find many advocates in this country. The question
was not whether citizens had a right to expatriate, but whether they
should in this law prescribe a mode of doing it. The right seemed to
have been recognized by the Executive and Judiciary. He was against
going into this business, because he thought it unnecessary. He believed
the determination of who were citizens, and who were not, might be
safely left with the Judiciary. He had also his doubts whether the
United States had a right to regulate this matter, or whether it should
not be left to the States, as the constitution spoke of the citizens of
the States. It was a doubtful matter, and ought to undergo a full
discussion. The emigrants from this country to foreign countries were
trifling; but from ten to twelve thousand of our citizens had gone to
Canada, and upwards of five thousand beyond the Mississippi, four
thousand of whom would be got back by the running of the lines. A number
of these men hold lands in the United States; some have sold their lands
and become citizens under another Government. This subject would,
therefore, require considerable deliberation at a future day. He wished
the amendment of the Committee of the Whole to be adopted.

Mr. SITGREAVES confirmed his former statement, with respect to the
question of the right of expatriation having been settled by the
Judiciary. In order to do this, he read a note from one of the counsel
in the cases of Henfield and Talbot, giving an account of the opinions
of the court on the occasion.

Mr. SEWALL insisted upon the policy of preventing the renunciation of
allegiance, without control. The Treaty of Peace with Great Britain, he
said, had dissolved our allegiance to that country, and acknowledged our
independence.

Mr. GILES believed the evil apprehended from individuals having the
right to expatriate themselves when they pleased, was more imaginary
than real. Only two citizens had taken advantage of that right in the
State of Virginia, where it was allowed in all its extent, in twelve
years. But if there were any citizens so detached from the Government as
to wish to leave the country, he should wish them gone. To suppose this,
would be to suppose a real division between the people and Government,
which he did not believe had existence. It was said Great Britain did
not allow the doctrine of expatriation; but, he said, she had not any
naturalization law. He was in favor of excluding citizens who once
expatriated themselves from ever returning to this country.

Mr. OTIS said, that when this bill was first reported, these clauses
struck him unfavorably; but a little reflection had convinced him of the
propriety of retaining them. The passing of this provision, he said,
would not affect the constitutional right with respect to expatriation,
whatever it might be. This bill did not relate to persons emigrating
into the Spanish or English territories, but to persons expatriating
themselves, and engaging in the service of foreign countries.

The question on agreeing to the reports of the Committee of the Whole to
reject the sixth and seventh sections of the bill was taken, and
stood--yeas 34, nays 57.

All the amendments having been gone through, Mr. S. SMITH moved to
postpone the further consideration of the bill till the first Monday in
November.

This motion was supported by Messrs. VARNUM, N. SMITH, BALDWIN,
GOODRICH, and COIT, as involving a question of too delicate and
important a nature to be passed over in this hasty manner, and because
there was no pressing necessity to go into the measure at present.

It was opposed by Messrs. OTIS, WILLIAMS, W. SMITH, and CRAIK, on the
ground of the provision of the bill being necessary, and that to
postpone the business, after so ample a discussion, would be undoing
what they had been doing for two or three days.

The question for postponement was taken, and decided in the
affirmative--yeas 52, nays 44.

The bill being thus lost, Mr. W. SMITH proposed a resolution to the
House for appointing a committee to report a new bill without the two
last clauses, which, it was evident, had been the cause of the negative
given to the bill. As he supposed no opposition would be made to the
bill so reported, it might be got through without loss of time.

After some conversation on a point of order, whether or not this
resolution could be admitted, the SPEAKER declared it in order, but Mr.
COIT wishing it to lie on the table till to-morrow, it lay accordingly.


THURSDAY, June 22.

_Expatriation._

Mr. W. SMITH called up the resolution which he yesterday laid upon the
table, for appointing a committee to bring in a bill for prohibiting
citizens of the United States entering on board foreign ships of war,
without the expatriating clauses.

This resolution was opposed by Messrs. BALDWIN, GILES, and VENABLE, and
supported by the mover and Mr. HARPER. It was negatived--49 to 46.

_Depredations on Commerce._

A message was received from the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, of which
the following is a copy, with the titles of the documents accompanying
it:

      _Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

      Immediately after I had received your resolution of the
      10th of June, requesting a report respecting the
      depredations committed on the commerce of the United
      States, since the first of October, 1796, specifying the
      names of the vessels taken, where bound to or from, species
      of lading, the value, when it can be ascertained, of the
      vessel and cargo taken, and by what power captured,
      particularizing those which have been actually condemned,
      together with the proper documents to ascertain the same, I
      directed a collection to be made of all such information as
      should be found in the possession of the Government. In
      consequence of which, the Secretary of State has made the
      report and the collection of documents, which accompany
      this Message, and are now laid before the House of
      Representatives, in compliance with their desire.

                          JOHN ADAMS.

      UNITED STATES, _June_ 22, 1797.

Report of the Secretary of State to the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,
respecting the depredations committed on the commerce of the United
States:

      1. Abstract of two cases of capture made by the British
      cruisers of vessels belonging to citizens of the United
      States since the first of October, 1796, and wherein
      documents have been received at the Department of State;
      also a copy of a memorandum filed by S. SMITH, Esq.,
      relating to captures made by the British of vessels in the
      property of which he was concerned. No documents accompany
      the two cases of capture above mentioned, they having been
      sent to London, in order that compensation might be
      obtained for the damages suffered.

      2. A correct copy of the decree of the Executive Directory
      of March 2, 1797.

      3. Copies of documents remaining in the Department of
      State, relative to American vessels captured or condemned
      by the French, since the first of October, 1796.

      4. Extracts from communications from the Consuls of the
      United States, relative to depredations committed on the
      commerce of the United States by the French.

      5. Schedule of the names of American vessels captured by
      the French, and of the circumstances attending them,
      extracted from the Philadelphia Gazette, and Gazette of the
      United States, and commencing with July, 1796.

      6. Extract of a letter from Rufus King, Esq., Minister,
      &c., enclosing the protest of William Martin, master of the
      Cincinnatus, of Baltimore, relative to the torture
      inflicted on the said Martin by a French cruiser.

Mr. GILES moved that the above papers should be referred to a select
committee, to print such as would be useful to the House.

This question was negatived--50 to 46, and a motion carried for printing
the whole.

_Day of Adjournment._

Mr. GILES called up the motion which had some days ago been laid on the
table respecting an adjournment.

Mr. GALLATIN wished to modify his motion, by making the proposed day of
adjournment the 27th instead of the 24th instant.

Mr. SITGREAVES moved for the yeas and nays on the question.

Mr. MACON moved to make the day the 28th, which was consented to by the
mover.

Mr. DENT proposed to make it the 30th.

The question was taken on adjourning on the 30th, and negatived--there
being only 28 votes in favor of it.

The question on the resolution for the 28th was carried--yeas 51, nays
47.


SATURDAY, June 24.

_Protection of Trade._

NAVAL ARMAMENT.

The bill for providing for the protection of the commerce of the United
States was read a third time, and the blank for filling up the number of
men to be employed in the cutters, was filled up with thirty; on the
question being about to be put on the passing of the bill,

Mr. NICHOLAS said some statements had been received from the War
Department, and ordered to be printed. He had not seen a copy of them,
but was informed there were yet wanting $197,000 to complete the
frigates. He wished information on the subject.

Mr. PARKER read an extract from the account which had been printed.

Mr. NICHOLAS wished to know how it happened that in four months so great
a mistake could have occurred as to the expense of finishing these
vessels. When the last appropriation of $170,000 was made, they were
told that sum would be sufficient to make them fit to receive the men on
board, but now they were called upon for $197,000 more. He thought this
matter ought not to pass over without inquiry, as he did not like to be
drawn from step to step to do what, if the whole matter had been seen at
first, they might not have consented to. He trusted this was not
intentionally done, but he owned it looked very suspicious.

Mr. PARKER believed the estimate of last session was only to make the
vessels ready to receive the guns on board, and did not include the
guns.

Mr. GALLATIN said, as he meant to vote against the passage of the bill,
he would briefly state his reasons for doing so. He knew only of two
arguments in favor of the bill; the first, that it was necessary during
a time of peace to lay the foundation of a navy; the other was, that,
the frigates being built, it would be proper to man them. As to the
propriety of having a navy, he did not mean to go generally into the
subject, but he would make a few observations as to our situation for
engaging in an establishment of this kind. Suppose that navies were
necessary in European nations, to increase their power or to protect
their commerce, these considerations did not apply to our present
circumstances. In order to prove this, it was only necessary to take a
view of our revenue, and the expense of a fleet.

The amount of revenue from the 1st of April, 1796, to the 1st of April,
1797, received into the Treasury, was $7,400,000--a sum which by far
exceeded that of any former year; and he did not think that the
permanent revenue of the United States could be well extended beyond
that sum. For instance, he did not think that nine millions could be
raised from the people without oppression. Indeed, by the best
calculations on the quantity of circulating medium in the country, it
was not allowed to exceed eight millions: and he did not believe that
any nation could raise a larger sum in taxes than was equal to the
amount of their circulating specie.

      [Here Mr. Gallatin produced a detailed statement to show
      the expense of building the three frigates, to wit:
      $1,014,450, and the sum of $350,000 for the yearly expense
      of keeping them in service, repairs inclusive.]

This statement showed, Mr. G. said, that these frigates had cost about
£2,000 sterling a gun, though the common calculation in Great Britain
was only half that sum. If, from building the frigates, they turned to
the expense of manning them, the same conclusion would be drawn. They
found that the pay of an able-bodied seaman in the British navy had
lately been raised from 26s. 6d. to 30s. sterling a month, which was $6
66-2/3; but, by the present law, $15,000 a month were allowed for the
pay of the petty officers, midshipmen, seamen, ordinary seamen, and
marines, which averaged from 16 to 17 dollars a man.

When he heard gentlemen stating the advantages of the naval strength of
Denmark and Sweden to those countries, he could not agree with them
altogether, though he agreed they had some weight; but it was well known
that the Grand Navy of Portugal had no weight whatever in the scale of
the large navies of Europe; it did not even enable her to protect her
trade: for, if either France or Great Britain had the superiority in the
Mediterranean, she was under their control. He believed Denmark and
Sweden had thirty sail of the line each, and he wished gentlemen to
calculate how much it would cost us to have such a navy. A fleet of a
few vessels would not then be able to afford protection to our trade;
and it was wholly out of our power to have a fleet equal to that of
Denmark or Sweden.

Mr. SWANWICK believed the expense of these frigates had been much
greater than any future ones would be. When they were told they had cost
£2,000 sterling a gun, it was evident there must have been great
extravagance in the expense, as merchant vessels might be built as
cheaply in this country as in any other. He supposed the extra expense
had been owing to the want of some regular establishment to overlook the
business, and because it had been undertaken at a time when other
nations were at war, and of course when materials were very high.
Sixteen thousand dollars worth of hemp had indeed been burnt by accident
at Boston. As to the terms of seamen, though they might at first be
high, when the service was known he doubted not they would fall.

Mr. J. WILLIAMS said, he had always opposed the establishment of a navy,
and was the question now whether or not we should commence a navy he
should certainly be against it; but, as the frigates were so far
advanced, he thought they ought to finish them, especially when they
considered the present critical situation of our affairs; for, if a
general peace did not take place in Europe, the war would probably
become a maritime war, and we might be involved in it. But he was still
of opinion that if we must go into an expensive naval establishment for
the protection of our commerce, we had better have none. But, say
gentlemen, where will you find revenue? He believed, though we had no
armed force, a considerable commerce would still be carried on,[18] and
those who declined it would turn their attention to agriculture and
manufactures, from which any deficiency of revenue would readily be
supplied.

It was true, as had been stated, that they had been called upon from
time to time for additional sums to complete these frigates, and he knew
not when these calls would end.

Mr. GILES was obliged to the gentleman last up for his speech against
the present bill, though he meant to vote for it; he would rather,
however, that he had _spoken_ in favor, and _voted_ against the bill.
Mr. G. said he should vote against the passing of the bill, and for the
reasons assigned by that gentleman. He thought a navy would be a great
evil for this country. Our great interests lay in the soil; and if ever
the vitals of the country were to be drawn together for the purpose of
protecting our commerce on the sea, he should greatly lament it. He
believed the despotism of nations kept pace with the ratio of expense of
their Governments. He was sorry to say that he was more and more
convinced that it was the constant aim of some gentlemen in that House
to increase the expenses of our Government. The propriety of
establishing a navy had scarcely ever been seriously considered; it was
first begun under an alarm, and it had been continually carried on by
the same means.

Mr. HARPER said gentlemen seem to abandon their objections to this bill
by admitting that there was no probability it would not pass. But why?
Because a majority of the House either think the measure is proper in
itself, or from the particular circumstances of this country. It was
surely a singular instance of modesty in gentlemen, after this
concession, to argue against the passing of the bill.

Mr. H. did not admit that these frigates were commenced from an idea of
laying the foundation of a large Navy Establishment, but from particular
circumstances; and, said he, shall we, at a time when we are threatened
with danger, abandon them? He trusted not; such conduct would be absurd
in the extreme, and imply a character of imbecility which he hoped their
councils would never deserve.

Mr. ALLEN said, he had some objection to the passing of the bill, but
his objections were to the amendments which had been introduced into it,
yet he did not know but he should vote for it. He thought there was a
provision in the bill which went to prostrate this Government. He
alluded to that part of it which directed the manner in which this force
should be used. He considered this as a violation of the constitution,
besides carrying upon the face of it an idea that one of the branches of
this Government could not be trusted with the exercise of its power. Was
it possible, he asked, for a Government to exist, when this confidence
was refused to one of its branches? What were the people of the United
States, and abroad, to think of this? Would not the people of this
country think it their duty to destroy a power which could not be
trusted; and would not foreigners despise it? It seemed as if this were
the intention of gentlemen.

Mr. A. also objected to the clause limiting the duration of this bill;
since this went to say that they not only distrusted the other branches
of the Government, but themselves. A thing which must in its nature be
perpetual, was there limited. He deprecated the idea of expense being an
objection to this measure. Our emancipation from the chains of Great
Britain, he said, was attended with a great expense; but was it not
believed that the liberty and independence of this country were of
superior value to money? He trusted they were. He could only suppose,
therefore, that men who objected against the expense, must themselves
be sordid and avaricious. If these frigates had been provided four years
ago, he believed all our present difficulties would have been prevented,
and a sum vastly less than that of which we had been robbed would have
done the business. Mr. A. denied that ships of war could now be built in
England for £1,000 a gun; that was formerly the price, but they now cost
£1,500 per gun.

Mr. NICHOLAS had always been of opinion, that the expense of these
frigates was a useless expense; he did not believe a case could happen,
except within our own jurisdiction, where these vessels could be of
advantage to us; but notwithstanding this was his opinion, he should
vote for the passing of this bill, because he saw the sentiments of that
House and the public were strongly in its favor, from a persuasion that
the measure was necessary, and that the thing would be a continual topic
of dispute until it was carried into effect.

He was willing, therefore, to let the vessels go to sea, believing that
nothing short of actual experience would convince the supporters of this
measure that it was useless, expensive, and injurious; and hoping that
by one year's experience of the plaything, finding that money was of
greater value than the frigates, all parties would concur in
relinquishing it.

The question was then taken on the passing of the bill, and decided in
the affirmative--yeas 78, nays 25, as follows:

      YEAS--John Allen, George Baer, jr., Theophilus Bradbury,
      David Brooks, Nathan Bryan, Dempsey Burges, Christopher G.
      Champlin, James Cochran, William Craik, Samuel W. Dana,
      James Davenport, Thomas T. Davis, John Dennis, George Dent,
      George Ege, Lucas Elmendorph, Thomas Evans, Abiel Foster,
      Dwight Foster, John Fowler, Jonathan Freeman, Nathaniel
      Freeman, jr., James Gillespie, Henry Glenn, Chauncey
      Goodrich, William Gordon, Roger Griswold, William B. Grove,
      John A. Hanna, Robert Goodloe Harper, Carter B. Harrison,
      Thomas Hartley, William Hindman, David Holmes, Hezekiah L.
      Hosmer, James H. Imlay, John Wilkes Kittera, Edward
      Livingston, Samuel Lyman, Matthew Lyon, James Machir,
      William Matthews, John Milledge, Daniel Morgan, John
      Nicholas, Harrison G. Otis, Josiah Parker, Elisha R.
      Potter, John Read, John Rutledge, jr., James Schureman,
      Samuel Sewall, William Shepard, Thomas Sinnickson, Samuel
      Sitgreaves, Jeremiah Smith, Nathaniel Smith, William Smith,
      of Charleston, Richard Sprigg, jr., John Swanwick, George
      Thatcher, Richard Thomas, Mark Thomson, Abram Trigg, John
      Trigg, John E. Van Allen, Philip Van Cortlandt, Peleg
      Wadsworth, John Williams, and Robert Williams.

      NAYS--Abraham Baldwin, David Bard, Thomas Blount, Richard
      Brent, Thomas Claiborne, Matthew Clay, John Clopton, Joshua
      Coit, John Dawson, Albert Gallatin, William B. Giles,
      Andrew Gregg, Jonathan N. Havens, Walter Jones, Matthew
      Locke, Nathaniel Macon, Blair McClenachan, Joseph McDowell,
      Anthony New, Tompson J. Skinner, William Smith, (of
      Pinckney District,) Richard Stanford, Thomas Sumter, Joseph
      B. Varnum, and Abraham Venable.

The title was altered from "An act for the protection of the trade of
the United States," to "An act providing a Naval Armament."


MONDAY, June 26.

LEWIS R. MORRIS, from Vermont, and LEMUEL BENTON, from South Carolina,
appeared, produced their credentials, were qualified, and took their
seats.

_Stamp duties_: _Naturalization certificates_: _Lawyer's licenses_:
_Conveyances_.

The House went into a Committee of the Whole on the bill for laying
duties on stamped vellum, parchment, and paper; when, the first section
being under consideration,

Mr. KITTERA moved to add, "any certificates of naturalization ----
dollars," as he thought foreigners, who were admitted to all the rights
of citizens under this Government, could not be against paying a small
tax on their admission to this right.

Mr. MACON thought this tax would fall very heavy upon persons who came
into this country to live by their labor--many of whom were not able to
pay their passage, but were indented by those who brought them for a
number of years; and who, if this tax were paid, would have so much
longer to serve.

Mr. BROOKS did not see this objection, as such persons might labor all
their lives without becoming naturalized.

Mr. GORDON said, that by the naturalization act, no foreigner could be
admitted to the rights of a citizen until he had been five years in the
country, and therefore the objections of the gentleman from North
Carolina could not have any weight.

The amendment was carried.

Mr. SWANWICK moved to strike out five dollars, and insert ten, for
licenses to practise as a counsellor, attorney, &c. He thought, if these
gentlemen were taxed at all, ten dollars would be as low a sum as they
could well fix upon for the purpose.

Mr. VARNUM thought the tax should be much higher, if imposed at all. He
spoke of the high tax laid upon the professors of the law in
Massachusetts.

The amendment was carried, there being 53 in favor of it.

Mr. COCHRAN wished the tax to extend to lawyers who practised in the
State Courts, as well as to those who practised in the Courts of the
United States.

Mr. NICHOLAS objected to this proposition. The lawyers, in some of the
States, were already very highly taxed; besides, he doubted the right of
the United States to tax the lawyers of the State Courts, as they were
necessary in the State Governments.

Mr. SWANWICK did not expect any objection could have been made to a tax
so reasonable, especially when the bill proposed to tax merchants so
heavily; they would not be able to turn themselves without a stamp, and
surely the lucrative profession of the law could not think much of
paying this low tax. It was said, indeed, that the merchant did not
ultimately pay the duty, but the consumer; and he doubted not the
lawyers would not fail to find out a way of making their clients pay the
duty.

Mr. DENNIS objected to this tax on the same ground with the gentleman
from Virginia. If a tax of this kind, he said, were laid upon the
lawyers of the State Courts, it might be extended to any other officer
of the Government, and thereby annihilate the State Governments.

Mr. LIVINGSTON was in favor of the amendment, because he thought the
State lawyers a fair object of taxation. He denied that it would be
unconstitutional, or that it would operate hardly upon a particular
class of men. It was not laid upon any particular class; but upon an
instrument which, indeed, to exercise their professions, lawyers would
be obliged to have; but it might as well be said that the tax upon rum
and sugar would fall heavily upon the sellers of those articles, and
that therefore no rum or sugar would be sold. The one tax fell upon the
consumer, and the other upon the client. In the State of New York, Mr.
L. said, the lawyers were not taxed at all.

Mr. MCDOWELL said, when he seconded the motion for striking out "five"
for the purpose of inserting "ten" he did not intend the tax to be
extended to the practisers in State Courts; nor did he think the
constitution would warrant such an extension of it.

Mr. SITGREAVES was in favor of the amendment; he wished to fix the
principle. He thought that the State lawyers were a fair object of
taxation, and that the profits of their business would very well bear
it. But there was reason for making a distinction between the two cases.
He thought there would be a hardship in extending the tax to practisers
in county courts, as that would cause it to fall in some places very
heavily. For instance, in Pennsylvania, there must be a separate
admission into every court of every county; so that one man would
probably have to pay to the amount of from two to three hundred dollars
on account of this tax. He hoped the motion would be postponed for the
present, and modified. He would do it himself, if time were given.

The motion was withdrawn.

Mr. SITGREAVES said, he understood that deeds for the conveyance of
lands would have been amongst the articles taxed. He thought such a tax
would be an eligible one, and in order to learn what were the objections
to it, he proposed to add to the bill, "any deed for the conveyance of
real estate ---- dollars."

Mr. R. WILLIAMS said, this proposition had been rejected in the
Committee of Ways and Means, on the ground that such a tax would clash
with the jurisdiction of the States. He had the same objection to this
that he should have to laying a tax upon the State lawyers. To say a
deed, which was legal by the laws of a State, could not be received in
evidence, except it was stamped, would be tantamount to the repealing of
a State law.

Mr. W. SMITH said, this subject had been frequently under discussion,
both in the Committee of Ways and Means, and in that House. On this
occasion, the majority of the Committee of Ways and Means was against
laying a tax on deeds. He was in the minority. There was a provision,
Mr. S. said, which declared that no paper upon which a duty was imposed
by this act should be admitted in evidence; but there was afterwards a
clause which allowed them to be admitted, on payment of ten dollars over
and above the duty thereupon payable. He thought the tax would be a very
good and a very profitable one.

Mr. COIT thought this was a tax which should be gone into with great
caution, since, if it were carried, it might be the means of losing the
whole bill. He thought the bill would be better passed without this
provision; and if it were found expedient, it might be added hereafter.

Mr. GILES was opposed to this amendment, as interfering with the
governments of the several States. All lands (except such as had been
sold by the United States) were held from the States; and if this tax
were to be agreed to, he believed the State courts would not refuse to
admit a deed in evidence which was not stamped. Nothing would give so
much alarm to the States as a subject of this sort.

Mr. SEWALL did not understand the distinction made between titles to
land and titles to money. He thought the objection made to a tax on a
deed, might be made with equal propriety to a tax on a bond or note. If
they had a right to say these should not be received in evidence in a
State court, unless they were stamped, they had a right to say the same
with respect to a deed. Except it could be shown that the farmer was
less able to pay than the merchant, he thought no other objection had
any weight.

Mr. R. WILLIAMS thought there was a great difference between a note of
hand and a deed. The State had nothing to do with the former, but much
with the latter; since every State held grants of its lands, and a man
must show his title from the original grant, before his title could be
said to be a good one. He did not doubt the people being able to pay the
tax; it was the principle which he contended against, which, if carried
into effect, would cause a clashing of the authorities of the two
Governments. If the United States could lay a tax of this sort, they
might lay a tax upon every commission issued by a State.

Mr. NICHOLAS did not see the smallest difference between the two cases
which had been stated. And when they came to the 13th section, he should
endeavor to prove that to say a piece of paper should not be received in
evidence in a court, which was lawful to be received by the laws of the
State, would be a violation of State sovereignty. He was not of
opinion, with the gentleman from Connecticut, that they should take up
the subject partially, rather than not pass the bill. He thought it best
to consider a tax upon its broadest basis. It was not fair to exclude
any thing which stood upon the same ground. He wished the principle to
be thus fairly tested. He should, therefore, vote for the tax on deeds.

Mr. LYON hoped, that if this tax was agreed to, purchases of a small
amount would be excluded.

Mr. SWANWICK said there would doubtless be a difference made in the duty
between large and small purchases. He also disagreed with the gentleman
from Connecticut. The principle, he said, was either right or not; if it
were right, it should be made general: if not, it ought not to be
adopted.

The question was put, and negatived--47 to 32.

On motion, the committee rose, and had leave to sit again.


TUESDAY, June 27.

_Stamp duties._

BANK NOTES.

The House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on the bill
laying duties on stamped vellum, parchment, and paper, when

Mr. NICHOLAS moved to strike out the clause exempting bank notes from
duty, as he could see no reason why notes upon which a profit was made,
should be exempted from duty more than others. He trusted all notes
would be placed on the same footing.

Mr. W. SMITH hoped gentlemen did not mean, by moving to strike out this
exemption, to destroy the bill. He thought the observation of the
gentleman from Connecticut yesterday, against embarrassing the bill by
doubtful objects, had weight. On this ground, though he was before of
opinion deeds ought to have been inserted, he did not vote for inserting
them. He trusted the gentleman had not fully considered the subject, and
that when he did so, he would not persist in his motion.

Mr. NICHOLAS believed if the favorite object of every gentleman were to
be exempted, there would be nothing left upon which to lay a tax. If to
oppose this, were to defeat the bill, he meant to defeat it; as he
wished the tax to go to all objects of the same kind. He had no idea of
favoring one interest at the expense of another; he hoped, therefore,
his amendment would be agreed to.

Mr. LYON expected the gentleman from South Carolina was about to have
given some reasons why bank notes ought not to be taxed as well as
others; but he was disappointed. He believed those who issued these
notes got a good profit from them, and that it was, therefore,
reasonable they should pay their proportion towards the support of
Government.

Mr. W. SMITH thought the tax an improper one. Banks were taxed in
another part of the bill, on the transfer of their shares. A tax on
bank notes, he said, would introduce a vast deal of confusion throughout
the country. As for himself he did not care any thing about it; but he
believed, if it were agreed to, it would produce so many objections
against the bill as to prevent its passing.

Mr. BROOKS was against stamping bank notes, as they were not stamped in
any country whatever.[19] Indeed they were different from other notes,
as they were the representatives of specie; they might, therefore, as
well stamp dollars or guineas. In short, the subject was too important
and intricate to be gone into at this late period of the session.

Mr. VENABLE said, in proportion as the tax was general, it would be
just. What was the object of the bill? It was to tax that right which an
individual possesses in society, of transferring his property, and the
evidences of it; it was also to tax him for the right he had of using
his credit. Though the argument of the gentleman last up might appear
specious, that a bank note was the representative of specie, it was not
very solid; it was the representative of the credit of the bank, and
circulated for its interest. An individual, if he had sufficient credit,
might issue notes as well as a corporation; and, in that case, his notes
would be charged with the duty, whilst those of a corporation would not.
From whence, said Mr. V., is this reasoning drawn? It was drawn from the
doctrine of favoritism--it was meant to favor the moneyed interest,
which was already sufficiently encouraged by their incorporation. There
seemed to be no objection to the principle; but merely to the
convenience of the thing. If it could be shown that the tax would
materially operate upon the circulation of bank notes, so as to injure
the operation of money transactions, it might have some weight with him;
but it was none, to say this bill must pass, and therefore let us avoid
any thing in which there may be any difficulty. Such assertions went
only to this, where you can tax the property of an individual, do it;
but do not meddle with corporations, as this would be attended with some
difficulty. He wished, if the bill passed, that it should operate
equally.

Mr. COIT wished the gentleman from Virginia would withdraw his motion,
until he took the sense of the committee upon one which he proposed to
make, and which was calculated, if agreed to, to supersede the one he
had made. He would state what it was. It was his opinion that small
notes should be exempted from duty. He should propose, therefore, that
there should be charged on all notes exceeding fifty dollars and not
exceeding one hundred dollars, ten cents, and that all of less value
should go free.

After a few remarks upon this motion, in which it was observed that it
would defeat the bill entirely, as it would only be to make so many
more notes at fifty dollars, if the sum were larger, Mr. Coit consented
that the fifty should be struck out and left blank; when the question
was taken and negatived, there being only twenty-five votes for it.

Mr. NICHOLAS renewed his motion.

Mr. SITGREAVES hoped it would not prevail. It had been admitted that if
it could be proved that the stamping of bank notes would embarrass their
circulation, it would be a good objection to the tax. He believed he
could easily show that it would not only impede their circulation, but
depreciate their value. The tax would not certainly be made to operate
upon notes already issued, but upon those issued after the act took
place; so that it would be necessary that every citizen throughout the
United States should be acquainted with the date of their law, which
would do away all confidence in bank paper. The result of this
uncertainty would be that the banks would have to call in all their
outstanding notes, which would cause an immediate depreciation of their
value. He trusted, therefore, that so objectionable a measure would not
be entered upon.

Mr. GALLATIN said, he had had his doubts with respect to the propriety
of stamping bank notes; he was not sure whether it might not have a
dangerous effect on their circulation. On a further consideration of the
subject, however, all his doubts had vanished. He now thought this
amendment essential, just, and right. Indeed, when they proposed to lay
a stamp duty upon all bills and notes, there appeared to be no good
reason why the notes of any incorporation whatever should be excepted.
He had heard only one objection; which was, that these notes differed
essentially from others, because they were the real representatives of
specie kept in the bank from whence they were issued. He could not see
the distinction endeavored to be drawn. Private notes were always given
for some consideration, whether for cash or other property, was of no
consequence to them. Indeed, if they turned their attention to the
nature of bank notes, they would be found to be a very fair object of
taxation.

Where an individual gave his note, it was not likely that he would
derive any profit from it; many of such notes were what was called
"accommodation notes;" all were acknowledgments of debt, and therefore
no proofs of wealth; but bank notes were never issued except to produce
a profit to the bank; therefore, to exempt them from duty, would be to
exempt those which were best entitled to pay.

The only objection would be, any inconvenience which might take place to
counterbalance the benefit to be derived from the tax. It had been
supposed that a depreciation would take place in the value of the notes
in consequence of this tax. In order to show that this was not probable,
he supposed the tax would be laid.

Bank notes were issued and re-issued; but when an individual gave a
note, after it was paid, there was an end of it. Bank notes might be
issued twenty-times, or oftener; it was necessary, therefore, to tax
them in a different way from other notes. He supposed the same provision
might be adopted here as was adopted in England. They might be allowed
to be issued for a certain number of years--say three. This would remedy
every kind of inconvenience arising from reissuing. As to notes now in
circulation, the way to prevent inconvenience would be to fix the time
after which all notes should be renewed by stamped notes. The
consequence would be, that all notes would, by degrees, be returned to
the bank, and no difficulty would arise from doing so. Six or nine
months might be allowed for this purpose. This was the way in which all
the banks in England, except the Bank of England, were subject to the
stamp duty; that bank, he believed, had paid a certain sum to be excused
from the tax. Perhaps the same privilege might be allowed here.

Mr. NICHOLAS noticed what had fallen from the gentleman from
Pennsylvania on the subject of depreciation, and showed by the
regulations under which the tax would be paid, that it could not take
place.

Mr. RUTLEDGE thought bank notes a proper object of taxation, and had not
heard one good reason why they should be exempted from the proposed
duty. The arguments of his colleague (Mr. SMITH,) that bank notes now in
circulation would be affected, and their currency checked, he would
answer, by observing that the duty could not operate upon notes now in
circulation; it was not proposed to have them called in, but to have
those stamped which shall be issued after a certain day. He did not
think the weight and importance which generally attach to the
observations of the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. SITGREAVES) attach
to those now offered by him. With respect to the circulation of bank
notes being embarrassed by the necessity there would be for the people
at large being acquainted with the date of the law, the objection would
apply to private as well as bank notes. The people throughout the
country must inform themselves, and the most ignorant will inform
themselves of the date of the act; and whenever a bank note or a private
note shall be offered to them, they will always inquire if it was issued
subsequent or previous to a certain day. The gentleman from New York
(Mr. BROOKS) was certainly incorrect in saying that "bank paper was not
stamped in any country whatever." In Great Britain, Mr. R. said, the
paper of all private banks is stamped; that of the Bank of England has
been exempted from the stamp duty, by the bank having paid the
Government a sum, in gross, by way of commutation. Although the moneyed
interest has always been well and largely represented in England, yet
bank notes are taxed there, and the circulation of them has not been
embarrassed by this duty; on the contrary, the system of banking has
been wonderfully extended throughout that kingdom. In every part of it
bank notes are current; every town and village has its banks; they are
as universal as their churches. Mr. R. asked, where would be the
propriety of taxing notes issued by fifty individuals in their
individual capacity, and exempting those issued by them when they
associated, called themselves a Banking Company, and issued notes to
three times the amount of their capital? The measure seemed to him
unwise, and he was sure it would be unpopular. He could not conceive why
people who had no other property than stock, which, in many instances,
yielded an interest of fifteen per cent., should not contribute to the
support of Government.

Mr. SWANWICK.--The greatest objection which the banks in England seemed
to have to the tax, was, that it might ascertain the quantity of notes
they had in circulation. In order to prevent this, the Bank of England
commuted with Government for a certain sum; but the notes of all the
private banks were stamped. He thought it reasonable that this kind of
notes should be stamped as well as others, though he would have the tax
low; for he saw no reason why merchants should pay, and bankers be
excused from the duty, since great emolument was derived from these
notes, by the consent of the community, and the community, in return,
had a right to expect assistance from the banks.

Mr. W. SMITH believed, if an original proposition had been brought
forward to tax bank notes, it would have been thought a very serious
thing, and they should have paused before they consented to the
proposition. Gentlemen who advocated this proposition, allowed it would
require many provisions to carry it into effect. What those provisions
were he could not pretend to say. He thought bank notes had been too
much confounded with notes of individuals, and they were quite different
things. Those of individuals were mostly larger, the greatest part of
bank notes were for five dollars. Notes of individuals, if not stamped,
could not be received in evidence; but he did not know what must be the
penalty on bank notes being issued without stamp. Besides, he said, to
lay a duty upon the notes issued by the Bank of the United States would
be a violation of its charter, for, by that charter, it was said, the
notes of that bank should be received at the custom-house in payment of
duties. It had been said a commutation might be allowed, but that would
be equally contrary to the charter; besides, if such a thing were to be
done, he did not know who could do it; it would not be the proper
business of the PRESIDENT, and that House would have difficulty in
saying what would be a proper sum to be paid for the purpose. He again
feared the introduction of this principle would destroy the bill.

Mr. COIT did not think it was quite so clear a thing as some gentlemen
seemed to think it, that bank notes ought to be stamped. He did not
believe the analogy between the bank and private notes was so strong as
had been represented. If the facts were as represented, that every bank
note was to be considered as producing a profit to the banker, there
would be good ground for the tax; but he was of opinion this was not the
case. For instance, if the bank gave their note for one hundred dollars,
it was equal evidence with the note of an individual, that they had
received the value of one hundred dollars. But if they went further, it
would be found the analogy did not hold. The note of the individual was
at a certain date, but that of the banker was on demand; and they were
every day liable to be called upon for the money of which the note was
the representative; so that they were obliged to keep the money, or
money at least to a great amount, ready to take up their notes whenever
presented. Banks could not, therefore, be considered as receiving a
profit on all the notes they issued; but only upon the difference
between the amount of notes issued, and the cash they are obliged to
keep by them to answer their demands. The analogy, therefore, did not
hold; and, if bank notes were taxed, it must be upon a different
principle from that on which the notes of individuals are taxed.

Mr. POTTER was in favor of the amendment, and he trusted that gentlemen
who were always ready to go into every species of expense, would not
flinch when the object was to raise money. He had this morning voted for
a bill laying additional tax on licenses, which he believed would be
found in some degree oppressive, but he did it because he knew revenue
was wanted. He hoped the gentleman from South Carolina would, on this
occasion, concur in the proposed tax. He doubted not unexceptionable
means might be devised for collecting it; if not, it might be given up.

Mr. HARPER was against the amendment, not because he was satisfied bank
notes were not a proper object of taxation, but because he did not wish
to embarrass the bill with a subject which they had not time to
consider.

Mr. SWANWICK again spoke in favor of the tax.

Mr. OTIS was against the amendment; not because he thought such a tax
would be improper, but from the difficulties which would attend the
carrying it into effect. Besides, he said, if the notes were to revert
to the bank every two or three years, it would cause a run upon them for
cash, instead of renewed notes, which might be very inconvenient.

Mr. VENABLE did not think the run upon the bank which the gentleman had
mentioned could take place, as the notes would have to be renewed three
years from the time issued, and all their notes would not be issued on
one day. Mr. V. again insisted that this tax should be general; and if
they had not time to make it so, it ought to be put off till they had.
Not to include bankers would be to lay a tax upon the people whose
complaints of its hardships could not be heard. He deprecated this as
unjust.

Mr. HARPER could not conceive that the great body of merchants and
farmers throughout the United States were people who could not make
their complaints heard, if they had them to make. The proprietors of
banks, Mr. H. said, already paid taxes in a variety of shapes; many of
them were merchants, and would, of course, pay the tax imposed on the
notes of individuals.

Mr. BROOKS was against going into a tax on bank notes at present, but
denied that there would be any cause of complaint from the people on
account of the taxes imposed by this bill. He wished to make a beginning
with a stamp tax at present; it might not be completed these seven
years. Gentlemen might as well go on and propose a tax on newspapers,
which, whatever might be said against it, he believed might be laid
without infringing the liberty of the press; but a thing of this kind
would require a great deal of detail.

Mr. CLAIBORNE was in favor of including bank notes; not to do this, he
said, would be to catch _small fish_, and let the _large ones_ pass.

Mr. GALLATIN said that the provisions for laying this tax would be by no
means difficult. Indeed, three-fourths of the bill was copied from the
British statute, and that part respecting bank notes could be as easy
copied as any other part. The observations respecting the charter of the
Bank of the United States, were not deserving of a reply. There was only
one of two things which could be done, either to tax bank notes, or to
excuse all other notes from the tax.

Mr. SITGREAVES could not submit to hear that it was the intention of
those who opposed this motion, to screen the moneyed interest of this
country from paying a tax. He had no such views. He had no objection to
tax the banks in proportion to the amount of their business; but he
could not agree to its being done in this way. If gentlemen would
estimate how much the stamp duty of a bank would produce to the United
States, he would vote for a sum of this kind by way of commutation.
Charges could rarely be made against the side of the House with whom he
generally acted, for not being willing to vote for revenue; a contrary
charge was more frequently made. He trusted the amendment would not be
agreed to; but that if the tax were laid, it would be by way of
commutation.

The question was taken and carried, there being 55 votes in favor of it.

The committee rose and had leave to sit again.

The resolution respecting an adjournment was received from the Senate,
and disagreed to. The disagreement being read, Mr. GILES moved the same
resolution filled with Monday next; but Mr. WILLIAMS opposed it, and
moved to adjourn.


THURSDAY, June 29.

_Stamp Duties._

BANK NOTES.

The House went into a Committee of the Whole on the bill for imposing
stamp duties, when the clause of Mr. GALLATIN yesterday proposed to the
committee, on the subject of bank notes, being under consideration,

Mr. OTIS supposed that at least two-thirds of the whole amount of paper
issued by the banks, returned and were re-issued every year, and thus
the banks must pay tax upon two-thirds of their capital in the first
year after the law passed, and which, according to a rough calculation,
relation being had to the different denominations of notes, amount to
nearly one per cent. on their capital. The tax ought to be levied upon
such new notes only as should be issued hereafter; all that were now in
existence were protected by the charter, and any law relating to them
would be retrospective; and as one-fifth of the whole number of notes
would be renewed every year, a tax upon them would be found to bear as
hard as upon other notes and bills, which seldom comprised more than the
fifth part of the transactions of an individual. It ought also to be
considered, that the paper issued by the bank generally became worn and
dirty, and incapable of receiving a stamp, so that in less than two
years the whole amount of paper must be re-issued, and the entire tax
assessed in the same period. This plan would also be inconsistent with
that of a commutation, which had been proposed.

Mr. DAYTON (the Speaker) did not think that this proposition precluded
the provision of a commutation. He was in favor of taxing bank notes,
but he wished also to hold out a commutation, and such a one as should
induce all the banks to embrace it; for, if this were not the case, they
would not be taxed equally, as the notes of banks did not bear a just
proportion to the amount of their dividends. This clause would not,
therefore, preclude the commutation, but render it proper, and a clause
could be brought in excusing such banks from the duty as came into the
proposed plan.

Mr. GALLATIN said, his ideas corresponded exactly with those of the
gentleman who had just spoken. The scheme suggested by the gentleman
from Massachusetts, of not taxing the notes at present in circulation,
would excuse bank notes from all tax, as, according to his own account,
only about one-fifth of the notes issued came in in the course of a
year, so that it would be five years before a new tax could operate upon
all their notes, and it was probable the bill might not pass for more
than three or four. That gentleman supposed that bankers' notes ought
not to be charged more than others; if this were the case, they might be
reckoned to run for four or five years, while those of individuals were
at six and twelve months. The note of an individual, for fifty dollars,
was to pay ten cents; he calculated a bank note, therefore, for a like
sum, which he supposed, upon an average, to run four years, thirty
cents.

With respect to the notes at present in circulation, Mr. G. said, they
ought all to be called in before a certain time, and after that day no
note should be negotiable which was not stamped.

The gentleman from Massachusetts was not correct when he said that this
tax would amount to one per cent. upon the capital employed in banks.
The calculation of the amount of the tax upon a bank which he had made,
would amount to $10,000 a year, whereas one per cent. upon the capital
of the Bank of the United States would amount to $200,000; but he said
(as he had before stated) that the notes issued by a bank were not equal
to its capital, or any thing like it. He could not, indeed, say what the
amount of the notes of the Bank of the United States might be which were
received for duty, from one end of the United States to the other; but
he knew banks in general, in large cities, did not employ more than
two-fifths of their capital in this way. He knew it to be a fact with
respect to a bank of the largest property in the United States, except
the Bank of the United States. He thought of proposing the commutation
to be one per cent. upon the amount of the dividend paid by each bank,
which he supposed would be deemed a reasonable sum.

Mr. OTIS explained.

Mr. SEWALL thought the observation of the gentleman from Connecticut
yesterday, as to the nature of bank notes, had weight. He agreed with
him that they were very different from the notes of individuals, as they
were always obliged to keep cash in readiness to take up their notes,
while individuals, knowing exactly the time when the money for theirs
would be wanted, could make use of it in the mean time. Therefore, if
they taxed bank notes, they ought not to tax them in the same proportion
with those of individuals at a certain date. Notes of individuals, under
twenty dollars, were to be exempt from duty, while every note issued by
a bank was proposed to be taxed.

Every banker's note of fifty dollars was to be charged with thirty
cents, while those of individuals, which might run for two or three
years, were charged only with ten cents. Every three or four years they
would have to pay this sum. If a fair commutation were to be made, they
should first fix the tax upon just principles.

Mr. NICHOLAS thought if there was no objection to the commutation, there
could not reasonably be any made to the tax, because if the commutation
were reasonable they would not choose to pay the tax; but, if they
should choose to pay the tax, instead of the commutation, it would be
evidence that the tax was too low.

Mr. W. SMITH did not see the force of the argument of the gentleman last
up. As the commutation was to bear some proportion to the rates of
duty, it became necessary to fix the rates upon a fair basis. If the
rates were fixed too high, they ought to reduce them. He did not see the
propriety of selecting moneyed corporations for the purpose of laying a
high duty upon them. He moved to strike out the three cents for every
five dollars, and leave it a blank.

Mr. DAYTON hoped this proposition would be agreed to, as by a vote upon
the question in blank they would fix the principle whether or not bank
notes were to be taxed, and the scale could be afterwards fixed. If
there was the difference alleged between bank notes and the notes of
individuals, it would be sufficiently considered in the commutation. He
should not, indeed, be willing to agree to any scale without a
commutation, for the reason he had before mentioned. For, said he, take
the Bank of the United States and the Bank of North America, and the
notes issued by them bear no sort of proportion to their respective
capitals. If the tax were to be laid upon the notes issued, the Bank of
the United States would pay a much larger sum than the other in duty.

Mr. GALLATIN observed that the gentleman from South Carolina had said
they were about to select moneyed corporations as objects on which to
lay a high duty. He had made a calculation to show that this was not the
case, but that what was proposed was no more than just and reasonable,
and that instead of the tax being one per cent. upon their capital, it
was not more than one twentieth or one twenty-fifth part of one per
cent.

He would state the facts, and beg gentlemen to correct him where he was
mistaken. In the first place he would state the capital of all the banks
of the United States at $20,000,000; the whole amount of bank notes at
less than $8,000,000. He would divide these $8,000,000, one-half into
notes under fifty dollars, and one-half above that sum as follows:

$4,000,000 in notes under fifty dollars,
  which would give about
  eighty thousand notes, (for though
  they would be of different sizes
  they paid in the same proportion,)
  at thirty cents,                         $24,000
$2,000,000 of one hundred dollars
  and upwards, at fifty cents,              10,000
$2,000,000 of three hundred dollars
  and upwards,                               4,000
                                           -------
                                           $38,000
Allow for mistakes,                          2,000
                                           -------
Which includes all the notes in circulation
  in the United States,                    $40,000

As to the principle of taxation itself, that bank notes of fifty dollars
should pay thirty cents when notes of individuals only pay ten cents,
justice requires the difference, on the same principle that notes of
sixty days had been charged with only two-fifths of the duty charged
upon others.

Mr. G. stated the following account of a bank in Philadelphia, whose
capital was $2,000,000, and to which Government owed nothing; which, he
said, would apply to every other bank in the same circumstances, with
little variation:

To the original fund,    $2,000,000
To deposits, about          900,000
To bank notes,              600,000
                         ----------
Total debts,             $3,500,000
                         ----------
By notes discounted,     $3,000,000[20]
By cash in vault,        500,000
                         ----------
Total credits,           $3,500,000
                         ----------

As banks were thus able to transact business to the amount of three
millions of dollars, though their original fund was only two millions,
he accounted for their sharing dividends of nine per cent. on their
stock. It would be observed that the two millions capital were not
touched for notes, and yet they were charged with selecting these bodies
of men upon whom to lay a heavy tax.

Mr. G. concluded by saying he had no prejudice against banks. He knew
they were liable to abuse, but, upon the whole, he believed them to be
useful. He believed the scale he had formed was correct, but should
withdraw it for the present, in order to give an opportunity of trying
the principle.


FRIDAY, June 30.

_Duties on Stamps._

The proposition of Mr. GALLATIN for admitting of a composition from the
banks in lieu of the tax, came next under consideration--the blank in
which was moved to be filled with one per cent.; when

Mr. W. SMITH said, if the gentleman from Pennsylvania was right in his
calculation yesterday, the whole amount of duties arising from the banks
would be $8,000 a year, and therefore they ought not to go farther in
fixing the composition, whereas one per cent., according to the same
statement, will produce more than double that sum; for, if the whole
capital of the banks in the United States be twenty millions, and their
average dividend ten per cent., that will produce two millions, which at
one per cent. will give $20,000. He therefore moved, in order to bring
the matter nearer to a fair equivalent, to strike out one per cent. and
insert one-half per cent.

Mr. NICHOLAS said what the duty would produce was uncertain; they could
with more correctness say, that one per cent. was a reasonable
composition on the dividends, than what might be produced by the duty.
He knew of no tax laid upon property that could be made for less than
five per cent. to clear the expense of making it.

Mr. W. SMITH thought they should first fix the rates to be paid on bank
notes before they determined upon the composition.

Mr. GALLATIN said, when the rates were before under consideration, the
gentleman from South Carolina objected to it, because, if fixed too
high, he said it would influence the composition. He therefore moved to
have it struck out; but now, when a composition was under consideration,
he turns round and says it would be better first to fix the rates. He
thought one per cent. a reasonable composition, and that it would be
best first to fix that.

Mr. SMITH denied that he wanted first to fix the composition; it was his
wish to strike out the rates, to reduce them, that he moved to leave the
sum blank.

The question was put and carried, there being 54 votes in favor of it.

Mr. GALLATIN then renewed his motion for fixing the scale of duty to be
paid on bank notes. It was, on notes not exceeding fifty dollars, three
cents for every five dollars; those not exceeding one hundred dollars,
fifty cents; those above one hundred dollars, and not exceeding five
hundred dollars, one dollar; for all above five hundred dollars, two
dollars.

Mr. DAYTON said there were many notes under five dollars, for which
there was no provision.

Mr. GALLATIN thought "the rate of" would have included the small ones;
and, to dissipate every doubt on the subject, he moved to replace "three
cents for every five dollars," with "three-fifths of a cent for every
dollar."

Carried, 39 to 24.[21]


MONDAY, July 3.

The bill for laying a stamp duty was read a third time, and the blanks
filled up, viz: that for fixing the time of the act taking effect, with
the 31st day of December next; the fine and imprisonment for
counterfeiting stamps, &c., with $1,000 and seven years' imprisonment;
and the time for which the duration of the act was limited, with five
years.

The yeas and nays being taken on the passage of the bill, were--yeas 47,
nays 41, as follows:

      YEAS.--John Allen, James A. Bayard, David Brooks, James
      Cochran, Joshua Coit, William Craik, Samuel W. Dana, James
      Davenport, John Dennis, Geo. Dent, Thomas Evans, Abiel
      Foster, Dwight Foster, Jonathan Freeman, James Gillespie,
      Henry Glenn, Chauncey Goodrich, William Gordon, Roger
      Griswold, John A. Hanna, Robert Goodloe Harper, Thomas
      Hartley, William Hindman, Hezekiah L. Hosmer, Samuel Lyman,
      James Machir, William Matthews, Daniel Morgan, Lewis R.
      Morris, Harrison G. Otis, Elisha R. Potter, John Read, John
      Rutledge, jun., James Schureman, Samuel Sewall, William
      Shepard, Thomas Sinnickson, Samuel Sitgreaves, Jeremiah
      Smith, Nathaniel Smith, William Smith, (of Charleston,)
      George Thatcher, Richard Thomas, Mark Thomson, John E. Van
      Allen, Peleg Wadsworth, and John Williams.

      NAYS.--George Baer, jr., Abraham Baldwin, David Bard,
      Lemuel Benton, Thos. Blount, Nathan Bryan, Dempsey Burges,
      Samuel J. Cabell, Christopher G. Champlin, Thomas
      Claiborne, Matthew Clay, John Clopton, Thomas T. Davis,
      John Dawson, Lucas Elmendorph, John Fowler, Albert
      Gallatin, Jonathan N. Havens, David Holmes, Walter Jones,
      Edward Livingston, Matthew Locke, Matthew Lyon, Nathaniel
      Macon, Blair McClenachan, Joseph McDowell, John Milledge,
      Anthony New, John Nicholas, Josiah Parker, Thompson J.
      Skinner, William Smith, (of Pinckney District,) Richard
      Sprigg, jr., Richard Stanford, Thomas Sumter, Abram Trigg,
      John Trigg, Philip Van Cortlandt, Joseph B. Varnum, Abraham
      Venable, and Robert Williams.


TUESDAY, July 4.

_Duty on Salt._

Mr. ALLEN called up the resolution he yesterday laid upon the table, for
laying an additional duty on salt.

Mr. GALLATIN moved to postpone the consideration of this resolution
until the second Monday in November.

Some debate took place on this question; and, when it came to be taken,
the House was equally divided, there being 43 votes for the
postponement, and 43 against it. The SPEAKER decided against the
postponement, and the resolution was referred to a Committee of the
Whole immediately.

The House accordingly resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on
this resolution; when

Mr. ALLEN moved the blank cents per bushel be filled with twelve.

Mr. SWANWICK wished the sum to be seven.

Mr. ALLEN consented to make it eight.

Mr. SITGREAVES hoped it would be twelve.

The question was first taken upon twelve, and negatived, there being
only 30 votes for it. It was next taken upon eight, and carried, 47 to
42, and then upon the resolution as amended, and carried by the same
numbers.

The committee rose, and the House took up the resolution.

After a few words from Mr. LYON against the tax, and from Mr. WILLIAMS
in favor of it,

Mr. W. SMITH went at considerable length into a defence of the measure,
in the course of which, he said, they had already agreed upon
appropriations to the amount of $700,000 or $800,000, and were not
certain of any revenue to meet the expenditure. The license act, he
believed, might produce from $50,000 to $60,000, and the stamp act from
$100,000 to $150,000, if they should be passed; but he considered this
as doubtful. But if these laws were passed, this tax on salt was
necessary to keep up the equilibrium of taxation;[22] for the stamp act
would almost exclusively fall upon commerce and large cities; this would
principally be felt by the agricultural part of the Union; and, if it
were not agreed to, they must have a land tax.

Mr. SHEPARD said, no tax would operate so equally as a salt tax, as
every citizen must make use of it in a smaller or larger quantity.

Mr. GALLATIN opposed this tax on the same ground which he heretofore
opposed it, as oppressive to certain parts of the Union, and no way
affecting others, and therefore wholly unequal, and particularly as it
bore heavy on the poorer classes of society. He was against it also,
because it was not proposed that the amount of this tax should go
towards a reduction of the public debt, but merely to encourage expense
in the Government; for he believed if they filled the Treasury with
money, means would be found to expend it. Indeed, if the Treasury had
not been at present in rather a low state, he believed they should have
gone into most of the expensive measures proposed to them this session.
He allowed the tax would be productive, as a tax upon bread, air, or any
necessary of life, must be productive. If this tax, however, were to be
agreed to, he should wish to make an amendment to the present
proposition. At present the drawback allowed to the New England States,
on account of salt used in the fisheries, amounted to about $90,000 a
year, though by the statements it appeared there should only have been
allowed $50,000. To rectify this, he proposed the following proviso to
be added to the resolution, viz:

      _Provided_, That the allowance now given upon vessels
      employed in the fisheries, shall not be increased.

This amendment was opposed by Messrs. HARPER, SEWALL, DANA, and KITTERA,
on the ground of its being an unfair way of introducing the proposition,
as no one expected it; they were not prepared to meet it; the
correctness of the statement was doubted; and, if it were correct, it
was said, the proper way of doing the business would not be to pass the
present law without a drawback, but to reduce the former drawback and
make it less on this occasion.

The motion was supported by the mover, and Messrs. VENABLE and
LIVINGSTON; but, after some discussion, Mr. GALLATIN withdrew it, in
order to give gentlemen time to make themselves acquainted with the fact
he had stated; but he expressed his intention of renewing the
proposition when the bill came in.

The question then returned upon the original resolution; when

Mr. HARPER went at length into a defence of the measure, (in the course
of which he charged Mr. GALLATIN with being mistaken $12,000 as to the
amount of the drawback allowed,) and insisted that it was a fair and
proper tax, and that so small an advance upon the present duty could not
operate oppressively upon any part of the community.

Mr. NICHOLAS followed in opposition. He dwelt considerably on the unjust
and unequal manner in which this tax would operate. He said he did not
view this question as deciding merely whether an additional tax of eight
cents should be laid upon salt; but whether that necessary of life
should be called upon for every thing Government should want. He was in
favor of a direct tax, which should fall equally, though it might, in
the origin, be attended with some considerable expense; but, if they
went on raising partial sums in this way by indirect means, the expense
of instituting a direct tax would always be an obstacle, and indirect
taxes would always be had recourse to. He did not believe it to be
absolutely necessary to provide a revenue this session, as he believed
money might as well be borrowed without as with additional revenue, and
at the next session, the subject could be fully gone into.

Mr. LYON spoke of the discontent which had always been shown in the part
of the country from whence he came, which, he said, would be greatly
increased by this addition. It was not only a duty of eight cents, every
cent would be made four before the salt reached them. There was no kind
of tax which his constituents would not sooner bear. It had been said
that a land tax would cost twenty-five per cent. to collect it; but what
was twenty-five compared with three hundred per cent.? Nor did he
believe this tax would prevent a land tax. He believed they should go on
taxing the people until they would be greatly dissatisfied. He would
much rather a tax of eight cents was laid upon tea, which would produce
an equal sum.

The question was taken by yeas and nays, and decided in the
affirmative--47 to 41.


WEDNESDAY, July 5.

_Duty on Salt._

The House went into Committee of the Whole on the bill for laying an
additional duty on salt; when

Mr. GALLATIN moved to strike out all that related to the allowing of a
drawback to vessels employed in the fishing trade, on the ground that he
yesterday stated, viz: that the allowance at present made was too large
by $40,000 a year, taking the year 1794 for his data; but it appeared
that in the year 1795 there was a deficiency in that trade, owing
principally, it was supposed, to the great demand for seamen in the
merchant service. He, therefore, would take the calculation of the
gentleman from South Carolina, (Mr. HARPER,) made yesterday, and,
instead of calling the amount of drawback allowed $90,000, he would
state it to be $78,000; and even then, he said, the drawback at present
allowed would exceed by two thousand dollars the drawback to which they
would be entitled, if the present duty took place.

He spoke generally against the tax as oppressive to the back country;
but if the gentleman from Massachusetts, and others, were determined to
increase the tax, he should wish their part of the country to pay their
share of it.

This motion was supported by Messrs. VENABLE, NICHOLAS, CLAY, MCDOWELL,
and MACON.

It was opposed by Messrs. SEWALL, OTIS, HARPER, COIT, BROOKS, KITTERA,
J. WILLIAMS, and DAYTON.

The calculation of the quantity of salt estimated to be necessary to be
used for a quintal of fish, (one bushel,) was said to be stated too low;
that the sum allowed was not only meant as a drawback of the duty, but
also as a bounty on the fishing trade--as being a nursery for seamen,
and serving as a kind of naval militia for the United States.

If it should appear, however, that the present allowance was too great,
(which, by some gentlemen in favor of this motion, which was in blank,
seemed to be acknowledged,) a less allowance might be made in this bill;
but they could not consent to the bill passing without a drawback.

The question for striking out the clause was taken, and negatived--49 to
41.

Mr. COIT moved to fill the blank with 50 per cent., instead of 66-2/3,
which was the drawback allowed by the present law.

Mr. HARTLEY thought this sum too high.

Mr. WILLIAMS moved 33-1/3 per cent. which was carried without a
division.

Mr. NICHOLAS moved a limitation clause, to continue the act in force for
two years, and from thence to the end of the next session of Congress.

This motion was carried--42 to 39.

The committee rose, and the House agreed to the amendments. The yeas and
nays were called upon the limitation clause, and were taken, and
stood--yeas 47, nays 43.

The bill was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading this day; and
before the House rose, it received it, and passed. The yeas and nays on
its passage stood 45 to 40, as follows:

      YEAS.--John Allen, James A. Bayard, David Brooks, Stephen
      Bullock, John Chapman, Christopher G. Champlin, Joshua
      Coit, William Craik, Samuel W. Dana, James Davenport, John
      Dennis, George Dent, Thomas Evans, Abiel Foster, Dwight
      Foster, Jonathan Freeman, Henry Glenn, Chauncey Goodrich,
      Roger Griswold, Robert Goodloe Harper, William Hindman,
      Hezekiah L. Hosmer, James H. Imlay, John Wilkes Kittera,
      Samuel Lyman, William Matthews, Lewis R. Morris, Harrison
      G. Otis, Elisha R. Potter, John Read, John Rutledge, jun.,
      James Schureman, Samuel Sewall, William Shepard, Thomas
      Sinnickson, Samuel Sitgreaves, Jeremiah Smith, Nathaniel
      Smith, William Smith, (of Charleston,) John Swanwick,
      George Thatcher, Mark Thompson, John E. Van Allen, Peleg
      Wadsworth, and John Williams.

      NAYS.--Abraham Baldwin, David Bard, Lemuel Benton, Thomas
      Blount, Richard Brent, Nathan Bryan, Dempsey Burges, Samuel
      J. Cabell, Thomas Claiborne, Matthew Clay, John Clopton,
      Thomas T. Davis, John Dawson, Lucas Elmendorph, John
      Fowler, Albert Gallatin, James Gillespie, Wm. B. Grove,
      John A. Hanna, Jonathan N. Havens, David Holmes, Walter
      Jones, Matthew Locke, Matthew Lyon, Nathaniel Macon, Blair
      McClenachan, Joseph McDowell, John Milledge, Daniel Morgan,
      Anthony New, John Nicholas, Thompson J. Skinner, William
      Smith, (of Pinckney District,) Richard Sprigg, jun.,
      Richard Stanford, Thomas Sumter, Abram Trigg, John Trigg,
      Joseph B. Varnum, and Robert Williams.


SATURDAY, July 8.

_Laws in the German Language._

Mr. HOLMES said that he thought it necessary, in order to enforce a
general compliance with the laws of the United States, that they should
be printed in the German language, as well as in the English, since
there were very many inhabitants in this country who could read no
other. He therefore proposed a resolution to the following effect:

      "_Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of
      the United States_, That a number of copies of the laws of
      this session, not exceeding eight thousand copies, shall be
      printed in the German language, and distributed by the
      Secretary of State amongst the Executives of the several
      States, for the information of the German inhabitants of
      each State respectively."

Mr. LYON thought it would be proper to pass a resolution of this kind.
He did not know what number might be necessary. He also thought that
some measures should be taken for a general publication of their laws in
the English language; at present, it was merely by chance if the people
in his district came to a knowledge of them. He thought all laws of
general import should be inserted in every newspaper throughout the
Union.

Mr. COIT said if they were to promulge their laws in the German
language, it would be necessary that they should all become critically
acquainted with it, for if they were to authorize any translation, great
mischiefs might arise from its not being correct.

Mr. GALLATIN said that the weight of the objection urged by the
gentleman last up, had always been thought sufficient in the
Legislature of Pennsylvania, in which State there was a greater
proportion of Germans than in any other. There was also another
objection to the measure. If it were to be passed, it must be
accompanied with an appropriation law, which the advanced state of the
session would not admit.

The resolution was put and negatived.


MONDAY, July 10.

On motion of Mr. DENT, a committee was appointed to wait upon the
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, in conjunction with a like committee
from the Senate, to inform him the two Houses were about to adjourn. The
committee waited upon the PRESIDENT accordingly, and reported his
acquiescence, and his good wishes for the safe arrival of the members at
their several homes.

On motion of Mr. SITGREAVES, the resolution entered into some time ago,
calling upon the PRESIDENT for an account of the quantity of arms in the
possession of the United States, and at what place they were lodged, was
suspended.

Mr. S. said, he wished to make a report upon a subject which would
require the galleries to be cleared. He, therefore, moved that they be
cleared, and the doors were closed for the remainder of the sitting, at
the conclusion of which the House adjourned till the second Monday in
November next.[23]



FIFTH CONGRESS.--SECOND SESSION.

BEGUN AT THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, NOVEMBER 13, 1797.

PROCEEDINGS IN THE SENATE.


MONDAY, November 13, 1797.

The second session of the fifth Congress of the United States commenced
this day, at the city of Philadelphia, conformably to law; and the
Senate assembled accordingly in their Chamber.

PRESENT:

SAMUEL LIVERMORE, from New Hampshire.
THEODORE FOSTER, from Rhode Island.
URIAH TRACY, from Connecticut.
ELIJAH PAINE, from Vermont.
WILLIAM BINGHAM, from Pennsylvania.
HUMPHREY MARSHALL, from Kentucky.
ALEXANDER MARTIN and TIMOTHY BLOODWORTH, from North Carolina.
JACOB READ, from South Carolina.

The number of members present not being sufficient to constitute a
quorum, the Senate adjourned to 11 o'clock to-morrow morning.


TUESDAY, November 14.

JOHN LAURANCE, from the State of New York, and HENRY LATIMER, from the
State of Delaware, severally attended.

The number of members present not being sufficient to constitute a
quorum, the Senate adjourned.


WEDNESDAY, November 15.

BENJAMIN GOODHUE, from the State of Massachusetts, attended.

The number of members present not being sufficient to constitute a
quorum, the Senate adjourned.


THURSDAY, November 16.

The Senate assembled, and the number of members present not being
sufficient to constitute a quorum, the Senate adjourned.


FRIDAY, November 17.

JOHN LANGDON, from the State of New Hampshire, attended.

The number of members present not being sufficient to constitute a
quorum, the Senate adjourned.


SATURDAY, November 18.

No quorum being present, the Senate adjourned.


MONDAY, November 20.

JAMES GUNN, from the State of Georgia, attended.

No quorum being present, adjourned.


TUESDAY, November 21.

RAY GREENE, appointed a Senator by the State of Rhode Island, in the
place of WILLIAM BRADFORD, resigned, produced his credentials.

RICHARD STOCKTON, from the State of New Jersey, attended.

No quorum being present, the Senate adjourned.


WEDNESDAY, November 22.

The VICE PRESIDENT being absent, the Senate proceeded to the choice of a
President _pro tempore_, as the constitution provides; and JACOB READ
was duly elected.

JOSEPH ANDERSON, appointed a Senator by the State of Tennessee, for the
remainder of the term which the late Senator WILLIAM BLOUNT had drawn,
and was entitled to have served, produced his credentials; which were
read.

NATHANIEL CHIPMAN, appointed a Senator by the State of Vermont, in the
place of ISAAC TICHENOR, elected Governor, produced his credentials;
which were read.

The credentials of RAY GREENE were read.

ANDREW JACKSON, appointed a Senator by the State of Tennessee, produced
his credentials; which were read.

The oath required by law was administered by the PRESIDENT, to Messrs.
ANDERSON, CHIPMAN, GREENE, and JACKSON, they having severally taken
their seats in the Senate.

A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate, that a
quorum of the House is assembled, and ready to proceed to business.

_Ordered_, That the Secretary acquaint the House of Representatives that
a quorum of the Senate is assembled, and are ready to proceed to
business; and that, in the absence of the VICE-PRESIDENT, they have
elected JACOB READ, President of the Senate _pro tempore_.

_Resolved_, That each Senator be supplied, during the present session,
with copies of three such newspapers, printed in any of the States, as
he may choose, provided that the same are furnished at the rate of the
usual annual charge for such papers.

A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate, that
the House have appointed a joint committee on their part, together with
such committee as the Senate may appoint, to wait on the PRESIDENT OF
THE UNITED STATES, and notify him that a quorum of the two Houses is
assembled, and ready to receive any communications that he may be
pleased to make to them.

_Resolved_, That the Senate do concur in the appointment of a joint
committee, and that Messrs. BINGHAM and TRACY be the committee on the
part of the Senate.

_Resolved_, That two Chaplains be appointed to Congress for the present
session, one by each House, who shall interchange weekly; and that the
Right Rev. Bishop WHITE be Chaplain on the part of the Senate.

Mr. BINGHAM reported, from the joint committee, that they had waited on
the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and had notified him that a quorum
of the two Houses is assembled; and that the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES acquainted the committee that he would meet the two Houses, in
the Representatives' Chamber, at 12 o'clock to-morrow.


THURSDAY, November 23.

A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that the
House are now ready to meet the Senate in the Chamber of that House, to
receive such communications as the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES shall
please to make them.

The Senate then repaired to the Chamber of the House of Representatives
for the purpose above expressed.

The Senate returned to their own Chamber, and a copy of the Speech of
the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, this day addressed to both Houses of
Congress, was read:

      _Gentlemen of the Senate, and Gentlemen of the House of
      Representatives_:

      I was for some time apprehensive that it would be
      necessary, on account of the contagious sickness which
      afflicted the city of Philadelphia, to convene the National
      Legislature at some other place. This measure it was
      desirable to avoid, because it would occasion much public
      inconvenience, and a considerable public expense, and add
      to the calamities of the inhabitants of this city, whose
      sufferings must have excited the sympathy of all their
      fellow-citizens. Therefore, after taking measures to
      ascertain the state and decline of the sickness, I
      postponed my determination, having hopes, now happily
      realized, that, without hazard to the lives or health of
      the members, Congress might assemble at this place, where
      it was next by law to meet. I submit, however, to your
      consideration, whether a power to postpone the meeting of
      Congress, without passing the time fixed by the
      constitution, upon such occasions, would not be a useful
      amendment to the law of one thousand seven hundred and
      ninety-four.

      Although I cannot yet congratulate you on the
      re-establishment of peace in Europe, and the restoration of
      security to the persons and properties of our citizens from
      injustice and violence at sea, we have nevertheless
      abundant cause of gratitude to the Source of Benevolence
      and Influence, for interior tranquillity and personal
      security, for propitious seasons, prosperous agriculture,
      productive fisheries, and general improvements; and, above
      all, for a rational spirit of civil and religious liberty,
      and a calm, but steady determination to support our
      sovereignty, as well as our moral and religious principles,
      against all open and secret attacks.

      Our Envoys Extraordinary to the French Republic embarked,
      one in July, the other early in August, to join their
      colleague in Holland.[24] I have received intelligence of
      the arrival of both of them in Holland, from whence they
      all proceeded on their journey to Paris, within a few days
      of the nineteenth of September. Whatever may be the result
      of this mission, I trust that nothing will have been
      omitted on my part, to conduct the negotiation to a
      successful conclusion, on such equitable terms as may be
      compatible with the safety, honor, and interests of the
      United States. Nothing, in the mean time, will contribute
      so much to the preservation of peace, and the attainment of
      justice, as a manifestation of that energy and unanimity of
      which, on many former occasions, the people of the United
      States have given such memorable proofs, and the exertion
      of those resources for national defence, which a beneficent
      Providence has kindly placed within their power.

      It may be confidently asserted, that nothing has occurred
      since the adjournment of Congress, which renders
      inexpedient those precautionary measures recommended by me
      to the consideration of the two Houses, at the opening of
      your late extraordinary session. If that system was then
      prudent, it is more so now, as increasing depredations
      strengthen the reasons for its adoption.


      Indeed, whatever may be the issue of the negotiation with
      France, and whether the war in Europe is or is not to
      continue, I hold it most certain that perfect tranquillity
      and order will not soon be obtained. The state of society
      has so long been disturbed; the sense of moral and
      religious obligations so much weakened; public faith and
      national honor have been so impaired; respect to treaties
      has been so diminished, and the law of nations has lost so
      much of its force; while pride, ambition, avarice, and
      violence, have been so long unrestrained, there remains no
      reasonable ground on which to raise an expectation, that a
      commerce, without protection or defence, will not be
      plundered.

      The commerce of the United States is essential, if not to
      their existence, at least to their comfort, their growth,
      prosperity, and happiness. The genius, character, and
      habits of the people are highly commercial; their cities
      have been founded, and exist, upon commerce; our
      agriculture, fisheries, arts, and manufactures, are
      connected with and depend upon it; in short, commerce has
      made this country what it is, and it cannot be destroyed or
      neglected without involving the people in poverty and
      distress; great numbers are directly and solely supported
      by navigation--the faith of society is pledged for the
      preservation of the rights of commercial, and seafaring, no
      less than of the other citizens. Under this view of our
      affairs, I should hold myself guilty of a neglect of duty,
      if I forbore to recommend that we should make every
      exertion to protect our commerce, and to place our country
      in a suitable posture of defence, as the only sure means of
      preserving both.

      I have entertained an expectation, that it would have been
      in my power, at the opening of this session, to have
      communicated to you the agreeable information of the due
      execution of our treaty with His Catholic Majesty,
      respecting the withdrawing of his troops from our
      territory, and the demarkation of the line of limits; but
      by the latest authentic intelligence, Spanish garrisons
      were still continued within the limits of our country, and
      the running of the boundary line had not been commenced.
      These circumstances are the more to be regretted, as they
      cannot fail to affect the Indians in a manner injurious to
      the United States; still, however, indulging the hope that
      the answers which have been given, will remove the
      objections offered by the Spanish officers to the immediate
      execution of the treaty, I have judged it proper that we
      should continue in readiness to receive the posts, and to
      run the line of limits. Further information on this subject
      will be communicated in the course of the session.

      In connection with the unpleasant state of things on our
      western frontier, it is proper for me to mention the
      attempts of foreign agents to alienate the affections of
      the Indian nations, and to excite them to actual
      hostilities against the United States; great activity has
      been exerted by these persons, who have insinuated
      themselves among the Indian tribes, residing within the
      territory of the United States, to influence them, to
      transfer their affections and force to a foreign nation, to
      form them into a confederacy, and prepare them for war,
      against the United States.

      Although measures have been taken to counteract these
      infractions of our rights, to prevent Indian hostilities,
      and to preserve their attachment to the United States, it
      is my duty to observe, that, to give a better effect to
      these measures, and to obviate the consequences of a
      repetition of such practices, a law, providing adequate
      punishment for such offences, may be necessary.

      The Commissioners appointed under the fifth article of the
      Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, between the
      United States and Great Britain, to ascertain the river,
      which was truly intended, under the name of the St. Croix,
      mentioned in the Treaty of Peace, met at Passamaquoddy Bay
      in October, 1796, and viewed the mouths of the rivers in
      question, and the adjacent shores and islands; and being
      of opinion, that actual surveys of both rivers to their
      sources, were necessary, gave the agents of the two nations
      instructions for that purpose, and adjourned to meet at
      Boston in August; they met; but the surveys, requiring more
      time than had been supposed, and not being then completed,
      the Commissioners again adjourned to meet at Providence, in
      the State of Rhode Island, in June next, when we may expect
      a final examination and decision.

      The Commissioners appointed in pursuance of the sixth
      article of the treaty, met at Philadelphia in May last, to
      examine the claims of British subjects, for debts
      contracted before the peace, and still remaining due to
      them, from citizens or inhabitants of the United States.
      Various causes have hitherto prevented any determinations;
      but the business is now resumed, and doubtless will be
      prosecuted without interruption.

      Several decisions on the claims of the citizens of the
      United States, for losses, and damages, sustained by reason
      of irregular and illegal captures, or condemnations, of
      their vessels or other property, have been made by the
      Commissioners in London, conformably to the seventh article
      of the treaty; the sums awarded by the Commissioners have
      been paid by the British Government; a considerable number
      of other claims, where costs and damages, and not captured
      property, were the only objects in question, have been
      decided by arbitration, and the sums awarded to the
      citizens of the United States have also been paid.

      The Commissioners appointed agreeably to the 21st article
      of our Treaty with Spain, met at Philadelphia in the summer
      past, to examine and decide on the claims of our citizens
      for losses they have sustained in consequence of their
      vessels and cargoes having been taken by the subjects of
      His Catholic Majesty, during the late war between Spain and
      France; their sittings have been interrupted, but are now
      resumed.

      The United States being obligated to make compensation for
      the losses and damages sustained by British subjects, upon
      the award of the Commissioners acting under the sixth
      article of the Treaty with Great Britain, and for the
      losses and damages sustained by British subjects, by reason
      of the capture of their vessels and merchandise, taken
      within the limits and jurisdiction of the United States,
      and brought into their ports, or taken by vessels
      originally armed in ports of the United States, upon the
      awards of the Commissioners acting under the seventh
      article of the same treaty, it is necessary that provision
      be made for fulfilling these obligations.

      The numerous captures of American vessels by cruisers of
      the French Republic, and of some by those of Spain, have
      occasioned considerable expenses, in making and supporting
      the claims of our citizens before their tribunals. The sums
      required for this purpose have, in divers instances, been
      disbursed by the Consuls of the United States; by means of
      the same captures, great numbers of our seamen have been
      thrown ashore in foreign countries, destitute of all means
      of subsistence, and the sick, in particular, have been
      exposed to grievous suffering.

      The Consuls have, in these cases also, advanced moneys for
      their relief; for these advances they reasonably expect
      reimbursements from the United States. The Consular act
      relative to seamen requires revision and amendment; the
      provisions for their support in foreign countries, and for
      their return, are found to be inadequate, and ineffectual.
      Another provision seems necessary to be added to the
      Consular act; some foreign vessels have been discovered
      sailing under the flag of the United States, and with
      forged papers. It seldom happens that the Consuls can
      detect this deception, because they have no authority to
      demand an inspection of the registers and sea letters.

      _Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

      It is my duty to recommend to your serious consideration
      those objects which, by the constitution, are placed
      particularly within your sphere--the national debt and
      taxes.

      Since the decay of the feudal system, by which the public
      defence was provided for, chiefly at the expense of
      individuals, a system of loans has been introduced. And as
      no nation can raise, within the year, by taxes, sufficient
      sums for its defence, and military operations in time of
      war, the sums loaned and debts contracted have necessarily
      become the subjects of what have been called funding
      systems. The consequences arising from the continued
      accumulation of public debts in other countries, ought to
      admonish us to be careful to prevent their growth in our
      own. The national defence must be provided for as well as
      the support of Government; but both should be accomplished,
      as much as possible, by immediate taxes, and as little as
      possible by loans. The estimates for the services for the
      ensuing year will, by my direction, be laid before you.

      _Gentlemen of the Senate, and Gentlemen of the House of
      Representatives_:

      We are met together at a most interesting period; the
      situations of the principal powers of Europe are singular
      and portentous: connected with some by treaties and with
      all by commerce, no important event there can be
      indifferent to us; such circumstances call with peculiar
      importunity, not less for a disposition to unite in all
      those measures on which the honor, safety, and prosperity
      of our country depend, than for all the exertions of wisdom
      and firmness.

      In all such measures you may rely on my zealous and hearty
      concurrence.

                          JOHN ADAMS.

      UNITED STATES, _November_ 23, 1797.

_Ordered_, That Messrs. STOCKTON, LAURANCE, and LIVERMORE, be a
committee to report the draft of an Address to the PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES, in answer to his Speech, this day, to both Houses of
Congress; and that the Speech be printed for the use of the Senate.


FRIDAY, November 24.

A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate, that
the House have agreed to so much of the resolution of the Senate, of the
22d instant, relative to the appointment of Chaplains, as is contained
in the words following, to wit:

"_Resolved_, That two Chaplains be appointed to Congress for the present
session, one by each House, who shall interchange weekly."

"The House have proceeded, by ballot, to the appointment of a Chaplain
on their part; and, upon examining the ballots, a majority of the votes
of the whole House was found in favor of the Rev. ASHBEL GREEN."


SATURDAY, November 25.

Mr. STOCKTON, from the committee, reported the draft of an Address to
the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, in answer to his Speech to both
Houses of Congress, at the opening of the session; which was read.

On motion, that a number of copies be printed, under an injunction that
no more should be struck off than may be necessary for the use of the
Senate, it passed in the negative.

_Ordered_, That the Secretary furnish such Senators as request it, with
copies of this report.


MONDAY, November 27.

HENRY TAZEWELL, from the State of Virginia, attended.

The Senate resumed the consideration of the report of the committee, of
the draft of an Address in answer to the Speech of the PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES, to both Houses of Congress, at the opening of the
session; which, being read in paragraphs, and amended, was adopted, as
follows:

      _To the President of the United States_:

      SIR: The communications you thought proper to make in your
      Speech to both Houses of Congress on the opening of their
      present session, afford additional proofs of the attention,
      integrity, and firmness, which have always marked your
      official character.

      We cannot but approve of the measures you had taken to
      ascertain the state and decline of the contagious sickness
      which has so lately afflicted the city of Philadelphia, and
      the pleasing circumstance that Congress is now assembled at
      that place, without hazard to the health of its members,
      evinces the propriety of your having postponed a
      determination to convene the National Legislature at
      another place. We shall take into consideration the law of
      1794, on this subject, and will readily concur in any
      amendment which may be deemed expedient.

      It would have given us much pleasure to have received your
      congratulations on the re-establishment of peace in Europe,
      and the restoration of security to the persons and property
      of our citizens from injustice and violence at sea. But,
      though these events, so desirable to our country and the
      world, have not taken place, yet we have abundant cause of
      gratitude to the Great Disposer of human events for
      interior tranquillity and personal security, for propitious
      seasons, prosperous agriculture, productive fisheries, and
      general improvement; and, above all, for a rational spirit
      of civil and religious liberty, and a calm, but steady
      determination to support our sovereignty against all open
      and secret attacks.

      We learn, with satisfaction, that our Envoys Extraordinary
      to the French Republic had safely arrived in Europe, and
      were proceeding to the scene of negotiation; and, whatever
      may be the result of the mission, we are perfectly
      satisfied that nothing on your part has been omitted, which
      could, in any way, conduce to a successful conclusion of
      the negotiation, upon terms compatible with the safety,
      honor, and interest, of the United States; and we are fully
      convinced that, in the mean time, a manifestation of that
      unanimity and energy of which the people of the United
      States have given such memorable proofs, and a proper
      exertion of those resources of national defence, which we
      possess, will essentially contribute to the preservation of
      peace and the attainment of justice.

      We think, sir, with you, that the commerce of the United
      States is essential to the growth, comfort, and prosperity
      of our country; and that the faith of society is pledged
      for the preservation of the rights of commercial and
      seafaring, no less than of other citizens. And even if our
      negotiation with France should terminate favorably, and the
      war in Europe cease, yet the state of society, which
      unhappily prevails in so great a portion of the world, and
      the experience of past times, under better circumstances,
      unite in warning us that a commerce so extensive, and which
      holds out so many temptations to lawless plunderers, can
      never be safe without protection; and we hold ourselves
      obliged, by every tie of duty which binds us to our
      constituents, to promote and concur in such measures of
      marine defence, as may convince our merchants and seamen
      that their rights are not sacrificed, nor their injuries
      forgotten.

      We regret, that, notwithstanding the clear and explicit
      terms of the treaty between the United States and His
      Catholic Majesty, the Spanish garrisons are not yet
      withdrawn from our territory, nor the running of the
      boundary line commenced. The United States have been
      faithful in the performance of their obligations to Spain,
      and had reason to expect a compliance equally prompt on the
      part of that power. We still, however, indulge the hope
      that the convincing answers, which have been given to the
      objections stated by the Spanish officers, to the immediate
      execution of the treaty, will have their proper effect; and
      that this treaty, so mutually beneficial to the contracting
      parties, will be finally observed with good faith. We
      therefore entirely approve of your determination to
      continue in readiness to receive the posts, and to run the
      line of partition between our territory and that of the
      King of Spain.

      Attempts to alienate the affections of the Indians; to form
      them into a confederacy, and to excite them to actual
      hostility against the United States, whether made by
      foreign agents, or by others, are so injurious to our
      citizens at large, and so inhuman with respect to our
      citizens inhabiting the adjacent territory, as to deserve
      the most exemplary punishment; and we will cheerfully
      afford our aid in framing a law, which may prescribe a
      punishment adequate to the commission of crimes so heinous.

      The several objects you have pointed out to the attention
      of the Legislature, whether they regard our internal or
      external relations, shall receive from us that
      consideration which they merit; and we will readily concur
      in all such measures as may be necessary, either to enable
      us to fulfil our engagements at home, or to cause ourselves
      to be respected abroad. And, at this portentous period,
      when the powers of Europe, with whom we are connected by
      treaty or commerce, are in so critical a situation, and
      when the conduct of some of those powers towards the United
      States is so hostile and menacing, the several branches of
      the Government are, in our opinion, called upon, with
      peculiar importunity, to unite, and, by union, not only to
      devise and carry those measures on which the safety and
      prosperity of our country depend, but also to undeceive
      those nations who, regarding us as a weak and divided
      people, have pursued systems of aggression inconsistent
      with a state of peace between independent nations. And, sir
      we beg leave to assure you, that we derive a singular
      consolation from the reflection that, at such a time, the
      Executive part of our Government has been committed to your
      hands, for, in your integrity, talents, and firmness, we
      place the most entire confidence.

                          JACOB READ,

                          _President of the Senate pro tempore_.

_Ordered_, That the committee who prepared the Address wait on the
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES and desire him to acquaint the Senate at
what time and place it will be most convenient for him that it should be
presented.

On motion, _Ordered_, That Messrs. TRACY, BINGHAM, and GREENE, be a
committee, to inquire what business remained unfinished at the close of
the last session of Congress, which, in their opinion, is proper for the
Senate to take into consideration the present session, and, also, what
laws will expire before the next session of Congress, and report thereon
to the Senate.


TUESDAY, November 28.

Mr. STOCKTON reported, from the committee, that they had waited on the
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and that he would receive the Address of
the Senate this day at 12 o'clock, at his own house.

The Senate accordingly waited on the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and
the PRESIDENT _pro tempore_, in their name, presented the Address agreed
to yesterday.

To which the PRESIDENT made the following Reply:

      _Gentlemen of the Senate_:

      I thank you for this Address.

      When, after the most laborious investigation, and serious
      reflection, without partial considerations, or personal
      motives, measures have been adopted or recommended, I can
      receive no higher testimony of their rectitude, than the
      approbation of an assembly, so independent, patriotic, and
      enlightened, as the Senate of the United States.

      Nothing has afforded me more entire satisfaction, than the
      coincidence of your judgment with mine, in the opinion of
      the essential importance of our commerce, and the absolute
      necessity of a maritime defence. What is it, that has drawn
      to Europe the superfluous riches of the three other
      quarters of the globe, but a marine? What is it that has
      drained the wealth of Europe itself into the coffers of two
      or three of its principal commercial powers, but a marine?

      The world has furnished no example of a flourishing
      commerce, without a maritime protection; and a moderate
      knowledge of man and his history will convince any one,
      that no such prodigy ever can arise. A mercantile marine
      and a military marine must grow up together; one cannot
      long exist without the other.

                          JOHN ADAMS.

      UNITED STATES, _November_ 28, 1797.

The Senate returned to their own Chamber, and adjourned.


WEDNESDAY, November 29.

The PRESIDENT laid before the Senate the memorial and address of the
people called Quakers, from their yearly meeting, held in Philadelphia,
in the year 1797, requesting the attention of Congress to the oppressed
state of the African race, and the general prevalence of vice and
immorality; and the same was read and ordered to lie on the table.


THURSDAY, November 30.

_Ordered_, That the memorial and address of the people called Quakers,
presented yesterday, be withdrawn.


FRIDAY, December 1.

JAMES HILLHOUSE, from the State of Connecticut, attended.


MONDAY, December 11.

THEODORE SEDGWICK, from the State of Massachusetts, attended.


WEDNESDAY, December 13.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Vice President of the United States and President of
the Senate, attended.


FRIDAY, December 22.

JOHN E. HOWARD, from the State of Maryland, attended.


THURSDAY, December 28.

JOHN BROWN, from the State of Kentucky, attended.


FRIDAY, December 29.

STEPHENS THOMPSON MASON, from the State of Virginia, attended.


MONDAY, January 8, 1798.

JAMES ROSS, from the State of Pennsylvania, attended.


THURSDAY, January 11.

JAMES LLOYD, appointed a Senator by the State of Maryland, in the place
of John Henry, elected Governor of said State, produced his credentials;
and, the oath required by law being administered, he took his seat in
the Senate.


WEDNESDAY, January 17.

The following Message was received from the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES:

      _Gentlemen of the Senate, and Gentlemen of the House of
      Representatives_:

      The situation of affairs between the United States and the
      Cherokee Indians having evinced the expediency of a treaty
      with that nation, for the promotion of justice to them, as
      well as of the interests and convenience of our citizens, I
      have nominated, and, by and with the advice and consent of
      the Senate, appointed Commissioners to hold conferences,
      and conclude a treaty, as early as the season of the year
      and the convenience of the parties will admit.

      As we know very well, by experience, such negotiations
      cannot be carried on without considerable expenses, I
      recommend to your consideration the propriety of making an
      appropriation, at this time, for defraying such as may be
      necessary for holding and concluding a treaty.

      That you may form your judgments with greater facility, I
      shall direct the proper officer to lay before you an
      estimate of such articles and expenses as may be thought
      indispensable.

                          JOHN ADAMS.

      UNITED STATES, _January_ 17, 1798.


MONDAY, January 22.

JOSIAH TATTNALL, from the State of Georgia, attended.


FRIDAY, February 2.

JOHN SLOSS HOBART, appointed a Senator by the State of New York, in the
place of Philip Schuyler, resigned, produced his credentials, and, the
oath required by law being administered, he took his seat in the Senate.


MONDAY, February 5.

_French Outrage._

The following Message was received from the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES; which was read:

      _Gentlemen of the Senate, and Gentlemen of the House of
      Representatives_:

      I have received a letter from his Excellency Charles
      Pinckney, Esq., Governor of the State of South Carolina,
      dated the 22d October, 1797, enclosing a number of
      depositions and witnesses to several captures and outrages
      committed within and near the limits of the United States,
      by a French privateer belonging to Cape Francois, or Monte
      Christo, called the Vertitude or Fortitude, and commanded
      by a person of the name of Jordan or Jourdain, and
      particularly upon an English merchant ship named the
      Oracabissa, which he first plundered and then burned, with
      the rest of her cargo, of great value, within the territory
      of the United States, in the harbor of Charleston, on the
      17th of October last. Copies of which letter and
      depositions, and also of several other depositions relative
      to the same subject, received from the Collector of
      Charleston, are herewith communicated.

      Whenever the channel of diplomatical communication between
      the United States and France shall be opened, I shall
      demand satisfaction for the insult and reparation for the
      injury.

      I have transmitted these papers to Congress, not so much
      for the purpose of communicating an account of so daring a
      violation of the territory of the United States, as to show
      the propriety and necessity of enabling the Executive
      authority of Government to take measures for protecting the
      citizens of the United States and such foreigners as have a
      right to enjoy their peace, and the protection of their
      laws, within their limits, in that as well as some other
      harbors which are equally exposed.

                          JOHN ADAMS.

      UNITED STATES, _February_ 5, 1798.

_Ordered_, That the Message and papers referred to lie for
consideration.


MONDAY, February 19.

JOSHUA CLAYTON, appointed a Senator by the Legislature of the State of
Delaware, in the place of John Vining, resigned, produced his
credentials, which were read, and, the oath required by law being
administered, he took his seat in the Senate.


MONDAY, March 5.

_Affairs with France._

The following Message was received from the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES:

      _Gentlemen of the Senate, and Gentlemen of the House of
      Representatives_:

      The first despatches from our Envoys Extraordinary, since
      their arrival at Paris, were received at the Secretary of
      State's office at a late hour the last evening. They are
      all in a character which will require some days to be
      deciphered, except the last, which is dated the 8th of
      January, 1798. The contents of this letter are of so much
      importance to be immediately made known to Congress and to
      the public, especially to the mercantile part of our
      fellow-citizens, that I have thought it my duty to
      communicate them to both Houses without loss of time.

                          JOHN ADAMS.

      UNITED STATES, _March_ 5, 1798.

The Message and paper therein referred to were read, and ordered to lie
for consideration.


MONDAY, March 19.

The following Message was received from the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES:

      _Gentlemen of the Senate, and Gentlemen of the House of
      Representatives_:

      The despatches from the Envoys Extraordinary of the United
      States to the French Republic, which were mentioned in my
      Message to both Houses of Congress, of the fifth instant,
      have been examined and maturely considered.

      While I feel a satisfaction in informing you that their
      exertions, for the adjustment of the differences between
      the two nations, have been sincere and unremitted, it is
      incumbent on me to declare, that I perceive no ground of
      expectation that the objects of their mission can be
      accomplished, on terms compatible with the safety, the
      honor, or the essential interests of the nation.

      This result cannot, with justice, be attributed to any want
      of moderation on the part of this Government, or to any
      indisposition to forego secondary interests, for the
      preservation of peace. Knowing it to be my duty, and
      believing it to be your wish, as well as that of the great
      body of the people, to avoid, by all reasonable
      concessions, any participation in the contentions of
      Europe, the powers vested in our Envoys were commensurate
      with a liberal and pacific policy, and that high confidence
      which might justly be reposed in the abilities, patriotism,
      and integrity, of the characters to whom the negotiation
      was committed. After a careful review of the whole subject,
      with the aid of all the information I have received, I can
      discern nothing which could have insured or contributed to
      success, that has been omitted on my part, and nothing
      further which can be attempted, consistently with maxims
      for which our country has contended at every hazard, and
      which constitute the basis of our national sovereignty.

      Under these circumstances, I cannot forbear to reiterate
      the recommendations which have been formerly made, and to
      exhort you to adopt, with promptitude, decision, and
      unanimity, such measures as the ample resources of the
      country afford, for the protection of our seafaring and
      commercial citizens; for the defence of any exposed
      portions of our territory; for replenishing our arsenals,
      establishing foundries and military manufactures; and to
      provide such efficient revenue, as will be necessary to
      defray extraordinary expenses, and supply the deficiencies
      which may be occasioned by depredations on our commerce.

      The present state of things is so essentially different
      from that in which instructions were given to the
      collectors to restrain vessels of the United States from
      sailing in an armed condition, that the principle on which
      those orders were issued has ceased to exist. I therefore
      deem it proper to inform Congress, that I no longer
      conceive myself justifiable in continuing them, unless in
      particular cases, where there may be reasonable ground of
      suspicion that such vessels are intended to be employed
      contrary to law.

      In all your proceedings, it will be important to manifest a
      zeal, a vigor, and concert, in defence of the national
      rights, proportioned to the danger with which they are
      threatened.

                          JOHN ADAMS.

      UNITED STATES, _March_ 19, 1798.

The Message was read and referred to the committee appointed on the 29th
November last, who have under consideration that part of the Speech of
the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, at the commencement of the session,
which relates to the protection of commerce, to consider and report
thereon to the Senate.


TUESDAY, April 3.

The following Message was received from the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES:

      _Gentlemen of the Senate, and Gentlemen of the House of
      Representatives_:

      In compliance with the request of the House of
      Representatives, expressed in their resolution of the
      second of this month, I transmit to both Houses those
      instructions to, and despatches from, the Envoys
      Extraordinary of the United States to the French Republic,
      which were mentioned in my Message of the nineteenth of
      March last, omitting only some names, and a few expressions
      descriptive of the persons.

      I request that they may be considered in confidence, until
      the members of Congress are fully possessed of their
      contents and shall have had opportunity to deliberate on
      the consequences of their publication; after which time I
      submit them to your wisdom.

                          JOHN ADAMS.

      UNITED STATES, _April_ 3, 1798.

The galleries being cleared, the Message and documents were read.

_Ordered_, That they lie for consideration.


MONDAY, April 16.

The VICE PRESIDENT communicated a letter from JOHN SLOSS HOBART,
resigning his seat in the Senate, in consequence of his appointment to
be Judge of the New York district; which letter was read.

_Ordered_, That the VICE PRESIDENT be requested to notify the Executive
of the State of New York that JOHN SLOSS HOBART hath accepted the
appointment of Judge of the New York district, and that his seat in the
Senate is of course vacated.


TUESDAY, April 17.

The bill authorizing the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES to raise a
provisional army was read the second time.


WEDNESDAY, May 2.

The Senate resumed the consideration of the report of the committee
authorizing Thomas Pinckney, late Envoy Extraordinary to the King of
Spain, and Minister Plenipotentiary to the King of Great Britain, to
receive the customary presents to foreign Ministers at those courts.

On the question to agree to the first resolution reported, to wit:

      "_Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives
      of the United States of America in Congress assembled_,
      That Congress doth consent that Thomas Pinckney, Esq., who,
      as Envoy Extraordinary of the United States, negotiated the
      Treaty of Friendship, Limits, and Navigation between the
      United States and the King of Spain, may receive from the
      said King such present as it is customary for His Catholic
      Majesty to make to such persons as negotiate treaties with
      him:"

It passed in the affirmative--yeas 17, nays 5, as follows:

      YEAS.--Messrs. Anderson, Bingham, Bloodworth, Clayton,
      Foster, Goodhue, Greene, Hillhouse, Howard, Latimer,
      Laurance, Livermore, Martin, Read, Sedgwick, Stockton, and
      Tracy.

      NAYS.--Messrs. Brown, Langdon, Marshall, Mason, and
      Tazewell.

And the other resolution reported was agreed to, in the words following:

      _And be it further resolved_, That Congress doth consent
      that the said Thomas Pinckney, Esq., lately Minister
      Plenipotentiary from the United States to the King of Great
      Britain, may receive from the said King such present as it
      is customary for His Britannic Majesty to make to Ministers
      Plenipotentiary on taking leave of him.


THURSDAY, June 21.

_Affairs with France._

The following Message was received from the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES:

      _Gentlemen of the Senate, and Gentlemen of the House of
      Representatives_:

      While I congratulate you on the arrival of General
      Marshall, one of our late Envoys Extraordinary to the
      French Republic, at a place of safety, where he is justly
      held in honor, I think it my duty to communicate to you a
      letter received by him from Mr. Gerry, the only one of the
      three who has not received his _congé_. This letter,
      together with another, from the Minister of Foreign
      Relations to him, of the third of April, and his answer of
      the fourth, will show the situation in which he remains;
      his intentions and prospects.

      I presume that, before this time, he has received fresh
      instructions, (a copy of which accompanies this message,)
      to consent to no loans, and therefore the negotiation may
      be considered at an end.

      I will never send another Minister to France without
      assurances that he will be received, respected, and
      honored, as the representative of a great, free, powerful,
      and independent nation.

                          JOHN ADAMS.

      UNITED STATES, _June_ 21, 1798.

The Message and documents were read.

_Resolved_, That five hundred copies thereof be printed for the use of
the Senate.


MONDAY, June 25.

The bill to declare the treaties between the United States and the
Republic of France void and of no effect, was read the third time; and
the final passage of the bill was determined in the affirmative--yeas
14, nays 5, as follows:

      YEAS.--Messrs. Bingham, Chipman, Foster, Goodhue,
      Hillhouse, Howard, Laurance, Livermore, Lloyd, North,
      Paine, Read, Sedgwick, and Tracy.

      NAYS.--Messrs. Brown, Langdon, Martin, Mason, and Tazewell.

_Resolved_, That this bill pass: that it be engrossed; and that the
title thereof be, "An act to declare the treaties between the United
States and the Republic of France void and of no effect."


WEDNESDAY, June 27.

The VICE PRESIDENT being absent, the Senate proceeded to the choice of a
President _pro tempore_, as the constitution provides, and THEODORE
SEDGWICK was duly elected.

The bill to define more particularly the crime of treason, and to define
and punish the crime of sedition, was read the second time.

On motion that this bill be committed, it passed in the
affirmative--yeas 15, nays 6, as follows:

      YEAS.--Messrs. Bingham, Chipman, Foster, Goodhue,
      Hillhouse, Howard, Latimer, Laurance, Lloyd, North, Paine,
      Read, Sedgwick, Stockton, and Tracy.

      NAYS.--Messrs. Anderson, Brown, Langdon, Livermore, Martin,
      and Mason.

_Ordered_, That this bill be referred to Messrs. LLOYD, TRACY, STOCKTON,
CHIPMAN, and READ, to consider and report thereon to the Senate.


FRIDAY, June 29.

The bill to authorize the PRESIDENT to prevent and regulate the landing
of French passengers, and other persons who may arrive within the United
States from foreign places, was read the third time.

On motion, to amend the proviso to the fourth section to read as
follows:

      "_Provided_, That nothing in this act shall be construed to
      prohibit the migration or importation of such persons as
      any State may think proper by law to admit, nor to such
      persons whose admission may be prohibited by the respective
      States:"

It was determined in the negative--yeas 3, nays 17, as follows:

      YEAS.--Messrs. Anderson, Mason, and Tazewell.

      NAYS.--Messrs. Bingham, Foster, Goodhue, Hillhouse, Howard,
      Langdon, Latimer, Laurance, Livermore, Lloyd, Martin,
      North, Paine, Read, Sedgwick, Stockton, and Tracy.

On motion by Mr. MASON, to strike out these words from the preamble:

      "The peculiar circumstances of the United States, in
      relation to the Republic of France, and the citizens
      thereof, require that, whilst the United States have
      afforded hospitality and protection to Frenchmen who have
      sought an asylum in this country, they should, on the other
      hand, guard against the arrival and admission of such
      evil-disposed persons as by their machinations, may
      endanger the internal safety and tranquillity of the
      country;" in order to insert the following words: "It is
      represented that, on the evacuation of Port au Prince by
      the British troops, a number of French white men and
      negroes were put on board of vessels bound to the United
      States, some of which have arrived, and others may be
      shortly expected, and it is deemed dangerous to admit
      indiscriminately such persons into the United States:"

It was agreed to divide the motion, and that the words should be struck
out; and, on the question to agree to the substitute, it was determined
in the negative--yeas 10, nays 10, as follows:

      YEAS.--Messrs. Anderson, Bingham, Langdon, Laurance,
      Livermore, Martin, Mason, North, Read, and Tazewell.

      NAYS.--Messrs. Foster, Goodhue, Hillhouse, Howard, Latimer,
      Lloyd, Paine, Sedgwick, Stockton, and Tracy.

So the amendment was lost.

And the bill being further amended, by striking out the remainder of the
preamble,

_Resolved_, That the consideration of this bill be postponed until
to-morrow.


SATURDAY, June 30.

The Senate resumed the third reading of the bill to authorize the
PRESIDENT to prevent or regulate the landing of French passengers, and
other persons who may arrive within the ports of the United States from
foreign places.

On motion, by Mr. MARTIN, one of the majority in favor of the exception
yesterday agreed to, namely, "except children under the age of twelve
years, and women, in cases especially authorized by the PRESIDENT," and
that it be reconsidered, it was determined in the negative--yeas 6, nays
15, as follows:

      YEAS.--Messrs. Hillhouse, Howard, Lloyd, Martin, and Read.

      NAYS.--Messrs. Bingham, Brown, Chipman, Foster, Goodhue,
      Langdon, Latimer, Laurance, Livermore, North, Paine,
      Sedgwick, Stockton, Tazewell, and Tracy.

_Resolved_, That this bill pass; that it be engrossed; and that the
title thereof be "An act to authorize the PRESIDENT to prevent or
regulate the landing of French passengers, and other persons, who may
arrive within the ports of the United States from foreign places."

The Senate resumed the second reading of the bill, sent from the House
of Representatives, entitled "An act to provide for the valuation of
lands and dwelling houses, and the enumeration of slaves, within the
United States."

On motion, by Mr. PAINE, to agree to the following amendment to the
proviso in the eighth section, "And all uncultivated lands, except such
as make part or parcel of a farm; and except wood lots, used or reserved
for the purposes of fuel, fencing, lumber, or building:"

It was determined in the negative--yeas 10, nays 11, as follows:

      YEAS.--Messrs. Bingham, Brown, Chipman, Goodhue, Latimer,
      Laurance, Livermore, Paine, Sedgwick, and Stockton.

      NAYS.--Messrs. Foster, Hillhouse, Howard, Langdon, Lloyd,
      Martin, Mason, North, Read, Tazewell, and Tracy.

On motion, by one of the majority, to reconsider and restore the
following words, struck out from the end of the proviso to the eighth
section: "or which, at the time of making the said valuation or
enumeration, shall not have been assessed for, nor be then held liable
to, taxation under the laws of the State wherein the same is, or may be,
situated or possessed, shall be exempted from the aforesaid valuation
and enumeration:"

It was determined in the negative--yeas 6, nays 14, as follows:

      YEAS.--Messrs. Bingham, Foster, Howard, Latimer, Laurance,
      and North.

      NAYS.--Messrs. Brown, Chipman, Goodhue, Hillhouse, Langdon,
      Livermore, Lloyd, Martin, Mason, Paine, Read, Sedgwick,
      Tazewell, and Tracy.

On motion, by Mr. MASON, to add the following words to the end of the
eighth section: "except such as, from fixed infirmity or bodily
disability, may be incapable of labor:"

It was determined in the affirmative--yeas 11, nays 8, as follows:

      YEAS.--Messrs. Howard, Langdon, Latimer, Livermore, Lloyd,
      Martin, Mason, Paine, Read, Sedgwick, and Tazewell.

      NAYS.--Messrs. Bingham, Brown, Foster, Goodhue, Hillhouse,
      Laurance, North, and Tracy.

On motion, by Mr. BROWN, to strike out of that part of the eighth
section which respects the enumeration of slaves these words "above the
age of twelve, and under the age of fifty years:"

It was determined in the negative--yeas 10, nays 11, as follows:

      YEAS.--Messrs. Bingham, Brown, Chipman, Goodhue,
      Hillhouse, Latimer, Laurance, Lloyd, North, and Sedgwick.

      NAYS.--Messrs. Foster, Howard, Langdon, Livermore, Martin,
      Mason, Paine, Read, Stockton, Tazewell, and Tracy.

The report of the committee having been agreed to, and the bill amended
accordingly,

_Resolved_, That it pass to the third reading as amended.


MONDAY, July 2.

JOHN RUTHERFORD, from the State of New Jersey, attended.


TUESDAY, July 3.

The Senate resumed the consideration of the report of the committee to
whom was referred the bill to define more particularly the crime of
treason, and to define and punish the crime of sedition; and having
agreed to the report, the bill was amended accordingly; and the question
to agree to the third reading of the bill, as amended, was determined in
the affirmative--yeas 18, nays 5, as follows:

      YEAS.--Messrs. Bingham, Chipman, Clayton, Foster, Greene,
      Hillhouse, Howard, Latimer, Laurance, Livermore, Martin,
      North, Paine, Read, Rutherford, Sedgwick, Stockton, and
      Tracy.

      NAYS.--Messrs. Anderson, Brown, Langdon, Mason, and
      Tazewell.


WEDNESDAY, July 4.

_Treason and Sedition._

BILL TO DEFINE.

On motion to expunge the following words from the second section
reported as an amendment:

      "Or shall, in manner aforesaid, traduce or defame the
      PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, or any Court or Judge
      thereof, by declarations, tending to criminate their
      motives in any official transaction:"

It was determined in the negative--yeas 8, nays 15, as follows:

      YEAS.--Messrs. Anderson, Brown, Howard, Langdon, Martin,
      Mason, North, and Tazewell.

      NAYS.--Messrs. Chipman, Clayton, Foster, Goodhue,
      Hillhouse, Latimer, Laurance, Livermore, Lloyd, Paine,
      Read, Rutherford, Sedgwick, Stockton, and Tracy.

On motion to expunge the whole of the second section reported by the
committee, in the words following:

      "SEC. 2. _And be it further enacted_, That if any person
      shall, by any libellous or scandalous writing, printing,
      publishing, or speaking, traduce or defame the Legislature
      of the United States, by seditious or inflammatory
      declarations or expressions, with intent to create a belief
      in the citizens thereof, that the said Legislature, in
      enacting any law, was induced thereto by motives hostile to
      the constitution, or liberties and happiness of the people
      thereof; or shall, in manner aforesaid, traduce or defame
      the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES or any Court or Judge
      thereof, by declarations tending to criminate their
      motives, in any official transaction; the person so
      offending, and thereof convicted, before any court of the
      United States having jurisdiction thereof, shall be
      punished by a fine, not exceeding two thousand dollars, and
      by imprisonment, not exceeding two years:"

It was determined in the negative--yeas 6, nays 18, as follows:

      YEAS.--Messrs. Anderson, Brown, Howard, Langdon, Mason, and
      Tazewell.

      NAYS.--Messrs. Chipman, Clayton, Foster, Goodhue, Greene,
      Hillhouse, Latimer, Laurance, Livermore, Lloyd, Martin,
      North, Paine, Read, Rutherford, Sedgwick, Stockton, and
      Tracy.

The question on the final passage of the bill was determined in the
affirmative--yeas 18, nays 6, as follows:

      YEAS.--Messrs. Chipman, Clayton, Foster, Goodhue, Greene,
      Hillhouse, Latimer, Laurance, Livermore, Lloyd, Martin,
      North, Paine, Read, Rutherford, Sedgwick, Stockton, and
      Tracy.

So it was _Resolved_, That this bill pass; that it be engrossed; and
that the title thereof be "An act in addition to the act, entitled 'An
act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States.'"


WEDNESDAY, July 11.

The bill for encouraging the capture of French armed vessels, by armed
ships or vessels owned by a citizen or citizens of the United States,
was read the third time; and the final passage of the bill was
determined in the affirmative--yeas 16, nays 4, as follows:

      YEAS.--Messrs. Anderson, Bingham, Chipman, Goodhue, Greene,
      Hillhouse, Latimer, Laurance, Livermore, Martin, North,
      Paine, Read, Sedgwick, Stockton, and Tracy.

      NAYS.--Messrs. Brown, Langdon, Mason, and Tazewell.

So it was _Resolved_, That this bill pass; that it be engrossed; and
that the title thereof be "An act for encouraging the capture of French
armed vessels, by armed ships or vessels owned by a citizen or citizens
of the United States."


THURSDAY, July 12.

The Senate resumed the third reading of the bill, entitled "An act
making further appropriations for the additional Naval Armament;" and
the question on the final passage of the bill, as amended, was
determined in the affirmative--yeas 13, nays 3, as follows:

      YEAS.--Messrs. Bingham, Chipman, Clayton, Foster, Goodhue,
      Greene, Hillhouse, Latimer, Laurance, Livermore, Martin,
      North, Paine, Read, Rutherford, Sedgwick, Stockton, and
      Tracy.

      NAYS.--Messrs. Anderson, Mason, and Tazewell.

So it was _Resolved_, That this bill do pass as amended.


FRIDAY, July 13.

Mr. READ, from the committee to whom was referred the bill, sent from
the House of Representatives, entitled "An act providing for the
enumeration of the inhabitants of the United States," reported the bill
without amendment.

On motion, by Mr. LIVERMORE, to postpone the further consideration of
this bill to the next session of Congress, it was determined in the
affirmative--yeas 11, nays 7.

The following Message was received from the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES:

      _Gentlemen of the Senate_:

      A resolution of both Houses of Congress, authorizing an
      adjournment on Monday, the 16th of this month, has been
      laid before me. Sensible of the severity of the service in
      so long a session, it is with great reluctance that I find
      myself obliged to offer any consideration which may operate
      against the inclination of the members; but certain
      measures of Executive authority which will require the
      consideration of the Senate, and which cannot be matured,
      in all probability, before Monday or Tuesday, oblige me to
      request of the Senate that they would continue their
      session until Wednesday or Thursday.

                          JOHN ADAMS.

      UNITED STATES, _July 13, 1798_.

The Message was read, and ordered to lie for consideration.


MONDAY, July 16.

The Senate took into consideration the report of the committee to whom
was referred the Message of the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES of the
13th instant, and which is as follows:

      "That as, in the opinion of the PRESIDENT, certain measures
      of Executive authority will acquire the consideration of
      the Senate, and which could not be matured before Monday or
      Tuesday, it is the opinion of the committee, that the
      Senate should adjourn in their Executive capacity to meet
      to-morrow at the Senate Chamber, at ten o'clock in the
      forenoon, on Executive business."

And the report was adopted.

A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate, that
the House have appointed a joint committee on their part to wait on the
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and notify him, that, unless he may have
any further communications to make to the two Houses of Congress, they
are ready to adjourn; and desire the appointment of a committee on the
part of the Senate.

The Senate took into consideration this resolution of the House of
Representatives.

_Resolved_, That they do concur therein, and that Messrs. CHIPMAN and
GREENE be the committee on the part of the Senate.

Mr. CHIPMAN reported, from the joint committee, that they had waited on
the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, who informed them that he had
nothing further to communicate to Congress, except what might result
from the last enrolled bill now under his consideration.

_Ordered_, That the Secretary acquaint the House of Representatives
therewith; and that the Senate, having finished the Legislative business
before them, are about to adjourn.

A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate, that
the House having finished the business before them, are about to adjourn
to the first Monday in December next.

The Senate then went into the consideration of Executive business--after
which,

The PRESIDENT declared the Senate, so far as respects its Legislative
functions, adjourned to the time by the constitution prescribed; and, in
its Executive capacity, until to-morrow morning at ten o'clock.


TUESDAY, July 17, 1798.

Agreeably to the adjournment of yesterday, as stated at large in the
Legislative proceedings, the Senate assembled.

PRESENT:

THEODORE SEDGWICK, President _pro tempore_, from the State of
Massachusetts.

BENJAMIN GOODHUE, from Massachusetts.

NATHANIEL CHIPMAN, from Vermont.

JAMES HILLARY and URIAH TRACY, from Connecticut.

THEODORE FOSTER and RAY GREENE, from Rhode Island.

JOHN LAURANCE and WILLIAM NORTH, from New York.

JOHN RUTHERFORD, from New Jersey.

WILLIAM BINGHAM, from Pennsylvania.

HENRY LATIMER, from Delaware.

JOHN E. HOWARD, from Maryland.

HENRY TAZEWELL, from Virginia.

JOHN BROWN, from Kentucky.

JOSEPH ANDERSON, from Tennessee.

ALEXANDER MARTIN, from North Carolina.

JACOB READ, from South Carolina.

_Ordered_, That the following summons, directed to the Senators of the
United States, respectively, be entered on the journals:

      _The President of the United States to ----, Senator for
      the State of ----._

      Certain matters touching the public good, requiring that
      the session of the Senate, for Executive business, should
      be continued, and that the members thereof should convene
      on Tuesday, the 17th day of July, inst., you are desired to
      attend at the Senate Chamber, in Philadelphia, on that
      day, at ten o'clock in the forenoon, then and there to
      receive and deliberate on such communications as shall be
      made to you on my part.

                          JOHN ADAMS.

      UNITED STATES, _July 16, 1798_.


WEDNESDAY, July 18.

The following Message was received from the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES:

      _Gentlemen of the Senate_:

      Believing that the letter received this morning from
      General Washington, will give high satisfaction to the
      Senate, I transmit them a copy of it, and congratulate them
      and the public on this great event--the General's
      acceptance of his appointment as Lieutenant General and
      Commander-in-Chief of the Army.

                          JOHN ADAMS.

      UNITED STATES, _July 17, 1798_.

                          MOUNT VERNON, _July 13, 1798_.

      DEAR SIR: I had the honor, on the evening of the 11th
      instant, to receive from the hands of the Secretary of War,
      your favor of the 7th, announcing that you had, with the
      advice and consent of the Senate, appointed me Lieutenant
      General and Commander-in-Chief of all the armies raised or
      to be raised for the service of the United States.

      I cannot express how greatly affected I am at this new
      proof of public confidence, and the highly flattering
      manner in which you have been pleased to make the
      communication; at the same time I must not conceal from you
      my earnest wish that the choice had fallen upon a man less
      declined in years, and better qualified to encounter the
      usual vicissitudes of war.

      You know, sir, what calculation I had made relative to the
      probable course of events on my retiring from office, and
      the determination I had consoled myself with, of closing
      the remnant of my days in my present peaceful abode; you
      will, therefore, be at no loss to conceive and appreciate
      the sensations I must have experienced to bring my mind to
      any conclusion that would pledge me, at so late a period of
      life, to leave scenes I sincerely love, to enter upon the
      boundless field of public action, incessant trouble, and
      high responsibility.

      It was not possible for me to remain ignorant of, or
      indifferent to, recent transactions. The conduct of the
      Directory of France towards our country; their insidious
      hostility to its Government; their various practices to
      withdraw the affections of the people from it; the evident
      tendency of their acts and those of their agents to
      countenance and invigorate opposition; their disregard of
      solemn treaties and the laws of nations; their war upon our
      defenceless commerce; their treatment of our ministers of
      peace; and their demands, amounting to tribute; could not
      fail to excite in me corresponding sentiments with those my
      countrymen have so generally expressed in their
      affectionate addresses to you. Believe me, sir, no one can
      more cordially approve of the wise and prudent measures of
      your Administration. They ought to inspire universal
      confidence; and will, no doubt, combined with the state of
      things, call from Congress such laws and means as will
      enable you to meet the full force and extent of the crisis.

      Satisfied, therefore, that you have sincerely wished and
      endeavored to avert war, and exhausted, to the last drop,
      the cup of reconciliation, we can with pure hearts appeal
      to Heaven for the justice of our cause, and may
      confidently trust the final result to that kind Providence
      who has heretofore, and so often, signally favored the
      people of these United States.

      Thinking in this manner, and feeling how incumbent it is
      upon every person, of every description, to contribute at
      all times to his country's welfare, and especially in a
      moment like the present, when every thing we hold dear and
      sacred is so seriously threatened, I have finally
      determined to accept the commission of Commander-in-Chief
      of the Armies of the United States; with the reserve only
      that I shall not be called into the field until the Army is
      in a situation to require my presence, or it becomes
      indispensable by the urgency of circumstances.

      In making this reservation, I beg it to be understood, that
      I do not mean to withhold any assistance to arrange and
      organize the Army, which you may think I can afford. I take
      the liberty also to mention, that I must decline having my
      acceptance considered as drawing after it any immediate
      charge upon the public, or that I can receive any
      emoluments annexed to the appointment, before entering into
      a situation to incur expense.

      The Secretary of War being anxious to return to the seat of
      Government, I have detained him no longer than was
      necessary to a full communication upon the several points
      he had in charge.

      With very great respect and consideration, I have the honor
      to be, dear sir, your most obedient and humble servant,

                          G. WASHINGTON.

      JOHN ADAMS, _President of the United States_.

The Message and letter were read, and five hundred copies thereof
ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate.

The following Message was received from the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES:

      _Gentlemen of the Senate_:

      I nominate Alexander Hamilton, of New York, to be Inspector
      General of the Army, with the rank of Major General.

      Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, of South Carolina, to be a
      Major General.

      Henry Knox, of Massachusetts, to be a Major General.

      Henry Lee, of Virginia, to be a Major General of the
      Provisional Army.

      Edward Hand, of Pennsylvania, to be a Major General of the
      Provisional Army.

      John Brooks, of Massachusetts, to be a Brigadier General.

      William Washington, of South Carolina, to be a Brigadier
      General.

      Jonathan Dayton, of New Jersey, to be a Brigadier General.

      William Stevens Smith, of New York, to be Adjutant General,
      with the rank of Brigadier General.

      Ebenezer Huntington, of Connecticut, to be a Brigadier
      General of the Provisional Army.

      Anthony Walton White, to be a Brigadier General of the
      Provisional Army.

      William Richardson Davie, of North Carolina, to be a
      Brigadier General of the Provisional Army.

      John Sevier, of Tennessee, to be a Brigadier General of the
      Provisional Army.

      James Craik, of Virginia, to be Physician General of the
      Army.

                          JOHN ADAMS.

      JULY 18, 1798.

The Message was read, and ordered to lie for consideration.

The following Message was received from the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES:

      _Gentlemen of the Senate_:

      I nominate William Winder, of Maryland, to be Accountant of
      the Navy.

                          JOHN ADAMS.

      JULY 18, 1798.


THURSDAY, July 19.

The Senate took into consideration the Message of the PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES, of the 18th instant, and the nomination contained
therein, of William Winder, to office. Whereupon,

_Resolved_, That they do advise and consent to the appointment agreeably
to the nomination.

_Ordered_, That the Secretary lay this resolution before the PRESIDENT
OF THE UNITED STATES.

The Senate took into consideration the Message of the PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES, of the 18th instant, and the nominations contained
therein, of Alexander Hamilton, and others, to military appointment.
Whereupon,

_Resolved_, That they do advise and consent to the appointments,
agreeably to the nominations, respectively; except to that of William
Stevens Smith, of New York, to be Adjutant General, with the rank of
Brigadier General, to which they do not advise and consent.

_Ordered_, That the Secretary lay this resolution before the PRESIDENT
OF THE UNITED STATES.

_Ordered_, That Mr. BINGHAM and Mr. LAURANCE be a committee to wait on
the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and notify him, that having finished
the Executive business before them, they are ready to adjourn, unless he
may have any further matters for their consideration.

Mr. BINGHAM reported, from the committee last mentioned, that the
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES informed them that he had a further
communication to make to the Senate.

The following Message was received from the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES:

      _Gentlemen of the Senate_:

      I nominate William North, of New York, to be Adjutant
      General of the Army, with the rank of Brigadier General.

                          JOHN ADAMS.

      UNITED STATES, _July 19, 1798_.

The Message was read.

On motion, it was agreed, by unanimous consent, to dispense with the
rule, and that the said nomination be now considered. Whereupon,

_Resolved_, That they do advise and consent to the appointment,
agreeably to the nomination.

_Ordered_, That the Secretary lay this resolution before the PRESIDENT
OF THE UNITED STATES. Whereupon,

The PRESIDENT adjourned the Senate to the first Monday in December next,
to meet in this place.



FIFTH CONGRESS.--SECOND SESSION.

PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES In THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.


MONDAY, November 13, 1797.

This being the day appointed by law for the meeting of Congress, the
House of Representatives assembled in their Chamber, and the following
members answered to their names, to wit:

_From New Hampshire._--ABIEL FOSTER.

_From Massachusetts._--STEPHEN BULLOCK, SAMUEL LYMAN, JOHN READ, WILLIAM
SHEPARD, GEORGE THATCHER, JOSEPH B. VARNUM, and PELEG WADSWORTH.

_From Connecticut._--JOHN ALLEN, JOSHUA COIT, ROGER GRISWOLD, and
NATHANIEL SMITH.

_From New York._--LUCAS ELMENDORPH, HENRY GLENN, JONATHAN N. HAVENS,
HEZEKIAH L. HOSMER, JOHN E. VAN ALLEN, and JOHN WILLIAMS.

_From New Jersey._--JONATHAN DAYTON, (Speaker,) and THOMAS SINNICKSON.

_From Pennsylvania._--JOHN CHAPMAN, ALBERT GALLATIN, THOMAS HARTLEY, and
JOHN SWANWICK.

_From Maryland._--GEORGE BAER, junior, WILLIAM CRAIK, GEORGE DENT, and
RICHARD SPRIGG, junior.

_From Virginia._--JOHN DAWSON, D. HOLMES, JAMES MACHIR, DANIEL MORGAN,
and ANTHONY NEW.

_North Carolina._--MATTHEW LOCKE, NATHANIEL MACON, and RICHARD STANFORD.

_South Carolina._--ROBERT GOODLOE HARPER, and JOHN RUTLEDGE, junior.

Several new members, to wit: ISAAC PARKER, from Massachusetts; THOMAS
TILLINGHAST, returned to serve as a member of this House, for the State
of Rhode Island, in the room of Elisha R. Potter, who has resigned his
seat; and WILLIAM EDMOND, returned to serve in this House, as a member
for Connecticut, in the room of James Davenport, deceased, appeared,
produced their credentials, and took their seats in the House.

But a quorum of the whole number not being present, the House adjourned
until to-morrow morning, eleven o'clock.


TUESDAY, November 14.

Several other members, to wit: from Massachusetts, HARRISON G. OTIS;
from Rhode Island, CHRISTOPHER G. CHAMPLIN; from Connecticut, SAMUEL W.
DANA and CHAUNCEY GOODRICH; from Vermont, MATTHEW LYON; from
Pennsylvania, BLAIR MCCLENACHAN and RICHARD THOMAS; from Delaware, JAMES
A. BAYARD; from Virginia, RICHARD BRENT; from North Carolina, ROBERT
WILLIAMS; from South Carolina, WILLIAM SMITH; and from Georgia, ABRAHAM
BALDWIN, appeared, and took their seats in the House.

But a quorum of the whole number not being present, the House adjourned
until to-morrow morning, eleven o'clock.


WEDNESDAY, November 15.

Several other members, to wit: from New Jersey, JAMES H. IMLAY; from
Pennsylvania, WILLIAM FINDLAY; and from Maryland, WILLIAM HINDMAN,
appeared, and took their seats in the House.

And a quorum, consisting of a majority of the whole number, being
present, the oath to support the Constitution of the United States was
administered, by Mr. SPEAKER, to the following new members, to wit:

ISAAC PARKER, THOMAS TILLINGHAST, and WILLIAM EDMOND, who took their
seats in the House on Monday last.

A message was then sent to the Senate, to inform them that a quorum of
the House is assembled, and were ready to proceed to business.


THURSDAY, November 16.

Several other members, to wit: from Vermont, LEWIS R. MORRIS; from New
York, JAMES COCHRAN, and EDWARD LIVINGSTON; from Virginia, MATTHEW CLAY,
THOMAS EVANS, WALTER JONES, ABRAM TRIGG, and JOHN TRIGG; and from North
Carolina, WILLIAM BARRY GROVE, appeared, and took their seats in the
House.

And then the House adjourned until to-morrow morning, eleven o'clock.


FRIDAY, November 17.

Two other members, to wit: from New Jersey, MARK THOMSON; and from
Pennsylvania, JOHN A. HANNA, appeared, and took their seats in the
House.


MONDAY, November 20.

Several other members, to wit: from New Hampshire, JONATHAN FREEMAN and
WILLIAM GORDON; from New Jersey, JAMES SCHUREMAN; from Maryland, WILLIAM
MATTHEWS; and from Virginia, ABRAHAM VENABLE, appeared, and took their
seats in the House.


TUESDAY, November 21.

Several other members, to wit: from Massachusetts, DWIGHT FOSTER; from
New York, PHILIP VAN CORTLANDT; and from Virginia, CARTER B. HARRISON,
appeared, and took their seats in the House.


WEDNESDAY, November 22.

Two other members, to wit: from Pennsylvania, DAVID BARD, and SAMUEL
SITGREAVES, appeared and took their seats.


THURSDAY, November 23.

Two new members, to wit: WILLIAM C. C. CLAIBORNE, from the State of
Tennessee; and THOMAS PINCKNEY, returned to serve as a member of this
House for the State of South Carolina, in the room of William Smith,
appointed Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States to the Court of
Lisbon, appeared, produced their credentials, and took their seats in
the House; the oath to support the Constitution of the United States
being first administered to them by Mr. SPEAKER, according to law.

Two other members, to wit: from Virginia, THOMAS CLAIBORNE and JOHN
CLOPTON, appeared, and took their seats in the House.

_President's Speech._

The hour of twelve being near at hand, the SPEAKER announced it, and a
message was sent to the Senate to inform them that they were met, and
ready to receive the communications of the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES, agreeably to his appointment.

The members of the Senate attended accordingly, and about a quarter
after twelve the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (after visiting the
Senate Chamber) entered the House, accompanied by his Secretary and the
Heads of Departments, and being seated, rose and delivered the following
Address. (See Senate proceedings, _ante_.)

Having concluded his Speech, and delivered copies of it to the PRESIDENT
_pro tem._ of the Senate, and to the SPEAKER of the House of
Representatives, the PRESIDENT retired, the SPEAKER resumed the chair,
and the House being come to order, he, as usual, read the Speech from
the chair. This being done, on motion, it was referred to a Committee of
the whole House, and made the order for to-morrow. It was ordered also
to be printed.


MONDAY, November 27.

A new member, to wit: BAILEY BARTLETT, returned to serve in this House
as a member for Massachusetts, in the place of Theophilus Bradbury, who
has resigned his seat, appeared, produced his credentials, and took his
seat in the House; the oath to support the Constitution of the United
States being first administered to him by Mr. SPEAKER, according to law.

Several other members, to wit: from Massachusetts, SAMUEL SEWALL; from
New York, DAVID BROOKS; from Maryland, JOHN DENNIS; from Virginia, JOHN
NICHOLAS and JOSIAH PARKER; and from North Carolina, THOMAS BLOUNT,
appeared and took their seats in the House.

_Address to the President._

Mr. OTIS, from the committee appointed to draft an Address in answer to
the Speech of the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, reported the
following, which was twice read, and referred to a Committee of the
Whole for to-morrow:

      SIR: