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An engrossed bill, entitled “ An act in addition to the act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States, and to repeal the acts therein mention," was read the third time and passed.
Ordered, That the title be as aforesaid.
An engrossed bill to alter the flag of the United States, was read the third time and passed.
Ordered, That the title be, “ An act to establish the flag of the United States;" and that the Clerk carry the said bills to the Senate, and ask their concurrence therein.
Mr. Johnson, of Kentucky, from the committee on Military Affairs, to which was referred the bill from the Senate, entitled * An act regulating the pay and emoluments of brevet rank,” reported the same without amendment.
Ordered, That the said bill be committed to the committee of the whole, to which is committed the bill of this House to repeal so much of an act as allows pay and emoluments to brevet rank.
Mr. Johnson, from the same committee, also reported the bill . from the Senate, entitled “ An act for the relief of Ashael Clark," without amendment.
Ordered, That the said bill be committed to the committee of the whole, to which is committed the bill for the relief of Birdsall & Foster.
Mr. Speed, from the joint committee for Enrolled Bills, reported, that the committee did, this day, present to the President of the United States, the enrolled bills and resolutions, the examination of which was reported yesterday.
Ordered, That the committee of the wliole have leave to sit again on the bill making appropriations for the support of government for the year 1818.
The House then again resolved itself into a committee of the whole, on the said bill; and after some time spent therein, Mr. Speaker resumed the chair, and Mr. Desha reported that the committee had made further progress therein, and directed him to ask leave to sit again.
Ordered, That the committee of the whole have leave to sit again on the said bill.
Several messages, in writing, were received from the President of the United States, by Mr. Joseph Jones Monroe, his Secretary, which he delivered in at the Speaker's table, and withdrew.
The first of the said messages was read, and is as follows:
Washington, 24th March, 1818. In pursuance of a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 7th instant, I now transmit the report of the Secretary of State, with a statement of the expenses incurred under the 4th, 5th, 6th,
and 7th articles of the treaty of Ghent; specifying the items of expenditure in relation to each.
The second of the said messages was reall, and is as follows:
To the House of Representatives of the United States:
In conformity with the resolution of the Honse of Representatives, of the 5th of December last, I now transmit a report of the Secretary of State, with a copy of the documents which it is thought proper to communicate, relating to the independence, and political condition, of the provinces of Spanish America,
JAMES MONROE. Washington, March 25, 1818.
The last of the said messages was read, and is as follows: To the House of Representatives of the United States:
I now lay before Congress all the information in the possession of the executive, respecting the war with the Seminoles, and the measures which it has been thought proper to ad: pt, for the safety of our fellow citizens, on the frontier exposed to their ravages. The enclosed documents show, that the hostilities of this tribe were unprovoked, the offspring of a spirit long cherished, and often manifested towards the United States, and that, in the present in- . stance, it was extending itself to other tribes, and daily assuming a more serious aspect. As soon as the nature and object of this combination were perceived, the major general commanding the southern division of the troops of the United States, was ordered to the theatre of action, charged with the management of the war, and vested with the powers necessary to give it effect. The season of the year being unratepable to active operations, and the recesses of the country affording shelter to these savages, in case of retreat, may prevent a prompt terinination of the war, but it may be fairly presumed, that it will not be long before this tribe, and its associ. ates, receive the punishment which they have provoked, and justly merited.
As almost the whole of this tribe inhabits the country within the limits of Florida, Spain was bound, by the treaty of 1795, to restrain them from committing hostilities against the United States, We have seen with regret, that her government has altogether fail. ed to fulfil this obligation, nor are we aware that it made any effort to that effect. When we consider her utter inability to check, even in the slightest degree, the movements of this tribe, by ber very small and incompetent force in Florida, we are not disposed to ascribe the failure to any other cause. The inability, bowerer, of Spai, to maintain her authority over the territory, and Indians within her
limits, and in consequence to fulfil the treaty, ought not to expose the United States to other and greater injuries. When the authority of Spain ceases to exist there, the United States have a right to pursue their enemy, on a principle of self defence, In this instance, the right is more complete and obvious, because we shall perform only, what Spain was bound to have performed herself. To the high obligations and privileges of this great and sacred right of self defence, will the movement of our troops be strictly confined. Orders have been given to the general in command, not to enter Florida, unless it be in pursuit of the enemy, and in that case, to respect the Spanish authority, wherever it is maintained, and he will be instructed to withdraw his forces from the province, as soon as he shall have reduced that tribe, to order, and secure our fellow citizens, in that quarter, by satisfactory arrangements, against its unprovoked and savage hostilities in future.
JAMES MONROE. Washington, March 25, 1818.
Ordered, That the said messages, and their accompanying decuments, lie on the table.
And then the House adjourned.
THURSDAY, March 26, 1818.
Mr. Sampson presented a petition of Ezra Dunham, praying to be allowed in the settlement of his accounts, as collector of direct taxes and internal duties, a sum of public money of which he was robbed, by persons unknown to him.
Ordered, That the said petition be referred to the committee of Ways and Means.
Mr. Ogden presented a petition of Jasper Parish, praying compensation for damages committed on his property by the troops of the United States, during the late war with Great Britain.
Ordered, That the said petition be referred to the committee of Claims.
Mr. Pope presented a petition of Isaac Gillham, David M. Gillham, Thomas Cummings, Daniel Cornelius, and Blackstone Howard, praying for the pre-emption right in the purchase of the lands on which they reside.
Ordered, That the said petition be referred to the committee on the Public Lands.
Mr. Williams, of North Carolina, from the committee of Claims, made reports on the petitions of John Rollins, and Gregoire Sarpy, which were read, and the resolutions therein contained were concurred in by the House, as follows:
Resolved, That the prayer of the petition of John Rollins be rejected, and that Gregoire Sarpy have leave to withdraw bis petiMr. Poindexter, from the committee on Private Land Claims, reported a bill for the relief of John Johnson, Hardy Perry, Richard Cravat, Beley Cheney, the legal representatives of John M.Grew, and the legal representatives of Join Turnbull, of the Alabama territory, which was read the first and second time, and committed to the committee of the whole House, to which is committed the bill for the relief of John Kennedy, and Henry Nail, or their legal representatives.
Mr. Poindexter, from the same committee, also reported a bill for the relief of James Mackay, of the Missouri territory, which was read the first and second time and committed to the committee of the whole House, to which is committed the bill for the relief of Josiah Bullock.
Mr. Poindexter, from the same committee, to whom was referred the bill from the Senate, entitled “ An act for the relief of John' Small," reported the same without amendment.
Ordered, That the said bill be read a third time, to-lay.
On motion of Mr. Terrell, Resolved, That the committee on Commerce and Manufactures, be instructed to inquire into the expediency of granting the consent of Congress, to an act passed by the legislature of the state of Georgia, allowing fees to the health officer and harbor master, for the port of Darien.
On motion of Mr. James S. Smith, Resolved, That the committee on the Public Lands, be in. structed to inquire into the expediency of authorizing some other person, than the President of the United States, to sign patents for soldiers' bounty lands. ! On motion of Mr. Floyd,
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Navy be instructed to lay before this House, the proceedings of the court martial, held for the trial of Franklin Wharton, lieutenant colonel of marines.
. A message, in writing, was received from the President of the United States, by Mr. Joseph Jones Monroe, his Secretary, as follows:
To the House of Representatives of the United States:
I transmit to the House of Representatives, in compliance with their resolution of March the 20th, such information, not hereto. fore communicated, as is in the possession of the Executive, relating to the occupation of Amelia Island. If any doubt had before existed, of the improper conduct of the persons who authorized, and of those who were engaged in the invasion, and previous occupan. cy of that Island, of the unfriendly spirit towards the United States, with which it was commenced and prosecuted, and of its injurious effect on their highest interests, particularly by its tendency to compromit them with foreign powers, in all the unwarrantable acts of the adventurers, it is presurned that these documents would remove it. It appears by the letter of Mr. Pazos, agent of commodore Aury, that the project of seizing the Floridas, was formed and executed, at a time when it was understood that Spain had resolved to cede them to the United States, and to prevent such cession from taking effect. The whole proceeding, in every stage and circumstance, was unlawful. The commission to general M.Gregor, was granted at Philadelphia, in direct violation of a positive law, and all the measures pursued under it, by him, in collecting his force, and directing its movements, were equally unlawful. With the conduct of these persons, I have always been unwilling to connect any of the colonial governments, because I never could believe that they had given their sanction, either to the project in its origin, or to the measures which were pursued in the execution of it. These documents confirm the opinion which I have invariably entertained, and expressed in their favor. :
JAMES MONROE. Washington, March 26, 1818.
· The said message was read and ordered to lie on the table.
Ordered, That the committee of Elections be discharged from the further consideration of the message of the President of the United States, of the 29th December last, transmitting a list of such members of this House, as have held offices since the 4th March last.
The Speaker laid before the House, a letter from the Secretary of War, transmitting, in obedience to a resolution of the 28th January last, statements in relation to the expenses of general courts martial from 1st August, 1812, which was read and ordered to lie on the table.
A message from the Senate, by Mr. Cutts, their Secretary:
Mr. Speaker: The Senate have passed the bill of this House, entitled “ An act to alter the time for holding a session of the district court in the District of Maine;" and they have passed bills of the following titles, to wit:
An act for the relief of Cata Bunnell;
An act concerning the bounty, or allowance, to fishing vessels, in certain cases; and,
An act for the relief of Samuel Ward; in which bills, they ask the concurrence of this House,
And then he withdrew.
The first of the said bills from the Senate, was read the first and second time, and referred to the committee on Military Affairs.
The second of the said bills, was read the first and second time, and referred to the committee of Commerce and Manufactures.