Abbildungen der Seite

MARCH 1, 1825.]

Suppression of Piracy.

[H. of R.

expense before they passed this bill. It was not to be sels in time of peace. Our 74's, as such, are now in a disguised, that the argument which had prevailed thus great measure useless. They are employed only for the far with the House, was based on the necessity of build. Want of smaller vessels. Sloops of war employ more ing these vessels for the avowed purpose of putting men and more officers. They afford a desirable oppor down piracy. This, however, was now discarded and tunity of making our midshipmen into masters, and furthrown quite out of view, and we were to build these nish the best and only effectual means to train up offisloops of war to increase our naval force. It appeared, cers for the navy service. It is in vain you give them fron the estimates, that each of these vessels will cost education in a school, of however excellent a kind; a 85,000 dollars. If ten of them are built, they will cost naval officer must be a sailor, or he is utterly inefficient. 850,000 dollars. The contingent expenses of one of If Congress mean to make the navy an effectual arm of these ships are 61,000 dollars; for the ten, it will be defence, they must provide it with officers who have not 610,000 dollars. The interest of the cost, together with only theory but practice. To this end, the plan of the this contingent expense, will cost the nation upwards of present bill is the most efficient, while it is the most eco1,000,000 dollars annually; and this expense is to be nomical. permanent so long as these vessels continue in service. Sloops of war only draw 12 feet; they are able, there. We are called upon to do this directly in the face of the fore, to penetrate almost all rivers, where we have any law of 1821.22. We are called upon to alter the policy commerce.

Most of the rivers in South America are we then established, and appropriate 1,400,000 dollars, not navigable for 74's. Sloops, owing to their small instead of the small sum which we then determined draft, are well adapted to the chase of slave ships, pishould be appropriated for the increase of the navy. If rates, and smugglers, and these are all we have to enit was necessary then to reduce our expenses, Mr. R. counter in time of peace. This description of vessels was by no means convinced that it was as necessary was omitted in 1816, because the nation had recently now why we should add the difference between 500,000 felt the benefit of large ships, and it ordered them ac. and 1,400,000 to the national burden. The vessels we cordingly; but as they could not be built except in a purchased before are still in existence, and our sea ports long time, and small vessels could be built almost imme. are lined with officers. The bill had indeed been trim- diately, it ordered many of the latter also. The adoption med down, but he was still opposed to it as unnecessary of a middle course is no invasion of that plan. The bill and extravagant.

does not compel the building of these vessels, but leaves Mr. COOK, of Illinois, followed on the opposite side. it discretionary with the Executive. He was persuaded He said it might be thought, that as he represented that that "fficer would exercise his discretion soundly. It state, which was the furthest of any from the ocean, he might safely be trusted in his hands. If only four of neither knew nor cared much about a bill which related these vessels are wanted, only four will be built ; if more wholly to naval affairs; but if any gentleman had drawn are built, it will be because they are needed. that conclusion, they had misunderstood him, and mis Mr. NEWTON, of Va. supported the bill. If the understood the West. The Western country knows House should now reject it, it was too late to originate a and feels that it is dependant for its prosperity, to a very new one, and the commerce of the country would be great extent, on the owners of our shipping. It is left to the depredation of the pirates to the next session. through them that the trade of the interior gets an out. A state of things which would cost the nation fifty times let to the ocean, and it has experienced the vast advan- as much as the whole amount of the bill. tage which has been conferred by the navy on the secu. Gentlemen ought to consider tbat all the necessaries rity and advancement of the commerce of the country of life are exported to the West Indies, and that the The West has an extensive interest in enjoying a market West and the South are equally interested in the mar. for its product. In the present state of the country, the ket with the North and East. The whole nation had an only market for a very large portion of the interior, is interest in supporting this trade. The West Indies, in found at New Orleans; and the Western states bave, fact, presented our best market; there we sent our food; therefore, a direct concern in the protection of the trade there we sent our manufactures. There was no mem. in the Gulf of Mexico, from those vile marauders, who ber on the floor more ready to meet responsibility than have so long vexed and harassed it.

he was.

But the responsibility of destroying this bill, He thought that the whole country had a common in and exposing our West India commerce, was one from terest in hunting those murderers from their lurking which he must shrink. He held it to be the great duty places, and executing upon them the punishment they and interest of the nation to keep up our navy; we are deserved. The existence of piracy was a disgrace, as the solitary republic towards whom all look who are well as an injury to the country, and it was the interest struggling for freedom in the old world or the new. If of those on the land, equally with those on the sea, that you reject this bill, it will have a most injurious impresit should be promptly and effectually put down. Gen. sion in Mexico, and throughout all the Gulf. He thought tleinen ought all to endeavor to bring home to their own the interest at stake too important thus to be put by. bosoms the injuries and sufferings of their fellow citi. The question was then taken on the passage of the zens exposed to these merciless monsters. He hoped bill, and carried by a large majority ; its title was amend. there would be no reluctance manifested. He hoped, ed, so as to read, " An act to authorize the building of especially, that the West would not hesitate, but that ten sloops of war, and for other purposes," and it was those members who came from the remotest parts of the then sent to the Senate for concurrence. interior would vie with those on the sea-board in exer [7'he Senate subsequently concurred in all the amend. tions for the common protection.

ments made to the House by this will.] Mr. WOOD), of New York, observed, in reply to Mr. Mr. STORRS offered the following: Ross, that that gentleman was mistaken in supposing Resolverl, That the Postmaster General be directed to that this bill was at war with the principles of economy. communicate to this House, annually, at each session of On the contrary, experience had proveil, that there was Congress, a statement of the amount of postage accruing no class of vessels so cheap as that now proposed; the in the preceding year, at each of the post offices in the plan of the bill was eminently an economical plan. The several states and territories of the United States, classiexpense of a 74 gun ship was five times as great as that lying the said accounts of postage so accruing, by states of a sloop of war. Allowing one of the latter to cost and territories. $70,000, five of them will cost $350,000, but one 74. costs Mr. COOK, of Illinois, offered the following resolu$370,000. These sloops, while costing less than a 74, tion, which lies on the table : employ at the same time, 200 more men. Tijere was no kiesolved, Tbat the President of the United States be comparison as to the efficiency of the two kinds of ves.' requested to prepare and report to this flouse, at the

Sen. & H. of R.]

Massachusetts Claims, &c.

(MARCR 2, 1825.

next session of Congress, such a system as he may deem to ascertain the probable expense of extinguishing the best calculated to produce all the effects designed by Indian title to a portion of the country lying west of the the infliction of imprisonment and hard labor for offences Rocky Mountains, that may be suitable for colonizing the against the laws of the United States.

free people of color, the best known route across the There being no quorum, an adjournment was moved said mountains, and the probable cost of a road and miliand negatived.

tary posts necessary to a safe communication with such On motion of Mr. SCOTT, the House went into com colony, and to report thereon to the House at the next mittee of the whole, Mr. HERRICK in the chair, on the session of Congress." bill authorizing the President of the United States to Mr. HAMILTON, of South Carolina, said he wished cause a road to be marked out from Missouri to the con. the gentleman would withdraw his motion, to give him fines of New Mexico; it was reported without amend an opportunity of expressing his sentiments on so extra ment.

ordinary : proposition, on which there prevailed a disJr. M'DUFFIE objected to the bill, as being for Ex. tempered enthusiasm, which ought, for the interest of the ternal Improvement, and moved that it lie on tbe table. country, to be repressed. The motion was carried Ayes 68, Noes 48.

The motion was not withdrawn, but, after some further remarks, the resolve was ordered to lie on the table.

Mr. MERCER called up the consideration of the resoIN SENATE-WEDNESDAY, Manca 2, 1825. lution reported by the Committee on the Slave Trade, The committee appointed to make such arrangements requesting the Executive to continue negotiations with as may be necessary for the reception of the President foreign powers, for the purpose of its final suppression. of the United States, on the occasion of his inauguration, ed in the negative. So the House refused now to consi

The question of consideration being pu:, it was decidreported, in part, the following resolution :

"Resolved, that the Secretary of the Senate inform der the resolution. the House of Representatives, that the President Elect

The House then went into committee of the whole, on of the United States, on Friday next, at 12 o'clock, will the bill concerning the Copper Mines on the South side

of Lake Superior. take the oath of office required by the Constitution, in the chamber of the House of Representatives ; and that

Mr. COCKE inquired for farther information; and a he also inform the President Elect, that the Senate will letter from Mr. Schoolcraft, the Mineralogist, was read. be in session at that time.”

Mr. OWEN moved to strike out all of the bill after the enacting clause, and substitute the body of another bill

for adjusting certain land claims. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES-SAME DAY. The Chair pronounced the motion out of order. MASSACHUSETTS CLAIMS.

Mr. COCKE then stated that he had just received in

formation from the Delegate from Michigan, which inMr. HAMILTON, in moving that the Committee on duced him to believe the Copper Mines in question were Military Affairs be discharged from the further consider. of great value-and that the longer the purchase was de ation of the President's late message, urging on Congress ferred, the more its price would be enhanced. the immediate adjustment of the claim of Massachusetts Mr. ELLIS opposed the bill. It was beneath the dig. for militia services during the late war, said he was au nity of the government, he said, to seize upon a feature thorized to say, that the Committee, participating in the of value in the Indian country the moment it was heart desire felt by the President for the settlement of the of, &c. claim in question, had submitted to the joint delegations Mr. RANKIN deprecated the interference of the Unit. from Massachusetts and Maine, a proposition to reported States in mining property. The experience of the immediately a short bill for the payment of so much of government, in relation to lead mines and salt springs, the claims as might be free from all constitutional objec. afforded a warning on the subject. He moved to strike tion; but these gentlemen, deeming such a course inexo out the enacting clause. pedient, and that, from the indications of the House, it Mr. RICHARD, Delegate from Michigan, stated the was not intended this session to discuss the subject, facts of the case. One vein of very pure ore had been (from, he believed, an entire misapprehension on the discovered, of six feet in thickness, he said, and of great, part of the House, that the topic involved a long and per. and at present, unknown length. The value of this baps unpleasant discussion,) had declined accepting this mine made it very important to legislate on the subpartial measure, under a belief that it might ultimately ject, &c. be prejudicial, if any hope could have been entertained, Mr. CONWAY, the Delegate from Arkansas, corrobo. that it would, within the last ten days, have been consider-rated this statement. Masses of Copper had been found ed by the House. This state of things left the commit. there, he said, weighing several hundred pounds. He tee no other course than to move that they be discharged replied to the remarks of Mr. Rankir. The bill only from the further consideration of the recent message of looks to the extinguishment of Indian title to a small the President, on the claims of Massachusetts for certain tract of country embracing the mine, which, if not militia services rendered during the late war.

worked by the Government, might be sold to great ad. The Committee were then discharged, agreeably to vantage. the motion of Mr. H.

Mr. WHIPPLE opposed the bill. He did not doubt The resolution yesterday laid on the table by Mr. the existence of quantities of copper there but the TRIMBLE, calling on the Secretary of the Treasury to transportation, &c. would make it cost more than that state bis opinion of the probable effect of the warehous. imported. ing systein on the revenue, was taken op and agreed to. Mr. STRONG advocated the object of the bill. Its

Mr. CANBRELENG offered the following resolution, object was not to extinguish the Indian title to the tract, which lies one day:

but to have the country thoroughly explored, and, if "Resolverl, That the Secretary of State be directed to copper exists, as is represented, to get the right over it communicate to Congress, at its next session, if compati. for the United States, by purchase. ble with the public interest, such correspondence as may Mr. McCOY opposed the bill. Mines were the last have taken place with Great Britain, relating to the na- property, he said, for which he would vote away tlre vigation of the St. Lawrence."

public money. Mr. TUCKER offered the following, which lies on the Mr. WOOD stated facts, and quoted Long's Expedie table:

tion, to show that the mine would be of no value till lo. Resolved, that the Secretary of War be required' cal commerce required copper in that neighborhood.

MARCH 2, 3, 1825.]

Suppression of Piracy.

[11. of R. & Sen.

The question being put, the enacting clause of the bill Mr. COCKE. It was carried. The bill was then reWAS stricken out.

ported as amended. So the bill was rejected.

.Mr. STRONG moved to lay it on the table. The resolution offered by Mr. TRIMBLE, yesterday, For this motion there were, ayes 57, noes 41. calling on the Secretary of the Treasury for certain state This not heing a quorum, on notion of Mr. LITTLE, ments in relation to the effect of the warehousing system, the llouse went into recess till 6 o'clock. was taken up and adopted. The bill from the Senate to authorize the President

EVENING SESSION-6 o'clock. of the United States to cause a road to be marked out The bill to secure the accountability of public officers, from the Western frontier of Missouri to the confines of pending on the adjournment to-day, was ordered to lie New Mexico, yesterday laid on the table, was again tak on the table (rejected.) en up.

Mr. CALL moved to take up the bill establishing a Mr. McCoy moved to lay it again on the table. The navy yard at or near Pensacola. "The motion was agreed motiun was negatived-yeas 49, noes 79.

to-ayes 66, noes 44. The bill was ordered to a third reading, read a third 'The House accordingly went into committee of the time, passed, and returned to the Senate.

whole, Mr. TOMLINSON in the chair, on that bill. The House then went into committee of the whole, A debate arose upon this bill, of considerable interest, Mr. ARCHER in the chair on the bill to provide for the in which Mr. CALL, Woon, of N. Y., CLAY, and security of public money in the hands of Clerks of TATTNALL, took part, in which the bill was supported Courts, Marshals, and Attorneys ; which was reported.

with great earnestness by Mr. CALL and Mr. TATT. Mr. WEBSTER stated reasons which induced the NALL, and opposed by Mr. BARTLETT. On motion Committee on the Judiciary to think the bill unnecessa. of Mr. WEBSI'ER, the bill was modified by an amend. ry, the case being already provided for by law; and he menl, so as to authorize the Secretary of the Navy to lo. moved to lay it on the table. The motion was negatived, cate the navy yard on any point in the Gulf of Mexico. and the bill was then passed, and sent to the Senate. In this form it was advocated by Mr. WOOD and Mr.

The House then took up the bill to secure the ac-CLAY, and having been reported, it was ordered to a countability of public officers ; (which bill lay on the third reading—and was subsequently read a third time, table.) On motion of Mr. COCKE, it was slightly amend passed, and returned to the Senate for concurrence in ed, when Mr. WEBSTER moved that it lie on the table. the amendment. The motion was lost. Mr. WEBSTER objected to passing the bill without

IN SENATE.-TAURSDAY, Mancu 3, 1825. some statements from the Committee who reported it; the bill contained important provisions, and some of

The Senate having finished the business of the ses. which, as at present informed, he thought of doubtful sion, Mr. SMITH offered the following resolution, expediency.

which was unanimously adopted : Mr. BUCHANAN expressed a similar sentiment, and

Resolved, that the banks of the Senate be presented thought it improper to legislate without farther light.

to the Hon. Jous GAILLARD, President of the Senate pro Mr. WHIPPLĖ explained the objects of the bill, and tempore, for the ability, impartiality, and integrity, he contended for its justice and propriety.

bas evinced in discharging the arduous and important Mr. WEBSTER enforced his objections. The bill duties of his station. stopped the salary or other dues of sureties from go.

Whereupon, Mr. GAILLARD rose, and delivered the vernment, before any judgment was obtained against following address: the persons for whom they became security.

Gentlemen : The standing of this Body in public esti. Mr. WHIPPLE replied-the surety was entitled to mation, and the character it has to sustain, can never fail have a suit in sixty days, and the suit would not, in com

to ensure to your Presiding Officers an exemption from mon cases, occupy a long time, &c.

much of those difficulties and embarrassments that are Mr. BUCHANAN, wishing the bill to be better un. sometimes to be encountered by those who are called derstood, moved its indefinite postponement.

upon to preside over deliberative assemblies; and the Mr. INGHAM gave some explanation of the bill as

experience which I have had of your liberality, furnishes originally reported, but objected to the amendment, abundant proof that they may always rely on your patient which had been incorporated with it.

endurance and indulgent support. Actuated by an anx. The question being taken on indefinite postponement, ious desire to endeavor to meet your reasonable expec. Mr. FORSYTH demanded the Yeas and Nays; which tations, however I might fail in the attempt; and influwere ordered.

enced, I trust, by no other considerations than such as Mr. LITTLE then moved to recommit the bill to a would lead to a faithful and impartial discharge of the committee of the whole, and make it the order of the duties confided to me; the gratification I derive from day for to-day; which motion was agreed to.

this assurance of your satisfaction, is only to be surpassed [The bill was thus finally disposed of, not being after by the profound respect and gratitude with which it is vards taken up. ]

received. In the hope and expectation that most of us The House again went into committee of the whole, may again be assembled together at this place, under the Mr. CAMPBELL, of Ohio, in the chair, on the bill to se.

same kind and friendly feelings which have heretofore cure the accountability of public officers.

prevailed witbin these walls; and w th the prospect be. Mr. M'LANE stated that it had not been the intention fore us of soon being perniited to return to our hones, of the Committee of Ways and Means to call up the bill, families, and friends, and the associations connec!ed with and he did not hold himself prepared to act upon it. l objects so dear and so interesting; the pleasure arising The object of the bill had substantially been obtained by from the termination of our session would have been withio a section of another act passed at the present session.

out alloy-but, for the recollection that we shall then The clause before moved by Mr. COCKE, (extending have to separate, and, from the vicissitudes attendant on the operation of the bill to sureties as well as principals) human life and human affairs, perhaps forever, from mawas striken out.

ny valued associates, esteemed for their worth, respected Mr. DURFEF moved to strike out the third section, for their virtues, endeared to us by long, social, und forbidding the appointment to oflice, by the President friendly intercourse, and who will, i am persuaderl

, carand Senate, or any one who is indebted to the Govern. ry with them to their retirement our respect, esteem, ment. The motion was supported by the mover, by Mr. nd regard. WEBSTER, Mr. M'LANE, of Delaware, and opposed by I avail myself of this occasion to express to them and

Vob. 1.-47

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

H. of R.]

Suppression of Piracy.

[MARCH 3, 1825.

to all of you, gentlemen, in the utmost sincerity of heart, public interests and the liberty of our beloved country the brigh sense of gratitude which I feel fur the many will be safely guarded hereafter, as they have been hereacts of kindness and of favor that you have bestowed on tofore, by enlightened patriotism. me: they have been such as can never be effaced from Gentlemen : In returning to your respective families my memory, and they will ever be to me a source of and constituents, I beg all of you, without exception, to proud and of grateful recollections. Accept, I pray you, carry with you my fervent prayers for the continuation individually, as well as collectively, an affectionate fare of your lives, your health, and your happiness.” well, and my best wishes for your health, happiness, and Mr. NEWTON offered the following resolution, which prosperity.

lies on the table :

“ Whereas the encouragement of Agriculture and HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES-SAME DAY. Manufactures has ever been considered the best means

of developing the resources of a nation, and of giving Mr. FORSYTH laid upon the table the following re- to its navigation and commerce support, extension, &c. solution :

tivity, and duration : and whereas opening roads, and Resolved, That while this llouse anxiously desires connecting, by canals, lakes, bays, and rivers, for pur: that the Slave Trade should be universally denounced poses of intercourse and trade, have also been objects of as Piracy, and, as such, should be detected and punish- primary importance to every enlightened government; ed under the law of nations, it considers that it would be and whereas the United States, when the fertility of their highly inexpedient to enter into engagements with any soil, the variety of their climates the diversity of their foreign power by which all the merchant vessels of the productions, and the extent of their waters and water United States would be exposed to the inconveniences courses, are taken into view, will derive the greatest ad. of any regulation of search from which any merchant vantages from a system judiciously formed, and carried vessels of that foreign l'over would be exempted.” into execution, with respect to Internal Improvements; The resolution lies on the table.

and whereas nothing can tend to generate and perpetuMr. FORSYTH also offered the following :

ate the affection of the citizens for their country so Resolved, That the purchase of lands from the In- much as the attention of the Government thereof to dians occupying it in the state of Georgia, is a peaceable whatever relates to their different interests, all which extinguishment of their title ; and that a purchase should receiving, respectively, their portion of the solicitude be made, if it can be effected on reasonable terms, al- and care of the Government, and flourishing under its though the residue of the tribes to which the said Indians operation, will increase the strength of this Union, give may be attached should not join in the contract." to it stability and security, and, by diffusing knowledge,

This resolution, also, was, on motion of the mover, or remove prejudices as to subjects, the importance of dered to lie on the table.

which, to be politically and rightly understood, should On motion of Mr. MARKLEY, of Penn. it was be fully understood: überefore

Resolved, 'That the thanks of this House be present. Resolved, That a Department, to be denominated ed to the Hon. Herry Clay, for the able, impartial, and the Home Department, should be established, for the dignified manner in which he has presided over its de purpose of superintending whatever may relate to the liberations, and performed the arduous and unpleasant interests of Agriculture and Manufactures, the proce duties of the chair, during the present session of Con. tion of the progress of Science and the Arts, the intergress."

course and trade between the several states by Roads A few minutes after this vote, Mr. CLAY, the Speak. and Canals, and all other subjects and matters apper. er, baving resumed the Chair, addressed the House as taining to the cognizance of such Department." follows:

Mr. FLOYD required the question of consideration on “ GENTLEMEN : For the honorable testimony which the resolution, with a view to stamp it at once with the you have been pleased this day to express to my official disapprobation of the House. conduct in this highly distinguished station, I pray you The question being taken on considering this resolve, to accept my profound acknowledgments. Near four- it was decided in the negative. teen years, with but two comparatively short intervals, Mr. TUCKER, of Va. called for the consideration of the arduous duties of the Chair bave been assigned to the resolve yesterday submitted by him, looking to the me.

In that long period, of peace and of war, causes Colonization of the free people of color beyond the from without and within, of great public excitement, Rocky Mountains ; which motion the House refused as: have occasionally divided our councils, disturbed our to consider. biarmony, and threatened our safety. Happily, however, Mr. WEBSTER said, that, as the attention of the past dangers, which appeared to encompass us, were House seemed pot occupied for the moment, he would dispelled, as ! anxiously hope those of the present will take the opportunity of making a remark on a subject, be, in a spirit of mutual forbearance, moderation, and in relation to wbich he had, at the last session, created wisdom. The debates in this House, to which those some expectation in the House, and perhaps in the causes gave rise, were sometimes ardent and animated; country: be meant the question of a general bankrupt but, amidst all the heats and agitations produced by our law. His relation to the House, as a member of the temporary divisions, it has been my happy fortune to ex. Committee on the Judiciary, had occasioned sundry re perience, in an unexampled degree, the kindness, the solutions upon that subject, and divers petitions to be confidence, and the affectionate attachment of the mem- brought to his attention. It would be remembered, bers of the House of the numerous decisions which I that a majority of the Committee at the last session bad have been called upon to pronounce from this place, on reported against the expediency of a general system of questions often suddenly started, and of much difficulty, bankruptcy. Differing from the Committee in that opisit has so happened, from the generous support given me, I ion, he had signified an intention of obtaining, if he migát, that not one of them has ever been reversed by the an expression of the opinion of the House upon it, so House. I advert to this fact, not in a vain spirit of ex. soon as a matter intimately connected with the question ultation, bat as furnishing a powerful motive for undis. then pending, and still pending, before the Supreme sembled gratitude.

Court, should be decided. It was well known that the In retiring, perhaps for ever, from a situation with State insolvent laws, so far as they applied to contracts which so large a portion of my life has been associated, entered into before the enactment of those laws, bad 1 shall continually revert, during the remainder of it, been declared inoperative upon those contracts. The with unceasing respect and gratitude, to this great thea- more general ques:ion remained to be decided, viz: tre of our public action, and with the firm belief that the Whether such laws can constitutionally impair the rall.

Mar. 3, 1825.]

National Bankrupt Law.

[H. of R.

dity of any contracts, whether precedent or subsequent. would remove the necessity of establishing a general
When he called the attention of the House to this sub- system. lle remained fully of opinion that, in a coun.
ject at the close of the last session, it was expected that try so commercial, with so many states, having almost
an earlier day would be fixed for the assembling of the every degree and every kind of connexion and inter-
Court this year; anu that, in consequence of such ar course among their citizens, true policy and just views
rangement, the decision of this question might be bad in of public utility required that so important a branch of
season for the House to act on the subject with a full commercial regulation as bankruptcy, ought to be uni-
knowledge of what the exigency required at the present form throughout all the states; and, of course, that it
session. That arrangement, however, was not carried ought to be established under the authority of this Go-
into effect. The bill to execute it passed this House, vernment. For his part, entertaining this opinioni, he
but did not get through the Senate, and up to this mo- should be disposed to give an earnest attention to the
ment, he had not learned that that tribunal had proo measure, and devote any portion of time and labor to its
nounced its judgment in the case. He thought that de preparation, whenever it should appear to be the senti-
cision would naturally be thought important to enlight- ment of the House that it ought to be adopted.
en useful and practical legislation; although, for one, Soon after this, the House adjourned sine die.
he was not of opinion that its decision, either way,

[ocr errors]


72 72


[We have thus arrived at the close of the Second Session of the Eighteenth Congress; of the Debates and principal incidents of which we have furnished an account as ample as our materials would allow, and faithful as far as it goes, with the allowance for accidental er. ror which is due to all human efforts. As, in drawing to its close, the Session will appear to have been barren of interest, when it would naturally be supposed to be most fruitful of incident, it is necessary to explain, that very little debate usually takes place within the last ten days of a Session, the time of both houses being employed in perfecting business already matured by the committees, &c. principally upon private bills, which seldom elicit more than a passing remark from the chairman of the committee which reported each bill, and sometimes not even that. We have known, in the last week of the Session, as many as forty bills pass in one day; but, as they pass without debate, and without any incident worthy of record, those proceedings find no place in this volume, the object of which is not to journalize the proceedings of Congress, but rather to embody the spirit of those legislative measures and occurrences of each year which form so important a part of the history of the Government. It may be necessary further to add, to account for the scantiness of the matter of the three last days of the Session, during two of which, at least, Congress are known to sit long and late, that a joint rule of the two Houses forbids any act from being received from either House during the three last days, thus confining the proceedings in each House, on those days, to such acts as have already been discussed and passed in the other House, leaving to each House, respectively, little to do but to adopt or reject what has been proposed to it by the other. On the last day of the Session, it is ordered that no bill shall pass either House -a regulation intended to allow the President a reasonable time, before the adjournment, to give his assent or dissent, with deliberation, to the bills presented to him for his signature. Such as wish to know whether any particular measure debated during the Session became a law, and those also who desire to know what laws passed without debate, will be gratified, as already intimated in the Preface, by turning to the complete publication of the Laws of the Session, which will be found at the close of the volume.-EDITORS.)

« ZurückWeiter »