Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

Monday, December 5, 1796.

From Connecticut.JAMES DAVENPORT, in This being the day appointed by the constitu- place of JAMES HILLHOUSE, appointed a Senator tion for the annual meeting of Congress, in the l of the United States. House of Representatives, the following named

The SPEAKER laid before the House a letter members appeared and took their seats, viz:

viz: from the Governor of Pennsylvania, with the From Nero Hampshire.-ABIEL FOSTER, Ni. return of the election of GEORGE EGE, to serve CHOLAS GILMAN, JOHN S. SHERBURNE, and JERE- | as a member of the House in place of DANIEL MIAH SMITH.

HEISTER, resigned. From Massachusetts.—FISHER AMES, THEO- A quorum, consisting of a majority of the PHILUS BRADBURY, HENRY DEARBORN, Dwight whole number, being present, it was ordered FOSTER, NATHANIEL FREEMAN, Jr., SAMUEL LY

that the Clerk wait on the Senate, to inform MAN, WILLIAM LYMAN, JOHN READ, GEORGE

them that this House was ready to proceed to THATCHER, JOSEPH B. VARNUM, and PELEG

business; but it appeared that the Senate had WADSWORTH.

not been able to form a quorum by one memFrom Rhode Island.-Francis MALBONE. ber, and had adjourned. From Connecticut.-Joshua Coit, CHAUNCEY

Mr. WILLIAM SMITH presented a petition from GOODRIOH, ROGER GRISWOLD, NATHANIEL SMITH, | Thomas Lloyd, proposing to take, in short-hand, and ZEPHANIAH SWIFT.

and publish the Debates of Congress at $1,000 From Nero York.-THEODORUS BAILEY, Wi- | per session salary. The expense of printing, LIAM COOPER, EZEKIEL GILBERT, HENRY GLENN,

&c. he estimated at $540, for which he would JONATHAN N. HAVENS, John E. VAN ALLEN, I furnish the House with five hundred copies of PHILIP VAN CORTLANDT, and JOHN WILLIAMS. that work; engaging to use every possible pre

From Nero Jersey. - JONATHAN Dayton, caution, and pay prompt attention. AABON KITCHELL, and Isaac Smith.

Mr. S. referred to the unfavorable reception From Pennsylvania, — ALBERT GALLATIN, of a proposal of this nature at the last session, SAMUEL MACLAY, FREDERIOK Augustus Muh- and supposed this would not be more successLENBERG, JOHN RICHARDS, SAMUEL SITGREAVES,

ful; however, he moved that it be referred to a and John SWANWICK.

committee. From Delaware.—JOHN PATTON.

The motion was agreed to, and Mr. W. SMITH, From Maryland.-GEORGE DENT, WILLIAM Mr. GALLATIN, and Mr. Swift, were appointed HINDMAN, and RICHARD SPRIGG, Jr.

to examine the petition, and report thereon to From Virginia.-JOHN CLOPTON, ISAAO COLES,

tra the House. GEORGE JACKSON, JAMES MADISON, ANTHONY New, and ROBERT RUTHERFORD.

TUESDAY, December 6. From Kentucky.OHRISTOPHER GREENUP. Several other members, to wit: from Vermont,

From North Carolina.-THOMAS BLOUNT and ISRAEL SMITH; from New Jersey, MARK THOMPMATTHEW LOCKE.

BON; from Pennsylvania, RICHARD THOMAS; From South Carolina.-WILLIAM SMITH. from Virginia, CARTER B. HARRISON, JOHN From Georgia.--ABRAHAM BALDWIN. HEATH, and ABRAHAM VENABLE; and from

The following new members appeared, pro- North Carolina, JESSE FRANKLIN, WILLIAM duced their credentials, were qualified, and took BARRY GROVE, JAMES HOLLAND, and NATHANIEL their seats, viz:

Macon, appeared, and took their seats in the From Tennessee.-ANDREW JACKSON.

House. From Maryland.-WILLIAM Craik, in place The SPEAKER observed, that, as there were of JEREMIAH CRABB, resigned.

| several returns of new elections of members to

DECEMBER, 1796.)
President's Speech.

[H. OF R. serve in this session, it was proper that, pursuant | besides this, it is in our own experience, that the most to a rule of the House, a Committee of Elec- sincere neutrality is not a sufficient guard against the tions be appointed.

depredations of nations at war. To secure respect to A committee was accordingly appointed, of a neutral flag; requires a Naval force, organized Vr. VENABLE, Mr. SWIFT, Mr. DENT, Mr. DEAR

and ready to vindicate it from insult or aggression.

This may even prevent the necessity of going to war, BORN, Mr. BLOUNT, Mr. MUHLENBERG, and Mr.

by discouraging belligerent powers from committing A. FOSTER.

such violations of the rights of the neutral party as Mr. Macon moved that a Committee of Revi

may, first or last, leave no other option. From the sal and Unfinished Business of last session be

best information I have been able to obtain, it would appointed, pursuant to the Standing Rules and

seem as if our trade to the Mediterranean, without a Orders of the House, observing that, as the ses- protecting force, will always be insecure, and our sion would be but short, it would be necessary citizens exposed to the calamities from which numto be early in the appointment of committees. bers of them have but just been relieved.

Whereon Mr. GILMAN, Mr. R. SPRIGG, Jr., These considerations invite the United States to and Mr. Macox were appointed.

look to the means, and to set about the gradual creaNotice was received that a quorum of the

tion of a Navy. The increasing progress of their Senate was formed.

navigation promises them, at no distant period, the On motion, it was, therefore, resolved, that a

requisite supply of seamen ; and their means in other

respects favor the undertaking. It is an encouragecommittee of three members be appointed to

ment likewise that their particular situation will give wait on the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,

weight and influence to a moderate Naval force in in conjunction with a committee from the

their hands. Will it not, then, be advisable to begin, Senate, to inform him that a quorum of both

without delay, to provide and lay up the materials for Houses was assembled, and ready to receive any the building and equipping of ships of war, and to communications that he may please to make. proceed in the work by degrees, in proportion as our Mr. Ayes, Mr. MADISON, and Mr. SITGREAVES, resources shall render it practicable without inconwere accordingly appointed.

venience; so that a future war of Europe may not A message was received from the Senate in- find our commerce in the same unprotected state in forming the House that they had formed a which it was found by the present ?" quorum: whereupon the Clerk went to the Congress have repeatedly, and not without success, Senate with the resolution of this House. The

directed their attention to the encouragement of Secretary soon after returned, informing the

manufactures. The object is of too much conseHouse that the Senate had concurred in the

quence not to ensure a continuance of their efforts in

every way which shall appear eligible. As a general resolation, and formed a committee for that

rule, manufactures on public account are inexpedient. purpose.

But where the state of things in a country leaves but Mr. AYES, from the committee appointed for little hope that certain branches of manufacture will that purpose, reported that the committee had for a great length of time obtain, when these are of a waited on the PRESIDENT, who was pleased to nature essential to the furnishing and equipping of signify to them that he would make a commu the public force in time of war; are not establishnication to both Houses of Congress to-morrow, ments for procuring them on public account, to the at 12 o'clock, in the Representatives' Chamber. extent of the ordinary demand for the public service,

recommended by strong considerations of national,

policy, as an exception to the general rule ? Ought WEDNESDAY, December 7.

our country to remain in such cases dependent on Another member, to wit, SAMUEL SEWALL, foreign supply, precarious, because liable to be interfrom Massachusetts, in place of BENJAMIN GOOD rupted ? If the necessary articles should in this HUE, appointed a Senator of the United States,

mode cost more in time of peace, will not the security appeared, produced his credentials, was qualified,

la was analified and independence thence arising form an ample comand took his seat.

pensation ? Establishments of this sort, commensu

rate only with the calls of the public service in time A message was sent to the Senate, informing them that this House was ready, agreeably to

of peace, will, in time of war, easily be extended in

proportion to the exigencies of the Government, and appointment, to receive communications from

may even, perhaps, be made to yield a surplus for tho the PRESIDENT; whereon the Senate attended,

supply of our citizens at large, so as to mitigate the and took their seats. At 12 o'clock the PRESI- | privations from the interruption of their trade. If DENT attended, and, after taking his seat, rose adopted, the plan ought to exclude all those branches and delivered the following Address :

which are already, or likely soon to be established in

the country, in order that there may be no danger of Gentlemen of the Senate, and

interference with pursuits of individual industry. of the House of Representatives :

It will not be doubted that with reference either to In recurring to the internal situation of our coun- individual or national welfare, agriculture is of pritry, since I had last the pleasure to address you, I mary importance. In proportion as nations advance find ample reason for a renewed expression of that in population, and other circumstances of maturity, gratitude to the Ruler of the Universe, which a con- this truth becomes more apparent, and renders the tinued series of prosperity has so often and so justly cultivation of the soil more and more an object of called forth.

public patronage. Institutions for promoting it grow To an active external commerce, the protection of up, supported by the public purse ; and to what object Naval force is indispensable: this is manifest with can it be dedicated with greater propriety? Among regard to wars in which a State is itself a party. But the means which have been employed to this end,

H. OF R.]

Proceedings.

[DECEMBER, 1796 none have been attended with greater success than | respect to the most important stations, appear to call the establishment of Boards, composed of proper for Legislative revision. The consequences of a decharacters, charged with collecting and diffusing in- fective provision are of serious import to the Governformation, and enabled by premiums, and small ment. pecuniary aids, to encourage and assist a spirit of dis If private wealth is to supply the defect of public covery and improvement. This species of establish- retribution, it will greatly contract the sphere within ment contributes doubly to the increase of improve- which the selection of character for office is to be ment, by stimulating to enterprise and experiment, made, and will proportionally diminish the probaand by drawing to a common centre the results bility of a choice of men, able, as well as upright. every where of individual skill and observation, and Besides, that it would be repugnant to the vital spreading them thence over the whole nation. Ex-principles of our Government virtually to exclude perience accordingly has shown that they are very from public trusts, talents, and virtue, unless accomcheap instruments of immense national benefits. panied by wealth.

I have heretofore proposed to the consideration of While in our external relations some serious inCongress the expediency of establishing a National conveniences and embarrassments have been overUniversity, and also a Military Academy. The de- come, and others lessened, it is with much pain and sirableness of both these institutions has so constantly deep regret I mention that circumstances of a very increased with every new view I have taken of the unwelcome nature have lately occurred. Our trade subject, that I cannot omit the opportunity of once has suffered, and is suffering, extensive injuries in the for all recalling your attention to them.

West Indies, from the cruisers and agents of the The Assembly to which I address myself is too en-1 French Republic; and communications have been relightened not to be fully sensible how much a flour-ceived from its Minister here which indicate the danishing state of the arts and sciences contributes to ger of a further disturbance of our commerce, by its national prosperity and reputation. True it is that authority, and which are, in other respects, far from our country, much to its honor, contains many semi- agreeable. naries of learning highly respectable and useful; but It has been my constant, sincere, and ardent wish, the funds upon which they rest are too narrow to in conformity with that of our nation, to maintain command the ablest professors in the different depart- cordial harmony and a perfectly friendly understandments of liberal knowledge for the institution con- ing with that Republic. This wish remains untemplated, though they would be excellent auxiliaries. abated; and I shall persevere in the endeavor to

Amongst the motives to such an institution the fulfil it to the utmost extent of what shall be conassimilation of the principles, opinions, and manners sistent with a just and indispensable regard to the of our countrymen, by the common education of a rights and honor of our country; nor will I easily portion of our youth from every quarter, well de- cease to cherish the expectation that a spirit of jusserves attention. The more homogeneous our citi- tice, candor, and friendship on the part of the Rezens can be made in these particulars, the greater will public will eventually ensure success. be our prospect of permanent union; and a primary | My solicitude to see the Militia of the United States object of such a national institution should be the placed on an efficient establishment has been so often education of our youth in the science of Government. and so ardently expressed that I shall but barely reIn a Republic, what species of knowledge can be call the subject to your view on the present occasion ; equally important ? and what duty more pressing on at the same time that I shall submit to your inquiry, its Legislature, than to patronize a plan for commu- whether our harbors are yet sufficiently secured. nicating it to those who are to be the future guar The situation in which I now stand, for the last dians of the liberties of the country ?

time, in the midst of the Representatives of the people The institution of a Military Academy is also re of the United States, naturally recalls the period commended by cogent reasons. However pacific the when the administration of the present form of gorgeneral policy of a nation may be, it ought never to ernment commenced; and I cannot omit the occasion be without an adequate stock of military knowledge to congratulate you and my country on the success for emergencies. The first would impair the energy 1 of the experiment; nor to repeat my fervent suppliof its character, and both would hazard its safety, or cations to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe and expose it to greater evils when war could not be Sovereign Arbiter of Nations, that His providential avoided : besides, that war might often not depend care may still be extended to the United States; that upon its own choice. In proportion as the observ- the virtue and happiness of the people may be preance of pacific maxims might exempt a nation from served; and that the Government which they have the necessity of practising the rules of the military instituted for the protection of their liberties may be art, ought to be its care in preserving and transmit- perpetual.

G. WASHINGTON. ting by proper establishments the knowledge of that UNITED STATES, December 7, 1796. art. Whatever argument may be drawn from par

ar examples, superficially viewed, a thorough. When the PRESIDENT had concluded his Adexamination of the subject will evince that the art of dress, he presented copies of it to the PRESIDENT war is at once comprehensive and complicated; that of the Senate and the SPEAKER of the House of it demands much previous study; and that the pos- Representatives. The PRESIDENT and the Sensession of it, in its most improved and perfect state, ate then withdrew, and the SPEAKER took the is always of great moment to the security of a na-Chair. The Address was again read by the tion. This, therefore, ought to be a serious care of | Olerk, and on motion, committed to & Oomevery Government; and for this purpose an Academy, I mittee of the whole House to-morrow. where a regular course of instruction is given, is an obvious expedient, which different nations have successfully employed.

THURSDAY, December 8. The compensations to the officers of the United JAMES GILLESPIE, from North Carolina, apStates in various instances, and in none more than in peared, and took his seat in the House.

DECEMBER, 1796.]
Address to the President.

[H. Or R. A new member, to wit, GEORGE Ege, from ANDREW MOORE, and John NICHOLAS; and from Pennsylvania, in place of DANIEL HEISTER, re- South Carolina, ROBERT GOODLOE HARPER, apsigned, appeared, produced his credentials, was peared, and took their seats in the House. qualified, and took his seat. Address to the President.

TUESDAY, December 13. On the motion of Mr. W. SMITH, the House Two other members, to wit, Thomas Clal went into a Committee of the Whole on the BORNE and John Page, from Virginia, appeared PRESIDENT's Address, according to the order of and took their seats in the House. the day. The Speech was read by the Clerk,

A new member, viz: WILLIAM STRUDWICK, Mr. D. FOSTER moved the following resolu- | from North Carolina, in place of ABSALOM TAtion:

Tom resigned, appeared, produced his creden“Resolved, That it is the opinion of this committee,

tials, was qualified, and took his seat. that a respectful Address ought to be presented from the House of Representatives, to the President of the

Address to the President. United States, in answer to his Speech to both Houses Mr. W. SMITH then moved for the order of of Congress, at the commencement of the session, the day on the report of the committee in containing assurances that this House will take into answer to the PRESIDENT'S Address. consideration the many important matters recom Mr. GILES said, that as the printed copy of mended to their attention."

the answer was but just laid before the House, Which was unanimously agreed to, and Mr. he hoped the gentleman would not insist on his AMES, Mr. BALDWIN, Mr. MADISON, Mr. SIT- motion, as he declared he had not had time to GREAVES, and Mr. W. SMITH were appointed a read it; he would therefore move that it be decommittee to draw up the Address. The com- ferred till to-morrow. mittee rose, and the resolution was adopted by Mr. PARKER seconded the motion. He said the House.

he was not able to judge whether the answer

would meet his approbation or not; he wished FRIDAY, December 9.

time to be given for the consideration of it. DAVID BARD, from Pennsylvania, JOSIAH

Mr. W. SMITH said he knew no instance in PARKER, from Virginia, and NATHAN BRYAN,

which the answer to the PRESIDENT'S Address from North Carolina, appeared and took their

had been laid over, and he thought it ought to Beats in the House.

be despatched with all possible speed.

Mr. Heath said, he hoped his colleague would Address to the President.

not insist on his motion for letting it lie over The SPEAKER said, that it had been usual for

till to-morrow; he thought it could as well be the House to come to some order on the PRESI- &

acted on to-day. DEXT'S Address, which was to refer it to a Com

1 Mr. Ames observed, that it would look very mittee of the Whole on the state of the Union.

awkward to let it lie over till to-morrow, as it On which Mr. WILLIAMS moved, that it be com- was

was very unusual, if not unprecedented, so to mitted to & Committee of the Whole on the

do; he thought gentlemen might make up their state of the Union, which was done accordingly.

minds about it if laid on the table about an Mr. BAYLEY moved, that a Committee of

hour; they could, in the mean time, despatch Commerce and Manufactures be appointed,

other business, which would come before then. when Mr. WILLIAM SMITH, Mr. SEWALL, Mr.

| Mr. GILES said, he had experienced extreme Corr, Mr. PARKER, Mr. BLOUNT, and Mr. DENT,

inconvenience from gentlemen pressing for a were named for that committee.

subject before it had been matured in the minds _Mr. " BAYLEY then moved, that when this

of members; he thought it would be extremely House adjourn, it adjourn till Monday at eleven

improper and unusual, and in its consequences o'clock.

disagreeable, to go into the subject before gen[The reason stated during the last session for tlemen had time to reflect on it. the House not meeting to do business on Satur

Mr. SITGREAVES said, that the more expedays was, that the standing committees were

ditious the House were on the answer to the Lanerous, besides many special committees for

PRESIDENT'S Address the greater the effect of it ditierent purposes, whose business was fre

would be. He hoped, therefore, that there quently very important and troublesome, it was

would be no delay. He had in recollection & therefore necessary that Saturday be allowed

Message which was received from the PRESIfor the committees to sit, else business would

DENT respecting the Colors of the French Rete much protracted, and become too burden

public, at the last session. Those very gentlesome on gentlemen in committees.]

men who now wished a delay, then thought that, to let the subject lie over, would lose its

principal effect, although several of the memMONDAY, December 12.

bers wished it to lie over, and but for one day. Several other members, to wit: from New Surely we have as much respect for the PRESIlork, EDWARD LIVINGSTON; from Pennsylvania, DENT as we have for the French Republic. He ANDREW GEEGG; from Maryland, GABRIEL really hoped the business would not lie over. CHESTIE; from Virginia, WILLIAM B. GILES, Mr. W. LYMAN hoped gentlemen did not look

Vol. II.-2

H. OF R.)
Address to the President.

(DECEMBER, 1796 upon this answer to the PRESIDENT'S Address plimented the PRESIDENT for his services. As as merely complimentary. He declared he took to the first, he thought it so expressed as to it up in a very different light; he viewed it as need no delay in the answer. With respect to of the most extensive consequence; it related the latter, he hoped no gentleman would refuse to the subjects recommended to the notice to pay a due regard to the PRESIDENT's services. of the House by the PRESIDENT, which might The SPEAKER again informed the House what relate to the alteration of the laws, and, per- was the question. haps, to the forming new laws; and could gen- Mr. W. Smith said, we ought not now to retlemen have time to form their minds on such flect on any thing we may judge has not been an important part of their business? He had done as we could wish. Could we refuse 8 only seen the report this morning, and hoped tribute of respect to a man who had served his he should have time to consider it before it country so much? He thought a delay at prepassed through the House.

sent would have a very unpleasant appearance. The SPEAKER said, that the subject before the He hoped we should go into this business immeHouse now was, whether the unfinished business diately, agreeably to the former practice of the should be postponed in order to make room for House on similar occasions. The unfinished a Committee of the Whole to sit on the report business was yesterday postponed for want of of the committee on the answer ?

proper information, and he thought the same Mr. PARKER observed, that he could not say reason was yet in force with respect to it. He whether he approved or disapproved of the hoped nothing would impede this business, lest answer before the House. He had not read the it should appear like a want of respect in us. report; he therefore hoped that the unfinished He hoped to see a unaninous vote in favor of business would be taken up and this postponed: a respectful answer to the Chief Magistrate he thought it was too important to be hastened. whose services we ought zealously to acknowHe wished gentlemen to be very careful how ledge. they committed themselves at a juncture so Mr. GILBERT saw no reason to depart from & critical, and on business so momentous. We practice which had been usual ; he therefore had just been told by the PRESIDENT that we hoped the report might come under consideradid not stand well with the French nation; and tion to-day. He thought if it laid on the table the Senate, in their answer, had accorded with an hour or an hour and a half, gentlemen could his observations on that subject. Mr. P. was then be prepared to consider it. here informed that the business of the Senate The SPEAKER again put the House in mind of ought not to be introduced here.*7 He there- the question. fore hoped a day might be allowed to take the Mr. NICHOLAS said, if the business was pressgubject into consideration.

ed too precipitately, gentlemen may be sensible Nr. WILLIAMS said, he had searched and could of their error when it was too late. Many bad find no precedent in the journal to encourage a consequences might attend hastening the subdelay of this business. He found that when a ject before it was well matured. He could see report was made by the committee on such an no reason why the business should be precipioccasion, it was usual to be taken up by a Com-| tated upon the House-a proper delay would mittee of the whole House ; and if gentlemen not show any want of respect to the PRESIDENT, disagreed on the subject, it should be recom- | as some gentlemen think. Would it be more mitted to the same committee who formed it, respectful that an answer should be sent by this to make such alterations whereby it may meet House, which, for want of time, had not been more general approbation, or be amended by sufficiently considered ? Certainly not. Far the House and passed. He hoped no new pre more so will it appear that after mature delicedent would be made.

beration the members are unanimous in their The SPEAKER again observed, that the ques answer. I therefore think the object of respect tion was on postponing the unfinished business which the gentleman from North Carolina has to take up this report.

in view will be completely answered by the Mr. W. SMITi said, that if this business was delay. delayed, it ought to be for substantial reasons. Gentlemen talk about precedent. I am The principal reason gentlemen had urged was, ashamed to hear them. There may be no prethat they had not had time to acquaint them cedent on the subject. But are we always to selves with the answer. How, then, he asked, act by precedent? There is scarcely a circumcould they make their observations on it as they stance occurs in this House but what is different had done? The committee had, he thought, from any that was before it. The PRESIDENT'S drafted it in such general terms that it could Addresses to this House are always different. not be generally disapproved. There are but They relate to the circumstances of things that two parts in which he thought there would be are, have been, and may be. Then, to talk of differences of opinion, viz: that which related precedents where things cannot be alike, is to to the French Republic, and that which com- trammel men down by rules which would be

injurious in the issue. * In this early day, the parliamentary rule was enforced The Message of the PRESIDENT respecting thi against any reference in ono House to what was done in the French Colors had been referred to. If gentle other.

| men were then wrong, is that a reason why they

« PreviousContinue »