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FEBRUARY, 1798.]
Fracas in the House.

[H. OF R. WEDNESDAY, February 14.

prepared a resolution to this effect, which he Quakers' Memorial.

would read in his place. It was as follows: Mr. SITGREAVES moved the order of the day

Resolved, That part of the memorial of the on the report of a select committee on the me people called Quakers has a tendency to disturb the morial of the people called Quakers; which mo

tranquillity of some of the States of the Union; that tion being agreed to, the House went into a

this House is not competent to act upon it, and Committee of the Whole on the subject, Mr.

therefore they have leave to withdraw their memo

rial.” DENT in the chair. The report having been read as follows:

There could be little difference of opinion on * That, inasmuch as the said memorial and ad

the assertion that the internal tranquillity of dress presents, in general terms only, certain subjects

several States had been disturbed by these applito the consideration of the Legislature, without con

cations; and he believed there would be no taining any definite state of facts, or any specific ap

difficulty in obtaining a majority of the House plication for its interposition, the memorialists were to declare it; as, if the Representatives of ti desired to exhibit a particular view of the grievances or four States were to rise and declare the fact, of which they complained, in order that the attention it must have sufficient weight to carry a declaof the House might be directed to precise objects, and ration of this kind. He had, however, menthat it might be better discerned whether the com- tioned the matter to some of his friends, and plaints of the memorialists were of a nature to justify found it was not very agreeable to them, as Legislative interference:

they wished to get rid of the business without * That, in consequence of this request, the memo- l debate. But if the present motion were to rialists laid before the committee the representation tain, he should afterwards bring forward this and documents which accompany this report:

resolution. * That, on the subject of this representation, the

| The CHAIRMAN declared the motion of the memorialists were invited to confer with the committee, and were solicited to suggest the remedy which

gentleman from Massachusetts out of order. they conceived it to be in the power of Congress to

The question on the resolution, as reported, apply to the case, as stated by them :

was put and carried, there being 74 votes in 46 That the committee, after several conferences the affirmative. The committee then rose, and with the memorialists, and an attentive consideration the House concurred in the report. of the subject, are very clearly of opinion that the facts disclosed in the said representation are exclu

THURSDAY, February 15. sively of judicial cognizance ; and that it is not competent to the Legislative authority of Congress to do

Fracas in the House. any act in relation to the matter thereof:

About a quarter past eleven o'clock, after * Wherefore the committee recommend the follow-prayers, whilst the SPEAKER was in his chair, ing resolution :

and many members in their places, but before * Resolved, That the memorialists have leave to

the House had been called to order, and before withdraw the said memorial and address."

the journal had been read, Mr. GRISWOLD enMr. THATCHER could not say that he was per-tered the House, and observing Mr. Lyon in his fectly satisfied with the report of the committee place (who was writing) he went up to him with in all its parts. He wished the business dis- a pretty strong walking stick in his hand, with posed of without coming to any decisive resolu- which he immediately began to beat him with tion upon it, so as either to approve or disap- great violence. Mr. G.'s approach was observed prove of it. He was not ready to say that the by Mr. Lyon, but before he could get from befacts disclosed in that memorial were exclusively hind his desk he had received some severe blows. of judicial cognizance, and that the Legislature As soon as he got on the floor of the House he of the Union was incompetent to do any thing endeavored to lay hold of Mr. G. (having no in it. It might, however, be true, but it was stick or weapon in his hand) but he was prenot clear to him. He would rather that the vented from doing so by Mr. G.'s falling back, subject should not now be acted upon : he and the continual blows with which he was aswould, therefore, propose an amendment to the sailed. At length getting behind the SPEAKER'S. report, which might conclude the business with-chair, Mr. L. snatched up the tongs from the out coming to any resolution upon it, which had fire; the combatants then closed and came been the course heretofore taken with similar down together upon the floor, Mr. G. being applications. He moved, therefore, to strike uppermost. The members in the House, who out the resolution giving the petitioners leave till now seemed to look on with amazement at to withdraw their petition; and if his motion the scene, without an attempt to put an end to was agreed to, he should wish the committee to it, got round the parties, and separated them, rise, and that the House would not act further but not before Mr. L. had aimed a blow at Mr. upon it at present.

G.'s head with the tongs, but which he parried Mr. RUTLEDGE said, he, as well as the gentle- off. The SPEAKER was now called upon to deman from Massachusetts, was dissatisfied with sire the members to take their seats and form the report of the select committee. He thought the House. Whilst this was doing, the two enthe report ought to have stated that the peace raged members met again without the bar, and, of certain States in the Union had been much but for the doorkeeper and some gentlemen disturbed by applications of this kind. He had present, would have renewed the combat.

VOL. II.-14

H. OF R.]
Case of Griswold and Lyon.

(FEBRUARY, 1798. Order having been obtained (at least as much not know, therefore, how gentlemen would supas it was possible to obtain from the agi- | port the doctrine that a member ought to be tated state of the House) the Clerk proceeded expelled for an act of violence done before the to read the journal, and the business of the day House was in session. It might be necessary, was entered upon. It continued till one o'clock, however, to investigate other facts connected when from the perturbation which was natu- , with these. rally occasioned by such a scene, and it being Mr. J. PARKER seconded the motion for the evident that business was very little attended to expulsion of these members, because he believed by a great part of the House, a motion for an ad- there would be no peace in the House until they journment was made and carried. It will be were expelled. He was sorry the gentleman seen that no notice was taken of this proceeding from Massachusetts should have said he saw in the course of the sitting.]

nothing but what was passive on the part of

Mr. Lyon. He himself saw more, and that FRIDAY, February 16.

gentleman must have seen it if he had his eyes

about him. He said, that after the offending Case of Griswold and Lyon.

members had been separated Mr. Lyon met Mr. Immediately upon the journals having been GRISWOLD without the bar of the House and read,

began to belabor him with his cane, when they Mr. Davis, of Kentucky, rose and proposed were again separated. The attack of yesterday, the following resolution for the adoption of the Mr. P. said, at a time when the House ought to House:

have been in session though it had not come to “ Resolved, That Roger Griswold and Matthew order, would fix an indelible stain upon it; and Lyon, members of this House, for violent and dis if these members were not expelled, no member orderly behavior committed in the House, be ex could consider himself as safe in his seat. Such pelled therefrom.”

a transaction would certainly lower that House Mr. NICHOLAS hoped the resolution would be in the estimation of their constituents. He had permitted to lie on the table.

even heard this morning, as he came to the Mr. Davis saw no reason for delaying a decis. Hall, persons in the street call out, “There is ion upon this resolution. He thought the con- nothing to do in Congress to-day—there's no duct of these gentlemen had been so grossly fighting going on!" In order to get rid of these violent, and so notorious to most of the mem- reproaches, he hoped all parties would unite in bers of the House, that there need be no hesita- expelling these members. If their constituents tion in deciding upon it. If gentlemen wished, chose to send them back, he hoped no member however, to take the same course which had would associate with or take notice of them. been adopted on a former occasion, he should And if a vote of expulsion should be agreed not object to it, though he thought it unneces- upon, he would afterwards move to expunge sary. It was needless, now to say any thing as from the journals all the entries relative to to the necessity of preserving the dignity and these disgraceful proceedings. honor of that House; enough had already been Mr. NICHOLAS wished the motion to lie upon said, and he thought pertinently said, on a the table for the present, because he was not former occasion on this subject. And as he be himself prepared to decide upon the subject; lieved neither the dignity, the honor, or peace he wished, also, that whenever the motion was of that House could be preserved whilst these taken up, gentlemen might come with their members remained in it, he hoped the House | minds determined upon it, so that a long debate would be unanimous in voting their expulsion. might not be necessary. He therefore moved

Mr. THATCHER did not see why the innocent to postpone the consideration of this resolution should be punished with the guilty. The gentle-| to Monday. man who brought forward this proposition, he Mr. GORDON wished to know what part of the supposed, did not wish this. From what he saw resolution the gentleman from Virginia was not of the affray, he did not think Mr. Lyon de- ready to act upon ? served to be punished for the part he acted. / Mr. NICHOLAS did not understand the drift of He certainly received a severe beating, but the gentleman's question. If he meant to ask he appeared to be passive from the beginning to whether he (Mr. N.) disapproved of the vote the end; and he did not think Mr. Lyon ought which he had already given, he would answer to be expelled because he was beaten. As to him he did not. any investigation of what happened yesterday, I Mr. J. WILLIAMS said he should approve of he did not think it necessary, as most of the the motion for postponement, if it were made members of that House were eye-witnesses to for to-morrow, instead of Monday; and he the fact. But the gentleman said there would hoped the business would not only be taken up be no peace until these members were expelled. I to-morrow, but be concluded before they rose. He did not know from what he drew his con- He had sat with great patience during the late clusions. What was done yesterday was done | debate, but he should be opposed to going into before the House was in session; and it had al- | any further lengthy proceedings on so disagreeready been determined that acts of violence able a subject, which would prevent them from committed without the bar, during a session of doing the business of the nation, for which they the House, are not causes of expulsion. He did were sent.

FEBRUARY, 1798.)
Case of Griswold and Lyon.

[H. OF R. Mr. NICHOLAS had no objection to make the mation of the public; and, notwithstanding all question the order for to-morrow, if the House that the House had heard about a waste of pubmet.

lic money and public time, he believed they Mr. THATCHER observed, that he had before should best serve the public by suffering thỏ said that he had seen nothing on the part of Mr. business to take the usual course. Lyox, in the affray of yesterday, which ought The motion for a postponement was put and to subject him to expulsion; but the gentleman negatived. from Virginia (Mr. Parker) said, that if he (Mr. Mr. SITGREAVES then moved that the resoluT.) had had his eyes about him, he might have tion be referred to the Committee of Privileges. seen something for which he ought to be ex Mr. HARPER moved that the committee have pelled. If, indeed, he had eyes behind he might leave to sit during the session of the House. have seen what he alluded to; but this not being Mr. THATCHER thought, as it was probable a the case, he did not see it. As far as the busi- number of members might be wanted to givo ness respects Mr. Lyon, some inquiry might be evidence, the House had better adjourn, as on a necessary, as all he saw was, that Mr. Lyon suf- former occasion, as it would not be proper to fered much, without any offence on his part. go on with business when so many members He thought, therefore, the business should be were absent. gone into, as on a former occasion, and that they Mr. T. CLAIBORNE hoped leave would not be ought to examine the subject with candor, and granted for the committee to sit immediately. then they should doubtless decide upon it with He wished them coolly to deliberate upon the propriety.

business, which they could scarcely be expected Wr. SITGREAVES was against the postpone to do, when their passions were so strongly ment, in order that a different course might be affected as they must be at present. taken. He knew nothing in this case which The question for leave to sit during the sesdistinguished it from a late case, and therefore sion was put and carried—46 to 36. could not see why the same course ought not Mr. HARPER moved that the committee be into be pursued as was then pursued. He should structed to report to the House the evidence in therefore vote against a postponement, in order writing, upon which they shall found their report. that the resolution might be referred to the Mr. KITTERA thought the facts were so notoCommittee of Privileges.

rious that there was no necessity for this inMr. Harper inquired whether such a motion struction. would not supersede a motion for postpone Mr. HARPER said if his friend from Pennsylment.

vania could say that every body would be satisThe SPEAKER said, it would.

fied with the report of the committee without Mr. HARPER then made the motion.

the evidence, he would not insist upon this moMr. GALLATIN asked whether he understood tion. But if the evidence was not reported, the SPEAKER rightly, that a motion for a refer- how could he say that all the witnesses might ence to a committee superseded a motion for not again be called before the House? It was his postponement ?

wish to prevent this. The SPEAKER said, it did.

Mr. J. WILLIAMS said there was a considerMr. NICHOLAS asked whether it would not able difference between this transaction and the then be in order to postpone the consideration one lately under consideration. He thought in of the subject ?

this case it would probably save much trouble The SPEAKER answered, it would.

to report the evidence. Mr. NICHOLAS renewed the motion for a post Mr. BROOKS said it must be recollected that ponement till to-morrow.

the gentleman from Virginia was not satisfied Mr. HARPER, believing that it would be prop with the former report. He wished to hear the er to refer this resolution to a committee, as be- witnesses themselves; and if the evidence was to fore, especially as some of the facts did not pass be reported, he did not suppose it would be satwithin the view of the House, he should yote isfactory. against the postponement—not because he Mr. NICHOLAS seconded the motion, because wished to avoid a vote on the question; for, if it would be likely to shorten the business; but it should be the opinion of the House that it if, when the testimony came to be reported, ought not to go to a committee, he was perfectly there was any obscurity in it, he should feel it ready to give a vote upon the question; but he necessary to ask the witnesses questions by way thought it better that the business should have of elucidation, as every man who was called this course. With respect to any discussion upon as a judge, should be in full possession of being necessary upon this subject, he perhaps every fact relative to the subject. might think it necessary to make some observa Mr. Brooks said the gentleman who had just tions upon it, when the question came before sat down, would have no difficulty in pointing the House for decision; for, though some out some obscurity, in order to furnish an apolgentlemen might be endued with the happy ogy for rehearing of the witnesses. faculty of doing every thing in an instant, he Mr. KITTERA said if to report the evidence eould not boast of possessing that faculty. But, would prevent the necessity of hearing the witeven if he were not desirous of discussion for nesses in the House, he should not object to it; his own information, he wished it for the infor- I but he believed this would not be the case.

H. OF R.]
Case of Griswold and Lyon.

[FEBRUARY, 1798. Mr. VENABLE was before of opinion that it his doubts whether that House had the constiwould have been best for witnesses to have de- tutional power to imprison a man for a crime, as livered their evidence in writing. He hoped the law only would do this. He thought a resothat course would now be taken, and then there lution, similar to that adopted on a former occawould be no difficulty in reporting it to the sicn, would be sufficient at present; and if the House; and if it should be found necessary, in mover did not think proper so to alter it, he would order to elucidate any part of it, to put any himself move an amendment for this purpose. questions to the witnesses in the House, the Mr. Otis flattered himself that his object business would be greatly facilitated and short would have met with the concurrence of all sides ened by the evidence being reported.

of the House, believing that all wished to preThe question was put and carried.

vent future violations of order and peace. With Mr. Otis believed that something further was respect to the doubts of the gentleman from necessary to be done in respect to the unfortu- North Carolina, his politics seemed to be altonate business, which had already engaged the gether a system of doubts. If this system was attention of the House. From what had hap- common, it would be extremely difficult to propened in the view of the House, it appears that gress with business at all. He believed, on the the parties are in the habit of conflicting with present occasion, these doubts were groundless. each other; and except they are restrained by When an act of violence was done in the view some authority which shall be sufficiently im- of the members of the House, they had certainly posing upon them, further violence may be ex- the power to obtain some security against a repected. In order, therefore, to secure this petition of such violence. If this was not done, House from future violations of its dignity and the presumption was, the business of the session order, he proposed the following resolution for might be continually interrupted; and had they adoption :

not the right of securing the peaceful exercise Resolved, That Roger Griswold and Matthew Lyon, of their legislative functions for the remainder members of this House, be respectively required by of the session? He thought this could not be the SPEAKER to pledge their words to this House, that seriously doubted. With respect to the former they will not commit any act of violence upon each resolution, if he had been in his place, he should other during this session ; and that if either refuse have suggested its impropriety; for, by it, it to make such engagements, the party refusing shall seemed to be implied that, after the question be committed to the custody of the Sergeant-at-arms, was decided, though they could not do it before, until he shall comply with this obligation.”

the members in question would be at liberty to Mr. SEWALL understood a motion had been commit any act of violence they pleased upon agreed to in relation to the affair of yesterday, each other. They had seen the consequence. He which might produce an expulsion of the mem- | hoped, therefore, the House would restrain these bers in question. He thought it would be bet- gentlemen in such a manner as that it may not ter, therefore, to alter the wording of the reso- be in their power again to interrupt their prolution, and instead of “during this session," say ceedings. “during the continuance of the examination of The question was then taken on the resoluthe business before the House."

| tion, and carried by a large majority, there beMr. SITGREAVES did not think any alterations ing 73 votes in favor of it. were necessary. An expulsion of the members The SPEAKER asked, whether it was the pleawas a possible, but not a necessary result. If an sure of the House that the Sergeant-at-arms expulsion does not take place, the resolution should be sent for Mr. Lyon ? will remain in operation for the remainder of l Mr. SITGREAVES said it might not be convethe session, which would be proper; and, if annient for Mr. LYON to attend the House; he expulsion took place, its operation would fall | asked whether the resolution might not be sent of course.

to him, and his answer be received in writing? Mr. J. WILLIAMS thought it best to pass the Mr. NICHOLAS supposed, that if both genresolution as it stood. If a similar resolution had tlemen prepared a declaration in writing, and been entered into on a former occasion, it would presented it to-morrow, it would answer the probably have prevented what had now taken purpose. place.

Mr. HARPER replied, the mischief intended to be Mr. R. WILLIAMS called for the reading of the guarded against might in the mean time be done. resolution which was passed on a former occa- Mr. GALLATIN said, he had just been called sion. [It was read. It stated “that any per- / ont by a member of the House, who had asked sonal contest between the members, before the him whether he thought it would be proper for House had come to a decision upon the busi- Mr. Lyon to attend the House. He supposed, ness, would be considered as a high breach of therefore, if the Sergeant-at-arms was sent for privileges.''] Mr. W. thought this resolution him, he would immediately attend went as far as the House had a right to go. The Mr. HARPER hoped the Sergeant-at-arms resolution proposed by the gentleman from would be sent. Massachusetts, went farther, he thought, than The SPEAKER said, as soon as the Clerk had they had power to go. It went to imprison one made a copy of the resolution, the Sergeant-ator both of the parties, if he or they refused to arms would wait upon Mr. Lyon with it. comply with the request of the House. He had Mr. Lyon having entered,

FEBRUARY, 1798.]
Case of Griswold and Lyon.

(H. OF R. The SPEAKER said, the members from Ver- | merely because the paying it might render the mont and Connecticut being now in their accounts at the Treasury less simple, or because places, he should proceed to read the resolution they would be liable to pay more than is conwhich had been entered into by the House. venient. This policy might be justifiable, but [He then read the resolution.]

it bore very hard upon individual sufferers. It As soon as it was finished reading,

was argued, therefore, that without opening the Mr. GRISWOLD rose and said, he should not acts generally, when a strong, unequivocal claim hesitate to enter into the proposed engagement. was presented, which was in the hands of the

Mr. Lyon also rose and said, he was ready, original holder, and where, of course, there as it was the wish of the House, to agree to the could be no possibility of fraud, relief might and proposition.

ought to be granted. The SPEAKER said, then you do accordingly Mr.J. WILLIAMS was an enemy to acts of limiagree to this proposition ?

tation, as he thought a debt once due must alBoth answered, “I do agree.”

ways be due until paid; but he would either

have them opened generally, or not at all. Monday, February 10.

The yeas and nays upon agreeing to this Amy Dardin.

proposition for setting aside the act of limitation

in this case were taken, and decided, yeas 35, Upon motion of Mr. T. CLAIBORNE, the fol. 1 zavs 58. as follo

Ole aays 56, as follows: lowing resolution was agreed to—45 to 40: 1

1 YEAs.—David Bard, Lemuel Benton, Samuel J. "Resolved, That a committee be appointed to bring | Cabell. Thomas Claiborne, William Charles Cole in a bill for the relief of Amy Dardin.”

Claiborne, Matthew Clay, John Clopton, Thomas T. [This claim has been long before Congress, Davis, John Dawson, George Dent, Lucas Elmenand been several times the subject of discus- dorph, John Fowler, Albert Gallatin, James Gillession. It is for the value of the famous horse pie, William Barry Grove, Carter B. Harrison, David Romulus, the property of the husband of the Holmes, Walter Jones, Edward Livingston, Matthew petitioner, pressed into the service of the United Locke, Matthew Lyon, James Machir, Blair McClenStates during the war.

The case of the widow | achan, Joseph McDowell, John Milledge, Anthony

The case of the widow is evidently a hard one, and this is the second

New, John Rutledge, jr., William Smith, Richard time a vote has been obtained in her favor,

Sprigg, jr., Thomas Sumter, Abraham Trigg, John

Trigg, Joseph B. Varnum, Abraham Venable, and which has afterwards been reversed.]

Robert Williams. The committee rose, reported their agreement | NAYS.—John Allen. George Baer. ir.. Bailey Bartto the three resolutions, and had leave to sit lett. James A. Bayard, Thomas Blount, David Brooks, again. The House took up the two first, agreed Nathan Bryan, Stephen Bullock, Dempsey Burges, to them, and directed the Committee of Claims Christopher G. Champlin, John Chapman, James to bring in a bill or bills accordingly. When Cochran, Joshua Coit, William Craik, Samuel W. the third resolution came to be considered, the Dana, Thomas Evans, William Findlay, Abiel Foster, yeas and nays were called for, and its adoption Dwight Foster, Henry Glenn, Chauncey Goodrich, was strongly opposed by Messrs. HARPER, NICH- William Gordon, Andrew Gregg, Roger Griswold, Olas, and BAYARD, on the ground of its throw John A. Hanna, Robert Goodloe Harper, Thomas ing open a door to every claim which had here Hartley, Jonathan N. Havens, Wm. Hindman, Hezetofore been determined as barred, as cutting up

kiah L. Hosmer, James H. Imlay, John Wilkes Kitby the root all the acts of limitation that tera, Samuel Lyman, Nathaniel Macon, Wm. Matwas also setting aside these laws in the most

*thews, Daniel Morgan, Lewis R. Morris, John Nichoobjectionable way, by inviting every person, James Schureman, Samuel Sewall, William Shepard,

| las, Harrison G. Otis, Isaac Parker, John Read, who had an unsatisfied claim, to petition Con- Samuel Sitgroaves, Nathaniel Smith, Samuel Smith, gress for relief, which would of course engage Peleg Sprague, Richard Stanford, George Thatcher, much of their time. If the acts were to be set Mark Thompson, Thomas Tillinghast, John E. Van aside, it would be much better and less expen-Allen, Peleg Wadsworth, and John Williams. sive therefore to authorize the proper depart-| Mr. HARPER then proposed the following resoment to settle these claims, than that the time

| lution, which was agreed to: of the House should be engaged in investigating |

| Resolved, That the prayer of the petition of Amy and settling them. On the other hand, its adoption was advo

Other hand, ita adontion was advo. Dardin ought not to be granted. cated by Messrs. GALLATIN and T. OLAIBORNE. This was stated as a hard case; that this deter

TUESDAY, February 20. mination would not open the acts of limitation

Case of Griswold and Lyon. to any but such as Congress might deem ex- Mr. VENABLE, from the Committee of Privi. tremely hard cases; that it would give the leges, laid the following report upon the table, Treasury no power whatever to settle any together with the evidence relative thereto: claim: the power, therefore, could not be abused, The Committee of Privileges, to whom was referred except they themselves abused it; that what-, a resolution in the following words: “Resolved, That ever policy there might be in acts of limitation, Roger Griswold and Matthew Lyon, members of this they were certainly liable to strong objections; House, for violent and disorderly behavior committed "hey knew they were honorably indebted a sum in the House, be expelled therefrom,” with instructions of money, but they determine not to pay it, to report the evidence in writing, have, according to

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