Page images
PDF
EPUB

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

[FEBRUARY, 1798. the orders of the House, proceeded to take the evi- | a resolution in the following words, to wit: "Resolved, denco, which they herewith report ; and they report That Roger Griswold and Matthew Lyon, members further, that it is their opinion that the said resolution of this House, for riotous and disorderly behavior, ought to be disagreed to.

committed in the House, be expelled therefrom," with

instructions to report the evidence in writing, have, THURSDAY, February 22.

according to the order of the House, proceeded to The usual time of calling the House to order

take the evidence, which they herewith report; and being arrived, the Clerk desired members to

they report further, that it is their opinion that the take their seats; which being done,

said resolution be disagreed to. Mr. KITTERA said, the SPEAKER had desired

Mr. Davis said he hoped the House would him to inform the House that he was so much disagree to the report of their Committee of indisposed as to be unable to attend the House Privileges; after this was done, the resolution to-day. Mr. K. suggested the propriety, there

could be altered in such a manner as gentlemen fore, of adjourning the orders of to-day till to

might think proper. morrow.

Mr. DENT called for the yeas and nays. Mr. J. WILLIAMS did not see a necessity for Agreed to be taken. this. He thought the House might informally

Mr. SITGREAVES said there were many congo into a Committee of the Whole on the re-siderations which should incline the House to port of the Committee of Privileges. He had come to a decision upon the present business seen this course taken in other Legislative without entering into any unnecessary discusbodies, and as it would be the means of saving sion; and there were others which should lead a day, he hoped this mode would now be them to avoid coming to an immediate decision. adopted.

He should, therefore, move that the further conMr. THATCHER hoped gentlemen would not sideration of this subject be postponed until the consent to go on with business in an informal | 4th of March, 1799. manner, since it was evident they were suffi- / Mr. NICHOLAS called for the yeas and nays ciently informal with all their forms.

upon this question; which being agreed to, Mr. HARRISON inquired if there was any prob- were taken, and stood-yeas 38, nays 53. ability that the SPEAKER would be able to attend. The motion for postponement being lost, the the House to-morrow. If not, he should be for question on agreeing to the report of the comchoosing a temporary Speaker.

mittee recurred. Mr. KITTERA said, the indisposition of the

Mr. BAYARD believed it would not be in order SPEAKER was occasioned by a severe headache, to call for a division of the question: , The reso. to which he was subject; that it generally con- | lution implicated two persons, which he thought tinued for six or eight hours, and afterwards he

| improper. If the report of the committee was, was perfectly well.

however, disagreed to, he supposed it would The question for postponement of the orders

then be in order to move for a division of the of the day till to-morrow was then put by the question. He should, therefore, vote against Clerk, and carried; and then the House ad the report, as he wished the cases to be sepjourned till to-morrow.

arately considered, as they stood on distinct

ground, and were not attended with the same Friday, February 23.

circumstances; and, reasoning from analogy, he The bill providing for the widows and or

knew of no instance in a court of justice, where phans of certain deceased officers, was read the

two persons had ever been included in the same third time, and passed.

charge when their crimes were different. If

the situation of both these gentlemen had been Revenue Statements.

the same, there might have been propriety in A communication was laid before the House coupling them together; but as this was inot the by the SPEAKER, from the Secretary of the case, he was opposed to taking an opinion upon Treasury, enclosing sundry documents prepared both together, by the late Commissioner of the Revenue, in Mr. McDowell thought it would be proper consequence of a resolution of the House of the to take the same course in this business as was 6th of January, 1798, requiring to be laid before taken in a former case. He moved, therefore, the House every session, within ten days after that the report be read a second time, for the its meeting, a statement of the net produce of purpose of committing it to a committee of the the internal revenues, the salaries of the Col- | whole House. lectors, &c., for the year preceding. The Sec- Mr. GORDON was opposed to this mode of proretary apologizes for not having made the con- ceeding. Every one knew the question, and ication sooner. It was ordered to be printed. were as well prepared to decide upon it 110w, as

they would be after going into a con imittee Case of Griswold and Lyon.

upon it. The House proceeded to consider the report Mr. GILES thought it would compor more of the Committee of Privileges, of the twentieth | with the dignity of the House to deci le this instant; and the same being again read in the business without going into a Committee of the words following, to wit:

Whole, as he believed every one had n ade up The Committee of Privileges, to whom was referred his mind upon it. If gentlemen inten led by

mun

FEBRUARY, 1798.]
Case of Griswold and Lyon.

[H. OF R. the course heretofore taken to raise the dignity agreed to commit the offence. The resolution, of the House, he thought they had deceived in its present form, therefore, offended against themselves; for he believed the House was never established maxims of propriety. in a less dignified attitude than during that dis- Mr. BAYARD said, the statement of the gencassion.

tleman from Pennsylvania was not correct. He Mr. MoDOWELL thought the mode he had had stated that the offences of the two members pointed out necessary, for the sake of uniform- were the same in circumstances, and committed ity; bat, as other gentlemen seemed to think it at the same time. He apprehended the two unnecessary, he would withdraw his motion. cases were very distinct; as, by the depositions

Mr. R. WILLIAMS wished to know whether it before the House, it appeared that the offence would be in order to amend the report of the of the member from Connecticut was committed Committee of Privileges, or to suggest the pro- before the House was called to order, and that priety of disagreeing to it, for the purpose of the offence of the member from Vermont was substituting a different punishment from that committed after the House was called to order. proposed, viz: that the offending members | The argument most depended upon in a former should be reprimanded by the Speaker in the case, against the expulsion of the member from presence of the House? He believed that a Vermont, was that which insisted that the act punishment of this kind would satisfy many of violence, complained of being committed gentlemen who did not wish to expel the mem when the House was not in session, was not a bers, but who, at the same time, did not wish cause of expulsion. If this argument had weight they should go unpunished.

at that time, it ought also to have weight in the The SPEAKER said that motion would be in present case. It would, therefore, be the height order after the report of the committee was of injustice to blend the two cases together; decided upon,

since there might be cause for expelling one Mr. GALLATIN remarked, that if the report member and not the other. was agreed to, the resolution for an expulsion The SPEAKER Observed that every thing which would of course be negatived, and then any had been said with respect to a division of the other proposition would be in order; and, on question was out of order, as it could not be the other hand, if the report was disagreed to, divided. He would also remark, in order to the resolution would be before them, and open shorten the debate, that the House was not to amendment. Mr. G. said he rose to make called to order when the stroke was made by an observation upon what fell from the gentle- the member from Vermont upon the member man from Delaware Mr. BAYARD.) That gen- from Connecticut without the bar of the House. tleman had said he would vote against the Mr. HARPER asked, if the report of the comreport, because he wished to distinguist be- mittee should not be agreed to, whether the tween the two members. The reason which he resolution might not then be agreed to ? gave, though he might have good reasons for The SPEAKER replied, it could not be divided; his rote, did not appear to him to be correct. but a separate resolution might be brought forThat gentleman seemed to suppose that the ward. facts for which the two members were to be The question on agreeing to the report of the expelled, were facts committed at different committee, which recommended a disagreement times, and of a different nature; whereas the to the resolution for an expulsion of the two fsets for which both were proposed to be ex- members was then taken, and stood-yeas 73, pelled, were offences of the same nature, and nays 21. committed on the same day. What related to The resolution for an expulsion having been the previous conduct of the member from Ver- disagreed to, mont, was not now under consideration. In Mr. R. WILLIAMS proposed a resolution in the order to have that conduct before them, it would following words: be necessary that a reconsideration of it should

|

« Peoples
Resolved, That Roger Griswold and Matthew

That Rome be moved by a member who voted against that Lyon, for riotous and disorderly behavior in this member's expulsion, and seconded by another House, are highly censurable, and that they be reprimember who voted on the same side of the manded by the Speaker in the presence of this question. The argument of the gentleman from | House." . Delaware, therefore, did not apply. He said Mr. HARPER moved the previous question he should himself vote in favor of the report of upon this resolution. He did it, he said, upon the Committee of Privileges. He was against this ground. The House had just decided, and expelling either of the gentlemen.

they had lately decided in another instance, that Mr. DANA agreed with the gentleman last up, disorderly conduct shall not be punished by exin his conclusions; but he did not seem rightly pulsion; and it was his opinion that no less to have understood the argument of the gentle- punishment than expulsion ought to be inflicted, man from Delaware. If the gentleman from as he was unwilling to diminish the reprehenPennsylvania was acquainted with legal prin- sive power of the House, by inflicting what he ciples, with established principles relative to thought inadequate punishment for offences of punishment, he must know that no persons can this nature. If there were any gentlemen who be charged jointly with an offence, except thought this conduct excusable, and that it jointly guilty, and except they had mutually ought not to be punished, they would, of course,

H. OF R.7
Diplomatic Intercouree.

[MARCH, 1798. vote in favor of the previous question; and Mr. S. Smith moved to strike out certain those who thought with him, that both ought words, and to insert others to this effect : to be expelled, would also vote in favor of it. "That the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES shall

Mr. NICHOLAs called for the yeas and nays not allow to any Minister Plenipotentiary to France, upon this question. Agreed to be taken. I Great Britain, or Spain, more than $9,000 per annum,

Mr. GALLATIN said, by the gentleman from nor to any other Minister Plenipotentiary more than South Carolina having moved the previous ques $6,000." tion, he had excluded any discussion upon the This amendment was negatived, there being merits of the main question. Mr. G. wished only 48 votes in its favor. some reasons might be given why the main The blanks in the bill were next to be filled; question ought not to be put. Those given by the first, which was the permanent allowance, the gentleman from South Carolina were appli- was filled with $40,000; the next, which was cable to the resolution itself: they were reasons an extraordinary appropriation for this year, why he should vote against the resolution, but with $28,650. Before the latter sum was they did not strike him as reasons why the agreed upon, question should not at all be taken.

Mr. LIVINGSTON inquired whether the sum of The previous question was then put in this between two and three thousand dollars, which form: Shall the main question (viz: the reso- he thought had been lavished away, said to be lution for reprimanding the offending members) | expended on persons taking leave from this now be pat?" And the yeas and nays were country, was included in the incidental expentaken, and stood-yeas 47, nays 48, as follows: ses which were contained under this head ? He

Yeas.--Abraham Baldwin, David Bard, Lemuel thought such an expenditure of money forbidden Benton, Thomas Blount, Richard Brent, Nathan by the constitution. Bryan, Dempsey Burges, Samuel J. Cabell, Thomas Mr. Harper believed the incidental expenses Claiborne, William Charles Cole Claiborne, Matthew | mentioned in the estimate were expenses of our Clay, John Clopton, Thomas T. Davis, John Dawson, Ministers abroad. Lucas Elmendorph, William Findlay, John Fowler, Mr. NICHOLAS understood that three SecretaNathaniel Freeman, jun., Albert Gallatin, William B.

ries were allowed the mission at present in Giles, James Gillespie, Andrew Gregg, John A. Hanna, Carter B. Harrison, Jonathan N. Havens,

France. He thought this was as novel as it

was unnecessary; as he believed one Secretary Joseph Heister, David Holmes, Walter Jones, Edward

was sufficient for the whole. The United States Livingston, Matthew Locke, Nathaniel Macon, Blair McClenachan, Joseph McDowell, John Milledge, An

had employed a number of missions at different thony New, John Nicholas, Thompson J. Skinner,

times, but never allowed more than one SecreSamuel Smith, William Smith, Richard Sprigg, Rich-| tary to each. He had thought the law would ard Stanford, Thomas Sumter, Abram Trigg, John not have warranted the practice; but on examTrigg, Joseph B. Varnum, Abraham Venable, and ining it, he supposed it did. Robert Williams.

Mr. HARPER said every Minister employed NAYS.—John Allen, George Baer, jun., Bailey Bart- was entitled to a Secretary; the PRESIDENT had lett, James A. Bayard, David Brooks, Stephen Bul-accordingly appointed one to each, and he could lock, Christopher G. Champlin, John Chapman, James not see upon what ground the House could obCochran, Joshua Coit, William Craik, Samuel W. Lject to appropriating for their salaries. Dana, George Dent, Thos. Evans, Abiel Foster,

Mr. NICHOLAS answered, that as the law adDwight Foster, Jonathan Freeman, Henry Glenn,

mitted of it, he should not object to the approChauncey Goodrich, William Gordon, William Barry

| priation : but he should move an amendment to Grove, Robert Goodloe Harper, Thomas Hartley, William Hindman, Hezekiah L. Hosmer, James H.

prevent more than one secretary to a mission in Imlay, John Wilkes Kittera, Samuel Lyman, James

future. Machir, William Matthews, Lewis R. Morris, Harri

The committee then rose and reported the son G. Otis, Isaac Parker, John Read, John Rutledge, bill with the amendments; which being taken up jun., Samuel Sewall, William Shepard, Thomas Sin in the House and agreed to, Mr. NICHOLAS renickson, Samuel Sitgreaves, Nathaniel Smith, Peleg newed his amendment to limit the salaries of Sprague, George Thatcher, Richard Thomas, Mark Ministers Plenipotentiary to London, Paris, and Thomson, Thomas Tillinghast, John E. Van Allen, Madrid, to nine thousand dollars a year, and all Peleg Wadsworth, and John Williams.

others to four thousand five hundred dollars, and

called the yeas and nays upon it, which were MONDAY, March 5.

taken and resulted, yeas 48, nays 52. . Diplomatic Intercourse.

Mr. S. SMITH then renewed his motion for [After a protracted discussion the question was ta

limiting the salaries of Ministers to London,

Paris, and Madrid, to nine thousand dollars, and ken on Mr. Nicholson's amendment, to wit, to limit

others to six thousand dollars, and called the yeas the ministers of the highest grade to the two Courts

and nays upon it, which were taken, and were of London and Paris, and it was negatived-52 to exactly the same as upon the former question.

Mr. NICHOLAS then made his motion to conA motion was then made for the committee fine future missions to one Secretary, which wag to rise and ask leave to sit again, which was negatived–50 to 45. negatived.

The bill was then ordered to be engrossed for The bill was proceeded with.

| a third reading to-morrow.

48.]

MARCH, 1798.]
Georgia Limits.

(H. OF R. 1 This Message was referred to the Committee Monday, March 19.

| of the Whole on the state of the Union. Relations with France. The following Message was received from

FRIDAY, March 23. the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES :

Georgia Limits. Gentlemen of the Senate, and

MISSISSIPPI TERRITORY-SLAVERY. Gentlemen of the House of Representatives : Mr. J. WILLIAMS called for the order of the The despatches from the Envoys Extraordinary of 1 day on the bill for organizing and disciplining the United States to the French Republic, which

| the militia of the United States. were mentioned in my Message to both Houses of Congress, of the fifth instant, have been examined and

1 Mr. GALLATIN thought it better that the House

should again go into a Committee of the whole maturely considered. While I feel a satisfaction in informing you that on the bill for an am

on the bill for an amicable settlement of limits their exertions for the adjustment of the differences with Georgia, and for the erection of a governbetween the two nations have been sincere and un- ment in the Mississippi Territory, as that subject remitted, it is incumbent on me to declare that I had already undergone some discussion, and the perceive no ground of expectation that the objects of bill had been reported with the information to their mission can be accomplished on terms compati- obtain which it had been committed. ble with the safety, honor, or the essential interests The latter business was preferred, and the of the nation.

House accordingly went into a Committee of the This result cannot, with justice, be attributed to Whole on the subject; when Mr. MILLEDGE's any want of moderation on the part of this Govern

amendment being under consideration, for addment, or to any indisposition to forego secondary

ing to the section for appointing a provisional interests for the preservation of peace. Knowing it

Government in the Natchez country, "after the to be my duty, and believing it to be your wish, as

consent of the Legislature of Georgia shall have well as that of the great body of the people, to avoid, by all reasonable concessions, any participation in the

been obtained," contentions of Europe the powers vested in our End Mr. MILLEDGE observed, that the select comvoys were commensurate with a liberal and pacific mittee had now reported all the documents on policy, and that high confidence which might justly which the United States claimed a right to this be reposed in the patriotism, abilities, and integrity, territory. As to the title of Georgia, he should of the characters to whom the negotiation was com- not enter into an inquiry as to that. He would mitted. After a careful review of the whole subject, only remark, that the State of Georgia was as with the aid of all the information I have received, tenacious of her rights as any State in the Union. I can discern nothing which could have ensured or | But he thought it would not be improper to excontributed to success that has been omitted on my amine the pretended claim of the United States part; and nothing further which can be attempted,

to this country. Looking into the journals of consistently with maxims for which our country has

the Senate, he found that on the 3d of March, contended, at every hazard, and which constitute the

1795, a resolution was passed directing the Atbasis of our national sovereignty. Under these circumstances, I cannot forbear to re

torney General to inquire into and make a reiterate the recommendations which have been for

port on the subject of the title of the United merly made, and to exhort you to adopt with prompt

States to land in Georgia. No doubt the Atitude, decision, and unanimity, such measures as the torney General not only examined the records ample resources of the country afford, for the protec-of the State of Georgia, but those of the United tion of our commercial and sea-faring citizens ; for States, and obtained all the information which the defence of any exposed portions of our territory; he was able to do in the United States; but not for replenishing our arsenals, establishing foundries finding sufficient ground upon which to found and military manufactures ; and to provide such effi- a title, he applied to Mr. Bayard, our Commiscient revenue as will be necessary to defray extraor- sioner in London, who obtained a certificate on dinary expenses, and supply the deficiencies which the subject from a Mr. Ohalmers, Secretary to may be occasioned by depredations on our com

the Board of Trade and Plantations. Twelve merce.

months after he was directed to do so, the AtThe present state of things is so essentially different from that in which instructions were given to

torney General made a report on the subject; collectors to restrain vessels of the United States from

but none of the documents which he reported sailing in an armed condition, that the principle on

went to establish the claim of the United States; which those orders were issued has ceased to exist. | nor any thing which tends to show that a cesI therefore deem it proper to inform Congress that I sion of West Florida was ever made. But he 20 longer conceive myself justifiable in continuing now found among the papers got from the Senthem, unless in particular cases, where there may be ate, a letter addressed to Mr. Read of the Senreasonable ground of suspicion that such vessels are ate, from Mr. Livingston of New York, informintended to be employed contrary to law.

| ing him that he encloses an extract from the In all your proceedings it will be important to instructions given by the King of Great Britain manifest a zeal, vigor, and concert, in defence of the ' to Governor Chester. But Mr. Livingston was national rights, proportioned to the danger with not known as an official character; and this which they are threatened.

JOHN ADAMS.

document was neither official nor certified. Yet UNITED STATES, March 19, 1798.

this is the ground upon which the United States | claim this tract of country. Before the Gen

H. Or R.]
Georgia Limits.

[MARCH, 1798. eral Government proceeded to erect a tem-, which are two nations of Indians, and in the porary government, it onght to have better neighborhood of the territory of a foreign nainformation with respect to the nature of its tion, with whom, though we are at present at clim; for, to attempt to establish a government peace, when we recollect the connection subsistwithout the consent of Georgia, he thought ing between that nation and another with whom would be stepping beyond the constitution, two we have differences of a serious nature, we canclauses of which he quoted. He hoped the ge- not reckon upon as lasting. Yet this remote neral powers placed in Congress for the defence and vulnerable corner of the Union is to be left of the country would not be resorted to in order defenceless for an indefinite period of time, lest to sanction the proceeding. It was said that we should possibly give umbrage to the State of the inhabitants of the district of country allud- Georgia, by providing a temporary government ed to were in a situation which called for im- there before the dispute on the subject of limits mediate attention. He allowed that it would is settled. And whatever may be the good disbe proper to pay early attention to them; but position of Georgia towards the United States, he thought, inconvenient as it might be, the it would require consKerable time to obtain the erecting of a government might be deferred consent proposed. Their Legislature do not until the consent of the Legislature of Georgia meet till next winter. It was true, as had been could be obtained. It ought to be remembered stated, that their convention met in May, and that the State of Georgia is a member of the they might, if they thought proper, call an exUnion, and that it is her interest to make the traordinary meeting of the Legislature ; but this cession, and he had no doubt she would do so. could not be relied upce. Besides, he saw no The convention of that State meet in May, necessity for so much purutilio in this case, for and if application was made to them, he had no if any State were to suffer a part of its terridoubt the Legislature would be called together, tory, within its ordinary jurisdiction, to lie in and consent might be obtained by the month of a defenceless state, the General Government July. He was confident the State of Georgia is would be warranted in stepping in to defend it, desirous of promoting the interests of the United and certainly they might do it in a case like the States, and that she is firmly attached to the present, where no jurisdiction is exercised. And Government; all its regulations had been con- if this was not done, the petition of these peo stantly carried into effect there; and her con- ple set forth, that however unwilling they sent to the establishment of a provisional gov- should be to do so, they should be obliged to ernment being obtained, every difficulty would pass over to the Spanish dominions. be obviated.

Mr. H. said, he did not wish to have touched Mr. HARPER did not feel any anxiety to ques. upon the question of right; but as the gentletion the desire of the State of Georgia to pro- man from Georgia had said we had none, he felt mote the interests of the United States, and he himself obliged to say a few words upon that was glad to be informed by her Representative, point. He allowed the committee had not bethat she was so well disposed to the Generalfore them evidence of the right which would be Government, to which assertion he gave the admissible in a court of law ; but though it were fullest credit. He, therefore, should not oppose not such as would be admitted in a court of the motion of the gentleman on the ground that law, had it therefore no weight? It was at the State of Georgia would be likely to throw least equal to what was every day received by any obstacles in the way of the proposed tem- the committees of the House. The question porary government; and he should be far from was, whether the papers before them afforded supposing, that, by the erection of such a gov- reason to believe that legal evidence of the title ernment, the United States would assume an did exist? It was a copy of a commission and extra-judicial right to the territory. He was of instructions given by the King of Great Britain opinion that the United States possessed the to Governor Chester, of West Florida, in the right to it, and that the most undeniable evi- year 1770, furnished by the gentleman who was dence of the right existed; but that evidence was Secretary to the Governor at that time, and not now before the House, and if it were, they whose duty it was to keep the records of that were not the proper body to decide the ques. | Government. But the gentleman from Georgia tion. He believed the amendment ought to be said, search had been made in the offices of the rejected on the ground of policy. The bill went | British Government for the original, of which to provide a temporary government, but con- | this paper was a copy, and it could not be found. tained an express clause that the establishment | But this was no proof it did not exist. If it of this government shall not affect the rights of does exist, legal evidence may be obtained from Georgia with respect to her right of the jurisdic- it, and this paper shows that the Natchez countion or soil of this territory-consequently, the try was included within the territory of West fears of the gentleman are groundless in this Florida, and that it ceased in the year 1770 to respect. What, then, is the nature of the be a part of Georgia. He believed, however, this amendment? It is to prevent the erection of question ought not now to be acted upon; but a temporary government in a district of country that from necessity, and the exigencies of the containing upwards of 5,000 souls, lying far case, a temporary government ought immediatebeyond the ordinary jurisdiction of any State, ly to be provided for this district of country, with an immense wilderness intervening, in and afterwards settle the point of right with

« PreviousContinue »