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fellow-citizens With impunity, ascribing his conduct to the very worst of motives? Is no punishment to be inflicted on such a person? Yes. There is a remedy for offences of this kind in the laws of every State in the Union. Every man's character is protected by law, and every man who shall publish a libel on any part of the Government, is liable to punishment. Not, said Mr. L., by laws which we ourselves have made, but by laws passed by the several States. And is not this most proper? Suppose a libel were written against the President, where is it most probable that such an offence would receive an impartial trial? In a court, the judges of which are appointed by the President, by a jury selected by an officer holding his office at the will of the Pbesident? or in a court independent of any influence whatever? The States are as much interested in the preservation of the General Government as we are. We do wrong when we attempt to setup interests independent of the States. They are all desirous of preserving the constitution as it now stands; and it is, therefore, much more probable that justice will be fonnd in a court in which neither of the parties have influence, than in one which is wholly in the power of the President.
The bill was then passed—yeas 44, nays 41, as follows:
Teas.—John Allen, George Baer, jr., Bailey Bartlett, James A. Bayard, David Brooks, Christopher G. Champlin, John Chapman, James Cochran, Joshua Coit, Samuel W. Dana, William Edmond, Thomas Evans, Abiel Foster, Dwight Foster, Jonathan Freeman, Henry Glenn, Channcey Goodrich, William Gordon, Roger Griswold, William Barry Grove, Robert Goodloe Harper, Thomas Hartley, William Hindman, Hozekiah L. Hosmer, James H. Imlay, John Wilkes Kittera, Samuel Lyman, Harrison G. Otis, Isaac Parker, John Read, John Rntledge, jun., James Schureman, Samuel Sewall, William Shepard, Thomas Sinnickson, Samuel Sitgreaves, Nathaniel Smith, Peleg Sprague, George Thatcher, Richard Thomas, Mark Thompson, Thomas TUlinghast, John E. Van Allen, and Peleg Wadsworth.
Nats Abraham Baldwin, David Bard, Lemuel
Benton, Thomas Blount, Richard Brent, Stephen Bollock, Dempsey Burges, Thomas Claiborne, William Charles Cole Claiborne, John Clopton, John Dawson, George Dent, John Fowler, Albert Gallatin, James Gillespie, Andrew Gregg, John A. Harm a, Carter B. Harrison, Jonathan N. Havens, Joseph Heister, David Holmes, Walter Jones, Edward Livingston, Matthew Locke, Matthew Lyon, Nathaniel Macon, William Matthews, Blair McClenachan, Joseph McDowell, Anthony New, John Nicholas, Samuel Smith, William Smith, Richard Sprigg, jun., Richard Stanford, Thomas Sumter, John Trigg, Philip Van Cortlandt, Joseph B. Vamum, Abraham Venable, and Robert Williams.
Friday, July 18. Capture of French armed vessels. The House went into a Committee of the Whole on the bill for encouraging the capture of French armed vessels by armed vessels belonging to citizens of the United States; which
[H. Of R.
w">s agreed to without debate or amendment, and ordered to be read a third time to-day. It was accordingly immediately read a third time; when
Mr. Mcdowell said, he hoped this bill would not pass. Congress had already passed laws authorizing public and private armed vessels to attack and take French vessels; but they are now called upon to give a bounty upon the guns that are brought in, according to their size. He was not willing to allow this. It would open a door to innumerable frauds. Plans would be laid between the owners of privateers here and their friends in the West Indies, and vessels and arms would be thrown in their way for the purpose of capture, and in this manner our Treasury would be drained to an extent which no man could at present foresee. He could see no use in the provision, as it would not induce merchant vessels to go in search of French vessels; and, without some unfair play, it would never be worth the while of persons fitting out privateers for the purpose. He called the yeas and nays upon it. They were taken accordingly, and were, yeas 34, nays 36, as follows:
Teas,—John Allen, Bailey Bartlett, James A Bayard, David Brooks, Christopher G. Champlin, Joshua Coit, William Craik, Samuel W. Dana, William Edmond, Abiel Foster, Dwight Foster, Henry Glenn, Chauncey Goodrich, William Gordon, Roger Griswold, Robert Goodloe Harper, Thomas Hartley, William Hindman, Hezekioh L. Hosmer, James H. Imlay, John Wilkes Kittera, Samuel Lyman, Harrison G. Otis, Isaac Parker, John Read, John Rntledge, jun., James Schureman, Samuel Sewall, Thomas Sinnickson, Samuel Sitgreaves, Nathaniel Smith, George Thatcher, Mark Thompson, and John E. Van Allen.
Nats.—David Bard, Thomas Blount, Richard Brent, Dempsey Burges, Thomas Claiborne, William Charles Cole Claiborne, John Clopton, John Dawson, George Dent, Albert Gallatin, James Gillespie, William Barry Grove, Carter B. Harrison, Jonathan N. Havens, Joseph Heister, David Holmes, Walter Jones, Edward Livingston, Matthew Locke, Matthew Lyon, Nathaniel Macon, Blair McClenachan, Joseph McDowell, Anthony New, John Nicholas, Samuel Smith, William Smith, Richard Sprigg, jr., Richard Stanford, Thomas Sumter, Thomas TUlinghast, John Trigg, Philip Van Cortlandt, Joseph B. Varnum, Abraham Venable, and Robert Williams.
And so the said bill was rejected.
Saturday, July 14. The hour having arrived, at which the call of the House was to be made, the names of the members were called over, eighty-two members (including the Speaker) appeared in their seats, twenty-three absent, twenty of whom have leave, one sick, and two for whom excuses were made, and received by the House.
Capture of French vessels. Mr. Sitgreaves, called up for decision the resolution he laid on the table yesterday, viz:
Capture of French Vends.
H. Op R.] AH)
Resolved, That a committee be appointed to prepare and bring in a bill for giving a bounty on the capture of French armed ships or vessels, by armed ships or vessels owned by a citizen or citizens of the United States.
The question on the resolution, was then put and negatived—yeas 40, nays 41.
And so the motion was rejected.
Monday, July 16.
Another bill was received from the Senate, to amend the act for suspending the commercial intercourse between the United States and France and her dependencies.
Mr. Nicholas moved to postpone this bill till next session.
Mr. Harper hoped not. This bill, he said, was very different from the one which had been negatived. That proposed to dispense with sureties altogether; this only to lower the amount of the bond. Instead of the owner giving security in a sum equal to the amount of vessel and cargo, and finding two sureties in half the sum, this bill proposes that the owner and master shall be bound in a sum equal to the amount of the value of the vessel, and a surety in from one to ten thousand dollars. To exact a bond equal to the amount of the vessel and cargo in every case, would be very inconvenient. They are sometimes very valuable. There is now, he said, a vessel in this port ready to sail, whose cargo is worth $300,000. To exact from
Adjournment. [jolt, 1798.
the owner a bond to the full amount, and two sureties in half the sum, would be requiring a very heavy security from them. It would be sufficient, he thought, to require a bond equal to the profit which it is probable would be derived from any voyage.
Mr. S. Smith said, this bill was certainly very different from that which had been rejected by this House, though it did not meet with hi9 approbation at present. It was capable, however, of amendment. The security at present proposed was not worthy of the name. Had he a ship ready to sail such as the gentleman last np had named, he would willingly forfeit the sum proposed, to have the privilege of sending her to a French market. The difference in prioe between a French and a Hamburg market would make it well worth his while to do so. In many cases, such a voyage would afford 50 per cent. A regulation something like the present could only secure the fair trader; but the surety must be a much larger sum than $10,000.
The committee rose, however, and Mr. Smth renewed his amendment in the House, when it was agreed to, after some objections to it from Mr. Batabd—86 to 28. The bill was then ordered to be read a third time, received itt third reading, and passed.
The House having received all the hills from the President, and the business of the two Houses being finished, the Speaker adjourned the House till the first Monday in December next.
December, 1798.] Proceedings [senate,
FIFTH CONGRESS-THIRD SESSION.
BEGUN AT THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, DECEMBER 3, 1798.
PKOCEEDINGS IN THE SENATE.
Monday, December 3, 1798. The third session of the fifth Congress commenced this day, conformably to the provision of the constitution, and the Senate assembled at the city of Philadelphia, in their Chamber.
John Langdon and Samuel Livermore, from New Hampshire.
Theodore Foster and Rat Greene, from Rhode Island.
William Bingham, from Pennsylvania.
Humphrey Marshall, from Kentucky.
Jacob Read, from South Carolina.
James Gunn, from Georgia.
Dahiel Smith, appointed a Senator by the Executive of the State of Tennessee, in the recess of that Legislature, in place of Andrew Jackson, resigned, took his seat in the Senate.
The members present not being sufficient to form a quorum, the Senate adjourned to 11 o'clock to-morrow morning.
Tcesday, December 4. Henry Latimer, from the State of Delaware, attended.
The members present not being sufficient to form a quorum, adjourned.
Wednesday, December 5.
Benjamin Goodhue, from the State of Massachusetts; Elijah Paine, and Nathaniel ChipMan, from the State of Vermont; John LauBaxcb, from the State of New York; and Timothy Bloodwohth, from the State of North Carolina, severally attended.
No quorum being present, the Senate adjourned.
Thursday, December 6. RicnAJtD Stockton, from the State of New Jersey, said Joseph Anderson, from the State of Tennessee, severally attended. The Vice President being absent, the Senate Vol. H.—21
proceeded to the election of a President pro tempore, as the constitution provides, and John Lauranob was chosen.
The credentials of Daniel Smith, appointed Senator by the Executive of the State of Tennessee, in place of Andrew Jackson, resigned, . were read, and tho oath was, by the President, administered to him, as the law provides.
Ordered, That the Secretary wait on the President Of The United States, and acquaint him that a quorum of the Senate is assembled, and that, in the absence of the Vice President, they have elected John Laurance, President of the Senate pro tempore.
Ordered. That the Secretary acquaint the House of Representatives, that a quorum of the Senate is assembled, and ready to proceed to business, and that, in the absence of the Vice President, they have elected John Laurance, President of the Senate pro tempore.
A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that a quorum of the House is assembled, and that they have appointed a joint committee on their part, together with such committee as the Senate may appoint on theirs, to wait on tho President Of The United States and notify him that a quorum of the two Houses is assembled, and ready to receive any communications that ho may be pleased to make to them.
The Senate took into consideration the message from the House of Representatives, and
Resolved, That they do concur therein, and that Messrs. Read and Paine be of the joint committee on the part of the Senate.
The return of service on tho summons to William Blount, made by the Sergeant-at-arms, pursuant to the resolution of the Senate of tho first of March last, was read.
Mr. Read reported, from the joint committee appointed for that purpose, that they had waited on the President Of The United States, and had notified him that a quorum of the two Houses of Congress were assembled, and the PresiDent Of Toe United States acquainted the committee that he would meet the two Houses Sen-ate.]
on Saturday next at 12 o'clock, in the Chamber of the House of Representatives.
Satubdat, December 8. JAmes Ross, from the State of Pennsylvania, attended.
A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that they are now ready to meet the Senate, in the Chamber of that House, to receive such communications as the PresiDent Of The United States shall be pleased to make to them. Whereupon,
The Senate repaired to the Chamber of the House of Representatives, for the purpose above expressed.
The Senate then returned to their own Chamber, and a copy of the Speech of the President Of The United States, this day addressed to both Houses of Congress, was read. [For which 6ee proceedings in the House of Representatives.]
Ordered, That Messrs. Stockton, Read, and Ross, be a committee to report the draft of an Address to the President Of The United States, in answer to his Speech this day to both Houses of Congress, and that the Speech be printed for the use of the Senate.
Monday, December 10. Uhiah Tracy, from the State of Connecticut, attended.
Tuesday, December 11. James Watson, appointed a Senator by the Legislature of the State of New York, in place of John S. Hobart, resigned, produced his credentials, which were read, and the oath was, by the President, administered to him, as the law provides.
The Senate resumed the consideration of the report of the committee on the draft of an Address in answer to the Speech of the PresiDent Of The United States to both Houses of Congress, at the opening of the session; which, being read in paragraphs and amended, was adopted, as follows:
To the President of the United Statei:
Sir: The Senate of the United States join you in thanks to Almighty God for the removal of the late afflicting dispensations of his Providence, and for the patriotic spirit and general prosperity of our country. Sympathy for the sufferings of our fellow-citizens from disease, and the important interests of the Union, demand of the National Legislature a ready co-operation with the State Governments, in the use of such means as seem best calculated to prevent the return of this fatal calamity.
Although we have sincerely wished that an adjustment of our differences with the republic of France might be effected on safe and honorable terms, yet the information you have given us of the ultimate failure^of the negotiations has not surprised us. In the general conduct of that Republic, we have seen a design of universal influence, incompatible with
the self-government, and destructive of the independence of other States. In its conduct towards these United States, we have seen a plan of hostility pursued with unremitted constancy—equally disregarding the obligations of treaties, and the rights of individuals. We have seen two embassies formed for the purpose of mutual explanations, and clothed with the most extensive and liberal powers, dismissed without recognition and even without a hearing. Tie government of France has not only refused to repeal, but has recently enjoined the observance of it* former edict, respecting merchandise of British fabric or produce, the property of neutrals, by which the interruption of our lawful commerce, and the spoliation of the property of our citizens, have again received a public sanction. These facts indicate no change of system or disposition—they speak a more intelligible language than professions of solicitude to avoid a rupture, however ardently made. But if, after the repeated proofs we have given of a sincere desire for peace, these professions should be accompanied by insinuations, implicating the integrity with which it has been pursued1—if, neglecting and passing by the constitutional and authorized agents of the Government, they are made through the medium of individuals without public character or authority; and, above all, if they carry with them a claim to prescribe the political qualifications of the Minister of the United States to be employed in the negotiation, they are not entitled to attention or consideration, but ought to be regarded as designed to separate the people from their Government, and to bring about by intrigue that which open force could not effect.
We are of opinion with you, sir, that there has nothing yet been discovered in the conduct of France which can justify a relaxation of the means of defence adopted during the last session of Congress, the happy result of which is so strongly and generally marked. If the force by sea and land which the existing laws authorize should be judged inadequate to the public defence, we will perform the indispensable duty of bringing forward such other acts as will effectually call forth the resources and force of our country.
A steady adherence to this wise and manly policy —a proper direction of the noble spirit of patriotism which has arisen in our country, and which ought to be cherished and invigorated by every branch of the Government, will secure our liberty and independence against all open and secret attacks
We enter on the business of the present session with an anxious solicitude for the public good, and shall bestow that consideration on the several objects pointed out in your communication, which they respectively merit
Your long and important services—your talents and firmness, so often displayed in the most trying times and most critical situations—afford a sure pledge of a zealous co-operation in every measure necessary to secure us justice and respect
JOHN LAURANCE, President of the Senate pro tempore.
Ordered, That the committee who prepared the Address, wait on the President Of Thb United States, and desire him to acquaint the Senate at what time and place it will be most convenient for him that it should be presented.
Mr. Stockton reported, from the committee,
that they had waited on the President Of The United States, and that he would receive the Address of the Senate to-morrow, at 12 o'clock, at his own house. Whereupon,
Resolved, That the Senate will, to-morrow at 12 o'clock, wait on the President Of The United States accordingly.
Wednesday, December 12. Agreeably to the resolution of yesterday, the Senate waited on the President Of The United States, and the President of the Senate, in their name, presented the Address then agreed on.
To which the President Of The United States made the following reply:
To tie Senate of the United Statu i
Gentlemen : I thank yon for this Address, so conformable to the spirit of our constitution, and the established character of the Senate of the United States, for wisdom, honor, and virtue.
1 have seen no real evidence of any change of system or disposition in the French Republic towards the United States. Although the officious interference of individuals, without public character or authority, is not entitled to any credit, yet it deserves to be considered, whether that temerity and impertinence of individuals affecting to interfere in public affairs, between France and the United States, whether by their secret correspondence or otherwise, and intended to impose upon the people, and separate them from their Government, ought not to be inquired into and corrected.
I thank you, gentlemen, for your assurances that you will bestow that consideration on the several objects pointed out in my communication, which they respectively merit
If I have participated in that understanding, sincerity, and constancy, which have been displayed by my fellow-citizens and countrymen, in the most trying times, and critical situations, and fulfilled my duties to them, I am happy. The testimony of the Senate of the United States, in my favor, is a high and honorable reward, which receives, ni it merits, my grateful acknowledgments. My zealous co-operation in measures necessary to secure us justice aud consideration may be always depended on.
December 12, 1798.
The Senate returned to their own Chamber, and proceeded to the consideration of Executive business.
Friday, December 14. John E. Howard, from the State of Maryland, attended.
Monday, December 17. Alexander Martin, from the State of North Carolina, and James Hillhouse, from the State of Connecticut, severally attended.
Wednesday, December 19. Franklin Davenport, appointed a Senator by the Executive of the State of New Jersey,
in the recess of the Legislature, in the place of John Rutherford, resigned, produced his credentials; which were read, and, the oath of office being administered to him as the law provides, he took his seat in the Senate.
Wednesday, December 26.
James Lloyd, from the State of Maryland, attended.
Thursday, December 27.
Thomas Jefferson, "Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate, attended.
Monday, December 81.
The Vice President laid before the Senate a letter from John Hunter, notifying his resignation of his seat in the Senate.
Monday, January 7, 1799.
John Brown, from the State of Kentucky, and Theodore Sedgwick, from the State of Massachusetts, severally attended.
Tuesday, January 8.
Stephens T. Mason, from the State of-Virginia, attended.
'Monday, January 21.
Henry Tazewell, from the State of Virginia, attended.
Thursday, January 24.
The Senate being informed that Henry TazeWell, one of the members from the State of Virginia, died this morning,
Resolved, That a committee be appointed to take order for superintending the funeral of the said Henry Tazewell, Esq., and that the Senate will attend the same, and that notice of the event be given to the House of Representatives, and that this committee consist of Messrs. MaSon, Brown, and Marshall.
Resolved, unanimously, That the members of the Senate, from a sincere desire of showing evory mark of respect due to the memory of Henry Tazewell, deceased, late a member thereof, will go into mourning for him one month, by the usual mode of wearing a crape round the left arm.
Resolved, That the President of the Senate notify the Executive of Virginia of the death of Henry Tazewell, late Senator of that State for the United States.
Friday, January 25.
The Vice President communicated the credentials of William Hill Wells, elected a Sen