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H. or R.]
[DECEMBER, 1796 ther the money nor humanity, but the estab- 1 YEAs.—Theodorus Bailey, David Bard, Thomas lishment of the principle, was the thing aimed Blount, Theophilus Bradbury, Richard Brent, Samat. The unanimity with which a resolution uel J. Cabell, Gabriel Christie, John Clopton, Joshua had passed the Pennsylvania Legislature, was a Coit, Isaac Coles, James Davenport, George Dent, proof that they believed they had the power to Abiel Foster, Jesse Franklin, Nathaniel Freeman, jr., pass such a law. It was said the General
Ezekiel Gilbert, William B. Giles, James Gillespie, Government possessed the authority. The gen
Nicholas Gilman, Chauncey Goodrich, Christopher tleman from Georgia had said that "affairs of
Greenap, Roger Griswold, William B. Grove, Carter
| B. Harrison, John Hathorn, Jonathan N. Havens, men" made it necessary to depart from the
James Holland, Andrew Jackson, George Jackson, strict constitutional power. For his part, he
| Aaron Kitchell, John Wilkes Kittera, Edward Lise did not think they ought to attend to what“ the ingston, Samuel Lyman, William Lyman, Samuel affairs of men " or what generosity and human- Maclay, Nathaniel Macon, Andrew Moore, Anthony ity required, but what the constitution and their New, John Nicholas, Josiah Parker, Francis Preston, duty required.
John Read, Samuel Sewall, Nathaniel Smith, Israel The authority of that House, he said, was Smith, Richard Sprigg, jr., William Strudwick, John specified, beyond which they ought not to go. Swanwick, Zephaniah Swift, Richard Thomas, Philip This was a principle not within the constitution, Van Cortlandt, Joseph B. Varnum, Abraham Vensbut opposed to it.
ble, Peleg Wadsworth, and John Williams. There had, he said, been several cases intro
NAYS.—Abraham Baldwin, Dempsey Burges, Thoduced. That of the sufferers of St. Domingo
mas Claiborne, William Craik, George Ege, Dwight was not a case in point. They looked for a re
Foster, Henry Glenn, Andrew Gregg, Robert Goodloe
Harper, Thomas Hartley, William Hindman, Francis imbursement of the money. He believed it had
| Malbone, John Milledge, Frederick A. Muhlenberg, been repaid. And when the daughters of the William
William Vans Murray, John Page, Elisha R. Potter, Count de Grasse had $4,000 given them, it was John Richards, Robert Rutherford, John S. Sherthought to be necessary to introduce their fa- burne, Samuel Sitgreaves, Jeremiah Smith, Isaac ther's services as a consideration. His feelings, Smith, ard William Smith. he said, were not less alive to the calls of humanity than those of other gentlemen; but, by granting the money required, they should go
THURSDAY, December 29. beyond their powers, and do more real injury GEORGE HANCOCK, from Virginia, appeared, than good.
and took his seat. Mr. CLAIBORNE said, the more he heard, the more he found himself in favor of the resolu
Canadian Refugees. tion. By the discussion it had undergone, he Mr. WILLIAMS moved for the order of the was inclined to think it was, perhaps, reconcila- day, that the House resolve itself into a comble with the constitution; perhaps it was, he mittee on the reports of committees to whom said, for he was not certain. The annual reve- were referred the petitions of sundry refugees nue, he said, of that place, was seventy thousand from Canada and Nova Scotia. dollars to the United States, besides the great. The first resolution read from the last report consideration of it as a frontier town. He had of the select committee on this subject, was in compared the advantages and disadvantages these words: with respect to its relief in his own mind, and “Resolved, That the prayer of the Petitioners, thought it would be highly consistent with pol- Joseph Green and others, from Canada, praying a icy to grant relief. It was a place which had bounty in lands and other pay, for services rendered been in great distress, and had great struggles in the late war with Great Britain, ought not to be with enemies in times past. Can it be possible granted." to suppose that we have not power to assist in This resolution was agreed to. The second erecting that place again, and putting it upon a was thus: footing to do good to the United States by a re- " Resolved, That a tract of land, not exceeding turn of her revenue ? Certainly not. Would acres, be laid off north-west of the Ohio River, beginthe committee be willing that Savannah should ning at the mouth of the Great Miami, and extendbe erased from the revenue? Are they willing ing down the Ohio, not exceeding three times the to let it rest, and lose it? This is impossible. breadth in length, be immediately appropriated to Then, surely, it becomes policy to give aid to compensate the refugees from the British provinces wards its re-erection. Unless the people do re- of Canada and Nova Scotia, pursuant to the resolves ceive some aid, it will be a long time before of Congress of the 23d of April, 1783, and the 13th seventy thousand dollars will be again produced April, 1785." from the revenue of that place.
Mr. WILLIAMS hoped the situation of the land The committee then rose and reported their would not be mentioned in the resolution; there disagreement, when the House took it up. I were many circumstances that would render it
The question was then taken, and the yeas unnecessary and improper. and nays demanded, "that the House do agree Mr. HARTLEY wished to know where the land with the Committee of the whole House in was to be, because the value of the land in diftheir disagreement to the motion,” and re- ferent places was various; he thought they solved in the affirmative-yeas 55, nays 24, as ought to have land: he would not be thought follows:
I to object to the resolution.
[H. OF R. Mr. VEXABLE did not think it necessary to Mr. DAYTON objected to this, and the two mention at this time what land should be ap- following clauses. He objected also to the repropriated for this purpose. A bill would be solution for an indiscriminate grant of five hunintroduced in a few days, it could then be de- dred acres of land to each refugee. Some of termined. If there were objections to appro- these people would be found to deserve more priate the land mentioned, he hoped gentle- and some less, in proportion to their exertion inen would then propose a spot that would and sufferings. Some might have lost large suit every conveniency better. These people, property, or have had large families. If Mr. he said, onght to be satisfied: it was time they Dayton had observed what the committee were were.
doing, he would have objected to the passing Mr. DATTON said, that the Chairman of the of that clause. He likewise opposed the present committee said there was no land near Lake one. This clause and the remaining two were Erie of that description belonging to the United negatived. States; he wished to know what foundation The Committee of the Whole then rose. The the assertion had ?
Chairman reported progress. The House took bír. GREENUP said, the committee had made up the report. The first resolution and the what inquiry they could on the subject, of per- second, as altered in the committee, were agreed song well informed, who told them there was to. Do land belonging to the United States of that. The question on the third resolution was description.
| then put. Mr. SITGREAVES would vote for striking out Mr. Macon thought that it would be exceedthe clause as it stood, not from any knowledge ingly improper to grant an equal quantity to he had on the justice of the claims, but, if just, each ; it ought to be entirely circumstantial. satisfaction should be given. The committee Mr. GREENUP was of the same opinion; he had not reported as to the value of land neces- said some of these people had suffered more sary to be given; the value of land was pro- than others. The circumstances of some were portioned to its different qualities and loca- such that they were in irons, in close confinetion; he thought it would be as well for these ment twelve or fourteen months, many of them people, to give them military land warrants, had the warrant signed for their execution, and and let them locate by lot: this had heretofore a variety of cruelties were exercised : these disbeen the method, and he thought it would be tresses required consideration. as advantageous to them as any, and avoid many Mr. Baldwin hoped it would be struck out; difficulties with respect to the grant.
the House should not go into particulars of the Mr. Macon hoped the question would be di- quantity to be given, or the circumstances of vided; he liked the proposition of the gentle- the persons; he had seen great difficulty attendman last up, to strike out, and insert the words ing these specifications. He did not like this proposed; he therefore would wish the com- loose way of doing business; they need not mittee to rise, and report progress; or, if the open land offices for that purpose; some way House do not adopt the substitute, he hoped it would be found out to give the people satisfacwould be recommitted.
tion. Vr. DAYTON moved to strike out the words Mr. WILLIAMS hoped the committee would relative to location, and substitute the following not be restricted. resolation :
The question on the third resolution was then " Resolred, That provision ought to be made by put, and lost. law for granting donations of land to Canadian and A committee was then appointed of Messrs. Nova Scotia refugees, in conformity to the resolves of GILMAN, WILLIAMS, and GREENUP, with instrucCongress of the 23d of April, 1783, and the 13th of tions to bring in a bill pursuant to the resoluApril, 1785."
|tions as amended. This resolution was adopted. The third was,
Kidnapping Negroes. " Resolved, That five hundred acres of land be Mr. SwaNWICK called the order of the day on granted to each refugee from Canada and Nova a report of the Committee of Commerce and Scotia.'
Manufactures, made the last session, on a meThis resolution was attended with three ex- morial from the State of Delaware, respecting planatory restrictions. It passed, and the Chair- the kidnapping of negroes and mulattoes. The mnan read the first of these rules, which was, House accordingly resolved itself into a Com*that the applicant shall make proof, before mittee of the Whole on the subject. some Court of record, of his actual residence in Mr. SwaNWICK said, that there was a misone of the provinces aforesaid, previous to the chievous practice in use of carrying these peoday of "
ple away from the place of their residence, by Mr. GREENCP supposed this was meant mere- masters of vessels, and selling them in other ly as the outlines of a plan to be completed parts. The plan of the committee was to get when the bill was brought in; at this time it instructions from the House to bring in a bill 738 necessary that instruction should be given making it necessary for every master of a vessel to the committee that they may bring in a bill to have a certificate of the number and situaconsistent with the will of the House.
I tion of any negroes or mulattoes he may have
H. OF R.]
[DECEMBER, 1796 on board. He hoped the measure would not at Mr. W. SMITH wished the committee to rise ; all be opposed, as it only prevented thefts in not with a view of recommitting the report, this case.
but to get rid of the business altogether. The Mr. Coit wished to know whether it was ne- subject, he said, involved many serious ques. cessary for the United States to intermeddle tions; it required very serious consideration, with this? He wished the report had been and he wished it had never come up. It was a more satisfactory, and stated the principles upon question with him how far Congress had a riglit which it was formed with more precision. The to meddle with it at all. He felt alarmed on evil, he doubted not, existed, but the law might the subject as brought from that State. He create a greater evil than that it was intended considered it as a kind of entering-wedge, as a to cure. It appeared to him that the laws in gentleman had lately said, on another occasion. the several States were fully adequate to the It was altogether a municipal regulation, and subject without further provision ; he was not not at all connected with trade or commerce, ready to give a vote on it either way at present. and therefore ought to be left to the State Le
Mr. SWANWICK said, the report was grounded gislatures to settle. He did not think the conon an application from the Legislature of Dela- stitution allowed that House to act in it. ware. Mr. S. here read the memorial from Gentlemen had said, that the laws of the that State to Congress.] The practice, he said, States took no effect on the waters. This, he was very injurious and dangerous to that State, thought, was founded on a mistake. The laws and he hoped a remedy would be attempted, as of the States could prevent robbery on water as it was in the power of Congress to provide one well as on land, if within the jurisdiction of by this method; some of the States had made the United States. He hoped the committee an attempt to remedy this evil, but their laws would rise, and dismiss the subject. were broken with impunity. If the resolution Mr. Isaac SMITH thought the gentleman knew of the committee passed, he should move that not the proper meaning of the report. It was the committee bring in a bill in pursuance thereto. not to make a law against stealing merely, but
Mr. SWANWICK said, the laws of the different against its being done successfully; many inStates forbade the stealing of negroes ; but they stances, he said, had occurred, where they had had no remedy that would take effect out of been hid many days on board the ships and their own State: and although each had effect taken away in the night to the West Indies, in their own State, yet they had no power on and other parts of the world to sell them. It the water. The intention of the present mea- was impossible that the existing laws of the sure was to oblige masters of vessels, when they States should prevent this fraudulent practice : cleared out of any ports in the Delaware, when the intent of this law was to prevent this practhey took any negro or mulatto on board, to tice; by being examined, and forced to take have a certificate of their being free. The situa- certificates along with them, it could not be tion of the State of Delaware, communicating easily done. The particulars of the remedy with both the Delaware and Chesapeake, was, would be more readily seen when the bill was in this respect, particularly exposed to insult brought in; it would explain itself; it then and injury; but this remedy, he thought, would might be modified, altered, or rejected altogebe effectual. The gentleman last up wished the ther. He thought it could give no offence or committee to rise, in order to recommit it: he cause of alarm to any gentleman; and he was should vote for it if the gentleman was willing sure it was no way contrary to the constitution. to add, “to bring in a bill.” The gentleman Mr. Macon wished the committee to rise, and was in the committee, if he had stated his ob- not have leave to sit again. He began to see jections there, it might have saved time. more of the impropriety of the measure than
Mr. MURRAY wished to know what was fully before, and for the same reasons as the gentlemeant by the idea of preventing kidnapping. man from South Carolina, (Mr. SMITA.) He confessed he did not rightly understand the Mr. SwANWICK said, this House had ascermeaning of the word. Was the intention of tained a certain proof, by which our seamen are the committee to have reference to the taking known, by giving them a certificate of their citiof free negroes and selling them as slaves, or zenship, specifying their person and freedom, the taking slaves to make them free?
which had operated against impressment: and Mr. SWANWICK said it was intended to pre-was it not equally necessary, and would it not vent both evils. It was intended to prevent be equally competent, to protect a man from intheir being stolen from their masters; and, also, I juries to which his color has exposed him ? to prevent the power of the master taking them Our unfortunate negroes and mulattoes are exto the other States to sell them. This measure, posed by their color to much insult. In some he thought, would prevent both. The State of places, he said, they were so exposed, that color Maryland had taken measures to prevent it alone was evidence of slavery. He would not themselves; they had made it a heavy penalty enter into the question, whether all ought to be to take a negro out of the State ; but that is not free, because it was not immediately before the effectual to prevent the evil now complained of. House; but if these people were black or white This was meant to prevent the practice of ex- if free, they ought to be protected in the enjoyamining ships before they sailed and when they ment of their freedom, not only by State Legiss. arrived.
| latures but by the General Government.
(H. OF R. Mr. MURRAY did not expect to have raised | hold slaves, we ought not to contribute to the the sensibility of the gentleman last up. It making slaves of free men, but I would wish to really arose from his ignorance, he said. He establish them in their freedom. If we can wished to know the origin of the matter; he give relief as the thing exists, let it be; by all did not know whether it had originated in a means do it, whether it incur the pleasure or memorial, or whether it came from the huma- displeasure of some of the slaveholders. He nity of some patriotic member, unsolicited. hoped the subject would have full investigation. Great and manifold evils did exist in this point; The question was then put for the committee he meant to make a motion on the subject, as to rise. Fifty-four members rising in the affirMaryland felt heavily from the practice. He mative, it was carried. confessed he was not sufficiently acquainted Mr. SITGREAVES then moved for the Comwith the English language to know the proper mittee of the Whole to be discharged from the meaning of the word kidnapping; he there- further consideration of the report; this, he fore wished to know if it extended to the ob- said, was in order to make way for another moject he had in view. He declared he did not tion to refer it back to the committee, to report wish to encourage the harboring of negroes; far by bill or otherwise. from it; he wished to prevent it. He did not The question was put, and the committee disthink the law extended far enough on that charged. point; at present, negroes, through the influence Mr. SWANWICK moved that the business bo of their own minds, or the insinuations of others, recommitted to the Committee of Commerce or both, frequently leave their masters, and are and Manufactures, to report by bill or otherwise. harbored by other persons. The law takes no Mr. Coir wished the subject to be postponed notice of this, except it can be proved that for further consideration before it was sent to the negro is some person's property, and has the committee. He had doubts as to the proabsconded : , this is very difficult to prove; I priety of sending it at all. He thought it had not therefore great evils attend its lenity. 'Tis true, had that discussion a subject so important reif it can be proved that the negro has abscond-quired. ed and was harbored, there was a very heavy Mr. W. SMITH said, he believed this was the penalty inflicted; but, he said, this was difficult first time it was considered in the House. It to prove. This, he owned, was his insinuation, had been tried in a committee but never taken as the gentleman termed it; and upon this sub- up by the House, and now gentlemen wished to ject he meant to claim the attention of the send it back to the committee, with instructions House. This evil, he said, might arise from the to bring in a bill. The Committee of Commerce false philosophy and misplaced philanthropy of and Manufactures was considerably deranged the advocates of emancipation. He was ever since last session, when this business came bewilling to give the question a fair trial, and fore them; many new members were added, thought himself bound to thank the gentleman and it required more information before it could for his extreme benevolence in advocating it. come to the conclusion prescribed.
Mr. SWANWICK, to satisfy the gentleman Mr. SITGREAVES said, if any one good purpose from Maryland, told him, that the subject came could be derived to the House or to the gentlebefore the House from the State of Delaware. men, he would not oppose it; but he was at a
Mr. W. SMITH said, he did not know how far loss to know what good object could be attained the committee should go, he should not vote for by a delay. With respect to what had been the matter to go into the committee. He said, said by the gentleman, (Mr. SMITH) that the it was that kind of business which, by the con- committee were forced to bring in a bill, he was stitution, was to be left to the different States, surprised that such an idea should be formed. he could not agree to the subject going any If that committee report a bill, this House is further. The observations of the gentleman not even pledged to pass it. When the subject from Pennsylvania had convinced him that that is sent to the committee with that instruction, House ought not to interfere with the individual can it be conceived that committee is forced to States on the subject; the interests and policy report a bill? There is no such thing intended of the different States were so various, that it nor included in the words, as either this House would be a dangerous thing to meddle with. should be pledged to pass a bill, or that the He thought it an improper question for discus-committee should report one. The object is, sion; he conceived it would be sound policy that the House, through the medium of the not to touch it in that House. The gentleman committee, should have a plan prepared for had gone too far to make use of the word eman- their consideration, and the word 2 otherwise" cipation. He feared lest the use of it should leaves the committee to exercise its own disspread an alarm through some of the States. eretion as to the report. It might imperceptibly lead from step to step The gentleman from Connecticut, with a prutill it ends in mischief.
dence and consistency highly becoming, wishes Mr. NICHOLAS hoped the business would not time to think on the subject. But how is that be dismissed. We, said Mr. N., who reside in gentleman to have foundation for his reflecthe Southern States, are unfortunately possessed tions until a bill is drawn? Mr. S. did not know of such a kind of property as has a considerable what were the resources of that gentleman's odiom attached to it; but, if we unfortunately I mind, but for himself, he must own that in all
H. or R.]
(DECEMBER, 1796. the attitudes in which this subject had present-State, that the knife and the tomahawk were ed itself, he could not distinctly see the plan. held over the heads of women and children, that One gentleman had said there was no remedy peaceable citizens were murdered, it was time to the United States could apply but what was in- make resistance. Some of the assertions of the compatible with the laws of the individual States. Secretary at War, he said, were not founded in Mr. S. presumed that until he saw the mode to fact; particularly with respect to the expedition be adopted, he could not say whether it was being undertaken for the avowed purpose of easy or difficult. On the whole, he thought to carrying the war into the Cherokee country; postpone the subject could answer no good end, indeed they were contradicted by a reference to while it might delay the object, and do injury. General Smith's letter to the Secretary of War.
Mr. Coit said, very probably the resources of He trusted it would not be presuming too much, his mind may not be equal to that gentleman's, when he said, from being an inhabitant of the he therefore wished the subject to be delayed i country, he had some knowledge of this busithat he might have time to get into the know- ness. From June to the end of October, he ledge of the business.
said, the militia acted entirely on the defensive, Mr. Cort's motion for postponement was then when twelve hundred Indians came upon them put and carried-yeas 46, nays 30.
and carried their station, and threatened to
carry the seat of Government. In such a state, Hugh Larson White.
said Mr. J., would the Secretary (upon whom Mr. Blount then called for the order of the the Executive power rested, in the absence of day on the report of the Secretary of War on the Governor) have been justified, had he not the petition of Hugh Lawson White, a soldier | adopted the measure he did of pursuing the under General Sevier, against the Indians. The enemy! He believed he would not; that the House accordingly resolved itself into a Com expedition was just and necessary, and that, mittee of the Whole.
| therefore, the claim of Mr. White ought to be The following report from the Committee of granted.' Claims was then read:
He therefore proposed a resolution to the folThat the claim set forth in the said petition, is in- lowing effect : tended to establish a principle that will apply to the “Resolved, That General Sevier's expedition into whole of the militia which were called out under the Cherokee Nation, in the year 1793, was a just Brigadier General Serier, in 1793, to act offensively and necessary measure, and that provision ought to against certain Indians south-west of the Ohio. be made by law for paying the expenses thereof." That the expedition against these Indians, as ap-1
DD pears from the muster-rolls, comprehended a period
ject of considerable importance; he hoped the of above five months, or from the 22d July to 31st: December, 1793.
resolution would, for the present, lie on the That it was undertaken without authority derived
table. He therefore moved that the committee from the President, under the laws of the United | rise and ask leave to sit again. States, and for the avowed purpose of carrying the Mr. Cort said, the report wanted some more war into the Cherokee country.
I preparation before it should have come before That the tenor of the instructions from the De- the House; he would therefore move that it be partment of War to the Governor of the South- referred to the Committee of Claims; he knew western Territory forbade offensive operations of no reason against this reference, as many re
Having given these facts, it may be proper to add, ports from Heads of Departments had been so that it appears, by a recurrence to official papers, that referred. the Indians had greatly perplexed and harassed by Mr. BLOUNT hoped the motion would not prethefts and murders, the frontier inhabitants of Ten
ants of Ten- | vail. The expedient of referring it to the Secnessee; and previous to the service, for which com
retary at War was resorted to, when it first pensation is demanded, had shown themselves in
came before the House. He hoped now it considerable force, and killed at two stations (one of them within seven miles of Knoxville) fifteen persons,
wonld not be deferred, but decided on. He including women and children: that it must rest with | thought the Committee of Claims, from having Congress to judge how far these aggressions of In- once had it before the House, knew as much dians, and such other circumstances as can be ad- of the case as they could know, and perhaps all duced to the parties, constitute a case of imminent was included in this report danger, or the expedition & just and necessary Mr. D. Foster made the same observations in measure.
effect as Mr. BLOUNT. Mr. A. JACKSON* said, by a recurrence to the Mr. Coit said, gentlemen had not given a papers just read, he doubted not it would appear shadow of a reason why it should not be referevident, that the measures pursued on the occa- red to that committee. sion alluded to were both just and necessary. Mr. JACKSON owned he was not very well When it was seen that war was waged upon the acquainted with the rules of the House, but
from the best idea he could form, it was a very
circuitous way of doing business. Why now * Afterwards General and President. This was his first
refer it to the Committee of Claims, when all appearance in the national councils--and characteristically-
the facts are stated in this report, he knew not. defending with his voice those Western settlers whose de
If this was the usual mode of doing business, he fence, with the sword, was afterwards the foundation of his national fame and political elevation.
I hoped it would not be referred.