Page images

DECEMBER, 1796.]
Hugh Lauson White.

[H. OF R. Mr. W. LYMAN thought, the time it was un- | would be saying to soldiers, “Before you obey der consideration before, when referred to the the command of your superior officer, you have Secretary at War, was the time to have thought a right to inquire into the legality of the service of referring it to that committee; but now it upon which you are about to be employed, and, was too late ; now the House had a report be- until you are satisfied, you may refuse to take fore it. It appeared to him a mere formality. I the field." This, he believed, was a principle It looks like throwing the business out. He which could not be acted upon. General had not made up his mind which way he should Sevier, Mr. .J. said, was bound to obey the vote, but he thought one report was sufficient; orders he received to undertake the expedition. be, therefore, hoped it would come under con The officers under him were also obliged to obey sideration.

him. They went with full confidence that the Mr. BLOUNT said, when he first presented the United States would pay them, believing that retition, he moved it to be referred to the Com they had appointed such officers as would not mittee of Claims; it was then rejected, and sent call them into the field without proper authorito the Secretary at War.

ty. If even the expedition had been unconstiThe Committee rose, and obtained leave to tutional (which he was far from believing), it sit again.

ought not to affect the soldier, since he had no choice in the business, being obliged to obey

his superior. Indeed, as the provisions had FRIDAY, December 30.

been paid for, and as the ration and pay-rolls The Chickasar Claims.

were always considered a check upon each ALEXANDER D. ORB, from Kentucky, appear-other, he hoped no objection would be made to ed, and took his seat.

the resolution which he had moved. Vr. ANDREW JACKSON presented a petition of Mr. Coit said, he had called for the reading of George Colbert, one of the chiefs and warriors the petition, because he could not see the conof the Chickasaw nation of Indians, complain-nection between it and the resolution under ing of a non-performance of stipulations entered consideration. The petition prayed for recominto in certain talks held with Governor Blount pense for the services of the petitioner, and the and other agents of the United States, in which men under his command, and the proper resothey agreed in defensive support of each other's lution would be that the prayer of it ought or rights; that their nation was invaded by the red might not be granted; but, instead of this, the people, (the Creeks,) when they applied, accord resolution before them went to the whole ing to treaty, for aid ; that their brother, James troops employed in General Sevier's expedition. Robertson, said he had no orders to send them Mr. A. JACKSON said, by referring to the reSDT assistance; and that he must first have port it would be seen that the Secretary of War orders from their father the PRESIDENT OF THL had stated, that to allow the prayer of this peUNITED STATES. However, a detachment of tition, would be to establish a principle that volunteers under the command of Colonel would apply to the whole of the militia in that Hansker, came to their aid. He asked com- expedition. If this petitioner's claim was a pensation for supplies furnished to that detach- just one therefore, the present decision ought to ment during sixty days. He said he had applied go to the whole, as it was unnecessary for to his beloved friend the Secretary at War, every soldier employed in that expedition, to who told him that Congress had set apart no apply personally to that House for compensation. money out of which it could be paid; he, there- Mr. RUTHERFORD observed, that the gentlefore, applied to Congress for relief.

man from Tennessee had set the matter in so This petition was referred to the Committee fair a light that it was not necessary to say of Claims.

much more on the subject; but, as he had been

acquainted with the frontier from his infancy, Hugh Lawson White.

he would just give it as his opinion, that the The House again resolved itself into a Com- expedition was a necessary one, and that the exmittee of the Whole on the petition of Hugh pense ought immediately to be paid. He hoped, Larson White.

therefore, the resolution would be agreed to The resolution of Mr. ANDREW JACKSON hav unanimously. ing been read,

Mr. HARPER was not prepared to say, without Mr. Cort called for the reading of the peti- more information than he had on the subject, tion upon which the report was founded. It that the measure was just and necessary, or te read.

the contrary. He felt disposed to think favoraWr. A. JACKSON said, the rations found for bly of the expedition ; but he thought the House the troops on this expedition had already been should have further information before it came aid for by the Secretary of War, and he could to any resolution on the subject. They had, it

e no reasonable objection to the payment of was true, a letter from General Smith, the then the whole expense attending the expedition. Secretary, but he thought this was not suffi As the troops were called out by a superior cient. He thought it would be better to refer the

beer, they had no right to doubt his authority. report and other papers to a select committee, Tere a contrary doctrine admitted, it would with instructions to inquire into the necessity strike at the very root of subordination. It and propriety of the expedition, and report


H. OF R.]
Hugh Lawson White.

[DECEMBER, 1796 thereon. He hoped, therefore, the present re- / whether it would be two or thren hundred solution would be disagreed to, and the commit- thousand or half a million of dollars. He tee would rise. He would then bring forward should, therefore, hope the Committee of the a resolution to that effect. The Secretary of Whole would be discharged, and that the subWar, he said, had not gone fully into the sub-ject would be committed to a select committee. ject; he had given them copies of two letters, Mr. MADISON saw no necessity for referring but not his opinion. He did not think that an this subject to a select committee. If it was expedition of so important a nature, and which suggested that the official information which must involve in it a very heavy expense, should was before them was inaccurate, and that a be decided upon without further information. more full explanation of the situation of things

Mr. Craik agreed in sentiment with the gentle was necessary, there would be some ground of man from South Carolina, (Mr. HARPER.) He said reference; but he did not find that this was the there was great difficulty in forming an opinion case. The Secretary of War stated facts, and from the report itself; though the Secretary of referred to documents to prove that the In. War seemed to think the calling out of the Militia dians had greasy perplexed and harassed, by necessary, there were other expressions in the thefts and murders, the frontier inhabitants of report which appeared to convey a contrary Tennessee, had shown themselves in considerasentiment. He referred to the letter of General ble force, and killed at two stations fifteen perSmith, but mentioned that there were other sons.” If this was a state of facts, and it could papers. He could not say the expedition was not be doubted, the words of the constitution not necessary; but he thought further informa- on the subject were clear: “No State shall, tion was desirable, and the report should be without the consent of Congress, lay any duty committed to a select committee, for the pur- on tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in pose of gaining that information.

time of peace, enter into any agreement or Mr. W. SMITI agreed with the two gentlemen compact with another State, or with a foreign last up, that further information was neces-power, or engage in war, unless actually insary. The question, he said, involved a num- vaded, or in such imminent danger as will not ber of important points. In the first place, a admit of delay."* There could be no doubt, question was involved, whether, if the expedi- therefore, Mr. M. said, but this expedition came tions was necessary, as it was not authorized within the meaning of the constitution, In by law, the expense ought to be defrayed by the many cases, he said, it was difficult to determine United States By the report of the Secretary betwixt offensive and defensive operations, as it of War, it had appeared that Congress were was sometimes necessary, when acting on the well apprised of all the circumstances which ren- defensive, to use an offensive measure. He had dered the expedition necessary, yet they did not no doubt on the subject, and though tthe expense think proper to authorize it. In the letter of of the expedition should, by all means, be paid. the Secretary of War to Governor Blount, on Mr. DAYTON (the Speaker) said, that he was the subject, was this passage :

not prepared to adopt the resolution which was “ If those diffieulties existed while the Congress

moved by the member from Tennessee, nor were in session, and which, it was conceived, they

even to decide finally upon it, unless he could * alone were competent to remove, they recur, in the

be persuaded that the gentleman from Virginia present case, with still greater force : for all the infor- | (Mr. MADISON) was correct in saying that the mation received at the time Congress were in session, report before them contained all the informa. was laid before both Houses, but no order was taken tion which it was possible for them to obtain. thereon, nor any authority given to the President He was convinced that there were other offiof the United States; of consequence his authority cial papers and documents which would throw remains in the same situation it did on the com- additional light upon the subject, and therefore, mencement of the last session. It is, indeed, a serious question to plunge the nation into a war with

* This is the true ground on which the United States be. - the Southern tribes of Indians, supported as it is

comes liable to a State for its expenses in suppressing of said they would be."

repulsing Indian hostilities. It turns upon the idea of sa Mr. S. also read from the report " that the

actual invasion, or such imminent danger of it as not to expedition was undertaken without authority,"

admit of delay: then the contingency happens in which &c. The Secretary afterwards, indeed, stated,

the State may engage in war, and all the acts of Congress in his report, the disagreeable situation of the

and the Government orders give way before a constitutional

right. Tennessee, like other new countries in the United country at the time, by way of palliative; but,

States, was settled without law, and against law. Its early as Congress were possessed of these facts,

settlers not only had no protection from the Federal Gof and did not authorize offensive operations, it

ernment, but were ander legal disabilities to pursue the became a nice point to determine whether the

| enemy. This arose from the policy of the Government te expedition in question was justifiable. He

preserve peace on the frontiers by restraining the adrane would not say that such a situation of things

on a situation of togs of settlements, and curbing the disposition of the people might not occur as would justify a measure of to war. The history of all the new settlements, from thi the kind, but it was of consequence to determine Atlantic to the Pacific, is the same: people go without law whether this was such a case, which could not and against law; and when they can neither be stopped by be done hastily. Neither had the House any the Government, nor driven back by the Indians, then th information of the magnitude of the expense, l Government gives them protection.

DECEMBER, 1796.]
Hugh Larson White.

[H. OF R. onght to be in possession of the Committee of with the then Secretary of War, who informed the Whole before they took any decisive step. him that he had written to the Governor of He alladed to the confidential communications | Tennessee that, in case the pressure of the Infrom the PRESIDENT, in December, 1792, which dians was so great as to require it, he must call gave rise to lengthy discussion, with closed out the militia. The Governor was well known, galleries, upon the measures that ought to be and sufficient confidence was placed in him that adopted in consequence of the hostile acts and this power would not be abused. He believed threats of those very south-western Indians, / the troops on the Northern frontier had not who were the objects of the expedition for proved sufficient, and that they had already which they were called upon to pay. The paid the expense of troops which were called in House of Representatives then decided that to their assistance. At this period, Mr. B. said, they would neither declare war against those the danger which threatened the country was nations of Indians, nor authorize the PRESIDENT great, and it was happy for us it had been so to carry an offensive expedition into their well got over. He believed it was well that country, if, in the recess of Congress, he should the legion for the Southern frontier was not deem it proper, in consequence of their con- equipped, though he at that time thought it tinuance in hostility. As the acts of Congress necessary. The expense of the expedition in upon this very application would operate in question, he said, would be nothing compared fature as a precedent and kind of commentary with that which would have taken place had on that part of the constitution which limited the legion contemplated been equipped. Mr. the instances in which a State might levy troops B, said, he had no doubt with respect to the and act offensively, without the previous assent propriety of paying the expense of this expediof the General Government, they could not, tion. He did not think the number of men was Mr. D. said, be too particular in their investi-great, or that the charge would be very heavy. gation, nor too strict in their reference to dates Mr. DAYTON (the Speaker) said, he was inand facts. He hoped that the Committee of clined to believe the attacks of the Indians, the Whole would be discharged, and the report which provoked the expedition of General of the Secretary of War referred to a select Sevier, were subseqüent to those in the knowcommittee, whose duty it would be to report ledge of Congress at the tiine the subject was those facts, with their dates, which gave rise to under discussion. the claim in question, and which justified, He was one of those, he said, who thought under the provision in the constitution, the that the hostile dispositions shown by those raising of troops and carrying on an offensive Indians at that time called for force, and he had war, without the previous consent of Congress introduced a resolution, by means of his color approbation of the PRESIDENT.

league, to that effect. It was not, therefore, that Mr. NICHOLAS believed, on a reference to be did not think the expedition authorized, but dates, it would be seen that these attacks of the because he had a desire to have the facts reIndians were subsequent to those which were lative to the subject clearly stated, that he in the knowledge of Congress at the time men-wished the business to be committed to a select tioned, as they took place while Governor committee. Blount was at Philadelphia; and he thought no Mr. RUTHERFORD said, they were not particufurther information was necessary on the sub- lar about the manner of doing the business, ject than the letter from General Smith to the provided it was done. He was confident the Secretary of War, printed with the report, to expense of the expedition ought to be paid. prove that the expedition was both just and when the Indians were upon them, what could necessary. General Sevier's going into the the Governor do? Was he to send forward to Cherokee country was no proof that his opera- the seat of Government to be instructed what tions were offensive. If other information could to do? No; resistance was necessary, and it de obtained by referring the business to a select was not becoming in them now to say, “You committee, he should have no objection; but did not act perfectly regular--the thing was he believed this would not be the case. He not exactly as it should have been." It was a Fished the letter of General Smith to be read. critical period, he said, and if the expenses were [It was read accordingly.]

not paid, it might have a bad effect in future. Mr. BALDWIN was not able to recollect how Mr. KITCHELL was in favor of the committee great a portion of the members present were in rising. He remembered the transactions which the House when this business was brought be- took place on this business, as mentioned by fore Congress in the year 1792. His own re- his colleague, Mr. DAYTON.) He said, he was collection was fresh upon the subject. It was one of those who voted against the proposition a period when they were much alarmed for our of using hostile means, because he thought it Indian frontier, North and South. The North possible to ward off the evil. It had been was fortified, and it was recommended to have warded off; but he believed there was sufficient & legion on the South. The gentleman from ground for calling out General Sevier, and he South Carolina, he recollected, was opposed to doubted not, if the business was referred to a se. the measure, and thought the Executive had lect committee, the result would be satisfactory determined too soon upon hostility, Mr. B. to those gentlemen who brought forward the said he had at that time frequent conversations business.

H. OF R.]

Direct Taxes.

(JANUARY, 1797, The committee rose, and leave not being whether, if the first part of the resolation was granted to sit again, on motion, the report and carried, and the second negatived, the question papers accompanying it were referred to a select would not then be taken upon the resolution as committee of Messrs. A. JAOKSON, J. SMITH, amended ? BLOUNT, DENT, and HARPER.*

The SPEAKER answered in the affirmative.

Mr. WILLIAMS said, it would save time if the FRIDAY, January 20, 1797.

question was taken upon the whole resolution Direct Taxes.

together; for if several gentlemen voted against

the first proposition, lest the last should not The House then took up the consideration of

pass, the whole might in this way be defeated. the resolution reported yesterday by the Com

He thought a vote might be safely taken upon mittee of the Whole, on the subject of further

the whole together, as no one would be bound revenue.

by the vote in favor of the bill, if he should not Mr. Coit wished for a division of the question,

| approve of it. For his own part, he wished to viz: that the proposition for a tax on land and

see the plan, though he did not know that he that for slaves should be put separately.

should vote for it. Mr. SwANWICK called for the yeas and nays.

Mr. NICHOLAS supposed there was not the They were agreed to be taken.

difficulty mentioned by the gentleman from Mr. NICHOLAB thought the resolution should

New York. Gentlemen would not risk the not be divided, but that the propositions for a

whole by voting against the first part of the ex on land and a tax on slaves should go to

resolution; since, if the second was not carried, gether, as he should object to vote for the tax

they cot. d afterwards reject the whole. on land except that on slaves accompanied it.

The question was then put, that the House He thought the gentleman had better try the question, by moving to strike out what respected

| agree to the first resolution, viz: slaves.

Resolved, That there ought to be appropriated, Mr. Madison thought it would be best for the according."

according to the last census, on the several States, two propositions to go together; but if they

the sum of , to be raised by the following direct

taxes, viz: did not, he did not think the embarrassments

"Á tax ad valorem, under proper regulations and insuperable. If the question was divided, those exceptions, on all lands, with their improvements, inwho thought a tax on slaves necessary must cluding town lots, with the buildings thereon." vote for the first part; and if the second was

| It was resolved in the affirmative-yeas 48, rejected, there would not be wanting an oppor

nays 39. tunity of voting against the tax on land. It

The second part of the resolution, relative to was necessary to observe, that it had been found

slaves, was about to be put, when expedient to associate these two taxes together,

Mr. GALLATIN said, before the question was in order to do justice, and to conform to the

taken on this division, he would just mention established usage of a very large tract of country, who were entitled to some degree of at

why this species of personal property was

brought under view, whilst all other personal tention, and to whom a tax on land, without a tax on slaves, would be very objectionable.

property was unnoticed. I

It was very true, that stock upon a farm in Mr. Coit said, he could not gratify the gen. the

gen. | the Northern and Eastern States paid nearly as tleman from Virginia by varying his motion, as

| great a proportion of the taxes of those States it would not answer the purpose he had in view.

as the negroes did those of the Southern States, Mr. NICHOLAS supposed, if the motion was

and therefore it might seem somewhat wrong persisted in, he was at liberty to move to insert

to introduce negroes in the one case and not slaves in the first part of the resolution. The

cattle in the other. The reason which induced gentleman certainly knew his own views best;

| the Committee of Ways and Means to adopt this or he thought it was possible to have settled the

mode was, that negroes are confined to certain business he proposed.

spots of land in the Southern States, while Mr. W. SMITH saw no difficulty on the sub

horses and cattle extend nearly over a whole ject. Gentlemen would vote for the first part

country. And a land tax, unaccompanied with of the resolution, in hopes that the second would

a tax on slaves, would be very unpopular in pass; but if it did not pass, they would have an

those States, as it would throw too great a buropportunity of voting on the main question, and

den upon farmers who did not hold slaves, and thereby defeat the whole.

fall too lightly upon those whose property Mr. Van CORTLANDT would vote for both to

chiefly consisted of slaves. There was this difgether, but not separately.

ference betwixt the two species of property: A Mr. GALLATIN inquired as to a point of order,

farmer in the Northern or Eastern States would * The committee reported in favor of paying the brigade

not think himself aggrieved by not paying a tax of General Sevier. (300 infantry and two troops of horse.) upon his farining stock; but a farmer in the amonnting to the sum of $22.816 and 25 cents-a very small / Southern States would think himself aggrieved sum for a remote expedition into the country of a formid- if his land was taxed, whilst the slaves of the able Indian tribe, and so efficiently conducted as to secure slaveholder were not taxed. It was on this tranquillity to the frontier. It deserves to be remembered account that this species of property was introfor its promptitude, efficiency and cheapness.



JASCART, 1797.]
Direct Taxes.

[H. OF R. Mr. MURRAY was not struck with the obser- / would fall very heavy upon his constituents, rations of the gentleman last up, so as to say he and those of his colleague, where few blacks would ultimately vote for this species of tax; | were kept. at present, he should vote for a bill to be brought He hoped, therefore, it would pass. in; but unless he found the bill could reconcile Mr. JEREMIAH SMITH was aware that a tax on the principle more, and do greater justice in the slaves would lighten the tax on land in the case than he at present conceived, he should Southern States, and therefore he did not then oppose it.

wonder at the Representatives from those States He said, he considered slaves in the Southern wishing it to take place; but, by so apportionStates as laborers, and unless gentlemen coulding the tax, would not the landholders in the show him where laborers were taxed, he should Southern Stateš pay less than the landholders in not think it right to vote for that part of the parts of the Union where no slaves were kept? bill. He was decidedly in favor of a land tax, He believed they would. A person, for instance, but against the other part of the question. Mr. in New Hampshire, holding the value of £1,000 M. said, he merely mentioned this that he might in land, would pay a larger portion of the tax not hereafter be charged with inconsistency, in than a holder of land to the same extent in Vircase he should vote against the bill. He re- ginia. He believed this would be unjust, and peated, unless provision be made for taxing an objection to this mode of taxing the Southlabor in other parts of the United States, he ern States, as, though the tax would fall more must vote against this part of the bill if brought equally on them, it would not be so with respect in, because the tax would operate very un- to other States. equally.

Mr. GEDRICH said, this tax was introduced Mr. HARPER said, though he was entirely op- into the system for the accommodation of that posed to the tax proposed by the resolution, and part of the Union where slaves were numerous. should vote against the whole, yet he thought A disposition to render the plan as acceptable, it right that a tax on slaves should be intro- in every part of the country, as it could be duced with a tax on land; for, as this direct tax made, consistently with the interests of the was to be raised by apportionment through the whole, ought to prevail. But, before a tax on States, whether the Southern States paid on slaves was adopted, its operation on the Union, slaves, or the Northern States on land, made no and its effects, as it respected different districts, difference in effect; each paid in its own way; should be considered. one mode was more convenient for the North-1 A direct tax ought to fall as equally as poserm, another for the Southern, and another for sible every where; that on land and houses, the Eastern-no injury was done by this to any with their improvements, which had been other State.

agreed to, would be laid by a valuation seldom Mr. G. JACKSON said, he was against all repeated-perhaps, once in ten or fifteen years. species of direct taxation, but particularly on the expense of its assessment and collection this species; and, if a tax on land was carried, would be nearly equal throughout the United he shonld bring forward a resolution to lay a tax States; but, with respect to a tax on slaves, upon all property vested in public securities. there would be required frequent enumerHe wished for the yeas and nays on this ations—at least an annual enumeration. This question.

would be attended with considerable expense, The reas and nays were agreed to be taken to be defrayed, not by the particular districts,

Mr. NICHOLAS wondered to hear the observa- for whose benefit this species of tax was introtion of his colleague. He should vote for the duced, but by the United States. question, though he and his constituents would! There was another objection. A land tax be affected by it; but, in the district which that was certain—it might, and undoubtedly would, gentleman represented, there were no slaves; be made a lien on the real estate on which it and it was therefore his constituents' interest to was laid. It would be liable to little, if any, have a tax on slaves, in order to lighten that on loss. Not so with a tax on slaves. Such a tax, land.

| he apprehended, would be uncertain, exposing Mr. G. JACKSON said, it was not so much on the revenue to considerable defalcations. If à account of the interest of himself or constituents provision could not be made to place the loss on that he opposed this tax, but he objected to it the districts where it happened, by retaxing * & capitation tax.

them it would operate unequally. He imagined Mr. MOORE said, the situation of the Southern a retaxation for defalcation, if it could be made, States had been truly stated. In the Western would be considered as unjust, and create disparts, there were few slaves. He said, in the content among the individuals who were subrepresentation to that House, the labor of the jected to it; and if that could not be done, the negroes had been considered as five to three, deficiency must fall on the Union, and would with respect to white persons; therefore, the produce uneasiness from its partial effects. He ability of the State to pay was considered in the did not know how the detail would be arranged. same proportion. His colleague from the moun- He had been of the number who were desirous tains (Mr. G. JACKSON) should consider that, if to see the collection-law, before they decided the holders of slaves were not to pay a portion on the resolution before them, so as to havo

the tax imposed on the State of Virginia, it possessed the whole subject. At present, he

« PreviousContinue »