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H. OF R.)
[DECEMBER, 1801 relying upon such cases, as the reasoning from thirty thousand, and in the law passed immean extreme generally led to an extreme, yet he diately after the adoption of the constitution, thought the relative circumstances of Delaware fixing the ratio at thirty-three thousand. and Virginia, as stated, to be correct; for it! As to the experience of the State, so often apwas a fact that Virginia, entitled to twenty-two pealed to, he would state that of his own. The Representatives, was not so much affected by constitution of New York originally fixed the any given fraction, as Delaware, entitled to but representation in one branch at three hundred one Representative.
and in the other at one hundred and fifty. Afta But the reply to the inequality of her repre- suffering the inconveniences of so large a legissentation here is, that she has two Representa- lative body, a convention had been called, which tives in the Senate; and it is inferred that she reduced the one branch to one hundred and will hence derive a larger weight in the Union. fifty, and the other to thirty-two members. Such was the theory of the thing. But what was It was the opinion of some gentlemen that the result of experience? Mr. G. said, he had once the essential principle of our Government was supposed that the small States would have an un the equal representation of the States in the due advantage over the large States. His opin Senate. This was a mistaken opinion. The ion had since altered. All the small States federalism of the Government might hare been were surrounded and compressed by large States, as well preserved by an unequal representation and derived their political sympathies from in the Senate. The feature was not the offthem. It was true, the small States had each spring of principle, but of concession. If we two votes in the Senate. Yet, what superior looked to antiquity, we would observe the smalladvantage have they in the Government gene- er States of a Confederation always inferior to rally? He was, therefore, clearly of opinion the larger; and he recollected one case of a that the claims of the small States to the largest Confederation, in which one State was entitled representation that could be constitutionally to three, another to two, and the third to one given them, ought not to be affected by their representative. representation in the Senate. The fact was that Mr. SMILIE heartily concurred in opinion with this House was the basis of confidence in the the gentleman from New York, that we ought Government. We had heard much about an not to respect local feelings, but that we ought alarm, about disorganization, and the disposition to go upon general grounds. Possessing these of large States to swallow up the rights of all principles, we still know how difficult it is to do the other States. He would ask, whether the complete justice. For himself he would be adoption of a large ratio would lessen this satisfied with the ratio of thirty-three, if he could clamor, promote the general confidence, and in- not obtain that of thirty thousand. He was in crease the stability of the Government ? | favor of a large representation, because he relied
Mr. Jones hoped the amendment would pre-on that for safety and economy. For, when he vail. There was not a doubt but that the small considered the great powers of the other branches States would be materially affected by the ratio of the Government, (powers, in the opinion of in the bill. It was true, that, according to the some men, too great,) he thought it was their theory of our Government, the members of that duty to impart to that House all the constituHouse did not represent the States. But, what i tional power that could be conferred. This was the fact? In truth, our representation was would enable the House to resist all encroachthat of absolute locality. Can I, said Mr. J., rep- ments attempted to be made upon it. resent as effectually Massachusetts, or Vermont, Mr. Bacon said that, for himself, he was satisas Pennsylvania ?
fied with the present ratio, as it stood in the Mr. VĂN Ness declared himself to be uninflu- bill. This was the ratio which had been adopted enced by local considerations, or particular in- when our numbers were much less than they conveniences. If we attempted to avoid them now are ; that it did not appear but that it had by the adoption of any ratio, we should be mis- given general satisfaction, and that no other intaken. The inequality of States could not be conveniences had accrued than such as might be remedied. If a remedy was sought, it must be expected to follow from the adoption of any found in the Senate. The large States had not other ratio whatever. It would seem to be rather that exclusive weight which had been stated. unnatural, and the reverse of what was contemIf the number of the large States in this House plated by those who enacted the constitution, should overbear the smaller States, they would as our numbers increase, to lessen the ratio of find their protection in the Senate. The frac- representation. He was therefore, against tional loss, so much dwelt on, was not a loss to striking out the number thirty-three, with a the State, it was only a loss to that part of the view to insert a lower number. State which was unrepresented, and the loss A divisor of thirty-three thousand would dow would be the same to a larger State, if its give a House consisting of at least one hundred unrepresented fraction was equally great
and forty members, which, even on the present Mr. V. N. said, it had always been his desire ratio, must soon become not only too expensive, to consult the wishes of the people and to con- but unwieldy. It had been repeatedly urged form to them. He considered those wishes as that the present ratio leaves a very large fracsolemnly expressed in the constitution, which tion to the State of Delaware. This, it was adhad decided that the ratio should not be less than | mitted, was matter of regret ; but that, let what Apportionment Bill.
[H. OF R.
ratio might be adopted, such fractional parts Mr. DENNIS did not rise to say any thing new must be expected to fall somewhere ; that such on the subject; but merely, as he had altered his fractions would be likely to vary, from time to mind since the business was before the House, to time, and shift from State to State, as the popu- assign some of the reasons which had influenced lation may increase and vary in the several him. He was now in favor of the ratio of thirty States. And Mr. B. did not conceive that the thousand. His first impressions were against it particular case of Delaware, hard as it might from an apprehension that the increased numseem, furnished a sufficient reason for altering bers of the House would increase expense, and an entire system.
produce disorder. But he acknowledged himAs to what had been urged of the disadvan self convinced by the arguments which had tage to which Electors were subjected in large fallen from the gentleman from Virginia, which districts, of not knowing the characters of their he thought counterbalanced his previous appreRepresentatives and candidates, Mr. B. ob- hension. Mr. D. thought it all-important to served that this was a disadvantage which was preserve an equilibrium between the different lessening with rapidity from year to year, and departments of the Government, and he was from one election to another; that to whatever convinced that this would be best effected by inconvenience electors may heretofore have been making he representation in this House as large subjected by the want of a knowledge of their as the constitution permitted, and convenience candidate, from this inconvenience they are al- justified. If we expected to retain the confiready in a great measure relieved; and it must, dence of the people, it was necessary to increaso in a very short time, entirely cease to exist. If the Representative branch; for it would be in any inconvenience of this kind still remains, by vain to look for that confidence necessary to an election or two more, it would be entirely give it a proper portion of energy, unless there removed. It had been urged that Delaware had existed a sympathy between the elector and the but one Representative, and every State ought elected. to have two. But, why two, Mr. B. queried, Mr. RANDOLPH hoped the amendment would rather than three? It is true, that two are not obtain. The difference between the effects better than one; and three are better than of the two ratios was not very important; but either one or two; for, as we have long since it was highly important that a doctrine so heretbeen told, “a three-fold cord is not easily ical and improper as that which had been broken."
avowed, should be exploded on its first annunMr. B. concluded by saying that, as thirty- ciation. He meant that doctrine which consithree thousand was the ratio which had been dered this House as the Representatives of the adopted when our population was much less than people. When the constitution was formed, it now is; and as it has been practised upon two great difficulties presented themselves. without any inconvenience or general dissatis-The large States refused to confer on the Govfaction, he was unwilling to risk the uncertain ernment greater powers than those it enjoyed, consequences of an innovation at this particular which deeply affected their wealth and their time.
numbers, unless, according to the ratio of their Mr. T. MORRIS was of opinion that the argu- numbers, they should participate in the adminments drawn from the representation in the Sen-istration of it; while the smaller States withate had nothing to do with this question. The held their concurrence, unless their sovereignties House had a constitutional duty to perform, that were guarantied and protected. These two was highly interesting. The only question is, difficulties were surmounted by the plan of the How it shall be performed ? The people ought present constitution ; according to which the to be fully represented; that is, the number of members of this House were the Representatives, their representatives should be increased until not of the people, but of the States in proporthat number became inconvenient for the trans- tion to their numbers. This was the theory of action of business. He had never been a friend the Government for which he must contend. to an enormous Legislature; such as that in Mr. R. believed that the strongest objection France, a mob convention. He thought the urged against the adoption of the constitution, idea incorrect that this House should acquire a was, that it tended to a consolidation of the weight that might cause it to bear down the States. But when he looked into it with a other branch of the Legislature. Ho hoped, if Federal eye, and with no other eye could he any such attempt should be made, that body ever look at it,) he saw the State sovereignties would have sufficient spirit to resist it; and he in all its parts acknowledged and protected. Of trusted there would always be firmness enough this, the very bill was itself a proof. For the here to resist any encroachment attempted. apportionment was not among the people, but
As to the present ratio guiding, he did not among the States, according to the numbers of think that the House should be governed by any each. Believing that this House is the repreuniform rule. They ought, on the contrary, to sentative of States, it was his opinion that so be governed by the existing circumstances. Not long as the relative weight of States could be believing that any inconvenience would arise preserved, it was immaterial that each State from the augmented representation on the ratio should be represented by a large number of of thirty thousand, he would be in favor of it members. from the reasons he had assigned.
| It was with extreme regret, and some diffi.
H. OF R.]
[DECEMBER, 1801. dence, Mr. R. said, that he differed from his |
MONDAY, December 21. colleague on this subject. His colleague wished to increase the House to such an extent as to Georgia Limits, and Delegate from Mississippi. make it the depository of the whole confidence The House resolved itself into a Committee of the people. Mr. R. wished it to possess that of the whole House on the report of the Comconfidence so far as related to Federal objects, mittee of Elections, to whom were referred the but no further. Increase it, according to the credentials of Narsworthy Hunter, who has theory of gentlemen, make it in point of num- appeared as a Delegate from the Territory of bers, a British Parliament, or a French con- the United States known by the name of the vention, and you will proportionably diminish | Mississippi Territory. the confidence of the people in the State gov- Mr. MILLEDGE spoke forcibly, and with conernments. They will become feeble barriers siderable eloquence against agreeing to the roagainst the powers of the General Government; port of the committee; he said it was not a and the people will inquire for what purpose matter of private but of general concern that they elect their State Legislatures. Mr. R. be- Georgia had jurisdiction over that territory; to lieved it to be of infinite importance that the prove this, he called for the reading of the me poises of the Government should be preserved; morial of Georgia to the Legislature of the that it should confine itself to Federal objects. | Union. His object, therefore, was to preserve on that [The memorial was extremely long, and was floor the proportionate weight between the sev- read but in part.) eral States which the constitution had fixed. Mr. M. insisted on the right of Georgia to
Had any objection been made to the old Con- the soil; he would assert to that body and to gress under the Confederation, that was fede- the world that she had never given up that rally organized, for the want of talents or integ-right; and that therefore the laws that had rity? No. The only objection was, that they been passed by Congress for the government of wanted power. Had the public affairs been con- that territory were void, and the gentleman ducted with less ability than they are at pre elected as a delegate to Congress by the Legis sent! He had neither heard, nor did he believe lature of that territory had no right to a sest in that they had.
the House. Gentlemen might say what they Mr. R. concluded, by making some remarks please of the expediency of Congress making on the score of convenience, similar to those laws for the government of that territory, yet already stated.
that expediency must yield to justice and to just Mr. MITOHILL, in a speech of some length, claims; depriving Georgia of her command supported the ratio of thirty thousand. . over that soil and over the people of that soil,
Mr. S. Smith felt indifferent whether the ratio was a glaring violation of right. Commissioners of thirty-three, or that of thirty thousand, were had been appointed to settle the dispute between adopted; but felt anxious that justice should be the United States and Georgia; those commis done to the State of Maryland. He understood sioners are here, and probably it will not be that radical errors existed in the numbers given long before those claims are adjusted; he hoped to that State ; that in Harford County there were and trusted no further proceedings would take returned only three thousand slaves, whereas place till the dispute was completely settled. there ought to have been returned eighteen Mr. BAYARD.—The gentleman from Georgia thousand ; and that in Cecil there had been appeared to mistake the object of the report of returned nine thousand, instead of fifteen thou- the select committee; that committee was apsand. He hoped, in order to have these errors pointed to examine the credentials of Mr. Hunter, corrected, the committee would rise, that the and to see whether the Legislature of the Missisoriginal returns in the office of State might be sippi territory had a right, by the law of Conexamined.
gress regulating that government, to send a de This motion gave rise to a conversation of legate, to exercise here the right of debating, but some length, in which on one side the impro- | not of voting; it was not to admit into the Union priety and injustice of making an apportion- a new State, or to erect a new State within the ment under the existing errors, and without the bounds of another. The law of Congress, estabreturn from Tennessee, were argued ; and, on | lishing the government of that territory, declares the other side, the great inconvenience of delay, that when in that territory there shall be such a and the inability of the House to obtain a cor- | number of inhabitants, they shall have a House of rection of errors, which, if attempted in one | Representatives and a Legislature; and that when instance, might be attempted in many.
their inhabitants shall have increased to such a Mr. Van Ness informed the committee that number, the Legislature may appoint & delegate the return from Tennessee was received at the to Congress, with the right of debating, but not office of State, and that it made the population of voting. It is not now a question whethe of that State amount to ninety-two thousand | new State shall be erected, but whether to free inhabitants, and thirteen thonsand slaves. | member be duly chosen. Nor are the interests or
It was ultimately agreed that the committee Georgia at all affected: the fifth section of the rise, report progress, and ask leave to sit again ; | law establishing this Government expressly de which was granted.
clares that nothing in the law for establishing & I temporary government there, shall in any man
(H. OF R. ner affect any claims of the State of Georgia to Mr. Dana.—He was for the committee's risthat soil. Commissioners are appointed on the ing. It had been usual to suffer the reports of part of the United States and Georgia to settle the Committee of Elections to lie on the table, the dispute between the two Governments; but and if ro protest or complaint were entered, till those disputes shall be settled, shall the in- | nothing further was done with them, and the habitants of that territory be without a govern- members kept their seats. In the case of the ment? No, sir, it is not a matter of discretion North-western and Indiana Territories, they with as; we are bound by a positive law of were obliged to inquire, if it was the first time, Congress. If the gentlerpan was urgent against whether there was a right to send a delegate; Mr. HUNTER's taking his seat, the only way to such is the situation now of the member from effect it is, by repealing the law of Congress es- the Mississippi Territory; the records show their tablishing the Government of the Mississippi right to send the report states that this deleTerritory.
| gate is duly chosen. Let the report lie on the Mr. DAVIS.-The House have no business to table, and the member keep his seat. meddle, in this case, with the claims of the Mr. GRISWOLD.-He was not in favor of the United States, or of Georgia, to that territory; committee's rising. It was extremely unpleawe have only to examine the credentials of the sant to the delegate from the Mississippi Terrimember, and to see whether the Legislature, tory to remain in this situation; he himself in conformity to the act of Congress, were au- claimed a seat in that House, not as a matter of thorized, or not, to send a delegate. If that favor but of right; and this House had not the act of Congress be unconstitutional, it must be power of depriving him of this right, without repealed by the Senate and House; yet, as it repealing the act of Congress establishing a now is, we are bound to but one decision on government over that Territory. Some gentlethis subject.
men have said that the rights of Georgia will Mr. RANDOLPH.—He thought gentlemen did be affected by the admittance of this member not treat the member from Georgia with due to a seat; such certainly could not be the case ; candor and respect. It should be remembered if the claims of Georgia are at all affected, it is that Georgia had ever protested against the done already by act of Congress; yet, for his laws relative to the Mississippi Territory. It was part, he did not consider the claims of Georgia the duty of that gentleman, as a member from as affected or injured. Nor ought we to wait the State of Georgia, to dissent; constructions the decision of the commissioners : that decimight be put on silence. The United States sion may take place in a month, and perhaps had arrogated the power of governing that ter will not these six months. ritory, at the same time saying that such as- Mr. Macon.-- There ought to be some peti. sumption of power should not affect any claims tion or statement of facts presented by the memof Georgia; but did not this very assumption of ber from Georgia, or some other person, to a right to govern, prejudge claims? We are justify a discussion at this time, or to prevent told the commissioners are on the eve of set- the delegate from taking his seat. He wished tling the dispute; let us wait till this be accom- his right and his credentials treated as those of plished. Mr. R. motioned that the committee any other member. He agreed with the genrise.
| tleman from Connecticut, (Mr. Dana,) that it Mr. CLAIBORNE.--He thought it right in the were better for the committee to rise, without gentleman from Georgia to dissent; it was to leave to sit again ; the member would then be be expected; he did not rise to censure him. entitled to his seat and his pay, till it should be He did not conceive that any gentleman in the shown that he has no claim to them. House wished, in this matter, to do any thing Mr. BAYARD.-He did not agree with the that would prejudice the interest or claims of Speaker; the face of the report of the select Georgia. The assumption of a power to give committee gives sufficient cause for a decision laws to the Mississippi Territory arose from the of the Committee of the Whole. The gentlenecessity of the thing, and from benevolence to man from Georgia opposes the decision of the the inhabitants; he would not suffer an infrac- select committee ; and it is due to the member tion of the constitution for the world; no, not from Georgia, and to the delegate, to have to save a world. [The Chairman called him to the opinion of the House-to have a prompt order: the question was now on the commit- decision. The mere question is, whether he tee's rising.] Mr, O. said he did not know but has been duly elected; not whether the Legishe might be out of order, but if he was, he lature of the Mississippi Territory had a right to believed others had been in the same situation. elect him. Gentlemen have said we are prejuHe wished to express his opinions on the sub- dicing the claims of Georgia, that their rights ject in common with others. It should be con- are implicated in this step; they have said that sidered that the delegate from the Mississippi the act of Congress establishing a government territory would have no right to vote, but was an assumption of power; not so: by the only to debate; he would be only a sting, but Spanish treaty that territory was ceded to the without poison. We ought, moreover, to oblige United States; the inhabitants were without a our brethren of that Southern hemisphere; we government; they petitioned Congress for some ought to hear their statements, attend to their form of government. What was to be done ? wants, &c.
The interposition of Congress arose ex necessitate VOL. II.-37
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[DECEMBER, ISL rei. It was no assumption of power or assertion
WEDNESDAY, December 30. , of claims. It was a necessary establishment of
Internal Taxes. a temporary government, to continue while there was necessity. He was for an immediate Mr. Davis moved the appointment of a con decision,
mittee to inquire into the expediency of repeal Messrs. RANDOLPH, Davis, BAYARD, S. SMITH, ing the acts imposing duties on stills and disMacon, and GRISWOLD, continued the debate. tilled spirits, on refined sugars, on sales at anc
The report of the select committee was agreed tion, and on pleasure carriages, to. Mr. MILLEDGE wished the yeas and nays, Mr. Davis said his object, in making this to even if he stood alone. They were taken, and tion, was, that the House should accomplish stood, yeas 77, nays 8.
that directly, which had been this session E
tempted in so circuitous a way as to embarrass TUESDAY, December 22.
and delay its proceedings. He saw no reason Another member, to wit, John RUTLEDGE, for going into a Committee of the Whole in from South Carolina, appeared, produced his order to arrive at decisions that might bette credentials, was qualified, and took his seat in be made directly by the House itself. the House.
On this motion a debate of considerable length
ensued, in which, on the one side, the reference TUESDAY, December 29.
to a select committee, and on the other a reference
to a Committee of the whole House was adro Library of Congress.
cated. No decision was had, and of course the Mr. RANDOLPH reported a “ bill concerning motion of Mr. D, was ordered to lie on the table. the library for the use of both Houses of Congress ;" which, after being twice read, was com
Army Reduction. mitted to a Committee of the whole House : Mr. BAYARD, during the course of the debate Mr. RUTLEDGE in the chair.
-in allusion to the adoption yesterday of the The bill provided that the members of both resolution of Mr. RANDOLPH for reducing the Houses, the President and Vice President of Military Establishment, which he thought pre the United States, and the Judges of the Su- mature, not considering the House as suficierpreme Court, should have liberty to take any ly acquainted with the details of the subject, to book from the library to read.
act upon it-said, that if gentlemen were for Mr. SPRIGG moved, to add the Judges of the reducing the Army in whatever degree, or for District of Columbia. He was supported in ar- abandoning it altogether, he should go wish gument by Mr. DENNIS, upon the ground of the them. He would, on such occasion, be gorimportance of the causes which this especial erned by the same principles which had hitherto district would present, and the great expense guided him. He had heretofore been disposed and extreme scarcity of some most valuable and to repose a liberal confidence in the Esecatire necessary law books.
of the United States; and when an increase of Mr. BAYARD objected to the motion, because our military force had been recommended by he could discover no reason for distinguishing the President, he had invariably been for it: the judges of the district from others; but much more would he be disposed, when a le Judges of the Supreme Court being far from duction was recommended from the same quer their libraries, required such references. He ter, to sanction it by his vote. With the Eseehoped the Congressional Library would never tive rested the responsibility of the exterior de be subjected to the abuse which books used in fence of the nation; and if the Executive was courts of justice were too liable to.
of opinion that the nation was secure with s The motion was not agreed to.
force of three, two, or one thousand, or withSome observations were made as to the time out even a single man, he would concur with which the library was to remain open.
him in giving effect to such a conviction. Mr. GRISWOLD moved to confine it to the Mr. RANDOLPH was called up by these retime of the session of Congress. .
marks. He had little thought that his motion, It was carried, with an exception moved by agreed to yesterday sub silentio, and without Mr. SOUTHARD, in favor of the Judges of the the least hesitation, would have been made the Supreme Court, whose sessions do not accord topic of such animated animadversion as he had with those of Congress.
heard to-day. He would tell the gentleman A blank was left as to the sum to be appro- from Delaware, that his motion had neither priated, in addition to the remaining part of the been immature in substance, nor premature ss five thousand dollars heretofore appropriated, to time. It would be recollected, that previous for the purchase of books.
to its adoption, the Secretary of War had been On the Chairman's asking the sum with called upon to furnish information to the House. which to fill the blank, Mr. RANDOLPH moved He had furnished information, to his mind comto strike out the sections, observing that, of pletely satisfactory. He had stated the estabthat sum, not more than $2,200 had been used, lishment to be five thousand men ; and his and $2,800 remained unexpended. He enter- opinion that all the garrisons required only tained no doubt but Congress would aid the three thousand men. Could it, then, with any institution by every timely grant.
| reason be called premature to act upon such in