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H. OF R.)
[APRI FRIDAY, April 9.
| M:. Clay, from the committee appoi A message from the Senate informed the the seventh instant, to examine and Honse that the Senate have passed a bill, en the state of the office of the Clerk af titled "An act to amend the Judicial System of
made a report: which was read and ordered to the United States;” to which they desire the
lie on the table. concurrence of this House.
The House resolved itself into a Coramite The chief alteratious made from the old sys. of the Whole on the bill to provide for the tem consist in the holding the Supreme Court establishment of certain districts, and there only once a year by four justices, and the estab
to amend an act, entitled " An act to real lishment of sis circnits within each district of the collection of duties on imports and tonnage which circuit courts are to be holden twice a and for other purposes; and, after some ti year, composed of one justice of the Supreme spent therein, the committee rose and reported Court and the judge of the district, in which several amendments thereto; which were ensaid court is held.)
erally twice read, and agreed to by the House. The bill was read twice, and referred to a se
Ordered, That the said bill, with the anailect committee.
ments, be engrossed, and read the third time to
morrow. Ohio State Government.
The House resolved itself into a Committee
for the payment of four thousand five hundred and
TON, do prepare and bring in the same.
The House then went into Committee of the
Whole on the report of the committee of the
twenty-second of January, on the petition of Dennis, Abiel Foster, Calvin Goddard, Roger Gris
Sarah Fletcher and Jane Ingraham, referred to wold, William Barry Grove, Seth Hastings, Joseph
them on the tenth of December last, and, after
widows and children, as the case may be, of the Henry Woods.
officers, seamen, and marines, who were lost at si Monday, April 12.
on board the ship Insurgent and brigantine Pickering, An engrossed bill for the relief of Theodosius
lately in the service of the United States, four month Fowler, was read the third time, and passed
pay of their respective husbands or fathers, The House went into Committee of the
Resolved, That it is expedient to provide by lay
for the payment of five years' half pay to the widows Whole on the biil for the relief of Paul Coulon, and children, as the case may be, of such officers is which was reported without amendment, and the naval service of the United States as shall be slain ordered to be engrossed and read the third time in battle, or die, when in the actual line of their daty. to-day.
Resolved, That the widows and children of those Mr. S. SMITH, from the committee appointed, officers who were lost at sea in the ship Insurgent presented a bill for the relief of Lewis Tousard; I and brigantine Pickering, shall be entitled to this which was read twice and committed to the provision. Committee of the Whole for to-morrow.
Ordered, That a bill or bills be brought in
H. OF R.]
[Mar, 1802. Yeas.-Willis Alston, John Archer, John Bacon, secondly, because the said judges did not only Theodorus Bailey, Phanuel Bishop, Walter Bowie, take for granted the constitutionality of the Richard Brent, Robert Brown, William Butler, said law, but did unjustly and improperly reThomas Claiborne, Matthew Clay, John Clopton, fuse to grant him a subpoena ad testificandum John Condit, Richard Cutts, John Dawson, William
| directed to the said John Adams; and there Dickson, Lucas Elmendorph, John Fowler, William B.
fore praying such redress as the wisdom of Giles, Edwin Gray, John A. Hanna, Daniel Heister,
Congress shall deign to bestow.
Mr. GRISWOLD moved to reject the prayer o H. Nicholson, John Smilie, Israel Smith, John
the petition. Smith, (of New York, John Smith, (of Virginia,)
Mr. GILES moved to postpone the considerSamuel Smith, Henry Southard, Richard Stanford, ation of the petition till the third Monday in Joseph Stanton, jr., John Stewart, John Taliaferro, November. jr., Philip R. Thompson, Abram Trigg, John Trigg, On this motion a debate ensued, in which Philip Van Cortlandt, John P. Van Ness, Isaac Van Mr. GILES and Mr. RANDOLPH supported, and Horne, and Robert Williams.
Mr. GRISWOLD and Mr. BAYARD opposed the
SATURDAY, May 1.
UNAUTHORIZED PURCHASE OF NAVY YARDS. ney, Thomas Tillinghast, George P. Upham, Peleg Wadsworth, Lemuel Williams, and Henry Woods.
Mr. GRISWOLD.-Again, the committee say that four navy yards were purchased without
authority, and the money misapplied which TUESDAY, April 27.
was paid for them. In my judgment, this is Naval Sites.
one of the most extraordinary opinions erer UNAUTHORIZED PURCHASES.
pronounced. The facts which gave rise to the
purchase of the navy yards were as follows: Mr. MITCHILL, from the committee appointed
In the year 1799, Congress anthorized by law on so much of the President's Message as re
| the building of six 74-gun ships, and one million lates to naval sites, &c., made a further report. of dollars was then appropriated for that obThe report concludes as follows:
ject, and for building six sloops-of-war. The " The committee find that, prior to the fourth of Secretary of the Treasury found that the comMarch, 1801, the sum of one hundred and ninety-mittee ought to have understood that ships nine thousand and thirty dollars, and ninety-two
could not be built either in the air or upon the cents, has been expended in purchasing navy yards
water, and as he was directed to build the and making improvements upon them, without any
ships, that he must, of course, procure land to law authorizing the purchase, or any appropriation
place them upon, and that the land must be of money, either for purchase or improvements."
either purchased or hired. He found that there
was not a navy yard within the United States WEDNESDAY, April 28.
calculated for building ships-of-the-line, and Sedition Act.
that the expense of preparing yards upon pri
vate property would be lost the moment the PETITION OF THOMAS COOPER,
ship was launched, and of course that this A petition of Thomas Cooper, of the county would be bad economy. Experience had like of Northumberland, in the State of Pennsyl-wise taught him, that the better mode would vania, was presented to the House and read, be to purchase the ground, as it would then setting forth that, in the month of April, eigh | remain at the control of the Government, so teen hundred, he was tried and condemned at long as it was wanted, and the improvements Philadelphia, before Samuel Chase and Richard would be saved. This course was accordingly Peters, judges of the circuit court of the United pursued, and I believe that few gentlemen, erStates there sitting, for having written and cept the committee, will conclude that it was published a libel upon the political character not the wisest and best. But whether it was and conduct of John Adams, the then President the best course or not, it was certainly author. of the United States; and was thereupon ad-ized by law, because it can never be seriously judged to pay a fine of four hundred dollars, doubted, whether a law which directs a thing and to suffer an imprisonment of six months; to be done, does authorize the agents to be emwhich punishment he accordingly underwent; ployed to do every thing which becomes ne
t he apprehends the said trial, condemna- cessary for accomplishing the object. The laws tion, and punishment, were unjust: first, be- which have authorized the building of ships cause the law, commonly called the Sedition have certainly empowered the public agents to law, under which he was indicted, was passed purchase timber, copper, cordage, and every in direct opposition to the letter and the spirit other necessary material, and yet no law for of the Constitution of the United States; and those objects has ever named any one of those
[H. OF Ro articles. On the same principle, the law which cretion of the officers intrusted with those con directed the building of these particular ships, cerns. The minority of the committee, therenecessarily anthorized the public agent to pro fore, urged to include this transaction in the sure the ground to place them upon, although report, together with the letter of the Secretary Et was not said, whether the ships should be of the Navy, but the request was rejected by built upon the water or upon the land.
the majority. We believed that the cases were But there has been one omission in this part precisely similar in principle, and that it was of the report, which, on every principle of fair- not conducting with impartiality to include the ness ought to be connected with it, and for one without the other; and we have thought which purpose the report ought to be recom- that when it was discovered that the present mitted: the omission of the letter of Mr. Stod- Administration was conducting on principles dert, late Secretary of the Navy, explanatory precisely similar to those of their predecessors, of the purchase made by him of the navy yards, it would greatly tend to satisfy all parties that addressed to the committee, in answer to an ap- the conduct of the Government had been corplication made by them upon this subject. rect. I feel no hesitation in declaring that, in This letter contains, in my opinion, a complete my judgment, the present Administration were justification of that transaction, and was so authorized to erect the navy stores, although I viewed by the minority of the committee, who believe that the power may be better questionurged that it might, at least, be included in the ed than it could be in the other cases. These report; but, to our astonishment, the minority navy stores, I presume, are useful both for rerefused this justice to the man whom their receiving the necessary materials for ship buildport had implicated. This opinion of the ing, and securing the stores of the public ships majority, in respect to the propriety of includ- laid up in ordinary; and although not expressing Mr. Stoddert's letter, I must believe, will ly authorized by the words of the law, may remain a solitary one, for I can scarcely imagine very well be considered as a proper appendage it possible that any other gentleman in this to a Davy yard, or as buildings rendered necesHouse would have refused, when they present- sary in the finishing of the 74's; and as to the ed a charge against this gentlernan with one extent of the buildings, I am content to leave hand, to offer with the other his vindication, that point to the Department to which it has written at their own request. If, however, the been confided. The propriety, however, of inmotion to recommit should prevail, I will then cluding this statement in the report (I trust) move an instruction to the committee, which will be apparent to the House, and it will not will produce Mr. Stoddert's letter.
| in this place be thought correct to confine our What renders the report of the committee criticisms exclusively to the past Administrastill more extraordinary, both in respect to tion. I therefore urge this as a further reason erecting the buildings, and also the purchase of for recommitting the report. navy yards, is, that another subject, resembling Mr. NICHOLSON had very little inclination, at these in principle, was before the committee, this time, to enter into an explanation of this and on which they refused to report. This was subject, which had been so misunderstood by the erecting of the extensive navy stores in the gentleman just up, on account of indispothis place by the present Administration. sition, nor was he very anxiously opposed to
The present Secretary of the Navy was re- the recommitment, but he could perceive not a quested to inform the committee when those shadow of reason why the report should be restores were erected, and from what fund the committed. money had been taken. His answer satisfied The gentleman had grounded his motion upthe committee that the stores had been erected on the opinion, that all the necessary facts had by the present Administration, and that the not been stated. It was, to be sure, a very late money, if I recollect correctly, had been taken period of the session, and the discussion would from an appropriation for the 74's, navy yards, therefore consume much precious time; but and docks. The minority of the committee be- notwithstanding that, if it should appear that lieved, what I trust will be generally believed any material facts had been suppressed, there by those who examine the question, that this would be good ground for recommitting the was (to say no more of it) at least as doubtful report. He should therefore think it necessary an expenditure as that for the purchase of navy to test the grounds advanced, to prove the yards, or for erecting the buildings on the necessity of the recommitment. Schuylkill. If an anthority to build 74's, to As to the navy yards, the committee having complete navy yards and docks, gave an been appointed “ to report whether moneys authority to erect stores for the accommodation drawn from the Treasury have been faithfully of the navy, it was thought that an authority applied to the objects for which they were to build ships, necessarily included a power to appropriated, and whether the same have been procure the land to place them upon; and that regularly accounted for;" and knowing that an authority to purchase military stores and to six navy yards had been purchased, very natumanage the affairs of the army necessarily in- rally inquired under what authority these purclnded a power to furnish, at the public ex- chases had been made, and how they were paid pense, buildings to cover the stores, and for for. They referred to the law authorizing the other necessary military purposes, at the dis- building of six seventy-fours and six sloops-of
VOL. II. 42
H. Or R.]
[Mar, 1822 war. The committee submitted an inquiry to tained to build docks for them. No Reason the former Secretary of the Navy, (Mr. Stod- different from those taken in the building dert,) directing him to inform the committee the frigates, except by legal authority, o as to the purchase. Mr. Stoddert answered to have been taken with the seventy-fours that a law had passed, appropriating one mil. The case of the navy yard at this place is lion of dollars for building the seventy-fours brought before the committee. It was and sloops-of-war, and that fifty thousand dol- request of the minority that the case sboal 4 lars were also appropriated for two dock-yards; inquired into. The committee sent to requs and also that two hundred thousand dollars the Secretary of the Navy to say by what were appropriated for the purchase of timber, or thority the storehouse had been erected bent land clothed therewith; and that he thought or from what fund it was paid. The are himself authorized to purchase six navy yards, was, that the storehouse had been erected out di wherein to build the seventy-fours. To these a fund granted in February, eighteen hundral several laws the committee referred for the au- and one, for completing the seventy-fours, the thority under which the Secretary acted, but navy yards, and the docks. The ships had bea they could find no such authority; they could ordered to be laid up in ordinary at this please find no other, than authority to purchase two and the navy yard purchased. When the dock-yards, wherein to repair the ships. Now, sent Secretary of the Navy came into ofiice, by although not stated in the report, there is very found, that as a navy yard was to be completed good reason to believe that the fifty thousand here, and as sails, rigging, and other LATE dollars never was laid out upon the two dock-stores, must be kept here; and finding the yards, but that this sum was cast into the surplus one storehouse was already built, and another fund. Whether Mr. Stoddert's opinion was begun, here, it would be most prudent to be correct or not, that it would be more economi- plete that storehouse, as a necessary appendare cal to build the seventy-fours in public yards, to a navy yard where shipping would be than in private yards at rent, they were not ap- for repairs. To this none of the gentlea pointed to inquire; it was their business to say objected, but rather approved; and this is whether he was authorized to act so, let his surely a purpose to which the money va private opinion be what it might. The com appropriated. Whether the other applicatio mittee were clearly of opinion, that he was are or not, is for the House to decide. The not authorized to take money appropriated committee have stated the facts. for one purpose and make use of it for an The gentleman says the accountant of the other.
War Department was satisfied with the s As to the reason, why the gentleman wishes counts of General Wilkins. I did not unde the report recommitted ; to wit, to insert Mr. stand the fact so-vouchers were sent on, but Stoddert's answer with the report; it is true a they were not satisfactory. motion for the insertion was made. But the Mr. BAYARD-I shall beg the indulgence ou committee thought that letter was addressed to of a few words, upon one or two heads, respect them, and not to the House; that it was to ing which, the opinion I entertain is decided inform their minds, so as to enable them to opposed to that expressed by a majority of the make the report. They paid due attention to committee. I cannot well conceive of a plaine the reasoning of the letter, but it did not con- mistake, than what appears in the opinion, u vince them that Mr. S. acted authoritatively. nounced on the purchase of six navy yards made Mr. Stoddert's reasoning upon the subject by the late Secretary of the Navy. The coscould not form a part of the report; the com- mittee, I think, ought to be allowed an opper mittee were called upon to form an opinion, tunity of reviewing that opinion. Four of those and not to substitute that of any individual. six yards are considered as purchased withont They were to inquire whether moneys appro- authority, and the money paid for them mis priated were used to the purposes for which plied. they were appropriated. They thought it was By the act of the Legislature, of Februars, not, because it was appropriated to build ships, 1799, the Secretary of the Navy was directed to and to purchase land with timber on it, or tim- cause to be built six ships, each to carry not ber alone. The question then is, whether six less than seventy-four guns; and six sloops-of navy yards are six seventy-four gun ships, and war of eighteen guns. For this purpose, a milwhether six sloops-of-war are lands with tim- lion of dollars was appropriated; two hundred ber growing on it or not? If Mr. Stoddert's thousand were appropriated to the purchase of reasoning had been adopted by the committee, land, bearing timber suitable for the navy, and it would have become their reasoning, and fifty thousand dollars for the making of two except it should be theirs, it would have had docks. These laws, passed on successive dars, no business in the report. If a disposition of indicated the design of a permanent Mary Es vindication could have been admitted, Mr. tablishment. It was perfectly understood that Stoddert might have been permitted to have the ships of the line were nut directed to be appeared with counsel before the committee, built for the occasional defence of the country but facts alone were required, and facts the at that period, but were intended as the concommittee state. Ships had been built for the mencement of a lasting system of defence, which public before, but the idea never was enter-) was expected to increase with tho growth of