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H. OF R.]
Violation of the Right of Deposit at New Orleans. [DECEMBER, 1& FRIDAY, December 10.
FRIDAY, December 17. Two other members, to wit: William Eustis, Two other members, to wit: from Soci from Massachusetts, and JOHN A. Hanna, from Carolina, BENJAMIN HUGER, and Johs PT Pennsylvania, appeared, and took their seats in LEDGE, appeared, and took their seats in the the House.
Violation of the Right of Deposit at se SATURDAY, December 11.
Orleans. Another member, to wit, ARCHIBALD HEN | Mr. RANDOLPH observed that there had been DERSON, from North Carolina, appeared, and a recent occurrence, in which every member took his seat in the House.
the House was interested, though every pen.
ber might not, perhaps, possess competent Monday, December 13.
formation respecting it. He said it woald be Several other members, to wit: from Massa- useless in him to impress the magnitude os chusetts, RICHARD CUTTS; from New York,
subject that related to the free navigation Thomas MORRIS; from Virginia, ABRAM Trigg;
the Mississippi, which materially affected a dis and from South Carolina, Thomas LOWNDES; trict of country growing every day in wealth appeared, and took their seats in the House.
and importance, and which it behoored the whole United States to cherish and protect
He moved, therefore, the following resolution: TUESDAY, December 14. Several other members, to wit: from Massa
“ Resolred, That the President of the United States
å be requested to cause to be laid before this Hoes chusetts, EBENEZER MATTOON; from New York, no
TOON; trom New York, such papers as are in the possession of the Demet THE
ODORUS BAILEY ; from Virginia, JOHN RAN- ment of State, as relate to the violation on the part DOLPH, jr., and John TALIAFERRO, jr.; and from of Spain, of the Treaty of Friendship, Limits, su South Carolina, WILLIAM BUTLER ; appeared, Navigation, between the United States of Amers and took their seats in the House.
| and the King of Spain."
WEDNESDAY, December 15.
Monday, December 20. Another member, to wit, Edwin GRAY, from Several other members, to wit: from Vermes, Virginia, appeared, and took his seat in the ISRAEL SMITH; and from Virginia, RICHARD House.
BRENT, and MATTHEW CLAY; appeared, and A message from the Senate informed the took their seats in the House. House that the Senate have agreed to the resolution of this House for the appointment of
TUESDAY, December 21. Chaplains to Congress for the present session ; Another member, to wit, JOHN CAMPBELL and have appointed the Rev. Dr. GANTT, on from Maryland, appeared, and took his seat in their part,
the House. The House proceeded, by ballot, to the appointment of a Chaplain to Congress, on the
WEDNESDAY, December 22. part of this House; and, upon examining the
Another member, to wit, JOAN ARCHEB, from ballots, a majority of the votes of the whole House was found in favor of the Reverend WIL
Maryland, appeared, and took his seat. LIAM PARKINSON.
Violation of the Right of Deposit at Nes A Message was received from the PRESIDENT
Orleans. OF THE UNITED STATES, by Mr. LEWIS, his Sec
A Message was received from the PRESIDENT retary, as follows:
OF THE UNITED STATES, as follows: Mr. SPEAKER: I am directed by the President of
| Gentlemen of the House of Representatives : the United States to hand you a communication, in
I now transmit a report from the Secretary of writing, from the President to the two Houses of
State, with the information requested in your resoluCongress.
tions of the seventeenth instant. And he delivered in the same, together with In making this communication, I deem it proper to the accompanying documents. The said com-observe, that I was led by the regard dne to the munication was read. [For which, see proceed- | rights and interests of the United States, and to the ings in the Senate of this date.]
just sensibility of the portion of our fellow-citizens Ordered, That the said communication, with
more immediately affected by the irregular proceedthe accompanying documents, be referred to
ing at New Orleans, to lose not a moment in causing the Committee of the whole House on the state
every step to be taken which the occasion claimed of the Union.
from me; being equally aware of the obligation to maintain, in all cases, the rights of the nation, and
to employ, for that purpose, those just and honorable THURSDAY, December 16.
means which belong to the character of the United Two other members, to wit: LUCAS ELMEN States.
TH, JEFFERSON. DORPH, from New York, and DANIEL HEISTER, Dec. 22, 1802. from Maryland, appeared, and took their seats The Message, and the papers referred to there. in the House.
| in, were read, and ordered to lie on the table.
[H. OF R. The Mint.
cussion at this time, as new and additional inMr. RANDOLPH rose, in order to renew a formation may be received from the report ot motion which he had made yesterday, and on the Director. It had been said there was no which-being called to the door when some ob
business before the House ; but there was busijections were urged against it-he was surpris
Pred amninst it he was surpris- ness; there was a bill upon their table, why not ed to find himself in a small minority. Under- | take that up and act upon it ? standing that the refusal to resolve itself into al Mr. RANDOLPH called for the reading of a Committee of the Whole on his motion for abola document that would throw clear and full light ishing the Mint, was the effect of a desire on upon the subject; not light of that fleeting the part of the House to receive the report of kind that may be derived from an annual the Director of that institution, for the past report. From this document sufficient inforyear, he would endeavor to show that the mation could be had to convince any member House were already in possession of competent that we might act as well now as at any other information, and that it could not be affected by time. any communication which the head of that de | [The Clerk read a report from the Director of partment might make. If this were a subject the Mint, received during the last session, statnovel to the House, and of an undigested nature, Jing the real and personal property attached to he should readily acknowledge his motion to the Mint; that the machinery might last for have been premature; nor would it, under those one year; that the horses may last a year ; that circumstances, have been submitted to the to conduct the operations of the Mint to advanHouse. But, on examination, it would appear | tage, steam should be used instead of horses ; that the subject had been matured during the that the lot on which the Mint is erected was last session; that information of the most satis- too small; and that a less annual sum than factory nature had been received from the Di- seventeen or eighteen thousand dollars would rector; and a bill actually passed the House. not provide for the establishment.) That information, if it were not in the recollec- ! Mr. RANDOLPH said he would state a fact, tion of every member of the House, was acces- which was, that notwithstanding all the issues sible to all of them. It stated explicitly that from the Mint, no member sees a coin. For the machinery would not last, without repair, himself he had not seen a piece of gold coined longer than another year—this, he presumed, ) in the Mint for two years. had not renewed itself; that the horses were so ! Mr. LOWNDES said the remark of the gentleold that it would be necessary, at the end of man from Virginia (Mr. RANDOLPH) was not the year, to replace them by others—these had correct, as he had seen many pieces of Amerinot, he supposed, grown younger; that the lot can coin. But he could assign a satisfactory was too circumscribed, and this, he imagined, reason for the appearance of so little gold in had not enlarged its limits; that the expense of ordinary circulation. It was the practice of the the institution could not, by any new arrange-| banks to count over once a month the specie in ments, be reduced below twenty thousand dol- their vaults. This trouble was considerably lars. The Director had not only recommended | lessened by depositing gold instead of silver. a change of the site, but of the modus operandi | He had been credibly assured that there was of the machinery of the Mint, by supplying the now in the vaults of the banks of the United labor of horses by steam. Úpon this informa- States gold, in eagles and half eagles, to the tion the House had acted last session. No gener
amount of two millions of dollars.* al election having intervened, he must presume Mr. DENNIS said that, if, on full inquiry, the that no change of sentiment had taken place. establishment appeared to be a drain on the TreaHe, therefore, thought he had a right to consi- sury, he should be for abolishing it; but he der this subject as perfectly matured, and there should not, on immature information, be for being no other business before the House, hoped abolishing an institution, coeval with the Gov. it would be taken up : although he was not sur-ernment, and founded on good reasons. The reaprised at the reluctance of those gentlemen who sons adduced by the gentleman from Virginia cherished the institution as one of the insignia Mr. RANDOLPA) were insufficient. So far as relaof sovereignty, to act upon it. This aspect of ted to the horses, he believed there were only the subject could not, however, be changed by four employed, and the purchase of four fresh any report of the detailed operations of the ones would be a very unimportant consideration, Mint. He, therefore, moved that the House, / Another argument was drawn from the smallagreeably to the order of the day, resolve itself ness of the lot on which the Mint stands. into a Committee of the Whole on the resolu- | Though it might be better conducted on a more tion to repeal so much of the laws on the sub-extensive lot, yet he was not satisfied, notwithject of the Mint as relate to the establishing of standing present disadvantages, that it might a Mint.
not be profitably conducted, at least so far as Mr. SOUTHARD was in favor of the postpone- regarded a copper coinage. For these reasons ment. There were now present a number of he thought it proper to wait a few days, in orgentlemen not members at the period of dis- der to receive information that would enable cussion during the last session. They have no The true reason for the non-circulation of gold was the documents, and cannot be correctly informed. erroneous valuation of that coin, which was not corrocted He saw no advantago in entering upon the dis- I until thirty years afterwards.
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(DECEMBER, 18te. them to understand the points on which their ! But on Mr. MITOHILL repeating his desire for decision may ultimately turn.
some delay, Mr. Davis agreed to let the resoltThe question was then taken on Mr. GREGG'S tion lie till to-morrow, motion to postpone the subject till the second Monday in January, and carried--ayes 47, noes
TUESDAY, December 28. 28.
Two other members, to wit: from Virginia, THURSDAY, December 23.
JOAN STRATTON; and from North Carolins,
WILLIAM BARRY GROVE, appeared, and took Another member, to wit, LEWIS R. MORRIS,
IS, their seats in the House. from Vermont, appeared, and took his seat in the House.
Letter of James McHenry.
The SPEAKER laid before the House a letter Friday, December 24.
addressed to him from James McHenry, late Another member, to wit, WILLIAM H. HILL, Secretary for the War Department, containing from North Carolina, appeared, and took his a variety of observations on the subject-matter seat in the House.
of a report presented to the House, on the
twenty-ninth day of April last, fre the comMONDAY, December 27.
mittee appointed to inquire and report, whether Case of J. P. Van Ness.
moneys drawn from the Treasury have been Mr. Davis observed that he was of opinion
faithfully applied to the objects for which they that a member of the House retained his seat were appropriated, a
were appropriated, and whether the same bave contrary to the spirit and sense of the constitu
been regularly accounted for; and to report, tion. It therefore became his duty to offer a
likewise, whether any further arrangements resolution for instituting an inquiry into the
are necessary to promote economy, enforce adsubject, in doing which he disclaimed all per
herence to Legislative restrictions, and secure sonal view. He then made the following mo
the accountability of persons intrusted with
the public money, together with an appendis, tion:
comprising sundry explanatory stateinents in Resolved, That the Committee of Elections be, and
defence of the official conduct of the said James they are hereby, instructed to inquire whether John P. Van Ness, one of the members of this House from
McHenry, whilst acting in the capacity aforethe State of New York, returned by said State to
said: the House proceeded in the reading of serve as one of its members in the seventh Congress
the said letter, and having made some progress of the United States, has not, since his election as a | therein, member of this House, and since he occupied a seat Mr. ALSTON said that the paper which the as a member, accepted of, and exercised the office of Clerk was reading appeared to him to be a very a major of militia, under the authority of the United voluminous one, and that he did not think the States, within the Territory of Columbia, and thereby House were bound to listen to the reading of it. forfeited his right to a seat as a member of this He conceived them only bound to attend to House.
such documents as might be received from pabMr. MITCHILL considered the point as inter- lic officers, or to petitions for a redress of grieresting in two relations; that which involved the ances. He did not believe the paper now decision of a principle, and that which went to before the House to be one of that description, deprive the State, (New York,) one of whose re- or that the House ought to take any notice of presentatives he was, of a member. For these rea- it. If the House were bound to take notice of sons he hoped the business would not be imme- every letter any individual might think proper diately pressed. He acknowledged this was to write and address to the Speaker, very little not the first intimation he had received of the time might be left to do any other business contemplation of such a motion; but he had He concluded by saying he thought they ought entertained a hope that the gentleman with to take no more notice of it than they should whom it originated, had, on reflection, consi- of any paragraph in a newspaper which might dered it not inconsistent with his duty to aban- be enclosed to the Speaker. He therefore don it.
moved that the paper should not be read. Mr. Davis replied, that he felt no disposition Mr. STANLEY observed that he did not perto press a decision. He had communicated, ceive the difference stated by his colleague; the first day he took his seat, his ideas on the nor did he know how the gentleman could ansubject to certain members, the friends of the ticipate the contents of a communication before gentleman implicated by the resolution, in hopes read. We shall be enabled to judge better of it that he would resign. He now entertained no when we hear it. By what inspiration could wish to push the business. He supposed, how the gentleman form a judgment now? The ever, that the resolution would, of course, go to communication appeared to him of the utmost the Committee of Elections. He repeated that importance. He hoped, therefore, it would be he was governed by no personal prejudice, but read. entirely by a sense of duty. He concluded Mr. MORRIS could not omit making a remark with saying he was in favor of the question of or two. From the communication, so far as reference being immediately taken.
| read, it appeared that it was charged that the
[H. OF R. ebaracter of a former public officer had been complaint, but a high charge against a comaspersed. The House ought, therefore, not only mittee of the House, stating that the major to read the communication, but also to inquire part assumed to act exclusively upon the busiinto the complaint. There was not an indecentness assigned to the whole committee, without expression in it. The writer complains that his consulting the other members. This was a character has been attacked; he thinks unjust- high charge. Whether proper, or regularly ly attacked. It will be the height of injustice made, he did not know. It was rather his to refuse him an opportunity of being heard. opinion that the House ought to proceed in
The SPEAKER said that it was a rule of the reading the papers, and afterwards to pass proHouse that when the reading of a paper is called per order on them. for, it shall be read, unless dispensed with by The SPEAKER declared the rule for reading general consent.
imperative, and Mr. ALSTON withdrew his moMr. RANDOLPI said he wished only to observe, tion; on which the Clerk proceeded in the that there was but one principle (and that had reading, which was continued for more than been stated by the Speaker) on which these an hour. papers ought to be read. Any member had a right to call for the reading of papers.' To
WEDNESDAY, December 29. him, however, it appeared that there was no
Case of John P. Van Ness. occasion for inspiration to perceive that the
Mr. Davis called up his resolution instructing papers, so far as read, were in a high degree
the C:mmittee of Elections to inquire whether indecent, unworthy of any man who had held,
Mr. Van Ness had not forfeited his seat, by acor ought to hold, an office under Government,
cepting the appointment of Major in the Militia and derogatory from the dignity of the House.
of the Territory of Columbia. Members were cited by name; insults were
Mr. Van Ness said that, so far as the decision offered to individual members; a committee
of the House might affect him personally, he was divided into different sects; on one class illiberal calumnies were thrown, while the
felt little concern; but, so far as it affected him other class was shielded from reflection. Was
as a representative of an important State, he this decent or indecent ? He congratulated
was not so indifferent. He had no objection
whatever to the proposed inquiry being made. himself that he differed as widely on this sub
As it involved the decision of an important ject as he did on others from gentlemen.
principle, it deserved great attention. He had Mr. MORRIS said, however widely he might
no doubt of the inquiry being made with that differ on this as well as other subjects from the
candor and fairness which, in most cases, chargentleman from Virginia, he believed his own
acterized the proceedings of the House. He ideas of what was decent or indecent as cor
was far from imputing any impure motives to rect as those of that gentleman. The letter
the mover or seconder of the resolution. It states that a report had been made during the
would be as derogatory to him to impute, as in last session implicating the character of the
them to entertain, any views dishonorable or writer. It further states that certain gentlemen on the committee did not concur in the re
base. He had risen barely to state his wish port. This the writer knew from the debates
that an inquiry might be made. upon the report. He therefore thought it his
Mr. ELMENDORPI proposed a verbal amendduty, in vindicating himself, to exonerate those
ment, which was not agreed to.
The resolution was then adopted without a members from censure. Was this indecent ? 7;
division. He conceived not.
Mr. M. said that when he had observed that there was not an indecent expression in the
WEDNESDAY, January 5, 1803. letter, he meant that there was no such expres
Cession of Louisiana to France. sion applied to the House collectively. He did Mr. Griswold called up his resolution respectnot mean to say there were no charges against ing Louisiana, laid on the table yesterday, as folindividual members. But if there were charges
lows : against individual members, that was no reason
Resolved, That the President of the United States be for the House refusing to hear it. That could
requested to direct the proper officer to lay before this only be done when charges were made against House copies of such official documents as have been the House in its collective character.
received by this Government, announcing the cession The SPEAKER read the rules of the House of Louisiana to France, together with a report exthat applied to the case before them.
plaining the stipulations, circumstances, and conMr. Alston said he only rose to notice the ditions, under which that province is to be delivered up: observation of his colleague, (Mr. STANLEY,) unless such documents and report will, in the opinion who supposed he saw the inside of the com of the President, divulge to the House particular munication before it was presented. This he transactions not proper at this time to be communicated. denied. He had grounded his motion exclu- The question was put on taking it into considsively on what he had heard read.
eration, and carried-yeas 35, nays 32. Mr. Bacon was at a loss to decide on the Mr. RANDOLPH observed that the discussion on propriety of reading or not reading these papers. this motion might embrace points nearly conUe perceived that they contained not only a nected with the subject referred to a committee
H. OF R.]
[JANUARY, 1813 of the Whole on the state of the Union, and vastly important, and to make an eloquent which had been discussed with closed doors. harangue upon it, and to infer that those wbo He therefore thought it would be expedient to did not immediately agree to the resolution commit this motion also to the Committee of the were averse to giving information, and to going Whole on the state of the Union, to whom had into a discussion of the merits of the main subbeen committed the Message of the President Iject. It would, however, not be expected that respecting New Orleans.
The should enter upon these on a preliminary reMr. Griswold hoped the motion would not solution. But he would assure the gentleman prevail. He did not see what argument could be who had submitted this resolution, that, so far urged in favor of it. The resolution related to a from indulging any disposition to be dilatory in public transaction stated on their journal. He his attention to this important subject, he came did not think that any thing which ought to be yesterday prepared to make a motion that the kept secret could be involved in the discussion House should go into a Committee of the whole of it. What is its purport? It only requests on the subject, which motion be should have the President to furnish documents respecting then made but for that offered by the gentleman “the cession of the Spanish province of Louis- from Connecticut. iana to France, which took place in the course Mr. RUTLEDGE said that, did he consider that of the late war," and which the President says the giving publicity to any information on this “ will, if carried into effect, make a change in subject would in the least interfere with the the aspect of our foreign relations, which will constitutional functions of the President, he doubtless have just weight in any deliberations would be the last man to support the resoloof the Legislature connected with this sub- tion of his friend from Connecticut. But be ject."
could not conceive that this could be its effect. Are not, said Mr. G., these papers important What were they about to ask? They were to the House? Does not the President refer to about to ask, in respectful terms, the President them as important to enlighten us? He speaks for information relative to what he states as a of the cession as a fact. He took it for granted fact; so much information as he may think it the President would not make the declaration expedient to give. Surely there would be no unless he had official information of its truth. impropriety in this. The cession of Louisiana Ought not the House to be possessed of all the had been stated in all the public prints of Euimportant information in the power of the Ex- rope and this country, and on the floor of the ecutive to give? It certainly ought. Every British Parliament. This cession had been made gentleman would agree that the House ought to a year ago, and, notwithstanding the elapse of have all the information. If the information is this time, we have received no official informaconfidential, it will be received with closed tion on this subject. Is it not natural for the doors. But the question, whether the House people to ask why Congress do not call for this shall obtain this information is a public question; information? Will they not say the President and there was not a man within those walls, or has done his duty in stating the fact? Upon in the United States, who would not say that this subject, so very important, are they to be the Legislature ought to possess every informa- kept in the dark? Mr. R. could not conceive tion on a subject so deeply interesting. Why, any turn of the debate on this resolution that then, refer this resolution calling for information could produce a discussion of the merits of the to a committee? Why postpone it? They had Message referred to the Committee of the Whole. but a short time to sit. More than half the If the President shall say the information he session was already elapsed. Is it not time to gives us ought not to be made public, he would gain information Mr. G. said, he would ven- answer for himself, and he believed he could ture to declare that no subject so important answer for his friends, that they would not seek could be brought before the Legislature this a public discussion. And if the information is session. Ought we not, therefore, on such a imparted without confidence, the House, if it see subject, to take immediate means to gain in- fit, can itself control a public discussion, Mr. formation? He hoped the House would not R. concluded with saying that, in the present agree to the reference, which could have no case, he was for deciding on the resolution with effect but to put the resolution asleep, and de- open doors. prive the Legislature of information they ought Mr. S. SMITi thought this point ought in a to possess.
great measure to be determined by the custom Mr. RANDOLPH said, as he had expressed his of the House in similar cases. He did not assert disinclination to discuss a proposition with open it as a fact, but, from recollection, he believed it doors which would trench on the decision of the was so, that when a call was made for papers House to discuss a subject to which it intimately in the case of the British Treaty, the question related with closed doors, it could scarcely be was referred to a Committee of the Whole, and expected that he should indulge the gentle- there fully discussed. According to his recolman in entering into arguments calculated to lection, one side of the House called for papers carry him from his purpose. But he denied that on the principle that, after negotiations were the adoption of his motion would be a refusal terminated, the House had a right to informato give information. He well knew that there tion before they made a grant of money under s was nothing easier than to declare the subjeot | treaty, but acknowledging that a call for such