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[H. OF R.
District of Columbia.
wished to say a few words on the constitutional | ever before understood that slavery, particularobjections which had been offered to them. ly of the last description, necessarily implied The gentleman from Delaware (Mr. BAYARD) tyranny, although it too frequently is productold us, on a very late occasion, that the power tive of it. But, so far from being slaves, the to create involved the power to destroy; and people within this territory are, it seems, our although I may not be willing to adopt this children, who are to experience every indulmaxim in all the latitude in which it was urged gence at our hands. Sir, the form of governby that gentleman, I have no hesitation in ment, such as has been described, however averring my belief that Congress possess the mild and beneficent it may be in its administraright, with the assent of these States, respec- tion, places those subjected to it in a state of tively, to cede the several portions of this terri- political slavery, and they are as completely tory to Maryland and Virginia. Nor, in my divested of self-control as the infant who is opinion, does this doctrine militate against that dandled on the knee of its parent. As to the construction of the constitution, which regards existence, then, of this species of slavery, it that instrument in the light of a limited grant mattered not whether the people within the of power. In this construction I heartily con- limits of this District were regarded as the cur with the gentleman from Delaware, or favorite son, and feasted on the fatted calf, rather, if he will permit me to say so, I am or were exposed to the cruel rigor of a stepglad to find he agrees with me, as I have re- mother. tained my opinion, whilst he seems to have An idea had been held out from a very rechanged his. I readily admit that Congress spectable quarter that this District might, in possesses no power but that which is devolved time, become a State. As to Congress, what on them by the constitution, explicitly, or difference will they find between being under which is evidently included in, or deducible the jurisdiction of the State of Columbia, or from its plain provisions. The constitution no the State of Maryland. But, if this objection where gives Congress the express power of re- were removed, it is impossible that this territory pealing laws; but the repeal of laws is essen- can become a State. The other States can tially connected with the power of passing | never be brought to consent that two Senators them, as, in this case, the right to recede is in- and, at least, three electors of President, shall volved in the right to accept the cession. The be chosen out of this small spot, and by a handparties to this compact are the United States, ful of men. of the one part, and the States of Maryland and The constitution seems to have intended, by Virginia, of the other. We speak the voice of its provision on this subject, to guard the Genethe United States, and, among others, of Mary- ral Government against the undue influence of land and Virginia, in their confederate capa- any particular States wherein it might sit. An city. The Legislatures of those States answer insurrection in Philadelphia is mentioned by for them in their individual capacity. If all some gentleman as having given rise to this these parties are agreed to revoke their act, I clause in the constitution. The constitution, no wish to know who is to dissent to it, or what doubt, had a wise end in view, but it has failed obstacle can prevent its being rescinded? in the means of attaining it. No man has a
Mr. R. said, that he was of the number of higher respect than myself for the talents of the those who voted against assuming the jurisdic- framers of that instrument. But let it be retion of this territory. He did it from a predi- membered, that they were making a great exlection for those principles in which the Ame- periment, and to have failed in but a single rican Revolution originated; from the firm object, is the highest proof of their wisdom. belief that men ought not to be bound by laws The physical force of this small District would in whose formation they had no influence. It prove but a poor defence against the aggression was the violation of that principle, and not the of large and powerful States. Happily, our extent to which it was carried, which laid the security is more amply provided for; it results foundation of our independence. For, let it be from the command which has been given us remembered that the demand of Great Britain over the sword and the purse of the Union. went only to a peppercorn; but that we dis. Our protection is not in a mathematical linedained the admission of so odious a doctrine, which would oppose but a feeble resistance to and commenced a determined and successf-il re- an invading foe. But let gentlemen ask themsistance. But it is denied that this territory is selves, why the inhabitants of this District in a state of slavery, because, says the gentle should be less formidable if disposed to insurman, it implies that we are tyrants. The term rection because under our own jurisdiction? slavery, sir, excites in the mind of man an Look at Paris ! was the insurrection of the odious idea. There are, however, various spe- fourteenth of July, which humbled into the cies of this wretched condition. Domestic dust the ancient monarchy of France, the effect slavery, of all others the most oppressive; and of a want of jurisdiction; of a want of power political slavery, which has been well defined in the Government over the lives and fortunes to be that state in which any community is of the people? Did the city afford the Governdivested of the power of self-government, and ment a defence ? No, it was in insurrection. regulated by laws to which its assent is not re- Did the military send its aid! On the conquired, and may not be given. Nor have Il trary, it joined the insurgents. What was the
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(FEBRUARY, 1803. faet at Philadelphia? That Congress was in- , equipped and ready for service, and under the sulted by its own troops. Would the civil immediate control of Congress, would the miljurisdiction of the town have repelled the tary force have been suffered to overawe then? bayonet? No, it was not in parchment to This very case furnished an argument for inafford this defence. It has left us an awful vesting Congress with the complete command lesson against standing armies; and if we shall of the militia force of the territory, to screen .ever be so infatuated as to multiply armies them from insult, and to protect them from the about us, we may rely in vain on the lines of application of force that might destroy deliber circumvallation which the limits of our exclu- ation. They had already taken a course calcssive jurisdiction form. The constitution, there- lated to prove the soundness of this mode of fore, has failed in its endeavor to give to Con-protection. Their laws had recognized the gress any other security than that which public militia of the territory; and some measures opinion and the command of the national re- had been taken to organize them. The militis sources afford.
was the physical force Congress must rely on. But, whilst I have no doubt on the subject of Suppose that militia were under the command our constitutional right, I am opposed to the of Maryland, and Congress was about to pass & resolution on the ground of expediency. It law obnoxious to bat State. Suppose the appears to have disseminated a great alarm militia of Maryland ti be mutinous, and to sr. among the people of our immediate neighbor-round these walls. Must you resort to Maryhood. At a proper time, when great una- land for protection, and wait on her measuresi nimity can be obtained, it may be carried into No; the situation of the territory and your effect. If now passed, it is irrevocable; and I immediate power over the militia must furnish have no indisposition to give the question the you with the means of protection. He there most mature deliberation, and to give it a fair fore thought it one of the best provisions of the operation on the public mind. I could wish, constitution, to submit the physical force near indeed, to see the people within this District the Government to its direction. restored to their rights. Men in such a situ- Mr. SOUTHARD rose only to make one obser ation are, as it had been wisely and eloquently vation, which had been touched on but lightly said, fit instruments to enslave their fellow- in the course of the debate. It appeared to men. This species of Government is an experi- him that when Congress assumed the exclusive ment how far freemen can be reconciled to live jurisdiction of the ten miles square, they had, without rights; an experiment dangerous to in the first instance, entered into a contract the liberties of these States. But, inasmuch as with the Legislatures of Virginia and Maryland. it has been already made, inasmuch as I was He had no doubt that, if the contract had ended not accessory to it, and as, at some future time, here, they might, with their consent, make a its deleterious effects may be arrested, I am retrocession. The second step, however, taken, disposed to vote against the resolutions. I was a contract between the agents of Governview them as a fatal present to this House, al- ment and the proprietors, in order to obtain though I respect the motives in which I believe the soil. This contract appeared to him to be them to have originated; as tending to disunite solemn and binding. In entering into the conthose who ought ever to act in concert; and I tract, the proprietors gave the General Gorerthave no hesitation on a question of expediency ment sites for the public buildings, and half the to declare my disposition to concede something residue of the land within the city plot. He to the wishes and fears of those around me. conceived that this was a contract founded on In their present shape, at least, I shall therefore express stipulations that Congress shonld exervote against the resolutions.
cise exclusive jurisdiction. The proprietors Mr. Eustis was opposed to the resolu..ons, had no idea, at the time they made the con for the reasons which had been stated, and for tract, that their property would be retroceded other reasons not mentioned, though they and the Government had since received more might have occurred to the minds of gentle than one million's worth of real property which men. He thought it right to express a differ- they now enjoyed. He would ask, whether ence of opinion with the gentleman from retrocession, under such circumstances, would Virginia, (Mr. RANDOLPI,) on an important not have a retrospective effect, and impair question, the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress those obligations which the United States were to the ten miles square. He was not prepared bound to observe? For this reason, he thought to pronounce the provision of the constitution la retrocession improper, as it would be a violaon this subject deficient or unwise. It rather tion of contract with the people of the terriappeared to him to be founded in the nature tory. It appeared to him that, while they of the Government. A Government on parch- were satisfied, the General Government ought ment, and without force, was no Government to be satisfied. at all. It had been stated this provision grew Mr. VARNUM doubted the reality of the obout of a transaction at Philadelphia, and asked servation of the gentleman from New Jersey. what dependence was to be placed on a mili- He suspected there was no such contract in ertary force when that force was itself the ag- istence. It was not the interest of the Gorgressor? But that transaction suggested a ernment of the United States to do any thing different result. Had the militia been well that would injure this District. He therefore
(H. OF R. supposed that every gentleman who voted on ent to retrocede all the territory, excepting the this occasion, would act for the interest of his City of Washington. This disposition of the country. If he thought it possible for Congress territory would leave entirely untouched the to legislate for the territory, he should have no question which arose from the interest of indiobjection to retaining the jurisdiction. But, viduals who had made purchases of property when he considered that Congress were ap- under the faith of Congress retaining the jurispointed to legislate on great objects, and not on diction. It was probable that, in such event, a minute local concerns, he did not think them corporation might be established in the city that competent to legislate for the persons situated would answer the ends of Government, without in the Territory of Columbia. He did not know two-thirds of the time of the National Legislawhether, if the jurisdiction was retained, it ture being consumed. would not be proper to indulge the citizens with The question was then taken by yeas and nays, a territorial legislature. But to this the people on concurring with the Committee of the Whole, themselves object. Virginia objects to a union in their disagreement to the first resolution, and with Maryland. There were, manifestly, hostile carried-yeas 66, nays 26, as follows: interests which could not easily be united. And YEAs.—Theodorus Bailey, James A. Bayard, if there shall be a territorial legislature, still Thomas Boude, Richard Brent, Robert Brown, John Congress has a right over their acts. Whether Campbell, John Clopton, John Condit, Manasseh Cutthis was the fit time to retrocede the territory ler, Samuel W. Dana, John Davenport, Thomas T. he did not know; but he believed the time Davis, William Dickson, Peter Early, William Eustis, would come when the citizens of the territory Abiel Foster, Calvin Goddard, Edwin Gray, Andrew will be in favor of it.
Gregg, Roger Griswold, William Barry Grove, John Mr. SMILIE stated the circumstances of the
A. Hanna, Daniel Heister, William Helms, Joseph case at Philadelphia, which had been so often
Hemphill, Archibald Henderson, William H. Hill, alluded to by gentlemen. At the close of the
David Holmes, Benjamin Huger, Samuel Hunt,
George Jackson, William Jones, Ebenezer Mattoon, late war there had been a mutiny among the
David Meriwether, Samuel L. Mitchill, Thomas troops, who had surrounded Congress. Not a
Moore, Lewis R. Morris, Thomas Morris, Anthony drop of blood had, however, been spilt. This
New, Thomas Newton, jun., Joseph H. Nicholson, was the mighty incident of which so liberal a Elias Perkins, Thomas Plater, Nathan Read, John use had been made. He would ask whether, in Rutledge, William Shepard, Israel Smith, John Cotcountries over which the Government had ton Smith, John Smith, (of Virginia,) Samuel Smith, complete jurisdiction, worse things had not Henry Southard, John Stanley, John Stewart, John happened? He would ask, whether this menace Taliaferro, jr., Samuel Tenney, Samuel Thatcher, of Congress were to be compared with the mob Thomas Tillinghast, Philip R. Thompson, Abram of Lord George Gordon in a country over which Trigg, John Trigg, George B. Upham, Killian K. Van the Government had an entire jurisdiction.
Rensselaer, Peleg Wadsworth, Lemuel Williams, The question was then taken on the first re.
en on the first re. Richard Winn, and Thomas Wynns.
NAYS.-Willis Alston, John Archer, John Bacon, solution, for receding to Virginia the territory
Phanuel Bishop, William Butler, Samuel J. Cabell, originally attached to that State, and lost
Thomas Claiborne, Matthew Clay, Richard Cutts, ayes 22.
John Dawson, Lucas Elmendorph, Ebenezer Elmer, When the question was taken on the second
John Fowler, William Hoge, James Holland, Michael resolution, and lost, without a division.
Leib, James Mott, John Randolph, jr., John Smilie, The committee rose, and reported their disa- John Smith, (of New York,) Josiah Smith, Richard greement to the resolutions.
Stanford, David Thomas, Joseph B. Varnum, Isaac The House immediately took up their report. Van Horne, and Robert Williams. Mr. Nicholson called for the yeas and nays.
The second and last resolution to which the Mr. RANDOLPH said, as he believed the House | Conimittee of the Whole reported their disagreeincompetent to legislate for the people of Colum
ment, being twice read, in the words following, bia; as he believed the interests of the several
to wit: parts of the torritory were as hostile as any in the Union, as it was manifest there was an
Resolved, That it is expedient for Congress to reAlexandria, a Georgetown, and a city interest; |
| cede to the State of Maryland the jurisdiction of that and even, within the city, a Capitol-hill interest, I the United States by the said State of Maryland, by
Si part of the Territory of Columbia, which was ceded to and a President's-house interest - which were an act passed the nineteenth day of December, in the . irrreconcilable; he should vote for the amend-year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-one, ment of his colleague, (Mr. DAWSON.) To at- entitled “ An act concerning the Territory of Columtempt to legislate for the District was, in effect, bia and the City of Washington ;” provided the said to constitute the chairman of the committee, I State of Maryland shall consent and agree thereto : or, at any rate, the committee itself on the af- The question was taken that the House do fairs of the territory, the Solon or Lycurgus of concur with the Committee of the Whole in their the place. It was well known that the indo- disagreement to the same, and resolved in the lence of the other members, or the indifference, affirmative.* inseparable from the situation in which they were placed, would prevent Congress from legislating with a full understanding of the objects Above forty years afterwards, to wit, in 1846, the Vir. before them. He, therefore, thought it expedi- ginia part of the District was retroceded to that State.
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(FEBRCLET, 10 THURSDAY, February 10.
State into the Union, on an equal footing da
original States, and for other purposes," pagb Ohio School Fund.
thirtieth day of April, one thousand eight be The House resolved itself into a Committee and two. of the Whole on the report of the committee Ordered, That a bill or bills be brought of the second instant, to whom were referred, pursuant to the said resolutions; and that : on the twenty-third of December last, a letter RANDOLPH, Mr. ELMENDORPH, Mr. GODBLE, from Edward Tiffin, President of the Conven- Mr. HENDERSON, and Mr. ARCHER, do preras tion of Ohio, and a letter from Thomas Wor- and bring in the same. thington, special agent of the said State, enclosing a copy of the constitution thereof, together
THURSDAY, February 17. with sundry propositions in addition to, and in modification of, those contained in an act passed in
Emancipated Slaves from French West Inaa at the last session of Congress; and after some An engrossed bill to prevent the importatio time spent therein, the committee rose and re- of certain persons into certain States, where ported to the House their agreement to the the laws thereof, their admission is prohibited. resolutions contained therein, with two amend was read the third time. ments, which being severally read, the first! And, on the question that the same do amendment was, on the question put thereupon. I it was resolved in the affirmative-yeas 48, 1492 agreed to, and the other disagreed to by the 15, as follows: House.
YEAS.-Willis Alston, John Bacon, Theolar The said resolutions, as amended, were again Bailey, James A. Bayard, Phanuel Bishop, Theca severally read at the Clerk's table, and agreed Bonde, William Butler, Samuel J. Cabell, Jules to by the House, as follows:
Campbell, Matthew Clay, John Clopton, John Doe
lson Peter Early. Lucas Elmendoroh. Ebeneser E1. Resolved, That a donation, equal to one thirtysixth part of the amount of the lands in the United
Gmer, Calvin Goddard, Edwin Gray, Daniel Heise. States Military Tract, within the State of Ohio, be
| Joseph Heister, William Helms, Archibald Header made for the support of schools within that tract.
son, William H. Hill, William Hoge, James Hollas! 2. Resolved, That a donation equal to one thirty
George Jackson, Michael Leib, David Meriwether. sixth part of the county of Trumbull, be made, out
I Anthony New, Thomas Newton, jr., Joseph H. Nicki of the lands within the United States' Military Tract,
son, Thomas Plater, John Rutledge, William Shafor the support of schools within the said county of
ard, John Smilie, Samuel Smith, Richard Sta ferd. Trumbull.
John Stewart, John Taliaferro, jr., Samuel Teme, 3. Resolved, That a donation equal to one thirty
Philip R. Thompson, Abram Trigg, John Trigg sixth part of the Virginia reservation, so far as the
Philip Van Cortlandt, Joseph B. Varnum, Isuse la unlocated lands, within that reservation, (after the
Horne, Robert Williams, Henry Woods, and Thomas warrants issued by that State shall have been first
Wynns. satisfied,) will supply the same, be made for the sup
Nays.-Robert Brown, John Condit, Richard port of schools in the district contained between the
| Cutts, John Davenport, Abiel Foster, John A. HaeScioto and Little Miami Rivers.
na, Seth Hastings, Samuel L. Mitchill, James Mort 4. Resolved, That a like provision, for the use of
Israel Smith, Josiah Smith, Henry Southard, Joseph schools, be made, out of any lands which may here
Stanton, David Thomas, and Peleg Wadsworth after be acquired from the Indian tribes.
Resolved, That the title be, "An act to pre 5. Resolved, That the lands which now are, or vent the importation of certain persons into hereafter may be, appropriated to the use of schools certain States, where, by the laws thereof, then within the State of Ohio, be vested in the Legislature admission is prohibited; " and that the Clara thereof, in trust for that object.
of this House do carry the said bill to the Sen6. Resolved, That not less than three-fifths of the late and desire their
ths of the ate, and desire their concurrence. sum offered to be appropriated by Congress for the opening of roads, from the Western to the Atlantic waters, shall be appropriated under the direction of
TUESDAY, February 22. the State of Ohio, for the laying out of roads within
Military Land Wartunts. that State. 7. Resolved, That, in lieu of the township proposed
GENERAL LAFAYETTE. to be granted for the use of an academy, by the act The House took up the bill respecting mupassed the fifth day of May one thousand seven hun-tary land warrants. dred and ninety-two, there be granted to the State of Mr. Davis hoped it would not be adopted Ohio, for the purposes described in that act, one other without inquiring whether the land propose entire township, within the district of Cincinnati;l be given to General Lafayette was the provided that the State of Ohio shall relinquish to as was given to other Major Generas. the United States, all their claims, under the act Arna he had rendered services to the ou aforesaid, against the said John C. Symmes.
ved. That these propositions shall depend States, for which they had made him an alloFon the compliance, by the State of Ohio, with the ance. There were other claims, in his opinion provisions of the third proposition, and second sec of greater forec, made day after day, wimu tion of the aforesaid act, entitled " An act to enable | being attended to. If this provision were a the people of the eastern division of the territory nexed to the bill he should vote against its pasnorth-west of the river Ohio to form a constitution sage; though, otherwise, he would be glad to and State government, and for the admission of such | vote for it. If General Lafayette was entitled
as the sama
(H. OF R. to this land, he wished to see the business | if a case of difficulty should arise, whether I regularly conducted. We are now making pro- should do justice to my own; if I did, I am vision for persons who have legal claims. It is sure I should be suspected, and therefore I will right, therefore, to separate these subjects. Let not place myself in that delicate situation." us attend to one first, and afterwards consider And now, sir, what is it that it is proposed to the other.
do for this gentleman; for him who rendered Mr. Dawson.-When, on yesterday, I had the you services without emolument, and risked his honor to submit this amendment, I indulged the life without hesitation; to this citizen of the pleasing hope that it would have received not United States; and not a foreigner, as the only the vote of this House, but would bave gentleman from Kentucky has been pleased to met with the patronage of all-of all the call him? It is to give to him what we give to friends of justice, and of those who remember others; and what he never would have repast services; and that it would have been ceived had it not been for the reverse of his adopted without delay and without debate. fortunes. And shall we hesitate? I trust not.
In this I have been wofully disappointed. Sir, this is not only a question of justice, but My fond anticipation was immediately damped it is of feeling; every soldier, every officer must by a gentleman from New York, on whose feel for a fellow-soldier and a fellow-officer, and friendship I did count, and do now expect; and every citizen for a fellow-citizen; and such is the amendment, instead of finding sympathizing Mr. Lafayette. advocates, has met with an unexpected oppo. Whatever may be the fate of that amendsition; instead of finding friends proud to rement, if it shall be adopted I shall feel proud ward past services, it has met with enemies, for my country. If it shall be negatived, I seeking for reasons to withhold justice.
shall have the pleasing reflection of having disMr. Chairman, the search has been in vain; / charged a duty to my country and to my own the grateful, the patriot mind will remember feelings. those services, while the reflection on a wish to Mr. T. MORRIS said that the opposition he had withhold justice will be left as consolation to made was more to the manner than to the those who have made the search.
matter of the motion. He thought it improper Sir, it was my wish; and it is my determination to decide upon it at so late an hour, and when to support this amendment solely on the grounds there was scarcely a quorum of members withof services rendered to us. Whatever may in the walls. I have, said Mr. M., no objection have been the conduct and the situation of to the grant. On the contrary I think it ought General Lafayette since our Revolution, hu- to be made in consideration of the circumstances manity may lament; but, sir, it belongs to us of General Lafayette. I should indeed have to pay this tribute to justice, if not to gratitude. wished that it had been the subject of a distinct
Sir, on yesterday, I stated what was known bill. The value of gifts of this nature depends to every gentleman of this House, that this as much on the manner in which they are gentleman at an early period of life, animated made, as on the gifts themselves; and I think by the love of liberty, left the pleasures of an the donation would, in this case, have been enticing Court, encountered the danger of deemed more honorable, if a special bill had winds and waves, and entered into the service been passed, instead of inserting & clause in of a country known to him only by name, and another bill. If there were time to bring in a disendeared to him only by its devotion to that fiame tinct bill I should now vote against the amendwhich he felt himself. In this service he con- ment; but as I am unwilling to hazard the object tinned until the end of our war, submitting to all altogether, I shall vote for it: expressing my rethe hardships and fatigues of the field; leading gret, at the same time, that the gentleman who our armies to victory, and exposing himself to has viewed the distressed situation of General every danger; and this without any compensa- Lafayette had not sooner brought the business tion, and at the sacrifice of the greater part of forward. his private fortune.
A debate of short duration ensued, between I stated more that that fortune is now much Messrs. S. SMITH, SHEPARD, Dawson, and BAreduced ; and this is what I do know. Yes, con, in favor of the amendment, and Mr. Davis sir, I have spent two days with this adopted against it, when it was carried without a child of America on his little farm. I saw him division. surrounded by an amiable family, but not with On engrossing the bill for a third reading, wealth. I heard him pouring forth his best Messrs. SOUTHARD, and SHEPARD spoke in favor wishes for the prosperity and happiness of this of, and Mr. VARNUM against it-carried, and country, and I witnessed his constant exertions ordered to a third reading to-morrow. to promote its interests. It may not be improper here to remember what I do know. Some
SATURDAY, February 26. short time before I went to France, the First Consul applied to Mr. Lafayette to come to this
French Spoliations. country as Minister. He replied, “I am by birth Mr. BAYARD moved that the House do now a French citizen, by adoption a citizen of the resolve itself into a Committee of the whole United States. I have served in that country, House on a motion of the thirty-first ultimo, and am so attached to its interest that I doubt, 1 " for indemnifying the citizens of the United