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H. OF R.]
(FEBRUARY, 1797 allowances for deficiencies and accidents. The aside for the present, as gentlemen from the situation of this country at present required it, Eastward seemed wholly against it, and those and it would be safe, prudent, and discreet, to of the Middle States seemed to have grown do so. The Secretary of the Treasury had esti- | lukewarm upon the subject. The duty on mated the internal revenue at 337,255 dollars, stamps, which would have provided considerawhile those gentlemen made it 469,579. This ble revenue, was also laid aside. They had they stated from the revenue of last year, which agreed to lay low duties upon distilled domestic it was probable would be considerably more spirits; no increase conld therefore be expected than this. He thought there was as much from that quarter. They could, then, only reason for taking one as the other statement; resort to such articles of impost as would be and the Government would be exposed to likely, from their general demand and other hazard and danger, unless allowances were circumstances, to produce additional revenue. made for deficiencies.
As, therefore, no prospect appeared of getting The deficiency, according to his calculation, other revenue than by the article before them, was 1,012,969 dollars, and after deducting from he should be compelled to agree, though with that sum 200,000 for the additional duties in the reluctance, to the advance of the duty on sugar. bill before them, there would remain a balance With respect to their lands, they had authorof 812,969 dollars. Admitting the gentleman'
sized public stock to be received in payment; own statement to be true, there would still be and, though he thought this a very valuable a deficiency of 100,000 dollars, and this without regulation, both for facilitating the sale of the making any allowance whatever for accidents land, and for paying off the debt, the lands, on and occurrences which will always happen, this account, would not produce much cash into without making any provision for the purchase the Treasury. of the public debt, which might at this time Mr. S. SMITH said, very early in the present be purchased to great advantage. If there had session, he read, with some attention, the report been money in the Treasury for the purpose, of the Secretary of the Treasury on the subject of instead of paying the debt at par, it might have direct taxes. He cast his eye upon certain articles been bought up at 16 or 178, in the pound. And which he thought proper subjects upon which he was of opinion, from the present situation to raise further sums from indirect sources, of things, the public debt would remain low, among which were salt, sugar, tea, and the and that a surplus in the Treasury might be whole of the 10 per cent. class of goods; he well employed in purchasing it.
communicated his sentiments to other gentleSo much for the revenue and expenses of the men, and they had been brought forward. present year. With respect to 1798, there was He supposed the House would have gone into no necessity to go much into that subject. The a system of direct taxes. This he had always gentleman from Pennsylvania had estimated the considered as a difficult subject, and he never instalment of the Dutch debt, payable in this year,could, himself, form a plan adequate to effect at 160,000 dollars only; but he asked whether it; but he was desirous that the subject should it would be wise to pay only that sum? And have been taken up, that in case of extremity it whether it had not been in the contemplation of might be called into operation. He did not think that gentleman, as well as others, to pay as any immediate wants of the revenue required much as they could yearly? He knew they this tax to be put into execution, but he wished should not be obliged to pay more ; but he be- to take it into consideration, to see what could lieved it would be a wise policy to pay an equal / be done with it. He had still his doubts sum every year. That gentleman made another whether it could be carried into execution; if deduction of 280,000 dollars, which had been it could, it would doubtless form & valuable granted to the Dey and Regency of Algiers this source of revenue, which could not be injured. year; but might they not expect items which He had no doubt, however, of the present they did not contemplate, to this amount? | revenue being equal to our present wants. The Contingencies, he said, occurred, which always gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. W. SMITR) swelled the expenses greater than were contem- had taken his calculations from the report of plated. There was always something of an ex- the Secretary of the Treasury; but the Secretraordinary nature occurring to call for money; tary went into a permanent calculation for a either an Indian war, or insurrection, depreda- period of 18 years, in the course of which he tions of foreign powers, or attacks by the Al- I calculated the sinking of the whole debt. gerines. There was no guarding with certainty The trade of 1796, Mr. S. said, would give against them. The next deduction was 100,000 nearly a million of dollars; of course there conld dollars for the frigates. Whether this would be no apprehensions upon the minds of gentlebe saved or not, was uncertain. The next men that the receipts of 1797 would not be equal House might agree to go on with the fri- to the wants of Government. The tax upon gates,
sugar would produce 300,000 dollars. The Upon the whole, Mr. S. said, it would be pru- gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. GALLATIN) dent to provide a sufficiency of revenue, and was correct on this subject. there was no prospect of getting it froin any The gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. W. other than the objects contained in the bill be- SMITH) had said, it was not wise to calculate fore them. A land tax was agreed to be laid l upon the highest returns; but Mr. S. SMITH
[H. of E.. said it was right to calculate upon a preceding 1 Amount brought forward,
8649,350 year, and when they knew that there would Two instructors,
1,450 be received in this year from 700,000 dollars to Quartermaster's Department, .
150,000 one million, there could be no doubt of the year Defensive protection, .
. 1798 falling far short of that sum. For he was
15,000 not one of those who thought the revenue Contingencies of War Department, ·
20,000 arising from this year would be much inferior
. Military Pensions,
93,350 to that arising from the last.
190,000 The gentleman from South Carolina (Mr.
Balance due on Algerine business, . 376,505 HARPER) had supposed that the British spoliations had not affected our revenue, but that Internal expenses of 1797,
$2,255,255 those of the French would be severely felt. He saw no difference between them, and believed
The expenses of the Quartermaster's Departthey would be felt alike in proportion to their
ment would in future be considerably lessened; extent. (Mr. HARPER explained.] He believed
for, said Mr. S., heretofore great expense bad the United States would only consume a certain
been incurred by land carriage, which in future portion of the goods imported; the rest would
would be avoided, as the forage would all be be re-exported, and the drawback received up
conveyed by water. Indeed it had not been an on them; and, as he did not believe the con
| unusual thing for the horses employed in consumption of the United States had been lessen
veying forage from one post to another, to eat ed, it would follow that it had been the re-ex
the whole cf it in their journey to and from portation which had been diminished, and, of
their destination, and some horses had been course, that it would not be the duties which
known to die from want on the road. The would be decreased, but the drawbacks. This
conveyance being now by water, a great debeing the case, little was to be apprehended
struction of horses would be prevented, and he from a defalcation of the revenue this year.
| doubted not that one hundred thousand dollars Indeed, he was of opinion, that the revenue
would be saved under this head. arising from the present year, would be equal to any preceding year. The expenses of 1797
FRIDAY, February 24. would be as follows:
The House proceeded to consider the report Instalment due on part of the Dutch debt, with inter- of the Committee of Claims, of the sixth ultimo,
est on the whole debt, together about . $ 992,000 to whom was referred the petition of Amy DarAnnual 8 per cent, and 6 per cent. stock, 2,324,175 din, which lay on the table; whereupon, the Annual interest on 3 per cent. do. : 587,926 said report was read at the Clerk's table, in the Ditto on 54 per cent. do. . 101,689
words following, to wit:
7,920 Ditto on 44 per cent. do. Ditto on supposed unfunded debt,
"That the most important, and all the material Ditto on Bank loans,
372 200 facts respecting this claim, are stated in the former
report of the committee appointed to consider the
4.463,971 said petition. To that report the committee now Internal expenditures (as below) : 2,255,255 ask leave to reser. Whatever justice there might
originally have been in this claim against the United $6,719,226
| States, it is now, and for many years past has been, as clearly within the statutes of limitation, as a mul
titude of others, which have been rejected. The Civil List, Mint, and Diplomatic, (agreeably to the | committee regret that no relief can, with propriety, Secretary's report, estimated on the session of six
be granted to the petitioner, upon her application. months, )
. $564,753 So many evils would result from a suspension of the Dedact savings arising on the session of
limitation act, for the admission of claims similar to, four months only, . .
the one under consideration, the committee cannot
recommend that measure to be adopted. They are 511,953
of opinion the prayer of the petition ought not to be Bill for foreign intercourse,. .. 40,000
45,647 Miscellaneous claims,
The question was taken that the House do
agree to the said report, and passed in the neg$609,600
ative-34 to 27; when Mr. GALLATIN moved that a committee be appointed to bring in a bill
in favor of the petitioner. This motion occaMILITARY DEPARTMENT.
sioned some debate. Pay of four regiments and artillery corps, $256,450
Mr. GALLATIN said, he rejoiced in the vote Sabsistence, ..
| which had passed in respect to the report be
fore them, as it was a precedent against the act Hospital Department, : .
25.000 of limitation. When a claim was clear, it was Ominance
40.000 a denial of justice not to pay the debt. He did
not think it was more justifiable in a Govern649,350 ment to refuse to pay its debts, than it was in
H. OF R.]
Suability of States.
(FEBRUARY, 1797. individuals to do so. Though an act of limita- / ment to the constitution with respect to the tion bad been passed, they ought only to con- suability of States. sider it, in a modified sense, as a guard against The select committee did not confine them. fraud; but, in cases where they were convinced selves to this single amendment, as reported a debt was justly due, he did not see apon good from the Senate, but went back to the year principles they could refuse to pay it. He was 1789, when twelve amendments were proposed sure there was not a member on that floor that by Congress ; for though they state eleven States would do so in his individual capacity. Nor out of fourteen bad ratified ten of these amenddid he believe they needed to be operated on ments in the year 1791, yet they were of opinby the fear of a number of these claims being ion that a doubt might arise whether eleven brought: he believed their number was small. States ought to be considered as the three-fourths But, said he, sball we fear that we shall be call- of fourteen; they therefore wished the Presied upon to pay a few more just debts? He | DENT to be requested to make inquiry also from trusted so unworthy an apprehension would not the non-ratifying States on the subject of these prevent them from doing what was right. The ten amendments. act of limitation was produced, he said, by an Mr. NICHOLAS said, the resolution of itself was incapacity to pay the claims which were made only exceptionable as it had connection with the upon Government, and now they took advan- statement which went before it, in which it was tage of that capacity, by refusing to pay the just made a question whether the ten last amenddemands which were made upon them. The ments of the twelve proposed by Congress to certificates which had been given, not worth the States in March, 1789, were ever made part more than one-eighth of their nominal value, of the constitution. He did not wish a doubt had been scattered all over the United States, to be expressed on this subject. This doubt, in and the distance from the seat of Government the opinion of the committee, it seemed, rested had been the reason application had not been on a supposition that eleven were not threemade for payment. He spoke from his own fourths of fourteen. He could not conceive how knowledge. He had some of them put into his any doubt could arise on this subject, since it hands. Some of them he was fortunate enough must be acknowledged by every one that eleven to get paid before the act of limitation passed; I was more than three-fonrths of fourteen. If others were yet unsettled. It was only since the objection arose from fourteen not being the erection of this Government, which had divisible in equal fourth parts, it was an objecgiven them the ability to pay, that these claims tion to the constitution as originally made. It were brought forward; for six or seven years was formed by thirteen States, which was no every kind of claim was mustered, and the more divisible into fourths than fourteen.- On public debt was considerably swelled by them, this ground, an amendment could never have but now a contrary extreme was observed, and been made to the constitution. He hoped the no claim, however just, had a chance of being Chairman of the committee would give them satisfied. He had never troubled the House on some information on the subject. a subject of this kind before, but he had taken Mr. HARPER said, it was not of much imporadvantage of the fortunate decision of this tance whether the committee had doubts, or morning to say a few words on the subject. whether those doubts were well founded. The
Messrs. HEATH, Macon, WILLIAMS, and D. committee stated they had these doubts. He FOSTER, were against a committee being ap- had them ; not whether eleven was three-fourths pointed to bring in a bill; they hoped no par- of fourteen, according to arithmetical calculatial regulation would take place, but that if any tion-every school boy knew, that, in that view, exception was made, from the operation of the eleven was more than three-fourths of fourteen; act of limitation, it would be done in a general but it was, whether you could make a division way, as there was a great number of claims equal of States. He believed it could not be done; ly well entitled, with Mrs. Dardin's, to payment. he believed there must be twelve ratifying Indeed, Mr. D. FOSTER, Chairman of the Com- States to be three-fourths, as intended by the mittee of Claims, (who was not present when constitution, because that number would be the question was taken upon the report,) said, three-fourths of sixteen, which was the nearest if this claim was granted, it would bring for number to fourteen capable of four eqnal diviward a thousand others.
sions. Whether this doubt was well fonnded or The report, petition, and papers, were com- not, there could be no harm in directing the mitted to the whole House on Monday.
inquiry to be made; it would be made as soon
for thirteen amendments as for one, and if any SATURDAY, February 25.
other State should have ratified the ten amendSuability of States.
ments in question, all doubt would be removed.
Mr. H. noticed an error or two which had ese On motion of Mr. HARPER, the House then caped the committee in their report. resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole, Mr. GALLATIN said, the resolution under conon the report of the select committee on the sideration went to direct the PRESIDENT to apply resolution sent from the Senate, authorizing the to all those States, by whom, as far as can be PRESIDENT to make inquiry of certain States known from the official documents heretofore whether they had adopted the proposed amend- | transmitted, all or any of the amendments af
[H, OF R any time proposed by Congress still remained that twelve States are three-quarters of fourteen to be ratified. There could be no occasion to that the twelve States out of fourteen are nemake the inquiry with respect to all these cessary to ratify the amendments. He believed amendments, unless it were taken for granted the gentleman would allow that he had not that none of them had yet been ratified. He misstated his opinion.. was, therefore, of opinion, with the gentleman Let us now see, said Mr. G., how this docfrom Virginia that such an application would trine will operate. It would go to prove, in be very improper, as bringing the ten last some instances, that three-fourths of a number amendments into doubt, which he believed to is greater than the whole. Suppose, for instance, be as much a part of the constitution as any the case of five States. One-fourth of five is 13; other article in it; he also thought them a very but as the vote of a State cannot be divided, valuable part, and not to be trifled with. you must call it two; or, as the gentleman ex
But, upon what ground, said Mr. G., do the pressed it, five not being divisible into four advocates of this report prove that 11 is not equal parts, you must take the nearest number three-fourths of 14? The idea was so novel to five capable of such division, that is to say 8, that he could scarcely understand what princi- the fourth part of which is two; two, therefore, ple they adopted in order to create a doubt on must be considered as the fourth part of five their mind; on this subject. To him the posi- States, and as three multiplied by two is six, it tion that 11 was more than three-fourths of follows, according to that gentleman's doctrine, fourteen appeared to be one of those self-evident that the three-fourths of five is six! Supposé axioms which hardly admit of a proof. The that, in the constitution, instead of the expresprinciple on which the doubt arose must be so sion three-fourths, it had been said that pinevery nice, so abstract, that he did not know twelfths were necessary. The number of States whether he was capable of comprehending it. when the constitution was framed was thirteen. Anxious as he was to avoid saying any thing In that case one-twelfth of thirteen being one which might be construed as misstatement, he and one-twelfth, you must, the vote of a State would, however, attempt to analyze what he being indivisible, call it two; so that in that conceived to be the ground of the gentleman way of reckoning, nine-twelfths (which is the from South Carolina, (Mr. HARPER.)
same thing as three-fourths) of 13 is 18! ConIt appeared to him that that gentleman sequently, the consent of eighteen States would thought three-fourths in itself was not a frac- have been necessary in order to ratify any tion of the unit, was not a number conveying to amendment to the constitution of a nation conthe mind the simple idea of a fraction; but that sisting only of 13 States. it was a compound of fractions, and that the Let us, said he, examine a little farther. The only way by which the idea of three-fourths same part of the constitution which provides could be conceived was by a decomposition. for amendments of the constitution, says, that Because the idea of three-fourths was by our an amendment shall be proposed by two-thirds numerical arithmetic expressed by the two of both Houses of Congress; but he supposed figures 7, that gentleman was unable to con- the vote of a man was no more divisible than ceive what it meant except by decomposition, that of a State. He wished to know, therefore, by dividing the unit into four equal parts and how the gentleman would, on his principle, multiplying the result by 3. And if that idea calculate what were two-thirds of the members of three-fourths had happened to be expressed present when their whole number was not diviby the fraction nine-twelfths, (which was the sible by three ? same thing as three-fourths) that gentleman In making treaties he wished to know what could not have conceived it except by dividing was meant by two-thirds of the members of the in the first place the unit into twelve parts and Senate present? If the number present hapthen multiplying the result by nine. In fact pened not to be divisible by three, would that he denied the existence of any number, part of gentleman say, that, in that case, the next num& unit, except as it consisted of an aggregate of ber above the number present must be taken, such parts as the unit could exactly be divided which would be divisible by three, and that if into.
two-thirds of that number did not concur in the Thus, when speaking of fourteen States, al- vote for the treaty, no treaty should be ratified ? though he (Mr. GALLATIN) could at once under. On that principle, in some instances, a greater stand that three-fourths of fourteen was ten-and-proportion of the Senate would be necessary to a-half, and, therefore, (admitting, as he did ratify a treaty than had been usually understood, together with that gentleman, that the vote of according to the generally received opinion of a State was indivisible) that eleven States were the sense of the constitution in this respect. more than three-fourths of fourteen, the gen-| Upon the whole, he believed it would be best tleman from South Carolina proceeded in a dif- to reject the report, as, besides the objections ferent way. The fourth part of fourteen being alluded to, it was confessedly inaccurate in some three-and-a-half, he says that, as a State cannot of its parts, and adopt the resolution sent from be divided, you must take four States instead of the Senate, which applied only to the amendthree-and-a-half for the fourth part of fourteen, ment respecting the suability of States. If the and then multiplying these four States by three, House meant to go any further, they might inin order to get the three-fourths, he concludes troduce the first and second amendments pro
H. OF R.]
Accommodation of the President.
posed at the same time with the other ten, of inserting 5,000. The bill informed them but which had not yet been ratified.
that this sum, in addition to what might arise Mr. HARPER said, he would add a word or from the sale of such of the present furniture two to what he had already offered on this sub- as may be decayed, out of repair, or unfit for ject. He did not know whether the House use, was to be laid out in furnishing the housethought with him on this subject, that it was a hold for the PRESIDENT. It was very lately doubtful point whether the ten amendments in that they had received a proposition from the question had been ratified according to the sense Senate to advance the salary of the PRESIDENT of the constitution. If they did, they would of 5,000 dollars; the bill was rejected by that course, vote for the report. The gentleman House. It appeared to him that this bill went from Pennsylvania, he acknowledged, had not to effect the same thing in a different way. If only shown his knowledge in arithmetic, but the object was merely to furnish the household also his wit, which had not until now been of the PRESIDENT, he thought a much less sum brought before them. In the enjoyment of the would be adequate to that purpose. He thought last he had participated in common with the 5,000, with the proceeds of the sale of such of the House.
present furniture as was unfit for service, might Mr. Dayton (the Speaker) was in favor of be sufficient. He had no doubt that the sum rejecting the resolution reported by the select would make the furniture of the PRESIDENT committee, as it embraced too many objects, for four years to come equal to what it had been and held out a kind of invitation for States to for four years past. come forward and propose amendments to the Mr. NICHOLAS wished the gentleman would constitution. He trusted the first of the amend-leave the sum blank, instead of inserting 5,000. ments, proposed in 1789, relative to the pro- Mr. HENDERSON consented. portion of representation, never would be agreed The question was taken, and negatived-42 to, as it would have extremely mischievous to 39. effects. Indeed, if any thing were done with The committee then rose, and the House respect to that amendment, he should think it having taken up the subjectought to be to request those States which have Mr. NICHOLAS said, as a majority of the not adopted it, not to do it, and those who have House was against striking out this sum, he agreed to it, to revoke their vote in favor of it. wished to have some information why this sum
The question was then taken on the resolu- was fixed upon, and for what purpose it was to tion reported, and negatived, without division. be applied. No one wished more than he did The resolution was as follows:
to place the PRESIDENT in a situation conforma“Resolved, That the President of the United States ble to his station; but according to his inforbe requested to apply, as speedily as may be, to all mation, this sum was more than was given to those States, by which, as far as can be known from the present PRESIDENT on his entering upon the the official documents heretofore transmitted, all or office, though there remained the whole of the any of the amendments, at any time proposed by furniture, most of which was worth as much Congress, still remains to be ratified; and to obtain
at this time as it was when first purchased.
at this time as it was when first from them authentic information of the proceedings
Mr. SITGREAVES said, he would give to the had by them, respectively, on the subject of those
gentleman all the information which he had on amendments, or any of them.”
the subject. In the year 1778 or 1779, by a reThe question was then taken on the resolu
solution of the old Congress, an household was tion of the Senate, and agreed to. It was as
established for the PRESIDENT of Congress. This follows:
remained until the present Government went “ Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives into operation in the year 1789. It was then of the United States of America in Congress assembled, resolved, that Mr. Osgood should be requested That the President be requested to adopt some speedy
to fit up the House in a proper manner for the and effectual means of obtaining information from
reception of the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED the States of Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
STATES. In that year the law passed for comMaryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and South Carolina, whether they have ratified the amendment
pensating the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, proposed by Congress to the constitution, concerning
which enacted that & salary of 25,000 dollars the suability of States: If they have, to obtain the should be allowed him, together with the use proper evidences thereof."
of the furniture then in his possession belong
ing to the United States. This furniture cost Accommodation of the Fresident. the United States 13,657 dollars, 83 cents. On motion of Mr. GALLATIN, the House re- During the period from 1779, when the housesolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on hold was first established until 1789, when the the bill to accommodate the PRESIDENT OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES entered upon UNITED STATES; when
his office, the furniture which had been purMr. HENDERSON said, he wished for informa- chased for the PRESIDENT by Congress, was so tion on this subject, as he had not sufficient to much decayed, that it required nearly 14,000 convince him of the propriety of granting dollars to replenish it. It was the opinion of 14,000 dollars, in addition to the furniture now the joint committee, therefore, that in a lapse in possession of the PRESIDENT; he therefore of eight years, viz: from 1789 to the present moved to strike out the 14,000, for the purpose time, the furniture then purchased must have