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FROM GALES AND SEATON'S ANNALS OF CONGRESS; FROM THEIR
THE AUTHOR OF THE THIRTY YEARS’ VIEW.
D. A PPLET ON AND COMPANY.,
ENTERED according to Act of Congress, in the year 1856, by D. APPLETON AND COMPANY., in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.
FOURTH CONGRESS.–SECOND SESSION.
BEGUN AT THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, DECEMBER 5, 1796.
PROCEEDINGS IN THE SENATE.
MoNDAY, December 5, 1796. PRESENT:
JoHN ADAMs, Vice President of the United States, and President of the Senate. JoHN LANGDON and SAMUEL LIVERMORE, from New Hampshire. BENJAMIN GooDHUE, from Massachusetts. WILLIAM BRADFoRD, from Rhode Island. JAMEs HILLHoUSE and URIAH TRACY, from Connecticut. ELIJAH PAINE, and IsAAo TICHENOR, from Vermont. JoHN RUTHERFoRD and RICHARD STOCKToN, from New Jersey. WILLIAM BINGHAM, from Pennsylvania. HENRY LATIMER, from Delaware. HUMPHREY MARSHALL, from Kentucky. WILLIAM CoCKE, from Tennessee. JAcoB READ, from South Carolina. JAMEs GUNN, from Georgia. The number of Senators present not being sufficient to constitute a quorum, they adjourned to 11 o'clock to-morrow morning.
TUESDAY, December 6.
ALEXANDER MARTIN, from the State of North Carolina, and WILLIAM BLouNT, from the State of Tennessee, severally attended.
The WICE PRESIDENT communicated a letter from PIERCE BUTLER, notifying the resignation of his seat in the Senate, which was read.
The credentials of the after-named Senators were severally read:—Of BENJAMIN GooDHUE, appointed a Senator by the State of Massachusetts, in place of GEORGE CABOT, resigned; of IsAAC TICHENOR, appointed a Senator by the State of Vermont, in place of Moses RoBINsoN, resigned; of JAMEs HILLHoUSE, appointed a Senator by the State of Connecticut in place of OLIVER ELLsworTH, whose seat is become vacant; of URIAH TRACY, appointed a Senator by the State of Connecticut, in place of JonATHAN TRUMBULL, resigned; of JoHN LAURANCE, appointed a Senator by the State of New York, in place of RUFUs KING, whose seat is become vacant; of RICHARD STOCKToN, appointed a Sena
tor by the State of New Jersey, in place of FREDERICK FRELINGHUYSEN, resigned; also, of WILLIAM BLouNT and WILLIAM CocKE, appointed Senators by the State of Tennessee;—and, the oath required by law being respectively administered to them, they took their seats in the Senate. A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that a quorum of the House of Representatives is assembled, and ready to proceed to business. Ordered, That the Secretary wait on the PRESIDENT of THE UNITED STATEs, and acquaint him that a quorum of the Senate is assembled. Ordered, That the Secretary acquaint the House of Representatives that a quorum of the Senate is assembled, and ready to proceed to business. A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that they have appointed a joint committee, on their part, together with such committee as the Senate may appoint, to wait on the PRESIDENT of THE UNITED STATES, and notify him that a quorum of the two Houses is assembled, and ready to receive any communications that he may be pleased to make to them. Resolved, That the Senate concur in the above resolution, and that Messrs. READ and LIVERMoRE be the joint committee on the part of the Senate. Ordered, That the Secretary acquaint the House of Representatives therewith. Mr. READ reported, from the joint committee appointed for that purpose, that they had waited on the PRESIDENT of THE UNITED STATEs, and had notified him that a quorum of the two Houses of Congress are assembled, and that the PRESIDENT of THE UNITED STATEs acquainted the committee that he would meet the two Houses in the Representatives' Chamber, at twelve o’clock to-morrow.
WEDNESDAY, December 7.
JoHN HENRY, from the State of Maryland, attended.
Address to the President.
A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that they are now ready to meet the Senate in the Chamber of that House, to receive such communications as the PRESIDENT of THE UNITED STATEs shall be pleased to make to them.
Whereupon, the Senate repaired to the Chamber of the House of Representatives, for the purpose above expressed.
The Senate returned to their own Chamber, and a copy of the Speech of the PRESIDENT of THE UNITED STATEs, this day addressed to both Houses of Congress, was read. [For which, see the proceedings in the House of Representatives of December 7, post.
Ordered, That Messrs. READ, TRACY, and BINGHAM, be a committee to report the draft of an Address to the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATEs, in answer to his Speech this day to both Houses of Con
It was further ordered that the Speech of the PRESIDENT of THE UNITED STATEs, this day communicated to both Houses, be printed for the use of the Senate.
Resolved, That each Senator be supplied, during the present session, with copies of three such newspapers printed in any of the States as he may choose, provided that the same are furnished at the rate of the usual annual charge for such papers.
THURSDAY, December 8.
John LAURANCE, from the State of New York, attended, and, the oath required by law being administered to him, he took his seat in the Senate.
Ordered, That Messrs. STOCKToN, READ, and BINGHAM, be a committee to inquire whether any, and what, regulations are proper to be made on the subject of the resignation of a Senator of the United States.
FRIDAY, December 9.
TIMOTHY BloodworTH, from the State of North Carolina, attended. A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that they have resolved that two Chaplains be appointed to Congress for the present session—one by each House—who shall interchange weekly; in which they desire the concurrence of the Senate. Whereupon, the Senate Resolved, That they do concur therein, and that the Right Reverend Bishop WHITE be Chaplain on the part of the Senate. Mr. READ, from the committee appointed for the purpose, reported the draft of an Address to the PRESIDENT of THE UNITED STATEs, in answer to his Speech to both Houses of Congress, at the opening of the session; which was read. On motion that it be printed for the use of the Senate, it passed in the negative. On motion, it was agreed to consider the report in paragraphs; and, after debate, a motion was made for recommitment, which passed in
the negative; and, having agreed to amend the report, the further consideration thereof was postponed.
SATURDAY, December 10. Address to the President.
The Senate resumed the consideration of the report of the committee in answer to the Address of the PRESIDENT of THE UNITED STATES to both Houses of Congress; and, after further amendments, it was unanimously adopted, as follows:
We thank you, sir, for your faithful and detailed exposure of the existing situation of our country; and we sincerely join in sentiments of gratitude to an overruling Providence for the distinguished share of public prosperity and private happiness which the people of the United States so peculiarly enjoy. We are fully sensible of the advantages that have resulted from the adoption of measures (which you have successfully carried into effect) to preserve peace, cultivate friendship, and promote civilization, amongst the Indian tribes on the Western frontiers; feelings of humanity, and the most solid political interests, equally encourage the continuance of this system. We observe, with pleasure, that the delivery of the military posts, lately occupied by the British forces, within the territory of the United States, was made with cordiality and promptitude, as soon as circumstances would admit; and that the other provisions of our treaties with Great Britain and Spain, that were objects of eventual arrangement, are about being carried into effect, with entire harmony and good faith. The unfortunate but unavoidable difficulties that opposed a timely compliance with the terms of the Algerine Treaty, are much to be lamented; as they may occasion a temporary suspension of the advantages to be derived from a solid peace with that power, and a perfect security from its predatory warfare; at the same time, the lively impressions that affected the public mind on the redemption of our captive fellow-citizens, afford the most laudable incentive to our exertions to remove the remaining obstacles. We perfectly coincide with you in opinion, that the importance of our commerce demands a naval force for its protection against foreign insult and depredation, and our solicitude to attain that object will be always proportionate to its magnitude. The necessity of accelerating the establishment of certain useful manufactures, by the intervention of the Legislative aid and protection, and the encouragement due to agriculture by the creation of Boards, (composed of intelligent individuals) to patronize this primary pursuit of society, are subjects which will readily engage our most serious attention. A National University may be converted to the most useful purposes; the science of legislation being so essentially dependent on the endowments of the mind, the public interests must receive effectual aid from the general diffusion of knowledge; and the United States will assume a more dignified station among the nations of the earth, by the successful cultivation of the higher branches of literature. A Military Academy may be likewise rendered equally important. To aid and direct the physical force of the nation, by cherishing a military spirit, enforcing a proper sense of discipline, and inculcating DECEMBER, 1796.]
a scientific system of tactics, is consonant to the soundest maxims of public policy. Connected with, and supported by such an establishment, a well regulated militia, constituting the natural defence of the country, would prove the most effectual, as well as economical, preservative of peace. We cannot but consider, with serious apprehensions, the inadequate compensations of the public officers, especially of those in the more important stations. It is not only a violation of the spirit of a public contract, but is an evil so extensive in its operation, and so destructive in its consequences, that we trust it will receive the most pointed Legislative attention. We sincerely lament that, whilst the conduct of the United Sates has been uniformly impressed with the character of equity, moderation, and love of peace, in the maintenance of all their foreign relationships, our trade should be so harassed by the cruisers and agents of the Republic of France, throughout the extensive departments of the West Indies. Whilst we are confident that no cause of complaint exists that could authorize an interruption of our tranquillity or disengage that Republic from the bonds of amity, cemented by the faith of treaties, we cannot but express our deepest regrets that official communications have been made to you, indicating a more serious disturbance of our commerce. Although we cherish the expectation that a sense of justice, and a consideration of our mutual interests, will moderate their councils, we are not unmindful of the situation in which events may place us, nor unprepared to adopt that system of conduct, which, compatible with the dignity of a respectable nation, necessity may compel us to pursue. We cordially acquiesce in the reflection, that the United States, under the operation of the Federal Government, have experienced a most rapid aggrandizement and prosperity, as well political as commercial. Whilst contemplating the causes that produce this auspicious result, we must acknowledge the excellence of the constitutional system, and the wisdom of the Legislative provisions; but we should be deficient in gratitude and justice did we not attribute a great portion of these advantages to the virtue, firmness, and talents of your Administration —which have been conspicuously displayed in the most trying times, and on the most critical occasions. It is, therefore, with the sincerest regret that we now receive an official notification of your intentions to retire from the public employment of your country. When we review the various scenes of your public life, so long and so successfully devoted to the most arduous services, civil and military, as well during the struggles of the American Revolution, as the convulsive periods of a recent date; we cannot look forward to your retirement without our warmest affections and most anxious regards accompanying ou, and without mingling with our fellow-citizens at in the sincerest wishes for your personal happiness that sensibility and attachment can express. The most effectual consolation that can offer for the loss we are about to sustain, arises from the animating reflection, that the influence of your example will extend to your successors, and the United States thus continue to enjoy an able, upright, and ener
getic Administration. JOHN ADAMS,
Vice President of the United States, and President of the Senate.
Ordered, That the committee who prepared the Address, wait on the PRESIDENT of THE UNITED STATES, and desire him to acquaint the Senate at what time and place it will be most convenient for him that it should be presented.
Mr. READ reported from the committee, that they had waited on the PRESIDENT of THE UNITED STATES, and that he would receive the Address of the Senate on Monday next, at twelve o'clock, at his own house. Whereupon,
Resolved, That the Senate will, on Monday next, at twelve o'clock, wait on the PRESIDENT oF THE UNITED STATEs accordingly.
MoNDAY, December 12.
THEoDoRE FostER, from the State of Rhode Island; JoHN BRowN, from the State of Kentucky; and HENRY TAZEwBLL, from the State of Virginia, severally attended.
Address to the President.
Agreeably to the resolution of the 10th instant, the Senate waited on the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATEs, and the WICE PRESIDENT, in their name, presented the Address then agreed to. To which the PRESIDENT made the following reply: GENTLEMEN: It affords me great satisfaction to find in your Address a concurrence in sentiment with me on the various topics which I presented for your information and deliberation; and that the latter will receive from you an attention proportioned to their respective importance. For the notice you take of my public services, civil and military, and your kind wishes for my personal happiness, I beg you to accept my cordial thanks. Those services, and greater, had I possessed ability to render them, were due to the unanimous calls of my country, and its approbation is my abundant reward. When contemplating the period of my retirement, I saw virtuous and enlightened men, among whom I relied on the discernment and patriotism of my fellow-citizens to make the proper choice of a successor; men who would require no influential example to ensure to the United States “an able, upright, and energetic Administration.” To such men I shall cheerfully yield the palm of genius and talents to serve our common country; but, at the same time, I hope I may be indulged in expressing the consoling reflection, (which consciousness suggests,) and to bear it with me to my grave, that none can serve it with purer intentions than I have done, or with a more
disinterested zeal. G. WASHINGTON.
The Senate returned to their own Chamber, and then adjourned.
WEDNESDAY, December 21.
THEoDoRE SEDGwICK, appointed a Senator by the State of Massachusetts, in place of CALEB STRoNG, resigned, attended, produced his credentials, and the oath required by law being administered to him, he took his seat in the Senate.