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Louisiana Territory.

H. of R.


capable of self-government. This assertion must them; but if, by liberty, it be understood that they be founded either on the incapacity of the people shall not be bound by laws to which they have to choose fit Representatives, or on their inability not consented, it is essential that there be given a to find men properly qualified for Representatives. form of government in which they shall either It is unnecessary, on this point, to go into detail. participate by themselves or through their RepFor the section under consideration presupposes resentatives. For these reasons, I have no hesithe existence of men of sufficient talents to dis- tation in declaring, that my vote shall be in favor charge Legislative functions. The President is of striking out the section, and adopting in the bound to limit his appointments to persons who place of it one or the other of the grades of Terrihave resided one year in Louisiana. The only torial government, or something similar to them. question is, whether the people are capable of Messrs. Elliot, Olin, and Elmer supported; making a discreet choice of Representatives ? and Messrs. S. L. Mirchill, and Lucas opposed Wisdom and virtue are the qualifications of a the motion to strike out the fourth section, made legislator. Abstractly considered, these qualities with the view of extending to the people of Louisare inscrutable; but, in particular individuals, they iana the elective franchise; when the question become objects of sense, visible to the most igno- was put, and the motion to strike out carriedrant. And, from a happy ordinance of nature, the yeas 80, nays 15. most ignorant and wicked are bound to venerale Mr. G. W. CAMPBELL offered the following talents and virtue wherever they are found. As substitute : what has been said by a celebrated writer on this “ The Governor and Judges, or a majority of them, subject will be more conclusive, and carry with it shall adopt and publish in the said Territory, such laws more weight than anything I can urge, I will of the original States, criminal and civil, as may be nequote his words:

cessary and best suited to the circumstances of the “ The people are extremely well qualified for choos- Territory, and may also make such laws as they shall ing those whom they are to entrust with part of their deem conducive to the good Government of the inhabauthority. They have only to be determined by things itants thereof, and report the same to Congress from to which they cannot be strangers, and by facts that time to time, which laws shall be in force in the said are obvious to sense. They can tell when a person has Territory until the organization of the General Assemfought many battles, and been crowned with success; bly therein, unless disapproved of by Congress, but they are, therefore, very capable of electing a general," afterwards the Legislature shall have authority to re&c.- Montesquieu.

peal or alter them as they shall think fit.

“ The Governor or Judges, or a majority of them, shall, This distinguished writer does not, in these remarks, allude to particular people, living under a missioned, divide the said Territory into

as soon as may be, after they are appointed and comfree Government, but refers to mankind in gene to be called counties, in such manner as may best suit

divisions, ral, in all climates and ages. If, then, there can the convenience of the inhabitants, each county to conbe no want of men qualified to legislate

, and no tain, as nearly as may be consistent with the nature of want of discernment in the people to select them, the settlements, an equal number of free persons; and no objection can arise to conferring the right of the city of New Orleans shall form one county. self-government, so far as consistent with the “ Previous to the organization of the General AsConstitution and our national sovereignty. sembly, the Governor shall appoint such magistrates,

It is said, by the gentleman from Massachusetts, and other civil officers, in each county of the said Terthat the people of Louisiana stand in the same ritory, as he shall find necessary for the preservation of relation to us as if we had obtained the country by the peace and good order in the same; after the Geneconquest. If so, we ought to operate upon them ral. Assembly shall be organized, the powers and duties more by the influence of love than fear. It will of the magistrates and other civil officers shall be regu

lated and defined by the said Assembly ; but all magisbe acknowledged, on all hands, that the exercise trates and other civil officers, whose appointments are of power must be modified by the terms of the not herein otherwise provided for, shall, during the cession; and the treaty stipulates that:

continuance of this temporary Government, be appoint“ The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be ined by the Governor. corporated in the Union of the United States, and ad- “The General Assembly, or Legislature, shall consist mitted as soon as possible, according to the principles of a Legislative Council and a House of Representaof the Federal Constitution, to the enjoyment of all the tives: the House of Representatives shall consist of rights, advantages, and immunities of citizens of the members, of whom — shall be chosen from the counUnited States; and, in the meantime, they shall be ty, including the city of New Orleans, and from maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their each of the other counties in the said Territory; a maliberty, property, and the religion which they profess." jority of whom shall be a quorum to do business. Not content with having provided for their in- representative except a free white male, who shall have

“No person shall be eligible or qualified to act as a corporation, inasmuch as the period of incorpora- been a citizen of one of the United States, or of one of tion could not be precisely fixed by an express the Territories, heretofore belonging to the United engagement, it provided that, until that period, States, three years, and be a resident in the county for they shall be maintained and protected in the free which he shall be chosen, or who shall have resided in enjoyment of their liberty, property, and the reli- the said Territory of New Orleans three years, and be gion which they profess. If by liberty is meant resident in the county for which he shall be chosen, doing that which the laws do not prohibit, then it and in either case shall likewise hold in his own right, is immaterial what kind of government be given | in fee, two hundred acres of land within the same.

H. OF R.

North Carolina Contested Election.




Every person of the age of twenty-one years, having serve in this House as a member for the seventh been a citizen of the United States, or having resided election district in the said State; also, sundry in the said Territory one year immediately preceding depositions and other papers transmitted from the any election, shall be qualified to vote for a Represen- counties of Montgomery and Cumberland, being tative or Representatives in the county in which he part of the aforesaid seventh district, in the case shall reside at the time of such election.

of ine said contested election; made a report * The Governor and judges, or a majority of them, as thereon; which was read, as follows: soon as may be, after the said Territory shall have been divided into counties, and within — from the passing of

" That at an election held at the times and places dithis act, shall make the necessary regulations, and give rected by a law of the State of North Carolina, for the time and place to the inhabitants of each county of the election of a member to serve in the eighth Congress, for

the seventh district of said State, among other comsaid Territory, qualified to vote as herein-before

prescribed, to elect representatives to represent them in plaints alleged by Duncan McFarland, it is proved by the General Assembly. The representatives thus elect- testimony, legally taken in presence of William Mced shall serve for the term of one year, and in case of Carroll, the voluntary agent of Samuel D. Purviance, the death of a representative, or removal from office, that, at the elections held at the different election disthe Governor shall issue a writ to the county for which tricts into which the county of Montgomery is, by law, he was a member, to elect another in his stead to serve

divided, the inspectors and clerks of the elections held for the residue of the term.

at the several election divisions of the said county of The Legislative Council shall consist of

Montgomery not only neglected, but refused, to take bers, to continue in office one year, unless sooner re

the oath obliging them to act with justice and imparmoved by the President of the United States, a major- tiality, as directed by an act of Assembly of North Carity of whom shall be a quorum to do business; and olina, passed in the year 1802, notwithstanding that they shall be appointed in the following manner, to they were thereto required by Duncan McFarland, at wit: As soon as representatives shall be elected, the the opening of the election ; therefore, the committee, Governor shall appoint a time and place for them to

without deciding on the other complaints made against meet, and when met, they shall nominate

the said elections, consider the neglect and refusal to

persons, having the same qualifications as are herein declared take the oath prescribed by law as sufficient ground to necessary for representatives, and return their names

set aside the election held for the said county of Montto the Governor, who shall within days thereafter,

gomery: appoint and commission of them to serve as a

“ That, with respect to the elections held at the elecLegislative Council; and whenever a vacancy shall tion districts in and for the county of Cumberland, of happen in the Council, by death or removal from of the Congressional district aforesaid, a notification was fice, the House of Representatives shall nominate two given, according to law, by William Cochran, Esq., on persons qualified as aforesaid for each vacancy, and re

the application of Duncan McFarland, on the 5th day turn their names to the Governor, one of whom he of October, 1803, to Samuel D. Purviance, informing shall appoint and commission for the residue of the him of the times and places where depositions were to term. The General Assembly shall meet at least once

be taken, in support of the complaint of Duncan Mcin every year, at the city of New Orleans, at such time Farland against the election of the said Samuel D. after the first meeting as may be appointed by law.

Purviance. And the Governor shall have power on extraordinary Carroll attended, and acted as the voluntary agent of

“ That, agreeably to the notification, William Mcoccasions to convene the General Assembly.

“After the first election, representatives shall be elect- Samuel D. Purviance ; that from the examination taken ed annually, in such manner as the Legislature may change the state of the poll, so far as to set aside the

on this notification, sufficient cause does not appear to direct, not contrary to the provisions of this act. And a Legislative Council shall likewise be annually ap

elections held in and for the said county of Cumberland. pointed, in the manner herein-before directed.

“ That all the witnessess not appearing agreeably to “The General Assembly shall have authority to make the said notification, a second notification was leit at laws in all cases for the good Government of the said the house of Samuel D. Purviance, for the said Samuel Territory, not repugnant to the Constitution and laws said McCarroll, his friend, on the 2d of November, 1803,

D. Purviance, or William McCarroll, directed to the of the United States. All bills having passed by a majority in the House of Representatives, and by a

appointing another examination of witnesses on the 22d, majority of the Council, shall be referred to the Gov 230, 29th and 30th days of that month. Of this notifiernor for his assent, but no bill or Legislative act what- cation, Samuel D. Purviance, then in Congress, was ever shall be of any force without his assent.

not informed until the 23d, viz: the day after that on “The Legislature of the said Territory shall have no

which the examination was to commence, and he had power over the primary disposal of the soil, nor to tax

authorized no agent; and neither William McCarroll, the lands of the United States, nor to interfere with nor any other person, attended as his voluntary agent. the claims to land within the said Territory.”

That, on the first day of December, a third notifiThe Committee now rose and obtained leave for the said Samuel D. Purviance, or William McCar

cation was left at the house of Samuel D. Purviance, to sit again ; and the House ordered the section roll, his agent, or friend, directed to the said William proposed as a substitute to be printed.

McCarroll, to attend on the ninth and tenth days folCONTESTED ELECTION.

lowing, to the further examination of witnesses, as afore

said; but the notification did not, or could not, reach SamMr. Findley, from the Committee of Elections, uel D. Purviance, then in Congress, in due time ; and to whom were referred, during the present session, neither William McCarroll, nor any other person, in a representation of Duncan McFarland, of the behalf of Samuel D. Purviance, attended. State of North Carolina, complaining of an undue “It further appears to the committee, that though election of SAMUEL D. PURVIANCE, returned to various irregularities and abuses are set forth in the de


March, 1804.

Virginia Contested Election.

H. OF R.



positions taken, agreeably to the second and third noti- the bill sent from the Senate, entitled "An act fications, and alleged to have been practised at the said erecting Louisiana into two Territories, and proelection, yet that Samuel D. Purviance had not such viding for the temporary government thereof," notice as put it in his power to attend the said exam- being called for, a motion was made, and the ques. ination of witnesses, or to appoint an agent so to do.

lion being put that the said order of the day be " It further appears, from the documents, that depo- postponed until to-morrow, it was resolved in the sitions were taken, and examinations made, by ma- affirmative. gistrates who were not named in the notification issued by the magistrate to whom the application was from the Postmaster General, transmitting a de

The SPEAKER laid before the House a letter made, and without a certificate of the matters and pro, tailed report of the amount of pustage in each ceedings had by him in that behalf, as the law enacted State for three successive years, commencing by Congress provides. It also further appears that part of the testimony so taken is in the hand-writing of Dun- with the first of October, 1800, and ending on the can McFarland, one of the parties, and signed by the 30th of September, 1803, together with the exmark of the deponent, inconsistent with the act aforesaid, pense of transporting the mails on all roads, in which provides that the magistrate shall cause the ex- each State, and the amount of commissions of amination to be reduced to writing, in the presence of postmasters, as well as the other expenses in rethe parties, or their agents ; which the committee are lation to the post offices, in three books, marked of opinion does not authorize the writing the examina- A, B, C, together with a summary report of the tion by the parties themselves.

same, marked D, in pursuance of a resolution of “ Influenced by the aforementioned facts and circum- this House of the fifth December last.-Referred stances, the committee are of opinion that the aforesaid to Mr. Eustis, Mr. A. Trigg, and Mr. HAMPTON, testimony, respecting the election held in and for the to examine and report their opinion thereupon to county of Cumberland, cannot be admitted or acted on the House. by the House. " By comparing the certified records of the lists of House to whom was referred, on the twenty-third

Ordered, That the Committee of the whole taxables in said county, with the list of votes given at and twenty-seventh of January last, a report, in the election now contested, it appears that the number who voted exceeds the number of taxables in the county; part, of the committee to whom were referred the viz: the number of persons who voted is 1,159, and the petitions of sundry residents and purchasers of number of free taxable polls taken from the last returns and in the State of Ohio; also, a farther report, of taxables is 1,117; but the committee discover that in part, of the same committee, on“ lhe expedienthe tax lists of any year, agreeably to the laws of North cy of amending the several acts providing for the Carolina, are not a perfect record of those who are en- sale of the public lands of the United States," be titled to vote, because citizens who, at any time, had discharged from the consideration of the same. formerly paid taxes, by the laws of that State, appear to the committee to continue to enjoy the privilege of

CONTESTED ELECTION. voting, though they might, for many years, have ceased The House went into Committee of the Whole to pay taxes.

on the report of the Committee of Elections, re« Therefore your committee are of opinion that there specting ihe clection of Thomas Lewis, ihe sitis not sufficient legal testimony to set aside the election ling member, declaring him not entitled, and deof Cumberland county, so as to vacate the seat of Sam- claring ANDREW Moore entitled to a seat. uel D. Purviance."

Mr. Baldwin called for the reading of part of The report was referred to a Committee of the the evidence transmitted from the county of Whole on Monday next.

Greenbriar, which being read at the Clerk's table,

Mr. B. observed, that as the Committee of ElecTHURSDAY, March 1.

tions were not unanimous in their report, he felt An engrossed bill declaring the assent of Con- it his duty, being one of those who were opposed gress to an act of the General Assembly of Vir- to it, to state the ground of their opposition, in ginia, therein mentioned, was read the third time the hope that it might influence the House to reand passed.

ject the report. Aš no facts were detailed in the An engrossed bill making an appropriation for report as the basis of the result, he had called for carrying into effect the Convention concluded be the reading of the evidence from Greenbriar, the tween the United States and the King of Spain, issue of the election depending on the principles on the eleventh day of August, one thousand to be adopted relative to the votes of that county. eight hundred and two, was read the third time. From the facts thus disclosed he was opposed to and passed.

the report. An engrossed bill altering the days of session The act of Congress regulating the mode of of the District Court for the District of Virginia taking evidence relating to contested elections, rewas read the third time and passed.

quires that a notification of the time, place, and Mr. Rodney, from the committee appointed, object of the examination of witnesses shall be presented a bill for the appointment of an addi- served on the opposite party, a convenient time tional Judge for the Mississippi Territory, and for before the day appointed, that he may be present. other purposes; which was read iwice and com- It appeared that the election was in the month mitted to a Committee of the Whole on Monday April. The President's proclamation for an next.

extraordinary meeting of Congress was published The order of the day for the House to resolve in July, yet no measures were taken by the petiitself into a Committee of the whole House on I tioner for the examination of witnesses until the

H. OF R.

Virginia Contested Election.

March, 1804.

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month of September. The sitting member was no validity to the evidence. He further observed notified to attend an examination at the court that if the notice, such as it was, should be deemed house in Greenbriar on the 21st of that month. legal, and the evidence taken under it admissible, He attended, and the witnesses attended, but the he still contended the proof was insufficient to petitioner neglected to appear or proceed in the warrant the report. examination. After this, notification was issued, By the laws of Virginia the right of voting for on the 29th of September, fixing the time for the Representatives in Congress is in freeholders havexamination of witnesses at the same place, on the ing certain specified quantities of estate, and 12th day of October, accompanied with a written when entitled by deed or grant with six months direction from the magistrate who issued it, that possession. The mode of elections is prescribed it should be served by copy five days before the by law, and known officers are designated to su12th. It appeared by the affidavit on the return, perintend the elections and certify the result. that service was made by posting a copy on the The result of this election is by the proper officers door of the dwelling-house of the sitting member duly certified in favor of the sitting member. on the 6th of October, after he had left home and From the return of these officers, under the sancwas on his way to the seat of Government, in tion of their official oath, the presumption is in obedience to the proclamation of the Presideni of favor of the due election of the member returned the United States requiring his attendance in and of the legality of his votes, and cannot be set Congress on the 17th of the same month, a dis- aside without stronger proof on the part of the tance of three hundred miles from his place of petitioner. Let us then examine the proof on residence; that no person was left residing in his which he relies. The proof of the petitioner is house, and he had no actual notice of the service. in fact nothing more than the land list of the That when on his journey, at Lexington, seventy county. He rests his claim on a result of a commiles from home and more than one hundred parison of the poll with this list, and the rejection from Greenbriar court-house, on the 8th of Octo- of those from the poll whose names are not on ber, within four days' time of examination, a copy the list. was put into his hands, as also appears by the By the poll for the county of Greenbriar, it apaffidavit.

pears thai 589 votes were given for the sitting This notice he said he did not consider such as member, 245 of which do not appear on the land ought to bind the sitting member. A notice of list; and 202 of these are eventually rejected by five days at least was required by the terms of the the committee as bad votes, and thus a majority warrant; the service on the 8th gave but four of 59 is reported in favor of the petitioner. Of the days; this of course could not be claimed on any 202 votes thus rejected, 175 were decided to be principle as legal service. Of the copy left at bad on no other proof than that they were not his house, it did not appear that he had or could found on the land list. have actual notice, and this alone is the notice As this alone turns the election, it becomes a which can be pretended to give validity to the serious question how far the land list is in any evidence.

instance, and particularly in this country, a criteIt is true, that by law, the magistrate issuing rion to determine the qualifications of voters. It the warrant shall fix the time for its service; but is not by any express law made a criterion; nor he shall also fix a convenient time having respect can it from its nature be such, even when most to the distance. It was a fact well known through perfect. It appears that a list of lands was made the country, that Congress were to meet on the for the purpose of taxation in the year 1782, and 17th, and that according to the principles assumed that the law of the State requires that the returns in the act fixing the compensation for the travel shall annually be made to the commissioners of of members, allowing one day for twenty miles, the county, from the registers, of all new titles, he might claim fifteen days for his journey. This and from the clerk of the county, of the records notice was served within'eleven days of the com- of conveyances. It cannot be presumed therefore mencement of the session, and after the sitting that it can show the changes of title within the member had in fact commenced his journey. His year, nor of course the right to vote which such appearance was to be within five days of the ses- titles may convey. sion. The time fixed could not therefore be con- A freeholder by descent or marriage may vote venient or reasonable, even if service had been immediately on the acquisition of iitle; a puractually made. Indeed it may well be questioned chaser may vote after six months' possession, and whether the privilege of the House does not pro- is not required to record his deed for any purpose lect its members from the service of a process, so under eight months, and his right of voting would directly calculated to divert their attention from continue if the title should never be recorded ; a the concerns of the nation, during the period of freeholder by lease has also a right tu vote; of its privilege, without its consent. He was there course there is a numerous class of voters whose fore of opinion that the notice was not such as right will never appear by the land list. A docucould on any principle bind the sitting member. ment which must necessarily be so imperfect It appears from the documents that a friend of the ought not in any case to be a criterion by which sitting member attended as his voluntary agent, alone the right of suffrage shall be denied to those but it also appears that he protested against the whose names do not appear on it. But it is in notice, and that he neither had instructions nor proof that the land list of the county of Greenauthority to appear. Such appearance can give | briar is peculiarly inaccurate and imperfect. It is

March, 1804.

Virginia Contested Election.

H. of R.


a new county, and vast tracts of land have been The Committee rose, and the motion was located and patented within a few years, the titles agreed to. of which do not appear on this list. The deposi- On motion of Mr. Huger, permission was given tion of nine persons, including the sheriff, clerk, to the petitioner and the sitting member to be surveyor, the late and present commissioners, with heard by counsel. others, selected as men best acquainted with the The further consideration of the report was circumstances of this list, has been read. Those then postponed until to-morrow. men on their oaths declare that this list is of their own knowledge unusually inaccurate; that it does not contain half the land in the county; that the

Friday, March 2. returns have not been regularly made to the com- Ordered, That the report, in part, of the commissioner, and that no returns of patents have mittee on the petitions of sundry residents and been made from the register's office since the year purchasers of land in the State of Ohio, made the 1782. That the inaccuracy became so apparent twenty-third of January last; also, a further reas to induce the Legislature to attempt a revision port, in part, of the same committee, “ on the exin 1796. That so many difficulties occurred in pediency of amending the several acts providing the execution of this law that it was repealed in for the sale of the public lands of the United 1799, and the list has never been revised; and, in States," made the twenty-seventh of the same their opinion, is no criterion whereby to test ihe month, from the consideration of which the Comimportant right of suffrage.

mittee of the whole House were yesterday disIt further appears by their deposition that so far charged, be referred to Mr. Nicholson, Mr. Moras they jointly or severally know the persons ob- ROW, Mr. Dwight, Mr. Brown, and Mr. BRYAN, jected to because not on the list, they are in pos- with leave to report thereon by way of bill or bills. session of real estate, and in their opinion are The House resolved itself into a Committee of legal voters. Such is the evidence respecting the the Whole on the bill granting further time for land list of this county, coming from witnesses locating military land warrants, and for other pursummoned on the part of the petitioner. Yet it poses; and, after some time spent therein, the is contended, and your committee, by their report, bill was reported with an amendment thereto; have sanctioned the principle, that this imperfect which was read twice and agreed to by the House. list, though unsupported even by the affidavit of Ordered, That the bill, with the amendment, belief

, that those whose names do not appear on be engrossed and read the third time to-morrow. it are unqualified, shall turn the proof of the le- Mr. Nicholson, from the committee appointed, gality of nearly half the votes of the county upon presented a bill relating to terries in the District the sitting member; and this too without ever of Columbia ; which was read twice and comfurnishing him with a list of objectionable votes mitted to a Committee of the whole House totill the moment of examination. Thus not less morrow. than 175 voters out of 539 are deprived of the On motion, it was right of suffrage without opportunity of defence. Resolved, That a committee be appointed to in

If this mode of taking proof, without previous quire into the expediency of fixing the standard notice of the points to which it is to apply, shall of weights and measures. be sanctioned by the House; is the land list, how- Ordered, That Mr. RODNEY, Mr. J. Clay, Mr. ever imperfect, is to be the criterion of the quali- Tenney, Mr. S. L. Mirchill, and Mr. T. M. fications of voters; if the neglect of the petitioner RANDOLPH, be appointed a committee pursuant to to take his proof in the proper time is to be dis- the said resolution. regarded ; if the privilege of the House and the The House resolved itself into a Committee of rights of the member must yield to the humor of the Whole on the bill sent from the Senate, entithe petitioner, surely the House will not suffer tled "An act to erect a lighe-house on the south the member to be entrapped while in discharge of end of St. Simon's island, in the State of Georhis duties by notice merely constructive, where gia, and for the placing a buoy or buoys on or the actual presence of the party is so essentially near St. Simon's bar,” together with a report of necessary to rebut the presumptions arising from the Committee of Commerce and Manufactures such negative proof.

thereon, made the twenty-seventh ultimo; and, As Mr. B. was clearly of opinion that the no- after some time spent therein, the Committee rose tice given would not sanction the evidence, and and reported several amendments to the bill; that this land was not a criterion whereby to test which were twice read and agreed to by the the right of suffrage, he hoped the House would House. not agree to the report.

Ordered, That the said bill, with the amend. Messrs. FindLEY and VARNUM supported, and ments, be read the third time to-morrow. Messrs. Jackson and Huger opposed the report. On motion, it was Messrs. R. Griswold, Gregg, Dawson, Early, Resolved, That the Committee of the whole and J. Randolph, delivered their sentiments with House be discharged from further consideration of a view principally to obtain explanations of facts the report of the Committee of Commerce and or principles involved in the report.

Manufactures on laying a tonnage duty on foreign Mr. J. Randolph then moved that the Commit- ships and vessels, to be denominated light-money; tee should rise in order to give the petitioner an op- and the report of the same committee on various portunity of being heard at the bar of the House. memorials and petitions for the encouragement

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