« PreviousContinue »
PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES
THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
AT THE FIRST SESSION OF THE EIGHTH CONGRESS, BEGUN AT THE CITY OF WASHINGTON, MONDAY, OCTOBER 17, 1803.
MONDAY, October 17, 1803.
The first session of the eighth Congress, conformably to the Constitution of the United States, commenced at the City of Washington, agreeably to the Proclamation of the President of the United States for that purpose; and the Senate assembled on this day.
SIMEON OLCOTT and WILLIAM PLUMER, from New Hampshire;
TIMOTHY PICKERING, from Massachusetts; JAMES HILLHOUSE and URIAH TRACY, from Connecticut;
CHRISTOPHER ELLERY and SAMUEL I. POTTER, from Rhode Island;
STEPHEN R. BRADLEY and ISRAEL SMITH, from Vermont;
DEWITT CLINTON and THEODORUS BAILEY, from New York;
JONATHAN DAYTON and JOHN CONDIT, from New Jersey;
GEORGE LOGAN and SAMUEL MACLAY, from Pennsylvania;
WILLIAM HILL WELLS and SAMUEL WHITE, from Delaware;
ROBERT WRIGHT and SAMUEL SMITH, from Maryland;
JOHN TAYLOR and WILSON CAREY NICHOLAS, from Virginia;
JOHN BROWN and JOHN BRECKENRIDGE, from Kentucky;
JESSE FRANKLIN and DAVID STONE, from North Carolina;
JOSEPH ANDERSON and WILLIAM COCKE, from Tennessee;
ABRAHAM BALDWIN, from Georgia; and THOMAS WORTHINGTON, from Ohio. The VICE PRESIDENT being absent, the Senate proceeded to the election of a President pro tem., as the Constitution provides, and the ballots being collected and counted, the whole number was found to be twenty-nine, of which fifteen make a majority. Mr. BROWN had 24, Mr. BALDWIN 2, Mr. DAYTON 2, and Mr. PICKERING 1.
Consequently, the honorable JOHN BROWN was elected President of the Senate pro tempore. The credentials of the following Senators were severally read, to wit:
Of JOSEPH ANDERSON, appointed a Senator by the Legislature of the State of Tennessee; of THEODORUS BAILEY, appointed a Senator by the Legislature of the State of New York; of JAMES HILLHOUSE, appointed a Senator by the Legislature of the State of Connecticut; of SAMUEL MACLAY, appointed a Senator by the Legislature of the State of Pennsylvania; of SAMUEL I. POTTer, appointed a Senator by the Legislature of the State of Rhode Island; of ISRAEL SMITH, аppointed a Senator by the Legislature of the State of Vermont; of SAMUEL WHITE, appointed a Senator by the Legislature of the State of Delaware; for the term of six years from and after the third day of March last, respectively: also, of THOMAS WORTHINGTON, appointed a Senator by the Legislature of the State of Ohio; of JOHN CONDIT, appointed a Senator by the Executive of the State of New Jersey; of JOHN TAYLOR, appointed a Senator by the Executive of the State of Virginia, in place of S. T. Mason, deceased; of TIMOTHY PICKERING, appointed a Senator by the Legislature of the State of Massachusetts, in the place of Dwight Foster, resigned; and the oath required by law was, by the PRESIDENT, administered to them respectively.
The oath was also administered to SAMUEL SMITH, appointed a Senator by the Legislature of the State of Maryland, for the term of six years from and after the third day of March last.
Ordered, That the Secretary wait on the President of the United States and acquaint him that a quorum of the Senate is assembled, and that, in the absence of the VICE PRESIDENT, they have elected the Hon. JOHN BROWN, President of the Senate pro tempore.
The Secretary was directed to give a similar notice to the House of Representatives.
Resolved, That JAMES MATHERS, Sergeant-atArms and Doorkeeper to the Senate, be, and he is hereby, authorized to employ one additional as281949
sistant and two horses, for the purpose of performing such services as are usually required by the Doorkeeper to the Senate; and that the sum of twenty-eight dollars be allowed him weekly for that purpose during the session, and for twenty days after.
Resolved, That each Senator be supplied during the present session with three such newspapers, printed in any of the States, as he may choose, provided that the same be furnished at the usual rate for the annual charge of such papers.
the continuance of that privation would be more injurious to our nation than any consequences which could flow from any mode of redress; but, reposing just confidence in the good faith of the Government whose able representations were resorted to, and the right of officer had committed the wrong, friendly and reasondeposit was restored.
Ordered, That Messrs. CLINTON and BRECKENRIDGE be a committee on the part of the Senate, together with such committee as the House of Representatives may appoint on their part, 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.
unaware of the danger to which our peace would be Previous, however, to this period, we had not been perpetually exposed whilst so important a key to the commerce of the western country remained under a foreign Power. Difficulties too were presenting themselves as A message from the House of Representatives to the navigation of other streams, which arising withinformed the Senate that a quorum of the House in our territories, pass through those adjacent. Propohad assembled, and had elected the Hon. NATHAN-sitions had therefore been authorized for obtaining, on IEL MACON their Speaker, and is ready to proceed fair conditions, the sovereignty of New Orleans, and of to business. other possessions in that quarter, interesting to our quiet, to such extent as was deemed practicable; and the provisional appropriation of two millions of dollars, to be applied and accounted for by the President of the United States, intended as part of the price, was considered as conveying the sanction of Congress to the acquisition proposed. The enlightened Government of France saw, with just discernment, the importance to both nations of such liberal arrangements as might friendship of both; and the property and sovereignty best and permanently promote the peace, interests, and of all Louisiana, which had been restored to them, has,
A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate, that the House agree to the resolution of the Senate for the appointment of a joint committee to wait on the President of the United States, and have appointed a committee on their part.
On motion, Resolved, That two Chaplains, of different denominations, be appointed to Congress for the present session, one by each House, who shall interchange weekly.
Ordered, That the Secretary desire the concurrence of the House of Representatives in this resolution.
on certain conditions, been transferred to the United States, by instruments bearing date the 30th of April last.
When these shall have received the Constitutional sanction of the Senate, they will, without delay, be communicated to the Representatives for the exercise of their functions, as to those conditions which are within the powers vested by the Constitution in Congress. Whilst the property and sovereignty of the Mississippi and its waters secure an independent outlet for the produce of the Western States, and an uncontrolled navigation through their whole course, free from collision with other Powers, and the dangers to our peace from that source, the fertility of the country, its climate and extent, promise, in due season, important
aids to our Treasury, an ample provision for our posterity, and a wide spread for the blessings of freedom and equal laws.
The Senate proceeded to the choice of a Chaplain on their part, and the ballots having been collected and counted, the whole number was twenty-eight; of which fifteen make a majority. Mr. GANTT had 15 votes, and Mr. M'CORMICK 13. Consequently, the Rev. Dr. GANTT was elected. Mr. CLINTON reported, from the joint committee appointed for the purpose, that they had waited on the President of the United States, and that he had acquainted them that he would make a communication to the two Houses, by message, im-ly adopted brethren; for securing to them the rights of mediately.
The following Message was received from the
Representatives of the United States:
In calling you together, fellow-citizens, at an earlier day than was contemplated by the act of the last session of Congress, I have not been insensible to the personal inconveniences necessarily resulting from an unexpected change in your arrangements. But matters of great public concernment have rendered this call necessary, and the interest you feel in these will supersede, in your minds, all private considerations.
Congress witnessed, at their late session, the extraordinary agitation produced in the public mind by the suspension of our right of deposit at the port of New Orleans, no assignment of another place having been made according to treaty. They were sensible that
With the wisdom of Congress it will rest to take those ulterior measures which may be necessary for the immediate occupation and temporary government of the country; for its incorporation into our Union; for rendering the change of government a blessing to our new
conscience and of property; for confirming to the Indian inhabitants their occupancy and self-government, establishing friendly and commercial relations with them, and for ascertaining the geography of the country acquired. Such materials for your information relative to its affairs in general, as the short space of time has permitted me to collect, will be laid before you when the subject shall be in a state for your consideration.
Another important acquisition of territory has also been made since the last session of Congress. The friendly tribe of Kaskaskia Indians, with which we have never had a difference, reduced by the wars and wants of savage life to a few individuals, unable to defend themselves against the neighboring tribes, has transferred its country to the United States, reserving only for its members what is sufficient to maintain them in an agricultural way. The considerations stipulated are, that we shall extend to them our patronage and protection, and give them certain annual aids, in money,
in implements of agriculture, and other articles of their choice. This country, among the most fertile within our limits, extending along the Mississippi from the mouth of the Illinois to and up the Ohio, though not so necessary as a barrier since the acquisition of the other bank, may yet be well worthy of being laid open to immediate settlement, as its inhabitants may descend with rapidity in support of the lower country, should future circumstances expose that to foreign enterprise, As the stipulations in this treaty also involve matters within the competence of both Houses only, it will be laid before Congress as soon as the Senate shall have advised its ratification.
With many of the other Indian tribes improvements in agriculture and household manufacture are advancing; and, with all, our peace and friendship are established on grounds much firmer than heretofore. The measure adopted of establishing trading-houses among them, and of furnishing them necessaries in exchange for their commodities at such moderate prices as leave no gain, but cover us from loss, has the most conciliatory and useful effect on them, and is that which will best secure their peace and good will.
The small vessels authorized by Congress, with a view to the Mediterranean service, have been sent into that sea, and will be able more effectually to confine the Tripoline cruisers within their harbors, and supersede the necessity of convoy to our commerce in that quarter. They will sensibly lessen the expenses of that service the ensuing year.
A further knowledge of the ground in the northeastern and northwestern angles of the United States has evinced that the boundaries established by the treaty of Paris, between the British territories and ours in those parts, were too imperfectly described to be susceptible of execution. It has therefore been thought worthy of attention, for preserving and cherishing the harmony and useful intercourse subsisting between the two nations, to remove, by timely arrangements, what unfavorable incidents might otherwise render a ground of future misunderstanding. A convention has therefore been entered into, which provides for a practicable demarcation of those limits, to the satisfaction of both parties.
An account of the receipts and expenditures of the year ending 30th September last, with the estimates for the service of the ensuing year, will be laid before you by the Secretary of the Treasury, so soon as the receipts of the last quarter shall be returned from the more distant States. It is already ascertained that the amount paid into the Treasury for that year has been between eleven and twelve millions of dollars; and that the revenue accrued, during the same term, exceeds the sum counted on as sufficient for our current expenses, and to extinguish the public debt within the period heretofore proposed.
The amount of debt paid for the same year is about three million one hundred thousand dollars, exclusive of interest, and making, with the payment of the preceding year, a discharge of more than eight millions and a half of dollars of the principal of that debt, besides the accruing interest: and there remain in the Treasury nearly six millions of dollars. Of these, eight hundred and eighty thousand have been reserved for payment of the first instalment due under the British convention of January 8th, 1802, and two millions are what have been before mentioned as placed by Congress, under the power and accountability of the President, towards the price of New Orleans, and other territories acquired,
which, remaining untouched, are still applicable to that object, and go in diminution of the sum to be funded for it. Should the acquisition of Louisiana be Constitutionally confirmed and carried into effect, a sum of nearly thirteen millions of dollars will then be added to our public debt, most of which is payable after fifteen years; before which term, the present existing debts will all be discharged by the established operation of the Sinking Fund. When we contemplate the ordinary annual augmentation of impost from increasing population and wealth, the augmentation of the same revenue by its extension to the new acquisition, and the economies which may still be introduced into our public expenditures, I cannot but hope that Congress, in reviewing their resources, will find means to meet the intermediate interest of this additional debt, without recurring to new taxes; and applying to this object only the ordinary progression of our revenue, its extraordinary increase in times of foreign war will be the proper and sufficient fund for any measures of safety or precaution which that state of things may render necessary in our neutral position.
Remittances for the instalments of our foreign debt having been found practicable without loss, it has not been thought expedient to use the power, given by a former act of Congress, of continuing them by re-loans, and of redeeming, instead thereof, equal sums of domestic debt, although no difficulty was found in obtaining that accommodation.
The sum of fifty thousand dollars appropriated by Congress for providing gun boats remains unexpended. The favorable and peaceable turn of affairs on the Mississippi rendered an immediate execution of that law unnecessary; and time was desirable in order that the institution of that branch of our force might begin on models the most approved by experience. The same issue of events dispensed with a resort to the appropriation of a million and a half of dollars, contemplated for purposes which were effected by happier means.
We have seen with sincere concern the flames of war lighted up again in Europe, and nations, with which we have the most friendly and useful relations, engaged in mutual destruction. While we regret the
miseries in which we see others involved, let us bow
with gratitude to that kind Providence, which, inspiring with wisdom and moderation our late Legislative Councils, while placed under the urgency of the greatest wrongs, guarded us from hastily entering into the sanguinary contest, and left us only to look on and to pity its ravages. These will be the heaviest on those immediately engaged. Yet the nations pursuing peace will not be exempt from all evil. In the course of this conflict let it be our endeavor, as it is our interest and desire, to cultivate the friendship of the belligerent nations by every act of justice, and of innocent kindness; to receive their armed vessels with hospitality from the distresses of the sea, but to administer the means of annoyance to none; to establish in our harbors such a police as may maintain law and order; to restrain our citizens from embarking individually in a war in which their country takes no part; to punish severely those persons, citizen or alien, who shall usurp the cover of our flag for vessels not entitled to it, infecting thereby with suspicion those of real Americans, and committing us into controversies for the redress of wrongs not our own; to exact from every nation the observance, towards our vessels and citizens, of those principles and practices which all civilized people acknowledge; to merit the character of a just nation, and
THURSDAY, October 20.
The Senate assembled, and, after the consideration of Executive business, adjourned.
FRIDAY, October 21.
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, appointed a Senator by the Legislature of the State of Massachusetts, for six years, commencing the 4th day of March last, produced his credentials, which were read; and the oath required by law was administered to him by the President.
Ordered, That it be referred to Messrs. WORTHINGTON, BRECKENRIDGE, and FRANKLIN, to consider and report thereon.
maintain that of an independent one, preferring every consequence to insult and habitual wrong. Congress will consider whether the existing laws enable us efficaciously to maintain this course with our citizens in all places, and with others while within the limits of our jurisdiction; and will give them the new modifications necessary for these objects. Some contraventions of right have already taken place, both within our jurisdictional limits, and on the high seas. The friendly disposition of the Governments from whose agents they have proceeded, as well as their wisdom and regard for justice, leave us in reasonable expectation that they will be rectified and prevented in future; and that no act will be countenanced by them which threatens to Mr. WORTHINGTON presented the memorial of disturb our friendly intercourse. Separated by a wide Joseph Harrison and others, citizens of the United ocean from the nations of Europe, and from the political States, residing in that part of the Indiana Terriinterests which entangle them together, with produc- tory which lies north of an east and west line tions and wants which render our commerce and extending through the southerly bend of Lake friendship useful to them, and theirs to us, it cannot be Michigan, praying that that district may be erectthe interest of any to assail us, nor ours to disturb them.ed into a separate government; and the memorial We should be most unwise, indeed, were we to cast away the singular blessings of the position in which nature has placed us, the opportunity she has endowed us with, of pursuing, at a distance from foreign contentions, the paths of industry, peace, and happiness; of cultivating general friendship, and of bringing collisions of interest to the umpire of reason rather than of force. How desirable, then, must it be, in a Government like ours, to see its citizens adopt, individually, the views, the interests, and the conduct, which their country should pursue, divesting themselves of those passions and partialities which tend to lessen useful friendships, and to embarras and embroil us, in the calamitous scenes of Europe! Confident, fellow-citizens, that you will duly estimate the importance of neutral dispositions towards the observance of neutral conduct, that you will be sensible how much it is our duty to look on the bloody arena spread before us, with commisseration, indeed, but with no other wish than to see it closed, I am persuaded you will cordially cherish these dispositions in all discussions among yourselves, and in all communications with your constituents; and I anticipate, with satisfaction, the measures of wisdom which the great interests now committed to you will give you an opportunity of providing, and myself, that of approving and of carrying into execution with the fidelity I owe to my country.
Ост. 17, 1803.
The Message was read, and five hundred copies thereof ordered to be printed for the use of the
A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that the House concur in the resolution of the Senate, of the 17th instant, for the appointment of Chaplains, and have appointed the Rev. WILLIAM PARKINSON Chaplain to Congress on their part.
Mr. CLINTON, after a few prefatory observations on the necessity of designating the persons, severally, whom the people should wish to hold the offices of President and Vice President of the United States, and stating that the State which he represented, as well as others of the Union, had, through the medium of their Legislatures, strongly recommended the adoption of the principle, laid on the table the following motion, which he read; and it was made the order of the day for the next day, and printed.
Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, two-thirds of both Houses concurring, That the following amendment be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States as an amendment to the Constitution of of the said Legislatures, shall be valid to all intents the United States, which, when ratified by three-fourths and purposes, as part of the said Constitution, to wit:
That the third paragraph of the first section of the second article of the Constitution of the United States, in the words following, to wit: "The Electors shall meet in their respective States and vote by ballot for habitant of the same State with themselves. And they two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an inshall make a list of all the persons voted for, and of the number of votes for each, which list they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if there be more than one who have such majority, and have an equal number of votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately choose by ballot one of