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GALES & SEATON'S
Register of Debates in Congress.
TWENTY FIRST CONGRESS...FIRST SESSION:
FROM DECEMBER 7, 1829, TO MAY 31, 1830.
DEBATES IN THE SENATE.
Monday, DECEMBER 7, 1829.
of this body, from the State of Mississippi, will go into At noon, the Honorable SAMUEL SMITH, of Mary- mourning for one month by wearing crape on the left arm. land, President pro tempore of the Senate, took the chair.
Resolved, That, as an additional evidence of respect to The roll of Senators having been called over by WALTER the memory of the Honorable Thomas B. Reed, the Senate LOWRIE, Esq. Secretary of the Senate, it appeared that do now adjourn. thirty-five members were present. The usual message was sent to the House of Repre
(From the 10th to the 22d of December, inclusive, there sentatives, notifying that a quorum of the Senate had as
was no business transacted to give rise to debate. The sembled.
Senate was principally occupied in receiving and referring Mr. WHITE and Mr. SANFORD were then appointed petitions, and disposing of motions for inquiry, &c.] a committee to join the committee of the House of Re.' presentatives, to inform the President of the United States
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 1829. that quorums of the two Houses had assembled, &c.
INTEREST DUE TO CERTAIN STATES.
The bill providing for the allowance of interest to cer TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 1829.
tain States therein mentioned, on such advances made by Mr. WHITE reported from the Joint Committee, that them to the United States, during the late war, as have they had, according to order, waited on the President of been or may hereafter be refunded to them, with the the United States, who replied that he would, to-day, at amendments of the Committee on the Judiciary to the bill, 12 o'clock, make a communication to each House of were taken up in Committee of he Whole. The amend Congress.
ments, viz: To provide for the payment of interest due Soon after which, a written message (which will be to the States of Rhode Island and New Hampshire, were found in the Appendis) was received from the President agreed to; and, on motion of Mr. IREDELL, the bill was of the United States, by Mr. Donelson, his Secretary. further amended by inserting the State of North CaroThe message was read, and, on motion by Mr. ROWAN, lina; and the question being on ordering the bill to be
engrossed for a third readingOrdered, That four thousand five hundred copies of the Mr. BENTON expressed some repugnance at voting message, with one thousand five hundred copies of the for the bill, until he was better informed of the consedocuments accompanying it, be printed for the use of the quences which might attend that vote, and how far the Senate.
accounting officers of the Government might be authorized to go under the bill
. Formerly great rigor and exactWEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9, 1829.
ness were observed in the investigation of claims on the The Senate, this day, elected its several standing com-Government before Congress ordered their allowance. inittees: and on motion of Mr. SANFORD, it was
It was a good practice, and he should be sorry to see a Resolved, That a select committee be appointed to con- different and looser mode introduced. For himself, he sider the state of the current coins, and to report such did not know that the United States owed a debt to a sinamendments of the existing laws concerning coins, as may ing officers to ascertain the fact of the existence of debt
gle State, and if the bill proposed to authorize the accountbe deemed expedient.
to the States, and allow interest thereon, without other HONORS TO THE DEAD.
examination, he could not consent to it. He should himMr. ELLIS having announced the death of his colleague, self like to see the accounts, whether for advances made the Honorable Thomas B. Reen, of Mississippi, submit- in money, or for services rendered, and know whether ted the following resolutions, which were unanimously they were rendered by order or against order, and judge agreed to:
of their validity. At present he was in the dark as to the Resolved, That the members of the Senate, from a de-whole subject of the bill; he had seen no report on it, sire of showing every mark of respect to the memory of and knew not if there was any. He desired further inthe Honorable Thomas B. Reed, deceased, late a Senator ) formation.
Military Peace Establishment.
(Dec. 24 to 29, 1829.
Mr. MARKS adverted to certain documents in his pos- why the bill ought to be passed, were explained more at session which would elucidate the principle of the bill, length in various other documents. but not anticipating the consideration of the bill to-day, he Mr. BENTON, in reply, said, that he would be sorry had not brought the papers to the House with him. He, to be the occasion of introducing any innovations into the therefore, moved to lay the bill on the table for the pre-proceedings of this body; but if it was any innovation, he sent, but withdrew his motion at the request of
considered the present instance of sufficient importance Mr. SMITH, of Maryland, who said that the bill did not to authorize a departure from the usual practice. It was contemplate the admission of any claims for advances, or a case, he said, which stood alone, and which, in his opinthe examination of any accounts; there were none to be ion, nct only justified, but required a preamble. The rendered—they had all been settled and paid—and the bill object of the preamble was to explain the nature and the is for the allowance of interest on those claims which have end of the act itself. The necessity for the preamble in been settled and paid. Instead of laying the bill on the this particular case, was, that the reasons for the act only table, he preferred postponing it to Monday, and making existed in the secret Executive records of the Senate, and it the order of the day; which motion he made, and it could not be known to the public or the other House was carried.
unless stated in this way. There was no danger to be
apprehended of its growing into precedent, nor of our Thursday, DECEMBER 24, 1829.
bills being loaded with unnecessary preambles. He thereThe Senate were engaged to-lay in receiving and refer- fore hoped that the motion of the gentleman from New ring petitions and reports of committees. Adjourned to York would not prevail. Monday.
Mr. SMITH, of Maryland, said that precedents arise,
and only arise, from the repetition of particular cases, MONDAY, DECEMBER 28, 1829.
which increase gradually till at length they become comThere was no debate in the Senate to-day.
mon usage. Thus, if it be acceded to in the present in
stance, it would be quoted hereafter in support of a reTUESDAY, DECEMBER 29, 1829.
petition of it. He considered it wrong to follow the En
glish practice in this respect, as the reports of our ComMILITARY PEACE ESTABLISHMENT.
mittees, with which all bills are accompanied, supply the The Senate proceeded to the special order of the day place of preambles. on the bill explanatory of the act to reduce and fix the Mr. HOLMES deemed a preamble nothing but an apomilitary peace establishment of the United States, passed logy for legislation; and fo: apologies he thought there March 2, 1821.
was no necessity. His chief objection to preambles was, The bill is as follows:
that they rendered legislation complex instead of eluci"Whereas doubts have arisen in the construction of the dating it. act of Congress, passed the second day of March, one Mr. HAYNE said, that in the good olden times, when peothousand eight hundred and twenty-one, entitled “ An ple were not ashamed to tell the truth, bills were precedact to reduce and fix the military peace establishment of ed by preambles always. They were used to set forth the United States," which have hitherto prevented it from the object of the bill, and the means by which that object being carried into execution, so far as relates to the ar- was to be obtained. It now happens that the practice is rangement of a colonel to the second regiment of artil- changed, and preambles have come into disuse because lelery: And whereas it was the true intent and meaning of gislative bodies are less candid. So much for precedent, the said act, that the vacancy aforesaid should be filled by which has led us to dispense with the use of preambles. arranging to it one of the colonels in the army of the He knew cases in which it would have been well to have United States at the time of the passage thereof: And retained the old practice. He knew a case in which a whereas, in the execution of said act, Daniel Bissel, then preamble would have been of infinite advantage--he a colonel in the line, and a brevet Brigadier General in meant the Tariff law. A preamble to that act would the army of the United States, was ordered to be dis- have stated its true objects--that it was for the purpose, charged as a supernumerary officer, which order, as it not of raising revenue, but for the protection of the manaffected the said Daniel Bissell
, and some other officers, ufacturing interests. As to the apprehensions of the gen. was held by the Senate to be illegal and void: And where- tleman from Maryland (Mr. Smith) he [Mr. H.] would as the President of the United States has since nominated say that there was no danger of its becoming a precedent the said Daniel Bissell to be colonel of the second regi --on the contrary, the only danger to be dreaded was, ment of artillery aforesaid, which nomination the Senate that we may be left without a precedent for stating the have not acted upon, because they hold the said Colonel grounds of our legislation. The gentleman not only oband Brevet Brigadier General Daniel Bissell to be in the jects as to the danger of its becoming a precedent for fuarmy, and to need no new appointment: Now, therefore, ture, action, but he also says that it is not proper to spread to put an end to all doubt and disagreement upon this sub- our reasons for legislating upon record. This very case, ject, and to enable the President to carry said act of March he [Mr. H.) contended, required that the reasons should second, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-one, into go with the act. Suffer it to go to the world naked, and execution:
what will it appear? Why, that Colonel Bissell is assigned “ Be it enacted, &c. That the President be, and he is to the command of the second regiment of artillery by hereby, authorized to fill the vacancy in the second regi- an act of Congress. This would seem out of course, and ment of artillery, by arranging Daniel Bissell thereto." what, he would ask, would be the consequences? Why,
Mr. BENTON, in support of the passage of the bill, that Congress undertakes to fill vacancies in the army by read the report of the Committee on Military Affairs, to special acts. But this is an extraordinary case, and to whom was referred that part of the President's message prevent the possibility of its being mislinderstood, we to Congress in 1826, which relates to this subject. state the reasons of passing the bill in a preamble to it.
Mr. SANFORD moved to expunge the preamble from Unless these reasons were spread upon record, he would the bill. He considered it wholly unnecessary, and stat- hesitate much whether he should vote for the passage of ed that there was no instance in our Government in which the bill, as he was not disposed to search for the reasons a preamble to a bill was employed as a vehicle of the rea- amongst the public documents of the Senate, or the Exsons why the bill itself ought to be passed. It was, he ccutive archives of the Senate. He hoped, therefore, repeated, wholly unusual and unnecessary; and, in the the reasons for this act would go with it, and speak for present case, especially unnecessary, since all the reasons themselves to all future time. The preamble of a bill,
Dec. 30, 1829.)
National Currency.—The Public Lands.
he said, was the key to unlock the motive which induced Mr. BIBB asked the yeas and nays. He said he was its passage.
equally opposed to the principle of the preamble and the Mr. FOOT said that this bill required no key to unlock bill. He thought the decision of the President right and it. The bill was perfectly simple, and easily understood; this bill wrong. He was also opposed to paying any man it reads, “ that the President be, and is hereby, author. a sum of perhaps fifteen thousand dollars, who had renized to fill the vacancy in the second regiment of artille- dered no service for it. ry, by arranging Daniel Bissell thereto." As to assigning The yeas and nays were ordered. reasons for the passage of a bill he thought there was no Mr. SMITH moved to lay the bill on the table. He necessity for it. He was opposed to making apologies thought the bill could be amended by the insertion of a for our public acts--he would make no apology. As the clause, providing against the payment of this individual gentleman from Maryland had well observed, the reports for the time he has been out of service. accompanying the bills contain the reasons of our legislation. The motion was agreed to.
Mr. KÁNĚ said there was some difficulty with him about this matter. The necessity which gave rise to the
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30, 1829. bill was a different construction being given to the act of 1821 by the President and the Senate. The President
NATIONAL CURRENCY. thought that he had not the power to arrange General The following resolution, submitted yesterday by Mr. Bissell to the command of the second regiment of artil- BARTON, was taken up: lery, and the Senate, on the contrary, thought he had the
“ Resolved, that the Committee on Finance be instruct. authority to do so. A bill has been formed for the pur-ed to inquire into the expediency of establishing a unipose of settling the difficulty. If the bill pass in the pro- form national currency for the United States, and to report posed form, without the preamble, we call upon the Pre-thereon to the Senate.”. sident to sign a bill stating that to be right which he has Mr. BARTON said that, in offering this resolution to declared or believed to be wrong; we call upon him to the Senate, his chief object was to produce inquiry into sign against his conviction. As he stated before, the Pre- the subject, which he viewed as one of importance. If sident denies that he has the authority which the bill sup. the resolution was adopted, he should move to refer some poses. He moved to amend the motion of the Senator documents in relation to the subject to the Committee on from New York, by striking out all from the word “ar- Finance. tillery” to the words “And whereas," exclusive.
Mr. BENTON said the resolution was a very important Mr. SMITH said that this very motion showed the im- one, and he therefore hoped that the gentleman who had propriety of introducing preambles into bills. The Sen- moved it would state what objects he had in view in offerator from South Carolina (Mr. HAYNE] considered a pre- ing it. amble necessary to show the intent and meaning of an act; Mr. BARTON was proceeding in compliance with the and he said that if a proper preamble had been placed be- request of his colleague, to state his reasons for offering fore the tariff bill, the objects set forth would be widely this resolution, which he said he would do in general different from what was there stated. His opinion was, terms, when-that the preamble was wholly unnecessary; if it prevail Mr. BENTON rose and stated that he had mistaken the in one case it must prevail in all, and the result will be nature of the resolution proposed. His impression was, chat, instead of discussing bills, we will be employed in that it was the resolution proposed yesterday by the genthe consideration of preambles.
tleman from Connecticut, [Mr. Foor) in relation to the Mr. DICKERSON said he would vote against striking public lands, which was under consideration. out the preamble in this particular case, though he ob Mr. SANFORD hoped that the gentleman from Misjected to the general use of it. In reply to the gentleman souri (Mr. Barton) would still proceed to state his object. from South Carolina (Mr. Har E] who expressed his re Mr. BARTON declined this for the present. He gret that a preamble was not introduced into the Tariff thought a better opportunity would be afforded for this in bill, Mr. D. read the preamble of the act of 1789, laying a report from the Committee, and any explanatory obserduties, which was as follows:
vations he had to make would be more appropriate when “ Whereas it is necessary for the support of Govern- the subject should come to be considered by the Senate. ment, for the discharge of the debts of the United States, In the mean time, he would state that although he was and the encouragement and protection of manufactures
, one of those who believed in the advantage of a well rethat duties be laid on goods, wares, and merchandises, im- gulated paper currency, he did not claim the merit of oriported."
ginating this proposition. As respected it he was merely Mr. HAYNE said the gentleman had given the best the disciple of others. reason why the practice ought not to be dispensed with. The question on the adoption of the resolution was carIf the real object of the Tariff act of 1828 had been pre- ried in the affirmative, nem. con. fixed to it, we could then have gone to the judiciary and Mr. BARTON then moved to refer to the Committee a tested the constitutionality of that law.
volume containing sundry printed papers on the subject Mr. KANE, with the consent of the Senate, so modi- of a national currency, among them a memorial signed by fied his amendinent as to read, “And whereas it was de Thomas Law, Esq. of this city, Walter Jones, Esq. and cided by the Senate to be the true intent and meaning,” &c. others, some years ago presented to Congress, and an es
This amendment was agreed to~Ayes 21, Noes 15. say on the subject, addressed to the Columbian Institute,
The question on striking out the whole preamble was by Mr. Law. next taken, and negatived--Ayes 19, Noes 20.
The motion was agreed to, and the papers were referMr. SMITH, of Maryland, inquired whether the per- red accordingly. son referred to in the bill would be entitled to his pay for
THE PUBLIC LANDS. the time from which he was deranged to the time when he is to be arranged.
The following resolution, offered yesterday by Mr. Mr. BENTON replied that each officer was obliged to FOOT, was taken up for consideration: give a certificate of honor that he was employed, and had Resolved, That the Committee on Public Lands be inincurred the usual expenses, during the time for which structed to inquire into the expediency of limiting for a he claims pay, before he is entitled to any emolument. certain period the sales of the public lands to such lands
The question of engrossing the bill for a third reading only as have heretofore been offered for sale, and are subbeing stated,
ject to entry at the minimum price. And also, whether
The Public Lands.
[Dec. 30, 1829.
It was one
the office of Surveyor General may not be abolished with a bill. It was then debated on its own merits. If, after disout detriment to the public interest."
cussion, it went to a committee, it went with the advantages The resolution having been read,
of being illuminated by all the light which the intelligence Mr. BENTON hoped that the gentleman from Connec- of the whole body could shed upon it. He was willing to ticut, [Mr. Foot] would take notice of the request he had discuss this resolution. He wished to do so. made to another gentleman, (Mr. Barton) but which was of infinite moment to the new States in the West. It was intended for him.
a question of checking the emigration to them. To stop Mr. FOOT replied, he certainly would take no- the surveys, to suspend the sales of fresh lands, was an old tice of the challenge given by the gentleman from Mis- and favorite policy with some politicians. It had often souri, (Mr. Benton] although he had hoped the very been attempted. The attempts were as old as the exist. terms of the resolution would be sufficiently explanatory ence of the Government. He wished to have a full de. of its purport. He had, he said, been induced to offer bate, and a vote of the Senate upon that policy. He knew that resolution from the circumstance of having examined the mover of the resolution (Mr. Foor] to be a direct man, the report of the Commissioner of the Land Office, at the who would march up firmly to his object. He would, there. last session, by which he ascertained that the quantity of fore, suggest, that he had better change the form of his land which remained unsold at the minimum price of resolution; give it an imperative character; make it a re$1 25 per acre, exceeds 72,000,000 of acres. In addi-solution of instruction instead of inquiry. He paused to tion to this inducement, he was actuated by another: On give the Senator an opportunity to say whether he would examining the report of the Land Commissioner, made dur- thus modify his resolution. ing the present session, in which he found the following Mr. FOOT acknowledged the kindness of the gentle. words: “There is reason to believe there will be an annu- man from Missouri, but he must say that he had not the al demand of about one million acres land, which will vanity to pretend to understand this subject, and therefore probably be increased with the progress of population could not consent to give the resolution that peremptory and improvement, &c. That the cash sales in one district character which he (Mr. B.) wished for. His object was in Ohio, where the lands were of inferior quality, and not inquiry-to obtain information. When the committee more than three or four hundred thousand acres for sale, shall have reported on the subject, then would be the amounted to $35,000, and in other places, where there are time for gentlemen to submit their views on it. He was immense quantities, and of very superior quality, the sale, not disposed to alter the phraseology of his resoultion. during 1828, amounted to only $2,000."
He preferred to act upon it as it was. From this statement of the Commissioner, Mr. F. said, Mr. BENTON said that the refusal of the gentleman to he was induced to institute an inquiry into the expediency modify his resolution could not prevent him from treating of stopping, for a limited time, this indiscriminate sale of it as a resolution of instruction. He could still oppose it, public lands, and whether the public interest did not de- and give his reasons for doing so. It was not usual (Mr. mand that an end should be put to it. His own State, B. said] to oppose the reference of resolutions of inquiry; every State in the Union, was interested in it, since there, but this was a resolution to inquire into the expediency of lands are the common property of the United States. If committing a great injury upon the new States in the the fact was as it was stated in the Commissioner's report, West, and such an inquiry ought not to be permitted. It the subject was worthy of inquiry: Mr. F. thought it was was not a fit subject for inquiry. It was immaterial to better to confine the sales merely to those lands which him what the design or object of the mover might be, the have been already brought into market; an inquiry into effect was what he looked at, and it was clear that the efthe expediency of which was all that his resolution pro- fect, if the resolution should lead to correspondent legisposed. As the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. BENTON] lation, would be to check emigration to the Western States. had observed, this was a subject which involved important Such would be its inevitable effect. (Mr. Foot here interests; the whole United States have a deep interest in shook his head.] The Senator from Connecticut shakes it; and as such, he hoped that he had a right to make the his head, but he cannot shake the conviction out of my proposed inquiry. These were the reasons, which he head, (said Mr. B.? that a check to Western emigration said he stated briefly, why he was induced to offer the re- will be the effect of this resolution. The West is my solution.
country; not bis. I know it; he does not. I know the Mr. HOLMES made an inquiry as to that part of the practical effect of his resolution would be to check emiresolution relating to the propriety of abolishing the office gration to it; for who would remove to a new country if it of surveyor general. There were, he said, five survey was not to get new lands? The idea of checking emigradistricts in the United States; one northwest of the Ohio, tion to the West was brought forward openly at the last one south of Tennessee, one in Missouri, one in Alabama, increase of the tariff. The Secretary of thic Treasury and another in Florida. These officers in the districts he gave it a place in his annual report upon the finances. He had mentioned, were known by different names, some dwelt openly and largely upon the necessity of checking were called surveyors, and others surveyors general. He the absorbing force of this emigration, in order to keep wished to know, did the gentleman from Connecticut people in the East to work in the manufactories. I ccmmean to extend his inquiry to all these States.
mented somewhat severely upon his report at the time. I Mr. FOOT said, he was not aware of any difference in reprobated its doctrines. I did it in full Senate, in the the names of the officers when he submitted his resolu- current of an ardent debate, and no Senator contested the tion. His object was to inquire if the office of surveyor propriety of the construction which I had put upon ought not to be discontinued, if it should appear that sur- the Secretary's words. No Senator stood up to say that veys were no longer necessary. He wished his resolution emigration ought to be stopped for that purpose; but systo include surveyors as well as surveyors general. His tematic efforts go on, the effect of which is to stop it. The object was to abolish the office, if the quantity of land al- sentiment has shown itself here in different forms, at variready surveyed was considered sufficient for the demand. ous times, and has often been trampled under foot. The re
Mr. BENTON said, that he did not challenge the right of solution now before us involves the same consequence, the Senator from Connecticut (Mr. Foor) to offer resolu- but in a new phraseology. What are the lands to which tions. He, himself, was not opposed to resolutions: on the gentleman would limit the sales? What are they that the contrary, he thought they presented the best mode of could be sold, if his resolution should take effect? Scraps; presenting subjects for discussion. They presented the mere refuse; the leavings of repeated sales and pickings! principle, or object aimed at, in its simplest form, uncon- Does he suppose that any man of substance would remove nected with the details which trammel and encumber it into the West for the purpose of establishing his family on