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JULY 21, 1789.]
Amendments to the Constitution.
[H. OF R.
But if the House are to go into a consideration, hoped they would not hesitate to adhere to theii' it had better be done in such a way as not tó foriner vote for going into a Committee of the interfere much with the organization of the whole. That they would gain nothing was Government.
pretty certain, for gentlemen must necessarily Mr. Page hoped the business would proceed come forward with their amendments to the reas heretofore directed. He thought it would be port when it was brought in. The members very agreeable to the inajority of the Union, from Massachusetts were particularly instructhe knew it would be to his constituents, to ed to press the amendments recommended by find that the Government meant to give every the convention of that State at all times, until security to the rights and liberties of the peo- they had been maturely considered by Congress; ple, and to examine carefully into the grounds of the same duties were made incumbent on the the apprehensions expressed by several of the members from some other States; consequently, State conventions; he thought they would be any attempt to smother the business, or prevent satisfied with the amendments brought forward a full investigation, must be nugatory, while by his colleague, when the subject was last be- the House paid a proper deference to their own fore the House.
rules and orders. 'He did not contend for going Mr. PARTRIDGE knew the subject must be into a Committee of the whole at the present taken up in some way or other, and preferred, moment; he would prefer a time of greater leifor the sake of expedition, doing it by a select sure than the present, from the business of orcommittee.
ganizing the Government. Mr. JACKSON was sorry to see the House Mr. Å mes declared to the House, that he was was to be troubled any further on the subject; no enemy to the consideration of amendments; he looked upon it as a mere waste of time; but but he had moved to rescind their former vote, as he always chose the least of two evils, he ac- in order to save time, which he was confident quiesced in the motion for referring it to a spe. would be the consequence of referring it to a cial committee.
select committee. Mr. Gerry asked, whether the House had He was sorry to hear an intention avowed cognizance of the amendments proposed by the by his colleague, of considering every part of State conventions? If they had not, he would the frame of this constitution. It was the same make a motion to bring them forward.
as forming themselves into a convention of the Mr. Page replied, that such motion would be United States. He did not stand for words, the out of order, until the present question was de- thing would be the same in fact. He could not termined.
but express a degree of anxiety at seeing the A desultory conversation ensued, and it was system of Government encounter another orquestioned whether the subject generally was deal, when it ought to be extending itself to to be before the Committee of the whole, or furnish security to others. He apprehended, if those specific propositions only which had al- the zeal of some gentlemen broke out on this ready been introduced.
occasion, that there would be no limits to the Mr. Gerry said, that it was a matter of in-time necessary to discuss the subject; he was difference how this question was understood, certain the cession would not be long enough; because no gentleman could pretend to deny perhaps they might be bounded by the period of another the privilege of bringing forward pro- their appointment, but he questioned it. positions conformably to his sentiments. If When gentlemen suppose themselves called gentlemen, then, might bring forward resolu- upon to vent their ardor in some favorite purtions to be added, or motions of amendinent, suit, in securing to themselves and their postethere would be no time saved by referring rity the inestimable rights and liberties they the subject to a special committee. But such have just snatched from the hand of despotism, procedure might tend to prejudice the House they are apt to carry their exertions to an exagainst an amendment neglected by the com- treme; but he hoped the subject itself would be mittee, and thereby induce them not to show limiteil; not that'he objected to the considerathat attention to the State which proposed it tion of the amendments proposed, indeed he that would be delicate and proper.
should move himself for the consideration, by He wished gentlemen to consider the situa: the committee, of those recommended by Mas. tion of the States; seven out of thirteen had sachusetts, if his colleagues omitted to do it; thought the constitution very defective, yet five but he hoped gentlemen would not think of of them have adopted it with a perfect reliance bringing in new amendinents, such as were on Congress for its improvement. Now, what not recoinmended, but went to tear the frame will these States feel if the subject is discussed of Government into pieces. in a select committee, and their recommenda- He had considered a select committee much tions totally neglected? The indelicacy of better calculated to consider and arrange a comtreating the application of five States in a man- plex business, than a Committee of the whole; ner different from other important subjects, he thought they were like the senses to the soul, will give no small occasion for disgust, which and on an occasion like the present, could be is a circumstance that this Government ought made equally useful. carefully to avoid. If, then, the House could If he recollected rightly the decision made gain nothing by this manner of proceeding, hel by the House on the 8th of June, it was that
H. of R.]
Amendments to the Constitution.
(JULY 21, 1789.
certain specific amendments be referred to the ought to treat the present subject with delicacy Committee of the whole; not that the subject gen- and impartiality. erally be referred, and that amendments be made The select committee will have it in their in the committee that were not contemplated, power so to keep this business back, that it may before. This public discussion would be like never again come before the House; this is an a dissection of the constitution, it would be de, imprudent step for us to take; not that I would facing its symmetry, laying bare its sinews and insinuate it is an event likely to take place, or tendons, ripping up the whole form, and tearing which any gentleman has in contemplation. I out its vitals; but is it presumable that such give every gentleman credit for his declaration, conduct would be attenıled with success? Two and believe the honorable mover means to save thirds of both Houses must agree in all these time by this arrangement; but do not let us operations, before they can have effect. His differ on this point. I would rather the business opposition to going into a Committee of the should lie over for a month, nay, for a whole whole, did not arise from any fear that the con session, than have it put into other hands, and stiution would suffer by a fair discussion in passed over without investigation. this, or any other House; but while such bu- Mr. Gerry inquired of his colleague, how it siness was going on, the Government was was possible that the House could be a federal laid prostrate, and every artery ceased to convention without the Senate, and when twobeat. ' The unfair advantages that might be thirds of both Houses are to agree to the amend. taken in such a situation, were easier ap- ments? He would also be glad to find out how prehended than resisted. Wherefore, he wish- a committee was the same to the House as the en to avoid the danger, by a more prudent line senses to the soul? What, said he, can we of conduct.
neither see, hear, smell, or feel, without we emMr. TUCKER would not say whether the dis- ploy a committee for the purpose? My colcussion alluded to by the gentleman last up league further tells us, that if we proceel in would do good or larm, but he was certain it this way, we shall lay bare the sinews and ought to take place no where but in a Commit- tendons of the constitution; that we shall butchtee of the whole; the subject is of too much im- er it, and put it to death. Now, what does this portance for a select committee. Now, sup: argument tend to prove? Why, sir, to my pose such a committee to be appointed, and mind, nothing more nor less than this, that we that the amendments proposed by the several ought to adopt the report of the committee, States, together with those brought forward by whatever the report may be; for we are to judge the gentleman from Virginia, are referred to by the knowledge derived through our senses, them; after some consideration they report, and not to proceed on to commit murder. If but not one of the amendments proposed by these are the arguments to induce the House to by either State; what is the inference? They refer the subject to a select committee, they are have considered them, and as they were better arguments to engage to go further, and give into capable than the House of considering them, the hands of select committees the whole the House ought to reject every proposition legislative power. But what was said recoming from the State conventions. 'Will this specting a public discussion? Are gentlemen give satisfaction to the States who have requir- afraid to meet the public ear on this topic? Do ed amendments? Very far from it. They will they wish to shut the gallery doors? Perhaps expect that their propositions would be fully nothing would be attended with more danger: brought before the House, and regularly and ous consequences. No, sir, let us not be afraid fully considered: if indeed then they are reject- of full and public investigation. Let our means, ed, it may be some satisfaction to them, to like our conclusions, be justified; let our con: know that their applications have been treated stituents see, hear, and judge for themselves. with respect.
The question on discharging the Committee What I have said with respect to the propo- of the whole on the state of the Union from prositions of the several States, may apply in soine ceeding on the subject of amendments, as redegree to the propositions brought forward by ferred to them, was put, and carried in the af
the gentleman (Mr. Madison) from Virginia; firmative-the House divided, 34 for it, and 15 • the select committee may single out one or two, against it.
and reject the remainder, notwithstanding the It was then ordered that Mr. Madison's movote of the House for considering them. The tion, stating certain specific amendments, progentleman would have a right to complain, and per to be proposed by Congress to the Legislaevery State would be justly disgusted.
tures of ihe States, to become, if ratified by Will it tend to reconcile the Government three-fourths thereof, part of the constitution of to that great body of the people who are dissatis: the United States, together with ihe amendfied, who think themselves and all they hold ments to the said constitution, as proposed by most dear, unsafe under it, without certain the several States, be referred to a committee, amendments are made? Will it answer any one to consist of a member from each State, with good purpose to slur over this business, and re- instruction to take the subject of amend. ject the propositions without giving them a fair ments to the constitution of the United States chance of a lull discussion? "I think not, Mr. generally into their consideration, and to report Speaker. Both the Senate and this House Thereupon to the House.
JULY 23, 1789. ]
(H. OF R.
The committee appointed were, Messrs. VIN- and that every person actually settled within the said ING, MADISON, BALDWIN, SHERMAN, BURKE, limits shall be entitled to the pre-emption of a quanGILMAN, CLYMER, Benson, GOODHUE, BOUDI" tity not exceeding acres, including his settleNOT, and Gale. Then the House adjourned.
Ordered, That a bill or bills be brought in,
pursuant to the said resolution, and that Mr. WeDNESDAY, July 22.
Scott, Mr. SYLVESTER, and Mr. Moore, do Mr. Burke, from the committee appointed prepare and bring in the same. for the purpose, presented a bill for allowing a compensation to the President and Vice Presi
THURSDAY, July 23. dent of the United States; which was received, A bill for allowing a compensation to the Preand read the first time.
sident and Vice President of the United States Ordered, That it be an instruction to the com- was read the second time, and ordered to be mittee appointed to bring in a bill for making a engrossed and read the third time to-morrow. compensation to the members of the Senate and
On motion, House of Representatives, that they do insert a
Resolved, That a committee be appointed to exaclause or clauses, making compensation to the mine into the measures taken by Congress and the Serjeant-at-Arms, Messengers, and Door- State of Virginia respecting the lands reserved for the keepers of the two Houses, for their services. use of the officers and soldiers of said State, on con
A petition was presented from Hannah tinental and State establishments, in the cession made Adams, praying that an exclusive privilege may by the said State to the United States, of the territory be granted her, for a limited time, to publish northwest of the river Ohio, and to report the same to and vend a work which she has compiled, en- this House, and that Mr. WHITE, Mr. Peter Muhtitled “ An Alphabetical Compendium of the LENBURG, and Mr. Seney, be of the said committee. various religious sects which have appeareil in
HOME DEPARTMENT. the world, from the Christian era to ihe present day, with an appendix, containing a brief ac
On motion of Mr. Vining, the House resolved count of the ditterent schemes of religion now itself into a Committee of the whole on the state embraced among mankind.”
of the Union, Mr. BOUDINOT in the chair. Ordered, That the petition do lie on the Mr. VINING introduced a resolution for the table.
adoption of the committee, by which it is declarThe House resolved itself into a Committee ed: That an Executive department ought to be of the whole House on the bill for settling the established, and to be denominated the Home accounts between the United States and indi. Department; the head of which to be called the vidual States, Mr. Boudinot in the chair; and, Secretary of the United States for the Home after some time spent therein, the committee Department; whose duty it shall be to corresrose, and reported that they had gone through pond with the several Siates, and to see to the the same, and inade no amendment thereto. execution of the laws of the Union; to keep the
On motion, Ordered, That the Committee of great seal, and affix the same to all public pathe whole House be discharged from further pers, when necessary; to keep the lesser seal, proceedings on the said bill, and that it be re- and to affix it to commissions, &c.; to make out committed 10 Mr. Baldwin, Mr. Sturges, and commissions, and enregister the same; to keep Mr. Smith of South Carolina.
authentic copies of all public acts, &c., and
transmit the same to the several States; to proWESTERN LANDS.
cure the acts of the several States, and report The House then resolved itself into a Com- on the same when contrary to the laws of the mittee of the whole House on the state of the United States; to take into his custody the arUnion, Mr. BOUDINOT in the chair; and, after chives of the late Congress; to report to the some time spent therein, the committee rose President plans for the protection and improveand reported that they had had the state of the ment of manufactures, agriculture, and comUnion under consideration, and come to a re- merce; to obtain a geographical account of the solution thereupon, which was read and then several States, their rivers, towns, roads, &c.; delivered in at the clerk's table, where the same to report what post-roads shall be established; was twice read, and agreed to by the House, as to receive and record the census; to receive refollows:
ports respecting the Western Territory; to reResolved, That an act of Congress ought to pass
ceive the models and specimens presented by for establishing a Land Office, and for regulating the inventors and authors; to enter all books for terms and manner of granting vacant and unappro
which patents are granted; to issue patents, &c.; priated lands, the property of the United States; and, in general, to do and attend to all such that the said office be under the superintendence of matters and things as he may be directed to do the Governor of the Western Territory; that the land by the President. to be disposed of be confined to the following limits,
Mr. Benson objected to some of the duties viz:
mentioned in the resolution. He thought the That the tracts or parcels to be disposed of to any less the Government corresponded with partione person, shall not exceed acres; that the price cular States the better, and there could be no to be required for the same shall be per acre; | necessity for an officer to see to the execution of H. OF R. ]
[JULY 23, 1789.
the laws of the United States, when there The question he conceived to be reduced to was a Judiciary instituted with adequate powers. this, whether a confidential officer would not be
Mr. WHITE was not convinced that there more useful than any other, and whether the was a necessity for establishing a separate de- duties could be distributed among the officers partment for all or any of the duties contained already instituted. For his part, he conceived in the resolution. The correspondence with most of them foreign to either of those offithe States belonged to the Executive. To see cers; and that they could not be performed to the execution of the laws was the duty of the with advantage any other way than by an offiJudiciary. The great seal might be kept by cer appointed specially for the purpose. He the Secretary of Foreign Affairs; the lesser seal thought every gentleman would admit that the Inight be deposited in the same hands. Com- duties were important, and he assured them missions might be made out by the departments that his only reason for bringing the motion forto which the officer is connected. The Secre- ward was, to provide for the public good. He tary of the Senate and Clerk of the House might had no personal motives in pressing it; he distransmit the public acts, and keep records there- claimed every idea of serving any particular of. What have Congress to do with the acts of man by the arrangement, and rested it solely States? If they interfere with the constitutional upon its merits. powers of the Government, the Judges will pre- Mr. SEDGWICK believed the honorable genvent their operation. The papers of the late tleman in his assertions, that he had no personal Congress may be distributed among the officers motive in pressing this business. He believed to which they relate; the rest may be deposited that he thought it essential, and if his sentiments with the officers of Congress. The want of the were the saine, he would join the gentleman in reports on manufactures, agriculture, and com- supporting the motion; but after duly considermerce, may be supplied by Congress. The post ing the subject, he was inclined to believe that roads may be left to the Postmaster General. the office was unnecessary, and that it would be The census must be returned to Congress, and squandering the public money, at a time when they will preserve it among their files. And it the greatest economy is requisite. He thought can hardly be thought necessary to establish a the principal part of the duties might be assigngreat department for the purpose of receiving ed to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs; and he the models, specimens, and books, presented by would, if the committee negatived the present authors and inventors. If none of these things motion, introduce another for that purpose. are requisite to be done by a great department, Mr. GERRY thought the burthens of the peowhy should the United States incur the ex- ple would be sufficiently great in providing the pense which such an arrangement must neces- supplies absolutely necessary for the support of sarily draw along with it.
the Government; therefore it would be improMr. HUNTINGTON thought the Secretary of per to add expenses which might possibly be Foreign Affairs was not so much overcharged avoided. The people are viewing the prowith business but that he might attend to the ma- ceedings of Congress with an attentive solicijor part of the duties mentioned in the resolution. tude, and if they observe that we erect offices
Mr. Vining said he had waited until the for which there is no apparent necessity, they great Executive departments were established; will be apt to think we are providing sinebut none of those had embraced the duties con- cures for men whom we favor; they will retained in his proposition, which he conceived to luctantly pay what is extracted from their be of great importance: many of the duties were earnings to a Government which they think is as essential as those of any other department, regardless of economy. They will suspect a except the Treasury. As for their belonging further view in the change of Government. to the Executive, as was said by the gentleman They will suppose that we contemplate the es. from Virginia, he admitted it; but they were, tablishment of a monarchy, by raising round the nevertheless, as proper to be put into the hands Executive a phalanx of such inen as must be in. of a principal officer under the President, as the clined to favor those of whom they hold their War office, or office of Foreign Affairs; the places. duties of these were specially within the Exe- Mr. VINING.–Why do gentlemen say that cutive departinent of the Government. He such an office is unnecessary, when they are conceived that the President vught to be re- forced to adınit that all the duties are essential? lieved from the inferior duties of his station, by Or how can they say it is more expensive to officers assigned to attend to them under his establish it in this way than in another? Suppose inspection; he could then, with a mind free these duties distributed in the manner which and unembarrassed with the minutiæ of busi- some gentleman have mentioned, is it not fairly ness, attend to the operations of the whole to be presumed that the departments to which machine.
any of them are attached, will require an extra If the office was admitted to be necessary, pay for these extra services? If so, will there and he was certain the performance of the du- be any economy in this mode of procedure! ties were useful and essential, the expense could all that is to be wished for, is to have a confibe no solid objection, because the information dential person employed, let his salary be what it would furnish would more than counter- you please: if it is not worth fifteen hundred balance that article.
dollars per annum, let it be five hundred. But
July 24, 1789.]
(H. OF R. it would be better to have a principal to manage mitted to a Committee of the whole House: the business than to have it consigned to clerks whereupon the House resolved itself into a in the other departments.
committee on the bill, and made some amendMr. LAWRENCE said that something was ne ments therein. They then reported the bill cessary to be done with respect to the business with the amendments to the House, which were brought forward by the honorable gentleman ordered to lie on the table. from Delaware. He conceived that an officer of Mr. Gerry presented a bill for registering the rolls, or some inferior officer, ought to be and clearing vessels, ascertaining their tonnage, appointed to transact the business detailed in and for regulating the coasting trade, which the resolution; he did not insist upon making a was read a first time, and ordered to lie on the great department.
table. Mr. Sedgwick agreed with the gentleman Mr. Baldwin, from the select committee to from New York; but, he thought, the business whom was committed the bill for settling the might be thrown into some other department, accounts between the United States and the inand save to the Union the expense of the one dividual States, reported, that the committee which the gentleman from Delaware wished to had, according to order, had the said bill under establish, by the name of the Home Depart- consideration, and made amendments thereto, ment. He thought the resolution proposed al- which he read in his place, and afterwards detogether so improper, that he hoped the commit- livered in at the Clerk's table, where the same tee would rise.
was again read twice, amended, and agreed to A desultory conversation arose, whether the by the House, and ordered to be engrossed. committee should decide upon the resolution A petition from Nathaniel Gorham, of the or not; after which a question was taken on State of Massachusetts, was presented and the rising of the committee, and decided in the read, setting forth that Oliver Phelps, Esq. and negative.
the petitioner, are interested, by purchase from Then the question was pụt on the first part of the said State of Massachusetts, in certain lands Mr. Vining's proposition, viz. "That an Execu- which will be materially affected by the line tive Department ought to be established, to be directed to be run between the United States denominated the Home Department;" and lost and the State of New York, and praying that by a considerable majority:
such measures inay be taken therein as shall be It was then moved and seconded, that the consistent with a due regard to the rights of the committee rise, which being agreed to, the com- said Phelps and the petitioner. mittee rose and reported that they had, accord- Ordered to lie on the table. ing to order, had the state of the Union under
COMMITTEE OF WAYS AND MEANS. consideration, but had come to no resolution thereon.
Mr. FITZSIMONS.—The finances of America A notion was then made by Mr. SEDGWICK, have frequently been mentioned in this House that a committee be appointed to bring in a bill as being very inadequate to the deinands. I supplementary to the act for establishing the De- have ever been of a different opinion, and do partment of Foreign Affairs, declaring that de- believe that the funds of this country, if propartment to be hereafter denominated , perly drawn into operation, will be equal to and that the principal officer in that depart. every claim. The estimate of supplies necesment shall have the custody of the records and sary for the current year appears very great seal of the United States, and that such bill do from a report on your table, and which report contain a provision for the fees of office to be has found its way into the public newspapers. taken for copies of records, and further provi- I said on a former occasion, and I repeat it now, sion for the due publication of the acts of Con- notwithstanding what is set forth in the estigress, and such other matters relating to the pre-mate, that a revenue of three millions of dollars mises, as the committee shall deem necessary in specie, will enable us to provide every sup; to be reported to this House.
ply necessary to support the Government, and And the question being put thereupon, it pass- pay the interest and instalments on the foreign ed inthe negative.
and doinestic debt. If we wish to have more Another petition from Baron de Glaubeck particular information on these points, we ought was presented and read, praying the attention to appoint a Committee of Ways and Means, of Congress to his former petition, to be com- to whom, among other things, the estimate of pensated for certain losses and military services supplies may be referred, and this ought to be rendered during the late war.
done speedily, if we mean to do it this session. Mr. Page, from the committee appointed for Mr. GERRY said, the estimate reported by a the purpose, made a further report on Andrew committee was as accurate as possible. From Ellicott's memorial, after which the House ad- this it appeared, that eight millions of dollars journed.
would be necessary for the support of Govern
ment, for the interest and instalments becoming FRIDAY, July 21.
due, and for the arrearages already due. He The engrossed bill allowing a compensation remarked, that we had been already dunned on to the President and Vice President, was read this subject by foreigners, and that Congress the third time; when, on motion, it was com- I would have to make provision for their pay