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June 10, 1834.]
Reports on the Post Office.
war with any power which bas incurred his displeasure. of the facts, should thus continue grossly to misrepresent He of the Navy may, by the same means, to-morrow con. them, is intolerable. One truth will establish their falsetract for a fleet of gun-boats, and borrow the money to hood, and that is known to three-fourths of all the postpay for it. It is in vain to say that here was, in the Post- masters and mail contractors in the Union--that the Demaster General's opinion, a necessity for the loan; for, ad. partment has generally (nearly all over the country) overmit it, and still the question is, Who shall judge of that drawn on the postmasters in favor of contractors; and necessity? Congress alone can decide that question; and thus, by anticipating the future revenue, has really borany attempt on the part of a mere head of one Depart- rowed more money than is acknowledged on the credit of ment, or of all the heads of all the Departments, to de- the Government. Whether a future administration will cide it, under any circumstances, is a usurpation of the allow these loans, by way of set-off to such postmasters legislative power, so flagrant, that the mere attempt to as have thus become accessory to such a violation of the justify the means used, by the end so attained, is a gross laws, we shall see. But every one of them who, underabuse of common reason. It was the duty of the officers standing the subject, thus makes himself a party to this of this Department, when its insolvency was first ascer- fraud on the constitution, ought to be removed; and, tained, frankly to have disclosed it to Congress. It was when removed, he will probably be compelled to pocket known two years ago, and no reason can be assigned for the the loss of his money. Yet, notorious as these overconcealment of it for such a length of time, consistently drafts are, not one dollar is allowed for them in this with the official obligations of those who controlled it. it minority, or rather post office report. Not the slightest may be, as is said, that Mr. Barry was kept in ignorance notice is taken of them; and the chairman, deriving his of it by those who have abused his credulous confidence, views from these same officers, passes in debate the until things were in such a deplorable condition, that im- whole subject, without debiting the Department with one mediate relief, or the utter prostration of the Department, cent in his estimate of thirty thousand dollars on account was the only alternative offered him. It may be, that bad of this item. advisers, aided by the sense of shame resulting from the Sir, it was but three years ago, as I have shown you, abuses which other men have practised upon his own con- that I was lectured by the chairman for doubting the perfiding temper, may have for a time restrained him from fect prosperity of this concern, which is now acknowlthe discharge of this duty. But let no man, especially let edged to be insolvent by all parties, advocates and wit. no American Senator, tell me that it was better the con- nesses. The subsidized press then belched its fætid outstitution and the laws should be struck down to save the pourings upon my old friend from Maine (Mr. HOLMES] Post Office. No, sir; better, far better, that this and and myself, for daring to express our belief of the facts every other Department should, at any time, be arrested now acknowledged. We were denounced as calumnifor the want of money, than that so gross a violation of ators of the power that fed them, by the whole hungry the charter which secures to us all the blessings of civil and voracious pack of partisan editors. I shall expect the government, should have occurred, to prevent the disclo- same attacks again, not for our old statement, which is sure of the truth. It is immaterial to me whether the ob- now agreed by every body to be true, but because the re. ject of this concealment was to save appearances before port presented by my friend from Ohio, (Mr. Ewing,) to an election, and thus gull the public again into another which I have assented, goes still further in exposing the confiding vote, as the official reports on this subject, and falsehoods and corruptions of this Department than we had the message of the President himself, had often done be gone. Yet, sir, this report, disgusting as its details of the fore; or, whether the motives for it were merely such as misrepresentations and corruptions of this Department are, I have before suggested. Be that as it may, not the con- does not, I verily believe, disclose one-fourth part of them. cealment of the facts-bad as that was—not the misrepre. The reason for this may be easily understood. As chairsentation of the facts, in all the reports, with whatever man of the Judiciary Committee, I have been almost every motive made, is half so worthy of censure, in the eye of a day otherwise employed; and my colleagues, who were just and upright man, as the utter disregard of the consti- disposed to investigate the affairs of this Department, have tution and the laws manifested in this usurpation of the also been occupied in other business. Yet the developlegislative power. It yet remains to be seen whether Mr. ment we have made, even under all these disadvantages, Barry was driven to this very measure by the command of is as irrefutable, as it is sickening, in its recital of public him who had power to compel him to do it, or leave the peculation and fraud. office; or whether he was seduced into the measure by I cannot leave the subject of the finances of this Executhe assurances of men about him, who may have told him tive Department without adverting to the old excuse renthat the loan could be paid out of the postages, without dered by the chairman three years ago for the even then the necessity of ever disclosing it to the public. declining state of its surplus fund. He accounted for the
There is another fact now appearing, in reference to fact that it had diminished in the first year, by pretending this matter, which is more censurable in the officers of there had been an immense increase of mail facilities. this Department, whose views and defence are contained the present report shows that P. and A. Bradley, the in the minority report, than any other matter which has former Assistant Postmasters General, who have had been yet developed, except the negotiation of this post more experience in the affairs of this Department than all Office loan. I allude to the misrepresentation now made its present officers combined, after a laborious investigaand persevered in, that the whole amount of the deficit in tion, have ascertained errors, in the increase now pretendthis Department, beyond its available resources, is only ed by way of excuse in part of its insolvency, to the about three hundred thousand dollars! For this state- amount of more than seven millions of miles. As to the ment, the Rev. Obadiah B. Brown, the chief clerk, is, new post routes ordered by Congress, which form a large we know from the report, responsible. It is monstrous part of Mr. Barry's pretended increased mail facilities that such an effort to misrepresent should again be repeat- why, sir, I have the laws before me, in obedience to which ed, after all the falsehoods that have been uttered on this John McLean established, from 1823 to 1828, more than subject heretofore. That Mr. Barry should know no seven hundred and eighty new post routes, at an expense more about the matter, absent as he has been so long of less than forty thousand dollars. During the same five every year, and last year absent as he was, I understand, Iyears he increasedfor more than six months, is not strange. He has, as Post- The stage transportation
1,949,850 miles. master General, an almost infinite variety of matters to su- And that on sulkies and on horseback 1,658,949 miles. perintend besides the finances of this Department. But that those in this Department who have the full knowledge
Making an increase of 3,608,799 miles.
(JUNE 10, 1834, For which I refer to his report in November, 1828, from ty report. When the resolution, authorizing the com which it appears, that on many of the routes then so impro- mittee to institute this investigation, by clothing it with ved, the mail was conveyed at the rate of more than one power to send for persons and papers, was first adopted, hundred miles a day; and notwithstanding all this, the sur-about ten weeks ago, it was preceded by a debate, in plus funds rapidly increased; so that the real surplus, left at which I availed myself of the opportunity of warning the the end of that year, was $332, 105 10. This only proves gentleman from Ohio who offered that resolution, that what every reflecting man will at once perceive must be no answer would be given to many of the most important the consequence of judiciously increased mail facilities-calls made by him through the other resolutions which that is, a necessary increase of revenue. Yet the chair- he had caused to be adopted, until it would be too late man's only excuse for the utter bankruptcy of the De- for the committee to avail itself of the information thus partment is, the establishment of new post routes, (though obtained. I spoke, sir, from the experience I gained on fewer in number than those actually established by his the investigating committee three years ago. Similar inpredecessor in a corresponding period of five years,) and quiries, made by that committee, were then entirely neg. an increase of expedition and transportation.
lected by this Department; the excuse rendered for the Mr. C. concluded his remarks by an examination of the neglect being, that there was not enough time to answer accounts for the large sums paid to printers and travel them. Every effort was then used to baffle, and, at last, ling agents during the Presidential election in 1832, for to suppress that investigation. Is it not now, sir, enough which he referred particularly to the report of the com- to test human patience, that, after all the neglect to anmittee; and sustained the views of Mr. Ewing and Mr. swer these resolutions of the Senate, calling for informaSOUTHARD.
tion, an advocate of this Department should be found to Mr. GRUNDY remarked, that the Senator from Dela- boast that its doors have been thrown wide open to the ware (Mr. Claytox] had certainly proved that he (Mr. investigation, and that it has boldly and promptly met the G.) was in error some years ago, when he insisted that light? Sir, aware, as I am, of the shuffling disposition thé Post Office Department was solvent, and would con- which some of those interested to shun disclosure have tinue to be so under its then management; and that he hitherto manifested, I now again predict, that the calls to [Mr. Clayton) was right in asserting that it would be- which I refer, made months ago, and not yet answered, come insolvent; and the difference between them (Mr. will not be answered at all; or, if answered, the reports G. and Mr. C.) seemed to consist in this, that he (Mr. will come in at the very close of the session, when they G.) formed his opinion according to the evidence before know that no committee can examine them. If answered him, and according to that evidence his opinion was cer- as they should be, the report of the Senator from Tentainly the correct one; but the Senator from Delaware nessee, in regard to the finances of the Department, formed his opinion contrary to the evidence then exist would not have an inch of ground left for it to stand upon. ing, and it has turned out that his opinions thus formed, The chairman does me more than justice when he as. or rather his predictions, have been verified. Now, said cribes to me the sole merit of having first announced the Mr. G., whether this was accidental or not, he would not approach of the insolvency of this Department in 1831. undertake to say. It might be that the gentleman's men- Has the gentleman so soon forgotten his old partner about tal vision was so penetrating as to enable him to put aside that time, claimed as a member of the celebrated firm of all those evidences on which ordinary minds bave to rely Felix Grundy and the d—?” My old and able friend for the ascertainment of facts, and at once, without the from Maine, [Mr. C. was here supposed to allude to Mr. aid and in despite of the ordinary means, to see how things Holmes, late Senator,] though litile versed in the tenets will be at some future period. It should, however, be of that school, did foresee (and, foreseeing, did, in 1831, remembered that that Senator stood alone, or nearly so, join with me in announcing) the approaching bankruptcy in the predictions he then uttered; for at the next session, of this Department. At that day, he shared with me in he (Mr. G.) found much difficulty in resisting the effort all the denunciations of the Post Office press. From the then made to take the postage entirely off newspapers, same source, those who have ventured with me to enwhich effort was predicated and advocated upon the idea counter it again, may expect the same treatment. that the Department could bear the diminution of its rey- In reference to the printers' accounts, the chairman enue which would be produced by a repeal of the post- thinks the statements of the Blue Book are well enough. age on newspapers.
Why, sir, in every instance mentioned in the report, the Mr. CLAYTON said, that, in regard to the trouble amounts stated in that book to have been paid to them which the chairman declared had been given by the in- are grossly underrated. True and Green, of the Boston vestigation to the Post Office Department, he would re- Statesman, were paid nearly $30,000; yet the amounts cal the chairman's attention to the fact, that months have appearing on the Blue Book are less than 7,000 dollars. elapsed since several most important resolutions of the The sums paid them for printed blanks alone were about Senate, calling for information, were adopted; yet, not a 16,000 dollars. Similar impositions on the public are line of reply, to the calls by him referred to, had yet practised in publishing the sums paid to Hill and Barton, been furnished. These resolutions may have been trou- of the “ New Hampshire Patriot,” Shadrach Penn, of the blesome to answer, in one sense of that word. They “ Louisville Public Advertiser," &c. But the excuse may have been distressing; because, if answered fairly, rendered by the chairman for these misrepresentations, they would have disclosed the full extent of most of the by which the people are prevented from knowing the abuses and corruptions in the Department. But if, by amount of public money paid to these printers, is, that troublesome, the chairman means that the Department the sums set down in the Blue Book may (he knows not) has been caused additional labor, we have not the slight- bave been for the printing only; that is, for the mere typeest evidence that the calls I allude to have employed any setting and presswork, without counting the cost of paper more workmen, or even excited any attention.
on which the printing is done. So that, by his rule, Among these calls, was one resolution offered about whenever hereafter a printer presents his account for an three months ago by a member of the committee, calling, advertisement, he should not include in it the price of so among other things, for an account of the postages due much of the newspaper as is occupied by the types, but prior to the 1st of July, 1829, which have since been col- make a separate charge of that, as in no way connected lected. The answer to this would, if fairly given, have with the price of the printed advertisement. been sufficient to have shown the utter fallacy of the True and Green, therefore, he thinks, received 16,000 whole foundation on which the chairman has, by the ad- dollars for the printed blanks, (besides about 14,000 dol. yice of the officers of this Departinent, rested his minori-lars for wrapping paper and twine,) but only 6 or 7,000
dollars for typesetting and presswork. Ergo, says the therefore, it was only the two reports which the question chairman, the Blue Book may perhaps tell the truth. embraced. But the gentleman's excuse is in the very teeth of the res. Mr. FORSYTH said it was evident that there was a olution of the 14th July, 1832, which directs that this great discrepancy between these two reports. One of book shall contain “a correct list of all printers in any these differences was as to the number of miles which way employed by any Department.”. Sir, nothing is the mail had been transported, in which there was a variclearer than that the sums received, not only for paper, ation as to the matter of fact, of nearly eight millions of but for wrapping paper and twine, should also have been miles. How were the people to be benefited by these set down, in order that the public might be able to judge contrary statements, until it could be decided which was of the extent and value of these monopolies to newspa-correct? The expense of printing these reports would be per editors, for furnishing to this Department these ar- about $17,500; and this would double the amount of the ticles.
whole of the printing of this session up to the present The chairman has further said, that the account of Mr. time. And for what good was all this expenditure to be Bates, one of the travelling agents in New England and incurred? For the good of the printer, and no one else. New York, in 1832, is not set down under the head of He might cry out, with Macbeth, the incidental expenses of the city post office, at New York: in this he is entirely mistaken. "The document an
“ Lay on Macduft,
And -d be he that first cries--hold!" nexed to the report does not contain any charge for, or other notice whatever of this secret agency. It is, with He did not consider this to be an appropriate object of other things, entirely concealed in the sweeping item of the expenditure of the contingent fund of the Senate. 6,005 dollars for incidental expenses of the post office at These reports would be circulated to every quarter of the New York, and, what is remarkable, this is the only post Union, before the Senate could get them printed. If the office in the whole Union whose incidental expenses are order to print them were now to be given, it would be thus included in the incidental expenses of the General the middle of this month before the Senate could get the Post Office. As to Mr. Gouverneur, the committee have first copy, and the last would not be received before Auattached no blame to him. He has done his duty, and/ gust or September. The resolutions with which the reno more; and the chairman ought, long since, to have port of the majority terminates, are already printed, and known that no man among us intended to censure him for will soon be sent through every State by hundreds of any thing.
thousands. He had employed himself in making certain í congratulate the chairman on the change of his tone calculations as to the expense of printing these documents. from that employed by him on the subject of this Depart. (He read a variety of estimates from a paper in his hand.] ment, three years ago. Then, all was vaunt and boast as Six thousand copies would cost $4,000, and he thought to its finances. He has now learned that in reference that number would be sufficient to supply every man with to this whole subject, the better part of valor is discre- as many copies as he could frank. tion. His tones are lowered, and, instead of daring jus- If these reports were wanted for the purpose which tification, all is now but apology and excuse for violated had been suggested by the Senator from New Jersey, [Mr. law and gross malversation. I wish to detain the Senate SOUTHARD,) of correcting the delusions under which the no longer, until the resolutions, offered by the commit- people had labored, what would it be but an electioneertee, shall regularly come before us. As to the number ing document? And was it the duty of the Senate to exto be printed, I have but little care on that subject. pend its contingent fund, in printing for such an object?
Mr. GRUNDY said that he believed that the Senator He admitted that the document contained good materials from Delaware was correct in saying that he was not the for party warfare. It would be read abundantly, and only person who formerly entertained the opinion that would be used for years to come.
The party presses the Department would become insolvent. He has refer- might circulate it as widely as they choose, but, for heay. red to a former Senator from Maine, who, he says, was a en's sake! let not the Senate lend itself to such purmember of an ancient firm in which he (Mr. G.) was a poses. If the people think it important that it should be partner. In regard to that absent gentleman, he (Mr. read, it will be read. Had it never suggested itself to any G.) would now say, that for him and his opinions he al- Senator what might occur from this extravagant use of ways entertained a high respect, and he did concur with the contingent fund? Every Senator would get 625 the Senator from Delaware, in his conjectures in regard copies, and 1,250 would be about the allotment for every to the insolvency of the Post Office Department. In re- State. This, in the State of Delaware, would be one copy gard to the ancient firm, he (Mr. G.) would say to the for every five persons; and in New York, it would be one Senator from Delaware, that it was dissolved in 1829, and for every five hundred. The gentleman from Delaware he got entirely rid of a certain member of it. That the would thus be obliged to give one copy to every five Senator from Maine, although not in partnership from the constituents. time last mentioned, kept along with him pretty comfort- Mr. CLAYTON. I will spare some to the gentleman ably until 3d of March last; and it may be, that in due from Georgia, for the benefit of his constituents. time he (Mr, G.) may get rid of the Senator from Delaware. Mr. FORSYTH replied that he should have as many as
Mr. CLAYTON said, that he had never belonged to he could frank. The gentleman from Pennsylvania near that celebrated firm of which his satanic majesty was so him (Mr. McKean) would have a copy for every 300 of his conspicuous a member. The chairman need be under constituents. The object of the contingent fund was to no apprehensions of his joining it; for he had seen that enable the Senate to circulate useful, legitimate knowlat least one of its members, even the chairman himself, edge. Now what was the character of this document? had lately gone into partnership with the Post Office De- Did it come within that designation? The gentlemen on partment, which his own report declared to be utterly the other side have the advantage, and do not give their bankrupt. I cannot, said Mr. C., agree to be in any way opponents fair play. They know all that is in the report, connected with that insolvent concern.
while on the other side nothing is known. Was he to Mr. FORSYTH rose, and asked if the question was on take for granted all which the honorable Senator from printing the reports alone, or the reports and documents? New Jersey had stated? Was be to surrender his belief,
Mr. SOUTHARD replied, that the documents which his judgment, his conscience, to statements, of the accuit would be proper to append to the reports bad not yet racy of which he knew nothing more than the child newbeen selected by the chairman of the committee, [Mr. ly born? The reports agree on certain points, and so far GIUNDY,] and the Senator from Ohio, [Mr. Ewing;]l their statements may be received as true. But to send
Reports on the Post Office.
(June 10, 1834.
all the statements of the reports forth for the public in- not less so in its substance. The minority of the comformation, as the opinion of the Senate, would be incor- mittee have taken a somewhat different view of the matrect, as the Senate had not had time to examine the doc- ter. It is proposed to publish their report also, with that uments.
of the majority. The question is, whether an unusual There was one point on which there seemed to be a number of this document shall be printed and circulated? universality of opinion. It appeared that money had been the gentleman from Georgia must admit that the printborrowed by the Department without the authority of ing of more documents than are necessary for our own imCongress. This was certainly a violation of law, and an mediate use is according to the practice and usage of the abuse. But he knew not what necessity might have re- Senate; and that this is a mere question of how many; quired such a step. Necessity might be an excuse of the because the gentleman knows that he is in the habit daily act, but it was an error in the head of the Department, lof giving his vote for the printing of a larger number of that he did not make known to Congress that necessity as every document than the members of the Senate have soon as it occurred. But this was not the first instance in occasion for. How long was it since the gentleman from which money had been borrowed by a Department with Georgia voted for 6,000 copies of the veto message on the out authority of law. Such things had frequently occur- bank? How long was it since he voted for 5,000 or 6,000 ed, and would be found in our records. One instance of of the veto on the land bill—although that document was this thing had made two Presidents of the United States. altogether useless for any legislative purpose? The victory of New Orleans had caused the elevation of The gentleman from Georgia had said that this report General Jackson to the Presidency. Who was the Sec. would be published in all the newspapers. He dissented retary of War when the battle of New Orleans was fought from this view. It might be correct as to the veto mes. It was James Monroe, and he borrowed funds without the sage, because a newspaper would contain that. But what authority of Congress, to carry on the war which was ter- newspaper could contain the whole of this document? minated by that battle. And he did this, not only without There could be no more reasonable application of the incurring any blame for the act, but with the greatest suc- contingent fund than to expend it in furnishing the peocess, and the approbation of the country, as it was one of ple with intelligence on this important subject. It was one the grounds on which he was raised to the Presidency. of general, and not of local interest. There was no por
[Here Mr. F. read some extracts from the correspond- tion of the country where there were not some who feel ence of the War Department of that period, on the sub- an interest in the condition of the Post Office Department. ject.]
The proposition was a perfectly fair one, because the anWhat was the excuse for this act? Public necessity. tidote was to be sent out with the poison, if it be poison. Was it sufficient or insufficient? Was any cry raised of The views in favor of the Department, and the views adviolated lay? Did honorable gentlemen on the other side verse to it, were both printed. The proposition was, upbraid him for the act? No one did so. The Senator therefore, an entirely equal one. from New Jersey would never have raised his voice against But, said Mr. W., my purpose in rising is to suggest him, and he would defy gentlemen on the other side to show to the gentleman who is the chairman of the committee, any difference between that case and the present. In both that it must happen, in the progress of the session, wheinstances, the excuse which was set up was the necessi- ther this report shall come up for consideration or not, ties of the public service. But blame was attached in the that there will be questions arising which must bring on present case, because the Postmaster General had not an examination into the conduct of the Post Office Decommunicated the necessities of the Department to Con-partment. The gentleman is aware that the general apgress. If any thing was wrong in the law, let it be cor- propriation bill is now before the Committee on Finance. rected; if in the officer, let him be punished. For his That bill I expect to be able to report to-morrow, or cerown part he was disposed to conceal nothing; but, wher- tainly the next day. It contains some appropriations for ever there was any abuse, to hand over all concerned to this Department, and on these a discussion must arise. the just judgment of the public. But the dissemination Wishing to put the gentleman in a condition to meet this of this report will have been made while the Senate are discussion, I will now suggest some few points on which talking about it. It will be published in every newspaper, hope to hear him say sometbing when the discussion and the people will every where have become possessed shall take place. of its import through the ordinary channels, before the First. It is admitted that the Post Office Department Senate have issued a single copy. it was very well known is insolvent; and that the only question between the mathat complaints had been made to members, and they had jority and minority of the committee is, whether the been asked by their constituents why they spend the pub- amount of the insolvency is 400,000 dollars or 800,000 lic money in printing documents which the people have dollars? read in the public papers long before they can get them It is unavoidable, not only that our own opinions, but in any other form or manner.
the opinions of the country, should be made up on some Mr. WEBSTER said that he was not a very good judge of the great points; for few will find it convenient to go of the number of documents which ought to be distrib- into the extent of details which the report contains. Is uted. Yet he could not suppress his profound surprise it true, then, that in a time of profound peace, and of that there should be any member of the Senate who did great activity of business, that enormous insolvency has not consider this as one of those great occasions which occurred? called for a general diffusion of knowledge among the Secondly. Is it true that the Postmaster General has people. The Post Office Department is a most interest- contracted loans to the amount of 450,000 dollars, with. ing Department to the whole people. Every class of citi- out the authority of law? that he has withheld the fact of zens has a direct interest in its efficient and correct ad- bis so borrowing money from the knowledge of Congress, ministration. More than any other Department it is session after session? known, in its local administration, to the community. The gentleman from Georgia gives up this point, and The people are taxed, willingly, it is true, but very se- thinks it was excusable; but thinks that the conduct of a verely, for letter postage, for the purpose of securing a former Secretary of War is a paralled case with this. safe, and rapid, and extensive communication between the Mr. FORSYTH said he knew nothing of the facts, different portions of the country. This Department now except what he had caught on the reading of the report, stands charged with very great maladministration. The It was for the Postmaster General to make out the neces. majority of a respectable committee have made a report, sity. very imposing in the style in which it is presented, and Mr, WEBSTER. Certainly. If the statement was true,
Joxe 11, 1834.]
Ralph Van Horne.-Memorials from Pennsylvania and South Carolina, &c.
it was not justified by the gentleman from Georgia; but, MEMORIALS FROM PENNSYLVANIA AND SOUTH under certain circumstances, the gentleman thought it
CAROLINA. might be excused; and if the necessity shall be made out, and the circumstances are sufficiently strong, the act is
Mr. McKEAN presented the proceedings of an unuto be pardoned. The Secretary of War, in the case
sually large meeting of the citizens of Crawford county, which has been referred to, borrowed a sum of money to Pennsylvania,
held at Meadville, denominating themselves meet a legal demand on the Treasury, and communicated " whigs,” disapproving of the measures of the Executive the fact to Congress, and to the whole world. In this on the following subjects: The removal of the public decase, in a time of peace, while the professed policy of the posites from the Bank of the United States; the protest administration was to draw within the most economical against the resolutions of the Senate; the re-nominations limits the expenses of the Departments, the Post Office of the Government directors of the United States Bank Department has been borrowing money without the au: nominations of high officers of the Government from the
after their rejection by the Senate; the withholding the thority of law; and the fact had been withheld from the knowledge of Congress for many months, if not for years. mittees deputed to him by meetings of the citizens of the
Senate; and the refusal of the Executive to receive comThe gentleman from Tennessee will be called upon, United States. when the general appropriation bill shall come up, to say red in the usual manner.
These proceedings were read and referif this charge be true, and if the conduct of the Postmaster General be defensible or not.
Mr. PRESTON presented proceedings and resolutions He will also be called on to say whether the practice of a similar character, from a meeting of a large number has been, that the proposals of bidders for a contract have of the citizens of Chester district, South Carolina, drawn been opened and made known to other bidders; since the up, Mr. P. said, in terms very respectful towards the Sengentleman has introduced into his new bill a clause pro-ordinate branch of the Government. The resolutions
ate, but using very strong language with regard to a coviding against the opening of sealed contracts. Mr. GRUNDY. I wish the gentleman would let
me an. Bank of the United States, as an assumption of power on
consider the removal of the public deposites from the swer that question now, that I may get it off my mind. Mr. WEBSTER. Certainly. I shall cheerfully let the fundamental principles of the constitution. They regard
the part of the President, and a dangerous violation of the gentleman have an opportunity to clear his conscience. Mr. GRUNDY. That clause was entirely the suggestion
the protest of the President as entirely unauthorized, and of my own mind. If ever there should be a time when a while its doctrines tend manifestly towards a consolidation
as claiming powers not recognised by the constitution; wish may exist in the Department to favor any particular of the Government, and placing all power in the hands of contractors, it will be best to introduce a clause to check that disposition by a positive enactment. Not that I have one man. On motion of Mr. P., the resolutions were read, known, as yet, of any such transaction.
referred, and ordered to be printed. Before any question was taken on the motion to print-ELECTION OF PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT. On motion of Mr. PRESTON, at 5 o'clock, The Senate adjourned.
On motion of Mr. BIBB, the Senate proceeded to consider the joint resolution reported by the select commit.
tee on the subject of an amendment of the constitution, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 11.
in reference to the election of President and Vice PresiRALPH VAN HORNE.
dent. The resolution was read, as follows: Mr. EWING said, he had received a petition which he Resolution proposing an amendment to the constitution of hesitated to present, in consequence of its wanting the
the United States, as it respects the election of Presisignature of the petitioner. It was enclosed in a letter
dent and Vice President of the United States. signed by him; and, if it were in order, he would pre-constitution of the United States be proposed to the Le
Resolved, &c., That the following amendments to the sent it; if not, he would not press its presentation.
The PRESIDENT. If it be referred to in the letter it gislatures of the several States; which, when ratified by the is in order.
Legislatures of three-fourths of the States, shall be valid Mr. EWING. It is so referred to. The petitioner, Ralph to all intents and purposes as part of the constitution: Van Horne, is a citizen of Indiana, but as his petition re
That, hereafter, the President and Vice President of lates to the business of the Post Office, I presume he has the United States shall be chosen by the people of the sent it to me as a member of that committee. The peti respective States in the manner following: Each State tioner states that he is a contractor to carry the mail from shall be divided, by the Legislature thereof, into districts the 1st of January, 1832, at $175 a year; that he has faith- equal in number to the whole number of Senators and fully performed the service since that time; that he is a Representatives to which such State may be entitled in poor man, with a large family to maintain; that he was in the Congress of the United States; the said districts to be debt at the time he commenced his contract, and much composed of contiguous territory, and 10 contain, as more deeply now; that he has devoted his time to the nearly as may be, an equal number of persons entitled to performance of his duty; and that he has never received be represented under the constitution, and to be laid off, one dollar of his compensation. He states that he has ap. for the first time, immediately after the ratification of this plied, in every way known to him, for his quarterly pay- amendment, and afterwards, at the session of the Legisments, and especially through the member of Congress lature next ensuing the apportionment of representatives from the district; that on the 24th of April
, he received by the Congress of the United States; that, on the first from the Department two drafts, for ten dollars each, on Thursday and succeeding Friday and Saturday in the two postmasters, one residing 35 and the other 60 miles month of August of the year one thousand eight hundred from his place of residence, and that their collection will and thirty-six, and on the same days in every fourth year cost full one-third of their amount; and he says he con- thereafter, the citizens of each State who possess the siders his case the harder, as he has always been a strong qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous supporter of General Jackson, who undertook, when he branch of the State Legislature, shall meet within their came into office, to reform all abuses.
respective districts, and vote for a President and Vice I move, Mr. President, said Mr. E., that the petition President of the United States; one of whom, at least, be read, and referred to the Committee on the Post Office shall not be an inhabitant of the same State with them and Post Roads.
selves; and the person receiving the greatest number of The petition was referred.
yotes for President, and the one receiving the greatest Vol. X.-123