Abbildungen der Seite

further information against him, by Mr. Buck, one of the members from Vermont, as stated in the Journal of the proceedings of yesterday, being read to him, he was interrogated by Mr. Speaker, " whether he did admit or deny the same?" To which he answered that he did wholly deny the same: Whereupon,

It was ordered that he be remanded to the custody of the Sorgeant, until further or der of the House. And

On motion, It was resolved, that the Committee of Privileges be instructed to consider, and re. port to this House, the proper mode of conducting the further inquiry, and the trial in the cases of Robert Randall and Charles Whitney.

The several orders of the day were further postponed until to-morrow.
And then the House adjourned until to-morrow twelve o'clock.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31, 1795. Another member, to wit: Richard Winn, from South Carolina, appeared, produced his credentials, and took his seat in the House ; the oath to support the Constitution of the United States beng first administered to him by Mr. Speaker, according to law.

On a motion made and seconded that the House do come to the following resolution:

Resolved, That the Secretary of the Treasury do lay before this House, as speedily as possible, a tariff of the duties payable in the ports of the United States, on goods, wares, and merchandises imported; and, also, a statement of the amount of the duties collected in the years one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three, and one thousand seven hundred and ninety-four, respectively, from each article separately taxed, and from those articles collectively, which are not separately taxed ; and, also, a statement of the sums collected in the said years, respectively, from the duties on spirits distilled within the United States, and of the expenses of collection:

Ordered, That the said motion be committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Monday next.

A petition of Daniel Waldlo, Junior, and others, holders of certain bills of credit, emitted pursuant to the resolution of the late Congress, of the eighteenth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty, was presented to the House and read, praying that they may receive the interest, together with the amount of the principal, due on the said bills.

Ordered, That the said petition cio lie on the table.

A petition of James Crabtree was presented to the House and read, praying compen sation for his services as a commissary and conductor of recruits raised in Washington county, in the State of Virginia, to join the Southern Army, under the command of General 'Greene, some time in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-one.

Also, a petition of Ellis Richardson, by George W. Campbell, his Attorney, praying the liquidation and settlement of a claim for military services rendered, as a soldier in the Army of the United States, during the late war.

Ordered, That the said petitions be referred to the Committee of Claims.

The Speaker laid before the House a letter from Robert Randall, in custody of the Sergeant, “stating that the engagements of the gentlemen of the bar of this city will prevent them from assisting him as counsel, until Saturday evening; and praying a far ther postponement of the proceedings respecting him, until the earliest part of next week;" which was read: Whereupon,

Ordered, That further time be allowed the said Robert Randall, until Monday next, in conformity to his request.

Ordered, That a committee be appointed to take into consideration the state of the fortifications of our harbors ; the measures which have been pursued for obtaining proper sites for arsenals, and for replen:shing our magazines with military stores; and to report whether any, and what, further measures are necessary respecting the same.

And a committee was appointed, of Mr. William Lyman, Mr. Williams, and Mr. Coles.

On motion, Resolved, that the President of the United States be requested to cause this House to be furnished with an account of the number of convictions for crimes, that have taken place under the penal laws of the United States, specifying the crime, the date and place of conviction, and the sentence.

Ordered, That Mr. Livingston and Mr. Bradbury be appointed a committee to wait op the President, with the foregoing resolution.

Ordered, That the memorial of Samuel Weir, representative of the People South of French Broad, presented the eighteenth of February last, and the report of a committee thereupon, be referred to the committee appointed to prepare and bring in a bill or bills for establishing offices for the purpose of granting lands within the Territories of the United States.

Mr. Baldwin, from the Committee of Privileges, to whom it was referred to consider and report on the proper mode of conducting the further inquiry, and the trial in the ease of Robert Randall and Charles Whitney, made a report ; which was read, anı!, debate arising thereon,

An adjournment was called for : Whereupon,
The several orders of the day were further postponed until to-morrow.
And then the House adjourned until to-morrow twelve o'clock.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 1, 1796. A memorial of Charles Petit, of the City of Philadelphia, surviving partner of Major General Greene and John Cox, in the late office of Quartermaster General of the United States, was presented to the House and read, praying that the proper officers may be directed to add to the credit of the account of General Greene, as Quartermaster General, such farther sums as shall appear to be just and reasonable, on the final settlement of his accounts with the United States ; and that the balance found to be due to the Department of Quartermaster General, may be paid to the memorialist, who is legally authorized to receive the same.

Ordered, That the said memorial do lie on the table.

The House resumed the consideration of the report from the Committee of Privileges, to whom it was referred to consider and report the proper mode of conducting the further inquiry, and the trial in the case of Robert Randall and Charles Whitney; and the said report being again read, and amended at the Clerk's table, was, on the question put thereupon, agreed to by the House, as followeth:

“That the proper mode of conducting the further inquiry, and the trial in the case of Robert Randall and Charles Whitney, will be, to proceed, first, with a further hearing of Robert Randall, at the bar of the House.

That the information that has been given against the said Robert Randall and Charles Whitney, be reduced to writing, and signed by the informants themselves, respectively, and entered at large on the Journal. That the said information be read to the prisoners, and that they be called upon by the Speaker to declare what they have to say in their defence.

That, if the said prisoners shall offer any parole evidence, in their exculpation, the same shall be heard, at the bar of the House, excepting the members of the House, who may give their testimony on oath, in their places ; and no question shall be put to any member, on the part of the prisoner, by way of cross examination, except leave be first given by the House, and every such question shall be put by the Speaker ; and that the Judge of the District of Pennsylvania be requested to attend, for the purpose of alministering an oath or affirmation, to all witnesses. That all questions, on the part of the House, to be asked of the said witnesses, shall be put by the Speaker.

That, on every debate, the prisoners and their counsel'shall be directed to withdraw; and that, when they shall have concluded their defence, and are withdrawn, the sense of the House shall be taken, on the guilt or innocence of the prisoners, respectively

The several orders of the day were further postponed until Monday next.
And then the House adjourned until Monday morning eleven o'clock.

MONDAY, JANUARY 4, 1796. A petition of Israel Loring, of the City of New York, merchant, was presented to the House and read, praying that he may be allowed the amount of the drawback on a certain quantity of indigo, the property of the petitioner, exported from the port of New York to Amsterdam, in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-four, for which he had omitted to give to the proper officer of the customs for the said port, the bond required by law, not to re-land the same within the United States.

Also, a memorial of sundry citizens of the United States, owners of ships and vessels registered in the port of Philadelphia, praying that they may be exonerated from the payment of the duties imposed on foreign vessels, to which they will be subjected, in ike case of sundry vessels, the property of the memorialists, whose registers, owing to a variety of unforeseen causes, were not recorded within the time prescribed by lai

Orderen', 'That the said petition and memorial be referred to the Committee of Commisce and Manufactures ; that they do examine the matter thereof, and report the same, with their opinion thereupon, to the House.

Petitions of sundry citizens and inhabitants of the State of Virginia, whose names are thereunto subscribed, were presented to the House and read, praying that the Representatives of the People, in Congress assembled, will, in their wisdom, adopt such measures touching the treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation, between the United States and Great Britain, lately negotiated by authority of the President of the United States, and conditionally ratified by the Senate, as shall most effectually secure, free from encroachment, the Constitutional delegated powers of Congress, and the chartered rights of the People, and preserve to our country an uninterrupted continuance of the blessings of peace.

Ordered, "That the said petitions be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union.

A petition of Jean Marie de Bordes, a Lieutenant in the late Continental Army, was presented to the House and read, praying compensation for military services rendered the United States, during the late war.

Also, a pet tion of Edward Clark and others, soldiers in the late Army of the United States, to the same effect.

Also, a petition of Gustavus Aldrich, late a soldier in Captain Burbeck's company of the Army of the United States, praying an augmentation of the pension granted him, in consideration of a wound received in building a block-house at Fort St. Tammany, which has rendered him incapable of obtaining his livelihood by labor.

Also, a memorial of Abel Whitney, collector of the revenue for the county of Hampshire, in the District of Massachusetts, praying to be exonerated from the payment of a certain sum of public money, in part of the amount of duties collected by the memorialist, which was lost by accident, at Northampton, in the said county.

Ordered, That the said petitions and memorial be referred to the Committee of Claims.

Ordered, That the petition of John Vest, which lay on the table, be referred to the committee appointed to prepare and bring in a bill or bills to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia of the United States.

Orderu!, That the Committee of Claims, to whom was referred the petition of wil. liam Littlé, be discharged from the farther consideration of the same; and that the said petition be referred to the Committee of Commerce and Manufactures.

On motion, Resolurd, that the Committee of Ways and Means be authorized to cause to be prinied all such reports and documents, touching the matters referred to them, as may appear necessary to the said committee.

Mir. Tracer, fiom the Committee of Claims, to whom were referred the petitions of Edward Bryant, of John Baptist Dumon, of Israel Jones, in behalf of Joshua Ashbridge and of Lake White, made a report; which was read and considered: Whereupon,

Ordereil, That so much of the said report as relates to the petition of John Baptist Dumon, be committed to al Comunittee of the Whole House to-inorrow.

Ordered, That Edward Bryant, Israel Jones, and Luke White, severally have leare to withdraw their petitions.

A message, in writing, was received from the President of the United States, by Mr. Dandridge, his Secretary, as followetla:

UNITED STATES, January 4th, 1796. Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representat res:

A letter from the Jinister Plenipotentiary of the French Republic, received on the twenty-secondi of the last month, covered an address, dated the twenty-first of Octobur, one thousand seren hundred ani ninety-four, from the Committee of Public Safety, to the Representatives of the United States in Congress; and also informed me, that he was instructed by the comunitiee to present to the United States the colors of France. I thereupon proposed to receive them last Friday, the first day of the new year, a day of general joy and congratulation. On that day the Minister of the French Republic delivered the colors, with an address, to which I returned an answer. By the latier, the House will see that I have informed the Minister, that the colors will be de. positód with the archives of the United States.

But it seemed to me proper previously to exhibit to the two Houses of Congress these evidences of the continued friendship of the French Republic, together with the sentiments expressed by me on the occasion, in behalf of the United States. They are herewith commun cated,


The said message and papers therein referred to, were read and considered: Whereupon,

Resolved, unanimously, That the President of the United States. be requested to make known to the Representatives of the French people, that this House hath received, with the most sincere and lively sensibility, the communication of the Committee of Public Safety, dated the twenty-first of October, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-four, accompanied with the colors of the French Republic ; and to assure them, that the presentation of the colors of the French Republic to the Congress of the United States, is deemed the most honorable testimonial of the existing sympathies and affections of the two Republics, founded upon their solid and reciprocal interests ; and that this House rejoices in the opportunity thereby afforded, to congratulate the French nation upon the brilliant and glorious achievements which have been accomplished, under their influence, during the present afflicting war ; and confidently hopes that those achievements will be attended with the perfect attainment of their object, the permanent establishment of the liberties and happiness of a great and magnanimous People.

Ordered, That Mr. Giles and Mr. Samuel Smith be appointed a committee to wait on the President with the foregoing resolution.

Pursuant to the proceedings of the House on Friday last, Mr. Smith of South Caro. lina, Mr. Murray of Maryland, Mr. Giles of Virginia, and Mr. Buck of Vermont, delivered in at the Clerk's table their several informations in writing, subscribed with their names, respectively, in the cases of Robert Randall and Charles Whitney; which are as follow:

William Smith, one of the Representatives of the State of South Carolina in the Congress of the United States, declares

That, on Tuesday last, the twenty-second instant, a person who called himself Randall, and who is said to be from the State of Maryland, applied to him at his lodgings, in the City of Philadelphia, and requested a private and confidential conversation of an hour, which the informant agreed to ; and at the time appointed, which was the same evening, the said Randall being alone with the informant, communicated to him a proposal for procuring from the Legislature of the United States a grant of about eighteen or twenty millions of acres in the Northwestern Territory, between Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Erie. That the said Randall oberved, that the grant he proposed, would be of great service to the United States, from the persons who would be interested therein, (to wit : certain Canada merchants at or near Detroit, whose names he did not mention,) having great influence over the Indians, who were not pacified by the late treaty concluded with General Wayne ; and that the said persons would extinguish the Indian claims at their own expense ; and after setting forth the saving of expense, by the cessation of the Indian war, and other reasons to induce a belief that the proposed grant would be of public utility, he proceeded to inform the informant, that the intention was to divide the land into about forty shares, twentyfour of which would be allowed to, or distributed among, such persons (meaning, as this informant understood him, from the whole purport of his conversation, members of Congress) as would favor the measure: that of these twenty-four shares, he had the management or distribution of twelve for the Southern part, (meaning, as the informant understood, the Southern members of Congress,) and another person, whose name he did not mention, had the disposition of the other twelve, for the Eastern part, (still, as the informant understood and believes, meaning as aforesaid.) That he, the said Randall, proposed subdividing the said shares into so many portions, as to have a sufficiency to obtain a majority, (meaning, as the informant understood him, a majority of Congress,) and that gentlemen, after the session was over, or when they returned to private lifé, might then have such parts of shares, as the said twenty-four shares would be reserved for such of them as would favor the business, on the same terms as the original associators. That the view of him, the said Randall, and of those concerned with kiin, was to present a memorial on the following Monday, to Congress, to obtain the said grant for a small price, mentioning half a million of dollars ; and that he supposed the land was worth more than two shillings an acre. On taking lcave, he pressed the informant for an early and decisive answer to the foregoing proposals ; to which the informant replied, that he would not wish to see him again before Friday morning, and requested him to call on bin at Congress, and not at his lodgings ; but the House did not sit on Friday, and the informant has not seen him since. The informant further says, that the foregoing is the substance and purport of the communication to him made by the said Randall, on the subject above set forth ; and that the impression clearly made on the mind of the informant, by the overtures, was, that, under a pretext of public utility, the object of the application was, to secure the informant's influence, as a member of Congress, by a temptation of great personal advantage. That the informant, the next morning, communicated the substance of the foregoing to Mr. Murray, one of the members from Maryland, and consulted him on the most proper mode of proceeding on so delicate an occasion ; that Mr. Murray advised a consultation with Mr. Henry, of the Senate; and that, in consequence of such consultation with Mr. Murray and Mr. Ilenry, on the following day (Thursday) it was resolved, that the informant should immediately communicate the whole transaction to the President of the United States; which he accordingly did.

WILLIAM SMITH. December 28, 1795.

Mr. Murray declares, that, on Wednesday last, the twenty-third instant, Mr. Smith, member of Congress, of South Carolina, informed him that a man of the name of Randall, of Maryland, had, the evening before, attempted to bribe him in Western lands, on condition of his supporting an application which Randall told him he should soon make to Congress; the object of which application was, a grant from Congress of from eighteen to twenty millions of acres of land, between Erie, Huron, and Michigan. That Mr. Smith was extremely solicitous that some other gentleman should immediately be informed of the infamous proposa, and that he said he would mention it to Mr. Henry, of the Senate, and advise with him upon proper measures for the detecting of the full extent of the scheme, and crushing it: That he had no opportunity of talking to Mr. Henry on that day; but early on the morning of the twenty-fourth instant, communicated the intelligence to Mr. Henry, who recommended that Mr. Smith should immediately inforın the President : that on the said day, Mr. Randall, of Maryland, was introduced to him, the informant, and requested a confidential interview at his, the informant's lodgings, which the informant readily promised him, to be at five, for the purpose of developing his scheme. That Randall came at or near five, that day last named, to wit: on Thursday, and communicated to Mr. Henry end himself, in general terms, the outline of a plan by which he, Randall, and his Canada friends, would extinguish the Indian title to all the lands between lakes Erie, Huron, and Michigan, as marked on a map which Randall then shewed, containing from eighteen to twenty millions of acres. That he, the informant, then asked Randall into his apartment, where they were alone. That Randall expatiated at first upon the public utility of his scheme, which was, that Congress should grant to him and his coinpany, all the land aforesaid mentioned, for five hundred thousand, or, at most one million of dollars; and that he would undertake, in four months, that the harmony of the Indians should be secured to the Union: or, if Congress thought proper, that the Indian tribes now on said land should be removed to the British side, or down lake Michigan, reserving to some aged chiefs a few miles square ; that his

company and himself had determined to divide the lands aforesaid into forty (or forty-one) shares. That of these shares twenty-four were to be reserved for the disposal of himself and his partner, now in town, for such members of Congress as assisted them, by their abilities and votes, in obtaining the grant aforesaid: Tbat of these twenty-four shares, his partner had twelve under his management for the Eastern members of Congress, and that he, Randall, had the other twelve shares under his management for the Southern members of Congress. That these shares were to be 60 divided as to accomplish the object by securing a majority of Congress. That the informant started an objection to land speculation as troublesome, and that he, Randall, said, if you (meaning the informant,) do not chuse to accept your share of the land, you shall have cash in hand for your share. That the informant appointed Randall to meet him in the lobby of the House on Monday, the twenty-eighth instant. That Randall told him a memorial was to be handed in upon this subject on said Monday; but refused to inform the informant what member was to present it: That Randall told him, that he, Randall, mentioned his plan to some members in the general way only-meaning thereby, as he understood him, a view of the sounder part of the plan, as being conducive to public utility. That, in the early part of the confidential and secret conversation, Randall said, that the members of Congress who would behave handsomely, should come into their shares on the same terms upon which the company obtained the grant ; but soon after, made proposals more openly seductive and corrupt ; closing them with the offer of cash in hand as aforesaid. That the informant, on that evening, when Randall went away, told Mr. Henry of the whole of Randall's offers aforesaid ; then called on the Secretary of State, and communicated the same to him ; and next morning, early, informed the President of the transaction.

W. V. MURRAY 29th December, 1795,

« ZurückWeiter »