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H. OF R.
Commissioner of Claims.

DECEMBER, 1816. general appropriation act of the last session. At a resolution. As to the language of the Presithe close of the last session, an act had passed ap- dent in respect to the act, it amounted to no more propriating money for defraying the expenses of than this; that, there being some doubt of the ihe Commissioner's office, but even that act made proper construction of the act, he had recomno appropriation for paying the judgments of the mended to the Commissioner to forbear further Commissioner.

decisions under a particular part of it, until ConMr. YANCEY, of North Carolina, expressed his gress should have acted on it. He should not opinion that this object belonged to the Com- presume, he said, that the President had ordered mittee on Public Expenditures, rather than to the a public officer to suspend his official duties; to Committee of Claims, to whom the President's do which he has no more power, said Mr. W., Message thereon had been referred. If the fact than I or any other member of the House or of the was as represented, that the public money had community. It was made by an act of Congress been paid from the Treasury without an appro- the business of the officer referred to, to perform priation, it would certainly fall within the province certain specific duties required by that act; and of that committee to inquire. As a member, how- the repeal of the act only could suspend his official ever, of the Committee of Claims, be should sub- functions, or take away the right given by the mit io the judgment of the House in this respect; act to individuals in certain cases, the existence although, had he conceived the subject properly or justice of which was to be decided by a judge to belong to them, he should before now have in specially constituted for the purpose.

If the troduced it to the notice of the House. The second question were as to the faithful execution of the resolution proposed by Mr. Forsyth, Mr. Y. con- law, the inquiry may be confided to a committee ceived to be wholly unnecessary; especially as of the House; if whether the law be a wise one, he understood, from the President's Message, íhat it was for the House to decide, on examination, the execution of that part of the act which whether it required modification or repeal. It was objectionable, had already been suspended, was a serious question, in point of right, whether and would continue so until the House should the President could be requested by this House act on the subject. If the President had sus- to enjoin a public officer not to execute the duties pended the operation of the act in one particular, of his office, in the creation and appointment of he would in others, if he thought the public in which the other branch of Congress had a hand terest required it. Mr. Y. said, he saw no rea- as well as this. All the purposes desired would son why the House should call upon the Presi- be answered by the adoption of the first resoludent to discharge a duty, which he had shown tion, especially if that also was adopted (proposevery disposition to perform without such inter- ing an inquiry into the Commissioner's decisions,), position. Mr. Y. repeated, taking his seat, that which now lay on the table. this business appeared to him to belong properly Mr. FORSYTH said he did not pretend to enter 10 the Committee on Expenditures.

into the question of the power lo suspend the exMr. Desha, of Kentucky, said he fully agreed ecution of the law; nor was it necessary as to with the gentleman last up. The first and third the law in question, the execution of a part of resolutions he thought correct, but the second which had already been suspended by the Presi. unnecessary, and was, therefore, opposed to it. dent. If he had the power to suspend a part of No danger was to be apprehended to the public the act, without the request of the House, he had interest, from the execution of any other part of the same right to suspend the whole with or the act' than that which had been suspended; without their request. Mr. F. hoped, therefore, whilst, on the other hand, great injury would the resolution would be adopted. The act itself, result from a total suspension of the execution he said, was of a very peculiar nature; he had of the act to those individuals, who bad claims himself been opposed to its passage; but few genbefore the Commissioner of a minor character, tlemen had coincided with him in opinion. He which did not come under the objectionable thought it ought not to have passed ; and the exprovision of the act. Was it at all necessary, ecution of it had not made him more favorable Mr. D. asked, after the great trouble which to its provisions. The main objection to it was, the claimants of this character had taken to sub- that it gave to the Commissioner the final judg. stantiate their claims, that their examination ment on all claims submitted to him; that his should be suspended, because a part of the act, judgment entitled the party, without appeal, to not at all affecting them, was incorrect? He payment at the Treasury. It appeared, from the hoped not. He flattered himself that, on this view Message of the President, either that the act was of the subject, the gentleman from Georgia would defective, or that the Commissioner had extended agree with him, and withdraw the second reso- his power beyond the proper limits. Mr. F. therelution.

fore wished the execution of the law suspended, The question having been taken on the first because with regard not only to the part of the resolution, to which there was no opposition, the act referred to by the President, but to all the question on the second was propounded from the sections of the act, the same spirit may prevail. Chair.

The wish of Mr. F. was, that the act should be Mr. WEBSTER, of New Hampshire, said, he reviewed, or at least that part of it which gives hoped the honorable gentleman would not press the Commissioner the entire control of the public this resolution. It was very questionable indeed, funds, as far as concerns these claims. Vast inin his mind, whether the House could pass such ljury might result to the United States, if he was


Commissioner of Claims.

H. OF R.

suffered to go on. However incorrect his decis- have been cases decided, in regard to which the ions, the money paid away is beyond our control, evidence ought to have been sifted more vicely: and these claimants receive money from the Uni- Mr. YANCEY moved that the resolution should ted States in defiance of our authority. With lie on the table. He said he could not see the this view, Mr. F. said, he wished the act sus necessity of going out of the usual course of lepended, without reference to the manner in which gislation to adopt it. If the gentleman koew of ibe authority given by it had been exercised. any pending decisions of an improper character,

Mr. P. BARBOUR, of Virginia, said, that if the and requiring the suspension of the act, the quesHouse acted at all in the manner proposed by the tion would present itself differently; but, for one, second resolution, it must be jointly with the Mr. Y. said, he could not vote for this motion Senate. If the suspension of the law be request till he heard some evidence to that effect. ed, it is, for the time being, suspending the act; it Mr. FORSYTH expressed his hope that the House is legislating on it anew. Mr. B. had no objec- would not conclude, with the gentleman from tion to the temporary suspension of the act, but Kentucky, that because he (Mr. ř.) had been opwished to see it done in an unobjectionable posed to ihe passage of the law, at the last session, form.

he now wished to suspend it. 'It was the law of Mr. JOHNSON, of Kentucky, said, that as the the land ; and when ii became so, his opposition member who had introduced this motion had to it ceased. My only object, said Mr. F., is to candidly expressed to the House his opposition to add to it such provisions as shall prevent the the law (at the last session) to be confirmed now, Commissioner, if he be desirous to do so, from there was no inconsistency in his wishing to suse mistaking the provisions of the act. My object pend by resolution, now, an act which he could is to limit and define it, that it cannot be misinnot at at the last session suspend by his vote or terpreted. With respect to the facts which have arguments. In consequence of its embracing a come to my knowledge, I have no information of large class of cases, some of a doubtful nature, such a character as will authorize me to bring it the President had 'advised the Commissioner 10 before the House: if I knew the facts, I should suspend the execution of one section of the act; have stated them in my place, and not called and the question was yet to try before this House, upon the President for them. The President had whether proper ground had been taken by the already stated to the House, Mr. F. observed, Commissioner, or not, in respect even to that that he had reason to believe there had been, or section. But had the President opposed the de- would be, an erroneous construction of the law. cisions of the Commissioner under any other part The great difficulty was, that the control of a of the act? If we go on the principle of may-be single commissioner was complete and final over mischiefs, said Mr. J., the gentleman might as the admission and amount of the claims. I wish, well lay before this House a resolution to sus- said Mr. F., that the Treasury of the United pend our own powers, or those of any other de- Stares should not be open to the decisions of the partment or branch of the Government, lest injury Commissioner; I wish to secure the Treasury might grow out of them. I ask the gentleman from the result of error or corruption in the adwho introduced a resolution so much affecting judication of these claims. So far as I am inmy constituents, whether he would legislate on formed, the Commissioner has not made any corthis principle ? Mr. J. said he had himself super- rupt decisions; but I believe he was about to intended three hundred cases of claims, to come have made very erroneous decisions. I wish, in before this Commissioner, the aggregate amount short, that we may give to some department the of which was not fifteen thousand dollars-pot a power of revising all the acts of the Commispeppercorn to the claims from other parts of the sioner; that he shall not have full power to dis-, United States. Why should the decision of such pose of the public money. claims be arrested ? It was a novel principle of Mr. WEBSTER said he was bound to infer that legislation to suspend the execution of a law be- the course of conduct which the President purcause it is possible mischief may arise, or because sued was such as he had authority to pursue; and one was originally opposed to it. If the gentle- be had no right to order the officer in question, man would put his finger on a case in which in. or any other judicial officer, to suspend ihe exejury was likely to be done to the United States, cation of a law. The President had no doubt Mr. J. said, he would take the gentleman's word advised the officer to suspend his decisions on for it, and bow with submission io his proposition certain cases ; but the proposition in the resoluto suspend the law. Uotil such a case was point- tion is to do something more than advise, if it is ed out, he would not vote to recommend to the to do anything at all. Mr. W. submitted to the President his duty. Had he been wanting in it? House whether it ought to pass such a resoluAs he had recommended the suspension of judg- tion? He did not say whether it would have ments under one part of the law, was it not pre- any binding force on the officer-he did not think, sumable that he would have included others if however, he would disregard it; but, suppose the necessary? The cases of horses lost, &c., came Senate should think differently from the House, literally and unequivocally under the law; but he and request the President to give a direction to freely avowed his opinion that, in all cases it the Commissioner to go on. It was a mistake to would cover, the law ought to have a liberal con- suppose that the President could suspend a law struction. If such had been given to it, he did on the request of any one branch of the Legislanot disapprove it; though there might possibly I ture. Mr. W. said he never had been a friend to

H. OF R.

Admission of Indiana.


the law in question; he thought it an extraordi- the duties of the Committee on Expenditures; but nary power to give to an individual to sign away | did not move an amendment. as large an amount as the whole land tax for a No objection being made to the resolve, it was year, without a power being reserved to control agreed io without a division, and a committee his decisions. But the only remedy is to repeal ordered to be appointed accordingly. or modify the law. He was, he said, altogether Messrs. Williams. CREIGHTON, McKee. Mills, against making a nugatory interference by a re. Jewet'r, Smith of Virginia, and W. P. Maclay, solution which nobudy was bound to regard, nor, were appointed the commillee. he believed, at liberty to regard.

ADMISSION OF INDIANA. The question was then taken on laying the second resolution on the table, and decided in the

A resolution from the Senate, in form of a affirmative without a division.

joint resolution, declaring the admission of the The third resolution was taken up, and agreed

State of Indiana into the Union, was received, to without a division.

iwice read, and referred to a Committee of the Mr. Williams, of North Carolina, then called Whole on the state of the Union.

Some conversation took place on the propriety up the resolution which laid on the table yes of taking it up to-day, which was advocated by terday, for the appointment of a committee 10 Messrs. HARRISON and Lowndes, who considered inquire into the decisions of Richard Bland Lee, the resolve as a matter of form merely, and opEsq., Commissioner, &c.

posed by Messrs. Hardin and Taylor, of New The House having taken up the resolution, and York, who regarded it in a different light, and the mover modified its phraseolgy

argued that so solemo an act as pronouncing on Mr. W. said, that as neither of the resolutions the character and republican principles of a just agreed to embraced the object he had in Slate constitution, ought to be more deliberately view, he must advocate the passage of this reso considered than was proposed. The motion for lution. He considered the inquiry important to to day did not prevail. After ordering the conthe country, to the constituents of the members stirution of the new Slate to be prioted, the on this favor, and to the judicial character of the House adjourned. gentleman whose official couduct was the subject of it. Mr. W. said he had heard many reports unfavorable to the decisions of that officer. If

Monday, December 9. they were true, he had certainly acted in a man. Five other members, to wit: from Pennsylvaper different from what had been expected of him nia, William Piper and JAMES M. Wallace ; at tbe time he was appointed. If untrue, the in- from Maryland, Stevenson ARCHER and Chas. quiry was necessary io restore his official char. GOLDSBOROUGH ; and from Virginia, DANIBL acter to the confidence it ought to have. As ! Sheffey, appeared and took their seats. might conciliate the voies of gentlemen for, bis On mution of Mr. LATTIMORE, the petition of proposition, he would mention one or two innihe Legislature of the Mississippi Territory, prestances of what appeared to him incorrect decis. sented on the 27th December, 1815, praying for

ons, of which he had been informed by common admission into the Union as a State, was referred report. When the British entered this city, he to a select committee; and Messrs. LATTIMORE, said, they destroyed a house of Mr. Carroll, and Robertson, Desha, Tucker, HARRISON, PITKIN, anulher of Mr. Ringgold. The owners of these and Tallmadge, were appointed the coinmittee. houses, from what he had beard, were not enti- Mr. FORSYTA rose, and called the attention of tled to reimbursement of their losses. But to the House to the reconsideration of a resolution Mr. Carroll had been adjudged $27,000, as the [the third] adopted, on his motion, on Friday value of his house; and 10 Mr. Ringgold $17,000 iast; the object of which was, to inquire of the for his. The decisions of the House had been Executive by what authority' the judgment of uniformly against this class of cases; and, if the ihe Commissioner of Claims had been paid. He decisions of Mr. Lee were wrong, they called for was, he said, altogether mistaken in supposing the ioterference of this House. The inquiry ihat the act establishing the office contained po could do no injury to Mr. Lee or to the country. appropriation for paying the claims, as, on subseWith that gentlemau, Mr. W. said, he had no quent examination of the act for another purpose, acquaintance; but he was happy to state that bis he had discovered. The mistake originated from character was such as to forbid the idea of col- a consultation of the marginal poles to the law, lusion with ihe claimants. He might have, never- and io the several appropriation laws of the last theless, decided incorrectly; and as the House session, from which he could not discover that could not rejudge bis decisions once made, it was an appropriation had been made. As the resoproper that they should be correct into which lution had not been presented to the President, he it was his object to inquire. If he had decided hoped the House would indulge him in reconsidcorrectly, it would be so reported by the commit-ering it. tee; if not, the committee might 'recommend a The House having agreed to reconsider the resrepeal or modification of the law, or a removal of olution, the third,] it was withdrawn by Mr. F. the officer, &c.

On motion of Mr. BROOKS, a committee was Mr. Pickens, of North Carolina, suggested appointed to inquire what amendments are nethat the object of his colleague would fall within Icessary, if any, in the act, entitled "An act grant


Vaccination-Admission of Indiana.

H. OF R.

ing bounties, in land and extra pay, to certain who may apply to him for the same.-Referred Canadian voluntiers," passed March 5th, 1816, to Messrs. Condict. Little, WENDOVER, BROWN, with leave to report by bill or otherwise ; and and WOODWARD, with leave to report by bill or Messrs. BROOKS, SMITA, of Maryland, Alexan otherwise. DER, Ross, and Bennett, were appointed the The inemorial is as follows: commillee.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the On motion of Mr. Peter, the Military Com

United States : mittee was directed to inquire into the expediency The memorial of James Smith humbly represents : of establishing, by law, one or more foundries for That your memorialist has been employed to preserve the manufactory of brass and iron ordnance ; apd and distribute the vaccine matter, in conformity to the what alteration it is expedient to make in the act of Congress, entitled “An act to encourage vacpresent system of supplying the Army with pro- cination. visions.

He begs leave to state, that he has kept it constantly Mr. WENDOVER. of New York, offered for con- active and fit for use, and that he has been daily dissideration the following resolution :

tributing it to all who applied to him for it. The use Resolved, That a committee be appointed to inquire of the kine pock has been thus greatly promoted in into the expediency of altering the flag of the United almost every section of the United States, and the propStates.

agation of the natural small pox has been, thereby, The House having agreed, by a bare majority, it would have become a severe scourge and fatal pesti

frequently checked in places where otherwise perhaps to consider this resolution

lenco among the people. Mr. WENDOVER said, as there appeared to be But omitting, in this place, all further explanation much opposition to the motion, he would not of the convenience and fitness of this establishment, to press it for the present; but suffer it to be laid on

encourage and diffuse the practice of vaccination over the table. He would only remark, that the flag our widely extended country, your memorialist begs was not now appropriate ; that there was an in leave to add, that every day's experience has given congruity in it, which appeared to him to require new proofs of the essential advantages which the pubcorrection. The motion was laid on the table. lic have derived, and must continue to derive, from

Oo motion of Mr. Tuomas M. Nelson, the keeping an uninterrupted supply of this inestimable Committee on Military Affairs were instructed remedy, in some well known place, where due responto inquire into the expediency of amending so sibility, will attach to its faithful distribution. much of the act, entitled "An act making further

To insure the accomplishment of this desirable object provision for military services during the late and to encourage, as far as practicable, the most libthe children of deceased soldiers of the regular tional Legislature, to enable him to supply it, free of war,” as makes it necessary for the guardians of eral use of the vaccine matter, your memorialist prays Army to relinquish the claims of such children to the bounty in land, which is due for the services any fees or charges, to all surgeons employed in the of their parents.

Army and Navy of the United States; as well as also On motion of Mr. Wright, a committee was all expense, to every other citizen who may apply to

to furnish it, with plain directions for its use, free of appointed to ioquire into the expediency of pay; him for it. Respecifully, your memorialist, ing the militia expenses incurred by the several

JAMES SMITH. States, without the previous sanction or author- BALTIMORE, Dec. 6th, 1816. ity of i he Government of the United States, with

ADMISSION OF INDIANA. leave to report by bill or otherwise; and Messrs. WRIGHT, PLEASANTS, CHAPPELL, CREIGHTON,

The House, on motion of Mr. HARRISON, of Parris, Webster, and Law, were appointed the Ohio, proceeded to the order of the day on the committee.

resolution recognising the republicanism and conOn motion of Mr. EDWARDS, the Committee formily to the Constitution and laws of the conon Military Affairs were instrucied to inquire into stitution of the new State of lodiana, in Comthe expediency of making some provision for the mittee of the Whole, Mr. Dessa in the Chair. widows of such soldiers as enlisted in the late

On motion of Mr. Milnor, of Pennsylvania, the war for the term of five years, or during the war. constitution was read through for ihe further

On mnotion of Mr. TUCKER,'the Committee on information of the House; and its verification Roads and Canals were iostructed to inquire into

examined. the expediency of providing, by law, for the con

No debate took place on the resolution, which struction of a turnpike road from Winchester, in was reported to the House, and ordered to a third Virginia, to unite with the Great Western Turn reading. It was accordingly read a third time, pike at Carter's, at the foot of the Alleghany and passed, unanimously. mountain. VACCINATION.

Tuesday, December 10. Mr. CONDICT presented the petition of Doctor At the usual hour of meetiogJames Smith, agent under the “Act to encourage Mr. Lowndes apprized the House, that in convaccination," praying that provision may be made sequence of the death of an infant child of the to enable him to supply the vaccine matter, free SPEAKER, he would not be able to allend this day of any fees or charges, to the Surgeons in the to open the House. Mr. L. therefore, moved that Army and Navy, and to any person whatever I the House should adjourn until to-morrow.

H. OF R.

Constitutional Amendment.


The Clerk of the House having put the ques- money mentioned in the first section of the said tion on this motion, it was carried, nem. con. act to the said Joseph Stewart, his attorney, or

assignee, for the benefit of himself and his asso

ciates; and also for the purpose of correcting a WEDNESDAY, December 11.

misnomer in the third section of the said act. Two other members, to wit: from New York, The SPEAKER laid before the House a letter Erastus Root; from South Carolina, HENRY from William Mayrant, informing that he had MIDDLETON ; appeared and took their seats. transmitted to the Governor of South Carolina a

The SPEAKER presented the petition of Rufus resignation of his seat as one of the members of Easton, contesting the seat of John Scott, as this House for that State.-Ordered to lie on the the delegate for the Territory of Missouri, and table. praying to be admitted to a seat in the place of On motion of Mr. Scott, the Committee on said Scott.-Referred to the Committee of Elec. Public Lands were instructed to inquire into the tiops.

expediency of making further provision by law The SPEAKER laid before the House a letter for the final adjustment of land claims in the Misfrom the Acting Secretary of War, transmitting souri Territory, and of transferring the final setthe report of the commissioners appointed to mark tlenient of those claims to the register and receiver and survey a road from Reynoldsburgh, on the of said Territory, together with some third perTennessee river, through the Chickasaw nation ; son, lo act as a Board of Commissioners for the which was read and referred to Messrs. REY- same. NOLDS, SHARPE, CREIGHTON, GRiffin, and BAER. Mr. FORSYTH moved for the consideration of

Mr. 'Taylor, of New York, from the Commit- his motion for requesting the President to order tee of Elections, made a report in part on the cer- the further execution of the claims' law to be sustificates of election, and other credentials, of sev- pended till Congress should have acted on it. eral of the members, which was read and laid on On the question 10 proceed to consider the same, the table.

it was decided in the negative. Mr. YANCEY, of North Carolina, from a select Mr. Hugh Nelson, of Virginia, moved a resocommittee, reported a bill for the relief of Na- lution in the following words: tbaniel Williams; which was twice read and Resolved, That the Military Committee be instructed committed, and was subsequently ordered to be to inquire into the expediency of making provision for engrossed for a third reading.

the widows and orphans of those militia who, after Mr. Johnson, of Kentucky, from the Commit- their return home to their place of residence, may have tee on Military Affairs, reported a bill for the re- died of diseases contracted whilst in the service of the lief of the infirm, disabled and superannuated United States. officers and soldiers of the Army of the United The necessity of this motion being questioned States of the Revolutionary war and of the late by Mr. CONDICT, on the ground of the law of the war, and of militia disabled in the late war. [This last session embracing such casesbill contemplates the establishment of a corps of It was supported by Messrs. Hogu Nelson, P. invalids.] The bill was twice read and com- P. BARBOUR, and BURWELL, of Virginia, who mitted.

stated that the law of the last session embraced On motion of Mr. FORSYTH, the Committee of the cases of those dying on the road bome, but Ways and Means were instructed to inquire into did not include the cases of those who reached the propriety and expediency of allowing to the their own doors before they fell a sacrifice to State of Georgia fifteen per centum out of her disease. quota of the direct tax of 1816, assumed by the The motion was then agreed to, nem. con. State and paid at the Treasury of the United States within the time prescribed by law-the

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. usual abatement not being allowed at the Trea- Mr. Pickens, of North Carolina, rose to prosury, in consequence of the omission of the Gov. pose an amendment to the Constitution of the ernor 10 give notice of the State's assumption United States ; on which, having on former occawithin the time prescribed by the act of Congress. sions expressed his views, he would now only

The SPEAKER laid before the House a letter remark, that only once had the question ever been from the Commissioner of the General Land Of- really tried in this House, and that was at a mofice, transmitting the reports of the land commis.meni of great public embarrassment, not favorasioners for the eastern district of Louisiana, of ble to a mature deliberation on its merits. This the commissioners of the Missouri Territory, and was the first fair occasion of presenting the subof the recorder of the land titles in the same Ter-ject fully for consideration. Several of the ritory, being eleven bound volumes.-Referred to States had, since the first agitation of the question the Committee on the Public Lands.

in the House, given to the proposition their sabc. On motion of Mr. GOLDSBOROUGH, the Com- tion and recommendation, among which were mittee on Naval Affairs were instructed to inquire Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Virginia ; ito the expediency of passing a supplement to the and it had, at one session, received the sanction law passed at the last session of Congress, enti- of the Senate of the United States. If ever there iled "An act authorizing the payment of a sum was a period favorable to a proper amendment of of money to Joseph Stewart and others,” for the the Constitution, it was the present moment, purpose of authorizing the payment of the sum of | when we are literally at peace, at home and

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