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H. OF R.

Payment for Lost Property.

JANUARY, 1817.

tained, or whether the decision of the claims find an investigation of the claims for all losses, should be left to the Department of War, &c. with an implied promise to indemnify the sufferBut he was anxious they should not be thrown ers? What a parallel will he draw between back on this House, who, he said, were incom- even his own State, stepping forward and grantpetent, not from their mental composition, buting him partial relief, and the General Governfrom iheir physical character, to decide on a ment refusing it! I know, said Mr. C., in conmass of claims. He complained of misrepre- clusion of his animated speech, it has been intisentation of his language on this subject, in a

mated that the sufferers may come individually former debate, as though he had reflected on the to Congress for redress; but what chance has the character or digpity of the House. He was glad poor man who has lost his all, or without means to find, he said, that the dignity of the House had io pay heavy expeoses, to come here session after got into the hands of his honorable colleague session, and at last perhaps never succeed in es. from Kentucky, (Mr. HARDIN,) where he hoped tablishing his right? No, sir, said Mr. C., it is it would remain untarnished. Did it detract from not inconsistent with our digpily to refer the dethe dignity of this House, to say that they were cision of these claims to another tribunal than not competent to Executive as well as Judicial this House : legislate as becomes you, and then administration? If they were, whence the prin- indeed you will consult the dignity of ihe House ciple now established as an axiom in all well regu- and the character of the Government. lated governments, that there should be a marked Mr. Calhoun, in reply to Mr. Clay, said, that division of duties between different departments ? he had not understood the proceeding of the BritMr. C., after showing, from the organization of ish Government on the Niagara frontier as an the House, the impracticability of acting on largę implied promise to indemnify the sufferers, but classes of cases of private claims, adduced several rather as an examination into the nature and exinstances in which, under our Government, Content of the loss, to be laid before the Government gress, acting on that presumption, had appointed for its consideration-a proceeding very proper, commissioners for deciding on claims and adjust- even for this Government in similar circumstances. ing accounts. With regard to the expression, 10 As to the conduct of the Emperor Alexander, to which gentlemen had taken so great exception, whom the Speaker had in a former debate referthat the right of petition was a mere right to red, he said it was also very doubtful what was have a petition rejected, Mr. C. said it was not to the object of his visit to the interior, whether for be taken as universally true, for some few claims the purposes of munificence, as reported on the were occasionally allowed; but with regard to one hand, or for the administration of justice and nuraberless claims, there was either a denial, or inflicting punishment, as reported by others. Be a protraction equal to a refusal of them. Not it as it might, in either of these cases, Mr. C. said, that the House was not disposed to do justice; we ought not to go abroad for examples, but to but, from the constitution of the body, and from regulate our conduct by the rules of reason, where. the multiplied duties of a public and higher na- with he could not suppose the people would be ture they had to discharge, it was impossible to dissatisfied. give due consideration to all private petitions. Mr. C. said, he was glad to bear the Speaker's This position he illustrated by a reference to the explanation in regard to the insensibility of this report of the committee of investigation into Mr. House to petitions, and that he had referred to a Lee's decisions, who declined the task because of mere physical inability to decide on these claims; its laborious character. If a committee could an objection which could be easily obviated by pot even look at the testimony in these cases, raising other committees-one, for instance, for how could a body of a hundred and fifty mem- the claims from the Canadian frontier, another bers have passed on these claims during this ses for those from the South, &c. He was glad to şion, as they might have been petitioned to do, hear that the Speaker did not mean to impute to had no commissioner been appointed ?

the House hardheartedness, of which construcReturning to the question on the 9th section, tion his remarks had been susceptible. NotwithMr. C. said, if a house was conflagrated in a standing the remarks since made, Mr. C. said, the city, the spontaneous bounty of iodividuals was position taken by him a day or two ago, and so awakened, and the distress relieved or alleviated very ably supported 10-day by Mr. BARBOUR, reby voluntary contributions; and, yet, in the case mained unchanged; for, 'if he understood the of a war prosecuted with so much advantage, qualifications of the Speaker, they denied the honor, and fame to the country, the total loss of rule, leaving the question of remuneration to sufproperty in which did not exceed a million or a ferers one of mere expediency. Mr. C. repeated million and a half of dollars, we will not afford his objection to the rule laid down by Mr. Clay; relief, because, according to certain speculative that if established, all distinction between public notions, we are not bound to do it! If the nation and private property in war would be obliterated. were in a state of poverty, the reasoning right As to the restraint of the laws of war, Mr. C. have weight; but it was otherwise—there was a said, that even in the late war, the rules of civilsurplus in the Treasury: What invidious com- ized warfare had not been observed by our adverparisons, he asked, would not the suffering citi sary to their full extent. If we were to destroy zen on the Niagara make between the British | the distinction between public and private propGovernment and ours, when he can pass in a erty, my word for it, said Mr. C., you would find canoe the parrow strait that separates us, and the effect of it in any future war.' Mr. C. urged JANUARY, 1817.


H. OF R.

the importance of adhering, in this respect, to es. the funds of the corporation of that city, towards tablished principles ; for which reason, cases com- the erection and support of a marine hospital. ing under the ninth section should be left to this On motion of Mr. Gold, the Committee on the House, that it might at once establish the rule, Judiciary were instructed to inquire into the exand decide the cases. A strict application, he pediency of making provision, by law, for the apsaid, of the rule of the law, as it exists, would not pointment of a judge for the northern judicial embrace many just cases, and for this reason also district in the Siate of New York, to reside in Congress ought to decide them, having the power the district. to enlarge ibe rule. In all thai had been said in Mr. HARDIN moved that the Committee on favor of retaining the 9th section, a wish had Military Affairs be instructed to inquire into the been expressed, that the rule of the decision made expediency of allowing pay and compensation to on claims in this District, should prevail through the mounted volunteers who, in the year 1813, out the United States. Mr. C. entered his pro- served in the expedition to the headwaters of test against it; he believed those decisions did White River and the Wabash, under the comnot come within the letter of the law, within the maod of Colonel Russell. spirit of the law, nor within the rules on which Mr. H. recapitulated the merits of the corps his the country ought to act in this case.

resolution referred to, their services and sufferings, Mr. BARBOUR replied to the SPEAKER. As for and the causes why their exertions were not more indemnity for losses by an enemy, in coosequence efficient or more brilliant. of the omission of the Government to protect the Mr. HARRISON rose to testify to the alacrity of property of the citizen, such cases ought to have the corps, and the importance of the services they been provided for in the Treaty of Peace at the ter- rendered, as well as their hardships and deserts. mination of the war. But, without such provis- After which, the motion was agreed to. ion, the Government was as much bound to in- On motion of Mr. IRVING, The Committee of demnify for losses by private robbery, as for losses Ways and Means were instructed to inquire into by public robbery, to which he likened the de- the propriety of amending by law that part of the struction of houses, &c., private property, by an fifth section of the act entitled "An act to regulate enemy. An enormous debt of justice, he said, the duties on imports and tonpage,” which is in arising from the Revolutionary war, yet remained the following words: "and in all cases where an uopaid ; countless millions of various losses. He ad valorem duty shall be charged, it shall be did not say he would go back and remunerate calculated on the net cost of the article at the those sufferers, but, if the House were to allow place whence imported, (exclusive of packages, claims from considerations of liberality, as now commissions, and all charges,) with the usual urged, they certaioly ought from those of justice. addition, established by law, of twenty per cenMr. B. defined justice and liberality, concluding 'tum on all merchandise imported from places by saying that the Government ought to pay all beyond the Cape of Good Hope, and ten per such claims on it, as, if suable, it would be com- centum on articles imported from all other pelled in a court of law to pay. With regard to places." ihe small claims under the act of last session, he The SPEAKER laid before the House a Message was willing to turn them over to the War De- from the President of the United States, received partment; but in regard to cases of large amount, yesterday, communicating the annual report of depending on the construction of the rule, they the Director of the Mint. ought to come before the House.

The bill for the relief of Henry Malcolm (orAt sundowa, Mr. Wright announced his de- dering an allowance in his public accounts for sire to make a few remarks; and, on his motion, certain money lost in the mail) was taken up, and, the Committee agreed to rise, by a small majority; after a short discussion, it was ordered to be enand the House adjourned.

grossed for a third reading.

Mr. ROBERTSON laid before the House sundry

reports in relation to land titles in the State of TUESDAY, January 7.

Louisiana, transmitted to him by the Commis

sioner of the General Land Office; which were Mr. ARCHER submitted following resolution, which was read, and ordered to lie on the referred to the Committee on the Public Lands.

The bill from the Senate " for the relief of the table.

legal representatives of Ignace Chalmet Delino, Resolved, That the Committee on Military Affairs deceased, and of Anthony Cruzat, and L. P. Debe instructed to inquire into the expediency of allow- verges," was read iwice, and referred to the Coming to officers who, during the late war, have been mittee of Claims. promoted from the ranks of the Army, the bounty land to which they would have been entitled in case they that the Senate have passed a bill, entitled "An

A message from the Senate informed the House had not been promoted.

act to authorize a new edition of the collection of On motion of Mr. Tyler, the Committee on laws respectiog the public lands,” in which they Naval Affairs were instructed to inquire into the ask the concurrence of this House. expediency and propriety of directing the appli- Mr. Yancey having moved to go again into cation of the funds arising under the acts of Con Committee of the Whole, on the Claims law, and gress " for the relief of sick and disabled seamen,'

," the House refusing, Mr. Y. was more successful at the port of Richmond, in Virginia, in aid of l in a motion to discharge the Committee of the

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H. or R.

Bank of the United States.

JANUARY, 1817.

Whole from tbe further consideration of the said Mr. FORSYTH was not satisfied with the reasons bill, which was agreed to.

urged against his motion, por were they applica

ble to it. He asked of the House to inquire BANK OF THE UNITED STATES.

whether the bank had postponed what was exMr. Forsyth called up the resolution submit pected of il-whether it had departed from a duty ted by him yesterday, to iostruct the Committee required by its charter. He did not know that on the National Currency to inquire " whether the arrangement alluded to had taken place; but the President and Directors of the Bank of the if it bad, he denied that it was within the limits United States have adopted any arrangement by of the charier, or that the directors had any auwhich the payment of the specie portion of the thority to adopt such a regulation; because it second instalment can be evaded or postponed; would be receiving, instead of specie, the notes of and, if such arrangement has been made, the ex. individuals, which ihe act did not permit them to pediency of adopting some regulation by which do. Mr. F. said, the regulation had been called the payment of the specie portion of the second liberal; his objection was that it was too liberal instalment may be enforced at the time required for the act under which the directors performed by the act of incorporation, or within a limited their functions; he believed it exceeded their time thereafter."

powers, and if it was adopted in such a manner Mr. Calhoun said, the House ought not to as that all parts of the country could not partake adopt this resolution, whether it regarded its own of its benefits, it was also unfair and unjust. But control over the bank, or justice to the institution. until inquiry was made, and the precise state of He denied that the facts suggested authorized the the facts known, it could not be understood. For inquiry. The regulation adopted by the directors this reason he wished the inquiry made, and hoped was, that loans might be had if stock to their the resolution would be adopted. amount was pledged for the faithful payment of Mr. Ross was in favor of the resolution, bethe potes when due. This regulation, he con- lieving the regulation inexpedient as regards the tended, was a prudent one. Though by the char public interest; because, alihough the bank might, ter dividends were withheld from those who failed by these discounts, do a good business without to pay the second instalment, this penalty was no sending abroad a single note, the loans being made hold on the stockholders, because the dividends to those who would pay them in again, it would would be very small; and he was certain but litile not at all promote the public interest or conveni. of the specie part of the second instalment would ence. Mr. R. argued at some length in favor of be paid in. The regulation of the bank would the resolution, and to show that the regulation produce the payment of the greater part of the was improper and partial, and intended only to instalment, and was liberal as well as prudent. benefit ihe favorites of the bank. The bank, Mr. C. understood, commenced its Mr. Calhoun replied to Mr. Ross and 10 Mr. operations on the first of this month; and it had Forsyte. If the resolution was not offered on been stated at the last session, in debate on the a certain or even supposable state of facts, it was charter, that it would be obliged to give these ac- a good reason for rejecting the inquiry; the House commodations, as their notes would be the same ought oever to proceed but upon facts at least as specie. Mr. C. tbought the regulation fair and probable; in this instance it would be an act of just, because it put all subscriptions on the same caprice. But admitting as true the facts sugfooting, as all who deposited stock would be ena- gested, they did not justify the inquiry; because, bled to obtain a loan ; but without it, a few stock- as he contended, the directors bad acted conholders in Philadelphia and New York, able to sistently with their chartered rights; and he regive security and obtain discounts, would alone minded Mr. Forsyth that he had' in 1815 obhave had the benefit of the aid now extended to jected to the bank bill, then discussed; that in all. It was also expedient, as without it there ihe very pature of things, all the specie instalwould have been a draft on the money market of ments would not be paid without accommodation the country of three millions of dollars, which from the bank. Mr. C. repeated his approbation would have produced at this time the most perni- of the regulation, from the impartiality it procious consequences. He repeated, that it was duced in the accommodations, and the unhappy distinctly understood at last session, that the effect a draft of three mill on the money marsecond specie payment would necessarily be made ket, would at this time have produced in the by accommodations from the bank; and ihe House relation between paper and specie, which draft could not now say the directors had departed from was obviated by the regulation. the spirit or the provisions of their charter. The Mr. Forsyth replied, that the information he bank had gone into operation, and now having a bad, was at least sufficient foundation for inquiry. will of its own, it had a right to adopt the regu. True, he could not vouch for the facts, but he lation, if they perceived it was expedient. It had had sufficient reason to believe them to justify his not been expected the specie capital would much motion. The fact suggested was that certain exceed the amount of the first instalment, and the notes were received by the bank in lieu of the House had no reason to doubt the willingness of specie payment required by the charter. Whether the bank to provide itself with an ample amount this course was proper or expedient, it was imof specie, as it was notorious it had taken meas- possible to say, without first making the neces. ures 10 procure it. He repeated his belief, that sary inquiry into the subject. That the measure the resolution was unnecessary and improper. adopted by the bank was unauthorized by the

JANUARY, 1817.

Bank of the United States.

H. OF R.

charter, a single glance at the act of incorpora course. He thought the mover of the resolution tion, he thought, would prove. It was not com- ought, before he brought it forward, to have been petent, he insisted, for the bank to receive any sufficiently informed to state what kind of stock notes whatever in lieu of the specie iostalment; was required by the bank in pledge. Mr. S. had and if they evaded one provision of the law, they at first been in favor of this inquiry, but subsemight others. He wished, also, by an inquiry, to quent reflection had changed his opinion. It ascertain whether the alleged regulation had been might have a serious effect on the negotiations adopted in time to permit a general participation in England for specie, by producing alarm and a in it; he believed it was not, and therefore that doubt of the inviolability of the charter, &c. He it would operate unfairly.

confessed he had not approved of the regulation Mr. GROSVENOR said the real question was, at first, nor did he entirely now; but he did not whether the bank had power to receive its owo think it any violation of the act of incorporation. notes for the second instalment. The directors | The directors were very well satisfied, he believed, had shown no disposition to evade specie pay. that a great part of the stockholders would fail to meats. Look at the fact, said he. They have pay the instalment and forfeit their dividends, sent to Europe to obtain a large supply of specie, and the directors had consulted whether it would and have thus taken means to insure the pay not be better for the bank to afford them accomment of specie. After showing their willingness modation, rather than that should take place. to comply with the injunctions of the laws, shall The result was nearly the same, and the two we, said Mr. G., go into the bank to disturb ihem? cases presented a distinction almost without a

The bank was now negotiating largely for specie difference. He asked Mr. Forsyth what was in England, and a trivial circumstance might the difference between carrying specie to the create alarm there and defeat the negotiation. bank to pay the instalment and paying in notes For that reason he thought the inquiry inexpe- with one hand for which they might receive dient. The bank had manifested no symptom of specie with the other ! The directors, he said, evading its duty, but had shown the reverse ; had had no doubt well considered the subject, and evinced a desire to lay a sure foundation for spe- heard both sides of the question before they decie payments. The only way the bank could cided on their present course. They were bouod have avoided the regulation, was to have closed by the charter to pay specie, and if they do that its doors, not to have commenced business until they do not violate it ; if they fail in that, then it after the second instalment was paid, otherwise is competent for the House to interfere and inthe subscribers would throw their notes in and fict the penalty. He was opposed to the adopget out the specie. He thought there were notion of this resolution. grounds for the inquiry..

Mr. Calhoun thought the 9th rule of the Mr. Wilde declared himself in favor of the charter, quoted by Mr. ROBERTSON, had no refinquiry. He referred to the charter to prove that erence to the regulation referred to, and argued the regulation of the bank was unauthorized. If that the deposite required by the bank was not the directors could allow the specie instalment to that dealing or trading which was prohibited by be paid in this way, they might also permit the the rule. He considered the notes of the bank stock payments and all others to be evaded in the the same as specie, because they were convertible same manner. He was in favor of the ioquiry, into gold and silver at pleasure. Mr. C. replied if for no other reason, to ascertain if the privilege to Mr. Wilde and others, and said he was the had been extended impartially to the subscribers, more anxious that this motion should not be and to all parts of the country.

agreed to, as it was a leading case of inquiry. Mr. ROBERTSOX read the 9ih role of the char. He thought if ever the House lost its control over ter, which prescribes that the corporation shall the bank, it would be by disturbing them on trinot directly or indirectly deal or trade in any- vial questions and occasions. He had the strongthing except bills of exchange, gold or silver bul. est conviction that this bank, backed by the Gov. lion, or in the sale of goods really and truly eroment, would in time bring about that great pledged for money lent, and not redeemed in due revolution in our currency, so much desired; time, or goods which should be the proceeds of that it required all the support of the Governits lands; and that it shall not be at liberty to ment in it, and he hoped that the House would purchase any public debt whatsoever. Mr. R. not now interfere in the regulations adopted with asked whether this rule did not apply to the regu. that view. lation adopted by the bank ? whether the practice Mr. INGHAM had been at first disposed to favor under that regulation was not trading in the pub- the inquiry, but now thought differently; and lic debt, and whether it would not violate this argued at some length to show that the bank had rule of the charter? He expected the House adopted no regulation different from the ordinary would often have to inquire into the conduct of course of other banks. The course adopted, and the bank, and he was not unwilling to commence that which would bave followed withoui il, were in this instance, where, he believed, they had the same to the public interest, and did not in proceeded improperly.

any way affect it. Mr. I. repeated substantially Mr. Smith, of Maryland, said the pledge re- what he had reason to believe was the regulation quired by the bank was not known. He had un- adopted by the board of directors; it was, that it derstood it was to consist of the stock of the bank; would, from the 31st of December to the 230 of if so, Mr. ROBERTSON's objection would fail of January inclusive, discount on deposites of the

H. OF R.


JANUARY, 1817,

stock of the bank at par, or of six per cent. stock Bassett, Bateman, Baylies, Bennett, Betts, Birdsall, of the United States at ninety per cent., provided Blount, Boss, Brooks, Brown, Burwell

, Caldwell

, Chapthe party putting in a note for discount and pell, Cilley, Clark of New York, Clarke of North Caromaking the deposite of stock, should accompany lina, Clayton, Clendennin, Comstock, Condict, Conner, the same wit a power of attorney to sell the Crawford, Crocheron, Culpeper, Desha, Edwards, Forstock in sixiy days from the first of January, syth, Gaston, Glasgow, Hahn, Hall, Hammond, Har(being the day the note becomes due,) and apply of New York, Irwin of Pennsylvania, Jackson, John

rison, Hawes, Hendricks, Huger, Hungerford, Irving ihe money to the discharge of the note. Mr. I. thought they might have arrived at their object kin, Lyle, Lyon, Maclay, Mason, McLean, Miller,

son of Virginia, Kent, Langdon, Little, Lovett, Lumpin another way, and that this regulation was a Mills, Milnor, Moffitt, Nelson, Parris, Pickens, Pickerviolation of the contract between the stockholders ing, Piper, Pitkin, Reed, Reynolds, Roane, Robertson, and the directors, by annexing a penalty to the Root, Ross, Savage, Smith of Pennsylvania, Smith of non-payment of the notes when due; but that was Virginia, Southard, Taylor of New York, Tyler, a matter between themselves. As to the accom- Vose, Wallace, Ward of Massachusetts, Ward of New modation being extended to all parts of the coun. York, Ward of New Jersey, Wheaton, Whiteside, try, there were but one or two offices of discount Wilcox, Wilde, Wilkin, Williams, and Willoughby. yet opened, and it could not be expected that dis- Nars-Messrs. Adgate, Alexander, Atherton, Avery, counis to the extent considered fair and equal, Baer, Birdseye, Bradbury, Breckenridge, Bryan, Cady, could be all effected at them.

Calhoun, Cannon, Carr of Massachusetts, Champion, Mr. ROBERTSON remarked, that what he had Creighton, Dickens, Findley, Fletcher, Forney, Gold, heard from the gentlemen opposed to the resolu- Griffin, Grosvenor, Hale, Henderson, Hooks, Hulbert, tion, had resulted in a complete conviction on his Ingham, Jewett, Kerr of Virginia, King, Law, Lewis, mind that the regulation of ihe bank was unau. Love, Lowndes, Maclay, Marsh, McCoy, McKee, Midthorized by the act; that it was clearly prohibited dleton, Moore, Moseley, Murfree, Jeremiah Nelson, by the 9th rule. Mr. R. argued further to show Noyes, Ormsby, Peter, Pleasants, Powell, Rice, Rugthat the regulation permitted a dealing in a man. Strong, Stuart, Sturges, Taggart, Tallmadge, Taul,

gles, Schenck, Sheffey, Smith of Maryland, Stearns, ner unauthorized, and was a direct infraction of Taylor of South Carolina, Telfair, Townsend, Thomas the charter. It was a dereliction which he would Wilson, William Wilson, Woodward, Wright, and not countenance from a fear of apy alarm held Yancey. out as likely to be produced in England or elsewhere. Mr. Roor said they had been promised at the

WEDNESDAY, January 8. last session that the filthy rags with which the Mr. Vose presented a petition of sundry incountry was infested, would be put to flight by habitants of Nelson, in the State of New Hampthis gigantic institution ; but it had been foretold shire, praying that the mails may not be transthat this bank would never have more than ported or opened on Sundays. $1,400,000 in specie, and an amendment was Mr. CHAMPION presented like petitions from made doubling ihe second specie iostalment, that sundry inhabitants of the State of Connecticut.the bank might not go into operation on the first Referred to the committee appointed og a simiinstalment alone. It seemed that the reasonable lar petition, from the inhabitants of Southamploa, expectations of Congress had not been fulfilled, in Massachusetts. and it was asked now to inquire into it; and this Mr. CLAYTON presented a petition of sundry inquiry must be resisted, because it might embar- inhabitants of the United States, expressive of rass the negotiations of the bank minister in Lon their satisfaction at the recommendation to Condon. But he thought the inquiry would rather gress, by the President of the United States, of facilitate those negotiations, which opinion he the subject of an uniformity in weights and argued to establish, and to show that if it even measures, and praying that this important subenhanced the price of specie in the country, that ject may not be suffered to languish, but that it would induce its greater importation and lend to may be carried into effect with as much expedi. restore an equilibrium in its value. He argued tion as its nature will admit, and as its value and also to show that but for this regulation the sub- merits to the people of the present and future scribers would not be able to evade paying the generations require.-Referred to the Committee second specie instalment, and that the bank had upon the subject of Weights and Measures. in its adoption acted indiscreetly.

Mr. LATTIMORE presented a petition of the Mr. GROSVENOR replied to Mr. ROBERTSON, members of the Legislature of the Mississippi and maintained that the pledges required by the Territory, praying that the said Territory may bank did not extend to that kind of dealing for. be erected into a State and Government, and adbidden by the charter; that the stock was re

mitted into the Union, on an equal footing with ceived as security only, and the question as to the original States.-Referred to the committee the legality of it could not properly arise until of the whole House, to which is committed the the bank undertook to sell the stock pledged.

bill for the admission of the western part of the After some further remarks from Mr. Ross, said Territory into the Union, as a State. Mr. INGHAM, and Mr. FORSYTH, in support of On motion of Mr. REYNOLDS, the Committee their respective opinions, the resolution was on the Public Lands were instructed to inquire adopted-ayes 89, nays 68, as follows:

into the expedieacy and policy of amending the YEAS-Messrs. Adams, Archer, Baker, Barbour, / act entitled, "An act relating to settlers on the

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