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H. of R.
Payment for Lost Property.

JANUARY, 1817.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That, for carry the pressure of business, properly attended to by
ing into execution the above-recited act, the President the officers of the War Department, arguing that
of the United States, by and with the advice and con- the effect of such a course would be tantamount
sent of the Senate, is hereby authorized to appoint to a denial of justice.
three commissioners, whose duty it shall be to decide The amendment was supported warmly by
upon all cases arising under the before-recited act; Messrs. ROBERTSON, HARRISON, FLETCHER, Pick-
and who, in the discharge of their duties, shall be sub-ERING, and Sueffey, on the ground of inability
ject to the rules and regulations that have been, or may of the accountants of the War Office to perform
be prescribed by the President of the United States. The additional duties enjoined by the act, when
The commissioners so appointed shall receive, as com-
pensation for their services, at the rate of

they were already so pressed by business as to num each for the time they shall be actually employed, require a new organization of the Department; which shall not exceed eighteen months, to be com- and the superior correctness of those whose speputed from and after the passage of this act : all official business it would be ; and also by the last cial communications to and from the commissioners pamed gentleman, from an objection to legislate appointed under this act, shall be free of postage.

a person out of office, and because, of iwo courses, Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the said neither of which he liked, he disliked the amend commissioners, so to be appointed, before they enter meut least. upon the duties of their offices, shall each take the fol- It was opposed by Messrs. Yancey and HARDIN, lowing oath, to wit: “I, A. B. do solemnly swear, from a belief that the Departments were com pethat I will, well and truly, according to the best of my tent to execute the law, and that the mode was abilities, discharge the duties of Commissioner under preferable for other reasons to the one proposed, an act of Congress, entitled "An act to authorize the which they argued to prove. payment for property lost, captured, or destroyed by Messrs. HOLBERT and ALEXANDER, without takthe enemy, while in the military service of the United ing sides on the amendment, respectively made States, and for other purposes ;' so help me God :"

some remarks on the manner of doing business in upon which they shall proceed to appoint a clerk; and the War Department and the despatch with which shall proceed to the execution of the above-recited act, under the rules already prescribed by the President of public business was transacted there. the United States, for the adjustment of claims to com

Mr Root supported the amendment at some pensation for the corps provided for by the said act, or

length, and proposed to include in the sections to establish such further rules as may be deemed ne proposed to be stricken out, the 10th section of the cessary for the due execution of the law, under the act, the vague and improper wording of which direction, or by the consent of the President of the had led to misconstruction and error. His motion United States, having due regard, in the establishment was lost without a division. of further regulations, as well to the clains of individ- Mr. Desha's amendment was negatived-yeas ual justice, as to the interest of the United States, and 69, pays 75. if it should be found necessary to establish any other rules or regulations for the due execution of the act, the the end of the third section, the following:

A motion was made by Mr. Taul, to insert, at said commissioners shall cause them to be published for four weeks, successively, in the newspapers in the

Provided, however, That in all cases of claims several States, and Territories in which the laws of against the United States, arising under the first and the United States are published.

second ctions of the act to which this is an amendSec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the said ment, the muster rolls, made out by the proper officer, commissioners shall, in all cases in which the claiin to shall be taken and received as sufficient evidence of compensation or indemnity shall exceed the sum of the value and loss of the property, for which compentwo hundred dollars, award a commission to some sation is claimed, where such muster rolls exhibit evione or more discreet commissioner, in the vicinity of dence of those facts.” where the witnesses are stated to reside, accompanied The motion was opposed by Mr. YANCEY, and by interrogatories to be propounded to such witnesses, supported by Mr. Fletcher, and was lost withwhich said commission, when executed, shall be re- out a division. turned, together with the examination to be taken in virtue thereof, by mail, free of postage, to the office of to amend the bill by inserting ihe following sec

A motion was then made, by Mr. HARRISON, the commissioners.

tions, to come in after the first section, to wit: Suc. 5. And it further enacted, That in all ad. judications of the said commissioners upon the claims

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the fifth mentioned in the said recited act, whether such judg. section of said recited act shall be construed to extend ment be in favor of, or adverse to the claim of the ap, have been destroyed by the order of any officer in the

to every house or building, which in the late war shall plicant, the same shall be entered by the clerk in a book service of the United States, with a view to facilitate to be provided for that purpose ; and when such judgment shall be in favor of such claim, shall entitle the the operations of the American Army, or any detachclaimant, or his legal representative, upon the produc ment thereof, or to impede those of the enemy. tion of a copy of such judgment, duly certified by the

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the ninth clerk of said commissioners, to payment of the amount section of the said act shall hereafter be construed to thereof, at the Treasury of the United States.

extend to every house or building, whether occupied

as a military deposite, or as barracks for soldiers, or as Mr. Desna supported the expediency of his an hospital, which during the late war shall have been ameodment as well as the justice of relieving destroyed by the enemy in consequence of such occu. liberally sufferings sustained in the late war, and pation, and to all houses or buildings destroyed by the the impracticability of having the claims, from enemy, in consequence of a military resistance from,

1

JANUARY, 1817.

Proceedings.

H. OF R.

or in the neighborhood of the same. Provided als of the United States, as a place of deposite for ways, That no house or building shall be construed munitions of war. a military deposite, within the meaning of this section, Before the question was taken on the amendor of the act aforesaid, unless it had been hired under ment, a motion was made (several similar mo. the authority of the Government, or which at the time tions having been negatived) to adjourn ; and it was destroyed was actually used for that purpose; the House adjourned at sunset. and provided also, that no house or building shall be considered a barrack within the meaning of this section, on account of its having been in the temporary

Friday, January 10. occupancy of the troops of the United States upon a march, unless in the immediate presence of the

Mr. Clayton presented a petition of the Direc

tors of the Chesa peake and Delaware Canal enemy.

Company, praying for aid of the National GovMr. Smith, of Maryland, moved to postpone ernment, in carrying into effect the objects of until to-morrow the further consideration of the their association.-Referred to the Committee on bill and amendment, for the purpose of having Roads and Canals. the latter printed. And the question being taken Mr. Yancey, from the Committee of Claims, thereon, it was also determined in the negative. to which was referred the bill from the Senate,

The question was then taken to agree to that " for the relief of the representatives of Ignace part of the amendment proposed by Mr. HARRI- Chalmet Delino, deceased, and of Anthony Cruson, comprised within the first section thereof, zat, and P. L. Deverges,” reported the same withmarked section two in the amendment; and was out amendment, and the bill was committed to a determined in the negative.

Committee of the Whole. The question was taken on the second section Mr. CHAPPELL, from the Committee on Penof the amendment marked section three; aod sions and Revolutionary Claims, reported a bill also determined in the negative.

for the relief of the widow and minor children of Mr. William P. Maclay moved to amend Abraham Owen, which was read twice, and comthe bill by iaserting after the word "produce," mitted to a Committee of the Whole. in the fifth line of the third section, the follow- The SPEAKER laid before the House, a letter ing words: “ Provided that no evidence shall be from Jonathan Jennings, President of the late received other than that of citizens or inhabitants Convention of the people of lodiana, enclosing a of the United States."

copy of the constitution, as adopted for the gove After some discussion, in which Mr. Yancey ernment of the State, which were ordered to lie opposed, and the mover supported the amends on the iable. ment, it was decided in the negative without a The bill from the Senate to increase the sal. division.

aries of the register and receiver of public mo. Mr. Ross moved a verbal amendment in the neys, of the land office at Marietta;” was read clause defining the evidence to be required, with twice, and referred to the Committee on the Pubthe view of making the provision more clear and lic Lands. definite.

The bill from the Senate "making a further The motion was opposed by Mr. Yancey, Mr. appropriation for the purchase of books, for the SHEffey, and Mr. WARD of Massachusetts, and Library of Congress, and for other purposes," was advocated by Messrs. Ross, Root, and Desna, read twice, and committed to a Committee of the and fiually negatived by a large majority.

Whole. Mr. Cannon moved an ameodment, requiring The bill from the Senate "requiring the Directhe Commissioner to give certificates of his tors of the Bank of the United States to estabawards to the claimants in all cases adjudicated lish an office of discount and deposite in the Disby him previous to the suspension of the opera-trict of Columbia,” was read twice, and committion of the ninth section of the law.

led to a Committee of the Whole. The motion was opposed by Messrs. YANCEY, The bill from the Senate entitled, "An act to Forsyth, Hardin, and Johnson of Kentucky, authorize a new edition of laws respecting the aod supported by Messrs. CannON and Taul, public laods,” was read the third time and passed. aod was disagreed to by a large majority.

The SPEAKER laid before the House an authenMr. INGHAM then, after some introductory re- ticated copy of the constitution of the State of marks, in which he argued against the immense lodiana, which had been officially transmitted to extent of claims which the construction of the him. nioth section of the act had embraced, further, Mr. Cannon laid on the table the following he believed, than was contemplared, and on which resolution: it was essential the House should express some Resolved, That it is inexpedient to reduce the Army definite opinion, and adopt some special provi- of the United States. sion for the government of the future construc- On motion of Mr. Telfair, a select committee tion, moved to amend the bill by inserting a new were instructed to inquire at large io to the claims section, declaring that the pinih section should of detachments of the militia of Georgia urdered not be construed to exteod to houses or other out by the Governor during the years 1793 and buildiogs occupied by the military forces of the 94, for the defence of ils frontiers, in cooseUnited States, excepi the same shall bave been quence of a discretionary power communicated occupied by the authority of an officer or agent by the War Department.

14th Con. 2d Sess.-15

H. OF R.

Military Bounty Lands-Missouri Contested Election.

JANUARY, 1817.

Mr. Wright moved that the Judiciary Com- family stripped of their property, if exposed to mittee be instructed to inquire into the expedi- the arts of the unprincipled and desigoing. ency of removing such part of the library as is Mr. HARDIN remarked on the necessity which composed of law books, to some room convenient had permitted soldiers to declare their last will to Congress. [The library being at present in the by word of mouth, from the difficulty of making building formerly occupied by Congress, some written ones, and that, to prevent frauds practised distance from the present hall.]

under this privilege, it was proper to forbid the Some debate ensuing, the resolution, on motion power of devising their bounty land, &c. That of Mr. Lowndes. was laid on the table.

there were many who would fight well, and make Mr. Root, after a few explanatory observa- good soldiers, yet be so lost to moral honesty as tions, moved a resolution, that the law of 1798, to bear false witness to the dying words of a sola authorizing certain officers of the Government dier, and, as had been done, fraudulently deprive to administer oaths, ought to be so amended as to a soldier's family of his property. authorize the chairman of a standing committee Mr. BARBOUR made some further remarks, in of this House also to administer oaths, and that which he ciled instances of hardship to prove the the Judiciary Committee bring in a bill accord- propriety of his amendment, and to show that ingly; which was agreed to.

ihe evils apprehended to the soldier from allowMr. Pickens made an unsuccessful motion to ing a devise, might be obviated by proper provi. call up his resolution to amend the Constitution. sions in the law.

Mr. H. Nelson, from the Committee on the Mr. PICKERING spoke on the improbability of Judiciary, who were iostructed by a resolution any speculation from allowing a soldier to devise of the seventh instant, to inquire into the expe- his land, and on the propriety of permitting such diency of appointing a judge for the porthern a disposal. district of the State of New York, made an un- Mr. Wilde also made some remarks, suggestfavorable report, which was read, and ordered to ing that the evils stated by Mr. BARBOUR, arose lie oa the table.

from the laws of Virginia, and might, by the LeMILITARY BOUNTY LANDS.

gislature thereof, be so amended as to remove the

particular bardships mentioned. Mr. Nelson, from the Committee on the Judiciary, who were also instructed by a resolution of BARBOUR's motion, and the Judiciary Committee

The report was ihen reversed, according to Mr. the 19th ultimo, to inquire into the propriety of instructed to repori a bill accordingly. so amending or explaining the fourth section of the act of the 6th of May, 1812, for designating,

CONTESTED ELECTION. surveying, and granting military bounty lands. as Mr. TAYLOR, of New York, from the Committo authorize a devise of said bounty land, though tee of Elections, to which was recominitled their no patent shall have been granted iherefor at the report of the 31st December last, with certain intime of the devise, made a report, recommend structions, made

an additional report, which was ing the adoption of the following resolution : committed to a Committee of the whole House,

Resolved, That it is inexpedient to alter or change to-morrow. The report is as follows: the existing law in this respect in anywise whatever.

The Committee of Elections, to which was recomMr. BARBOUR moved to amend the report, by instructions - to receive evidence that persons voting

mitted their report of the 31st of December last, with reversing its recommendation, so as to declare for either candidate were not entitled to vote in the it expedient to amend the law on the subject ; said election," report the same to the House, with the and entered into an argument to show the pro- following additional facts and statements : priety of allowing a devise of military bounty The general notice served by the petitioner on the lands, which, he contended, the soldier had as sitting Delegate, on the 24th of September last, is in good a right to do as if he had acquired the land the following words: “Sir, take notice that I shall with his money, instead of his blood and public take the depositions of witnesses before some proper services that at present a soldier could noi even authority, to be read in the House of Representatives devise his bounty land to his wife, because a pos- of the United States at the next session of Congress, sible abuse might ensue from giving bim the for the purpose of establishing my right to a seat in right of willing away the reward bestowed on that body, as a Delegate from the Territory of Missouri.” him by his country, &c.

On the next day, the petitioner served on the sitting Mr. Nelson rose to support the repart, and Delegate a special notice of taking testimony in the argued that the committee had discovered no townships of St. Charles and Cote Sans Dessein, in reason to change the provisions of the law-that the county of St. Charles, and in the township of Bon it was a contract between the couniry and the Homme, in the country of St. Louis, for the purpose soldier--that, to keep the soldier out of the hands of proving that the judges of the election in the latter of the crafty'speculator, it was expedient to pre legal votes given for him ;" and in the other townships

township “ improperly refused to count a number of serve the law as at present-hat, in examining the subject, the committee found additional rea- held ; that a sufficient number of judges did not attend,

“ for the purpose of proving that no legal election was son to retain the restriction which prevented the that the judges were not sworn; that no clerks were soldier from the disposal of his bounty land, &c. appointed ; that no poll-book was kept; and that no That if the barrier was once broken down, there votes were legally taken.” It was upon the evidence was no saying where the evil would stop; and taken in pursuance of this special notice, that the comthat they might hereafter see the soldier and his mittee rejected the votes from the township of Cote JANUARY, 1817.

Bank of the United States,

H. OF R.

Sans Dessein. On the 28th of September last, the field, at the last session of Congress, and, as far as sitting Delegate served on the petitioner a general no- your committee are advised, has been uniformly adtice in the same form with that first received by him hered to; it is important, not only to the parties, but from the petitioner, concluding in the following words : to this House, that it should be preserved. The com

Which depositions, at each of those places and mittee were, therefore, of opinion, that the evidence days, will be taken for the purpose of proving that the taken in pursuance of the beforementioned general election, in each of the townships, for a Delegate to notices, ought not to be received. the Congress of the United States from the Terri. If the House concur with the committee in this tory of Missouri, was not held on the first Monday of opinion, it follows that no evidence has been submitted August last past, according to law, in the following by either party, enabling the committee to investigate particulars, to wit : That a place in each township had the qualifications of the electors. not been named for holding such election agreeably to The committee are further of opinion that evidence law; that the elections were not held at the places ap- cannot be procured in season to enable the committee pointed for holding the same in each of the townships; to investigate the qualifications of the electors during that no notice of such election, and of the times and the present Congress. From Howard county on the places of holding the same, had been given by the re- north, to Arkansas on the south, as the roads run, is spective sheriffs; that the polls were not opened ac- about eight hundred miles; the settlements extend cording to law in the several townships; that no judges west of the Mississippi from fifty to one hundred and of election had been appointed by the circuit courts ; seventy miles; the Territory is divided into nine coun. that no judges of election were chosen by the people, ties and about fifty townships. and none officiated or were sworn according to law; In addition to the difficulties arising from the extent that no clerks were appointed nor sworn; no pollo of territory, the law of Missouri prescribes no mode of books kept, and no legal votes given to you ; that illegal taking evidence in cases of contested elections for votes were given for you as Delegate, and legal votes Delegate to Congress; nor is there any territorial augiven for me as Delegate, rejected by the judges ; that thority to compel the attendance of witnesses for that the oaths of the judges and clerks are not prefixed to the purpose. The great distance of the Territory from poll-books ; that the poll-books have not been signed by this place, renders it impracticable, even if the power the judges and clerks; that the returns have not been should be granted to send for the persons whose evimade of votes legally taken for me, and improper votes dence is considered essential for the purpose of examihave been admitted, and the votes counted for you; nation before the committee: the committee, therefore, that the polls have not been opened and the votes respectfully submit to the House the following resocounted by the clerks and two justices; and that the lution: voters have not been permitted to give in their votes Resolved, That the Committee of Elections be disfreely, and many who wished to vote for me, have been, charged from further investigation into the qualificaby threats and violence, prevented from so doing."

tions of the said electors." No notice was given by either party of the names

BANK OF THE UNITED STATES. of the electors objected against for want of qualifications ; nor was either party notified by the other that

Mr. Calhoun, from the Committee on the the particular qualifications of the electors would be National Currency, to whom was referred a resinvestigated, nor were the names of the magistrates olution, directing them to inquire whether the stated before whom depositions were to be taken. Directors of the United States Baok have adopt

The sitting Delegate contends that he considered eu any arrangements by which the specie portion himself authorized, under his general notice, to ex. of the second instalment can be evaded or postamine witnesses to every point of objections which he poned, made a report, as follows: might find himself able to support in the course of in- The Committee on the National Currency, to whom vestigation. And the petitioner alleged that he did was referred the resolution of the House, directing not suppose an investigation into the qualifications of them to inquire "whether the President and Directors the electors and the persons for whom they voted, to of the Bank of the United States have adopted any be admissible; that the only case in which that in- arrangement by which the specie portion of the second quiry had been made in his behalf, related to the votes instalment can be evaded or postponed, and, if such in the township of Cote Sans Dessein, which was done arrangement has been made, the expediency of adoptwithout his instruction or consent. In the case of Joseph B. Varnum, a Representative specie portion of the second instalment may be en

ing some regulation by which the payment of the from the State of Massachusetts, whose election was forced at the time required by the act of incorporation, contested at the first session of the fourth Congress, or within a limited time thereafter"the Committee of Elections, (we adopt the words of

Report, that they have availed themselves of the their report,) "as well from the difficulty of the case, opportunity of obtaining the information required by as from a desire to have uniformity in proceedings of the House, through the honorable James Lloyd, one this kind, were induced to pray the instructions of the of the directors of the National Bank, now in this House as to the kind of specification that shall be de- city. In answer to their inquiries the committee remanded of the petitioner, and the manner in which ceived from him the letter which accompanies this the evidence shall be taken.”

report; and, on mature examination of the facts disUpon this application, after several days' debate in closed by it, they are of the opinion that the bank, in the Committee of the whole, the House resolved, adopting the arrangement, were actuated by a sincere “That the names of the persons objected to, for want desire to effect the great objects for which it was instiof sufficient qualifications, ought to be set forth prior tuted, as well as a regard to its own immediate interto the taking of the testimony."

est. The committee are unanimously of opinion, that The rule prescribed in this resolution was adopted it would be inexpedient to adopt any regulation; and by the committee, in the case of McCoy and Porter- therefore report the following resolution :

H. OF R.

Bank of the United States.

JANUARY, 1817.

Resolved, That the Committee on the National | One of the earliest measures of the bank has been Currency be discharged from further proceeding on

to send an agent to Europe, for the purpose of purthe above recited resolution.

chasing and importing into the United States an amount of specie, which, when received, canuot fail to

have a very favorable effect on the money circulation COMMITTEE Room, Jan. 9, 1817.

of the country. In this measure and object several of DEAR Sir: The Committee on the National Cur- the State banks have united ; and from the respectarency have, by the vote of the House, been directed bility of the agent selected for this purpose, and the to inquire, " whether the president and directors of means and powers with which he is invested, there the Bank of the United States have adopted any ar- appears to be no reasonable ground for apprehension rangement by which the specie part of the second in- of a failure in his accomplishing the object of his misstalment can be evaded, or postponed ;” and I have sion. been directed by the committee to request you, as one Prior to my leaving Philadelphia, (December 31,) of the directors of that institution, to inform them no discount had been made by the bank, or any of its whether any such arrangement has been adopted ; branches. A resolution had been adopted by the and, if any, of what character. Should there be any Board of Directors, on the 18th of December, of the such arrangement, the committee would be gratified following tenor, to wit: in knowing the object and reasons of the bank in

Resolved, That on the 31st instant, the board will adopting it; and, in making this request, they wish it to be distinctly understood, that they do not consider proceed to discount notes or bills not having more it any part of their duty to inquire into the expedi- of the United States, secured by a deposite of an equal

than sixty days to run, and made payable to the Bank ency of the arrangement, provided it be within the

amount of the stock of this bank, or an equal amount limits of the chartered powers of the bank. With sentiments of esteem, &c.

of public debt, at ninety per cent. on the par value J. C. CALHOUN.

thereof, with power to sell and transfer the said stock, Hon. JAMES LLOYD.

or debt, in default of payment, when due, of the notes which may be discounted as aforesaid; and that the

respective boards of directors of the offices of discount WASHINGTON, Jan. 9, 1817. and deposite at Boston, New York, and Baltimore, be SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt authorized to discount, in like manner, upon the same of a note from you of this date, as chairman of the terms and conditions, and to an extent not exceeding Committee on the National Currency, informing me

one-tenth of the amount of the subscription to the that the committee have, by a vote of the House of capital of the bank, at their respective places. Representatives of the United States, been instructed This resolution was subsequently modified on the to inquire “ whether the president and directors of the last day of my being at the board prior to my leaving Bank of the United States have adopted any arrange- Philadelphia, and, among the alterations, on two ment by which the specie part of the second instal points named by myself, the one was that the notes ment can be evaded or postponed,” and requesting of on which discounts might be made, should be payable me, as one of the directors of that institution, to in at maturity in specie, or bills of the Bank of the Uniform the committee whether any such arrangement ted States; and the other, that no stockholder should has been adopted, and if any, of what character ? be entitled to a discount under the resolution, unless

With that readiness springing from the high degree he paid into the bank the stock proportion of the secof respect to which every branch of the National Gov- ond instalment due on his shares. I believe, also, that ernment is entitled, and which it cannot fail to com- the resolution was so modified as to make it apply to mand, I proceed, sir, respectfully to comply with your the subscribers to the bank; but I do not recollect that request; first premising, that I have neither authority there was any preventive provision, which would denor instruction, nor indeed any intimation on the sub- prive a stockholder, who had previously paid in the ject from the directors of the bank; and although I specie part of his instalment, from availing himself of have had the honor to be a member of the board, it a discount under the resolution. I think no such remay now be uncertain whether I am or not still in the striction existed. direction; the result of the recent election not being As the resolution of the 18th of December was mod. yet known, and no wish having been expressed by me ified, and as I do not find among my papers a copy of for the continuance of that confidence with which I it when amended, and as I was much occupied at the had been honored on a former occasion.

time in preparing to leave the city, I cannot be so preThe committee, therefore, will be pleased to con- cise, as I should wish to be, in the communication I sider the remarks which may follow, as having no have now the honor to make to the committee ; for the other weight than may be derived from their coming same reasons I cannot trust myself to detail the mofrom an individual, whose situation, perhaps, enabled tives which induced the passing the resolution as it him to form a judgment on grounds not so open for was ultimately adopted, lest I should be guilty of an observation to the public at large as to himself. injustice to the views of the gentlemen with whom I

It has been the earnest desire of the directors of the had been called to act, by giving an opening to any Bank of the United States so to conduct the prelimi- unfavorable imputation, to which they could alone be nary measures and organization of that institution as exposed by the inaccurate medium through which to insure, as speedily as possible, the accomplishment their sentiments would in that case pass. In cumpliof some of the great ends of its establishment; and ance, however, with what I understand to be the wish among them, pre-eminently, that of aiding in restoring of the committee, I will, with their permission, briefly the currency of the United States to a specie medium; state my own impressions on the subject. in this desire the direction has always been unani- It has been, and still is, my most earnest desire, in mous, and a single dissention on this head has not, to common with that of the other directors, to carry this my knowledge, existed among its members.

bank into the most speedy and extensively useful op

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