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PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES
THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
AT THE SECOND SESSION OF THE FOURTEENTH CONGRESS, BEGUN AT (THE CITY
OF WASHINGTON, MONDAY, DECEMBER 2, 1816.
Monday, December 2, 1816.
On motion by Mr. MORROW, the credentials of The second session of the Fourteenth Congress, the appointment of JAMES Noble and WALLER conformably to the Constitution of the United TAYLOR, as Senators to represent the said State States, commenced this day at the City of Wash of lodiana in the Senate of the United States, ington; and the Senate assembled.
were referred to the said committee, to consider
and report thereon. PRESENT:
On motion by Mr. Tart, the Secretary was Jeremiah Mason and Thomas W. THOMPSON, directed to acquaint the House of Representa. from the State of New Hampshire.
lives that a quorum of the Senate is assembled, Joseph B. Varnum and El P. Ashmun, from and ready to proceed to business. Massachusetts.
Mr. VARNUM submitted the following motion JEREMIAH B. Howell, from Rhode Island. for consideration : Isaac TICHENOR, from Vermont.
Resolved, That it is expedient to repeal a law passed David Daggett, from Connecticut.
the last session of Congress, entitled "An act to change NATHAN SANFORD, from New York.
the mode of compensation to the members of the SenJoan Condit and JAMES J. Wilson, from New ate and House of Representatives, and the Delegates Jersey.
from Territories," and that a committee be appointed ABNER Lacock, from Pennsylvania.
to prepare and report a bill for that purpose. OUTERBRIDGE HORSEY, from Delaware.
On motion by Mr. Lacock, JAMES BARBOUR and ARMISTEAD T. Mason, Resolved That each Senaior be supplied, durfrom Virginia.
ing the present session, with three such newspaNATHANIEL Macox, from North Carolina. pers, printed in the United States, as he may John GAILLARD, from South Carolioa.
choose, provided the same be furnished at the Charles Tart, from Georgia.
usual rate for the annual charge of such papers; John Williams, from Tennessee.
and provided, also, that if any Senator shall JEREMIAH MORROW and BENJAMIN RUGGLES, choose to take any newspapers other than daily from Ohio.
papers, he shall be supplied with as many such Eligius Fromentin, from Louisiana.
papers as shall not exceed the price of three daily Joan GAILLARD, President pro tempore, re-papers. sumed the Chair.
On motion by Mr. Howell, a committee was Eli P. ASHMUN, appointed a Senator by the appointed agreeably to the forty-second rule for Legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachu- conducting business in the Senate, and Messrs. selis, in the room of Christopher Gore, resigned, HOWELL, LACOck, and THOMPSON, were appointed produced his credentials, was qualified, and he the committee. took his seat in the Senaie.
Mr. Howell submitted the following motion The PRESIDENT communicated the credentials for consideration, which was read, and passed to of the appointment of James Noble and Walthe second reading: LER TAYLOR, as Senators, by the Legislature of
Resolved, That two Chaplains of different denomithe State of Indiana, which were read.
nations be appointed to Congress, during the present Whereupon, on motion by Mr. MORROW, session, one by each House, who shall interchange
Resolved, That a committee be appointed to weekly. inquire whether any, and if any, whai, legislative A message from the House of Representatives measures may be necessary for admitling the informed the Senate that a quorum of the House State of Indiana into the Union, or for extending of Representatives is assembled, and ready to to that State the laws of the United States. proceed to business. They have appointed a
Messrs. MORROW, Daggett, and BARBOUR, committee on their part, jointly with such comwere appointed the committee.
mittee as may be appointed on the part of the
SENATE. Senate, to wait on the President of the United by peculiar seasons, which have very generally im. Stales, and notify him that a quorum of the two paired the annual gifts of the earth, and threatened Houses is assembled, and ready to receive any scarcity in particular districts. Such, however, is the communications that he may be pleased to make variety of soils, of climates, and of products, within our to them; in which resolution they request the extensive limits, that the aggregate resources for subconcurrence of the Senate.
sistence are more than sufficient for the aggregate The Senate concurred in the appointment of a wants. And as far as an economy of consumption, joint committee on their part, agreeably to the more than usual, may be necessary, our thankfulness resolution last mentioned; and Messrs. BARBOUR is due to Providence for what is far more than a comand Macon were appointed the committee.
pensation, in the remarkable health which has distinOn motion by Mr. Wilson, a committee was
guished the present year. appointed, agreeably to the twenty-second rule,
Amidst the advantages which have succeeded the for conducting business in the Senate. Messrs. peace of Europe, and that of the United States with Wilson, Fromentin, and Ashmun, were ap- among us, and in the extension of our commerce, the
Great Britain, in a general invigoration of industry pointed the committee. Mr. Fromentin submitted the following mor commercial nations, it is to be regretted that a depres
value of which is more and more disclosing itself to tion for consideration, which was read, and passed sion is experienced by particular branches of our manto the second reading: Resolved, That a committee of three members be first proceeds, in an essential degree, from an excess
ufactures, and by a portion of our navigation. As the appointed, who, with three members of the House of of imported merchandise, which carries a check in its Representatives, to be appointed by that House, shall own tendency, the cause, in its present extent, cannot have the direction of the money appropriated to the be of very long duration. The evil will not, however, purchase of books, and maps, for the use of the two be viewed by Congress, without a recollection, that Houses of Congress.
manufacturing establishments, if suffered to sink too On motion by Mr. FROMENTIN, it was read a low, or languish too long, may not revive, after the second time, and considered as in Committee of causes shall have ceased; and that, in the vicissitudes the Whole: and no amendment having been pro- of human affairs, situations may recur, in which a deposed, it was reported to the House, read the pendence on foreign sources, for indispensable supthird time by unanimous consent, and passed. plies, may be among the most serious embarrassments.
Messrs. FROMENTIN, GOLDSBOROUGH, and Hun. The depressed state of our navigation is to be asTER, were appointed the committee.
cribed, in a material degree, to its exclusion from the colonial ports of the nation most extensively connected
with us in commerce, and from the indirect operation Tuesday, December 3.
of that exclusion. Mr. Barbour reported from the joint commit- Previous to the late convention at London, between tee, that they had waited on the President of the the United States and Great Britain, the relative state United States, and that the President had in- of the navigation laws of the two countries, growing formed the committee that he would make a out of the Treaty of 1794, had given to the British communication to the two Houses this day at 12 navigation a material advantage over the American, o'clock.
in the intercourse between the American ports and Mr. Lacock submitted the following motion British ports in Europe. The convention of London for consideration; which was read, and passed 10 equalized the laws of the two countries, relating to the second reading:
those ports ; leaving the intercourse between our ports Resolved, That Mountjoy Bayly, Doorkeeper and and the ports of the British colonies subject, as beSorgcant-at-Arms to the Senate, be, and he hereby is, fore, to the respective regulations of the parties. The authorized to employ one assistant and two horses, for British Government enforcing, now, regulations which the purpose of performing such services as are usually prohibit a trade between its colonies and the United required by the Doorkeeper of the Senate, which ex- States, in American vessels, whilst they permit a
trade in British vessels, the American navigation ponso should be paid out of the contingent fund.
The Senate resumed the consideration of the loses accordingly; and the loss is augmented by the motion made yesterday, relative to the repeal of advantage which is given to the British competition
over the American, in the navigation between our the compensation law; and the further consider. ports and British ports in Europe, by the circuitous ation thereof was postponed until Monday
next. voyages, enjoyed by the one and not enjoyed by the The resolution for the appointment of Chap: other. lains was read the second time, and considered
The reasonableness of the rule of reciprocity, applied as in Committee of the Whole; and no amend to one branch of the commercial intercourse, has been ment having been proposed, the President repressed on our part as equally applicable to both ported it to the House; and it was ordered to be branches ; but it is ascertained that the British Cabiengrossed and read a third time.
net declines all negotiation on the subject, with a disPRESIDENT'S ANNUAL MESSAGE. avowal, however, of any disposition to view, in an un
friendly light, whatever countervailing regulations the The following Message was received from the United States may oppose to the regulations of which PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED States:
they complain. The wisdom of the Legislacure will Fellow-citizens of the Senate
decide on the course which, under these circumstances, and of the House of Representatives :
is prescribed by a joint regard to the amicable relas In reviewing the present state of our country, our tions between the two nations and to the just interests attention cannot be withheld from the effect produced of the United States.
President's Annual Message.
I have the satisfaction to state, generally, that we contemplated by the Constitution, and required by the remain in amity with foreign Powers.
spirit and safety of free Government. The present or. An occurrence has, indeed, taken place in the Gulf ganization of our militia is universally regarded as less of Mexico, which, if sanctioned by the Spanish Govo efficient than it ought to be made; and no organizaernment, may make an exception as to that Power. tion can be better calculated to give to it its due force, According to the report of our naval commander on than a classification which will assign the foremost that station, one of our public armed vessels was at place in the defence of the country, to that portion of tacked by an overpowering force, under a Spanish its citizens, whose activity and animation best enable commander, and the American flag, with the officers them to rally to its standard. Besides, the consideraand crew, insulted, in a manner calling for prompt tion that a time of peace is the time when the change reparation. This has been demanded. In the mean- can be made with most convenience and equity, it time a frigate and a smaller vessel of war have been will now be aided by the experience of a recent war, ordered into that Gulf for the protection of our com- in which the militia bore so interesting a part. merce. It would be improper to omit, that the repre- Congress will call to mind, that no adequate prosentative of His Catholic Majesty, in the United vision has yet been made, for the uniformity of States, lost no time in giving the strongest assurances weights and measures, also contemplated by the Conthat no hostile order could have emanated from his stitution. The great utility of a standard, fixed in its Government, and that it will be as ready to do, as to nature, and founded on the easy rule of decimal proexpect, whatever the nature of the case and the portions, is sufficiently obvious. It led the Governfriendly relations of the two countries shall be found ment, at an early stage, to preparatory steps for introto require.
ducing it; and a completion of the work will be a just The posture of our affairs with Algiers, at the pres- title to the public gratitude. ent moment, is not known. The Dey, drawing pre- The importance which I have attached to the estabtexts from circumstances, for which the United States lishment of a University within this District, on a were not answerable, addressed a letter to this Gov. scale, and for objects worthy of the American nation, ernment, declaring the treaty last concluded with him induces me to renew my recommendation of it to the to have been annulled by our violation of it; and pre- favorable consideration of Congress. And I particusenting as the alternative, war, or a renewal of the larly invite, again, their attention to the expediency of former treaty, which stipulated among other things an exercising their existing powers, and, where necessary, annual tribute. The answer, with an explicit decla- of resorting to the prescribed mode of enlarging them, ration that the United States preferred war to tribute, in order to effectuate a comprehensive system of roads required his recognition and observance of the treaty, and canals, such as will have the effect of drawing last made, which abolishes tribute and the slavery of more closely together every part of our country, by our captured citizens. The result of the answer has promoting intercourse and improvements, and by in. not been received. Should he renew his warfare on creasing the share of every part in the common stock our commerce, we rely on the protection it will find in of national prosperity. our naval force actually in the Mediterranean.
Occurrences having taken place which show that With the other Barbary States our affairs have un- the statutory provisions for the dispensation of crimi. dergone no change.
nal justice are deficient, in relation both to places and The Indian tribes within our limits appear also dis- to persons, under the exclusive cognizance of the posed to remain at peace. From several of them pur- national authority, an amendment of the law, emchases of lands have been made, particularly favorable bracing such cases, will merit the earliest attention of to the wishes and security of our frontier settlements, the Legislature. It will be a seasonable occasion, also, as well as to the general interests of the nation. In for inquiring how far Legislative interposition may be some instances, the titles, though not supported by further requisite in providing penalties for offences dedue proof, and clashing, those of one tribe with the claims signated in the Constitution or in the statutes, and to of another, have been extinguished by double purchases; which either no penalties are annexed, or none with the benevolent policy of the United States preferring sufficient certainty. And I submit to the wisdom of the augmented expense, to the bazard of doing injus- Congress, whether a more enlarged revisal of the tice, or to the enforcement of injustice against a feeble criminal code be not expedient, for the purpose of and untutored people, by means involving or threaten- mitigating, in certain cases, penalties which were ing an effusion of blood. I am happy to add, that the adopted into it, antecedent to experiment and examples tranquillity which has been restored among the tribes which justify and recommend a more lenient policy. themselves, as well as between them and our own The United States, having been the first to abolish, population, will favor the resumption of the work of within the extent of their authority, the transportation civilization, which had made an encouraging progress of the natives of Africa into slavery, by prohibiting the among some tribes; and that the facility is increasing, introduction of slaves, and by punishing their citizens for extending that divided and individual ownership; participating in the traffic, cannot but be gratified at which exists now in movable property only, to the soil the progress, made by concurrent efforts of other naitself; and of thus establishing, in the culture and im- tions, towards a general suppression of so great an provement of it, the true foundation for a transit from evil. They must feel, at the same time, the greater The habits of the savage, to the arts and comforts of solicitude to give the fullest efficacy to their own regusocial life.
lations. With that view, the interposition of Congress As a subject of the highest importance to the na- appears to be required by the violations and evasions tional welfare, I must, again, earnestly recommend to which, it is suggested, are chargeable on unworthy the consideration of Congress, a re-organization of the citizens, who mingle in the slave trade under foreign Militia, on a plan which will form it into classes, ac- flags, and with foreign ports; and by collusive impor. cording to the periods of life more and less adapted to tations of slaves into the United States, through ad. military services. An efficient militia is authorized and I joining ports and territories. I present the subject to
President's Annual Message.
Congress with a full assurance of their disposition to been effectual, to a beneficial extent, in the reduction apply all the remedy which can be afforded by an of the public debt, and the establishment of the public amendment of the law. The regulations which were credit. The floating debt, of Treasury notes and lemintended to guard against abuses of a kindred charac- porary loans, will soon be entirely discharged. The ter, in the trade between the several States, ought aggregate of the funded debt, composed of debts inalso to be rendered more effectual for their humane curred during the wars of 1776 and 1812, has been estiobject.
mated, with reference to the first of January next, at To these recommendations I add, for the considera- a sum not exceeding one hundred and ten millions of tion of Congress, the expediency of a re-modification dollars. The ordinary annual expenses of the Govof the Judiciary establishment, and of an additional ernment, for the maintenance of all its institutions, department in the Executive branch of the Govern- civil, military, and naval, have been estimated at á ment.
sum less than twenty millions of dollars. And the The first is called for by the accruing business permanent revenue, to be derived from all the existing which necessarily swells the duties of the Federal sources, has been estimated at a sum of about twentyCourts; and by the great and widening space, within five millions of dollars. which justice is to be dispensed by them. The time seems to have arrived which claims for members of the that there is only wanting, to the fiscal prosperity of Supreme Court a relief from itinerary fatigues, incom- the Government, the restoration of an uniform medipatible as well with the age which a portion of them um of exchange. The resources and the faith of tho will always have attained, as with the researches and nation, displayed in the system which Congress has preparations which are due to their stations, and to established, insure respect and confidence both at the juridical reputation of their country. And con- home and abroad. The local accumulations of the siderations equally cogent require a more convenient revenue have already enabled the Treasury to meet organization of the subordinate tribunals, which may the public engagements in the local currency of most be accomplished without an objectionable increase of of the States ; and it is expected that the same cause the number or expense of the judges.
will produce the same effect throughout the Union. The extent and variety of Executive business, also But, for the intercsts of the community at large, as accumulating with the progress of our country and its well as for the purposes of the Treasury, it is essengrowing population, call for an additional department, tial that the nation should possess a currency of equal to be charged with duties now overburdening other value, credit, and use, wherever it may circulate. The departments, and with such as have not been annexed Constitution has intrusted Congress, exclusively, with to any department.
the power of creating and regulating a currency of The course of experience recommends, as another that description; and the measures which were taken improvement in the Executive establishment, that the during the last session, in execution of the power, give provision for the station of Attorney General, whose every promise of success. The Bank of the United residence at the seat of Government, official connex- States has been organized under auspices the most ions with it, and management of the public business favorable, and cannot fail to be an important auxilibefore the Judiciary, preclude an extensive participa- ary to those measures. tion in professional emoluments, be made more ade- For a more enlarged view of the public finances, quate to his services and his relinquishments; and with a view of the measures pursued by the Treasury that, with a view to his reasonable accommodation, Department, previous to the resignation of the late and to a proper depository of his official opinions and Secretary, I transmit an extract from the last report of proceedings, there be included in the provision the that officer. Congress will perceive in it ample proofs usual appurtenances to a public office.
of the solid foundation on which the financial prosIn directing the Legislative attention to the state perity of the nation rests; and will do justice to the of the finances, it is a subject of great gratification to distinguished ability and successful exertions with find, that, even within the short period which has which the duties of the department were executed, elapsed since the return of peace, the revenue has far during a period remarkable for its difficulties and it's exceeded all the current demands upon the Treasury, peculiar perplexities. and that, under any probable diminution of its future The period of my retiring from the public service annual products, which the vicissitudes of commerce being at little distance, I shall find no occasion more may occasion, it will afford an ample fund for the proper than the present for expressing to my felloweffectual and early extinguishment of the public debt. citizens my deep sense of the continued confidence and It has been estimated, that during the year 1816, the kind support which I have received from them. My actual receipts of revenue at the Treasury, including grateful recollection of these distinguished marks of the balance at the commencement of the year, and ex
their favorable regard can never cease; and, with the cluding the proceeds of loans and Treasury notes, will consciousness, that if I have not served my country amount to about the sum of forty-seven millions of with greater ability, I have served it with a sincere dollars; that during the same year, the actual pay- devotion, will accompany me as a source of unfailing ments at the Treasury, including the payment of the gratification. arrearages of the War Department, as well as the Happily, I shall carry with me from the public theapayment of a considerable excess, beyond the annual tre, other sources, which those who love their country appropriations, will amount to about the sum of thirty- most, will best appreciate. I shall behold it blessed eight millions of dollars; and that, consequently, at. with tranquillity and prosperity at home, and with the close of the year, there will be a surplus in the peace and respect abroad. I can indulge the proud Treasury of about the sum of nine millions of dollars. reflection, that the American people have reached, in
The operations of the Treasury continue to be ob- safety and success, their fortieth year as an independstructed by difficulties, arising from the condition of ent nation; that, for nearly an entire generation, they the national currency; but they have, nevertheless, have had experience of their present Constitution, the