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SENATE.]

Post Office Department.--Fort Delaware.—The Indians.

take that the people are laughing at the wit, when, in fact, they are laughing at the author. Again: The same Senator, in another note, has stated that by Mr. Bradley’s evidence it appeared that when he left the department there were forty-two clerks, a large majority of whom were opposed to the present administration, and that he was authorized to say that but three clerks had been removed by the present Postmaster General. Authorized! How? “Never heard him” (the Postmaster General) “express or intimate a wish or opinion upon the subject,” and yet he is “authorized” to say this. The public would have been better satisfied that the Senator had not been in close connexion with the Postmaster General during this investigation, if he had informed them from whom he received this authority. Mr. Bradley is still under examination, and thus far no such fact appears as is stated in this note. When Mr. Bradley’s examination is closed, we shall see the substance of his testimony. As it now stands, no such fact is proved, and this report of the testimony, on this point, is about as premature as the rest of that Senator's facts and reasonings. Thus far, it does appear, that when Mr. Barry took the office, of the forty-three clerks seventeen were believed to have been for General Jackson, twenty-one for Mr. Adams, and five neutrals; that, since that time, several have been removed; and that all the principal officers, including the two Assistant Postmasters General and the chief clerk, have been removed. So the evidence now stands. Is it possible that a member of a committee of inquiry of the United States’ Senate into the conduct of a United States’ officer, has reported to the Senate and the world the testimony of a witness before it was finished, accompanied by a declaration of the officer accused as proof of his innocence? One word more in reply to what the Senator did not say. He did not threaten us with the interposition of the President to suppress this inquiry. No such language as this was used, or, ifuscil, was not heard by Mr. H., viz. “I have said that I thought that neither the Senate nor the committee have the constitutional right to make this demand. Should the Chief Magistrate think so, of one thing I am certain, that he who never suffered his own private rights, or the rights of his country, to be invaded, will not permit an encroachment upon the right of his official station.” Here is a plain and unequivocal avowal of the power of the President to suppress an inquiry of the Senate into the official conduct of the Postmaster General; and, had it bech spoken and heard in the Senate, Mr. H. would have been unpardonable to let the speaker off without the severest animadversion. Of the President’s prohibition in this case, that Senator is “certain,” and the inference is, of course, that he speaks “by authority.” It would seem then that this resolution emanates from the palace, and is an injunction upon the Senatc to stop their “encroachment upon the rights of his official station. In brief, that the President has the right not only to shut the door of this department” against the Senate, but to sup: press even an outdoor inquiry. It is moreover due to the chairman and to the people of Maine, that one word should be added in regard to the reported speech of the Senator from New Hampshire. Mr. H. was in the next seat to the chairman when the remark was made, which the Senator from New Hampshire construes into a charge of bribery, and he is sure that the chairman intimated no such thing. The two Senators from New Hampshire and Tennessee had exultingly said that a verdict both in Maine and New Hampshire in favor of the removals of the Postmaster General had been rendered. The answer was, that this very exercise of the removing power might sometimes influence a verdict; and the chairman introduced the analogy of a verdict obtained by im. proper means, for no. other purpose but to enforce and illustrate his position as to the general effect of Executive

Patronage on the elective franchise.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 12.

After disposing of some private bills and other morning business—

The eclipse having reached the greatest obscuration of the sun about this time, and the Senate appearing indisposed to go on with business—

A motion was made and carried to adjourn.

Mox pay, FEBRUARY 14.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN laid on the table the following resolution:

Resolved, That the President of the United States be required to inform the Senate whether the provisions of the act entitled “An act to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes, and to preserve peace on the frontiers,” passed the 30th March, 1802, have been fully complied with on the part of the United States’ Government; and, if they have not, that he inform the Senate of the reasons that have induced the Government to decline the enforcement of the said act.

POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT.

The Scnate resumed the resolution of Mr. Gavs by, as modified by Mr. Liv Ngstos.

Mr. HOLMES, being in possession of the floor, then rose, and observed, that though he fancied himself well prepared to go on with the discussion on the subject of the inquiry, yet, as he had been given to understand that the gentlemen on the other side were quite willing that the discussion should here, for the present, have an end, he was not indisposed to adopt that course, as he believed enough had already been said by himself and the chairman of the special committee [Mr. C. v Yoro N] to convince the gentlemen that they were on the wrong side. [No, no, from Mr. Gitt Noy.j Well, then, continued Mr. Holst Es, if we let the discussion here drop, I can assure the gentleman it is not because we are not well prepared for the subject on our side, for I mysclf have taken some pains to prepare mysclf, and have no doubt but I might be able to enlighten the gentlemen something further in a good round speech, if they were so inclined; but I shall content myself, since it seems to be the opinion that the matter has been, on both sides, sufficiently discussed, by moving that the resolution be laid on the table, with the understanding that the scnse of the Senate, without further discussion, be taken on it to-morrow at one o’clock. The motion prevailcd.

Tu Esnay, FEI. It UAny 15.
FORT DELAW AIRE.

Agreeably to notice yesterday given, Mr. CLAYTON asked and obtained leave to report a bill for the relief of the officers and soldiers of Fort Delaware; which was twice read, and referred.

On introducing the bill, Mr. CLAYTON briefly remarked that the officers and soldiers, during the conflagration of the fort, principally exerted themselves to save the public property, in consequence of which they had little or no time to save their own. No fire engine had been provided for the protection of property in case of fire, and the destruction was in consequence the greater. Under these circumstances, he considered the individuals concerned entitled to relief.

THE INDIANS.

The resolution yesterday submitted by Mr. Fr ELINGHuyss N, was then taken up.

Mr. BENTON objected to the form of the resolution, and wished it so modified as to make the call more simple.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN was willing to modify, but should have been pleased if the gentleman from Missouri had stated in what respect he desired the modification. He could then be able to give a proper answer. After a Feb. 15, 1831.]

The Indians.

[SENATE.

few remarks from Mr. F. in favor of his resolution, and a description of the views of the present Executive in relation to the Indians, Mr. HOLMES addressed the Senate, and, in the course of his remarks, made allusion to the assumption of certain powers by the President on the Indian question, as encroaching on the legislative power and jurisdiction. Mr. BELL asked for the yeas and nays on agreeing to the resolution, and they were ordered. Mr. FORSYTH had hoped that the two Houses of Congress were done with the Indian discussion, more particularly as the matter had been brought before the Supreme Court. Mr. NOBLE said a few words as to the oppressive nature of the laws of Georgia relative to the Indians within that State, and made some reference to his vote of last session on this interesting guestion. Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN said he had presented this resolution for the purpose of certainly ascertaining the views and purpose of the Executive in respect to the Indian relations of the Government. We cannot, said Mr. F., officially rely upon any report or information but that which comes to us under the official sanction of the Chief Magistrate. And, sir, the Senate and the nation have a right to know his policy. I am aware that the Secretary of War, in his report to the President, of December last, has undertaken to dispose of the intercourse law of 1802, by a very short process. He has, indeed, cut the gordian knot. He assumes the whole ground of the Indian controversy; takes as established, without argument or proof, the whole matter in issue, and then very gravely draws out the conclusion, that this law is unconstitutional, and ought not to be executed. He asserts the red men to be citizens of the States, and inquires, as if surprised at the necessity of asking the question, whether a sovereign State has not the right to legislate over all her citizens, white and red? Sir, he has not even undertaken to show how the red men, the Cherokees, for example, became citizens of Georgia; and yet the suggestions of his report are put forth as a serious exposition of public law. A brief reference to the provisions of this law, and the causes which led to its enactment, will shed very clear light upon its nature and obligation. Until the year 1796, the relations of the United States with the Indian tribes chiefly rested upon the stipulations contained in our treaties made with these nations, and the principles of general law. About the time first named, our Government considered this subject to be of sufficient importance to engross the distinct deliberation and legislation of Congress, and accordingly, in the session of '96, the Congress of the United States raised a committee on regulating trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes, and to preserve peace on the frontiers. While the matter was subsisting before this committee, a communication was made by the then President, (General Washington,) which, while it illustrates the character of that exalted statesman, affords a very valuable portion of history, that will refresh the hearts and encourage the hopes of every friend of the Indians. After the treaties made by the United States with the Cherokees in the years 1785 and 1791, usually known by the names of the treaties of Hopewell and Holston, intrusions were repeatedly meditated upon the territories of that nation, and Governor Blount, of the territory south of the Ohio, in 1796, apprised President Washington of these designs; upon which he addressed a message to Congress, as appears in the following extract from the journals of the House of Representatives: “To Esi Ay, February 2, 1796.-A message in writing was received from the President of the United States, by Mr. Dandridge, his secretary, as followeth:

“ UNITED STATEs, February 2, 1796. “ Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives: I transmit here with a copy of a letter, dated the

19th of December last, from Governor Blount to the Secretary of War, stating the avowal and daring designs of certain persons to take possession of land belonging to the Cherokees, and which the United States have by treaty solemnly guarantied to that nation. The injustice of such intrusions, and the mischievous consequences which must necessarily result therefrom, demand that effectual provision be made to prevent them. ‘‘ GEOING E WASHINGTON.” Here, said Mr. F., the principles and spirit of Indian intercourse are traced up to their head spring. We rejoice to find their origin in the spirit of unbroken faith and sacred honor that sheds its radiance over this Executive document. Sir, this record of other times, now, when to break faith with an Indian is construed down into something short of dishonor—now, when the clouds are gathering over and around the hopes of these forsaken people—at this gloomy epoch in their history, to look upon this solemn acknowledgment of all their rights as “a nation,” and our sacred obligations by “treaty,” and under Washington's own hand, is a grateful subject for consolation. Would, sir, that General Jackson might be persuaded to put away from him all those hasty, ill-considered counsels, that are leading him away from the broad and luminous path of illustrious precedent. But to proceed with the history. This message and the letter were, in the first place, referred to the Committee of the Whole House, and afterwards to a select committee of sixteen members, composed of Mr. Hillhouse, Mr. Cooper, Mr. Findlay, Mr. Jackson, Mr. Franklin, Mr. Henderson, Mr. Harper, Mr. White, Mr. Abiel Foster, Mr. Dearborn, Mr. Malbone, Mr. Buck, Mr. Patten, Mr. Milledge, Mr. Greenup, and Mr. Crabb. In the selection of this committee, we perceive the importance that was attached to the subject-matter of General Washington's communication, and the principles that should regulate our Indian affairs. A committee of the first names in Congress, members from the different States, and Georgia of the number, took up the treaties made with these tribes, and the duties, rights, and privileges that grew out of our relations, and reported to Congress the first intercourse bill, which became a law in May, 1796, and which, in all its material provisions, is now the subsisting and unrepealed law of the land. These treaties, said Mr. F., had, amongst other things, traced and settled the boundary lines of territory between the United States and the Indians. And in the few sections of this law, to which I shall invite the attention of the Senate, they will perceive that in the Congress of 1796, of 1799, and of 1802, the several periods when this law came under public consideration, these boundaties specified in the treaties were recognised and adopted, and became the governing line of territory, in the first section of the bill. This law, like the treaties, runs the broad line between the State of Georgia and the Cherokees, and recognises it as the boundary between separate and distinct nations—between “citizens of the United States” and “the Cherokees,” in specific and appropriate terms. No one of all the chlightened and exalted men who filled the seats of power, and aided in the councils of the country in 1796, entertained the notion for a moment, that Georgia had even the color of a claim to the property or persons of these tribes of free, and, as to her, independent people, and they legislated concerning them accordingly. After thus fixing the boundary, the second section of the law enacts, “that if any citizen of, or other person resident in, the United States, or either of the territorial districts of the United States, shall cross over or go within the said boundary line to hunt, &c., or shall drive or otherwise convey any stock of horses or cattle to range on any lands allotted or secured by treaty with the United States to any Indian tribes, he shall forfeit a sum not exceeding

one hundred dollars, or be imprisoned not exceeding six

SENATE.]

Post Office Department.

[Feb. 15, 1831.

months. And by the fourth section it is further enacted, that if any such citizen or other person shall go into any town, settlement, or territory belonging or secured by treaty with the United States, to any nation or tribe of Indians, and shall there commit robbery, larceny, trespass, or other crime, against the person or property of any friendly Indian or Indians, which would be punished if committed within the jurisdiction of any state, against a citizen of the United States, &c., such offender shall forfeit a sum not exceeding one hundred dollars, and be im. prisoned not exceeding twelve months.” Sir, who can fail to perceive how perfectly palpable is the distinction between the jurisdiction of any State of the United States, and the territory of the Indian nations? Every provision of this law is based upon this distinction, and would be absurd and incongruous without it. ...Again, sir, the fifth section provides “that if any such

citizen or other person shall make a settlement on any lands belonging, or secured or guarantied by treaty with the United States, to any Indian tribe, or slall survey or attempt to survey such lands, or designate any of the boundaries, by marking trees or otherwise, such offender shall forfeit a sum not exceeding one thousand dollars, and suffer imprisonment not exceeding twelve months; and it shall moreover be lawful for the President of the United States to take such measures and employ such military force as he may judge necessary to remove from landsbe. longing or secured by treaty as aforesaid, to any indian tribe, any such citizen or other person, who has made or shall hereafter make or attempt to make a settlement thereon.” Here, again, the unambiguous principles of our national policy are developed too plainly to be mistaken, or misunderstood. . A policy, thus sanctioned by the concurrent opinions of six successive Presidents, and by he harmonious legislation of Congress for the last thirty. five years, is suddenly assailed by the opinion of the Secretary of W ar, and sought to be frustrated and avoided– and for what, sir? For what? To enable the state of Georgia to break over this boundary—this sacred boundary—to invade the possessions of our allies—and deprive them of their Property and liberties.

Let us for *... moment review some of the features of Georgia legislation. Our act, be it remembered, prohibits all surveys or attempts at surveying of Indian lands, by any citizen of the United States, or other person. Georgio, ha., by a late act of her Legislature, resolved to survey the Cherokee country—now listen–

Sec. 33...dnd be it further enacted, That any person or persons who shall, by force, menaces, or other means, Pont of attempt to prevent, any surveyor or surveyors from running any line or lines, or doing and performing any act required of him or them by this act, shall, on indictment, and conviction thereof, be sentenced to the Roonto at hard labor, for the term of five years. And the following section still further discloses the sature of the o in that State, of which we complain.

“Sec. 7.4nd be it further enacted by the authority of road, That all white persons residing within the limits of the Cherokee nation on the 1st day of March next, or * * * thereafter, without a license or permit from his Excellenoy the Governor, or from such agent as his Excellency the Governor shall authorize to grant such a permit or license, and who shall not have taken the oath hereinafter “‘losed, shall be guilty of high misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by confinement in the Potentiary, at hard labor, for a term not less than four years: Provided, that the provisions of this section shall not be so construed as to extend to any autho. rized agent or agents of the Government of the United States, or of this state, or to any person or persons who may rent any of those improvements which have been abandoned by Indians who have emigrated west of the Mississippi: Provided, That nothing contained in this section

shall be so construed as to extend to white females, and all male children under twenty years of age.” Sir, said Mr. F., the crisis has arrived, when this conflict must be decided. Here is direct repugnancy between the legislation of the United States, and that of Georgia. Where is the Executive arm of the General Government to protect our laws and our treaties from violation? I cannot, sir, anticipate that the President will refuse to execute the laws of the land. I must hear it from himself. I maintain it, sir, as one of the soundest principles of our constitution, that the Executive does not possess the tremendous power of dispensing with the enforcement of public statutes. If a constitutional scruple shall affect the mind of a President of the United States, in respect to any act of Congress, he must get rid of his scruples, or he may lay down his commission: but while he holds the of. fice, he must faithfully execute every law. It is absolutely imperative. The people of this country will jealously watch over this branch of Executive duty. They will expect its fulfilment, sir, to the very letter. Of all the men in this nation, the President is the last who should pause upon the requirements of any statute. He, at least, should be exemplary in obedience. It may be, and has been said, that the opinions of the President may be inferred from the report of the Secretary of War, made on this subject, and by the President communicated to Congress. I know, sir, that a conclusion might be drawn from the silence of the Executive. But, on so momentous a question, I can leave nothing to inference. I submit, sir, that it is just and fair to the Chief Magistrate to propound a direct inquiry, and obtain from him a direct reply. After some further discussion on the form as well as the substance of the resolution, Mr. BENTON moved to lay the resolution on the table, to give the Senator from New Jersey an opportunity to modify it so as to call for certain specific information as to the Indian intercourse law of 1802; but the motion was negatived—16 to 25. The q-stion was then put on the adoption of the resolution, and decided in the affirmative by yeas and nays, as follows: YEAS.–Messrs. Barnard, Barton, Bell, Benton, Burnet, Chambers, Chase, Clayton, Dickerson, Dudley, Ellis, Foot, Forsyth, Frelinghuysen, Grundy, Hayne, Hendricks, Holmes, Iredell, Johnston, Kane, King, Knight, Livingston, McKinley, Marks, Naudain, Noble, Poindexter, Robbins, Robinson, Ruggles, Sanford, Seymour, Silsbee, Smith, of Md., Smith, of S. C., Tazewell, Troup, Webster, White, Willey, Woodbury.—43. NAYS.–Messrs. Bibb, Brown, Tyler.—3.

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2|{) Feb. 16, 17, 1831.] utional Road.— Punishment of Crimes in the District of Columbia. [SENATE. Punishment of Crimes in the District of Columbia.

W Enri Esi, Ay, FEBRUARY 16.

The Senate then took up the following resolution, submitted yesterday by Mr. Livi Ngstox :

“Resolved, That a committee, to consist of three mem. bers, be appointed to prepare and report, at the next ses. sion, a system of civil and criminal law for the District of Columbia, and for the organization of the courts therein.”

On this resolution a debate took place, which lasted until near three o'clock, in which Messrs. LIVINGSTON, CHA Miss ERS, WEBSTER, Foot', FORSYTII, HAYNE, #31 BB, and NOBLE, took part.

After so long a discussion, the debate was arrested by Mr. FOOT, who read a paragraph from Jefferson's Manual, to show that, after an adjournment of Congress, no committee could sit in the recess, the two bodies being dissolved. He moved to lay the resolution on the table; which motion prevailed.

Tito its pay, Fr. Bitu Any 17. NATIONAL ROAI). Mr. BURNET laid before the Senate a letter from the Governor of the State of Ohio, transmitting a law passed by the General Assembly of the said State, entitled “An act for the preservation and repair of the United States' road” within the limits of that State. Mr. B. remarked, that the first section of that law, and the first clause of that section, declared that the act should not take effect, or be in force, until the conscht of Congress had been obtained; that, by the general provisions of the law, tile Governor was authorized to erect toll-gates within the State, on such parts of the road as have been, or might hereafter be, finished, at distances not less than twenty miles; that the law established a rate of toll; that it required the money collected to be paid into the State treasury, and kept in a separate fund, to be called the United States’ Road fund, the whole of which was to be expended in the repair and preservation of the road, and for no other purpose whatever, and that no more money should be collected than might be necessary for that purpose. He also said, that the rights and privileges of the United States, and of every individual State, were secured by the provisons of the law; that the mail was to pass free; that all persons in the service or employ of the United States, or either of them, and all property belonging to the United States, or either of them, was to pass free of toll; and that the law contained provisions for the punishment of persons who might be detected in the perpetration of malicious mischief, injurious to the road. Mr. B. moved that, for the present, the document lie on the table, and gave notice that he would, to-morrow, ask leave to introduce a bill declaring the assent of Congress to the law which he had presented. The act was accordingly laid on the table. PUNISHMENT OF CRIMES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. The bill for the punishment of crimes in the District of Columbia was then taken up for a third reading. When the bill had been read through, Mr. HAYNE remarked that he had not paid that attention to the bill which would justify his acting upon it. He thought, however, that he heard the Clerk read a clause (in the 12th section) making it a penitentiary offence to send a challenge to fight a duel. He asked that it might again be read. [After the reading of the 12th section of the act, which ranks duelling with forgery and other infamous crimes, Mr. H., said he was no advocate of duelling. He would be very glad if any means could be devised to put an end to the practice. But his experience had taught him that every attempt to legislate unreasonably upon that subject had only tended to make the matter worse. To class it, as the present bill did, with the crime of perjury and its

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kindred offences, it seemed to him, would be productive of more evil than benefit. Under these circumstances, he moved to recommit the bill to the Committee on the Disstrict of Columbia, to give an opportunity for its revisal in this particular. Mr. W. GODBURY observed that there was another clause in the bill which to him seemed rather extraordinary. It was that which made the offence of gambling punishable by confinement in the penitentiary. He wished, if the bill should be recommitted, to draw the attention of the committee to this clause. Mr. CHAMBERS said, the clause alluded to by the gentleman from South Carolina, [Mr. HAy NE, ) that of duelling, had met the attention of the committee, and the force of some of the objections had been felt. In his own view of the subject, the most objectionable clause was that in relation to testimony in relation to duels, where witnesses were called upon in cases of prosecutions for duels. He could not say that this was entirely reconcilable with his views of right; but, with regard to classing this crime with others of an infamous character, it was conceived that the most effectual way of destroying those fatal ideas which honorable and high-minded men entertained of the practice, was to degrade it, and place it on a level with crimes of the most infamous hue. This course, it was believed, would do move to exterminate this fell evil from the land than any other. It was designed to assign it that low and degraded rank, in crimes, which should make it infamous, and thus save the honorable and high-minded portion of mankind from participating in it. It was evident to the committee that nothing but public sentiment could correct this great evil; and if it was the sense of the Senate that the provision of the bill was inexpedient, it would be shown by voting for its recommittal. The view taken by the gentleman from New Hampshire [Mr. Wood Bury] on the penalty for certain kinds of gambling, also deserved some consideration. He could, however, inform that gentleman that the provision was not entirely a new one. He instanced a case in his own State, (Maryland,) where an individual had been incarcerated in the penitentiary for this crime. In relation to the evidence of this crime, also, it was well known that it was difficult to procure it by any other means than through those who were themselves the victims, and were entrapped in the toils of the gambler. Mr. C. said, if it was the sense of the Senate to recommit the bill, he should not strenuously oppose it, though he thought, as the subject was now before the Senate, its features could be regulated there. Mr. WOODBURY said, in relation to the clause which he had alluded to, that of making gambling a penitentiary offence, he would only remark, that in the State which he had the honor in part to represent, and, indeed, in all the Eastern States, where it was conceded that the people were as strict in their moral views and feelings as in any part of the world, the crime in question was only punishable by fine. It might be, that in other parts, where the evil was more prevalent, stronger punishments were requisite. Of this he would not pretend to judge; though, in most of the constitutions of the Eastern and Northern States to which he had adverted, a clause was inserted declaring that no new or inordinate punishments should be inflicted. Mr. POINDEXTER said that he was not an advocate for duelling. He referred to the laws of the several States upon the subject; to those of New York, Virginia, and, he believed, North Carolina. In those States the penalty for duelling was disqualification from office; and officers were required to take an oath that they had not been, and would not be, engaged in a duel. This was as far as any of the States went in their enactments on the subject. The honorable gentleman from Maryland, said Mr. P., must be aware that the most distinguished, the most honorable, and high-minded men in this or any other country SENATE.]

[Fen. 17, 1831.

had been involved in duels; and he asked if there was not reason to fear that the suppression of the practice would lead to a worse result, the introduction of the stiletto. If duelling were rendered infamous or impracticable, would not men find it necessary to wear a dirk to defend them. selves from insult? If a man of independent mind and honorable feelings partook of none of the characteristics of a bully, he would still defend his honor at any hazard. He asked if such a result had not been seen in Virginia, where penalties had been imposed upon the practice. He did not advert to that State with any feelings of disrespect; far from it; for there were men who held it creditable to be tenacious of their honor. But he believed that the enactment of severe penalties would have the tendency of compelling men to resort to the knife to redress their personal wrongs. In legislating for the District of Columbia, Congress should not go further than any of the States have gone. He was in any event opposed to ranking this offence with the most infamous of crimes. Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN said he should oppose the recommitment of this bill. If no other consideration had done so, the remarks of the gentleman from Mississippi [Mr. Pol NDExten] had convinsed him of the propriety of its provisions. He was ready to grant that high-minded and honorable men had given countenance by their example to this barbarous usage. But would any man, in this age, contend that it was essential to resort to the pistol or the stiletto to avenge personal injuries? He approved of this bill, and this mode of legislating upon this subject. It was saying to these high-minded and honorable men, if you persist in this infamous practice, we must show you that there is a power stronger than your false notions of honor. It is found in the laws of your country; and the result of your perseverance must lead to disgrace, degradation, and infamy. Mr. F. said he was about to state, before he heard the remarks of the gentleman from Mississippi, [Mr. Pol ND Exten,) what his own experience had taught him on this subject. In the State which he had the honor in part to represent, the only way to put down the po had bcen found to be to brand the act with infamy. Such measures had been taken, and it had had the desired effect. It would doubtless have the effect here; for when the legislators of the country put their seal of condemnation upon it—when the youth saw that their fathers and legislators were bent on putting it down, it would soon grow into disrepute, and fall under the predominance of correct sentiments. In trying the experiment in the State of New Jersey, it was, indeed, found necessary to show that the pains and penalties enacted against the offence were meant to be enforced. But when this was discovered, and the brand of infamy was affixed to the crime, it had, in a measure, ceased to exist; it had had the effect of correcting

the public sentiment. It is such an evil, said Mr. F., as every good man should unite his influence and his interest in correcting. Mr. F. said, in commencing the operation of the corrective in New Jersey, fears of some of the evils predicted by the gentleman did seem to be justified. But now, since it had been rendered infamous, if the crime was ever committed, it was done by stealth only. Mr. LIVINGSTON said, the difficulty here encountered in this bill was a proof that it had been hastily drawn, and had not received that attention and digestion which it required. Of this he was before fully aware, when he had submitted his proposition of yesterday, which had been laid upon the table. He had not intended, however, to have interfered with the progress of the bill by making * single remark. But since a motion had been made, on which he must give a vote, he would make a few explanatory observations. - Mr. L. said there was, perhaps, no subject in criminal jurisprudence, on which so many inconsiderate steps had been taken, as that now under discussion, FXisting law.

punish all such offensive words as come under the appellation of libels and slanders, but not those minor offences under the denomination of insults. In one case, the person aggrieved brings his suit at law; in the other, he sends a challenge. The reason is obvious; for these are the only remedies in his power. Mr. L. here introduced a letter on this subject, referring to the effects of the course pursued by the State of Virginia, and an advocacy of that policy which renders duellists incapable of holding office. In this, Mr. L. said there was high authority for the belief that the enactments of Virginia had been highly beneficial. Mr. L. said he dif: fered from his friend from Mississippi, [Mr. Pol NDExTER, ) in the idea he had advanced that the suppression of duelling would introduce the use of the stiletto. It was not in the nature of the American people to resort to such instruments. It did not belong to them. But there was another evil to be feared. It was that of impunity; the difficulty of procuring testimony in cases of duels, and the strong feelings entertained by jurors themselves in exculpation of offenders. The reason of this was obviously that the punishment was altogether disproportionate to the offence. Such he conceived to be the case in the present bill. He would favor the plan of disfranchising offenders, and thus affecting their pride and ambition, as the surest mode of preventing the commission of the offence. He should therefore vote for recommitting the bill. Mr. TYLER said, he confessed he had not before understood the full force of this particular provision in the bill. For his own part, he was fully persuaded of the inefficacy and inadequacy of all legislation upon this subject. The idea of preventing duelling by punishments was a futile one: and enacting laws providing for shutting a man up in the penitentiary for the offence, was an absurdity. Why, said Mr. T., the very motive of the offender laughs at your bolts and bars; and shall he be deterred by such a motive, while he braves the hangman's halter? The gentleman from New Jersey [Mr. FRELINGHU YsEN] had attributed the decrease of the practice of duelling in his State to the enactments of the Legislature; but if that gentleman would seriously reflect upon the matter, he believed he would coincide with him in attributing the effect to a deeper cause than any influence of law. He must also reply to an observation of his friend from Mississippi, [Mr. Pors nextEn,) who supposed that the people of the State which he had the honor in part to represent, were driven to the use of the stiletto in consequence of the enactments against duelling. [Mr. Poin DEXTER explained. stances were rare.] Mr. T. said they were extremely rarc; he had known of none since the enactments of the law against duelling. At the time of its enactment, such anticipations had been harbored, but they proved to be mere creations of the imagination. No such results had flown from it. The operation of the law had had directly the opposite effect; and this was felt by those whom it operated on. . The fiery spirit of the South would sometimes manisest itself, said Mr. T., in their young men, and result in a challenge to fight a duel. His experience taught him that the consequence was a greater degree of urbanity in the intcrcourse of individuals, and he could safely say there were less personal difficulties or broils existing in the circles of society among his constituents than could be found elsewhere: He could attribute it to no other cause than the one he had adverted to. If you would put down this evil, said Mr. T., think not to do so by means of punishments. Attack the standing of the individuals in their eligibility to office, and you come nearer to the root of the offence. He agreed with the gentleman from Louisiana, that to shut the door to office, honor, and emolument, to the participators in the offence, was the most effectual method of correcting it. Do this, and your work is accomplished.

He believed the in

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