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May 29, 1834.)
unite their efforts for the common welfare, it would open a new era in the prospects of our free and happy institutions. But there was little hope of this. There remained but one course now to pursue. Suppress all agitation on questions respecting which they had differed, and, after doing as much as practicable of the most important business before them, return to their constituents, breathe a purer air, leave behind the polluted atmosphere of this place, and learn what were the views and feelings of those who had sent them here. As to doing all the business, it was hopeless; they never could get through it. The longer they remained, the more it would accumulate: . He had no hope even of passing his own favorite bill for the pioneers of the Western forest. The gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. Polk] had notified the House that he should call up and press the passage of the bill fixing the deposites in the State banks; now he would put it to the candor of gentlemen to say whether, if that bill should pass the House, one single man on that . floor believed it would ever become a law? How vain, then, was it to protract the session for the sake of passing it in one branch of the Legislature. He would venture the prediction that, if the subject of the deposites was again opened, the House would not adjourn all summer. If "ever the investigation of the subject was commenced, it would be thorough—that gentlemen might reckon upon it. He did not oppose this out of the least fear of the result; he would not ask a more certain triumph than would attend the investigation of the conduct of the bank. He had no idea of “skulking.” But he deprecated the waste of time which would end in nothing. Mr. BURGES, after sportively alluding to a saying of one of the ancients, that long treatises were written against the love of glory only that their authors might have the glory of affixing their names to them, and applying this remark to Mr. Chilton's deprecating long speeches, he went on to say that he had changed his mind as to the day of adjournment. He had been in favor of the earliest day proposed; but since the bank committee had declared that they should not in that case have time for the investigation of their report, and acting on the resolution reported, he was for a more distant day; and he was the more earnest on this subject after hearing from the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Lytl.E] the intimation that he and his friends were disposed to skulk. Now he did not belong to a people who had been in the habit of skulking; they inhabited, to be sure, a small bit of land; but whenever their enemies sought them, they were always to be found. The gentleman had explained by saying that he refer. red only to the press. Indeed, and had that House nothing better to do than to discuss the course of the newspapers! Who cared what these said? Some few of them, indeed, were highly respectable; but was this a matter for grave debate? About skulking newspapers? No: the remarks of the gentlemen, however worded, were aimed at the members on that floor. Now, he was for showing that committee that no man had a thought of skulking. He wanted to allow them full time to bring forward their report, and to act upon it. But they dare not do it. They had no intention of doing it. But they should not want the opportunity. He would sooner continue to sit here until the snow should fall than deprive them of the fullest opportunity to work their whole will in the premises. Let them bring the bank directors to the bar. Mr. B. would promise to make no speeches in their defence: if they were not able to defend their own cause, he would give it up. It was, indeed, true that the House had spent some time in discussing principles, very much to the horror of the gentleman from Kentucky, [Mr. Johnson.] But he had heard of its being said by a shrewd thinker, that
“words were things.” If the people did not get thei rights it should not be for want of their having been demanded; and, if wrong was done them, their oppressors should daily and hourly hear of the wrongs they had perpetrated. Talk of skulking. Who wished to skulk? He would give them full time to try the question out. Let them exhibit the spectacle of bringing to the bar of this House a company of men, who, for integrity, talents, weight of character, and financial skill, stood pre-eminent among all their countrymen; and let them make the most of it. Mr. B. would not stand between the committee and their vengeance; let the thunders of their wrath roll as loud as they would; let the bolt fall on whom it might. But of this let gentlemen be assured—there was a redeeming principle in the country that would paralyze the arm of oppression. They would find it so. But, in the mean while, let them, in heaven's name, have all the time they asked. Mr. LANE said he had given several silent votes on this subject, nor should he now protract the debate, or say a word that might excite unpleasant feelings. Would to God he could hush every jarring sound; that he could banish from that hall every feeling of party, so that the members might have but one will, and that for the interests of their country alone. But were gentlemen prepared to adjourn, while every measure of importance to their constituents remained undone? What great measure had been yet adopted to restore public confidence, and banish the distress which pervaded the country? There was one bill which had been alluded to by the gentleman behind him, [Mr. CHILtoN;] it was for the relief of the war-worn soldier, and was not yet acted on. Mr. L. said he might forget himself, but he never could forget the war-worn soldier of the forest. The gentleman from Kentucky [Mr. Johnson] had said that he had never known much business done till a day of adjournment was fixed upon. This might be so; but if it were, was that a reason for fixing the day so early that nothing could be accomplished in the meanwhile? if they fixed upon to-morrow, would that accomplish the public business? Who could believe that before the 30th of June all the important bills could be reached, let the debate be ever so brief, and gentlemen ever so much in earnest? Mr. L. never would consent to adjourn till the bill fixing the deposites in the State banks should have been acted on. He did not helieve, with the gentleman from Kentucky, [Mr. Chilton,] that nothing could be done with that bill. Could it not be amended? Might it not be so modified as to be rendered acceptable to gentlemen now opposed to it? To one of the remarks of the other gentleman from Kentucky, [Mr. Johnson,) he heartily responded, viz: that this branch of the Legislature was the last hope of the American people. Yes, it was in that hall that the last knell of expiring Liberty would be heard; in that hall would be the last flutter of the American eagle; there the star-spangled banner, which now hung over his head, would wave for the last time; and there the last smile would be dashed from the countenance of that fair goddess who presided over the national destinies. Mr. ANTHONY deprecated the plan of gentlemen taking up half an hour apiece in their remarks. He thought the 23d was the best and safest day. He held to the old adage, “in medio tutissimus ibis;” and it might be said with equal truth, “in medio felicissimus ibis.” He therefore demanded the previous question. The House seconded the call: Ayes 106. The previous question was then put and carried; and the main question, viz.: “Shall the vote of the House, refusing to fix upon the 30th of June for the day of adjournment, be reconsidered?” was carried by yeas and nays, as follows: Yeas 123, nays 83.
So the House agreed to reconsider. The question then being on the 30th of June— Mr. ADAMS said that he should change his vote, and was desirous of stating his reasons for doing so. He should now vote for the 30th, although he had voted for the 16th. From the day the resolution had been originally introduced, he had uniformly voted for the shortest term. When the gentleman from Indiana had agreed to postpone the motion, Mr. A. had been ready to vote for its passage; and this day, when the same gentleman had been requested by the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means to modify his resolution by inserting the 30th, and had declined to comply with that request, Mr. A. had voted against the amendment proposing that day. He had done so, to be sure, with reluctance, because the request had been made by the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means; and Mr. A. was willing that a gentleman who was charged, more than any other individual in that House, with its most important business, should have the full time he demanded. He laad still been desirous to vote for the shortest period practicable, but it was in the expectation and with the hope that the House was to hear no more about the bill directing the deposite of the public money in the State banks, nor about the report of the bank committee; and, with such an understanding, he believed that all the most important business before the House might be disposed of by the 16th of the next month. But now, when he found that it was the intention of the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means to bring up and to press upon the House the bill leaving the deposites in the State banks; and still more, when he discovered that entirely new matter, referred to in the reports of the investigating committee, was also to be introduced for discussion, he could not but conclude that the 30th of June would certainly afford a very short time—too short, indeed—for the discussion of matters so important to the public interest. Let members consider what it was which this bank committee’s report contained. This was new matter. The House had sent a committee of its own body to investigate the affairs of the United States Bank. Had they investigated them? No; they had done nothing of what they had been sent to do. Their report did not contain one word upon the subject to which their appointment had reference. No discoveries had been made; and the committee had returned with two reports, that of the majority containing complaints against the president and directors of the bank. This, he repeated, was wholly new matter. The committee charged the president and directors of the bank with having three times violated their charter; besides being guilty of another offence, the most heinous of all, seemingly, in the view of the committee—the offence of having treated themselves with disrespect. For this, the president and directors of the bank were to be brought to the bar of the House to be punished. The committee appeared as prosecutors; and they called upon the House to bring up fourteen of the most respectable citizens in all this country, to be punished. And how was this to be done? The Sergeantat-arms, a slender and rather feeble man, was to go and corporeally to seize these individuals, and drag them before the House. [Mr. CAM bit EL ENG here called Mr. ADAMs to order. The CHAIR decided that he was in order.] Mr. A. resumed: He said he had been assigning the reasons which, in his apprehension, justified him in changing his vote. He was vindicating himself to the House and to his constituents, for such change. He had stated that he had supposed that all the important business before the House might be gone through with by the 16th; and that all other matters, which were calculated only to produce dissension, and which must all eventually end in smoke, would be deferred. But he
now heard that they were to have the bank bill called up, and all these matters forced upon the discussion of the House; and those who were in favor of an early adjournment were now told that they wanted to “skulk.” He was actuated by no such feeling; but he thought it worse than useless to bring up these fourteen respectable citizens for such an offence as was alleged against them. If, indeed, he considered the question as one in which the honor of the Government and the authority and dignity of that House were concerned, he would be willing to stay here for years rather than omit or pass slightly over it. When he had been interrupted, he had been about to state some of the grounds of the opinion that a longer day would be requisite; and, in so doing, he was about to notice the new questions which were raised by the report of the bank committee. What a singular spectacle would it be, to see their Sergeant-at-arms bringing up these fourteen substantial burghers of the good city of Philadelphia, all in chains, to the bar of the House! It reminded him of the soldier in our revolutionary war, who, having captured three of the enemy with his own hand, and, being asked how he accomplished such a feat, replied that “he surrounded them.” He supposed the Sergeant-at-arms was to surround these fourteen bank directors. He should admire to see the sight. Here, then, was the question as to the right of the House to send for fourteen free American citizens to appear, not before a court of justice, but before this House; to be tried, not by a jury of their peers, but by the very party whom they were charged with having offended, and on the accusation of persons so exceedingly impartial as the majority of the bank committee; that House, themselves the offended party, to be their triers; and, having convicted them, to punish the offenders by the whole power of its vindictive justice. Did any gentleman suppose that the right to do all this was a question to be settled without debate? What would the mothers of those citizens have said, could they witness such a sight, to see their sons brought up to the bar to be tried as criminals? And for what? Here was another question, a question of some compass, and certainly very debatable. He hoped these questions would all be tried. He hoped that this mystified question of contempts would be fully discussed, and the principle settled, for the benefit of after times. He hoped that, if ever again they reported a resolution recommending the House to bring up the free citizens of this Union to be tried as malefactors at the bar of the House, they would at least have one good, sound, honest precedent to show for it. He hoped the whole matter would be a subject of full and grave deliberation; and that no crude or hasty decision would be had upon matters of so much weight and importance. He trusted there would be no calling for the previous question—no pressing forward, under a constant reference to the shortness of the time remaining—no continual reminding the House of the necessity of passing the appropriation bills. Appropriation bills! He would sooner lose all the appropriation bills for a hundred years to come, than that a question i. this should be improperly decided. The chairman of the bank committee had told the House that these questions could not possibly be taken up and discussed by the 16th, and Mr. A. most fully concurred in the opinion. if the majority were determined to bring forward, the subject, and submit it to a fair discussion, the 30th of June would be quite soon enough to adjourn. To the will of the majority he must submit. He should now vote for the adjournment on the 30th of June. Mr. THOMAS said that it was with surprise he learned that, in his absence, the committee to which he belonged had been gravely, and he must say falsely, charged with the intention of forestalling public opinion. This
subject, however, he passed by. He now stood proudly
on the time of the House, but his apology must be the
H. or R.] Resignation of the Speaker--Kentucky Election--New York and New Jersey Boundary. [May 31, 1834.
J. Y. Mason, McComas, McKinley, Muhlenberg, Page, Parker, Pierson, Pope, Ramsay, Schenck, Schley, Aug. ii. Shepperd, Smith, Spangler, Speight, William Taylor, william P. Taylor, Turrill, Tweedy, Wagener, Ward, Wardwell, Fred. Whittlesey, Williams—83. And then the House adjourned.
FRIDAY, MAY 30.
RESIGNATION OF THE SPEAKER.
After the reading of the Journal-
Mr. Speaker STEVENSON rose, and informed the liouse that he had taken the chair this morning, though still laboring under severe and continued indisposition, for the purpose of opening the House, and preventing any delay in its business; and likewise for the purpose of announcing his determination of resigning the Speaker's Chair and his seat in Congress. This he proposed doing on Monday next at 11 o'clock. He had formed this resolution under a deep sense of duty, and because his state of health rendered it impossible for him (as must be apparent to the House) to discharge in person the laborious duties of the Chair; and he had therefore deemedit respectful and proper to give this early notice of his intention to retire.
The House then resumed the consideration of the reports of the committee on
THE KENTUCKY CONTESTED ELECTION.
Mr. HUBBARD (Speaker pro tem.) having stated the question thereupon, before the House, to be the amend. ment offered by Mr. Jo NEs to that of Mr. BANKs, as heretofore stated–Mr. BANKS said that, as it did not essentially alter the amendment submitted by him, he would accept the amendment of Mr. Jo Nes as a modification thereof. He now wished to modify the resolution so as to make it read as follows: “ Resolved, That all the votes given by qualified voters, which were received in Lancaster, Garrard county, whilst Moses Grant, Esq. acted as one of the judges on the first morning of the election in August last, and those of a like character given on the second day of the election in the absence of the sheriff, ought to be estimated in ascertaining the result of the election. That the votes of 1)avid McKee, Alfred W. Buford, Elijah Mount, Clayton Fitzpatrick, William R. Preston, R. L. Berry, Blackburne, Leffler, Robert McKeown, Giles M. Ormond, and Lewis L. Mason, given in Mercer county, be counted; the first nine for R. P. Letcher, and the last one for T. P. Moore. That the votes of Job M. Hall, Reuben Young, Vincent Inge, Jacob Coffman, William Jenkins, and the Reverend David Robertson, be taken from the number of votes allowed by the majority of the committee to Moore, in Mercer county, and added to those counted for Letcher. That the votes of Eli Williams and W. Dawson, of Anderson county, and that those of William Connor, Charles Welsh, Thomas Harris, Montgomery Vanlandingham, Joseph Murrain, Levi Nunnery, Richard Curd, Anderson Hulet, Hickman Evans, Henry Wood, Richard White, of Jessamine county, be counted for Robert P. Letcher.” Mr. BANKs said that it was his intention to have submitted some remarks in support of his amendment, but, understanding that it was the wish of the gentlemen who were personally interested in this case to avail themselves of the privilege granted by the House, he would give way to them for that purpose. Mr. LETCHER thereupon rose, and addressed the House in an animated and energetic appeal, in which he
said that he rested his hopes of final success upon the confidence which he had in their honor and integrity, to come, as he believed they would, to a decision, uninfluenced by party: a course they are bound to take, if, from no other consideration than that, what was his case to-day might be their own hereafter, by the revolving of the political wheel. After which, he proceeded to controvert, at length, the arguments of the majority of the committee, and the evidence adduced in opposition to his claim to the seat for the 5th congressional district of Kentucky. Mr. L. continued to speak till after three o'clock; and closed with expressing his thanks to the Committee of Elections for the good feeling toward him which had dictated the insertion of that resolution in their report which recommended a pecuniary allowance to himself, in the shape of pay and mileage; but expressed his unalterable determination not to accept any thing, unless the seat in this House should, by the decision of the House, be adjudged to belong to him. If the seat should be declared rightfully to pertain to Mr. Moone, the pay was his also. Mr. HAMER, observing that Mr. LetchER had, in his address to the House, referred extensively to the testimony, and had presented a number of points of argument, said it would hardly be fair to require of Mr. Moone, who was in feeble health, to reply without some interval of further preparation; and he therefore moved that the House do now adjourn. The motion prevailing, The House thereupon adjourned.
- SATURDAY, MAY 31.
NEW YORK AND NEW J ERSEY BOUNDARY LINE.
Mr. BELL, from the Committee on the Judiciary, reported a bill, giving the assent of Congress to a treaty or compact entered into between the State of New York and the State of New Jersey, respecting the territorial limits and jurisdiction of said States; which was read twice and committed. After which, he said, as it was of importance to those States to have it passed as soon as possible, he hoped there would not be any objections to its being now read, that it might be ordered to be engrossed for its third reading.
The bill having been read—
Mr. J. Q. ADAMS remarked that, as this bill involved some questions of importance to the rights of the United States, he should wish there was some time allowed to examine it. He presumed it had been duly considered by the Committee on the Judiciary, but he desired to state, that the particular ground to which he had reference, for desiring an opportunity to examine the bill, was, whether there were not some rights, pertaining to the United States, concerned in the treaty and convention entered into between these respective States, and whether those rights were duly guarded by the present bill. He rose to ask of the honorable chairman whether, when this bill and convention were under the consideration of the committee, there had been any reference to the right of jurisdiction of the United States over this very boundary. He understood the bill was framed in pursuance of an agreement about the jurisdiction that should be possessed by them. In the treaty or compact which had just been read, the exclusive jurisdiction of New York and of New Jersey was spoken of, with frequent repetition, but without any reservation of the rights of the United States, who, he believed, had the most important jurisdiction over the waters in question. He had no intention to interpose any obstacle to the consummation of this agreement between the two States. On the contrary, he rejoiced to find that this long-standing controversy between them had at length been adjusted to their mutual satisfaction, but this was a subject in which the whole
Mar 31, 1834.]
Union had a deep interest, and rights not to be neglected
substance, but a repetition of what has been better said
agreement did not, and could not, conflict with any rights and the intimation has been broadly, if not directly, given possessed by the General Government. The obvious by a gentleman from Kentucky, [Mr. MARsh Ali.,] that I meaning of it, he said, was only to give to each State am attempting to violate it by the ground assumed by me, power to exercise jurisdiction, subject, of course, to that and sustained by a majority of the committee, in relation rightfully pertaining to the United States. The commis this contest. This imputation I repel. The people of sioners appointed by the States to settle this vexed busi. Kentucky, who know us both, and the parts we have re: ness, with perfect unanimity had made the compromise, spectively acted, will not believe that I am less devoted and with which, the respective Legislature of the States to free suffrage than the gentleman. I am too much one being satisfied, the assent of Congress was now all that of the people myself, to wish them deprived of any of was wanting to dispose of the controversy. As the agree- their rights, or in the least degree restricted in their exment was one made between the parties, on a matter be-jercise, beyond what is absolutely necessary to guard its
longing solely to themselves, he hoped no objections
KENTUCKY ELECTION. The consideration of the report and counter-report from the Committee on the Kentucky Election having been resumed— Mr. MOORE rose and addressed the Chair as follows: Mr. Speaker: It was not my intention to have troubled your honorable body with any further remarks upon the subject under discussion, either orally or in writing; nor should I have deviated from my determination from any consideration merely personal. But, after permission given by the House, and the address made by my competstor, I might seem to be wanting in a proper respect for them, and for him, if not in duty to the people of the fifth congressional district of Kentucky, who have honored me with their support, were I to be silent. It would be extreme vanity in me to expect to throw any new light upon the subject, which has been investigated by the committee with so much industry and patience, and has been discussed in this House with so much learning, eloquence, and talent. The principles on which I rely have been so clearly elucidated, and the facts so plainlf set forth, that any thing I may say must necessarily be, in
purity and make it efficient. I owe all that I am, or ever
Bailey, John Campbell, James Clark of Kentucky, Rich-