ePub 版

H. OF R.]


[APRIL 2, 3, 1830

Upon any other, the Government may reel on its feeble "that the power of the crown had increased, was increasexistence for a few years, and finally be dissolved by its ing, and ought to be diminished," applied to this Governown weakness. We have heard allusions made, in the ment. This may be true, sir, but there is no evidence of course of this debate, to those persons who desire a great it. To ascertain if there is a probable foundation for the and splendid Government. If by a splendid Government remark, let us look at the occurrences of the last few gentlemen mean a Government which carries its blessings years. We have seen an administration hurled from its into the remotest corners of its dominions, which peoples seat by a spontaneous burst of the popular voice; not beits forests with a living and industrious multitude, which cause the constitution had been violated, not because the is hailed with gratitude and joy in the remotest log house liberty of any one had been assailed, but from a bare susbeyond the mountains, I am, sir, for a splendid Govern-picion that unfairness had been used in preventing the ment. I would rejoice to see the day when the name of will of the majority. And although, now, no honorable an American citizen, like that of the ancient Roman, would man believes there was any corruption in the choice, though be a protection on every sea, and a terror to tyrants on the charge has been consigned to the "kennel of forgotevery land. But if nothing more is meant than a continual ten calumnies," the bare existence of this circumstance is playing with the passions and prejudices of the people, for proof of the uncontrolled and uncontrollable power of the the offices of the Government, the less we have of such people in the administration of this Government. Does splendor the better. To be happy and free, we must be not this House daily exhibit that they are tremblingly alive great. By greatness I do not mean the voluptuous splen- to the opinion of their constituents? That the slightest dor of an eastern monarch, a mere sensual enjoyment, the murmur of disapprobation at home sounds like thunder in indolence of one, maintained by the sacrifice of millions; their ears? How, then, can we imagine the power of the I mean that greatness which demands and obtains the re- Government is increasing? Are we prepared to adopt the spect of the world; which insures to the poorest citizen nullifying notions that seem to have struck so forci of the community personal security, the means of obtain- bly the imaginations of some of our politicians? I hope ing plenty, and a fair field for the exercise of all the ener- not; I do not despair of the republic, but have great congies of his nature. The most melancholy forebodings have fidence in the permanence of our institutions. And, albeen indulged in, should we continue to progress with this though I differ widely with many of the opponents of this system of opening roads, making canals, and deepening bill, I cannot vote for it. I do not think the expediency or harbors. The fate of Rome has been brought before us necessity of a road from Buffalo to New Orleans has been and painted in vivid colors; her passion for splendor has shown to the House. I have no doubt that the General been assigned as the legitimate cause of her degradation Government has the power to execute the work; but I canand misery. Rome was a nation of warriors; her splendid not consent to expend so large a sum of money as this road ways were constructed to transport her conquering legions will require, for an object the utilty of which is so doubtto enslave nations; she lived by the plunder of the world; ful. I will not repeat the arguments which have just fallen despising commerce and the pursuits of civil life, she had no occupation but that of war. The comparison, therefore is not sustained; our roads are intended to draw closer the bond of union; to drive, by a nearer and more familiar intercourse, barbarism and hostile feelings from among us; to unite us, by the closest of all ties, the tie of interest. But, sir, should this devout end not be obtained, should the sun of our horizon run his ecliptic course through as brilliant a galaxy as that of ancient Rome, and finally set in as mild a splendor as that of modern Italy, the land of science and of glory, this would be better, far better, than twenty-four petty; jarring, independent tribes, the natural and inevitable result of the opposite doctrine. In the one case, we may leave something for the study and admiration of mankind; in the other, a great deal for their scorn and contempt. Equally unfortunate, in my estimation, was the allusion made to the present condition of England. Her immense debt, which weighs so heavily upon the industry of her people, was not incurred by making roads or cutting canals, but in unnecessary wars; so far from it, that the very existence of that country is now to be attributed to its high state of improvement, to the facility of intercourse through every section, by means of which the industry of every part of the population is wafted to every quarter of the world. By means of the twenty-five or thirty canals uniting the eastern with the western section of England, the spirit and intelligence of the capital is conveyed in a fruitful stream throughout the kingdom. We have seen England, with a population of ten or fifteen millions, maintaining a firm and invincible front against hostile Europe. We have seen her warring in every hemisphere, the last refuge and only hope of free principles in the old world!

To what are we to attribute this indomitable spirit? And whence did she draw the treasure to sustain this protracted struggle? Her people, on beholding the land of their birth rendered a garden, and endeared by their industry, would have died sooner than have permitted the spoiler to have entered their territory. In the course of this debate, we have heard the remark of a celebrated British orator,

from the honorable gentleman from New York; to my mind they are perfectly satisfactory of the inexpediency of this measure.

Mr. RAMSEY, of Pennsylvania, spoke in explanation of his former remarks, referred to by some gentlemen. Mr. CARSON replied to some of the remarks of his colleague, Mr. SHEPARD.

Mr.WICKLIFFE moved that the committee rise, and report the bill, with the view of refusing leave to sit again, and discussing the amendment in the House; but,

The CHAIR pronounced the motion out of order.
Mr. STORRS replied to some remarks of Mr. RAM-
SEY, in reference to his course on this bill; and,

After some further explanation between Mr. SHE-

The committee rose, on motion of Mr. ARCHER.

FRIDAY, APRIL 2, 1830.

The House resumed the consideration of the resolution, proposing to set apart every other Thursday for such legislation as may be necessary for the District of Columbia.

After a good deal of debate, on the part of Messrs. SPEIGHT and P. P. BARBOUR, against the resolution, and Messrs. MALLARY, DAVIS, and INGERSOLL, in its favor, and an ineffectual attempt of Mr. BARBOUR to lay it on the table, the resolution was adopted—yeas, 86, nays, 75-so modified as to commence next Thursday.


The House took up the following resolution, reported by Mr. BATES, from the Committee on Military Pensions, "Resolved, That the Committee on Military Pensions be instructed, agreeably to the President's recommendation in his message of sixth of December last, to revise the pension law, for the purpose of extending its benefits to every soldier who aided in establishing our liberties, and who is unable to maintain himself in comfort, and to report to the House a bill for that purpose. And, also, that said

[blocks in formation]

committee be further instructed, agreeably to said recommendation, to report a bill for the relief of all those who were, during the last war, disabled from supporting them selves by manual labor."

[H. OF R.

[selves by manual labor?" Those who were disabled by known wounds are now provided for, leaving only those for the resolution to act upon who were disabled by other means, such as hardships, exposures, &c. &c.

Thus far for the import of the resolution. As to its bearing upon the treasury, if it should be consummated into a law, the committee, aware that they would be called upon to state the number of soldiers it would embrace, addressed through the House a resolution to the head of the department who has the administration of this subject, and all the means of information in relation to it, accessible or known to the committee, which he asked the Clerk to read, with the Secretary's answer to it.

[ocr errors]

Mr. BATES said, the applications for pensions are numerous, which do not come within the range of the provisions of the pension laws, and for which provision ought to be made, if made at all, by a general law, and not by special acts. In order to take the judgment of the House upon the propriety of passing such general law, the committee thought it best to present the question in the form of a resolution, that it might be stript of the embarrassments and refuges which the details of a bill create; and he supposed it would be expected of him in a few words to call 'Mr. BATES, from the Committee on Military Pensions, the attention of the House to its import and general bearing. reported the following resolution, which was adopted: The resolution [he said] embodies precisely the recom Resolved, That the Secretary of War be directed to mendation of the President in his message at the opening report to this House the probable number of surviving reof the present session of Congress, no more, no less. It volutionary officers and soldiers (not provided for by the involves two propositions, the one relating to the soldiers existing pension law) who aided in establishing the liberof the revolution, the other to the invalids of the last war.ties of the United States, and who are unable to maintain The first proposition is to extend the benefits of the exist- themselves in comfort; designating, as nearly as may be, ing law to "every soldier of the revolution who aided in such as belonged to the continental establishment, and such achieving our liberties, and who is unable to maintain him- as were regular troops of the line of the army, but not of self in comfort." To extend the existing pension law the continental establishment, and known as State troops; the act of 1828, so far as it relates to the officers, was found-as, also, such as belonged to the militia of the States, seed on compact; and, so far as respects the soldiers, it gives verally, whether as volunteers or otherwise, and what adpensions only to those who served to the close of the war, ditional appropriations will be necessary to meet the views &c., without any reference to their ability or inability to of the President in this respect, as disclosed in his message support themselves; and has, therefore, no application to at the opening of the present session of Congress; and, the subject in hand. The law of 1818 gives a pension to further, to report the probable number of those who were, those of the continental establishment, who, at one period during the late war, disabled from supporting themselves of the war, or, in the language of the act, "at any period by manual labor, and who are not provided for by existing of the war, served for the term of nine months or longer," law. and who were in such circumstances as to need, &c. WAR DEPARTMEMT, 19th January, 1830. der the construction which has been given to this act, those The resolution of the House of Representatives, of the whose enlistment was for a shorter term than nine months, 14th January instant, relative to the number of surviving whatever might have been their term of service, are ex-revolutionary officers, &c. cannot be fully and satisfactoricluded, and those, also, who enlisted for nine months, ly answered by any information on file in this department. and by captivity were prevented from serving in the army. The enclosed communication from the principal clerk of For these two classes provision has been made by the bill the Pension Bureau, is a reply, to the extent that the that has gone to the Senate; and which, by great grace and records of the War Department will permit. favor, has reached the honor of a second reading, upon a Very respectfully, call of yeas and nays, by a vote of nineteen to seventeen. Mr. B. said he congratulated the House upon this occasion. It might grow to be of some importance in this Government, for the bill of the last Congress did not arrive even to that honor. Do what you will to these old soldiers, but hear them. And if they are not to be heard, let this House be heard in their behalf, at least with the usual forms of SIR: In relation to the resolution of the House of Rerespect and attention. The resolution, therefore, only presentatives. of the 14th instant, respecting the surviving covers, beyond the cases of those who, under different en-officers and soldiers of the revolutionary war, I have to inlistments, served nine months, or, under one or more enlistments, a shorter term than nine months.


There was another class of troops, now known as State troops, eleven regiments, or rather battalions, for they consisted of but five hundred men each, who are also provided for by the bill now in the Senate, leaving those only to be embraced by the resolution, who served for a shorter time than nine months, or nine months at different times. The third class consists of the militia and volunteers, who, at all times, were useful, and, on many occasions, saw very hard service.

The proposition, then, is to give relief to all the soldiers of the revolution, whether continental, State, militia, or volunteer, who are unable to maintain themselves in comfort, as a national memorial, and testimonial of our gratitude and justice, of their merit and worth, and of the glorious results of their services—a full pension to those who served nine months, and a pro rata pension to those who served less. This, however, to be fixed in the details of the bill as may be thought proper.

The second proposition is to give a pension to those “ who were during the last war disabled from supporting them-1



Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Pension Office, January 15, 1830.

form you that the archives of this department furnish no data upon which an estimate could be made, as to the probable number of those who belonged to the State regiments, volunteers, and militia, during the revolutionary war. Of such troops we have no rolls, except the three State regiments of Virginia. Of the number of Virginia State troops, now living, I can form nothing like an accurate calculation: possibly a hundred may still survive, and perhaps three-fourths of them might ask for assistance, if a law should pass embracing their cases. If all who served on the continental establishment are comprehended in the resolution, it would embrace men who served for six and eight months. What portion of these are now alive, and in needy circumstances, I am unable to determine, but four hundred would, I think, be a large estimate.

I have no means of ascertaining what number of persons were disabled during the last war, who are incapable of maintaining themselves by manual labor, and who are not provided for by law.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient
Hon. JOHN H. EATON, Secretary of War."

H. or R.]

Judge Peck.

[APRIL 5, 1830.

[Here the hour elapsed for the consideration of résolutions.]

MONDAY, APRIL 5, 1830.

Mr. B. said he called for the reading of these papers at least the quiet of despair. I say again, that I congrarather for the purpose of showing what is not attainable tulate them that the President has interposed in their bethan what is obtained. In as much as this measure was half. It is proof that he knows what is due to them, recommended by the President the committee thought it and what is due to ourselves, to our own character and due to him to call upon the appropriate department of his honor; and I call upon the House to sanction the measure cabinet for such facts and information as might be useful he has recommended. in justifying and sustaining it. But, from the condition of the records of the army, and the nature of the case, it is impossible to form a satisfactory opinion upon the subject. He would not, therefore, venture to give one. The fact can only be ascertained now, as it was in 1818 and 1828, by experiment. Of one fact, however, and the only one material, we are assured, and that is the ability of the treasury to meet the demand which the resolution may create upon it. The House ought not to forget that time has thinned the ranks of these men, and abridged the life of all of them by twelve years since the act of 1818. The amount of the immediate demand will be much less than is expected, he thought, and it will be a gradually and rapidly decreasing demand. These men will soon cease to trouble you. The last of them will soon be gone. The measure must, therefore, rest, for its basis, upon the re commendation of the President, who doubtless considered it well before he recommended it to Congress, and upon the great and obvious and universally admitted justice and propriety of the measure.


The SPEAKER presented a memorial of James H. Peck, Judge of the United States' district court for the district of Missouri, in relation to the report of the Committee on the Judiciary, made to the House on the 23d ultimo, on the memorial of Luke E. Lawless, in which report it is proposed that he (the said judge) be impeached for high misdemeanors in office, praying the House to receive from him a written exposition of the whole case, embracing both the facts and the law, and that he may have process to call his witnesses from the State of Missouri, in support of his statement, before any discussion or vote oe taken on the evidence as it is now presented with the report of the committee-or, if that cannot be granted, he prays the House "to vote the impeachment at once, without any discussion on that partial evidence which presents a garbled view of the subject, greatly to the prejudice of the memorialist, and that he may have as speedy an opportunity as the nature of the case will allow, to exhibit before the tribunal of the Senate, and before his country, the entire transaction in all its parts, as it really occurred."

The report having been read by the Clerk,

Mr. STORRS, of New York, moved to commit it to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, to which is committed the report of the Judiciary Committee relative to Judge Peck.

On this motion a debate ensued, which continued till between two and three o'clock, embracing in its range the propriety of granting the prayer of the petitioner, the propriety of the course pursued by the committee in their investigation of the subject, the history of other cases of impeachment in our country and in Great Britain, and, somewhat, the merits of the present case. Messrs. STORRS, of New York, CLAY, BUCHANAN, INGERSOLL, SUTHERLAND, WICKLIFFE, PETTIS, BELL, SPENCER, of New York, EVERETT, STRONG, COULTER, and CRAIG, of Virginia, took part in the debate, which was at length terminated, by a successful motion of Mr. DAVIS, of South Carolina, to lay the memorial on the table, and print it.

He congratulated the soldiers of the revolution that the President had pledged the authority of his name, and staked to the nation his influence with Congress in their behalf. It was an act worthy of a President of the United States. It ought never to be heard in a country like ours, that these men are left to suffer from want, or even to feel that they have been rigorously and harshly dealt by, and he hoped to hear no more of paying the national debt until this, the most ancient, just, and sacred, is first met and cancelled. Sir, [said he] there never was a race of men so trifled with as these men have been, whose feelings and honor were held in such cheap account. In 1818, you gave them a pension. In 1820, as soon as they adjusted themselves to their new condition of comfort, you took it away. By the same act, and that of 1823, you readmitted a portion of them to the pension roll, but upon this condition-a sworn confession of absolute pauperism, nay, you required proof of it upon inspection and valuation. You searched their tents as if they had been felons, not to ascertain where they get their plunder, but what they had, and what they had done with what they had You made him account for the twin lambs he had given his children for the rearing, and for the cradle his wife had given to his daughter upon her marriage. You charged him with the money he had paid for services filial piety had rendered, unless he could show an antecedent contract which no parent ordinarily would have thought of proposing, and no son, unless a bastard or an outcast, of Mr. CLAY said, that when he withdrew his motion to making. In 1828-29, no sooner had a new rule been lay this memorial on the table, and, print it, he had had no adopted more just, more liberal, and in my view more idea that such a discussion would have taken place as bad conformable to the act of 1818 than the old one was, and since arisen. Nor could he perceive the propriety of the the hopes of these men, which had become dead, been re- debate under such a motion as had been made by the vived, and their crutches put in motion-for they had no gentleman from New York [Mr. STORRS] to refer it to the time to lose-no sooner had they set out upon their pil- Committee of the Whole on the State of the Union. He grimage to the court-houses, to get their papers, than the had greatly misunderstood the memorial of Judge Peck, rule was reversed-the Government had changed its mind if it reflected in the slightest degree on the Judiciary -"as you were," was the order from the War Depart- Committee; and he was persuaded that those gentlemen ment. Of course, all their expense and trouble were in- who had represented that paper as so doing, had entirely curred for nothing. I repeat, sir, there never were men misunderstood its tenor and purpose. All that the Judge so trifled with. Age, infirmity, poverty, and suffering had done in his petition was, to present a simple statement have been sported with, not by the boys of Bethel, but of facts, and to ask that he might be heard before he was by Congress. Here, sir-less here than elsewhere. Fair impeached. He had uttered no reflection whatever, either speeches will answer no longer. They have answered on the Judiciary Committee or its chairman; and why it long enough. Let the question be settled, once and for- had roused so much feeling in the House, he was utterly at ever. Let the claims of these men be admitted and satis a loss to understand. He might be mistaken, but to him it fied, or rejected; for, in reference to this subject, hope seemed that the whole discussion was out of order. The given up is preferable to hope deferred. Let them have question at this time was not whether the Judge should be

[The following are the only speeches the publishers have been able to obtain:]

APRIL 5, 1830.].

Judge Peck.

[H. OF R.

Judge Peck, in that memorial, suggests that the Committee on the Judiciary sent for such witnesses only as had been selected by Mr. Lawless. That is far from being the fact. The committee acted upon higher principles. They were sensible of the high responsibility which they owed, both to this House and to the country, for the correctness of their proceedings; and had, therefore, inquired and ascertained, from the best sources in their power, the names of such witnesses as would be most likely to give an impartial and intelligent statement of the transaction.. They had sent for and examined seven witnesses; and he owed it to them to say, that, although he had long been in the habit of examining witnesses in courts of justice, he had never observed, on any occasion, more candor or more impartiality than these seven gentlemen had exhibited upon their examination before the committee.

heard at the bar of the House, or whether additional testimony should be received. Neither of these questions was at all involved in a motion to refer the memorial to the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union; yet the whole discussion seemed to have gone on the supposition that such was the question, and gentlemen had argued it on the ground of precedent. As to precedents, there was no uniformity in them on this subject. One high case had been referred to, that of Warren Hastings, and also that of Judge Chase. But the practice in the several States differed from that which had been pursued by the General Government. In his own State, (and he hoped he should not be considered as presumptuous in referring to the practice of a State which had so recently been admitted to the Union,) the course pursued in cases of impeachment was different: and he thought there were many inducements for the House to pursue the practice there adopted. He could It is true, as the memorial suggests, that, in the case of not unite in the opinion that the House should proceed Warren Hastings, the House of Commons did hear the precisely as did a grand jury in ordinary cases of indict-accused, and did permit him to produce testimony, before ment. The present case was totally different. A great they voted an impeachment against him. But this was officer had been accused of a great offence. Did gen- only a single instance. That course might have been adtlenien suppose, could they think, that, when a high offi- opted, because Mr. Burke, merely as an individual memcer of the government was accused by a private individual, ber of the House, had risen in his place, and moved the he must, on the mere ex parte testimony of that accuser, impeachment. Whether he was correct in this conjecture be at once impeached? Mr. C. said he should hesitate or not, it was certain there had been no case of an impeachmuch, before he could subscribe to such an opinion. He ment by this House, in which so much indulgence was grantthought the House ought to proceed with very great cau-ed, as had been allowed to the accused upon the present tion. Merely to accuse, was not all that was necessary occasion. He was permitted to furnish the committee with in order to have a judge impeached. Some gentlemen a written explanation of his conduct, and his request that seemed to conceive that the memorial of this petitioner he might cross-examine the witnesses was promptly grantasked that witnesses might be examined at the bar of that ed. The House will decide, when they come to review House; but it made no such request directly. It only the testimony, whether he was improperly restricted in asked this as one alternative-that his witnesses might be this cross-examination, or whether it has not been full and heard here, if not elsewhere. Mr. C. inquired why it ample. He would say, that, in his opinion, this crosswould not be proper to appoint commissioners to take examination had rather injured than benefited the Judge. testimony in Missouri or elsewhere. Where would be the Mr. B. said, that, for his own part, he had never coninconvenience of such a course! Where would be the im- sidered the parol testimony in this case of much importpropriety of issuing commissions to individuals of respect-ance. The opinion of the court, the commentary of Mr., ability, to take testimony on the spot where the offence Lawless upon it, which was the alleged contempt, and had occurred? This could be done, although that House the record of the court imprisoning and suspending him was not the tribunal before which the accused was to be tried. It had very truly been stated, that the ground of this impeachment had occurred some four or five years before. The case had at that time been referred to the Judiciary Committee of the House, who, after looking at it, requested to be discharged from its further consideration. The same extraordinary prosecution had been attempted the second time, but with no better success. And was it not natural for the accused, when a grand jury had thus twice made a return of ignoramus, to suppose that he was exempt from any further molestation on the same ground? Surely it was; and Judge Peck had concluded, when, in a second instance, a competent committee of that House had had his case before them, and made no report upon it, that he was exempt from further trouble. While these facts were not denied, and gentlemen looked at the length of time which had since elapsed, they must allow that it behoved them, as candid and honorable mep, to act in the case with caution and deliberation. Were gentlemen prepared to decide on the proposition of the Judge, without fully consulting the precedents. It had been to allow time for such an examination, that he had made the motion to lay the memorial on the table, and print it; and he must be permitted to say, that a discussion like the present would, in his judgment, have been more proper after such a delay, than it was at present.

He now renewed the motion, but once more withdrew it at the request of Mr. STORRS.

Mr. BUCHANAN said, that, whilst he was influenced by no personal feeling in this case, he thought it was his duty to make one or two explanations in relation to some matters contained in the memorial which had just been


VOL. VI.-93.

from practice, were all in writing, and were the facts on which the committee mainly relied in forming their opinion. In that opinion they were unanimous. They felt deep regret, when they found themselves obliged to come to the conclusion which they had done; and it was with great reluctance they had recommended an impeachment to the House. In making their report, they had purposely expressed a mere naked opinion only, unaccompanied by any argument in its support. They did not wish to bias the decision of the House by any commentary of theirs upon the testimony. All they desired was, that each member should read the testimony for himself, and draw his own conclusions from it.

Mr. INGERSOLL said, there might perhaps be some difficulty in arriving at the correct practice to be pursued in this case; and as possibly the practice hitherto had not been uniform, it was the more important that the House should start right. He confessed that this was, in a great measure, a new case to him. The only one that he had ever before witnessed was that in which charges, through a newspaper of this district, had been brought against the Vice President about three years ago. That officer had presented these charges to the House, as the grand inquest of the natiou, and requested an inquiry. A committee had been appointed to investigate them; and, before that committee, a friend of the Vice President had been permitted to appear, and represent him throughout the whole investigation. Witnesses, also, had been examined on the part of the accused. How it had been in the case of Judge Chase, or of Judge Pickering, from New Hamp shire, he did not recollect; but he well recollected that witnesses, in favor of the Vice President, had been examined, as well as against him, and that his representative had

H. OF R.]

Judge Peck.

[APRIL 5, 1830.

been allowed to be present before the committee through | prepared to act in the case until these principles were exevery stage of that examination. The committee at that amined and known. Were there any gentlemen present time took some pains to ascertain what was the proper who had fully examined the law bearing on this case? He mode of proceeding, and they became satisfied that the presumed not. We were then called upon to act in the party accused had, in these preliminary proceedings, a dark, upon faith. He had not himself had time to examine right to be thus heard. The constitution providing for the principles involved, nor had he made up any definitive the impeachment of all civil officers, makes no difference judgment on the case. He thought the Judge ought to be between judicial and other officers. Nor can it make any permitted to show whatever bore on his side of the quesdifference whether the matter is brought before us by the tion, and the committee should then exhibit whatever had individual who feels himself injured by an unjust charge, an opposite bearing. This might be done should the House or whether it comes on the petition of a citizen, or by the refuse to hear his witnesses. He was of the opinion that message of the Executive, or by a member rising in his his witnesses should be examined by the committee. seat, as was done in the case of Warren Hastings. The Mr. P. said, this was not the ordinary trial of a criminal rules which must govern the inquiry must be uniform, be before a court of law, but was a proceeding of a much the officer who he may, and no matter in what form the higher character. Why is it that a defendant's witnesses subject is first brought to our notice. Mr. I. said, he would are not permitted to be examined before a grand jury? It not, in this early stage of the business, commit himself to is because criminals shall not know what is doing against any course, till he could look further into parliamentary them, and then make their escape. But even in criminal proceedings in similar cases; he rose principally to correct cases counter testimony is frequently allowed. what had been said by the gentleman from New York, who, he thought, went too far in saying that there had been no instance in which the party accused was permitted to examine his witnesses in the preliminary proceed ings in this House.

If the House should bear what the Judge had to exhibit in his defence, we should be prepared to act intelligibly. The gentleman from New York [Mr. STORRS] had opposed this, on the ground that it would be worse for the Judge; that if this examination was had, and an impeachment preMr. PETTIS said: Standing indifferently, as he pro-ferred, the Senate would be bound, by the force of public tested he did, between the accuser and the accused in this opinion, to convict. That gentleman would surely let the case, he hoped he might be permitted to make some re-party judge for himself. If he judged wrong, he must abide marks on this subject.

The House of Representatives had now to perform a very important duty-important, as had been observed, not only to the judge who had been accused, but to the country. The practice in cases of impeachments, so far as regards the proceedings in this House, was now to be settled; for it was obvious that it had not yet been settled by precedent. Gentlemen had, indeed, spoken of the case of Judge Chase; but that case had no application to the present one as it now stands. Judge Chase did not ask to make his defence before this House, nor did he ask either to cross-examine witnesses on the part of the Government, or to have an examination of his own witnesses. As the present question was not then raised, that case can form no precedent to govern in this instance.

the consequences. It appeared to him a very strange doctrine, that, after a full examination here, and an impeachment found, the Senate would be bound to convict. In the case of the Vice President, and in the case of Mr. Crawford, witnesses were examined on both sides. Both these gentlemen were charged with high misdemeanors, and the charges had been preferred in times of great political excitement. The request of the Judge is supported by the whole train of English decisions in cases of a like kind; and he hoped that the indulgence would be granted him.

Mr. STRONG said, that from the little examination he had been able to give to this subject, he had come to the conclusion that the present proceedings should be strictly ex parte, rigidly so. It had been said by the gentleman Mr. P. regretted the course pursued by the gentlemen from Massachusetts, [Mr. EVERETT] that the committee of the Judiciary Committee, especially that of its honor- had departed somewhat from this line. It was true that able chairman, [Mr. BUCHANAN.] That gentleman had they had deviated from it in a slight degree, but the derepeatedly told the House that he had no feeling towards parture was not such as to warrant the House in taking the the accused. Mr. P. said he hoped his remarks would not other step which was now requested. There was a very show a freedom from feeling in the way that those of that material difference between hearing the party accused and gentleman had done. The honorable chairman had, in a hearing his witnesses. The members of the House were very unnecessary, and he would say, improper manner, not judges to try or to condemn the accused, It was true entered into the merits of the case. He had told the House that the matters in this testimony might not be such as that in order to save the Judge, his request should be to mix themselves up with party politics; but suppose refused him; and he had said that the Judge had made his that it were proposed to impeach a political man of high case worse instead of better by his cross-examination of standing, and that the witnesses were brought to the bar of the witnesses. The gentleman from New York [Mr. the House, he put it to every man to say whether the safeSTORES] had taken the same view; both intimating that ty of the country did not require that, in such cases, politics they were desirous to save the Judge from himself. What was it the Judge asked in his memorial? First, that he might be permitted to defend himself before this House, and then that his witnesses might be examined at our bar; but, if this be not granted, that his case might be sent back to the committee, and that there he might present his defence, and there have his witnesses examined. Mr. P. said he considered the request of the memorial perfectly fair and proper; and if the motion to lay it on the table and print it should prevail, he should then move a series of resolutions, presenting in a distinct manner the several requests of the memorialists that the House might act expressly upon them. As to the first, it was certainly important that the House should know the principles on which the case rested. The Judiciary Committee had, it was true, made a report; but they had not laid down one of those principles in it. Now, he put it to gentlemen, whether they were

should be thoroughly excluded from that tribunal. And how could this be done, but by keeping the proceedings strictly ex parte? Complaints had been made that the committee had not reported articles of impeachment; the case had been referred to them for no such purpose; their duty had been simply to ascertain facts. The House did not want even their opinions; it wanted the facts only, and on one side. What the House had to decide, was whether the testimony did, or did not contain matter to warrant an impeachment. If it did, then the House would say the party should be impeached, and the next step would be to appoint a committee to frame the articles. These would be reported to the House, and, if they were agreed upon, then managers would be appointed to conduct the trial before the Senate. It struck him that the safest course would be to keep the proceedings as near ex varte as possible. Let the report and the memorial go to

« 上一頁繼續 »