ePub 版





1 be

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


Oct. 2, 1837.)


Adjournment of Congress.

(H. OF R.

relief: not merely to pass a law or two to relieve the Treas-been adopted in the House in regard to the resolution of ury by raising money from the people, and then go home. inquiry into the causes of delay in prosecuting and termiThe idea, he said, appeared to be very general that there nating the Florida war, and which (said Mr. A.) seems to must be a recess. But he could not see the necessity or have been sent to "the paradise of fools,”—when he was adequate reason of adjourning. But if it were settled that interrupted by Mr. CAMBRELENG, who called him to order. this is to be so short a session, and that measures so import- The SPEAKER said that Mr. A. should confine himant are to take their final decision, at any rate, before it self to the question immediately before the House, instead closes, why then, Mr. A. obsersed, it were better the ses- of referring to so many distinct subjects. sion were shortened as much as possible. It were better, Mr. ADAMS said he would endeavor to hedge himself in fact, to adjourn at once-to-morrow. We have done within limits as closely as possible; and if he did chance to mischief enough, he remarked, already, for the sake of re- transgress the bounds of debate, even though it be ever so lieving the Treasury. It would not be difficult, however, little, the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, to lay the country under a yet further burden than that al- who knows his absolute power in this House, will, no ready imposed upon it--by the passage, meantime, of the doubt, check him and bring him back. bill which gives Government ten or twelve millions of dol- Mr. A. said he had referred to two or three of the measlars more. It would be easy to do this in one day by the ures before the House for consideration. He would merely aid of the previous question. And then, why not go home? allude to two other great financial measures, which also

Mr. A. remarked that he had heard no arguments for awaited their action: the innumerable sub-treasuries on adjournment which had been based upon considerations of one side, and on the other a return to deposite banks. So public interests, but only on those of mere private accom- much is to be said on both sides, and so much is to be said modation ; just, said he, as we get all the gold and silver, against both sides, of this question, there certainly could while the people get nothing but rags.

not be much time to spare, if they were to be discussed as But there was one other money bill the House might, they should be, prior to the 9th or the 16th inst., unless, to by the aid of the previous question, also get through be sure, the previous question should be invoked to settle within the limits prescribed by the Senate for the duration the matter; and if that is to be used, it may as well be reof the session. Besides the ien or twelve millions of dol- sorted to immediately upon the second reading of the bill lars for the Treasury, there was a bill on the table appro- as at any other time. The chairman of the Committee of priating two or three millions of dollars more “for the Ways and Means holds in his hands the debates of this suppression of Indian hostilities." Being one of that House, and whenever a question has been debated as long highly favored class of appropriation bills which he had as he thinks proper or convenient, all he has to do is to put before designated as "scalping-knife and toipahawk bills," down his fooi, and the gag is at once upon us. Besides, it would be most easy to pass it by the previous question at there would be some reason for the passage of these bills, if, any moment.

being done in a hurry, they will afterwards find the apoloMr. A. gave as a reason why he would not rote for that gy for their passage, which, were they to be adopted after bill, if it should come up, that no such appropriation as it deliberation, they could never obtain. makes was called for by the Executive. It was not mention- It is the opinion of some gentlemen that the sub-Treasued in the message. There had been no intimation from any ry system was not intended to be discussed in that House. quarter, that should be taken as authority by the House in It had been called a bold measure in the President of the matters so important, that $2,000,000 more of the people's United States, who had given up his usual “non-commitmoney was wanted in addition to the large sums already tal” policy in recommending it. Perhaps, said Mr. A., appropriated for the same object. But, said Mr. A., it it was the more “bold” from this very consideration, that seems to be the object of this session of Congress, rejecting it was not to be discussed, and was not intended to be passall consideration of the claims and memorials of the people, ed. On this he would give no opinion; he would leave to do only what in England is significantly denominated the solution of the problem to “ that great teacher, Time." “ the King's business," and then to go home as fast as pos. At all events, it could not, if it was intended, be discussed sible!

and passed in so short a space as was proposed. It was a The SPEAKER here, suggested that the bill making ap- great measure of revenue, calling much profound finance, propriations for the suppression of Indian hostilities was not much deep philosophy, and, more than all to be considered then before the House,

here, much warm party spirit, into action upon it. It Mr. ADAMS, with great deference to the Speaker, could not so soon be settled, except by the intervention of would suggest that he was in order while giving as a rea- the previous question, and, if that were intended, he would son why Congress should not adjourn next Monday, that say, let us come to the question at once, even this very important bills were yet to be acted on by the House, and day. to strengthen his argument by showing their importance. Besides these most important matters, there was one

The SPEAKER conceded that right, but denied to the other, to which he would briefly allude, but with regard to gentleman the power of going into the merits of those the merits of which Mr. A. said he should express no measures, or either of them, under the rules of the House. opinion then. He had allusion to the Mississippi contest

Mr. ADAMS. Those measures cannot be discussed ed election. Here we have two members, deciding on all without taking more time than will be allowed us if this important questions-for, in these days, said Mr. A., we resolution passes. Nor would it be consistent with the find a majority of two upon important questions in this proper discussion of matters so important to adjourn before House-while a large portion of the House entertain the the cominencement of the ordinary session. And, there opinion that they have no right here at all! Besides, it fore, not, however, hoping that he should be successful in was an important constitutional question, and involving, his appeal, he suggested to gentlemen the expediency of too, a question of deep interest to the State of Mississippi, making the slight sacrifice of their personal conveniences and there certainly was not time to do justice to it, before to the public good. These inconveniences had mostly been the day proposed for adjournment. Mr. A., however, would already incurred; and, let gentlemen say what they will, take the occasion to remark, that, whatever may be the rethe imputation, already alluded to by the gentleman from sult of this question, he was glad those gentlemen (Messrs. Maryland, (Mr. Johnson,) will be in the mouth of every | CLAIBORNE and Gaolson) had been in the House duman, woman, and child in the country,--"you went home ring this session. They had, at all events, the voice of the to get double mileage !".

people of Mississippi in favor of their being here thus long ; Mr. A. was going on to allude to the course which had ' and it is better that they should be here without a perfect VOL. XIV.--73

H. of R.]

Adjournment of Congress.

[Oct. 2, 1837.

[merged small][ocr errors]

title, than that the people of their Siate should be unrepre- thus defined by the chairman will not very soon occur, sented on this foor. The expression of this opinion may be The idea of a metallic currency, as a measure to be carried a political heresy, but such was his view of the constitution. out, was farthest from the thoughts of the administration

Mr. A. concluded by expressing the wish that his dis- party in that House. He concurred with Mr. Adams, sent to the principle of making the present an extra ses- that, if this weru so, Congress had better adjourn at once. sion merely, be entered upon the journal. This, he said, The administration can adjourn us just when they please, had been the main object he had in view, in making the and will do so. For himself, he said he came there to adminremarks he had done to the House.

ister relief to the people ; and, with the gentleman from Mr. PATTON could not vote for the last amendment, Massachusetts, was really to remain there not only till the for it was entirely too early to fix the adjournment of the first Monday in April next, but for twelve months, if negeneral session ; especially as they had lost all the time of cessary. He said that every movement made there convinced the present session in the general public and private busi- him that the administration had no intention of carrying ness of the country, by the adoption of the order to take up out that plan. He hoped that the opposition, conservative and consider nothing but what was contained in, or recom- and all, would unite in remaining there until it was fairly mended by, the President's message. He contended, how- demonstrated that it was the friends of the administration ever, that the time proposed in the amendment of the gen- who adjourned without giving relief to the country. tleman from Georgia was too short for the deliberation of a Many measures, as had truly been said, were here measure of such importance as the one adverted to. The for our discussion and settlement, (continued Mr. Wise ;) Senate, consisting of only fifty members, had been discuss- among them was the plan of some of a national hank; aning this very bill, the sub-Treasury scheme, for about three other, that of the conservatives, of continuing the State weeks, while a single fortnight only was to be allowed for banks as depositories of the public money ; and a third, that the discussion, not only of that measure, but of the resolu- of the sub-Treasury system- a system which was the very tion on the subject of a national bank, the Mississippi elec- embodiment of that recommended in the President's mestion, the State bank project, and all, in a body of nearly sage, and which recommendation every one could now see two hundred members, consisting of the direct representa- was insincere. His friend from South Carolina, [Mr. tives from the people.

Pickexy,) who had come so warmly into the support, in Mr. P. moved to postpone the further consideration of advance, of this notable scheme, will discover his mistake the whole subject till Monday next.

ere long, and will find himself left in the lurch by the preMr. THOMPSON agreed with his colleague [Mr. tended advocates of his favorite measure of divorce. He will PICKENS) as to the importance of the change of policy pro- be left in the lurch. posed. A change from a paper system to a hard money Mr. W. here adverted to the change in the relative posisystem, so fatal and disastrous to the country, he would tion of the two branches of Congress, which had recently not suffer to be made without some deliberation. He wish- been brought about. A large majority in the Senate, and ed to go home and consult with his constituents upon this a majority of two in the House, the latter not even originasubject. We were now in a state of separation from the ting its own revenue bills, while these bills, in both branches, banks; and, therefore, as we were now in the full fruition are precisely the same, prepared, totidem verbis, exactly of its advaniages, he did not see that any thing was to be like each other, and sent on their way through the two lost by the postponement of the divorce bill till the next Houses, pari passu ! session. All that sustained the little confidence that still Mr. CAMBRELENG here remarked that the bills prelingered in the country was the hope that something would sented several points of difference. be dune for its relief. His colleague need not, therefore, Mr. WISE replied that, in effect, they were precisely be afraid that the banks would resume during he recess. identical, and that such changes as haù bsen made in them He feared there was little hope of it.

originated with the Senate. Mr. BUON moved the previous question, which was not Six or seven important bills were on the calendar to be seconded hy a majority of the House: Yeas 72, nay, 102. acted on. None of these were to be taken up before the

Mr. CAMBRELENG moved to suspend the rules so as sub-Treasury bill, it appeared by the order in which they to take the question on each amendment successively. stood there. Mr. W18e said he understood the game to be

The SPEAKER declared such a motion to be out of played. The deposite banks are to be put in the power order.

of the Government. The bills were ingeniously prepared ; Mr. WISE did not believe it was the intention of the the order in which they were arranged was also politic, and administration to take up the sub-Treasury scheme at all. such as was obviously designed to secure the passage of He inquired of the Chairman of the Committee of Ways each, and the entire omission or defeat of the sub-Treasury and Means, and begged he would answer hiin candidly and bill. Then, what is to be hereafter said to the country in fairly, if such was their intention, whether the day of ad. excuse for doing nothing for the relief of the people--the journment was fixed at the 9th or the 16th instant ? grand object of assembling here at this time? Why, so the

Mr. CAMBRELENG would answer the gentleman. House refused to pass the great measure of the sessionHe could assure him that he would take the earliest op- the system of divorcing banks from State, and hence the portunity to call up what the gentleman was disposed to failure to produce relief.” Again would be say to his call the sub-Treasury bill; and, so far from fearing to friends who had committed themselves in favor of this promeet that question, I apprehend (said Mr. C.) that gen- ject, that they had better taken bond and security of the tlemen will find no flinching here upon that subject; and projectors to carry it out, before they gave in their adhewe will see whether the gentleman from Massachusetts, sion to its support. The President had made, wliat had according to a celebrated letter, will “toe the mark.” Let been claimed for him--a bold committal, but it was without us see what the gentleman will do. Let us have no non- the slighest idea that the measure he recominended would committalism.

ever be adopted, even by his own friends. He was glad In conclusion, he assured the gentleman, that whether that the President had done this, and that, like Samson of they sat there for one week or two weeks, or even for six old, he had become shorn of his strength by this the first months, he should take the earliest opportunity of bringing act of committal in all his life. His administration had acthat measure forward, after having disposed of the different tually died before it had fairly commenced. measures of relief proposed for the country.

Mr. Wiss hoped the House would vote to stay where Mr. WISE. Just the answer I expected, Mr. Speaker. they were, and hold the administration to their own plans, I feel now, more than ever, assured that the “ opportunity” and see whether this proposition be not a gull-a snarea

Oct. 2, 1837.)

Adjournment of Congress.

[H. of R.

trap. He hoped that all true conservatives, and all in op- cey, Turney, Vail, Webster, Weeks, Albert S. White, position, will not consent to adjourn till all that has been Thomas T. Whittlesey, Wise-115. proposed by the adipinistration to be done has had a fair Nays-Messrs. Adams, J. W. Allen, Aycrigg, Beirne, chance of being tried. Let us act, and let us talk, too. Bond, Boon, Borden, Briggs, Buchanan, William B. CalEnough has not been said in elucidation of the true position houn, J. Calhoon, William B. Campbell, Casey, Chamof our affairs.

We have yet to travel a long road before bers, Chapman, Childs, Corwin, Craig, Cranston, Curtis, adjournment should be thought of.

Darlington, Dawson, Davies, Deberry, Dennis, Dunn, ElMr. GLASCOCK contended that the bills proposed to more, Evans, Everett, Fairfield, R. Fletcher, Fillmore, be passed at this session did propose to afford substantial Rice Garland, Glascock, Goode, William Graham, Haley, relief to the country. He alluded to the symptoins now Hall, Halsted, Hammond, Hastings, Hawkins, Henry, becoming more and more apparent, of growing prosperity Ingham, Jenifer, Henry Johnson, Kilgore, Klingensmith, in the country, and to the ineasures now before Congress Lincoln, Logan, Andrew W. Loomis, Lyon, Marvin, S. for the ainelioration of public affairs. In doing this, he made Mason, Martin, May, Maxwell, A. McClellan, McKennan, some allusion to the vole of Mr. Wise, in 1834, in favor of Milligan, Mathias. Morris, Calvary Morris, Murray, Nayintroducing a bill establishing substantially the same sub- lor, Noyes, Patterson, Pearce, Peck, Phillips, Plumer, Treasury system which he now deprecates.

Potter, Rariden, Randolph, Reed, Reily, Rencher, RichardMr. WISE explained. He had voted for the introduc- son, Rumsey, Russell, Augustine H. Shepperd, Charles tion of the bill in question, as a inatter of courtesy and Shepard, Shields, Sheplor, Sibley, Smith, Snyder, Stanly, comity towards a friend and colleague, who invoked his aid Stratton, Thompson, Tillinghast, Towns, Underwood, to bring the measure before the House, with the perfect un- Vanderveer, Wagener, John White, Elisha Whittlesey, derstanding that he [Mr. WJSE) would vote against it. He Lewis Williams, Sherrod Williams, Jared W. Williams, had always been, as now, opposed to the measure. Joseph L. Williams, O. H. Williams, Yell, Yorke-103.

Mr. GLASCOCK resumed, and declared that he was And the amendment was agreed to. satisfied with the explanation. He then expressed himself Mr. MERCER moved 10 postpone the further considerin favor of the 12th as the time of adjournment; and if ation of the resolution till the first Monday in April next, that did not prevail, he should prefer adjourning on the and asked for the yeas and nays, but the House refused to 9th. He hoped, however, the motion to postpone would order them, and rejected the motion without a division. be rejected.

Mr. SHERROD WILLIAMS, wishing, as lie said, to Mr. HAMER said that, from indications which had been see who would take the responsibility of voting to go home already afforded by the action of the House, he bad come to without doing any thing to relieve the country, asked the the conclusion that a large majority of the House bad deter- yeas and nays on the resolution as amended. Thoy were mined to adjourn some time before the first Monday of De- ordered and taken, and resulted as follows: cember next; but the question was, how long before that YEA8-Messrs. Alexander, Anderson, Andrews, Alberday? If it had taken the House four weeks to pass one bill, ton, Beatty, Beirne, Bicknell, Biddle, Birdsall, Boon, Borhow long would it require to pass some half dozen which den, Briggs, Brodhead, Bronson, Bruyn, Buchanan, Camhad been reported ? This seemed like a plain sum in the rule. | breleng, J. Campbell, T.J. Carter, Casey, Chambers, Chaof three ; but he hoped the issue would not so turn out. He ney, Chapman, Cilley, Cleveland, Clowney, Colcs, Conthen went on to argue that, as the minds of the House were nor, Corwin, Craig, Crary, Curtis, Cushman, Darlington, made up on nearly if not all of these bills, it would not take Dawson, Davee, Davies, Deberry, DeGraff, Dromgoole, long to pass upon them; and this might as well be done by Duncan, Dunn, Edwards, Evans, Ewing, Farrington, the 9th as by the 16th of the month. Two weeks certainly Fairfield, Isaac Fletcher, Foster, Fry, Gallup, Glascock, afforded ample time. As soon as a day was fixed, discussion James Graham, W. Graham, Grantland, Grant, Gray, would be restrained.

Grennell, Haley, Hall, Halsted, Hammond, Hamer, HarAfter some remarks of Mr. BRIGGS, who called him to lan, Harrison, Hawkins, Haynes, Henry, Herod, Holsey, order, as wandering from the point,

Holt, Hopkins, Howard, Hubley, W. H. Hunter, IngThe qnestion was put on Mr. Párton's motion to post- ham, T. B. Jackson, Jabez Jackson, N. Jones, J. W. pone the subject, and it was negatived without a count. Jones, Kemble, Kilgore, Klingensmith, Lawler, Legare,

The question then recurring on striking out the 9th and Leadbetter, Lincoln, Logan, A.Loomis, A. W. Loomis, inserting the 16th instant,

Lyon, J. M. Mason, Martin, Maxwell, McKay, R. McClelMr. F. 0. J. SMITH demanded the yeas and nays, lan, A. McClellan, McClure, McKim, Mckennan, Miller, which were ordered by the House ; and, being taken, stood Montgomery, Moore, Morgan, S. W. Morris, Muhlenberg, as follows:

Noble, Noyes, Ogle, Owens, Palmer, Parker, Parmenter, YEAs--Messrs. Alexander, Heman Allen, Anderson, Paynter, Penny backer, Petrikin, Phelps, Pickens, Plumer, Andrews, Atherton, Bealty, Bell, Bicknell, Biddle, Bird Potts, Potter, Pratt, Prentiss, Rariden, Randolph, Reed, sall, Brodhead, Bronson, Bynum, Cambreleng, J. Camp- Reily, Rencher, Richardson, Ridgway, Rives, Russell, bell, W. B. Carter, Chaney, Cheatham, Cilley, Cleve- Sheffer, A. H. Shepperd, Sheplor, Slade, Spencer, Stewland, Clowney, Coles, Connor, Crary, Crockett, Cush- art, Stratton, Taylor, Titus, Toland, Toucey, Towns, Turman, DeGiraff, Droingoole, Duncan, Edwards, Ewing, ney, Vail, Vanderveer, Wagener, Weeks, A, S. White, F'arrington, Foster, Fry, Gallup, Gholson, James (iraJ. White, Thomas T. Whittlesey, J. W. Williams—153. ham, Grantland, Grant, Graves, Gray, Griffin, Hamer, Nars--Messrs. Adams, H. Allen, J. W. Allen, Bell, Harlan, Harrison, Hawes, Haynes, Herod, Hollman, Hol. Bond, W. B. Calhoun, J. Calhoon, W. B. Campbell, w. sey, Holt, Hopkins, Howard, Hubley, R. M. T. Hunter, B. Carter, Cheatham, Childs, Cranston, Crockett, Elmore, Thomas B. Jackson, Jabez Jackson, Joseph Johnson, Wm. Everett, Richard Fletcher, Fillmore, Rice Garland, Goode, Cost Johnson, Nathaniel Jones, John W. Jones, Kemble, Graves, Griffin, Hastings, Hawes, Robert M. T. Hunter, Lawler, Legare, Leadbetter, Aiphaxed Loomis, James M. Jonifer, H. Johnson; J. Johnson, W. C. Johnson, Lewis, Mason, Maury, McKay, Robert McClellan, McClure, Marvin, Samson Mason, Maury, May, Menefee, Mercer, MeKim, Menefec, Mercer, Miller, Montgomery, Morgan, Milligan, M. Morris, C. Morris, Murray, Naylor, PatterSamuel W. Morris, Muhlenberg, Noble, Ogle, Owens, son, Patton, Pearce, Peck, Phillips, Pope, Robertson, Palmer, Parker, Parmenter, Patton, Paynter, Pennybacker, Rumsey, C. Shepard, Shields, Sibley, Snyder, Southgate, Petrikin, Phelps, Pickens, Pope, Ports, Pratt, Prentiss, Stanly, Taliaferro, Tillinghast, Underwood, Webster, E. Ridgway, Rives, Robertson, Sheffer, Slade, Southgate, Whittlesey, L. Williams, 8. Williams, J. J.. Williams, Spencer, Stewart, 'Taliaferro, Taylor, Tilus, Toland, Tou-'C. H. Williams, Yell, Yorke-65.

H. OF R.]

Mississippi Election.

(Oct. 2, 1837.

[ocr errors]

So the House adopted the joint resolution of the Senate, turns of election are entrusted, and whose duty it is to prewith an amendment, fixing the 16th of October as the day serve them. From what source could more satisfactory tesfor the adjournment of the present session of Congress; timony be received ? It must be conclusive as to the result and it was sent to the Senate for their concurrence with of the election, in the absence of all evidence to the contrary. the House in the amendment. [The Senate concurred ac- The great argument which is advanced and strongly recordingly. ]

lied on by gentlemen in opposition to the report of the MISSISSIPPI ELECTION.

committee is, that many of the States, by law, hold their The House then proceeded to the consideration of the elections for members of Congress subsequent to the 3d of business of the morning hour, being the report of the Com March, at which time the term of office of their predecessors mittee of Elections, which was accompanied by the fol- expired; and, consequently, if this makes such a vacancy lowing resolution :

as, by the constitution, was intended to be filled by authorResolved, That Samuel J. Gholson and John F. H. ity of the Governor, as the words of the constitution are Claiborne are duly elected members of the twenty-fifth imperative, he is not at liberty to wait for the operation of Congress, and as such are entitled to take their seats. the general election laws for filling the vacancy, but must

The question pending was the motion of Mr. Maury to proceed at once after the 3d of March to issue his writs of strike out all after the word “resolved," and insert, “that election. Thus would the Governor be bound, by the Samuel J. Gholson and John F. H. Claiborne, not being constitution, the paramount law, to nullify the election duly elected members of the House of Representatives of laws of his State in those cases. Hence gentlemen argue the twenty-fifth Congress of the United States, are not that this is not the kind of vacancy intended by the conentitled to seats on this floor as such."

stitution to be filled by a special election held under the Mr. BUCHANAN addressed the House as follows: authority of the Governor. This argument is more spe

Mr. Speaker, after the very lucid argument of my col- cious than solid. In order to give it any weight, it must be league on the Committee of Elections, (Mr. PENNYBACK- assumed that there was some real necessity for holding the En,) fortified as it was by the views of my other colleague elections at so late a period as to permit a vacancy in the on the committee, (Mr. Bronson,] I certainly should office to exist. If gentlemen can satisfy me that there is have considered it wholly unnecessary for me to advance a any provision in the constitution of the United States which single word in support of the report of the committee, bad renders it necessary that a vacancy of this kind should it not been for some objections and arguments advanced by happen, then I would admit the argument to have great gentlemen opposed to the report, which have not been an- weight; but so far from any provision of that kind being swered as fully as, in my opinion, they might be. The found in the constitution, according to my view of it, the objectiuns made to the credentials of the members elect, very reverse is intended ; I have no doubt the intention of seems now to be waved by the gentleman from Tennessee, the framers of that institution was, that no vacancy of the [Mr. Maveri] but as the objection was made, and the kind now under discussion should ever exist. This view foundation of it stated to the House, I may be indulged in of the subject is fortified by the practice of a large proporstating my reasons why it should not prevail. It was tion of the States. I take it, then, the argument is unsound staied, and truly stated, that the act of the Mississippi which would draw the conclusion of unconstitutionality in Legislature required the Governor to deliver to the persons the Mississippi election, from acts which (if not inconsistelected, proper credentials under his hand and the great ent with the constitution themselves) are by no means au. seal of the State. This requisition the Governor has not thorized, or by it rendered necessary for any legal purpose strictly complied with; the credentials produced are under whatever. the great seal of State, and signed by the secretary. Now The only questions presented to the committee were as the question arises, if the Governor neglects or refuses to to the legality of the Governor's writ, and whether or not perform his duty, by non-compliance with the law, is that to a vacancy had happened, within the meaning of the conprevent the gentlemen from taking their seats? Will they stitution, to authorize the holding of a special election to not be entitled to their seats on production of other suffi- fill it. With respect to the first, I cannot believe any difcient testimony to show they were duly elected ? Un ficulty exists in any quarter. That part of the writ which questionably they would. Is it not the common practice would seem to restrict the services of the gentlemen to be for the Committee of Elections to look beyond the creden- elected to the extra session, was beyond the power of the tials produced, and inquire into the regularity of the elec-Governor, and, the writ being perfect without it, the election in all its parts. If they had the certificate exactly in tion is good for the whole constitutional term of the 25th accordance with the act of Mississippi, it would only be Congress. Such seems to be the understanding of every prima facie evidence of their right to seats in the House ; member who has spoken on the subject, and of course it it would not be conclusive, neither is a want of it conclu- requires no remarks of mine. The only question then is, sive against thein. The gentlemen from Mississippi stand what is the meaning of the word “ happen,” as expressed on the same footing in this respect as all other members ; | in the constitution ? Had a vacancy in the representation they appear and take their seats, and it is presumed they of the State of Mississippi happened? The word “haphave sufficient credentials, unless their right is by some pen” is a generic term, one species of which, to be sure, person contested. This is the course pursued towards means chance; but is that its only meaning ? Certainly every member of the House. No person has attempted to not; it embraces in its meaning any thing which occurs or contest the sufficiency of the credentials of the genilemen comes to pass. The word, then, is broad enough to emfrom Mississippi. They were not contested in committee, brace the case in question. A vacancy in the representation and ought not to be now. But supposing the House existed, brought about by the expiration of the term for choses to go voluntarily into that matter, it appears to me which the members in the preceding Congress were electthe objection to the credentials must fail; the certificate, to ed. The same evil, a want of representation of the State be sure, is not signed by the Governor, but it is under the in the Congress of the United States, would exist in this great seal of State, and signed by the Secretary, and as case as well as in that produced by death or resignation. this is nothing more than a mere ministerial act, it may be Why, then, not apply the remedy prescribed by the constiperformed by the Secretary, by cominand of the Governor. tution ? One gentleman contends the Governor ought to But supposing the certificate bad, in this respect, because have convened the Legislature and let them provide the it is not actually signed by the Governor, yet it may be re- remedy by a special act ; but, independent of the trouble and ceived as evidence, not under the act of Assembly, but as expense of such a proceeding, it is evident that, in many the act of a high and responsible officer to whom the re- cases, it would not or could not afford an adequate remedy.

« 上一頁繼續 »