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I think we have a right to impose conditions pre to state that we will pay whatever deficiencies may be dis and then seize these innocent men, and attempt cedent on them, and compel them to pay what is covered in the invoices that may have been fraudulently
to prosecute them for fraud, as well as to hold passed through the custom house by Mr. Mótéyé, our late due to us honestly and honorably, before they
them liable for $300,000. They have been put to partner"shall be released from the penalty which their con
great trouble and great expense in defending the duct has inflicted on them under the law, I will they do not call him clerk, but partner
The Government failed before the district vote against the bill unless this amendment be in“ as fast as they are detected.”
court of the United States at New Orleans. I have troduced. I will vote for the bill if its friends will Now, in regard to the imputed complicity of before me the report of the speech of the present allow it to be made.
the officers of the custom-house with Mr. Méiéyé, district attorney, whom the honorable Senator The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair begs | I think a very few words will satisfy the Senate knows very well, and I do too, an eminent gento suggest to the Senator from Georgia, that un. that that imputation is altogether unfounded. The tleman formerly of this city, who said that nothless the vote ordering the bill to be engrossed and discovery of a fraudulent alteration of one invoice ing, but a sense of public duty induced him, read a third time shall be reconsidered, the bill is was made at a late hour on Saturday. Mr. Météyé, against his feelings, io prosecute the claim for not open to amendment, except by unanimous|I believe, in the first instance, do not know forfeiture. He said there was not the slightest
what the record may say on that point-asall men blame attached to these parties. I have his speech Mr. IVERSON. I make that motion.
who are found in a position of that sort, disa before me, in a New Orleans paper; but I shall Mr. TOOMES. It is not worth while. I sup- vowed his culpability. He said it was an acci not take up time by reading it. Ii enurely excul. pose there will be no objection, even by the oppo- dent, a mistake. Then the suspicions of the cus pates these gentlemen. When they stand blamenents of the amendmeni, to receiving it.
tom-house officers were excited; and on the fol- | less, when they have had to defend themselves, The PRESIDING OFFICER. If no objection lowing day, Sunday, they went through all the against a claim of $300,000, and a ruthless prosebe made, the Chair will receive the amendment. other invoices which had been accumulating there cution of these men to get forfeitures, I think noth[No objection.) There being no objection, the during a period ofw years, and necessarily required ing would be more just and proper in the Senate, amendment is made.
examination; and they found the same frauds had under the circumstances, than for the Senate to Mr. BENJAMIN. The Chair misunderstood been committed in various instances contained in say that they should not be compelled to suffer the advocates of the bill. The advocates of the the paper I have before me. It took the whole il by their unfortunate connection with this partner, bill consent that he introduce the amendment of Sunday to make that examination. They were if you choose to call him so, thrice partner, il without previously moving a reconsideration. not at all aware, until Monday morning, of the you please, three hundred times partner, when We are going to take a vote on it now.
extent of the frauds. The collector-I believe ihe fraud was permitted by the neglect of the Gore Mr. SLIDELL. I took it for granted that this that appears in the evidence- endeavored to pro ernment officers. I think it appeals to the generamendment would pass without objection. If not, cure the advice and counsel of the district aitor osity and magnanimity of every Senator thaithey I have something further to say on the subject. ney, in order to have this man arrested on the should not be compelled to pay one cent.
Mr. BENJAMIN. Is my colleague going to spot. He did not find him. I believe the then Mr. KING. When this claim was first prespeak the bill out? collector and district attorney were not on very
sented to the Senate, I did not suppose that the Mr. SLIDELL. I do not know how long I good terms, and stood on some points of punctilio. claimants asked for anything more than a release shall speak. It will depend upon circumstances. One expected the district attorney to call on him, from the penalties and forfeitures; and if that was
Mr.'IVERSON. I understood my colleague and the other expected the collector to go to him. / all they asked, I was not disposed to interpose obto say he would agree to the amendment.
That is immaterial. The delay was a natural one. jections to the passage of their bill. Upon lookMr. TOOMBS. I said I would not object to The collector or the naval officer could not take ing at the bill, however, I find that it does in terms its introduction.
Mr. Météyé by the collar and carry him to jail. 1 release them from all claims, as well as penalties The PRESIDING OFFICER. The rule is, It required that some preliminary proceedings and forfeitures, which would include a release from that in this stage of the bill, the bill can only be should be had in the court of the United States. any duties that might be due. Now, I know nochamended by unanimous consent,
The proper man to conduct those proceedings ing of the facts of this case excepoas they have Mr. TOOMBS. The same unanimous consent was the district attorney. When the district al appeared before the Senate to-day; but I do know would allow the introduction of the amendment torney was ready to proceed, the bird had down. that just complaints exist throughout the country without the reconsideration of the engrossment.
That is the true state of the case. I do not of frauds practiced by false invoices and false enI was content that the Senate might vote on the see any culpability in the matter on the part of the tries at the custom-houses. I know, 100—for I amendment as though the bill had been reconsid - | Government officers. It is said they ought to live upon the frontiers—that the revenue laws of ered, to save time.
have informed the other partners of the fraud that the country are not popular laws upon the fronThe PRESIDING OFFICER. Will the Sen- had been committed. At that time they had no tiers, and that they are not popular with the imate agree to the amendment?
evidence of the absence of complicity on the part || porters; and that they desire always to have them Mr. SLIDELL. I have a word to say. of the other partners. They had a fair right to construed liberally, and that there is too much
Mr. MALLORY. My friend from Louisiana presume that in a mercantile house, in whose disposition to look lightly upon evasions of them. will allow me to ask him if he can inform the name so large frauds had been carried on for so Bui when frauds are detected, I think certainly Senate what the amount of these duties is ? many years, all the parties were equally culpable. they should be visited with the just penalties of
Mr. TOOMBS. Twenty-four thousand dollars. It was only after an investigation of the case be the law. In this case, a commercial house, which It is judicially ascertained.
fore the court, that they became satisfied of the it turns out contains two respectable partners-for Mr.MALLORY. That will be the sum required innocence of Mr. De Visser and Mr. Villarubia, I have no disposition to say anything in derogation to be paid by this amendment.
so far as any moral complicity with this matter of the eulogiums that have been pronounced on Mr. TOOMBS and Mr. BENJAMIN. Yes, is concerned. I think I have explained the rea the character of these two gentlemen-took a man sir. son of the delay.
into their firm for the purpose of transacting their Mr. SLIDELL. I am glad to perceive that
Mr. TOOMBS. I sha)} (letain the Senate but custom-house business and paying their duties; these gentlemen, who are certainly very honest a moment in reply to the gentleman's statement and, upon an examination of their books, erery; and respectable men, find in the Senate persons about these duties and that letter. When these thing looks entirely plain and well. If there had who go further in advocating their interests than parties were about to be sued for $300,000 of for been originally a design upon the part of this firm, they themselves do, and who ask for them what feitures, and their business was about to be broken through a course of years, to commit a series of they never asked for themselves; for I take it for up, they were then willing to pay the Govern frauds upon the revenue, it might be that they granted that in passing this bill they would not ment the duties, for there was nothing but ruin to were prepared, when detected, to show a pretly be willing to accept the imputation of bad faith.
them in this arrangement, to their character, rep clean record for themselves; and one of the partIt is proposed that they shall be released from utation, and business. The Government officers
ners runs away, thus relieving the firm from the the payment of the penalties; and now we are told | refused their offer, and brought suit for $300,000 odium that would attach to them if they could all the bill goes further than that. These persons forfeiture against them, breaking up their busi. have been obnoxious to suspicion. That might have never asked anything more than a simple ness entirely. The Government was defeated in be done; I do not say it has been done here. abandonment of the claim of forfeiture. They the courts on the forfeiture; and now they say, Now, when they
come and ask not only to be have always said they recognized their
liability, pay us the duty. These gentlemen were put io relieved from the forfeitures, but, to be relieved and were willing to pay the duties. It is like being very great expense in defending their case; they from the payment of the duties of which the more catholic ihan the Pope. Gentlemen here have brought here and presented to the committee Treasury of the nation has been defrauded by the want to be more liberal to these men in New Or a transcript of the record, containing all the evileans, whom I do not think so entirely free from dence; and when that came to the committee of question entitled to the serious consideration of blame as many Senators appear to regard them, which I am a member, my friend, the chairman, | the Senate; and I am rather surprised to find the than they ask. I admit there is no moral obliquity (Mr. Clay,) gave it to me to examine. It was Senator from Georgia (Mr. Toombs) advocating about it, but they have never pretended that the ihe unanimous judgment of the gentlemen of the this claim, for in general, upon all this character debt for duties was not a just debt. I have here committee who investigated it, that they should and class of claims, I vote with him, and I think a copy of a letter, not certified, it is true, but I not be charged with the $24,000. take it for granted it will be admitted as correct.
The Senator does not answer the allegation as
he is generally sound on them. Admitting these
men to be entirely as innocent and as honorable This is a letter, dated April 13, 1857, addressed to the malscasance of these officers. The idea
as they are claimed to be, it is their misfortune to the collector at New Orleans:
that the district attorney had to be consulted is that they were connected with this rogue; but he "SIR: We are informed by Mr. Benjamin that you are
not tenable. Any of the officers could have gone
was a man of their own selection. The proofs of
minutes Well, if they are not, they are in no trouble.it ready now, and always have been ready, to pay this deficit; and we beg leave to renew to you the offer made to you
and 'arrested him, and probably got this very some time ago by Mr. Hunt, our counsel in our behalf, and money back; but they give him time to run off,
thoy are not liable for the penalties and forfeit-
fremt ; and
any of his
* Welearn tepat looked huended
bunal and in
partner, these two innocent gentlemen have no age him, and requite him for his fidelity. They | perjury and false invoices in our custom-houses. apprehensions of anything to suffer. But the gave him every encouragement necessary; and, If this amendment should be carried compelling sugar has been imported into the country, and being recommended by former business men who the parties to refund the money which they justly they have received the profits on these invoices, had him in their employment, it was natural that and honestly owe the Government, I shall have for they seem to have been carried on their books they should confide to him important trusts. That no particular objection to their being allowed to to their profit and loss account; they have received is, I believe, about the circumstance of his being go scot free of the penalty, on account of their the benefit of the importations, and one of the employed by them; but it is just as probable that high character, as here represented; but to offer partners certainly has received the benefits of the he had partners in the custom-house, who were this bounty upon fraud and perjury, would be a amount of duty of which the Government has sleeping or dormant partners, as to suppose that most dangerous precedent, it seems to me, for the been defrauded. Knowing nothing of the case, he had partners out of it. It does seem to me that Congress of the United States to set. I hope this I would not object to this bill, and I only speak four years' delinquency and perpetration of crime amendment will prevail. because there seems to be a disposition on the on his part is conclusive evidence that there must Mr. BAYARD. I have entertained from the part of the Senate to exclude this amendment. have been collusion in the custom-house, and that first no earthly doubt that it was shocking to the Gentlemen ask to have the question taken upon the collector of the customs is responsible for the sense of natural justice that we should attempt to it, and there seems to be nothing said upon the deeds, and not this firm in New Orleans, of which enforce criminally against innocent men the penpropriety of insisting on the payment of duties. a partner was involved in complicity. I think alties of the law for the fault of a guilty partner. If there is persistent objection to the payment of the securities of the collector at New Orleans were It is contrary to every principle of the common these duties, I hope the question will be taken by answerable for these injuries to the Government; | law. I doubt whether the Government could posyeas and nays. I should like to vote to require and if it was defrauded out of customs, it was his sibly succeed in any prosecution of that kind; and the payment of the duties, and then I am willing business to prevent it; and if the Government lost, certainly a proceeding for confiscation or to re
to relieve these gentlemen from the penalties. owing to any neglect of his, his securities are re cover a penalty for a false invoice is a criminal can las
Mr. IVERSON. I think there are very grave | sponsible, for their obligation was to vindicate his | proceeding. My doubt has been as to whether, objections to the passage of this bill for the relief honesty as a public officer; to see that he per in passing this bill to relieve the parties from this of these parties on general principles; but still I formed his duties as a public officer. A man might || prosecution, we ought to impose such terms as am willing to waive my objections to this partic- | be honest, and yet uiterly neglectful in the dis are now proposed. There are many technical ular case, because there seems to have been some charge of his duties, and involve the country in | questions involved; but these parties ought not to laches or neglect on the part of Government offi ruinous consequences to its revenues; and in ihat be subject to this liability, as the proof is clear that cers in permitting this fraud to go on so long as event, the sureties are generally as responsible as they were not morally responsible or cognizant of it did without detection. That is the only ground, | if he had been guilty of purloining money from the acts of the partner. My doubts have been in my opinion, upon which this claim has one the custom-house at New Orleans.
whether we ought to hold them civilly liable and particle of foundation.
I can arrive at no conclusion whatever but that make it a condition of relief that they should pay Now, sir, this bill will hold out nothing but a these gentlemen are guiltless. Météyé, if you the duties which the Government has not received, reward for fraud and perjury if it pass. Here- view him technically, may have been their part- || in consequence of the fraud. My first inclination after, if a partner or a clerk employed by an im and they may be liable for his conduct; but, of opinion was that we ought to exact the pay; porting house commits frauds of this kind, the on principle, so far as the facts are manifested meni of duties, and I think I should have retained parties have nothing to do but to come to Con- | here, not a solitary suspicion can attach to them, | that impression but for one fact; if I am wrong gress and say, we were honest; we were de as I apprehend the case—not the slightest suspi- in the fact, of course I should come to my origiceived; we did not practice frauds; our clerk com cion. If I believed there had been delinquency | nal conclusion. If I understand the case rightly mitted them; and you must relieve us not only on their part, or that, by collusion or contrivance there was, at least, gross negligence on the part from the penalty, but not compel us to pay, one with this partner, they had defrauded the revenue, of the agents of the Government, they having the cent of the duties.” It is an inducement held out I could not give countenance to any application of means of discovering the fraud running through to every dishonest member or agent of an import- | theirs. If they were willing at one time to com. a course of years; and these partners, though the ing house who enters invoices at custom-houses | promise, and to make a great sacrifice to get out other was their partner if you please—there is no
to commit fraud. They have nothing to lose by | of the difficulties in which they were involved, | magic in the term; it means merely that he was Iku
it, for they will argue in this way: "if I can suc owing to the misconduct or neglect of the collector employed by their authority-had not the means ceed in this particular it is all well; I will put the of the customs, if they were willing when a most of detection; they paid the excess into the hands money in my pocket; but if I am detected, my alarming ruin was before their eyes, to compro of this individual; and the profits of the fraud partners or employers have nothing to do but to mise, that should not be pressed against this bill have not inured to the benefit of the firm but go to Congress and set up a cry of honesty on now. The honorable Senator from Louisiana on to the benefit of the fraudulent party, and that their part, and deception on the part of their my right, (Mr.SLIDELL,) did not give us the date | through the negligence of the Government. agent, and get rid of ihe whole payment." of the letter he read; but subsequent events show But it did not stop there. The officers knew of
The penalties imposed are intended to secure that these gentlemen have been vindicated. The the existence of fraud; they discovered it on Sathonesty, and when you release those penalties people in the vicinage, who understand all the urday. They then examined and found further you hold out a reward to dishonesty and corrup facts of the case, have come to a conclusion very frauds on Sunday. The guilty party was at the tion. This very case will be an inducement for different from some of the gentlemen of this body; custom-house on Monday, the party who had the others to commit frauds under similar circum- , and, for my own part, I am prepared to vote entire transactions with them personally, the only stances, and be a precedent for Congress to release against this amendment; and I am equally determ one known to the officers, and they suffered him parties from their obligations. That is simply lined to vote for any measure that will give them to escape, and then turned round and, after he had the result; and my word for it, if this bill passes this relief-avert the evils that have been threat- | escaped, arrested innocent parties, and sued them, you will have case after case hereafter, fraud after ) ened, and arrest the wrong. I am willing to vote not for the duties, but for confiscations and penfraud committed upon your revenues, and parties for any measure that will give them relief, and I alties, to the amount of $360,000. Under these will come here and appeal to the sympathies of visit responsibility on the officers of the Govern- || circumstances, if any benefit inured to these innogentlemen to release them because they have not ment, and direct the eye of the Government to cent parties from the fraudulent entries made by been participants in the frauds. It is a danger them. It should not, in these responsible offices, their copartner, beyond all question that ought to ous precedent, in my opinion; but I am willing place favorites on account of political claims, go to the Government; but if they have received to yield my objections in this particular case, on but men who are elevated by their moral worth, no benefit, and the fraudulent party alone has account of the circumstances disclosed in the tes whether of this party or that party-men who | received the benefit, the Government choosing to timony, showing that the Government officers have established a high character, and obtained suffer him to escape, it ought not to make it a con
themselves were somewhat in laches; it was their standing in society. These are the men I want to dition of remission of those penalties that the other ī
, perhaps, that this fraud was not detected see placed in office; and not delinquent favorites, partners shall pay that from which they have reearlier than it was, and that this party was not or men who come with the clamor of friends to ceived no benefit at all. I shall vote against the arrested and held in custody, and made to pay the sustain them, and have not character to herald amendment, with my view of the facts as they penalty of his crimes; but without this amend them to the world.
now stand, because ihese men have received no ment it seems to me very unfair that this bill
Mr. CHANDLER. I am somewhat familiar benefit from the frauds of their partner.
with this question of frauds upon the Treasury. Mr. FESSENDEN. I have been exceedingly Mr. HOUSTON. I do not wish to detain the In New York, American citizens have been driven unwilling to say anything about this matter. I Senate, but it does seem to me that it is a most from certain kinds of importacions entirely through was very much in hopes the friends of the bill extraordinary course which gentlemen have taken. just such frauds as this. The ordinary course is would consent to this amendment. If it be conI have great respect for the kindness, good tem to take a partner for this express purpose-a man sented to by them, or if the amendment be made per, and justice of my excellent friend from New who will swear to a false invoice. A house is by the Senate, I shall be willing to vote for the York, (Mr. Kung;] but it does seem to me he has established in New York, and foreign manufac bill. If not, I must vote against it. I am willing not carried his suspicions quite far enough. He turers send it a false invoice, and by that process that these men shall be relieved from the penalthinks these partners might have kept ihis man they have driven honest, upright, and honorable ties; but I confess I have been surprised by the for the purpose of imposing on the custom-house. American citizens entirely out of their own mar mode of argument adopted to defend the objection Now we learn from the facts stated to-day-I have ket for that species of merchandise. I know noth which is made to this amendment. Just look at never looked into the case before-that he was ing about this case at all; I presume these gentle the case for a single instant; look at the whole recommended to them as a business man, confi men to be honorable men; but our action upon argument as presented. dential and intelligent, and not for the special pur
this claim will be looked to with great solicitude The gentlemen who came here as petitioners pose, I believe, of transacting business at the cus by a large class of the men to whom I have al- entered into partnership with this Météyé. No tom-house as suggested.
He was recommended luded who have engaged in this kind of business. matter whether they gave him u small amount of by his former employers as a most reliable man, I trust that the Senate will not offer a bribe to ras the profits or not, they entered into partnership and he was made a partner to sustain and encour cality. I trust we shall not offer a bounty upon with this man; they indorsed him; they gave him
NEW SERIES-No. 24.
35rh Cong.... Ist Sess.
SENATE. character as one of their firm; they put him forth reply that I am sorry for it, but such things are Mr. FOSTER. About that, I apprehend there to the community as an honorable and honest not unfrequent; the roguery of some men injures may be difference of opinion here." I should like man; they intrusted him with their money to make others; and if a person enters into partnership to have the Senator from Louisiana (Mr. PENJAthese payments of duties; they sent him to the with another, and gives him an indorsement, he Min] express his views on the question whether, custom-house. By receiving him into partner must take the consequences. These matters are if this bill passes, these merchants of New Or? ship, and putting their money into his hands, they followed by their evil as well as their good results. leans can be compelled to pay these duties? recommended him to the custom-house officers, Other persons must not suffer, but he who has led Mr. BENJAMIN. They must, in order to and to everybody, as an honest man, and a man to the commission of the act by forming the con obtain the benefit of the bill, undoubtedly, I do to be trusted. He goes there, and he commits nection. To be sure, he may not be morally in not see how they can avoid it. these frauds over and over and over again. It is fault; he may have been deceived himself, but the Mr. SIMMONS. The question is, are duties not pretended that the custom-house officers are consequences must rest with him after all, because chargeable on goods that have been forfeited ? in complicity with him, that they are a party to the first fault or mistake is his.
Mr. BENJAMIN. Undoubtedly if they want .the fraud; but that they did not exercise the vigi That is the law as between man and man, and the benefit of the bill, they must pay the duties. lance they should have exercised to guard against ' it is just. But, sir, I have been principally in Mr. FESSENDEN. Let the amendment be the frauds he commits; and in consequence of duced to speak on the subject because these com read. those frauds the Government loses $24,000, and plaints are common to our whole country, and it The Secretary read it. finally having discovered them, seizes a part of is well known as a fact, that the revenue is de Mr. FOSTER. Now, suppose these petitionthe goods themselves, and commences prosecu frauded in every principal city in the Union by ers do not think proper to avail themselves of the tion. These parties come up here now, not only precisely such arrangements as were made here. benefit of the act, what becomes of the forfeiture? to be relieved of the penalty to the amount of They are made on purpose, in some cases. I do Mr. TOOMBS. They have a right to do so. about three hundred thousand dollars, but in ad not say it was done in this instance. I would not Mr. FOSTER. They have a good defense in
dition to that, to ask that the United States aban- insinuate that it was; I am perfectly willing to that suit. They succeed in getting the goods that • don its claun for all it has lost, give up the goods say, on the evidence, that I do not believe it was;, are not forfeited, and the result is thai they get
acquired by the penalties, and also allow them but every one can see how it could be managed the goods without paying duties. to go free from the amount of which the United for a couple of men who stand well in the com Mr. BENJAMIN. Are you going to pass States has been defrauded-$24,000. Senators munity to have a partner, at a convenient rate of to prevent them defending their suits? say this is a hard case. These gentlemen have compensation, to make all these arrangements. Mr. FOSTER. By no ineans; but I apprehend been persecuted and prosecuted, and have paid It is very easy to keep the books, square, and it is not the design of the Senate that such a heavy costs, all on account of this man whom show the money paid out, and when ihe fellow course slınll be taken as that these goods shall be they trusted, they being honest men themselves. hias carried it on for years, and chooses to run imported without paying duties.
Well, who enabled him to commit these frauds? away; when they have made a good dealof money, Mr. CLAY. The Government have got the They. Who gave hiin a character? They did. or he gets accidentally found out, everything on game in their own hands. They will not give up Who put the money into his hands and sent him the face may appear fair. Though I do noc be the goods unless the duties are paid, I suppose. to the custom-house? They did; and they reply lieve that has been done in this instance, there is! Mr. CRITTENDEN. I should like to hear the to the Government of the United States, “it was good reason to believe that similar practices have amendment read again. the business of your officers to watch and see that existed in many other instances. 'If we go the Mr. TRUMBULL. In order to make this matour partner did not cheat you, and because you length now, not only of remitting the penalty, but ter perfectly clear, I think an amendment of a did not do it, you oughi to lose the money you of saying the fraud shall be successful, and the word or two would accomplish the object which have been cheated out of, because your custom duties sliall not be asked for in such a case, sim- , the Senator from Connecticut has in view. As house officers were not sharp enough to suspect ply because innocent men have suffered by the the amendment now reads, the proviso is: that he was a rogue, and did not look with ihat fault of the rogue they took into their employ and “ That nothing in this act shall be so construed as to redegree of scrutiny they should have done into the indorsed and gave character to, we may just as lieve the said parties from any annount of duties which may papers he presented. You were in a degree neg- well abandon the farce of trying to collect duties be justly due to the Umned States on account of said in
said act said ligent because you did not have the best officers on imports.
duties are paid." in the worlu, and, therefore, our partner and our
The PRESIDING OFFICER, (Mr. FITZPATagent, who cheated you out of the money, should RICK.) The amendment will be read.
By altering the phraseology so as to make it, alone be held responsible for it, and we ought not The Secretary read it, as follows:
instead of is which may be justly due," say to lose it,"
Provided, Thatsiothing in this act shall be so construed
“ which would have been due to the United States That is a very singular argument, to my mind.
15 to relieve the said parties from any amount of duties on account of said importations had there been no
which may be jusly due to the United States on account What is the law between man and man in dealing
forfeiture, and that this act shall not take effect," of said importations; and that this act shall not take effect with agents? I send an agent to deal with you; until said duties are paid.
the object will be attained. my agent commits a fraud; I give him a charac Mr. KING called for the yeas and nays on the
Mr. SLIDELL. I would prefer that the amendter he is my partner, if you please. He commits amendment; and they were ordered.
ment should not be made. I think it is a great
deal better as it is. a gross fraud by which you are defrauded of a Mr. HARLAN. The Senator from Wiscon
Mr. TRUMBULL. I think it would be better. certain amount of money, giving you a large claim sin (Mr. DURKEE] has paired off with my colon me; and when I appeal to you to remit that league (Mr. Jones.)
Mr. TOOMBS. There is no objection to that large claim I say, “This is very hard for me; I
in the world. You can fix it in that way if you
The question being taken by yeas and nays, have been an honest man, though my partner, to
like it better. resulted-yeas 25, nays 9; as follows:
Mr. SLIDELL. If the Senate admits the prinbe sure, is a knave. I want you to remit this YEAS-Viessrs. Brown, Chandler, Crittenden, Davis, ciple that the forfeiture is not to be exacted from claim."
say, “ very well, I will remit it; 1 Doolille, Fessenden, Foster, Green, Tarlan, Henderson, do not like to be hard on you and will let you off Iverson, Johnson of Tennesser, King, Mallory, Polk, Se
these gentlemen, the bill is now in a salisfactory bastian, Seward. Shields, Simmons, Slidell, Stuart, Trumif you give me the money you have cheated me
form. I shall offer no proposition to it. I prefer
, bull, Wade, Wilson, and Yulee---25. out of.' "Oh, no,'' is the response, "your em
however, the amendment 'as it stands to the sug,
NAYS-linssit. Bavard, Benjamin, Broderick, Clay, gestion of the Senator from Illinois. ployé was not so sharp as he ought to have been, Filzpatriek, Ilvaston, Pagli, Rice, and Toonus-9. and therefore I will pay nothing.' What sort of So the aunendment was agrcell 10.
Mr. TRUMBULL. I will not move it. an answer would that be between mav and man? Mr. FOSTER. I should like to be informed,
The bill was passed.
WASHINGTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS. certainly be scouted at. An individual in such a
the duties can be collected even with this provisó D EBATE IN THE SENATE. case would say: "I do not insist on any penalty; in the bill. I have an impression that goods I do not want to be hard on you, but I cannot al which are forf-ited in consequence of salse entries,
rate limits of the city, for the benefit of public
SATURDAY, May 15, 1858. low your partner to cheat me out of money. If or an attemptto smuggle, are not goods on which The bill (S. No. 191) for the benefit of public you ask a favor of me, do right yourself first." duties can be collected. The claim, as I under schools in the city of Washington, It would be no answer to say, it is liard on me stand it, is that these goods are rot now to be for second time, and considered as in Committee of that I should lose the money.” Very well, some feited, and the forfeiture is remitted; and the de the Whole. one must lose it. Shall he lose it, who putihe man sign of the Senate manifestly is, that the forfeiture It provides that so much of the fines and for. forward, who gave him character, and enabled is remitted on the ground ihat the duties are to feitures hereafter to be collected in the District of him to commit the fraud; or should another per be paid. son, who has been defrauded, sufer the loss?
Columbia as acerue to the United States shall be Mr. STUART. The amendment says that the
1 It strikes me that the obvious principles of law bill is not to take effect until the duties are paid.
surrendered to the city of Washington for school and justice between man and man give the an Mr. FOSTER. That relates to duties which
purposes, until the whole sum so received shall swer in all this. It is, “ if you want a favor of are by law payable; but I apprehend there is, after authorities in the city of Washington may, with
amount to $50,000. It declares that the corporate me, and apply to me to remit a penalty which you all, a question whether the duties can be collected. say is rumous to you, you must first make me Mr. IVERSON." The amendment is not that levy a special tax of ten cents on each hundred whole for what you, or your servants, have de- | duties legally liable shall be paid, but those justly dollars' worth of taxable property in the corpora Trauded me out of." That is the proper course due to the Government, is the language of the on the most obvious principles. I can see no pos- amendment. sible answer that can be made to that; and when Mr. FOSTER. But the question, after all, Treasury shall be officially notified by the Mayor gentlemen say this has been a hard matter to these people who have lost money, they have been in Mr. STUART. Their goods will be forfeited be his duty to pay from the Treasury of the Women jured in character, they have been placed in an unless they pay what the Government thinks is ted States, to the persons legally authorized to be unpleasant situation, paid costs, and all that, I || right.
ceive the school funds for the city of Washington,
was read the
33TH CONG.... 1st Sess.
Washington Public Schools—Mr. Brown.
a sum equal to the amount thus raised by taxa- of the public schools, and this to be in addition to the sums all. If the chairman will let the bill lie by for a tion; but not more than twenty thousand dollars
now paid by them. Thus the Government will pay, for a
few minutes, I will endeavor to fix an amendment per unnum is to be paid by the United States, and the expense of keeping up the public schools; and it is
with him that will meet the case. ihese payments are to continue for five years, un- hoped, with this aid, these schools, in five years, will be put
Mr. BROWN. I do not wish the bill to lose less Congress shall otherwise order. For the pur- on such a solid foundation that they can be sustained with
its place. pose of testing the sense of the property-owners out aid from the Government.
Mr. HALE. Let it be passed over informally, In accordance with these views, your committee report of Washington city as to whether they will suba bill.
for the present. mit to this tax, the Mayor of the city is to order Mr. HALE. I have an amendment to offer as
Mr. TOOMBS. There are one or two sections an election on such day as he may deem proper, an additional section :
of the bill which we might as well be acting upon to be conducted in all respects as other elections
while the Senator from New Hampshire is getin the city, except that no one shall be deemed a Sec. -- Anl be it further enacted, That all the taxes levied on the estates of colored persons, in the city of Wash
ting his amendment ready. I would ask the Senqualified voter unless he owns property subject to ington, shall be devoted to the support of schools for the ator from Mississippi what is now done with the taxation in the city:
education of colored children, under the direction of the fines and forfeitures proposed to be given in one Mr. BROWN. I suppose there will be some government of the city.
section of the bill to the school fund? discussion about it, and I ask that the report be I desire to state that several of these individu- Mr. BROWN. They go into the national read.
als have spoken of it to me as a case of extreme Treasury. The Secretary read the following report, made hardship that the colored population here are taxed Mr. TOOMBS. I was aware of that fact, and by Mr. Brown on the 10th of March:
for the support of schools, (and it forms no incon- I want to strike out that provision from the bill. The Committee on the District of Columbia, to whom siderable amount of the taxes collected,) and, The administration of justice in this District is were referred various memorials and petitions froin the cor- whilst they are compelled to pay taxes, their chil- || peculiar. The United States actually pay for adporiste authoritits, the trustees of the public schools, and Citizens of the city of Washington praning comes to stanice I do not propose to establish any mixed schools | tirely wrong. The expense of administering jus
dren have not the slightest benefit of the schools. ministering justice to this people. This is enunder consideration, and report :
or anything else, but to devote the taxes collect- tice here is probably greater than in any similar First. That there are no unsold lots of material value in ed from this class to the education of their own the city of Washington, and therefore it is useless to deny children under the direction of the city govern
community anywhere on earth. The abuse is
atrocious. If there is a “muss” down here on or grant so much of the prayer of the petitioners as seeks a donation of these lots to the public schools of said city,
ment; and it seems to me to be a matter of such Pennsylvania avenue, probably the costs of the Second. The policy of granting laids in aid of public plain justice that it will hardly be denied. They justices of the peace, constables, &c., will run up schools in the new States and Territories appears to your are an oppressed and a degraded people, and 'I to $300. The only compensation the Treasury committee to have been eminently wise, and free from all constitutional objectious; but when it is proposed, as by
think it hardly comports with the magnanimity | gets for the costs it has to pay where these “culthiese memorialists, to extend that policy to the District of
of their superiors to collect their money and to léd pussuns" are unable to pay their own, and Columbia, new and grave objections arise. These objec- use it to educate their own children. I
I hope that
there are from twenty to sixiy always in jail, is tions are not only to the expediency, but, in the judgment
this proposition will commend itself to the chair- the fines some few of them pay. The great body of many, to the constitutionality of the proposed measure. Without discussing the question, your coininittee report man of the District Committee.
of these criminals are paupers; and thousands of that, in their opinion, it is not proper, at this time, to make Mr. TOOMBS. I think this effort of benevo- | dollars, I think between sixiy and eighty thousand a grani of public lands to aid the public schools in the city lence could have been directed to a much better dollars a year, are paid as costs to all the variUE Maslington.
object. I am perfectly willing that the bill should ous officers for administering criminal justice here. Thinl. The proposition to appropriate money in aid of these schools has engaged the attention of the committee.
exclude their property from taxation for this pur. I am not willing to make the Treasury of the It appears, according to the best data attainable by your pose. I think the city could much better afford United States pay for all of the expenses of admincommittee, that the Government owns about one half in io lose the amount that this class of people pay istering justice and maintaining order in Washvalue of all the real estate in the city of Washington. On
than to have any difficulty by a proposition to mix ington city. The costs of the proceedings in rethuis it pays po taxes. The citizens are heavily laxed for the various purposes of city government, and the United States
them. I think it all very well as long as you al- | gard to the most petty offenses of free negroes nakes large appropriations for purposes of its own within low them to stay here, which ought not to be done, here are thrown on the Treasury; and then, when aid city. While ihe city appropriates largely from a com- not to tax them for other people's benefit. That you fine one who can respond to a fine imposed non treasury for the support of schools, the United States
is a wrong principle, and I think the gentleman on him, you take the money and give it for schools. never has appropriated in dollar for that objeci. There are in the city of Washington more than five thon.
had better amend the bill by excluding their prop- I would rather vote money directly out of the puband children, between the ages ol'five and eighteen years, erty.
lic Treasury than indirectly in this way. This is vho attend no school. Of these, it is believed, more than Mr. BROWN. I was about to say that the the only fund that remunerates the United States
by nent. They are the children of persons in the service or city authorities here have never made provision for the vast amount of costs they pay in the Dishe United States, many of whom have no taxable property
for the education of colored people, and I do not trict. I move to strike out so much of the bill as o the city, and very little anywhere else.
believe they ever will. I think the colored people gives the fines and forfeitures to the city for this Of these five thousand who attend no school, one half at here have schools of their own under their own purpose. east, perliaps inore, are the children of parents 100 poor to rear the expense of their education, and they must grow up
control, and the control of such persons as think Mr. BROWN. The Senator, I think, overo ignorance, unless educated at the public expense. It proper to meddle with them. I have no objection estimates the present amount of collections from vould seem hardly fair to throw them as an exclusive bur- io exempting the property of colored persons from that source, and underestimates what would be len on the private property-holders of this city.
taxation under this bill if our friends generally the amount collected if there was a more rigid There are in the public schools of this city iwo thousand our hundred pupils, besides three thousand two hundred in
concur in that. I understand the complaint to be, enforcement of the law. he private schools. The public schools are maintained that these people are to be taxed for an object in Mr. TOOMBS. I think my friend from Misaainly out of the city treasury, there being paid for their the benefits of which they are not to participate. | sissippi misunderstands me. I express no opinupport an annual sum varying from tiventy to twenty-five
Then I propose to get them out of the dificulty ion as to that. I have no information as to what housand dollars. Your coinmittee has found a healthy state of public senby saying that they shall not be taxed.
the amount of fines and forfeitures is, but I know iment in the city on the subject of education; many of the Mr. HALE. I am content with that amend- it is not anything like equal to the costs the Govargest property-bolders not only consenting lo, but urging, ment.
ernment pay. n additional special tax for school purposes. The assessed
Mr. BROWN. Draw it up in that form.
Mr. BROWN. The Committee on the Disalue of property in the city is a fraction over ticniy-six million dollars, yielding a revenue, at the present rate of
Mr. TOOMBŞ. A proviso will answer, pro- trict of Columbia were at some pains to inform uation, of $195,000, about nine per cent. of which is ap- viding that the property of colored persons shall themselves on that precise point.' They called on ropriated to ihe support of public schools. The city bas not be taxed under this bill.
the marshal of the District, and upon the clerk of permanent school lund invested which yields 93.000 per
Mr. DURKEE. I would suggest to the Sen- the criminal court, and obtained some facts in rennum ; and the poll tax, anounting to about five thouand live hundred dollars annually, goes also into the school ator from New Hampshire that ihat will not re- || gard to this fund, which I will state. The fines ud. It is now proposed to levy an additional tax ot' ten move the difficulty entirely, because these people and forfeitures vary in amount according to the ents in the hundred dollars for tic special purpose of aid- will necessarily be taxed by indirect taxation to number and magnitude of oflenses against the o the schools. This will raise about twenty-six thousand
raise the money which we now propose to appro- criminal law. In the years 1856 and 1857, which, ollars per anuum, which, added to the present sum erended, will be equal say to fitty thousand dollars a year. I priate for the benefit of the schools. We propose it will be recollected, were years fraught with f the city was well supplied with school houses this sum in this bill to donate a certain sum of money to crime, the total of forfeitures was $9,565 50, and rould go far towards meeting the desired objeci 01 placing
benefit the schools; and they contribute a portion of fines $1,652 50, and of these sums only $1,482 school within the reach of every child in the city ; but
of that money. iere is, untortunately, a great deficiency in school accom
appears to have been collected in the two years. sodations.
Mr. HALÉ. I do not expect to get the colored The committee believe that if you would surrender In view of all these facts, your committee think it expe- people up to anything like their rights, and I only these fines and forfeitures to the public schools of ient for Congress to pass an act surrendering to the scliool
want to make a beginning. The idea of taxing the city, then the school commissioners, the school and of the city the lines and forfeitures in the District ourts, and hereafter to be collected, until the same shall
their property for the education of white people I teachers, and all others connected with the public zach $50,000, the money to be applied to the erection of is so monstrously unjust that I hope there will be schools, would have a direct interest in looking ermanent school-houses.
no objection to a provision such as has been sug- after them, and seeing that they were collected, The fines and forteitures vary in amount per annum, nc. gested.
and that, when collected, the money was accounted ording to the number and magnitude of off uses against de criminal laws. In the years 1856 and 1857 the total of
Mr. TOOMBS. That is right.
for, and thereby criminals would be more cerrfeitures was $9,565 50, and of fines $1.632 50. Of these Mr. HALE. I will take the suggestion of the tainly punished by being made to do precisely ums only $1,482 appears to have been collected. By sur- chairman of the committee, simply exempting what I am sure the Senator from Georgia would endering this fund to the public schools, there will be credan additional incentive to more rigid collections in futheir property from taxation.
like to have them do-pay up their fines and forire; and ihns the double benefit of aiding the schools, and
Mr. BROWN. The object will be accom- feitures; and then the money would go to a very unishing offenders with more certainty, will be obtained. i plished by putting a proviso to the last section of laudable and good purpose. At present, as it
In addition to this provision, your committee propose an the bill providing that the property of persons of seems by the report, the sum amounts to very anual appropriation iron the national Treasury of $20,000, or five years, on the condition that the citizens submit to
color shall not be subject io taxation under this little, and if I did not think it would be greatly te tx above alluded to--that is, a tax of about twenty-six bill.
increased, I would as soon see this provision ousand dollars in the aggregate, for the special purposes Mr. HALE. I do not know that that will cover stricken out as not; but I think, in the end, it will
amount to six or seven thousand dollars a year, pense of their education upon the Federal Treas. acter as are the respective communities in the with a rigid enforcement of the law.
ury? Should not this community bear the tax of several States. It is not right, decent, and just Mr. TOOMBS. The objection is not answered. educating its own children as well as other commu to impose all the expenses of this community It is whether we should continue to pay these nities? Is it right to tax the people of the States, upon the people of the United States. costs as we do? When the subject was under con and devote the fund which you raise from them There is another bill to which I may allode in sideration in the Judiciary Committee last year, to educate children in this District? Is there any this connection, proposing to appropriate money we reported a bill, which was passed by this body, justice in it? This is simply a proposition to for the benefit of an asylum here for the deaf and to amend that great difficulty, but it failed in the fasten permanently on the Treasury an expense dumb. There is no one who has more sympathy other House, though it was a very necessary of $20,000 annually, and as much more as can be for that unfortunate class of our fellow-citizens reform. This being the only money the United got, for the education of children in the District than myself, but where do we derive the power States get for the purpose of paying the very of Columbia. Where do you get the power? From to appropriate for them? I think the appropriaheavy judiciary expenses of the District, I do not what clause of the Constitution is it derived ? I tion contained in the bill to which I have alluded think it expedient to take it away. There is, know that, at this late day, it is considered anti amounts to some two hundred or three hundred however, considerable force in the argument of quated and rather old-fogyish to talk about con- || dollars per scholar for the deaf and dumb. This the Senator from Mississippi, that it is probable stitutional restraints, and we are constantly met community, after asking an appropriation of that criminals will be more vigilantly prosecuted, and with the argument that, in the District of Colum amount to take care of the deaf and dumb here, there will be a more rigid responsibility on the bia, Congress has exclusive power of legislation, now want an appropriation for the education of part of the officers, if this provision be made; and and that, therefore, we can go into the Treasury the thousands of children who are placed in the I do not know, after all, whether it would not be of the United States and appropriate sums with world with all their faculties-hearing, smell, as well to make it, for there seems to be very little out limit for the purposes of the District. When sight, taste, and touch. They come to Congress responsibility in the matter now, and the amount we examine that subject closely, I think we shall for an appropriation of two or three hundred dol. is so small that the United States certainly get find that we have no more authority to appropri- || lars a head to take care of those who are unable to very little, and if the schools will make more out ate money from the national Treasury for the speak, those whose faculties are impaired, while at of it, I am content to withdraw the amendment, education of children in the District of Columbia | the same time there are hundreds of children born though I have no idea it will be done.
than for the education of children in the State of with all their faculties whom they are permitting Mr. HALE. I will offer an amendment in place Massachusetts or the State of Louisiana. It is to become deaf and dumb. Their sympathies are of the one which I first proposed, that I believe true, Congress has exclusive power of legislation || keenly alive to restore those who have lost their will meet the views of the friends of the bill. It is: in the District of Columbia, but that does not faculties, and who never can be restored. It is a
And be it further enarted, That the estates of colored per mean unlimited legislation. Because Congress strange kind of philanthropy. If one portion of sons in the District of Columbia shall be entirely exempted legislates exclusively for this District, Congress the community is to be lost or thrown away, I from all taxes levied for schools and school-houses in the District.
has no power
to take money out of the Treasury || think we had better throw away that portion who Mr. BROWN. I have no objection to that.
of the United States and appropriate it in this Dis cannot be restored, and try to save those who are The amendment was agreed to.
trict to purposes for which it could not appropri- | placed in the world with all their faculties.
ate it in the States. It has no such power. I adMr. JOHNSON, of Tennessee. I move to
I do not make these remarks out of any unkind strike out the following words in the second sec
mit that, while Congress is acting as a Legislature feeling toward the District of Columbia, for I will
for the District of Columbia over the revenue tion of the bill:
go as far to promote their interests, on proper prinor taxes derived from the District, it can appro- ciples, as any one can go; but I am not willing to “ And that whenever the Secretary of the Treasury shall be officially notified by the Mayor that the said tax has been priate them to any purposes to which the Legis tax my constituents, or ihe people of the several levied and collected, it shall be his duty to pay from the lature of the State of Maryland could have ap- States, to do here those things which the people Treasury of the United States, to the persons legally au propriated them; but that legislation must be in in the States are taxed to do for themselves. Let thorized to receive school funds for the city of Washington, reference to taxes collected from the people of the this community educate its own children; let it a sum equal to the amount thus raised by taxation : Provided, that not more than $20,000 per annum shall be paid
District-not to taxes collected from the people of take care of its own deaf and dumb; let it punish by the United States, and that the payments shall continue
the whole Union. You have no more power to its own offenders, build its own prisons, pay its for five years, unless Congress shall otherwise order." appropriate money out of the Treasury of the own jurors and judges, as all other communities
It seems to me that this is a plain and distinct United States, for educational purposes in this in this Confederacy do. Sir, the Congress of the proposition for the Government of the United District, than in the several States of this Confed- United States has been exceedingly partial, to use States to take charge of the public schools in this eracy. We not only violate right and justice, in no stronger term, toward this District from the District. I think, sir, that we have really reached taking a fund which properly belongs to others beginning of the Government. Since this District a point where we ought to stop. There is no Sen for the education of children here, but we violate has been under the charge of the General Gorator here who will go further than myself in pro a plain and fundamental principle of the Consti ernment, up to 1857, we have paid to it, for pur• moting common schools and the cause of educa tution.
poses not connected with any Federal expendi. tion. 'I have given evidence, in my own State, of I know it is stated in the report of the chairman tures, $5,120,000, and this does not include all the my views in that regard. I may also remark, in of the District Committee- und I am a member items-over five million dollars for the local im. this connection, that there is scarcely any one in of the committee, and know something about the provements, and to promote the individual interthe Senate or throughout the country who knows reporting of this bill that the District of Colum ests of the people of the District of Columbia. and feels the wants of educational advantages in bia has had no public lands for this purpose, and Of this sum $1,150,000 was paid under an act for early life more than I do. While I admit the therefore we can appropriate money for it. I am the relief of the several cities in the District We great importance of educating all the children of free to admit that, in my judgment, Congress can have assumed debts that they created, and ought the country, as far as they can be educated in the appropriate the public lands to some purposes to to have paid out of their own funds. Have there common schools and in higher schools, I want it which it cannoi appropriate money oui of the been no other benefits conferred on the District of done on correct principles; and I want those to Federal Treasury Congress may appropriate Columbia by the Government being located here? pay the expense who are justly chargeable with the public lands io aid the cause of education in As I have stated, we have expended for their init. In this case, why should the Government of the States where the lands lie, or even, perhaps, | dividual benefit, and for the promotion of their the United States be taxed to educate the children in other places. There, I think, the power is local improvements, and the payment of their of the people of the District of Columbia any more clear, and the object is national; but I do not see debts, $5,120,000; and while we have been doing than the children in Mississippi, or Tennessee, or what power Congress has to take money out of this, we have also gathered from the different Georgia,or New York, or the New England States? the Treasury, and appropriate it to school pur States of the Confederacy the taxes of the people
, If we look to our own States, we find that there poses in this District.
and poured out $12,748,000, like a feruilizing is a great want of education there; we find that If the relation that exists between the District stream on this particular locality, for the erection there are many children there who are not going and the Congress of the United States is simply of public buildings, and improvements of various to school; but is it, therefore, proper for us to ask that which exists between the people of a State kinds. I have obtained from the Treasury Dethe Federal Government to iake money out of and their Legislature, then, while acting as a Le-partment a statement showing the amount exthe Treasury of the United States to educate gislature for the District of Columbia, we have pended by the United States for improvements in children in the different States? If it is not right no power to appropriate the money of the people the District of Columbia up to June 30, 1857: in regard to the States, surely it is not right in of ihe United States for educational purposes in
Improvements in regard to the District of Columbia. If we have this District; and where is your authority for the
During what time. the District for the not the power to educate children in the States,
Government. passage of this bill? The first section of this bill,
From 1800 to 1848...... $6,530,814 42 at the expense of the Federal Treasury, how can I think, is very liberal, because it proposes to 1848 to 1849.
63,045 99 we have the power to educate children in the Dis- appropriate, for the benefit of the schools in this
69,945 01 trict of Columbia, at the national expense? Where city, all the money collected by the Government
157,370 78 do you derive the power any more in the one case from fines and forfeitures here. In my opinion,
1852 to 1853. than in the other? Where does the right exist that is going far enough,
1849 to 1850,...
Improvements for ihe District. $2,708,253 88
189.00000 195,126 03 279,901 08 158,800 03 154.6.0 03 954.910 81 129,165 58 200,495 26
and they should not, in
223 05 1853 to 1854..
429,884 03 more in the one case than in the other? This is addition to that, ask Congress to give them
1854 to 1855...
1,074,749 65 a common Treasury; and have we ny more au $20,000 annually to sustain common schools here.
1855 to 1856..
1856 to 1857 thority, or any greater claim in right io use it for We already pay the expenses of their judges and
1,859,313 36 the education of children here, than for their edu- / jurors; we build their jails, erect their penitenti
$12,748,842 33 cation in the States ?
aries, and feed their convicts. What more shall I repeat there is no one who has higher regard we do? The States tax their citizens for these of this sum $1,152,857 57 was paid under an act for the for the children of the District of Columbia than I purposes, and do not call upon the Treasury of
relief of the several corporate cities of the District, and have, or who will go further to educate the great the United States to pay these expenses. This
$1,612,249 68 for the redemption of the debt contracted by
said cities, and assumed by the United States. mass of the children throughout the whole country; || community is as much bound in justice, under
F. BIGGER, Register, but is it right, is it constitutional, to place the ex the Constitution, to pay all expenses of this char
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, REGISTER's Orrice,
February 9, 1858.
250,073 77 *$5,120,435 47