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tion" or the exact kind of "meritorious conduct" or service, and in what arm of the service or department rendered, for which such brevet promotion was conferred, whether the same be mentioned or described in the letter of appointment or commission or not.
Mr. TAYLOR, by unanimous consent, submitted the following resolution; which was read, considered, and agreed to:
West Point. Of course, this provision will exhaust itself in the course of the next three or four years, for there will then be no candidates to which it can apply. The committee thought it but proper that this should be held out as a sort of bonus or compensation to these young men for that portion of their time which has been cut out of their lives, as it were; that there should be added to the time when they can enter the Military Academy the term of two years, so they may have the opportunity of obtaining the benefit of a further military education, if they can get the appointment, in addition to the practical military education they have obtained in the field. It does not amount to much; but it is something.
Mr. THAYER. I would vote cheerfully for anything that would benefit the class of officers to whom the chairman of the Military Committee [Mr. SCHENCK] has referred; but it seems to me to be a very equivocal kind of benefit to propose that a gentleman of the age of twentyfour years shall be allowed to enter the Military Academy, for by the time he graduates and is eligible to appointment as a brevet second lieutenant he will be twenty-eight years of age.
Mr. SCHENCK. The gentleman may perhaps not be aware that in filling the five hundred and sixty-four vacancies in the grades of first and second lieutenants of the regular Army, it is found that the candidates for those positions include not merely those who have served in the late war as lieutenants, but many captains and field officers, and even some who have attained the rank of brigadier general in the volunteer service. It is found that men who have obtained some experience of military life during the war, and have acquired some practical knowledge of the service, desire to continue in the service, even in instances where they have become brigadier generals. In almost numberless cases, where they have become field officers, they are willing to be turned back and enter the service again as second lieutenants. Now, if that can be taken as a sample of what may be expected, there will be found many young men wliose devotion to civil pursuits has been interrupted by the war, who will be glad to enter West Point even up to the age of twenty-four years, if vacancies shall occur in the districts in which they reside and they can secure the appointments.
I now call the previous question. The previous question was seconded and the main question was ordered; and under the operation thereof the substitute was agreed to. The joint resolution, as amended, was then ordered to be engrossed and read a third time; and being engrossed, it was accordingly read the third time and passed.
Whereas it is the practice of United States pension agents to deduct from the pensions of widows, orphans, and decrepit soldiers, wherever they draw their pensions, the sum of forty or fifty cents under the pretense that it is a fee allowed by law for making out pension papers, which practice has become the cause of much complaint: Therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Committee on Invalid Pensions be, and are hereby, instructed to inquire into the expediency and propriety of so amending or modifying the present pension laws, if that be necessary, as will require pension agents to pay full pensions to those who are or may be entitled to receive them, and to report by bill or otherwise.
COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS.
The SPEAKER laid before the House a communication from the Commissioner of Public Buildings and Grounds in reply to a resolution of the House of the 10th instant in regard to clerks employed, their former occupation, &c.; which was laid on the table, and ordered to be printed.
APPOINTMENTS TO THE MILITARY ACADEMY.
Mr. SCHENCK, from the Committee on Military Affairs, to which was referred House joint resolution No. 134, relative to appointments to the Military Academy of the United States, with leave to report at any time, reported back the same with an amendment in the nature of a substitute, as follows:
That the age for the admission of cadets to the United States Military Academy shall hereafter be between seventeen and twenty-two years; but any has served and not less than one year as an officer or enlisted man in the Army of the United States, either as a volunteer or in the regular service, in the late war for the suppression of rebellion, and who possesses the other qualifications prescribed by law, shall be eligible to appointment up to the age of twenty-four years.
And be it further resolved, That cadets at the Military Academy shall hereafter be appointed one year in advance of the time of their admission, except in cases where by reason of death or other cause a vacancy occurs which cannot be thus provided for by such appointment in advance; but no pay of allowance shall be made to any such appointee until he shall be regularly admitted on examination as now provided by law; nor shall this provision apply to appointments to be made in the present year; and in addition to the requirements necessary for admission, as provided by the third section of the act making further provision for the corps of engineers, approved April 29, 1812, candidates shall be required to have a knowledge of the elements of English grammar, of descriptive geography, particularly of our own country, and of the history of the United States.
Mr. THAYER. I would like to ask the gentleman from Ohio a question. By what time, in the ordinary course of human events, does he think a man who enters the Military Academy at the age of twenty-four years can be made captain?
Mr. SCHENCK. That would depend very much upon whether we continued in a state of peace or became again involved in war.
Mr. THAYER. I think that about the time he is ready to be appointed captain he would be in a condition to go upon the retired list.
Mr. SCHENCK. The House will understand that the provision to which the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. THAYER] now directs attention is simply this: we propose to extend the age at which a person may enter the Military Academy to seventeen years instead of sixteen years, as it now is. That has been recommended by more than one board of visitors, in consequence of the fact that the young men are found not to be able physically to endure the hardship of the service at West Point at the age of sixteen years. And we propose to make it seventeen years, and then put a year on the other end, making the maximum age at which they can enter twenty-two years instead of twenty-one years.
And the committee further propose that in the cases of those who have served faithfully for one year in the last war, either in the volunteer service or in the regular Army, shall have the benefit of two years, in consideration of that service, in entering the Academy at
Mr. SCHENCK moved to reconsider the vote by which the joint resolution was passed; and also moved that the motion to reconsider be laid on the table.
The latter motion was agreed to.
Mr. MORRILL. I now call for the regular order of business.
The SPEAKER. The first business in order is House bill. No. 543, to provide for restoring to the States lately in insurrection their full political rights, which was reported from the committee on reconstruction, and made the special order for Wednesday last, after the reading of the Journal, and now reached for the first time.
tion of this bill until after the reading of the Journal until this day two weeks.
Mr. BINGHAM. I hope that this bill will not be postponed for so long a time as the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. STEVENS] has proposed. The recital in this bill can no more be urged against the consideration of it before the Senate shall act upon the constitutional amendment recited in it than it could be urged against the enacting clause of any bill origi nating in this House, that because the Senate had not acted upon and passed it the House could not truthfully declare and enact the words "be it enacted by the Senate and House
of Representatives." "The suggestion of the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. STEVENS] would have as much force in the one case as the other. I hope, therefore, this House, if they deem this bill of any importance, will not postpone its consideration any longer than until after the reading of the Journal on Monday next. Let the House do its duty. If it is necessary to pass the entire scheme for the reconstruction of the States lately in insurrection, as reported by the joint committee on reconstruction, then let the House do its duty, its whole duty, and leave the responsibility with the Sen ate, where it belongs. Suppose the Senate do not act on the constitutional amendment for two weeks or four weeks or two months; are we to stand idle here looking on to see whether the Senate will act upon the amendment before we act upon the other measures necessary to the restoration of the insurrectionary States?
Mr. STEVENS. I learn that the Senate will not probably proceed to the consideration of the joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which we have sent to them, until this day week. It will therefore be very awkward to proceed to the consideration of this bill until the Senate shall have, acted one way or the other upon the joint resolution we have sent them, inasmuch as this bill recites the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States as having been acted upon and submitted to the Legislatures of the several States. I therefore move to postpone the further considera
The American people expect this Congress to present to them a system of measures full and complete for the restoration of the States lately in insurrection, depending alone for final consummation upon the sovereign will of the organized States of this Union and the people of the disorganized States, acting under your law.
In this connection I desire to make one other remark. There are now one or two State Legislatures in session. If it shall be the pleas ure of this House to amend the bill now under consideration so as to permit the States lately in insurrection, by the solemn ratification of the amendment to the Constitution which is proposed to them, and by conforming their own constitutions and laws thereunto, to be represented in the Congress of the United States, then it becomes a matter of some importance that Congress shall give them the opportunity to do so while their Legislatures are in session. The House has a duty to per form to that end as well as the Senate. So far as I understand, there is but one Legislature of a State lately in insurrection now in session, and that is the Legislature of the State of Tennessee. Now, I do not know that it will be the pleasure of the House to change this bill in the respect I have indicated; if that change is to be made, then the sooner the House make that change the better, so that the Legislature of Tennessee may indicate its readiness, upon the passage of the bill of the Senate, to accept
But whether the House shall make that change or not, it is well known that there is a Legislature of a northern State now in sessionI mean the Legislature of the State of Connecticut. And therefore, if this bill is to pass in the form in which it came from the committee, it is important that it should pass, as well as the joint resolution proposing the amendment to the Constitution of the United States, in order to allow the Legislature of Connecticut to ratify your amendment, with the knowledge that until it is made part of the Constitution the insurrectionary States cannot be admitted to rep resentation, and thus take that step for the restoration of those States and the reestablishment of the Constitution and the laws over every rood of the lately insurgent territory.
I hope, therefore, if the gentleman from Ver mont Mr. MORRILL] desires to take up and consider the revenue bill, that this bill for reconstruction and restoration will not be postponed longer than until Monday next after the reading of the Journal.
representation. Upon that state of the case,
Mr. STEVENS. I am only speaking of the one now before the House. I agree to the
The SPEAKER. That will put it behind House bill No. 450, to reduce and establish the pay of officers, and to regulate the pay of soldiers of the Army of the United States.
Mr. STEVENS. Mr. Speaker, the proposed amendment to the Constitution may be a good and perfect amendment, without any reference to the bills which are to be passed in further-suggestion of the chairman of the Committee ance of that amendment or to carry it into on the Judiciary that this bill shall be posteffect, or what is more, without reference to poned until after the morning hour. bills making exceptions with regard to those who shall hold office. It may be that the bill disfranchising or rendering ineligible to office certain persons in the southern States may or may not pass; but how does that affect the constitutional amendment? Not in the least. There is no reference to it in the constitutional amendment. So also with regard to the other bills which declare certain things with regard to those States. Each of them stands by itself. One may fall and the other may stand, without affecting the constitutional amendment at all. None of those bills are submitted to the States of the Union; none of them are submitted to the northern States. Therefore the plea of the gentleman amounts to nothing.
Mr. STEVENS. Then I will let it stand as it is.
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. I suggest to the chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs that, by unanimous consent, that bill shall follow after the morning hour. It will lose nothing by it.
Mr. SCHENCK. Although we are prepared and disposed to go on with that bill, I am willing it shall come in after the bills on reconstruction, unless it shall come up in regular order before. This I do with the understandBut the first bill which now comes before us ing it will induce the gentleman to save the for consideration recites that Congress has sub-morning hour to the current business. mitted to the Legislatures of the different Mr. BINGHAM. I move that the bill be States certain propositions for amendment of postponed for one week, to come up after the the Constitution, reciting the very amendment || morning hour; and on that motion I demand which we have sent to the Senate. Now, it is the yeas and nays. not true that Congress has submitted such an amendment to the respective State Legislatures. As it stands at present, that recital is a falsehood upon the face of the bill. Now, in what would this House place itself if we should go on and pass this bill making that recital, and the Senate should fail to pass the measure which we have recited as passed? It would make us look ridiculous. It is an absurdity to ask it; and I do not understand why it should be asked, unless to render this House more ridiculous than it can be made in any other way.
The SPEAKER. This bill could not come up next Monday immediately after the reading of the Journal, for the morning hour of that day has been set apart especially for another
Mr. BINGHAM. Then say Tuesday next, after the reading of the Journal.
Mr. STEVENS. I must say that I do not understand what the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. BINGHAM] means. I thought it was understood that this bill should take the course I have indicated, but it so happens that my friend from Ohio never agrees long to what he and the rest of the committee may agree to at any time upon any particular point.
Mr. BINGHAM. I beg the gentleman's pardon; I never understood any such thing.
Mr. STEVENS. I do not understand the force of the objection of the gentleman from Ohio when he says that we ought to go on and pass this bill so that it may be presented to the Legislatures now in session. These bills which have been reported from the joint committee on reconstruction are not to be presented to the Legislatures now in session or to any Legislatures, whether now in session or not. It is only the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States which is to be submitted to the Legislatures of the several States for their action. Therefore, whether we proceed to pass this bill to-day or two weeks hence will not make a particle of difference in that respect. The gentleman is mistaken; a confusion of ideas has taken possession of his mind, generally so clear, when he supposes that it is necessary to proceed with the consideration of this bill now in order to enable the proposed amend-position ment to the Constitution to be ratified by the State Legislatures. The moment the Senate shall pass the amendment, if they do pass it, it will be sent to the Legislatures of the various States for their action, whether we pass this bill or not, and before we have passed any bill.
Mr. BINGHAM. With all respect to my venerable friend, I must say that the "confusion of ideas" is with himself. The remark I made was this, that if this bill be amended the Legislature of one of these insurrectionary States is now in session
Mr. STEVENS. The gentleman mentioned several northern States.
Mr. BINGHAM. I mentioned the several northern States in regard to the other matter. In regard to the several northern States, if the bill is to pass as reported by the committee, it might become a matter of very serious consideration with the Legislature of a northern State whether it should not before action upon the question look into the conditions of this bill and ascertain the will of Congress, to wit, that this constitutional amendment must first become a part of the Constitution of the United States before any State lately in insurrection, by adopting it and conforming its own constitution and laws to it, can be restored to representation in Congress. That becomes a very serious matter in this respect, if we want speedy restoration of these States. If this bill is to pass as it came from the committee and without amendment, it will, I submit to the House, be necessary that the Legislatures of all the northern States, except those whose Legislatures may be in session, shall be convened as soon as practicable for the purpose of ratifying this amendment and laying the foundation, according to the very terms of your bill, for the restoration of the late insurrectionary States. As the measures stand before the House, if they are not changed in one line or word, they are to be taken as an entirety, and the whole people of this country, therefore, have a direct interest in the final action of Congress upon them, and ought to know our final action before being called upon to act upon them. If the measures be finally passed as they now stand, the constitutional amendment must be first ratified by the northern States or three fourths of the States now represented in Congress before any of the insurrectionary States may ratify it, reorganize their government, and be admitted to
will not come up in the Senate till Tuesday of
I trust that the
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa.
Mr. SCHENCK. With the permission of
Mr. STEVENS. I have not spoken of that bill because I believe it comes up to-morrow.
The SPEAKER. The Chair will state if this bill be postponed the other bill will come up immediately.
A part of the scheme reported by the committee on reconstruction is the House bill No. 544, declaring certain persons ineligible to office under the Government of the United States. It seems to me as a part of the scheme of reconstruction it should be taken up and postponed with the other bill. Thus we will so far indicate to the Senate and the country what we are ready and prepared to do in reference to one item in this account rendered from the committee on reconstruction.
The yeas and nays were ordered.
The question was taken, and it was decided in the negative-yeas 55, nays 73, not voting 55; as follows:
I trust, therefore, that the business of the House will not be needlessly interrupted and the time of the House wasted in the consideration and passage of bills which may become nugatory by the action of the Senate. When the Senate shall have concurred in our action on the constitutional amendment it will be time enough for us to go on and pass the bill reciting the action of both branches of Congress. I think, therefore, that this day two weeks hence, when we shall have got through other business now before us, it will be time enough to take up this bill. The constitutional amendment, as "I have learned this morning, ker, Beaman, Buckland. Bundy, Coffroth, Culver,
NAYS-Messrs. Ancona, Baxter, Benjamin, Bergen, Blaine, Blow, Boutwell, Boyer, Chanler, Sidney Clarke, Conkling, Darling, Davis, Denison, Dumont, Eldridge, Finck, Garfield, Glossbrenner, Goodyear, Grider, Aaron Harding, Abner C. Harding, Hart, Hogan, Holmes, Hotchkiss, Demas Hubbard, Edwin N. Hubbell, Ingersoll, Julian, Kelley, Kerr, Laflin, Latham, Le Blond, Loan, Longyear, McClurg, McCullough, McRuer, Mercur, Miller, Morrill, Niblack, Nicholson, Orth, Paine, Pike, Ritter, Rogers, Rollins, Ross, Sawyer, Shanklin, Sitgreaves, Stevens, Strouse, Taber, Taylor, Thayer, Francis Thomas, Trimble, Burt Van Horn, Ward, Warner, Elihu B. Washburne, William B. Washburn, Williams, James F. Wilson, Stephen F. Wilson, Woodbridge, and Wright-73.
Banks, BarDawson, Dixon, Dodge, Eliot, Farnsworth, Farquhar, Grinnell, Hale, Harris, Hill, Hooper, James Humphrey, James M. Humphrey, Johnson, Jones, Kelso, Lynch, Marshall. Marvin, McIndoe, Morris, Moulton, Myers, Noell, O'Neill, Patterson, Phelps, Pomeroy, Radford, Samuel J. Randall, Raymond, Alexander H. Rice. John H. Rice, Rousseau, Scofield, Shellabarger, Sloan, Smith, Starr, John L. Thomas, Thornton, Trowbridge, Upson, Robert T. Van Horn, Wentworth, and Winfield-55.
So the motion was disagreed to.
YEAS-Messrs. Ames, Anderson, Delos R. Ashley, James M. Ashley, Baker, Baldwin, Bidwell, Bingham, Brandegee, Bromwell, Broomall, Reader W. Clarke, Cobb, Cook, Cullom, Dawes, Defrees, Delano, Deming, Donnelly, Driggs, Eckley, Eggleston, Ferry, Griswold, Hayes, Henderson, Higby, Asahel W. Hubbard, Chester D. Hubbard, John H. Hubbard, James R. Hubbell, Hulburd, Jenckes, Kasson, Ketcham, Kuykendall, George V. Lawrence, William Lawrence, Marston, McKee, Moorhead, Newell, Perham, Plants, Price, William H. Randall, Schenck, Spalding, Stilwell, Van Aernam, Henry D. Washburn, Welker, Whaley, and Windom-55.
The question then recurred on the motion to postpone for two weeks, after the morning hour.
The motion was agreed to.
INELIGIBILITY OF REBELS.
The SPEAKER stated the next business in order to be a bill (H. R. No. 544) declaring certain persons ineligible to office under the Government of the United States.
Mr. STEVENS. I move that be postponed to the day following the bill just disposed of. Mr. PRICE. Is that debatable?
The SPEAKER. To a limited extent, but not as to the merits of the whole question.
Mr. PRICE. I cannot consent to let the vote be taken without saying a few words why the bill should not be postponed. The bill is looked on by all loyal men North and South as vital to the interests of this Government, and I am amazed that we do not pass it at
The people have been asking, and nobody has been able to answer the question, why the
committee have failed for so long a time to give us something definite to act upon; and now after nearly six months have elapsed and the country has been advertised that the bill is before the House and the people have been demanding that something ought to be done in reference to the question, a motion is made very coolly to postpone it for two weeks longer. And I am informed by my friend on my right [Mr. BRANDEGEE] that the motion to postpone the previous bill received the united vote of the Democratic party. That, sir, ought to go on record. The last bill had it, and the fair presumption is that this bill will have it. I will not charge that, because I would fain hope even against hope that the Democratic party here will not vote to postpone this bill as they voted to postpone the last. They are not accountable, however, for our action, and I enter my solemu protest, for one, against the further postpouement of this question, which is one of such vital interest to the country.
Iowa, [Mr. PRICE]-and I am certain I can speak for the whole committee-that they have every wish to carry this bill through at once, without delay; and the only difference between the gentleman from Iowa and the chairman of the committee is as to the best mode of reaching one and the same result.
If rebels are to be disfranchised let us say so at once and not dodge the issue. We are as well prepared to act upon the question now as two weeks or two months or two years hence. We have considered the matter from every standpoint for six months, and if members of this House are not prepared to vote upon it, I think I am safe in saying that everybody out of Congress is prepared to do it if they have an opportunity. Go into any part of the country to-day and talk to your constituencies, and you will be met by this question, "Why do you not give us some platform of principles or indicate to us what you propose to do in reference to allowing these States to come back into the Union, and upon what terms you propose to readmit them?"
Hitherto we have said to the people, "The committee have had the matter under consideration and we expect a report soon." But now the bill is reported and is on our files, where it has lain for two weeks, and when the matter is brought up for consideration after so long a time, after such an intense anxiety has been exhibited by the people for the immediate consideration of the question, the motion is very coolly made to postpone it for two weeks longer.
Sir, no man can tell what even a day may bring forth, much less two weeks; and I undertake to say, without fear of successful contradiction, that if this Congress is not prepared to vote on this bill to-day, it will not be prepared two weeks hence, nor at any future time. I do hope, for the sake of consistency, that this Congress will not vote to postpone it, but will take it up and act upon it, and say to the people of the country what we propose to do in reference to the readmission of these men.
Mr. CONKLING. Mr. Speaker, I agree, for one, entirely with what the gentleman from Iowa [Mr. PRICE] has said, and with what was said by the gentleman from Ohio, [Mr. BINGHAM;] and I think it would be a great mistake that on the part of the committee suppose there is any intention or desire whatever to postpone the consideration of this question; that is, to postpone it in the sense which has been suggested.
Now, I understand that it is a mere practical question of wisdom in conducting legisla tion, whether we had better take up these bills before the Senate has acted, blind as we must be, of course, as to the particular action the Senate will take, and act upon them finally, or whether we shall wait and see whether the action of the Senate upon the proposed constitutional amendment renders it desirable for us to amend or in any way change these bills.
That is the whole question as I understand it. The purpose of the chairman of the committee is to bring about at the earliest possible day final action upon this bill; that is to say, at the earliest day when it can be safely and understandingly taken.
Undoubtedly, sir, we ought to have a policy. Undoubtedly we ought to show what we all feel, a willingness to act at once upon this question; and I beg to assure the gentleman from
Mr. HIGBY. I would like to ask the gentleman a question, and that is, whether the action of Congress upon this bill as proposed will depend upon the results of the action upon the proposed constitutional amendment in the Senate, or whether we cannot act upon this as an independent question, without reference to the joint resolution to amend the Constitution? Mr. CONKLING. I answer the gentleman from California [Mr. HIGBY] that whether we can or cannot is entirely accidental. Suppose the Senate should make some amendment to the joint resolution we have sent them, which amendment would render it necessary to modify one or both of these bills, even the bill of which he now speaks, the bill declaring certain persons ineligible to office under the Government of the United States. Suppose, for example, that the Senate should strike out the third section of the proposed amendment of the Constitution, or should so modify it as to embrace only certain limited clauses, and the gentleman from California or any other member of this House should want to enlarge somewhat the scope of this bill, he will see at once that it will be very necessary to have it before us still subject to modification.
Mr. HIGBY. Suppose the proposed amendment to the Constitution does not pass the Senate; would there be any objection to both branches of Congress acting upon this bill and passing it?
Mr. CONKLING. If the gentleman from California [Mr. HIGBY] wishes to inquire of me, for I have no right to speak for anybody else, whether with or without the proposed constitutional amendment I should be in favor of this disability bill, I will answer him that I should. I say that, constitutional amendment or no constitutional amendment, I am opposed to the ring leaders of this revolt ever being allowed again to hold any offices of emolument or trust under the Government of the United States. I agree with the gentleman from California that that measure is just as strong if the constitutional amendment shall fail in the Senate or before the Legislatures of the several States as it would be if the amendment should pass.
But I submit to him, and I am sure he will agree with me, that it is far safer for this House to have before it both of those measures, so as to adapt them as perfectly as they may be adapted to the action of the Senate, than it would be to go on blindly now and pass either of them before we know certainly what will be the result of the action of the Senate upon the proposed amendment.
And now, unless it will cut off some gentleman who desires to speak, I will demand the previous question upon the motion to postpone.
Mr. BINGHAM. Will the gentleman withdraw for a moment his demand for the previous question?
Mr. CONKLING. Certainly.
Mr. BINGHAM. I have felt desirous, because I supposed it was the wish of the House, that we might be permitted to proceed with the consideration of the revenue bill until they shall have completed it, which I suppose would be by Tuesday next. And therefore I have been disposed, with the consent of my friend from Iowa, [Mr. PRICE,] to move to postpone the further consideration of this bill, No. 544, until after the reading of the Journal on Tuesday next; believing that the House in the interim can dispose of the pending revenue bill.
these bills are in no manner dependent upon or connected with each other. The cne now under consideration contains no recital of any portion of either of the other measures, and has no connection with either of them.
Mr. CONKLING. As the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. STEVENS] made the motion to postpone the further consideration of this bill I prefer that he take the floor upon it.
Mr. STEVENS. The House can postpone it or consider it now.
Mr. BINGHAM. I have no objection to con sidering it now.
Mr. MORRILL. I hope it will not be considered now. I presume that the members of the House would prefer to go on and finish the internal revenue bill. I am anxious that the morning hour shall commence, that we may have some work done upon the special order, the revenue bill.
Mr. CONKLING. I will suggest to my friend from Ohio [Mr. BINGHAM] that the result of his motion, if agreed to, would be to reverse the order in which this bill was reported to the House by the committee.
Mr. BINGHAM. I understand that. But
Mr. STEVENS. I now call the previous question on my motion to postpone the further consideration of this bill till two weeks from to-morrow after the morning hour. If the House prefers to go on with the bill now they can vote down the motion to postpone.
The previous question was seconded and the main question ordered.
The motion of Mr. STEVENS to postpone was agreed to; there being-ayes 62, noes 37. Mr. PRICE called for the yeas and nays. The yeas and nays were not ordered. Mr. PRICE called for tellers on ordering the yeas and nays.
Tellers were not ordered.
Mr. PRICE. I see that gentlemen are afraid to go on the record.
PURCHASES OF PUBLIC LANDS.
Mr. STEVENS. I move to reconsider the vote by which Senate bill No. 203, entitled "An act to enable the New York and Montana Iron Mining and Manufacturing Company to purchase a certain amount of the public lands not now in the market," was referred to the Committee on Public Lands.
The SPEAKER. That motion will be entered.
AMERICAN COTTON COMPANY.
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. I move to reconsider the vote by which the bill introduced by me this morning, to incorporate the American Cotton Company of the District of Columbia, was referred to the Committee for the District of Columbia.
The SPEAKER. The motion will be entered.
AMENDMENT OF TERRITORIAL ACTS. The SPEAKER announced, as the unfinished business of the morning hour, House bill 508, to amend the organic acts of the Territories of Nebraska, Colorado, Dakota, Montana, Washington, Idaho, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico.
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. I move to amend the bill by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting the following:
That the several acts establishing territorial goyernments for the Territories of Nebraska, Colorado, Dakota, Montana, Washington, Idaho, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico, and all acts amendatory thereof, be, and the same are hereby, amended as follows, to wit: the Legislative Assemblies of each of the Territories named shall pass no special acts conferring corporate powers, but they may authorize the forma tion of corporations (except for banking purposes) under general laws, which may be altered or repealed at any time; and the property of all corporations which may hereafter be organized, or which now exist, shall be subject to the same taxation as the property of individuals.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted. That the Legislative Assemblies of the Territories aforesaid, respectively, shall, at their first session after the passage of this act, provide by general laws for the organization of associations for commercial, manufacturing, and mining purposes, for ferries, bridges, turnpikes, and toll-roads, for churches, colleges, and literary and other associations, and for the incorporation of cities and villages, restricting their power of taxation, assessment, borrowing money, contracting debts, and loaning their credit, so as to prevent the abuse of such power.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That the Legisla tive Assemblies of each of the Territories aforesaid shall, at their first session after the passage of this act, prescribe by law the manner in which all cor porations heretofore authorized by acts of said Terri
torial Legislatures shall reorganize under general laws: Provided, That all corporations or associations now duly organized in pursuance of law, and engaged in legitimate business, shall have precedence of any proposed new association, in reorganizing under such general acts of incorporation as may be passed: And provided further, That such reorganization shall be within one year from the date of the adjournment of the first Legislative Assembly in each of the aforesaid Territories after the passage of this act.
SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That all special charters granted by any of the Legislative Assemblies of either of the Territories herein named to associations which have not been organized are hereby declared void, and all persons who may have secured special grants for ferries, bridges, turnpikes, tolroads, or special grants for any purpose, shall be subject to such general laws as the Legislative Assemblies of the Territories aforesaid are authorized and required to pass.
SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That all acts and parts of acts of any of the Legislative Assemblies of the Territories aforesaid, granting to associations or to individuals the exclusive right to go upon and occupy any part of the public domain, or to the exclusive use of the timber or water-powers thereon, . or the right to the exclusive use of water to be taken from lakes, rivers, or streams be, and the same are hereby, declared null and void: Provided, That nothing in this act contained shall be construed in anywise to invalidate any vested rights of persons acquired under the existing laws of eithor of said Territories in any mines, nor to invalidate any corporation or mining company within any of said Territories organized under and in pursuance of any State law or law of Congress.
SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That no person now appointed, or who may hereafter be appointed, by the President to any office in either of the aforesaid Territories shall receive any compensation out of the Treasury of the United States, or out of any contingent fund for services or as compensation for his salary until he shall have entered upon the discharge of his official duties within the Territory; nor shall any officer thus appointed be paid for the time he may be absent from the Territory if absent without authority of the President of the United States.
SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That in case of the death, absence, or inability of any judge of the United States superior courts for any Territory, at the time when the courts for his judicial district are appointed by law to be held, a judge of either of the districts in such Territory, not then occupied, is hereby authorized and may hold court in such district during the absence or inability of any judge, and all judgments, decrees, and orders of said court shall be as binding as if the same were held by the judge appointed therefor.
SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That the Legislative Assemblies of the Territories aforesaid shall hereafter have no power or authority to grant divorces, but divorces may be granted by the courts of the United States in each of said Territories for such cause as may appear to them good and sufficient: Provided, That both parties shall reside in the Territory where the application for divorce is made: And provided further, That public notice shall be given by advertisement in at least two newspapers published in said Territory, stating the court before which the application will be heard and the causes for which the divorce is demanded.
perfected I will yield to the gentleman that he may make that motion. I now yield to the gentleman from Washington Territory, [Mr. DENNY.]
Mr. DENNY. I desire to move to amend the substitute by adding the following as a new section:
And be it further enacted, That where the secretary of any Territory has heretofore performed, or hereafter shall be required to perform, the duties of acting Governor by reason of the absence from the Territory of the Governor, or during a vacancy in said office, said secretary shall be entitled to receive, for the actual time during which the said duties of Governor devolve upon him by law and are actually performed by him, a sum sufficient to make his salary equal to the salary of the Governor.
SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That within the Territories aforesaid there shall be no denial of the elective franchise to citizens of the United States because of race or color, and all persons shall be equal before the law. And all acts or parts of acts, either of Congress or of the Legislative Assemblies of the Territories aforesaid, inconsistent with the provisions of this act, are hereby declared null and void.
SEC. 10. And be it further enacted, That all acts and parts of acts inconsistent with the provisions of this act be, and the same are hereby, repealed.
Mr. KASSON. I desire to suggest an amendment to the chairman of the committee.
The last proviso of the third section reads as follows:
And provided further, That such reorganization shall be within one year from the date of the adjournment of the first Legislative Assembly in each of the aforesaid Territories after the passage of this act.
In order that this may not nullify existing corporations, the words of this act" should be stricken out, and the words "by such Assembly of the act herein required" should be inserted. We cannot, of course, compel the Legislative Assembly to pass those general laws; and if it should neglect to pass them, this section, as now worded, would actually terminate the legal existence of those corporations, not by their fault, but by the fault of the Legislature.
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. I accept the amendment which the gentleman suggests.
Mr. KASSON. Let me suggest further that at the end of the fourth section the words "are authorized and required to pass" should be stricken out, and the words "shall enact as required by this act" should be substituted.
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. I accept the amendment which the gentleman suggests.
Mr. LE BLOND. I desire to move an amendment to strike out the ninth section. Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. After the bill is
Now, sir, I do not know that a single Delegate from the Territories has asked for this. We have no memorial from the people for any such purpose. Yet, sir, we are asked to change their organic acts, and to impose laws upon the Territories which we cannot impose upon the States. We propose to impose upon the people of the Territories what they do not ask for, so far as I know. Why is this? We are here to say there shall be no distinction on account of race or color in reference to the elective franchise in the Territories. Why not make it amend-general throughout the United States, in the States as well as the Territories? Why confine it to the brave men who have gone out to explore and open up the wilderness, when they do not ask for it?
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. I accept that. I will yield to my colleague to move his ment, and then I will demand the previous question.
Mr. LE BLOND. I move to strike out the ninth section, as follows:
SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That within the Territories aforesaid there shall be no denial of the elective franchise to citizens of the United States because of race or color, and all persons shall be equal before the law. And all acts or parts of acts, either of Congress or the Legislative Assemblies of the Territories aforesaid, inconsistent with the provisions of this act, are hereby declared null and void.
Perhaps the last sentence should be left in, for it may have reference to other laws.
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. No, there is a general repealing clause.
Mr. LE BLOND. Then I embrace the whole section.
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. Idemand the previous question.
Mr. WRIGHT. I demand the yeas and
Mr. SPALDING. If that be stricken out I will vote against the bill.
Mr. DAVIS. I desire to call the attention of the chairman of the Committee on Territories to the language of the third section. I think he will find it is more general than desirable. It provides as follows:
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That the Legislative Assemblies of each of the Territories aforesaid shall, at their first session after the passage of this act, prescribe by law the manner in which all corporations heretofore authorized by acts of said Territorial Legislatures shall reorganize under general laws: Provided, That all corporations or associations now duly organized in pursuance of law, and engaged in legitimate business, shall have precedence of any proposed new association, in reorganizing under such general acts of incorporation as may be passed: And provided further, That such reorganization shall be within one year from the date of the adjournment of the first Legislative Assembly in each of the aforesaid Territories after the passage of this act.
There may be special corporations for religious and benevolent purposes. These are not usually the subject of general laws. I move to insert after the word "corporation" where it first occurs these words, "except for benevolent purposes."
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. In my State, literary, religious, and benevolent corporations are organized under general law. But I am willing to accept the amendment.
Mr. SPALDING. Does the bill provide there shall be no more corporations granted other than those now in existence?
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. The bill allows the Legislative Assemblies to pass general laws like those of Ohio and New York in reference to corporations.
Mr. STROUSE. Mr. Speaker, the chairman of the committee will allow me to say a word. I never saw this substitute in the committee-room, and I am quite sure several members of the committee have not seen it. A proposition to change the organic acts of all the Territories is a new thing to me. Yet I have failed but once to attend the meetings of the committee. I know nothing of the substitute except what I have heard here. I ask, therefore, that the chairman will not press through so hurriedly a bill to change the fundamental laws of all the Territories.
We ought not to ask the House thus hastily to consider them. I say this in no unkindness to the chairman. It is a matter of duty to the House.
I do not know what has been stricken out from the original bill or what remains. There are objectionable features in the bill which ought to be understood before they are adopted.
Mr. Speaker, it ought to be thoroughly investigated, and not passed hurriedly as though it were only for the construction of a bridge across the Potomac.
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. Mr. SpeakerMr. HOOPER, of Utah. Will the gentleman yield for an amendment?
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. I cannot yield for the gentleman to offer an amendment of the character he indicates.
Mr. HOOPER, of Utah. I want to offer it and to give my reason for it.
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. I was somewhat surprised to hear my colleague say that he was not present when this bill, No. 508, was ordered to be reported. The substitute I did not claim to be authorized to report by the committee. Most of the members were absent, and after consultation with some gentlemen, offered on my own responsibility the substitute, which consists simply in striking out one section and five lines of another. I found in my journey over the Territories last year that a bill of this kind was necessary. The majority of the legislation in the new Territories consists simply in shingling them over with special corporations in which, in the main, the officers of the Territories are personally interested.
Mr. WRIGHT. Will the gentleman allow me to ask whether this special legislation of which he speaks is in character like the gift enterprises we have been carrying out here?
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. Some of it is. I desire to have the same laws applied to those Territories which we have in some of the old States, such as New York, Ohio, and Illinois, where, after experience, a system of incorporation has been introduced compelling all associations to carry on business under a general law.
Mr. HARDING, of Illinois. I would ask the gentleman whether he proposes to depart from the precedents of legislation in reference to the Territories that have prevailed in the past.
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. Yes, sir. Mr. HARDING, of Illinois. You propose to legislate in reference to their Delegates, their bridges, their canals, their mills, their corporations, their schools, their churches, and everything else. You propose to legislate in reference to their domestic matters. Now, why not leave them to the control of the laws of the United States, as administered by the Supreme Court, and let them manage their own affairs, subordinate to the general laws of the land, as they have done heretofore? If they burn their fingers, let them cure them. Why undertake to apply this new system?
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. I want this bill to pass so as to secure the people against combinations in their Legislatures, the majority of whom being transient persons grant special privileges to the few which obstruct the settlement of the country, hinder its prosperity, and are of no special interest to any persons except those who get the charters. If men want to organize for legitimate purposes they can do so under a general law quite as effectively and
ing out, in my judgment, of a political scheme. And in saying this, I ought to be exceedingly careful lest my distinguished colleague [Mr. SCHENCK] should charge me with uttering sentiments reflecting upon the judgment and action of this Congress; for he seems to be peculiar in his notions as to the propriety of language to be used in this House.
certainly more honestly than a majority of them do under special acts of incorporation.
Mr. HARDING, of Illinois. You deny to the Legislature the power to give an exclusive right to the enjoyment, for instance, of water flowing across public lands in any case, I believe. Now, we had in the Territory of Illinois a law which authorized a party to enter upon the public land adjoining a dam, he owning one side of a stream. Why not allow a man the right to build a dam across a stream and rest one end of it on Government land?
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. There is nothing in this bill to prevent parties from organizing under the general law for every conceivable business purpose.
Mr. ELDRIDGE. The third section, it seems to me, provides for additional benefits and privileges to those corporations existing at the time of the passage of this act. It gives them preference to others. It seems to me, therefore, that the purpose of the bill is to give additional value to such corporations as have already organized or have procured acts of incorporation.
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. Not at all. Mr. ELDRIDGE. Is there not something lying back of this bill of that sort?
Mr.ASHLEY, of Ohio. Not at all. My friend from Wisconsin [Mr. ELDRIDGE] is too good a lawyer not to know that a special act of incorporation is more valuable than an organization under a general law. Under a general act of incorporation the existing associations have a right to reorganize.
Mr. ELDRIDGE. The gentleman's answer is quite satisfactory, excepting in this particular: the gentleman says that an organization is no more valuable under a special act than under a general law—
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. I say that, as a rule, it is more valuable under a special act than under a general law.
Mr. ELDRIDGE. Whether that is so or not depends upon the powers granted. But here certainly is a provision that all corporations or associations now duly organized in pursuance of law shall have precedence of any proposed new associations.
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. That corresponds precisely with the law we passed in regard to banks. When the national banking system was established, we provided that an existing banking association located in any city or village might organize and have precedence over a new association. The object is, in the first place, to guard existing vested rights; and in the next place, to encourage the organization of associations under the general law.
Mr. ELDRIDGE. But does the bill limit the number of corporations that shall organize under the general law?
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. That matter is left to the discretion of the Legislature. I suppose that the Legislature would not limit the number.
Mr. ELDRIDGE. What advantage, then, can the existing corporations have over other corporations which may hereafter be organized, if the latter may be created without restriction
as to number?
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio. It is to be left to the discretion of the Legislature whether the number shall be unrestricted.
I now yield to my colleague, [Mr. LE BLOND.] Mr. LE BLOND. Mr. Speaker, I propose to occupy the attention of the House but a moment; and I should not do so but for the fact that the ninth section of this bill applies to these Territories a principle which I believe has never before been adopted in the organization of any Territory of the United States. By this bill Congress assumes in reference to suffrage in the Territories a power which I believe it has never before exercised in the history of this Government. Now, sir, speaking for myself alone, I say that I do not believe Congress has any power to say to the people of the Territories, You shall extend the right of suffrage to all your citizens irrespective of color." This bill inaugurates a new system. It is the carry
But, sir, I conceive that this provision of the bill before us has and can have no other purpose than to carry out this cherished idea that all men should be made equal before the law.
I am aware that my colleague from the Cleveland district [Mr. SPALDING] will vote against this bill if the ninth section be stricken out, and if left in of course I shall vote against it. I have made the motion to strike out this section because it raises directly the issue whether we in this Congress are in favor of granting the right of suffrage to all classes irrespective of color. Gentlemen can now upon this proposition place themselves right before their constituents by declaring whether they are in favor of it; for let me say to gentlemen that those who vote against striking out this section place themselves on record as favoring equal suffrage throughout the whole country."
Sir, if this Congress has the constitutional right to pass a provision of this kind, and if it is proper to bestow the right of suffrage upon the colored people of the Territories, the principle applies equally to the States. Gentlemen cannot escape this conclusion.
Mr. SPALDING. I desire to ask my colleague whether the majority of this House has not already made its record of this question by the vote on the bill regulating suffrage in the District of Columbia.
Mr. LE BLOND. That is very true. I thank my friend for a suggestion. But what follows? A number of gentlemen on the other side of the House turn round and say that a handful of men on this side have forced them to vote against their real sentiments-that they were in favor of a property or educational qualification for voters in this District. A large number of gentlemen claiming to constitute the conservative element upon the other side of the House say to-day that they were opposed to the suffrage bill in the shape in which it passed.
Mr. SPALDING. What was the action of the Democratic side of the House on that question?
Mr. LE BLOND. We were opposed to the whole thing. We voted against it. Our record is against granting suffrage to the colored race under any circumstances whatever by the Congress of the United States. The power is with the States.
Mr. SPALDING. If I recollect aright, the gentleman and his political associates voted with me to sustain the previous question.
Mr. LE BLOND. Because we wanted that those who claim to be conservative men, but who blow both hot and cold, should be put on the record before their constituents. We determined that they should "face the music," as became men, and if they were sincere in the speeches they made in opposition to that bill they would vote against its passage and defeat it by our help.
Let me say one word in reference to the constitutional amendment which passed this House last week. Gentlemen upon that side of the House spoke in opposition to the bill. We again believed them sincere. We hoped and expected to defeat the bill, as we had a right to do, giving full faith and credit to what honorable gentlemen said in their speeches. We had no right to expect anything else than that they would vote against it if brought to a vote upon the bill as it came from the committee on reconstruction. Such being our views, what was our duty? We were opposed to the bill. For one I am opposed to any change in the Constitution as long as there are States unrepresented here.
Our duty was to force a vote upon the bill as reported, and we succeeded. But again we were doomed to disappointment; for the very
gentlemen who spoke so forcibly against the bill, when it came to a vote voted in its favor. Now they attempt to throw the responsibility of its passage upon the few Democrats on this side of the House. If, sir, they can go back to their constituents and convince them that thirty Democrats passed that measure, they possess more convincing powers than I think they do, and have a more pliable constituency than I believe they have.
I am aware that such members as have a press under their control are using it for that purpose, but the sequel this fall will determine how far they have or can succeed in deceiving the people. I shall call for the yeas and nays on my motion to strike out, and will then see how many conservatives will write home charging that thirty Democrats are responsible for negro suffrage in all the Territories of the United States.
I thank my colleague for his courtesy in yielding to me.
Mr. ASHLEY, of Ohio, demanded the previous question.
The previous question was seconded and the main question ordered.
Mr. WRIGHT demanded the yeas and nays on Mr. LE BLOND'S motion.
The yeas and nays were ordered.
The question was taken; and it was decided in the negative-yeas 36, nays 76, not voting 72; as follows:
YEAS-Messrs. Ancona, Delos R. Ashley, Bergen, Boyer, Chanler, Dawson, Denison, Eldridge, Finck, Glossbrenner, Goodyear, Grider, Aaron Harding, Chester D. Hubbard, Edwin N. Hubbell, Kerr, Kuykendall, Latham, Le Blond, Marshall, Niblack, Nicholson, Phelps, William H. Randall, Ritter, Rogers, Ross, Rousseau, Shanklin, Sitgreaves, Strouse, Taber, Taylor, Trimble, Whaley, and Wright-36. NAYS-Messrs. Allison, Ames, Anderson, James M. Ashley, Baker, Baldwin, Banks, Baxter, Blaine, Blow, Boutwell, Brandegce, Broomall, Sidney Clarke, Cook, Cullom, Darling, Davis, Dawes, Deming, Donnelly, Dumont, Eggleston. Farnsworth, Ferry, Garfield. Griswold, Hart, Hayes, Higby, Holmes, Hooper, Hotchkiss, Asahel W. Hubbard, Demas Hubbard, John H. Hubbard, Hulburd, Ingersoll, Jenckes, Julian, KeHey, Kelso, William Lawrence, Loan, Longyear, Lynch, Marston, McClurg, McRuer, Mercur, Miller, Moorhead, Morrill, Orth, Paine, Patterson, Perham, Pike, Plants, Price, Rollins, Sawyer, Spalding, Thayer, Francis Thomas, Van Aernam, Burt Van Horn, Ward, Warner, Elihu B. Washburne, William B. Washburn, Welker, Williams, James F. Wilson, Stephen F. Wilson, and Windom-76.
NOT VOTING-Messrs. Alley, Barker, Beaman, Benjamin, Bidwell, Bingham, Bromwell, Buckland, Bundy, Reader W, Clarke, Cobb, Coffroth, Conkling, Culver, Defrees, Delano, Dixon, Dodge, Driggs, Eckley, Eliot, Farquhar, Grinnell, Hale, Abner C. Harding, Harris, Henderson, Hill, Hogan, James R. Hubbell, James Humphrey, James M. Humphrey, Johnson, Jones, Kasson, Ketcham, Laflin, George V. Lawrence, Marvin, McCullough, MeIndoe, McKee, Morris, Moulton, Myers, Newell, Noell, O'Neill, Pomeroy, Radford, Samuel J. Randall, Raymond, Alexander H.Rice, John H. Rice, Schenck, Scofield, Shellabarger, Sloan, Smith, Starr, Stevens, Stilwell, John L. Thomas, Thornton, Trowbridge. Upson, Robert T. Van Horn, Henry D. Washburn, Wentworth, Winfield, and Woodbridge-72.
So the House refused to strike out the ninth section.
The substitute was then agreed to. The bill, as amended, was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time; and being engrossed, it was accordingly read the third
Mr. LE BLOND demanded the yeas and nays on the passage of the bill.
The yeas and nays were ordered.
The question was taken; and it was decided in the affirmative-yeas 79, nays 43, not voting 51; as follows:
YEAS-Messrs. Alley, Allison, Ames, Anderson, James M. Ashley, Baldwin, Banks, Baxter, Bidwell, Bingham, Blaine, Boutwell, Broomall, Reader W. Clarke, Sidney Clarke, Cobb, Cook, Cullom, Dawes, Defrees, Deming, Donnelly, Dumont, Eggleston, Farnsworth, Ferry, Garfield, Griswold, Abner C. Harding, Hart, Hayes, Higby, Holmes, Hooper, Hotchkiss, Asahel W. Hubbard, Demas Hubbard, John H. Hubbard, Hulburd, Ingersoll, Jenckes, Julian, Kelley, Kelso, William Lawrence, Loan, Longyear, Lynch, Marston, McClurg, Mercur, Miller, Moorhead, Morrill, Orth, Paine, Patterson, Perham, Pike, Plants, Price, Rollins, Sawyer, Schenck, Spalding. Thayer, Francis Thomas, Van Aernam, Burt Van Horn, Ward, Warner, Elihu B. Washburne, William B. Washburn, Welker, Williams, James F. Wilson, Stephen F. Wilson, Windom, and Woodbridge-79.
NAYS-Messrs. Ancona, Delos R. Ashley, Baker, Benjamin, Bergen, Boyer, Chanler, Darling, Davis, Dawson, Denison, Eldridge, Finck, Glossbrenner,