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Mr. R. from the same committee, reported back to the House, Senate bill entitled, An aci for the relief of Joseph Paxion, accompanied by a report, in writing, recommending that sad bill be rejected.
Also, reported back to ine House, Senate billentirled, Ao act for the relief of Adam D. Stewart, with a report, in writing, recommending that said bill be rejeciel.
Also, reported back to the House Senate bill entitled an act for the relief of N. G. Hamilton, accompanied by a report recommending that sail bill do not pas: which bills were severally referred to the Committee of the Whole, and made the order of the day for to-morrow.
Mr. GIDDINGS, from the Committee of Claims, made unfavorable reports on the petitions of Bowie, Kariz, and others, owners of the sh p Allegheny; Enos Soper, Nathan Coats, Samuel S. Sayles, ani Charles S. Little; which were severally ordered to lie on the table.
Mr. GENTRY, from the Commiitee of Claims, leported a bill for the relief of John E. Alexander; which was read twice, and committed.
Mr. MALLORY, from the Committee of Claims, made an unfavorable report on the petition of Joseph Sasser; which was ordered 10 lie on the table.
Oa motion of Mr. BOTTS, the Committee of Commerce was discharged from the further consideration of the petition of Ferdinand Clark; and it was ordered to lie on the table.
Mr. TOLAND, from the Committee of Commerce, reported a bill making appropriations for the erection of custom-houses and public storehouses; which was read iwice, and committed.
Mr. WHITE of Louisiana, from the Committee of Commerce, reported a bill to establish ports of entry in the States of Arkansas and Missouri, and to allow debenture on foreign goods conveyed over land from such ports to Mexico, accompanied by a report; which was read twice, and committed to the Commitice of the Whole on the state of the Union.
Mr. BEIRNE, from the Committee for the District of Columbia, reported back to the House, wi hout amendment, Senate bill, entitled An act for the relief of Casper W. Weaver; which was committed.
On motion of Mr. BEIRNE, the Committee for the District of Colu inbia was discharged fri in the fariher consiueration of the petition of William Wheatley, and it was ordered to lie on the table. Then,
On motion of Mr. WELLER,
the rules so as to compel the attendance of Senators at the hour to which the Senate stands adjourned.
The bill to quiet the villes of several claimants to lands in the States of Missouri and Arkansas, and for other purposes, wa, iaken up and considered as in committee of the whole, and after some remarks from Messrs. LINN and WEBSTER, was referred to the Committee on Public Lands.
The bill to authorize the Legislature of the State of Louisiana to sell the lands heretofore appropriated for the use of schools within that State, was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading.
The bill to perfect the titles 10 lands south of the Arkansas river, held under New Madrid locations, and pre-emplion rights under the act of 1814: ordered to be engrossed for a third reading.
The bill to authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to refund the duties collected in the French ship Alexander: ordered to be engrossed for a third reading.
The bill for the benefit of the Howard Institution of the City of Washington, was, after some remarks from Messrs. MERRICK and TAPPAN, ordered to be engrossed tor a third reading.
The bill au horizing the States to tax any lands within their limits sold by the United States, was, after some remarks from Messrs. LINN, SEVIER, NORVELL, HENDERSON, WHITE, and YOUNG, passed over informally.
GENERAL BANKRUPT LAW. The Senate resumed the consideration of the bill to establish a uniform system of bankrupicy, ihe question being on Mr. Wall's motion to strike out the original biil, and insert a substitute.
Mr. BENTON addressed the Senate at great length in opposition to the bill reported by the majority of the Committee on ihe Judiciary, and expressed his determination to vote for the substitute submitted by Mr. Wall, with certain modifications
The bill was then informally passed over, and
TUESDAY, May 26, 1840. Mr. SMITH of Indiana said, upon an examination of the yeas and nays, on the propostion to instruct the Committee of Ways and Means to report a bill for lhe continuation of the Crimberland road in the States of Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois, he found that his name had been om tied. He was firmly impressed with the belief that he had responded to the call of the Clerk, and voted for the instructions. If he did not do it, it was certainly his intention to have voted for ihe iristructions. He iherefore hoped the House would permit him to have his vo e recorded in favor of the instructions.
It required the unanimous consent of the House to am nd the journal in that particular; and
Mr. CRANSTON having objected, on the ground that it might lead to abuses, the request of Mr. S. was refused.
Mr. CROCKETT, by universal consent, presented the following resolution, which was read, and agreed 10, viz:
Resolved, That lhe Committee on Military Affairs be instructed to inquire into the expediency and propriety of allowing pay to Littlejohn Wil. kins, John Lynch, Wm. P. Ford, and Alexander H. Patrick, late members of Captain Baker's company, Tennessee volunteers, in service of the United States, in Florida, in 1836, for their horses and equipage turned over to Government.
Mr. BLACKWELL, by the general consent of the House, presented the following resolution, which was agreed 10:
Resolved, That the Committee on Invalid Pensions inquire into the expediency of granting a pension to James S. Hall, of Tennessee, and that the papers in the case be referred to the said committee.
Mr.CHINN, by the general consent of the House, prsented the following resolution, which was agreed 10:
Resolved, That the President be requested to communicate to this House a copy of the charges preferred by Dr. John Baldwin, a citizen of ihe State of Louisiana, against Marmaduke Bur
roughs, Consul at Vera Cruz, together with all such correspondence and proceedings as may have grown out of ihe same.
Mr. GIDDINGS moved a suspension of the rules to enable bim to present to the House a resolation, which was read for information, as follows,
Whereas a printed pamphlet has recently been circulated in this city purporiing to be an addiess of Amos Kendall to the people of the United States; which pamphlet charges a portion of the members of this House with "causing the public business to be delayed,” “the public faith violated," with "practising unheard-of abuses,” and “wiih violating the laws,” and of other practices derogatory to the character of the members of this House: Therefore,
Resolved, That the President of the United States be requested to inform this House, whether the said Amos Kendall continued to exercise the duties of Postmaster General on the 21st day of May, 1840, being the day of publishiog the said pamphlet. If not, on what day did his commission with said office cease.
Mr. GIDDINGS demanded the yeas and pays on the motion to suspend the rules; which having been ordered, were-yeas 60, nays 102, as follows:
YEAS-Messrs. Adams, John W. Allen, Barnard, Bell, Bond, Calhoun, William B. Campbell, Carter, Chinn, Clark, Cran. ston, Crockett, Edward Davies, Dawson, Deberry, Dennis, Dellet, Evans, Gentry, Giddings, Goode, Graham, Graves, Green, Hall, William S. Hastings, Hawes, Henry, llunt, James, Charles Johnston, Cave Johnson, Kempshall, Lincoln, McCarty, Mason, Morgan, Calvary Morris, Ogle, Osborne, Paleu, Profhi, Randolph, Ridgway, Russell, Sergeant, Slade, Albert Smith, Thomas Smith, Stanly, Storrs, Stuart, Talia: ferro, Toland, Tripleti, Trumbull, Turney, Edward D. White, Thomas W. Williams, and Lewis Williams-60.
NAYS-Messrs. Hugh J. Anderson, Andrews, Atherton, Banks, Beatty, Blackwell, Boyd, Briggs, Burke, Sampson H. Butler, Bynum, Carr, Carroll, Casey, Chapman, Clifford, Coles, Connor, Mark A. Cooper, William R. Cooper, Crabb, Craig, Crary, Cross, Cushing, Dana, John Davis, John W. Da. vis, Doan, Doig, Dromgoole, Duncan, Eastman, Ely, Everelt, Fine, Fletcher, Floyil, Fornance, James Garland, Rice Garland, Gerry, Goggin, Griffin, Hammond, Hard, John Hastings, Hillen, Hook, Hopkins, Howard, Hubbard, Jackson, Jameson, John W. Jones, Keim, Kille, Lowe'l, Lucas, McClellan, McCulloch, McKay, Mallory, Marchand, Miller, Montanya, Montgomery, Nisbel, Parrish, Parmenter, Paynter, Peirikin, Pren tisg, Ramsey, Rariden, ReynoldsRhett, Edward Rogers,
ames Rogers, Ryall, Samuels, Shaw, Shepard, John Smitlig Starkweather, Steenrod, Strong, Sumter, Swearingen, Sweney, Taylor, Francis Thomas, David D. Wagener, Watterson, Weller, John White, Wick, Jared W. Williams, Henry Wils liams, Jseph L. Williams, Christopher H, Williams, and Wise--102.
So the rules were not suspended.
The SPEAKER then called the committees for reports; when
Mr.HILLEN, from the Committee on Coin. merce, to which had been referred memorials from pilots of New York, Pennsylvania, Baltimore, No folk, and Charleston, praying for the repeal of the law of March 2d, 1837, concerning pilots, offercu to make a report from said committee, accompanied by a bill to repeal said law; which he asked to have read.
Mr. CURTIS objected to its reception, on the ground (as a question of order) that it was not the report of thc majority of the committee-he him. self having been instructed by the majority of that committee to make a report of a directly contrary character.
The report offered by the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. HillEN] had, Mr. C. said, once been the report of the majority of the committee; but the vote had, subsequent to its adoption, and before the report had been made to the House, been reconsidered by the committee, in consequence of additional information having been produced, and a large number of remonstrances having been referred to the committee at a date subsequent to the adop!ion of the said report.
Mr. C. referred to the parliamentary law, (page 135 of the Manual,) where it is laid down that reports once passed by a committee cannot be altered, excepi by the House, their votes being binding upon them; and contended that this rule had no application, under that law, to the standing committees, but to the Committee of the Whole. The point was now presented wheiher there could be two majority reports from the same committee, the one being direct y adverse to the other.
Mr. HILLEŃ contended that the reconsidera. tion was a direct violation of the rules; tha: the whole subject matter contained in the remors rances
TUESDAY, May 26, 1840. The CHAIR sub nitted a report from the Secretary of War, in compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 20th of April, 1836, relative to sites for fortifications on the coast of Mizsissippi; which was referred to lhe Committee on Military Affairs, and ordered to be printed.
Mr. WILLIAMS presented documents in relatioa to the claim of Thankful Reynolds; which were referred to the Committee on Pensions.
Mr. WRIGHT presented the petitiion of Pru. dence Barton; which was presented to the Committee op Revolutionary Claims,
Mr. MERRICK, from the Committee on the District of Columbia, reported
A bili for the relief of John Carter, and
A bill to amend the charter of the city of Alex. dria; which were severaily read, and ordered to a second reading.
Mr. LINN, from the Committee on Private Land Claims, to which was referred the House bill for the relief of certain settlers on the Salt Lick Reservation, in the Western district of Tennessee, reported the same without amendment.
Mr. HUBBARD, from the Committee on Claims, to which was referred the bill for the relief of General Duncan L. Clinch, reported the same without amendment.
Mr. SEVIER gave notice, that, to-morrow he would ask leave to intoduce a resolution to amend
first on the adoption of the amendment of Mr. LINCOLN, and then on ordering the bill to be engrossed for a third reading.
Mr. ANDREWS again moved that the House adjourn; which motion was disagreed to-yeas 55,
spoken of ħad, in substance, been before the concmittee previous to the adoption of the report which he bad offered; and that ihe proper course for the gentleman from New York (Mr. Curtis] to have pursued, would have been to have heard it read, ane then to have moved its recommitment, offering as an argument in favor of the motion, that new testimony had been introduced-though, in fact, Mr. H. contended, no new testimony had introduced, the committee having, in substance, the whole of it before them when they agreed upon report.
Some explanations followed between Messrs. CURTIS and HILLEN as to the proceedings which took place committee, and as to certain conversations which passed between them in relation thereto.
Mr. TOLAND submitted that the House had nothing to do with the proceedings in committee, and the only question for the House to decide was, whether, having taken a vote, the committee had the power to reconsider it. The proposition was too plain, he thought, to need discussion.
Mr. RUSSELL argued generally on the power of the committee to reconsider, and insisted on their right to do so. He had not concluded when, the morning hour having expired,
On motion of Mr. PROFFIT,
The SPEAKER laid before the House a message from the President of the United Stales in retion to certain presents transmitted to him by the Saltan of Muscat, and suggesting legislative provision for such cases. Referred, on motion of Mr. CUSHING, to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and ordered to be printed.
[The message was published in the Senate proceedings of yesterday.]
PRE-EMPTION BILL. The SPEAKER announced that the next business in order was the bill granting pre-emption rights to settlers on the public lands. The question immediately pending was the amendment offered by the gentleman from Massachusetts, Mr. LINCOLN, as follows:
“ Strike out all after the word 'extended,' in the 7th line of the 5th section, and insert1. “To every actual settier on the public lands, being the head of a family, or over twenty-one years of age, who was in possession, and a householder by personal residence thereon, at the time of passage of this act, and for four months next preceding, with the same exceptions, whether general or special, and subject to all the limitations and conditions contained in the above recited act, and with the explanatory provisions of the preceding sections: Provided, however, That the provisions of this act shall not give a right of pre-emption to any lands subject to sale by private entry at the time of the passage hereof: And provided, further, That ihe continuance hereby in force of the act to which this is supplemental, shall not be construed to extend the time to any settler who has a right of preemption under that act, in which to make his entry and payment for said land, and perfect his title thereto, but the same shall be done in the same time and manner as if this act had not been passed.”
Mr. LINCOLN then addressed the House at great length in opposition to the bill as it then stood, and in support of his amendment, which he considered would remove the objection. He took a general review of the past policy of the Government in relation to the principle of pre-emption; and although he was willing to leave that principle as it now stood, he could not consent to an extension of it. He then examined the bill by sections, and with much earnestness contended that its ope. ration would be extremely unjust and unequal. In taking a review of all the laws passed on the subject, he showed that every one of them required a previous residence on the land before the privilege was granted, but that this bill contained an entirely new principle, and gave the right to all such persons wbo might be found on the land at the time of the passage of this act, without requiring any proof of previous residence. He regarded the billas calcalated to produce the most injurious results, and shat it was an innovation of the legislation of for
mer Congresses, containing in every section either an extension of old rights, or the creation of new ones.
At this stage of the remarks, the SPEAKER announced that the House would, according to order, take a recess.
EVENING SESSION. Mr. LINCOLN concluded his remarks in opposition the bill. His remarks will be published hereafter in full.
Mr. WHITE said it was his conviction that the bill was calculated to encourage fraud and afford facilities for the commission of the most corrupt perjury. He thought it a measure of the most odious character, and fraught with the most injurious consequences. The tendency of the course of those who advocated is, was in direct opposition to the best interests of the country. The operation of the measure would be immoral, unconstitutional; it would diminish the revenue; and its provisions were such that he who had least honesty would make the most out of it. Mr. w. denounced the pre-emption seitlers as intruders, who had seized on the most eligible places when they had done nothing, nor encountered any of the dangers. They were in no fear, like the early settlers, from the Indians, for now there was a standing army beyond the limits of the Territory to protect them; yes, to protect these very intruders. Had not the old States been taxed to pay for those Indian wars? And yet these intruders went and reaped all the benefit. If this measure was honest and fair, then he would for it; but if this bill were passed, it would encourage fraud between debtor and creditor, and its operation would be immoral, as the report of the public officer of Louisiana, just read, showed that perjury of the most unblushing character was invited. It was unconstitutional, because it was opposed to that c!ause of the Constitution which guarantied equal rights; and it was a robbery, because it would take away that which belonged to others. Mr. W. illustrated the position he had taken at some lergih, and concluded by denouncing the bill as partial and unfair. He contended that such a subject, involving millions of the public money, ought not to be dealt with in this partial way. If we were to have a pre-emption law, let it be one of a permanent and impartial character.
Mr. HUBBARD, having with some difficulty obtained the floor, said he would make a few remarks in reply to the opponents of the bill, after which he woulu move the previous qnestion. He consislered it due to the supporters of the bill, that some explanation should be made, to show how very weak the objections were which had been urged against it.
Mr. H. then examined the various exceptions taken by Messrs. Lincoln and White to the bill, and explained ils intended operation. He said it was very natural that gentlemen not acquainted with the Western country should start objections of that character; but to those who knew how matters really were, the bill could not fail to be satisfactory. He noticed and replied to all the objection serialim, but the uproar in the Hall was so great that the Reporter failed in getting the argument. On concluding, however, Mr. H. claimed to have triumphantly answered every objection, and that he had "squared off” with both the gentleman from Kentucky and the gentleman from Massachuselis. Mr. H. concluded by moving the previous question.
Mr. HOWARD suggested that the House should adjourn and let the question be taken on the bill to morrow.
Mr. L. WILLIAMS moved that the House adjourn; and on that motion
Mr. CHAPMAN of Alabama demanded the yeas and nays; which having been ordered, wereyeas 67, nays 87.
So the House resused to adjourn.
Mr. L. WILLIAMS moved a call of the House, and on bat motion demanded the yeas and nays; which the House refused on count, yeas 47,
The previous question was then seconded, and the main question ordered.
Mr. WELLER demanded the yeas and nays on the main question---which main question would be
Mr. LINCOLN modified his amendment so as to amend the bill, by striking out all after the word "extended” in the 7th line of the 5th section, and inserting, “lo every actual settler of the public lands, being the head of a family or over twentyone years of age, who was in possession of a household, by personal residence thereon, at ihe time of the passage of this act, and frein the first of April next preceding, wiih the same exceptions, whether general or special, and subject to all the limitations and conditions contained in the above recited aci, and with the explanatory provisions of the preceding sections. Provided, however, that the provisions of this act shall not give a right of pre-emption to any lands subject to sale by private entry, at the time of the passage hereof. And provided further, that the continuance hereby in force of the act to which this is supplimental, shall not be construed so as to extend the time to any seltler who has a right of pre-emption under that act, in which to make his entry and payment for said land, and perfect his title thereto, but the same shall be done in the same time and manner as if his act had not been passed."
The yeas and nays having been ordered on the adoption of the above amendment, were taken, and were--yeas 86, nays 97, as follows:
YEAS--Messis. Alsord, John W. Allen, Andrews, Bauka Baker, Bond, Bola, Bugis, Brockway, Bynum, Cal houn, John Campbell, William B. Campbell, Carter, Clark, Coloz, Connor, James Cooper, Mark A. Cooper, Cranston, Crockel, Curtis, Garret Davis, Dawson. Deberry, Dennis, Dromgoole, Edwarıls, Everett, Fisher, James Garland, Rice Garland, Gentry, Giddings, Goggin, Goode, Graham, Graves, Green, Griffin, Grinnell, llaberstiam, Hall, Wm. S. Hastings, Hawes, Hawkins, Ihll of North Carolina, llolmes, Hunt, Charles Johnston, Cave Johnson, Kempshall, King, Lincoln. Mason. Montgomery, Nisbel, Ogle, Osborne, Ran. dolph, Rayner, Russell, Saltonstall, Samuels, Sergeant, She pard, Slade, Truinan Smith, Stanly, Storrs, Sumter, Taliaferro, Waddy Thompson, Tillinghazi, Toland, Tripleti, Trum. bull, Underwood, Warren, Edward D. White, John White. Thomas W. Williams, Lewis Williams, Joseph L. Williams, Christopher II. Williams, and Wise--86.
NAY-Mensrs, Hugh J. Anderson, Atherton, Beatry, BlackBlackwell, Boyd, Aaron V. Brown. Albert G. Brown, Birke, William O. Butler, Carr, Carroll, Casey, Chapman, Cliford, William R. Cooper, Crabb, Craig, Craiy, Cross, Cushing, Dana, John Davis, Dickerson, Dillet, Doan, Doig, Duncan, Earl, Eastman, Ely, Fine, Floyd, Galbraith, Hand, J. Hastings, Henry, Hillen, Holleman, Ilapkins, Howard, Hubbard, Jackson, Jameson, Keim, Kille, Leadbetter, Leet, Leonard, Lewis, Lowell, Lucas, McClellan, McCulloh, McKay, Mallory, Mar chand, Medill, Miller, Montanya, Samuel W. Morris, Parrish, Parmenter, Parris, Petrikin, Pope, Prentiss, Proffit, Ramsey, Reynolds, Rhett, Ridgway, Rives, Ed. Rogers, Ryall, Shaw, A. Smith, Tho. Smith, Stark weather, Steenrod, Strong, Stuart, Swearingen, Sweney, Taylor, Francis Thomas, P. F. Thomas, Jacob Thompson, Turney, Vroom, David D. Wagener, Wal terson, Weller, Wick, Jared W. Williams, and Henry Wilia ms-97.
So the amendment was rejected.
The question then recurring on ordering the bill to engrossed for a third reading,
Mr. R. GARLAND demanded the yeas and nays; which were not ordered.
Mr. TURNEY moved to reconsider the vote refusing the yeas and nays; and, after a few remarks by Messrs. WISE, R. GARLAND, BRIGGS, and TURNEY, the question was taken and decided in the negative-ayes 197, noes 24.
The bill was then ordered to be engrossed for a third reading; and having been engrossed, and the question then being, “Shall the bill pass?"
Mr. BOYD demanded the yeas and nays; which were ordered.
Mr. WISE said if he could be satisfied that this bill, if passed, would be for the benefit of the poor, actual settler, he would vote for it. He would rather give the land to the poor settler for nothing, than sell the prime lands at $1 25 per acre. He said there were two definitions of the words poor seltler; by one it was meant a speculator; and by another definition in the vocabulary, it means sometimes a member of Congress. He disclaimed applying to any member of the present session, or any part, the definition of speculator, though he believed, according to the vocabulary, such was one of the definitions.
Mr. CASEY demanded the previous question on the passage of the bill, which was seconded; and the main question having been ordered, it was ta.
Government and the claimants, without the indul
ken on the passage of the bill by yeas and nays, and resulted-yeas 126, nays 64, as follows:
YEAS-Messers. Alford, J. W. Allen, H. J. Anderson, Ather. ton, Beatty, Beirne, Bell, Black, Blackwell, Boyd, Aaron V. Brown, Albert G. Briwn, Burke, William O. Butler, William B. Campbell, Carr, Carter, Casey, Chapinan, Chinn, Clark, Clifford, Mark A. Cooper, William R. Cooper, Crabb, Craig, Crary, Crockett, Cross, Curtis, Cushing, Dana, John Davis, Garret Davis, Dellet, Doan, Doig, Dromgoole, Duncan, Earl, Eastman, Ely, Fine, Floyd, Galbraith, Rice Garland, Giddings,
Goede, Green, Hard, John Hastings, Henry, Hillen, Holleman, 9 Hopkins, Howard, Hubbard, Jackson, Jameson, Cave Johnson,
Keim, Kille, Leadbetter, Leet, Leonard, Lewis, Lowell, Lucas, El McClellan, MeCulloch, McKay, Mallory, Marchand, Mason,
Nedill, Miller, Montanya, Samuel W. Morris, Parish, Parmen11
ter, Parris, Paynter, Petrikin, Pope, Prentiss, Proffit, Ramsey,
Tumey, Vroom, David D. Wagener, Watterson, Weller, Ed. 3. war D. While, Wick, Jared W. Williams, Henry Williams,
Joseph L. Williams, and Christopher H. Williams-12.
NAT3-Messrs. Andrews, Binks, Baker, Bond, Botts, Briggs, Brockway, Calhoun, John Campbell, Coles, Connor, James Cooper, Cranston, Dawson, Deberry, Dennis, Edwards, Eve. relt, Fisher, James Garland, Goggin, Graham), Gra Grittin Grinnell, Habersham, Hall, William S. Hastings, Hawes, Haw. kins, Hill of Virginia, Hill of North Carolina, Holmes, Chas. Johnson, Kempshall, King, Lincoln, Montgomery, Nisbet, Ogle, Osborne, Ranpolph, Rayner, James Rogers, Russell, Sal.
bastal, Samuels, Sergeant, Shepard, Slade, Truman Smith, .. Ban y, Storrs, Taliaferro, Waddy Thompson, Tillinghast, To:
land, Trumbull, Underwood, Warren, Jolm White, Thomas W Williams, Lewis Williams, and Wise-46.
So the bill was passed.
On motion, the House then, al 9 o'clock, p. m. adjourned.
IN SENATE, WEDNESDAY, May 27, 1840. Mr. ALLEN presented the petition of Nathaniel Niles for additional compensation for diplomatic services; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
Mr. BUCHANAN presented a memorial of the religious society of Friends, commonly called Quakers, of the States of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, praying the adoption of measures for the suppression of the African slave irade :9der the American flag; which was laid on the table, and ordered to be printed.
Mr. B. also presented a memorial signed by the presidents of the various insurance companies of Philadelphia, and other citizens of Philadelphia, praying an appropriation for the repair of the wharf and piers at Port Penn; which was referred to the Committee on Commerce,
Mr. YOUNG presented lour memorials signed by numerous citizens of Illinois, praying a grant of public land for the improvement of Rock river; which were ordered to lie on the table, and be printed
Mr. WRIGHT presented four memorials, signed by numerous inhabitants of the northern frontier of the United Siates, praying an appropriation for the construction on a ship canal around the falls of Niagara.
M. DAVIS presented the memorial of Henry B. Goodyear and others, praying a grant of land for the purpo-e of forming a settlement on the island of Wes! Mattacumba, on the coast of Flosida; which was referred to the Committee on the Public Lands.
Mr. D. also presented a memorial of citizens of Beaver county, Pennsylvania, praying the abolition of slavery and the slave irade, the question on the reception of which was, on motion by Mr. SE. vier, laid on ihe table.
Mr. YOUNG presented a petition for the release W. L. Mackenzie; and
Mr. NORVELL presented a similar petition; which were respectively laid on the table.
Mr. PIERCE, by direction of the Committee on Pensions, moved that leave be granted to that committee to sit during the sessions of the Senate.
Mr. P. remarked that it would be much more agreeable to him self and the gentlemen associated with him to remain in their places, and atiend to the interesting debate now in progress, that to devote ihemselves to the labors of a committee room. But since the one hundred and lwenty bills gransing pensions in individual cases came up from the House of Representatives in a single day, it had become perfectly obvious that they could not bestow upon the claims the attention due alike to the
The question was then taken on granting the leave, and unanimously agreed to.
The bill for the relief of General Duncan L. Clinch;
The bill to quiet the titles of several claimants to lands in the States of Missouri and Arkansas, and for other purposes;
The bill to anthorize the Legislature of the State of Louisiana to sell the lands heretofore appropriated for the use of schools within thal Siale;
The bill to perfect the titles to lands south of the Arkansas river, held under New Madrid locations, and pre-emption righ's under the act of 1814;
The bill to authorize the Secretary of the Treasury lo refund the duties collected in the French ship Alexander; were severally read a third time and passed.
On motion of Mr. HUBBARD, the vole on the passage of the bill for the relief of Gen. Duncan L. Clinch was reconsidered, and it was then laid on the table.
The bill for the benefit of the Howard Institution of the city of Washington, was taken up on ils third reading.
Mr. ALLEN wished some information as to the character and objects of this instilution for which so large an amount of the public money was to be appropriated.
Afier some remarks from Mr. MERRICK in reply,
Mr. ALLEN opposed the bill at some lergih. It was bestowing the money on an'association whose objects and modes of action were entirely unknown to the Senate.
Mr. HUBBARD said: I do not desire, for myself, any more information, to enable me to vote upon the bill before the Senale, than what the terms of the bill itself convey. I have heard it readand that is enough for me. The bill directs the Commissioner of the Public Buildings to select from lots of land owned by the General Govern. nient, in this city, and to appraise them, and to convey to the Howard Instituuon the lois thus appraised, to the value of five thousand dollars, for the sole use and benefit of said institution: in other words, the bill proposes to take of the public properly the amount of five thousand dollars, and to give the same to a private, local corporation, within the city of Washington. Now, sir, I ulterly deny the power of Congress to take from the public Treasury the property of the whole people, and to beslow ihe same, in charity, to any private individual or to any public institution. This Government was organized for no such object-the Constitution has'imparted to Congress no such authority. If a proposition was made to take a like sum from the Treasury, and to grant it to a similar institu'ion within my own State, it would strike every member of the Sonate, as it should do, with ulter astonishment. To take the money of the whole people io abstract any portion of the public funds, and give to any priva!e association, within this District-cannot fail to excite in my inind equal astonishment. We have had these appeals made to Congre:s over and over again. We have been told so olten of the noble generosity of the original proprietors, in granting ihe allernale lots of ihis city to the General Government, that the story has become siale and unprofitable. What would these lots have been worth those same proprietors, if This place had not been established as the capital of the Federal Government. What has Congress done for this city, and for this Districi? I will not, on this occasion, attempt to stale. But I should like to see an honest account stated between the Treasury and the District of Columbia. I would like to learn if there rests the least obligation on the part of this Government, on account of what has been so often called the generous liberality of the original proprietors of this city. Sir, we are in error upon this whole malier. We have paid for every public square now owned by the Government-a price per acre beyond its value at the time of the location of the seat of Government. We have, it is true, received the allernate lots without price. But, sir, need I argue to this Senate that
such a donation, in point of interest, was the best bargain that ever those proprietors could have made, for themselves or for the District? There are two sides to this account; and if Senators have not already made themselves acquainted with all the facts, they should do it, before they suffer themselves to be influenced by the consideration that the General Government are under pecuniary obligations to this city, and to the original grantors of this public property. Before they yield their assent to the assertion that we are indebted for favors already received, let ihe account be stated-let it be known what has been expended by the Government for this District, and what has been received into the Treasury for property ceded to the United Siales. I should be pleased to know what amount of the public money has already been expended for the exclusive use and benefit of this city, and of this District. Such an exhibit will show that, unless I am altoge!her mistaken, more than two millions of dollars for the uses of this District, bas been drawn from your Treasury, beyond its receipts from the amount of property ceded by its inhabitants.
No man more sincerely commends the object in which these charitable ladies have embarked than I do. They are not confined to this District-they exert an influence over every part of the country. No man can be more willing than myself, according to my means, to aid such praiseworthy efforts --they are ihe appropriate objects for the exercise of individual charity. But Congress, the representative power of the States and of the people, cannot, consistent with a faithful discharge of its public trusts, turn a favorable ear to memorials of this description. For it seemed to be undeniably true, that if Congress can pass this bill, it can make similar donations for like purposes in any other portion of the confederacy. I am, therefore, opposed to the bill upon principle; and I shall feel myself called upon to give such a vote whenever occasion shall require it.
Afr. HENDERSON insisted that, as Congress was the exclusive legislature of this district, they were imperatively bound to make provision for the poor of the District. He also characterized the institution as one of peculiar worth, giving employment to females, for the noble purpose of saving them from the necessity and unavoidable mortification of throwing themselves and their families wholly on public charity.
Mr. MERRICK (as a reply to Mr. ALLEN) read the memorial of this institution, in which its parti. cular doings were clearly set forth, and in which it was staled that they were now rendering thoir most in portant assistance to ninety-two different families.
Mr. SMITH of Connecticut spoke at much length in opposition to the bill.
Mr. LUMPKIN said it was rather a matter of surprise, to contemplate the various channels or modes of reasoning by which the human mind, in different persons, arrived at conclusions on the same subject, and with the same evidence presented for the consideration of all. At almost every session of Congress, large appropriations of money bave been made and expended for the benefit and comforl of the people of the District of Columbia, as well as that of the members of Congress, officers of Government, and citizens of
Union generally. We appropriate money for the improvement of the streets and avenues of this city; to construct bridges, railroads, and canals; to build penitentiaries and jails; to aid colleges and hospiials; to alleviate the calamities of sufferers by fire; and last, though not least, vast sums have been expended to beautify and ornament the extensive pleasure grounds contiguous to this Capitol, and the other public buildings in this city.
Yes, sir, millions have been expended in the manner suggested, and with but feeble, if any, opposition by those who now so zealously oppose tbis humble and modest proposition to allow the guar. dians of the poor and suffering widows and orphans of this place to make a judicious application of five thousand dollars' worth of the waste and useless lots belonging to the Government in this city. The ob. ject of the bill on your table is not to appropriate money for the daily and direct subsistence of the
indigent, but to afford the means to intelligent, judi. cious, and benevolent individuals, lo establish an institution, under such rules and regulations as may afford the means of giving employment to the suffering poor of this city. Many, very many persons in this city, are in abject poverty, often in an actual state of suffering, who could and would earn a reasonable subsistence, if they had employment suited to their ability to perform. It is to provide for such cases, and under such regulations as I have stated, that this bill has been presented to the Senate by the Committee on the District of Columbia.
As regards the constitutional right of Congress to allow these useless lots of th: Government to be applied to the benefit of the suffering poor of this city, to the widow, the fatherless, and the orphan, allow me to say, Mr. President, that when the gen tlemen who oppose this bill with so much zeal, on constitutional ground, will show me the clause of the Constitution under which they claim the righ to make the various appropriations to whicb I have adverted, and to be applied to the purposes which I have suggested, I will, in ihe very same clause of the Constitution, show them the authority, in terms equally explicit, to authorize the passage of this bill. I will not be deterred, sir, from giving my vole for this bill by the cry of mad dog. I vote for this bill with much more pleasure and cheerfulness than I could vote for the vast sums which have been expended to ornament and beautify the extensive public grounds around this magnificent building. I hope I may not be considered destitule of taste to enjoy the beauties of ornamental improvement, when I assure the Senate that my daily comfort and happiness depend much more upon seeing happy and comfortable human beings around me, than any ornamental improvement whatever. Sir, suffering humanity makes the strongest appeal to the human breast. Who can enjoy comfort, and be happy, while the suffering orphan, and care worn mother, are destitute of food and raimeni?
Mr. President, Congress is the only law making power to which the people of this District can look. Here, sir, we have the power of exclusive legislation. We have listened to and respected the wishes of many of the wealthy and influental citizens of this District. Their petitions are attended 10 Shall we then, sir, turn a deaf ear to the cry of penury and want? Shall the poor pittance which this bill extends to the humblest objects of our species, become the great subject to base our Constitutional arguments upon? Are we, the constitutional representatives of this people, to deny ourselves the right of exercising the common feel ngs of humanity? Do not all Christian legislators, under all forms of Government, legislate with special care for the helpless?
Mr. President, as a member of the Committee on the District of Columbia, the cries of this people have reachel my ear. I feel that they are a portion of my constituents—a portion lamentably neglected--often reproached when they deserve sympathy. Congress brings upon this people vastJy more evils than benefits. All that may be rightfully done for the suffering poor should no longer be neglected, and I trust this bill will receive the sanction of a majority of the Senate, notwithstanding the zeal with which it has been opposed.
Mr. HUBBARD, in reply, said that according 10 the doctrine of the distinguished Senator from Georgia, Congress should be considered as a great eleemosynary institution for the purpose of dispensing public and privale charities. Sir, never in the course of my life have I been more surprised than I have at the declared opinion of my honorable frieud upon the subject of the power and duries of Congress, under the Federal Constitution, in relation to this particular maiter. What! s r, is Congress to beeome the great dispenser of charities? Was that the purpose for which this Government was formed? And does that clause of the Federal Constitution which gives authority to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases over the District of Columbia, impose upon Congress the obligation to endow the charitable institutions of this District? Does that clause furnish a sufficient warranty 10 Congress to take from the public chest the people's
money for encouraging and patronizing the charitable efforts of individuals, or of associations, here or elsewhere? No, sir; no. From such a quarter, little iudeed did I expect to fiod an advocate for the measure now before the Senate, and for kindred objects. Is the Senator aware to what extent his doctrine will carry him? If Congress can pass this bill under the authority conferred by the clause in the Constitution to which I have referred, then, sir, I would ask if it has not the power to enter the almshouse of this District, and to provide the ways and the means of supporting ihe occupants of that resort of public charity? If it has power to pass this bill, it has power to provide fir the support of all the paupers, not only of this D.strict, but also of the States.
If it has power to do this with the treasure of the whole country, it has the power to relieve the people of this District from every description of taxation. It can make their highways, and adorn their cities. And if the public money can be appropriated for the support of the public paupers, it can provide the means for the support of the public schools of the District. There is nothing within the wide range of District expenditure, but what Congress can, with the money of the whole people, adequately provide for. I protest against all such latitudinarian doctrines. They are not, in my judgment, to be sustained by the leller or the spirit of the Constitution, under which we live, and by which we profess to be governed.
This very morning, it was proposed to make a disposition of the public funds, for the benefit of the late sufferers ai Natchez. A few days since, a bill was before the Senate, appropriating the Irisling sum of three hundred thousand dollars for builling a railroad from this city lo Alexandria. Willibe Senator from Georgia give his aid to those projects? Would he be willing to appropriate, from the public Treasury, even the small sum of five thousand dollars, for any chariiable purpose, in my own, or in his own State? I hope noi, sir. I can go for no such appropriations. I would oppose this as I would oppose the appropriation for constructing the contemplated railroad 10 Alexandria. I would oppose them because Congre s possess not, in my judgment, the constitutional right to make such granis. As he trustees of the people, it would be an unwarrantable use of the trust fund to appropriate it for any object not connected with the interest of The ceslui que trusl. Our business is, or it should be, to legislate for the whole country. We can draw on the Treasury for tbe support of the General Governu.ent. We have a clear right to appropriate the public money for any objects connecied with the general defence of the country. But, sir, I deny that Congress has any constitutional right to take a dollar from the funds of the whole country, to construct a read in one place, or to build a church in another. What earthly power under the Constitution, does Congress possess to make these local and sectional improvements? None, sir, none. Entertaining these views, I shall vote against this, and every kindred measure. The Senator from Georgia finds a justification, in his judgment, for the vote which he intends to give upon this bili, in the fact that such appropriations have heretofore been made. This is true, sir, and made upon precisely the same plea that is now urged for ihis measure. But are we to look to precedents to settle a constitutional power? Precedents in the legislation of Congress can be found for every thing, and the misfortune is, that they are too frequently used against the Government. Precelents may be found for and against appropriations of a local characier. For some they prove every thing, for others they prove nothing; they are sometimes urged in favor of a wished for appropriation; they are other times cited against particular measures. The Senator asks for the authority to appropriate the public money to adorn and improve these public grounds. My answer is that ihese grounds and buildings are a portion of the public property; and it is clearly within the power of Congress to improve the public grounds and buildings as they may think expedient.
It is confined to their discretion; that discretion may have been abused, but the power cannot be doubted. But where is the justice in comparing
appropriations for the improvement of the public grounds and public buildings, with the appropriations contained in the bill now before the Senate? Does it follow, that because Congress had the power to appropriate the public money for the improvement of the property of the Goveromedi; does il follow that, because it can alter, enlarge, or adorn the public buildings 10 suit the convenience of Congress, and according to its own discretion, it can take the funds of the nation to build a church in one place, and a railroad in another? No, sir; the premises warrant no such conclusions. My great object is to keep wiihin the pale of our au hority, and to save the Administration from the charge of wasteful and profligale expenditure, by preventing at least appropriations not warranted by the Constitution.
Mr. President, in opposing this bill, I am doing only what I feel constrained, from a sense of public duty, to do. I can only again repeat, that the enterprise is well worthy of those who have so generously and so benevolently employed their best energies in the prosrcution of the ohject; but that consideration is not suffiiect to justify me in giving to this measure my support.
Mr. HENDERSON alleged that there was not a State in the Union which did not make legislative provision for the poor. He would not say that it was right to get the means from other States; bol he would say that Congress had the same right to appropriate public lands in this District for the support of its poor that any Stale could have to appro. priate ils lands for a similar object.
Mr. CRITTENDEN said, if this was a violation of the Cons'ilution, the Constitution was very ofien violated, by grants for hospitals and other establishmenis, as well as for public improvements in the District. But what was the Constitution? It gave exclusive legislation over the District to Congress. Was this intended to be a cold, heartless, unfeeling, unpitying legislation? Was it designed that the Government should be kindly, parental, sympathizing, mercisul, or was it to be a Government which was to act for the benefit of itself, and to bear down on those governed, without regard to their bappiness, unsecling, merciless, tyrannical? Congress might exercise its power; but must be cautious to exercise it wi hout charity, and withont contributing to the happiness and prosperi. ly of the people, thus making hem exiles from all the benefits of a just and liberal Goveinment! The States all provided for their pror, and it was equally the duty of this Government to provide for the poor of this District.
Mr. HUBBARD said he was familiar with the clause in the Constitution to which the Senator from Kentucky has referred, and as he bas requested, I will willingly give my opinion of the extent of the power thereby conferred upon Congress. It is true, according to the express terms of ihat instrument, "ibat Congress shall have power to exercise exclusive legislation, in all cases wbatsoever, over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by consent of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seal of ihe Government of the United States; and to esercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of ihe Legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for ihe erection of sorts, magazines, arenals, dock yards, and other needful buildings.” Under this power, Congress can establish a civil and a criminal code of laws for this Di-trict. It can grant acis of incorporation; it can establish a general system of taxation for the use of this District. It can do these inings; but it canno', hy virtue of the power thus conferred, tax the inhabitants of Alexandria for the exclusive benefit of the city of Washington. It cannot comsel the city of Georgetown to support the poor, to make the highways, or to bear exclusively the burdens of the other two cities of this District. Under this clause, Congress has no power to levy a direct tax upon the people of my State, or of any other State, to be appropriated for the ben fit of This District. It has no power to
withdraw from the general sond-- Sund collected from the whole people, any portion to be expended on local objects within this D srict. It has no power to build schoo:-houses, erect churches, make rail. roads, bestow charities, support the poor, or lo educate the children in this city at the charge of the
whole country. There exists no more power to ✓ make such an appropriation of the commun fund
within this Districi, ihan to make a similar appropriation within any particular section 'of any State of the Confederacy. Congress has power to legis. late for this District; but its inhabitants are bound, under that legislation, to adopt their own municipal regulations at their own proper charge. They are bound just as much to provide for the support of their own poor, and for the education of their own children, as are the counties, towns, and parishes of the respective Stales.
The Senator has asked whether New Hampshire does not provide, by its legislation, for the supoort of her paupeis; and whether Congress has not the same power, and the same duties, in relation to this District, that the Legislature of that Stale has in relation to her towns. Unquestionably. And what power has the Legislature of New Hampshire over the people of that Stale? It can pass general laws; it can prescribe the duties of towns; it can impose a system of taxation; but, sir, I deny that the Legis. lature of New Hampshire has the power to compel, by its legislation, a single town to bear the burdens of the other towns-a single county to bear the burdens of the other counties. I utterly deny that New Hampshire, or any other State of this Union, can appropriate from the common fund, the means drawu from the whole people of the State, to support the schools, the paupers and the highways of any particular town or of any particular section, to the exclusion of the other por. tions of the State. My own State has no constitutional power to levy a tax upon the people of my own town-to build houses of charity in, or to support ihe unfortunate and ihe poor, of another town. And ibis is my objection to this bill; by direct or indirect laxation you have drawn from the people of my State a poriion of the public funds-you have no constitutional right to appropriate thai portion for the accomplishment of any local object in this District.
Mr. President, I have no doubt that that this bill will pass, and I have as little doubt that another bill fwill pass taking three hundred thousand dollars from the Treasury to construct a railroad to Alexandria. These things have been done, and they will be done again. I am perfectly aware of all this; and I am aware, also, that I am performing a thapkless office in opposing this bill—that by my untiring opposition to these measures I am rendering myself peculiarly obnoxious to the people of ibis Districi. But, sir, the se consequences I must hear. And
the Senator from Kentucky, that it is from a conscientious conviction, (after the most careful examination of the whole matler) that Congress possesses not the power to make these appropriations, ihat has induced and will induce, me in the discharge of my brunten duty to my constituen's, to oppose these measures, so long as I shall have the honor of a seat in the Senate of the Uniied States. With one additional remark, I will resume my seat. Let the doctrines which have been avowed this day on this floor be carried out, and the time is not far distant when we shall not only have to provide support for all the paupers of ihis District, but we shall have to provide also for the support of the schools—the highways and byways"--and for all other burdens to which the District is subject. All that I desire is, that I may be permited to manifest my determined opposition, by recording my way to this b.ll.
Mr. CRITTENDEN would ask the Senator whether Congress did not bear the same relation 10 this District that the State Legislatures did to their respective Siates?
Mr. HUBB ARD. Precisely. Mr.CRITTENDEN. And I understand that New Hamp-hire provides for her poor.
Mr. HƯBB ARD. Yes; but at the expense of the respective towns, and not cut of the public Treasury.
Mr. CRIT TENDEN. But is it not in the power of the Legisla
ture to do it either way, by towns, by counties, or by the whole State, out of the State
Treasury? That is the question. It is a State provision, made by law; a governmental charily. And if it is true that the Stales have this power, and Congress has not, what is the consequence? The poor of this District are accursed by law and Constitution. The gentleman says they are still entitled to individual charity. And so they are all over the world. They ask the gentleman as a legislator for bread, and he gives them, not a stone, but his blessing, and that is all.
Mr. MERRICK presented, and partly read, the act of incorporation of the Howard Institution, (in reply to Mr. Allen and Mr. HUBBARD, who had called it unincorporaied.) He also showed that Congress hał granted $25,000 to the Columbian College, $25,000 to Georgetown College, and $10,000 each to two orphan asylums, (in reply to Mr. HUBBARD, who had argued, a forliori, that if Congress had the power of charity they had the power of education.)
The bill was passed by yeas and nays, as follows:
YEAS-Messrs. Anderson, Buchanan, Clayton, Crittenden, Davis, Dixon, Fulton, Henderson, King, Knight, Linn, Lumpkin, Merrick, Norvell, Phelps, Porter, Prentiss, Preston, Smith of Indi. ana, Sturgeon, Tallmadge, Walker, Wall, Webster, White, and Young-26.
NAYS–Messrs. Allen, Benton, Brown, Calhoun, Clay of Alabama, Grundy, Hubbard, Moulon, Nicholas, Pierce, Roane, Robinson, Sevier, Smith of Connecticut, Strange, Tappan, Wright -17.
GENERAL BANKRUPT LAW. The Senale resumed the consideration of the bill to establish a uniform system of bankruptcy throughout the United States. The question being on Mr. WALL's substitute for the bill
Mr. STRANGE said, as no one appeared now disposed to speak, he would offer his proposed amendments to the substitute.
Mr. WALL remarked that the bill and substilute proposed two different systems of bankruptcy, and he thought it best to decide first on one of them, as the groundwork of all future amendments.
Mr. NORVELL said he could not vote for either in i's present form, and he therefore hoped the Senator from Norih Carolina would persist in now offering his amendment to the substitute.
Mr. STRANGE now offered his first amendment, which was understood to extend the operaration of the substitute to all classes of persons, expressly.
Mr. S. said the popular meaning of the term bankruptcy extende), he believed, at the adoption of The Constitution, to all classes; and the popular meaning was to be taken, rather than the technical.
Mr. WALL argued against this doctrine, as leading to the worst and most inconsistent consequences.
A long debate followed, in which Mr. WALL Mr. STRANGE, and Mr. WALKER participated; and without taking the question,
The Senate adjourned.
all the propositions which had existed for the government of the British Parliament, and which bad. governed the action of the committees of that body. There was no such thing as standing committees in that body at the time this rule was adopted. There was but one Committee of the Whole, and committees to which special reference was made, and no standing sommittees. He therefore argued that that feature in the Manual was not applicable to the standing committees of the House. He also inseried, from the terms of the resolution adopting the Manual for the government of the House, that that role in the Manual was not applicable to the standing committees, but the Committees of the Whole only. He argued that no good, but great injury, might result, if the power in the committee to reconsider be denied to the House.
Mr. RANDOLPH considered the argument that a standing committee had no power to reconsider a vote, was absurd. He went on to show that such a course would lead to the most embarrassing results, and, by way of illustration, supposed a number of cases, where a denial of the power to reconsider would lead to the most absurd legislation.
Mr. DROMGOOLE thought it highly desirable that this subject should be settled, so as to establish, in future, a uniform rule for the action of committees. He examined at some length the arguments for and against the right of a committee to reconsider its vote, and contended that there was no parliamentary or other authority by which such a course could be pursued. It was clear that a committee was bound by its own acts, and could not reconsider an order once made.
In case of any difficulty arising from the presentation of additional evidence, after a report had been made, such difficulty might always be obvi. ated by a recommitment. Mr. D. alluded to the parliamentary law of 1607, which decided that a committec was, and must be, bound by its own vote; and gentlemen could not explain a way that law. In the course of his remarks, be denied the power of a standing committee to keep a journal, or to evade questions, by laying them on the table. He contended that a committee was bound to de. cide on all subjects referred to it, either for or against.
Mr. TILLINGHAST argued that, from the circumstance of no standing committees having existed at the time this role in the Manual was adopted by the British Parliament to regulate the Committee of the Whole, and special committees of that body, it was never contemplated when the Manual was adopted as a part of the rules of the House, that that principle in the Manual should apply to the standing committees, but merely to the Committees of the Whole. The morning hour having expired before Mr. T. concluded,
Mr. ATHERTON called for the orders of the day; before the House passed to which, however,
Mr. SERGEANT, on leave, made a statement in relation to the memorial presented on Monday by Mr. Adams, complaining of official misconduct on the part of Judge McLean, and which had been referred to the Judiciary Committee, of which Mr. S. is chairman.
Mr. S. said it would be remembered that a few days ago, the honorable member from Massachusetts had presented a memorial from a citizen of that State, making certain charges, in very grave language, against the conduct of Judge McLean, while acting on the Ohio circuit. The committee thought it due to the judicial character, to the bench, to the public, and to the memorialist himself, to give this matter an attentive and as early a consideration as possible; more particularly as the memorial had been presented by a gentleman of as much authority as any in the House, although that gentleman had stated that he had at first considerable doubts as to the propriety of presenting it; but as it had now been presented, it deserved the immediate consideration which the committee had unanimously concluded to give it. Further, the gen. ileman from Massachusetts did not, for the most praiseworthy motives, ask that the memorial should be printed, or even read. This was to be regretted, as, had the memorial been read, the committee were unanimously of opinion that the House, after boar. ing it, would have come to the same conclusion as
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
WEDNESDAY, May 27, 1840. The SPEAKER announced that the first busi. ness in order was the proposition of the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hillen] to make a report from the Committee on Commerce, accompanied by a bill for a repeal of the act of 1837, regulaiing pilots; and to the reception of which report the gentleman from New York (Mr. Curtis] objected.
Mr. KUSSELL, who was entitled to the floor, ciled an instance in whieb a report of a committee was reconsidered, the ode objecting being the only person who voted against the motion to reconsider. The Manual, it is true, says that no vote of a committee can be altered except by a vote of the House. This rule in the Macual was adopted sume 233 years ago by the British Parliament, and now it was alleged that it was binding on the com. mittees of this House. Mr. R. went into a history of the manner in which Mr. Jefferson compiled the Manual. When compiling it, he connected