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FEBRUARY, 1794.]

Naval Force.

[H. OF. R.

ants of Saint Domingo, resident within the United States, as may be found to be in want of support," with an amendment; to which they desire the concurrence of this House.


The House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union. The Chairman read the resolution before the House for equipping a Naval force.

Mr. MADISON, in reply to some remarks which had fallen from Mr. SMITH, respecting the present high price of wheat in the American market, said, that he had been informed of a place where wheat sold for four shillings and sixpence per bushel only, where the dollar passes for six shillings. Mr. M. supposed that Britain could render very essential service to the Algerines, without embarking in a war. She has not embarked in a war to the Northwest of the Ohio, but she has done the same thing, in substance, by supplying Mr. MADISON thought this expedient unlikely the Indians with arms, ammunition, and, perhaps, to answer the purpose, and liable to many objecwith subsistence. He did not assert that Britain tions. Before the American squadron can be directed the plan of the Indian expeditions, for he equipped, the truce between Algiers and Portugal had no explicit evidence that they actually did so. must expire. When that expiration shall take In the same way that they give underhand assist-place, she either will not renew the truce at all, or ance to the Indians, they would give it to the Algerines, rather than hazard an open war. The Committee now rose, without coming to the question.

FRIDAY, February 7.

she will stipulate that the United States shall be comprehended in it. He would save the money intended for the fleet, and hire the Portuguese ships of war with it, as soon as the truce ends. He wished that the Committee might reject the present motion, and when they did so, he would move a resolution, a copy of which he read to the Committee. It was in substance:

"That the sum of

Mr. M. considered the armament at present proposed, as quite too small to answer any efficient

JOHN PAGE, from Virginia, appeared, produced his credentials, and took his seat in the House. dollars be provided to be Resolved, That a committee be appointed to re- employed in such a manner as should be found most port whether any, and what, alterations, are ne-effectual for obtaining a peace with the Regency of Alentitled "An act concerning the giers; and failing of this, that the sum should be applied cessary in the act, registering and recording of ships or vessels." Also, to the end of obtaining protection from some of the Euin the act, entitled "An act for enrolling and ropean Powers." licensing ships or vessels to be employed in the coasting trade and fisheries, and for regulating the same." Also, in the act, entitled "An act to regulate the collection of the duties imposed by law on goods, wares, and merchandise, imported into the United States, and on the tonnage of ships or vessels." And also, if any, and what, further legislative provision may be necessary for the securing and collecting the duties on foreign and domestic distilled spirits, stills, wines, and teas.

Ordered, That Mr. GOODHUE, Mr. SAMUEL SMITH, Mr. FITZSIMONS, Mr. PARKER, and Mr. BENJAMIN BOURNE, be a committee, pursuant to the said resolution.

Mr. SAMUEL SMITH, from the committee to whom was referred the petition of Lieutenant Colonel Tousard, made a report; which was read, and ordered to lie on the table.

The following Message was received from the
Gentlemen of the Senate, and

of the House of Representatives:

I transmit to you an Act and three Ordinances, passed by the Government of the Territory of the United States South of the river Ohio, on the 13th and 21st of March, and the 7th of May, 1793; and also certain Letters from the Minister Plenipotentiary of the French Republic, to the Secretary of State, enclosing despatches from the General and Extraordinary Commission of Guadaloupe. G. WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, February 7, 1794. Ordered, That the said Message and papers do lie on the table.

A message from the Senate informed the House that the Senate have passed the bill, entitled "An act providing for the relief of such of the inhabit


A member here observed, that it would be hazardous to rely on Portugal; because though the truce might expire in about six months, it would possibly be renewed at the end of that time, or converted into a peace.

Mr. FITZSIMONS wished that gentlemen would pay some attention to attested facts, before they So abruptly declare that the six ships proposed by the Committee to be built and put into commission, were incompetent to the end for which they were designed. The Committee had bestowed considerable time in deliberating upon the best information which could be obtained, before they specified the force requisite to be employed, and they had been satisfied, that what was now proposed would be equal to the end. Here Mr. F. read a different statement of the ships of war in the service of the Regency of Algiers, at different times. One of these shows that in the year 1789, there were nine xebecs, from thirty-six to ten guns, and one ship of forty guns upon the stocks; but that several of the xebecs were laid up or unfit for service. A second estimate of the Algerine maritime force, had been transmitted by Mr. Humphries. He specified four frigates, two xebecs, and one brig. By advices still more recent, the fleet consisted of one vessel of forty-four guns, one of thirty-six, one of twenty-eight, three xebecs and a brig. Mr. F. observed, that gentlemen had objected to the sending out an American fleet; that they could not always keep together. He reminded them, that from November to March or April, the corsairs of Barbary never go out to sea.

H. OF R.]

Naval Force.

[FEBRUARY, 1794.

ed of either buying a truce or buying an ally. As to the militia of Algiers, they could not be brought into action against frigates. He considered the charge of hiring the Algerines, as an unfounded accusation on the honor of Britain. He could not bring himself to believe that she was capable of a conduct so exceedingly disgraceful. He had no direct evidence to convince. It might be objected to this armament, that it would augment the National Debt and throw too much influence into the hands of the Executive Government. But the same objection might be started against every armament whatever.

There were two months during that time, when they were restrained by their religion from piratical excursions. The Committee had been told, that the Portuguese are ready to assist us. There is ground to expect this assistance, but not to depend upon it. Two American frigates, along with the Portuguese vessels, would be fully equal to the task of curbing the Algerines. As to militia, he could not see of what consequence they could be in a naval contest. With regard to expense, he stated a very important fact. The United States import, annually, two millions of bushels of salt from these countries, which the Algerines will cut off from our commerce. The rise on that ar- Mr. MURRAY said, the gentleman from Virginia, ticle must then be at least one dollar per bushel; [Mr. MADISON,] yesterday observed that he was which is a tax of two millions of dollars at once, not a little surprised that those who a few days or three times the expense of the armament. Pro- since had appeared so alarmed at the phantom of bably, however, the loss may extend to four mil-war, should on this question appear so willing to lions of dollars on this single article of salt, in one meet it. He would remark that those gentlemen year only; a sum which would keep up the fleet were alarmed at a shadow which appeared fola long time. We have been trying to buy a peace, lowed by the substance of war and were unwilling but without success; and if we are not able to en- to do anything that might lead to a war that did force it, the price of buying it must be so much not yet exist. But we were now at war with Althe higher. As soon as Portugal is left to herself, giers, and had no choice. They had been at war with she will certainly protect us, because it is much the United States ever since the end of the Revofor her interest to do so. At present, she cannot, lutionary war. The Spaniards and Portuguese perhaps, from the influence of the combined Pow-kept them within the Mediterranean. Gentlemen ers. Mr. F., therefore, recommended an armament in the mean time.

Mr. SMILIE objected to this measure, because it was unequal to the task. Britain would assist the Algerines underhandedly, as she did an enemy in another quarter, and would continue to do so. He did not think she was shameless enough to own it, but she would do it. He spoke at some length. Mr. NICHOLAS went on the same ground. He said that Britain had not been content with striking up a truce for Portugal, that the Algerines might be let loose on American commerce, but her Minister at the Court of Lisbon had endeavored to prevent our vessels from obtaining a Portuguese convoy. Not content with insuring a loss to America, she had striven to make that loss immediate. As to the duration of the truce, it could not last long, for the Queen of Portugal had, in fact, broken it already. She had declared that the trade to that country should pass unmolested; to which condition it was not likely that the Algerines would consent. The Portuguese nobility had clamored at the acceptance of a truce. So that, on the whole, it could hardly last long. A naval force was a very expensive affair. The greater part of the immense debt of England had been lavished on her navy. He was against building a navy.

who are averse to the report, hold up two substitute measures: one, which was suggested, and has been argued by the gentleman from Virginia, [Mr. MADISON,] is, that we ought to grant a sum to Portugal for her protection of our trade. The other is, that commercial regulations will accomplish our protection. He liked neither. The last, if permanent, will withdraw all temptation from Great Britain to interpose her good offices. The first is worse; it is subsidizing Portugal at the expense of our own people, and that too without security. Gentlemen would make it the interest of Portugal to make such breaches of truce as would occasionally withdraw protection, and oblige us to subsidize her higher. It would create a disgraceful dependence on a foreign Power, and weaken the spirit of our marine; whereas, if you fit out frigates, you employ your money in nourishing the roots of your own industry; you encourage your own ship-building, lumber, and victualing business. He believed, that however true might be the suspicion of British interference in Indian affairs, and he feared it was too true, he did not believe the evidence as to Algerine interference strong enough to induce an argument against the report, under a supposition that as Great Britain had effected the truce, so she would aid Algiers against us. He thought so, because it Mr. SWIFT had been always sensible that the was not now as much her interest as it was in situation of this country was not fit for war. We times of peace. In times of peace, had she let loose have a very heavy debt; but still it is better to the Algerines, her own navigation would have been bear debts than depredations. A gentleman of enabled to carry for us, but now it would be moextensive information [Mr. S. SMITH, in yester-lested by the French. He did not believe nations, day's debate] had stated the rise of insurance as much less than the armament would cost. Britain had always more dependence on her navy, than on the immense sums that she pays to these Barbarians. Mr. S. had no doubt that the proposed fleet would have its intended effect. He despair

more than persons, would do wrong purely out of evil designs devoid of interest; the greatest villian would not. At present, their ships are liable to attack from the French, and he had it from good authority, that so far were the British from having advantaged themselves if they had been so base,

FEBRUARY, 1794.]

Contested Election.

[H. of R.

tion of foreign coals, or such encouragement given to the opening of coal mines within the United States, as to the wisdom of Congress shall seem meet.

Ordered, That the said memorial be referred to Mr. WATTS, Mr. CoIT, and Mr. HINDMAN; that they do examine the matter thereof, and report the same, with their opinion thereupon.

that scarcely a British ship had appeared since in our ports. The ship frigates would be able to blockade the Gut of Gibraltar; the Algerines did not sail in fleets; they wanted plunder, not glory; when they discovered they had to get the first by hard fighting, they would listen to peace, accompanied by money. Spain, it was true, had purchased a peace, but there was a hereditary inveteracy against Spain, and a facility of attacking her shores which The House proceeded to consider the amendwe need not fear, so it was her interest to buy a ment proposed by the Senate to the bill, entitled peace when war could bring her nothing but a "An act providing for the relief of such of the inglory that almost disgraced her armies; as to jeal-habitants of Saint Domingo, resident within the ousy of power in the Executive, he hoped to see United States, as may be found in want of supa proper equipoise in the powers of this Govern- port." ment; but, when proper occasions occurred, he hoped Congress would never refuse the adequate means to enable the Executive to discharge its Constitutional duties.

Mr. GOODHUE observed, that the Committee had carefully looked over the statement of the marine force of Algiers for several years back, and had no reason to doubt that the six vessels would be equal to the purpose intended. There was no ground to suppose Algiers would have more force at present than she had during her war with Portugal. He had no doubt that the Algerines were let loose on the American commerce to prevent supplies going to France, and while the war lasts, we shall not be able to buy a peace. It is said, that the truce was but for a year, and in six months it will expire. He did not wish to depend on that when the evil is so great. And why depend on Portugal? She is more under the influence of Britain than any other nation in Europe. When Britain has been at the trouble of stipulating a peace for Portugal, will she suffer that nation to assist us? Certainly not. Or is it wise to stand by and depend upon such a resource?

Resolved, That this House doth agree to the said amendment.

The SPEAKER laid before the House a Letter from the Treasurer of the United States, accompanying his account of the receipts and expenditures for the War Department, from the 1st of July to the 31st of December, 1793, inclusive; which were read, and ordered to lie on the table.

DELAWARE CONTESTED ELECTION. Mr. WILLIAM SMITH, from the Standing Committee of Elections, to whom was referred the petition of Henry Latimer, of the State of Delaware, complaining of an undue election and return of John Patton, to serve as a member of this House, for the said State, made the following report:

"That the said Henry Latimer complains of the illegality of the said election on the following grounds, to wit: that the Legislature of the State of Delaware, in pursuance of the Constitution of the United States, passed an act on the 26th of October, 1790, directing the election of a Representative for the said State in the Congress of the United States, by which it is enacted agreeably to the directions of the said act, shall deliver, that every person coming to vote for a Representative, in writing, on one ticket, or piece of paper, the names of two persons, inhabitants of the State, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same county with himself, to be voted for as Representative.

"That, at the said election in Newcastle county, a number of votes or tickets, containing the names of the said Henry Latimer and Solomon Maxwell, both inhabitants of the same county, were by the Judges of the said election, deemed illegal, and rejected.

Mr. MADISON said, that gentlemen thought so differently on this subject, and advanced arguments against his side of the question of such a different nature, that it was difficult or impossible to give them an answer. He then proceeded to quote the speech of Mr. GOODHUE; when that gentletleman rose to explain. Mr. M. then proceeded to notice the speeches of Mr. FITZSIMONS and Mr. S. SMITH. Both of these gentlemen were up more than once to explain, as having been misquoted. In a speech of considerable length, he was not suffered long to proceed without interruptions of ex-votes or tickets, containing the names of the said Henplanation. This produced a scene of altercation.ry Latimer and George Truit, both inhabitants of NewOne circumstance, however, was mentioned by Mr. castle county, were, by the Judges of the election, reFITZSIMONS that deserves particular notice. From jected as illegal. April to December next, he said, the insurance on American ships from England and the rest of Europe, will not be less than twenty-five per cent. of their value on account of the Algerines.

The House now adjourned, without taking any question.

MONDAY, February 10.

A memorial of Samuel Swann, of the city of Richmond, in behalf of himself and others, was presented to the House and read, praying that an additional duty may be imposed on the importa

"That, at the said election in Kent county, four

"That, at the election in Sussex county, a number of votes or tickets, not less than fifty, containing the name of John Patton only, as the Representative of the said State, were received by the Judges of the election, polled, counted, and included in the return of the said election; that, in consequence of the rejection of the said votes in Kent county, and the reception of the votes before mentioned in Sussex county, the said John Patton was returned as exceeding the said Henry Latimer thirty, in number of votes.

"The committee find that the law of the State of Delaware, for regulating the election of a member to this House, contains the regulation stated in the petition, and that the said John Patton was returned to the

H. OF R.]

Tonnage Duties on French Vessels- Vessels of War.

President of the State of Delaware as having 2,273 votes, and the said Henry Latimer as having 2,243 votes. On examining the evidence taken in this case, the committee find the following facts in relation to the election in Newcastle county, to wit:

"That a considerable number of votes or tickets con


[FEBRUARY, 1794.

Votes for John Patton
Deduct single votes in Sussex county

Votes for Henry Latimer
Add rejected votes in Kent

Majority for Henry Latimer

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taining the names of Henry Latimer and Solomon Maxwell were rejected as illegal, as being both inhabitants of Newcastle county; the precise number of said votes is not ascertained. One witness, Robert Hamilton, who acted as an Inspector or Judge of the election, Deduct bad votes in Sussex declaring that he kept a list of such rejected votes till he was fatigued; that when he discontinued, they amounted to upwards of seventy. Another witness, James Eves, who likewise acted as an Inspector at the said election, declaring that he first began to keep such a list of rejected votes, and counted upwards of thirty, when he changed seats with Hamilton, who continued This report was committed to the Committee to keep the said list, as above mentioned, and that he of the Whole House, accompanied by certain was informed by Hamilton, some hours before the read-written observations thereon by the sitting meming of the votes was concluded, that the number of the ber, tending to controvert the reasoning and consaid rejected votes then amounted to upwards of fifty. clusions of the said report. It appears, by a reference to official documents, that the amount of votes counted and polled at the election in the said county for Governor of the State, was 1,202, and the number polled and counted for a member of this House was only 1,138, constituting a difference of sixty-four votes. The committee find the following facts in relation to Kent county: that four votes or tickets having the names of Henry Latimer and George Truit, both inhabitants of Newcastle county, were, on that account, rejected as illegal; and that twenty-two votes or tickets, containing the names of John Patton and some other inhabitants of Kent county, were likewise rejected as illegal.

"The following facts appear in relation to Sussex county that, at the commencement of the election in the said county, a question arose as to the legality of votes or tickets containing only one name, and, after some contest, it was resolved by the managers of the

election to receive all such votes, and to leave the de

termination of their legality to the House of Represent atives of the United States. It further appears by the evidence, that, on a late examination of the votes or tickets which had been polled or counted at the said election, there were sixty-eight single votes received and counted for John Patton, and nine single votes for Henry Latimer.

"From the above statement of facts, the following conclusions appear to the committee to result:

"That John Patton was returned as duly elected, by a majority of thirty votes.

"That, agreeably to the Election Law of Delaware, the four votes in Kent county, containing the names of Henry Latimer and George Truit, which were rejected, ought to have been received and counted for Henry Latimer; and the sixty-eight single votes in Sussex county, which were received and counted for the said John Patton, ought to have been rejected; that, if the aforesaid four votes in Kent county had been received, and the aforesaid sixty-eight votes in Sussex county had been rejected, as was required by law, the said Henry Latimer would have had, after deducting the nine single votes, received and counted for him in Sussex county, a majority of thirty-three votes. The committee are, therefore, of opinion that John Patton is not entitled to a seat in this House; they are also of opinion that Henry Latimer is entitled to a seat in this House as the Representative of the State of Delaware."

TONNAGE DUTIES UPON FRENCH VESSELS. The House resumed the consideration of the report of the committee appointed to inquire into and report a state of facts respecting sundry French vessels, which have taken refuge in the ports of the United States, and their opinion on the propriety of remitting the foreign tonnage thereon.

Mr. S. SMITH recommended the remission of the duties. Accident and distress had forced these people into the harbors of the United States, and it would be unbecoming the political connexion of this country with the French Republic, to take such an undue advantage.

Mr. FITZSIMONS considered the remission of the duties as an act of justice. These vessels had in the ports of America, before they could get some of them been obliged to lie for six months away, and to sell part of their cargoes to pay for their necessary expenses. This alone put an end to all prospect of profit by the voyage, and was a sufficient loss to the owners, without the payment

of the duties.

Several other members spoke to the question. It was at last agreed that the tonnage should be remitted, and the committee was ordered to bring in a bill for that purpose.


of the Whole on the state of the Union; and, the The House then went again into a Committee proposition for building sundry vessels being under consideration,

Mr. BOURNE approved of the proposed armament of four 44-gun ships and two others of 20 guns, against the Algerines. It had been objected that they would be inadequate to the purpose, since Britain would interpose. There is no sort of proof that she would do so, nor is it likely that she will, because it is her interest to cultivate, as far as possible, her connexion with this country. With regard to Portugal, it is very hazardous to reckon upon her assistance. Her sending a fleet

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to convoy the American merchantmen was not a proper foundation to say, that she had already broken the truce with Algiers, as had been alleged, [by Mr. NICHOLAS.] It was the established custom, in cases of this kind, to protect the ships that were trading to any particular country which happened to make a peace with any of the States of Barbary. Spain often did the same thing, nor was it complained of by the Algerines themselves. There was a great risk in depending upon so precarious a resource as the Navy of Portugal. He should be glad, besides adopting the resolution on the table, that the Executive might be authorized to engage the assistance of Portugal, if it was practicable. Mr. B. professed that he had met with no satisfactory evidence that Britain had excited the Algerines to the present war. He recommended the armament.

Mr. LYMAN was of opinion that the Algerines acted by the instigation of Britain. He would as soon question the existence of the resolution before them, as question that. The proposed armament must bring on a very certain expense, for a very uncertain advantage. He apprehended no danger from the Algerines, on the coasts of America. Though Britain might not venture openly to support the Corsairs, yet she could do it clandestinely, as she supported the Indians. He disapproved of the intended armament for many reasons-one of which was, that though $600,000 had been stated by the Committee as the expense of it, that sum would not half discharge the expenses. He recommended that private individuals should be encouraged to fit out vessels for attacking the Algerines.

[H. of R.

matter; but he was willing to adopt the measure proposed, because he saw nothing better.

Mr. HUNTER said that the damage sustained by trade, from the Algerines, is not so great an object as to deserve such an expense: especially since Portugal offers to protect that part of our shipping which is bound to and from her Dominions. It has been said by several gentlemen, that the only motive which induced Britain to make a truce with the Algerines was, to get the Portuguese fleet to join her in attacking their common enemy, the Republic of France. It had been said by one gentleman, that Britain had more interest to set the Algerines loose upon American commerce before the war than since. This was a very mistaken idea. Before the war, our trade with Britain in regard to insurance, was upon equal terms. But as soon as Britain engaged in the war with France, the insurance on her own vessels rose very high. Her own insurance companies would not insure the freight of British vessels, and the property of her own subjects, on the same low terms that they would insure on American vessels and American property. This preference was extremely provoking to the pride of Britain, particularly as the nation thus preferred had been, but a few years before, her own subjects. Her seamen were likewise quitting her service for that of America. Thus, her carrying trade must have been cut up by the roots. It was no more dishonorable for America to get a peace made with Algiers by means of Portugal, than it had been for Portugal to get a peace in the same quarter by means of Britain. He did not think that Britain would ever suffer America to get a peace if she could help it, as long as the war lasted; for then America would take off the carrying trade. She could supply the Algerines with ships, under the pretence of being their allies: and then, when they were employed against America, say that she could not help it. Mr. H. was averse to the armament.

Mr. HILLHOUSE had heard of no expedient suitable to the end in view, except that of sending out a fleet. He ridiculed the project of attempting to encourage individuals to attack the Algerines. He asked if a Legislature, in the possession of their senses, could fancy that private persons were to be induced to squander away their property in such a way, without compensation? Was there Mr. MURRAY could not believe that Britain had any body so lost to all common sense, as to em- been guilty of any design of exciting the Algebark in such an undertaking? As to the interfer-rines against the United States. It was opposite ence of Britain, he was willing to take that for to her interest, and he could not believe any nagranted. But could the members return to their tion capable of such a crime only for its own sake. constituents, and tell them that Congress could do Mr. GILES said that Britain was at length acnothing in this matter because Britain had been knowledged to be the cause of the Algerine pirathe occasion of it? He observed, that a more hu-cies. It was now said to be for the sake of reducmiliating situation could not be conceived, than that of America becoming tributary to Portugal, and going there to tell her that Americans could not protect themselves. Such an application must wound the honor of the United States in a most sensible manner. Gentlemen had said, the other day, that Britain would submit to any hardship sooner than declare war against this country. It was now said by members on the same side of the question, that she will assist Algiers by sending her military supplies. These assertions are inconsistent. If Britain sends ships of war to Algiers, she must come to an open rupture with America, for he understood that, by the Law of Nations, it must be the consequence.

Mr. DEXTER found many difficulties in this

ing France. The baseness of the end corresponded with the atrocity of the measures employed to produce it; for he should always consider it as one of the greatest of crimes for one nation to attempt the subjection of another. As to the state of insurance, the gentleman from South Carolina [Mr. HUNTER] had spoke rightly. Mr. G. said that with respect to what he had formerly observed, about Algerine militia, he had been mistaken. He did not intend to say that the four American frigates were to go to land, and give battle to a hundred thousand Africans'; but if a nation could, by an effort, assemble so numerous a militia, they can surely produce a maritime force more than equal to four frigates. He could not think gentlemen serious in proposing to send

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