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H. OF R.]

Fortifications.

[FFBRUARY, 1794.

He sus

The Committee now rose without coming to any decision.

TUESDAY, February 11.

them against Algiers. He adverted to the nume- vindicate such pusillanimous measures. rous dangers to which they were exposed by sea, pected that they were at bottom friends to Moat such an immense distance from their own narchy, and wished to bring it back again. He country. It had been said by a gentleman [Mr. then proceeded to demonstrate that America DEXTER] who, whenever he happened to be in the would lose infinitely more by the rise of insurwrong, had a very happy talent at making him-ance, than she would save by setting aside this self appear to be in the right, that the inconveni- armament. He closed by once more asking, wheence of seas and tempests would be no greater to ther the United States could not perform that with the Americans than to the Algerines. But the six ships which the Queen of Portugal had permember had overlooked this great difference: that formed with three? the latter, if any accident befel them which required a friendly port, were not far from home; whereas, the former had to sail 3,000 miles. A gentleman [Mr. S. SMITH] had mentioned several harbors of France, Spain, and Portugal, to which the American frigates might retire, if they wanted repairs. He was not sure that they would be welcome at present in the ports of either Spain or Portugal. As to France, from the measures that we seem lately to pursue, it is very uncertain whether she would much longer give the American flag a friendly reception. Gibraltar had likewise been held out as a place where the intended fleet might be sure of a hospitable retreat. But this, likewise, he thought very doubtful. He considered navies altogether as very foolish things. An immense quantity of property was spread on the water for no purpose whatever, which might have been employed by land to the best purpose. The old Government of France had been ruined in a great measure by the expenses of its navy. England groaned under a great part of her immense load of taxes from the same cause. He was persuaded that four frigates would not even form an additional motive to make the Regency of Algiers conclude a peace. He was afraid the Algerines would laugh at them.

Mr. S. SMITH said it was a singular example of integrity, in the present age, and would be the wonder of posterity, that Captain O'Brien and Captain Stephens never had accepted of any offers from the Algerines. We have now been told that eleven ships are taken. Some of these are not commanded by natives of America, and it cannot be surprising if renegadoes are found among them. Portugal, with only three ships, had blocked up the corsairs: what, then, was to hinder America from accomplishing the same end with six ships? Where Portugal has one ship on the ocean, America has ten. She is, therefore, ten times as able as Portugal to beat the Algerines; and yet we are told that she cannot do it. He had one objection to the fleet: he wished that the two 20-gun ships had been made to carry 36 guns, as he fancied, from the shortness of their keels, that they would not be able to keep up with the 44-gun vessels. He said that the Algerines had no place of shelter till they got home, as they were not admitted into the harbors of any other nation. He asked, who would join this country, when we declared that we could do nothing? It was disgraceful to Republicans to be in such a situation. He was sure that this defenceless state was contrary to the maxims of the Republics of all former ages. He was sorry, when he heard gentlemen who called themselves Republicans,

The House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole House, on the bill for extending the time for transmitting the oaths of absent owners of vessels, and for the relief of Thomas Jenkins and Sons; and, after some time spent therein, the Chairman reported that the Committee had had the said bill under consideration, and made an amendment thereto; which was twice read, and agreed to by the House.

Ordered, That the said bill, with the amendment, be engrossed, and read the third time to

morrow.

Mr. VENABLE, from the committee appointed, arising on the tonnage of sundry French vessels presented a bill for the remission of the duties which have taken refuge in the ports of the United States; which was read twice and committed.

Mr. TRUMBULL, from the committee to whom were referred the memorials of the people called Island, in the year 1793; of the delegates from the Quakers, at their yearly meeting, held in Rhode several Societies for promoting the Abolition of Slavery, in convention assembled at Philadelphia, on the first day of January last; and of the Providence Society for abolishing the Slave Trade, made a report; which was read, and ordered to be committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Monday next.

FORTIFICATIONS.

A report was read from the committee appointed to inquire into the state of the fortifications of the ports and harbors of the United States.

It was moved and agreed to read the report a second time. The committee had not been able to complete their investigation; but, in the meantime, they recommended that the sum ofdollars should be assigned for the security of the harbor of Norfolk.

Mr. DAYTON objected to the adopting this motion without due consideration.

Mr. TRACY moved that the subject should be referred to a Committee of the Whole House; which was agreed to, and the House again resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union.

Mr. TRACY had wished for more information. He supposed that the Committee would report nothing but authentic facts; yet gentlemen had objected to the report, as not well grounded. He thought the committee right in the measure which they pointed out. If we are not able to defend

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ourselves, we must give up the trade; and if the interposition of Britain was a proper reason for not pushing the Algerine business, the same argument was sufficient for giving up the Western frontiers, because the Indians were said to be assisted by the British. In the same way are we to give up the sea, because Britain may possibly assist the Algerines, as well as the Indians? Are we not to defend ourselves? Are we not to guard against the one as well as the other? Are we to recal our militia from the frontiers? It is said that there is no danger on the sea-coast from the Algerines, and therefore we have no occasion for ships of war. But if we lay down our muskets, are we in no danger from the Indians? A member has just now stated, that an English ship of war had behaved at Norfolk with the greatest insolence. This shows how improper it is to be exposed. If we cannot defend our commerce, give it up. Why should people try to walk who cannot stand? Tne objectors against the armament are penny-wise and pound-foolish. He thought it a sorry compliment to the good sense of the United States, of the Congress, and the Legislature, to say, that if we build six ships this year, we must never stop till we build one or two hundred.

[H. or R.

committee, add at least the ordinary excess in the execution, in the proportion which experience in such cases suggests. Add, also, the insurance on the fleet itself, which is a fair and very important item in the expense.

On the other side of the account, separate the West India trade, which is out of the Algerine risk, from the rest of the trade; and the trade to Spain, Portugal, and the more Southern parts, which is subject to a greater, from the trade to the Northern parts of Europe, which is subject to a much less, if to any risk.

The return of exports for 1791, is—
To the West Indies

To Spain and Portugal, &c.
To North of Europe -

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6,566,489 2,454,397 8,550,665

$17,571,551

No return of imports being at hand for the same
year, take the preceding year, for which the
amount of some branches is known,
and call it

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$20,000,000

4,000,000

930,873

1,000,000

15,000,000

From the West Indies From Spain and Portugal From more Southern places Mr. T. complained of the perpetual allusions, in From North of Europe the business of the House, to the banking and fund- Exports and imports to and from the ing systems. Gentlemen should have his very West Indies 10,566,489 humble thanks, if they would argue the question On this, the extra insurance, on account of the on its own grounds. He had for some time doubted Algerine risk, if there be any, ought to be calwhether it might not be for the advantage of Go-culated, as also on the value of the tonnage emvernment to tell people, at once, to defend themselves, as they could expect no protection from this country. Upon the whole, Mr. T. was of opinion, that this country was so circumstanced as to require the people to arm themselves; unless gentlemen would propose some other or better remedy for repelling the injuries we sustain.

Mr. FITZSIMONS defended the report of the committee. They had gone upon good ground in proposing a naval armament, and he mentioned facts to prove that they had not gone by their own opinions. He observed that the force of Algiers was not increased since the independence of the United States, and that therefore their present operations could not be viewed as more particularly aimed at America than formerly. They do not want our provisions or our ships; plunder alone is their object; general plunder.

Mr. MADISON said, attempts had been made to reduce the present question to a pecuniary criterion. This might be thought conclusive, if it could be done with due accuracy. The calculations which had been made could never be satisfactory. To make them so, there ought to be a full statement of the amount the armament would cost, and the expense it would save in its effect on insurance. These statements must necessarily be made up so much of conjecture, that they could not lead to a very definite result. It might be of some use, however, in preventing error, to understand the true principles and grounds on which they ought to be formed, and which were conceived to be the following:

To the expense of the fleet, as estimated by the

ployed."

Exports to and from Spain and Portu-
gal -

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Deduct what will continue to go in
neutral vessels.

Deduct from balance the proportion of
winter freights when Algerines are

not out.

$3,454,397

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H. of R.]

Proceedings.

[FEBRUARY, 1794.

tions. He went into some minute details respect-ment, be recommitted to Mr. VENABLE, Mr. TALing trade and commerce; and, particularly, re- BOT, and Mr. LYMAN. marked, that there was not any security for Portugal's renewing the truce with Algiers after the present term should expire.

The House again resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole House on the report of the committee appointed to report whether any, and what alterations or amendments are, in their opinion, necessary to the act to establish the Post Office and Post Roads of the United States;" and, after some time spent therein, the Committee rose and reported progress.

THURSDAY, February 13.

A petition of Thomas Walley, William Tudor, William Payne, and John M'Lean, of Boston, in the State of Massachusetts, was presented to the House, and read, praying that an additional duty may be imposed on the importation of window glass, or such encouragement given to the manufacture of the said article within the United States, as to the wisdom of Congress shall seem meet.

Mr. GOODHUE. The gentleman [Mr. MADISON] last up, from Virginia, as well as most others on his side of the question, have rested their chief argument against the equipment proposed in the resolution before us, on the probability that Spain and Portugal will, after the present war in Europe is over, find themselves under the necessity of restraining the depredations of the Algerine corsairs on our trade, from the want they will always be in for the productions of this country for their subsistence. That they will be in want of the productions of this country, and that they cannot well do without them, is granted; but can we doubt it would be good policy in Great Britain to continue the Algerines in peace with Spain and Portugal, and in hostility with us, in order that their ships, instead of ours, might be the carriers of those of Ordered, That the said petition be referred to our articles to Spain and Portugal which are so Mr. WATTS, Mr. Corr, and Mr. HINDMAN, to much wanted? This would be increasing the whom were referred the several memorials and British carrying trade at our expense indeed. petitions of the manufacturers of paint, in the Spain and Portugal would not care what ships towns of Baltimore and Alexandria; of the dealbrought these articles, so that they had a supply.ers in oil and painters' colors; of Thomas PearIt is in vain, Mr. Chairman, that we pretend to be friends to the trade and navigation of this country, while we refuse to protect it. The merchants know it is within our ability to protect it against the Algerine corsairs, and unless we attempt it, they will justly think themselves neglected. And what will their language be?-that you have spent The House again resolved itself into a Commitmore than a million of dollars annually, for seve-tee of the Whole House on the report of the comral years, in the protection of our frontiers, and mittee appointed to report whether any, and what now, when commerce, the source of all our reve-alterations or amendments are, in their opinion, nue, is attacked, you deny it any kind of protection. Surely this is so unjust and impolitic, that it cannot be expected they will put up with it.

Mr. HARRISON was against the report; and Mr. MURRAY protracted the debate some minutes longer, by speaking against Mr. MADISON. At length the question was called for, when there arose in favor of the report 47, against it 45.

Mr. New brought in a report from the committee on the situation of the people from St. Domingo. The House then adjourned.

WEDNESDAY, February 12.

An engrossed bill for extending the time for transmitting the oaths of absent owners of vessels, and for the relief of Thomas Jenkins and Sons, was read the third time and passed.

The House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole House on the bill for the remission of the duties arising on the tonnage of sundry French vessels, which have taken refuge in the ports of the United States; and after some time spent therein, the Chairman reported that the Committee had had the said bill under consideration, and made an amendment thereto; which was twice read, and agreed to by the House.

sall, and Elijah Pell; of Thomas Perkins and Company; and of Samuel Swann; that they do examine the matter thereof, and report the same, with their opinion thereupon, to the House; and that Mr. DEXTER, Mr. GILES, Mr. DAYTON, and Mr. PAGE, be added to the said committee.

necessary to the act "to establish the Post Office
and Post Roads within the United States;" and,
and reported progress.
after some time spent therein, the Committee rose

Mr. HEATH, from the committee to whom was referred the report of the Secretary of the Treasury on the memorial of Winthrop Sargent, made a report; which was read, and ordered to lie on the table.

The order of the day for the House to resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House on the report of the Standing Committee of Elections, in the case of the petition of Henry Latimer, complaining of an undue election and return of JOHN PATTON, the member returned to serve in this House for the State of Delaware, being called for,

Resolved, That the Committee of the Whole House be discharged from proceeding thereon, and that the hearing on the trial of the said contested election be now proceeded on in the House.

Ordered, That the petitioner, on his prayer, be admitted to the bar of the House, to be heard in support of the allegations of his petition.

The House then proceeded to the hearing on the trial of the said contested election; and the depositions and other exhibits being partly read, as, also, the observations in writing of the sitting member thereupon, an adjournment was called

Ordered, That the said bill, with the amend- I for; whereupon,

FEBRUARY, 1794.]

Contested Election.

[H. OF R

Ordered, That all further proceedings on the taining this doubt, I can have none respecting the said hearing be adjourned until to-morrow.

FRIDAY, February 14.

question now before us, viz: "Is the petitioner entitled to a seat ?"-for I cannnot construe the Constitution of the United States, or the law of Dela

A petition of M'Clallen, MacGregor, and Com-ware, so rigidly, as to think that we should call pany, of Albany, in the State of New York, was presented to the House and read, praying that an additional duty may be imposed on the importation of glass, or such encouragement given to the manufacture of the said article within the United States, as to the wisdom of Congress shall seem Ordered, That the said petition be referred to Mr. WATTS, Mr. CoIT, Mr. HINDMAN, Mr. DEXTER, Mr. GILES, Mr. DAYTON, and Mr. PAGE; that they do examine the matter thereof, and report the same, with their opinion thereupon, to the

meet.

ty; by which construction alone the House has illegal the sixty-eight votes given in Sussex Coundeclared Mr. PATTON not entitled to a seat-on which alone the petitioner, Mr. LATIMER, can found his claim. Had there been any violation of the law, of such a nature as tended to introduce corrupt elections, or to diminish the right of free suffrages, I should, with pleasure, give my voice future. But here is merely an act of freemen, perto disgrace and render null any such conduct in fectly compatible with their immutable, inalienable privileges; not inconsistent with the law of their State, but merely falling short of a provision in a law, calculated, it is said, to secure to them the full benefit of that inestimable privilege. I The House resumed the hearing on the trial of cannot, therefore, think, sir, that on such slight the contested election in the case of the petition of grounds, we ought to reject a member, elected HENRY LATIMER, complaining of an undue elec- by the freemen of Delaware, and duly returned; tion and return of JOHN PATTON, the member re- but should go on, and admit to a seat in this House turned to serve in this House for the State of a person not returned, and if returned, not having Delaware; and the depositions and other exhibits a majority of votes. In the case of the Georgia in the said case being fully read, the parties re-election. I voted for the reception of the petitioner, tired from the bar.

House.

DELAWARE CONTESTED ELECTION.

The House then proceeded to a decision on the said contested election; and, after debate thereon, Amotion was made and seconded that the House do agree to the following resolution:

"Resolved, That JoHN PATTON is not entitled to

seat in this House:"

which was resolved in the affirmative.

Another motion being then made and seconded, that the House do agree to the following resolution:

"Resolved, That HENRY LATIMER is entitled to a seat in this House, as the Representative of the State of Delaware:"

because he incontestibly proved (to my satisfaction at least) that he had a majority of legal votes, and that the sitting member had been returned by means of corruption, which the State endeavored to chastise and stigmatize. The Executive of that a the petitioner. In the present case, there is no State showed an anxiety to support the claim of corruption proved or insinuated; no interference of the State; and a legal return, which, I suppose, was founded on such construction as I have put on the Constitution of the United States and the law of Delaware. The House, in the case of the Georgia election, differed from my opinion, and established (as some gentlemen called it) a precedent, which would keep the House clear from suspicions of partiality, and which I wish now to be observed. I acknowledge, excluding a member may be attended with inconvenience, but a double inconvenience may arise by depriving the citizens of a Representative-the man of their choice— and, at the same time, forcing on them one for whom a majority did not vote. For these reasons I shall vote against the resolutions.

Mr. PAGE said:-I confess I doubt whether the sixty-eight freemen of Sussex ought to be deprived of the votes which they gave, merely because they did not vote for two persons instead of one; for I think the law, which must have been intended to secure their rights as electors, could not deprive them of their suffrage. The Constitution of the United States, it is true, gives the State Legislatures a right to regulate the time, place, and manner of holding elections; but I cannot prevail on myself to think that the words, "the manner of holding elections," ought to be construed to extend to the words of the election law of the State of Delaware, so as to render the conduct of the sixtyeight freemen of Sussex a violation of that law; or, if it be a violation thereof, that the violation is of such a nature as to deprive them of a right which no law can abrogate; a right which should be held as sacred, and which it cannot become this House to diminish in the smallest degree. Thinking thus, sir, I doubted of the propriety of the vote which the House has given on the first question before it, viz: "that the sitting member is not entitled to a seat in this House." Enter

tive-yeas 57, nays 31, as follows:
The question was then resolved in the affirma-

YEAS.-Fisher Ames, James Armstrong, John Beat-
ty, Shearjashub Bourne, Benjamin Bourne, Lambert
Coffin, Joshua Coit, Isaac Coles, Jonathan Dayton,
Cadwalader, Thomas Claiborne, David Cobb, Peleg
Henry Dearborn, George Dent, Samuel Dexter, Thomas
Fitzsimons, Dwight Foster, Ezekiel Gilbert, Nicholas
Gilman, Henry Glenn, Benjamin Goodhue, James Gor-
don, Andrew Gregg, Samuel Griffin, William Barry
Grove, Thomas Hartley, William Hindman, Samuel
Holten, John Hunter, William Irvine, John Wilkes
Kittera, Amasa Learned, Richard Bland Lee, Nathaniel
Macon, James Madison, Francis Malbone, William
Vans Murray, Francis Preston, Thomas Scott, Theo-
dore Sedgwick, John S. Sherburne, Jeremiah Smith,

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Samuel Smith, William Smith, Thomas Sprigg, Zephaniah Swift, Silas Talbot, George Thatcher, Uriah Tracy, Thomas Tredwell, Jonathan Trumbull, John E. Van Allen, Philip Van Cortlandt, Peter Van Gaasbeck, Peleg Wadsworth, Richard Winn, and Joseph Winston. NAYS.-Theodorus Bailey, Abraham Baldwin, Thomas Blount, Thomas P. Carnes, Gabriel Christie, William J. Dawson, William Findley, William B. Giles, James Gillespie, Christopher Greenup, Carter B. Harrison, John Heath, James Hillhouse, Matthew Locke, William Lyman, Joseph McDowell, Alexander Mebane, William Montgomery, Andrew Moore, Anthony New, John Nicholas, Nathaniel Niles, John Page, Josiah Parker, Andrew Pickens, John Smilie, Abraham Venable, Francis Walker, Artemas Ward, Benjamin Williams, and Paine Wingate.

Whereupon, the said HENRY LATIMER took his seat in the House, as the member for the State of Delaware; the oath to support the Constitution of the United States being first administered to him by Mr. SPEAKER, according to law.

MONDAY, February 17.

The House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole House on the report of the committee to whom were referred the memorials of the people called Quakers, at their yearly meeting, held in Rhode Island, in the year 1793; of the delegates from the several Societies for promoting the Abolition of Slavery, in convention assembled at Philadelphia, on the first day of January last; and of the Providence Society for abolishing the Slave Trade; and, after some time spent therein, the Chairman reported that the Committee had had the said report under consideration, and come to a resolution thereupon; which was twice read, and agreed to by the House, as follows:

Resolved, That a committee be appointed to prepare and bring in a bill or bills to prohibit the fitting out of any ship or vessel in any port of the United States, either by citizens of the United States or foreigners, for the purpose of procuring from any kingdom or country the inhabitants of such kingdom or country, to be transported to any foreign parts or places of the world, to be sold or disposed of as slaves.

Ordered, That Mr. TRUMBULL, Mr. WARD, Mr. GILES, Mr. TALBOT, and Mr. GROVE, be a committee pursuant to the said resolution.

Ordered, That the report of the committee to whom was referred the memorial of Arthur St. Clair, which was made on the first day of March last, be committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Thursday next.

POST OFFICE BILL.

The Post Office business was then taken up, in Committee of the Whole. A vast number of new post roads were ordered, without opposition. The Committee then came to the consideration of that part of the report which relates to newspapers, and it was moved, that the postage of them should be reduced to half a cent to distances not exceeding one hundred miles, and one cent for any greater distance. This was advocated on the ground, that newspapers from the Seat of Government, and the

[FEBRUARY, 1794.

large towns, must convey more complete information than selections from them by country printers in weekly papers; and that the editors of them not only possess more ample means of information, but are generally better informed. The motion was opposed, from a wish to encourage country presses, whose papers, it was said, did not lose on a comparison with the wretched productions of the Metropolis. The Committee rose, without taking a question, and the House adjourned.

TUESDAY, February 18.

A message from the Senate informed the House that the Senate have passed a bill, entitled "An act in alteration of the act establishing a Mint, and regulating the coins of the United States;" to which they desire the concurrence of this House.

Mr. HARRISON, from the committee appointed, presented a bill for the relief of Lucy Clark; which was read twice and committed.

Mr. VENABLE, from the committee to whom was re-committed the bill for the remission of the duties arising on the tonnage of sundry French vessels which have taken refuge in the ports of the United States, reported an amendatory bill; which was received, and read the first time, and on motion, was read the second time, and ordered to be engrossed, and read third time to-morrow.

The Post Office law was under discussion this

day in Committee of the Whole. An amendment proposing the reduction of the postage on newsder an hundred miles, to half a cent, and those papers, viz: on those carried to any distance uncarried more than an hundred to one cent each, occasioned considerable debate; and was finally ing the privilege of franking was also negatived. negatived, 44 to 40. A motion for further restrictThe Committee rose and reported progress.

WEDNESDAY, February 19.

An engrossed bill for the remission of the duties arising on the tonnage of sundry French vessels which have taken refuge in the ports of the United States was read the third time and passed.

The bill sent from the Senate, entitled "An act in alteration of the act establishing a Mint, and regulating the coins of the United States," was read twice and committed.

A memorial of John Frederick Amelung, James Labes, and Thomas Johnson, of Frederick county, in the State of Maryland, was presented to the House and read, praying that an additional duty may be imposed on the importation of window and other glass, or such encouragement given to the manufacture of the said article within the United States, as to the wisdom of Congress shall seem meet.

Ordered, That the said memorial be referred to Mr. WATTS, Mr. Coir, Mr. Hindman, Mr. DeXTER, Mr. GILES, Mr. DAYTON, and Mr. PAGE; that they do examine the matter thereof, and report the same, with their opinion thereupon, to the House.

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