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form a correct judgment with regard to the evils of which they complained, and for which they besought Congress to provide a remedy; and if gentlemen would take the trouble to examine that petition, they would find the evils of slavery and the slave trade set forth in stronger language than that which was employed in the memorial which he now asked the House to print. He would add, that the memorial to which he referred was calied up two years ago by an honorable member from New Hampshire, now a member of the Senate; and, on his motion, was ordered to be printed with the names of the signers. He submitted whether, with this precedent before them, the House could refuse to make the order which his motion contemplated. Mr. VANDERPOEL remarked that, inasmuch as the memorial had been audibly read by the Clerk, and the contents of it were now well understood by every member of the House, and as the motion to print was debatable, and the debate now commenced was very unprofitable, and would, in all probability, if not arrested, consume the day, he would move to lay the motion to print upon the table; and upon that motion he called for the yeas and nays; which were ordered by the House. The question being taken, it was decided in the affirmative, as follows: YEAs—Messrs. Chilton Allan, Anthony, Ash, Ashley, Bailey, Barton, Beale, Bean, Beardsley, Beaumont, Bell, Bockee, Bond, Boon, Bouldin, Bovee, Boyd, Brown, Buchanan, Bunch, Burns, J. Calhoon, Cambreleng, Campbell, Carr, Casey, John Chambers, Chaney, Chapman, Chapin, Claiborne, Cleveland, Coffee, Coles, Connor, Craig, Cramer, Crane, Cushman, Davis, Deberry, Dickerson, Doubleday, Dromgoole, Dunlap, Efner, Fairfield, Farlin, Forester, French, Fry, Philo C. Fuller, William K. Fuller, James Garland, Rice Garland, Gillet, Glascock, Graham, Grantland, Graves, Grayson, Griffin, Haley, Joseph Hall, Hamer, Hammond, Hannegan, Hardin, Harlan, Albert G. Harrison, Hawes, Hawkins, Haynes, Hopkins, Howard, Howell, Huntington, Huntsman, Ingham, Jabez Jackson, Jarvis, Joseph Johnson, Richard M. Johnson, Cave Johnson, Henry Johnson, John W. Jones, Benjamin Jones, Judson, Kennon, Kilgore, Kinnard, Klingensmith, Lane, Lansing, Laporte, Lawler, Gideon Lee, Joshua Lee, Luke Lea, Leonard, Logan, Loyall, Lucas, Lyon, Abijah Mann, Job Mann, Martin, John Y. Mason, William Mason, Moses Mason, Samson Mason, Maury, May, McComas, McKay, McKeon, McKim, McLene, Mercer, Montgomery, Muhlenberg, Owens, Page, Parks, Patterson, Patton, Franklin Pierce, James A. Pearce, Pettigrew, Phelps, Pickens, Pinckney, John Reynolds, Joseph Reynolds, Ripley, Roane, Robertson, Rogers, Schenck, Seymour, William B. Shepard, Augustine H. Shepperd, Shields, Shinn, Sickles, Smith, Spangler, Standefer, Steele, Storer, Sutherland, Taliaferro, Taylor, Thomas, John Thomson, Toucey, Towns, Turner, Turrill, Underwood, Vanderpoel, Wagener, Ward, Washington, Weeks, White, Lewis Williams, Sherrod Williams, Wise-–169. NAys—Messrs. Adams, Heman Allen, Banks, Borden, Briggs, William B. Calhoun, Carter, George Chambers, Childs, Clark, Corwin, Cushing, Darlington, Evans, Everett, Galbraith, Granger, Grennell, Hiland Hall, Hard, Harper, Hazeltine, Henderson, Hiester, Hoar, Hubley, Hunt, Ingersoll, William Jackson, Janes, Lawrence, Lay, Lincoln, Love, Milligan, Morris, Parker, putee J. Pearce, Phillips, Potts, Reed, Russell, Slade, Sloane, Sprague, Vinton, Wardwell, Webster, Whittlesey–-49. - so the motion to print was laid on the table. Numerous petitions and memorials were now presented; among which, The SPEAKER presented the petition of David Hew.
land, of North Carolina, contesting the election of James Graham to a seat in this House, as a Representative from the State of North Carolina. On motion of Mr. PEARCE, of Rhode Island, the petition and accompanying papers were referred to the Committee on Elections. Mr. HAMER, of Ohio, rose and remarked that he was absent from his seat when the question was taken on the motion of the gentleman from Maine, [Mr. FAIRFIELD, and he asked leave now to record his vote; but it was objected to. Mr. HOLSEY, of Georgia, asked leave to record his vote on the motion to lay the motion to print the memorial presented by the gentleman from Maine on the table; and an objection being made, Mr. HOLSEY moved the suspension of the rule, to enable him to effect his object; which motion was negatived. The SPEAKER presented a letter from Elijah E. CRARY, transmitting his credentials as a Representative in Congress from the State of Michigan. Mr. BEARDSLEY said the gentleman could not be considered a member of the House, and was not entitled to a seat as such. As Michigan had assumed the position of a State, and the question of her admission was pending, the House could not prejudge that question by admitting the gentleman to a seat as a member. But, as an act of courtesy to him, he moved that a seat be assigned to him within the House, and that his communication be printed and laid on the table. Mr. MERCER said he could not concur in the propriety of the course suggested. In order to have time to consult the precedents on the subject, he moved that the motion be laid on the table. Mr. HANNEGAN moved an adjournment; which was agreed to, and The House then adjourned.
Thuns day, Decem BER 17. ELECTION OF OFFICERS. The House took up the resolution heretofore offered by Mr. Bocker, for the appointment of certain officers of the House. Mr. BOCKEE modified the resolution so as to read as follows: Resolved, That Oventon CARR be appointed principal doorkeeper of the House; and the resolution was agreed to mem. Con. Mr. BOCKEE then submitted the following resolution: Resolved, That the House do now proceed to the choice of an assistant doorkeeper, by ballot. Mr. HAYNES nominated Colonel John W. Hu NTER. Mr. PATTON nominated John B. DADE. Mr. ALLAN, of Kentucky, nominated Oliven Pease. Messrs. HAYNEs, Patton, and ALLAN of Kentucky, were appointed tellers. The result of the first ballot was as follows:
Dec. 18, 1835.]
eral Land Office, and to improvements in the land system, be referred to the Committee on the Public Lands. Resolved, That so much of said message as relates to the report of the Secretary of War, and the public interest intrusted to the War Department, except so much thereof as relates to Indian affairs, be referred to the Committee on Military Affairs. Resolved, That so much of said message as relates to the militia of the United States be referred to the Committee on the Militia. Resolved, That so much of said message as relates to the Indian tribes, and every thing connected there with, be referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs. Resolved, That so much of said message as relates to the political relations of the United States with foreign nations, including “the ascertainment of the claims to be paid and the apportionment of the funds under the convention made with Spain,” be referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. Resolved, That so much of said message as relates to the commerce of the United States with foreign nations and their dependencies be referred to the Committee on Commerce. Resolved, That so much of said message as relates to the finances, and every thing connected there with; the custody of the public moneys, and everything connected there with; the offices of commissioners of loans and of the sinking fund, and every thing connected with the operations of those offices; and the Bank of the United States, including the books and stock of the United States in that institution, be referred to the Committee of Ways and Means. Resolved, That so much of said message as relates to the report of the Secretary of the Navy, and the public interest intrusted to the Navy Department, be referred to the Committee on Naval Affairs. Resolved, That so much of said message as relates to the report of the Postmaster General, the condition and operations of the Post Office Department, and every thing connected there with, be referred to the Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads. Resolved, That so much of said message as relates to “amending that part of the constitution which provides for the election of the President and Vice President of the United States,” be referred to a select committee. Resolved, That so much of said message as relates “to the present condition of the District of Columbia,” and which recommends a revision of its laws and the extension of political rights to its citizens, be referred to the Committee for the District of Columbia. Resolved, That so much of said message as relates “to the defects which exist in the judicial system of the United States,” and which recommend an extension of that system to all the States, be referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. On motion of Mr. MASON, of Virginia, the Committee rose and reported the resolutions, and they were concurred in by the House. The select committee on the subject of the election of the President and Vice President of the United States was ordered to consist of nine.
ELECTION OF CHAPLAIN.
Mr. THOMSON, of Ohio, moved the adoption of the customary joint resolution for the election of two chaplains to Congress.
Mr. WARDWFLI, stated that he had intended, when this resolution should be considered by the House, to of. fer an amendment, prohibiting the use of this hall on the Sabbath to the chaplains of Congress, or for any other purpose whatsoever. As he did not, however, wish to embarrass the election of chaplains, which he should not oppose, and as some members supposed that such
would be the effect, he would not now offer the amendment, but would give notice that he should, at some future day, offer a resolution, the effect of which will be, if adopted by the House, to close this hall on the Sabbath. The resolution heretofore offered by Mr. Johnson, of Kentucky, for supplying the heads of Departments and bureaux, and other officers of the Government, with copies of the public documents printed by order of Congress, was taken up for consideration. Mr. PATTON objected to the resolution, on the go that no object of public utility could be gained y it. After some remarks from Messrs. MANN, WISE, MILLER, and JOHNSON of Kentucky. Mr. MASON, of Virginia, moved the reference of the resolution to the Committee on Military Affairs, with instructions to inquire and report whether, in the transaction of public business, the public interest would be promoted in whole or in part; which was agreed to. Mr. WARD moved that when the House adjourns, it adjourn to meet on Monday next. Mr. WHITTLESEY offered some reasons connected with the private bills long before Congress, which have heretofore failed for want of time, in opposition to the motion. After a few words from Mr. WARD, and a suggestion from Mr. MERCER, that next Friday being Christmas, the House would not probably sit, nor on the following Friday, which would be new-year's day, Mr. BOON moved that the motion be laid on the table; which was agreed to. On motion of Mr. CAMBRELENG, the annual report of the Secretary of the Treasury, and the estimates of the Treasury, were referred to the Committee of Ways and Means. The House then adjourned till to-morrow. J
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 18.
Mr. McKENNAN appeared, was qualified, and took his seat.
SLAVERY IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
Mr. JACKSON, of Massachusetts, presented a petition from sundry citizens of Massachusetts, praying Congress to provide for the immediate abolition of slavery within the District of Columbia; which he moved to refer to a select committee. Mr. HAMMOND moved that the petition be not received. The large majority by which the House had rejected a similar petition a few days ago had been very gratifying to him, and no doubt would be very gratisying to the whole South. He had hoped it would satisfy gentlemen charged with such petitions, of the impropriety of introducing them here. Since, however, it had not had that effect, and they persisted still in urging them upon the House and upon the country, he thought it was not requiring too much of the House, to ask it to put a more decided seal of reprobation on them, by peremptorily rejecting this. The SPEAKER said he was not aware that such a motion had ever been sustained by the former practice of the House; and in addition to that, by a standing rule of the House, (the 45th,) petitions and memorials could not be debated or decided on the day of their presentation, but must lie over one day, unless the House should direct otherwise. Mr. GARLAND, of Virginia, then moved to lay the petition on the table. Mr. HAMMOND said, as he was aware of no rule of the House restricting the rejection of petitions, he would modify his motion accordingly, by moving that the House reject the petition,
The SPEAKER remarked that the motion of Mr. GARLAND would take precedence. Mr. HAMMOND begged the gentleman from Virginia [Mr. GARLAN n] to withdraw his motion to lay on the table, that we might have a direct vote upon this matter. He was not disposed to go into a discussion of the question involved in the petition; though, should it be urged, he would not shrink from it a hair's breadth; but he did think it due to the House and the country, to give at once the most decisive evidence of the sentiments entertained here upon this subject. He wished to put an end to these petitions. He could not sit there and see the rights of the southern people assaulted day after day, by the ignorant fanatics from whom these memorials proceed. The SPEAKER requested the gentleman to suspend his remarks until he read the 45th rule of the House, which was as follows: “Petitions, memorials, and other papers, addressed to the House, shall be presented by the Speaker, or by a member in his place: a brief statement of the contents thereof shall verbally be made by the introducer, and shall not be debated or decided on the day of their being first read, unless where the House shall direct otherwise, but shall lie on the table, to be taken up in the order they were read.” Unless, therefore, the House should direct otherwise, the Chair would be compelled, under the rule, to arrest any discussion, and direct the petition to lie over till to-morrow. Besides, the question to lie on the table, having precedence, was not debatable. Mr. HAMMOND’S object, he said, was not to debate the merits of the question, but to move, if it was in order to do so, the rejection of the petition. The SPEAKER replied that the rule was imperative on himself to arrest debate or decision on the petition, unless the House directed otherwise, and it must lie over one day. Mr. MERCER remarked that the motion to reject brought up the whole merits of the question, and would necessarily bring on the very debate the gentleman said he desired to avoid; and he maintained that the motion to lie on the table was in order. Mr. GARLAND, of Virginia, said he felt compelled to insist upon his motion to lay the petition on the table for the present. Mr. WILLIAMS, of North Carolina, said that he did not like to take an appeal from the decision of the Chair, but it was of some importance that the rights of members should be clearly ascertained. He was sure that it was perfectly in order for any gentleman to make the point whether or not a paper should be received, and to move its rejection. The SPEAKER said, as the question was new to him, he had doubts for a moment; he now entertained the motion of the gentleman from south Carolina, [Mr. HAM Mosn, but the motion to lay the petition on the table interposing, took precedence. Mr. WILLIAMS contended that the latter motion would apply only after the petition had been received, and was in possession of the House. Mr. HAWES rose to a question of order. Unless the gentleman took an appeal from the decision of the chair he was out of order in addressing the House. > Mr. WILLIAMS intended to appeal. He was in favor of the motion of the gentleman from Virginia, that the petition should be laid upon the table, but he could not consent that that motion should ride over one that was prior to it. He begged to refer the honorable speak. to an example set by one of his predecessors. It was that of a memorial sent to that House a few years ago, from a representative of some one of the south American revolutionary Governments. That representative of this South American Government took upon himself to ap
peal from the decision of the President of the United States to the nation, through the House of Representatives, and his memorial was presented by the presiding officer of that House. A question was raised by a distinguished member from Pennsylvania, and a motion was made that the petition should not be received, and the House decided that it should not be received. Now, that was altogether preliminary to the question of laying on the table, and had precedence of it. A motion to lay on the table could only be maintained when the subject was before the House; and after the question, whether it should be received or not, or whether it should be laid before the House, had been decided. It was with a view of ascertaining that question that Mr. W. appealed from the decision of the Chair; for he was in favor of the motion of the gentleman from Virginia, to lay the petition on the table, but he was also in favor of first receiving it. Mr. MERCER well remembered, he said, the case cited by the gentleman from North Carolina, and if he was not mistaken, the question on that occasion was not in relation to the constitutional power of that House to refuse to receive petitions from citizens of the United States, for the right to petition was reserved to our citizens by the constitution; but it was as to whether an individual, not a citizen of the United States, could come there and petition; the petitioner in that case being a commander in one of the South American Governments. The SPEAKER stated the question before the House as it then stood, and said he should be glad to have the judgment of the House upon it. After reading the fortyfifth rule, and also the thirty-second rule, laying down the order of privileged motions, of which that to lie on the table stands second, he remarked that the Chair considered the petition as having been received by the House, and had entertained the motions for a time; but, under the former rule, the petition ought to lie over. If, however, the House set that aside, still the motion to lie on the table having the preference, the question could not be debated on its merits. If in error, the Chair would be very happy to be corrected. The question then before the House was, Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained? Mr. BELL, of Tennessee, thought it would be better that the petition lie over for one day without being debated at that time. As the question was a new one, or about to be decided for the first time, it would be safest for the House at least to let the petition lie over one day; and he would, therefore, suggest to the gentleman from South Carolina that this course had better be adopted, and at the next day of meeting the House could then either reject it or lay it on the table. Mr. B. thought the decision of the Chair, that the petition should lie over, in substance right, and he thought it certainly the safest course to pursue. Mr. GLASCOCK said he should have supported the views of the last gentleman, if a different course had not been taken the other day. He could see no reason why the course pursued in relation to the petition presented by an honorable member from Maine, [Mr. FAIRF1 Eln,) should be departed from now; nor why, after the deci: sive vote that went forth to the country, expressive of the views and feelings of so large a majority on that oc: casion, they should now assume a different shape. Had the question itself undergone any change? If what was then done was wrong, let them say so, and let those who were unacquainted with the rules of proceeding know they were in error; but he saw nothing in the rules that conflicted with the course now sought to be pursued in relation to the petition on the table. He did hope that, so far as related to the memorials and petitions of this kind, some additional views would be given, to satisfy gentlemen who felt it their duty to introduce and present them, and to satisfy their constituents who
thought it necessary to send them there; and that, as it seemed to him, could best be done now by a vote of rejection. What the decisions of the House might be, he knew not; but if there was such a rule in existence, that the House had no power to reject a petition presented to it, whether respectful or not, it was time the rule should be altered, for he was well assured that they would be harassed throughout the session. He should be sorry if the House was tied down by any rule to receive any and every petition, whether respectful or not. Suppose a petition were presented to the House, and it was found to contain matter disrespectful to a single member of the House, would not a motion to reject it be in order? He would respectfully ask whether he understood the decision of the Chair correctly, that a motion to reject could not be entertained on the presentation of a petition. The SPEAKER replied that he had not so stated. When the gentleman from South Carolina first submitted his motion, the Chair stated that he was not aware of any such motion having been made in that House during the period the individual occupying the Chair had been a member; that it was new to him at the moment. The Chair, however, did not feel authorized to say the motion should not be entertained; but if it was, he then decided that the motion to lay on the table would have precedence; or that if the motion to reject was received by itself, it was not debatable, because, under the rule of the House, it must lie over one day, unless the House should direct otherwise. Mr. GLASCOCK had misapprehended the Chair, and would conclude by calling upon the House, that, as they had given one decided vote on the question before, they should not repeat it in the same way, but change their course, and reject the petition altogether. Mr. HAMMOND would read to the House the rule under which he thought it was entirely competent for him to make the motion—it was this: “When any motion or proposition is made, the question, Will the House now consider it? shall not be put, unless it is demanded by some member, or is deemed necessary by the Speaker.” Now, the motion he made was a demand by him upon the Speaker to put the question, whether the petition should be considered or not; and it was a motion any member of the House had a right to put, according to the rules. His reason for making the motion was not that he wished to enter into a discussion of this subject, though he did not fear it, and would never shrink from it, but because he did not wish to disturb that House, nor harass the country, by allowing such petitions to come there. Still he could not sit there, and allow petition after petition to pour in, until they became callous to the subject. He could not sit there, and see the rights of the South assailed, day after day, by ignorant fanatics, without calling upon that House to put the stamp of reprobation upon such conduct. The SPEAKER reminded the gentleman that the merits of the whole question were not open on a mere question of order. Mr. HAMMOND would confine himself by saying that if the House should decide that the motion to lay on the table has preference, he would then move that the petition be laid on the table till to-morrow, in order to call it up and move to reject it." Mr. PEYTON had hoped, and yet hoped, that gentlemen would not give up the motion. The gentleman from Georgia [Mr. Glascock] was mistaken. There had been no decisive vote yet given upon this question. There had been an evasive vote given upon it. Had not Mr. P., sat by and seen gentlemen who voted differently at the last session of Congress, now voting in favor of laying the petition on the table? But these firebrands were cast upon the House now at an earlier day than Vol. XII.-124
usual; that spirit was abroad in the land, and it was left for the representatives of the people to meet it. Mr. REED called the gentleman to order, as his remarks were not pertinent to the question before the House. Mr. PEYTON said he was assigning reasons for sustaining the motion for the decision of the House at that time, pursuant to the demand made by the honorable member from South Carolina. He hoped they should be permitted to meet this question at its beginning in some shape or other. Now, it struck him with great force, that when a petition was presented containing matter improper for legislation, that the House ought to reject it; and before it was received, it could not be laid on the table for one day. Consequently the question of its reception or rejection must, as a matter of necessity, be first decided, and that brought prompt action upon the whole question. He would repeat that he wished a more decisive vote, and one that would ascertain the wishes, the views, and the feelings of gentlemen upon it; and if they met it, he would say, with the gentleman from Georgia, that it would be decisive. Another reason why it should be acted upon in the present stage, before the consideration of it, was, that it asked Congress to do what every man in the country knew it had no power to do. Suppose a petition were sent there, praying the House to break down our republican form of government, and erect a monarchy upon its ruins, would any one say the House had the power to act upon such a petition? And had the House more power in the present case? Was not the first question to be decided before the petition could be laid on the table? He thought, therefore, the motion of the gentleman from South Carolina the proper one, and that it must necessarily have precedence of all others; and he desired to consider it, and to consider it at once. It would then be seen whether gentlemen would encourage their constituents every where to send there such floods of these petitions as would cover the tables of that hall like the locusts of Egypt, for such would be the result in twelve months. Those gentlemen who had not made up their minds to meet this question, in any and every shape in which it would be presented, must take the responsibility. He wanted no evasive votes. He wanted no propositions to lay on the table. He met the question fully at once, by saying that House had no power whatever to interfere with the question. For these reasons, he should vote for sustaining the motion of the gentleman from South Carolina. Mr. SLADE raised a question of order as to debating the question of order under consideration. The petition itself, said Mr. S., could not be debated upon the day of its presentation; and this principle, he understood, carried along with it a principle which would prohibit any discussion on the motion to reject, or the appeal from the decision of the Chair, then before the House; and the motion to lay on the table could not be debatable. Under these circumstances, he thought no motion connected with this petition could be debated that day, and he therefore submitted whether it did not follow that the appeal from the decision of the Chair, on this subject, could not be debated. The SPEAKER said an appeal from his decision, as a question of appeal, was certainly debatable, although the motions out of which that appeal rose were not. Mr. GARLAND, of Virginia, could assure the House that he was not disposed to avoid this question in any form or shape; and he hoped, while he had the honor of a seat there, he should be prepared to meet it whenever it might come, and wherever it might come from. He had submitted his motion because he thought the motion of the gentleman from South Carolina could not then be put; but if the House decided it could, Mr. G.
would withdraw his motion to lay the petition on the table. The motion to reject came up with the motion to refer the petition to a select committee; the former, as he understood, not being entertained, or not in order, it was then that Mr. G. moved to lay the petition on the table. Mr. BEARDSLEY asked whether the appeal from the decision of the Chair went only to the rejection of the petition, or also to the question of laying it on the table. The SPEAKER said the gentleman from North Carolina [Mr. WILLIAMs) had taken an appeal from both. Mr. WILLIAMS understood the Chair to decide that the motion of the gentleman from South Carolina, whether the petition should be considered, or whether it should be received, was not in order. Now, Mr. W. contended, with all due respect, that when a petition is presented, if any member choose to demand it, he could require the preliminary question to be put, Shall the petition be received? I understood the Chair to decide that the question could not be put. The SPEAKER replied that the Chair had distinctly stated that, upon a moment's reflection, he admitted the motion for consideration of the motion of the gentleman from South Carolina. ‘Mr. WILLIAMS. Then there is no question of apeal. Mr. BEARDSLEY said, as there was no question of appeal pending, but two motions, one to reject and the other to lay the petition on the table, both of which would lie over till to-morrow, he would move that the House proceed at once to decide the last motion, which took precedence. The question was then put, whether the House would consider the petition now; and it was agreed to. Mr. GARLAND said, as the motion of the gentleman from South Carolina to reject was then in order, he would withdraw his motion to lay the petition on the table. Mr. BEARDSLEY renewed it. Mr. HAMMOND rose to request the gentleman from New York [Mr. BEARnsler] to withdraw his motion. He expressed his surprise that, but a moment ago, when the motion to lay on the table, made by the gentleman from Virginia, [Mr. GAh LAND,J was before the House, he [Mr. BEAR psley] had expressed his desire to have a direct, “unentangled” vote on the proposition to reject. Yet now, when the gentleman from Virginia withdraws his motion, he instantly renews it. Mr. PATTON asked if the Chair considered the petition to have been received. The SPEAKER replied in the affirmative. Mr. PATTON understood that if the motion to consider prevailed, it was distinctly declared that the motion to receive or not receive the petition would be in order. That was a competent motion, which any member of the House had a right to make. Now, it was understood as having been received; the proposition not to receive is thereby cut off. That seemed to be the effect. If that be the effect—and if it be the effect the House did not intend to produce—he trusted the House would put itself in statu quo; and that they should have an opportunity of putting a direct vote upon it. If that was the state of the question, Mr. P. would feel himself compelled to move a reconsideration of the vote thus taken. Mr. BEARDSLEY said the right to petition was a sacred right, guarantied to the citizens of the United States by the constitution, and was one, therefore, the House was bound to respect. To obviate the objections urged by the gentleman, he would withdraw his motion to'íay the petition on the table, and move to lay the res. olution of the gentleman from South Carolina, to reject the petition, on the table.
Mr. HAMMOND asked for the yeas and nays; which were ordered. Mr. WISE rose to a point of order. It seemed to him, according to the usual action of the House, that the motion of the gentleman from New York [Mr. BEARDsLey] must be out of order. A motion was made originally to reject the petition; whereupon a motion was then made to lay the petition on the table; but being withdrawn, the question then came upon the motion of the gentleman from South Carolina, instanter. The motion, therefore, to lay that motion on the table was out of order, because the House had decided it would immediately consider the motion to reject. The SPEAKER said that the House had decided they would consider the petition now; but, pending the consideration, the House may decide to lay on the table; and therefore the motion was in order. Mr. WISE would ask the Chair if there was any pendency of consideration in a motion to consider. The SPEAKER said, pending the consideration of a question, it was competent for any member to move to lay the matter on the table. Mr. WISE. The motion then before the House was effectually to undo the decision of the House already made. Mr. VINTON begged to inquire of the Chair, as it would govern his vote, if the motion to lay on the table the motion to reject prevailed, whether the petition would also go on the table; or what would be the pending question. The CHAIR understood that, by an affirmative vote on the motion to lay the motion to reject on the table, the petition also would go on the table with it. Mr. BEARDSLEY said, as gentlemen seemed to feel some embarrassment in voting upon this proposition, though he himself did not, he would withdraw his last motion, and renew the other to lay the petition on the table. Mr. WISE asked for the yeas and nays; which were ordered. --Mr. JANES asked for the reading of the petition; and it was read from the Clerk's table. Mr. Thom As said he was surprised to discover that there are gentlemen who are not content with the evidence which has already been given that a very large majority of this House are opposed to any interference whatever, not only with the rights of slaveholders in the southern States, but with the existence of slavery within the District of Columbia. We have already laid on the table, by a vote of nearly three to one, two memorials similar to the one now under consideration. . But gentlemen say those votes are equivocal; they wish to have direct proof that the rights of slaveholders are not in danger from any interference on the part of Qongress. Mr. T. said that he did not concur in this opinion. The vote to lay on the table had been given to signify a decided opposition to the prayer of the petitioners; nevertheless, he would make a motion which would, he thought, place this subject before the House in a position to afford an opportunity to remove all misapprehension which really existed, and deprive every man every where of all pretext for maintaining that southern property and southern rights are in danger. - Mr. T. then moved to reconsider the vote just given by the House in favor of considering this petition, and said, if this motion is adopted, we shall then have this petition before us in the position in which it was placed when first presented to the House. In the vote given in favor of considering this memorial, many members had been undoubtedly taken by surprise. Some members who are in favor of rejecting this and other similar me: morials, and others who are in favor of receiving and then laying on the table this and all petitions of like in