« AnteriorContinuar »
H, or R.]
Buffalo and New Orleans Road.
[APRIL 6, 1830.
course of remark. They had amounted to a large sum, tion; that is to say, into that state in which factitious strength say pine millions of dollars. Yesterday, a very moderate was acquired, and restraining shame was removed ! Proaddition to the appropriation for arming, that is to say, rep- fusion, on the part of the Government, was rendered an dering really effective and ready for use such as had been interest to be nurtured and protected by the proper guard. completed, had been refused by a large vote. There was ians of the States, in the focus of its safety, its halls of no exteusive interest engaged in the founding of cannon. legislation! And how nurtured ? How protected ! NurThe benefit from the disbursements for fortifications bad tured in corruption ! Protected by audacity! And where been widely diffused.
was the chief channel of this profusion, and main organ What, then, (inquired Mr. A.) was the real evil prin. of its introduo ion as a system, to be found? The fact was ciple of our General Government ? It was, that the na- notorious, [said Mr. A.] and bis should be the voice tional treasury came unavoidably to be regarded in a fo- to resound it through the land, this channel and organ reiga rather than domestic aspect; as something different were to be furuished by an extended application of the from the State treasuries; and that combinations would be policy of internal improvement. This, this in hunc converin perpetual generation or activity to subject it to contri- iite telum, was the forehead on which public reprobation bution. His colleague [Mr. BARBOUR] had opened this ought at once, and deeply, to burn its stigma for scorn to view. He would take occasion to give it expansion and point “ his unmoving finger at." development. It was inevitable that the disbursements Reverting to this topic, one thing there was [be said] reof the Government should be distributed with great ine-markable about this business of internal improvement, quality. The largest grew out of the public debt. The that, even in circumstances the most favorable, and in redebt would accumulate with the accumulations of capital, gard to projects the best conceived and executed, it was necessarily; that is to say, in the region of commerce-on found, in a calculation of cost and profit, to prove a losing the seaboard. The naval expenditures, and those purely business. It did not make returns conformably to the commercial, must follow the same course. The same average of ordinary pursuits on the capital invested ; and frontier presented the quarter most demanding prepara-this, with inconsiderable and not unfrequently oceurring extions of defence. The disbursements of a military charac- ceptions, was the just test in regard to the public, no less ter, therefore, whether for fortifications or the mainte- than individuals, of a good or bad business. Its capital pance of troops, must, a large portion of them, seek the was the source of the wealth of the nation. Whether emsame direction. The seaboard must be the scene of the ployed by the public or individuals, if any portion did not larger expenditures of the Government–the region to return the ordinary and average rate of interest, the inprofit by their direct influences. Not the whole seaboard, vestment must, in the general, and excluding from view however, in equal proportions. To the south of Nor- peculiar circumstances, be regarded as injudicious. Of the folk, in Virginia, ports occurred at remote distances, and fact of the inability of even the best devised and most valu. not in circumstances favorable to the attraction of the Go- able works of internal improvement to sustain this test, veroment disbursements. The direct benefit of these dis- very remarkable and entirely authentic evidence had just bursements must, therefore, be realized unequally, even been furnished in New York. He referred to a report of on the seaboard. The interior and extreme West were the canal commissioners of that State, made the past winnearly excluded from participation of it. Did he state ter, in answer to a call of the Senate. The cabals of the this in any way of censure or arraignment? Not at all. State, it appears, not only did not reimburse the annual This course of things was inevitable. The revenue, how- expenses and interest on the capital disbursed; it was made ever, presented a very different history as regarded the a question whether, by any augmentation of tolls, they source of its supply. The great mass of it was derived could be made to do so. If improvements, giving the larg from the duties op imports. The exports furnished the est and best founded proinise, executed on the best terms, imports; agriculture furnished the great mass of the ex- pervading an extensive and rich country, (he bad seen and ports. It was taxatiop on agriculture, therefore, that sup- could vouch from his own view,) commanding the transplied nearly the entire amount of the revenue. It was, in port of the products of a large part of a continent-if ima peculiar degree, too, the character of agriculture to provements, in these circumstances, marked by' a distincconsume the whole amount of its production; and the tion so peculiarly favorable, were found to fail, under the market for it being chiefly foreign with us, the great mass common test of judicious investment, what was to be said of this production paid contribution to Goverument in the of all others inferior in pretension, and, yet more, for a geduties on the returns procured by its exportation. A much neral system spreading every where, and embracing er. larger proportion of the revenue of agriculture sustained ery description as well as variety of projects ? this burden, than of other occupations. Much of that of In New York, a question was agitated, not merely of the commerce was derived from a further charge on agricul. propriety of taxation, in aid of the proceeds of the cature; and manufactures had not yet obtained external Dals, but of a character yet more calculated to produce dismarkets to a considerable extent. Whilst, then, the com- turbance. It related to the confinement of the taxation mercial portion of the community, constituted chiefly by to the tracts more immediately benefited by contiguity to a part only of the seaboard, received the larger proportion the canal, instead of making it a general burden on the of the revenue of the pation, the agricultural and interior State. The temper which must grow from a discussion of paid nearly the whole. Could this inequality fail to be such a character was easily appreciated. Yet this was the felt with sensibility! That was not to be supposed; and system, failing under circumstances the most favorable to this sensibility was becoming the germ of the most mena- pay, and threatening, even in the contracted and bomocing evils. The quarters which received most liberally geneous sphere of a single State, to create disturbances, from the public disbursements had the appetite for them which was recommended as a bond of concord, as well as whetted, not gratified. The parts which received nothing, a source of profit, in a political community, contributing or the least
, anxiously sought indemnity. How was this in different proportions to its expense, and deriving unto be obtained ? By swelling disbursements in their own equal advantages from its operation ! Neighboring intedirection beyond occasion, or creating them when not re. rests
, which, when not intrinsically related, ran into easy quired. Sympathies of artificial character tended, in this reconcilement, were thrown into jar by it; yet its tendenmanner, to distend and multiply the expeuditures of the cy to harmonize interests remote in position, and disGovernment Disbursement became a thing good in it-sociated by character, was a principal argument in its sup. Belf
, per se. Not one, but many interests were engender- port! Such was the logie wbich self-interest employed, ed in public prodigality; and, what was vorse, these inte. when disposing of other interests, or those of the public ! rests ran inevitably into combinations for mutual sustenta Truly,* [said Mr. A] the best ground of vindication
APRIL 6, 1830.]
Buffalo and New Orleans Road.
(H. OF R.
on which to place such a system, was that which had contributed. Was not the inducement, then, decisive to been in effect assumed in the debate, and formed the real derive revenue, to tax, for no other purpose than to disinducing consideration, its tendency to equalize the dis- tribute? What was to obstruct ? or where was the limit to proportionate and upfair disbursements of the Govern- this sort of operation ! The quarters deriving unequal ment, as regarded the different quarters of the country: advantages, would they not sustain each other ! If it were He really esteemed this principle of defence as colored one of the recommendations of internal improvements, that with the most plausible show of reason and fairness. The they operated to equalize the disbursements of the Gogentleman from Tennessee, (Mr. Isacks,] with honest vernment, here was an operation of an efficiency yet frankness, bad stated this as a leading consideration in its more extensive, by which more essential inequalities might support. He [Mr. A.] did not refer to the declaration be redressed. Were different quarters of the country in with censure, but commendation. It proved, what he different conditions, as regarded pecuniary resources and knew of this gentleman well before, that he was of too wealth, from variety in the character of their products, manly a character to refuse the avowal of a motive on the forms of their industry, or other causes, here was an which he was willing to act.
engine of easy application for introducing a republican (Mr. ISACKS explained. He had indeed adverted to the level, by the direct transfer of the redundancy of some expenditure of the public money in the West, as one bene- parts to compensate the deficiencies of others. Where ficial consequence attendant on the proposed measure ; was the stopping point to men who could contemplate a but he never insisted on that as the primary consideration policy founded on such a principle? And what must the which induced him to be its advocate.]
men be who would submit to its exertion on them | A Mr. ARCHER resumed. He was willing to trust to the large proportion of the national revenue was derived from considerations he had been stating, for evidence of the true the labor of slaves. Two-fifths of these would not be character, both of the general policy and particular mea- counted on the proposed principle of distribution ; that is to
But if the equalization of disbursements were to say, their owners, and, through tbeir owners, themselves, be admitted as any part of the inducing consideration, would be excluded, in this proportion, from participation then be asked whether this principle might not be expected in the fund raised from the fruits of their own industry. to lead to a careless selection of routes for roads, and an This system bad been proposed-much argued—was al. equally careless construction of them. Would not the most certain to be fastened on us. We were destined, if temptation be strong to remissness, not to say abuse, in the it were, to realize the misadventures of Sinbad, the famous exercise of either function
sailor, (with wbose story we were so familiar in our early But this whole policy of internal improvement was it- days,) when he encountered the old man of the sea. The self but a part and an instrument of a further and larger, monster mounted on bis neck with a pressure which no covered by a fair name, " the distribution system." In effort could shake off, and rode bim with a remorselessterval improvements supplied, though a large, yet only a dess which do powers of endurance would long have been partial waste of revenue. This “ distribution system" was able to sustaio. Sinbad contrived, by intoxicating the indesigned to comprebend the scattered streams into a cur- cubus, to destroy bim. The case we were likely to present, rent which should discharge the entire reservoir. Trace was in every respect correspondent—the infliction no less the principle in its relation to its first object, the public remorseless--the relief no less hopeless, unless the drunklands. Particular States bad ceded to the General Go-pness of triumph should unlock the death grasp from vernment large tracts of territory. If the principle of this our necks, and assist us to tumble the oppression from policy of distribution were just, then after these cessions, its seat. Sir, I bave been asked, [said Mr. A.) in reon the very day in which they had been made, aye, in the lation to this road, whether, as my State denied the consame hour, and before the ink of the signature was dry, stitutional authority on this subject of roads, she would it had been in the competency of the General Govern not prohibit the construction of the part which fell withment to cut up the property among the States, returning in her limits. I have invariably and promptly answered their ratable shares to ihe proper owners. Was there å no! for that would be to resist the laws of the Union. I sense of justice so torpid, as not to be awakened to indig. have been asked, whether we would not resort to the nation at the statement of such a proposition And yet nullifying doctrine, so much spoken of lately. My answer, if it were competent to the General Government now, with equal promptitude, has beeo no! for that would be it was equally competent then, to perpetrate this insolence to refuse obedience to the laws of the Union. Virginia, of injustice; this proposition, coming, as it did, from a while she feels with the keenest sensibility the irregular exquarter to which no cession of lands had been ever made, ercise of authority by this Government, of which she commight be supposed to labor under some defect of modesty plains ; while she continues, as she has ever been, foremost It stood entirely acquitted, however, upon this score, by in vigilant and strenuous interposal to arrest all exercises comparison with another having reference to the same of similar principle, will afford the spectacle of precesubject of the lands. He alluded to the claim advanced dence, too, in endurance and in patience; whilst evil is sufrecently in some of the new States to the property of the ferable, she will suffer; pursuing iv the mean time ber whole of the public lands comprehended within their re- true doctrine of '98, to use every effort short of force or spective limits, as a result of the character of sovereignty disupion, “ to arrest its progress." She did not relinquish which the United States bad conceded to them, with this the hope that the time would never come, in which she very condition annexed, of the reserve of this very pro- should be driven to resort to any doctrine of character perty. A relation of war between States exposed to ulterior to this. If it did come, she would make this reseizure and forfeiture the property of either within reach of sort in sorrow. She invoked the sense, not of justice only, the other. A relation of the closest amity of incorporation but, stronger, of superior benefits and real interest, to into a common political community, operated the same ef- subdue the spirit of combination for peculiar advantages, feet, according to the principle of the doctrine alluded to. which was the evil genius of our Federal Government.
The distribution system, in relation to the fipal object And, as the instant evil was the first to be regarded, sbe of its grasp, the surplus revenue, as the first, the public prayed heartily as he [Mr. A.) did, that sinister omens lands, presented the same character. The distributable might be averted; and this policy of internal improvement portions would be restored by a varying rule; and in dif- might not be inade the instrument to wrench to pieces & ferent proportions, therefore, from those in which they frame of polity inexpressibly admirable; which formed were received. In the instant in which they were ob- the fortroas, not only of our safety, but of the hopes, and tained by the one rule, they might be restored by the other, the cause of freedom, in all time, and through the world. and the same parties receive more or less than they had [Here the debate closed for this day.]
H. or R.]
(APRIL 7, 1830.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7, 1830.
his character, his office, his subsistence, and, in a word, for
all that is dear to humanity, and to make the last and most JUDGE PECK.
Bublime appeal known to the constitution, by placing bim Mr. PETTIS obtained the leave of the House (by a sus- before the Senate in the last resort. But there was anopension of the rule, 101 to 40) to offer the following reso-ther view of the subject, which struck his mind with equal lution :
force. He saw an officer occupying an elevated station, Resolved, That James H. Peck, Judge of the district and clothed with the authority of this Government, calling court of the United States for the district of Missouri, be before bim a fellow.citizen, known as a man of talent and permitted to make to this House any explanations he may respectability in bis profession, and, by a summary process, think proper, in answer to the charges preferred against stripping him of the exercise of that profession, clothing him by Luke E. Lawless, Esq, which charges have been him with shame, and incarcerating bim in a felon's dunreported on by the Committee on the Judiciary.
geon, the place of disgrace and ipfamy. He had endeaMr. P. said he moved this resolution in pursuance of an vored to view the case with impartiality, and not to give intimation which he gave the other day when he moved to way to any undue feeling; and, after baving attentively lay Judge Peck's memorial on the table, to try the sense of beard the statement of facts presented by Mr. Lawless, the House in granting Judge Pis request
. He thought the be bad come to the conclusion that if these facts were sub indulgence proposed was a matter of justice to the Judge; Blantiated by testimony, the impeachment ought to prothat there was no precedent against it, as he had examined ceed. the authorities as far back as 1640.
It was not pow his intention to go into the merits of this A long debate ensued on the resolution, and on the mo- dase. The subject had been exhausted. But, as he had difications yhich were proposed to it, in which Messrs. been a member of the Judiciary Committee, and had given STORRS, of New York, BUCHANAN, DODDRIDGE, bis voice for the impeachment of Judge Peck, be trusted DRAYTON, RAMSEY, CLAY, MARTIN, PETTIS, the House would listen to him for a few moments. SPENCER, of New York, ELLSWORTH, HUNTING It appeared that the Judge, three months after delivering TON, BATES, and BURGES engaged. In the beginning bis opinion in the case of Soulard, and three months afof the debate,
ter the final disposition of the case and the adjournment of Mr. MARTIN mured to strike out the word “explana- his court, committed it to paper, and sent it to the public tion," and insert "any respectful written argument upon press. It was an opinion involving the landed titles of althe law and matters of fact now in evidence before the most the whole territory where he resided. He publishHouse;" and after some time, to get rid of the debate. ed it, as it seemed, at the request of a lawyer, or lawyers ;
Mr. PETTIS accepted this modification, and inserting and manifestly for the purpose of spreading opinions, excitfurther the words “or oral" after the word "written." ing feelings, and leading to a certain line of conduct in the
Thus amended, after an unsuccessful motion by Mr. community where it was published. Perhaps this might DRAYTON to strike out the words " or oral,” the resolu- be all right; he should find no fault with it: shortly after tion was agreed to without a count.
the publication of this opivion of the Judge, a professional [The publishers give below, as far as they bave receivo gentleman, nearly concerned in the result of that opinion, ed it, the debate on this subject.]
had come before the public in another paper, and exposed Mr. PETTIS, having offered his resolution, remarked, what he conceived to be certain errors into which the that he had examined all the precedents on this subject Judge had fallen, which might have been called for, to which he could discover, and there was no instance among save his friends or clients from the grasp of speculators, them, in which a request, like that which he had made in until a final trial in the Supreme Court, and especially behalf of Judge Peck, was denied. He adverted to the as such publicity bad been given to the opinion. Mr. E. case of Lord Melville, and in truth to all which bad occur- said he had looked over both these papers ; and be there red since 1640. He confidently hoped the privilege soli- declared, in bis place, and was willing to risk bis reputacited would be freely accorded by Congress.
tion on the opinion, that there was not any thing in this Mr. DODDRIDGE asked how many days it was sup- commentary in the least degree reproacbful to Judge Peck, posed the Judge would require to prepare his defence. either as a man or as a judge; nothing that looked in the The time of the House, at this season, was peculiarly pre- least like a contempt of court, or an impeachment of the cious.
integrity or character of the presiding officer, unless pointMr. PETTIS supposed he would be prepared by Mon-ing out error, if there really be any, is an offence. He day next.
had seen similar comments io the newspaper a thouMr. STORRS, of New York, inquired whether it was sand times before. And the House was now come to the anticipated that the Judge intended to submit to, the crisis, when it must decide whether it would sanction the House any thing more than points of law and matters of arrest and imprisonment of an individual by a judge for fact, appertaining to the judicial proceedings complained commenting on one of liis opinione. This (said Mr. E.] of.
is the question we are called upon to settle this day. FindMr. PETTIS replied, he believed these were all that ing that the rights of an individual had been violated, I was to be expected from him.
put this query solemoly to myself: is there any thing in the Mr. ELLSWORTH observed, that the objection urged conduct of this individual to justify such a proceeding! by the gentleman from New York (Mr. STORRS) applied to And I was compelled to answer it in the negative. Judge the amendment as much as to the bill. We have no con- Peck had neither jurisdiction por provocation. He had stitutional power to pass this amendinent. We are only finished the case, adjourned the court, and descended from to inquire, and, if we see cause, direct an impeachment. bis judicial station to ibat of an essayist of a newspaper. The Upon the merits we cannot act definitively; besides, we gentleman from Missouri (Mr. PETTIS) says that a spirit might do Judge Peck great injustice; he has yet bad no has gone abroad, of reckless and determined hostility to the opportunity to defend. Mr. E. said he was in favor of judiciary; but let me tell that gentlenian, that if conduct the report and the resolution as they came from the com- like this shall go abroad with the sanction and seal of this mittee. When the papers in this case bad been present- House upon it, he may bid adieu to the honor and iudeed to the Judiciary Committee, he bad read them again pendence of the judiciary benceforward. Sir, have the and again, with the greatest anxiety; and it was with the days of the star chamber come upon us ? Shall it be deutmost reluctance that he came to the conclusion at which clared to the American people, that, after a judge has given he finally arrived. He felt that it was a grave thing to his opinion and dismissed the cause, he may arrest a citiput a judicial officer of this Goveroment to his trial for zen, drag him before bis tribunal, and say to him, you have
APRIL 7, 1830.)
(H. OF R.
written strictures on my opinion, which I consider dero: far as he bad examined the cases, except in a single ingatory to me, and I, therefore, send you to prison, and stance-hat of Warren Hastings. The gentleman, as he take away your livelihood for eighteen months. I tell you, understood, did not now ask that new witnesses should be you are a base calumniator, a libeller, and, if you were in sent for and examined: and if the request of the accused China, your house would be painted black, as an emblem was limited to a mere permission to make an exposition of of the blackness of your heart, and as a warning to society. the law, and an argument upon the facts, as they appeared Yet it is vow proposed that this House sball say, it does in the testimony already taken, he should not have the pot entirely approve of the conduct of the Judge, but im- smallest objection. peachment is a solemn affair: the man has been punished Mr. DRAYTON said, that, in moving to strike out the enough already, now let him alone. Sir, I do not wish to words “ or oral,” he bad had no intention of preventing the appeal to the feelings of the House; but while I see a free iodividual concerned from availing himself of the full benecitizen of this republic made the subject of bigh-banded fit of wbat the resolution proposed to grant to him, but oppression like this, I feel it to be the imperious duty of bad been influenced by the consideration, that, if bis exthis House to send the man who appears to be guilty of it position should be made in writing, all the members of the to his trial before another and coustitutional tribunal. House would bave an opportunity of examining it; but, if
Let me now proceed to answer one or two objections, made orally, it would be impossible that all the members which have been urged by the opponents of impeachment. should distinctly bear it, and, if they did, they would proAod, first, it has been said that we may not impeach unless bably not retain the substance of it distinctly in their there is evidence of corruption. There need not be cor- memories. This was one reason which actuated hiin. Adruption in the common sense in which that term is used. other was, that, in his opinion, ill consequences would be A'wicked motive is enough. Error in judgment is not iin- likely to arise from the personal appearance of the memopeachable, but wicked conduct and a wicked motive are. rialist before the House. He might aver that a material Šir, did any.one vote to impeach Judge Pickering, of New fact could be established by testimony incorrectly or imHampshire, for corruption? No, sir; he was impeached perfectly referred to in the report of the committee, and for intemperance, but not for corruption. Suppose the ask leave to introduce it fully. Should his application be wicked conduct of the judge himself brings his court into rejected, he might regard the permission to be heard as contempt; suppose that conduct is arbitrary and oppres- illusory. Should bis application be acceded to, we should sive, ought we to pass it over with slight language? "In all be drawn into a trial of the cause. It had been said that the eight articles against Judge Cbase, he was charged this House was "the grand inquest of the nation," thus aswith an arbitrary exercise of judicial power. There was similating its powers and jurisdiction to those of the British scarce one article, if I remember right, which charged bim Parliament. This is a radical error. This House bas no with direct corruption. The whole prosecution was found other inquisitorial authority than such as is expressly deleed on the idea that his conduct was arbitrary, and though gated to it by the constitution, and this is restricted to the he was not finally convicted, it was because the facts did power of impeaching certain civil officers of the United not bear out the charge. Though you cannot show that a States for crimes and misdemeadors. The British House judge bas been bought, you may show his oppressive and of Commons is “ the grand inquest of the nation.” In the wicked conduct, and that he ought to be turned out of exercise of this prerogative, they may proceed against any office. The constitution says that judges shall hold their persons, for any offences, and in any manner which they office during good behavior. I do not say that every may deem expedient. They may prefer accusations, inforspecies of wrong behavior is such as to forfeit his of- mations, or impeachments, or enact bills of pains and pefice, but I say that there may be other ill behavior besides Dalties, altering the rules of law and evidence. They have, taking a bribe. I do on my soul believe tbat Judge Peck accurdingly, acted under all these modes. They bave ae. has been guilty of conduct, if not corrupt, certainly arbi- cused an individual of misdemeanors, and ordered a jury to trary in the extreme. It has been said that Lawless was be empaunelled for the trial, as in the case of Alice Pierce; personally interested in the cases in which he was counsel, they have impeached a clergyman for a libel, an offence and that all the counsel were opposed in opinion to the cognizable by the courts of common law, as in the case of Judge. Admit it. Is that any reason that the Judge Sacbeverel ; they have passed bills of pains and pepalties, should act oppressively! His opinion and station were as in the case of Sir Jubo Fenwick, who was executed unperfectly independent; he was not bound to regard the der a statute dispensing with the proof of two witoesses to notions of counsel. Sir, the merits of this case lie within an act of treason, as required by the statute of Edward III. a very small compass. The question is, whether the criti- From this brief statement, it must be apparent that apacisms of Lawless were just or not, and whether, admitting logies drawn between the inquisitorial powers of the British them to be erroneous, the Judge might, on that account, House of Commons and of the House of Representatives of sbut him up in jail, and strip him of his profession. There the United States, are fallacious. The precedents, thereappears to me to have been a sickly sensibility in this fore, which have been ciled, of the manner of proceeding judge. He seems to have resolved to come out, and by when the British House of Commons accuse or impeach, his judicial thunder to demonstrate that he was yet alive, are calculated to mislead, not to enlighten, our judgments. that he had a court, and that he was not to be contradicted We must be regulated by our own constitution in the conor reviewed. He, therefore, sent out, brought in his vic-struction of the power of impeachment. That power is tim, east him in prison, covered him with infamy, and did limited, in the coustitution, to an inquiry to be instituted what in him lay to deprive him of his livelihood. Unless by this House, whether sufficient grounds exist to warrant it can be shown that he bad authority so to do, and that the accusation of a civil officer of the United States behe acted on justifiable cause, I, for one, am prepared to fore the Senate. Unless in this inquiry the House be conimpeach him.
fined to what is termed ex parte testimony, there will be Mr. BUCHANAN said, it was not his purpose to enter no bounds set to their inquiry—they must, then, hear all into any argument in this stage of the proceeding. He felt the evidence which can be adduced by him who prefers rather in favor of the resolution which had been moved the charges, and by bim against whom they are preferred, by the gentleman from Missouri, (Mr. Petris.] He, too, and thus the House will, in fact, try & cause over which had examined the British precedents, and found that in the constitution has given to them no other power than to several cases the party had been admitted to the floor decide whether it shall be tried by another tribunal. In of the House of Commons, simply to make an argument what I bave said, I desire not to be understood as being on the testimony which had been previously given to the opposed to granting permission to the memorialist to be House. This was the utmost extent of the privilege, so heard, with the limitations expressed in the resolution. I am
H. or R.]
(APRIL 7, 1830
willing that he should bave an opportunity to comment before “statement," so as to propose that the Judge upon the statements and the facts which are contained in might deliver a written exposition of bis views before the the report; but, as I think that it would be more advan- House. tageous to him to submit a written than an oral argument, Mr. SPENCER, of New York, said tbat the object of and as the time of the House would be saved by the for- the resolution, as he understood it, was to permit Judge mer mode of proceeding, I therefore am in favor of the Peck to be beard. This object differed materially from amendment which I have offered.
that expressed in the Judge's memorial, where he prayed Mr. PETTIS said that the privilege would, in fact, not only that he might be beard, but that additional witamount to nothing, upless the Judge, in his communication nesses might be sent for to Missouri
. As to receiving a to the House, should be permitted to state the facts as they written exposition from the accused, in relation to the law had appeared in testimony, and to show how the law ap- which he supposed to bave authorized bim in what he had plied to them.
done, and also bis commentary on the facts which had apMr. DRAYTON inquired what course was to be pursu- peared in evidence, Mr. S. bad no objections. If there ed, suppose the Judge should make some statement which was any law which went to justify his conduct, let him was disputed, and should then ask to support it by testi- bave an opportunity of showing it. Mr. S. would wilmony.
lingly acquiesce, provided bis explanation were made beMr. PETTIS replied, that each gentleman would, of fore Monday next. The session was now far advanced ; course, decide for himself
. The Judge's statement could aud, if Judge Peck were guilty, the justice of the country not certainly be received in opposition to the testimony required that there should be no delay in bringing bim to delivered before the committee, por would the House be punishment. in any wise bound by the statements he might make. If Mr. BUCHANAN said, he should not suffer himself to those statements conflicted with the evidence, it would be betrayed into any feeling by the remarks which the be for the House to decide between them.
gentleman from Missouri bad made, or by any remarks Mr. RAMSEY observed, that, if Judge Peck, who was which he could make. That gentleman had very evidentthe accused party, was to be permitted to make bis own ly betrayed bis own feelings in the case. He trusted he statements before the House, he thought it would be no should treat the subject temperately and calmly. As to more than fair that Mr. Lawless, who was his accuser, what my opinion is, (said Mr. B.) that is contained in the should be allowed the same privilege. The one had as report of the Judiciary Committee; por bad [ever an opigood a right to be heard as the other. Mr. R. according- nion on any subject more clear and decided. If the rely moved so to amend the resolution, but withdrew his port" betrays" any feeling op my part, it is before the amendment at the request of
House, and before the country, and they will judge. The Mr. CLAY, who said that he could not perceive any dif- question now before us is this
, and this only: What is the ficulty in this case. The proposition was a single and proper mode of proceeding for us to adopt! My desire simple one. Let the Judge submit in writing an exposi- is that the House may establish such a precedent as shall tion both of the facts and
the law, This would facilitate protect the interests of the accused in all future time. The all gentlemen in coming to a conclusion. The Judge had Judiciary Committee had Judge Chase's trial before them, not asked leave to state any facts which differed from those The mode of proceeding in that trial they considered as in the testimony. His friend had disclaimed, in bis dame, strictly proper and delicate
. The committee, in that case, any such purpose. He thought it was a right which ought were directed to report their opinion on the charges not to be denied to an accused person, and he was per-against Judge Chase, wbich had been made on the floor of suaded that the granting of it would lessen the difficulty of the House. For the purpose of enabling them to do so, the House in coming to a just conclusion.
they procured all the testimony in their power. This MR. MARTIN said that he had an amendment wbich they reported to the House, together with a simple statebe presumed would answer the views of the House gene ment of their own opinion upon it. Nothing else. And rally. He believed there were none who supposed that why! I presume that, as it was a judicial proceeding, they the Judge was to be permitted to state facts in his own wished to leave every gentleman to decide for himself favor, in contradiction to those which had appeared in the upon the naked testimony. They considered one memtestimony before the committee; that thus an issue was ber as competent to decide as another. Their report was to be made up, and that the House was to hear an argu- referred to the Committee of the Whole on the state of the ment on that issue. Such a thing could not be thought of Upion, and there it was fully discussed. With this precefor a moment. Mr. M. was not indeed fully prepared to dent before us, the committee are not justly liable to the say how far it would be proper to hear the Judge at all, imputation of the gentleman from Tennessee, (Mr. BELL] but, in so important a case, he was for extending the rule who thought it very singular that the committee did not of proceeding as far in favor of the accused as propriety specify the charges, and give the grounds and reasons of would admit. He would not confine the Judge to too nar- their conclusion. If the Committee of the Whole on the row rules in an investigation so important to his own indi- state of the Union shall concur with the Judiciary Com.vidual reputation, and one baving 80.pear a bearing on our mittee in their view of the case, then the House will apjudiciary. The House surely were not afraid to trust point a committee to draugbt articles of impeachment, and themselves. He, for one, was disposed to listen to the thus present the charges in a specific form. These articles Judge with all good feeling, but he should also, he hoped, will be reported to the House, and the House will discuss exercise over his feelings a strong. restraint of caution, and decide upon them. Until after this second decision while he endeavored to do strict justice between the accus- sball bave been made, the accused will not be called upon ed party and the United States. Let him submit a written to answer. The course pursued in the case of Judge law argument. Let the House bave an opportunity of Chase gave to the party every thing he could reasonably hearing what his own views were. Few subjects involved desire. more points of difficulty than the doctrine of contempts, Sir, what does Judge Peck state in bis memorial! Does and Mr. M., for one, was anxious to hear what could be be allege he had requested of the Judiciary Committee said on both sides. In such a case, he should not stop to that other witnesses should be examined i This he could look, at precedents. Mr. M. then moved an amendment, pot state, for the fact was not 80. He made no such rewhich was at first accepted by Mr. PETTIS as a modifica quest; and I never even suspected that he had such a wish. tion; but, after that gentleman bad conferred for a moment Had be requested it, I, for one, should bave thought it a with the Judge, he concluded not to accept it, but modified very grave question, and one that demanded the most sehis original resolution by inserting the word "written"rious consideration. It is a question on which I confess