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APRIL 26, 1830.)
(H. oF Ri vant, Tucker, Verplanck, Washington, Weeks, White, of organization of the army in conformity with the reduction New York, White, of Louisiana, Wickliffe, Wilde, Win- proposed.” gate, Yancey.--123.
The amendment was agreed to : yeas, 86-Days, 44; and NAYS. - Messre. Angel, Arnold, Bailey, Barber, Bart The resolution, thus amended, was adopted, without a ley, Bates, Bell, Blair, of Tennessee, Burges, Butman, Clay, division. clark, Condict, Cooper, Crane, Creighton, Crowninshield,
the lodians, and for
The bill from the Senate making an appropriation for Miller, Pearce, Pettis, Pierson, Reed, Rose, Sill, Stanbe removing the Indians west of the Mississippi, was twice ry, Standifer, Stephens, Storrs, of Connecticut, Suther
read. land, Swann, Taylor, Vance, Vinton, Whittlesey, Williams, the Whole on the state of the Union.
Mr. BELL moved to refer the bill to the Committee of Young-49. So The resolution was adopted.
Mr. DWIGHT thought that, as some important amendOn motion of Mr. BUCHANAN,
ments had been made by the Senate, it was desirable to Ordered, That be appointed a committee to
obtain the sense of the Committee on Indian Affairs regardgo to the Senate, and at the bar thereof, in the name of ing these amendments, before they were committed to the the House of Representatives, and of all the people of the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union.
Mr. BELL said, the amendments were substantially the distriet court of the United States for the district of Mis- same io principle
as the bill which was reported by the souri, of high misdemeanors in office; and acquaint the
Committee on Indian Affairs contained. Senate that the House of Representatives will in due time
Mr. LUMPKIN made some remarks to the same effect. exhibit particular articles of impeachment against him, and
Mr. DWIGHT then withdrew his motion, and the bill make good the same ; and that the Senate be requested to was committed to the Committee of the Whole on the state make order for the appearance of the said James H. Peck, to make answer to the same.
THE TARIFF. The committee was ordered to consist of two members. Mr. MALLARY, with a view to go into committee on On motion of Mr. STORRS, it was
the tariff bill, moved to postpone the intervening orders of Resolved, That a committee be appointed to prepare and the day, amongst which was the bill respecting the Tenreport to this House articles of impeachment against James Dessee lands, which Mr. CROCKETT made an earnest H. Peck, district judge for the State of Missouri, for misde effort to prevent from being postponed; but Mr. MALLAmeanors in bis said office.
By's motion prevailed, and The committee was ordered to consist of five
The House went into Committee of the Whole, Mr.
Polk in the chair, and took up the bill to alter the several MONDAY, APRIL 26, 1830.
tariff acte, to provide for the more effectual collection of
duties, and to prevent evasions of the revenue. THE ARMY.
Mr. McDUFFIE rose, and commenced by saying that The House resumed the consideration of the resolution the bill under consideration was designed to enforce existdirecting the Secretary of War to report to the next Con- ing laws of the country, and effect a more faithful collecgrees an organization of the army, with a view to a reduction of the duties on imports. This was an object right tion of the number of the officers.
and proper in itself, and one wbich he was willing to proMr. SPENCER, of New York, observed that the reso mote. He would be always in favor of enforcing the faithlution seemed aimed at an institution, (the West Point Aca- ful collection of the revenue even though he might object demy,) which is the ornament and safety of the country; to the laws by wbich it was levied. In this case, however, and with a view to try the sense of the House on it, and be would attain the faithful collection of the revenue by a put an end to the protracted debate, he moved to lay the mode different from that contemplated by the bill. He resolution on the table.
would do it by diminishing the duties, and thereby remov. Mr. DESHA requested Mr. S. to withdraw his motion, ing the inducement to evade the duties. With this view, to give him (Mr. D.] an opportunity of making some fur- he moved to amend the bill as follows : Strike out all of the ther remarks on the subject; but
bill after the first section, and insert the following: Mr. SPENCER said he could not do so compatibly with SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That, from and after his sense of duty, and the gentleman must excuse bim. the 30th of June next, so much of the act of the 19th of
The question was then put on laying the resolution on May, 1828, as increases the duty on wool manufactured, the table, and negatived by the following vote: yeas, 64 and on manufactures of wool, or of which wool shall be a
component part, be repealed, leaving the duties on said Mr. DESHA then spoke at some length in further sup- articles as they stood previous to the passage of that act; port of the policy of reducing the number of officers, and and that, from and after the 30th of June, 1831, 80 much against the Military Academy.
of the act of the 22d May, 1824, as increases the duties on Mr. WILDE did not rise to address the House again on the aforesaid articles, be, and the same is also repealed, the merits of the resolution; but not wisbing to vote for it leaving the said duties as they stood previous to the passin its present shape, and the House having refused to lay age of the said act. it on the table, he rose to offer an amendment which would And be it further enacted, That from and after the 30th make it more acceptable to himself and perhaps many of June next, so much of the aforesaid acts of the 19th of others. At present the resolution was not a simple inqui- May, 1828, as increases the duty on iron in bars and bolto, ry; it would carry with it an expression of opinion by the whether manufactured by rolling or hammering, on hemp, House on the question of reducing the number of officers. on flax, on cotton bagging, on molasses, on indigo, on This he disapproved of; and, to obviate the objection, be madufactures of cotton, or of which cotton is a component moved to strike out the matter of the resolution, and sub-part, be repealed, leaving the said duties as they stood alitute the following: That the Secretary of War report to previous to the passage of the said act; and that so much the House, at its next session, “ whether any reduction in of the aforesaid act of the 22d May, 1824, as increased the the number of officers in the army of the United States can duty on any of the aforesaid articles, be repealed from and be made without injury to the public service, and, if any, after the 86th of June, 1831, leaving the duties on the said what reduction ; together with a plan for the most efficient articles as they stood before the passage of that act.
H. or R.)
(APRIL 26, 1830. And be it further enacted, That the duty ou salt be re- guarded. The subscription now asked is not to be advancduced to ten cents per bushel of fifty-six pounds, from and ed, until enough has been actually paid by individuals after the 30th of Jupe next.
and the State, to equal the amount paid by the General Mr. McDUFFIE tben proceeded to discuss, at large, the Government. The sum reserved to individuals has all policy of the protecting system, and to exhibit what he been subscribed, amounting to seventy-five thousand doldeemed its pernicious effects on the various interests of the lars, and the State of Kentucky bas subscribed seventy-five country. He had spoken about two hours, when be stated thousand dollars more; both these sums are to be fully paid that he had now gone through the dry and less interesting before the subscription of the United States is to be detopics involved in the discussion; what he had further to madded. To illustrate the importance of this road, I bave say on the subject, touched considerations of a character a few strong facts to lay before the House. The company more vital and interesting. Being, however, somewhat bired a man during one month, to record the number of fatigued, he would prefer postponing his further remarks persons, wagons, borses, cattle, &c. which passed over until to-morrow.
the road; and the average for a day, derived from this re
cord, amounts to three hundred and fifty-one persons, MAYSVILLE ROAD BILL.
thirty-three carriages, and fifty-one wagotis. Mr. LETCHER, of Kentucky, for the purpose of iu.
I ħold the document in my hand, subject to the inspecdulging the gentleman, suggested that the committee tion of auy gentleman who may desire to examine it. should lay aside this bill, and take up, for the remainder of
There is no intention to induce the House to subscribe the sitting, some minor bill, that would occupy but little to a mere weighborhood road. The calculation above time ; and be therefore moved that the committee take up quoted must convince every gentleman that this is a road the bill authorizing a subscription on the part of the Go- greatly travelled--that it is both useful and used. And vernment to the
stock of the Maysville and Lexington while the aid of Government will put it in a good condiTuropike road; which motion prevailed, and the bill was tion, the Government will not lose a dollar by its benefiaccordingly read.
cent operation. It is known to many gentleman on this Mr. LETCHER rose in explanation of the bill. He said floor, that the road is one of the worst in all our country. he did not at present intend to do more than to offer, for In the winter it is almost inpassable, owing to the depth the information of the House, a very brief statement of of the soil
, which readily forms deep mud holes. Such facts connected with this application to Congress. The is the difficulty of getting along, that the wagoners bave Legislature of the State of Kentucky, [said he] by a well sometimes to join themselves in gangs to lend each other drawn and well guarded charter, have incorporated a assistance. Double teams are often bitched to the same company to construct the road referred to in the bill just wagon; and not unfrequently they become so deeply mired read, unde the name of the Maysville, Washington, that the neighbors have to turn out to aid the teamsters, Paris, and Lexington Turnpike Company.” The subject is and in winter it often happened, after sticking in the mire, one of very great solicitude in the State, and more particu- that they are frozen up entirely. The same state of things larly in that
interesting portion of it through which the road exists in reference to the mail; and a great saving will be is to run. The attention of the General Government has effected by the Government, both as to time and expense long since been drawn to the importance and utility of this in its transportation. Should the road be properly niade, great highway; and under its immediate direction, skilful the saving on this head alone will more than com pensate engineers, in the year 1827, made a survey from Zapes- you, even if the money was given, instead of subseribed. ville, in Ohio, to Florence, in Alabama, including that por
I promised, sir, to be very brief; I trust I have fulfilled tion of it over which the contemplated road is to be made. that promise. Whilst I do not desire or anticipate any opThe report of the engineers, sir, is now before me—it is position to the passage of the bill, yet I hold myself ready made out with great care, enters minutely into details, and, now, and at all times, to defend it, sbould any be offered upon examination, will, I trust, be found entirely satisfac Mr. FOSTER, of Georgia, moved to strike out the epactfactory and accurate.
ing clause of the bill. He could not but feel surprised With the indulgence of the House, sir, I will add only at the confidence expressed by the gentleman from Kena word or two to show the great importance of the road, tucky, (Mr. 'LETCHER] that the bill would meet with and to prove, that, by granting the subscription of stock no opposition; this surprise was only equally by that asked for, the Government
will not expose itself either to which he felt at the support which the Committee on loss or injury, but, on the contrary, will be highly bene- Roads and Canals bad given to the proposed measure by fited.
even reporting the bill. But the gentleman tells us this Maysville is a flourishing and growing village, on the is a national road and what are the evidences of its 08south side of the Ohio river, about sixty miles above Cinctionality? Why, forsooth, that immense numbers of cinnati. It is already a point of considerable commercial horses, wagons, &c. travel it, and that in certain seasons of conséquence, and no doubt will continue to increase rapidly, the year it is almost impassable. Really, sir, (said Mr. both in wealth and commerce. It is justly cor.sidered the F.] if these are the characteristics of a national road, our great depot of the Kentucky merchants who trade to the country abounds with them; there is scarcely a market East. From that point an immense quantity of merchan- road in Georgia or Carolina, which might not, with great dise, as well as other articles, is conveyed through various propriety, claim the distinction. But Mr. F. was too portions of the State.
much ipdisposed to enter into a discussion of the merits The road designed to be improved is intended to in- of the bill, and was satisfied with having drawn the attentersect the great national road in the State of Ohio. It tion of the committee to it. coppects itself also on each side witb the Ohio river. These Mr. HAYNES inquired whether any survey of this road two counexions most certainly and justly entitle it to the had been made by the United States engineers; or wheappellation of a national work. Its present condition is too ther the House was to take the statement of the expense bad to be particularly described, probably the very worst on the estimates of those interested. in the United States, while at the same time it is more tra Mr. LETCHER replied, that an engineer named Wilvelled, in proportion to the population of the country, than liams, the same person who had been employed by the Goany other section of the West
. The facility with which vernment on the Cumberland road, bad surveyed this road. it can be constructed, and the small expense compared It bad also been reported on by engineers in the United with the great benefit to the country, recommends in the States' service. strongest manner the proposition to take stock to the fa Mr. HAYNES said, we all know with what facility such vorable consideration of the House. The bill is well surveys are procured, and how easy it is to get subscrip
tions to any new scheme, especially where the Govern- in the shape of charity. They asked for no gift, no, no. ment is to be a partner. Some years ago, the House was thing like it; but merely invited a subscription of stock to urged to subscribe to some such undertaking. He be assist in the improvement of a most important and useful lieved it was to the Chesapeake and Delaware canal, when work, and one which was known to be strictly national. it was pressed as an argument in its favor, that the Dismal Though Kentucky bad never yet received a cent from this Swamp canal, a link in the great chain of internal commu. Government, while she saw the public money expended nication, as it is called, bad been completed ; and yet, since elsewhere for objects of internal'improvement, who, sir, be bad been a member of this House, a further subscrip has ever heard ber utter a groan, or heave a sigb?' He tion had been asked and obtained to the stock of the Dis- trusted she would always have too much pride to beg or mal Swamp canal; since which time, a further subscrip- to murmur. No, sir, her people are not a begging people. tion had been obtained for the same object. Four years She had always voted to appropriate money for similar obago, we had been asked to subscribe one hundred thousand jects ; and whenever any scheme of the kind was proposed dollars to the stock of the Louisville and Portland canal, to the House, she presented almost ao undivided front. as necessary for its completion, which was granted. Since And why? Not from any selfish and sordid motives, but that time, a further subscription, of what precise amount because she was anxious to promote the prosperity and inbe did not recollect, had been sought and obtained, and a terest of the country, a part of which she is, I hope, constill further subscription is now asked for. He said, that, sidered. laying aside every other consideration but the mere ques Whilst one of the gentlemen from Georgia urged his tion of expediency, (although bis opinions as to the consti: objections to the bill, sir, the other, I thought, seemed tutionality of such measures are well kdown,) be trusted much grieved at the subscription which bad heretofore the House would consider maturely before it engaged in been made to the Louisville and Portland capal, and ar. such an undertaking.
gued that more money was to be applied for before the Mr. LETCHER replied.
adjournment of Congress. When that bill is called up, Mr. HAYNES regretted that the honorable gentleman sir, let the gentleman offer bis objections to it
. My col[Mr. LETCHER) should bave supposed him capable of enter- league, (Mr. WICKLIFFE) who represents that region of taiping vindictive feelings towards Kentucky, Kentuckians, the country, will be ready to meet him. But I beg of or to any enterprise in which they were interested. He the gentleman, (Mr. HAYNES) whatever vindictive feelings cherished too high a respect for the gentleman from that he may entertain towards that measure, not to wreak State, with whom he had become acquainted here and bis vengeance upon this unoffending one. The Louisville elsewhere, to indulge such feelings. (Mr. LETCHER cadal is no Kentucky measure, and the State cannot explained, and disclaimed such an imputation.)
be charged with the investment made by the Governwent Mr. HAYNES said, he could not permit the inference for that work. It is a measure in which the States to be drawn from the remarks of the gentleman from Ken- above and below Kentucky, I might almost say, sir, are tucky, that he [Mr. H.] entertained the opinion that this exclusively interested. The improvement now so warmly Government has the power to engage in works of internal opposed by the two honorable gentlemen, I acknowledge, improvement. In his opinion, the subscription to stock sir, is of immense consequence to the State. It leads stood precisely on the same footing, in principle, with a to one of the most fertile regions of the earth, and direct appropriation of money for the construction of connects it with a pavigable stream, a country beautiful road or canal. Indeed, he considered it as not differing and highly productive. Without it, wbat is our situation ! from the construction of such a work by the Government. Wby, sir, a little like living in the happy valley, very dif
He copisdered the power of taxation to be limited by ficult to get into it, and yet more difficult to get out of it. the speciffic grants in the constitution, and, consequently, We have every thing in great abundance, and to spare, the power of appropriation was subject to the same limi- that man could desire, except an outlet to a good market. tations. The relative could not be broader than its ante. We sir, far more than we can consume, and we are cedent. However, he did not intend to argue the consti- desirous of furnishing our neighbors out of the surplus, tutional question, but thought thus much vecessary by way on the best terms, and upon the shortest notice. "The of protest against all such acts whatsoever.
road must be owned to be national as soon as it reached Mr. LETCHER, in reply, insisted that the road in this the great Ohio river. Did it lose its national character bill was strictly national in its character. Sir, [said be] because it was to be so much used by the people of Kenfrom what has fallen from the two gentlemen from Geor- tucky? It bas been emphatically asked why the State gia, (Mr. FOSTER and Mr. Haynes] I must bave been pecu- does not make the road herself
, [said Mr. L.) the State liarly unfortunate in the very few remarks I had the honor is dew, her resources are limited; she would make it if of submitting when first up. I endeavored to make my she could; she seeks nothing of you as a gift, but only a self understood. I stated then, sir, and now repeat that little assistance to advance your own interests as well as statement, that it is expected, and that it is designed to hers. You are a rich and able Government, with ample continue the road through the State of Ohio, until it inter- means at your command, and cannot lose one cent by comsects the great national road usually known as the Cum- plying with ber request
. Will you refuse it? Let me, berland road, and that this was the commencement of the sir, put one plain question to the friends and to the opposscheme. Yet, sir, gentlemen seem to misunderstand, or ers of interval improvement. What would you think of to misapply, what has been said, and to persist in the inti- the character of a father, who had eight or ten children, mation, that the object is to obtain governmental assist- each of whom possessed a fine farm, rich and fertile, welí apce for local accommodation. It is not so. The object, situated, and in perfect order, if a younger child, always sir, has been fully and fairly avowed. Until now, I badj affectionate and dutiful, wbo had ever been ready to serve supposed it was very generally admitted that the most un- its parents by day or by night, in peace or in war, and exceptionable method in which the Government could en who had not deserted him in his deepest affliction, should gage in works of internal improvement, was to subscribe present itself before bim, and say, father, I see that all my stock in companies formed by individual enterprise. But, brothers are prosperous and happy, they have fine settleat present, it seems to be feared by the gentlemen that this ments and are doing well-I am glad to see it. I helped is the mode best calculated to draw money from the trea- all I could to make them so. I do not envy any one of sury, to be distributed or given in a neighborhood. He them bis good fortune. My own farm, bowever, is in a begged gentlemen to believe, that though the road was bad condition. I bave bad a great deal of hard work to exceedingly bad, and a good one much needed, yet the do, and at this moment I am a little behindband; and as friends of the bill were far, very far, from asking any thing you, father, are in funds just now, I pray you to advance
H. OF R.).
(APRIL 27, 1830.
me n small sum to aid me in completing an improvement word "free" in the provisions of the bill, so as to make higbly advantageous both to you and to me; I ask it not them applicable to free persops” only. On the question as a gift, but merely the use of it for a short period. Sir, of concurring in this amendment, Messrs. TEST, POW, is there a gentleman here who could or would justify the ERS, SPENCER, of New York, BUCHANAN, TAY father in refusing such a request i and what sort of a father LOR, and PEARCE spoke in opposition to it, and Messrs. must he be wbo could turn tbat child from his door The POLK, HAYNES, BOULDIN, WASHINGTON, and case I have put, I think, sir, illustrates our true situation. I MERCER advocated it. Finally, will not comment upon it
. I will say, however, we The question was decided by yeas and days, against cokscorn to complain of the help which has been extended curring in the amendment, as follows: yeas, 78-Days, 88. to others; but we shall think it very strange and very up Mr. HAYNES then moved to retain the discrimination kind, if, when, we come for the first time, and ask you to in the fourth section, which prescribes the punishment for do a most just and reasonable thing, to aid an enterprise in rape, so as to make this a penitentiary offence for "free" every respect worthy of the patronage of the Government, persons, and death, for slaves; the latter being the pebalty you should refuse it. I hope my friend from Georgia of the offence under the existing laws of the Distriet. (Mr. FOSTER] does not desire to throw any unnecessary This amendment was agreed to : yeas. 79--pays, 69. obstacles in the way of this bill, should it be the pleasure Mr. HAYNES then moved further to amend this clause, of a majority to pass it; and I would most respectfully sub- by inserting the word "white" after “free," so as to ex mit to him to withdraw his motion to strike out the first clude all colored persons from the penitentiary popishsection, and let the bill be reported to the House. He can ment for the offence. afterwards make any opposition he may think fit. This This motion was opposed by Messrs. SPENCER and course will save a great deal of time, and I trust be will BURGES, on the ground of the difficulty that would of consent to it.
ten occur in deciding whether a man was wbite or not; Mr. FOSTER said that he most cheerfully accorded to and was negatived: yeas, 54—Days, 66. the chivalrous and high-minded Kentuckians all the re Mr. BOULDIN moved to strike out the wbole section, spect and gratitude to which their sufferings and services in and thus leave the crime as it now is, to be punished in all the cause of our common country so eminently entitled cases with death; that being the penalty for it in all cithem. Nor bad he for a moment considered, much less in-vilized countries. After some discussion, timated, that, in making the application which the bill under This motion was pegatived: yeas, 64-Days, 65. consideration is designed to favor, they approached us in Mr. J. S. BARBOUR submitted bis objections to the the language of supplication or complaint; he knew too bill, growing out of the provisions relative to slaves, and well the proud and lofty spirit of that gallant people, to going to effect the condition of that property in the sixbelieve that they would descend to either.
cumjacent States, and moved to lay the bill on the table, Mr. F. would trouble the committee with only a few but withdrew bis motion at the request of words more in relation to the particular object of this bill. Mr. SEMMES, who bad an amendment to offer, wbieb
The gentleman (Mr. LETOHER) who advocates it with so would obviate Mr. B.'s objections. While he was preparmuch zeal, bas told us, with his usual candor, that this is ing it, only the beginning of a desiga far more extensive Mr. DAYTON expressed bis objections to the bill, as that this is only a portion of a great road which is to be it was now shaped, and concluded by moving to lay the constructed from Zanesville, in Ohio, to Florence, in Ala- bill on the table. bama. This is the body, the centre building of the great This question was decided, by year and days, in the Dework—the wings are to be put up hereafter. And all these gative, as follows: yeas, 61---nays, 98. are objects of national importance! Sir, [said Mr. F.] it Mr. SEMMES then moved an additional section, prowould be easy to point out five hundred, yes, five thou- viding that nothing contained in the bill should apply to sapd roads of the same description.
slaves not residents of the District of Columbia ; but that Mr. F. hoped that no gentleman would suspect him of such slaves should be punished according to the laws as baving any wish to impede the progress or improvement they now exist ; wbich amendment was agreed to. of the State of Kentucky; so far from it, he declared him. Mr. BARRINGER next moved an amendment in the self proud to witness her growing prosperity.. The Union fourth section, the substance of which was to except slaves owed ber a great deal, not only for her achievements in from penitentiary punishment for offences for which the the national defence, but for the splendid talents which punishment now is whipping ; which amendment prevailshe contributes to our pational councils. Yet, with all his ed-69 to 61. respect for the State, and her patriotic sods, he could not Mr. HAYNES now renewed the motion to lay the bill vote for the bill now on the table. He would, however, on the table ; but it was again negatived-seas, 66. withdraw his motion for striking out the enacting clause, Mr. ALEXANDER then, intimating much repugnanee and suffer the bill to be reported to the House, when a to the bill as it now stood, and a desire to deliver his res. direct vote can be taken on its passage.
sons for being averse to it, moved to postpone its further con[The committee then rose.]
sideration to Thursday; which motion prevailed-93 to 40.
[The following are the only remarks delivered on the TUESDAY, APRIL 27, 1830.
subject in the possession of the publishers.]
År. POWERS said, he rose for the purpose of answer. PENITENTIARY PUNISHMENT.
ing some arguments which had been advanced in favor of The House then, according to the order of the day, took excluding slaves from the operation of the bill when unup the bill providing for the punishment of crimes within der discussion upon a former oocasion, and to state some the District of Columbia, as it was reported by the Com- facts which he had recently obtained, and with which the mittee of the Whole.
House was probably unacquainted. The discussion of the details of this bill consumed the Mr. P. said, he would remark, preliminarily, that be was day's sitting, and occupied the House til dear five o'cloek. not one of those wbo believed either in the constitutional
The point which gave rise to far the greater part of the power of public policy of any interference of the General debate, was that which grew out of the question whether Government with the local regulations of a State whether slaves should be made liable to the same punishment, by they related to people of ope color or another. Let each confinement in the penitentiary, for the various offences Government be kept in its proper sphere of action, and all described, as other persons. The Committee of the subjects which are strictly and legitimately of a local chaWhole House bad adopted an amendment to insert the racter remain under the exclusive control of the State
APRIL 27, 1830.)
(H. or R. authorities, as was intended by the framers of the federal does about half the business in the town. With regard to coustitution, and the people of the States who adopted it. free people of color, there are some offences which are puoBut these principles had no application to the District of isbable before a justice of the peace, and they are but few. Columbia, which, by the eighth section of the first article All others are punishable by a verdict of a jury and judgof the constitution, was placed under the exclusive juris- ment of the court. With regard to free people of color, diction of Congress.
I can state from my observation, both when I was pracThis is national ground, and that alone where the un- tising as a lawyer in the court bere, and since I have checked and updivided power of the Federal Government held my present station, that the number of free persons can operate. Yet, even here, Mr. P. thought it to be the of color, compared to that of slaves, charged with offences duty of Congress to be exceedingly cautious that the tend- before the court, cannot be in a less proportion than of ency of its legislation should not be injurious to the inte ten to one, that is
, ten free negroes to ove slave. As to white rests of the adjoining Stutes, except in cases where some offenders, they have exceeded black offenders, including
general principle, or the paramount iuterests of this Dis- free and bond, in double, if not treble, the above propora strict, required it.' In his opinion the bill embraced such a tion. I have been long satisfied that the lower class of
principle, and one which ought not to be yielded, although the white population is much more vicious, and more apt
he could not perceive, nor did he believe it possible, that to be guilty of offences, than either the slaves or the free E the bill without the annendment could produce any injuri- persons of color; and that the free people of color are
ous effects upon the interests of Marylaod and Virginia, or more vicious, and more prone to commit offences than yun any other slave-holding States.
the slaves. With regard to the free people of color, they Indeed, as it regards this District alone, he confessed are tempted to it from the idle life they too geverally lead that it was chiefly an abstract question of pripciple, be they steal instead of working for their living. The slaves cause, from the facts wbich be would presently state, it are generally well treated, well clothed and fed, therefore would satisfactorily appear, that, as to the practical opera- bave not the same motive, that of supplying their necessation of the bill, it was not very important whether the ry wants, for becoming rogues. The class of white people amendment prevailed or not; but for oue he could not will. I have mentioned, from the want of proper education and
ingly adopt the principle, that slaves and free persou8 instruction, from the too easy acquirement of ardent spiai should not be put on the same ground as to punishment rits, and too wild a notion of what real civil and political for crimes.
rights are, mistake licentiousness for liberty, which proMr. P. went on to observe that, in the former discus- duces great idleness, and this ends in crime." 3) sion upon the bill, honorable gentlemen seemed to sup Mr. P. thep further stated that he bad also received a ** pose that if slaves were sentenced to the penitentiary for letter on this subject from Mr. Hall, a lawyer of respecta
erimes, their numbers would be so great as to fill up the bility and intelligence in this city, who was also a magispresent establishment, and render it necessary immediate trate, from wbich he read the following extract: ly, and at great expense, to commence the building of " I can, bowever, state, that, in the course of my expe
more. How do facts sustain this argument? The truth rience as a magistrate, there have been, in the course of met appears to be, that there are very few slaves in this Dis. three years, brought before me forty-one persons charged trict in proportion to free persons who are brought be with various crimes
, of whom three only were slaves. I do fore courts of justice for the commission of offences, and indeed remember two others who were brought before in this fact was highly creditable to their masters, who exer.. me, but the charge against them, op' the face of it import
cised such salutary guardianship over the conduct and moing no crime, I did not enter the cases upon my docket. rals of their slaves, and removed from them the tempt- Slaves are punishable by whipping; and, since I have been
ation arising from want, by providing so well for their a magistrate, only one instance has occurred in which that it comfort. Mr. Pl said he bad addressed a letter of ioquiry punishment has been ordered by me.”
on this subject to the Clerk of Alexandria county, (Mr. In addition to this, he read the following extract of a letLee;) & lawyer of high respectability, whose answer be ter from Mr. Swan, the District Attorney, who [Mr. P. wished the Clerk to read to the House, and wbich was ac remarked) was well known to many of the members of cordingly read, as follows:
this House" You ask what oumber of slaves, in propor"ALEXANDRIA, 24th April, 1830. tion to free persons; are presented for crimes io this coun“Ste: I have received your letter of the 23d instant. ty. My impression is, that the proportion is very small Time will not admit of my making as particular an exam. I should think not one-twentieth. In the number of preination as I wish, to enable me to give a very accurate re- sentments made to a court, amounting to from sixty to ply to your inquiry. What I shall now state is from geve- eighty, we seldom bave more than two or three cases ral recollection. Slaves, by the law in force in this county, against slaves. The free colored people are more nuare, for misdemeanors, puoishable in a summary way by a merous; and the greater portion of cases that are presentsingle justice, out of court, by stripes, at the public whip-ed for crimes of a felonious character, are against that de-, pivg post, not exceeding thirty nine. Therefore, such seription of people that is, free colored people.” eases do not come before the court, or become publicly Thus it appears [said Mr. P.) that crimes in this Diskdown. I have inquired of one of the magistrates who trict are principally committed by the idle and dissolute has been many years acting, and is an efficient and expe. free blacks, and a still more wretched and degraded class rienced magistrate, as to the number of slaves be has had of white people; and this must naturally be the state of beension to have punished for misdemeanors. He states things where slavery exists, to discredit labor, and espe; that he has bad but one slave whipped, though there bave cially where miserable free blacks and whites are found been brought before him many slaves charged with crim- in such numbers as flock into this District in pursuit of inal offences, that is, with misdemeanors
, whom he has dis- temporary employment or plunder. These facts confirm. charged. I bave understood from a source on which I ed the position, that, as to the practical operation of this rely, that a justice of the peace for this county, who re- bill, it is quite unimportant whether slaves are embraced rides in the country, has said that during the time he has by it or not; and also show, that the apprehensions of gen. been a magistrate, which is about eighteen years, he has tlemen, that the penitentiary would become crowded with had only one slave whipped. A third justice has stated slave criminals, are utterly groundless. that, during the year 1829, be has not bad before bim Several gentlemen had contended that the incarceration more than ten to twelve slaves charged with any offence. of slaves in the penitentiary would be little or no punishSoune of them he has discharged for want of sufficient evi- ment to them--that they are slaves of individuals now, dence, and some he has had whipped. This magistrate and would then only change masters, and become the