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H. of R. J Texas. [Dec. 22, 1836.
all the provisions for sustaining its perils must be fur. is identified with her independence; she asks us to ac. nished. its submission to Congress, which represents in knowledge that title to the territory, with an avowedde. one of its branches the States of this Union, and in the sign to treat immediately of its transfer to the United other the people of the United States, where there may States. It becomes us to beware of a too early move. be reasonable ground to apprehend se grave a conse- ment, as it might subject us, however unjustly, to the im: quence, would certainly afford the fullest satisfaction to putation of seeking to establish the claim of our neigh. our own country, and a perfect guarantee to all other na- bors to a territory, with a view to its subsequent acqui. tions, of the justice and prudence of the measures which sition by ourselves: , Prudence, therefore, seems to dic. might be adopted. tate that we should still stand aloof, and maintain our in making these suggestions, it is not my purpose to present attitude, if not until Mexico itself, or one of the relieve myself from the responsibility of expressing my great foreign Powers, shall recognise the independence own opinions of the course the interests of our country of the new Government, at least until the lapse of time prescribe, and its honor permits us to follow. or the course of events shall have proved, beyond cavil it is scarcely to be imagined that a question of this or dispute, the ability of the people of that country to character could be presented, in relation to which it maintain their separate sovereignty, and to uphold the would be more difficult for the United States to avoid Government constituted by them. Neither of the con. exciting the suspicion and jealousy of other Powers, and tending parties can justly complain of this course. By maintain their established character for fair and impar. pursuing it, we are but carrying out the long-established tial dealing. But on this, as on every trying occasion, policy of our Government—a policy which has secured to safety is to be found in a rigid adherence to principle. us respect and influence abroad, and inspired confidence in the contest between Spain and her revoited colo- at home. nies we stood aloof, and waited not only until the ability Having thus discharged my duty, by presenting with of the new states to protect themselves was fully estab. simplicity and directness the views which, after much lished, but until the danger of their being again subjuga- reflection, I have been led to take of this important subted had entirely passed away. Then, and not till then, ject, I have only to add the expression of my confidence were they recognised. Such was our course in regard to that, if Congress shall differ with me upon it, their Mexico herself. The same policy was observed in all judgment will be the result of dispassionate, prudent, the disputes growing out of the separation into distinct and wise deliberation; with the assurance that, during Governments of those Spanish American States who be. the short time I shall continue connected with the Gov. gan or carried on the contest with the parent country, ernment, I shall promptly and cordially unite with you united under one form of government. We acknowl. in such measures as may be deemed best fitted to in. edged the separate independence of New Grenada, of crease the prosperity and perpetuate the peace of our Venezuela, and of Ecuador, only after their independent favored country.
existence was no longer a subject of dispute, or was ac- ANDREW JACKSON, tually acquiesced in by those with whom they had been WashingtoN, December 21, 1836. previously united. It is true that, with regard to Texas, The reading of the message having been concluded, the civil authority of Mexico has been expelled, its in- Mr. HOWARD moved that the same, with the accom.
vading army defeated, and the chief of the republic panying documents, be reserred to the Committee on himself captured, and all present power to control the Foreign Affairs, and that they be printed; which mo. newly organized Government of Texas annihilated with- tion prevailed. in its confines. But, on the other hand, there is, in ap- Mr. BRIGGS then moved that 10,000 extra copies of pearance at least, an immense disparity of physical force the message and documents be printed. on the side of Mexico. The Mexican republic, under Mr. D. J. PEARCE moved 20,000.
another Executive, is rallying its forces under a new Under the rule, the motion would lie over one day,
leader, and menacing a fresh invasion to recover its lost but, by the unanimous consent of the House, it was now
dominion. taken into consideration. Upon the issue of this threatened invasion, the inde- Mr. PICKENS expressed himself favorable to the mo:
pendence of Texas may be considered as suspended; tion to print an extra number of copies, and took occo and were there nothing peculiar in the relative situation sion to say that, in referring the same to the Committe‘ of the United States and Texas, our acknowledgment on Foreign Affairs, he hoped it had been distinctly on of its independence at such a crisis could scarcely be re- derstood that a report was to be had at as early a period” garded as consistent with that prudent reserve with possible. He had no objection to the reference to that which we have heretofore held ourselves bound to treat committee, for he considered and recognised it as repo all similar questions. But there are circumstances in the senting the dominant party who were about to rule the relations of the two countries which require us to act, on destinies of this nation, ihe subject was a most impo this occasion, with even more than our wonted caution. tant one, and he hoped the committee would assumet” Texas was once claimed as a part of our property, and responsibility of issuing a report as early as might P* there are those among our citizens who, always reluctant sibly suit their convenience. to abandon that claim, cannot but regard with solicitude Mr. E. WHITTLESEY objected to the printing of the prospect of the reunion of the territory to this coun- 20,000 copies. He had been in hopes that, at this “. try. A large proportion of its civilized inhabitants are emi- sion, the House was about to commence its duties with grants from the United States; speak the same language a determination of bringing the expenses of printing.” with ourselves; cherish the same principles, political and the other expenses of the Government, to something religious; and are bound to many of our citizens by like what they were ten or twelve years ago; and, will ties of friendship and kindred blood; and, more than ali, this view, he had been disposed, at the time that 15,000 it is known that the people of that country have institu- copies of the documents accompanying the annual me?’ !ed the same form of government with our own; and sage of the President had been ordered, to submit to the have, since the close of your last session, openly resolved, House whether it was expedient or proper to go to". on the acknowledgment by us of their independence, expense for the purpose of circulating those docume". to seek #. into the Union as one of the Federal Heretofore, on another occasion, he had remarked States. This last circumstance is a matter of peculiar deli- that, previous to the year 1829, there were never" cacy, no forces upon us conj ft) rest, than five thousand coni *~~, ic document ords' character. The title of Texa. ations of the graves . usand copies of any public oco sual **as to the territory she claims led to be printed. Such, he believed, was the us
Drc. 22, 1836.)
number. At the last session of Congress, the House had ordered some twenty thousand copies of the President's message and the accompanying documents to be printed; and at what period were they circulated over the country? Not until spring; and he questioned whether all of them were even delivered then. The House had, at this session, ordered fifteen thousand copies of the message; and how many of that number had been delivered to the members of the House? Not more than six—he thought not more than five. And these very documents had now been returned here, printed by the country newspapers, before all the copies ordered by this House had been received. He was desirous, on this as on all other occasions, to lay all important documents before the people, and he cared not how widely they were disseminated, when there was any apparent necessity for so doing. In such cases he was disposed to go to the utmost extent in disseminating information; but he drew a wide distinction between supporting a public press and disseminating information among the people. He agreed with other gentlemen, that this was an important document; and if it were of so lengthy a character as not to admit of its general republication amongst the newspapers of the country, he was willing, so far as the expense was concerned, to vote any sum to communicate the information it contained. But could it be doubted that, before a tenth part of these 20,000 copies were delivered, every member would receive papers from his own district containing the same document? It seemed to him that the House ought to come to some understanding on this subject of printing; and that they ought not, because a document was important, to print so large an extra number of copies, when it was considered that the information was not disseminated through them, but by means of the newspaper press. He hoped the House would bring the expenses of this department back to what they had formerly been. He was willing to vote for 10,000 copies, but for no higher number. Mr. D. J. PEARCE, in replying to the gentleman from Ohio, remarked that, about two years ago, some fifty thousand copies had been printed of an oration which had been delivered by an honorable member of that House, [Mr. ADAMs,) on a very important subject; he alluded to the Eulogy on Lafayette. Probably delicy should prevent his (Mr. P's) saying that that was a work of the first order of talent, and of sterling merit. He was not aware that any man who voted for the printing of that vast number of copies had been rebuked or upbraided by his constituents; but that was a subject referring to things which had taken place many years ago; to the actions of a distinguished individual, now passed away from the theatre of human affairs, and to actions performed by him in the war of the Revolution. The matter, however, which was now submitted to the consideration of the House, was to be taken in a prospective view; it was to be taken with reference to future events in this country; and the House was to view this document with an eye to things that were to come hereafter. What document could be more important, or where could there be one to which their attention ought to be more anxiously directed? Speaking in reference to those whom he immediately represented, he would say that there was not a man, woman, or child over twelve years of age, in the State
from which he came, who had not exercised some mind
upon the important subject to which this document had reference; and the question now was, whether the information which this message contained should be communicated to them or not. It was a subject in relation to which, whatever might have been the notions of the mem. bers of that House at the last session of Congress, whatever might have been the feelings of gentlemen repre
senting certain portions of the Union, there had been a change of opinion, an alteration of sentiment. And whatever might have been the surmises and conjectures as to what would be the course of the distinguished individual who now filled the executive chair, he (Mr. P.) presumed that those surmises and conjectures would now be found to have been without foundation. He submitted to the House, then, that this was no ordinary subject; that it was not one of common importance; it was, indeed, of more importance than most of the subjects which had been transmitted to Congress for its consideration during the present session; and if it was so, should they withhold from their constituents the stand which had been taken by the Executive of the United States? It was not for the purpose of petting a printer, or supporting a particular press, that he (Mr. P.) was desirous of increasing the number; that was a mere bagatelle, compared to the dissemination of the information contained in the document, and the stand which had been taken by this Government in relation to the affairs with Texas, so far, at least, as that stand could be inferred from the document before the House. Was the House to square its notions now by what its notions were in 1829? Was the country now what it was at that period? Had not our progress been onward? Had there been no expansion of settlement? Jo increase of population? But, independent of all such considerations, in 1829, for want of the facilities which existed at this day, six weeks would have been consumed in the transmission of information which could now be communicated in three or four days; then, indeed, these documents might have lain on the members’ tables as worthless lumber. But now, by means of railroads, steamboats, and express mails, information, which could not then be communicated in six weeks, can now be sent from one end of the republic to the other in a few days. View the document prospectively, or in any other light, there was no subject at this particular juncture of so much, importance; and should that House, looking merely to the expense, cause only five or six thousand copies to be printed, thus distributing the document only to one individual in every town or village? Whereas, by printing twenty thousand, it would go to some four or five persons, speaking, at least, of some of the States, in every town, village, and hamlet. He contended, then, that the ordinary rule applied to the printing of public documents was not appligable to this case. It, might, indeed, be said that the newspapers would publish the document; but it was one of that character which most persons would wish to put on file for preservation, not only for their own benefit, but for that of those who may succeed them, as containing the views of the President of the United States at this day. Mr. P. hoped that the motion to print twenty thousand copies would prevail. Mr. HoAR expressed his accordance with the general views expressed by the gentleman from Ohio, [Mr. E. whittlesey,) on the subject of printing. But he did not concur with that gentleman in the opinion that those views should be applied to the present case. He (Mr. H.) considered that a document on so important a subject, and coming from such a source, should be disseminated as widely as possible. - The subject had been treated by the President in a manner highly satisfactory to his (Mr. H's) views. . The statement contained in the document should be in the hands of every man in the country. It deserved more than a cursory reading; it deserved to be printed in a form suited to its permanent preservation. He was in favor of printing the highest number proposed, and was even willing to vote for a greater number than that. Mr. Tho MPSON, of South Carolina, said he was not opposed to the printing of the proposed number. He was willing that the views of those who approved of the
message of the President should be given to the world at the public expense. He was not at all surprised at the number proposed to be printed. He must rather commend the moderation of those opposed to him. . He should not have been surprised at a proposal to print one hundred thousand, nor, indeed, to print it on satin, which had been heretofore done (not by this House) with a kindred document, and one produced by the same influence which has dictated this message. Nor was he surprised at the hosannahs with which this message had been received, the joy and exultation which he had seen manifested, by gentlemen from a certain section, the rapturous plaudits, the enthusiastic exclamations, “Oh! righteous judge, a second Daniel come to judgment,” by lips unused to such accents. It was to be expected, sir, from that strange, unnatural, and disastrous (at least to the South and West) conjunction upon this occasion of hitherto most antagonist elements. He had no objection either to please those who had a taste for such things, and whose interest and whose vocation it is—and their vocation, because it is their interest—to pronounce eulogies upon the President. He had only risen to-day to say, that with the united power of sectional feelings, and the influence of the name and popularity of the President upon their side, that it seemed to him nothing more than fair to ask of gentlemen not to seek occasion on a proposition to print, which no one opposed, further to forestall public opinion upon this subject. Upon a fit occasion, when the subject came fairly before the House on the report of the Committee on Foreign Relations, he had somewhat to say upon the other side of this question. Mr, E. WHITTLESEY, with a view to consume no further time in debate, said he would withdraw his opposition to the proposed number of 20,000 copies. Mr. CRAIG concurred in the general opinion expressed by the gentleman from Ohio, [Mr. Whittirsky.] but, considering the great importance of the subject, &c., and the consequent necessity that existed for giving the document the most extensive dissemination, he was in favor of the motion to print 20,000 copies. Mr. WISE said that, like his friend from South Carolina, [Mr. Thompsos, he would vote for the largest number of copies to be printed; but, like him also, he could not say he would thus vote because he approved the message. He could not say either that he approved or disapproved of the message; and why? Because he could not, like some gentlemen, judge of its merits by instinct. He was not unfavorably impressed with it, so far as he could judge by listening to the reading of it by the Clerk; but one thing he would say in advance, that if, under the semblance of great moderation, wisdom, and prudence, the object of this message was to delay and postpone the hour when we should give our aid, by the light of our countenance, to a people struggling for human rights and civil liberty, he was opposed to its object and policy “toto calo.” The message involved a subject of the deepest interest, important in every aspect; important not only in the light in which it is usually considered, as touching our foreign relations, but important as it will affect our domestic political relations. Gentlemen are well aware that the question of recognising the independence of Texas will, whenever it comes, divide a party whose motto at this time is, and for some time to come will be, “don’t divide.” This question will divide many of both parties who are now united. However politic it might be for parties to remain united, he was not for postponing the hour of recognising the claims of Texas to freedom a moment beyond what real and not affected wisdom and prudence might require. He mont, however, only to say that, by voting for the greatest number of copies of the message to be printed, he, for one, did not mean to give that message the sanc.
tion of his humble approbation until he had read it, stud. ied it, understood precisely its objects and designs, and until he could appreciate its immediate and ultimate ef. fects. Mr. HOWARD expressed his concurrence with the gentleman from Rhode Island, who made the motion to print 20,000 copies of this document. He considered there ought to be a large number printed for distribution among the people of the country. He also concurred in opinion with the gentleman from Virginia, that it was impossible, from hearing the message read, to form an opinion as to its merits. It asserted a principle most im. portant, and required to be acted on with great deliber. ation; he was therefore in favor of distributing it to the people of the country, so that they might have an opportunity of forming an opinion thereon. Mr. BOON observed that circumstances very fre. quently altered cases. He was astonished to hear the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Whittlesey] object to the printing of this very important document. It would be recollected that a few sessions back, when a proposition was made to print a certain Post Office report, the print. ing of a solitary number of which would cost more than a thousand copies of this message, that gentlemen did not then object to printing large numbers of the docu. ment. Now, when an extra number of this document was wanting, gentlemen said it would be published in the newspapers. Mr. B. said, however, that it must be recollected that a large number of the tax payers of this country were not subscribers to newspapers; there. fore it was necessary that extra numbers should be print. ed for distribution. He only regretted that the gentle. man had not moved to print 40,000. The question was then taken on the motion to print 20,000 extra copies, which was agreed to.
MINT OF THE UNITED STATES.
Mr. CAMBRELENG asked the consent of the House to take up the “mint bill.” He hoped the request would be assented to, for it was highly important that the bill should be passed by the first of the year, inas’ much as it was proposed to take effect from and after the 1st day of January next, and this was the last day of the present week on which it could be acted on. Mr. WILLIAMS, of North Carolina, objecting, Mr. CAMBRELENG moved a suspension of the rule for the purpose; which motion prevailed, by a vote of § to 37. On motion of the same gentleman, the House then went into Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union, (Mr. Muhlen aeng in the chair, ) and took up the bill, the title of which is as follows: “An act establish; a mint, and regulating the coins of the United States. Mr. CAM BireleNG moved the substitute heretoforo reported, which was the same in substance as the bill reported last year, with a few verbal alterations. The bill, as amended, having been read, and 50mé further verbal amendments agreed to, on motion. Mr. CAMBRELENG, after some explanatory remarks sto" that gentleman in relation to the copper coinMr. ADAMs, referring to the intimation of Mr. C* an ELENG that it was necessary to pass this bill before." 1st of January, said that if the bill had proposed so to peal all the iaws of the United States, and it had be" required that such a bill should be passed ... week's time, he could not have been more surpro. than he was at hearing this bill read, in connexion" the precipitate proceeding proposed in regard.” it. The subject of the bill was, he said, entirely too impor. tant to be disposed of in this summary mode. . It "** bill to repeal all laws concerning the coinage of to ". ney of the United States, and establish a system different from that which now exists; which might be all right,
but which it was necessary should be closely examined before it was acted upon. In reply to a remark of Mr. CAM antless, that the bill was merely a compilation of existing laws and regulations in regard to the mint, Mr. ADAMs said that the very first thing that struck his ear on hearing the bill read was a provision that hereafter the weight of the silver dollar should be 4123 grains. Now, by the existing law, the established weight of that coin was 416 grains. Here, then, was a debasement of the coin; and debasement of the coin had always been regarded as one of the greatest, most important, (and often most immoral) acts a Government can perform. What was all this for? He wished to know. It might be a very proper operation; but, if it was, it was not in this hasty and inconsiderate manner that it ought to be ef. fected. As to the gold coins, he could not from recollection say whether the weight proposed was the same as the present legal rate; but, as to the copper coin, the standard of which by the existing law was fixed at 208 grains, this bill proposed to reduce it to 140 grains! Such a reduction of the actual value of the coin would be not only injurious to the mass of poor people who chiefly used the coin, but was in every other way objectionable. It would subject the people who use this coin to all the disadvantage with which Ireland was menaced by Wood’s copper coin; and if gentlemen desired particular information on that subject, he advised them to read the Draper's Letters, and apply them to this case. For his part, (Mr. A. said,) he did not remember of anything equal to this sweeping measure, unless it was the scheme of Charles XII, of Sweden, who made copper coins of less than the specific weight of our cent, and then issued them to his army as of the value of a dollar. Debase your coin! (said he:) you have no right to do it. To do so is to rob those who are in possession of it. If, in consequence of the change of the alloy, the dollar would (as was alleged) remain of the same value as now, why make the change in the weight at all? One of the advantages of the present dollar is, that it is of the weight and value of the Spanish milled dollar, and therefore affords a facility to all who deal in dollars by weight. Now, the dollar is not only a part of the currency, but it is also an article of merchandise; and, as long as our dollar is of the same weight and value of the Spanish dollar, the value and weight of the bag of American dollars and of the bag of Spanish dollars being known all over the world to be the same, they pass at the same value all over the world by weight; and to change the weight would therefore affect seriously the commerce of the country. By these and similar arguments Mr. A. endeavored to satisfy the Committee of the Whole of the impropriety of precipitancy in a matter of so much delicacy and consequence as the subject of this bill. In the course of these remarks of Mr. ADAMs, occasion was taken by Mr. CAM bar. LENG to express his surprise that time should now be required by the gentleman from Massachusetts to examine this subject, inasmuch as this bill was substantially the same as one reported as long ago as at the last session of Congress, though not then acted upon. The bill did not (he said) propose to change the value of the silver coin by a single sous. Mr. C. also made some further explanations, concluding by saying that if Mr. A. would allow the bill to go through the committee to-day, he would himself then move its postponement to Tuesday next, allowing time to gentlemen in the interval to inform themselves of all the details of the bill. Mr. ADAMs, however, said he, for one, could not consent to move a step further in this bill, which he had not before seen or heard read, without first having time to read and examine it. He moved, therefore, that the commit. tee now rise. Mr. JARVIS took occasion to state that, having care
fully examined the subject, he could satisfy gentlemen that in the proposed composition of the dollar the amount of pure silver was the same as in the present dollar, and that the proposed value of the gold coin was the same as now. The committee divided on the motion to rise, and the votes being equal, (65 to 65,) the question was deter. mined in the negative by the casting vote of the chairman, [Mr. Muhle NBERG.] Mr. INGERSOLL, who appeared to be perfectly familiar with the details as well as the principles of the bill, (having been one of the committee who reported it,) expressing his regret that the gentleman from Massachusetts had not had time to examine the bill, answered the objections which had been made to it, and explainedits various provisions. With regard to the copper coinage, he said the reduction proposed was only from 168 grains, the present weight of the cent, to 140—an immaterial alteration, scarcely at all proportioned to the growing price of copper, which occasioned the reduction. The gentleman, however, when he spoke of the weight of 208 grains, was right as to the original weight of the cent; but, as it had, since first established, been reduced in weight from 208 grains to 168 grains, it was now proposed to reduce it from 168 grains to 140, to keep pace with the price of copper. This reduction, Mr. I. said, - was not much, unless cents were made a legal tender, which it had always been his intention to oppose. As, by the constitution of the United States, the States cannot make any thing but gold and silver a legal tender, he thought it better that the Government of the United States should not do, in this respect, what the States are forbidden to do. With regard to the dollar, no reduction in value was proposed. The size of the dollar was now complained of. The slight change proposed in its composition by this bill would render the bulk and weight somewhat less, whilst the quantity of silver remained the same. As to the gold coin, no change was proposed. As to the general character and tendency of the bill, Mr. I. also made some remarks. The mint, he said, had remained under the same regulations, with little variation, from the year 1791 to this time. The length of time which had intervened rendered a revision of the system necessary. The great object of the present bill was to produce a complete organization, a system of arrangement, a plan of business, which should be perfect, so as to enable all who have business with the mint to have a distinct and clear understanding of what is to be done on the part of the public, and of the individuals themselves who are employed by the public to superintend and conduct its operations. . This would not have been so necessary, as a system has in fact grown up from usage, but from the establishment of branches, in connexion with the progress of gold-mining in our own country, &c. Mr. I. expatiated at large, and much more particularly than we have stated, on the advantages and benefits which would be secured or promoted by various provisions of the bill. On motion of Mr. INGER soll, the bill was then amended by striking out so much as makes cents and parts of cents a legal tender. Mr. ADAMS then moved to strike out the whole of the section which goes to fix the weight of the cent and parts of a cent, so as to leave the copper coin where it is. In reply to the suggestion of Mr. ING Enso.I., that the reduction of the weight of the cent from 168 grains to 140 was a small affair, Mr. A. remarked that that gentleman would not probably consider it a very small affair if, on a larger scale, a debtor owing him 168 dollars, or hundreds of dollars, were to offer to pay him with 140. The effect of such a reduction of the value of the coin would be to drive it from circulation into the hands of
speculators, whilst the mint might not in many years be
able to supply its place with a sufficient number of cents of the new coinage. As to the argument in favor of a new coinage, founded on the increasing price of copper, Mr. A. said he did not know what the price of it now was, but it was low enough to allow of cents being made of the same weight as at present, and still leave a profit to the Government. All profit thus made was a tax upon the people; and reducing the weight would, in the case of the copper coin, be only taking so much more from the people. Reduction of the weight of coin, he also argued, facilitates the obliteration and wearing down of it, and was therefore inexpedient. Mr. McKIM gave the committee some information in relation to the price of copper, which he said had risen, within six or eight months, as much as 25 per cent.— from 17 cents to 21 or 22 cents per pound—so that, to prevent cents from being melted up, the weight of them ought to be reduced. As much copper was received from the mines as ever, but the increased consumption of the article had advanced the price. Mr. INGERSOLI, suggested that striking out the section would (as all former laws were repealed) leave the country without copper coin, which, he presumed, was not the intention of the gentleman who moved to strike it out. If the object was to leave the copper coin unchanged, it would be readily attained by striking out 140 in the present bill, and inserting 168 grains as the weight for the cent, &c. Mr. HARPER said that, at the weight of 168 grains, a pound of copper would yield within a fraction of 47 cents; and that was a sufficient gain, even at the present price of copper, as stated by the gentleman from Maryland. Mr. H. therefore moved to strike out 140 and insert 168 grains as the weight of the cent. Mr. McKIM said that it was of raw copper he spoke, when he stated the current price at 21 or 22 cents. The price of manufactured copper was 31 or 32 cents. Something like 10 per cent. was lost in the refining of it. Mr. Gl LLET, after suggesting that the people, and not the Government, would be gainers by a reduction of the weight of the coin, because the old coin, of which the value would certainly be increased by the reduction, is in their hands, said that this was a subject to which he had given much attention, having examined and compared the laws, &c. From the statute book it was impossible, he said, for any man to understand that the cent is to consist of 168 grains of copper. He had himself, like the gentleman from Massachusetts, supposed that the legal weight of the cent was 208 grains; for so says the statute. But he understood that in some law, which he had not met with in the course of his examination, the Executive was authorized to fix the weight of the copper coin by proclamation, and that it had been so fixed at 168 grains. But the statute book does not show it, and he had not been able to find the proclamation. It was, therefore, a matter of high necessity to pass a law which should embrace all existing provisions respecting the weight and value of coins, &c. The committee then divided on Mr. HARPEn's motion; and it was discovered that there was not a quorum present. So the committee rose, and the House then adjourned.
FRIDAY, DEcEM BER 23. After the reading of the journal of the preceding day, Mr. A SHLEY rose and asked leave to make a few remarks on the subject of certain resolutions from the Legislature of illinois, in relation to the location of the national road, which had (the day before, when, from indisposition, he was unable to attend the House) been referred to the Committee on Roads and Canals. ***ing some dissenting voices, Mr. A, said he
would deser his remarks until a more fit occasion, when the subject should again receive the action of the House. He would then be prepared to show the absurdity of the statements contained in the resolutions, and the remarks which had been made in their support.
The business next in order was the motion, heretofore submitted by Mr. BELL, to reconsider the vote by which the following resolution, offered on a former day by Mr. o: Delegate from Wisconsin, had been laid on the table: Resolved, That the Committee on Indian Affairs be in. structed to inquire into the expediency of appropriating money for holding treaties with, and the purchase of the lands belonging to, the Sac, Fox, Sioux, and Winnebago Indians, in Wisconsin Territory, and to provide for their removal west of the Mississippi river. Mr. BELL briefly explained that, since the vote on this resolution had been taken, he had become satisfied that it might be expedient, if possible, to effect a treaty with one or more, and possibly with all, the tribes reserred to in the resolution; and, as the resolution was merely one of inquiry by that committee into the expediency of the measure, he hoped the House would reconsider the vote, and adopt the resolution. And the question on the motion to reconsider was then taken, and decided in the affirmative. So the vote was reconsidered. Mr. GARLAND, of Louisiana, called for the reading of the resolution; which having been read, Mr. G. expressed his belief that the policy pursued by the Government in removing the Indians on to our frontiers had been pursued sufficiently long, and that it was time it should be arrested. He thought that the nation had already acquired too many titles to lands by extinguishing the Indian titles, and locating the Indians in one spot on our Southwestern borders. If that policy was to be continued, he objected to it. He hoped that the House would express its opinion to that effect, by resusing to adopt this resolution. Mr. BEi.L. trusted the gentleman from Louisiana would, upon reflection, find that this was not the proper time to make his objections to the policy pursued by our Government. He submitted that any opposition to the inquiry into the expediency of removing these Indians must fail, because he thought that sound policy and ox: pediency, not to say necessity, demanded the removal of some of the tribes referred to in the resolution. As to what particular point, they should be removed to, that would be matter of subsequent inquiry; and if the Com: mittee on Indian Affairs should report any thing which the gentleman from Louisiana should suppose to be il. consistent with the true policy of the country, he might oppose it hereafter. Mr. GARLAND, of Louisiana, said it was impossible for him to conjecture what would be the course of the Committee on Indian Affairs on this resolution; but, fiom the very constitution of that committee, he had reason to believe that the former policy of the Government in relation to the location of the Indian tribes west of the Mis: sissippi was not about to be changed; and if he was correct in that inserence, he was not disposed, before he entered his protest against it, to have a report of the committee in favor of this resolution. He well knew the effect of reports of committees in this House, coming in opposition to his own views, and every one knew how very difficult it was to resist the report of a committee favorable to any particular measure. For this reason." was that, if it should be the sense of the House that this policy should no longer be continued, he hoped they would meet the subject now on the threshold; that lo would not permit any further extinguishment of Indian