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Fen. 3, 1837. }
Sick and Disabled Seamen.
Mr. President, I again repeat that the legislation of Congress is not of that fair and equitable character towards the public land States that their wants and interests demand. All the old States in the Union, on their introduction into the great federal family, were invested with the attributes of sovereign power over all their internal affairs: they were imbued with authority to levy and collect taxes upon every species of property within their respective jurisdictions, for the maintenance of Government, and for whatsoever other legitimate purpose the legislative authority may devise. But not so with the public land States. They have heretofore been, and are now, admitted into the national fraternity manacled in every limb, and bound in setters of paralyzing restriction. Your General Government, the influence of which is yet in the hands of the old States, and whose policy is directed by them, still retains its property in the public domain within our limits, and is cvery day exercising the power of making disposition of it, and laughs at all our efforts to place ourselves on an equality with them, as vain and impotent; thus leaving the public land States with a curtailed and limited sovereignty over the soil. If you, in your boasted bounty, set apart a section of land in each township in those States, for the most praiseworthy and commendable purpose of education, the otherwise munificent grant is made in consideration of ample equivalents. You will not permit us to receive an accession of a single emigrant, unless we yield our exemption of five years' taxation. This exemption is the bonafide condition upon which we receive the emigrant. Your policy is to sell your lands, and you compel us to bestow this boon, in order to enable you so to do, and before he is permitted to pass our limits and reside among us.
If you grant a new state any land for the purpose of constructing a railroad or canal, no matter whether it be a national or local work, you are right sure to do it in such manner and under such restrictions as to secure to yourself the benefit of the grant. You most graciously bestow on us every alternate tract, whether it be of swamp, barren, prairie, rocks, or mountains. We, your most grateful dinees, proceed in the establishment of the work, and with millions of additional cost complete some stupendous project of internal improvement, and thereby render your barren rocks and lagoons and desert prairie all saleable, and thus give a value to your property which no time or other circumstances could possibly have given it. Most gracious munificence this! If out of our own resources we improve the navigation of a river, if we drain a pond, we are giving a positive value to much of your property, which otherwise would be totally worthless. Every farm we open, every house we build, every town and village which springs up on your boundless domain, creates a value in thousands of contiguous acres, hitherto without any, or offering any inducement to the purchaser. Thus it is you receive for your vaunted princely gratuities equivalents and benefits absolutely amounting to speculations. Sir, I repel the declaration so often repeated here, that the public land States have received “princely gratuities” in lands from Government. We have received no gratuities without corresponding benefits, and, in some instances, ten-fold equivalents. But, sir, instead of Kratuities, there has been doled out to us a most parsiononious and niggardly legislation on all questions of relies in any wise touching the public lands, or those occupying them. Your policy, hitherto, has been to encour*ge, by all practical means, the settlement of those lands; and the imposition of the inhibition against taxation for a limited period of time was among others held out as an inducement to emigration. Now, the policy seems to be changed. Gentlemen complain that the public lands *re settling too fast; the redundant population of the
parent States are moving in myriads to the fair valley of the Mississippi; whole communities rise up, as it were by common consent, and quit the father land, seeking homes in the West, taking with them much of our mechanical skill, useful industry, and wealth. This state of things must be checked, say they, and they act accordingly. Every question affecting the interest of the public land States seems to me to be contested here with an unusual and most extraordinary pertinacity. Touch not the public domain, is the battle cry of the enemies of relief measures. It is a nation's richest treasure, bestowed by the immortal Old Dominion, the father of the republic, for the general good-–for the whole people, and not for any particular part or portion of them. Sir, are we doomed forever to endure this abject state of vassal dependence on the bountiful legislation of Con. gress, for the rights which common sense and rigid justice demand for us? Who will undertake to say that the new States do now enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities, of the old States? Sir, we cannot make a road from one county seat to another, without trespassing upon the public domain; we cannot pass the threshold of our humble domicil, without incurring the guilt of punishable trespass. We can go nowhere, build bridges across none of our watercourses, without obstructing Uncle Sam's highways, or building an abutment against and upon some portion of his endless domain. We dare not levy a tax upon nine tenths of the soil within our limits. We must wait the tardy and lingering policy of the Government, in making its sales of those lands, and then wait an additional five years, before the legislative authority of the State can reach them. The federal authority adopts its system of laws in relation to its lands, and enforces them within our jurisdiction; whilst the State, with all becoming humility, must wait in patient servility until the contingency of sale takes place, and the five years’ probation shall have passed away, before her jurisdiction accrues. And thus this humiliating process continues from year to year, the new States every day arriving nearer and nearer to induction within the pale of the constitution, until eventually, after a lapse of twenty, thirty, and forty years, perhaps, we are safely moored within the protection of the guns of the constitution; and we step in, and take our place, in our old age, among the federal family, on an equal footing, in all respects, with our elder brothers. When Mr. Ew ING had concluded, At the suggestion of Mr. WHITE, Mr. BENTON moved that the Senate adjourn, and that the amendment be printed; which was agreed to; and The Senate adjourned.
Mr. DAVIS, from the Committee on Commerce, to whom was referred the Senate bill No. 79, made a written report, accompanied with a substitute for the bill; which substitute suspended, for one year, the tax of 20 cents each on American seamen, sor a hospital fund, and appropriated $150,000, for one year, in lieu thereof, to be paid from the Treasury. . The report was accompanied with the following resolutions, calling on the Secretary of the Treasury for information on the subject:
fesolved, That the Secretary of the Treasury be instructed to ascertain what it will cost to erect three hospitals, of suitable dimensions, for the relief of sick and disabled seamen and watermen upon the waters of the Mississippi river, at the most suitable places for that purpose; also, what it will cost to erect the same number, if needed, on the most important points of the Atlantic and
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Treasury be further instructed to draw up the project of a law to regulate the disbursement of funds for the relief of sick and disabled seamen, and for the government of hospitals erected for that purpose. Resolved, That the Secretary of the Treasury be instructed to enumerate those posts and places in the United States where, because suitable accommodations for the sick cannot be obtained, or from any other cause, there is a strong necessity for hospitals, and to make report upon this and the other instructions in these resolutions at the next session of Congress. Mr. DAVIS, after the reading of the report, asked for the immediate consideration of these resolutions; which requiring the unanimous consent of the Senate, Mr. CALHOUN, who had not heard the report, expressed the wish that the resolutions might lie one day on the table. Mr. DAVIS briefly explained the nature and objects of the bill and the resolutions, remarking that the bill was designed to supply the deficiency in the interim, while Congress might obtain the requisite information, and mature and adopt some proper system on the subiect. Mr. CALHOUN said he understood this to be the commencement of a change in the system, as heretofore existing, by which the hospital fund was supplied by a tax on seamen. He believed that the great and prevailing disease of the times was centralism here; and he was utterly opposed to any thing which would tend to increase it. As soon as the system of affording relief to seamen from the Treasury should commence, there would be no limitation; and he would, therefore, give his protest in advance against the measure proposed by the bill. He was opposed to opening all sluices to further expenses of the Government, as tending to corrupt the public morals, and to endanger our institutions. The burden (Mr. C. maintained) of relieving sick and disabled seamen did not fall on the seamen themselves, but on the particular branch of business in which they are employed, by which it ought to be borne; otherwise it would become, like harbors on the lakes, and lighthouses, an improper burden upon Congress. Mr. DAVIS said that he was not exactly willing that the measure should go off under such an impression. The gentleman from South Carolina, [Mr. Calhoun,) he thought, would withdraw his objection, if he had paid better attention to the subject. The hospital tax, Mr. D. maintained, fell on the wages of the sailor; and the Senator would agree with him that no class required a higher degree of protection, or were more worthy and meritorious; and no class asked less of the Government. When did the Senator know a sailor to ask for any thing? Mr. D. had not known an instance in which a sailor had asked for a pension or any other grant. He would call the attention of the Senator to a notable case, the destruction of the Philadelphia. While a large number of people engaged in that portion of the service had been for a number of years asking Congress for something, it had never been done by a sailor; it had been demanded by their representatives, and not by themselves. But all this had nothing to do with this matter. It was thought that something ought to be done for this class of persons on the Western waters, exposed to the peculiar diseases of that region, far away from their friends and the means of comfort. In order to effect this purpose, a tax of twenty cents each had becn laid upon their wages by Congress. The Government had not been so libéral as the Senator supposed. The tax, indeed, proved inad*quate to the purpose, and the Government had cvery year appropriated more or less; not much, but enough to gover the expenses. The fond had been conducted, ** far as Mr. D. was abi...o.estan, with prudence
and economy, and had been disbursed under the direction of the Government. But there had been no law un the subject, though the committee thought it was best that it should be regulated by law. Now, all Mr. D. proposed by the resolutions before the Senate was an inquiry as to the expense of erecting three hospitals on the Western waters, and three on the Allantic coast, and so many he was sure were needed. He did not propose now to commit the Government to any course of policy. In the bill there was indeed a prop sition to change the policy for a single year; tut the Government then retained the matter in its own hands, to pursue such a course as might be found expedient and proper. The passage of these resolutions was as much wanted, if the bill should not pass, as if it should. Mr. CALHOUN said he knew the resolutions did not involve the principle to which he objected, but the bill did; and it was his design now to give notice that he should, therefore, oppose it. He agreed with the Senator that seamen were a meritorious class, and that they were not importunate on Congress. They would not do the mischief, but the persons interested in erecting and conducting the hospitals. Mr. C. again insisted that though the tax imposed on seamen was taken in the first place from their wages, it ultimately fell on the branch of business in which they were engaged; and the interest concerned ought to pay the expense. The patronage of the Government, he maintained, ought not to be extended. He saw no reason why the Government should pay the expense of sickness in one branch of business more than in another. They might just as well pay such expense in the cultivation of sugar, or rice, or cotton. The tendency of the Government was already to the destruction of liberty, and he was opposed to every thing that would give impulse to that tendency. He had to objection to the resolutions, but hoped the bill would not receive the sanction of the Senate. Mr. DAVIS said he thought there was a very wide difference between the cases which the gentleman from South Carolina [Mr. CALuoux] had made parallel, Legislation in regard to seamen commenced with the ex: istence of this Government, and was intimately connected with the subject of commerce, which was wholly subject to the legislation of Congress; and one leading ob: ject in this connexion had been to cherish the employment of seamen, as necessary to the defence of the coultry; and on this same account a preference had been given to American seamen, in contradistinction from foreigners. Was there no difference between extending protection to these men, far from home, destitute of the means of comfort, and not addicted to laying up their wages, and those men who lived on plantations, directly surrounded with the means of health and comfort. And were the two classes equally important in providing for the defence of the country? Mr. NiCHOLAS moved to amend the resolutions by inserting “ the Gulf,” in connexion with “the Atlantic.” Mr. DAVIS thought it was unimportant; the Gulf was a part of the Atlantic, and the insertion of it might lead to the enumeration of bays and inlets. Mr. Nicholas preferred that it should be noticed more distinctly; and the amendment was accordingly adopted. The resolutions, as amended, were then adopted.
The Senate resumed the consideration of the land bill; and the question being on Mr. Nonvell's motion to reconsider the vote by which the Senate had refused to strike out the 8th section of the bill, it was taken by yeas and nays, and decided in the negative, as follows:
YEAs—Messrs. Benton, Black, Ewing of Illinois, Fulton, Grundy, Kirg of Alabama, Linn, Lyon, Moore, Fen. 3, 1837.] Public
Nicholas, Niles, Norvell, Robinson, Ruggles, Tipton, Walker, Wright—17. Nars—Messrs. Bayard, Brown, Buchanan, Calhoun, Clay, Clayton, Crittenden, Cuthbert, Davis, Ewing of Ohio, Hendricks, Hubbard, Kent, King of Georgia, Knight, Morris, Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, Southard, Swift, Wall, White—23. Mr. RUGGLES moved to amend the 8th section by inserting before the word “child” the word “male,” so as to give a parent the privilege of purchasing the public land only for his male children under 21 years. Mr. BUCHANAN said that he hoped that no such amendment as that would be assented to. He had almost rather lose the whole section than vote to exclude the ladies. Mr. CLAY demanded the yeas and nays. Mr. MOORE said, if any distinction was to be made, he would rather give the exclusive privilege to children of the other sex. The question being taken, the amendment was negatived by nearly the whole Senate, as follows: YEAs-Messrs. Niles, Ruggles, Wright—3. NAys—Messrs. Bayard, Benton, Black, Brown, Buchanan, Calhoun, Clay, Clayton, Crittenden, Cuthbert, Davis, Ewing of Illinois, Ewing of Ohio, Fulton, Grundy, Hendricks, Hubbard, Kent, King of Alabama, King of Georgia, Knight, Linn, Lyon, Moore, Morris, Nicholas, Norvell, Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, Robinson, Southard, Swift, Tipton, Tomlinson, Walker, Wall, White—38. Mr. NILES moved to amend the bill in the 8th section, in that part of it which requires a parent to swear that no previous entry has been made in the name of said child under the provisions of this act, by striking out the words “in the name of said child,” and inserting in lieu thereof, “by said parent;” but before any question was taken on this amendment, a question of order was made, viz: whether the 8th section could be amended at all, inasmuch as the Senate had refused a motion to strike it out, and had thereby determined to retain it entire. The question was argued for a long time. The rules were appealed to: the Chair doubted, and the Senate could extricate itself from the difficulty only by determining, with common consent, to reconsider the former vote, by which a reconsideration had been refused. This brought them back to the point at which they had started in the morning, and presented the question whether the 8th section should be stricken out or retained in the bill. Mr. BUCHANAN had no idea that such opposition would have been made to this section. IIe had consulted with Western gentlemen before he offered his amendment to it, and he had thought it would meet their approbation. The bill, as it stood, confined the sales of the public lands to those who are in the West. He thought the people of the West would feel the paralyzing effects of the bill, should it pass in its present shape, although they express their willingness to make a sacrifice to diminish the surplus revenue. He was willing to reduce the revenue derived from the sales of the public lands to effect that object. But, when he was asked to vote for a bill which would cut off his own constituents from deriving any advantage from it, he could not agree to it. He was willing, at an early stage, to meet the feelings of gentlemen from the West; but now he was willing to let the section stand or fall upon its own merits; and, if necessary, he was willing to puthis vote against the adoption of this or any similar amendment. Mr. WRIGHT remarked that his object in voting for a bill of this character was to reduce the revenue, and to effect that end by confining the sales of public lands
to actual settlers. He did not see why such a principle
might not be incorporated in this bill. Was there any one present who admitted that the lands of the Government in market were now offered for sale below their intrinsic value? He would not vote for a proposition to raise the price, because he did not believe the lands were worth more than one dollar and twenty-five cents. But, if he believed in the opinion re-echoed in that body, he should feel it his duty to move to raise the price. He believed the minimum price of the Government was high enough, nor did he think that public policy would admit of its being raised. Entertaining this opinion, he would not admit that it was a privilege conferred on a citizen, to give him an opportunity of purchasing the public land, unless he wanted to use it. He believed it was a privilege, when a man wanted a farm to cultivate, that he should have land at the lowest price. Mr. W. argued that it was not to be supposed that lands could be sold at the end of ten years, when the country would of course be very much improved in every respect, at the same price as at the present time, though, according to the argument of gentlemen, it would appear that such was to be the case. His judgment was this: that the interests of the whole Union, and of those who live where the lands are located, required that Congress should put them into their hands at as low a rate as reason would dictate, and as rapidly as the growth of the country would permit. But when a sort of pre-emption right was opened to a man, unaccompanied with a settlement, that was not the way to promote a settlement of the lands. Mr. W. concluded with saying that he hoped the vote might be reconsidered, for he had no wish that it should be stricken out, but only modified so as to make it acceptable to the Senate. After further debate, the question of reconsidering was decided in the negative (so as to retain the section in the bill) by yeas and nays, as follows: YEAs–Messrs. Benton, Black, Cuthbert, Dana, Ewing of Illinois, Fulton, Grundy, King of Alabama, Linn, Lyon, Nicholas, Niles, Norvel', Page, Rives, Robinson, Ruggles, Sevier, Tipton, Walker, Wright—21. Nays—Messrs. Iłayard, Drown, Buchanan, Calhoun, Clayton, Crittenden, Ewing of Ohio, Hendricks, Kent, King of Georgia, Knight, Morris, Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, Southard, Spence, Swift, Tomlinson, Wall, Webster, White—22. The question now recurring on Mr. White's amendment, it was modified, on motion of Mr. Nonver.l., by inserting a clause protecting from the operation of the bill all lands reserved by any of the States for salt springs or for purposes of education. Mr. WALKER inquired of the Chair whether, in case Mr. White's amendment should be adopted, it would be in order for him to amend it, by adding thereto the second section of the bill as it at present stood? This led to another discussion on the question of order, when, to relieve the Senate, Mr. WHITE consented to move, instead of his first amendment, to strike out the second section of the bill, with notice that if that motion succeeded, he should follow it by another, to strike out the residue of the bill, and insert his amendment, as before proposed. After further difficulty as to questions of order, Mr. WHITE withdrew this motion, and renewed that he had before made, viz: to strike out the whole of the bill excepting the first section, and to insert, in lieu thereof, the amendment quoted above. After some remarks from Mr. FWING of Ohio and Mr. Ll NN, Mr. DAVIS went into a speech of considerable length (which, how ever, he was, through indisposition, unable to conclude) in opposition to the general principles of the bill.
Copy righ's to Foreigners.
[Feb. 4, 1837.
Mr. webstER, desirous to give him an opportunity to conclude his remarks to-morrow, moved an adjournment; but the motion did not prevail, being rejected, by yeas and nays, as follows: YEAs—Messrs. Bayard, Calhoun, Clay, Clayton, Crittenden, Davis, Ewing of Ohio, Kent, King of Georgia, knight, Moore Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, Southard, Spence, Swift, Tiptor, Tomlinson, Wall, Webster—21. NAY's—Messrs. Benton, Black, Brown, Buchanan, Cuthbert, Dana, Fwing of Illinois, Fulton, Grundy, Hendricks, Ilubbard, King of Alabama, Linn, Lyon, Nicholas, Niles, Norvell, Page, Rives, Robinson, Ruggles, Sevier, Walker, White, Wright—25. Mr. RUGGLES now moved to amend the bill in the seventh secoion, in the following clause: “That all the lands of the United States shall he reaster be subject to purchase at public auction or private entry, in subdivisions not less than a quarter-quarter sect on,” by striking out that clause, and inserting, in lieu of it, a provision that every purchaser under the provisions of the bill should be required to enter his land in not more than four separate parcels, nor in less than a quarter-quarter section. Mr. WALKER opposed this amendment with warmth. Mr. F.WING advocated it, and explained that under the bill as it stood a purchaser might enter his two sections of land in not less than 32 distinct portions of 40 acres each; and provided he cultivated 3% of these, he might enter the remaining 28 in any State or Territory where there was public land to sell, and that without striking a stroke on either of them. Mr. WALKER took the contrary position, and argued to show that the purchaser would have to cultivate a small part of each tract. Mr. EWING insisted upon his first position, contending that the words of the b li would bear that interpretation. Mr. WALKER declared that, should this amendment prevail, it would destroy the bill altegether, and be should be obliged to vote against it. Mr. RUGGL ES supported the views given by Mr. Ew ING, and went on to show that, under the 8th sc ction, a man who had ten children might, unless this amendment prevailed, enter 350 separate small tracts of land, wherever he pleased. It being now past 5 o'clock, Mr. CLAY moved an ad. journment; but the Senate refused to adjourn: Yeas 22, nays 24. The question was then put on the amendment proposed by Mr. Ruggles, and carried, by ye as and nays, as follows: YEAs–Messrs. Bayard, Brown, Buchanan, Clayton, Crittenden, Dana, Davis, Ewing of Ohio, Kent, King of Georgia, Knight, Morris, Niles, Page, Prentiss, R ves, Robbins, Ruggles, Southard, Swift, Tomlinson, Wall, Webster, Wh to —24. Nays--Messrs. Benton, Black, Ewing of Illinois, Fulton, Hendricks, Hubbard, King of Alabama, Linn, Lyon, Moore, Nicholas, Norvell, Robinsop, Sevier, Tipton, Walker, Wright——17. This vote being announced from the Chair, Mr. walker gave notice that he should vote against the bill, On motion of Mr. DAVIS, the bill was further amend. ed in the second section, in that clause which declares “that hereafter no one person shall be permitt, d to purchase more than two sections,” &c., by striking out the word “one.” ..oy's further proposed to add at the end of the 1 he o!". that if any land claimed under more than $5 o clouse should, at the time, be worth ocre, no pre-emption should issue; the
Commissioner of the Gon - “neral Land Office ered to ascertain the fact being empow
Mr. SEVIER demanded the yeas and nays on this motion, when it was decided in the negative, as follows: Yr As--Messrs. Bayard, Calhoun, Clayton, Crittenden, D vis, Ewing of Ohio, Kent. King of Georgia, Knight, Prentiss, Preston, Itobbins, Southard, Swift, Tomlinson, Webster—16. NAys—Messrs. Bentor, Black, Brown, Buchanan, Cuthbert, Dana, Ewing of Illinois, Fulton, Hendricks, Hubbard, King of Alabama, Linn, Lyon, Moore, Morris, Nicholas, Niles, Norvell, Page, Rives, Robinson, Ruggles, Sevier, Tipton, Walker, Wall, White, Wright—28. The question was now at length put on Mr. White's amendment, and decided in the negative, as follows: YEAs—Messrs. Plack, Calhoun, Davis, Ewing of Illinois, Hendricks, Kent, Moore, Norvell, Preston, Robinson, Sevier, Walker, Webster, White—14. NAys–Messrs. Bayard, Benton, Brown, Buchanan, Clayton, Crittenden, Cuthbert, Dana, Ewing of Ohio, Fulton, Hubbard, King of Alabama, King of Georgia, Knight, Linn, Lyon, Nicholas, Niles, Page, Prentiss, Rives, Robbins, Ruggles, Southard, Swift, Tipton, Tomlinson, Wall, Wright—29. Mr. WAM.KER observed that, as the bill now stood, it could not receive his vote; and as the amendment of the Senator from Tennessee had failed, there remained but one more effort to save the bill; with which view he moved that it be recommitted to the Committee on Public Lands. On this motion Mr. DAVIS demanded the yeas and nays Mr. LINN now inquired whether the Senate, in case the motion to recommit should prevail, would possess any security that they should not be led into the same labyrinth of difficulties through which they had just passed, unless the committee were furnished with some instructions to guide them. In order to give the chairman of the Land Committee time to sleep on the matter, and then to prepare a draught of such instructions as would probably be acceptable to a majority, he moved that the Senate do now adjourn; which motion prevailing, The Senate accordingly adjourned.
SATURDAY, FE an U Any 4.
Mr. CLAY presented a list, on parchment, of additional names of British authors to the address which he had submitted to the Senate the other day, and which, by mistake, he had not then received. He moved that it be printed with the other names attached to the address, and be referred to the select committee raised on that subject; which was accordingly ordered. He also moved the appointment of an additional member of the select committee; which was ordered.
Mr. C. also presented a petition from sundry American authors, praying amendments in the copy-right law. They represent the importance of native literature, and the propriety of extending to it reasonable encouragement. They state that, owing to the fact that booksellers in this country can possess themselves of and publish new works as they issue, from time to time, from the British press, without any charge on account of the copyright, American authors of similar works are unable to obtain for their copy-rights a fair compensation. . They therefore pray that a just security may be given by law to British authors, for the property which they have in their intellectual productions.
Mr. C. understood that the course of this business was, that American booksellers have their agents in Great Britain, who, as soon as a new work makes its appearance, transmit it to them by the first packet. sometimes it is received from the Packet at the NarFeb. 4, 1837.]
Election of President and Vice President.
rows, and the vessel being detained there a short time, from some cause or other, by the time she arrives at the wharves the work is published and ready for distribution. This extraordinary despatch is effected by means of steam presses, and the hundreds of hands emploved by some of the booksellers. The consequence is, that the work is often slovenly published, on bad paper, with bad types, and omitting maps, diagrams, engravings, and other illustrations. This the first publishers feel them. selves constrained to do, lest some rivals shall publish a cheaper edition than that which they have issued. Purchased in this defective form, no one can get the genuine production of the British author without sending abroad for it, as is sometimes done. Mr. C. understood that the business of renublishing in th’s country late British works was principally con. fined to two highly respectable houses in New York and Philadelphia, of whom he did not mean to say one word in disparagement. They merely availed themselves of the actual state of things, and undoubtedly placed the American public under obligations for supplying them so rapidly and so cheaply with the latest effusions of the British mind. If the foreign author is justly secured in his rights of property, the practical consequence will probably be, that he will sell his copy-right to some American pub. lisher, the work will be carefully and deliberately printes', without mutilation or abstraction, and will be in a condition worthy of preservation. The petitioners, besides manifesting towards their lit. erary brethren abroad a sense of justice and liberality, pray for some alterations of the law adapted to their own condition. Mr. C. moved the reference of the petition to the select committee heretofore appointed; which was ultimately ordered accordingly. Mr. NILES, referring to the memorial from American authors, said they had gone one step beyond what had ever been done. They were not satisfied with obtainthe right to the productions of their own minds; they asked Congress to prohibit, for their benefit, the use of the productions of others. This he opposed at considerable length. Mr. PRESTON, with a view to correct an erroneous impression, which might have been made by his remarks the other day on this subject, said he was not adverse to granting copy-rights to foreign authors. All he meant to say was, that he saw difficulties and embarrassments in the way. He had formerly expressed himself in favor of this grant to foreign authors, which might have been a motive for sending petitions on the subject; and all his inclinations were still decidedly in favor of the proposed measure. . He believed, also, that Congress possessed the constitutional power to pass it, and by that part of the constitution which provides for the promotion of knowledge. We had been in the daily habit (Mr. P. said) of ap. propriating to our use the productions of minds beyond the Atlantic, without any recompense. we had luxuriated in the works of Sir Walter Scott without any remuneration to him, at the time when he was toiling night and lay to pay a debt; when, if he had received from us the hoisandth part of the value of his works, the debt would have been paid. Mr. P. had always regarded this as an instance of ingratitude, which of itself induced him vey tookly to the support of this measure. *!". So, in reply to Mr. Nicos, said he was very glad of the benefit of his suggestions, and they would *** receive the special attention’of the committ.e. But he thought he would be satisfied that no such mischief was intended as he supposed. The whole object
was to put foreign author - S on the ing on whi our own authors are in England same footing ch
Mr. C. thought the extension of copy-rights would not, on the whole, make any addition to the cost of the books. They were now made up in great haste, consequently a poor article, and at a great expense, which must be paid in the sale of the article; when, without this haste and consequent extraordinary expense, the copy-right might be paid for, and a still better article be procured in proportion to its value. But even if it were not so, we ought to scorn to do an act of injustice to a foreigner, by appropriating his works without compensation; and especially when such compensation was made to our own authors in foreign countries.
The reference and printing were then ordered, as above.
ELECTION OF PRESIDENT AND WICE PRESI. DENT". Mr. GRUNDY, from the select committee appointed to consider and report on the mode of examining and counting the votes for President and Vice President, &c., and whether any votes have been given by persons not competent under the constitution, made a special report thereon; which was read. The report states that in some instances not more than four or five electors have been chosen in some of the States, who are officers of the General Government, (deputy postmasters, ) and that such votes are, in the opinion of the committee, not in conformity with the provisions of the constitution; but at the same time the few votes thus given will not vary the result of the election, as it was not contemplated by any one that the appointment of one ineligible elector would vitiate the vote of his State. The report concludes with recommending the adoption of the following resolutions: Resolved, That the two Houses shall assemble in the chamber of the House of Representatives, on Wednesday next, at 12 o'clock, and the President of the Senate shall be the presiding officer; that one person be appointed a teller on the part of the Senate, and two on the part of the House of Representatives, to make a list of the votes as they shall be declared; that the result shall be delivered to the President of the Senate, who shall announce the state of the vote, and the persons elected, to the two Houses assembled as aforesaid, which shall be deemed a declaration of the persons elected President and Vice President of the United States; and, together with a list of votes, be entered on the journals of the two Houses. Resolved, That in relation to the votes of Michigan, if the counting or omitting to count them shall not essentially change the result of the election, they shall be reported by the President of the Senate in the following manner: “We’re the votes of Michigan to be counted, the result would be, for A. B. for President of the United States, votes. If not counted, for A. B. for President of the United States, votes. But in either event A. B. is elected President of the United States.” And in the same manner for Vice President. Mr. NORVELL arose and said that the resolutions were joint resolutions. The first prescribed the usual manner in which the two IIouses assembled together on the second Wednesday in February, for the purpose of counting the votes for President and Vice President of the United States. To this, of course, he had no objection. The second resolution, in relation to the votes of Michigan, declared, in substance, that if they were not essential to the election of a President, they should be announced, but need not be received as good. Their reception, then, as sound votes, depended upon a contingency which it was known would not happen. He called for a division of the motion of the Senator from Tennessee, in order that he and his colleague might have an opportunity of recording their votes against the sec