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and the improved navigation of water courses; and that a power in the national legislature to provide for them, might be exercised with signal advantage to the general prosperity. But, seeing that such a power is not expressly given by the constitution; and believing that it cannot be deduced from any part of it, without an inadmissible latitude of construction, and a reliance on insufficient precedents; believing, also, that the permanent success of the constitution depends on a definite partition of powers between the general and the state governments, and that'no adequate land marks would be left, by the constructive extension of the powers of congress, as proposed in the bill, I have no option but to withhold my signature from it; cherishing the hope, that its beneficial objects may be attained, by a resort for the necessary powers, to the same wisdom and virtue in the nation, which established the constitution in its actual form, and providently marked out, in the instrument itself, a safe and practicable mode of improving it, as experience might suggest.
JAMES MADISON. March 3d, 1817.
DEBATE CONCERNING THE CAPTORS OF
January 13, 1817. MR. CHAPPELL from the committee of pensions and revolutionary claims, presented an unfavourable report on the petition of John Paulding, one of the persons who took major André, the object of which petition was an increase of the pension allowed for that service.
MR. WRIGHT moved that the report should be recommitted with instructions to report in favour of the petitioner's claim.
MR. CHAPPELL said, that the committee did not think the public bound to support the whole family of the petitioner, and as for the man himself, he was amply provided for by the bounty of the country already granted.
Gen. SMITH said, that the act for which this man had receired a pension was an act out of the ordinary duty of the soldier. West-Point had been saved by it; and what was of more consequence, in all probability, the life of Gen. Washington. Two hundred dollars a year had been the original grant, and the house ought to make the allowance now equal to the value of
200 per annum then, particularly as the man had 13 or 14 children.
MR. SOUTHWARD was in favour of the recommitment. The men who took major André, he said, had resisted the temptation of a large sum of money from him, and he remembered that at the time the whole country rung with their praise.
MR. JEWETT opposed the recommitment: he said, that if 1000 dollars had been given at the time, they would have thought it a most bountiful remuneration; but instead of that, the petitioner had a pension for life of 200 dollars, and had already received four thousand.
Col. TALLMADGE said, he always felt unpleasantly when a claim was presented to the house, growing out of the revolutionary war, which he could not support. Having a knowledge of some facts which related to this case, he felt it to be a duty incumbent on him to state them to the house. He said, that when Gen. Washington was about to go to New England to meet Gen. Rochambeau, he wrote to him (Col. Tallmadge,) then with a detachment of troops in advance of the army, near North Castle in the state of New York, directing him to communicate to General Arnold, who then commanded at West-Point, any information he might receive of the movements of the enemy. Nearly at the same time Gen. Arnold wrote to Col. Tallmadge, informing him that he had been apprised of Gen. Washington's instructions to Col. T., and that, as he expected a gentleman from New York, of the name of John Anderson, with important intelligence, he wished him (Col. T.) to give him (Anderson) a safe escort to a place where he (Arnold) would meet him. The next information that occurred (said Col. Tallmadge) was Mr. Anderson's being brought a prisoner to our regiment by John Paulding, Williams, and Van Wart. The papers found on the prisoner were sent by Col. Jamison, who commanded the regiment, to meet Gen. Washington on his return from the eastward, while information of the occurrence was sent to Gen. Arnold. The event, said Col. T. is but too well known.
During this state of suspense, Mr. Anderson could no longer endure to act an assumed character, and frankly acknowledged that he was Major John André, adjutant general of the British army.--Having requested pen, ink, and paper, he made a full disclosure of his true character to the commander in chief, which was immediately forwarded by express to Gen. Washington.
Col. Tallmadge said, that he removed Major André to West Point by order of Gen. Washington, and from thence to the head quarters of the army, and was continually with him until he was executed.
During this period Major André very fully and freely con
versed on the subject of his capture, and informed him, that if he could have commanded a few more guineas than he then had it in his power to offer, beside the gold watch which was in his pocket, he should not have been then a prisoner.
Col. T. said, he knew nothing at all of the three men who were the captors, as they did not then belong to the army, but were of a certain class, who scouted occasionally between the lines. He felt no inclination to undervalue their services; but when he considered that they did no more than what every ci. tizen in the United States, under similar circumstances, was bound to do, he did believe the government had bestowed upon them an ample reward. He could not consider this case as standing on a footing with the services of a man who had been wounded, and perhaps had lost a limb in the service of his country. A soldier under these circumstances, had now for a full pension, since it was raised at the last session, 96 dollars a year: the petitioner had been in the receipt of 200 dollars a year since the capture of Major André took place.So far from being 4000 dollars, he said it was nearly double that sum that the petitioner had received; and if he was correctly informed, the state of New York had also given to each of them a handsome donation of land. He repeated, that he did not consider this claim as standing at all upon the footing with that of the man who had served his country in the field, and been wounded in the service. He was aware that the value of money had changed since this pension was established; but it would not be deemed necessary in all instances to raise the wages and emoluments of those who received them. In the present instance, there was a standing reward for a display of patriotism which the country had been satisfied with; but he would not consent to increase it for the reasons stated by the petitioner.
MR. Gold said, he was unwilling, on what had been said by Major André, to detract from the merit of the petitioner. It was a transaction connected with one of the most important events of the war. As an example to men in the humble walks of life he wished to have it preserved in the same spirit as when first granted, and on the same standard of value.
Mr. Forsyth expressed his surprise. --The hon. gentleman from Connecticut had spoken from his own personal knowledge, and the account he had given was very different from that given in history. He did not wish to call the hon. gentleman's words in question; but he wished before he gave a vote, to see evidence of the original transaction.
Gen. Smith said, that the information given by Col. Tallmadge was perfectly novel to him. He had always understood that large offers and promises had been made by Major André,
and rejected. On Major André's part it could be nothing but opinion, and such an opinion it was natural enough for him to
entertain. Gen. Smith said, he knew Major André well--he was op acquainted with him in England, where he had introduced him
to his friendshe came over in the same vessel with him to
America, and when the Major was a prisoner at West-Point, 21,
he had visited him there, and he declared that he would rely upon the word of Major André, as much as upon that of any man living. But this now related was only his opinion.
Mr. WRIGHT dwelt upon the impropriety there would be in giving on such an occasion credence to the opinion of a person under André's circumstances a man who could be a spy.
Col. Tallmadge again rose, and stated more circumstantially what had been related to him by Major André. The Major, he said, told him that the captors took him into the bushes and drew off his boots in the act of plundering him, and there, between his stockings and feet, they found the papers--that they
asked him what he would give them to let him go-that he ofSi fered them his watch and money, and promised them a consi
derable sum besides but that the difficulty was, in his not being able to secure it to them; for they had no idea of trusting to his honour. They reasoned a while upon the matter, and on the whole, concluded that it was best to bring him to the American army. Col. Tallmadge declared that André was above all falsehood or duplicity; and felt ready to die with shame, at being in such a mean disguise-nay, begged for a military cloak to cover him.
Mr. Forsyth, wished the report to lie on the table, in order to have the matter examined.
MR. PICKERING said, the information was perfectly new to him, but he perfectly believed it. As to Gen. Washington's life being in danger, that was out of the question, for he was at the time at Newport.
MR. ROBERTSON would not believe one word of the statement of Major André.
MR. SHARP was against the report being laid upon the table; and that motion was negatived.
After some further conversation, the motion of Mr. Wright for recommitment was negatived, and the report was agreed
PAINTINGS OF COLONEL TRUMBULL.
January 27, 1817.
The bill to authorize the President of the United States to employ Colonel Trumbull to compose and execute four paintings of the principal events of the revolutionary contest, to be placed in the capitol, was again read, and the question being put, that it be adopted by the house, a debate upon it arose, which occupied the house for a great part of the day.
Mr. Ross opposed it-he could not perceive the use or necessity there was for employing artists to embellish the capitol with paintings, at an expense which knew no limits-and he desired to have the question taken by yeas and nays, which was agreed to.
Mr. FORSYTH opposed the resolution, and said, that though he had the most perfect confidence in the professional skill of Mr. Trumbull, he was not equally confident that the feelings of that gentleman were such as he should approve. Neither was he clearly of opinion that government ought to become a patron and encourager of the fine arts. Besides, he would never vote to decorate, at a great expense, the capitol with paintings, till there was a monument erected over the body of Washington. He intimated moreover, that he should be glad to hear what the events of the war were, which were to be the subjects of Mr. Trumbull's pencil.
Mr. Calhoun said, that highly as he venerated Washington, he regarded with much greater satisfaction the events which that great man had been an instrument in bringing to their accomplishment, and without which, Washington would never have been other than a farmer on the banks of the Potomac. The whole expense, he had reason to believe, would not exceed twenty thousand dollars. Respecting the events that were to be selected, he did not pretend to speak with certainty_but he believed they were
The surrender of Burgoyne and Saratoga.
Mr. HOPKINSON observed, that the house had seen enough of estimates to know how little they were to be depended on. The estimate made of the expenses of that uncouth wall, which enclosed the square of ground in front of the capitol, was 30,000