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lations, Houston, and particularly Major Heard, with whom he had had a quarrel or brawl in the avenue a few days since. A newspaper controversy had taken place, which you must have seen, in which they abused each other very heartily, and very justly, no doubt. Arnold introduced this brawl into his speech, and spoke against Heard in the most violent tone and gesture.
After a long debate, the question was taken, and the resolution negatived. This was the morning's work in the House; now for the afternoon's business out of the House.
At the very foot of the great marble steps of the western entrance to the capitol, a scene took place which beggars description for its atrocity, madness, and disgracefulness. Heard, who had been attacked so violently on the floor of the House by Arnold in the morning, replied to him in the afternoon on this spot, by making a desperate attempt upon the life of the member, while he was descending the steps, surrounded by the whole house of representatives. Heard went up to Arnold, after the adjournment of the House, about four o'clock, in the passage to the outer gate of the grounds surrounding the capitol, and after some incoherent words uttered like a madman, presented a long pistol, and fired it at Arnold. Arnold sprung upon him like a tiger, knocked the pistol out of his hand, raised his sword cane, and fell upon him with several blows in the most infuriated manner. Heard gave way, was soon covered with blood, fell down, and received several violent plunges from Arnold's sword cane. The members were standing around in every direction : some interfered; many vociferated; great excitement prevailed, and the affair was over in a few minutes. Arnold carried off the pistol under a high state of excited feeling. The members were equally excited, collected in groups, separated, and then walked down the avenue to their boarding-houses.
It was supposed at first that Heard had been killed; but in a few minutes he got up, went round to the brook in the neighbourhood, washed the blood off his face, and returned down the avenue with his head tied up in a handkerchief.
Such I believe is a true account of this disgraceful affair and this disgraceful day. What will foreign nations think of our morals and manners? How will they estimate that propriety which ought to distinguish our debates, and that morality which should characterise our manners! In the inside of the capitol the public time and public money are wasted upon attacks on private character both of citizens and members; and outside the capitol, violent members are attacked and shot at by equally violent and blood-thirsty citizens. What is the cause of such a state of things? What is the origin of such humiliating scenes? The utter degradation into which the debates of both houses are fallen. Instead of transacting the business of the people, the whole time of certain members of Congress is spent in vindictive assaults upon each other, or upon persons not members of Congress. Public measures are neglected for the pursuit of private defamation; public business gives way to piquant debates on private character and reputation. The bullies and blackguards in the House (pardon the terms) threaten the bullies and blackguards out of the House; the one assaults with a speech; the other with a pistol. Thus we go from worse to worse. Gentlemanly language is discardedpropriety of demeanour in disgrace-elegance and urbanity completely in
the shade. Alas, for our day! Ever since the period when John C. Calhoun, as presiding officer, permitted John Randolph to defame, on the floor of the Senate, the private character of Henry Clay, and Henry Clay, under the influence of passion, attempted the life of John Randolph, have the manner and moods of public debates in Congress been sinking and sinking, till it has reached
In the lowest deep a lower deep.'
Enquirer of Philadelphia,
THE AFFAIR IN THE COMMITTEE-ROOM.
From the Globe. Krtract from the Journal of the Committee of Investigation, J. Garland,
Wednesday, Jan. 25, 1837. By Mr. PEYTON.-Question 15. — Did you receive any letter or recommendation from Roger B. Taney, or did he in any manner countenance or encourage you in applying for the agency contemplated, or did he positively refuse to recommend, receive, or countenance you in that capacity, while he was at the head of the Treasury department ?
Mr. Whitney.-- Answer.—I decline answering this interrogatory; more particularly as the individual propounding it has asserted, positively and publicly, that the substance of the latter part of it is true, beginning with " or did he," &c., therefore, being the party accused, I am not a proper witness. I think, in justice, that the individual who has made the allegation should be called to produce his proof.
Mr. Peyton thus explains the subsequent occurrence, as given in the Intelligencer:
“ I did not wish to enter into personal altercation with one who is as completely shielded from the notice of all honourable men by his infamy as a mad dog is by his hydrophobia. But, sir, he accompanied that answer with a scowl, a frown, an insulting look of defiance, directed boldly to me personally, which perhaps no one else then saw. I appealed, Sir, immediately to the Chair, to know if the witness should be permitted to insult me. I walked up to him, and said I would teach him better than to insult me; that I would let him know that I required 110 constitutional privilege to chastise him if he dared to insult me; that, if he did, I would put him to death on the spot. Sir, I used language which was harsh, for I was excited, as any man would have been who has a soul within him fit to be saved. The Chair called to order, and I took my seat. He says I drew a pistol upon him; it is false. After I sat down he rose and began again; I walked to him again, and he, at that moment, seemed as if he was about to use some weapon: he had his hand in his pocket, and when I walked up to him I put my hand in my bosom, but I drew nothing from it. Every one present believed, from his attitude, he was armed with deadly weapons. My friend from Virginia (Mr. Wise) interposed, the witness was withdrawn, and the committee unanimously passed a resolution censuring his insulting behaviour.''
Mr. Wise's version is as follows :: “ As soon as the answer was read I looked at my friend, and saw he
was flushed with excitement; his face beamed with indignation; no one could mistake his feelings. He first addressed the Chairman, by saying, Mr. Chairman, I wish you distinctly to inform the witness that he is not to insult me here. He was proceeding, when I arose, and remarked, 'Mr. Chairman, the dinsolence of this witness is insufferable, and has been borne long enough.? 1. He had, in fact, Mr. Speaker, declined to answer one question because it was inquisitorial,' and because another was ' inquisitorial he declined to answer it, and had rung all the changes upon that word till, if reiteration could convince and supply the place of truth, one might have believed, from mere repetition, that the committee was what it has been denounced to be, worse than a Spanish Inquisition ! Sir, he had received his cue.
“But to proceed. My friend rose as I uttered these words respecting the witness, put me back with his arm, and said, “ This is my business, Wise, not yours.' And he walked straight up to the witness where he sat, and said to him nearly in these words--I will endeavour to give his very words, however harsh: 'You talk about my shielding myself behind my constitutional privileges. Now, I tell you that I claim no constitutional privileges to protect me from your insults in my presence; and, you d-d thief and robber, if you dare to insult me here or elsewhere, to my face, I will put you to death on the spot. The chairman had called me to order, and I had sat down; he immediately called my friend back to his seat. For it is but due, Mr. Speaker, to the chairman to say that he has done his duty, in all respects, on that committee. My friend took his seat, when the witness rose, and began to say, 'Mr. Chairman, I have been summoned to appear before this committee, and I claim its protection.' He did not finish the sentence before my friend rose, and told him to sit down. Sit down, sir ; you have no right to speak here but in writing, and you shall not utter a word; if you speak another word I will ---Sir, I do not remember here exactly what he said he would do; he used many harsh epithets, such as d scoundrel.' The witness uttered not a word, but he was standing, and immediately advanced his left foot, and put his right hand in his pantaloons' right pocket. I was standing then immediately behind my friend, and, seeing Whitney assume this attitude, I walked quietly around the end of the table, near to Whitney's left side. I expected him to draw a deadly weapon on my friend. I watched the motion of that right arm, the elbow of which could be seen by me; and, had it moved one inch, he had died upon the spot! That was my determination. Let me not be misunderstood or misrepresented. I mean to say that, if he had drawn his deadly weapon on my friend, it should never have done its execution. I considered my friend in imminent danger, and stood prepared to arrest it, to prevent his life from being taken by a villain who wore every appearance, and assumed the very attitude, of an insidious assassin. Happily I had no occasion to interpose, but, in a friendly manner, to force my friend away, who had, seeing the position of the witness, put his hand in his bosom. I stepped in between them, took hold of Mr. Peyton, caught him by his waistcoat, and closed it. I told him Whitney's blood was not worth spilling, and was not fit to stain any man; he was not worthy of his notice. My friend sat down, saying, Yes, he is worth my notice when he comes to my face and insults me. I would notice any d-d dog.' The chairman expostulated
with him, and my friend replied, ' You have not seen him, sir; he has been looking at me-looking at me, sir, and he shall not look at me again. I submit it to you, sir, whether I have not treated him as if he were a gentleman.' The Chair remonstrated against further disorder. Whitney had not uttered a word after he was ordered by my friend to be silent, and did not until after he had retired and returned to the committee-room. Mr. Hamer had been speaking; the witness was requested to retire. Mr. Hamer offered the resolution you have heard read; it passed unanimously; witness was called in; the chairman returned him his offensive answer, and informed him of the resolution; and he immediately said, “Mr. Chairman, if I have been disrespectful to the committee, I regret it, sir, and apologize for it.'” Mr. Wise closes with the coup d'ail of the affair. Sir, if
you had been present and witnessed the scene of that night, you would have been struck with the immense difference between the two men. I will tell you what you would have seen : you would have seen the high elevation of an honest, bold, courageous, manly, noble disposition, above a low, base, cowering, cowardly, dishonest wretch! That, sir, was the only spectacle you would have seen.
And I say, sir, let those of the two classes of spirits then present be respectively consorted together, and assimilated to each other!”
Both Mr. Peyton and Mr. Wise assert that, save the resolutions copied by Mr. Whitney, there is no truth in the statement. We think, if the statement of Mr. Wise be compared with that of Mr. Whitney, that it will be found that the latter has not aggravated the case in his favour. This is the opinion of many with whom we have conversed.
That our readers may have an opportunity of comparing Mr. Whitney's statement with the statements of 'Mr. Wise and Mr. Peyton, we introduce it. Referring to the answer given by him to Mr. Peyton's interrogatory, he said :
This was handed to the chairman, who read it to the committee; upon which Mr. Peyton, in a most violent and passionate manner, sprang from his seat, and exclaimed, “ The damned infernal scoundrel should not insult him there; that, constitution or no constitution, he (as I understood him to say) would have the life of the damned villain;" at the same time advancing and thrusting his hand into his bosom, under his waistcoat, as I supposed, for the purpose of drawing forth some concealed weapon. Expecting an assault, I put myself in a posture of defence. Before he had got forward to me, and before he had drawn his hand from his bosom, Mr. Wise sprang before him, and pushed him back, saying, Don't, Peyton ; the damned scoundrel is not worth minding.' I immediately took my seat, when both Mr.Wise and Mr. Peyton commenced the most violent abuse of me, the latter calling me ' a damned plunderer,' and ' a damned dog;' when I rose and said, ' Mr. Chairman, I claim the protection of the committee while I am before it. When Mr. Peyton, addressing himself to me, said, 'You shan't speak; God damn you, hold your tongue.' And when I had seated myself, still keeping my eye upon him, he said, "God damn you, take your eyes off of me; you shan't look at me.' And after this he rose, and, with Mr. Wise, advanced towards me, the latter with his hand in his pocket, and stood before me for a minute or more, as if supposing they could intimidate me by their united frowns."
Extract from the Louisville Journal. 1837. On the 18th ultimo there was quite an affray at Indianopolis between two members of the Indiana Legislature, Mr. P. of Pike, and Mr. J. of Vanderburgh. In the course of a debate P. gave J. the lie. After the adjournment J. struck P. two or three times, when they were parted. P. subsequently attacked J. in the Legislative hall, striking him with a hickory cane, and J. returned the blows with his fist. Both were armed with deadly weapons during the last rencontre, P. holding his knife in his hand. The House, at the last date, was investigating the affair.
Extract from the New York American.--July. The Washington correspondent of the New York American gives the following particulars of a Congressional fracas.
· Yesterday morning Messrs. Campbell and Maury, of Tennessee, had a pugilistic encounter in the House, a few minutes after it adjourned. They were much bruised, and each received a brace of black eyes. The circumstances were as follows:-It appears that, early on Sunday morn ing, Mr. Maury was very active in procuring a call of the House, in order to show to the country who were the delinquents. Mr. Campbell was among the absentees, and was brought to the bar with the rest in custody of the Serjeant-at-arms. At eight o'clock, when the House adjourned, the latter went to his colleague and reproached him for his conduct in aiding the call, at the same time alleging that Mr. M. had done it with a view to injure him (Mr. C.) at home, among his constituents. Crimination and recrimination followed, and each gentleman honoured his opponent with the epithet of 'liar,' scoundrel,' and so forth. As might be expected, a personal conflict was the result, and blows were bestowed in abundance. Not more than five members remained when the fracas commenced, and they, of course, did not attempt to interfere. After the belligerents had belaboured each other to their heart's content, they suspended hostilities, retired to their respective homes, and have not been seen since. It is said they are so well satisfied with their mutual inflictions, that no doubts åre entertained as to further proceedings."
ATTEMPT TO ASSASSINATE A JUDGE.
The Waynesburg, Greene County, Messenger, 1837, mentions that an atrocious attempt was made to assassinate Samuel Nixon, one of the associate judges of the county of Fayette. The circumstances are given in the Messenger as follows:— "The judge was sitting in his room reading by candle-light, when an unusual barking of his dog attracted his attention. He rose from his seat, and drew aside the window-blind, holding the candle in his hand, for the purpose of looking out and seeing what excited the dog. Immediately upon his drawing aside the blind, he heard a gun or pistol discharged, the flash of which he saw but a few yards from him. He hastened to the door, when he saw a horseman, evidently muffled, moving rapidly from the direction of the discharge. From subsequent examination, there was no doubt but the desperado had been waiting some time for an opportunity of effecting his diabolical purpose. This was shown from the tracks left