Imagens das páginas

JUNE 2, 1836.]

Louisville and Portland Canal.


with the people of the Northwestern Territory, and canal; one that would have many advantages over that which is adopted by the constitution, declares that the on the Kentucky side; one that would afford a greater Mississippi river, and the navigable waters flowing there water power than could be created in any other place in, shall be common highways, open to all the citizens in the United States, save, perhaps, at the falls of Niagara. of the United States. This single provision takes those This canal would probably be five miles in length. It rivers out of the care and charge of the several States, would leave the Ohio river immediately above Jeffersonand makes them national rivers, and, as such, they ought ville, and would fall into the river again at New Albany; to be kept open and maintained in a condition of useful or it might be little more than half that length, and ob. ness at the national expense.

viate entirely the obstruction at the falls. The perfect Again, it it objected that we cannot purchase this work, however, would probably be that which would canal, though we might clear out, if practicable, the ob discharge itself into the river at or near the ship yard at structions in the channel of the river.

New Albany. He believed that 12} per pent, above The construction of the Louisville canal, being the par was a liberal offer for the stock in the Louisville work of individuals, has nothing to do with the relative and Portland canal. He did not doubt that the Secrerights and duties of the United States and the people of tary of the Treasury would be able to purchase it at that the West. Whatever we would have had a right to price; and he believed that, should the stockholder's re. claim if that canal had never been constructed, we may fuse to sell at that price, Congress would recognise its claim now, with the same reason. The navigation of the obligation to remove the obstruction to the navigation at river is still obstructed; if not by the falls, by a heavy the falls of the Ohio, and immediately appropriating to toll to avoid the falls. Suppose, then, no canal had ever the object of a free canal on the Indiana side of the riy. been made, and that the obstruction in the navigation of er. It was obvious, however, that, in the opinion of the river was as nature formed it: would not the United the Senate, this cannot be done till the stockholders States have the right, and would it not be their duty, to in the Louisville and Portland canal shall be liberally remove it, if practicable, at an expensé not exceeding dealt with. They are recognised, (said Mr. H.,) and the value of the object to be attained? But suppose it very justly, too, as adventurers in a great public work. were necessary to go upon the shore and cut a canal to They have risked large capital, which no others were avoid the falls, thus leaving the channel of the river a willing to invest; and it would now be unjust to make a little: I think no one can be so straitlaced as to deny our free canal on the other side of the river, rendering right to do this, with the assent of the State on whose their canal valueless, without first offering them conditerritory we enter. If this be admitted, we might con- tions just and roasonable, and such as they ought to actract with individuals, Kentucky assenting, to construct cept. Another reason, and one of a public nature, just such a canal as that at Louisville, at precisely the why it is desirable to purchase the stock in this canal is, price which we propose to pay for that; and if we may, that the people of the Western country will not consent why not buy the one already constructed? It seems to that their commerce shall be taxed from five to ten me there is nothing in the objection, and I hope the years longer, while a canal is constructing on the other amendment which we lost the other day in committee side of the river. will be restored, and that the bill will pass. It is of great Mr. H. said that he was happy to discover that the importance to the western commerce.

obligation on the part of the Federal Government to imMr. PORTER made a few observations in favor of the prove the navigation of the falls of the Ohio was admitbill.

ted by the Senate; and he should feel that, if the terms Mr. HENDRICKS said he had some amendments to proposed by the amendment, of 12 per cent. above par, offer to this bill, the object of which was to remove ob

should be offered to the stockholders in the passage of jections which had been developed during the discussion this bill, and be refused by them, the people of the West the other day. He had but little to say in addition to would then have a guarantee that Congress would immewhat he had then said, and he could not believe that the diately provide for constructing a canal on the other Senate, fairly and fully understanding this bill, would side of the river. The interest (said Mr. H.) demandhesitate to pass it. He had said on a former occasion, ing this at our hands is too great to be neglected any that it was the duty of the Government to deal liberally | longer. as well as justly with the stockholders, and he bad voted He had said the other day, when addressing the Senate to offer them 12 per cent, above par for their stock. on this subject, that every Congressional district in the The committee had proposed par only, and be, as the valley of the Mississippi was interested in this bill, and organ of the committee, had presented that proposition this interest (said Mr. H.) is becoming more obvious in the bill. Subsequent information, however, had in and tangible, and more deeply felt every year. The duced him to believe that the stock could not be had at people of the West will require us to do our duty in this par, but could be bad at 12. above par. It was known matter. They cannot understand how it comes to pass that the stock had even been higher, had sold in one in- that millions, alınost without number, are expending eve. stance at 17) above, and it had recently been quoted in ry where on the seaboard, for the aid and protection of the Philadelphia papers at 16 above par. He had, on commerce and navigation, while the single application that occasion, given it as his opinion that the stock was for the improvement of commerce and navigation not intrinsically worth as much as the market price would gets the go-by every session. The western people indicate. He still thought that opinion correct, and see and feel on this subject, and there is a settled that there were reasons for that opinion which were spirit of discontent in relation to it. Western memstrong and convincing. The demands of the people westbers cannot justify themselves to their constituents of the mountains, and of their commerce, almost incal- in voting these large appropriations for the navy, for culable in exteot, that they should be released from tri- fortifications, breakwaters, harbors, piers, and seabute at the falls of the Ohio, were reasonable and just. | walls, every where on the seaboard, while they reThat commerce must forever remain at war with the main unsuccessful in procuring the smallest appropriacompany monopoly there, and this conflict (said Mr. H.) | tions to these objects in the interior. How recently is too unequal to be long continued.

have we voted with Senators from the old States mil. Another reason why the stock is not really so valuable lions to these objects, and there are estimates of the preas the market price would indicate is, that a canal sent session looking to the expenditure of eighty or one can readily be made on the other side of the river; one hundred millions in a few years to come, on the seamuch more valuable than the Louisville and Portland | board, npon these objects; and yet this bill, the only SENATE.]

Louisville and Portland Canal.

[JUNE 2, 1836.

one for the aid of western navigation, asking for a frac- unnecessary to determine what we would do with this tion of one million, seems struggling for existence. This stock until we got it. This we could not know any is a measure of more importance to western commerce thing about during the present session; and at the next and navigation than any now before the Senate. It is session it would be time enough to determine what we indeed almost the only one before this body, and it is should do with the canal. These amendments, should one of deep interest to the entire West, to a portion they be adopted, would leave the bill entirely free from of country three or four times as large as all the Atlan- | all constitutional objections which had yet been started, tic States, and furnishing a much larger supply of all and would give the bill, judging from the kind feelings the necessaries, and some of the luxuries of life, than which seemed to exist towards it, a large vote of the all the residue of the Union. The commerce and nay. Senate. igation of the seaboard needs less than formerly the aid Mr. H. then moved to amend the first section of the and protection of the Government, but it gets more of bill by inserting these words: that aid and protection than ever before. The com- " For the purpose of improving the navigation of the merce and navigation of the Western country needs more Ohio river at the falls, and of rendering the same, as than formerly the aid and protection of the Federal Gov- near as may be, free from all tolls." ernment; but at this great point, the falls of the Ohio, Mr. NILES made some remarks in opposition to the and almost every where else, it meets with the same total amendment, on the ground that he was opposed to the neglect which it did when the country west of the moun Government becoming joint stockholders in private stock tains had scarcely 50,000 inhabitants; indeed, greater companies, and acting under the authority of a charter neglect, for then that country received the military pro- derived from a State. He was in favor of the improvetection of the Government. Now, not needing so ment of the river, but he had strong objections to the much that protection, it seems to be abandoned to its mode in which it was proposed to be done. He sug own energies.

gested that it would be better to obtain first from the I have said (continued Mr. H.) that the old States and State of Kentucky a cession of the territory on which the seaboard, needing less than formerly the aid of the the canal was constructed, and the United States, by Government, received more of that aid. And what are this means, having entire jurisdiction over the canal, the the facts on which this assertion is based!

constitutional objections to the purchase would not We commenced the war of the Revolution with about apply. 3,000,000 inhabitants, without fortifications, without a 'Mr. WALKER explained that he could now vote for navy, without ordnance and munitions of war, and we the bill in its present shape, after having voted against triumphed in that glorious struggle; and now that we it some days ago. Two propositions were now embodied have 15,000,000 people, already a powerful navy, and in it; one was to cut loose the United States from this well supplied with all the material of war, in a time of joint stock company, and the other to render the canal profound peace, when war with any of the civilized na toll free. With these modifications, he was prepared to tions of the earth is to all appearance at an immeasura- vote for the bill, as it contemplated great public beneble distance from us, it is proposed to expend in the fits, and the constitutional objections were removed. military and naval defences of the country $80,000,000. The amendment was then agreed to. At the commencement of the Revolution, the Western Mr. HENDRICKS then moved another amendment, country could scarcely be said to be settled at all. The restricting the amount to be paid for the stock to print of the white man's foot could be found at a few “twelve and a half per cent, above par.” points only west of the mountains. That country need. Mr. H., in reply to Mr. Niles, observed that the ed not commercial facilities--for it had no commerce constitutional objections to the bill were now, by the and, with the exception of a few flat-boats, freighted amendment just adopted, removed. The canal would with the hardy pioneers of the West, it had no naviga. be made nearly toll free, with the exception only of the tion. The falls of the Ohio, at this time the most im. necessary expenses; and by the purchase of the whole, portant point in the river business between Pittsburg or the greater part of the stock, the Government would and New Orleans, was then the ultimate point of desti- not be a partner in a joint stock company. nation for the most adventurous. Then no appropria. Mr. NAUDAIN then proposed a modification of the tions for western commerce and navigation were asked second amendment, in order, as he said, to do full justice for or granted. Now, with a population of near six to the holders of this stock. The stock was sold at least millions, and an agricultural production far greater than a year ago, for seventeen per cent. advance, and it was all the balance of the Union, no appropriation has not reasonable to suppose that it could be purchased for hitherto been procured at this point, because, in the less now. He therefore moved to amend the amendopinion of some, the constitution stands in the way, and ment, by fixing the maximum to be paid for the stock at the necessity and importance of the measure seem to eighteen per cent. advance, instead of twelve and a half. have been overlooked by all. He hoped that this state Mr. EWING advocated at some length the purchase of things would no longer exist.

of the stock at a fair, reasonable, and practicable price, It had been objected, when this bill was under discus which, in his opinion, was above the par value. sion a few days ago, that it did not specify its own ob Mr. PORTER, in the course of his remarks, stated ject; that it contained no expression declaratory of its that forty-one steamboats had passed through the canal purpose to make the canal ultimately free. One of the in a single week. amendments which he had prepared, and which he Mr. ĎAVIS spoke in high terms of the praiseworthy meant first to offer to the Senate, did contain this dec- enterprise, industry, and perseverance of this canal laration, and would relieve the bill from all objections of company; of the many obstacles which they had surthose who feared a different object. This amendment mounted; the discouragements which they had set at proposed to do away, instead of perpetuate, the objec- naught, and the risks which they had run during the tionable stock-connexion between the Government and progress of this work. He thought that it would hardly a company. Another amendment which, in due time, comport with the honor and dignity of this Government he would propose, was to strike out the third section of to do less than indemnify the company for the sacrifices the bill, which authorized the Secretary of the Treasury which they had made, if not for the great benefits which to vote upon the shares purchased. This section was, | would ultimately be derived from the canal: neither perhaps, unnecessary, as the Secretary had, by existing would that Government consult a wise and upright laws, all necessary power on that subject; and it was policy by following the course pointed out in the report June 2, 1836.)


Louisville and Portland Canal.


of the committee, and by threats, and the exercise of an approved had been rejected. He was decidedly in favor overwhelming power, affect injuriously the interests of of surrendering this stock to the State of Kentucky at this corporation. They had supposed themselves accu- the next winter; but, as others might not be so, he fearsed of a species of robbery; and yet, up to this time, ed that taking the question now would seriously embarthey had not realized more than four per cent. upon the rass the bill. money which they had expended, though without the Mr. HENDRICKS said that he heartily concurred in arbitrary and ungenerous interference of the General the remarks made by the Senator from Mississippi, (Mr. Government, in the manner threatened by the commit. WALKER,] on the subject of the proposed amendment. tee, the stock in the canal must become exceedingly | He hoped that the Senator from Missouri would not press valuable.

this proposition of transfer now. It would inevitably Mr. CLAY also advocated a high, just, and generous embarrass the bill, and raise questions of constitutionality policy on the part of the United States; and

and of expediency from which it had wholly been re. Mr. BENTON was anxious that some measures should lieved by the amendments just adopted. As the bill now be adopted to restrain the company from the further stood, it was free from such questions, and the simple exercise of their alleged extortions.

proposition of purchasing the stock was presented to the Mr. B. then submitted the following, which he said Senate. The details which might be necessary at a he intended to offer as an amendment, as soon as the future day, were, purposely avoided by the bill, and it question on the pending amendment was disposed of: would be time enough to regulate these after we got the

Sec. s. And be it fur'her enacted, That so soon as the stock. If this should not be obtained, no regulation of Secretary of the Treasury shall have completed the pur! details would be needed. What shall be done with the chase of the stock in said canal, the same shall be offered canal, after we get the stock, (said Mr. H.,) will be an to the State of Kentucky, upon condition that the said | important and difficult question. Shall it be transferred State will never impose higher tolls upon the said canal to the State of Kentucky, on the condition proposed by than shall be necessary to defray the expenses of super- the Senator from Missouri, or any other condition, is a intending and keeping it in good order; and the Presi- question we are not prepared to decide at the present dent of the United States is hereby authorized to cause time. To this there would be serious objections; but the said stock to be transferred to the State of Kentucky, he did not wish to see them raised or canvassed now. whenever he shall be satisfactorily informed that the These subjects, if started now, would probably defeat Legislature of that State has agreed by law to accept it the bill, which all from the West would very much reon the conditions above mentioned. '

| gret. The commerce of the Western country ought Mr. CRITTENDEN thought that the market price of not, in the opinion of many, to be subjected to the conthe stock would be advanced by fixing the maxi- trol or regulation of any State. He inclined strongly to mum; and that if it were so fixed, fifteen per cent. would that opimion himself. The constitution of the United be a fairer price than eighteen per cent. He was satis- States had put the regulation of commerce, domestic as fied that fifteen per cent. was a fair price, and said that well as foreign, under the control of the Federal Goy. if they fixed the maximum at eighteen per cent. they ernment; and the constitutional power of Congress to would have to pay that sum.

transfer that control to a State, was, to say the least of M. EWING, of Ohio, thought that the 124 per cent. it, extremely doubtful. Western representatives, he proposed by the amendment, would not be giving the was sure, had not come prepared to decide this question stockholders more than the amount of their investments. now. It had not been placed heretofore before the With respect to the amendment suggested by the Sen- people. The proposition of the Senator from Missouri ator from Tennessee, and submitted by the Senator from would have that good effect. It would place it before Missouri, he hoped that it would not be passed at this the people. The measure would be canvassed, and we time. He was for divesting the United States of all in- would return next session better prepared to act upon terest in this stock, as soon as it could be done without it. Whenever the details of this matter shall be prethe difficulties that he apprehended at the present time. sented, (said Mr. H.,) there is another proposition which He hoped that it would be postponed till the next winter, will no doubt be presented also.. It is that of procuring when he thought that the proposition of the Senator a transfer of this canal from the State of Kentucky, and from Missouri, with proper guards, would meet with the of leaving the navigation of the Ohio river, at the falls, concurrence of all.

where the constitution has left it-in the hands of this The question being taken on Mr. Naudain's amend Government. The constitution of the United States had ment to the amendment, it was rejected.

made direct and positive provision for such cases. [Here Mr. CRITTENDEN then moved to amend the amend- Mr. H. referred to the constitution, which gives Conment, by striking out twelve and a half, and inserting gress power to exercise exclusive legislation over all sixteen; which was agreed to.

I places purchased by consent of the States, for the erecThe amendment as amended was then agreed to. tion of forts, magazines, arsenals, or other needful build. On motion of Mr. HENDRICKS, the third section of ings.] Mr. H. contended that, under this clause of the the bill was stricken out. This contains a provision constitution of the United States, and that to regulate authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to vote on the commerce with foreign nations and among the several stock of the United States.)

States, Congress had full power to accept the cession Mr. CRITTENDEN moved to strike out the second of Kentucky, and to exercise exclusive legislation in all section, providing that the Secretary of the Treasury cases whatsoever over this position at the falls of the should sell out the stock of the United States, should the Obio; and this he believed was what public interest and private stockholders refuse to sell for the price offered. public sentiment would be found to require, rather than

Mr. HENDRICKS opposed this amendment; after a surrender of the canal to the State of Kentucky. which it was adopted: Ayes 15, noes 11.

Mr. BENTON observed that some good effect had Mr. BENTON then offered the amendment suggested already been produced by offering his amendment; by him.

for several gentlemen bad declared themselves in faMr. WALKER hoped his friend from Missouri would vor of it. He hoped to see the time when the United not press his amendment. If pressed, this amendment States would own no stock in a private company. Haywould be adopted or not adopted, and in either case it | ing accomplished part of his object-in turning public would present those who voted for the bill, in the atti- | attention to his amendment, he would yield to the wishes tude of having voted for it after a measure of which they l of his friend and withdraw it for the present.


Incendiary PublicationsGeneral Ripley.

(JUNE 3, 1836.

Mr. HENDRICKS moved to amend the bill by adding

FRIDAY, JUNE 3. the following words: "and that a sum sufficient to car

GENERAL LAND OFFICE. ry into effect the provisions of this act be, and the same is hereby, appropriated, out of any money in the Treas- ' A bill to reorganize the General Land office was taken ury not otherwise appropriated."

up for consideration. This amendment being agreed to, the bill was re. Mr. EWING, of Ohio, stated that the provisions of ported to the Senate as amended, and the amendments this bill looked to an entirely new organization of the being concurred in, it was ordered to be engrossed for General Land Office. It proposed the appointment of a third reading.

a large number of additional officers; every one of INCENDIARY PUBLICATIONS.

whom he was confident, from what he had seen and

heard, was absolutely necessary to discharge the duties On motion of Mr. CALHOUN, the Senate took up of this Department. An immense mass of business had the bill to prohibit the circulation, through the mails, of

accumulated upon the hands of its officers, which it incendiary publications.

would take years of industry and perseverance to bring Mr. GRUNDY moved to amend the bill by stri.

up to the present time. The reason of this was evident. king out all after the enacting clause, and inserting a

When the office was first established, the amount of substitute. Mr. CALHOUN moved to amend the amendment by

business done was but trifling; it now amounted to ten providing that where incendiary publications are sent

or fifteen millions annually. At that time, too, the sales

embraced only large tracts of land, from a half to a to the States where such publications are probibited by

by quarter section; now the case was different. Various law, they shall be delivered to such persons as may be appointed to receive them, and when there are no

laws, also, particularly the pre-emption laws, had served

to swell and increase the business transactions of the such persons appointed to receive them, they shall be

General Land Office. burnt; or otherwise disposed of, under the regulations of the Post Office Department.

1 From these considerations, the committee had came to On taking the question, this amendment was lost:

the conclusion that all the force in clerks, &c. proposed Yeas 15, nays 15, as follows:

to be added, was imperatively necessary. Any memYeas-Messrs. Black, Brown, Calhoun, Clay, Cuth

ber of the Senate who would look into this office, and bert, Goldsborough, Grundy, Kent, King of Alabama,

see the immense amount of labor to be done, would King of Georgia, Moore, Nicholas, Rives, Walker,

be perfectly satisfied that this conclusion was a just one.

Tbe blanks for the salaries of the officers were filled White--15. Nays-Messrs. Benton, Buchanan, Davis, Hendricks, 11

as follows: Hubbard, Morris, Prentiss, Robinson, Shepley, South

* Commissioner of the General Land Office, $4,000 . Recorder, .

2,000 ard, Swift, Tallmadge, Tomlinson, Webster, Wright-15.

Principal clerk of surveys, .

2,000 After some remarks from Messrs. MORRIS, CALHOUN, KING of Georgia, and GRUNDY, the question

Each of principal clerks, .

2,000 One clerk, .

1,600 was taken on Mr.. GRUNDY'S substitute; and it was

Four clerks, each.

1,500 agreed to without a division. The bill was then reported to the Senate; and on the

Sixteen clerks, do.

1,400 e Twenty clerks, do..

1,200 question of concurring with the amendment made in

Five clerks, do..

1,100 committee, Mr. CALHOUN renewed his motion to

Thirty-five clerks, do.

1,000 amend the amendment that had been rejected in com

1,750 mittee.

Two principal draughtsmen, each
The question on this motion was also rejected:
One assistant draughtsman, •

1,200 Yeas 15, nays 15, as follows: YEAS-Messrs. Black, Brown, Calhoun, Clay, Cuth

Two messengers, each


bert, Goldsborough, , Grundy, King of Alabama, King Two Dackers.

Three assistant messengers, each

350 do.

450 of Georgia, Moore, Nicholas, Preston, Rives, Walker, The bill was reported with the amendments, and White-15. Nays-Messrs, Buchanan, Davis, Ewing of Ohio, Hen

ordered to be engrossed. dricks, Hubbard, Morris, Niles, Prentiss, Robinson,

GENERAL RIPLEY. Shepley, Swift, Tomlinson, Wall, Webster, Wright--15.

Mr. HUBBARD asked and obtained leave to introThe amendment of the committee was then concur. 1,

duce a bill to audit and settle the accounts of General red in, and the question on ordering the bill to be engrossed for a third reading was carried: Yeas 18, nays


On introducing the bill. Mr. HUBBARD addressed 18, as follows; the Chair voting in the affirmative:

the Chair as follows: YEAS-Messrs. Black, Brown, Buchanan, Calhoun, Mr. President: A few mornings past I gave notice Cuthbert, Goldsborough, Grundy, King of Alabama,

that I should ask leave to introduce a bill, giving authoriKing of Georgia, Moore, Nicholas, Preston, Rives, Rob

ty to the Secretary of War to audit and settle the acinson, Tallmadge, Walker, White Wright-18. Nays-Messrs. Benton, Clay, Davis, Ewing of Illinois,

counts of Eleazer W. Ripley with the Government, and Ewing of Ohio, Hendricks, Hubbard, Kent, Morris,

to allow him a pension for a severe wound which he

received during the last war while in the way of his Niles, Prentiss, Ruggles, Shepley, Southard, Swift Tom-duty. I have prepared the bill, and before I resume linson Wall, Webster-18.

my seat I shall ask leave to present it to the consideraDISTRICT BANKS.

tion of the Senate. But before I present it, I must be Mr. KENT moved to take up the bill to extend the permitted to make a few remarks with reference to the charters of certain banks in the District of Columbia extraordinary services of General Ripley as a military The question being on the third reading,

officer, and with reference to the severe, unjust, and Mr. BENTON opposed this motion, and moved to lay unmerited treatment he has received at the hands the bill on the table; which was negatived.

of his Government while engaged in the employ of his Mr. BENTON moved to postpone the bill, and make country. And I will here state, that my movement in it the order for Saturday. Negatived.

relation to this matter is wholly unknown to Gen. Ripley. Mr. BENTON asked the reading of the report; when, I have not, up to this time, exchanged a word with him The Senate adjourned.

upon this subject. Whatever I shall say, or whatever I

JUNE 3, 1836. }

General Ripley.


may do, will be induced by the respect which I enter- for 'revolutionary services; it in fact referred to the
tain for the high character and honorable services of pensioners under the act of March, 1818. It was not
this distinguished individual. I know well his history. designed to have, nor in truth could it have, any appli-
The success, the fame, the prosperity of this early friend cation to invalid pensioners under the act of the 11th of
could not be a matter of indifference to me. I have, in January, 1812. The claim of the latter class rests upon
common with bis other New England acquaintances, felt a totally different principle--a principle which has been
a deep mortification at events which seemed, for a time, recognised from the foundation of our own Government
to attach to his character a degree of ignominy; but re --a principle which has been recognised by every civil-
cent developments have wiped away every shade from ized Government in christendom--a principle not only
his moral reputation; and with great individual pleasure connected with the justice, but having an intimate rela-
and satisfaction do I avail myself of this opportunity to |tion to the honor, of the country; that principle is loss of
bring foward a measure, the object of which is to ren. physical power while in public service; that principle
der but an act of sheer justice to a highly honorable, | is personal disability; a deprivation of the means of gain-
but much abused and injured fellow-citizen.

ing a livelihood occasioned by wounds received in the
The bill which I have prepared, Mr. President, con performance of military duty; and whenever it so hap-
tains two very distinct provisions. The first is, that the pens that any one who is thus engaged shall be de-
accounts subsisting between General Ripley and his prived of limb, or in any way be disabled, a sense of com-
Government shall be audited and settled by the Secre- mon humanity, as well as of common justice, would
tary of War. The second is, that General Ripley shall prompt the Government at once to make up for that disa-
be placed on the list of invalid pensioners, for the bility; if not to heal, to pour balm into the wounds of
wound received while in public service, and that his the faithful soldier, by giving him a pension--a reward
pension shall commence at the time the disability was commensurate with the degree of his disability.
incurred. I have made myself believe, notwithstanding The act of the 11th of January, 1812, provides “that
the known usage and the practice of the Department, if any officer, non-commissioned officer, musician, or
that every consideration of right and of justice calls upon private, shall be disabled by wounds or otherwise, while
us to carry into full effect the last provision of the bill. in the line of bis duty in public service, he shall be
That we have not only precedent upon precedent giving placed on the list of invalids of the United States, at
authority for the proceeding, but the case of General such rate of pension, and under such regulations, as are
Ripley itself is so entirely distinguishable from other or may be directed by law: Provided, always, That the
cases, that I cannot doubt that, when all the facts shall compensation to be allowed for such wounds or disa
be known, the Senate will unhesitatingly adopt that bilities to a commissioned officer, shall not exceed, for
provision. With reference to the first provision of the the bighest rate of disability, half the monthly pay of
bill, my object has been merely to give authority to the such officer at the time of his being disabled or wound-
Secretary of War to settle and finally adjust the ac- ed; and that no officer shall receive more than the half
counts between General Ripley and the United States. I pay of a lieutenant colonel."
It was a fact well known, that these accounts embraced It does seem to me that the language of this act is too
receipts and disbursements of the public money to a plain, too precise, to admit of cavil or doubt, and its in-
great amount during the last war, and while he was also junctions are of the most imperative and positive chai-
performing the high and honorable duty of a field offi-acter. !t declares that whoever shall be disabled while
cer in the army. No man was more unwilling, more in the line of his duty in public service, shall be placed
averse, to perform the additional duties of a disbursing on the list of invalids of the United States, at such rate
agent than General Ripley. He was not calculated for of pension as may be directed by law.
the office. That particular service illy comported with It will not be denied that General Ripley continued
his habits. He was uneducated in the school of an ac- in the service long after the battle at the sortie from
countant; but it was the call of his Government; it was Fort Erie, adding, year after year, to his fame as a mili-
the order of his country, and he promptly obeyed that tary officer; but in that battle he was severely and dan-
call; be unhesitatingly submitted to that order; he never gerously wounded, and by that wound he was disabled.
shrunk from any duty; he never avoided any responsi- His right, then, to an immediate pension, must depend
bility. He did undertake to disburse the hundreds of upon the meaning of the word “disabled,” as used in
thousands wbich were committed to his charge; and at the act. The late Attorney General (Mr. Taney) bas
this late day, it is matter of joy to his friends that it has given a clear and sensible exposition upon this point;
finally been twice found by a jury of his country, that not with reference to this particular case, but one not
every dollar of the public money received by him, has unlike it. “Does the word disabled," he remarks,
been faithfully and honestly applied, and that there “mean that the officer must be disabled from the duties
exists an indebtedness on the part of the Governinent to of his station before he can receive a pension? or does
him in a large amount. I shall find it necessary before it mean any degree of personal debility which renders
I close my remarks, to advert to this history again. I bim less able to provide for his subsistence? The latter
shall find it necessary so to do in order to show the interpretation of the word disabled is most consonant
propriety of carrying into effect the second provision with the spirit and objects of the law, and, indeed, it is
of the bill which I have prepared, viz: to grant him a the only one consistent with that provision of the statuie
pension for disability, and to have that pension com. which directs that the pension shall be graduated, so
mence at the date of that disability.

that the compensation to be allowed to a commissioned There is a rule of practice prevailing in the Depart. officer shall not exceed half of the monthly pay of such ment with reference to the time when pensions shall officer at the time of his being disabled or wounded." commence, and that is when the evidence upon an ap The act provides that the officer disabled shall be plication shall be closed. It will be found, upon an ex-l placed on the list of invalids at such rate of pension, and amination, that this practice originated under the act of under such regulations, as may be directed by law. May, 1820, which provides "that the right any person And it being a provision of the law that the pension shall now has, or may hereafter acquire, to receive a pension, be graduated according to the nature and degree of his in virtue of any law of the United States, shall be con- disability, all that was necessary to the grant cf an imsidered to commence at the time of completing his tes mediate pension to General Ripley was to ascertain the timony." That act referred exclusively to those annui. degree of his disability, in order to fix the rate of his tants who were, or should be, in the receipt of pensions I pension. This is also a regulation of law. In this par

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