« AnteriorContinuar »
June 10, 1836.]
Increase of the Army.
the amount and nature of the force proposed to be add I proceed in any direction that danger threatened. This ed, Mr. B. proceeded to state the reasons why it should body was now upon the south western frontier, called to be agreed to. The regular troops in time of peace, he Natchitoches by the events in Texas; and the West and said, were wanted for four different purposes: 1st. To Northwest were almost destitute. Mr. B. looked upon guard the frontiers from Indians; 2d. To garrison the for- it as the sacred duty of the States which had transferred tifications; 3d. To guard the arsenals; 4th. To give securi- their dangers and burdens to the West, to transfer suc. ty and tranquillity to some points in the South. The circuit cor there also, and confidently appealed to the Senators of country thus requiring to be guarded, is equal in extent from those States to vote the increase of troops which to the largest empires, and embraces a population of the War Department recommended, and which the comfifteen millions. This population includes a portion not mittee had reported. To other Senators he appealed in homogeneous, and is in contact with another race, į the name of that constitution which had for its first ob. which, in three hundred years, has seldom been at peaceject the common defence of the whole Union; and to with the whites. The western and northwestern fron- every friend of the West he presented the picture of tier alone, from the Sabine to Lake Superior, requires fire and blood, of burnt houses, devastated fields, an active, efficient force of six thousand men, and these slaughtered inhabitants, unburied dead, food for beasts consisting of four different arms--infantry, light infan and vultures, which now disfigure the soil of Alabama, try, rifle, and dragoons. The vast accumulation of In- ! Florida, and Georgia, and demanded if they were wildians now upon that frontier, and the seventy-two thou ling to see these horrors repeated and multiplied upon sand yet to be removed to it, render any number less than the borders of Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, the Des six thousand for active service a mere mockery of de- Moines, Wisconsin, and Michigan? fence to the people; a show to lull them into security, Mr. B. said there had been three different periods, without being able to arrest incursions when they come. under republican administrations, when the military of those tribes now on the western frontiers, many are | peace establishment of the United States had been fixed warlike and numerous, and have never yet felt the by law, and on each occasion had been fixed at a larger power of our arms. The Camanches, the Pawnees, number, the relative condition of the country considerBlackfeet, and Sioux, are of this description. They ed, than the present bill proposed. The first of those have been killing and plundering our traders and hunt. periods was in the year 1802, the first of Mr. Jefferson's ers for years; and, from the impunity they have en. administration, and when the larger part of the troops joyed thus far, are emboldened to more daring enter- raised in Mr. Adams's time was disbanded. Mr. Adams prises. Of the Indians removed, many are finely equip left a military peace establishment of 5,438 men and offiped with arms, horses, and ammunition, obtained from cers; Mr. Jefferson reduced it to 3,323. This was done the United States as the inducement to their removal. in the year 1802; and this establishment of Mr. JefferOf those yet to be removed, seventy-two thousand souls son was greater, in proportion to the state of the counin number, yielding a roll of twelve thousand warriors, try, than 12,000 would be now. Louisiana and Florida seven thousand are the Seminoles, now engaged in the were not then acquired; our territorial limit has doubled Florida war, and twenty-five thousand are the Creeks, since that time; oir population is trebled; our revenues now engaged in the Alabama and Georgia war. The quadrupled. The frontier line of posts actually occuorigin of these wars is in the refusal of these Indians to pied by our troops then was in Georgia, Tennessee, remove according to the treaties which they have made. / Kentucky, and Obio; it is now in the Gulf of Mexico at When the wars are over, removal will ensue. Removal Key West, at Pensacola, Mobile, New Orleans, the S&is the end of war; and thus, after resistance is subdued bine, Natchitoches, Red river, the Arkansas, the kanby killing a part of the warriors, the removal of the sas, Des Moines, Prairie du Chien, the Falls of St. Anremainder commences.
thony, Lake Winnebago, and the outlet of Lake SupeA mass of thirty thousand Indians, now in arms, are to rior, with occasional expeditions to the foot of the be removed to the West the moment they agree to go; Rocky mountains, and to the confines of Mexico. Thus, and go they will, their hands well supplied with arms, allowing for the increase of territory, for the extension munitions, and horses, by the United States, and their of the line occupied, and for the increase of wealth and bosoms well filled with hostile feelings from the memory population, an establishment of 12,000 men now would of their losses, and what they consider to be their be less in proportion than the reduced establishment of wrongs. Indians had gone to the West from New York, Mr. Jefferson was in 1802. Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois; from Georgia, The next period of comparison to which Mr. B. reAlabama, and Mississippi; and were yet to go from all ferred, was that of the year 1808-the last year of Mr. those States, and from North Carolina and Tennessee. Jefferson's administration, when the military establishTo relieve the old States from a useless and dangerous ment, under a slight stimulus from “specks of war on population, and to provide better homes for themselves, the horizon,” no way comparable to the black clouds these Indians were removed to the West; but it was a which now hang over the South, was augmented to an mere transfer, not an extinction of danger; on the con- aggregate of 9,996. Thus, Mr. Jefferson left a military trary, the danger became greater from the removal, for establishment about 4,000 stronger than the one which it was a concentration of the savages upon a weak fron. now exists, and within 2,000 of being as strong as the tier, and in contiguity with numerous warlike indigenous one now proposed. The establishment which he left tribes which bad never yet felt the power of the white when he went out of office was four men less than 10,000, man. Western members had agreed to this removal, for and we have but 6,000 to-day. An augmentation of the the benefit of the older States; but they had done so army, at this time, upon the basis of that which he left under the belief and conviction that they were to have twenty-eight years ago, would give a force of 24,000 a competent military force to guard against this trans men. ferred and accumulated danger. Up to this moment The third period of comparison to which Mr. B. re. they had never had such a force. There never has been ferred, was that of 1815, at the conclusion of the war a force on the West and Northwest, since the removals with Great Britain, and when the war establishment was began, competent to guard it. So far from it, the few reduced and adapted to the state of universal peace · troops which could be spared for that frontier were which then prevailed. A peace establishment of 20,000
scattered at wide intervals upon a line of immense extent, men was then the policy of Mr. Madison's administraand the largest body was stationed midway between the tion; 15,000 was voted by the Senate; 10,000 rank and head and the mouth of the Mississippi, to be ready to 1 file was finally agreed upon in conference between the SENATE.]
Increase of the Army.
(JUNE 10, 1836.
two Houses of Congress, with additions in ordnance, en. Resuming his remarks, Mr. B. said it would be regineers, officers, &c., which presented an aggregate of membered by the Senate that this report, from which 12,656. This was twenty-one years ago, and before the he had read, was made in the year 1818; that it referacquisition of Florida; and a relative increase upon that red to the peace establishment of 1815; that this estabbasis at the present time would give an establishment of lishment presented an aggregate of 12,656; and that it about 20,000 men. But the bill now before the Senate was now proposed by the bill before the Senate to raise does not propose to take the establishment of 1815 for the future peace establishment to 12,000; in other a basis to be built upon, but as a limit to be governed words, it was proposed to re-establish in 1836, the peace by. It proposes, in fact, the same numerical strength establishment of 1815; that is to say, of twenty-one which was then retained; and dispenses with part of years prior date. In these twenty-one years the poputhe general staff and with some parts of the organi- lation and wealth of the country bad nearly doubled; zation.
Florida had been acquired, the military posts and fortifiMr. B. said that the establishment of 1815 was con cations had increased, and in the Gulf of Mexico had firmed in 1818; for at that time a proposition was made been extended; the Indians had heen accumulated upon in Congress to reduce the army, but failed under the the weakest frontier of the Union; any and every reason cogent reasons which were given for keeping it up to for a military peace establishment was greater now than it that number. A call was made from the House of Rep. was then. He (Mr. B.) claimed, then, and appropriated resentatives in April, of that year, upon the Secretary to the present occasion, every word of the report of of War, to report to the next session of Congress upon 1818, in favor of augmenting the army now, which was the military establishment, and whether “any reduction used against reducing it then; and he claimed for every could be made with safety to the public service." one of these words double as much force now as it had The then Secretary (Mr. Calhoun) reported on the
un) reported on the then, the wealth and population of the country being so 11th of December following; and that report, wbich was
nat report, wbich was much greater. They would justify an establishment of against reduction then, furnishes such strong reasons
20,000 mep at this time. The effect of this report upon for augmentation now, that I must be permitted to
Congress was the next point which Mr. B. would bring avail myself of a portion of its reasoning. The Secre
to the notice of the Senate; ard he did so with pride tary says:
and satisfaction. The effect was decisive upon that "Our military establishment is limited by the act of body. It stopped the movement to reduce the army! It 1815, passed at the termination of the late war, at 10,000 left the establishment of 1815 as it was! It left the esmen. The corps of eng 'neers and ordnance, by that
of eng neers and ordnance, by that tablishment of 12,656 troops, with their two major and a subsequent act, were retained as they then exist generals, four brigadiers, and the whole general staff, ed; and the President was directed to constitute the es. precisely as it was! The whole scheme of reducing the tablishment of such portions of artillery, infantry, and
army failed at that time; and this, let it be well rememriflemen, as he might judge proper. The general orbered, was before the acquisition of Florida; that acders of the 17th of May, 1815, fix the artillery at 3,200; quisition which has given us the double line of coast of the light artillery at 660; the infantry at 5,440; and the that peninsula to guard, with the important stations of rifle at 660. Document A exhibits a statement of the Key West, Tampa bay, St. Mark's, and Pensacola. This military establishment, including the general staff, as at important territorial acquisition, and where an obstinate present organized, and B exhibits a similar view of those war is now waged, would justify the increase of a thou. of 1802 and 1808; by a reference to which it will appear | sand men upon the establishment of 1815, without taking that our military establishments at the respective peri- into view the increase of wealth and population. Mr. ods, taken in the order of their dates, present an aggre. | B. wished it to be particularly noted that, while the bill gate of 3,323, of 9,996, and of 12,656. It is obvious before the Senate only proposed to revive the military that the establishment of 1808, compared with the then peace establishment of 1815, yet there were three diswealth and population of the country, the number and tinct reasons why a larger establishment than that might extent of military posts, is larger in proportion than the now be asked for, namely:1. The acquisition of Florida, present; but the unsettled state of our relations with which took place in 1819. 2. The accumulation of InFrance and England at that period, renders the compar. dians on the western frontier. 3. The increased wealth ison not entirely just. Passing, then, that of 1808, let and population of the country. These reasons all ap. us compare the establishment of 1802 with the present. plied in favor of a permanent peace establishment, To form a correct comparison, it will be necessary to while the wars with the Creeks and Seminoles required compare the capacity and necessities of the country then additional regular troops. General Scott had earnestly with the present time. Since that period, our popula-applied for them, had earnestly called for filling up the tion has nearly doubled, and our wealth more than ranks early, so as to have the recruits trained for serdoubled. We have added Louisiana to our possessions, vice by the commencement of the winter campaign in and with it a great extent of frontier, both maritime and Florida. inland. With the extension of our frontier, and the in- Mr. B. said that, besides the augmentation of the arcrease of our commercial cities, our military posts and my, a diversity of arms was proposed, by reviving a light fortifications have greatly multiplied. * * * If, then, infantry and a rifle regiment. The open order and the military establishment of 1802 be assumed to be as quick evolutions of the light infantry made that species small as was then consistent with the safety of the coun. of force peculiarly proper on the frontier, and against try, our present establishment, when we take into the Indians; and as for the rifle, it was the natural weapon comparison the prodigious increase of wealth, popula | whose fame was identified with the American name in tion, extent of territory, number and distance of military all its wars, civilized and savage, from the first settleposts, cannot be pronounced extravagant; but, on the ment of the country down to the most glorious battle of contrary, after a fair and full comparison, that of the the San Jacinto. That weapon should be preserved and former period must, in proportion to the necessities and cherished in the American army. capacities of the country, be admitted to be quite as But it will be said the army was actually reduced; that Jarge as the present; and on the assumption that the es- it was reduced to six thousand men. This (Mr. B. said) tablishment of 1802 was as small as the public safety was true; but it was not reduced in 1818, nor at any would then admit, a reduction of the expense of our period that the Treasury was in the condition that it was present establishment cannot be made with safety to the at the time of that report, or at the present time. It service by reducing the army."
was reduced in 1821, when the public Treasury, from a
JUNE 10, 1836.]
Increase of the Army.
dream of inexhaustible surplus, was suddenly awakened cers, who, as a body, are high-minded and honorable to the reality of a deficit! and when every branch of the men, attached to the principles of freedom by education public expenditure, on which curtailment could be made and reflection, what well-founded apprehension can there to fall, was brought to the test of retrenchment, and be from an establishment so small, distributed on so explaced under the edge of the pruning knife. The ar- tended a frontier, with many thousand miles between my, of course, was a subject for the operation, and un- the extreme points occupied? But the danger, it may derwent the largest amputation; the navy, the fortifica- be said, is not so much from its numbers, as by a spirit tions, and other branches, were also largely cut down. hostile to liberty, by which, it is supposed, all regular Mr. B. said that he here touched a point in our history armies are actuated. This observation is probably true which was pregnant with instruction, and very fit for when applied to standing armies, collected into large and reflection and meditation, now when we had reached powerful masses; but, dispersed as ours is, over so vast another point of similar character, and to be followed by a surface, the danger, I conceive, is of an opposite cbarsimilar consequences. History was said to be philoso acter-that both officers and soldiers will lose their miliphy teaching by example. If it was so, philosophy tary habits and feelings, by gliding gradually into those must have lost her capacity to teach at least to teach purely civil." the Congress of 1836-if the lesson of 1817, 1818, 1819, Having shown the reasons in favor of this augmenta1820, and 1821, can be lost upon us. Our financial tion of the regular army, and answered the objections to condition was, in the beginning of that period, what it it-having shown that the reduction in 1821 resulted now is-a full and overflowing Treasury; it was, at the entirely from the deficit in the Treasury, an objection end of that period, what it will probably be in two or which could no longer prevail, as the Treasury was three years again, drained to the bottom, and entirely now distressingly, and, to some gentlemen, alarmingly empty! Thus, in June, 1817, we had in the Bank of full--he would repeat that this augmentation was a the United States, besides many millions in the name of western measure, called for by western voices, and due public officers, the sum of $15,935,050 standing to the to the state and condition of that section of the Union. credit of the Treasurer of the United States; in June of To provide for the common defence was the first object the next year, that sum was reduced to $6,686,387; in of the confederacy of these States; and it was by troops June, 1819, it was reduced to $1,500,035; in June, 1820, that the West was to receive her portion of this common it was $946,115; in December of that year, it was defence. Forts and navies belonged to the seacoast $388,210; and in the first quarter of 1821, the public armed men to the inland frontier. The Secretary of money in the bank was exhausted, and the sum of War, (Governor Cass,) in laying down a general plan of $1,044,539 was overdrawn! In less than four years, national defence, bas indicated, with a masterly hand, the vision of an inexbaustible surplus had ended in the the wants and remedies of the West. A military road reality of a deficit of a million! and this without having in the rear of the States and Territories, from the Sabine had recourse to any schemes of distribution, by gift or to the Wisconsin--a chain of posts at intervals along the Joans, to get rid of it, and in defiance of retrenchment, / whole route--an increased force of different arms to curtailment, and economy, exerted to the uttermost in traverse the country, and to make occasional expedi1819, 1820, and 1821, to prevent a recurrence to taxes tions to distant points-such is his recommendation; and or loans. The navy appropriation for the gradual in- it now only awaits the sanction of Congress to carry it crease was cut down from a million to a half million; into effect, and to give to the great West the protecfortifications were reduced from about eight hurdred tion which her position demands, what the constitution thousand dollars per annum to about three hundred guaranties, and what the accumulation of Indians upon thousand dollars; and in 1821 the army was reduced to her border converts into a debt of justice, and an obligasix thousand men. This is the brief history of the sur. tion of high and sacred duty. plus of 1817, and the deficit of 1821. The same cause Mr. NICHOLAS moved to recommit the bill, with made the surplus then which makes it now: multiplica- instructions to report an organization precisely similar tion of banks, profuse issues of bank notes, loans to to that which was adopted for the peace establishment every body, great importations of goods, and large sales / in 1815. of public lands; all growing out of the wild spirit of After a few words from Mr. BENTON, in opposition speculation engendered by the paper system, and the to the motion, universal receivability of bank notes by the General Mr. PRESTON took a view of the altered condition Government for lands, duties, and post office charges; of the country within a few years. In consequence of the the same cause made the deficit which will soon make it progress made in the manufacture of arms, and in the again the contraction and revulsion of the paper sys- knowledge of their use, we have become an armed poptem!
ulation. The extraordinary concentration of Indian forMr. B. said the question of augmenting the army had ces on our frontier has, indeed, rendered it necessary been incidentally discussed in the course of the debate that the Government of the United States should adopt on the fortification bill, and the old and popular objec- a system of preparation corresponding with this aspect tion--the danger of standing armies in time of peace of things. But our Indian frontier is not now as exposed was pressed into service, and made to do hard duty in and as difficult of defence as it was fifty years ago. The a case in which the objection could have no application | increase of a population abounding in arms and provisions, at all. Vain was the fear, idle the alarm of danger, of and having all the facilities which can be obtained from Gifteen millions of people from twelve thousand of their the application of steam to our roads and rivers, and also countrymen, enrolled upon a military peace establish the additions made to our military strength, have placed all ment, and scattered on a circuit of nine thousand miles! our western frontier in a state of comparative security. But the answer which the same objection received in He went on to speak of the degeneracy of the Indian 1818 from the Secretary at War, (Mr. Calhoun,] from character, and the numerical diminution of the tribes; whose report he had just read, was so just and striking, but at the same time admitted that the provident care of so true in reference both to the military and to the peo- the Government ought to be exhibited in extending to ple, that he would dispense with his own remarks, and the frontier a proper degree of protection. He inferred, adopt those of that Secretary. They are:
from a general survey of the facts, that an increase of "To consider the present army as dangerous to our the army is necessary, and the only difficulty was liberty partakes, it is conceived, more of timidity than as to the extent of such increase. At present, we of wisdom. Not to insist on the character of the offi- ' have thirteen regiments in service, amounting to SENATE.]
Increase of the Army.
(June 10, 1836.
about 6,000 men. There are 40 or 50 in each com- would not oppose any measure to give the utmost depany. The present bill increases the number of the fence to the frontier settlements; but it was not in the company to between 80 and 90. It was his opinion power of Government to give them full and perfect de. that the companies ought to be so increased as to make fence. He touched on the situation of our southwestan aggregate of about 9,000. The object bad been to ern frontier, and expressed a hope that the day was not increase the efficiency of the army, without disturbing distant when, instead of calling Fort Towson our southits organization. There had been found to be a great west post, we should have our forts on the Rio del deficiency in the staff, which was totally inadequate to Norte. the performance of the duties required of it. Much! Mr. PORTER said a few words in explanation of his had been done to make the staff more efficient, and more former remarks. was in progress. The staff of the Inspector's and the Mr. BENTON protested against the recommitment, Quatermaster's departments demand an increase. He which must be entirely useless without the instructions, was willing that there should be a general recommitment so as to put the committee in possession of the sense of of the bill, so as to obtain the sense of the Senate as to the Senate. an increase of the army.
The bill was then ordered to be recommitted. Mr, CALHOUN called for a division of the question, The question being then on the instructions to the so as to take the question first on the recommitment committee, generally, and afterwards on the instructions. He had Mr. CALIOUN moved to lay the subject on the thought that there ought to be an increase of the army table, in order to take up the special order. Ile withby filling up the companies; but he was opposed to a drew his motion, and new organization of the army. There was nothing in Mr. PORTER expressed his hope that the question the character of our foreign relations to shake the be- would be taken, as the bill was already committed, and lief that it would depend on our own prudence only to it was important to take the question on the instrucremain at peace with all nations. It was only in refer- tions. ence to our Indian relations that any additional force Mr. BUCHANAN asked what was the strength of was necessary. He would be willing to give as much the army in 1815. increase as would place us in a situation of defence, but Mr. BENTON replied that the total of the army in not a man more than was necessary for that purpose. | 1815, was 12,656.
Mr. PORTER concurred in the opinion of the gentle | Mr. PRESTON said that, if the Senator from Louisi. man from South Carolina, that there was sufficient cause ana would withdraw his instructions, he would move to for an increase of the army. The capacity of the coun- | fill up the rank and file of the companies to a specific try to bear the expenses of a standing army was now amount, without touching the organization. sufficiently established; and as to the dangers to be ap. Mr. CALHOUN was against any instructions. prehended from a standing army to our liberties, there Mr. PORTER called for the yeas and ways; which could be no ground for that apprehension while the were ordered. army was kept to a minimum of thrice the amount of men Mr. BENTON made some observations on the innow asked for. The general knowledge of the use of creased extent of our boundary, and ridiculed the idea arms which pervades the country is the best security for of transporting by steamboats a sufficient force to prothe rights and liberties of the people which can be protect that frontier. He adverted to the destruction of vided. He considered the United States boundary as life and property which had been already perpetrated, more extensive than it has been at any former period. and stated that the West must have the defence to He admitted that the Indian tribes were incompetent to which it was entitled. The attention of the Senate, he carry on any prolonged warfare with the United States; complained, could not be diverted from the subject of but they ought to be prepared to meet those sudden surplus revenue. to the situation of our citizens on the outbreaks, which always inflicted severe wounds on the frontier. This bill was western in its object and its ori. country before the enemy could be found and repelled. gin. The whole of the West were calling for it, and The people do not ask that kind of protection which he was glad the yeas and nays were ordered. comes after their homes are destroyed, and their planta. Mr. LINN read an extract from the report of the Sec. tions devastated. The protection they ask is that which retary of War, in wbich it was estimated that when the will prevent those evils. Burning with indignation, whole of the Indians intended to be removed shall be fired with a sense of their wrongs, the vast body of In concentrated on the western shore of the Mississippi, dians now to be removed will go to their new homes | they will amount to 250,000. He added a few words with feelings excited to the desire of vengeance. It | in favor of the concentration of a military force on the only required a man of commanding genius to unite the frontier, to protect it against the danger to be appreIndians, and lead them on, to bring the entire race along our frontier into the field against the United States; and Mr. CALHOUN took a view of the present force of the powers and energies of the Camanches alone are the country, and indicated in what manner the regiments sufficient to render that tribe a most formidable enemy. we now have might be stationed, in order to effect an He should vote for the recommitment with instructions. l efficient defence of our frontier. He was disposed to
Mr. PRESTON repeated what he had before stated fill up the companies, so as to render the regiments as to the extent of the Indian frontier, and went more more competent. minutely into detail, in order to show that he had under Mr. CLày thought it unnecessary to go into a geneestimated the extent, rather than gone beyond it. It ral discussion of the necessity of increasing the army, was necessary to give a fair defence to that frontier, not No Senator would hold bimself committed by instrucby drawing a line of river fortresses, but by giving a tions, when the whole question of the policy of any insufficient force. Two regiments of dragoons have been crease shall come up for discussion. He smiled at the given to the gentlemen from the West. Do they want picture which had been drawn of our danger. One another regiment, let them take it. It was useless to would have supposed that all at once a gallant nation of carry on a war in the swamps, where the army might as some millions had been suddenly precipitated on our well be sent to hunt a deer or a rackoon as an Indian. frontier, instead of a few miserable Indians. He saw no But, in the western prairies, it is different. The Ca- necessity for any increase of the army. manches are mounted Tartars, and strike from a dis. The question was then taken on the instructions, and tance, and they must be encountered by dragoong. He decided as follows:
JUNE 11, 1836.]
Meeting of Congress--Sick and Disabled Scannen.
YEAS-Messrs. Benton, Black, Buchanan, Cuthbert, the other provisions of it do not appear to me objecGrundy, King of Alabama, King of Georgia, Linn, tionable. Morris, Nicholas, Porter, Ruggles, Tallmadge, Tipton,
ANDREW JACKSON. Walker, Wall, White, Wright-18.
WASHINGTON, June 9, 1836. Nays-Messrs. Brown, Calhoun, Clay, Crittenden, i The message was ordered to be printed, and made Davis, Ewing of Ohio, Goldsborough, Hendricks, Hub- the order for Wednesday next. bard, Kent, Knight, Leigh, Mangum, Moore, Naudain, Prentiss, Preston, Rives, Robbins, Robinson, Shepley,
PUBLIC DEPOSITES. Southard, Swift, Tomlinson, Webster--25.
The Senate proceeded to the consideration of the bill MEETING OF CONGRESS.
to regulate the deposites of the public money.
Mr. WRIGHT moved several amendments; which The following message was received from the Presi
were agreed to. dent of the United States:
Mr. LEIGH moved an amendment, providing that each To the Senate of the United States:
bank shall have on the day of —, and thenceforth The act of Congress "to appoint a day for the annual keep in its vaults, specie to the amount of one fourth of meeting of Congress," which originated in the Senate, its business capital. ['The object of the amendment is has not received my signature. The power of Congress to impose on every bank, desirous to become a deposite to fix, by law, a day for the regular annual meeting of bank, the condition specified, that it must have within Congress is undoubted; but the concluding part of this its vaults, previous to the day named, the proportion of act, which is intended to fix the adjournment of every specie, in order to qualify it to become a deposite bank. succeeding Congress to the second Monday in May, It is optional with the bank to accept or reject the after the commencement of the first session, does not deposites under this condition.] appear to me in accordance with the provisions of the Mr. WEBSTER pointed to a state of circumstances, constitution of the United States.
contingent but not improbable, when it would be found The constitution provides
that our specie basis is not sufficiently broad; and inas1st article, 5:h section "That neither House, during much as this bill would have the effect of coercing the session of Congress, shall, without the consent of the banks to keep a certain amount of specie in their vaults, other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any it would be a restraint on exportation, and beneficial to other place than that in which the two Houses shall be the country. sitting.”
Some discussion took place between Mr. EWING of 1st article, 6th section-" That every order, resolu-Ohio, Mr. BUCHANAN, Mr. GRUNDY, Mr. CRITtion, or vote, to which the concurrence of the Senate TENDEN, Mr. MORRIS, Mr. WALKER, and Mr. and House of Representatives may be necessary, (except CALHOUN; and, before any question was taken, on the question of adjournment,) shall be presented to The Senate adjourned. the President of the United States, and, before the same shall take effect, shall be approved of by him," &c.
SATURDAY, JUNE 11. 2d article, 2d section-" That he (the President) may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses
SICK AND DISABLED SEAMEN. of Congress, or either of them; and, in case of disagree Amongst the ordinary business transacted to-day ment between them with respect to the time of adjourn Mr. CRITTENDEN moved to reconsider the vote by ment, he may adjourn them to such times as he thinks | wbich the bill in addition to an act for the relief of sick proper,” &c.
and disabled seamen had been ordered to be engrossed. According to these provisions, the day of the adjourna Mr. CRITTENDEN stated bis object to be to strike ment of Congress is not the subject of legislative out the words “rafts, flats," so as to exempt them from enactment. Except in the event of disagreement be- the tax of twenty cents per month for each person em. tween the Senate and House of Representatives, the ployed in navigating such craft. President has no right to meddle with the question, and, 1. After some observations from Mr. DAVIS and Mr. in that event, his power is exclusive, but confined to fix- | PORTER, the motion to reconsider was agreed to. ing the adjournment of the Congress whose branches / Mr. CRITTENDEN explained that he desired to have disagreed. The question of adjournment is ob- amend the bill in the manner be had indicated. lle viously to be decided by each Congress for itself, by wished the navigators of the flat boats and rafis to have the separate action of each House for the time being, the benefit of the hospital fund; but he thought this and is one of those subjects upon which the framers of small charity might be allowed them without imposing that instrument did not intend one Congress should act, any tax. It was melancholy to see the decay of this with or without the executive aid, for its successors. mode of navigation. Time was when the flat boat moved As a substitute for the present rule, which requires the in stately grandeur down the Ohio, the monarch of the two Houses by consent to fix the day of adjournment, stream; but now the few of this kind of craft left were and, in the event of disagreement, the President to de glad to slink out of the way of the steamboats which had cide, it is proposed to fix the day by law, to be binding usurped their sovereignty. It was a melancholy illusin all future time, unless changed by consent of both tration of the mode in which old things are giving place Houses of Congress, and to take away the contingent to new. power of the Executive, which, in anticipated cases of Mr. DAVIS replied that the whole proceeds furnished disagreement, is vested in him. This substitute is to by the West towards the fund, last year, was four thouapply, not to the present Congress and Executive, but sand dollars. The committee had been satisfied that to our successors. Considering, therefore, that this some negligence existed. There were facts to prove subject exclusively belongs to the two Houses of Con- that the collector at Louisville had received five or six gress, whose day of adjournment is to be fixed, and that thousand dollars for the fund, but bad rendered no aceach has at that time the right to maintain and insist count whatever. How much farther this negligence had upon its own opinion, and to require the President to extended could not now be known. He was happy to decide in the event of disagreement with the other, I am say that the Treasury Department had in this case reconstrained to deny my sanction to the act herewith removed the collector, and appointed another in his room. spectfully returned to the Senate. I do so with greater Steamboats were liable to this tax, as much as vessels reluctance, as, apart from this constitutional difficulty, I employed on the ocean, and it was but just that all who