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House had done wrong to agree to reduce the sum? independent of the Executive, and intends that it shall That eight hundred thousand dollars was a “poor, piti be a check upon the Executive? Will the people suffer ful sum,” which would not satisfy the President? That this monstrous violence to the theory and practice of the President had risen up in wrath, and sworn that he their Government? Oh! that I could raise my voice to would veto the bill, because the Senate had refused the a pitch of remonstrance which could go forth throughwhole grant of three millions, and that they should be out this land; which could reach every hamlet, every made to bear the loss of the whole bill? Did not the home, and every heart of the people; which could speak, intrigue then assume a double aspect of policy, to ward trumpet-tongued, to every man who has in his bosom & off from the President the responsibility of vetoing the spark of the spirit of the free! I would rouse a resistbill which he had sworn to veto, and to throw the re- ance to this misrule, this corruption, this patricide of sponsibility and odium of the failure of the bill on the “the party," which would soon determine whether the Senate! This was the abominable game; it was too bad many or the few shall rule the destinies of this republic! to juggle us first out of our independence of legislation, Sir, the whole mass of power which is conferred by and then out of our character! There are five high the constitution on all the departments of this Governwitnesses to attest these acts, if a committee be appointment is nearly as great as the whole power of any Gov. ed to inquire, who may be called on. You may go to ernment of any civilized people. But the theory of our the first, second, tbird, fourth, and fifth highest officers Government so distributes this power among different of your Government; and, sir, I should like to see them branches or departments as to check and counterthoroughly cross-examined. We have had a most im balance, restrain and control each other mutually. portant fact disclosed lately. The secret journal of the | Power with us is so neutralized to do harm, and so well Senate has been opened, and a certain endorsement of poised to do good, in the theory of our constitution, that its Clerk has been exposed. Now, sir, that Secretary the Government was made free at the same time it was of the Senate is a most excellent, good, and pious man, made efficient. But, sir, the practice of the Governwith a high and due sense of propriety. He would be ment has of late so perverted the theory of the constitucautious to endorse . nothing which was not only true, tion, that, through corruption, we are fast becoming but proper to be endorsed. But I must ask if all was bound hand and foot, and a single department is absorb. endorsed which was said? I could not shut my ears, sir, ing the whole mass of power. The principle of “the to the rumors which passed from seat to seat that awful party” is now warring upon one of the cardinal princi. night. Suppose the Senate did send a message to the ples of the constitution, to keep separate, distinct, and Executive that night, rejecting a certain nomination; independent, the legislative and the executive depart. and suppose, in reply, the President had told the Sec ments. That principle, without which this Government retary, " I will receive no further communication from cannot remain free, is totally undermined by the policy the d- d rascals; the Senate is defunct!” I am sure, of parties to elect legislators to support- that is, to do sir, such an answer would have been undignified and the will of-Presidents! Is there no jealousy of the Ex. unbecoming, and that the Secretary's strict sense of ecutive left? No esprit de corps in Congress? Gone! gone! propriety, and of what was due to the President and to the Sir, I must remind the House that on the Cumberland Senate, would have prevented him from endorsing all road bill there were 174 members present and voting. that was said. And yet this committee, if raised, and it That the very next vote there was-no quorum. inquire faithfully, may bring out many such facts.
Here Mr. Wise read a list of the names of members Sir, I repeat that there was no disposition on the part who voted on the Cumberland road bill, and did not of the Senate or the House to defeat the fortification bill vote on the next vote, or Moore and Letcher resolution. of last session. Both Houses did their duty, and both There were 66 in number. Of these, Van Buren men, are now equally interested to guard against such inter. | 50; opposition and for White, 16. ference for the future as actually prevented both Houses, On the Cumberland road bill there were 174 votes. though ready and willing, from doing their duty. Yes, Of these there were, Van Buren men, 87; opposition sir; the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. R. M. Johnson) and for White, 87. challenged me, at the beginning of this session, to specify Parties were equal on that vote. On the Letcher res. acts of executive intermeddling or interference with the olution there were 113 votes. Van Buren men, 33; independence of the legislation of Congress. I gave opposition and for White, 80. him, sir, one pretty strong case; but here is one still I Can this extraordinary desertion of Van Buren men stronger. None could be stronger. On the last night be accounted for but upon the supposition of design! of the last Congress, both Houses of Congress, I assert, And, too, when it was known they were nearly all presand have proved, were not only ready and willing, but ent in the House? While the opposition and White anxiously endeavoring, to pass a law which the President men had retained their numbers to 7, there was a falling himself says, and which I admit, was very important to off of Van Buren men of 541-54 out of 87! While the the public interests, with large majorities in each in opposition and White men continued in their places, favor of the law, and the two Houses agreeing, by spe I giving their votes until the close of the session, the Van cial conference; and they could not and did not get the Buren men did not again, except a small minority, bill through, in consequence of the minions and pimps answer to their names. of the Executive tampering with their tools in the House On Mr. Jarvis's motion to adjourn, there were 118 of Representatives!
votes. Van Buren men, 41; opposition and for White, 77. Now, sir, if the gentleman wants a stronger case than On Mr. Carmichael's motion to adjourn, there were that, I cannot imagine it. I know such was the fact; 111 votes. Van Buren men, 39; opposition and for and though all the Government should swear to the White, 72. contrary, I should know and believe the fact until the Is not the conclusion irresistible that the chairman of day of my death. Is it to be borne, that some twenty or the Committee on Foreign Affairs (Mr. CAMBRELENG] thirty of a trained band sball, by reducing us below a might, at any moment after his return from the confer. quorum, reduce a majority of both Houses of Congress ence, until the adjournment of the House, by a nod or below the foot of the Executive? Shall we be thus in a whisper, have summoned from their biding places a terrupted in our business by "a fragment” of “the quorum, and saved the loss of the fortification bill? party," doing the bidding of their idol? Is this an ad-Would not Roderick's men have risen up at the whistle ministration of the Government in the spirit and letter of Does not the gentleman from New York know that b the constitution, wbich makes the legislative department I might at any time have had a quorum? Did he exe
himself to get a quorum? Did he not, and did not you, | [Mr. WiSe then gave a summary and review of ma. Mr. Speaker, busily endeavor to persuade members terial facts.] who had conscientious scruples not to vote to make a Sir, what caused the Senate to send us that message quorum? Did not Churchill c. Cambreleng protest, which I deem so respectful, and which the gentleman by speech on the floor, (see Globe of the 5th of March, from Massachusetts (Mr. ADAMS] deems was so insolent? 1835,) against the right to compel members to answer The Senate was warned of treachery! When that spe. the call for a quorum, when he all the time was voting cial messenger, that Senator, was seen dodging in and bimself? Did not Mr. Barringer, of North Carolina, out--he was no gbost, sir; if one, he is a very red-faced charge the intrigue at the time, and offer to specify | ghost, he is a cogniac-looking ghost! [Here Mr. WISE names? Was not Abijah Mann, jr., of New York, who paused, and glanced his eye around, to see him in the refused to vote on every question from the last quorum | hall.] The Senate, sir, was warned of treachery. They to the adjournment, sitting in the House calling for the | then reminded the House of the report of the conferyeas and nays, when attempts would be made to get ence. What less could that body do to defend itself along without a call? Did not Mr. Barringer tell him he from the Machiavelian plot against it? Was there such had no rigbt to call for yeas and nays, as he said he was a spectacle ever exhibited in this Capitol before, no longer a member? and did he not claim to be as much as a trap set for one branch of Congress? This mesa member as any body? Having pledged himself to sage called out the jesuitical excuse that the hour vote for the Letcher resolution, did he not inform Mr. had come-- there was no quorum--''sorry, regretted Letcher he could not then vote for it? And did not very much, but the Senate must take the responsiLetcher reply, “I knew the Van Buren colts would slip bility!”-immediately the plot revealed itself! Sir, their bridles!" When Samuel Beardsley refused to I hope that condition of things, and this exposure, vote, did not the honorable gentleman from Tennessee will stand a solitary warning to “the party" not to [Mr. LEA) move to expel him from the House? But jeopard again the interests of the country, by its low, there were nearly 150 members who actually voted upon servile tricks of corruption! “The party" wished to the three calls of yeas and nays after 12 o'clock at night. say, by resolution, in reply, that we had finished our Different squads would come in and vote at different business, when this bill was untouched. Hour after hour times! The leaders--oh, yes! the leaders-were all had the Senate politely waited for this fortification bill present: were they not here, of course! That was one to be sent to them for their concurrence, and Mr. F. 0. finesse, and the other was to march and countermarch J. Smith moved to say to them we have completed the followers, so as that each one might claim to have our business!" And at last, sir, the House did ignobly voted. But the proof is positive that there was a quorum | adjourn without completing its business, including this actually voting after the Cumberland road bill and 12 bill. Sir, I bave not to take back one word of what I o'clock, to the last, but voting at different times! My | said yesterday about the adjournment of the last Conname is among the number of those who voted on the gress. Except on one solitary question I shall ever Cumberland road bill, and I failed to vote twice after think of the last House of Representatives with disgust. wards. Mr. Gilmer's conduct struck me, and I hesita. We had a President at the last session bent, I think, on ted to vote until I was satisfied by my colleague, [Mr. | war! The House was subservient, succumbing and serMERCER, ] and when I saw the miserable, infernal game vile to his wishes on every other question but that. which was playing, I wauld have voted at all hazards, | The temper and the example of the House on that ques. and did vote, as the journals will show, on the last vote | tion were noble, and worthy of imitation for all time of the session, to help to make a quorum, and against to come. The gentleman from Massachusetts may well adjournment! And now, sir, what shall we say to these claim it as one of the brightest achievements of his civil men of the immaculate--the only patriotic men-who career, that he united us unanimously in one of the would not for the world have had ihe fortification bill noblest sentiments which ever actuated the patriotto fail? Shall they not have meted out to them that however divided amongst ourselves, in our own housemeasure of vituperation which they have meted to the hold as brothers, to present an undivided front to a forSenate? Shall they not now be hunted down with the eign foe! We acled wisely and temperately. And, sir, furies and scorpions of abuse, not only for failing to do the real secret is, the reason the Committee on Foreign a duty which was unpardonable in the Senate, but for a Affairs did not report sooner, not until the last moment, knowingly wilful false accusation? Hurrah' for such and then in the form of that three millions amendment, was, patriots! They are for national defence! Oh, shame! that the chairman (Mr. CAMBRELENG] dared not report Oh, honesty! Oh, truth!
counter to the sense of the people on the one side, or to Sir, the gentlemen have got into a hornet's nest by the sense of the President on the other When we act troubling-impudently gasconading about the failure of wisely, though counter to the President, the praise rethat bill. They are bitten by their own dogs! Oh, dounds to the Executive, and when any thing wrong is yes! the hour had come for their beautiful trick. i done, no matter by whom, the Senate is now-a-days made would ask the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. AD- the scapegoat to bear all the sins of the party" to AMS] if he never signed bills after 12 o'clock at night on which they are so much opposed! the last night of a session, when he was President Sir, I Before I conclude, sir, permit me to reply briefly to I can prove by the manuscript minutes of your Clerk the gentleman from Massachusetts, (Mr. ADAMS.] That that there was a quorum in the House. Here is a book, gentleman protests, with great emphasis, against the acthe title of which is “Twenty-third Congress, 20 Ses cusation of sycophancy and man-worship to General Jacksion-Minutes of the House of Representatives.” In son? We have fallen upon strange times. The times this book we find this entry on Tuesday, March the 30, have monstrously changed, and some of us have changed when the main question was taken on the resolution to with them. I am frequently at a loss, sir, to determine compensate Robert P. Letcher: "Ayes 113; noes 3. No which side of the question that gentleman is on. At quorum--many members declined to answer, though the last session he made one speech for war, another standing at the Clerk's desk, because it was supposed to for peace, another for war again; and, at last, I be past 12 o'clock.” Only seven members were wanting thougbt, was about right. It has lately been said, then, but three afterwards, to make a quorum, and many and I believe he authorized it by a letter to the members declined to answer! Sir, there was a quorum, gentleman from Rhode Island, [Mr. PEARCE,] that and a quorum at the command of the party,” Let it he has changed his politics once more in his latter never hereafter be denied.
1 days. If so, sir, I shall be glad of it; for be bas had the
fortune always, I believe, to prostrate his own friends. laws, its constitution, and the spirit of its institutions, I shall rejoice, sir, for another, the best evidence to Vir but you, the minions of the Executive! ginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and all the democratic Sir, I denounce the attempt to charge the loss of the States--all the old democratic party-where the old fortification bill upon the Senate, on the part of those federal States and the old Hartford-convention federal who make it, knowing it to be false, to be a base fraud ists are rallying! I believe no man knows his own kind and imposition upon the country! better than the honorable gentleman from Massachusetts, and I know there is a great change, somehow
SATURDAY, JANUARY 23. or other, in the old Jackson party. Sir, a new. fangled democracy has sprung up, and renegado fed.
LOSS OF THE FORTIFICATION BILL. eralists, of whom it has been said that they haunt
The House resumed the consideration of the resolued the graves of such men as Hamilton and Jay like tion yesterday offered by Mr. J. Q. ADAMS: vampyres," are now among the present democrats in Resolved, That so much of the message of the Presithe land.
dent of the United States to Congress at the commenceThe gentleman says his object in introducing this resment of the present session as relates to the failure, at olution is to arrive at truth, and to produce harmony be. the last session of Congress, of the bill containing the tween the two Houses of Congress. Sir, I fear his means
ordinary appropriations for fortifications, be referred to will defeat his ends. He will, by this resolution, re-an
a select committee, with instructions to inquire into, imate and arm the dead Hector, once, he says, dragged and report to the House, the causes and circumstances around the walls of this Capitol by the victorious Achilles. of the failure of the bill. Instead of an inquiry after truth, the business of this com The question being on the motion of Mr. WILLIAMS, mittee will be to arraign the Senate of the United States, of North Carolina, to amend, by adding “with power and to break down that body, which cannot stand much to send for persons and papers"-longer. It has withstood already more than I thought Mr. WISE resumed and concluded the remarks com it could bear, and I will not consent to apply another menced by him yesterday, as given entire in preceding catapult to its walls. The gentleman will find himself | pages. mistaken. Instead of harmony, he will array House Mr. CAMBRELENG rose and remarked that he had against House, and the legislative department, divided not half so much to say as bad been said by the gentle. against itself, must fall. The policy of the Executive, man from Virginia, and he was not disposed, at this late when it means to consolidate all power in itself, will hour, to say any thing. But, with the indulgence of the ever be to divide and conquer. I will not aid the Ex House, he would take an opportunity to correct some ecutive against Congress. Instead of being united here, extraordinary mistakes into which the gentleman from to a man, against encroachments of the Executive, it Virginia had fallen. His object was, however, not so seems we are to be made ourselves the instruments and much to reply to the gentleman from Virginia, as to the tools of executive aggrandizement. Will there reach a gentleman who began this war upon bim at the never be any peace in the land until every institution is | last session. In what the gentleman from Virginia had prostrated to that one? I hope the gentleman does not stated there was no novelty. He had brought forward mean to enlist us in this fatal and unprecedented war nothing which had not been published in every opposi. upon the Senate. Sir, if I differed as widely as the tion paper in the Union, for the last six months. He poles from the Senate on subjects of past differences, I would promise the House to exhibit to them a document would now, in these fearful times of consolidating all published in the city of Philadelphia, while a certain power in the Executive, endeavor to become reconciled Senator was in that city, after the close of the last ses. to that body, and to meet it on common grounds of sion, which would prove unequivocally the falsehood of peace and harmony and united action. Behold the the charges made against him. Mr. C. repeated that spectacle of the two Houses of Congress wrangling, to his object was to reach that Senator. This much of his the destruction of each other, upon the point of dispute purpose he would announce. He should shrink from which failed to do the sovereign will and good pleasure no responsibility, and wished to disguise no facts. He of the Executive, which will and good pleasure was should vindicate himself from the charges made against never graciously made known to either.'Would that him, and bring his argument to this conclusion: * Let be the Congress which our fathers created by the con- the galled jade wince, my withers are unwrung.” With stitution to be watchful and jealous of executive power? | a view to embrace the first opportunity which might be They created us to be a check, to preserve the equilib. afforded to him to address the House, he now moved rium of power, and we are to quarrel about which shall that the House adjourn. yield most to a department which at best is but co-ordi The House then adjourned. nate! I say, sir, such a Congress as some would make us is not the Congress which the founders of our Goy
MONDAY, JANUARY 25. ernment intended; and, when we yield our jealous independence, the Congress of the constitution will be
SLAVERY IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. dead, dead, dead! With the power of appointing the Mr. ADAMS presented the petition of one hundred Judiciary to decide upon laws, and with the power of and seven females, residing in his congressional district, controlling, by the bribes of appointment, the legislators praying the abolition of slavery and the slave trade in the who are to enact the laws, the President, if he will | District of Columbia. abuse his trusts, is omnipotent, and the Government is Mr. HAMMOND addressed the Chair. consolidated in the Executive. Oh! that I could inspire Mr. ADAMS. I claim the floor, and shall not yield my fellow-members of this House, and the whole Ameri- | it. I move that the petition be referred to a select comcan people, to rise up in time against excessive execu- mittee, with instructions. tive power! The time has come when every man, in! Mr. GLASCOCK hoped that the gentleman would private life and in public, when the bigh and the low, notthe rich and the poor, should meet together for the safety Mr. ADAMS. I call to order. of the Government. Whilst that is at stake, let us con The CHAIR said that the gentleman from Massachuciliate and cheer each other, and say-It is not you of setts was entitled to the floor. The petition which the the Senate, nor you of the House of Representatives, gentleman proposed to present was still in his posseswho have sinned so grieyously against the country, its sion.
Mr. ADAMS moved that the petition be received; ses Mason, Maury, May, McComas, McKay, McKeon, and was proceeding to discuss the propriety of its re. McKim, McLene, Miller, Montgomery, Morgan, Morris, ception, when
Muhlenberg, Owens, Page, Parks, Patterson, Dutee J. Mr. HARDIN rose to a question of order. It was Pearce, James A. Pearce, Pettigrew, Phelps, Pinckney, not in order, in his estimation, to discuss the motion of John Reynolds, Joseph Reynolds, Ripley, Roane, Rogers, the gentleman at this time. The order of business now Seymour, Shields, Shinn, Smith, Spangler, Standefer, seemed to be, first, prayers, then the journal was read, Storer, Taylor, Thomas, John Thomson, Waddy and afterwards, on almost every morning, the gentleman Thompson, Toucey, Towns, Turrill, Underwood, from Massachusetts (Mr. ADAMS) made a speech. Wagener, Ward, Wardwell, Weeks, White, Whittle
The SPEAKER said that the gentleman from Massa sey, Lewis Williams-142. chusetts had made a motion to receive a petition, and Nays-Messrs. Adams, Chilton Allan, Ileman Allen, was proceeding to discuss that motion. The Chair had Bell, Bond, Briggs, Brown, George Chambers, John heretofore decided that it was competent to do so. The Chambers, Childs, Clark, Craig, Denny, Evans, Evergentleman was therefore not out of order.
ett, Philo C. Fuller, Granger, Graves, Grayson, GrenMr. CRAIG appealed from the decision of the Chair. nell; Hiland Hall, Hannegan, Hard, Hardin, Harper,
Mr. ADAMS inquired if this appeal was not identical Hazeltine, Hoar, Howell, Hunt, William Jackson, Janes, with the one which was pending on his motion?
Laporte, Lawrence, Lay, Lincoln, Lucas, Samson The SPEAKER replied in the affirmative.
Mason, McCarty, McKennan, Mercer, Moore, Parker, Mr. EVANS asked for the yeas and nays on the appeal; } Franklin Pierce, Peyton, Phillips, Reed, Rencher, Rob. which were ordered.
ertson, Russell, Schenck, William B. Shepard, AugusThe SPEAKER stated the question. The Chair de tine H. Shepperd, Slade, Sloane, Steele, Taliaferro, cided that it was competent, under the rules, upon a Vanderpoel, Vinton, Sherrod Williams-59. motion to receive a petition, to discuss the propriety of Mr. ADAMS said he was glad the question had been its reception at the time it was offered; the 45th rule at last decided. By the decision, every member of the not applying to a petition not in the possession of the House, having a petition to present, is authorized to de. House.
bate, as long as he shall think proper, the question of Mr. C. JOHNSON moved to postpone the question of reception, whether on slavery or any other subject. order, and the matters connected with it, until Saturday He had heretofore endeavored to keep a discussion of next. His object was to enable members to present the question out of the House, and should not now take petitions.
up the time of the House longer than to state the reaAfter a few remarks by Mr. HARDIN,
sons why he bad moved the reference of the petition to Mr. WAITTLESEY moved to amend the motion by a select committee. Mr. A. said his special reason substituting Monday next for Saturday.
was that the petition just presented came from his own Mr. HARPER was opposed to a postponement. He
immediate constituents. Heretofore, until the present was prepared to vote upon the appeal at this time. session, he had never received but one single petition
Mr. REED suggested that the subject should be post from his own immediate constituents, and that one signponed until Tuesday week.
ed by but very few, because it was well known, from the Mr. WHITTLESEY accepted the suggestion as a time that he presented the fifteen petitions from ci izens modification of his motion.
of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, that he should Mr. C. JOHNSON then modified his motion so as to not support the prayer of such petitions. But since the postpone the appeal, &c., until Tuesday week.
commencement of the present Congress, he had receiv. Mr. MILLER thought the sooner the question upon ed one or two petitions from his own constituents, and the appeal was decided the better; he therefore moved the one which he bad offered to the House was endorsthe previous question, the effect of wbich, he under. ed " The within petition of the ladies of Marshfield, stood, would be a direct vote upon the appeal from the Massachusetts, is committed to the hands of JOHN decision of the Chair.
Quincy Adams, with a request that he shall present it, The previous question was seconded, 85 to 73. and further its object.” Mr. A. said he was requested Mr. MERCER asked for the yeas and nays on order. to present it, and from a portion of his constituents ing the main question to be put; which were refused; from whom every deference was due; he meant from and the House decided that the question should be put ladies. It was sent to him not only with the request that without a count.
he should present it to the House, but that he should The question, Shall the decision of the Chair stand as further its object. He wished the petition received and the judgment of the House? was decided in the affirma. referred to a select committee, but if referred to the tive, by yeas and nays, as follows:
Committee on the District of Columbia, he would be YEAS-Messrs. Anthony, Ash, Banks, Barton, Beale, satisfied; but he wished it referred to a committee, Bean, Bockee, Boon, Bovee, Boyd, Bunch, Bynum, which would make a report that would satisfy the petiJohn Calhoon, William B. Calhoun, Cambreleng, Camp. tioners that their prayer ought not to be granted. He bell, Carr, Carter, Casey, Chaney, Chapman, Chapin, begged of those who could command a majority in the Nathaniel H. Claiborne, John F. H. Claiborne, Cleve House, and who were as unwilling as he was to make land, Coffee, Coles, Connor, Corwin, Cramer, Cushman, the abolition question a stumblingblock, to take a Darlington, Davis, Deberry, Dickerson, Dromgoole, course which would treat the petitions with respect; to Fairfield, Farlin, Fowler, French, Fry, William K. examine and present, with the utmost force, the reasons Fuller, Galbraith, James Garland, Rice Garland, Gillet, which should justify the House in not granting the Glascock, Grantland, Griffin, Haley, Hamer, Hammond, prayer of the petitioners. Harlan, Samuel S. Harrison, Albert G. Harrison, Hawes, He believed that to be the best course to effect the Hawkins, Haynes, Henderson, Hiester, Holsey, Hop desired object. He believed it to be the true course to kins, Howard, Hubley, Huntington, Hunstman, Ingelet error be tolerated, to grant freedom of speech, and soll, Ingham, Jabez Jackson, Joseph Johnson, Richard freedom of the press, and apply reason to put it down. M. Johnson, Cave Johnson, Henry Johnson, John W. He had no sort of doubt but that a committee of the Jones, Benjamin Jones, Judson, Kennon, Kilgore, Kin-House could furnish reasons why the prayer of these nard, Lane, Lansing, Luwler, Joshua Lee, Luke Lea, petitions should not be granted, which would satisfy Leonard, Logan, Loyall, Abijah Mann, Job Mann, every reasonable and humane individual in the country. Manning, Martin, John Y. Mason, William Mason, Mo. | He begged the majority of the House, North and South,
to consider whether it was not most just and likely to the gentleman from Massachusetts was in order. If this sooth and compose the feelings of the people of the | principle were carried out, Mr. H. could hand all his country. It appeared to him that would be the proper papers to a member from Maine, and thus get a prefercourse, and that it would be an easy matter to show why ence. the prayer of the petitioners should not be granted.
The CHAIR said the rule was not limited to petitions The Speaker of the House had the appointment of the and memorials from the State from which the member committees of the House, and he came from that portion presenting one came. Every member had a right to of the country which was most deeply interested against present the petition of any citizen from another State. the prayer of the petitioners, and he must be permitted Mr. GLASCOCK again appealed to gentlemen to say, that portion which must be of one opinion, and charged with these petitions to withhold them, at least cannot, dare not, express any other opinion. The for the present, and to wait the result of the resolutions Speaker had already appointed the Committee on the he had just referred to. As the gentleman from MasDistrict of Columbia, the chairman of which and a ma. sachusetts (said Mr. G.) bas thought proper again to jority of members were also from that portion of the speak of the sacred right of petition, and to urge that Union. If the Speaker of the House appoints a special not to receive a petition was an encroachment upon that committee, he will appoint such committee as he shall right, and a violation of the first amendment of the conthink best suited to give sound and solid reasons for the stitution, the latter part of which declares “ that Conrefusal of the House to grant the prayer of the petition gress shall pass no law to prevent the right of the people ers. That would leave the right of petition unimpaired,
peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for and still secured to the House. No abolitionists, nor any a redress of grievances," he felt it his duty, situated as person favorable to the views of the petitioners, could he was, having made a motion to that effect some days plead that this destroyed the right of petition. He since, to offer a few remarks in reply. Mr. G. said he hoped, for the peace and barmony of the community, hoped he would be pardoned for again repeating and and for the peace and harmony of the House, that the saying, once for all, that he had as high a regard for the petition might be received. He hoped that the sacred right of petition as any member on that floor; but, in right of petition would remain unimpaired, and that admitting this, he must observe, he had an equal regard nothing appearing to conflict with that right would be for the rights and privileges secured to every member the course of the House. These were the reasons why under the rules and regulations adopted for our governhe moved that the petition be received.
ment. Sir, (said Mr. G.,) I feel a perfect conviction, Mr. MILLER concurred very fully in the views ex. from the slight investigation which I have been enabled pressed by the gentleman from Massachusetts. When to give this subject, that we have a clear constitutional petitions of this character were first presented, he was right not to receive a petition; and, in doing so, we violate of opinion that there were two modes in which they | no part of that instrument to which gentlemen have so might be disposed of. The first was to lay them on the frequently referred; nor do we encroach upon any of table without debate; and if this course was not deemed those rights intended to be secured under it. I hold advisable by a majority of the House, then that they (said Mr. G.) that whenever any portion of our fellow. should be referred. If the present course was perse
citizens peaceably assemble and petition Congress for a vered in, it would preclude the presentation of every redress of grievances, and those petitions are presented, other petition during the day set apart for the presenta and their contents briefly stated, as required by one of tion of petitions. Besides, resolutions were pending in our rules, that moment, if not before, all the rights involving the whole subject. Under this view, and to tended to be secured to the citizens, were secured and enable other gentlemen to present their petitions, he fully complied with; and it then devolves on this House moved to lay the preliminary question of the reception to dispose of them as may seem just and proper, of the petition on the table.
in conformity to its rules; which would be, not to reMr. MCKENNAN asked for the yeas and nays; which ceive, to reject after receiving, or to refer it to some were not ordered.
select or standing committee, or lay it on the table, deThe motion to lay the preliminary question on the pendent entirely upon the will of a majority. table was agreed to.
Mr. G. emphatically asked, what is the question now Mr. JENIFER, of Maryland, attended and was qualified. presented for consideration? It is this: “shall the peti
Mr. ADAMS presented a petition from 160 or 170 tion be received?” It cannot now be denied, nay, it is citizens of western Pennsylvania, praying the abolition admitted on all hands, that the question is a proper one. of slavery and the slave trade in the District of Columbia; Yes, sir, it grows out of the very motion made by the which be moved be received.
gentleman himself, on presenting bis last petition, which Mr. GLASCOCK said he had hoped that gentlemen was that “the petition be received." This brings me, would have paused before they proceeded to introduce sir, to an important feature, necessarily involved in the other petitions of the same character, particularly after discussion; and I shall proceed to show that Mr. Jefferthe vote which had just been taken, and also when it son, the great and illustrious statesman, whose knowl. was known that a similar petition bad been made the or. edge and experience of all parliamentary rules and der of the day for Saturday next, and that the resolutions regulations have never been questioned, and whose embracing the whole subject matter were in the pos- / Manual is at this day looked upon and recognised as a session of the House, and would soon be finally acted text book, and adopted by all legislative bodies and deon. To press these petitions now, under circumstances liberative assemblies throughout the Union for their like these, seemed to him to be intended to produce government, and particularly by the Congress of the excitement, and wound the feelings of the southern United States, holds, and so lays it down in bis remarks members.
which follow the 45th rule: "That regularly a motion The SPEAKER reminded the gentleman that it was for receiving a petition must be made and seconded, and not in order to impugn the motives of any member of the a question put whether it shall be received;" and it is in House.
l'accordance with his views, thus expressed, that the ques. Mr. GLASCOCK said his remark was a general one. tion is now presented, and must always be presented, on
Mr. HARDIN rose to a question of order. He under the presentation of a petition, if there be any objections stood the gentleman to present a petition from citizens to its reception. This (said Mr. G.) be understood to of the State of Pennsylvania; and as the rule required be the uniform practice of this House, and was strictly the States to be called in their order, be did not think I adhered to in the Senate. If this principle be estab.