Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

as eminent contributors to the national welfare, as indis- While it has burned their books, it has not finally balanpensable agents in the accumulation and diffusion of the ced them. Their notes and bonds will still be produced national wealth, and as worthy representatives of the na-against them, although they have lost the record of their tional character in the wide extent of their commercial amount. They had used every precaution to guard relations.

against such a calamity. Their buildings were properly The merchants of New York are and always have been secured--some supposed to be fire proof, Whatever the principal debtors of the Government, or its prin- was the origin of the fire, none of them, at most with cipal agents in the collection of its revenue. At the but one exception, are chargeable with carelessness; custom-house in that city, and from the bands of its and they had insured their property for its full value. merchants, there have already been collected between But the insurers were not insured! It is an incident of two and three hundred millions of dollars for the use of this case, which distinguishes it above all others in the the country; more than one half of the imposts regular aggravation of misfortune, that the first names inscribed ly accrue ibere: and upon the ability and integrity of l upon the list of bankruptcies, attributable to the fire, the merchants of New York, therefore, the Government were those of one half of the fire insurance companies, must mainly depend for its available resources. The who, perhaps, will not be able to pay upon an average facts which are upon the records of the Treasury Depart. above fifty per cent. of the demands against them, and ment attest that, while the Government has always been may be compelled by the state of their affairs to post& strict, and sometimes an inexorable, creditor, it has sus- pone the payment of this meager dividend to a period tained only the most inconsiderable loss from the insol too late to afford seasonable relief. vency or fraud of its debtors in New York. Hitherto, Without going into further details, Mr. Chairman, I they have rarely as individuals, and never collectively, leave you to judge, from this strictly accurate descripurged claims to its indulgence, but have promptly and tion, of the actual condition of the merchants who were scrupulously fulfilled their engagements; occasion- immediate sufferers by the fire. Estimate if you can the ally, too, during periods of serious embarrassments. necessary effect of these combined causes of suffering: Even now, when overwhelmed with distress, they ad- destruction of property, diminution of credit, suspension here strictly to their obligations, and not a bond, except of business, overhanging debts, failure of insuranceby the voluntary permission of the collector, remains follow them out in their remote consequences, and conunpaid. Since the fire, the collector, in the use of a l tingent results, and tell me what sum of money will sufsound discretion, although in the exercise of an author- ficiently denote the real extent of the deplorable caity not strictly conferred by law, has permitted bonds to lamity! Set down the loss of buildings and goods at lie over, conformably to a suggestion of the Secretary $25,000,000, and consider this as only the first item in of the Treasury that some seasonable measure of relief the account. Estimate the value of the credit which might be expected from Congress. The present bill is such a capital in the hands of mercbants in active busidesigned to satisfy that expectation.

ness would usually command, and make that the second Having said thus much in justice to the city of New item. Calculate the accruing profits of the business in York, to the character of its merchants, and to their re

nts, and to their re. | which all these merchants were engaged, and also deterlation to the Government, I will ask the attention of the

mine what the privilege is worth to so many mercbants committee to some of the circumstances of the case which

of being well established in business; let this be the third have determined my own judgment in regard, to the item. Conjecture (for it can only be conjectural) the expediency of the provision contained in the second amount of the sacrifices of property which the pressure section.

of debts, under such circumstances, and the suspension The fire laid waste a section of the city occupied, by, I of demands against insurers, must occasion; and stop here: the merchants as a place of business. Wben i visited

what is the aggregate? Could the figures be cast and the scene a few days after the sad event, I beheld, an the sum stated, I think it would be sufficient to convince area of fifty acres covered with smoking, ruins, and the most incredulous that the immediate sufferers are strewed with fragments of damaged goods partially res, entitled, at least, to the scanty, indulgence which the cued from the flames. I perceived at once that the im first section of the bill provides for them. I think it mense mass of buildings which had been thus laid pros would also be a convincing and alarming proof that such trate consisted almost entirely of warehouses, the occu an overwhelming calamity cannot be confined to the pants of which I recollected to bave been chiefly import immediate sufferers, but must, in its consequences, exing merchants, commission bouşes, or grocers, such as tend far beyond them. I think it would satisfy the genwere always the holders of heavy stocks of goods, the tleman from Kentucky that such an amount of loss may aggregale value of which must have usually exceeded have given "a shock" to the business and credit of the

st estimate of the, Joss which is supposed to whole city; and I am sure it must compel him, if he will have been sustained. I was told that the work of de- | undertake to estimate it, to carry his conceptions far be. 'struction bad been so rapid that, in addition to the loss yond his ordinary standard of magnitude in money mat. of buildings and goods, many of the merchants had not ters, and quite as much beyond the range of his previous been able to save their books, notes, and papers. Now, acquaintance with the nature and extent of commercial Mr. Chairman, viewing this fire as a commercial embar. transactions.. rassment, I wish to remark that no ordinary estimate of When the ravages of the five had ceased, and the inthe value of buildings and goods destroyed can convey a habitants began to recover from the bewildering sensa. sufficient idea of the actual suffering which has been tions of terror and alarm which at the instant overcame produced, nor even of the positive pecuniary loss which them, how did they regard their general situation! They has been and is yet to be sustained. These sufferers saw, as they were collected on the spot, that though are almost exclusively merchants, who were holding a only a section of the city had been destroyed, the whole large amount of property, enjoying an extensive credit, community was doomed to suffer by the calamity; that, and engaged in profitable business. In consequence of though the wound was local, the stroke of the destroyer this fire, not only is their property destroyed, but, to a had been aimed at the heart; that, though it was an easy greater or less extent, their credit must be impaired, matter to complete the list of immediate sufferers, it was and their business, for a time at least, is stopped. Al | difficult to know where to begin or where to end in their previous engagements, nevertheless, remain to be enumerating the many and many others who could not fulfilled. The fire, while it has destroyed their prop.escape uninjured. The merchants, more especially, erty, has left the debts which they owe untouched. I instantly perceived that not one of their number was a

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

var

disinterested spectator of such a scene of ruin; but that, were men of business more unprepared for sudden reconnected as they were by mutual interests, and bound verses and severe pressure, and yet never, perhaps, has together by reciprocal obligations, the consequences there been more signal occasion to apprehend both. which would result from such a destruction of property, The overtrading of the past year, the rage for wild specand a corresponding prostration of credit, and conse ulation, the abused spirit of enterprise, have led, as it quent suspension of business, must affect them all. The would seem, to almost every conceivable misapplication dense cloud of smoke, ascending from the spot to which of capital, in whatever form it exists, and to an extension the fire was confined, had overshadowed the whole city, of the system of credit to so dangerous an extreme that intercepting for a time the bright beams of the returning it is difficult to imagine any mode of rescue from the sun; and these merchants felt that a heavier cloud of dis- evils wbich it must produce. The present state of the trust and embarrassment, produced by the misfortunes money market affords some indication of what may yet of the immediate sufferers, was fast gathering over them be expected; and let any member, who has the means of all, threatening to blast the gilded prospect of the near forming a correct judgment, turn his attention to the future, and the precursor of events which might involve general situation, at the present moment, of men of them all in temporary distress. They felt at once that business, and of the many who, in the use of the most it was their common duty to prepare for the worst. The unheard-of expedients, and under the impulse of the impulse of sympathy with their neighbors was blended maddest passion for adventure, have forced their pro. with the instinct of self-preservation. In the manifesta jects and extended their transactions so vastly beyond tion of mutual confidence, in the readiness of each to the views and purposes of men of business, properly so sustain every other, in that spirit of accommodation to called; let him endeavor to form some idea of the oncircumstances which belongs to the mercantile charac- precedented financial demands of the coming year, of ter, they proceeded to provide for the emergency. To the engagements to be met, the contracts to be fulfilled, guard against the unavoidable scarcity of money, and the notes and bonds to be paid; let him consider the the consequent difficulty of meeting such of their debts strained condition of the State banks, and the necessary as were approaching maturity, they appealed to the effects of the approaching dissolution of the Bank of the banks to co-operate in all practicable measures of re- United States, unless, indeed, they are to be obviated by lief, and they imparted the force of public opinion to a modified resuscitation of that important institution; let the obligation of creditors to grant indulgence to their him anticipate the various vicissitudes which usually predebtors, by the extension of payments. They called cede and follow a diminution of the value of the leading upon the Bank of the United States to apply all the staples of the country and a general depreciation of real means within its disposal for their accommodation; they and personal property; let him notice the consequences called upon the city government to create stock which already experienced at New Orleans of a suspension of might be made available capital; they invoked the State the trade with Mexico; let him bear in mind the continGovernment for its prompt and liberal interposition in gencies to which all branches of our foreign trade are

Is acts of legislation; and they appealed to the constantly liable; and then let him judge of the influGeneral Government to assume its just share of loss, to ence-the combined influence, as it may prove-of all postpone the collection of its superfluous revenue, and these causes of commercial embarrassment upon the to give such a direction to its finances that they might be straitened condition of the merchants of New York. Let rendered more contributory to their immediate benefit. I him then decide whether the circumstances are not, or

I am convinced, Mr. Chairman, that none who have may not be, such as to justify this Government in extend. made due inquiry into all the circumstances of their situ. ing to its debtors, and all its debtors, in that distressed ation can suppose that the merchants of New York have city, the same measure of indulgence which, amongst acted with a greater degree of foresight or vigor tban themselves, no creditor is sufficiently regardless of his the occasion required. Fortunately for them the fire bonor or his interest deliberately to refuse. Let him deoccurred at a season of the year which affords almost cide whether, when all their other applications for astheir only respite from the pressure of business, and sistance have been freely granted, their resort to the they were enabled to avail themselves of a brief leisure General Government shall be coldly, and sternly, and to concert and attempt to execute their plans. The ef- harshly repulsed. Let him consider whether, when the forts which they have made are memorable proofs of stroke which has fallen so heavily upon that city is unimanly fortitude and dauntless perseverance, which de- versally regarded as a national calamity, and when all serve, if they should not achieve, success. They illustrate that can be done for her relief must be alike regarded a public character which is entitled to universal admira- as a national benefit, he will assume the responsibility of tion. They indicate a determined purpose, which, if deciding that this Government may safely, and wisely, any thing can, will sustain them in their most unequal and honorably, postpone the claims of its debtors, and struggle with adversity, and enable them to start forward refuse to listen to tbe united and urgent appeals of so with redoubled energy upon a prosperous career. many of its citizens. • The crisis of their fate is still impending. The extent I have already noticed some of the objections that have of the calamity is not yet developed in its results, and a been urged against this bill: there are others which may be period is approaching which must put to the severest supposed to deserve consideration. The gentleman from test their ability to support themselves. Independently Kentucky, (Mr. HARDIN,) with his characteristic prompt. of their own fruitful sources of embarrassment, the signs ness, cominenced an attack upon the bill before, as it of the times indicate a fearful tendency of events to ag- proved, he had become acquainted with its provisions; gravate and multiply the dangers of their situation. and, in the use of bis accustomed weapons of sarcasm What is the state of things in the country at large and invective, endeavored to array against it the untimeGreatly brightened, I delight to acknowledge, by the ly influence of sectional and political prejudice. In glancheering intelligence wbich we have this day received, cing at bis objections, let me respectfully suggest to bim, but still sufficiently perplexed to deserve anxious con- tbat, if it be the misfortune of these debtors, it surely is sideration. A year of unexampled prosperity has closed, not their fault, that the city in which they reside has be. and another year has commenced, of which they who come the principal depository of the public revenue; and survive its termination may be obliged to render a dif- that the Government does not make the most profitable ferent account. A year bas commenced fraught with use of its funds which are there collected. If it be their results which must leave a durable impression upon the misfortune, it surely is not their fault, that the State of political and financial condition of the country. 'Never ) which they are citizens possesses, under the constitution,

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

a vast share of political influence; and that this influence, must well know they are the last who would accept, the here and elsewhere, has been, and is likely to be, applied bounty of the Government. But when the gentleman to purposes which that gentleman does not approve. perceives that the single object of the bill (which I agree Upon this occasion, he ought to remember that the claim ought to be expressed in its title) is to make an equitapresented for his consideration is one totally disconnected ble provision for the debtors of the Government, as such, with political or sectional considerations--the simple, he can hardly consider it a justifiable mode of defeating naked, and (as I had hoped all would regard it) indis. this object, to attempt to asperse, not their character, putable, irresistible claim of the sufferers by an unpre- but their occupation, and to inveigh, not at all against the cedented calamity, who claim no other service at his equity of their claims, in reference to the grounds upon hands but such as is due to the circumstances to which which alone the claims are urged, but in a strain-I will this calamity has reduced them. He ought to remem- not say of vulgar abuse--but of unmerited censure, ber that, if so large a proportion of the revenue is, and against the necessary incidents of the rank in society to must continue to be, collected and deposited in the city which the circumstances of these debtors have entitled of New York, it is of great importance to the interests them. I have no doubt that the recent fire has furnishof the Government to prevent the occurrence of general ed many cases of such as are not debtors of the Governembarrassment and distress; one consequence of which ment, whose claims to sympathy and relief are quite as will be, to endanger the security of the present depos. strong as the gentleman represents them; and I hope ites, and greatly to enhance the risk of bad debts, in re- and believe that those claims will be cheerfully recogspect to the bonds which remain unpail. He ought to nised by all to whom they can be properly addressed. remember that, upon the prosperity of New York, the It may be fortunate for such sufferers that the Governaccruing resources of the Government are immediately ment is not one of the creditors to whom they must now dependent; and that, whatever the Government may appeal for indulgence, but that they have only to resort now 'do for the temporary accommodation of the mer- to their neighbors, the merchants, for the ready acqui. chants of that city will be more than repaid to the nao escence of the facilities they need. Yes, sir, to the abutional Treasury by the future results of their persevering sed and denounced merchants, upon whom the trades. and successful enterprise. The gentleman also owes it men and mechanics, so warmly and deservedly eulogi. to himself, to his constituents, and to the country, not to zed by the gentleman, are immediately dependent for forget that all sectional interests are merged in the wel credit and employment, and in whose stability (to which fare of the great commercial metropolis of the Union. | the proposed relief may prove essential) the only hopes He should not forget that such are the indissoluble rela- of these tradesmen and mechanics are directly and deeptions of New York to all parts of the country, that they ly involved. Let me advise the gentleman, then, to must share in its prosperity and misfortunes. He should consider whether he can do a greater injury to the not forget that, directly or indirectly, the planters, man very class of whose interests he aspires to be regarded ufacturers, and traders of Kentucky bave always some as the especial advocate, than by acting himself, and en. thing at stake in New York; and that he fails to consult deavoring to persuade the committee to act, upon the their interests, and must be presumed to oppose their supposition that their interests can be otherwise than inwishes, when, in a time of the greatest need, he refuses juriously affected by whatever is calculated to excite to extend the helping hand of the Government for the distrust, and to produce ill will, and to direct the force relief of those with whom, by all the ties of mutual del of the most illiberal prejudice against their only patrons pendence, his constituents and the people of the whole and their best friends. Let him consider, further, country are thus intimately connected. I am sure, sir, whether, at this critical moment, when the working that I do not give to this consideration an undue impor. classes of New York have their all at stake upon the tance. I am sure that neither the gentleman from Ken-ability of the merchants to recover from the disaster which tucky, nor any other gentleman who will allow himself threatens to overwhelm them, he will not prove himself to exercise a practical judgment upon this view of the the true friend of the working classes, by advocating, subject, will disagree to the conclusion that the business upon this occasion, in reference to their proper object, of New York is, in effect, the business of the whole coun the claims of the merchants. try; and that a sudden interruption and extensive de 'The gentleman from Rhode Island makes it another rangement of the business of that city will prove a check cause of complaint against the bill, that it not only pro. to the prosperity of the whole country.

vides for the relief of those who are almost exclusively . The gentleman from Rhode Island (Mr. PEARCE] has merchants, but that some of them, also, do not happen tasked his ingenuity to produce popular objections to to be American citizens. My answer to this objection the object of this bill, and has perhaps been more suc- is, very briefly, that they are, nevertheless, debtors of cessful than the gentleman from Kentucky in exciting the Government, and, as such, entitled to share, withthe prejudices of some members against it. He has out discrimination, in whatever policy the Government proved, I think, that the title of the bill is not sufficiently may see fit to adopt towards its debtors. It is the hondefinite, but has erred in supposing that the object which orable characteristic of our commercial system, that it he consideres to be implied in the title is, or ought to be, offers every facility for the introduction of foreign cap. recognised in our legislation. The provisions of the bill ital; that it invites to our ports the ships and the mer. are designed to extend the indulgence of the Govern. chants of all nations, (who do not refuse to reciprocate ment to those who are its debtors in the city of New the privilege,) and that, in the distribution of burdens York, and exclusively to such as are its debtors. It pro- and benefits, it makes no distinction whatever between · poses to afford them the same indulgence which other citizens and foreigners. New York bas been built up creditors, under similar circumstances which other cred by the aid of foreign capital and enterprise; the reve. itors in New York, at this moment--have extended to nue which has been there collected bas been always their debtors. If it were proposed, if it were expedient, contributed, in a considerable measure, by foreigners or to attempt to relieve all sufferers by the fire, without their agents; and since, as the gentleman represents, reference to the peculiar relation which some of them the recent calamity has fallen so heavily upon the sustain to the Government, the gentleman would do French and other foreign houses established in the city, right to vindicate the claims of such as are not now pro. the statement of that fact affords a sufficient reason for * vided for; and, if the bill were designed to be merely extending to them whatever benefit they may gain, as an act of charity, he might properly argue that the mer- debtors of the Government, from the general operation chants of New York are the last who should receive, as he l of the bill.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

The gentleman from Rhode Island has made an elabo- the present moment her call upon the Government, sperate investigation of precedents, and has shown, very cially warranted by the circumstances of her situation, conclusively, that they do not exhibit a uniform practice is enforced by numerous and simultaneous demonstraof the Government; but that, deciding every case upon tions of the approbation of the country. its own merits, and with more or less consideration, It is not the call of New York alone. Philadelphia Congress has sometimes granted and sometimes refused has seconded the call with a spirit worthy of the name applications somewhat similar to this. From the num she bears. Baltimore has instructed her representatives ber of such precedents, and from the fact that previous to sustain her honor by supporting any practicable measdecisions have been thus contradictory, I can readily in ures of relief. Boston, speaking for Massachusetts, has fer that there is an inherent defect in the existing laws, invoked the members from that State to a like generous which, as I believe, and have stated, can only be reme co-operation. The memorial of New Orleans is the spondied by the introduction of the warehousing system, taneous and emphatic utterance of the voice of the West. under which such cases could not occur; but, as the It is not the call of New York alone; but every where, precedents do not establish a general rule, and as the along the coast and throughout the interior, wherever present case is marked by circumstances in many re there has been an expression of public sympathy, it is spects unprecedented, I do not see any thing that should coupled with an earnest appeal to Congress. Let deter us from the exercise of an independent judgment us answer the appeal by an act that shall be worthy of in deciding it.

the constituted guardians of the national interests and the The gentleman from Rhode Island grounds another national honor. objection upon the fact that the relief afforded by this When Mr. P. had concluded, on motion of Mr. bill is so inconsiderable that it cannot be desirable. It GRAVES, the committee rose, and the Speaker having is indeed fortunate for the merchants and for the Gov. resumed the chair, ? ernment that the fire did not occur a few years sooner, Mr. CAMBRELENG moved that the said bill be made when almost all imported goods were subject to duty, the special order for to-morrow at 1 o'clock; which was and in many instances a very heavy duty, and when' of agreed to. course the average amount of bonds remaining unpaid

The House then adjourned. must have vastly exceeded the sum which is now paya. ble. If the amount of duties upon goods destroyed by the fire, instead of being, as it is, less than a million

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17. of dollars, had not been less than five millions, and if the

REMOVAL OF CREEK INDIANS. amount of duties upon other goods, payable at the mo Mr. GLASCOCK asked the consent of the Houge to ment, instead of being between three and four millions, had submit the following resolution, which was read for innot been less than fifteen or twenty millions, I agree that formation: the magnitude of the claims of the public debtors would Resolved, that the Committee on Indian Affairs be have been such that the Government must have yielded instructed to inquire into the expediency of adopting to the necessity, the uncontrollable necessity, of the measures for the immediate removal of the Creek Indians most liberal and extraordinary measure of relief. Still, to the allotted territory in treaty of the 24th of March, the duty of the Government is no: to be strictly measu 1832. red by the magnitude of the claims; and, if it were, I can Mr. GLASCOCK said, in offering the resolution, he deduce no other conclusion from the gentleman's prem- was influenced from circumstances and events which had ises than that, under the existing circumstances of this recently transpired between a portion of the citizens of case, we ought to do far more than the bill proposes Georgia and the Creek Indians; and, although there a conclusion, to say the least, manifestly incompatible had been a partial adjustment of the difficulties between with the gentleman's avowed determination to do the commanding officer in that quarter (General Mcnothing.

Dugald) and some of the principal chiefs, yet he felt The relief afforded by the bill, I am free to admit, assured there were many turbulent and disaffected Indoes not correspond to the exigency of the case. I hopedians of the nation who could not be controlled, and would that still more may be done; especially that another bill continue to commit their depredations on our citizens, for the remission of duties upon goods burned may be and keep them in a continued state of alarm and excitereported and passed, and that the Secretary of the Treas- ment. Mr. G. said he had just been apprized, toc, ury may give such a direction to the public funds already that the Executive of the State had found it necssary to collected and constantly accruing at New York, as to organize a battalion of volunteers, for the immediate de make them available for the greater accommodation of fence and protection of our citizens in that quarter, the the mercantile community, from whom these funds have great expense of which might well be conceived; but it is been derived.. An enlightened policy seems to me to due to that section of the State that it should be done, justify and require such an administration of the finan and he was gratified to find such a measure had been ces at the present moment; and its results, I am well per promptly accepted. But, Mr. G. said, he felt satisfied suaded, must be extensively and permanently beneficial. permanent peace and security would never be given to I say, then, let all this be done, and let this bill be pass. our frontier citizens, until there was a final removal of the ed, in the first instance, as a measure of simple justice | whole nation to their allotted territory under the treaty of and, manifest expediency, and as an earnest of the dispo- 1824, and it was with this view he offered the resolution sition of Congress to sanction the other measures which suggesting the inquiry, and felt assured that some measure should succeed it. Let this bill, at least, be judged and might be adopted by the present Congress to give satisdecided upon its own merits; and, if there remains no faction to our justly excited and exasperated fellow-citiother objection to it than that it does not afford sufficient zens, and enable them again to pursue, in peace and tranrelief, let that objection be removed, as bas been just quillity, their usual avocations; he therefore hoped the suggested, by further legislation, and by the arrange House would vote for the adoption of the resolution, that ments of the Treasury Department.

some immediate action might be had on the subject. The gentleman from Rhode Island does not exagger The SPEAKER reminded the gentleman that the ate the influence and importance of the city of New resolution was not before the House, and that the York. , That city sustains a relation to the Government | consent of the House to its reception must be first oband the country' which gives ber a right at all times to tained before it could be debated. claim from both the most favorable consideration. Atl. Objection being made, Mr. GLASCOCK moved a

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

suspension of the rule, in order to enable him to submited from the day when the same were paid, and said pay. his proposition; which was negatived.

ments refunded."

Mr. GRAves, who was entitled to the floor, addressSUSPENSION OF THE RULES.

ed the Chair to the following effect: Mr. R. M. JOHNSON moved to suspend the rules, for From the latitude allowed those who have preceded the purpose of considering the bill providing for the pay me in this debate, I hope it will not be considered out ment of the volunteers and military corps in the service of order in me to speak to the merits of the whole bill. of the United States; which was negatived. .

I have entertained the opinion, since the first introducMr. JOHNSON subsequently moved to suspend the tion of this bill, that we could not, in accordance with rules in order to enable him to submit a motion, making sound policy and correct principles of legislation, grant the foregoing bill the special order for one hour to-mor- the relief proposed by it to the unfortunate victims of row morning, after the reception of reports from com this most unprecedented calamity; much less extend the mittees.

operations of the bill, as proposed in the second section, Mr. ASHLEY moved to amend the motion, so as to to all such merchants as are not included in the first, include the bill authorizing the President of the United and who, though they had suffered no loss by the late States to accept the service of volunteers; which was fire, were indebted to the Government for duties at the negatived.

port of New York, by bonds that fell due prior thereto. The motion to suspend the rules was agreed to: Ayes Laboring under the influence of that almost universal 112, noes 38.

sympathy which was pervading the community for the Mr. JOHNSON then submitted the motion indicated; l objects of this affliction, I have felt a strong and sincere which was carried.

desire, if I could consistently with my convictions of Mr. MANN, of New York, moved to suspend the rules duty, to give my support to this bill; yet, although I until one o clock, for the purpose of receiving petitions, have given a most patient and impartial hearing to all excepting petitions for the abolition of slavery in the that has been said in support of it, my opinions remain unDistrict of Columbia; which was negatived.

changed. The honorable member from Massachusetts, CAPTAIN NATHAN HALE.

[Mr. PHILLIPS,) who last addressed the committee, in a

very elaborate, able, and truly eloquent speech, has Mr. JUDSON, from the select committee on that sub

occupied all the grounds, in my humble conception, ject, moved to take up the joint resolution in relation

that can be urged in support of this measure, and that, to the monument proposed to be erected to the memory

too, in a manner most peculiarly felicitous. The first of Captain Nathan Hale, for the purpose of reading it a

section of the bill provides: " That the collector of the second time by its title, and committing it; which was

port of New York be, and he is hereby, authorized, as Agreed to.

he may deem best calculated to secure the interests of The resolution was then read a second time; when

the United States, to cause to be extended (with the Mr. JUDSON moyed that it be committed to a Commit.

assent of the sureties thereon) to all persons who have tee of the Whole on the state of Union.

suffered loss of property by the late conflagration at that Mr. VINTON moved to commit the resolution to a

place, the time of payment of all-bonds heretofore given Committee of the Whole House. He deprecated the

by them for duties, to periods not exceeding three, four, practice of sending ordinary matters to the Committee

and five years, in equal instalments, from and after the on the state of the Union. He was not opposed to the

day of payment specified in the bonds; or to allow the present resolution, but had made the motion to refer it to a Committee of the Whole House, in order, if possi.

said bonds to be cancelled, upon giving to the said col

lector new bonds, with one or more sureties, to the sat. ble, to arrest the improper practice to which he had re

isfaction of the said collector, for the sums of the former ferred. Mr. JUDSON adverted to the patriotic character of

bonds, respectively, payable in equal instalments, in

three, four, and five years, from and after the day of the resolution, and urged the propriety of the motion which he had submitted. He regretted that the gentle.

payment specified in the bonds to be taken up or can.

celled, as aforesaid; and the said collector is hereby man from Ohio (Mr. VIXTON] should bave selected

authorized and directed to give up or cancel all such this resolution as the occasion upon which to oppose

bonds upon the receipt of others described in this act; what that gentleman considered an improper practice

which last-mentioned bonds shall be proceeded with in wbich had obtained in reference to the mode of pro.

all respects like other bonds which are taken by collect. ceeding upon measures before the House. Mr. EVANS coincided in the remarks of the gentle

ors for duties due to the United States: Provided, That

those who are designed to be relieved by this section, man from Ohio. In the present instance, he contended

and who may have paid their bonds subsequent to the that it was incompetent for the gentleman from Connec

late fire, shall also be entitled to the benefit of this sec. ticut (Mr. JUDSON] to submit this motion, under the

tion, and that the said boods shall be renewed from the authority of the select committee raised on the subject

day when the same were paid." referred to. That committee had reported. Their

The second section provides that the collector of the functions had therefore ceased. The hour devoted to morning business having expired,

port of New York is hereby authorized and directed to the Chair announced the special order, being the bill for

extend the payment, in the manner prescribed in the first the relief of the

section of this act, of all other bonds given for duties at

the port of New York prior to the late fire, and not SUFFERERS BY FIRE IN NEW YORK. provided for in the first section aforesaid, for six, nine, On motion of Mr. CAMBRELENG, the House then and twelve months, from and after the day of payment resolved itself into a Committee on the Whole on the specified in the bonds: Provided, however, That nothing state of the Union, and took up the said bill.

contained in this act shall extend to bonds which had The question pending was the motion of Mr. HARDIX fallen due before the seventeenth of December last.” to strike out the first proviso in the first section, which I, Mr. Chairman, gave my undivided and most special is in the following words:

attention to each and every position taken by that hon. Provided, That those who are within the provisions of orable gentleman in the progress of his argument, and this section, but who may bave paid their bonds subse propose, as briefly as the nature of the case will admit, quent to the late fire, shall also be entitled to the bene. to review such of them as bear upon the real merits of fit of this section, and that the said bonds shall be renew. this question. Before, however, I proceed to a con

« AnteriorContinuar »