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defended. On that day, with a view officer by making complaints of preventing further discussion, against him to the head of a Mr Grennels demanded the pre- department. The superintendvious question, and being sustained ent of the Cumberland road in by the House, the motion was Ohio was guilty, not only of decarried. Upon discharging the frauding the government, but of committee the vote stood, yeas oppressing and defrauding indivi111, pays 65, and upon referring duals, with whom contracts were it to the Secretary of the Trea- made for the construction of the sury, yeas 114, nays 53. In the road. Added to this, he was nocourse of the debate upon this toriously incompetent for the dismotion, Mr Stanberry, of Ohio, charge of the duties of his office. made the following remarks, which Complaints were made to the occasioned a great sensation in late secretary of war, who sent the House :
a respectable and intelligent ofMr Stanberry said, he hoped ficer of the army to investigate the motion to discharge the com- the charges. This officer, (Mamittee on the judiciary, from the jor Talcott,) did on the spot further consideration of this mat- enter into a laborious investigation ter, would not prevail
. It is ad- of the conduct of the superinmitted, (said he,) that the col- tendent. He took the testimony lector is an officer, liable to be of witnesses on oath, and the impeached by the constitution; superintendent bad every opporand that, if the charges made tunity of making his defence. against him be true, they con- The testimony, accompanied by stitute an impeachable offence. the report of Major Talcott, was But it seems to be thought that, transmitted to the war departbecause he was appointed by the ment. I have heard, (for I have President, and removable at his not read the testimony or the repleasure, that it would be en- port, but I have no doubt of the croaching upon the President's fact, that the testimony did most prerogative, for this House to fully prove the charges made meddle with the officer. I rise against the superintendent, and chiefly for the purpose of enter- the report of Major Talcott reing my protest against this doc- commended his removal. Well, trine. If this House sanction it, sir, was the superintendent rewe will relinquish the most saluta- moved? No such thing. He ry power vested in us by the still holds the office; and, notconstitution.
withstanding the great interest • Is it certain, is the most satis- which Obio has in the continuafactory proof were made of the tion of this road, I believe most guilt of this officer, that he would of her representatives feel albe removed by the head of the most indifferent whether any furtreasury department, or by the ther appropriations be made, i. President? Sir, the people whom this superintendent is permitted I represent, have tried the ex- to hold bis office. We know that periment of endeavoring to effect the money will be wasted, and that the removal of a United States' the work will languish.
The superintendent of the become us to inquire into the Cumberland road is not the only person you are pleased to preser officer who has been suffered to above others, or into reason.
то continue in office, after proofs of you Heaven has given a consumhis transgressions had reached the mate judgment. To us there President. Was the late secre- remains the glory of a cheerful tary of war removed in conse- obedience.” Language fit for the quence of his attempt, fraudulent- ears of a tyrant, master of the ly, to give to Governor Houston lives and property of his subjects ; the contract for Indian rations ? but most unlit for the ears of the I derive my knowledge of this chief magistrate of a free people, transaction not from the columns holding his power by their will, of the Telegraph. The whole and responsible to them for its affair was known to me at the abuse.' time it took place.
The editor These remarks, which caused of the Telegraph gives himself great excitement in the House, too much credit for defeating this were inserted in the National Inattempted fraud. I understood telligencer, and Mr Houston, who that it was in consequence of the was then at Washington, addressremonstrances of the delegate ed a letter to Mr Stanberry, infrom Arkansas, that the contract quiring whether his name was was not completed. There is one used by him in debate, and if so, fact, however, for which I am in- whether his remarks had been debted to the Telegraph ; and correctly quoted in the newspathat is, that the President had per. Mr Štanberry replied, that full knowledge of the business, he could not recognise the right and that it did not meet with his of Mr Houston to request an andisapprobation.
swer to his inquiry.
Offended • Is not William B. Lewis still at this reply, Mr Houston detersuffered to hold his office? And mined to take redress into his is any further proof needed to own hands; and in the evening of convince any man of his guilt ? the 13th of April be assaulted
• Unlimited confidence in the Mr Stanberry with a bludgeon, President is a doctrine unknown knocked him down and beat him to the constitution.
so severely, that he was not able placed here, to check the Execu- to resume his seat for several days. tive. But now, it is thought the The next day, Mr Stanberry adonly mark of genuine patriotism dressed a letter to the Speaker, to prosess the most unbounded informing the House of this asdevotion to the will of the Presi- sault upon him for the part taken dent; and the conduct of every by him in debate. The letter officer, favored by the President, having been read Mr Vance moved must be exempt from all inquiry that the Speaker issue his warrant or censure. “It does not become for the apprehension of Samuel us,” said a Roman knight in the Houston, and directing the serSenate, boasting of his friendship geant at arins to keep him subfor Serjanus, and addressing him- ject to the order of the House. self to Tiberius —" It does not This motion was opposed
Messrs. Polk, Speight, Patten and been read, Mr Huntington moved Beardsley on the ground that Con- as an aineodment, that Samuel gress had no authority to act in this Houston has been guilty of a consummary manner. The House, tempt and violation of the prihowever, thoughtotherwise, and in vileges of the house. order to put an end to a debate A discussion now ensued as to which was regarded as derogato- the right of the House to inflict ry to its character, the previous any punishment, the administraquestion was ordered, yeas 104, tion party contending, with but nays 65,and the resolution pass- few exceptions, that it was either ed, yeas 145, nays 25. Ai the inexpedient or unconstitutional for next ineeting of the House, April the House to punish any act as a 16, Mr Houston was brought be. contempt, unless committed in its fore it in custody of the sergeant, presence and during the sitting. and, being arraigned, requested Upo 1 putting the question, howtime to prepare his defence. On ever, Mr Huntington'samendment the 18th he again appeared, and was carried, yeas 106, Nays 88. being interrogated by the Speak- Mr Clay, of Alabama, then mover, he replied, that he did indeed ed that it was inexpedient to proassault Mr Stanberry, but denied ceed further in the matter, and that he intended to commit any that Samuel Houston be discharcontempt towards the House. ged from custody; and Mr HunThat upon reading in the National tington moved as an amendment, Intelligencer reinarks purporting that Samuel Houston be brought to have been made by Mr Stan- to the bar of the House on the berry on the Aloor of the House, 14th of May, and publicly reprihe felt indignant, and addressed a manded for the contempt, and letter to him inquiring whether also, that he be excluded from the the remarks were correctly re- privileges belonging to bim as a ported. To this inquiry Nr S. former member of the House. refused to give any answer, in a This amendment was declared by manner calculated still further to the Speaker to be out of order, injure bim. That under the in- but upon appeal the decision of fluence of feelings thus excited, the Speaker was overruled, yeas he did, on accidentally meeting 89, nays 106. The first part of with Mr Stanberry, assault and Mr Huntington's amendment was beat him.
then adopted, yeas 105, nays 89, The House then went into an and that part, excluding Gov. examination of the circumstances Houston from the privileges of attending the assault, and after the House, was rejected, ayes 90, taking the testimony, Mr Houston nays 101. The resolution thus on the 7th of May was heard in amended was then passed, yeas his own defence.
96, nays 84, and on the day deMr Harper then made a mo- signated, he was brought to the bar tion, that the accused be discharge of the House and publicly repried from the custody of the ser- inanded by the Speaker for a breach geants, and the resolution having of the privileges of the House.
The disposition evinced by the the previous question was called partizans of the administration, for and carried, precluding the to countenance an interference amendment proposed by Mr with the deliberations of Con- Stanberry. The question was gress, was not without its effect. then taken by yeas and nays on One of the witnesses, examined Mr Crane's motion for a comduring the trial of governor Hous- nittee, and decided in the negaton, feeling aggrieved at a question tive by yeas and nays, yeas 85, asked by G. Cooke, a member nays 87. from Obio, demanded an expla- Upon the adjournment of the nation from him. On the 14th House on that day a striking proof of May, Mr Cook asked the at- was afforded of the impropriety tention of the House to the letter of the course of the dominant demanding satisfaction. This let- party, in not enforcing the powers ter was accompanied by a written vested in Congress for the purstatement by Mr C., of circum- pose of preserving its members stances occurring the day of from insult and violence. Duexamination, and of a threat, ring the discussion upon the prosaid to have been made by Dr priety of punishing Mr Houston, Davis, as he went out of the Hall. a
person named Morgan A. Mr Crane, of Ohio, moved to Heard, who called himself a friend refer this letter, and the statement of the prisoner, had threatened accompanying it, to a select com- violence against Mr Arnold, a mittee, with power to send for member from Tennessee, on acpersons and papers, and to report count of the indignant manner in the facts in the case; which was which he spoke of the attempt to so far amended, as 10 require overawe members in the disthem to report their opinion, whe- charge of their duties. Embolther the transmission of this let- dened by the remarks of the ter, demanding satisfaction for goveroment press, and the obstawords spoken on the floor, consti- cles presented to the punishment tuted a breach of privilege of of Mr Houston, this person, who the members of the House. Mr was occasionally under the influStanberry, in the course of de- ence of insanity produced by inbate hereupon, made a statement temperance, thought he could alihat assaults on members of the so attack with impunity a memHouse, for words spoken in de- ber of the opposition; and upon bate were encouraged by the lan- the adjournment of the House on guage used by the President of the 14th of May, he assaulted Mr the United States, and said he Arnold with a bludgeon. Being could prove the assertion by un- promptly repelled by Mr Arnold, questionable evidence. Mr Polk, he drew a pistol and discharged having declared the statement to it at him — fortunately without be unfounded, Mr Stanberry effect, although the ball passed moved to amend the resolution so through his sleeve. Mr Arnold as to institute an inquiry into this then knocked the ruffian down, matter. After a stormy debate, and his arm was arrested as he was on the point of inflicting sum- The grand jury, which was then mary justice upor his assailant. in session, found bills against This assassin-like assault gave a Samuel Houston and Morgan A. shock to public sentiment, which Heard for assaults with intent to it would have been hazardous kill. The former was convicted not to have noticed. The civil of an assault, and fined $500, and authorities were called upon to act, the latter was never brought to and put an end to a state of af- trial, being deemed an object betfairs alike disgraceful to the gov- ter fitted for a mad house, than ernment and io the capital of the for the censure of a court of jus United States.