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The House proceeded, by ballot, to the choice of a Speaker; and upon examining the ballots, it appeared that Henry Clay, one of the Representatives for the state of Kentucky, was duly elected :
Whereupon, Mr. Clay was conducted to the Speaker's chair, and the oath to support the constitution of the United States, as prescribed by the act, entitled “An act to regulate the time and manner of administering certain oaths," was administered to bim by Mr. Findley, one of the members for the state of Pennsylvania; after which he made his acknowledge. ments to the House, in the following words : : GENTLEMEN,
“ IN returning to the station in which I am replaced by a continuance of your favor, whilst I am sensible of the honor which I have received, I am sensible also of my inability to fulfil the expectations justly raised by so elevated a distinction; but, gentlemen, the experience I have had, limited as it is, has satisfied me that, in the maintenance of the order of the House, less depends upon the presiding officer than upon a sense of the necessity of decorum being generally diffused throughout the body. Then only will a deliberative assembly be well governed, and its bussiness agreeably transacted, when each mem. ber, identifying the reputation of the body to which he belongs in his own, shall make the preservation of its order an affair of personal and individual con. cern, and shall render to the chair a candid, liberal and unbiassed support. Under the hope and per. suasion that you participare with me in these senti. ments, I shall proceed to administer the duties yoa have been pleased to assign ne."
The oath or affirmation to support the constitution of the United States, as prescribed by the act abovementioned, was then administered by the Speaker to all the other members present
Jonathan Jennings having also appeared and produced his credentials as the delegate from the Indiana territory, the said oath was administered to him by the Speaker.
The House proceeded, by ballot, to the choice of a Clerk; and upon examining the ballots, it appeared that Patrick Jagruder was duly elected.
The same oath, together with the oath of office, prescribed by the said act, were also administered by the Speaker to the Clerk.
Ön motion of Mr. Findley, Resolved, That Thomas Dunn be appointed Ser. jeant-at-Arms ; Thomas Claxton, Doorkeeper, and Benjimin Burch, Assistant Doorkeeper to this House, and that they do severally give their attendance accordingly.
A message froin the Senate by Mr. Otis, their se. cretary.
Mr. Speaker: I ain directed to inform this House, thai a quorum of the Senate is assembled and ready to procece to business; they have appointed a commillee on their part to wait on the President of the United States and inform him that a quorum of the two llouses is assembled, and ready to receive any communication he may be pleased to inake to thom : The Senate have resolved ibat two Chaplains of dif. ferent denominations be appointed to Congress dur. ing the present session, one by each House, who shall interchange weekly.
On motion of Mr. Dawson, Ordered, That a message be sent to the Senate to inforin them that a quorum of this House is assembled, and have chosen Henry Clay, one of the Representatives from Kentucky, their Speaker, and thai the Clerk do go with the said message.
Mr. Dawson aud Mr. Winter were appointed a committee on the part of this House to wait on the President of the United States, and inform him that a quorum of the two Houses is assembled and ready
to receive any communications he may be pleased to make to thein.
On motion of Mr. Findley, Ordered, That the rules and orders established by the late House of Representatives be deemed and taken to be the rules and orders of proceedivgs to be observed in this House until a revision or alten. tion of the same shall take place.
On motinn of Mr. Findley, Ordered, That the Clerk be directed to procuro newspapers from any number of offices that the members may elect: Provided, that the expense do not exceed the price of three daily papers.
And then the House adjourned until to-morrow morning eleven o'clock.
TUESDAY, May 25th, 1818.
Several otber members, to wit: from Vermont, William Strong; from New York, Alexander Boyd and William S. Smith; from Helawarc, Thomas Cooper; from Virginia, John G. Jackson, and from North Carolina, Jieshack Franklin, appeared, produced their credentials and took their seats; the oath to support the constitution of the United States be. ing first administered to them by the Speaker.
Ur. Dawson, from the joint committee appointed yesterday to wait on the President of the United States, and to inform him that a quoruin of the two Houses was assembled, and ready to receive any communications he may be pleased to make to them, reperted, that the committee had performed that service, and that the President answered, that he would make a communication to the two Houses to. day at twelve o'clock.
A message, in writing, was then received from the President of the United States, by Mr. Graham, who delivered in the same at the Speaker's table, and withdrew.
T'he said message was read, and is as follows:
Fellow Citizens of the Senate
and of the House of Representatives.
AT an early day after the close of the last session of Congress, an offer was formally communicated from his imperial majesty, the emperor of Russia, of his mediation, as the common friend of the United States and Great Britain, for the pur. pose of facilitating a peace between them. The high character of the emperor Alexander being a satisfactory pledge for the sincerity and impartiality of his offer, it was immediately accepted; and as a further proof of the disposition on the part of the United States, to meet their adversary in honorable experiments for terminating the war, it was determined to avoid intermediate delays, incident to the distance of the parties, by a definitive provision for the contemplated negotiation. Three of our emi. nent citizens were accordingly commissioned with the requisite powers to conclude a treaty of peace with persons clothed with like powers on the part of Great Britain. They are authorized also to enter into such conventional regulations of the commerce between the two countries, as may be mutually ad. vantageous. The two envoys who were in the United States at the time of their appointment, have proceeded to join their colleague already at St. Petersburg.
The envoys have received another commission authorizing them to conclude with Russia a treaty of commerce, with a view to strengthen the amicable relations, and improve the beneficial intercourse between the two countries.
The issue of this friendly interposition of the Russian emperor, and this pacific manifestation on the part of the United States, time only can decide. That the sentiments of Great Britain towards that
sovereign will have produced an acceptance of his offered mediation, must be presumed. That no adcquate motives exist to prefer a continuance of war with the United States, to the terms on which they are willing to close it, is certain. The British cabi. net also must be sensible that with respect to the important question of impressment, on which the war so essentially turns, a search for, or seizure of British persons or property on board neutral vessels on the high seas, is not a belligerent right derived from the law of nations, and it is obvious, that no visit or search, or use of force, for any purpose, on board the vessels of one independent power on the high seas, can in war or peace be sanctioned by the laws or authority of another power. It is oqually obvious that for the purpose of preserving to each state its seafaring members, by excluding them from the vessels of the other, the mode heretofore pro. posed by the United States, and now enacted by them as an article of municipal policy, cannot for a moment be compared with the mode practised by Great Britain, without a conviction of its title to preference; inasmuch as the latter leaves the discrimination between the mariners of the two nations, to officers exposed by unavoidable bias, as well as by a defect of evidence, to a wrong decision under circumstances precluding, for the most part, the en. forcement of controlling penalties, and where a wrong decision, besides the irreparable violation of the sacred rights of persons, miglit frustrate the plans and profits of entire voyages ; whereas the mode assumed by the United States guards with studied fairness and efficacy against errors in sucb cases, and avoids the effect of casual crrors on tbe safety of navigation, and the success of mercantile expeditions.
If the reasonableness of expectations, drawn from these considerations, could guarantee their fulfilment, a just peace would not be distant. But it becomes the