Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

SENATE.]
Revenue Collection Bill.

(Feb. 7, 1833. South Carolina has supposed, for the purpose of deter-advert to the fact, that the second section of the third mining that the General Government should not check article expressly extends the judicial power to all “conState legislation when contrary to its own, but because troversies to which the United States shall be a party;" they had, at that time, seen the impropriety of conferring and ordains that, in those cases in which a State shall be judicial power on a legislative body; and, accordingly, a party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdicon the very next day, being the 18th of July, they “unani- tion. A prevailing error of the gentleman from South mously resolved, that the jurisdiction of the National Carolina, in all his expositions of the constitution, in relaJudiciary shall extend to cases arising under laws passed tion to this subject, appears to me to consist in this: that by the General Legislature, and to such other questions he supposes this Government, in order to enforce its laws, as involve the national peace and harmony,”

in defiance of the ordinance of South Carolina, must be Mr. CALHOUN: If the gentleman will refer to the first driven into a law-suit with that State as a State; but journals, he will find, that in August after this, the con- no such suit is necessary or would now be proper. The vention refused to give this Government any power to ne- object of the bill before us is to enforce obedience from gative State laws interfering with the general interests and the citizens of South Carolina, as American citizens, not harmony of the Union.

to punish the State, or to declare “war against her for Mr. CLAYTON: 'True, sir. On the 23d of August, her unjustifiable ordinance.” We do not recognise her after the important provisions of the judiciary or third right to assume the attitude of a belligerent nation towards article of the constitution were arranged and agreed to, this Government, or any of her sister States; and we claim it was moved and seconded to agree to the following pro- no right to make war upon her as a sovereign and indeposition, as an additional power to be vested in the Legis- pendent State. On the contrary, we expressly repudiate lature of the United States: “To negative all laws pass-the whole doctrine which holds her up as a foreign nation: ed by the several States, interfering, in the opinion of the we concur with Luther Martin, that allegiance is due from Legislature, with the general interests and harmony of her citizens to the United States, and that, if they levy the Union, provided two-thirds of the members of each war against this Government, they incur, by that act, all House assent to the same.” And, after an unsuccessful the pains and penalties of treason. Nevertheless, I will effort to commit this proposition, it was withdrawn. It take the pains to refute the argument drawn by the gen. was not adopted, clearly because it was a new proposition tleman from South Carolina, in his letter to Governor to confer judicial power on the National Legislature after Hamilton, from the journals of the convention, touching the convention had resolved to confer all the power ne- the power of the Supreme Court to decide a controversy cessary for checking State legislation on the National Ju- between the United States and one of the States. it diciary. No body of men ever was more sensible of the is truly stated in that letter, that, on the 20th of August, necessity of keeping separate the judicial, the legislative, 1787, the following, among other propositions, was reand the executive power, than that which framed the ferred to the committee of five: “The jurisdiction of the American constitution was at this period; and yet, their Supreme Court shall be extended to all controversies bedetermination to separate these different departments of tween the United States and an individual State, or the the Government, is the very circumstance relied upon on United States and the citizens of an individual State;" the part of South Carolina to demonstrate the want of any but the historical information given by the gentleman in judicial control over her State legislation. Proposals to that letter is essentially erroneous; for the writer supposes blend judicial with legislative power, rejected, as they that the subject was never moved in convention again. were, by the convention, are construed into propositions so far from this being true, it appears from the journals, to take from the States the power of placing their own that, on the 22d of August, the honorable Mr. Rutledge, construction upon the articles of union; and we are from South Carolina, chairman of the committee to whom gravely told by the South Carolina convention, and by her this and other propositions were referred, reported in Senator here, that these votes evince the determination favor of it. The last sentence of the report is in the folof the States never to part with the right to judge whe- lowing words: Between the fourth and fifth lines of the ther the acts of the Federal Legislature were, or were third section of the eleventh article, after the word .connot, an infringement of these articles.

troversies,' insert "between the United States and an inThere is one class of cases in which the National Legisla- dividual person."" ture exercises the power of revision and control over State Mr. CALHOUN. What I have denied is, that that relegislation. The states are prohibited, without the con- port was ever adopted by the convention. sent of Congress, to lay any imposts or duties on imports Mr. CLAYTON: Then the gentleman is entirely misor exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for taken; for as appears by the journal of the convention of executing their inspection laws; and it is provided that the 27th of August, just five days after the report was all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control made, while the convention was engaged in considering of Congress. On the 15th September, 1787, it was moved the draught of the constitution, reported on the 6th of in convention, to strike out this proviso, the effect of August by the committee of five, the 3d section of the which motion, if successful, would have been to subject 11th article in that draught cane before the House, which these State inspection laws to the supervision of the Na- was in the following words: “ Article eleventh, section tional Judiciary, but not of the National Legislature. The third. The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court shall exmotion failed, and the retention of this power of revision tend to all cases arising under laws passed by the Legisand control in Congress clearly exhibits the exceeding lature of the United States; to all cases affecting ambas. jealousy, on the part of the convention, of any State in- sadors, other public ministers and consuls; to the trial of terference on the great subject of imports and duties, over impeachments of officers of the United States; to all cases which South Carolina has recklessly extended her State of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; to controversies ordinance and State legislation.

between two or more States, except such as shall regard The action of the Federal Judiciary, and, indeed, of the territory or jurisdiction; between a State and citizens of Federal Government, generally, is not upon States, but another State; between citizens of different States; and upon individuals. A law-suit can hardly arise between a between a State or the citizens thereof, and foreign States, state and the United States. It would seem needless to citizens, or subjects. In cases of impeachment, cases afdiscuss the question, whether the Supreme Court of the fecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, United States could entertain jurisdiction of a case be- and those in which a State shall be a party, the jurisdietween this Government and one of the States. Yet, as tion shall be original." this jurisdiction has been denied, it may not be amiss to! It was then moved and seconded to add the following

FEB. 7, 1833.]

Revenue Collection Bill.

(SENATE.

words after the word "controversies,” third section, who consults it will be astonished that South Carolina eleventh article" to which the United States shall be a should have appealed to it to support her. Vain, vain, party;" which passed in the affirmative.

indeed, sir, was that boast of the gentleman from VirIt was also moved and seconded to insert the word ginia, that the nationals were routed in that day." No, “controversies” before the words “between two or,”- thank God! however they may have been of late years passed in the affirmative.

thrown into the shade by the false glare of that burning It was moved and seconded to insert the words the heresy which holds out this Government as a mere conUnited States or” before the words "a State shall be a federation of States, we know that theirs were the prinparty," which passed in the affirmative.

ciples of the fathers of the constitution, and that they Thus we see, sir, that, on the 27th of August, 1787, the gloriously triumphed when that sacred ordinance rose convention did in fact adopt the whole of this part of Mr. upon the ruins of a helpless league and a state of unRutledge's report, by extending the jurisdiction of the bridled anarchy. Supreme Court to all controversies whatsoever to which The honorable member from Kentucky (Mr. BIBD] the United States shall be a party. The amendments has stated, with great ingenuity, some cases in which made that day now stand incorporated in the constitution, the Supreme Court may abuse its powers while exerand posterity will recur to them only for the purpose of cising its appellate jurisdiction. In his view, the feashowing that a special vote was taken in convention on the tures of this great tribunal are essentially monarchical, very question, whether the court should have jurisdiction because the judges are appointed virtually for life; and, over all possible cases in which the United States may be being liable to no other responsibility than the nominal interested, whether against a State or private individuals. power of impeachment, may, he thinks, at any time es

Mr. CALHOUN: But will the gentleman contend that tablish the most despotic principle, without any possible a State may be sued since the adoption of the eleventh control, save that of revolutionary resistance to their deamendment?

cision. Were all this true, the argument which demonMr. CLAYTON: The eleventh amendment prevents strates the possibility of abusing power does not disprove any suit against a State by citizens of another State, or the existence of the power in the court to decide, in the by citizens or subjects of any foreign State; but does not last resort, on all cases arising under the constitution and in any way impair the right of the United States to sue a the laws. But it is not true. By the constitution the State. It was never designed to impair that right. appellate jurisdiction of the court is expressly made liable

The historical evidence of the intentions of the framers to such exceptions, and placed under such regulations, and friends of the constitution does not stop with the as Congress shall establish. Should an extreme case, journal. Their cotemporaneous expositions in the Fe- such as the Senator from Kentucky has supposed, ever deralist," and the debates in the conventions of the peo- occur, the remedy is not revolution, or war on the Govple for adopting the constitution, all show the fatal error ernment, but a discreet and cautious exercise of the into which the South Carolina convention has fallen. Mr. power of Congress to curtail the appellate jurisdiction of Madison, in the Virginia convention, said, “ It may be a the court. For any other purpose, save that of preventmisfortune that in organizing any Government, the ex- ing the destruction of the Government itself, the appelplication of is authority should be left to any of its co- late powers of the court should never be essentially ordinate branches. There is no example in any country changed. where it is otherwise. There is a new policy in submit-|- Having thus far, Mr. President, developed my views ting it to the Judiciary of the United States." Mr. of the character of this Government, I return to the point Stillman, in the convention of Massachusetts, said, “The from which I departed, to answer the interrogatory of very term Government implies a supreme controlling the gentleman from Virginia--can there be such a thing power somewhere: a power to coerce, whenever coer- as a citizen of the United States? There are some thircion shall be necessary; of which necessity Government teen millions of human beings within their limits, who are, must be the judge." A complete answer to all that part as we have seen, liable to the punishment of treason when of the address which denies the power of the court, and levying war against them; all bound to consider their asserts the right of a State to decide for itself as one of laws and their constitution as supreme; all indebted to the parties to a compact, was given by Mr. Wilson, in the their Government for protection; all contributing to the convention of Pennsylvania, about forty-five years ago. support of that Government, and compelled to obey it, “I cannot,” says he, "discover the least trace of a com- both in peace and in war; forming, together, for all the pact in the system. The State Governments made a great purposes enumerated in their constitution, one peobargain with one another: that is the doctrine that is en- ple and a single nation. The allegiance of the people deavored to be established by gentlemen in opposition; is rightfully due, because it has been freely given to the their State sovereignties wish to be represented. But United States; and its duties can, and ought to be, strictly far other were the ideas of the convention, and far other enforced by the severest of all penalties when traitorously are those conveyed in the system itself. I know very withheld. The laws of this Government, and the various well all the commonplace rant of State sovereignties, and treaties it has made, recognise the character of citizen, in that Government is founded in original compact. This its broadest signification, as properly belonging to every does not suit the language or genius of the system before free man born and residing within its limits, or naturalus. It is not a contract or compact; the system itself tells ized by means of its legislation. Can the gentleman from you what it is. It is an ordinance, an establishment of the Virginia still deny that he is a citizen of the United States? people."

Mr. TYLER: I deny that I am a citizen of the GovGovernor Johnston, in the convention of North Caro-ernment of the United States. I do not deny that I am a lina, said, “ The constitution must be the supreme law of citizen of the United States. the land; otherwise it will be in the power of any one State Mr. CLAYTON: It is no part of my purpose to bandy to counteract the other States, and withdraw itself from useless metaphysical distinctions with any member here. the Union. The laws made in pursuance thereof by Con- He is as much a citizen of this Government, as a Frenchgress ought to be the supreme law of the land; otherwise, man is a citizen of the Government of France, or an Engany one State might repeal the laws of the Union at large. lishman of the Government of his country. But all the Every treaty should be the supreme law of the land, acknowledgment that I desire of the honorable genttewithout this, any one State might involve the whole man, in order to compel him to admit the justice of the Union in war.” Sir, I will trouble you with no further principles upon which this bill is founded, is, that he, and quotations. The history of 1787 is full of them, and be all those upon whom the bill is intended to operate, are

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

citizens of the United States. When the gentleman has sure, but is actually applauded by them for her tyranny

made that admission, in vain will he contend that his obligations to Virginia are higher than those which he owes to the Federal Government; in vain will he contend that his most valuable rights are best secured to him by the State. Were Virginia the separate nation which his argument would make her appear to be, her citizens would soon find the difference between that protection which they now enjoy, as citizens of our common country, and such protection as she could give them. High as she now justly stands among her sister States, forming, with them, an impregnable bulwark for all our countrymen against foreign aggression, she would, single-handed, make but a very sorry figure in a contest with any considerable foreign Power. Sir, were it not for sheer compassion towards some of those gentlemen who indulge us so often with extravagant declamation about State power and State supremacy, it would be well to ring the truth daily in their ears, until they are cured of these diseased imaginations, that neither the “old dominion,” nor even the “empire State” her. self, could singly, and successfully, measure strength with one of the second rate powers of Europe. The gentle. man from Virginia, who has filled his present station with so much honor to himself and usefulness to his country, denies that he is a Senator of the United States, and asserts that he is only a Senator of Virginia. He denies the very existence of such a character as that of a Senator of the United States. Each member here, in his view, is bound to legislate for his own State, and can represent no other. But where is the clause in the constitution which recogmises a Senator of Virginia, of Delaware, or any other single State, in this hall? This is not the Senate of Vir. ginia, but of the United States. The honorable member says that he acts here only in obedience to the wishes of Virginia; that he yields obedience to this Government only because Virginia wills it. The constitution and laws of the United States have no binding force with him from any other cause than this, that Virginia commands him to obey them. The result of all this doctrine is, that, whenever Virginia wills it, he will violate this constitution, and set these laws at defiance. In opposition to all this, hear the creed of a national republican: I obey this constitution, and act as a Senator of the United States under it, because I have sworn to support that constitution. I hold myself bound, while acting in my station here, to legislate for the benefit of the whole country, not merely for that of any section of it; and, in the discharge of my duty, I will look abroad throughout this wide republic, never sacrificing the interests of any one part of it merely to gratify another, but always dealing out and distributing equal justice to all my countrymen, wherever they may be located, or by whatever title they may be distinguished from each other. I cannot dismiss this subject without entering a general protest against the mode of argument adopted by gentlemen on the other side. Throughout the whole debate, they have constantly supposed that all the parts of our system of Government will be simultaneously corrupt. Their argument is bottomed on the belief that Congress, the Executive, the Judiciary, and even the people themselves, will be lost to all regard for the true interests of the nation. The remarks of the honorable gentleman from Kentucky dwelt much on supposed cases of the abuse of federal power; but it seemed that his imagination could never reach a possible case of the abuse of those powers which he claimed for the States. While the advocates of South Carolina are indulging in suppositions so degrading to this Government and the people of these States, why is it that she, with her ordinance of nullification, her replevin laws, her test oaths, her virtual disfranchisement of her own citizens for an honest difference of political opinion, not only escapes all their cen

[ocr errors]

and oppression? As gentlemen have indulged so much in arguments founded on extreme cases, I will give them one by no means so extravagant as some which they have put to us, to illustrate the consequences of their own doctrine. A State has about ten thousand votes. Suppose some ten or twelve thousand aliens should be sent into that State by some foreign nation, for the very purpose of working out the doctrine of nullification there. If the doctrine be sound, these aliens may all be naturalized, without incur. ring any obligation of obedience to this Government by the oaths they may take at the time of their naturalization. Suppose that, in conformity with the great object for which they were sent, they elect a convention of nullifiers, and proceed in due form to abrogate all the acts of Congress, and pass all laws necessary for giving their ordinance effect; what an easy and most effectual mode for any foreign nation to subdue this Government, and break up this Union; and how strange is it that no foreign nation has ever yet been wise enough to adopt so cheap a plan of destroying that Government which has been the object of so much jealousy to tyrants! During the continuance of the old confederation, the State of Delaware alone nullified an embargo act, to which all the other States had yielded their assent, at a time when that act was considered by many to be the only means of salvation for the army. Under that form of Government, as one of the parties to a mere compact of States, she had the unquestionable power to nullify the law; but when the convention which framed our present constitution was engaged in deliberating on the propriety of adding a national char. acter to the Federative Government, Mr. Madison mentioned this very fact to illustrate the necessity of rendering the laws of the Union supreme. Before the constitution was adopted, the old confedera. tion itself, weak and inefficient as it was, had the power, in the opinion of Mr. Jefferson, to enforce the execution of its own revenue laws. In his letter to Mr. Cartwright, in 1787, he is full and explicit on this subject. The force which he desired to employ to compel obedience on the part of the States to the requisitions of the old Congress, was the naval power. [Mr. C. then referred to two other letters of Mr. Jefferson, sustaining the same opinion.] I come next, sir, to a brief consideration of the ques. tion, are the provisions of the bill before us such as are proper to secure that obedience to the laws of this Gov. ernment which the proceedings of South Carolina are calculated to withhold? The leading clause in this bill, authorizing the President to employ the land and naval forces of the Union to arrest the unconstitutional proceed. ings of the officers of South Carolina, should they attempt to rescue imported goods from our revenue officers, has been the subject of bitter denunciation by Southern gen: tlemen, and particularly by the gentleman from Virginia. Sir, this is almost a literal transcript from the act of 1809, for enforcing the embargo law. [Mr. C. read the eleventh section of that act, to show that it employed the very words of the bill before the Senate.] Let us now inquire who voted for an act so similar in its provisions to that now before us. Fortunately, the journals of Congress of that day have preserved the yeas and nays on a motion to strike out the eleventh section of the embargo law. In both Houses, nearly all the representatives from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, voted for a bill, which, when now sought to be applied to a different section of the country, is the object of their animadversion and horror. As strong remonstrances were then made against the passage of this law by Congress from other parts of the United States as are now presented in behalf of South Carolina, and were then, as they will be now, made in vain. That part of the bill which authorizes the President to remove the custom-house from land to water, and directo

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

the collection of duties in cash whenever that shall be conceived necessary in order to secure the collection of the duties, is considered as unconstitutional by the gentleman from Virginia, because it delegates power to the President, which, in his opinion, can be exercised by Congress alone. Mr. TYLER explained: He said his argument was, that the constitution devolved on Congress no right to deputize another to execute their power. Mr. CLAYTON: But the constitution expressly gives to Congress the power “to regulate commerce;” and in the execution of that power, it has been found indispensable to employ agents to act in certain contingencies at their own discretion. If Congress cannot empower a collector to demand payment of the duties in cash for the safety of the revenue, it cannot empower him to demand a valid bond for the duties. No legislative power is devolved on any executive officer by this clause of the bill; and as to that general objection which honorable gentlemen have indulged in, touching the alleged preference given by this regulation of commerce to the ports of one State over those of another, the answer is conclusive, that no part of this bill is confined in its operations to the ports of any one State, or any particular section of the Union, as distinguished from the rest. The terms of the law are general. It is co-extensive with the Union, and will apply equally wherever the evil which it is intended to redress shall be found to exist. The second and third sections of this bill, which authorize the removal of any cause now pending in any State court, in which either party claims right or title under any law of the United States, and which render irrepleviable, by process from any State court, any property held or claimed by any person under any law of this Government, are, in my judgment, unnecessary and improper restrictions on the just powers of the State courts, and will prove oppressive in practice on the suitors in those courts. Mr. WEBSTER: None but officers of the United States can take advantage of those sections. Mr. CLAYTON: Such, I suppose, was the intention of the committee; but the gentleman from Massachusetts will perceive that “any officer or other person” is authorized to remove the suit in the one case, and to resist the process of the State court in the other. These sections should be modified to suit that view which the Senator from Massachusetts has, it seems, heretofore taken of them;" or if it can be shown that they are necessary in their present shape to countervail the legislation of South Carolina, their operation should be restricted, by a proviso, to such States as shall attempt to set at defiance the revenue laws of the country. The sixth section of the bill provides that, in any State where the jails are not allowed to be used for the imprisonment of persons arrested or committed under the laws of the United States, or where houses are not allowed to be used, it shall be lawful for the marshal, under the direction of the district judge, to use other convenient places, and to make such further provision as he may deem expedient and necessary for that purpose. To this the honorable Senator from Virginia takes much exception; he declares it to be a “Botany Bay law;” and tells us that it is even worse than the English act which has received that designation. The Botany Bay law has been found in England to be a very good law, most salutary in its operations there; and, to this day, it stands unrepealed on the statute book, and countenanced by the approbation of the best statesmen of that country. Botany Bay is still thought to be a proper place for people guilty of less crimes than treason. But the gentleman will perceive "They were afterwards so modified, on the motion of the chairman of the committee.

[ocr errors]

that this section does not propose transportation as a punishment for crime; it is introduced here because we have been officially informed that South Carolina has refused the use of her jails to the courts of the United States, and its object is to secure, without the aid of South Carolina, jails, and, independently of South Carolina legislation, the persons of such as shall dare to violate our laws. It is similar to a resolution still remaining on our statute book, and adopted soon after this Government went into operation. On the 3d of September, 1789, Congress recommended to the several States to pass laws, making it expressly the duty of the keepers of their jails to receive and safe keep therein all prisoners committed under the authority of the United States. Several States having neglected to comply with this recommendation, the resolution to which I have referred, and which will be found in the second volume of the laws, page 236, was adopted, providing “that, in case any State shall not have complied with the said recommendation, the marshal in such State, under the direction of the judge of the district, be authorized to hire a convenient place to serve as a temporary jail, and to make the necessary provision for the safe keeping of prisoners, committed under the authority of the United States, until permanent provision should be made by law for that purpose.” Does the gentleman from Virginia object to this resolution, or does he consider that the exigency that has now occurred, demanding the enactment of a law similar to it, is less urgent than that which originally called for its adoption? Mr. TYLER: By that resolution, the prisoner was not to be taken out of the State. By this bill, he may be carried to any convenient place, at the discretion of the judge. By the resolution, the place was pointed out. So the English bill designated Botany Bay. The place is specifically named. But I would ask the gentleman from Delaware, whether by this bill there is any limitation whatever imposed upon the judge or marshal? They may carry the prisoner wherever they think proper. Mr. CLAYTON: I deny that the resolution, to which I have referred the honorable member, specifies any particular place of confinement, or that the marshal is required by it to confine his prisoners within the limits of the State. If, however, the gentleman seriously requires it, I apprehend no friend of the bill will object to such a restriction on the powers of the marshal, as would prevent him from taking a prisoner beyond the limits of the district. The gentleman from Kentucky has indulged in the most bitter invectives against this section of the bill, which he considers as a provision to revive all the terrors and oppressions of the Jersey prison ship. Undoubtedly, this bill would authorize the Executive, when driven by the laws of South Carolina from any other place of imprisonment for prisoners, to confine them in a vessel on the water. And if this Government should find it necessary to the faithful execution of its laws, and the preservation of its own character, to carry any man, either in or out of South Carolina, to prison in a ship, I trust it will never be deterred from the discharge of its constitutional duty by sickly commentaries on Botany Bay, or mere fancy sketches of the Jersey prison ship. The great object of this, and the other sections of the bill, aft who read it will understand, is to prevent the collision of actual force between the General and State Governments; and some of its most important features have been drawn from the legislation of Congress in the days of the whiskey insurrection and of the Hartford convention. The honorable Senator from South Carolina has told us that all human institutions, like those who formed them, contain within themselves the elements of their own destruction; and that our own Government is now exhibiting their operation. To this general philosophic remark I should not have objected but for its application. All the works of man are destined to decay; but while the Ame.

SENATE.]

rican people shall remain true to themselves, their Government cannot be destroyed; for it contains, within itself, endless and ever-renascent energies, which must bring it out in triumph, and with Antaean vigor, in despite of every effort to overthrow it. From foreign force it has nothing to fear; it dreads nothing now from any section of this Union which shall seek to prevent the just operation of our laws by foreign intervention. Yes, sir, a foreign alliance, sought by any member of this confederacy, for the purpose of making war upon us, would be the means, under Heaven, of immediately rallying every patriot, of every political party, under the broad banner of the republic. Popular virtue, however, is the only safe basis of popular Government. This is the “fountain from the which our current runs, or bears no life;” and I concede that the mortal blow to the liberties of this country may,

at last, be struck by the hand of one who has been indebt

ed to it for existence. The shaft which shall stretch the American eagle bleeding and lifeless in the dust must be feathered from his own bright pinions; and bitter will be the curses of men, in all ages to come, against the traitorous heart and the parricidal hand of him who shall loose that fatal arrow from the string!

“IRemember him, the villain, righteous Heaven,
In thy great day of vengeance! Blast the traitor,
And his pernicious counsels, who, for wealth,
For power, the pride of greatness, or revenge,
Would plunge his native land in civil war!”

Mr. MANGUM rose, and moved to postpone the further consideration of this bill till to-morrow. He stated that he was desirous to give his sentiments on this bill, but he was at this moment laboring too severely under indisposition to be able to go into so arduous a task. Mr. FQRSYTH said, he was unwilling to resist such an appeal from any Senator, but he would make a single suggestion. There were some amendments which the committee intended to make, and there were a few others which would be necessary to obviate some objections which its friends had to its details. He would suggest that these amendments should be now proposed, so that the bill might be put into a shape which would make it agreeable to all its friends, and afterwards the Senate might proceed in the discussion of its general principles. Mr. GRUNDY said, the difficulty could not be obviated in that way. The committee had appointed to meet tomorrow morning, for the purpose of making all the necessary amendments. He could not, of course, be prepared to offer them all at this time. Mr. WILKINS said, it would be impossible to determine what amendments would be likely to be agreeable to the Senate, until the subject should have been fully discussed. He hoped, therefore, that the debate would o on. g Mr. KING said he presumed the gentleman from Pennsylvania had not distinctly heard his friend from North Carolina, who had stated that he was unable to proceed, from indisposition. Mr. CALHOUN suggested that there was another consideration which was entitled to weight. The Senator from North Carolina was the only member of the Committee on the Judiciary who had objected to this bill. That gentleman, therefore, stood in a peculiar attitude, and he put it to the Senate, whether, on the score of justice, he was not entitled to such indulgence as he might require, to enable him to give a satisfactory exposition of the reasons by which he was actuated, the more especially as he appeared to be so unwell. Mr. WILKINS said he should be the last man to force the gentleman from North Carolina, for whom he had a great respect, to enter into this discussion without sufficient preparation. But he believed that he was fully prepared to debate the question at this time.

[blocks in formation]

Mr. FORSYTH said, under such circumstances, he could not vote against the motion for postponement. On the call of Mr. WILKINS, the yeas and nays were ordered. - Mr. CALHOUN said, the Senator from Pennsylvania could not have heard the gentleman from North Carolina, who had put his request on the ground of indisposition. Mr. WEBSTER said there was no occasion for postponement. The bill could make progress, and the gentleman from North Carolina could be heard on any other day as well as now. He begged the Senator to consider that but a few days remained of the session, that a number of Senators desired to be heard on this question, and that important business might be expected from the other House. If this bill was to be definitively acted on, it could only be done by showing a determination to sit out the discussion. They ought to sit there until late in the evening, for at the rate of a speech a day the bill would never be got through. Mr. CALHOUN said, that, if any other Senator, on either side of the House, was ready to go on with the debate, he would make no objection to sit out the day. But he thought that the gentleman from North Carolina was in justice entitled to the indulgence of the Senate. Mr. KING said that, if the gentleman from Massachusetts wished to deliver his sentiments on the bill, he hoped the motion would be withdrawn for that purpose, and he would be happy to listen to the gentleman to as great a length as he might desire. Mr. WEBSTER: The gentleman from Alabama is extremely kind; and his kindness is justly appreciatedThe gentleman from Massachusetts fully understands the gentleman from Alabama, but he has no disposition to ad— dress the Senate at present, nor, under existing circumstances, at any other time, on the subject of this bill. The question was then taken on the motion to postpone the further consideration of the bill to to-morrow and decided in the negative, as follows: YEAS.–Messrs. Black, Brown, Calhoun, Forsyth, Holmes, King, Miller, Moore, Poindexter, Rives, Robinson, Smith, Tyler, Waggaman—14. NAYS.–Messrs. Bell, Clay, Dallas, Dudley, Ewing, Foot, Frelinghuysen, Grundy, Hendricks, Hill, Kane, Knight, Naudain, Prentiss, Robbins, Ruggles, Seymour, Silsbee, Sprague, Tipton, Tomlinson, Webster, White, Wilkins, Wright—-25. Mr. MANGUM commenced his observations in opposition to the bill. He adverted to the peculiar and novel situation in which he found himself, standing there for the first time making battle in his feeble way against the mass of friends with whom he had heretofore contended shoulder to shoulder. But he found himself sustained by assistance from his native land—from that region where all his affections were centered—by men who were not under any Executive influence, and who stood forward to perform their duty regardless of all consequences to themselves. opposed to him he perceived gentlemen, who had hitherto not exhibited any great anxiety to aid this administration; but who, discovering in this bill a policy which conformed to their own principles, were solicitous to press it through. He regarded this as one of the most important questions which would be discussed before the present Congress. He then proceeded to discuss the question of the power of the Government. After proceeding about fifteen minutes, Mr. POINDEXTER moved that the Senate now adjourn, as the gentleman was evidently too much indi:posed to proceed. He asked for the yeas and nays, which were ordered accordingly. The question being taken, it was decided in the ne

gative—Yeas 10, nays 25.

« AnteriorContinuar »