Slike strani
PDF
ePub

JUNE 7, 1834.]

District of Columbia.

[11. of R.

Mr. STODDERT said it was with great reluctance he urged in favor of the appropriation, and he was bound to obtruded bimself again upon the attention of the com- suppose had influenced the Congress which passed it. mittee, but the scruples of self-distrust must yield to a As to the other items for the benefit of the Tiber canal, sense of duty. The situation of the community of Wash. he had only to say that, if this work enhanced the adington made a strong appeal to our liberal consideration, Ijoining property, the United States would derive one and, he must repeat, to our sense of justice. The objec- moiety of the advantage, as their land run the whole line tions which have been started by different gentlemen, of the canal on one side. The gentleman from Kentucky and more particularly those raised by the member from had remarked that this canal would only serve to cheapen New Jersey who had just resumed his seat, to the meas. fuel to the inhabitants of Washington. Why should it not ure of relief proposed in this bill, seemed to his mind serve the purposes of trade and travel? But in the view founded on a misapprehension of facts. Surely it could taken, the Government would share the advantage equally not be seriously thought that the expenditures made in with these memorialists; for the members of the Legislathe erection of the buildings essential to the convenient tive, Executive, and Judicial magistracies, and the prodespatch of public business of this Government, should prietors of real estate in this city, differ but little in point be regarded as local appropriations, especially enuring 10 of numbers. Substract these expenditures, which were the benefit of this city. They were public works, con- for the public convenience, and only incidentally for the structed for great public uses, and the property of the benefit of this city, from the receipts in your treasury United States. Would not the pride of the States of this from the sales of building lots, and a large amount of this Union repudiate the idea that the Government they had trust fund will still appear unexpended; a balance, if we erected, for federal purposes, should be indebted to pri- include the donation of seventy-two thousand dollars by rate charity for the accommodation of all its great func. Maryland, exceeding half a million. But as the members tionaries? Sir, such an idea is not to be tolerated for a of this Government, in its three branches, equal the taxmoment: Is the cost of repairing the ravages of the paying community here, I mean those subject to a direct enemy, in their Gothic warfare upon the Capitol and other tax---let us see what will be the result of dividing these public buildings, to be charged to this people? Mr. S. burdens between this corporation and the Government. said he would exhibit an analysis of these appropriations, The aggregate cost of your good deeds will but little exwith the view of illustrating their character and object, ceed $250,000. But, sir, is this narrow rule to prevail? and as the best answer that could be given to the argument Will you, by a vulgar parsimony, cast upon this impoverof the gentleman from New Jersey.

ished people-an infant community just struggling into 1800, First appropiation, making a foot-way from existence-any portion of those expenditures which were Georgetown to the Capitol, $10,000.

essential to the character and convenient to the ends of a In regard to the object of this improvement no man seat of Government? This, sir, is the metropolis of our could be mistaken. Georgetown, at that period, the birth- Federal Union; and shall its accommodations and embelday of this city, afforded the only adequate accommoda- lishments, in no measure, be the purchase of our common tions for members of Congress, and he might add for the treasure? The people of these states have a common in. members of the Executive branch. For their convenience terest and a common pride in the prosperity of this city: it was made, and with 10 reference to that of the few scat. it is their place for holding their consultations and taking tered inhabitants of Washington. The same remark ap. their resolves for the common good. They will never plies to any other items of expenditure, wbich he would stint proper and necessary means for its improvement. exbibit.

Mr. S. said he would revert to what he had asserted on 1803, Improving Pennsylvania avenue, $13,466 69 a former occasion, in regard to the bargain between the 1824, Foot-ways between Capitol and Execu

United States and the private proprietors who had made tive offices,

5,000 00 these donations. Ile would repeat that the terins of the 1825, Road adjoining President's square, 1,080 00 trust, though general, he could not understand, it could 1825, Road around Capitol square,

3,018 00 not enter into his imagination for a moment, meant that 1824, Enclosing public burial ground, (East

its avails should be used otherwise than for the improveern Brancb,)

2,000 00 ment and embellishment of llie city. One reason which 1829, Penitentiary in the District of Colum

induced this construction was, that the deed did not bia,

121,180 00 state to the United States in trust, for the common benefit This last item, it is true, was not designed for the ac. of the States. This plırase, and an important one, was, commodation of members of Congress and Executive of he believed, to be found in all the deeds of cession of the ficers, as were the others enumerated, but it was a fede western lands. The idea, too, was such as his mind could ral structure, designed for culprits convicted of public not grasp, that a few private individuals were to be so offences against the laws of the United States, wherever Quixotic as to scatter one-half their fortunes over so wide committed within their limits. Economy was the only a surface of public interest as exists in the United States, limit to its use, and he was taught to believe that this con- without any definite object for the bounty. They slate, sideration would prompt the public authorities to make it is true, as noted by the gentleman from New Jersey, it serve this end, at least to the extent of the Atlantic that they were moved to this grant by the great benefits States. Was this expenditure to be defrayed from the which were to result to theinselves by locating the Gove trust fund arising from donations? It would be quite as ernment here. Might not the judicious use of this trust proper to charge your navy yard and fortress in this city fund, for the growthi and prosperity of this city, be within to this account. The other two items of expenditure the range of this anticipation? But, sir, unhappily for within this city are for the improvement of the Pennsyl- these donors, all their bright visions of personal benefit vania avenue, as to its carriage and foot-ways, and in aid have proved but deceitful dreams. They are, for the of the Tiber canal. - These latter appropriations are most part, impoverished and undone. The magnitude bene factions, not unalloyed by self-interest, (an enlight of the plan of this city was more than their resources ened self-interest, I admit,) on the part of the Govern- could accomplish. They ac!ventureel the enterprise, and ment. The convenience of members of Congress, who were ruined; and can Congress refuse to succor their necessarily have much intercourse with the Executive descendants, and save to them the remnant of their fordepartments in the execution of their duties, and for the tunes? And who are the other meinorialists, to be found comfort and accommodation of such of our citizens as associates with them? Emigrants from the States, who business or a liberal curiosity may attract to this city have sought a home within iis city; our own brethren, daring the sittings of Congress. These were the reasons "bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh,” descendants

H. OF R.]

District of Columbia.

[JUNE 7, 1834.

name.

of the same revolutionary stock; and shall we turn from nal into Washington; the insecurity of the river for canalthem, in this their hour of gloom and distress, with cold boat navigation; and the necessity of a lateral canal, to and alienated regards, as though they were aliens and prevent the city of Alexandria from being utterly cut off strangers to us? What will our friends of the West say from all the benefits of the trade brought down by the to this? Fellow-feeling will make them kind. They canal, and falling into decay and utter ruin. are now strong, but they will reach their days of weak Mr. CHILTON opposed the bill, on the ground that ness. They, too, went forth from among us, and cast the canal was not needed on the banks of so fine a navitheir lots in distant places; but are they less our brethren, gable river, and the multitude of streams in the West, members of the same great Federal Union, held together which were in need of improvement, but had sought it in by a golden chain of brotherhood, broad as our extensive vain. domain, and lovely and endearing as the liberty we Mr. EVANS reminded Mr. C. that the work was becherish? Shall not Congress look kindly upon this small gun, and in the course of completion, but must go to community-the charge committed to its exclusive care waste unless it received further aid. He further urged by the constitution? If its legitimate guardian has no heart the general grounds taken in support of the bill. for its appeals for succor, whence can its help come? The Mr. MERCER declared his friendship for the citizens deeds of cession of Maryland and Virginia stipulate for of Alexandria, and his interest in the success of the bill; the paternal care of their children intrusted to your but declined occupying the time of the committee by a authority. Two neighboring towns once felt the smiles speech. of their beneficence, and prospered. What is their con Mr. CHILTON moved to strike out the enacting clause dition and character now? Cities in decay, remnants of of the bill. things that were.

Mr. THOMAS advocated the appropriation in a short It has been said in this debate, that the venerated and but pithy speech, in which he adverted to the sum grantillustrious name which this city bears furnishes no rea- ed by Virginia, when she ceded the District. All Alexsonable motive to Congress to afford this relief. What andria asked was a portion of that which her parent gave other monument has Congress erected to the memory of the Government. Washington? It is true, his memory will live in his deeds, The motion to strike out was opposed by Messrs. VINand that all human art is impotent to increase the solidity ton, STODDENT, and Mencer, and negatived: Ayes 50, and splendor of his fame. if this city rivalled the proud-noes 83. est that are or have been, it could not add to his great The bill was then laid aside to be reported. and imperishable renown; but, as a memorial of a nation's The committee next took up the bill to prohibit the gratitude, it might do well to grace the adamant of his corporations of Washington, Georgetown, and Alexan

Monum its are not for the benefit of the dead, dria, in the District of Columbia, from issuing promissory but of the living. They are dumb teachers of public notes or bills of any denomination less than ten dollars virtue. They inspire high and noble purposes, and nerve after the period therein mentioned, and for the gradual the mind to bold and lieroic deeds. The name of Wash- withdrawal from circulation of all such notes or bills. ington quickens the pulse of every patriot's heart, and Mr. CHINN moved to add a proviso to the bill, declarfills it with lofiy associations and grateful recollections. ing that it should not be lawful for the corporations menThis city was the spot of his selection and the work of his tioned to issue new bills for less than ten dollars. liands. Its plan was formed and its foundation laid by The bill further to amend the act incorporating the him; and shall the Congress of the United States suffer Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company was next considerit to sink into premature decay? Is a dilapidated and ed, and received some small amendments. perishing city the fit memorial of the name of Wash Mr. WILLIAM COST JOHNSON said he had re. ington Posterity would blush for their ancestors, were ceived a memorial in reference to the subject of this bill, such a reproach to survive us. The passage of this bill which he was desirous to present, but which he conmay save this city from ruin and Congress from re- sented not now to offer, on the assurance that the bill proach.

should not be pressed in the House until he bad time to One other misapprehension, which may be mischievous state and urge any objections his friends might have to in its operation, needs to be corrected. The United its passage. States have paid for the rescrvations---five hundred and The bill was then laid aside. forty-two acres only--and what? Thirty-six thousand The committee having then taken up the bill to incordollars for seven bundred and forty thousand dollars'porate the Washington City Insurance Companyworth of lands. The building lots sold cost them nothing. Mr. SCHLEY moved to strike out the clause which

The question being on the motion of Mr. Marn to exempts the directors from liability in their private propstrike out the enacting clause of the bill

erty for the debts of the company; but it was negatived, Mr. SUTHERLAND addressed the committee, with and the hill laid over. much ardor, in support of the bill.

The following were then agreed to without amendment, The question being pressed for by Mr. McKENNAN, viz: was then taken, and the motion of Mr. Many negatived: A bill to incorporate the Clerks' Savings Company in Ayes 51, noes 80.

the City of Washington; Mr. PARKER moved an amendment, the effect of A bill to amend the charter of the Potomac Fire In. which would be to limit the application of the money ap- surance Company of Georgetown; propriated to the payment of the interest of the Holland A bill to incorporate the Georgetown Savings Justituloan. He, however, consented to withdraw it for the tion; present, with a view to move it in the House.

A bill for the relief of llenry Awkward; On motion of Mr. CHINN, the committee next took up A bill from the Senate on the subject of a lateral rail. the bill for the benefit of the city of Alexandria.

road to Baltimore. He went at considerable length into an explanation of The committee then rose and reported the bills to the the grounds of the bill; adverting to the situation and House. natural advantages of Alexandria; its former prosperity; The House, on motion of Mr. MERCER, went into the injury it had sustained by the action of the General Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union, (Mr. Government; the origin of the Chesapeake and Ohio ca- Husband in the chair,) and took up the bill authorizing nal; the calculations of Alexandria when she subscribed the construction of a bridge across the Potomac, and re. to it; the complete change produced by bringing the ca-l pealing all acts already passed in relation thereto; and the

JOSE 9, 1834.)

York county (Pa.) Memorial.

[H. or R.

bill making appropriations for the public buildings and bill, extending the police of the city to the Capitol and grounds, and for other purposes.

other public buildings, when required by the commis. Mr. STODDERT moved to amend the first bill by ad- sioner. Agreed to. ding a section appropriating $30,000 for the purchase of Mr. FILLMORE now moved an additional section to the Navy Yard and Anacosta bridges, so as to make them the bridge bill, prescribing a mode of settlement with the free like the Potomac bridge. He contended for the contractor, Mr. Dibble; but it was rejected. equity of such a measure; but it was negatived. The bill The committee then rose and reported the two bills; and was then laid aside.

The House adjourned.
The bill making appropriations for the public buildings
and grounds, and for other purposes, was taken up.
Mr. PARKER moved to destroy the bill by striking out

MONDAY, June 9. the whole of it; but afterwards modified his motion by

Mr. MILLER rose to ask the unanimous consent of the striking out the enacting clause, and was understood as House to take up and dispose of the important resolution finally withdrawing it.

submitted by the honorable member from Massachusetts, On motion of Mr. FULLER, the bill was amended by [Mr. J. Q. ADAMS,] which, if to be acted upon at all, it striking out the following clause:

was necessary, he presumed, to have taken up forthwith. For salary of gardener employed in superintending

Objections having been madethe Capitol square and other public grounds, lighting

The House proceeded to the consideration of the lamps, keeping grounds and walks in order, and planting in the Capitol square, three thousand two hundred and

YORK COUNTY (PA.) MEMORIAL. fifty dollars."

Mr. BARNITZ resumed and concluded his remarks in Mr. E. EVERETT proposed to amend it by removing support of the views taken by the memorialists. the naval monument from its present situation to the (Mr. B.'s remarks, in extenso, will be found in presquare east of the Capitol; but, on a suggestion of Mr. ceding pages. ] WATHOUGH, modified the motion to remove it to the bo Mr. POLK said that, as he helieved it was more imtanic garden; but, after some desultory discussion, the portant for the House to take up and dispose of the motion was rejected.

appropriation bills lying on the Speaker's table, he would On motion of Mr. MERCER, the proposed wall round ask the unanimous consent of the house to do so, supthe botanic garden was stricken out; he desiring to have posing that they would rather take up these bills than sit the western square enlarged; to which purpose such a listening to arguments on a very trite and exhausted subvall would be an obstacle.

ject. A long and very desultory discussion took place about Objections having been madethe item for paving the semi-circular road and walk to Mr. POLK moved a suspension of the rule by which the President's house; which ended in ordering the road this day is assigned for the presentation of petitions, for fo be grarelled, the side-walks laid with flagging. the purpose of taking up the bills he had alluded to.

Mr. VINTON moved to extend the square west of the Mr. WISE rose to remind the honorable member that Capitol to the foot of the slope, and to extend the botanic the memorial from Gloucester county, presented by him, garden to the canal; but the motion did not succeed. upon which he had moved certain resolutions, had been

An item for enclosing Patriot square, in the rear of the lying over some weeks; he therefore hoped he would
President's house, was, on motion of Mr. HARPER, of withdraw his motion to suspend.
Pennsylvania, stricken out.

Mr. POLK replied that he could not consent to withA lively and somewhat entertaining discussion arose on draw the motion, leaving it to the House to decide whether Mr. Schler's motion to strike out the appropriation of they preferred to have an exploded subject revived. The $6,000 for additional furniture (chandeliers and mirrors) Kentucky election case, he said, would come up and for the President's house, (east room.) Some merriment occupy the House for some days, to the prejudice of these was excited by an observation of Mr. Jarvis, in support bills, which required to be acted upon. of the appropriation, "that the House, after all, was not Mr. WISE begged to inform the honorable member furnished as it should be--it was only a place of splendid that he desired to address the House, not upon an explomisery.”

ded subject, but upon an entirely new and most important Mr. EWING thought it very wrong that the people's one for their consideration. louse should be a place of splendid misery, or that those Mr. DENNY said that he thought the presentation of who inhabited it should make the people miserable: such petitions and memorials from the people was as important a state of things ought not to continue: he hoped it would as any other business that could be transacted by the not. He did not understand that any new furniture was House; he would therefore call for the yeas and nays provided for the kitchen: he thought it needed it, and on the motion to suspend the rule; which having been Fould be willing to increase the appropriation.

ordered, Mr. SCHLEY, finding that the articles in question had Mr. WISE called the attention of the House to the been furnished, and that there was no money to pay for circumstance that he had felt it to be his duty to move them, withdrew his motion to strike out.

that the memorial next in order should be referred, with Mr. E. EVERETT moved an item of $2,000, for re- certain resolutions declaratory of the full and coinplete storing the Speaker's chair to its former position in the power of Congress over the public treasure of the nation. hall of the House of Representatives.

Mr. POLK. Upon the discussion of which I suppose The motion was opposed by Messrs. Clar, Burd, R. the whole day will be taken up. M. JOBSsor, and HARDIN; and supported by the mover, Mr. BURGES expressed his hope that the rule would and Messrs. EwinG, SUTHERLAND, WHITTLESEY, Panken, not be suspended. ile took this opportunity to say that and MENCER.

he had himself presented a memorial, with certain resoIt was eventually negatived.

lutions, from the State of Rhode Island, which lay over Mr. ADAMS moved an appropriation of $1,000 for a for the action of the House. monument over the grave of the lamented Major General Mr. WARDWELL rose to inquire if it was in order to Brown; on whose character he pronounced a brief but discuss the present motion? feeling eulogy.

Mr. BURGES would merely state that the business for It was agreed to without opposition.

which this day was assigned was not to make speeches, Mr. WATMOUGH moved an additional section to the as was put in derision by the member from Tennessee,

II. OF R.]

The Public Deposites.

(JUNE 9, 1834.

Days 65.

but to have the petitions of the people presented, heard, importance may not be so striking to others, but it is and attended to. He considered that such a remark as overwhelming to me. When I approach their considerathat made by the gentleman from Tennessee was most tion, I feel, with unaffected sincerity and humbleness of unjust and inexcusable.

spirit, the vanity of my undertaking the momentous task Mr. POLK said he should not make any excuse to the of their support, and cannot but regret that they are gentleman from Rhode Island for any thing he had said. mine, and not the foster-child of some able, wise, ex

Mr. BEARDSLEY inquired how many memorials were perienced, influential, and distinguished father of legislalying on the Speaker's table undisposed of, and open to tion. There are men in this House, to whom I could say debate?

" Te duce!" and that which in my hands is weak would The SPEAKER replied there were five.

be strong--that which is insignificant would be big with The question was then taken on the motion to suspend importance--that which is abstract would be practicable the rules, by yeas and nays, as follows: Yeas 112,--that which is nugatory and idle, merely declaratory and

vain, would be powerful to make ambition withdraw its The motion was not sustained by two-thirds; and, of pretensions to power, or “to the pulling down of strongcourse, the motion was negative.

holds,” if its pretensions to power are pressed. There Mr. MILLER then renewed his application to the are men here, I say, who already occupy an eminence to House to take up the resolution submitted by Mr. Adams. which I would ardently aspire--the high stand of virtue

Some objections having been made, he moved a sus- and wisdom above selfishness and ambition, of pride and pension of the rule, that the Ilouse might proceed to dis- patriotism above party and place, of usefulness to the pose of that subject,

country above subserviency to an administration, the The SPEAKER decided that the motion was not then elevated stand of the statesman above the grovelling level in order.

of the politician. My aspirations may be as vain as I know THE PUBLIC TREASURE.

they are unfashionable at this day; but I have assumed the

task, the risk of a failure; and, though I be unsustained, Thereupon the House proceeded to the consideration and not countenanced even in the attempt, I will enof the memorial from the inhabitants of Gloucester coun- deavor to supply in zeal what I may lack in ability, to ty, Virginia, praying the restoration of the deposites to defend these resolutions, to demonstrate their present the Bank of the United States. Upon which memorial importance by their necessity at the present time, and to Mr. Wise had, on a former day, moved the following illustrate their truth for all time to come. resolutions:

Am I to be told again in the outset, Mr. Speaker, that Resolved, that the custody and control of the moneys these resolutions have no legislative action in view; that of the United States, not appropriated by law, and not they are merely declaratory; and that the abstract truths disbursed under appropriations by laiv, are, by the con- they assert none will deny? He has read English and stixution, placed under the order and direction of the American bistory in vain, or has read neither at all, who Congress of the United States; which order and direction seriously raises this objection, or cannot answer it, when must be marle by law, in the form of bills or joint orders, raised, at a moment's warning. I will not stop here to votes or resolutions, upon which the President of the enumerate any or all of the precedents, or the incalcula. United States has simply the power of a negative, subject ble effects of precedents, for the mere declaration of to a vote of two-thirds of each House of Congress. powers and rights: from the “gaying of the hardy barons

Resolved, That no change of the constitution of the of old, nolumus leges Angliæ mulari," to Magna Charta: United States is necessary to authorize the Congress of from Magna Charta itselt, through the various revolutions the United States to intrust the custody of the public of British history, to that glorious Revolution which begat money, not appropriated by law, and not disbursed under the first true declaration of freemen's rights on this contiappropriations by law, whenever or howsoever obtained, nent: from that to protest from protest, remonstrance to other agency than that of the Executive department; from remonstrance, from declarations to deeds following and that the custody of the public money must not be during the Revolution: from independence to the constitunecessarily, under the constitution, intrusted to the Exec- tion, and thence to the resignation of power by the father uitive department.

of his country, when he told us, in his farewell address, Resolved, That Congress can take out of the liands of “frequently to recur to fundamental principles:" thence the Executive department the custody of the public prop-to the period of '98 and '99, when the declaration of the erty or money, without an assumption of Executive State Legislature of Virginia that the alien and sedition power, or a subversion of the first principles of the con laws were unconstitutional and void produced their retitution.

peal: thence, through all the declaratory resolutions And that said committee be further instructed to report offered or adopted in relation to the powers of Congress such measures as it may deem necessary and proper to up to this time, when thousands call with an authoritative provide for the future safe-keeping, control, and dispo- voice on Congress, to vindicate, maintain, and protect its sition of the public property and moneys, and to assert, own constitutional powers, with their liberties involved, maintain, and protect the constitutional powers of Con- rudely attacked by flagitious abuses of power, and still gress over the public property and public purse. more flagitious pretensions to power, by those who now On the subject coming up for consideration

unlawfully hold the power to enforce their claims! Sir, Mr. WISE rose and addressed the House as follows: it is enough for me to know and to say thai, in all cases

Mr. Speaker: This memorial, which I had the bonor where the people, in their primary assemblies or through of presenting, from a highly respectable and patriotic por- their representatives, have seen fit to make such declaration of my constituents, calls upon Congress to vindicate tions, they have been induced to do so either by open or its own constitutional powers, the supremacy of the laws, insidious, direct or indirect, attacks upon their rights, or and the rights of the people. Such I consider to be, and upon the form of government which they had instituted such I regard as worthy of being, its chief object; to as the palladium of their liberties. They have always had attain which I have moved its reference to a select com.cause for such acts, and their object has invariably been a mittee, with instructions to report the resolutions which redress of grievances. have been read to the House.

Is there no reason for a declaration of powers and Sir, these resolutions affect the theory of our Govern- rights by the representatives of the people at this time; ment, and that theory solves the great problem of consti- and is there no object in view? That is ihe question. Am I tutional freedom and of popular self-government. Their to be told that the people" do not call for such acts of

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

supererogation by Congress? I will not stop here to in- verbis," the propositions which these resolutions negaquire who now are the people--those for or against the tive? administration; but I will answer the question put to me There are two paragraphs of the protest, which, in themby asking another. If the people do not call, are we to selves, constitute a distinct political essay, independent sit here, whilst the Capitol is in Aames, until the people of, unconnected with, and not explained, restrained, or first cry “fire!" is our federal constitution as impervi- qualified by, the preceding or subsequent context, ous to encroachment and violation as this building is to They are in themselves a whole, and contain the most of the devouring element? Are we not sent here as vigilant the poison for which these resolutions are intended as the sentinels of the people, to see first, to hear first, to know antidote. I quote, sir, from the 9th page in pamphlet form: first, and then to warn our masters that their property, “The custody of the public property, under such reg. their political estate, is in danger of destruction? I re- ulations as may be prescribed by legislative authority, peat the question, then, has the time again come when has always been considered an appropriate function of we ought to recur to fundamental principles?" I say the Executive department, in this and all other Govern. it has; and I am told to say so by my constituents, whomments. In accordance with this principle, every species it is my pride and pleasure to obey, and to whom I can of property belonging to the United States, (excepting pay, no better compliment than by saying that, with the that which is in the use of the several co-ordinate departinstinctive prescience of coming danger to free institu- ments of the Government, as means to aid them in perfions, inspired by the spirit of liberty in freemen of every forming their appropriate functions,) is in charge of Jand, their memorial was ominously draughted in old officers appointed by the President, whether it be lands, Gloucester before the protest was concocted in the cabi- or buildings, or merchandise, or provisions, or clothing, net, and reached me here before the attack of the Presi- or arms and munitions of war. The superintendents and dent reached the Senate. Sir, it came none too soon; keepers of the whole are appointed by the President, for by the time of its arrival, there was a reason ready responsible to him, and removable at his will. for these resolutions which now have an object of vital “Public money is but a species of public property. importance. As simple, isolated, abstract, fundamental It cannot be raised by taxation or customs, nor brought propositions, all that can be said of them is, that they are into the treasury in any other way, except by law; but frue, have been written, and need not, in ordinary times, whenever or howsoever obtained, its custody always has be re-written: but, in these times, as negativing the been, and always must be, unless the constitution be claims of the President's protest to Executive power to changed, intrusted to the Executive department. No all power-more may be said of them. I will say it, officer can be created by Congress for the purpose of though it is particularly painful to me.

taking charge of it, whose appointment would not, by Sir, however anticipated by others, who never had any the constitution, at once devolve on the President, and confidence, the protest was unexpected to me, and shock- who would not be responsible to him for the faithing and alarming to me, who had not quite lost all confi- ful performance of his duties. The legislative power dence in this administration. It is an appeal from the may undoubtedly bind him and the President, by any Senate to the people, to obtain from them a confirmation laws they may think proper to enact; they may prescribe of the President's claims to powers derogatory to those of in what place particular portions of the public money both Houses of Congress. Such an executive document shall be kept, and for what reason it shall be removed, is the reason or cause of these resolutions, and to deny as they may direct that supplies for the army or navy and defeat it is their object. The reason is more than shall be kept in particular stores; and it will be the duty sufficient; the object, whether it be obtained or not, is of the President to see that the law is faithfully exemore than sufficiently important; and the effect of these cuted; yet will the custody remain in the Executive resolutions will be, if no other, to exclude a conclusion department of the Government. Were the Congress to which may be very serious hereafter. I am for denying assume, with or without a legislative act, the power of and refusing this claim, lest, in the progress of usurpation, appointing officers independently of the President, to it may again be advanced, and then argued in its behalf take the charge and custody of the public property conthat Congress, at this time, had acquiesced in its validity. tained in the military and naval arsenals, magazines, and I am for losing no rights by laches, and especially none as storehouses, it is believed that such an act would be revital, sacred, and unalienable, either by silent consent, garded by all as a palpable usurpation of the executive lapse of time, or otherwise, as those involved in these power, subversive of the form as well as the fundamental resolutions. They do not intend to meddle, in any man. principles of our Government. But where is the differner, with the various questions in controversy between ence, in principle, whether the public property be in the the Senate and the President. Ina contest between them, form of arms, or munitions of war, and supplies, or in us to their executive relations, this House has no right of gold and silver, or bank notes? None can be perceived, interposition; but we are bound, in duty to ourselves, the none is believed to exist. Congress cannot, therefore, constitution, and the people, to protect our own powers, take out of the hands of the Executive department the when trenched on either by the President or the Senate. custody of the public property or money, without an And the President having openly advanced claims to assumption of executive power, and a subversion of the powers which belong of right to Congress, of which this first principles of the constitution." House is a constituent part, and having appealed to the These paragraphs I propose critically to analyze, and people to sustain bim, we ought, without delay, to defend patiently to extract their meaning, under every modific our rights, powers, and privileges, in like manner, be- cation, according to a fair and even charitable construcfore the people; to deny, before them, tbese executive tion. pretensions; and to appeal to their reason and judgment, The first is confined to a simple statement of facts. And, to obtain a decision of the case in our favor. I say, sir, sir, that it “ has always been, heretofore, considered” we ought to join issue, instanter, with the protest, as expedient for Congress to make an Executive departto the constitutional powers of Congress, but as to them ment, by law, the agent for keeping the public money, alone.

I will not deny; but how recent events may have change But, perhaps, we may be told that, however ready weed public opinion on that point even, I will not take upon may be to join issue with the protest, neither the Presi- myself determine. Again: that "every species of dent nor the protest will join issue with these resolutions. property belonging to the United States, excepting that We must first apply to the judges, then, to compel a which is in the use of the several co-ordinate depart"similiter.Does the protest not affirm, " in totide, ments,”-(Quere: how long will this exception be al

VOL. X. --277

m

« PrejšnjaNaprej »