« PrejšnjaNaprej »
H. OF R.
Sale of Public `Arms.
The question was then taken on Mr. BIBB'S proviso, and carried-53 to 26.
ermore, Edward Lloyd, Nathaniel Macon, Robert Marion, Josiah Masters, Daniel Montgomery, jun., Jonathan O. Mosely, Timothy Pitkin, jun., Josiah Quincy, John Randolph, Samuel Riker, John Rowan, John Russell, Samuel Smith, Richard Stanford, Lewis B. Sturges, Benjamin Tallmadge, Abram Trigg, Jabez Upham, James I. Van Allen, Archibald Van Horn, David R. Williams, and Marmaduke Williams.
W. Bibb, Epaphroditus Champion, Martin Chittenden, Joseph Clay, Howell Cobb, John Culpepper, Samuel W. Dana, John Davenport jun., Daniel M. Durell, [The ground of the various amendments to this James Elliot, William Ely, Francis Gardner, Edwin bill and discussion upon them is this: The State Gray, John Harris, William Hoge, Robert Jenkins, of Georgia wishes to purchase arms to the numJames Kelly, Joseph Lewis, jun., Edward St. Loe Liv-ber of 10,000 stand, but has not in her Treasury specie wherewith to make payment. There is due to the State of Georgia out of the proceeds of the first sales of the Yazoo lands, in payment of which the money is due, a sum of money. Georgia wishes to receive from the United States those arms, of which she stands in need, as a compensation in advance of part of the first payment which the United States is bound to make to her at a certain time. Georgia is one of the applicants for arms, and the State whose necessity for them is most pressing.]
Ordered, That the said bill be read the third time to-morrow.
motions and observations, were, Messrs. BACON, Those who opposed the object of the bill by ELY, QUINCY, and RHEA, of Tennessee.
SALE OF ARMS.
The House took up for consideration the report of the Committee of the Whole on the bill authorizing the sale of certain arms.
Mr. BIBB introduced an amendment to the bill, to except from the requisition of paying money into the Treasury before delivery the States to which the United States may be indebted in a sum equal to the amount of purchase.
This clause was objected to by Mr. QUINCY, inasmuch as it would permit the creditor States to realize the debts due from the United States which may be payable ten or twenty years hence; all the States thus coming forward must be equally entitled to receive arms; there not being arms sufficient for all, it would give rise to an exercise of favoritism to particular States.
It was supported by Messrs. DAWSON, BIBB, and NELSON, who replied, that if these States choose thus to realize the debts due to them, for which they now receive interest, the United States would have no objection. But the States would not do this, for it was known when funded debt was to be extinguished, that individuals would not subscribe stock; that even if States did come forward and apply for more arms than could be conveniently disposed of, the Secretary of War would give to those States in preference which really had occasion for them.
Mr. BACON proposed an amendment to the proviso of Mr. BIBB, to limit the debts mentioned in the proviso to debts actually payable to the State applying, at the time of purchase.
This amendment was agreed to; but, a few minutes afterwards,
Mr. TAYLOR, who had voted in the majority from a misapprehension of the bearing of the amendment, moved a reconsideration of Mr. BACON's amendment.-Agreed to, 37 to 35.
Mr. BIBB called for a division of Mr. BACON's motion, taking it first on striking out of the viso the words intended to be substituted by the amendment.
The question, thus divided, was negatived-51
Those who supported it, were Messrs. ALSTON, BIBB, DAWSON, NELSON, NICHOLAS, TROUP, TAYLOR, and VAN HORN.
A quorum not having voted, Mr. ELY moved to adjourn.-Negatived, yeas 13.
The question on Mr. BACON's amendment to the proviso as divided, was negatived-61 to 10.
The bill, as amended, was ordered to a third reading to-morrow-62 to 14.
TUESDAY, March 8.
Another member, to wit: from Virginia JoHN CLAIBORNE, appeared, produced his credentials, was qualified, and took his seat in the House.
A message from the Senate informed the House that the Senate have passed the bill, entitled "An act remitting the duties payable on the importation of a monument to be erected to the officers of the United States' Navy, who fell during the attack made on the city of Tripoli, in the year one thousand eight hundred and four," with an amendment; to which they desire the concurrence of this House; also, the bill, entitled "An act in addition to the act, entitled 'An act supplementary to the act, entitled 'An act laying an embargo on all ships and vessels in the ports and harbors of the United States," with several amendments; to which they desire the concurrence of this House.
Resolved, That this House doth agree to the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and eighth, of the said amendments, and doth also agree to the seventh of the said amendments, with amendpro-ments.
The House proceeded to consider the amendments proposed by the Senate to the bill, entitled "An act in addition to the act, entitled 'An act supplementary to the act, entitled 'An act laying an embargo on all ships and vessels in the ports and harbors of the United States :" Whereupon,
The House proceeded to consider the amendment proposed by the Senate to the bill, entitled "An act procuring an additional number of arms :" Whereupon,
Resolved, That this House doth agree to the said amendment.
The bill sent from the Senate, entitled "An act to amend the act, entitled 'An act establishing
Circuit Courts, and abridging the jurisdiction of the District Courts of the Districts of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio, was read twice, and referred to Messrs. GEORGE W.CAMPBELL, JOHN G. JACKSON, and HOLLAND.
Sale of Public Arms-Military Courts.
The House proceeded to consider the amendment of the Senate to the bill, entitled "An act to incorporate the Trustees of the Baptist Church in the City of Washington:" Whereupon. the said bill, together with the amendment of the Senate, was submitted to Messrs. SOUTHARD, BARD, BASSETT, BARKER, and CULPEPPER.
Mr. MONTGOMERY, from the committee to whom was referred the President's Message on the subject, reported a bill additional to the bills heretofore passed respecting the Ohio road. [This bill appropriates the sum of - dollars in addition to former appropriations on the subject.] Which was twice read, and referred to a Committee of the Whole.
On motion of Mr. VAN HORN, the resolution which he laid on the table a few days ago, for amending the Constitution in relation to contracts, was taken up and referred to a Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union.
On a motion made to resume the consideration of a resolution on the table for printing certain papers relative to the Yazoo claim, the House
refused to consider it.
SALE OF ARMS.
An engrossed bill authorizing the sale of public arms was read the third time; and, on the question that the same do pass, it was resolved in the affirmative-yeas 86, nays 21, as follows:
YEAS-Lemuel J. Alston, Willis Alston, jun., David Bard, Joseph Barker, Burwell Bassett, William W. Bibb, William Blackledge, John Blake junior, Thomas Blount, John Boyle, William A. Burwell, William Butler, Joseph Calhoun, George W. Campbell, Epaphroditus Champion, Joseph Clay, George Clinton, jun., John Clopton, Howell Cobb, John Culpepper, John Dawson, Josiah Deane, Joseph Desha, Daniel M. Durell, John W. Eppes, William Findley, Peterson Goodwyn, Edwin Gray, Isaiah L. Green, John Harris, William Helms, William Hoge, James Holland, David Holmes, Daniel Ilsley, John G. Jackson, Richard M. Johnson, Walter Jones, James Kelly, William Kirkpatrick, Nehemiah Knight, John Lambert, Joseph Lewis, junior, Edward Lloyd, John Love, Matthew Lyon, Robert Marion, Josiah Masters, William McCreery, William Milnor, Daniel Montgomery, junior, John Montgomery, Nicholas R. Moore, Thos. Moore, Jeremiah Morrow, John Morrow, Gurdon S. Mumford, Roger Nelson, Thomas Newton, Wilson C. Nicholas, John Porter, John Rhea of Tennessee, Matthias Richards, Samuel Riker, John Russell, Ebenezer Seaver, Dennis Smelt, John Smilie, Jedediah K. Smith, Samuel Smith, John Smith, Henry Southard, Richard Stanford, Clement Storer, Peter Swart, John Taylor, Abram Trigg, George M. Troup, James I. Van Allen, Archibald Van Horn, Daniel C. Verplanck, Jesse Wharton, Isaac Wilbour, Marmaduke Williams, Alexander Wilson, and James Witherell.
H. OF R..
James Fisk, Francis Gardner, John Heister, Nathaniel Macon, Timothy Pitkin, jun., Josiah Quincy, James Sloan, William Stedman, Samuel Taggart, Benjamin Tallmadge, Jabez Upham, and David R. Williams.
NAYS-Ezekiel Bacon, Martin Chittenden, Matthew Clay, Orchard Cook, Richard Cutts, Samuel W. Dana, John Davenport, junior, James Elliot, William Ely,
The House proceeded to consider the amendment proposed by the Senate to the bill, entitled "An act remitting the duties payable on the importation of a monument to be erected in memory fell during the attack made on the city of Tripof the officers of the United States' Navy, who oli, in the year one thousand eight hundred and four." [The amendment appropriates $1,000 for railing and covering the same.]
A motion was made by Mr. NICHOLAS, that the said bill and amendment do lie on the table; and the question being taken thereupon, it passed in the negative. The question was then taken that the House do agree with the Senate in their amendment to the said bill, and passed in the negative—yeas 48, nays 59, as follows:
YEAS-Lemuel J. Alston, Burwell Bassett, Epaphroditus Champion, Martin Chittenden, Howell Cobb, Orchard Cook, John Culpepper, S. W. Dana, John Davenport, jr., John Dawson, Josiah Deane, Jas. Elliot, William Ely, Francis Gardner, John Harris, William Helms, Benjamin Howard, Daniel Ilsley, Robert Jenkins, Richard M. Johnson, Walter Jones, James Kelly, William Kirkpatrick, Joseph Lewis, jun., Edward St. Loe Livermore, John Love, Matthew Lyon, William Nelson, Thos. Newton, W. C. Nicholas, Timothy PitMilnor, Jonathan O. Mosely, G. S. Mumford, Roger kin, jr., Josiah Quincy, Samuel Riker, John Russell, Dennis Smelt, John Smith, William Stedman, Clement Storer, Peter Swart, Samuel Taggart, Benjamin Tallmadge, Jabez Upham, Archibald Van Horn, Daniel C. Verplanck, and Marmaduke Williams.
NAYS-Willis Alston, jr., Ezekiel Bacon, David Bard, William W. Bibb, William Blackledge, John Blake, jr., Thomas Blount, John Boyle, Robert Brown, William Butler, Joseph Calhoun, Matthew Clay, John Clopton, Richard Cutts, Joseph Desha, Daniel M. Durell, John W. Eppes, William Findley, James Fisk, Peterson Goodwyn, Edwin Gray, Isaiah L. Green, John Heister, William Hoge, James Holland, David Holmes, John Lambert, Nathaniel Macon, Robert Marion, Josiah Masters, Daniel Montgomery, junior, John Montgomery, Nicholas R. Moore, Thomas Moore, Jeremiah Morrow, John Morrow, Thomas Newbold, John Pugh, John Rea of Pennsylvania, John Rhea of Tennessee, Jacob Richards, Matthias Richards, Ebenezer Seaver, James Sloan, John Smilie, Jededia K. Smith, Samuel Smith, Henry Southard, Richard Stanford, John Taylor, John Thompson, James I. Van Allen, Jesse Wharton, Robert Whitehill, Isaac Wilbour, David R. Williams, Alexander Wilson, Richard Winn, and James Witherell.
The SPEAKER having commenced reading the engrossed bill concerning Courts Martial and Courts of Inquiry—
Mr. BASSETT said he could not sit still while the bill was reading without mentioning a proposition which he wished to make in relation to it. He believed that there was no position more sound than that wherever a tribunal was instituted, it
H. OF R.
should be made as perfect as possible. To effect this, it was necessary that it should be endued with the most extensive power to collect facts. He was, therefore, clearly of opinion, that the power of military courts to obtain testimony should be extended; but there was one principle in this bill to which he could not consent. He meant that part which put it in the power of a court martial to bring our citizens from either extreme of the continent to the other. A view of the continent would show the hardship of it. He would not restrain this power from a belief that our courts martial were so far biassed as to make an ill use of it, but he would not give it, because there was a possibility of their becoming so. He was not prepared to say that the difference between parole and written evidence was so great as to require oral testimony in all cases. He had always thought that civil courts had carried this principle too far, and certainly did not wish to admit it here. As the bill at present stood, a citizen might be called by a military court from the province of Maine to New Orleans. Mr. B. suggested one difference in this respect between courts of law and courts martial. Civil courts were numerous and held at stated places, offenders being tried in the district where the offence was committed, so that a witness might not, in civil cases, have so great a distance to travel; while a military court is held perhaps in a remote corner of the country from the peculiarity of its organization. Mr. B. concluded by moving that the bill be recommitted for the purpose of amending the detail.
Mr. M. WILLIAMS wished the bill to be recommitted, and then stated his reasons for so doingamong others, that parole evidence, taken before a court of inquiry, when collected, could not be received by a court martial in cases affecting life or limb. When gentlemen come to examine the principles of the bill, they will be found erroneous. I am certainly of opinion that there ought to be provision by law to give a person accused of a crime a fair opportunity to meet all charges against him; but I cannot see any good grounds why a citizen should be dragged before a court martial, or compelled to come forward when their testimony could not be received. Whenever an officer in the Army is charged with a crime against military law, he is tried by a military court; but whenever he commits an offence of a civil nature, it is tried by a civil court. It is well known that the case which has formed the ground of this bill is triable by a civil court; and suppose a charge is made against an officer for murder, or for bribery, or corruption, is it proper that these, being civil offences, should be tried by a military court? I think the bill very exceptionable; I wish every person accused to have a fair trial, but I would never give power to a military court to drag our citizens from every part of the Union. Another section gives power to compel the production of all public papers. Would you compel a clerk of a court to bring forth all his records? Is there in the United States any court which has that power? In some cases copies of particular records are permitted to be taken; but this bill not only requires the records, but all in the possession of Mr. MONTGOMERY stated to the gentleman last any officer, upon the summons of a military court. up, that the operation of this bill went to provide Another part says that "the witness shall be tried that, in cases in which the definitive sentence for non-attendance by the military court, and might go to loss of life or to infamy, subpoenas fined by a civil court." The second section says, should issue. But where the punishment did not "the witness shall not be discharged until he has extend to loss of life or infamy, depositions might gone through an examination, and the court think be taken. He would submit it to the considera-proper to discharge him." Gentlemen have told tion of the House whether a person should be at us that a military court will not pretend to abuse the risk of life, limb, or reputation, before a court, their authority. I would not give an authority to and not have the benefit of that testimony which them which they possibly could abuse. A witwould prove his innocence. There was no civil ness might be led to give testimony to convict criminal jurisdiction throughout the United States, himself by a court composed of military men, who, the Constitution having forbade it, in which the though actuated by good motives, may not be person accused was not confronted with his wit- acquainted with the correct rules of procedure in nesses; depositions were not allowed to be pro- such cases. I can never consent to vote for this duced as evidence in such cases. This bill pro- bill; if it be recommitted, and such a bill revides that, in cases going to life and infamous ported as might be formed, I might vote for it, as punishment, oral testimony shall be had; in other I am willing to make some provision in the case. cases depositions may be taken upon application Such a bill as this, taking power from the civil to a judge of the United States by the judge ad- and vesting it with the military authority, never vocate or party accused. My own opinion on ought to be adopted in our Government. We this subject is, that. in no case whatever, ought a should be careful not to legislate for the particusentence affecting life to be adjudged, unless the lar case, but consider the general effects of the bill. party be confronted by his witnesses; this, too, is the practice in our civil courts under the Constitution. The principle contained in the bill does not vary from the practice of the courts of the United States, or of the several States. Inasmuch as but in few cases can it be necessary to summon witnesses from remote parts of the Union, and as in those cases they ought to attend, I wish the bill not to be recommitted.
Mr. FISK was opposed to recommitment. The necessity and justice of confronting persons accused with the witnesses against them had been acknowledged in all free Governments. Depositions were the most fallacious evidence that could be conceived; much more of fact could be gathered from oral testimony, cross-examinations being essentially necessary for obtaining the whole truth. In depositions, when taken, the deponent
H. OF R.
may be made to speak a language and convey a commander to see justice done; and, in case he meaning which he did not intend, and facts may refuses, he is subject to infamous punishments, be concealed, which, when drawn out by ques- and these to be inflicted by a court martial, and tion, would totally change the complexion of the not by a civil court. We have given courts marevidence. So long, therefore, as we have a dis- tial this power, whether properly or not, it is not position to secure the liberty of man, so long cer- necessary to inquire. Unless you make a provistainly should we preserve the testimony by parole. ion of the kind contemplated by this bill, you deThe life of a citizen soldier or officer is as dear to prive the accused of the right of obtaining testihim as it is to a man in civil life. I believe it mony in his favor, which must of necessity, perwould be good policy in all Governments to re-haps, be drawn from the civil rank. You have duce the military law to as close a conformity placed the officer in this situation, and ought to with the civil as possible. In the same propor- give him a chance for a fair trial. A variety of tion as we do this, I believe we shall lessen the other instances might be mentioned. Speaking danger to be apprehended from a standing army; disrespectfully of his superior officer is made a because, while they remember the feelings of a crime, and the law is unlimited, does not confine citizen freeman, they will respect the citizens' it to the Army, but extends it to all parts of the rights. The present bill is a step towards that United States. Here, then, is evidence required object; it provides that courts martial or inquiry, from civil life. In case of desertion also: when a whenever life or reputation is involved, shall have soldier overstays the time specified in his fura power of summoning witnesses. This law is lough, he must be tried; sickness may be plead in as well guarded as it was possible to make it; it excuse. If it be out of his power to procure tesdoes not put it in the power of a court martial timony of this he is tried for his life, A number arbitrarily to call a witness. Gentlemen will re- of instances might be produced where persons, collect that the accused is obliged to apply to a from their peculiar situation, must be under the court of civil law, and show probable cause. Now necessity of procuring evidence from civil life. let me ask whether this is not a complete secur- In the same proportion that we lessen the oppority? The right is not arbitrary, nor the power at tunity of obtaining testimony, we deprive the citithe will or discretion of accused, is zen of his privilege as an American. I wish to guarded with discretion. If the power be safe see the time when soldiers shall have their priviwith courts of law in civil cases, why not in mili- leges secured and rights defined as citizens in tary? If gentlemen examine this bill again, they civil life. I hope, therefore, that the bill will be • will find that notwithstanding the necessity for permitted to pass. Gentlemen who wish a rethis testimony, and the disposition of a court mar-commitment seem to think the principles of the
tial, it cannot inflict fines or forfeitures until a court of law have said that the testimony is necessary. The bill therefore makes the military subservient to the civil authority.
bill exceptionable, which I consider as essential and of as much importance as ever were contained in any one bill proposed to the consideration of the House. I have considered our articles of war as the very image of despotism. Death seems to stare us in the face through the whole of them. But they were enacted in the wisdom of the House, and probably my inability to discern the good features they contain, so much distorts them in my eyes; but I wish to secure every privilege that can be permitted.
Since no summons, no attachment, no process can issue or inconvenience can ensue till proper cause be shown, and till the judge has exercised his discretion, I trust and hope that gentlemen will find this sufficient to alleviate their fears for the citizens.
It has been suggested as a reason for commitment, that, at present, a citizen can be summoned from one extreme of the country to the other. The bill provides, that in cases affecting life or reputation, as dear as life, (recollect that a soldier is nevertheless a brother citizen,) that a witness shall be liable to be summoned. Much better is it that these inconveniences should be suffered than that an innocent man should fall a sacrifice. When life or reputation are at stake, nothing can be brought in competition with them. The more you lessen the means of procuring testimony, in the same degree the Government grows despotic, and the liberty of the citizen is endangered. In taking depositions, the persons employed for that service may be interested in the destruction of the party accused; they may be taken by ignorant persons so as to be foreign to truth, and sometimes by artful ones, so as to be foreign to the meaning of the deponent, thus causing a sacrifice of life and perversion of all principles of justice. Instead of increasing, we should endeavor to ameliorate the evils attendant on a military life.
We have been told that all offences committed on society are punishable by a civil court. We shall find the case to be different on examining the articles of war, of which I will mention one or two. When the Army is on its march, if any injury be done to citizens, it is made the duty of the
Mr. LIVERMORE said he had no objection to the recommitment of the bill, or to whatever course should be pursued in relation to it. In its present form he thought it the greatest monster ever exhibited before the Legislature, and destructive of the very principles it went to support. If the gentleman last up was right in what he thought should be the spirit of the bill, he was wrong in the construction which he gave to the letter of it. From what he says, observed Mr. L., I collect that he thinks there ought to be a discretion with a judge to issue subpoenas to compel testimony. There is not, however, such a provision in the bill; for although in common parlance the word "may" leaves a discretion, in legal construction it is imperative. The gentleman has an idea that
H. OF R.
the bill leaves a discretion with the judge; if it Mr. MARION hoped the bill would be recommit-
With respect to the powers being confined to
Mr. L. then took a view of the necessity for this law. The act of Congress of the last session had established certain articles and regulations for the discipline of the Army; he did not agree with gentlemen in their great objection to these, for there could be no body of disciplined troops with out similar rules. He had heard of no necessity for this law. If the United States had proceeded from 1776 to this time without it, he conceived it unnecessary to introduce it at this time. In speaking of depositions, he said he could see no mate-law, a citizen may be dragged from the place rial objections to them. The only difference be- where the offence is committed, to any place howtween a deposition taken by a civil officer and oral ever remote from his residence, where the court testimony before a court martial, was, that one martial may be held. When I consent that a was taken down by a civil judge and the other by court martial in a district shall have the same the judge advocate, and in this form deliberated power of compulsion as a civil court in that disupon by the court. He was not anxious for the trict, it is as far as I can go. If the bill be recomrecommitment of the bill, because he was opposed mitted and amended, thus far I will go. to the principle in toto; though he thought some addition to the articles of war of last session, relative to evidence of witnesses in particular cases, might be introduced.
Mr. BACON wished the bill to be recommitted, that it might pass with as general a consent as possible. He went into an examination of the principle; he cited the laws of Pennsylvania and