« PrejšnjaNaprej »
Feb. 9, 1831.)
Post Office Department.
not imagining he would accept them. He did take them, Mr. Clayton resumed. You see, sir, from this letter, and the same evening delivered them to my successor, how necessary it is, for the very existence of the perse
“I reflected on the subject, and it seemed so reckless of cuting power exercised in this department, that Mr. Bradmy own character to run the risk of his accepting them ley should be crushed. If he stands, it must fall. Bradley in such a circumstance, that the reflections, you may be has encountered the strife, though he well knows the assured, were unfavorable to sleep. As soon as the morn- fearful odds against him--for he has to struggle against ing dawned, I sent a duplicate key, (which had been over- more influence, more patronage, and a spirit more vinlooked,) to my sons, in town, requesting them to go as dictive than exists in any other department of this Gosoon as the office was opened, count the money, and de- vernment. Yet, relying on the justice of his countrymen liver it over to Mr. Barry. My eldest son did go to the alone, he bares his head, now grown grey, after more office for that purpose; after waiting there until half past than thirty years' faithful public service, before the storin, eleven o'clock, he went to Mr. Barry, and told him it was and defies its vengeance. private citizen, he can no my request that he should count and deliver over the more be driven from office; on the verge of the grave, he money, and delivered him the duplicate key. Mr. Barry can never expect to be again employed in the public serreplied, it is all perfectly right.
vice. Yet, as an honest man and a patriot, he feels it to "Thus, Mr. Barry, instead of refusing the keys, as he be his duty, when called upon by a committee of this Se. should have done, took them; instead of retaining them nate, to lay bare the transactions of this department; and in his own possession until he saw me or some one in my I will venture to predict, that in future history his characbehalf, put them into the hands of a person of whom I ter shall stand brightly out, while those of his designing will not permit myself to say one word, and to my au- calunniators shall be remembered only to be despised. thority to my son to count and deliver over the money to It is unnecessary to stop to inquire why the President him, gave an evasion.
refused to hear Mr. Bradley in corroboration of the state“On the 19th, a clerk called upon me, and proposed to ments contained in this letter, though we know from the count the money on the 22d; that is, after it had been in oath of the witness that he offered to prove every part of their possession eight days. On the 25th of September, it. If inquiry is now to be suppressed, we can readily unI received a note from two of the clerks, stating that they derstand why it was then avoided. Some excuse has were directed to give me notice that they were authorized always been devised whenever investigation has been to count the money on the 28th, that is, after it had been sought, and, until a change of times, it will always be so. out of my possession fourteen days nearly; of tliese I took Thus, even at this day, no answer has been returned by no notice. I conceived it to be a mockery and an insult the department to any one of all the numerous interroto send a notification after the answer Mr. Barry had given, gatories which the cominittee addressed to it on the 24th through my son. Yet, notwithstanding all this, Mr. Barry of December last. Yes, sir, nearly six weeks have elapsed, authorized the publication of a vile paragraph in the and the receipt of that communication has not even been Telegraph on the 28th of September, giving a false co- acknowledged. Yet I thought, while on this subject, the loring to the transaction, and not alluding to the interview member from Tennessee sought to implicate me as chairbetween my son and himself on the 15th September, in man of the committee, for withholding communications which he was informed that I desired the money might be from the department. counted that morning.
[Mr. Grundy here explained, and disclaimed any such “I stand prepared to make good every charge and spe- expression or intention.] cification I have presented to you: that he is indebted to The gentleman's explanation has saved me some troua large amount to the very office over which he presides: (ble. Yet, sir, it may be well now to put a stopper forever that he has wasted the public funds: that he has paid on all such wretched su!mises, by making a brief statemoney in aulvance contrary to law: that he is ignorant of ment of what has occurred. Three letters were addressed and inattentive to the duties of his office: that he wants to the Postmaster General by the committee--one on the capacity for the office which he holds: and I impeach his 24th of December last, being the most important, and that integrity and veracity.
which inquired into most of the concerns of his depart"I have but one particular more to notice. The letter ment--another on the 18th, and the third on the 27ih of by me to him, and published in the Telegraph, was in- January. That of the 18th of January also contained tended to be private, and put him on his guard. several important inquiries. Like its predecessor of the
" It contains no threat, but plainly, tells him what I in- 24th of December, it remained unanswered and unnoticed tended to do, and believed I could do. It does not contain until the 31st of January, when the letter of the 27th, ina syllable disrespectful towards yourself; but expresses a quiring only as to the single point of the Postmaster Gefirm reliance on the propriety with which you will inquire neral's indebtedness to the Government, was answered by and decide against him. It puts him on his guard against one letter, in which an attempt was made to throw the any reliance on your too favorable opinion of him, for I blame of the loss of the sum of $10,000 (the amount of thought it a paramount duty in you to disregard such Fowler's bond) on Meigs, or some other person, because opinions; and, in the present excited state of the country, Morrison's bond had been cancelled and given up to him; so firmly am I convinced of being able to sustain the and the receipt of the letter of the 18th was barely accharges I have made, I believe it would lead to unpleasant knowledged, but that of the 24th of December, the most measures as it respected yourself. Such a communica- material of all, was entirely unnoticed, although he had tion I should not have made to you, I have not made to been particularly requested to inform us whether he had the public; if there was any thing offensive in the letter, received each of them. [Here Mr. C. read the letters.] it only became so by its publication, for which Mr. Barry Thus, you see, sir, with what justice I complain of the alone is responsible.
refusal even to notice the receipt of the most essential in“I have the honor to be, sir, with great respect, your terrogatories. The acknowledgment in his letter of “inobedient servant,
terrogatories formerly submitted," admitted nothing as to “ABRAHAM BRADLEY.” the letter of the 24th of December, though the gentleman "Since writing the foregoing, I have been informed of from Tennessee has emphasized the word formerly, as if, allowances made to two contractors for merely expediting in his opinion, that was a recognition of that specific letter. the mail, to the amount of nine thousand dollars a year; The Postmaster General might now safely deny having the alterations would not be estimated of the value of ever received that communication, because his expression froin one-fourth to one-third of the sum, and of little im- is fully satisfied by referring to the "troublesome” interportance to the public.”
rogatories in the letter of the 18th of January. After a
Post Office Department.
(Feb. 9, 1831.
month's silence on his part, the question was put to him that the whole discussion is not one of my seeking; that, on the 27th ult.-" Have you received the letters of the like the resolution before tis, which of itself discloses some 24th of December and of the 18th of January? If so, ac- of the proceedings of the committee, it had its origin with knowledge it.” The answer is__"I have received your let- those only who desire to arrest these proceedings. And ters of the 18th and 27th of January!" It is necessary only I will add, that the attempt is but another evidence of that to add, that the two brief communications from the Post- disposition to prevent information on these subjects, which master General, received on the 1st of February, were I was proceeding to expose. mentioned to the committee at our first meeting there It has been stated, that, when a proposition was made after, on the next day were laid before them, and that in the committee to send for Mr. Hland, the solicitor of their whole contents were fully stated on the day after the department, to give testimony as to the state of the they were received in the public debate here, which the funds, the proposition was rejected. This officer has the gentleman from Tennessee introduced.
collection of all the outstanding balances, and, of course, Now, considering this extraordinary state of things, in could have shown us better than any other person what which we can get no information from the department, part of these funds are available. He could have produced is it not surprising that the gentleman should still insist, bis estimate of those funds at the time of the resignation when we propose to examine a witness, that we should of the late Postmaster General, and we should then have inquire first of the department? A letter was put into been enabled to judge whether the statement in the late my hands by the Senator from Virginia who sits near me, reports of losses on these balances be true or false. But [Mr. TazewELL,] from a citizen of'that State, whose cha- here was danger, sir. What was the result of the apracter as a most respectable man was vouched for by that prehensions it excited? Wly, it was determined by the Senator. That letter now lies before me. It contains gentlemen from Tennessee and New Hampshire that plain, unequivocal charges of “partiality, mismanage- Air. Hand should mind his business, and that the informament, fraud, and corruption,” in the southern contracts tion ought to come from the Postmaster General himself. made during last October, for transporting the mail, alleg- (Mr. C. here read the journal of the committee on this ing that higher were preferred to lower bidders, without subject.] Thus, you see, sir, while the Postmaster Gecause, and thus offering to account in part for the waste neral is withholding all information from us until some of the funds. The writer desires that the committee few days before the close of the session, when we cannot should investigate the matter, and offers himself with the even examine his communication, we are, by the votes of names of some half a dozen other most respectable men, these gentlemen, prevented from seeking information from living in Virginia and North Carolina, whom he desires us other sources. to send for as witnesses, to substantiate the charges. The I shall not dwell, sir, on the rejection of Mr. Bradley's letter is laid before the committee. The charges are so letter-on the opposition of these gentlemen to his exstrong that it is considered by the committee necessary to amination--on the numerous objections which they have ask for power to send for persons and papers. The power taken to his evidence at different stages of the inquiry, is granted by the Senate; and as soon as thu committee and which will prevent us from ever closing his testimony, meet to exercise the power in the very case which in- or taking any part of that of many other witnesses who duced them to ask for it, the members from Tennessee remain to be examined. But I will venture to predict and New Hampshire, joined by the member from Indiana, that, at the close of the session, and at a moment when it [Mr. HENDRICKS,] resolve that we shall call on the depart will be impossible for any one to examine luis communicament, to see if we cannot find in the Postmaster General's tion, Mr. Barry will report, and not till then.* But it is own hands sufficient affidavits and correspondence to sub- my duty, foreseeing, as I do, this result, and having obstantiate these charges against him; and that, after we have served all the shuthing which has occurred, to say now ascertained that we cannot find the proof there, we may that as no man can be condemned without a trial, so, too, send for the witnesses. This is determined hen it is cer- there can be no acquittal without it. tain, from the distance of their residence, that any delay
It has been told us by the gentleman from Tennessee, in sending for the witnesses must effectually prevent our that, should this inquiry proceed, Mr. Barry will refuse to obtaining their attendance. At the same time, objections answer it. It may be so, sir. We have indeed fallen upare made to the taking of any depositions. The gentle on evil times. Yet I doubt much whether any chief of a man from Tennessee and myself are appointed to call on department dare refuse to answer to the Senate while that the Postmaster General, to learn if he will not convict him- body retains the spirit to vindicate its rights. And if the self without more proof, and, as he [Mr. GNONDY] has day has indeed arrived when our power can be so contempstated in debate here, whenever I requested him to go, he tuously slighted--when we can be braved by every chief always informed me the Postmaster General was sick and of department or petty executive officer, it is time that we could not see us. So we did not go. In the mean time should leave our seats, and suffer the people to send men it became useless to send for the witnesses. We were of sufficient energy to represent them here, who will ascerwithin a few days of the end of the session, and thus, by tain the means by which every pimy whipster gets the a slight exercise of ingenuity, this part of the investigation sword and defics them to take it from him. Sir, I cannot was effectually suppressed.
yet believe that we have fallen so low. It is true that the [Mr. BENTON here called Mr. C. to order, and insist- Postinaster General diil, for nearly one whole year, omit to ed that the proceedings of the committee should not be notice the resolution of the Senator from Ohio, [Mr. Brr. stated in debate.
NET,] inquiring into the matter of the mail contracts. But The CHAIR decided that Mr. C. was not out of order, after this debate arose, and the refusal to present his answer and that he had a right to show the proceedings which had been so often referred to by all the members of the
* Mr. Barry's report did not come in until the first of March, when, committee who had spoken before him.
of course, it could not be even read by all the cominutter, and it conia Mr. BENTON appealed to the Senate.
tains no answer whatever to any of the interrogatories in the letter of Mr. GRUNDY said, he and all the other members of the 18th January, respeting the number of robovals and the practice
of removing without notice to the accused-nor any to the question the committee had commented as fully as they pleased whether the revenue had been anticipated by over-drafts
un postmasupon the proceedings.
It offers oni an excuse for not aviswering the question in the Mr. BENTON withdrew his appeal.]
leiter o the 24th December - What was the state of the funds on the
19t of October las:?" and alleges thai ihe question, " What are the imMr. Claytos proceeded. It would be well, Mr. provements or other causes which have caused the increased expendi. President, for all such as wislı to suppress debate as well iure of 1.50,000 dollars more than was expended last year?" put to him
on the 24th of Dicember last, cannot be answered this session for want as inquiry, to bear in mind, before they attempt it again, loftime.
Feb. 9, 1831.]
Post Office Department.
became the subject of complaint, we find that it has been may sleep there unrefuted, because they remain unknown paraded with much of stage effect on the table before us. until, in the lapse of time, when the men have been laid The gentleman from Tennessee points to it as a very mo- in their graves, these receptacles of filth may be opened nument of human industry. It contains, he says, work by the hand of malevolence, to tarnish the memory of those enough to make a volume. By examining it, it will be before whom, while living, the accusers dared not show found that three-fourths of the whole mass consists of their faces. His very statement of causes, therefore, exprinted bonds and contracts; and the residue of the an-hibits the strongest reason for demanding an exposition of swer to the inquiry which the Senator from Ohio made, the facts. But, sir, the blow is not merely levelled at the might be performed by a tolerable clerk in six weeks. bundreds of removed postmasters. It strikes directly at It has not been denied, you observe, that the informa- their late chief, who retained them all in office. The detion as to the contracts of Mr. McLean was, last year, in- claration thus made boldly to the world is, that he kept in serted in the resolution by the request of the present Post- office some five or six hundred men, who were either master General; and his own answer to his own question, crunken, or were prying into correspondence, or were made with a view to excuse his own allowances by the ex- guilty of some other of tlie enormities enumerated in this ample of his predecessor, has caused by far the greater part list. The answer to it all, is, look at the state of the money of the labor which that resolution has imposed. Sir, the chest now, and remember what it was when John McLean Postmaster General may safely send here any information, was compelled to leave it, or surrender his independence while the gentlemen from Tennessee and New Hampshire as a man, and become the tool of this proscriptive and arstand ready to protect it from examination. This very bitrary power. mass of labor, which it has taken nearly a year to prepare,
But the Senator from Tennessee finds another cause for as the gentlemen would have us believe, after undergoing suppressing the inquiry, in what he calls the verdict of the the careful supervision of all concerned during that time, people. The gentleman from Maine had complained of comes here, and when a motion is made to refer it to this the removal of some twenty-five postmasters in one of the committee, which is examining the subject of these con- counties of that State. The Senator from Tennessee says tracts, the gentlemen move its reference to another commit- he has no right to complain, because the people there tee, which it was well known did not intend to examine it, have sanctioned the proscription by giving their vote for and the whole subject is thus snatched from the investigating the administration. Sir, I pretend to know nothing of the committee. Strange, indeed, that an apprehension should case. But I may ask, did the people act with a view to be entertained, that in three weeks impeachable matter all the subordinate officers of the Government, when they might be discovered, among a mass of papers, which they merely approved of the general acts of the President? The say it required nearly a year to prepare. This, sir, is what conduct of these subordinates was probably no part of the I term stilling inquiry; and with wbat countenance these issue joined before the people. From the nature of things, gentlemen can complain of a charge made here, that they we must believe it could not have been so. So far from have stifled it, after this let the Senate and the public passing sentence on the removed officers by their vote, judge.
the people probably were engrossed by what they deemAnd now, sir, to return to the resolution. It is decla- ed more important considerations affecting the general wel. ratory of the limits of the commission under which the fare of their country. But, sir, if they had acted with a committee act, by its very terms. It afirms what is un- view to these offices alone, would it have been quite fair true, that we have no power, under our commission, to to have urged the force of their verdict upon us? It would make this inquiry. The original resolution directs, as we not sound well, in any supposable case, to offer bribes or have seen, an inquiry into the “ entire management of the threats to any part of the jury, and then plead their Post Office Department.” Why do not gentlemen say in verdict in justification of the act; and the very evil comterins, that their aim and object is to repeal a part of the plained of being the influence of Executive patronage powers originally conferred? Why not boldly avow at once, on the elective franchise, I do not hesitate to say, with. that the boastful defiance of inquiry, at the commencement out reference to the people of Maine, or any other par'. of the session, when the cominittee was appointed, was but ticular State, that if you can find a case which has been an empty vaunt, which it is now found necessary to retract? decided by the influence of that patronage, you might as The gentleman from Tennessce says, that he can sup- well boast that you had embraced a jury, and point in jusply us with all the information on the subject of the tification to the verdict, as to plume yourselves upon the causes of removals.
He enumerates nine of these: 1st, effect which that patronage has produced. And if the ar. Intemperance; 2d, Delinquency; 3d, Prying into letters; gument has any weight, what shall be said of those ver4th, Concealing or withholding letters; 5th, Habitual neg- dicts which the people have rendered in other districts of ligence of duty; 6th, Incompetency; 7th, Refusal to com. country, where the proscription has been equally extenply with the regulations of the department; 8th, Discharg- sive, and where, in defiance of your patronage, the deciing the postmasters' duties by deputies under age; 9th, sion has been against you? Living off the post routes. And the honorable gentleman There is no department of this Government, sir, in sums up this list of causes with the sweeping declaration, which the people take so lively an interest as the post " that he has no doubt there has not been a single instance office. It should be so conducted as to secure their perof removal but for one or other of these causes!" Sir, fect confidence. It should, therefore, have no party chaare we to suppose that the Postmaster General instructed racter whatever. So anxious was Mr. Jefferson to deprive him to make such a declaration? The honorable member it of all political connexion, as we learn from his memoirs, can know but little on the subject, of his own knowledge. that he prohibited the employment of any printer in the He lives in a district whose political sins have not demand-department, even so far as to be concerned in the transed such expiation as this of removal from office. But we portation of the mail. Suppose that, in his day, or that who live north of the Potomac know, sir, that his enume- of any former President, it had been charged with operatration of causes is a gross insult to hundreds of our worthy ing on the elective franchise, and the rights of the States, citizens, who have been removed without any other trans- through the immense influence of an army of dependents, gression than that with which, according to the orthodox amounting to more than ten thousand men, with subsidizcreed emanating ex cathedra here, is denominated political ing the press, establishing a system of espionage, and heresy. In the mean time, sir, this declaration of the gen- wasting the public treasure in disbursements to political teman shows us how just were our suspicions, that the favorites—I ask, would any party, at any former period, files of this department have been filled with groundless have had the hardihood, after an investigation had been accusations against the victims of its proscription, which set on foot to ascertain the truth of such conjectures, to
Thomas Jeferson and his Daughter.
(FEB. 10, 1831.
suppress the investigation, or to restrict it in any particu- has too long slept in the bosoms of those who administer lar, for the purpose of preventing a complete develop this Government. The name of Thomas Jefferson is idenment of all its operations? Yet such charges are now loud- tified with the independence and glory of this country: ly proclaimed against it; such an investigation has been lis eulogy is written in the pages of faithful history, and called for, and the very object of the resolution on your deeply impressed on the hearts of his countrymen. I will table is to close the door against inquiry.
not deface the sublime and beautiful picture by any atSir, I have done. In the fearless discharge of my duty tempt to retouch it with the pencil of an unskilful artist; here, I may have drawn down on my own head the ven- but it shall be my humble part simply to bring to the regeance of a power, more terrible than any which all the collection of this honorable body the high claims of this other authorities of this Government combined can wield; eminent philosopher and statesman to the gratitude of the but I should have proved a faithless representative, and generation who survive him, and leave to others, better recreant to the interests of the intrepid people who have qualified for the task, the pleasing duty of illustrating the never yet bowed to the terrors or the allurements of Exe- merits and distinguished services of one whose equal has cutive influence, if I had shrunk from its performance. seldom appeared on the great theatre of the political Note by Mr. C.-The following is an extract from the
drama of the world. Washington, Lafayette, and their letter of the honorable John McLean to Mr. Barry, laid companions in arms, wielded the physical force of the before the committed by their order;
colonies in our revolutionary struggle. Jefferson, Adams,
Franklin, and their compatriots in the cabinet, fought the “ WASHINGTON, March 31, 1829.
great moral battle of their oppressed country at that me“I cannot, in justice to myself and the public service, morable epoch. They boldly asserted those rights and refrain from recommending the continuance of the As. principles, which vindicated our cause throughout civilizsistant Postmasters General, who have been long identified ed Europe, and brought into action the invincible enerwith the department, and have been faithful to the trust gies of the American people, by whose perseverance and reposed.
valor the chains of tyranny were broken, and the mer“ I name those gentlemen to you, because I have un-cenaries of the tyrant driven from the land which they derstood that efforts are making to remove one or both of had dared to invade and desolate with conflagration, robthem. I should extremely regret such a step, as well on bery, and the sword. Under the infuence of feelings your own account as that of the public. With the opera-honorable to our national character, which have been, on tions of the department, I am well acquainted. I am many occasions, signally manifested, the Congress of the anxious that its reputation shall be sustained, and I am United States, a few years past, by an almost unanimous convinced that this cannot be done if the above gentlemen vote, made a voluntary gift to General Lafayette, of the be removed. This remark is made with a perfect know- sum of two hundred thousand dollars, and a further donaledge of the facts."
tion of a township of land equal in value to the additional
sum of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. This THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10.
liberality to the hero who fought our battles, who espoused Mr. BENTON asked and obtained leave to withdraw our cause, and shed his blood in our defence, and who the bill, which was laid on the table the other day, for has been the uniform friend of liberty in both hemithe abrogation of the duty on alum salt.
spheres, met the approbation of the people at large. It has The VICE PRESIDENT took the occasion to say that, I never been complained of by the most vigilant guardian of after mature examination and deliberation, he was satis- the public purse. Our national gratitude to this distin. fied that he had erroneously decided that the abovemen- guished man was due to his disinterested services and tioned bill could not be received. He considered that it sacrifices in the great cause of freedom, and the emanciwas at the disposal of the Senate, as other bills were.
pation of these States from the galling yoke of despotic Mr. BENTON then gave notice that he would to-mor- power, wielded by the unrelenting arm of the British row ask leave to introduce a similar bill with some modi- monarch. It has imparted a lustre to the American name fication.
far more precious than the price at which it was obtained.
Actuated by the same lofty considerations which governed THOMAS JEFFERSON AND HIS DAUGHTER.
the National Legislature on that occasion, let us not forget Mr. POINDEXTER rose to ask leave to introduce the the testamentary bequest of the great author of the Declarabill of which he yesterday gave notice. He said that, ob- tion of Independence to his beloved country. Jefferson, serving in the Telegraph of this morning, in the report of whose name must be ever dear to the friends of human liberthe proceedings of the day before, an error, by which it ty throughout the world, in the last hour of his existence, appeared that he had presented a memorial from Martha bestowing an expiring thought on the political connexion Randolph, the daughter, and only surviving child of which had so long existed between himself and the AmeThomas Jefferson, deceased, it was due to the sensibility rican people, and feeling the pressure of his pecuniary of that lady, as well as to himself, to state, that, in giving circumstances, and the embarrassed condition of his affairs, notice of his intention to introduce a bill concerning the consoled his agitated spirits by the confidence which he only surviving child of Thomas Jefferson, he was actuated reposed in the justice and benevolence of this nation; and, solely by his own views of the high obligations of duty, with his last breath, bequeathed his daughter and only and a desire to rescue the nation from the imputation of surviving child to that country which he had so faithfully a want of gratitude to a departed statesman, who had so served, and of which he was the pride and ornament. largely contributed to the establishment of this Govern- Shall we then fold our arms in cold indifference, and, unment, and the free institutions under which we live. No mindful of him, whose enlightened mind and unbought memorial was either received or presented on this subject. patriotism gave impetus to the ball of the revolution, and No intimation whatever has been made of a desire to bring fixed the great principles of this confederated republic, this question under the consideration of Congress by the treat with unkind neglect the object dearest to his heart, individual named in the bill, which he had asked leave to which he had so confidently committed to our generous introduce. He had no doubt that the error noticed was protection? unintentional on the part of the editor of the Telegraph. Shall we limit our liberal donations to Lafayette, and a
You will perceive, Mr. President, continued the elo- few others, and permit the only surviving child of Thomas quent Senator, that I have brought before this bonorable Jefferson to linger in poverty in her native country, while body a proposition calculated to animate the patriotic every page of its history points to the glory which has feelings of every American citizen; a proposition which been shed over it by the acts of her illustrious father? 1
Feb. 10, 1831.]
Post Office Department.
hope not. The ingratitude of republics is the favorite had—he declared that he thought them a fit subject for theme of tyrants, and of all those who urge that man is that operation which had been performed upon the record incapable of self-government. The despots of the world of Wilkes's expulsion from the British House of Commons-taunt us with this insulting epithet. We have shown them upon the record of the Yazoo fraud, in the Legislature of in the case of Lafayette that we do not deserve the foul Georgia--and upon the record of the Massachusetts Geneimputation. Let us follow up the good example by an ral Assembly, which declared it to be unbecoming the equal liberality to our own, our venerated Jefferson, and character of a moral and religious people to rejoice in the this stain on the fair fame of the republic will vanish into victories of their country. He declared it to be his delibethin air, and be remembered among the fables of a de- rate opinion that the history of the whole proceeding against rangedl imagination. I now move, Mr. President, that Mr. Barry ought to be expunged from the journals of leave be given to bring in a bill according to the notice the Senate! Total expurgation from the journals was the which I gave yesterday, and that it be referred to a select most appropriate means in the power of the Senate to recommittee.
store its own injured character—to make atonement to the A bill “concerning Martha Randolph, the daughter invaded privileges and insulted feelings of the House of and only surviving child of Thomas Jefferson, deceased,” Representatives; and what, perhaps, was still more imwas then presented by Mr. POINDEXTER to the Chair, portant, to prevent this evil example, this horrid combinaread a first and second time, and referred to a select tion of the accusing and trying function, from being drawn committee, consisting of Mr. PoindexTER, Mr. Bell, into precedent in future times when the party in power, Mr. WEBSTER, Mr. TYLER, and Mr. HAYNE.
and predominant in the Senate, might want the spoils of a POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT.
victim. If the American Cato, the venerable Macon, was
here, it would be his part to become the guardian of the The Senate again took up the resolution concerning the honor and dignity of the Senate: in bis absence, that high examination of witnesses as to the causes of their removal duty might devolve, at an appropriate time, upon some from office.
aged Senator. If none such undertook it, it might become Mr. CLAYTON concluded his speech against the reso- his part to consider how far their places ought to be suplution.
plied by a less worthy and less efficient member. [As reported above in yesterday's debate.]
Mr. WOODBURY then again rose. He regretted, he Mr. BENTON then rose and said, that he did not appear said, the course pursued by the gentlemen from Maine on the floor for the purpose of joining in the debate, nor and Delaware, especially by the latter. It had compelled to express any opinion on the truth of the allegations so him again to trespass on the indulgence of the Senate, violently urged against the Postmaster General. He had during the discussion of this resolution, although the subject no opinion on the matter, and did not wish to have one, must have become irksome. But new positions had been except it was that presumptive opinion of innocence which assumed--new insinuations uttered--new and extraordithe laws awarded to all who were accused, and which the nary accusations rung in the ears of this body and of the pure and elevated character of Mr. Barry so eminently whole community. Silence under them might be conclaims. If impeached, it might be his duty to sit in judg- strued into approbation. In repelling them, he disclaimed ment upon him--or, if he had an opinion in the case, to all that part of the compliment bestowed upon him, in retire from the judgment seat; as he could neither recon- connexion with his friend on the right, (Mr. Grunde,] cile it to the dictates of his conscience, nor the rights of that they were “most dexterous advocates of the Postthe accused, to take the oath of a judge, with a precon- master General.” He, as an individual, was in this body ceived opinion in his bosom, to be dropped out as soon as the advocate of nobody. He acted in his station as a Senathe forms would permit. He rose, he repeated, not totor, and only as a Senator; and whomsoever in a public accuse or absolve Mr. Barry, but to express his opinion of the station, he might be called upon, in the course of official character of the proceeding which was carrying on against duty, to vindicate or condemn, he should endeavor to do him, and to intimate an idea of what might be proper to it in a manner becoming that public station, and with a be done hereafter in regard to it. He then affirmed with single eye to the public interests. In the discharge of deep and evident feeling, that he looked upon the whole what had devolved on him, as a member of the special proceeding, from its first inception to that moment, as one Post Office Committee, in relation to the present debate, of eminent impropriety, compromising the judicial purity he had used, and should hereafter use, no dexterity beyond of the Senate on one hand, and invading the privileges of a dry appeal to our own congressional documents, and to the House of Representatives on the other. The Senate, such mathematical computations on their contents as every under the constitution, tries impeachments--the House of gentleman could disprove or verify for himself. Representatives prefers them. - Each has its assigned part Poetry had never before, but once, he believed, been to act, and it is an invasion of privilege for either to assume brought in aid of an examination into any of our fiscal conthe part of the other. If the tenth part of the matter so cerns; and though that was done by the head of a depart. furiously urged against Mr. Barry was true, or even found- ment, he should beg leave to decline following both that ed in probability, he might come before the Senate for example and the exa ople of the two gentlemen opposed trial; and it would be a horrid mockery of judicial forms for to this resolution, in preferring figures of rhetoric to figures his future judges to take the lead in the case of accusation, of arithmetic. Nor should he willingly follow the last and to excite, promote, foment, and instigate charges speaker in making political prophecies, whether as to men against him. To the House of Representatives belonged or measures.
He felt much veneration for religious prothat part of the painful business; and the present proceed. phecies; but as for political ones, when uttered by politiing in the Senate must appear to them as an invasion of cians, who had made arrangements to bring about the their privilege, and an implied censure upon their negli- events foretold, and were endeavoring, he hoped in vain, gence. It did seem to him that the House of Representa- to verify their own predictions, he cherished not sufficient tives might take notice of the proceeding, and feel itself respect for such prophecies as to imitate such an example. bound to vindicate its rights; and the two Houses thus be The grave character of this body demanded of us to conbrought into serious collision. To avoid these consequen- sider that we were in fact examining the conduct of one ces, as well as to escape a compromise of the judicial cha- of the most elevated officers of the Government; an officer racter of the Senate, he was decidedly of opinion that the who, from his public station as well as his high personal debate and proceedings should terminate immediately. character, was entitled to at least ordinary comity, and an This would save the further evils to the Senate itself, which adherence, on our part, to a fair, manly, and liberal course might ensue. As to the past--the proceedings already of investigation. We were carrying a scrutiny into the