Slike strani

FEB. 11, 1831.)

Duty on Alum Sult.-- Post Office Department.


we to be told as lawyers, or as law agents, that any court Mr. FOOT intended to have given a silent vote against or committee of limited powers should make investigations the introduction of the bill; but the gentleman's insisting or take testimony on subjects not within their jurisdiction? on having the yeas and nays on the question, brought to Yet a preliminary inquiry on that point, as well as our his recollection that a bill of similar import was before other proper precautions, are imputed to us as attempts the Senate. Although the Chair had reversed his deci. to stifle the truth, and exclude light.

sion on the subject, he still considered that the question It is confidently believed that no unjaundiced eye can of order was involved in it, and that it should be decided discover any circumstance in thein beyond due courtesy to by the Senate, for a close observance of their rules was the head of a high department, a due regard to economy an actual saving of time. He would ask if the economy in the exercise of our power to send for persons and of their time would not be entirely forgotten, if every papers, and a commendable dislike to encroach upon the Senator might introduce bills of the same nature of others limitations which the Senate, by a fair construction, seem to previously brought in, by a mere change of a partial dehave imposed on the inquiries referred to our exa!nina- scription, but where the principle was the same? If this tion.

were tolerated, their whole tine might be consumed by But enough of this. A similar accusation is hurled even their consideration, although they might afterwards be reagainst the Senate for referring the answer to the call of jected. the member from Ohio to the standing committee, rather Mr. DICKERSON was opposed to the introduction of than to the special committee, on the post office. It was the bill, because he considered it one of too much importdone, says he, to create delay in our inquiries, and to ance to be brought in at this period of the session, for smother investigation; when the chairman should know, there could not be sufficient time for its consideration. for it was assigned as a reason at the time, that the refer- He was also opposed to the granting of leave, inasmuch ence was thus made to enable the gentleman, friendly to as he considered it a bill which interfered with the revethe chairman, and on whose resolution the call was ordered, nue, by providing for the charge of a tax of so much for first to examine the answer. That gentleman was on the a given time; and to the Senate did not belong the right standing, but not on the special committee, and now, as of originating bills which went to levy or continue an impropriety dictates, has the papers in his individual care, post in which the revenue of the country was concerned. willing, without doubt, that any member may refer to it was also a bill which only related to a particular dethem in elucidation of our researches.

scription of salt, and the bill introduced by the Senator But I have done with these details, tiresome, I fear, to from Maryland (Mr. Smitu) embraced salt in general. the Senate, and exceedingly unpleasant to me. From the Mr. BENTON said, that as to the question that it origispecimens given, the flimsy character of the whole charge nated a measure connected with the revenue, he would is manifest. Yet a duty to the public as well as myself

, simply ask, had or had not the bill already before the a duty of a character neither to be sought nor shunned, House the very same tendency? The question of order has been discharged in the discussion of the!: and I shall he would submit to the Chair. here close-after a few comments on the charge of bribery The Chair could not change the decision already given, flung by the chairman on such part of the people of Maine but proceeded to take the sense of the Senate on the and New Hampshire as have approved the removals made granting of leave. in those States in the Post Office Departinent. [Mr. CLAY A division was then had, when leave to introduce the TON here rose, and observed, he did not mean to make bill was refused--the yeas being 17, the nays 27. any charge against the people of New Hampshire; and only said as to those in Maine, that, in returning their ver

POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT. dict for the administration, the verdict was entitled to no The Senate resumed the consideration of Mr. GRUNDY'S more weight than that of a jury, who had been bribed or resolution. embraced.} I accept the gentleman's explanation to a

Mr. WOODBURY concluded the remarks he comcertain extent. But though my immediate constituents menced yesterday in support of the resolution. [What he may now be considered as not directly implicated, yet an said on both days is embodied unbroken above. After he indirect implication is still left upon their principles, and concluded) a most derogatory stricture made upon some of their Mr. SPRAGUE followed. He declined entering into brethren of a sister State, which I may be pardoned for any discussion on its fiscal concerns, but stated his objecnoticing. That gentleman knows full well that the re- tions to the resolution, as tending to impeach the veracity ceivers of a bribe

are as guilty as the givers, and that this of individuals who had been dismissed from office in the accusation, however softened down, or construed into a capacity of witnesses before the special committee. mere comparative and political charge in the warmth of Mr. GRUNDY explained, and said, than this nothing debate, is not one entirely to be overlooked. Since the was further from his intention, and he had no objection so explanation, I have no right to doubt the charge was in- to modify his resolution, as to do away with any erroneous tended only in a comparative and political scnse; and in impression in that respect which might be formed. that sense alone, with no unkind spirit would rejoin, Mr. LIVINGSTON said--I gave my vote for the resothat thongh the accused may not feel under the highest lution under which this committee was appointed, but obligations to him for his compliment to their intelligence most certainly not with the intent of vesting them with and virtue, yet I should do them wrong to say, I believed the power which their chairman contends they have a them alike indifferent to his censure or his praise. On right to exercise. What is that power? One, sir, that the contrary, there is a class politicians in this country, the Senate has solemnly declared, after the fullest investiwhose praise on political subjects they would generally gation, that the Senate itself had no right to exercise; a think much more to be deprecated than their severest debate in which the honorable chairman of this committee

strove with his usual earnestness, with unusual eloquence

and ingenuity, but strove in vain, to establish a right in FRIDAY, Fencany 11.

the Senate to call on the President to give his reasons for

such removals from office as the Senate might deem imDUTY ON ALUM SALT.

proper. Sir, the honorable chairman needed not to have Mr. BENTON, pursuant to his notice of yesterday, assured us that he was tenacious of his purpose when he asked for leave to introduce his bill for the gradual aboli- thought that purpose right; the perseverance with which tion of the duty on alum salt. He asked for the yeas and he clings to the doctrines which he on that occasion go nays on his motion,

ably advocated, is a proof of this. Now, sir, how does VOL. VII... 13


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

guments now addressed to them by the chairman of the perious duty urges me not only to dissent from this doc-
ances, and though they, like old friends, sometimes put not encroach on those of a co-ordinate branch? and, by the startett

Post Office Department.

(FEB. 11, 1831.
the interrogatory proposed to be put by the committee, objection to the two members of the committee who have
and the argument by which that right is attempted to be argued against the resolution; they think, and no doubt
sustained; how do these differ from the inquiry then urged conscientiously, that it is part of the duty delegated to
to be proper, and the arguments which were then used, them, to inquire and pronounce upon this branch of the
but which failed to convince us? The Postmaster General accusation against the Postmaster General. Nay, sir,
is an officer appointed in virtue of a law which prescribes they have gone further; they have entertained, and think
his duties and designates his powers. His great duty is it their duty to pronounce on accusations of fraud, mal-
to secure the transmission of the mail, and the security of versation, and corruption. I did not understand them to
the revenue to be derived from that source. The essen- say that these charges were true; but I did distinctly un-
tial power given to him for the performance of these du- derstand them to say that they were made, and that the
ties, is the appointment of his deputies, and, as a necessary committee were inquiring into their truth; and, unless I
consequence, their removal, whenever they do not, in his am greatly deceived, it was added, that they were sup-
opinion, properly perform their duties; they are answer-ported by high evidence. Furtlrer, sir, the written alle-
able to him in the same manner as he is to the President-- gation of some of these charges was laid before us; was
as the President may remove him in the exercise of his read at the request of the chairman, in the shape of a
legal discretion, so may he remove the deputies whom he letter from one of the officers who had been dismissed.
has, on his own responsibility, appointed. All the argu-Now, sir, against all this proceeding I decm it a duty
ments used against the interference of the Senate with solemnly to enter my protest. Every member of this
the removals by the President, apply with the same force body must pursue that conduct which is dictated by his
to any intermeddling here. I will not fatigue the Senate own sense of propriety and duty. I have no doubt that
by repeating those arguments; they were deemed conclu- the honorable members who differ from me on this occa-
sive then. Circumstances have not changed; nor have sion, are so guided. Far be it from me to inculpate
the members of the Senate changed. Whether any ar- them. But I too must follow mine; and my sense of in-
committee can have operated any change in their opinion, trine, but to point out the consequences of what I deem
I should be very much inclined to doubt, because I have a most dangerous assumption of unconstitutional power.
heard none now that I cannot recollect perfectly to have Do we not entirely disregard the allotment made to us in
heard on a former occasion. Sir, they are old acquaint- the distribution of the powers of Government? Do we

new faces, and trick themselves assuming not delegated to us, render that they borrow from eloquence and talent, yet it re- incompetent to the performance of those that are! We quires no great stretch of memory to recollect them. I appoint a committee for the purpose no doubt of inquirwill simply ask the honorable chairman what practical ing whether any legislative measure is necessary to give good he expects will result from the inquiry? Let us greater effect to the Department of the Post Office. To suppose it proper, and pursue its course; a discarded give it any other construction would be to suppose it an officer of the department is called before the committee: unconstitutional measure. This committee asks for power “Sir, you were a deputy of the Postmaster General; for to send for persons and papers. With confidence in what cause did he dismiss you?" “ Sir, it is impossible the correctness of their course, we give it to them. And, for me to tell; I was a most meritorious officer, regular in under this delegation, it is contended they not only have rendering my accounts, punctual in my payments, diligent a right to do that which the body, of which they form a in the duties of my office.” “ Call in the Postmaster part, has solemnly resolved it has no right to do; but, sir, General: Why did you dismiss this man?” “ Because he that it is their duty to inquire into charges of fraud and was totally unfit for his office; he nerer attended to its corruption in the exercise of his official duties, by an duties; his mails were rarely made up in time; and the officer upon whom, if he should be accused, we are aftermail-carriers were detained for hours at his office.” “Can wards to sit in judgment. Not only is this inquiry puryou bring proof of these charges?” “ Easily; you have sued in the committee; not only are its members forced only to send for the mail-carrier between Memphis and to prejudge the case, but the charge is uttered in the New Orleans, and for eight or ten of the inhabitants of assembled Senate; all of us are to have our judgments the village where he lives; the distance is not much above warped and poisoned by hearing evidence and arguments two thousand miles, and you may have them here certainly to show the guilt or to prove the innocence of the accusin a year." The report must be made in three weeks. ed. And then), with our passions infamed with the Here is one case, and a probable one: How many such in warmth of debate, with minds perverted by ex parte the five hundred cases of removal? Take another: “ Why, evidence, and the mixture of political feeling that has Mr. Postmaster General, did you dismiss A. B.?” “Be- been introduced into the case, we are to take our places cause, sir, I had no confidence in him; a discretionary beside you, sir, in the august tribunal where we had so power was given to me, which I have exercised in all lately sat, and we are to call God to witness that we will cases according to the best of my judgment.” Then I decide coolly, and dispassionately, and justly, between think that inquiry must end. But suppose, in another our country and the officer accused. How, sir, are we case, the suspicions wbich have been expressed, or rather preparing ourselves for this duty? By violent philippics the positive charge, that has been repeated till the echoes against the man who, if the opinion of those who utter are tired with it, that the removal should bave been of a them is well founded, must appear at our bar to answer person hostile to the election of the present Chief Magis- them! by arguments which those who believe in his trate, and that another, of opposite politics, should have innocence feel bound to use in his defence! by the exreplaced him; suppose this to have happened in three citement which zeal and eloquence must naturally produce hundred out of the five hundred removals, what is to be in the minds of their fellow-judges, to whom they are the result? Why, the honorable chairman has long since addressed. In our zeal for political refurin, or for the anticipated it. Such conduct is corruption, and corrup-advancement of justice, we forget what we are. We tion is an impeachable offence. To this result, then, we assume the accusing, when we have only the higher, the come at last.

A committee of the Senate, members of judging power. If one “twentieth part the tithe" of the high court for the trial of impeachments, are to be the accusations that have been uttered on this occasion employed in finding materials for the accusation of an against this gentleman be well founded, he ought to be officer whom they, in the performance of their high impeached; those who believe them to be true ought functions, are to try; but this seems to offer no serious immediately to produce the charges before the accusing

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

FEB. 11, 1831.]

Post Office Department.


power, not to reiterate them within these walls, where no tion-suppose the bill to regulate the mileage of members voice ought to be heard in cases of alleged criminality of Congress to be under consideration, would we be rebut that of calm deliberation.

stricted from inquiring what reason there was to pass the Sir, whether the charges are true or false, I will not act? Suppose members had charged double, or nearly inquire, until they are constitutionally made and legally double their distance, and received their pay, which, if proved. Until then I am bound to believe him innocent, not ground of impeachment, would be certainly good not only by duty, but because I believe him, as far as my cause for expulsion--could we not inquire into the fact, observation has gone, to be an upright, able officer, and as evidence of the necessity of a remedy? Now, expulthat, under his administration, the department has greatly sion is a judicial act; and will any one pretend that here extended its (sefulness. But, although this opinion may legislative functions must be suspended, lest they should make me require and scrutinize proof before I condemn, conflict with the judicial? it will never, if I can confide in my own judgment, swerve Suppose, further, that a member should institute a prome from duty, if that proof should, contrary to my belief, secution against an officer, either personally or professionbe produced. Nor, on the other hand, can the misplaced ally, and thus disqualify himself from sitting as a judge, all invectives, the violent, acrimonious, and repeated charges the evil that would result would be, that he would be exthat have been made, bias me against the man whom Icused from taking the oath. If this objection had not esteem. The honorable chairman of the committee may, originated in the Senate of the United States, I do not as he says he will, “teach his starling to cry proscrip- hesitate to say that I should pronounce it a miserable subtion" until all the prating party parrots of the cou terfuge. can repeat it. He may, as he says he will, find his victim But the "dignity" of the Senate is thought to be in dan" when he lies asleep, and in his ear may halloo proscrip- ger by this inquiry. Sir, if every member respects himtion!" He may make the Senate resound with this catch- self, acting neither the tyrant on the one hand, nor the word of a party until he is hoarse with the repetition. sycophant on the other, but proceeding right on, and fearYet, sir, I trust the members of that august body will be lessly performing his duty, the “dignity" of the Senate will calm; they will not suffer themselves to condemn or be in no danger. And, sir, if we should retrench upon acquit but in the performance of their constitutional the rights of the House of Representatives, I trust that functions, nor suffer any delegated power to transcend there is sufficient independence, and patriotism, and intel. those limits which they have deterınined to be the boun- ligence there, to sustain and defend their own rights and dary of their powers.

privileges. Before I conclude, let me ask the honorable Senator Mr. President, the chairman of the committee [Mr. from Delaware, whether he thinks his favorite word might Clayton] was called to order by the Senator from Misnot be with some propriety applied to the hearing ex parte souri, (Mr. Benton,) for disclosing what had occurred in accusations of fraud, corruption, and other misdemeanors committee, after he had patiently endured the disclosures against a high officer, repeating them in the highest of two other members, [Messrs. GRUNDY and WoodburY.] council of the nation, and speeding them on the wings of The decision of the Chair was against the call; he made an his eloquence through the land, before the accused has appeal, but withdrew it. If the Senate approves this ineven answered to the charge. The good feelings which terruption of such a Senator as the chairman, who never I know that Senator to possess, will

, unless I greatly violates the most rigid rules of decorum, I can only say mistake, in his moments of calm reflection, lead him to that such approbation bears melancholy testimony of a regret the course which an honest but mistaken zeal has deterioration of the dignity of this Senate. led him to pursue on this occasion.

It is again urged upon us that our dignity will be comThe observations, sir, of the Senator from Maine (Mr. promitted, because the Postmaster General may refuse the SPRAGUE] are correct. The resolution offered by the call. How? Does the Senator from Tennessee (Mr. Senator from Tennessee does not go far enough. I offer GRUNDY) anticipate that the Postmaster General will rethe following amendment: Strike out from the word fuse to answer a call of this Senate? A Postmaster Geneto," and insert--"make inquiry into the reasons which ral-a green attaché of a "cabinet”-a thing not known have induced the Postmaster General to make any remov- to the constitution-refuse to answer an interrogatory of als of his deputies;" so as to read -

this Senate! Is this the degradation which that Senator Resolved, That the select committee appointed on the predicts? And what then? It would seem to me, with all fifteenth day of December last to inquire into the condi- due deference, that the probability that the Postmaster tion of the Post Office Department, are not authorized to General would not answer the inquiry put to him, would make inquiry into the reasons which have induced the be the best reason in the world why we should inquire Postmaster General to make any removals of his deputies. elsewhere. Can that Senator be serious that, because the

Mr. GRUNDY accepted the modification offered by Postmaster General was not obliged to answer the queries Mr. Livingstox.

put to him, we ought not to inquire of any one else! I am Mr. HOLMES then again rose. Sir, said he, the Sena- really lost and confounded; I cannot for my life see, if the tor from Missouri (Mr. Benton) stepped out of his way Postmaster General is not obliged to answer the queries to catechise the Senate for instituting this inquiry. It ap- put to him, why it follows, that the same or similar queries pears, by a speech of his published this morning, that the may not be put to the witness. There may be great weight proceedings on this subject are so unparliamentary, that in this argument of that Senator; but, humiliating as it may they ought to be expunged from the journal; and, on be, I am free to acknowledge that it transcends the limits another occasion, his remark was, that we were acting as of my understanding: The Senator from New Hampshire petty constables to ferret out offences which we may be (Mr. Woodbury) disposes of the point differently; he called on as judges to decide. Should the Senate obse- takes what he calls the “broad principle,” that the conquiously obey the mandate of that Senator, and apply the duct of this officer is subject to the inspection and scrutiny sponge to the whole procedure, it becomes necessary for of the President alone. This “broad principle" is strictly me to proceed in the debate, and to preserve my own re- military. Each executive officer is answerable to his sucord of what I shall have done and said.

perior, and to no other power. So long, therefore, as Sir, I have before shown, to say nothing of “petty con- the President approves the acts and deeds of the Poststables,” that, from our complex character, our legislative master General, no other constitutional power can reach and executive duties may conflict with our judicial func- him. This is, indeed, a broad principle-broad enough tions; but, that this may be the result, is no reason why for the basis of the most relentless tyranny which ever we should perform no duty at all. As a further illustra- scourged mankind.


Post Office Department.

(FEB. 11, 1831.


But, since we have so lately tried a judge, impeachment ed for the defendant, but that a new trial was granted, is all the while running in our heads. The Senator from the cause opened fo: trial, but that afterwards it was disTennessee, the Senator from New Hampshire, and even continued or dismissed-for what cause, does not appear. the Senator from Missouri, seem excessively delicate lest Now, inasmuch as a judgment, on discontinuance or an this examination of a witness into the causes of removal entry of neither party, is no bar to another action for the from office might at the same time disqualify us to try same cause, the demand is still good, if not paid. It rests, some one for some high missiemeanor, on an impeach- then, upon two questions: the one of fact, whether any

And this urged, over and over again, with a gra- direction was given by Fowler, or his sureties, to apply vity that provokes a smile. We have asked them, and the subsequent payments to the last bond; and, if not, the we repeat the question, why then are not the other inqui-other question of law, whether the Postmaster General ries directed by the resolution equally objectionable? ought, or ought not, to have applied the payment to the This question remains unanswered. Do the friends of discharge of the first bond. Now, if, on a füll inquiry, it the Postmaster General believe that in this particular shall appear that no direction was given by the principal branch of the inquiry there is to be found impeachable or his surcties to apply the payments to the discharge of matter, and therefore we ought to arrest it? Have any the last bend, and that it has been the constant practice of members of the committee had the confidence of the Post- the department to make the application to the discharge master General so far as to learn that it is best to say of the oldest debt, it would seem to me exceedingly difnothing on the subject? If so, they, according to their ficult to come to a conclusion that a former Postmaster own course of reasoning, are already disqualified to try General had lost ten thousand dollars, any other way than him on an impeachment. But it does, however, sir, ap- by neglecting to collect it of the present Postmaster Gepear to me, that this is “straining at a gnat and swallow- neral. Now, the inquiry into this aflair is still pending. ing a camel.” Both the Senators from Tennessee and Until all the evidence is out, I give no opinion. I only New Hampshire have argued the Postmaster General's say, that, standing as the case now does before the come case with all the zeal and energy of advocates for their mittee, so far from its implicating Mr. Meigs, it fixes the client. At the very threshold of the inquiry, they not delinquency upon Mr. Barry, the surety upon the last only pronounce him innocent of every charge, but endea- bond.' I mean nothing more than that the burden of proof vor to demonstrate his innocence to the Senate. And is shifted. even the “candid” Senator from Indiana, (Mr. HEN It seems to me surprising, indeed, that, in this incipient DRICKS,) while he is willing to proceed in the inquiry, stage of the testimony, when the aspect, to say the least

, does it with a strong conviction that every thing will be is unfavorable to Mr. Barry, why his advocates should defound correct. Here, then, is the ludicrous predicament cline further facts, and demur to the evidence. If, upon into which the Senators have placed themselves; they dare full investigation, it shall appear that Mr. Barry's bond is not inquire, lest they should become disqualified to try paid, and the other is still due, and was, consequently, the Postmaster General on an impeachment; that is, the wrongfully given up, then Nr. Barry is not a defaulter. mere inquiry would disqualify them. Yet, nevertheless, But if, on the other hand, it shall appear that the money they can, without any danger at all, argue the cause of paid by Fowler was applied, as was usual, to the payment the officer who is the object of inquiry, with impassioned of the first debt, without any direction of Fowler or his zeal, and even attempt to impeach the reputation of a surety to the contrary, then the first bond is discharged, witness under examination. There is in this neither fiction and it is of no importance who has it, and Borry is a denor poetry—these are the words of truth and soberness. faulter to the amount of the second bond, viz. ten tholi. Here is a glass that reflects their own faces; and one sand dollars. would suppose that they would startle at their own dis Another circumstance in this same case seems to me also torted features. The Senator from Tennessee, in this preliminary stage the Senators from Tennessee and New Hampshire against

very extraordinary. Strong insinuations are thrown by of the inquiry, avers that an unpaisl bond for ten thousand the witness, Mr. Bradley--that he fraudulently gave up dollars was given up to the suretics by Mr. Meigs, and the Fowler's first bond to the surety. Mr. Bradley's characwhole sum was lost to the Government. But no such ter is known to the public; and as nothing has yet apo losses have occurred under this administration. Now, sir, peared

before the committee to warrant eren a suspicion the facts, as far as disclosed, are these: Fowler, the post- of such a fact, it appears to me that the opinion thus admaster at Lexington, Kentucky, had failed to make his vanced is as premature as it is gratuitous. A great sensa: remittances; doubts were entertained of his solvency, and tion is excited in the minds of these gentlemen at the new bonds were required. These bonds were procured, giving up of this bond.

It is true that Mr. Bradley tells and the present Postmaster General was surety, jointly us that it was not usual to deliver up the bonds after they and severally, with the others. After these new suretics, were paid, but it had been done in other cases, and that Fowler paid in enough to discharge the first bond. The this was delivered up by the direction of the Postmaster account with Fowler was kept on at the department, and, General. Now, if this bond was paid, whatever may have as soon as the first bond was paid, it was delivered up to been the practice, there was certainly nothing wrong in the sureties. The application of money, not directed giving to a debtor bis obligation after he bad paid it. otherwise by the debtor, is presumed to be applied by Very few debtors are willing to leave the notes or bonds the creditor 10 pay the oldest debt. This is not only the which they have discharged in the hands of the creditors, principle of law, but it has been testified that this is the though cancelled. They prefer to have them themselves

; practice of the department, and that no direction had been and it was so in this case, as Mr. Bradley tells us. There given by Fowler or his sureties to apply the payments to was quite a controversy between the Postmaster General the discharge of Barry's bond. Money had been paid in and the surely before the bond was delivered. Now it enough only to the discharge of one of the bonds; and if scems to me that here also the Senators are properly applied to the discharge of the first, the Post- not only the case, but the character of the witness. There master General is now a defaulter to the Government to was nothing wrong in giving up this bond if it back been the amount of ten thousand dollars; and, according to the discharged, and this is a question which we had just begun existing laws, his salary ouglit to be withheld until he to cxamine. shall have paid this debt to the Government. It has, how Gentlemen protest that they are not the advocates of ever, appeared further in evidence, that a suit was order- the Postinaster General, but surely their professions com ed against Mr. Barry on this bond'in the circuit court of Aict mightily with their practice. Even their language kentucky; that, on an issue in law, judgment was render- often betray's the character in which they act. “We have


FEB. 11, 1831.]

Post Office Department.


[ocr errors]


proved," "we maintain," &c. when, in fact, the commit comes back to his figure, and denies that it was the chairtee do not pretend to have proved” any thing defi- man's thunder which produced the effect. It appeared nitely, nor to "maintain” any thing positively. I did not to me that the illustration and application were very awkunderstand the chairman to take any different ground. I ward and remote. But I can well perceive another very agree with him perfectly. From what appears prima appropriate application. We have heard the thunder of facie, it is the duty of the committee to prosecute the in- the eloquence of these two Senators in behalf of their quiry: We had no concern in bringing the subject be friend, before they have heard his case; and they are, as fore the Senate. We think it an extraordinary--an unpre- bis advocates, urging the Senate to acquit him before they cedented procedure. With any thing personal said to that try him. If they succeed, he certainly will feel exceedgentleman, I need have no concern. He is amply able to ingly grateful to them, and will stand on high influential take care of himself. I trust he is, in this affair, far above ground. Should, then, the Senator from New Hampshire the reach of their censure. His conduct in this investiga- become a candidate for some high office, (say minister to tion is as irreproachable as his reasoning is unanswerable. the Sublime Porte,) and should he need the aid of the

Sir, the Senator from New Hampshire, who is so ex- Postmaster General to further his claims, he would receedingly apprehensive lest the inquiry should commit us mind him of his obligation by the admonition, remember on some supposed future impeachment, is, nevertheless, my thunder.” very ready to aver, and attempt to prove to the Senate, Should the Senator from Tennessee become a candithat the department is not verging to bankruptcy, and, if date, say for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the it were, the removing from office is not the cause. There United States, an office for which he is so pre-eminently may be consistency in this; it may be that an opinion qualified, and he should need the aid of influential friends, forier!, and become deep-rooted' by urging it upon (as I think he would,) he would say to the Postmaster others, would not disqualify a judge or juror from decid. General, “ remember my thunder." This thunder, sir, ing the same caise, and that an inquiry into the facts in a is the very thing which is to be the means of rewarding case, without forming an opinion, would disqualify. But these two gentlemen for ail their patriotic labors. Their I confess it puzzles me exceedingly to perceive how any claims have been delayed—their hopes have been long de. rational, impartial mind can arrive at such conclusions. ferred. But this acquittal of the Postmaster General, before

Suppose, sir, that the Postmaster General should be they have examined his case, this exuberance of charity, tried here on a charge of wasting the funds and deranging will, if there is any gratitude extant, entitle them to this the affairs of the office, by wantonly and wickedly re- officer's entire and profoundest devotion. moring experienced and faithful men from otfice, and [Ilere, at a late hour, Mr. HOLMES gave way; and, on supplying their places with ignorance and irresponsibility, motion of Mr. Clayton, the Senate adjourned.] and that Senator should be called on to take the oath inn Note.- Mr. Holmes would not knowingly add any repartially to try him, would he not have prejudged the mark in reply to any Senator which he did not make in the case? He has already arrived at a settled decision, and Senate. But he will be pardoned for noticing in the printenforced it with all his powers, that the funds of the office ed speech of the Senator from Tennessee, what that Sehave not been squandered, and that the removals from nator did not say in the Senate. The Senator from Tenoffice have worked no public injury—that all is right and nessee has (very modestly) quoted from his own speech prosperous. Sir, do gentlemen perceive the palpable ab- of last winter on Mr. Foot's resolution. It seems, then, suro ties to which their measures and their reasonings that a Senator from South Carolina had quoted some debring them?

nunciation of a clergyman of New England, during the If die Scnators from Tennessee and New Hampshire do late war, consigning those who aided and assisted the Goindeed intend to smother the inquiry, and the Senate in- vernment to James Madison, Felix Grundy, and the devil; tends to sustain them in it, then they will, as the most that, in the debate on Mr. Foot's resolution, Mr. Holmes effectual means, pass this resolution.'' If it is found that had remarked that he had no doubt that had the reverend things there, in the department, will not bear the light, gentieman alluded to thought of him (Mr. H.) at the time, the sooner this inquiry is suppressed the better. I do not he would have added him to the copartnership. The Sesay that these Senators have, or have not, better means of nator from Tennessee, in reply to Mr. H., observed that information than the rest of the committee. If they are he would propose, as Mr. Madison had become old, to subin frequent communication with the Postmaster General, stitute President Jackson, and add Mr. Holmes, and then and obtain their information from hiin, they ought to re- divide: Himself and the President, and Mr. H. and his Sacollect that this may not be from the inost pure and im- tanic Majesty. Mr. H., in reply, stated that he was much partial source.

obliged to the Senator from Tennessee for the compliment Mr. President, the Senator from New Hampshire at- he had paid him; that though he would have nothing to do tempts to illustrate one of his arguments by an anecdote. with the concern, yet he admitted the justice and equality It seems that some writer had invented a play, or some of the division, for the Senator had put himself and the theatrical performance, in which there was a thunder President on an equality with Mr. H. and the devil. Mr. scene, and he applied to a mechanic to invent the thunder: H. adiled, that he was not disposed to question the justice the exhibition went off very well, and the thunder manu- of this division. He, however, did not believe that the adfacturer ascribed all the popularity of the piece to his ministration could do without his Infernal Majesty, for thunder, and would, whenever he heard the piece praised, he had done most of their business. It was then believed exclaim, “it all comes from my thunder.” This was pro- by Mr. H. and his friends, that the wit, if any, had been bably the intended application. In reply to the sugges- fully met, and that, to say the least, the accoumt was bation that the Postmaster General might not condescend to|lanced. It seems, however, that the Senator from Tenanswer the inquiry, the chairman had said, very properly, nessee was so delighted with his own wit, that he has quotbut not in the language of menace, that the Postmastered it in his written speech, though he did not quote it in General dare not refuse to answer the inquiry sent by a the Senate. Now, if the Senator from Tennessee has set committee from this Senate, and superadded that this very up for a wit, and is in danger of failing for want of stock, discussion might have expedited the answer to a call of air. H. has no objection that he should use this specimen last session, made by a resolution offered by a Senator until it is threadbare and out at the elbows, provided he from Ohio, (Mr. Burnet,) adding, also, that the number will do it at a time and place where Mr. H. can have an of folios in that report might be calculated, if not intend- opportunity to reply. It may, however, be well to remark, ed, for effect. The Senator from New Hampshire talks that when one is so pleased with his own wit, that he is inloud of the moral courage of the Postmaster General, duced often to repeat it, he may possibly get into the mis

« PrejšnjaNaprej »