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H. OF R. men? The amount of their actual payments at chant and continuing in that occupation for ten the custom-house and their general conduct, he years, is a merchant for life; for let him leave off thought, fully evinced the honor and the honesty pursuits at any period, there must of necessity reof that class of men, and proved them worthy to main very much unfinished business, which, if he be entrusted, as well as other citizens, with offices studies his own interest, must be attended to. Sir, of trust. But did the gentleman suppose his pro- trammel not your President in his choice; let him position would effect this end? If so, he was mis- have the liberty of choosing men of honor and taken; for if a man entrusted with public proper- integrity, and you need not fear a derogation from ty, choose to use it speculation or in commerce, those principles more than from men of indewhat was to prevent him, whether merchant or pendence. This new principle in legislation I am not?, Other means could be found than those not for adopting. I never can deviate from those which every one could discover. He hoped the principles under which our happy Government amendment and the law itself would be negatived. has so long lourished. I am advocating princi
Mr. Christie moved to postpone ii till fifty ples, and giving to the President of the United minutes past 11 o'clock; which was not carried. States the same power, the same freedom of selec
Mr. Livingston said he had attended in vain to tion, I would have given four years ago, although hear any distinction drawn between the Secretary the gentleman who fills that high office is not the of the Navy and those of the State and War De- same. Commercial men, sir, are the most compartments. To that difference only the argu- petent for the office of Secretary of the Navy, ments ought to have gone, for no further did his because most acquainted with the foreign relamotion go; but gentlemen had argued against the tions and concerns of our country. Preclude comwhole principle of the bill. The argument of mercial men from being selected, and you prethe motion implying distrust might have had clude those the most qualified. some weight as the bill stood before, but to include Mr. LivingSTON explained the motives of his the heads of all the departments was a sufficient conduct. He wished to preserve that system of answer. It was not upon grounds of distrust that conduct which he always had advocated; he he made his motion, it was upon the wide, in- wished to give to the Executive that direction controvertible principle, that when a man is taken and limitation he had always desired to do. It to fill either of those great departments, the coun- was always his opinion, and continued to be so, try has a right to his whole time and his whole that if all men were honest there would be no occaattention, that the motion was made. What, he sion for laws; if all men were honest there would would ask the gentleman last up, could have in- be no occasion for that House to sit to make them, duced him to suppose that the merchant alone and therefore they might go home and never rewas pointed out as an object of distrust? Mr. L. turn. But this was not the case; while there were declared he distrusted no particular set of men, men, there must be laws, and strict laws, to keep but what figure would a merchant or a tradesman | men to their duty. make at the head of either of these departments? Mr. H. LEE having obtained leave to speak The principle was incontrovertible, that nothing again, further contended against the principle of ought to interfere to divert attention from the the bill and amendments, and hoped the House public concerns of a high office. This was not a would not place the President in such a subaltern paltry question between the merchant and the situation as this measure would place him in, and lawyer. No more should a Judge of the United snatch from him a prerogative his situation deStates be drawn from his studies or his bench by manded. any other avocation he might wish to possess for
Mr. Champlin was surprised that the gentlelucre than should a Secretary from his office. man from New York, a representative of a com
Mr. L. would further observe, that it was not mercial city, should advocate such principles. He from any misconduct of this kind which he had conceived it to be a question of confidence in the observed in those who had filled public offices. President of the United States, and perhaps would He rather wondered that it had not long ere now be of some weight, if that officer had not the been introduced as a just principle in the man- power of removing the Secretaries of the different agement of public concerns. It was from this departments whenever he should think them unview he wished to introduce it; and how the rea- worthy of public confidence; or whenever they sons for the bill
, without the amendment, could should use the public money to private purposes ; be supported, he could not conceive.
or whenever they should neglect their business. Mr. H. LEE contended that the President of the This was certainly a very different case from that United States was to take his Cabinet from among of a Judge, who could not be removed except the people of the United States, and ought not to upon misconduct, which could only be known by be prohibited from selecting such men as he thought impeachment. He opposed the bill and the amendfit to fill the offices with credit to themselves and ment, because it was an intrusion upon Executo the nation. Sir, when I see the President made tive privilege ; because it must go to wound the the agent of these two Houses, and restricted by officers who had been and are now employed; them, I see that high officer prostrate at your feet, because it must go to prevent that selection of and the liberties of the people gone! If gentlemen men whose talents and integrity may be most caltell me that the President has yet his selection culated for the general interest of the Union; and because the gentlemen may quit their business, 1 most of all, because it went to wound the Navy of deny it. I. say that a man, once become a mer- the United States, whose well government and
H. OF R.
Thanks to the Speaker.
regulation depended very much upon the talents Craik, Samuel W. Dana, John Davenport, Franklin of the character who was placed at the head of Davenport, John Dennis, Joseph Dickson, William Ed. that department; it was not because it affected mond, Thos. Evans, Abiel Foster, Henry Glen, Chaunthis or that merchant or tradesman. He wished cey Goodrich, Roger Griswold, William Barry Grove, to see a man of property; a man of commercial Robert Goodloe Harper, Archibald Henderson, Benjaknowledge; a man of experience; and a man who min Huger, James H. Imlay, John Wilkes Kittera, was attached to the Navy, at the head of that de- Henry Lee, Silas Lee, Lewis R. Morris, Robert Page, partment. By this bill a man in that situation Thomas Pinckney, Jonas Platt, Leven Powell, John must be prohibited from placing his money in the Reed, Nathan Read, William Shepard, John C. Smith, public funds; from dealing in public lands; from Chew Thomas, Lemuel Williams, and Henry Woods.
James Sheafe, Samuel Tenney, George Thatcher, John putting it in commerce, or from using it in trade of any kind. Now, what was a man of large pro- Brown, Samuel J. Cabell, Gabriel Christie, William
Nars— Willis Alston, Theodorus Bailey, Robert perty to do with his money? It could not be sup-Charles Cole Claiborne, Thomas T. Davis
, John Dawposed that men of large capital, or men of busi- son, George Dent, Joseph Eggleston, John Fowler, ness, or men of experience, would accept an ap- Albert Gallatin, Andrew Gregg, John A. Hanna, Joseph pointment under the limitations to which they Heister, David Holmes, Michael Leib, Matthew Lyon, must subject themselves.
James Lynn, Edward Livingston, Nathaniel Macon, Mr. Macon hoped the amendment would be Peter Muhlenberg, Anthony New, John Nicholas, John agreed to, and the bill pass. He supposed the bill Randolph, John Smilie, John Smith, Samuel Smith, must have originated in the Senate, either from Richard Dobbs Spaight, Richard Stanford, David Stone, past experience, or from the intrinsic necessity of Thomas Sumter, Abram Trigg, John Trigg, and Joseph such a preventive to what might produce a public B. Varnum. fraud, by public money being used to speculate Whereupon, Mr. SPEAKER made his acknowlfor private advantage. Man is man wherever he edgments to the House in the manner following: is placed, and to guard against his frailties is wise
Accept, gentlemen, my thanks, I pray you, for the legislation. He wished to confide the money of respectful terms in which you have been pleased to the people to no man further than was necessary. express the opinion you entertain of the manner in
Mr. S. Smith answered, that it would be im which I have discharged the arduous duties of the stapossible, by any measure of this kind, to make a tion to which I was raised by your kind regard. dishonest man act with integrity. It must be to Although I am conscious of having intended faiththe honor and honesty of the man the public pro- fully to execute the trust confided to this Chair, yet ! perty must be confided. He produced an instance am sensible that, whatever success may have attended of speculation in a public officer, who was en- my endeavors, is justly attributable to the candid, hontrusted with the good of the community; but it orable, and firm support which you have constantly was not the act of a merchant, he said ; and not afforded. I cannot lay the least claim to merit for any from merchants, nor from any particular descrip- thing that I have done ; because the generous contition of men, but men devoid of principle, evils dence which you had reposed in me, demanded that I were to be expected. On the contrary, integrity
should devote all my feeble talents to your service. and honesty alone could insure the right use of
Being now about to retire from this House, and, as a public confidence.
I hope, from the public councils forever, permit me, On the question, the amendment was lost.
gentlemen, to bid you, collectively and individually, an The bill was also refused a third reading and to indulge repose in the shade of private life; but the
affectionate farewell. It is true that I have long wished lost.
moment of separation inflicts an anguish inexpressible THANKS TO THE SPEAKER.
by language. It is a separation from men of dignity Mr. Page moved the following resolution:
of character, of honorable sentiments, and of disinterested Resolved, That the thanks of the House be presented and solace amidst all the fatigue and vexation of public
patriotim; an association with whom has been my pride to Theodore Sedgwick for his conduct while in the life. Of the friendship of such men, long uninter: Chair of this House.
rupted and cordial as it has been, I shall always cherish The question was taken whether this motion
a grateful remembrance. May you receive the reward was in order. It was decided to be in order.
most grateful to generous spirits, the reward of witnessThe yeas and nays were ordered.
ing, as the effects of your labors, the increasing prosMr. CHRISTIE said he should not point out the perity, and happiness, and glory, of your country. improprieties in the conduct of the Speaker while As the last words which I shall utter, as a public in the Chair, otherwise than by his vote, though man, allow me to declare, that those with whom I have he possessed the right to call up to the recollec- had the honor, here, to act and think, whose confidence tion of the House the many inconsistencies his ! have enjoyed, whose bosoms have been opened to my presidency had been marked with. In doing that, inspection, in my cool and reflected opinion, deserve all Mr. Speaker, I shall behave better to you than of esteem, affection, and gratitude, which their coun. you have ever done to me.
trymen can bestow. On this occasion I deem myself The cry of order!" "order!" prevented any this declaration; and I do it in the most solemn man
authorized, from the present circumstances, to make more being said, and Mr. C. sat down. The yeas and nays were then taken, and re
ner, in the presence of the assembled Representatives
of America ; and not only so, but in the awful presence sulted-yeas 40, nays 35, as follows:
of that heart-searching Being to whom I feel myself Yeas–George Baer, Bailey Bartlett, James A. Bay- responsible for all my conduct. May the Almighty ard, John Brown, Christopher G. Champlin, William keep you in his holy protection. Farewell.
H. of R.
A message from the Senate informed the House gress, reported that the committee had, according that the Senate have appointed a committee on to order, performed that service, and that the Pretheir part, jointly, with such committee as may sident signified to them that he had no further be appointed on the part of this House, to wait on communication to make, but the expression of his the President of the United States, and to inform wishes for the health and happiness of the memhim that Congress is ready to adjourn without bers, and a pleasant journey on their return to day, unless he may have any further communi- their homes and families. cations to make to them.
Ordered, That a message be sent to the Senate The House proceeded to consider the foregoing to inform them that this House, having completed resolution of the Senate, agreed to the same, and the business before them, are now ready to adappointed Mr. Pinckney and Mr. Grove the com- journ without day; and that the Clerk of this mittee on the part of this House.
House do go with the said message. Mr. Pinckney, from the joint committee of the The Clerk accordingly went with the said mestwo Houses, appointed to notify the President of sage; and being returned, Mr. SPEAKER adjournthe United States of the proposed recess of Con-led the House, sine die.
TO THE HISTORY OF THE SIXTH CONGRESS.
OMPRISING THE MOST IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS ORIGINATING DURING THAT CON.
GRESS, AND THE PUBLIC ACTS PASSED BY IT.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF
1. It shall be lawful for vessels which have de
parted or may depart from the United States, to [Communicated to Congress, December 5, 1799.] enter the ports of Cape François and Port Rerentlemen of the Senate, and
publicain, formerly called Pori-au-Prince, in the Gentlemen of the House of Representatives :
said island of St. Domingo, on and after the 1st
day of August next. I transmit to Congress certain documents which
2. No vessel shall be cleared for jave relation to the communications made on in St. Domingo than Cape François and Port
any Tuesday, on the subject of the renewal of com- Republicain. nerce with St. Domingo, and the mission to the French Republic.
3. It shall be lawful for vessels, which shall enJOHN ADAMS.
ter the said ports of Cape François and Port Re
publicain, after the thirty-first day of July next, UNITED STATES, Dec. 5, 1799.
to depart from thence to any port in said island
between Monte Christi, on the north, and Petit Renewal of Commerce with St. Domingo.
Goave, on the west, provided it be done with the consent of the Government of St. Domingo, and
pursuant to certificates or passports expressing A PROCLAMATION.
such consent, signed by the Consul General of Whereas, by an act of the Congress of the Uni- the United States, or Consul residing at the port ted States, passed the 9th day of February last,
of departure. entitled " An act further to suspend the commer
4. All vessels sailing in contravention of these cial intercourse between the United States and regulations will be out of the protection of the France, and the dependencies thereof,” it is pro
United States, and be, moreover, liable to capvided. That, at any time after the passing of this ture, seizure, and confiscation. act, it shall be lawful for the President of the Uni
Given under my hand and the seal of the United States, if he shall deem it expedient and con
ted States, at Philadelphia, the twentysistent with the interests of the United States, by
[L. S.] sixth day of June, in the year of our his order, to remit and discontinue for the time
Lord 1799, and of the independence of being, the restraints and prohibitions by the said
said States the twenty-third.
JOHN ADAMS. act imposed, either with respect to the French Republic, or to any island, port, or place, belong
By the President: ing to the said Republic, with which a commer
TIMOTHY PICKERING, cial intercourse may safely be renewed; and also
Secretary of State. to revoke such order whenever, in his opinion, the interests of the United States shall require;
Mission to France. and he is authorized to make proclamation thereof accordingly:
Letter from Patrick Henry, Esq., to the Secretary of
State. And, whereas, the arrangements which have been made at St. Domingo, for the safety of the
CHARLOTTE COUNTY, (Va.,) commerce of the United States, and for the ad
April 16, 1799. mission of American vessels into certain ports of Sir: Your favor of the 25th ultimo did not that island, do, in my opinion, render it expedi- reach me till two days ago. I have been confined ent, and for the interest of the United States, to for several weeks by a severe indisposition, and renew a commercial intercourse with such ports: am still so sick as to be scarcely able to write this.
Therefore, I, JOHN ADAMS, President of the My advaaced age and increasing debility comUnited States, by virtue of the powers vested in pel me to abandon every idea of serving my me by the above-recited act, do hereby remit and country, where the scene of operation is far disdiscontinue the restraints and prohibitions therein tant, and her interests call for incessant and longcontained, within the limits and under the regu- continued exertion. Conscious as I am of my lations here following, to wit:
inability to discharge the duties of Envoy, &c.