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Non-intercourse with France.


tion of thein? If it has wisely said, that delicate ways be too great, by the Constitution giving to and important powers like these ought only to be the President the right to nominate to all offices, exercised by the representatives of the people, and his agency in the formation of treaties. To that they are the only safe depositaries of them; balance and in some degree to correct this too that they ought in judge when measures are to be great influence in the Executive, il ought to be adopted, which may in their consequences lead to the care of Congress never to add to it, if it can war-that they alone ought to judge how far com- be avoided with any kind of convenience, lest mercial prohibitions, extending to a whole nation they should destroy their own necessary and Conand its ierritories. ought to be carried, when re-stitutional weight in the Government. That as moved, and when again renewed-can they dele- they alone are authorized to put their hands into gate this authority without interfering with the the pockets of their constituents, they only ought intentions of the Constitution? The design of to judge and decide upon those great legislative that instrument clearly was, that no individual questions, which may lead to requisitions for should possess the dangerous power of involving money or to cramp or touch the means by which this country in war, or of regulating its commerce; alone our citizens can furnish it. That the powand yet will any man deny, that the powers here er to adopt measures that may in their tendeney delegated are not such as may, by an unwise or lead to or touch the subject of war or commerce, precipitate use of them, lead inevitably to war? is so intimately connected with the power to tax, In the act I have alluded to, respecting the pro- that we may just as well suppose Congress can visional army, how great is the power given to an delegate the right to the President to lay and levy individual, to raise or not, as he pleases, an army taxes as they can the authority to regulate comof 10,000 men, and in the present 10 open or shut merce in the way this bill proposes. I will supthe intercourse with the dominions of one of the pose a case, that Congress should be of opinion a greatest Powers in the world! Is not this, as far sum of money might possibly be wanted during as those dominions extend, and during the continu- their recess ; that they were to determine the ance of the law, completely giving to the Presi- amount, and vest the President with the power to dent the power to regulate commerce? Are noi, call for it or not, as he should please; but if he in fact, these continued delegations adding to the did require it, he should have the authority to lay precedents for establishing an Executive influence and levy taxes for that purpose. Suppose an atin this country, which may one day increase to tempt of this sort was made, and that the Execuwhat it is in England? We know what it is tive should levy taxes on houses and lands, and there, and we begin to see what it may be here; except from the tax money at interest, stock, or it must ever be too great here, by what I have that kind of property which he wishes to favor; always considered as improper in the Constitution, could you justify the delegation of such authority, the giving to the President the nomination to all or wonder at the abuse of it? Nogentleman will say offices. But if we are perpetually to add to it in such a delegation could constitutionally be made. this manner, there will be no knowing where it Yet you can delegate with infinitely more safety will end. Only consider what would have been the regulation of taxes than of commerce, because, the patronage of a whole army, and the immense by the means of commerce, you not only give an power of opening either wholly or partially a trade arbitrary power over the natural wealth of a parso important as this is, and shutting it at his plea- ticular State, or part of a nation, but you give a

If he should determine to open it at some power which enables the person trusted with it fixed period, he cannot lock up this in his own at all times to involve the country in war, by breast. He has executive officers he always con- granting particular favors to one nation, or a part sults, and must they not know, and may they not of a nation, which are denied to another. Who have commercial and other friends to whom they will undertake to say, that by such a power over may entrust so important a secret? Is it not possible the commerce of a country, it may not at any such things may happen? Has not rumor been time be involved in war? Yet you cannot, by already busy on this subject ? Have we not heard the Constitution, delegate the right to make war. complaints about the manner in which the trade How then can we rush into so great an inconsistto St. Domingo was carried on last year, or have ency, as to give, indirectly, a power which is dithey not yet reached this or the other branch? rectly precluded from delegation? But whether they have or not, or any improper

This bill not only goes to keep up the present conduct has taken place, is not so great a power state of things with France, but may, by a part of open to the abuse and evils I have mentioned ? it, eventually involve you in a war with Spain, a Is it not vesting a power unauthorized by the Con-Power with which you are not only upon friendstitution, and adding immensely to that Executive ly terms at present, but carry on one of the most influence which has already become too great ? lucrative branches of your foreign commerce-I The only truly vulnerable part in our Constitu- mean the trade with Cuba. You have by this tion is the patronage of the Executive, and the bill declared, that for its purposes, the whole of establishment of that undue influence in our coun- Saint Domingo should be considered as a decils, which may one day, contribute to destroy pendency of France, notwithstanding it is well the important agency which the nature of our known that the Spanish part of it is in possesGovernment, and the safety of the people, al- sion of their Government and its officers, and ways require the representative part of ought to be considered as a part of the Spanish possess. This I have already observed must al-| territories, until it has been formally delivered to



Non-intercourse with France.


the French, and their officers govern it. It may nearly ten millions of pounds of cotton, and very be said that we know, by the treaty between Spain little short of one hundred thousand hogsheads of and France, it was ceded to the latter; but how tobacco are exported. Flour and rice are also concan we be sure that since that period some secret siderable articles; upwards of 110,000 barrels of agreement has not taken place, and that it is return- rice being exported, and principally from South ed to Spain? Is it not probable, by her keeping Carolina. It will be easily seen, that is in theerpossession, that it is so; and ought not the delivery ports of these articles, the French market had been of the place, and the change of rulers and laws, 10 open, and added to the other European markets, be the criterion with us for judging to what power that in the sales of our tobacco, cotton, flour, and a territory belongs ? Can the annexing the Span- rice, the prices must have been greatly increased. ish part of that island to the French, for the pur- From some regulations I am informed of in the poses of this bill, be an object with us to risk custom-houses, I have not been able particularly the enmity of Spain, and the loss of the Havana to ascertain the amount of exports from each State trade to our merchants? I should suppose not; to France. I am told, that the exports from Phil. and that this new section is an unnecessary and adelphia, for 1796, were, to France, 913,880 dollars; impolitic one, and ought not to be adopted. to the French Antilles, 3,250,584; to the islands of

I come now to the policy of continuing this bill at France and Bourbon, 20,967. This being the exall, or, if at all, whether it can be politic to extend port from that city alone, we may easily judge how it, as the last mentioned section proposes; or great must be the amount of exports from all the whether it would not be better to narrow its lim- States, and how important this intercourse is. I its, and the territories it is to affect. I know it is have been credibly informed, that while the Vira favorite theme with the Government, that untilginia and North Carolina tobacco planters, and a peace is established with France, we must pre- the Georgia and South Carolina tobacco and rice serve our attitude, and keep up all the measures of planters were obliged at one time to take for defence that have been gone into, to protect us their tobacco, four and five dollars per hundred from her hostility. When, therefore, we see sev- here, that that article was selling in France at eral of those measures either relaxed in or al-fifty dollars; and while the rice planters were obtered, or no measures taken to renew them ; such, i liged to take six and seven shillings, that rice for instance, as stopping the enlistments for the sold there at upwards of thirty-eight livres; and army, and not reviving the alien law, or pushing that cotton is now selling there at a price which the building of the seventy-tours, it is a strong is so great, that the moment the intercourse is proof that Government and its friends think there opened, there is no knowing to what an amount is a sincerity in the offers of the French, and that the price of cotton in Georgia and South Carolina our negotiations will terminate successfully. Hon will be increased. Although the Northern States orable peace, therefore, being our great object, may may suffer in some degree in having the internot suffering this act to expire without renewal, course with France stopped, they are by no means or if revived, by lessening its restrictions, and the injured in proportion with the Southern States, places it is to operate upon, hold out such confi- because the Northern have an important comdence, on the part of our Government, in the sin-merce direct with the East Indies, which is scarcecerity and justice of the French administration, ly known, and not at all pursued, in the Southern as may be the best means of insuring future con- States: they therefore by no means feel the loss ciliation and friendship? No greai danger can occasioned by this intercourse as much as we do. arise to our commerce, for few of our merchants View the price of tobacco at this moment, and will venture, until they know that peace is made; what was the low price of rice, until the accident and if the reports which are in circulation are of a scarcity in England has given it for the present true, that they have ordered their cruisers to re-a rise. Indeed, to any man the least acquainted spect our neutral rights, the risks will be very with the subject, there can be no difficulty in assertsmall.

ing, that on the Southern States has the loss of I have no doubt, myself that peace will be made; this intercourse principally fallen, and that whenit is peculiarly the interest of France to have it, ever the American Government shall deem it exand this cannot be unknown to or undesired by the pedient to stop it, the tobacco planters of Virginia consummate politician who now directs her affairs. and Maryland, and the rice, cotton, and tobacco I am sure it is the wish of every gentleman to do planters of Georgia and North and South Caroall in his power to promote the desirable end of lina will always have to bear the principal part of honorable peace, particularly of those from the the loss. Nor do I believe, that this act has anSouthern States. It is on them the weight of swered the end intended by it, which was to disthe loss of the commercial intercourse with France tress France, and deprive her of these articles, so has princially fallen. The Northern and East- necessary to her convenience. She has generally ern States have not been without feeling their obtained them, notwithstanding our prohibition, share of the loss of an intercourse with its Eu- by the way of Hamburg and Great Britain. It is ropean dominions, and, until August, with the true the French have had to pay higher for them West Indies; but from Maryland inclusively to by this circuitous route; but it is equally true, the Georgia, has the loss been greatest. Our whole Southern American planters have in consequence exports were 78,664,000 dollars, of which 33,142.- had to sell them at a lower price. It has entirely 000 are of domestic growth, and upwards of 45 destroyed all competition in their market, and millions of foreign. Of our domestic growth, placed them entirely at the mercy of the Ham



Non-intercourse with France.


burg and British merchants. In short, it has con- that the ruin of every free government has been tributed to make Great Britain principally, and formerly occasioned. Hamburg in a less degree, the depots of all Amer- “ Men (says Algernon Sidney) are naturally proican produce; for, while this intercourse is pro- pense to corruption, and if he whose interest and will hibited, we have scarcely any other market to it is to corrupt them, be furnished with the means, he send it to. We must entirely depend on the Bri- will never fail to do it. Power, honors, riches, and the tish market, and it operates, in point of commerce, pleasures that attend them, are the baits by which men almost as conveniently for them, as if we were still are drawn to prefer their personal interest before the their colonies. In mentioning this, I desire by no public good ; and the number of those who covet them means to be understood as intending to justify the is so great, that he who abounds in them will be able to conduct of France, in capturing our vessels, or re- gain so many to his service, as shall be able to subdue fusing to treat with us. Their conduct was not the rest. It is hard to find a tyranny in the world that only unjustifiable, but impolitic in the extreme; has not been introduced this way; for no man by his and their then rulers must have been blind to their own strength, could subdue a multitude ; no one could own interests. But I have done it with a view to ever bring many to be subservient to his ill designs, show the importance of the intercourse with but by the rewards they received or hoped. By this France, whenever our national honor and safety the liberty of his country, and with it all that was then

means Cæsar accomplished his work, and overthrew permit, and that nothing but the most urgent necessity can justify our continuing the prohibitions good in the world. They who were corrupted in their a day longer than is necessary.

minds, desired to put all the power and riches into his I consider it as my duty to make a remark here, him.”

hands, that he might distribute them to such as served which springs necessarily' from the question-it is this: that as our original ground of dispute with

With these reasonings of this illustrious patriot, France, was the illegal capture of our vessels, con- clude my observations against the bill.

to whose force it is impossible to add, I shall contrary to the law of nations, that we ought to convince France and the world that our conduct is the bill, and it was determined in the affirmative

The question was then taken on the passage of intended to be equal to all nations; that because they have any particular prejudice against |-yeas 19, nays 10, as follows: France, that our Government adopt these mea

YEAS–Messrs Anderson, Bingham, Chipman, Day. sures, but because she has violated their neutral ton, Foster, Goodhue, Greene, Gunn, Hillhouse, Howrights; and that whenever any other nation acts ard; Lloyd, Paine, Ross, Tracy, Watson, and Wells

. in a similar manner, our Government will use every Franklin, Langdon, Marshall, Mason, Nicholas, and

Nays-Messrs. Baldwin, Bloodworth, Brown, Cocke, exertion to remove the inconvenience, and endeavor, at least by examination and remonstrance, to

Pinckney. have justice done to their citizens. I did, there

So it was, Resolved, That this bill pass with the fore, expect that long before this, some inquiry

amendments. would have been made into the captures which

The Senate took into consideration the motion have been alleged to be made of our vessels by made yesterday, that a standing Committee of other nations. It is loudly asserted in the papers,

Privileges, consisting of members, арthat a very great number of our vessels have been pointed. taken; and that, in a variety of instances, the most

On motion, it was agreed that the motion be established principles of the laws of nations have amended to read, as follows: been violated. If so, we have a right to expect the

Resolved, That a Committee of Privileges, consistsame measures of protection as were taken with ing of five members, be appointed, to continue during respect to France, will now be afforded to our the present session. merchants against the depredations of any other And, on motion to agree to the motion as Power, and that our Government will prove itself amended, it passed in the affirmative-yeas 22, just and impartial in all its proceedings to every nays 7, as follows: nation. I hope it will, and that all its operations Yeas— Messrs. Anderson, Bingham, Brown, Chipmay be so founded in wisdom and policy, as not man, Dayton,Foster, Franklin, Goodhue, Greene, Gunn, only to restore to us the peace of our former friends, Hillhouse, Howard, Latimer, Laurance, Livermore, but to insure to us the blessings of an undisturbed Lloyd, Marshall, Paine, Ross, Tracy, Watson, and commerce with all the world.

Wells. For the reasons I have mentioned, I shall vote Nars-Messrs. Baldwin, Bloodworth, Cocke, Lang. against this bill. Indeed, if I was ever so much don, Mason, Nicholas, and Pinckney. convinced of the propriety of continuing the pro- So it was, Resolved, That a Committee of Prihibition until peace was made with France, Ivileges, consisting of five members, be appointed, should vote against this bill, in its present form, to continue during the present session; and that on the ground that the delegation of power it con- Messrs. Dayton, Tracy, LATIMER, Chipman, and tains, is unconstitutional; and that in our Govern- Brown, be the committee. ment nothing can be more dangerous to its free. Mr. HOWARD, from the committee to whom was dom and future fate, than the increase of the pat-referred the bill, sent from the House of Repreronage and influence of the Executive-that it sentatives, entitled " An act declaring the assent goes to destroy entirely the unbiassed Constitu- of Congress to certain acts of the States of Marytional agency of the Representative branch, and land and Georgia,” reported the bill without amendundermine our liberties, precisely in the manner





A motion was made, by Mr. Tracy, that it The Senate resumed the second reading of the be

bill, sent from the House of Representatives, entiResolved, That the Committee of Privileges be, and led “ An act to extend the time of payment of they are hereby, directed to inquire w.ho is the editor of bonds given for duties of impost, in certain cases;" the newspaper printed in the city of Philadelphia, called and, after progress, the General Advertiser, or Aurora, and by what means Ordered, That it be recommitted to the original the editor became possessed of the copy of a bill prescrib- committee, further to consider and report thereon ing the mode of deciding disputed elections of President to the Senate. and Vice President of the United States, which was Mr. Ross, from the managers at the conference printed in the aforesaid newspaper, published Wednes on the amendments to the bill, entitled "An act day morning, the 19th instant, February, and by what in addition to an act, entitled 'An act regulating authority he published the same ; and by what author- the grants of land appropriated for military serviity the editor published in the same paper that the hon-ces, and for the Society of the United Brethren for and a member of the committec who brought before propagating the Gospel among the Heathen," rethe Senate the bill aforesaid, had never been consulted ported that the Senate insist on their amendments. on the subject. And generally to inquire the origin of

Ordered, That the report lie for consideration. sundry assertions in the same paper, respecting the Sen

The Vice PRESIDENT laid before the Senate a ate of the United States, and the members thereof, in letter from Samuel Meredith, Treasurer of the their official capacity, and why the same were published; United States, with his account for the War and and make report to the Senate. And that the said com- | Naval Departments, to the 31st December, 1799; mittee have power to send for persons, papers, and re- which was read. cords, relating to the subject committed to them. Ordered, That they lie on the table. Ordered, That this motion lie for consideration.

The Senate resumed the second reading of the The Senate resumed the second reading of the bill prescribing the mode of deciding disputed elecbill prescribing the mode of deciding disputed elec- tions of President and Vice President of the Unitions of the President and Vice President of the ted States ; and, after progress, adjourned. United States; and after progress, adjourned.

Friday, February 28.
THURSDAY, February 27.

The Senate took into consideration the report Mr. Bingham presented a memorial, signed by of the managers at the conference on the amendthe President of the Board of Health for the city ments to the bill, entitled “ An act in addition to of Philadelphia, praying a more general extension an act, entitled " An act regulating the grants of of the quarantine laws; and the memorial was land appropriated for military services, and for read.

the Society of the United Brethren for propagatOrdered, That it be referred to Messrs. Bingham, ing the Gospel among the Heathen." Watson, and GOODAUE, to consider and report Resolved, That they do insist on their said thereon to the Senate.

amendments. The bill, sent from the House of Representatives, Mr. SCHUREMAN, from the committee, reported entitled "An act to continue in force an act con- that they had examined and found duly enrolled cerning certain fisheries of the United States, and the bill, entitled “ An act providing for the second for the regulation and government of the fisher- census or enumeration of the inhabitants of the men employed therein, and for other purposes, as United States." therein mentioned,” was read the second time, The Senate resumed the second reading of the and referred to Messrs. Langdon, and Nicholas, bill prescribing the mode of deciding disputed electo consider and report thereon to the Senate. tions of President and Vice President of ihe United

The bill, sent from the House of Representatives, States; and, after debate, the further consideration entitled “ An act to allow a drawback of duties thereof was postponed. on goods exported to New Orleans, and therein to The Senate took into consideration the motion amend the act, entitled 'An act to regulate the made on the 3d instant, for an amendment to the collection of duties on imports and tonnage,” was Constitution, respecting the appointment of the read the second time, and referred to Messrs. Chief Justice and Judges of the Supreme Court to Bingham, Goodhue, Watson, and Brown, to con- other offices; and, after debate, sider and report thereon to the Senate.

Resolved. That the consideration of the motion The bill authorizing Seth Harding to locate cer- be postponed to Tuesday next. tain lands in the Territory of the United States À message from the House of Representatives Northwest of the river Ohio, was read the second informed the Senate that the House recede from time, and recommitted to the original committee, their disagreement to to the amendments of the further to consider and report thereon to the Senate to the bill, entitled “ An act in addition to Senate.

an act, entitled " An act regulating the grants of The bill, sent from the House of Representa- land appropriated for military services, and for the tives, entitled “ An act declaring the assent of Society of the United Brethren for propagating Congress to certain acts of the States of Maryland the Gospel among the Heathen," so far as to and Georgia,” was read the second time, and or- agree to it with certain amendments and modifidered to the third reading.


MARCH, 1800.



sage; and

The Senate took into consideration their amend-word “twenty-four," it passed in the affirmative ments disagreed to by the House of Representa-1-yeas 16, nays 13, as follows: tives, to the bill mentioned in the foregoing mes- YEAS— Messrs. Anderson, Chipman, Dayton, Foster,

Goodhue, Hillhouse, Howard, Latiner, Laurance, Liver. Resolved, that they do recede from so much of more, Paine, Read, Ross, Schureman, Tracy, and their amendment as is disagreed to by the House Watson. of Representatives, and agree to their amendment Nays-Messrs. Baldwin, Bingham, Bloodworth, to the amendment of this House.

Brown, Cocke, Franklin, Greene, Langdon, Lloyd, The bill sent from the House of Representa- Marshall, Mason, Nicholas, and Pinckney. tives, entitled "An act declaring the assent of On motion to amend the second section proposed Congress to certain acts of the States of Maryland as an amendment to the bill, by expunging these and Georgia," was read the third time and referred words: “ reduce by iot, in the manner before preto the original committee, further to consider and scribed, the committee above selected, to the numreport thereon to the Senate.

ber of six," and to insert "choose by ballot six out Ordered, That Mr. Dayton be added to the of the committee above selected,” it passed in the committee to whom was referred the bill, entitled affirmative-yeas 15, nays 13, as follows: "An act to establish an uniform system of Bank

YEAS— Messrs. Bingham, Chipman, Dayton, Foster, ruptcy throughout the United States." The Senate took into consideration the motion ermore, Paine, Read, Ross, Tracy, and Watson.

Goodhue, Greene, Hillhouse, Latimer, Laurance, Livmade on the 17th inst., respecting an uniformity Nays-Messrs. Anderson, Baldwin, Bloodworth, of weights and measures; and

Brown, Cocke, Franklin, Howard, Langdon, Lloyd, Resolved, That it be referred to the Secretary Mason, Nicholas, Pinckney, and Schurenran. of the Treasury to prepare and report to this House a plan for establishing an uniformity in the

On motion to agree to the amendment amendweights and measures of the United States.

ed, as follows: The Senate took into consideration the motion

Section 1, lines 6, 7, and 8, strike out these words • made on the 26th inst., relative to certain lands

“choose by ballot in each House six members thereof, claimed by the United States within the State of and the twelve persons thus chosen,” and insert the Tennessee ; and the motion being amended, was lowing manner, twenty-four members thereof, viz: that

following: " draw by lot in each House and in the foladopted, as follows: Resolved, That a committee be appointed to in the Senators present, on distinct pieces of paper, of near

the Secretary of the Senate shall write the names of all quire into the situation and extent of the vacant

equal size, and shall roll them up and place them in and unappropriated lands claimed by the United å box, which shall be then shaken and intermixed States, under the cession of the State of North together; after which, the Secretary of the Senate shall Carolina, and the expediency of making provision draw out of the said box the said pieces of paper with for the disposition thereof; and that Messrs. An- | the names written on them, until twenty-four names of DERSON, Marshall, and CHIPMAN, be the com- the Senators then present shall be so drawn. He shall mittee.

deliver the same to the President of the Senate, who shall open and read them aloud, and the Secretary of

the Senate shall write down the names so called. The SATURDAY, March 1.

Clerk of the House of Representatives shall, on the same Mr. GOODHUE, from the committee to whom day, write the names of all the members of the said was referred the amendment to the bill, entitled House present, on distinct pieces of paper, of nearly “An act providing for salvage in cases of recap- equal size, and shall roll them up and place them in a ture," made report.

box, which shall be then shaken and intermixed toWhereupon, Resolved, That the Senate agree gether; after which, the Clerk of the House shall draw to the amendments of the House of Representa- out of the said box the said pieces of paper with the

names written on them, until twenty-four names of the tives to their amendment on the said bill.

members then present shall be drawn. He shall deliver the same to the Speaker of the House, who shall open

and read them aloud, and the Clerk shall write down Monday, March 3.

the names so called. A message from the House of Representatives “And be it further enacted, That, previous to the day informed the Senate that the House have passed a preceding the second Wednesday in February of any bill, entitled "An act for the relief of Thomas year, the Senate and House of Representatives shall Arnold," and a bill entitled "An act to establish then, respectively, proceed to choose, by ballot, six out a general stamp office,” in which bills they desire of the committee above selected :” the concurrence of the Senate.

It passed in the negative--yeas 4, nays 24, as The Senate resumed the consideration of the follows: amendment proposed to the first section of the bill YEA8—Messrs. Anderson, Bloodworth, Langdon, prescribing the mode of deciding disputed elections and Mason. of President and Vice President of the United Nays-Messrs. Baldwin, Bingham, Brown, ChipStates.

man, Cocke, Foster, Franklin, Goodhue, Greene, Hill. On motion to amend the amendment, which house, Howard, Latimer, Laurance, Livermore, Lloyd, stood " draw by lot in each House, and in the fol- Marshall, Nicholas, Paine, Pinckney, Read, Ross, lowing, manner, eighteen members thereof," by Schureman, Tracy, and Watson. expunging the word " eighteen," and inserting the On motion, to insert in the 10th section, line 9th,

6th Con.-3

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