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Jax, 14, 1831.]
Claim of James Monroe.
[H. OF R.
it is contended, I am aware, that Mr. Monroe, at the do not doubt but he was, I'would inquire whether, in so time he made the purchase, intended it for the use of the doing, he looked for any other reward than that reward Government of the United States, and that the purchase which he doubtless received and yet enjoys. Sir, when was made with a view of making it the future residence your minister is disposed to become the dispenser of alms, of our ministers to France. Sir, I do not in the least he acts without the pale of his ministerial functions. It doubt but that such was the intention of Mr. Monroe, forms no part of his public duty. He may, perhaps, imabecause he says so now, and so declared it at that period. gine that such conduct may exert a beneficial influence But to any one who will take the trouble to examine the upon the interests of his country, yet, as he is not dedocuments upon your table on this subject, it will appear spatched for the purpose of distributing his charities, the manifest, that if such was the intention of Mr. Monroe Government therefore cannot be made responsible. at the period of the purchase, that intention, beyond all I wish not to detract from the course thus pursued by doubt, was abandoned subsequently. Indeed, any other Mr. Monroe; he was a benevolent man, and such conduct construction would place Mr. Monroe in a singular, per- is worthy of imitation; but as these acts of his generosity haps unfavorable, attitude.
were individual in their character, as the donations emaMr. Chairman, this intention of offering it to the Go- nated solely from the purity and excellence of his heart, vernment was abandoned certainly, because Mr. Monroe, I feel persuaded, in our legislative character, we ought not, before he left France, again disposed of it without con- as I am convinced in reality we cannot add to his reward. sulting his Government. He sold it for a price beyond But, Mr. Chairman, this is a delicate subject, and I the original purchase money, with its interest and repairs pass, without saying any thing more, to a more important superadded. He made the contract of purchase, as also item of this claim-an item which, exclusive of interest, is that of sale, without consultation with his Government; put down at $25,000: I allude to the compensation for loans and, besides all, if further proof were necessary, he put negotiated by Mr. Monroe during the last war, whilst ofthe money (fifty thousand livres) paid to him on account ficiating as Secretary of War. Sir, it was truly said by of the sale, into his private funds, and applied it to his an honorable gentleman from North Carolina, during this private purposes.
debate, (Mr. WILLIAMS,] that for many years past the It is true a loss was afterwards sustained, in the failure financial situation of this country has been unembarrassed, to recover the balance of the purchase money from his and perfectly adequate to all its engagements; and hence vendee, in consequence, as it was alleged, of a defect in it appears to me not a little remarkable that this item, imthe title. Sir, it was not the error of this Government, portant in all its aspects, has not been presented before. that Mr. Monroe purchased a defective title, and its evil I have not taken the trouble to examine minutely into consequences ought not, therefore, to fall upon it, not-the accounts heretofore settled with Mr. Monroe, nor have withstanding the intention manifested in the purchase, I searched for any other evidence than that furnished by when all intention to apply it to national purposes was the two very respectable and intelligent committees to afterwards abandoned. It would, indeed, produce a whom these subjects have been referred. From the resingular state of affairs, that any foreign minister should ports, however, upon your table, I perceive that Mr. be at liberty to purchase property, and make his Govern- Monroe was Secretary of State from the 1st April, 1811, ment responsible only when a loss is sustained. To what to the 30th September, 1814, three years and six months, extent such a privilege miglit be abused, it is needless to at $5,000 per annum, during which he received from the say: one result would follow, generally; the Government public treasury the sum of $17,500; that he was Secretary would certainly have all the losses to sustain, without a of War from October 1, 1814, to February 28, 1815, five corresponding chance for the gains of the speculation. months, at $4,500 per annum, and received for salary
I consider, therefore, Mr. Chairman, that in this trans- $1,875; and that he was again Secretary of State from 1st action there was no manner of benefit derived to the March, 1815, to 3d March, 1817, two years and three United States. That this Government was in nowise con. days, at a salary of 5,000 dollars per annum, and received sulted with regard to that measure, and had given no in- $10,041 65, a sum altogether amounting, by way of salary, structions concerning it; and, as it could not under the to $29,416 65 for a period of five years eleven months circumstances be a gainer, so it should not be made the loser, and three days' service. and particularly because Mr. Monroe, with whatever in It is manifest, therefore, that Mr. Monroe, for the period tention or design he may have made the purchase origi- when these loans were negotiated, received his legal comnally, beyond a doubt in this respect changed his mind, pensation by way of salary. The service in question was finally considering it as a part of his private estate, and as rendered within the period I have mentioned.
He has, such disposed of it.
therefore, received the legal compensation for his serThe second item of the claim is founded upon certain vices, the amount affixed by law, and for which he undergratuities or donations to the people of Paris, as also for took the service with all its burdens. The duty having advancements made to citizens of America then in France, thus been performed, and the salary received, on the part and who in their distress made appeals to his generosity of the Government, then, the contract was terminated. Mr. Chairman, doubtless this strikes you, as I think it must Does it not follow, therefore, Mr. Chairman, that the every other member of this committee, as being, at least, a claim now under consideration is a demand for an extra very novel claim. I am persuaded there is no one here wil. compensation? In plain terms, you are asked to make an ling to urge it as a debt which the Government, upon any extra allowance for services performed, to compensate acknowledged principles, is bound to discharge. Then which there was a fixed salary, amply sufficient for all the I would inquire of the honorable chairman of the com- labor bestowed. say, sir, ample, because I am yet to mittee, [Mr. Mencer,] who have made it a part of their hear that it is considered otherwise. report, to show under what obligation the United States I should not, Mr. Chairman, be doing justice to this old can possibly be to assume the payment of this claim. and faithful servant of the republic, if I did not con
True, it is in itself not very large, and by some, there-cede he rendered eminent services for his country. His fore, may be considered as unimportant; but still the ques- history is our history; but while speaking of these services, tion recurs, upon what principics is the claim to be sus- what more to his praise can be said, than that he dischargtained? Sir, I will not consider whether the objects of ed the duties of the varied situations which he filled with this charity were meritorious or otherwise; perhaps, if 1 fidelity? Sir, can you bestow a higher eulogium upon were so disposed, the means for examination would be any man, than to say he retired from every public situation Wanting. But, taking it as conceded that Mr. Monroe which he held, taking with him an irreproachable fame, was in this respect truly benevolent and charitable, and I together with the approbation of his country? Sir, I grant
H. or R.]
[Jan. 14, 1831. he rendered important services, and discharged his duty interest is to be allowed also. Certainly not one of the faithfully; but, for so doing, I do not consider that the Gó- gentlemen has condescended to show us upon what vernment is under any obligation to make him an extra principle this is to be effected. Interest, it is true, usually allowance. If it be, then every other officer of the follows a debt, and is given by way of damages for its dieGovernment, whether he be found in the navy or the army, tention. But, Mr. Chairman, there can be no debt out or upon your civil list, who has rendered faithful service, standing, where all has been proved paid according to is also entitled.
agreement. It is true, also, that when a payment is withThat there are
uch, you, Mr. Chairm will allow: a held illegally or unjustly, interest should follow by way of list of such could soon be made out. Sir, upon that prin-! recompense. But gentlemen fail in the outset of their ciple, in the very number of witnesses who, on this occa- argument; the foundation is not laid, and you cannot add sion, llave testified to the services performed by the ex- the superstructure. They must establish an indebtedness President, without going further, you would find objects first, before they can set up a claim for interest; but in for your bounty. Men, it is true, who performed an hum- their attempts at this they have entirely failed. bler, but at the same time not the less necessary task, but I pass, however, Mr. Chairman, to another, and perhaps who are on this as on every similar occasion, too frequently the most important view of this subject. You know, sir
, overlooked or forgotten in the honors and triumph which that, in the year 1826, Mr. Monroe made an application simawait only the few.
ilar in many respects to the present, consisting of various Now, I appeal to the good sense of all who hear me, items, some of which are again to be found in the demand whether a precedent such as we are asked on this occasion before us, and amounted to the sum of $23,570. A very to constitute, is consistent with a sound policy. In effect able committee was appointed, who made a report, making it would be hoiding out salaries to men as inducements some reduction in the amount, but still allowing for all merely to accept a trust, and then to pay them besides for the items of that claim, save one. I think they reported doing their duty. There is no obligation upon any one to as being due to Mr. Monroe the sum of $15,523 35, 10undertake these responsibilities; but, when he does so, he gether with interest from 3d December, 1810. It may is under a moral as well as legal obligation to discharge not be necessary that I should here state the progress of the duties thereof with fidelity. Such were the responsi-that bill to its final passage. Suffice it to say, that to the bilities in the present instance. For this duty he has been amount thus reported was superadded the interest for a paid, and, I think, well paid. He has received all to which period of fifteen years, thereby swelling the sum reported he was entitled by the contract. I cannot perceive, there. as being due by the committee to $29,513. fore, Mr. Chairman, that the Government of the United Here, then, Mr. Chairman, a greater sum was finally States is under a legal or a moral obligation to pay any allowed than the principal of Mr. Monroe's claim at that
There is, in fact, no indebtedness established, day amounted to. This doubtless was done from a diswhich alone could bind us.
position alike honorable to Congress as it was generolis I have thus endeavored to show that, upon principles towards Mr. Monroe. In doing so, however, Congress of legal liability, the Government owes Mr. Monroe no- deemed it proper to impose terms; and, with a desire that thing; and it becomes me now to consider whether we can this committee may fairly comprehend me, I ask you, with propriety liquidate this claim upon any other ground. sir, that the act of Congress passed in the year 1926 for As a donation, nothing is desired: Mr. Monroe asks " for the relief of Mr. Monroe be read. nothing which is not strictly due on sound principles, and [Here the Clerk read read as follows:] which his country shall, on full consideration and unques ** Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives tionable evidence, think that it owes it to itself to allow of the United States of America in Congress assembitul, him.” Nevertheless, as an individual, I have every dispo- that the Secretary of the Treasury be, and he is hereby, sition to favor the application; but, in doing so, I very much aisthorized and required to cause to be paid 10 James doubt my authority to do it by any means not my own. Monroe, out of any unappropriated moneys in the treasury, Sir, I am at a loss to discover that we have the right to be the sum of twenty-nine thousand five hundred and thirteen generous at the expense of others. If I were asked the dollars, in full of all demands whatever against the United question, upon what principle the gratuity was to be made, States." I should not be enabled to answer'; I speak with reference Mr. IHRIE resumed. Now, Mr. Chairman, I cannot to the duties we are delegated to perform.
perceive upon what principle we can again be called upon I am acquainted with no principle consistent with our to legislate on this subject, without violating our own de. duties as legislators, that will authorize the members of liberatc act. The money was voted, and it was received, this House to lay their hands upon the public treasury for and, in the spirit and very letter of the law, was intended purposes of this kind. It is, indeed, no part of the busi- as a final adjustment of all Mr. Monroc's demands. Sir, ness, to transact which we are delegated. But, sir, aside in a court of justice, the Government might, if d'spored, from these considerations, I ask you, Mr. Chairman, whe-plead a former recovery with some propriety; at ang ther, in paying this very large sum of money, we should be rate, upon whatever principle you may desire to place it, doing justice. Are there not others whose claims are the plain rule of ordinary life" should hold, that a debt equally pressing, and who have not been so well provided or a claim, or by whatever name you may please to call it, for as Mr. Monroe? Are there not other men who also being once settled and paid, should be permitted to rest; youth and fortune and strength in her cause? Let me ask, again be called upon to account, particularly after a final fougļit and bled for their country? Men who spent their it is not equitable that the Government
should again and jiave you paid these men the debt you owe them? Have adjustment, to the terms of which the parties interested you paid your revolutionary army? Sir, these men, the have acceded. patriots of other days, have not yet been paid; this debt of Alr. Chairman, I have thus briefly passed through this honor, of gratitude, and of contract, still remains open subject. I feel it my duty to give my vote against this ap. against you. How often is it that the venerable patriot of plication, in whatever form it may present itself; a cluty, sir
; the revolution is seen lingering about your doors; and how by no means in accordance with my wishes. Sir
, I would often is he turned away, with regret i say it, not with his I could conscientiously give my voice in favor of the venehonest dues in his pocket, but with a heavy heart, to re: rable patriot whose life and reputation I have always flect upon his services, and the injustice and ingratitude of been taught to esteem; I should deem it a pleasure, which his country, to live in penury, and die a beggar.
I hope ever to enjoy, in contributing my feeble efforts to But admitting, Mr. Chairman, that you are willing to pay the benefit of those who sustained this republic in the this claim, I am at a total loss to conceive upon what ground hour of her need. But I cannot permit my inclinations
JAN. 17, 1831.]
(H. OF R. to sway my judgment; I cannot consent to give to one, have leave to take from the surplus wood in the yard atand withhold from another; I wish my country to be justtached to this House cords of wood, if so much be before she is generous.
necessary, for immediate distribution among the suffering Mr. MERCER rose, and, in a speech of some length, re- poor of the city. plied to the arguments of those gentlemen who had op The resolution having been read, posed the bill. In conclusion, he handed to the chair the Mr. CARSON moved to suspend the rule, so as that the following, which, he said, if the motion now before the House should now consider the resolution. House should not succeed, he should offer as an amend Mr. BLAIR, of South Carolina, called for the yeas and ment to the bill:
nays on this inotion; but the House refused to order them. “ That the proper accounting officers of the treasury The question being put on the suspension of the rule, be, and they are hereby, authorized to adjust and settle it was decided in the affirmative-110 to 49. the accounts and clains of James Monroe, late President The Clerk then read a letter which the Speaker had of the United States, on principles of equity and justice, received this morning from George Watterston, Esq. on subject to the revision and final decision of the President the subject, in which he stated several cases of suffering of the United States.
which had occurred in the city, and the great necessity “Anil be it further enacted, That so soon as it shall have there was for Congress to take into their consideration been ascertained and determined, in manner aforesaid, the expediency of appropriating some of the surplus that any sum of money is due to the said James Mon- wood in the capitol yard for the relief of the suffering poor. roe, such sum shall be paid him out of any money in the Mr. DAVIS, of South Carolina, moved to fill the blank treasury not otherwise appropriated.”
in the resolution with the word forty, and it was determinThe proposed amendinent was read by the Clerk; whened in the affirmative. The question was put on striking out the enacting The question then recurring on the adoption of the reclause, (to destroy the bill,) and it was decided in the af- solution, firmative--yeas 78, nays 67.
Mr. TUCKER, of South Carolina, opposed it. He said The committee then rose, and reported progress. that Congress had no right to give away the public money
On motion of Mr. ALSTON, it was ordered that when for such purposes. If it were proposed to get up a subthe House adjourns, it do adjourn to Monday next—66 scription for supplying the poor of the city with wood, he to 57.
would cheerfully subscribe his share, and would freely And then the House adjourned to Monday next. exert himself to procure fifty cords, if necessary. He
had always voted against similar propositions--and he did MONDAY, JAxtarY 17.
it on principle. He referred to several acts of legislation, THE IMPEACHMENT.
by which the public money had been voted away for priAfter the reading of the journal of Tuesday, Mr. vate purposes, and said that it had been asserted that those HAYNES submitted the following resolution:
who had voted against such appropriations had been conResolved, That, during the argument of counsel in the demned; but those who had taken it upon themselves impeachment now pending in the Senate against James H. thus to condemn, had never looked upon the matter in a Peck, district judge of Niesouri, this House will, from proper light. He again stated that he should be willing day to day, resolve itself into a Committee of the whole to unite with gentlemen in raising fifty or even seventy on the state of the Union, and attend the same; and that but he could not consent to an appropriation of the public
cords of wood for the poor of the city, by subscription; the Clerk acquaint the Senate therewith.
Mr. HAYNES said that it was understood that, upon the money for the purpose. opening of the high court of impeachment to-day, the House was prepared to vote on the proposition before it;
Mr. WHITTLESEY said he was persuaded that the arguments of counsel would commence. He thought it the duty the House to attend during the arguments; bating the resolution, he should demand the previous
and, as he considered it useless to consume time in deand with that view he had submitted the resolution.
Mr. WHITTLESEY suggested the propriety of amend question, ing the resolution, by adding to it the following words:
The House having sustained the demand, the question "and that the hour of meeting of the House shall be 11 occurred, "Shall the main question be now put?" and it o'clock after this day.”
was determined in the affirmative. Mr. HAYNES accepted the amendment as a modification tion of adoption, and they were ordered by the House.
Mr. TUCKER called for the yeas and nays on the quesof his resolution. Mr. WILLIAMS then moved so to amend the resolution
[Here a message was received from the Senate, acas that the House should attend for this day only.
quainting the House that that body was now sitting as a This motion was determined in the negative.
high court of impeachment for the trial of Judge James Mr. PETTIS called for the yeas and nays on the adop
H. Peck.] tion of the resolution; but the House refused to order them.
Mr. POLK asked if the House should not now, in purThe question being then put on its adoption, it was de suance of the resolution adopted this morning, proceed cided in the affirmative--yeas 89, nays 74.
to the Senate.' That body was probably waiting for the
attendance of the House. FUEL FOR THE POOR OF THE CITY.
The SPEAKER replied, the House must determine for Mr. DAVIS, of South Carolina, said he rose for the itself as to what course it would at this time pursue. purpose of asking the consent of the House to suspend Mr. IRVIN, of Ohio, hoped the question would be taken the rule, to enable him to present for instant considera- on the adoption of the resolution now before it, before tion a resolution which would lose half its efficacy by a proceeding to the Senate chamber. few hours' postponement. The object of it was to give Mr. RAMSEY inquired if it were not proper for the out of the surplus wood now rotting in the yard, forty House, after the message just received, now to proceed cords for the immediate relief of the suffering poor of the to the Senate chamber: city, some of whom might be seen from the windows of The SPEAKER said that question must be left with the the capitol, burning their garden fences to sustain them House to decide. against an unparalleled snow storm. Mr. D. then submit. Mr. POLK then moved to lay the resolution on the table; ted the following resolution:
the motion was decided in the negative, without a count. Resolved, That the Sergeant-at-arms of this House in The question was then put on agreeing to the resoluform the guardians of the poor of this city that they tion, and it was decided in the affirmative, as follows:
I. OF R.]
Trial of Judge Peck.--Relief l'essels.--Order of Debate.
(Jan. 18, 1831.
YEAS.- Messrs. Anderson, Archer, Arnold, Bailey,
ORDER OF DEBATE. Noyes Barber, John S. Barbour, Bartley, Bates, Baylor, Just before the hour of twelve, at which the House Beekman, Bell, John Blair, Boon, Borst, Brown, Bur- was to proceed to attend the sitting of the high court of ges, Butman, Cahoon, Cambreleng, Campbell, Carson, impeachment, Chilton, Clay, Clark, Coleman, Conner, Cooper, Coulter, Nir. MARTIN said he would not, at this hour, when the Craig, Crane, Crawford, Crockett, Creighton, Croche. House was so pressed for time, throw himself upon the ron, Crowninshield, John Davis, W. R. Davis, Deberry, attention of the House, were it not in a matter in regard Denny, Doddridge, Dorsey, Draper, Drayton, Dwiglit, to which he felt himself placed in a very delicate situation. Eager, Ellsworth, George Evans, Joshua Evans, Edward It was known to the House, he said, that, in consequence Everett, Horace Everett, Findlay, Finch, Ford, Forward, of the indisposition of the Speaker, the duties of the Gilmore, Gorham, Green, Grennell, Gurley, Hawkins, Chair had of late been temporarily assigned, occasionally, Hemphill, Hinds, Hodges, Holland, Howard, Hughes, for parts of several days past, to him, (Mr. M.) In Hunt, Huntington, Ihrie, Ingersoll, Thomas Irwin, Wil. what manner he had discharged those duties, Mr. M. said liam W. Irvin, Jarvis, Jennings, Johns, R. M. Johnson, it was not for him to decide, but he could safely say that Cave Johnson, Kendall, Kennon, Kincaid, A. King, Lei- he had brought to their discharge his best abilities, and the per, Lent, Lewis, Lumpkin, Lyon, Lewis Maxwell
, most earnest disposition to preserve the order of the McCreery, McDuffie, Mercer, Miller, Mitchell, Monell, House. It was known, further, he said, that on Thursday Muhlenberg, Norton, Overton, Patton, Pearce, Pettis, last a debate took place of an unusual character, (alluding Pierson, Potter, Ramsey, Randolph, Reed, Rose, Russel, to the debate on the mission to Russia.) There was cerScott, Wm. B. Shepard, Aug. H. Shepperd, Shields, tainly displayed on that occasion more personal feeling Semmes, Sill, R. Smith, Spencer, Stanbery, W. L. Storrs, than he could have wished; but, with the most sincere deStrong, Sutherland, Swann, Swift, Taliaferro, Taylor, sire to preserve decorum in debate, nothing had reached Wiley Thompson, John Thomson, Tracy, Vance, Var- his ear which seemed to him to call for the interposition num, Verplanck, Washington, Whittlesey, Campbell P. of the Chair. Something might have fallen from members White, Edward D. White, Wilde, Wilson, Wingate, which did not reach his ear, and which was offensive and Young.–136.
unparliamentary. Difficulty of hearing, from the low NAYS.- Messrs. Alexander, Allen, Alston, Angel, Arm- tones of some speakers, or the rapidity of utterance of strong, Barringer, James Blair, Bockee, Bouldin, Brod-others, sometimes makes it doubtful what is the precise head, Chandler, Claiborne, Cowles, Davenport, Desha, language in which they express themselves. De Witt, Earll, Foster, Fry, Gaither, Gordon, Hall, Hal Mr. M. said he felt the full force of these difficulties sey, Hammons, Harvey, Haynes, Hoffman, Hubbard, when in the chair, on Friday last. But so far as he was Perkins King, Lamar, Lea, Leavitt, Lecompte, Loyall, able to understand what was uttered in debate, there was Martindale, Martin, Thomas Maxwell, McCoy, McIntire, only one occurrence, on that day, which appeared to him Nuckolls, Polk, Rencher, Roane, Sanford, Sprigg, Stan- to call for the interposition of the Chair. The gentleman defer, Trezvant, Tucker, Vinton, Weeks, Williams.-51. from New York, referring to the gentleman who had TRIAL OF JUDGE PECK.
moved the pending amendment, charged him with having On motion of Mr. WHITTLESEY, the House then re
made “a disgraceful motion;" which language the Chair solved itself into a Committee of the whole, Mr. Mar- promptly checked, and declared to be out of order. Yet, Tix in the chair, and proceeded to the Senate. At 4
looking over the report of that debate in this morning's o'clock the committee returned, and reported progress; paper, it was due to himself
, to the House, and to the
good opinion of the nation, to say, that words appear in and then The House adjourned.
that report which were not uttered in the debate, to his
hearing. He would not detain the attention of the House TUESDAY, JANUARY 18,
by going over all the terms of it which appeared to him
exceptionable, but he could not, consistently with a sense RELIEF VESSELS.
of duty, sit down without particularizing one expression The bill from the Senate, to enable the President to reported as having been used by the gentleman from employ relief vessels on our maritime coast, was twice New York, (Mr. CAMBRELENG,) in the following passage read.
of his specch: Mr. CONDICT moved its reference to the Committee “I shall not, Mr. Speaker, travel out of my way, and on Naval Affairs.
violate a rule of order, by entering now into that discuss Mr. DRAYTON moved its reference to the Committee sion, by examining the provisions of the Turkish treaty: on Commerce.
Whenever I do, sir, my facts and my arguments shall be Mr. CAMBRELENG said, if the bill was to be acted founded on something more substantial than a upon at all, it was of the utmost importance it should be rumor--more unquestionable than the statement of an un. done speedily. He stated the object of the bill
, and urged principled partisan--more unimpeachable than the eviits reference to the Committee of the Whole on the state dence of a perjured Senator." of the Union, so that it might be called up, and receive Now, Mr. M. said he should have been guilty of the the early consideration of the House.
grossest and most flagitious misconduct, as presiding offiThe latter motion prevailed,
cer, if, hearing such language applied to a member of the Mr. SMITH submitted the following resolution:
he had not interposed to arrest it. With Resolved, That the use of this hall be granted to John this paper before it, this House could not refuse to receive Foulke, a member of the Society of Friends, at 7 o'clock a committee from the Senate to demand an inquiry into this evening, for the purpose of delivering a religious dis- the alleged perjury. He did not say that such language
as this had been actually used; but if it bad been heard A motion was made to lay the resolution on the table; by him, it would have been an insult to the House not to which was negatived.
have stopped the utterer of it. He took it for granted that Mr. MERCER then offered the following amendment; the reporter of the debate had labored under great mis which was agreed to: " And that the Colonization Society, apprehension: but, seeing that it had got into print in this also, havc leave to occupy this hall to-morrow evening at' exceptionable form, he had thought it proper to offer o'clock."
this explanation of his own conduct in the premises. The question was then put on adopting the resolution Mr. CAMBRELENG then rose, and said: It is far as amended, and carried in the affirmative.
from my wish to trouble the House; but so grave a charge
'Jan. 19, 1831.] Trial of Judge Peck. --Mileage of Members.--Supernumerary Officers and Cadets. [H. OF R.
has been made against me by the gentleman from South Mr. MARTIN replied, he was sorry to hear from the gen# Carolina, who, on Thursday last, filled, pro tempore, the tleman that he did use the words, even in the alternative.
chair you now occupy, I feel it incumbent on myself to make He [Mr. M.] had understood the gentleman to use the a very brief reply. Sir, I will, in the first place, relieve words “perjured witness;” and he believed, if the questhe gentleman from South Carolina from all his doubts tion was decided by the gentleman's “peers around him," upon the subject. I did use the words “perjured Sena. he [Mr. M.] would be sustained. But, if the gentleman tor;" and I shall, on a similar occasion, and in the same insists that he used words manifestly out of order, it was manner, apply them again. I used the words, and shall no longer his [Mr. M.'s] business, after the explanation he not retract them here or elsewhere. What, sir, was the had given. provocation when that extraordinary debate took place? Mr. BURGES rose to address the House. 1, in common with other members of the House, had lis The SPEAKER said, the gentleman from Rhode Island tened, without the least intervention from the Chair, to a was out of order. He could reserve his remarks until vituperative and violent attack upon our venerable Chief this subject came in its proper course under the consiMagistrate; a tirade of low abuse, and the most disgraceful deration of the House. insinuations against the President, the Secretary of State, Mr. Burges then resumed his reat. and our minister to Russia. Yes, sir, I not only heard them, but I have marked in the paper I now hold in my
JUDGE PECK. hand, passages and epithets in his published speech, dis The House then went into a Committee of the Whole, graceful to this House--base, gross, and infamous.
Mr. Martin in the chair, and proceeded to the Senate [Here the SPEAKER observed, there was no charge chamber, to attend the trial of Judge Peck. made against the gentleman from New York. The member from South Carolina had only risen to state, in explana
On returning, they reported progress; and
The House adjourned. tion to the House, that certain remarks were ascribed in a newspaper to another member, which he did not hear uttered, and for which, if he had heard them, he should
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19. have felt it his duty to call him to order.]
MILEAGE OF MEMBERS. Sir; when I was interrupted by the Chair, I was coming to the point in question. What was the occasion--what
The House resumed the consideration of the report of the manner in which the words "perjured Senator” were
the Committee on Public Expenditures, made on the 7th used? The gentleman from Rhode Island had not only instant, in relation to a uniform rule of computing the gone on uninterruptedly with his abuse, but he went into mileage of members of Congress. a grave denunciation of the Turkish treaty; at a moment the rate of mileage from eight to six dollars for every
Mr. CHILTON moved an amendment, so as to change when, as rumor says, and as it is believed, that treaty was a subject of discussion—of secret discussion in the Senate twenty miles travelled in going to and returning from the of the United States--was there not something revolting seat of Government; but in this spectacle?-when a treaty was known only to the
The SPEAKER declared the motion to be out of order. cabinet and the Senatorial council of the Executive--when
The question then recurred on the motion heretofore the friends of the administration could get no information made by Mr. Chilton, as amended on the motion of Mr. whatever--when, sir, intimate as I am with the Secretary lic Expenditures, with instructions, as follows: "To report
Hall, to recommit the report to the Committee on Pubof State, (and I am as much in his confidence as any other member of this House,) I have never heard him utter one a bill making it the duty of the Secretary of the Senate syllable on the provisions of the Turkish treaty—when and the Sergeant-at-arms of the House of Representatives, that treaty was presumed to be under discussion in the with the aid of the Postmaster General, at the end of secret sessions of the Senate, the gentleman from Rhode every session, to make an estimate, as nearly as possible, Island presents us with the revolting spectacle of going each member of the Senate, House of Representatives,
of the actual distance, in a direct line, of the residence of into an examination of its provisions. Where, sir, did the and delegate of a territory, from the seat of Government; gentleman from Rhode Island get his information? From one of his friends—the editor of a newspaper--an unprin- and that the mileage of the members of Congress and decipled partisan, or one who had violated his oath--some
legates be computed, and their accounts for travelling be perjured Senator? Sir, I know not where the gentleman settled, according to such estimate.” from Rhode Island obtained his information--he may take
The question being put on the proposed recommithis choice of these alternatives; he may take either of his ment, it was decided in the affirmative, by yeas and naysconfidential friends, the editor, the partisan, or the Sena
120 to 27. tor. I made no charge then, I make none now; I put the SUPERNUMERARY OFFICERS AND CADETS. case then, as I now put it, hypothetically. All I meant to convey--and with all deference to the gentleman from Mr. WICKLIFFE submitted the following resolution: South Carolina, and the SPEAKER--all that my language Resolved, That the Committee on Military Affairs be indoes convey, is this: if the gentleman from Rhode Island structed to inquire into the expediency of dismissing from received his intelligence from a Senator of the United the army the supernumerary lieutenants by brevet comStates, then, sir, that Senator has violated his oath of mission: secrecy, and stood in the eyes of the world a “perjured That the committee also inquire into the expediency Senator;" and upon such evidence I would not rely for of fixing the age between 17 and 21 years, as the period my facts as a basis of any argument on the Turkish treaty of admission into the West Point Academy; and that all Whether any Senator has placed himself in that unenvi- the graduates, from time to time, at that institution, shall able attitude, is a question the gentleman from Rhode be discharged from the army, when not needed in the Island may answer for himself-he may push that inquiry actual service of the country: as far as he pleases.
That they inquire into the expediency of authorizing [The SPEAKER said there was no question before the appointments in the line of the arıny, from the meritoHouse; and repeated his former remarks, that the gen- rious non-commissioned officers of the army: tleman from South Carolina had made no charge against And, also, of reducing the number of cadets in said
academy, now authorized by law. Mr. CAMBRELENG repeated that he had uttered the Mr. WICKLIFFE said he did not offer the resolution words attributed to him.
as a matter of mere form; he offered it with a sincere de.