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Dec. 15, 1835.]
tlemen to be admitted? Not to take part in the delibera. precedents, and that every question should be decided tions of the Senate generally, not for the purpose of according to its own particular circumstances. He voting. Certainly not. Why, then, were they to be asked what difficulty had resulted from an extension of admitted on the floor? If admitted, to what extent are this courtesy in former cases, where seats had been astheir rights to go? Were they to be sworn in the usual signed under similar circumstances? Was any effort form, or not? Were they to sit in the private as well as made to take part in the debate, to answer on the call the public sessions of the Senate? If in the private ses of the yeas and nays, to stand up and sit down when sions, under what injunctions? In short, he was entirely there was a count? There was no instance of the kind. opposed to any action on this incidental matter, until the If these gentlemen are admitted, a motion to clear the principal question, whether Michigan was to be admit galleries would induce them to go out, or the slightest ted into the States of the Union, should be disposed of. hint from the Senate would be sufficient to lead them to He would not now offer any opinion on that principal do that which their own gentlemanly feelings would question; he had not yet formed any. But why were suggest, if they took the time to reflect. But it seemed these gentlemen to be admitted on the ground of cour. to be supposed that the civility of asking the gentlemen tesy? It must be because they have some rights, per to sit down was to commit the Senate to a particular sect or quasi, to come there as Senators of Michigan. line of conduct. He reminded the Senate of the course
Putting that out of the question, there was no more adopted on the admission of Missouri, in which case the reason for admitting them than any other gentlemen, Senators were admitted during the deliberations. The when they may apply. He was opposed to the admis- Senate decided against their claims, and they were sent sion of the gentlemen, because it' implied a right; and back; but was any single Senator influenced in his vote he was not willing to prejudge the question which the by the fact of their presence? Not one. Did any one Senate would be hereafter called on to decide. It understand the courtesy extended to them as having any would be, to some extent, a commitment of the opinion thing to do with the decision of the question? He was of the Senate, and would have a tendency to mislead here himself on that occasion; and he was told by that the public mind. He was opposed, therefore, to any most accomplished and amiable man who then filled the thing which would seem to settle the principal question. chair, Mr. Gaillard, to take a seat on the floor. He enFor himself, he was ready to enter upon the discussion joyed all the incidental privileges of that seat; he franked of that principal question, as to the admission of Michi. his letters, and the two Houses paid him, from the begin. gan, as soon as any gentleman might be disposed to ning, the same as the other Senators were paid. Yet move it; and, whenever it should be decided, he was the principal question, so far from being prejudiced by willing that all the consequences should follow, one of this course, was determined against them. He begged which would be the admission of the Senators on the to inform the Senate that, wbile he felt himself bound floor, and the administering to them of the oath of a to act the part he had taken in bringing forward this Senator. He was not for the inversion of the proceed motion, he, for one, should remain entirely uncommitings of the Senate, the adoption of the consequences ted on the main question, and not only uncommitted, first, and of the cause afterwards. The first question is, but free from any bias which would affect his course is Michigan to be admitted into the Union, and has she when the Senate should decide. a right to send Senators? When that was decided, Mr. CLAYTON thought it was desirable that more every thing would follow in its natural, appropriate, and time should be allowed for consideration; and, if the legitimate order. Entertaining these views, he was com- gentleman from Missouri had no objection, he would pelled to oppose the motion.
move to lay the motion on the table for the present. Mr. BENTON, in reply, stated that he had not been Without intending to commit himself in any way, there curious or careful in looking for precedents for his mo was one distinct view which he desired to present. By tion, because he did not see why, on a question of mere the constitution which Michigan had adopted, and under courtesy, civility, the Senate should not rather be ma which she claimed the admission of her Senators, she king than following precedents. He did not think, when had annexed to her territory a considerable portion of a mere question of courtesy was referred to their con the State of Indiana, as it was laid off and recognised by sideration, that they were bound to suspend the action Congress, when that State was admitted into the Union. of the body until they could examine a parcel of musty The adoption of the claims of Michigan, or any measure records. If, in the ordinary intercourse of life, a gentle looking to that adoption, would incline strongly against man brought to him a letter of introduction, he would the rights of Indiana; and every principle entitling as!: bim to take a seat. Here are gentlemen, who have Michigan to this portion of the territory of Indiana brought letters, under the great seal, de facto, of the would operate to give Wisconsin a large tract out of State of Michigan, from a person who 'acts as the Gov- the State of Illinois. By the same ordinance which, ernor of that State, and these letters are among the ar according to her construction of the boundary line, gave chives of the State. He adverted to the case of the lo Michigan a part of Indiana, a strip, fifty miles in Rhode Island Senator, two years ago, as proving that breadth, of the State of Illinois, would be cut off by Senators who came here had a right to hold their
seats, Wisconsin. in case of dispute, until the dispute was settled. By the He was fearful of any thing which could even touch report of the Committee of Elections, in that case, con this question at this moment, although he was willing, as firmed as it was by a large majority of the Senate, it to matter of politeness, to go as far as any Senator. But, was settled that a Senator had a right to come here as a while doing this, he was bound to inquire if there was Senator until it was shown that he had not this right. not also some courtesy due to Illinois. One of her SenBut no such thing was asked in this case. All that was ators was dead, and we had this day adopted a resolution asked was that gentlemen sent here by a State should to inform the Executive of the State of that event. Be. be requested to take seats, and that chairs be provided fore we take any step to admit Michigan, according to for them, until it should be determined by the Senate the claims she presents, we ought to allow time for the what their precise rights were. Could there be shown State of Illinois to be fully represented on this floor. He any case where, in such circumstances, Senators were had not made himself sufficiently master of all the prenot asked to sit until there could be an examination of cedents to understand whether, after they had admitall the analogies and the nice and hair-breadth distincted the Senators to the floor, they could have a right to tions which gentlemen might choose to draw? He de exclude them again. The gentleman from Missouri had sired to see ihe Senate, on this question, unfettered by stated that, if admitted, they would be liable to be re
[Dec. 16, 17, 1835.
moved, and could not be entitled to sit during execu Mr. BLACK; the ballot being-Black 25, Linn 17, scattertive sessions. If such was the understanding of the ing 1. Senator from Missouri, it ought to be so expressed in the The next ballot, for chairman of the Committee on motion. Unless the motion was thus modified, they Indian Affairs, resulted in the election of Mr. Wute; would be as free to sit in secret session as in public. He the ballot being-White 36, scattering 2. would prefer, however, not to be called on to decide The next ballot, for chairman of the Committee on the question now. If the gentlemen could be admitted Claims, resulted in the election of Mr. Naudain; the without any interference with the rights of Indiana, of ballot being -Naudain 21, Shepley 15, scattering 5. Ohio, of Illinois, or of the Senate, he could have no The next ballot, for chairman of the Committee on difficulty in deciding his course. But he wished, under the Judiciary, resulted in the election of Mr. CLAYTON; the circumstances, more time for deliberation, and he the ballot being-Clayton 22, Buchanan 16, scatterwould move to lay the motion, for the present, on the ing 3. table.
The next ballot, for chairman of the Committee on Mr. BENTON signified his assent.
the Post Office and Post Roads, resulted in the elecMr. KING, of Alabama, expressed a wish to call the tion of Mr. Grundy; the ballot being-Grundy 25, attention of the Senator from Missouri to the phraseolo scattering 11. gy of his motion. The language used is, “in the Senate.” The next ballot, for chairman of the Committee on For this there was no precedent. None but Senators Roads and Canals, resulted in the election of Mr. Her. could sit within the bar. He had no objection to admit | DRICKS; the ballot being--Hendricks 39, Robinson 1. the gentlemen on the floor, but none within the bar. The next ballot, for chairman of the Committee on He hoped, before the motion to lay on the table was Pensions, resulted in the election of Mr. Tomlinson; made, that the Senator would so modify the motion as to the ballot being-Tomlinson 23, Brown 17, scattering 1. remove this objection, by saying “ without the bar of The next ballot, for chairman of the Committee on the the Senate.” When the Senators from Missouri applied, District of Columbia, resulted in the election of Mr. Tr. the Fresident of the Senate had a right to assign seats, LER; the ballot being—Tyler 23, King of Georgia 15, but the Senate had now taken away this power. scattering 1. The motion was then laid on the table.
The next ballot, for chairman of the Committee Mr. PORTER, pursuant to notice, asked and obtained on Revolutionary Claims, resulted in the election of Mr. leave to introduce a bill to provide for the adjustment of MOORE; the ballot being--Moore 21, Hubbard 14, scatclaims to lands therein mentioned; which was read and tering 6. ordered to a second reading.
The next ballot, for chairman of the Committee on The Senate then adjourned.
the Contingent Expenses of the Senate, resulted in the
Ruggles 14, scattering 4.
The next ballot, for chairman of the Committee on Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Preston, from South Carolina, the ballot being-Shepley 22, McKean 13, scattering 6.
Engrossed Bills, resulted in the election of Mr. SHEPLEY; appeared and took their seats.
The Senate proceeded to ballot for the remaining STANDING COMMITTEES.
members of the several committees, when the following
were elected: The CHAIR announced the business first in order,
Foreign Relations.--Messrs. King of Georgia, Tallbeing the election of the standing committees.
madge, Mangum, and Porter. The Senate proceeded to ballot for a chairman of the
Finance.--Messrs. Cuthbert, Wright, Mangum, and Committee on Foreign Relations, when Mr. CLAY was
Tyler. elected; the ballots being Clay 23, King of Alabama
Commerce.--Messrs. Goldsborough, Tomlinson, Me15, scattering 4.
Kean, and Linn. The next ballot, for chairman of the Committee on
Manufactures.--Messrs. Ruggles, Morris, Prentiss, Finance, resulted in the election of Mr. WEBSTER; the
and Hendricks. ballot being-Webster 25, Wright 17, scattering 1.
Mr. CLAY, at this stage, moved that the Senate ad. The next ballot, for chairman of the Comunittee on
journ; and, Commerce, resulted in the election of Mr. Davis;the
The Senate adjourned. ballot being--Davis 22, Hill 17, scattering 4.
The next ballot, for chairman of the Committee on Manufactures, resulted in the election of Mr. Knight;
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 17. the ballot being—Knight 22, Wall 18, scattering 3. After transacting the usual morning business, The next ballot, for chairman of the Committee on
The Senate proceeded to ballot for the remainder of Agriculture, resulted in the election of Mr. Brown; the
the standing committees, and the following is a list of ballot being-Brown 25, Tipton 14, scattering 4. them, as far as the elections of this day, in a perfect The next ballot, for chairman of the Committee on
form: Military Affairs, resulted in the election of Mr. Berton; On Agriculture.—Mr. Brown, chairman; Messrs. the ballot being-Benton 29, Black 6, scattering 6. Kent, King of Alabama, Morris, Wright.
The next ballot, for chairman of the Committee on the
On Military Affairs.- Mr. Benton, chairman; Messrs. ballot being--Robinson 36, scattering 5.
On the Militia.-Mr. Robinson, chairman; Messrs. The next ballot, for chairman of the Committee Hendricks, McKean, Swift, Wall. on Naval Affairs, resulted in the election of Mr. SOUTH On Naval Affairs. - Mr. Southard, chairman; Messrs. ARD; the ballot being-Southard 25, Tallmadge 17, Tallmadge, Black, Robbins, Cuthbert. scattering 1.
On the Public Lands.-Mr. Ewing, chairman; Messrs. The next ballot, for chairman of the Committee on
Moore, Prentiss, Crittenden, McKean. Public Lands, resulted in the election of Mr. Ewing; the On Priva’e Land Claims. Mr. Black, chairman; ballot being-Ewing 24, Morris 15, scattering 3. Messrs. Linn, Ruggles, Porter, King of Georgia.
The next ballot, for chairman of the Committee On Indian Affairs.--Mr. White, chairman; Messrs. on Private Land Claims, resulted in the election of Tipton, Goldsborough, Swift, Brown.
Dec. 21, 1835.]
Smithsonian Institution-Northern Boundary of Ohio.
On Claims.- Mr. Naudain, chairman; Messrs. Tipton, to such an extent, or had been productive of such caShe pley, Swift, Brown.
lamitous results, as it appeared to have raged, for so On the Judiciary.--Mr. Clayton, chairman; Messrs. many hours, in the most crowded part of that great Buchanan, Leigh, Preston, Crittenden.
commercial capital. A strong expectation prevailed On the Post Office and Post R Is.- Mr. Grundy, out of doors that Congress would do something for the chairman; Messrs. Robinson, Ewing, Knight, Davis. relief of the sufferers. In cases of much less extensive
On Roads and Canals.- Mr. Hendricks, chairman; mischief, relief had, in some form, been given by ConMessrs. McKean, Robinson, Kent, Robbins.
gress. He could not take it on himself to say what reOn Pensions.-Mr. Tomlinson, chairman; Messrs. lief was expected in this instance; but, 'as he had already Tallmadge, Linn, Prentiss, McKean.
said, there were already signs of strangely excited exOn the District of Columbia.—Mr. Tyler, chairman; pectation that something would be done by Congress in Messrs. Kent, Naudain, Southard, King of Alabama. the way of extending relief. In some former cases, he
On Revolutionary Claims.-Mr. Moore, chairman; believed, there had been an extension of the time for Messrs. White, Hubbard, Leigh, Shepley.
the payment of duty bonds, and other modes might be On the Contingent Expenses of thej Senate. -— Mr. Mc- combined with that. He was not at this moment preKean, chairman; Messrs. Tomlinson, Brown.
pared to recommend, or even to propose, any specific On Engrossed Bills.—Mr. Shepley, chairman; Messrs.
The city of New York was represented in Hill, Morris.
the other branch by gentlemen who were in the habit Mr. KING, of Alabama, with leave, introduced a bill of constant intercourse with their constituents, and they for the better organization of the district court of Ala would be best enabled to devise some mode of relief. bama, which was read twice, and referred to the Com For one, he was disposed to do all which the constitumittee on the Judiciary.
tional power of Congress would permit him to do. It The Senate concurred in a resolution of the House might be considered as the best course, at present, to of Representatives concerning the election of chaplains; wait for some action on the part of the other House, beand
fore any report was made from the committee. But, in The Senate adjourned to Monday.
the mean time, they could have the subject under their consideration. He hoped the resolution would be adopt
ed to-day, and that the public expectation would be thus MONDAY, DECEMBER 21.
far gratified. John M. Niles, a Senator from Connecticut, ap The resolution was adopted. pointed to fill the place of the late NATHAN Suita, ap. peared and took his seat.
NORTHERN BOUNDARY OF OHIO. Mr. TOMLINSON presented the credentials of Joan
Mr. EWING, pursuant to notice, rose to ask leave to M. NILES, appointed by the Executive of Connecticut introduce a bill to define and settle the northern boundto fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of the hon- ary line of the State of Ohio. orable NATHAN SMITH.
Leave being granted, Mr. Ewing introduced the bill; Mr. NILEs was then sworn.
which was read, and ordered to a second reading. SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION.
On introducing this bill, Mr. EWING addressed the
Chair in the following speech: A message was received from the President of the
Mr. President: I feel it due to the importance of the United States, by Mr. Donelson, his secretary, as fol measure which I propose, and to public expectation and lows, to wit:
public opinion in my State, that I present, at this early To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United stage of the proceeding, a brief summary, at least, of States:
the question to which this bill will give rise. I feel it I transmit to Congress a report from the Secretary of throughout the Union, has been assailed, and in some
the more important to do so, as public opinion abroad, State, accompanying copies of certain papers relating to a bequest to the United States, by Mr. James Smith
measure pre-occupied, with papers issuing from various son, of London, for the purpose of founding, at Washe quarters inimical to the proposed measure; papers in ington, an establishment, under the name of the “Smith
which a one-sided view of the case has been presented; sonian Institution,” for the diffusion of knowledge documents have, in the over-zeal of individuals to estab
and in some instances erroneous statements of public among men. The Executive having no authority to
lish their favorite position, been sent abroad as a part take any steps for accepting the trust and obtaining the funds, the papers are communicated with a view to such
of the political history, and of the law and truth of the
I wish, in behalf of Obio, that the facts as they measures as Congress may deem necessary.
exist may go forth to the public in such small compass, ANDREW JACKSON.
that they may be seen, examined, and understood. And WasuinGTON, December 17, 1835.
I wish, by reference to documents here, and all the docThe message and documents were ordered to lie on uments that I think bear upon the question, to lighten the table.
the labor of gentlemen who wish to examine it and form, SUFFERERS BY FIRE AT NEW YORK.
their judgment. This being my object, I shall attempt
little argiment, and indulge in no digression. Mr. WEBSTER offered the following resolution, This bill, so far as it relates to Ohio, is the same in all and moved its consideration at this time; which was its provisions with that which I have twice offered in the agreed to:
Senate, which has twice passed this body, and which Resolved, That the Committee on Finance be instruct. bas been twice lost among ihe unfinished business of the ed to inquire what measures should be adopted by Con House. A few words are necessary, however, to exgress in consequence of the destruction of merchandise plain the full purport of its provisions. The act of Conand other property by the late fire in New York. gress of the 30th April, 1802, "authorizing the inhabil
Mr. WEBSTER then offered a few observations on ants of the eastern division of the Northwestern Territhe circumstances and extent of the fire. There had tory to form a constitution and State Government,” dibeen no example in this country of a fire of such mag rects that the contemplated State shall be bounded "on nitude. There was no place where the ravages of this the north by an east and west line drawn through the destructive element had continued for such a period and southerly extreme of Lake Michigan,' " running east
Northern Boundary of Ohio.
[Dec. 21, 1835.
until it shall intersect Lake Erie, or the territorial line; constitution. And there would seem to be the most obthence, with the same, through Lake Erie, to the Penn- vious propriety and policy in according it, having a due sylvania line.” Under this law the convention met, and regard to the great leading features of our country in formed the constitution of Ohio; but fearing that the its civil divisions, if, indeed, Congress have the power mouth and estuary of an important river, which had its to do so without the infringement of a compact, or the course within the State, would be excluded by the pre- violation of national faith. scribed boundary, the convention accepted it, with a This measure has long been a subject of discussion. proviso which is found in the sixth section of the sev Those who oppose it contend that Congress, by the enth article of the constitution, and is in the following terms of the deed of cession from Virginia, by the ordiwords:
nance of 1787 for the government of the territory north“Provided always,and it is hereby fully understood and west of the river Ohio, and by their own subsequent declared by this convention, that, if the southerly bend acts, have been deprived of the power of extending the or extreme of Lake Michigan should extend so far south boundary of either of the southern States of the Norththat a line drawn due east from it should not intersect western Territory, Ohio inclusive, north of an east and Lake Erie, or if it should intersect the said lake east of west line drawn through the southerly extreme of Lake the mouth of the Miami of the Lake, then, and in that Michigan. And the first and most important inquiry is, case, with the assent of the Congress of the United whether Congress does now possess that power. To States, the northern boundary of the State shall be es me, indeed, it seems a question of easy solution. tablished by, and extend to, a line running from the At the close of the revolutionary war, Virginia and southerly extremity of Lake Michigan to the most north- Connecticut claimed each a portion of the Northwestern erly cape of the Miami bay," " thence, northeast, to the Territory. Connecticut ceded her jurisdiction without territorial line, and by the said territorial line to the any directions as to its future civil divisions, but VirPennsylvania line.”
ginia required that the lands so ceded should be divided Now, sir, the position of Lake Michigan is proved to into States, “ containing a suitable extent of territory, be as was apprehended by the framers of the constitu- not less than one hundred nor more than one hundred tion of Ohio.
The southerly extreme of Lake Michi. and fifty miles square, or as near thereto as circum. gan is so far south that a line drawn from it due east stances will permit,” &c.; which provision was made in cuts off the mouth of the Miami of the Lake, and inter- accordance with a resolution of Congress of the 10th sects Lake Erie many miles east of that river; and this of October, 1780. bill copies substantially the above-recited proviso of the The country was at that time unexplored, and great constitution of Ohio, and will, if it become a law, give difficulties might have arisen from the fixing of any unthe express assent of Congress to the boundary desig: bending rules for the formation of new States, in respect nated therein. The objection to the boundary named to location and boundary. Congress soon became senin the act of Congress is best understood by reference sible of this, and, by their resolution of July 7, 1786, to a map of the country, which Senators will find upon asked Virginia to revise her deed of cession. The pretheir tables. It will be seen that the Miami of the Lake, amble to that resolution shows wbat were the views and a large and navigable river, (the largest, I believe, wishes of that Congress in the formation of new memwhich flows northward into that chain of lakes,) has al-bers of the federal Union, and what, I believe, has been most its whole course in Ohio, and its whole and entire (at least what ought to have been) the purpose of each navigable course in Ohio and Indiana, except the last succeeding Congress which has been called to act on eight miles, with its mouth and bay, or estuary, which this subject. It is as follows: is cut off by this east and west line, and thrown into “Whereas it appears, from the knowledge already ancther jurisdiction—that of the Territory of Michigan. obtained of the tract of country lying northwest of the
I can acquit, at once, the framers of the ordinance of river Ohio, that the laying it out and forming it into 1787, and the Congress which passed the law of April new States, of the extent mentioned in the resolution 30, 1802, of the apparent neglect of the just interests of Congress of October 10, 1780, and in one of the of the great civil division of our country wbich com conditions contained in the cession of Virginia, will be prises the community which those acts called into being productive of many and great inconveniences; that, by They had fixed, according to their belief of the geo- such a division of the country, some of the new States graphical relations of the country, boundaries to that will be deprived of the advantage of navigation; some State which were wholly unexceptionable. The line, will be improperly intersected by lakes, rivers, and as they had fixed it, did, as they believed, instead of cut- mountains; and some will contain too great a proportion ting off from Ohio the mouth of the Miami of the Lake, of barren and unimprovable land, and, of consequence, extend northward beyond the river Raisin, to the head will not, for many years, if ever, have a sufficient numof the lake, or rather above it, near the mouth of the ber of inhabitants to form a respectable Government, Detroit river. I refer to an ancient map of the coun and entitle them to a seat and voice in the federal country, the same which was of the bighest authority at the cil: And whereas, in fixing the limits and dimensions of time of the passage of the ordinance and the act of 1802, the new States, due attention ought to be paid lo natu· to show what was their purpose, and what were their ral boundaries, and a variety of circumstances which opinions as to this boundary. It is a singular case of an will be pointed out by a more perfect knowledge of the error affecting a division of land or a tract of country country, so as to provide for the future growth and It is not a mistake in the position of an object which prosperity of each 'State, as well as for the accommoforms part of a boundary, but the position of a very re dation and security of the first adventurers: In order, mote object, lying in an unexplored region, from which therefore, that the ends of government be attained, and a line was to be produced in the given direction, until that the States which are formed may become a speedy it should touch the Territory in question, and form the and sure accession of strength to the confederacy, boundary.
“ Resolved, That it be, and is hereby, recommended But the difficulty will be remedied by adopting the to the Legislature of Virginia to take into consideration bill which I now offer. It will give to Ohio, not all that their act of cession, and revise the same, so far as to was supposed and intended by the Congress which fra-empower the United States in Congress assembled to med the act of 1802, but it will give her all that is impor-make such a division of the territory of the United tant to her internal improvements and commercial inter States lying northerly and westerly of the river Ohio, ests, and all that was asked for by the framers of her into distinct republican States, not more than five nor
Dec. 21, 1835.]
Northern Boundary of Ohio.
less tban three, as the situation of that country and fu- of Michigan,” which appeared in the Intelligencer of ture circumstances may require; which States shall the 5th instant. The writer is unknown to me, but the hereafter become members of the federal Union, and editors say it is “ from a highly intelligent and respect. have the same rights of sovereignty, freedom, and inde able source.” The sentence in that “exposition,” in pendence, as the original States, in conformity with the which a clause in the ordinance of 1787 is misstated, is resolution of Congress of the 10th of October, 1780.” as follows:
By this resolution Congress asked for authority to “ By the ordinance of 1787, whenever any of the change nothing relative to the contemplated States in States or Territories in the Northwestern Territory the Northwestern Territory, except the extent and shall have sixty thousand free inhabitants, such State boundaries; and they asked for discretion for the pur shall be admitted, by its delegates, into the Congress of pose of adjusting their boundaries to suit the natural | the United States, on an equal footing with the original features of the country. And this discretion (which States, in all respects whatever, and shall be at liberty was accorded by Virginia) is, if I can read and under to form a permanent constitution and State Governstand the laws and ordinances aright, continued over the whole northern portion of that country down to I call the attention of the Senate to the word Territhe present day.
tories, in that part of the paragraph which is introducThe extent of the powers thus retained by Congress tory to the quotation from the ordinance, and which depends upon the ordinance of 1787 for the govern- | fixes the sense of that quotation. That word is an inment of the Territory northwest of the river Ohio. !terpolation in language, and it changes the whole sense join in all that has ever been said in praise of this invals of the paragraph. It is not to be found in the text uable charter. It bas been called irrevocable--so it is, quoted, nor in the context, nor any word or words as long as the faith of the nation is regarded. It has which convey an equivalent meaning to it, in the conbeen called a sacred instrument-I hold it so. Next to nexion in which it is here introduced. And, unfortuthe constitution itself (of which, indeed, this ordinance nately, this single word, thus thrown in, is the one on is by adoption a part) I hold it the most sacred among which the whole argument in behalf of Michigan and the muniments of our national liberty. But it does not, her rights to this territory must hinge: take that away, therefore, follow that every manner of pretension must read the ordinance truly, as it is written, adding nothbe sanctioned which any one thinks fit to advance in its ing and suppressing nothing, it does not leave them
ground whereon to rest the soles of their feet. It is The question of the power of Congress over this dis- the fifih article of that ordinance (1st vol. Laws of the puted territory grows out of the fifth article of the or United States, page 480) that has been thus misused. dinance. I need not trouble the Senate by reading that That article declares that there shall be formed, in the article; a simple analysis of its provisions, so far as they Northwestern Territory, three States; it defines their touch the present question, will suffice.
boundary on all sides except the north, as the States of 1st. It ordains that Congress shall form not less than Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois are now bounded; and it exthree, nor more than five, States within that Territory. tends them all northward to the northern boundary of
2d. It defines the boundaries of three of those States, the United States, which is there called the territorial according to the present boundaries of Ohio, Indiana, line. It then provides that “the boundaries of these and Mlinois, on all sides except the north; and it ex three States shall be subject to be so far altered, that, if tends them all northward to the boundary line of the Congress shall hereafter find it expedient, they shall United States.
have authority to form one or two States in that part of 3d. And it provides that “the boundaries of these the Territory which lies north of an east and west line three States shall be subject to be so far altered, that, drawn through the southerly bend or extreme of Lake if Congress shall hereafter find it expedient, they shall Michigan.” Then follows the misquoted clause, which have authority to form one or two States in that part of is in these words: “ And whenever any of the said the Territory which lies north of an cast and west line States shall have sixty thousand free inhabitants therein, drawn through the southerly bend or extreme of Lake such State shall be admitted, by its delegates, into the Michigan.”
Congress of the United States, on an equal footing with It appears to me clear, by the mere reading of the the original States, in all respects wbatever, and shall Jatter part of this section, of which I give the words, be at liberty to form a constitution and State Governthat all the obligation imposed upon Congress was to ment." form three States in said Territory, the northern bound I am bound, in courtesy, to believe that the misrepary of any of which should not be pressed farther south resentation of this clause of the ordinance, by the writhan the southerly bend or extreme of Lake Michigan; ter who thus volunteers to instruct the cominunity on that the east and west boundaries of each of the three this subject, was a mistake. But if any one can find in States skould be fixed within the limits prescribed; and the clause of the ordinance referred to by that writer, that the northern part of the Territory should be form. / and which I have just read, a vested right in this Terried into States, or attached to the southern States, or tory (which is not formed by the ordinance or by act of part of it be formed into one or two States, and part of Congress into a State) to come into the Union when its it attached to the State lying immediately south of it. inbabitants shall be sixty thousand, or to hold fast, perOne or two States may be formed by Congress in that manently, against the will of Congress, to the boundapart of the Territory which lies north of the east and ries fixed for it as a Territory, for the express purpose west line above named; but it is not said that they shall of temporary government, he must have perceptions be formed of that territory, or of all that territory. It and reasoning faculties of a different order from those were hard to reason on the subject; the ordinance itself which are possessed by the rest of mankind. Indeed, is as clear to the point which I would sustain as any lan when the ordinance is set out truly, as it is, no one will, guage I can use in support of it; and it is only by pass. I think, be able to draw any such inference from it. ing over, or interpolating, or modifying its provisions, Congress had the right, by virtue of their general either in statement or in argument, that a doubt has powers, without any express compact authorizing it, to been raised as to its interpretation.
erect territorial Governments, such as they might see fit, I will refer, by way of specimen, (and it is not the as to number, extent, and boundary, and to change and only one in which public documents have been thus modify them at pleasure. So at least it has been held, treated in this contest,) to an article entiiled “The case and such has been the practice of the Government,