« AnteriorContinuar »
them for President; and if no person have a majority, sana to the United States. These, with the advice then, from the five highest on the list, the said House and consent of the Senate, having now been ratified, shall, in like manner, choose a President. But, in and my ratification exchanged for that of the First choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by Consul of France in due form, they are communicated States, the representation from each State having one to you for consideration in your Legislative capacity. vote. A quorum for this purpose shall consist of a You will observe that some important conditions canmember or members from two-thirds of the States, not be carried into execution, but with the aid of the and a majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Legislature ; and that time presses a decision on them choice. In every case after the choice of the President, without delay. the person having the greatest number of votes of the The ulterior provisions, also, suggested in the same Electors shall be the Vice President; but, if there should communication, for the occupation and government of remain two or more who have equal votes, the Senate the country, will call for early attention. Such informshall choose from them by ballot the Vice President:"- ation relative to its government as time and distance be expunged from the Constitution, and that the fol- have permitted me to obtain, will be ready to be laid lowing paragraph be inserted in lieu thereof, to wit: before you in a few days. But, as permanent arrange
“ The Electors shall meet in their respective States ments for this object may require time and deliberation, and vote by ballot for two persons, of whom one at least it is for your consideration whether you will not forthshall not be an inhabitant of the same State with them with make such temporary provisions for the preservaselves; they shall name in distinct ballots the person tion, in the meanwhile, of order and tranquillity in the voted for as President, and the person voted for as Vice country, as the case may require. President; and they shall make distinct lists of all per- Oct. 21, 1803.
TH. JEFFERSON. sons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for The Message was read, and, together with the as Vice President, and of the number of votes for each; papers therein referred to, ordered to lie for which list they shall sign and certify, and transmit consideration. sealed to the seat of Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The Presi- ENRidge had leave to briog in a bill to enable the
Agreeably to notice given yesterday, Mr. BRECKdent of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate President of the United States to take possession and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, of the territories ceded by France to the United and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes for President shall be States, by the treaty concluded at Paris on the 30th President, if such number be a majority of the whole of April last, and for other purposes; which bill number of Electors appointed, and if there be more
was read, and ordered to the second reading. The than one who have such majority, and have an equal bill is in the following words: number of votes, then the House of Representatives
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Represhall immediately choose by ballot one of them for Presi- sentatives of the United States of America, in Congress dent; and if no person have a majority, then from the assembled, "That the President of the United States be,
- highest on the list, the said House shall, in like and he is hereby, authorized to take possession of and manner, choose the President. But, in choosing the occupy the territories ceded by France to the United President, the votes shall be taken by States, the repre- States by the treaty concluded at Paris, on the 30th sentation from each State having one vote : a quorum day of April last, between the two nations; and that for this purpose shall consist of a member or members he may for that purpose, and in order to maintain in from two-thirds of the States, and a majority of all the the said territories the authority of the United States, States shall be necessary to a choice. The person hav- employ any part of the Army and Navy of the United ing the greatest number of votes for Vice President States, and of the force authorized by an act passed shall be Vice President; and in case of an equal num- the 3d day of March last, entitled “ An act directing ber of votes for two or more persons for Vice President, a detachment from the militia of the United States, they being the highest on the list, the Senate shali and for erecting certain arsenals," which he may
deem choose the Vice President from those having such an necessary: And so much of the sum appropriated by equal number; a quorum for the purpose shall consist the said act as may be necessary is hereby appropriated of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a for the purpose of carrying this act into effect; to be majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a applied under the direction of the President of the Unichoice.
ted States. Mr. BRECKENRIDGE gave notice, that he should,
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That until Con10-morrow, ask leave to bring in a bill to enable gress shall have made provision for the temporary govthe President of the United States to take posses- judicial powers exercised by the officers of the existing
ernment of the said territories, all the military, civil, and sion of the territories ceded by France to the government of the same, shall be vested in such person United States, by the treaty concluded at Paris on the 30th of April last, and for other purposes.
or persons, and shall be exercised by and in such manner, as the President of the United States shall direct.
Ordered, That Messrs. TRACY, ANDERSON, and SATURDAY, October 22.
Baldwin, be a committee for the revisal of unfin
ished business, and that the committee be inThe following Message was received from the structed to report what laws have expired by PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:
their own limitation, or will expire during the To the Senate and House
present session ; and report thereon to the Senate. of Representatives of the United States :
On motion, that it be In my communication to you of the 17th instant, I Resolved, Thai the Senate now proceed to the elecinformed you that conventions had been entered into tion of a Secretary and other officers of the Senate, with the Government of France for the cession of Loui- Ordered, That this motion lie for consideration.
Amendment to the Constitution.
AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION. instance, than being referred to a committee. He
The order of the day being called for on Mr. never knew it refused. In a great and free emClinton's motion of yesterday,
pire, like the United States, this question is of the Mr. Clinton said that, as ihe resolution was highest importance-no less than the choice of but now printed, and laid before the Senate, it the First Magistrate. It is laid upon the table 10might be proper to refer it to Monday for further day, and we are to determice upon it to-morrow. consideration, but if it was requisite, by the rules He hoped not; and as he never knew it refused of the Senate, that the resolution must have three before, he hoped that it would not be adopted now. separate readings, and on three different days, he He wished it to be referred to a select committee; should call for a second reading on Saturday, that that it should there be examined, line by line, letter it might be in readiness for a third reading on by letter. In the present mode of doing business, Monday, and be ultimately acted upon that day, it is impossible to act with accuracy. He again as the Legislatures of Tennessee and Vermont trusted and hoped that it would be referred to were in session, and probably must be at the trou- select committee. ble of an extra session to act upon the amend- Mr. Jackson, of Georgia, wished the business ment, unless it could be sent to them before they to be immediately proceeded upon. He was an separated.
admirer of Mr. Jefferson ; he was happy, and he Mr. Brown, of Kentucky, the President pro trusted all were happy, while he was President. tem. of the Senate, said the written rule of the But, continued Mr. J., we know not who may folSenate determined that bills should have three low him ; we may have a Bonaparte, or one who readings, and on different days, without unani- will be equally obnoxious to the people. He hoped mous consent to the contrary; but the resadutions the motions would be incorporated and immediwere not included; and that he should be glad of ately come before the House. the opinion of the Senate upon the subject. Mr. Wright, of Maryland, spoke for some time
Mr. Tracy of Connecticut said, that there was against the resolution going to a committee. He no written rule which would reach the case, but was against the amendment proposed by Mr. the Vice President, upon the ground that they Butler. A committee might report when they came within the reason of the rule, had determin. pleased. He therefore thought it necessary to ed that all resolutions which required a joint vote proceed with the question immediately, of both Houses to give them efficacy, should take Mr. Smith, of Maryland, wished to have some the same course as bills, and have three readings, principles fixed. If the motion and amendments and on different days, before a final vote; and as were to go a committee, he would not tack them this resolution went to the alteration of the su- together, for by this mode they might both be lost. preme law of the land, as the Constitution was It has been said that the subject might have been declared to be, he thought it highly requisite to entered into last session. There was then a multigive the deliberations all ihe solemnity which was plicity of business of importance before the House, required in passing bills.
yet this subject might have been entered into Mr. BRADLEY, of Vermont, then offered two As it stands, this is the proper place to make obamendments to the resolution ; one went to the jections. The mover of the resolution does not form only, and the other makes a majority of say that it shall be determined on Monday; he votes of the electors requisite for a choice of Vice means that it shall then be before the whole President, and in case such majority is not ob- House. tained, places the choice of Vice President in the Mr. Butler observed, in favor of its going to Senate.
a committee, in order to prevent delay, he would Mr. BUTLER, of South Carolina, proposed an require that they should report on Monday, for, amendment by adding a new clause, in substance: on such an emergency, they might sit on Sunday. "That at the next election of President, no per- This might be adopted, provided it could be got son should be eligible who had served more than to a committee. He did not think that the House eight years, and, in all future elections, no person should legislate upon adventitious or extraneous should be eligible more than four years in any matter, because the Legislature of Vermont or period of eight years."
Tennessee, or any other State, were sitting. We Mr. Dayton, of New Jersey, moved to refer the are not, for such reasons, to be hurried. resolution, with all the amendments, to a select Mr. Clinton said, he would consent to waive committee; he said that it was a subject far too his motion, if the gentleman who moved last importanı to be carried in this way. There has would consent that ihe whole should be entered been no time to consider it. Something more was into on Monday. We are charged. continued Mr. due in this instance, than, as it were, offering it C., with hurrying on this business, but he was one moment, and deciding upon it the next. not to be intimidated from doing his duty. What
Mr. Hillhouse, of Connecticut, supported the was the use of a select committee ? He hoped motion for referring the question to a select com- that the resolution and amendments might be mittee. He was opposed to entering now upon printed, and made the order of the day for the business. Why should this subject be hurried ? Monday. Why not have taken it up last session ? we might Mr. BUTLER.-I penned my amendment since in that case have had time to consider it. He had I came into the House. I believe the country is not often known a resolution, of the nature of that as ripe for it, as for the resolution, and the other before the House, disposed of otherwise, in the first l amendments. I believe this business is hurried
Amendment to the Constitution.
more than it ought to be. If the gentleman who tion. It would more com port with the candor of first moved, will take up his motion, I think that ihe gentleman to meet the question fairly. Can he will be the first, on Monday, to condemn this the gentleman suppose that ihe Electors will not hurry.
vote for a man of respectability for Vice PresiMr. Hillhouse again spoke in favor of a com- dent? True, the qualifications are distinct, and mittee. He observed that, in case a President ought not to be confounded; this will stave off should die the day after his election, who then is the question till the Legislatures of the States of to supply his place ? A man chosen by the elect- Tennessee and Vermoni are out of session, and ors ? No; a man named by the Senate. A man the object must be very obvious. may thus be chosen contrary to the wish of the Mr. Dayton.— The custom of the gentleman people. Once it was in contemplation to have no from New York has been of late to arraign moVice President, but again it was thought that tives instead of meeting arguments; on Saturday either would make a good President, and he did he accused me of wishing to procrastinate, and not see any great use in the office of Vice Presi- now the same is repeated. dent. If we are to constitute a Vice President to The reasons of erecting the office are frustrated execute the office of President in case of his by the amendment to the Constitution now prodeath, which will be the case, and if the Senate posed; it will be preferable, therefore, to abolish can elect a President, in such case it may fall the office. upon a man who had only two votes, and the man Mr. Clinton.—The charge of the gentleman who had a greater number would be Vice Presi- from New Jersey is totally unfounded that I ardent. We must not pass over, concluded Mr. H., raign motives, and do not meet arguments. On a subject of such importance in this way. Saturday, the gentleman accused me of precipi
After some desultory observations, in which tation; I am not in the habit of arraigning moone member observed that he thought it disorder- tives, as this Senate can witness, and ihe charge ly, the question on Mr. Butler's amendment was is totally untrue. put-ayes 16, nays 15.
Mr. Nicholas.-To secure the United States A committee was then chosen for the purpose, from the dangers which existed during the last namely:
choice of President, the present resolution was Mr. Butler, Mr. Bradley, Mr. Clinton, Mr. introduced. It was impossible to act upon, or Nicholas, and Mr. Smith.
pass the amendment offered by the member from New Jersey, with a full view of all its bearings at
this time. It ought not to stand in the way of the Monday, October 24.
resolution reported by the committee, for twoThe bill to enable the President of the United thirds or three-quarters of the State Legislatures States to take possession of the territories ceded would be in session in two or three months; the by France to the United States, by the treaty con- Senate had, therefore, better not admit the amendcluded at Paris on the 30th of April last, and for ment, even if convinced that it was correct, beother purposes, was read the second time and re
cause it might jeopardize the main amendment of ferred to Messrs. BRECKENRIDGE, Dayton, and discriminating. Baldwin, to consider and report therton.
Mr. Butler moved a postponement until WedAMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION.
nesday, because the amendment was important,
and he had not had sufficient time to make up his Mr. BUTLER, from the committee to whom was mind. referred, on the 22d inst., the motion for an amend- Mr. WORTHINGTON said the same. ment tə the Constitution of the United States, This motion was seconded. made report, which was read.
Mr. Cocks was opposed to the postponement, Mr. Dayton moved to strike out all which re- because he feared the State Legislatures would be spected the appointment of a Vice President.
out of session, so as not to carry the amendment He said the great inducements of the framers into effect before the next choice of President. of the Constitution to admit the office of Vice Mr. Wright was opposed to the postponement. President was, that, by the mode of choice, the The proposition of the gentleman from New best and most respectable man should be de- Jersey was foreign to the first amendment. The signated; and that' the Electors of each State people had not expressed an opinion upon it, pro should vote for one person at least, living in a nor con, but on the discriminating principle, they different State from themselves; and if the sub- had. Whatever his opinion was, he would not stance of the amendment was adopted, he thought vote for this amendment till he knew the voice of the office had better be abolished. Jealousies were the people upon it. Shall we postpone, beyond natural between President and Vice President; this session, what we do understand, in order to no heir apparent ever loved the person on the take up what we do not understand ? In a reprethrone. With this resolution for an amendment sentative Goveroment we ought to act as we to the Constitution we were left with all the in- think the people wish, and in pursuance to the conveniencies, without a single advantage from the public mind. office of Vice President.
Mr. Jackson did not know how he should vote Mr. Clinton.—The obvious intention of the on the amendment offered by the gentleman from amendment proposed by the gentleman from New New Jersey, but was willing to indulge the genJersey, is to put off or get rid of the main ques- tleman who asked for a postponement. What
Amendment to the Constitution.
were the ideas of gentlemen ? Were the State most anti-republican he could conceive of, but if Legislatures all about to die? If they were not he moved that and connected it with the discrimin session when Congress had acted upon this inating principle, he might lose all; he was against amendment they could be called together. He a postponement. remembered that the Vice President was called Mr. White was convinced that the members the fisth wheel to a coach, many years ago, and it were unprepared to act, and particularly so, by might be well, now we are on the subject, to ex- what fell from the member last up, and moved å amine whether the office cannot be dispensed with. postponement until to-morrow. We have time enough.
This motion was seconded by Mr. Butler. Mr. HillhouSE.-So important was this sub- Mr. Clinton moved for the yeas and nays upon ject, that he wished for more time; the gentleman the question of postponement. from New York thinks the two offices are very Mr. Anderson said, he should vote for the postdiverse; (here he cited the Constitution, by which ponement; and as the yeas and nays were called, the duties of the President devolve on the Vice he would offer the reasons for his vote. President in certain cases;) he thought it worthy He had long been a member of the Senate, and of mature consideration, if the discriminating had never known a postponement denied under principle was introduced into the choice of Vice similar circumstances. The question was importPresident, whether the office had not better be ant, and a denial of time to consider it, was, in his abolished.
opinion, unfair and improper. Mr. Tracy inquired how long the Legislatures Mr. Jackson would voie as he thought proper, of Tennessee and Vermont had been in session ; notwithstanding the call for yeas and nays, and if and how long they would probably continue; and the call had any influence upon him, it was to supposed a day or two spent in deliberation would confirm him in a vote for postponement. not cause much trouble or expense.
Mr. Cocke would clear his skirts, if gentlemen Mr. ANDERSON said the Legislature of Tennes- were determined to reject it in a pet; he should see would probably sit till the tenth or fifteenth of press a vote. November.
Mr. Butler was alarmed at what he saw this Mr. WORTHINGTON said he was opposed to the day; he wished to take a long and deep view of this postponement, and should vote against the amend- subject, and there was not time now, the day was ment, because he was not prepared to act upon it; far spent; he rather thought the office of Vice not knowing what was the opinion of his constit- President might be abolished, but he would not uents upon it.
commit himself now; he wished for time, not to Mr. S. Smith mentioned that the last choice of discredit, by a hasty decision, the States from President had prepared the people to require the which the Senate came. discrimination ; but the abolition of the office was Mr. S. Smith regretted that a motion for postnew. If the choice of Vice President in the way ponement was made, for it has precluded all inproposed, should, upon experiment, prove to be vestigation ; if the motion had not been made, a improper, then it could be altered.
full investigation would have been bad, and He was ready to act at once and vote against postponement till to-morrow would have afforded the amendment, and should not pay so poor a com- opportunity to form an opinion with all the argupliment to any gentleman's abilities, as to say he ments in mind. could not make up his mind at once.
Mr. Dayton said that he had already stated to against postponing.
the Senate that he conceived himself impelled by The question for postponement was taken, and a sense of duty 10 offer the amendment under conlost-ayes 15, noes 16.
sideration for abolishing altogether the office of Vice The amendment of Mr. Dayton was now be- President, if the change which was proposed to be fore the Senate.
made in the mode of electing the President should Mr. Adams thought the discriminating princi- prevail. When gentlemen had considered the ple was well understood; but the consequences subject too important to be decided upon that day, had not been fully contemplated ; one was, the he felt disposed to indulge them with a reasonable abolition of the office of Vice President. Whether time for consideration, and he hoped that the postit was best to abolish or not, he would not say, ponement they asked for would be consented to. but to consider it with the other subject was cer- There existed, Mr. D. said, in the first volume of tainly correct, and he wished for longer time. the Journals of the Senate, a striking monument
Mr. Maclay could not see that any new prin- of the hasty and inconsiderate manner in which ciple was introduced by the committee; he thought | amendmenis might be agreed to by both Houses. that a suggestion that an improper person would He alluded to the first of the iwelve amendments, be chosen Vice President was premature; it could which, it was easy to show, was both absurd and not be known till tried.
impracticable. It professed to prescribe the ratio Mr. BRECKENRIDGE said his mind was made up of representation for every possible increase of to vote for nothing but the discriminating princi- numbers, whereas, instead of effecting that object, ple, so his constituents wished ; and he would not it actually contained a positive interdiction of any go into consideration of any other amendments, representation, after our number should exceed but wished this to go into operation before the eight millions. Extraordinary as it might seem, next election. His opinion was, that the duration it was nevertheless most true, that it had been of the office in the Senate, (six years,) was the adopted by so many States as to have required
only one more to have made it a part of our Con- the papers acccompanying it ordered to be printed stitution. Had it unfortunately been adopted, for the use of the Senate. what, Mr. D. asked, would have been our situa- The resolution to amend the Constitution was tion, when our numbers amounted to nine mil-called up, and Mr. Wright moved a postponelions? There could certainly be no representa- ment, till to-morrow, alleging that as Mr. Clintion in the other branch, consistenily with that ton was gone home, there could not be any neamendment of the Constitution, for there would cessity for hurrying a vote; but as Mr. Clinton either be less than two hundred Representatives, was obliged to go home, and had brought forward or more than one for every filty thousand, both of the resolution by instruction from the
Legislature which were then expressly prohibited.' What of his State, he (Mr. Wright) had thought it would Congress have done in that case? Would his duty to press a vote, so that Mr. CLINTON they have permitted a dissolution of the Govern- might have an opportunity to give his vote; but ment, or would they have ventured boldly to have the gentleman having now gone, he was willbroken the Constitution, and, in the language of ing to afford time for considering this important the honorable gentleman from Virginia, have question. thrown themselves upon the people for pardon for It was postponed accordingly. the breach, and upon Heaven for forgiveness for the The motion made on the 22d instant, "that the violation of their oaths. This was the distressing, Senate now proceed to the election of a Secrethe dreadful dilemma to which the Legislature of tary and other officers of the Senate," was rethe Union were exposed in consequence of their sumed; and on the question, will the Senate prohaving bestowed too little attention to the amend- ceed to the consideration thereof, it passed in ments which themselves had offered to the people, the negative. and it ought surely to operate as a solemn warning upon the present and all future occasions,
WEDNESDAY, October 26. against proposing any alteration in the Constitu- The bill to enable the President of the United tion without the most deliberate consideration of States to take possession of the territories ceded its intrinsic merits, as well as of all its consequen- by France to the United States, by the treaty conces and of its beariogs upon all the other parts of cluded at Paris on the 30th of April last, and for the same instrument.
other purposes; was read the third time. And, While he was on the floor, he would take the on the question, Shall this bill pass ? it was deterliberty of saying that he had not thought proper mined in the affirmative-yeas 26, nays 6, as folto answer the honorable member from New York, lows: because his high respect for the Senate restrained YEas—Messrs. Anderson, Bailey, Baldwin, Bradley, him from replying in those terms which were due Breckenridge, Brown, Butler, Cocke, Condit, Dayton, to such rudeness and such indecency of language Ellery, Franklin, Jackson, Logan, Maclay, Nicholas, as that in which that member had indulged him- Potter, I. Smith, J. Smith, S. Smith, Stone, Taylor, self. There would be a fitter time and a fitter Wells, White, Worthington, and Wright. place for taking that notice of it which it merited. Nays-Messrs. Adams, Hillhouse, Olcott, Pickering,
A motion for adjournment was now made and Plumer, and Tracy. carried-ayes 16, noes 15.
And the title having been amended,
Resolved, That this bill pass; that it be en
grossed; and that the title thereof be "An act to Tuesday, October 25.
enable the President of the United States to take John Smith, appointed a Senator by the Legis- possession of the territories ceded by France to lature of the State of Ohio, attended and pro- the United States, by the treaty concluded at duced his credentials, which were read, and the Paris on the 30th of April last, and for the temoath required by law was administered to him by porary government thereof." the President.
Mr. FRANKLIN presented the memorial of Robert Quillin, late a private in the first Virginia
THURSDAY, October 27. regiment, and now on the list of pensioners, pray- Mr. WORTHINGTON, from the committee to ing for an augmentation of his pension ; and the whom was referred, on the 21st instant, the mememorial was read, and ordered io lie on the table. morial of Joseph Harrison and others, made a re
Mr. BRECKENRIDGE, from the committee to whom port; which was read, and ordered to lie for coawas referred, on the 24th instant, the bill to ena- sideration. ble the President of the United Siates to take pos- Mr. Worthington also presented the petition session of the territories ceded by France to the of Martha Seamans and others, praying to be adUnited States, by the treaty concluded at Paris mitted to the benefits of the act, entitled "An act on the 30th of April last, and for other purposes, in addition to the act, entitled 'An act regulating reported it without amendment.
The grants of land appropriated for the refugees Ordered., That this bill pass to a third reading from the British provinces of Canada and Nova
The PRESIDENT communicated the report of Scotia :') and the petition was read, and referred the Secretary for the Department of Treasury, to Messrs. WORTHINGTON, FRANKLIN, and Wells, prepared in obedience to the directions of the act, to consider and report thereon. entitled "An act to establish the Treasury De- A motion was made that the Senate adopt the partment;" which was read, and the report and following resolution, viz: