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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. The order of the day being called for on Mr. CLINTON'S motion of yesterday,
Mr. CLINTON said that, as the resolution was but now printed, and laid before the Senate, it might be proper to refer it to Monday for further consideration, but if it was requisite, by the rules of the Senate, that the resolution must have three separate readings, and on three different days, he should call for a second reading on Saturday, that it might be in readiness for a third reading on Monday, and be ultimately acted upon that day, as the Legislatures of Tennessee and Vermont were in session, and probably must be at the trouble of an extra session to act upon the amendment, unless it could be sent to them before they separated.
Mr. BROWN, of Kentucky, the President pro tem. of the Senate, said the written rule of the Senate determined that bills should have three readings, and on different days, without unanimous consent to the contrary; but the resolutions were not included; and that he should be glad of the opinion of the Senate upon the subject.
Mr. TRACY of Connecticut said, that there was no written rule which would reach the case, but the Vice President, upon the ground that they came within the reason of the rule, had determined that all resolutions which required a joint vote of both Houses to give them efficacy, should take the same course as bills, and have three readings, and on different days, before a final vote; and as this resolution went to the alteration of the supreme law of the land, as the Constitution was declared to be, he thought it highly requisite to give the deliberations all the solemnity which was required in passing bills.
Mr. BRADLEY, of Vermont, then offered two amendments to the resolution'; one went to the form only, and the other makes a majority of votes of the electors requisite for a choice of Vice President, and in case such majority is not obtained, places the choice of Vice President in the Senate.
Mr. BUTLER, of South Carolina, proposed an amendment by adding a new clause, in substance: "That at the next election of President, no person should be eligible who had served more than eight years, and, in all future elections, no person should be eligible more than four years in any 'period of eight years."
Mr. DAYTON, of New Jersey, moved to refer the resolution, with all the amendments, to a select committee; he said that it was a subject far too important to be carried in this way. There has been no time to consider it. Something more was due in this instance, than, as it were, offering it one moment, and deciding upon it the next.
Mr. HILLHOUSE, of Connecticut, supported the motion for referring the question to a select committee. He was opposed to entering now upon the business. Why should this subject be hurried? Why not have taken it up last session? we might in that case have had time to consider it. He had not often known a resolution, of the nature of that before the House, disposed of otherwise, in the first l
instance, than being referred to a committee. He never knew it refused. In a great and free empire, like the United States, this question is of the highest importance-no less than the choice of the First Magistrate. It is laid upon the table today, and we are to determine upon it to-morrow. He hoped not; and as he never knew it refused before, he hoped that it would not be adopted now. He wished it to be referred to a select committee; that it should there be examined, line by line, letter by letter. In the present mode of doing business, it is impossible to act with accuracy. He again trusted and hoped that it would be referred to a select committee.
Mr. JACKSON, of Georgia, wished the business to be immediately proceeded upon. He was an admirer of Mr. Jefferson; he was happy, and he trusted all were happy, while he was President. But, continued Mr. J., we know not who may follow him; we may have a Bonaparte, or one who will be equally obnoxious to the people. He hoped the motions would be incorporated and immediately come before the House.
Mr. WRIGHT, of Maryland, spoke for some time against the resolution going to a committee. He was against the amendment proposed by Mr. BUTLER. A committee might report when they pleased. He therefore thought it necessary to proceed with the question immediately.
Mr. SMITH, of Maryland, wished to have some principles fixed. If the motion and amendments were to go a committee, he would not tack them together, for by this mode they might both be lost. It has been said that the subject might have been entered into last session. There was then a multiplicity of business of importance before the House, yet this subject might have been entered into. As it stands, this is the proper place to make objections. The mover of the resolution does not say that it shall be determined on Monday; he means that it shall then be before the whole House.
Mr. BUTLER observed, in favor of its going to a committee, in order to prevent delay, he would require that they should report on Monday, for, on such an emergency, they might sit on Sunday. This might be adopted, provided it could be got to a committee. He did not think that the House should legislate upon adventitious or extraneous matter, because the Legislature of Vermont or Tennessee, or any other State, were sitting. We are not, for such reasons, to be hurried.
Mr. CLINTON said, he would consent to waive his motion, if the gentleman who moved last would consent that the whole should be entered into on Monday. We are charged, continued Mr. C., with hurrying on this business, but he was not to be intimidated from doing his duty. What was the use of a select committee? He hoped that the resolution and amendments might be printed, and made the order of the day for Monday.
Mr. BUTLER. I penned my amendment since I came into the House. I believe the country is as ripe for it, as for the resolution, and the other amendments. I believe this business is hurried
Amendment to the Constitution.
more than it ought to be. If the gentleman who first moved, will take up his motion, I think that he will be the first, on Monday, to condemn this hurry.
Mr. HILLHOUSE again spoke in favor of a committee. He observed that, in case a President should die the day after his election, who then is to supply his place? A man chosen by the electors? No; a man named by the Senate. A man may thus be chosen contrary to the wish of the people. Once it was in contemplation to have no Vice President, but again it was thought that either would make a good President, and he did not see any great use in the office of Vice President. If we are to constitute a Vice President to execute the office of President in case of his death, which will be the case, and if the Senate can elect a President, in such case it may fall upon a man who had only two votes, and the man who had a greater number would be Vice President. We must not pass over, concluded Mr. H., a subject of such importance in this way.
After some desultory observations, in which one member observed that he thought it disorderly, the question on Mr. BUTLER's amendment was put-ayes 16, nays 15.
A committee was then chosen for the purpose, namely:
Mr. BUTLER, Mr. BRADLEY, Mr. CLINTON, Mr. NICHOLAS, and Mr. SMITH.
MONDAY, October 24.
The bill to enable the President of the United States to take possession of the territories ceded by France to the United States, by the treaty concluded at Paris on the 30th of April last, and for other purposes, was read the second time and referred to Messrs. BRECKENRIDGE, DAYTON, and BALDWIN, to consider and report thereon.
AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION. Mr. BUTLER, from the committee to whom was referred, on the 22d inst., the motion for an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, made report, which was read.
Mr. DAYTON moved to strike out all which respected the appointment of a Vice President.
He said the great inducements of the framers of the Constitution to admit the office of Vice President was, that, by the mode of choice, the best and most respectable man should be designated; and that the Electors of each State should vote for one person at least, living in a different State from themselves; and if the substance of the amendment was adopted, he thought the office had better be abolished. Jealousies were natural between President and Vice President; no heir apparent ever loved the person on the throne. With this resolution for an amendment to the Constitution we were left with all the inconveniencies, without a single advantage from the office of Vice President.
tion. It would more comport with the candor of the gentleman to meet the question fairly. Can the gentleman suppose that the Electors will not vote for a man of respectability for Vice President? True, the qualifications are distinct, and ought not to be confounded; this will stave off the question till the Legislatures of the States of Tennessee and Vermont are out of session, and the object must be very obvious.
Mr. DAYTON.-The custom of the gentleman from New York has been of late to arraign motives instead of meeting arguments; on Saturday he accused me of wishing to procrastinate, and now the same is repeated.
The reasons of erecting the office are frustrated by the amendment to the Constitution now proposed; it will be preferable, therefore, to abolish the office.
Mr. CLINTON. The charge of the gentleman from New Jersey is totally unfounded that I arraign motives, and do not meet arguments. On Saturday, the gentleman accused me of precipitation; I am not in the habit of arraigning motives, as this Senate can witness, and the charge is totally untrue.
Mr. NICHOLAS.-To secure the United States from the dangers which existed during the last choice of President, the present resolution was introduced. It was impossible to act upon, or 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 resolution reported by the committee, for twothirds or three-quarters of the State Legislatures would be in session in two or three months; the Senate had, therefore, better not admit the amendment, even if convinced that it was correct, because it might jeopardize the main amendment of discriminating.
Mr. BUTLER moved a postponement until Wednesday, because the amendment was important, and he had not had sufficient time to make up his mind.
Mr. WORTHINGTON said the same.
Mr. COCKE was opposed to the postponement, because he feared the State Legislatures would be out of session, so as not to carry the amendment into effect before the next choice of President.
Mr. WRIGHT was opposed to the postponement. The proposition of the gentleman from New Jersey was foreign to the first amendment. The people had not expressed an opinion upon it, pro nor con, but on the discriminating principle, they had. Whatever his opinion was, he would not vote for this amendment till he knew the voice of the people upon it. Shall we postpone, beyond this session, what we do understand, in order to take up what we do not understand? In a representative Government we ought to act as we think the people wish, and in pursuance to the public mind.
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
were the ideas of gentlemen? Were the State Legislatures all about to die? If they were not in session when Congress had acted upon this amendment they could be called together. He remembered that the Vice President was called the fifth wheel to a coach, many years ago, and it might be well, now we are on the subject, to examine whether the office cannot be dispensed with. We have time enough.
Mr. HILLHOUSE.-So important was this subject, that he wished for more time; the gentleman from New York thinks the two offices are very diverse; (here he cited the Constitution, by which the duties of the President devolve on the Vice President in certain cases;) he thought it worthy of mature consideration, if the discriminating principle was introduced into the choice of Vice President, whether the office had not better be abolished.
Mr. TRACY inquired how long the Legislatures of Tennessee and Vermont had been in session; and how long they would probably continue; and supposed a day or two spent in deliberation would not cause much trouble or expense.
Mr. ANDERSON said the Legislature of Tennessee would probably sit till the tenth or fifteenth of November.
Mr. WORTHINGTON said he was opposed to the postponement, and should vote against the amendment, because he was not prepared to act upon it; not knowing what was the opinion of his constituents upon it.
Mr. S. SMITH mentioned that the last choice of President had prepared the people to require the discrimination; but the abolition of the office was new. If the choice of Vice President in the way proposed, should, upon experiment, prove to be improper, then it could be altered.
He was ready to act at once and vote against the amendment, and should not pay so poor a compliment to any gentleman's abilities, as to say he could not make up his mind at once. He was against postponing.
The question for postponement was taken, and lost-ayes 15, noes 16.
The amendment of Mr. DAYTON was now before the Senate.
Mr. ADAMS thought the discriminating principle was well understood; but the consequences had not been fully contemplated; one was, the abolition of the office of Vice President. Whether it was best to abolish or not, he would not say, but to consider it with the other subject was certainly correct, and he wished for longer time.
Mr. MACLAY Could not see that any new principle was introduced by the committee; he thought that a suggestion that an improper person would be chosen Vice President was premature; it could not be known till tried.
Mr. BRECKENRIDGE said his mind was made up to vote for nothing but the discriminating principle, so his constituents wished; and he would not go into consideration of any other amendments, but wished this to go into operation before the next election. His opinion was, that the duration of the office in the Senate, (six years,) was the
most anti-republican he could conceive of, but if he moved that and connected it with the discriminating principle, he might lose all; he was against a postponement.
Mr. WHITE was convinced that the members were unprepared to act, and particularly so, by what fell from the member last up, and moved a postponement until to-morrow.
This motion was seconded by Mr. BUTLER. Mr. CLINTON moved for the yeas and nays upon the question of postponement.
Mr. ANDERSON said, he should vote for the postponement; and as the yeas and nays were called, he would offer the reasons for his vote.
He had long been a member of the Senate, and had never known a postponement denied under similar circumstances. The question was important, and a denial of time to consider it, was, in his opinion, unfair and improper.
Mr. JACKSON Would vote as he thought proper, notwithstanding the call for yeas and nays, and if the call had any influence upon him, it was to confirm him in a vote for postponement.
Mr. COCKE would clear his skirts, if gentlemen were determined to reject it in a pet; he should press a vote.
Mr. BUTLER was alarmed at what he saw this day; he wished to take a long and deep view of this subject, and there was not time now, the day was far spent; he rather thought the office of Vice President might be abolished, but he would not commit himself now; he wished for time, not to discredit, by a hasty decision, the States from which the Senate came.
Mr. S. SMITH regretted that a motion for postponement was made, for it has precluded all investigation; if the motion had not been made, a full investigation would have been had, and a postponement till to-morrow would have afforded opportunity to form an opinion with all the arguments in mind.
Mr. DAYTON said that he had already stated to the Senate that he conceived himself impelled by a sense of duty to offer the amendment under consideration for abolishing altogether the office of Vice President, if the change which was proposed to be made in the mode of electing the President should prevail. When gentlemen had considered the subject too important to be decided upon that day, he felt disposed to indulge them with a reasonable time for consideration, and he hoped that the postponement they asked for would be consented to. There existed, Mr. D. said, in the first volume of the Journals of the Senate, a striking monument of the hasty and inconsiderate manner in which amendments might be agreed to by both Houses. He alluded to the first of the twelve amendments, which, it was easy to show, was both absurd and impracticable. It professed to prescribe the ratio of representation for every possible increase of numbers, whereas, instead of effecting that object, it actually contained a positive interdiction of any representation, after our number should exceed eight millions. Extraordinary as it might seem, it was nevertheless most true, that it had been adopted by so many States as to have required
only one more to have made it a part of our Constitution. Had it unfortunately been adopted, what, Mr. D. asked, would have been our situation, when our numbers amounted to nine millions? There could certainly be no representation in the other branch, consistently with that amendment of the Constitution, for there would either be less than two hundred Representatives, or more than one for every fifty thousand, both of which were then expressly prohibited. What would Congress have done in that case? Would they have permitted a dissolution of the Government, or would they have ventured boldly to have broken the Constitution, and, in the language of the honorable gentleman from Virginia, have thrown themselves upon the people for pardon for the breach, and upon Heaven for forgiveness for the violation of their oaths. This was the distressing, the dreadful dilemma to which the Legislature of the Union were exposed in consequence of their having bestowed too little attention to the amendments which themselves had offered to the people, and it ought surely to operate as a solemn warning upon the present and all future occasions, against proposing any alteration in the Constitution without the most deliberate consideration of its intrinsic merits, as well as of all its consequences and of its bearings upon all the other parts of
the same instrument.
While he was on the floor, he would take the liberty of saying that he had not thought proper to answer the honorable member from New York, because his high respect for the Senate restrained him from replying in those terms which were due to such rudeness and such indecency of language as that in which that member had indulged himself. There would be a fitter time and a fitter place for taking that notice of it which it merited. A motion for adjournment was now made and carried-ayes 16, noes 15.
TUESDAY, October 25.
JOHN SMITH, appointed a Senator by the Legis-possession of the territories ceded by France to lature of the State of Ohio, attended and produced his credentials, which were read, and the oath required by law was administered to him by the President.
Mr. FRANKLIN presented the memorial of Robert Quillin, late a private in the first Virginia regiment, and now on the list of pensioners, praying for an augmentation of his pension; and the memorial was read, and ordered to lie on the table. Mr. BRECKENRIDGE, from the committee to whom was referred, on the 24th instant, the bill to enable the President of the United States to take possession of the territories ceded by France to the United States, by the treaty concluded at Paris on the 30th of April last, and for other purposes, reported it without amendment.
Ordered, That this bill pass to a third reading. The PRESIDENT communicated the report of the Secretary for the Department of Treasury, prepared in obedience to the directions of the act, entitled An act to establish the Treasury Department;" which was read, and the report and
the papers acccompanying it ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate.
The resolution to amend the Constitution was called up, and Mr. WRIGHT moved a postponement, till to-morrow, alleging that as Mr. CLINTON was gone home, there could not be any necessity for hurrying a vote; but as Mr. CLINTON was obliged to go home, and had brought forward the resolution by instruction from the Legislature of his State, he (Mr. WRIGHT) had thought it his duty to press a vote, so that Mr. CLINTON might have an opportunity to give his vote; but the gentleman having now gone, he was willing to afford time for considering this important question.
It was postponed accordingly.
The motion made on the 22d instant, "that the Senate now proceed to the election of a Secretary and other officers of the Senate," was resumed; and on the question, will the Senate proceed to the consideration thereof, it passed in the negative.
WEDNESDAY, October 26.
The bill to enable the President of the United States to take possession of the territories ceded by France to the United States, by the treaty concluded at Paris on the 30th of April last, and for other purposes; was read the third time. And, on the question, Shall this bill pass? it was determined in the affirmative-yeas 26, nays 6, as follows:
YEAS-Messrs. Anderson, Bailey, Baldwin, Bradley, Breckenridge, Brown, Butler, Cocke, Condit, Dayton, Ellery, Franklin, Jackson, Logan, Maclay, Nicholas, Potter, I. Smith, J. Smith, S. Smith, Stone, Taylor, Wells, White, Worthington, and Wright. NAYS-Messrs. Adams, Hillhouse, Olcott, Pickering, Plumer, and Tracy.
And the title having been amended,
Resolved, That this bill pass; that it be engrossed; and that the title thereof be "An act to enable the President of the United States to take
the United States, by the treaty concluded at Paris on the 30th of April last, and for the temporary government thereof."
THURSDAY, October 27.
Mr. WORTHINGTON, from the committee to whom was referred, on the 21st instant, the memorial of Joseph Harrison and others, made a re-. port; which was read, and ordered to lie for coasideration.
Mr. WORTHINGTON also presented the petition of Martha Seamans and others, praying to be admitted to the benefits of the act, entitled "An act in addition to the act, entitled 'An act regulating the grants of land appropriated for the refugees from the British provinces of Canada and Nova Scotia :" and the petition was read, and referred to Messrs. WORTHINGTON, FRANKLIN, and WELLS, to consider and report thereon.
A motion was made that the Senate adopt the following resolution, viz: