Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

$ 31. The clerks of courts are appointed by the courts, the attorneys and marshals by the president, by whom they are removeable at pleasure.

$ 32. Jurors and witnesses in the United States' courts are allowed i dollar 25 cents per day, and five cents per mile for travelling to and from their respective places of abode.

The conclusion of the Review of the Political Institutions of the United States will be given in the commencement of the third volume. This will contain an account of the following institutions, viz. the army, including a list of the general staff, the departments of the adjutant-general, inspector-general, paymaster-general, and quartermaster-general, the ordnance and hospital departments, and the duties of the respective officers as to the instruction of the troops, military correspondence, the selection of places of encampment, and posting guards; the mustering and inspecting the regulars and militia detachments, the regulation of the police of the camp and of the march, the opening and repairing roads and constructing of bridges for the passage of the army, &c. &c. the formation of the corps of engineers, and of the regiments of artillery, dragoons, riflemen, infantry, and rangers; the militia and volunteer corps ; the rules and regulations of the army, as to rank, promotion, uniform, &c. An account of the arsenals, magazines, and armories of the United States. The navy and marine corps. Navy regulations. The navy pension fund. The light-house establishment. The regulations of privateers and letters of marque. The regulation of ships in the merchant service. The revenues of the United States, with statements of the receipts and expenditures from the establishment of the federal constitution. The rise and progress of the public debt. The sinking fund. The land-offices and surveyor-general's department. The postoffice and post-roads, &c. &c. To conclude with a review of the nature and form of government in the District of Columbia.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

HISTORY

OF THE

PROCEEDINGS OF CONGRESS.

12th CONGRESS-2 SESSION,

CHAPTER I.

$1. Meeting of Congress. 5 2. President's message. 53. Expedition of

General Hull. $ 4. War on the ocean. $5. Refusal of the militia. 86. Pacific advances to Great Britain. 87. Armistice. 58. Correspondence with admiral Warren. 59. Subjects recommended to the consideration of congress. 510. Merchants’ bonds. $11. State of the treasury. 512. Conclusion.

$1. On Monday the 2d of November, 1812, being the . day fixed by law, congress convened at Washington City. A quorum of the house of representatives appeared that day, but the requisite number of the senate did not meet till the 3d, when a joint committee from both houses waited on the president, to inform him that they were ready to receive his communication.

2. On the following day he as usual transmitted his introductory message, accompanied with documents containing copies of letters from the secretary of state, authorizing Mr. Russell to conclude an armistice with the British government; Mr. Russell's correspondence with lord Castlereagh upon this subject; a correspondence between admiral Warren and the secretary of state ; a previous correspondence between Mr. Russell and lord Castlereagh on the subject of the repeal of the orders in council; and Mr. Erving's letter to the secretary of state, inclosing a correspondence with the Danish minister of foreign affairs. In subsequent messages the president communicated further information relative to the pacific advances of the American government, and the correspondence between the department of war and the governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut, on the subject of the militia. In taking a view of this introductory message, we shall, for the sake of perspicuity, class the whole of these papers together.

§ 3. After congratulations on the unusual degree of health enjoyed throughout the country, the abundance of the harvest, and the successful cultivation of other branches of industry, the

president adverts to the unfortunate issue of the expedition under general Hull, the causes of which, he observes, will be investigated by a military tribunal. This leads to observations on the hostile employment of the savages by the British, which he contrasts with the benevolent policy of the United States, which “invariably recommended peace, and promoted civilization, among that wretched portion of the human race.

" The misfortune at Detroit,” he continues, " was not, however, without a consoling effect. It was followed by signal proofs that the national spirit rises according to the pressure on it. The loss of an important post, and of the brave men surrendered with it, inspired every where new ardour and determination. In the states and districts least remote, it was no sooner known, than every citizen was ready to fly with his arms, at once to protect his brethren against the blood-thirsty savages let loose by the enemy on an extensive frontier, and to convert a partial calamity into a source of invigorated efforts.”

The invasion of Canada from Detroit, it appears, was undertaken as well for the purpose of intercepting the hostile influence of Great Britain over the savages, and obtaining the command of lake Erie, as to co-operate with the forces employed against other parts of Canada. As soon as its unfortunate termination was known, measures were taken to provide a naval force on the lakes superior to that of the enemy.

$ 4. The message next notices the attack upon Queenstown, and the successful commencement of the war on the ocean, by the capture of the Guerriere, and the activity of our private cruizers.

$ 5. The refusal of the militia by the governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut, “ founded upon a novel and unfortunate exposition of the provisions of the constitution,” forms another topic of the message. From the correspondence upon this subject, it appears, that by a circular letter from the war department, dated April 15, 1812, the executives of the several states were called upon to organize, and hold in readiness to march at a moment's warning, their respective quotas of 100,000 militia authorized by the act of April 10th, 1812. On the 12th of June, the secretary of war requested governor Streng of Massachusetts to order into the service of the United States, on the requisition of major-general Dearborn, such part of the quota of Massachusetts as he might deem necessary for the defence of the sea coast. On the 22d, general Dearborn called on the governor for 14 companies of artillery and 27 companies of infantry, for the defence of the ports and harbours of the state and the harbour of Newport, at the same time communicating

information of the declaration of war. On the 26th, not having received notice that measures had been taken for calling the militia into service, the general again addressed governor Strong, soliciting such information on the subject as the urgency of the case demanded. He was answered, that governor Gerry (his predecessor in office) had, on the 25th of April, ordered 10,000 men to be detached, but that the returns of those detachments had not come io hand, except in a very few instances. On the 21st of July, governor Strong was informed by the secretary at war, that the arrangement of the militia before communicated was preparatory to the march of the regular troops to the northern frontier. That the exigencies of the service required, and orders had accordingly been given to major-general Dearborn, to move the regular troops to that frontier, leaving a sufficient number to man the guns in the garrisons on the seaboard. That the danger of invasion, which existed at the time of issuing the order of the president, increased, and that he was specially directed by the president, to urge the consideration, as requiring the necessary order to be given for the immediate march of the militia to their respective posts.

In answer to the communication from the war department, the governor stated, that the people of that state appeared to be under no apprehension of an invasion. In some places they had applied for arms and ammunition, but they had expressed no desire that any part of the militia should be called out for their defence, and in some cases he had been assured that such a measure would be disagreeable to them. That it could hardly be supposed, that if the state had been considered by the president in great danger of invasion, the troops would have been called thence to carry on offensive operations in a distant province. However, as it was understood that the governor of Nova Scotia had by proclamation forbid any incursions or depredations upon our territories, and as an opinion generally prevailed that the governor had no authority to call the militia into actual service, unless one of the exigencies contemplated by the constitution existed, he had thought it expedient to call the council together, and having laid before them the letter from the war department and those from general Dearborn, had requested their advice on the subject.

The council advised, that they were unable, from a view of the constitution of the United States, and of those letters, to perceive that any exigency existed which could render it advisable to comply with the requisition. But as upon important questions of law, and upon solemn occasions, the governor and council have authority to require the opinion of the justices VOL. I. PART I.

G

« AnteriorContinuar »