Imágenes de páginas

FEBRUARY, 1794.)

Naval Force.

[H. OF. R.


Mr. Madison, in reply to some remarks which ants of Saint Domingo, resident within the Unithad fallen from Mr. Smith, respecting the presented States, as may be found to be in want of suphigh price of wheat in the American market, said, port,” with an amendment; to which they desire that he had been informed of a place where wheat the concurrence of this House. sold for four shillings and sixpence per bushel

THE NAVAL FORCE. only, where the dollar passes for six shillings. Mr. M. supposed that Britain could render very

The House resolved itself into a Committee of essential service to the Algerines, without em- the Whole House on the state of the Union. The barking in a war. She has not embarked in a Chairman read the resolution before the House for war to the Northwest of the Ohio, but she has equipping a Naval force. done the same thing, in substance, by supplying

Mr. MADISON thought this expedient unlikely the Indians with arms, ammunition, and, perhaps, to answer the purpose, and liable to many objecwith subsistence. He did not assert that Britain |tions. Before the American squadron can be directed the plan of the Indian expeditions, for he equipped, the truce between Algiers and Portugal had no explicit evidence that they actually did so. must expire. When that expiration shall take In the same way that they give underhand assist- place, she either will not renew the truce at all, or ance to the Indians, they would give it to the Al-she will stipulate that the United States shall be gerines, rather than hazard an open war. comprehended in it. He would save the money

The Committee now rose, without coming to intended for the fleet, and hire the Portuguese the question.

ships of war with it, as soon as the truce ends. He wished that the Committee might reject the

present motion, and when they did so, he would Friday, February 7.

move a resolution, a copy of which he read to the John Page, from Virginia, appeared, produced Committee. It was in substance: his credentials, and took his seat in the House. « That the sum of dollars be provided to be

Resolved, That a committee be appointed to re-employed in such a manner as should be found most port whether any, and what, alterations, are ne- effectual for obtaining a peace with the Regency of Alcessary in the act, entitled " An act concerning the giers; and failing of that the sum should be applied registering and recording of ships or vessels." Also, to the end of obtaining protection from some of the Euin the act, entitled “An act for enrolling and


Powers." licensing ships or vessels to be employed in the Mr. M. considered the armament at present procoasting trade and fisheries, and for regulating the posed, as quite too small to answer any efficient same.” Also, in the act, entitled "An act to re

purpose. gulate the collection of the duties imposed by law

A member here observed, that it would be haon goods, wares, and merchandise, imported into zardous to rely on Portugal; because though the the United States, and on the tonnage of ships or truce might expire in about six months, it would vessels.” And also, if any, and what, further possibly be renewed at the end of that time, or legislative provision may be necessary for the seconverted into a peace. curing and collecting the duties on foreign and

Mr. Fitzsimons wished that gentlemen would domestic distilled spirits, stills, wines, and teas.

pay some attention to attested facts, before they Ordered, That Mr. Goodhue, Mr. SAMUEL so abruptly declare that the six ships proposed by Smith, Mr. FitzSIMONS, Mr. PARKER, and Mr. the Committee to be built and put into commisBENJAMIN BOURNE, be a committee, pursuant to sion, were incompetent to the end for which they the said resolution.

were designed. The Committee had bestowed Mr. Samuel Smith, from the committee to considerable time in deliberating upon the best inwhom was referred the petition of Lieutenant formation which could be obtained, before they Colonel Tousard, made a report ; which was read, specified the force requisite to be employed, and and ordered to lie on the table.

they had been satisfied, that what was now proposed The following Message was received from the would be equal to the end. Here Mr. F. read PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:

a different statement of the ships of war in the Gentlemen of the Senate, and

service of the Regency of Algiers, at different of the House of Representatives :

times. One of these shows that in the year 1789, I transmit to you an Act and three Ordinances, pass- there were nine xebecs, from thirty-six to ten guns, ed by the Government of the Territory of the United and one ship of forty guns upon the stocks; but States South of the river Ohio, on the 13th and 21st of that several of the xebecs were laid up or unfit March, and the 7th of May, 1793 ; and also certain Let- for service. A second estimate of the Algerine ters from the Minister Plenipotentiary of the French maritime force, had been transmitted by Mr. Republic, to the Secretary of State, enclosing despatches Humphries. He specified four frigates, two xe from the General and 'Extraordinary Commission of becs, and one brig. By advices still more recent, Guadaloupe.

G. WASHINGTON. the feet consisted of one vessel of forty-four guns, UNITED STATES, February 7, 1794.

one of thirty-six, one of twenty-eight, three xebecs Ordered, That the said Message and papers do and a brig. Mr. F. observed, that gentlemen had lie on the table.

objected to the sending out an American fleet ; A message from the Senate informed the House that they could not always keep together. He that the Senate have passed the bill, entitled " An reminded them, that from November to March or act providing for the relief of such of the inhabit- | April, the corsairs of Barbary never go out to sea.

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H. OF R.]

Naval Force.

[FEBRUARY, 1794. There were two months during that time, when ed of either buying a truce or buying an ally. As they were restrained by their religion from pirati- to the militia of Algiers, they could not be brought cal excursions. The Committee had been told, into action against frigates. He considered the that the Portuguese are ready to assist us. There charge of hiring the Algerines, as an unfounded is ground to expect this assistance, but not to de- accusation on the honor of Britain. He could not pend upon it. Two American frigates, along with bring himself to believe that she was capable of a the Portuguese vessels, would be fully equal to conduct so exceedingly disgraceful. He had no the task of curbing the Algerines. As to militia, direct evidence to convince. It might be objected he could not see of what consequence they could to this armament, that it would augment the Nabe in a naval contest. With regard to expense, tional Debt and throw too much influence into he stated a very important fact. The United the hands of the Executive Government. But the States import, annually, two millions of bushels of same objection might be started against every arsalt from ihese countries, which the Algerines will mament whatever. cut off from our commerce. The rise on that ar- Mr. Murray said, the gentleman from Virginia, ticle must then be at least one dollar per bushel; [Mr. Madison,] yesterday observed that he was which is a tax of two millions of dollars at once, not a little surprised that those who a few days or three times the expense of the armament. Pro- since had appeared so alarmed at the phantom of bably, however, the loss may extend to four mil-war, should on this question appear so willing to lions of dollars on this single article of salt, in one meet it. He would remark that those gentlemen year only; a sum which would keep up the fleet were alarmed at a shadow which appeared fola long time. We have been trying to buy a peace, lowed by the substance of war and were unwilling but without success; and if we are not able to en- to do anything that might lead to a war that did force it, the price of buying it must be so much not yet exist. But we were now at war with Althe higher. As soon as Portugal is left to herself, giers, and had no choice. They had been at war with she will certainly protect us, because it is much the United States ever since the end of the Revofor her interest to do so. At present, she cannot, lutionary war. The Spaniards and Portuguese perhaps, from the influence of the combined Pow- kept them within the Mediterranean. Gentlemen ers. Mr. F., therefore, recommended an armament who are averse to the report, hold up two substiin the mean time.

tute measures: one, which was suggested, and Mr. Smilie objected to this measure, because it has been argued by the gentleman from Virginia, was unequal to the task. Britain would assist the [Mr. Madison,] is, that we ought to grant a sum Algerines underhandedly, as she did an enemy in to Portugal for her protection of our trade. The another quarter, and would continue to do so. He other is, that commercial regulations will

accomdid not think she was shameless enough to own plish our protection. He liked neither. The last, it, but she would do it. He spoke at some length. if permanent, will withdraw all temptation from

Mr. Nicholas went on the same ground. He Great Britain to interpose her good offices. The said that Britain had not been content with strik- first is worse; it is subsidizing Portugal at the exing up a truce for Portugal, that the Algerines pense of our own people, and that too without might be let loose on American commerce, but security. Gentlemen would make it the interest her Minister at the Court of Lisbon had endeavor- of Portugal to make such breaches of truce as ed to prevent our vessels from obtaining a Portu- would occasionally withdraw protection, and guese convoy. Not content with insuring a loss oblige us to subsidize her higher. "It would create to America, she had striven to make that loss imme- a disgraceful dependence on a foreign Power, and diate. As to the duration of the truce, it could weaken the spirit of our marine ; whereas, if you not last long, for the Queen of Portugal had, in fit out frigates, you employ your money in nourfact, broken it already. She had declared that the ishing the roots of your own industry ; you encoutrade to that country should pass unmolested; to rage your own ship-building, lumber, and victualwhich condition it was not likely that the Alge- ing business. He believed that however true rines would consent. The Portuguese nobility might be the suspicion of British interference in had clamored at the acceptance of a truce. So Indian affairs, and he feared it was too true, he that, on the whole, it could hardly last long. A did not believe the evidence as to Algerine internaval force was a very expensive affair. The ference strong enough to induce an argument greater part of the immense debt of England had against the report, under a supposition that as been lavished on her navy. He was against build- Great Britain had effected the truce, so she would ing a navy.

aid Algiers against us. He thought so, because it Mr. Swift had been always sensible that the was not now as much her interest as it was in situation of this country was not fit for war. We times of peace. In times of peace, had she let loose have a very heavy debt; but still it is better to the Algerines, her own navigation would have been bear debts than depredations. A gentleman of enabled to carry for us, but now it would be moextensive information (Mr. S. Smith, in yester- lested by the French. He did not believe nations, day's debate] bad stated the rise of insurance as more than persons, would do wrong purely out of much less than the armament would cost. Britain evil designs devoid of interest; the greatest vilhad always more dependence on her navy, than lian would not. At present, their ships are liable on the immense sums that she pays to these Bar- to attack from the French, and he had it from good barians. Mr. S. had no doubt that the proposed authority, that so far were the British from having fleet would have its intended effect. He despair- advantaged themselves if they had been so base,


FEBRUARY, 1794.)

Contested Election.

[H. OPR.

that scarcely a British ship had appeared since in our tion of foreign coals, or such encouragement given ports. The ship frigates would be able to blockade to the opening of coal mines within the United the Gut of Gibraltar; the Algerines did not sail in States, as to the wisdom of Congress shall seem fleets; they wanted plunder, not glory; when they meet. discovered they had to get the first by hard fight- Ordered, That the said memorial be referred ing, they would listen to peace, accompanied by to Mr. Watts, Mr. Cort, and Mr. HINDMAN ; money. Spain, it was true, had purchased a peace, that they do examine the matter thereof, and rebut there was a hereditary, inveteracy against port the same, with their opinion thereupon. Spain, and a facility of attacking her shores which The House proceeded to consider the amendwe need not fear, so it was her interest to buy a ment proposed by the Senate to the bill, entitled peace when war could bring her nothing but a "An act providing for the relief of such of the inglory that almost disgraced her armies; as to jeal- habitants of Saint Domingo, resident within the ousy of power in the Executive, he hoped to see United States, as may be found in want of supa proper equipoise in the powers of this Govern- port.” ment; but, when proper occasions occurred, he Resolved, That this House doth agree to the hoped Congress would never refuse the adequate said amendment. means to enable the Executive to discharge its Con- The SPEAKER laid before the House a Letter stitutional duties.

from the Treasurer of the United States, accomMr. GOODHUE observed, that the Committee panying his account of the receipts and expendihad carefully looked over the statement of the ma- tures for the War Department, from the 1st of rine force of Algiers for several years back, and July to the 31st of December, 1793, inclusive; had no reason to doubt that the six vessels would which were read, and ordered to lie on the table. be equal to the purpose intended. There was no

DELAWARE CONTESTED ELECTION. ground to suppose Algiers would have more force at present than she had during her war with Por

Mr. William Smith, from the Standing Comtugal. He had no doubt that the Algerines were mittee of Elections, to whom was referred the pelet loose on the American commerce to prevent tition of Henry, Latimer, of the State of Delasupplies going to France, and while the war lasts, ware, complaining of an undue election and rewe shall not be able to buy a peace. It is said, turn of John Patton, to serve as a member of this that the truce was but for a year, and in six months House, for the said State, made the following it will expire. He did not wish to depend on that report: when the evil is so great. And why depend on Por- “ That the said Henry Latimer complains of the illetugal ? She is more under the influence of Bri- gality of the said election on the following grounds, to tain than any other nation in Europe. When Bri- wit: that the Legislature of the State of Delaware, in tain has been at the trouble of stipulating a peace pursuance of the Constitution of the United States, for Portugal, will she suffer that nation to assist passed an act on the 26th of October, 1790, directing us ? Certainly not. Or is it wise to stand by and the election of a Representative for the said State in the depend upon such a resource ?

Congress of the United States, by which it is enacted Mr. Madison said, that gentlemen thought so agreeably to the directions of the said act

, shall deliver,

that every person coming to vote for a Representative, differently on this subject, and advanced argu- in writing, on one ticket, or piece of paper, the names ments against his side of the question of such a of two persons, inhabitants of the State, one of whom, different nature, that it was difficultor impossible to at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same county give them an answer. He then proceeded to quote with himself, to be voted for as Representative. the speech of Mr. GOODHUE; when that gentle- “ That, at the said election in Newcastle county, a tleman rose to explain. Mr. M. then proceeded to number of votes or tickets, containing the names of the notice the speeches of Mr. Firzsimons and Mr. said Henry Latimer and Solomon Maxwell, both inhaS. Smith. Both of these gentlemen were up more bitants of the same county, were by the Judges of the than once to explain, as having been misquoted. said election, deemed illegal, and rejected. In a speech of considerable length, he was not suf- “That, at the said election in Kent county, four fered long to proceed without interruptions of ex- votes or tickets, containing the names of the said Hen. planation. This produced a scene of altercation. ry Latimer and George Truit, both inhabitants of NewOne circumstance, however, was mentioned by Mr. castle county, were, by the Judges of the election, reFitzsimons that deserves particular notice. From jected as illegal. April to December next, he said, the insurance on

“ That, at the election in Sussex county, a number American ships from England and the rest of Eu- of votes or tickets, not less than fifty, containing the rope, will not be less than twenty-five per cent. of name of John Patton only, as the Representative of the their value on account of the Algerines.

said State, were received by the Judges of the election, The House now adjourned, without taking any election ; that, in consequence of the rejection of the

polled, counted, and included in the return of the said question.

said votes in Kent county, and the reception of the

votes before mentioned in Sussex county, the said John MONDAY, February 10.

Patton was returned as exceeding the said Henry Lati

mer thirty, in number of votes. A memorial of Samuel Swann, of the city of “ The committee find that the law of the State of Richmond, in behalf of himself and others, was Delaware, for regulating the election of a member to presented to the House and read, praying that an this House, contains the regulation stated in the petiadditional duty may be imposed on the importa- tion, and that the said John Patton was returned to the

H. OF R.)

Tonnage Duties on French Vessels-Vessels of War.

[FEBRUARY, 1794.

President of the State of Delaware as having 2,273

Statement. votes, and the said Henry Latimer as having 2,243 Votes for John Patton

2,273 votes. On examining the evidence taken in this case, Deduct single votes in Sussex county

68 the committee find the following facts in relation to the election in Newcastle county, to wit:

2,205 “ That a considerable number of votes or tickets containing the names of Henry Latimer and Solomon Votes for Henry Latimer

2,243 Maxwell were rejected as illegal, as being both inhabit: Add rejected votes in Kent ants of Newcastle county; the precise number of said votes is not ascertained. One witness, Robert Hamil

2,247 ton, who acted as an Inspector or Judge of the election, Deduct bad votes in Sussex

9 declaring that he kept a list of such rejected votes till he was fatigued; that when he discontinued, they

2,238 amounted to upwards of seventy. Another witness, James Eves, who likewise acted as an Inspector at the

Majority for Henry Latimer

33 said election, declaring that he first began to keep such a list of rejected votes, and counted upwards of thirty, when he changed seats with Hamilton, who continued This report was committed to the Committee to keep the said list, as above mentioned, and that he of the Whole House, accompanied by certain was informed by Hamilton, some hours before the read written observations thereon by the sitting meming of the votes was concluded, that the number of the ber, tending to controvert the reasoning and consaid rejected votes then amounted to upwards of fifty clusions of the said report. It appears, by a reference to official documents, that the amount of votes counted and polled at the election in TONNAGE DUTIES UPON FRENCH VESSELS. the said county for Governor of the State, was 1,202, and the number polled and counted for a member of

The House resumed the consideration of the this House was only 1,138, constituting a difference of report of the committee appointed to inquire into sixty-four votes. The committee find the following and report a state of facts respecting sundry facts in relation to Kent county: that four votes or French vessels, which have taken refuge in the tickets having the names of Henry Latimer and George ports of the United States, and their opinion on Truit, both inhabitants of Newcastle county, were, on the propriety of remitting the foreign tonnage that account, rejected as illegal; and that twenty-two thereon. votes or tickets, containing the names of John Patton Mr. S. SMITH recommended the remission of and some other inhabitants of Kent county, were like the duties. Accident and distress had forced these wise rejected as illegal.

people into the harbors of the United States, and “ The following facts appear in relation to Sussex it would be unbecoming the political connexion county: that, at the commencement of the election in of this country with the French Republic, to take the said county, a question arose as to the legality of such an undue advantage. votes or tickets containing only one name, and, after

Mr. Fitzsimons considered the remission of some contest, it was resolved by the managers of the the duties as an act of justice. These vessels had election to receive all such votes, and to leave the de- some of them been obliged to lie for six months termination of their legality to the House of Representatives of the United States. It further appears by the in the ports of America, before they could get evidence, that, on a late examination of the votes or away, and to sell part of their cargoes to pay for tickets which had been polled or counted at the said their necessary expenses. This alone put an end election, there were sixty-eight single votes received and to all prospect of profit by the voyage, and was a counted for John Patton, and nine single votes for sufficient loss to the owners, without the payment Henry Latimer.

of the duties. “ From the above statement of facts, the following Several other members spoke to the question. conclusions appear to the committee to result : It was at last agreed that the tonnage should be

" That John Patton was returned as duly elected, by remitted, and the committee was ordered to bring a majority of thirty votes.

in a bill for that purpose. That, agreeably to the Election Law of Delaware, the four votes in Kent county, containing the names of

VESSELS OF WAR. Henry Latimer and George Truit, which were rejected, ought to have been received and counted for Henry of the Whole on the state of the Union; and, the

The House then went again into a Committee Latimer; and the sixty-eight single votes in Sussex county, which were received and counted for the said proposition for building sundry vessels being unJohn Patton, ought to have been rejected ; that, if the der consideration, aforesaid four votes in Kent county had been received,

Mr. Bourne approved of the proposed armaand the aforesaid sixty-eight votes in Sussex county ment of four 44-gun ships and two others of 20 had been rejected, as was required by law, the said guns, against the Algerines. It had been objected Henry Latimer would have had, after deducting the that they would be inadequate to the purpose, nine single votes, received and counted for him in Sus- since Britain would interpose. There is no sort sex county, a majority of thirty-three votes. The com- of proof that she would do so, nor is it likely that mittee are, therefore, of opinion that John Patton is not she will, because it is her interest to cultivate, as entitled to a seat in this House; they are also of opinion far as possible, her connexion with this country. that Henry Latimer is entitled to a seat in this House With regard to Portugal, it is very hazardous to as the Representative of the State of Delaware."

reckon upon her assistance. Her sending a fleet FEBRUARY, 1794.]

Vessels of War.

[H. OF R.

to convoy the American merchantmen was not a matter ; but he was willing to adopt the measure proper foundation to say, that she had already proposed, because he saw nothing better. broken the truce with Algiers, as had been alleged, Mr. Hunter said that the damage sustained by [by Mr. Nicholas.] It was the established cus- trade, from the Algerines, is not so great an obtom, in cases of this kind, to protect the ships that ject as to deserve such an expense: especially were trading to any particular country which hap- since Portugal offers to protect that part of our pened to make a peace with any of the States of shipping which is bound to and from her DomiBarbary. Spain often did the same thing, nor nions. It has been said by several gentlemen, was it complained of by the Algerines them that the only motive which induced Britain to selves. There was a great risk in depending upon make a truce with the Algerines was, to get the so precarious a resource as the Navy of Portugal. Portuguese fleet to join her in attacking their He should be glad, besides adopting the resolution common enemy, the Republic of France. It bad on the table, that the Executive might be author- been said by one gentleman, that Britain had more ized to engage the assistance of Portugal, if it was interest to set the Algerines loose upon American practicable. Mr. B. professed that he had met commerce before the war than since. This was with no satisfactory evidence that Britain had ex- a very mistaken idea. Before the war, our trade cited the Algerines to the present war. He re- with Britain in regard to insurance, was upon commended the armament.

equal terms. But as soon as Britain engaged in Mr. LYMAN was of opinion that the Algerines the war with France, the insurance on her own acted by the instigation of Britain. He would as vessels rose very high. Her own insurance comsoon question the existence of the resolution be- panies would not insure the freight of British vesfore them, as question that. The proposed arma- sels, and the property of her own subjects, on the ment must bring on a very certain expense, for a same low terms that they would insure on Amevery uncertain advantage. He apprehended no rican vessels and American property. This predanger from the Algerines, on the coasts of Ame- ference was extremely provoking to the pride of rica. Though Britain might not venture openly Britain, particularly as the nation thus preferred to support the Corsairs, yet she could do it clan- had been, but a few years before, her own subjects. destinely, as she supported the Indians. He dis- Her seamen were likewise quitting her service for approved of the intended armament for many rea- that of America. Thus, her carrying trade must sons-one of which was, that though $600,000 had have been cut up by the roots. "It was no more been stated by the Committee as the expense of dishonorable for America to get a peace made it, that sum would not half discharge the ex- with Algiers by means of Portugal, than it had penses. He recommended that private individu- been for Portugal to get a peace in the same quarals should be encouraged to fit out vessels for at- ter by means of Britain. He did not think that tacking the Algerines.

Britain would ever suffer America to get a peace Mr.

Hillhouse had heard of no expedient suit- if she could help it, as long as the war lasted; for able to the end in view, except that of sending out then America would take off the carrying trade. a fleet. He ridiculed the project of attempting to She could supply the Algerines with ships, under encourage individuals to attack the Algerines. the pretence of being their allies : and then, when He asked if a Legislature, in the possession of they were employed against America, say that their senses, could fancy that private persons were she could not help'it. Mr. H. was averse to the arto be induced to squander away their property in mament. such a way, without compensation ? Was there Mr. MURRAY could not believe that Britain had any body so lost to all common sense, as to em- been guilty of any design of exciting the Algebark in such an undertaking? As to the interfer- rines against the United States. It was opposite ence of Britain, he was willing to take that for to her interest, and he could not believe any nagranted. But could the members return to their tion capable of such a crime only for its own sake, constituents, and tell them that Congress could do Mr. Giles said that Britain was at length acnothing in this matter because Britain had been knowledged to be the cause of the Algerine pirathe occasion of it? He observed that a more hu- cies. It was now said to be for the sake of reducmiliating situation could not be conceived, than ing France. The baseness of the end corresponded that of America becoming tributary to Portugal, with the atrocity of the measures employed to and going there to tell her that Americans could produce it; for he should always consider it as not protect themselves. Such an application must one of the greatest of crimes for one nation to atwound the honor of the United States in a most tempt the subjection of another. As to the state sensible manner. Gentlemen had said, the other of insurance, the gentleman from South Carolina day, that Britain would submit to any hardship [Mr. HUNTER) had spoke rightly. Mr. G. said sooner than declare war against this country. It that with respect to what he had formerly obwas now said by members on the same side of the served, about Algerine militia, he had been misquestion, that she will assist Algiers by sending taken. He did not intend to say that the four her military supplies. These assertions are incon- American frigates were to go to land, and give sistent. If Britain sends ships of war to Algiers, battle to a hundred thousand Africans ; but if a she must come to an open rupture with America, nation could, by an effort, assemble so numerous for he understood that

, by the Law of Nations, it a militia, they can surely produce a maritime must be the consequence.

force more than equal to four frigates. He could Mr. DEXTER found many difficulties in this I not think gentlemen serious in proposing to send

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