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ment to remove.
H. of R. before the question was taken, he should be al was one of those occurrences in life to which we lowed to take a calm and dispassionate view of it. must submit, and is no more disgrace than the He agreed entirely with the gentleman from ordering the necessary retreat of an army. If it North Carolina, that whoever voted from per- shall appear folly to remain here, this is tbe mosonal motives on this question, whether for or
If we are to stay here till the against it, deserved condemnation. Allhough, enemy comes, to sit and be dragged from our said Mr. G., I might have personal or local feel- seats, the President stolen-and there is nothing jogs on the occasion, they shall not operate if I now to guard against it; if we are to run all risks can throw them from me. I will look entirely for false honor, let us have no argument; let us to the good of the nation in the voie I am about say at once we will be self-devoted. This war, to give. Mr. G. said he viewed the proposed gentlemen well knew, might continue for years. temporary removal as no violation of the public if a peace did not take place now, he feared it faith. If it was, the public faith was so violated would be long before it did. What, then, was in 1794, when the President alone was authorized the condition of the Government in this Disirici? to change the place of meeting. Gentlemen had Let gentlemen ask themselves fairly. Were they said, if the Government once began to roll, it willing to appropriate the money of the people of would never return. Is this the true and proper the United States to build a Capitol, to plant it place for the Seat of Government? If it be, how in this District, where it might be destroyed in can gentlemen say it will not return immediately twenty days ? No, gentlemen said, they would after the causes for its present removal shall defend it, at an expense of ten or iwelve millions; cease? It will. The seat of Government will for that much it would cost, so indefensible is in such case gravitate as certainly to this position this point. Did not the interest of the country, as the needle to the pole. All the arguments
, Mr. G. asked, require them to remove to a place therefore, against the removal, on the ground thai of security, where it would not be necessary to it would be permanent, ought to be thrown out expend ten or fifteen millions, or any other sum, of consideration, as they had nothing to do with in the simple defence of Congress ? Would genthe question. Let the resolution take its course tlemen say that Congress were sale without an and go to a committee. Suppose at the time army to protect them? No. For it was well Congress met, that the enemy could have held known that, without such a protection, the frig. the place, or was in force on the water to occupy ates may be thrown up the river and drive Conthe place the next day. Would Congress, in such gress off. Were gentlemen ready to divert the a case, attempt to sit here? The question was public money from the great objeci of prosecuting not, however, whether any exigency would jus- ihe war, to raise an army solely for defending tify the removal from this place, because ihat this place? Mr. G. slightly noticed the inconprinciple has been long ago decided by the pas- venience of this place to the menubers; the want sage of the act to which he had before alluded; of information, &c. Where were they to go for the question was, whether this was such an exi- libraries? Would gentlemen appropriate thougency as to require the removal? He saw no sands and thousands to obtain another library to reason, therefore, why the adoption of the ques. replace that wbich was burnt by the enemy? tion should exciie such a feeling as appeared 10 These inconveniences, added to insecurity, urged prevail
, unless gentlemen were desirous to place the immediate removal of Congress. He said he their argument on the ground they had unguard- had steered clear of all idea of permanent reedly disclosed, that this was the very worst place moval, for be was not one of those who yielded in ihe nation for Congress to sit in. The idea of to the opinion that, after removal to any other the gentleman from South Carolina was singu. place, the impropriety of returning to this place lar, who conceived that a removal would be will be so palpable that they could never obtain striking our colors. Wait, says the gentleman, a vote for it. Indeed, if gentlemen desired it, he till the enemy comes and chases you off! That, was, for one, willing to give a pledge, in case of said Mr. G., is the dishonor which I dread from the removal, in the act itself, io return here at remaining, the very disgrace I wish to avoid the close of the war. You now sit coolly and deliberately; you may Mr. TROUP, of Georgia, the chairman of the remove without disgrace or dishonor. But if Military Committee, made a very succinct and this be a point which you cannot defend against clear statement of the defences provided and an enemy, why talk like children about remain about to be provided for the city. [This stateing here and having your heads cut off rather ment, however proper and necessary to be pretban remove? The gentleman from Tennessee, sented to the House, is not deemed by the recomparing the city to a farm, says, if bis house porter to be proper for publication, and is therewas burned, he would not therefore move off his fore omitted.] farm. But suppose a neighbor would politely Mr. T. concluded by observing that it was the offer him a clean bed, excellent food, and proper opinion of those qualified to judge, and indeed utensils for cooking and providing for his wants, it was his opinion, that the city was entirely prowould he refuse the use of them and rather sleep tected from assault by land, and soon would be in bis barn? The occupation of this city was water. one of the events of war, and was anticipated Mr. Hawkins, of Kentucky, rose to offer a few last Summer, when it was the subject of secret ideas to the House, which he said had occurred debate. To remove from the city temporarily to him since the subject had been presented this
H. of R.
SEPTEMBER, 1814. morning. Granting to gentlemen premises they by the removal of the Government from this had taken, and ceding the justice of a part of place. If this was false pride, if this was false their reasoning, when iested and made applicable honor, Mr. H. said, let him thus ever maintain to the real question, neither one nor the other ap: what he believed to be the real honor of the napeared to him to lead to the conclusions they had tion, of which some gentlemen had so lightly drawn. Cede ihe Constitutional question that spoken. When the emergency does exist, the peothe Seat of Government might be removed by ple will sanction the removal, but not till then. Congress; cede 100 that there is some cause for if the danger does exist, and there is an incompethis removal; we have yet to inquire, said he, lent force for repelling it, said Mr. H., as gentlewhether or not this is an exigency requiring re men on the other side aver, let them take care moval, and then, whether we can remove advan- that this nation, that other pations, and posterity, tageously. First, as to the causes of removal. do not make some strong inquiries of them. What are they? Famine? An invading army? Have they gone hand in hand with the ExecuNeither. An invading army has indeed pene live in making provision of the means for our detraled to the city, and what have they done ? fence ? If this error did exist, Mr. H. said he was Wiib traits of barbarity better suited to Vandals unwilling to add others to it. He was unwilling than to Britons, they sacked a few buildings, and to add one disgrace to another, by flying now from retired so precipitately, abandoned it so disgrace that enemy who has so precipitately fled from us. fully as to leave many of their most valuable officers The feelings of gentlemen were warm from seeand soldiers even slightly wounded in our hands. ing the situation of their Capitol, and he feared Where now is that enemy? Is he at Baltimore, they were too much influenced by them. When Philadelphia, or New York-or where is he? danger is proved, Mr. H. said he should deem Perhaps, if Congress were to decide on removing, himself unwise if he did not go with gentlemen the first step would bring them to face that incur- in voting for removal. But as to the inconvenisive foe whose approach gentlemen appeared to ence spoken of, it was certainly more nominal dread. When the emergency did exist, Mr. H. than real. If local considerations were to prevail said he would go with gentlemen in seeking out in favor of removal to any other place, he thought a place of greater security. But this moment, it would not be difficu to show, go where they he could but view this as a question of panic will, Congress will produce a pressure on a maRemove pow, said he, and what_spectacle will jority of that community. It was true that promiyou exhibit to the community? The enemy has sent men may take advantage of it, but it will retreated in such a manner as to induce no belief operate as a prejudice to the people generally of bis desire to return. The enterprise which among whom Cougress locate themselves. Remade bim master of this city was desperate in iis move from here momentarily or otherwise, and character, and marked by a degree of bravery every prospect of the people of this city is blasted amounting to rashness; and every one will admit and withered. la voting for a removal, under presthat had the energies of the Government been pro-entcircumstances, he believed Congress would vioperly brought into action, he would have retreated late the national faith, sacrifice thousands and thouwith much greater loss. Nay, Mr. H. said, he sands of people who ought to be protected, and exwould venture 10 assert, that three thousand brave hibit a panic to an enemy from whom we have men, led and kept in action, would have prevented nothing to fear, and who has of his own accord the enemy from entering the capital; and that precipitately abandoned our territory. one thousand men in the Capitol alone with mus Mr. Oakley, of New York, next spoke. He kerry would have defended the Capitol against said, that is indeed the enemy had abandoned our the invaders. Grant that Congress has the power country at every point, it could not be justly supto remove the Seat of Government. Had the posed that Congress would be influenced by a panic emergency occurred ? Had the enemy presented in removing from this place. If the enemy be enthat formidable attitude to require their fight from tirely out of view, this question may be discussed the Capitol? Was the enemy even at hand? Had without that sort of feeling which some appear he footiog even in the borders of our country? No, to entertain of it. Mr. O. said he would endeavor even there be was flying before a small undisci-never to debale with feeling or passion, which plined force: the patriotic volunteers of New was not at all conducive to inquiry into truth. If York and Vermont, one fourth the number of the they could not approach this question without enemy, had driven bim before them. Just at this appeals to the passions and fears of the members, moment, too, when we are gaining most splendid il certainly was po proof of its indisputable inexvictories over them in their own territory, he pediency. He was well aware, he said, of the could not see the reason for removal from our interest which this District felt in the decision of capital. It must be a feeling of panic only which this question ; but it was proper that that interest recommends it, and he would not consent to ex- should be manifested in a becoming manner. It hibitil 10 his or any other country. What trophy was proper that considerations of this kind should could the enemy exhibit froin his visit to inís have their proper influence; but when he heard place? li would be asked in Europe, what blood gentlemen tell the House bat by a temporary rehad been spilt in its defence-who had fallen? moval they would ruin thousands and ihousands It would be seen the Government was again pur- of individuals, he must believe it mere fanciful suing its course, unawed and uninterrupted. He declamation. 'It was true, that a removal might would not give the world reason to say otherwise I injure individuals; but he presumed no gentle
Removal of the Seat of Government.
H. OF R.
man in the House would hesitate to make a fair expensive and least efficient force. Notwithstandand liberal compensation by way of indemnity to ing the great services they had sometimes rensuch sufferers. It was a cardinal point in his dered, Mr. O. said he could have no dependence politics, Mr. O. said, that the national faith should on the militia. It ought not to be tolerated, when be preserved inviolate, even when 'improperly every means ingenuity could devise was stretched pledged, unless where considerations of a para- to the utmost extent to prosecute the war, that mount nature forbade it. Gentlemen had talked Congress should sit here at such a cost. The about the national faith-but were they not aware enemy had retreated precipitately from this place, that national contracts frequently cannot be ful. Mr. O. admitted, but they had immediately atfilled in the spirit in which they are made; and lacked another city; and our Government had would they say that there might not be cases been officially given to understand, that the enin which necessity would impose on them a emy intended to pursue this course. He would course different from that pursued in ordinary not rely, therefore, on the forbearance or inability cases? As to the expediency of removal, this of an enemy who were both able and willing to was a mere proposition for inquiry, and if on in- annoy us. It was not disgraceful to feel alarm quiry it should appear that Congress cannot be at the exposed situation of the place. The exmore easily protected from the enemy, and better posure was brought upon us by the war. Every accommodated elsewhere, the arguments of gen-point could not be defended; and Congress would tlemen would apply, &c. &c. No temporary re- deserve the meed of wisdom and prudence for removal, Mr. O. said, would be a violation of the moving hence, if by a removal they could be betnational faith. When we speak of a permanent ter accommodated, relieve the finances from the seat of Government in the most literal sense, we enormous burden of defending the city by a militia speak of it subject to casualties. As to the panic force, and at the same time relieve the city by alleged, were the enemy at our doors, the remark taking from it the only object which could enmight be correct, but not otherwise. While, how- danger its invasion by the enemy. Gentlemen ever, Mr. O. said he would not remove at present discussed this question as if the Seat of Governunder the impulse of fear, he would not remain ment was proposed to be finally removed, and from false courage. There was courage of one said that such would be the practical effect of the kind, and courage of another kind-the one ani-' temporary removal. Gentlemen had no right to mating the soldier in the fight, the other fortify- say so. No such design was expressed or implied ing the citizen in the discharge of his duties. To by the mover of the resolution ; and it could only be sure, members of Congress might put them- result, if at all, from the inherent circumstances selves on a par with the miserable wreiches who of the case. If circumstances should make a fill the ranks of the enemy, and march forth to permanent removal necessary, it must take place; batile. But when we are sent here, said he, it is and if the Constitution was in the way, it ought to to legislate, to provide the ways and means to pay be amended. Whatever respect he might feel those who are to fight. Whilst we transact the for the inhabitants of the District, he would say business of legislators, and put means into others that their interest could not for a moment enter hands to carry on the war, we are in the line of into competition with the interests of this nation. our duty. On some occasions it is glorious to It should never be perroitted that a few thousand gentlemen to take up arms and maintain the prin- inhabitants should rise and say they would be ciples they have asserted by their votes; and ihere ruined, if the nation could be benefitted, provided were some in this House who could boast of hav- the pation indemnified them for their loss. The ing done so; but, in general, legislation required people of the District are liable to suffer with a}| tranquillity and separation from other duties. The others the evils resulting from war. The tempoincursion of the enemy, he said, instead of afford- rary removal of the Government, is such an evil. ing reasons against a removal of the Seat of Gov. The people of the city ought to have confidence ment, afforded conclusive arguments in favor of enough in the honor of the nation to believe that, it. It had certainly shown one thing: that this if the Government removed, they would be follý was not a proper situation for the seat of Govern- indemnified for any loss they might sustain. ment, because it is owing to the forbearance of Mr. HANSON, of Maryland, moved to postpone the enemy that Congress had now a single roof to indefinitely the further consideration of the mocover their heads whilst deliberating on the con- tion, and supported his motion by a speech, the cerns of the nation. He called upon gentlemen substance of which was, that though he enterto say whether it would be proper to remain at a tained very great contempt for the citizens of place where the public documents were so much Washington, which he expressed in the most exposed to destruction, unless protected at an eso pointed language, he was opposed to a removal peose which was most disproportionate to the at this moment, as being derogatory to the naobject. The gentleman from Georgia said the tional dignity and honor. place was defensible. They had been told so The motion for postponement was negativedalways. They had been told so by the consti- yeas 48, nays 79, as follows: tuted authorities, as far as they could speak, at Yeas-Messrs. Barnett, Bayly of Virginia, Bowen, the moment when the enemy invaded the Capital. Burwell, Culpeper, Cuthbert, Earle, Eppes, Farrow, As to the defence by the militia, the force which Fisk of Vermont, Forney, Forsyth, Franklin, Gaston, is destined for the defence of this District as had Gholson, Goodwyn, Hall, Hanson, Hawes, Hawkins, been stated to this House, it was at once the most Humphreys, Jackson of Virginia, Kent of Maryland,
13th Con. 3d SESS.-11
H. of R.
Amendments to the Constitution.
Kerr, Kershaw, King of North Carolina, Lewis, the community, and praying that it may be abol-
Mr. King, of Massachusetts, adverting to the
law passed in 1813, allowing a bounty for prisAvery, Barbour, Baylies of Massachusetts, Boyd, Brad. that, by recent decisions of the proper authority, bury, Bradley, Brigham, Brown, Caperton, Caldwell, it appeared that the provisions of this act did not Champion, Chappell, Clark, Comstock, Condit, Conard, Cox, Crawford, Creighton, Crouch, Dana, Daven extend to the cases of recapture by private armed port, Davis of Pennsylvania, Denoyelles, Desha, Du- vessels, certainly a meritorious class of cases, vall, Ely, Findley, Fisk of New York, Geddes, Gour- and equally entitled, with others, to remuneradin, Griffin, Grosvenor, Harris, Hulbert, Ingersoll, Ing. tion for their enterprises. To collect the sense ham, Johnson of Kentucky, Kent of New York, King of the House on the propriety of extending this of Massachusetts, Lefferts, Lovett, Lyle, Markell, Mc provision to embrace such cases, he moved the Lean, Miller, Moffit, Moseley, Murfree, Oakley, Piper, following resolution: Post, John Reed, Rea of Pennsylvania, Rich, Ruggles, Resolved, That the Committee on Naval Affairs be Seybert, Sharp, Sherwood, Skinner, Stanford, Stock instructed to inquire into the expediency of extending ton, Sturges, Tannehill, Thompson, Udree, Vose, the provisions of the act entitled, “An act allowing a Ward of Massachusetts, Ward of New Jersey, Whea- bounty to the owners, officers, and crews, of the pritón, Wilcox, Wilson of Pennsylvania, and Winter. vate armed vessels of the United States," passed on
Mr. Fisk of Vermont, made an able and decided, the 2d of August, 1813, to such officers and crews of but short speech against the resolution
merchant vessels of the United States as have recapThe question was then taken on the resolution, tured, or may recapture, the same from the enemy. and decided in the affirmative by yeas and nays, The resolution was agreed to. 72 to 51, as follows:
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION. YEAS–Messrs. Alexander, Alston, Anderson, Ar. cher, Avery, Baylies of Massachusetts, Boyd, Brad-recollected that at the last session he had the
Mr. Jackson, of Virginia, said it would be bury, Bradley, Brigham, Brown, Caldwell
, Champion, honor to propose a resolution to amend the ConCreighton, Crouch, Dana, Davenport, Davis of Penn stitution of the United States. He now renewed sylvania, Denoyelles, Desha, Duvall, Ely, Findley, it, that it might be decided on during the present Fisk of New York, Geddes, Gourdin, Grosvenor, Har session of Congress. He then offered a motion ris, Hulbert, Ingersoll
, Ingham, Irving, Johnson of to amend the Constitution, embracing the folKentucky, Kent of New York, King of Massachu- lowing propositions: setts, Lefferts, Lovett, Lyle, Markell, McLean, Mil Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representler, Moffit, Moseley, Murfree, Oakley, Piper, Post, atives of the United States of America in Congress John Reed, Rea of Pennsylvania, Rich, Ruggles, Sey- assembled, two-thirds of both Houses concurring, That bert, Sharp, Sherwood, Skinner, Stanford, Stockton, the following articles be proposed to the Legislatures Sturges, Tannehill, Udrce, Vose, Ward of Massa- of the several States as amendments to the Constituchusetts, Ward of New Jersey, Wheaton, Wilcox, and tion of the United States; each of which, when ratiWinter.
fied by three-fourths of the said Legislatures, shall be Nars-Messrs. Barbour, Bayly of Virginia, Bowen, valid, to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Burwell, Chappell, Culpeper, Cuthbert, Earle, Eppes, Constitution: Farrow, Fisk of Vermont, Forney, Forsyth, Franklin, 1. Congress shall have power to lay a tax or duty, Gaston, Gholson, Goodwyn, Griffin, Hall, Hanson, not exceeding ten per centum ad valorem, on articles Hawes, Hawkins, Humphreys, Jackson of Virginia, exported from any State. Kent of Maryland, Kerr, Kershaw, King of North 2. Congress shall have power to make roads in any Carolina, Lewis, Lowndes, Macon, McCoy, McKim, State. Montgomery, Newton, Pearson, Pickens, Pleasants, 3. Congress shall have power to make canals in Rhea of Tennessee, Roane, Sage, Sevier, Smith of any State, with the consent of the State within which Virginia, Strong, Stuart, 'Telfair, Troup, White, Wil the same shall be made. son of Pennsylvania, Wright, and Yancey.
4. Congress shall have power to establish a Na. Mr. Fisk, of New York, Mr. McKim, Mr. tional Bank, with branches thereof, in any State. BURWELL, Mr. GROSVENOR, Mr. Ingham, Mr. Mr. JACKSON moved to refer these propositions Hawkins, and Mr. Dana, were appointed the to a Committee of the Whole on the state of the committee pursuant to the said resolution. Union; and gave notice that he should call for
the consideration of the last of them on Friday Tuesday, September 27.
Mr. Fisk, of New York, called for a division Two other members, to wit: from Connectic of the question on the reference of these proposicut, Lyman Law, and from Virginia, John P. tions to a Committee of the Whole. He said he HUNGERFORD, appeared, and took their seats. should vote for the reference of the first three,
Mr. Jackson, of Virginia, presented a petition but against the reference of the last, and assigned of sundry inhabitants of the town of West Lib- his reasons for discriminating between them. eriy in Virginia, and its vicinity, stating their The first three, he said, were of an important opinion that the transportation and opening of nature, and would require mature deliberation the mail on Sunday is injurious to the morals of) and discussion before acted on, and he should
Bounty to Deserters.
H. OF R.
probably vote for them. As to the fourth, he proposition he desired to submit. He knew that saw himself no occasion for it; and, if it were from the situation of members in this city, living not indelicate in itself, after the precedents and in houses scattered over a surface of several numerous adjudications of twenty years, to pro- miles, it was utterly impossible that they should pose giving to Congress a power to do that they consult together on the subjects of legislation have already done, it was at least in his view before they were introduced into the House, &c. unnecessary. He objected to it, moreover, be Mr. WRIGHT, of Maryland, said he hoped this cause the agitation of the question might inter- proposition would be suffered to go to a commitfere with the decision of the Committee of Ways tee. The subject had been fully discussed and and Means on the petition referred to them for decided two or three years ago, on the proposithe establishment of a National Bank. In the tion to renew the charter of the United States' present situation of our affairs, the advantages Bank, which had failed, though under the auswhich such an institution offered to the commu- pices of the then Secretary of the Treasury, who nity were, he believed, more seriously felt and possessed so greatly the confidence of the people, generally admitted than they had ever been be- and justly too, because of the ability with which fore; and he hoped this proposition would not be he managed the affairs of the nation. However thrown in the way of a decision on the subject. necessary a National Bank may now be, having He was indeed much surprised to see this propo- conscieatiously voted it to be unconstitutional, he sition revived at the present session, of the inten- could not now vote for it without an amendtion to do which he had no knowledge or infor- ment. Nor had the unconstitutionality of the mation until he heard it read.
old bank law been pronounced on light authorMr. Jackson said he had not indeed informed ity; the opinions of the late and present Presithe gentleman of his intention to renew this dent of the United States were recorded against proposition, because he had too much respect for it. He hoped, therefore, the proposition would ihis body to offer to its consideration any motion be permitted to take the usual course of going to which, without consultation with others, he was a committee. not determined to persevere in. He might re The question on the reference of Mr. Jacktort on the gentleman by saying that he (^r. F.) son's motion to a Committee of the whole House, did not inform him of his intention to remove the was then decided in the affirmative: For referSeat of Government from this place; and the ence 61, against it 53. geatleman could not be more surprised at the proposition now offered than Mr. J. had been at ibe motion for that object yesterday moved by
Wednesday, September 28. Mr. Fisk. He regretted that the gentleman had
Several other members, to wit: from Massaon this occasion departed from the regular rule chusetts, Abijau Bigelow, and TimorAY PICKof reference of all motions similar to this; and ERING; from Vermont, Ezra Butler; and from the more so, as a refusal to refer the proposition
Pennsylvania, Hugh Glasgow, appeared, and
took their seats. could not preclude its discussion. Mr. J. denied the indelicacy imputed to his motion on account
Mr. SHERWOOD presented a petition of sundry of former precedents recognising the power he inhabitants of Cairo, in the State of New York, proposed to vest in Congress; if there were in- praying that the mails may not be opened or delicacy anywhere, he should suppose it to exist carried on the Sabbath day.-Referred to the at least as much in the presentation of a petition Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads. to Congress for the establishment of a National
On motion of Mr. Hall, the Committee of Bank, after they had, in their refusal to renew
Claims were directed to inquire into the expedithe charter of the Bank of the United States, ency of making provision by law for the pay, decided against the constitutionality of it. It is ment of private property lost, killed, or destroyed, a fortunate thing for this country that Congress while employed in the service of the United is not enchained by precedent in its legislation;
States. that, if the Constitution be violated to-day, it is
BOUNTY TO DESERTERS. no reason why it should be violated to-morrow. Mr. Fisk, of Vermont, said he believed it was The question of renewal of the charter of the the practice of the British commanders, on land Bank of the United States was argued on the and water, to use every means in their power to Constitutional ground; many of the States have induce our men to desert their guns. A direct by a solemn vote declared ibat Congress does retaliation of such practices would doubtless be not possess the power to pass such an act, and it justifiable. But, Mr. F. said, the resolution he would be respectful at least to consult their opin- was about to submit had a different motive. It ions on the subject. Mr. J. did not at the last was well known that desertions from the enemy session, he did not now, say whether such a pow. were very frequent, and that those deserters were er was or was not already possessed by Con- strangers in our country, without means of emgress; but he wished to place ibat power beyond ployment, or of purchasing lands on which to question or doubt, because he believed it was a labor for an honest livelihood. It was as well power they ought to possess.
known that we have an extensive frontier, much Mr. Fisk said that ihe gentleman bad mistaken exposed, and a great quantity of wild lands, the him if he supposed that it was his desire that he settlement of which would be very desirable. In (Mr. J.) should communicate to Mr. F. every I order to authorize an inquiry into the expediency