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(APR)! 20, 180.
the power of that State to legislate over the Dutch, or by their letter, infringed the legislative rights of the Irish, or slaves, within the State. If the power of abridg- States, whatever claim
they may give to the Indian tribes ing the legislative rights of the States is once admitted to for compensation or indemnity as to the United States, they exist in the General Government, under any circum- cannot be obligatory on the States. And the time has stances of fact, those circumstances may always be brought now arrived when the forbcarance of the States is no about, and the States would, ere long, hold all their pow-longer necessary in their opinion, and when it has become ers at the will of the United States. Suppose that, in the worse than visionary to look upon those tribes as indepentreaty concluded by our commissioners at Ghent, a con-dent nations. They have, therefore, extended thcir laws dition had been inserted that the State of Pennsylvania over them, which is nothing more than the exercise of a should not exercise the power of legislation over the power which they always had, and which the United English resident within the limits of that State. A state States could not take away, and which the States could of things might have existed which would bave rendered not lose by not using, it imprudlent and impolitic for Pennsylvania to assert and But, it is sail, that the treaties with the several tribes, exercise the power. But, as soon as that state of things concluded at Hopewell, and all subsequent treaties, are passed away, and she was relieved from the necessity valid and binding under the following clause of the conwhich might have induced her to abstain from the exer- stitution: “All treaties made, or which shall be made, uncise of that power, could any one contend that the treaty (ler the authority of the United States, shall be the sacould have any legal and binding force upon her? On the preme law of the land.” A treaty cannot be said to be contrary, would it not be voidl, as to the State, from the made under the authority of the United States, when its beginning? And if any obligation arose out of such a provisions are contrary to the constitution. But when it treaty, would it not be a matter to be acijusted by the is consistent with the constitution, then it is under the auUnited States, and in which Pennsylvania would have no thority of the United States, and valid. I have endeavored concern, any more than any other State in the Union? to show that the treaties in question, so far as they affect
Suppose the United States were to conclude a war the legislative sovereignty of the States, are not consistent with an Indian tribe, by which they would stipulate, that, with the constitution; and as respects tlic States, they are notwithstanding the tribe resided within the limits of a not binding on them. State, that State should not legislate over them, but that But, it is said, that the following clause in the constituthey should be governed exclusively by their own laws tion of the United States, “ Congress shall have power to and usages? This would be a case of express stipulation : regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the screand while the nation were formidable; while they were ra] States, and with the Indian tribes,"contains no such recapable of exciting terror and alarm among the people of servation in favor of the legislative rights of the States. I the State within whose limits they were situated; the State, know that such is the doctrine of those who learn the out of motives of policy, would not attempt to exert her thousand articles of the constitution from the precedents legislative power over them; not because the constitu- with which the records of Congress abound. And I know, tional power could be surrendered by the treaty; not be- too, that its sure and inevitable tendency is to unlimited cause the constitutional power to legislate did not exist; power; and the day is not far distant, when the omnipobut because safety required that it should not be exer- ience of an American Congress will be as little startling, cised. But if the tribe, from being formidable, were re-even to our cars, as the omnipotence of a British Parliaduced to insignificance, as so many tribes, once so terri- ment. I tell you, sir, this doctrine is rapidly gaining ble, have been, surely the State could assert her power ground, and if there exist on the part of the states, reover them, and compel them to submit to her laws, and spectively, no original, ungranted, constitutional power, that too without any release by the remnant of the nation to interpose for the purpose of arresting the progress of or tribe to the United States. Whatever obligation rest- the evil, its march will be triumphant; not because it aded on the United States would be a matter for them to dresses itself to our patriotism, or our love of the true settle, in which the State would have no more than a com- honor and glory of our country, which consists in the gomon interest with the other States. I know that this rea- vernment of a written constitution, but because its patrons soning is unsatisfactory to those who refer the decision of carry in both bands the purse of this nation, and luy up this question to their feelings, to their magnanimity, and the disciples of their faith. And low is that purse supto principles of abstract justice. But I believe the bisto-plied? By a levy of two-thirds of all the revenue of the ry of Indian relations will show that this has always been United States, noi directiy, butindirectly, upon the industhe case. Whilst the tribes were warlike and powerful, try of the South and the Southwest; and thus is the fund no matter what were the stipulations of treaties; no mat- created by which this war against her most sacred rigtits ter how much those treaties infringed the legislative is carried on. Andi by whom and by what power is this rights of the States; all acquiesced: all submitted. But enormous exaction marle? By an interested majority in as soon as they became reduced to a handful; as soon as Congress, acting on this express principle, that they have their power was lost, and they were no longer formida- all power, and are every thing; and that the States respecble, they fell from the cognizance of the General Govern- tively have no power and are nothing. And the latter have ment, and became subject to the control and legislation of even become familiar with the cry of treason, sounded from the States. What was the situation of the country with these walls against them, because they have dared to say that regard to Indian tribes before and after the adoption of the majority in Congress had trespassed upon the sacred the constitution, when the policy of treating with them powers which they had never granted away. Is not this concommenced? The whole frontier, from the northern solidation? Is not this unlimited power? Is it not tyranny lakes to the southern boundary of Georgia, enclosed by What is the relation which is thus created? Is it not the numerous tribes of warlike savages, terrible, not only most odious which can possibly exist? That which exists from their numbers, but from their mode of warfare; between the najority who demand and receive, and the sparing neither age, nor sex, nor condition. Under these oppressed minority who are compelled to pay. Was not circumstances, it was not to be wondered at, that the this the relation which existed betiseen the colonies and the whole population who were exposed to their ravages, and Parliament of Great Britain? Was not that the subject of who had suffered from the tomahawk and scalping knife, complaint in those mauly remonstrances which our ancesshould send up to the Government of the United States tors presented at the foot of the British throne' Did they one universal cry for peace. These were not times for not complain that Parliament claimed the right to tax them scrupulous examination of constitutional questions. And in all cases whatsoever? Did they not remonstrate against under such circumstances, if treaties were made, which, that power? And what answer did they receive? And
APRIL 20, 1830.]
what answer has the injured South received from this ma- trade with Great Britain and France should take away jority in Congress? Are they not the same? An unquali- from the States the power to legislate over Englishmen or fied denial, almost without a hearing. But I have heard Frenchmen residing within the limits of any of the States? gentienien say the majority will relent; seeing tinat their But the constitution expressly recognizes the power of the meastires operate oppressively on a particular portion of States to legislate over the Indians within their limits. the people, they will repeal them. Not until their inter The second section of the first article of the constituest changes: for “when self the wavering balance shake, tion provides, that “Representatives and direct tases shall 'tis never right adjusted." And the marble columns which be apportioned among the several States, which may be surround us, compared to a drop of water, is but a feeble included within this Union, according to their respective comparison to show the unyielding character of an interest- numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the ed majority to the petitions, and prayers, and remonstrances whole number of free persons, including those bound to of the oppressed minority; and, unless that interest change, service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not the drop may fall; and fall until eternity's sun shall go taxed, three fifths of all other persons. down, and not one particle of that human marble will The intention of this section of the constitution is to dissolve. No; the power being once gained, the prece- apportion direct taxes and representatives among the sevedent being once established, that majority will clain the ral States, and the standard by which that apportionment - right to tax us in all cascs whatsoever! 'l'he purse which is to be regulated, is the amount of the population of the we are every day emptying will be filled again, and from States. If the section had stopped thus, “Representatives the same source. And with a few miserable dollars of and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several the millions wrung from the cultivators of the soil, judi- States, which may be included within this Union, accordciously laid out, friends enough will be obtained, even ing to their respective numbers,” then all Indians, and all amongst those who are plundered, to preserve this system. other persons within the States, would have been included
But, to return to the argument, from which, I confess, I as a part of the numerable population; otherwise, wiiy have wandered too far. The argumentis, that, in the clause exclude " Indians not taxed,” and two-fifths of the slaves? of the constitution conferring upon Congress the power If these had not been included in the general expression, to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the the exception was not necessary. Indians being, thereseveral States, and with Indian tribes, contains no reserva. fore, a portion of the population of the State, would it not tion in favor of the legislative rights of the States. And be a strange and absurd proposition to say that the State is it indeed true that the States have no powers but such could not legislate over her own population? But by as are expressly reserved in the constitution of the United what power is the tax which is to make the distinction in States? Is it true that the States, respectively, possessing regard to Indians to be imposed! It must be either by all the power, all the sovercignty, and granting away 8 act of Congress or the State Legislature. It cannot be by portion of it to another, that the grant will carry the act of Congress, because Congress, in the following clause, whole, without an express reservation in the instrument is prevented from imposing any such tax: “No capitation as to the residue. Surely this was not the understanding or direct tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the cenof those who framed or those who adopted the constitu- sus or enumeration heretofore directed to be taken.” The tion. On the contrary, did they not say, the States have taxings, therefore, by which Indians are embraced in the now all the power and sovereignty, and that which they enumeration must necessarily precede any capitation imdo not give up remains where it is, in the States respec- posed by Congress, and must necessarily be by State legistively? If the friends of the constitution had said any lation.
From these clauses of the constitution, Indians thing else, if they had said what is now insisted on, that within the States are regarded as a part of the population instrument, instead of being adopted by small majorities, of those States, and a tax is contemplated which can only would have been rejected by all. The constitution of the be imposed by State legislation over them, United States was not made by the ole of the United
But there is another reason which shows that the States, in mass, each one of all that mass having individu- tax to be imposed was not a tax to be imposed by act of ally the same voice, the same power and influence to Congress, but by act of the State legislation; and that is make, to adopt, or to reject. On the contrary, it was the this, if Congress had the power to impose the tax, they work of the States, in their sovereign capacity, and in might choose not to exercise the power, so that they could which capacity the small numbers of the least state in the increase or diminish the numbers of the States at pleaUnion had as much power as the large numbers of the sure. And they might increase it for the purpose of dimost populous State. Each one was sovereign; no one rect taxes, and reduce it for the purpose of representation. was more than sovereign. I will be excused for resorting
The Indian resident within the State of New York, to these first principles of our Government; for it is the with whom the United States bave held frequent treaties, duty of those who stand in the minority with respect to and with whom they now have an existing treaty, differtire powers claimed and ex rcised by the Federal Govern- ing but little in terms from those which exist in relation to ment, whenever a question of that kind arises, to resort the Southwestern tribes, have long since pissed under the to the constitution itself, and to the principles upon which jurisdiction of that State, and one of them, belonging to it rests; for this is their only safety. It was, emphatically, the Seneca tribe was actually convicted of murder in a for the benefit of the minority it was made. The majority court of the State for having put to death a woman, accan take care of themselves.
cording to the usages of his tribe, for the supposed crime The grant of power in question to Congress is to regu- of witchcraft. And again, in another case, it was decided late trade with the Indian tribes; and every power not ne. in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, that an cessary for the regulation of trade, so far as the Indians Indian could inherit lands which had been granted in the are concerned, remains with the States, not only upon the name of his Indian ancestor; and although the decision of principles which I have mentioned, but by an express re. the Supreme Court was reversed by the Court of Errors, servation, acopted from the most jealous caution, that all it was because there was no law of the State of New York " the powers not delegated by the constitution to the which authorized a purchase from an Indian in the manUnited States, nor prohibited by it to the States, are re- ner in which the purchase was made in that case by the served to the States respectively, or to the people.” And lessor of the plantiff; clearly, however, acknowledging is it any more necessary, in the regulation of trade with the power of the State to legislate in regard to Indians and the Indian tribes, that the power of the States to legislate Indian affairs. No complaint has ever been made by the over those residing within their acknowledged Imits friends of Indian rights against the State of New York, should be taken away, than that the power to regulate nor against any of the other States to the north or north.
[APRIL 20, 1830.
east, for legislating over the Indians. Nor has any reason dition is binding upon those States, and that their laws, so been assigned, nor can any be assigned, why a distinction far as the Indians are to be effected, are void. The first should be made. It will not do to say that one State has defect of the argument is, that it is not true in point of legislated wisely and another unwisely. It is a question fact. The article of compact referred to, authorizes laws of power, and when that is decided, each State, in the founded “in justice and humanity" to be enacted in reexercise of the power, must be governed by its own dis- gard to Indians. Is not this the foundation of all legiscretion, as they are in every other act of legislation. lative authority--the right to pass laws founded in justice
But here we are met by another formidable difficulty: and humanity, and not to pass laws founded in injustice It is said that if the State of Georgia, or any of the old and inbumanity? But the question arises, who is to be thirteen States, had the power to legislate over the Indians the judge of what is just and humane? I insist that within their limits, yet none of the new States have that there is no limitation but the constitution or legislative dispower, and that Alabama and Mississippi have transcended cretion. The same article of compact declares "that their constitutional powers in their acts of legislation in re- schools and the means of education shall forever be engard to those people. I confess it did not sound grate-couraged.” Who is to be the judge of the manner and fully to my ears to hear it asserted on this floor that the extent of that encouragement? The Legislature, unquesState which I have the honor, in part, to represent, had tionably. There is no other rule than legislative discretion. been admitted into this Union with powers of legislation And so it is in the other case; and Congress, or the treaty. more limited than those which belong to other States. I making power, might as well undertake to call the State had always supposed that she was admitted upon terms of to account for not properly exercising the power of enperfect equality; at all events, so far as she had not vo- couraging schools and the means of education, as for not luntarily, in her own sovereign capacity, in convention, properly exercising the power of passing laws founded expressly agreed to an abridgment of her power. And in justice and humanity in relation to the Indians. The upon this ground I am willing to place the argument. So argument has, therefore, no foundation in the true confar as the State, or the people of the State, in their highest struction of the provisions in the different acts referred to. sovereign capacity, in convention, have agreed to a limitation But as I consider my constituents as having a deep inof their legislative power, and the limitation not inconsisent terest in the question which has been raised in regard to with the constitution of the U. States, the State, whilst that their powers as a State, I would not think myself justifi. constitution of her own adoption remains, must be bound by able if I did not investigate more at large the principle it. But what is the process of the reasoning on the other upon which the objection rests. By the constitution of side? It is said that the fifth condition of the articles of the United States, article four, section three, it is provided agreement and cession between the United States and the that “new States may be admitted by Congress into this State of Georgia, in 1802, contains the following provi- Union.”. What is a “ State,” in the meaning of the consion: “That the territory thus ceded shall form a State, stitution? Does it not mean the people composing a poliand be admitted as such into the Union, as soon as it shall tical society, in their highest sovereign capacity? I take contain sixty thousand free inhabitants, or at an earlier this definition of the term “State," from a paper of period if Congress shall think it expedient, on the same high authority--the report of the Committee of the Virconditions and restrictions, with the same privileges, and ginia House of Delegates at the session of 1799 and 1800, in the same manner, as is provided in the ordinance of to whom were referred the communications of various Congress of the 13th day of July, 1787, for the govern- States relative to the resolutions of the Assembly of that ment of the Western territory of the United States, which State, of 1798, concerning the alien and sedition laws. ordinance sball, in all its parts, extend to the territory cyn- The whole passage is in these words: “It is indeed true tained in the present act of cession, that article only ex- that the term States is sometimes used in a vague sense, and cepted which forbids slavery.”
sometimes in different senses, according to the subject That the act of Congress of March, 1817, to enable the to which it is applied. Thus it sometimes means the people of the western part of the Mississippi territory to separate sections of territory occupied by the political form a constitution and State Government, and for the ad- societies within each; sometimes the particular governmission of such State into the Union on an equal footing ment established by those societies; sometimes those sowith the original States, contains the following provision: cieties as organized into those particular governments; and “Provided, that the same, when formed, shall be re- lastly, it means the people composing those political sopublican, and not repugnant to the principles of the or- cieties, in their highest sovereign capacity. Although it dinance of the 13th of July, one thousand seven hundred might be wished that the perfection of language admitted and eighty-seven, between the people and States of the less diversity in the signification of the same words, set territory northwest of the river Ohio, so far as the same little inconvenience is produced by it when the true sense has been extended to the said territory by the articles of can be collected with certainty from the different applicaagreement between the United States and the State of tions. In the present instance, whatever different conGeorgia, or of the constitution of the United States.” That struction of the term States in the resolution may hare the third article of compact in the ordinance of the 13th been entertained, all will, at least, concur in that last menof July, 1787, is in the following words: “Religion, mo- tioned; because in that sense the constitution was subrality, and knowledge, being necessary to good govern- mitted to the States; in that sense the States ratified it: ment and the happiness of mankind, schools, and the and in that sense of the term States they are consequently means of education shall forever be encouraged. The parties to the compact from which the powers of the utmost good faith shall always be observed towards the Federal Government result." And in that sense of the Indians: their lands and property shall never be taken terin States, and in that alone, I contend, has Congress the from them without their consent; and in their property, power to admit “ new States” into the Union. Certainly, rights, and liberty, they never shall be invaded or dis Congress has not power to admit into the Union a polititurbed, unless in just and lawful wars authorized by Con- cal society so crippled by conditions that it would not gress. But laws founded in justice and humanity shall, answer to this meaning of the term. If so, then one State from time to time, be made, for preventing wrongs being might be admitted into the Union upon condition that only done to them, and for preserving peace and friendship one Senator, or none at all, should be sent to Congress to with them.” And the argument is, that the States of represent the State; or upon condition that the laws of Alabama and Mississippi have been admitted into the the State should be subject to the revision of Congress; Union upon the express condition that they will not legis- whilst another might be admitted upon condition of double late over the Indians within their limits; that this con- representation in Congress. The moment, therefore, that
APRIL 21, 1830.]
Power of removal by the President.
power is granted to a society of people within the juris- its Governments are unquestionably bound whilst that condiction of the United States to meet in convention and stitution remains. The question whether one convention form a constitution for their own government, any con- can, by a particular provision, act in derogation of the (itions which may be added calculated to diminish the es powers of subsequent conventions, is one which it is sential rights and powers of a State, are absolutely void. unnecessary to discuss. But whilst I admit that the Among the powers essential to State sovereignty, is that State, in all its departments, is bound as far as it has reof legislating over every rational being within the limits stricted itself, yet surely it cannot be contended that it of the State, unrestrained except by the constitution of the is bound beyond that. The constitution which the people United States and the constitution of the State itself. If, of that State framed was submitted to Congress; and they then, in the acts of Congress authorizing the people of admitted the State, with that constitution, into the Union. the western part of the Mississippi territory to hold a con. There is nothing in that instrument which takes away the vention, and admitting them into the Union, such condi- power to legislate over the Indians, or modifies that power tions are imposed as diminish this essential right, those in any particular. The conclusion, therefore, clearly reconditions are void. But I deny that any such conditions sults, that they have the same power—are subject to the were imposed by those acts. But whilst I say such con- same limitations; that the United States bave no more ditions would be void, there is one subject on which I wish power in relation to those States than in relation to either not to be misunderstood. I take it to be true, that the of the thirteen original States; that they are bound by all principle of relation applies to new States admitted into the limitations, as it regards the one class of States which the Union, and that, when they are admitted, the society obtain in relation to the other. In short, that all the States forming them must be considered as having been endowed are upon the same footing, to all intents and purposes; and with the rights of sovereignty from the time when autho- that their power of legislation are the same in regard to rity was given to hold a convention. If this be correct, all the free population of the State. then it would follow, that whatever restrictions, not incon Sir, I have done. My principal object was to vindicate sistent with the constitution of the United States, this the right of the State, of which I am one of the Represociety, represented in convention, imposes on its own sentatives, to legislate over all the population within her legislature, or the other departments of its organized go- limits. How I have succeeded, in the humble effort vernment, and its own constitution, must be binding upon which I have made, will be for the Senate, and all others it until that constitution is changed. In the constitution of interested in the question, to decide. the State of Mississippi there is the following provision: "Whereas, it is required by the act of Congress, under
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21, 1830. which this convention is assembled, that certain provisions should be made by an ordinance of this convention: There
POWER OF REMOVAL BY THE PRESIDENT. fore, this convention, for and in behalf of the people in
The resolution of Mr. BARTON, calling upon the Prehabiting this State, do ordain, agree, and declare, that they sident for the reasons which induced him to remove Theoforever disclaim all right or title to the waste or unappro- dure Hunt from the office of the Recorder of Land Titles priated lands lying within the State of Mississippi; and the in Missouri, being under considerationsame shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition
Mr. McKINLEY moved to lay it on the table until Friof the United States: and moreover, that cach and every day next; but, at the request of Mr. BARTON, the motion tract of land sold by Congress shall be and remain exempt was withdrawn. from any tax laid by the order or under the auho
Mr. BARTON said he did not intend to re-argue the rity of this State, whether for State, county, township, general question of the powers of the President to remove parish, or other purposes whatever, for the term of five the Federal officers, as the Senate had removed the inyears from and after the respective days of sale thereof; junction of secrecy from one case, and he had published and that the lands belonging to the citizens of the United his argument upon that question, made in secret session States residing without this state, shall never be taxed on the 17th March. There was she said) some peculiahigher than the lands belonging to person residing within rity in the tenure of this office, distinguishing this case the same; that no tax shall be imposed upon lands the from those of the officers who hold under the act of 15th property of the United States; and that the river Missis. May, 1820, for four years. The office of Recorder of sippi, and the navigable rivers and waters leading into the Land Titles was established soon after the purchase of same, or into the Gulf of Mexico, shall be common high-Louisiana. . Some of his duties are of a ministerial, and ways, and forever free, as well to the inhabitants of this some of a judicial nature. It was first held by J. L. DonState as to other citizens of the United States, without aldson, Esq. who fell at the battle of North Point, near any duty, tax, impost, or toll, therefor, imposed by this Baltimore, in the late war, until he resigned and left the State. And this ordinance is hereby declared irrevocable country; then by Mr. T. Bates, until he was elected without the consent of the United States."
Governor of Missouri, in 1824; then by Mr. Hunt, the According to this ordinance, made a part of the constitu- present recorder, until some of the office-hunting loungers tion of the State of Mississippi, that State, acting in its around the President, had persuaded the President to exhighest sovereign capacity in convention, has solemnly ceed powers during the present session, and remove, or disclaimed all title to the waste and unappropriated affect to remove him, to make room for a person now nolands within the State, and delared that they shall be at minated to fill it. From the establishment of the office to the disposal of the United States; that they should not be the present session of Congress, it has been treated and tased by the State for any purpose, until five years after considered as an office during the good behaviour and fitthe sale thereof by Congress; that no lands, the property ness of the incumbent. Not coming under the law of 1820, of the United States, should be subject to taxation; that or any other special law, as to the tenure and duration of the lands of non-residents should not be taxed higher than the office, there was no power of removal but what could those of residents; that the river Mississippi, and the navi. be derived from the constitutional obligation of the Presigable waters emptying into it, and into the Gulf of Mexico, dent to see that the laws be faithfully executed. He adshould remain common highways, without any duty, toll, mitted that if the incumbent were guilty of official delin&c. to be imposed by the State; and that the provisions of quency, or labored under physical or mental disability to this ordinance should remain irrevocable without the con- perform the duties, the President could suspend his funcsent of the United States. The point on which I wish tu tions for that cause, and place a fit person in his place; be understood is, that, as far as the State has bound itself, the whole proceeding being, like other originating acts of whilst acting in convention, the different departments of the President, subject to the subsequent sanction or re
Power of removal by the President.
(APRIL 21, 1830.
straint of the Senate, participating in the displacing as well tionaries, who had stood as barriers against their schemes, as the appointing of such officers, according to the cotem- and endeavored to prostrate them. Their object is to have poraneous exposition and original understanding of our every honest man removed out of their way; and among • form of Government. He denied that in any cases, except the rest, this Recorder Hunt, who happens to be both inthe cabinet officers, the federal officers were ever intend telligent and honest, so far as he had ever heard or believed to be rendered the servile creatures of the Executive, ed. And who would this Senate suppose the coterie proby being placed under his arbitrary will; but were intend-posed in his place? A young man of no known capacity ed to be freemen, looking to the faithful performance of for business, who, like too many youths in slave holding their duties, and to the protection of the Senate and the countries, seems to have no honest calling whatever; but laws, for their offices. It was fit [he said] that the offi- relies on the office-hunting trade, or smiles of Presidents cers of a despot should live or die by the breath of their or Governors, for support. He has shown himself emimaster--that suited such form of government. Not so in nently qualified for the purposes of the land jobbing spe. a republic-a government of law.
culators in these claims, by having been twice convicted Such was the exposition of the fathers--such his early of fraudulently concealing the property of a debtor from lesson upon the nature of the government of the United his creditors, at St. Louis, which, by our law, is a crimiStates. A contrary doctrine enabled a President to use the nal and indictable offence. offices of the republic as bribes or weapons; rendered allour A bill she said] had lately passed the Senate to refer all public offices, civil and military, dependent for official ex. those unconfirmed claims to the recorder and two commisistence upon a President; and put it in his power to employ sioners to be appointed by the President and Senate, to reor wield the whole official force of his country--nay, the examine and report upon them. Judging from the sampurse and sword of the country, against its liberties, when-ples of Missouri appointments, and particularly the illusever he pleased. We have been told of late, by the ma- trious consul to Chihuahua, and the nomination of a conjority, that the President is nearer to the people than the victed fugitive from the justice of Missouri, to be an Indian Senate-holding for only four years, and the Senate for agent, he presumed those concerned would find no diffisix; and that, therefore, he should be left to his responsi- culty in imposing on the President such a board as would bility, at the end of his term, to the people, without ex. perform as well as the courts harl done in Arkansas; that amination or restraint by the Senate during his term. Mr. is to say, to confirm all the claims really in existence, good B. said, he had been taught by the cotemporaneous expo- and bad; and then confirm all the new ones that might be sitions of the fathers, that the long term, and compara- forged and presented! He spoke she said] from the dotively independent tenure of Senators, was the very rea- cuments reported to Congress at this very session, by the son why the founders of the republic gave to them the Commissioner of the General Land Office, when he spoke high charge of restraining the President at every step du- thus of Arkansas. These considerations not only demand. ring his term, supposing it impossible that such a body, ed inquiry into the causes of these passing events; but he the most permanent and constant of any in the Govern- protested that, with the present prospect of proscribing ment, could ever meddle in the election of a President or common honesty from Missouri, if the bill for the revision prostitute their stations to the end of party strife. of those claims were again before the Senate, he could not,
But, (said he] look at the inconsistency of the majority! and he would not, vote for it. They say the President is responsible to the people at the He protested against the course of the present adminisend of his term; and, by way of enabling the people to tration towards the State of Missouri. All that Missouri judge whether he has, or has not, abused a power entrust- had thrown off, in her efforts to purify and elevate her soed to him for the public safety, they refuse to let the peo- ciety, seemed to be carefully hunted up, and restored upple know for what causes the power was exerted! How on her. It seemed to be a general restoration, as if her can the people tell whether he was right or wrong, when Botany Bay and her Siberia were to be emptied in her thus kept in the dark?
streets, to mark the epoch of this administration! The To remove for cause relating to the official conduct, or President must surely be imposed upon by the corps of reto the mental or physical fitness of the incumbent, is a pub-commenders and office distributers in Missouri
, who have lie and a patriotic virtue; but to pervert the power, which so full a delegation here at present, or else the President we all acknowledge, to the purposes of punishing freemen was no better than they. The President had sadly depart. for their opinions or votes, or to purchase supporters, or ed from his original intention in relation to the offices of reward office-hunting wretches for their prostituted servi- the country. He presumed all this was part of the “parces or acclamations, would be a great offence, a gross vio- ty discipline” of the day, intended to make the high places lation of our constitutional rights, by a President. How can low, and the low ones high, to prepare the way to some the people tell for which cause the power was exerted, un- future Presidential election. The offices of our country less the rights of inquiry into the cause of the removals be are converted into bribes in our elections, and weapons of tolerated? He re-asserted that the cause, instead of being destruction in our party contests. a state secret, was the very essence of the power to re Mr. KANE said he would reserve any observations he move at all; and nothing but a consciousness of having vio- might have to make on the character and qualifications of lated the duties of a President, and the rights of a citizen, the gentleman who had been nominated to fill the vacancy could induce any President to submit to be thus covered up created by the removal of the gentleman alluded to in the in the dark, if he could find a Senate servile and corrupt resolution, until the proper opportunity had arrived for enough to screen him from the public eye and examination. making them known. This opportunity would hereafter
But, (Mr. B. said] he wouid put this call, moreover, on be afforded in Executive session. The objection urged by the ground of public interest, by presenting to the consi- the gentleman from Missouri, (Mr. Barton) against the deration of tlie Senate the case as it really existed, in re-power of the President to remove this officer, presented, lation to this office. There was a combination of specula. in one respect, a new question, and furnished the occasion tors, official and unofficial, to make fortunes by getting the for a few observations upon the character of the office, the unconfirmed Spanish land claims, amounting to some two tenure of which was somewhat different in appearance or three millions of arpents, confirmed by this Government. from any to which the attention of the Senate had been They were men who had engaged on shares to do this for heretofore directed. The tenure of the offices heretofore the old inhabitants, and other claimants. Hitherto, even considered, had been fixed, either by the constitution or with the aid of their own interested oaths and oflicial helps, laws of the United States in terms. Such was not the case they had been unsuccessful, except in a few small claims. here. The office of Recorder of Land Titles for Upper They had made war upon all honest men and public func. Louisiana was created by law, and the President was