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was acceded to; and the previous the decision of those amendments; question being ordered, to prevent but the mode of discussing them, farther debate, the decision of the and the topics alluded to in debate, house was taken upon the resolu- forced the question upon their attions. On the first, which took tention; and compelled them, in the election from congress, the some measure, to determine upon house divided, 123 in the affirma- their ultimate course, before its tive, and 64 in the negative. The measures had been fairly tried. second resolution, in favor of the About one third of the session was district system, was rejected, by a occupied in their discussion ; and vote of 101 to 91. The repre- a very general regret prevailed sentatives of the large states did throughout the country, that the not vote, on this occasion, with public councils of the nation had any reference to the power of the been thus diverted from their legistate. The representatives from timate object, to the consideration: New-York were almost unanimous of such topics as had been introin favor of districts; those from duced in that debate. Pennsylvania, as unanimous against At the close of the session, a it; and the delegation from Vir- resolution was introduced into the ginia nearly equally divided. The senate, which had a tendency to subject was then referred to a se- bring on a similar discussion in that lect committee of 24 ; one from body. A resolution was offered each state ; which, at the close of by Mr. Macon, to inquire into the the session, reported, that they had expediency of reducing the patronnot been able to agree upon any age of the executive. This resoluplan, to prevent the election from tion was referred to the same comdevolving upon congress; and ask- mittee, which reported the amended to be discharged from any far- ments to the constitution, and ther consideration of the matter ; on the 4th of May, Mr. Benwhich request was granted. The ton, the chairman, reported six only effect of this attempt to bills : 1st. To regulate the publiamend the constitution, at a mo- cation of the laws, and public adment so unpropitious to deliberate vertisements. 2d. To secure in ofand calm debate, was to excite the fice faithful collectors of the revefeelings of the members, and to nue, and to displace defaulters. array them into parties for, and 3d. To regulate the appointment against the administration, in a of postmasters. 4th. Of cadets. more decided manner. They did 5th. Of midshipmen. 6th. To prenot, indeed, take their stand upon vent military and naval' officers

from being dismissed at the plea- legislature from its peculiar duties. sure of the president. These bills The tendency of this branch of the were accompanied by a long re- governinent to draw to itself the port, inculcating the necessity of powers of the other departments, diminishing the patronage of the had been long apparent; but it executive, and stating these bills had not before ventured to ento be but the “foundation of a sys- croach on their prerogatives by tem, to be followed up hereafter.” legislative enactment. It had been

The bills proposed, in order to content to interfere in the shape remedy the evils apprehended from of recommene ations to office ; and executive patronage, to vest in the in some instances, of remonstrances senators and representatives from against particular appointments. each state, the right of appointing This indirect influence had been the journals to print the laws; that much increased by the custom the president, upon removing an adopted by the late president, of officer, shall state the reasons of calling upon the representatives of such removal ; and to repeal the a state to nominate individuals to act of 1820, which limited the term fill vacancies occurring in that of service of collectors, navy agents, state, during the sitting of con&c. to four years; to transfer the gress. This course had been folappointments of all postmasters, lowed, from a desire to conciliate whose salary shall exceed $ the representatives, in selecting from the postmaster general, to candidates for office; but its effect the president, with the consent of had been, to divert their attention the senate ; and to distribute the to the obvious means of augmentappointments of cadets and mid- ing their influence at home, through shipmen, so that one cadet and the patronage of the government, one midshipman should be taken and to create an expectation, that from each congressional district. their wishes would be consulted in The last bill provided that no offi- all appointments, within their recer should be dismissed from the spective states. 'military or naval service, except by These bills indicated a disposithe sentence of a court martial, or tion to convert that indirect by an address of both houses of influence into a legal right, and the congress. It was at once perceiv- obvious efforts of certain political ed, that the effect of these proposi- leaders to invade the constitutional tions would be, to vest in congress powers of the executive and the jua great portion of executive power, dicary, created serious apprehenand to divert the attention of the sions of their designs upon the wise

and well balanced distribution of portance was given to the subject powers by the constitution. The in public opinion, by an elaborate reslight responsibility under which port, and a wide circulation afforded such leaders act, when their mea- at the public expense to its argusures are adopted in a legislativements; the whole matter was sufbody, was a conclusive reason with fered to remain undisturbed for the reflecting men, to oppose these rest of the session ; and at its conefforts to augment the powers of elusion expired with the rest of the congress, at the expense of the other unfinished business. departments of the government. Another example of the grasping The late attempt by a portion of ambition of a portion of the legislathat body, to dictate to the people tive branch; strongly illustrating the in the choice of an executive mischievous tendency of the policy through a caucus, was promptly of calling upon the representatives and successfully resisted ; but these to nominate candidates to office insidious invasions under the guise was presented, in the effort made of resisting the influence of execu- by some of the Tennessee delegation tive patronage, were supported by to designate the individual, who specious arguments in the report of should be appointed postmaster at the committee, and as the laws Nashville. Their nomination was were not called up for considera- not approved of by the postmaster tion during the session, no oppor- general, and they wrote a letter of tunity was afforded of refuting accusation to the president on the them. The unusual number of 6000 subject, asserting a right to be conof the report and bills was ordered sulted in the selection, which he of to be printed; and while this im- course refused to receive.

CHAPTER IV.

Proceedings of Senate on the Panama Mission.- Mr. Branch's resolution

-Mr. Randolph's conduct-Duel with Mr. Clay-Proceedings in the House of Representatives on the Panama Mission-Panama Congress.

The protracted contest between sister republics bordering on the Spain and her former colonies now Atlantic. Still there was no general constituting seven independent plan of joint co-operation, for the states, all having the same relation common object of their wishes. The to the mother country and contend- want of this unity of effort and ing for similar objects, had been council, was acknowledged; but no continued on the part of the Spa- remedy was offered. nish crown for many years without The first approximation to it, was much activity ; but still with a per- in a treaty between Colombia and tinacity which denied all expecta. Peru in 1822, providing among other tion of peace, except in the entire things for a general meeting of the predominancy of the new republics American states, for the purpose of and the humiliation of Spain. This cementing their friendly relations, conviction induced many of the lea- to serve as a common council ding statesmen of the South Ameri- in the existing conflict; and as an can states, to propose a union of umpire in their differences. their arms to bring the war to a Treaties for the same purpose close, by the entire expulsion of the were in that and the three succeedSpanish forces from the American ing years, concluded between Cocontinent. This suggestion, natu- lombia, Chili, Guatemala, Mexico; ral as it was, was not immediately and the Isthmus of Panama was reduced to practice. The rising designated, as the place of meeting states, were for years suffered to strug- of the great American congress. gle alone with the armies of Spain, The threatening aspect of the amidst all the horrors of a civil war. holy alliance towards the free go

Assistance was indeed occasion- vernments of the new world, having ally rendered by one republic to induced the late president, Mr. Monanother, and the western states of roe, to declare that the United States South America may be truly said to would not view with indifference owe their independence, to the un- any interference on their part, in the purchased aid of their contiguous contest between Spain and her former

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