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Register of Debates in Congress.


FROM DECEMBER 7, 1829, TO MAY 31, 1830.



At noon, the Honorable SAMUEL SMITH, of Maryland, President pro tempore of the Senate, took the chair. The roll of Senators having been called over by WALTER LOWRIE, Esq. Secretary of the Senate, it appeared that thirty-five members were present.

The usual message was sent to the House of Representatives, notifying that a quorum of the Senate had assembled.

Mr. WHITE and Mr. SANFORD were then appointed a committee to join the committee of the House of Representatives, to inform the President of the United States that quorums of the two Houses had assembled, &c.


Mr. WHITE reported from the Joint Committee, that they had, according to order, waited on the President of the United States, who replied that he would, to-day, at 12 o'clock, make a communication to each House of Congress.

Soon after which, a written message (which will be found in the Appendix) was received from the President of the United States, by Mr. DONELSON, his Secretary. The message was read, and, on motion by Mr. ROWAN,

it was

Ordered, That four thousand five hundred copies of the message, with one thousand five hundred copies of the documents accompanying it, be printed for the use of the


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of this body, from the State of Mississippi, will go into mourning for one month by wearing crape on the left arm.

Resolved, That, as an additional evidence of respect to the memory of the Honorable THOMAS B. REED, the Senate do now adjourn.

[From the 10th to the 22d of December, inclusive, there was no business transacted to give rise to debate. The Senate was principally occupied in receiving and referring petitions, and disposing of motions for inquiry, &c.]


INTEREST DUE TO CERTAIN STATES. The bill providing for the allowance of interest to certain States therein mentioned, on such advances made by them to the United States, during the late war, as have been or may hereafter be refunded to them, with the amendments of the Committee on the Judiciary to the bill, were taken up in Committee of he Whole. The amend. ments, viz: To provide for the payment of interest due to the States of Rhode Island and New Hampshire, were agreed to; and, on motion of Mr. IREDELL, the bill was further amended by inserting the State of North Carolina; and the question being on ordering the bill to be engrossed for a third reading

Mr. BENTON expressed some repugnance at voting for the bill, until he was better informed of the consequences which might attend that vote, and how far the accounting officers of the Government might be authorized to go under the bill. Formerly great rigor and exactness were observed in the investigation of claims on the Government before Congress ordered their allowance. It was a good practice, and he should be sorry to see a different and looser mode introduced. For himself, he

did not know that the United States owed a debt to a sin-
gle State, and if the bill proposed to authorize the account-
officers to ascertain the fact of the existence of debt
to the States, and allow interest thereon, without other
examination, he could not consent to it. He should him-
self like to see the accounts, whether for advances made
in money, or for services rendered, and know whether
they were rendered by order or against order, and judge
of their validity. At present he was in the dark as to the
whole subject of the bill; he had seen no report on it,
and knew not if there was any. He desired further in-

Military Peace Establishment.


Mr. MARKS adverted to certain documents in his possession which would elucidate the principle of the bill, but not anticipating the consideration of the bill to-day, he had not brought the papers to the House with him. He, to be the occasion of introducing any innovations into the therefore, moved to lay the bill on the table for the pre-proceedings of this body; but if it was any innovation, he sent, but withdrew his motion at the request of considered the present instance of sufficient importance to authorize a departure from the usual practice. It was a case, he said, which stood alone, and which, in his opinion, not only justified, but required a preamble. The object of the preamble was to explain the nature and the end of the act itself. The necessity for the preamble in this particular case, was, that the reasons for the act only existed in the secret Executive records of the Senate, and could not be known to the public or the other House unless stated in this way. There was no danger to be apprehended of its growing into precedent, nor of our bills being loaded with unnecessary preambles. He therefore hoped that the motion of the gentleman from New York would not prevail.

Mr. SMITH, of Maryland, who said that the bill did not contemplate the admission of any claims for advances, or the examination of any accounts; there were none to be rendered-they had all been settled and paid-and the bill is for the allowance of interest on those claims which have been settled and paid. Instead of laying the bill on the table, he preferred postponing it to Monday, and making it the order of the day; which motion he made, and it was carried.


The Senate were engaged to-day in receiving and referring petitions and reports of committees. Adjourned to Monday.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 28, 1829. There was no debate in the Senate to-day.



The Senate proceeded to the special order of the day on the bill explanatory of the act to reduce and fix the military peace establishment of the United States, passed March 2, 1821.

The bill is as follows:

[DEC. 24 to 29, 1829.

why the bill ought to be passed, were explained more at length in various other documents.

Mr. BENTON, in reply, said, that he would be sorry

Mr. HOLMES deemed a preamble nothing but an apology for legislation; and for apologies he thought there was no necessity. His chief objection to preambles was, that they rendered legislation complex instead of elucidating it.

"Whereas doubts have arisen in the construction of the act of Congress, passed the second day of March, one Mr. HAYNE said, that in the good olden times, when peothousand eight hundred and twenty-one, entitled "An ple were not ashamed to tell the truth, bills were precedact to reduce and fix the military peace establishment of ed by preambles always. They were used to set forth the United States," which have hitherto prevented it from the object of the bill, and the means by which that object being carried into execution, so far as relates to the ar- was to be obtained. It now happens that the practice is rangement of a colonel to the second regiment of artil- changed, and preambles have come into disuse because lelery: And whereas it was the true intent and meaning of gislative bodies are less candid. So much for precedent, the said act, that the vacancy aforesaid should be filled by which has led us to dispense with the use of preambles. arranging to it one of the colonels in the army of the He knew cases in which it would have been well to have United States at the time of the passage thereof: And retained the old practice. He knew a case in which a whereas, in the execution of said act, Daniel Bissel, then preamble would have been of infinite advantage--he a colonel in the line, and a brevet Brigadier General in meant the Tariff law. A preamble to that act would the army of the United States, was ordered to be dis- have stated its true objects-that it was for the purpose, charged as a supernumerary officer, which order, as it not of raising revenue, but for the protection of the manaffected the said Daniel Bissell, and some other officers, ufacturing interests. As to the apprehensions of the genwas held by the Senate to be illegal and void: And where- tleman from Maryland [Mr. SMITH] he [Mr. H.] would as the President of the United States has since nominated say that there was no danger of its becoming a precedent the said Daniel Bissell to be colonel of the second regi- --on the contrary, the only danger to be dreaded was, ment of artillery aforesaid, which nomination the Senate that we may be left without a precedent for stating the have not acted upon, because they hold the said Colonel grounds of our legislation. The gentleman not only oband Brevet Brigadier General Daniel Bissell to be in the jects as to the danger of its becoming a precedent for fuarmy, and to need no new appointment: Now, therefore, ture action, but he also says that it is not proper to spread to put an end to all doubt and disagreement upon this sub- our reasons for legislating upon record. This very case, ject, and to enable the President to carry said act of March he [Mr. H.] contended, required that the reasons should second, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-one, into go with the act. Suffer it to go to the world naked, and execution: what will it appear? Why, that Colonel Bissell is assigned to the command of the second regiment of artillery by an act of Congress. This would seem out of course, and what, he would ask, would be the consequences? Why, that Congress undertakes to fill vacancies in the army by special acts. But this is an extraordinary case, and to prevent the possibility of its being misunderstood, we state the reasons of passing the bill in a preamble to it. Unless these reasons were spread upon record, he would hesitate much whether he should vote for the passage of the bill, as he was not disposed to search for the reasons amongst the public documents of the Senate, or the Executive archives of the Senate. He hoped, therefore, the reasons for this act would go with it, and speak for themselves to all future time. The preamble of a bill,


Be it enacted, &c. That the President be, and he is hereby, authorized to fill the vacancy in the second regiment of artillery, by arranging Daniel Bissell thereto."

Mr. BENTON, in support of the passage of the bill, read the report of the Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred that part of the President's message to Congress in 1826, which relates to this subject.

Mr. SMITH, of Maryland, said that precedents arise, and only arise, from the repetition of particular cases, which increase gradually till at length they become common usage. Thus, if it be acceded to in the present instance, it would be quoted hereafter in support of a repetition of it. He considered it wrong to follow the English practice in this respect, as the reports of our Committees, with which all bills are accompanied, supply the place of preambles.

Mr. SANFORD moved to expunge the preamble from the bill. He considered it wholly unnecessary, and stated that there was no instance in our Government in which a preamble to a bill was employed as a vehicle of the reasons why the bill itself ought to be passed. It was, he repeated, wholly unusual and unnecessary; and, in the present case, especially unnecessary, since all the reasons

DEC. 30, 1829.]

National Currency.-The Public Lands.


he said, was the key to unlock the motive which induced Mr. BIBB asked the yeas and nays. He said he was its passage.. equally opposed to the principle of the preamble and the Mr. FOOT said that this bill required no key to unlock bill. He thought the decision of the President right and it. The bill was perfectly simple, and easily understood; this bill wrong. He was also opposed to paying any man it reads, "that the President be, and is hereby, author- a sum of perhaps fifteen thousand dollars, who had renized to fill the vacancy in the second regiment of artille- dered no service for it. ry, by arranging Daniel Bissell thereto." As to assigning reasons for the passage of a bill he thought there was no necessity for it. He was opposed to making apologies for our public acts--he would make no apology. As the gentleman from Maryland had well observed, the reports accompanying the bills contain the reasons of our legislation.

The yeas and nays were ordered.

Mr. SMITH moved to lay the bill on the table. He thought the bill could be amended by the insertion of a clause, providing against the payment of this individual for the time he has been out of service. The motion was agreed to.



The following resolution, submitted yesterday by Mr. BARTON, was taken up:

"Resolved, That the Committee on Finance be instruct

Mr. KANE said there was some difficulty with him about this matter. The necessity which gave rise to the bill was a different construction being given to the act of 1821 by the President and the Senate. The President thought that he had not the power to arrange General Bissell to the command of the second regiment of artillery, and the Senate, on the contrary, thought he had the authority to do so. A bill has been formed for the pur-ed to inquire into the expediency of establishing a unipose of settling the difficulty. If the bill pass in the pro- form national currency for the United States, and to report posed form, without the preamble, we call upon the Pre- thereon to the Senate." sident to sign a bill stating that to be right which he has declared or believed to be wrong; we call upon him to sign against his conviction. As he stated before, the President denies that he has the authority which the bill sup poses. He moved to amend the motion of the Senator from New York, by striking out all from the word "artillery" to the words "And whereas," exclusive. Mr. SMITH said that this very motion showed the im-one, and he therefore hoped that the gentleman who had propriety of introducing preambles into bills. The Sen-moved it would state what objects he had in view in offerator from South Carolina (Mr. HAYNE] considered a pre-ing it.

Mr. BARTON said that, in offering this resolution to the Senate, his chief object was to produce inquiry into the subject, which he viewed as one of importance. If the resolution was adopted, he should move to refer some documents in relation to the subject to the Committee on Finance.

Mr. BENTON said the resolution was a very important

amble necessary to show the intent and meaning of an act; Mr. BARTON was proceeding in compliance with the and he said that if a proper preamble had been placed be- request of his colleague, to state his reasons for offering fore the tariff bill, the objects set forth would be widely this resolution, which he said he would do in general different from what was there stated. His opinion was, terms, when-that the preamble was wholly unnecessary; if it prevail in one case it must prevail in all, and the result will be that, instead of discussing bills, we will be employed in the consideration of preambles.

Mr. BENTON rose and stated that he had mistaken the nature of the resolution proposed. His impression was, that it was the resolution proposed yesterday by the gentleman from Connecticut, [Mr. Foor] in relation to the public lands, which was under consideration.


Mr. DICKERSON said he would vote against striking out the preamble in this particular case, though he ob- Mr. SANFORD hoped that the gentleman from Misjected to the general use of it. In reply to the gentleman souri [Mr. BARTON] would still proceed to state his object. from South Carolina [Mr. HAYNE] who expressed his reMr. BARTON declined this for the present. gret that a preamble was not introduced into the Tariff thought a better opportunity would be afforded for this in bill, Mr. D. read the preamble of the act of 1789, laying a report from the Committee, and any explanatory obserduties, which was as follows: vations he had to make would be more appropriate when "Whereas it is necessary for the support of Govern- the subject should come to be considered by the Senate. ment, for the discharge of the debts of the United States, In the mean time, he would state that although he was and the encouragement and protection of manufactures, one of those who believed in the advantage of a well rethat duties be laid on goods, wares, and merchandises, im-gulated paper currency, he did not claim the merit of oriported." ginating this proposition. As respected it he was merely the disciple of others.

The question on the adoption of the resolution was carried in the affirmative, nem. con.

Mr. BARTON then moved to refer to the Committee a volume containing sundry printed papers on the subject of a national currency, among them a memorial signed by Thomas Law, Esq. of this city, Walter Jones, Esq. and others, some years ago presented to Congress, and an essay on the subject, addressed to the Columbian Institute, by Mr. Law.

The motion was agreed to, and the papers were referred accordingly.

Mr. HAYNE said the gentleman had given the best reason why the practice ought not to be dispensed with. If the real object of the Tariff act of 1828 had been prefixed to it, we could then have gone to the judiciary and tested the constitutionality of that law.

Mr. KANE, with the consent of the Senate, so modified his amendment as to read, "And whereas it was decided by the Senate to be the true intent and meaning," &c. This amendment was agreed to--Ayes 21, Noes 15. The question on striking out the whole preamble was next taken, and negatived--Ayes 19, Noes 20.

Mr. SMITH, of Maryland, inquired whether the person referred to in the bill would be entitled to his pay for the time from which he was deranged to the time when| he is to be arranged.

Mr. BENTON replied that each officer was obliged to give a certificate of honor that he was employed, and had incurred the usual expenses, during the time for which he claims pay, before he is entitled to any emolument. The question of engrossing the bill for a third reading being stated,

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The Public Lands.

[DEC. 30, 1829.

the office of Surveyor General may not be abolished with- a bill. It was then debated on its own merits. If, after disout detriment to the public interest."

cussion, it went to a committee, it went with the advantages
of being illuminated by all the light which the intelligence
of the whole body could shed upon it. He was willing to
discuss this resolution. He wished to do so. It was one
of infinite moment to the new States in the West. It was
a question of checking the emigration to them.
To stop
the surveys, to suspend the sales of fresh lands, was an old
and favorite policy with some politicians. It had often
been attempted. The attempts were as old as the exist-
ence of the Government. He wished to have a full de-
bate, and a vote of the Senate upon that policy. He knew

Mr. FOOT replied, he certainly would take notice of the challenge given by the gentleman from Missouri, [Mr. BENTON] although he had hoped the very terms of the resolution would be sufficiently explanatory of its purport. He had, he said, been induced to offer that resolution from the circumstance of having examined the mover of the resolution [Mr. Foor] to be a direct man, the report of the Commissioner of the Land Office, at the who would march up firmly to his object. He would, therelast session, by which he ascertained that the quantity of fore, suggest, that he had better change the form of his land which remained unsold at the minimum price of resolution; give it an imperative character; make it a re$125 per acre, exceeds 72,000,000 of acres. In addi- solution of instruction instead of inquiry. He paused to tion to this inducement, he was actuated by another: On give the Senator an opportunity to say whether he would examining the report of the Land Commissioner, made dur- thus modify his resolution. ing the present session, in which he found the following Mr. FOOT acknowledged the kindness of the gentlewords: "There is reason to believe there will be an annu- man from Missouri, but he must say that he had not the al demand of about one million acres land, which will vanity to pretend to understand this subject, and therefore probably be increased with the progress of population could not consent to give the resolution that peremptory. and improvement, &c. That the cash sales in one district character which he (Mr. B.) wished for. His object was in Ohio, where the lands were of inferior quality, and not inquiry-to obtain information. When the committee more than three or four hundred thousand acres for sale, shall have reported on the subject, then would be the amounted to $35,000, and in other places, where there are time for gentlemen to submit their views on it. He was immense quantities, and of very superior quality, the sale, not disposed to alter the phraseology of his resoultion. during 1828, amounted to only $2,000." He preferred to act upon it as it was.

The resolution having been read,

Mr. BENTON hoped that the gentleman from Connecticut, [Mr. Foor] would take notice of the request he had made to another gentleman, [Mr. BARTON] but which was intended for him.


From this statement of the Commissioner, Mr. F. said, Mr. BENTON said that the refusal of the gentleman to he was induced to institute an inquiry into the expediency modify his resolution could not prevent him from treating of stopping, for a limited time, this indiscriminate sale of it as a resolution of instruction. He could still oppose it, public lands, and whether the public interest did not de- and give his reasons for doing so. It was not usual [Mr. mand that an end should be put to it. His own State, B. said] to oppose the reference of resolutions of inquiry; every State in the Union, was interested in it, since there but this was a resolution to inquire into the expediency of lands are the common property of the United States. If committing a great injury upon the new States in the the fact was as it was stated in the Commissioner's report, West, and such an inquiry ought not to be permitted. It the subject was worthy of inquiry. Mr. F. thought it was was not a fit subject for inquiry. It was immaterial to better to confine the sales merely to those lands which him what the design or object of the mover might be, the have been already brought into market; an inquiry into effect was what he looked at, and it was clear that the efthe expediency of which was all that his resolution pro- fect, if the resolution should lead to correspondent legisposed. As the gentleman from Missouri [Mr. BENTON] lation, would be to check emigration to the Western States. had observed, this was a subject which involved important Such would be its inevitable effect. [Mr. Foor here interests; the whole United States have a deep interest in shook his head.] The Senator from Connecticut shakes it; and as such, he hoped that he had a right to make the his head, but he cannot shake the conviction out of my proposed inquiry. These were the reasons, which he head, [said Mr. B.] that a check to Western emigration said he stated briefly, why he was induced to offer the re- will be the effect of this resolution. The West is my country; not his. I know it; he does not. I know the practical effect of his resolution would be to check emigration to it; for who would remove to a new country if it was not to get new lands? The idea of checking emigra tion to the West was brought forward openly at the last increase of the tariff. The Secretary of the Treasury gave it a place in his annual report upon the finances. He dwelt openly and largely upon the necessity of checking the absorbing force of this emigration, in order to keep people in the East to work in the manufactories. I ccmmented somewhat severely upon his report at the time. I Mr. FOOT said, he was not aware of any difference in reprobated its doctrines. I did it in full Senate, in the the names of the officers when he submitted his resolu- current of an ardent debate, and no Senator contested the tion. His object was to inquire if the office of surveyor propriety of the construction which I had put upon ought not to be discontinued, if it should appear that sur-the Secretary's words. No Senator stood up to say that veys were no longer necessary. He wished his resolution emigration ought to be stopped for that purpose; but systo include surveyors as well as surveyors general. His tematic efforts go on, the effect of which is to stop it. The object was to abolish the office, if the quantity of land al- sentiment has shown itself here in different forms, at variready surveyed was considered sufficient for the demand. ous times, and has often been trampled under foot. The reMr. BENTON said, that he did not challenge the right of solution now before us involves the same consequence, the Senator from Connecticut [Mr. Foor] to offer resolu- but in a new phraseology. What are the lands to which tions. He, himself, was not opposed to resolutions: on the gentleman would limit the sales? What are they that the contrary, he thought they presented the best mode of could be sold, if his resolution should take effect? Scraps; presenting subjects for discussion. They presented the mere refuse; the leavings of repeated sales and pickings! principle, or object aimed at, in its simplest form, uncon- Does he suppose that any man of substance would remove nected with the details which trammel and encumber it in to the West for the purpose of establishing his family on

Mr. HOLMES made an inquiry as to that part of the resolution relating to the propriety of abolishing the office of surveyor general. There were, he said, five survey districts in the United States; one northwest of the Ohio, one south of Tennessee, one in Missouri, one in Alabama, and another in Florida. These officers in the districts he had mentioned, were known by different names, some were called surveyors, and others surveyors general. He wished to know, did the gentleman from Connecticut mean to extend his inquiry to all these States.

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