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PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES
THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
AT THE SECOND SESSION OF THE TWELFTH CONGRESS, BEGUN AT THE CITY OF
WASHINGTON, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 1812.
Monday, November 2, 1812.
appointed on the part of the Senate, to wait on The second session of the twelfth Congress him that a quorum of the two Houses is assem
the President of the United States and notify commenced this day at the City of Washington, bled and ready to receive any communication conformably to the act passed at the last session, that he may be pleased to make to them. entitled "An act fixing the time for the next meet
The Senate concurred in the appointment of ing of Congress ;" and the Senate assembled in their Chamber.
a joint committee on their part, agreeably to the resolution last mentioned; and Messrs. GAILLARD,
and Smith, of Maryland, were appointed the comNicholas Gilman and Charles Cutts, from mittee. New Hampshire.
A committee was appointed, agreeably to the Joseph B. VARNUM, from Massachusetts. 42d rule for conducting business in the Senate. CHAUNCEY GOODRICH, from Connecticut. Messrs LEIB, FRANKLIN, and Gregg, are the JEREMIAH B. Howell, from Rhode Island.
committee. Jonathan Robinson, from Vermont.
Resolved, That each Senator be supplied, durJohn LAMBERT, from New Jersey.
ing the present session, with three such newspaMichael LEIB, from Pennsylvania.
pers printed in any of the States as he may choose, OUTERBRIDGE HORSEY, from Delaware. provided that the same be furnished at ihe usual SAMUEL SMITH, from Maryland.
rate for the annual charge of such papers : and JESSE FRANKLIN and James TURNER, from provided, also, that if any Senator shall choose North Carolina.
io take any newspapers other than daily papers, Joun GAILLARD, from South Carolina.
he shall be supplied with as many such papers as William H. CRAWFORD and Charles Tait, shall not exceed the price of three daily papers. from Georgia.
Mr. GAILLARD reported, from the joint comGEORGE W. Campbell, from Tennessee.
mittee, that they had waited on the President of Thomas WORTUIngton and ALEXANDER CAMP- the United States, and that the President informed BELL, from Ohio.
the committee that he would make a communiThere being do quorum, the Senate adjourned cation to the two Houses at twelve o'clock totill to-morrow.
WEDNESDAY, November 4.
Obadian GERMAN, from the State of New
On motion, by Mr. Leib, a committee of three Carolina, severally attended.
members were appointed, who, with three members William H. CRAWFORD, President pro tempore, of the House of Representatives, to be appointed resumed the Chair.
by the said House, shall have the direction of the Ordered, That the Secretary acquaint the money appropriated to the purchase of books and House of Representatives that a quorum of the maps for the use of the iwo Houses of Congress ; Senate is assembled and ready io proceed to and Messrs. Leib, Tait, and CAMPBELL, of" Tenbusiness,
nessee, were appointed the committee on the part A message from the House of Representatives of the Senate. informed the Senate that a quorum of the House Mr. WORTHINGTON submitted the following is assembled and ready to proceed to business. motion for consideration : The House have appointed a committee on their Resolved, That Mountjoy Bayly, Doorkeeper and part, jointly, with such committee as may be Sergeant-at-Arms to the Senate, be, and he is hereby,
NOVEMBER, 1812. authorized to employ one assistant and two horses, for them from taking either side in the war, the enethe purpose of performing such duties as are usually my has not scrupled to call to his aid their ruthrequired by the Doorkeeper of the Senate ; and that less ferocity, armed with the horrors of those instruthe sum of twenty-eight dollars be allowed him weekly ments of carnage and torture which are known to for that purpose, to commence with and remain during spare neither age nor sex. In this outrage against the the present session, and for twenty days thereafter. laws of honorable war, and against the feelings sacred
Mr. German submitted the following motion to humanity, the British commanders cannot resort to for consideration:
a plea of retaliation ; for it is committed in the face of Resolved, That two Chaplains, of different denomi- self-defence against men in arms; for it embraces the
our example. They cannot mitigate it, by calling it a nations, be appointed to Congress during the present most shocking butcheries of defenceless families. Nor session, one by each House, who shall interchange can it be pretended that they are not answerable for weekly.
the atrocities perpetrated; since the savages are emOn motion, by Mr. Gregg, a committee was ap- ployed with a knowledge, and even with menaces, that pointed agreeably to the 22d rule, for conducting their fury could not be controlled. Such is the specbusiness in the Senate; and Messrs. Robinson, tacle which the deputed authorities of a nation, boastHowell, and Gregg, were appointed the coming its religion and morality, have not been restrained mittee.
from presenting to an enlightened age.
The misfortune at Detroit was not, however, withPRESIDENT'S ANNUAL MESSAGE.
out a consoling effect. It was followed by signal proofs The following Message was received from the that the national spirit rises according to the pressure PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:
on it. The loss of an important post, and of the brave Fellow-citizens of the Senate
men surrendered with it, inspired everywhere new and House of Representatives :
ardor and determination. In the States and districts On our present meeting, it is my first duty to invite least remote, it was no sooner known, than every citiyour attention to the providential favors which our
zen was ready to fly with his arms, at once, to protect country has experienced, in the unusual degree of his brethren against the blood-thirsty savages let loose health dispensed to its inhabitants, and in the rich by the enemy on an extensive frontier, and to convert abundance with which the earth has rewarded the la: This patriotic zeal
, which it was necessary rather to
a partial calamity into a source of invigorated efforts. bors bestowed on it. In the successful cultivation of limit than excite, has embodied an ample force from other branches of industry, and in the progress of gen- the States of Kentucky and Ohio, and from parts of eral improvement favorable to the national prosperity, Pennsylvania and Virginia. It is placed, with the there is just occasion, also, for our mutual congratula- addition of a few regulars, under the command of Brigtions and thankfulness.
With these blessings are necessarily mingled the adier General Harrison, who possesses the entire conpressures and vicissitudes incident to the state of war, fidence of his fellow-soldiers, among whom are citizens, into which the United States have been forced by the
some of them volunteers in the ranks, not less distinperseverance of a foreign Power in its system of in- guished by their political stations, than by their perjustice and aggression.
sonal merits. The greater portion of this force is proPrevious to its declaration, it was deemed proper, as
ceeding on its destination, towards the Michigan 'sera measure of precaution and forecast, that a consider- ritory, having succeeded in relieving an important able force should be placed in the Michigan Territory, frontier post, and in several incidental operations with a general view to its security, and, in the event against hostile tribes of savages, rendered indispensable of war, to such operations in the uppermost Canada by the subserviency into which they had been seduced as would intercept the hostile influence of Great Brit- by the enemy; a seduction the more cruel, as it could ain over the savages, obtain the command of the Lake not fail to impose a necessity of precautionary severion which that part of Canada borders, and maintain ties against those who yielded to it. co-operating relations with such forces as might be At a recent date, an attack was made on a post of most conveniently employed against other parts. Brig- the enemy near Niagara, by a detachment of the reguadier General Hull was charged with this provisional lar and other forces, under the command of Major service ; having under his command a body of troops General Van Rensselaer, of the militia of the State of composed of regulars and volunteers from the State of New York. The attack, it appears, was ordered in Ohio. Having reached his destination after his know- compliance with the ardor of the troops, who executed ledge of the war, and possessing discretionary authority it with distinguished gallantry, and were, for a time, to act offensively, he passed into the neighboring ter- victorious; but not receiving the expected support, ritory of the enemy, with a prospect of easy and vic- they were compelled to yield to reinforcements of Brittorious progress. The expedition, nevertheless, termi- ish regulars and savages. Our loss has been considernated unfortunately, not only in a retreat to the town able, and is deeply to be lamented. That of the enemy, and fort of Detroit, but in the surrender of both, and less ascertained, will be the more felt, as it includes, of the gallant corps commanded by that officer. The among the killed, the Commanding General, who was causes of this painful reverse will be investigated by a also Governor of the Province; and was sustained by military tribunal.
veteran troops, from inexperienced soldiers, who must A distinguishing feature in the operations which daily improve in the duties of the field. preceded and followed this adverse event, is the use made Our expectation of gaining the command of the by the enemy of the merciless savages under their in- Lakes, by the invasion of Canada from Detroit, havfluence. Whilst the benevolent policy of the United ing been disappointed, measures were instantly taken States invariably recommended peace and promoted to provide, on them, a naval force superior to that civilization among that wretched portion of the hu- of the enemy. From the talents and activity of the man race; and was making exertions to dissuade officer charged with this object, everything that can be
President's Annual Message.
done may be expected. Should the present season not advance was declined, from an avowed repugnance to admit of complete success, the progress made will in- a suspension of the practice of impressments during sure, for the next, a naval ascendency, where it is es- the armistice, and without any intimation that the arsential to our permanent peace with, and control over, rangement proposed, with respect to seamen, would the savages.
be accepted. Whether the subsequent communicaAmong the incidents to the measures of the war, Itions from this Government, affording an occasion for am constrained to advert to the refusal of the Govern- reconsidering the subject, on the part of Great Britain, ors of Massachusetts and Connecticut to furnish the will be viewed in a more favorable light, or received in required detachments of militia towards the defence of a more accommodating spirit, remains to be known. the maritime frontier. The refusal was founded on a It would be unwise to relax our measures, in any renovel and unfortunate exposition of the provisions of spect, on a presumption of such a result. the Constitution relating to the militia. The corre- The documents from the Department of State, which spondences which will be before you, contain the relate to this subject, will give a view also of the proprequisite information on the subject. It is obvious ositions for an armistice, which have been received that, if the authority of the United States to call into here, one of them from the authorities at Halifax and service and command the militia for the public defence, in Canada, the other from the British Government can be thus frustrated, even in a state of declared war, itself, through Admiral Warren; and of the grounds and, of course, under apprehensions of invasion pre- on which neither of them could be accepted. ceding war, they are not one nation for the purpose most Our affairs with France retain the posture which of all requiring it; and that the public safety may have they held at my last communications to you. Notno other resource, than in those large and permanent withstanding the authorized expectations of an early military establishments which are forbidden by the as well as favorable issue to the discussions on foot, principles of our free Government, and against the these have been procrastinated to the latest date. The necessity of which the militia were meant to be a Con- only intervening occurrence meriting attention, is the stitutional bulwark.
promulgation of a French decree purporting to be a On the coasts, and on the ocean, the war has been definitive repeal of the Berlin and Milan decrees. This as successful as circumstances inseparable from its proceeding, although made the ground of the repeal of early stages could promise. Our public ships and pri- the British Orders in Council, is rendered, by the time vate cruisers, by their activity, and, where there was and manner of it, liable to many objections. occasion, by their intrepidity, have made the enemy The final communications from our special Minister sensible of the difference between a reciprocity of cap. to Denmark, afford further proofs of the good effects of tures, and the long confinement of them to their side. his mission, and of the amicable disposition of the Da. Our trade, with little exception, has safely reached our
nish Government. From Russia, we have the satisports ; having been much favored in it by the course faction to receive assurances of continued friendship, pursued by a squadron of our frigates, under the com- and that it will not be affected by the rupture between mand of Commodore Rodgers. And in the instance the United States and Great Britain. Sweden also in which skill and bravery were more particularly professes sentiments favorable to the subsisting har. tried with those of the enemy, the American flag had mony. an auspicious triumph. The frigate Constitution, With the Barbary Powers, excepting that of Algiers, commanded by Captain Hull, after a close and short our affairs remain on the ordinary footing. The Conengagement, completely disabled and captured a Brit- sul General, residing with that Regency, has suddenly, ish frigate; gaining for that officer, and all on board, and without cause, been banished, together with all a praise which cannot be too liberally bestowed; not the American citizens found there. Whether this was merely for the victory actually achieved, but for that the transitory effect of capricious despotism, or the prompt and cool exertion of commanding talents, first act of predetermined hostility, is not ascertained. which, giving to courage its highest character, and to Precautions were taken by the Consul on the latter the force applied its full effect, proved that more could supposition. have been done in a contest requiring more.
The Indian tribes, not under foreign instigations, Anxious to abridge the evils from which a state of remain at peace, and receive the civilizing attentions war cannot be exempt, I lost no time, after it was de- which have proved so beneficial to them. clared, in conveying to the British Government the With a view to that vigorous prosecution of the war, terms on which its progress might be arrested, without | to which our national faculties are adequate, the attenawaiting the delays of a formal and final pacification; tion of Congress will be particularly drawn to the inand our Chargé d'Affaires at London was, at the same sufficiency of existing provisions for filling up the Miltime, authorized to agree to an armistice founded upon itary Establishment. Such is the happy condition of them. These terms required that the Orders in Coun our country, arising from the facility of subsistence and cil should be repealed as they affected the United the high wages for every species of occupation, that, States, without a revival of blockades violating ac- notwithstanding the augmented inducements provided knowledged rules; and that there should be an imme- at the last session, a partial success only has attended diate discharge of American seamen from British ships, the recruiting service. The deficiency has been neand a stop to impressment from American ships, with cessarily supplied during the campaign by other than an understanding that an exclusion of the seamen of regular troops, with all the inconveniences and expense each nation from the ships of the other should be stipu- incident to them. The remedy lies in establishing, lated; and that the armistice should be improved into more favorably for the private soldier, the proportion a definitive and comprehensive adjustment of depend between his recompense and the term of his enlisting controversies. Although a repeal of the Orders ment. And it is a subject which cannot too soon or susceptible of explanations meeting the views of this too seriously be taken into consideration. Government had taken place before this pacific ad- The same insufficiency has been experienced in the vance was communicated to that of Great Britain, the provisions for volunteers made by an act of the last SENATE.
President's Annual Message.
session. The recompense for the service required in teen millions and a half of dollars; which have been this case is still less attractive than in the other And sufficient to defray all the demands on the Treasury to although patriotism alone has sent into the field some that day, including a necessary reimbursement of near valuable corps of that description, those alone who can three millions of the principal of the public debt. In afford the sacrifice can be reasonably expected to yield these receipts is included a sum of near five millions to that impulse.
eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars, received on It will merit consideration, also, whether, as aux- account of the loans authorized by the acts of the last iliary to the security of our frontiers, corps may not be session : the whole sum actually obtained on loan advantageously organized, with a restriction of their amounts to eleven millions of dollars, the residue of services to particular districts convenient to them. which, being receivable subsequent to the 30th of SepAnd whether the local and occasional services of ma- tember last, will, together with the current revenue, riners and others in the seaport towns, under a similar enable us to defray all the expenses of this year. organization, would not be a provident addition to the The duties on the late unexpected importations of means of their defence.
British manufactures will render the revenue of the I recommend a provision for an increase of the gen- ensuing year more productive than could have been eral officers of the Army, the deficiency of which has anticipated. been illustrated by the number and distance of sepa- The situation of our country, fellow-citizens, is not rate commands, which the course of the war and the without its difficulties; though it abounds in animating advantage of the service have required.
considerations, of which the view here presented of our And I cannot press too strongly on the earliest at- pecuniary resources is an example. With more than tention of the Legislature, the importance of the reor. one nation we have serious and unsettled controverganization of the staff establishment, with a view to sies; and with one, powerful in the means and habits render more distinct and definite the relations and re- of war, we are at war. The spirit and strength of the sponsibilities of its several departments. That there nation are nevertheless equal to the support of all its is room for improvements which will materially pro- rights, and to carry it through all its trials. They can mote both economy and success, in what appertains to be met in that confidence. Above all, we have the inthe Army and the war, is equally inculcated by the estimable consolation of knowing that the war in which examples of other countries, and by the experience of we are actually engaged, is a war neither of ambition our own.
nor of vain glory; that it is waged, not in violation of A revision of the militia laws for the purpose of ren- the rights of others, but in the maintenance of our dering them more systematic, and better adapting them own; that it was preceded by a patience without exto the emergencies of the war, is, at this time, particu- ample, under wrongs accumulating without end : and Jarly desirable.
that is was finally not declared until every hope of Of the additional ships authorized to be fitted for averting it was extinguished, by the transfer of the service, two will be shortly ready to sail ; a third is un- British sceptre into new hands clinging to former der repair, and delay will be avoided in the repair of councils; and until declarations were reiterated to the residue. Of the appropriations for the purchase of the last hour, through the British Envoy here, that the materials for ship building, the greater part has been hostile edicts against our commercial rights and our applied to that object, and the purchase will be con- maritime independence would not be revoked ; nay, tinued with the balance.
that they could not be revoked without violating the The enterprising spirit which has characterized our obligations of Great Britain to other Powers, as well naval force, and its success, both in restraining insults as to her own interests. To have shrunk, under such and depredations on our coasts, and in reprisals on the circumstances, from manly resistance, would have been enemy, will not fail to recommend an enlargement a degradation blasting our best and proudest hopes; it of it.
would have struck us from the high rank where the There being reason to believe that the act prohibit- virtuous struggles of our fathers had placed us, and ing the acceptance of British licenses is not a sufficient have betrayed the magnificent legacy which we bold guard against the use of them for purposes favorable in trust for future generations. It would have acto the interests and views of the enemy, further pro- knowledged, that, on the element which forms threevisions on that subject are highly important. Nor is fourths of the globe we inhabit, and where all indeit less so, that penal enactments should be provided pendent nations have equal and common rights, the for cases of corrupt and perfidious intercourse with the American people were not an independent people, but enemy, not amounting to treason, nor yet embraced colonists and vassals. It was at this moment, and by any statutary provisions.
with such an alternative, that war was chosen. The A considerable number of American vessels which nation felt the necessity of it, and called for it. The were in England when the revocation of the Orders in appeal was accordingly made, in a just cause, to the Council took place, were laden with British manufac- just and all powerful Being who holds in his hand the tures, under an erroneous impression that the non- chain of events, and the destiny of nations. It remains importation act would immediately cease to operate, only, that, faithful to ourselves, entangled in no conand have arrived in the United States. It did not ap- nexions with the views of other Powers, and ever ready pear proper to exercise, on unforeseen cases of such to accept peace from the hand of justice, we prosecute magnitude, the ordinary powers vested in the Treasury the war with united counsels and with the ample Department to mitigate forfeitures, without previously faculties of the nation, until peace be so obtained, and affording to Congress an opportunity of making on the as the only means, under the Divine blessing, of subject such provisions as they may think proper. In speedily obtaining it. JAMES MADISON. their decision, they will doubtless equally consult what
WASHINGTON, November 4, 1812. is due to equitable considerations and to the public interest.
The Message and documents were read, and The receipts into the Treasury during the year end-twelve hundred and fifty copies ordered to be ing on the 30th of September last, have exceeded six. printed for the use of the Senate.