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[APRIL 6, 1830. 'dily admit economy, and did readily admit infidelity as State authorities could not be compelled to give effect to regarded both their execution and management. The the laws of the United States. They might assume and General Government derived, therefore, no recommenda- exercise this office, but it was optional. This option, howtion for the office of internal improvement from its pecu- ever, had reference to laws of civil character only. As liar control over imposts, more than from the nature of regarded those of penal character, it was uncontested, the function to be exercised. that the State courts could not have jurisdiction given to

A further recommendation of the prosecution of inter- them, though they should be willing to exercise it. It would nal improvements by the General Government, had been be an anomaly, said the lawyers, for one political authoriurged, from the supposed tendency of this policy to in-ty to execute the penal laws of another. But the regu troduce affinities of intercourse and interest between lations required for the protection of roads demanded quarters not otherwise intimately related; and, in this penalties. They could consist of little else than the demanner, to exert an influence conducive to the harmony nunciation and enforcement of penalties. In proportion and cement of the Union. There could be no higher to the multiplication of roads, these would have to be angrecommendation if it were well founded, certainly. mented, not in number only, but severity also. The States But was any influence of this auspicious character to were precluded from the office of their enforcement. What be justly ascribed to the operations of the policy? Was remained This Government must have a system of road not the real influence exactly the reverse? The different police of its own, courts, and officers, and force. Its prequarters of the Union had very unequal occasions and de-sent paraphernalia in this respect would not suffice. Its mands for works of internal improvement. Some had courts and officers were too few, at distances too remote accomplished, or nearly so, their whole occasions of this from each other, and from the scenes in which they might description. Would a spirit of concord be diffused in be called to act. These distinct judicatures and officers these quarters, by the spectacle of large and continued must be established for this special purpose, and provision appropriations in modes in relation to which they had no made for the maintenance of their authority. And all this participation of interest in the objects or in the disburse-complication of arrangement was to be encountered--for ments? Was a patient condition of feeling in these cir- what? For maintaining this Government in the exercise cumstances to be expected? Jealousies and discontent-- of a function, to say the least, demanded by no necessity, would not the occurrences of these be inevitable? This as the States could perform it very well, and for which, was in the supposition of honest administration of the sys- for the very reason that it is the General Government, it But how strong were the inducements to adminis was wholly unfit. tration of an opposite character? Discontent would have Such was the character of this policy of internal im to be appeased or repressed! By what methods? By provement, to be executed by the Government of the gratifications to lull, or interested combinations to stifle, Union! And now the question naturally a: ose, [said Mr. their expression. Where, too, was the limit to this evil in A.] in what manner it had happened that the policy degree or time? Such a system prove a source of har- had not only been proposed, but to no inconsiderable exmony! A cement to the Union! This was estimating tent adopted and carried into practice? He was brought the operation of scrambles of interest very strangely! to this view of the subject, little agreeable, but most im Not harmony, but excitement, open or concealed distrust; portant It had happened, by a peculiar coincidence, that and under outside anity, smothered hostility-these were the French revolution, the parent of so many important the fruits. An extensive system of internal improvement consequences, had its birth in the same year with the conin the name of harmony! The cry would indeed be stitution of the United States. The agitations growing "peace, peace, when there was no peace." No! Such out of this event, it was known, had given the fullest a system would prove, eventually, as fatal to the harmony employment in attention to external relations and interests as the purity of the Government The Union would not to the Government with which we were most connected, break-that would imply a remaining solidity of consist- and our own. Small scope remained for attention to subence--it would dissolve under this influence; for rotten-jects of mere interior concern. This state of things subness does not break, but loses its coherence of parts from loss of the principles which cemented them!


sided with the general peace of 1813. This subsidence, in its general character and aspect so auspicious, was at But waiving other objections, supposing the policy good tended, however, with an incidental effect of most injuri and wise, have gentlemen familiarized their minds--he ous operation. It led in this, and most of the European might say, their nerves--to the complication of parts the States, to the adoption of what is known as the protect system will involve? If this Government have roads, it ive, or tariff policy. He was not going into any discussion must have supervisors of them. This very road will de- on this point, however invited by the allusions of the demand a number. The thousands which will be made to bate. Why? When so many, his superiors in judgment, connect with it--the tens of thousands of which the prin- retained the excitement which perseverance in this policy, ciple which gave this birth will be prolific, what armies of here, had awakened, why was he calm and at ease, though officers must they call into being? Where is the compli- partaking entirely the reprobation of its principle and cation of this system to have its end? Where the patron- operation? It was from the conviction that, in a free State, age, to call it by no harsher name? Were Congress con- truth and public interest must eventually vindicate themverted to a board of public works, where would room be selves. He had, therefore, no question that this policy found for this new office? The Executive employed in its must eventually frustrate itself. His belief was undoubt function of appointment, would not his hands be filled? ing, that in a period which he hoped would not be very But, furthermore, the roads constructed must have pro- long, many who were now most forward in pressing and vision for their protection. They cannot be left destitute maintaining this system, would be ashamed to avow they in this respect, as the history of all roads of expensive con- had been its friends. We had some foretaste of this result struction proved. But the office of protection, it could at this session, in the invincible repugnance which had not be confided to State regulation. This might be inade been manifested over and over again to bring the practi quate, or in its exercise remiss. A State might have no cal operation of the system under discussion. The time interest opposed to a road being placed in a condition to would come, and probably before the discussion would be demand repair, or even a direct interest of reverse cha- permitted, when there would be nothing remaining to disracter. It might be jealous, moreover, of the competition cuss. To return to the subject, however, the best and of federal roads with those constructed by its own citizens most beneficial institutions were never found exempt from or authority. There must be safeguards against all these a mixture of evil operation; nor was our excellent federal .contingencies. It had been decided in the courts that system exempt from this common law.

The subsidence

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of the excitements growing out of a general state of war, cured completely. He only wondered how he could ever by general peace, had left Government, here as elsewhere, have fallen into it. Individual men, with very rare exroom for the exercise of its energies in interior operation. ceptions, must submit to the control of circumstances. Government could never be sufficiently imbued with the Operating for an object so alluring, what policy could they important truth, that its greatest evil was over-action; nor be committed to, which would not bend to that which was men get rid of the belief in which they were bred, that they personal--the extension of connexions--the debilitation of were to regard its operation as the positive source, and not rivals-the advancement of pretensions. He mentioned merely the guardian of their prosperity. Its proper bene- this as no peculiar reproach. The thing, he repeated, was ficial province was, in preventing intrusion--keeping inevitable--must be so. Although he was ready and ripe hands off-its own as well as the hands of others-from in- then for coalition, in reference to the Presidency, it should dividual exertion and its fruits, which formed the real not be on the pretensions of any individual. But if a cansources of all public as well as private prosperity. If he didate who promised to bring weight to the election stood were called upon to state what had been pre-eminently committed by position, not profession, (for that he should the curse of human society, he should say too much go- have little value,) to vindicate interests and principles vernment; and that produced, in a great degree, by the which he [Mr. A.] considered as suffering injustice and epidemic frenzy of believing that its operation was an oppression from the present operation of the Government, active principle of prosperity. Our federal system was for any candidate in these circumstances, he was willing Eable, in a peculiar manner, to mischief from over-action. to go into confederacy. If any candidate standing in this From the vast and varied extent of surface it supervised, commitment promised strength to tear away this parasite it embraced necessarily an unusually great diversity of tariff, which wound around the trunk of the Union to suck interests--so great as in instances to become inimical. out its vitality, for this candidate he would go into coaliThis must, of course, happen in a greater degree, and tion. If any promised weight to sink this picaroon policy there would be a greater warfare of these interests under of internal improvement, for him he would go into coalia federative system than any other. Contiguous interests tion. were little disjoined or easily reconciled. Not so of the He had been led [said Mr. A.] into this course of inciremote. To what did this lead? It had been said, in re- dental remark in the way of illustration. Having no perlation to religious sects, that their diversity and multipli- sonal interest to serve or injure, it was no merit that he cation were the safety of the State, because, if any one aim spoke with unreserve. The proposition he wished to inat ascendency, the others will be in activity to arrest it. culcate was this, that coalition among special interests, emBut this remark was not transferable to interests of social braced by our wide extending system, to obtain ascendency character. It was true of religious sects, because it be- at the expense of others, or the general interest, was an longed to their nature to refuse coalescence, and the more inherent evil of the system, the qualification to its otherviolently as they approximated accordance in their tenets. wise transcendent excellence. In the theory, the strength The observation had held, over the whole world, in every and counsels of all were to be combined for the safeguard region; but social interests observed no such law, and, of each; but the operation did not correspond to the puleast of all, under a federative system. They are widely rity of the theory. It was this circumstance that furnishdispersed, moderated by none of the affinities which neigh-ed the key to incidents which had given so much occasion borhood engenders, even among opposing interests. Each to surprise in our proceedings here. The smallest sums seeks its gratification. How are they to attain it? There of money would sometimes be denied to the most essential was but one mode of any extensive success, and that was public service, and the most prodigal grants made the by the coalition of several, making the weak strong, and same day, in lands or money, to schemes having obthe strong safe. This mode had the advantage, besides, viously only doubtful or inconsiderable claims to favor. of extenuating responsibility and shame. Men were em- The solution was no secret to persons familiar with the boldened to do what, without this principle of support, scene. The disbursement in these cases furnished the they would hesitate to avow to their own thoughts. The motive, was the benefit contemplated, not the nominal obprinciple itself was of inevitable operation in our system. ject to be effected. Let the pension system be an examTake that one of our public concerns which, in point of ple. This system, as regarded the selection of subjects in interest, had come nearly to absorb every other, as an il- reference to indigence merely, was said (he believed lustration-the election to the Presidency. How much had truly) to have had its origin in a mistaken estimate of the this to do with merit in the candidates? Every body knew numbers it would comprehend. Unceasing efforts were that was of subordinate consideration. No man, in a sphere made of late, notwithstanding, to enlarge its compreso diffused, by personal merit or qualification, (excepting hension. Had these efforts any connexion, as the aspect always the influence of revolutionary service, or some sig. imported, with zeal to provide reward and relief for renal achievement,) could command a popularity sufficient- volutionary service? No one was imposed on by prely general to ensure success! Why? Every quarter had tence of this kind here. The real inducement was known its pretender, limiting the circle of pretension of every to stand in contrast to any impulse of enthusiasm or geneother. How was any to obtain the goal, in the jostle of rosity. It was a simple principle of pecuniary calculamovements on the common object? It was only to be tion. The purpose was to transfer a heavy poor rate to achieved by combination of countervailing or separated this Government, from quarters in which the burden pretensions, till a predominance was created. The lever pressed unequally, if each sustained its fair proportion; of some powerful motive must be set at work to roll the and then, by extension of principle, to augment to the utlogs together, till the pile was raised to the required ele-most the benefit from the disbursement. There were, of Did he mention this in any way of stigma to in-course, exceptions, and a mixture of motive, but this was dividuals? Not at all. He stated it [said Mr. A.] as the leading one. A bill had passed one branch of the an inevitable infirmity of our form of Federal Government. Legislature, at this very session, to enlarge the limit of inThe thing was not so by accident or occasion, but necessi-digence entitling to relief, to one thousand dollars--a sum ty. So far from quarrelling with what was inevitable, for which would be regarded as independence for the body one, he was disposed to turn it to account; for there was of the population anywhere else, though it constituted leno form of evil from which good might not be extracted gal indigence with us. If the extension had been proposfor its alleviation. He was willing now--at any time--he ed to a larger sum, within any boundary that would not avowed it--to go into coalition in relation to the election threaten counteraction from public indignation and shame, for the Presidency. Not for a man-he was done with so- the success would have been no less unequivocal. licitude as related to particular men. Of that folly he was The expenditures for fortifications illustrated the same


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course of remark. They had amounted to a large sum, tion; that is to say, into that state in which factitious strength say nine millions of dollars. Yesterday, a very moderate was acquired, and restraining shame was removed! Proaddition to the appropriation for arming, that is to say, ren- fusion, on the part of the Government, was rendered an dering really effective and ready for use such as had been interest to be nurtured and protected by the proper guardcompleted, had been refused by a large vote. There was ians of the States, in the focus of its safety, its halls of no extensive interest engaged in the founding of cannon. legislation! And how nurtured? How protected? NurThe benefit from the disbursements for fortifications had tured in corruption! Protected by audacity! And where been widely diffused. was the chief channel of this profusion, and main organ What, then, [inquired Mr. A.] was the real evil prin- of its introduction as a system, to be found? The fact was ciple of our General Government? It was, that the na-notorious, [said Mr. A.] and his should be the voice tional treasury came unavoidably to be regarded in a fo-to resound it through the land, this channel and organ reign rather than domestic aspect; as something different were to be furnished by an extended application of the from the State treasuries; and that combinations would be policy of internal improvement. This, this in hunc converin perpetual generation or activity to subject it to contri-tite telum, was the forehead on which public reprobation bution. His colleague [Mr. BARBOUR] had opened this ought at once, and deeply, to burn its stigma for scorn to view. He would take occasion to give it expansion and point "his unmoving finger at."

development. It was inevitable that the disbursements Reverting to this topic, one thing there was [he said] reof the Government should be distributed with great ine-markable about this business of internal improvement, quality. The largest grew out of the public debt. The that, even in circumstances the most favorable, and in redebt would accumulate with the accumulations of capital, gard to projects the best conceived and executed, it was necessarily; that is to say, in the region of commerce--on found, in a calculation of cost and profit, to prove a losing the seaboard. The naval expenditures, and those purely business. It did not make returns conformably to the commercial, must follow the same course. The same average of ordinary pursuits on the capital invested; and frontier presented the quarter most demanding prepara- this, with inconsiderable and not frequently occurring extions of defence. The disbursements of a military charac- ceptions, was the just test in regard to the public, no less ter, therefore, whether for fortifications or the mainte- than individuals, of a good or bad business. Its capital nance of troops, must, a large portion of them, seek the was the source of the wealth of the nation. Whether emsame direction. The seaboard must be the scene of the ployed by the public or individuals, if any portion did not larger expenditures of the Government-the region to return the ordinary and average rate of interest, the inprofit by their direct influences. Not the whole seaboard, vestment must, in the general, and excluding from view however, in equable proportions. To the south of Nor- peculiar circumstances, be regarded as injudicious. Of the folk, in Virginia, ports occurred at remote distances, and fact of the inability of even the best devised and most valunot in circumstances favorable to the attraction of the Go-able works of internal improvement to sustain this test, vernment disbursements. The direct benefit of these dis- very remarkable and entirely authentic evidence had just bursements must, therefore, be realized unequally, even been furnished in New York. He referred to a report of on the seaboard. The interior and extreme West were the canal commissioners of that State, made the past winnearly excluded from participation of it. Did he state ter, in answer to a call of the Senate. The canals of the this in any way of censure or arraignment? Not at all. State, it appears, not only did not reimburse the annual This course of things was inevitable. The revenue, how. expenses and interest on the capital disbursed; it was made ever, presented a very different history as regarded the a question whether, by any augmentation of tolls, they source of its supply. The great mass of it was derived could be made to do so. If improvements, giving the largest from the duties on imports. The exports furnished the and best founded promise, executed on the best terms, imports; agriculture furnished the great mass of the ex-pervading an extensive and rich country, (he had seen and ports. It was taxation on agriculture, therefore, that sup-could vouch from his own view,) commanding the transplied nearly the entire amount of the revenue. It was, in port of the products of a large part of a continent--if ima peculiar degree, too, the character of agriculture to provements, in these circumstances, marked by a distincconsume the whole amount of its production; and the tion so peculiarly favorable, were found to fail, under the market for it being chiefly foreign with us, the great mass common test of judicious investment, what was to be said of this production paid contribution to Government in the of all others inferior in pretension, and, yet more, for a geduties on the returns procured by its exportation. A much neral system spreading every where, and embracing every larger proportion of the revenue of agriculture sustained description as well as variety of projects? this burden, than of other occupations. Much of that of In New York, a question was agitated, not merely of the commerce was derived from a further charge on agricul- propriety of taxation, in aid of the proceeds of the cature; and manufactures had not yet obtained external nals, but of a character yet more calculated to produce dismarkets to a considerable extent. Whilst, then, the com- turbance. It related to the confinement of the taxation mercial portion of the community, constituted chiefly by to the tracts more immediately benefited by contiguity to a part only of the seaboard, received the larger proportion the canal, instead of making it a general burden on the of the revenue of the nation, the agricultural and interior State. The temper which must grow from a discussion of paid nearly the whole. Could this inequality fail to be such a character was easily appreciated. Yet this was the felt with sensibility? That was not to be supposed; and system, failing under circumstances the most favorable to this sensibility was becoming the germ of the most mena-pay, and threatening, even in the contracted and homocing evils. The quarters which received most liberally geneous sphere of a single State, to create disturbances, from the public disbursements had the appetite for them which was recommended as a bond of concord, as well as whetted, not gratified. The parts which received nothing, a source of profit, in a political community, contributing or the least, anxiously sought indemnity. How was this in different proportions to its expense, and deriving unto be obtained? By swelling disbursements in their own equal advantages from its operation! Neighboring intedirection beyond occasion, or creating them when not re- rests, which, when not intrinsically related, ran into easy quired. Sympathies of artificial character tended, in this reconcilement, were thrown into jar by it; yet its tendenmanner, to distend and multiply the expenditures of the cy to harmonize interests remote in position, and disGovernment. Disbursement became a thing good in it-sociated by character, was a principal argument in its supself, per se. Not one, but many interests were engender- port! Such was the logic which self-interest employed, ed in public prodigality; and, what was worse, these inte- when disposing of other interests, or those of the public! rests ran inevitably into combinations for mutual sustenta- Truly, [said Mr. A.] the best ground of vindication

APRIL 6, 1830.]


Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

[H. of R. on which to place such a system, was that which had contributed. Was not the inducement, then, decisive to been in effect assumed in the debate, and formed the real derive revenue, to tax, for no other purpose than to disinducing consideration, its tendency to equalize the dis- tribute? What was to obstruct? or where was the limit to proportionate and unfair disbursements of the Govern- this sort of operation? The quarters deriving unequal ment, as regarded the different quarters of the country. advantages, would they not sustain each other? If it were He really esteemed this principle of defence as colored one of the recommendations of internal improvements, that with the most plausible show of reason and fairness. The they operated to equalize the disbursements of the Gogentleman from Tennessee, [Mr. ISACKS] with honest vernment, here was an operation of an efficiency yet frankness, had stated this as a leading consideration in its more extensive, by which more essential inequalities might support. He [Mr. A.] did not refer to the declaration be redressed. Were different quarters of the country in with censure, but commendation. It proved, what he different conditions, as regarded pecuniary resources and knew of this gentleman well before, that he was of too wealth, from variety in the character of their products, manly a character to refuse the avowal of a motive on the forms of their industry, or other causes, here was an which he was willing to act. engine of easy application for introducing a republican [Mr. ISACKS explained. He had indeed adverted to the level, by the direct transfer of the redundancy of some expenditure of the public money in the West, as one bene-parts to compensate the deficiencies of others. Where ficial consequence attendant on the proposed measure; was the stopping point to men who could contemplate a but he never insisted on that as the primary consideration policy founded on such a principle? And what must the which induced him to be its advocate.] men be who would submit to its exertion on them? A Mr. ARCHER resumed. He was willing to trust to the large proportion of the national revenue was derived from considerations he had been stating, for evidence of the true the labor of slaves. Two-fifths of these would not be character, both of the general policy and particular mea- counted on the proposed principle of distribution; that is to But if the equalization of disbursements were to say, their owners, and, through their owners, themselves, be admitted as any part of the inducing consideration, would be excluded, in this proportion, from participation then he asked whether this principle might not be expected in the fund raised from the fruits of their own industry. to lead to a careless selection of routes for roads, and an This system had been proposed-much argued--was alequally careless construction of them. Would not the most certain to be fastened on us. We were destined, if temptation be strong to remissness, not to say abuse in the it were, to realize the misadventures of Sinbad, the famous exercise of either function? sailor, (with whose story we were so familar in our carly But this whole policy of internal improvement was it-days,) when he encountered the old man of the sea. The self but a part and an instrument of a further and larger, monster mounted on his neck with a pressure which no covered by a fair name, "the distribution system." In-effort could shake off, and rode him with a remorselessternal improvements supplied, though a large, yet only a ness which no powers of endurance would long have been partial waste of revenue. This "distribution system" was able to sustain. Sinbad contrived, by intoxicating the indesigned to comprehend the scattered streams into a cur-cubus, to destroy him. The case we were likely to present, rent which should discharge the entire reservoir. Trace was in every respect correspondent--the infliction no less the principle in its relation to its first object, the public remorseless--the relief no less hopeless, unless the drunklands. Particular States had ceded to the General Go-enness of triumph should unlock the death grasp from vernment large tracts of territory. If the principle of this our necks, and assist us to tumble the oppression from policy of distribution were just, then after these cessions, its seat. Sir, I have been asked, [said Mr. A.] in reon the very day in which they had been made, aye, in the lation to this road, whether, as my State denied the consame hour, and before the ink of the signature was dry, stitutional authority on this subject of roads, she would it had been in the competency of the General Govern- not prohibit the construction of the part which fell withment to cut up the property among the States, returning in her limits. I have invariably and promptly answered their ratable shares to the proper owners. Was there a no! for that would be to resist the laws of the Union. I sense of justice so torpid, as not to be awakened to indig-have been asked, whether we would not resort to the nation at the statement of such a proposition? And yet nullifying doctrine, so much spoken of lately. My answer, if it were competent to the General Government now, with equal promptitude, has been no! for that would be it was equally competent then, to perpetrate this insolence to refuse obedience to the laws of the Union. Virginia, of injustice; this proposition, coming, as it did, from a while she feels with the keenest sensibility the irregular exquarter in which no cession of lands had been ever made, ercise of authority by this Government, of which she commight be supposed to labor under some defect of modesty. plains; while she continues, as she has ever been, foremost It stood entirely acquitted, however, upon this score, by in vigilant and strenuous interposal to arrest all exercises comparison with another having reference to the same of similar principle, will afford the spectacle of precesubject of the lands. He alluded to the claim advanced dence, too, in endurance and in patience; whilst evil is sufrecently in some of the new States to the property of the ferable, she will suffer; pursuing in the mean time her whole of the public lands comprehended within their re-true doctrine of '98, to use every effort short of force or spective limits, as a result of the character of sovereignty disunion, "to arrest its progress." She did not relinquish which the United States had conceded to them, with this the hope that the time would never come, in which she very condition annexed, of the reserve of this very pro- should be driven to resort to any doctrine of character perty. A relation of war between States exposed to ulterior to this. If it did come, she would make this reseizure and forfeiture the property of either within reach of sort in sorrow. She invoked the sense, not of justice only, the other. A relation of the closest amity of incorporation but, stronger, of superior benefits and real interest, to into a common political community, operated the same ef- subdue the spirit of combination for peculiar advantages, fect, according to the principle of the doctrine alluded to. which was the evil genius of our Federal Government. The distribution system, in relation to the final object And, as the instant evil was the first to be regarded, she of its grasp, the surplus revenue, as the first, the public prayed heartily as he [Mr. A.] did, that sinister omens lands, presented the same character. The distributable might be averted; and this policy of internal improvement portions would be restored by a varying rule; and in dif- might not be made the instrument to wrench to pieces a ferent proportions, therefore, from those in which they frame of polity inexpressibly admirable; which formed were received. In the instant in which they were ob- the fortress, not only of our safety, but of the hopes, and tained by the one rule, they might be restored by the other, the cause of freedom, in all time, and through the world. and the same parties receive more or less than they had [Here the debate closed for this day.]

VOL. VI.-94

H. of R.]



Judge Peck.

Mr. PETTIS obtained the leave of the House (by a suspension of the rule, 101 to 40) to offer the following resolution:

Resolved, That James H. Peck, Judge of the district court of the United States for the district of Missouri, be permitted to make to this House any explanations he may think proper, in answer to the charges preferred against him by Luke E. Lawless, Esq., which charges have been reported on by the Committee on the Judiciary.

his character, his office, his subsistence, and, in a word, for all that is dear to humanity, and to make the last and most sublime appeal known to the constitution, by placing him But there was anobefore the Senate in the last resort. force. He saw an officer occupying an elevated station, ther view of the subject, which struck his mind with equal and clothed with the authority of this Government, calling before him a fellow-citizen, known as a man of talent and respectability in his profession, and, by a summary process, stripping him of the exercise of that profession, clothing him with shame, and incarcerating him in a felon's dungeon, the place of disgrace and infamy. Mr. P. said he moved this resolution in pursuance of vored to view the case with impartiality, and not to give an intimation which he gave the other day when he moved way to any undue feeling; and, after having attentively to lay Judge Peck's memorial on the table, to try the heard the statement of facts presented by Mr. Lawless, sense of the House in granting Judge P.'s request. He he had come to the conclusion that if these facts were subthought the indulgence proposed was a matter of justice stantiated by testimony, the impeachment ought to proto the Judge; that there was no precedent against it, as cecd. he had examined the authorities as far back as 1640.

He had endea

It was not now his intention to go into the merits of this The subject had been exhausted. But, as he had been a member of the Judiciary Committee, and had given his voice for the impeachment of Judge Peck, he trusted the House would listen to him for a few moments.

A long debate ensued on the resolution, and on the mo-case. difications which were proposed to it, in which Messrs. STORRS, of New York, BUCHANAN, DODDRIDGE, DRAYTON, RAMSEY, CLAY, MARTIN, PETTIS, SPENCER, of New York, ELLSWORTH, HUNTINGTON, BATES, and BURGES engaged. In the beginning of the debate,

It appeared that the Judge, three months after delivering his opinion in the case of Soulard, and three months af ter the final disposition of the case and the adjournment of Mr. MARTIN moved to strike out the word "expla- his court, committed it to paper, and sent it to the public It was an opinion involving the landed titles of alHe publishnation," and insert "any respectful written argument up-press. on the law and matters of fact now in evidence before the most the whole territory where he resided. ed it, as it seemed, at tire request of a lawyer, or lawyers; House;" and after some time, to get rid of the debate, Mr. PETTIS accepted this modification, and inserting and manifestly for the purpose of spreading opinions, exciting feelings, and leading to a certain line of conduct in the further the words "or oral" after the word "written." Thus amended, after an unsuccessful motion by Mr. community where it was published. Perhaps this might DRAYTON to strike out the words "or oral," the reso-be all right; he should find no fault with it: shortly after lution was agreed to without a count.

the publication of this opinion of the Judge, a professional [The publishers give below, as far as they have receiv-gentleman, nearly concerned in the result of that opinion, had come before the public in another paper, and exposed ed it, the debate on this subject.]

Mr. PETTIS, having offered his resolution, remarked, what he conceived to be certain errors into which the that he had examined all the precedents on this subject which he could discover, and there was no instance among them, in which a request, like that which he had made in behalf of Judge Peck, was denied. He adverted to the case of Lord Melville, and in truth to all which had occurred since 1640. He confidently hoped the privilege solicited would be freely accorded by Congress.

Judge had fallen, which might have been called for, to save his friends or clients from the grasp of speculators, until a final trial in the Supreme Court, and especially as such publicity had been given to the opinion. Mr. E. said he had looked over both these papers; and he there declared, in his place, and was willing to risk his reputa tion on the opinion, that there was not any thing in this Mr. DODDRIDGE asked how many days it was sup-commentary in the least degree reproachful to Judge Peck, posed the Judge would require to prepare his defence. either as a man or as a judge; nothing that looked in the The time of the House, at this season, was peculiarly pre-least like a contempt of court, or an impeachment of the integrity or character of the presiding officer, unless point


Mr. PETTIS supposed he would be prepared by Mon-ing out error, if there really be any, is an offence. He day next.

Mr. STORRS, of New York, inquired whether it was anticipated that the Judge intended to submit to the House any thing more than points of law and matters of fact, appertaining to the judicial proceedings complained


had seen similar comments in the newspapers a thou sand times before. And the House was now come to the crisis, when it must decide whether it would sanction the arrest and imprisonment of an individual by a judge for commenting on one of his opinions. This [said Mr. E. is the question we are called upon to settle this day. Find ing that the rights of an individual had been violated, I put this query solemny to myself: is there any thing in the proceeding Mr. ELLSWORTH observed, that the objection urged conduct of this individual to justify such a by the gentleman from New York [Mr. STORRS] applied to And I was compelled to answer it in the negative. Judge We have no con-Peck had neither jurisdiction nor provocation. He had the amendment as much as to the bill. We are only finished the case, adjourned the court, and descended from stitutional power to pass this amendment. spirit to inquire, and, if we see cause, direct an impeachment. his judicial station to that of an essayist of a newspaper. The Upon the merits we cannot act definitively; besides, we gentleman from Missouri [Mr. PETTIS] might do Judge Peck great injustice; he has yet had no has gone abroad, of reckless and determined hostility to the Mr. E. said he was in favor of judiciary; but, let me tell that gentleman, that if conduct opportunity to defend. the report and the resolution as they came from the com-like this shall go abroad with the sanction and seal of this mittee. When the papers in this case had been present- House upon it, he may bid adieu to the honor and indeed to the Judiciary Committee, he had read them again pendence of the judiciary henceforward. Sir, have the and again, with the greatest anxiety; and it was with the days of the star chamber come upon us? Shall it be deutmost reluctance that he came to the conclusion at which clared to the American people, that, after a judge has given He felt that it was a grave thing to his opinion, and dismissed the cause, he may arrest a citi he finally arrived. put a judicial officer of this Government to his trial for zen, drag him before his tribunal, and say to him, you have

Mr. PETTIS replied, he believed these were all that was to be expected from him.

says that a

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