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[JANUARY. 1799.

H. OF R.]

Augmentation of the Nary.

wharves would be erected where wharves now Extract of a letter from Rufus King, Esq., Minister are; and if the United States are at the expense Plenipotentiary of the United States at London, to of erecting wharves, they ought to have the juris- the Secretary of State, dated November 16, 1798. diction of their sites, as well as of the sites of “ The annexed arrêt would appear extravagant and warehouses.

incredible, if it proceeded from any other authority ; but This motion was negatived, there being only mankind is so accustomed to the violence and injustice 12 votes for it.

of France, that we almost cease to express our surThe committee rose and reported the bill; prise and indignation at the new instances that she when

continues to display." Mr. Harper renewed the motion for striking

[TRANSLATION.] out the proviso in the third section, for the reasons Decree of the Executive Directory, of October 29, 1798. urged in support of the former motion, and because this cession could be of no use to the United ister of Foreign Relations, considering that the fleets,

The Executive Directory, upon the report of the MinStates; and, after some few observations upon it, privateers, and ships, of England and Russia, are in the motion was carried-40 to 31.

part equipped by foreigners. On motion of Mr. Sewall, a section was added

Considering that this violation is a manifest abuse of to the bill, repealing a law of the first session of the rights of nations, and that the Powers of Europe the fourth Congress, respecting quarantine. It have not taken any measures to prohibit it. Decrees : was then ordered to be engrossed for a third Ist. Every individual, native (ou originaire) of reading.

friendly countries, allied to the French Republic, or JONATHAN HASFIELD.

neutral, bearing a commission, granted by the enemies On motion of Mr. D. Foster, a report of the of France, or making part of the crews of ships of war,

and others, enemies, shall be by this single fact declared Committee of Claims, on the petition of Jonathan

a pirate, and treated as such, without being permitted Hasfield, who claimed $258 for the public service, in any case to allege that he had been forced into such was taken up. This report, which was favorable service by violence, threats, or otherwise. was concurred in, and a bill reported for his relief; 2d. The Executive Directories of the Batavian, Lait was read and committed.

gurian, Cisalpine, and Roman Republics, shall be inGAZZAM, TAYLOR, AND JONES.

structed to this effect. On motion of Mr. S. Smith, a report on the be notified to those Powers which are neutral or allied

3d. The provisions contained in the first article shall petition of Gazzam, Taylor, and Jones, made at

to the French Republic. the last session, allowing them certain drawbacks

4th. The Minister of Exterior Relations is charged for which they prayed, was taken up and concur- with the execution of the present arrêt which shall be red in, and a bill reported, read, and committed for printed in the Bulletin of the Laws. their relief.

[Signed] TERILHARD, President. ALIEN AND SEDITION LAWS.

The Message and documents were read, and orMr. Brown presented a memorial from a num-dered to lie on the table. ber of the inhabitants of the county of Northampton, in this Stale, expressing, in very strong terms, their alarm'at, and dissatisfaction with, the alien

TUESDAY, January 29. and sedition laws, passed at the last session, which Thomas Sumter, from South Carolina, apthey state as contrary not only to the spirit but to peared, and took his seat in the House. the letter of the Constitution. They complain, The bill respecting quarantines and health laws, also, of the law giving the President power to was read the third time and passed. raise a provisional army when he shall judge

AUGMENTATION OF THE NAVY. proper, and of that which allows him to pay any interest for money, which he may judge right, as

On motion of Mr. Josiah PARKER, the House increasing the Executive power at the expense of went into a Committee of the Whole, on the rethe other departments of the Government. port of the Navy Committee, Mr. Rutledge in

This memorial was referred to the same Com- the Chair; and, after some discussion, the committee of the Whole to which was referred a re- mittee rose, and reported the following resolumonstrance of the same kind from Suffolk county,

tions : in the State of New York.

Resolved, That two docks be established in the FRENCH AFFAIRS.

United States, and that 50,000 dollars be appropriated

therefor. The following Message was received from the

Resolved, That 100,000 dollars be appropriated for the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:

annual purchase of timber to be used or preserved for Gentlemen of the Senate, and

building ships or vessels of war of the United States. Gentlemen of the House of Representatives : Resolved, That the Navy be augmented by a numAn edict of the Executive Directory of the French ber not exceeding six, of ships of war, to carry not Republic of the twenty-ninth of October, 1798, enclosed less than seventy-four guns, (to be built within the in a letter from our Minister Plenipotentiary in Lon- United States,) and a number not exceeding six, of don, of the sixteenth of November, is of so much im- sloops-of-war, carrying not less than eighteen guns, (to portance that it cannot be too soon communicated to be built or purchased within the United States,) and you and to the public.

JOHN ADAMS.

that a sum not exceeding one million of dollars be JANUARY 28, 1799.

appropriated therefor.

JANUARY, 1799.]
Alien and Sedition Laws.

[H. of R. Resolved, that the President of the United States be such immense expense to the country. They had authorized by law to augment the number of guns on reference to the enormous expense of the three board any ship now in service, or building, above the frigates already built, which had cost more, they number such ship may be rated, and that 35,000 dol- | said, than double the price that six frigates were lars be appropriated for that purpose.

originally estimated at, and which, it is probable, Resolved, That the President of the United States would never have been built, if the whole expense shall be authorized to take on the Naval Establish- had been at first stated. ment such of the revenue cutters now in service, as may

It was urged by the friends of the resolution, be, in his opinion, fit for service abroad.

that one million would be as much money as The words within parenthesis, were introduced could be expended, though every possible exertion op motion of Mr. Livingston. The first resolution was agreed to without de- ready building:

was made, considering the number of vessels albate.

This resolution was the only one upon which a Mr. PARKER stated that one of the docks.was division was called. It was carried, by 52 memproposed for the Eastern and the other for the bers rising in its favor. Middle States.

Mr. Parker stated the object of the 4th resoluMr. P. stated, in support of the second resolution to be, to enable the President to put on board tion, that it was necessary to secure a sufficient three of the 24-gun vessels, 8 additional guns, quantity of timber, and to have it in readiness for making them frigates of 32 guns. The 5th resobuilding ships of war. To effect this, he suppos-lution was to place such of the revenue cutters ed it would be necessary to purchase a forest cov- on the Navy Establishment as might appear proered with live oak and red cedar. And having per. A law was passed at the last session to take good timber secured, no nation in the world could them into service; but not being placed on the build better ships than the United States.

Navy Establishment, the officers are unwilling to It was objected to by Mr. Macon, that this was go into the service, without the same rank and not a proper time to go into a speculation of pur-pay with the officers in the Navy, and one of them chasing land, for the sake of a future supply of had refused to act. This resolution is necessary timber, when we are obliged to pay eight per cent. to rectify the defect. for all the money which the Government bor

No opposition was made to these resolutions; rows; he wished no more money to be appropri- and the whole were referred to the select commitated than was necessary for a present supply of tee who reported them, to bring in a bill or bills timber.

accordingly. The motion was carried without a division. The House went into committee on two bills,

In respect to the third resolution, Mr. PARKER which were agreed to, and ordered to be engrossstated that, according to the estimate of the Sec-ed, viz: a bill for the relief of Gazzam, Taylor, retary of the Navy, six 74-gun ships would cost and Jones, and a bill for the relief of Jonathan Dear $2,400,000, and the six smaller vessels about Haskill. $300,000; but, though the smaller vessels are immediately wanted, the 74's could not be built in less than a year, he, therefore, supposed that if one

WEDNESDAY, January 30. million of dollars were appropriated, it would be The bill for the relief of Gazzam, Taylor, and as much as would be expended before the next Jones, and the bill for the relief of Jonathan Hassession of Congress.

kill, were read the third time and passed. Mr. HARPER and Mr. S. SMITH supported the Mr. HARPER, from the Committee of Ways and same opinion.

Means, reported a bill for the support of the MiliIt was objected by Messrs. Nicholas and Gal- tary Establishment for the year 1999; which was LATIN, that if it were meant that these vessels committed. should be built within a year, as had been men

ALIEN AND SEDITION LAWS. tioned, the whole two millions and a half of dollars ought to be appropriated; that one mil- Mr. Eggleston presented a petition from the lion only being asked for, was a proof that they inhabitants of Amelia county, Virginia, censuring would not be built within the time stated; they many of the measures of the General Governsuspected these vessels are not wanted to meet the ment, calling the British Treaty the first link in present supposed emergency, but that the present its chain of errors, and complaining that it follows moment is merely seized as favorable for carrying too much the policy of the British Government, into effect the favorite project of a Navy, as a per- and particularly prays that the alien and sedition manent establishment, and that a commencement laws, which it terms impolitic, tyrannical, and having been once made in the business, the ships unconstitutional, may be obliterated from our might be completed at leisure. They were, there statute book; and, also, that the law authorizing fore, opposed to the resolution, and said that those the President to raise a provisional army may be who think it would be desirable at this time to repealed. have these vessels, ought also to be opposed to it.

Mr. E. having moved to refer this petition to since it is evident that they are wanted for future the same Committee of the Whole to which forpurposes; and considering the present time, when mer petitions of the same nature had been remoney can only be obtained at a very high rate,

ferred, as a very improper season to go into a work o

The SPEAKER laid before the House an address

H. or R.]

Alien and Sedition Laws.

[JANUARY, 1799.

and remonstance from Essex county, in New Jer- reduce the right of petitioning? Have not the sey, of the same nature, though couched in less people a right, said Mr. L., to say to Congress, pointed language, which he wished to have the You have done wrong you have exceeded your same direction; which having been read, powers.". If they think so, who shall stop iheir

Mr. GORDON called for a division of the ques- mouths, since the Constitution has guarantied to tion ; and the question being on the Virginia ad- them this right? If gentlemen are so very scrudress, he hoped it would not prevail. Every gen- pulous as to the form of petition, they ought to tleman who had attended to the reading of this bring in a bill, and prescribe a courtly form to the paper, must have heard, he said, that it contained people, with which they would be pleased, and dea libel upon every measure of this Government fining when honest bluntness may be deemed a since its first establishment; and, at the conclu- libel and when not. With respect to the threat ison of the address, there is a sentiment still more alluded to, there is no such thing. Speaking of a exceptionable—a sort of threat, that unless Con- standing army, the petitioners say, - Repeal your gress shall proceed to repeal the two laws in ques- laws establishing armies, and you will find the mition, the militia of that county would not obey litia a sufficient defencc.” If, said Mr. L., when the orders of the General Government. If a stop we pass unconstitutional laws, the people are not was not put to the presenting of such petitions as to be permitted to tell us so, the right of petitionthese, this House would be considered as a place ing will be reduced to narrow ground indeed. consecrated to abuse.

Mr. Isaac PARKER said, it could not be wonMr. Eggleston believed that the gentleman dered that the gentleman from New York should must have misunderstood that part of the petition so zealously defend petitions of this sort, since he to which he had particularly referred. So far as i had called upon the people of the United States, he was acquainted with the gentlemen who sign- when the laws in question passed, to resist their ed the petition, he was sure they never entertained execution, and to come forward and show their such a sentiment. Indeed, they expressly de-disapprobation of them. He agreed with the genclare, in another part of the petition, that they tleman that the people have a right to petition shall always be ready to oppose an invading ene-Congress on any subject they please, but this my, and to obey the will of the majority. He House has a right to protect itself against abuse, hoped gentlemen would not so rigorously ex- and to see that the language of petitions is decent press their disapprobation of this petition, when and proper. The whole of this petition appeared ihey recollect that this is the first which has been more calculated to insult the majority who passpresented to Congress, though the laws in ques-ed this law than to obtain the redress prayed for. tion are generally disapproved in that State. Most They charge Congress with acting tyrannically, other parts of the State had made representations and the Executive with being solicitous to inof their disapprobation to the State Legislature, crease the standing Army for other purposes than which he did not think so regular a way as to ap- the public safety. If this petition, like others on ply to this House. He hoped, therefore, the peti- the same subject, had been expressed in decent tion would be referred.

terms, he should have had no objection to have Mr. Nicholas said the gentleinan from New referred it to a select committee. He had voted Hampshire certainly mistook the passage in the against the reference of the others, because he petition to which he had alluded. It merely stated thought a Committee of the Whole an improper that should a standing army be dispensed with, reference. the militia of the Union would be found equal to Mr. Alles was sorry his friend from New the protection of the country. This, at least, is Hampshire had opposed the reference of this pethe natural construction, and he thought gentle tition. He thought it was desirable that persons men ought not to put the most acrimonious mean- who would sign a petition like this should come ing possible upon the words of petitions,

forward that they might be disclosed to the world. Mr. KITTERA thought there was another ex- | These addresses are doubtless calculated for a pression in the petition not less exceptionable ; particular object; but there could be no doubt which was, “ that the solicitude of the Adminis- but persons of this description would be held in tration for a standing army was a sufficient cause such general contempt and abhorrence, when they to apprehend that they are ultimately intended for are known, that their designs would fail of effeci. other objects than defence against a foreign ene- He believed the House must be content to sit and

hear a number of addresses like this, which he Mr. LIVINGston had hoped that the sedition supposed would get worse and worse. He suplaw would have gone far enough for gentlemen, posed, however, these addresses would in some and that they would not have branded petitions way or other find their way to the public; and he to this House with the name of libel. The gen- trusted the honest part of the people would be intleman from New Hampshire wished this petiiion duced to rise and throw off these people as so to receive the marked disapprobation of the House, many morbid excrescences on the body politic. because it disapproves of all the measures of Gov- He had no doubt the end of the business would ernment, and because it contains something like be confusion to the subscribers of such petitions. a threat that the militia will not perform their du- Mr. T. CLAIBORNE found fault with the manty. The first allegation was justifiable, he said, ner in which the gentleman from Massachusetts to the fullest extent; the second could not be found had spoken of the right of the people to petition. in the petition. To what would the gentleman | Who, exclaimed Mr. C., gave that gentleman the

my."

JANUARY, 1799.)
Alien and Sedition Laws.

[H. OF R. right to stand on this floor, but the people? He bellous. He did not mean to justify the petition in was afraid Virginia was an eye-sore to some gen- all its parts, because it was unnecessary; but he tlemen, because they choose to express themselves did not think the passages which had been quoted in manly and strong language, and are unwilling were objectionable. The one he had already justo surrender any of their rights as Republicans. tified, and the other respecting the militia did not But though they speak firmly, said he. they will apply to the militia of that district in particular, always obey the laws; and if the President was but to the militia of the United States. As to the to order any alien amongst them to be sent out of expression alluded to, that the petitioners expect the country, the order would be obeyed; but the a standing Army is wanted for other purposes men who executed the order would be the first to than defence against foreign enemies, he saw say the law is unconstitutional.

nothing improper in this. This has been avowed Mr. LivINGSTON wished the gentleman from by men high in office; it has been publicly said Connecticut (Mr. Allen) to explain what he that the Army is not wanted so much to repel meant, when he said " that the honest part of the invasion as on account of certain appearances of people would rise and throw off the description of discontent in some parts of the Union, amongst persons who had signed this petition, as a morbid which was mentioned the part from which this weight upon the Union.". Mr. Allen replied, petition comes, and he believed if the question of he did not say so.] Mr. L. so understood bim, continuing the Army was to be brought up in this and wished he would explain to the House whai House, there are gentlemen who would make use he did say. The gentleman from Massachusetts, of this as one of the arguments for the necessity said Mr. L., does me the honor to suppose some of keeping it up. part of the spirit shown against the alien and se

Mr. Eggleston called for the yeas and nays, dition laws had been excited by me. It is not which were agreed to be taken. 50; the cause, he said, lies deeper-it is from a Mr. PINCKNEY said, he had attended particufirm sense the people have of their rights; but if larly to the language of the petition, because he anything he had said or done had tended to awak- thought the indecency of that almost the only en the people to a sense of their rights, he should ground upon which a petition could with propriethink he had not lived in vain.

ty be rejected, and he did not think it so excepMr. Thatcher said, some gentlemen seemed lionable as to authorize its rejection. to suppose that when members took their seats in Mr. Rutledge thought it was much to be lathis House, they surrendered certain rights, and mented that the time of the House was so frewere to be insulted with impunity, though before quently consumed in taking the yeas and nays, they came here, they would not have been liable and by consequent debate to explain the reason of 10 be so insulted without redress.

members' votes. Mr. R. said he should vote Mr. S. Smith observed that if the gentleman against the reference, because he thought it imwas deprived of some rights by having a seat proper that petitions of this kind should go to a here, he possessed others, which he did not before Committee of the Whole; they ought either to possess; since he might say here what he might go to the Committee of Defence, with a view of not like to say out of doors; so that what he loses showing them that their former measures were in one respect he gains in another.

wrong, or to a select committee, to report upon Mr. Gallatin scarcely believed, when the ob- them to the House. jection to this reference was first made, it would The question was taken by yeas and have been serious. He thought, with the gentle carried—73 to 30, as follows: man from Connecticut, that the opposition is ra- Yeas–John Allen, George Baer, junior, Abraham ther impolitic. This petition is objected against Baldwin, David Bard, James A. Bayard, Thos. Blount, as being a libel, so that after having declared by Jonathan Brace, Richard Brent, David Brooks, Robert law that any person who shall find fault with the Brown, Stephen Bullock, Samuel J. Cabell, John Chapdoings of Government, so far as to bring it into man, Thomas Claiborne, William Charles Cole Claidisrepute, shall be guilty of a libel, this doctrine borne, Matthew Clay, John Clopton, James Cochran, goes a step farther, by saying, that if these opin- William Craik, John Dawson, John Dennis, George ions are expressed by way of petition, it ought Dent, Joseph Eggleston, Lucas Elmendorf, Thomas to be adjudged a libel

, and not inquired into. And Evans, William Findley, Jonathan Freeman, Nathaniel this is to be done, said Mr. G., not by a court or Freeman, jr., Albert Gallatin, James Gillespie, Andrew jury, but by ourselves, who passed the laws com- Gregg, William Barry Grove, John A. Hanna, Robert plained of, taking it for granted we are right and Goodloe Harper, Carter B. Harrison, Thomas Hartley, the petitioners wrong, and that whatever opinion Jonathan N. Havens, Joseph Heister, David Holmes, differs from ours is libellous, which was effectu- Hezekiah L. Hosmer, James H. Imlay, Walter Jones, ally to destroy the provision of the Constitution, James Machir, Nathaniel Macon, William Matthews,

Edward Livingston, Matthew Locke, Samuel Lyman, which guarantees the right of petitioning, and Joseph McDowell, Lewis R. Morris, Anthony New, gives to the people the right, at any time, to op; John Nicholas, Harrison G. Otis, Josiah Parker, Thos. pose their opinions to those of Congress; and Pinckney, John Reed, James Schureman, Thomas Sinthere is, said he, no way of doing this without nickson, Tompson J. Skinner, Samuel Smith, William charging us with being deficient in wisdom or Smith, Richard Sprigg, Richard Stanford, Thomas something worse; and although gentlemen may Sumter, Mark Thomson, Thomas Tillinghast, Abram not like this, it is so ordered, and cannot be got Trigg, John Trigg, Joseph B. Varnum, Abraham over by charging a petition with being false or li- | Venable, John Williams, and Robert Williams.

nays, and

H. or R.]

Stamp Duties.

[JANUARY, 1799.

Nays-Bailey Bartlett, William Edmond, Abiel that whether a Supervisor dispersed a large or a Foster, Dwight Foster, Henry Glen, Chauncey Good- small quantity of stamps, he would stand in need rich, William Gordon, Roger Griswold, William Hind- of a person to work the stamp and keep an acman, John Wilkes Kittera, Isaac Parker, John Rut- count of what was delivered out; therefore a sum ledge, junior, Samuel Sewall, William Shepard, Peleg per cent. might be twice too much to some offiSprague, George Thatcher, Richard Thomas, John E. cers, and far too little in others. He believed it Van Alen, Peleg Wadsworth, and Robert Waln.

would be improper, on this account, to make a per STAMP DUTIES.

centage allowance. Nor ought the Inspectors to

be classed with the Supervisors, as they have no The House being again in Committee of the trouble in either stamping or delivering the stamps. Whole, on the bill to amend the stamp act, and His idea was, that there should be allowance for the documents which had been directed to be ob- clerk-hire to each Supervisor, for this special duty, tained relative to the amount of duties received, and then allow the ordinary commission of one or and with respect to the proper allowance to be one-and-a-half per cent., as is allowed upon other made to the Supervisors, having been read, Mr. duties. It was true that, at the last session, the Otis's motion for filling up the blank for com- Collectors were allowed six per cent. upon the pensating the Supervisors for their trouble in collection of all the internal duties, but as the stamping and dispersing the stamps, with six per stamp duty had not then taken place, he did not cent. recurred; when

expect it would have applied to that, but if it was Mr. Oris said, at the time he made this motion, so considered, it was an average sum upon all the he had obtained an informal estimate from the duties, and some of them are very troublesome in Commissioner of the Revenue, which appears to the collection. have been the foundation of the documents since In order to enable the committee to form a better laid before the House. The allowance of six per judgmenť as to what allowance will be proper to cent. was at that time considered by some gentle- be made to the Supervisors for stamping and dismen as very exorbitant. We have now some more tributing stamps, he would make some remarks data on which to form an opinion as to what these on the present actual receipts of these officers. officers are entitled to receive, and if this data is We have had, said Mr. G., an official account to be depended upon, he did not think the sum laid before us of what is received by them; but which he had proposed would be too much. One there are two omissions in it, one the allowance Supervisor would, indeed, receive more than made at the last session for clerk-hire, and the other others, but this is an inequality which cannot be the commission which they will receive upon the remedied, except an adequate salary were to be land tax. Adding these two items, he would state given to these officers, instead of a commission what is the total amount received by the Superviupon what they receive; and he should prefer a sors of the several States, exclusive of any allowplan of this kind.

ance under the stamp act. In the State of Pennsylvania, Mr. O. said, the

Mr. G. stated it to be as follows: amount of duty collected, in the Supervisor's of

Virginia

$5,410 fice, for six months, was 18,606 dollars, upward of

Pennsylvania

5,165 11,000 dollars of which was collected in the first

Massachusetts

4,648 quarter, which is attributed to the want of knowl

North Carolina

3,211 edge as to the true consumption of stamps. Mr.

Maryland

3,197 O. supposed 8,000 dollars a quarter would be about New York

3,131 the average revenue, in this State, in the Super- South Carolina

2,581 visor's office, and a commission of six per cent. Connecticut

2,002 upon this, would give $1,930. Out of ihis sum

New Jersey

1,658 must be deducted the extra expenses of the Super- New Hampshire

1,330 visor, which, as estimated, would leave a clear Rhode Island

1,509 profit of 756 dollars. To this sum must be added Kentucky and Northwest Territory 1,700 a commission of one per cent. on money received

Vermont

1,052 from other offices, which, supposing it to amount

Georgia

1,151 to ten thousand dollars a year, would make an ad

Tennessee

1,029

Delaware ditional hundred dollars.

992 These duties, Mr. O. said, might perhaps in- These sums are taken from the revenue of 1796 crease in a few years, and the Supervisors might and 1797, and there must be deducted from them receive something from the direct tax, and as he what these ufficers are obliged to pay for clerk did not wish to give large salaries, though he hire. This statement shows that it would be imwished to make every person employed under the proper to make a per centage allowance, and that Government an adequate compensation for his four per cent. on the stamp duties in the States of services, he was willing that this blank should be Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, will filled with four per cent., which, though it would be too much, and far too little in all the small be inadequate at present, might become sufficient States. In Pennsylvania, it appears that upward hereafter, if not, he supposed no objection would of 18,000 dollars bave been received for stamps in be made to an advance.

the Supervisor's office for six months ; but as it is Mr. Gallatin said that, from a view of the doc- supposed more was received in the first quarter uments on the table, one fact seemed to be certain, than will be received again, he would suppose, that

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