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Execution of British Treaty.
ment was adopted, it might lead him finally to which had been sanctioned by the PRESIDENT and vote for the Treaty, which he otherwise should Senate. In deciding upon the amendment pronot do.
posed, he wished the sense of the House to be Mr. Williams hoped that other gentlemen taken; and if he considered that a single indivimight be allowed to be consistent in their vote as dual would be influenced to vote against the resowell as the gentleman last up. He voted yester- lution who would otherwise have voted for it, be day in the majority for the resolution in its pre- should wish_them to be separated. It was his sent form, and he did not wish to vote for it in opinion the Treaty was a bad one, and he belierany other. · Why did not gentlemen yesterday ed it was the opinion of a decided majority of that move their modification ? To pass the modifi- House. He wished the resolution to be so amendcation to-day would be undoing what was done ed that the Treaty might go into effect by a conyesterday.
siderable majority, as it would tend to lessen the Mr. HillHOUSE said, when he prepared the re- irritation which had been raised respecting it. solution on the table, he thought he had done it in If a majority of the House thought the Treaty such general terms that every gentleman might a bad one, they had a right to say so, and let the vote for it, without expressing a sentiment con- responsibility rest where it ought to rest. trary to what he entertained respecting the Trea- Mr. SITGREAVES said, the gentleman who introty: The amendment proposed, he thought very duced this resolution said he did it with a view to objectionable. It appeared as if it was intended accommodation. If so, the mover and supporters to force gentlemen to vote against carrying the of it would not wish to lay gentlemen under an Treaty into effect rather than vote for the Treaty. obligation of doing what was disagreeable to them. For his own part, he could not vote for it, as it Those gentlemen were willing, it seemed, to vote would be in direct contradiction to the sentiments for a resolution for carrying the Treaty into efwhich he had before expressed. He thought can- fect, but wished at the same time to divest themdor itself could not expect gentlemen who approv- selves of responsibility. Mr. S. said he had no ed of the Treaty to vote for the amendment. It objection to their expressing their own opinions ; was also a rule to avoid expressing particular sen- they were not his. Therefore, if a fair representtiments in resolutions of this kind. One part of ation of opinion was to be given, the two propothe proposition, if it was brought forward sepa-sitions should be separated. With respect to that rately, would be assented to generally, respecting part of the resolution expressing hopes in future the confidence placed in the PRESIDENT, with re-negotiation, he had no objection, but to the other spect to future spoliations and impressments of sea- he could not agree. On this subject he was so men. In this proposition, it was said, the Treaty decided that he avowed he would rather lose the was injurious ; he did not believe it was so. He be- Treaty than that the sentiments in the amendlieved it would be beneficial to the United States. ment should go out as his act. He hoped gentleIt would not only be agreeing to an opinion which men would consent to let them vote as they was contrary to the sentiments of gentlemen, but thought right. Let gentlemen throw their ideas it would be passing a censure on the other branch into a distinct proposition, the responsibility would es of Government. Gentlemen were not required then be rightly placed; their constituents would to say it was a good Treaty, and he hoped no one be informed of their opinions, the honor of the pawould be forced to say it was a bad one.
tion would be saved, and the divisions which had [The Speaker informed the House that it was distracted their country would be healed. then twelve o'clock, and as they had yesterday or- Mr. DEARBORN said, in offering the amendment dered that there should be a call of the House to- which he had proposed, he had no intention of takday at that hour, he should direct the Clerk to ing any thing like an unfair advantage, or of promake the call. It was accordingly done. Messrs. ducing what might be thought encandid or unBRENT, Harper, and Patton were absent. The fair. His own sentiments relative to the Treaty two former came to the House soon after the call, were such as would prevent his consenting to do and, on making apologies, were excused. Mr. any thing to carry it into effect, unless with such Patton was indisposed.]
a provision as he had brought forward. It apMr. GREGG said he should vote for the resolu-peared to him of such a nature, ibat he was not tion in its present state. He did so, not because he sure that he could bring his mind to vote to carry thought the Treaty a good one, but because he it into effect at all. He had supposed there could believed the interest of the United States would be nothing improper in taking the opinion of the be promoted by making the pecessary appropria- House relative to the thing itself. If it might be tions, and because he was apprehensive worse con- presumed that there were but few gentlemen in sequences might arise from defeating it than from that House who thought the Treaty a good one, carrying it into effect.
he, indeed, thought there were none of that opinMr. Moore considered himself as called upon ion, until then, though some gentlemen had praisto choose between two evils. He considered the ed it in their speeches, but which he had merely Treaty to be bad. On the other hand, he was ap- considered as adding weight to their arguments, prehensive that evils might arise, if it was not he believed such an amendment was desirable. carried into effect, out of the control of that House. As he, therefore, took it for granted that a conHe had resolved not to vote for the resolution on siderable majority of the House were of the same the table ; but he felt unwilling to take upon him- opinion with himself, he saw no impropriety in self the responsibility of rejecting the Treaty, having that opinion expressed. The propositions APRIL, 1796.]
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would not interfere with any bill which might be would vote for it in that way, rather than lose it. brought in, and gentlemen would have the discre- Were they then to vote for the resolution, loaded tion to vote for it or not. If a majority of the with odium, or lose the Treaty? These steps, he House thought differently from him, and chose to said, all led to one issue--a rejection of the Treanegative the amendment, he should be satisfied. ty. The gentleman from Virginia last up, had deUntil he heard something further on the busi- clared that, though he should vote for the amendness, to convince him of the impropriety of doing ment, he would not be bound to vote for carrying so, he should wish to see a decision of the House the Treaty into effect. He believed most of those upon the proposition as he had offered it. gentlemen who would vote for the amendment,
Mr. Harper said he was of the number who would vote against the original resolution ; and thought the measure of passing the resolution on that it was introduced as a barrier betwixt the the table a very expedient one; but whilst this Treaty and those who were frieridly to it. He was his opinion, he knew there were many, both would agree to or reject the original resolution ; within and without their walls, of a different opin- for he, for one, would declare he would not voté ion. He had no objection to gentlemen's express for the resolution so loaded. If the Treaty was to ing their opinions, but he wished also to be at li- be so carried into effect, it would poison its vitals. berty to express his. He should, therefore, pro- The Treaty was the law of the land; it also beld pose that the mover should form his resolution as up a relation between two nations. It was not a preamble. This would answer the purpose of merely the delivery of the posts, or compensation the gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. MOORE.)
for spoliations, that the Treaty embraced ; such a He said, when it was so formed, every one
resolution would spread a general alloy of bad would have an opportunity of voting for it, and, nations to the sword. The Treaty, so loaded,
opinion, which would eventually bring the two if negatived, the resolution would stand as before would not have the desired effect; for, instead of He
Mr. DEARBORN said he considered his motion countries, it would serve to keep it alive. It was in the nature of a preamble; and he had no ob- the interest of both countries to be at peace, and jection to any alteratiou that would make it more were the amendment proposed to be adopted, it
to have a good understanding with each other. properly so. Mr. KITTERA appealed to the candor of the gen. raised against the President for having executed
would keep up that animosity which had been tleman who brought forward the amendment, with the Treaty. Small were his means, said Mr. M., respect to the propriety of making his proposition of settling disputes with foreign nations. Witha distinct one. He thought it would be extremely improper to pass a resolution which should say, son with which to meet a powerful Court
out Navy, without Army-nothing but plain rea“We pass this law, though we believe it to be a bad one.” He thought it also directly charg- whether Mr. M. was in order ? The SPEAKER an
[Mr. Macon wished to know of the SPEAKER very ing another branch of the Government with im.
swered in the affirmative.] proper conduct.
Mr. MURRAY said he had not spoken on the subMr. Nicholas had no objection to the amend-ject before. He was stating that the PRESIDENT ment being inserted by way of preamble. He was armed only with reason; he was stripped of urged the propriety of the opinions of members all the symbols of power, and if the Treaty before being fairly taken on this important business.
them was carried into effect, with such a clog as Mr. Gregg wished to offer an amendment, as a the amendment proposed, he would be debilitated substitute to that before the Committee. It was, indeed. Their Executive had, in his opinion, done in sub: tance, as follows: “ Resolved, That under a great things, and what would have covered any consideration of existing circumstances, without European Minister with untarnished laurels, by reference to the merits or demerits of the Treaty, means of reason and policy ; for, however wickand in confidence that measures will be taken by edly Courts act, they calculate upon the force of the Executive to maintain our neutral rights, it the Powers with whom they treat. When a Minis expedient," &c.
ister goes to negotiate, they inquire into the naval This was declared out of order until the amend- and military force of his country, their appropriament was decided on.
tions for the army and navy, &c., &c. The EnMr. Venable had no objection to the proposi- voy of the United States would be a blank upon tions being taken separately, as gentlemen would such an occasion. What was their interest, then ? be then left at liberty to vote as they pleased. He It was to give energy to their Government. Should conceived there were gentlemen who would vote they then pass the law in such a manner as alfor the proposition with the amendment, who most to warrant the people in resisting it? The would not vote for it without it. He did not only thing which remained for them to do, was, know that any amendment would reconcile the not only to carry the Treaty into effect, but tó resolution to him; for, though he should vote for the carry it into effect with good faith. The object amendment, he would not bind himself to vote for was not merely the posts it was a conciliation of carrying into effect the Treaty.
the differences long existing between the two naMr. MURRAY said, it this measure was pursued, tions; and it was their duty to execute it so as to the Treaty would be defeated. The amendment produce the greatest advantage; whereas, if they proposed, implied that the friends of the Treaty were to agree to the amendment proposed, so co
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[APRIL, 1796. vered with odium, it would weaken the power of be so complete a departure from their principles the Executive, already too feeble.
as to agree to that amendment? What was the Mr. S. Smith said he had never seen any cause consequence? Were they to make harmony by of gloom. He never doubted that the members declaring war ? By declaring the other branches of that House would come to right conclusions. of the Government to have ratified an objectionThey did right yesterday, and he was not afraid able instrument? Was it possible that either har of their doing wrong to-day. In their decision mony in the other branches of Government, or in yesterday, the Chairman had doubts. He decided the people, should be advanced by a declaration in favor of the resolution, in hopes of its undergo- such as this? And where was the occasion for ing some modification--that "modification was it? From the promulgation of this obnoxious now brought forward. It did not entirely please Treaty to the present time, had not the presses him; but he thought it might be so amended as to teemed with publications on this subject ? Since please every one. He moved that the words and the debates had taken place, every gentleman bad may prove injurious to the United States," be brought forward his objections at large. The pastruck out. Consented to.
pers of this city had published the arguments for Mr. MUHLENBERG said, when he gave his vote and against the question. The whole lay before yesterday, he did it in the hope of a modification an intelligent public, and, so far as respects perof the resolution taking place in the House. A sonal responsibility, the people will decide bemodification was now brought forward, and he tween the contrary opinions. He begged gentlewas ready to vote for some such modification. men to recollect that the PRESIDENT had done no Whilst he made this declaration, he must add, that more than he was authorized to do by the people he was willing also to vote for the original reso- of this country. Had he not a right to negotiate? lution. He wished the sense of the House to be a negotiation took place; the effects of it had been taken upon the two propositions separately. submitted to that body, to whom the people dr
Mr. DEARBORN consented to the propositions rected it should be submitted. The Senate had being taken separately.
advised the ratification, and the PRESIDENT had Mr. S. Smith moved to strike out the word ratified and promulged it. Had they exceeded "highly," so as to read objectionable, instead of their powers ? Certainly not. What, then, was "highly objectionable."
the consequence of the declaration now proposed ? The sense of the House was taken, when there He asked gentlemen who were disposed to advowere 48 for the striking out, and 48 against it. cate the proposition before them, to consider them The SPEAKER gave his vote in the affirmative. as doing an act which they were authorized to
Mr. Sedgwick said, he had not troubled the perform-a Constitutional act, for which they House since the resolution was first brought for-were appointed. If they passed the present resoward. He came prepared, on a particular day; to lution, what language would be strong enough to have taken an extensive view of the subject; to reprobate the censure which would be cast upon have attempted to show that the Treaty could be the other branches of Government? Had the defended on its merits; that, on the most cool de- PRESIDENT and Senate done more ; and if no more liberation, he found the Treaty not only unobjec- than their duty, who had given then the authoritionable, but to contain more advantages than any, ty to comment upon their acts? The proposed than all the Treaties ever formed by this country. amendment declared that they had done ihe thing He then resigned to another gentleman the right that was wrong. Would they bear, ought they to he had of addressing the Committee, and he had bear this? They ought not to bear it. now altogether abandoned his intention of sup- He requested that gentlemen would reverse the porting by argument his opinions, and he did not case. Suppose the House had, in pursuance of intend (if it would be in order, which it would the authority delegated to them by the Constitunot) to go into the discussion at present. He tion, done an act confessedly within the limits of wished not to consume the time of the House, be-, that authority, (as it was agreed was the case in cause, if the Treaty was to go into effect, it was the present instance in the conduct of the Presihigh time it should be done ; it was also high time pent and Senate,) and any other branch of the that the people of this country should know its Government, and particularly the other branch of fate. He had intended to have attempted to prove the Legislature, should undertake to comment on that this Treaty drew the differences subsisting such acts of the House, to declare to their conbetween the two countries to a happy conclusion; stituents and to the world that our decisions were that, besides redressing the injuries of which they injurious or objectionable ? The sentiments had a right to complain, it was of a nature bene- which such conduct, on the part of the Senate, ficial to the essential interests of the United would excite in the House, would be strong, unaStates; but, if he had thought differently, he nimous, and every gentleman then would feel would not have agreed to the proposition now them to be just. The rights of the Senate, in brought forward. What was the intention of the this instance, were the same: they were equally mover? He told them it was for harmony; it independent, and neither the injury nor the rewas to reconcile the opinions of gentlemen with sentment would be lesser. He hoped, on tempertheir vote; it was for unanimity. He asked that ate reflection, a majority would not invade those gentlemen, and those who supported the proposi- rights in another department, which, as their tion, whether they could possibly conceive, after own, they would and ought to defend. the language held on that floor, that there could In this view of the subject; when no good end
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was proposed, why was the declaration to be Leonard, Samuel Lyman, Francis Malbone, William made ? Was it to keep alive the misunderstand Vans Murray, Josiah Parker, John Reed, John Riching which had already taken place between the ards, Theodore Sedgwick, Samuel Sitgreaves, Jeremiah different branches of Government ? Certainly Smith, Nathaniel Smith, Isaac Smith, Samuel Smith, that was not a desirable thing. To say these William Smith, Thomas Sprigg, Zephaniah Swift, laws were made from circumstances of imperious George Thatcher, Richard Thomas, Mark Thompson, necessity, as had been observed by his friend from Uriah Tracy, John E. Van Allen, Peleg Wadsworth,
and John Williams. Pennsylvania, (Mr. KITTERA,] was not the best mode of procuring submission and respect to From this list it appears that the question was them. No instance could be produced in which lost by one vote. The Clerk, however, through such a conduct had been adopted, and he hoped it mistake, reported the votes to be equal, viz: 49 would not now be sanctioned.
for and 49 against the question, and the SPEAKER Mr. Kitchell said, he should vote against the gave his vote in the negative, but the above was proposition now brought forward, because he afterwards found to be the true statement. thought it wrong to hold up an idea which would Mr. W. Smith was glad the motion was negahave a tendency to weaken the Government. He lived. He did not wish either blame or praise to looked upon it as injurious. The people would be cast upon the Treaty by the resolution passed judge upon the Treaty from the instrument itself to carry it into effect. He would, therefore, move and what had been said of it. They ought never to add the following words to the original resoluto alarm the people unnecessarily. It was not tion: “Without reference to the merits of the from any fear of going to war, or any other ap- Treaty." prehension but what he had mentioned, which Mr. Giles opposed this amendment. He said, caused this opposition in him.
it would be an. indirect mode of passing a cenMr. GALLATin said, if the propositions could sure upon the House for having undertaken to be divided, no gentleman could reasonably object judge of the merits of the Treaty. He did not to the sense of the House being taken upon them. know whether it struck the gentleman in the
Mr. Parker said, he had not yet spoken upon same way, but he would agree it was improper to this business. He would now say, he disapproved pass a censure upon the House. He hoped, thereof the amendment, and should not vote for it. He fore, the motion would either be withdrawn or thought the Treaty a bad one, and would not voted against. agree to vote for it by means of any modification. The motion was withdrawn.
Mr. HEISTER said, he should vote for the Mr. Swanwick said, had the amendment which amendment, because, if the Treaty went into had been proposed been adopted instead of being operation, he should wish the reasons which in- rejēcted, he might have waived his objections to duced the House to agree to it to appear on the the Treaty, and have voted for carrying it into Journals. When, however, the resolution for car- effect: but when he was called upon to give a rying the Treaty into effect was put he should vote upon the unqualified resolution, however he vote against it.
might differ in sentiment from some of his friends, The motion was then put on the preamble, and he should be under the necessity of voting against decided in the negative, as follows: Yeas 49, it. He knew the question was important. The
gentleman from Massachusetts, [Mr. AMES,] in YEAs.-Theodorus Bailey, Abraham Baldwin, Da- high wrought colors, had represented it in all its vid Bard, Lemuel Benton, Thomas Blount, Richard fulness. But, after reviewing his mind, he had Brent, Dempsey Burges, Samuel J. Cabelí, Gabriel not been able to see this instrument in that light Christie, John Clopton, Isaac Coles, Henry Dearborn, which could induce him to give his vote for it. Samuel Earle, Jesse Franklin, Albert Gallatin, William He hoped no impropriety of motive would be asB. Giles, James Gillespie, Christopher Greenup, An- cribed to any gentleman'on that floor-he had no drew Gregg, William Barry Grove, Wade Hampton, doubt every one acted as his feelings told him Carter B. Harrison, John Hathorn, Jonathan N. Ha- was right; and, on this eventful question, in vens, Daniel Heister, James Holland, George Jackson, which they must differ, he hoped they should Edward Livingston, Matthew Locke, William Lyman, have the candor to put the difference to a proper Samuel Maclay, Nathaniel Macon, James Madison,
His interest would have led him to John Milledge, Andrew Moore, Frederick A. Muhlen- vote for the Treaty, as he had much property, in berg, Anthony New, John Nicholas, Alexander D, Orr, common with his fellow-citizens, on the ocean, John Page, Francis Preston, Robert Rutherford, Israel and his ships were upon his own risk, and losses Smith, John Swanwick, Absalom Tatom, Philip Van would of course be heavier to him than to most Cortlandt, Joseph B. Varnum, Abraham Venable, and Richard Winn.
other merchants; but he could not consistently Nars._Fisher Ames, Benjamin Bourne, Theophilus
with his judgment, which was imperious apon Bradbury, Nathan Bryan, Daniel Buck, Thomas Clai- this occasion, vote for the Treaty, though he borne, Joshua Coit, William Cooper, Jeremiah Crabb, might have done it if the resolution had been George Dent, Abiel Foster, Dwight Foster, Ezekiel Gil- qualified. bert, Nicholas Gilman, Henry Glen, Benjamin Goodhue,
Mr. HOLLAND went over the reasons that would Chauncey Goodrich, Roger Griswold, George Hancock, induce him to vote against the Treaty; which Robert Goodloe Harper, Thomas Hartley, John Heath, are detailed at length in his speech upon the Thomas Henderson, James Hillhouse, William Hind-merits of the Treaty. He said, that if the conman, Aaron Kitchell, John Wilkes Kittera, George struction of the 9th article were to extend to the
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lands in North Carolina, late Lord Grenville's, as Absent on this question : Messrs. SHERBURNE had been supposed by some gentlemen, the claim and FREEMAN, on leave ; Mr. Duvals, resigned; would certainly be resisted by force.
Mr. Patton, by illness; Mr. FindLEY, accidentMr. Winn said as it was his opinion and the ally.] opinion of the generality of his constituents that the Treaty was a bad one, he should vote against it. The question was then taken by yeas and nays,
MONDAY, May 2. and determined in the affirmative-yeas 51, nays
The bill making further provision relative to 48, as follows:
the revenue cutters, was received from the SeYeas.--Fisher Ames, Theodorus Bailey, Benjamin nate, with some amendments, which were gone Bourne, Theophilus Bradbury, Daniel Buck, Gabriel through and agreed to. Christie, Joshua Coit, William Cooper, Jeremiah Crabb, George Dent, Abiel Foster, Dwight Foster, Ezekiel and Manufactures on sundry petitions relative to
The reports of the Committee of Commerce Gilbert, Nicholas Gilman, Henry Glen, Benjamin the establishment of new ports of delivery and Goodhue, Chauncey Goodrich, Andrew Gregg, Roger Griswold, William Barry Grove, George Hancock, Ro- entry, were agreed to. By this report it is probert Goodloe Harper, Thomas Hartley, Thomas Hen-posed that Ipswich, Little Égg Harbor, Havre de derson, James Hillhouse, William Hindman, Aaron Grace, Newbury, Berkley, and Taunton, be made Kitchell
, John Wilkes Kittera, George Leonard, Samuel ports of delivery; that the district of Hudson Lyman, Francis Malbone, Frederick A. Muhlenberg, should be confined to the city of Hudson alone; Wm. Vans Murray, John Reed, John Richards, Theo- and that those places heretofore annexed to it, dore Sedgwick, Samuel Sitgreaves, Jeremiah Smith, should be re-annexed to New York; that the disNathaniel Smith, Isaac Smith, Samuel Smith, William trict of Cedar Point should be called Nanjemoy; Smith, Zephaniah Swift, Geo. Thatcher, Richard Thom- and that of Sherburne changed to Nantucket. as, Mark Thompson, Uriah Tracy, John E. Van Al- The resolutions were referred to the committee len, Philip Van Cortlandt, Peleg Wadsworth, and John who made the report, to bring in bills accordingly, Williams.
The House resolved itself into a Committee of Nays.—Abraham Baldwin, David Bard, Lemuel Ben- the Whole on the report upon the petition of Joton, Thomas Blount, Richard Brent, Nathan Bryan, nathan Hastings, deputy postmaster of Boston, Dempsey Burges, Samuel J. Cabell
, Thomas Claiborne, praying for recompense for his extra services in John Clopton, Isaac Coles, Henry Dearborn, Samuel receiving and despatching the English mail for Earle, Jesse Franklin, Albert Gallatin, William B. two years. It was recommended that he should Giles, James Gillespie, Christopher Greenup, Wade have two hundred dollars allowed, which was Hampton, Carter B. Harrison, John Hathorn, Jonathan agreed to, and a bill ordered to be brought in. N. Havens, John Heath, Daniel Heister, James Holland, George Jackson, Edward Livingston, Matthew rial from Richard Gernon & Co., of Philadelphia,
Mr. Swanwick presented a petition and memoLocke, William Lyman, Samuel Maclay, Nathaniel Macon, James Madison, John Milledge, Andrew Moore, praying that the bill proposed to be passed to reAnthony New, John Nicholas, Alexander D. Orr, John peal the act allowing a drawback on exported Page, Josiah Parker, Francis Preston, Robert Ruther- snuff might not go into a law, as they should sufford, Israel Smith, Thomas Sprigg, John Swanwick, fer greatly by such a repeal, having made very Absalom Tatom, Joseph B. Varnum, Abraham Vena- considerable contracts abroad, which they should ble, and Richard Winn.
be under the necessity of completing. The meOrdered, That a bill or bills be brought in pur- Whole, to whom the bill on that subject is re
morial was referred to the Committee of the suant to the said resolution, and that Mr.
committed. HOUSE, Mr. Sedgwick, and Mr. Gallatin, do prepare and bring in the same.
Mr. Gregg said, as he believed gentlemen
would wish their session to come to an end as [RECAPITULATION.
soon as the public business would permit, be For declaring the Treaty highly objectionable 48 should submit a resolution which would bring Against this declaration
48 the subject under consideration. He proposed The SPEAKER decided in the negative.
one to the following effect; which was agreed to,
and referred to a select committee: For declaring the Treaty objectionable 49 Against the declaration : some because they “ Resolved, That a committee be appointed on the did not consider it objectionable; others be- part of this House, to be joined by a committee te be cause they feared making the declaration appointed on the part of the Senate, to consider and would be injurious, and others because, so
report what business remains necessary to be done dur. opposed to the Treaty, as to object to all
ing the present session, and at what time it will be compromise
49 proper to adjourn the same." The Speaker decided in the negative.
[This resolution was subsequently agreed to by For carrying into effect the Treaty: some be- the Senate, and a committee appointed on its
cause a good one, others because best to exe- part.]
cute it under existing circumstances 51 Mr. Orr, chairman of the committee to whom Against carrying it into effect, because bad in was referred the bill from the Senate authorizing itself, and notwithstanding existing circum- Ebenezer Zane to locate ceriain lands Northstances
43 / west of the river Ohio, reported the bill without