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DECEMBER, 1795.]

Address to the President.


tion of our external relations were not more a was not, he conceived, warranted by the existing cause of joy than our situation at home. But the state of things. Indeed, he protested, he knew obvious meaning of the clause, he conceived, was no more of the actual situation of the Treaty nean indirect approval of our situation relative to gotiation than the remotest farmer in the Union; external concerns; and to this he could not give could he then declare, he asked, that it was drawhis assent, as he did not consider their aspect as ing to a happy close ? Indeed, from the latest inprosperous or auspicious.

formation received, far from our situation having Mr. BUTLER said, that when the committee was been ameliorated by the negotiations of our Exeappointed to draft an answer, he hoped they would cutive, he conceived our trade as much in jeopardy have used such general terms as to have secured as ever. an unanimous vote. He was willing to give the As to the internal prosperity, he owned there Chief Magistrate such an answer as respect to his was some cause for congratulation ; but even in station entitled him to, but not such a one as this his conviction could not carry him as far as would do violence to his regard for the Congpitu- the clauses in the Address seemed to go. In a tion and his duty to his constituents. He could pecuniary point of view, the country had made a not approve of long and detailed answers, how- visible progress; but he saw in it no basis of perever unexceptionable the Speech might be in mat-manent prosperity. There were no circumstances ter, and however respectable the character might attendant on it that gave a fair hope that the prosbe from whom it came. He had hoped, from the perity would be permanent. The chief cause of peculiar situation of the country, and of the Sen- our temporary pecuniary prosperity is the war in ate, that nothing would have been brought for- Europe, which occasions the high prices our proward in the answer, on the subject which agitated duce at present commands; when that is termithe June Executive session, calculated to wound nated, those advantageous prices will of course the feelings of members. He had been disap- fall. pointed ; it was evident that some members of the Mr. B. now came to speak of the second obSenate could not give their voice in favor of the jectional clause. He regretted whenever a quesAddress in its present shape, without involving tion was brought forward that involved personthemselves in the most palpable inconsistency. ality in the most indirect manner. He wished

He had long since, for his own part, declared always to speak to subjects unconnected with himself against every article of the Treaty, be- men; but the wording of the clause was unfortucause in no instance is it bottomed on reciprocity, nately such as to render allusion to official characthe only honorable basis. After this declaration, ter unavoidable. He objected principally to the how could he, or those who coincided in opinion epithet firm, introduced into the latter clause, as with him, agree to the present Address without applied to the Supreme Executive. Why firminvolving themselves in the most palpable incon-, ness? he asked. To what? or to whom? Is it sistency?

the manly demand of restitution made of Great He did not agree with the gentleman of New Britain for her accumulated injuries that called York in his exposition of the meaning of the forth the praise ? for his own part he could disclauses objected to. They certainly declare our cern no firmness there. Is it for the undaunted situation as to our external relations to be favor- and energetic countenance of the cause of France, able. Our situation, as far as it respects Great in her struggle for freeing herself from despotic Britain, he contended. was not in the least ame- shackles? He saw no firmness displayed on that liorated. Their depredations on our commerce occasion. Where then is it to be found? Was have not been less frequent of late than at any pe- it in the opposition to the minority of the Senate riod since the beginning of her war with France. and the general voice of the people against the Her orders for the seizure of all our vessels laden Treaty that that firmness was displayed ? If it with provisions cannot surely be a subject for is that firmness in opposing the will of the people, congratulation. When it became authenticated which is intended to be extolled, the vote shall that our trade was relieved from these embarrass- never, said Mr. B., leave the walls of the Senate ments, then he was confident the members of the with my approbation. Senate, who were with him in sentiment, would He could not approve, he said, that firmness . readily express their satisfaction at the auspicious that prompted the Executive to resist the unequiprospect opened for this country to the enjoy- vocal voice of his fellow-citizens from New ments of tranquility and happiness. But, until Hampshire to Georgia. He would have applaudthat happy time should arrive, he could not give ed the firmness of the PRESIDENT, if, in complihis voice to deceive the inhabitants of the United ance with the unequivocal wish of the people, he States, remote from the sources of information, to had resisted the voice of the majority on the hoodwink them by sanctioning with his vote a Treaty, and refused his signature to it. statement unwarranted by truth, and presenting This was, he understood, (and it should be mento them a picture of our public happiness not sanctioned in honor of the President,) his first intentioned by fact.

tion; why he changed it, time, he said, must disThe sentence objected to, notwithstanding the close. explanation of the gentleman from New York, concluded by proposing an amendment to appeared to him so worded as to lead the citizens be substituted in lieu of the objectionable clauses, at large to believe that the spoliations on our com- should they be struck out. merce were drawing to a fortunate close. This Mr. Read said, he was not in the habit of giv

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ing a silent vote, and, as many of his constituents sions by which they were at first actuated, were alwere adverse to the instrument to which he had ready wearing off. given his assent, he thought this a fit opportunity But the Senate and PRESIDENT are the Constituto say something on the subject.

tional Treaty-making powers. If mistaken in their Gentlemen on the other side had spoken of decisious, they cannot be accused of having been their feelings; did they suppose, he asked, that misled by sudden and immatured impressions. He those who were in the majority had not feelings? should conceive himself unfit to fill a chair in the Also, gentlenien declared they would not recede Senate, if he suffered himself to be carried away from their former determinations; did they ex- by such impressions. The people could not, in pect that the majority would recede ?

their town meetings, deprived of proper informaHe had, he said, taken the question of the Treaty tion, possibly form an opinion that deserved weight, in all its aspects, and considered it maturely, and and it was the duty of the Executive not to be though he lamented that he differed in opinion on shaken in their determination by tumultuous prothat subject with his colleague, and a portion of ceengs from without. Upon this ground he the people of his State, he nevertheless remained much approved the President's conduct, and convinced that the ratification of it was advisable: thought it entitled to the epithet, firm. It rescued the country from war and its desolating In local questions, affecting none but the interhorrors.

ests of his constituents, he should attend to their After reading that part of the President's Speech voice, but on great national points, he did not conto which the clauses objected to were an echo, he sider himself as a Representative from South Caasked, whether any one could say, under the con- rolina, but as a Senator for the Union. In quesviction that the measures of Government had tions of this last kind, even if the wishes of his prevented a war, that our view of foreign rela- constituents were unequivocally made known to tions was not consolatory ? On all hands, he ob- him, he should not conceive himself bound to saserved, the idea of a war was deprecated; both crifice his opinions to theirs. He viewed the sides of the House wished to avoid it; then is it not PRESIDENT as standing in this situation, and though a consolatory reflection to all that its horrors have he might hear the opinions of the people from evbeen averted? Is there a man who does not believe ery part of the United States, he should not sacrithat, had the Treaty not been ratified, we should fice to them his own conviction; in this line of have had war? If the country had been plunged conduct he has shown his firmness, and deserves into a war, would it be as flourishing as it is? to be complimented for it by the Senate.

The trifling vexations our commerce has sus- The Address reported, he said, contained notained are not to compare to the evils of hostili- thing that could wound the feelings of any memty. What good end could have been answered ber. The Senate would not, in his opinion, act by a war ? ”The Address, in the part under dis- in properly if they expressed opinions coincident cussion, says no more than that we rejoice at the with their act in the June session. The feelings of prospect that the blessings of peace will be pre- the majority should be as much consulted as those served; and does not this expectation exist ? of the minority. The minority are not asked to

Great Britain, in the plenitude of her power, retract; but there is a propriéty in the Senate's had availed herself of the right she had. under the going as far in their Address as the Speech went, Law of Nations, of seizing enemy's goods in neu-though it should be styled a vote of self-approbatral vessels; but has allowed compensation to tion. He hoped the clauses would not be struck some Americans, and a system of mild measures out. on our part is the best security for further.

Mr. Ellsworth was opposed to striking out. He adverted to that part of Mr. BUTLER's ob- The clause records a fact, and if struck out the servations which related to the probable fall of Senate deny it. The President asserts it, in the provisions at the peace. We ought not to be Address reported, the Senate assent, a motion is grieved if Europe was rid of the calamities of made to strike out, is it because the truth of war at that price. But he contended that, from it is doubted ? It cannot be called an unimportthe measures of the Administration, permanent ant fact, therefore its omission will not be imput• advantages were secured to this country. The ed to oversight. The latter part of the clause exvalue of our soil has been enhanced; wealth has presses our gratitude to Almighty God. Will poured in from various parts of the globe, and the Senate refuse to make an acknowledgment of many permanent advantages secured.

that kind ? Do they not admit that He is the source There had been one assertion made, which, by of all Good, and can they refuse to acknowledge repetition, had by some almost been taken for it? And if so, is it possible that, in admitting the granted, but which required proof to induce him fact and expressing the sentiment, which so natuto believe it, and that was, that a majority of the rally flows from it, the Senate should wound the citizens of the United States are opposed to the feelings of any friend to his country ? Treaty. In the part of the country he came from, The truth of the fact is as clear as that the sun he owned there might be a majority of that opin- now shines; the sentiment is unexceptionable ; ion, but he believed the contrary of the United he, therefore, recommended to his friend the mover, States at large; he expressed a conviction that, noi to insist upon striking out merely, but that when his constituents came to consider the mea- he should vary the motion, and propose a subsure maturely, they would change their opinions, stitute. and, indeed, he understood that the false impres- To bring the mind to the point with precision,

DECEMBER, 1795.]

Address to the President.


it was necessary to attend to the wording of the occasions in other countries, and was neither reclause. He read it. As to the signification of quired by the Constitution, nor authorized by the that part which relates to our foreign concerns, principles upon which our Government was erecthe did not consider it as hypothetical, but a posi-ed. But having obtained, he did not intend now tive declaration of a conviction that their situa- to disturb it. To allow the utmost latitude to tion is satisfactory, and on that ground he wished the principle which had begotten the practice, it to meet the question.

could only tolerate the ceremony as a compliment The clause objected to expresses an expectation to the Chief Magistrate. It could not be permitthat the causes of external disagreement which ted to arrest all opinions previous to regular dishave unhappily existed, will be peaceably done cussions, nor to operate as a means of pledging away. He said he had that expectation; many members to the pursuit of a particular course, have it not. Those who have it not will nega- which subsequent and more full inquiries might tive the clause; those who have it will vote in its show to be extremely improper. Every answer, favor; the result will be the sense of a majority; therefore, to the President's communication the Senate could not be expected, more than on ought to be drawn in terms extremely general, neiother occasions, to be unanimous; if the declara- ther seducing the President into a belief that this tions contained in those clauses are supported, House would pursue a general recommendation they will be considered as the sense of the majo-into points not at first contemplated by them, nor rity of the Senate, others may dissent; but be- pledged themselves to the world that that state cause unanimity could not be obtained it was no of things was just, which time had not permitted reason why the majority should give a virtual them thoroughly to examine. The clauses now negative to the declaration which they conceived under consideration had, at least in one instance, founded on truth.

deviated from this principle. They declare to He examined in detail the situation of our the world, “That the interesting prospect of our external relations, to show the foundation on affairs with regard to the foreign Powers, between which he rested his expectation of a satisfactory whom and the United States controversies have arrangement of them, and of our general pros- subsisted, is not more satisfactory than the review perity in that respect With Morocco, our trea- of our internal situation.” The communications ties are renewed. With Algiers, assurances are from the PresIDENT have not uttered so bold a given by the Executive that a peace is not far sentiment, nor is there any thing in those comdistant.' With Spain, on the same authority, it is munications that justifies the assertion of this understood that our prospects are favorable in that fact: Placing the Treaty with Great Britain out quarter. With the hitherto hostile Indians, a of the question, which seems to have been the uppeace is within reach; and the only quarter in permost consideration when this sentence was which doubt can arise is from Great Britain. But penned, the seizure of our provision vessels since even with respect to that nation, his expectation the signature of that Treaty, and the unwarrantawas, that our differences there would terminate ble imprisonment of our seamen, are acts which amicably; and he believed this to be the expecta- cloud our prosperity and happiness. The minds tion of the Senate, as a collective body.

of the Americans must be brought to consider Mr. E. then went into the examination of some these things as trivial incidents in our poother parts of the clauses objected to, and vindi- litical affairs, before the sentence under considercated the propriety of the epithets, enlightened, ation can be approved. He said he must, therefirm, persevering, and concluded by lamenting fore, vote for the motion to strike out the two that there existed a difference of opinion, but clauses of the answer, in order that some more fit hoped that this would not deter the majority from expressions might then be introduced to succeed an expression of their sense.

them. He hoped the answer might be couched Mr. Tazewell said, the discussion had taken a in terms just and delicate towards the President, turn different from that which he expected when without wounding the feelings of any Senator ; he heard the motion. He understood the motion and he believed both might be done without any at the time it was made, and still so understood difficulty after the two clauses were expunged. it, as not intending to question the propriety of

After some further observations from Messrs. any thing which was contained in the PRESI- Mason, Butler, and Bloodworth, in which the DENT's communication to both Houses of Con- latter expressed the opinion that he did conceive gress. But from what had been said (by Mr. the terms of our peace with Great Britain conRead, of South Carolina) that part of the answer sistent with the dignity and honor of the United to the President's communication which had States, the question was put, and decided for strikgiven rise to the motion, was intended to have a ing out-ayes 8, noes 14. further operation than he originally believed. He On a further attempt to amend one of the asked what had given rise to the practice of return-clauses some conversation took place more reing an answer of any kind to the President's com- markable for ingenuity than interesting for solidimunication to Congress in the form of an Address? ty, being chiefly a debate upon words. The Senate There was nothing, he said, in the Constitution, divided on it-7 to 15. or in any of the fundamental rules of the Federal Government, which required that ceremony from

On the question, of agreeing to the Address, it either branch of the Congress. The practice was

was carried—14 to 8, as follows: but an imitation of the ceremonies used upon like

Yeas.-Messrs. Bingham, Cabot, Ellsworth, Foster, SENATE.]


[DECEMBER, 1795. Frelinghuysen, King, Latimer, Livermore, Marshall,

TUESDAY, December 15. Paine, Read, Ross, Strong, and Trumbull.

Aaron Burr, from New York, and John VinNays.—Messrs. Bloodworth, Brown, Butler, Lang-ing, from Delaware, severally attended. don, Martin, Mason, Robinson, and Tazewell.

T'he VICE PRESIDENT laid before ine Senate a Ordered, That the Committee who prepared communication from the Department of War, the Address wait on the PreSIDENT OF THE with the following statements : UNITED STATES, and desire him to acquaint the Senate at what' time and place it will be most United States.

No. 1. Of the present Military force of the convenient for him that it should be presented. Mr. King reported, from the committee, that been pursued to obtain proper sites for Arsenals.

No. 2. A report of the measures which have they had waited on the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED States. and that he would receive the Address been taken to replenish the magazines with mili

No. 3. A report of the measures which have of the Senate to-morrow at 12 o'clock. Where

tary stores. upon, resolved, that the Senate will, to-morrow at 12 o'clock, wait on the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED ing a trade with the Indians; and,

No. 4. A report of the measures taken for openStates accordingly,

No. 5. A report of the progress made in proA message from the House of Representatives viding materials for the frigates, and in building. informed the Senate that the House have pro them. ceeded to the choice of a Chaplain to Congress on Which statements were severally read, and ortheir part, and the Rev. Ashbel Green is duly dered to lie for consideration. elected.

Saturday, December 12.

WEDNESDAY, December 16. Agreeably to the resolution of yesterday, the William BRADFORD, from Rhode Island, atSenate waited on the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED tended. States, and the Vice President, in their name, Ordered, That Messrs. Burr, Brown, and presented the Address then agreed to.

ELLSWORTH, be a committee to take into consiTo which the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED deration the report from the Department of War, States was pleased to make the following reply: of the measures taken for opening a trade with

GENTLEMEN: With real pleasure I receive your Ad- the Indians, and report thereon to the Senate. dress, recognising the prosperous situation of our pub- The petition of Samuel Jones, and others, in lic affairs, and giving assurances of your careful atten- behalf of some hundreds from Wales, who have tion to the objects demanding Legislative consideration ; left their native country with a view of forming and that, with a true zeal for the public welfare, you a permanent establishment in America, praying will cheerfully co-operate in every measure which shall liberty to purchase a certain tract of land menappear to you best calculated to promote the same. tioned in the petition, was read, and ordered to

But I derive peculiar satisfaction from your concur- lie on the table. rence with me in the expressions of gratitude to Almighty God, which a review of the auspicious circumstances that distinguish our happy country have ex

THURSD December 17. cited; and I trust the sincerity of our acknowledgments will be evinced by a union of efforts to establish

The Vice PRESIDENT laid before the Senate a and preserve its peace, freedom, and prosperity.

Letter from Samuel Meredith, Treasurer, together G. WASHINGTON. with his accounts, ending 31st December, 1794, The Senate returned to their own Chamber,

31st March, 1795, and 30th June, 1795. and soon after adjourned.

Also, his accounts in the War Department, ending 31st March, 30th June, and 30th September,

1795; which were read, and ordered to lie for inMonday, December 14.

spection. John RUTHERFUrd, from New Jersey, attended.

Ordered, That Messrs. STRONG, LIVERMORE, The petition of John Blanch was presented and and Burr, be a committee to inquire what busiread, praying Congress to grant him a patent, for ness remained unfinished at the last session, and executing and vending a new hydrostatic pump report such part thereof as is proper to be taken or engine, for such length of time as may be judged into consideration the present session. expedient.

On motion, that it be Ordered, That this petition be referred to Resolved, That the Secretary of War be requested Messrs. BUTLER, STRONG, and Read, to consider to lay before the Senate an account of the expenditures and report thereon to the Senate.

in the late military operations against the insurgents :" The Vice PRESIDENT laid before the Senate a It was agreed that this motion lie until to-morcommunication from the Secretary for the De- row for consideration. partment of State, with copies of two reports, made by the Directors of the Mint, to the PresiDENT OF THE UNITED STATES; which were read,

Friday, December 18. and referred to Messrs. Cabot, Bingham, and Ru- GEORGE Walton, appointed a Senator of the THERFURD, to consider and report thereon to the United States by the Executive of the State of Senate.

Georgia, in place of JAMES JACKSON, resigned

DECEMBER, 1795.]




produced his credentials, and, the oath required the act, entitled · An act making further provision for by law being administered, he took his seat in the the support of Public Credit and for the redemption of Sepate.

the Public Debt.' The motion made yesterday, that the Secretary

« On behalf of the Board, of War be requested to lay before the Senate an December 18, 1795.

JOHN ADAMS." account of the expenditures in the late military operations against the insurgents, was resumed,

Monday, December 21. and it was agreed that the consideration thereof

The motion made on the 17th instant, be further postponed.

the Secretary of War be requested to lay before Mr. STRONG, from the committee appointed to the Senate an account of the expenditures in the inquire what business remained unfinished at the late military operations against the insurgents," last session, which, in their opinion, it is proper should be taken into consideration at the present stituted :

was withdrawn, and the following motion subsession, reported

“ That the Secretary of War be requested to lay beThat the following bills originated in the Sen-fore the Senate a statement of the military force actuate, and were postponed until the present Con-ally employed against the insurgents in the four Westgress, or had only two readings, and remained un- ern counties of Pennsylvania, and an account of the finished, viz:

expenditures in that expedition ; showing, in particu1. A bill authorizing the purchase of Indian lar, the periods of time for which the militia of the regoods.

spective States drew pay; also, a list of the general 2. A bill to punish frauds committed on the and regimental staff, with the pay respectively received Bank of the United States.

by them, and an account of the pay and disbursements 3. A bill to regulate proceeding in cases of out

of the Commander-in-Chief.” lawry.

Ordered, That this motion lie for consideration. 4. A bill declaring the consent of Congress to an act of the State of Virginia, passed the 25th of De

TUESDAY, December 22. cember, 1794, for the support of a marine hospital. 5. A bill to authorize the holding of special

The Senate took into consideration the motion Courts in certain cases.

made yesterday that the Secretary of War be reWhich bills, upon the motion of any member quested to exhibit certain accounts of the expendof the Senate, may be taken up at the present itures for the militia employed against the insursession.

gents in the four Western counties of PennsylvaThe Vice President laid before the Senate the nia : Whereupon, Report of the Commissioners of the Sinking

Resolved, That the Secretary of War be Fund; which was read, as follows:

quested to lay before the Senate a statement of

the military force actually employed against the * The Commissioners of the Sinking Fund respect-insurgents in the four Western counties of Pennfully report to Congress :

sylvania, and an account of the expenditures in · That, pursuant to the act, entitled “ An act suppler that expedition ; showing, in particular, the pementary to the act making provision for the Debt ofriods of time for which the militia of the respectthe United States,' and in conformity to resolutions ive States drew pay; also, a list of the general agreed upon by them, and severally approved by the and regimental staff, with the pay respectively rePresident of the United States, they have caused puru ceived by them, and an account of ihe pay and chases of the said Debt to be made, through the agency of Samuel Meredith, Esq., Treasurer of the United disbursements of the Commander-in-Chief. States, subsequent to their report, dated the 18th day

Mr. Burr, from the committee to whom was November, 1794, to the amount of $42,639 14, for referred the report from the Department of War, which there have been paid, including a sum of $160 of the measures taken for opening a trade with allowed for commissions on purchases formerly made the Indians, reported, " That, in the opinion of and reported, the sum of $37,612 37, in specie. the committee, it will be expedient to appropriate

“ That the documents accompanying this report, a further sum for the purposes of Indian trade; marked A, B, C, show the aforesaid purchases general- and that a bill should be introduced for that ly and in detail, including the places where, the times purpose.” when, the prices at which, and the persons of whom, And, the report being adopted, the committee the purchases were made.

was directed to bring in a bill accordingly. “ That the purchases now and heretofore reported amount, together, to $2,307,661 71, for which there have been paid, in specie, $1,618,936 04, as will more

Wednesday, December 23. particularly appear from the document marked A. “ That there remains at this time in the hands of

Mr. Burr, from the committee yesterday intheir said Agent the sum of $70,96815, arising from di- structed to that purpose, reported a bill making vidends subsequent to the 1st day of April last, on stock provision for the purposes of trade with the Inheretofore purchased and redeemed, which sum, with dians; which was read, and ordered to a second the dividends to be made thereon, at the close of the reading. present year, and other funds appropriated by law, will Ordered, That Messrs. EllSWORTH, STRONG, be applied, on the 1st day of January ensuing, to the and Tazewell, be a committee to prepare and reimbursement of the six per cent. stock, bearing a pre- report a bill to regulate proceedings in cases of sent interest, pursuant to the directions contained in outlawry.


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