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DEC. 14, 15, 1825.]
OF DEBATES IN CONGRESS.
On the Judiciary.
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 14, 1825.
The Senate proceeded to consider the following resolution, submitted yesterday by Mr. EATON : Resolved, That the Committee on the Judiciary inquire into the expediency of so amending the judicial system of the United States, as that each and all the States may equally participate in its benefits.
Mr. EATON said, he was not aware it was necessary to offer any explanation of the resolution; he merely desired to call the attention of the Committee on the Judiciary to the subject, as it was one of very great importance to the section of country where he resided. In the year 1789, five Associate Justices and one Chief Justice had been deemed necessary to discharge the judicial functions of At that period the population of the the United States. country was not greater than is the present population of the Western States, where but a single Associate Judge was now assigned. He was now incompetent to the labor; and in fact the performance of his duties had almost destroyed his constitution. Many complaints had been made on the subject, but every application had been refused or put off for want of time or inclination to meet and act upon it. He said there was much business in the country which necessarily came into the United States' Courts, and in which, if any error existed, there was no mean of correction by appeal to the Supreme Court. The People of the West were not satisfied with the kind of justice which had been extended to them. They had repeatedly applied for some He hoped, therefore, that the Judiciary amelioration. Committee would give to the subject the earliest attention. The Western country had not had fair dealing on the subject, and, until they should be placed on the same footing with the other States of this Union, as respected their Judiciary, they would never cease to complain, and to ask redress.
ing of the gentleman from Pennsylvania was correct. If
The resolutions were then agreed to.
The Senate then proceeded to consider the following resolution, submitted by Mr. LLOYD, of Massachusetts, yesterday:
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Navy be directed to cause to be laid before the Senate, the proceedings and judgment of the Court of Inquiry in relation to the employment of the squadron under Commodore Porter, for the suppression of Piracy in the West Indies, and the transportation of specie, in vessels of the United States, during the years 1823 and 1824, and, also, the proceedings of the Court Martial in reference to the transactions at Foxardo.
Mr. LLOYD observed, that the first part of the resolu tion-that relating to the proceedings of the Court of Inquiry-had been offered at the solicitation of Commodore Porter himself. The second part of the resolution, Mr. L. said, he had added because the proceedings of the Court Martial had been printed, by order of the Navy Department, for the use of the Members of Congress, and were now ready for distribution; and, as there could be no objection to receiving them, he had thought it as well to make the call for them while requiring the proceedings on the first named subject.
The resolution was then agreed to.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 1825.
The Senate proceeded to consider the resolution submitted yesterday by Mr. JOHNSTON, of Louisiana, on the subject of the Judiciary.
Mr. JOHNSTON said, that the resolution he had submitted required no illustration. The subject was familiar was proposed to be referred. It had been repeatedly to the Senate, and especially to the Committee to whom it Mr. J. said, that, pressed upon Congress; and, at the past session, it had something definitive should be done. been deferred, under the assurance, that, at the present, when this subject was thrown open, so many different tion of the Courts were presented; such diversity of opiviews were taken; so many projects for the reorganizanion prevailed, that every scheme successively failed. The new States, aware of the difficulty of perfecting, in any short time, any new system of reconciling public opinion tails of an extensive and complicated plan, had now to ask to it, as well as the time necessary to arrange all the deof Congress to extend to them at once the benefits of Circuit Courts; and, at the same time, to remedy all the inconveniences from the defective arrangements of these Courts, as well as the laws regulating the jurisdiction and the mode of proceeding. Mr. Johnston said, the first part of the resolution related to the Supreme Court, and, unless some amendment could be obtained in its terms, it would be useless to ask an extension of the Circuit Courts. said, he presumed that, at every term, 70 or 80 causes twice that number were on the docket, and that that Court were left undecided; and that, at this time, more than could not, in the short space allotted to them, determine half those causes. The effect was, that no judgment could be had in the Court of last resort under two years, and sometimes three; that the Court could not now keep pac= with the progress of business, and the docket would cor stantly augment; that a great mass had already accumu lated, involving constitutional construction, property to a immense amount, and principles of great interest. Suc afford a longer session to the Supreme Court, and, ev a distribution of the Circuit Courts must be made, as w Mr. LLOYD, of Massachusetts, said, the general reason-then, it is feared that some time will elapse before the
The resolution was then agreed to.
The Senate then proceeded to the consideration of the following resolutions, submitted by Mr. HOLMES :
Resolved, That the Committee on Finance be instructed to inquire into the expediency of regulating the duties on certain goods, so far as to prevent the illegal introduction of such goods from Provinces or Territories adjacent to the United States.
Resolved, That the Committee on Finance be instructed to inquire into the expediency of revising and altering the several laws relating to the coasting trade.
Resolved, That the Committee on Finance be instructed to inquire into the expediency of altering the law relative to the seizure and forfeiture, so far as respects small parcels or packages, of goods illegally brought into the United
Mr. HOLMES observed, that, last year, separate bills passed the Senate on the subjects of the two latter resolutions, but were not acted on by the other House. The act which we passed in 1790 or 1792, regulating the coasting trade, only related to the Atlantic coast, and the waters on that coast. This act was altered in 1820, but no provision was made to regulate the trade on the interior waters. The end proposed by the bill relating to seizures and forfeitures, was, to provide for a more expeditious mode of seizure and forfeiture of goods illegally imported in small parcels, and thus lessen the expenses of adjudication.
Mr. FINDLAY said, he was not so conversant with the subject as the honorable mover, but it appeared to him that one, if not two, of the resolutions ought to be referred to the Committee on Commerce-if they were to be referred to the Committee on Finance, on the ground that any regulations in the coasting trade would affect the Finances, then almost every subject coming before the Senate ought to come before the Committee on Finance-it would be difficult to make any regulation in commerce but would af Fect finance.
On the Judiciary-Amendment to the Constitution.
[DEC. 15, 1825.
will discharge the accumulated business. He said, the es-nience or expense. That justice was uniformly and imtablishment of Circuit Courts was required by nine States, partially administered. It was now known that the disthe state of the country imperiously demanded that the trust and jealousy of the States was without foundation. system should be equal and general, and he hoped it That, in fine, there was no necessity for a Court to decide would be no longer delayed, under the idea that some causes between citizens of different States. The Courts other system would be adopted. He concurred with all of the United States had unlimited jurisdiction over a great those States in asking this now at the hands of Congress. extent of country, and was often used oppressively. CitiWe shall then be upon an equality, and prepared to dis-zens of States are often sued at the distance of two hunCass any new project that may be submitted. dred miles from the seat of justice; they are inconvenientMr. J. then went at length into the inconvenience ly carried to a great distance, with an expense which they which had resulted from the expression of the Judiciary cannot afford, deprived of the means of defence, and react of 1789, prescribing to the Courts of the United States moved from their witnesses; and what is gained by the the mode of proceeding. He said the mode of proceed- other party? The cause is tried by the same laws-by ing, in the several States, at the date of the act, had been a Judge and Jury, resident in the same State. He submitprescribed. The consequence was, that the States ad-ted to the Committee whether it would not be advisable to mitted since had no law on the subject. He said, it was limit the jurisdiction; and, he said, as it was an onerous submitted to the gentlemen representing the old States, and odious jurisdiction, it ought to be restrained to the to be governed by that law still; but it deprived those immediate parties to the contract, even in commercial States of all improvement which might have been made cases. Mr. Johnston said, he had only taken a desultory since in their legislation, especially with regard to Execu-view of the subject, merely to point out these objects to tive laws. It destroyed the conformity which ought to the attention of the Committee, and to ask of them at once exist in the rules and practice in all the Courts administer- to extend the Circuit Courts over all the States, and to ing justice, within the same limits, upon the same con- make some reformation in the Judiciary act. tracts. It created some confusion and some inequality, by The resolution was agreed to. prescribing different measures of justice to different parties; besides, almost every State had found it necessary to adapt her laws to the peculiar circumstances of the country, and sometimes to alter them under the pressure of events which the State thought justified their interpo
AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION.
In regard to the States admitted into the Union since the Judiciary act, they had no law, and the Courts of the United States had undertaken, not only to prescribe rules of proceeding, but to exercise the highest act of sovereignty, by making laws to supply the defects of our legis lation a power which Congress cannot delegate. This subject was clearly explained yesterday by the honorable member from Illinois, (Mr. KANE.) Mr. J. said, that, if we prescribe the laws of the several States for the government of the United States' Courts, there is still another difficulty-those laws may violate contracts; they may be unconstitutional; and, in that event, those Courts would have no authority to enforce their judgments. The only law which they could employ, to give effect to their judgment, would be declared by themselves null and void. It must be our duty, therefore, to provide for such an occurrence by a general law applicable to such a state of things. For himself, he could only wish, that the Courts of the United States, in Louisiana, should be governed, in all cases, by the laws of the State.
The Senate proceeded to consider the following resolution, submitted yesterday by Mr. BENTON:
Resolved, That a Select Committee be appointed, with instructions to inquire into the expediency of amending the Constitution of the United States, so as to provide for the election of President and Vice President, by a direct vote of the People, in districts.
Mr. HAYNE was rejoiced to see that the gentleman from Missouri had thus early called the attention of the Senate to this important subject; but he thought he had not made the inquiry sufficiently extensive; he had confined it merely to the mode of election; but Mr. H. thought an attempt ought also to be made to secure the election of President of the United States from the intervention of the House of Representatives; and he, therefore, moved to amend the resolution, by adding the following:
"And that the Committee be further instructed to inquire into the expediency of so amending the Constitution as to secure the election of President and Vice President of the United States, without the intervention of the Senate or House of Representatives."
Mr. MACON said, that it would be wise, in adopting a resolution of this kind, to give the Committee all the latiMr. J. said, that, under the present Judiciary act, a de- tude that could be given, that they might examine the subviation froin the laws of all the States had been permitted, ject in every particular, and make the inquiry as broad as as unfriendly to civil liberty as it was vexatious and op- possible. He had not the same opinion of any particular pressive. It permitted the judgment creditor to take ex-mode of electing a President of the United States as he ecution in the first instance against the body of the debt- formerly had, but inclined to favor the district plan. or, to hold him in prison until the money was coerced either from him or his friends. It is arming a vindictive creditor with a power over the personal liberty of the debtor to exercise the most malignant vengeance, and at once to degrade and ruin him. He said that the law which permits a man to be deprived of his liberty, while he possesses property, on the faith of which the contract was made, can only be equalled in absurdity by a law which authorizes his perpetual imprisonment, because he has the misfortune to have none. This power had been, in many instances, seized on and exercised in a most unfeeling manncr. It is believed not to be consonant with the laws of any of the States, and to be unworthy our legislation. Mr. Johnston remarked, he had merely hinted the propriety of restraining the jurisdiction of the Courts in civil cases. It was known that the States had competent Courts for the administration of justice, conveniently situated to the parties, to which they could resort without much inconve
Mr. DICKERSON said it was highly desirable that the President and Vice President should be elected without the interposition of the Senate or House of Representatives; but it was a question with him, whether it could be completely effected. He did not think the Constitution could be so amended as to prevent, at some time or other, and under some unforeseen contingency, the election coming to the House of Representatives. If any mode had been devised, it had not yet been shown to them. It was hardly correct, that the members should commit themselves on this point, thus early, on preliminary propositions, and he should, therefore, vote against the resolution.
Mr. HAYNE said, the proposition merely proposed an inquiry. The gentleman allowed it was expedient that it should be done, and, by voting for the inquiry, he would not in any way commit himself. The only object was, for the Committee to ascertain whether the propositions contained in the two branches of the resolution could be car.
DEC. 15, 1825.
On amending the Constitution.
ried into effect. This was what had been done in Con- | upon Congress, or either House. His desire was, by such
Mr. BENTON said, as one taking a deep interest in the subject, he should be glad that any gentleman in the House, who had turned his attention to the subject, and could suggest any mode that promised to be beneficial, would submit his resolution, which should be referred to the same Cominittee with the resolution he had submitted. Whatever Committee might be charged with this subject, he should feel obliged to any gentleman that would contribute any thing that would tend to turn the attention of the Committee to it. He wished the proposition he had submitted should have an examination. Since it resolved nothing, and committed nobody, it was perfectly innocent and harmless in its present shape. As to the amendment of the gentleman from South Carolina, it only tended to enlarge the field of inquiry, and he could not object to that or any other proposition that was calculated to promote that end.
Mr. HOLMES, of Maine, said, he generally voted in favor of resolutions of inquiry on almost every subject; but he had not much confidence in amendments of the Constitution, of any kind. He thought the time was gone by for amending the Constitution, and perhaps it was well that it was so. It was easier for them to break it ten times than it was for them to amend it once, and if they tried to mend it only in those places where they had broken it, they would have enough to occupy them for a considerable
time. He should not vote for the resolution under the ex
pectation that much would be done; but he was willing that an inquiry should be made. He was not in favor of the measures of either of the gentlemen, but he should vote in favor of the amendment to the resolution, and then for the resolution as amended.
Mr. R. M. JOHNSON, of Kentucky, said, he was happy to find that the proposition to appoint a Committee embraced a specific proposition to amend the Constitution relative to the choice of a President and Vice President of the United States. The gentleman from Maine had, he feared, uttered a solemn and awful truth when he said that the time had passed for amending the Constitution, and that it could be broken with more facility than it could be amended. Mr. J. said, he should be more apprehensive of the truth of this belief, if this spirit of opposition should apply to amendments which proposed to vest the People of this country with the exercise of the great essential principles of self-government; principles upon which he conceived the prosperity, happiness, and perpetuity of our free institutions principally depended.
If, in the infancy of our Republic; if, in the first year of our political Jubilee, we discovered this opposition, what might we expect in mature age? He said our first political jubilee commenced the 4th of July last. This was the fiftieth year of our Independence. For his part, he said, he never wanted to see any friend of his called upon, as a Member of Congress, to vote for the President and Vice President of the United States; for the world was invidious, and no matter what purity Members could boast of, even if they possessed the purity of angels, their vote, in many cases, would make them obnoxious to imputations. This was one reason why he was in favor of the proposed amendment, an amendment proposing that, in no event, and in no contingency, should the duty of electing devolve VOL. U-3
into the inquiry whether they could strike out a mode for Mr. COBB then rose, and said that, without entering the election of President and Vice President, without the intervention of either branch of Congress, he would offer an amendment that went to another point: its object was to instruct this same Committee to inquire into the expediency of so amending the Constitution as to prohibit the appointment of any Member of Congress to any office of honor or trust under the United States during the term for which such Senator or Representative should have been elected. If this amendment were adopted, the evil would not be so great in referring the election of President to the decision of either branch of Congress. While he had the honor of being a member of the other House, he said, he submitted a similar proposition, and though there was not a sufficient vote to carry it through, he had the consolation of knowing that the vote in favor of it was very respecta ble. He thought there could be no better time than the present to renew the proposition; if the Committee could not devise a mode by which the election could be effected, without the interposition of Congress, then it became the more proper to inquire whether they should not remove from those on whom the election must devolve all temptation that might bias them in that election. He would not make any observations as to the fact of how far any member of Congress might be influenced by the hope of office, in voting: but every member would see, from the fallibility of human nature, that it was almost impossible for men sometimes not to be influenced. Mr. C. said, he wished to cut off every thing that could tempt a man, and entirely destroy all hope of office, and all imputation whether they should vote right or wrong. Mr. C. concluded by moving an amendment to the resolution, corresponding to what he stated in his remarks; and
The question being put on Mr. C's amendment, it was agreed to, nem. con.
Mr. MACON said, he still thought that, instead of re-
"Resolved, That Congress does not possess the power to make Roads and Canals within the respective States. instructions to prepare and report a Joint Resolution, for Resolved, That a select committee be appointed, with
"That a Select Committee be appointed, who shall inquire into the expediency of so amending the Constitution, in the election of President and Vice President of the Unit-an amendment of the Constitution, prescribing and defined States, as to attain the best, most preferable, and safesting the power Congress shall have over the subject of mode in regard to such elections." restrictions as shall effectually protect the sovereignty of Internal Improvements, and subjecting the same to such the respective States, and secure to them a just distribution of the benefits resulting from all appropriations made for that purpose.
After some conversation as to the expediency of this general reference, in preference to the propositions previously offered, between Mesrss. HOLMES, MACON, JOHNSON, of Ky, and COBB,
Mr. MACON'S motion was agreed to, and his amendment adopted.
Mr. VAN BUREN then said, that this was a subject on which great diversity of opinion had existed, as was manifested both at the last session, and at the present, by the number of propositions that had been offered. It was from this consideration that he thought a larger number should compose the Committee to whom the subject was now to be referred, than was usual, and, therefore, he should move that nine be appointed.
That number was agreed to.
Mr. DICKERSON gave notice that he should to-morrow ask leave to introduce a resolution for so amending the Constitution as to limit the term for which one person should be eligible for the office of President of the United States.
The Senate adjourned to Monday.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 19, 1825.
Agreeably to notice, Mr. DICKERSON asked, and ing obtained leave, introduced the following resolution; which was read and passed to a second reading:
Ressolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, twothirds of both Houses concurring, That the following amendment to the Constitution of the United States be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States; and which, when ratified by the Legislatures of three-fourths of the States, shall be valid, to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution:
[DEC. 19, 20, 1825.
Senators or Representatives in Congress to any office of States, during the period for which such Senators or Rehonor, trust, or profit, under the authority of the United
In introducing these resolutions
that he had, some days since, given notice of his intenMr. VAN BUREN said, that it would be recollected tion to ask for leave to introduce a joint resolution, proposing an amendinent of the Constitution on the subject of the power of Congress over the subject of Internal Improvements. Upon the suggestion of gentlemen who feel an interest in the subject, and think the principal object can, in that way, be better effected, he had consented so far to change the course originally contemplatthe Senate on the Constitution, as it now is, and propos ed, by substituting resolutions expressive of the sense of ing the appointment of a select committee to report upon the subject, under such instruction as the Senate may think proper to give. Such resolutions he would now take the liberty of submitting. He did not, of course, wish to press their immediate consideration, but would call them up at as early a day as would comport with the hav-ceeding in the Senate. He hoped he would be excused state of public business and the ordinary course of profor expressing an earnest wish that the conceded importheir attention to it as soon as they conveniently could, to tance of the subject would induce gentlemen to turn the end that, when it was taken up, it might be carried to a speedy decision, and not exposed to those unprofitable delays and postponements which had heretofore attended measures of a similar character, and ultimately prevented an expression of the sense of the Senate on their merits. He deceived himself, if there was any matmore intense interest, than the question of the rightful ter in which, at this moment, their constituents felt a and probable agency of the General Government in the States, measures of that description had been harmonious great work of Internal Improvement. Whilst, in the would admit of, successful in their results, the condition in their progress, and, as far as the means of the States of things here had been of a very different character. From the first agitation of the subject, the constitutional power of Congress to legislate upon the subject had been a source of unbroken, and, frequently, angry and unpleasant controversy. The time, he said, had never yet been, when all the branches of the Legislative Department were of the same opinion upon the question. Even those who united in the sentiment as to the existence of the power, differed in almost every thing else in regard to it. Of its butes, very different views were entertained by its friends. particular source in the Constitution, its extent and attriThere had not been any thing in the experience of the past, nor was there any thing in the prospect of the future, on which a reasonable hope could be founded, that this great subject could ever be satisfactorily adjusted by any means short of an appeal to the States. The intimate
"No person who shall have been elected President of the United States a second time, shall again be eligible to that office."
Mr. WOODBURY submitted the following resolution for consideration:
"Resolved, That the Committee on the Public Lands be instructed to inquire into the expediency of requesting the President of the United States to cause to be published a detailed statement of the names, rank, and line, | in the continental army, of such persons as have not applied for the revolutionary land warrants issued, and remaining for them in the Bounty Land Office; and of such other persons as appear on the records of said Office, now entitled to have revolutionary land warrants issued to them."
Mr. COBB submitted the following resolution:
Resolved, That the Committee appointed on Thursday last to inquire into the expediency of amending the Constitution of the United States, in relation to the mode of electing the President and Vice President, be further instructed to inquire into the expediency of so amending the Constitution as to prohibit the appointment of any
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20, 1825.
Revolutionary Bounty Lands.
DEC. 20, 1825.]
Mr. WOODBURY remarked, that as the gentleman from Alabama had made no motion to enforce his views, the question was upon the adoption of the resolution in its present shape. On that point he would add only a few words to what his from Massachusetts had kindly suggested in support of its objects. If the right to these land warrants was unquestionable and the right was of a character to be treated with favor, and the mode of aiding it contemplated by the resolution would tend to enforce rather than defeat the right-the resolu tion would doubtless pass. As to the right, Congress, in September, 1776, conferred, for a bounty, one hundr acres of land on every soldier enlisting and serving dur
connexion between the prosperity of the country and works of the description referred to, would always induce efforts to induce the General Government to embark in them, and there was but little reason to believe that its claim of power would ever be abandoned. As little reason was there, in his judgment, to expect that the opposition to it would ever be given up. The principles upon which that opposition is founded; the zeal and fidelity with which it has hitherto been sustained, preclude such an expectation. If this view of the subject was a correct one, and it appeared to him that it was, he respectfully submitted it as a matter of imperious duty, on the part of Congress, to make a determined effort to have the question settled in the only way which can be final-an amend-ing the war. More than 2,000 persons, entitled to this ment of the Constitution, prescribing and defining what bounty, had never received their warrants: and, by a reCongress may, and what they shall not do, with the re- port from the Bounty Land Office, in November last, more strictions under which what is allowed to them shall be than fifty warrants had actually been made out by Genedone. It appeared to him that, not only every interest rals Knox and Dearborn, which still remained on file. A connected with the subject, but the credit, if not safety, large tract of country, called the United States' Military of our enviable political institutions, required that course; Tract, had been appropriated to answer the warrants; and for it must be evident to all reflecting men, that the reite- the statutes of limitations had, from time to time, been rated complaints of constitutional infraction must tend to extended so as not to bar the proprietors. The right, relax the confidence of the People in the Government, then, in the first instance, was clearly established; and if and that such measures as may be undertaken upon the any right was entitled to peculiar favor, it was a right subject must be constantly exposed to peril from the fluc- purchased like this-by sufferings and sacrifices-by tuations of the opinion of successive Legislatures. The losses, toil, and blood, in one of the most holy wars on subject, he said, had been viewed in this light by some of record. It was due to the memory of our fathers, that the best and ablest men the country has produced. As their intentions to the soldiers of the revolution should, if early as 1808, the propriety of an appeal to the States possible, be carried into complete effect; and where the upon the point in question, had been suggested by Mr. original proprietor did not survive to receive the reward Jefferson, in his last message to Congress. The same of his fidelity in the hour of peril and tribulation, it should course had been recommended by Mr. Madison, and the be hastened to his children, who, in many instances, had recommendation repeated by Mr. Monroe. performed our duty in smoothing the downhill of life to As yet, no decided effort to effect this great object had the saviours of their country. The mode suggested by been made; he permitted himself to hope that such ef- the resolution would, probably, on inquiry, be thought the fort would now be made. It was true, he said, the sub- best one to effect this object. Some had not applied for ject had not been referred to by the present Executive, their warrants from ignorance-others from forgetfulness and the reasons why he had not done so, were apparent, -some had failed to get them from accident-and others, from the communications he has made to us. From those, because, by infirmities and age, they had so speedily been it appeared that the President entertained opinions, as to summoned to pass that bourne whence no traveller rethe power of Congress, which removed all difficulties turns. But a publicity, as wile as that given to our laws, upon the subject. But, Mr. V. B. said, that, although of the names, rank, and line, of those entitled to the warthat circumstance might possibly diminish, it certainly did rants, would remove most of these difficulties. Specula not obviate the necessity of now acting upon the subject, tors, it had been suggested, would also profit by this pubas the Senate were not left to conjecture as to the fact, licity, and, in some cases, defraud the real owners: but that there existed a discordance of opinion between the the opportunity for them to defraud would then be less. Executive and portions, at least-how large time would They are now more active and better informed on those shew-of the other branches of the Legislative Depart-points than the owners such publicity would place the ment. Mr. V. B. said, that, entertaining such views owners, and their friends, cn an equal footing with the upon the subject, he had felt it his duty to bring the sub-land-jobber. And, in addition to this, the owners, and the ject thus early before the Senate, and when the proper people at large, had as good a right to this information as period for discussion arrived, would avail himself of their their officers had. It was no State or Cabinet secret. It indulgence to assign his reasons for the course proposed. was public property in a Government like ours; and this was an age, he trusted, of too much intelligence, for gentlemen seriously to argue against information and knowledge, because they might, in some instances, be abused. This was a resolution or inquiry merely, and if any mode, more acceptable and efficient, could be devised by the Committee to enforce the same object, he would, very cheerfully, acquiesce in it.
REVOLUTIONARY BOUNTY LANDS. The resolution submitted yesterday, by Mr. WOODBURY, relating to Bounty Lands, was taken up. Some discussion took place between Messrs. KING, BARTON, and EATON, as to the best mode of proceeding in the case, and the most eligible committee for the reference of
Mr. LLOYD, of Massachusetts, observed, that the course pursued by the gentleman from New Hampshire, (Mr. WOODBURY,) was the correct and proper one on this occasion; he had no doubt there are many meritorious officers and soldiers of the Revolutionary army, still living, and the descendants of many who are dead, that are entitled to the Bounty Lands, promised by Government, who have not applied, from ignorance of their claims.pended for revolutionary services. Speculators went out The object of the proposition of the gentleman from New and administered all over the Union, on the property of Hampshire was, to inform them of their rights. This persons having claims, and, in one case, two administra. subject, Mr. L. said, had been pending for nearly thirty tors came forward upon the same estate, and the man himyears, and ought to be brought to a close; he hoped, self the original claimant, upon whose estate they pretendtherefore, the resolution would be adopted: ed to have administered, came afterwards. He was thought
Mr. MACON said he had his doubts as to the beneficial effects proposed to be derived from the resolution. It appeared to him, that, instead of preventing speculation, it would encourage speculators to ride over the country, buying up these claims. In early life, in Congress, Mr. M. said he remembered there was one question that bordered on this: it was, to get the statute of limitation sus