The Congressional Globe, Volume 14: Twenty-Eighth Congress, Second Session Page: 2
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Resolved, (provided the ■ Senate cancur,) That two chap-
lains, of different denominations, be elected by Congress-
one by each House, to serve during the session, who shall
Mr. PETTIT submitted the following as an
Provided, That such chaplains shall look to the mem-
tiers of this House for their compensation, and that the
United States shall not be liable for their salaries, or any
He said he did not design to detain the House
•with many remarks on this subject, for they were
unnecessary; nor did he suppose that he should
be any more successful in this, than he was in a like
attempt at the last session, when his amendment
was voted down. He had only, therefore, to re-
peat, on this occasion, that he held that this chap-
laincy was an office that was not known to the con-
stitution, and ought not to be known to the laws of
this Union, for they have no authority—indeed
they were expressly prohibited from taking any
part, or doing any act towards the establishment of
any religion, or passing any law which should have
reference to the establishment of a religion. He had
seen, with great regret, on recent occasions, in other
places, a mockory made of religion. He had seen
at the public forum, and the political stand, an invo-
cation of the Supreme Being to look benignantly on
the proceedings of that assembled multitude; and he
had there seen that very multitude outrage religion,
morals, law, order, and common sense, by the singing
of low songs and ribaldry. Now such things should
not go together. The church was no part of our
government; the church was not adopted by our
government; but what more or less was the ap-
pointment of chaplains to Congress than an attempt
to establish a religion by law? for such a resolution,
offered and adopted here, must go through all the
forms of lajv, even to the approval and signature of
the President of the United States. But again: the
House of Representatives was called upon by that
resolution stealthily to put its hands into the treas-
ury of the United States, and take away money to
maintain one sect of Christians to the depression of
another. True, the resolution provided that the
two chaplains should be of different denominations,
and not of the same sect; but it must be remem-
bered that there were many other sects in this
Union; and thus to countenance and elevate two
sects over all the rest, did not meet the approval of
the people. He could assure gentlemen that he had
consulted the people on this subject since the last
session of Congress, and he came back to this
House as much opposed as ever to this establish-
ment of any sect, and as ready and willing as ever to
meet and contest the adoption of such a resolution.
He opposed it on constitutional grounds; he op-
posed it because they had no authority to establish
any particular sect of religion; and he opposed it
because they had no power to take from the treasury
for such purposes that revenue which was raised
for the support of the government. How stood tha
matter? They passed a revenue law, under which
they collected revenue from every part of this widely
extended Union: they were collected from persons
of every religious denomination—from Trinitarian
and Unitarian—from all the varieties of religionists
who the constitution said should not be compelled
to contribute for the establishment of religion; and
yet by such legislation as this they took from them
money in taxes for that purpose. When he rose
jhe did not intend to have detained the House with
any remarks, but he had felt constrained to enter a
warning protest against the adoption of this resolu-
tion, by which people of different religious sects
were to be compelled to pay for the support of these
chaplains. The people had no right to pay for the
religious teachers of the members of this House;
but if these chaplains were viewed as officers of this
House, they 'should be properly commissioned for
those duties. He well knew how he should be
assailed for the stand he had taken, both from the
pulpit and the press, hismotives would be maligned,
and he would be stigmatized as an infidel; but he
should be unmoved by any such calumny. He
stood there to discharge that which he conceived to
be a duty, but at the same time he was not oppBsed
to the appointment of chaplains to the two Houses
of Congress. He only opposed the manner in
which it was done, on the grounds which
he had stated. He was not only willing, but
lie was desirous, that this House should each
day be opened with prayer; but he desired
also that the members of this House should be
placed on the same basis with their constituents—
that is, each one paying for his own religious teach-
ers. The people would not tolerate an act of Con-
gress by which preachers should be sent among the
people by them, to be supported by compulsion, for
the people would make choice of their preachers for
themselves, and make provision for them in their
own way. Nor would the people approve of the
appointment of religious teachers here, for whom
they were compelled to pay tribute. He repeated
that the members of this Hou3e should pay for
their own chaplains; and in connection with the
amendment which he had offered, he had drawn up
a simple form of a subscription paper to carry oilt
the views which he had expressed. It was as fol-
"We, the undersigned, members of the 28th
Congress, agree to pay the sum by us below sub-
scribed, to the Rev. , chaplain of the House
of Representatives, at the second session of said
Congress, for his services as such chaplain.
John Pettit, - - - $5 00."
He said it would be perceived he had put down
his name for $5, but if the two Houses appointed
the two chaplains, each member's proportionate
share would only be from $3 to $4. If, however,
eaGh House separately and distinctly appointed a
chaplain, the share of each member of this House
would be but about $2 30; but if it were necessary,
he would even double the sum which he proposed
to subscribe, and then vote for the appointment of
a chaplain who would do credit to the House, and
not be a disgrace to it and to the religion which he
professed to teach.
Mr. McCONNELL called for the previous ques-
tion, which being seconded, the main question was
Mr. PETTIT called for the yeas and nays on the
main question, which were ordered.
Mr. McKAY raised the question of order, that
there being an existing law providing for the com-
pensation of chaplains, it was not competent by a
resolution, which was not to be sent to the President
for his concurrence, to repeal it. Suppose (said Mr.
McKay) you adopt the amendment: the chaplains
appointed under it would have a right to draw the
salaries which have been provided for them by law.
The amendment was therefore not in order.
Mr. STEENROD inquired if there was not
already an applopriation for the salaries of the
chaplains for this session.
The SPEAKER replied, that the appropriation
was made for the fiscal year up to the first of July
Mr. PETTIT was not satisfied that there was
an appropriation for this object, because the
chaplains not being yet appointed, it could not
apply to offices not yet created.
The SPEAKER decided, on the question of order
raised by the gentleman from North Carolina, [Mr.
McKay,] that it could not now be sustained, the
previous question having been ordered by the
House. In his opinion, however, it was not com-
petent for the House, by a resolution, to repeal the
law providing for the salaries of the chaplains.
Mr. STEENROD appealed to the gentleman
from Indiana [Mr. Pettit] to withdraw his amend-
Mr. PETTIT declined withdrawing it.
The question was then put on the amendment of
Mr. Pettit, and decided in the negative—yeas 20,
nays 152, as follows:
YEAS—Messrs. Anderson, 'Arlington, Benton, Bowlin,
Boyd, Burke, John W. Davis, Ficklm, Hale, Hughes. James
B. Hunt, Jenks, Andrew Johnson, McDowell, Norris, Pet-
tit, Redmg, Ritter, Slidell, and Weller—-20.
NAYS--Messrs. Abbot, Adams, Ashe, Atkinson, Baker,
Barringer, Barnard, Bidlack, Ldward J Black, James Black,
James A. Black, Blackwell, Bower, Brinkerhoft", Brodhead,
Milton Brown, Willidni J. Brown, Jeremiah Brown, Buf.
fnigton, Burt, Caldwell, Carpenter, Jeremiah E. Cary, C-at-
lin, Causin, Reuben Chapman, Augustus A Chapman, Chil-
ton, Clingman, Clinton, Cobb, Cranston, Dana, Daniel, Dar-
rah, Garrett Davis, Dawson, Dean, Deberry, Dellet, Dickey,
Dillingham, Douglass, Dromgoole, Duncan, Dunlap, Ellis,
Farlee, Fish, Florence, Foot, French, Fuller, Giddings,
Goggin, Byram Green, Grinnell. Grider, Hannibal Hamlm,
Edward.S. Hamlin, Haralson, Hardin, Harper, Hays, Henley,
Herrick, Holmes, Hoge, Hopkins, Houston, Hubard, Hub-
bell, Hudson, Hungerford, Charles J. Ingersoll, Irvin, Per-
ley B. Johnson, John P. Kennedy, Daniel King, Kirkpatrick,
Labranche, Leonard, Lucas, Lumpkin, McCauslen, McClel-
land, McConnell, Mcllraine, McKay, Marsh, Mathews, Ed-
ward J. Morris, Joseph Morris, Freeman H. Morse, Isaac E.
Morse, Moseley, Murphy, Nes, Newton, Owen, Parmenter,
Payne, Phoenix, Pollock, F.lisha R. Potter, Pratt, Preston,
Ramsey, Rathbun, David S. Reid, Kelte, Rhett, Robinson,
Rodney, Rogers, St. John, Sample, Saunders, Schenclt,
Senter, Severance, Thomas H. Seymour, David L. Seymour,
Simpson, Albert Smith, Thomas Smith. Caleb B. Smith,
Robert Smith, Steenrod, Stephens, Stetson, Andrew Stew-
art, John Stewart, Stiles, James W. Stone, Alfred.JP. Stone,
Taylor, Thomasson, tThompson, Tibbatts, Tyler, Vinton,
Wentworth, Wheaton, John White, Benjamin White, Wil-
liams, Winthrop, William Wright, Joseph A. Wright, and
The resolution was then adopted.
Mr. ADAMS gave notice that he would, to-
morrow, or some subsequent day, offer a resolution
to rescind the 25th rule, which prohibits the recep-
tion of abolition petitions.
Mr. DUNCAN gave notice that he would, to-
morrow, or some subsequent day, ask leave to bring
in a bill providing for the election of electors for
President and "Vice President on the same day"in all
Mr. DUNCAN also gave notice that he would,
to-morrow,' or some subsequent day, ask leave to
introduce a bill providing for extending the juris-
diction of the United States over the Oregon Terri-
Mr. SAMPLE gave notice of his intention to in-
troduce two private bills.
Mr. BARRINGER gave notice that he would to-
morrow ask leave to introduce a bill providing for
rebuilding the United States branch mint at Char-
lotte, North Carolina, lately destroyed by fire.
Mr. WELLER gave notice that he would, to-
morrow, or some subsequent day, ask leave to bring
in a bill to amend the charter of the city of Wash-
Mr. WENTWORTH gave notice that he would,
to-morrow, or some subsequent day, ask leave to
bring in a bill making a donation of land to the
State of Illinois for the completion of the Illinois
and Michigan canal.
On motion of Mr. THOMPSON,
Ordered, That the daily meetings of the House be at 12
o'clock, noon, till further ordered.
The House then adjourned.
Tuesday, December 3,1844.
The following senators, in addition to those an-
nounced yesterday, appeared in their seats to-day,
viz: Messrs. Francis, Foster, Bayard, Wood-
bridge, PoBTER, andPEARCE.
Mr. WOODBURY, from the joint committee ap-
pointed yesterday to wait upon the President of the
United States and inform him that a quorum of the
two Houses had assembled and were ready to receive
from him any communication he might be pleased to
make, reported that the committee had discharged
their duty, and had received for reply from the Pre-
sident, that he would this day, at 12 o'clock, com-
municate to Congress a message in writing.
Mr. CRITTENDEN gave notice that he would
to-morrow ask leave to introduce a bill to change
the time of holding the federal courts in Kentucky.
A message in writing was received from the Pre-
sident of the United States, by the hand of his sec-
retary, John Tyler, jr., and read to the Senate as fol-
To the Senate and
Home of Representatives of the United States:
We have continued cause for expressing our
gratitude to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for
the benefits and blessings which our country, under
his kind providence, has enjoyed during the part
year. Notwithstanding the exciting scenes through
which we have passed, nothing has occurred to dis-
turb the general peace, or to derange the harmony
of our political system. The great moral spectacle
has been exhibited of a nation, approximating in
number to 20,000,000 of people, having performed
the high and important function of electing their
Chief Magistrate for the term of four years, without
the commission of any ac*s of violence, or the mani-
festation of a spirit of insubordination to the laws.
The great and inestimable right of suffrage has
been exercised by all who were invested with it
under the laws of the different States, in a spirit
dictated alone by a desire, in the selection of the
agent, to advance the interests of the country, and
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United States. Congress. The Congressional Globe, Volume 14: Twenty-Eighth Congress, Second Session, legislative document, 1845; Washington D.C.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2366/m1/18/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.