The Congressional Globe, Volume 14: Twenty-Eighth Congress, Second Session Page: 24
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and urging upon them the propriety and justice of
their earliest possible"action. For more than a quar-
ter of a century these petitioners have been asking
for relief. If they are entited to it, the delay is sig-
nally cruel and unjust. If they are not, Congress
still owe it to themselves, as well as to the claimants,
to say so—aad say so definitively. Anything is
better than inVtion". May I also be allowed to sug-
gest, said Mr. F., that this may be regarded as a
favorable moment to consider this subject? The
great contest for the presidency is' now closed, and
if we are ever in a fit state of mind to enter upon
the investigation of important questions like this,
disconnected, as it is, in every way, with party pol-
itics, it would seem to be in the interval between the
close of one great political campaign for the presiden-
cy and the commencement of another. He did hope,
therefore, that the committee would not only enter
upon the immediate consideration of this subject,
but would report so early as to insure the action of
both Houses of Congress upon it at the present ses-
The memorial was accordingly referred to the
Committee on Foreign Relations.
On motion by Mr. BAGBY, it was
Resolved, That the Committee on the Judiciary bp in-
structed to inquire into the expediency of making an appro-
priation for the election of a suitable building m the city of
Mobile for the accommodation of the district courts of the
United States for the southern district of Alabama, or to re-
pair the building heretofore occupied for that purpose, and
also for the erection of a district court-house for the middle
district of Alabama, at Tuscaloosa.
Orj motion by Mr. BAGBY, the presentments of
the grand juries of Mobile and Tuscaloosa, Ala-
bama, representing the necessity of an appropria-
tion for the erection of a suitable building for the
accommodation of the district court of the United
States for the western district of that State, were
ordered to be taken from the files, and referred to
the Committee on the Judiciary.
Mr. ASHLEY presented resolutions of the Gen-
eral Assembly of Arkansas, instructing the senatois
and requesting the representatives from that State to
vote for some provision of law for the equitable ad-
justment of the claims for French spoliations prior
to 1860; which were read, and ordered to be printed.
Mr. BREESE, on leave, introduced a bill to grant
to the State of Illinois the right of way through the
public lands of the United States; and
A bill for the relief of William Elliott, jr., of Ful-
ton county, in the State of Illinois; which were sev-
erally read twice, and referred to the Committee on
THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTE.
Mr. TAPPAN, on leave, introduced a bill for the
increase and diffusion of knowledge among men;
which was read twice, and referred to the Joint
Committee on the Library.
Mr. JOHNSON presented a memorial from the
Mayor and Council of the city of Lafayette, Louisi-
ana, praying for a modification of the law of last ses-
sion establishing that city a port of entry: referred
to the Committee on Commerce.
Mr. BARROW, on leave, introduced a bill for the
relief of James Ritchie; which was read twice, and,
with the papers on file relating to the claim, referred
to the Committee on Claims..
Mr. BREESE, on leave, introduced a bill for the
relief of the legal representatives of Pierre Menard,
of Antoine Peltier, and of Joseph Placy; which was
read twice, and referred to the Committee on Revo-
TEXAS HER PUBLIC DEBT, LAND GRANTS,
Mr. PHELPS submitted the following resolution;
which, undei the rule, lies on the table one day, viz:
Reia'crrl, That the President be requested to inlorm the
Senate whether the executive department is possessed of
any definite and satisfactory information by which the pres-
ent public debt ot the republic of Texas can be ascertained;
and if so, that he be requested to communicate it to the Sen-
ate, with the aggregate amount of that debt, and also, that
he be requested to inform the Senate whether any, and if
any, what additions have been made to that debt since the
signing of the treaty with that republic, submitted to the
Senate at its last session.
And that he be further requested to inform the Senate
what amount of the public Lmds of Texas had been granted
by the Spanish, Mexican, and Texian governments previous
to the signing of said treaty; what amount remained un-
granted at that date; and whether any, and what, grants of
said domain have been made by the Texian government,
since that period.
On motion of Mr. WOODBURY, leave was
granted to withdraw from the files the petition and
papers of Harvey Park.
Also presented a petition from Benjamin Ropes,
praying indemnity for spoliations by the French
prior to 1800: referred to the Committee on Foreign
Mr. BAYARD, on leave, introduced a bill to in-
crease the pay of certain officers of revenue cutters,
while serving in the navy of the United States;
which was read twice, and referred to the Committee
Mr. PEARCE gave notice that he would, to-
morrow, ask leave to introduce a bill giving the as-
sent of the United States to the amended charter of
the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal company.
' CORRESPONDENCE WITH FRANCE ON ANNEX-
The resolution submitted by Mr. HUNTING-
TON was taken up, and agreed to—as follows:
Resolved, That the President of the United States he re-
quested to communicate to the Senate (if not incompatible
with the public interest) copies of all the correspondence
not heretofore transmitted to the Senate, which may have
taken place between the Department of State and the pres-
ent minister of the United States to France, and between
that minister and the government of Fiance, ielating to the
proposed annexation of Texas to the United States.
The resolution submitted by Mr. Niles yester-
day, concerning the deposites of the public moneys,
Came up for consideration.
Mr., EVANS suggested to the senator from Con-
necticut the propriety of permitting the resolution
to lie on the table till Monday, by which time he
presumed the report of the Secretary of the Treas-
ury would be transmitted to Congress; which report
he had no doubt would contain the most, if not all,
the information desired through the resolution. He
had no particular objection to the resolution, but be-
lieved that its passage would be rendered unnecessary
by the annual report from the Treasury Depart-
Mr. NILES acquiesced in the suggestion; and the
resolution was postponed till Monday next.
Mr. BAYARD, from the Committee on Naval
Affairs, reported back, without amendment, the bill
for the relief of certain contractors with the govern-
ment; and the bill concerning furloughs in the naval
Mr. BUCHANAN presented a petition from cit-
izens of the city and county of Philadelphia, asking
an appropriation to rebuild the piers at Port Penn,
in the Delaware river, and to complete the erection
of the light-house on Brandy wine shoals: referred
to the Committee on Commerce.
On motion by Mr. EVANS, the previous orders
of the day were postponed, and the bill granting a
pension of $2 50 per month to James Duffy, was
taken up as in committee of the whole, con-
sidered, reported to the Senate, and passed to a
On motion, it was agreed that when the Senate
adjourn, it adjourn to meet on Monday next.
On motion by Mr. BAYARD, the Senate pro-
ceeded to the consideration of executive business;
and after some time spent therein, adjourned.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
Thursday, December 12, 1844.
Mr. Wu. B. M aclay of New York appeared and
took his seat.
Mr. A. C. DODGE, on leave, presented the con-
stitution, ordinance, and memorial, adopted by the
Iowa convention for the formation of a State consti-
tution. Mr. D. moved that these papers should be
referred to the Committee on Territories, and 5,000
extra copies be printed.
Mr. VINTON thought this constitution should
go to the Judiciary Committee. Such had been the
case in the Senate. All the constitutions of the
new States, he said, had gone to that committee.
It was the proper one, in his opinion. The admis-
sion of a new State was a grave and important sub-
ject. It was the business of Congress to examine
the instrument with great care, to see that it was
Mr. DODGE said he hoped the motion of thegen-
tleman from Ohio would not prevail. The Committee
on Territories he regarded as the proper one to which
this subject should be referred; and with all due def-
erence to the gentreman from Ohio, he would inform
the House that the precedents in similar cases were
not as stated by him. The constitution of Florida,
which v^as now before the House, had been referred
to the Committee on Territories, and a bill from that
committee reported for her admission'during the last
Cpngress. The constitutions of Arkansas and Mich-
ican, when presented to this House, had been refer-
red to the Committee on Territories; and it would be
departing from the previous action of the House, if
the constitution of Iowa should taw.be sent to the
Committee of the Judiciary. • Mr. D. saw no rea-
sons why the honorable gentlemen composing the
Committee on Terriori.es were not as competent to -de-
cide on the questions of constitutional or other law-
growing out of the application of a new State for ad-
mission into the Union as those of the Judiciary.
As to the republicanism of our constitution," said
Mr. D., I venture to predict, let it be the pleasure of
the House to send it to what committee it may, no
fault would be found with that. He trusted, upon
examination, that it would be found equal, if not su-
perior, to any instrument of the kind that had ever
been presented to this oody. " ■
Mr. D. said that, in asking the House to print
5,000 copies, he was but following the precedent
set in the case of Florida. He read from the journal
of 1838 a resolution then adopted, showing such to
be the case. He hoped the motion to print would
Mr. A. V. BROWN did not wish to provoke any
discussion on this question, and therefore would make
but one brief observation. He believed that the usual
destination of subjects of this character was the Corti-
mittee on Territories, and he hoped that m this case
the House would not depart from its usual course.
It was true, that hardly any question could come
before the House in which some legal principle was
not involved; but as to the republicanism of this
constitution, he apprehended it was more a question
of fact than of law. It might, perhaps, be a mixed
question of fact and of law together; but he thought
there was more of the former than of the latter in-
volved in it. He hoped, therefore, that the refer-
ence would be to the Committee on the Territories.
Mr. E. J. BLACK observed that a reference to
the rules of the House would best explain which
of the standing committees would most appropri-
ately have this subject in charge. The 87th rule
prescribed the duties of the Committee on the Ju-
diciary to be "to take into consideration such peti-
tions and matters or things touching judicial pro-
ceedings as shall be presented, or may come in
question, and be referred to them by the House;
and to report their opinion thereon, together with
such propositions for relief therein as to them shall
seem expedient." By the 95th rule, it was pro-
vided that "it shall be the duty of the Committee
on the Territories to examine into the legislative,
civil, and criminal proceedings of the Territories,
and to devise and report to the House such means
as in their opinion may be necessary to secure the
rights and privileges of residents ana non-residents."
Mr. B. said he took it, therefore, for granted, that if
the House disposed of this subject according to
these two rules, the proposition of the honorable
delegate from Iowa would prevail.
Mr. WENTWORTH observed that the gentle-
man from Ohio, in quoting precedents, had not
quoted the precedents of the House, but of the
Senate. The Senate, it was true, had referred mat-
ters of this nature to their Committee on the Judi-
ciary, and the gentleman argued, therefore, that this
subject should be referred to the same committee in
this House, ft must, however, be recolleeted that
there were frequently different modes of proceeding
in the two branches of the national legislature, ana
that they were at this time differently constituted as
regards political sentiment. It might not be con-
sidered proper to refer this subject to a committee
which would act speedily on it, by one of the par-
ties in this country, whose object was to delay the
admission of this Territory. A question had been
raised as to the republicanism of this constitution;
but he believed the gentleman from Ohio and his
friends would find, upon examination, that there was
rather too much republicanism in it to suit their
views. If, however, when this constitution should
be brought before the House by the report of a
committee, the gentleman should find any provision
in it not republican enough, he would most cordial-
ly join him in amending it.
Mr. LEVY observed that the application of Flori-
da for admission into the Union was referred to the
Committee on Territories, and reported on by them.
Mr. BARNARD contended that all such applica-
tions should be referred to the Committee on the
Judiciary; and his impression was, that such had
heretofore been the custom of the House.
Mr. DUNCAN was for referring this subject to
the Committee on Territories, believing that such
committee would take the most speedy action on it,
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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/m1/40/: accessed May 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.