The Congressional Globe, Volume 13, Part 1: Twenty-Eighth Congress, First Session Page: 5
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Wheaton, Williams, Wilkins, Wise, Wooded,
Wright, and Yost—138. " , , , „ 4
For John White. } , -J-- rip. '
Messrs. Adams, Barringer, Barnard, Mfi«i
Brown, Buffington, Carroll, Chappeff; ChifCon?
Clingman, Collamer, Cranston, Garrett JDavi , p&
berry, Dellet, Dickey, Fish, Florence, Footf Piioftj
Giddings, Willis Green, Grinnell, Gridcr, H'JM'ditt,
Harper, Hudson, Washington Hunt, J'0Sej^;g|j
Ingersoll, Irvia, Jenks, Perley B. Johnson,;
P. King, Mcllv&ine, Marsh, Kdward J.'Mont*,
Moseley, Newton, Patterson, Peyton,. EhoBiix>
Elisha R. Potter, Ramsey, Eayner, Charles M.'
Read, Rodney, Rogers, Sample, Schenck, S nter,
Severance, Albert Smith, Thomas«on, Tildenj
Tyler, Vance, Vamneter, Vinton, Winthrop, and
William Wright—59. . • •
For WUliam Wilkins.
determine "when to go into committee, and when to
discharge a committee from the consideration of a
subject. Unless this were the case, it would be in
the power of one-third of the House to keep any
(subject in Committee of the Whole as long as they
pleased. He thought the rule a good one; they had
got along very well with it hitherto, and he hoped
it would be retained.
Mr. CAVE JOHNSON said he had had some
experience as to the operation of this rule, and he
was convinced that much convenience resulted
from it. They were compelled, in Committee of
the Whole, to sit and listen as long as any member
felt inclined to continue the debate, in order to grat-
ify his desire for speaking. There could be no
reasonable objection against allowing a majority to
determine when to go into Committee of the Whole
upon the state of the Union; but, oil the contrary,
if eveiy man were permitted to sj^k as long as he
chose upon every subject, there would be no end to
Mr. RHETT observed that the matter had turned
out much as he feared it would. A majority hav-
ing power would always be m favor of using it.
When in the last Congress the party opposed to us,
having power in that House, thought proper to pass
this rule, in his opinion it was the very woist act
which they carried into effect, because it was intro-
ducing into the Congress of the United States the
arbitrary principle of allowing a majority to dominate,
without regarding at all the rights of the minority.
If what was said in that House simply concerned
themselves, it would be a small matter. But it
must be recollected that each member on that floor
stood there as the representative of the interests of
seventy thousand people. And it certainly did
appear to him that a due regard to the freedom of
debate should prompt them to remove all unneces-
sary restriction. Had this not been the practice of
our ancestors, we would hardly be standing here
this day. The freedom of debate and the liberty of
the press were regarded as inviolable rights by even
our British ancestors—the Anglo-Saxons them-
selves. The gentleman from Tennessee says it
is impossible that the business of this House can
be transacted unless this rule be adopted. I would
ask him, has he ever, in his reading of English his-
tory, met with such a rule as that? In all the strug-
gles for right and for power, even in a monarchy,
freedom of debate has been maintained; and here—
in the Congress of the United States—we have
gone on from revolutionary time until the last Con-
gress; and when was it found necessary to resort to
a rule of this kind? Never. It never was proposed
by a Democratic Congress. It was reserved for those
who are opposed to us, to propose its adoption. He
knew that it was hard for them, having tasted pow-
er, to surrender it—like the bloodhound upon the
trail; and a temporary expedient, adopted for a tem-
porary purpose, must now, he supposed, be perpet-
uated. When the measure was first adopted, he
(Mr. R.) opposed it, and he would oppose it still.
He stood there to fulfil the word he had then given;
and he would to say to his Democratic friends, if
they now have power, let them use it for the benefit
of the people; and let it not be said that an im-
proper measure, which had been adopted by their
opponents, had been perpetuated by themselves.
What was the evil which the gentlemen com-
plained of? That they should be kept there listen-
ing to useless speeches. Was their personal con-
venience or inconvenience, or was the paltry con-
sideration of a few thousand dollars, more or less,
to be permitted to interfere with the freedom of de-
bate? Did gentlemen believe that the time would
never come when tyranny would place its foot upon
that floor, and exert its 11011 rule even within these
walls? They might be mistaken.
The gentleman from Tennessee had told them that
they had a right to rule, and that they would rule
after this fashion; but was it to be tolerated among
a free people? Would our ancestors ever have pro-
posed to abrogate the freedom of speech? Sir, (said
Mr, R.,) I have already spoken longer than I at
first intended. I trust this Congress will not con-
gent to carry out this arbitrary measure, and inflict
an injustice upon their opponents, because their op-
ponents first inflicted it upon them. He honed they
would adopt a nobler policy, and permit all debate
which occurred in that House to be unshackled,
and that they would meet all questions in a bold,
candid, and fearless spirit.
Mr. C. J. INGERSOLL desired to say a word,
with a view not to the mere question of right, but
upon the question of policy. There were now, in
all, 145 rules; and it was within his own recollec-
tion when eight or ten comprised all that were ne-
cessary, and when the previous question was scarce-
ly demanded once in a year; when, in fact, it was
never resorted to, until there had been some out-
rageous abuse of the freedom of debate. Re-
straint always begets a necessity for further
restriction. Every increase of' -power creates
a necessity for a further increase; and though
they had not a dictator, physically or <k facto,
yet they had what wag tantamount, in hav-
ing that which acted as arbitrarily by a moral force.
What was the difference between being coerced by
a lesolution, and being coerced by arbitrary power?
He had felt the force of both kinds of coercion, and
he thought the time would yet come when they
would be obliged to recur to first principles. One
party, having power to-day, abuses it; the other
party "comes in, and attempts to make permanent
the very acts which led to their destruction. Was
such the course which should characterize a repre-
sentative assembly under a republican form of gov-
ernment? Those who come here should not come
to represent themselves, but a? trustees to represent
the rights of others. And they had better not in-
fringe upon the fieedom of discussion, for the policy
of the thing alone. This rule never had an-
swered a good purpose, and it never would. He
hoped, also, that very many of them would
be very considerably modified. They came there
as much for the purpose of speaking as of acting;
and he contended that as much good was done by
speaking as by anything else. They were assem-
bled to represent the interests of their common
country, two thousand miles in extent—living at an
immense distance, and unknown to eo.ch other pre-
vious to that meeting: It was highly necessary
that the fullest and freest interchange of thought
should take place. He had voted against the
adoption of this rule originally, because he
did not consider it right to linnt discussion.
The House, he thought, was governed too
much. There was 110 necessity for such a
black code as they had enacted for their own
government. They had already 145 rules, and would
probably, in a short time, have as many more, and
then half their time would be taken up in suspend-
Mr. WISE made some remarks in reply to Mr.
Hopkins, and in favor of the amendment.
After which, the question was taken, and carried
in the affirmative, without a division.
Mr. WISE then moved a further amendment,
providing that the rules and orders of the 27tli Con-
gress be adopted, until a committee of nine should
report a revision of them, and said report be dis-
Mr. C. J. INGERSOLL gave notice that he
would to-morrow ask leave to introduce a bill for
the benefit of Gen. Andrew Jackson.
On motion by Mr. WELLER,
Resolved, That the House will in future meet at
12 o'clock, until further ordered.
The House then adjourned.
The following is the vote for Speaker:
For John W. Jones.
Messrs. Anderson, Arlington, Atkinson, Beards-
ley, Belser, Benton, Bidlack, James Black, James
A. Black, Blackwell, Bossier, Bower, Bowl in,
Boyd, Jacob Brinkerlioff, Brodhead, Aaron V.
Brown, William J. Brown, Burke, Caldwell, Camp-
bell, Jeremiah E. Cury, Catlin, Augustus A.
Chapman, Clinton, Cobb, Coles, Cross, Cullom,
Dana, Richard D. Davis, John W. Davis, Dean,
Dillingham, Douglass, Dromgoole, Duncan, Dun-
lap, Ellis, Elmer, Farlee, Ficklin, Foster,
French, Gilmer, Byrom Green, Hale, Hamlm,
Haralson, Hays, Henley, Herrick, Holmes, Hoge,
Hopkins, Hubard, Hubbell, Hughes, Hungertord,
Hunt, Charles J. Ingersoll, Jameson, Ca\e Johnson,
Andrew Johnson, George W. Jones, Kennedy,
Preston King, ICirkpatrick, Labranche, Leonard,
Lewis, Lucas, McCauslen, Maclay, McClellan,
McClernand, McConnell, McDowell, McKay,
Mathews, Moore, Joseph Morris, Murphy, Norris,
Owen, Parmenter, Payne, Pettit, Emery D. Potter,
Pratt, Purdy, Rathbun, Almon H. Read, David S.
fleid, Reding, Relfe, Rhett, Ritter, Robinson, Rus-
sell, St. John, Saunders, Thomas H. Seymour,
David L. Seymour, Simons, Simpson, Slidell, John
T. Smith, Thomas Smith, Robert Smith, Steenrod,
Stetson, John Stewart, Stone, Strong, Sykes, Tay-
lor, Thompson, Tibbatu?, Welier, Wentworth,
IN SENATE. •
Tuesday, December 5,1843. ' -
The following Senators, in addition to tho « who
were announced on yesterday, appeared in their
seats to-day, viz:
Mr. Sevier, of Arkansas; Mr. Bayard, of Del-
aware1; Mr. McDcffie, of South Carolina; Mr.
Porter, of Michigan; and Mr. Berrien, of Geor-
gia. ' ,
A message was received from the Hons# of R«p*
resentatives, (by Matthew St. Clair Clae*Bv
their Cleik,) informing the Senate tll^t that Houss
had organized, by the election of the .Hon. JoHK
W. Jones, of Virginia, Speaker, and that they
were ready to proceed to business. Also, that they
had, under a resolution adopted for that purpos#,
appointed Messrs. C. J. I.vgehsoll, Wis*, and
Thompson of Mississippi, a committee on their part,
to join such committee as might be appointed on
the part of the Senate, to wait on the President of
the United States, and inform him that a quorum of
the two Houses of Congress had assembled and or-
ganized for business, and wsre ready to receive' any
communications he might be pleased to make to ■
them; and the House asked the concurrence of the-
Senate in the resolution for the appointment of tits
joint committee. ' "
The PRESIDENT presented the credential* of
the Hon. Ambrose H. Sevier, elected by the Le-
gislature of Arkansas a Senator from that for
six years from and after the 4th day of IVIarch lajrt.
He was qualified. _ _ __
Also, presented the credentials of the Hon.
George McDcffie, elected by the Legislator* of
South Carolina a Senator from that State for six
years from and after the 4th day of March last. He
Mr. PHELPS moved that the Senate concur m
the message of the House for the appointment of a
committee to wait on the President of th« United
States: and that the President appoint two Senators
a committee on the part of the Senate for that pur-
pose. The questions were put, and agreed to; and
The PRESIDENT appointed Mr. Phelps, of
Vermont, and Mr. King, of Alabama, the aid
committee; who retired for the purpose indicated.
Mr. TAPPAN submitted a resolution *0 to amend
the joint rules of the two Houses, as to authorize
the appointment of a joint committee to superintend
and direct the disbursement of the fund appropn-
ated for the pui chase of books for the use of the
Library of Congress, and for other purpose*. It
lies 011 the table one day, under.the rule. ;
Mr. WOODBURY presented resolutions adopted
by tiie Legislature of New Hampshire, instructing
the Senators, and requesting the Representatives
from that State, to vote for the unconditional retuna-
iii<>- of the fine imposed on Major General Andrew
Jackson, by Judge Hall, of Louisiana,'™ J81j. O#
Mr. W.'s motion, they were ordered to lie on the
table for the present, and be printed.
On motion of Mr. BAYARD, it was reselred
that the 24th joint rule be dispensed with, bo as to
authorize the President to appoint the standing
committees of the Senate for the present session.
Mr. MERRICK gave notice that he would, at the
earliest day practicable, ask leave to bring in a bill
to reduce the present rates of postage m the United
States. Also, a bill for the better regulation of the
transportation of the mails of the United States. _
Mr. PHELPS, from the joint committee appoint-
ed on the part of the Senate to wait on the President
and inform him that Congress were ready to pro-
ceed to business, and to receive from hioa any com-
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United States. Congress. The Congressional Globe, Volume 13, Part 1: Twenty-Eighth Congress, First Session, book, 1844; Washington D.C.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2367/m1/29/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.