The Congressional Globe, Volume 13, Part 1: Twenty-Eighth Congress, First Session Page: 10
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light in which he presented it. He had no personal
feeling in the matter, nor did he believe any gentle-
man who signed the paper had; but he and they
deemed it a part of the solemn transactions of this
House, and that it ought to be recorded on their
. His motion was as follows:
Resolved, That the journal of yesterday be amended in re-
gard to the offer of Mr. Barnard to read a paper in his place,
so as to state the facts in regard to said offer, and inserting
the following paper as that offered to be read, to wit:
"The roll of Representatives elected to the 28th
Congress having now been called by the Clerk, ac-
cording to usage, and a quorum of members whose
right to participate in the act of organizing the
House of Representatives is undisputed having
appeared and answered to their names, this body is
about to proceed to the high duty of electing a
Speaker; to fill an office which, in point of dignity
and political consequence, is hardly second to any
known to the Constitution, after that of President
of the United States. Before that high duty shall
be entered upon, the undersigned, feeling a sense of
solemn obligation to truth, and of responsibility to
God for what they utter and assert, are constrained
to declare that, in their united and undoubting con-
viction and judgment, a deep and grievous wound,
perhaps never to be healed, will be inflicted on the
Constitution, and on law, order, and civil liberty, if
the election of a Speaker shall be conducted in the
manner in which we have reason to apprehend it
"Several persons from the State of New Hamp-
shire—namely, Edmund Burke, John P. Hale, Mo-
ses Norris, jr., and John R. Reding; several per-
sons, also, from the State of Georgia—namely,
Howell Cobb, Hugh A. Haralson, and Absalom H.
Chappell; one person from the State of Mississip-
pi—namely, Jacob Thompson; and several persons
from the State of Missouri—namely, James M.
Bowlin, James M. Hughes, John. Jameson, Gus-
tavus M. Bower, and James H. Relfe, have been
called by the Clerk, are now in this hall, and have
answered to their names in a manner to leave no
doubt that their intent and purpose is to vote with
the duly elected Representatives of the people here
present in the election of Speaker, and to act and
participate fully in the organization of the House
of Representatives, as if they were members thereof.
"By the act of June 25, 1843, 'for the apportion-
ment of Representatives among the several States,
according to the sixth census,' it was enacted that,
in every case where a State is entitled to more than
one Representative, the number to which each State
shall be entitled under the apportionment shall be
elected by .districts, composed of contiguous territory,
equal in number to the number of Representatives to
which said State may be entitled; no one district
electing more than one Representative.'
"The several States above named have refused or
failed to provide by law for the election by districts
of Representatives from those States respectively to
the 28th Congress—each of them being entitled to
more than one Representative; and the people of
those States have failed, therefore, to elect Repre-
sentatives by districts, as the law of Congress re-
"These facts are notorious, indisputable, and un-
disputed; they are known to all, and admitted by all.
Palling to elect by districts, they have failed to elect
at all, for all legal and constitutional purposes. They
could not elect, because there were no districts in
those States from which to elect. Election by gen-
eral ticket is no election. No existing and valid law
authorized any such election to be held; and no elec-
tion, therefore, has been held in those States at
which Representatives for the 28th CungTess could
"It is understood, nevertheless, that the persons
above named propose and intend to vote in the elec-
tion for Speaker, on the ground that they hold re-
turns, or written certificates or commissions, drawn
up in regular form, purporting to be the evidence of
their election as Representatives. We hold that
any returns they can have do not give them any
title whatever, when they are considered in con-
nexion with the known law of the land. At the
same time, it is undoubtedly true, that, by the par-
liamentary law, returns or certificates in regular
form, by authorized functionaries, made acoording
to law, are, in nil cases, prima facie evidence of elec-
tion, and conclusive evidence of a right to assist in
organizing the body to which persons are thus re-
turned; and it is under color of this rule of parlia-
mentary law, as we understand, that the persons
above named presume to cedl themselves members
of this body.
"But, as no provision has been made by law for
election by districts in these States, and no such
election in fact held, how could any officer or func-
tionary in these States make a return of any such
election? And as these States are not authorized by
law to hold an election by general ticket, or other-
wise than by districts, how can any officer or func-
tionary therein be authorized by law to make a re-
turn of any such election ? We are not prepared to
admit that any person from any of these States can
have in his possession any legal documentary proof
of his election as a Representative for the 28th Con-
gress. We are well aware, however, that an at-
tempt, if now made, by motion or resolution, before
the organization of the House, to exclude these per-
sons from all participation in that act, would be at-
tended with great embarrassment and great delay,
and with the hazard of confusion, violence, and
anarchy in this hall.
"We have concluded, therefore, to content o r-
selves, in this stage of the business of the House,
with declaring, in this formal and solemn manner,
our condemnation of a proceeding on the part of the
persons we have named, which, if performed, we
shall hold to be lawless and essentially revolution-
ary in its character, subversive of the Constitution
and of all law and order, and tending directly to the
destruction of our free Government. We declare
that we shall regard the election of Speaker, if ef-
fected by the votes of these persons, as an illegal
election, and a legal fraud upon the nation; and we
shall not fail or cease, after this body shall have
been organized, and in the progress of the session,
to make every effort within our competency to vin-
dicate the law, to purge the House, and bring it
back to a condition of constitutional soundness.
"D. D. Barnard, of New York.
K. Rayner, of North Carolina.
Robert C. Schenck, of Ohio.
Milton Brown, of Tennessee.
Washington Hunt, of New York.
Asher Tyler, of New York.
Samuel C. Sample, of Indiana.
John J. Hardin, of Illinois.
Alex. Ramsey, of Pennsylvania.
Charles H. Carroll, of New York.
Hamilton Pish, of New York.
Solomon Foot, of Vermont.
J. Phillips Phcenix, of New. York.
T. L. Clingman, of North Carolina.
H. Grider, of Kentucky.
Thomas J. Patterson, of New York.
George P. Marsh, of Vermont.
Jo. H. Peyton, of Tennessee.
John Q.uincy Adams, of Massachusetts.
Samuel P. Vinton, of Ohio.
John White, of Kentucky.
Wm. A. Moseley, of New York.
J. Collamer, of Vermont.
W. Newton, of Virginia.
Samuel Chilton, of Virginia.
George B. Rodney, of Delaware.
R. C. Winthrop, of Massachusetts.
Wm. P. Thomasson, of Kentucky.
Garrett Davis, of Kentucky.
D. M. Barringer, of North Carolina.
Willis Green, of Kentucky.
Jeremiah Brown, of Pennsylvania.
John J. Vanmeter, of Oh^p.
James Irvin, of Pennsylvania.
Elias Florence, of Ohio.
Joseph Vance, of Ohio.
J. R. Giddings, of Ohio.
Alexander Harper, of Ohio.
M. H. Jenks, of Pennsylvania.
Albert Smith, of New York.
Daniel R. Tilden, of Ohio.
Charles Rogers, of New York.
Charles Hudson, of Massachusetts.
Charles M. Reed, of Pennsylvania.
John Dickey, of Pennsylvania.
A. R. Mcllvaine, of Pennsylvania,
Daniel P. King, of Massachusetts.
Joseph Grinnell, of Massachusetts.
Elisha R. Potter, of Rhode island.
Jos. K. Ingersoll, of Pennsylvania."
Asbitry Djckins, esq., Secretary of the Senate,
appeared with a message, informing the House that
the Senate had appointed a committee to join a
committee on the part of the House, to wait upon
the President of the United States, to inform him
that the two Houses of Congress were organized,
and ready to. receive any communication \«fcich h«
might have to make to them.
Mr. DROMGOOLE then rose to state his ob.
jections to the extraordinary proceedings of the
gentleman from New York. The journal was made
up in the-usual way, with the record of the proceed,
ings of the House, and not of the efforts of mem-
bers to interrupt the organization of the House; but
the gentleman from New York made a proposition
that the journal should be amended, so as to admit
a paper which the House yesterday refused to per-
mit him to submit—a paper which the House never
heard read till this moment; and, though there was
no doubt of the fact of the identity of that paper, it
was a point on which no evidence was furnished to
the House. Now, if such proceedings were tole-
rated for a moment, to what confusion and irregu-
larity would it not lead? instead of the journal
declaring the proceedings of the House of Repre-
sentatives, it wo§ld be filled with extraneous mat-
ter which any individual might choose to submit to
the House. ,
But there was another point, and one by which,
if he mistook not, the question was solemnly adju-
dicated; it was, that the course of the gentleman
from New York was not only out of order, but un-
constitutional. He believed that some years ago
some members desired to enter a protest—and
whether this wag so called or not, he cared not, for
it was so, to all intents and purposes; and it was, be-
sides, an argument to prejudge a case which must
arise. He, for himself, at the time the protest to
which he alluded was presented, was inclined to
think that it was not regular or proper for members
to enter a protest; and calm consideration de-
termined him to object to its being entered on
the journal of their proceedings. But, if gen-
tlemen, under the pretext of reading papers, could
cause their incorporation on the journal, instead
of being filled with their regular proceedings and
the record of the action of the House, it would be
filled with the arguments of members and other ex-
traneous matter, which would be introduced in
that way into the journal of their proceedings. He
held that the present motion to amend the journal
was out of order. A motion had been made to in-
sert a paper, which was now read for the first time,
and which had never been submitted to the House,
and which the House had refused to hear read; but
if the gentleman from New York had confined
himself to the statement that he yesterday offered
to read a paper, and that the House refused to give
him leave, he (Mr. D.) should not have objected to
the record of the statement of that fact; though
it constituted no part ^of their proceedings. That
gentleman, however, went a step further, and en-
deavored to get on the journal what the House had
refused to hear read, and what they regarded as an
interruption of the organization of tire House. If
the gentleman would modify his proposition so as
to make it simply a statement of the fact which he
had specified, he (Mr. D.) would have.no objection;
but he did object to this irregular mode of intro-
ducing matter on the journal, which the House had
refused to hear read, because it was out of order
and irregular. If, however, this was to be persisted
in, he hoped those who were hereafter to have the
revision of the rules would, in the process of time,
make provision for its correction. He was satisfied
the gentleman from New York did not mean any-
thing offensive to the House; but if that gentleman
succeeded in his present attempt, the precedent
would be a bad one; and he therefore hoped the
House would nip it in its bud.
There was another means of getting this matter
on the journal, and the gentleman from New York
was adroit enough to resort to it—that was, to call
for the yeas and nays; for it was, of course, known
that the journal must show what the ayes and noes
were taken for, and thus the decision of the House
might be defeated. He should, therefore, raise a
question of order, to prevent so palpable a viola-
tion of the wishes of the House. His point of
order was, that it was not in order to move to
amend the journal, by inserting what the House re-
fused to hear lead.
Mr. GILMER rose to move an amendment to
the resolution of the gentleman from New York.
Mr. BARjNTARD said he wished first to inquire
from the Chair, whether the point of order raised by
the gentleman from Virginia [Mr. DromgooleI
was one that could be entertained. This was a
question in relation to ail amendment of the jour-
nal, and it appeared to him to be one to which a
point of order of that character did not apply. It
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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/m1/34/: accessed May 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.