صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Revolutionary Claims.

[FEB. 27, 1834,

most universally granted in 1784. Why should it not of records is exceedingly imperfect, and I assure the have been so? They were ready, upon application and House that such is the fact to a much greater extent the production of the proper evidence; and he put it to than I had supposed, before applying to the department the House, whether the provisions of that resolution, and for information. The muster-rolls had been almost en the rights accruing under it, considering the circumstan- tirely destroyed by fire, and all the records, from various ces under which it was passed, upon the application of casualties, were broken; but this deficiency of record evithe officers themselves, must not have been known to dence was, in his estimation, much more the misfortune every officer living within the limits of the United States? of the Government than of the claimants, who came here Mr. P. thought it utterly incredible that it should have after the lapse of fifty years. But pass your presumptions, been otherwise. Whenever there had been any action sir, (said he,) and you will have little occasion for eviupon the subject of pensions, in later times, what pe- dence. It is said that the rules which are to be regarded riod had elapsed before that action, whether favorable or as fixed principles by the department, provided this bill unfavorable, and almost every particular attending it, pass, are the same which the committee have adopted in had, through one channel or another, reached the humble the investigation of claims coming before them. If so, dwelling of every survivor of that noble band? But, upon and they accorded with the sentiments of the House, he the supposition that, from their remote situation from the confessed it was a matter of very little consequence wheaccounting officers, some might, by possibility, have been ther they were applied here or elsewhere; and he was precluded from obtaining their rights, an act was passed happy that the bill had been reported, that the opinion of on the 27th of March, 1792, suspending the operation of the House might be deliberately and understandingly ex the limitation acts for two years; and, under this exten-pressed upon the propriety of their adoption. Sir, (said sion, remaining claims, or such as were presented, were Mr. P.,) will not their operation be that of a new law adjusted at the Treasury Department, by what were then upon the subject of commutation? Look at the first pretermed "certificates of registered debt." Again, he in-sumption of the bill; it has the advantage of being plain; quired whether it was within the bounds of reasonable pro- there is no ambiguity about it: bability that any claims were held up after this period,

"It being established that an officer of the continental


if they were ever intended to be enforced? Sir, (said Mr. line was in service as such on the 21st of October, 1780, P.,) it is to be remembered that, during all this time, it and until the new arrangement of the army provided for was not, as it unfortunately now is. living witnesses among the officers with whom the claim-presumed, unless it appear that he was then retained in serThere were hosts of by the resolution of that date was effected, he shall be ants served, and the soldiers whom they commanded. Nor vice, to have been reduced by that arrangement, and is the advantage which the officer had, from his position therefore entitled to half-pay for life, or the commutation over the private soldier, of proving every particular con- in lieu of it." nected with his service, and its duration, to be overlooked. Men engaged in the same great cause, and serving in the was not left where it was intended it should rest-with The onus probandi was shifted; the burden of proof same camp, were no strangers to each other; never, per- the claimant, but it was thrown upon Government. haps, was there a band bound together by such ties of presumed it was not expected that the Government would affection, intimacy, and confidence. Genius, honor, and send agents abroad to obtain negative evidence from liv unshaken valor then went hand in hand, and were in ex-ing witnesses. How, then, was it to be shown, in the ercise, not from low considerations of personal aggran- present imperfect state of the records, that an officer was dizement, but to vindicate a nation's rights. The links not reduced, and did voluntarily leave the service? The that bound men together at that day exist not now. Their effect of such instructions would virtually be to give comintimacies and their friendship were those which, per-mutation to all who were in service on the 21st of Octohaps, from our very natures, can only spring up and flour-ber, 1780, and until the new arrangement was effected, ish amidst the mutual dangers and privations of a camp. instead of to those only who were actually reduced, as was At the period of which he spoke, every incident of the originally contemplated. He called the attention of the exciting and eventful struggle through which they had House to the second presumption: just passed, must have been fresh and vivid in the recollection of all: nothing need then have been left to doubt, nothing to presumption. But this is not all. down to this hour, there had been the same opportunity From 1794, to obtain equitable rights, by application to Congress, that exists at present.

in service after the arrangement of the army under said "2d. A continental officer, proved to have remained served to the end of the war, or to have retired entitled resolution of October, 1780, shall be presumed to have to half-pay for life, unless it appear that he died in the abandoned an actual command in the service of the Uniservice, or resigned, or was dismissed, or voluntarily ted States."

With these facts before us, (said Mr. P.,) if the natural presumption be not that all just claims have been satisfied, according to the provisions of the resolution of 1783, he confessed that the conclusions at which he had arrived commutation to those who were in service after the new This, also, manifestly made new provision; granting were singularly erroneous. with the question of the value of the certificates; they served to the close of the war; for, in the state of reThe House had nothing to do arrangement in 1780, instead of to those who actually were, without doubt, nearly valueless in the hands of a cord evidence, as declared by the committee, how was it large portion of the original holders. This subject was most possible for the Government to prove, in very many insatisfactorily discussed in the able and elaborate reports stances, that the claimant, or the ancestor of the present made to both Houses at the first session of the twenty-claimant, "died in the service, or resigned, or was disfirst Congress, when the act was passed providing for the missed, or voluntarily abandoned a command in the serofficers who were entitled to half-pay by the resolve of vice of the United States?" There was no possible means 1780, and for the non-commissioned officers and soldiers of doing it. Mr. P. would pursue the subject no further. who enlisted for, and served to, the close of the war. If there was no fallacy in these premises, and the conThe views taken in these reports were interesting and clusions were legitimate, they were sufficient for his purinstructive upon this subject. But he was considering what pose. was the natural presumption as to commutation rights its present shape. He ought not longer to ask the attenstill existing; and, if his views were in any tolerable de- tion of gentlemen, for which he was already under great The House would not think of passing the billin gree correct, it was diametrically opposed to the legal obligation. Such were some of the objections to the presumption to be established by the passage of this bill. Sir, (continued Mr. P.,) we are told that the evidence thought it his duty to say. bill that had occurred to Mr. P., and thus much he For the committee making

FEB. 28, 1834.]

Reduction of Revenue-Case of Mrs. Decatur.

[H. OF R.

the report he entertained the highest respect; and he The House then proceeded to the orders of the day, believed that he was no less disposed than they were to and went into Committee of the Whole on sundry prigrant, to the uttermost farthing, all that was due to rev-vate bills: which having been gone through with, the olutionary officers or their heirs. But, (said Mr. P.,) House next took up the bill for the relief of


Mr. HAWES delivered his opinions in opposition

pass this bill, and you will do great injustice to the country; you will make a most exhausting draft upon your treasury, to answer, it may be, some equitable claims that may as well be liquidated without it; and you will, it to the bill, on the grounds that Commodore Decatur is morally certain, be compelled, under it, to acknow- had received, in promotion, &c. ample reward for the ledge a vast number which have no foundation in jus- achievement in question; that the bill gave too little to tice-no foundation any where, except in lost records the men and too much to the commander; that nothing and violent presumptions. was given to Mrs. Preble, or to the blood relations of Decatur.

Mr. VANDERPOEL followed, in opposition to the bill; and, without concluding, gave way to a motion to adjourn.



Mr. HALL, of North Carolina, offered the following resolution:

Resolved, That the Committee of Ways and Means be instructed to inquire into the expediency of reporting a plan, accompanied by a bill, to reduce the revenue to the necessary expenses of the Government.

Mr. STEWART moved the question of consideration. Mr. McDUFFIE requested Mr. S. to withdraw his motion; but he declined doing so.

Mr. CONNOR then demanded the yeas and nays upon the preliminary question of consideration; which were ordered, and taken as follows:

YEAS.-Messrs. Archer, Barringer, John Blair, Bockee, Boon, Briggs, Bunch, Bynum, Cage, Cambreleng, Casey, Chaney, Chinn, Claiborne, Clay, Clayton, Connor, Deberry, Dennis, Dickinson, Duncan, Dunlap, Ewing, Felder, Forester, Fowler, Philo C. Fuller, Gamble, Gholson, Gordon, Grayson, Griffin, T. H. Hall, Hannegan, Hawkins, Hawes, Hiester, Hubbard, Inge, N. Johnson, C. Johnson, Kinnard, Luke Lea, Lewis, Loyall, Lucas, Mardis, John Y. Mason, McDuffie, McKay, McKim, McKinley, R. Mitchell, Patton, Peyton, Pinckney, Polk, Rencher, Schley, W. B. Shepard, C. Slade, Speight, Standifer, Stoddert, William P. Taylor, Thomson, Wayne, C. P. White, Wilde.--69.

Mr. PINCKNEY, of South Carolina, then rose and addressed the House as follows:

Mr. Chairman: I shall trouble the committee but a little while upon this subject; indeed, I should not trouble it at all, but that I feel under a kind of moral obligation not to give a silent vote upon a question, in which so powerful an appeal is made to the justice of this Government. Who is the applicant before us? She is a poor widowyet she does not come before us for our charity; she is the widow, too, of a gallant and chivalrous man, whose name is identified with the glory of our navy, and whose achievements emblazon the very brightest pages of our history; yet she does not ask for an act of kindness to herself, nor for a tribute of national gratitude to him, but simply for that to which every individual is entitled at our hands-an act of justice. And yet we hesitate. Yes, sir, this House-which throws away money upon many and many an object, as if the great business of legislation was merely to squander the public funds-this House, which very frequently pays extravagantly where little or no service is performed, and has often given, not merely thousands, but hundreds of thousands, simply because the donations were splendid and munificent-this House now hesitates to pay the claim of the widow of Decatur. Such is legislation-such, at least, is that kind of legislation which is profuse in the application of public money to objects and purposes to which it has no rightful authority to apply it, yet hesitates to pay a debt which it cannot refuse to pay, not only without an utter disregard of every principle of equity, but even without the positive violaNAYS.-Messrs. J. Q. Adams, J. Adams, H. Allen, J. tion of a contract. Sir, a few days ago, I thought I almost J. Allen, C. Allan, W. Allen, Anthony, Ashley, Banks, stood alone in opposition to expenditures of the public Barber, Barnitz, Baylies, Beale, Bean, Beardsley, Beau- money, and that national generosity and munificence mont, J. M. Bell, Binney, Brown, Bull, Burges, Burns, were the orders of the day. Sir, was it not the honorCarr, Chambers, Chilton, Choate, William Clark, Clow-able member from Kentucky [Mr. CHILTON] who introney, Corwin, Coulter, Cramer, Crane, Crockett, Day, duced a resolution, and has since introduced a bill, proDeming, Dickson, Evans, Edward Everett, Horace Ever- posing to extend the pension system to all who were enett, Fillmore, Foot, William K. Fuller, Fulton, Gillet, gaged in the Indian wars from the close of the Revolution Grennell, Joseph Hall, Hiland Hall, Hamer, Hard, Hard to the treaty of Greenville, in 1794? Did he not tell us, in, James Harper, Harrison, Hathaway, Hazeltine, Heath, in advocating that resolution, that he admitted that pensions Henderson, Jabez W. Huntington, A. Huntington, Jar- were not payments of debts, but acts of bounty-not strictly vis, Benjamin Jones, Lane, Lansing, Laporte, Lay, Lea- acts of justice, but of public generosity and gratitude? And vitt, Love, Lytle, Abijah Mann, J. K. Mann, Moses Ma-did he not exclaim, in the fullness of his heart, overflowson, McCarty, McComas, McIntire, McKennan, McLene, ing as it was with kindness for his Western warriors, that McVean, Mercer, Miller, Milligan, H. Mitchell, Osgood, if he was as rich as the sun, he would be as liberal as the Page, Parks, Parker, Patterson, D. J. Pearce, Franklin day? Sir, where is his liberality now? Is he now pleadPierce, Pierson, Potts, Ramsay, Reed, Schenck, Shinn, ing the cause of the helpless and oppressed? No, sir. Smith, Spangler, Stewart, Sutherland, William Taylor, He, who would give millions to the Western warriors, P.Thomas, Turner, Turrill, Tweedy, Vance, Vanderpoel, will give nothing to him whose achievements will shine Wagener, Ward, Wardwell, Watmough, Webster, Whal lon, E. D. White, Frederick Whittlesey, Elisha Whittlesey, Wilson, Young.-115.

So the House refused to consider the resolution.


The resolution offered by Mr. MARDIS coming up, as the unfinished business of yesterday morning—

Mr. CLOWNEY resumed and continued his remarks in opposition to the resolution, and occupied the floor until the expiration of the morning hour.

with undying lustre when the Indian conflicts are buried in oblivion. He, who would be as liberal as the day to those who have not asked our bounty, shuts up the treasury with hermetical closeness against a poor widow, who did not fight, to be sure, in the Western wars, but whose gallant husband achieved an exploit, and has left a name, which will be remembered and honored even by foreign nations when the Indian wars will be forgotten in America. Sir, I have been sorely disappointed. I had really hoped-nay, I was morally sure-that, in this case, as in that, his heart would have flowed with the milk of

H. OF R.]

Case of Mrs. Decatur.


[FEB. 28, 1834.

human kindness, and that, however, in this case as in that, quired, and was willing to wait for payment until it should he might have thought that there is no absolute or legal suit the Government voluntarily to offer it. And now, claim upon the justice of the Government, he would still sir, let me ask, is a just debt to be debarred forever by this have had a hand open as day to melting charity. But House, because its generous creditor would not trouble it no: he goes for generosity in the one case, but for justice for payment? Is his wife to be allowed to starve, because in the other; for generosity in millions, but for strict jus- the generous Decatur himself shrunk from the idea of tice where only thousands are involved. must meet him then upon his own ground. I, too, go for reward it? Would you refuse to do her justice, because Be it so, sir; I boasting of his gallantry, and importuning Congress to justice; and the gentleman from Kentucky may rest as- of the extraordinary delicacy of his feelings, and the resured that, if I were not satisfied this claim is just, no pos- finement and elevation of his character and conduct? sible consideration could induce me to sustain it, holding, Really, sir, this is a principle of legislation, a new system as I do, that Congress has no rightful authority to apply of political ethics, of which I never heard before, and the public money to mere purposes of generosity or upon which I should be sorry to think that the Legisla bounty. But, sir, is this an application for our bounty? Are ture of this country will ever consent to act. we called on now to give away the money of the people, not only without any legal claim, but even without a pe- tions which have been urged against this bill, and which, But, passing over this, let us come to the other objectition or application from those to whom we propose to though they are of a graver and very different complexgive it? No, sir: we are called upon to pay a debt-not ion, are still, in my humble opinion, equally insufficient a debt of gratitude merely-not merely one of those debts and untenable. One of these objections is, that the bill

of the heart which patriotism considers binding on the before us does not come within the letter of the prize honor of the country, and the honor of the country pays law. It may not come strictly within its letter, but it cer even before it is demanded—but a debt of common justice, tainly does within its spirit-ay, sir, and it goes beyond which this House is as much bound to pay as a legislative it; it is a case sui generis-a case without example or body, as every individual in it would be to pay a demand parallel; a case that stands upon its own merits, and upon his private purse, of which he could not deny either those merits unequalled by any similar exploit in our histhe justice or the equity. Sir, am I not correct in mak-tory, or the history of any other country! And will you ing this assertion? Who denies the justice of this claim? tie such a case down to the literal provisions of the prize Who denies that the Philadelphia was retaken by Deca- acts? Sir, suppose that no prize law had ever been tur? Who denies that, the moment he retook her, she passed; would not Congress still be at liberty to make became the property of the captors, and that, as he de- compensation in this case, or in any other case it pleased? stroyed her by order of his commander, the Government Is it not perfectly competent to Congress to make comis bound to repay him by its own laws, and by the posi pensation in this case, without any reference whatever to tive obligation of a contract? Who denies that that gal- the prize act? Has it not the same power to pass this lant exploit raised our national reputation high, and in- bill that it had to pass the other? And could not this one spired the Barbary Powers with respect and terror for be passed without at all conflicting or interfering with our flag? Who denies that it fought the navy into favor the other? Unquestionably it could, sir. The mere fact, with the people, excited the ambition of our other officers, then, that this bill may not come strictly and absolutely and laid the foundation of many a gallant achievement du- within the letter of the prize acts, constitutes no possible ring our last war with Britain? And that, therefore, objection to its passage; and an act of justice should not whether we consider its own unparalleled brilliancy, or the be defeated merely because it is not provided for in eximportant results it produced in relation to our commerce isting statutes, but requires the passage of another and and our property, or the noble and animating example it an independent act. placed before our navy, it was an action which not only does not deserve to be valued at a few thousand dollars, that the lion's part is given to the commander, and that But we are told, again, that the distribution is unequal; but which is in reality beyond all value. this? No one, sir. Every gentleman admits it all. Who denies all the seamen are not provided for in proportion to their serEvery gentleman admits that it constitutes a claim, and was the lion's head that projected, and the lion's heart that vices. Sir, the lion's share should be given to the lion. It a very high claim, upon the justice of the Government. achieved the enterprise. But for Decatur himself, would Every gentleman knows that that claim has not been paid; the destruction of the Philadelphia have been thought every one admits that it ought to be paid; and yet they of? Would it have been done by any one else? No, sir. object to paying it. And why so, sir? Is there no precedent for paying it? On the contrary, is there an instance my own part, I would rather increase than diminish the Then let the reward be proportionate to his merit. in our history in which a naval commander has performed sum which the bill proposes for his widow. such an exploit as that? No, sir, not such an exploit assume that the details of the bill have been well consid. For that; for, brilliant as their achievements may be, none have ered and well adjusted by the committee, and therefore But I preever equalled the renown of that. instance in which they have not been generously and mu- no other objection than the arrangement of the proporBut is there a single I am satisfied with it as it stands. nificently rewarded? None, sir; no, not one. But if gentlemen have all been paid and rewarded as they should have been. submit their scale of distribution? Why not perfect the They have tions proposed by the bill, why not amend it? Why not Why, then, is this action alone, the most brilliant of the bill, rather than allow a measure to be defeated which whole, to go forever unnoticed and unrewarded? Why, they themselves acknowledge to be a simple act of ordisir, we are told-yes, we have it actually given as a rea-nary justice? Mr. Speaker, perhaps I ought to ask parson why this just debt should not be paid-that Commo-don of the House for having troubled it, after one of my dore Decatur himself did not apply for compensation to colleagues [Mr. GRAYSON] has already done full justice the Government! True, sir, he did not apply; neither to this claim. Indeed, it almost seems strange to myself did the veteran warriors of the West to be placed on the that I should have spoken as I have done in relation to pension list; yet the gentleman from Kentucky would any matter connected with the navy. Carolinians have place them there as an act of generosity. But why did had enough, and more than enough, to quench their ardor Decatur make no application? Sir, he did not apply, be- and to cool their attachment both to the army and the navy. cause he was governed by lofty and chivalrous motives- We have not yet forgotten the time when a portion of because the Government was embarrassed during the late this very navy lay in our waters, in a hostile attitude, diswar, and he did not wish to add to its embarrassment-playing the American flag as the flag of an enemy, and because he himself was content with the fame he had ac-ready, at a moment's warning, to open its murderous bat

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teries upon the devoted city which I have the honor to represent here. Why, then, should I care about the navy? Why should I care to maintain its character, or to reward its officers?

[H. OF R.

effect of the destruction of the Philadelphia was remarkably exemplified. The name of Decatur was sufficient. Although the Algerine is a stronger and much more formidable Power than the Tripolitan, yet the memory of Sir, I will tell the House. Because, in the first place, that daring exploit supplied the place of negotiation; and I believe the claim before us to be just, and hold myself it is recorded as a fact unparalleled in history, that, in the bound, both as a man and a member of this House, to short space of fifty days after he sailed with his squadron render justice where I believe it due; and, secondly, from the United States, he arrived in the Mediterranean, because, when I look upon these stars and stripes, I re- met and captured a frigate, entered Algiers in triumph, member, with intense emotion, the honors our navy has dictated to the Dey a treaty as humiliating to him as it heretofore achieved for itself and for the Union; the vic- was advantageous to the United States, and literally tories of Erie and Champlain; the desperate and heroic ratified the treaty at the cannon's mouth. It is recorded, conflict in the Bay of Valparaiso, and a hundred other bril- sir, that a former treaty with Algiers cost the United liant and gallant exploits, which have studded our country States a million of dollars, with an annual tribute of eighty with unfading stars: and as I think of them, sir, the pride thousand. What did Decatur's cost? Not a dollar! What and exultation with which they then inspired me burn in did it gain for the country? Estimate the payment of anmy bosom in all their original fervency and ardor, fill nual tribute to the Algerine, and then you may estimate every avenue of my heart with vivid associations of the what it gained by abolishing that, and establishing the common glory and the common sufferings of that event-freedom and honor of our flag!

ful and honorable war, and have caused me to make this And so, again, with Tunis, similar results were effected. feeble effort to get an act of justice done to him who There, a speedy and honorable treaty was concluded: and stood, even amongst the heroes of the American navy, thus, with the Barbary Regencies, by whom we had been brightest of the bright, pre-eminent amongst the most grossly outraged and insulted, we had permanent and hondistinguished. Ay, sir, and let me beg the members of orable peace. They continued to insult and harass the flags the House to remember the munificent and gratuitous of other nations, but they honored and respected ours; and provision that was made for Lafayette, and then to say all this was accomplished by Commodore Decatur, and he whether that is no argument in favor of this claim! Is was enabled to accomplish it as speedily, decisively, and there no precedent there, in favor of compensation to De- peacefully, as he did, by the salutary terror with which his catur? Sir, did not the Congress of the United States reputation had inspired them. And now, sir, is it possibestow a donation upon General Lafayette far exceeding ble that, when such was the brilliancy of the exploit, and the amount of the appropriation proposed in the bill be- such the commercial and national advantages it procured, fore you? And shall it be said that we gave to the one, we sit here deliberating in cold debate whether or not his and refused even to pay the other? Sir, let us look at widow shall have her just proportion of the prize? Why, the history of this transaction for a moment. It is well sir, is it not her property? Have you a right, in equity, to known that the United States had long been subjected withhold it from her? Did not her gallant husband reto the insolence and depredations of the Barbary Powers. capture the frigate and does not your prize act expressly We had been obliged to purchase the safety of our com- award that all vessels taken, and all property connected merce in the Mediterranean, and the security of our pro- with them, when of equal or superior force to the vessel perty and seamen, by base and degrading tribute. At by which they are taken, shall be the sole property of the length, the capture of several of our vessels, and the en-captors? What was Decatur's force? A ship of the line? slavement of hundreds to our citizens, roused the spirit No, sir! A frigate of equal class? No, sir; nor even the of our people, and our Government determined that our ketch in which he went upon the enterprise. He took flag should no longer be dishonored by this disgraceful her himself, sir: yes, he took her himself, with a few daring subjection to African corsairs and pirates. War was de- comrades, into whom he had infused his own heroic spirit. clared against Tripoli. Our navy was then in its infancy, And was not the property his? Does not your law make it and we had a powerful and ferocious enemy to encounter. his? Is not your law a contract with your officers, that if a The Philadelphia, unfortunately, was soon after captured, vessel taken be of equal or superior force to theirs, it shall and moored in the harbor of Tripoli, under the powerful be the sole property of the captors? Will you violate that castles that commanded it. The spirit of our people contract? Will you take from Decatur what the law allows sank. They saw nothing in prospect but defeat and dis- him, and what has been paid to every other naval comaster, continued depredations on our property and en-mander in your service? Shall I be told that the property slavement of our citizens, or the perpetual payment to was not his, because the vessel was not brought into port, the Barbary Powers of enormous and disgraceful tribute. and regularly adjudged and condemned? Why was it not Sir, who reversed this prospect, and saved our country brought in? Who hindered him from bringing it in? The from all these disasters and disgraces? Who rescued the Government itself, sir. He was ordered by his commandAmerican flag from its base subjection to the crescent, ing officer to burn her. In obeying his commander, he and hoisted it in triumph amidst the bursting guns and obeyed his Government; for the order to him was as much towering flames of the Philadelphia? Who broke the an order of the Government, as if it had been given by a vote chains of hundreds of your citizens, released them from of Congress. And shall this Government take advantage dungeons, and restored them to liberty and their country? of its own act to defeat a just and legal claim? Shall it Who procured us an honorable peace, abolished all trib-take his prize from him, forbid his bringing it in for adute to the Mussulman, and placed our flag and our com- judication, order him to destroy it, have it destroyed, and merce in honor and security? It was Decatur, sir. The then refuse to pay him? Sir, I have done. I can only impression produced upon the pirates by his daring valor, say, that I think the Government bound, both legally and and that alone, accomplished these results; and as it would morally, to pay this debt; and that while we have libebe difficult to estimate the amount of tribute and disgrace rally paid other officers of the navy for captures made in he saved our Government, or the amount of loss and mis- the regular performance of their duties, we should not hesiery and imprisonment and slavery he has saved to our peo-tate to compensate the widow of Decatur for an act which ple, so it would be difficult to estimate the true value of it was not his duty to have done, but which has crowned an achievement of which it is not extravagant to say our navy with imperishable glory, and conferred lasting and that it was incalculably valuable to our country both in incalculable benefits both on our Government and country. honor and in money. Nor was this all, sir. The war with Pay him, sir, what you owe in money, (for you never can Algiers followed the war with Tripoli; and here, again, the pay what you owe in gratitude,) and there may be some

Pennsylvania Memorials.

[MARCH 3, 1834.

inducement to another Decatur to attempt the recapture much inconvenience and embarrassment. And, judging
of another Philadelphia. But, refuse to pay him, and we from what occurred in getting the vast machinery of the
certainly can have no right to expect that our officers present bank to work harmoniously and smoothly through-
will do more than their duty, when Government tells out
them that, however they may be paid for doing their duty,
they shall not be paid for doing more than their duty,
however daring and perilous the act may be in itself, or
however honorable or advantageous to their country.
When Mr. P. bad concluded-

Mr. HARDIN addressed the House in a long and very earnest opposition to the bill. He went into the legal question, whether the Philadelphia, by the capture for the purpose of destruction, became the property of Commodore Decatur; and insisted on the negative of that question; in support of which, he quoted legal authorities.

On motion of Mr. HUBBARD, the committee then rose, and reported progress, and, had leave to sit again.

The House then, on motion of Mr. WAYNE, suspending the rule for the purpose, (ayes 115, noes 39,) received a motion to adjourn over; and, thereupon, The House adjourned to Monday.



may be expected to attend the organization and estab our widely extended country, similar difficulties lishment of a new institution: to avoid which, I should prefer a recharter to the creating of a new bank; espe cially as there exists no obstacle to imposing any restric deemed salutary and proper in creating a new institution tions in the extension of the charter, which might be of this kind.

[The proceedings were read and ordered to be printed.] what the sentiments of the great mass of the citizens of Mr. H. continued. Mr. Speaker: In corroboration of have the honor of presenting twenty memorials-a part Lancaster county are, on the present exciting subject, I hundred and forty odd signatures, praying for the res only of those put in circulation-with two thousand eight toration of the deposites, and the rechartering of the Bank of the United States. Sir, the citizens of that county, being among the principal tax-payers in the State, have a deep stake in the "experiment" now 'carrying out under the direction of the Chief Magistrate of the Union. From a late official communication, emanating from a high source, it appears that there was not a solitary bid

This being petition day, as soon as the journal was read- obtained for the Pennsylvania State loan recently offered; Mr. HIESTER, of Pennsylvania, rose and said: I have and "that an immediate suspension of the works on the had transmitted to me, for presentation to this House, several lines of improvement, until the loan shall have the proceedings of a meeting held on the 22d ult. in the been negotiated, will be indispensable." The consecity of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. On the authority of a quences of which must necessarily be most deleterious to number of gentlemen of the first respectability, I take the general interests of the State, and are well calculated occasion to state, that it was a meeting as numerously to alarm those who, in addition to their present private attended as any ever held in that populous and highly pecuniary embarrassments, are bound to bear the burfavored agricultural county; that it was principally com- dens of a heavy State debt!-with a "deferred hope" of posed of the bone and sinew, the yeomanry and business soon realizing an income from those improvements, to men of the county; and it may be proper to state, fur- aid in its liquidation, or the payment of interest. ther, that the meeting was, as it purports to have been, a "union meeting," composed of a very respectable proportion of the original, and many of the continued friends of the present Chief Magistrate, down to the time of his unfortunate interference with, and direction of, the removal of the public deposites, which, in one of the resolutions, is so justly characterized "as an act in itself unwise, the effect not having been duly considered, not called for by the exigency of the times, adverse to the real interests of the country, and derogatory to the national character of the United States."

Ways and Means, and ordered to be printed.
The memorials were referred to the Committee of

hundred of the inhabitants of Northampton county, Penn-
Mr. BINNEY presented a petition of about seventeen
sylvania, praying for a recharter of the Bank of the Uni-
ted States, and for the restoration of the deposites.

whatever with the signers of this memorial, but preMr. B. observed, that he had had no communication sumed that the reason why the paper had received what seemed not a natural destination was to be found in the On this all-important and interesting subject, I have remarks of no pleasant nature might be made, as had apprehension that, if sent to their own representative, not, for one moment, doubted what course, not only the been the case in other instances, against the character interests of my immediate constituents, but the great in. and conduct of the petitioners; but he felt confident that, terests of the whole country, required me, as an humble in the present case, all such apprehensions were unfoundmember of this honorable body, to pursue; and it is no small gratification to me to be so strongly and creditably who represented the district from which this petition ed. From a personal conversation with the gentleman sustained in what I had conscientiously conceived to be my duty.

came, as well as from his own knowledge, he was in The resolutions present the views of the meeting in such expression of public opinion there. He knew many of duced to believe that this paper contained an impartial a clear and strong light, and accord so fully with those the memorialists, and knew them to be of the highest entertain, that I deem it unnecessary to extend my com- respectability, perfectly competent to speak with know. ments, and shall be content by expressing my deliberate ledge as to the existence and extent of public distress, conviction, that, after the "experiment" now making by and to judge of the cause. the Executive branch of the Government shall have of Northampton, as of that of Lancaster, that no county ruined its thousands of worthy and enterprising citizens, in the State contained a greater body of distinguished He could say of this county the advancement of both our public and private prosperity patriotism. It was, indeed, true that they had both, at will imperiously demand either the continuance of the pres- one time, been under the strong influence of party; but ent, or the creation of a new national bank. And although the present measure contained the proof that nothing of I am not wedded to the existing institution in preference that nature had power to deter them from action where to another, yet I cannot but think that many advan- they believed the public good called for it; but that they tages would accrue to the community from rechartering could renounce every bond of party, when it would withit, with such modifications and restrictions as experience hold them from promoting the true interests of their has shown to be expedient and necessary. ing in of so large an amount of discounts as would beThe draw country. come necessary in closing the concerns of the bank, would, under the most favorable circumstances, produce The SPEAKER laid before the House the proceedings

nation as the preceding.
The memorial was read, and received the same desti-

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