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Permanent Seat of Government.
said, who lived near New York, might perhaps the Government. The Judiciary bill, he said, be satisfied if it was not discussed for years to was pressing, and had been the order of the day come: but justice to the Union at large, and to for several weeks. The funding of the public the inhabitants of this city in particular, required debt was an object of great magnitude, and was that it should be soon settled." They were going earnestly expected. If the House did the duty to incur great expenses for erecting a palace for that they owed to their constituents, it was of the President, and for other objects. If the pre- little importance in what place it was executed, sumption on which this project was founded was provided it was done, and done to their satisnot well grounded, it was just and proper that faction. they should be undeceived, and not induced to Mr. Scott thought the principles of the Union spend their money without a prospect of compen- were the principles of equal justice and reciprocisation. A regard to their interests, therefore, re- ty. He conceived the quesiion now before the quired that we should let them know what they House as grand a link as any in the federal were to depend upon. He thought, also, that chain. The future tranquillity and well-being of some attention ought to be paid to the petitions the United States, he said, depended as much on of the people respecting a permanent seat of Go- this as on any other question that ever had or vernment.
could come before Congress. It was a justice due Mr. BURKE said, he thought it would be doing to the extremities of the continent to adopt some great injustice to the Southern States to fix on so measure. It being, therefore, a point with them, early a day in the next session, as it was probable and of justice too, he could not conceive how any that the members for those States would not have gentlemen, who had the welfare of their country assembled by that time.
at heart, could oppose it. Mr. Fitzsimons thought the present time was The resolution held out this general idea, that the most proper to determine this business. There the seat of the Federal Government ought to be was now a pretty full representation. It was not fixed at the most central place, with respect to probable, he said, that, at any future time, there population and territory, having an equal regard would be so great a number collected; certainly to the Atlantic and western parts of the Union. at no period of the Winter season. He acknowl- When the central line between the northern and edged there was business of great importance be- southern extremities was fixed, no person in the fore Congress; but was there any more important Western Territory had ever wished anything furthan the subject proposed ? It was a question in ther than that Congress should establish their seat which the people of every part of the Union were as far back on this line as the conveniency of deeply interested. As to the expense, that was maritime commerce would allow. an after consideration. The present object was He thought those people expected-they had a only to fix the place; and whether the removal right to demand it—as it was founded on justice. was to be made this year or the next, was a differ- If, then, this principle was allowed, the subject ent affair. It had been remarked, that jealousies would be speedily determined, and could not inexisted among the States. They were not likely volve much debate, because they had nothing to be removed by inattention to so great a concern. more than to find that spot in which the centres
Mr. SHERMAN said, it was merely to accommo- were combined. date the gentlemen who were so urgent, lhat he This he conceived to be a favorable moment to moved the second Monday in December. It was evi- determine the great question that had agitated the dent that there would be too little time this season. minds of the people for several years. We might But if the gentleman from South Carolina thought be assured, that at this time Congress possessed it too early a day for the Southern members to all their virtue and innocence; but it might be meet, he was willing to agree to a more distant day. feared that would not be the case in future. Con
In addition to the arguments adduced for de-gress were now free from all factions, and as deferring this matter, there was another important void as possible of the spirit of party and local consideration. The Union was not yet complete. views. It may happen that in a future day facNorth Carolina and Rhode Island had not a voice tion may compel Government to fix on some imin the Legislature. He thought, nevertheless, proper place, and one of two events would result their wishes and interest hi to be consulted; from this: either they would be obliged to reand, in a transaction which is to affect them so move after expending great sums of money on essentially, they ought to have a concurrent this imprudent establishment, or the Union would voice. It was supposed, and that upon good be dissolved. grounds, that it would not be long before North Mr. LIVERMORE said, that the two Houses had Carolina would be united to the Government. come to a resolution to adjourn next month. She was entitled to six voices, and Rhode Island Many weighty matters were still before the to one. The continent ought to be properly bal- Legislature. How long a time the discussion of anced on this question.
this şubject would require was uncertain ; it Mr. Smith (of South Carolina) moved that the might sengröss a deal of time, and be productive of first Monday in January next should be assigned animasity and party spirit, which the measure for taking up this subject. He was against enter- itself, proposes to guard against. He wished first ing upon it at present, because the House had to have the organization of Government finished, more important business before them, which, and thoses jmportanti duties fulfilled which the could not be deferred without material injury to public anxiously expected.
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Permanent Seat of Government.
He did not understand, he said, that any gen- to see the temperate spirit with which the House tleman was uneasy in his present situation. He began, and wished it might continue; but he
ap had not heard any complaints. Congress are well prehended that no question would so fully prove accommodated for the present in this city. There ihe temper of this body as the present. may be other places, no doubt, where Congress The question was then taken on Mr. Smith's might be accommodated; but he believed both the motion, and lost-yeas, 21, nays 30. citizens of New York and the members of the
Mr. SPEAKER being about to put the question Legislature were mutually satisfied. He had not on the second Monday in December, heard of any memorial from the former inform
Mr. Ames inquired if the motion to adjourn on ing Congress that they were tired of them, or re- the twenty-second of September was not inconquesting them to remove. Many parts of the sistent with the resolution now offered to the country appear extremely anxious to have Con- House? A committee had been appointed to regress with them. There is Trenton, German-port the business of the present session. The town, Carlisle, Lancaster, Yorktown, and Read- committee reported, and so much of that report ing, have sent us abundance of petitions, setting was accepted as related to the time of adjournforth their various advantages; we wish the in- ment. It therefore appeared to him, that the prohabitants may enjoy the benefits of them, and if position to take up this subject at the present time they are pleasantly situated, and have plenty of was superseded. He was confident it was inconfish, we are very glad to hear it; and if it should sistent with that determination. It would become ever suit Congress to remove to any of them, necessary to rescind the determination; but whewhy Congress will enjoy the benefit of them also ther that would be done or not, depended on the
He could not see any reason that all the im- disposition of the Senate. Should they not conportant matters should be postponed in order to cur, the House would waste their time, and be consider this. If all these matters could be de- obliged to leave the most important business unspatched by next Spring, and the road should finished. be impassable, he would be for taking it up. He said the idea of a permanent seat of Gov
He said he could not suppress some emotions of ernment was not in itself strictly true. As popu- tions which had not for their object the complete
surprise that gentlemen should propound queslation increased, and men of new principles and organization of the Government. It lies
, as we views took their seats in Congress, this perma- prostrate and inanimate ; and instead of infusing nent seat might be altered at pleasure. It was life into it, and giving motion to the machine, we certainly wise in Congress to be economical; a have been altering our Constitution, and are now removal was always found very expensive; the finances of their country were not at present'ade- entering into a lengthy discussion to determine
where we shall sit. quate to new expenses, consequently they ought not to be incurred. He further observed, that a If the gentleman's motion only involved a few great variety of objects were necessary to be con- abstract propositions in it, it would not be of much sidered in fixing the seat of Government, besides importance; but he saw how difficult their dethe mathematical centrality; the salubrity of the cision would be. Were I a stranger, I should apsituation was a capital circumstance. He hoped prehend, from the manner in which the motion the subject would not be taken up this session. had been introduced, that it would be a ques
Mr. Scort thought the gentleman treated the tion agitated with as much acrimony as any subject in a cavalier manner; it might be well in whatever. him to do so, as he did not like a long journey; I ever found it a difficult task, on the most tribut he hoped the House were not disposed to trivial occasions, to obtain unanimity. What
, fle with a subject of this magnitude.
must be the divisions on a question, which some Mr. Jackson said, upon this subject depended gentlemen have said the very existence and peace the existence of the Union. The place of the of the Union depends upon? I believe it willinn seat of Government was important in every view. volve as many passions as the human heart car It might be compared, he said, to the heart of the display. Every principle of local interest, of human body; it was ihe centre from which the pride and honor, and even of patriotism, are for principles of life were carried to the extremities, gaged. If the good of the Union requires and from these it might return again with the seat of Government should be fixed at Pites precision.
burg, I am willing to pledge myself to the honor It was indifferent to him whether the subject able gentleman I will vote for it; but I must nota he thought it best that the motion should lie on cient to determine where the seat of Government the table. Mr. SUMTER seconded his motion.
ought to be, but it is necessary the public mind Mr. Stone remarked, that this was a very im- decision of questions of this magnitude
, where conduct it. He knew of no question that would sons ought to be made public, and they ought to have a greater tendency to produce broils and dis- correspond with those of the people.
case that unhappy divi- When I left my constituents, I had no concepconducting business of this kind. Het was glad I yet formed my opinion; when I do, I pledge mura
[H. op R.
self that it shall not spring from local or selfish Mr. HARTLEY insisted upon the motion for principles.
making it the order of the day for next Thursday. The honorable gentleman has introduced this Mr. WaDSWORTH said, that he had no objection subject as a very important one: we will consider to it, for he was ready to meet the question, since it as such. If only the centre was to be deter-gentlemen were so extremely pressing in bringing mined, it might be settled in a very short time. it forward. If the oaks and the mountains are to be number- Mr. Smith (of South Carolina) moved to make ed, if the acres in the United States are also to it conditionally the order of the day for Thursday be the ground of our decision, perhaps a few days' sennight; that is, provided the House had gone calculation may settle the business.
through the Judicial bill. My opinion is, that the centre of Government Mr. Page approved of Thursday sennight, ought to be a centre of convenience and utility; and hoped the question would be discussed with that the heart should be so placed as to propel the temper. blood to the extremities, with the most equable The question of Thursday sennight was put and gentle motion. I would place the Govern- and lost. ment where it might most effectually guard the On the question for making it the order of the extremes, and protect the weak parts. I sincerely day for Thursday next, it passed in the affirmawish that the territory now subject to the laws of tive: Yeas 27, pays 23. the Union may continue so, and that Government And then the House adjourned. may be so situated as to be enabled to exert its force with the best advantage to ensure the preservation of the Union, and compel obedience to
Friday, August 28. its laws.
PUBLIC CREDITORS. The gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. SherMAN) has justly said that North Carolina and tition from the public creditors in the State of
Mr. Fitzsimons presented the following peRhode Island should have a voice in this business. Pennsylvania:
He said he would not impute unworthy motives to the gentleman who introduced the motion, but to his Excellency the President, and the honorable would ask him whether the people at large ought
the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States : not to be equally convinced of their purity ? whether, in justice to himself, and to the subject The memorial and petition of the public creditors who generally, the public mind ought to be better pre
are citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pared for the occasion ? He was not convinced
by their committee duly authorized and instructed, that the Government, ill-cemented and feeble as Most RESPECTFULLY SHOW : it is, could stand the shock of such a measure; That your memorialists, influenced by a faithful and and therefore he most earnestly deprecated the uniform attachment to the happiness and glory of their event.
country, behold, with peculiar satisfaction, the estabMr. Scott said, that rather than lose so much lishment of a Government which is expressly constitime in debating as to the time when the business tuted to promote and perpetuate union, order, and jusshould be taken up, he would consent to let it lie tice, the great sources of national prosperity: and when on the table till it was called for; for be conceiv- they consider the characters that are appointed to ored the last vote showed the sense of the House ganize and administer this system, they embrace the to be in favor of taking it up at the present most flattering hope that in its execution will be found session.
an ample performance of the auspicious promises which Mr. Hartley said, that he was of opinion with indeed, your memorialists, whose services and suffer
are contained in its principles. From this anticipation, his colleague, that the sentiments of the House ings in the public cause cannot require a particular atwere fully established by the last vote, and there- testation, have derived that consolation which the imfore hoped gentlemen would permit the question becility of the former Union, and the political vicissito be taken without prolonging the debate. tudes of their own immediate State, would not permit
Mr. Sedgwick could wish as early a period as them to indulge. might be for taking up the business. He had no In the hour of extreme necessity, when complicated idea that the seat of the Federal Government want enfeebled, and impending ruin agitated, their should be in New York, or in any place so far country, your memorialists avow an honorable pride in North as this city; he would have no objection the remembrance of the exertions by which they then to attending to it immediately, if it was supposed essentially contributed to her protection and safety. Congress had time to discuss it temperately! Im- At the same time they partook of the toils and dangers pressed with this idea, he would wish it deferred of active life, and suffered in the ruinous depreciation until the last Tuesday in December.
of the paper currency, at least in common with their Mr. Ames said, that he did not wish to evade to them by their ancestors or accumulated by their in.
fellow-citizens, the wealth which had been transmitted the question, but was fully of opinion with his dustry, the fund which prudence had hoarded to adcolleague, that it could not 'now be discussed, and minister comfort to old age, and the supply which hutherefore joined him in wishing it might be post- manity had provided for the helpless infant or the poned until the last of December.
solitary widow, they advanced with a liberal and paThe question being put for the last Tuesday in triotic hand to relieve the exigencies of the Union. December, it passed in the negative: Yeas 21, The public faith was pledged by every solemnity of asDays 29.
surance; the honor of the States was bound, by every
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tie of gratitude, to compensate so memorable a sacrifice citizens they perceive a fair and honorable desire to disof private interest and personal immunity. Yet your charge the engagements which were incurred in the memorialists, calling your attention to a melancholy common cause. The only task, therefore, that seems retrospect, might remind you of the ineffectual though to be imposed upon the present Government is, to adope virtuous efforts of the late Congress to discharge the that mode which shall be best calculated to promote the national engagements, might describe the apparent dis- public welfare, at the same time that it does justice to regard of the States for their confederated sovereignty, the individuals who are interested. Immediately to pay though recently purchased through a long and bloody off the public debt, principal and interest, if not impracconflict; and, in the language of calamity and com- ticable, would be greatly inconvenient, and is certainly plaint, might deplore the disappointment, the poverty, unnecessary ; for the example of those nations who the wretchedness, and the anguish, which afflicted the enjoy the highest commercial reputation has evinced first and firmest patriots of the Union ; excluding them that a permanent appropriation for the punctual pay. from a participation in the triumphs of independence, ment of the interest will enable the public creditor to and embittering their love of liberty with a painful enjoy, by the facility of a transfer, all the advantages of sense of the injuries which they sustained. Such re- the principal, without injuring the credit of the country, flections, however, your memorialists cheerfully dis- or straining her resources. miss, in the contemplation of that compact which, pro- Your memorialists, in addition to these observations, viding for the dignity and honor of the Union, has beg leave respectfully to suggest, that it has been the made the payment of the public debt a fundamental deliberate opinion of some of the most enlightened principle of the Government, and, having imposed the statesmen that a certain amount of funded debt (and obligation, has also created an adequate power to dis- surely the debt of the United States would not be deemne charge it.
ed too great) is a national benefit. The creation of a But your memorialists now humbly confess that they new species of money by this means, naturally increases have waited in anxious suspense for some evidence of the circulation of cash, and extensively promotes every the disposition of Congress upon this interesting sub- kind of useful undertaking and enterprise in agricul. ject. They admit the general importance of the arrange- ture, commerce, and mechanics. On this ground alone, ments which have occupied the attention of the Fede- therefore, the advantages of a funding system would be ral Legislature; and they particularly rejoice in the sufficient to justity its establishment; but there are other foundation that has been laid for the production of an arguments arising from the political situation of Amer. efficient revenue. Those, however, are but preliminary ica, which ought to render it, in this country particosteps to the attainment of the principal object of the larly, an object of favor and attention. It has been new system: and should Congress adjourn without any well maintained that, after the revolution in England, more decisive act for the restoration of public credit, the a funding system was there encouraged as the best mere institution of offices or the regulation of imposts means of attaching the great and powerful body of will hardly protect the American character from the de- stockholders to the Government. The policy which rision of its enemies, or the reproaches of those who prevailed in that case is infinitely more forcible when have hitherto thought that the want of power was its applied to the case of the United States; for the credit only imperfection.
of the Union being perfectly established, every citizen, Your memorialists, with the utmost deference, beg who has not originally, will be desirous of becoming, a leave to represent, that public credit is the vital spark proprietor in the public funds; those individuals who of modern policy. For the history of the world demon- may hitherto have been inimical to the principles of the strates, that whatever may be the extent of territory, the Revolution, or averse to the adoption of the subsisting degree of population, or the fertility of soil, unless the Constitution, will be irresistibly invited to partake of faith of national engagements is placed upon a basis the benefits, and consequently to promote the prosperiinviolable and immutable, the advantages of nature will ty of the Confederation ; each State will find an interest be lost in the uncertainty of their enjoyment, and Gov- in the welfare and punctuality of the rest; the Federal ernment will afford no encouragement to industry or Government will be zealously supported as a general protection to virtue; but, while it oppresses with its guarantee; and, in short, a debt originating in the papower, must corrupt by its example. The domestic ex- triotism that achieved the independence, may thus be perience of America renders it unnecessary, indeed, to converted into a cement that shall strengthen and perexplore the annals of ancient or cotemporary nations, petuate the Union of America. in order to collect this salutary lesson; and there is only Your memorialists conceive that it would be superwanting an exercise of that wisdom which it inculcates fluous to prosecute a detail of the immediate or collate to convert her calamity into a blessing, and make the ral benefits which a funding system would produc. remembrance of what has been lost the instrument of whether by stimulating domestic industry, or attracting securing what may yet be acquired. The decay of pub- foreign capitals to the aid of the husbandmen, merchants, lic credit, engendering licentiousness and anarchy, has and artists of America. It is enough, in this respect, once threatened the perversion of all that was noble in to urge that justice, humanity, and policy require the her exertions, and the waste of all that was valuable in earliest consideration of the claim which is now respect. her success. To avert a similar danger, the most une- fully submitted. Nor can it be incumbent on your quivocal demonstration of an intention to restore the memorialists to obviate the suggestions of that pernifaith and purity of her name is naturally expected from cious policy which aims at once to plunder them of their the guardians of the public interest and honor. And only hope, and to undermine the foundations of an infant your memorialists now fervently pray them to consider, Government, even before the structure is complete. Let that procrastination, in a business of so delicate a na- it not be recorded in the history of the Revolution, that, ture, may be as fatal as a defect of power, or a want of while the monarchy of Britain generously cherished disposition to be just.
and indemnified every friend to prerogative and usur. In the resources of the Union your memorialists dis-pation, a triumphant Republic suffered the prompt and cover an ample fund, and in the conduct of their fellow-T zealous supporters of the standard of liberty to languish
[H. OF R, in a sad and necessitous obscurity, to lament over those
SATURDAY, August 29. vouchers of property and service that tend at once to remind them of the equality which they formerly main that they agreed to the amendments made by this
A message from the Senate informed the House tained among their fellow-citizens, to mark their pre- House to the third and fifty-seventh amendments sent distress and penury, and to stigmatize the wanton proposed by the Senate to the bill for registering ingra titude of their country: When, indeed, it is considered that many of the mem
and clearing vessels, regulating the coasting trade, bers of your honorable body have also been affected by
and for other purposes. the destructive operations and expedients of the late
An engrossed bill for establishing the salaries war, and that all are in the actual enjoyment of that of the Executive officers of Government, with sovereignty which has been principally purchased by their assistants and clerks, was read the third time, the personal exertions and voluntary aids of sucn as and passed by the following vote: are denominated public creditors, it would be unjust to Yeas-Messrs. Ames, Baldwin, Benson, Boudinot, the feeling, integrity and gratitude of those whom they Brown, Cadwalader, Gale, Goodhue, Griffin, Hartley, now address, were your memorialists for a moment to Heister, Jackson, Lawrence, Lee, Matthews, Moore, admit a supposition that a solemn appeal thus brought Scott, Sedgwick, Sherman, Sylvester, Smith, (of Marybefore you, in the name of sc numerous a class of meri- land,) Smith, (of South Carolina,) Sturgis, Trumbull, torious citizens, could be neglected or forgotten. Tucker, Wadsworth, and Wynkoop--27.
By the glorious remembrance, therefore, of the past ; Nays-Messrs. Coles, Floyd, Foster, Gerry, Grout, by the rich prospect of the future ; by the obligations Hathorn, Livermore, Parker, Partridge, Van Renssewhich the representatives of the public owe to the sur-laer, Schureman, Seney, Sinnickson, Stone, Sumter, viving orphans and widows of those who have bravely and Thatcher-16. fought the battles of the Union, or nobly supplied its wants in the times of peril and distress; and by the sented to the House and read, praying an exclusive
A petition from Abraham Westervelt was preregard which is due to the peace and happiness of posterity ; your petitioners implore your immediate aid and patent may be given him for manufacturing shell interposition, rejoicing that their humble solicitation for buttons of different dimensions, the art of doing justice and humanity necessarily includes a prayer for which he has lately discovered. the revival of public credit, and the advancement of the Also, a petition from sundry inhabitants of that national honor,
part of the State of New Jersey, known by the Matthew Clarkson, Charles Petit, Thomas L. Moore, name of East New Jersey, praying that the District Christopher Marshall, junior, Robert Smith, James Mil Court of the United States, to be held within the ligan, Jonathan D. Sergeant, Richard Fullerton, Joseph said State, may be fixed at Perth Amboy, as a Ball, Samuel Miles, Peter Wikoff, John Chaloner, place most central and convenient to the inhabiThomas M-Kean, John Nixon, Walter Stewart, Blair iants of the said State at large. M.Clenachan.
Ordered, That the said petitions do lie on the PHILADELPHIA, August 21, 1789.
table. HOSPITAL FOR SEAMEN.
THE JUDICIARY. A bill providing for the establishment of hospi- Mr. Boudinor in the Chair. tals for the relief of sick and disabled seamen, and Mr. LIVERMORE said, that he had before moved prescribing the regulations for the harbors of the to strike out the whole section; but as he had United States, was read the second time, and or- spoken pretty largely on the subject when it was dered to be committed to a Committee of the last before the House, he should say very little whole House on the fifteenth of September next. now; but the fate of this clause he apprehended,
would determine the fate of the bill. SALARIES OF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS.
He wished Congress to establish State Courts The House, according to the order of the day, of Admiralty, and reject this system, because it resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole, on would be attended with great inconvenience and the bill for establishing the salaries of the Execu- expense. The salaries of thirteen district judges, tive officers of Government, with their assistants and the necessary buildings for their accommodaand clerks; and after some time being spent there- tion, is no inconsiderable saving to a people opin, the committee rose, and reported that the compressed so severely by the burdens of the late mittee had gone through the same, and made sev- war. But an objection, in my mind, of greater eral amenements thereto; which were twice read, weight is, that you establish two jurisdictions in amended, and agreed to by the House ; and the the same place. The bill proposes that the State bill, with the amendments, were ordered to be en- courts shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the grossed and read the third time to-morrow. district courts. Now under these two establish
ments debtors may be worried and distressed more COLLECTION OF REVENUE.
than is necessary for the plain and simple adminisMr. Goodhue, from the committee appointed tration of justice. A debtor may be in the custody for the purpose, presented a bill to suspend part of of a State officer, or he may be committed to an act' to regulate the collection of duties im- prison; at the same time there comes an officer posed by law on the tonnage of ships or vessels, from the Continental court, what is to be done and on goods, wares, and merchandise imported with the unfortunate person? Is the man to be into the United States; which was received and divided, that one half may appear in one court, read the first time.
the other in another ? Can you force the prison, After which the House adjourned.
and take him into other custody? or can you