Gambar halaman

MARCR, 1822.

Florida Coast-- Proposed Adjournment.

H. OF R,


Mr. Cook also submitted the following resolu- tifications, he was compelled, from a sense of duty,

to call the attention of Congress to this subject now. Resolved, That the Secretary of the Treasury ve di- Sir, we have had this territory in expectancy for rected to lay before this House any evidence, in the many years, and in actual possession a year; yet, possession of the partinent, showing that the uncur. the truth is, that no man, perhaps, in the nation, rent notes which he received from the banks of Ed. actually knows where the best ship harbor is situwardsville, Tombigbee, and Missouri, as mentioned in ated; and an examination is now making in relahis report of the 14th ultimo, has been deposited in tion to Spiritu Santo, alias Tampa, alias Hillsthose banks before the date of the contracts by which boro' bay. Another examination has been ordered they agreed to account for them as cash; together with in relation to certain islands near Cape Florida, the contracts under which those banks were only lia- These partial expenditures would be avoided ; the ble for said notes as special deposites ; if any such con coasting trade would be greatly benefited; the intracts there were. And thai he also lay before this formation necessary to the establishment of lightHouse, all the monthly returns the possession of the houses on the coast would be furnished; and the Department, which were made by the Bank of Mis- risk of piratical depredations diminished, by havsouri; together with all the correspondence in relation ing an accurate chart of the coast. The British to the latter bank, in the possession of the Department, Government have recently employed a vessel of which has not been heretofore communicated to this House.

war, to take the survey of those shores; but, whe

ther it will ever be published, so as to be of any The resolution was ordered to lie on the table. advantage to us, is uncertain. And shall we be The House took up, and proceeded to consider,

more improvident toward a country we own than the report of the Committee of Claims on the pe- foreign nations ? I hope not, and that the resolutition of Archibald S. Bulloch and others: Where- tion will be adopted.] upon, it was ordered that the said report be committed to a Committee of the whole House to

PROPOSED ADJOURNMENT. morrow. The House took up, and proceeded to consider, the joint resolution from the Senate

, to fix a time

Mr. BUCHANAN called for the consideration of the report of the Committee of Claims on the cases for the adjournment of the present session, (the first of Hoel Lawrence, Frederick White, and of Thaddeus Clarke and others: Whereupon, it was or

Monday in April next.) dered that the said report be committed to a Com- On the question to consider this resolution, the mittee of the whole House to-morrow.

yeas and nays were required by Mr. Mercer. A message from the Senate informed the House Mr. Condict ihen moved to lay the subject on the that the Senate, have passed a bill, entitled "An table, (in order to avoid what he considered an inact supplementary to the several acts for adjusting terruption, to no useful purpose, of the regular busithe claims to land, and establishing land offices, ness of the House.) The yeas and nays were orin the districts east of the island of New Orleans; dered also on this motion, which Mr. Condict then and a resolution proposing an amendment to the withdrew. Constitution of the United States as it respects the [Two questions of order were decided by the choice of President and Vice President of the Uni- SPEAKER on this occasion, worthy of being reted States, and the election of representatives in corded, being important as precedents. the Congress of the United States;” in which last 1. It was questioned by Mr. TAYLOR, whether mentioned bill and resolution, they ask the con- it was in order to move to lay on the table a mocurrence of this House.

tion to consider a proposition now lying on the

table. The SPEAKER decided that a motion to FLORIDA COAST.

lay any proposition on the table is in order. On motion of Mr. Hill, the Committee on Com- 2. A motion was made by Mr. WALWORTH, to merce were instructed to inquire into the expedi- proceed to the orders of the day, with a view ency of having the coast of Florida surveyed, so to overruling the motion now presented. The as to bave an accurate chart thereof made, deline- SPEAKER said, that he had more than once enterating thereon the entrance of all the rivers and tained this motion, as being conformable to the harbors; the islands, rocks, shoals, and reefs, in practice of the British Parliament; but, upon an the neighborhood of the coast, as well on the side examination of the rules of the House, with a view of the Gulf of Mexico, as on the Atlantic side of to this question, and finding that they direct, that the peninsula ; and that observations be also made when a question is under debate, that none but cerwith reference to sites for lighthouses.

tain prescribed motions shall be received, of which (Mr. Hill, in

presenting this resolution, observed. the motion now made was not one, he decided that chat he had hitherto delayed to offer it, in the hope the motion to proceed to the orders of the day, of receiving information from the Corps of Engi- there being another question under debate, was not neers who had recently been directed by the Gov- in order.] ernment to examine the seacoast from the Sabine The question on now considering the resolueastward round the shores of the Floridas; but, tion from the Senate, was then taken by yeas and having been informed by some of the gentlemen nays, and decided as follows: of that corps who have just arrived at this city, For considering it 63, against it 82. that their examination had been confined princi- So the House refused now to consider the said pally, if not entirely, to the selection of sites for for- resolution.

17th Con. Ist Sess.-40

H. OF R.

Report on Weights and Measures.

March, 1822.

REPORT ON WEIGHTS AND MEASURES. and used only to verify the models which may be issued

under the authority of Government. Mr. Lowndes, from the select committee, to whom was referred the report of the Secretary, of copies of these standards among the States, the present

The committee believe that, hy distributing accurate State on weights and measures, made the following inequality of weights and measures will be so far rereport, which was committed to a Committee of moved as to leave little practical inconvenience in that the Whole, with the resolutions :

regard. They propose that the President shall cause The Committee to whom has been referred "the to be procured such a number of copies or models of report on weights and measures," made by the Secre. these standards of weight and measure (with their most tary of State, on the 221 of February, 1821, report : convenient multiples and divisions) as may be neces.

That so comprehensive a view has been given, in sary to allow one model of each standard to be lodged the documents referred to them, of the origin and his with the clerk of each district court of the United tory of the measures and weights now in use in the States, and one to be given to each State and TerriUnited States, and so full an examination of the dif- tory, to be disposed of as its Legislature may direct. ferent proposals which have been inade for their im- The most convenient material for those copies will provement, that they deem it scarcely necessary to do probably be copper or brass, but the determination of more than to submit the resolutions which they think this question may best be referred to the authority it expedient that Congress should pass at this time. which shall procure them. Their object is only to “render uniform and stable the It is believed that no other obligation will be required measures and weights which we at present possess.” to enforce, on the part of the officers in the service of

To effect this, they propose that the President shall the United States, the use of weights and measures cause application to be made to the English Govern- conformed to the standards established by law, than ment to allow models of the yard, the Winchester that which a sense of duty and a dependence upon the bushel, wine, gallon, and pound, (avoirdupois,) to be Government for their continuance in office must proprocured from its offices. For the purpose of easy and duce. The committee think it best, that Congress, perfect comparison, it may be as well that the yard after providing the standards of weighis and measures, should be traced upon the rod of platina in the pos- and furnishing models of them to every State, should session of the Departinent of State, on which is traced leave it to the laws of the several states to enforce the French metre. These models should be made their use by persons who are not in the service of the with the utmost accuracy which the art and science of United States. In the custom-house and land offices, England can give, and, if satisfactory to Congress, the measures and weights may be provided from the should be declared the standard yard, bushel, liquid same funds, and under the same authority, which have gallon, and pound, of the United States. There is been hitherto employed. The committee suppose it some difference of opinion as to the material of which necessary only to provide for such a distribution of the standards shall be formed. The committee will models as may make it easy to verify the weights and not detain the House by a full exposition of the rea- measures which may be used either by public officers, sons which led them to conclude, that, at least, the or in private transactions. It was proposed by a former standards of length and weight should be of platina, committee of the House of Representatives, in a report as the material on which time is found to produce the made in January, 1819, that the relations between the smallest change. The Secretary of State, who adopts different standards should be accurately ascertained an opposite opinion, has said that the very extraor- and declared in the law which should establish them. dinary properties of platina, its unequalled specific It was observed, that “the determination of the gravity, its infusibility, its durability, its powers of proportions between lineal measures and measures of resistance against all the ordinary agents of destruction capacity, and between both these and weights, may and change, give it advantages and claims to employ- have some effect in enabling us to detect, without too ment as a primary standard for weights and measures difficult a process, the defects of mưasures of capacity, and coins, to which no other substance in nature has and possibly of weights in common use. For this equal pretensions. Should the fortunate period arrive purpose it would perhaps be convenient to establish, when the improvement in the moral and political con- not merely the cubical contents of the common meadition of man will admit of the introduction of one sures of capacity, but to fix determinate forms for all universal standard for the use of all mankind, it is these, and dimensions whose correctness might be as. hoped and believed, that the platina metre will be that certained by the common measures of length.” But standard.” But, if the immutability of platina recom- the relations between the standards cannot be ascermend it so strongly as a standard for all nations and ained with that absolute certainty which should be all time, it can hardly be amiss to adopt it for the exacted in a law fixing permanent standards. The interval which may elapse before the universal adoption calculation of the dimensions of vessels of capacity is of a national standard. This interval the Secretary found, even by the most practical artists, to be so and the committee may be willing to shorten, but it uncertain, that they rely entirely upon the trials by seems likely to last as long as diversities of laws and the weight of water which they contain. It is of language among men. If the standard pound shall be some importance, that the forms of measures of capa. of platina, it must of course, be made equiponderant city, which are used in commerce, should be left to with the English pound in vacuo, and the same means depend upon the material, or the art which it is found must be used in making the models of weight which most convenient in the different parts of our country are intended for distribution among the States. The to employ. And in fine, those relations and dimenstandards of measures of capacity must, probably, be sions which it is useful to know, will be ascertained of copper or brass, and the careful preservation of all by philosophical inquiry, and published in books of the standards may be provided for in the law which easy reference. Indeed, they have been so. sball establish them. The committee think it best The committee have proposed to establish but one that they should be kept in the Department of State, standard of weight. It will be necessary that accurate

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models of the grain and its usual multiples, should be as by the constitution of the State is required, in order provided to verify the weights which are used for the to constitute an election. But it further appears, by precious metals and for medicine. The law which an official statement of the proceedings of the Goversball establish the standard pound, may declare the nor and Council, bearing date the 18th day of Octograin to be the seven thousandth part of the pound, as ber, 1820, that, in conformity with what was considfrequent and careful examination has shown it to be. ered to be the provisions of the law of Maryland, the

The committee submit the following resolutions : Governor and Council “ proceeded to decide between

Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representa-them which should be the Representative, and the retives of the United States of America in Congress sult was that Jeremiah Causden, Esq., was decided to assembled, That the President of the United States be be the Representative for the said district.” The requested, (if the consent of the Government of Great committee are aware that to question the right of the Britain shall be given thereto,) to cause to be traced Executive authority of Maryland to give full operaon a rod of platina, the yard of the year 1601, which tion to the provisions of its election laws, will be con. is kept in the British Exchequer; to cause to be made sidered as a measure of an important character. It of platina a pound, of the weight in vacuo of the is understood by the committee that the authority, English avoirdupois pound; and that he also cause to under which the Governor and Council acted, is the be made, of whatever material he shall deem best for act of the State of Maryland, passed the 14th of standards of those measures, a vessel of the same capar vision of the act

, the committee believe, has been re

December, 1790, chapter 16, section 13. This provessel of the same capacity as the standard wine galo pealed by the act of the 2d of January, 1806. But lon of England.

they consider it uunecessary to enter into an argu. Resolved, 'That the President be requested to cause

ment on this point. The Constitution of the United to be made, for distribution among the States and States, article 1, section 2, provides, that “the House Territories, and for the purpose of verifying the of Representatives shall be composed of members weights and measures used therein, models of the chosen every second year by the people of the several yard, on which shall be traced its divisions of feet and States; and the electors in each State shall have the inches; models of the bushel, half bushel, quarter qualifications requisite for electors of the most nubushel or peck, thirty-second part of a bushel or quart; merous branch of the State Legislature.” Section 5 models of the wine gallon, of ihe wine quart and pint; of the same article provides that “each House shall models of the pound, half pound, quarter pound, of be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualificathe sixteenth of a pound or ounce; of the seven thou- tions of its own members.” On the first Monday of sandth part of a pound or grain ; models of the penny- October, 1820, in conformity with the law of Mary. weight or twenty-four grains, of the scruple or iwenty land, an election was held by the qualified electors of grains; and, of the apothecaries dram or sixty grains; the sixth Congressional district. On that day they models of the weighi of twelve and a half pounds, or either did, or did not, elect a member to Congress. twenty-five pounds, of fifty pounds, and of one hun- None could be elected unless he received a greater dred pounds; that these models of weight and measure number of votes than were given for any other candibe formed with the utmost practical exactness from the date. The term election must mean the act of choosweight and measures procured under the authority of ing, performed by the qualified electors, in conformity the foregoing resolution, and that the number to be with the requisitions of the Constitution and laws procured of each model shall not exceed

regulating the manner in which the choice shall be

made. If, therefore, the legal electors, on the day CONTESTED ELECTION.

appointed, should fail to make a choice, it is confiMr. Sloan, from the Committee of Elections dently believed that no other authority of the State to which was referred the memorial of Philip Reed, be supposed that the electors should fail to attend an

can, at any other time, make good this defect. Let it contesting the election return of Jeremiah Causden, election; that, consequently, no election is held ; as one of the representatives for the State of Ma- would it then be contended that the Executive authorryland, made a report thereon favorable to Mr. ity could, by lot or otherwise, appoint a Representa, Reed; which was read, and committed to a Com- tive for such district in the Congress of the United mittee of the Whole.—The report is as follows: States? This is a power which, it is presumed, none

That the constitution of Maryland directs that the will contend does exist. Yet it is believed to be noelections shall be by ballot; that every free white male thing more than that which has been exercised by the citizen of the State, above twenty-one years of age, Governor and Council of Maryland, in the case under and no other, having resided twelve months within consideration. In this case, the electors assemble, the State, and six months in the county, next preced. they proceed to elect, they make no choice, they come ing the election at which he offers to vote, shall have to no Constitutional result. It is asked, what is the a right of suffrage in the election of Delegates to the difference between the two cases? The one would State Legislature; that the Stale is divided into dis- be an appointment, because no election had been tricts for the purpose of electing Representatives to held ; the other, because no choice had been made. Congress; that the sixth Congressional district is The committee being of opinion that the power thus composed of the counties of Hartford, Cecil, and virtually exercised by the Governor and Council of Kent. The election for Representatives to the present Maryland, in appointing a Representative to the Con. Congress was held on the first Monday of October, gress of the United States, being contrary to the ex. 1820. At that election the memorialist and the sitting press provisions of the Constitution, and one which member were candidates, and, by the returns from the this House cannot sanction, have no hesitation in reseveral counties in said district, as made to the Gov. jecting the official statement of the proceedings in the ernor and Council, it appears that the memorialist case as evidence of the right of the sitting member to and sitting member had an equal number of votes,

a seat in this House. and that neither had the "greatest number of votes, Having disposed of this part of the subject referred

H. OF R.

Maryland Contested Election.

March, 1822.

to them, the committee proceeded to an examination mittee were disposed to be less rigid than under other of the claims of the memorialist, and the objections circumstances ihey might have been disposed to act. of the sitting member thereto. The memorialist al. In respect to all the other testimony, due notice has leges that at the election district No. 1, in Kent been given by each party, and they attended or not as county, at said election, two tickets or ballots were they thought proper. In support of the claim of the thrown away by the judges of the election, and not memorialist, Joh C. Hynson, one of the judges of counted, which tickets were given for him, and ought the election in district No. 1, of Kent county, states to have been set down and counted to his poll. These that he took the tickets from the box ; that two tickets tickets, it appears, were thrown away under an im- were thrown away, on which was the name of Genepression that they had been folded together with a ral Philip Reed for Congress ; that those tickets were fraudulent intention, previous to their being put into not counted, but rejected, under an impression that the ballot box. On the part of the sitting member they were a double ticket fraudulently put into the was contended that at Elkton, in Cecil county, two box; but that, after he had passed it out of his hands, tickets under similar circumstances were thrown he was impressed with a belief that it was not double, away, and not counted, which ought to have been and that this impression was confirmed when, on added to his poll, and that, at the same district, the counting out the whole of the ballots, two were wantmemorialist was allowed one vote on account of a ing to make the number equal to the number of perticket on which was the name of the memorialist, to- sons voting. gether with that of five other persons, without any Dr. Beckington Scott, David Vickers, James Price, other designation than that of " for Congress." It James Ringgold, James Eagle, Jr., Darius Dunn, was also contended by the sitting member that sun and John C. Hynson, Jr., testify that they were presdry illegal votes had been given for the memorialist, ent at the opening of the ballot box and counting of which, if deducted from his poll, would give the sit- the tickets, and that they were satisfied that the tivo ting member a clear majority of votes in his favor. tickets thrown away, and which had the name of No charges of a want of integrity were made by General Philip Reed on them, were not double, and either party, against any of the officers who had heen that, on the final counting of the votes, there being engaged in conducting the election. Some of the two ballots less than there were names of persons testimony exhibited to the committee had been taken voting, confirmed them in their belief. previous to the meeting of Congress, and some has The deposition of Elijah Beck states that he was been taken since, under instructions given by the clerk of the election, but states nothing respecting committee, for the government of the parties. It was any of the facts in the case. suggested to the parties by the committee that it William Scott, clerk of Kent county, certifies, unwould be satisfactory to have the testimony of the der the official seal of said county, a copy of the polljudges and clerks of the election in district No. 1, of book of said election, which shows that 365 persons Kent county, respecting the double ticket, thrown voted at said election, and that only 363 tickets were away; and such course was recommended as was counted. thought fair and liberal, and best calculated to arrive 'The deposition of Joseph Ireland states that he at a full knowledge of all the principal facts in the acted as clerk of the election. That the judges drew case, and the memorialist departed in order to procure from the box a double ticket, and threw it away. additional testimony. At this time, it was understood That he saw it in Judge Hynson's hands. And that, by the committee that the sitting member rested his after the votes were counted, and the disagreement claim on the testimony he had already taken ; but a between them and the poll list was discovered, Judge few days subsequent, having stated to the committee Hynson still said it was a double ticket. that he was apprized other testimony in the case, The sitting member produced the depositions of and that it was bis wish to obtain it, a letter was ad- William Boulden and John Kean. They state that dressed to each of the parties by the chairman of the they acted at the election in district No. 2, in Cecil committee, appointing the 10th of January, 1822, for county, in 1820, the first as judge, the second as the final hearing of the case by the committee, and clerk; and that General Philip Reed was allowed one requesting each to give the other five days' notice of vote on account of a ticket which had four other names the time and place of taking the additional testimony. on it, without any other designation than " for ConThe memorialist avers that he did not receive the no- gress.” They also state that two tickets were thrown tification of the committee until it was too late for away on account of being doubled. him to be prepared to take depositions of his witnes- James Sewall, clerk of Cecil county, gives a certi806; until the day appointed for the decision of the fied copy of the ticket alluded to by Boulden and case ; and that, on his way to Washington, he acci. Kean, under the official seal of Cecil county. dentally lost the testimony. Under these circum- The deposition of John Bradshaw states that he stances, the committee permitted the testimony to be was one of the judges of the election in district No. 1, taken a second time, and inasmuch as the sitting of Kent county. That Judge Hynson drew from the member had not attended the taking of these deposi- box a ticket which he said was double ; the deponent tions in the first instance, and did not object to them observed that if so, it ought to be destroyed, and it when presented, on account of not having notice, the was thrown away. That after the counting was fincommittee agreed to receive the testimony thus of ished, two ballots were wanting to correspond with fered. They have been thus particular in detailing the book of polls. That he observed to Judge Hyn. all the circumstances that occurred in the case since son that perhaps it was a mistake as to the ticket deit came under their cognizance, because, although stroyed being double, but he declared it was double, some of the testimony may be such as strictly might and that it sometimes did happen that the ballots and not be admissible in a court of law, yet, as there ap- polls did not agree. Deponent states that he did not peared to be every disposition on the part of both see any name on the ticket destroyed, not having it the gentlemen to waive all objections of form, and to in his hands. pursue a course calculated to arrive at facts, the com- William Scott, clerk of Kont county, certifies, under

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