Sidor som bilder

FEBRUARY, 1797.]

Negotiation with the Mediterranean Powers.

[H. OF R.


5 tons yarn

will serve as an apology for the detail with which they terranean Powers, beyond the sums heretofore appronow trouble him.

priated; and that the said sum of 255,759 dollars and £156,053 Sales and supposed value.

three cents, be, and the same is hereby appropriated 2,497 Dividends.

for that purpose ; and that a further sum not exceeding

96,246 dollars and 63 cents, be, and the same is hereby 158,550

appropriated for discharging the two first years annui5,568 Deficient, supposing Mr. Donaldson can nego- ty to the Dey and Regency of Algiers, pursuant to

tiate the remaining dollars, 266,000, at 5s., treaty, in addition to the sum appropriated for that pur-
those of Mr. Fonnereau having cost 4s. pose by the act of the sixth of May, 1796."
10d. 55.100.

On the question being put that the bill do pass,

Mr. GREENUP said he never liked the bill in any 164,118 August 29, 1796.

shape whatever; he would therefore express it now. He then called for the yeas and nays,

which were taken, and stood ayes 63, noes 19, as (D.)

follow: An estimate of the probable cost and freight of the

YEAS.–Fisher Ames, Abraham Baldwin, Theophimaritime stores necessary for paying the first and lus Bradbury, Nathan Bryan, Daniel Buck, Dempsey second

years annuities to the Dey and Regency of Burges, Thomas Claiborne, Joshua Coit, Isaac Coles, Algiers :

William Cooper, James Davenport, Henry Dearborn, 1,000 barrels of powder


George Dent, George Ege, William Findley, Dwight 2,000 pine and oak plank

Foster, Jesse Franklin, Nathaniel Freeman, jun., Al6,000

bert Gallatin, Ezekiel Gilbert, Henry Glen, Chauncey 3,000 pine boards


Goodrich, Roger Griswold, Robert Goodloe Harper, 2,000 pipe staves


Carter B. Harrison, Thomas Hartley, Jonathan N. 100 dozen long tar brushes


Havens, Thomas Henderson, William Hindman, Aa34 cables, 80 tons

10,800 10 coils white rope, 11,200

ron Kitchell, John Wilkes Kittera, George Leonard, lbs.


Matthew Locke, Samuel Lyman, James Madison, Fran975

cis Malbone, John Milledge, Andrew Moore, Frederick 100 bolts of canvass


A. Muhlenberg, John Nicholas, Alexander D. Orr, 3 tons lead


John Page, Josiah Parker, Elisha R. Potter, John 35 tons spikes

3,597 10

Richards, Robert Rutherford, John S. Sherburne, Sa2,000 bomb shells


muel Sitgreaves, Thompson J. Skinner, Jeremiah Smith,

Nathaniel Smith, Israel Smith, Isaac Smith, Richard 42,842 10 Sprigg, jun., Thomas Sprigg, Zephaniah Swift, George

Thatcher, Richard Thomas, Mark Thompson, Philip

Equal to $114,246 63 Van Cortlandt, Joseph B. Varnum, Peleg Wadsworth, To transport the above to Algiers, suppose 30,000 and John Williams.

Nays.-David Bard, Thomas Blount, Samuel J. Ca$144,246 63 bell, Gabriel Christie, John Clopton, James Gillespie,

Christopher Greenup, John Hathorn, John Heath, TENCH FRANCIS, Purveyor.

James Holland, Andrew Jackson, George Jackson, WilDECEMBER 29th, 1796.

liam Lyman, Samuel Maclay, Nathaniel Macon, William Strudwick, John Swanwick, Abraham Venable,

and Richard Winn. WEDNESDAY, February 22.

On motion of Mr. Gallatin, the title was The bill for the regulation of the compensation changed to "a bill to authorize the PresidENT of Clerks; the bill for advancing the salary of OF THE UNITED States to apply further sums to the Attorney General; the Appropriation bill; defray the expenses of the negotiation with the the bill for defraying expenses incurred on ac- Dey and Regency of Algiers." count of the Western insurrection, and for allow

TREASURY STATEMENTS. ing compensation to jurors, witnesses, &c.; and a bill to continue in force an act for the punish

Mr. HARPER moved the following resolutions: ment of certain crimes against the United States, “Resolved, That the Secretary of the Treasury be were severally read the third time and passed. directed to lay before Congress, annually, until the

year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-eight, a MEDITERRANEAN POWERS.

statement of the amount of duties and drawbacks for The bill for making appropriations to defray thousand seven hundred and ninety-eight, similar an

each year, from 1792, inclusive; and after the year one the expense of negotiations with Mediterranean nual statements, each to include, respectively, the six Powers, was also read the third time. The visions of this act, (which has been the subject of years immediately preceding the year in which it is

. the various discussions which have lately taken

Resolved, That the statements required by the foreplace with closed galleries) are to the following going resolution, the amount of duties and drawbacks, effect :

after the present year, on each of the enumerated arti“ That the President of the United States be, and he cles, paying rate of duty ad valorem ; and also, is hereby authorized to apply a sum not exceeding woollens, shall be separately stated; that woollens shall 255,759 dollars and three cents, to the expenses which be distinguished into three classes ; and that the said may have been incurred in any negotiations with Medi. amount on all unenumerated articles paying such a rate

H. OF R.]

John Cleves Symmes.

[FEBRUARY, 1797.

of duty, (woollens excepted,) shall be comprised in one have been obliged to have found him one million item, containing, however, an enumeration of the arti- of acres of land, agreeably to his contract; bog, cles of which that item may be composed.”

at that time, lands were not raised to so bigh a Ordered, That the said motion be committed price as they were now, and Mr. S. did not think to Messrs. HARPER, Cort, and VENABLE; that it necessary to avail himself of his contract. On they do examine the matter thereof, and report the 11th April, 1792, a petition was presented in the same.

his name, stating, that from an advance in the

price of certificates, resulted the impossibility of JOHN CLEVES SYMMES.

fulfilling his contract, and prayed that an abateOn motion of Mr. Gallatin, the House took ment might be made in the price of the land. On up the bill in addition to an act for granting cer- the 27th September, 1794, instead of saying be tain lands to Jolin Cleves Symmes and his asso- would not abide by the new boundary, he requests ciates; when

an alteration may be made in the boundary. NotMr. Coir moved to strike out the first section. withstanding this request, Mr. S. now says, he did His object, he said, was to gain information, par- not know anything of the survey, though more ticularly with respect to the survey.

than nine months since it was made. At first Mr. GallaTIN (who was Chairman of the sight, it would be supposed the contract was void Committee which made the report) gave a con- for want of fulfilment; but as he says he never cise history of the business; which satisfied Mr. received from the public a counterpari of the conCort, who withdrew his motion; and the bill was tract, (though it is generally supposed he had in ordered to be read a third time to-morrow. sone way got possession of a copy, but no proof

The particulars of this case are as follows: existing of it,) the claim was not forfeited. A

John Cleves Symmes and his associates entered circumstance was mentioned which seemed to into a contract with the United States in the year convey a strong supposition that Mr. S. was ac1787, for a million acres of land in the North-quainied with the survey. The day following the western Territory, at a time when the geography request he had made for the new boundary, was of that country was not well understood. The issued to him a patent for three hundred thousand tract was to extend twenty miles up the Great acres, referring to that survey. Mr. S. now obMiami to the Little Miami; but when this line jects to the releasement which was given of his came to be measured, it was found that it cut the first purchase as not being complete. It was Little Miami in several places on land which had stated that he had taken possession of land ta been reserved by Virginia at the cession of this which he was no way entitled. The necessity of Territory to the United States. Mr. Symmes was the act being immediately passed appeared from down in the country before he knew the line thus an advertisement (which Mr. Gallatin read from drawn would thus cut into the lands of Virginia. a newspaper of that country) inviting persons to The first thing he did was to take possession of the cume and purchase, under an assurance that his country which is between Fort Washington and original purchase would be completed. Mr. G. the Little Miami, and to sell as much as he could said that he had been offered some part of the of it. General St. Clair, the Governor of that and at a dollar an acre, he was informed that it Territory, threatened to drive Mr.Symmes and the would sell for two to setulers. Mr. G. said he settlers off this territory to which he had no right. knew it to be very capital land; and if the four The innocent settlers, who had purchased the hundred and fifty thousand acres which remained land of Mr. Symmes, sent forward representations would sell for nine huodred thousand dollars, of their case to the President, which, together while he only gave three hundred thousand for with the representations of the Governor, pro- the whole, he would have made a good bargain. duced an act to change the boundary line of the purchase, which was passed April 12, 1792. This

AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION. act describes the boundary line of the tract of On motion of Mr. HARPER, the House resolved land to be between the two Miamis and the Ohio. liself into a Committee of the Whole on the reMr. Ludlow was sent to survey it in 1793, when port of a select committee on the resolution from it was found, that instead of there being one mil-ihe Senate respectirg certain amendments to the lion of acres, there were only five hundred and Constitution, which having been read, a motion forty-three thousand nine hundred and fifty, which was made for the Committee to rise, stating that was duly surveyed, and the survey lodged in the the report was important-that, from the noise Treasury Office on the 10th of January, 1794. without, and the indisposition which there seemed Here arose the first difficulty. The act passed to to be in members to attend to business (the noise change the boundary line could not take place alluded to was the firing of cannon, drums bealwithout the consent of Mr. Symmes. In conse- ing. and fifes playing, in commernoration of the quence, the law was said to be enacted at the re- President's birth day] it was doubtful whether quest of Mr. Symmes. In 1794, Mr. S. had not it would meet with proper attention. The Commade any request, consequently the law was mittee rose accordingly. nullity. 'He might at that time have said, he Mr. Livingston reported a bill in addition to would not have the land upon any other than the an act for the relief and protection of American original contract, and that it was the business of seamen; which was referred to a Committee of the United States to make up the deficiency; and, the Whole. if he had so acted, it is probable Congress would On motion of Mr. S. Smith, the House took up FEBRUARY, 1797.]

Indirect Ta.ces.

[H. OP R.

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the bill for regulating the compensation of col- to renew the proposition. There had been great lectors, &c., at the ports and harbors of the United difference of opinion on the subject of additional States; when, after having partly gone through revenue: some gentlemen had said it could be done the same, a motion was made, and carried, to without, while others thought an increase absoadjourn.

lutely necessary to supply the current wants. It

was, indeed, a predominant opinion at one time Thursday, February 23.

that it was wanted; but many of those gentlemen

now thought a very little might fully answer the A Report was received from the Secretary of demand. The last idea, he presumed, was foundState on the memorial of Antonia Carmichael, ed on the supposition that the revenue of the widow of the late William Carmichael, praying present year would be as productive as the last. for compensation for her late husband's services They were informed that the duties of the year as Chargé d'Affaires to the Court of Spain. The 1796 exceeded those of 1795, four hundred thousand Secretary reported it as his opinion, that Mr. Car- dollars, and it was presumed the present would michael ought to be considered as Chargé d'Af- be adequate to the last ; but it was to be observed faires from May, 1782, to April 1790, and that his that the expenses of 1798 were to be paid out of widow should have been paid for that service one the duties collected in 1797, which revenue is thousand pounds sterling a year, and eighty-one quite uncertain, and from two causes: the great thousand dollars for his extraordinary services. fall of American produce in the European marThe Report was referred to a Committee of the kets, which, in almost all articles, our merchants Whole to-morruw.

have felt tó amount to from thirty to forty per Mr. Swanwick, from the Committee of Com-cent. Such a loss must be severely felt. Secondly, merce and Manufactures, reported a bill making the great depredations committed on our trade an appropriation for the prosecution of the claims by the French Republic during the present year of our citizens for property captured by the belli- more than the year 1796, was another serious ingerant Powers. Referred to a Committee of the jury to our revenue. The revenues received in Whole to-morrow.

1796, which arose from the importations of 1795, Also, a report upon the petitions of sundry were very little injured by British spoliations, manufacturers of soap and candles, of manufac- these having taken place in 1793 and 1794. The turers of cordage, and of Stephen Addington, receipts of 1795, from the importations of 1794, calico printer, who severally prayed for regula- were affected, but those of 1796 were not, as in tions in their favor with respect to duties and 1795 our produce bore a very high price in Eudrawbacks. The manufacturers of soap and can- rope, and found a ready market, either of which dles lahor under disadvantages from no drawback would prevent the small depredations committed being allowed upon soap and candles manufac- from affecting the revenue that year, and that not tured from foreign tallow, though there be a having been so much applicable to 1796, the redrawback allowed on foreign candles when re- venue of 1797 would not be so productive, at exported. The committee mentioned three modes least it might be fairly conceived so. In addition of remedying the grievance: the first, by taking to this, great part of the capital of our merchants off the duty on tallow imported; the second, by has been detained in foreign countries. By this refusing a draw back to foreign soap and candles capture we know that it has been the case to re-exported; the third, allowing a drawback on take the cargo of our vessels, and draw bills for soap and candles manufactured from foreigo tal. this cargo; some few of those drawn at the comlow. The first mode was preferred; but, from mencement of this practice have been paid, but a various considerations, they thought it best to great part not. The amount of property so capdefer making any regulations with respect to the tured was computed at four or five million dolbusiness this session. Sinilar reasons influenced lars, and this, though it did not much affect 1796, the same conclusion with respect to the other pe- will materially affect 1797. For these reasons it titions. The report was referred to a Committee would plainly be seen, that the revenue of the of the Whole to-morrow.

present year, which was for the service of the The bill in addition to an act for granting cer- year 1798, could not nearly equal that of 1796 for tain lands to J. C. Symmes was read a third time ihe service of the current year. and passed.

If this be so, said Mr. Harper, the whole founINDIRECT TAXES.

dation on which gentlemen build their opinion,

without additional aid, will be taken away, and On motion of Mr. HARPER, the House then their schemes fall to the ground. He meant only went into Committee on the bill laying additional to show gentlemen the precarious nature of com, taxes on articles imported.

merce at present; this ihose very gentlemen had Mr. Harper said, he had moved, in a former anticipated him in, and their arguments were stage of this subject, that one cent should be sub- then so forcible as almost to incline bim to relinstituted on brown sugar, instead of half a cent; quish his support to a revenue from external taxthat motion had been rejected; but he supposed ation at preseni; but those gentlemen since tell many gentlemen had voted against it, because us, not withstanding their former arguments, that they thought another, and, in their view, a pre- we are not to calculate upon the revenue of 1795 ferablemode would be adopted this session; that not but 1796, and then we shall have enough: that, being to be brought forward, he had now thought. Mr. Harper said, was the most prosperous year

H. OF R.)

Indirect Taxes.

[FEBRUARY, 1797.

that ever was known to American commerce; Mr. Gallatin boped the motion would not then the depredations of the British had, in a prevail; indeed, he thought it so inexpedient to great measure, ceased, and those of the French advance the duty on brown sugar in so large a were scarcely known; this was a propitious pe- proportion, that that reason alone, he hoped, exriod. They could not therefore couni upon fu-clusive of any other, would be sufficient to induce ture revenue equal to that. He had no doubt but the Committee to reject the motion; nor would the revenue from our commerce could be made he have again troubled the Committee on this very great; but there might be room to doubt subject, but have left the proposition unnoticed, whether, at present, it might be prudent to go to had not the gentleman from South Carolina made those lengths which may hereafter be requisite; some observations, which, he supposed, were all the investigation of the subject he had heard, meant to be applied to him; he had reference to tended to confirm him in that opinion: but were those relating to a dereliction of opinion respectthey to reckon upon the revenue to be received in ing a direct tax. He believed he was the only any one year, the estimate should not be at the person who had said, that he was not desirous rate of that only, but make the calculation upon that the bill laying a direct tax should pass this a more regular foundation ; the great fluctuation session. For it was true, that, although he was a of commerce would render it injudicious. Sup- strong advocate for a direct' tax-although he pose, for instance, we were to calculate the reve-thought a sufficient permanent revenue could not nue of 1797 at six millions two hundred thousand be drawn from any other source, yet he did not dollars, the amount of the revenue of 1796, and wish the law to pass during the present session; by the reflux of our commerce three or four hun- and the reason was, because he had not a suffidred thousand dollars short of that sum were to cient reliance upon his own opinion, to wish a come into our Treasury, this deficiency would subject of this sort to come into being against the leave the finances of the country in a situation of opinion of so many members of this House as the most serious embarrassment: it was well appeared to be opposed to it. When the United known that foreign loans could not be obtained, States shall think it necessary to go into the meaas Great Britain gave extraordinary sums of mo- sure, he trusted it would pass with great unaney to carry on the war; and Holland is so drained pimity. At present, he doubted whether a mafrom the same cause that no hopes can be built jority of the country was not against the measure, there; nor can loans be obtained in this country; especially when he not only saw so great a divithey had tried to sell the six per centum stock, on sion in that House, but apparently a local division, very advantageous terms, but could not dispose of as he believed only four members East of Hudit: even Bank shares, which would usually bear a son's river, and but five South of Virginia had good market had been obliged, by the large ad- voted for the measure, by which it appeared to be vances it had made, to be sacrificed : indeed it a mode desired only by the middle States. Until, was well known that existing circumstances call-therefore, gentlemen from those parts had reed for it, and therefore no very effectual assist turned home and consulted their constituents ance was to be expected thence. No doubt but upon the subject; until he knew that the law the Bank would strain all its power to assist the could be carried into effect with more unanimity Government, but it would be improper to depend than at this time appeared, he did not wish to on its will alone; and if there should be a defi- press it. He was willing, therefore, to take all ciency of four hundred thousand dollars, it would the blame which was imputable to this circumbe too late when Congress again meet to pass a stance upon himself. He never wished the powlaw for raising further revenue. No, we must do ers of Congress to be exercised in a way which it now, or we shall leave our finances in this state should not meet with pretty general concurrence. of uncertainty to which it is constantly liable, Yet, had he thought the situation of the United except a more certain provision is established. States had been such, that additional revenue was

Mr. HARPER said, that by the proposed taxes, absolutely necessary to support the public credit, 300,000 dollars might be estimated; the Secretary and it could not have been conveniently raised of the Treasury only estimated 120,000 or 200,000 from any other source, every other consideration dollars; this, he thought, would uot meet the pro- would have given way to that necessity. But he bable expenses of Government. No. As he said did not think that anything which had been said before, there would be a reflux, and therefore to by the gentleman from South Carolina showed provide a secure sufficiency they must have four that there would be any deficiency in the revenue or 500,000 dollars, for which reason he should re- for the present, which would require additional new his motion to raise the article of sugar from taxes to supply it. a half cent, as proposed, to one cent. In addition He would just observe, that the great argument to what he had remarked, he would say, that they in favor of direct taxes—an argument which had had failed in the proposition of a tax on salt; it almost wrought conviction upon the mind of the was thought a tax might as well be put on that gentleman from South Carolina himself-was article as on sugar; that having failed, he there- the uncertainty of a revenue derived from comfore hoped that persons who voted against this, to merce; and yet,from this circumstance, the friends introduce that, would now support the amend- of indirect taxes wish to extend that plan to the ment. He hoped it would be agreed to. Should utmost, and raise everything from it. He should it take place, it would be necessary to make some have drawn different conclusions; and from that alterations in the bill accordingly.

uncertainty, he should have wished never to have FEBRUARY, 1797.]

Indirect Ta.res.

[H. OPR.

gone beyond those bounds which they knew were and expenditures of the United States, in order to safe.

show what sum of money would probably be As to the receipts of 1797, Mr. G. said, we had wanted to answer the demands of the United well ascertained them, because they arose from States. As he differed considerably from the genthe importations of 1796, which they knew tleman from Pennsylvania as to our real wants, amounted to 6,200,000 dollars, and which sum, he considered it as his duty to lay this statement with the internal duties, would be fully adequate before the Committee. He had investigated the 10 the expenses of Government for this year. Yet subject with as much accuracy as possible. He some gentlemen thought the calculation too close, had attended to the documents which had been and therefore the additional duties before them laid before them, to the laws which would probahad been consented to, which he believed every bly pass this session, and to the probable increase one must acknowledge would be fully equal to of revenue. The result of this examination was, any deficiency that could possibly arise. The ar- that there would be a deficiency of about a milguments of the gentleman from South Carolina lion of dollars. To what the additional imposts applied to the year 1798. He said we did not already agreed to would amount, he could not know what might be the amount of the importa- say, but he believed they would make 200,000 doltions of the present year; that it might be less lars

, which would leave a deficiency of 800,000 than last year, and therefore, that revenue ought dollars. He made the following statement: to be provided to supply the deficiency, if there should be any. The arguments would be good, Civil list

Expenses of 1797. if the gentleman's data were true; but he had Military and Naval Establishment and pen

$634,322 forgotten that the expenses of 1798 would be less

sions than those of the present year by 700,000 dollars, Deficiency of 1796


201,000 including not only the current expenses, but the instalment of the Dutch debt, which in that year Interest of Domestic Debt

Algerine appropriation


3,471,972 would only be 100,000 dollars. The instalment Interest on Dutch debt

614,241 this year is 400,000, so that in this item there will Instalments do. do. 1797

400,000 be a difference of 240,000 dollars; in the next Premium remitt. &c.

50,000 place, the 280,000 dollars which this year has appropriations for frigate

171,000 been agreed to be paid to the Dey and Regency of Algiers, will not occur again; and also, the

7,213,567 180,000 dollars appropriated for finishing the frigates, would not be to provide another year.

Revenues of 1797. These three items made the 700,000 dollars which Impost he had mentioned. In addition he would add, Internal revenues

$ 5,588,961

337,255 that this year there had been a charge of 200.000 Post Office

35,000 dollars for the defence of the frontier in 1795 ; Bank stock

150,000 but perhaps something might be wanted in that Stock redeemed

88,636 quarter another year, and therefore he would pass Sundries

746 over that sum. But he thought there could be no danger of a want of revenue in the year 1798.

6,200,698 Mr. G. said, he would not pretend to say that it Additional imposts in 1797

200,000 would not be desirable to increase the revenue, in order that they might pay a part of such instal

6,400,598 ments of the foreign debi as would become due Probable deficiency of revenue

812,969 after the year 1801. Certainly the sooner our debt could be paid, the better; but he meant only

7,213,567 to show that there was no necessity for increasing the revenue for 1798. If it were necessary to It would be observed, Mr. S. said, that the genraise additional revenue, it would be for two prin- tlemen from Pennsylvania and Maryland, had calcipal objects, the payment of the Dutch debt and culated the impost at 6,200,000 dollars, whilst he the eight per cent. deferred stock; but as these made it only ai 5,588,961, which he took from the did not become due till the year 1801, they were Secretary of the Treasury's statement, and he benot under the necessity of providing the means lieved this was the safest calculation. He would for it at present.

not go into any very long argument on this subDuring the next session, Mr. G. said, they should ject, because it had frequently been under dishave time to compare the two systems of taxescussion. together, and to discover which offered the best Mr. Gallatin inquired from what document and most permanent sources of revenue. For the Mr. Smith took his calculations ? reasons he had given, he should be opposed to the Mr. W. Smith answered, from the report of the motion.

Secretary of the Treasury, which was calculated Mr. W. Smith said, he should not adduce many upon a permanent plan." In calculations on the arguments to show the propriety of advancing subject of revenue, the largest amounts should not the duty upon this article any more than that be taken. It was not policy in gentlemen to adopt upon any other; but he wished to bring before that plan; they should make allowances for delithe Committee a true statement of the receipts' ciencies and accidents. The situation of this

4th Con.--73

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