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SENATE. Proceedings." May, 1812.

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Whole, the consideration of the bill allowing an

annuity to Arthur St. Clair; and, on the question, Shall this bill be engrossed and read a third time? it was determined in the affirmative—yeas 15, nays 7, as follows: - * YEAs—Messrs. Anderson, Bayard, Bibb, Crawford, German, Gilman, Goodrich, Gregg, Horsey, Howell, Hunter, . Lambert, Leib, Smith, of Maryland, and Worthington. - NAys—Messrs. Condit, Cutts, Robinson, Smith of New York, Tait, Turner, and Varnum. A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that the House have passed a bill, entitled “An act authorizing the cutting and making a canal from the river Potomac around the west end of the dam or causeway from Mason's island, and for other purposes;” in which bill they request the concurrence of the Senate. The bill last mentioned was read, and passed to the second reading. --,

Mr. Lloyd presented the memorial of five hundred and thirty-five merchants of Boston, praying the repeal, or such modification, of the non-importation act, as may enable them to receive their property now in Great Britain and her dependencies; which was read, and referred to a select committee, to consist of five members, to consider and report thereon by bill or otherwise; and, in the mean time, that it be printed for the use of the Senate. " ;

Messrs. Lloyp, TAylor, GREGG, Leib, and Smith of Maryland, were appointed the committee. -

The Senate resumed, as in Committee of the Whole, the consideration of the bill to discharge from imprisonment the persons therein mentioned; and, after debate, the further consideration thereof was postponed until to-morrow.

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. . . . FRIDAY, May 1. The bill to authorize the State of Tennessee to issue grants and perfect titles on certain entries and locations of land therein described, having been reported by the committee correctly engrossed, was read a third time. - On the question, Shall this bill pass? It was determined in the affirmative–yeas 18, nays 6, as follows: , " -- -- YEAs—Messrs. Anderson, Bayard, Campbell of Tennessee, Condit, Cutts, Gaillard, Gilman, Goodrich, Horsey, Howell, Hunter, Lambert, Lloyd, Robinson, Smith of Maryland, Smith of New York, Tait, and Varnum. NArs—Messrs. Bibb, Crawford, Dana, German, Taylor and Turner. • So it was Resolved, That this bill pass, and that the title thereof be “An act to authorize the State of Tennessee to isssue grants and perfect titles, on certain entries and #. of land therein described.” . . Mr. Smith, of Maryland, from the committee to whom was referred the bill, entitled “An act for the relief of John Thompson,” reported it without amendment. . Mr. TURNER, from the committee to whom was referred the bill entitled “An act to alter and establish certain post roads,” reported it without amendment. - Mr. LEIB presented the petition of Ninian Pinkney, now a Captain in the Army, stating that, on the 20th of August, 1808, he was appointed brigade inspector, pro tempore, and that he performed the duties thereof at New Orleans, and has received the emoluments attached to said office, up to the 31st of May, 1810, but, on his arrival at the Seat of Government, was required by the Department of War to refund, on the plea that the appointment was inadmissible, and praying relief, for reasons, stated in the petition, which was read, and referred to a select committee, to consider and report othereon by bill or otherwise; and Messrs. Leib, Howell, and SMrth of Maryland, were appointed the committee. . . The bill allowing an annuity to Arthur St. Clair having been reported by the committee correctly engrossed, was read a third time, and on motion, by Mr. Leib, to fill the blank, with the words “five hundred dollars,” it was determined in the negative; and, on motion to fill the blank with the words “four hundred and fifty dollars,” the votes being equal, the President determined the question in the affirmative. - * On the question, Shall this bill pass? it was determined in the affirmative-yeas 17, nays 9, as

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May, 1812.

Mr. GREGG, from the committee to whom the subject was referred, reported a bill to admit the entry of vessels of the United States, on certain conditions; and the bill was read, and passed to the second reading. [This bill embraces cases of vessels “which ‘may have been laden in any of the ports of In* dia, and whose master, supercargo, or owner, * may have been compelled to give bond, under ‘some penalty, that their respective cargoes shall ‘ be landed in some part of the United States;” provided the duties be paid, and the goods stored in the public stores, under the care of the collectors, subject to the future disposition of the Government.] - On motion, by Mr.BAYARD, the bill to discharge from imprisonment the persons therein mentioned was recommitted to a select committee, with instructions to inquire into, and report the facts of the case; and Messrs. BAYARD, SMrth of New York, and GERMAN, were appointed the committee. The bill, entitled “An act authorizing the cutting and making a canal from the river Potomac around the west end of the dam or causeway from Mason's island, and for other purposes,” was read the second time. The Senate resumed, as in Committee of the Whole, the bill, entitled “An act making additional appropriations for the support of Government for the year 1812;” and the bill having been amended, the President reported it to the House accordingly. On the question, Shall this bill be read a third time as amended ? it was determined in the af. firmative. Mr. GREgg presented the memorial of James Wilkinson, stating that he has been stigmatized as a public defaulter; but that, so far from deserving that charge, he can make it appear that the public are indebted to him, and praying an inquiry into his case may be instituted, and such decision thereon as may be compatible with justice and equity; and the memorial was read. On motion, by Mr. GREgg, this memorial, and that presented the last session, together with the report on the memorial last mentioned, was referred to a select committee, to consist of five members, to consider and report thereon by bill or otherwise; and Messrs. GREgg, SMITH of Maryland, TAylon, WARNUM, and ANDERson, were appointed the committee.

Monday, May 4. The amendment to the bill, entitled “An act making additional appropriations for the support of Government for the year, 1812,” was reported by the committee correctly engrossed. A bare quorum attending, the Senate adjourned.

Tuesday, May 5. Mr. Leib, from the committee appointed to consider the subject, reported a bill for the relief of Ninian Pinkney, and the bill was read, and passed to the second reading. 12th CoN. 1st SEss.-8

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The bill to admit the entry of vessels of the United States on certain conditions, was read the second time. The Senate resumed, as in Committee of the Whole, the bill authorizing a subscription for the Laws of the United States; and the further consideration thereof was postponed to the first Monday in December next. #. Senate resumed, as in Committee of the Whole, the consideration of the bill, entitled “An act for the relief of John Thompson;" and it was ordered to a third reading. The Senate resumed, as in Committee of the Whole, the consideration of the bill, entitled “An act to alter and establish certain post roads.” Ordered, That it pass to a third reading. On motion, by Mr. HoRsey, the bill, entitled “An act authorizing the cutting and making a canal from the river Potomac around the west end of the dam or causeway from Mason's Island, and for other purposes,” was referred to a select committee, to consider and report thereon; and Messrs. HoRsey, BRENT, and WorthingtoN, were appointed the committee. Mr. Lloyd, from the committee to whom was referred the memorial of a large number of the merchants of Boston, praying the repeal or modification of the non-importation act, stated that they had instructed their chairman to report that it is inexpedient to grant the prayer of the petitioners. A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that the House do not concur in the resolution proposing a recess from the 6th to the 25th of May. They have passed a bill entitled "An act for the relief of the citizens of Venezuela;” a bill, entitled “An act for the better regulation of the ordnance;” a bill, entitled “An act for the relief of Thomas F. Reddick;” a bill, entitled “An act making further provision for the Army of the United States;” a bill, enti

tled “An act to authorize the election of sheriffs

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| act to establish an Executive Department, to be Memorial of Boston Merchants.

denominated the Department of War,” with an amendment, in which they request the concurrence of the Senate. The Senate proceeded to consider the amendment of the House of Representatives to the bill, entitled “An act for designating, surveying, and granting the military bounty lands,” and concurred therein. On motion, by Mr. Bay ARD, the bill, entitled “An act for the relief of the citizens of Venezuela,” was read the second time by unanimous consent; and, on motion by Mr. CAMpbell, of Tennessee, it was referred to a select committee,

SENATE.

MAY, 1812.

to consider and report thereon; and Messrs. CAMPBell, of Tennessee, BAYARD, and SMITH, of Maryland, were appointed the committee. On motion, by Mr. German, that the further consideration thereof be postponed to the first Monday in December next, it was determined in the negative—yeas 11, nays 13, as follows: YEAs—Messrs. Bayard, Bibb, Crawford, German, Goodrich, Gregg, Horsey, Leib, Lloyd, Smith, of Maryland, and Turner. NAxs—Messrs. Anderson, Brent, Campbell, of Tennessee, Condit, Cutts, Dana, Gaillard, Gilman, Howell, Robinson, Tait, Varnum, and Worthington.

On motion, by Mr. BAYARD, the further consideration thereof was postponed until to-morrow.

The six bills last brought up for concurrence were read, and passed to the second reading.

The Senate proceeded to consider the amendment of the House of Representatives to the bill, entitled “An act supplementary to the act, entitled ‘An act to j an Executive Department, to be denominated the Department of War.” -

The bill, entitled “An act making additional appropriations for the support of Government for the year 1812,” was read a third time as amended; and, on motion by Mr. Leib, it was referred to a select committee, to revise the item respecting marshals, and report thereon ; and Messrs. ANDERson, Leib, and TURNER, were appointed the committee.

Wednesday, May 6. The bill for the relief of Ninian Pinkney was read the second time. Mr. CAMPBell, of Tennessee, from the committee to whom was referred the bill, entitled “An act for the relief of the citizens of Venezuela,” reported it without amendment; and the bill was considered as in Committee of the Whole, and ordered to a third reading. The bill, entitled “An act to incorporate the Trustees of Washington College,” was read the second time. The bill, entitled “An act for the better regulation of the ordnance,” was read the second time. The bill, entitled “An act making further provision for the Army of the United States,” was read the second time. On motion, by Mr. GREgg, the two last mentioned bills were severally referred to a select committee, to consider and report thereon; and Messrs. Anderson, SMITH, of Maryland, and WARNUM, were appointed the committee. The bill, entitled “An act to authorize the election of sheriffs in the Indiana Territory, and for other purposes,” was read the second time, and referred to a select committee, to consider and report thereon; and Messrs. WorthingtoN, BAYARD, and Tait, were appointed the committee. The Senate resumed the consideration of the amendment of the House of Representatives to the bill, entitled “An act supplementary to the act, entitled ‘An act to establish an Executive

Department, to be denominated the Department of War.” On motion, by Mr. Leib, the further consideration of the bill and amendment was postponed to the first Monday in June, next. A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that the House have passed a bill, entitled “An act to annex a part of West Florida to the Mississippi Territory,” in which bill they request the concurrence of the Senate. The #. last mentioned was read, and passed to the second reading. The bill, entitled “An act for the relief of Thomas F. Reddick,” was read the second time. The Senate resumed, as in Committee of the Whole, the consideration of the bill to admit the entry of vessels of the United States on certain conditions. On the question, Shall this bill be engrossed and read a third time? it was determined in the affirmative. - The bill, entitled “An act for the relief of John Thompson.” was read the third time, and passed. The bill, entitled “An act to alter and establish certain post roads,” was read a third time, and passed. On motion by Mr. SMITH, of Maryland, the bill, entitled “An act for the relief of the citizens of Venezuela,” was read the third time, by unanimous consent, and passed.

MEMORIAL OF BOSTON MERCHANTS,

The Senate resumed the consideration of the report of the committee made yesterday on the memorial of a large number of the merchants of Boston. . On motion by Mr. Lloyd, that the report on the memorial of the merchants of Boston, praying for leave to withdraw their property from Great Britain and her dependencies, be again referred to a committee, with instructions to bring in a bill for the relief of the petitioners— A motion was made by Mr. SMITH, of Maryland, that the further consideration, thereof be postponed to the first Monday in June next. On this motion Mr. SM1th addressed the Chair as follows: Mr. President: I have made the motion for postponement because I am unwilling that a conclusive vote on the question should be taken at this time. When members place their names on record there is an unwillingness to retract their vote, when a more suitable time for decision occurs. That time will be, on the arrival of the Hornet, which must certainly happen before the first of June; and from the information which she will bring, we shall be enabled to vote more advisedly. This subject being before the Senate, I will be permitted to take a short view of our political relations as they bear upon this particular object. The non-intercourse law prohibited all intercourse between the United States and Great Britain and France. It, however, authorized the President, in case either of these Powers should so repeal or modify their unjust acts, as that they May, 1812.

Memorial of Boston Merchants.

SENATE.

should cease to violate the neutral rights of the United States, to relieve such nation from the operation of this act. Minister, Mr. Erskine, did agree, that her odious Orders in Council should be repealed, and the President (with a promptitude that did him credit) declared by proclamation, that the commerce between the United States and Great Britain should be restored, and all America ap

lauded the act. The negotiation made by Mr.

rskine, contrary to the opinion of every enlightened man, and to the astonishment of our Government, was disavowed by the King of Great Britain. What was the conduct of our Executive on being informed of the disavowal 2 It was that which gratified every American. He instantly imposed the non-intercourse on Great Britain, and placed that nation precisely in the same situation in which she was when Mr. Erskine's arrangement took place. And, sir, I believe that, in doing so, he met with the approbation of every good man. He certainly had mine. The non-intercourse law continued until May, 1810, when it expired by its own limitation. I state this, Mr. President, because a confusion has arisen from the various laws which have passed on this subject, and many well informed men have believed, and do now believe, that the non-intercourse law existed against both nations when the present restrictions were imposed on our commerce with Great Britain. Not so, Mr. President. . At that time our trade was unrestricted by any law of the United States. But Congress, in the same month of May, 1810, passed an act, by which the President was authorized, in the event of either France or England repeal. ing her unjust acts, or so modifying the same that they would no longer affect our neutral rights, to impose certain sections of the non-intercourselaw on the nation refusing to do us justice, which sections amount to a non-importation. This act was made known to both nations; and France, embracing the proposition, did by the letter of her prime Minister, the Duke of Cadore, under date of the 5th August, 1810, promise to revoke the Berlin and Milan decrees, so far as they relate to the United States, on condition; with which condition the President complied by issuing his proclamation of the second of November, in which, agreeably to the act of May, 1810, he declared that all importations from Great Britain and her possessions should cease on the 2d February, 1811; unless that nation, should,

reviously thereto, repeal or modify her Orders in Council. , Great Britain refused to do this, and has pertinaciously adhered to a system injurious to the interest of both nations. Mr. President, I was among those who approved of the roclamation of the President of the United

tates, interdicting all importations from Great Britain. It appeared to me to be a strict comF. with the tenor of the law; for, sir, I did

lieve, that all credit was due to the solemn declarations of nations, made officially by their public ministers, and I, therefore, justified the President for the confidence he had placed in

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Great Britain, by her

those solemn assurances. I did expect that a decree, revoking the Berlin and Milan decrees, “so far as they related to the United States,” would have been issued immediately after the Emperor should have seen the act of Congress confirming the proclamation. Indeed, sir, I thought it ought to have been issued immediately after he had seen the proclamation. Has any such decree yet issued ? No! Has France practically, complied with her promise made in the letter of the 5th August 1810, signed by the Duke de Cadore? If she has, Mr. President, then are we bound, the national faith and honor are bound, and no consideration ought to induce the Senate to agree to the motion of the honorable gentleman (Mr. Lloyd.) But if France has not complied with her engagement, if her cruisers, as well public as private, continue, under the authority of the Emperor, to act in the manner authorized by the Berlin and Milan decrees, then our honor calls upon us, the national honor imperiously calls upon us to place both nations precisely in the situation in which they were when the proclamation of the President, dated November 2, 1810, was issued; nor ought the doing so to affect the ulterior measures contemplated against Great Britain. In acting thus, our conduct will be exactly correspondent with that adopted by the Executive, on his being informed that Great Britain had disavowed the arrangement entered into with Mr. Erskine. This we are bound to do, if even we should immediately thereafter enact a law interdicting all importation from both nations. Nay, sir, men of nice notions of honor will believe that we cannot honorably pursue the war with Great Britain until we have freed ourselves from the deception practised upon us by France, if (as is asserted) she has not complied with her part of the compact. What evidence have we that France has not complied ? The document before me from the Secretary of State, respecting the trade to the Baltic, proves that French privateers have completely blockaded the Sound, which is the usual entrance to that sea; that they capture every American vessel in their power bound either up or down, and send their papers to Paris, where they are condemned by the order of the Emperor. It may not be amiss to give a view of this course of conduct; for to gentlemen unacquainted with commerce it may be useful. Mr. Erving, our Minister at Denmark, was sent to Copenhagen to use the best means in his power to induce the King to put a stop to the depredations committed on our commerce by the Danish privateers. He was well received, and being of opinion that our trade would meet with few interruptions in future, he advised thereof the American Consuls in Sweden and Norway, where our vessels usually stop for information. What was the consejo Why, that the Americans, thus relieved from danger, as they supposed, took the usual course through the Sound, to all the ports in the Baltic, and many went safe. The French, informed of this friendly conduct of the King of Denmark, despatched a number of privateers

Senatf.

Memorial of Boston Merchants.

May, 1812.

to the Sound, completely blockaded it, and captured, without distinction, every American they could. The number thus captured was not, it is true, very great, for the news flew on the wings of the wind, and the Americans were thereafter, for safety, compelled to mingle with the British convoys. Indeed, several which had assembled at Elsinore were saved by a convoy granted by the King of Denmark. Mr. President, the first notice of the French blockade of the Baltic was capture and consequent condemnation on various pretexts. One vessel was condemned (it appears by the proceedings of the court of Paris) because she had come to anchor in a port in Sweden, where, by accident, there was a British armed vessel. But, sir, another reason for presuming that France has not complied with her part of the compact, is the late burning, by a French squadron which issued from Nantz i. 10th day of January last, of every American vessel they met having a cargo on board. The ground assigned by the commanders of those vessels, not verbally only, but by certificates signed by themselves, is, because the vessel, so burnt, was bound to or from a port of the enemy of France, and this they certify they do by order of the Minister of the French Marine, being precisely the Berlin and Milan decrees put in full force against the vessels of the United States. This information comes to us in a shape scarcely questionable; but as the Hornet must soon arrive, and as the President will o her receive such information as will put the subject beyond a doubt, either in one way or the other; and as I know that some gentlemen are unwilling to vote without officias informa. tion. I have thought it most proper to propose the postponement, until such time as must give us such information. Mr. President, before I sit down, it may not be unworthy of remark, that the French burning squadron left France five days after the departure of the frigate, Constitution, at which time (the 5th January) Mr. Barlow was flattered with the expectation that he would succeed in every object of his mission. Mr. Lloyp said, knowing as he did the dis. F. of the Senate, he should probably not ave troubled them with any remarks on this occasion, had he not, in compliance with official usage, and the instructions of committee, been the organ of a report repugnant alike to his feelings and opinions-hostile, as he believed, to the interest of the nation, and adverse to the petitioners, who were a large body of his constituents— his fellow-townsmen, many of whom he personally knew—who were equal in respectability to any class of citizens in the United States, and who had a deep interest in the decision of the question—a question on which, in many cases would depend the loss or preservation of the fruits of many years of their industry, and the continuance of their occupations, and perhaps subsistence, and which, if decided adversely, might reduce some of them from ease and affluence to penury and embarrassment.

This claim arises from the prosecution of an honorable, a lucrative and accustomed trade, which had meet the approbation of Government, and to the revenues of which it had largely contributed—he alluded to the trade with Great Britain. In the prosecution of this trade formerly the merchants of the United States were almost invariably the debtors; they obtained their goods on a credit not unfrequently of twelve months, but for a few years past the course of the trade had almost entirely changed. Owing to the extension of commerce—the diffusion of wealth and capital—the increased ability of the merchants of the United States—the facilities afforded by the banks—and the unexampled depression of the course of exchange, the merchants of Great Britain had in their turn become the bankers and debtors of those of the United States, the latter of whom now very generally, instead of purchasing goods in England, on credit, remitted exchange at the time of furnishing their orders for shipments. . .

These orders, it is very well known to every man in the smallest degree conversant with the trade, must be in the hands of the manufacturers

several months before they can be executed,

being principally given for articles calculated for a particular market and not suited for any other. This is more especially the case with the importers of hardware and cutlery, who are obliged to give their orders, six, nine, or perhaps twelve months in advance, and so soon as an order is delivered, it becomes a compact, which cannot be dissolved but with the consent of all the parties engaged in it. Thus are situated some of the petitioners, several of whom had transmitted their orders prior to the issuing of the President's proclamation of November 2, 1810, but which could not be executed and got ready for shipment by the 2d of February, 1811, when the trade was closed. On this class of petitioners, the non-importation act, therefore, has a most unjust and complete ear post facto operation— they are punished for the prosecution of their lawful trade, and for not knowing what did not exist. The claim of this class of petitioners, then, is incontrovertible, and if the trade is to continue interdicted, and a sacrifice is required to be made for the public good, it is the duty of the nation and not the individual to sustain it. It has been said, the merchants ought to have been aware of the state of the country—that the Government gave them ample warning of the crisis that was approaching, and they should ave forborne their adventures. On the contrary, sir, the Government, when it renewed the nonimportation act, left entirely open the export trade—by so doing it sanctioned that trade, and tacitly invited the merchants to engage in it. In what did this export trade consist? Principally in grain and flour shipped to the ports possessed by the British in Portugal and Spain—to Lisbon and Cadiz. It was well known that Spain and Portugal, as countries, were devastated, and wholly exhausted. They were utterly destitute of produce wherewith to make returns.

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