Register of Debates in Congress, Comprising the Leading Debates and Incidents of the Second Session of the Eighteenth Congress Page: 73
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APPENDIX—To Gales & Section's Register.
18th Congress, ?
2d Session. $
On the Public Debt.—On the Slave Trade.
[H. of R.
not be regularly included in the estimate of the Secre-
tary of the Treasury at the close of the last year ; but
must, nevertheless, be considered as part of the debt,
with a view to future years.
This sum of §88,545,003 38, is redeemable as fol-
In 1825, $7,654,57*0 93 of six per cent.
1826, 19,002,356 62 six per cent, of 1813.
1827, 12,001,437 63 six per cent of 1814.
1828, 9,490,099 10 Six per cents.
1832, 6,673,900 72 of which $1,018,000 72 are
at 5 per cent, and $5,000,000 at 44 pr. ct.
1833, 6,673,055 31 all at 44 per cent, except
$18,901 59 at 5 per cent.
1834, 1,654,153 73 at 4j percent.
1835, 4,735,296 30 at 5 per cent.
7,000,000 00 at pleasure, being the sub-
scription to the capital of the Bank
of the United States, at 5 per cent.
13,296,231 45 at pleasure, being the 3 per
By this statement it appears, that, in the years 1829
and 1830, no part of the public debt will be reimbursea-
ble, excepting the seven millions to the Bank, and the
three per cents.; but, as these bear a less interest than
that portion of the 6 per cents, of 1813, redeemable on
the 1st of January, 1826, and which cannot, for the want
of means, be reimbursed before the years 1829 and
1830, it is believed to be advisable: to provide for that
portion, by a new stock, at a reduced rate of interest,
and payable at those periods.
The committee, therefore, recommend a new loan, or
an exchange, to the amount of $12,000,000, at a rate of
interest not exceeding 44 per cent, reimburseable in
equal portions, in the years 1829 and 1830; and for that
purpose report a bill.
Of the Committee to whom was referred so much
of the President's Message, of the 7th of De-
cember last, as relates to the Suppression o the
Slave Trade.—Feb. 16, 1825.
The Committee on the Suppression of the Slave Trade,
to whom was referred so much of the 1'resident's mes-
sage, of the 7th December last, as relates to that sub-
ject, have, according to order, had the same under
consideration, and respectfully
That, pursuant to the almost unanimous request of
the House of Representatives, expressed by their reso-
lution of the 28th February, 1823, the President of the
United States concluded a convention with Great Bri-
tain, on the 13th March, in the following year, by which
the African slave trade was denounced to be piracy un-
der the laws of both countries; the United States hav-
ing so declared it, by their antecedent act of the 15th
of May, 1820, and it being understood between the con-
tracting parties, as a preliminary to the ratification oi tire
convention by the United States, that^ Great Britain
should, by an act of Parliament, concur in a similar de-
With great promptitude, and ill accordance with this
agreement, such an act was passed, declaring- the Afri-
can slave trade to be piracy, and annexing to iv the pen-
alty denounced against this crime by the common law
of nations. A copy of this act was transmitted, by the
BritiiHl Government, to the Executive of the United
States, and the convention submitted, by the President,
to the Senate, for their advice and consent.
The convention was approved by the Senate, with
certain qualifications, t« all of which, except one, Great
Britain sub modo, acceded ; her Government having in-
structed its Minister in Washington to tender to the ac-
ceptance of the United States a treaty agreeing, in eve-
ry particular, except one, with the terms approved by
the Senate. This exception, the message of the Presi-
dent to the House of Representatives, presumes " not to
be of sufficient magnitude to defeat an object so near to
the heart of both nations," as the abolition of the Afri-
can slave trade, " and s:) desirable to the friends of hu-
manity throughout the world." But the President fur-
ther adds, " that, as objections to the principle recom-
mended by the House of Representatives, or, at least, to
the consequences inseparable from it, and which are un-
derstood to apply to the law, have been raised, which
may deserve a reconsideration of tile whole subject, lie
has thought proper to suspend the conclusion of a new
convention, until the definitive sentiments of Congress
can be ascertained."
Your committee are therefore required to review the
grounds of the law of 1820, and the resolution of 1823,
to which the rejected, or, they rather hope, the sus-
pended convention, referred. The former was the joint
act of both branches of Congress, approved by the Pre-
sident ; the latter, although adopted with extraordinary
unanimity, was the single act of the House of Represen-
Upon the principle or intention of the act of Congress
of 1820, making the slave trade punishable as piracy,
the history of the act may reflect some light.
A bill from the Senate, entitled " Vn act to continue
in force the act to protect the commerce of the United
States, and punish the crime of piracy, and, also, to
make further provision to punish the crime of pir.icy,"
came to the House of Representatives on the 27th of
April, 1820, and was, on the same day, referred to a
committee of the whole, to which had been referred a
bill of similar purport and title, that had originated in
the House of Representatives.
Upon the 8th of May following, the Committee on the
Suppression of the Slave Trade reported an amend-
ment of two additional sections to the Senate's bill; also,
a bill to incorporate the American Society for Colonizing
the free People of Color of the United States, and three
joint resolutions, two of which related to the objects of
that Society ; but the first of which, in behalf of both
Houses of Congress, requested the President " to con-
sult and negotiate with all the governments where minis-
ters of the United States are, or shall be accredited, on
the means of effecting an entire and immediate abolition
of the African Slave Trade." The amendatory sections
denounced the guilt and penalty of piracy against any
citizen of the United States, of the crew or company ot
any foreign vessel, and any person whatever of the crew
or company of any American vessel, who shall be engag-
ed in this traffic.
The amendments, bill, and resolutions, along with the
explanatory report, which accompanied them, were re-
ferred to the committee of the whole abovementioned ;
and on the 11th of the same month, the House proceed-
ed to consider them. After a discussion in the commit-
tee, the piracy bill, and its amendments having been
adopted, were reported, and both were concurred in by
the House. The following day, the bill, as amended,
being then on its passage, a motion was debated and ne-
gatived, to recommit the bill to a select committee, with
an instruction to strike out the last section of the amend-
ment. The bill then passed, and was ordered to be re-
turned, as amended, to the Senate.
On the same day, a motion prevailed to discharge the
committee of the whole from the further consideration
of the bill, and the resolutions which accompanied the
report; and the particular resolution, already recited,
being under consideration, to try the sense of the Houso
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Gales, Joseph, 1761-1841. Register of Debates in Congress, Comprising the Leading Debates and Incidents of the Second Session of the Eighteenth Congress, book, 1825; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30752/m1/449/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.