Register of Debates in Congress, Comprising the Leading Debates and Incidents of the Second Session of the Eighteenth Congress Page: 3
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GALES &? SEA TON'S REGISTER
Son. & H. of R.]
Reception of Lafayette.
[Dec. 9—10, 1824.
The resolutions were adopted unanimously, and so
entered on record. The Committee of Invitation was
appointed, to consist ol 24 members, on suggestion of
IN SENATE—Thursday, December 9, 1824.
Mr. BARBOUR, from the committee appointed to
perform that duty, reported that they had waited on
General Lai-ayktte, vvith the invitation of the Senate,
find that he had informed thein he would wait on the
Senate this day at one o'clock.
At one o'clock, General Lafayette entered the
Chamber of the Senate, accompanied by the Committee
of that body. On entering the bar, Mr. BARBOUR,
chairman of the committee, announced the presence of
the General, in the following words: " We introduce
General .Lafayette to the Senate of the United States;"
whereupon, the President of the Senate and the Sena-
tors rose from their seats, and the General; advancing1
towards the Chair of the Senate, was invited by the Pre-
sident to take a seat, prepared for him on the right of.
Soon after the General was seated,
Mr. BARBOUll moved that the Senate adjourn.
Mr. LLOYD, of Mass. concurred in the wish for the
Senate to adjourn, to afford the members an opportunity
of paying their individual respects to Gen. Lafayette.
The Senate then adjourned, and the Senators, indivi-
dually, beginning with the President of the Senate, te.n
dered him their respects, which were cordially and feel
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.—Di:c. 10,1824.
Mr. COND1CT, of New Jersey, moved that a messen-
ger be sent to the Senate of the United States, inviting
that body to attend in the Chamber of Representatives,
at one o'clock, to day, on the reception of General La-
It was objected to the adoption of this motion, that
the Senate had, yesterday, adjourned over to Monday.
The question, however, was taken, and the motion pass-
ed in the affirmative—ayes 90, noes 69.
Seats were accordingly ordered for the members of
the Senate, who shortly after, entered, and took the
places assigned them.
At one o'clock, according to previous arrangement,
General Laeayette appeared, attended by the Commit-
tee of twenty-four members of the House of Represen-
tatives, and was introduced to the House by Mr. MIT-
CHELL, chairman of the committee.
On the General's entry, the members and persons ad-
mitted on the floor of the House, rose, and remained
Mr. SPEAKER then rose, and, in behalf of the House,
addressed the Nation's Guest, in the following eloquent
strain, adorned by those- graces of oratory for which he
" General: The House of Representatives of the
United States, impelled alike by its own feelings, and
by those of the whole American People, could not have
assigned to me a more gratifying duty than that of being
its organ to present to you cordial congratulations upon
the occasion of your recent arrival in the United States,
in compliau ■ with the wishes of Congress, and to assure
you of the very high satisfaction which your presence
affords on this early theatre of your glory and renown.
Although but few of the members who compose this bo-
dy. s>Vt ared with you in the war of our Revolution, ail
have a knowledge, from impartial history, or from faith-
ful tradition, of the perils, the sufferings, and the sacri-
fices, which > ou voluntarily encountered, and the signal
ser.'-ces in America and in Europe, which you perform-
ed, for an infant, a distant, and an alien peoyle ; and all
ova the very great extent of the obligations un-
der which you have placed our country. liut the rela-
tions in which you have ever stood to the United Slates,
interesting and important as they have been, do not con-
stitute the only motive of the respect and admiration
which this House entertains for you. Your consistency
of character, your uniform devotion to regulated liberty,
in all the vicissitudes of a long and arduous life, also com-
mand its highest admiration. During all the recent
convulsions of Europe, amidst, as after, the dispersion of
every political storm, the people of the United Slates
have ever beheld you true to your old principles, firm
and erect, cheering and animating with your well-known
voice, the votaries of Liberty, its faithful and fearless
champion, ready to shed the last drop of that blood
which, here* you so freely and nobly spilt in the same
" The vain wish has been sometimes indulged, that
Providence would allow the Patriot, after death, to re-
turn to his country, and to contemplate the intermediate
changes which had taken place—to view the forests
felled, the cities built, the mountains levelled* the canals
cut, the highways constructed, the progress of the arts,
the advfincementof learning, and the increase of popula-
tion. General, your present visit to the United States is
the realization of the consoling object of that wish.
You are in the midst of posterity! Every where you
must have been struck with the great changes, physical
and moral, which have occurred since you left us. Even
this very city, bearing a venerated name, alike endear-
ed to you and to us, has since emerged from the forest
which then covered its site; In one respect, you beholcl
us unaltered, and that is in the sentiment of continued
devotion to libe.rty, and of ardent affection and profound
gratitude to your departed friend* the Father of his Coun-
try, and to j' .'ur illustrious associates in the fi Id and in
the Cabinet, for the multiplied blessings which surround
us, and for the very privilege of addressing you, which
I now exercise. This sentiment, now fondly cherished
by more than ten millions of people, will be transmitted,
with unabated vigor, down the tide of time, through the
countless millions who are destined to inhabit this con-
tinent, to their latest posterity."
To which address, General LAFAYETTE replied, in
a tone in which energy of character and sensibility of
feeling were most interestingly blended, to the following
Gentlemen of the House of Representatives:
" While the People of the United States and their ho-
norable Representatives in Congress have deigned to
make choice of me, one of the American veterans, to sig-
nify in his person their esteem for our joint services, and
their attachment to the principles for which we have had
the honor to fight and bleed, I am proud and happy to
share those extraordinary favors with <my dear Revolu-
tionary companions. Yet, it would be, on my part, un-
candid and ungrateful not to acknowledge my personal
share in those testimonies of kindness, as they excite in
my breast emotions which no adequate words could ex-
" My obligations to the United States, sir, far exceed
any merit I might claim. They date from the time wfeen
I have had the happiness to be adopted as a young Hol-
dier, a favored son of America. They have beyn con-
tinued to me during almost half'a century of constant af-
fection and confidence; and now, sir, thanks to your
most gratifying invitation, I find myself greeted by a se-
ries of welcomes, one hour of which w'otjl'd more than
compensatefor the public exertions and sufferings of a
" The approbation of the AmericaniBeople, and their
Representatives, for my conduct-during the vicissitudes
of the European Revolution, is the highest reward!
could receive. Well may 1 stand "firm and erect,"
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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/m1/6/: accessed January 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.