Register of Debates in Congress, Comprising the Leading Debates and Incidents of the Second Session of the Eighteenth Congress Page: 9
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OF DEBATES IN CONGRESS.
Dec. 16—17, 1824.]
[Sen. &.H. Of R.
Oil motion of Mr. STORRS, the communication receiv-
ed some days since, from the Governor of New York,
on this-subject, was referred to the same committee.
Oil motion of Mr. OAMBRELENG, the House then
went into committee of the whole, Mr. TOML1NSON
in the Chair, on the bill " to authorize the Secretary of
the Treasury to adopt a new Hydrometer, 8tc."
' Mr. OAMBRELENG, of New York explained to the
committee the objects of the bill, which, he said, was as
simple as its form. As early, lie believed, as 1791, the
" government had, by law, adopted Dycas* Hydrometer
i'or ascertaining the proof of spirits ;;that, since then, the
ingenuity of our own countrymen had furnished us with
many hydrometers, which had been found more accurate,
and which were managed with more simple apparatus;
that the bill merely proposed to leave it at the discretion
of the Treasury, with the sanction of the President, to
adopt such hydrometer as might be proved, by experi-
ment and comparison, most accurate, and best adapted
to the purpose, &c. &c.
The bill was then reported, and ordered to be engros-
sed for a third reading.
IN SENATE—Thursday, DKCEMHER 16, 1824.
Agreeably to notice, Mr. -TAJ-HOT asked leave to in-
troduce a bill further to regulate the jurisdiction of the
Supreme Court of the United States.
Mr. MIL.I.S suggested to the gentleman from Kentuc-
ty, that, since the subject had been referred, generally, to
the Committee on the Judiciary, it had better be left to
that Committee to consider and report on it. There was,
he said, no doubt that the subject had become one of
so great: importance that it was the duty of the Legisla-
ture to act upon it. But he thought it would be more in
order to leave it. with the Committee on the Judiciary,
who, he had no doubt, would turn their whole attention
to a sub ject of such moment.
Mr. TAJ,ROT said, that he did not perceive the force
of the gentleman's remarks. This subject was before
the Senate at the last session, and the bill he proposed
would bring the whwle subject before them at once.
Mr. JOHNSON, of Kentucky, said, lie understood tlte
usual course, after introducing a bill, whether of vital
importance or no, was to refer it to the proper Commit-
tee. lie presumed his colleague would have no objec-
tions to so referring it, provided the subject, in which
•the State of Kentucky has so deep a stake, should re-
ceive the early attention of the Committee.
Mr. TALBOT made some remarks in reply, when the
question was taken, and leave being granted to intro-
duce the bill, he introduced it accordingly, and it receiv-
ed its lirst reading. ■ V
HOUSE OV REPRESENTATIVES.—samk IUY.
On motion of Mr. TRACY, the House went into com-
mittee of the whole on the hill "authorizing payment ;
ior property lost or destroyed by the enemy during the <
late war;" which was rcul. !
Mr. WRIGHT offered as an amendment a proviso, that I
1he injuries sustained, for which indemnity is to be pro- j
video,.shall have been caused by the occupation or use I
of the properly by the United States. j
Mr. TRACV went at some length into an explanation ;
of thecirciunstanccsofthcsidVererst.br whom,this bill j
proposes relief, more especially those on the Niagara !
fromier (whom he had the honor to represent); the j
Veliel proposed to be given to thern by the act of 1816; i
the interruption of that relief by a suspension of the j
power oi the Commissioner of Claims; the proceedings^
of Congress thereon ; the passage of a second law, in
Aprij, 1817, which altered and relaxed in some degree
the restrictions be'ore imposed. He quoted and com-
mented oi: the words of this law, and stated the pro-
ceedings which were had under its authority. He ad-
verted to the introduction of a bill in 1818 to provide
funds for paying the amount of the losses reported by a
Commissioner appointed for that purpose under the
former act, its fadure, and the ill success which had
since attended, in Congress, individual claims for indem-
nification, by his constituents, although other claims, of
a similar nature, had succeeded. Under these circum-
stances, the present bill had been prepared, with a view
to cover the whole mass of these claims, and bring their
justice fairly before the House, Mr. T. went on to ob-
serve, that the greatest obstacle which had hitherto
operated against this allowance was a doubt, or denial,
that the loss of the property concerned was produced .
expressly by its use or occupation by the United States.
The present bill only contemplated to provide for such
cases as had been already decided upon favorably by the
Commissioner, which cases it proposed to refer to one
of the Auditors of the Treasury, limiting the allowance
for losses to one-half the amount of personal property
destroyed, but allowing the whole of the amount of real
property which shall be reported by that officer to have
been actually lost, &c.
Mr. WRIGHT rose in explanation, and in support of
the amendment he had proposed. He adverted to the
provisions of the previous acts, and compared them with
those of the present bill, of which he complained as be-
ing too wide and unguarded. He thought that it was a
correct principle, that compensation should be allowed
for property destroyed during war, in those cases only
in which the destruction of properly had actually been
caused by its having been used in the service of the
The debate was about to proceed farther—when, on.
motion of Mr. DW1GHT, the committee rose, reported
progress, and had leave to sit again.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES—DEC. 17, 1824.
Mr. TRACY moved to take up the bill authorizing
payment for properly lost-or destroyed by the ene-
my during the late war; which was carried—Ayes 91,
The House accordingly went into committee of the
whole on that bill, Mr. CAMlJUELL, of Ohio, in the
Mr. WILLIAMS, of North Carolina, said, that he con-
sidered the question presented by this bill to be of nearly
as great importance as any that would occur durmg the
present session of Congress; as proposing to revive the
famous act of March, 181(5, which had been the cause of
greater drain from the Treasury of the United Slate*
iiian had ever been made, upon the same principle, from
the Treasury of any civilized government on earth ; for
no government ever had a standing law of the nature of
that. The bill now before the House, in effect proposed
a renewel of the most impartant section (the 9th) of that
law. At this moment, Mr. W. said he felt himself en-
tirely unprepared to go into sur:h an examination of lids
questionas it might require. He, therefore, hoped the
House would indulge him, and others similarly situated,
with furthertime for consideration of the subject, llis
object was not unnecessarily to delay the consideration
of the subject; but he thought it important to have be-
fore the House, and in possession of every member, the
correspondence which took place between Admiral
Coerhaji'e and the Secretary of State relative to the
burning of property on the Niagara frontier. 'I here
\va5 another document, also, which he wished the House
to be. in possession of—a document originally brought
here to carry tb'-se claims through the House, but winch,
since the year 1818, he had never been able to kur Ins
hands upon. When these claims first appeared before
the House, the claimants never pretended to rest them
upon the ground that the-buildings were occupied b\
the military authority at the time of their destruction.
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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/m1/9/: accessed May 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.