United States. Congress.

Abridgment of the Debates of Congress, from 1789 to 1856. From Gales and Seatons' Annals of Congress; from their Register of debates; and from the official reported debates, by John C. Rives online

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Online LibraryUnited States. CongressAbridgment of the Debates of Congress, from 1789 to 1856. From Gales and Seatons' Annals of Congress; from their Register of debates; and from the official reported debates, by John C. Rives → online text (page 86 of 191)
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of preserving peace, they may proceed unmolested
in the interesting experiment of gradually advanc-
ing a community of American Indians from barbar-
ism to the habits and enjoyments of civilized hfe.

Among the happiest effects of the improved rela*
tions of our republic, has been an increase of trade,
producing a corresponding increase of revenue, be-
yond the most sanguine anticipations of the Treas-
ury Department.

The state of the public finances will be fully
shown by the Secretary of the Treasury, in the re-
port which he will presently lay before you. I will
here, however, congratulate you upon their pros-
perous condition. The revenue received in the
present year will not fall short of twenty-seven mil-
lion seven hundred thousand dollars ; and the ex-
penditures for all objects other than the public debt
will not exceed fourteen million seven hundred
thousand. The payment on account of the princi-
pal and interest of the debt, during the year will
exceed sixteen millions and a half of dollars; a
greater sum than has been applied to that object,
out of the revenue, in any year since the enlarge-
ment of the sinking fund, except the two years
following immediately thereafter. The amount
which will have been applied to the public debt
from the 4th of March, 1829, to the 1st of January
next, which is less than three years since the Ad-
ministration has been placed in my hands, will ex-
ceed forty millions of dollars.

From the large importations of the present year,
it may be safely estimated that the revenue which
will be received into the Treasury from that source
during the next year, with the aid of that received
from the public lands, will considerably exceed the
amount of the receipts of the present year ; and it



Dbcembek, 1831.]

The President's Message.

is believed that with the means which the Govern-
ment will have at its disposal, from various sources,
which will be fully stated by the proper department,
the whole of the public debt miiy be extinguished,
either by redemption qr purchase, within the four
years of my Administration. We shall then exhibit
the rare example of a great nation, abounding in
all the means of happiness and security, altogether
free from debt.

The confidence with which the extin^guishment of
the public debt may be anticipated, presents an op-
portunity for carrying into effect more fully the
policy in relation to import duties, which has been
recommended in my former Messages. A modifica-
tion of the tariff, which shall produce a reduction
of our revenue to the wants of Government, and
an adjustment of the duties on imports, with a view
to equal justice in relation to all our national inter-
ests, and to the counteraction of foreign policy, so
far as it may be injurious to those interests, is deem-
ed to be one of the principal objects which demand
the consideration of the present Congress. Justice
to the interests of the merchant as well as the man-
ufacturer requires that material reductions in the
import duties be prospective : and unless the pres-
ent Congress shall dispose of the subject, the pro-
posed reductions cannot properly be made to take
effect at the period when the necessity fbr the rev-
enue arising from present rates shall cease. It is,
therefore, desirable that arrangements be adopted
at your present session, to relieve the people from
unnecessary taxation, after the extinguishment of
the public debt. In the exercise of that spirit of
concession and conciliation which has distinguished
the friends of our Union in all great emergencies,
it is believed that this object may be effected with-
out injury to any national interest.

In my annual Message of December, 1829, I had
the honor to recommend the adoption of a more
liberal policy than that which then prevailed to-
wards unfortunate debtors to the Government ; and
I deem it my duty again to invite your attention to
this subject.

Actuated by similar views. Congress at their last
session passed an act for the relief of certain in-
solvent debtors of the United States : but the pro-
visions of that law have not been deemed such as
were adequate to that relief to this unfortunate
class of our fellow-citizens, which may be safely ex-
tended to them. The points in which the law ap-
pears to be defective will be psy^ticnlarly communi-
cated by the Secretary of the Treasury : and I take
pleasure in recommending such an extension of its
provisions as will unfetter the enterprise of a val-
uable portion of our citizens, and restore to them
the means of usefulness to themselves and the com-
munity. While deliberating upon this subject, I
would also recommend to your consideration the
propriety of so modifying the laws for enforcing
the payment of debts, due either to the public or
to individuals suing in the courts of the United
States, as to restrict the imprisonment of the per-
son to cases of fraudulent concealment of property.
The personal liberty of the citizen seems too sacred
to be held, as in many cases it now is, at the will of
a creditor to whom he is willing to surrender all
the means he has of discharging his debt.

The reports from the Secretaries of the War and
Navy Departments, and from the Postmaster Gen-
eral, which accompany this Message, present satis-
factory views of the operations of the departments
'Vol. XI.— 23


respectively under their charge;. and suggest im-
provements which are worthy of, and to which I
invite, the serious attention of Congress. Cer-
tain defects and omissions having been discovered
in the operation of the laws respecting patents,
they are pointed out in the accompanying report
from the Secretary of State.

I have heretofore recommended amendments of
the federal constitution giving the election of
President and Vice President to the people, and
limiting the service of the former to a single term.
So important do I consider these changes in our
fundamental law, that I cannot, in accordance with
my sense of duty, omit to press them upon the
consideration of a new Congress. For my views
more at large, as well in relation to these points as
to the disqualification of Members of Congress to
receive an office from a President in whose election
they have had an official agency, which I proposed
as a substitute, I refer you to my former Messages.

Our system of public accounts is extremely com-
plicated, and, it is believed, may be much improved.
Much of the present machinery, and a considerable
portion of the expenditure of public money, may
be dispensed with, while greater faciUties can be
afforded to the liquidation of claims upon the Gov-
ernment, and an examination into their justice and
legality, quite as efficient as the present, secured.
With a view to a general reform in the system, I
recommend the subject to the attention of Con-

I deem it my duty again to call your attention to
the condition of the District of Columbia. It was
doubtless wise in the fraraers of our constitution to
place the people of 'this District under the jurisdic-
tion of the General Government ; but to accom-
pfish the objects they had in view, it is not neces-
sary that this people should be deprived of all the
privileges of self-government. Independently of
the difficulty of inducing the Representatives of
distant States to turn their attention to projects of
laws which are not of the highest interest to their
constituents, they are not individually, nor in Con-
gress collectively, well quahfied to legislate over
the local concerns of this District. Consequently,
its interests are much neglected, and the people are
almost afraid to present their grievances, lest a
body, in which they are not represented, and which
feels little sympathy in their local relations, should,
in its attempt to make laws for them, do more harm
than good. Governed by the laws of the States,
whence they were severed, the two shores of the
Potomac, within the ten miles square, have differ-
ent penal codes ; not the present codes of Virginia
and Maryland, but such as existed in those States
at the time of the cession to the United States. As
Congress will not form a new code, and as the peo-
ple of the District cannot make one for themselves,
they are virtually under two Governments. Is it
not just to allow them at least a delegate in Con-
gress, if not a local Legislature to make laws for
the District, subject to the approval or rejection of
Congress ? I earnestly recommend the extension
to them of every political right which their inter-
ests require, and which may be compatible with the

The extension of the judiciary system of the
United States is deemed to be one of the duties of
Government. One-fourth of the States in the
Union do not participate in the benefits of a circuit
court. To the States of Indiana, Illinois, Missouri,




The Tariff — Daties on Teas.

[Decembeii, 1831.

Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, admitted into
tlie Union since the present judicial system was or-
ganized, only a district court has been allowed. If
this be sufficient, then the circuit courts, already
existing in eighteen States, ought to be abolished :
if it be not sufficient, the defect ought to be rem-
edied, and these States placed on the same footing
with the other members of the Union. It was on
this condition, and on this footing, that they enter-
ed the Union ; and they may demand circuit courts
as a matter, not of concession, but of right. I
trust that Congress will not adjourn, leaving this
anomaly in our system.

Entertaining the opinions heretofore expressed
in relation to the Bank of the United States, as at
present organized, I felt it my duty, in my former
Messages, frankly to disclose them, in order that
the attention of the Legislature and the people
should be seasonably directed to that important
subject, and that it might be considered and finally
disposed of in a manner best calculated to promote
the ends of the constitution, and subserve the pub-
lic interests. Having thus conscientiously discharg-
ed a constitutional duty, I deem it proper, on this
occasion, without a more particular reference to the
views of the subject then expressed, to leave it for
the present to the investigation of an enlightened
people and their representatives.

In conclusion, permit me to invoke that power
which superintends all Governments, to infuse into
your deliberations, at this important crisis of our
history, a spirit of mutual forbearance and concili-
ation. In that spirit was our Union formed, and in
that spirit must it be preserved.


WaShingtost, December 6, 1831.

On motion of Mr. Kino, it was ordered that
three thousand copies of the Message, and fif-
teen hundred copies of the accompanying doc-
uments, be printed for the use of the Senate.

"Wednesday, December 7.

State of the Finances.

The President of the Senate communicated
the annual report of the Secretary of the Treas-
ury on the state of the finances, the reading of
which was dispensed with, and fifteen hundred
additional copies ordered to be printed for the
use of the Senate.

TpTTESDAT, December 8.
Imprisonment of American Citizens.

The following resolution, yesterday submit-
ted by Mr. Speasub, was considered and
agreed to :

" Mesolved, That the President of the United States
be reqviested to communicate with the Senate, if
not incompatible with the public interest, all the
information in his power, relative to the capture,
abduction, and imprisonment of American citizens,
by the provincial authorities of New Brunswick,
and the measures which, in consequence thereof,
have been adopted by the Executive of the United

Monday, December 12.

The Vice President of the United States at-
tended to-day, and took the chair of the

On motion of Mr. eHAMBEES, it was ordered
that the several officers of the Senate, who are
now officiating, shall continue to act in their
respective stations until Monday next.

Wednesday, December 14.

The following Message from the President of
the United States was received, and read, and
ordered to be printed :

Washington, December 13, 1831.
Jb the Senate of the United States :

I transmit herewith, in obedience to a resolution
of the Senate of the 8th December, 1831, all the
information in the possession of the Executive, rel-
ative to the capture, abduction, and imprisonment
of American citizeng by the provincial authorities
of New Brunswick; and the measures which, in
consequence thereof, have been adopted by the
Executive of the United States.


Monday, December 19.
Section of Officers.

The Chair announced the order of the day,
for proceeding to the election of the officers of
the Senate, and desired the members to prepai'e
their ballots for Secretary.

The ballot was then taken for Secretary,
when there appeared —

Por Walter Lowrie, - - 40 votes.

Scattering, . - . . i •

The Senate then balloted for a principal
doorkeeper, when Mountjoy Bayly was re-
elected without opposition.

Mr. Shackford, of Missouri, was elected as-
sistant doorkeeper ; and

The several officers were sworn in by the
President of the Senate.

The Rev. Mr.'Durbin, of Kentucky, was
elected chaplain on the part of the Senate.

The Senate then spent a short time in execu-
tive business ; and then adjourned.

Tuesday, December 20.

ITie Tariff— Duties on Teas.

The Senate then proceeded to the considera-
tion of the following report, made yesterday
from the Committee on Mnance :

The Committee on Finance, to which were referred
the memorials of the importers and dealers in
teas, of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and
Pittsburg, report :

That the memorialists pray, that in case Congress
shall contemplate any reduction in the duties on



Jandart, 1832.]

American State Papers.


teas, that such reduction may be made to take effect
from and after the 31st December of the present
year ; being the same time at which the act of the.
20th May, 1830, entitled "An act to reduce the
duties on coffee, tea, and cocoa," will take effect on
teas ; their object being that whenever reduction
in the duties on teas may be made, that it may
operate simultaneously with the said act of May,

The committee deemed it proper to consult the
Secretary of the Treasury on the subject, and par-
ticularly as to the effect an immediate reduction of
the duties would have on the finances of the nation.
His answer, they ask permission to submit as part
of their report.

The committee are fully aware of the inconven-
ience which must arise to commercial men, by fre-
quent changes in the duties. They are constrained,
however, to report that it is inexpedient to act on
the subject of the memorials at.this time.

Tkeasurt Department,

December 15, 1831.

Sir : I had the honor to receive yesterday your
letter of the 14th instant, accompanied by a me-
morial of sundry merchants of New York, praying
that any further contemplated reduction in the
duties on tea may take effect on the let of Janu-
ary, 1832.

In answer to your request that I would state the
effect upon the revenue of the reduction of the
duties on teas to certain rates which have been pro-
posed by persons engaged in the tea trade, to go
into operation at the time above mentioned, I beg
leave to state, generally, that such a reduction
could not be made without materially disturbing
the estimates presented in the late annual report
from this deparment on the state of the finances,
nor consistently with the views entertained as to
.the entire payment of the debt on or before the 3d
of March, 1833.

Without more precise information than the de-
partment possesses of the quantity of tea in store,
it is difficult to furnish the details you request. The
quantity, however, may be supposed to be greater
than it otherwise would be, in consequence of the
mutual desire, both of the importer and the retail
dealer, to preserve as much as possible of the im-
portation, for the benefit of the reduced duties
which are to take effect on the 1st of January

It will appear from the statement herewith trans-
mitted, that the proposed reduction would be at-
tended with a probable diminution in the revenue,
varying from half a million downwards, according
to the quantity of tea which may be found actually
in store on the 1st of January.

It is believed, moreover, that the principal bene-
fits of the proposed reduction would be conferred
on the importer rather than the consumer. If, as
is understood to be the fact, there is a small quan-
tity of tea in the hands of the retail dealers, it
might not follow that the prices either of that now
in bond, or of that ordered for imp5rtation, would
fall in proportion to the reduction ; whereas, the
importer can suffer neither loss nor inconvenience
from the operation of a law, with a view to which
his business has been regulated for more than a
year past.

■ The department is not satisfied — ^though upon
this point I do not wish to be considered as ex-

pressing a positive opinion — that it will be expedi-
ent at any time to reduce the duties on teas mate-
rially lower than the rates of January next. These
duties will not be sufficiently high to affect, in any
sensible degree, the consumption of the article;
and though diminished upon an importation equal
to that of 1830, from $2,049,342 02, to |898,-
974 46, yet they will always be a safe source of
revenue. In a general revision of the tariff. Con-
gress will find a great convenience in drawing the
revenue from as few articles as may be consistent
with the interests of the community, instead of be-
ing subjected to the necessity of spreading it over
numerous commodities ; and there are cogent rea-
sons why any further reduction on teas should await
such general revision of the existing duties as the
state of the finances and public expenditure may
call for. The memorial is herewith returned.

Any further reduction vf hich it may then be found
expedient to make, may be readily adapted, both in
amount and in time, to the interests and conven-
ience of the importers.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your
obedient servant,

Secretary of the Treasury.

The Hon. S. Smith,

Ghairtnan of the Committee o» Finance, Senate.

■Wednesday, January 4, 1832.
American State Papers.

The ViOB Pkbsident communicated tte fol-
lovring letter :
To the honorable the Senate of the United States :

The undersigned respectfully represent, that, en-
couraged thereto by the act of Congress of the last
session authorizing a subscription to the work, they
have not only made a beginning, but have made
considerable progress, in the execution of their
proposition for publishing a compilation of the
public documents of the United States. They have
now the pleasure to submit to the Senate two vol-
umes, which, excepting the indexes thereto, not
yet ready for the press, and the title-pages, which
are but temporarily composed, they respectfully
submit as samples' of the whole work.

In the arrangement as well as the selection of
the materials of this great national work, they have
been governed by the decisions of the Secretary of
the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Repre-
sentatives, under whose directions, moreover, ex-
clusively, the materials of it have been prepared
for the press.. To their intelligence, industry, and
discrimination, and that of the gentlemen in their
respective offices, it will owe whatever value it pos-
sesses beyond that of a mere print and reprint of
the documents on the files of the two Houses of
Congress. The caution of Congress, in committing
these matters to their ability and discretion, rather
than to that of the publishers, has, in the opinion
of the undersigned, been justified in the fullest ex-
tent by the order, and the form and pressure which
have been given to the work.

In the arrangement of the documents, the prin-
ciple of classification has been adopted, the advan-
tages of which will be apparent upon the slightest
examination of the samples of it herewith trans-
I mitted. The two volumes now presented are not




Duty on Indian Blankets.

[January, 1832.

the first in the series, but are those which have
been most easily collated. One of them, it will be
discovered, comprises all the congressional docu-
ments upon Indian Affairs, (one of the classes,) from
the beginning of the Government up to the com-
mencement of the 14th Congress, to which date,
(4th March, 1815, inclusive,) the plan of the present
series extends. The other is the first volume of
the class of Finance, the whole of which occupies
two volumes. When indexes, copious and well
digested, such as are in preparation, are added to
these volumes, they will afford a facility to the in-
'vestigations of our legislators, whether in debates
or in committee business, which will amply com-
pensate for the expense of the publication, without
adverting to their value as national memorials,
which of itself, it is respectfully submitted, would
have fully justified the sanction which has been
given to this undertaking.

The two volumes herewith presented comprise
about one-half of what has been already done in
the printing of the work, which is in the course of
steady prosecution, and of which it is hoped eight
or ten volumes may be ready for delivery before
the close of the present Congress.

Of the execution of this work, for which alone
the undersigned have any right to credit, they beg
leave to oljserve, only, that they have endeavored
to make it such as should be creditable to the Gov-
ernment, and as should justify the liberal confidence
which, by the act of tl^e last session. Congress has
reposed in the undertakers. They confidently sub-
mit its merits to a comparison with those of any
other work of the like nature, ever published in
this or any other country.

A superficial examination of these sample vol-
umes will sufiSce to satisfy the intelligent observer
of the importance of the work to the public service,
and to the history of the country. Documents of
the highest interest will be found in it, which were
either before unknown to the present generation,
or forgotten by it, though yet of modern antiquity.
Some, which have lain buried under the mass of
less important papers which it has not been deemed
useful to include in this publication, are such as en-
lighten obscure passages in our civ^ history, and
add new motives for the veneration with which the
memory of the early actors in the Government is
habitually cherished. The class of Foreign Rela-
tions, first in order, but suspended in its execution
to await the decision of the Senate in regard to the
pubUcity of some of the documents which it would
appear properly to comprise, will, when completed,
be one of the most interesting and instructive
works that has issued from the press within the
last thirty years, possessing all the attraction of
fiction, sanctified by all the fidelity of truth. ,

The undersigned will only add, that the sample
volumes herewith submitted have been put in dif-
ferent bindings, with a view to consult the general
opinion as to which description is preferable.

All which is respectfully submitted by the pub-
lishers. GALES & SEATON.

On motion of Mr. Kinq, of Alabama, the letter
was ordered to be printed, and was referred to
the Oommittee on the Library.

Thttbsdat, January 5.
Duty on InMwn, Blankets.

The bill to reduce the duty on Indian blan-
kets, and certain other Indian goods, [intro-
duced yesterday, on leave, by Mi". Benton,]
was read the second time ; when

Mr. Bbnton moved to refer it to the Com-
mittee on Finance. He thought, in justice and
propriety, the hill ought to go to the Commit-
tee on Indian Affairs for consideration ; but he
yielded to the opinions of others, and consent-
ed to refer it to the Committee on Finance.

Mr. DioKEESON moved to refer the hill to the
Committee on Manufactures.

Mr. Benton said that he perceived that the
gentleman was disposed to have the present
bill to take the same course that the salt hill
heretofore introduced had taken. He waS' of
opinion that there was another committee, he-
sides that of Finance, that should take prece-
dence of the Committee on Manufactures. He
alluded to the Committee on Indian Affairs.
That committee had the concerns of the In-

Online LibraryUnited States. CongressAbridgment of the Debates of Congress, from 1789 to 1856. From Gales and Seatons' Annals of Congress; from their Register of debates; and from the official reported debates, by John C. Rives → online text (page 86 of 191)