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Secting, you are always to give it the narrowest construction that you
can, so as to take away from the general right as little as possible.
This does affect in that way several of the most important rights that
were ever claimed by a people or conceded by a government. For
instance, all men charged with a criminal offense shall be entitled to
a trial by jury. This provision takes away the right of the party ac-
cused to a trial by his peers and subjects him to a trial before a po-
litical body composed,' it mav be, of his rivals and his enemies. If
the Constitution m plain woros says that he shaU be deprived of that
right, we cannot deny it ; but we deny it because it is only by a con-
strained interpretation that our adversaries would take the right
away.

It was the manifest design of those who framed our institutions to
provide for a judiciary separate, distinct, apart from the rest of the
Government, composed of men having certain quidifications, holding
their office by a certain tenure, and paid in a certain way. The Con-
stitution declares that the judicial power of the United States shall
be vested in one Supreme Court and such inferior courts as Congress
shall from time to time ordain and establish. The impeachment pro-
vision takes away from all persons who are subject to it the right of
having their cases inveeti^ted and determined by judicial officers. It
takes a portion of the judicial frown away from the courts where the
other pajts of the Constitution intended to put the whole.

Again, the principle pervading our Constitution and the constitu-
tion of every government pretending to be free is that the judicial,
the legislative, and the executive departments shall bo kept as com-
pletely separate and distinct as it is possible to make them. But this
provision^ as far as it goes, mingles them together and gives a part of
the judicial power to a body whose general functions are legislative.

The Constitution declares what Magna Charta had declared be-
fore and what was a well-established principle of the common law,
that no man shall be twice vexed for the same cause. Here, however,
you try a man first and for the same offense you send him into the
courts to be tried again.

There is another provision in our Const! tption that every man shall
have justice done to him at home, where he can be tried by a jury of
his neighbors in the vicinage to which ho belongs. The Constitution
expressly declares that he shall always be tried in the district where



the offense was committed, and it provides also that the district shall
not be changed by any law passea after the offense wa^ committed
so as to put nim within a jurisdiction which he was not subject to at
the time the deed was done. But this article disregards that princi-
ple entirely, and a custom-house officer in Oregon or Alaska may be
Drought here three thousand miles and tried before the Senate, whore
the expense of a trial alone would be a loss as great to him as that of
conviction.

All these are reasons which you cannot deny to be sound for saying
that this provision be construed as strictly as possible and that noth-
ing should be done under it which cannot be done atrictisHmiJurU.

I have finished. I have nothing more to say. I began without an
exordium and I will end without a peroration.

Mr. EDMUNDS. Mr. President, I move that the Senate be cleared
and the doors closed.

The motion was agreed to; and the Senate (at three o'clock and
forty minutes p. m.) proceeded to deliberate upon the question sub-
mitted.

The doors being closed,

Mr. EDMUNDS submitted the following order for consideration:

Ordered^ That the mansgerB and reepondent be excused from attendisg before
the S^iate sitting for the mal of impeachment until May, Idth instant

Mr. BURNSIDE moved to amend the order by inserting at the end
thereof, *'And that the Senate sitting for the trial of impeachment
adjourn to Monday next, the 15th of May instant.''

The amendment was a^;reed to.

Mr. MORRILL, of Maine, moved to amend the order as amended
by striking out all after the word ''ordered" and in lieu thereof in-
serting:

That until further notice the attendance before the Senate, sitting for the trial of
impeachment, of the managers and the reepondent will not be required.

The amendment was agreed to.

The order, as amended, was agreed to, as follows :

Ordered, That until further notice the attendance before the Senate, sitting for
the trial of the impeachment, of the managers and the respondent will not be re-
quired.

Mr. SHERMAN moved that when the Senate sitting for the trial of
impeachment adjourns it be to Monday next at half past twelve
o'clock p. m.

Mr. BURNSIDE moved to amend the motion by striking out "Mon-
day next" and in lieu thereof inserting "Tuesday, the 16th instant."

The amendment was rejected.

Mr. SARGENT moved to amend the motion by striking out " Mon-
day " and in lieu thereof inserting " Saturday."

The amendment was rejected.

Mr. PADDOCK moved to amend the motion by striking out " Mon-
day " and in lieu thereof inserting " Friday."

The amendment was rejected.

The question recurring on the motion of Mr. Sherman, it was agreed
to.

On motion hy Mr. SARGENT, (at four o'clock and fifty-five min-
utes p. m.,) the doors were re-opened.

The PRESIDENT iwo tempore announced that the Senate sitting for
the trial of impeachment, in close session, had ordered that until fur-
ther notice the attendance before the Senate, sitting for the trial of
impeachment, of the managers and the respondent will not be re-
quired ; and that the Senate so sitting had further ordered that when
the Senate sitting for the trial of impeachment adjourn it be to Mou-
dav next, at half past twelve o'clock p. m.

On motion by Mr. SARGENT, the Senate sitting for the trial of the
Impeachment adjourned.



Monday, May 15, 1876.

The PRESIDENT oro tempore. The hour fixed for that purpose
having arrived, the legislative and executive business of the Senate
will now be suspended, and the Senate will proceed to the considera-
tion of the articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Repre-
sentatives against William W. Belknap, late Secretary of War.

Mr. INGAElS. I move that the galleries be cleared and the doors
closed.

The motion was agreed to ; there being on a division— ayes 28,
noes 9.

The Senate thereupon proceeded to deliberate.

The doors having been closed.

The journal of proceedings of the Senate, sitting for the trial of
William W. Belknap, of Monday. May 8. was read.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore administered to Mr. Alcorn, who
had not been previously sworn, the following oath, namely : " You
solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the im-
peachment of William W. Belknap, now pending, you will do impar-
tial justice according to the Constitution and laws : So help you God."

Mr. ALCORN rose and stated that he had been unavoidably^absent
from the sessions of the Senate sitting for the trial of impeachment
heretofore held, and for that reason he asked to be excused from voting
upon the question now under consideration presented by the plead-
ings.



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TRIAL OF WILLIAM W. BELKNAP.



73



Mr. SHERMAN moved that Mr. Alcorn, for the reasons assigned
by him, bo excused from voting njion the question now before the
Senate as presented by the pleadings.

The motion was agreed to.

The question before the Senate sitting for the trial of impeacliment
being whether W. W. Belknap, the respondent, is amenable to trial
by impeachment for acts done as Secretary of War, notwithstanding
bis resignation of said office,

After debate,

On motion of Mr. EDMUNDS, (at three o'olockandfifkeen minutes
p. m.,) the Senate sitting for the trial of the impeachment took a recess
for twenty minutes ;

After which.

Debate was resumed on the foregoing question ;

Pending which,

On motion of Mr. MORTON, the Senate sitting for the trial of im-
peachment adjourned to to-morrow at twelve o'clock and thirty min-
utes p. m.



Tuesday, May 16, 1876.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore having announced the arrival of the
hour fixed, the legislative and executive business was suspended, and
the Senate proceeded to the consideration of the articles of impeach-
ment exhibited by the House of Representatives against William W.
Belknap, late Secretary of War.

Mr. EDMUNDS. As we acUoumed with closed doors yesterday, I
suppose the doors will be closed now, as a matter of course.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Sergeant-at-Arms will clear
the galleries and close the doors.

The usual proclamation was made by the Sergjeant-at-Arms.

The Journal of proceedings of the Senate, sitting yesterday for the
trial of William W. Belknap, was read.

The question before the Senate sitting for the trial of impeach-
ment l>eing whether W. W. Belknap, the respondent, is amenable to
trial by impeachment for acts done as Secretary of War, notwith-
standing his resignation of said office, as stated in the order of pro-
ceedings adopted on the 28th April last,

Mr. MORTON submitted the following question for consideration :

Is there power in Congress to impeach a person for crime commit-
ted while in office, if such person had resigned the office and such res-
ignation had been accepted before the finding of articles of impeach-
ment by the House f

Mr. MORRILL, of Vermont, submitted the following question as a
substitute for that submitted by Mr. Morton : •

Has the Senate power to entertain iurisdlction in the pending case
of the impeachment by the House of Representatives of William W.
Belknap, late Secretary of War, notwithstanding the facts alleged in
relation to his resignation f

Mr. ALLISON submitted the following resolution for considera-
tion:

Uuolotd. That the conaaltatioiis and opinions expreased in secret session be taken
down by the repot ters and printed in confidence for the use of Senators.

The (j^uestion submitted by Mr. Morton having been considered,

Pendmg debate thereon.

On motion of Bir. SAROENT, (at three o'clock and fifteen minutes
p. m.,) the Senate, sitting for the trial of impeachment, took a recess
lor twenty minutes.

After which.

The Senate sitting for the trial of impeachment resumed the con-
sideration of the question submitted by Mr. Morton ; and.

Pending debate.

On motion of Mr. CRAGIN, (at five o'clock and twenty-five minutes
p. m.,) the Senate sitting for the trial of impeachment adjourned to
meet to-morrow at twelve o'clock and thirty minutes p. m.



Wednesday, May 17, 1876.

The PRESIDENT jwo tempore having announced the arrival of the
hour fixed, the legislative and executive business was suspended, the
galleries were cleared, the doors closed, and the Senate proceeded to
the consideration of the articles of impeachment exhibited by the
House of Representatives against WilUam W. Belknap, late Seore-
ta^of War.

The usual proclamation was made by the Sergeant-at-Arms.

Ths Journal of the proceedings of the Senate sitting yesterday for
the trial of William W. Belknap was read.

Mr. WHYTE submitted the following order for consideration :

Ordered, That the Senate, sitting on trial of impeachment sliall proceed, at foar
o'clock p. m. this day to vote, without farther debate, on the question of jnrisdic-
tion raised by the pleadings in the pending case ; and each Senator shall bo permit-
ted to file within two days his written opinion thoroon to bo printed with the pro-
ceedings.

Mr. ALLISON moved to postpone the present and all prior orders
and that the Senate sitting for the trial of the impeachment proceed



to the consideration of the resolution yesterday submitted by him pro-
viding for the reporting and printing, in coniidfence, of the proceedings
had and opinions expressed in secret session.

The motion was not agreed to.

The question before the Senate, sitting as aforesaid, being whether
W. W. Belknap, the respondent, is amenable to trial by impeachment
for acts done as Secretiury of War, notwithstanding his resignation of
said office, as stated in the order of proceedings adopted on the 28th
of April last.

Pending debate thereon.

On motion of Mr. ALLISON, (at two o'clock and five minutes p. m.,)
a recess was taken for twenty minutes.

After which,

Pending debate under the order of the 28th April last^

Mr. SARGENT moved (at four o'clock and fifteen minutes p. m.)
that the Senate sitting for the trial of the impeachment a^oum to
to-morrow at one o'clock p. m.

Mr. DAVIS moved that the Senate sitting for the trial of the im-
peachment adioum ; and on this motion the yeas and nays being
taken resulted— yeas 18, nays 26 ; as follows :

YEAS— Messrs. AlUson. Caperton, Cla^'ton, CookrelL Cooper, English, (Sold-
thwaite, Grordon, Harvey, Kelly, McCieory, Maxey, Merrimon, Korwoml, Oglesby,
Randolph, Wh3^, and wright - -18.

KAYS— Messrs. Bayard. Bogy, Booth. Boatwell, Bmce, Bomside, Cameron of
Pennsylvania, Cameron of Wfeconsin, Christiancy, Conkling. Conover, Cragin,
Ferry, Frellnghujrsen, Hamlin, Howe, Ingalls, Jones of Nevada, Keman, Logan,
McMillan, Paddock, Ransom, Sargent, West, and Wlndom— S6.

NOT VOTING— Messrs. Alcorn, Anthony, Davis, Dawes, Dennis, Dorsey,
Eaton, Edmnnds, Hamilton, Hitchcock, Johnston, Jones of Florida, Key, McDon-
ald, Mitchell, Morrill of Maine, Morrill of Vermont, Morton, Patterson, Robertson,
Sanlsbnry, Sharon, Sherman, Spencer, Stevenson, Thnrman, Wadleigh, Wallace,
and Withers— 29.

So the motion was not agreed to.

The question recurring on the motion of Mr. Sargent, it was agreed
to; and the Senate sitting for the trial of the impeachment ad-
journed to meet to-morrow at one o'clock p. m.



Thubsday, May 18, 1876.

The PRESIDENT |>ro tempore having announced the arrival of the
hour fixed, the legislative and executive business was suspended, the
galleries were cleared, the doors closed, and the Senate proceeded to
the consideration of the articles of impeachment exhibited by the
House of Representatives against William W. Belknap, late Secre-
tarv of War.

The usual proclamation was made by the Sergeant-at-Arms.

The Journal of the proceeding of the Senate sitting yesterday for
the trial of impeaclmient of William W. Belknap was read.

The question pending being whether W. W. Belknap, the respond-
ent, is amenable to trial by impeachment for acts done as Secretary of
War, notwithstanding his resignation of said office, as stated in the
order of proceedings adopted on the 28th of April last,

Pending debate thereon.

On motion of Mr. EDMUNDS, (at two o'clock and seventeen minutes
p. m.,) a recess was taken for twenty minutes.

After which

Mr. WHTTE, by unanimous consent, submitted the following order
for consideration :

Ordered, That the Senate sitting for the trial of impeachment shall proceed al
fonr o'clock p. m. on Saturday, May 20. 1876, to vote, without further debate, on
the question of Jurisdiction raised by tiie pleadings in the ponding case ; and each
Senator shall bo permitted to file within two days his written opinion thereon, to
be printed witii tne proceedings.

Pending debate under the order of 28th April,

On motion by Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN, (at five o'clock and three
minutes p. m.,) the Senate sitting for the trial of impeachment ad-
journed.



Friday, May 19, 1876.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore having announced the arrival of the
hour fixed, the legislative and executive business was suspended, the
galleries were cleared, the doors closed, and the Senate proceeded to
the consideration of the articles of impeachment exhibited by the
House of Representatives against Wilham W. Belknap, late Secre-
ts^ of War.

The usual proclamation was made bv the Sergeant-at-Anns.

The Journal of the proceedings of the Senate sitting yesterday for
the trial of impeachment of William W. Belknap was read.

The ouestion before the Senate, sitting as aforesaid, being whether
W. W. Belknap, the respondent-, is amenable to trial bv impeach-
ment for act« done as Secretary of War, notwithstanding his resigna-
tion of said office, as stated in the order of proceedings adopted on
the,28th of April last.

Pending debate thereon.

On motion of Mr. SAROENT, (at two o'clock and seven minutes p.
m.,) a recess was taken for twenty minutes.



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74



TRIAL OF WILLIAM W. BELKNAP.



After which

Debate was resomed under the order of 28th April last, and
Pendinj^ debate thereon.

On motion by Mr. HAMLIN, (at four o'clock and forty minutes p.
m.,) the Senate sitting for the trial nf impeachment adjourned.



Satubdat, MoAf 20, 1876.

The PRESIDENT jwit> tempore having announced the arrival of the
hour fixed, the legislative and executive business was suspended, the
galleries were cleared, the doors closed, and the Senate proceeded to
the consideration of the articles of impeachment exhibited by the
House of Representatives against William W. Belknap, late Secre-
tary of War.

The usual proclamation was made by the Sergeant-at-Arms.

The Journal of the proceedings of the Senate sitting yesterday for
the trial of impeachment of Wmiam W. Belknap was read.

The Question before the Senate, sitting as aforesaid, being whether
W. W. Belknap, the respondent, is amenable to trial by impeachment
for acts done as Secretary of War, notwithstanding his resignation of
said office, as stated in the order of proceedings adopted on the 28th
of April last,

Mr. SHERMAN moved to postpone the pending and all prior ordeis
and proceed to the consideration of the order submitted by Mr.
Whttb on the 18th instant, fixing the time at which the vote on the
question of Jurisdiction in the pending case of impeachment shall be
taken.

After debate,

The motion was not agreed to.

Pending debate under the order of 28th April last,

On motion by Mr. SARGENT, (at three o'clock and forty minutes

&m.,) the Senate sitting for the trial of impeachment adjourned *to
onday next at twelve o'clock and thirty minutes p. m.



Monday, May 22, 1876..

The PRESIDENT pro tempore having announced the arrival of the
hour fixed, the legislative and executive business was suspended, the
galleries were cleared, the doors closed, and the Senate proceeded to
the consideration of the articles of impeachment exhibited by the
House of Representatives against William W. Belknap, late Secre-
taiy of War.

The usual proclamation was made by the Sergeant-at-Arms.

The Journal of the proceedings of the Senate sitting on Saturday
last for the trial of impeachment of William W. Belknap was read.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore administered the following oatli to
Mr. Barnum, whose credentials were presented this day and who was
admitted to his seat as a Senator from the State of Connecticut, to
wit:

' "Ton solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of
the impeachment of William W. Belknap now pending you will do
impartial Justice according to the Constitution and laws : So help you

The question before the Senate sitting for the trial of the impeach-
ment being whether W. W. Belknap, the respondent, is amenable to
trial by impeachment for acts done as Secretary of War, notwith-
standing his resignation of said office, as stated in the order of pro-
ceedings adopted on the 28th of April last,

Pending debate.

On motion by Mr. EDMUNDS, (at two o'clock and thirty minutes
p. m.,) a recess for twenty minutes was taken.

After which,

Debate was resumed under the order of 28th April ; and

On motion by Mr. McCREERY, (at four o'clock and thirty-five
minutes p. m.,) the Senate sitting for the trial of the impeachment
a^joumea.



TuBSDAY, May 23, 1876.



The PRESIDENT jwj tempore having announced the arrival of the
hour fixed, the legislative and executive business was suspended, the
galleries wore cleared, the doors closed, and the Senate proceeded to
the consideration of the articles of impeachment exhibited by the
* House of Representatives against William W. Belknap, late l&cre-
ta^ of War.

The usual proclamation was made by the Sergeant-at-Arms.

The Journal of the proceedings of the Senate sitting yesterday for
the trial of the impeachment of William W. Belknap was read.

The question before the Senate sitting for the trial of the impeach-
ment being whether W. W. Belknap, the respondent, is amenable to
trial by impeachment for acts done as Secretary of War, notwith-
standing his resignation of said office, as stated in the order of pro-
ceedings adopted on the 28th of April last,



Pending debate.

On motion of Mr. ALLISON, (at two o'clock and three minutes p.
m.,) a recess for twenty minutes was taken.

After which.

Debate was resumed under the order of 28th April.

Mr. WRIGHT moved that the Senate sitting for the trial of the im-
peachment adjourn until to-morrow at eleven o'clock.

Pending which.

Mr. INGALLS (at five o'clock and thirty-five minutes p. ul) moved
that the Senate sitting as aforesaid do now adjourn.

Mr. EDMUNDS called for the yeas and nays, and they were ordered;
and being taken, resulted— yeas 22, nays 20 ; as follows :

YEAS— Messrs. Allison. Barnmn, Bayard, Bogy, Booth, BontweU, Bnmsido,
Conkline, Cooper, Dennis, Ferry, Goldthwaite, Gordon, Hitehcock, Ingalls, Jones
of Nevaoa, Logan, McCreery, McMillan, Mitchell, Patterson, and Stevenson— 8S.

NAYS— Messrs. CockrelL Dawes, Edmunds, Frelinghnysen, Kelly, Keman, Key,
Maxey, Merrimon, Morrill of Vermont, Ogleeby, Paadook, Bansom, Sargent,
Saulsbury, Thnrman, Wallace, W«»t, Windom, and Wrightr-20.

NOT vOTINGh— Messrs. Alcorn, Anthony, Bmoe, Cameron of Pennsylvania,
Cameron of Wisconsin, Caperton, Christiancv. Clayton, Conover, Cragln, Davis,
Dorsev, Eaton, Hamilton, Hamlin, Harv«y, Howe, /ohnston, Jones of Florida, Mc-
DoniUd, Morrill of Maine, Morton, Norwood, Randolph, Robertson, Sharon, Sher*
man, Spencer, Wadleigh, Whyte, and Withers— 31.

So the motion was agreed to ; and the Senate sitting for the trial
of the impeachment adjourned.



Wednesday, May 24, 1876.

The PRESIDENT iwo tempore having announced the arrival of the
hour fixed, the legislative and executive business was suspended, the
galleries were cleared, the doors closed, and the Senate proceeded to
the consideration of the articles of impeachment exhibited by the
House of Representatives against William W. Belknap, late Secre-
tary of War.

The usual proclamation was made by the Sergeant-at-Arms.

The journal of the proceedings of the Senate sitting yesterday for
the trial of the impeachment was read.

The question being whether W. W. Belknap, the respondent, is
amenable to trial b^ im]^eachment for acts done as Secretary of War,
notwithstanding his resignation of said office, as stated in the order
of proceedings ^opted on the 28th of April last,

Pending debate,

On motion of Mr. CONKLING, (at two o'clock and three minutes
p. m.,) a recess for twenty minutes waiB taken.

After which,

Debat^was resumed under the order of 28th April ; and

On moSon by Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN, (at five o'clock and twelve
minutes p. m.,) the Senate sitting for the trial of the impeachment
adjourned.



Thursday, May 25, 1876.

The PRESn)ENT j>ro tempore having announced the arrival of the
hour fixed, the legislative and executive businesp was suspended, the
galleries were cleared, the doors closed, and the Senate proceeded to
the consideration of the articles of impeachment exhibited by the
House of Representatives against William W. Belknap, late Secre-
tanr of War.

The usual proclamation was made by the Sergeant-at-Arms.

The Journal of the proceedings of the Senate sitting yesterday for
the trial of the im^achment was read.

The Question being whether W. W. Belknap, the respondent, is
amenable to trial by impeachment for acts done as Secretary of War,
notwithstanding his resignation of said office, as stated in the order
of proceedings adopted on the 28th of April last.

Pending debate,

Mr. SHERMAN submitted the following resolution for considera-
tion:

Betcloed, That notwithstanding the resignation of William W. Belknap prior to
his impeaohment by the House of Representatives, he Is still liable to sach im-
peachment for the misdemeanors charged in the articles presented by the Honso of
Representatives, and bis plea of snch resignation is not sufficient in law to bar the
trial npon such articles.

On motion of Mr. ALLISON, (at two o'clock and thirty-three min-
utes p. m.,) a recess for twenty minutes was taken.

After wnich.

Debate was resumed under the order of 28th April ; and

After debate.

On motion of Mr. EDMUNDS, (at four o'clock and thirty-seven



Online LibraryUnited States. CongressCongressional record : proceedings and debates of the ... Congress → online text (page 36 of 172)