« AnteriorContinuar »
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY GALES & SEATON.
THE REGISTER OF DEBATES IN CONGRESS is intended to supply a deficiency in our Political Annals which the Editors have long perceived, and which has been universally acknowledged and regretted by those who have mingled in public affairs, and especially by such as have engaged in the active discharge of political duties. When we consider the importance of preserving the memorials of the Legislation of the country, it would be a matter of surprise that the undertaking should have been deferred so long as to fall into the present hands, if the magnitude of the undertaking, and its consequent hazard to the publishers, did not manifestly present serious obstacles to its execution. The favorable position of the Editors, their opportunities for obtaining accurate Reports of the Debates, operated upon by their conviction of the utility of such a work, have induced them to commence the Register, in defiance of its difficulties, without the aid or prospect of any other patronage than such as liberal and enlightened individuals may extend to it.
The object of the Register is to present, from year to year, in a portable but durable form, with facilities for ready reference to its contents, the History of the Legislation of the Government of the United States. In the DEBATES, which form the bulk of the volume, will be found the grounds on which the various propositions of the session were, at the time of their discussion, advocated or opposed. These Debates are not in all cases literally reported, but their substantial accuracy may be entirely relied upon : and, did this volume contain nothing more than the Debates, it might, as a manual for politicians, or a text book for students, claim a place in the library of every seminary, and in the closet of every reading man. But to render the volume still more valuable, there have been incorporated in it not only all the MESSAGES of the President of the United States to both Houses of Congress during the Session, but also, in the Appendix, such a selection of the most important REPORTS from the different departments of the Government, and from the leading committees of each House, as will afford a clear view of those features of the policy of the Government which may not be so fully developed in the Debates. To these are added the whole body of the Acts passed during the Session, in a form to be as implicitly relied upon as the official edition : the whole being rendered complete by an Index, by the aid of which the reader can instantly refer to any subject embraced in the volume.
No merit is claimed for the contents of the Register on the score of originality. It professes to be no more than a careful compilation of authentic materials. The merit, howev. er, to which this work may justly prefer a claim, is that of faithful History, free from the bias of prejudice or prepossession, and from the accidental distortions to which all traditionary accounts are liable. It is a History which cannot deceive, because it reflects, in the faithful mirror of Truth, not only the motives of public acts, but also the grounds on which those acts were opposed. Its impartiality may defy the most fastidious scrutiny.
Of the first attempt at a work of this kind, it would not be reasonable to expect that either the plan, or the execution of the plan, would be perfect. The Register makes no such pretension. The object of the work being to embody the Debates and striking Incidents only of the sittings of Congress, the possessor of this volume will be disappointed if he look to find in it a Journal of the two Houses of Congress. No part of their Proceedings is given except what involves Debate, or some Incident, novel or important in its character, and therefore worthy of preservation. The careful reader therefore will not be able to trace from step to step, in these pages, each measure of which mention is made in the course of the De. bates, &c.—but, by recurring to the Laws of the Session, at the end of the volume, he will be able to ascertain the final disposition of any particular measure, every measure not embraced in the body of the Laws having failed, by positive rejection, or, what is equivalent to a rejection, by not being finally acted upon during the Session. Nor will the curious or methodocal reader of this work discover a regular account of the adjournments or recesses of the two Houses. He will find, on some days, no account of Proceedings in either House ; on others, an account of Proceedings in one House and not in the other. These apparent omissions will be explained, in part, by adverting to the fact, that, besides the Sabbath, Saturday is almost uniformly a day of rest for Congress, and occasionally Friday also; and when the Proceedings of any day are not of general interest, they are not preserved. Wherever, in short, the reader finds no Proceedings recorded on any given day, or Proceedings in one House only, he will understand, either that neither House sat on that day, that no important proceedings took place in either House, or that the Proceedings of one House only were of general interest.
With these brief explanations, the Editors submit the Register to the Public, claiming their indulgence for any errors of omission or commission which may be discovered in it, and pledging themselves that with every year there shall be found a progressive improvement in the execution, if not in the plan, of the work.
1 Sega GeSSIONSS}
First Proceedings in Congress.
[Dec. 6.-8, 1824.
IN SENATE--Moxday, DECEMBER 6, 1824.
IN SENATE-WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8. This being the day fixed for the opening of the Second Mr. BARBOUR, from the Joint Committee appointed Session of the Eighteenth Congress, Mr. GA:LLARD, to consider and report what respectful mode it may be president pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice Presi- proper for Congress to adopt to receive General Lapar. dent, took the chair; and the roll being called over, it ap- ETTE, made the following report : peared that a quorum of members was present, and a com- “ The Joint Committee propose that each House adopt mittee was appointed, jointly, with such committee as its own manner of receiving General LAFAYETTE. the House of Representatives might appoint, 10 wait on “The Committee on the part of the Senate recomthe President of the United States, and inform him that mend that the President of the Senate invite General the two Houses were assembled, and ready to receive LAFAYETTE to take a seat, such as he shall designate, in any communication he might have to make, &c. the Senate Chamber': that the Committee deliver the
invitation to the General, and introduce him into the SeHOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.-SAME DAY. nate, and the members receive the General standing.” At 12 o'clock this day, the SPEAKER, (Hon. HENRY
lo delivering this report, Mr. BARBOUR stated that CLAY, of Kentucky,) took the chair; and the roll being the Joint Committee, entertaining every wish to make called, one hundred and eighty members answered to the reception of General Lafayette as complimentary their names; and a committee was appointed on the part as possible, yet found difficulties in the way of any arof this House to join with such committee as should be rangement for a joint proceeding, which were not easily appointed on the part of the Senate, to wait on the Pre-removeable; and it was therefore thought by the comsident of the United States, and inform him that a quo. mittee, best for each House to adopt its own arrangerum of both Houses is assembled, and ready to receive ments, and its own form, in the reception of that distin. any communication he may have to make to them. guished individual. Mr. MITCHELL, of Maryland, offered the following
It was resolved, unanimously, that the Senate do con. resolution:
cur in the report. " Resolved, That the Honorable the Speaker invite our distinguished guest and benefactor, Gen. LAFAYETTE,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.-SAME DAY. to a seat within the Hall of this House, and that he cli. On motion of Mr. TAYLOR, of New York, the House rect the manner of his reception.”
resolved itself into a committee of the whole on the This resolution gave rise to some conversation as to state of the Union, Mr. P. P. BARBOUR, of Virginia, what would be the most proper mode of expressing the in the chair, and distributed, by a number of distinct re. respect felt by this House towards the illustrious indi- solutions, the various parts of the President's Message vidual referred to, which resulted in the adoption of the to the proper committees. following resolution, which was proposed by Mr. A. Ste. The several select committees, established by these VENSON, as a substitute for the other:
resolves, were ordered to consist of seven members " Resolved, That a committee be appointed on the each, with the exception of that in relation to a provision part of this House, to join such committee as may be for General LAFAYETTE, which was ordered to consist of appointed on the part of the Senate, to consider and re-thirteen. port what respectful mode it may be proper for Con. gress to adopt to receive General LAFAYETTE, and to to determine in what manner Gen. LAPAIETTE shall be
Mr. MITCHELL, from the Joint Committee appointed testify the very high gratification which he has afforded received by the two Houses of Congress, asked and ob. it by bis present visit to the United States, made in pur- tained leave to report, and presented the following: suance of the invitation given to him by Congress, dur
“ The committee appointed on the part of this House, ing its last session.” The committee was appointed, to consist, on the part part of the Senate, to consider and report what respect
to join such commitiee as might be appointed on the of the House, of thirteen members.
ful mode it may be proper for Congress to adopt to reIN SENATE-TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 1824.
ceive General LaFarette, and to testify the very high On motion of Mr. BARBOUR, the Senate concurred gratification which he has afforded by his present visit in the resolution from the other House, respecting the to the United States, made in pursuance of the invitation reception of General LAFAYETTE.
given to him by Congress, during its last session, report: A written message was received from the President that subject, and that the committees have agreed to re
“ That they have met a committee of the Senate on of the United States, by Mr. Everett, (which will be commend to their respective Houses that each House found in the Appendix.)
receive General LAFAYETTE in such manner as it shall The message was read, and, On motion of Mr. LLOYD, of Massachusetts, it was
deem most suitable to the occasion, and the committee Ordered, That three thousand copies thereof be print- recommend to the House the following resolutions : ed for the use of the Senate.
“Resolved, That the congratulations of this House be On motion of Mr. BARBOUR, it was
publicly given to General LAFAYETTE on his arrival in the Orderech, That fifteen hundred copies of the docu. United States, in compliance with the wishes of Conmenis accompanying said Message be printed for the gress, and that he be assured of the gratitude and deep
respect which the House entertains for his signal and ii. use of the Senate.
lustrious services in the Revolution, and the pleasure it
feels in being able to welcome him, after an absence of HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. ---SAME DAY.
so many years, to the theatre of his early labors and ear. A Message was received from the President of the ly renown. United States, by Mr. EVERETT, and read at the Clerk's “ Resolved, That, for this purpose, Gen. LAFAYETTE table. (See Appendix.)
be invited by a committee to attend the House on FriOn motion of Mr. TAYLOR, the Message, with the ac- day next, at one o'clock; that he be introduced by the companying Documents, were referred to a committee committee, and received by the members standing, unof the whole on the state of the Union, and 6,000 copies covered, and addressed by the Speaker, in behalf of the were ordered to be printed.
House, in pursuance of the foregoing resolution."