Annals of Congress

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Mr. Van Buren offered a few observations on an incidental point touched on by Mr. Taylor; adding the opinion, that the large expenditure in making this road will have been worse than useless, if it were not suffered to go to decay, and his desire to see it preserved.
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Mr. Van Buren moved, by way of amendment, a substitute for the bill, embracing several sections, and a variety of provisions, and qualifications of the broad principle laid down in the original bill. He followed his motion with some remarks explanatory of the amendment he offered, and the reasons why he deemed the bill inexpedient without his modifications. 
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IMPRISONMENT FOR DEBT The Senate resumed the consideration of the bill to abolish imprisonment for debt, and the amendments offered thereto, by Mr. Van Buren. These amendments as before stated, embrace a variety of provisions, which are, substantially, the following: 1st. They make the act prospective, so as not to interfere with the remedies of the parties upon existing contracts. 2. They except... Continue Reading
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Mr. Van Buren delivered an argument of than an hour's length, in support of the object the bill. He laid down the principle that imprisonment for debt, as practised in this country, is inoperative as a remedy, unnecessarily rigorous, unjust, and ought to be abolished, in regard to debtors involving no fraud or breach of trust to the public of an individual, and this principle he defended with... Continue Reading
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Mr. Van Buren, from the Committee on the Judiciary, to which was referred the petition of Samuel Buel, made a report, accompanied by a bill for the relief of Samuel Buel. The report and bill were read, and the bill passed to a second reading.
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NEW ENGLAND MISSISSIPPI LAND COMPANY. Mr. Van Buren, from the Committee on the Judiciary, to which was referred a petition of the Massachusetts Directors of the Association called the New England Mississippi Land Company, made a detailed report thereon, adverse to the prayer of the petition; which was read, and ordered to be printed. The report is as follows: That, by an act of Congress, dated... Continue Reading
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On this bill a debate arose, which occupied the remainder of the day's session. Mr. Taylor, of Virginia, commenced the debate, by submitting, at much length, his objections to the bill. Messrs. Holmes, of Maine, Van Buren, Eaton, Lowrie, Mills, and Macon, joined in the debate—the two first named going more into the merits of the act in question, than the other gentlemen. The discussion turned... Continue Reading
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Mr. Van Buren presented the memorial of D. Dunham, praying that certain privileges may be conferred on the steamship Robert Fulton. The memorial was read, and referred to the Committee on Commerce and Manufactures. 
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Messrs. Dickerson, Lowrie, Smith, of Maryland, Barton, Van Buren, Taylor, of Virginia, Holmes, of Maine, Brown, of Ohio, King, of New York, and Johnson, of Kentucky, followed Mr. Benton, with their respective views of the expediency or inexpediency of this measure, and continued the debate until past three o'clock. In the end the bill was, at the request of a member, laid over to Monday. 
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Mr. Van Buren, from the same committee, to which was referred the bill, entitled "An act to amend an act, entitled 'An act further to regulate the entry of merchandise imported into the United States from any adjacent territory,'" together with the amendments proposed thereto, reported the same, with a further amendment; which was read.
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On motion of Mr. Van Buren, it was Resolved, That the Senate will, to-morrow, at 12 o'clock, proceed to the choice of a President pro tempore. [Though nothing was said by Mr. Van Buren on offering the above resolution, it was known that the Vice President had withdrawn from the Chair of the Senate for the remainder of the session, being about to return home.]
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Mr. Johnson, of Kentucky, moved to amend the resolution reported by the committee so as to reverse it and make it favorable to the petitioner, and followed his motion with a speech of some length in support of the claim. An earnest debate ensued on this question, which occupied the Senate until nearly four o'clock, in which the various facts, and numerous papers, adduced in support of the claim,... Continue Reading
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Mr. Van Buren presented the petition of Daniel Brown, praying the passage of a law authorizing the equitable settlement of his accounts. The petition was read, and referred to the Committee of Claims.
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The gentlemen who spoke in favor of including the three large claims, named above in the bill, were Messrs. Johnson of Louisiana, Van Dyke, Brown of Louisiana, Smith of Maryland, and Mills; and those who opposed it were Messrs. Taylor of Virginia, Van Buren, Eaton, Lanman, Barbour, and Chandler.
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On these amendments, and on the merits the bill itself, much debate took place, in which Messrs. Kelly, Smith of Maryland, Taylor of Virginia, Van Buren, Macon, and Noble, largely participated.
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Mr. Van Buren, from the Committee on the Judiciary, to which the subject was referred, reported the following resolution; which was read: Resolved, That the Attorney General be requested to collect and arrange in one bill, all the acts of Congress now in force relative to the courts of the United States, and their administration of justice thereon, and report the same to the Senate at their next... Continue Reading
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On the question of concurring in this amendment a debate arose of considerable extent—Messrs. Holmes of Maine, Elliott, Macon, Van Buren, and Chandler, supporting the appropriation, and Mr. Lanman opposing it, chiefly on the ground that the act was, at this time, premature and unnecessary. The amendment was agreed to without a division. 
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Mr. Johnson, of Louisiana, offered an amendment for the purpose of appropriating the sum of twenty-nine thousand one hundred and seventy-eight dollars for completing the barracks and other public buildings at Baton Rouge, in the State of Louisiana, and explained at some length the necessity of the appropriation, and earnestly enforced the adoption of the amendment. Mr. Holmes, of Maine, and Mr.... Continue Reading
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Mr. Van Buren presented the petition of Archibald Gracie, of New York, stating that property belonging to the petitioner was seized by the French, at Hamburg, in the year 1807; that the capture was without ground, and that the property, without any trial, or civil process whatever, was appropriated to the purposes of the French Government; that the claim is one of a nature the most manifest, and... Continue Reading
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Mr. Van Buren, from the Committee on the Judiciary, reported the bill supplementary to an act to relieve certain persons from prison, with the amendment thereto, as adopted by the House of Representatives.
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Mr. Van Buren, from the Committee on the Judiciary, to which were referred, on the 10th instant, the petitions of Jonathan H. Lambdin, William Hill, and Abraham V. Matson, reported a bill, supplementary to the act, entitled "An act for the relief of persons imprisoned for debt;" and the bill was read twice, by unanimous consent.
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Mr. Van Buren then introduced the following resolution: Resolved, by the Senate and House of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the following amendment of the Constitution of the United States be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States: The Electors of President and Vice President of the United States shall be chosen by the people of the several States, in... Continue Reading
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Mr. Van Buren, of New York, rose and said, that pursuant to the notice he had heretofore given, he would now ask leave to introduce a resolution proposing an amendment of the Constitution of the United States on the subject of the election of President and Vice President of the United States. Should the permission he asked be granted, it was his intention further to move that the resolution he... Continue Reading
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The allowance of interest was opposed by Messrs. Lanman, Holmes, of Maine, Macon, and Van Buren, on the ground that the claim had not been before presented, and that the same principle which had been adopted in the settlement of other claims, of a similar nature, should be preserved in this case. The question having been divided, the motion for striking out $23,500 prevailed; but, before question... Continue Reading
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Mr. Van Buren, from the Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred a resolution directing the Seeretary of State, to report to Congress concerning the expiration of laws, reported the following resolution; which was read and passed to a second reading: "Resolved, That there be added to the Standing Committees, consisting of five members each, directed to be appointed at the commencement of... Continue Reading
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Mr. Van Buren, from the Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred, on the 29th ultimo, the petition of John Hall, made a report, together with a resolution, that the prayer of the petitioner ought not to be granted.
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