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On the question of agreeing to this amendment, Mr. VAN BUREN rose, and addressed the Senate as follows: In noticing the proposed amendments, I shall give my own views, and, as far as I understand them, the views of the majority of the committee, in relation to the bill under consideration. The ample discussion which the subject has so recently undergone elsewhere, and which, though not heard... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN said he had listened with great attention and profit to the gentleman from Kentucky, on the subject of his proposed amendment; but he could not vote for it in the form in which it now stood. Not that he was opposed to the principle, but he did not think they were properly connected with the bill now under consideration. The general rule, Mr. V. B. said, which would influence his... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN said it was due to the gentleman from New Hampshire, to state that the remark he had alluded to, was made by Mr. V. B. In stating the various plans which had been proposed to relieve the Western States, he had mentioned that one had been a bill reported some years ago in the House of Representatives, and which had also been offered by way of amendment to the bill proposed last year... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN said it was with some relutance that he relinquished his intention of vindicating the act of 1802, from what he considered the unjust attack made upon it by the gentleman from Rhode Island. The recommitment of this bill to the Judiciary Committee, on the resolution of the gentleman from New Hampshire, with the explanations which had been made by the gentlemen from New Hampshire,... Continue Reading
Messrs. JOHNSON, of Ken. HOLMES, MILLS, VAN BUREN, EATON, and HAYNE, entered, also, into the debate, chiefly in explanation of the considerations that had led the Senate to make the existing change in its rules; their experience of the effects of the change, and their views of its propriety or impropriety—the comparative merits of the two modes of appointing Committees, &c. &c. (As the... Continue Reading
Messrs. WHITE and VAN BUREN were in favor of settling these claims by some mode, without delay, as the interest of the United States would suffer injury if the lands were offered for sale with the claims hanging over them.
Mr. VAN BUREN said the aid of this Government could only be afforded to these objects of improvement, in three ways: by making a road or canal, and assuming jurisdiction—by making a road or canal, without assuming jurisdiction, leaving it to the States; or by making an appropriation, without doing either. In his opinion, the Government had no right to do either, and at some future time he should... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN moved to lay the bill on the table, which motion prevailed.
On motion of Mr. VAN BUREN, the Senate proceeded to consider the report of the Committee on the Judiciary relative to the conference asked by the House of Representatives, on the subject of the Judiciary Bill. Mr. VAN BUREN said he would detain the Senate but a few moments. The report spoke the views of the committee; and, in deference to the House of Representatives, the resolution provided for... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN said he rose principally to call for the yeas and nays; but while he was up, he would make one remark on this subject. He could not vote for this bill, for he did not believe that this Government possessed the Constitutional power to make these roads and canals, or to grant the money to make them; but, while he entertained this opinion, he did not wish to indulge in feelings of... Continue Reading
The bill from the House for the preservation and repair of Cumberland Road, was read the first time, and on the question shall the bill be read a second time, a long discussion took place, in which Messrs. TAZEWELL, BENTON, HARRISON, SMITH, HENDRICKS, FINDLAY, MACON, KANE, BERRIEN, EATON, ROWAN, HOLMES, NOBLE, VAN BUREN, CHAMBERS, and WHITE, took part. The question was decided in the affirmative... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN said, that the object of the bill was, to provide a means whereby Commissioners could obtain evidence, freed from some difficulties which they now labored under. By the existing law, the privilege was only conditional, and merely permitted the Commissioner to take affidavits, and withheld the power of constraining the appearance of witnesses. By the general law, this power belonged... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN was not satisfied with the motion of the gentleman from Vermont. He thought it would endanger the passage of the bill, as, when it should hereafter be called up, other orders of the day might intervene, and the bill at length fail of being acted upon. If, after all that had been done, the gentleman wished more information, he should be willing to accede to his request; but, if this... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN said, that, as the decision of the immediate question before the Senate would control his course on the final passage of the bill, he felt himself constrained to state the principles which would govern him in the vote he was about to give. He might not, he said, be as sanguine in his expectation of the benefits to be anticipated from the establishment of an uniform system of... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN said, that every step the discussion had progressed had riveted his original convictions, that Congress, in passing the bill, with the section in question, would not only transcend its constitutional power, but establish a system which would be most mischievous and oppressive in its operation. So thinking, he had intended to have replied to the other observations of the Senator... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN addressed the Senate in opposition to the amendment offered by Mr. REED, and in support of the reconsideration suggested by Mr. BARTON.
Mr. VAN BUREN then took the floor, in reply, and sustained the motion to reconsider in a speech of considerable length. (The speeches of Mr. V. B. on this and the preceding day, are unavoidably omitted, the report or notes thereof having been forwarded to that gentleman for revision, and by him unfortunately mislaid.)
Mr. VAN BUREN said, that his situation and sentiments imposed upon him the duty of expressing himself on this subject. He had always been in favor of a bankrupt system, including merchants and traders only; and he had abandoned all hope of a bankrupt bill, if it were to extend to those classes of persons included in the ninety-third section. He had, during the last discussion, directed his... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN said, he had no desire to prolong the discussion on the general merits of the measure under consideration. The subject had been placed on its true grounds, by his colleague, and those who had spoken on the same side with him. Mr. V. B. concurred fully in the views expressed by his colleague, and was unwilling to trespass on the patience of the Senate by a reputation of matters which... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN said, that in the present acknowledged condition of the revenue, it appeared improper to introduce any bill which would tend to lessen the income of the Treasury. The deficiency of the public funds was now reduced to a certainty. Congress began this year with the supposition that there were two and a half millions in the Treasury. He now understood that this was erroneous, and that... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN opposed the amendment, as he had the ninety-third section, on the ground of its inconsistency and error. It was an erroneous idea that bankruptcy was a boon to the debtor merchant; or, that the bill could be made to serve God and Mammon, by combining two things totally at variance. It was a law of pains and penalties; giving to the creditor certain powers over the debtor, on his... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN considered the object of the bill clearly to be immediately directed to the protection of manufactures: therefore, the reference to the Committee on Manufactures seemed to be proper. Afterwards, it would be also proper to refer it to the Committee on Finance, who would report on the question, whether the state of the revenue, or the effect upon it of this bill, would allow the... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN said that he thought a better disposition might be made of the bill than that proposed by the Senator from Indiana. If the time had not arrived, it certainly was fast approaching, when a due attention to the other great interests of the country would make some general and permanent disposition of the public lands indispensable. In its interference with our legislation, and a great... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN made a few remarks in explanation of the grounds upon which he should vote against this motion. He was understood to object to the recommitment of the bill for the proposed purpose, as the amendment was of so simple a character that it could be as well offered and acted on in the Senate.
Mr. VAN BUREN said, that he should vote against the resolution, not because he was at all solicitous whether the election was made by plurality or by a majority, but because he considered the Senate as concluded by the joint resolutions of 1819. He gave his reasons why those resolutions should be regarded as paramount and binding, derived from their nature, phraseology, and the practice of... Continue Reading
The bill for the gradual improvement of the Navy having been returned from the other House with sundry amendments, the first of them, in relation to the preservation of timber, was concurred in. On the amendment fixing three, instead of two, Dry Docks, discussion arose between Messrs. WOODBURY, HAYNE, VAN BUREN, CHANDLER, SMITH, of Maryland, HOLMES, HARRISON, SILBEE, and BELL, when the amendment... Continue Reading