WASHINGTON, May 14 – SENATE – Mr. WRIGHT presented a petition form citizens of Indiana asking Congress to leave off the agitation of the negro question, and attend to the business of putting down the rebellion. He said he believed those were the sentiments of a very large majority of the people of his State.
On motion of Mr. WILSON, of Massachusetts, the resolution to suspend the payment of troops actually employed in the Department of the West was taken up. He stated that under the act, it has been reported that great frauds have been perpetrated, and the only remedy is to have a Commission appointed to investigate the claims. After a discussion the resolution was laid over.
The resolution by Mr. POWELL, asking the Secretary of State for the number and names of prisoners arrested in Kentucky, how long imprisoned, why they are, &c., was taken up.
The question was on the amendment by Mr. SUMNER that the President be requested to inform the Senate, if compatible with the public interests, concerning the arrests in Kentucky, which was adopted, yeas 30, nays 7.
Mr. POWELL offered an amendment to Mr. Sumner’s amendment, which the Chair said was substantially the same as the original resolution, therefore it was not in order.
Mr. POWELL appealed from the decision of the Chair.
The decision was sustained, 34 to 1.
Mr. POWELL read a letter concerning an interview by the citizens of Kentucky with the Secretary of State, when he refused to give them any information, and said he did not care a damn for the opinion of Kentucky, but meant to hold her in the Union, &c!
The resolution, as amended, was adopted.
Mr. CLARKE, from the special Committee on Confiscation, reported a bill.
Mr. TRUMBULL offered a resolution that the President inform the Senate, if consistent with the public interests, of any information he may have of any design on the part of any foreign Power to interfere in the contest now existing, and whether any foreign nation has made any arrangement with the insurgents or has it in contemplation to do so. Laid over.
After consideration and amendment of the Indian Appropriation Bill the Senate went into Executive Session. Adjourned.
HOUSE. - Mr. WALTON, of Vermont, reported back from the Committee on Printing the joint resolution requiring the Superintendent of the Census to keep records of the names of adults, heads of families and free holders. The subject was discussed.
Mr. ELLIOTT, from the Select Committee on Confiscation, reported two bills. He said the time for the restoration of this subject ought not to be much longer postponed. He suggested that it be made the special order for Monday next. The first bill provides that all estates, property and money of persons holding, or hereafter holding, office under the so-called Confederacy be forfeited to the United States, and that the President be requested to issue a proclamation giving sixty days.
Mr. PHELPS, of Missouri, suggested that it made the special order for Tuesday, after the morning hour, and the rest of the week be given for debate.
Mr. ELLIOT acquiesced in this, and further that the vote be taken on Monday week on both sides.
Mr. SHELLABARGER offered a resolution calling on the Secretary of the Interior to inform the House what retrenchments can be made in the expenditures. Passed.
Mr. WICKLIFFE had ineffectually endeavored to offer an amendment, calling on the Secretary of War, to state whether he had provided arms and clothing to arm the fugitive slaves in the South.
The house went into Committee on the Army Appropriation bill.
Mr. CRISFIELD made a speech against confiscation.
Several amendments were offered to the army bill. One by Mr. Calvert, that no portion of the appropriation should be appropriated to keeping, supporting or equipping fugitive slaves for service in the army.
After debate it was rejected.
The Army Appropriation bill passed without amendment.
WASHINGTON, May 15. – Mr. WADE presented petitions in favor of confiscation.
Mr. GRIMES presented a petition for a ship canal from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River.
Mr. WADE, from the Committee on Territories, reported back the house bill to provide for the temporary government of Arizona.
Mr. WILKINSON, from the same Committee, reported back a bill to amend the act for the government of Colorado. The bill makes the Governor’s veto qualified instead of absolute. – The bill was passed.
Mr. BROWN, from the same committee, reported back the House bill to secure freedom to the people of the Territories, with an amendment which changes the language of the bill to that of the ordinance of 1787.
HOUSE – On motion of Mr. FENTON, the House proceeded to the consideration of the bill introduced by him for the adjudication of claims for loss or destruction of property belonging to loyal citizens, and the damage done them by the troops of the United States during the present rebellion.
The bill provides for the appointment by the President of three Commissioners, together with a Clerk and Marshal. The commissioners are prohibited from taking cognizance of claims for slaves, while the bill is guaranteed to prevent disloyal citizens from being benefitted by the act. The claims ascertained are to be reported to Congress, to the end that provisions may be made for their relief, as may be deemed just and proper.
Report agreed to 24 to 28.
A message was received from the President recommending a vote of thanks to Com. Farragut and other officers in his expedition.
The Conference Committee on the homestead bill made a report which was agreed to.
A resolution was offered calling on the Secretary of the Navy for the number of iron clad gunboats under contract, their armaments and when they will be ready for service. Laid over.
Mr. HARRIS offered a resolution asking the Secretary of State what were the rights and obligations of the United States and Great Britain in regard to the maintenance of armaments on the Lake. Laid over.
The Indian appropriation bill was taken up and discussed.
A message was received from the House announcing the death of Geo. F. Barley, of Massachusetts.
Mr. SUMNER paid a brief tribute to his worth, &c.
The customary resolutions were passed.
Mr. FENTON said this bill had been materially considered by the Committee on Claims and was based on the principle of equity and justice. While sincerely desirous of indemnifying Union men for the losses they had sustained, he was anxious that congress should pass a confiscation bill, denouncing special pains and penalties against the leaders of the rebellion, who having plundered loyal men and sequestrated their estates, shall not escape punishment. Their property and substance should be used to pay the expenses incidental to the suppression of the most wicked and causeless rebellion.
Mr. WEBSTER moved an amendment making it the duty of the Commissioners to take cognizance of the losses of slaves, which the bill, as reported, prohibits.
Mr. MORRIL, of Vermont, moved the postponement of the bill till Monday. The bill should be maturely considered, as it involved the expenditure of $100,000. If passed it might supercede the amount of claims.
Mr. FENTON explained that all adjudicated claims have to be reported to Congress, which is to control the appropriation.
Mr. MORRIL’S motion was adopted.
The House passed the Senate bill authorizing the appointment of medical store-keepers for the army, and hospital chaplains.
Among the measure passed on are the following:
The Senate bill setting apart 10 per cent of the taxes paid by the colored persons to be appropriated for the education of colored children of the District.
The Senate bill requiring the oath of allegiance to be administered to persons offering to vote whose loyalty shall shall [sic] be challenged.
The House bill requiring the oath of allegiance to be taken by attorneys and solicitors in Court within the District of California.
Mr. POTTER from the Conference Committee on the homestead bill, made a report which was adopted.
– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, May 17, 1862, p. 3