Friday, April 13, 2012

First Session -- 37th Congress

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27. – SENATE. – Mr. TRUMBULL said within a few weeks the property of a Rebel General in Washington had been sold and the proceeds transmitted to him, while we were imposing paper currency on suffering soldiers.  When the special order was called – being Starke’s seat.  This was postponed and the Confiscation bill resumed.

Mr. TRUMBULL said it has been settled by the Supreme Court that Congress has the power to pass a confiscation bill.  The Government has the right to take persons who may be bound by contract – to take a child even and draft it into the service of the Government.  The master cannot hold the slave by any stronger tenure.

Mr. POMEROY objected to the third section which provides for colonization.  He thought we could not afford to send out of the country the laboring men and producers, and if insisted upon he should move to amend by providing for the colonization of the slave holders, who are dangerous to the country, and whose loss would not be felt.

Mr. WILLEY wanted to know where there was any constitutional power for the present colonization of negroes.  He was willing to cooperate in the most stringent measures for the confiscation of property, but had the Senator from Illinois counted the immense cost of the scheme of colonization.  It would cost $500 a head to colonize and keep ignorant slaves.

Mr. POMEROY said his amendment would abate that, as there would only be a few slave holders to colonize.

Mr. WILLEY – I propose to hang all such traitors, and thus save all the expense of transportation. {Applause, which was immediately checked by the chair.}

By consent, Mr. FESSENDEN introduced a bill authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to issue to public creditors, certificates for the whole amount of debt, in certificates of not less than $1,000, payable in one year or earlier, at the option of the Government, bearing 6 per cent interest.

On motion of Mr. FESSENDEN, the bill was taken up and passed.

The Senate resumed the consideration of the confiscation bill.

Mr. TEN EYCK said there was a great aversion to the North to having large masses of free negroes turned loose among them, nor could they be allowed to roam at large in the South.

Mr. SUMNER agreed with the Senator from Kansas (Pomeroy) in objecting to any recognition of the fugitive slave law, which he thought never had authority in constitution.  He moved to make a verbal amendment to obviate all suspicion of anything of that kind.  The amendment was adopted.

On motion of Mr. POWELL, further consideration was postponed until to-morrow.

On motion of Mr. SUMNER, the Senate went into Executive Session and subsequently adjourned.

HOUSE. – Mr. PORTER, from the Committee on the Judiciary reported the resolution which passed that the several Railroad companies which have received from the Government grants of lands to aid in the construction of railroads, are required to transport property and troops of the United States free of all tolls.

Mr. PENDLETON reported a bill which passed, regulating the time of holding United States District Courts in Kentucky.

The Senate bill authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to issue certificates of indebtedness to public creditors was passed.

Mr. BLAIR reported a bill establishing an additional article of war prohibiting all officers from employing any force under their command to return fugitives.  Any officer found guilty of violating this article is to be dismissed from the service.

Mr. MALLORY looked upon this as an effort to repeal the fugitive slave law.

Mr. VALLANDIGHAM moved to lay the bill on the table.  Lost by 43 to 87.

Mr. BINGHAM introduced an amendment which was agreed to, prohibiting any person connected with the army or navy returning fugitive slaves.  The bill finally passed, yeas 83 nays 42.  Adjourned.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26. – SENATE. – Messrs. DOOLITTLE and SUMNER presented petition for emancipation.

Mr. McDOUGAL, from THE Special Committee reported a bill for the establishment of a Railroad and telegraph line from the Missouri river to the Pacific ocean.

On motion of Mr. WADE the bill for the occupation and cultivation of cotton lands was taken up.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26. – SENATE. – The Stark case was concluded, and the Senate adjourned.

HOUSE. – The House concurred in the Senate bill fixing the number of representatives at 241 under the census of 1860, and an additional representative for Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Virginia and Rhode Island.  Adjourned.

HOUSE. – Mr. VOORHIES, of Indiana, asked leave to offer a resolution tendering the thanks of Congress to Major General McClellan.

Mr. LOVEJOY, of Illinois objected.

The resolution commends the sentiments and policy avowed in General Halleck’s General order of February 23d, already published, as eminently wise and patriotic, and in strict conformity to the Constitution and that the war should be conducted in accordance with the same, and that the thanks of Congress are tendered to Gen. Halleck for said order and for his military achievements as Commander of the Department of Missouri.

Mr. VAN WYCK, addressing the Speaker, announced his desire to be excused from serving as Chairman of the Committee on Government Contracts.  Some weeks since I informed my colleagues that I should resign my place entirely on the Committee, so that another could be –

WASINGTON, Feb. 27. – HOUSE. – The House concurred in the report of the Committee of Conference in the disagreement to the amendments to the bill making appropriations for sundry civil expenses.

Mr. WRIGHT introduced a joint resolution that the Proclamation of Andrew Jackson on the subject of Nullification, together with the Farewell Address of Washington, be printed for distribution.

The consideration of the Upton contested election case was resumed.

The House declared 73 against 50, that Mr. Upton was not entitled to a seat.

Mr. DAWES, from the Committee on Elections, made a report, accompanied by a resolution that John Kline is not, but that John P. Verce is entitled to the seat from the 3d Congressional District of Penn.  Its consideration was postponed.

SENATE. – Mr. WILSON reported back from the Military Committee, the bill providing for a National Foundry and Furnace, with an amendment striking out the furnace.

Mr. DAVIS offered a bill as a substitute for the Confiscation bill.  Ordered to be printed.

The bill to increase the efficiency of the medical department of the army was taken up.

The Senate admitted Mr. Starke as Senator from Oregon by yeas 26, nays 19.  Mr. Starke appeared and took the oath.

The Senate then resumed the consideration of the bill in relation to the medical department of the army.

On motion of Mr. WASHBURNE, from the Government Contract Committee, a resolution was adopted calling on the Secretary of War to Communicate to the House the report and correspondence of the commission sitting at St. Louis for the examination of claims growing out of affairs in the Western military department.

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, March 1, 1862, p. 3

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