Sunday, December 2, 2012

First Session – 37th Congress

WASHINGTON, March 21. – SENATE. – After discussion, the bills were referred to a special committee.

The bill for the Abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia, was taken up, and as the senat chamber was full of smoke from the bakeries under the Capitol –

Mr. GRIMES moved to adjourn.  They could not sit there in the smoke.

Mr. FESSENDEN asked what had become of the bill to remove the bakeries from the capitol.

Mr. FOOTE said the bill was passed by the Senate, but voted down by the House.

Mr. ANTHONY suggested that the House be informed that the Senate was obliged to adjourn on account to the smoke.

Mr. FESSENDEDN thought it would be better to request the House to have the bakeries moved to their side of the capitol.

The motion [to] adjourn was lost, 18 to 19.

A message was received from the President recommending a vote of thanks to Com. Dupont.

On motion of Mr. WILSON, the Senate went into Executive session.

WASHINGTON, March 24. – HOUSE. – Mr. BLAIR of Virginia presented the certificate of the election of James S. Segur as representative from the 1st District of that State.

Mr. BINGHAM said that no election in the exact form of law could have been held on the day stated, namely the fifteenth isn’t., the election was extemporary.  He moved to refer the paper to the Committee on Elections.  The papers were referred.

Mr. DUNN offered a resolution, which was adopted, instructing the Ways and Means Committee to inquire into the expedience of organizing a large force of miners with the necessary machinery to proceed to the Gold Mines of the West, and work the same for the benefit of the Government, as a means of defraying the expenses of the war.

Mr. HOLMAN offered a resolution, which was adopted, requesting the Secretary of war to inform the House why he has not responded to the resolution of December last, calling for a list of the paymasters, and that he now be directed to furnish the same, and to what extent they can be dispensed with.

Mr. RICE of Massachusetts submitted a resolution, which was referred, authorizing the Secretary of the Navy to expend a sum not exceeding fifty thousand dollars, for the purpose of testing the plans of rendering ships and floating the batteries invulnerable.

Mr. _____ introduced a resolution requesting the Secretary of War to inform the House of the cause, if any, of the protracted delay in the release of Col. Corcoran, a prisoner of war since July, and that the Secretary be directed and requested to stop all exchange of prisoners until Col. Corcoran is released.  The resolution lies over.

Mr. WICKLIFFE introduced a bill to provide funds in part to pay the interest and principle on the public debt.

WASHINGTON, March 24. – HOUSE. – Mr. ASHLEY, from the Committee on Territories, reported a bill to organize the Territory of Arizona, with the Wilmot Proviso applicable to all Territories.

Mr. CRAVEN moved to lay it on the table.

The motion was lost, ayes 49, nays 70.

The consideration of the bill was postponed until next Monday.

The Tax bill was then taken up in Committee of the whole.

Mr. ASHLEY, from the Committee on Territories, reported a bill to provide a temporary Government for Arizona.  One of the sections prohibits Slavery therein as well as in all the Territories now organized.  Mr. Ashley said if any gentleman desired to discuss the measure he would be satisfied with its postponement to-day.  If this was not agreed to, he desired to put the bill on its passage now.

Mr. WICKLIFFE remarked if he understood the facts the Texan rebels were forcing the people there to flee elsewhere for safety.  How could the government, under these circumstances, be organized?  Why attempt it when civil officers could not proceed thither?

Mr. ASHLEY replied, as far as the Committee was advised there are no enemies in Arizona except Indians; no organized white men.

Mr. COX said he would vote for postponing the consideration of the bill indefinitely.  It contained the famous Wilmot Proviso which had occasioned so much trouble in the country.

SENATE. – Mr. TEN EYCK presented a joint resolution from the Legislature from New Jersey asking Congress to take immediate action for the defense of the coast of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, resolving that the several States loan the Government funds for this purpose.

Mr. POWELL presented resolutions from the Legislature of Kentucky relating to the tax on tobacco, asking that it be reduced.  Referred.

Mr. SHERMAN of Ohio presented resolutions from the Legislature of Ohio against any proposition for a settlement of the rebellion except an unconditional surrender and punishment of traitors.  Referred.

Mr. MORRILL presented resolutions from the Legislature of Maine endorsing the administration in favor of the confiscation of the property of rebels.  Referred.

Mr. POMEROY introduced a bill for the removal and consolidation of the Indian tribes. – Referred.

On motion of Mr. TRUMBULL the joint resolution in regard to affording aid to the States in favor of emancipation was taken up.

Mr. SAULSBURY said this was a most extraordinary resolution in its purpose and in the source from whence it came.  It was mischievous in its tendency and he was not sure that it was at all patriotic in design.  It was ignoring all the principles of the party in power – it was an interference with the subject of slavery in the States.

Mr. SAULSBURY said it was an attempt to raise a controversy in the slave States.  None of the slave holding states asked aid.  He believed that the President had had this thing in contemplation for some time.

The Legislature of his State (Delaware,) had been in session lately.  The bill had found its way there, and the offering of $800,000 for the emancipation of her slaves, and the Legislature rejected it.  The object of the bill is simply to renew the agitation of the slavery question in the border States, and to raise an abolition party there.  He (Saulsbury) called on the Judiciary Committee to show him any authority in the Constitution for us applying money to the States.  This bill also presents the Government in the light of going into the wholesale negro trading business.  The State of Delaware will never accept of this bill, but the true Union people of the State will go before the people upon ti, and there will not a vestige be left of the Republican party there.

Mr. DAWES offered an amendment as a substituted for the resolution:

Resolved, That although the subject of Slavery in the States is exclusively in the jurisdiction and cognizance of the Government and the people of the States and cannot be interfered with directly or indirectly by the government of the United States.  Yet when any of those States or people may decree the emancipation of their slaves, the U. S. to pay a reasonable price for the slaves so emancipated, and the cost of colonizing them in some other country.

Pending the consideration of the resolution, the morning hour expired, and the bill for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia was taken up.  The question was upon the amendment offered by Mr. Doolittle, to the amendment of Mr. Davis, for colonization, that only such persons shall be colonized as desires to go to some other country, at a cost not exceeding $1,000 per man.

Mr. Morrill and others explained that they should vote against the amendment because they preferred the bill as it was.

The question was then taken on Mr. Davis’ amendment with the following result:

Ayes – Messrs. Anthony, Browning, Collamar, Cowan, Davis, Doolittle, Harlan, Harris, Henderson, Howe, Lane of Indiana, Lane of Kansas, Latham, Powell, Sherman, Ten Eyck, Wilson of Missouri, and Wright – 19.

Nays – Messrs. Carlisle, Chandler, Clark, Dixon, Fessenden, Foote, Grimes, Hale, Howard, Dewey, King, Kennedy, Morrill, Starke, Skinner, Wade, Wilkinson, Wilmot, and Wilson of Massachusetts – 19.

This being a tie vote the Vice President voted in the negative.  Adjourned.

WASHINGTON, March 25. – HOUSE. – On motion of Mr. Campbell in view of the pending of the tax bill, the consideration of the Pacific Railroad bill was postponed, and made the special order for Tuesday next.  The House then in Committee on the Whole, resumed the consideration of the tax bill.

SENATE. – On the motion of Mr. FOOTE the resolution to refer the superintendency of the capitol extension and on the dome from the War Department to the Department of the Interior was taken up.

The bill for the abolition of slavery was taken up.  Mr. Wilson of Mass., spoke in favor of the bill.  Mr. King spoke against it.

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, March 29, 1862, p. 4

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