Friday, October 11, 2013

XXXVIIth Congress -- First Session


SENATE. – 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.

Report agreed to 24 against 13.

A message was received from the President, recording a vote of thanks to Col. [sic] Farragut and other officers in his expedition.

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 on the table.

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 armament on the Northern lakes.  Laid over.

A message was received from the House announcing the death of G. F. Bailey, of Mass. Mr. Sumner paid a brief tribute to his worth.  The customary resolutions were passed.


On motion of Mr. Felton 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 damaged done thereto 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 benefited by the act.  The claims ascertained are to be reported to Congress, so that provision may be made for their relief.

Mr. Fenton said this bill had been maturely considered by the committee on claims, and was based on the principles of equity and justice.  While sincerely desirous of indemnifying Union men for the loss 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 sequestered their estates [should] not escape punishment.  Their property and substance should be used to pay the expenses incidental to the suppression of this 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. Morrill, of Vermont, moved the postponement of the bill till Monday week. – The bill should be maturely considered, as it involves the expenditure of one hundred thousand dollars, and if passed, might [supersede] the court of claims.

Mr. Fenton explained that all adjudicated claims have to be reported to Congress, which is to control the appropriation.

Mr. Morrill’s motion was adopted.

House passed the senate bill authorizing the appointment of medical storekeepers for the army and hospital chaplains.

Among the measures passed are the following: The Senate bill setting apart ten 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 be challenged, and the House bill requiring the oath of allegiance to be taken by attorneys and solicitors in courts within the District of Columbia.

Mr. Potter, from the conference committee on the homestead bill, made a report, which was adopted.

– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Friday Morning, May 16, 1862, p. 1

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