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APRIL 22, 1790. ]
[H. OF R.
that the measure will be favorable to the interest be inade between the inhabitants of one State of Virginia; but he seems to me to have ground and those of another, and that no oppressions or ed his opinion on the erroneous supposition embarrassments should force the people to emithat the proposed plan will embrace the whole grate from one State to another. It would be of the debts as they existed at the close of the a comfortable reflection, it every part of the war, or that the State of Virginia will contribute Union could be assimilated in this instance; less, on the plan of deriving revenue from con- but, sir, I think we have no authority to sacrisumption, than she would if derived according fice essential considerations to obtain these adto the constitutional ratio. I believe, on the vantages. Nor do I know that we should obcontrary, that if the assumption should take tain them by assuming the State debts. Supplace as originally proposed, that there would posing that
measure to be adopted, let us reflect be a claim on Virginia for five millions, whereas what would be the situation of the different if there is no assumption, her citizens will have parts of the Union? I do not, at this moment, to provide for about three millions only; and consider the question as it respects justice, thus, instead of bearing her proper burthen, right, or general policy, but in reference merely which is about one-seventh, she would have to to the particular consequence of equalizing the bear a burthen in the ratio of one-fifth. He circumstances of the people. Let us take a seems to think that his own particular district view, comparatively, of the people of the United would be benefited by this ineasure; but if he States. Massachusetts owes a debt of several be right in his other opinion, that that part of millions. The public debt, when you come to the State will consume more than the other analyze it, at least where it is due to citizens parts, he will find, sir, that instead of relieving and not to foreigners, is a debt from one part of his constituents, compared with the rest of the the people to the other. The Government is State, that he would still more augment their the collector from the pockets of the debtors, to burthens; so that it would come to this at last, pay it into the hands of the creditors. If, sir, that the State would have to pay five millions the State debts should be assumed, Massachuinstead of three--and that the particular part of setts will then get rid of her embarrassments; the State he represents, instead of paying their but what would be the situation of Virginia? proportion of three millions, would have to pay Besides her public debt, I believe that her citimore than their proportion of five. I admit, zens owe, one to another, debts to an amount however, that he is the most proper judge on equal to the whole public debt of Massachuthat subject. But the citizens of Virginia would setts. Perhaps, I might say to the amount of not only be called upon when already in ad-f both the public and private debts of that State. vance, and to an amount beyond their proper In addition to all this, the people of Virginia ratio, but in a mode that is peculiarly obnoxious are indebted to foreigners to a greater amount to them, I mean that of excise. Sir, the people than the whole debt of Massachusetts. Sir, I of that State are as averse to excises as those of firmly believe, that though Virginia is less opany other State can be to direct taxes, and in pressed with public debt than Massachusetts, my own judginent, with far more reason, where yet, when we take a view of all the difficulties the article excised is not by some peculiarity she labors under, and weigh them against those free from the common objections. Excises are of Massachusetts, it will be found that Virginia unequal with respect to different parts of the ought to be relieved herself, instead of being Union. They are also unequal to various parts expected to relieve others. of the same State. This mode of collection gives But, supposing all objections of another naarbitrary powers to the Collectors, and exposes ture to be Taid aside, I freely confess that after our citizens to vexatious searches. It opens a a more minute examination into the subject, I door to fraues and perjuries, that tend equally am much inclined to doubt whether the assumpto vitiate the morals of the people, and to de- tion can possibly be carried into execution. feat the public revenue. Besides, sir, excises Difficulties are continually arising when I surare more expensive in the collection than other vey this question, for which I can find no solukinds of taxes. The collection of the excise in tion, without departing from every principle by Great Britain costs ten per cent. That of her which we ought to be guided. It never yet has direct taxes is computed at three per cent. only. been shown in what manner a remedy could be I will not positively say that a similar dispro- provided for a partial subscription. Suppose portion in the expense of collecting would be the State creditors were part of them to subincurred in this country; but in some parts of scribe and part to refuse. Suppose those of one it, I am sure that the expense of excises would State subscribe, and those of another should be greatest, and on some articles in view not. Again, sir, by what method would you would, if the collection were made at all, ex-discriminate the debts that come under the deceed the revenue obtained from it.
finition from those that will be excluded by it? Sir, there has been an argument of another Where will you invest this important discrekind advanced in support of the assumption. tionary power? I really think that great diffiGentlemen have thought it a matter of conse- culties will be found before this can be effected. quence, that not only justice should be done, There is another objection, to which I have but that the condition of the people should be pever heard a satisfactory, answer, although it equalized; that no invidious comparisons might has been repeatedly urged by a member from
Georgia. There are debts existing in some of ner contrary to every idea of prudence. It is the States that do not bear interest, that have very true, sir, that a variety of funds have been got into circulation without any title to it, and proposed, yet they are nothing more than mere have been received by the present holders with suggestions, and though I think they are as good out any other expectation than that, in some as could be expected in the time, I really bereasonable time, the principal would be paid. lieve that some of them, at least, if they can beWould it, sir, be proper or necessary to consi- carried into execution at all, will disappoint the der these as debts of the Union, bearing interest, calculations on which they are founded. or to provide for the immediate funding of I cannot finish my observations on this subthem? But there is a case, in my opinion, far ject, sir, without adverting to one particular, more difficult, I mean the paper money issued which I would wish gentlemen to attend to, not to redeem the State debts. The State of North so inuch for our sakes as their own. I would Carolina has taken up its certificates with these recommend to them no longer to assume a prepaper bills. They are not proposed to be in- eminence over us in the nationality of their mocluded in the assumption. They are clearly tives; and that they would forbear those freexcluded by the present motion, yet they are as quent assertions, that if the State debts are not much a State debt to be sunk by taxes as certi- provided for, the Federal debts shall also go ficates, and the taxes may as much interfere unprovided for; nay, that if the State debts are with those of other States. Some of the States, not assumed, the Union will be endangered. sir, have not only assumed the debts recom Sir, I am persuaded that if the gentlemen knew mended by Congress for making up the depre- the motives which govern us, they would blush ciation to the army, but they have gone further at such intemperate as well as inconsistent lanand have made up the depreciation), where it guage. I am sure, that if they knew the emotions was not recommended. Other States have not with which it is heard, they would at least sce done this. The debts existing in some States, the inutility of it. I hope, sir, that whatever I take it for granted, comprehend these depre may be the decision on this question of assumpciated notes. Would it not be unjust to call tion, that patriotism and every other noble and on those States that have not made this provi- generous motive will lead the minority to acsion for their army that other States have done, quiesce in measures which will tend to establish would it not be hard to call upon those officers public credit by a due provision for the public and soldiers who have not received this addi- engagements. tional compensation, to pay it to those of other The Committee then rose. States, who have? I would not here be understood to censure the States that made this com
FRIDAY, April 23. pensation; I rather commend them for it. It is
PUBLIC DEBT. a proof of their magnanimity and justice that does them honor; but, at the same time, this does A motion being made to take up the order of not alter the nature of the objection. In some the day, States in order to reward the army, they have Mr. Ames rose and said, that previous to tadone it by several aids that do not constitute king up the order of the day, he wished to introany part of the State debts. In some of the duce a motion for the consideration of the States, there are debts still unliquidated. If House. He observed, that it had been assertyou declare that, when liquidated, they shall be ed in the course of the debates on the assumpassumed, you afford a temptation that has been tion of the State debts, that the State of Virhitherto cautiously avoided, that of making the ginia had advanced for the common defence beStates less exact in the settlement of their ac- yond her proportion; advantage appeared to be counts. I do not find that any gentleman has taken of such assertions; he thought it necessaproposed, on the contrary most of them seem to ry that facts should be known, that the Comhave rejected, the idea of making provision at mittee might act with certainty in conducting this session for fulfilling the engageinent in case this important question. He therefore moved we enter into an assumption. I think it would the following in substance, viz: "that the Secbe a powerful and unanswerable objection retary for the Department of War be directed against assuming the State debts at this time, to lay before the House a statement of the that we do not see, or are not prepared to de- troops, including the militia, and ordnance cide on the means of providing for them. There stores, furnished by the respective States for is not a more important and fundamental prin the general defence during the late war.” ciple in Legislation, than that the ways and
This motion was opposed as tending to procrasmeans ought always to face the public engage- tinate the funding business, and as leading to ments; that our appropriations should go hand excite invidious comparisons respecting the rel. in hand with our promises. To say that the ative merits and exertions of the several States. United States should be answerable for twenty. It was, however, carried in the affirmative, with five millions of dollars without knowing whe: this addition proposed by Mr. Bland, " and ther the ways and means can be provided, and that the Commissioners of accounts between without knowing whether those who are to suc- the United States and individual States be diceed us will think with us on the subject, would rected to furnish an abstract of the claims of be rash and unjustifiable. Sir, in my opinion, the several States against the United States, it would be hazarding the public faith in a man- specifying the principles on which the claims
APRIL 26, 1790. ]
(H. of R.
are founded.” On the above motion, the pre- The House then again resolved itself into a vious question was called for by Mr. Lee, which Committee of the whole on the Report of the was lost, and the main question agreed to, 28 Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. LIVERMORE in to 26.
the Chair; when having agreed to certain res-Mr. Gerry then moved that the Secretary of solutions, the Committee rose and reported them the Treasury be directed to report to the House to the House. The House took up the Report, a statement of all payments both of indents and and agreed to the resolutions, as follows: other paper, as well as specie, which have been
Resolved, That adequate provision ought to be made by the several States to Congress, froin made for fulfilling the engagements of the United the commencement to the end of the late war.
States, in respect to their foreign debt. This was agreed to.
Resolved, That permanent funds ought to be apMr. Madison moved that a statement of the propriated for the payment of the interest on, and unliquidated claims of the several States against the gradual discharge of the domestic debt of the the United States should be furnished by the United States. Commissioners. This was also agreed to. Resolved, That the arrears of interest, including
The House adjourned, without taking up the indents issued in payment thereof, ought to be proReport of the Secretary of the Treasury in vided for on the same terms with the principal of Committee of the whole.
the said debt.
Resolved, That it is advisable to endeavor to effect Monday, April 26.
a new modification of the domestic debt, with the On motion of Mr. Fitzsimons, the Commit- voluntary consent of the creditors, by a loan, upon tee of the whole on the state of the Union was
terins mutually beneficial to them and to the United
States. discharged from the further consideration of the plan of the Secretary of War for the gene; last preceding resolution, subscriptions towards a
Resolved, That for the purpose expressed in the ral arrangement of the Militia of the United loan ought to be opened, to the amount of the States, and inat the said plan be referred to the said domestic debt, upon the terms following, viz: Committee appointed to prepare and bring in a That for every hundred dollars subscribed, payabill or bills providing for the National defence. ble in the said "debt (as well interest as principal) PUBLIC DEBT.
the subscriber be entitled, at his option, either, Mr. FITZSIMONS moved, “ that the Commit
To have two-thirds funded at an annuity or yearly tee of the whole should, for the present, be dis- interest of six per cent. redeemable at the plesaure charged from further proceedings on that part of the Government by payment of the principal, of the Report of the Secretary of the Treasu- and to receive the other third in lands in the West. ry which relates to the assumption of the State ern Territory, at the rate of twenty cents per acredebts."
To have the whole sum funded in an annuity or This motion produced a warm, though desul
yearly interest of four per cent. irredeemable by tory debate.
Mr. GERRY, Mr. Vining, Mr. Smith, (of any payment exceeding six dollars per annun, on South Carolina,) Mr. Ames, Mr. Bland,'and account both of principal and interest; and to re
ceive as a compensation for the reduction of interMr. SHERMAN, opposed the motion. It was supported by Mr. Madison, Mr. Jackson, Mr. est; fifteen dollars and eighty cents, payable in lands
as in the preceding case—or STONE, and Mr. Page. Mr. 'Vixing moved the previous question; lar funded immediately at an annuity or yearly in
To have sixty-six dollars and two-thirds of a dol. which being put in the manner following, “shall terest of six per cent. irredeemable by any payment the main question now be put?” It was resolv. exceeding six dollars per annum, on account of both ed in the affirmative. -Ayes 32. Nays 19.
principal and interest, and to have, at the end of The yeas and nays were then taken on the seven years, thirty-three dollars and one third of a dolmotion of Mr. Firzsimons, to wit: “ that the lar funded at the like interest and rate of redemption. Committee of the whole be, for the present,
Resolved, That the funds which shall be approdischarged from that part of the Report of the Secretary of the Treasury which relates to an priated according to the second of the foregoing
resolutions, be applied, in the first place, to the payassumption of the State debts.”
ment of interest on the sums subscribed towards the AYES.--Messrs. Ashe, Baldwin, Bloodworth, proposed loan; and that, if any part of the said doBrown, Carroll
, Clymer, Coles, Contee, Fitzsimons, mestic debt shall remain unsubscribed, the surplus Floyd, Gilman, Griffin, Jackson, Lee, Madison, of the said funds be applied, by a temporary apMaithews, Moore, P. Muhlenberg, Page, Parker, propriation to the payment of interest on the unRensselaer, Schureman, Scott, Seney, Sinnickson, subscribed part, so as not to exceed for the present Smith, (of Maryland,) Steele, Stone, Sumter, four per cent. per annum, but this limitation shall White, Williamson, and Wynkoop.--32.
not be understood to impair the right of the nonNars.--Messrs. Ames, Bland, Boudinot, Burke, subscribing creditors to the residue of the interest on Foster, Gerry, Goodhue, Grout, Huntington, Liv- their respective debts; and in case the aforesaid ermore, Sherman, Sylvester, Smith, (of South Caro, surplus should prove insufficient to pay the nonlina,) Sturges, Thatcher, Tucker, Vining, and Wadsworth.-18.
subscribing creditors at the aforesaid rate of four
per cent. that the faith of Government be pledged So the question was carried in the affirmative. I to make good such deficiency.
H. OF R.]
Tariff of Duties.
[APRIL 27, 1790.
Mr. Stone, Mr. WHITE, Mr. SHERMAN, Upon every gallon of Sherry wine, twenty-five Mr. Clymer, and Mr. Gilman, were appointed cents. a committee to prepare and bring in a bill con- Upon every gallon of other wine, twenty cents. formable to these resolutions.
Upon every gallon of distilled spirits, more than Mr. GERRY proposed a resolution, that a ten per cent below proof, according to Dicas's hycommittee, to consist of a member from each drometer, twenty cents. State, and an equal number for and against the Upon every gallon of those spirits under five, and assumption, be appointed to consider of, and not more than ten per cent. below proof, according report a plan of accommodation on this sub- to the same hydrometer, twenty-one cents. ject.
Upon every gallon of those spirits of proof, and This motion was laid on the table for further not more than five per cent. below proof, according consideration.
to the same hydrometer, twenty-two cents.
Upon every gallon of those spirits, above proof, Tuesday, April 27.
but not exceeding twenty per cent. according to the
same hydrometer, twenty-five cents, FORFEITURES AND PENALTIES.
Upon every gallon of those spirits more than Mr. Boudinot, from the committee appoint- twenty, and not more than forty per cent. above ed for the purpose, presented a bill to provide proof, according to the same hydrometer, thirty cents, for mitigating or remitting the forfeitures and
Upon every gallon of those spirits more than forpenalties accruing under the revenue laws in cer- ty per cent. above proof, according to the same hytain cases, which was twice read and committed. drometer, forty cents. A message from the Senate informed the Resolved, That, from and after the
day of House that they have passed a bill to continue in lieu of the duties now payable upon teas and in force an act of the last session, to regulate coffee imported into the United States, there shall processes in the Courts of the United States, to be paid, which they desire the concurrence of this Upon every pound of hyson tea, forty cents. House.
Upon every pound of other green tea, twentyINTERCOURSE WITH FOREIGN NATIONS.
four cents. The House resolved itself into a Committee
Upon every pound of souchong or other black of the whole on the bill providing the means of tea, other than bohea, twenty cents. intercourse between the United States and for- Upon every pound of bohea tea, twelve cents. eign nations; Mr. LIVERMORE in the Chair.
Upon every pound of coffee, five cents, The committee having made several amend; there be paid upon spirits ,distilled within the Uni
Resolved, That from and after the ments to the bill, reported it with the proposed ted States, from molasses, sugar, or other foreign amendments to the House, which was ordered to
manufacture: lie on the table. Ordered, That Messrs. Thatcher, Wads- per cent below proof, according to Dicas's hydroin
Upon every gallon of those spirits more than ten WORTH, Benson, Boudinot, SUMTER, SENEY, eter, eleven cents. and Parker, be added to the committee to bring in a bill for the National defence.
Upon every gallon of those spirits under five, and
not more than ten per cent, below proof, according POST-OFFICE.
to the same hydrometer, twelve cents. Ordered, That the Comınittee of the whole, Upon every gallon of those spirits of proof, and to whom was committed the bill for regulating not more than five per cent, below proof, according the Post Office, be discharged therefrom, and to the same hydrometer, thirteen cents. that the said bill, with a report of the Postmas- Upon every gallon of those spirits above proof, ter General on the several matters submitted to but not exceeding twenty per cent. according to the him, be referred to Messrs. LIVERMORE, Ames, same hydrometer, fifteen cents. HUNTINGTON, SYLVESTER, Wynkoop, Smith, Upon every gallon of those spirits more than (of Maryland,) Moore, STEELE, Tucker, twenty, and not more than forty per cent. above Baldwin, and Vining.
proof, according to the same hydrometer, twenty TARIFF OF DUTIES. The House then resolved itself into a Com
Upon every gallon of those spirits more than forty mittee of the whole on the Report of the Secre- per cent. above proof, according to the same hytary of the Treasury, Mr. LIVERMORE in the
drometer, thirty cents. Chair. After some time, the Committee rose,
Resolved, That, from and after the
day of and reported the following resolutions; which, United States, in any city, town or village, from ma,
there be paid upon spirits distilled within the being taken up for consideration, were agreed terials the growth or production of the United to, as follows:
States: Resolved, That from and after the - day of Upon every gallon more than ten per cent. below next, in lieu of the duties now payable upon wines proof, according to Dicas's hydrometer, nine cents. and distilled spirits imported into the United States, there shall be paid the following rates;
Upon every gallon of those spirits under five,
and not more than ten per cent, below proof, acUpon every gallon of Madeira wine called Lon-cording to the same hydrometer, ten cents. don particular, thirty-five cents. Upon every gallon of other Madeira wine, thirty not more than five per cent below proof, according
Upon every gallon of those spirits, of proof, and to the same hydruineter, eleven cents.
APRIL 30, 1790. ]
[H. OF R.
Upon every gallon of those spirits, above proof,
SUNDRY BILLS. but not exceeding twenty per cent. according to the The bills sent from the Senate, for the gosame hydrometer, thirteen cents. Upon every gallon of those spirits more than twen south of the river Ohio, with amendments, and
vernment of the Territory of the United States ty, and not more than forty per cent. above proof, to regulate Processes in the Courts of the Unitaccording to the same hydrometer, seventeen cents. Upon every gallon of those spirits, more than for-ed States, were read the third time and passed.
A petition from the manufacturers of Cordage ty per cent. above proof, according to the same hydrometer, twenty-five cents.
in the city of Philadelphia was presented, prayAnd upon all stills employed in distilling spirits ing that a further duty may be imposed on the from materials of the growth or production of the importation of foreign cordage. Referred. United States, in any other place than a city, town,
Ordered, That a bill or bills be brought in to or village, there be paid the yearly sum of sixty authorize the issuing certificates to a certain cents for every gallon, English wine measure, of the description of invalid Officers; and that Messrs. capacity of each still, including its head; or cents BURKI, CONTEE, and Coles prepare the same. per gallon for all spirits distilled from grain; or — Ordered, That a bill be brought in for the cents per gallon for all spirits distilled from fruit." government and regulation of seamen in the
Ordered, That a bill or bills be brought in merchants' service, and that Messrs. Firzsipursuant to the said resolutions, and that mons, Smith, of Maryland, and Sturges preMr. FITZSIMONS, Mr. HUNTINGTON, Mr. Jack pare the sanie. son, Mr. Contee, and Mr. BloodWORTH, do
FOREIGN INTERCOURSE. prepare and bring in the same.
The House proceeded to consider the report
of the Committee of the whole, of yesterday, WEDNESDAY, April 28.
on the bill providing the means of intercourse FORFEITURES AND PENALTIES.
between the United States and foreign nations; The House resolved itself into a Committee and the same being agreed to, the bill, as amendof the whole on the bill to provide for mitigating ed, was ordered to be engrossed for a third or remitting the forfeitures and penalties accru- reading. ing under the Revenue laws. The Committee SALARIES OF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS. reported the bill to the House without amend
The House went into Committees of the ment, and it was ordered to be engrossed for a whole on the bill supplemental to the act for esthird reading.
tablishing the salaries of the Executive Officers TERRITORY SOUTHWEST OF THE OHIO. of Government, with their assistants and Clerks;
The House also went into a Committee on and on the bill for the encouragement of learnthe bill from the Senate, for the government of ing, by securing the copies of maps, charts, the Territory of the United States south of the books, and other writings, to the authors and river Ohio. "The Comunittee reported this bill proprietors, Mr. Senty in the Chair, and made without amendment, when the House amended several amendments in each; which being reit, and ordered it to be read a third time to - ported to the House, were severally concurred morrow.
with, and the bills were ordered to be engrossAUTHENTICATION OF RECORDS.
ed for a third reading. Mr. Page, from the Committee appointed
FRIDAY, April 30. for the purpose, presented a bill to prescribe the mode in which the public acts, records, and ju
SUNDRY BILLS. dicial proceedings in each State shall be authen-third reading, and were passed, viz: The bill
The following engrossed bills received their ticated, which was twice read and committed.
supplemental to the act for establishing the salINDIAN TRIBES. The House resolved itself into a Committee aries of the Executive Officers of the Governon the bill to regulate trade and intercourse with ment, with their assistants and Clerks; the bill the Indian tribes, Mr. LIVERMORE in the Chair. United States and foreign nations; and the bill
providing the means of intercourse between the After some time spent thereon, the Committee for the encouragement of learning, by securing rose and reported progress; when, on motion, the copies of maps, charts, books, and other the Committee of the whole was discharged writings to the authors and proprietors. from a further consideration thereof, and the bill was recommitted to Messrs. WapSWORTH, county, in New Jersey, was presented, praying
A petition from sundry inhabitants of Morris Brown, BOUDINOT, Burke, Baldwin, LIVER: that additional duties may be imposed on the MORE, Ames, Lawrence, Scott, Smith, (of importation of Copperas, Vitriol, Spanish Brown, Maryland,) Sumter, and STEELE.
Venetian Red, and Yellow Ochre. Referred.
The Speaker laid before the House the reTHURSDAY, April 29.
port of the Commissioners for settling accounts FORFEITURES AND PENALTIES. between the United States and individual States, The engrossed bill to provide for mitigating in pursuance of an order of the House, which or remitting the forfeitures and penalties accru- was laid on the table. ing under the Revenue laws, was read the third Mr. GERRY, from the Committee appointed time and passed.
for the purpose, presented a bill for finally ad