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NukBiii 525. '
WiLMXNGtW & C 1807.
;.- -v ' ' ': : ' - ' , ,' .e ; : -,. ;V '
i ii iwlir
r. lu'x;' ; iith 'Yxar J l.
HOUSE OfVeSkENtItIVES v
Mr. tlliot moved the folluwina Refo-
lution. " ' ; .'.'". ' . i ''';
: . : iJfViWj.That- committee bo.appoin
'r'Wn quire wbatslfieudAneatswt all
Ration. ar neceflarf in tf TeVeul.Mii
rehtiire i"i the 'orgihmtiofv. 'powera.'ini
i alii tec
" . ' ,ei u n4 that' theTaii totnmiMc
. yepof t by bill 6t tiixiwitf:'":? 1
cfublitatrohs rtr defamitorf onli t(uchtrt4
. perfoni hoUingoiHccS or piacei of trull
under the U 8. ;and whether i woulJ ot
be projver, , if the lame be fuuaiDed,:io l
ti'.Mr. Eppe faid that although ht Oiould
flr.viQ for the reference: yt tnis-' Mloiuiion,
ne could not but remark that ii vraicx.
traordtoarjr for the gentleman from Con,
JLor the'pariieapri'fccQted the Ubeity . of II neaica!'i-'nwk1ucb ioiton'5 Snppofe
Air, EHiot faid that he had tnid hoLorV
fome (lays fince, to prcfiriU' to the; Houfe,
Vertiin refoluuoos ot7he'geiie'r1 ideinbly.
f VermoTlfconcOrrfngSn a amendment
pf04wfed Id the conilituuoo ot'the United
States, by the (lata el Kentucky cou.
ieiD plating a materia) limitation ot the
f relent conlUtu'tonal ' pqwe"ri v othe
federal .jiiJiciary.: Thii amfehilaient i
'teen adopted by (evctal ftateabot tis il.'
&efen: rejeQed by fuch a number is coaii
1 rtely to afcenain the fafti ihat ii'tatirjiot
";c'.V--t prefent becomis a bart'ofjChe cdkftito
r;.;i i tion'of the United : Statei. '-Gteai U
''JtiMoljr.CxUt 4a confequcDcVisf the ex.
, i : 1 jcr9'(i of the ppwets pavr JegaUy veiled in
js'-'ajba federal courta it bsrcomei itnpof
, j, lant'ilo enquire wheihet thofe evils tannbt
- ' . fcejfenioved by the ordinary Weani ,vi 'it-
.JSlonf exercifed withW -irher ffhkrt!?, uf
? - V , FfOm ihe attention which'he had been 'ai
: DiiS to. pay ttfthe Ju&jea Mrt.. Uidt he
f'J, , , Jwas cohtinced that iinyU of ihe'gricvancei
.V 1 cotnuialhed 6fmijghti& thii way be- !
2' ;r " "i .IflrelfcJ i and Has to bring thii important
r-Il' ' vJ'orf lS.tlpuf fha Ke.wat .ijidu
r 'rr-; cca jtq mate the, f refent motionand to
"'l 7: ;'; .t -i' fcffpe'f 0 it i a'ddptton. ' ''C -V. : . I ' '.' 1 " f.
( "' - i .1 he refutation ' Wat adopttd without a
i y d1ti amfTcferred td MeirrrKllidiiG;
".' ..'"': "X iMrlgtft, lay,JJroomo and Lloyd- -,
'ii'i- ; Mr. Daw TJo," from the comuiiiiee to
: -Vftidrn ras fccommittul ths Mil providing
"lor the pnnilfiriwnt.of certain crimes a
: ; ; gainft the United States, reported the bill
t , .with an amendment Onking out the third
' ' k fettion, which ai referred t aComoiit
; . ' ' -teeof the whole on Monday. -r':f!i!'.
" : r Mr.' Daha obferved. that irofecutions,
' V - , hrtderlldod, wer depending in the court!
: ' v of the:UMl(ed'Stat(ii; not ariflng under a-.-Trr.exililng4
ftatule b treaty of the United,
JSfatci out profecu'tions i"uftained at com
ttW. UW; la four catrs warrant! iid
, ' ,V ,bren ,i!ued at the order pf .the gouttih
' . .panics' arretted and held" .to trial. , Two
' piliiuth" profecutious were againft prtn
11 ' ' xett (of. puDl'icalions hkh.fad appeared
, in their papers V twrfagaiotl clerical ga
V I ' ; -tlenien tor. words iu?snd Vjr tbJew-' The
- charges extended to rarloui qiwitlons ref
" . ' tdting poUticaf cdnduft;' rilorUty aol
ftltgiojT. 1twas afubjedl'of afl impot.
v Va'flie whrther this extenfive range (hyuld
- ' ' be alTowtd to a p'uMfc accufer holing his
JliutaV thd will ef .th4 eie'ehtive ot tc
v V1 - At common, law libeller may be tub,
' , jeQei iq fine and .imprifomncut acorifing
.jhe, difcretrjo of ,ah court, , to, w)uci
' - . anight -bs aided, the mmtUiivnf )9 ears
- Hccofdiag io the dorinc of Cpke,. id (bo
.. '&at Chamber, '. .SeiUritx may a!fi ba it
. - '" tjtlreti r good behaiour fori. hit wftuld
- Jife.i trt(P amount fine thera was
, " i'tibllWjIraiiart C--"f:u '' : " ,N I
There as alfo in thefe terofecutiorti in
Wlfci an inteuftrngqudl'Jdd as fa eVi
, ' Wo'cel 1 ' SW'l the triib of the charges,'
nco iftiMilhed. be conftJereJ at toncm.'
- tiVetveflf.iidVria'pure'thl intentions
-ilT the .cotfled mar -bev'croifjd to hae
1 been? 1 With this quelli'on as connected
7 Amirs nrriedhrooiliJriiilJt paiia-
rJtehntiftl&tjhhd manias ny'ic
. iift1h rioint hw Ur'lhit atote.adccJd
- lhcvantmoi Jaw in iIms- UttiM'1411
Thri Wis likewife another quettiou, vit.
. whether lha perfon charge Vtrh hating
rrrTCTciHlniTitrout wtmJtrH halbHy
' to proe the truth 6f ha1 he ujtered.-
This liberty was denied bylthf 'C4itis of
Siar Chamber in Englaud. :,Su;h baJ been
I h taa in the ofetal Znga ia America,
Mid in a'caf which had recently otcured,
In ona'of thefe Uates ia the fecundcircuit
t the United Slate! 0 Ihe trial o( Croft
Mr. D. conclu led by obferfing that h
Mi fujgefted thr lileai as an apolof fur
afliitti ih4 the fubedl might e examined
and then olferel the following t eiuioum 1
RtUiui. That !!Cmmiltee bq piM)in
tej-io enqulra. whsthet profecutionl at
'' eommon law fhould be fiistained in the
-Xeourts gChe United States for ItbcllouJ
giving the truth in evidence,' and that: the
Cora nut tee report by btu or otnerwiie. . ;
t Mr. Daaa. md to refer this refelu
tionto Conmiiiee of the wholi. .
.V'Mr. Bid welt faid th objea bf the refo--,
Jution' appeared to-brr tnercly'the appdinUy
tnent of a. comaihtee io enquire.., J ( the
tVef would, fo modify , ir a -to obtaWa
difcdflion of the principle revolved, it;'
he (hould haye ita objedion t,i', It di'd
not appear 16 him in order to refer a refo.
iutibn for ilte appoint moot 0(4 fcleftom
mitree to . a . Committee of ' the bola
- Mr. v Dana infiitc at Tlie refolution
was clearly in otder V and that if wa un
neceffary to give U the form of -fpecifie1
propofition, td infure to the lubjeft a full
difcbfCon in committee of thd whole., y
Mr. G. W i Cam pbcll remarked t hit if
this refutation was refercd to a Commit,
tes of the yhole, the only qtieftioo.thal
Could be prefented to them would be th
expeiiiency of referftbg it, to a fclecl m
mittee to make the propofed enquiry-
The moll regular and proper courfc- was
to refer the reiolutioh in the fir ft inflance
tola fekft commititeandafterwarda.to rr.
ier tueir icpwri vuujujiiicc 01 ine
whole. . . :V.. .'l:r-v 'i-Pss-P
" Mr. J . Clay faid , that ; the objeaios
made to e forrin this refohition to a Cods
mittee of the whole, was that it was bed
to refer it Hlhe firft inftance td ' a" fele3
committe to fettle the principle,'- But thi!
Would be to invert the ufual courfc purfu.
ed in.the Houfe, which was fird to fettle
principles i ft a Cdmmiltee of.thp whole.
He had underttood that in the' fecond cir.
cuit of the U. S, profecutionsandindicl-
mcn's had been made ar common law;.
In times part, which be hoped woe Id never
return, a fedition law had been pafled.
That law give every manrv:ct)fcd the'li.
berty of giving the truth in evidence, r tie
undetftoock that under the common law;
after an indictment was prefered, the truth
was not permuted to be given in evidence' ;
and that under this doctrine they would
therefore be worfe off than Ainder the (e'.
dlrian law. He hoped the refolutioti Would
be refered to a Committee of the whole
19 make the propofed enquiry,, . A ? vV r
Mr, UtdweU agreed that, a Committee of
the gentleman wete o'ofter a refoutipn
foi appoiruinga commme id inquire wht
tber citbtea of the United States had a
right I' to theorivileac of 1 fie habeas corous
,'attl -AVouid not fuch a propofition' W
deffld reatr6r'fi?ty Cut to fliow
thLAcmtDot atratd to meetihe quellioo.
once already agitated ia this country i he
Z was ready to refer ihe prefenKefalut ion,
M weu as to enquire into the otScfal coit j
duft of anv iudee who had nradifed the
doflr.ines .Jiaentjoned x by - the 'geutlebaao J
from Conpeaiciu. - r -,;,.vivi. 1
Mri Dana faid he would exDhia to the 1
Houfe the reafons which tud induced him
to fubmlt the refolution; in, its prefent
tortn. in mo ODKfvattons tie had ottered,'
he had. avoided ill lJufioniiiuaef paO.
quefti,onS which had been agitated-in .this,
country, 'I VHe did notwilh to prefent the
propofition in its but fcr, in- fuch " a Vorm,j
as might give ottence to any part ot the
Heuf? i but in fuch form that the Houfe
J Je. J. in." ! ft' ' r
mignr, aner a uciiurraie in.veuigitioq 01
the fubjeft, exprefs their opinion upon it.
He had JuLipoicd if would be clearly art or-'
der,; in the com mittee Vofthwliolf, to
, more a amendment, declaratory of prlD-'
clple, mfteaq of refenrtg the enquiry to a
felect commutes, In ale that tuoJt (hould
btTdecmed tnofttligtble.-v - ';';;" J'
Mr. G. W.rCamobell did not wifli it
to be underhood that .he had any objelo,n
to the qutllion coming beor,the t Joule.
On the contrary, if doubts exifled of the
right qf : the citiien in anyftair, who was J
aecuied, to give tjie trutn ia evidence, , he'
hbped th quell ion would be fet tled by the
Uoufe.;:. HeenterUined.a different opijo?'
on tbia fubjeft from that -which had been
exprifTed. In a; number of the jlafer',
the, Uwa cave the individual -the Tgnt of
giving .the truth in evidence. He had al
ways confideredihe ttare Uwt on this Tub.
jeiCt ' binding on the federal courts. This
qaetuon had never influences the proceed
ingsof the court with which he wn bed
acquainted ; and if it had affcJcd their
proceedings tn other nates, it was hicn
time tofettle the queftton.v The remark
which he had made - Hi not appear to be .
I uadcflood by the' gentleman from renn.-
fylvania. fie "did not cqnader the feted
cdmniittee,' to whom it was propctcd to
refer this refuliuioo, .as intended to decide
' the principle, but to determine whether it
was proper tor ine.uouie to oucuit it.
lie was cieariy or rpinion tnar tins reioiu
tioti (hoold tiot be rtterrtd to a committee '
the whole was the proper place for let
tli Off principles, it. toe. retoiution were
fo framed as to anfwer .this purpofe. it
would have his approbation. But the on.
1v aueflioit. in its prefent. forAt, was mere.
. . . " r r t t i i i i.l i . i . -I J L . .1
the appointment or taioa committee II .lne vnoe. 11 wouja- not oo jnere; in
to Inttfttica'e the fubfecli -which ' inen.
gation would be moil properly taade. iu
Committee oi tne waoie. k
Mr. Quincyfaid ihaf the obiei6of
his colleacue teemed to De the word cn-
eulre.. ' Mr Q. thbught it was mult pro.
' a , 1 1 r ' t sf . L . . r a
per for ice nuuio io vomtpiiicgot inc
whole .to determine woeiner it . woui be
cxpedieut to appoint a fclei3 committee to
enquire. f H fhould be dcciJd that no
iVch Inauirt is expedient, there would be
an end of the bu fined. If a contrary deci-fien-wtre
mak, thtn a comtniitee tniRht
be appointed .- make the enquiry. The
gentleman, would wioi fay that the "refolu.
i:on did not 'contain a'pn'nciple of vafl
impWrunce, well worthy of inveltigaiien
lor his ooinei it it was bed ftrlt to fettle
the prijiclplein Committeeof the whole, ij committee to enquire t whereat If a fpeci
oref to (ettlVthe principle but merely to
idetermine wnetner it iuouiudc reterrea to
a fclecV cMnmiltee, What then would
be the effud of this comic I After the re.
port of the fclect committee, the commit
tee of thff Whble iridtt then difcufi the prin.
ciple It w oulj therefore, conr!rjf 4
the ufual cobtfr, be twice'difcuffcdlnflead
ol once. f,Jj,t i' "I -
- r -ir:tt'L.iniit 'ii ut.K.M am
" J--.rl ... . ..II proaccntlons the truth can be given In
ble the. boofc te decide on the principle, ,
tee' 'Tjiii wis si rorunitaboui waV f do' -'
irtflfi befrJ ' rheooly o6iea of the com .
, mittee'of the whole would be to enquire ,
I whether It would pe proper to appoint a'
and then Inflruxi a fle) committee on the
nature of the enquiry, and the degtee la
which It (houlU be made. W ' .'.
Mr. Tppes faid he (aouU rote fora re'.
fereneuf the refolutiJn to thecommittee
of thi. whale, alih'meh he believed it was
not it(u(i)tedin fufch xonn as It, fbuldi
be, to u.firo a difcul on of .the principles
involveJln iu If he'undeilloojj t, it
would reduce (he Huufe to ihe.ncceC'y i
dircu ding 'the queflion.r. which had beea
heretofore difcuiTedhether tka paffife
of a law living a man, .right in gie the-
tfdth In evi.lence, would abridge bisriehtt.
fie, ci'ld havewifheJ the gentlemen frdn?
Coinefliciit io1ta Hated a ipettbcr pro
nbfi tlon, iicH as that fHl iommoii law of
Eofland ia uot a part of h! lav? of the
United Sa e, and thitlnallprofecutlon
It is the riehl ot a cuucaiw gve me irum
Id CTIUIUIM . -
Mr. Eones faid hciwlfliod theTrntle
man would to further and ofer a rcfolo
tion to enquire Into the flvclar conJuitof
anyjud.e who baddarea tw ,tiiiituie(liea
prvfecutioos as had been .Intimated, , He
iu.iiK flia In inlnit a ttrn
further, to impcachirj Vta fui votiog for
: fic refolotian' wai DCired, the principle
1 . i t.L. j. .: J.J : . .
lnronca in ungui va .ius m. loth
mlttct of the whole, lU. trulIcJ tllc're
w no differerfcc of opinion en tlie fub
Hia the Hooie," n.i i; ; I . j
. ivir. E.IT uiu noi vnn ivvrmn u
qd'a'inted with the ufual raode of proceed
ing in the Hotifc but ifhe under flood the
objetl of the rqotion made by the grntle
rrtan Tiorti Cohnefllciif, Ir'wa's to glVe the
i corhmlttce alpoinied ' fuch' k'commlmon 1
as the fioufe, inCcadof the mover, suight'
w'lfh.' ' If 'the. Hoafe'copfiderrd'the mii.
i ttn s not fxacly . right, it wculd fce in '
their power : to give tucn commuuonj att
fbouU.be flHift toftUn I aneous to their i
dea. lie-thought. Uiis the mod corrc4
ccwrfe. j A gentleman, draws up a rifola.
tlon, whlehr petfcapi, only i ia pirt fug.
Kfls the opiniens of the majoriiy thrt
oufe ihefVls? it Befote' a'coinmitted of
the whole ii mod'ifr h ectordlng to theli '
ides... McElf thought the whole fob.
jeci 'would be M"'e' a committee of the
whole, amithat' it would be In the Per
of gentlemed to modi ly it as they plesfsd,
Mr. Epp .id if he understood thtob.
Teet af the ttidutlon, it preiented two sub
jects fof coosidcraiioa the frit of which
was, whether, the common law of Entlsnd . : ;
' was thelaw iof the land ; and the'aecond, woe- ;
'.titer ia case of protecution, tlie accused may .-, ; ';
give the truth in evidence, lie, thought the -gentleman
from Coimecticut raitht Reiathis .
'object.better j two apecifio resGlution. than . . .
by, the one he had proposed ; he had drawh "v
such reioluijoni, and . waujd readthem by , ,
VaV ofargiinieiiu , i ' ".t-vv;.
' Mr, lippea hcrVreVd the'' foUawine renoTu ' "
'.tion!t'r '.-,..- ... ... .,'' - '''.' 'v
;5 1.'" 'ftesfotjy, TKat1' the common law sof ' ; ,
Enjland la opt a-pan.of lite hw of ile Uni- . v
ted Stales, except o Jar aa it ha beend6p
Jedbyihe Jaws of the United Sttatorof M
, the individual states and that the" proaecu
tipn or f person. in common law ror unci i r. '
violation, pf. th . freedom ol Jhe prev 'and ij
epntraryriQ the" ebiialitution of the 'Uniud ' z
Statei. ".'V ' uS-
i ?. jjiitofotdj That in all prosecutions whe - "
ther crimijial'pr otherwise, it i thtf.,natu., '
rlgbVqf- a citizen, to. gire'in evidence the ;
- truth. .'"-,"'- v:;,:':-vX;':''.V',:;:: J :.
r- Mr Dana that in prepauncrVbs reio-
luUon'.whicli lit had offered he Und endea-. '," . ,
rnured to preientjtin tliv' moitynetccjiiioita- ; ;
ble furinriundertljfe-ianprcVsiop.'thaVh :
the subjecjt. .wa bef trs "a cunifiiiHee of the '.'
whole, it might be mndified ";ree'aby to thd ; ; "
wiaheiol1 'thetnaW-UV v anJ wltrethr reso-' . ! .,
hifibn nfT:rd by ahe geutieman frowi'Virgt '
nia miht ba rmucd a an amthdment to the ? - r
resolution which lie had -submitted - Should'' ' " r
he agree to iuorhVihe.se w6luiinilii lieu 'jf i X
1 his owrtj he niigUt b considered a's-egreaihg'
; with the gentleman in every .w'ord'; t!r'cn ' r
.tained i . whereas it codld noi, be exper led that . i
he could b'c ready liasiily to .pledge ''hl.mltelf r,V'
dn ehy'apecific re.oluto'i liYitiV he hid ma- '
turely considered it.,r The gef.tl--.m2M f.-0-n' ; '"
V-irRinia had doubtless Tiitly cnidered them,' '.; .'.-.
I and was prepared p give his irotc. Without -
.howerer-prnfteunrlng ort the principle! ceiw .
tained in them he thnughrthat at least there , . .
j was some inaccuracy ia the, language. ; .; ' -.' '
; Mr. Eppes did not suppose that resolutions
) hastily drawn possessed all the professional - t .: .
laccuracy which might be given tothem j and
iVery peisibly they did not pot-ess all the pre"-
. ei,ipn which would bare characteriud them '
f if drawn by, the pen of the gejitleman Irem ;, ,
Connecticut. Dut the objection ol the ren-
tleman otherwise was not well founded. If
the resolutions he had suggested were to be'
! submitted imuiedialely to the dtciaion of, the '
House, there might be some solid objection ; '
: Dut when It wa anown that the .object was to '
refer them lor discussion, they amounted to- .
no more than aa.cxrestion of the sentiruents"
of the mover on . the subject, Mr. ppei
'( said that he rehgimtitly believed that the com-
j mon law of E,nkIand was never a port of the , -.
i law of the land, and that when a rnan was
j brooecuted, he had a right to give the troth
i in evidence. Jt the gentleman persisted .'jia''
reTusihg to modify his PcsblutloiVhe vrould. ;
j m6te a postponement for th jiyjiose ef in- ' H
Producing his ow'.k "-' .'"' ';'.:''' n
Mr. Speaker said motion to postpone had.
po prererenceovef s motion to' commit, . ;
. Mr, Alexander said that the resolution nn-
der consideration, if not the most technical-.
ly accurate, appaared to him. the moat pro- .
per for the adoption of the houie. Jtcijn- ,
tained two propotUions, first,' whether it is .
etpedtent to enquire, whether the prosecut
ing officers of the United States, have a right -to
institute prosecutions for dafatnatory lan
goage r and secondly. If so, whether in such
submitted ft to the committe tf the- whole'
; to decide, whether it were expedient to 'an--'
point a select cowi'mluse, to enquire." : The'
i gentleman from'' Tennessee was of opinion '
! that It would not te ee-mpetcot to a commit-;
tec of the whole to icut the 'principles of.
, the resolution t bat ' that they t outd be is
; clusivtly confined to a consideration of the
expediency of sppoining a select commit
! tce lol make,tht anqnlry; Mr." Alexander
said this Was tot his opinion, lie fore the .
i cotnmtttee of the whole, Jhe whole suhjext'
would present ItselU ,IIe IdUed that he could
conceive ' ft av phraseology, that ' would not
contain the obnoxious term'wr temmHttt,
to wit, to make the resolutinn read whether
it M not expedient to enquire, f omit-';
ting altogether tie term select committee.-.
Would tiot this, however.be presenting the' ,
Z. subject In the "samer-uint of tlewr And if
ine COTpiluct or ne waic oecioco u.il ii
I was proper te make tha enquiry, the rrxt'
I step weald be to appoint X select committee."' -.
Mr. "Alcxandrf said he thought the que ,
tion of high Icnpxjrl.fiee, and the course pre '
, poacd very proper., It" was bet to prea.ftit
the subject ondcira irtaeral view, and "o ,'r
the specific tnrtn suj.ted by the getiMei;
i man" from1 Virginia. He should therefore
vote for the reference. ' He declared Mtrw
'self of opinion that the'accv.ed had a VighT '
to give the truth In evidence but' said he' t
had not yet made up his mind, whether such"
prosecutions cehld be cerried on.ey rtiirere . -of
the United States. '
The reference to a comssittee of the whole
was then agreed to Area IT Noes 41 St
the resolution made the eraer far Tuc.dsy