Free press. (Halifax, N.C.) 1824-1830, May 07, 1824, Image 1
JVo. 7. HALIFAX, JV. 0. FRIDAY, MAY 7, issi. TOL I. THE "FREE PRESS," Z?7 George Howard, Is published every Fridav, at THREE DOLLARS per year, consisting of 52 numbers, and in the same proportion for a shorter pe riod. Subscribers a liberty to dis continue at any time, on paying ar rearages. Advertisements inserted at fifty cents per square, or less, for the first insertion, and twenty-five cents ach continuance. Letters addressed to the Editor must beiost paid. COWGllESSIOXAL II. of REPRESENTATIVES. edwards's memorial. Tuesday, April 20. Upon the reading; of the journal of yesterday, it appeared that the following gentlemen had been appointed to compose the com mittce on the memorial of Ni nian Edwards, late a Senator of the United States from the state of Illinois, yesterday presented to the House, viz: Messrs. Floyd, Livingston, Webster, "Randolph, Taylor, McArthur and Owen. Mr. Forsyth submitted the following for adoption by the House : "Resolved, That the President be officially informed that this house has ordered an investigation of the memorial presented to this House cn the 19th instant, by N. Edwards lately appointed Minister to Mexi co that the said N. Edwards may be instructed not to leave the Uni ted States before that investigation his taken place." The question of considera tion of this motion being called for, it was decided negatively. Mr. Moore, of Alabama, then rose, and said, that connected with the subject, he would take occasion to say, that the gentle man from Virginia, (Mr. Floyd) was absent from the House this morning, when that part of the Journal was read, which an nounces the names of the per sons appointed on the committee to consider Mr. Edwards's me morial. As he believed that, from considerations of delicacy, the gentleman from Virginia would not wish to be a member of the committee, Mr. M. took this mode of apprizing him of the fact, that he might have an opportunity of asking to be ex cused from serving upon it. M. Floyd rose, and requested the gentleman from Alabama, if his allusion was to him, to re pest his statement. Mr. M. ac cordingly, substance, repeated his statement Mr. Floyd then said that, in a c;ise of delicacy concerning him, (Mr. F.) he had hoped that the gentleman from Alabama 'as the last man in this nation to undertake to make sugges tions, and he did not think his doing so shewed any delicacy on his (Mr. M.'s) part I am, said Mr. F. the sufficient judge t my conduct in such a case. Perhaps the rentleman from A- labama may be acquainted with some circumstances of the A. Y. plot, so called in the discus sion last winter, and snbsenuent ly. If I know any thing of miii, nowever, I am capable of doing justice to every indi vidual in this nation, whose con duct may be presented to me in my official capacity for exami nation. When a specific charge is made against a public officer, after the friend? of that officer, ,and myself by name, hav6 been called upon, through that paper which is the channel of every thing but truth, to propose an investigation, I thought it be came peculiarly my duty to in vestigate the charge. What I think of the accuser in private life is for me to consider, and does not touch my public duty. Mr. F. here alluded to a friend of the gentleman from Alabama (as we understood him) who had for several successive sessions called upon this House for the. impeachment of a Judge, whom it seemed, he had attempted previously to bribe, &c; and here, he said, were charges, one, two, and three, asserting certain accusations against the Secreta ry, and calling for an investiga tion. This, surely was suffi cient for an investigation being pressed by those thus called up on. The Devil himself might prefer charges here it would not change our opinion of that personage but it would surely be a particular reason for an in vestigation by those who are implicated. So far as the gen tleman from Alabama is con cerned, said Mr. F. perhaps there may be other reasons for consulting motives of delicacy. When I do want suggestions of that sort, I should think very differently of myself from what I have been accustomed to do, were I to be obliged to go to him for them. j The Speaker said there was no question before the House, and the suggestion of the gen tleman from Alabama having been made and answered, the conversation must drop. Mr. Moore then rose, and moved that the gentleman from Virginia should be excused from serving on the Committee. The question of coiisidera tion being called on this motion, the mover withdrew it. Mr. Moore then asked to make a remark in reply to Mr. Floyd; but the Speaker declared it to be out of order. Mr. Moore wished to know if it would be in order to ask leave of the House to speak in reply. The Speaker thought not. Mr. Moore then renewed his motion, in the following words, with a view in this way to have an opportunit' of addressing the House: "Resolved, That John Floxjd, a member of this House, be excused from serving on a committee ap pointed yesterday, on the subject of the memorial of Ninian Edwards." The question being taken on considering this motion, was decided in the negative, almost unanimously; and so this matter ended. Wednesday ', April 21. Mr. McDuffie offered the following: "Resolved, That the Clerk of this House be directed to furnish the President of the United States with a copy of the memorial of Ni nian Edwards, recently presented to this House, containing certain charges against the Secretary of the Treasury. " Mr. McDuffie said, that he regretted that the subject had been presented to the House at all; but, since it had, he thought the fact should be submitted to the President of - the United States, that he might take such course as he might deem proper in this matter, it being a dispute between his own officers. Mr. Saunders accorded in the propriety of the resolution, and suggested an amendment, that the President be informed of the organization of a commit tee, by this House, to investigate the case. This course, he said, would not surprize the Presi dent. If the President should choose to recal Mr. Edwards, he would have it in his power to do so. He might be permit ted to say, that the course of Mr. Edwards was not the same as that pursued towards Mr. Ham ilton, then becretarv of the Treasury, in 1794. Mr. Giles called for information, and bold ly offered and supported his mo tion, and did not throw charges into the House, and leave them to pursue them if they could. The same course ought to have been pursued by Mr. Edwards in this case, instead of which he has departed hence on his way to a foreign station, and thrown his charges back upon those he has left behind. Mr. Webster said, he hoped he might be excused for making a single remark, without going farther. It was obvious that the committee, which had been ap pointed, had no time to make any progress in investigating the charges of Mr. Edwards, at this session. He hoped the House had confidence enough in the committee to agree to the' mo tion he should now make, which was, to defer acting upon this motion until to-morrow morn ing. With this view, Mr. W. moved that this motion lie on the table. This course was agreed to, without a division. Thursday, April 22. Mr. Floyd, from the committee toi whom was referred the memori-i al of N. Edwards, vindicating; himself and accusing Mr. Secre tary Crawford, pursuant to the instructions of the committee, communicated the following mi nutes of its proceedings, viz: "The committee to whom was referred a communication from Ni nian Edwards, report the following minutes of their proceedings to the House of Representatives: Present, all the members of the committee: Voted, That the committee ought to proceed to make inquiry into the matters contained in the memorial, and connected therewith. Voted, That, for the purpose of such inquiry, the attendance of the said Ninian Edwards upon the com mittee, to be by them examined, is requisite; and that this attendance be accordingly ordered. Voted, That the Chairman do in form the House of the foregoing re solutions of the committee, and in asmuch as it is suggested that the said Ninian Edwards is about to leave the United States on foreign diplomatic service, Voted, That the Chairman do move the House that information of said communication, of the votes of the House thereon, and of the fore going resolutions of the committee, be communicated to the President of the U S." The latter proposition having been put in the form of a mo tion by Mr. Taylor, of New York, and the question being upon agreeing thereto Mr. McLane moved to re commit the report of the select committee. Mr. Randolph said, he hoped the motion for re-commitment would not prevail: and he rose for the purpose of calling the attention of the House to a fact, that the select committee hdve acted, by the authority and in the name of this body, and that. J -J i whether gentlemen think that: Mr. Edwards ought to be bro't before the committee or not, the writ is now on its way; that it will be served upon him; and that he will be brought here, whether we vote in one Way or another, on this qyestion. In case this enquiry is to be prose cuted, said Mr. R. I cannot con sent to act, on that committee, except by the imperious man date of this House, without the presence of the informer. The committee having first resolved that this inquiry should be pro secuted; that the informer should be brought before the Grand Ju ry, have reported the fact for what? That the House, being one of theeo-ordinate branches of this government of ours, should communicate1 to the other co-ordinate branch, that which, in courtesy, the other branch ought to be put in possession of. What do we ask of the Presi dent? To aid us to bring this minister before us? No: we need no authority from him. We will, in despite of any man in this land, have him before us. If, indeed, he shall have made his escape from the country, we cannot follow him to -Mexico; but, any where short of the I3a lize, the warrant of this House is as high authority as any known in this land, and, as such, I trust it will be supported. If I had thought that, in the act of that committee, the privileges' of this House the privileges of the American people in their Representatives, had been com promited, no consideration that man can name, would have in duced me to give it mv sanc- tion. It was at mv motion that the order was passed to bring the accuser before us. I hope the House will proceed as pro posed. The committee have maintained the authority of this House, which I never will sur render, and have, in their re port, acted to the Executive with that comity and urbanity which, when it shall cease to prevail between the co-ordinate branch es of any government like ours, must throw every thing into confusion. Mr. Cook, of Illinois, said, it had been, and should be, his course, pending this subject, to abstain from saying any thing in relation to the merns of it, and to abstain from exhibiting any thing like feeling in relation to it In his opinion, the course whiCii the committee had pur sueti, on mis occasion, was a proper one. The Executive had probably given its orders to this individual,and his actual po sition might not be 60 well known to any one as to the Ex ecutive. Mr. C. thought it was probable that, betore anv nro cess could reach him, he Would have left Illinois, and might have reached New-Orleans, and the information communicated to the Executive might be ef fectuated to answpr thr end of the process of this House reach ing him. Mr. Forsyth asked, if he had understood the gentleman from Illinois rightly, when he inform ed the House that this person was now on his way to New Orleans, and about to pass thence from the United States? Mr. Cook said, that he had so stated, presuming it to be the r fact. Mr. Forsyth said, it was on ly -what he suspected. The Parthian throws behind him his poisoned arrows as he retreats, and then flies beyond the reach of pursuit But, Mr. F. said, he could not fortunately leave the United States before the pro cess of the United States could reach him. The vessel which was to have the honor to bear him out, had not yet left the Navy Yard at this place, and, as he would scarcely venture to sail without the protection of the guns of the nation, he could yet be overtaken. Mr. Cook said that, when up before, he had intended to sug gest, that the vessel which was destined to carry Mr. Edwards to Mexico, was yet at this place; that by this vessel, information could be given to him of his Dre- sence being desired here; and that the only, at least most pro bable way, in which the process of this House could reach him, and he could be recalled for the purposes of -this House, would be by means of this vessel. Mr. Floyd said, that the com mittee had thought it necessary that this individual should bo present during the examination of h is charges. They were per fectly aware that the authority with which they were invested by the House, was sufficient for all the purposes of bringing him here, and, in the course which they had pursued, had no ob ject but to give the President of the United States, in a respect ful manner, information of the course which it had been thought proper, by the committee, to pursue; and he hoped the oppo sition to it would be withdrawn. Mr. McLane said he was not anxious to embarras the pro ceedings. He was anxious for this investigation to go on. To save trouble to the House, how ever he would withdraw his motion for re-commitment Mr. Floyd then moved that the Clerk of this House be di rected to adopt measures to ex pedite the printing of the Re port of the Secretary of the Treasury, upon which the said communication is founded, and that the said communication with its accompanying docu ments, be printed; which was agreed to. Friday, April 23. The fol lowing Message from the Presi dent of the United States, by Mr. Everett, his private Secre tary, was received, read, and or dered to lie on the table: To the House of Representatives: In conformity with a resolution of the House of Representatives of yesterday, I have received a copy of the proceedings of the commit tee to whom was referred a com munication from Ninian Edwards, lately appointed Minister plenipo tentiary to Mexico, in which it is decided that his attendance in this city, for the purpose of being exa mined, by the committee, on mat ters contained in the said communi cation, was requisite. As soon as I was apprized that such a commu nication had been made to the House, anticipatine: that the atten dance of Mr. Edwards might be desired, for the purpose stated, I thought it proper that he should be informed thereof, and instructed not to proceed in his mission, but to await such call as might be made on him, either by the House, or its committee, and in consequence a letter was addressed to him to th3t effect, by the Secretary of State. , Aprils, 1824.