From the National Intelligencer.
Feb. 14, 1831.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN laid on the table the following resolution:
Resolved, That the President of the United States be required to inform the Senate whether the provisions of the act, entitled 'An act to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes and to preserve peace on the frontiers,' passed the 30th March, 1802, have been fully complied with on the part of the United States' Government; and if they have not, that he inform the Senate of the reasons that have induced the Government to decline the enforcement of the said act.
The resolution yesterday submitted by Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN, was then taken up.
Mr. BENTON objected to the form of the resolution, and wished it so modified as to make the call more simple.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN was willing to modify, but should have been pleased if the gentleman from Missouri had stated in which respect he desired the modification. He could then be able to give a proper answer. After a few remarks from Mr. F. in favor of his resolution, and a description of the views of the present Executive in relation to the Indians.
Mr. HOLMES addressed the Senate, and in the course of his remarks made allusion to the assumption of certain powers by the President on the Indian question, as encroaching on the Legislative power and jurisdiction.
Mr. BELL asked for the yeas and nays on agreeing to the resolution and they were ordered.
Mr. FOREYTH had hoped that the two Houses of Congress were done with the Indian discussion, more particularly as the matter had been brought before the Supreme Court. He replied to some of the remarks of Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN.
Mr. NOBLE said a few words as to the oppressive nature of the laws of Georgia relative to the Indians within that State, and made some reference to his vote of last Session on this interesting question.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN again took the floor, and in a speech of considerable length, replied to the remarks of Mr. FORSYTH. He went into a history of the Indian Intercourse Law of 1802, and spoke of the measures pursued during the Administration of Gen. Washington in regard to the Southern Indians.
When he had concluded, Mr. SMITH, of Md. moved to lay the resolution on the table, with a view to proceed to the farther consideration of the resolution heretofore submitted by Mr. GRUNDY, as yesterday modified.
The Senate, on motion of Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN, resumed the consideration of the resolution yesterday submitted by him, and which had been under consideration this morning.
Mr. FORSYTH rejoined to the remarks of Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN and Mr. NOBLE.
After a few further remarks from Messrs. NOBLE, WHITE, and FRELINGHUYSEN.
Mr. Benton moved to lay the resolution on the table, to give the Senator from New Jersey an opportunity to modify it, so as to call for certain specific information as to the Indian intercourse law of 1802: but the motion was negatived, 16 to 25.
The question was then put on the adoption of the resolution, and decided in the affirmative by yeas and nays, as follows:
YEAS -- Messrs. Barnard, Barton, Bell, Benton, Burnet, Chambers, Chase, Clayton, Dickerson, Dudley, Ellis, Foot, Forsyth, Frelinghuysen, Grundy, Hayne, Hendricks, Holmes, Iredell, Johnston, Kane, King, Knight, Livingston, McKinley, Marks, Naudain, Moble, Poindexter, Robbins, Robinson, Ruggles, Sanford, Seymour, Silsbee, Smith, of Md. Smith, of S. C. Tazewell, Troup, Webster, White, Willey, Woodbury -- 43.
NAYS -- Messrs. Bibb, Brown, Tyler -- 3.
Mr. SPRAGUE presented the memorial of certain inhabitants of Wiscasset and Chesterville, in Maine, praying for the protection of the rights and privileges of the Indians.
In presenting it, Mr. SPRAGUE asked of the Chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs, whether it was the intention of that Committee to make a report on the subject at the present Session.
Mr. WHITE, (the Chairman of that Committee) replied that the Committee had not yet come to any determination on the subject. He could not, therefore, inform the gentleman whether the Committee would or would not make a report.
Mr. SPRAGUE then said that he should move that the memorial lie on the table. The motion prevailed.
* * * * *
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
February 8, 1831.
Mr. EVERETT, of Massachusetts, in presenting, on Tuesday last, a memorial from certain citizens of Massachusetts, praying that the Indian Tribes may be protected, in the rights secured to them by the laws and treaties, observed, that he had long felt it to be the duty of the House to consider the all-important subject of this memorial. He should himself, by way of resolution, have called the attention of the House to the subject, had no other member expressed an intention of doing so, if it had been possible, under the rules of the House, to move a resolution. But it was known to the Chair that, for several weeks past, there had not been a moment when it was in order to move a resolution. A petition from a very respectable community in the State, which he had the honor, in part, to represent, had been placed in his hands. By the rules of the House, a petition cannot be debated on the day on which it is presented, but must lie on the table one day. As petitions are received only one day of the week, on Mondays, Mr. E. observed that the memorial which he presented must, under these rules, like on the table till that day, and then come up as unfinished business of petitions. He begged leave, therefore, in presenting this petition, to give notice, that, when it should come up, on Monday next, he should feel it his duty to ask the attention of the House, to the very important question of protecting the Indian Tribes in the possessions and rights secured to them by treaty and the laws of the United States.
The petition laid on the table by Mr. EVERETT, of Massachusetts, last Monday, from sundry citizens of Massachusetts, praying the repeal of the Indian Law of last session etc., was announced by the Chair as now before the HOUSE for disposal.
Mr. EVERETT rose, and was proceeding to address the Chair, when
Mr. TUCKER interposed and demanded that the question of 'consideration' be put, and the SPEAKER announced this to be the question.
[This question precludes debate on any motion unless the House decides in favor of its consideration.]
Mr. LUMPKIN demanded the Yeas and Nays on the 'consideration,' and they were ordered.
Mr. EVERETT said it was with great regret he was obliged to say that he considered the demand for the question of consideration out of order; the petition had been received by the House, and if this motion were entertained by the Chair, it would cut off all debate on the petition, which Mr. E. said he had a right to discuss, on presenting it, if he thought proper.
The SPEAKER said the House had a right to decide whether it would consider the gentleman's motion -- it had a right to refuse to receive the petition itself.
Mr. EVERETT. But the House has received the petition, Mr. SPEAKER.
The SPEAKER said the petition had been received and laid on the table; that the House had a right now to say whether it would consider the gentleman's motion touching its reference, and therefore the demand for the question of consideration was in order; and he proceeded to refer to the rules, and explain his construction of them, to show the propriety of his decision.
Mr. VINTON moved a call of the House, which was agreed to, and the Clerk having called the roll of the members, and the attendance appearing to be pretty full, further proceeding in the call was suspended.
Mr. BELL asked if the House decided in favor of 'consideration,' what time would the discussion be in order; could it be continued from day to day, or would it be limited?
The SPEAKER replied, it could only be continued today, and the next days on which the presentation of petitions would be in order, (namely, on Monday alone.)
Mr. EVERETT again rose, and said he felt himself under the necessity of appealing from the decision of the Chair, on the correctness of entertaining the demand for the question of consideration; and he proceeded in support of his appeal at some length -- arguing that this was no motion, or proposition offered to the House, but simply a petition from a portion of his constituents, which they in the exercise of their constitutional right had presented to the House through him their representative. He had laid it on the table, under the rule; it came up today as a matter of course; its consideration required no motion, and he had made none; the matter before the House was the petition itself, and to that he had a right to speak; it was a constitutional right to which the rule of consideration could not apply, and could not cut off. It was with unfeigned reluctance he made the appeal, but a sense of duty constrained him to do so.
Mr. TUCKER, in a few remarks, defended his call for the question of 'consideration,' and his motive for making it. His object was to save the time of the House from being wasted in a useless debate.
The SPEAKER then rose, and after stating the case, read the rules in point, which he explained at some length, to show the correctness of his decision in entertaining the demand for 'consideration.' He referred particularly to the 5th rule, which is as follows: 'When any motion or proposition is made, the question will the House now consider it, shall not be put, unless it is demanded by some member, or is deemed necessary by the Speaker.' During the whole time which he had presided in the Chair, he had never exercised the privilege of requiring the question of consideration; it was now required by another member, and he had no right to refuse it, it being in order under the rule.
Mr. WAYNE asked if he was to understand, that the motion of the gentleman from South Carolina, (Mr. TUCKER,) was in order, before the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. EVERETT) had submitted any proposition.
The SPEAKER replied, that he considered there was, virtually, a motion before the House, on taking up the petition for disposal.
Mr. WAYNE thought that did not follow of course. The gentleman from Massachusetts had not submitted any proposition relative to the petition; and until he did that, the House could not know what his motion would be, or decide whether they should consider it. The House would be voting in the dark. He maintained that the SPEAKER would be right had the gentleman made any motion for the disposition of the petition, but at present the demand of 'consideration' he thought premature.
Mr. TUCKER then withdraw his call for the question of consideration.
Mr. EVERETT said it was his intention to debate the petition which he had presented to the House; and when the SPEAKER decided that he could not do so, he denied a right which was sanctioned by the practice of this House. During the last war many important questions were debated on the presentation of petitions.
The SPEAKER. There must still be a motion before the House to authorize debate.
Mr. EVERETT. If I am entitled to the floor [several members were attempting to address the Chair], I will then submit a motion before I sit down.
The SPEAKER. It is in the power of the Speaker, or of any member, to require that every motion be reduced to writing, and the Speaker requires that the gentleman send his motion to the Chair in writing.
Mr. EVERETT accordingly sent to the Chair the following motion.
That the said memorial be referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs, with instructions to report a bill making further provision for executing the laws of the United States on the subject of intercourse with the Indian tribes; and also, for the faithful observance of the treaties between the United States and the said tribes.
The motion having been read --
Mr. WICKLIFFE demanded that the question be put on the 'consideration' of the motion. He had no idea of commencing another Indian war at this period of the session.
Mr. CONDICT called for the yeas and nays, and they were ordered; and the Speaker having stated the question --
Mr.EVERETT said if he understood the Chair that it was in order to preclude debate on his motion, by the question of 'consideration,' he must appeal to the House from the decision of the Chair.
The yeas and nays were ordered on the appeal.
Considerable debate now ensued on the appeal, which as it cannot be reported fully, is not attempted at all; the preceding outline being sufficient to shew the reader the nature of the points which arose, and the course of proceeding on them, which is all that is intended by the sketch. The appeal was supported by Mr. EVERETT and Mr. BATES, of Massachusetts, and it was opposed, and the decision of the Chair defended, by Mr. WAYNE and Mr. Thompson, of Georgia. Finally,
Mr. EVERETT said, yielding to the wishes of several of his friends, he would withdraw the appeal, and meet the question at once.
The question was then put -- 'Will the House now consider the motion?' and was decided in the affirmative, by yeas and nays, as follows:
YEAS -- 101. NAYS 93.
Mr. EVERETT then rose, and addressed the House until near four o'clock, in support of his motion; when, being evidently much exhausted, (having not long since recovered from severe illness.)
Mr. WAYNE and Mr. VANCE rose at the same moment, to request that he would yield to a motion for adjournment; and
The House adjourned.