Extract of a letter, dated
Washington Feb. 21st 1832
When Mr. Clay discussed his resolution, a quorum could not be retained in the House of Representatives, and all classes, sexes, and almost all descriptions of persons resident and visitors were wending their way to the Senate Chamber to hear the orator of the West discuss his project for modifying the Tariff of duties. How far the members of the House were justified in abandoning their seats and leaving the important business before them enacted on is a question between them and their constituents, but with which a transient resident has no immediate interest, and is only remotely effected as one among millions. I will suggest however that if they only desired to obtain the facts possessed by Mr. Clay, they would have possessed them by waiting and reading his speech. The ladies will account for their absence from their families to their husbands. My compassion was little moved, however, when I heard a gentleman express a hope that Mr. Clay would bring his speech to a close, that order might be restored in his family, and that his dinners might be regularly served up again. The discussion of the tariff attracts but little attention at this time, and the Senate Chamber is abandoned to the Supreme Court room.
The writ of Error, allowed by Judge Baldwin on the proceedings of Georgia, against the Missionaries was assigned at the fore part of the term to be heard on the 20th. Mr. Sergeant opened the argument yesterday, and maintained the rights of the Cherokee Indians to their country, as established and recognized by various treaties made with them by the United States from the commencement of the Government, to within a few years. He showed by them that the faith of the United States was pledged to guarantee to the Indians the lands not ceded, and that it had been the settled policy of the Government to reclaim the Indians from their savage state, and to civilize and Christianize them.- His speech was equally creditable to the soundness of his head and the goodness of his heart. The belief was that when he resumed his seat, that he had left little or no ground for Mr. Wirt to occupy. Were he to judge from Mr. Wirt's speech today, I should say the subject is inexhaustible. He spoke until after three o'clock and was obliged from fatigue, to ask the court to adjourn.
So interesting was the subject, so ably did he present it to the court, that in addition to the number of gentlemen and ladies who attended from curiosity, many of the members of the House resorted to the court room, and an adjournment was moved before two; and after several unsuccessful attempts it was carried before three o'clock. Several Cherokees, delegated by their Nation, were present; and the deep solicitude for the event depicted in their countenances, must have moved the sympathy of everyone present, whose heart was not as hard as adamant. The Court adjourned till tomorrow, without, as it is supposed, recollecting that divine service is to held at that time in the capitol in celebration of the centennial birthday of Gen. Geo. Washington.
Perhaps there is no man in the nation who is so much afflicted by the refusal of Mr. John Washington to permit the remains of General Washington to be removed, as Judge Marshall. From the time he offered the resolution of 1799 to this period, he had fondly hoped he should survive the depositing the remains of General Washington within the Capitol.- The approaching anniversary seemed to him to be peculiarly appropriate for carrying into execution the resolution referred to. When he first heard of the answer given by Mr. John Washington, he was greatly overcome. There are many reasons for believing that expresses were sent to Mount Vernon and to Richmond, by those who were opposed to the joint resolution to operate as well upon the mind of Mr. John Washington as upon the action of the Governor and Legislature of Virginia in protesting against the removal.
N. Y. Dai. Adv.