Abridgment of the Debates of Congress, from 1789 to 1856: From Gales and Seatons' Annals of Congress; from Their Register of Debates; and from the Official Reported Debates, by John C. Rives - Vol. 10

Abridgment of the Debates of Congress, from 1789 to 1856: From Gales and Seatons' Annals of Congress; from Their Register of Debates; and from the Official Reported Debates, by John C. Rives - Vol. 10

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Abridgment of the Debates of Congress, from 1789 to 1856: From Gales and Seatons' Annals of Congress; from Their Register of Debates; and from the Official Reported Debates, by John C. Rives - Vol. 10

Abridgment of the Debates of Congress, from 1789 to 1856: From Gales and Seatons' Annals of Congress; from Their Register of Debates; and from the Official Reported Debates, by John C. Rives - Vol. 10

Read FREE!

Excerpt

TWENTIETH CONGRESS. -- FIRST SESSION.

PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES

IN

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

CONTINUED FROM VOL. IX.

MONDAY, February 11, 1828.

Militia Courts Martial.

The report of the Committee on Military Affairs, [made this day,] on the subject of the documents in this case, being under consideration --

Mr. HAMILTON offered the following resolution:

Resolved, That the report of the Committee on Military Affairs, made to this House, on certain documents communicated by the Department of War, touching the proceedings of a court martial which convened at Mobile on the 5th December, 1814, and a correspondence between the Secretary of War and Governor Blount, respecting certain drafts of the Militia of the State of Tennessee, be printed with said documents, which have been previously ordered to be printed by this House.

Mr. DRAYTON moved to amend the resolution, by adding these words:

"And that the documents heretofore ordered to be printed, shall, when printed, be appended to said report, in the order in which they have been arranged by the committee."

Mr. HAMILTON accepted the amendment.

Mr. BURGES said, that, by way of apology that the order of the House had not been complied with, it had been said that it was one of the high privileges of a committee of Congress, to say when and how documents are to be printed. He denied that. He denied that when the House had said certain papers are to be printed, a committee, or a member of a committee, may put them in their pockets, and prevent them from being printed. If such a doctrine were to prevail, a committee might put documents in their pockets and keep them there until the end of the session. The mode of printing had been indicated by the order of the House. This is not merely a conflict between the privileges of a committee and of the printer. What had the printer to do with it beyond putting it into type? that which was before the House is chirography. Why then should it be stated that this is a conflict between the privileges of a committee and the printer? With all due deference, the House had a right to examine the documents at the same time as the committee. He knew not why the committee had claimed the privilege of giving their opinions, when they were not asked for. When documents were ordered to be printed, it was not the usual way to retain them from the clerk, so that he could have no opportunity -- should not be able to send them to the printer -- but they had been uniformly sent to the clerk, and from him to the printer. It was now perfectly clear that it was the object of the committee that the people should not have the documents without a glossary to accompany them. The Secretary of War had been precluded from giving any opinion. It was then the wish of the gentlemen that the facts should go forth to the people without any commentary. Now, the same gentlemen seem to fear lest the people should have the facts without a commentary. It is intended to insinuate that the people have so little knowledge that they would not be able to understand the documents if they were presented to them by themselves. He was astonished to hear such a doctrine asserted. He did not know with what kind of people the gentleman from South Carolina was acquainted; but those of the people with whom he was himself acquainted, he could assure the gentleman, want no glossary or commentary to serve as a guide to their understandings. This mode of accompanying the documents with a glossary might have a very different effect from keeping the people from committing errors of opinion.

He asked what friend there was of General Jackson who would come forward and say that . . .

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