OCR Interpretation


Virginia Argus. [volume] (Richmond, Va.) 1796-1816, April 13, 1816, Image 2

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k vtmntkiil funned, its power* shall ext*
«c. I, t’.uiTf»re, «ee nothing imp<*riitive uith.sl!
cl; u-e, and cert* nly it would huvo been very- un
nece try to use the word in that sene. Fora-*
there was no coUrolbng power constituted, it
would only, if used in an imperative sens--, have
imposed amoral obligation to act. Hut the
a one rc-ult arises from using -t in a future sense,
and the constitution every where assumes, as a
postulate, that wherever power is given it will
be used, or at least used as far as the interest of
the American people require it, if not from the
natural proneness of man to the exercise of p,.w
er, at least from a sense of duty, and tiie <»h'Ra
tion of an oath. Nor can I see any difference in
the eflect of the words used in this --ection, as
to the scope of tiie jurisdiction of the United
States’ courts over the cases of die first and se
cond description, comprised in that section.—
“ Shall extend to controversies.” appear* to me
as comprehensive in effect, as “ shall extend to
all cases.” For if the judicial power extend” to
controversies between citizen ami alien, r»c.” to
what controversies of that description «l< cs it not
extend ? If no case can be pointed out which
is excepted, it then extends to all controversies.
Hut I will assume die construction as a sound
one, that the cession of power to tl»e general go
vernment, means no more than that they may as
stiinc the exercise of it whenever tliev think it
advisable. It is clear that Congress have hither
to acted mulct* that impression, and my own o
pinion is in favor of its correctness Iliu ii.us it
not then follow, that the jurisdiction of the state
court, within the range ceded to the general go.
Vernment, is permitted and may be withdrawn
Whenever Congress think proper to do so ? As
it is a principle that every one may renounce a
right introduced for his benefit, we will admit
that they may constitutionally exercise jurisdic
tion in such cases. Yet surely the general pow
er to withdraw the exercise of it, includes in it
the right to modify, limit and restrain that exer.
cise. “ This is my domain, put not your foot
upon it, if you do you are subject to my laws._
1 have a right to exclude you altogether_I have
then a right to prescribe the terms of your ail
mission to a participation. As long as you con
form to my laws, participate in p.ace, but I re
serve to myself tlie right of judging how far
your acts are conformable to my laws.” Analo
gy then to the ordinary exorcise of sovereign au
thority would sustain the exercise of this’ con
trolling or revising power.
ttm u is argum mat a power to assume juris
diction to the constitutional extent does not ne
cessarily carry with it, a right to exercise ap
pellate power over the state tribunals.
This is a momentous question, and one on
which 1 shall reserve myself uncommitted for
each particular case as it shall occur. It is e
nougli at present to nave shewn that Congress has
not asserted and this court has not attempted to
exerc.se that kind of authority in personam over
the state courts wh ch would place them in the
relation of an inferior responsible body iiuleften
dent of the r own acquietcence. And I have too
much confidence in the state tribunals to be
lieve that a ca-e ever will occur in which it will
be necessary for the general government to as
sume a controlling powerover those tribunals.—
But it is d.ffirult to suppose a case which will
call loudly for some remedy or restraint f Sup
, P«fie a foreign minister or an officer acting regu
larly under authority from the United States,
aiezed to-day, tried to-morrow, anti hurried the
next day to execution. Such cases may occur,
and have occurred in other countries. The an
j-ry vindictive passions of men have too often
made their way into judicial tribunal--, and we
cannot hope forever to escape their ban-ful influ
ence —In the case supposed, there ought to he a
power somewhere to restrain or punish, or the
union must be dissolved. At present the uncon
troleble exercise 6f criminal jurisdiction is most
securely confided to the state tribunals. The
courtsofthe Umlt-d S'a'ts are vested with no
power to erru'iniz.. into the proceedings of the
state courts in criminal ca-es ; cn the contrary
the gene-al government lias in more than one in
stance exhibited their confidence by a wish to
vest them with the execution of their own penai .
laws. And extreme, indctJ, I flul’er inyself ,
must he thecr-se in winch the general government
co iltl ever be induced to assert this rignt. if
e\er such a case should occur, it will he time
enough to decide upon their right to do so
But we know that by the 3d article of the ,
constitution, judicial power, to a certain extent, .
is vested in the general government, and that bv i
the same instrument, power is given to pass all
laws necessary to carry into effect the provisi
ons of tliec nstitution. At present, it is only |
necessary to vindicate the laws which they have
passed affecting civil cases [Tending in state tri
bunals.
' i
In legislating on this subject, Congress in the i
true spirit of the constitution have proposed to
secure to every one the full benefit of the consti- >
tution without forcing any one necessarily into '
the Courts of he United S ates. With this view
in one class of cases they have not taken away >
absolute y from the stale courts all the cases ti> '
wldcli their judicial power extends, but left it to !
the plontifl to bring his action there orig.nally
ifhe chose or to the defendant to force the p]a,n. i
tiff into the courts ofthe United States, woere ‘
they have junsd.c on, and the former has insti
tute«l his suit in the state courts. In this case '
they have not made tt legal for the defendant to «
pled to the jurisdiction, the clfect of which 1
an cmi 10 me piiiint lit's suit and
oblige him probably at great ri?k or expence to
insti'Mea new a'tion; but the act has given
him a f'gbt to obtain an order f.ra removal on
a petition to the state court, upon which the
cause with all its existing advantages is transfer
red to the circuit court of the United States —
Tb s, I presume, can be subject to no objections
As the legislature has an unquestionable right
*° make the ground of removal a ground of n o
to a jurisdiction,’and the court must then do
no more than it is now called upon to do, to wit
pivc an order or a judgment, or call it what we
Will, in favor of the defendant. And so far from
asserting the inferiority of the state tribunal, this
act is rather that ol a superior, inasmuch as the
circuit court ottlie United States becomes bound
by that order to take jurisdiction of the case—
This method so much more unlikely to affect of
viCial delicacy, than tint which is resorted to in
theothrr class of canes, might perhaps have
been more happily applied toall the cases which
the legislature thought .t advisable to remove
from the state courts. But the other class of ca
scs, in which the present is included, was propo
h id to be provided f..r in a different manner —
And here again, the legislature of the union e
v.ncc their confidence in the sta'e tribunals for
they do not attempt to give original cognizance
to their own circuit court* of such cases, or to
remove them by petition and order, but still be
lieving that tbeir decisions will lie generally satis
factory, a writ of error i* not given immediately
»s a question within the United States shall oc
cur, but only in ease the decision shall finally in
the court of the last re.ort be against the title
aet up under the constitution, treaty 8cc.
In this act, I can sec nothing winch amounts!
to an assertion of the inferiority or dependence
Of the slate tribunals. The presiding judge of
the state court is himself authorised to issue the
writ oferror, if he will, ami thus give jurisdicti
on to the supreme court, ,nd ,fbe think pvo|<er
to decline it; no compulsory process is provided
bylaw to oblige him. I lie party wlio imagines
himself aggrieved is then ai lilx-rty to apply to a
judge of the United States, who issues the' \vi ,t
yferror, which (whatever the form) is in »ub
talcs no more than a mr.de compelling the op
wsite tarty to appear before this court and main
v'm ”,e "galiw of his judgment obtained Indore
u exemplification of the r coril is the common
property of every one who chuses to apply and
,v'* ,r **» *n-d thus the case and the parties are
•fought before us. And so far is tlie court it
selt t- ..nv wing hr .ught under *he revising pow
er ot this court that nothing hut the case as pre
rented by the record and pleadings of the parties
is considered and the opinions ofthe court arc!
never resorted to unless firthe purpose of as
s.sting this court in forming their own opinion
1 lie absolute necessity that thcra was far Con.
grevs to exercise something of a revising power
over the cases and parties in the stalecourts, will
appear Inmi this consideration.
Suppose the whole ex'entofthe judicial pow
er ot the United States vested in their own courts
yet such a provision would not answer all tlie
ends ot the constitution for two reasons_
. fbe Plaintiff may in such case
have the full benefit ofthe constitution extended
to him vet the defendant would not: as the
plaintiU might force him into the court of the
state a' his election.
2 lly. Supposing it possible so to legislate as
to give tlm courts of tlie United Stiles original
juriMbcuon :ii all cases arising under the cons'i
tution, laws, &c. m the words ofthe Jd section
, ‘x: S' r,u,,n onwhich I have some doubt
' "c 1 !.M ’>me, might perhaps render the
quo minus fiction oft; real Britain, or willing con
ruct.on, grc.aly accumulate ‘lie jurisdiction of
those courts) yet a very Urge class of cases would
Knu.n unprovided for Incidental questions
a,ul asa cm,rt of competent
jurisdiction in the principal case, must decide
all such questions, whatever laws tliev arise un
l', e"d,css tin,K:'t he the diversity of decisions
hroughout the Union upon the constitution, trea
ir ,k:V9°fU:e ,jn.‘ted States : a subject on
winch the tranquility ol the Union internally and
externally m:«v inmi-Mi.. _i 1
I should feel ,|,e more hesitation in adopting
he opinions which I express in this case, were
! t™1* C10,‘VmCe<llhal tll'y practical and
ay be acted upon without coinpromitting the
°f.*he Union, or bringing humility upon
, state tribunals. God forbid that the judici
al power in these states should ever, for a ino
incrt. cven in its humblest departments, feel a
doubtot its own independence Whilst adjudi
cating on a subject which the laws of the country
assign finally to the revising power of another
tribunal, it can feel no such doubt. An anxiety
to do justice is ever relieved by the knowledge
that what wedo is not final between the parties
And no sense of dependence can be felt from the
Knowledge that the parties, not the court, may
be summoned before another tribunal. With
this view, by means of laws avoiding judgments
obtained in the state courts, in cases over which
Congress has constitutionally assumed jurisdicti
on !lU<‘ inflicting penalties on parties who shall
contumaciously persist in infringing the constitu
tional rights ol others—under a liberal extension
ot the writ of injunction and4lie habeas corpus
ad subj.cicnduni, I flatter myself that he full ex
tent ol the consMtutional revising power may be
secured to the United States, and the benefits of
t to the individual, without ever reporting to
compulsory or restrictive process upon the s nne
tribunals—a right which I repent again Congress
has not asserted, nor has this court asserted nor
1 '£?, ”icre aPpcar any necessity for asserting.
1 he remaining points in I he case being mere
piest ions ofpractice, I shall make no remarks up
m them. 1
- ■
CONGRESS.
IN SENATE.April 1.
After the transaction ofsoma minor business,
The Senate resumed the consideration,in com
ruttce, ol the bill from the House to incorporate
he subscribers tn the Hank of the Unitel States
Mr. \ ai num in the chair— the amendment of.
ertd by Mr. Goldsborcugh on Saturday still be
ore the committee—
Mr,.1/a „►», of Va Mr. Bibb, and Mr. Taylor,
poke against the amendment—and Mr. Goldsbo
‘iugh in itj favor—N\ hen the question wie* taken.
incJ the motion negatived,ayes 16, noes 18.
Mr. Harper moved an amendment limiting the
election of Directors by the President to such
is held slock to the amount of-dollar'
10.000 as named by the mover) and that Ahcv
honld cease to be Directors when they ceased
« bold stock to that amount.
I bis motion was supported by Messrs Harper,
)an:*» :um1 Taylor, and opposed by Messrs. Uo’
icrts, 11 arbour, Macon, Campbell, and Fromcntin
»d negatived, ayes 0, noes 23.
Mr. King moved an amendment preventing di.
colors appointed by the government from acting
is agents or proxies of any stockholders
Mr. King spoke in favor of, and Messrs Roberts
mil Campbell, against, this amendment—which
vas negatived without a division.
Dn motion of Mr Bibb, an amendment wa<;
idoptel, repin ing dial there should not be more
ban tlnr een.nor les» than seven Directors.to each
lranch Hank.
r. Taylor proposed an amendment making the
tock of the U. States unalienable—Mr. Campbell
poke against it—negatived, ayes, 10, noes 18.
i 'lPr [*rorvn offered an amendment, excluding
he U. Sta es as a stockholder from being repre
ented m the choice of Directors, &.c.—Agreed
Mr Hells, (after an introductory speech of
nearly two hou.s, in which he animadverted up
"I ,se';ral of the hill with some severity
•nd alleged -hat the hill with hese prov.sions ei
cecdcd the constitutional power of Congress to
enact—that its jMssage was inexpedient, and es
pec,ally at this time)—moved the postponement
oi the bill to the next session.
Mr. Dana made a brief reply—after which,
the question was taken on the motion, and ne
gatived, ayes 6, noes 29.
On motion ot Mr. Campbell, the time for tak
ing the subscriptions was extended from six to
twenty days.
On motion of Mr. Campbell, another amend
ment was adopted relative to the establishment
of Branches in the several States,
Mr. Datrget gave notice that he should here
after submit an amendment to the Senate ; after
which,
The bdl was reported to the Senate, the a
meindmenls were ordered to be primed i and,
.«t four o cl ick, the Senate went into tho con
sideration of executive business.
HOUSE OF REl'UESENTATIVES.
Moivnxr, April I 1816
After the presentation and reference of sundry
petitions, amorist which was one by Mr. Easton
Irorn certain citizens of St. Louis, praving
act of incorporation to carry on the fur trade ;
Mr Yancey from he comm.tieeofClaims report
ed a bill lor the reliefof Asael I'almer ; a bdl for
me rebel oi the supervisors of the couutv of
Clinton m New York, a bill for the reliefof John
Cr isby and John Crosby, jun. of Massachusetts a
bill for the relief of Taylor & M‘Ne.11 and Evans
8t M‘NeilI, of Baltimore j which bills were seve
rally twice read and committed.
Mr. Lowndes from the committee of ways and
means, reported a lull for tl»e relief of certain
owners of goods at Hampden, in the district ot
Maine ; winch was twice read and committed.
Mr. J.rwndes from the same committed report
ed, the lull from the Kenste for the reliefof llich
aid Mitchell, which was ordered to a third rea
diiig to-morrow.
Mr. .Middleton, from a select committee, made
» Put Durable report on the petition of James IT. j
M'CuHoch, accompanied by a resolution ; which
wv« -'ommited to a committee of the whole house
The Speaker laid before ‘he House a letter
from the Treasurer of the Un.tcd States, trans
mitting his annual report of receipts aiul ptv.
ments at the Preasury ; which was ordered to
lie on the table and he printed
1 he Speaker also laid before the Mouse tliere
port o! the Secretary of 'lie Navy, on the peti
tion of John M'Cauly, prize agent; wh ich wus
rea l and referred to the committee on naval af
fairs.
The Speaker also laid before the Mouse a let
ter froui the Sccreta y of the Treasury-, enclos
mg a statement of expences !tc ofprosecutions in
b half of the United States, in the states of New
Hampshire. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Ver.
utont and New-York ; which was ordered to be
printed.
l lte Mouse then resolved itself into a commit
tee ot the whole, Mr Lewit in the chair, on the
l>ill to increase the pensions of certain invalid
pensioners. No amendment being offered, the
committee rose, reported the bill to the House ;
and it was then ordered to be engrossed for a
third reading.
The House, on motion of Mr. Lovmdet, re
solved itself into a committee of the whole, Mr.
.>e«o/t ^ a- *" the chair, on the bill making
appropri Pious Ibrtlie support of government for
the year 1816
lit filling up the blank in the bill, left for the
appropriation for the payment of the Membe s of
Congress, some debate arose as to tlie manner of
drawing this compensation. The act lately' pass
e»l, to alter the mode of compensating the Mem
bers of Congress, declares that they shall receive
an •« anmiur salary of 1500 dollars ; and ,n asub
s^ueni clause, provides that the compensation
shall be “ certified and made in the manner here,
tolore provided by law the custom under the
former law was to pay the members from time to
time, as the services were rendered.
. x*nnuie$, in oDeuience to instructions from
the committee of Ways and Means, and in acc,r
dance with what was understood to be the con
struction given to the act by the Attorney Gene
ral, moved to rdl the blank with a sum sufficient
to defray the com|>c»Hation for the year ending., n
ie 4th of March 1816, and making no provision
tor the services winch would intervene between
1h®1 Period and the end of the next session.
I Ins construction of ilie ac. was disputed bv
. Ir. Clay, the Speaker, lie thought that the
members, whenever they could exhib.t evidence
ol the rendition of services, had a fair cla.m for
a due proportion of the annual salary.—Such had
been the praedee heretofore; a„d ,f dle rulelatd
down by the Attomy General were adopted a
member who happened to come into Congress af
er the 4th o! March, would receive nothing un
til the next.March. Against the inconvenience
and hardship of this construction, Mr. C. argued
at some length ; and for the purpose of making
an appropriation out of which to compensate the
members lor the remainder of this session, ami
p.u-t ot the next, moved to fill the blank with a
sum adequate to meet that object Mr. C added
dial as the public m erest would be unaffeied
ny t ins decision, let either construction of the
act be adopted, he snw no object! n to pursuing*
the.course lie proposed, without however al
lowing any member to draw so much of the sala
r> as would bring him at any tune in debt to the
government.
Mr. Johnson of Ky diTcred both from the spea
ker and the attorney general in this, iliat the com
pensat ion given to members was intended to em
brace a whole session, long or short ; hut as it
made no difference to the U. Slates, an«l that con
struction had been given, he should aenuie--.
and vote for the appropriation, provided an a
meiidment which lie had drawn up should he a.
copied, which did not interfere with the con
struction given, and was indispensable to do ins’
tice to the government and to certain member
who had not attended the whole session; whicl
amendment was intended to make a deductio.
ii'om the compensation of members for absence
in the proportion that absence bore to tlie whole
• lays of the session.
Mr. Jackton explained tlie views of the select
committee when they originally reported in fa.
vor ol changing the mode of compensation ; and
concurred in the construction given hv Mr rlav
Mr. Smith of Mil also concurred in the con
struction of the law given to it by the Speaker
According to the other interpretation of it, if
the members were called here to an extra sessi
on, they would Mr. S. said, beobl.ged to bring
money m their pockets io defray their expense?
e -d of theUyear.CeiVe "° C<,mpensalion “Mill the
Gtl'":n Omnght it not of much importance
winch cons ruction was adopted; but stated the
easons that nduced him to believe the construe
ti >n give • by the attorney general t-e t>ue one.
Mi G_ compared the terms of the several acts on
tins subject to establish what he believed ti,!
pi oner coil,ruction, and to shew that Mr. Clay’s
cou.d not be sustained. '
Mi. IS l ij'Ut thought it entirelv unnecessary to
,he .Co"8tn,ction *of 1-*»e law.
Congress had voted lo its members a certain an
nual compensation which might be viewed in the
light ot a contingent fund, and it was perfectly
competent for Congress indirect i^wKy
should he drawnX!’110"5' ^ comP^sal,on
ormmsed hmut<>eo.,,en 3fTr<vd to tl,e amendment
Cdl^tdL!;- °,ay* and ,Uled the bla"k - t»-e
hv Mr ' rhe.eXCtption ofsome observations made
Kg"1?'!" appropriation for additional
met with thf d«P»U»»«^ the committ e
U.e bdl, .mtil,ffiCU y m iUPro»reM tl'rougb the
Mr. Jack-ton moved to insert a clause anoro.
foPr d’ut nurn^00 'V'*™ "f ,hc ,'"nd **“’ i,|"u'
__™ Purpose, for carrying on the great wes
em road from Cumberland to Ohio
i bis amendment was earnestly opposed bv Mr
Gatton on the ground that it was improper to
introduce into an ordinary bill, an appropriation
for an objec wh.ch had not lieen authorised i,-.
a prev-.ous act. In support of his proposition
Mi G cited a recent course pursued by the com
mittee ot ways and Means, who although aware
m f Pr°teC,inff an »la"d whereon
an important light house was placed (Gull Is
and) Iron, the encroachments of,he sea, did not
tlunk it proper to report to die slovenly mode of
inserting an appropriation for that purpose in the
bill now under consideration , hut instructed i‘s
cha,.man to move that the committee of corn
inerce and manufactures be previously directed
to enquire into the propriety of the expenditure
and to report thereon. Mr. G. said the checks
upon the disbursement* of the government were
already few enough, and they ought not to be
further diminished by t|„s house, foe.
Messrs. .faction, Clay, Randolph, Smith, Wiitr/.t
and Ooldthorotiffh respectively advocated The
amendment ! the three gentlemen first named be',
ing particularly zealous m its support. It was
argued tlut the appropriation moved for, was
extremely interesting to the western state, and
more important to .be people of every aectfon of
the country, than any other item in the bill ,»
the union of the states wa* to be, a, all expect.
etl ,t to be, the means of public happiness, pro*. I
penty and safety : That the appropriation wr*
required from a fund already set apart for the
rr:, c,,nn compact = ** »h.* ifo.„c
coukl be called on to appropriate money to car
ry in toe Ifoct a convention w,th a foreign govern.
execute T*' an •PpropriaTion to
‘te . TTi ^itl'the 8ta,M* » double com
pact too, It being between the general govern
rant and the spates of Oo.o, Fennsvlvania and
Virginia, as they were all parties to it: Th
the appropriation was fut thermore, sanctioned '
ormerlaws directing the Work to be prosecu
•d, aiulth.t nothing w.-is wanting to fulfil th
l;«\v but the present .approoriation of money, f
which there were ever l pre«-e 'em*; that the’s n
< cstale ol Maryland had rider ak.cn tocomnlet
m live years, a road from T5:«l 'more to the point
it i.liich the Cumberland road commenced
and dial it Would be derogatory to i he character
ol the general government to be outdone by a
small state in a work of so much pubic utility and
(xilitical consequence; a work authorised by re
peated laws, and wanting an appropriation onlv
trom the fund already solemnly pledged to it, to
carry it on rapidly, Sic. It was likewise state 1
in de.iate by all whose personal knowledge ena
bled them to speak on that point,'hat the30 miles
ot the turnpike completed between Cumlierland
and Ohio, was the most excellent road which liad
ever been made in America ; and Mr. Clay took
occasion to remark, that he bad seen many turn
pikes as well in Kurope as in this country, but
bad never travelled on so fine a road as the thirty
miles ot the Cumberland turnpike which were
finished.
Mr. Jackson's amendment was finally agreed
fo, and the appropriation inserted.
The committee having filled up all the blanks
and gone through the bill;
Mr. Johnssn of Ky. moved the amendment al
luded to by him in the decision tins mom-ng
respecting the manner of distributing the com
jiensatjon to the members which was agreed to.
No other amendment being ottered to the bdl!
die committee ot the whole house, on motion of
Mr. Aowm/t,. proceedeU to the consideration of
the bill making appropriations for the military
service of the year 1816. J
.1 ,*? ,he ordinary appropriations in
M s rlwAIr‘ Johru.on ot Ky- moved to insert one
ot 15,(XX) to pay the owners of certain vessels
•»unk m the harbor of Baltimore in 1814 to de
tend it against the enemy—which had been re
ported in t he ordnance bill, but withdrawn to be
transferred to this.
\ft* j . . ...
T., . 7 , nl“'cu u,e urgent circumstan.
ccs under which the measure of sinking the ves.
sols had been adopted, the authority of the com
manding officer (Gen. Smith) therefor, in which
i.e was warranted by act of Congress, making
•ppropr.ation of 260,000 dollars for such objects”
and which act Mr. S. read. J
The amendment was agreed to without objec
tion. J
tl."SiU?fi,1CdUP theblanks» and Eot througb
The committee successively took up the bill
rnakmg appropriations f„r the navy for the year
Ifflo, and die bill to increase the salaries of cer
tain officers of the government; winch were also
proceeded through ; when
The committee of the whole rose and reported
o toe House the lour bills, which it had under
consideration, with the amendments thereto.
Some conversation took place between Mr.
Randolph, Mr. Lowndes and Mr. Johnson, in
Much Mr. It. opposed going today into the re
port ol the committee on the bill making appro
u iations for the civil list, the provisions of wuicli
i-e«|iiircd a more deliberate investigation. The
t-o Utter gentlemen were opposed to delay, be
cause the hrstquarter of the year had already!
■ xpired, anti all the officers of government wait
ng the appropriation necessary for their subsis
tcnce tkc.
The House then passed by the bill for the civil
nsl; and successively agreed to all the amencl
nents to the three remam.ng bills, which were
i.\.t_rcu to be engrossed for a third reading to
il rrow ; and then
1 he House adjourned.
ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE, fcc.j
1 transmit to the House of Representa
tives a report from Secretary of the Trea
sury, complying with their resolution of the
29th ol February last.
„ JAMES MADISON.
March 22, 181G.
The Secretary of the Treasury, to whom
the President of the United States refer
red the resolution of the £9th f Febru
ary, 181G, requesting that there be laid
before the House of Representatives, “ a
statement of the cases in which he has
employed, or caused to be employed,
counsel to assist the attorney general in
prosecuting the causes in the Supreme
Court ol the United States ; statin"- as
nearly as may be, the amount ol the pro
perty in dispute in each case, the names
ol the counsel so employed, the period
employing them, and the compensa
tion granted to them in each case ; also,
the manner ol making such compensa
tion, and the lund out of which the same
was paid ,” has the honor to present the
following Report:
inai ii appears to liave been the practice
of the government, to employ counsel to
assist the attorney-general, ii also the dis
iiict attorneys, in cases ut great impor
tance, either as to the principle, or as to
the value involved in the controversy.
I hus, for example, so early as February
term 1790, ol the supreme court, Alexan
der Hamilton received a fee of 500 dollars
io assist the attorney-general in maintain
ing the aflii matiye upon the question re
jecting tlic. constitu tiooality of the carriage
tax ; and Alexander Campbell and Jared
tngersoll, counsel maintaining the nega
tive, received a fee of g233 33cts. under
an agreement, that for the purpose of ob
taining a final decision, the United States
should pay all the expences, incident to
the transfer of the cause from the circuit
court to the supreme court.
That on the 24(h of March, 1804, in obe
dience to the resolution of the House of
Uepresentatives of the3d of the same month
th Secretary of the 'Treasury presented a
statement « of all the moneys which, since
the establishment of the present govern
ment, had been paid at the Treasury of the
United States, as fees to assistant counsel,
and for legal advice in the business of the
U nited States ; in which were distinguish
ed the several sums, when paid, for what
services, and to whom paid rcs|>ectively j’*
amounting in the whole, to the sum of 5.
022 16 dollars.
That the statement hereunto annexed
marked A, contains a like specification of
all the moneys paid, or payable at the
Treasury of the United States, from the
24th of March, 1804, until the present
time, for the employment o* counsel to as
sist, or to represent, the attorney-general,
in causes depending in the supreme court
of the United States, amounting, in the
whole, to the sum of 4,540 dollars.
That this department docs not possess
the means of stating the amount of the pro
»erty in dispute, in each ca*c, in which ns
dstant counsel has been employed in the
tprenie court; but it is confidently believ
* I, (mm general information, that in every
-ut h case, either the value of the property
.vas great, or the principle of the contro
versy was important; or the einplovment
»f assistant counsel, in the cases of sick
ness, or other casualities, was essential to
the public interests, as will more particu
larly appear by the notes accotnpanvinu'
statement A. J ' °
That the manner of making the compen
sation to the assistant counsel, has uni
formly been, hy issuing the warrants of the
Secretary of the Treasury, founded upon
the official settlement of the comptroller
and auditor ; and by paying the amount,
either out of the appropriation, annually
passed by Congress, “ for the clichargc o‘t'
such miscellaneous claims against the Uni
ted States, not otherwise provided for, as
shall have been admitted indue course of
settlement at the Treasury or out of the
appropriations annually made “ for the dis
charge of such demand's against the United
States, on account of the civil department,
not otherwise provided for. as shall have
been admitted in due course of settlement
at the Treasury.”
All which is respectfully submitted.
A. J. DALLAS,
Secretary oj the Treasury.
Treasury Department, March 21, 181G.
statement a.
19th March, 1805.
Alexander James Dallas was employed
to assist the Attorney General in the Su
preme Court,upon the argument of the case
of the United States vs. the assignees of
Blight, a bankrupt, for which he received a
compensation of g jqq 00
A'ote.—In this case, the claim
of a general priority, for the satis
faction of debts due to the United
States, occurred. The amount in
dispute was considerable, but the
principle involved was of much
more importance. The Attorney
General being indisposed, the as
sistant counsel argued the case
alone.
l3t January, 1813.
Alexander James Dallas was
employed to assist the Attorney
General in the case of the French
Government schooner Balou, (for
merly the Exchange)and general
ly in the business of the United
States, at February 7, 1812, for
which he received a compensa
1,200 00
•/Vote.—The Balou was a pub
lic armed vessel of France, at
tached in the port of Philadelphia,
by persons claiming her as their
property. The case involved the
important question whether such
au attachment would lie ; and, on
the remonstrance of the Minister
of France, the President directed
it to be brought before the Su
preme Court. Mr. Pinkney, the
Attorney General, being recent
ly appointed, requested, also,
some general assistance in the bu
siness of the term, to prevent de
lay. Mr. Dallas argued the case
of the Exchange, and ten other
cases.
14th May, 1803.
Walter Janes was employed to
assist the Attorney General in
the Supreme Court, upon theargu
ment ol the case of the (J. States
rs. the schooner Betsey and Char
lotte, Win. Yeaton, claimant,for
which he received a compensa
tmn of 200 0d
7th February, 1814.
William Pinkney having re
signed the office of Attorney Ge
neral, was employed an counsel
to argue the cases of the United
States depending in the Supreme
Court at February term, 1814, tor
which he received a compensa
tion 1,000 00
Jvote.—-Vlr. Pinkner’s resigna
tion, though previously intimated,
was not received untd the term
had commenced ; and Mr. Rush,
who was appointed his successor,
could not take the oath of office,
under nis commission dated the
10th February, 1814, until the
12th of the same month. In ac
cepting bis appointment, it was
e plicitly understood, that he did
not undertake to argue the causes
of the U. States, during the cur
rent term, as it would have been
impracticable to read the records
and to make the necessary prepa
ration. It was, therefore, an al
ternative, either to postpone the
public business until the next
term, or to engage the services of
Mr. Pinkney, who had a previous
knowledge of the records. Ho
was accordingly engaged ; and he
procured decisions in many im
portant cases, besides giving a
general attention to the interests
of the IT. States, throughout the
term. Mr. Pinkney’s compensa
tion has not been paid at the trea
sury, but has been credited in his
account as Minister at the Court
of London.
14th November, 1814,
John Imw was employed to
prepare the statements of the ca
ses depending before the Supreme
Court at February term. 1814, for
which he received a compensation
of 440 00
'rfe.—Mr. Pinkney having
only undertaken to discharge the
duty of counsel, it whs necessary
to engage Mr. f,aw*s services in
the solicitor’s business. ,
February term, 1815. .
ffalter Jones was employed,on

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