OCR Interpretation

Daily national era. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1854, May 29, 1854, Image 2

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The Senate, yesterday, transacted but little
business of public importance, aud adjourned
till Thursday next.
I he House of Representatives voted the
hundred and eighteenth time, viva voce for a
Speaker, but as heretofore without a decisive
result. Mr. Carlile offered a resolution de
daring the Hon. William Smith, of Virginia,
Speaker. J'his received forty-seven votes in
the atlirm&tive, and one hundred aud thirty
one in the negative. And the House ad
journed as far off, apparently, as ever from
organizing that body.
t-i/" A e publish to day a special message of
Governor Wise to the Legislature of Virginia
in relation to certain resolutions of the Ver
mont Legislature on the subject of slavery.
I he remarks of Governor Wise will challenge
the approbation of all right thinking men.
We have heretofore refrained from an elabo
rate discussion of the proceedings of this
Board. We have done so with a sincere desire
that upon a full and careful examination into
its proceedings, as fkr as they were accessible
to us, we might be brought to change our first
impressions of the result of its action. There
was another reason which inclined us to this
dela) . we placed so high an estimate upon the
sterling integrity and official capacity of the
distinguished head of the Navy Department,
that we were unwilling to stem even to be in
antagonism to any act of his administration.
Our opinion of him is unchanged, and our
confidence in him unabated. To err, however,
is human, and we are forced to believe in this
instance the honorable Secretary has made a
most unfortunate mistake. As public journa
lists, ever sincerely in quest of truth, and anxi
ous to do justice to all, upon every matter of
public interest which demands our criticism,
we consider that we are no longer at liberty to
withhold the result of our investigation of the
proceedings of this Board, and the reasons
which have governed us in our arrival at this
result. In doing this, we shall seek to "extenu
ate nothing, nor aught set down in malice.'' We
propose to ourselves to present to-day morfe par
ticularly^ legal view of this subject, reserving
for future comments a more elaborate and gen
eral treatment of it. To this end, therefore,
we invite the careful and critical perusal of
our readers to what we now present as the
basis of our future articles.
It may not be improper to say that we have
been prompted to this duty by n6 captious or
even unamiable feeling towards any member
of the Board or to the Secretary and Execu
tive. who have seen proper to confirm ita ac
Having made these prefatory remarks,
we now propose to consider the execution
by the Executive of the United States of the
act of the last Congress, entitled " An act to
promote the efBciei.vy of the Navy," in a strict
lv legal point of view, and to show that the
plainest and most cherished principles of popu
lar liberty and free government ha?e been dis
regarded and violated in its execution.
Laws under the republican form of govern
ment affecting the right* and interest* of the
citizen, should define clearly what is proposed
to be done, and the manner of doing it, limi
ting as much as practicable the discretion of
those entrusted with their execution. This
principle, utterly disregarded in the act of Con
gress in question, has ever been held to lie at
the very foundation of popular liberty.
The act in question confers an unlimited
discretion upon the Executive, but no practical
evil or injustice would have resulted, if prin
ciples, time honored as the shield of individual
rights, had governed the Executive action under
The portions of the art of Congress under
consideration, material to be noted, are found
in the first and second sections, as follows,
to wit:
"Which board, under such regulations as
the Secretary of the Navy may prescribe,
thall make a cartful examination into the ef
ficiency of the officers of the grades herein
after mentioned, and shall report to the Secre
tary of the Navy the names and rank of all
officers of the said grades who, in the judg
ment of said board, nhall be incapable of per
forming promptly and efficiently all their auty
both ashore and afloat; and whenever said
board shall believe that said incompetency has
arisen from any cause implying sufficient
blame on the psrt of the officer to justify it,
they shall recommend that his name be stricken
altogether from the rolls. Vacancies occur
ring in said board shall be filled by the Secre
tary of the Navy, who shall preserve the num
ber and grades of its officers, as aforesaid:
Provided, That no officers upon said board
shall examine into or report upon, the effi
ciency of. officers of a grade above them."
"Sec. 2. And fte it further enacted, That all
officers who shall be found by the said board
incapable of performing the duties of their re
spective offices, ranks, or grades, shall, if
such finding be approved by the President, be
dropped from the rolls or placed, in the order
of their rank and seniority at the time, upon a
list in the Navy Register, to be entitlea the
reserved list; and those so placed on there
served list shall receive the leave of absence
pay or the ..furlough pay to which they may
be entitled, when so placed according to the
report of the lx>ard and npproval of the Presi
dent, and shall be ineligible to further promo
tion, but shall 1k? subject to the orders of the
Navy Department at all times for duty; and
vacancies created in the active service list, by
placing officers on the reserved list, shall be
filled by regular promotion in the order of
rank or seniority."
The act declares of what number of officers,
to be selected by the President the board
shall consist, their gra<Je? respectively, limits
their action to the extent of prohibiting an
officer of inferior grade from examiniug into,
or reporting, upon the efficiency of officers
above them, and. provides for vacancies occur
ring in the board to be filled by the Secretary
of the Navy. Congress, we are warranted in
presuming, believed that during the time it
would ntcttxarily take to make the "cartful
examination" into the case of every individual
officer, expressly provided for by the act, va
cancies would probably occur in the board.
The act further empowers and directs the
Secretary of the Navy to prescribe regulations
for th? government of the action of the hoard
in making the cartful examination and arri
ving at the jut/i/menf &nd relief which they are
required, by the act, to report to the Secretary
of the Navy, for tfie approval or disapproval
of the President. This power conferred upon
I lie Secretary was a very large one, it must be
admitted, not the less, but rather the more,
for that reason to be directed and controlled
in its exercise by principles of law and justice.
The discretion with which the act of Congress
invested the Secretary, was a legal discretion
and not an arbitrary and irresponsible one.
The Hon. Mr. Mallory, the chairman of the
Committee ou Naval Affairs in the Senate,
when he reported the bill, seemed to have been
aware that objection might be taken, that the
powers to be exercised by the board were dis
cretionary and undefined, and, by way of ob
viating the objection, held the following lan
guage: "In determining, &c." It will thus be
ueeu that, at the time of the enactment of the
law, it was supposed that the board, notwith
standing they were to be selected from a "corps
of high-toned men," from a " corp9 of honor,"
might yet do injustice to some officers, and the
assurance wus given to the country that the
action of the board, conducted under the su
pervision of the Secretary, was still to be "sub
ject to the approval or disapproval of the Pres
ident, and, to a certain extent, of the Senate of
the United States." Under this assurance, and
with the belief that these securities against in
justice would be faithfully enforced, the bill be
came a law, when, if it had been conceived
that the purpose was to execute it in the mau
ner it has been executed, it could not have
commanded the votes of a tithe of the mem
bers of either House of Congress.
The letter of instructions of the Secretary to
the board of the 20th June, 1855, intended to
be a performance ou his part of the duty de
volved upon him by the act, to prescribe regu
lations for the government of their actioo, so
far from guarding the officers of the navy
against injustice by retaining a supervisory
control over such action, and taking care that
the sume should be subject to the "approval or
disapproval of the President, or, to any extent,
of the Senate of the United States, expressly
by its terms invests said board with full and
uncontrolled discretion over the whole subject.
He tells them that the incapacity contemplated
by the act is three fold, "physical, mental, and
moral;1' "for although," says the Secretary,
"an officer may possess a strong mind and ro
bust frame, yet, if his moral perception of right
and wrong be so blunted and debased as to
render him unreliable, he could hardly be
ranked as the capable officer, to be entrusted
with the lives of his countrymen and the pro
perty and honor of his country."# He suggests
to them farther, that an officer is to "blame if
he has become incompetent from neglect of
duty and inattention and indifference to his
profession as well as from dissipation or im
moral indulgences." He beseeches the board
not to allow the cases of officers that he, or his
predecessors, may have ordered on duty, if they
be deemed incompetent, by the board, to cause
them (the members of the board) the slightest
embarrassment. The Secretary says in his
letter of instructions: "I fear a misapprehen
sion may exist in the minds of Borne in regard
to the position before the country of officers
placed on the reserved list with full leave of
absence pay. It is no degradation ; it i< rather
a high compliment." By consequence, those
who were dropped from the rolls of the navy
and those retained upon furlough pay were de
graded. Every officer of the navy or army has
a vested right in his commission, of which he
connot be rightfully deprived except for cause.
It is troe that the President of the United
States, of necessity, has the power to dismiss an
officer at will, but he dismisses him under re
sponsibility for the act, and if the dismissal be
wanton, arbitrary, and corrupt, the President
may be impeached for it. This is the theory
of the Government, however impossible it may
be in practice to execute the power of impeach
ment. But this power of dismissal is inherent
in the Presidential office, belongs to no other
functionary or authority, and cannot be dele
Could it have been in the contemplation of
Congress when the act in question became a
law, and the shield against injustice mentioned
by Mr. Mallory in his report was supposed to
be thrown around the officers who were to be
subjected to action under it, that the fact* of
each case upon which the Board based their
recommendations were not to be reported to
the Secretary for the consideration of the
President, that he might decide whether
or not he approved or disapproved of the
recommendations of the Board ? and was it
not the doty of the Secretary to prescribe such
regulations for the action of the Board as
would accomplish this result ? When citizens
of the Government were to be tried for immo
rality and crime, and subjected to degradation
and deprivation of vested rights, should not
the Secretary, unless the law prohibited it, in
deference to the character of our free institu
tions, have caused the parties sought to be
affected to he notified of the charges against
them?to be informed of the proofs, and
allowed an opportunity to be heard. Is not
this the guarantied right of the citizen in all
cases? Could it have been in the contempla
plation of Congress that the officers of the
Navy were to be tried opon their morals, for
there may be a very wide difference of opinion
as to what constitutes morality or immorality?
And the question would, perhaps, be better
suited to the investigation of an ecclesiaitical
jurisdiction, a board of casuists, or a bench of
bishops, than to a board of old and young
naval officers. Crime and dishonor have al
ways been subject tcrthe jurisdiction of courts
martial; and the law, if faithfully executed,
I has always afforded a full remedy for them.
The general understanding at the time of the
passage of the act was, that it was designed to
reach such cases only as those of courts martial
could not take cognizance. The incapacity con
templated by the act cannot fairly or legally
be understood to embrace failure from neglect
or want of inclination on the part of the officer
to perform duties for the government, has
always had the power to compel those who
were capable to the performance of their
duties, or to forfeit their commissions. The
incapacity contemplated was, therefore, an
actual existing inability on the part of the
officer, the result of the accidents of age,
diseaae, Ac., which rendered it impossible tor
him to perform all his duties ashore and
afloat efficiently, however willing and desirous
he might be to perform them. It is difficult
to perceive how a mere failure to perform
duties proves the existence of incapacity to
perform them.
Under this letter of instructions of the Se
cretary, the board convened on the 20th June,
1855, and finished their labors on the 26th of
J uly following ; they sat in profound secrecy,
and whilst it is said they had access to the re
cords of the Navy Department, they called no
witnesses to testify before them. If they had
testimony before them, it was gathered by the
individual members of the board, exparte and
unofficially. They reported no testimony to
ths Secretary for the consideration of the
President. If they did their duty they ex
amined carefully into the question of the capa
city or incapacity of every officer in the Navy,
aud report, as the result of their labors, a re
commendation that a number of officers be
stricken from the rolls of the Navy, and a
much larger number placed upon the reserved
list, some with leave pay, and some upon
furlough pay. Of those dropped from the rolls,
some were nt the time in the active and ef
ficient discharge of their duties on foreign
stations. In many instances those dropped or
retired, on furlough, are men of mature years
with dependent families, left destitute of the
means ofsupport, and against whom the records
of the department will be searched in vain for
charges, either of neglect or iuefficiency. If
they are immoral their immorality has uot
been seen by those most intimate with them.
They have been reported to the President as
fit subjects, in the belief of the board, for dis
missal, or its equivalent, to be furloughed, but
for what reason believed to be thus fit, their
report is profoundly silent. Yet the President
says, in his letter of approval, that he '"has
carefully examined and deliberately considered
the report of the board," a report giving only
the-names of the officers recommended to be
retired and dismissed without reasons of any
sort for the recommendation. It is true, the
Secretary writes to the President, that in his
judgment the recommendation of the board is
uot altogether correct, but looking to the high
character of the officers composing it, he advises
him for that reason, and the only one given, to
approve and confirm the report. Some of the
officers who have applied to know why they
have been stricken down, have been informed
that the board gave no reasons, and were re
quired to give none, and that the President
and Secretary approved without reasons.
From all the facts of the case, we are led to
infer, and I think we are warranted in assum
ing it to be true, that the Secretary of the Navy,
with the approval of the President, empowered
the board to select in their (the board's) discre
tion and caprice, such officers as they, from
their previous knowledge or opinion or upon
hearsay information, or for any reason satisfac
tory to themselves, thought ought to be re
tired or dismissed, and fo give no reasons for
such belief. It is not a little strange, too, that
the oldest and most distinguished officers of
the navy, such as Morris, Stewart, Jones, &c.,
were excluded from the board. We have*no
doubt but the members of the board are honor
able men, but they are but men, and were di
rectly interested in the Removal of those who
stood in the way of their promotion. The
charge is made, but how the facts stand we are
not informed, that they found a greater propor
tion of those above them than below them fit
subjects for retirement and dismissal.
"Mankind it unco weak
And little to be trusted,
If *elf the wavering balance vhake,
lie rarely right adjusted."
Is not this whole proceeding a plain viola
tion of the act of Congress itself, both in letter
and in spirit. Is it not a plain violation of
the fundamental principles of the common
law as declared in M Magna Carta" and the
Bill of Rights in England, ami as the same
have been embodied in the Constitution of the
United States and in the constitutions of every
State of this Union, forming as they do the
foundation stone of Republican government,
viz: that no man shall be deprived of his
goods, chattels, estates^ rights, privileges, A'c.,
unless in due course of law, and with opportu
nity to be heard and then cause against it.
The officers in this case have, in point of fact,
been subjected to a criminal prosecution, and,
so far from being confronted by the witnesses
against them, and having an opportunity to be
heard in their defence, they have been stricken
down by a proceeding wholly ex parte and in
The Secretary of the Navy had no right to
invest said board with any such irresponsible
authority as he seems to have conferred upon
them. The great principle of free government
is, "that all power is vested in and consequent
ly derived from the people; that magistrates
are their trustees and servants, and at all times
amenable to them." There is no such thing
in this country as an official discretion unregu
lated and uncontrolled by law, for the simple
reason, that the officer is himself only the
agent and servant of the law, the law being
an expression of the sovereign will of the peo
pie or nation. The very instant any officer of
this Government is endowed with a discretion
unlimited and uncontrolled by law, then the
Government is at an end, and the officer is no
longer the servant and trustee of the people,
but their master. What has been done in the
case under consideration, has professedly been
done in the name and by the authority of the
sovereign will, the fountain of all rightful laws.
The trust confided has been abused. The
sovereign will has been perverted, or rather,
the will of the servant has been substituted for
that of the master; and the deed done is not,
therefore, an act of law to which all must bow,
but an act of aggression and wrong, and invalid
and nugatory.
W e have rarely read a more eloquent and
interesting oration than that recently delivered
by Mr. Everett at the banquet given in Boston
on the occason of the anniversay of the birth
day of Daniel Webster.
Mr. Everett portrays the personal, not the
political, character of the great New England
orator and statesman. He presents the most
fascinating pictures of Daniel Webster as a
man, in hit private and social life. For natu
ralness, simplicity, and grapliic' power, few
such portraitures can be found in English lite
From the first day of the meeting of Con
| gress up to this time there has been a syste
matic effort to injure the Democratic party of
the House by holdiug it up before the country
as responsible for the long continued failure to
organize. All of the opponents of the De
mocracy, however opposed in other things,
perfectly harmonize in this: they all join in
the effort to saddle the blame on our party.
In the last few days new life and vigor have
been tbruwn iuto this effort. The longer or
ganization is postponed, the greater is the
compluint against Congress, and the greater
the complaint, the stronger and the more
earnest is the endeavor to charge the whole
blame upon the Democrats.
When the country remembers that the De
moratic party is a minority party in the
House?when it remembers that it has pre
sented for the Speakership an unexceptionable
candidate?when it remembers that it is the
only political organization of respectable num
bers in that body which stands upon the Con
stitution and State Rights, it must be acknow
ledged that not one iota of blame attaches to
that party. If all the scattered conservative
elements in the House would manfully unite
with the Democracy, Black Republicanism and
Abolitionism would at once be defeated. No
reasonable man can expect a large, compact
numerical force like the Democracy, to seek
out and surrender to, such scattered elements
as have been referred to.
ntar it is hardly necessary, we presume, to
inform our readers that we were visited during
Saturday night by another snow storm, which,
no doubt, if it continues snowing, will present
more serious impediments to travel, inter com
munication, and business, than any that has
fallen for some years. This second storm took
every one by surprise. The morning of Sat
urday was bright and beautiful. The weather
became warmer as the day advanced, and a
general thaw took place. It was anxiously
hoped that in a short time all the remains of
the first snow would disappear, but the vast,
unbroken continuity of snow which met the
eye on Sunday morning dissipated all such
hopes. We may now expect bad streets, bad
roads, interruptions to travel, and detentions of
mails for weeks to come.
The sleighs which were given up on Satur
day have again made their appearance, and
hundreds of such vehicles may be seen dashing
along our streets.
What will become of the poor in this in
clement season? This is a question which
should be pondered by all who have a penny,
a morsel of bread, or a stick of wood to spare.
A Dinner Party given by the President.
The President gave a dinner party on Tues
day, January 17, at which the Justices of the
United States Supreme Court, the Judges of
the Court of Claims and its Solicitor, the United
States Attorney and Marshal for the District of
Columbia, Attorney-General Cushing, and
others, together with the ladies of their respec
tive families, were present. , *
B?3uThe Hon. R. H. Stanton, a member of
the last House, of Representatives from Ken
tucky, fell a few days since, on the ice, in Mays
ville, and fractured his arm badly.
A dispatch dated St. Louis, January 19th,
states that the Kickapoo (Kansas) Pioneer of
the 18th says:
"A battle took place lost night at Easton
between a party of abolitionists and some pro
slavery men?the former making the attack.
One pro-slavery man was killed and several
wounded. Several abolitionists were killed and
>ome wounded. A company from Lawrence,
he&ded by Captain Brown, commenced the
fight with the Kickapoo Rangers. A large
number of persons have left for Easton. The
disturbance is supposed to have originated out
of the late freesoil election of the 15th.
It is said that the Mexican Governmen'
has made a formal demand on us for indem
nity, for the destruction of the town of Piedras
Negras, by Texan Rangers, last autumn, and
ask protection from similar invasions, and from
devastation by armed bands.
Rotts and the K. N's?by ji.m.
"D'ye Ihink," quoth Ned, "that botts will (dense
The Northern Hindoo irat^e*? '
"I think," quoth Jim, ,4a horse disease
I* good enough for asses.n
\ Boston roU.
ttsb" The following railroad companies do not
run any trains on Sunday: Galena and Chicago
Union, Illinois and Central, Air Line from
Chicago to St. Louis, New Albany and Salem,
Chicago and Rock Island, Chicago and Mil
waukee, Michigan Central, and the Great
Western of Canada.
An Intereztixo People.?The Red Rivet
hunters number two thousand men. Their
women and children number three thousand
souls. They have 1,800 carts, and range with
them from the Moose river valley to the Red
river north, and each year, in June and July,
and again in October and November, carry off
to the settlements at Pembina and in the Eng
lish territory, at least 2,500,000 pounds of
Buffalo meat, dried, or in the form of pemiean.
These people are simple-hearted, honest and
A Windfall.?A young man, named Harrv ;
Grey, who is now engaged as watchman at the ;
Kentucky Locomotive Works, has recently had ;
left him, conditionally, by a deceased uncle in
England, $200,000. Mr. Grey is only 25 years
of age?already having inherited $45,000 from
his father, which he spent for the benefit of |
himself and "mankind in general." His pru
dent old uncle, knowing his fast habits, in his
youth, and not knowing his industrious habits,
now inserted as a condition of inheritance, that
if the said Harry was in debt at the age of 30
five hundred dollars he should forfeit the in
heritance. Here is a stronger incentive to !
keep ahead of one's debts than we have ever '
seen before.?Ijouiscille Democrat.
Death of Jcdge W a LEER.?The Cincinnati 1
papers announce that the Hon. Timothy
Walker died in that city on Tuesday, the 14th
instant. The deceased was one of the most
distinguished lawyers at the Western bar. He
had been on.the l>ench, and was for some time
the leading professor in the Cincinnati law
school. His lectures in that school were pub
lished many years ago as an "Introduction to
American Law," a treatise which is much
esteemed and has passed through three editions. 1
Improvkd Plane Iron.?An improved plane
iron has recently been invented and promises
well. In this improvement the cutting iron is
placed inside of a thin piece of metallic case,
open at both end). This case, with its cutter,
is wedged into the plane in the common man
ner. The cutter is moved np and down within
the case by means of a set screw. The thick
ness of the shaving is adjusted with the utmost
facility by simply turning a screw.
Headquarters ok the Armt,
New York, Nov. 27, 1855.
The undersigned, the immediate corauiau
der of the army,being charged bv "General
Regulations" with all " that regards discipline
ana military control," deems it his duty, ac
cording to long continued usage, to submit an_
I nually, through the War Department, such
I views and suggestions us may seem likely to
I increase, without extravagance 111 cost, (having
regard to numbers,) the national worth, the
prowess, and efficiency of our military estab
lishment. .. ,
In respect to the condition of our enlisted
men, (or the rank and file of the army,) recent
acts of Congress enlarging their mouthy pay,
and giving them, through the grade of sergeant,
eligibility to commissions, leave, perhaps, no
want bui time to work ont every expected and
almost every desirable amelioration. And the
addition <of the four new regiments will, it is
hoped, give us adequate numbers to subdue the
Indians in actual hostility, and afford reasona
ble protection to every frontier agaiust their
future depredations.
An increase of general officers is a want
very sensibly felt throughout the army, and 1
beg to suggest one additional major general
and two additional brigadier generals, to make,
with the two brigadiers of the line already in
commission, five commanders for the geogra
phical departments of the army, with six other
brigadier generals for chiefs of the Adjutant
General's Department, the corps of engiueers,
the corps of topographical engineers, the Ord
nance Department, the Commissariat of Sub
sistence, and the pay department, respectively.
Justice, symmetry, and the good q1 the service,
appear equally to demand these additions..
Several recent attempts have been made in
Congress to improve the efficiency of the body
of commissioned officers generally by a retired
list, as well as by augmented compensation.
In the opinion of the undersigned both are
measures of demonstrable necessity.
Some forty or fifty "Officers, mostly in the
higher commissions, rendered non-effective by
the infirmities of age, by wounds or chronic
diseases, now press downwards into lethargy
and then despair; thrice the number of juniors
are sighing for the increased rank, which
would Tbefore they are too old, increase the
field of distinguished usefulness. How soon
the undersigned may himself be. considered
one of the superannuated he knows not; but,
while any vigor remains, he will not cease to
ur"e a remedy for the great evil in question.
The other amelioration, affecting the
missioned officers of the army, so much needed
from the enhanced cost of all the necessaries
and comforts of life, .is a corresponding in
crease of compensation, such as has already
been accorded to our rank and file. As this
general proposition will hardly be disputed
anywhere, the mode and scale of increase
alone remains to be suggested.
Fixed salaries, according to rank, would
generally, by persons in civil life, be applied to
military officers; but the experience of all
armies, including our own, has made the sys
tem of emoluments or allowances, (rations, lor
a(re &c.,) graduated according to rank and cir
cumstances, in addition to fixed pay for each
grade, universal, and to tamper with such ex
perience would seem uuwise. Leaving for the
moment the scale of pay proper and every
allowance, except one, as established, the un
dersigned will first seek to find what approach
to a reasonable increase of compensation may
be made under the head of rations alone, by
making the number cumulative, according to
the length of each officer's service, and putting
up the commutation to what has always been
allowed to naval officers?twenty five cents a
ration. _ , ,
The cumulative principle was first adopted
in the act of June 30, 1834, section 3, in behalt
of medical officers only, and next in the act ot
July 5, 1838, sectiou 15, in these words:
" Every commissioned officer of the line or
staff, exclusive of general officers, shall be en
titled to receive one additional ration per diem
for every five years he may have served or shall
serve in the army of the United States: Pro
vided, That, in certain cases, where officers are
entitled to receive double rations, the audi
tional one allowed in this section shall not be
included in the number to be doubled.'
The undersigned cannot resist the temptation
to say, in this place, that he wrote the two
sections in question, and followed up each be
fore Congress, in person and by letter, to tina
success; and that the exclusion of "general
officers" in the second act was, in the way of
compromise, offered by him after he had fully
discussed the subject before the Military Com
mittee of the House. He now respectfully
suggests the change of a single word in the
section just quoted, so that " every five years
may, for the future, be made to read " every
three years." #
To illustrate the proposed increase ot com
pensation, taking the four middle classes of
commissioned officers?say of the artillery and
infantry?this table is submitted :
t??r ?i
j'tt' *rr
?lo*. .
Lt. Col
?n?r *4
jr'm' f?r
tlc?. ..
Maj. tA
rn 1??
jr'r*' ??r
*tr?.. .
C?pt. "f
tar 12
y'r?' *er
|T5 e 10 $120 $24 $42 $261
60 6 8 87^ 24 42 223|
50 4 ?| ?? U 42101
40 4 4* 60 ?' 21'121
$3,132 $'2,520 $612
2,124 56$
1,860 432
1.452, 1,144. 316
Of course lieutenants would be proportion
ally benefited in the commutation value of their
rations from the beginning of service, and
after three years, in the number also. In the
case of general officer* their only benefit
would be in the change from twenty to twenty
five cents a ration.
The principal design in the foregoing plan
is to throw an accumulated increase of com
pensation on experienced officers?at a time of
life, too, when most needed, and when in gene
ral it would be most merited?stopping at the
rank of colonel. And here another remark
for the good of thi; country, and not the
special l>enefit of the service, may. at some
hazard, be added, via: the increased compen
sation would not attach to tHe new officers of
new corps, of whatever name, that might in
tiraesofpublic danger be temporarily called into
service; and, in another war like that we waged
in 1812-'15, we should probably always have
on the rools at least 150,000 troops for short
periods of service.
But the increase of compensation only to the
point suggested would, in the opinion of the
undesigned, fall considerably below the de
mands of both justice and expediency; and he
does not think the principle of qumulativc ra
tions can be extended beyond what he has pro
posed. He therefore, to make up the defici
ency, begs further to sugget a slight addition
to the monthly pay proper of all officers, save
the lieutenant general, (who now receives
under this head fifty dollars more than the
grade next below him,) as follows: To a major
general, (we have more than one in command
by brevet,) forty dollars; to a brigadier general,
thirty dollars; to a colonel, twenty five dollars;
to a lieutenant colonel, twenty dollars; to a
major, fifteen dollars ; to a captain, ten dollars;
and to lieutenants, whether first or second, five
dollars each. To recur to the foregoing table,
this would further increase the annual compen
sation of the middle classes in commission as
follows: A colonel's from ff>12 to 1912; a lien
tenant colonel's, from $558 to $798 ; a major's,
I from $432 to $512; and a captain's, from $316
' to $436.
The undersigned respectfully remarks that
officers should be compensated approxima
tive!)^ according to some regular scale, main
taining a sensible progression between every
two successive grades; for if, in the way of
example, the scale were raised from second
lieutenant to captain, and the increase stopped
there, it might make the pay of a captain equal
to, if not higher than that of a major in the
same corps. This would be both unjust and
There are other topics connectcd with the
good of the service which the undersigned has
I heretofore called up in his annual reports, and
to which he hopes attention may be attracted:
1. The revision of thq "rules and articles for
the government of the armies of the United
States"?articles of war; 2. Revision of the
pension laws of the army, placing them on the
same footing with those of the navy, and, 3,
change in the system of recruiting.
Should his views on those subjects be desired,
they may be found at large in his former re
All of which isrespectfullysubmitted through
the Secretary of War. WINFIELD SCOTT.
Hon. Jefkkrson Davis,
Secretary of War, Washington.
Anecdot* of th? Rev. Dr. Plumer.
The Pittsburg Herald tells the following
anecdote of the Rev. Dr. Plumer:
During a visit to the Hot Springs, on a cer
tain occasion, he was invited by the company
gathered there to preach for them on the Sab
bath. He consented. The ball room of the
hotel was prepared for religious worship, and
the audience assembled. The speaker an
nounced his text, and began his discourse; but
was mortified to find that by some of the
younger and more frivilous of his hearers of
both sexes, the whole performance was looked
upon as a good joke, aRd to be treated accord
ingly. Some were smiling, some were whis
pering, and unseemly levity prevailed through
out the congregation. For a few minutes he
endeavoured to withstand it by a simple pre
sentation of the text; but to no purpose. Stop
ping short in his discourse, he ut once arrested
their attention by the question : "My friends
do you know how these Hot Springs are said
to have been discovered? 1 will tell you.
Many years since, an old Dutchman and his
son were passing along down the valley, where
the road now runs that you see out there"?
pointing to it through the window?"when,
observing the Spring, they stopped their team
to water the horses. The old man took up the
bucket, went to the spring, and' dipped it In,
when some of the water dashed up on his hand
and scalded him. Instantly dropping the
bucket he started for the wagon, running and
calling to his son, in the greatest consterna
tion. 'Trive on, Hans; trive on; Hell ish not
far from dish place!1" At this, his audience
burst out laughing?when, immediately assum
ing a look of deepest solemnity, and dropping
his voice to .the low tones that in him are like
muttered thunders, he made the application:
"I tell ytiu, my friends, Hell is not far from this
place." There were no more smiles in that
congregation that day. Some who heard it,
said it seemed to them as if the terrors of the
Day of Judgement had come.
Message of the Governor of New Jersey.
Governor Price, iu bis message just delivered,
vigorously opposes the restoration of the Mis
souri Compromise and justifies its repeal; and
Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine are
censured for renewing the agitation of the
slavery question. He says :
I herewith transmit communications of public
interest received from the States of Massa
chussetts, Connecticut, and Maine, is accord
ance with the request contained in the resolu
tions of those States. They refer to the Missouri
compromise, and the slavery question. It is to
be regretted, that any of the States of the Union
should deem it necessary to agitate at this or
any other time, subjects like these, in a spirit
so imperative and unconciliatory. It must be
admitted by all, that the questions referred to
are of a character to enlist in their consideration,
all the prudence, moderation and forbearance
which the people of every section of the confede
eration have a right to expect and demand,
from those of other sections. In this spirit do
I desire to direct the attention of the Legislature
to the points involved in these resolutions.
That the so-called Missouri Compromise was,
in itself, an expedient devised to accommodate
for the time being the conflicting opinions
which existed in regard to the admission of
the State of Missouri, with a constitution
recognizing the existence of slavery, no one
will deny. The act was in its nature, so far as
the future exclusion of slavery, from the terri
tory acquired from France, in the cession of
Louisiana, a restriction upon the rights of the
alaveholding States?since in the normal con
dition of that territory slavery was recognized.
And although tacitly submitted to for a while,
there was nothing in its provisions to cast
around it the halo of "good faith," which its
advocates pretend should have guarded it from
repeal. But it is repealed ; and I submit, can
it now be restored with any advantage? In
restoring it, were it possible to do so, we bring
back the free citizens who now inhabit, or may
in future inhabit those territories to that condi
tion of quasi colonial dependence which theyare
now freed from, and which is at variance with
the principles of free government. We as
Jerseymen, contend that we have the capacity,
and are endowed by nature, in common with
all our countrymen, to the right of self govern
ment We enjoy it to the fullest extent in
our own State. Bat should inclination or
necessity take us to a territory, the common
property of us all, shall we thereby forfeit that
right, and become more subservient to the will
of the federal government than we now are?
Shall we part with the right of having a voice
in the establishment of institutions, on which
our future may depend? I think not. and
therefore, I believe that.the restoration of the
Miisoori compromise is not to be desired any
more by us of the North, than by our bretheren
The Recent Death by Chloroform
Dr. Emery has furnished to tho Boston
Journal the following particulars of the recent
death of Miss Morgan from the inhalation of
chloroform :
"Between the hours of one and two o'clock,
on the 5th inat., I commenced to administer
chloroform to Miss P. A. Morgan, at request,
for the purpose of removing some U'eth. I
commenced with a small quantity, should think
from two to three drachms on a sponge. She
inhaled it without difficulty for a minute or
two. Her poise was not strong but uniform.
She then commenced to be excited, and said that
I was going to extract her teeth, and she should
know all about it. She said that Mrs. Paige
(the lady who accompanied her) was getting
the forceps to extract them with. I think
about one minute had passed during this
conversation and excitement. I then removed
the sponge from her mouth, and in a few mo
ments she became satisfied that there had been
no attempt made to remove her teeth. In a
few momenta I commenced the operation agnin
with *he same amount of chloroform.
She inhaled it without difficulty about as
long aa ahe did before, and became ao much
excited that ahe rot up out of the chair and
inaisted that I had extracted her teeth. She
apit on the floor and looked to see if it was
blood, and she inaiated that some one was com
ing into the room whom she did not want to seo
I sat her down in the chair again, and she then
went into a spasm, closed her teeth, and
breathed with difficulty. I aprinkled water on
her face, and the muscles relaxed, and I aaked
her to get up and we would place her on the
lounge. She made an effort to rise, and with
my assistance stood on her feet and then
instantly sank to the floor. With the assistance
of Mrs. Paige, I placed her on a lounge, and
then there was a rush of blood to the brain. I
sprinkled water in her face again, but she
snowed no signs of beiug conscious. Mrs.
Paige went for assistance, and I immediately
commenced artificial respiration by insufflation,
and kept it up until Dr. Stedman came in, which
was but a few minutes."
Special lUtiKftgc of Governor Wine.
Tlie following special message of the Gover
nor of Virginia, was communicated to the Le
gislature on the lGth instant:
To the Senate and House of Delegates of the
General Assembly oj' the Commonwealth of
I irginia :
Gknti.emkn : 1 hesitate-to decide upou com
plying with the request of the Governor and
Legislature of Vermont, to lay before you the
accompanying resolutions of that State, "on so
much of the Governors message as relates to
These resolutions are in every sense offensive
to us, and unbecoming the intercourse and cor
respondence which should obtain between sov
ereign States, in the same Confederacy. They
are designed to irritate public feeling upon a
topic, concerning which it is naturally and ha
bitually sen.sitive and excited, and are calcu
lated to impair the affection which should bind
the people of the States together in national
union. Extremely erroneous and false, in fact
and in principle, they are not worthy o! discus
sion. The time for discussing such unwelcome
missives from State to State is passed. VVe
cannot reason with the heads of fanatics, nor
touch hearts fatally bent upon treason.
From time to time, for many years, the au
thors of such mischief have been remonstrated
with in vain, and have been induced but to re
peat outrages, to renew insults, and at last to
organize opposition to the Constitution and
laws, and to seize upon State and Federal au
thority for further aggression.
In the present posture of relations, we can
but wait in calm, dignified, and patient compo
sure, eiiher for the worst to come to jhe worst,
or for a returning sense of patriotism, a rever
ence for the past, a sacred regard to law and
order, a love of justice and of peace, to be re
awakened aud to restore a sisterhood of States,
its affection, its harmony, its glory and
I, therefore, recommend that no action be
had or taken upou these resolutions by you.
It is propef, perhaps, that they should be pre
served only as State archives, in proof of the
wrong offered us and of our lorbearancn; and
and this, and respect for State sovereignty
alone, determine me to notice them as I now
do. They are but minor results of the same
cause of apprehension and danger which has
assumed a much more formidable phase, and
now arrests the gravest attention of our coun
try. The federal government is arrested in its
operation, the representative branch of Con
gress is disorganized, and the representative
principle itself is brought into disrepute by it
at this very moment; and, in such a crisis as
this, we can hardly descend to look to its re
sults upou a Vermont Legislature and Execu
tive. Our attention is called to Washington
city, not to Montpelier. Parties, affiliated
with those of Vermont who have sent to us
these resolutions, have grown so strong as to
succeed in electing to Congress more than one
hundred representatives to oppose a mere mi
nority who are now defending the Constitution,
and in withholding from that minority the sup
port of thirty representatives, chiefly of the
Southern States; and the effect is, that the
House of Representatives cannot be organized,
except upon terms subversive of the Constitu
tion and Union; and the South is distracted
and divided against itself. Is the design of the
plurality disunion t Is the purpose of the
faction division among ourselves ? If so, it is
time that all people and all interests in our
country should be aroused to a sense of the
fact, that the easiest step to disunion is a with
drawal of representation, and that the most
potent cause to compel a withdrawal of repre
sentation is to disorganize, distract and degrade
representation. How long Virginia shall be
kept waiting for organization on constitutional
terms ? how long she shall be kept waiting on
disorganization, to avoid being put upon terms
of dishonor or being exposed to danger f are
questions for her people and her Legislature
to determine. For my part, I repeat the re
commendation, of calm, collected dignity, and
of patient and forbearing patriotism. Wait!
but be not wanting to ourselves and our pos
terity, I earnestly implore yon.
With the highest respect, your obedient ser
vaut, HENRY A. WISE.
Richmond, Va., Jan. 15,1856.
of 1824, Martha A. Wells (n daughte r of Alex
ander Wells, who thei^lived in Amelia County,
Virginia, and who subsequently removed to the
city of Petersburg and died therein in August,
lbfif),) went with a Mr. Spender Irom the county
of Greensville to one of the Western States. She
was then almui sixteen years old and has never
been heard from by her family in Virginia from
that day to this. By the will of her father she is
entitled to a portion of his estate.or, if she b* dead,
her children, if she or they be heard from within
one year from the date of his death. Any infur
mation in respect to ihe soid Martha A. Wells or
her children, if she has any, would be beneficial
to them and t>e thankfully received by the family.
Nov. 27?w4w. Petersburg, V*
The: peasant boy philosopher
ky Henry Mayhew, price 7Srtuti.
The Essence of Christianity, by Ludwig Fener
bach, translated front the second German edition
by Marion Evans, translator of Straus's Life of
Jesus, price $1 25.
Travels in Europe and the East, by Samuel
Ireneus Prime, two volumes, price two dollars.
Just published and for sale ut
PLATED TEA SETS.?I have Just re
ceived some new styles Albata and Silver
Plated Ware that I offer at manufacturer's prices ;
also, a large assortment of Spectacles, of every
description ; together with a good assortment of
nure Silver Ware, of my own manufacture, which
I will retail at wholesale prices
418 Penn. avenue, bet. 4$ and 6t!i sts.,
Sign of the Large Spread Eagle.
Feb 25?dlwif
val. at Rladenshtirg, on the night ol Tuesday
last, n DARK BROWN MARE, with her fore
feet bare,a white star in the forehead,arid marked
on the back with saddle pinch; the said mate hud
a saddle on. Whoever will return said mare, or
give information where she < an be found, Will
receive many thanks, and Five Dollars as a re
ward. JOSEPH JONES, Manager for
Rossburg. Prince Georges Co., Maryland.
North Side of Union Square, New Yorlt.
rpHIS establishment, erected on the most
1 prominent and delightful Park New York
affords, is approaching a finish, and, when com
pleted, will combine all that skill can devise and
money supply to render it the most desirable hotel
yet constructed.
The proprietors of this establishment respect
fully announce that the house will be open on the
tir?t ot October next for the accomodation of the
Applications will now be received from parties
wishing to make arrangements for the winter
The public patronage is respectfully solicited
Hawlky D. Clapp,
A. C. Joslin. Sept. 20?g
Dec 22?

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