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terviews preceding it, no earthly consideration would have induced me to vote as I did. I thought the insinuations made by the gentlemen from North Carolina and Massachusetts, when they made their remarks, unfounded and illiberal; but I rejoice now that they were made, and I thank them for them. They have led to a disclosure to which the country was entitled; and it has been made in time, thank God, to save us from a load of obloquy."

Mr. Brown was defended by his colleague, Mr. Dunham, after which the house adjourned. On the following day various propositions were made to bring about an election of speaker, but nothing was agreed upon, and the house proceeded to vote the 41st time, 224 members voting for speaker, but no candidate receiving over 59 votes, that number being given to Mr. Winthrop and 40 to Mr. Cobb. The house continued to vote and debate from day to day until the 22d of December, when, after 59 unsuccessful attempts from the first vote on the 3d of December had been made, to choose a speaker, the following resolution, offered by Mr. Stanton (democrat), of Tennessee, was adopted, by a vote of 113 to 106:

"Resolved, That the house will proceed immediately to the election of speaker, viva voce; and if, after the roll shall have been called three times, no member shall have received a majority of the whole number of votes, the roll shall again be called, and the member who shall then receive the largest number of votes, provided it be a majority of a quorum, shall be declared to be chosen speaker."

The house then proceeded to vote three times unsuccessfully for speaker. On the last vote, 111 being necessary to a choice, Mr. Winthrop and Mr. Cobb each received 97 votes, and there were 27 scattering. Thereupon a final vote was taken, it being the 63d time from the commencement, and the following was the result: for Mr. Cobb, 102; Mr. Winthrop, 99; Mr. Wilmot (free soil), 8; and there were 12 scattering votes (viz., 5 whigs, 6 democrats, and one free soil): total, 221 votes.

Mr. Cobb, the democratic candidate, having received a plurality, on motion of Mr. Stanly (whig), of North Carolina, it was resolved, "That the Hon. Howell Cobb, a representative from the state of Georgia, be declared duly elected speaker of the house for the 31st Congress-which resolution was adopted by a vote of 147 to 34. Mr. Cobb was then conducted to the chair by Mr. Winthrop, of Massachusetts, and Mr. M'Dowell, of Virginia, and made his acknowledgments in a suitable speech.

The house having been organized by the election of speaker, the president's message was received on the 24th of December, three weeks after the day that Congress had assembled. After another tedious and protracted contest in the election for clerk of the house, Thomas J. Campbell, the whig candidate, was elected on the 20th trial, receiving 112 votes against 109-several democrats voting for him, to end the controversy. After Congress had been completely organized by the election of its

officers, a vehement and protracted struggle commenced with regard to the organization of the new territories, the admission of California, and the boundary between Texas and New Mexico, all of which subjects were connected with the agitation of the question of the extension of slavery.

The senate formed a quorum on the 3d of December, when the vicepresident, Mr. Fillmore, took the chair. Mr. Clay, of Kentucky, who had been re-elected, and Mr. Shields, of Illinois, who had been again chosen by the legislature of that state, were present, and being qualified took their seats.

On the 21st of January, the president, in answer to a resolution of the house of representatives, transmitted a special message on the affairs of California and New Mexico, stating that he had advised the people of those territories to form state constitutions, and submit the same to Congress, with a prayer for admission into the Union. He also stated the difficulties with Texas respecting the boundary between that state and New Mexico; and that the people of the western part of California had formed a constitution which they would submit to Congress, and the president urged it upon their consideration. The proposed state was called Deseret by the inhabitants, but it was afterward organized as a territory under the name of Utah.

The president's plan of adjusting the difficulties between the north and south, on the subject of slavery, made no provision for the settlement of the boundary of Texas, which state claimed to include most of the people of New Mexico and her entire territory east of the Rio Grande, within the former's limits and rightful jurisdiction. To this assumption the people of New Mexico manifested the most determined and active hostility.

The people of California, having held a convention for that purpose, had adopted a state constitution, which the president transmitted to Congress on the 13th of February, and the question of its admission into the Union was among the earliest subjects under debate in both houses. Previously, namely, on the 16th of January, Mr. Foote, of Mississippi, had presented in the senate a bill "to provide for the organization of a territorial government in California, Deseret, and New Mexico, and to enable the people of Jacinto, with the assent of Texas, to provide a constitution and state government, and for the admission of such state into the Union, upon an equal footing with the original states, in all respects whatever." The same subject came up as the order of the day on the 22d, and was debated at great length. On the 29th of January, Mr. Clay presented a series of resolutions as a basis of compromise to settle the various questions agitated in Congress relative to the restriction of slavery -providing for the admission of California into the Union as a state; the formation of territorial governments in other parts of the territory

acquired from Mexico; fixing the boundary of Texas and New Mexico; proposing to Texas to pay off her debt contracted prior to annexation to the United States; declaring that it is inexpedient to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia while that institution exists in Maryland, without the consent of that state and that of the people of the district, and without just compensation to the owners of slaves within the district; declaring that it is expedient to prohibit the slave-trade in the district; that more effectual provision ought to be made by law for the restitution of fugitive slaves; and that Congress has no power to prohibit or obstruct the trade in slaves between the slaveholding states. These resolutions were supported and explained by Mr. Clay, in an elaborate speech, which was replied to by Mr. Calhoun, of South Carolina, and other senators from the south, in opposition, also by Mr. Seward, of New York, and other northern senators, who opposed the resolutions as conceding too much to the slaveholding interest. Mr. Webster, of Massachusetts, sustained the plan of compromise. In allusion to the project of disunion, he scouted the idea of peaceable secession. Secession there might be, but it would be revolution. He said that any scheme proposed by southern gentlemen for the mitigation of the admitted evils of slavery, would meet with his full consent and hearty concurrence.

Governor Brown, of Florida, having been asked by the Florida delegation in Congress to use his official authority in organizing a plan of representation for that state in a convention of delegates from the slaveholding states at Nashville, Tennessee, in reply disclaimed all authority for that purpose. He considered such a convention as revolutionary in its tendency, and directly against the spirit of the constitution of the United States.

On the 31st of March, John C. Calhoun, a senator from South Carolina, died at Washington, being a few days over 68 years of age. He had been for some time in declining health, and the excitement of the recent events in Congress proved too much for his undermined constitution. Mr. Calhoun had occupied a conspicuous position in public life for nearly half a century, successively occupying the stations of a member of the legislature of his own state; a representative in Congress; secretary of war in Monroe's administration; vice-president of the United States · a senator from South Carolina; secretary of state in the cabinet of John Tyler; and again United States senator- -in which station he remained until his death.

On the 12th of April, Mr. Campbell, clerk of the house of representatives, died, and on the 15th the speaker announced the event to the house, which adopted resolutions of respect for his memory. On the 16th the house proceeded to the election of a clerk, and on the 17th Richard M. Young, democrat, was chosen, receiving 96 votes against 92 for other candidates. Mr. Young had some years previous been a United States senator from Illinois.

Mr. Crawford, secretary of war, made a communication to the house of representatives on the 3d of April, asking an investigation into his conduct in relation to a claim of the representatives of George Galphin, which claim had been adjudicated at one of the departments of the gov ernment, and was attracting public attention. On motion of Mr. Toombs,

of Georgia, the subject was referred to a select committee of nine members, to be appointed by the speaker.

This Galphin claim was an affair of long standing against the government, but had been finally passed upon by Congress, and paid by the secretary of the treasury, with interest, the opinion of the attorney-general being given in favor of payment of principal and interest. The amount had been paid to Mr. Crawford, since he had been a member of the cabinet, he being one of the parties interested in the claim. The objection to this settlement of the claim, by a large portion of the public and in Congress was, that Mr. Crawford had made use of his position as a member of the cabinet to obtain payment of an unusually large amount, principal and interest, the interest being dwelt upon as most objectionable. The select committee reported a statement and resolutions on the 17th of May, the latter declaring that the claim was not a just demand against the United States--that the act of Congress made it the duty of the secretary of the treasury to pay the principal; but that the act did not authorize the secretary to pay the interest on said claim, and the latter was, therefore, not in conformity with law or precedent. A minority report was also presented, declaring that the payment of both. principal and interest of the claim had been in conformity to law and precedent.

Protracted debates took place on this matter, but it remained undecided until the 24th of September, when Mr. Crawford sent another communication to the house, asking, as the payment of interest was a judicial question, that legal proceedings should be instituted against him. A joint resolution directing the president to cause such suit to be brought against Mr. Crawford, in the circuit court of the district of Georgia, passed the house of representatives by a vote of 142 to 20, but the following day was laid on the table in the senate, by a vote of 27 to 25; and thus the matter terminated for the session.

On the 25th of February, Mr. Foote, of Mississippi, moved that the subject of territorial governments for California, Deseret (or Utah), and New Mexico, be referred to a select committee of thirteen, with instructions to take upon themselves the duty of endeavoring to procure a compromise embracing all the questions now arising out of the institution of slavery. This resolution was taken up, and discussed from time to time, but was not finally disposed of until the 18th of April, when it was adopted by a vote of 30 to 22-the resolutions of compromise offered by Mr. Clay, of Kentucky, and others by Mr. Bell, of Tennessee, being also

ordered to be referred to the same committee, who the next day were chosen by ballot, and Mr. Clay elected chairman.

On the 8th of May, Mr. Clay, from the select committee, reported a plan of compromise in a series of bills, the first to admit California as a state, to establish territorial governments for Utah and New Mexico, and making proposals to Texas for the establishment of her boundaries; second -a bill to provide for the recovery of fugitive slaves; and third-a bill abolishing the slave-trade in the District of Columbia. These compromise measures led to a long series of debates, but they were all rejected on the 31st of July, by striking out all the material parts except the proposition to establish a territorial government in Utah.

Another course was then adopted, and on the 2d of August the senate, by a vote of 30 to 22, passed a bill introduced by Mr. Pearce, of Maryland, to settle the boundary of Texas, and to pay that state ten millions of dollars in consideration of reduction of boundaries, cession of territory, and relinquishment of claims against the United States. Other measures of compromise easily followed. A bill for the admission of California as a state, passed the senate on the 13th of August-34 to 18; on the 15th, a bill for providing a territorial government for New Mexico also passed; and subsequently, in September, a fugitive-slave bill, and a bill for the suppression of the slave-trade in the District of Columbia, also passed the senate, the former by a vote of 27 to 12-the latter by 33 to 19. These bills all passed the house of representatives during the month of September, and receiving the signature of President Fillmore, became laws. The vote in the house, on the Texas boundary bill, was 108 to 98; on the bill for the admission of California, 150 to 57; on the Utah bill, 97 to 85; on the fugitive-slave bill, 109 to 75; on the act to suppress the slave-trade in the District of Columbia, 124 to 59. The Texas boundary bill from the senate was amended in the house, by providing for the territorial organization of New Mexico, and in that shape was concurred in by the senate. The constitution of California, framed by a convention of the people of that state, prohibited slavery; which prohibition was of course recognised by the act of Congress admitting the state into the Union. The bills providing for the territorial governments of New Mexico and Utah left the question of slavery open for future decision.

In the month of June, a convention of delegates from the slaveholding states was held at Nashville, Tennessee, and adopted sundry resolutions on the slavery question; presenting two alternatives for the settlement of the controversy, viz., the early enactment by Congress of such laws as may be necessary and expedient to secure to the slaveholder wishing to emigrate to the territories with his slaves, his rights of ownership in them; or a partition of the territories between the slave and free sections of the country, on the basis of the Missouri compromise line (36° 30′ north latitude).

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