Harper's Weekly 04/30/1864


CONGRESS.

SenateApril 14. The bill to enable the people of Ne-
braska to form a Constitution and State Government
was passed without amendment.—Mr. Powell renewed his
amendment to the Naval Appropriation bill repealing the
fishing bounties, but afterward withdrew it. The bill was
then passed with the amendments agreed to in Commit-
tee of the Whole, restoring the Naval Academy to Annapo-
lis.—The bill to carry into effect the treaty between the
United States and Great Britain for the final settlement of
the claims of the Hudson's Bay and Puget Sound Agricul-
tural Company was passed.—Mr. Chandler introduced a
bill, in addition to the several acts in relation to commer-
cial intercourse between the loyal and insurrectionary
States, providing for the collection of abandoned property,
etc.—The House bill fixing the date of the loss of the brig
Bainbridge, and for the relief of the officers, seamen, and
marines of the same, passed—The joint resolution of thanks
to Admiral Porter was adopted.—The House bill amend-
ing the act equalizing the grade of line officers in the Navy
was passed.—Mr. Sherman reported a substitute for bill
No. 106, prohibiting gold gambling, and especially de-
signed to put an end to time-sales. Contracts for the pur-
chase, or sale, or loan, or delivery, of gold or exchange at
any time subsequent to the maturing of the contract, or
for the payment of differences, etc., are prohibited under
penalty of a fine which may be $10,000, and of imprison-
ment not to exceed a year. The bill further forbids deal-
ings in gold except by owners in actual possession of the
same, and confines all transactions and contracts in gold
to the ordinary places of business of the parties to them,
under the same penalties as above.—April 15. The ses-
sion of the Senate was mainly occupied in debate upon Mr.
Sherman's bill to prohibit speculation in gold. Several
amendments were proposed and rejected, and the Senate
adjourned without taking a vote on the proposition.—
April 16. Mr. Trumbull introduced a bill supplemental to
the act to prevent frauds upon the Treasury of the United
States. It enacts that any person heretofore or hereafter
holding office, who may willfully neglect to or refuse to de-
liver to his successor any paper, record, book, or document,
shall be guility of felony.—The bill relating to donation
claims in Oregon and California was passed.—The bill
granting lands to aid in the construction of railroads in
Wisconsin was passed.—Mr. Howard offered a resolution,
which was adopted, that the Committee on the Conduct
of the War inquire into the late massacre of Union troops
at Fort Pillow, and report as soon as possible.—The Senate
took up the bill prohibiting speculative transactions in
gold and foreign exchange. An amendment was adopted,
making a uniform fine of $1000, instead of that heretofore
of from $1000 to $10,000. The bill was then passed, 23 to
17.—April 18. Bills to ascertain the settlement of cer-
tain private land claims in California, and to aid in the
construction of railroads in Minnesota were introduced.—
Mr. Fessenden reported the Army Appropriation bill, with
unimportant amendments; the only difference in the ap-
propriations being the specific enumeration of items in
hospital supplies, the aggregate being $8,987,640, instead
of $8,935,640.—The Senate proceeded to the consideration
of the House appropriation bill for the legislative, execu-
tive, and judicial expenses of the Government. The
amendment increasing the appropriation to pay clerks
and employés of the War Department some $500,000 was
agreed to in Committee. An amendment was adopted in-
creasing the pay of messengers and others to an amount
not exceeding 20 per cent. and not over $900 per annum.
The bill was not completed in Committee of the Whole.
April 19. Mr. Sherman's Pacific Railroad bill was re-
ported with amendments.—A bill was passed to incorpo-
rate the inhabitants of the District of Columbia.—The
House bill to amend the Enrollment act so as to raise the
rank, pay, and emoluments of the Provost-Marshal-Gen-
eral to that of a Brigadier-General was passed.—The Sen-
ate then proceeded to the consideration of the Legislative,
Executive, and Judicial Appropriation bill. An amend-
ment was adopted providing for the publication of the
laws in places contiguous to the rebellious States, that
their dissemination among them may be the better se-
cured. After a few unimportant amendments the bill was
passed.—Mr. Sumner called up the bill to repeal all acts
for the rendition of persons to service or labor. The bill
passed to a third reading without debate. The Yeas and
Nays were called for on its passage. Mr. Sumner said he
did not intend to say a word about the bill; it was as plain
as the multiplication table, a diary, or the Ten Command-
ments. Mr. Hendricks did not think that there should be
such an amendment to the Constitution as this. Mr. Sher-
man always thought the law of 1850 was unconstitutional,
and had no objection to its repeal now. He doubted the
propriety of going back as far as 1793. He would give the
loyal people of the South all their rights. The States, to
a great extent, in which the law of 1793 was operative,
were for themselves rapidly perfecting measures of entire
emancipation. He moved to amend the bill by inserting
“except the act approved February 12, 1793, for the ren-
dition of persons from service or labor.” This amendment
was adopted. Without reaching a final vote the Senate
adjourned.


House.—April 14. The House resumed the considera-
tion of the resolution to expel Mr. Long. After a speech
from Mr. Rogers in opposition to the resolution, Mr. Colfax
accepted Mr. Broomall's substitute for his own resolution,
declaring Mr. Long an unworthy member of the House,
and on that demanded the previous question, which was
ordered. Mr. Colfax then supported the proposition,
which he had presented in the performance of his duty.
He answered various gentlemen, contending that just such
speeches as that of Mr. Long incited riots in New York and
Illinois, and encouraged the enemy at Richmond and else-
where, gladdening their hearts and strengthening their
hands. The debate was continued by Mr. Long and Mr.
Colfax until a late hour, when a vote was taken upon the
first resolution, viz.: “That the said Alexander Long be,
and he is hereby declared to be, an unworthy member of
this House.” This was adopted—Yeas, 80; Nays, 70.
The second resolution, that the Speaker should read that
already adopted to Mr. Long during the session of the
House was laid on the table. The preamble setting forth
Mr. Long's offense was then agreed to, and the House ad-
journed.—April 15. The House disagreed to the report
of the Conference Committee recommending a concurrence
in the Senate amendment to the bill organizing the Terri-
tory of Montana, striking out the qualification of “white”
voters, and substituting “every made citizen of the United
States, and those who have declared their intention to be-
come such.”—A bill authorizing the establishing of an
ocean mail-steamship service between the United States
and Brazil was passed. The bill authorizes the Postmas-
ter-General to unite with the Post-office Department of
Brazil in establishing direct mail communication be-
tween the two countries, by means of a monthly line of first-
class sea-going steamers, of not less than two thousand
tons each, of sufficient number to perform twelve round
trips per annum between a United States port north of the
Potomac River and Rio Janeiro, touching at St. Thomas,
in the West Indies, and at Bahia and Pernambuco, pro-
vided that the expense to the United States shall not ex-
ceed $200,000 per annum.—Bills establishing a postal
money-order system, and compelling all railroads to carry
the mails, were also passed.—The joint resolution to dispose
of the unemployed Generals was postponed for ten days.
April 16. The Military Committee was instructed to
inquire as to the expediency of connecting Cincinnati with
Cumberland Gap, as recommended by the President in his
Annual Message, in 1861.—Resolutions from the Legisla-
ture of New York, asking that General Robert Anderson
be placed on the retired list, with full pay, were referred
to the Military Committee.—A report and bill to facilitate
immigration were presented by the select committee on that
subject, and ordered to be printed. It is estimated that a
million and a quarter of men have been withdrawn from
industrial pursuits since the war began, and the object of
the bill referred to is to fill the vacuum.—The Committee
on Elections reported adversely to Mr. Kitchen's claim t
represent the Seventh Virginia District, which lies con-
tiguous to the District of Columbia; but the House adopt-
ed a resolution declaring him entitled to a seat.—A joint
resolution was unanimously adopted that the Joint Com-
mittee on the Conduct of the War, or such members there-
of as the Committee may designate, proceed at once to Fort
Pillow and examine into the facts and circumstances at-
tending the recent attack and capture of the fort by rebels,
and that they report with as little delay as possible.—The
bill amendatory of the National Bank act was then taken
up. Mr. Fenton offered an amendment, which was agreed
to by ten majority, authorizing States to pay a partial tax
upon the banks, whereupon the bill was ordered to a third
reading.—April 18. Bills were introduced to amend the
Pension laws, and to regulate the pay of certain officers of
the army.—Mr. Wilson offered a resolution, which was
adopted, that after to-day, until otherwise ordered, except-
ing Saturday, the House will take a recess at 4 ½ P.M., to
meet again at 7 for the transaction of business. During the
day session the House will consider the Internal Revenue
bill, etc., and such of the evening session bills as the House
may order.—Resolutions were adopted that it is the duty
of Congress to raise the taxes and increase the duties on
imports so as to largely increase the revenue of the Gov-
ernment.—Mr. Stevens then made three attempts to se-
cure the passage of a joint resolution that from and after
its passage until July 1, 1864, all the duties and imposts
on imported goods and wares and merchandise, now pro-
vided for by law, be increased by the increase of 50 per
centum, and that upon all goods now imported free and
exempt from duty, there shall be paid 10 per centum ad
valorem. In each case the House voted down the resolu-
tion.—The National Bank bill was passed, 73 to 63. The
bill confines the entire notes for circulation issued under
this act to $300,000,000, not more than one-sixth of them
to be of less denomination than five dollars; small notes
to cease after the resumption of specie payments. Every
association may charge on any loan or discount interest at
a rate not exceeding 7 per centum per annum. The places
of redemption, St. Louis, Louisville, Chicago, Detroit,
Milwaukee, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburg,
Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Albany, San
Francisco, and Portland. No association shall have a less
capital than $100,000, nor less than $200,000 if in a city
of more than 50,000 inhabitants. Any State bank may
become a National association by the name prescribed in
its organization certificate.—The House insisted on its
disagreement on the Montana Territorial bill, and asked
another Committee of Conference.—Mr. Morrill offered a
resolution proposing that until July 1 the foreign duties be
increased 25 per centum, and articles now free pay 5 per
centum. He moved a suspension of the rules, but no
quorum voted. The vote stood 80 Yeas against 4 Nays.
Mr. Morrill said the purpose was distinctly manifested in
the House not to make provision for carrying on the Gov-
ernment. Then there was a call of the House, but before
it was completed an adjournment took place.—April 19.
The House concurred in the Senate amendment to the
House resolution so as to read that the Committee on the
Conduct of the War inquire into the truth of the rumors
attending the recent attack on Fort Pillow, and whether
that fort could not have been sufficiently reinforced; and
report the facts as soon as possible.—The House then went
into Committee on the Internal Tax bill. Speeches were
made by Messrs. Morrill, Stebbins, Brooks, Kasson, and
others, after which the Committee rose; when Mr. Gar-
field proceeded to make good his former assertions by pro-
ducing a letter from Judge Eckles of Indiana, which came
into his possession, recommending a young man to John
C. Breckinridge as desirous of entering the service of the
South in some capacity, and safely commending him as a
faithful man.—At the evening session the Raritan and
Delaware Bay Railroad bill was taken up, when Mr. Wil-
son offered a substitute therefor, namely, that for the bet-
ter regulation of commerce among the several States, every
railroad company in the United States, whose road is oper-
ated by steam, be and is hereby authorized to transport
freight and passengers from one State to another, any thing
in the law of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.
The consideration of the bill was postponed for two weeks.
—The House passed the bill authorizing the construction of
a railroad bridge over the falls of the Ohio, near Louisville.
—Mr. Rice reported a bill setting apart the old House of
Representatives as a National Statuary Hall, the several
States being invited to send thither statues, in marble or
bronze, not exceeding two in number, for each of their most
illustrious civic or military men.—After several speeches
on the bill for the reconstruction of rebellious States the
House adjourned.



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