Harper's Weekly 06/04/1864


CONGRESS.

Senate.

May 18. The House bill defining the pay of
officers on the staff of the Lieutenant-General was passed.
—The House bill, granting lands to the State of Iowa
for railroad purposes was reported with amendments and
passed.—The bill to expedite the public printing was
passed, with an amendment suspending the printing of
the report of the offers received and contracts made for
carrying the mails.—May 19, Mr. Harding introduced a
bill, which was passed, to amend the act of Congress, ap-
proved September, 1850, in relation to donations to set-
tlers on the public lands in California.—Mr. Morrill, from
the Committee of Conference on the disagreeing votes on
the bill for an erection of a Territorial Government for
Montana, made a report which recommends that the Sen-
ate recede from its amendment, striking out the words
“Every free white inhabitant in the qualification for vot-
ers,” and inserting “All citizens of the United States and
those who have declared their intention to become such,”
etc. After considerable debate, in which Messrs. Morrill,
Hale, Wade, Horton, and Sumner participated, the report
of the Committee was adopted, 26 Yeas, 13 Nays.—The
Pacific Railroad bill was then taken up as unfinished busi-
ness, but no vote was taken.—May 20. A joint resolu-
tion was introduced by Mr. Wilson to authorize the Presi-
dent to call out men by draft for one year.—The bill au-
thorizing a mail steamship service between the United
States and Brazil was brought up, and after some discus-
sion laid over.—May 21. Beyond debating the Pacific
Railroad bill, the Senate did nothing of importance.—
May 23. The bill in relation to naval supplies, which was
reported upon adversely by the Naval Committee, was
taken up. Mr. Grimes proceeded to defend the bill against
the report of the Naval Committee, showing the abuses of
the old system and the need of a reform. Mr. Hale and
others participated in the discussion, but no vote was taken.
—Mr. Morgan introduced a bill that so much of the act
for enrolling and calling out the national forces, and acts
amendatory thereof, as authorize the discharge of any
person from military service by reason of the payment of
$300 for the procuration of a substitute or otherwise, be
repealed. Provided that nothing contained in this act
shall be construed to alter the provisions of the existing
laws relative to persons actually furnishing substitutes.—
The Pacific Railroad bill was then taken up, and, after a
brief discussion, was passed.—May 24. Mr. Johnson in
troduced a bill granting lands to aid in the construction
of a railroad and telegraph line from Lake Superior to
Puget Sound.—The Brazil Mail Steamship bill was passed.
—The House bill to appoint an additional supervising and
two local inspectors of steamboats for collection in the Dis-
trict of East Tennessee was passed.—The internal Revenue
bill was discussed at length on the clauses regulating the
duties and salaries of officers to be appointed under the
law. The amendments of the Finance Committee, which
were verbal, were generally agreed to.


House.

May 18. Mr. Julian reported a bill, which was
passed, providing for the issue of patents to bona fide
holders of “floats” issued in pursuance of the act of Con-
gress of 1862, relative to Spanish grants in Louisiana.—The
House then proceeded to the consideration of the joint res-
olution heretofore reported from the Committee on Com-
merce, proposing such action as will insure more perfect
reciprocity of trade between the United States and British
North American Provinces. Mr. Elijah Ward addressed
the House at length on the subject. Various amendments
were made, but of no special importance, when the Com-
mittee rose, and the bill was reported to the House, but
not finally acted upon.—May 19. The House passed the
Senate bill amendatory of the act authorizing Nevada to
form a State Government.—The House took up the Indian
Appropriation bill. All the amendments of the Commit-
tee of the Whole on the State of the Union were concurred
in, excepting one reducing the appropriation for the Sioux
Indians of Minnesota from $150,000 to $50,000. The bill
passed. A long and acrimonious personal debate then en-
sued, in which Messrs. Dawes, Loan, Julian, and Mallory
participated.—Mr. Pike of Maine advocated, and Mr. Ar-
nold of Illinois opposed, the abrogation of the Reciprocity
Treaty. Without taking the question the House adjourn-
ed.—May 20. Mr. E. C. Ingersoll was introduced as the
successor of the late Owen Lovejoy, qualified, and took his
seat.—A resolution was offered by Mr. Holman that when
the House adjourn it be until Monday, to give the mem-
bers an opportunity to visit the wounded officers and sol-
diers, and administer to their wants, which was adopted.
—The Committee of Conference on the disagreeing amend-
ments to the bill establishing a Territorial Government
for Montana made a report, which struck out the Senate's
amendment to give the right of suffrage to colored per-
sons. The report was concurred in by a vote of 102 to 26.
—A bill was passed reimbursing Professor Ames for
damages sustained by the burning of his buildings at An-
nandale, Virginia.—Mr. Cox asked leave to introduce a
bill condemning the action of the authorities in the sus-
pension of the New York World and the Journal of Com-
merce,
which was objected to by Messrs. Washburne and
Farnsworth.—May 23. Mr. Dawes reported a resolution
that Messrs. Chandler, Segar, and Kitchen, whose claims
to seats from Virginia have been rejected, be allowed mile-
age for one session, and monthly pay till the passage of
the resolutions in their respective cases. Mr. Chandler's
name was stricken out. The resolution, as thus amended,
was adopted.—On motion of Mr. Coffroth it was resolved
that, the Senate concurring, both Houses adjourn the ses-
sion on the 6th of June at noon.—On motion of Mr. Arnold a
resolution was adopted, instructing the Committee of the
Judiciary to inquire whether any and what legislation is
necessary to punish the forgery and publication of official
documents, and also what legislation is necessary to punish
those who, through the press or otherwise, give informa-
tion, aid, and comfort to the rebels.—Mr. Pruyn asked
leave, on behalf of his friends of the New York delegation,
to offer a resolution, That the conduct of the Executive
authority of the Government in closing the offices and sup-
pressing the publication of the World and Journal of
Commerce
newspapers, in the city of New York, under the
circumstances which have been placed before the public,
was an act unwarranted in itself, dangerous to the cause
of the Union, in violation of the Constitution, and sub-
versive of the principles of civil liberty, and as such is
hereby censured by this House. Objection being made,
Mr. Pruyn moved a suspension of the rules in order that
he might introduce the resolution, but the question was
decided in the negative by the following vote: Yeas, 54;
Nays, 79.—Mr. Stevens reported the joint explanatory
resolution, which was passed, providing that the late law
for the temporary increase in duties on imports shall take
effect on the 30th instead of the 29th of April. All duties
improperly paid to be refunded.—Mr. Stevens reported a
bill to aid in the construction of a railroad and telegraph
line from Lake Superior to Puget's Sound, by the northern
route.—May 24. Mr. Dawes made a report that William
Jayne is not, and that John J. Todd is, entitled to a seat
as Delegate from Dakota.—The House took up the Senate's
amendments to the National Currency or Bank bill, and
concurred in several, disagreeing to others.—Mr. Patter-
son reported a bill to incorporate the Newsboys' Home, in
the District of Columbia, which was passed.—The House
resumed the consideration of the Reciprocity Treaty, and
Mr. Davis made a speech against the propriety and expe-
diency at this time of giving the notice for the termina-
tion of the treaty.



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