Newspaper Page Text
sum proposed in the bill is- so much beyond all ex
ample in any of the States, as will be considered
beyond the abilities of the people.
The grants we have already made,are in gene
ral so high, and will excite so much unealinefs,
that I was in hopes that we ihould nbt have pro
ceeded one step further in that line of policy.
I nope, Sir, the motion will obtain.
Mr. Benson urged the neceflity of an ample
allowance, in order to command the firlt abilities.
He said, there is no doubt, but plenty of candi
dates may be found who would serve lor 1500 dol
lars, or a less sum. Instances maybe mentioned
of persons offering to serve as Governor in some of
the States, for 500 dollars : But if it is intended
to have the office refpecftable by its being filled
with competent abilities—'a less sum than that
proposed will not be found adequate.
Mr. Ames observed, that he had frequently
heard in the House abitracft reasonings upon the
fubjett of salaries and compensations : But for
my part (said lie) 1 think such reasonings have
very little to do in the bufhiefs. The only en
quiry is, what sum is neceflary to command the
firft abilities in the refpecftive States.—The gen
tlemen fjom various quarters cdn determine with
a good degree of precision, for tliemfelves. I
think I can speak for the four New-England
State.*, —andfuppofe that 1500 dollars per annum
for this officer, wotild be an object to excite the
attention of men of the firftabilities in those States.
Gentlemen may be found who would make the
greatelt exertions to qualify themselves for the
o(:ice.—l hope, Sir, the motion for ftrikino; out
the sum will obtain.
Mr. Liver more and Mr. White spoke next,
and were both in favor offtrikingout 4Joo.
Mr. Vising advocated the sum in the report.
He stated the amount <;f the whole expence to be
incurred; and contrasted it with the benefits to
bederived to tli* United States, from the inlKtu
tion. Tiie object, said he, is to attract and com
mand the firft abilities. There are many gen
tlemen in the practice of law, whose abilities
command a greater income than 3000 dollars per
annum. Can it be expected that such persons
will relinquish their lucrative profeffions merely
for the honor of serving the United States? It
cannot be expected—and yet Sir, I presume the
very firlt abilities are the object to be obtained.
Mr. Gerry was in favor of the motion. He
went into a cfonflderation of the debts, taxes and
burthens of the people ; from thence urged the
neceflity ofthe utinolt prudence and economy in
our expenditures and appropriations. He refer
red to the situation of Great Britain, and contrail-'
ing our circumttances with theirs, he said the sa
lary of the Chief Justice ought to be about 4001.
sterling. He referred to what had been said
refpec'ting the incomes of lawyers, and observed
that he believed wherethere is one that gets 3000
dollars a year by his practice, there are twenty
who do not get one third of that sum. I con
ceive, said he, that a much less sum than that
proposed will command the firlt abilities upon
Mr. Jackson said he dU4 not doubt the truth
of what the gentleman said refpecfting lawyers ;
but I wquW ask, said he, if the Judges of the Su
preme Court of the United States are to be taken
from the lowfcft class of lawyers ? There is no
doubt but that Judges may be obtained for jool.
but what kind of law—what decisions will you get
from such judges ? There are lawyers in some of
the States, who make from 1500 to 2000 guineas a
year by their great abilities : Will such men re
linqni/li their emoluments for the honor of serving
the United States?
I have received accounts from the southward
by which 1 find that gentlemen are declining
Public appointments 011 account of the fmallnefs
of the Jalaries. We ought to conlider the great
importance of this officer—that the lives, the pro
perties and rights of the citizens are to depend 011
his decisions—that the disputes between the dif
ferent States are to he finally fettled in this court
—that the preservation of the Constitution ofthe
United States and of the individual States de
pends in a 2;reat measure 011 the wisdom, impar
tiality and independency of this officer ; and in
cases of impeachment, the President of the Uni
ted States is to be tried by him—all the great
appeals, and matters of treaty, Sic. From
these considerations, the firft abilities ffiould be
procured—an ample and generous allowance
ought to be given, so that every possible induce
ment to an undue bias and influence may be taken
Mr. Page spake againtl low salaries. Among
many other observations he said, that it; had been
considered by many, that low salaries were re
publican : But I am of a different opinion: It
will be found that low salaries are anti-republi
cat) ; and rlist if you reduce your officers to a
feanty allowance, you depreciate the government
you have eltabliflied.
Mr. S ,iith (S. C.) was opposed to a reduction
of the sum. He adverted to the circumstance of
railing ths salaries of the judges in England at
the accefCon of theprefent King : From the idea
of rendering thent more independent than they
had been. He then itated the amount of their
falarias, and thefituation of people hi that coun
try in refpetft to public burdens.
He then referedto the salaries of the Judges in
several of the States ; and pointed out the pro
portion of expence which the judiciary of the
State of South Carolina bore to the amount of
their whole civil lift, and made it one third,
whereas the judiciary of the United States would
not amount to one eighth. He then urged the
neceftity of holding out such inducements as would
influence the firft abilities to accept of the appoint
ment : He urged the importance of making the
Judges independent: He considered the judicial
department as the sheet anchor of the Conftitu
tion— A department of the firft consequence to the
Uniort—A department which in all civilized
countries is placed in an eligible and independ
Mr.Madison, after recapitulating theobferv
ations refpe<fting the firft abilities, laid, that it
ought to be coniidered, that these Judges must
make a new acquisition of legal knowledge.—
1 hey must have a familiar acquaintance with the
laws of every State.—They muftunderftand the
nature of treaties, and especially the treaties
now subsisting hetwen these States and foreign
countries, &c—These studies willabforba great
deal of their time.
When we conlidcr the duties that will de
volve upon them, they strike the mind as being
of the greatest magnitude.—They are the guar?
dians of the Laws tind of the Conftkution of the
United States—and I trust of the individual States
When we consider the great and important
causes, in which opulent individuals will be par
ties, that are to come under their cognizance,
we must be struck with the propriety of shielding
thele Judges from all poflible aflaults of tempta
tion.—To these if we add important cases of
treaties, in which the greatest interests will be
involved, the idea will receive additional force.
Upon the whole considering the circumstances of
the people, I (hall disagree to the sum proposed
by the committee, but at the fame time 1 fliall
not agree to the proposed reduction.
Mr. Stone, Mr. Gerry and Mr. Jackson ad
ded some few observations—when the question
for ftrikingout 45*00 was carried, and 4000 being
proposed for insertion was also carried, 27 to 24.
Every article in this bill was opposed and ad
vocated upon the foregoing, or ftmilar princi
SATURDAY, SEPT. 19.
The House took iy> the report qf the commit,
tee of the whole 011 the Bill to establish the salaries
of the judicial department. The salaries report
ed were severally confirmed, except the salary of
the Chief Justice, which was reduced to 3500 dol
lars, and the Diftriift Judgeof Georgia, from 1600
to 1500 dollars. The salary of the District Judge
of Kentucky was increased from 800 to 1000 dol
lars, and the Attorney General reduced from 2000
to 1 500.
hi going through the report Mr. White, mov
ed that it (liould be so amended as to fix the salary
of the Diftrkt Judge of Maflachufetts at 1000 dol
lars. He observed that this was not intended to
affect Massachusetts alone, but to operate through
the whole system ; if he succeeded in that motion
he should make a similar one with regard to the
other States. 1 hat the Judiciary system was re
garded by the people with a more jealous eye
than any other part of the Constitution ; that he
conceived it both unjust and impolitic to give the
Diftritf: Judges higher salaries than the fudges of
the several States : Unjust, because their duties
would not be so burdensome ; and impolitic be
cause it would degrade the State Judiciaries by
placing a subordinate federal judge in a more ex
alted or more eligible situation than the State
Judges. That 1000 dollars being the salaries of
the Judges in Maflachufetts and Virginia, lie sup
posed it might be nearly the average throughout
the continent. Mr. White observed that he had
never called for the yeas and nays—that he had
endeavored to ftifle the practice in its birth ; but
being then over ruled, and the lneaftire having
been adopted on numberless important fubietfls
lie hoped he lhould be indulged. The motion for
the yeas and nays was over ruled. The question
being put on the proposed amendment to the re
port ol the committee, was negatived.
The Secretary of the Treasury, purfuantto the
order of the House of the rytli inft. reported an
estimate of the funis requisite to be appropriated
during the present session of Congrels, towards
defraying the expences of the civil lift, and of the
department of War, to the end of the present
yeai, and tor fatisfvirtgfuch warrants as have been
drawn by the late Board of Treasury, which vet
remain unpaid. J
A meflkge was received from the Senate, accom
panying a bill for regulating the process in the
court of the United States. Refered to a com
hiittee or the whole on Monday.
Also the Jud, c i a i bill, in which the Senate had
cyncured with leveral of the amendments propo
sed by the House, and disagreed to others
The House proceeded to consider the amend
ments made by the Senate to the bill for amend-
ingthe Constitution of the United Statu t
of which they negatived, and others they cm, 6
ed in ; but not having time to <*o rhL l r "
fame, a djourned. g ° throu gh the
MONDAY/ SEPT. 21
Those amendments to the Judiciary bill •
which the Senate had not concured Were i
up, and the House receded from the fame)
agreed with the Senate. ' a " l '
The report of the Secretary of the Tread™,
was read, and refered to a committee con si r, 7
of Mr. W. V „r, K M (S . C .)M,
The amendments of the Senate to the anS'
ments proposed by the House to the Conftitn,;!
were again taken up-Some were agreed to a ,!i
others nonconcured : Meflrs M a <J,j on> Sk/*
and Vtnmg were appointed a committee to confix
with a committee of the Senate on those amen
ments in which the two Houfesdo not agree
Mr. Jackson moved that leave be e i Vfnt .
bring in a bill to alter the time fixed for the a,
nual meeting of Congress. This motion after
a bill" W3S Cal " rie<1 ' a " d leave S' ven tu bring in
™e, H °ufe then proceeded in the difcuffionof
the Bill for hxing the temporary and permanent
leatoi the government.
Mr. Madison objected to that clause of the bill
which provides, that New-York (hall be the ten
porary residence : He said, it is contrary to the
Constitution—as it deprives the two Houfesof
i lie power to exercise a right expressly vested in
them by the Constitution-, of adjourning without
the consent of the Supreme Executive": Should
the clause remain, this bye law must be repealed
to which the consent of The President must be
obtained before the two Houses could adjourn;
He moved tlierefore that the clause fhouldbe
Mr. Lawrance and Mr. Ames, replied to Mr.
Madison : They contended that the consent of
i he President is neceflary to every act of theLe
and that the objection applied withe
Hual force against a permanent as against a tem
porary eftablifliment of the feat of government.
Mr. Lee, and Mr. Boudinot supported the
fentiinent of Mr. Madison—and Mr. Jackson,
and Air. Smith spake in opposition to it: The
vote being taken for striking out the words, it
palled in the negative.
Mi*. Madison then movad to strike out the
word " permanent" as it was not a term made nfe
of in the Conftitufcion. This motion was nega
It was then ordered, That the bill be engrofled
for a third reading to-morrow.
A meflage was received from the Senate,inform
ing that they had concurred in the bill forefta
blidling the salaries of the Judicial department
The amendments were to raise the salary of
the Chief Justice from 3?oo to 4000 dollars—the
salaries of the Alfociate Judges of the Supreme
Court from qoooto isoo —that of the Judgeofthe
DiftriiSt of Maine from 800 to 1000—and that of
the Attorney General from 1500102000. The
House agreed to these amendments, except the
A refelution was received from the Senate,that
it be recommended to the several States to pass
laws to make it flie duty of the keepers of their
leveral goals, to receive, and keep therein per
sons commited under the authority of the United
States, until they be discharged by due courfeof
law. The Unitfed States to pay jo cents amonth,
for each person confined, and likewise to support
all perfoiis commited thereto for offences against
the United States.
Mr. Wadsworth, from the committee on the
report of the Secretary of the Treasury, brought
in a bill, by which appropriations are made tor
defraying of the expences of the civil lift, thede
partment of war, for warrants ifliied by the late
Seperintendantof Finance, for warrants ifluedhy
Ihe late Board of Treasury, and to pay the inva
This bill was read a firft and second time, and
committed to a committee of the whole to be ta
ken up to-morrow.
The report on the petition of the Baron df
Glaubeck, was agreed to, allowing him fifteen
months pay as a Captain in the late Continenta
A meflage was received from the Senate, th Jt
they had receded from the amendment for rat -
ing the salary of the Attorney General, an
had appointed a committee of conference on t if
difagreeiug votes of the Houses on the auien
ments to the Constitution. .
On motion of Mr. Vining the report oft
committee on the petition of the public creditor*
was taken up and agreed to.
On morion of Mr. Gerry, the House refolded,
that the Secretary of the Treasury be aire
to apply to the Supreme Executives of rh e el ,
ral States for the state of their public debts,
the funds appropriated for the difchargeo
principal and interest of the fame ; an,
anioiint of the loan-office and other fectintic
the State Treasuries.