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Dr. Bently has declined to come and act as Chaplain. The House have since chosen Mr. Parkinson, the old Chaplain, who has also declined. While I have been writing this letter, we have given in our votes for the third time, and I have the pleasure to inform you that Mr. Laurie, of this city, is elected. This is the gentleman whom I have ever wished might have the appointment. The House is now about to adjourn. My love to all.
Your affectionate parent,
WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 1804.
The greater portion of business which has hitherto been before our House has been unimportant and local, You will see by the papers that the trial of Judge Chase is to commence on the 2d of January. It is said he will have no counsel. This is much regretted. However able he may be to plead his own cause, and perhaps few can excel him, yet a lawyer might say many things and illustrate some very important points which modesty would forbid him to notice. And this seems to be a case of that complexion in which no man, consistently, could say himself all that ought in truth and justice to be said in his vindication. It is expected, however, that some gentleman will volunteer in his service.
The most interesting subjects, as mere matters of legislation, which we have had before us, are two bills, one for regu- . lating harbors, etc., the object of which is to have a control over armed ships, when within the jurisdiction of the United States, to prevent the impressment of seamen from on board our vessels. A law of this kind is much wanted, and is highly necessary, but it is not easy to frame such a law as will be effectual, and guard against infringement of treaties and the law of nations.
The Virginia party have sensibly felt the difficulty and their own incapacity. The first bill was a most miserable thing. When it came to be examined and analyzed by the Federalists,
une Were ylilu 10 wanaraw it. After some time another was reported, which was not, indeed, so bad, but so defective, that they have laid it by for the present. The principal provision of the first bill was to throw the whole power into the hands of the President, and the last comes pretty much to the same point at last. What will be done is uncertain.
The other bill is to regulate the clearance of armed merchant vessels. The object is to interdict all trade with the subjects of the Emperor of Hayti. The discussion has given full proof of the ascendency of Bonaparte over our government. It is so evident, that agreeably to the laws of nations we have a clear right to trade with this nation, and so certain, that if it be prohibited a very valuable branch of our commerce, which affords much revenue, will go into the hands of other nations, the Democrats know not how to keep their popularity, while they do so great an injury to their country. But the bug-bear is a war with France, and in fact there appears to be a large proportion who would be glad wholly to annihilate commerce. In this bill, as in the other, there was an attempt to put the business into the hands of the President, and make him as despotic over commerce as he is over Louisiana.
This bill has been worked, and molded, and beat, and banged, and purged so as just to pass to be engrossed. But it is considered still an abominable thing. I have not time to point its errors. And yet some of the Virginia party do not think it bad enough, and probably on the third reading will reject it with the hope of obtaining a worse. It is very doubtful to me whether it passes. Your affectionate parent,
Jan.1,1805, Tuesday. Congress did not sit. The most of our family went to the President's to present him the compliments of the season.
The mournful news General Wadsworth had re. ceived of the death of his son, Lieutenant Wadsworth, who was in the vessel blown up at Tripoli, was communicated, yesterday, to the House, in a message from the President. We with lace almost from head to foot, and very much powdered. Walked with his hat off, though it was rather misty; his Secretary, one Aide, and one other, with him. When we went in, the number was small, but soon increased, until the Levee room, which is large, was nearly full. A large number of Ladies, Heads of Departments, Foreign Ministers and Consuls, and the greater part of both Houses of Congress. The British Minister was in a plain dress, but superb carriage. We had cake of different kinds; silver urns, filled with punch; mammoth cheese.
Jan. 2. Trial of Judge Chase (of Maryland, Associate Justice of the l'. S. Supreme Court) commenced. He prayed for a postponement to the next session of Congress. The Judge addressed the Court, stated his reasons for asking for a postponement, and withdrew. The Senate then retired.
Jan. 3, Thursday. The Senate formed again into High Court of Impeachment. The oaths administered. Judge Chase filed an affidavit, stating his reasons for praying for a postponement. Order for fixing the day of trial—first day December, ayes, 12, nays, 18; then fourth February, ayes, 21,
Most of the members of the House attended. Chairs provided on the floor of the Senate Chamber. Wrote Ephraim.
*General Tourreau was Minister from France under the reign of Egalité, and his career seems to have been one characteristic of that period. Of obscure birth, but handsome and clever, he made his way up, and became an aide to Napoleon Bonaparte. In the rapid changes of popular favor, he was condemned to death--bis door marked with the fatal guide to the bloody guillotiners. A servant girl employed about the jail rubbed out tis, 1. so saved his life, in return for which he married her; t)
tirse, proved to be a most urhappy one, ending in a
le he was representing his country in Washingto
of Dolly Madison. + The following is
' Last spring 1 published my request 11
at the next election. Many of my i
candidate once more, particularly on
s and the extreme difficulty of
be elected in whom the
Jan. 8, 9, 10. Debates on ceding Alexandria to Virginia. Very full galleries. The question taken-yeas, 46,
Jan. 11, Friday. It was announced in the House, by Mr. Anderson, that one of the members (Ar. James Gillespie) had departed this life the preceding night, and that his interment was proposed to-morrow. On motion of Dr. Dickson, an order was taken to go into mourning, and wear crape one month. To go from the Capitol to the house and grave.
Jan. 12, Saturday. House met, received crape for the arm, and adjourned. Attended the funeral at the house of Mr. Sweney, in Pennsylvania Avenue. Wine, spirits, and biscuits on the table. Messrs. Balch, Laurie, and McCormick present. They had white scarfs, containing three yards of cambric muslin;
the bearers the same, and also the Clerk of the House and Sergeant-at-Arms. Carriages provided for both IIouses. He was buried in the new burying-ground in Georgetown. The coffin, mahogany.
Jan. 14-17. Attended the House. Not much done.
Jan. 18, Friday. At the House. A motion to make blacks free who were born in this city after the 4th of July nextfailed. Ayes and noes.
Jan. 21, Monday. Wind high and very cold. One of the severest days I have experienced for many years, especially coming from the Capitol just before sunset.
Jan. 26, Saturday. No sitting. We proposed in our family to call on Mr. Taureau, French Minister, who had called and left his cards for us. All except Colonel Hough, who was unwell (six of us), went in a coach to his house.
As he was at home, we went in, and were conducted to a large hall, up one pair of stairs. Mr. Huger and General Butler arrived
thought to my own feelings. It is a business extremely unpleasant to
They have made choice of a man of education, good 12, and a sound Federalist, and who sustains an excellent character.
llis name is Nelson." to remiah Nelson was born in Rowley, Mass., 1769; graduaterl, Dart
ith, 1796; settled in Newburyport, Mass., as merchant; Member "swress, 1805 to 1807, and again from 1815 to 1823; died, Newburyit, 1*23.-Lanman's Dictionary of Congress.
English. One of his Aides-de-Camp assisted in the conversation. We tarried about an hour, and retireil. We then went in two coaches to the English Minister's, Vr. Merry, and left our cards, without getting out of our coaches.
Jan. 27, Sunday. Very snowy day. Went to the Capitol. Mr. Laurie preached. Very thin meeting. Mr. Francis Dodge here and dined with us.
Jan. 28, Jonday. Gave Mr. McCreary minutes for Nicheaux's on the Oaks and Micheaux's Flora Borealis Americana, Mr. McCreary to send for the books.
Jan 29, Tuesday. At the Capitol. John Randolph made his fire and brimstone speech on the Georgia Land business.
Jan. 30, Wednesday. Debates, warm and pointed, against Randolph.
Jan. 31, Thursday. Same debates continued. Federalists took no part, but they enjoyed the squabble among the Demos.
Feb. 1, Friday. Letter from Granger (Postmaster-General), complaining of the attacks from Randolph, and calling for a public examination of his official conduct. The House quite in the style of a French Convention. Randolph's second speech more outrageous than the first. Dana's speech excellent.
Feb. 4, Monday. Impeachment of Judge Chase came to trial. Court opened at twelve. Mr. Harper read the answer of the Judge, and read incomparably well. A great number of spectators. Managers requested time to prepare a replication.
Feb. 6, Blednesday. Managers reported their replication to the house. It was general and expressed in harsh terms. The managers appeared much nettled and perplexed. Motions for striking out exceptionable words failed.
Feb. 8, Friday. The Court met. Witnesses called over on both sides, about twenty. The managers requested longer time. Allowed till tomorrow, twelve o'clock.
Feb. 9, Saturday. House did business from ten to twelve. The Court opened at twelve. Randolph made his speech;