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given to this resolution by the majority. They have industriously sought to make the impression that it was resolved to put Messrs. DICKINSON and VROOM and their associates into their seats, right or wrong, on legal or illegal votes. Sir, nothing can be further from the truth. We have not counted one single vote for them which has not been passed upon and decided to be legal by the constituted authorities of New Jersey, the judges and inspectors of elections. They have solmny adjudged every vote to be lawful before we have allowed it. The law takes their judgment as binding, until the country shall be shown by evidence taken in the case. Not only did the majority decide that the votes received should be presumed and taken as lawful votes, but every member of the minority decided so with us. They voted without exception for the following resolution :

Resolved, That all votes received by authorized officers acting in conformity with the laws, are prima facie legal.”

Now, sir, we have not counted one solitary vote which was not of that description. To escape from this, we are told on the other side that the word “lawful” was not used by the House in this prima facie or presumptive sense, but referred to the final and absolute lawfulness which might be established by the evidence. Sir, how can this be so, when the House knew that the testimony had not yet been taken-when the House knew that the parties had just left the city for the purpose of taking it—when the House knew that two months had been allowed them for that purpose ? How then could they have meant to call for a report to be made forthwith, on testi. mony not in existence, and which would not be in our possession before the second Monday of April next. They must have meant that we should report without delay on the lawful votes, as they stood as such on the records of New Jersey and the testimony before the committee on the votes which then stood as lawful, according to the laws of New Jersey, and not on the votes which might hereafter be found legal when the taking of the testimony was completed. The House was demanding the report only to settle the right of presentoccupancy, as to put one party or the other in their seats, until the final right should

be determined. They therefore called for a report on the evidence as it then stood, not on the evidence as it might hereafter appear. This is put beyond all question by the proviso which expressly declares that the inquiry into the merits of the election should not be suspended or prevented.

The next day the committee met. They settled down on the construction of the resolution for which I have contended, and ordered the report to be prepared by the Tuesday following (that being Saturday.) On Tuesday the report, as prepared by the chairman, was adopted and ordered to be presented to the House, It was presented, resisted, debated; but was finally confirmed, and five of the claimants admitted to their seats by an overwhelming majority. I again affirm that every vote counted in making out that report, stood, at the time it was counted, as a good and lawful vote, according to the rules of evidence and the laws of the land. But it is true, that in making out the report the committee did not, and could not, know but what some of the votes counted might hereafter be proved to be illegal when the parties returned, on the 2d Monday in April, from taking their testimoy in New Jersey. We were not gifted with the spirit of prophecy so as to know how that might be, and the House called for present and immediate action, and did not choose to wait the developments of the future. But whatever doubt might have existed before as to the correctness of our construction of its orders, they must be removed by the subsequent action of the House. When the report came, it was resisted on the express ground that we had misconstrued the resolution of instruction. The question was debated and considered by the House. Surely the gentlemen do not mean to deny that the House understood its own orders. Well, what was its decision? It sanctioned our construction by confirming our report. Before the House we were charged with stupidity and mental delusion; now nothing can save the House itself from the same unmerited denunciation. What, sir, after all, have we done ? Nothing but what the Governor of New Jersey himself declared we ought and should do. Hear his declarations, made at the time when he was cleaving down the rights of his own people. “But it will be asked, with force and propriety, is a candidate to lose his seat in Congress

because a country clerk does not make a return of the votes ? Certainly not. If, through inadvertance or by design, any votes have not been returned by the clerk, it is in the power of the House of Representatives, in their discretion, to allow these votes, and give the seat to the person who, with these votes, may be elected.” Well, what have we done? The votes of Millville and South Amboy had not been returned, or rather had not been counted. The committee and the House have counted them, and have given the seats accordingly. Precisely what Governor Pennington then said we ought and would do. Let me tell gentlemen we have not only done this, but we have done more.

We have done what Governor Pennington ought then to have done, but which he did not and would not do. He knew that the clerks of Middlesex and Amboy had not sent up all the returns of all the townships of their respective counties, and yet he would not send an express after them as the law directed. He knew that the votes of Millville and South Amboy had not been included in their computations, and if included would have changed the result. He knew, in other words, that Messrs. Aycrigg & Co. had not received “the highest number of votes” as required by the laws of New Jersey, yet he gave them commissions at declaring them “to have been elected,” contrary to the truth of the case and the laws of the State. In the commissions which he gave, he could not and dare not say, that those to whom they had been given, had received the highest number of votes. He therefore introduced the word “elected,” not known in the laws of New Jersey. Who is “elected,” is a compound, and often a difficult question to be determined, and is left under the Constitution in such a case, as this, to be decided by the House of Representatives: But“ who received the highest number of votes” in an election, is a simple matter of arithmetical computation, and has been entrusted to the Eexcutive of New Jersey as the returning officer. He has made a return, at open war with the facts of the case, and has only offered to an insulted people the poor consolation that the outrage he was committing was within the correcting powers of this House. We have corrected them. We have restored to the people of New Jersey the great and fundamental right of selfgovernment, of which their own Governor, in an evil hour of partisan madness, had deprived them. In restoring to them the high guarantees of the Constitution, we have met with revilings and reproaches at every stage of our progress. Misrepresentation have followed upon our footsteps, and we have been

held up, in the view of many of our misguided fellow-citizens, • as a lawless and tyranical majority, ready and willing to sacri

fice every thing on the altar of parisan idolatry. The minority who acted with us have given occasion to much of this newspaper defamation. That minority submitted a counter report, which they have laid in the form of an appeal before the American people. In that report and appeal, they have cast imputations on the majority of the committee and the House, which it is now my purpose to repel.

The minority have been pleased to represent that this House has perpetrated a daring outrage in putting five men into their seats “who presented no return, no credentials, no commissions.” Why, Mr. Speaker, this is no new thing under the sun. Look at that book on contested elections. There you will find from fifty to one hundred cases of the same kind. In almost every instance where the sitting member was ousted out of his seat, his competitor came in “without return, credential, or commission.” (Remember, sir, I am not responsible for the tautology of this sentence.) How could they come in under any of these things ? They had been cheated out of them by the fraud or stupidity of the Governor and Privy Council of New Jersey. The people of that State had done all in their power to secure to themselves the inestimable right of suffrage. They had gone to the election on the day, and at the places specified by law, and deposited their votes in the ballot boxes. This was all they could do. At the close of that election, whoever received the highest number of votes, were the only true and lawful members of Congress. It is so expressly declared by the laws of New Jersey, and must be so from the very nature and spirit of our institutions. The people having voted and made choice of their own Representatives, all that remained to be done was, to commission those on whom that choice had fallen. The records or returns, when full, clearly showed that choice to have fallen on Messrs. DICKERSON, VROOM, and Co. They carried these records, laid them down in the presence of the Governor, and demanded their commissions. What was his answer ?. “Go and get them from the House of Representatives.” This House has granted them. Your resolution of admission is their commission ; a prouder credential than was ever issued under the sign manual of Governor Pennington.

But we are told that this foul deed was done to secure a majority, to carry through certain favorite measures of the Administration. I solemnly declare, Mr. Speaker, that I never heard such an idea advanced any where, or by any person, until I saw it in the address of the minority. What are these measures : the Sub-Treasury ? The Treasury Note bill ? The resolutions refusing the, assumption of State. debts ? Sir, I know not, I care not, to what measures the minority may allude, the assertion must fail from its own absurdity. It is incredible that the Administration should be able to perpetrate all the outrages charged upon it in the New Jersey case, and that too by so large a majority, and yet be unable to carry through its own favorite measures of public policy. Sir, the credulity of this country is taxed even to bankruptcy, when called on to believe such monstrous allegations.

I mean next to notice a very extraordinary observation to be found in the appeal of the minority. They remark that this House, with a madness and blindness belonging to desperation only, not only adopted the report, but even went one step further and admitted these five claimants to their seats. What beautiful and respectful language toward this House-a House of which they are members, and with which their own reputation and character are so intimately connected. The minority proceed with the bold assertion that all this was done," the House being wholly ignorant of what the evidence established.” Ignorant of what the evidence established! What was that report intended to show ? Simply the fact who received the greatest number of votes at the New Jersey election. The instructions of the House went no further than that. The report, on its face, purported to go no further. Now the question is, whether the House was ignorant of the evidence bearing on that point. It stands recorded on your journals, that it was all read, on

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