Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

being of a judicial nature, will be more appropriately decided by the courts than by Congress.

It is true, the treaty of 1848 stipulates that the award of the commissioners shall be final and conclusive.” But the citizens who suffered from the violence and injustice of the Mexican authorities were not parties to this agreement. And in a case of manifest injustice, especially where the conduct and motives of the commissioners themselves have been impeached, and that not without some appearance of good reason, it can hardly be insisted that the suffering parties shall be concluded from all further remedy for their alleged wrongs. The committee think they ought to have a fair hearing, and therefore recommend that they be authorized to submit their demand to the circuit court of the United States in the District of Columbia, with the privilege, either on their part or on that of the government, to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States. In the judgment of the committee this proceeding will be perfectly just and unexceptionable to all parties. It will be the interest of the government to vindicate the purity and legality of the proceedings of the late board of commissioners; while the memorialist will have the benefit of a fair and impartial tribunal, in which he can fully establish his claim, if there be in it the merit which the committee are inclined to believe there is. In accordance with these views the committee report a bill, and ask the favorable consideration of the House.

2d Session.

No. 94.

MONUMENT TO THE MEMORY OF WASHINGTON.

[To accompany Joint Resolution No. 58.)

FEBRUARY 22, 1855.-Ordered, that 100,000 extra copies be printed.

Mr. May, from the Select Committee on the Washington National

Monument, made the following

[ocr errors]

On the 13th of July, 1854, it was resolved that a select committee of thirteen members be appointed to consider the memorial of the Washington National Monument Society, and the following gentlemen were appointed the members of the committee:

Mr. May, of Maryland; Mr. J. GLANCY JONES, of Pennsylvania; Mr. REESE, of Georgia; Mr. PURYEAR, of North Carolina; Mr. HastINGS, of New York; Mr. Eliot, of Massachusetts; Mr. OLIVER, of Missouri; Mr. PRATT, of Connecticut; Mr. ELLISON, of Ohio; Mr. Vall, of New Jersey; Mr. McMULLEN, of Virginia; Mr. Macy, of Wisconsin; and Mr. DOWDELL, of Alabama. The Select Committee of Thirteen, to whom was referred the memorial

of the Board of Managers of the Washington National Monument Society, beg leave to report :

That this memorial states, “that in the year 1833, an association of individuals was formed in this city for the purpose of raising funds, by appeals to the patriotism of the people, for the erection of a monument, in the national metropolis, to the memory of the Father of his Country.

“That your memorialists, and their predecessors, elected managers of the association, have gratuitously given their services, at great personal sacrifice, to the promotion of its objects; that they have been enabled to raise the proposed monument to the height of 170 feet; that 347 feet remain yet to be erected; that the funds of the association are entirely exhausted; and all recent efforts on the part of your memorialists to obtain means for completing the work have proved abortive, and that your memorialists are unable to devise any plan more likely to succeed.

“Under these circumstances, they feel it to be their duty to bring to the notice of the representatives of the States and people of the Union these facts, in order that such action may be had on them as to the assembled wisdom and patriotism of the nation may seem meet.

“ARCH. HENDERSON,

First Vice-President. “ELISHA WHITTLESEY,

"General Agent. “JOHN CARROLL BRENT,

Secretary."

It will be seen that no specific prayer is presented ; but upon the facts stated above, the society submits it to the wisdom of Congress to provide such measures as may be appropriate to the subject.

Your committee conceive that the duty is devolved upon them, on the part of the House of Representatives, to recommend such measures; and being deeply impressed with all the associations attending so interesting and hallowed a subject, they have well considered it.

As early as 1783 Congress ordered that an equestrian statue of Washington should be erected, “ to testify the love, admiration, and gratitude of his countrymen ;” and again, when the mournful intelligence of his death was communicated, on 24th December, 1799, that a marble monument, with suitable inscriptions, should be erected in the Capitol to the memory of Washington, and that it be “so designed as to commemorate the great events of his military and political life.” It is painful to observe that these resolutions have not yet been executed. Perhaps the claims of kindred, and of his native State, have prevailed against that resolution, which ordered that his remains should be entombed beneath the monument to be erected in the Capitol. We know that his honored widow consented that this should be done; yet, Mount Vernon still holds the sacred remains of him who was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” Your committee could not but feel that these obligations, resolved upon as they were by the great and good men who were witnesses of his sublime life and character, and who were also associates of his fame, yet remain upon Congress.

Aware that a marble statue has been erected within the grounds of the Capitol, and an equestrian statue ordered by the last Congress to be raised, yet your committee think that these testimonials are not adequate to fulfil the obligation so solemnly assumed.

States and cities have raised their grateful tributes, in marble, to Washington. Maryland, near forty years ago, undertook her part in this patriotic duty, and her noble monument, at Baltimore, attests the love and gratitude of her people towards a chief whose steps their fathers so faithfully followed through the trying scenes of the Revolution. And Virginia, with gratitude unsatisfied by a faithful statue, is now raising, at Richmond, a monument, proportioned to the greatness of her son. And North Carolina, too, invoked the highest living art to present, at Raleigh, the image of the Father of his Country, to the admiring eyes of her patriotic children. And memorials of public and private love and gratitude towards him are to be found throughout the land, commemorating a universal veneration. But no national tribute of adequate design has yet been raised-no offering fit to

de of her phrough the trained by a faith the gr

« AnteriorContinua »