Harper's Weekly 07/02/1864


CONGRESS.

SenateJune 15. The bill repealing all acts for the
return of fugitive slaves was received from the House,
and, after some discussion, referred to the Committee on
Slavery and Freedmen, from which committee Mr. Sum-
ner immediately reported it favorably.—A report was
made from the Judiciary Committee in reference to the
right of Generals Schenck and Blair to hold seats in the
present Congress. They considered that, while the title
of General Blair to a seat is doubtful, that of General
Schenck is not, he having resigned his commission in the
army before the assembling of Congress, which General
Blair did not.—The bills for the disposal of coal-lands and
town property in the public domain and granting lands to
Wisconsin to build military roads were passed.—June
16. The House bills repealing certain provisions of law
concerning seamen on board of public and private vessels
of the United States, and requiring the prepayment of
duties on imported salt before the allowance of bounties
to fishing-vessels is made, were passed.—The remainder
of the session was occupied in considering the House bill
to increase the duties on imports and for other purposes.
—June 17. The day session was spent in the considera-
tion of the Tariff bill. In the evening, the amendments
made in Committee of the Whole were agreed to, and the
bill reported to the Senate and passed.—June 18. Mr.
Harlan reported the Northern Pacific Railroad bill, with
amendments, one of which provides that not more than
ten sections of land per mile shall be granted for that part
of the line east of the western boundary of Minnesota, un-
til the whole line is finished and in running order; and
that no railroad already constructed, in whole or part,
shall receive the benefit of the act.—June 20. A message
from the President was received communicating letters
and papers relative to Mexican affairs.—The bill to pro-
hibit the discharge from military service by reason of the
payment of a commutation came up, and Mr. Wilson's
amendment, that every person who shall be drafted, and
who shall serve honorably for the period of one year, shall
receive a bounty of $100, to be paid upon his discharge
from the service, and every person so drafted, who shall
be honorably discharged after a term of service less than
one year, shall receive a bounty proportioned to his term
of service, to be estimated at the rate herein prescribed
for one year's service, was passed.—June 21. The In-
ternational Telegraph bill was passed as amended. It
grants the right of way, the assistance of the army and
navy while building, and 40 acres of land for each station.


HouseJune 15. The entire day session was taken up
with the consideration of the Senate joint resolution for an
amendment to the Constitution abolishing and forever pro-
hibiting slavery throughout the country. After a long
debate, participated in by various members, the question
was put on its decision, when ninety-four voted for the res-
olution and sixty-five against it. It thus fell eleven yeas
short of the two-thirds necessary for its adoption. Mr.
Ashley, of Ohio, subsequently gave notice that he would
move a reconsideration of the vote.—In the evening ses-
sion the House concurred in the conference committee's re-
port on the Consular and Diplomatic Appropriation bill.—
Mr. Knox, of Missouri, was qualified and took the seat
recently occupied by General Blair.—June 16. The res-
olution authorizing the Postmaster-General to extend for
one year the present contract with the Overland Mail
Company was passed. The Internal Revenue Bill was
taken up, and many of the Senate amendments concurred
in. The amendment striking out the tax on whisky on
hand was adopted by a vote of 72 to 62.—June 17. Sev-
eral bills concerning the District of Columbia were passed.
No public bills were considered.—June 18. A bill was
passed chartering another street railroad in the District of
Columbia, from which no person shall be excluded on ac-
count of color. The bill giving assimilated rank to war-
rant officers of the navy was also passed. The joint reso-
lution giving relief to Captain Ericsson, by taking the
contract for the new iron-clad Puritan off his hands, was
passed after a long discussion.—The House took up and
passed the joint resolution that the President be authorized
to give notice to the Government of Great Britain that it
is the wish and intention of the Government of the United
States to terminate the treaty arrangements of 1817 in re-
spect to a naval force on the lakes at the end of six months.
—June 20. Some amendments were passed to the Civil
Appropriation bill, having especial reference to coast sur-
veys.—June 21. Several bills were passed granting re-
lief to individuals. Mr. Schenck's bill relative to the
draft, proposing that the commutation clause should be
stricken out of the Enrollment Act, was rejected.—100 to 50.



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