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BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the seventee

of July, in the fifty-second year of the Independe. the

United States of America, E. B. Williston, of lii said District, hath deposited in this Office, the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as Author and Proprietor, in the words following-to wit:

L. S.

Ebquence of the United States : compiled by E. B. Williston, in five


In conformity to the Act of Congress of the United States, entitled, “ An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned;" L And also to the Act, entitled, “ An Act supplementary to an Act, entitled • An Aot fot the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."


Clerk of the District of Connecticut. A true copy of Record, examined and sealed by me,


Clerk of the District of Connecticul.


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STATES, JUNE 19, 1798.

By the provisions of this bill, the President might order dangerous or suspected aliens, to depart out of the territory of the United States. The penalty, provided for disobedience of the President's order, was imprisonment and a perpetual exclusion from the rights of citizenship. The bill provided, that, if any alien, ordered to depart, should prove to the satisfaction of the President, that no injury to the United States would arise from suffering him to remain, the President might grant him a license to remain for such time as

he should deem proper, and at such place as he should designate. The bill having been read the third time, the question was about to

be taken on its final passage, when Mr. Livingston addressed the House as follows :

MR. SPEAKER, I ESTEEM it one of the most fortunate occurrences of

my life, that, after an inevitable absence from my seat in this House, I have arrived in time to express my dissent to the passage of this bill. It would have been a source of eternal regret, and the keenest remorse, if any private affairs, any domestic concerns, however interesting, had deprived me of the opportunity, I am now about to use, of stating my objections, and recording my vote against an act, which I believe to be in direct violation of the constitution, and marked with every characteristic of the most odious despotism.

VOL. 11.

On my arrival, I inquired, what subject occupied the attention of the House; and being told it was the alien bill, I directed the printed copy to be brought to me, but to my great surprise, seven or eight copies of different bills on the same subject, were put into my hands; among them it was difficult (so strongly were they marked by the same family features,) to discover the individual bill then under discussion. This circumstance gave me a suspicion, that the principles of the measure were erroneous. Truth marches directly to its end, by a single, undeviating path. Error is either undermining in its object, or pursues it through a thousand winding ways; the multiplicity of propositions, therefore, to attain the same general but doubtful end, led me to suspect, that neither the object, nor the means, proposed to attain it, were proper or necessary. These surmises have been confirmed by a more minute examination of the bill. In the construction of statutes, it is a received rule to examine, what was the state of things when they were passed, and what were the evils they were intended to remedy; as these circumstances will be applied in the construction of the law, it may be well to examine them minutely in framing it. The state of things, if we are to judge from the complexion of the bill, must be, that a number of aliens, enjoying the protection of our government, are plotting its destruction; that they are engaged in treasonable machinations against a people, who have given them an asylum and support, and that there exists no provision for their expulsion and punishment. If these things are so, and no remedy exists for the evil, one ought speedily to be provided, but even then it must be a remedy that is consistent with the constitution under which we act; for, by that instrument, all powers, not expressly given to it by the union, are reserved to the states; it follows, that unless an express authority can be found, vesting us with the power, be the evil ever so great, it can only be re

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