Notes on Senators’ Comments
about House Impeachment Committee
Mar. 12. when the bill for appropriations was before the Senate, Anderson moved to strike out a clause recognising (by way of appropriation) the appmt of a commee by the H. of R. to sit during their recess to collect evidence on Blount’s case, denying they had power, but by a law, to authorize a commee to sit during recess. Tracy advocated the motion & said ‘we may as well speak out. the commee was appd by the H. of R. to take care of the Brit. minister, to take care of the Span. min. to take care of the Sec. of state, in short to take care of the Pres. of the US. they were afraid the Pres. & Secy. of state wd not perform the office of collecting evidence faithfully, that there would be collusion &c therefore the House appointed a commee of their own. we shall have them next sending a commee to Europe to make a treaty &c suppose that the H. of R. should resolve that after the adjmt of Congress they should continue to sit as a commee of the whole house during the whole recess.’ this shews how the appointment of that commee has been viewed by the President’s friends.
MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 102:17525); entirely in TJ’s hand; on same sheet as Notes on Conversations with Abraham Baldwin, John Brown, and John Hunter, 11 Mch. 1798.
In the senate on this day the bill to appropriate funds for the support of the government during 1798 received a third reading. Joseph Anderson moved to strike out a clause allocating $2,626 for salaries and expenses incurred by the committee of the House of Representatives that had investigated William Blount’s case. Anderson’s motion failed, 18 nays to 7 yeas (JS description begins Journal of the Senate of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1820–21, 5 vols. description ends , 2:453–4).