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Agreeably to order,
The Senate resolved itself into a committee of the whole, Mr. Ewing in the chair, on the bill, entitled
A supplement to an act, entitled, an act for the improvement of the state.'
And after some time, The committee rose and reported the first and only section of the bill negatived.
On the question,
Agreeably to order, The rule for going into a committee of the whole being in this case dispensed with, the bill, entitled
• A supplement to an act, entitled, an act for the prevention of vice and immorality and of unlawful gaming, and restraining disorderly sports and dissipation,' was read the second time, cunsidered by section and agreed to, and
Ordered, That it be transcribed for a third reading.
SATURDAY, March 9, 1816.
Mr. Reed presented a petition from sundry inhabitants of the township of Donnegall, in Westmoreland county, praying that they may
y be authorized to hold their elections at the house of William Gettemy in said township; and
Said petition was read and referred to the committee on election districts.
The Speaker laid before the Senate a letter from Joseph Shannon, tendering a resignation of his seat as a representative in Senate, from the district composed of the counties of Mercer, Erie, Venango, Crawford and Warren.
Mr. Morgan presented a petition from sundry inhabitants of the city and county of Philadelphia, praying a repeal of an act passed the 28th day of March 1787, which permits the transportation of gun powder in kegs through said city and liberties; and
Said petition was read and referred to Mr. Morgan, Mr. Shear. er, Mr. Biddle, Mr. G. Weaver and Mr. Jarrett.
Mr. l. Weaver from the committee on claims, to whom was referred the petition of George Dell, stating that he was a revolutionary soldier, and is now become old and poor, and praying re. ļief; made report, which was read as follows, to wit.
That they have carefully examined the papers relative to the petitioner's claim, in proof of which, not any thing appeared but his own declaration, and the affidavit of John Spohn, a person unknown to the committee, who says George Dell was enlisted in the same company with himself. The committee therefore offer the following resolution for the consideration of Senate, viz.
Resolved, That the petitioper have leave to withdraw his documents.
On motion, Said report was again read, and the resolution thereto attached being under consideration,
A motion was made by Mr. Frailey and Mr. M Farland,
To amend said resolution by inserting the words petition and' before documents, which was agreed to, and the resolution as amended agreed to.
Mr. Graham from the committee to whom was referred on the 19th February, the petition of sundry inhabitants of Newville, on leave given, reported a bill, entitled
• An act to incorporate the town of Newville, in the county of Cumberland, which was read the first time.
Whereupon, On motion of Mr. Lowrie and Mr. Reed, Ordered, That said bill be recommended to the early attention of the next legislature.
Mr. Frailey from the committee of accounts, made further report in part, which was read as follows, to wit.
That they have settled the account of Charles A. Barnitz, a member of Senate, for his daily pay, 93 days, 372 dollars, 7 dollars and 50 cents mileage, 379 dollars and 50 cents. They there. fore offer the following resolution:
Resolved, That the Speaker draw his warrant in favor of Charles A. Barnitz, a member of Senate, for 379 dollars and 50 cents.
On motion, Said report was again read, and the resolution thereto attached, considered and adopted.
Mr. Erwin from the committee to whom was referred on the 14th February, so much of the Governor's message as relates to obstructions in the river Delaware, made report, which was read as follows, to wit.
That they have carefully examined, and deliberately consider ed, the report of John Ross and William Mitchell, Esqs. commissioners appointed by the Governor of this state, in pursuance of a resolution, passed the 13th day of March 1815; also the correspondence between them and the Governor of the state of New Jersey—the compact entered into on the 26th day of A. pril 1783, between the commissioners of New Jersey and Pennsylvania—the several acts of assembly of this state, in anywise
relating to the river Delaware and its navigation the acts of the legislature of New Jersey, entitled “ An act to enable Daniel W. Coxe, Samuel Wright, jun. and Peter I. Smith, and the survivors and survivor of them, his or their heirs or assigns, to erect a wing dam in the river Delaware, to connect Yard's Island with the main land at Bloomsbury," passed the 4th of February 1815, and the supplement thereto passed on the 10th of February 1816.
That your committee consider the enacting of said supplement, as tending equally with the original act, to authorize as far as the legislature of New Jersey can do it, a direct and palpable infraction of the agreement entered into by the commissioners, and ratified by the 'two states, and attended with this peculiar aggravation, that it has been done after commissioners had, at the request of the Governor of New Jersey, been appointed by virtue of the resolution of the 13th of March 1815, to view, in conjunction with him, that part of the Delaware, in which a wing dam had been authorized by the legislature of that state, and had, on so viewing the same, found that the operation of said act would, as they have since reported to the Governor of this state, be destructive of the free navigation of the river Delaware, subversive of the aforesaid agreement, aud one of the most invaluable rights of Pennsylvania.
The committee further observe, that by virtue of the existing laws of Pennsylvania, from its earliest settlement, at the date of the said agreement, and down to the present time, it has been the universal practice, sanctioned by usage and law, to erect wharves and piers on the shores of the Delaware, both in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, at Chester, Gloucester, Fort Mifflin, Camden, Philadelphia, Burlington, Bristol, Bordenton, Lamberton, and other places below the falls of Trenton, for promoting the navigation of the said river, and giving a facility to the lading, unlading, mooring, and securing ships, bay and river craft, and boats, as was well known to the commissioners and legislatures of both states in 1783, who could never have intended, by the general words of their agreement, an ademption of this known and necessary usage by the inhabitants of either state, bordering upon the said river; nor have the numerous wharves and piers existing before, or erected since, the date of the said agreement, ever been remonstrated against, or considered by the legislature or people of either state, as in any degree contravening the spirit, meaning, or terms of said agreement, when duly considered and construed, with reference to the manifest purposes and subject matter thereof. But
your committee cannot conceive that an agreement that the river Delaware from the station point, or north-west corner of New Jersey, northerly to the place upon the said river, where the circular boundary of the state of Delaware toucheth upon the same, in the whole length and breadth thereof, is and shall continue to be and remain a common highway, equally free and open for the use, benefit and advantage of the said contracting parties, and that the same shall, when sanctioned by the two states (as''
it immediately was) be considered as a joint compact between the said states and the citizens thereof respectively, and be forever thereafter irrevocable by either of the said contracting states, without the concurrence of the other, can in any degree be reconciled to, or consistent with, an act of either state, authorizing the erection of a dam from its own shore to any island in the river Delaware; or that Pennsylvania is not as well entitled to authorize any person or company to erect, such a dam, as her legislature shall prescribe, to the same or any other island. Thus instead of leaving the navigation of the whole river equally free and open for the use, benefit and advantage of the said contracta ed parties, rendering it equally closed and impervious to the injury, and exclusion of all." Nor can the committee believe that the provision for a lock of not less than eleven feet wide and seventy feet long, and constructed in such a manner, that Durham boats of the largest burden, and other craft, that have been accustomed to navigate that part of the said river Delaware, may enter into the said lock in ascending the river at all times with ease and safety, when the tide is at half ebb, or half flood, in any degree alters the case or palliates the infraction of the agreement, but rather places it in a more evident and manifest point of view; or that any locks, gates, slopes, or artificial arrangement, even if in itself beneficial, can consistently with said agreement be otherwise made, than by the concurrent acts and authority of the supreme legislative power of both states.
Your committee further observe, that they have been unable to find any act of the legislature of this state, authorizing or attempting to authorize, the erection since the said agreement on the 9th March 1771, of any wing or other dam in the river Delaware, and that severe laws have been passed by both states
prohibiting individuals from so doing, and imposing heavy penalties on any of its citizens transgressing such prohibition; nor are they aware of any complaint having ever been made on of New Jersey, or its citizens, of the inefficiency of our laws on this subject, or any want of their being duly carried into execution. Å reference to the legislative compacts contained in the laws passed by both states, prior to the revolution, particularly to one of Pennsylvania, passed the 9th of March 1771, and a correspondent one of New Jersey, passed on the 21st December in the same year; in both of which the river Delaware is declared a public highway for the purposes of navigation up and down the same, and a penalty of fifty pounds and twelve months imprisonment, without bail or mainprize, is imposed on any person who shall make or aid in making, repairing or maintaining any dam, which shall in any manner hinder or impede the navigation in the said river, and prohibits any person from drawing or leading any water out of the natural course or channel of the said river for the use of
mill or water works, except Adam Hoop's dam near Trenton, or any other erected before the passing of the said acts, will shew at once the general sense then entertained and expressed by both states on this subject, and the salutary restrictions impo
sed, not on the erection of wharves for the convenience of the trade and commerce, but of dams tending in any wise to obstruct or impede the navigation of the river.
The committee conceiving it an indipensible duty from this legislature to their constituents, not to acquiesce in the continuance, or countenance a repetition of such an invasion of one of their most valuable rights, and at the same time believing, that the preservation of the harmony hitherto happily preserved between the two states, and which they earnestly desire may never be broken or interrupted, will be best promoted by a prompt and decisive, but temperate and respectful expression and communication of the feelings and conviction entertained by this legislature-offer the following resolutions :
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in General Assembly met, That they solemnly protest against the passage and operation of the act of the legislature of New Jersey, passed on the 4th day of February 1815, entitled “ An act to enable Daniel W. Coxe, Samuel Wright, jun. and Peter I. Smith, and the survivors of them, his or their heirs or assigns, to erect a wing dam in the river Delaware, to connect Yard's Island with the main land at Bloomsbury," and of the supplement thereto, passed on the 10th of February 1816.
Resolved, That the Governor of this commonwealth be, and he is hereby authorized and directed, (if the state of New Jersey shall on their part authorize the same) to cause a case to be stated and submitted in argument to the determination of the circuit court of the United States for the circuit including the two states, at such time, place and manner, as may be directed by the judges of the said court, so as to enable them to determine whether the said acts contravene any agreement between the two states, or in any degree violate the rights and privileges of their citizens.
Resolved, That a copy of the foregoing resolutions be transmitted by the Governor of this state to the Governor of New Jersey
Ordered, To lie on the table.
On motion, Ordered, That the usual number of copies be printed for the use of the members.
The bill, entitled "An act to erect the town of Bedford in the county of Bedford, into a borough,' was read the third time, and Resolved, That this bill pass.
The bill, entitled i An act for the relief of the Hospital at New Orleans, and of the Pennsylvania Hospital,' was read the third time, and
On the question, Shall this bill pass?