Chapter 39: the debate on Toucey's bill.—vindication of the antislavery enterprise.—first visit to the West.—defence of foreign-born citizens.—1854-1855.
The second session of the Thirty-third Congress, which began in December, 1854, and ended in March, 1855, was, excepting a single day, undisturbed by excitement.
There was a disposition on both sides to avoid a renewal of the discussion on slavery, which had absorbed the preceding session, and to attend rather to the ordinary public business.
offered at different times resolutions on several subjects,—as the exemption of sailors from an enforced contribution of hospital money,1
the amendment of the laws concerning the fisheries, and mediation in the Eastern
war between Great Britain
, and Turkey
on the one side, and Russia
on the other.
He spoke against the exclusion of Massachusetts
soldiers, whom the governor refused in the War
of 1812 to place in the service of the United States
, from the provisions of the bounty-land bill for the benefit of soldiers serving against Great Britain
He made a brief speech upon a bill introduced by himself to secure to seamen in case of wreck the wages already earned, although the vessel might not have earned freight.2
The speech illustrated the hardships involved in the application of a technical rule of maritime law.
An indictment against Theodore Parker
was pending in the United States Circuit Court, Boston
, in the winter of 1854– 1855, in which he was charged with resisting the process for the rendition of Anthony Burns
, the alleged act of resistance being a speech he had delivered in Faneuil Hall.
It was expected that the trial would take place before Judge B. R. Curtis