From the Federal capital.
From a Northern paper of April 2d we copy the following Washington
Action of the House on the Tax bill.
spent most of the day to-day in considering the Tax Bill
, which is pushed vigorously by the Committee of Ways and Means.
Many members have but little relish for this important work, and the House
dwindles rapidly below a quorum.
A call of the House
was made this afternoon, and all sorts of excuses were made by members for absenting themselves.
One was called off by his wife, another ‘"by the telegraph,"’ another by important personal business, another ‘"was excessively hungry,"’ &c. Mr. Stevens
is obliged to crack the parliamentary whip vigorously over the team to keep them in the traces.
Pending the section taxing spirits the following was finally adopted as a substitutes for the section reported by the Committee of Ways and Means: On spirits mixed with other liquors or material, or prepared in any way to be sold as whiskey, brandy, gin, wine, or by any other name, not otherwise provided, fifty cants per gallon, on the basis of the first proof; and so in proportion for any greater strength than the strength of first proof.
moved, as an amendment, the following:
That this tax shall be assessed on all such spirits held by any person or persons for sale at the time this act shall take effect.
This amendment was lost, establishing, it is thought, the final sense of the House
as to taxing any article not manufactured at the time the act shall take effect.
Issue of Treasury Certificates.
About one and a half millions of six percent. certificates were issued to-day, chiefly of the denomination of one thousand dollars. The checks and warrants now amount to about ten thousand dollars.
The Abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia.
Some of the radical portion of Congress begin to manifest a little uneasiness at the inordinate haste with which the project of abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia has been pressed.
It is evident that it will not produce the emancipation of a single negro, except such worthless ones as the owners would be glad to get rid of; but the simple agitation of the subject has already had a very deleterious influence upon the free negro population, and instigated an insupportable insolence among them, which forces itself upon the attention of many who were at first carried away with the idea of abolishing slavery in the Federal
It is rapidly becoming apparent that the prosecution of this schemes will not only make the city of Washington
the rendezvous of the most worthless class of population, but will be regarded by the whole country as an evidence of consciousness on the part of the Republicans that the power they now possess will be soon swept from their grasp, never more to be resumed.
The speech of Senator Wright
this afternoon produced a marked effect upon the Senate and the audience present.
The earnest and eloquent manner in which he enunciated the duty of Congress, to legislate solely with a view to put down the rebellion, without stooping for a moment to discuss matters of inferior importance, made a deep impression.
His statement that the excitement had culminated and would subside, and his prophecy that by next year conservatism will rule the country, made the radicals wince.
What shall be done with the Contraband?
The disposal of the thousands of contrabands that have flocked within the lines of the Union
army at various points is troubling the wisest of the abolitionists in Congress.
They find they have purchased an elephant.
Nearly all the Western States
have constitutional or legislative provisions excluding free negroes from a residence within their limits.
is regarded as the only available refuge for the contrabands.
It is proposed now to colonize them in Massachusetts
, where they can be taught a variety of industrial pursuits in warm and comfortable works hops, and reduce the cost of labor to the manufacturers.
These contrabands cannot remain with safety where they now are. Their permanent support by the Government
is not contemplated, and the only place open for their reception is New England
, although the majority of these men here scorn the idea of working for a living, and when asked to work answer that they did not come here to work, but to avoid it.
Who saved the capital?
The attempt of the Philadelphia press to claim for the small band of Pennsylvania
troops who arrived at Washington
on the 18th of April, the credit of having saved the capital from seizure by the rebels, has excited much ridicule here.
It is well known that this squad of four hundred and fifty men came here without arms, clothes, equipments, or discipline, and were here for weeks before they were fit for any service.
The 6th Massachusetts was the first armed regiment to enter Washington
when it was beleaguered, and the District
militia was the sole reliance for its protection until the blockade was broken by the advance by way of Annapolis
Nominations sent to the Senate.
The Senate held a long executive session this afternoon.
No confirmations were made, but a large batch of nominations was received and referred.
Among them were some fifteen Brigadier Generals
was nominated for Secretary
of Legation at St. Petersburg
, and the committee reported favorably.
The nomination was not acted upon.
The official report.
In reply to the Senate's resolution calling for General Mansfield
's report concerning the rebel steamer Merrimac
, that body has been respectfully informed it is deemed inconsistent with the public interest at present to furnish a copy of the document.
The bankrupt law.
An influential delegation of New York merchants is here to urge the passage of a bankrupt law. There is now a prospect of some movement in this direction.
There has hitherto been very little progress in regard to this measure; but the necessities of commercial communities, suddenly prostrated by the outbreak of the rebellion, are forcing themselves upon the attention of Congress, and steady and energetic action on the part of the friends of the measure may yet secure its passage.
Return of the Congressional Excursion party from Fortress Monroe.
The Naval Committee and other members of Congress and their friends returned to-day from Fortress Monroe
, where they had a pleasant and interesting visit.
They report that the preparations for taking care of the Merrimac
, should she venture out, are of the most complete and formidable character.