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Federal Congress.

An occasional glance at the proceedings of the Yankee Congress shows that the negro question maintains its usual prominence.--We copy the following from a late Northern paper:


Washington, April 9, 1862.
Messrs, Howard, (Mich.,) Chandler, (Mich.,) Trumbull, (111.,) Sherman, (Ohio,) and Harlan, (La.,) presented petitions in favor of emancipation.

Mr. Howe (Wis.) presented the memorial of the Legislature of Wisconsin, for the establishment of a National Armory and Depot in that State.

Mr. Trumbull introduced a bill for the more convenient enforcement of the laws of the U. States, for its security, by keeping the peace and good behavior.

The bill in relation to fixing the salaries of District Attorneys was taken up.

After a discussion the bill was passed — year 20, nays 19.

On motion of Mr. Wilson (Mass.) the Senate went into Executive session.

After an Executive session, the Senate adjourned.

House of Representatives.

The House proceeded to the consideration of the Senate bill to increase the efficiency of the Medical Department of the army. The debate involved the question of incorporating surgeons from the volunteer service with the regular staff, thus giving a large field for selection. This was agreed to.

The bill as amended, on the recommendation of the Military Committee, was then passed.

During the debate on the medical bill, Mr. Dunn (Md.) said he hoped the bill would be promptly passed. There comes up to us a cry of distress from our camps and hospitals from our wounded and sick, who are crucify suffering from the want of proper medical and hospital provisions. He would vote for any bill calculated to give relief to our soldiers, who so nobly endured and suffered for their country. Our Medical Department needs reorganization and enlargement to enable it to attend properly to its vastly increased duties.

Albert G. Higgins was brought before the bar of the House to answer for contempt in falling to appear before the Select Committee on Government Contracts.

The Speaker asked him what answer he had to make.

In reply, a written statement was read, to the effect that he had not heard of the committee being in Boston at the time of the notice; and further, that he derived an impression from the officer serving it, that the next day would do if he could not go that day. When he went the next day he found the committee broken up.

Mr. Dawes (Mess.) offered a resolution that, whereas, Albert G. Higgins had since appeared before the committee and answered all the questions put to, him, he be discharged on the payment of the fees chargeable on the warrant.

After a conversation, the resolution was amended by striking out the requirement to pay the fees, and adopted, there being nothing to show that Higgins acted in contempt.

Mr. Stevens (Pa.), from the Committee of Ways and Means, reported a bill making further appropriations for certain civil expenses of the Government.

The House concurred in nearly all the Senate amendments to the Post-Office Appropriation bill.

During the explanations, Mr. Colfax (Ind.) said the amount for special agents was necessary, as those officers open post-offices and transact other mail business, as our armies advance.

On motion of Mr. Roscoe Conkling, the House proceeded to the consideration of business on the Speaker's table.

The negro question.

The first was the joint resolution that Congress ought to co-operate with and afford aid to any State adopting the policy of gradual emancipation.

The Senate amendment, substituting the words ‘"United States"’ for ‘ "Congress,"’ was then agreed to by the House. The proposition, therefore, requires only the President's approval to become a law.

The House concurred in the Senate amendments to the House bill authorizing the establishment of branch post offices in the cities.

The Senate bill appropriating a million of dollars for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, and a hundred thousand for colonizing them, was taken up and read for the first time.

The question occurring on its second reading, Mr. Vallandigham, of Ohio, objected.

In case of objection being made to the second reading of a bill, the rule requires the question to be put, ‘"Shall the bill be rejected?"’

The question was accordingly put, and decided in the negative — year 45, nays 93.

Yeas.--Messrs. Allen, Biddle, Blair (Va.), Brown (Va.), Calvert, Corning, Cox, Cravens, Crittenden, Delaplaine, Dunlop, English, Grider, Hall, Harding, Kerrigan, Knapp, Law Lazear, Leary, Mallory, May, Menzles, Noble, Noell, Norton, Nugen, Pendleton, Perry, Price, Rollins (Mo.), Shiel, Smith, Steele (N. J.), Steele (N. Y.), Thomas (Md.), Vallandigham, Voorhees, Wadsworth, Wade, Webster, White (Ohio), Wickiffe, Woodruff, and Wright.

Nays--Messrs. Aldrich, Alley, Arnold, Ashley, Babbitt, Baker, Baxter, Beaman, Bingham, Blair (Mo.), Blair (Pa.), Blake, Browne (R. I.), Buffington, Campbell, Chamberlain, Clark, Colfax, Frederick A. Conkling, Roscoe Conkling, Covode, Davis, Dawes, Delano, Diven, Duell, Dunn, Edgerton, Edwards, Eliot, Fenton, Fessenden, Fisher, Franchor, Frank, Gooch, Goodwin, Granger, Gurley, Haight, Hall, Hanchett, Harrison, Hooper, Horton, Hutchins, Julian, Kelley, Kellogg, (Mich.,) Killinger, Lansing, Lehman, Loomis, Lovejoy, McKnight, McPherson, Mitchell, Morehead, Morrill (Me.,) Morrill (Vt.,) Nixon, Odell, Olin, Patton, Phelps (Cal.,) Pike, Pomeroy, Porter, Potter, Rice (Mass.,) Rice (Me.,) Riddle, Rollins (N. H.,) Sargeant, Sheffield, Shellabarger, Sherman, Sloan, Spaulding, Stevens, Stration, Thomas (Mass.,) Train Trowbridge, Vanhorn, Van-Valkenburg, Verr Wallace, Walton (Vt.,) Wheeler, White (ind.,) Wilson, and Windom.

Mr. Roscoe Conkling, of N. Y., moved to reconsider the vote, and to lay that motion on the table; which was agreed to.

The bill was then lead a second time, and, on motion of Mr. Roscoe Conkling, referred to the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union, the rules requiring all bills making appropriations to be thus referred for consideration.

The House then went into Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union on the Pacific Railroad bill.

Mr. Phelps, (Cal.,) advocated it, regarding this means of connecting the Atlantic with the Pacific as not only important in a military, but also in an agricultural and commercial point of view.

Mr. Keller, (Pa.,) argued that the time is peculiarly fitting for the commencement of this work, and our domestic exigencies demand its early completion. Until we shall have built this road, our country can never assume its just and commanding position among the nations of the world. He considered the subject in all its various aspects.

The Committee then rose, and the House adjourned.

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