Report of Legislative Proceedings regarding Postal Contracts, 6 January 18481
Mr. GOGGIN said he hoped the committee understood that his connection with this resolution, or rather his desire to have any sort of connection with it, arose solely from the fact that he happened to be connected with the committee who reported it.2 It was not from any desire to be connected with the subject, certainly, that he should now trespass for one moment upon the time or patience of this House. He thought it but fair, however, when this joint resolution had been so fully, and, he might say, so ably discussed by gentlemen on the other side of the House, that those who were opposed to it—in other words, that those who advocated a substitute for the resolution reported, should be heard also in advocacy of their views in opposition to the report.
The gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Lincoln) had yesterday thought proper to go into what occurred in committee in connection with this subject. He regretted that the gentleman should so far have trespassed, unintentionally he had no doubt, upon the rules of the House; but as he stated that every member upon that committee, of both political parties—that all those with whom he was associated united in support of this resolution, he thought proper to notice the remark.
Mr. LINCOLN here interposed, and (Mr. G. yielding) said that the gentleman had misunderstood him. He had said a majority of one party and the whole of the other had supported the resolution in committee.3
1Abraham Lincoln made these remarks amid ongoing debate over a proposed joint resolution authorizing the postmaster general to renew a contract with the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad and Steamboat Company for the transportation of mail between Washington, DC and Richmond, Virginia.
2On December 17, 1847, John M. Botts introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives a joint resolution authorizing the postmaster general to renew a contract with the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad and Steamboat Company for the transportation of mail between Washington, DC and Richmond, Virginia. The House referred the resolution to the Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads, of which William L. Goggin and Lincoln were members. On December 30, Goggin reported back the resolution with a substitute which directed the postmaster general to renew the contract with the company and to pay “the highest price now paid by the Post Office Department for transporting the mail once per day on any other railroad and steamboat route in the United States, and no more.”
Cong. Globe, 30th Cong., 1st Sess., 39, 82-83, 105, 130-31 (1848); U.S. House Journal. 1848. 30th Cong., 1st sess., 60, 102, 171.
3Debate in the House on the substitute continued on January 7, when the House, as the Committee of the Whole, reported back the substitute with amendments. On January 10, the House refused to table the substitute by a vote of 69 yeas to 125 nays, with Lincoln voting nay. By a vote of 101 yeas to 91 nays, with Lincoln voting nay, the House agreed to an amendment that nothing in the substitute should be construed as requiring an increase in the expenditure of the Post Office Department. The House subsequently refused to read the resolution a third time.
U.S. House Journal. 1848. 30th Cong., 1st sess., 208, 209-10, 211, 212-13.
Printed Document, 1 page(s), Congressional Globe, Thirtieth Congress, First Session, 119.