The Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, 1789-1791


The Congressional Register

The engrossed bill "for establishing an executive department, to be denominated the department of foreign affairs," was read the third time.
Mr. SUMTER.
This bill appears to my mind so subversive of the constitution, and in its consequences so destructive to the liberties of the people, that I cannot consent to let it pass, without expressing my detestation of the principle it contains; I do it in this public manner, in order to fulfil what I think to be my duty to my country, and to discharge myself of any concern in a matter that I do not approve.
Mr. PAGE
Discovered the fate of the bill; he knew it must pass, but nevertheless, he would decidedly give it his negative and he hoped the respectable minority which he had the honor of voting with hitherto on the question of removability, would unite with him firmly in their opposition, and in order to record to their constituents the sentiments they maintained, he would move to take the question by the yeas and nays.
One fifth of the members present joined in requiring the yeas and nays, whereupon they were taken, and are,
[Text omitted. -Ed.]***
So the question was determined in the affirmative, and the clerk directed to carry the bill to the senate, and desire their concurrence.