HOUSE - TENTH DAY
Carson, January 21
An officer of the House - Charles Carter, Messenger - is lying at the point of death this morning. He ruptured a blood vessel of the brain, night before last, previous to which time he was in robust health. He was a youth of great promise, and was respected and esteemed by all who knew him. He held the position of Messenger of the House during the session of 1862, and his faithful attention to the duties of the office then was endorsed by his re-election the present session.
The chief portion of the population of Carson spent last night in feasting and dancing at the Warm Springs. Such of them as are out of bed at this hour, declare the occasion to have been one of unmitigated felicity.
The House met at 10 A.M.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE
Mr. Calder asked and obtained leave for one day for Mr. Clagett who was engaged in drafting a bill.
QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE
Mr. Stewart rose to a question of privilege, and said the ENTERPRISE and Union reporters had been moving Ellen Redman's toll-bridge from its proper position on the Carson Slough to an illegal one on the Humboldt Slough. [I did that. If Ellen Redman don't like it, I can move her little bridge back again - but under protest. I waded that Humboldt Slough once, and I have always had a hankering to see a bridge over it since. - MARK.]
Mr. Phillips moved to amend Mr. Gillespie's resolution by striking out that portion which puts the Enrolling and Engrossing Clerks under the sole control of the Chief Clerk. Lost.
A warm debate sprung up on the subject. Mr. Gillespie manfully contended for the justness and expediency of adopting his resolution, and stated several propositions which were eminently correct, to-wit: that these subordinate officers ought to be under the control of the Chief Clerk; that they were under the pay of the House, and had been for some time, and yet had nothing to do; and finally, that copying being within the scope of their duties, they ought to be put at it and afforded an opportunity of rendering an equivalent for their salaries. Messrs. Stewart, Dixson and others were very fearful of discommoding the subordinate clerks, and very anxious to embellish the House with some more fellows calculated to swing a sinecure gracefully. The Chief Clerk stated that Mr. Powell, the Enrolling Clerk, had labored assiduously, from the first, in rendering any and all assistance asked at his hands, but nobody coming forward to say how much Captain Murphy had done, and nobody being supplied with a pile of estimates [sufficient] to portray how much he hadn't done, it became the general impression that Captain Murphy had been considerably more ornamental than useful to the House of Representatives. But I am here only during the courtesy of the House - on my good behavior, as it were - and I am a little afraid that if I say this aggregation of Wisdom elected Captain Murphy more out of regard for his military services than respect for the nasty manner in which he can sling a pen, I shall get notice to quit. - MARK.
Mr. Gillespie, on leave, amended his resolution by adding "Provided said clerks shall not be interfered with in the discharge of their respective duties" - and had the resolution not been furnished with this loophole if it had not been thus emasculated, it would not have passed. By a scratch it carried, though, and here are the voters' names:
AYES - Messrs. Calder, Elliott, Gillespie, Gove, Hess, Hunter, McDonald, Nelson, Requa, Trask, Ungar, Speaker - 12.
NOES - Messrs. Barclay, Curler, Dean, Dixson, Fisher, Heaton, Jones, Phillips, Stewart, Tennant - 10.
[reprinted in Mark Twain of the Enterprise, edited by Henry Nash Smith, (Univ. of California Press, 1957), p. 141-43.]
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