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James Nelson Burnes


James Nelson Burnes

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    James Nelson Burnes
Excerpt from book: why should he? Jefferson City cannot see beyond her municipal limits. The public demand for "these courts is not in Jefferson City nor with the alleged barristers of its bar association.'/ In the closing period of this session circumstances of such extraordinary embarrassment occurred in connection with Mr. Burnes' management of the general deficiency bill, that we may be indulged in relating them. When the bill was returned from the Senate it contained an amendment providing for the payment of a claim made by the Central Pacific Railroad Company, involving several millions of dollars. This corporation is one of the most powerful land-grant railroads of the country, and is indebted to the United States for an amount vastly greater than that contained in the claim. After a thorough examination, Mr. Burnes concluded that the claim was unjust, and ought not to be paid. Repeated conferences on the bill rendered it obvious that unless he and his associate House conferrees retreated from the position they assumed, and suffered the liquidation of the claim, the bill would fail. The situation was provokingly harassing. To recede implied the appropriation of millions, which he felt ought not to be paid: to refuse to yield imperiled the payment of immense sums, and particularly thousands of claims to Union soldiers and their widows and orphans. Though sorely pressed, Mr. Burnes did not waver. "The hour of final adjournment fixed by law," says the Honorable Mr. Holman, one of his distinguished colleagues on the Appropriation Committee, "rapidly approached, and every influence which policy, interest, and power could suggest was brought to bear to induce him to recede from his position, but he stood by his convictions with the firmness of a rock which had defied for centuries the r...  
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Book details

  • PDF | 500 pages
  • James Nelson Burnes
  • General Books LLC
  • Unknown
  • 10
  • Other
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