26 May 1836
adams-john10 Neal Millikan Gag Rule US Constitution Press

26. V. Thursday

I had a very indifferent Night, and little sleep— At the House the first subject was the question upon Glascock’s, assigning the reasons for his asking to be excused from voting on the Slavery Report Resolutions— The Speaker announced that he had recurred to the only precedent on the Journals of the House, which was in my own case; and that the House then determined to proceed in the call of yeas and nays, and announce the decision without waiting first to decide any question on the refusal of the member to vote— But that such question would remain to be afterwards decided by the House— I rose and began to prove that the case was totally different from that of 1832 which could not therefore apply as a precedent; but I was called with great vociferation to order and not permitted to proceed. The Speaker went on and announced the result of the vote on the 1st. Resolution— On the call of yeas and nays upon the second Resolution, I asked to be excused from voting, and the call was continued passing me by.— Others declined voting and they were also passed by. On my name’s being called on the third resolution I answered I hold the Resolution to be a direct violation of the Constitution of the United States—of the Rules of this House and of the rights of my Constituents— They passed on— Granger asked to be excused from voting on the second Resolution, because the Resolution is different from that which the Committee was instructed to report— He was passed over and not allowed to offer his reasons. A Scene of great disorder ensued— Glascock claimed the floor to assign his reasons— The Speaker gave him the floor, and then took it away from him by arbitrary, absurd and inconsistent decisions, all of which were sustained by the House by large majorities by yeas and nays; as were the three Resolutions reported by the Committee— The Bill for the re-organization of the Post-Office was then debated till about 5. O’Clock when it was made the special order of the day, with preference over all other business to-morrow, and the House adjourned— I walked home, the first time for nearly two months— Mr Gales gave me a note requesting me to write out my Speech of yesterday to be reported in the National Intelligencer.