[Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and the Rules of the House of Representatives, 109th Congress]
[109th Congress]
[House Document 108-241]
[Jeffersons Manual of ParliamentaryPractice]
[Pages 198-199]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]


<>   A 
petition prays something. A remonstrance has no prayer. 1 Grey, 58.

                           sec. xix--petition

  The Rules of the House make no mention of remonstrances, but do 
mention petitions and memorials (clause 3 of rule XII). Resolutions of 
State legislatures and of primary assemblies of the people are received 
as memorials (IV, 3326, 3327), but papers general or descriptive in form 
may not be presented as memorials (IV, 3325).

[[Page 199]]

of the petitioner, and his name written in the beginning, was on the 
question (March 14, 1800) received by the Senate. The averment of a 
member, or of somebody without doors, that they know the handwriting of 
the petitioners, is necessary, if it be questioned. 6 Grey, 36. It must 
be presented by a member, not by the petitioners, and must be opened by 
him holding it in his hand. 10 Grey, 57.

Sec. 390. Signing and presentation of petitions. Petitions must be subscribed by the petitioners Scob., 87; L. Parl., c. 22; 9 Grey, 362, unless they are attending, 1 Grey, 401 or unable to sign, and averred by a member, 3 Grey, 418. But a petition not subscribed, but which the member presenting it affirmed to be all in the handwriting
In the House petitions have been presented for many years by filing with the Clerk (clause 3 of rule XII). Members file them, and petitioners do not attend on the House in the sense implied in the parliamentary law. In cases where a petition set forth serious changes, the petitioner was required to have his signature attested by a notary (III, 2030, footnote).
Sec. 391. Parliamentary law for the reception of petitions. Regularly a motion for receiving it must be made and seconded, and a question put, whether it shall be received, but a cry from the House of ``received,'' or even silence, dispenses with the formality of this question. It is then to be read at the table and disposed of.
Before the adoption of the provisions of clause 3 of rule XII, petitions were presented from the floor by Members, and questions frequently arose as to the reception thereof (IV, 3350-3356). But under the present practice such procedure does not occur.