Слике страница
PDF
ePub

the amendment held out the attraction of seeming, though unsubstantial, self-interest. That the lands will be liable to taxation cannot be doubted. The amendment does not propose in any way to relieve them from this burden, nor am I aware that they can be relieved from it. The existing immunity is only so long as they belong to the United States. Now there is reason to believe, that, from lack of agencies and other means familiar to the United States, the lands distributed by this amendment would not find as prompt a market as those still in the hands of the Great Landholder. But however this may be, it is entirely clear, from the recorded experience of the national domain, that these lands, if sold at the minimum price of the public lands, and only as rapidly as those of the United States, and if meanwhile they are subject to the same burdens as the lands of other non-residents, will, before the sales are closed, be eaten up by the taxes. The taxes will amount to more than the entire receipts from sales; and thus the grant, while unjust to the Land States, will be worthless to the old States, the pretended beneficiaries. In the Roman Law, an insolvent inheritance was known by an expressive phrase as damnosa hæreditas. under this amendment would be damnosa donatio.

For such good and sufficient reasons, I am opposed to this amendment.

A grant

J. FENIMORE COOPER, THE NOVELIST.

LETTER TO THE REV. RUFUS W. GRISWOLD, FEBRUARY 22, 1852.

MY

WASHINGTON, February 22, 1852.
Y DEAR SIR, - It is not in my power to be

present at the proposed demonstration in memory of the late Mr. Cooper. But I am glad of the opportunity, afforded by the invitation with which I have been honored, to express my regard for his name and my joy that he lived and wrote.

As an author of clear and manly prose, as a portrayer to the life of scenes on land and sea, as a master of the keys to human feelings, and as a beneficent contributor to the general fund of happiness, he is remembered with delight.

As a patriot who loved his country, who illustrated its history, who advanced its character abroad, and by his genius won for it the unwilling regard of foreign nations, he deserves a place in the hearts of the American people.

I have seen his works in cities of France, Italy, and Germany. In all these countries he was read and admired. Thus by his pen American intervention was peacefully, inoffensively, and triumphantly carried into the heart of the European Continent.

In honoring him we exalt literature and the thrice

blessed arts of peace. Our country will learn anew from your demonstration that there are glories other than those of state or war. I have the honor to be, dear Sir, Your obedient servant,

CHARLES SUMNER. Rev. Rufus W. GRISWOLD.

CHEAP OCEAN POSTAGE.

SPEECH IN THE SENATE, ON A RESOLUTION IN RELATION TO CHEAP

OCEAN POSTAGE, MARCH 8, 1852.

This proposition Mr. Sumner constantly renewed at subsequent sessions of Congress.

R. PRESIDENT, - I submit the following reso

lution. As it is one of inquiry, I ask that it may be considered at this time.

may

Resolved, That the Committee on Naval Affairs, while considering the nature and extent of aid proper to be granted to the Ocean Steamers, be directed to inquire whether the present charges for letters carried by these steamers are not unnecessarily large and burdensome to foreign correspondence, and whether something may not be done, and, if so, what, to secure the great boon of Cheap Ocean Postage.

There being no objection, the question was stated to be on the adoption of the resolution.

MR. PRESIDENT, — The Committee on Naval Affairs have the responsibility of shaping some measure by which the relations of our Government with the ocean steamers will be defined. And since one special inducement to these relations, involving the bounty now enjoyed and further solicited, is the carrying of the mails, I trust this Committee will be willing to inquire whether there cannot be a reduction on the postage of foreign correspondence. Under the Postage Act of 1851, the Postmaster, by and with the advice of the President, has power to reduce, from time to time, the rates of postage on all mailable matter conveyed between the United States and any foreign country. But the existence of this power in the Postmaster will not render it improper for the Committee, now drawn into connection with this question, to take it into careful consideration, with a view to some practical action, or, at least, recommendation. The subject is of peculiar interest; nor do I know any measure, so easily accomplished, which promises to be so beneficent as cheap ocean postage. The argument in its favor is at once brief and unanswerable.

A letter can be sent three thousand miles in the United States for three cents, and the reasons for cheap postage on land are equally applicable to ocean.

In point of fact, the conveyance of letters can be effected in sailing or steam packets at less cost than by railway.

Besides, cheap ocean postage will tend to supersede the clandestine or illicit conveyance of letters, and to bring into the mails all mailable matter, which, under the present system, is carried in the pockets of passengers or in the bales and boxes of merchants.

All new facilities for correspondence naturally give new expansion to human intercourse; and there is reason to believe, that, through an increased number of letters, cheap ocean postage will be self-supporting

Cheap postal communication with foreign countries will be of incalculable importance to the commerce of the United States.

« ПретходнаНастави »