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The gentleman, sir, finds an- the old story. All regulated Govalogy where I see none. He ernments, all free Governments, likens it to the case of a treaty, in have been broken up by similar which, there being no common disinterested and well disposed superior, each party must inter- interference! It is the common pret for itself, under its own ob- pretence. ligation of good faith. But this is a Constitution of Government,
After this discussion concernwith powers to execute itself, and ing the relative powers of the fulfil its duties. I admit, sir, that Federal and State Governments, this Government is a Govern- the debate continued for several ment of checks, and balances; weeks, and the speakers wandered that is, the House of Representa- from the subject of the public tives is a check on the Senate, lands to discuss almost every and the Senate is a check on the topic of general interest connected House, and the President a check with the politics of the day. on both. But I cannot compre
The right of the President to hend him, or, if I do, I totally remove without cause differ from hin, when he applies amined, and the proscriptive systhe notion of checks and balances tem of the present administration to the interference of different was severely censured, and as Governments. He argues, that earnestly defended. if we transgress, each State, as Many of the speeches were a State, has a right to check us. distinguished for eloquence, ingeDoes he admit the converse of nuity and power, but it would be the proposition, that we have a inconsistent with the plan of this right to check the States? The work to pursue the analysis of the gentleman's doctrines would give debate. us a strange jumble of authorities
The original cause of Mr Foot's and powers, instead of Govern- resolution still subsisted in the ments of separate and defined bill for the graduation of the powers. It is the part of wisdom, prices of public lands, which had I think, to avoid this; and to keep been brought forward early in the the General Government, and the session by Mr Benton and was still State Governments, each in its urged upon the Senate. This proper sphere, avoiding, as care- bill provided, that after the 30th fully as possible, every kind of of June, 1830, all lands which interference.
had been subject to private entry Finally, sir, the honorable gen- since 1827, might be entered at tleman says, that the States will $1 per acre; that heads of famionly interfere, by their power, to lies, single men over 21, and preserve the Constitution. They widows might each enter will not destroy it, they will not quarter of a section, remaining impair it — they will only save, unsold on payment of seventythey will only preserve, they will five cents per acre and on forthonly strengthen it! This is but with settling and cultivating the
same for five years. Preemption Mr Bell then moved to lay the rights of į section were to be bill on the table until the next day, granted to settlers at seventyfive in order that it might be printed cents per acre. Provision was as amended, which was negatived also made for the closing of land by yeas and nays, 22 to 23. officers in districts where the land The bill was then ordered to was sold, and for fixing the fees of be engrossed for a third reading, the land officers.
yeas 24, nays 22, and was finally According to the bill, as origin- passed by the Senate on the 7th ally proposed, all land remaining of May by the same vote. unsold on the 30th of June, 1835, It was taken up in the House was to be transferred to the States on the 29th of May, two days bewithin which it was situated, for fre the close of the session, and the purposes of promoting edu- it being deemed too late to discation and internal improvement; cuss a bill involving the policy of but upon motion of Mr Hayne, the existing land laws of the this provision was stricken out, United States, a motion was made as was one (upon motion of Mr by a western member to lay, the Woodbury) authorizing donations bill on the table, which was carof 80 acres each, to persons in in- ried, 82 affirmative and 68 negdigent circumstances. The bill ative. was brought up for final decision Although the ostensible cause on the 5th of May. Mr Clayton, of this great debate in the Senate moved to postpone the bill inde was thus disposed of, the real finitely, not because he was op- question at issue concerning the posed to an equitable graduation relative powers of the Federal or reduction of the price of the and State Governments was still public lands (according to the agitated, and in South Carolina real value) that had remained in the nullifying party made strenuthe market at the minimum price ous efforts to obtain possession for a length of time and unsold, of the State Government, with but because he objected to the the avowed intention of carrying principle as established by this their principles into practice. bill, of equalizing the value of the A State convention was deseventy millions of acres of the manded; but the proceedings in public lands upon which it is in- relation of that subject properly tended to operate. This motion fall within the history of the next was negatived yeas 20, nays 25 year.
Opening of the First Session of Twentyfirst Congress. — President's Message. — Retrenchment. — Amendments to Constitution. — United States Bank. – Tariff: - Bill to enforce ; Policy; Discussion of and passage. - Bills to reduce Duty on Salt; on Molasses; on Tea and Coffee. — Tonnage Duties. — Cash Duties. - Mr Benton's Scheme. – Mr Cambreleng's Navigation Bill. - Discussion concerning Prosperity of Country.
The first session of the twenty It gave a succinct account of first Congress commenced on the the foreign relations of the United 7th of December, 1829.
States and stated emphatically Thirtyfive Senators appeared that in the execution of that at the commencement of the ses branch of his duties, it was the sion, and Samuel Smith resumed settled purpose of the President the Chair as President pro tem to ask nothing that was not clearly pore.
right and to submit to nothing that In the House of Representa- was wrong.' tives 191 members answered to The controversies with Engtheir names and proceeded to or land, growing out of the disputed ganize the House. Upon ballot- boundary and the colonial trade, ing for Speaker, the vote stood, were stated to be in a train of Andrew Stevenson,
152 adjustment, and a strong hope Wm. D. Martin,
was expressed that the efforts to Scattering,
arrange the terms of intercourse
with the British Islands would Mr Stevenson having been elect
prove successful. ed Speaker, the House adjourned The claims with France were to the next day, when the Presi said to have been made the subdent of the United States trans- ject of the special attention of our mitted his annual Message to minister, who was instructed to Congress.
urge their settlement upon the This message, which did not French Government as a matter in point of expression fall behind which must continue to furnish those of his predecessors, will be the subject of unpleasant discusfound among the Public Docu- sion and possible collision between ments.
the two Governments.
The ministers at Denmark and ted at $24,602,230. The exSpain were urging the claims of penses at $26,164,595 ; leaving a American citizens upon those balance on the 1st January, 1830, Governments upon their attention ; of $4,410,070. During the year and their claims upon the South $12,405,005 had been paid on American Governments were account of the public debt, restated to have been satisfactorily ducing it on the 1st of January, adjusted.
1830, to $48,565,406, including A treaty had been made with $7,000,000 subscribed to the Austria, and one with Turkey, it stock of the United States Bank. was intimated, might be expected. From this aspect of the public
The relations with Portugal finances, he inferred, that the were said to have been renewed speedy discharge of the national upon the principle of acknowledg- debt would soon bring a large ing the Sovereign de facto, and surplus into the treasury, which, our relations with the new Ameri- however beneficial it might be to can powers were declared to be apply to the internal improvement on a satisfactory footing, with the of the country, could not be so exception of Mexico, where an applied, in the opinions of many, unfounded and extraordinary jea- without a violation of the Constilousy prevails.
tution, and in the opinions of all, Among the most urgent of his at the expense of harmony in the duties, the President considered Legislative Councils. To avoid that of recommending an altera- those evils, he recommended an tion of the Constitution, so as to apportionment of the surplus revemake the election of the Chief nue among the several States, Magistrate immediate by the peo- according to their ratio of repreple, and to limit bim to one term sentation. of service.
The President also recomHe also recommended the ex- mended the creation of a departclusion of Members of Congress ment, at whose head the Attorney from all offices except judicial, General was to be placed, to endiplomatic or connected immedi- force the collection of debts due ately with the Cabinet, and a ge- to the United States. neral extension of the law limiting The military academy was also appointments to four years. highly recommended to the fos
Some general observations were tering care of Congress, and a made respecting the tariff
, and a modification of the pension law, modification of its details was re- so as to impart relief to every commended with the view of ren- revolutionary soldier unable to dering it more acceptable to the maintain himself. different sections of the Union. The attention of Congress was
The condition of the treasury directed to the condition of the was declared to be flourishing. Indian tribes, and a system of The balance in the treasury, Jan. policy recommended, which will 1st, 1829, was $5,972,435. The be found fully detailed in chapter receipts of the year were estima- third. A suggestion was made
as to the propriety of modifying ed issue upon these points during the judicial system of the United the contest; one insisting that the States, by dividing the Circuit increased expenses of the FederJudges into two classes, and pro- al Government furnished concluviding that the Supreme Court sive proof of the extravagance of should be held by these classes the administration; and the other alternately; the Chief Justice contending that they grew out of always presiding. A new de- the increasing growth and prospartment was also recommended, perity of the nation and the exto be called the home department; tended relations of the Governand a strong opinion was express- ment. ed against the propriety of re The people had decided in fanewing the charter of the United vor of the former, and it now deStates Bank upon its expiration involved upon them to put in prac1836, on the score that the law tice their maxims of reform. In creating it was deemed unconsti- the message to Congress the tutional and inexpedient ; and that President invited that body to init had failed in establishing a uni- quire into the condition of the form and sound currency.
Government, with the view to a As a substitute to that institu- general retrenchment of its extion, the President recommend- penses ; and also recommended ed the establishment of a Nation- a vigorous prosecution of the outal Bank, founded upon the credit standing claims of the Governand resources of the Government. ment, the recovery of most of
Other topics of less importance which was deemed desperate. were also introduced in the mes Congress was looked to as a sage, which
will be found among body, therefore, that would unthe Public Documents in the se- doubtedly act upon this recomcond part of this volume. mendation of the Executive, and
the session opened with an exSo much had been said by the pectation of the speedy realization supporters of the President dur- of those promises of reform which ing the late canvass, on the sub- had been so liberally made when ject of retrenchment and reform, out of power by the party now and the augmented expenditure in possession of the Government. of the Government had been so Of the select committees apdirectly imputed to the extrava- pointed in the House, was one gance of those administering it on this subject, composed of that a general expectation prevail- Messrs Wickliffe, Coulter, Davis, ed that one of the first acts of the of Massachusetts, Lamar, Coke, triumphant party would be to Huntington and Dewitt. curtail the public expenses by The recommendation in the abolishing offices which might message was of course referred be deemed useless, and by di- to that committee, as upon mominishing the salaries of those tion of Mr Chilton were also the which could not be dispensed bills reported by the committee with. The two parties had join- on retrenchment at the last pon