Слике страница


Mileage Bill.

Jax. 6, 1830,

upon the Government of the United States, for military is not present in the House of which he may be a memexpenditures in the course of the late war, to an amount ber, at some time every day during the session, will not exceeding eight hundred thousand dollars. This claim be entitled to compensation for that day. To that rule had been considered an equitable one, not only by that ad- he had the most serious objections; and his objections ministration of the government of Massachusetts under were founded not only on his experience of the present which it originated, but by every succeeding administra- session of Congress, but of former sessions, when, many tion of the State, from that period of time to the present years ago, he was a member of this body. Tlie absence one, and after twelve or thirteen years' application for a re- of a member, he contended, was not evidence of bis inmuneration of the claim, a bill was reported, about two attention to the public business. He was a member of a years ago, for two hundred and forty odd thousand dollars, Committee of this House, and in that capacity, had, on one or a little over one quarter of its amount. This bill (said occasion, during the present session, to go to one of the Mr. S.) was accompanied by a report from the most scru- offices for information for the Committee; yet, before he tinizing officer of the War Department, stating this returned, the Senate had adjourned. He thought a mernamount, at least, to be due, according to the most rigid ber under such circumstances ought not to be deprived principles which had ever been adopted in the adjustment of his compensation. He went, as he had before said, to of any similar claim whatever; and although nearly or one of the public offices, to obtain information to enable quite two years had elapsed since that report was made, it him to discharge his duty more efficiently; and on his rehas not been acted upon; yet, while this claim of Massa- turn to this House, he met a Senator, who informed bim chusetts had been pending before Congress, most, if not that it had adjourned. Was he, under such circumstanall, those of a similar character, from other States, had, ces, at all culpable? He had therefore felt it his duty to he believed, been settled. Massachusetts [said Mr. s.j call the attention of gentlemen to this part of the bill, in asks and expects the same measure of justice to be ren-jorder that, if it should pass, this section might be amenddered to her which has been accorded to those other ed. Mr. B. felt himself constrained to say, however unStates; and she asks also, and asks earnestly, for a decision courteous it might seem, that the bill was unworthy to be upon her claim.

It has, therefore, in the opinion of her a subject of legislation. Yet, if the bill is to be taken up delegation, become their duty to urge it to a settlement, and passed, he thought he had stated enough to show genand to express their desire that an early report and deci- tlemen that the second section of it deserved correction. sion may be had upon it in the Senate. With this expla- The Senate could not, yesterday,agree upon the particunation, he asked leave to introduce the bill.

lar Committee to which this bill ought to be referred. It The leave was granted, and the bill was read and order- appeared there was no Committee of the Senate to which ed to a second reading

it could be properly referred. For these considerations

he moved its reference to a Select Committee. WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6, 1830.

Mr. NOBLE inquired of the President what was the

title of the bill; and being informed, said that he thought MILEAGE BILL.

it was entitled "An act to retrench." The word “reMr. WEBSTER moved that the Senate proceed to con- trenchment,” he said, should have appeared on the marsider the bill “to establish an uniform rule for the com- gin of the bill at least. He thought that the reference putation of the mileage of members of Congress and for which the gentlemari from Kentucky (Mr. Biv B) proposother purposes," which had been yesterday laid on the ed, went against his own arguments: for, be had said that table on his motion. He said he made the motion to lay the bill was unworthy of notice; in which opinion, he [Mr. the bill on the table, in consequence of the difficulty N.) fully concurred. The bill was not deserving of nowhich appeared to exist as to its proper direction. He tice. For the last fourteen years, during which time he was not disposed to suggest any particular direction for had been a member of this body, this was the first time the bill, but merely to place it where he found it yester. that a bill had been presented, which no member was wilday.

ling to receive, and which could not be properly referred The motion was considered and agreed to.

to any one of the thirteen Standing Committees of the Mr. BIBB said that there had been speculations upon Senate. A select committee was now proposed. He former occasions about the compensation bill of members (Mr. N.) was strongly induced to think, from the context of Congress, which he was not now inclined to interfere of this bill, that it ought to be entitled “ An act to prowith unnecessarily. When the public mind had become vide materials for stump orations on the first Monday in quieted on this subject, he, for his own part, felt no dis- August next.” He was therefore opposed to a reference position to render it again unquiet; because he did not of this bill to a Select Comioittee; he wanted copies of it believe that the compensation of members of Congress to be made, that he might send one to each of his constiwas too much.

As an individual, he was unwilling to see tuents, who might then call township meetings to instruct legislation transferred exclusively to those who are able him how he was to act. He was not afraid of the people, to defray their expenses at the seat of Government, and and he could say that the people detested the smallness going to and returning from it, out of their own private of such measures as that now under consideration. Bir. funds. Nor was he disposed, although he had great re- N. concluded by moving to lay the bill on the table. spect for many gentlemen of that fraternity, [bowing to This motion was negatived without a division. a member across the chamber] to entrust legislation to Mr. HAYNE said, he had but one remark to make on the bachelors exclusively. Whilst these were his opin- the question before the Senate. He thought it was only ions on this subject, he must state that he would gladly respectful to the body with which the bill originated, to see the measures as to the compensation of members of refer it to some Committee, in which, if it were liable to Congress rest where it was placed at the time when the the objections stated, it might be so amended or correctferment, into which the public mind had been formerly ed, as to remove those objections. As the Senate had put respecting it, had ceased. When he read that part agreed that there was no appropriate committee to which of the bill referring to compensation, he was strongly im- it could be referred, the usual course in such cases was, pressed with the idea that, according to his conception of according to parliamentary rules, to appoint a Select the second section of the bill

, relative to the payment of Committee for it. He therefore hoped that this motion members who absented themselves from Congress, it de- would prevail. served some correction. Mr. B. said (and he begged Mr. FORSYTH said that, as the Senate had yesterday, leave to call the attention of gentlemen to this particular) according to the best of his recollection, refused to refer that the bill declared that any member of Congress, who the bill to a Select Committee, and that therefore such a


Jax, 7 to 13, 1830.} Executire Powers.--Pre-emption Rights. --Mr. Foot's Resolution.

(SENATE motion was not now in order, he should move a reconsider- for the purpose of inserting a clause to guard against ation of that vote.

abuses under it, which seemed to be apprehended by some The motion to reconsider was agreed to, and the bill gentlemen; and Mr. HENDRICKS, and Mr. SMITH, of was referred to a Select Committee.

South Carolina, spoke in favor of the recommitment.


posed the motion to recommit, and advocated the passage The Senate was occupied for the best part of this day of the bill. in the discussion of bills of a private nature, particularly

The question on recommitment was decided in the nethe bill for the relief of citizens of the United States who gative: yeas, 16—nays, 21. have lost property by the depredations of certain Indian

The question on the passage of the bill was then decidtribes. Adjourned to Monday.

ed in the affirmative, as follows: yeas, 29-nays, 12.

MR. FOOT'S RESOLUTION. MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 1830. The Senate spent nearly the whole of this day's sitting ing resolution, submitted by Mr. FOOT, on Tuesday, the

Agreeably to the special order of the day, the followin considering the bill which was before them on Thurs- 29th ultimo, was again taken up for consideration: day last, as above noticed.

Resolved, That the Committee on Public Lands be

instructed to inquire into the expediency of limiting for *TC ESDAY, JAxtakY 12, 1830.

a certain period the sales of the public lands to such lands EXECUTIVE POWERS.

only as have heretofore been offered for sale, and are subMr. BARTON rose and said, that, considering all dis-ject to entry at the minimum price. And also whether cussions of the relative constitutional powers of the Pre. the office of Surveyor General may not be abolished withsident and Senate, upon matters of displacing, as well as out detriment to the public interest.” of appointing federal officers in their nature public; and

Mr. FOOT observed, that in twelve years' experience in that no rule or order of the Senate made such subjects legislative assemblies, it was not within his recollection secret; he gave notice that, at the next executive session that a resolution merely for inquiry had ever been made a of the Senate, he would move to transfer the discussion of special order: he must, therefore, consider the case as that question from the executive to the legislative jour-wholly unprecedented. Instances were not unfrequent in nal of the Senate, with a view of giving to it that publi- which resolutions of this character had been arrested by city which the importance of the subject merits.

the “question of consideration;" such questions were Mr. KING said he rose to express his surprise at the course generally made, where it was considered improper to make pursued by the Senator from Missonri. It is a course so en

the inquiry. As he could not discover any benefit which tirely novel, (said Mr. K.] that I am confident that gentle- could possibly arise from introducing this practice, he man has not given to it his usual reflection. Are we thus, should decline giving it his sanction, by taking the lead in sir, to confound our legislative and executive proceed the debate; indeed he should feel himaelf placed in a very ings is the executive journal thus to be made public, awkward situation, to be gravely debating the question, without the sanction of the Senate, or a notice given while whether it is expedient to inquire into expediency. And in our legislative capacity, of an intention to do an act, as he had not the vanity to think it was in his power “to when we shall be in our executive capacity? I hope, sir, enlighten” this, or any other committee of five members the Senator from Missouri will perceive the propriety of of the Senate by a speech, he wished the resolution to go withdrawing his notice, and take an occasion, when the directly to the committee for consideration. But although Senate shall be engaged on executive business, to bring he waived his right to lead, die reserved the right to reit forward. Shoula he, however, persevere in pressing ply, if in his juigment it should seem expedient; for the it on the Senate, I am confident you will, sir, (addressing present he only asked the yeas and nays on the adoption the VICE PRESIDENT, ) in the discharge of the duties of the resolution. of your station, refuse its reception.

The yeas and na';s were accordingly ordered. Mr. HAYNE said he would submit to the Chair whether been the most appropriate dispo-ition of the resolution

Mr. KANE, vt illinois, said that, whatever might have it was competent for the gentleman from Missouri to make any motion in the Senate, acting in its legislative capacity, upon its ârst introduction, it appeared to him proper, afin relation to a matter which was stated to be pending beter the discussion it had already undergone, that it should fore the Senate in its executive character; and if not, now be disposed of by an expression of the sense of the whether the notice of such a motion could be now receive Senate upon its principle. If there are, [said Mr. K.) any ed? If the gentleman desired to bring up any question on

portion of the people of this country who look to the ac. the subject to which he had alluded, he might submit a complishment of purposes like those indicated by this resodistinct resolution to the Senate, or, if he desired it, to lution, and by kindred efforts elsewhere made, and their transfer any resolution now pending elsewhere, the motion hopes not to be realized, the sooner they know it the better. could only be made there.

Should, on the other hand, the fears of the people of the The CHAIR decided the whole subject to be out of order. new States be alarmed at such projects, simultaneously

brought forward in both Houses of Congress, the more WEDNESDAY, JANUARI 13, 1830.

speedily they are undeceived the better. The character

of the resolution is so peculiar, that the opinions of a ComPRE-EMPTION RIGHTS.

mittee will not tend to recommend it to the Senate. No On motion of Mr. McKINLEY, the Senate resumed the fact is called for, and no state of facts can justify the adopconsideration of the engrossed bill to grant pre-emption tion of its principle. It is a mere direction to the Comrights to settlers on the public lands.

mittee of Public Lands to express their opinion upon a Mr. McKINLEY rose, and replied to the objections theoretic proposition. A reference for such an object is which were made to the bill when it was last before the unusual, and can accomplish no good. The business of Senate. He stated his anxiety that the bill should pass standing committees of this body is to examine into matnow, as some of the lands occupied by the description of ters that cannot, consistently with the ordinary despatch persons wh the bill proposed to relieve, were advertis- of public business, be examined by the House itself: opial for sale by auction in Alabama, on the second Monday nions upon principles are formed by gentlemen for themof the next month.

selves, and reports of committees cannot, and ought not, Mr. HENDRICKS moved that the bill be recommitted to influence them.


Mr. Foot's Resolution.

(Jan. 13, 1830.

This resolution is any thing but what it has been repre" ous influences of this project upon the public revenue, sented to be. One gentleman (Mr. Holmes) supposes that and of showing how completely it will place all estimated the proposed inquiry will be, whether certain principles receipts of public lands upon an ocean of uncertainty, perof reform cannot be applied to surveyors of public lands; mit me, sir, to allege and prove-whether sinecures exist, and may not be dispensed with.

1st. That nearly half of the public land now offered for How different is the fact! The Committee are to inquire sale is unfit for cultivation. into the expediency of limiting, for an indeterminate peri

21. That so much of it as can be cultivated is not of od of years, future sales of lands to such as are now in equal value, and cannot be sold at equal prices. market. Of course, the business of surveying is postpon 3d. That the demand for land is large, and cannot be ed, and the office of surveyoris to be made a sinecure, and satisfied without a thorough change in the existing systhen abolished. The question is, whether a sinecure shall tem, and a great diminution of price. be created; not whether a sinecure shall be abolished. There is no propriety in connecting with the single project voluminous documents presented to Congress, which esta

I will not fatigue your attention, sir, by going over all the of thus confining sales and stopping surveys, considera-blish the truth of these positions. I have been long convinctions so distant and inappropriate as those referred to. ed, that the greatest difficulty the new States had to encounThe Western People and their Representatives are not ter in their application to Congress for relief and a change to be drawn off 'from a course of determined resist in your land system, was to make known the whole facts ance to this attempt to check their growth and prosperi- in such a mode as to show that the interests of the nation, ty, into discussions about sinecures and reform, which are as well as of those States, equally called upon you for the “trifles light as air" in comparison.

change. With this view, a call was made, under the anThe language of this resolution is too plain, its objects thority of this body, at the instance of an honorable Senatoo pointed, to be misunderstood. It appears to me strange tor from Missouri, (Mr. Benton] upon the proper autho. that this particular time should have been selected by the rity, for information upon the following points: honorable gentleman from Connecticut to make his pro 1. Quantity and quality of land at minimum price, unposition: that, at a time when the whole people of the sold, 30th June, 1828. United States are looking with intense interest to a spee.

2. Probable character and value of same. dy payment of the public debt, which is to preselit an in

3. Length of time same has been in market. cident in the history of nations as remarkable as it will be favorable to the reputation of free governments, he should

In answer to this call, a statement from the commissioner think it his duty to set on foot an inquiry which, in its re- of the general land office was made, exhibiting information sults, may disturb one of the established sources of the received from almost every land office in the new States public revenue. Since the year 1801, the probable re

and Territories. It will surprise any gentleman unacquaintceipts from the sale of lands has formed a regular item of ed with the subject, to discover how much of the vast doestimate. Every Secretary of the Treasury has presented main of this Government is absolutely worth nothing, in this item as one of the ineans of discharging the debt, and the present condition of the country. The register and of defraying the expenses of Government for the ensuing receiver at St. Louis report that, out of more than two year. In 1801, the estimate of probable receipts from millions acres of unsold land, in that district, three-fourths this source was four hundred thousand dollars. It has of it is unfit for cultivation. By the officers at Huntsville, has since risen to more than a million of dollars. Upon Alabama, we are informed that, out of a quantity of more what basis were these estimates formed? Upon the quanti-than three millions of unsold land, within that district, ty of land at the time, compared with the probable annual there is a very inconsiderable part, if any, that may be demand? Constantly recurring disappointments would terrzed first rate land, and they estimate the greatest porhave followed such a calculation, as the history of every tion of it as mountainous, and unfit for cultivation. The year has proved. No, sir. The estimates have been nade officers at Tuscaloosa, in the same State, say, that, of not only upon the quantity in market at the time, but up. more than three millions of unsold land, in that district, on the additional quantity intended to be thrown into inar-ne part of it would come under the head of first quality, ket within the year. Its quality, and more especially its and that there is not exceeding ten thousand acres fit for locality; I speak of locality, because settlement and culti- cultivation. Reports from other districts disclose a more vation have usually preceded surveys and sales; advanta- favorable view of the matter. From the whole, I have ges, real or imiginary, have induced migrations to the selected the repori of the register and receiver at Edmost distant points. The first American settlements in wardsville, in Illinois, as presenting, in my judgment, a Ohio and Ilinois were nearly simultaneous. During the fair average view of the whole. The statement from that last session of Congress, we were informed that, within quarter is, that the amount of unsold land was, on the the contemplated limits of the Huron Territory, where 30th June, 1828, two millions seven hundred and seventynot a single acre of the public land has been surveyed, eight thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven acres and there was a population of ten thousand souls. Petitions twenty-eight hundredths. The amount unfit for cultivahave reached us from various and opposite quarters of the tion, one million one hundred and ninety-five thousand country, stating the fact that settlements were formed be- two hundred and thirty-eight acres eighty-seven hunyond the surveys, and praying for pre-emptions. I have dredths. We may then, sir, safely infer, that nearly onehad the honor of presenting the memorial of many of my half of the whole quantity of lan now in market is unfit constituents, residing in the northern parts of Illinois, re. for cultivation, and cannot be sold at any price. Morepresenting that a large population inhabited a region not over, the same documents disclose the fact, that not more in market, and praying for the establishment of a land of- than one-twelfth part of the land fit for cultivation is of fice, that sales may be authorized. Does the Senator that class called first quality, and although the most of this from Connecticut believe that a people thus situated, either has been in market for many years, it remains on hand at desire, or can be induced to purchase, lands in Louisiana, the minimum price. Ohio, or Indiana? No, sir. When you get the hard earn So long as the same price shall continue to be demandings of these people into your treasury, it will be for the ed for lands without regard to quality, so long will your lands and homes of their choice. Do not be deceived in sales be confined to such as are ihe best, and all inférior the expectation of augmenting your revenue by selling lands may be considered as withdrawn from the market. them lands at a distance from their residences, and such, If this be true, it is at once perceived that the amount of too, as have been in market ten and twenty years. tand in market for revenue objects lias been greatly over

For the purpose of exhibiting more clearly the danger-Trated. For we have have seen that balf of the whole is

Jar. 13, 1830.]

Mr. Foot's Resolution.


good for nothing, and that but one-twelfth part of the would not furnish cause for complaint: for we have seen remainder is first rate. So that, for every twenty-four that the quantity of surveyed land there is comparatively acres we have been in the habit of counting, we ought large. Poorly, indeed, should I represent her character only to have counted one. The idea has been frequently by consenting to a measure so unjust and ungenerous tosuggested, that there is no demand for land beyond the wards her sister States. That State contains more than quantity already surveyed. if, by this, is meant that sales forty millions of acres. By the means proposed, you not must be confined to the surveyed regions, and that the only deprive her of the use of more than one-half of her same price is to be asked for all sorts of land, and that the beautiful territory, but that half is by nature the most minimum is not to be reduced, there is much truth in the wealthy', the most desirable, and the most likely to be suggestion. And as, under these circumstances, the de- densely populated. It lines the shores of Lake Michigan, mand will be very much limited, your revenue must be from whence the products of the soil are to be transportdiminished in the same proportion. That there are people, ed to the North Atlantic markets. It contains her extenand a great many of them, without land, who want it upon sive mineral grounds, which will give employment to fair terms, and who are imable and unwilling to procure thousands of your fellow-citizens, and it is intersected, at it, under the existing state of things, is unquestionable. convenient distances, with the purest s:reams of the navi. Again {I refer to documentary evidence to prove iny gable waters which pay tribute to the great father of ri. position. By a message transmitted to the Senate, by vers. Is it reasonable to believe that i State, thus de. the President of the United States, in the month of De- prived of her choicest blessings, thus cut off from her cember, 1828, we were informed that, in the State of fondest hopes, will be consoled by the reflection that her Ohio, there were fifty-seven thousand two hundred and neighbors are more hardly dealt by than herself? eighty-six free taxable inhabitants who were not free Need I go into argument to prove, what is so self-eviholders: that, in the State of Missouri, there were ten dent, that, whilst you close up the one-half of the lands thousand one hundred and eighteen persons of the same from sale, within all the new States, and much more than description; and it is not probable that in any one of the that in some, you deprive them of the advantages upon new States the proportion of non-freeholders is less. in which they have calculated from migration? I will not such States as Illinois and Missouri, then, more than half believe that such a disposition exists on the part of any of the persons entitled to vote are not owners of the soil. man. Connected with this subject, there is a view to be Do you believe that these people do not want lands and taken, compared with which all I have said is insignifihomes of their own? Did it never occur to gentlemen, cant. I now speak of the power of this Government, in that the reason for this state of things was found in the the just exercise of its authority, under the constitution, fact that, for the best of your lands, you ask more than and upon a fair interpretation of the spirit of its obligathey can afford to give, and for those of inferior quality tions, contracted with both old and new States, to pursue you demand the same price? As well might a merchant, the course indicated by this resolution. I am not about to in possession of a stock of goods of every variety, from renew the argument, heretofore urged upon this foor, the finest silks and broadcloths, down to the coarsest cot- and elsewherc, that the lands, in virtue of the sovereignty tons and woollens, fix the same price upon every yard of of the new States, belong to those States. The little faeach, and, after selling the finest, conclude that there was vor which that proposition has heretofore met with in no market for the remainder, though he should see the Congress, admonishes me to forbear the argument. Howgreat body of his neighborhood without cotton shirts and ever clearly you may distinguish between the sovereign woollen blankets. But, sir, upon this branch of the sub- rights of States, and the proprietary rights of the Federal ject, I will detain you no longer.

Government; whatever may be the construction of words I think I bave succeeded in showing that, when the obs. and phrases employed to secure your authority, it is not jects of this resolution are accomplished, the interests of difficult to show that, by withdrawing from market a porthe nation will be more generally affected than has been tion of the territory of the States, or by refusing to sell supposed It is to the especially injurious consequences the whole upon cquitable terms, you, in point of fact, of this measure upon the interests of the new States that exceed your powers, violate your plighted faith and soI invite the attention of the Senate. In the first place, lemn obligations, and lay the sovereignty of the new States sir, it will be extremely unjust, because its operation will in the dust. be partial to an extent not justifiable upon any ground Your right to withhold a part cannot be distinguished whatever. The amount of lands in market in these seve- from your right to withhold the whole of your lands withral States is very unequal. In the State of Illinois, the in any one or all of the new States from market; and what number of acres surveyed and unsold is not less than do the rights of sovereignty, for any practical purpose, twenty millions: in Indiana, the older and more populous over vacant territory, amount to? The rights asserted by State, not more than one-half that number. In Missouri, this resolution extend to the sciling all the lands in one not less than twenty millions: in Louisiana, the older State, and withholding all or nearly all from sale in anoState, not more than three millions. In the Territory of ther. Where, sir, then, is the security for that “ equal Arkansas, about fifteen millions: in West Florida, less footing” of the new States, for all substantial purposes than half a million; and, in the Northwestern Territory, of State Government, so emphatically expressed in your not one aere has been surveyed. How unequally will the compacts? people of these several States and Territorios be situated You have stipulated to admit not less than three nor with regard to all their prospects, domestic and political! more than five States into the Union, out of the lands A sense of justice, apart froin every view of the organic ceded by Virginia. The time when is not fixed. Can you principles of free and equal political associations, pro- get round this obligation, with regard to the Northwestnounces it unjust. Could any man be satisfied with the ern territory, by refusing to survey and sell the lands integrity of his own motives, and declare that it was in- therein, and probibiting its population forever? trinsically right to permit the inhabitants of Arkansas to Surely there must be some standard by which the relaenjoy the blessings of improved society, and the benefits tive rights and duties of the Government and the new of an increased and increasing population, and forbid them States and Territories can be justly fixed; and I am wil.. all by law, to the people of Florida, or the Northwestern ling that the standard should be good faith. What this Territory? Sach must be the certain consequences of requires must be determined by a reference to the state carrying into operation the principles of this resolution. of things which existed when these lands became the pro.

As a Representative from Minois, were it possible for perty of the Feeleral Governmeni, the objects of the cesme to be governed by unworthy motives, this inequality Isions, and by an honest interpretation of the meaning of


Mr. Foot's Resolution.

[Jan, 13, 1830.

the parties, as derived from their written contracts. With shall not be divided among the several States, not acout intending to go into all the particulars of history con- cording to the proportions of charge and expenditure, nected with this view of the subject; I will content iyself but according to their representation in Congress. by saying, that the difficulties which surrounded the Con It is not wonderful that those who are willing to dis. gress of the Confederation induced them, in September, regard the original understanding of the parties to these 1780, to invite the States having unappropriated lands to cessions shouki be at a loss to know what to do with so make liberal cessions for the general good. The resolution of much money. To get rid of the objection that it was that venerable body of the following month declares, that never intended to make this Government unnecessarily the unappropriated Jands that may be ceded or relinquishi- rich, and to place in its hands the destinies of ten or a ed to the United States, by any particular State, pursuant dozen States of the confederacy, as this resolution proto the recommendation of Congress, of the 6th day of poses to do now, some States of older date, by their reSeptember last, shall be disposed of for the common be- presentatives, very kindly offer to take the money themnefit of the United States, and be settled and formed into selves, and their younger brethren into their kind keeping distinct republican States, which shall become members also. For one, I very much desire to see the day, when of the Federal Union, &c. Thus, we see, the object then the new States shall neither be an object of envy or (11was to acquire lands, not to be held up in the hands of a pidity. When the people thereof can be permitted to rest great speculator, but to be disposed of and settled; not under their own " vine and fig tree,” without being to be reserved from settlement as this resolution proposes. eternally subject to the projects of other people. This Let us proceed a litile further, and see what was meant time will arrive, whenever the energies of this Gorernby the common benefit, for which the lands were to be ment shall be directed with fidelity to the honest discharge disposed of. The State of New York appears to have of its obligations and constitutional duties; whenever it been the first in point of time, to comply with the invita- shall in good faith dispose of the land to pay its debts, tion referred to. The preamble of her act of the Legis- and with a view to its settlement. But if the national lature of the 17th March, 1780, is as follows: “Whereas honor is to be sacrificed to gratify national cupidity; if nothing, under Divine Providence, can more effectually the immediate and pressing interests of the new States are contribute to the tranquillity and safety of the United to be sacrificed for the remote and speculative interests of States of America, than a federal alliance, on such liberal some of the old ; if, for the interests of those who wish to principles as will give satisfaction to its respective mem- monopolize the manufactures of the country, land is to bers; and whereas the articles of confederation and per- be kept from market in the new States, that labor may be petual union recommended by the honorable Congress of cheap in the old, it will be for the new States, embracing, the United States of America, have not proved acceptable as they do, the fairest portions of this hemisphere, to deto all the States, it having been conceived that a portion cide, whether they shall not accomplish the destinies to of the waste and uncultivated territory, within the limits which Ileaven itself invites them. or claims of certain States, ought to be appropriated as a Mir. BARTON said, as he should vote differently from common fund for the expenses of the war,” &c. The those with whom he usually acted on questions respecting States of Virginia, and North Carolina appear to have had the public lands in the new States and Territories, it the same object in making cessions. For they both de- might be prudent to assign his reasons.

If this were & clare that the ceded lands should be a conimon fund for peremptory resolution, athrming the expediency of makthe use and benefit of such of the States als had or should ing any radical change, in that respect, that could retard become members of the confederation, “according to the migration to the West, or lessen the facilities of actheir usual respective proportions in the general charge quiring lands by the settlers, and the encouragement of the and expenditure.” What “ usual respective proportions great agricultural interests in the West, he should vote in the general charge and expenditure" were here meant against it. But being a mere proposition for inquiring Precisely what was meant by New York, when she spoke into the subject, and that, too, by a committee known, and of the expenses of the war. Can it be supposed that the mentioned by the gentleman from Connecticut, (Mr. Foot] objects of Virginia, New York, and North Carolina, were to come from the very States most directly concerned in to make the Federal Government a rich and more power- this matter, he should vote for the inquiry. ful one? Or did they intend only to remove existing em It was an unusual and an ungracious thing, (said Mr. B.] barrassments? The old Congress declared before the in the estimation of this body, to vote against inquiries, cessions that the lands should be disposed of and be settled, and they had become almost a matter of course. and formed into distinct republican States. The time was not afraid to let the people of the United States, cast of not fixed, it is true, within which either the lands were to the Alleghanies, look fully into this matter and see the be sold and settled or the States admitted. I may, how- plain truth as it really exists in the West. He feared the ever, at least infer that it was not then intended, that if, creation of unfounded and unfavorable suspicions, by thus in fifty years, the land was not sold, that one half of it stepping forward, at the approach of a portion of the should be withdrawn from market, and not settled at all. owners to examine how this interest of theirs has been My interpretation of the intentions of these parties is, managed, and blowing out the light, as if afraid they that the debt was to be paid as far as might be, by sale of really would make some unpleasant discoveries, if permitthe lands; and the promise that they should be settled, ted to come in and examine. Let them examine. He and be received into the Union, was the guarantee that no gave the gentleman fair notice of his prepossessions in unecessary delay in the sale or settlement should be inter- favor of going on with the surveys and sales. We had posed. How different are we in the habit of considering now, (said Mr. B.] in existence all the offices, officers, this matter! The public domain is now considered an ob- and their subordinates, necessary to complete the surveys; ject of great national wealth, and it is believed to be the and why arrest their progress? The survey of our counduty of Congress to play the part of land jobber, and try was necessary to know its physical features and capahold it up for the highest prices, making the settlement bilities; to know the rivers and streams; the prairies and of the ceded country, and its admission as States into the forests; hills, mountains, arable lands, minerals, and the Union, solely dependent upon the pecuniary interests of situation and general aspect of our grçat purchase from the Federal Government. Nay, sir, 1 lave heard it alleged, France, as well as of all our other domains.

The surveys that the lands ought not to be brought into market exten- were necessary to correct descriptions and maps of our sively, because it would affect the prices of real estate in country; and, as the machine was now in useful motion, the old States; and I have understood that it is seriously it would be a saving, even in an economical view, to go on debated elsewhere, whether the proceeds of the lands and finish the surveys rather than demolish the machine,

[ocr errors]
« ПретходнаНастави »