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Jax. 18, 1830.]
Mr. Foot's Resolution.
terwards, ended in dismembering the valley of the Missis- which affords them plenty of nourishment. Shall the best sippi, amputating two of its noblest rivers, and surren- and largest part of the United States be uncultivated, a dering two hundred thousand square miles of its finest nest for savages and beasts of prey? Certainly not. Proterritory to the Crown of Spain.
vidence has designed it for some nobler purpose." Mr. B. also read the following passages from Mr. Gray (Mr. B. has furnished for the press the following ex. son's statement:
tracts from Mr. Madison's statement: “We will not dif. “ Secrecy was required on this subject. I told Con- fer as to facts; perhaps we may differ as to principles. gress that imposing secrecy on such a great occasion was
From the best information it never was unwarrantable.
the sense of the people at large, or the prevailing char• Seven States were disposed to yield the navigation acter of the Eastern States, to approve of the measure, of the Mississippi. I speak not of any particular charac- (surrender of the Mississippi.) If interest should contiters. I have the charity to suppose that all mankind act nue to operate on them, I humbly conceive they will deon the best motives. Suffice it for me to tell plain and rive more advantage from holding the Mississippi than direct facts, and leave the conclusion with this honorable even the Southern States.” Mr. Madison also said that House.
* the Southern States had been for giving up the navigation They (the Northern States) looked at the true in- of the Mississippi to Spain. Patrick Henry powerfully terests of nations. Their language has been "Let replied that that was when they did not possess it-in us prevent any new States from rising in the Western the gloomiest period of the Revolution, and to purchase world, or they will outvote us--we will lose our im- the aid of Spain in establishing our independence.] portance and become as nothing in the scale of nations.
Mr. B. said that he had now given one great instance of If we do not prevent it, our countrymen will remove to the attempts to prevent the growth and settlement of the those places, instead of going to sea, and we will receive West. It was a diplomatic instance. He would now give po particular tribute or advantage from them.' This, sir, another instance of the same policy from the legislative has been the language and spirit of their policy, and í department of the Government-from the Congress of suppose ever will.
When 1785, which he must be permitted to consider as the orithe act of Congress was passed, respecting the settlement gin and prototype of all succeeding measures for crampof the Western country, and establishing a State there, ing, crippling, and stifling the West. It is in the ordiit passed in a lucky moment. I was told that that State nance for the
sale and disposition of the Western lands; (Massachusetts) was extremely uneasy about it, and in the first one that passed after the States had surrendered order to retain' her inhabitants, lands in the province of their claims to that territory for the payment of the public Maine were lowered to one dollar per acre."
debt. This ordinance was reported by a committee of Mr. B. here remarked that, since the
introduction of his twelve members, eight of them from the north side, four graduation bill in Congress, the price of land in Maine had from the south side of the Potomac. They were: been still further lowered. That he had seen advertise
Messrs. Long, of New Hampshire, King, of Massachuirents offering fresh lands, the first time they were offer setts, Howard, of Rhode Island, Johnson, of Connecticut, ed, at a minimum price of twenty-five cents per acre, and R. R. Livingston, of New York, Stewart, of New Jersey, also at twenty cents per acre; and had been told that Gardiner, of Pennsylvania, Henry, of Maryland, Grayson, these minimuins had been as low as ten and five cents an of Virginia, Williamson, of North Carolina, Bulí
, of South acre, and that fifty cents was above the average of the Carolina, Houston, of Georgia. auction sales.
The ordinance reported by the committee, contained Mr. B. also read the following extracts from a letter the plan of surveying the public lands, which has since contained in the fourth volume of the Secret Journals of been followed. It adopted the scientific principle of ran, Congress, written from the Falls of the Ohio, December ges of townships, which has been continued ever since, 4th, 1786, and addressed to a gentleman in New England, The ranges began on the Pennsylvania líne, and proceed
and found so beneficial in a variety of ways to the country, and which showed the alarm which was created in the ed west to the Mississippi; and since the acquisition of West at the news of what was going on in Congress. Louisiana, they have proceeded west of that river; the of, are now sounded aloud in this part of the world. The townships began upon the Ohio river, and proceeded north late treaty with Spain shutting up, as it is said, the naviga- of a mile square, six hundred and forty acres each, and
The townships were divided into sections tion of the Mississippi for the term of twenty-five years, has the minimum price was fixed at one dollar per acre, and given this Western country a universal shock, and struck not less than a section to be sold together. This is the its inhabitants with amazement. Our foundation is affected; it is therefore necessary that every individual apply the modifications it has received, and may receive, in gra
outline of the present plan of sales and surveys, and, with himself to find a remedy. To sell us and make us vassals duating the price of the land to the quality, the plan is to the merciless Spaniards, is a grievance not to be borne. excellent. But a principle was incorporated in the ordiThe parliamentary acts which occasioned our revolt from
nance of the most fatal character. It was, that each townGreat Britain were not so barefaced and intolerable.
What benefit can you, offered in the next one! This was tantamount to a law
ship should be sold out complete before any land could be on the Atlantic shores, receive from this act? Though that the lands should not be sold; that the country should this country has been settling but six years, and that in the midst of an inveterate enemy, and most of the first not be settled: for it is certain that every township, or aladventurers fallen a prey to the savages; and although and for which no person would give six hundred and forty
most every one, would contain land unfit for cultivation, the emigration to this country is so very rapid that the dollars for six hundred and forty acres. The effect of such internal market is very great, yet the quantities of pro- a provision may be judged by the fact that above one hun. duce now on hand are immense. Do you think to pre-dred thousand acres remain to this day unsold in the first vent emigration from a barrén country, loaded with taxes, land district; the district of Steubenville, in Ohio, which and impoverished with debts, to the most luxurious and included the first range and first township. If that provi, fertile soil in the world? Vain is the thought, and pre- sion had remained in the ordinance, the settlements would sumptuous the supposition. You may as well endeavor to prevent the fishes from gathering on a bank in the sea, was a wicked and preposterous provision. It required
not yet have got out of sight of the Pennsylvania line. It
the people to take the country clean before them; buy all as Kentucky
they went; mountains, hills, and swamps; rocks, glens, Vol. VI.-4
(Jax. 18, 1830. and prairies. They were to make clean work, as the gi. ket, in the State of Missouri, by Presidential authority, ant Polyphemus did when he ate up the companions of and in violation of an act of Congress, down to the resoluUlysses:
tion now under consideration, are all measures of the same “ Nor entrails, blood, nor solid bone remains.” class, all tending to check the growth, and to injure the Nothing could be more iniquitous than such a provision. prosperity of the West, and all flowing from the same It was like requiring your guest to eat all the bones on his geographical quarter. plate before he should have more meat. To say that town Mr. B. now spoke of the woful improvidence of the ship No. 1 should be sold out complete before township new States in parting with the right to tax the federal lands No: 2 should be offered for sale, was like requiring the when they came into the Union, and obtaining no stipulabones of the first turkey to be eat up before the breast of tion for the sale of the lands in a reasonable time, and for the second one should be touched. Yet such was the pro- a fair price. Such improvidence placed them at the mer. vision contained in the first ordinance for the sale of the cy of those who are not responsible to them for the votes public lands, reported by a committee of twelve, of they give, who are strangers, who live a thousand miles which eight were from the north and four from the south off, and may labor under the belief that they have an inside of the Potomac. How invincible must have been the terest in checking their growth. This is the weak and determination of some politicians to prevent the settle- dangerous part of our system. This is representation ment of the West, when they would thus counteract the without responsibility. It is taxation without representasales of the lands which had just been obtained after years tion, and that in its direst form; not of a few pence on a of importunity, for the payment of the public debt! pound of tea, or on a quire of stamped paper, but of land;
When this ordinance was put upon its passage in Con- power to tax it in the price, to demand double price; gress, two Virginians, whose names, 'for that act alone, to do worse, to place it above all price, as this resolution would deserve the lasting gratitude of the West, levelled proposes to do, withdraw it froin market, and deliver it their blows against the obnoxious provision. Mr. Gray-up to wild beasts! son moved to strike it out, and Mr. Monroe secondent Massachusetts acted wisely. She surrendered a barren him; and, after an animated and arduous contest, they suc sceptre in the West, wliere she owned nothing, and held ceeded. The whole South supported them; not one re- fast to thirty thousand square miles of vacant territory creant arm from the South; many scattering members from which she did own in the Northeast. She nurtured her the North also voted with the South, and in favor of the in- province of Maine upon this territory, and ripenied her infant West; proving then, as now, and as it always has been, to a State. They divided the vacant lands between them, that the West has true supporters of her rights and inter- and are now selling them on easy and parental terms to ests-unhappily not enough of them in that quarter of the their citizens. Twenty-five cents an acre, twenty cents, Union from which the measures have originated that seve- ten cents, five cents; such are their prices, and for fresh ral times threatened to be fatal to her.
lands never before in the market! What a contrast to the Mr. B. here adverted to a statement made by Mr. Gray- price of public land in the new States of the West ! One son, in the Virginia convention, and which he had read dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, the lowest price for just before, declaring that the language of some Northern the refuse of innumerable pickings and cullings! What a members had been, that they wanted no States in the contrast, not only in the price of the land, but in the conWest, &c. and ventured the assertion of the belief, that dition of Maine and the other new States! Her Legislait was in this committee that reported this ordinance, that ture settles all questions of survey, sale, price, donation: that language was used. The occasion was a natural onc all this done at home, by a Legislature elected by the peoto produce such language, and there was a gentleman up- ple and responsible to them. For the new States in the on that committee known to entertain that opinion, and West and South, Congress is the tribunal for the decision of a spirit too proud and lofty to dissemble his sentiments. of these matters, and before her they must appear with The occasion was one which involved the direct question, petitions, memorials, entreaties, supplications, and prayers; whether there should be new States in the West? The and hear in return denials, rebukes, and reproaches! provision which required all the land in one township to These humiliations, these injuries, go not to the new State be sold out, before the next was offered, was tantamount of Maine; the wisdom of Massachusetts in holding fast her to saying that the land should not be sold; the country public land, while Virginia was throwing hers upon the should not be settled; that new States should not be form- public altar, has saved Maine from them; they are reserred. The part acted by Mr. Grayson, in the House, in ex-ed for the new States of the West, and copious and bitter punging this obnoxious provision, authorizes the belief have been the draughts which these States have had to that he objected to it in the committee, and took the na- swallow; severe are the trials which they have yet 10 go tural ground that it would prevent the formation of new through, before the census of 1840 shall enable them to States in the West. The character of Mr. King, of New vindicate their rights, by the tranquil exercise of superior York, who was one of the committee, authorizes the be- power. In the mean time, the surveys may be stopped, lief that he answered frankly, that it was bis intention to the sales may be limitel, two-thirds of their soil may be prevent the formation of such States. Such an answer reserved from market, plans may be got up to divide the would naturally flow from the lofty spirit which, at a sub-money which the lands sell for, by a rule of proportion sequent period, and upon the floor of this Senate, disdain- whichi will give all the money to the populous States of ing all disguise, and discarding all hypocrisy, openly pro- the Northeast; then other pians may be invented to run claimed that the Missouri contest was a struggle for politi- up the prices to the highest point, and obtain every possical power, and that he would sooner see Missouri remain bie dollar from the new Siatos, to be distributeti amorg forever a haunt for wild beasts, than come into the Union these new receivers. When this plan is screwed to the on the side of the slave States.
highest, it may give way to the natural conception, that it These are two great and signal attempts to prevent the is better to divide the land beíore the sale, then to divide settlement of the West. Other measures, tending to the the money after it; and when the lands are so divided and same effect, fill up the long period of her history from distributed, the next conclusion will be as natural as irrethat day to this. Refusals to vote money for raising troops sistible, that it is better not to sell the lands at all, but to to defend the early settlers on the Cumberland and Ken-rent them, and derive that "tribute" from the West which tucky; refusals to vote money for holding treaties to ex. Mr. Grayson tells and retain a body of tegantry in the tingoish Indian titles; and lately, during the last adminis-new States to govern the elections. is this fancy, or is it tration, the reservation of iron ore lands, and the with- fact? It is fact, and the incipient steps for the consummadrawal of a thousand square miles of territory from mar-/tion of all this are now in full progress. Where is the
relief, where the defence of the new States, in this alarm- cultivate, but to sell, and other large claimants under foing conjuncture? Not in themselves. They are yet too reign grants, &c. not less than fifty millions more; making a weak; they must look abroad for help, and the history of grand aggregate of two hundred millions of acres now reathe past tells them where; tells them to look to that solid dy for purchasers. Now, if one hundred acres is sufficient phalanx in the South, and those scattering reinforcements for a farm, which will sustain a family of six persons, there of the Northeast, which, in 1787, saved the navigation is already enough, from these different sources, to accomof the Sississippi, and, in 1785, espunged the non-settle-modate twelve millions of persons, equal to the whole poment clause from the ordinance for the sale of Western pulation of the United States. But, suppose that one-half lands, and, in these two great acts, saved the infant West of this is unfit for cultivation, (a large deduction in a counfrom being stifled in its birth.
try described as a perfect paradise) then it would be only (Here the debate closed for this day.]
sufficient for six millions. "If, then, you have enough al
ready surveyed to supply only six millions, is it necessary TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 1830.
to be at the expense of surveying more, or rather, is it THE DEBATE CONTINUED.
dangerous to inquire into the expediency of doing it? This Mr. FOOT'S resolution for suspending the surveys of the question is the more impressive, when we reflect that this public lands, &c. being again under consideration- West contains three inillions of inhabitants, and only twen
Mr. HOLMES rose, and said, if some stranger had hap- ty millions of the public land have yet been sold. And I pened to have been in the Senate when the Senator froin repeat, had this inquiry been permitted from the usual Missouri (Mr. Bustox) rose in the debate of yesterday, courtesy of the Senate, no excitement might have been and bad Istened to him throughout, he would have been apprehended from any quarter; all would have believed it led to conclude that the thirteen United States were thir- was in the spirit of reform; and coming from the quarter teen tyrants; that they had driven the emigrants to the it does, that there was some sincerity in it. Let us see, at West, exposed to savage beasts and savage men; that they least, whether we have not officers in this department who had not only withheld population, but had extended to have nothing to do, or nothing which we may want done them the handlof oppression; tinat, in spite of the savages on for many years. If so, instead of empty professions to the one hand, and our tyranny on the other, they had grown amuse, if not deceive the people, let us set to work in and flourished; that we had disregarded their complaints carnest. and remonstrances - as the capricious squalls of a child, But, we are told that we need not direct the Committee which did not know whether it was aggrieved or not;" that to inquire, for gentlemen are able now to give us all ne. this child had at length acquired the voice, vigor, and cessary information. Now, two Senators have volunteered courage of a man; bad risen up, and hurled clcfiance in the to inform us. We expected, and had a right to expect, a teeth of its unnatural parent; that insurrection prevailed; detailed statement, as explicit as the report of a comthat discord was snapping her whip of scorpions; the mittee: for nothing else would fairly and properly distorch of rebellion was Tghted; the flames of civil war pense with the inquiry. But, it was fairly predicted that, were kindledd; axl tiris resolution was to seal their subju. io give in a speech, a clear, precise, and accurate stategation. But when he came to learn that (lo! and bcholi!) ment, in detail, of the quantity, value, and location of nothing more was intended but to inquire whether a sufri- these lands, would be an attempt to which no man is cient quantity of our land was ready for sale to supply the equal; and if he was, it is not in the power of the demand; and, if so, whether some of the officers employ- human mind to comprehend it, merely by hearing ed in surveying them inight not be dispensed with, he would it, and so it has turned out. The Senator from Illinois, be surprised, i nd suppose it was a dreain. Thus, said Mr. (Álr. KANE] has attempted it in vain. Has any one obH. does impassioned cloquence magnify a small affair into tained the information we ask, from what he has said? If a fearful catastrophe. If there is changer of excitement, he has developed the whole subject, I, for ons, am so unwho has created that danger? Surely the Senators who fortunate as not to comprehend it. He did, to be sure, have opposed the resolution. Had it passer! sub silentio, tell us that the whole system neered modification, the as it was in the ordinaiy course of business, the rest would strongest argument for inquiry, and yet he was against it. have thought nothms of it. This inquiry is demanded for The Senator from Missouri (Nir. Benton] has not the information or the Sonate and the people. They want even attempted it. His remarks, when they applied to light. We ask an inquiry, and now, by this preliminary the subject at all, were confined chiefly to his own State, and premature discussion, the gentleinen have placed only a sinall portion of one of the five great land districts. themselves in this chilenme--if we make the inquiry, we Is this giving us a full vicw of the whole subject?: It is no alarm the West; if we suppres; it, the East will suspect compliment to our understandings to pretend it. The you. In these days, whenreform has been proinised and opposers of the inquiry are driven to onc of two grounds; is espectur!, we ask for information on a subject so impor- that they have already informed us, or that we have no tant as our poblic domain, and this information is refused.riglit to know. But ihe information yet given is utterly What will be the inference? You raise every where sus- defective, and consists in declamation on the sufferings of picion an! jealousy that something is wrong, which will the West. Your band of oppression rests heavy on her; not bear the light. Sir, it is not for us, who call for this so heary, that you must not even inquire into her condiinquiry, to give an accurate detail of the quantity, quality, tion. And will it be pretended that the people of the and location of these lands, nor of the plumber, duties, and United States have no right to understand the condition of emoluments, of the officers employed .It would be admit- their lands? Is information to be locked up, and is the ting at once, that we have all the information the resolution West exclusively to keep the keys? Sir, if we refuse to seeks. These are the very objects of the inquiry. Welepon the doors, the people will break them. No secrets! may have some kno:viedge, but not enough. This is my Nosecrets! Let us know every thing which concerns our
We have five great land districts, viz: 1. Ohio and property or our liberty. But, says the Senator from MisIndiana; 2. Illinois, Alissouri, and Arkansas; 3. South of sour'i, [Jir. B.] if you abolish the offices of surveyors, the the Tennessee, including Mississippi anl Louisiana; . records will be taken away, and the people will be depriv. Alabama; 5. Florida. In all these, we have surveyed one ed of their evidences of title. Indeed! How does this hundred and forty millions; sold and granted about thirty- follow? It would be strange, indeed, if, in abolishing an nine millions; leaving more than one hundred millions of office, it was beyond the power of legislation to provide acres still for sale. "The quantity reserved by, or ceded for preserving the records, and authenticating copies. I to the States, is probably not less than fifty millions; and believe, sir, that every Legislature has, in dispensing with what is in the hands of speculators, who purchased not to an office, taken care to preserve the records, and to pro
[Jan. 19, 1830. vide the means of using them. It is a perfect non sequitur, over, is the admission into the Union, before they had the an utter inconsequence, that the records would share the requisite numbers, proof of this hostility? Does the adfate of the office.
mission of Missouri evince such hostility? Sir, this is an But, the resolution does not go far enough; it is con- event which I shall long remember. But for Eastern memfined to the surveyors. Now, sir, I should suppose, bers, Missouri would now be a province. That Senator if I could look upon this subject with ordinary gravity, would not be here. This Hall would never have witnessthat, should the Committee report to abolish the principal ed the triumph of his eloquence, nor the ardor of his paoffices, it would not be very far exceeding their authority triotism. Eastern members took their lives in their hands to determine that the suborclinate and dependent ones when they defended the cause of Missouri. They acted were also unnecessary. A resolution for inquiry, I should against the honest prejudices of their constituents. Prethink, need not be quite so formal and technical as to stand judices did I say? No, principles which they deem corthe test of a "plea in abatement.” If it presented a rect, emanating from the best feelings of the human heart. definite proposition which required the direct action of I will appeal to both of these Senators for the truth of the Senate, it should be drawn with such special care as what I say. They were literally knocking at the door of accurately to define the subject on which we were to act; the Senate, and Eastern men were exerting their powers but an inquiry gives a latitude to the Committee, as to sub- to burst it open and let them in. It is illiberal to charge jects collateral.
the East with hostility to Missouri. The new States, we are told, have parted with the pow. But because it was proposed, by Eastern members of the er of protecting themselves. Sir, I don't understand this. Old Congress, to provide, in the ordinance of '87, that eveWhat power have they surrendered? What power have ry section in one township should be sold, before another they not now, which they ever had before? Is it political should be offered for sale, (which proposition did not prepower? The power granted them or their ancestors, by vail) the Senator infers that this is evidence of hostility. the ordinance of 1787? Did they surrender this or any Now it seems to me that this inference is, to say the least, other, on their admission into the Union? I was surpris- a little uncharitable. I could easily perceive that a very ed at the remark; and I should wish to understand its im-patriotic and charitable motive might have induced this port; and how, and in what this surrender had been made. proposition. At that time the settlers would be opposed Is it physical power which is surrendered? What can be to numerous and powerful savage tribes. They would be meant? Has it come to this, that the people of the West obliged in some measure to defend themselves.' It would are urged to resort to their native strength to take back be safest, therefore, to keep them as compact as possible: what they have fairly and constitutionally conceded, or ra- for the more they should scatter, the more would they be ther to exact more than we have conceded to them? I exposed. The members from the East had near and dear hope and trust that the time is far distant when any bold friends, wbo had emigrated to that country, and it might or ambitious aspirant will be able to seduce them from be their motive to protect them. When a good and a bad their allegiance to this Union. But we are told that, by motive may be assigned to an act, it is the part of charity a series of measures pursued by the East, we have evinc- tu assign the good, especially when the person implicated ed a settled and determined hostility to the West; and that is dead, and cannot therefore defend his motives. The too for the purpose of checking emigration. Sir, this is a Senator from Missouri illustrates this case by a turkey. heavy charge. For what purpose, or from what policy, A man has two turkeys cooked and on the table, and he could originate this hostility? Are they not our own bre- obliges his guests to eat one, bones and all, before he will thren, "bone of our bone, and Aesh of our flesh?” Were carve the other. The analogy seems to be most unfortunot those lands ceded to us for the purpose of settlement? nate. We have sold but twenty millions of the public Of what value would the cession have been to us, had our lands, and there are now two hundred millions to be sold. policy been not to settle them? We know that these lands His turkey then has one tenth of flesh, and nine tenths of would not, and could not, pay any of our public debt un- bones; a poor turkey truly. Is this a fair description of less they could be settled." it is preposterous, therefore, the paradise of the West? If it is, there is little need of to suppose that any statesman would wish to throw a stum- checking emigration. But to carry his figure of the turbling block in the way of the growth and prosperity of this key a little further, and his case would be this: A man immense and delightful country. But, if you insist that it has twenty guests, and he serves up twenty turkeys, one is so, here is a paradox to be solved. How does it hap- for each, and each takes his dinner out of his turkey, and pen that, with the savages on one side, and our tyranny they are all left partially eaten and all mangled. Now this on the other, this country has increased and flourished be- is exactly the case of bringing more land into the market yond all parallel? At the time of the census of 1790, what than can possibly be wanted. is now Ohio had perhaps a population of ten thousand; at The Senator (Mr. B.] has read from the debates of the that of 1800, about forty thousand; in 1810, two hundred Virginia convention, to prove that the East were disposed and thirty thousand; and in 1820, five hundred and eighty to give to Spain our right of navigation of the Mississippi. It thousand, and now was probably a million! And all this, in seems that this alienation came incidentally into discussion, spite of savage barbarities and domestic oppressions. All and it was apprehended that, under the constitution which the West, in the space of forty years, has increased three was to be adopted, the new Government would have more millions. Sir, with facts like these, let an impartial world power to do this than would the old confederation. A Mr. decide upon the cruelty and tyranny of the parent States. Grayson had stated that this was the disposition of the East,
Is the ordinance of the 13th July, 1787, a state paper and chiefly inferred it from the supposed fact that we had which does us honor, and which was drawn by a citizen of no interest in that navigation. If this same Mr. Grayson Massachusetts, evidence of this hostility? Five States was an able statesman, he had not then learnt inuch of gemarked out and defined, to be admitted into the Union, ography: for he stated that Massachusetts had no interwhen each or either should have a population of sixty thou- course with the Mississippi, but by the St. Lawrence, or sand, and the pledge in this respect more than redeemed; the Hudson! When the fact is, that Massachusetts, for religious freedom, trial by jury, habeas corpus, represen- half a century, has had a more intimate intercourse with tation, common law, bail-all the securities of life, liberty, the Mississippi than even the State of Maryland. A man and property-guarantied, and excessive fines, cruel pun- who could deliberately advance such an opinion, can ishments, and ex post facto and retrospective laws forbid- scarcely be considered very high authority on any subden-all the essential rights for which our Revolution was ject. Mr. Madison, however, a real statesman, put it achieved, and which raise the freemen above the slave, se. all right, showed the conuexion of the East with the West, cured! Does this look like hostility to the West? More- and denied that the Eastern people ever would be willing
Jar. 19, 1830.]
Mr. Foot's Resolution.
to make the concession. The next charge against the East would be a very different resolution in its acceptability is, that a distinguished citizen of Massachusetts had disco- and bearings, if the form was changed into an inquiry vered hostility to the West, in giving up our claims upon how the Union could be strengthened, or into the expediTexas. The Florida treaty was negotiated when he was ency of strengthening it by any system of roads and ca. Secretary of State, and it was long in negotiation. I was nals, any disposition of the public lands, or any regulation then a member of the Committee of Foreign Relations in of commerce, that might come within the purview of the the other House, and, from the connexion of that Commit- constitution, and, at the same time, not tend to alienate tee with the Executive, I had an opportunity of knowing one portion of our political brotherhood from the other something of that negotiation; and though I do not deem portion. Mr. W. forbore to enter into further illustrait proper to state particular conversations, I do know that tion or detail; as enough had been said to indicate the imthe distinguished citizen was the last who gave up the Co- portance, in such cases, of mere phraseology, and how lorado for a boundary, and accepted of the Sabine. easy it was to conciliate and soothe, where conciliation,
Sir, I beg pardon of the Senate for thus detaining them. and not irritation, was the real design. It was chiety to resist the attempt to excite sectional jea If he were to glance at the state of the country now, lousies that I rose. It has always been my course. When and not go back to its condition and its policy on the pubwe were involved in war, and an attempt was made, as in lic lands forty years ago, which, he agreed with the genNew England, to do this, I resisted it. When now it is at. tleman from Maine, might now be entirely inapplicable, tempted in the West, I will resist it still. I will bear in he should say that the resolution, on that account also, mind for it sunk deep into my heart--the legacy of the ought to have a much wider scope than it now possessed. Father of his Country to his children. The sectional jea. The more extended were our surveys and sales, the lousies which have been excited in this debate have quicker would be the probable payment of our public brought it fresh to my recollection. God grant that the debt, to which these lands stood firstly and sacredly good sense of the people of the West may spurn the in- pledged. The more extended were our surveys and fatuation!
sales, the better could we compete, for income and popu: Mr. WOODBURY said he rose, not with a view of en-lation, with the other great land owners on our north and tering at large into the debate, or of repeating any sugges-southwest, and even with parts of Europe and Asia. We tions made by him on a former occasion; but he held in his must take the world as it is, most of it at peace and cultihand a motion, which, he flattered himself, perhaps in vating the arts of peace, and throwing open its vacant vain, might meet the approbation of gentlemen on buth spots of territory to the poor and oppressed from all resides. The resolution under consideration was, avowedly, gions. The institutons of the old world were becoming one for mere inquiry, and not intended in any degree to yearly more liberal, that their territories might not bealarm or injure the West. Every gentleman from the East, come deserts. Beside turning the tide of emigration that who had advocated its passage, indignantly repelled any set to this country, by extraordinary advantages held out other design. This was honorable and right. On the con- in Southern Africa, the whole continent of New Holland, trary, every gentleman who had opposed its passage, whe. and on the coast of the Black Sea-even Persia, within ther from the East or West, repelled, with equal indigna- half a dozen years, had circulated her proclamations, in tion, any design to stifle inquiry, suppress information, both London and Paris, promising to actual settlers, land, or exclude light. Imputations of these kinds, come whence freedom from taxes, and liberty of conscience. they may, were to be presumed alike groundless and un. Our free institutions gave us, to be sure, great advanjust. What, then, is honestly wanted on both sides? An tages over monarchies and despotisms, in attracting emiinquiry into the subject of the surveys and sales of public grants; but it must be recollected that other Governlands may be as thorough as gentlemen please; but an in- ments are also becoming more free; that new and cheaper quiry instituted in such form as not to create alarm; or, be- lands are flung open: and that most of the emigrants bithforehand, to imply any opinion on the present system unfa- er, of late, have consisted of artisans rather than agriculvorable to the interest and hopes of the new States in the turists. But on our own immediate borders had arisen West. He trusted, therefore, that the gentleman from the greatest rivalship, and one which had begun to create Connecticut, who introduced this resolution, would con- a large drain even to our own native population. Setsent to any modification likely to attain this object; as (Mr. tlers were systematically invited into Canada, by the most W. presumed) that gentleman went for substance rather favorable terms as to land, and by almost an entire exthan form. It was doubtless more important to that gen. emption from taxes; while on our southwest, under a Gotleman, to have the subject of the surveys and sales inquir-vernment free in form as our own, the largest tracts of ed into by the Committee, than the particular manner in the richest soil were bestowed with a most liberal hand. which the subject was referred.
He had before him a letter, received from a friend since He proposed, therefore, to alter only the manner of this resolution was offered, containing an account of grants the inquiry. In this case of the West, as in some other by the Mexican Government, to a native of New Hampcases, he might say with Mirabeau, that “words were shire, among others, of lands larger in extent than the things.” He could easily see that one form of inquiry whole of that State, or the State which the honorable mover might excite fear and jealousy, which would be entirely re- of this resolution represents; land, also, on the finest of moved by a different form, and still the investigations of rivers, and near our southwestern borders, on the simple the committee be equally full, and the result of their in- condition of actual settlement to the small extent required vestigations the same. Let us bring the question a little by the laws of colonization in Mexico, passed in 1825. closer home. Would it be equally agreeable to the At. One other consideration on our own solemn engagemente. lantic seaboard, to have passed a resolution of inquiry in- How are we ever, in good faith, to permit the Northwestto the expediency of limiting the number of light houses, ern Territory to become States, unless we permit the lands of stopping the improvement of harbors, or of abandon- to be surveyed, and sold at a moderate price, so as to ing the removal of obstructions in our rivers, as to have throw into that territory the requisite population for one pass for inquiring into the expediency of increasing States and how can the population there, deem it honorathe number of light houses, extending the improvement ble or just for us to talk of liberality in admitting them to of our harbors, and of removing more generally the ob- be States a little under the population required, if we structions in our rivers? As a still stronger illustration, stop the surveys and sales before they can approach near and as an illustration only, what gentleman, who had advo- the requisition; or if we stop them after they become cated this resolution, would like to vote for a mere inquiry States, and reserve our lands for beasts of prey and sainto the expediency of dissolving the Union? But it vages to roam over, rather than permit them to be bought