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(April 21, 1830.
ficers, to hear and decide, in their absence, and affirm or
THE INDIANS. lisaffirm the causes for removal. Whereas, by consider The bill to provide for the removal of the Indians west ing the power of the President to remove as a political of the river Mississippi, having been laid on the table, was power, a removal then only evidences the will and plea- resumed, on motion of Nr. JOHNSTON. sure of the President, but does not necessarily involve the Mr. ROBBINS said that the whole argument in faror guilt of the officer removed. His guilt or innocence must of this bill turns upon the question whether the Indian depend upon such ulterior measures as may be instituted nations within our territorial boundaries are competent to before the judicial tribunals, or before the House of Re. make treaties with the United States: for it makes no presentatives as the impeaching body.
difference whether the Indian nation be within the charConsidering the powers of the Federal Government as tered limits of a State, or out of those limits, if within the few and defined, as conferred for the purpose of adminis- limits of the United States: for, if being within a State tering and protecting the foreign relations of the States, renders the Indian nations incompetent to make a treaty, in respect of war, peace, treaties, and commerce, and the being within the United States makes them equally infor maintaining the mutual interests and general concerns competent, the reason being the same in both cases, viz. of all the States, at home and abroad, as connected with the being within the jurisdiction of another power, and those subjects; believing that all the powers delegated therefore, as the argument is, subject to that jurisdiction. look to, and are connected with, those objects of general If these Indian nations are competent to make treaties, concern and general interest; viewing the safeguards over then the proposed law is unnecessary, as its objects may the executive power as reasonably competent to watch be effected by treaty; and this law is not necessary to aid and secure against tyranny and usurpation, I am satisfied the Executive in making this treaty. And if these Indian that the powers of the Executive department were wisely nations are competent to make treaties, then this proposvested in a single head.
ed law is not only unnecessary, but it is unconstitutional; In this view of the constitution, it seems to me very for it is to make a treaty by the Legislature, which can necessary and proper that all executive officers, commis- only be made by the Executive and Senate. The turnsioned by the President, shall hold at liis will and plea-ing question, then, of this whole debate, I repeat, is, sure, liable to be removed at his will, but subjected, ne- whether the Indian nations within our territorial boundavertheless, to the additional restraint of impeachment by ries are competent to make treaties? the House of Representatives, and trial by the Senate. Before I procced to discuss this question, I have to re
This tenure at the will of the President is calculated to mark, that it is a matter of surprise that this question preserve,
should now be made, when it is now made for the first 1st. Due subordination in the officers to the executive time. From the time of the discovery of this new world head, so as to ensure a faithful execution of the laws. by the old, down to this time, now more than three hun. 21. To preserve that unity of purpose and action ne. within the jurisdiction of another Power, has never been
dred years, the competency of an Indian nation, situated cessary for decision, energy, and despatch.
made a question before. No jurist, no writer upon pub3. 'To maintain the Executive against the encroach- lic law, has ever made it a question. But, through all ments of the co-ordinate departments, as well as against that long tract of time, treaties upon treaties, and alanarchy.
most without number, have been made with them, 4th. To maintain that due weight and influence to the without a doubt, in a single instance, of their competency President which was intended by the constitution, in giv- to make them. This is not denied on the other side; ining him a qualified negative upon the proceedings of Con- decd, it is admitted that the cloctrine and the practice of gress, and in assigning to him the duty to recommend to all past time, for century upon century, has been, to con. Congress such measures as lic shall judge necessary and sider these nations, thus situated, as competent to make expedient.
treaties. But all this is treated as if the whole world, it seems to me that the exposition of the constitution, from the beginning down to this time, had been benightin relation to the executive power, which prevailed at ed upon this subject; as if they had ignorantly supposed first, and which has been practised upon for more than and believed that the Indian nations, thus situated, were forty years without interruption, is in conformity with the competent to make treaties, when, in truth, they were true principles and sense of the constitution. That expo- not competent to make treaties: that Great Britain had sition gives due order, strength, and proportion, to the been in this deplorable state of ignorance, with all her different members of the Exccutive department, pre- statesinen; that our Governments, both State and National, serves the due subordination to the exccutive head, and had been in this deplorable ignorance, with all their statesadapts the means to the ends and design. According to men; that the jurists, or writers upon public law, of all that exposition, each successive President has the same the world, had all been in this deplorable state of ignomomentum of executive power which belonged to the rance. I say so trcated; for I do not perceive that this first and every preceding President. The periodical new opinion is advanced with any less confidence, or with elections of the President ius give to the people the ef- any more diffidence, on account of that mass of authority fective control over the course of exccutive measures and and usage against it. executive administration, by arming each President elect I have farther to remark, that, if, indeed, it be so, that with competent means to give efficiency and activity to these Indian nations, thus situated, are not, and have not the principles which bring him into power, as well as to been, competent to make treaties, then all the triaties arrest a course of administration which shall have put his made with them are nullities. If so, the consequences of predecessor out of power. This exposition subjects the that consequence would be enough, I should think, to whole executive power to the control of the people, di- make gentlemen pause a little, and even fear the success rectly and mediately, at every periodical election of Pre of their own argument; for the consequences would be sident. The contrary construction would entail upon the such that the whole body of the rights acquired by Indian people an executive body of officers, independent of the treaties, or held under them, or derived from them, would President, subject to alteration by such slow and imper- be torn from their foundations, and the resulting evils ceptible degrees, as to render the spirit of the corps would be incalculably great. I have said that, in that perpetual, and independent of any change in the execu- case, these treaties would be nullities; and who can doubt tive head.
it? The President and Senate have the power On motion of Mr. GRUNDY, the resolution was then treaties; but a treaty made with a party not competent to laid on the table.
make it, is not a treaty; it is a compact, as distinguishable
APRIL 21, 1830.]
from a treaty; and the President and Senate are not coming been so? than a present position, fortified by a pre. petent to make a compact which is not a treaty; so that scription that knows no beginning; that runs back as far every such treaty is void, as a treaty, because the Indian as memory or tradition goes, and beyond, to where it is nation was not competent to make it; and it is voidas a com- lost in that oblivion in which unknown times and their mepact, because the President and Senate are not competent morials are all buried and lost! And such is the title of to make it. If this beso, my honorable friend from Tennes. erery Indian nation now in fact sui juris to be, and remain see need not disquiet himself upon the subject of his contra- sui juris. There never was, there never can be, any betdictory obligations; for, upon his doctrine, these treaties ter title to the right of being sui juris. To the validity have created no obligations upon the United States. of such a title, its acknowledgment by other sovereignties
Again: I have to remark, that, if these Indian nations, is not necessary; but if it were, there never has been a thus situated, are not competent to make treaties, no more time in which it was not acknowledged by other sovereigntreaties can be made with them; that the treaties which ties, or was denied by any other;-but it is not necessary, have been made, and not ratified, if any such there be, for a right in present possession, fortified and sanctified must be rejectedl; treaties which have been projected, for by such a prescription as this is, stands on higher ground, the purchase and extinguishment of Indian titles, as that much higher, than any acknowledgment by other soverin Indiana, for instance, must be abandoned: we are to eignties could place it. Unquestionably, then, these nations get no more lands from them by treaty; if you are to get are sui juris, of right sui juris; therefore, sovereign; there. them at all, you are to get them by compact, and this com- fore, competent to make treaties. pact to be made, not by the Executive and Senate, but A multitude of matters have been urged upon our conby the Legislature. And, pray, how is the Legislature sideration on the other side, not to disprove the fact of the to make such a compact. It would not be possible, I Indian nations being at this moment sui juris, nor the fact think, to overcome the difficulties to this mode of acquir- that they always have been sui juris--for these can neither ing Indian lands.
be disproved nor denied-but to prove that though the And then, in case of future wars with those Indian na. are sui juris de forto, that they are not sui juris de jure; tions, how are they cver to be terminated, and how are not being aware, as it appears to me, that the fact constithe-relations of peace ever to be restored, without the in- tutes the right. It is said, for instance, that the crown of terrention of treaties? Can any one, theni, wish to sec es. Great Britain claimed a right to this country by the right tablished a doctrine fraught with these, and it may be of discovery; that what was the right of the crown is now with other equally deplorable consequences? I should our right; and, therefore, that the Indian nations are not hope not. But, if we must prove what has never before sui juris de jure. been denied-what has always been admitted--admitted Now what was the right as claimed by discovery? (I in theory, and in practice admitted---namely, that the In- make no question of that right, for the time has gone by clian nations within our territorial boundaries are competent for making that question, except as a moralist or luistorian. to make trenties--how is that competency to be made out? Whatever was the defect of that right originally, time
I agree that an Indian nation, to be competent to make now has supplied that defect, as far as defect of right can a treaty, must be a sovereignty; for that treaties, proper- be supplied by lapse of time.) But what was that right ly so called, can only be made by sovereigns with sover- as claimed by discovery! It was this; a right to the doeigns; but, for this purpose, it is not material whether the main of the country, subject to the right of occupancy by sovereignty be dependent or independent; sovereignty is the Indian nations; and that occupancy to be without reall that is necessary to this competency. The honorable striction as to mode, and without limitation as to time; gentleman from Alabama [Mr. M'KINLEY] said the sove with the right of alienation of their possessory title, rereigns must be equal; but he will find no authority for stricted to the proprietor of the domain. This was the that opinion, if, by equal, he meant any thing more than claim of the British crown as founded on discovery: it was that both must be sovereigns. dependent sovereignty so defined and settled in the case referred to by the honis still a sovereignty, and competent to make a treaty. 1 orable gentleman from Alabama, [Mr. McKINLEY] the understood this to be admitted by the honorable gentle case of Johnson and M’Intosh, It was so settled by the man from Georgia, in the outset of his argument; though court, in that case, because it had been so settled by what I could not reconcile the subsequent part of his argument had become the customary law of nations. But did the with this admission.
King of Great Britain claim, (for that is the important quesNow what is sovereignty? It is to be sui juris;-that is, tion) did he claim these Indian nations as his subjects, over to be subject, within itself, to no law but the law of its own whom, or for whom, he had a right to legislate, for their making; externally, it may be subject to another jurisdic- internal regulation? No, never; never was a claim of that tion, and then it is a dependent sovereignty--to what de kind advanced; never heard of; never thought of; that gree dependent, will depend upon the treaty or treaties claim left them as it found them, subject within themselves by which it is made dependent, if so made by treaty. Now only to their own jurisdiction. this is the condition of every Indian nation in our country,
Besides this notorious fact, the right of pre-emption sui juris, and therefore sovereign; but subject externally claimed by discovery is decisive to prove that the right of to another jurisdiction, and therefore a dependent sover- jurisdiction was not claimed. If the Crown claimed these eign. This has always been their condition since they ceas- Indian nations as his subjects, why claim a pre-emptive ed to be independent sovereignties. Since they ceased to right to their titles? Did any King claim a pre-emptive be independent sovereignties, there never has been a time right to the land titles of his own subjects? 'Never. If when this was not their condition. When, or where, I discovery then is a good authority for what it claims, it is would ask, has any Indian nation been subject within it-good for what it disclaims: it disclaims the right of jurisself, to the law of another jurisdiction? I know of none; diction over and for the Indian nations. It therefore afI have heard of none. If there be one, that one would firms and confirms this right in them, and guaranties it to be an exception from the rest, but would not affect the them. Is it possible that the honorable gentleman from right of the rest; that one may have relinquished its right Mississippi can suppose that the case of Grenada is a case to be sui juris; and then it would not be regarded as an in point? That was the case of a conquest, and the conexception.
quest ceded by the treaty of peace to the conqueror, to Now the fact of being sui juris, and always of having be holden as a part of his dominions, and the people as a been so, constitutes the right to be so. I would be glad part of his subjects; and both have been so hulden ever since. to know if any nation hus, or ever had, a better title to be It is said again, that a State has a right to exercise jurisjuri sui juris than the face of being so, and of always hav-/«iction over persons within its territorial limits, and, of
[April 21, 1830. course, over the Indian nation within its limits; and, there that these States have subjected those Indians to State lefore, that such Indian nation can have no right to exemp- gislation. Without stopping to inquire how that fact is, tion from that jurisdiction. If this State right was adınit- and, if a fact, whether it has been with the will or against ted, it would not disprove the Indian right; it would only the will of these Indians; it is enough to say, that if those prove that the two rights were incompatible, and that if States have undertaken that legislation over those Indians, . the State right is exerted and executed against the Indian against their will, and while they were a tribe and sui juright, that the Indian right must be annihilated. That the ris, and when, up to that time, they had always been sui Indian nation is placed within the limits of another juris- juris, that fact, instead of proving a right in that legisladiction, proves nothing against the Indian right, for that tion, proves a wrong by that Legislature; and instead of must be the situation of every Indian nation within our disproving the Indian right, it proves a violation of that territorial limits. It is so, and was to be so, by the very rigkt. I trust it is too late in the day, and so enlightened claim originally made to the country, on which it was ori- as this is, to contend that a fact which is a wrong is a preginally settled, and by which it is now held. This coun- cedent to justify a similar wrong; and that a violation of try was in the possession of these Indian nations; the British right in one case becomes a warrant for a violation of right claim to it, as founded in discovery, was a claim to the do- in all similar cases. main of their country, subject to their right of occupancy.
In the multitude of matters urged upon our consideraThey of course must be situated in that domain. That do- tion, to show that the Indian nations are not sui juris de main was parcelled out into colonies, now become States; jure, these are all which appear to me to have the appearthe Indian nations of course must fall within the limits of nce of argument; for in the rest, I confess I cannot see those States. So that, by our very claim to their country, even that appearance. It is said, for instance, (and I nothey were to be, and to remain within our jurisdiction, and tice it as a sample of the rest, for it would be endless to noexempt from that jurisdiction, and subject only to their own. tice them all in detail,) that the Indian is an inveterate sa
To strengthen this State claim against the Indian right, vage, and incapable of civilization. Admitting this to be it is said that the State within its territorial limnits has all the fact, which I by no means do admit, what has it to do the rights which the crown of Great Britain had within with the question, whether his nation is sui juris, and comthe same limits. But, as has been stated, the crown of petent to make a treaty? Is the Indian right less a right Great Britain made no such claim against the Indian right. because the Indian is a savage? Or does our civilization Happy will it be for these nations, if the claim of that give us a title to his right? A right which he inherits crown is adopted by the States as the measure of their equally with us, from the gift of nature, and of nature's claim, and if they will content themselves therewith. God. The Indian is a man, and has all the rights of
Still it is said that a sovereign independent State has a inan. The same God who made us made him, and endow. right to jurisdiction over all its own population; and that ed him with the same rights; for “of one blood hath he these States were sovereign and independent when they made all the men who dwell upon the earth.” And if we adopted this constitution; and that they did not surrender trample upon these rights, if we force him to surrender this attribute of sovereignty by that adoption. Admitting them, or extinguish them in his blood, the cry of that inall this, it is still to be proved that an Indian nation within justice will rise to the throne of that God, and there, like a State, is a part of the population of that State. How the blood of Abel, will testify against us. If we should can this be seriously pretended? The population of a be arraigned for the deed before his awful bar, and should State, is the population which constitutes the community, plead our boasted civilization in its detence, it would, in his which constitutes the State, which is protected by the sight, but add deeper damnation to the deed, and merit laws, and amenable to the laws of the State, as that com- but the more signal retribution of his eternal justice. As munity. But an Indian nation within a State is not a part to the civilization of the Indian, that is his own concern in of that community; is not protected by the laws, and ame- the pursuit of his own happiness; if the want of it is a nable to the laws of the State as a part of that community. misfortune, it is his misfortune; it neither takes from his
The population of the United States is taken periodical- rights, nor adds to our own. As to his being an invet. ly, by regular census; it is now about to be taken for the erate savage, and incapable of civilization, I do not befourth time; were the Indian nations within the United lieve it; in that respect, I believe he is like the rest of man. States ever included in any census as a part of the popula. kind. The savage state is the natural state of man; and tion of the United States? Never, as every one knows. that state has charms to the savage, which none but the And why not, if all persons within the limits of a sovereign /savage knows. Man, no where, at no time, ever rose from jurisdiction are necessarily the subjects of that jurisdic- the savage to the civilized man, but by the spur of an abtion, as a part of the population under that jurisdiction? solute necessity; a necessity which controlled and could
The States pay direct taxes to the United States, in pro- not be controlled; it was not until he could no longer live portion to their numbers; that is, to their population. But as a savage, or go where he could live as a savage, that he are the Indian nations within the States included in that would submit himself to that incessant labor and severe population? Never; they are expressly excluded by the restraint, which lies at the foundation of all civilization; constitution of the United States. Then, the States them- and to which nothing but education and habit reconciles selves, by adopting the constitution, have defined what the nature even of civilized man. The wild and free naconstitutes their own population; and bave excluded from ture of the savage, unaccustomed to involuntary and conit these Indian nations.
stant labor, and to the multiplied and severe restraints of Still, it is insisted, and as a branch of the same argument, civilized society, revolts at the idea of that labor and those that the constitution gives the Executive no authority to go restraints; and his strong repugnance to them can be only within a State and make a treaty with a part of its popula- overcome, as I have said, by the force of an overruling tion. This is true; but an Indian nation within a State, as necessity. I have said this, not that I disapprove or would we have just seen, is not a part of its population. The discourage attempts at their civilization; but to account power to make treaties, as given by the constitution, is a for the only partial success, if it has been only partial, general power, and may be exercised at the executive which has attended those attempts; and at the same time discretion, with any nation or people competent to make to vindicate the Indian from the charge of incapacity for a treaty; and it is not material where that nation is situated civilization, any farther than as it is applicable to all inanor placed; if competent to make a treaty, our Executive kind, while in a savage state. That very necessity exists, is competent to make it with them.
and is beginning to exert its civilizing tendency, where Again, it has been said that in several States in which is the tribes in question now are, but will
no longer exist, if situated some tribe or remnant of some tribe of Indians, they are removed as is contemplated by this bill.
April 22, 1830.]
The Patent Office.
Again, it is alleged against one of these nations, situated dew, it has passed away; for the chief of that mighty nanot in one, but in several of these States, that they have tion has been appealed to, to make good that guaranty, been guilty of an act which forfeits their right to live inde- but has been appealed to in vain. He has told them that pendently of State juriscliction, and which requires that he will not make it good; and that they must submit to the forfeiture should be immediately and rigorously en- that alternative. forced. It is the act of their having changed the form But we are told they have deserved all this, because they of their government for their own internal regulation. It have changed the form of their government. But has this seenas that, to better their condition, and with a view to changed their external relations with the United States, their own civilization, they have discarded that of the or with those States? Not in the least. Not in any one savage, and adopted the government of civilized man. possible respect. The new government, like the old, is And it is a government well devised to improve that con- made for their own internal regulation, and for that object dition, and ensure that civilization--a government that is merely. Sui juris as they are, and always have been, in itself a monument of wisdom; that speaks volumes in they had a right to make the law for their own internal favor of their capacity for civilization, and of their advances regulation, according to their own will, and to change it therein; for it has every essential feature of a free and from time to time, according to that will. They have done well balanced government. It is evidently not a work of this, and, in doing this, they have done no more than blind imitation; for while it has followed the best models, they had a right to do. If they now are a government it has followed them only so far as they were adapted to within a government, at which such an outcry is made as their circumstances; and it is original so far as their cir- justifying their destruction, so they always bave been; and cumstances required it to be so-and, where it is original, not more so now than they always have been. They have it is no less admirable than where it is imitative. Attentive always been what the gentleman calls an imperium in imto those circumstances, su far from assuming any powers perio--dependant, and without the external prerogatives inconsistent with their external relations, either to the of sovereignty; but still an imperium. But no matter United States or to those States, that Government recog- no matter how justifiable, how proper that change of aises and ratifies those relations exactly as they exist, and government was, how strictly a mere exercise of right; confines itself entirely to provisions for their own internal they see and feel that their doom is sealed—that the decree police. Sensible of their rude state, and with a view to is gone forth, and will be executed. their own civilization, it makes it the primary duty of the The cry of the miserable Indian will not arrest it; the nation to provide the means of education, and to promote sympathy of this nation in that cry will not arrest it; that the acquisition and diffusion of knowledge. Indeed, all its sympathy is not credited, or, if credited, is despised; and provisions show a wise survey of the present, and a provi- we are told here, and in a tone of defiance, too, that no dent forecast for the future. Now, this new government power shall arrest it. My fears are, that no power will is not to be tolerated for a moment: State legislation must arrest it-none certainly will if this bill pass, and without come and abate it as a nuisance; and the nation are to be this amendment; for then the Executive will not arrest it. punished for this atrocious act, with the forfeiture, and But if executed, and when executed, for one, I will say, for ever, of every national right. They are not to be per- that these Indians have been made the victims of power mitted even to resume the government they had discarded, exerted against right-the victims of violated faith, the and to live again as savages: but they are at once, and nation's faith-the victims of violated justice: yes, I call for ever, to be subjected to the rule of another jurisdiction, God to witness, of his violated justice. never again to enjoy the right of self government-a right Mr. WHITE said, that, as chairman of the committee which has come down to them from their fathers, and who reported the bill, it was expected of him to notice through an unknown series of generations, and for an un- some remarks made by gentlemen in opposition to it, and known series of ages--a right which they had used, but overlooked by those who supported it, but did not desire not abused; certainly not in the act which is made a pre- to do so while any gentleman wished to say any thing on text for its destruction.
the subject. Il fated Indians! barbarism and attempts at civilization Mr. FORSYTH then took the floor, and occupied it are alike fatal to your rights; but attempts at civilization until the usual hour of adjournment. the more fatal of the two. The jealous of their own rights are the contemners of yours; proud and chivalrous States do not think it beneath them to take advantage of your
THURSDAY, APRIL 22, 1830. weakness. You have lands which they want, or rather which they desire, for they do not want them; your rights
THE PATENT OFFICE. stand in their way, and those prouel and chivalrous States On motion of Mr. HAYNE, the bill providing for the do not think it beneath them to destroy your rights by further regulation of the Patent Office was taken up for their legislation. Proud and chivalrous States do not consideration, together with an amendment proposing to think it beneath them to present to your feeble and help- admit foreigners to the privilege of patenting inventions less condition this alternative--either to abandon your in this country, and increase the fees both to foreigners homes, the habitations you have built, the fiells you have and on our citizens. planted, and all the comforts you have gatherer! around Mr. H. explained its object, and the circumstances you; the homes of your fathers, and the sepulchres of which induced them to adopt the amendment. It appeartheir dead; and go far into the depths of an unknowned that a number of petitions from foreigners had been wilderness, there to abide the destiny which may there regularly before the Committee on the Judiciary, for speawait you, or to surrender your rights, and submit your-cial laws to enable them to exercise their inventions in this selves to their power, but to expect no participation in country; and were productive of great expense to the their rights.
nation, as well as to the individual applicant. In conseAn alternatire which has planted dismay and despair in quence of this inconvenience, both to the patentee and the every heart that palpitates in that nation; for they see country, the committee had come to the conclusion to their situation, and that nothing is left them but resignation admit the subjects or citizens of all other States, Empires, to their fate. Within themselves, they have no resource; and Kingdoms to take out patents in this country, subject without, they have no hope. The guaranties of treaties to the laws of their respective countries, by paying two made with the United States--the faith of a mighty nation hundred dollars into our treasury, instead of seventy-five pledged for their protection, which was their hope--is now dollars, the amount of the sum claimed by the provisions their hope no more; like the morning cloud and early of this bill from our own citizens.
The Patent Office.
[APRIL 22, 1830.
Mr. DICKERSON said, he had doubts about the pro- Judiciary. By these amendments, it was proposed to inpriety of adopting the amendment proposed to the bill, crease the fees for obtaining patents; and the reasons asor even the first section of the bill itself. He was of opi- signed for this increase of fees, were to exclude the imnion that the sum required by the present law for the privi- mense number of useless inventions which were daily prelege of taking out a patent was quite sufficient. Ile believ- sented at the Patent Office. It appeared to him, (Nir. ed it was now placed at thirty dollars; and, if he was called H.] that, if the reasoning of the committee were correct, upon for an opinion on this subject, he would reduce in- a diminution of clerical duties in the office must fol. stead of increasing the fees. He thought it was the duty low as an inevitable consequence. He thought we got of Congress, as it was the interest of the country, to pro- along very well under our present law, and was inclined mote, and not to discourage, the inventive genius of those to believe that the amendments would, instead of rewho devote their talents, ingenuity, and time, in prose- moving evils, be productive of many: The increas. cuting discoveries in the useful arts, for the benefit of the ing of fee, he did not believe, would sist out the useful country. It was well known (said Mr. D.) that many of from the useless inventions. They depended upon cithose who applicd for patents had exhausted all their periment, and the valuable are as liable to be excluded as little means in perfecting their discoveries and rendering the worthless. He would mention the invention of the them serviceable to the country; and if difficulties were cotton gin, the nail casting machine, and propelling boats thrown in the way of taking out patents, their inventions by steam, any one of which was of more advantage to could not be tested, and their utility lost both to the in- the nation than would counterbalance all tlie evils intended ventor and the country. He was opposed to that feature to be removed by the amendments; yet all might have in the amendment which proposed to raise the fees on been lost to the country under these amendments. With foreign patentces to two hundred dollars; because if it be respect to the clause relating to foreigners, he thought it admitted that the patents are of importance to the country, in some measure a proper one. The committee had to as he believed all would admit, then he thought that all encounter a great deal of labor in presenting their petishould be placed on the same footing:
tions, examining their claims, and their bills, and vast exMr. HAYNE said, at an early period of the session, a pense was incurred by the country; but (as we under. communication was received by the committee from the stood him) the fees exacted from them were too bigh. He Secretary of State, covering a report from the superin-thought that, instead of two hundred dollars, thc fee might tendent of the Patent Office, recommending what ought safely be reduced to one hundred dollars. to be done for the better regulation of the institution; and Mi'. McKINLEY said, that great unanimity had prerailed stating, among other things, that great inconvenience had in the committee with regard to the amount of the fees to resulted from the low sum for which patents can be ob- be charged for patents. On that subject there had been no tained, in consequence of which the office was crowded difficulty. The great difficulty had been so to frame the with a number of useless inventions, of no earthly use to law as to prevent the issuing of patents for useless inventhe patentees or the public. The committee, after the tions. It had been at length settled that the increasing of examination of the subject, with such lights as were pre- the fees would have the effect of lessening the number of sented to them, thought it would be better, by raising the patents. The committee had had another object in view; price of patents, to restrict the issuing of them in such and this was to increase the responsibility of the officers numbers, rather than throw open the doors so widely as charged with the management of the business; for it had hitherto, for the admission into the office of useless lum- been found that many patents had issued where the ber, by which the business of the office was increased, fees had not been accounted for; and it was to provide and the community at large, in a great many instances, im- against this that the first section had been framed. Mr. posed on. In raising the price of a patent from thirty Mck. thought there was no danger of any useful inren. dollars to seventy dollars, the committee were of opinion tions being excluded from the public notice in consethat no useful invention would be prevented from being quence of the increase of fees to seventy dollars; that sum known; though he thought there could be no doubt that was too small to prevent any one from taking out a patent the increase of price would have a salutary effect in pre- for any invention of sufficient importance to promise him venting applications from ignorant or unworthy persons. any remuneration for his skill and labor. With regard to With regard to that branch of the amendment which per. the proposed charge of two hundred dollars for a patent mitted the issuing of patents to foreigners, in certain cases, to a foreigner, he thought with the gentleman from South he would observe that the committee had been subjected Carolina, ihat some distinction ouglit to be made between to much trouble for several years past, in consequence of citizens and strangers, and that settling some definite applications from that class of persons who could not ob- principle on which they miglit be admitted to the privitain patents under the existing laws. He thought it much leges of our Patent Office, would be preferable to leaving better to establish a general principle by law, for granting their cases to separate legislation. patents to foreigners, than to legislate, as heretofore, for Mr. ROWAN thought the honorable gentleman from each individual case, after subjecting the committee to the New Jersey (Mr. Dickersox) had not given the subject labors of an investigation and report. To the gentleman that reflection to which its importance entitled it. He from New Jersey, he would reply that there could be no was of opinion that seventy-five dollars, the sum to which difficulty in the way of the superintendent's ascertaining the fees were proposed to be increased, would not prethe laws of other countries in relation to patents, so as to vent the inventors of what are really useful from obtaining grant them to citizens of countries which did not exclude a patent; because they will always be able to purchase & ours from like privileges; the usages of foreign countries patent if the invention be valuable. But the people of under their patent laws were not necessary. A dif- this country had been so frequently imposed on by their ference ought to be made between our own citizens and Eastern brethren, who travel orer the country with their foreigners; and the committee, in establishing the differ- patented notions, which they sell to the honest and unsusence, had turned their eyes towards England and France, pecting farmers. When they bad not money, the patentees and had ascertained that the fees paid in those countries would dispose of their notions for notes or obligations: were higher than any proposed to be fixed by the bill. but, before the note or obligation becomes due, the im
Mr. HOLMES observed, that it seemed to him, the two position is found out-payment is refused-suit is entered, additional clerks called for in the bill, for the performance and the industrious farmer is dragged at a great expense of the supposed increased duties of the Patent Office, and inconvenience from his business to the Federal court. were rather unnecessary, when viewed in connexion with He had seen many such cases himself. He mentioned a the other amendments proposed by the Committee on the patent for distilling by steam, and another for a "bulk