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May 20, 1830.]
Mr. Foot's Resolution.
ment for a half century, its progress in the arts as well as Wasp and Hornet, and is full of meaning—the Wasp nein arms, its trials and its triumphs. It has exposed the ver abandons the citadel; the Hornet drives the enemy machinations and plots which have been formed against from his borders.” it, and their latent causes. It has shown with what per- The resolution which the Senator compared to “ Panfect ease the majesty of the laws has been maintained, and dora's box” is not yet demolished, but waiting very pathe constitution preserved from every insidious as well as tiently for the decision of the Senate. Nor is it consideropen attack; and has demonstrated the correctness of Mr. ed by the Senators from the West generally as “full of Jefferson's opinion, “that error may safely be tolerated evils;" and surely the Senator himself must acknowledge while reason is left free to combat it.” It has disappoint. the mover has not been much moved by his attacks, and ed the hopes of the enemies of our republican form of may be assured he will decline bis polite invitation to MisGovernment, and furnished additional evidence that “man souri for information. It is expected here; the resolution is capable of self-government.” And, although in the asks for information; and, after the generous offer of full ardor of debate, and in the latitude of discussion, some information at Missouri, it is expected the Senate will not expressions have been used which savored too much of refuse the committee the opportunity to furnish it. To personal hostility and sectional jealousy, it has shown that prove the hostility of the East, the Senator has culled the "every difference of opinion is not a difference of princi- yeas and nays for forty years--and what does he find? ple;” and that, notwithstanding all our prejudices, and all Men voting upon principle, honestly and consistentlyour jealousies, there still exists, in every section of the men who did not change with every wind: votes which country, an attachment to our free institutions, to the con- ought to make none but political trimmers and demastitution, and to the union of the States, so sincere and so gogues blush for inconsistency! And fortunate, indeed, ardent, that we may, with pride and pleasure, proclaim to will it be for that Senator, if, at some future period in the the world--" The republic is safe!”
annals of this country, some ruthless hand should disturb Although this protracted debate has, in some measure, his ashes, the journals will show as much purity of intendefeated the object which induced me to offer the resolu. tion, and patriotism, and as much consistency in his politition—which, in my opinion, was one of great importance-- cal course, as bas been found by him in his fruitless search still I can say, with the utmost sincerity, it causes no re- for evidence of hostility to “his West-his country-not gret. Much valuable information has been elicited in re- mine.” But, sir, where does he find hostility to the West? lation to the public lands, and a rich fund' in relation to Where was “his West!" where was Missouri, when those the genius, the structure, and policy of the Government, votes were given? A Spanish Province. Where would which will be invaluable to the rising generation and to Missouri have been, if Mr. Jefferson's advice had been posterity; It will be my main purpose, in pursuance of the followed, " to shut up the West--to prohibit any whites original design, to defend the resolution and myself from to settle north of Arkansas river, and to reserve it for the some attacks made at the commencement of the discussion, Indians?" and to urge its adoption.
But the Hartford Convention, aye, the Hartford ConvenThe Senator from Missouri, (Mr. Benton] when the re- tion! Here was hostility to the West! Although the solution first came up for consideration, declared, “ It is Senator has excepted me from any participation in the time to make a stand, to face about, and to fight a deci- Hartford Convention, I have only to say, the people of sive battle for the West!” And, sir, he entered the field New England themselves have settled that business, by with bis bloody standard, with this motto—“War to the giving the authors and abettors leave to retire to private knife, and the knife to the hilt!” With this tremendous life, where they will remain, unless the Senator or his po"yell,” and such “notes” of “preparation,” what were litical friends call them from their dignified retirement. we to expect? Our only alternative was desperate resist- One word to the Senator from South Carolina, (Mr. ance or indiscriminate " butchery!" I suppose we are to Harne) who knows but little of the republicanism of New conclude the decisive battle has been fought. The Sena. England, if he places any of the Essex Junto at its head, tor kept up a brisk fire for four days, besides some skir- and who has also made a furious attack upon the federalmishing with the “outposts” for several succeeding days. ism of New England. If the republicans of South CaroThe firing has now ceased on the part of the assailant, lina will make the same disposition of their rash and imand with it a “clamorque virum, clangor que Tubarum." |prudent men as the republicans of New England have What has been the result of his attack upon the resolution, done of those among them, the union of the States will be or the mover of the resolution? or upon the Middle States, in no danger. Sir, I do not find that New England has or the citadel of New England?
suffered much in this contest; few laurels have ever been It would, perhaps, be considered rather unkind to quote gained in that section by her enemies; whether savage or upon him “Montes parturiunt,” &c.; but, sir, it can give civilized, internal or external, she never has asked or rebim no offence to quote an expression of his friend from ceived much assistance from her sister States.
Her own South Carolina, (Mr. HAYNE) "he has been driven back resources have been abundant in every emergency. She disconfited!” especially since he gave public thanks to has borne her full share of public burthens and sufferings. the “generous South" for the tariff.
The blood of her sons has fowed freely in the defence of It is probable the Senator had never heard the deriva- other parts of the Union, and their bones are whitening tion of the term Yankee, when he attacked the “Univer- on almost every battle ground. She yields to none in lisıl Yankee Nation.” That he may understand better the beral and generous sacrifices in her country's cause. She character of those people in any future contest, I will give is attached strongly to the Union; her children are in eve. him its origin, so far as it has come to my knowledge. ry State; she feels no hostility or jealousy to any part of Tradition says that, during the Revolutionary war, two the Union; she seeks the common good; and sees, “ more citizens of Connecticut were sent to New York to nego. in sorrow than in anger,” the various attempts to excite tiate an exchange of prisoners. At the table of the com- prejudice against her; but she relies with full confidence mander of the British army, where these gentlemen were on her own consciousness of rectitude and strict justice to invited to dine, (not, however, for any votes they had gi- others, and asks nothing more than a kind return of reci. ven,) the term “ Yankee" was overheard in an under tone. procal good feeling and confidence. But, sir, to such as Lord Howe, in a pleasant manner, asked these gentlemen are disposed to excite these sectional jealousies, I will the meaning of the term “ Yankee,” which he had heard only recommend a careful perusal of Washington's Fareat his table, (casting a look of reproof and censure up- weil Address, and leave them to the “gnawings of their on some young officers from whom it came.) The reply own conscience," and the execrations of all good men. was--" It is derived from two Indian words, signifying This resolution proposes an inquiry into the condition
Mr. Foot's Resolution.
(Mar 20, 1830.
of the public lands; and “we must not even inquire," seventeen millions within the States and Territories, and says the Senator from Missouri, (Mr. Bextos;] “it is seven hundred and fifty millions without those limits; two against a high moral principle on which he stands;" and hundred and sixty-seven millions are free from the Indian this was echoed by the Senator from New Hampshire, claims, and eight hundred millions still subject to their [Mr. Woodruny.) And pray, sir, what is this great mo. claims, of which fifty-five millions are within the limits of ral principle? “It is not right to inquire into the expe- the States and organized Territories; and will it be condiency of doing wrong.” If he had said it is not right to tended that this subject is not of sufficient importance to do wrong, and would always stand on that ground, he justify, and even to demand, our attention to the managewould be entitled to much credit. Sir, the Senator has ment of this concern? boasted much of “carrying the war into the enemy's The Senators have seen fit to charge, not only on me, country," and he will pardon me for retaliating in such a but upon the section of the country in which I reside, hoswarfare. If any thing has effectually checked the sale of tility to the Western States, and various attempts to pre. the public lands, it has been his bill “for graduating vent emigration to the West: and the Senator from Misthe price of the public lands, and giving them to the souri (Mr. Beaton) promised to “trace the progress of States in which they lie.” For proof of this, I appeal these measures to check emigration for forty-four years!" to the reports of the land commissioners, and to Sena- How has he redeemed his pledge? He has gone back far tors living in those States—and, under this resolution, the beyond his own experience or mine; and, sir, I think he committee may find an effectual remedy. Reject the gra- has found it a Herculean task. We have often heard such duating bill, and the evil is entirely removed,
charges from his own lips; what is the proof? does he get Mr. Foot said that, believing most fully in the doctrines it from Spain? The public mind will no longer be satisfiof a former President of the United States, “that the ac-ed with a mere repetition of such charges, often made, quisition of the public lands, made at the expense of the but supported only by repeated declarations and averwhole Union, not only in treasure, but also in blood, ments. It is not sufficient proof of these charges, for the marks a right of property in them equally extensive;" Senator to quote his own speech on the tariff, in which and that the public domain is the common property of all he says, he commented severely “on the report of the the States: and considering, also, the high responsibility Secretary, and no Senator contested the propriety of the resting on Congress, to make such a disposition of the pub. construction he put upon it.” Sir, this Secretary was not lic lands as will promote the general interests of all the from New England. The tariff policy has been charged States, I proposed this resolution for the consideration of upon New England, within these walls, and throughout the the Senate.
Southern States. Sir, Senators on this foor certainly And although the Senator from Missouri (Mr. Bextox] must know this charge is wholly unfounded. South Cahas said “the West is his country, not mine--he knows it, rolina has supported one tariff; the Middle and Western I do not,” he must allow me to press the inquiry, not- States have had their tariff. But no tariff' has been sup. withstanding his great zeal on every question in relation ported by a majority of New England votes! It has been to his favorite subject--the public lands.
forced upon lier. This fact is well known--the journals The Senator from Indiana, (Mr. Noble,] who has said, prove it--and I hope it may never again be misrepresented. “we are in possession, and we will have the land, and dis. If the Senator proposes to draw arguments from his tance shall be defeat, as well as the Senator from Mis- own speeches, he may indeed have a wide field; but the souri, (Mr. Bextos,) seemed to insinuate that I was tres- force of his arguments may not appear as great to others passing on forbidden ground. But, sir, they must remem- as to himself; and, if no Senator replies to him, does it ber, that my State, being one of the “ old thirteen,” has furnish full proof that his arguments are unanswerable? never quit-claimed her right and title to the public other reasons may exist why no one should be disposed to lands; and, like a prudent parent, has not thought it ad- answer him. visable to give up all the property to the children, and The people of New England are intelligent; and it has trust to filial affection alone for support: and whatever may been said they look well to their own interests; but this is be their opinions, they must allow me the privilege of no proof of hostility to others. They consider the citijudging for myself in what way the interests of my own zens of the United States as children of one great farnils: State will best be promoted. Whatever may be their ob- our fathers, our children, our brothers and sisters, have ject in commencing such an attack on a harmless resolution gone to every State and Territory of this Union, and their for inquiry merely, the effect has been to increase my so- Children mingle with ours in our schools and colleges
. licitude for a full investigation. Nothing can excite strong-We are bound together by the strongest ties of interest
, er doubts of the soundness of any principle, or raise more of affection, and of consanguinity.
What possible ground suspicion of lurking mischief, than an overweening anxiety for suspicion of hostility can exist, except in a distempers to exclude the light, and veil the subject in mystery and ed imagination? darkness. And I presume every one has, by this time, One word to the Senator from Indiana, (Mr. Noble] become fully satisfied that this unexpected and unprece- who has said the lands are their own, and they will have dented attack, made by them on this resolution, bas pro- them, and distance shall be defeat!" I ask, where does duced a great portion, if not all the excitement raised up. He find the power, as a Senator in Congress, to vote away on this subject. Resolutions of this character, merely di- these lands? Has the State Legislature instructed or au: recting inquiry, are of such frequent occurrence, 'that thorized him to vote away their lands? And as to the great even when they are published in the journals
, and suffer- excitement of which he speaks, if any such exists, it is ed to pass without opposition, they produce no excite- factitious: in common language, “got up for effect." ment; and the people wait for the report of the commit- And how can the Senator from Illinois (Mr. Kasx] oppose tee; and why was this resolution opposed? Was any fa- this resolution, when he has attempted to prove that a vorite “graduating bill” thought to be in danger? "Sir, radical and "horough change in the land system is dea full report from the committee, on the subject of the pub- sirable, if not indispensable? Or even the Senator from lic lands, would save much useless discussion on many Missouri, (Mr. Benton] who has been pressing his bill bills relating to the public lands, which embrace about one for graduating the price of public lands" for years, and half of all our legislation.
has told his constituents "he had strong hopes of carIn one point we all agree, that this subject is one of rying that favorite measure during the present session, great and increasing interest. The quantity of public land has been estimated at more tion;" that is, if the newspapers tell the truth? And with
when he expected to retire from the councils of the na: than one thousand millions of acres; three hundred and respect to the Senator from New Hampshire, (Mr. Woon
MAI 20, 1830.]
Mr. Foot's Resolution.
BURY) who said “he should vote against this resolution, and forty acres; and reserves salt springs, with a township because he would do in this respect as in his own case- contiguous, and four sections at the centre of cach townhe should be opposed to inquiry." I should probably ship. This act directs the immediate sale of the lands concur in the opinion that the Senator would be an un- thus surveyed, and also the land unsold in the seven ranges safe adviser; nor can I feel the force of his argument of townships surveyed under the ordinance of 20th May, drawn from Persia. But, if the Senator claims to be the 1785, and directs the mode of payment; one-twentieth at ambassador and minister plenipotentiary of all the repub- the time of sale, to be forfeited if one-half be not paid in licans of New England, (and we have witnessed his coro- thirty days, and one year's credit on the balance; declares nation with all the forms and solemnities of Papal power, all navigable rivers, public highways; and in all rivers not and heard him pronounced to be the - Peter and Rock navigable, owned by different persons, the bed and stream on which the Republican Church shall be built,” by the shall be common to both. This principle has been estaSenator from Missouri,) (Mr. Berton]--we should like to blished in relation to all lands sold by the United States. see his credentials-let him produce his commission, show By the provisions of the act of the 3d of March, 1807, the its clate, by whom signed-we want to see his instructions - President is authorized to remove, by force, any person that we may know with what special mission he is charg- who shall take possession or settle upon any of the public ed; whether with a general siiperintendence of all the lands; and, since this discussion has commenced, he seems interests of republicans, or merely, in his own language, determined to enforce this law. " to set history right”---his own (as we may suppose) or The act of January 14th, 1812, declares that no land? the history of his new republican party--their origin, sold at public sale, and reverted to the United States or their manners and customs, and the particular object of account of failure to complete the payment, shall be sok the party which has confided to him the conservation of at private sale at a less price than that for which the same all the republicanism of New England. New England is tract wils sold at public sale. represented on this floor by as good a portion of real, The act of 25th April, 1812, “ for the establishment genuine republicans of the old school, as any section of of a General Land Office in the Department of the Treathis Union: and he must allow me to disclaim and deny sury,” forms the basis of our present land system. Some any authority vesterl in hiin to represent the republicans of the most material alterations effected by subsequent of Connecticut. The republicans of 1798 are not to be acts, will be noticed, for the purpose of affording an out. “stretched on the bed of any modern Procrustes, or cut line of the present system; and the most important is in toits length;” they never have, and they never will, range the act of 24th April, 1820, “making further provision themsilres under the flag of the Essex junto. Republi- for the sale of the public lands,” which merits particular cans constitute a large majority, and they will not consent attention, as it produced almost an entire change in the that their number shall be cicumscribed within the nar- whole system, by changing the former credit system to row lunits of the supporters of this administration; nor cash sales; reducing the price of the public lands from two will they bail them ail as political brethren, while the Es- dollars to one dollar twenty-five cents per acre; authorizing sex junto and ultra federalists form so great a portion of the sale of smaller tracts; and requiring that the land their forces, and receive so large a share of Executive fa- shall be offered at public sale, in half-quarter sections, or
They do vot consider it to be sound republican (ighty acres, and may be so purchased and entered at pri doctrine, to remove from office an old faithful democrat vate sale. This was an important and very beneficial proand soldier of the Revolution, to make a place for an ultra vision for the actual settler. And, as a further inducement federalist. A certain letter to Mr. Monroe revived the to the purchaser, it is expressly enacted that “10 lands hopes of the federal party. That these hopes have not shall be sold, either at public or private sale, for a less been disappointed, this Chamber has furnished ample price than one dollar and twentyfive cents per acre," proof. I do not complain of this; but I do protest against pledging the faith of the Government absolutely to the such a prostitution of the republican name and character. purchaser, that the Government will not prejudice his inLet things be called by their right names; we ask no terest, by disposing of any of their lands below the price
The Senator's favorite doctine of proscription, fixed by law. By the fourth section of the same act, a **that in every change of a President all the old officers, further provision is made for the relief and benefit of from a sense of decency, ought to retire, and, if they do those who had purchased on credit, and whose lands had not iesign, they should be dismissed,” is not the doctrine become forfeited and bad reverted to the United States of the republicans of Connecticut, as their acts will show. for non-payment of the purchase money under the former Our motto is, in the language of Mr. Jefferson, “equal credit system, allowing them a short time to make entry and exact justice to all, of whatever State or persuasion, upon the lands relinquished by them, and proliibiting any religious or political.”
person to enter such lands after the 1st of July then next, The Senator from Tennessee (MIr. Grendy) has alluded imtil the same had been offered at public sale. These to Mr. Jefferson's proceedings in relation to my native provisions, with the pre-emption rights granted, have State. If the Senator will examine Mr. J.'s letter to the been always considered as affording great facilities to acNew Haven remonstrants, and his refusal to remove the tual settlers. The seventh section of this act provides collector at New London, he will find a standard by which that “10 land shall be purchased on account of the Unitthe proceedings of this administration will by no means ed States, except under a law authorizing such purbear the test. “The right of private opinion shall suffer chase.” This is a very important provision, and it is to no invasion from me,” was Mr. Jefferson's language; and be wished that it may never be violated. the wide difference between Mr. Jefferson's and the pre- It will be recollected that, previous to the passage of sent administration is, he found a monopoly of office in the act of 1820, above recited, the purchasers of the pubthe hands of one party, and the present administration lic lands, under the credit system, had become indebted seems determined to make a similar monopoly.
to the United States in an amount exceeding twenty milBut, to return to the subject of the resolution. The lions of dollars. On the 20 March, 1821, Congress passfirst provision for the sales of the public lands was esta-ed the “act for the relief of the purchasers of public blished by the act of 18th May, 1796, “providing for the lands, prior to the 1st day of July, 1820," allowing to sale of the lands of the United States northwest of the those purchasers the privilege of relinquishing portions river Ohio, and above the mouth of Kentucky river.” of the purchased lands, and applying the payments alThis act provides for surveying and laying off' in townships ready made by instalments, to such portions of these lands of six miles square; one-half of these townships, taken, as they chcse to retain; and remitted and discharged the alternately, to be subdivided into sections of six hundred debtors from the payment of all the interest which had
Mr. Foot's Resolution.
(Mar 20, 1830.
accrued, or would accrue, to the 30th of September then one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. From some of next; and a further provision allowed a discount or de the largest land districts no sales bare been made, and no duction of thirty-seven and a half per cent. upon all com- returns were received. These added, will probably plete and full payments made before the 30th September increase the amount to more than eighty millions. The next ensuing; and, by subsequent acts, these privileges quantity of land sold is estimated at about twenty millions; and facilities have been extended to the 10th April, 1825, appropriated for education, military bounties, improve. and virtually extended by an act passed this session. ments in roads and canals, &c. twenty millions of acres, Several other liberal provisions are included in this act, making one hundred and twenty millions of acres, and but it is not necessary to enumerate them for my purpose, leaving about thirty millions already surveyed, which have except the tenth section, which provides that “no land not yet been exposed to sale. The land surveyed pre. surrendered under this act shall be offered for sale for vious to 1828 was one hundred and thirty-cight millions. the term of two years after the surrender;" allowing in The abore estimate allows twelve millions of acres to fact two years more for the benefit of the purchaser. Sir, have been surveyed within the last two years, making the this act was received with much satisfaction by the pur- whole quantity of lands surveyed one hundred and fifty chasers of public lands, and considered by all as an act, millions of acres; from which, deducting the quantity not only of justice merely, but of great liberality to the sold, and that which has been appropriated by Congress debtors; for the public lands, notwithstanding the ungra- for education, roads, &e. forty millions, will leave one cious charges which have been made by certain members hundred and ten millions now surveyed and undisposed of, of both Houses of Congress within a few years, and by eighty millions in market for sale, and subject to entry at the Senator (Mr. Bextox) during the present session, in the minimum price, and thirty millions ready to be which he boldly declares that "nothing has been done brought into market at any moment to meet the demand. for the West;" that, in all the appropriations for internal To this may be added a considerable portion of the lands improvements, only about "seventy thousand dollars had which have been appropriated by Congress; for it is but been for the benefit of the West.” Sir, the appropria fair to presume that no greater portion of these kanels tions, in land only, for the benefit of the Western States, has been sold to actual settlers, than of the lands in the according to a return from the department, in answer to hands of the Government. Taking this basis of compua resolution of mine, amounts to a sum exceeding ten mil. tation, it appears that thirty millions more must be added; lions of dollars; the land being valued at the minimum acld, also, the quantity of lands in the hands of speculaprice of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. Notors and land companies, and the original purchasers, complaint is made of this. My own vote will be found in which have never been occupied, and we may safely estifavor of as many of these appropriations as in my opinion mate the quantity of wild lands now in market for sale to sound policy and our power under the constitution would actual settlers, 'at one hundred and twenty millions of permit
. And it may be well suspected, from the course acres. Indeed, the Senator seemed much'alarmed beof this debate, that the very liberal provisions of our laws, cause lands were offered for sale in Maine. for the benefit of the new States, have been made the The Commissioner of the Land Office estimates the defoundation of the ungrateful insinuations and direct mand for land at one million acresannually. The annual sales charges of hostility to the West.
An ungrateful heart is for forty years, s.nce the public lands have been offered never satisfied, or won by the increase of favors—" the for sale, have scarcely averaged half a million of acres more you give, the more you may,” is often exemplified, per annum, notwithstanding the great rage for land spe. and the greatest favors are too often repaid by the gross-culation during some portion of that period; and it is to est ingratitude. This charge is by no means intended for be presumed that more than this quantity is necded to inthe West generally; the West is high-minded, honorable, duce emigration of actual settlers to the West. Probably brave, and magnanimous; but she has some unwortlıy sons. not one-half of the lands already sold are in tlse hanels of
But really, if it has come to this, that we may not even actual settlers, although some have been sold by the Unit. inquire whether our system needs revision, without being ed States more than forty years. There is no doubt the told “it is not a proper subject of inquiry,” that “it is limitation of sales of the public lands contemplated by the time to make a stand, to face about, and to fight a deci- resolution will discourage speculators and others who sive battle for the West, with war to the knife, and the look more to their own interest than the public weal, and knife to the hilt,”” for one, I was ready to meet this terri- from them opposition is to be expecteel. 'I ask the attenble crisis. It was best to meet it at once, and not wait tion of the Senate particularly to this part of the liscils. for the time of which we have been forewarned, that, “assion; and, if my positions are incorrect, the Senators from soon as they get strength, they will take the public do- those States in which the lands lie will correct ine. My main, without asking the consent of Congress!" And, if opinion is, that neither the interests of the United it is seriously claimed that the public lands are the pro- States, nor the best interests of the new States will perty of the States in which they lie, why are we called be promoted by forcing such immense quantities of pube upon every year for an appropriation for the expense of lic lands into the market. It will not be denied that surveys of the public lands? Do these States claim the the quantity now in market is amply sufficient to meet the lands as their own, and require us to survey them? It be- demand for actual settlers for half a century. But the comes a question of some importance, whether we shall Senator from Missouri [Mr. Berton) has told us these go on surveying lands at an expense of sixty or eighty one hundred and twenty millions of acres are
scraps-ihousand dollars a year, or abolish both the surveyors offi- mere refuse--the leavings of repeated sales anel picking ces and the land offices. The Commissioner of the Land --the crumbs that remain after others are served." if Office bas recommended that the number be reduced. the statement of the Senator be correct, it certainly pre
I will now come directly to the question, and give the sents a very different picture of the allurements and fas. reasons why, in my opinion, the sales of the public landscinations of the West--" the Garden of the World”-from ought to be limited, in the manner proposed in the reso- the one which has been held up to the emigrant. Are lution. It must be admitted, the land now in market, these the "rich bottoms”--the fertile regions—the "in. and subject to entry at private sale, at the minimum price, exhaustible depth of soil," of which we have so often is more than sufficient for the demand for many years to heard? In one hundred and fifty millions of acres, has come. From the report of the Commissioner of the Gene- there been found but twenty millions fit for cultivation? ral Land Office, to which I referred in offering the reso- and is the remainder mere refuse? In what way does the lution, more than seventy-two millions of acres were un- Senator expect to sustain the dense population which is sold, which were subject to entry at the minimum price of imagination but a few years since discovered “reposing
May 20, 1830.]
Mr. Foot's Resolution.
on the bosom of the mother Earth, in the Valley of the welkin rings" with the cry of " horrible Indian outrages;"! Mississippi and the Western States?"
the military force is called out, and the depredations of the But, let us strip off the drapery thrown around this sub- whites upon this miserable remnant of a noble race is made ject, and examine it minutely: How have these sales the occasion for destroying perhaps a whole tribe, “vastly been effected? A large quantity of land is surveyed, on more sinned against than sinning;” or a bill is introduced the application of squatters and speculators--the Presi- into Congress, for thirty or forty thousand dollars to pay cient issues his proclamation, that on a future clay this for damages done by the Indians. The history of our Inland will be exposed to public sale. Does any one be- dian wars will show that most of these wars have been lieve that the actual settler attends these sales? 'I beg the produced by unlawful encroachments upon the Indians; attention of Senators, who must know the facts better and it would seem that the cupidity of our people will than myself. Is there not a combination immediately form- never be satisfied while the Indians possess an acre of ed among the companies of speculators and are not the land which is thought to be better than the lands in our most choice lands selected by them, and purchased at the possession, or in which valuable minerals have been disminimum price for our sales for several years prove that covered by squatters or trappers and hunters. the minimum price only is obtained; and it the minimum The disposal of the public lands has been, in this way, price was ten cents the acre, would not the small part, absolutely wrested from the Government, and monopoand of the choicest land, sold at public sale, be sold at lized by speculators and squatters; the land system is virten cents. Dare the actual settlers attempt to bid upon tually broken down, and we are gravely told, “it is best these “purse-proud companies and land speculators?' I for us it should be so,” and nothing remains for us but to acknowledge my obligation to Senators living in those give the squatters pre-emption rights; and, instead of States, and conversant with the subject, for this idea, and legislating for them, we are to legislate after them, in full expression. The Senator has told you the West is “his pursuit to the Rocky Mountains, or to the Pacific Ocean. country, not mine; he knows it, I do not.” But, I Your system of cash sales is destroyed, and a worse system think, by this investigation, we are likely to become some than the old credit system grown up; the solemn plight. what better acquainted with it, and with the manner of ed faith of the Government to the Indians, “to protect disposing of the public lands, which may be useful. The and defend them in their possessions," forms no barrier; quantity disposed of at these sales is governed entirely and the solemn treaties guarantying their possessions for by these companies--some small sales of first quality, and ever, means nothing further, and no longer, than until advantageous locations, are bid off, enough to subject the sone good land or mineral is found in their possession, land to entry at the minimum price; and all that remains is and then they must remove. But the sympathies of the set down by the Senator as "scraps, mere refuse.” But good people of the United States are aroused; they begin let it be remembered, about thirty millions have been sur-to see and understand the course of policy which is hurveyed, and not yet exposed to sale, which will supply the de- rying these poor untutored sons of the forest, and once mand for several years for settlement only beside "scraps” lords of the soil, to swift and inevitable destruction; and of former sales; and here the settler may have bis “new are beginning to cry out, spare these poor Indians! And land, his first choice,” as the Senator expresses it. But their voice of mercy must and will be heard! And it beI will pursue this subject of the management of the spc. comes us to see to it, that our plighted faith does not beculators no further; bit refer the Senate to the descrip- come proverbial, as the “punica fides" of ancient times: tion given by the Senator from Alabama, (Mr. McKinler) and that the Indian may not say, T'imeo Danaos dona fein support of his bill for the relief of the actual settlers, rentes! in which he disclosed the plans of operation of these spe- By confining the sales of public lands to those already culators, and proved, most conclusively, from facts within in market, we shall give the greatest possible encouragehis own knowledge, that these “speculators controlled ment to actual settlers; the hopes and the plans of the the sales of the public lands, and absolutely cheated both speculators will be entirely frustrated, a steady and industhe Government and the actual settlers;" and also a state- trious population will rapidly increase, and the other new ment made by a former receiver of the land office at States will present the same animating scene which the Huntsville, in the same State, (Alabama,) now among the rapid settlement of Ohio has presented. The report of files of the Senate, _“that at the sales of public lands, the Commissioner of the General Land Office furnishes which commenced by proclamation of the President, on proof in this respect, more valuable and interesting than the first Monday in February, in the year 1818, at Hunts- volumes of theory and idle speculation. It shows us the ville, a formidable company appeared, which had been sale of twenty-five thousand acres of land in one year, in a formed for the purpose of putting down competition district in which there is but a small portion of public land; amongst attending bidders, and purchasing the most valu- and probably the whole amount to actual settlers. Three able lands at reduced prices, intending to make re-sale, hundred thousand dollars were received from Ohio during and divide the profits of the speculation, and that himself the last year. The interest of the United States is per. and the other officers of the Government, and the super- fectly identified with the interests of the new States; both intendents of the sale, were invited to join them, and are interested in the settlement of those States by an inparticipate in the proceeds.” Such proceedings beggar dustrious and honest population. The best interests of comment; I leave them for the consideration of the Senate. both will be promoted by putting down that system of
Another reason why I wish the sale of public lands speculation, which, as the Senator from Alabama very limited, is, to preserve the present land system. So long justly expressed it, “cheats both the Government and as you permit squatters to go on in advance of your sur the actual settler.” For a short period, perhaps, the reveys, and make selections of the choice lands, and then ceipts from the sale of public lands might not equal the follow them with surveys and sales, you constantly in- present amount. But it cannot be the policy of the Gocrease the cupidity of speculators, and scatter a very vernment to follow the example of the improvident spendsparse population over an immense tract of country, thrift, who cuts down all his valuable timber in a few wholly destitute of the means of either literary or reli- years, and leaves his plantation stripped of its most gious instruction, who will be incessantly calling on the valuable productions. The moneys received from the Government for protection. They have been constantly sales of public lands form but a small part of its real intruding upon the Indian reservations, which have been value to the country; the proper facilities for encourageguarantied to them by the United States: the Indians, ment of actual settlements, and the security which the goaded to desperation, seize, perhaps, their cattle, or, in Government is bound to afford to its citizens within its defence of their rights, raise the tomahawk, and “ the limits-not only against violence, but also against imposi.