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Mr. Foot's Resolution.
[Jaz. 37, 18.30.
to debate; or from speaking whatever I may see fit to say, locks were shaken! The ghost of Banquo, like that on the floor of the Senate. Sir, when uttered as matter of Hamlet, was an honest ghost; it disturbed no innocent of commendation or compliment, I should dissent from man. It knew where its appearance would strike terror, nothing which the honorable member might say of his and who would cry out, a ghost! It made itself visible in friend. Still less do I put forth any pretensions of my the right quarter, and compelled the guilty and the con
But, when put to me as matter of taunt, I throw it science smitten, and none others, to start, with-back, and say to the gentleman that he could possibly
“Pr'y thee, see the re! Lehold!! lu! have said nothing less likely than such a comparison to
“If I stand lere, I saw him!" wound my pride of personal character. The anger of its tone rescued the remark from intentional irony, which Their eye balls were seared (was it not so, sir!) who otherwise, probably, would have been its general accep- bad thought to shield themselves, by concealing their own tation. But, sir,'if it he imagined that, by this mutual quo- hard, and laying the imputation of the crime on a low and tation and commendation; if it be supposed that, by cast- lireling agency in wickedness, who had vainly attempted ing the characters of the drama, assigning to each his part: to stifle the workings of their own coward consciences, by to one the attack; to another the cry of onset; or, if it be ejaculating, through white lips and chattering teéti, thought that, by a loud and empty vaunt of anticipated
" thou canst not say I did it!" I have misread the great victory, any laurels are to be won here; if it be imagined, poet, if it was those who had no way partaken in the diece especially, that any, or all these things will shake any pur- of the death, who either found that they were, or feared pose of mine, I can tell the honorable member, once for that they should be, pushed from their stools by the ghost all, that he is greatly mistaken, and that he is dealing with of the slain, or who exclaimed, to a spectre created by one of whose temper and character he has yet much to their own fears, and their own remorse, “avaunt! and learn. Sir, I shall not allow myself, on this occasion, 1 quit our sight!". hope on no occasion, to be betrayed into any loss of temper; There is another particular, sir, in which the honorable but, if provoked, as I trust I never shall be, into crimina- member's quick perception of reseniblances might, I tion and recrimination, the honorable member may, per- should think, have seen something in the story of Banquo, haps, find, that, in that contest, there will be blow's to making it not altogether a subject of the most pleasant take as well as blow's to give; that others can state com- contemplation. Those who murdered Banquo, what did parisons as significant, at least, as his own, and that his they win by it? substantial good ? permanent power or impunity may, perhaps, demand of him whatever powers disappointment, rather, and sore mortification; (lust and of taunt and sarcasm he may possess. I commend him to ashes, the common fate of vaulting ambition, overlcaping a prudent husbandry of his resources.
itself? Did not even-handed justice, ere long, commend But, sir, the coalition the coalition! “ay, the murder- the poisoned chalice to their own lips? Did they not soon ed coalition!” The gentleman asks if I were led or fright-find that for another they had “ filed their mind ?” that ed into this debate by the spectre of the coalition! "Was their ambition, though apparently for the moment successit the ghost of tee murdered coalition, (he exclaims) which ful, had but put a barren sceptre in their grasp? Ay, sir, haunted the member from Massachusetts, and which, like
“A barren sceptre in their gripe, the ghost of Banquo, would never down?” “The mur
“ Thence to be wrenched by an enlineal band. dered coalition!” Sir, this charge of a coalition, in refer
“No son of thrir's suceeding."" ence to the late administration, is not original with the honorable membes. It did not spring up in the Senate.
Sir, I need pursue the allusion no further. I leave the Whether as a fact, as an argument, or as an embellish. I honorable gentleman to run it out at his leisure, and to ment, it is all borrowed. lie adopts it, indeed, from a derive from it all the gratification it is calculated to admivery low origin, and a still lower present condition. It is nister. If he finds himself pleased with the 2ssociations, one of the thousand calumnies with which the press teem- and prepared to be quite satisfied, though the parallel ed, during an excited political canvass. It was a charge, should be entirely completed, I had almost said I am satisof which there was not only no proof or probability, but fied also--but that I shall think of. Ves, sir, I will think which was, in itself, wholly'imposs:ble to be true. No man of that. of common information ever believed a syllable of it. Yet In the course of ny observations, the other day, I paid it was of that class of falschoods, which, by continued re. a passing tribute of respect to a very worthy man, Mr. petition, through all the organs of detraction and abuse, Dane, of Massachusetts. It so happened that he drew the are capable of misleading those who are already far misled; ordinance of 1787, for the government of the Northand of farther fanning passions already kindling into Hame. western Territory. A man of so much ability, and so little Doubtless it server, in its day, and in greater or less de- pretence; of so great a capacity to do gocd, and so unmixgree, the end designed by it. Having done that, it has ed a disposition to do it, for its own sake; a gentleman who sunk into the general mass of stale and loathed calumnies. acted an important part, forty years ago, in a measure, the It is the very cast-off slough of a polluted and shameless influence of which is still deeply felt in the very matter press. Incapable of further mischief, it lies in the sewer, which was the subject of debate, might, I thought, receive lifeless and despised. It is not now, sir, in the power of from me a commendatory recognition. But the honorable the honorable member to give it dignity or decency, by member was inclined to be facetious on the subject. He attempting to clevate it, and to introduce it into the Se was rather disposed to makcit matter of riclicule that I had nate. He cannot change it fiom what it is--2n object of introduced into the debate the name of one Nathan Dane, general disgust and scorn. On the contrary, the contact, of whom, he assures us, he had never before heardi. Sir, if he choose to touch it, is more likely to drag him down, if the honorable member had never before heard of Mr. down), to the place where it lies itself,
Dane, I am sorry for it. It shows him less acquainted with But, sir, the bonorable member was not, for other rea- the public men of the country than I had supposce. Let sons, entirely happy in his allusion to the story of Barquo's me tell him, however, that a sneer from him, at the men: murder, and Banquo's ghost. It was not, I think, the friends, tion of the name of Mr. Dane, is in bad taste. It may well but the enemies of the murdered Banquo, at whose bid- be a high mark of ambition, sir, cither with the honorable ding his spirit would not down. The honorable gentleman senileman or myself, to accomplish as much to make our is fresh in his reading of the English classics, and can put names known to advantage, and remembered with gratime right if I am wrong; but, according to my poor recol- tude, as Mr. Dane has accomplished. But the truth is, lection, it was at those who had begun with caresses, and sir, I suspect that Mr. Dane lives a little too far North. He ended with foul and treacherous murder, that the gory is of Massachusetts, and too near the North star, to be
Jan. 27, 1830.)
Mr. Foot's Resolution.
reached by the honorable gentleman's telescope. If liis that the powers of the Government which it proposed to sphere had happened to range South of Mason's and Dix. establish, might, perhaps, in some possible mode, be exon's line, he might, probably, have come within the scope erted in measures tending to the abolition of slavery. This of his vision!
suggestion would, of course, attract much attention in the I spoke, sir, of the ordinance of 1787, which prohibited Southern conventions. In that of Virginia, Gov. Randolph slavery, in all future times, Northwest of the obio, as a said: measure of great wisdom and foresight, and one which had “I hope there is none here, who, considering thic subbeen attended with highly beneficial and permanent con-ject in the calm light of philosophy, will make an objecsequences. I supposed that, on this point, no two gen- tion dishonorable to Virginia; that at the moment they are tlemen in the Senate could entertain different opinions. securing the rights of their citizens, an objection is startBut, the simple expression of this sentiment has led the cd that there is a spark of hope that those unfortunate gentleman not only into a labored defence of slavery, in men now held in bondage, may, by the operation of the the abstract, and on principle, but, also, into a warm accu- General Government, be made free.” sation against me, as having attacked the system of do. At the very first Congress, petitions on the subject were mestic slavery, now existing in the Southern States. For presented, if I mistake not, from several States. The all this, there was not the slightest foundation in any thing Pennsylvania Society for promoting the Abolition of Slasaid or intimated by me. I did not utter a single word, very, took a lead, and laid before Congress a memorial, which any ingenuity could torture into an attack on the praying Congress to promote the abolition by such powslavery of the Sonth. I said, only, that it was highly wise ers as it possessed. This memorial was referred, in the and useful, in legislating for the Northwestern country, House of Representatives, to a Select Committee, consistwhile it was yet a wilderness, to prohibit the introduction ing of Mr. Foster, of New Hampshire, Mr. Gerry, of Masof slaves; and added, that I presumed in the neighboring sachusetts, Mr. Huntington, of Connecticut, Mr. LawState of Kentucky, there was no reflecting and intelligent rence of New York, Mr. Sinnickson, of New Jersey, Mr. gentleman who would doubt that, if the same prohibition Hartley, of Pennsylvania, and Mr. Parker, of Virginia; had been extended, at the same early period, over that all of them, sir, as you will observe, Northern men, but commonwealth, her strength and population would, at this the last. This committee made a report, which was comday, have been far greater than they are. If these opi-mitted to a Committee of the Whole House, and there nions be thought doubtful, they are, nevertheless, I trust, considered and discussed on several days; and, being neither extraordinary or disrespectful. They attack no- amended, although in no material respect, it was made to body, and menace nobody. And yet, sir, the gentleman's express three distinct propositions, on the subjects of slaoptics have discovered, even in the mere expression of very and the slave trade. First, in the words of the conthis sentiment, what he calls the very spirit of the Mis-stitution, that Congress could not, prior to the year 1808, souri question! He represents me as making an onset on prohibit the migration or importation of such persons as the whole South, and manifesting a spirit which would in- any of the States, then existing, should think proper to terfere with and disturb their domestic condition! Sir, admit. Second, that Congress had authority to restrain this injustice no otherwise surprises me, than as it is done the citizens of the United States from carrying on the Afrihere, and done without the slightest pretence of ground can slave trade, for the purpose of supplying foreign counfor it. I say, it only surprises me, as being done here: tries. On this proposition, our early laws against those for, I know, full well, that it is, and has been, the settled who engage in that traffic are founded. The third propopolicy of some persons in the South, for years, to repre- sition, and that which bears on the present question, was sent the people of the North as disposed to interfere with expressed in the following terms": them in their own exclusive and peculiar concerns.
This " Resolved, That Congress lave no authority to interfere is a delicate and sensitive point in Southern feeling; and, in the emancipatičn of slaves, or in the treatment of them of late years, it has always been touched, and generally in any of the States, it remaining with the several States, with effect, whenever the object has been to unite the alone, to provide rules and regulations therein, which huwhole South against Northern men, or Northern measures. manity and true policy may require.” This feeling, always carefully kept alive, and maintained This resolution received the sanction of the House of at too intense a heat to admit discrimination or reflection, Representatives so early as March, 1790. And now, sir, is a lever of great power in our political machine.
It the honorable member will allow inc to remind him, that, moves vast bodies, and gives to them one and the same di- not only were the Select Committee who reported the rerection. But the feeling is without all arlequate cause, solution, with a single exception, all Northern meil, but and the suspicion which exists wholly groundless. There also that, of the members then composing the House of is not, and never has been, a disposition in the North to Representatives, a large majority, I believe nearly twointerfére with these interests of the South. Such interfer-thirols, were Northern men also. ence has never been supposed to be within the power of The House agreed to insert these resolutions in its jourGovernment; nor has it been, in any way, attempted. It nal; and from that day to this, it has never been maintainhas always been regarded as a matter of domestic policy, cd or contended that Congress had any authority to reguleft with the States themselves, and wit' which the Fedelate, or interfere with, the condition of slaves, in the seral Government had nothing to do. Certainly, sir, I am, veral States. No Northern gentleman, to my knowledge, and ever have been, of that opinion. The gentleman, in- phas moved any such question in either House of Congress. deed, argues, that slavery, in the abstract, is no evil. The fears of the South, whatever fears they might have Most assuredly, I need not say I difter with him, altoge. entertained, were allayed and quieted by this early decither and most widely, on that point. I regard domestic sion; and so remained, till they were excited afresh, withi
. slavery as one of the greatest of evils, both moral and po- out cause, but for collateral and indirect purposes. When litical. But, though it be a maladly, and whether it be it became necessary, or was thought so, by some politicurable, and, if so, by what means; or, on the other band, cal persons, to find an unvarying ground for the exclusion whether it be the vulnus immedicabile of the social system, of Northern men from confide.ce and from lead in the afI leave it to those whose right and duty it is to inquire and fairs of the republic, then, and not till then, the cry was to decide. And this, I believe, sir, is, and uniformly has raised, and the feeling industriously excited, that the inbeen, the sentiment of the North. Let us look a little at fluence of Northern men in the public councils would enthe history of this matter.
danger the relation of master and slave. For myself, I When the present constitution was submitted for the claim no other merit than that this gross and enormous inratification of the people, there were those who imagined justice towards the whole North, has not wrought upon
Mr. Fool's Resolution.
[Jar. 27, 1830.
me to change my opinions, or my political conduct. I hope quate to the exigencies of the country, and recommend I am above violating my principles, even under the smart ing to the States to send delegates to the convention which of injury and false imputations. “Unjust suspicions and formed the present constitution.-(Note 1.) undeserved reproach, whatever pain I may experience An attempt has been made to transfer, from the North from them, will not induce me, I trust, nevertheless, to to the South, the honor of this exclusion of slavery from overstep the limits of constitutional duty, or to encroach the Northwestern territory. The journal, without arguon the rights of others. The domestic slavery of the ment or comment, refutes such attempt. The cession by South I leave where I find it--in the hands of their own Virginia was made March, 1784. On the 19th of April Governments. It is their affuir, not mine. Nor do I com- following, a Committee, consisting of Messrs. Jefferson, plain of the peculiar effect which the magnitude of that Chase, and Howell, reported a plan for a temporary population has had in the distribution of power, under this government of the territory, in which was this article: Federal Government. We know, sir, that the represen That, after the year 1800, there shall be neither slave. tation of the States in the other House is not equal. ry, nor involuntary servitude, in any of the said States, We know that great advantage, in that respect, is en- otherwise than in the punishment of crimes, whereof the joyed by the slave-holdng States; and we know, too, that party shall have been convicted.” Mr. Speight, of North the intended equivalent for that advantage, that is to Carolina, moved to strike out this paragraph. The ques. say, the imposition of direct taxes in the same ratio, has tion was put, according to the form then practised: “Shall become merely nominal; the habit of the Government these words stand, as part of the plan,” &c. New Hampbeing almost invariably to collect its revenues from other shire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New sources, and in other modes. Nevertheless, I do not com-York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, seven States, voted plain: nor would I countenance any movement to alter this in the affirmative. Maryland, Virginia, and South Caroarrangement of representation. it is the original bargain lina, in the negative. North Carolina was divided. As --the compact--let it stand: let the advantage of it be the consent of nine States was necessary, the words could fully enjoyed. The Union itself is too full of benefit to not stand, and were struck out accordingly. Mr. Jefferson be hazarded in propositions for changing its original basis. voted for the clause, but was overruled by bis colleagues. I go for the Constitution as it is, and for the Union as it is. In March of the next year, (1785) Mr. King, of MasBut I am resolved not to submit, in silence, to accusations, sachusetts, seconded by Mr. Eltery, of Rhode Island, either against myself individually, or against the North, proposed the formerly rejected article, with this addition: wholly unfounded and unjust-accusations which impute * And that this regulation shall be an article of compact, to us a disposition to evade the constitutional compact, and and remain a fundamental principle of the constitutions beto extend the power of the Government over the internal tween the thirteen original States, and each of the States laws and domestic condition of the States. All such accu- described in the resolve,” &c. On this clause, which prosations, wherever and whenever made--all insinuations of vided the adequate and thorough security, the eight Norththe existence of any such purposes, I know, and feel, to ern States at that time voted affirmatively, and the four be groundless and injurious. And we must confide in Southern States negatively. The votes of nine States were Southern gentlemen themselves; we must trust to those not yet obtained, and thus the provision was again rejected whose integrity of heart and magnanimity of feeling will by the Southern States. . The perseverance of the North lead them to a desire to maintain and disseminate iruth, held out, and two years afterwards the object was obtainand who possess the means of its diffusion with the South- ed. It is no derogation from the credit, whaterer that ern public; we must leave it to them to disabuse that pub- may be, of drawing the ordinance, that its principles had lic of its prejudices. But, in the mean time, for my own before been prepared and discussed, in the form of resopart, I shall continue to act justly, whether those towards lutions. If one should reason in that way, what would whom justice is exercised receive it with candor or with become of the distinguished honor of the author of the contumely:
Declaration of Independence? There is not a sentiment Having had occasion to recur to the ordinance of 1787, in that paper which had not been voted and resolved in in order to defend myself against the inferences which the the assemblics, and other popular bodies in the country, honorable member has chosen to draw from my former over and over again. observations on that subject, I am not willing, now, en But the honorable member has now found out that this tirely to take leave of it, without another remark. It need gentleman (Mr. Dane) was a member of the Hartford Conhardly be said, that that paper expresses just sentiments vention. However uninformed the honorable member on the great subjects of civil and religious liberty. Such may be of characters and occurrences at the North, it sentiments were common, and abound in all our state pa- would seem that he has at his elbow, on this occasion, pers of that day. But this ordinance did that which was some high-minded and lofly spirit, some magnanimous and not so common, and which is not, even now, universal; true-hearted monitor, possessing the means of local knowthat is, it set forth and declared, as a high and binding duty ledge, and ready to supply the honorable member with of Governinent itself, the obligation to encourage schools, every thing, down even to forgotten and moth-eaten twoand advance the means of education; on the plain reason, penny pamphlets, which may be used to the disadvantage that religion, morality, and knowledge, are necessary to of his own country. But, as to the Hartford Convention, good government and to the happiness of mankind. One sir, allow me to say, that the proceedings of that body observation further. The important provision ivcorporat- seem, now, to be less read and studied in New England, ed into the constitution of the United States, and several than farther South. They appear to be looked to, not in of those of the States, and recently, as we have seen, New England, but elsewhere, for the purpose of seeing adopted into the reformed constitution of Virginia, re- how far they may serve as a precedent. But they will not straining legislative power, in questions of private right, answer the purpose---they are quite too tame. The latiand from impairing the obligation of contracts, is first in- tude in which they originated was too cold. Other controduced and established, as far as I am informed, as mat- ventions, of more recent existence, have gone a whole ter of express written constitutional law, in this ordinance bar's length beyond it. The learned doctors of Colleton of 1787. And I must add, also, in regard to the author of and Abbeville have pushed their commentaries on the the ordinance, who has not had the happiness to attract Hartford Colleet so far, that the original text-writers are the gentleman's notice heretofore, nor to avoid his sarcasm thrown entirely into the shade. I have nothing to do, sir, now, that he was chairman of that Select Committee of with the Ilariford Convention. Its journal, which the the old Congress whose report first expressed the strong gentleman has quoted, I never read. So far as the bonorsense of that body, that the old confederation was not ade- able member may discover in its proceedings a spirit, in
Jax. 27, 1830.]
Mr. Foot's Resolution.
any degree resembling that which was avowed and justifi- that he did not attack the Eastern States, he certainly ed in these other conventions to which I have alluded, or must have forgotten not only particular remarks, but the so far as those proceedings can be shown to be disloyal to whole drift and tenor of his speech; unless he means, by the constitution, or tending to disunion, so far I shall be not attacking, that he did not commence hostilities--but as ready as any one to bestow on them reprehension and that another had preceded him in the attack. He, in the censure.
first place, disapproved of the whole course of the GoHaving dwelt long on this convention, and other occur- vernment, for forty years, in regard to its dispositions of rences of that day, in the hope, probably, (which will not the public land; and then turning northward and castbe gratified) that I should leave the course of this debate ward, and fancying he had found a cause for alleged narto follow him, at length, in those excursions, the honora- rowness and niggardliness in the “ accursed policy” of the ble member returned, and attempted another object. He tariff, to which he represented the people of New Engreferred to a speech of mine, in the other House, the same land as wedded, he went on, for a full hour, with remarks, which I had occasion to allude to myself the other day; the whole scope of which was to exhibit the results of this and has quoted a passage or two from it, with a bold, policy, in feelings and in measures unfavorable to the though uneasy and laboring air of confidence, as if he had West. I thought his opinions unfounded and erroneous, detected in me an inconsistency. Judging from the gen- as to the general course of the Government, and ventleman's manner, a stranger to the course of the debate, tured to reply to them. and to the point in discussion, would have imagined, from The gentleman had remarked on the analogy of other so triumphant a tone, that the honorable member was cases, and quoted the conduct of European Governments about to overwhelm me with a manifest contradiction. towards their own subjects, settling on this continent, as in Any one who had heard him, and who had not heard what point to show that we had been harsh and rigid in selling, I had, in fact, previously said, must have thought me rout- when we should have given, the public lands to settlers. ed and disconfited, as the gentleman had promised. Sır, I thought the honorable member had suffered his julga breath blows all this triumph away. There is not the ment to be betrayed by a false analogy; that he was struck slightest difference in the sentiments of my remarks on with an appearance of resemblance, where there was the two occasions. What I said here on Wednesday is in no real similitude. I think so still. The first settlers of exact accordance with the opinions expressed by me in North America were enterprising spirits, engaged in pri. the other House in 1825. Though the gentleman had the vate adventure, or fleeing from tyranny at home. When metaphysics of Hudibras—though he were able arrived here, they were forgotten by the mother country, " To sever and divide
or remembered only to be oppressed. Carried away "A hair 'twixt North and Northwest side,"
again by the appearance of analogy, or struck with the he yet could not insert his metaphysical scissors between the eloquence of the passag«, the honorable member yesterfair reading of my remarks in 1825, and what I said here day observed, that the conduct of Government towards last week. There is not only no contradiction, no differ- the Western emigrants, or my representation of it, brought ence, but, in truth, too exact a similarity, both in thought to his mind a celebrated speech in the British Parliament. and language, to be entirely in just taste. I had myself It was, sir, the speech of Col. Barre. On the question of quoted the same speech, had recurred to it, and spoke the stamp act, or tea tax, I forget which, Col. Barre had with it open before me; and much of what I said was little heard a member on the Treasury Bench argue, that the more than a repetition from it. In order to make finish- people of the United States, being British colonists, ing work with this alleged contradiction, permit me to re- planted by the maternal care, nourished by the indulgence, cur to the origin of this debate, and review its course. This and protected by the arms of England, would not grudge seems expedient, and may be done as well now as at any their mite to relieve the mother country from the heavy time.
burthen under which she groaned. The language of Col. Well, then, its history is this: The honorable member Barre, in reply to this, was: They planted by your care! from Connecticut moved a resolution, which constitutes Your oppression planted them in America. They fled the first branch of that which is now before us; that is to from your tyranny, and grew by your neglect of them. say, a resolution instructing the Committee on Public So soon as you began to care for them, you showed your Lands to inquire into the expediency of limiting, for a care by sending persons to spy out their liberties, miscertain period, the sales of the public lands, to such as represent their character, prey upon them, and eat out have heretofore been offered for sale; and whether sun- their substance. dry offices, connected with the sales of the lands, might And now, does the honorable gentleman mean to mainnot be abolished, without detriment to the public service. tain that language like this is applicable to the conduct
In the progress of the discussion which arose on this of the Government of the United States towards the Westresolution, an honorable member from New Hampshire ern emigrants, or to any representation given by me of moved to amend the resolution, so as entirely to reverse that conduct? Were the settlers in the West driven its object; that is, to strike it all out, and insert a direction thither by our oppression? Have they flourished only by to the Committee to inquire into the expediency of adopt. our neglect of them? Has the Government done nothing ing measures to hasten the sales, and to extend more ra- but to prey upon them, and eat out their substance? Sir, pidly the surveys of the lands.
this fervid eloquence of the British speaker, just, when The honorable member from Maine [Mr. SPRAGCE] and where it was uttered, and fit to remain an exercise for suggested that both those propositions might well enough the schools, is not a little out of place when it is brought go, for consideration, to the Committee; and in this state thence, to be applied here, to the conduct of our own of the question the member from South Carolina addressed country towards her own citizens. From America to Engthe Senate in his first speech. He rose, he said, to give land, it may be true; from Americans to their own Go. us his own free thought on the public lands. I saw him vernment it would be strange language. Let us leave it rise with pleasure, and listened with expectation, though, to be recited and declaimed by our boys, against a foreign before he concluded, I was filled with surprise. Cer. nation; not introduce it here, to recite and declaim ourtainly, I was never more surprised than to find him fol- selves against our own. lowing up, to the extent he did, the sentiments and But I come to the point of the alleged contradiction. opinions which the gentleman from Missouri had put forth, In my remarks on Wednesday, I contended that we could and which it is known he has long entertained.
not give away gratuitously all the public lands; that we I need not repeat at large the general topics of the held them in trust; that' the Government had solemnly honorable gentleman's speech. When he said, yesterday, pledged itself to dispose of them as a common fund for
Mr. Foot's Resolution.
[Jan. 27, 1830.
the common benefit, and to sell and to settle them as its honorable gentleman and myself. On my part, I look discretion should dictate. Now, sir, what contradiction upon all these objects as connected with the common does the gentleman find to this sentiment in his speech of good, fairly embraced in its object and its terms; he, on 1825? He quotes me as having then said, that we ought the contrary, deems them all, it good at all, only of local not to hug these lands as a very great treasure. Very good. This is our difference. The interrgaotory which well, sir; supposing me to be accurately reported, in that he proceeded to put, at once explains this difference. expression, what is the contradiction? I have not now “ What interest,” asks he, “has South Carolina in a casaid that we should hug these lands as a favorite source of nal in Ohio?" Sir, this very question is full of significance. pecuniary income. No such thing. It is not my view. It develops the gentleman's whole political system, and What I have said, and what I do say, is, that they are a lits anwer expounds mine. Here we differ, toto colo. I common fund; to be disposed of for the common benefit; look upon a roadover the Alleghany, a canal round the to be sold at low prices for the accommodation of settlers, falls of the Ohio, or a canal or rail-way from the Atlantic keeping the object of settling the lands as much in view to the Western waters, as being objects large and exas that of raising money from them. This I say now, and tensive enough to be fairly said to be for the common this I have always said. Is this hugging them as a favorite benefit. The gentleman thinks otherwise; and this is the treasure? Is there no difference between hugging and key to open his construction of the powers of the Governhoarding this fund, on the one hand, as a great treasure, ment. He may well ask, upon his system, what interest and on the other, of disposing of it at low prices, placing has South Carolina in a canal in Ohio? On that system, the proceeds in the general treasury of the Union? My it is true, she has no interest. On that system, olio and opinion is, that as much is to be made of the land as fairly Carolina are different Governments and different countries, and reasonably may be, selling it all the while at such rates connected here, it is true, by some slight and ill-defined as to give the fullest effect to settlement. This is not giving bond of union, but, in all main respects, separate and it all away to the States, as the gentleman would propose; diverse. On that system, Carolina has no more interest nor is it hugging the fund closely and tenaciously, as a favor- in a canal in Ohiu than in Mexico. The gentleman, there. ite treasure; but it is, in my judgment, a just and wise fore, only follows out his own principles; he does no more polity, perfectly according with all the various duties than arrive at the natural conclusions of his own doctrines; which rest on Government. So much for my contradic- be only announces the true results of that crecd, which tion. And what is it? Where is the ground of the gen- he has adopted himself, and would persuade others to tleman's triumph? What inconsistency, in word or doc- adopt, when he thus declares that South Carolina has no trine, has he been able to detect? Sir, if this be a sample interest in a public work in Ohio. Sir, we narrow-minded of that discomfiture with which the honorable gentleman people of New England do not reason thus. Our notion threatened me, commend me to the word discomfiture for of things is entirely different. We look upon the States, the rest of my life.
not as separated, but as united. We love to dwell on that But, after all, this is not the point of debate; and I must Union, and on the mutual happiness which it has so much now bring the gentleman back to that which is the point. promoted, and the common renown which it has so greatly
The real question between me and lim is, where has the contributed to acquire. In our contemplation, Carolina doctrine been advanced, at the South or the Fast, that the and Ohio are parts of the same country; States, united population of the West should be retarded, or at least need under the same General Government, having interests, not be hastened, on account of its effect to drain off the common, associated, intermingled. In whatever is withpeople from the Atlantic States? Is this doctrine, as has in the proper sphere of the constitutional power of this been alleged, of Eastern origin? That is the question. Has Government, we look upon the States as one. We do not the gentleman found any thing, by which he can make good impose geographical limits to our patriotic feeling or rehis accusation? I submit to the Senate that he has en- gard; we do not follow rivers and mountains, and lines of tirely failed; and as far as this debate has shown, the only latitude, to find boundaries, beyond which public imperson who has advanced such sentiments, is a gentleman provements do not benefit us. We who come here, as from South Carolina, and a friend to the honorable member agents and representatives of these narrow minded and himself. The honorable gentleman has given no answer selfish men of New England, consider ourselves as bound to this; there is none which can be given. The simple fact, to regard, with equal eye, the good of the whole, in what. while it requires no comment to enforce it, defies all argu- ever is within our power of legislation. Sir, if a rail-road ment to refute it. I could refer to the speeches of another or a canal, beginning in South Carolina, and ending in Southern gentleman, in years before, of the same general South Carolina, appeared to me to be of national imporcharacter, and to the same effect, as that which has been tance and national magnitude, believing, as I do, that the quoted; but I will not consume the time of the Senate by power of Government extends to the encouragement of the reading of them.
works of that description, if I were to stand up here, and So, then, sir, New England is guiltless of the policy of ask what interest bas Massachusetts in rail-roads in South retarding Western population, and of all envy and jea- Carolina, I should not be willing to face my constituents. lousy of the growth of the new States. Whatever there These same narrow-minded men would tell me, that they be of that policy in the country, no part of it is hier's. If had sent me to act for the whole country, and that one it has a local habitation, the honorable member has pro- who possessed too little comprehension, either of intellect bably seen, by this time, where he is to look for it; and if or feeling; one who was not large enough, in mind and it now has received a name, he has himself christened it. heart, to embrace the whole, was not fit to be entrusted
We approach, at length, sir, to a more important part with the interest of any part. Sir, I do not desire to enof the honorable gentleman's observations. Since it does large the powers of the Government by unjustifiable not accord with my views of justice and policy to give construction, nor to exercise any not within a fair interaway the public lands altogether, as a mere matter of gra- pretation. But when it is believed that a power does tutity, I am asked by the honorable gentleman on what exist, then it is, in my judgment, to be exercised for the ground it is that I consent to vote them away, in particular general benefit of the whole. So far as respects the instances? How, he inquires, do I reconcile with these exercise of such a power, the States are one. It was the professcd sentiments, my support of measures appropriat- very object of the constitution to create unity of interests, ing portions of the lands to particular roads, particular to the extent of the powers of the General Government. canals, particular improvements of rivers, and particular In war and peace, we are one; in commerce, one; because institutions of education in the West? This leads, sir, to the the authority of the General Government reaches to war l'eal and wide difference, in political opinion, between the and peace, and to the regulation of commerce. I have