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Relief to Land Purchasers.
discrimination with regard to the objects of pur- So that you will ultimately have to compromise chasers. It cannot therefore excuse itself from grant- upon terms not better than those proposed, or to ing relief to those persons by affecting to consider resort to the odious alternative of enforcing forthem as the less entitled to it for being speculators, feitures, and taking from those people an immense in yielding to the very temptations with which it sum of money, without rendering them the slightseduced them, if indeed there were any thing wrong est equivalent' for it. This, sir, would indeed be in the speculation itself. There are however a vast so much like a parent robbing his own children, number of persons who have been induced to rely and so repugnant to the best feelings of the human wholly upon the latter alternative from necessity, not heart, as well as to all the maxims of justice, that choice. No one who purchased with such objects, it would be very difficult to persevere in it against particularly at the minimum price, and made judi- the constant petitions of those people, backed and cious selections, could have lost by it, and many supported as they now are, and hereafter will be, would have made a considerable profit, had not by their respective States, whose influence, if it the price of public land been reduced, contrary to should bear any proportion to their rapidly inthe plighted faith of the Government.
creasing population, will not be altogether "unaThe adoption of this measure has not only de- vailing, in a just cause, some ten years hence. preciated the lands heretofore sold, impaired the Mr. President, depend upon it, sir, public sentiability of purchasers to pay for their lands, and ment never will, under the whole circumstances made it their interest to surrender them, but, in of the case, sanction the exaction of such forfeitrelation to all those who relied upon the sale of ures from the brave and patriotic defenders of our the lands according to law for the reimbursement frontiers, when the necessity for them can be of the instalments paid upon them, with a reason- avoided without any real sacrifice, and upon such able profit upon their money, it has most injuri- just and equitable terms. And, though the time ously affected their condition; deprived them of may not yet have arrived, I am persuaded it is advantages connected with their contracts; sub- not distant when relief will be granted to those jected them to great losses, that could not have upon whom forfeitures have already been enforced. been anticipated at the time those contracts were I confess that, for one, I am prepared to grant it entered into ; and would most unquestionably, were at any time, believing, as I sincerely do, that, it a case between individuals, render it the duty while liberality and justice recommend it, good of a court of equity to decree that those contracts policy does not forbid it, because it is as intrinsishould be set aside altogether.
cally wrong in a Government as it would be in a Let me suppose, sir, that the public lands had individual unnecessarily to take, or to keep, son belonged to an individual who under similar cir- thing for nothing. The sum forfeited is a seric cumstances had sold a part of them, not barely with punishment for so slight an indiscretion. T an understanding, but with a positi: e, unequivo-object of punishment itself is not vindictive. T cal declaration, that he would not reduce the price necessity of example has ceased, since the law of the residue. Can it, I ask, be doubted, that if upon which it was intended to operate has been he had totally disregarded that declaration, as the repealed; and the aggregate amount of those forGovernment has done, with so much injury to the feitures is a serious loss to the Western country purchasers, a court of equity would hesitate to itself, which contributes so largely to the public grant relief ? These purchasers are ex equo et bono revenue, and participates so little in the expendientitled to a return of their money, and the Gov- ture of public money. I therefore would not hesiernment ought, for its own sake, be glad to com- tate, particularly in times of such universal dispromise with them upon the terms proposed by the tress, which the Government has unquestionably measure now under consideration.
contributed to produce, to grant to these persons Mr. E. further contended that this measure, by certificates receivable in payment for public land, enabling the Government to cause to be settled a to the amount which they have respectively forlarge quantity of lands now held by persons who feited; whereby they would get only the value of can never pay for them, and therefore will not im- their money, while the Government would not prove them, would have a tendency to consolidate part with an acre of land for which it would not our settlements, and impart additional strength to have received a full equivalent. But, be this as our inland frontier; and that it would give a spring it may, the solicitude which the Western States to industry which, by increasing our stock of na- now feel, and are most strongly manifesting upon tional wealth, would be felt advantageously by the this subject, as appears by the petitions now upon whole Union. But, said he, Mr. President, though your table, sufficiently indicates that, unless suitthose public debtors may see but little prospect of able relief should be granted, you may annually ever paying for or disposing of their lands to ad- expect petitions, memorials, and remonstrances, vantage, yet, if they cannot be permitted to relin- against all future forfeitures; and it is not to be quish a part of them upon equitable terms, the doubted that nothing less than the most judicious hope of some favorable occurrence—some auspi- management can prevent this enormous debt from cious turn of affairs, or more propitious fortune- becoming the fruitful source of much future diffiwill induce them to retain the whole of those lands, culty and trouble, intermingling itself in all elecnot only as long as the law now allows, but as tions, and producing political effects which no one long as the utmost indulgence of Congress (for could regret more than myself. which you will be constantly importuned) will I therefore trust that enough has been said to permit.
demonstrate the expediency of diminishing the
Relief to Land Purchasers.
debt, not only by permitting the relinquishment that the extent of the national domain will, for of a part of the land, but by offering just and ages, enable the Government to determine the proper inducements to make prompt payment for price of unimproved land, similarly situated. The the balance.
effects produced by the practical demonstration of This being a neasure of sound policy, as well / such a power, in the reduction of the price of pubas of justice, its objects will be most effectually lic land, and the quantity brought into market, as attained by making ihose inducements as liberal has been stated by my colleague, and as I have as the public interest will permit. And, as the already endeavored to show, would of themselves success of the measure must depend upon the be sufficient to induce a great majority of those ability as well as the inclination of the debtors, debtors to surrender their lands, even though no they should not only be allowed suitable deduc- relief whatever should be afforded them. tions to create the necessary incentives to make There can be no rational motive to induce them, prompt payment, but reasonable time to render it under existing circumstances, to wish to keep unpracticable for them to do so.
improved lands, for which they could not make I can see no difficulty in deciding what deduc- prompt payment upon the terms proposed. It tion ought, in sheer justice, to be made; for, if would be madness itself to retain them for the the Government, by the reduction of the price of purposes of speculation, since such an immense its own lands, has imposed upon itself any equi- quantity of as good or better land can be purchatable obligation whatever in favor of those debt- sed at a lower price; and therefore it may be fairly ors, (which all admit,) it is to allow them a de- presumed that none would wish to avail themduction equal to the difference between the price selves of the latter measure of relief, except such contracted to be paid to the Government for those as have made improvements upon their lands, and lands, and the value to which they have been re may be unable, from the pressure of the present duced by the Government, which, whether con- times, to make prompt payment. These being the sidered in reference to the actual depreciation of actual cultivators of the soil, the most needy, and the land, or appreciation of money, cannot be less at the same time the most meritorious and deservthan 371 per cent.; for the land heretofore sold at ing of relief, will not relinquish their lands, though two dollars an acre will not now command more they may not be able to pay for them within the than the present minimum price, while the latter time prescribed by law-but they will rely upon will purchase the same quantity of as good land your future mercy. The longer time you allow as could heretofore have been purchased at the for the operation of the proposed inducements to
rmer minimum; and it would seem to be un- make prompt payments, the more of them will be asonable, if not unjust, that the Government, made, and the fewer of these cases will remain.
ving the power to do so, should, by its own act, Some, however, will necessarily still exist, and oduce the land which it has heretofore sold, to a therefore such cases ought to be provided for at jfertain value, and yet demand more than that this time, so as to prevent the necessity of our 'value of it.
having to legislate again upon the subject. With this view of the subject, and taking into Mr. President, said Mr. E., were any reasoning consideration the difficulties and embarrassments wanting to prove that no system of coercion ought of the present times, it appears to me to be both to be resorted to in less than two years, it is to be just and expedient to allow a deduction of 37} per found in the late annual Treasury Report; for if, as cent. to all who shall pay up on or before the 31st is therein contended, the condition of the currency December next, without interest, and with interest in several of the States in the Union ; the excluto those who shall pay up at any time between sion from circulation in all the States west and that day and the 30th September, 1822; at which south of the seat of Government, of the notes of latter period, the indulgence for such as may be the Bank of the United States and its branches; unable to avail themselves of those proffered in- and there being no sound pa per in circulation in ducements should commence. By these means, several of those States, prove " that a resort to every cent that could be commanded for that pur- internal taxation, under such circumstances, would pose would be paid into your Treasury, and this be to require of the citizens of those States what awful subject would be finally put to rest. would be impossible for them to perform,” and
Let it not be supposed that the success of the did last year, and do this year, justify a resort to two first measures proposed will be, in the least loans to support the Government in a time of prodegree, affected by the indulgence which is asked found peace. If, I say, these circumstances are for those whose peculiar situation will prevent sufficient to prove the inability of the whole peothem from relinquishing their lands, and who may ple of the United States to pay the amount of the not be able to avail themselves of the proffered loan of the last year, or the amount of the reported inducements to make prompt payments.
balance against the Treasury on the first day of You have, in the personal interest of the debtors the present year, a fortiori, they prove that the for public land, the most efficient guarantee against debtors for public land, being a part only of the any such consequences, unless you can suppose population of a few of the very Siates in which that that energetic spring of human action has those causes of embarrassment have operated, and much less influence upon them than upon all the continue to operate, most powerfully, must be rest of mankind.
utterly unable to pay the estimated sum that is It has been correctly assumed by the honorable proposed to be drawn from them, which is but Secretary of the Treasury, in his annual report, 1 little short of the amount of the loan of the last
year, or the reported deficit in the revenue at the reasonable exertions, and requiring no more of commencement of the present year.
them: for, without this, they will be encouraged Mr. President, said Mr. E., the population of 10 petition you again and again ; while you yourthe United States, I presume, may be safely esti- selves will not, cannot be inflexible, unless you mated at ten millions; if so, the loan of last year should feel the most perfect conviction that you would be at the rate of thirty cents for each one had done all, or rather more than ought to have of our whole population; the amount of the bal- | been expected of you; and if, for the want of due ance against the Treasury at the commencement liberality on the present occasion, it should become of the present year would require still less; but necessary to grant further relief at some future even supposing the loan to be seven millions of session of Congress, God only knows when the dollars, as proposed by the honorable Secretary of business will end. Were I to judge from what I the Treasury, (and I'fatter myself we shall not have witnessed in a similar case, I should cerwant half that amount,) it would only be at the tainly suppose, not until a large inajority of this rate of seventy cents each. And can it be conce-House shall have taken their exit for another ded to be " impossible” for the whole population world. Therefore, as well to discourage and preof the Union, or even that of the Southern and vent future applications for relief, as to fortify Western States in general, to pay at the rate of your own determination to adhere to the measures seventy cents each, and, at the same time, be sup- you are now about to adopt, believe me, sir, it is posed that a part of the population of Ohio, Indi- better to require too little than too much. apa, Illinois, Alabama, Mississippi, and two land When Mr. EDWARDS had concluded, the bill districts in Missouri, with the few purchasers of was laid on the table till to-morrow. public land which the present year may produce, will be able to pay two and a half millions of dollars, which is the sum estimated to be received
FRIDAY, January 12. from them?
The PRESIDENT communicated a report of the There must, indeed, sir, be a fallacy in supposing Secretary of the Navy, made in obedience to a that the whole people of the Union are unable to resolution of the Senate of the first of May last, do so little, or that so considerable a part of our requesting the Secretary of the Navy to cause to whole population will be able to do so much : and be revised the rules, regulations, and instructions, I hope you will not adopt the latter opinion in the for the naval service; and the report was read, and present case, and the former one when we come referred to the Committee on Naval Affairs. to act upon the proposition for a loan, whatever
Mr. Dana presented the memorial of David may be the amount required; for I deem it all- Mallory, of Connecticut, praying a pension in important that we should not mistake in our esti- consideration of Revolutionary services; and the mate of what it is in the power of the debtors of
memorial was read. public land to perform.
On motion by Mr. Dana, The debt of Alabama, divided among her white
Ordered, That it be referred to the Committee population, would not be less than one hundred on Pensions, to consider and report thereon. and twenty dollars each, which, divided into ten
Mr. Oris, from the Committee on the Public annual instalments, woul
Ive dollars per
Buildings, to whom was referred the petition of annum to be paid by each. Deduct one-half the Julia Plantou, made a report, accompanied by the debt, it would reduce the proportion, as before following resolution: stated, to six dollars; but strike off three-fourths of Resolved, That the petitioner have leave to withthe debt, (and, I presume, a greater reduction draw her petition. could not be safely calculated on,) it would still The report and resolution were read. leave to be paid, for ten years in succession, at the Mr. WALKER, of Georgia, from the Committee rate of three dollars per annum for each one of on Naval Affairs, to whom was referred the petiher whole white population. And can it be sup- tion of Samuel Tucker, made a report, accomposed that Alabama, which has no sound paper panied by a bill for the relief of Samuel Tucker, circulation at all, is capable of doing more, and late a captain in the Navy of the United States; yet that it is impossible for the whole population and the report and bill were read. of the Union to pay at the rate of seventy cents Ordered, That the bill pass to a second reading. even for one year only? But I will not pursue The Senate proceeded to consider the motion of the subject further.
yesterday, instructing the Committee on Naval I bad, indeed, sir, intended to have availed my- Affairs io inquire whether there are any obstrucself much more at large of the reasoning and state- tions to the navigation of the river Thames, in the ments contained in the Treasury report; but the State of Connecticut, which were placed there by fatigue which I myself feel, admonishes me not to the American ships during the late war, and what trespass longer upon the patience of the Senate, measures ought to be adopted to remove them if which I fear is already exhausted. Therefore, any there are; and agreed thereto. hoping that every member of this honorable body The bill for the relief of Nathan Ford was read feels the importance of putting this momentous the second time. subject to rest, I will conclude by barely remark- The bill to authorize the President of the Uniing that this truly desirable object can only be ted States to ascertain and designate certain bounaccomplished by duly considering what those debt- daries, was read the second time. ors for public land are capable of performing, with Mr. EDWARDS gave notice that, on Monday
Road— Miami of the Lakes-Bank of the United States. JANUARY, 1821. next, he should ask leave to bring in a bill con- said road within a reasonable time in said bill to be firming certain claims to land in the State of limited : That such person or persons do stipulate to Illinois,
keep said road in good repair for and during a number Mr. Noble submitted the following motion for of years, to be in said bill defined; and, also, that the consideration :
person or persons so contracted with, do also give Resolved, That the Committee on the Public Lands bond, with sufficient sureties, for the faithful performbe instructed to inquire into the expediency of author- defining the time and manner in which the title to
ance of his or their contract; and, also, a provision izing by law a patent to issue to James Nickles, sent: said land may be conveyed. for the southwest quarter of section nine in township No. 11 north, range No. 5 east, which said southwest and resolution above alluded to, are of opinion, that
“ The committee, from an examination of the report quarter has been located by the said James Nickles, the plan contemplated therein is the best,
under existsenr., in the State of Indiana, by virtue of a warrant ing circumstances, that can be devised. The commitfrom the War Department, No. 245.
tee would, therefore, recommend the adoption of the Mr. Johnson, of Kentucky, submitted the fol- following resolution : lowing motion for consideration :
“ Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of Resolved, That the Committee on Pensions be in Ohio, That they do concur in the afore-mentioned structed to inquire into the expediency of increasing report made, and resolution reported to the Congress the pension of Willis Tandy.
of the United States : And that our Senators and RepMr. Eaton submitted the following motion for resentatives in Congress be requested to use their best consideration :
endeavors to procure the passage of the law contemResolved, That the Committee on Finance inquire
“ Resolved further, T'hat the Governor of this State into the expediency of so amending the act of last session “ to provide for the publication of the laws of the be, and he is hereby, requested to send a copy of the United States, and for other purposes," that the pri- foregoing report and resolutions to each of our Sena
tors and Representatives in Congress. vate acts of Congress and Indian treaties shall be pub
- JOSEPH RICHARDSON, lished in some one newspaper in the District of Co
Speaker of the House of Rep's. lumbia.
“ ALLEN TRIMBLE, ROAD-MIAMI OF THE LAKE.
Speaker of the Senate. Mr. TRIMBLE communicated the following reso
“ DECEMBER 26, 1820." lutions of the General Assembly of the State of The resolutions were referred to the Committee Ohio; which were read:
on Roads and Canals. “The committee, to whom was referred so much of
RELIEF TO LAND PURCHASERS. the Governor's message as relates to the roads contemplated by the Treaty of Brownstown, have had the The Senate resumed, as in Committee of the same under consideration, and have collected all the whole, the consideration of the bill for the relief information on that subject within their reach ; and of the purchasers of public lands prior to the first find that, on the 26th of January last, a select com- day of July, 1820; and, on motion by Mr. Eaton, mittee was appointed in the House of Representatives that the bill be recommitted to the Committee on of the Congress of the United States, to inquire whe- Public Lands, with instructions tom ther any, and, if any, what, further provisions were Ist. Make the provisions of the bill applicable to necessary to give effect to the provisions of the Treaty those purchasers of public lands only who have purof Brownstown, in the Territory of Michigan. That chased at public sale since the 30th day of December, to that committee, the resolution on that subject, passed 1816. by the General Assembly of this State, at their last 2d. And with instructions to extend the contemsession, was referred, together with other documents plated relief to none but those who, on or before the on the same subject. That that committee, on the 30th day of October last, had made a settlement on 12th day of May last, made a long and elaborate re
the lands by them so purchased, defining and considport, accompanied by a resolution, which resolutionering the settlement of any quarter section, a settlethe committee have thought proper to transcribe, and ment of all contiguous and adjoining land, not exmake a part of this report, which is as follows, viz :
ceeding two entire sections. “ Resolved, That the Committee on Roads and
3d. And with instructions to extend the contem. Canals be instructed to bring in a bill to authorize the plated relief to no section on which any town may Secretary of the Treasury to contract with any person have been laid off, and the lots sold by any individual or persons to construct a permanent and suitable road, or company of individuals : to extend from the foot of the rapids of the Miami of the Lake, to the western line of the Connecticut West- ation of the bill was postponed 10 Monday next.
On motion by Mr. Otis, the further considerern Reserve, according to the plan contemplated by the Treaty of Brownstown; and, on such route pass- BANK OF THE UNITED STATES. ing through the reserve (so called) at Lower Sandusky, as the President may direct, in consideration of the
The Senate took up the bill reported by the whole of the tracts on each side of the contemplated Committee on Finance, to amend the act to inroad, which were granted by the Treaty of Browns- corporate the subscribers to the Bank of the Unitown, or so much thereof, as, in the opinion of the ted States, (proposing penal enactments against Secretary of the Treasury, may be adequate to the violations of their trust by officers of the bank or object. And in which bill shall also be inserted, its branches; and authorizing the appointment of among other things, a provision or provisions, that the two officers to sign the notes of the bank, instead person or persons so contracted with, do complete the of the president and cashier.)
SENATE. Mr. SANFORD laid before the Senate, in a speech
Mr. Otis moved that these papers be printed of some length, the views which operated on the for the use of the Senate. Committee on Finance in recommending this bill;
Mr. Barbour moved that all the papers subthe reasons in favor of its provisions, and those mitted to the Committee on Finance by ihe bank which induced the committee not to recommend be printed. the other two objects petitioned for by the bank. [This motion was understood, by the debate
Mr. ROBERTS moved to amend the bill by ad- which ensued on it, to refer to a particular pa per ding thereto the following sections:
which had been communicated to the committee Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, That the bills or by the bank, with a request that it might be renotes of the offices of discount and deposite of the said ceived confidentially; which paper is understood bank, excepting those of the office in the District of to contain a statement of frauds committed on the Columbia, originally made payable, or which shall bank, and the names of those persons or officers have become payable on demand, shall be receivable who committed them.] in all payments to the United States, only in the A good deal of discussion took place on this States and Territories in which they are made pay- motion, and many gentlemen entered into it. The able, and in the States and Territories in which no debate turned principally on the propriety of maoffice of discount and deposite shall be established; king public information of this personal character, any thing in the fourteenth section of the act incorpo, which had been confidentially communicated to rating the subscribers to the Bank of the United a committee of the body to whom the subject had States to the contrary notwithstanding : Provided, been referred, simply to show the expediency of That all notes of the denomination of five dollars, issued either by the bank or any of its offices of dis: granting to the bank' the security of penal sanccount and deposite, made payable on demand, shall tions against violations of trust by its officers, and be receivable at the bank or any of its offices ! And the reason which existed for asking of Congress provided, further, That it shall not be lawful for the this additional guard against such treacherous directors of the said bank to establish more than one spoliations, some gentlemen being in favor of maoffice of discount and deposite in any State, without king the information public, as a just punishment the consent of the Legislature thereof first had and of the offenders, and a warning to the world obtained.
against them; and others being opposed to disSec. 4. Be it further enacted, That so much of the closing it, under the circumstances in which it second and fourteenth fundamental article of the con- came to the knowledge of the Senate. In the stitution of said bank, contained in the eleventh sec- course of the debate, it appeared that the document tion of the act incorporating the subscribers thereto, as was not now in possession of the committee, and provides that no director of the said bank or any of its part of the discussion referred to the propriety of Offices of discount and deposite, shall hold his office taking measures to obtain it, the
proper mode of more than three years out of four in succession, be, proceeding with that object, &c. The debate was and the same is hereby, repealed.
terminated by a motion by Mr. Smith to postpone Sec. 5. Be it further enacted, That the directors of the subject to Monday, with the view of then subers of the said bank, together with their places of resi- mitting a resolution on the subject; and the subdence, to be kept in the banking house, at Philadel- ject was postponed—ayes 21; and the Senate phia, open to the inspection of any and every stock - adjourned to Monday. holder of said bank, who may apply for the same within hours of business, for at least ninety days previously to every annual election of directors; and no
Monday, January 15. person who may be entitled to vote at any election for
The PRESIDENT communicated a letter from the directors of said bank, as attorney, proxy, or agent, Secretary of the Treasury, transmitting statements for any other person, copartnership, or body politic, of the payments made according to law during the shall, as such, give a greater number than votes, year 1820, for miscellaneous claims of such deunder any pretence whatsoever; and no letter of mands of a civil nature as are not otherwise proproxy shall be of any force or effect longer than vided for ; of contracts made relative to oil, lightyears, or until it shall have been revoked.
houses, buoys, stakeages, &c.; of contracts and Sec. 6. Be it further enacted, That, whenever the purchases made by the collectors for the revenue said corporation assent to the provisions of this act, service during the year 1819; and of expenditures and certify such assent to the Secretary of the Treas-on account of sick and disabled seamen during the ury Department, by writing, duly authenticated, this year 1819; and the letter and statements were act shall be of full force and effect, and not otherwise. read.
Some debate ensuing on this proposition, as The PRESIDENT also communicated a letter well as on the bill itself
, a motion prevailed to from the Secretary of the Treasury, transmitting postpone the bill to Wednesday, that the amend-) a statement exhibiting the amount received by ment might be printed; and the bill was postponed each clerk in the several offices of the Treasury accordingly.
Department for services rendered during the year Mr. SANFORD, having laid before the Senate 1820; and the letter and statement were read. sundry papers connected with the subject of this Mr. King, of Alabama, presented ten petitions, bill, which had been communicated to the Com- severally signed by a number of the merchants, mittee on Finance by the Bank of the United and citizens, shipmasters, and shipowners, of the States, to enforce the expediency of granting the town of Blakeley, and of the merchants of the inobjects prayed for in their memorial
terior towns in the State of Alabama, praying