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slons into effect; and that the registers and receivers of NEW-JER-EY-Adrain, Riggs, Stratton-3. the several land offices shall be entitled to receive the PENNSYLVANIA --Babbitt, Canıphell Covode, Florence, same compensation for any liniis entered under the pro- Grow, Itile', Hall, llickman, Junkin. Killenger, Mcvisions of this act that they are now entitled to receive Kuight, McPher-on, Millward, E. Joy Morris, Schwarts when the same quantity of land is entered with money, Scranton, Verree-17. one-half to be paid by the pe son making the application 0910 - A-bole, Bingham, Blake, Carey, Corwin, Cox, at the time of so doing, and the other half on the issue of Edgeston. Gurley, He mick, Howard. Hutchins, Charles the certificate, by the person to whom it may be issued : D. Murtin. Pendleton, Sherman, Sianton, Tompkins, Provided, That nothing contained in this aci shall be so Trimble, Vallandigham-18. construed as to impair or interfere in any manner what- MichiGN

-- Cooper, Francis W. Kellogg, De Witt C. ever with existing preëmption rights : And provided, Leach, Waldron-4. further, That all persons who may have filed their ap- INDIANA –Case, Colfax, John G. Davis, Dvon, plications for a preemption right prior to the passage English, Polman, Kilgore Niblack, Porter, Wilson-10. of this act shall be entitled to all p.ivileges of this act. ILLINOIS. -- Fouke, Wm. Kellogg, Logan, Lovejoy, McSubsequently, a motion was made by Mr. Love- Clernand, James C. Robinson, E. B. Washburne—7

WISCONSIN -Larrahee, Potter, C. C. Washburo-3. joy, to reconsider the role by which the bill

Iowa.--Curtis, Vandever-2. had been referred to the Committee of the MINNESOTA.-Aldrich, Windom-2. Whole. On Monday, March 12, Mr. Lovejoy

CALIFORNIA.-Burch, Scott-2.

OREGON.-Stout--1. called up this motion, and under the operation MISSOURI.---Jumes Craig-1. Total, 115. of the previous question, it was agreed to, 100

All from the Free States except James Craig, of to 67, as follows:

YEAS.-Messrs. Adrain, Aldrich, Ashley, Babbitt,

Bingham, Blake, Buffinton, Burlingame. Campbell, Carey,
Carter, Case, John Cochrine, Colfax, Conkling, Cooper,

PENNSYLVAVIA.- Montgomery-1.
Corwin, Covode, Cox, James Craig, Curtis, John G,

DELAWARE.— Whiteley-1. Davis, Dawes, Delano, Dueil, bunn, Edgerton, Elliot,

MARYLA.D.-H. Winter Davis, J. M. HARRIS, Hughes, Fenton, Ferry, Florence, Poster, Fouke, Frank, French, WEBSTER--4. Gooch, Graham, Grow, Gurley, Hale, Hall, Ha skin,

VIRGINIA.— Bocock, De Jarnette, Edmundson, Gar. Helmick, Hoard, Holmun, Howard, Hutchins, Junkip, nett, Jenkins, Leake, Elbert S. Martin, Wilson, Francis W. Kellogg, William Keligy, Kilgore, Killinger, Pryor, William Smith10. Larrabee, De Wit C. Leach, Lee, Logan, Loomis, Love- North CAKOLINA.-Branch, GILMER, Ruffin, WILLIAN joy, Maclay, Marston, Charles D. Martin, McC'lernand, N. H. Smith, VANCE-5. McKean, McKnight, Millward, Moorhead, Morrill,

South Carolina.- Bonham, Keith, McQueen, Miles_2. Edward Joy Morris, Morse, Olin, Pendleton, Perry, Por

GEORGIA.-Gurtreil, HARDEMAN, Hill, Jackson, Jones, ter, Potter, Pottle, Rice, Riggs, Christopher Robinson, Love, L'nderwood-7. James C. Robinson, Royce, Schwartz, scott, Scran

ALABAMA.--Clopton, Cobb, Curry, Ilouston, Suyden. ton, Sedgwick, Sherman, come-, Spinner, Stanton, Stout, ham Moore, Puah-6. Stratten, Tappan, Thayer, Tompkins, Train, Trimble, Mississippl-- Barksdale, Reuben Davis, Lamar, MeVallandigham, Vandever, Verree, Waldron, Walton, Cad- Rea, Singleton5. walader C. Washburn, Elihu B Washburne, Israel Wash- LOUISIANA.-Landrum-1. burn, Wells, Windom, and Woodruff –106

ARKANSAS.--Ilindman-1. NAYS — Vessrs. GREEN ADAMS Thomas L. Anderson,

TAXAS.--Ilumilton, Reagan-2. WILLIAM C. ANDERSON. Avery, Barksdale, Bocock, Bon

MISSOURI. - Thomas L. Anderson, Noell, Woodson-E ham, BRABSON, Branch, Bhistow. Burch, Burnett, Clop- TENNESSEE. - Avery, ETHERIDGE, HATTON, MAYNARD, ton, Çobb, Curry, Reuben Davis, De Jarnette, Ed- NELSON, Srokes, Wright7. mundson, English, Eru RIDGE Garnett, Gartrell, Gil

KENTUCKY.IRKEN, ADAMS, WILLIAM C. ANDERSON, MER, Hardeman, J. MORRISON, HARRIS, Hatton, Hill, BRISTOW,,Burnett, Mallory, Peyton, Simms, Steven Ilindman, Houston, Hughes, Jackson, Jenkins, Jones, son-8. Total, 65. Keitt, Lamar, Landrum, Leake, Love, MALLORY, Elbert All from Slave States except Montgomery, 8. Martin, MAYNARD, McQueen, McRae, Miles, Millson, Dem., of Pennsylvania. Montgomery, Nelson, Niblock, Noell, Peyton, Pryor, Pugh, Reagan, Ruffin, Sickles, Simms, Singleton, This bill was sent to the Senate, where it was William Smith, William 'N. H SMITH, Stevenson, Stokks, referred to the Committee on Public Lands, Underwood, Vance, WEBSTER, Whiteley, Woodson, and Wright67.

and on the 17th of April, Mr. Johnson, of TenRepublicans in Roman; Democrats in Italics ; Ameri- nessee, the Chairman of that Committee, recans in small Caps ; Auti-Lecompton Democrats in ported a substitute for the House bill, granting Roman spa ced.

So the motion was reconsidered, and the bill Homesteads to actual settlers, at 25 cents per was before the House. Mr. Lovejoy moved that acre, but not including preemptors then occu

When this bill came the bill be engrossed and read a third time. Mr. pying the Public Lands. Branch (N. C.) moved to lay the bill on the before the Senate for action, Mr. Wade, of table. Lost

, 62 to 112, the yeas being all from Ohio, moved to amend, by substituting the Pennsylvania, and the nays all from the North, Clark, Collamer, Dixon, Doolittle, Douglas, Durkee, the South, except Mr. Montgoinery, Democrat, of House bill, which was lost, 26 to 31, as follows:

YRAS—Messi's. Anthony, Bingham, Cameron, Chandler, except Mr. James Craig, Democrat, of Missouri. Foot,' Foster, Grimes, Hale, Hamlin, King, Rice, se

So the House refused to lay the bill on the ward, Simmons, Sumner, Ten Eyck, Toombs, Trumbull, table; and it was read a third time and passed. Wade, Wilkinson, and Wilson--26. The vote was as follows - The Republicans in Chesnut, Clay, Clingman, Davis Fitch, Fitzpatrick,

NAYS--Messrs. Bayard, Bigler, Bragg, Bright, Brown, Roman, the Administration Democrats in Italics, Green, Gwin, Hammond, Hemphill, Hunter, Iverson, the Americans in smalL CAPS, and the Anti- Johnson, of Arkansas, Johnson. of Tennessee, Lane, Lecompton Democrats in Roman s paced:

Latham, Mason, Nicholson, Polk, Powell, Pugh, Saulsbury, Sebastian, Slidell, Wigfall, and Yulee-31.

Yeas, all Republicans except three, Douglas, MAIng.–Foster, French, Morse, Perry, Somes, Israel Rice, and Toombs. Nays, all Democrats. Washburn-6 NEW HAMPSHIRE.-Marston, Tappan-2.

The Senate finally, on the 10th May, passed VERMONT.-Morrill, Royce. Walion-3.

Mr. Johnson's bill, 44 to 8, the Nays being MASSACHUSETTS.—Buffinton, Dawes, Delano, Elliot, Messrs. Bragg, Clingman, Hamlin, Hunter, Gooch, Rice, Thayer, Træin-8.

CONNECTICUT ---Burnhain, Ferry, Loomis, Woodruk-4. Mason, Pearce, Powell and Toombs. The House RHODE-ISLAND.-Christopher Robinson-1.

refused to concur; the Senate refused to recede, New-YORK.-Barr, Briggs, Carter, John Cochrane, and the result was a protracted conference on Conkling, Dueli, Fenton, Frank, Graham, Haskin, Hoard, Humphrey, Lee, Maclay, McKean,'olin Pottle; the part of Committees of the two Houses. Sickles, Splaner, Van Wyck, Wells-21.

wbich committees finally came to an agreement.


on the 19th June, by the House accepting the pose all public lands to sale within two years after they enate bill with slight amendments. On that

shall have been surveyed, which we held would be

peculiarly oppressive upon the pioneers who had gone day Mr. Schuyler Colfax reported to the House to the frontier to settle upon the public lands, and to is follows:

which we could never have consen ed, Now, Mr.

Speaker, I desire to state, in conclusion, that the comMr. Colfax.-I rise to a question of privilege. I am in- promise we have made upon the subject is not in accordstructed by the Committee of Conference on the disagree- ance with what I should desire to have passed, if I had ing votes of the two Houses on the Homestead bill, to

the power to frame the bill myself ; but it is the very utreport that, after twelve meetings of the three different

most we could obtain from the Senate, as now constiConferences that have been appointed, they this morn- tuted. The Senators who served with us on the Confeing finally agreed. I hold in my hand the report of the 'rence have been notified by me, and also by my colleague Committee, which can be read if any gentleman desires (Mr. Windom, of Minnesota,) that we regard this as but it. But perhaps it would render the report clearer and

a single step in advance toward a law which we shall demore intelligible if I should briefly state its leading fea- mand from the American Congress, enacting a compretures. The Senate bill all the members of the House are hensive and liberal Homestead policy. This we have familiar with. The Conferees upon the part of the House agreed to as merely an avant courrier. We shall definding, after the most earnest efforts, that it would be mand it at the next session of Congress, and until it is utterly impossible for thein to induce the Senate to agree granted; until all the public lands shall be open to all to the House bill, have been discussing what changes the people of the United States; and I state this publicly, could be made in the Senate bill, so as to render it accep that no one shall regard us as estopped hereafter, betable enough for the House to accept, rather than the

cause we accepted this half-way measure rather than to whole should fail. They have finally agreed upon a report allow the whole to fail. I should have added that all as follows: In the first place, I will say that the bill, as it persons, whether citizens or those who have only declared passed the Senate, provided that the preëmptors now their intentions, are allowed to go on the lands under upon the public lands might remain there two years be this bill; but are required to perfect their naturalization fore they should be required to purchase their lands, but before the five years expire, and the patent issues. I now should then pay for them at the rate of $1 25 per acre, demand the previous question on concurring on the rethus removing them entirely from within the purview of port of the Committee, and passing the bill as thus the benefits which would apply to the settlers hereafter amended. upon the public lands. This point the House Conferees Mr. Farnsworth.-I desire to ask the gentleman from refused to accede to, and if persisted in, we should have Indiana whether this bill confines its benefits to those again reported a disagreement. Finally, however, a who are heads of families. compromise was arranged on this point, and to protect Mr. Colfax.--It does, because we failed, despite our the preemptors now on the Government land, which was utmost efforts, in procuring its extension to all; but we to be advertised this fall for sale, we changed the Senate shall appeal to the young men to demand of those who bill so as to protect them for at least two years from land make and who execute the laws, that the system insales, and to allow them then to secure their homes at augurated by this bill, shall be widened so as to admit one half the Government price, namely sixty-two and them to its benefits, and I will join them in this demand. a-half cents per acre. I need scarcely add, that, if the Mr. Grow.-I just desire to say that we have taken this Senate could have been induced to give them the benefit bill, not because it is what we want, but on the principle of their twenty-five-cent-per-acre provision, we should that “half a loaf is better than no bread." have insisted on it inflexibly; but what I have stated is the very lowest point that could be obtained. The second The House agreed to the Report of the Comchange we have made in the Senate bill is in relation to mittee, 116 to 51, as follows: the scope of land coming under the operations of the law. The House bill embraced all the Government land, YEAS.-Messrs. C. F. Adams, Allen, Alley, Aldrich, Ashoffered or unoffered, except such as was specially ru- ley, Babbitt, Barr, Beale, Bingham, Francis P. Blair, served. The Senate bill confined its previsions to land Samuel S. Blair, Blake, Brayton, Briggs, Buflinton, Burch, subject to private entry, exclusively. As I have explain Burlingame, Burnham, Butterfield, Cainpbell, Carey, Cared on a former occasion, the expression “subject to pri- ter, Case, H. F. Clark, Cobb, Colfax, Corwin, Covode, Cox, vate entry” means such as are left after the lands have Curtis, John G. Davis, Dawes, Delano, Duell, Dunn, Edgerbeen once regularly brought into market, exposed to ton, Edwards, Elliot, Ely, Ferry, Florence, Foster, Frank, public sale, and the speculators have taken such as they French; Gooch, Graham, Grow, Gurley, Hale, Hall, lassee fit to purchase. The difference between these two kin, Helmick, Isoard, Wm. Howard, Humphrey, Hutchins, bills seemed so radical as to be incapable of adjustment; Junkin, F. W. Kellogg, Wm. Kellogg, Kenyon, Killinger, and the scope of farming land covered by the Senate bill De Witt C. Leach, Lee, Longnecker, Loomis, Maclay, was so limited, there being but little, if any, in Minnesota, Marston, McKean, McKnight, . McPherson, Millward, Kansas, Nebraska, California, Oregon, and Washington, Moorhead, Morrill, E. Joy Morris, 1. N. Morris, Morse, that the House conferees declined to accept it. But on Niblack, Nixon, Olin, Palmer, Pendleton, Perry, Pettit, this, too, we finally effected a compromise. By our re- Phelps, Porter, Potter, Rice, Riggs, Christopher Robinson, port, all' the land subject to private entry is included, Royce, Sedgwick, Sherman, Somes, Spaulding, Spinner, and, in addition, all the odd-numbered sections of the Stanton, William Stewart, Stout, Tappan, Taylor, Thayer, surveyed public lands, which have not been opened to Theaker, Tompkins, Train, Trimble, Vandever, Van Wyck, public sale--a most material and beneficent enlargement Verree, Wade, Walton, C. C. Washburn, E. B. Washburne, of the Senate bill. We were offered, after this agreement, Israel Washburn, Wells, Windom, and Woodruff–116. whichever half of the unoffered lands we chose, and we took the odd-numbered sections. The reason for this Nays-Messrs. Green Adams, William C. Anderson, was, that the 16th section of a township, being reserved Ashmore, Avery, Barksdale, Bocock, Bonham, Boyce, for school purposes by our land laws, the four adjoining Brabson, Branch, Burnett, Clopton, Burton Craige, Crawsections to it, on the north, west, east, and south, are sec- ford, Curry, De Jarnette, Gilmer, Hardeman, J. Morritions 9, 15, 17, and 21, all odd-numbered sections, which son Harris, John T. Harris, Hatton, Houston, Jenkins, are thus saved for homestead settlers, who have reserved Jones, Keitt, Landrum, James M. Leach, Leake, Love, for them 18 out of the 35 disposable sections in each town- Mallory, Maynard, McQueen, Miles, Millson, Sydenham ship of six miles square.

Moore, Nelson, Peyton, Quarles, Reagan, Ruffin, Wil. on all these lauds, actual settlers, who are heads of liam Smith, William N. H. Smith, Stevenson, Stokes, families, are allowed, after having occupied the land for Thomas, Underwood, Vance, Webster, Winslow, Woodüve years, to purchase at 25 cents per acre, which is son, and Wright-51. about the average cost price of the public lands to the

The nays are all from the Slave States. Government. We struggled, of course, to include all young men over 21 who are not heads of families, and to

The Senate agreed to the report of the Conadopt the Free Homestead principle of the House bill; ference Committee, 36 to 2-Messrs. Bragg and but on these points the Senate was inflexible, and we Pearce. took what we did because it was the very best we could get. The Senate bill originally provided that the Home

The following is the bill as it was finally stead settler might acquire title to his land at any time reported by the Conference Committee and by paying full Government prices; but desiring to pro: passed both Houses : mote actual settlement, we now provide that he cannot do this till after he has been on the land six months. | AN ACT to secure Homesteads to actual settlers on When he stays, or his family if he deceases, the full five the Public Domain, and for other purpo888. years he obtains it at 25 cents per acre. The Senate Bo it enacted by the Senate and House of Represen have also agreed to strike out the eighth section of their tives of the United States of America in Congresi vill, which made at imperative upon the Firsident to ex: l assembled, That any person who is the head of a family, and a citizen of the United States, shall, from and after shall be permitted to enter more than one quarter-sec. the passage of this act, be entitled to enter one quarter- tion or fractional quarter-section, and that in a compact section of vacant and unappropriated public lands, ur body; but entries may be made at different times, under any less quantity, to be located in a body, in conformity the provisions of this act; and that the Secretary of the with the legal subdivisions of the public lands, after the Interior is hereby required to prepare and issue, from same shall have been surveyed, upon the following con- i time to time, such rules and regulations, consistent with ditions : that the person applying for the benefit of this this act, as shall be necessary and proper to carry its act shall, upon application to the register of the land-office provisions into effect; and that the registers and rein which he or she is about to make such entry, make ceivers of the several land offices shall be entitled to atlida vit before the said register or receiver of said land receive, upon the filing of the first affidavit, the sum of office that he or she is the lead of a family, and is actually 50 cents each and a like sum upon the issuing of the settled on the quarter-section, or other subdivision not final certificate, But this shall not be construed to enexceeding a quarter-section, proposed to be entered, and large the maximum of compensation now prescribed by that such application is made for his or her use and law for any register or receiver : Provided, That nobenefit, or for the use and benefit of those specially thing in this act shall be so construed as to impair the mentioned in this section, and not either directly or existing preëmption, donation, or graduation laws, or to indirectly for the use or benefi, of any other person or embrace lands which have been reserved to be sold or persons whomsoever, and that he or she has never at any entered at the price of $2 50 per acre; but no entry, previous time, had the benefit of this act; and upon under suid graduation act, shall be allowed until making the affidavit as above riquired, and tiling the after proof of actual settlement and cultivation or ocsame with the register, he or she shall thereupon be per- cupancy for at least three months, as provided for in mitted to enter the quantity of land already specified : Sec. 3 of the said act. Provided, however, That no final certificate shall be $ 7. And be it further enacted, That each actual setgiven, or patent issued therefor, until the expiration of tler upon lands of the United States, which have not been five years from the date of such entry; and if, at the ex- offered at public sale, upon filing his declaration or claim, piration of such time, the person making such entry, or, as now required by law, shall be entitled to two years if he be dead, his widow, or, in case of her death, his from the commencement of his occupation or settlement; child or children, or in case of a widow making such or, if the lands have not been surveyed, two years from eatry, her child or children, in case of her death, shall the receipt of the approved plat of such lands at the Dis: prove, by two credible witnesses, that he, she, or they-trict Land Office, within which to complete the proofs of ihat is to say, some member or members of the same his said claim, and to enter and pay for the land so family-has or have erected a dwelling-house upon said claimed, at minimum price of such lands; and where such land, and continued to reside upon and cultivate the settlements have already been made in good faith, the same for the terın of five years, and still reside upon the claimant shall be entitled to the said period of two years same (and that neither the said land or any part thereof from and after the date of this act; Provided, That no has been alienated); then, in such case, he, she, or they, claim of preëmption shall be allowed for more than 160 upon the payment of 25 cents per acre for the quantity acres, or one-quarter section of land, nor shall any such entered, shall be entitled to a patent, as in other cases claim be admitted under the provisions of this act, unless provided by law: And provided further, In case of the there shall have been at least three months of actual and death of both father and mother, leaving a minor child or continuous residence upon and cultivation of the land so children, the right and the fee shall inure to the benefit claimed from the date of settlement, and proof thereof of said minor child or children, and the guardian shall be made according to law; Provided further, That any authorized to perfect the entry for the beneficiaries, as if claimant under the preemption laws may take less than there had been a continued residence of the settler for 160 acres by legal subdivisions; Provided further, That five years. Provided, That nothing in this section shall all persons who are preëmptors, on the date of this act, be so construed as to embrace or in any way include any shall, upon the payment to the proper authority of 627 quarter-section or fractional quarter-section of land upon cents per acre, if paid within two years from the purw:11ch any preëmption right has been acquired prior to the sage of this act, be entitled to a patent from the GovernPassage of this act.

And provided further, That all en. ment, as now provided by the existing preëmption laws. Tries made under the provisions of this section, upon lands $ 8. And be it further enacted, That the 5th section which have not been offered for public sale, shall be con- of the act entitled "An act in addition to an act more fined to and upon sections designated by odd numbers. effectually to provide for the punishment of certain crimes

$ 2. And be it further enacted, That the register of the against the United States, and for other purposes,” apLaud Office shall note all such applications on the tract proved the 3d of March, in the year 1857, shall extend to books and plats of his office, and keep a register of all all oaths, affirmations, and affidavits required or authorsuch entries, and make return thereof to the General ized by this act. Land Office, together with the proof upon which they $ 9. And be it further enacted, That nothing in this have been founded.

act shall be so construed as to prevent any person who $ 3. And be it further enacted, That no land acquired has availed him or herself of the benefit of the first section under the provisions of this act shall in any event, be of this act from paying the minimum .price, or the price come liable to the satisfaction of any debt or debts until to which the same may have graduated, for the quantity after the issuing of the patent therefor.

of land so entered at any time after an actual settlement § 4. And be it firther enacted, That if, at any time of six months, and before the expiration of the five years, after filing the allidavit, as required in the first section and obtaining a patent therefor from the Government, as of this act, and before the expiration of the five years in other cases provided by law. a foresaid, it shall be proved, after due notice to the set- § 10. And be it further enacted, That all lands lying ler, to the satisfaction of the register of the Land Office, within the limits of a State which have been subject to that the person having filed such affidavit shall have sale at private entry, and which remain unsold after the sworn falseiy in any particular, or shall have voluntarily lapse of thirty years, shall be, and the same are hereby, abandoned the possession and cultivation of the said ceded to the state in which the same may be situated; land for more than six months at any time, or sold his Provided, These cessions shall in no way invalidate any right under the entry, then, and in either of those inceptive preëmption right or location, or any entry under events, the register shall cancel the entry, and the land so this act, nor any sale or sales which may be made by the entered shall revert to the Government, and be disposed United States before the lands hereby ceded shall be cerof as other publ.c lanus are now by law, subject to an tified to the State, as they are hereby required to be, under appeal to the Secre ary of the Interior. And in no case such regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary shall any land, the entry whereof shall have been can of the Interior. And provided further, That no cessions celled, again be subject to occupation, or entry, or pur- shall take effect until after the States, by legislative act, chase, until the same shall have been reported to the shall have assented to the same. General Land Ofice, and, by the direction of the President of the United States, again advertised and offered

On the 23d, the President returned the bill to at public sale.

$ 5. And be it further enacted, That if any person, the Senate with his veto, as follows: now or hereafter, a resident of any one of the States or Territories, and not a citizen of the United States, but

THE HOMESTEAD BILL. who at the time of making such application for the benefit of this act, shall huve filed a declaration of inten

VETO MESSAGC OF THE PRESIDENT. tion, as required by the naturalization laws of the United States, and shall have become a citizen of the To the Senate of the United States. saine before the issuing of the patent as provided for in I return, with my objections, to the Senate, in which this act, such person shall be entitled to all the rights it originated, the bill entitled. An act to secure Homeconferred by this act.

steads to actual settlers on the public domain and for $ 6. And be it further enacted, That no individual other purposes," presented to me on the 20th instant.

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This bill gives to every citizen of the United States, carefully limited, but without any limitation in respect “who is the head of a family," and to every person of to the public lands. foreign birth residing in the country, who has declared But I cannot so read the words “disposed of” as to his intention to become a citizen, though he may not be make them embrace the idea of “giving away. The the head of a family, the privilege of appropriating to true meaning of words is always to be ascertained by the himself one hundred and sixty acres of Government subject to which they are applied, and the known general Jand, of settling and residing upon it for five years; and intent of the lawgiver. Congress is trustee under the should his residence continue until the end of this period, Constitution for the people of the United States to “dis. he shall then receive a patent on the payment of twenty- pose of” their public lands, and I think I may venture to fve cents per acre, or one-fifth of the present Govern- assert with confidence that no case can be found in which ment price. During this period, the land is protected a trustee in the position of Congress has been authorized from all the debts of the settler,

to “dispose of property by its owner, where it has ever This bill also contains a cession to the States of all the been held that these words authorized such trustee to give public lands within their respective limits which have away the fund intrusted to his care. No trustee, when been subject to sale at private entry, and which remain called upon to account for the disposition of the property unsold after the lapse of thirty years.” This provision placed under his management before any judicial tribuembraces a present donation to the States of twelve mil-nal, would venture to present such a plea in his defense. lions two hundred and twenty-nine thousand seven hun. The true meaning of these words is clearly stated by dred and thirty-one acres, and will, from time to time, Chief Justice Taney in delivering the opinion of the Court transfer to them large bodies of such lands which, from (19 Howard, p. 436). He says, in reference to this clause peculiar circumstances, may not be absorbed by private of the Constitution, “It begins its enumeration of powers purchase and settlement.

by that of disposing; in other words, making sale of the To the actual settler, this bill does not make an abso- lands, or raising money from them, which, as we have allute donation; but the price is so small that it can ready said, was the main object of the cession (from the scarcely be called a sale. It is nominally twenty-five States), and which is the first thing provided for in the cents per acre; but considering this is not to be paid un- article." It is unnecessary to refer to the history of the til the end of five years, it is, in fact, reduced to about times to establish the known fact that this statement of eighteen cents per acre, or one-seventh of the present the Chief Justice is perfectly well founded. That it never minimum price of the public lands. In regard to the was intended by the framers of the Constitution that these States, it is an absolute and unqualified gift.

lands should be given away by Congress is manifest from I. This state of the facts raises the question whether the concluding portion of the same clause. By it, Con. Congress, under the Constitution, has the power to give gress has power not only “to dispose of” the territory, away the public lands, either to States or individuals. but of the "other property of the United States.". In the On this question, I expressed a decided opinion in my language of the Chief Justice (p. 437), “ And the same message to the House of Representatives, of the 24th power of making needful rules respecting the territory is February, 1859, returning the agricultural college bill. in precisely the same language applied to the other proThis opinion remains unchanged. The argument then perty of the United States, associating the power over the used applies, as a constitutional objection, with the territory, in this respect, with the power over movable or greater force to the present bill. There it had the plea personal property—that is, the ships, arms, or munitions of consideration, growing out of a specific beneficial pur- of war, which then belonged in common to the State sovepose; here, it is an absolute gratuity to the State without reignties." the pretext of consideration. I am compelled, for want The question is still clearer in regard to the public lande of time, in these last hours of the session, to quote in the States and Territories within the Louisiana and largely from this message

Florida purchases. These lands were paid for out of the I presume the general proposition will be admitted, public Treasury from money raised by taxation. Now, if that Congress does not possess the power to make do-Congress had no power to appropriate the money with nations of money, already in the Treasury, raised by which these lands were purchased, is it not clear that the taxes on the people, either to States or individuals. power over the lands is equally limited ? The mere con

But it is contended that the public lands are placed version of this money into land could not confer upon upon a different footing from money raised by taxation, Congress new power over the disposition of land which and that the proceeds arising from their si le are not they had not possessed over money. If it could, then a subject to the limitations of the Constitution, but may trustee, by changing the character of the fund intrusted be appropriated or given away by Congress, at its own to his care for special objects from money into land, might discretion, to States, corporations, or individuals, for give the land away, or devote it to any purpose he thought any purpose they may deem expedient.

proper, however foreign from the trust. The inference is The advocates of this bill attempt to sustain their po- irresistible that this land partakes of the very same chasition upon the language of the second clause of ihe racter with the money paid for it, and can be devoted to third section of the fourth article of the Constitution, no objects different from those to which the money could which declares that “the Corgress shall have power to have been devoted. If this were not the case, then, by dispose of, and make all needful rules and regulations the purchase of a new Territory from a foreign governcespecting the territory or other property belonging to ment out of the public Treasury, Congress could enlarge the United States." They contend that, by a fair inter- their own powers, and appropriate the proceeds of the pretation of the words“ dispose ofin this clause, sales of the land thus purchased, at their own discretion, Congress possesses the power to make this gift of pub- to other and far different objects from what they could lic lands to the States for purposes of education.

have applied the purchase money which had been raised It would require clear and strong evidence to induce by taxation. the belief that the framers of the Constitution, after II. It will prove unequal and unjust in its operation having limited the powers of Congress to certain, pre- among the actual settlers themselves. cise, and specific objects, intended, by employing the The first settlers of a new country are a most merito words“ dispose of,” to give that body unlimited power rious class. They brave the dangers of savage warfare, over the vast public domain. It would be a strange suffer the privations of a frontier life, and, with the hand anomaly indeed, to have created two funds, the one by of toil, bring the wilderness into cultivation. The "old taxation, confined to the execution of the enumerated settlers,”' as they are everywhere called, are public benepowers delegated to Congress, and the other from factors. This class have all paid for their lands, the the public lands, applicable to all subjects, foreign and government price, or $1 25 per acre. They have condomestic, which Congress might designate. That this structed roads, established schools, and laid the foundafund should be “disposed of,” not to pay the debts of tion of prosperous Commonwealths. Is it just, is it the United States, nor "to raise and support armies,” equal, that, after they have accomplished all this by their nor “to provide and maintain a navy, nor to accom- labor, new settlers should come in among them and replish any one of the other great objects enumerated in ceive their farms at the price of twenty-five or eighteen the Constitution, but be diverted from them to pay the cents per acre ? Surely the old settlers, as a class, are debts of the States, to educate their people, and to entitled to at least equal benefits with the new. carry into effect any other measure of their domestic give the new settlers their lands for a comparatively policy-this would be to confer upon Congress a vast nominal price, upon every principle of equality and aud irresponsible authority, utterly at war with the justice, you will he obliger to refund out of the common well-known jealousy of the Federal power which pre- Treasury the difference which the old have paid above vailed at the formation of the Constitution. The na- the new settlers for their land. tural intendment would be that, as the Constitution III. This bill will do great injustice to the old soldiers confined Congress to well-defined specific powers, the who have received land warranis for their services in funds placed at their command, whether in land or éghting the battles of their country. It will greatly money, should be appropriated to the performance of reduce the market value of these warrants. Already the duties corresponding with these powers. If not, a their value has sunk, for one hundred and sixty acre Government has been created, with all its other powers / warrants, to sixty-seven cents per a re, under an appre

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If you bension that such a measure as this might become a law. | tinction was an inadvertence; but, it is, nevertheless, a What price would they command, when any head of a part of the bill. family may take possession of a quarter section of land, VIII. The bill creates an unjust distinction between and uot pay for it until the end of five years, and then persons claiming the benefit of the preëmption laws. at the rate of only iwenty-five cents per acre? The While it reduces the price of the land to existing preëmp. magnitude of the interest to be affected will appear in the tors to 624 cents per acre, and gives them a credit on this fact that there are outstanding unsatisfied land warrants sum for two years from the present date, no matter how reaching back to the last war with great Britain, and long they may have hitherto enjoyed the land, futuro eveu Revolutionary times, amounting in round numbers, preëmptors will be compelled to pay double this price to seven and a half millions acres.

per acie. There is no reason or justice in this discrimiIV. This bill will prove unequal and unjust in its opera- nation. tion, because, from its nature, it is confined to one class IX. The effect of this bill on the public revenue must of our people. It is a boon expressly conferred upon the be apparent to all. Should it become a law, the reduccultivators of the soil. While it is cheerfully admitted tion of the price of lands to actual settlers to 25 cents that these are the most numerous and useful class of our per acre with a credit of five years, and the reduction of fellow.citizens, and eminently deserve all the advantages its price to existing preëmptors to 624 cents per acre, which our laws have already extended to them, yet there with a credit of two years will so diminish the sale of should be no new legislation which would operate to the other public lands as to render the expectation of future injury or embarras:ment of the large body of respectable revenue from that source beyond the expenses of survey artisans and laborers. The mechanic who emigrates to and management illusory. The Secretary of the Interior the West, and pursues his calling, must labor long before estimated the revenue from the public lands for the next he can purchase a quarter-section of land; while the fiscal year at $4,000,000 on the presumption that the tiller of the soil who accompanies him obtains a farm at present land system would remain unchanged. Should once by the bounty of the Government. The numerous this bill become a law, he does not believe that $1,000, 00 body of niechanics in our large cities cannot, even by will be derived from this source. emigrating to the West, take advantage of the provisions This bill lays the ax at the root of our present admirable of this bill without entering upon a new occupation, for land system. The public land is an inheritance of vasi. which their habits of life have rendered them unfit.

value to us and to our descendants. It is a resource to V. This bill is unjust to the old States of the Union in which we can resort in the hour of difficulty and danger. many respects; and among these States, so far as the It has been managed heretofore with the greatest wisdom, public lands are concerned, we may enumerate every under existing laws. In this management, the rights of State east of the Mississippi, with the exception of Wis- actual settlers have been conciliated with the interests consin and a portion of Minnesota.

of the Government. The price to all has been reduced It is a common belief, within their limits, that the older from $2 per acre to $1 25 for fresh lands, and the claims States of the Confederacy do not derive their propor- of actual settlers have been secured by our preëmption tionate benefit from the public lands. This is not a just laws. Any man can now acquire a title in fee-simple to opinion. It is doubtful whether they could be rendered a homestead of 80 acres, at the minimum price of $1 2 more beneficial to these States under any other system per acre for $100. Should the present system remain, than that which at present exists. Their proceeds go into we shall derive a revenue from the public lands of the common Treasury to accomplish the objects of the $10,000,000 per annum, when the bounty land warrants Government, and in this manner all the States are bene- are satisfied, without oppression to any human being. fited in just proportion. But to give this common inherit- In the time of war, when all other sources of revenue are ance away would deprive the old States of their just seriously impaired, this will remain intact. It may beproportion of this revenue, without holding out any, the come the best security for public loans hereafter, in least, corresponding advantage. While it is our common times of difficulty and danger, as it has been heretofore. glory that the new states have become so prosperous and Why should we impair or destroy this system at the prepopulous, there is no good reason why the old States sent moment ? What necessity exists for it? should offer premiums to their own citizens to emigrate The people of the United States have advanced with from them to the West. That land of promise presents in steady but rapid strides to their present condition of itself sufficient allurements to our young and enterprising power and prosperity. They have been guided in thefr citizens, without any adventitious aid. The offer of free progress by the fixed principle of protecting the equal farms would probably have a powerful effect in encourag- rights of all, whether they be rich or poor. No agrarian ing emigration, especially from States like Illinois, Ten- sentiment has ever prevailed among them. The honest nessee, and Kentucky, to the west of the Mississippi, and poor man, by frugality and industry can, in any part of could not fail to reduce the price of property within their our country, acquire a competence for himself and his limits. An individual in States thus situated would not family, and in doing this he feels that he eats the bread pay its fair value for land when, by crossing the Mississip- of independence. He desires no charity, either from the pi, he could go upon the public lands, and obtain a farm government or from his neighbors. This bill, which proposes almost without money and without price.

to give him land at an almost nominal price, out of the VI. This bill will open one vast field for speculation property of the government, will go far to demoralize Men will not pay $1 25 for lands, when they can pur- the people, and repress this noble spirit of independence. chase them for one-fifth of that price. Large numbers of It may introduce among us those pernicious social actual settlers will be carried out by capitalists upon theories which have proved so disastrous in other coun. agreements to give them half of the land for the improve tries.

JAMES BUCHANAN. ment of the other half. This cannot be avoided. Secret

WASHINGTON, June 22, 1860. agreements of this kind will be numerous.

In the entry of graduated lands, the experience of the Land Office

In the Senate the question, Shall this bill justifies this objection.

pass notwithstanding the objections of the PreVII. We ought ever to maintain the most perfect sident? was put and lost, as follows : equality between native and naturalized citizens. They are equal, and ought always to remain equal, before the

YEAS-Messrs. Anthony, Brown, Chandler, Clark, laws. Our laws welcome foreigners to our shores, and Doolittle, Durkee, Fessenden, Fitch, Foot, Foster, Grin, their rights will ever be respected. While these are the Hale, Hamlin, Harlan, King, Lane, Latham, Nicholson, sentiments on which I have acted through life, it is not, Polk, Pugh, Rice, Simmons, Sumner, Ten Eyck, Trumin my opinion, expedient to proclaim to all the nations of bull, Wade, Wilkinson, and Wilson. the earth that whoever shall arrive in this country from Republicans in Roman, 19; Democrats in a foreign shore, and declare his intention to become a citizen, shall receive a farm of 160 acres, at a cost of 25 Italics, 9. Total, 28. or 20 cents per acre, if he will only reside on it and culti- Nays-Messrs. Bragg, Chesnut, CRITTENDEN, Davis, vate it The invitation extends to all; and if this bill Fitzpatrick, Green, Hemphill, Hunter, Iverson, Johnson becomes a law, we may have numerous actual settlers (Tenn.), Johnson (Ark.), Mallory, Mason, Pearce, Powell, from China, and other Eastern nations, enjoying its bene- Sebastian, Wigfall, Yulee-18. fits on the great Pacific slope. The bill makes a distinc

All from the South, and all Democrats, ex. tion in favor of such persons over native and na:uralized citizens. When appl.ed to such citizens, it is confined to cept Mr. Crittenden (Am.), of Kentucky. such as are the heads of families; but when applicable to several Senators were paired, which accounts persons of foreign b.rth recently arrived ou our shores, for the light vote. So the bill failed, not hav. there is no such restriction. Such persons need not be the heads of families, provided they have filed a declara- ing received the requisite two-thirds vote neces. tion of intention to become citizens. Perhaps this dis- I s 'ry to pass it over the Executive Veto.

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