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Jan. 16, 1833.]

Public Lands.

(SENATE.

duties may be reduced six millions; let this bill pass, nishes innumerable instances. It was the thirty pieces of and we shall instantly be told that the estimate made is silver which procured the surrender of the Saviour of incorrect--that three millions arising from the sales of the universe. public lands having been abstracted, a deduction of fifty The honorable Senator from Kentucky [Mr. Clar) per cent. from the estimate must be made. The three has pictured in glowing colors the beautiful prospect of millions being taken away, other three millions, arising this Union cemented in more perfect amity for ages to from the duties on imports, must supply the place of it. come by the interest which each State will liave in the That there is no difference between taking this money distribution of the funds from these public lands. If I and other money from the treasury, to the amount of thought a consummation so desirable could be realized, no current disbursements, on account of land, is too pulpa objection would be made, although it were all at our exble to be denied. The officers attached to the Land pense. I should fear to call in the assistance of the sor. Office Department are to be quartered on the treasury. did passion of avarice to the noble feeling of patriotism, Their salaries, amounting annually to

all the heretofore considered the best security of our Union. It expense of surveying and bringing the land to sale, the would be safer to depend for the permanency of our expense of making future Indian treaties, and, if those are Union upon that high' veneration which all must feel for already made, (the amount requisite for which is estimat- those institutions bequeathed to us by our ancestors, the ed at near two and a half millions, the expense of an. rich purchase of their blood; upon that love which one nuities to Indians, with which the lands properly stand portion of our country must bear to those of another, as chargeable, are to be paid by the operations of the cus-brethren and countrymen; upon that pride to which the tom-house. To meet all these demands, under our pre- bosom of no true American is a stranger, when he looks sent engagements, nearly one and a half millions will be upon this his country and native land. Our country, gorequired annually for several years. An increase on verned by the constitution and just laws, must always prethis sum, in effecting other Indian treaties, and carrying sent an object of veneration, love, and pride. Our Go. them into effect, may be expected to a large amount, vernment is a noble model from the hands of masters. Its which, in a few years, coupled with the common current ruin would be that of a mighty fabric; an unenviable imexpense on account of the public lands, will make a mortality is secured to him who procures its downfall; his considerable outlet for the surplus revenue, which, at pre-case will be parallel with that of the dark angel of heasent, threatens to become troublesome on our hands. Ifven, and his doom will be the same. I hope, sir, not to this goes into operation, we expect, in future, to hear see the day when my country shall be divided into disno more resolutions to suspend the surveys of the public tinct communities, or States, separated by irreconcilable land, but any and every expense relating to lands borne jealousies and eternal wars. I will not enlarge on this without a murmur, so long as it is not to come out of unwelcome topic. There is a legal question arising on this distribution fund. The South has complained, and the construction of the acts of cession of the several justly too, of the unequal operation of the present system States. The lands are declared to be a fund, after the of revenue laws. It is unequal, unjust, and oppressive. payment of the revolutionary debt, for the benefit of all, Its baneful effects upon the prosperity of the South have the States ceding the lands included. The Government, been severely felt, wbile the collection of revenue was though having a general power to dispose of the lands, confined to a sufficient sum to pay the necessary disburse- is yet charged with the trust to see that the lands, or the ments of the Government, and a portion yearly of the proceeds, are disposed of for the benefit and advantage national debt. Against this oppression they have remon- of all. Would not this be a transfer of the trusteeship strated times almost without number, with no effect. This to the different States? Would it not be substituting measure, in addition to paying to the revenue as bere- them, instead of the Government, to see that the object tofore, will have the effect in its operation to force out of of the grant be effected? Whether these lands, or the them yearly, a sum for distribution among the States. Why money arising from the sale of them, be disposed of for the add injustice to that already complained of? Will it not, benefit and advantage of all, must depend upon the use particularly at such a time as this, be received ungra- or disposition made of the lands or money. If a State ciously? Sir, it was the last pound added to the burden should expend the money on internal improvements of a of the camel which destroyed the animal.

local nature, or on some work suggested by whim or deHave gentlemen well considered this system of distri- sire of popularity, it would not be contended that this exbuting money among the States in all its tendencies and penditure would be for the general good. The power to consequences? Have they fully weighed all the bear- appropriate the funds on internal improvements, given ings which it will naturally have, or be made to have, on by this bill to the several States, is not confined to that our relations between State and Federal Governments? description which will be generally beneficial. As to coCan gentlemen give us any assurance that, this sum being lonization being of general benefit, the remarks of my at first distributed, other and larger amounts will not be friend from Kentucky [Mr. BIBB) have been full and demanded, and the strong arm of the Government made sufficient. Power is also given to the States to pay off use of to raise the money? Can we be assured that the their old debts with this money, without reference to General Government, having the power to raise funds the objects on account of which the money for which and distribute them, will not in time be enabled to buy the debt was contracted had been expended, and withup the assent of the States to the exercise of any and out reference to the nature of the debt itself. It may be every power? I think my friend from Kentucky, (Mr. that the States, some or all of them, will appropriate the Bius,) when he spoke of force being necessary to carry money in such way as to be for the benefit and advantage down this system, if he had looked into futurity, would of all; but that they have the power to do otherwise is have seen a period not far distant when it will be uncalled too apparent. The claim which some of the new States for. By a plentiful use of the silver, there will be no have set up to the right both of jurisdiction and property necessity for the steel. Sir, we are, I fear, on the eve over the public domain, has a direct bearing on this meaof taking a step in national policy, the full effect of which sure. The States of Indiana and Mississippi, by solemn after generations will alone be able to determine. The resolutions of their Legislatures, have asserted this claim. desire of gain and aggrandizement, although planted in the The Governor of Illinois, in his annual message, set up human bosom for the wisest of purposes, is yet a dar- the claim of that State. I am not prepared to urge any gerous passion. Who can tell to what dereliction of thing in favor of this pretension, but honorable Senators principle the corrupt and corrupting use of money will who represent those states cannot vote for this measure not lead? The history of our own and former times fur- /without an entire surrender of all such right claimed by SENATE.]

Public Lands.

[Jax. 16, 1833.

these States. · This would be an exercise of power over encourage the settlement of the country, and gave to these lands entirely inconsistent with the ownership on every citizen who would settle the land as much as was the part of the States. Another objection W this bill necessary for his comfort and convenience. France and arises on the part of the new States, on the grourid of ex- Great Britain, in different portions of the country, did the pediency. It will have a tendency to perpetuate the pre- same. The republic of Mexico, by holding out the same sent high price of the public land, when all the Stites inducement, is drawing daily to its territory numbers of shall become directly interested in the amount of the our respectable citizens. In that section of the country sale. They will then hoard the lands up as their particu- where the public domain was thus disposed of by France lar and special treasure, offering for sale only small quan- and Spain, previous to the purchase by the United States, lities, and forcing off the inferior land at the same price the advantage which the country derived from it is apwith the good. Indeed, we have been told in this debate parent at the present day. Evcry man there is a freethat this is to be a source of revenue to the States for five holder, interested in the soil, and Inis house and home is hundred years.

We need not expect to see the prices his own. That portion of the territory which subsereduced and graduated if this measure be successful. quently fell within the limits of the State of Mississippi, We have seen, with the present system in force, that our although poor, is well settled by inhabitants who are socomplaints on this subject have not been listened to, and ber, industrious, and hospitable. If the land had not our memorials have gone unheeded.

been given away, it would never have been settled. The The gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Chay] has told us settlement of Kentucky was greatly accelerated by the in his speech and in his report, that the price of the pub- terms on which the lands were disposed of, under different lic land ought not to be reduced; that the large quantity regulations. Settlements were encouraged; the prices remaining unsold is' no evidence that the land is worth were graduated at different times, until it was eventually less than the minimum price; but that it is for the want.or sold to settlers at twenty-five cents the acre. Although demand. It is admitted that there is a large quantity of the honorable Senator from Kentucky [Mr. Clay) has public land sold yearly of better quality than the large spoken in somewhat humble terms of the improvements bodies which remain unsold. The reason of large quan- made by the first settlers, yet I do not doubt but that tities remaining on hand, for which there are no purcha- much of the comfort and prosperity of the yeomanry of sers, is found in the want of quality in the land itself. Ithat State is attributable to their having obtained lands, will illustrate my idea of the state of the case by a familiar, on account of these improvements thought so inconsiand, I think, a parallel example. Suppose a merchant derable. If the State of Maine, lands of inferior quality ships large quantities of goods, (Kentucky bagging, if you were disposed of at thirty cents. There is no doubt please;) he sells all, except one lot, at a particular price; but the honorable Senators from that State have seen the that lot remains on hand after all is sold, and while otliers happy influence on their prosperity, produced by the are selling daily in the same market lots of the same cheapness of land. Will they, having seen these advangoods at the same price; in a short time the merchant tages, unite with others in perpetuating on us an onerous would begin to conclucle that there was something in the system? In the States of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louquality of the goods on hand which caused them not to isiana, it is an object of great importance that the lands sell. Now, if the shipper were wealthy, and able to en- of inferior quality shall be offered at such prices as will gross all the goods of this description in market, he might induce the settlement of them. Tlie most fertile land is be enabled to force off the inferior for the same price that settled by rich planters, having numbers of slaves; the the superior article sold at, by making a high demand in second-rate land is taken up exclusively by those who market. In the same manner the inferior lands may be have few or no slaves. The general settlement of these forced at the price of superior quality. This does not lands will add greatly to the strength and security of the prove that those lands are now worth the minimum price, whole State. Those portions of the State having a dense but that they may in time be forced off at it, by holding colored population will be protected by the proximity of them up. I will submit whether it is the part of a paternal the white population on these lands. Government, anxious to foster the interests of all alike, The Government is required, by the act of cession of to act the part of the stock-jobbing monopolizer; instead Georgia, to “dispose" of them. The Government is not of disposing of the land at the price which it is now to hold them forever without offering them for sale, nor worth, to hold them up for a better price, før ages, to the to offer them at prices at which they will not sell; which great injury of the poor people within the limits of the amounts, in fact, to not offering them at all; but to “disState in which they are situated, and to the disadvantage pose of them” for the common benefit. of the States themselves? What is the opinion on this The five hundred thousand acres is thrown into one subject of the States in which these lanıls are situated? section of the bill as a douceur for those States for whom The States of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Indiana, it is intended; but it will be recollected that this is their Illinois, and Missouri, have, by frequent memorials, de- proportionate part with the other new States for objects clared that the prices should be graduated and reduced; of internal improvements. The State of Ohio has rethat holding up the refuse lands within their limits ceived 922,937 acres, Indiana 384,728, Illinois 480,000, operates injuriously, by retarding their growth, and and Alabama 400,000 acres, These do:rations have been keeping many of their citizens from becoming freehold. made for specific internal improvements, the completion

In support of these opinions, frequently expressed, of which, it was thought, would advance the prosperity the returns of the registers and receivers, making an of the States in which they were severally undertaken, estimate of the average value of the public lands, show and at the same time enhance the value of the public it to be in every State far below the minimum price. Not land. When it can be shown that both these great obinore than one-twentieth part of the vacant land is said jects can be effected, there can be no objection, either to be of first quality in any State, and the average value on the score of principle, or constitutional objection, to in some of the States not more than thirty cents, and in the State of Mississippi receiving a similar donation. We none, I think, more than one-half the minimum price. expect to be able to show, within the State of Mississippi, From an extensive acquaintance with the public lands in objects of internal improvement which will command the the Southwest, I am of opinion that the estimate made by favorable attention of Congress; and we expect that the most of those officers is much too high.

same liberality and principle which dictated the propriety The policy pursued by this Government never was of these liberal grants to other States will also accord followed by any other under the sun. When Spain held the same for Mississippi. Unless, on the same showing of a part of the Southwest, she thought it her interest to facts which induced these donations, a similar benefit, in

er's.

Jax. 16, 1833. ]

Public Lands.

(SENATE.

like manner, and for like purposes, should be extended I hope to see not only this measure of relief afforded to to Mississippi and the other States--claims which have the poor, by which it will be within the means of all to sebeen heretofore overlooked or pretermitted--it would cure a home, but also those who may have settled the lands savour of rank favoritism. There can be no doubt but prior to sale, secured against the cupidity of speculators, the claims of Mississippi will be properly appreciated in by being entitled by law to the pre-emption. this respect on a proper showing of facts. I do not know Instead of this measure of reduction lessening the revethat it would be amiss that I should here mention, in nue arising from the public lands, it will increase it, by connexion with this branch of the subject, that there is causing all who live on these lands to become purchasers. one work of internal improvement of great consequence, A great quantity of land will be disposed of, which would, both to the State of Mississippi and the United States. at present prices, remain on hand for ages. If it be viewThe Mississippi, below the mouth of the Arkansas, makes ed as a matter of pecuniary interest only, the Government into the Yazoo by means of a bayou, navigable at high would be greatly gainer by disposing of the public domain water, and requiring but little labor and expense to make at a moderate price, rather than hold it for a great length the navigation perfect at all times for fiat, keel, and of time for higher prices. The use of the money from steamboats. This pass runs through large bodies of the this to the time when it will probably sell, would amount public land, of the richest quality, which would be greatly to more than the difference in price. increased in value by the completion of this work. Other The honorable Senator from Kentucky has called upon the objects of improvement of equal importance, demanding Senators from the new States to say whether this bill does of Congress a favorable attention, may also be presented. not propose advantages over the present system. It is hoped that so much of this bill as makes the appro- would answer that it does; for any return of the money to priation of land to Louisiana, Missouri, and Mississippi, the States from which it is taken would be some advanwill not depend upon the success or failure of the project tage, however small this return might be. This bill proto distribute the public funds. This was originally intro- poses a return of part of the money received from the duced as a separate and distinct proposition, by a distinct people of the new States into the treasury of these and separate bill; it has been incorporated into this bill. States. The amendment would save to the "working It is hoped that the two propositions may be considered people” of the State three-fifths of the amount they pay separately, and that the one may not be made to depend for land. Supposing that amount in Mississippi to be upon the other. The honorable Senator from Kentucky two hundred thousand dollars, (which is a little under the (Mr. CLAT) has said that the seventeen per cent. on the true amount,) they would save one hundred and twenty amount of sales in the new States, which is to be severally thousand dollars. allotted to each, will be equal to the full amount of what The bill from the Committee on Manufactures prothe resident citizens of these States will pay for public poses to put into the State treasury seventeen per cent. lands; and this be undertakes to prove by the progressive on the amount of sales, and a dividend proportioned acpopulation of these States. Let the State of Mississippi cording to federal numbers. The per cent. would be be taken for an example, (some of the new States have thirty thousand dollars; the proper dividend of the increased faster,) the population of which was in 1820, Stale would be upwards of twenty-three thousand; ma40,352 white inhabitants; in 1830, 70,448 white inhabit-king an amount of nearly fifty-four thousand dollars. ants; showing an increase of little more than six per The advantage in amount to the State does not equal cent. per annum. of this increase, it would be fair to the amount the amendment proposes to the purchasuppose four per cent. arose from emigration. Now, sir, sers or the people. it will be more politic to bestow it is an extreme case to put, when we say that these four benefits upon the latter, in my opinion, than the former. emigrants, which are yearly added to each hundred inha- Sir, I am in favor of the “working men.” So long as they bitants, yearly pay eighty-three per cent. on the amount continue prosperous, independent, and free, the State of sales.

must be in sound condition. They are the only support The amendment proposed by the Committee on Public and dependence of the State when her rights are to be asLands proposes to reduce the price of the lands, after they serted, or her honor to be vindicated, and are ever ready at have regularly been proclaimed for sale, offered, and not the call of duty. They can at any time fill the treasury sold at one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, to one full to overflowing, and are ready to put both hands into dollar per acre. It proposes, when the land has been thus their pockets whenever there is need. I prefer a meaoffered, and not disposed of at public sale, to put the sure which gives advantages to them, to putting money price to actual settlers, who will inhabit and cultivate into the State treasury, perhaps to be squandered. ihein for five years, at fifty cents per acre--each head of Sir, the honorable Senator from Kentucky (Mr. CLAY] a family, or young man over twenty-one, or widow, being has intimated that the new States would do well to accept entitled to a permit to settle one quarter section, or one this proposition, lest they may not be able hereafter to hundred and sixty acres. That which is worth a dollar obtain so favorable terms. From the symptoms alreadly and a quarter per acre will be sold and disposed of at indicated, there is too little doubt but they will find, public sile; that which is worth less, will be put in favor whenever they shall become willing to distribute the funds of actual settlers at fifty cents. There will be no such of the Government, sufficient numbers will join them, opportunity for speculation as has been supposed; requir- more especially when they are exclusively the paying paring the purchaser to inhabit and cultivate the soil for five ty, and others joint receivers. Sir, the people of the new years would of itself be a sufficient guard against this. States have looked anxiously for relief in regard to the The quantity which each purchaser may enter on these lands. They have looked to the present as the auspicious terms, being one hundred and sixty acres, would prevent period when they might expect it

. The public debt is it. The speculator will aim at lands of greater value, now paid off'; the same amount of revenue not being reand will purchase in larger quantities. What! a specula- quired by the positive wants of the Government, the peo. tor in lands buy and live on one hundred and sixty acres ple must be relieved from a large part of the burdensome five years, to make money on his purchase! The idea is tasation necessary heretofore for the payment of a debt inadmissible. It will be the poor, or those in moderate contracted in carrying on a war waged for the vindication circuinstańces, who alone will be benefited by it, and if of our national honor. To discharge the debt incurred in it be entitled to favor in the eyes of any Senator on that this war, the people of the new States have contributed as account, this provision is peculiarly, and almost exclusive largely, and as willingly, as they shed their blood freely ly, for the advantage of that class who have but little in the fiell during the contest. Are they to be the only Wealth.

portion of the citizens whose claims are to be overlooker,

SENATE.]

Public Lands.

(Jan 16, 17, 1833.

whose burdens are not to be lessened? Is it from a desire would be taken now, unless some gentleman wished to to have a perpetual fund of money drawn from us to dis. express his sentiments on the subject. tribute? Is it from a fear of lessening the value of land in Mr. BUCKNER expressed himself in favor of the amendthe older States, or from an apprehension that emigration ments of Mr. POINDEXTER, which had been ordered to be will be more rapid from the older States? The distributo printed. He desired that they might have the consideraing system, I hope, will not be adopted. The fear of tion of the Senate, and hoped the perding question would lessening the value of lands in the old States, or material. not be taken before. He was also against haste in this imly affecting them in point of population, is altogether illu- portant business, and reiterated Mr. FORSITA's motion to sory. Is it possible that the citizens of Ohio, Kentucky, lay on the table. or Tennessee, can think that, by fixing a dense population Mr. CLAY called for the yeas and nays. He felt unon the Mississippi and its waters, their lands will be willing that the subject should thus be postponed from come of less value? Where is it, sir, that they find a day to day. By voting now on the amendment of the market for their products--a ready and cash market? By Committee on Public Lands, the amendments of Mr. Poin. making the demand for every article they export greater, DEXTER would not be excluded. His utmost wish to-day is it possible, by any correct course of reasoning, they can was to dispose of the former amendment. come to the conclusion that the lands upon which these arti- Mr. POINDEXTER said, the amendment of the comcles are produced will be worth less? We rely upon the up. mittee proposed to destroy the bill, for a subsitute, which per country for supplies of numerous necessary products; he, on examination, had found to be very imperfect. His we buy from them horses, mules, cattle, sheep, hogs, (Mr. P's) object was to preserve the salutary portions of poultry, beef, pork, four, corn, potatoes, aye, every the bill, and to make such additions and improvements as thing that can be imagined, even down to dogs. We would render it more beneficial. He had no disposition pay them cash for these articles of merchandise. It is the to delay the question on the amendment, because its de only market the people on the upper waters of the Mis- cision would not at all interfere with the objects which he sissippi ever did, or ever will, have for the most of them. bad in view. The President, in his message to Congress at this session, After a few more remarks from several other Senators, has taken a liberal and statesman-like view of this subject. the motion was withdrawn, and the Senate adjourned, afHe is sensible of the wants of the people of the new ter a short time spent in executive business. States, knows their worth, and appreciates the privations which they endured in the settlement of a new country.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 17. He has expressed these in language more strong, clear,

PUBLIC LANDS. and eloquent than I can. (Mr. B. here read the several parts of the President's message relating to the public The Senate resumed the bill to appropriate, for a limitlands.] The Chief Magistrate is not one of those who ed time, the proceeds of the sales of the public lands. have taken the view suggested by a narrow and short- Mr. GRUNDY said, upon this subject it is manifest that sighted policy; that, by holding up these lands in such there are two opinions rising up in different quarters of manner that the greatest possible sum can be realized, the country, directly in opposition to each other, and both will advance the true interest of the Government, but is of them, in my humble judgment, founded in error. One among those actuated by more liberal and enlarged views, portion of our politicians think that the new States, in who are of opinion, that by advancing the settlement of which the lands are situated, have a claim, to the excluthe country, by fixing upon the soil an adventurous and sion of all other portions of the country, upon that prinhardy population, interested in the freehold, the country ciple of national law which confers on the sovereignty of will gain more real advantage in the addition to its securi- a State a right to all the soil within its limits. Against ty, strength, and aggregate wealth. We stand upon the this opinion I have heretofore, and now contend, let it justice of this recommendation, not doubting but the wis- come from what authority it may: Another set of politidom of Congress will soon lead to the adoption of the cians say, and the bill on your table is predicated on that course recommended.

idea, that the States, as such, have some other and differIt is conceded, sir, that the settlement of this question ent kind of claim to these lands, or their proceeds, than is a matter of much importance, but I do not agree that it they have to the money in the treasury of the United is among questions of that sort which had better be set- States, arising from other sources of the public revenue. tled even wrong than not at all; it will be better that we I differ from those who entertain this opinion likewise. should leave the matter where it now is, than make it My proposition is, and I shall endeavor to maintain it, that worse. Be careful, sir, that, in the great anxiety which is the lands belong to neither the new nor the old States, shown to settle the question, to take, as it is said, from nor to both of them combined, but to the Federal Governthe new States all ground of complaint, you do not lay the ment; and that their proceeds cannot be applied to other foundation for greater disconlent. Among the people objects than those to which the United States can constiof the new States, there has as yet been nothing like de- tutionally appropriate money. In order that I may be cided discontent. They have looked forward to the pre- able to establish my proposition, I ask the attention of the sent period with anxiety, yet with the assured hope that Senate to the mode in which the titles were acquired, and the burdens of taxation would be lightened both as to the I call upon the advocates of the title of the new States customary revenue, ard that which they pay in the pur- to show upon what they found their claim. Did the new chase of land. If they should be disappointed in these States purchase these lands from the original proprietors or reasonable expectations, there is no telling how long they owners? Have they made any contract or agreement may remain so.

Although anxious for the settlement of which would authorize them to put up this claim? Nothing this great national question on just and equitable princi- of the kind is pretended. Their sole reliance is upon ples, yet I, for one, object to the present measure, as not the principle that sovereignty conveys the title. This calculated to relieve us from embarrassment, but to lead us principle, it is admitted, exists, and is unquestionable beinto other and new difficulties.

tween nations or States, foreign to each other, and be. Mr. B. having concluded,

tween whom there are no stipulations or compacts to the Mr. MOORE moved an adjournment.

contrary; but it is wholly inapplicable as between the Mr. FORSYTH moved to lay the bill on the table. General Government and the new States. To adopt it

Mr. POINDEXTER made a few remarks in opposition would be in direct violation of the agreements and com. to this motion.

pacts entered into by each of them in the most solemn Mr. CLAY hoped the question on the amendment manner. When about to become members of this Union, Jax. 17, 1833.}

Public Lands.

(SENATE,

they disclaimed all right and pretence of title to the for the common charge and expenditure, for the comFederal Government within their respective limits; it is mon benefit, we surrender the lands; and to whom their own declaration; it is engrafted in the constitution did they surrender them? To the Congress of the Unitof every State; the very charter which gave them their cd States, to be applied for the common benefit, for and existence acknowledges that they have no right or claim in discharge of the debt incurred by the war of the revoto these lands. There is no State in which it was sup. lution. It is true, the debt of the revolution, as it is usuposed the General Government owned land, which has ally denominated and considered, is discharged; there is not, in its constitution, relinquished that right which so- still, however, a heavy incumbrance upon the public vereignty confers, except the State of Tennessee. She lands, which cannot be discharged for many ycars—I rewas admitted into the Union without any such stipulation fer to the pensions allowed by law to the officers and sol. or condition, and therefore stands in a different situation, diers of the revolution. These constitute a charge upon in relation to this subject, from the other States, in which this fund, and form a part of the common expenditure there may be vacant and unappropriated lands. When for which these lands were pledged; and, until fully paid, the new States, some years since, came forward and put the lands cannot be released and applied to other purup their claim to these lands, I took the liberty of saying poses. It is supposed that not less than three millions a that it appeared to me to be a violation of good faith and year will be necessary to meet this demand. The sales the sacredness of a solem agreement, and gave the real of the public lands will probably not amount to that sum; sons at length in support of the opinion I then express- we know the nett proceeds will not. At present, this fund ed, and I will not detain the Senate by a repetition of is answering the purpose of its original destination, and it them; but, with this short view of the subject, shall take it ought not to be diverted from it. for granted that the new States have no right to these But let us see by what means the debt proper has lands, more than the other States in the Union. At the been paid. The proceeds of the public lands have dissame time, I wish it to be understood, that I do not object charged a very small portion of it; all the other sources to the appropriations which have been, or hereafter may be, of revenue have been resorted to, and the moneys arising made to the new States, of portions of the land within from them applied to the extinguishment of this debt. their limits, for internal improvements; this, however, is When the money thus expended from other sources to not because they have a beiter claim than any other por- this object shall be replaced in the public treasury from tion of the country; these appropriations are made upon the sale of the public lands, surely it should not be used the ground that it is sound policy to improve the country, or employed in any other way, or for any other purposes, and thereby add value to the residuum of the public than those to which moneys arising from any other sources lands. Hence, a right as well as a duty is created on the could be legitimately appropriated. To make my ideas part of the General Government to enhance the value of upon this subject still plainer: we have taken money the public domain.

arising from the duties upon imports to pay the public The next inquiry is, what right have the States, as such, debt, instead of using the land for that purpose; now, to put up a claim to these lands? To ascertain this, we when we sell the lands, and receive the proceeds of the must look to the derivation of the title, and see to whom it sales, the money should be substituted in the place of has been made. During the revolutionary war, it was that which was received from imports. The treasury of urged by several of the states

, in strong and impressive the United States has furnished all the means by which language, that it was unjust that the wild and uninhabited the lands acquired from Georgia, by her cession, have tracts of land contained in the charter of Virginia, and been paid for. Louisiana was obtained from the Empeother States similarly situated, should be conquered and ror of France by the Federal Government, and paid for secured by the joint arms of all the States, and then not by its own money. The Floridas were purchased from be disposed of for the benefit of all; they, therefore, re- Spain, and paid for in the same manner. To none of monstrated with the old Congress against this injustice, these lands can I discover the least color of claim on the as they considered it. Congress acknowledged the jus part of the States. tice of their demands, and applied to the several States It is not argued by the friends of this bill that Congress within whose limits the lands were situated to relinquish can give away the public money, or distribute it to inditheir title in support of the common cause in which all viduals or States ad libitum. Unless, therefore, its advo-, the States were engaged. The States yielded to this ap-cates can succeed in showing that Congress has more plication, and Virginia surrendered all her territory west power over this source of revenue arising from the public of the river Ohio, including the present States of Ohio, lands than it possesses over other public moneys, this Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan Territory; the other States bill must fail. This brings me to the provisions of the followed her example; but for what purpose did they make bill under consideration; and I will endeavor to show to these giants? Was it that the proceeds should be given the Senate that this bill is calculated to put down the poaway, either to States or individuals, or scattered to the licy of this Government as now administered; that it is winds? Such an idea never entered the minds of men at doing that indirectly which we cannot do directly, and we that period. What was the great and important object know it to be so. We are to give this money to the States; which operated upon a portion of the States in demand- and for what purpose? To make internal improvements. ing, and on the others in surrendering, these lands to the And can we make such internal improvements as the States disposition of the old Congress? It was known that we will make if you give them this money? There is a differwere engaged in an expensive war, and were deeply in-ence among 'politicians as to the powers of the General volved in debt. The issue of the controversy was doubt-Government upon this subject. Great national objects of ful; but if we succeeded, one thing was certain, that we internal improvement, it is conceded by both parties, may had a large accumulation of debt existing against the old be carried into effect by this Government; but local obCongress, which it would be difficult to discharge, how-jects are not conceded; and, as this Government is now ever prosperous the termination of the war might be. In Officered, we know that no bill for such improvements order, then, to proinote the public credit, and to provide can become a law. Whatever Congress might be disposed a common fund to meet the various engagements which to do in such cases, the Executive sanction cannot be obthe prosecution of the war necessarily created, almost all tained. But grant the States the money to make any im. the States which had vacant and unappropriated lands came provements they please, however local and unimportant, forward. And what is the declared intention of each of and you evade the settled policy of the present administrathe States making the surrender? I have examined all the tion, which you cannot overcome by direct action. In acts of cession; ihe same language is used; they all say I short, by giving the money to the states, and making

Vol. IX.--8

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