Page images

Jax. 12, 1833. ]

Public Lands.


blacks, there always the slave is less manageable, and pose the President had not expressed such an opinion. his condition will be imbittered by harslier treatment. But, he says, the power is in the deed of cession: this is a

Is not a free black population the worst of all others broad answer, and amounts to none at all; he has fired at in our country? Suppose, then, you by this bill furnish the the whole world, and missed it too. Will the Senator quote means; will not many be purchased and emancipated? and that part, if any, of the deed of cession, which gives this after they are, who has the power to say they shall go out power? can he put his finger on the page or place where of the country? If they choose to stay among us, how I could find it?' I confess I never saw it, often as I have can we get rid of them? Look, sir, only at what we see looked for it. Its inequality makes it unconstitutional; every day in this city for a proof of what I say. Sir, this this system contemplates to continue that inequality which bill is unconstitutional, because in no part of the constitu- now exists between the old and the new States, though it is tion of the United States is the power expressly given or the duty of Congress to remove this injustice, and put all impliedly given to Congress to use the revenue of the on an equal footing, expressly made so by the terms of the nation for the support of an African colony, or for the treaties and deeds of cession under which these lands are benefit of any foreign power, or for any other purpose held. The constitution declares that the constitution of the than the general welfare of the American people. United States, and treaties made under it, &c. shall be

Sir, what will your constituents and mine say, when the paramount law of the land. Then any law against a they come to understand that they are paying a heavy treaty made by virtue of the constitution is void and uncontax to support a parcel of free negroes and adventurous stitutional. In the land laws of the United States, page clergymen in Liberia? If we are exonerated from the 43, we have this provision in the treaty with the repub. payment of a tax here at home within our own limits for lic of France, which ceded Louisiana to the United States: the support of a church, why shall we be compelled to “ The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incordo it without our own limits?' (at Liberia, in Africa.) Is porated into the Union of the United States, and admitted this the liberty of conscience secured to the people under as soon as possible, according to the principles of the the constitution of these United States? Where, I repeat, federal constitution, to the full enjoyment of all the is the power to be found within that instrument, sanctified rights, advantages, and immunities of citizens of the Unitand consecrated to liberty by the blood and sufferings of ed States." our illustrious ancestors? Shall we so soon disregard the The words in this paragraph are pregnant with much obllgations of the constitution, and view with indifference meaning and force. Mark you, sir, the inhabitants of the high value of that rich inheritance, when we, and we Louisiana (the territory ceded by that treaty, and the peoalone, can boast of having descended from those mighty ple, to whom its protection extends) were to be incor, men whom God had chosen as his peculiar instruments, porated into the Union; they were to be made an equal with whom to demonstrate his power, before the children part of the body of the Union of the United States, in of men? Sir, it was a peculiar demonstration of power the full enjoyment of all the rights, advantages, and imand goodness, such as age or country never witnessed inunities of citizens of the United States; and this was to before. I am aware, sir, that it will be said I mistake the be done as soon as possible. Now, sir, what is the duty Cobject of the colony; that it is not to establish a church of the Government under these terms of the treaty? The there, but only to afford an asylum to those unhappy peo- word possible is an expression of great import. As soon ple (the free blacks.) I understand all that, sir, and I as possible these people were to be put into the full enalso understand what description of people are engaged joyment of all the rights of citizens of the United States. In this project; and I ask whether there isnot a strict re- Had we under this treaty any power to delay or refuse to ligious discipline kept up there, and whether the liberty do this? Have we any right to take any step, which neof conscience is enjoyed there? Sir, I will not dwell upon cessarily produces delay? Is this a true interpretation to this part of the subject. I am not opposed to this colony; the admission as soon as possible of these people into the I am only unwilling to see an unconstitutional appropri- full enjoyment of all these rights, on equal terms with ation of money for its benefit; and I would have this same citizens of other States, as guarantied to them by the objection to any other object, if I thought the step to be terms of the treaty? They have, it is true, been admitted unconstitutional. I know, sir, I will be answered with the into the Union; but are there not other rights which the assertion that the States will do this: that it is the act of old States enjoy, which those new States do not? If there the States, and not the United States; but sir, this is not be such rights in the old States, then they are not equal true; the principle is qui facit per aliem se.

with the old States, and the terms of the treaty are not So, if the United States order it, then it is the act of the yet complied with; and, I ask, are we not bound to remeUnited States. Now, sir, how does this matter stand? The dy this incquality! If we are, how can we pass this law, States are enjoined to do this thing by an act of Congress, which disregards this obligation by postponing the rightand they are furnished with the funds; the States are ful enjoyment of those equal privileges? Sir, there are only the instruments to execute the wish of Congress. rights which other States have, and important ones too, Then it is not the act of the States, but the United States; which the new States have not. All the old States have and if we lack the power to do this ourselves, we can jurisdiction over all their citizens, and all the property, not give it to the States.

real and personal, and tax it for the support of the GovSir, we cannot convey a right which we do not posernment of the State; but we in the new States have not sess. All the right and ability which the States have, are this right, nor have we the right fully to legislate over all derived from the General Government. But if the States the property in the State, for public purposes; the public have this right already, why shall we attempt to give land being exempt from taxation, and from the legislative what they do not need if, then, the right in the General action of the State. This bill being calculated, not to reGovernment is imperfect, the grant from her to the States move these embarrassments, but to continue them continues of that imperfect right must be unavoidably imperfect. an inequality among the States, and is therefore unconstiThe Senator from Kentucky, who sits furthest from me, tutional. But how, it will be asked, are we to remove (Mr. Clat,] said, in reply to a call from my honorable this inequality? I answer, reduce the price of lands to a friend and neighbor, the Senator from Illinois, who sits fair value; let them pass into the hands of the citizens, nearest on my right, (Mr. Kane,] that the power to make subject to taxation; and then, and then only, will the this distribution is to be found in the deed of cession, and States be equal. By the bill, and the report which acin the opinion of the President. I know of no such opin- companied this bill last session, it is admitted that the ion ever expressed by the President, and, judging from money is not needed by the Government for revenue the course that Senator [Mr. Clay] takes, I should sup- purposes; for by both the money is proposed to be given


Public Lands.

(Jax. 12, 1833.

away. Why not then reduce the price of lands? But and so did I; but where is that now? Its binding efficacy no; rather than do this, or reduce the tariff, we will has gone, and it is with great difficulty that, with the supsquander the whole proceeds of the public lands. Sir, port of many of the ablest men in the nation, it is kept does not every body see that this is a tariff measure in alive. I hope it may survive: I will give it my hearty asdisguise? Do we not see that whatever of revenue is sistance. But, sir, how is it expected that this bill, which raised by the sales of the public lands, that amount will is the ricketty, ill-bred stripling and descendant of this be taken off the protected articles? Then to throw away aged, sickly, sinking sire, can do more than the parent these three millions, raised from the public lands, will be could in its meridian strength? Sir, this bill cannot give to add that amount to the protected articles, and thus content, but must widen the breach among the people; keep up the tariff and the lands too; and an attempt we ought not to legislate thus against the will and interest to do so is a strong argument against the tariff.

of the people, though that will and interest be a minority: I am not opposed to the tariff, nor do I object to this The majority ought to rule, it is true; yet they should almeasure because it will benefit the tariff; but I will not do ways exercise their power and right respectfully, and with an indirect thing; I will not consent to see every interest a due regard to the interests of the minority; otherwise in the country sucked into the vortex of the tariff, and made we act not as freemen, passing laws for the government of subservient to it; nor will I consent to see any one interest freemen, but as so many tyrants, regardless of the rights control every other in the land. Sir, when the tariff of those we govern. Virtuous monarchs respect the feelcomes up, I will act on that as becomes a member of this ings and interests of those they govern; and shall that mabody; I will then vote as my judgment directs, and stand jority which governs a free people do less? openly before my constituents, and the whole American How, sir, can this bill give contentment to those oppospeople, subject to that great accountability which I owe ed to the tariff? It settles no principle they are contending them. As we have an excess of revenue, why not reduce for; on the contrary, it adds to their misfortunes. But, sir, the amount gathered off the people? Perhaps it would be can any one believe that the wretched pittance distributed sufficient to reduce the price of the lands; if not, then to the States will buy off South Carolina from that stand take part off the tariff. I submit it to the friends of the which she thinks necessary to maintain on great and imtariff, whether it be prudent and wise to stir up every portant principles, or any other State opposed to the other interest against the tariff; will they not, by such a tariff? Sir, is not this bill adding insult to injury, and movement, unite a force which will put down the whole fanning the flame of madness throughout the whole counsystem?. Gentlemen ought to beware how they rouse the try? Ought we to do this? Shall we goad an angry slumbering lion. I know this-reduction of the public brother to his destruction, though he may be in the wrong; lands is thought to .operate against the interest of the but shall we not rather turn him from the cause of his manufacturers; but the tariff, it is said, operates against uneasiness, that he may cool? Sir, in all climes, and in the Southern States, and the present price of public lands all ages, the best and wisest have erred. Is it best to cast against the new States. Now, will it be desirable to see away an erring brother, or is it not our duty to reclaim the interest of the South and West united against the him? Why, in the moment of his exasperation, add new tariff? Is the small amount which may be lost to the ma. causes of excitement? If we cannot relieve, do not let nufactarer by the proposed reduction of the price of the us insult and mock the complaints of our own household-public lands equal to that which must take place if the tariff those whom we are bound to cherish and defend. Let us is destroyed, (which I hope may not be?) I ask Senators do all that is right, and all that we can, to restore confiwho act with me on this great tariff interest, to pause and dence and contentment among the people and the States, see where their movements will take them. Will Southern and leave no man any excuse for wrong doing. And if gentlemen see this waste of fifteen millions of revenue in (which may God in his boundless Providence avert!) this five years, and still say the tariff oppresses them? Will fair land is to follow the fate of other republics, and to be members from new States, knowing it to be the interest covered with disgrace, sorrow, and wretchedness-if

, in- of those States to reduce the price of land now, aid in deed, the ghosts of the mighty heroes and statesmen who the passage of this bill, which must forever cut off all founded this republic are to be made wretched, by the hope of any reduction? Will Southern men, whose in- baseness of their degenerate sons, let the world bear terest it is to keep up the tariff and reduce the price of proof that we who administer the affairs of this people are the public lands both, vote for this bill? Wil gentlemen innocent. It is not fear, but the love of country I feel, in slave States vote for this bill, and thus hire the meddler that dictates these remarks. This course, recommendesi to instigate their slaves to rebellion? Sir, the time is at by the Senator, (Mr. Clar,} as a means to reconcile the hand when something must be done with these lands or discontent, cannot have that effect, but the contrary. Let the tariff-perhaps both. The Senator from Kentucky us, then, not do any thing that may exasperate public says he is willing to do a!l in his power to remove the dis- excitement, nor leave undone any thing that may properly contents of the people. I was rejoiced to hear him say be done, that may have the same effect. Let us be temso, for I know he can do much; his very name is of itself a perate, prudent, and discreet, and do justice to all. host. I fully reciprocate that sentiment, and declare that Vield nothing from timidity, nor press any thing to gratify I will stand by his side, and do all in my power to restore an unbridled ambition in any one. Sir, the destinies of harmony, peace, love, and contentment to our beloved, this nation are in our hands. The eyes of the American unhappy, and distracted country. Sir, at such a time as this, people, and indeed the whole world, are upon us. The allwhen gloom has mantled the manly face of many a pa- seeing eye of Heaven is upon us; and we must not only triot, and the whole country appears shrouded in the criin- be judged by those that now are, and by generations to son robes of civil war, and the loved bosom of America, come after us, but by that Power which, sooner or later, it may be said, is smoking with the blood of her slaugh, we must all feel and account to. How awful is the retered sons, will the son of Kentucky again stand forth the sponsibility we are under, and how great is the necessity pacificator of his country's discontent? No man can of duly weighing the bearing of all our acts at this moreap a richer reward than is within liis reach: this act of mentous crisis! Shall the blood of our citizens fall on conciliation will be the brightest diamond in the crown of our heads, or will we not so shape our course, that should his immortal fame.

blood and carnage cover the fair fields of our country, The Senator says this bill will produce harmony; this beaven and earth will witness that we are innocent' bill is to bind up all the wounds and heal the discontent of I am the advocate of the tariff, and, on proper terms, the whole land.. Sir, how easy it is to be mistaken; he mean to maintain it. I surrender my opinions io no mali, once thought so of his old friend the American system, nor am I to be alarmed by the present excitement. But,

Jar. 12, 1833.]

Public Lands.


sir, I ask the friends of that measure, whether the course whom I bave acted; but, thank God, I have also known recommended is not calculated to injure the tariff? In the healing comfort of kindness; and though clouds at the first instance, the disguise of this bill is not sufficient present hover over me, yet when I shall return to the to conceal its real object from the people. Then does bosom of that State at whose hands I have received so not the attempt to do this beget, by that indirect move much kindness, I still expect to grasp the hand of kind. ment, a distrust among the people? And shall we not ness there. forfeit public confidence in the measure? Again: this bill The Senator (Mr. Clar) says these lands were pledged brings the interest of all those who wish to reduce the for the payment of the public debt, and, as that debt has lands against the tariff, which, added to the opposition been paid by the people with other funds, that now the now existing, will, I fear, be highly prejudicial to the lands stand chargeable, and therefore ought to be distributtariff. Can this step be wise on the part of the friends ed to the States for the use of the people. Has the Senaof the tariff?. I tell gentlemen more liberality towards tor reflected on the force of this argument? If his prinother great interests must be practised,' or the conse ciples be true, it would seem that the impost duties have quences will be more serious than they apprehend. Shall paid the debt instead of the land paying it; that now the we thus disregard the high value of that rich inheritance land ought to make that sum good to the impost, by taking of which we, and we alone, can boast having descended, that amount off the impost and putting it on the lands, or from those mighty men, whom God seems to bave taken applying the amount of the sales of the land to the reducas his chosen and peculiar instruments wherewith to de- tion of the tariff. Will he consent to this? and yet this is monstrate his power on earth?

the force of his argument. No, he will not do this, but What, Mr. President, is the argument to sustain this proposes to give away the lands, not to the people, as the bill? The sordid love of gold, sir, is the argument; money bill delusively pretends, but to Liberia and other things, is to be given the States; they are to be bought out: they and all the while the people are still taxed to keep up this are asked to surrender their sovereignty for a sum of very amount thus wasted. But pray, what part of the gold. Who, sir, will take this bribe! What State will, public debt dd Liberia pay, that she must come in for a for that paltry trash, surrender her independence, and part of this public treasure? There is no symmetry in throw herself in the lap, to be candled by the General the gentleman's plan; but, sir, the truth is, that this view Government, or spurned when she may please? Will those of that pledge of the lands is efroneous. These lands who adhere to the doctrine of State rights do this? were never pledged to pay that debt, as he views it; it was

I for one will touch not, bandle not, the unclean thing. never stipulated that the lands, and they alone, should The sovereignty of these states is now bid for; and we pay that debt. They were pledged, but that was only as are told, in a spirit of baughty menace, that we had better collateral security, intended to create faith on the part of take what is offered, or we may never have such a chance the public creditor in the ability of the Government to for a good bargain again, and we will have to reproach pay the debt, just as if a man should mortgage a tract of ourselves with having let slip so great an offer. Let it land to secure a debt due some other person; but as soon go, sir, and in God's name I ask that it may never again as the debt is paid, the mortgage is discharged. So, be seen within these sacred walls.

here, as soon as the public debt is paid ofi, the lands are I will not purchase a field with the reward of inequality. discharged; and they are not, therefore, to be distributed We are likewise told that our constituents will reproach among the States, but they are to be applied to the comus; that is, indeed, a matter of great delicacy, and very mon benefit of the whole nation. How is this to be done? desirable to be avoided by every man, who has a proper Why, sir, by selling them, and putting the proceeds into sense of his representative duty. He would be painel to the treasury of the nation, and applying that revenue give a just cause of discontent to his constituents. But, to the general welfare of the nation. Thus the people sir, we have a duty to perform, and it ought to be done in will be saved from the payment of so much taxes, and good faith for the benefit of the country; and when that they will likewise be benefited by a proper and just use duty is honestly discharged, though it may give offence to of the revenue applied to the common good and general some, who e good will we desire, and whose judgment welfare of the nation. wc respect, yet we have an approving conscience within, The Senator (Mr. Clay) alludes to the discontent, and which is of itself a treasure, that buoys an honest man says, take care we do not shift the theatre of discontent. above the wrangling waves of persecution and deadly I return him that same good advice, with this addition, hate; and in this vote, I can say before God and my coun- that the very step now recommended by himself is not try, that an approving conscience is mine. But should the only calculated to continue the discontent, but to enlarge chastising lash of our constituents come, (which may its theatre, What does he mean by shifting the theatre Heaven avert,) yet then beneath its toitures we will not of discontent? Does he mean to say that, unless we keep call on the honorable Senator to interpose his kindness, or up the tariff, and keep up the price of the public lands heave a single sigh of sympathy for us. I know my con- too, and then give away the proceeds, a certain part stituents, and they know me, and we will settle the account of the Union will rise on us, far more formidable than all without troubling the Senator from Kentucky with our the rest? Sir, we are not to be intimidated by such threats, differences.

and drawn from the support of just rights; we court no Sir, no man feels the force of those remarks more than differences with any part of this Union; but we will fearmyself. I know what it is to meet the black ingratitude lessly maintain our rights; we'censure none for doing of those with whom I have acted, and who by my labors likewise; but we say, let us act like brothers, be liberal have been profited, and I know what it is to put all such and just; it is all one family, and we will not quarrel about things at defiance.

fractions. I am, Mr. President, fully sensible of the exposed situa- Sir, what objection is there to the adoption of the tion I occupy: standing on my own principles, bound to amendment? What does the amendment propose! It is no party, I am often shot at by all; but, sir, I shall now, not necessary that it should destroy the bill

. If the as I have always heretofore done, act on this question as amendment succeed, the bill will be improved, and give befits an American Senator, and maintain such a course as more satisfaction. The amendment proposes to reduce in my judgment best comports with the interests of my the price to fifty cents per acre, in favor of the Western country and my constituents

. Sir, I will not erouch be- settler.. If the money should thus be left in the pockets Death any imprecations. I have drunk deep of the bitter of the land purchasers, it would be more valuable than if cup of unkindness; I have often known what it was to appropriated to the object of the bill. The design of meet the cold ingratitude of those I have served and with the bill is to keep up the price of the public lands. If


Public Lands.

(Jan. 12, 1833.

the bill passes, it will be strong and conclusive evidence away. Now, sir, there is none of this in the amendment; that the prophecies of its opposers will be verified. The no such principle there. All his argument on that subject, amendment embraces a principle which I have advocated every one will see, is foreign to the question under confor years. I rejoice that it does so. The true interest of sideration, and need not, therefore, be answered. I can the West is to reduce the price of the public lands. It see no force in it, unless it is intended to raise the imis of the utmost importance to the West that their vacant pression that we are about to lay violent hands on these lands be occupied, and their population augmented. It lands, and convert them to our use; and, therefore, they is not necessary to go over former grounds, but I will say are justifiable in doing so first. a few things on this point. Whenever the public lands But, sir, the people will see and understand this matter shall be sold out at a fair price, the population will be in its true light, and apply to it its appropriate merit. more dense, and readier and able to aid in promoting the The Senator says, speculators will engross the lands. object of the Government; society will be improved; the This, sir, is an old song-too long sung—it has lost its interests of religion, education, good morals, and man- merit and charms; no one believes in it now! The rage ners will be better promoted; and the people will be for land speculation is over. Can any one be so blind as better able to extend the facilities and blessings attendant to believe, that at the price and rate fixed by this amendupon them. They will be able, in all respects, to provide ment, any one will attempt to speculate? The price is too better for their families. The Senator from Kentucky great to induce speculation, and five years' settlement and said, people want something else besides land. But if the occupancy is too long for a speculator; besides, the occu. land is thrown away, there is nothing left. The people pant cannot sell his possession. If, sir, in Ohio and Kendo want something else besides land; and by reducing the tucky, where the price of lands was, in early times, much price of land you enable them to get that something else. lower than under this amendment, the speculators in land You will ameliorate their condition, and remove the hard-could not stand up, how can they do it under the price ships to which they are now subjected. They now suffer proposed by the amendment? Sir, the taxes on the lands, every hardship imaginable. Remote from mills and other added to the price, will forever check the attempt to similar conveniences, it is only with great trouble that speculation. But why, if this provision is favorable to they procure those advantages. Remote from medical speculation, is it that speculators are opposed to it? These aid, their lives and health are in constant danger. Distant men were never known to go against their interest. I from schools, their children grow up without education. know many land speculators, and in the whole scope of Destitute, in want of churches, they are left without the my acquaintance there is not one in favor of reducing the means of religious instruction. Still, under all these price of lands, nor do I know many moneyed men for it, disadvantages, they press onward. They possess a spirit who use their money in trade. The argument of the Senof enterprise and industry, which keeps them above ator proves that all this supposed danger about speculawater. It is this, in a higher degree than in any other tion is a delusion, and that it is their interest to support part of the country, that keeps them from sinking: Is it the present price of lands; for he assumes the ground that not as well to promote the interests of these defenders we ought to keep up the price for the benefit of specula. and citizens of the country, as of the free blacks? Why tors. Did he not tell us that, if the price of the public should not the price of lands come down? The price of lands was reduced, it would put down the price of private lands is lowered; why should not the price of private lands; and insisted that we were bound to susthe public lands undergo a corresponding reduction? tain the former purchasers in that value! Who is it that There is no good reason, no other than the one I suggest is interested in this value? Not the farmer, but the speculaed—to continue and increase the expenses of the Govern- tors, who buy and sell land. Thus, sir, if this position ment, for the purpose of maintaining the tariff. Where be true, how are the speculators benefited by the reducis the hope of contentment under such a result? Then tion? Not so; those who now hold large tracts of land let us adhere to the amendment; if the bill must pass, will be compelled to sell for a less price instead of acquilet the amendment go with it; but I had much rather it ring more; and thus, not the speculator, but the tiller of had been the amendment alone. Our constituents expect the soil, will be benefited, by getting his land for a fair us to maintain, and never surrender, the principle em- and moderate price, and the country settled and improved, braced in the amendment. They expect us, on this according to the rights of the people secured to them un. subject, to do our duty. They have honored us, and we der the treaties and deeds of cession, and the constitu. ought not to desert them. The people of the West have tion of the United States, which put all the States and laid out much for their lands, and have trusted to Provi- citizens on an equal footing; (see 1st volume Laws United dence to afford them the means of getting free from their States, page 480, and page 8 Constitution United States;) embarrassment. Nothing but their industry ard the fer- until which is done the terms of those instruments are tility of the soil has sustained them. If it had not been not complied with. Five hundred years from this time, for industry and enterprise, unequalled, except in these our descendants will, in this chamber, be legislating on States alone, they must have sunk beneath their burdens. this land, says the Senator, (Mr. Clar.] This is monThe Senator says, that at the end of five years the bill strous. Then, by passing this bill, are the new States to may be altered, if found desirable. Sir, so may the price understand such a system of oppression is to be adopted, of the public lands be altered at any time.

in direct violation of our secured rights? For five hundred Reduce that price now, and next year, if you think best, years these States are to lose the right of taxing their real you can raise it. Shall we, notwithstanding, rivet this estates like other States! Does the Senator thus propose bill upon us for five years? The Senator said he would to embarrass the new States? Is this a fulfilment of the not surrender the lands. There is no proposition in the treaties and deeds of cession, and the object for which those amendment to give away the lands, or to surrender them. lands were granted? On the contrary, is it not a direct

The Senator has argued this amendment as he did the violation of it? bill to open a commercial canal through the Big Swamp. This, sir, is making colonies of the new States, and not He assumes facts, and provisions, and principles, not to sovereign, equal, and independent States, as you are be fou in either. Perhaps he had not read the canal bound to do. If you have the right thus to disregard the bill. He treated that as an arduous attempt to drain object of the grant, and terms of the treaty, you had a swamps, all the swamps on the Mississippi, &c., when right at the beginning never to settle those states, and there was no such provision or principle in that bill

. So thus perpetuate the Territorial Government. To keep now he assumes the ground that the proposed amendment them back by not selling those lands for five hundred is to cede all those lands to the States, or to give them 'years, and to perpetuate a Territorial Government, would

Jar 12, 1833.]

Public Lands.


be a direct violation of the treaty. And is not this the contented with the present policy, after the payment of same principle? Will gentlemen representing new States, the public debt. To avert the consequences which may contending for the equality of States, vote for this bill, be apprehended from this cause, to put an end forever to and thus sufrender their own views, and seal their fate? all partial and interested legislation on the subject, and to Does it not tie our hands hereafter? Shall we return to afford to every American citizen of enterprise the opour constituents, and tell them we made a good trade, and portunity of securing an independent freehold, it seems sold them for the best price we could get? Were we sent to me, therefore, best to abandon the idea of raising a fu-. here to trade, or to maintain great and important princi- ture revenue out of the public lands." ples! Shall the pecuniary considerations of this bill daz- And we have seen that reported by the Committee on zle our judgments, and lead us from our own principles? Manufactures. That is a departure from the object of Shall we give up the contest for the pittance allotted to these grants, whilst that recommended by the President us in the bill? Were I to do this, I would stand justly is a fulfilment of the objects. condemned beneath the burning censure of my consti- Sir, in this opinion the President sustains the power of tuents.

the constitut'on, the plighted faith of the Government, By the constitution of the United States it is expressly and the rights of the States and people; and, sir, the peodeclared, that the citizens of each State shall be entitled to ple will sustain

him, however he may be denounced by the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several particular individuals. Sir, I do not stand here to euloStates.

gize the President, or any man, nor to denounce any one. Did it ever enter into the minds of those great and good But, sir, I have given my public support to that individumen who recommended the acquisition of those lands, al, and it is due to myself, and the course I bave taken in that the districts were to be made colonies? or was it not the political affairs of the country to say, that whatever , their object that they should speedily be settled, and ad- may be his errors and his faults, I believe there lives not mitted into the Union as sovereign States, equal in all re on earth a purer patriot and more honest man, or one spects to the other States and was it not to strengthen and more wholly devoted to the interest and happiness of his enlarge the Union? I pray gentlemen to look into the his country; and that the plan just alluded to, however it tory of this matter.

may be taunted and denounced by certain men, will live in Did that great apostle of liberty and equality, the ever the grateful breasts of his countrymen, and be hailed as a memorable republican reformer, under whose wise ad- monument of wisdom, patriotism, and justice, when that vice Louisiana was acquired, expect to see her colonized which is proposed as a substitute will sink beneath the thus) Look to the treaty, and, sir, you see the reverse. anathemas of those whom it is destined to injure. Sir, She is to be an equal and sovereign member of the Union! this excitement of the age will pass away, and the calm of Is she so, whilst other States enjoy rights she does not? sober reflection succeed the tempest of irritation and re. Is Louisiana now again, at this late hour, to be revisited venge, and then justice will be measured out to all men. with that same spirit which resisted the purchase and The Senator says there is no general discontent in the settlement of the province, and that, too, coming from a West. Thus he speaks for the whole West. I will only quarter, of all others, she least expected it-from Ken- say, tbe Senator is not sufficiently informed, or he would tucky?

not use this language. It is not reasonable to suppose he The Senator says, that the plan recommended by the could be well informed on this subject; for, although he President is contracted, unjust, and partial. This he recom- represents one of the Western States, yet there are many mends is broad, equal, and just. In general, I have beyond him, among which he would not be considered great respect for the opinions of that Senator, but cannot the best authority. It is long since his was a frontier agree in this with him.

State; great changes are every day going on, too; some I beg gentlemen to contrast the two schemes--we have men haye gone from the North and East, to the West, them both before us.

beyond him, and, strange as it may appear, yet it is true, This is the plan recommended by the President: “It that some men who were once devoted to the West have seems to me to be our true policy that the public lands gone to the East. The glory of the setting sun is lost to shall cease, as soon as practicable, to be a source of reve. us, and he now wastes his golden rays in the cold and nue; and that they be sold to settlers in limited parcels, at heartless regions of the North. a price barely sufficient to reimburse to the United States I live in the West, I represent a part of the West, and the expense of the present system, and the cost arising I assure gentlemen there is great discontent there, and under our Indian compacts. The advantages of accurate that it will increase until the cause is removed. Gentlesurveys and undoubted titles, now secured to purchasers, men delude themselves, and mislead their friends, by enseem to forbid the abolition of the present system, be tertaining and sending out such notions. He says we cause none can be substituted which will more perfectly bought Louisiana, and therefore can exercise our discreaccomplish these important ends. It is desirable, how- tion on the subject of her lands. . By this it is meant that ever, that, in convenient time, this machinery be with there is no limitation of power, and that Congress can do drawn from the States, and that the right of soil, and the as they please over her lands and her citizens. This is future disposition of it, be surrendered to the States re- not so; she is protected by the treaty. (See Land Laws, spectively in which it lies.

page 43, as before referred to.) I ask, could the Govern“ The adventurous and hardy population of the West, ment sell or retrocede Louisiana, or could Congress have besides contributing their equal share of taxation under refused to admit her into the Union, without violating the our impost system, have, in the progress of our Govern. treaty? If the purchase implied the right to sell, as in orment, for the land they occupy, paid into the treasury a dinary cases, all this might be done. What, then, prevents large proportion of forty millions of dollars; and of the it? The constitution; the articles of compact, which revenue received therefrom, but a small part has been ex- make all the States equal; and the treaty with France, pended among them. When, to the disadvantage of which says she shall be admitted into the Union, to the full their situation in this respect, we add the consideration enjoyment of all the rights and privileges and immunities that it is their labor alone which gives real value to tire with the other States. And, remember, France was a relands, and that the proceeds arising from their sales are public then, and did not intend to sell her citizens as distributed among States which had not originally any slaves. Where is our power, then, to restrict any of those claim to them, ani which have enjoyed the undivided rights? And, sir, are we not by the terms of that treaty emolament arising from the sale of their own lands, it can to remove all embarrassments to those rights? Can we renot be expected that the new States will remain longer fuse to legislate, with a view to continue those embarrass

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »