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as its friends were concerned, nothing was asked but a vote, which would not have consumed ten minutes. But a vote was precisely what the Southern managers were determined to avoid.
Instantly, therefore, upon the announcement of the success of Mr. Wade's motion, which brought the bill before the Senate, Mr. Hunter took the floor, and moved that it be set aside, so as to take up another bill, viz.: the Diplomatic and Consular Appropriation bill.
No question of order was raised upon this motion of Mr. Hunter, but it was well characterized as 66 child's play," to move to set aside a bill, instantly after a vote to take it up. Pending some conversational debate upon Mr. Hunter's motion, the hour of twelve o'clock arrived, and the Vice-President decided that the Cuba bill, having been assigned for that hour, was the subject pending before the Senate.
Hereupon, Mr. Wade moved to postpone the twelve o'clock order, and continue the consideration of the Homestead bill, and this motion prevailed by the following vote:
YEAS-Messrs. Bell, Bright, Broderick, Chandler, Clark, Collamer, Dixon, Doolittle, Douglas, Durkee, Fessenden, Foot, Foster, Hale, Hamlin, Harlan Johnson of Tennessee, King, Pugh, Rice, Seward. Sim mons, Smith, Stuart, Trumbull, Wade, and Wilson
NAYS-Messrs. Allen, Bates, Benjamin, Bigler, Brown, Clay, Clingman, Davis, Fitch, Fitzpatrick, Green, Gwin, Hammond, Hunter, Iversons, Johnson, of Arkansas, Lane, Mallory, Mason, Pearce, Reid, Sebastian, Slidell,
Toombs, Ward, and Yulee-26.
On this vote, an additional Southern Senator, Mr. Bell, of Tennessee, ranged himself on the side of Homesteads. But this was offset by the ratting back to the negative side of Mr. Gwin.
The Homestead bill was now again before the Senate, but the question, as stated by the Vice-President, was still upon Mr. Hunter's motion to set it aside, and take up the Consular and Diplomatic Appropriation bill.
Mr. Mason, of Virginia, threatened an "extended debate" upon the Homestead bill, if its consideration were insisted upon. He declared, at any rate, for himself that he intended to "go into it pretty largely, because he had not yet known a bill so fraught with mischief, and mischief of the most demoralizing kind."
Mr. Wade and Mr. Seward, in brief and energetic terms, exhorted the friends of the bill to stand firm.
these five, Mr. Gwin, is only a temporary resi dent of a Free State.
Of the twenty-eight votes for overslaughing it, all but five are from the South, and one of
Of the twenty-eight votes in favor of sustaining the bill, only three are from the South, and only one of the three (Johnson of Tennessee,) is a Democrat.
Two days afterward, on the 19th of February, Mr. Wade again moved to set aside all prior orders and take up the Homestead bill; but this motion was negatived by the following vote:
YEAS.-Messrs. Broderick, Chandler, Clark, Collamer,
Dixon, Doolittle, Durkee, Fessenden, Foot, Hale Hamlin, Harlan, Johnson of Tennessee, Jones, King, Pugh, Rice, Seward, Shields, Simmons, Stuart, Trum bull, Wade, and Wilson-24.
NAYS.-Messrs. Allen, Bates, Bayard, Benjamin, Bigler, Davis, Fitch, Fitzpatrick, Green, Hammond, Houston, Bright, Brown, Chestnut, Clay, Clingman, Crittenden, Hunter, Iverson, Kennedy, Mallory, Mason, Pearce, Polk, Reid, Sebastian, Slidell, Smith, Toombs, Ward, and Yulee-81.
Upon these two days, the 17th and 19th of February, the question was made between the consideration of the Homestead bill and the consideration of the appropriation bills, the necessity of passing which last bills did not fail to be insisted upon by the Democratic managers. a subsequent stage of the session, as will be presently seen, the question was made between considering the Homestead bill and considering the Cuba bill.
Upon the 25th day of February, upon the occasion of a motion by Mr. Slidell to postpone all prior orders and take up the bill for the purchase of Cuba, Mr. Doolittle resisted it, and it down, so that he himself might submit a mocalled upon the friends of Homesteads to vote tion to take up the Homestead bill. Mr. Doo
I think it would be better to take up this question of the Homestead bill and vote upon it, and then the Cuba bill will come up. I ask the friends of the Homestead bill now to stand by it and give it the preference.
The vote was then taken, and the motion to take up the Cuba bill prevailed, as follows:
YEAS-Messrs. Allen, Bayard, Bell, Benjamin, Bigler, Brown, Chestnut, Clay, Clingman, Davis, Fitch, Fitzpatrick, Green, Gwin, Hammond, Houston, Hunter, Iverson, Jones, Lane, Mallory, Mason, Polk, Pugh, Reid, Rice, Sebastian, Shields, Slidell, Smith, Stuart, Toombs, Ward, Wright, and Yulee-35.
NAYS-Messrs. Broderick, Cameron, Chandler, Clark, den, Foot, Foster, Hule, Hamlin, Harlan, Johnson of Collamer, Dixon, Doolittle, Douglas, Durkee, Fessen
Tennessee, Kennedy, King, Pearce, Seward, Simmons, Trumbull, Wade, and Wilson-24.
The Cuba bill was now up, and the discussion upon it protracted the session late into the night, and almost into the next morning. It was distinctly seen during the progress of this discussion that it would be without practical result, and that no vote could be reached before the final adjournment of Congress.
Accordingly, at ten o'clock in the evening, Mr. Doolittle felt it to be his duty to renew the attempt to set aside the Cuba bill, the subjectmatter of a manifestly idle debate, so as to take up the Homestead bill. His motion to that effect, and the commencement of the debate upon it, will be found on page 1351 of the CongresSuch extracts are made as will sional Globe. exhibit its general character:
Mr. Trumbull.-If there was any assurance that the Homestead bill could be taken up, after the Cuba ques
tion was disposed of, I should be willing to see it have
the go-by on the present occasion; but we have sought
repeatedly to bring up the Homestead bill, and every | of March, 1860, Mr. Lovejoy, from the Commovement that has been made to bring it up has been mittee on Public Lands, reported the following met with a counter movement, crowding it out of the way with something else. If the senator from Virginia will give us an as-urance that we shall have a chance to bring up the Homestead bill, and keep it before the Senate until we can get a vote upon it, after the Cuba bill is through, and that he will not interpose an appropriation bill, I would join with gentlemen in asking my friend from Wisconsin to withdraw the motion he has made.
bill (previously introduced by Mr. Grow), which was read twice, and committed to the Committee of the Whole.
Mr. Hunter. I certainly will press the appropriation bills. I will give no promise to vote to take up the Homestead bill.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That any person who is the head of a family, or who has arrived at the age of twenty-one years, and is a citizen of the United States, or who shall have filed his intention to become such, as required by the naturalization laws of the United States, shall, from and after the passage of this act, be entitled to enter, free of cost, one hundred and sixty acres of unappropriated public lands, upon which said person may have filed a preemption claim, or which may, at the time the application is made, be subject to preëmption at one dollar and twenty-five cents, or less, per acre; or eighty acres of such unappropriated lands, at two dollars and fifty cents per acre; to be located in a body, in conformity to the legal subdivisions of the public lands, and after the same shall have been surveyed.
§ 2. And be it further enacted, That the person applying for the benefit of this act shall, upon application to the register of the land office in which he or she is about to make such entry, make affidavit before the said register or receiver that he or she is the head of a family, or is twenty-one years or more of age, and that such application is made for his or her exclusive use and benefit, and those specially mentioned in this act, and not either directly or indirectly for the use or benefit of any other person or persons whomsoever; and upon filing the affidavit with the register or receiver, he or she shall thereupon be permitted to enter the quantity of land specified: Provided, however, That no certificate shall be given or patent issued therefor until the expiration of five years from the date of such entry; and if, at the expiration of such time, or at any time within two years thereafter, the person making such entry-or if he be dead, his widow; or in case of her death, his heirs or devisee; or in case of a widow making such entry, her heirs or devisee, in case of her death-shall prove by two credible witnesses that he, she, or they have resided upon and cultivated the same for the term of five years immediately succeeding the time of filing the affidavit aforesaid; then, in such case, he, she, or they, if at that time a citizen of the United States, shall, on payment of ten dollars, be entitled to a patent, as in other cases provided for by law: And provided, further, That in case of the death of both father and mother, leaving an infant child, or children, under twenty-one years of age, the right and fee shall inure to the benefit of said infant child, or children; and the executor, administrator, or guardian may, at any time within two years after the death of the surviving parent, and in accordance with the laws of the State in which such children for the time being have their domicil, sell said land for the benefit of said infants, but for no other purpose; and the purchaser shall acquire the absolute title by the purchase, and be entitled to a patent from the United States, on payment of the office fees and sum of money herein specified.
SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That the register of the land office shall note all such applications on the all such entries, and make return thereof to the General tract-books and plats of his office, and keep a register of Land Office, together with the proof upon which they have been founded.
quired under the provisions of this act shall in no event SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That all lands acbecome liable to the satisfaction of any debt or debts contracted prior to the issuing of the patent therefor. time after the filing of the affidavit, as required in the SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That if, at any second section of this act, and before the expiration of the five years aforesaid, it shall be proven, after due no tice to the settler, to the satisfaction of the register of the shall have actually changed his or her residence, or land office, that the person having filed such affidavit abandoned the said entry for more than six months at any time, then, and in that event, the land so entered
shall revert to the government.
SEC 6. And be it further enacted, That no individual shall be permitted to make more than one entry under the provisions of this act; and that the Commissioner of the General Land Office is hereby required to prepare and issue such rules and regulations, consistent with this
In the House of Representatives, on the 6th act, as shall be necessary and proper to carry its provi.
Mr. Trumbull.-That is as I expected. We now have notice that we are to be met with an appropriation bill the moment that the Cuba question is disposed of, and here we are wasting our time at this stage of the session in making long speeches, and debating about the acquisition of a country that does not belong to us, instead of providing for the settlement of the country which we own. There can be no hope of getting up the Homestead bill as against an appropriation bill.
Mr. Seward.-After nine hours yielding to the discussion of the Cuba question, it is time to come back to the great question of the day and the age. The Senate may as well meet face to face the issue which is before them. It is an issue presented by the competition between these two questions. One, the Homestead bill, is a question of homes, of lands for the landless freemen of the United States. The Cuba bill is a question of slaves for the slaveholders of the United States.
Mr. Wade.-I am very glad that this question has at length come up. I am glad, too, that it has antagonized with this nigger question. (Laughter.) I have been trying here for nearly a month to get a straightforward vote upon this great measure of land for the landless. I glory in that measure. It is the greatest that has ever come before the American Senate, and it has now come so that there is no dodging it. The question will be, shall we give niggers to the niggerless, or lands to the landless?
I moved some days ago to take up this subject. It was said then that there was an appropriation bill that stood in the way. The senator from Virginia had his appropriation bills. It was important, then, that they should be settled at once; there was danger that they would be lost, and the Government would stop in consequence; and the appeal was made to gentlemen to give this bill the go-by for the time being, at all events, and the appeal was successful. The appropriation bills lie very easy now behind this nigger operation. (Laughter.) When you come to niggers for the niggerless, all other questions sink into insignificance.
Mr. Doolittle's motion to set aside the Cuba bill for the purpose of taking up the Homestead bill, was lost, by the following vote:
YEAS-Messrs. Broderick, Cameron, Clark, Chandler, Collamer, Doolittle, Fessenden, Foot, Foster, Hale, Hamlin, Harlan, Johnson of Tennessee, King, Seward, Simmons, Trumbull, Wade, and Wilson-19.
NAYS-Messrs. Allen, Benjamin, Bayard, Bigler, Brown, Chestnut, Clay, Clingman, Douglas, Fitch, Fitzpatrick, Green, Gwin, Hunter, Iverson, Johnson of Arkansas, Lane, Mallory, Mason, Polk, Pugh, Reid, Rice, Sebastian, Shields, Slidell, Toombs, Ward and Wright-29.
A BILL TO SECURE HOMESTEADS TO ACTUAL
This was the last attempt made to get up the Homestead bill in the Senate. It had first been overslaughed by the appropriation bills, and now by the Cuba bill, and no expectation remained of reaching it during the few remaining days of the session. The Republicans, who had endeavored to get it up in all forms and on all occasions without success, felt it to be their duty to abandon a manifestly hopeless struggle. From this review of the votes in the Senate and House, it will be seen that the two great national parties, the one representing the rights and interests of free labor, and the other representing the pretensions of Negro Slavery, have come to a well-defined issue upon this great matter of the disposition of the Public Domain.
sions into effect; and that the registers and receivers of the several land offices shall be entitled to receive the same compensation for any lands entered under the provisions of this act that they are now entitled to receive when the same quantity of land is entered with money, one-half to be paid by the person making the application at the time of so doing, and the other half on the issue of the certificate, by the person to whom it may be issued: Provided, That nothing contained in this act shall be so construed as to impair or interfere in any manner whatever with existing preemption rights: And provided, further, That all persons who may have filed their applications for a preêmption right prior to the passage of this act shall be entitled to all privileges of this act.
Subsequently, a motion was made by Mr. Lovejoy, to reconsider the vote by which the bill had been referred to the Committee of the Whole. On Monday, March 12, Mr. Lovejoy called up this motion, and under the operation of the previous question, it was agreed to, 106 to 67, as follows:
YEAS.-Messrs. Adrain, Aldrich, Ashley, Babbitt, Bingham, Blake, Buffinton, Burlingame, Campbell, Carey, Carter, Case, John Cochrane, Colfax, Conkling, Cooper, Corwin, Covode, Cox, James Craig, Curtis, John G, Davis, Dawes, Delano, Duell, Dunn, Edgerton, Elliot, Fenton, Ferry, Florence, Foster, Fouke, Frank, French, Gooch, Graham, Grow, Gurley, Hale, Hall, Haskin, Helmick, Hoard, Holman, Howard, Hutchins, Junkin, Francis W. Kellogg, William Kellogg, Kilgore, Killinger, Larrabee, De Witt C. Leach, Lee, Logan, Loomis, Lovejoy, Maclay, Marston, Charles D. Martin, McClernand, McKean, McKnight, Millward, Moorhead, Morrill, Edward Joy Morris, Morse, Olin, Pendleton, Perry, Porter, Potter, Pottle, Rice, Riggs, Christopher Robinson, James C. Robinson, Royce, Schwartz, Scott, Scranton, Sedgwick, Sherman, Somes, Spinner, Stanton, Stout, Stratton, Tappan, Thayer, Tompkins, Train, Trimble, Vallandigham, Vandever, Verree, Waldron, Walton, Cad walader C. Washburn, Ellihu B Washburne, Israel Washburn, Wells, Windom, and Woodruff-106
NAYS-Messrs. GREEN ADAMS, Thomas L. Anderson, WILLIAM C. ANDERSON. Avery, Barksdale, Bocock, Bonham, BRABSON, Branch, BRISTOW, Burch, Burnett, Clopton, Cobb, Curry, Reuben Davis, De Jarnette, Edmundson, English, ETHRIDGE, Garnett, Gartrell, GILMER, Hardeman, J. MORRISON HARRIS, HATTON, HILL, Hindman, Houston, Hughes, Jackson, Jenkins, Jones, Keitt, Lamar, Landrum, Leake, Love, MALLORY, Elbert S. Martin, MAYNARD, McQueen, McRae, Miles, Millson, Montgomery, NELSON, Niblack, Noell, Peyton, Pryor, Pugh, Reagan, Ruffin, Sickles, Simms, Singleton, William Smith, WILLIAM N. H SMITH, Stevenson, STOKES, Underwood, VANCE, WEBSTER, Whiteley, Woodson, and Wright-67.
Republicans in Roman; Democrats in Italics; Americans in SMALL CAPS; Anti-Lecompton Democrats in
So the motion was reconsidered, and the bill was before the House. Mr. Lovejoy moved that the bill be engrossed and read a third time. Mr. Branch (N. C.) moved to lay the bill on the table. Lost, 62 to 112, the yeas being all from the South, except Mr. Montgomery, Democrat, of Pennsylvania, and the nays all from the North, except Mr. James Craig, Democrat, of Missouri. So the House refused to lay the bill on the table; and it was read a third time and passed. The vote was as follows-The Republicans in Roman, the Administration Democrats in Italics, the Americans in SMALL CAPS, and the AntiLecompton Democrats in Roman spaced:
NEW-HAMPSHIRE.-Marston, Tappan-2. VERMONT.-Morrill, Royce, Walton-8. MASSACHUSETTS.—Buffinton, Dawes, Delano, Elliot, Gooch, Rice, Thayer, Train-8. CONNECTICUT.-Burnham, Ferry, Loomis, Woodruff-4. RHODE-ISLAND.-Christopher Robinson-1. NEW-YORK-Barr, BRIGGS, Carter, John Cochrane, Conkling, Duell, Fenton, Frank, Graham, Haskin, Hoard, Humphrey, Lee, Maclay, McKean, Olin, Pottle, Sickles, Spinner, Van Wyck, Wells-21.
MICHIGAN-Cooper, Francis W. Kellogg, De Witt C. Leach, Waldron-4.
INDIANA.-Case, Colfax, John G. Davis, Dunn, English, Holman, Kilgore, Niblack, Porter, Wilson-10. ILLINOIS.-Fouke, Wm. Kellogg, Logan, Lovejoy, McClernand, James C. Robinson, E. B. Washburne-7 WISCONSIN.-Larrabee, Potter, C. C. Washburn-3. IOWA.-Curtis, Vandever-2. MINNESOTA.-Aldrich, Windom-2.
MISSOURI.-James Craig-1. Total, 115.
All from the Free States except James Craig, of Missouri.
MARYLAND.-H. WINTER DAVIS, J. M. HARRIS, Hughes, WEBSTER 4.
VIRGINIA. Bocock, De Jarnette, Edmundson, Garnett, Jenkins, Leake, Elbert S. Martin, Wilson, Pryor, William Smith-10.
NORTH CAROLINA.-Branch, GILMER, Ruffin, WILLIAM N. H. SMITH, VAnce—5.
SOUTH CAROLINA.-Bonham, Keith, McQueen, Miles-2. GEORGIA.-Gartrell, HARDEMAN, HILL, Jackson, Jones, Love, Underwood—7.
ALABAMA.-Clopton, Cobb, Curry, Houston, Suydenham Moore, Pugh—6.
MISSISSIPPI-Bartsdale, Reuben Davis, Lamar, McRea, Singleton-5.
MISSOURI.-Thomas L. Anderson, Noell, Woodson-8 TENNESSEE.-Avery, ETHERIDGE, HATTON, MAYNARD, NLSON, STOKES, Wright-7.
KENTUCKY.-GREEN, ADAMS, WILLIAM C. ANDERSON, BRISTOW, Burnett, MALLORY, Peyton, Simms, Stevenson-8. Total, 65.
All from Slave States except Montgomery, Dem., of Pennsylvania.
referred to the Committee on Public Lands, This bill was sent to the Senate, where it was and on the 17th of April, Mr. Johnson, of Tennessee, the Chairman of that Committee, reported a substitute for the House bill, granting Homesteads to actual settlers, at 25 cents per acre, but not including preemptors then occupying the Public Lands. When this bill came before the Senate for action, Mr. Wade, of Ohio, moved to amend, by substituting the House bill, which was lost, 26 to 31, as follows: Clark, Collamer, Dixon, Doolittle, Douglas, Durkee, YEAS-Messrs. Anthony, Bingham, Cameron, Chandler, Foot, Foster, Grimes, Hale, Hamlin, King, Rice, Seward, Simmons, Sumner, Ten Eyck, Toombs, Trumbull, Wade, Wilkinson, and Wilson-26.
Chesnut, Clay, Clingman, Davis, Fitch, Fitzpatrick, NAYS-Messrs. Bayard, Bigler, Bragg, Bright, Brown, Green, Gwin, Hammond, Hemphill, Hunter, Iverson, Johnson, of Arkansas, Johnson, of Tennessee, Lane, Latham, Mason, Nicholson, Polk, Powell, Pugh, Saulsbury, Sebastian, Slidell, Wigfall, and Yulee-81.
Yeas, all Republicans except three, Douglas,
MAINE.-Foster, French, Morse, Perry, Somes, Israel Rice, and Toombs. Nays, all Democrats.
The Senate finally, on the 10th May, passed Messrs. Bragg, Clingman, Hamlin, Hunter, Mr. Johnson's bill, 44 to 8, the Nays being Mason, Pearce, Powell and Toombs. The House refused to concur; the Senate refused to recede, and the result was a protracted conference on the part of Committees of the two Houses, which committees finally came to an agreement,
pose all public lands to sale within two years after they shall have been surveyed. which we held would be peculiarly oppressive upon the pioneers who had gone to the frontier to settle upon the public lands, and to which we could never have consen ed. Now, Mr. Speaker, I desire to state, in conclusion, that the compromise we have made upon the subject is not in accordance with what I should desire to have passed, if I had the power to frame the bill myself; but it is the very utmost we could obtain from the Senate, as now constituted. The Senators who served with us on the Conterence have been notified by me, and also by my colleague (Mr. Windom, of Minnesota,) that we regard this as but a single step in advance toward a law which we shall defea-mand from the American Congress, enacting a comprehensive and liberal Homestead policy. This we have agreed to as merely an avant courrier. We shall demand it at the next session of Congress, and until it is granted; until all the public lands shall be open to all the people of the United States; and I state this publicly, that no one shall regard us as estopped hereafter, because we accepted this half-way measure rather than to allow the whole to fail. I should have added that all persons, whether citizens or those who have only declared their intentions, are allowed to go on the lands under this bill; but are required to perfect their naturalization before the five years expire, and the patent issues. I now demand the previous question on concurring on the report of the Committee, and passing the bill as thus amended.
on the 19th June, by the House accepting the Senate bill with slight amendments. On that day Mr. Schuyler Colfax reported to the House as follows:
Mr. Colfax.-I rise to a question of privilege. I am instructed by the Committee of Conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses bn the Homestead bill, to report that, after twelve meetings of the three different Conferences that have been appointed, they this morning finally agreed. I hold in my hand the report of the Committee, which can be read if any gentleman desires it. But perhaps it would render the report clearer and more intelligible if I should briefly state its leading tures. The Senate bill all the members of the House are familiar with. The Conferees upon the part of the House finding, after the most earnest efforts, that it would be utterly impossible for them to induce the Senate to agree to the House bill, have been discussing what changes could be made in the Senate bill, so as to render it acceptable enough for the House to accept, rather than the whole should fail. They have finally agreed upon a report as follows: In the first place, I will say that the bill, as it passed the Senate, provided that the preemptors now upon the public lands might remain there two years before they should be required to purchase their lands, but should then pay for them at the rate of $1 25 per acre, thus removing them entirely from within the purview of the benefits which would apply to the settlers hereafter upon the public lands. This point the House Conferees refused to accede to, and if persisted in, we should have again reported a disagreement. Finally, however, a compromise was arranged on this point, and to protect the preemptors now on the Government land, which was to be advertised this fall for sale, we changed the Senate bill so as to protect them for at least two years from land sales, and to allow them then to secure their homes at one half the Government price, namely sixty-two and a-half cents per acre. I need scarcely add, that, if the Senate could have been induced to give them the benefit of their twenty-five-cent-per-acre provision, we should have insisted on it inflexibly; but what I have stated is the very lowest point that could be obtained. The second change we have made in the Senate bill is in relation to the scope of land coming under the operations of the The House bill embraced all the Government land, offered or unoffered, except such as was specially reserved. The Senate bill confined its provisions to land subject to private entry, exclusively. As I have explained on a former occasion, the expression "subject to private entry" means such as are left after the lands have been once regularly brought into market, exposed to public sale, and the speculators have taken such as they see fit to purchase. The difference between these two bills seemed so radical as to be incapable of adjustment; and the scope of farming land covered by the Senate bill was so limited, there being but little, if any, in Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, California, Oregon, and Washington, that the House conferees declined to accept it. But on this, too, we finally effected a compromise. By our report, all the land subject to private entry is included, and, in addition, all the odd-numbered sections of the surveyed public lands, which have not been opened to public sale-a most material and beneficent enlargement of the Senate bill. We were offered, after this agreement,
whichever half of the unoffered lands we chose, and we took the odd-numbered sections. The reason for this
was, that the 16th section of a township, being reserved for school purposes by our land laws, the four adjoining sections to it, on the north, west, east, and south, are sections 9, 15, 17, and 21, all odd-numbered sections, which are thus saved for homestead settlers, who have reserved for them 18 out of the 35 disposable sections in each township of six miles square.
On all these lands, actual settlers, who are heads of families, are allowed, after having occupied the land for five years, to purchase at 25 cents per acre, which is about the average cost price of the public lands to the Government. We struggled, of course, to include all young men over 21 who are not heads of families, and to adopt the Free Homestead principle of the House bill; but on these points the Senate was inflexible, and we took what we did because it was the very best we could get. The Senate bill originally provided that the Homestead settler might acquire title to his land at any time by paying full Government prices; but desiring to promote actual settlement, we now provide that he cannot do this till after he has been on the land six months. When he stays, or his family if he deceases, the full five years he obtains it at 25 cents per acre. The Senate have also agreed to strike out the eighth section of their bill, which made it imperative upon the President to
Mr. Farnsworth.-I desire to ask the gentleman from Indiana whether this bill confines its benefits to those who are heads of families.
Mr. Colfax.-It does, because we failed, despite our utmost efforts, in procuring its extension to all; but we shall appeal to the young men to demand of those who make and who execute the laws, that the system inaugurated by this bill, shall be widened so as to admit then to its benefits, and I will join them in this demand.
Mr. Grow.-1 just desire to say that we have taken this bill, not because it is what we want, but on the principle that "half a loaf is better than no bread."
The House agreed to the Report of the Committee, 115 to 51, as follows:
YKAS.-Messrs. Ashley, Babbitt, Barr, Bingham, Franc's P. Blair, Samuel S. Blair, Blake, Brayton, Briggs, Butlinton, Burch, Burlingame, Burnham, Butterfield, Campbell, Carey, Carter, Case, Horace F. Clark, Cobb, Colfax, Corwin, Covode, Cox, Curtis, John G. Davis, Dawes, Delano, Duell, Dunn, Edgerton, Edwards, Elliot, Ely, Ferry, Florence, Foster, Frank, French, Gooch, Graham, Grow, Gurley, Hale, Hall, Haskin, Helmick, Hoard, Wm. Howard, Humphrey, Hutchins, Junkin, Francis W. Kellogg, Wm. Kellogg, Kenyon, Killinger, DeWitt C. Leach, Lee, Longnecker, Loomis, Maclay, Marston, McKean, McKnight, McPherson, Millward, Moorhead, Morrill, Edward Joy Morris, Isaac N. Morris, Morse, Niblack, Nixon, Olin, Palmer, Pendleton, Perry, Pettit, Phelps, Porter, Potter, Rice, Riggs, Christopher Robinson, Royce, Sedgwick, William Sherman, Somes, Spaulding, Spinner, Stanton Stewart, Stout, Tappan, Taylor, Thayer, Theaker, Tomp kins, Train, Trimble, Vandever, Van Wck, Verree, Wade, Walton, Cadwalader C. Washburn he Elihu B. Washburne, Israel Washburn, Wells, Windo ate, and Woodruff
NAYS-Messrs. Green Adams, Will iam C. Anderson, Ashmore, Avery, Barksdale, Bocor nat k, Bonham, Boyce, Brabson, Branch, Burnett, Clopton, plicBurton Craige, Crawford, Curry, De Jarnette, Gilmer. keer Hardeman, J. Morrison Harris, John T. Harris, Hatt of on, Houston, Jenkins, Jones, Keitt, Landrum, James M upc Leach, Leake, Love, Mallory, Maynard, McQueen, Mile Moore, Nelson, Peyton, Quarles, Tha, Millson, Sydenham Reagan, Ruffin, William Smith, William N. H. Smitt shh, Stevenson, Stokes, Thomas, Underwood, Vance, Welany son, and Wright-51.
ster, Winslow, Woodaten Tha The nays are all from the Slarequve States. The Senate agreed to the repe exort of the Conference Committee, 36 to 2-Me
ssrs. Bragg and
The following is the bill as it was finally reported by the Conference Committee and passed both Houses:
AN ACT to secure Homesteads to actual settlers on the Public Domain, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Represen tives of the United States of America in Congress ex-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-secthe 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, or 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- 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 celvers of the several land offices shall be entitled to affidavit 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 head 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 said graduation act, shall be allowed until making the affidavit as above required, and filing 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. 8 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 entry, her child or children, in case of her death, shall the receipt of the approved plat of such lands at the Disprove, by two credible witnesses, that he, she, or they-trict Land Office, within which to complete the proofs of that 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 term 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 preemptors, 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 624 quarter-section or fractional quarter-section of land upon cents per acre, if paid within two years from the pas which any preemption 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 preemption 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," apLand 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 Generalized by this act. Land Office, together with the proof upon which they have been founded.
§ 9. And be it further enacted, That nothing in this act shall be so construed as to prevent any person who has availed him or herself of the benefit of the first section of this act from paying the minimum price, or the price to which the same may have graduated, for the quantity of land so entered at any time after an actual settlement of six months, and before the expiration of the five years, and obtaining a patent therefor from the Government, as in other cases provided by law.
§3. And be it further enacted, That no land acquired under the provisions of this act shall in any event, become liable to the satisfaction of any debt or debts until after the issuing of the patent therefor.
§4. And be it further enacted, That if, at any time after filing the affidavit, as required in the first section of this act, and before the expiration of the five years aforesaid, it shall be proved, after due notice to the settler, to the satisfaction of the register of the Land Office, that the person having filed such affidavit shall have sworn falsely in any particular, or shall have voluntarily abandoned the possession and cultivation of the said land for more than six months at any time, or sold his right under the entry, then, and in either of those events, the register shall cancel the entry, and the land so entered shall revert to the Government, and be disposed of as other public lands are now by law, subject to antified 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 an- 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 Office, and, by the direction of the President of the United States, again advertised and offered at public sale.
§ 10. And be it further enacted, That all lands lying within the limits of a State which have been subject to sale at private entry, and which remain unsold after the lapse of thirty years, shall be, and the same are hereby, ceded to the State in which the same may be situated; Provided, These cessions shall in no way invalidate any inceptive preemption right or location, or any entry under this act, nor any sale or sales which may be made by the United States before the lands hereby ceded shall be cer
On the 23d, the President returned the bill to the Senate with his veto, as follows:
THE HOMESTEAD BILL.
VETO MESSAG OF THE PRESIDENT.
$5. And be it further enacted, That if any person, now or hereafter, a resident of any one of the States or Territories, and not a citizen of the United States, but who at the time of making such application for the benefit of this act, shall have filed a declaration of intention, as required by the naturalization laws of the United States, and shall have become a citizen of the same before the issuing of the patent as provided for in this act, such person shall be entitled to all the rights conferred by this act. § 6. And be it further enacted, That no individual | other purposes," presented to me on the 20th instant.
To the Senate of the United States.
I return, with my objections, to the Senate, in which it originated, the bill entitled An act to secure Homesteads to actual settlers on the public domain and for