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slaveholding or non-slaveholding States, I am not ap- | distinctly announced my opinion in favor of the power of prised of it. I believe the plan devised by the founders Congress to abolish Slavery in the District of Columbia, of the Government, including the Fathers of our Political although I was, for reasons which were then, and are still Church, for the treatment of this great subject, and which satisfactory to my mind, very decidedly opposed to its has hitherto been so faithfully sustained, and which has exercise there. The question of power is certainly as proven so successful in preserving the Union of these clear in respect to the Territories as it is in regard to that States, to be not only the wisest which the wit of man District; and as to the Territories, my opinion was also could have devised; but the only one consistent with the made known in a still more solemn form, by giving the safety and prosperity of the whole country. I do, there- Executive approval required by the Constitution to the fore, desire to see it continued so long as Slavery exists in bill for the organization of the Territorial Government of the United States. The extent to which I have sustained Iowa, which prohibited the introduction of Slavery into it in the various public stations I have occupied is known that Territory. to the country. I was at the time well aware that I went further in this respect than many of my best friends could approve. But deeply penetrated by the conviction that Slavery was the only subject that could endanger our blessed Union, I was determined that no effort on my part, within the pale of the Constitution, should be wanting to sustain its compromises, as they were then understood, and it is now a source of consolation to me that I pursued the course I then adopted.

Our ancestors signalized the commencement of this The doctrine which the late Baltimore Convention has glorious Government of ours, by rescuing from subjection presented for the sanction of the nation, is, in substance, to Slavery a Territory which is now covered by five great that the laws I referred to were but so many violations of States, and peopled by more than four millions of freemen, the Constitution-that this instrument confers no power on in the full enjoyment of every blessing which industry Congress to exclude Slavery from the Territories, as has and good institutions can confer. They did this when the so often been done with the assent of all. This doctrine opinions and conduct of the world in regard to the instiis set forth in the published opinion of the highly respect-tution of Slavery were very different from what they are able nominee of that Convention, who, it is well known, received that distinction, because he avowed that opinion, and who, it is equally certain, would not have received it if he had not done so. It is proposed to give this doctrine the most solemn sanction known to our political system, by the election of its declared advocate and supporter to the Presidency. If it receives the proposed sanction of the People of the United States, the result cannot be doubtful. The policy in regard to the extension of Slavery to the Territories of the United States into which it has not yet been introduced, which has existed since the commencement of the Government, and the consequences of which have been so salutary, must cease, and every act of Congress designed to carry it into effect be defeated by the Veto of the Executive.

The Territories how owned by the United States, and every acquisition of territory that may hereafter be made to the United States, whether obtained by annexation, by cession for a valuable consideration, or by conquest, must, as long as this opinion is held, and as far as the action of the National Legislature is concerned, be subject to the inroads of Slavery. And this consequence is to be submitted to on the assumption that the framers of the Constitution, with their attention directed to the subject, and with a well understood desire to do so, have failed to clothe Congress with the necessary powers to prevent it. I cannot, with my vote, contribute to this sanction. I cannot do so, because I cannot concur in the opinion which we are called upon to sustain.

Who can believe that a population like that which inhabits the non-slaveholding States, probably amounting to twelve millions, who by their own acts, or by the foresight of others, have been exempted from the evils of Slavery, can at such a moment be induced, by considerations of any description, to make a retrograde movement of a character so extraordinary and so painful? Such a movement would, in my view of the matter-and I say it The power, the existence of which is at this late day de- with unfeigned deference to the conflicting opinions of nied, is, in my opinion, fully granted to Congress by the Con-others-bring reproach upon the influence of free institustitution. Its language, the circumstances under which it tions, which would delight the hearts and excite the hopes was adopted, the recorded explanations which accompanied of the advocates of arbitrary power throughout the its formation-the construction it has received from our world. highest judicial tribunals, and the very solemn and repeated confirmations it has derived from the measures of the Government-leave not the shadow of a doubt in my mind, in regard to the authority of Congress to exercise the power in question. This is not a new opinion on my part, nor the first occasion on which it has been avowed. To Messrs. Nelson J. Waterbury, David Dudley Field, and While the candidate of my friends for the Presidency, I others, New York.

The opinion from which we dissent was given in the face of, and directly contrary to, the views expressed, in forms the most solemn and explicit, by all or nearly all the non-slaveholding States, and we are not at liberty to suspect the sincerity of these expressions. Honest and well-meaning men, as we know the masses of our political friends in those States to be, are incapable of trifling with so grave a subject.

THE Public Domain of the United States is still immense, notwithstanding the millions upon millions of acres which have been squandered or passed over to the hands of speculators and monopolists, by the action of the National Government during the past few years. It is estimated by intelligent persons, who have given their attention to the subject, that lying within the States and Territories of this Govern


They did so before Great Britain had even commenced those gigantic efforts for the suppression of Slavery by which she has so greatly distinguished herself. After seventy-four years' enjoyment of the sacred and invaluable right of self-government, obtained for us by the valor and discretion of our ancestors, we, their descendants, are called upon to doom, or if that is too strong a word, to expose to the inroad of Slavery, a territory capable of sustaining an equal number of new States to be added to our Confederacy-a territory in a great part of which Slavery has never existed in fact, and from the residue of which it has been expressly abolished by the existing Government. We are called upon to do this at a period when the minds of nearly all mankind have been penetrated by a conviction of the evils of Slavery, and are united in efforts for its suppression-at a moment, too, when the spirit of Freedom and Reform is everywhere far more prevalent than it has ever been, and when our Republic stands proudly forth as the great exemplar of the world in the science of Free Government.

Accept, gentlemen, my warmest acknowledgments for the obliging expressions contained in your letter, and believe me to be

Your friend,



Action of Congress on the Public Lands.

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ment there are now about one thousand millions of acres of public lands still unentered. "What shall be done with this immense domain ?" is a question which has for years occupied the minds of thoughtful men, who have the best interests of society at heart. At length, the great question of the proper disposition of these lands has become one of party, and may be stated as follows: "Shall the Public Domain be open

to monopoly by speculators, leading inevitably | ried, the bill never would have been reached, to a landed aristocracy? or shall it be reserved and would never have been heard of afterward. for actual occupants in small quantities, at a The vote upon the motion to refer the bill to nominal price, or without price ?" There would the Committee of the Whole, was as followsbe no difficulty whatever in adjusting this the Democrats in Roman, the Republicans in question at any time and in the right way, if Italics, and the Southern Americans in SMALL the Negro question, which, in the National CAPITALS: Administration, absorbs or overrides all others, were not behind it. Although this is an old question, it had never commanded in Congress, the attention to which it is entitled, previous to the organization of the Republican party; because until that time both the great parties into which the country was divided were either controlled, or their action was modified, by the Slaveholding interest of the country. That interest, which is ever vigilant, understands that Slavery cannot well exist were small freeholds prevail, and hence it opposes, with all its great power, all Preemption and Homestead laws, knowing well that if our new States and Territories are to be occupied in quarter-sections, they will be occupied by working farmers, and not by speculators and great planters.

Since this question has assumed a national importance, a concise record of the proceedings and votes in Congress during the session of 1858-9, and 1859-60, upon the disposition of the Public Domain, will be of interest as a matter of record.

CONNECTICUT.-Arnold, Bishop-2.

NEW-YORK.-Burroughs, Maclay, Russell, Taylor-4.


PENNSYLVANIA.-Ahl, Chapman, Dewart, Montgomery, Morris, Ritchie, White-7.


VIRGINIA-BOCock, Caskie, Edmundson, Faulkner, Garnett, Millson, Powell-7.

NORTH CAROLINA.-Craige, Ruffin, Scales, Winslow-4. SOUTH CAROLINA.-Boyce, Branch, Keitt, McQueen, Miles-5.

The opponents of the bill forthwith resorted to parliamentary tactics to avoid a direct issue apon Mr. Grow's proposition.

GEORGIA.-Crawford, Gartrell, Jackson, Seward, Stephens, TRIPPE, Wright-7.


ALABAMA.-Curry, Houston, Moore, Shorter-4.
MISSISSIPPI.-Barksdale, Davis, McRae-8.
LOUISIANA. EUSTIS, Sandidge, Taylor-3.
TEXAS.-Bryan, Reagan-2.

TENNESSEE.-Atkins, Jones, MAYNARD, READY, Savage,

KENTUCKY.-Burnett, Jewett, MARSHALL, Peyton, Stevenson, Talbott, UNDERWOOD-7.

On the 20th of January, 1859, (See Congressional Globe, p. 492,) a bill relating to preëmptions, reported from the Committee on Public Lands, was pending before the House. The bill proposed to make some changes in the details of existing preemption laws, but without affect-mins, ing the substance of the present system of disposing of the public lands. It was, however, in parliamentary order to propose to amend the bill so as to change the present system, and to bring the House to a direct vote upon such propositions. The friends of such change were prompt to avail themselves of this advantage.

Mr. Grow, of Pennsylvania, moved to amend the bill by adding the following as an additional section:

MISSOURI. ANDERSON, Caruthers, John B. Clark, James Craig, Phelps, WOODSON-6.

OHIO.-Burns, Cockerill, Groesbeck, Harlan, Law
rence, Nichols, Pendleton, Vallandigham-8.
INDIANA.-Davis, English, Gregg, Hughes, Niblack-5.
ILLINOIS.-Marshall, Morris, Shaw, Smith-4.
Total, 90.


MAINE.-Foster, Gilman, Morse, I. Washburn 4.
NEW-HAMPSHIRE.-Cragin, Tappan-2.
VERMONT.-Morrill, Royce, Walton-3.
MASSACHUSETTS.-Buffinton, Burlingame, Chaffee, Co-
Dawes, Hall, Knapp, Thayer-8.
RHODE ISLAND.-Brayton, Durfee-2.
CONNECTICUT.-Clark, Dean-2.

NEW-YORK.-Andrews, Clark, John Cochrane, Dodd,
Fenton, Granger, Hatch, Hoard, Kelsey, Matteson,
Morgan, Morse, Murray, Olin, Palmer, Parker, Spin
ner, Thompson-18.

NEW-JERSEY.-Clawson, Huyler-2.

PENNSYLVANIA.-Covode, Edie, Florence, Grow, Jones,
Keim, Leidy, Purviance, Stewart-9.
MARYLAND.-Bowie, Stewart-2.
VIRGINIA.-Goode, Hopkins-2.

ALABAMA.-Cobb, Dowdell, Stallworth-8.

Be it further enacted, That from and after the passage of this act, no public land shall be exposed to sale by proclamation of the President, unless the same shall have been surveyed, and the return of such survey duly filed in the Land Office, for ten years or more before such sale.

OHIO.-Bingham, Bliss, Giddings, Hall, Leiter, Mott, Sherman, Stanton, Tompkins, Wade-11. INDIANA.-Colfax, Foley, Kilgore, Pettit, Wilson



ILLINOIS.-Farnsworth, Kellogg, Lovejoy, Washburne,

MICHIGAN.-Howard, Leach, Walbridge, Waldron

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The force and effect of this amendment would be to give the preemptors ten years the start of the speculators and land monopolists. That is to say with the addition of Mr. Grow's amendment to the existing laws and regulations touching the Public Lands, they would be open to preemption ten years before they could come within the grasp of the speculator, thus giving tee of the Whole having thus failed, the House the poor, industrious settler ample time to was brought to a direct vote upon Mr. Grow's "clear up" his farm and pay for it from the pro- amendment, which was adopted by the followceeds of the soil. This was just what the South ing votes: and the Democracy did not want, as the sequel will show.

The motion to refer the bill to the Commit

WISCONSIN-Potter, Washburn—2.

Iowa.-Curtis, Davis-2.

MINNESOTA.-Cavanaugh, Phelps-2. Total, 92.



MAINE.-Foster, Gilman, Morse, Washburn, Wood

NEW-HAMPSHIRE.-Cragin, Pike, Tappan-3.
VERMONT.-Morrill, Royce, Walton-3.
MASSACHUSETTS.-Buffinton, Burlingame, Chaffee,
Comins, Davis, Dawes, Gooch, Hall, Knapp, Thayer

Their first movement was a motion to refer the bill and amendment to the Committee of the Whole, familiarly and aptly styled "the tomb of the Capulets." If that reference had been car-John Cochrane, Dodd, Fenton, Granger, Hoard, Kel

RHODE ISAND.-Brayton, Durfee-2.

NEW-YORK.-Andrews, Bennett, Burroughs, Clark,

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Stephens, TRIPPE, Wright-7.


ALABAMA.-Cobb, Curry, Dowdell, Houston, Moore, Shorter, Stallworth-7.

MISSISSIPPI.-Davis, McRae, Singleton-8,




ILLINOIS.-Farnsworth, Kellogg, Lovejoy, Morris,


WISCONSIN.-Potter, Washburn-2.
IOWA.-Curtis, Davis-2.
MINNESOTA.-Cavanaugh, Phelps-2.
MISSOURI,-Blair-1. Total-91.

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RHODE ISLAND.-Brayton, Durfee-2. CONNECTICUT.-Clark, Dean-2. NEW-YORK.-Andrews, Bennett, Burroughs, Clark, J. B. Cochrane, John Cochrane, Dodd, Fenton, Granger, Hatch, Hoard, Kelsey, Matteson, Morgan, Morse, Murray, Olin, Palmer, Parker, Spinner, Thompson -21.


NEW-YORK.-Corning, Russell, Searing, Taylor-4.

PENNSYLVANIA.-Ahl, Chapman, Dewart, Florence
Jones, Leidy, Montgomery, Phillips, White-9.

MARYLAND.-Bowie, RICAUD, Stewart-8.
VIRGINIA. Bocock, Caskie, Edmundson,
Goode, Hopkins, Millson, Powell-8.


NORTH CAROLINA.-Craige, GILMER, Ruffin, Scales, Shaw, VANCE, Winslow-7.


TRIPPE, Wright-6.


ALABAMA.-Cobb, Dowdell, Houston, Moore, Shorter

MISSISSIPPI.-Barksdale. Davis, McRae, Singleton-4
LOUISIANA.-Sandidge, Taylor-2.

TEXAS.-Bryan, Reagan-2.

TENNESSEE. MAYNARD, READY, Smith, Watkins, ZOLLI- ment, shows that a majority of the House was


KENTUCKY.-Burnett, Elliott, UNDERWOOD-3.
OHIO.-Burns, Cox, Hall, Pendleton, Vallandigham-5.
INDIANA.-Davis, Foley, Gregg, Hughes-4.
ILLINOIS.-Hodges, Marshall, Shaw, Smith-4.

really opposed to that amendment, although it
had been adopted by a vote of 98 to 81. Cer-
tain members, who did not dare to vote directly
against the amendment, joined in killing it

MISSOURI.—ANDERSON, Caruthers, Clark, Craig, Phelps, afterward, by killing the bill, of which it had

CALIFORNIA.-Scott-1. Total, 81.

been made a part by their own votes.

SOUTH CAROLINA.-Bonham, Boyce, McQueen-3.
GEORGIA. Crawford, Gartrel, Jackson,

OHIO.-Bingham, Bliss, Cox, Giddings, Hall, Harlan,
Horton, Leiter, Miller, Mott, Sherman, Stanton, Tomp-
kins, Wade-14.
MICHIGAN.-Howard, Leach, Walbridge, Waldron


INDIANA.-Colfax, Kilgore, Pettit, Wilson-4


TENNESSEE.-Atkins, Avery, Jones, MAYNARD, READY, Savage, Smith, Watkins, ZOLLICOFFER-9.

KENTUCKY.-Burnett, Clay, Elliott, Jewett, MARSHALL, Mason, Peyton, Stevenson, Talbott, UNDERWOOD-10. OHIO.-Burns, Cockerill, Groesbeck, Pendleton, Val landigham-5.

INDIANA.-Davis, Foley, Gregg, Hughes-4.
ILLINOIS.-Marshall, Shaw-2.

Upon the adoption of Mr. Grow's amendment, the Republican vote, as will be seen, was unanimously in the affirmative. Of the votes from the Slave States, all but nine were in the nega-ward against the bill. Only one, Mr. Blair, of tive, and, as we shall presently see, there was the nine Southern supporters of the amendonly one of that number who was really in favor ment, proved true to it in the end, and no other of it, this one being Mr. Blair, Republican, of Southern member came to its support in the Missouri. final vote, saving only Mr. Davis, of Maryland, who represents the free-labor interest of the city of Baltimore, rather than the interest of the slaveholding and landed aristocracy of the planting States.

Mr. Grow's amendment being incorporated into the bill, the next question was upon the passage of the bill, which was defeated by the following vote:

MISSOURI. ANDERSON, Caruthers, Clark, Craig, Phelps, WOODSON. Total-95.

The defeat of the bill, in consequence of the incorporation into it of Mr. Grow's amend

Thus Messrs. Stewart, of Maryland, Atkins, Avery, Jones and Savage, of Tennessee, and Jewett, Stephenson, and Talbot, of Kentucky, who had voted for the amendment, voted after

Afterward, on the same day, when these votes upon Mr. Grow's amendment were given, the representatives from Minnesota, both of them members of the Democratic party, delivered speeches, in which they made no secret of their chagrin that a measure so vital to their constituency encountered the nearly unanimous opposition of their political friends. Mr. Cavanaugh, one of the members from Minnesota (Globe, p. 505), said:

With reference to the vote on this bill to-day, with an overwhelming majority of this side of the House voting

NEW JERSEY.-Clawson, Robbins-2.
PENNSYLVANIA.-Covode, Dick, Edie, Grow, Keim, against my colleague and myself, voting against this bill,
Morris, Purviance, Ritchie, Stewart-9.

1 say it frankly, I say it in sorrow, that it was to the Re-
publican side of the House to whom we were compelled to
look for support of this just and honorable measure.
Gentlemen from the South, gentlemen who have broad
acres and wide plantations, aided here to-day by their
votes more to make Republican States in the North than
by any vote which has been cast within the last two
years. These gentlemen come here and ask us to support


the South; yet they, to a man almost, vote against the free, independent labor of the North and West.

I, sir, have inherited my Democracy; have been atached to the Democratic party from my boyhood; have believed in the great truths as enunciated by the "fathers of the faith," and have cherished them religiously, knowing that, by their faithful application to every department of this Government, this nation has grown up from struggling colonies to prosperous, powerful, and overeign States. But, sir, when I see Southern gentlemen come up, as I did to-day, and refuse, by their votes, to aid my constituents, refuse to place the actual tiller of the soil, the honest, industrious laborer, beyond the grasp And avarice of the speculator, I tell you, sir, I falter and Thesitate.

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The amendment of Mr. Grow, forbidding the public sales of lands for at least ten years after their survey, would secure the great bulk of the hands to preemptors, and would give them a long pay-day, and thus save them from the enormous usury they are now compelled to pay to money-lenders. It would not reduce the revenue derived by the Treasury from the public lands, but would only postpone it, and this postponement would be far less prejudicial to the Government than it would be beneficial to the settler. The Government can borrow money at four and a half per cent per annum, while the settler frequently pays five per cent. per month for the money to enter his lands, to prevent their sale at public auction.

On the first of February, the question of the Public Lands was again before the House, the pending bill (House bill No. 72) being a bill to secure Homesteads to actual settlers, and being in the words following:

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.

§3. And be it further enacted, That the register of the land office shall note all such applications on the tract-books and plats of his office, and keep a register of all such entries, and make a return thereof to the General Land Office, together with the proof upon which they have been founded.


1. 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 quarter-section of vacant and unappropriated public lands which may, at the time the application is made, be subject to private entry, at $1 25 per acre, or a quantity equal thereto, to be located in a body, in conformity with the legal subdivisions of public lands, and after the same shall have been surveyed.

$4. And be it further enacted, That all lands acquired under the provisions of this act shall in no event become liable to the satisfaction of any debt or debts con

tracted prior to the issuing the patent therefor.

$5. And be it further enacted, That if, at any time after the filing the affidavit, as required in the second section of this act, and before the expiration of the five years aforesaid, it shall be proven, 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 actually for more than six months at any time, then, and in that changed his or her residence, or abandoned the said entry event, the land so entered shall revert back to the Government, and be disposed of as other public lands are now by law, subject to an appeal to the General Land


86. 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 act, as shall be necessary and proper to carry its provisions 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 so doing, and the other half on the issue of the certificate by the person to whom it may be issued: Provided, That nothing in this act shall be so construed as to impair or interfere in any manner whatever with

A BILL TO SECURE HOMESTEADS TO ACTUAL SET- existing preemption rights.

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MAINE.-Abbott, Foster, Gilman, Morse, Washburn

NEW-HAMPSHIRE.-Cragin, Pike, Tappan-8.
VERMONT.-Morrill, Royce, Walton-8.
MASSACHUSETTS.-Buffinton, Burlingame, Chaffee,
Comins, Davis, Dawes, Gooch, Hall, Knapp, Thayer

2. And be it further enacted, That the person ap--5. plying 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 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-10. 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 making the affidavit as above required, and filing the affidavit with the register, he or she shall thereupon be permitted to enter the quantity of land already 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 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 creditable witnesses that he, she, or they, have continued to reside upon and cultivate such land, and still reside upon the same, and have not alienated the same, or any part thereof, then, in such case, he, she, or they, if at that time a citizen of the United States, shall, on pay. ment of ten dollars, be entitled to a patent, as in other cases provided by for law: And provided, further, 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 the 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

RHODE ISLAND.-Brayton, Durfee-2. CONNECTICUT.-Bishop, Clark, Dean-3. NEW-YORK.-Andrews, Barr, Burroughs, C. B. Cochrane, John Cochrane, Corning, Dodd, Fenton, Goodwin, Granger, Haskin, Hatch, Hoard, Kelsey, Maclay, Matteson, Morgan, Morse, Murray, Olin, Palmer, Parker, Pottle, Russell, Spinner, Taylor, Ward-27.


NEW JERSEY.-Adrian, Clawson, Robbins, Wortendyke PENNSYLVANIA.-Covode, Dick, Florence, Grow, Hickman, Keim, Morris, Phillips, Purviance, Reilly, Roberts, Stewart, Kunkel-13.



OHIO.-Bingham, Bliss, Burns, Cockerill, Cox, Giddings, Groesbeck, Hall, Harlan, Horton, Lawrence, Leiter, Miller, Pendleton, Sherman, Stanton, Tompkins, Vallandigham, Wade-19.

INDIANA.-Case, Colfax, Davis, Foley, Gregg, Kilgore, Pettit, Wilson-8.

ILLINOIS. Farnsworth, Hodges, Kellogg, Lovejoy,
Morris, Smith, Washburne-7.

MICHIGAN.-Howard, Leach, Walbridge, Waldron-4.
WISCONSIN.-Billinghurst, Potter, Washburn-8.
MINNESOTA.-Cavanaugh, Phelps-2.

Iowa-Curtis, Davis-2.

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TENNESSEE. Atkins, Avery, MAYNARD, READY, Smith,
Watkins, Wright, ZOLLICOFFER-8.
KENTUCKY.-Burnett, MARSHALL, Mason, Peyton,UNDER-


INDIANA.-English, Hughes, Niblack-8.

ILLINOIS.-Marshall, Shaw-2.


both of them commanding the support of the majority of that body.

On the 17th day of February, Mr. Wade, of Ohio, (Con. Globe, page 1074,) moved to postpone all prior orders and take up the Homestead bill, which had passed the House. The following extracts from the debate upon this motion will exhibit the points made:

Mr. Reid, of North Carolina.-I think it is too late in the session now to take up this bill to be acted upon here, at least until we act upon other great measures upon which there is more unanimity of sentiment in the country, and a higher sense of duty upon us to pass them during the few days of the session that remain.

Mr. Hunter, of Virginia.-I believe that a fortnight from to-day will take us to the 8d of March. Now, it is known Mis-that we have nearly all the important appropriation bills, and one that is unfinished, to take up. I hope there will be no effort to press this Homestead bill, so as to displace the appropriation bills. I must appeal to the Senate to consider how little of the session is now left to us, and whether we ought not to take up the appropriation bill and dispose of it.

Only three Southern members-Jones of Tennessee, Jewett of Kentucky, and Craig of souri-voted for the bill, thereby marking unmistakably the sectional character of the oppo

sition to it.

Mr. Wade.-The Homestead bill, to which I am a good deal attached, has, I believe, twice passed the House and we have never had a direct vote upon it here that I know come to this body, but somehow it has had the go-by, and I hope none of its friends will debate it, because it has of. I do not propose to discuss it for a single moment, and been pending before Congress for several years, and I presume every senator is perfectly well acquainted with all its provisions, and has made up his mind as to the course he will pursue in regard to it. I have no hope that anything I could say would win an opponent of the bill to its support; and I hope every friend of the measure will take no time in debate, but will try to get a vote upon it, for I think it is the great measure of the session. All I want, all I ask, is to have a vote upon it.

The Republican vote, with a solitary exception, was given solid for the bill. Of the Northern members connected with the Democratic party, twenty-nine voted for the bill and six voted against it. Thus, of the entire Demo-much cratic party in the House, a large majority was against the bill, but even this is less important than the other fact, that the Southern wing of the vote was almost unanimously against, it being this Southern wing which controls in the party councils, and which, when out-voted in the House, has other departments of the Government, the Senate and the President, with which it is more powerful, and by means of which it has so far rarely failed to defeat measures, however popular and beneficial, which it dislikes.

Mr. Shields, of Minnesota.-The friends of this bill desire nothing but a vote upon it, not to waste time in debate. Let us take it up, and have a fair vote upon it. Mr. Hunter-I do not conceal the fact that I am very

opposed to it; but I suppose whenever this bill

comes up, it must be the subject of debate.

Mr. Wilson, of Massachusetts.-I appreciate the anxiety bill; but I would suggest to that senator that he allow us of the senator from Virginia to take up the appropriation to take up this bill, and have a vote upon it. I do not suppose that anybody, who is in favor of the measure, de sires to consume the time of the Senate, at this stage of the nation. It is well understood. I believe it is sus the session, by discussing it. It has been discussed before tained by an overwhelmning majority of the people of the country.


Mr. Wade. I have no doubt, from the business before that this is the last opportunity we shall have to act upon this great measure, I hope, as I said before, that every friend of it will stand by it until it is either triumphant or defeated, and that, too, in preference to any other business that may be urged upon us. As to the appropria tion bills, I have not the least fear but that they will go through. Their gravitation carries them through.

The Homestead bill had now passed the House by a decisive majority, but it had yet to encounter the more dangerous ordeal of the Senate, in which the Democratic majority was larger, and in which the representation of the slaveholding States is proportionably greater.

No direct vote upon the measure was, in fact, reached in the Senate, because the Southern managers would not permit it.

There are two ways of killing off obnoxious measures. One is, to act upon them and vote them down. Another is, to overslaugh them whenever they are proposed, by proceeding to consider some other business. This latter method is invariably resorted to, where a measure, Upon an examination of this vote, it will be obnoxious to a majority of the Senate, is sup- seen that the Republicans voted unanimously posed to be acceptable to the people. And it in the affirmative, and that the Slave State Senwas precisely by this method, and for that rea-ators were all in the negative, with the solison, that the Homestead bill was run over, tary exception of Mr. Johnson, of Tennessee. shoved aside, evaded, and left unacted upon, by Of the Free State Democrats, Gwin, Bright, the Senate during its late session. The regular Pugh, Rice, Shields, Smith, and Stuart, all beappropriation bills and the bill for the purchase ing from the new States, vcted for Mr. Wade's of Cuba were being pressed upon the time of motion. the Senate during the last days of the session,

The Homestead bill was now up, and, so far

The question was then taken, and Mr. Wade's motion was carried by the following vote, the Republicans being indicated by italics:

Dixon, Doolittle, Fessenden, Foot, Foster, Gwin, Hale,
YEAS Messrs. Bright, Broderick, Chandler, Collamer,
Hamlin, Harlan, Johnson, of Tennessee, King, Pugh,
Rice, Seward, Shields, Simmons, Smith, Stuart, Trum
bull, Wade, and Wilson-26.

NAYS-Messrs. Allen, Bayard, Benjamin, Bigler, Brown, Chestnut, Clay, Clingman, Davis, Fitch, Fitzpatrick, Green, Hammond, Hunter, Iverson, Lane, Mallory, Mason, Pearce, Reid, Slidell, Toombs, and Ward-28.

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