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H. OF R.]
Assay of Gold.--Question of Order.— Illinois Canal.

[Jan. 4, 1831. The travelling on this route is already immense; and when The resolution was finally adopted, with the terms, the Chesapeake and Ohio canal is completed, and this" gold regions of the South;” and the number of the District filled with a population probably greater than committee directed to be five. that of the city of New York, the travel and transporta The special order of the day having been announced, tion will so greatly increase, that I know of no improve Mr. VERPLANCK moved that they be postponed, with ment of the kind, that is likely to prove so valuable to the a view of going into Committee of the whole on the state proprietors.

of the Union, to take up certain appropriation bills, which The third proposition which I have submitted, directs it was of importance to pass. the time when the road shall commence and be completed;

QUESTION OF ORDER. and provides, that all the rights and privileges conferred by this bill shall be forfeited by non-compliance. It may The motion was agreed to, and the House went into appear rather invidious to place the company under this Committee of the Whole, Mr. Polk in the chair, and restriction, and I would not do so, if I did not believe took up the bill “making appropriations for carrying into that such a course is strictly correct, and not only correct, effect certain Indian treaties.” but due to the best interests of the country.

Noamendment being offered to the bill, it was laid'aside, This contemplated road is a great public highway, of and the committee then took up the bill for closing cerimportance to the whole country, and ought to be con- tain accounts, and “ making appropriations for arrearages structed as soon as possible for the public convenience; in the Indian Department. at the same time, it holds forth great advantages to the Mr. VERPLANCK stated the object of the bill; and proprietors. It is right and proper that the Baltimore no amendment being offered, the committee was about to and Ohio Railroad Company should have the power to rise; when construct it if they please. They are the pioneers in this Mr. HOFFMAN moved to take up the bill to authorize valuable species of internal improvement, which is likely the construction of three schooners for the service of the to produce an entire change in our internal commerce, United States. and even to change the face of the interior of the whole The Chairman decided that the motion was not in order. country. Their public spirit and enterprise have seldom Mr. HOFFMAN said that when the House was in Comif ever been equalled, ancl never surpassed; and they have mittee of the whole on the state of the Union, any bill embarked their private fortunes to a very large amount, might be called up which had been referred to it, and he in what at the time was considered but at best a doubt thought his motion in order. ful experiment; and they have zealously and ably pushed The SPEAKER rose, and sustained the Chair in its deforward this great work, till success is no longer doubt- cision. The special orders of the day had been postponed ful: but although it will prove a blessing to the country at for the purpose of going into Committee of the whole, large, such have been the almost insurmountable difficul- to take up certain bills. They had been acted on, and ties they have had to contend with, and so great the ex- the committee should now rise. penditure of money, which is usually the case with a first Mr. VERPLANCK stated distinctly the motion he bad undertaking, that it is doubtful whether it will prove pro submitted; and the Clerk read the entry he had made on fitable to the stockholders. For these reasons, sir, when we his book. are now about to construct an addition to this great work, Mr. HAYNES appealed from the decision of the Chair, we ought, as liberal and generous representatives of and addressed the committee at some length in support of the nation, to confer the power on the same company, his appeal, and what he considered the proper course. who have acted as pioneers in the great undertaking, in

Mr. HOFFMAN withdrew his motion; but order that the certain profits which will arise from the one Mr. HAYNES insisted on his appeal from the decision work, may remunerate any losses which they may suffer of the Chair. by the other, which, whether it prove profitable or un The SPEAKER said that, as the motion had been with. profitable to the stockholders, will certainly, when com- drawn which gave rise to the appeal, the appeal fell of pleted, and I consider that now certain, prove a national course. blessing. But still this amendment is necessary. Some The committee then rose, and reported the two bills, unforeseen occurrence may prerent the construction of this and they were ordered to be engrossed for a third reading road by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company; if such to-morrow. should unfortunately prove to be the case, we ought to re

ILLINOIS CANAL. serve the power, and, after a reasonable time, confer the same privileges on some other company, that will speedily The bill "authorizing a change in the disposal of land construct the work; and there is no danger, even if it be- granted for the Illinois and Michigan canal” was next comes necessary for the Legislature to create a new cor- taken up. poration for the purpose, but that the whole subscription The report of the Committee on the Public Lands in the can, at any time, be obtained in the city of Baltimore, in case having been read, twenty-four hours. Money is cheap and plenty—it is diffi Mr. McCOY said, that when the land on each side of the cult to find profitable investments, and this scheme, as I proposed canal was granted, some years ago, it was stated have before stated, promises to be very profitable, and to be very valuable; now, it was discovered not to be so will be eagerly sought after.

good as was expected. The land certainly was not worth

one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, and yet it was ASSAY OF GOLD.

proposed by the bill to take it back, and give scrip for it, Mr. CARSON offered a resolution providing that a com- which would purchase good land. He was unwilling that mittee be appointed to inquire into the expediency of es- the House should pass the bill, and thus sanction a measure tablishing an assay office in the gold regions of North which he [Mr. Mcc.) could not approve. Carolina.

Mr. IRVIN, of Ohio, (in the absence of the chairman Mr. FOSTER suggested that Georgia also should be of the committee,) stated the object of the bill. He said, addeul to the resolution.

that, about the year 1822, a survey was made by order of Mr. CARSON said perhaps it would be better to say the State of Ilinois, of the country lying between Chicago, “the gold regions in the South."

on the southerly bend of Lake Michigan, and the head of Mr. HAYNES thought that rather too extensive a range. steamboat navigation on the Illinois river, and that the

Mr. BLAIR, of South Carolina. We can find a little country between those places was found to be well adapted gold in our State. Suppose we add South Carolina, too. for canalling--the distance from ninety to one hundred

Jan. 4, 1831.)

Nlinois Canal.

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miles; and the cost of construction about seven hundred him his acknowledgments for the present service. Very thousand dollars. In the year 1822, and previous to the few words of explanation, he said, would place the House survey made by Illinois, Congress, impressed with the im. in possession of all the facts necessary to a proper underportance of the work, passed an act giving authority to standing of this subject, and very little else than such an that State to construct the canal through the public lands, understanding he flattered himself, 'as necessary to and reserved from sale ninety feet of land on each side of defeat this bill. the canal for the use of the State. In the year 1827, an Some years ago, he said, Congress, on the application other act was passed by Congress, giving to the State of of Illinois, showing the great importance of a canal uniting Illinois, for the purpose of aiding the state in opening the the Illinois river with the waters of Michigan, granted to canal, a quantity of land, equal to one-half of five sections that State three hundred thousand acres of land in alterin width on each side of the canal.

nate sections, lying on either side of the proposed canal, The Committee on the Public Lands, at the last session to enable the State to construct it. What progress has of Congress, considering the immense advantages that been made, if any, in the execution of the work, we are must result to the United States by the completion of the not informed, nor is it very material to this investigation. proposed improvement, reported the bill now under con- But after the lapse of several years, and after a sale of sideration. It proposed the issuing of scrip, upon a sur- part of the land, he would not say the best of it, for he render of the land which had previously been granted to was unacquainted with the quality of any of the land the State of Illinois; but to guard against the improper use granted, (on that point all would draw their own inferenof that scrip, but fifty thousand dollars could be issued at ces,) we are told the balance of the land is unsaleable, the any one time; and it was made the duty of the Secretary of grant, in fact, valueless, and the canal cannot be conthe Treasury of the United States, before he issued a fur-structed for the want of funds. The object of the bill, ther quantity of scrip, to satisfy himself that the previous therefore, is, that the Government shall take back the land grant had been exclusively expended in the construction at one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, to be paid, to of the canal. The bill, in fact, proposed an exchange of be sure, in scrip, issued by the Government, which is to scrip for land, and, if the work was successfully prosecuted, be receivable at the land offices for debts due on purit would increase the value of the lands in its vicinity, and chases of public lands instead of cash. These are the the United States might be greatly the gainers in the end, facts, and such are the objects of the bill

. even if it were considered a mere matter of speculation. He would not animadvert on the novelty of the proposed

The subject was to be viewed in another light: the canal scheme--one which, he believed, was without precedent Once completed, it would lead emigrants to take that direc- in this country, under similar circumstances. It is enough tion, to settle the vast tracts of uncultivated land in that that there are other objections to it. The argument most section of the country. There were, perhaps, not less than relied on, is, that when the canal shall have been comthirty to thirty-five millions of acres in Missouri; not more pleted, and some say as soon as it is commenced, the lands than a million and a half of which probably had been sold. of the United States, on its borders, will be increased In the State of Illinois, an immense proportion of the several hundred per cent. in value; that it will, therefore, public domain was yet undisposed of; and in that part of be a positive and specific benefit to the Government. Sir, the Michigan Territory, commonly called the Huron coun- the very same argument was urged when the grant of the try, the Government lield lands to an unknown extent. land was sought; and it has been used in this House in Without this iinprovement, the settlement of this vast tract every instance where a similar application has been made. of country would be retarded; but let the canal be once The alternate sections reserved by the United States, we completed, and the spirit of enterprise would be seen ex- were told, would be so much increased in value by the tending itself in that direction, and numberless emigrants canal, that the United States were to be gainers and not vould pour into the country. If we add these advantages losers by the donation. These arguments have been to the increased value of the land in the vicinity of the found to be fallacious. With all the advantages anticiproposed work-if the gentleman from Virginia went pated, and all the ideal value attached to these lands, by upon the calculation of pence and farthings, here was to the intended canal, Illinois has not been able to dispose of be realized a great gain. From Sackett's Harbor to the them at the lowest Government price. If they will besoutherly bend of Lake Michigan, there was a continuous come so valuable, it is important to the State to retain intercourse of about eleven degrees of longitude through them: this bill will do the State great injustice, by a rethe Northern and Northwestern lakes; on the southern cession of them. It may sometimes happen, but instances shores of which, the lands were of good quality, the set- are rare, that both parties to a contract realize profits. tlement of which was rapidly increasing; and the day was The United States have now more lands than they can not distant, when trade would be carried on in that section sell

. You have no use for the money arising from the of the United States to a great extent. It was but a few sales of the public domain, in the opinion of some gen. years since there were but two or three vessels engaged tlemen; and you have

now a bill on your table to approin the trade of Lake Erie, and, from information re- priate the proceeds to the purposes of education among ceived from an honorable member from Pennsylvania, the several states. And yet this bill is to make the Gosome seven or eight steamboats, and probably not less than verpment a buyer instead of a seller of lands: a buyer, one hundred and fifty brigs and schooners, were now en- too, of lands, not at their value, but at a certain fixed gaged in the trade of that lake. If the waters of Michi-price, when no one knows whether they be worth a gan were united with those of the Mississippi, it would be fourth of the sum. Gentlemen must anticipate--they canmatter of incalculable importance in both a military and not but foresee, to what the passage of this bill will lead. commercial point of view. Under these considerations, From every quarter where grants of this description have he was surprised to find the venerable member from Vir- been made, and the grantees have not realized the amount ginia opposed to the passage of the bill. The object of they had hoped for, applications of the same kind will be the bill was a national one, and he hoped the House would made. Some, for the whole amount in money, (not in give it its sanction as such. Let not the object be con- scrip, as in the present instance, ) and others, that you will sidered in the light of a bargain, but let the bill be sup- give them money for all lands which, by reason of its steported with more noble views.

r'ility, or its local situation, they have been unable to sell. Mr. MARTIN, of South Carolina, said it was not the There is no claim on our justice in this application—there first time the gentleman from Virginia [Mr. McCoy) had is less on the liberality of the House. placed the House under obligations by calling their atten Mr. MARTIN said he had purposely avoided saying any lion to bills of this character, and he for one would tender thing on the policy or impolicy of the original grant. His

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Pay of Members of the House.

[Jax. 5, 1831.

ance.

opinions were known on such subjects. Nor would he showed not only the practicability of making it, but the call in question those rights which most, if not all, would vast importance of it in a national point of view. lle said admit were vested in the grantees. He assented to their that there never was a work of internal improvement in enjoyment, such as they were; but he, for one, would not any country, which promised so great a benefit at so small fix an additional charge on the country, and strike out a an expense. He said that it would at once open a free new policy, for the purpose of extending to them addition-commercial intercourse from New Orleans to New York al favor.

and Quebec, a distance of more than two thousand five Mr. DUNCAN said, in reply to Mr. MARTIY, that it hundred miles, passing through the most fertile country was true the bill proposed an exchange of the lands for in the world, and through every climate which is found scrip, which was equal, or nearly equal to cash. He between the poles, from north to south. thought, too, as strange as the reasoning appeared to that Mr. VINTON was desirous to vote for the bill, and gentleman, that it was susceptible of proof, that both par- stated that the difficulty under which he labored was not ties will be benefited by the passage of this bill; taking such as had been stated by the gentlemen from Virginia it for granted that the United States has a deep interest and South Carolina. The amount of scrip on lands proin the construction of this great work, or Congress would|posed to be given was nothing in his way—he would wilnot have made the grant of land in question. It only re- lingly give double. His great objection was, that it would mains to be shown, that the donation, or appropriation, be a sacrifice of the fund; for he was confident that the lands cannot be used without great loss, and that the State has would all go into the hands of speculators. The bill pronot resources to progress in the work without this assist-posed virtually to buy three hundred thousand acres of

To satisfy gentlemen of the propriety of the land of the State of Illinois, and give her scrip for it, bill before the llouse, Mr. D. said, before he proceeded, with which she could go into the market, and purchase the he would say to the gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. Mc- best of lands. The country was a wilderness: the poor Cor,] that he had the best authority for saying that the or middling men, as they would not receive cash for their whole of the land proposed to be surrendered was of good labor, but scrip, would never be able to enter into conquality, and not such as he imagined it to be. Mr. D. tracts for constructing the work, and of consequence the said that an unsuccessful attempt had been made to sell contracts would all be taken by wealthy speculators, who the land, but the falure to sell was not on account of the could afford to carry on the work, and lay out of their quality of the soil, or the situation of the land, but it was money for a time. Hence it would result that the whole owing to the fact of there being no encouragement held competition would lay between these wealthy speculators; out to settlers to go on and improve it, or the United and as the job would not, as he had said, be a cash one, States' land in the vicinity. He said, this land was not as it would cost eight or ten thousand dollars to complete favorably situated in that respect as the other public lands, one section, (while for cash it might be done for onefor it was reserved from sale by law, and of course no one fourth that amount,) and eventually all the lands would would venture to settle on or improve land, without a come into the possession of the men to whom he had alludhope of ever owning it. Mr. D. said, gentlemen in this ed. After some further remarks elucidatory of his views, House appeared to think that all lands of equal quality Mr. V. said, that, if the bill could be thrown into a shape and situation ought to sell for the same price, but in this to obviate his objections, he would cheerfully vote for it. they were greatly mistaken. He said that improvements Mr. MERCER then took the floor, and in a speech of and good society gave value to land; if that was not the some length replied to the objections raised by the oppocase, he asked, why were not all the wild lands already nents of the bill. He concluded by moving to amend a sold? Mr. 1. said he had heard much said against the proviso of the bill; (the exact motion our Reporter could squatters, as they are called, on the public land, but he did not obtain;) when, not hesitate in affirming that they had been the means of On motion of Mr. CLAY, who wished to give further selling nine-tenths of all the land that had been sold by time for the examination of the subject, the Government. He said that it was the hardy, enterpris The House adjourned. ing, poor man that first ventured into the wildcrness, and suffered all the privations and dangers incident to such an

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 5. enterprise, who, acting as pioncers, were followed by the more fortunate or wealthy, and too ofter: deprived by which he intended to offer as an amendment to the joint

Mr. TUCKER submitted the following resolutions, them of their homes, and driven further and further into resolution reported by Mr. McDuffit, to amend the the woods. Mr. D. believed that the lands would increase constitution of the United States, when that resolution greatly in ralue, whenever the work was done; but he shall come up for consideration: knew the State bad no means of effecting it, without a sale of them, unless this bill should pass; and if they were president of the United States, and who shall accept the

Resolved, That no person who shall hereafter be elected sold at a low price, (and he believed they could not be sold same, or exercise the powers thereof, shall be again eligifor any other at present,) he was fearful the canal would ble to said office. not be made for many years..

Mr. D. asked if it would be consistent with sound policy, or any principle of poli-dent of the United States after the 4th day of March,

Resolved, That any person who shall be elected Presitical economy, for Congress to permit such a result, when 1833, shall hold his office for the term of five years. it would be so casy to prevent it without loss, to say the least of it; but, for his part, be believed that the General

PAY OF MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE. Government had all to gain, and nothing to lose, by the Mr.CHILTON, of Ky.submitted the following resolution: provisions of this bill; by its passage, the funds or lands Resolved, That the Committee on the Public Expendi. appropriated by the Government will be rendered availa- tures be instructed to inquire into the expediency of ble, and the State will be able to accomplish the work in adopting some regulation by which members of each a very few years.'

branch of the National Legislature shall receive the alMr. D. went into a lengthy argument to show the ad- lowance of eight dollars per day only for the number of vantages of this canal in increasing the value and sales of days of cach session on which they shall hare been in acthe public lands; all of which, he said, for near fifty miles tual attendance upon the service of the House to which south, and for an immeasured distance north, was siill the they may belong--unless absent by reason of sickness, or by property of the United States, and had not even been leave of the House, or when the same shall not be in session. brought into market. He said the report which he sub Mr. CHILTON said that, in offering this resolution, he mitted with the bill gave a description of the canal, and felt himself placed in circumstances of peculiar delicacy as

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to particular facts which might appear to him to have call- tee of Accounts, and not of the Speaker, to audit the aced for such an inquiry as it proposes.

But the founda- counts of the members for their travel to and from the seat tion of principle on which he bottomed it, was one which of Government, and their attendance in the House. he could submit to the House without the least reserve or Mr. CARSON, of N. C., inquired of the Chair what delicacy. Mr. C. then quoted from the rules of the House would be the precise effect of the resolution, if passed? the fiftieth rule, which is in the following words: “No The SPEAKER said, it proposed, in its present shape, member shall absent himself from the service of the House an inquiry only. unless he have leave, or be sick and unable to attend." Mr. BÅRRINGER suggested the propriety of amending Under this rule of the House, it was obviously as much the the resolution so as to conform to the present practice of duty of one member as of another, and equally the duty of withholding pay from such members as are absent on leave. all, to be in attendance, unless when absent by reason of Mr. WHITTLESEY suggested a different modification, sickness or by leave of the House. Mr. C. said, he de- by inserting after the words “by leave of the House,” the signed not, so far as it operated on the legislation of the words “ on business of the House." House, to give to the proceedings under this resolution a Mr. CHILTON agreed to this modification, accepting it retrospective operation. If it has been the practice of as a part of his motion. any member of this House, or of the other House, to Mr. CARSON wished to know what would be the difabsent himself from the House without leave of the ference between the effect of this resolution and the exHouse, and without being detained therefrom by sickness; isting rule? and if, while attending to private business of his own, he The SPEAKER said that each gentleman must decide has been receiving the same pay as those who were con- that for himself, by comparing them. stant in their attendance on the House, then, said Mr. C., Mr. THOMPSON, of Georgia, did not know but there I should consider such practice not only a violation of this might be good ground for the complaint presented by rule, but a direct violation of duty. Mr. C. adverted to the gentleman from Kentucky. He was himself of opithe difference of situation of members of this House from nion, with the honorable mover, that members ought to different parts of the country. Gentlemen from the West be punctilious in their attendance. To carry this princiwere far distant from the endearments of home, and, if ple fully out, Mr. T. suggested to the gentleman to amend they were professional men, from the courts which they his proposition so as to require all members who have abwere accustomed to attend. They cannot take horse, or sented themselves to refund whatever compensation they any other convenience for travelling, and go from this might have received for time during which they were not House to attend their courts. No, sir, whilst others may in attendance. If the principle was correct, it should do this, they are left here to attend upon the business of operate throughout. the nation, until the termination of the session enables Mr. CHILTON said that, for himself, he felt no scruple them to return home, and they are entitled for so doing in regard to the amendment suggested; for he could conto the compensation which the law allows. But, if the fidently say that he had not been absent from the House case should ever occur of members absenting themselves for a single day, except when detained from it by sickfrom the House, attending to private business, it is wrong ness. But the subject was, he repeated, a delicate one; that they should receive compensation as though they had he thought his resolution went far enough. But, if the been in regular attendance. Mr. C. said he was not ap- gentleman from Georgia inclined to go further, he would prehensive that, in what he proposed, he should wound suggest to his honorable friend, in return for his suggestion, the feelings of any gentleman, for he asked no more of that he should move to amend the resolution accordingly any member than what the rules of the House already pe Mr. THOMPSON declined to move any amendment to remptorily require of him, it being his bounden duty to the resolution. attend the House regularly from the moment that he ac The question was then taken on agreeing to the resolucepts a seat in it. If he absents himself from the House, tion, and decided as follows: he surely cannot expect compensation for services which YEAS.- Messrs. Alexander, Anderson, Angel, Armhe has not rendered. I presume, said Mr. C., that no strong, Arnold, Bailey, Noyes Barber, Barnwell, Barringentleman on this floor will hazard his reputation by say- ger, Bartley, Baylor, Bell, James Blair, John Blair, ing that it is right in any member, contrary to the rule, to Bockec, Boon, Brodhead, Brown, Butman, Cahoon, Camabsent himself, and yet receive compensation for the time breleng, Campbell, Chandler, Chilton, Claiborne, Clay, during which he has been attending to his own private Clark, Coke, Conner, Cooper, Cowles, Crane, Crawford, business. If one member may absent himself without leave, Crockett, Creighton, Crocheron, Crowninshield, Daniel, so may another; for all have equal rights. If this course Davenport, John Davis, Warren R. Davis, Denny, Desha, were indulged in by all, I ask if it would not put a stop to De Witt, Dickinson, Dorsey, Draper, Drayton, Duncan, legislation. My duty to my country, sitting here and le- Dwight, Eager, Earll, Ellsworth, Joshua Evans, Horace gislating under the solemn sanction of an oath, is to see Everett, Findlay, Finch, Ford, Forward, Foster, Gaither, that every member performs his duty, whilst í endeavor Gilmore, Gordon, Green, Hall

, Halsey, Hammons, Harto perform my own. I should do an act of violence to my vey, Hawkins, Haynes, Holland, Hoffman, Hubbard, own conscience were I to remain silent whilst abuses of Hunt, Huntington, Ibrie, Ingersoll, Thomas Irwin, Jarthis kind are tolerated.

vis, Johns, Richard M. Johnson, Cave Johnson, Kendall, Mr. STERIGERE moved to lay the resolution upon the Kennon, Kincaid, king, Lamar, Lecompte, Leiper, Lent, table. And upon this question the yeas and nays were Letcher, Lewis, Loyall, Lumpkin, Magee, Marr, Martindemanded by Mr. CHILTON, which being ordered by the dale, Martin, Thomas Maxwell, Lewis Maxwell

, McCreeHouse, Mr. STERIGERE withdrew his motion; and the ry, McCoy, McIntire, Mercer, Monell, Muhlenberg, consideration of the resolve proceeded.

Nuckolls, Patton, Pearce, Pettis, Polk, Potter, Powers, Mr. WILLIAMS, of North Carolina, inquired whether Ramsey, Randolph, Reed, Rencher, Richardson, Roane, the rule proposed to be adopted by the resolve was not Russel, Sanford, Scott, William B. Shepard, Augustine the same as that which is already in operation?

H. Shepperd, Shiclds, Semmes, Sill, Smith, Speight, SpenThe SPEAKER said, that when a member of the House cer, Sprigg, Standefer, Sterigere, William L. Storrs, is absent on leave, his attendance ceases to be charged. Swann, Swift, Taliaferro, Taylor, Test, Wiley ThompWhen members are absent without leave, no account is son, John Thomson, Tracy, Trezvant, Tucker, Vance, taken of such absence, every member being presumed to Varnum, Verplanck, Washington, Wayne, Weeks, Whitbe present unless absent from sickness or on leave. By tlesey, Campbell P. White, Williams, Wilson, Wingate, the seventy-third rule it is made the duty of the Commit- Yancey, Young.--157.

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Nlinois Canal.

[Jan. 5, 1831.

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NAYS.-Messrs. Allen, Alston, Archer, John S. Bar- sent session of Congress would have been allowed to pass
bour, Beekman, Bouldin, Carson, Coulter, Dudley, E. away, without the introduction of bills for constructing
Everett, Gorham, Hinds, Hodges, Howard, W. W. Irvin, roads and canals. He had hoped that the House would
Lea, Norton, Pierson, Vinton, E. D. White, Wilde.--21. have passed upon the numerous claims against the Go-
So the resolve was agreed to.

vernment, and been suffered quietly to attend to matters Mr. JOHNSON subunitted the following:

of general interest to the nation. But he had been deResolved, that the Committee on the Public Lands be in-ceived: it seemed the House was never to be left at peace structed to inquire into the expediency of amending the the rage for internalimprovement seemed to be as great act of Congress, passed at the last session, entitled “ An as ever, and, while this was the case, there would be no act for the relief of certain officers and soldiers of the Vir- peaceable legislation. He had not, however, risen to ginia line and navy of the continental army, during the make a speech; he would take his seat, but he hoped the revolutionary war," so as to change or alter the first sec- bill would not pass. tion, as not to require evidence as to the line on which Mr. DUNCAN next rose. He commenced by refuting the resolution warrant of Virginia issued: also, to amend the idea that the lands which the State wished to recede the third section, so as to embrace cases where warrants were refuse lands. He thought the best argument he have been located and surveys or patents prohibited by could offer against the gentleman's assertion, that the law, by which the land is lost to the locator: also, to cases lands were of an inferior quality, would be, to read a letof surveys or patents, where, by the highest judicial tri- ter from Doctor William Howard, the engineer who surbunal of the State, or United States, the land has been veyed the route of the proposed canal. The letter was taken by a prior or better claim: also, to provide for the read by the Clerk: it gave a description of the soil, the renewal of lost or destroyed certificates or scrip: also, to quality of the timber, &c. &c.] Mr. D. then made some change the maximum quantity of land allowed to be appro- remarks relative to the importance of the work, and repriated by the said act to supply the claims embraced by quested the reading of a letter from General Gratiot, the said act: lastly, to make such alterations as the said commit. Chief of the Engineer Department, in favor of the protee may consider just and equitable.

posed work. [This letter was read also.] Mr. D. said Mr. HAYNES said that the resolution appeared to be he did not wish to trouble the House with any further reof an important nature. He certainly was in favor of a marks upon the question now before it. Those which he part of it, and perhaps, on examination, he should be of had delivered on the previous day were fresh in the recolthe whole. To give time for a proper examination of the lection of gentlemen, and they were sufficient for his subject, he requested the gentleman from Kentucky to con- purpose. He was only sorry that any observations from sent that the resolution be laid on the table till to-morrow. the gentleman from Virginia had made it his duty to trou

Mr. Johnson making no objection, the resolution took ble the House further upon the subject. that course.

Mr. BELL addressed the House at some length in sup-
ILLINOIS CANAL.

port of the bill. He was desirous to give some explana

tion of the reasons which induced him to vote for the bill: 'The House then resumed the consideration of the bill for he should do so, and one reason was, because its pas“authorizing a change in the disposal of land granted for sage would violate no constitutional principle. Nor did he the Illinois and Michigan canal;” the question being on the believe it would ever be brought into precedent, as had adoption of an amendment yesterday submitted by Mr. been suggested by the gentleman from Virginia, by simiMERCER.

lar applications from Alabama, Indiana, and Ohio, the Mr. M. withdrew his motion to amend; and

States named by that gentleman as those to whom public Mr. IRVIN, of Ohio, submitted the following amend-lands had been granted for the purposes of internal imment, which he accompanied by a few remarks:

provement. From all he could gather on the subject, the “And provided, also, that said State shall, in every in- present bill was intended to prevent a sacrifice of the stance of the application of scrip, apply an equal sum of fund so often referred to, and to preserve it to the public. money from its own funds, or from funds raised by its own the lands proposed to be receded were undoubtedly authority, to the construction of said canal, of which fact good; but the country was a wilderness. There were no the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States shall settlements near them, and they were liable to be sacribe satisfied, before a new issue of scrip, under the provi- ficed to the cupidity of speculators: for none other than sions of this act."

wealthy men, who were in the habit of speculating in the The amendment was read, and agreed to.

public lands, would, under these circumstances, become The question then recurring on the engrossment of the the purchasers of them. But, said Mr. B., let the conbill,

templated work be but commenced, and the Government Mr. McCOY, of Virginia, said he had offered a few sug- would receive back the money they now gave. He could gestions to the House yesterday, and he would submit a conceive of no greater object of internal improvement few more to-day. He looked upon this bill as a kind of than to connect the waters of Lake Michigan with those pioneer, calculated to open the way for similar provisions of the Mississippi; and he recommended to those gentlein favor of other States. The State of Illinois was very men who were the advocates of internal improvement, to ingenious. She wished the United States to take back vote for this bill: for no case would ever arise for their the refuse land which had been granted her, at the rate consideration of a more national or more important naof $1 25 per acre, while, at the same moment, she was ture. Alluding to what had been said by the gentleman petitioning the House to reduce the price of the public from Virginia, he would remark that it had been rumored lands to seventy-five cents per acre. It was well known that all was not right with regard to the lands that had that grants had been made to Alabama, Indiana, and Ohio, been granted to Alabama; yet he would say, that even as well as to Illinois, for the purpose of constructing roads admitting that that State should make an application simiand canals. If this bill should pass into a law, he presum- lar to that which had been made by Illinois, he would vote ed we could not refuse to pursue the same course towards in such a case as he now intended to do in the present, those States, should they requis it at our hands.

He felt and why? To save the land from being sacrificed. With no disposition to disturb the State of Illinois in her posses- regard to Indiana and Ohio, there was no danger of their sion of the lands which had been granted to her, but he ever applying to Congress for a retrocession of the lands could not help declaring that he thought it too bad for granted to them; they had made such judicious selections of that State to ask the Government to take back the refuse land, that he had no fears of their ever troubling Congress part of them. Mr. McC. said he had hoped that the pre-lon the subject. He was willing, on the present occasion,

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