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Apnil 26, 1836.]
to the deeds of cession. The language of the deed of cession was that all lands within the Territories, not granted to officers and soldiers of the revolutionary army, should be for the use and benefit of the several States, (Virginia included.) The title conveyed was to the use and benefit of the several States, (Virginia inclusive,) and not for the benefit of the Union. If the cession was not intended for the benefit of the States, the language designating the States, and Virginia inclusive, would not have been used. But it had been said that if these lands were given to the Union for the use of the States, how could the application of it to the uses of the Union be justified? Why, because the application of it to the uses of the Union was for the benefit of the States composing it. The States had contracted debts which were assumed by the Union, and therefore to apply them to the payment of this revolutionary debt was the great object of the cession by the State of Virginia, and such application was for the benefit of the States composing the Union. If it was intended that this cession should form a consolidated fund, why was there any reference to the proportion of the burdens borne by each State of the general expenses of the Union as establishing the mode of distribution? No, the fund was to be a common fund, but the trust was to be applied like any other trust or administration; though general, in name, it was for the separate and individual use of each corporator. Now recollect that, at the date of the Virginia deed of cession, the exactions from the several members of the Union were in their corporate capacities. Suppose, then, Virginia had paid her portion for the general defence, or chose to pay it in some other form, would she not have an undoubted right to demand her portion of this fund, or this common trust? The measure of proportion, as provided by this deed to be shared by the States, was the measure of burdens respectively borne by each in the general expenses; the measure of contribution, and the measure of taxation. Now, what was the principle of the plan before the Senate? It adopted precisely the same measure of taxation and of burdens, varying only according to the constitution of the United States. Suppose, again, that the whole revenue of the United States was, instead of being drawn from imports, drawn from the States by direct taxation, then they would have information of what was drawn from each State. Could they not in that case allow each State to receive her proportion of this fund, and to pay the amount of her direct taxation in gross? or if a regular account was kept, would not the State be charged with her portion of direct taxes, and credited with the amount of her portion of these lands? Suppose that, instead of the funding system which we had adopted, instead of the general Government assuning the debts of the States, each State had been compelled to provide for and make payments of its own debts, would it not, after it had been known that this grant was made for the express purpose of paying the revolutionary debt, have become necessary that this fund should be divided for the purpose of enabling the States to pay their debts? If this was not so, why did Virginia declare that these lands should be held for the common benefit of all the States, Virginia inclusive? Now, if these debts had been charged to each individual State, was there a Senator there who doubted that the States would have come forward and demanded their share of this fund? It did not seem, therefore, that the application of this money to the uses of the Union weakened the argument. The fund was so applied, and applied according to the terms of the deed. An argument much stronger in favor of the application of the fund that was now proposed was, that they had arrived at the first application of it by inference only,
because the fund being given for the common benefit of
the States, it was inferred that it might rightfully be applied to the Union which was composed of the States; while for the application now contemplated they had the direct sanction of the deed of cession. If the old articles of confederation had remained in force, there would have been no difficulty as to this distribution, as each State would have paid its own share of the common burdens, and would have been entitled to receive her proportionate share of the fund. The mode of taxation, however, had been changed, and was now laid on consumption, as the enly rule by which they could approximate so nearly to equality. And what other rule could approach so near? Taxation on consumption was in proportion to population; and, by following it up, they in this bill adopted the same rule; that is, the burden of taxation being on the population of the States, the distribution was to be made according to it generally. This rule of distribution was fair, just, and in conformity with the terms of the deed of cession. Did it not rest on the grounds of principle and reason? The uniform practice of the Government, down to this very day, had been in conformity with this exercise of its power over these lands. He never knew this power to be questioned until the veto of the President. All the Presidents, Mr. Madison, Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Monroe, and Mr. Adams, had administered the Government in conformity with this power. What had the public lands been distributed for? For almost all the purposes of the country; for internal improvement, for education, and for beneficent purposes. By a humane policy, they granted lands to the expatriated Poles. They granted lands to the French; and although they were given ostensibly for a designated purpose, yet in fact the grants were an absolute bounty. It was true that Congress had gone too far on some occasions, but all uniformly acknowledged that they possessed the power to make the grants. After referring to the messages of the President on the subject of the public lands, Mr. C. said that, supposing this power of Congress over the public lands to be incontestable, the Senator from New York [Mr. Wright] contended that there was nothing to distribute. If this were so, the gentleman objected to the bill with some reason; for if it were true that there was no surplus to distribute, it was not right that this bill should pass. But the Senator had met with his match in his friend from New Jersey, who had most ably refuted all his positions, and shown clearly that all his calculations were founded in error. Mr. C. then entered into various calculations to show the amount of the surplus revenue, with that accruing, and replied to Mr. W Right’s argument, that the military bounty lands, the purchase of Louisiana and Florida, and various other offsets, should be taken from the proceeds of the land sales, before they could be called nett proceeds. Mr. C. contended, as had been done by Mr. Chittes DEN, that the jurisdiction only over Louisiana and Florida was of far greater value than the amount of their purchase, and that the revenues derived from New Orleans and Mobile alone (the claim of Spain to the latter having been quieted by the Florida purchase) would pay for these two provinces over and over. Louisiana was purchased for the peace and security of the country, and human figures could hardly reach the benefits of this acquisition under the treaty of 1804; and so of Florida. There was then virtually a Texian war going on, and we took possession of the country. He alluded to a document, draughted by Mr. Madison, which had been pressed upon him by Mr. C. The joint possession of Mobile and Pensacola, by the treaty of 1818–19, would alone justify the sum of money paid for that accession of territory. Looking at the great commercial advantages secured, and the constant emiSENATE.]
[April 26, 1836.
gration opened out by it with a statesman's eye, and such as the Senator from New York [Mr. Waight] had, he would no doubt have seen the great benefits derived from it, and that not one cent of those charges he had made were chargeable to the public lands. The policy of removing the Indians beyond the Mississippi was not for the purpose of getting the public lands; and the expense of removing them was not a fair charge upon them. The amount of the two items, in the purchase of Louisiana and Florida, was about thirty millions. The whole product of the public lands was eightythree millions; and eleven millions and upwards, deduct. ed for bounty lands, would leave upwards of seventyone millions. Take the whole claimed by the Senator from New York, [Mr. WRight,) the entire cost of removal and interest, and the amount would be about twenty-four millions; so that, however the account was stated, there was a surplus remaining of about twentyfour millions. The Senator from New York had objected to that feature assigning ten per cent. to the new States. He (Mr. C.) had been unjustly charged with feelings of hostility towards the new States; and he thought it particularly hard for the Senator from Mississippi yesterday to question the equity of this provision. He believed that Senator had questioned its equity, but not its justice. [Mr. Walk En said that he had already explained that it was not against the equity of giving this 10 per cent. fund to the new States, because he believed that it was not as much as they were entitled to. He had only said that, taking the gentleman's argument, there was an inequality in this grant.] He (Mr. C.) would show that if anything was wrong in that provision, it was not in not assigning enough to the new States. . The principle was founded upon the measure of burdens. It gave to the people in equal proportion to their burdens. He went into a calculation to show that there was an increase of six per cent. of population of the new States over the old. The mode of taxation now pursued was not by direct, but by indirect taxation. The measure of taxation was a measure of burden. The burden was a taxation paid on the direct consumption. It would take up too much time to go into a detail of the increases of all the States. The nearer they got to the period when the next census should be taken, the more unequal it would be in regard to the new States; and as he had not time to make the calculation, he had put it at ten per cent. The increase of population was where there was the greatest amount of sales. The greatest increase of population was in the new States, and as they increased more in population they got more of the ten per cent. By taking into the account the advantages accruing from the acquisition of Louisiana and Florida in the shape of duties and direct taxes, and the great benefits derived from commercial advantages, it would expunge the debt. The Senator from New York, thought the customs would dry up, and contended that the sales were not inordinate in amount, and that by 1814 we would not receive a million of dollars from them; that while the customs would be but fourteen millions, the expenses of Government would be seventeen millions of dollars, so that there would be a deficiency of two millions. How was it, he asked, that an administration that came into power on the principles of reform was to increase the expense from thirteen to seventeen millions? But he said it would be caused by the increase of population. The machinery of Government, Mr. C. said, was the same in an increase of population that it was now. The salaries of the President and pay of officers of the Government would be the same as now. The late Secretary (Mr. McLane) had estimated the expenses at only fifteen millions, and the late Senator from South Carolina, since
Governor of that State, (Mr. Hayne,) had estimated them at twelve millions. The Senator from New York had not served the Senate with any data to show the increase from thirteen to seventeen millions. He did not wish to see any of the protected articles, in the great principle of compromise, touched; but if it should become necessary, other means might be resorted to, without touching them. There was one feature in the compromise bill which was a most happy one, and he was delighted at having borne an important part in that measure. The whole country seemed to have been satisfied with it; and, best of all, his late friends, the manufacturers, whom he would be the last man to desert, and whose interests he had always supported, had found that it was the best measure that could have been adopted for them. That feature was this: There was a large class of articles on which the power of taxation was reserved, and the taxes on which might in an emergency be increased without violating the spirit of the compromise. They had many luxuries which might be taxed, if the revenue should fall short. In their anxiety to reduce the duties, they had diminished the duties on silks and wines—articles which might well bear increased taxation. Why, sir, (said Mr. C.,) we may have abundantly enough of revenue for all the wants of the Government, without resorting to loans or the lands, simply by taxing luxuries. Mr. C. then went on to show that the receipts of the customs would probably increase instead of diminish. There was reason to believe that, unless a paper explosion took place, the revenues of this year would be greater than the last. The first quarter of the year was estimated at five millions, and the whole customs of the present year would be upwards of twenty millions. They might reasonably calculate that the revenues of the coming years would be in proportion to the wealth of the country and its ability to consume. It was absurd and out of reason to suppose that there would be a deficiency from the customs. Mr. C. having shown, as he said, the power of distribution, and the ability to make it, next went on to show the expediency of the measure. It had been objected that, if they once commenced this system, they would not be able to get rid of it. Why, he would ask, were they afraid to trust the States? Recollect, he said, that the whole was founded in the confidence of the people, and if they found that the system was not a good one, it would undoubtedly be repealed. But gentlemen could not have pronounced a higher eulogy on this bill, than by saying that, if it was once passed, they never would be able to get rid of it; for the argument inferred that the beneficial effects of it would be so sensibly felt by the people, that they would not be willing to give it up. Could there be a measure, he said, more calculated to promote the peace, happiness, and harmony of the Union, than this? It settled, for ever, that distracting question of the right to appropriate money for internal improvements. Could it be believed that the States of the West would continue to be satisfied with the vast expenditures of this Government on the seaboard? The day would come when the united West and Southwest would demand that this unequal distribution should cease. . But pass this bill, and that question would be quieted for ever. . The distribution among the States would place in each a fund amply sufficient for all the great purposes of internal improvement and education, to be applied as the States thought proper. There would be no further call from the States for appropriations for these purposes; and was there not great fitness in enabling the States to act for themselves, without asking for the bounty of the general Government? It was impossible to imagine anything more fitting or more proper, with regard to the new States as Apnil 27, 1836.]
. Navy Bill.
well as the old. He would call on gentlemen of the West to give up their vain idea of appropriating this immense-domain to themselves. What hopes could they have of success in their graduating projects? Let them look at the votes of this session, and say whether there was any chance of their ever carrying them into effect. were they nearer to the accomplishment of their plans now, than they were ten years ago? The more these graduating projects were discussed before the people, the greater would be the opposition to them. This plan of measuring the value of the lands by the bed of Procrustes, and putting lands worth twenty dollars an acre down to fifty cents, because some were not worth more, would never meet the approbation of an intelligent people. And in the mean time, what were they losing, while they were looking after an object that could never be gained? They passed by a measure promising the most incalculable benefits, aggrandizing their States, and enabling them to keep pace with their neighbors in internal improvements, and ameliorating the condition of their people. These were practical, tangible benefits, which should not be lost sight of in planning wild and visionary schemes, which could never be realized. Mr. C., after eulogizing the land system, predicted that the time would come when a measure of this kind would be adopted by a large majority, if it failed now. His life for it, he said, this measure would, political opinions apart, find advocates where it now had opposers. He called the attention of gentlemen from the new States to the gradual reduction of the quantities of unsold lands in each State, and the increasing favor this must procure for the scheme of distribution. As the lands in the new States were sold off, the interest of each in the lands within it lessened, while their interest in the lands exterior to them increased. Ohio might already be said to be an old State, and Indiana and Illinois were rapidly becoming so; and all theseStates would in time stand nearly in the saine relation to the public lands that the old States now did. The argument of the Senator from New York, that the States would be reluctant to give up the proceeds of these lands, when the honor or interest of the nation required it to go to war, was little complimentary to their patriotism of public spirit. As well might the gentleman carry the argument a little farther, and say that people were not to be trusted. But he believed that one of the most favorable features of this bill was, that it imposed some sort of restraint on that natural proneness of republics to go to war. In controversies with foreign nations, it was natural for the people to take part with the Government. The remark of the noble Decatur, “Our country, right or wrong,” was one that was always felt by this people. He remembered the events of the last summer, and how near they were being involved in a war with a foreign Power; and although he did not approve of the course of the administration, yet he would have given it his most hearty support, had a war unfortunately taken place. Look at the controversy between Ohio and Michigan, and say why it was that all on one side were unanimous in favor of Ohio, while all on the other were in favor of Michigan, if it was not from the natural disposition of the people to take sides with their Government, right or wrong. This bill would have a salutary restraint on the disposition of republics to go to war, by making it the interest of the States to preserve peace. But when the honor or safety of the country required that they should go to war, who could doubt the readiness of the people to make every sacrifice to maintain them? By passing this bill, that greatest of all interests, the interest in preserving the Union, would be greatly advanced. There were yet seven hundred millions of acres of land, lying outside of the States, unappropriated;
upon which, it was true, there were some encumbrances by the unextinguished title of the natives; but from the moment the white man put his foot on the rock at Plymouth, or on the shore of Jamestown, commenced the entire extinction of that unfortunate race of people; and the Indian lands might all be counted on as a source of distribution. This system was not intended for one year alone, but for hundreds of years. In no sales for centuries to come could they imagine any but large proceeds; and could they conceive a tie more strong to bind the Union together than the fact that every year each State would share with its co-States? There were other topics connected with this subject, but he would not detain the Senate with a discussion of them at this time. It would be recollected that this fund would remain to be distributed when they were cold and lifeless beneath the clods of the valley. Long after parties and party strifes had ceased to exist, this vast fund would continue; then let them throw aside all their predilections, and come up to the measure which would improve the country in so many ways, and suppress all this excitement caused by not distributing that which justly belonged to the people. When Mr. Clay had concluded, The Senate adjourned.
WEDN Espar, APRIL 27. NAVY bill.
On motion of Mr. SOUTHARD, the Senate proceeded to consider the bill making appropriations for the naval service. The question was taken on the amendments proposed by the Naval Committee, and the question on the first seven amendments; which were agreed to. The question being on the eighth amendment, viz: to insert: “For the purchase of sites, and the erection of barracks, near the navy yards at Charlestown, Brooklyn, Gosport, and Pensacola, $200,000.” After a brief explanation from Mr. SOUTHARD, this amendment was agreed to. The following amendments, reported by the committee, were also agreed to: “For building a dry dock at Brooklyn, $180,000; “For completing the steam vessel now building at the navy yard at Brooklyn, $150,000; “For navy hospitals, $45,410; “For completing the powder magazines near New York and Boston, with the landings, enclosures, and dependencies, $19,200. “...And be it further enacted, That an exploring expedition to the Pacific Ocean and South Seas be, and the same is hereby, authorized and directed, and that the President of the United States be, and he is hereby, authorized to prepare, and send out for that purpose, a sloop of war, and to purchase or provide such other smaller vessels as may be necessary and proper to render the said expedition efficient and useful. “...And be it further enacted, That the use of so much of the appropriations for the support of the navy, and other means and facilities under the control of the Navy Department, as imay be necessary and proper for that object, be, and the same is hereby, authorized; and, in addition thereto, the sum of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars be, and the same is hereby, appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated.” Mr. SOUTHARD moved to reconsider the vote b which the first amendment was agreed to; and this motion having prevailed, On motion of Mr. SOUTHARD, the sum contained in this amendment was reduced by deducting $52,257 75 for pay of the officers and men of two vessels which SENATE.]
could not be prepared for service during the present year. On motion of Mr. SOUTHARD, corresponding reductions were made in other amendments. The bill was then reported to the Senate as amended. Mr. HILL asked for the ayes and noes on the first amendment, which increases the appropriation for the pay of the navy from $1,974, 17891 to $2,544,338 16, and they were ordered. The question was then taken on concurring in the amendment, and decided as follows: YEAs—Messrs. Benton, Black, Brown, Buchanan, Clayton, Cuthbert, Davis, Ewing of Illinois, Goldsborough, Grundy, Hendricks, Hubbard, King of Alabama, Knight, Leigh, Linn, McKean, Mangum, Morris, Nicholas, Niles, Porter, Prentiss, Preston, Rives, Robbins, Robinson, Ruggles, Shepley, Southard, Swift, Tipton, Tomlinson, Walker, Webster, White, Wright—37. NAys—Messrs. Ewing of Ohio, Hill, King of Georgia, Moore, Naudain—5. The other amendments were then concurred in. Mr. HILL moved to reconsider the vote by which the amendment appropriating money for an exploring expedition was agreed to; but the motion was negatived. The question being on the engrossment of the amendment, Mr. HILL asked the ayes and noes; which were ordered. The question was then taken, and decided in the af. firmative: Yeas 44, nay 1.
Mr. WEBSTER, from the Committee on Finance, reported, without amendment, a bill from the House making further appropriations for the suppression of hostilities in Florida, and asked of the Senate to act on the bill at this time. The bill was then considered, and ordered to a third reading. A bill from the House, authorizing the President of the United States to accept the services of volunteers in certain cases, and also of mounted riflemen, was read twice, and referred to the Committee on Military Af. fairs. Mr. WHITE moved the Senate to proceed to the consideration of executive business, for the purpose of considering important business, which ought to have been acted on. Mr. CLAY stated that he had been unable to read the voluminous papers which belong to this matter, but expected he should be able to get through by to-morrow or the day after. After a few words from Mr. CALHOUN, of similar import, the motion was negatived.
LAND Bll L.
The bill to appropriate for a limited time the proceeds of the sales of the public lands among the States, and to grant lands to certain States, was taken up as the order of the day.
Mr. BENTON moved to postpone the bill, for the purpose of taking up the bill making appropriations for fortifications.
Mr. B. would take the sense of the Senate in the most formal manner on this mode of proceeding with the business of the country. It was now the end of the fifth month of the session, and scarcely a bill for the service of the country had yet been passed. He had been fifteen years a member of the Senate, and had never seen the parallel of it before. Not to go into the enumeration of the immense number of bills lying upon the tables, and not acted upon, here was the fortification bill, reported in January from the Military Committee, and not yet
acted upon, although there were no appropriations for fortifications last year. The Senate and the House had both engaged in ample discussions, to show who was in fault for the failure of the fortification bill last year; no such discussion would be necessary to show who occasioned the virtual defeat of it this year. Mr. B. considered the fortification bill for the present year as virtually defeated. The year would be half out before the appropriations would be ready; and by that time the season for work in the South would be gone by; and in the Middle and North, workmen and laborers would be engaged for the season; and the United States would find it difficult to obtain laborers, and be under the necessity of paying enhanced prices for them. His present motion was intended to bring things to an issue; it was to have the sense of the Senate formally taken upon the question of proceeding with the fortification bill; and therefore he should move, and should ask the yeas and nays upon it, to postpone the land distribution bill for a week, and in the mean time to proceed with the fortification bill, and afterwards with all the bills for appropriations and for the defence of the country. The distribution bill was now the antagonist, not of fortifications only, but of every bill for the service of the country. It was the antagonist of every bill that tended to diminish the mass of money for distribution. Many were the bills which had already suffered under it; too many to be enumerated; but the fate of one, that of the Cumberland road bill, was too striking in itself, and too clearly characteristic of the distribution policy, and its effects upon the country, to be overlooked. This bill was to carry on the oldest and best-established work of internal improvement in the country; one resting upon compact, and sanctioned by every administration from Mr. Jefferson's time to the present day. This road was to go to the Mississippi, at the least, and appropriations for it were brought in early in the session. What was the fate of that appropriation? A sacrifice to the distribution scheme! It was resisted for many weeks, the amount reduced, and a determination openly announced to discontinue the only thing that could give it any value, that of making it permanent by Macadamizing or gravelling. Thus the Cumberland road has fallen a victim and a sacrifice to the distribution spirit; and the fate of that bill is to be the fate of many more. At present the fortifications are to suffer, and may be consid. ered as defeated for this year. Thus far nothing has been done; all bills for the service of the country have been delayed and postponed; all the heavy appropriations have been kept back, and for a purpose which is perfectly understood in this chamber, and ought to be understood by the country. It is to make a surplus? It is to make a fictitious, delusive, and unreal surplus, to excite the cupidity of distributees, and to form the new rallying point of the same party which has had the career of so many new projects and changes in a few years past. They now proclaim a surplus of thirty millions in the Treasury; and how have they got it there? By stopping the appropriations; by delaying every bill that they can; by cutting down every appropriation to the lowest dollar! By these tactics, they have succeeded in damming up the money in the Treasury, while the business of the country has stopped for want of that money. Every branch of service is suffering for want of the money now in the Treasury, and which is ridiculously called surplus, while the officers of the Government are in vain calling for it. Mr. B. said that every person knew, or might, that officers were borrowing money, or getting public money without law, from banks, to carry on the public business, while Senators here are proclaiming a surplus of thirty millions, and absolutely refusing to go on with appropriation bills, and giving all their time and all their pathetic eloquence to the
Arnul 27, 1836.]
miseries of an overburdened Treasury. More than that, salaried officers, with pay due them, are borrowing money at usury, for the support of their families, while we sit here refusing to vote their pay, and indulging in sorrowful lamentations over the impossibility of ever getting rid of the public money, except by dividing it out. They are shedding real tears over their empty pockets, while we are shedding fictitious and crocodile tears over the fulness of the Treasury. Such were the first fruits of this most fatal and ruinous policy of distribution. It would soon manifest its hideous spirit in the defeat of the most important and the most necessary bills; and he, (Mr. B.) without treading upon forbidden ground, might allude to what was publicly known, that a treaty had been made with the Cherokees last year, requiring five and a half millions, and another with Indians in Michigan, for a million and three quarters; and that now, at the end of five months, neither of these treaties were acted upon! and could not be passed without putting an end to this lamentation about the surplus. Every thing had to be kept back to swell a surplus, to make an ostensible amount in the Treasury; and then every thing that could be defeated would have to be defeated, in order to save that ostensible surplus for distribution. Hence a new and fell spirit was brought into our legislation; a spirit wholly intent upon getting at the money in the Treasury, and pushing aside, trampling down, and cutting off, every measure for the good of the country, which threatened to take a dollar from this adored surplus. How is it, said Mr. B., with this bill? What right has it to take precedence over the fortification bill, and the other bills for the service of the country? Surely the supplies ought to be voted before the excess is thrown away; surely the surplus ought to be ascertained before it is distributed. This is regular and natural; but if it was done, the surplus scheme would be blown up. All the money in the Treasury, and more too, would be appropriated; the thirty millions would be gone; and the duped and deceived distributers, who are now, each one, with slate and pencil, calculating the amount of his share, would find that the vision had vanished, the mountain had disappeared, and the appropriation bills had covered every dollar that he was counting up for distribution. This was the true reason for pushing the distribution bill; this was the true reason for keeping it ahead of all other bills; if it were postponed until after the bills for the service of the country were passed, then the delusion of the surplus could not be kept up. Even now, within this hour, by the good fortune of getting the navy bill and a Florida war bill through, we had reduced the surplus between seven and eight millions; yet those seven or eight millions will still flourish in the speeches of gentlemen. Suppose these bills had been passed two months ago, and the Indian treaties ratified two or three months ago, then half the surplus would have been gone, and a great many fine speeches spoiled. This would have been the consequence of proceeding regularly and naturally, and ascertaining the surplus before it was used. Even now, if the administration party in the Senate is strong enough to bring on the business of the country, if that party is strong enough to vote money for the service of the country, and to ratify treaties, two weeks will explode this bubble of a surplus, and show every dollar in the Treasury, and more too, covered by appropriation bills, and in a regular course of expenditure for the public service. The question was then taken on Mr. BEN tox's motion to postpone, and lost; Yeas 20, nays 26, as follows: YEAs—Messrs. Benton, Brown, Cuthbert, Ewing of Illinois, Grundy, Hill, Hubbard, King of Alabama, King of Georgia, Linn, Moore, Morris, Niles, Rives, Robinson, Ruggles, shepley, Tallmadge, Walker, Wright—29. Nors—Messrs. Black, Buchanan, Calhoun, Clay,
Clayton, Crittenden, Davis, Ewing of Ohio, Goldsborough, Hendricks, Kent, Knight, Leigh, McKean, Mangum, Naudain, Nicholas, Porter, Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, Southard, Swift, Tomlinson, Webster, White—26. Mr. BENTON remarked that some gentleman might have voted against his motion, because the postponement was to a day certain. He would now make another motion, which was to lay the bill on the table, for the purpose of taking up the bill making appropriation for fortifications. This motion was also decided in the negative: Yeas 20, nays 26, as follows: YEAs--Messrs. Benton, Brown, Cuthbert, Ewing of Illinois, Grundy, Hill, Hubbard, King of Alabama, King of Georgia, Linn, Moore, Morris, Niles, Rives, Robinson, Ruggles, Shepley, Tallmadge, Tipton, Wlaker, Wright—20. Nays—Messrs. Black, Buchanan, Calhoun, Clay, Clayton, Crittenden, Davis, Ewing of Ohio, Goldsborough, Hendricks, Kent, Knight, Leigh, McKean, Mangum, Naudain, Nicholas, Porter, Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, Southard, Swift, Tomlinson, Webster, White—26. Mr. EWING, of Ohio, moved to amend the bill by striking out all after the words “United States” to the words “thirty-six,” in the seventh line, and insert: “one fourth part on the fourth day of July, 1836, and one fourth part at the end of each ninety days thereafter, until the whole shall be paid;” which amendment was agreed to. [The above amendment fixes the periods of distribution.] Mr. ROBINSON here moved the following amendment, to come in as an additional section: Sec. —..And be it further enacted, That all lands belonging to the United States which have been, or hereafter may be, subject to entry at private sale for twenty years and upwards, and have not been sold, shall hereafter be sold at one dollar per acre, and at a reduction in price of ten per centum every five years, until the price of such lands be reduced to fifty cents per acre. Mr. WALKER said he would be glad if the gentleman would confine his amendment to actual settlers. Too much of the public lands was now, taken up by speculators, and if the reduction was made in favor of all purchasers, the public domain would pass into their hands with little benefit to the cultivators, in whose favor the gentleman no doubt proposed his amendment. ... He would therefore move to amend the amendment of the Senator from Illinois, by adding the following: Provided, That no person, under the provisions of this act, shall be authorized or permitted to enter, at the prices specified by this act, more than three hundred and twenty acres, or two quarter sections, in subdivisions not less than a quarter-quarter section, in his or her own name, or in the name of any other person, for his or her own use, and in no case, unless he or she intends it for settlement or cultivation, or the use of his or her improvement; and the person applying to make an entry under this act shall file his or her affidavit, under such regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury shall prescribe; that he or she makes the entry in his or her own name, for his or her own benefit, and not in trust for another: ...And provided, also, That no patent shall issue to any person making said entry, until three years thereafter; and that any sale, contract for sale, lease, or contract for lease, of said lands so entered under the Provisions of this act, which may be made prior to the ema: nation of the patent, shall be utterly null and void, and shall operate as a forfeiture of the title to the United states: And provided, also, That said entry shall not be made at the reduced price, unless it is proved, under such regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury shall prescribe, that said applicant at the date of said entry