« AnteriorContinuar »
.H. OF R.)
Crimes in the District of Columbia.
[APRIL 8, 1830.
Penalties had been imposed, two-thirds of which were Mr. WICKLIFFE next moved to insert the word free, paid to the informers; and the extent of this evil could in order to make these punishments only applicable to be somewhat inferred from the fact, that a single consta- free citizens, and not to slaves. ble was in the habit of receiving from two to three thou · Mr. POWERS said it was the intention of the committee sand dollars a year of gamblers, as informer, for his share to place slaves upon the same footing as free citizens in reof penalties, the balance of wbich was paid to the corpo- lation to criminal punishments. ration. It was certainly important to the morals and wel Mr WICKLIFFE demanded what punisbment it could fare of society, that this alarming practice should be sup- be to take a man from the bondage of his master, and place pressed.
him in the penitentiary: He should not said Mr. P.) dwell on the subject of Mr. POWERS said, he had inadvertently answered for duelling. It had often been discussed by far abler men, the whole committee on the subject of maintaining an and he could offer nothing new. All must be sensible of equality in punishments, wbile, in reality, be only expressthe magnitude of the evil, and concur in a desire to abo- ed his own sentiments. He was now convinced that others, lish a practice fraught with such calamities as this coun- and perhaps a majority of the committee, were opposed to try had experienced from it.
him on that subject. He should trouble the committee with no further re Mr. BURG ES said, he did not know the provisions of marks at present, but was prepared to give such explana- the bill, but he could not see how a distinction could be tions to the various provisions of the bill, as might be made iu punishing the crime of a slave or that of bis mascalled for.
ter; and he was sure bis master could not complain of the Mr. WICKLIFFE proposed to strike out three of the loss of bis service, so long as his continement was required offences mentioned in the bill. He referred to the words for the public safety-for this was, in fact, the object of * cheating, gaming, and duelling." All crimes, he con- punishment. He agreed with the gentleman from Keotended, should be punished according to their enormity, tucky, that it was no great punishment to imprison a slave; and no jury, be presumed, would be found to sentence a but the public safety might require his confinement. If man to the penitentiary for the undefined charge of gam- slaves were exempted from punishment, a man might, with ing, for instance. He would leave this subject where it impunity, aim a dagger at the throat of him whom he hated, dow rested, in the care of the common law. He presum- by the band of his slave. ed the committee intended to suppress the evil of keeping Mr. BOULDIN said, there were circumstances, founded to public gaming tables, though, in the present shape of the in pecessity, which rendered a distinction essential, between provision, it extended to the corner of the whist table. the laws applicable to a free man and those intended for a 1};
Mr. SEMMES proposed to amend the section by in- slave. The incarceration of an individual, and making serting the words keeping a public gaming table or him a slave for a time, had some terrors for one who was house." This [he said] was the kind of gaming intended free; but wbat possible effect could it have on one who to be punished by the committee, and be hoped it would was already a slaveWbat possible good could result meet the views of all. As to duelliog [be said) it was evi- from taking him for a time from one master, and giving dently the wish of a large proportion of the citizens of the him to another? He thought, also, that the punishment of my place to have something done for its suppression ; and as the slave and the interest of the master should ever be in-in they were legislating for a people who have no legislative separable. The master should rather be interested in the in council of their own, he thought it due to them to consult detection and punishment of the crimes of the slave, thaum their wishes.
in their concealment. He did not know the size of the thing Mr. SPENCER, of New York, said he should readily penitentiary; but, if the act passed in its present shape, concur with the gentleman from Kentucky, [Mr. WICK they could not be too quick in setting about its enlargeLIFFE] that the word duelling should be stricken out as ment-for it would certainly be filled. He did not know by too indefinite an expression, if it were not fully defined in wbat the laws of Maryland and of Virginia were at the day the eleventh section. Gaming (be said] was also a crime time of their adoption by the District; but he presumed of various grades, and required provisions accordingly. they were nearly the same as they are now, and adapted Cheating was entirely too indefinite a term, and should be to the government of slaves. stricken out, or receive a substitute. In relation to duel Mr. POWERS stated the provisions of the laws of Maling, there was scarcely a State in the Union which did ryland on the subject. not severely punish the incipient steps towards the com Mr. SPENCER, of New York, said, the infliction of pain mission of this crime, such as bearing challenges, &c. He or punishment upon the offending individual, was not the hoped this ten miles square would not be made an excep- object of criminal law. It was to provide for the public tion, but that here a still more salutary example would be safety alone ; and in this respect, no difference could exist set, for the guidance of other parts of the Union. between black or white, bond or free. It would certainly
Mr. STORRS, of New York, said, if the gentleman from be wrong to punish slaves with more rigor than others, as Kentucky (Mr. WICKLIFFE), would withdraw bis amend their opportunities to acquire knowledge, and their inment for a moment, he would submit a proposition which ducements to practice virtue, were less than those of the he thought would meet his views.
white man. It would also be wrong to punish them lese, Mr. WICKLIFFE said, no man could have more abhor- as it would look like an inducement to the commission of rence for the crimes enumerated, than he bad; but he knew crime. He thougbt the House could make no distinction the futility of edacting laws which would not, and could in its provisions for their punishment. not, be executed. He would, bowever, withdraw his mo. Mr. SEMMES said, as a slave holder, and a representation to strike out, to give the opportunity asked by the tive from a slave holding State, he was entirely opposed gentleman from New York.
to the amendment, for the reasons offered by the gentleman Mr. STORRS then proposed to amend the section by from New York, [Mr. SPENCER.] It was a most mistaken substituting the following words : " for obtaining money idea that it could be no punishment to a slave to confide or any seeurities herefor, or any goods or chattels
, under him in a penitentiary. He would ask the gentlemen to false pretences, or keeping a faro bank, or other common look around on the condition of slaves in this District, at
this enlightened age. Had they not as much to lose by A suggestion was made by Mr. WHIT ESEY to strike their incarceration, as the white map Would they not be out the word “common," but Mr. STORRS feared this toru from their homes the bosom of their families and might destroy its object, and it was agreed to as first pro- the enjoyment of their domestic comforts, by being conposed by Mr. STORRS...
demned to prison ! He contended that stripes were do
ÁPRIL 8, 1830.)
Crimes in the District of Columbia.
[H. of R.
adequate punishment for crime, and did not conduce to the Mr. SEMMES said, if gentlemen wished for the amelioreformation of the culprit
. He was a member of the ration of the coudition of slaves, they would effect their Legislature of Maryland, when the laws of the State were object by voting for the proposition. epacted to ameliorate the condition of its slaves, and to mo. Mr. BARBOUR followed in explanation of the laws of dify its former laws in relation to them; and he would pow Virginia on this subject. After some further debate, howannounce to the House, that it was the intention of the ever, the proposition was withdrawn. chairman of the committee, (Mr. POWERS) if the amend Mr. WICKLIFFE proposed an amendment to the clause ment did not prevail, to extend the laws of Virginia and relating to Assaults, with intent to kill. Maryland, on this subject, to the District.
Mr. SUTHERLAND suggested that the word “murMr. BOULDIN said, the laws of Virginia, and be believ- der" would be more correct than “kill,” which was the ed those of Maryland also, provided for the payment of usual term. It would, he thought, be better to insert in the price of each slave who was executed. He still con- such cases two counts, one for assault aud battery, with intended that whatever speculations might be made on this tent, &c, and the other for the intent to murder; the jury subject, it would be found, by sober practice, that tlre in- could then decide upon the quo animo of the case before terest of the master must be consulted in the pupisbment them. He referred to a case which he had formerly conof the slave. If the amendment were adopted, it would ducted, in which, by this means, the criminal had been leave the committee at liberty to introduce a new bill, con convicted. taining a short and simple plan of punishment for slaves. Mr. TAYLOR said, that, in his opinion, it was better to
Mr. POWERS said he must still' decline acceding to the retain the words used in the ancient judicial practice. To amendment.
, as applied to this, was, in the legal acceptation of the Mr. DRAYTON feared, if this debate were continued, term, to kill feloniously; and such was the construction the object of the committee would be defeated. And, al- put upon the phrase by the highest authorities. though be would not presume to lay down rules for the Mr. WICKLIFFE, after a few remarks, withdrew bis governmeut of the committee, he suggested that the debate amendment. should be nis circumscribed as possible. He believed it Various other amendments were proposed and adopted. ezsential that freemen and slaves should be governed by Mr. INGERSOLL moved to amend the bill, by adding different codes of laws; but he would be inclined to adopt to it a section providing to punish the crime of forcibly a rather less sanguinary ope for the government of the lat- carrying away or seducing from the District, with intent to ter than the former, as they have not the same incitement sell, free negroes, by fine, not exceeding five thousand dolto the practice of virtue as their masters have. The codes lars, and imprisonment for not more than seven years. should, at all events, be distinct, and the danger of their The amendment was agreed to. conflictirlg avoided.
Mr. WICKLIFFE proposed a further amendment to the Mr. BÜRGES said, he meant to make do improper allu- bill, for the punishment of persons breaking into a dwellsions. He would not say that there were one class of in- ing house during the day time. dividuals there, that knew more of the management of Mr. SPENCER, of New York, stated, that he bad neslaves than others, but he could not subscribe to some of ver beard of such an offence as thie one described. Breakthe opinions advanced there. He could not believe that ing into a bouse by night, with iptent to steal, is punished the condition of slaves was such, that being bound by links as burglary, because it disturbed the repose and hazarded of steel, and lashed to a wheelbarrow during the day, and the safety of the inmates. To the day time, bowever, there then turned into a solitary cell at night, had no terrors for could be no offence of this nature committed, amounting him. He thought he was more a slave, who was deprived in the eye of the law to burglary. of the sight of the green earth, and the glorious sun, and Mr. WICKLIFFE replied, he was reluctant to labor unthe powers of the free exercise of his limbs, thap he who der an imputation of providing for the punishment of a was only held in common bondage. He would agree that crime which had never been heard of. these things were not quite so much a punishment to the Mr. SPENCER, in explanation : I stated that it was & slave as to the freeman; but be contended we had not the crime which I had never heard of. right, this side of the grave, so far to exercise the retribu Mr. WICKLIFFE résumed. He should not have alluded tive powers of Almighty justice. If
, in the exercise of the to the remark, but from the circumstance of its being made powers they possess, they infringed on personal liberty, or by so eminent and distinguished a jurist as the gentleman even life, it could only be so far as the public welfare call from New York; [Mr. SPENCER] nevertheless, he must ed on them to act. He had been told of the failure of the still maintain that the breaking into a house in the day peoitentiary system, but these remarks could only apply to time was, under certain circumstances, equivaleut to the the manner in which it was formerly conducted, before the crime of burglary during the night. He would instance introduction of solitary confinement. When culprits were a case which would demonstrate this : suppose a man leave mingled in a mass, and suffered unrestrained intercourse his house during the day, in the pursuit of his usual avocawith each other, in every hue of crime, it was to be .ex- tions, in the care of a female of his family, and that some pected that they would deteriorate; but such was not now one entered his house with a felonious intent, or attemptthe case. He said he would go any length to accommodate ed to commit a felony, would the person injured be congentlemen in what be deemed to be right; but, before his tent with a system of law which indicted the prisoner for a country and his God, he could not consent to form one code mere assault and battery? It was for the protection of faof justice for the government of white men, and another for milies from alarm and outrage, that he had moved the blacks.
amendment in question. You must charge, [said Mr. W.] The question was then taken on the amendment to in- under the present law, the ruffian who breaks into a house sert the word “free,” when there were, for the affirma- during the day, with the most atrocious intentions; he does tive 50, for the negative 54. This not being a quorum, not accomplish his full purposes with intent to steal only; the question was again taken, and it was carried : yeas, 58 for which offence the punishment is a small fine, and, per-aye, 54.
haps, six months' imprisonment. My amendment will preMr. WASHINGTON then moved an amendment, mak- vent this very apportionment of punishments, and coning the laws of Virginia and Maryland, iu relation to slaves, tribute, accordingly, to the safety of our fellow.citizens. binding in the District.
With respect to the remark, that the proposition is novel
, Mr. SPENCER, of New York, and several other mem- it as much as it provided for the punishment of an offence bers, wished to know what these laws were, before they never heard of, he would only say, that he [Mr. WICKvoted for them.
LIFTL) had, in bis own State, Kentucky, been charged with
H. OF R.]
Crimes in the District of Columbia.—The Army. (APRIL 9, 10, 1830. the prosecution of such offences, and had convicted the , without discusion or reflection. He moved that the reoffenders.
port and resolution be committed to the Committee of the Mr. SPENCER repeated, that be bad said he had never Whole House on the state of the Union, and that they be 1 heard of such offences. If the necessity of such a provi- printed. sion could be shown, he should certainly give his ready as Some remarks were here made by Messrs. SPEIGHT sent to it.
and DESHA. After some further discussion, in which Mr. STORRS, Mr. DRAYTON said, be wished it to be distinctly unof New York, Mr. WICKLIFFE, Mr. SPENCER, of New derstood, that he did not declare bimself in favor of a re
York, and Mr. TAYLOR took part, the amendment was duction of the number of officers of the army. He did not negatived.
deem it necessary to express an opinion on that subject. Mr. MARTIN submitted an amendment to the fourth But he thought it altogether proper that the inquiry should section of the bill, providing that uo person concerned in be made. This was the whole object of the resolution. a duel shall be subject to an indictment for having been en Mr. TAYLOR said, he must still be allowed to consider gaged in it, on his own testimony, during any part of the his more than a mere resolution for inquiry. It directs the
6 proceeding in the case of such duel.
Secretary to submit a plan for the reduction of the army. The amendment was adopted.
He thought the first step should be, for the House to inUpon motion of Mr. POWERS, the committee then took quire whether such a reduction was proper to be made; up the bill for the appointment of commissioners to pre- but this the resolution takes for granted. It was in rain pare a code of laws for the District of Columbia. to bay, that, by the passage of this resolution, the House
Mr. WICKLIFFE moved to amend the bill, by insert- would take no part on the question of further reducing the ing a clause, that one at least of the three of the commis- army. It would imply an expression of opinion that thiş sioners proposed to be appointed for that purpose should reduction was proper, and it would go abroad to the peonot be a resident of the District of Columbia.
ple of this nation in that light. On the reduction of the The motion was negatived.
army from ten thousand to six thousand men, in 1821, Mr. Mr. STERIGERE moved to strike out from the bill the T. said he was one of those who advocated the measure. words" by and with the consent of the Senate.”
For this, he and his friends, who voted with him, were stig. This motion was also negatived by the committee. matized as radicals, and as attempting to take away the Several verbal amendments were proposed and agreed to. right arm of the national defence. This was nine years
Mr. STORRS, of New York, moved to reduce the sum ago, and he asked what they had done since? How many to be appropriated from ten thousand dollars to six thou- fortifications bave been erected since, and how many men sand five buodred dollars ; which, after some remarks from will it take to arm them properly to make them effective Mr. POWERS, was agreed to.
in the defence of the country 1 It is but a few days since Mr. WICKLIFFE moved a further amendment, grant- the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. DRAYTON] himself ing to the commissioners the use of a room in the Capitol; introduced a bill making appropriations for this very obwhich was agreed to.
ject. Is this a time, then, for this House, without debate The committee then rose, and reported; and,
and without investigation, to pass a vote that it is expediOn motion of Mr. VINTON,
ent to reduce the army! for this is the purpurt of the resoThe House adjourned.
lution. Mr. T. said it had been suggested to him to offer
an amendment, calling ou the Secretary of War merely for FRIDAY, APRIL 9, 1830.
information on the subject; but he would not do even this.be
He believed that inquiry belonged exclusively, to that DISTRIOT OF COLUMBIA.
House, and he did not think the mere opivion of the SecreThe House took up the bill for the punishment of crimes tary of War could aid them in arriving at a conclusion on in the District of Columbia, with the amendments report- the subject. ed by the Committee of the Whole.
Mr. POLK said, he thought the gentleman from New Mr. A. SPENCER objected to the amendment which York (Mr. Taylor] mistook the object of the resolution, introduces the word “free” before “persons," and thus as it was evidently only intended by it to institute an inconfines the operation of the bill to free persons. He repel- quiry. led the idea that confinement to hard labor in the peniten Mr. TAYLOR asked that the resolution might again be tiary would be po punishment to a slave, and entered into read; which being done, a train of reasoning to show that the discrimination was Mr. POLK .continued. He thought it a proper subject improper and inexpedient.
for inquiry, though he was not now prepared to express As discussion seemed about to arise on this bill, Mr. an opinion on the policy of continuing the present system WHITTLESEY proposed that the House, according to the of maintaining a skeleton of an army. rule, take up the private docket, and the SPEAKER ac The SPEAKER pro tem. [the Hon. P. P. BARBOUR] cordingly proceeded to the orders of the day.
remarked that the question was on the commitment of the
resolution, and not on its merits. SATURDAY, APIL 10, 1830.
Mr. POLK thought the delay incidental to a commit
ment to the Committee of the Whole on the state of the THE ARMY.
Union, was wholly unnecessary. The House proceeded to consider the following resolu Mr. CAMBRELENG said, he fully concurred with his tion, reported some days ago from the Military Committee: colleague, (Mr. TAYLOR] in the opinion expressed by him,
“ Resolved, That the Secretary of War be directed to that this was a proper subject for reference to the House, report to this House, at the commencement of the next and ita discussion while on the state of the Union. It was session, such an organization of the army of the United well known that officers, in what had just now been termStates as will reduce the number of its officers, without in- ed our “ skeleton of an army," supported at the publie jury to the service."
expense, for future emergency, were more numerous, in A debate arose on this subject, which was terminated only strict proportion, than the privates. But it was also known by the expiration of the hour allotted for considering re. that most of the disasters which befell our country at the solutions, of which the following is a sketch:
commencement of the late war with Great Britain, arose Mr. TAYLOR said, he was not himself, and be presumed from the want which we so deeply felt of experienced offithe House was not, prepared to act upon this important cers. It was not the business of the Secretary of War to subject, involving the question of a reduction of the army,' instruct that House upon the policy of reducing the offi
APRIL 12, 1830.]
Kentucky Deaf and Dumb Asylum.
[H. or R.
cers of the army to a minimum with the privates, or of commitment of the resolution, because the icquiry appearpreserving the precious “ skeleton" of an army which we ed to him to be altogether an improper one. The resoyet possessed--it was not a subject for him to decide, lution aleo seemed more than a simple inquiry. It indicawhether our army of officers was to be fostered or aban- ed something like an opinion, on the part of the House, that doned; but he believed it was a proper subject for refer- some alteration might be made in the present organization
ence to the Committee of the Whole on the state of the of the army, and he must entertain an opinion of that sort 1' Union.
himself before he could vote for it. The various sugMr. DRAYTON said, if he took the same view of the gestions it contained were all proper subjects for the con1 subject that the honorable gentlemen from New York sideratiou of that House, and not for the Secretary of War. \ [Messrs. TAYLOR and CAMBRELENG] did, he would readily We do not call upon him to know whether it is necessary
concur with them in the propriety of the proposed refer- or proper for us to diminish or increase our fortifications,
ence. But he could not so view it; and he must still be- or whether we will abolish or continue the Military Acade# lieve it a proper subject for reference to the Secretary of my, that nursery of officers. Mr. W. said he was a memÓWar. He was extremely anxious not to be misunderstood ber of that House at the close of the late war, when the 1 in this matter. He had by no means inferred that he had calamities we bad suffered for the want of a well organized
arrived at a conclusion that the army or its number of offi- army in its beginning, were fresh in their memories. Per
cers should be reduced, nor that they should be increased ; laps their feelings at that time might have carried them I though he was not sure that, on a proper investigation, he too far in providing for future emergencies; if so, he was
should not express one of these opinions. The proposed willing to bear bis due proportion of the blanue. It seeminquiry was far from being unprecedented; and he would ed to be admitted that the number of privates was not too ask if resolutions were not almost daily laid upon the ta- great for the necessities of the service. It was only the ble, and agreed to, for inquiries to which the House was officers against whom the inquiry was directed. Experi
opposed. The language of the resolution was certainly ence had demonstrated that it would be much easier to į misconstrued. It called for such a plan as would not be procure men on the recurrence of a war, than it was to
iujurious to the public service; and, if such a plan were bave them properly commanded. submitted, he asked if the House would not feel bound to The SPEAKER again remarked that a debate upon the adopt it. As the object of the resolution was a mere in merits of the resolution was inadmissible. quiry, he thought it should be sanctioned.
Mr. WILDE said, he was sorry to infringe on any of the Mr. EVERETT, of Massachusetts, said, as the object rules of order of the House, but he felt the necessity, and was merely that of inquiry, he would propose to amend he wished to impress it upon the minds of members, to rethe resolution by adding " if, in his opinion, such reduc- flect what would be their condition, if they proceeded to tion can be made" without injury, &c.
pass a vote for another reduction of the army, for such, he (A motion being pending to commit the resolution to a considered, was the purport of the resolution proposed. Committee of the whole, this amendment was not in order.] Mr. W. was about to proceed, when the SPEAKER
Mr. DESHA said, he rose to reply to the gentlemen from announced the expiration of the hour allotted to resoluNew York, [Messrs. Tarlos and CAMBRELENG) who bad tions.
adverted to the policy of the Government in the present i organization of the army, as a resort in future emergen
MONDAY, APRIL 12, 1830. i cies. Experience had fully proved that the service of an
KENTUCKY DEAF AND DUMB ASYLUM. officer in time of peace did not improve his capacities, or qualify him for the exigencies of war; on the contrary, Mr. BAYLOR, from the committee appointed on the such had ever been found the most inefficient.
28th of December last, to which was referred, on the 18th Mr. VANCE expressed his opposition to any project for of February last, the petition of the trustees of Centre disturbing the present established organization of ihe ar- College of Kentucky, 'who are also the trustees of the my. The detached service on which this small corps was Kentucky Institution for the tuition of the Deaf and Dumb; employed, required a greater proportion of officers than reported a bill to amend an act entitled " An act for the if they were kept in more compact order.
benefit of the incorporated Kentucky Asylum for teaching The SPEAKER again reminded gentlemen that the the Deaf and Dumbr" and to extend the time for selling the merits of a resolution was not a subject for debate, on a land granted by said act. motion to commit it.
Mr. KINCAID rose in explanation, and support of the Mr. VANCE said, he believed its commitment would bill. He observed that its object was simple and reasonaamount to its rejection, as it could not be reached this ses- ble; being to extend the time which had been allowed sion in the regular succession of business.
to the Deaf and Dumb Asylum of Kentucky in the origiMr. DWIGHT said, he was equally opposed to the re- Dal act to dispose of the land granted to it by Congress. solution, with other gentlemen who had addressed the The act had been passed on the 5th of April
, 1826; it House. [Order.] The reason why he was in favor of its granted to the institution one towoship of land, to be locommitment to the Committee of tậe Whole on the state cated under the direction of the Secretary of the Treaof the Union, was to give an opportunity for discussing sury, and made it the duty of the said corporation to sell whether the Government would abandon fortifications for the land within five years from the passage of the act; the which they had appropriated ten millions of dollars. The same to be located in one of the territories, on land on defence of our sea coast alone, on which these fortifica- which the Indian title bad been extinguished. tions are erected, requires in time of war forty thousand Difficulties of various kinds bad occurred in complying men, and in time of peace twelve thousand; while, at this with the terms of the act, in consequence of which the moment, we have not five thousand men in service. He sale bad been so far retarded, that, if the terms of the would ask, if it was supposed the Secretary of War original grant should be insisted upon, the trustees would could instruct the House that five thousand men were too be compelled to part with the residue of the land, (conmany for the service of twelve millions of inhabitants. sisting of about one-third part of the whole,) at a great The agitation of this question [be said) must teod to de- sacrifice. Under these circumstances, they had presented stroy the confidence in the Governinent, which it was de- their petition to Congress, praying that the time might be sirable should be possessed by men, who, he did not hesi- extended to five years longer. tate to say, were as talented, worthy, and brave, as those The nature and causes of the difficulties which bad reof any army of its size in the world.
tarded the sale were well explained in a letter written to Mr. WILDE said, he was in favor of the motion for the bim by R. C. Alled, Esq., the agent of the Institution in
H. or R.]
(APRIL 12, 1830. Florida, (in which territory the lands bad been located,) with the privilege of holding up the land five years, and and which he asked might be read at the Clerk's table. with the certainty of a prolongation of five more, upon the It was read aceordingly; when,
precedent now about to be establisbed, the territories, inMr. WHITE, of Florida, said, be regretted that an im- stead of being colonies of the United States, will be beld perious sense of public duty compelled bim to oppose any by Deaf and Dumb Corporations, who will sell them out measure that had the appearance of promoting any cbari- as the funds may be required for the purposes of their ivtable or humane object. He was impressed with a belief stitutions. I humbly hope, sir, Congress is not prepared that when the House was informed of the history of this to adopt a policy so unwise, a system so destructive of all grant, and the proceedings under it, they would be in the hopes and prospects of the territories. It was my clined to think that charity had already suffered much, good fortune, once, to defeat a biil like this, by moving an and that some of that feeling now invoked for the passage amendment, that the lands granted should be sold at pubof this bill ought to be extended to bis constituents. In lic auction at once. This produced a discussion, which re1826, an application was made to Congress for a grant of sulted in the postponement of the bill. a township of land to the incorporated Asylum for teach If this course is persisted in, the population of the coun. ing the Deaf and Dumb in Kentucky. He did not, upon try will be checked, its settlement retarded, and the most that, or any other occasion, interpose any objection to injurious results produced. The bonorable gentleman from prevent the most munificent bounty of the Government Kentucky is mistaken in supposing that the time asked for so benevolent an object. It was not his province to for is required. The land now selected can be sold for inquire into the expediency or power of Congress to make five dollars per acre, which will make this grant worth grants of the public lands for any object. It was his duty, more than one hundred thousand dollars. however, to guard, as far as possible, the interests of They can sell every acre within the time now limited the people of Florida against any injury which might by law. at that price; and so far from there being any danhappen to them in the profusion of the nation's bounty. ger of their suffering from speculators, if this extension is to Every one acquainted with the surveys of the public lands allowed, it will enable this charitable institution to become must know that a township is one of the legal divisions, itself, a speculator, to the injury of the people of Florida
. six miles square, containing nine sections of six hundred Upon the ground, then, that it is undecessary and impolitic, and forty acres each. It was the intention of Congress that it is a violation of the condition of the grant, and inthat this land should be selected in one body, according to jurious to my constituents and the country, I move an the surveys, as that of General Lafayette's was, and all the indefinite postponement of the bill. other grants of a similar nature. This land was not so se Mr. KINKÁID addressed the House in reply, observing lected. A powerful influence was enlisted to pervert the that they would perceive from the letter of the agent law, and induce the Secretary of the Treasury to reverse that the land had been disposed of, excepting about oneall the decisions previously made in the construction of third, which still remained on band; and although he supsimilar laws, and to allow the selection in small bodies all posed, from the remarks of the honorable gentleman from over the territory. The late Secretary of State was in Florida, that it was worth five dollars per acre, and he will duced to use his influence with the Secretary of the Trea- hoped even more than that, yet he could not agree with Bury to bave the land located in small bodies, and it was bim tbat it would at present command that sum ; no such accordingly so ordered. This decision, made, as I have offers were made to the agent; but, on the contrary, the said, against all precedent, gave to the institution land highest bid made for any part of it was about three dollars four times as valuable as any one entire townsbip in the per acre, and, for the greater portion which lay out of the country would bave been. Not content with this advan- settlement, no offer whatever was made.
Should the tage, an attempt was made to place these selections over gentleman's motion, therefore, succeed, the amount not the farms and houses of all the poor settlers in the country, op hand would have to be got rid of within less than one coutrary to a law that secured the possesion of these me-year from this time: a great sacrifice must be the inevitaritorious occupants, and in violation of the pledges of the ble result. There were no buyers to bid for it but land representatives here made, to prevent any opposition to speculators, who, being apprised of the terms of the grant the bill
. I had visited that institution, had my sympathies were now lying by, in hopes of getting a great bargain. strongly enlisted in its favor, and was desirous that the bill
Mr. K. said, the argument that the House had not the should pass, if it was not injurious to my constituents. power to pass this bill, was pretty much an argument of This attempt to place the grant over their houses and farms, course in the discussions here, which he would permit on produced the epibarrassments alluded to by the gentleman this occasion to pass; but, in answer to the other argu from Kentucky. How far it will constitute a claim for ments advanced by the gentleman, he felt it his duty again indulgence from this House, I cannot say; but, judging briefly to explain to the House how the difficulties had from my own feelings, I cannot suppose it will have much arisen which had operated to prevent the trustees from effect. I mention
this to show how highly this institution, disposing of the land as they had hoped and expected to by the influence of the late Secretary of State, bas already do, within the period at first fixed by law. been favored.
The grant, as he had before stated, had passed the I bave two objections, however, to the passage of this House in April
, 1826; but, at the same session, an act was bill, wbich I bumbly conceive, with all the benevolent passed granting the right of pre-emption to every pere feelings, in favor of the institution, the House will consi- son who had actually inhabited and cultivated
a tract of der reasonable and well founded. This grant was ac- land lying in either of the districts established for the
sale within five years. The United States parted with the title, pot rightfully claimed by any other person, and who cepted, upon the express condition that it should be sold of puðlic lands in the territory of Florida, which tract was and the condition was for the benefit of the Territory of should not bave
removed from the territory." The trusFlorida. This is a question now, in which the United tees would doubtless bave taken their land in one uodívidStates have no concero; and I doubt their power to extended
township, but they had found it impossible (unless they the condition of a grant, to the injury of a third person, or bad taken that was worthless) to find any township which party, by removing restrictions intended for their
. did not include the improvements of some of those settlers A bill has already passed the Senate, granting
six or eight who
were entitled to the right of pre-emption to which townships of land to all the large States, to be located in be bad just referred. Under these circumstances, the the territories.
trustees bad applied to the Secretary of the Trsasury for If that bill should get through this House, of which instructions and advice; (the act having declared that the there is every prospect, from the
combination in its favor, land should be located " under bis direction.") That