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see, and took an active part in favor of Mr. Van Buren while there? Yes, sir, and he professes to bear a com- charge of interference is as fully made out by those five
ission from the President himself, which will destroy undenied and undeniable specifications, as it would be all that I stated on the subject. Does he pretend that | by seven, or seventy. And yet the gentleman says he the President of the United States of America authorized is authorized to contradict the whole charge as false. him to deny what I related as having taken place at Now, sir, with all the gentleman’s professed feelings of Jonesborough, in relation to his defence of Reuben regard for Mr. White, he has never had his sensitive. Whitney' ness shocked into his desence upon this floor. Oh, no;
questions, two specifications out of seven; and the
[Here, Mr. Dus LAP iuquired whether his colleague he has been unmoved while deluges of calumny have wished him to answer him.] been poured upon him from the press; and the batteries
Mr. Peytos. No, sir, not yet. I wish the gentleman of executive denunciation have been levelled at him to take it not in broken doses, but all together, and may from the day of his announcement as a candidate for the be it will operate the better. I know the President presidency. And now this same dumb supporter of his made no such denial, because that exhibition was pub. is running to the President for evidence to assail him lished in the Van Buren press of Jonesborough. Sec- as the propagator of falsehood. He a friend of Mr. ondly, did he commission the gentleman to come here white!" When and how has he shown it? I think and deny that he charged me with opposing the appro- it is time for these insidious assaults upon that venpriation to the Cherokee treaty? I know not, sir, what erable man to cease. All his assailants tree themselves strongly operating cause has induced this evidence, now behind the President before they take their aim at him. volunteered in this hall. But, sir, I know that no man But he is armed too strong in honesty. They have not can get the President to forget or deny that. Thirdly, the power to tarnish his name. In reference to the did the President deny that he chargéd the gentleman coming administration, my colleague seems to be quite from Virginia [Mr. Wise] with being a liar, at Sparta, in a rage that any one should think of any thing but pas. Tennessee? Fourthly, did he deny saying of the able, sive obedience and non-resistance to it; he speaks loudly manly, and lucid speech of my colleague, [Mr. Fones. of pure measures, not yet known or understood, and ton, J at the same place, that any one could get such a therefore not to be opposed. I myself will support all that speech written at Washington for five dosiars' Fifthly. is pure in that pure administration. It is a sorry dynas; Did “e domy saying at Mrs. Saunders's, in Sumner coun- ty, to be sure. But, sir, the man himself is " tainted ty, Tennessee, that my colleague [Colonel Bell.] told with origius! sin,” as was once said by a voice (I wish it twenty lies in one speech, and knew them to be lies at was now animate and here) now stilled and gone, (John the time, and that I was a greater liar than Bell?, No, Randolph's,) and the people have a right to demand an sir, the gentleman will not, he dare not, say that the atonement to their offended majesty. To succeed in his President denied one of these five specifications, going ambitious views, he has struck a deadly blow at the bal. to show his interference in the election while he was in lot-box; he has broken down the sacred guarantees of Tennessee. Then the gentleman has not, I perceive, liberty; he has transferred the sovereign power from got a carte blanche from the President to deny any the people to the President, which President he is: thing and every thing which he may think necessary. And is he not answerable for this? Are not these princi. if he denies any thing which I have said upon the au- ples incompatible with freedom? What atonement can thority of the President, I demand that he produce a he make but to give back into the hands of the people witness, and prove that the President told him so. It is their violated rights, their lost privileges, their ancient not surprising that the President should have forgotten sovereignty and freedom of elections’ Nothing but full a part of what took place in Tennessee. I wish he and complete restoration; nothing short of the entire ra. could forget all these things--all that transpired while zing to its foundation his caucus system, his executive he was in Tennessee. I envy him not his office who patronage system, his bribery system, his whole New will run to the President, harass him with goading re- York system, will ever be an atonement for what he has flections, and then draw forth the hasty declarations of already done. an exasperated man, to be used for a hidden purpose. The gentleman speaks of those pure measures which This is unaccountable, unless it is necessary to bolster are yet to come, as though they would sanctify all that is up a political summerset, about to be cut in the face of past. Can he, can any man, do as much public good in a frowning and indignant constituency. Such a monocu- four years, ay, in a lifetime, as he has done harm, in the vre could not, perhaps, be safely made without the ben- manner, the means by which he has ascended to power' efit of the President’s name to give it sanction. But, is he to say to the American people, “I will make you sir, I would always prefer a bold, open, honest, oppo. an excellent master; here is a new blanket, and I shall nent to a spy in the camp. These doubtful, hesitating, now expect that you behave like good, obedient slaves" news-carrying men are not fit for these times, and the No murmuring, no clamor about who is master, though, sooner they make an open desertion time better. Now is as that would be factious. Sir, look at his system, and the time for men to come upon the stage, and act their see to what it has already brought the country. Hashe parts; high-minded men, who, love liberty more than not directly or indirectly tempted every man in the they do gold; who love office less than they do honor. country who is looked upon as in his way?. Sir, the very Such a man, in a good cause, has nothing to sear. My man who is so insidiously struck at by the gentleman colleague, [Mr. DuNLAp,] it would seem, only wished an (Mr. White) was approached, and I know it. It is true opportunity of manifesting his zeal by filling the honora- that the bribe was not offered directly, and was offensive ble office of trumpeter, to announce the President's deni. to him. The proposition was made to his friends in the al in this House. I am sorry to see the gentleman fixing mildest form, and the smoothest and most coaxing tone; his fancy upon office, and then make his first appear- “Now, is it not better to adjust this matter? Would no ance in such an office as this. If the gentleman was of Mr. White be satisfied with the vice presidency? Would fended with my remarks, why go to the President? Why he not like to retire to a seat on the supreme benchnot meet me’ why drag the President in, and attempt station for which he is so well qualified—with so hand. oforce an issue between him and myself? Why say that some a salary, and that for life too?” No, sir! all you; the President denied the whole, and then say he will not offices and all your money would not shake the firmness be **olised by me?, I say that the President has not or tempt the virtue of that man. ... But, sir, all men of denied the whole; he has only denied, according to the not a med so strong in honesty—all men are not steeled §entleman's own admission, when he rose to answer my with his Roman firliness against such temptations. That
office was bestowed, upon what conditions I will not say, upon another. And, sir, the third office in the Government, the chair which you occupy, was, in the same persuasive, coaxing manner, offered to my friend, and colleague, [Mr. BELL, ) upon condition that he would sell himself, abandon friends whom he loved, principles which he believed were identified with the dearest interest of his country, and join a party in whose principles and political honesty he had no confidence. But, no, sir, he spurned it! All men are not so strongly fortified against temptations as he was. And now those who have never had office, who would not accept it on the only terms upon which office is bestowed in these days, are traitors who are looking solely to self-aggrandizement, while they who have sold themselves for those places which they fill before our eyes are the pure, unstained patriots! My colleague pretends great love for Mr. White. Why, then, has he never raised that voice which we have so distinctly heard here to-day, in his defence? But, sir, my only purpose in rising was to put my colleague on his answer; he, however, has declined answering my questions, and I therefore charge him with admitting all that I have stated to be true. As to any part of what I stated having been forgotten, or denied by the President, it will not be considered remarkable by any one that he should have forgotten any particular transaction or remark, when they know that so treacherous was his memory, that, notwithstanding the proof positive, the Globe itself, was laid before him at Knoxville, showing his mistake in relation to my course on the Cherokee appropriation, yet, ten miles further on his road, he repeated the same charge. And now, sir, these gentlemen go to him on his dying bed, as they say, feeble and worn down by disease, and extract evidence from him of what passed in Tennessee, and bring it here to be used against those who did not, and who will not, obey orders with regard to the successor. Such statements do not satisfy me: I demand a witness to the H conversation; I want proof of what the President does and what he does not deny. Mr. DUNLAP said he had but performed a duty in saying what he had, and, if he had not done it, he would have been unworthy to be the Representative of the thirteenth congressional district in Tennessee; that he performed his duty without regard of consequences to himself. He did not conceive that his colleague had any right to complain of his course, as he was but answering charges that had been made against the President; and if they were untrue, his colleague should have been gratified to learn that the President was not guilty of the charges that had been imputed to him. Mr. D. said that his colleague [Mr. PEyton] had not given his statement of what the President should have said as being made to him, but to others, and by them communicated to him. Mr. D. said it was but due to his two colleagues [Messrs. Shields and Huxts of AN] that he should have made the statement he did. Mr. D. said he had called to see the President in his sick room, and the President spoke to him of the charges his enemies had made against him, and the efforts they were making to alienate his friends from him, and then mentioned what my colleague had charged him with saying about my other two colleagues, and the President said he had never made use of any such expressions about either of them; that the statement was false. Mr. D. said the gentleman from South Carolina had taken the facts stated by my colleague as undeniably true; and is he had remained silent, and let the speech of the gentleman have gone to the country as true, he would have been guilty of a dereliction of duty, not only to the Executive, but to his country, for which his constituents would never have forgiven him.
in the aggregate amounting to eleven million fifty-seven thousand six hundred and eighty-five acres: And whereas each of the United States has an equal right to participate in the benefit of the public lands, the common property of the Union; And every wise and good American having agreed in the opinion that the cause of general education is indis. solubly identified with the cause of general liberty: Therefore, to do equal and exact justice to all the States, to aid in diffusing among the rising generation intelligence enough to comprehend and spirit enough to defend their rights, and thus to elevate the national character and insure the perpetuity of our free institutions— Be it resolved, That a select committee of one member from each State be appointed, whose duty it shall be to inquire into the justice and expediency of making to each of the thirteen original American States, together with each of the States of Vermont, Maine, Kentucky, and Tennessee, such grants of the public lands, for the purposes of education, as will correspond in a just proportion with those heretofore made in favor of the firstnamed States and Territories, and that said committee have leave to report by bill or otherwise. But, to avoid the objection of one State holding land in another, the committee is directed to insert a clause in the bill which they may report, providing that the grants to be made thereby shall be subject to sale under the laws of the General Government now in force, and that the proceeds arising therefrom shall be paid over to the States entitled to the same. Mr. HALL, of Maine, moved to amend the resolution by striking out the words “select committee, to consist of one member from each State,” and insert “the Committee on Public Lands.” Mr. C. ALLAN said he hoped the amendment would not prevail, because it would be perceived that the duty imposed on the committee was one which did not properly fall within the class of duties assigned to the committee on Public Lands. But there was another reason. That committee, he believed, consisted of a majority of members from the new States, in whose favor these grants had heretofore been made. He submitted to the justice and impartiality of the House whether it was fair to submit a proposition which had for its object to do equal and exact Justice to the twenty-six American States, to a committee composed of a majority of members from the new States. He (Mr. A j had rejoiced
Mr. D. said he had done his duty, and would do it again
that these grants had been made to the new states; and
H. of R.] Distribution of the Public Lands. [JAN. 4, 1837,
it was not from any want of friendship to the new States | The resolution is predicated upon the assumption that that he opposed the amendment. Mr. A. said he did such is the character of those grants, and that, on the not distrust the impartiality or ability of the Committee principles of distributive justice, the other States ought on Public Lands; but as the subject was one in which all to receive equivalent grants, in which the new States the States were deeply and vitally interested, he thought should not participate. Those cessions of land were not it should go to such a committee as he had proposed. donations; but they were grants made, for the most part, Mr. HALL withdrew his motion. under compacts with those States, in which the United Mr. DAVIS said he did not rise to discuss the ques- States obtained a full equivalent, and, in some cases, tion, as it would be premature at this stage of the pro- perhaps more than a fair equivalent. The State of Ohio, ceedings; but he rose to express his astonishment at the at the time of her admission into the Union, obtained by proposition submitted by the gentleman from Kentucky, compact with the United States a portion of the public [Mr. AllAN.] Sir, said Mr. D., the proposition is one lands within her territory for the support of schools, and carrying with it palpable and gross injustice to the new a portion of the proceeds of the sale of those lands for States. To prove this fact, it is but necessary to refer internal improvements; and, in consideration thereof, to the ratio by which the surplus revenue is distributed; the state of Ohio obligated herself to forego taxation in addition to the thousands and millions expended in the upon those lands while they remained the property of old States upon fortifications, ships of war, custom- the United States, and for five years after sale; thus houses, and a thousand other public works, they receive, throwing the support of the State Government, and the by the bill of the last session, a very large amount over heavy burden of making roads through the public lands, and above what their population would entitle them to; upon the proprietors of private property. One fact is take for example, said Mr. D., those States whose perfectly conclusive against the idea that these grants to representation on this floor would not be sustained, if that State were regarded by either party as a donation. the ratio of 1830 was now applied; and yet at this very The act of Congress authorizing that State to call a con. moment the State of Indiana, under the same ratio, is vention and form a State constitution proposed to the entitled to fifteen or sixteen Representatives; and yet, convention certain grants as a compensation for the sur. forsooth, the gentleman is desirous that the old States render by the State of the taxing power over the public shall have the power to put their fingers into the Treas. lands for five years after sale. The convention rejected ury, and take therefrom an additional quantum of that the proposition of Congress, and proposed, as the con: revenue which is principally acquired by the labor and dition of this surrender, other and greater grants by enterprise of the new States. Congress; which proposition of the convention was subMr. D. had hoped better things from the gentleman; sequently accepted by act of Congress. The compact he had hoped that the gentleman's knowledge of the made with Ohio led the way for the compacts with the privations incident to the settlement of the new States other new States since admitted, and, in most of them, would not have urged him to impose this additional re- has been the basis of their arrangements with the United quirement upon a people already most unjustly taxed. | States. Let me advert to the practical operation of this Sir, said Mr. D., if the old States possess the power thus arrangement. When these States were admitted, perto infringe upon the rights of the West, to wring from haps nine tenths of the public land in each of them re. that oppressed portion of your country the proceeds of mained to be sold. Roads must be made in the country, their labor, and are determined to carry out the princi- almost wholly a wilderness, from settlement to settle. ple of such unjust exactions, I shall not be surprised ment; and in the establishment of a new road, in most soon to see our private lands, if not our personal prop- cases by far the greater part of it would pass over the erty, made the source of additional revenue, for the ben- land of the Government. Under this arrangement, the efit of the old States. land of the public contributed nothing; the whole exThe gentleman has appealed to the justice and mag. pense was borne by taxation of private property, the nanimity of the members of the new States in submitting proprietors of which were thus placed under the neces. this proposition. Sir, said Mr. D., that word justice is sity of making roads not only through their own lands, entirely a relative term; and if his proposition carries but through the lands of the public also. The money with it justice in his estimation, it is the farthest imagi- thus expended in making roads through the public lands nable from being justice in my view of the subject. Sir, gave them an immediate value, so soon as the road was the old States, jointly, have already been ruling us with opened, which they did not possess before, and was al. a rod of iron upon this subject, and we have little hope most always sure to make a ready market for them. In that our condition would be bettered by their disjointed making these improvements, the citizens of the State control. I ardently hope that the proposition may not have been subjected to very heavy and oppressive taxi. obtain even a reference. For my own part, I am prepared tion. These are the burdens the people of the new to vote against it now and to all future time. Mr. D. con- states have imposed on themselves, and these are the cluded by moving to lay the proposition on the table; benefits the United States have derived from these bur.
but withdrew it at the request of - dens, no part of which, as the great landed proprietary Mr. VINTON, who moved to amend the resolution by of the country, have they borne. If the proposition of adding thereto the following: the gentleman from Kentucky prevail, have not the new
Resolved, That said committee be further instructed | States a right to insist that Kentucky and the other States to inqore into the expediency of inserting a clause in who are thus placed on a footing with them shall give said bill to pay said new States the value of the improve- an equivalent for it equal to that which they themselves onents made by them on the public lands, or to pay have paid? With what truth or justice can it be said to them the amount the public lands would have that grants made by you, to purchase an exemption from been assessed for taxes, if they had been-private prop: | taxation, which imposed on the grantees the necessity of erty. - - - - improving your property free of charge to you, and from
Mr. V. said he should interpose no objection to which you have derived great benefit, was a mere grimaking the inquiry proposed by the resolution; but, as tuity and favor to the grantees? Again, I ask, if other }. "...onio of one of the States excepted | States come in for the grants, should they not also get o .. ...of the ...]". he could not consent them by compact and upon payment of a like or equal (which the ... shou 1. here or elsewhere, consideration?
rants of in." ution was i. culated to make,) that the The United States, sir, have been gainers by all the 8 * made to those States were gratuities. grants they have made to the new States. They have
been made on the principle of advancing their own interest, as the great land proprietor of the country. In illustration of their policy and operation, the grants made to the State of Ohio, to aid in constructing her canals between Lake Erie and the Ohio, may be cited as examples. Upon the line of what we call our Lake Erie and Ohio canal, there was a considerable quantity of land remaining unsold. It had been in market twenty or thirty years; was considered refuse land, and might not, without this improvement, have found a purchaser for another quarter of a century. You made a grant of land to aid in the construction of the work, and when the State had decided on executing it, your refuse lands were purchased up almost in a day. With what justice can you claim the right to profit by the labor, the enterprise, and the capital of others, and contribute nothing yourself? Will similar grants to the old States enhance the value of the public domain? But, sir, in making this grant to the State of Ohio, you did not content yourself with taking the advance of your property as a compensation for what was given. You did more, sir; you imposed upon the State a perpetual obligation to transport upon her canals, free of tolls, in all time to come, the troops, provisions, munitions of war, and other property of the United States. This is a privilege which the United States will always have some occasion to use in time of peace; but, in the event of a war with Great Britain, the geographical relation of those canals to what must be the great theatre of the war would render this privilege of incalculable value to the United States, who, without it, would pay tolls by thousands upon tens of thousands. What equivalent privilege will the old states confer on the United States for a similar grant? And, if they give none, then, in all fairness, ought not the State of Ohio to be exonerated from this onerous obligation? To the other great line of canal from the Ohio, at Cincinnati, to the Maumee bay, on Lake Erie, you made a grant in a somewhat different form, but the same in object and principle; that is to say, to advance your own interest. This canal, for a great portion of its distance, runs through what was then a solitary wilderness, remote from settlement. It was in market, but could find no purchasers at a dollar and a quarter. Before even the State had passed a law to make a canal through this wilderness, you made to the State a conditional grant of the alternate section for five miles on each side of the route of the canal, as far as the Government owned the land, on condition the State would make the work in a specified length of time, and would grant to the United States a perpetual exemption of all toll on the whole line of the canal. But you did not stop here. You withdrew the other alternate section from market, and declared it should be exposed again at public auction, and that it should not be sold either at public or private sale for less than two dollars and fifty cents per acre; thus providing that, in any event, the half reserved should not be sold for less money than you were before offering the whole at, and, at the same time, securing to yourself the chance of a speculation even beyond that at the auction sale. Allured by this proposition, the State has undertaken to make that canal, and, in consequence of it, those lands, at a moderate estimate, will bring, to the Government, on an average, from six to ten dollars per acre. You have made a bargain with the State that is a good speculation, and will give you double the money you would otherwise have realized from the whole of your property. - Now, sir, this grant to the State of Qhio lays no just foundation for a claim to grants to the elder States of the Union. The grants to Indiana, Illinois, and to the other new states, were made upon similar considerations, and their history is substantially the same as that of the State
of Ohio. If, therefore, grants are to be made to the old States, for education and internal improvements, to which I have no objection, I shall claim, as one of the representatives of the new States, similar grants for them also. I cannot consent that they shall be excluded. I have been prompted to say what I have now said, that an impression might not obtain any where, even for a moment, that for the grants made to the new States the United States have not received the benefit of a full and fair consideration. Mr. C. ALLAN replied briefly to the remarks of Mr. WINton, and expressed his belief that when the subject came to be thoroughly examined, it would be found that all the reasons which had been given for granting lands to the new States, in preference to the old, would be found sophistical. He wished for the opportunity to make the investigation; and if the committee were unable to satisfy the nation that the measure was just, let it be put down. He regretted, however, to see the membersfrom the new States opposing the inquiry. Mr. VINTON said he had not objected to the inquiry itself, but had, on the contrary, expressly avowed himself favorable to it, if the new States were embraced. Mr. C. ALLAN said that if it should be found that the new States were entitled to any special privileges, he was willing to allow them. But he wished first to have the report of a committee, and he would then reply in full to the argument of the gentleman from Ohio, [Mr. V1ston.] Mr. BRIGGS expressed astonishment at the opposition the resolution had received, and at the alarm which a mere proposition for inquiry seemed to have raised in the minds of the gentlemen from Ohio, [Mr. Vinton,] and Indiana, [Mr. DAvis.] The internal improvements which had been referred to had been made for the benefit of the people residing in those States, and they had no cause of complaint because they could not make the Government pay for them. The proposition was one of justice and of right, and he hoped this House would adopt it. Mr. PARKER was surprised that a proposition involv. ing the rights of the people of this Union, and not inconsistent with the rights of any portion of them, should have created so much sensation. He thanked the gentleman from Kentucky for the introduction of the resolution. Was it any injustice to the new States, who have received these lands, to inquire into the expediency of extending the grants to the States to which they had not heretofore been extended” The public lands were the common property of the people of the United States, and were supposed to be applied for the common benefit of all. Mr. JOHNSON, of Louisiana, contended that these grants to the new States had been made as a consideration for exemption from taxation of the public lands lying within these States for the term of five years. He had no objection to the resolution going to a committee, but he thought that, in its present form, it was directed only to a partial inquiry; and he moved to amend it by extending the provisions of the resolutions to all the States of the Union. Mr. C. ALLAN accepted the modification. Mr. CLAIBORNE, of Mississippi, moved to amend the amendment by adding as follows: “And provided that no such grant shall interfere with, or be located on, the claim or improvement of any actual settler on the public lands.” In support of this amendment, Mr. c. said, it was no longer to be disguised–and however other gentlemen might feel, there was nothing more humiliating or painful to him—that the applications of the settlers on the public domain were too often received with indifference, almost amounting to contempt. Every day,
sir, we see and feel on this floor the deleterious influence of sectional prejudice and power. Let an application come here from any other quarter for relief, for suffering by fire, for pensions, for erecting custom houses, and improving harbors; let a gentleman from Maryland [Mr. Josif en) present on one day, from one worn-out district, thirty petitions for obsolete claims; or let gentlemen from Kentucky ask for heavy appropriations to construct turnpikes at Maysville, and canals at Louisville; let a demand come here for damages in any shape, and a powerful organized interest springs up to support it. But when a whole community of men in the West—the bone and muscle of the country--come forward and ask leave to secure the homes wrought out of the wilderness by their own hands, you not only refuse their prayer--not only add insult to injury--but there are those here, and in the other branch of Congress, who sneer at their sufferings, and ridicule their condition. sir, it is fit that this should end. The time has come— long indeed in its approach, but is here at length--when the representatives of this injured class of the American people are required by them to take a decided stand, ii.owever gentlemen, nursed on the lap of luxury, and accustomed to the refinements of metropolitan life, may feel, the time has come when we shall at least demand some reparation of our wrongs. It is well known that there are in this House contending interests; there are at this very session questions of grave importance to every section of the Union to be arranged; and in the balancing of these interests, and the adjustment of these questions, the settlers on the public lands must not be forgotten. For myself, though the humblest representative of that great interest, I freely avow that I shall reluctantly vote one dollar of the public money for any purpose whatever, until some measures have been adopted for those whose strong and pressing claims have been too long postponed. Your custom-houses may remain unbuilt; your magnificent harbors be unimproved; your princely merchants may complain of duties; your Patent office never rise from its mouldering bed; but, so far as my estimate of right and wrong will sustain me, I will question the propriety of any appropriation, unless some relief be extended to us. Sir, I make a sincere and solemn appeal to my political friends in this IIouse, where it is well known we have a controlling majority, if there be any class of men who have supported their measures; who have made exertions and sacrifices for the democratic cause; who have adhered to their principles, and to this administration, unseduced and unterrified by the wealth, and talent, and power, of the opposition; who have stood firm amid successive panics, and even under the effects of the late uncalled for Treasury order have ascribed to those from whom it emanated none but patriotic motives; if there be any such, it is the settlers on the public domain. Mr. Speaker, the State of Mississippi has recently voted for Mr. Van Buren, a gentleman not personally known to fifty of its citizens, against a distinguished neighbor (Judge white) well known to two thirds of our population. We voted for Mr. Van Buren because we had full confidence in his ability, patriotism, and freedom from all geographical prejudices; because we believed, from the whole tenor of his public life, he would pursue a liberal and just course in relation to the public lands; and that, in such event, his high and elevated character, and the general trust reposed by the people in his views, would enable him more effectually than either of his competitors to promote our great object, the reduction of the price of public lands, or something equivalent thereto. We preferred Mr. Van Buren because he might be favorably compared with either of his oppo. nents so tools and public services, because one' of thern (Mr. Webster) was decidedly unfriendly to titles
Distribution of the Public Lands.
| regretting that the great man [Mr.
[JAN. 4, 1837.
founded upon occupancy and cultivation; because an. other (General Harrison) was in favor of applying the proceeds of the public land to the emancipation and col. onization of our slaves; and because the great mass of the friends of the other (Judge White) had uniformly op. posed every effort to obtain a system of pre-emption and graduation laws. I recognise no stronger opponents of these salutary measures than the friends of Judge While in Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinis. These, sir, are some of the reasons that established out preference for Mr. Van Buren; reasons as disinterested as ever operated upon any other community, and not, is the gentleman from Virginia [Mr. Robertsox] would in: sinuate, mercenary and selfish in their character. Mr. Speaker, mine is not the language of menace of disrespect. I speak in the spirit of confidence, of abi. ding confidence, in the majority, and with a frankness not often addressed to men in power. We have long submitted to injustice; we have acquiesced, time after time, and administration after administration, in the ne: cessity that seemed to compel a postponement of out rights; and now, when every political consideration war. rants a speedy redress, when the party always professing to be friendly to our cause have majorities in both Houses of Congress; professions, too, that have enabled us for years to sustain ourselves; I repeat, sir, that we have good reason to expect relief. Sir, I have frequently heard gentlemen declaim in this hall of our glorious Union. Let me tell them, if they desire to preserve it, they must no longer spurn at the cries of complaint and injustice coming from the Wes. The voice of whole communities cannot be stifled in peace. If a single State, one that exhibited in the war of the Revolution the brightest examples of patriotism and gallantry, maddened under the unconstitutional exactions made upon the South, and shook this confederacy to its centre, what must be the moral effect of your treatment to the Western States; of a contemptuous rejection of the prayers of their respective Legislatures; of an avarcious and fraudulent policy? Sir, you have done more to cripple the energies and to damp the ss. sections of the great multitude, the men who move in masses, and make revolutions, than you ever did to pro voke South Carolina. Sir, sir, it is worse than a tho’ sand tariffs. Mr. Speaker, the policy of reduction and of the Po emption system is so much cherished throughout the broad region irrigated by the Mississippi and its tribu: taries, that any refusal to act on the subject at the juncture would produce a feeling of alarm and disco" tent. Guard the public domain with the closest resto tions, to prevent fraud and deceptious speculations; watch it with the vigilance of a duenna, but do not deprive the poor man of his home, the emigrant of his stimulus, to new States of that which serves as a salutary drain for yo" crowded and suffering population. It may be fashion” to denounce these modifications of our land laws " opening avenues to fraud. I believe they have esse" tially contributed to develop the resources of our " try. They have created States in the distant Wo. stocked them with men who were foremost in yourbo" tles on the frozen wastes of Canada, and who now, " the same spirit, are baptizing with their blood theo. gemmed banner of a maiden empire. Sir, I never think of these men, of their sacrifices and privations, with" Clay] sent here." represent the west, whose voice was heard during." darkest hours of the late war, cheering on his coul"): should now be found, still trumpet-tongued, pleading not for his once-loved pioneers, but for the right of this Government to deprive them of their homes! Mr. Speaker, it may well be questioned whether * can equitably withhold these privileges from the 0cco