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[JAN. 31, 1837.
ject to private entry. These lands, they can enter ac: cording to law. Are they not good enough to settle? Why, the Senator from Mississippi has just told us that these lands are worth so much more than one dollar and twenty-five cents, that, unless we pass this law, they will be sacrificed, and go into the hands of speculators in a few years. Yet these lands, though many of them are worth ten times the Government price, as stated by the Senator from Mississippi, are not a sufficient bargain to satisfy the claims of these voluntary pioneers, whose patriotism and unceasing regard for the interests of their country results in such happy speculations for themselves. Mr. K. said he was somewhat apprehensive that the Senator from Mississippi would make a spirited reply to him in defence of the squatters; and as he was very anxious to prevent such a prodigal waste of the eloquence of his friend on so unworthy a subject, he would just admit, for all the purposes of the question, that these squatters were as good as the rest of their fellow-citizens. Were they any thing better? If they be poor and laboring men, are they any better than the other poor and laboring men throughout the Union, who have equal claims to the national domain? Is there any thing so peculiarly praiseworthy in a violation of the laws and the perpetration unauthorized trespasses, as to claim the peculiar favor and patronage of the Government? These pre-emptions (Mr. K. said) were a source of endless confusion as well as corruption, and were a perfect nuisance to the land office. He had received a letter a few days ago, from a citizen of Missouri, which he had intended to read, as a sort of instruction to his friends from that State. He had mislaid it, and, as it bore so strongly on the subject, he was fearful some friend of pre-emption had committed a theft upon him. However §. might be, the writer stated, among other things, that it was very desirable to put an end to this odious system. That it was unfair and unjust to other citizens, and created great embarrassment in the regular entries. This latter statement, he said, was only what we already knew from official documents. The truth was, that persons making entries did not sometimes see or hear of the pen, and entered the land, not knowing that there was any pre-emption claim on it. This produced a conflict, which was sent here for settlement; thus greatly embarrassing the duties and increasing the labors of the department. The whole system, in any way it could be regulated, was wrong, from beginning to end. It was a bounty to idleness and vice, a cheat upon the honest citizen, and a nuisance to the Government. He should vote to strike out the clause; and he would vote to strike out any and every other clause, until the whole had disappeared. e was against the whole bill, and the whole object of the bill, because it parcels out a common fund among speculators and squatters. Because it virtually invites a scramble for our great national domain, in which those who have the least merit will make the best speculations. The sales on speculation will be reduced in quantity, but the profits will be enormously increased, and very much confined to the least worthy, who will not scruple at fraud, perjury, and evasion. Because it is a gross injustice to the old States to deprive them of an equal participation in this national domain, depreciate the property of their citizens, and drain them of their wealth and population. Because there is really no necessity, or even apology, for the measure—a large surplus the present year being next to impossible. Because in no view of the subject can the pretended emergency be more than temporary, and of very short duration; and it is the worst of Policy to legislate upon great abiding no. tional interests upon every trifling or temporary occasion. It unsettles Property, creates speculation, renders judg
ment and experience of no value, makes everything depend on the chances of legislation, and keeps the property of the country continually changing hands. For these and many other reasons that might be given against a bill that had not one single recommendation to compensate for its enormous injustice and the many evils that would grow out of it, he should vote to strike out the fourth clause, and against the whole bill. Mr. BAYARD said that he had listened with great delight to the Senator from Georgia, who had given a true exposition of facts, as connected with the speculations going on in public lands, and the effects which would result from passing this bill. Mr. B's first objection to the section proposed to be stricken out was, that it changed the whole policy of the Government in regard to the public lands, binding the Government to make them a source of revenue. His second objection to the bill was, that it was holding out an encouragement to the people of the old States to leave their homes, and go where a population was not wanted. Mr. B. read a communication from the Secretary of the Treasury at the last session, by which it appeared that the whole amount of lands surveyed in each State and Territory was 166,970,000 acres; that there had been sold 44,000,000 some odd hundred thousand acres; and the consequence was that no less than 122,000,000 remained subject to private entry. But what did this bill propose to do? It proposed to open all the unsurveyed lands to emigrants. Not less than from 170,000,000 to 200,000,000 acres of unsurveyed lands were to be thrown open to the people, to go and settle upon where and when they pleased. Mr. B. next adverted to the price of the public lands, and asked the Senator from Mississippi whether, taking the whole of then together, they could be valued at no more than $1.25 per acre? and then argued that the efsect of the bill was nothing less than to offer a temptation to the people of the old States to go West. The bill, too, was unequal in its provisions, and the inevitable consequence would be, should it pass, that those living in the neighborhood of the public lands would get hold of all the choice land. And they would have a decided advantage over individuals coming from the Eastern States, because they possessed that local knowledge of the best lands which those srom a distance had not; for they had not had the opportunity of finding them out, not having lived in the neighborhood of the lands. In fact, he looked upon the bill as opening a door to fraud, and offering a bonus to the population of the old States to remove to the West. Mr. TIP TON vindicated the conduct of some of his constituen's, against whom he considered the Senator from Georgia [Mr. KING) to have made charges, as connected with their having settled on the public lands. He had done great injustice to Mr. T's constituents, by placing them on the same footing as squatters. Mr. T. went on to show wherein his constituents differed from those who purchased lands when the Yazoo country was in the market for sale. What! (he inquired,) are these men to be denominated thieves and robbers? The honorable Senator had done them great injustice; and ke felt certain that, d.d he know the true state of the facts, he would not have made so serious a charge as this. With regard to the section under consideration, he would vote against it. Indiana had nothing to hope or to fear from it. She would be glad, however, if the old pre-emption were revived; and if Congress desired that the frauds which were said to be perpetrated in the purchase of the public lands should cease, let them graduate the price. Mr. KiN.G, of Georgia, made a few explanatory remarks, and averred that it was not the wish of a great majority of the people of the new States, so far as he JAN. 31, 1837. )
could ascertain, that a pre-emption law should be assed. Mr. TIPTON expressed himself tolerably well satisfied with the explanation of the Senator from Georgia. He was aware that a great majority of the people residing in the new States are not anxious for a pre-emption law. The majority of the people of the State of Ohio, as well as his own State, care nothing about it, and have not asked Congress to pass such law. There are but three counties in Indiana where the people did care for and desire the passage of such a law, and they were honest and honorable men. Mr. FULTON said the passage of this bill would put an end to the enormous speculations which had taken place in the public lands. Such had been the effects of the combinations of speculators in the purchase of lands, that they had compelled men to pay from five to twenty dollars per acre for them, when, in fact, they would not otherwise have had to have given more than one dollar. In the State of Arkansas, during the last year, whole counties were entered by speculators; and honest, indus. trious men had been compelled to quit their homes; and at a sale which took place at Little Rock last spring, some speculators combined against the honest settlers, and they purchased the whole of the land offered sor sale, and in a few days afterwards they sold it at auction, and realized about one thousand dollars per share. Millions of dollars would have been expended in the same way, had it not been for the much-reprobated Treasury order, which prevented their bank paper from being re. ceived. Mr. F. defended the provisions of the bill against what had been alleged against it, and then spoke of those men who were denominated “squatters.” He vindicated their character from the aspersions which had been cast upon it, and argued that they were bold, and brave, and hardy adventurers, who went into the very wilderness of the country, where they settled down and cultivated the land, thereby rendering the public lands the more valuable. He remarked that the State of Arkansas was settled by “squatters,” who were so much denounced here; six or eight hundred of whom were at present at Fort Gibson, and who had wished to defend the frontier from the savage and ruthless invader. Adverting to the settlement of the public lands, he said that, instead of its being criminal to do so, Congress itself had authorized the adoption of that course. And had not Congress, from the year 1824 to the present time, been granting pre-emption rights? Certainly they had. With regard to what had fallen from the Senator from Georgia, in respect to the sales of land in Alabama, he would remind him that they were credit sales; and in consequence of the high prices that were given by the pur. chasers to the Government, it was at length importuned so much from year to year to lower the price, that it was finally reduced almost to a minimum, and cash payments were demanded. The ill consequences of high Prices, too, had caused the present system. And, with respect to the system about to be introduced, he considered that it would put a stop to speculation entirely, and would greatly tend to reduce the revenue of the Government, as derived from the sales of the public lands. The great recommendation of the bill was that the Government of the United States was to be the landlord; that lands would be purchased of them, instead of unreasonable and grasping speculators, so that justice would be done to every man. In conclusion, he expressed his hope that the provision under consideration would be adopted by the Senate. Aster a few words from Mr. BAYARD, on taking the question, the amendment was rejected by the following Wute: YEAs—Messrs. Bayard, Calhoun, Clay, Clayton, Crittenden, Cuthbert, Davis, Kent, King of Georgia, Knight,
Moore, Morris, Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, Ruggles, Southard, Swift, Tallmadge, Tomlinson, Wall, Webster—22. Nars-Messrs. Benton, Black, Brown, Dana, Ewing of Illinois, Fulton, Grundy, Hendricks, Hubbard, King of Alabama, Linn, Lyon, Nicholas, Niles, Norvell, Page, Rives, Robinson, Sevier, Strange, Tipton, Walker, White, Wright–24. Mr. CLAY moved to amend the bill by providing that the right of pre-emption shall not apply to any lands prior to their being surveyed. After some remarks in opposition to the motion by Messrs. I.INN and WALKER, it was lost: Yeas 23, nays 23, as follows: YE as-Messrs. Bayard, Brown, Calhoun, Clay, Clayton, Crittenden, Cuthbert, Davis, Kent, King of Georgia, Knight, Morris, Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, Ruggles, Southard, Strange, Swift, Tallmadge, Tomlinson, Wall, Webster—-23. Nays–Messrs. Benton, Black, Dana, Ewing of Illinois, Fulton, Grundy, Hendricks, Hubbard, King of Alabama, Linn, Lyon, Moore, Nicholas, Niles, Norvell, Page, Rives, Robinson, Sevier, Tipton, Walker, White, Wright—23. Mr. BLACK moved to amend the bill by providing that the privileges of this act shall not extend to any others than citizens of the United States; which motion was adopted: Yeas 24, nays 21, as follows: YEAs—Messrs. Bayard, Black, Calhoun, Clay, Clayton, Crittenden, Davis, Fulton, Grundy, Kent, King of Alabama, Knight, Page, Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, Ruggles, Southard, Swift, Tipton, Tomlinson, Wall, Webster, White–24. NAxs—Messrs. Benton, Brown, Dana, Fowing of Illinois, Hendricks, Hubbard, King of Georgia, Linn, Lyon, Moore, Morris, Nicholas, Niles, Norvell, Rives, Robinson, Sevier, Strange, Tallmadge, Walker, Wright—21. On motion of Mr. WALKER, the bill was amended by providing that no pre-emption shall extend beyond the limits of any State or organized Territory of the Union. Mr. TALLMADGE offered a new section at the end of the bill, continuing it in force until 31st of June, 1842. He observed that, as this bill had been urged and advocated as a fiscal measure, he had fixed its limitation to the same period as had been assigned in compromise for the termination of the reduction of the tariff. The bill, as it stood, was unlimited as to time, and almost as much so as to extent of territory. Congress was entering on an untried experiment, and it was best to reserve some limitation in their own hands, so that it might be revoked if it were found not to work well. Mr. CLAY said he should vote for the amendment now proposed, rather from the spirit in which it had been offered, than from a belief that it would have any practi. cal effect. Pass this bill, (cried Mr. C.,) and the national domain is gone. By the year 1842, it will require a search-warrant and corps d’armee to find any part of it. A few men would settle on the woods, surround a prairie, and would at once get command of the whole prairie. The Senator might then look in vain for any fiscal resources from this quarter. The public lands would be gone. They were now going. What had the Senate heard from the Senator from Arkansas? That gentleman, it seemed, had received an assurance that when his friends should come into power, all manner of good things were to be done for him in regard to the public lands. And the honorable Senator had thrown out something like a reproach on those who had made such promises, that now, when they had the power in both Houses, these engagements had not been complied with. The country ought to know more abcut this matter. They had a right to know what these arrangements were
which were to be fulfilled so soon as the dominant party got the control of both Ilouses of Congress. Not only had the complaint been heard in that chamber, but similar language had been held on another floor which he would not name. There, too, reproaches had been uttered as to the non-fulfilment of engagements. He wished to understand what these engagements were. In the mean while, he could assure the gentleman from New York [Mr. TAllMAng E] that, in the year 1842, Congress would have no trouble whatever with the public lands. Pass this bill, and the next effort would be to remove, first, one restriction, and then another, until all restrictions were gone. What had been the practical effect of all settlement laws, in all countries, from the day when our forefathers landed at Plymouth until this day? The settlement laws of France, of Spain, as well as Great Britain? Those laws granted land on condition that such and such a number of emigrants should have been collected; that such and such improvements should have been made; such and such houses erected, and clearing and cultivation accomplished. But where, or when, in what country, or at what time, have such conditions ever been complied with They had invariably been disregarded, either from their inherent impracticability, or from a failure of power in the parent State to enforce them. And just so it would be in this case. The liberal grant of his parent Commonwealth had been intended for the benefit of the entire Union, and not of eight or nine States only. He had waited in the hope of seeing the representative of that Commonwealth upon that floor rise in his place, and solemnly "enter his protest against this perversion of the munificent grant of that ancient and venerable Commonwealth, from which they had both derived their origin. But he had been disappointed. The gentleman from. New York might spare his precautions; there was an end of the public lands, and of all revenue to be derived from that source. Mr. SEVIER briefly replied, and explained, in what he had said with respect to assurances, he had referred to the language contained in that best of all the papers which had ever proceeded from General Jackson, his veto on the land bill, in which the President had said that the public domain ought to be sold at a price barely sufficient to cover the cost of survey and the expenses of the land sale. And when the Executive soon to be installed into cffice was inquired of with respect to his future course, his reply was, that he should follow in the steps of his illustrious predecessor. He thanked God that he was not a great man himself, for he had observed that those who were had more blighted hopes and bitter disappointents than he should ever be able to bear. Mr. CLAY reminded the Senator from Arkansas that he had said something about assurances to be fulfilled when the parties should obtain a majority in the Senate. Mr. SEVIER explained this to refer to assurances which he had himself given to his constituents, and to nothing else. Mr. WALKER expressed his determination to vote for the amendment offered by Mr. TALLMAng E. He was confident that if the bill did not pass, the year 1842 No. see the whole public land in the hands of specuators. Mr. RIVES said that he was very sorry that he had disappointed the wishes and expectations of the Senator from Kentucky—wishes which he did not doubt had been entertained in all kindness to himself, but he was really at a loss to understand on what the expectations of that gentleman had been founded. If he knew any thing of the sentiments and course of his predecessors, they had ever uttered their voice against all propositions which went to make the public domain a common fund, in the sense in which that Senator understood the term; that is, as a fund to be parcelled out, or to have its proceeds parcel.
led out, among the different States of the Union. Their vote, like his own, would ever have been given against a proposition of that kind. Whatever opinion that Senator might hold as to the course which the representatives of Virginia ought to pursue, he should be governed by his own convictions in regard to his own duty. The Senator had predicted that under the operation of this bill, and before the year 1842, the whole of the public domain would have passed out of the hands of the United States into the possession of other people; but if such would be the effect of this bill, what might be expected to be the result of the law as it now stood? In less than half that time the whole body of the public land would be in the possession of the speculators. It was the scope and intent of this bill to restrain the spirit of greedy speculation, and to preserve the public domain in the hands of the Government for the bent fit of the whole people of the Union. It was this which had procured for the bill his zealous support. As to the principle of pre-emption, the Senator from Kentucky must be aware that it formed a feature of the Virginia laws, as it did in fact of those of every State in the Union. It was a principle eminently equitable. Without pretending to as intimate an acquaintance with the unfortunate class of individuals who had been treated with such great severity in the present debate, he did know that many of them at least were undeserving of the viturperation which had been cast upon them. Ile was personally acquainted with many of the favorite sons of Virginia, (some of them members of the late convention for revising the constitution of that State,) who were now in the wilds of the West, occupying land which belonged to the Government, and which they were ready to pay for, but which had not yet been exposed for sale. In this, how much soever it might be against the theory of the law, there was no violation of its spirit. He was . well aware that, by the common law, to set one's foot on the land of their neighbor, without permission first obtained, was a tre spass. If he should visit the honorable Senator from Kentucky at Ashland, it would be a trespass accord ng to the strictness of the law; yet was it so held in practice? The law which forbade the settling on lands of the United States had been passed at a period very different from the present, and on considerations which did not now apply. It had been enacted rather for the protection of the settlers than out of a jealous regard to the rights of the Government. Some of the best blood of Virginia was now in the West, and claiming protection from the representatives of that State on this floor. Their situation demanded his sympathies and respectsul consideration; and it was a feeling of this kind toward worthy men, whom he personally knew, that had first convinced him of the injustice of some of the pictures which had here been presented of the class of indi: viduals opprobiously denounced as squatters. He had risen not to discuss the bill. He was not prepared to do so. The great consideration which induced him to advocate the bill was, to arrest the enormous surplus revenue, the mischievous effect of which was convulsing and devastating the country. And if the honorable Senator had looked at the act of Virginia, accepting her portion in the distribution of the deposites, and at the protest then raised against the exercise of such a power, he would have been at no loss for reasons why Mr. R. could not concur with him. To the policy which created such a surplus he had invariably been opposed. He had never thought that because Virginia, with whatever liberality, had bestowed her domain upon the Union, she was to play the dog in the manger, and be ever on the watch to prevent others from obtaining that which she had so freely given away. No; Virginia had never ex: hibited a spirit of that sort, and he trusted she would
Fen. 1, 1837.]
ever remain a stranger to it. Virginia, looking to the future destinies of the country, had made it a fundamental stipulation in her deed of gift, that this territory should be erected into independent States, not less than three nor more than five. But how could we expect these States ever to populate and flourish, unless the General Government extended a paternal protection over those hardy settlers who had their habitations on our Western frontier? That was the policy of this bill, while at the same time its effect would be to diminish the surplus revenue. A conviction of this had led him to advocate the bill, nor could he have expected that such a course would have exposed him to the rebuke of the honorable Senator from Kentucky. Mr. CLAY rejoined. He had no right to rebuke the Senator from Virginia; and though that gentleman might feel what he said as a rebuke, he had not so offered it. Mr. C. then referred to the terms of cession, which provided that the land was to be a common sund for the benefit of all the States, Virginia inclusive, and then went on to insist that the provisions in the bill operated in practice to withhold from the citizens of Virginia advantages which it conserred on the people of the new States. On this ground it was that he had expected the protest of her representatives. The bill for the distribution of the proceeds of the public lands among the States was not under discussion; but one of the brightest, one of the best and purest of that gentleman's predecessors, and whose immediate successor he believed he was, had voted for that bill; and no one of his predecessors had ever advocated a prospective pre-emption law, a law which inflicted one of the deepest stabs on the rights of the States which had ever been perpetrated by the General Government. The Senator advocated this bill as a measure to restrict the sales of the public land, and prevent a surplus in the Treasury; and what did it do by way of restriction? It threw open to the occupancy of pre-emptioners 180 millions of acres of land, now beyond their reach, in addition to the 120 millions now in the market. It was true Virginia had a pre-emption law and a settlement law, but they were enacted under totally differ. ent circumstances. They were for the benefit of men who combated our then unsubdued Indian tribes, and, in making and maintaining their settlements, risked their lives; and Mr. C. now knew but a single man in Kentucky who was in the possession of land so obtained. The remarks he had thrown out had been made in perfect kindness. He did regret the course of the honorable Senator, for that gentleman and himself might be said to have a common origin; the one having his lot cast in the more ancient portion of the Commonwealth, the other in that part of it more recently settled, and since become independent; and he still regretted that he did not enjoy the advantage of the distinguished talents and great in. fluence of that Senator in resisting schemes which he deemed to be wild and delusive. Mr. RIVES made a brief reply, and referred to one of his predecessors who had incurred a similar rebuke from the same source, and on a like account, four or five years ago. He denied that the bill excluded Vir. ginia from an equal participation with other States, in the enjoyment and advantages of the public lands. Her citizens could obtain portions of the public domain by cultivation, without a personal residence. As to the extending of the right of pre-emption to 180,000,000 acres, in addition to the 120,000,000 already in market, it was but an instance of that exaggeration which had too much characterized the present debate. Where was the honorable Senator going to get a sufficient army of pre. emptioners to invade and seize upon these 180,000,000 acres at a quarter of a section apiece? Statements of this kind were calculated to frighten the imagination,
but they never should frighten him from the course of his public duty. Mr. MORRIS asked leave to lay an amendment on the table, which he proposed to offer as a substitute for the bill as amended by the committee; which was granted, and it was ordered to be print, d. Mr. MORRIS then moved that the Senate adjourn; which motion was rejected: Yeas 20, nays 26, as follows: YEAs—Messrs. Bayard, Calhoun, Clay, Clayton, Crittenden, Davis, Kent, King of Georgia, Knight, Moore, Morris, Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, Southard, Swist, Tipton, Tomlinson, Wall, Webster—20. NAys—Messrs. Benton, Black, Brown, Cuthbert, Dana, Ewing of Illinois, Fulton, Grundy, Hendricks, Hubbard, King of Alabama, Linn, Lyon, Nicholas, Niles, Norvell, Page, Rives, Robinson, Ruggles, Sevier, Strange, Tallmadge, Walker, White, Wright—26. The question was then taken on agreeing to the amendment as reported by the Committee on Public Lands, as amended, and decided in the affirmative: Yeas 26, nays 19, as follows: YEAs–Messrs. Benton, Black, Brown, Cuthbert, Dana, Ewing of Illinois, Fulton, Grundy, Hendricks, Hubbard, King of Alabama, Linn, Lyon, Moore, Nicholas, Niles, Norvell, Page, Rives, Robinson, Sevier, Strange, Tallmadge, Walker, White, Wright—26. NAYs–Messrs. Bayard, Calhoun, Clay, Clayton, Crittenden, Davis, Kent, Knight, Morris, Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, Ruggles, Southard, Swift, Tipton, Tomlinson, Wall, Webster–19. The bill was then reported to the Senate as amended; and, on motion of Mr. CLAY, it was ordered to be printed as amended. The Senate then adjourned.
WEDN Espar, Februu Any 1. LAND FRAU DS.
The resolution, formerly offered by Mr. Nicholas, calling on the Secretary of the Treasury for information obtained by special agents in relation to alleged frauds on the public lands in the State of Louisiana, being under consideration— Mr. CLAY proposed to amend the resolution by striking out Louisiana, and extending the inquiry to all the States and Territories. Mr. NICHOLAS had no objection to a general inquiry; but, as a particular charge of sraud had been made in relation to his own State, and as he was desirous to protect its citizens against all unjust and injurious charges, he would prefer that his resolution should remain distinct from any resolution for a general inquiry. Mr. EWING, of Ohio, said he hoped the Senator would at least permit his resolution to be so far amended as to call for a return of the papers on which charges in relation to citizens of Louisiana had been made at the last session, which papers had been returned from the Senate to the Department. Mr. NICHOLAS intimated his belief that those charges were, to a considerable extent, founded on anonymous letters. Mr. EWING said he had not depended on such letters. The principal letter on which the charges were founded was from the district attorney for the western district of Louisiana; and he claimed it as an act of justice to all, that the same papers on which charges were made at the last session should again be brought before the Senate, that the report on the subject might contain the information on which charges were founded. Mr. LINN inquired whether individuals who might be implicated would have an opportunity to rebut the charges of fraud which might be brought against them. SENATE.] Mr. shovi ER spoke at some length against sending out special agents at all to inquire into cases which had been long considered as settled. It hindered the issuing of land patents, and was higloy injurious to innocent persons. He was opposed to every kind of reinvestigation on this subject. Mr. CLAY offered his amendment, which was adopted, for instituting a general investigation, as an addition to Mr. Nicholas's resolution. On motion of Mr. EW ING, the resolution of Mr. Nicholas was amended so as to call on the Secretary of the Treasury sor information otherwise obtained, as well as by special agents. The resolution, as amended, was then adopted.
The bill to prohibit the sales of the public lands, except to actual settlers, and in limited quantities, was taken up as the special order, the amendments made in committee having been agreed to yesterday, and the bill reported to the Senate. Mr. NORVELL moved an amendment to the fourth section of the bill, providing that it shall not be cons' rucel so as to affect the selections of land which have been or may be made for the salt springs belonging to Michigan. Mr. WALKER did not consider that the amendment was at all necessary, for the provisions of the bill covercd what the Senator was desirous of accomplishing. The amendment was agreed to. - Mr. BROWN moved an amendment to the fourth section, making it retrospective in its character in regard to pre-emption settlement. Mr. B. said he offered this amendment with a view to obviate the objection entertained by some gentlemen that the scetion, as it stood, would hold out a sort of bounty to persons residing in the old States to emigrate to the West. Now, should the amendment prevail, no such temptation would be held out as under the existing scClion. Mr. It UGGLES moved to amend the amendment so as to confine the operations of pre-emptions to settlemen's prior to the 1st of December, 1836. Mr. BROWN accepted the modification; and The question was then taken on the amendment as amended, and it was adopted by the following vote: Yeas–Messrs. Bayard, Brown, Buchanan, Calhoun, clay, Clayton, Crittenden, Cuthbert, Dana, Davis, Ewing of Ohio, Hubbard, Kent, King of Georgia, Knight, McKean, Morris, Niles, Page, Prentiss, Preston, Rives, Robbins, Ruggles, Swift, Tallmadge, Tomlinson, Wall, Webster, White-–30. NAys—Messrs. Benton, Black, Ewing of Illinois, Ful. ton, Grundy, Hendricks, King of Alabama, Linn, Lyon, Moore, Nicholas, Norwell, IRobinson, Sevier, Tipton, Walker, Wright—17. Mr. EWING, of Ohio, submitted an amendment to compel the individual entering a pre-emption to occupy and cultivate his land six months previous to such preemption. Mr. WALKER disapproved of the proposed amendment, and said if the amendment of the gentleman from Ohio should prevail, he would vote against the bill. Mr. EWING, of Ohio, said that, according to the bil", as it was, a man had nothing to do but to remain a day or two on the land to entitle him to a settlement. Mr. BROWN said, almost every gentleman seemed to think that some bill should pass. Now, if this amendment Poovalod, the bill would be greatly impaired in the estimation of many Senators. The gentleman, from Ohio ...onistaken in saying that the bill required a mere." Poy residence; it required not only occupancy, but cultivation also.
Mr. WALKER hoped that the amendment of the gen. tleman from North Carolina would prevail; if not, a principle would be introduced in the bill which ought not to find its way there. Such a principle could not be found in any bill heretofore passed of this character. If, then, this new principle should be inserted, he was prepared to abandon the bill; and he would ask for the yeas and nays. Mr. CLAY said that, if the Senator from Mississippi should vote against the bill, as he threatened to do, it would be no great calamity. As for himself, he would vote against it is no one else did. What! would it be pretended by any Senator, that a man, by remaining a day upon the public lands, should be entitled to pre-emption? Was that the right upon which gentlemen would grant the right of pre-emption? No; actual cultivation and possession was necessary; this was the practical operation of the pre-emption laws which had heretofore been passed. This requirement should be insisted upon by the present bill; and the requirement proposed to be inserted in the bill, of a six months' residence, was only, he repeated, carrying out the intention of the old preemption laws. Mr. RUGGLES remarked that he was desirous that a bill should pass restricting the lands to actual settlers, but he considered three months would be long enough. The question was taken on the adoption of the amendment, and it was carried. Mr. RUGGLES moved to strike out “six,” and insert “three;” which was lost. The debate was continued by Messrs. BAYARD, NILES, CIRITT ENDEN, BROWN, CALI10UN, and PRESTON, when Mr. WALKER moved a reconsideration of the vote on the motion of the Senator from Maine, to insert “three” instead of “six,” and asked for the yeas and nays; which being taken, were: Yeas 28, nays 18. So the vote was reconsidered; and, On taking the question on Mr. Ruggles's motion to strike out “six,” and insert “three,” it was agreed to. On motion of Mr. RUGGLEs, the bill was amended so as to require an actual occupation and cultivation of the tract three months prior to the entry of a pre-emption. Mr. MORRIS moved to amend the bill by adding a clause requiring the individual purchasing on a preemption to have erected a dwelling-house on the land, and to have resided therein the term of three months. Mr. CALHOUN asked for the yeas and nays; which were ordered. Mr. SEVIER moved to lay the bill and amendments on the table, and asked for the yeas and nays on the question; which being ordered, the question was decided in the negative, as follows: Yeas—Messrs. Bayard, Colhoun, Clay, Clayton, Crittenden, Davis, Ewing of ohio, Kent, King of Georgia, Knight, Moore, Morris, Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, Sevier, Southard, Swift, Tomlinson, Webster—20. Nays—Messrs. Benton, Black, Brown, Cuthbert, Dana, Ewing of Illinois, Fulton, Grundy, Hendricks, Hubbard, King of Alabama, Linn, Lyon, Nicholas, Nile", Norvel, Page, R ves, Robinson, Ruggles, Strange, Tallmadge, Walker, wall, white, Wright—26. Mr. MooRE moved that the senate adjourn; which motion was rejected: Yeas 20, nays 25, as follows: ... Yeas—Messrs. Bayard, Calhoun, Clay, Clayton, Crittenden, Davis, Ewing of Ohio, Kent, King of Georg” Rnight, Moore, Morris, Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, Southard, Swift, Tomlinson, wall, Webster--20. Nars—Messrs. Benton, Black, Brown, cuthbert, Dana, Ewing of Illinois, Fulton, Grundy, Hendrick", Hubbard, Linn, Lyon, Nicholas, Niles, Norvel', Pogo, Rives, Robinson, Ruggles, sevier, Strange, Tallmadge, Walker, White, Wright—25.