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JUDICIARY SYSTEM OF THE UNITED STATES.
An amendment reported from the committee, altering the order of the several circuits, was adopted.
Mr. GRUNDY offered several amendments, one of which made the districts of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan, the seventh circuit, and others made the number of terms in the new States and Territories one instead of two in a year.
At the request of Mr. GRUNDY, who wished for fur. ther time to incorporate his amendments with the bill, having failed in a motion to reconsider the vote on the committee's amendment, with which his were designed to be connected, the action on the bill was suspended by unanimous consent.
The bill making appropriations for fortifications, &c. for the year 1837, coming up in its order, Mr. CALHOUN moved to lay it on the table. Mr. BENTON called for the yeas and nays on this mo. tion; which were ordered, and the motion negatived: Ayes 8, noes 20. Mr. BENTON remarked that the bill was precisely the same which had passed the Senate at the last session. Mr. SOUTH ARI) remarked on the great importance of the bill, and wished that action upon it might not be hasty. Mr. CALHOUN, also remarking on the impropriety of haste on such a measure, moved to lay the bill on the table till to-morrow. Mr. EWING, of Ohio, moved an adjournment; which was negatived: Yeas 12, nays 21. Mr. CALHOUN said that this bill was so unexpected, and the hour so late, that he should decline making the observations which he intended to make, unless further time should be allowed. He modified his motion, so as simply to lay the bill on the table; which motion was negatived, by yeas and nays, on the call of Mr. BENTON, as follows: YEAs--Messrs. Black, Calhoun, Clay, Clayton, Crittenden, Ewing of Ohio, King of Georgia, Moore, Prentiss, Robinson, Southard, Swift, White—13. Nars—Messrs. Bayard, Benton, Buchanan, Dana, Davis, Ewing of Illinois, Fulton, Grundy, Hubbard, Kent, King of Alabama, Linn, Nicholas, Niles, Norvel), Page, Parker, Sevier, Tallmadge, Tipton, Walker, Wall, Wright—23. The bill was then reported to the Senate, and ordered to a third reading, without a division. The Senate then adjourned.
SATURDAT, Frn RU Any 11.
Mr. GRUNDY, from the joint committee appointed to wait on the honorable Rich Alid M. Johnson, of Kentuc. ky, and inform him that he had been elected by the Senate to the office of Vice President of the United States, reported that, on Saturday last, they had perform. ed that duty, and had received the following letter, which they were requested to present to the Senate:
To the Senate of the United States:
GENTLExEN: I have received, with no ordinary emo. tions, the notice, through your committee, of my election to the office of Vice President of the United States by the Senate. I accept the station assigned me. This token of regard from the representatives of the states will ever be held in grateful recollection. Permit me to tender you my since're thanks.
Observing that your decision is in harmony with a ma. jority of the States and a moiety of aii to diectors in the primary colleges, my gotification is heightened from the conviction that the Senate, in the exercise of
their constitutional prerogative, concurred with and confirmed the wishes both of the States and the people. Called, in virtue of this preferment, to preside in the deliberations of your enlightened body, from and after the 3d of March next, permit me to make use of this opportunity to say that I cannot feel insensible to diffi. culties which I must anticipate, and the frequent occa. sion I may have for your forbearance. Though for thir. ty years a member of one or the other of the two Houses of Congress, yet I have never been accustomed to pre. side, even temporarily, over either, or in any delibera. tive assembly. My attention has generally been engros. sed by the more immediate acts of legislation, without special regard to the minuteness of rules and orders, so necessary to the progress of business, and so important to the observance of the presiding officer. Contemplating the character of my distinguished pred. ecessors, and considering my deficiency in point of tal. ent, and the want of experience for the appropriate du. ties of the station, it is impossible for me to overcome entirely the diffidence with which I meet this call of my fellow-citizens. But this reflection will always console me, that any errors on my part will affect me personally rather than the public; the intelligence of the Senate will guard the country from any injury that might result from the imperfections of its presiding officer, and its magnanimity will cover these impersections with the veil of charity. In this conclusion, I find a warrant in contemplating among the members of your body so many friends with whom I have been associated in public life. It is only in the event of an equal division of the Senate that the presiding officer is called upon to give his vote. My hope is, that there may be always sufficient unanimity to prevent such a contingency. If, however, it should happen, this duty will be familiar to me, and I shall perform it without embarrassment. In exercising this power, I shall expect the same indulgence that I have ever extended to others, where differences of opinion existed. To the Senate the most important trusts are commit. ted. Its duties are legislative, executive, and, in cer. tain contingencies, judicial. As citizens, every branch of our Government is dear to us; but, from my more | immediate relation to this, by your choice, I shall regard it with special interest. It stands pre-eminent in | talent and character. In presiding over its deliberations it shall be my effort to act with perfect respect and impartiality towards every member, and endeavor, by this course of conduct, to merit the approbation of all. R. M. JOHNSON.
City of WAshrsgtoN, Feb. 10, 1837. CESSION OF THE PUBLIC LANDS.
The bill [Mr. Calhou N's] to cede the public lands, on certain conditions, to the new States, came up in its order for a second reading.
Mr. HUBBARD remarked that he presumed that all those who wished to be heard in support of this bill had enjoyed the opportunity; and he would at once make the motion to lay the bill upon the table, in order to test the opinion of the Senate as to the policy of the measure, if he did not consider himself called upon to make some few general observations in relation to this subject. He intended, however, to submit that motion before he resumed his seat. And he would now proceed to state the particular reasons which will induce him to submit the motion. He certainly could not, with any truth, be charged with entertaining any feeling unfriendly to the new States. He was their friend. He had been their friend; and he could appeal with confidence to the records of this and of the other House, as evidence of the truth of the assertion. He had sustained, here and elsewhere, every measure which was cal
culated to advance their interests, unless it could be inferred that he had given evidence of his hostility by opposing a general reduction in the price of the public lands, wheresoever they may be located. This he had done. He could not believe that such a course was necessary to the interests of the States northwest of the ()hio. Certainly such a course could not be just to the interests of the old States. He would not be found in opposition even to the application of the graduation principle, whenever he was satisfied that any portion of the public domain was over-valued at $1 25 per acre; but, for one, he entertained no doubt that a very large portion of the public lands liable to private entry was not only worth the minimum price, but would command it at any time in market. In making the motion which he designed to make, he would assure his friends from the new States that he was actuated by no unkind feeling to them, but from a sense of public duty. The course of the remarks of the Senator from South Carolina would lead any one to suppose that he had brought this subject forward out of pure regard to the interests of the new States; that he considered there was existing a great inequality in privilege between the new and the old States, in this and in the other House of Congress; that there was a degree of subserviency on the part of the new States—a want of independence; and that this bill, if it should become a law, would give to the new States equal rights—would free them from the thraldom now imposed upon them, and place them on a footing equally independent with their sister States. Can this be so? Where is the evidence of this inequality—of this embarrassment on the part of the new States? Where is the evidence of any disposition on the part of the old States to hold the new States in check? It is not to be found. The history of the legislation of Congress, from the foundation of the Government, cannot sail to surnish evidence of an unceasing and unfailing devotedness among the representatives of the old States, in the Serate and in the House of Representatives, to the best interests of the new States. The honorable Senator from Mississippi farthest from me, [Mr. Black, ) and the honorable Senator from Missouri, [Mr. LINN,) have, on more than one occasion, admitted that the representatives from the old had not only been just, but generous to the new States. The fact is so; and the Senator from South Carolina is mistaken, if he supposes that the interests of the new States have been embarrassed in the slightest degree by the action of Congress heretofore. The reverse is the fact. Their interests have been invariably promoted, even at the sacrifice of the rights, in some measure, of the old States themselves. The Senator expresses his surprise that this bill should be opposed at this stage; that it should be refused a second reading; that the Senate should object even to its printing. He was not aware that the question of printing had been made. He certainly had no objection to have the bill printed; but he was opposed to its second reading; because, if read a second time, it would have to be referred to a committee, and would be open to a full discussion.
He could not but regret that the Senator had intro
duced this bill; and might he not now ask, as he had on a former day, why has he done this at this late period of the session, when only seventeen working days could come before this Congress must terminate its labors? Why has the Senator seen fit, at this time, to introduce this subject before the Senate and the nation *—certainly a subject of higher importance than any other—-a subject more immediately affecting the interests of the whole people than any other. The Senator himself says that he does not expect that the bill will receive any definite legislation during the present session, but he wishes the bill referred, and a report made. He wishes the subject
debated. He considers it so important a subject that it should be debated at large, and for days, before any report for or against the project should be sent forth to the people. He was entirely opposed to any such proceeding; and if there was a public, a pressing necessity for the measure, if it was founded in general policy, it is somewhat remarkable that the Senator from South Carolina did not at the commencement of the session bring this bill forward, when there would have been time not only for deliberation but for action. He must object, therefore, most strenuously, to any further proceeding at this time upon this subject; and he could not but feel some surprise that the Senators from the new States are among those who are urging action upon this measure. As a friend of the new States--as a friend of the bill which has so recently passed the Senate, and been sent to the House of Representatives, he would say that no further action ought to take place upon the measure now before the Senate. It occurred to him, and must occur to every Senator, that the pendency of this bill here would greatly embarrass, if not entirely defeat, the final passage of the bill to which he had just referred. There certainly could be no occasion for passing that bill, if there is to be a favorable action upon this. The bill presented by the Senator from South Carolina proposes to cede to the new States, on certain terms, all the unsold lands within their respective limits. Should this become a law, there would be much propriety in permitting the new States, respectively, to make their own pre-emption regulations, for the benefit of their own citizens. There cannot be, in his judgment, a single good reason assigned for the passage of the bill before the House of Representatives, if this bill is to be passed. He would therefore most sincerely advise the Senators from the new States, friendly to that bill, not to urge action at this time upon this bill; such a course must be known to the members of the House of Representatives, and must prevent action upon the bill now before that body. He was aware that some of the Senators from the new States were not very strongly in favor of that bill; but it was, nevertheless, regarded as a measure for the benefit, and, in his judgment, for the exclusive benefit, of the new States. His worthy friend, the Senator from Missouri, [Mr. LINN,) had frankly admitted, what he believed to be truth, that the bill which had been so recently passed by the Senate was a most advantageous measure to the new States; that they had no reason to ask for or to expect a better bill; and whoever will carefully examine all its provisions must concur in opinion, most fully, with the Senator from Missouri. And yet Senators from the new States, before that bill could have left this hall, are found advocating, and with all their power and influence supporting, the bill offered by the Senator from South Carolina. He must be permitted to say that such a course is full of danger to the bill now before the House. He had not a single doubt that, unless the bill now before the Senate is put to rest, there will be no further action upon the bill now before the House of Representatives. He was, therefore, as the friend of that bill, which had been so fully considered by the Senate, and which had so long engaged the attention and the time of the Senators, and which had so recently passed this body, unwilling to take a step which would embarrass its further progress. He should vote, for this reason, to lay the bill offered by the Senator from South Carolina on the table, as he considers such a course would be more respectful than to deny it a second reading. He was opposed to any further proceeding upon this bill, because, as he had before stated, the public and private business now on the calendar imperiously de
SENATE.] Cession of the Public Lands. [FEB. 11, 1837. Cession of the Public Lands.
mands all the consideration and all the time of the Senate. There is no time for an extended discussion upon this measure. Such a course would be most unjust to the public, and would be most ruinous to individual, to private interests. There are hardly days enough remaining of this Congress to give to the public business now on the docket the attention and consideration which that public business demands. But, in addition to this, there are also individual claims which have long been before the Senate, and which are of the greatest importance to the persons concerned, and which it would be most oppressive and unjust to postpone for the sake of a mere debate upon this measure. He was therefore opposed to further proceeding on this ground. But even if there was time, he would object, and strenuously object, to any interserence with the public domain in the way proposed by the Senator from South Carolina. His own State had a deep interest in this property; it belonged to the people of New Hampshire, in common with the people of the other States and Territories. And who has asked the Senator from South Carolina to move in this affair? He would not agree that the property of his people should be ceded away without their consent. He would not himself take such a step, unasked and unsolicited, and he should protest against any other person taking such a course. The history of the Revolution will show full well what had been done by his native State in the acquisition of the public domain; and he never could or would lend his aid in the disposal of the public lands without the approval and without direction of his people. There are no memorials before the Senate, even from the new States, for this cession. Those which had been referred to would be found to ask only for particular cessions, and for special purposes. He would not, then, move further. Enough has already been done. The Senator has introduced his bill; it has been discussed. The bill and the arguments in its favor will be printed; they will go forth, and will have the effect of calling the public mind to the consideration of the subject; and there he would leave it, and wait for the expression of the will of the American people in relation to this absorbing subject. The Senator from Mississippi says that the subject ought to be debated, that the bill ought to be committed, and that reports containing arguments for and against the measure ought to be sent forth to the people; and he could not but consider it disrespectful to the feelings of the new States to deny this favor. He certainly, for one, meant no disrespect to the feelings of the new States, and yet he could not yield his assent to the proposition, for the reason which he had assigned. Hie was utterly opposed to a report going forth to the people, under the authority of the senate, in favor of the measure. Such would be inevitably the case if the Sen. ate proceeded further. If it was committed, a majority of the committee would be the friends of the measure; the report would be the report of that majority; it would go forth to the American people as the act of the senate. The time has not yet arrived when any such proceeding would be or ought to be justified. The question involved is one affecting the interests of the whole people; and nothing would do more to prejudice the very oeasure in contemplation than to send forth, at a time like the present, a report, as the act of the Senate, caloolated to forestali public opinion. He must, therefore, oppose any further proceeding of the Senate upon this measure. He viewed it as calcula. ... ... the bill for which he had voted, and *"... .." recently sent to the other House. e o th red this measure uncalled for; as calculated to agitate the public mind in , way and manner prejudicial to o: so *ocess of any such measure; as standing in the way of all the public and private business now on
the calendar; and as proposing to cede the property of the whole people, and that without their consent or knowledge, to particular States; and, in truth, from every view which he had taken of this subject, his mind had been brought to the conclusion that this movement was premature, replete with evil rather than good to the new States, and that it ought not to be at this time fur. ther discussed. He would, therefore, move to lay the bill on the table, and called for the yeas and nays. Mr. H. afterwards withdrew his motion, at the request of Mr. Broxton and Mr. Tipton. Mr. NORVELL hoped that this bill would be permitted to take the usual course. It appeared to him that a measure involving so many important considerations was at least entitled to a reference and consideration by one of the standing committees. Mr. WEBSTER rose and said, that in what he had to say on this subject he should be very brief, as it was to be disposed of that day. He had gone along with the Senator from South Carolina in opposition to the bill which had just passed the Senate, (the land bill,) and which he had hoped would not receive the sanction of this body. In this, however, he had been disappointed; for so far as the sense of the Senate was concerned, the bill would become a law. But the leading motive, it would appear, which had induced the honorable Senator to present his bill at this time, was that the land bill had passed, however objectionable might be its provisions. With the general features of that bill, he (Mr. W.) had very great fault to find. The principal feature of the bill was nothing less than a clear, plain, palpable monopoly. It was a bill to confer a benefit upon the few at the expense of the many. The bill had not, as yet, become a law. Considering the small majority by which it passed, considering the reluctance with which many gentlemen voted for it, and considering that the feeling by which they were actuated would have more weight elsewhere, it was probable that the bill would not become a law; And if it should, it was to be in operation for a limited time only; and, is found not to meet the public judgment, Congress would be called upon to do something which would be better calculated to give general satisfaction. with regard to the present proposition, he would say there were only one or two lights in which it could be viewed. The object was to cede the lands upon certain terms, and to divest the Government of all control over them. Now, he would ask, where was the power to make this grant? If we looked upon it as a cession for the benefit of the States in which the lands lie, if it was a gratuitous grant in any degree, where was the power obtained to authorize Congress to give away the public domain? Well, the answer to this question might be, that the proposition was not to make a gift of it, as cer. tain returns were to be made to Congress by the new States. Now, by the constitution of the country, the trust, the management, the disposition of the public lands, was conferred on Congress; and he would ask, was it possible that any man could maintain the proposition that, as they were placed in their hands, as belonging to the whole people of the United States, they could transfer the general disposition of them? It appeared to him that they might just as well entertain this proposition as one to farm out the custom-house in New York on certain terms. Nor did he know that congress had any more authority to give away these lands than the proceeds of a custom-house on particular stipulations; nor could they surrender the control of it any more than they could, assign to others the power of collecting the revenue of the custom-house in Boston, or elsewhere. He saw, therefore, objections insurmountable, whether they assumed the shape of a gratuitous cession or a trust. In either case, it transcended the FEB. 11, 1837.]
power of Congress. What was the real duty of Congress? It was to make the public lands a common fund for the benefit of the whole people of the Union. The great object was to sell it gradually. And while it was in a state of ownership, he had always held that Congress might make it more valuable by the creation of roads, canals, and other improvements of that sort. He had felt no difficulty, therefore, in supporting grants to accomplish these objects, because it was a very efficient mode of increasing the value of the public domain. The duty of the Government, as he had just remarked, was to dispose of it; but that must be done in the simplest and most unembarrassed form. And whatsoever embarrassed the title, whatsoever embarrassed the conditions, and whatsoever had a tendency to create dissension, in regard to the purchase of lands lying within the jurisdiction of the new States, should be cautiously avoided. Now, the Senate had heard much relative to the thraldom under which the new States were; of their being subjected to another legislation; of the condition of individuals who could not get a little act passed without coming to Congress. He wished to say that, so far as respects the equality of footing upon which the new States stood to the old, he saw no reason to impute inseriority. He maintained that nothing had been done by Congress which encroached on the sovereign power of the new States. The General Government exercised no legislation over the land lying in a State, except so far as that State had agreed to it. No power was now exercised by the Government over the new States which had not been exercised over the old. And as to the proposition under consideration, supposing that Congress sold the public lands upon a long list of conditions, a long list of terms, how long would it be before the new States would come here, and ask for a modification of those terms? Did the gentleman expect, by any system of this kind, to accomplish perfect unanimity of feeling and harmony between the new and old States? He (Mr. W.) saw no difference of feeling on the subject existing between them; and if there was any difference, why, he thought it would show itself. Arguing against the practicability of ceding the lands, he observed that he did not mean to say that the time would not come when Congress should sell some of the residuary lands to a State; and when that time came, it must be a direct sale, in his opinion, and not a conveyance in trust. And he did verily believe that it would by no means promote the interests of the new States themselves to enter upon the career proposed; and he spoke it with great deference to honorable senators who might be supposed to understand their own interests better than he could possibly do. He contended that it was the most exciting, embarrassing, and irritating thing that could be conceived for a new State—a small State, for instance, like Michigan—to be troubled with the management of a vast quantity of land. He objected to the bill, not only on constitutional grounds, but those of expediency also. He entertained the opinion that any system of selling lands, and confining the sales to actual settlers, brought on mischief, an interference between the legislation of Congress and the States. With respect to lands in the hands of the Government, there was no objection to a slow and reasonable graduation. He did not mean to say that all land must be of the same value. The lapse of time would raise its value. The principle of graduation he believed of no importance at all in the northwestern part of the country—for it might be said there was no land which could not shortly realize the value fixed by Congress. As to the taxing power, he confessed that he had no objection that lands, the moment they should pass out of the hands of the Government, should be subject to taxa. tion by the respective States in which they may lie.
Adverting to the land bill just passed, he remarked that nothing but the pre-emption clause saved it; and that the system of pre-emption, to a certain extent, had a tendency to demoralize a State. For his own part, he would rather, at once, than grant a prospective preemption, see a provision inserted in the bill, that whosoever shall take the character of a settler of any surveyed lands of the United States, shall be entitled to a donation of eighty acres of land. Congress had the power of making donations, and he would prefer seeing all the pre-emption rights turned into them; for making donations was far more reasonable, and had a greater tendency to produce moral habits and good order among society, than any pre-emption system that could be adopted. The whole foundation of the present proposition was, that there was not sufficient impartiality and care exercised, on the part of the Government, in carrying on the land system. He, however, was not prepared to surrender it, under any idea that it could not be administered as it had been hitherto. He concluded by remarking that Congress had no more power to transfer a trust than to cede the public lands. He hoped that no further agitation would take place on the subject, the country being unprepared for it. Indeed, he knew the proposition would strike the people generally, as it did him, as sudden, unnecessary, and leading to a policy which neither Congress nor the constitution would authorize to be adopted. Mr. SEVIER, in rising, had no idea of saying any thing in regard to the merits of the bill before them. He was not prepared to discuss this important subject then as it ought to be, and therefore should not attempt it; but he could not forbear expressing his astonishment that a proposition of this description, and one too in which nine of the sovereign States of this Union had so deep an interest, should not be deemed worthy of the ordinary reference to a committee. That proposition, said Mr. S., in which you, [referring to Mr. KING, of Alabama, President pro tem.] and I, sir, and every Western man, well know is so interesting to the section of country we represent, is to be summarily and unceremoniously disposed of, without a hearing; and his astonishment at this want of courtesy was somewhat heightened when he reflected that they had refused even to print the bill. What was in this bill? Mr. S. asked. Was there treason in it? If so, publish it and let us see it. Can you not give this bill to the public, to let them look at it, examine it for themselves, and judge of its contents. The people, said Mr. S., do not know what is in it, what we are driving at, nor what the measure is to lead to. Publish it, then; and if we are wrong, if our propositions are unconstitutional, or unjust, or inexpedient, let the people see the bill and find it out. We are a rational people, said Mr. S., and easy to be convinced by presenting the truth to us. He knew how totally incompetent he was to combat with the Senator from Massachusetts on constitutional points, and therefore he should not attempt it; but as the gentleman had contended that Congress could not constitutionally pass this bill, he would read a clause of the constitution, to show that if Congress possessed any power at all, it was over the public lands. Mr. S. then read the following: “Congress shall have power to dispose of, and make all needful rules and regulations respecting, the territory or other property belonging to the United States.” Could any thing be more plain than this clause? He knew that the Senator from Massachusetts construed the constitution very liberally, and therefore it was impossible for him to imagine how the gentleman could see any constitutional objections to this measure. The bill provided that the States should survey and sell these iands precisely as the United States now does. There SENATE.]
Cession of the Public Lands.
[Fen. 11, 1837.
was to be no change, either in the mode of surveying or selling the lands; but Congress would cease to be the local Legislature of the new States, and thus save a great deal of trouble, both to itself and them. The States would have too great an interest in the property ceded to them, not to manage it with care and prudence. They would graduate the price of the lands only when it ought to be done, and sell only in proportion to the demands of increasing wealth and population. Both these matters would be regulated by the public interest. He was glad to hear the Senator from Massachusetts repeat the doctrines advanced by him some years ago, on the subjects of graduation and encouragement to actual settlers; and he was so well pleased with the gentleman's remarks on those points, that he, for one, would vote to place him on the select committee, if such a one, as he hoped it would be, should be appointed to consider this bill, in order that he might have an opportunity of carrying out his doctrines. The gentleman said that he did not entertain any objections to the making of donations of lands for school purposes, or to a road or canal company. Now, where was the difference between making a donation to a canal company and making it to a State? In both cases it was a donation, and Congress possessed as much the right to make it in the one as the other. But he did not (Mr. S. said) intend to discuss this subject now; he only rose to express the hope that this bill might be referred to a committee, and reported on. When it came up, on its merits, he should be prepared to discuss it; at present, all he wanted was the reference and printing of the bill. Mr. WALKER remarked, that while the Senator srom Massachusetts was found on a former occasion advocating the right to present abolition petitions, and desirous of having an elaborate report in relation to them, he was found on this throwing every embarrassment in the way, to defeat the important interests, not only of eight or nine States, but of the whole confederacy. He [Mr. Websten] asked Senators to pursue a course, in the present instance, more disrespecsul than the one suggested in regard to the abolition petitions. He had said that if the public mind could be put right at all, it would be by the reports of committees. Now, he wished to see whether a majority of the Senate would concur in the opinion which the honorable Senator from Massachusetts had expressed. He wished to see whether they were prepared by their votes to say that Senators favorable to the proposition should not have the poor privilege of a reference to a committee, in order that they might have a report thereon. Why should this proposition be treated in a different manner from any other? He had heard no reason for the adoption of such a course, and he thought that none could be given. The present Chief Magistrate himself, in 1832, had recommended a cession of the public lands to the new States. Were the people alarmed? Not at all. One of the ablest speeches ever delivered by the President elect was on this very subject, and he was favorable to a cession. And if we looked back to the debates of 1828, then some of the most distinguished sons of the South had warmly and ardently, although respectfully, advocated a cession of the lands. He could not think that the public mind would be alarmed at the measure. What was proposed in this bill? A sale, upon terms, of the lands within the States in which they are situate. It did not create a trustee; it was an absolute sale– a sale for a consideration. The title must remain, after this bill passed, in the Government of the United States. But the bill contain. ed a proposition making the cession upon payment; and he could not refrain from expressing his surprise and astonishment that the Senator from Massachusetts [Mr Wanston,) distinguished for his liberal and iaitudi.
construction of the constitution, should make objections in reference to the terms of the bill. The Senator admitted that land might be sold to an individual on these terms; then, why not sell to a State? He admitted, too, that Congress could make a donation of eighty acres to a few individuals. On the same principle, they could make a donation of a million of acres to one or more persons. And yet, said the Senator, “you cannot sell the lands lying within their limits to the new States.” He (Mr. W.) believed that that argument would be found to be untenable; and if there was a constitutional objection in the way, the gentleman from Massachusetts himself was the author of it. But the Senate had been told that alarming evils were to follow this measure; that Congress could dispose of the public lands in a much better manner. Could the constituen's of the Senator from Massachusetts, or those of any other Senator living as distant as he, at a distance of 2,000 miles from the new States, be apprized of what was best for the people of the West? They could not. Mr. W. argued that the new States ought to be put on the same footing as the old; and he contended, therefore, that the lands ought to be ceded to them. Was there any reason why, if it could be done, the new States should not have the power of legislating in regard to, and of purchasing, the public lands, as the old States have? He could see none. With respect to the provisions of this bill, the Senator from Massachusetts had said that difficulties would arise between the new States and Congress, in respect to them; that the new States would prove faithless, and would violate the conditions. Mr. W. felt certain that they would do no such thing; for there was a clause in the bill revoking the grant, if any of the acts of cession should be violated. And not only were they revoked, but the title was rendered utterly null and void. He next adverted to some of the consequences that would result, if the cession should take place. The time now spent by Congress in granting rights of preemption to individuals would be saved. That reason alone was a powerful one to induce the passage of the bill, without taking into consideration the enormous saving that would accrue to the Government by abolishing a great number of offices, which, under the new state of things, would be unnecessary. If the cession could be be made, (and he would not, so help him Heaven, vote for it unless it was just,) the most happy consequences would follow from it. The people of the new States were placed, from year to year, in the condition of medicants; their Senators here were calling upon Congress to do justice to their constituents. Titles, instead of emanating from the local authorities, were obtained some thousands of miles off. Individuals had to come all the way to Washington, and remain here some time, and were put to a very heavy expense in so doing, in order merely to get their titles amended. As the sales of the lands increased, so would the difficulties also. It was, under every aspect in which the matter could be viewed, very natural that the people of the new States should wish to be put on the same footing as the old. Mr. NILES, after a few remarks, observed that a proposition was made by the Senator from Mississippi, bn the passage of the land bill, to change its title, and call it a bill to arrest the monopolies of the public lands. Now, he thought that with more reason this bill might be called a bill to monopolize the time of the Senate for the remainder of the session. Now, do gentlemen of the West (asked Mr. N.) think it reasonable that we should spend the short time of the session yet remaining (only seventeen working days) on the business of the public lands, when that same subject has already taken up six or seven weeks, almost to the exclusion of every thing