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(April 29, 1836.
part of the country in which I reside, I would instance tinued progressing until it produced the alien and sedithe duty on sugar alone, which we now pay either into tion laws; this brought about the civil revolution of the Treasury or as a bounty to the manufacturer: take 1800, in which the patriotism, virtue, and intelligence of the duty off that article, and the price would be reduced the people were triumphant, and a most signal victory at least two cents on the pound. Tbe bill contemplates was obtained. The vanquished enemy then retired from giving to the State of Ohio about one and a half million the contest, and remained quiet for a number of years, of dollars as hier proportion of the spoils for three waiting for an opportunity favorable to his views. The years; and the profession of the friends of the bill are, war of 1812 presented une, as he thought. Having that they wish to give this money back to those who paid changed his colors, he again entered the field under the it; and as they cannot do that, they will approximate as nigh banner of the American system, and another United as possible by giving it to the States. Every family in the States Bank began this second Punic war. This instituUnited States I presume uses sugar, and for the argu- tion, forced upon the people against their wishes and ment I will allow one hundred pounds per annum to each better judgment, met with resistance at its very com. family of five persons. In Ohio we have probably mencement. During its first years it shared but little 300,000 families, who pay a tax on sugar of $600,000 of the public favor. Its friends, however, were in yearly. In three years we pay $1,800,000 tax on sugar power; and during the next administration after it was alone; repeal this tax, and you in effect give to each fam. created, it acquired much strength and force. Under ily two dollars per annum-a sum larger than will be its auspices the American system was strengthened and distributed to them by this bill, could its friends make invigorated, and the whole doctrine of internal improveits operation as they profess to wish. But if the surplus ment was spread in wild array before the American peorevenue be so extravagantly large as has been represent. ple; while a protective tariff, the necessary consequence, ed, I would go one step further--reduce the duties on / was gnawing at their substance. The party conducting articles of wearing apparel of the coarser texture, which | these measures assumed a new name; they were national are used mostly by the laboring classes, so that the rey. republicans. But all would not do; their strides for enue of the Government will not exceed its just wants, power were too plain to be overlovked. The country and you will relieve the State of Ohio in one year from became awakened to its situation, and Andrew Jackson the payment of a much larger amount than is proposed was the man the people selected to save them from these to bestow upon her by the provisions of this bill. | dangerous innovations, at least as far as the Executive But should all this be done, there seems to be still a re. | power could effect that object. The election of 1824 maining difficulty: the money we have on hand, the sur took place; General Jackson received a large plurality plus in the Treasury-what shall be done with regard of the electoral voles, as well as the primary votes of tbe to that? how is it to be disposed of? A few more Indian people; but not having a majority of the votes, his name, campaigns, Indian treaties, and city debts and private
with two other gentlemen, according to the provisions claims, will give an effectual answer, and dispose of that of the constitution, was returned to the House of Rep. difficulty: indeed, our present situation itself seems a suf- resentatives for the election of a President. The result ficient reply. If after our naval defences, fortifications, is well known. The voice of the people was disregardand the necessary increase of the army, are completed, ed, and those opposed to individual liberty and in favor as sound policy and justice require, and the wants of of Government power prevailed. Flushed with this the country demand, are all supplied, I am disposed to temporary victory, they felt sure of ultimate success, believe that little danger need be apprehended from and the most extravagant pretensions to power were the remaining balance: it will neither make nor unmake openly avowed; but the public indignation, if it was not Presidents. And if, in addition to all these, a speedy loud, was deep. The ship of state was not to be given completion of the public works now begun, and which up; and when the election of 1828 came round, like a Congress ought, and I presume will finish, should take clap of thunder it awoke the band of schemers from place, and sufficient appropriations be made for that pur- their golden dreams. General Jackson was brought into pose, the surplus revenue on hand will no longer be power by a most triumpbant majority; the rank and file cause of alarm or contention. I have, in what I have of the bank and American system party were scattered, said, fully and freely expressed my opinion, though in as and many of them left the colors of their chieftains; but concise and condensed a manner as I was able. I have the principal leaders still retained their places, and, not sought for precedents, or looked into the opinion of though defeated, were not disheartened; they still heti others, out of which to manufacture one for myself. In a majority in both branches of Congress. A bank bill political, as well as in matters of religious faith, I think and internal improvement bills were successively passed the original text a far more safe and sure guide than any and vetoed by the President. The election of 1832 commentary, however wise and good the commentator | took place, and General Jackson was again elected by might have been. I have chosen to rely on the consti- an increased majority. Thus all the splendid prospects tution as my only sure guide, and that moral principle of power and grandeur which gentlemen thought they which ought to govern the actions of men in all situa were just realizing, were dissipated by the force of pubtions, and under every circumstance. How far I am lic opinion, and the popularity of General Jackson's adcorrect and ought to be sustained, those who sent me ministration seemed to wither all their hopes. One here are the best able to decide.
might have reasonably expected that this mountain labor Mr. President, when we look back a few past years would have ceased when a majority of the House of and find this bill first introduced into Congress, although Representatives was found on the side of the administrait passed both Houses, yet we have full, and to our tion. But no! General Jackson bad caused the public mominds conclusive evidence, that it was disapproved by ney to be removed from the Bank of the United States; this the great body of the American people. We ought not gave new hopes to the panders of power. A panic was to regret its introduction now; it is but a new trial of the created in the monetary concerns of the country, and intelligence and virtue of our constituents, who have al. General Jackson was denounced by men high in power, ways been found sufficient for the evil of the day. It is as a violator of the constitution and laws of his country. but an attempt to revive that principle which was found it was now believed by the knowing ones that the scatactive at the very commencement of our Revolution-the tered fragments of all their broken forces could be again principle of Government power over individual liberty. rallied to the fight, at least under a new name, and that This principle was first brought into operation by the of Whig was adopted: yes, the whigs were called on to charter of the old Bank of the United States, and con- I come to the rescue of the bank, against the power of APRIL 29, 1836.)
the country. A new banner was also unfurled-inscribed tured by this bill for distribution among the States. We on one side, executive usurpation; on the other, lost do not, in fact, distribute those proceeds, for they have Treasury, ruined country; but these efforts proved also long since been expended; but we take an equivalent unavailing. The country is prosperous beyond former sum from the general revenues of the Government, and example. The Treasury is full to overflowing. And call it the nett proceeds of the public lands for 1833. now, out of the midst of all these convulsive throes, if, then, it be unconstitutional to distribute among the creeps this public measure, an attempt to buy up the states the general revenues of this Government, this bill people with their own money-a distribution of the rev. involves this principle. If we may take for distribution enue of this Government amongst the States on the eve a sum equivalent to the nett proceeds of the sales of the of a presidential election. We have a perfect confi- public lands for 1833, we may take similar equivalent dence that this scheme, like all its progenitors, will die sums for the nett proceeds of the sales for 1800, and for the want of public nourishment.
from that period to the present moment, and call it a Reminiscence is valuable in all the affairs of life, and in distribution of the nett proceeds of the sales of the pubnone more so tban political matters; a knowledge of the lic lands. Might we at this moment pass a bill for the family from which this land bill springs is sufficient to fix distribution among the States of the nett proceeds of the its character. The short time the public bave been ac sales of the public lands from the organization of the quainted with it has caused the loss of many friends; Government to the present period? and, if not, how can and although three Senators, who formerly voted against we adopt the present measure? It is vain to disguise it, have now voted for it, yet its majority here is less the fact, that we are in reality distributing the revenues than formerly of the fourteen Senators representing of the Government, generally, by the retrospective the new States, five bave voted for it, and nine against operation of this measure. The unexpended balance it. This proves it is considered ruinous to the interest in the public Treasury upon the 4th of July, 1836, the of those States. I include one Senator from Indiana, | distribution of which is then recommended, is composed, who formerly voted against this measure, but who was in part, of the revenues arising from the tariff. A very not present when this bill was ordered to be engrossed. large portion of this balance is appropriated, but not exEight States have now voted for the bill, containing a pended, under existing laws. By this bill we either re. population of 3,619,000. (1 omit fractions.) Sevenpeal the laws, or make a double appropriation of the States voted against the bill, population 3,567,000; nine same money. This bill, we have seen, also reaches States are divided, population 4,758,000, three of the forward to ist of January, 1838. It makes prospective Senators from these last States, if not on this, yet on calculations for two years in advance of the wants as well other subjects, disregarded the instructions of their State as the revenues of this Government, and subtracts Legislatures, and the people of three of these last States during all this period, for distribution among the States, have constantly maintained the doctrine of a strict con- the nett proceeds of the sales of the public lands. This struction of the constitution. No one, after this, can prospective distribution is based upon calculations of an doubt the fate of this measure before the American overflowing Treasury in 1837-predictions made by the people.
same party who foretold the insolvency of the Treasury Should this bill by possibility pass the House of Rep. and ruin of the country as the result of the measures of resentatives, that the President will put his veto on it, this administration. Others may legislate for years in no one, I presume, doubts. Personal honor, political advance upon the faith of their predictions, but their consistency, as well as duty, seem to require this at his conjectural estimates of the future wants and revenues hands. That this act will add to his fame and his use-of this Government furnish no sufficient data upon fulness, if addition can be made, I have every confidence; | which I can rest my vote. They may be as greatly misand I predict that his enemies now in this conflict will taken now, in their prophetic visions of 1837, as they meet with what his enemies, both in war and peace, were in 1834; and, if so, this measure would prove dishave heretofore done-more than a Waterloo defeat. astrous to the country, When Mr. MORRIS had concluded,
We are now asked to abandon the settled usages of Mr. WALKER rose and addressed the Chair as follows: the Government, and embark in new projects and new
Mr. President: I am constrained, by an imperious experiments. It is proposed to divide among the States sense of public duty, to participate in the debate upon a vast portion of the revenues of this Government. A the question now under consideration. The measure division among the States of the revenues of the Governproposed for our adoption is deeply interesting to the ment of the Union is a fearful omen of the division of whole Union. To the new States, especially, it is a the Union itself. It is a movement towards that dread. subject of the highest importance. Indeed, so deeply catastrophe. It will be the cause, as it is the precursor, am I impressed with the momentous consequences to my of other assaults upon the Government of the Union. constituents which must follow the adoption of this Division-division is now the watchword of assault upon measure, that I am appalled by the contemplation of appropriations for national defence. The constitution these results, and oppressed by a sense of the responsi is assailed here, in the very citadel of its power, by a corbility which is devolved upon me. My opposition to rupting demand for the spoils of this Government for this bill may be wholly unavailing; but my resolution is distribution. The prayer of inspiration, “ lead us not to resist its passage to the uttermost, consoled by the into temptation," is wholly disregarded; and the States reflection that, in any contingency, I have at least en-are sought to be dazzled and corrupted by golden visions deavored to discharge my duty. The proposition is to of millions upon millions for distribution. Defence is to divide among all the States of the Union, according to be erased from the tablets of the constitution; and distritheir representative population at the last census, the bution, a word not to be found in that instrument, is to nett proceeds of the sales of the public lands for the be interpolated, by an appeal to the States to divide the years 1833, 1834, 1835, 1836, and 1837. It is a propo- spoils of the Government. National honor and national sition to subtract at least fifty millions of dollars from glory are to become an empty sound; and money, money the revenues, past and prospective, of this Goyernment, for distribution, is to absorb all other considerations. for distribution among the States. It reaches back to When I reflect that the proposition before us is not a the 1st of January, 1833, and stretches forward to the temporary measure, that it is not a single operation upon 1st of January, 1838. The nett proceeds of the sales of an accidental surplus, but that its author, the Senator the public lands for 1833 bave heretofore been expend. from Kentucky, Mr. CLAY,) declares it to be one of the ed by the Government; yet these proceeds are recap- great recommendations of this project, that it will be
[APRIL 29, 1836.
perpetual, I shrink back appalled by the contemplationevitable? The author of this bill is the father of the of the evils which this measure is preparing for this now tariff, and, with but few exceptions, the votes for this happy, happy Union. Dark and gloomy visions Ait be- bill come from States favorable to the tariff. The only fore me when I survey the corrupting consequences of southern State which gave a united vote for the bill is this surplus and distribution system. The country must Louisiana, a tariff State, and which I would gladly see pass through the valley of the shadow of death, if it can cut loose from the protective system, by a repeal of the withstand the results of this system, by which the States duty on sugar. It is perceived by the friends of the are to be arrayed against the general Government, in a tariff, that, unless the surplus is distributed, a reduction struggle for millions for distribution.
of the duties is inevitable. Heretofore, immense esPostponing, for the present, the consideration of this penditures for internal improvement, by the general branch of the subject, I will now endeavor to demon Government, constituted a pretext for retaining the dustrate that this measure is calculated to revive the tariff. ties; now that system is abolished, and distribution is The bill, as it now stands, strips the general Government the substitute. of all resources from the sales of the public lands: it And here let me ask the Senate to consider that, when does more--it refuses, by a direct vote of the Senate, the tariff was partially abandoned by the author of this to pay the expenses of Indian wars, or treaties, or an- bill in 1833, it was accompanied by the hope that the nuities, or removals, from the proceeds of the sales of system would be revived under more favorable auspices. the public lands; but throws all this vast expenditure, That revival will take place if this bill becomes a law. amounting, during the present year, to about twelve Fifty millions of dollars under this bill are to be distribmillions of dollars, upon the tariff. The whole expen uted among the States, which are tbus to be corrupted ses of the Government, ordinary or extraordinary, are and controlled by this mighty mass of treasure. The henceforth to be devolved upon the tariff. The nett States are to be pensioned upon the general Governamount realized from the tariff since the year 1833, is ment, rendered stipendiaries of their bounty, and disabout seventeen millions of dollars. By the compromise tributees of their revenue. The whole taxing power act of the 2d of March, 1833, the duties decrease annu. is ultimately to be absorbed by the general Government, ally by a descending scale, until in 1842 twenty per and State taxation to be discontinued. The State taxes cent. is the maximum, and twelve and a half per cent. | in all the old States are to be paid from the sales of the is about the average rate of duties. Our revenue, de- lands in the new. This result has been openly prorived from the tariff, could not then much exceed twelve claimed in several States friendly to this bill. If we millions of dollars per annum. Deduct from this amount may take one portion of the national revenue for distrithe probable average annual expense of Indian treaties, bution among the States, why may we not take any annuities, wars, and removals, and the sum left is wholly other portion? If we may distribute fifty millions of insufficient to support the Government. There is no dollars of the national revenue, wby may we not distribman more opposed than myself to extravagant expendi- ute five bundred millions? Concede the principle, and tures; but the most rigid economist cannot calculate that the result may easily follow. Protection was the prethe expenditures of this Government, great as is the text for the former tariff; now, something more univerwonderful growth of the country, can be less in 1842, sally corrupting, to influence all the States, is sought for all purposes, ordinary and extraordinary, than seven- for, and distribution is the scheme for perpetuating the teen millions of dollars per annum. Withdraw the rey-tariff, and augmenting it to an unlimited extent. Dis. enues from the public lands, and how is the deficiency tribution is the great and only efficient antagonist of a in the revenue to be supplied? An increase of the tariff reduction of the tariff. Let us refuse to distribute, and will be inevitable; and shall southern Senators support the people will demand a reduction of the tariff. On a bill, and maintain a policy, which will render neces. the one hand, is economy in expenditures, and a reducsary an increase of the tariff? Would not our own tion of the duties and of the price of the public lands; votes be arrayed against us, as at once the cause and the on the other, is a refusal to reduce the price of public apology for such augmentation? This result seems to lands, an augmentation of the tariff, and a distribution me to have been indirectly conceded by the Senator of millions among the States. On the one band, you from Kentucky, (Mr. CLAY.] He, however, consoled are asked to reduce all the burdens of the people, and us by stating that the duties may be increased on wines leave your uncollected millions in their pockets; on the and silks. And how will this operate on the South? | other, you are required to keep up the price of the France buys a large portion of our cotton, and we pure public lands, augment the tariff, and distribute the surchase her wines and silks. The exchange is not direct, plus among the States. On the one hand, we are asked, but the operation on prices is nearly the same. This is at a great expense of collection, to extort from the peoa principle conceded by the friends of free trade ple forty or fifty millions of dollars annually, for the throughout the Union. Increase the duties upon wines purpose of distributing one half the amount among the and silks, and we will diminish the price of our cotton. States; on the other hand, we are asked to collect no This diminution of price may not be in the same propor- more money than is essentially necessary to carry on all tion as the increase of the tariff upon imports; but it the operations of a Government administered in a spirit will be in a ratio approximating the rate of duties, and of republican economy and simplicity, and leave this diminishing gradually, from year to year, the price of immense surplus in the hands of the people, to be used the export, till the loss arising from the tariff is nearly by each citizen as he may think proper. The one sysequalized between the importing and exporting nation. tem will take annually from each free male citizen and But an increase of duties upon wines and silks will not head of a family in this Union an average sum of at least alone produce the required revenue. No; a general lwenty dollars, to be distributed among the States, and augmentation of the tariff will be necessary. It will be never return to those who paid it. This annual concalled a tariff for revenue, but will be, in fact, a protec- tribution may be but a small amount to the wealthy, but tive tariff; for the revenues from the duties, added to to the poor man it may be a large portion of his annual the proceeds of the sales of the public lands, even at income. This bill is, in fact, a scheme to levy an anreduced prices, would, in the absence of this distribu-nual tribute for unnecessary revenue. What consolation, be fully sufficient for all the wants of the Govern- tion will it be to the man who raises a small or large ment. Can any southern man be so blind as not to per- crop of cotton, that his State, not himself, receives a ceive that this bill throws the whole expenditures of the portion of the public revenue, when the price of his Government upon the tariff, and renders its increase in. I crop is greatly reduced by an augmented tariff, and the
April 29, 1836.]
price of every article he may purchase greatly enban- | shown, distributed under this bill. The nett proceeds ced thereby? Let him make a table of the profit and of the sales of the public lands in 1833 are distributed loss from this system, and he will find that where he | under this bill. But these proceeds have long since gains one dollar by this system he loses twenty.
been expended under former appropriations. Whence, Again: what consolation will this distribution be to then, comes the equivalent for these expended proceeds! the farmer who wishes to buy a tract of the public lands | From the present proceeds of the sales of the public to make a new farm, or enlarge an old one, that all re- | lands? No, for they also are distributed under this bill. duction of the price is refused, or that speculators have This sum then thus distributed is, in fact, derived from entered the land, and ask for it ten or twenty dollars the tariff, and can come from no other quarter. Indeed, per acre? What consolation will this State distribution it is also certain, on another ground, that the sum thus be to the settler upon the public lands, to whom a pre- distributed is not the nett proceeds of the sales of the emption law is refused, in order to increase the sum for public lands. The Senate, by a direct vote, refused to distribution, and his farm thereby sacrificed to specula deduct any of the following items from the amount to be tors? Ten or twenty per cent. of the amount will be distributed, namely: "Annuities to Indians on account lost in the process of collection, and swarms of unneces. of the purchase of lands:" " holding treaties with Indians, sary officers created to make the collections and distri- for the purchase of lands:" « amount paid to Inbutions, and eat out the substance of the people. The dians for the purchase of lands:" "amount expended in new States, and especially the new States of the South, removing Indians from lands purchased." We refuse to will have to bear nearly the whole burden of this sys deduct some of the very amounts paid for the lands, distem. Mississippi, in payment for public lands, and in tribute the proceeds of the sales, and call this a distribudecreased prices of her cotton, and increased prices fortion of the nett proceeds of the sales of the public lands. cotton bagging, clothing, sugar, and almost every arti- Deduct the amount paid for the public lands, and all the cle of consumption, under an increased tariff, will be incidental expenses, from the gross proceeds of the sales drained annually of at least five millions of dollars, and of the public lands on the 30th of September last, and get back annually about two hundred thousand dollars. there is little or nothing to distribute; certainly nothing, I speak not now of the mass collected for a single dis- upon any possible calculation, approaching the amount tribution, by the retrospective operation of this law, but distributed by this bill. The gross amount paid into the of the system as a system; and such it is admitted it will public Treasury for the purchase of public lands, from become, if this bill be passed into a law. To the State 1796 to the 30th September, 1835, was - $58,619,523 of Mississippi such a system will be utter ruin and deso- From this deduct the following charges lation. All property will fall in value, and distress and against the public lands: embarrassment pervade the community. Let us leave Sum paid for Louisiana, and interest - $23,529,353 this surplus uncollected, reduce the lariff, reduce the ! Do. for Florida, and interest
6,489,768 price of public lands, confine the sales to settlers only, ! Do. to State of Georgia for public lands 1,250,000 and Mississippi will save more in a single year than she
Cumberland road, under compact chargeawould gain in a long series of years from the distribu ble on proceeds of public lands - - 5,956,024 tive system. Confine the system to the distribution of Yazoo claims -
1,832,375 the proceeds of the sales of the public lands, and how | General Land Office expenses .
797,748 does it operate! Nearly all the moneys are paid for | Salaries of registers and receivers
91,153 these lands by the new States, and what do they get in Salaries of surveyors general, and surveys return? About one fifth of the amount paid by them of special claims
860,567 selves, with the addition of ten per cent on the mouey | Surveys of public lands.
2,780,630 paid by their own citizens. A single old State that charges on lands in Indian Department - 17,541,560 pays, perbaps, not one dollar of this money into the Treasury, receives, by distribution, nearly twenty times Total = . . . $61, 129, 178 as much as certain new States, paying millions of this money annually into the Treasury. The States, we are leaving a deficit of $2,509,655 against the public lands told, are now satisfied with fifty millions for distribution on the 30th of September last. But to the amount paid under the present tariff and present price of the public on account of public lands as before stated, the Comlands. But how long will they be thus satisfied when mittee on Public Lands, which reported this distribution this corrupting system shall have commenced? or where bill, have added four items, amounting to $5,409,973. will it terminate? The next assault will be directly Several of these items, the Senator from New York, (Mr. made upon the revenues arising from the tariff. Aug- WRIGAT,] in a very clear and lucid argument, has shown ment the tarif, and increase the fund for distribution, not to be properly introduced by the committee; but in. will be the next requisition. Who can doubt this resultcluding them all, and the gross proceeds of the sales of if the South consent to the distributive system? Our the public lands, as estimated by the committee themown votes would rise up in array against us, and all re- selves, is but $64,029,496; from which deduct the charsistance would be vain and impotent. Nor will there ges before enumerated, and it will leave a balance in fabe any limit to the sum that may be demanded for dis vor of the public lands on the 30th of September last, of tribution. The system will work a complete revolution $2,900,318, at the highest possible estimate. Now the in the form of our government, and, by the unlimited proceeds of the public lands distributed under this bill, increase of the money power in the general Govern- prior to the 30th of September, 1835, are, as given by ment, will subvert all the checks and guards of the con the committee themselves, $17,991,873. Deduct from stitution. The money wanted by a majority of the this last sum the balance in favor of the public lands on States for distribution, will be the only limit of the taxing the 30th of September, 1835, and the sum of $15,090,853 power of this Government.
is distributed under this bill, not derived from the nett Is the South prepared for this result? Let us not proceeds of the sales of the public lands, but from the console ourselves with the reflection that the distribution tariff. The South denied the constitutionality as well as will stop at a demand for the proceeds of the sales of the expediency of a tariff for protection; and do we, or can public lands. Already a distrtbution of the whole unap- we, concede the constitutionality or expediency of a tarift propriated revenue has been openly proposed in con. for distribution? May we raise by a tariff fifteen milgress and has many advocates. A part of the revenues lions, or five hundred millions, not for revenue for the derived from the tariff is, in fact, as I have heretofore I wants of this Government, but for distribution? It is
[April 29, 1836.
perfectly obvious that this bill adopts the principle of will cause the public lands to bring these prices. The distributing the moneys realized froin the tariff, for the mode of operation bas also been disclosed by him. Se. following reasons, each of which is sufficient to sustain cret sealed bids for all the public lands, by which the my position: first, because it distributes nearly four settler must bid for his farm, not only against the specumillions of dollars as nett proceeds of the sales of the lator, but against himself; for no human being can tell public lands in 1833, when this sum had been already what amount of bid will secure his farm. Whilst, then, fully expended for the purposes of the Government and in point of form, the price of public lands is not increased, the payment of the public debt; and the sum now taken in point of fact it is sought to be augmented by the is realized from the tariff. Second, the Senate distinctly leading friends of the distribution bill, from one dollar refused to deduct from the sum for distribution four and a quarter to ten or twenty dollars per acre. Sales very large items, clearly chargeable on the public lands; of the public lands at small prices, for actual settlement, and thirdly, the sum of at least fifteen millions, as here are to be wholly abandoned, and the new States treated tofore proved, is distributed under the provisions of this as some distant colony, to be looked to only as a source bill, prior to the 30th of September, 1835, beyond the for draining money for distribution. A direct State innett amount then received from the public lands. It is terest in the moneys arising from the sales of the public in vain, then, to escape the conclusion that this is a bill lands is to be given to each one of the old States of the for a distribution of the general revenues of this Govern Union. These states constitute a large majority in both ment. Have we the power to impose a tariff to raise Houses of Congress, and will, if this bill is passed, direct money for distribution among the States? If so, in what their views to the sales of the public lands, with the sole clause of the constitution is the power given? May the object of deriving from those sales the largest fund for general Government collect taxes from the South, by distribution; all reduction of price, all donations or prethe tariff, to support the State Governments of the emptions to settlers, will be utterly refused. These reNorth, and pay their State taxes, under the operation of sults were all predicted by me, in a speech against this this distribution? May Massachusetts, through the ope- bill, delivered at Raymond, Mississippi, in September, rations of the general Government, tax Mississippi for 1834; and these predictions have been all too fully rethe benefit of the people of Massachusetts alone, by the alized. Each one of the old States desires to render as intervention of a tariff for distribution? But I will go large as possible her distributive share of the proceeds further, and ask, conceding this bill to be limited to of these sales, and, if this bill is passed, will never con. a distribution only of the nett proceeds of the sales of sent to diminish that share, by any reduction of the the public lands, has Massachusetts, through the opera price. Pre-emption laws will be they are-refused; and tions of this Government, a right to collect vast sums of sales for speculation encouraged. If there is one man money from the people of Mississippi for the use of Mas- | who can doubt the operation of this system, let him exsachusetts? and if the power exists, is it expedient to amine the report in which it originated. That report permit its exercise? Surely there can be but une re. was made to the House of Representatives of Congress, sponse to this last question. That the old States, on the 25th of February, 1829, by a committee of that through the operations of distribution, should receive a House, in favor of this distribution of the nett proceeds State income for State purposes out of moneys received of the sales of the public lands. From that report I read from the people of the new States from sales of the pub. | the following extracts. lic lands, is a most dangerous principle. It renders the Speaking of the policy which prevailed prior to the sysnew States the colonies of the old States. It establishes tem of distribution proposed by the committee, they say in fact, in its practical operations, the principle of taxa. “Claims rejected at the land offices have been readily tion without representation, and strikes a deadly blow at allowed by Congress. Grants to colleges and other inthe prosperity and independence of every new State institutions, of small tracts, baving been obtained with the Union. Destructive to the South, ruinous to the facility, and other evidences having been manifested of new States, threatening to the Union, will be the adop- a disposition, on the part of Congress, to concede the tion of this fatal, fatal measure.
rights of the many to the importunities of the few, It should not be forgotten, that this bill is the same in large donations were successfully solicited, and during substance heretofore vetoed by President Jackson; that the session of 1827 and 1828 Congress actually gave it was reported originally by the Senator from Kentucky, | away to States, and to individuals, not less than two [Mr. CLAY,] from the Committee on Manufactures, when million three hundred thousand acres of choice land." that Senator was urging a rigid adherence to a protect
. . * "Encouraged by the success of ive tariff. The system of extravagant expenditures by these applications, several of the new States have now the general Government for local improvements had boldly demanded of Congress the surrender of the lands been arrested by the Maysville veto. That branch of within their limits.” *
" But the American system baving been broken down by that if any States have, in reality, an unhallowed desire to veto, the system of distribution has been resorted to as get, it may be useful to them to reflect that the other States the only means of preventing a reduction of the tariff, have the power to keep." . * "It appears to and of the price of the public lands.
your committee that the time bas arrived when the comNor is the revival of the tariff the only evil that will munity should be awakened to a protection of their result from the adoption of this measure. It will forever / rights; when measures should be adopted in the national prevent the reduction of the price of the public lands, councils to give the States a direct interest in the income or the adoption of any provision in favor of actual set. arising from the sales of the public lands. This inditlers. The pre-emption system, to secure his home to vidual measure would at once check further concesthe industrious occupant, has already been sacrificed in sions."
* “This policy would anticipation of the passage of this bill. The committee undoubtedly always influence a majority; because only who reported this bill have reported against the whole the miember from a State about to receive a cession pre-emption system; they have done more-they have woull venture to make such a gift, when the evident reported against allowing pre-emptions to those settlers consequences would be the diminution of the direct revwhose settlements have been covered by contingent enue of the States represented by the rest." Here is the Choctaw floats. Their chairman (who reported, this whole ground conceded by the very committee which year, this distribution bill) has declared that the public first proposed the distribution of the proceeds of the lands are worth from ten to twenty dollars per acre, and sales of the public lands. In this report, the committee announced his determination to bring in a bill which I concede the following positions: