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June 8, 1836.]
bill; it applied not only to the present laws of the States, to which it is transmitted. He thought that this was the but to any future laws that might pass.
view that would be taken of it by the courts. The obMr. C. denied that the bill applied to the slaveholding ject of this bill was to make it the duty of the postmasStates only; and went on to argue that it could be ap- ters in the States to conform to the laws of such States, plied to all the States, and to any publication touching and not to deliver out papers in violation of their laws. the subject of slavery whatever, whether for or against The simple question was, had this Government the powit, if such publication was only prohibited by the laws of er to say to its officers, you shall not violate the laws of such State. Thus, for instance, a non-slaveholding the States in which you reside? Could it go further, and State might prolibit publications in defence of the insti. make it their duty to co-operate with the States in carrying tution of slavery, and this bill would apply to it as well their laws into effect? This was the simple question. Now as to the laws of the slaveholding States; but the law could any man doubt that Congress possessed the power would be inoperative: it declared that the deputy post | to pass both measures, so that their officers might not master should not be amenable, unless he knowingly come into confict with the State laws? Indeed, he lookshall deliver, &c. Why, the postmaster might plead ed upon measures of this kind to prevent conflicts beignorance, and of course the law would be inoperative. tween the General and State Governments, which were
But he wanted to know whence Congress derived the likely to ensue, as essentially necessary; for it was evi. power to pass this law. It was said that it was to carry dent that when such conflicts took place, the State must into effect the laws of the States. Where did they get have the ascendancy. Mr. C. then briefly recapitulasuch authority? He thought that their only authority ted the principles on which this bill was founded, and to pass laws was in pursuance of the constitution; contended that it was in aid of laws passed by the States but to pass laws to carry into effect the laws of the as far as Congress had the power constitutionally to go, States, was a most prolific authority, and there was and assumeed no power to prohibit or interfere with the no knowing where it was to stop: it would make the publication or circulation of any paper whatever; it only legislation of Congress dependent upon the legislation declared that the officers of the Government should not of twenty-four different sovereignties. He thought the make their official stations a shield for violating the State bill was of a most dangerous tendency. The Senator laws. Was there any one there who would say, that the from Pennsylvania asked if the post office power did not States had not the power to pass laws prohibiting and give them the right to regulate what should be carried making penal, the circulation of papers, calculated to in the mails. Why, there was no such power as that incite insurrection among their slaves? It being admit. claimed in the bill; and if they passed such a law, it / ted that they could, could not Congress order its offiwould be exercising a most dangerous power. Why, if cers to abstain from the violation of these laws! We do such doctrine prevailed, the Government might desig- not (said Mr. C.) pass a law to abridge the freedom of nate the persons, or parties, or classes, who should have the press, or to prohibit the publication and circulation the benefit of the mails, excluding all others.
of any paper whatever-this has been done by the States It was too often in the condemnation of a particular already. The inhibition of the constitution was on Conevil that they were urged on to measures of a dangerous gress, and not on the States, who possessed full power tendency. All must agree as to the dangerous conse to pass any laws they thought proper. They knew that quences of persons residing out of certain States trans- there were several precedents to sanction this bill. mitting to them incendiary publications, calculated to Congress had passed laws to abstain from the violation promote civil war and bloodshed. All must see the of the health laws of the States. Could anyone say evil, and a great evil it was, and he hoped that a stop that the constitution gave to Congress the power to pass would be put to it; but Congress had no power to pass quarantine laws! He had not adverted to the message beyond the constitution for the purpose of correcting it. of the President on this subject, because he believed The States alone had the power, and their power was that the President acted from the best motives, and that ample for the purpose. He hoped never to see tbal part of the message was drawn up without sufficient the time when the General Government should under reflection. He denied, however, that this message was take to correct the evil by such measures as the one be in conformity with the constitution. It would be difore them. If (said Mr. C.) you can pass thix law to rectly abridging the liberty of the press for Congress to prohibit the delivery through the post office of publica pass such laws as the President recommended. One tions touching the subject of slavery, might they not also part of the message he would refer to, which was in these pass laws to prohibit any citizen of New York or Massa- | words: chusetts from publishing and transmitting through the mail “I would, therefore, call the special attention of Conany thing touching that subject? If you may touch the gress to the subject, and respectfully suggest the prosubject of slavery at all, why not go to the root of the evil? priety of passing such a law as will prohibit, under seSuppose one of the southern States were to pass a law of vere penalties, the circulation in the southern States, this kind; would you not be called upon by all the ar- through the mail, of incendiary publications, intended to guments now used in favor of this bill, to carry such | instigate the slaves to insurrection." law into effect? Mr. C. concluded by saying that the This was clearly unconstitutional; for it not only recbill was calculated to destroy all the landmarks of the ommended the probibition of publications and circulaconstitution, establish a precedent for dangerous legis- tion of incendiary papers, (abridging the freedom of the lation, and to lead to incalculable mischief. There was press,) but it recommended also the infliction of severe no necessity for so dangerous an assumption of authority, penalties, which powers were expressly prohibited by the State laws being perfectly competent to correct the the constitution. On no other principle could this ever evil complained of. He must say that, from the first to be defended, than that it was simply abstaining from a the last, he was opposed to the measure.
- violation of the laws of the States. Mr. CALIOUN could not concur with the views ta. The Senator from Kentucky contended that this bill ken by the Senators from Massachusetts and Kentucky, was useless; and he (Mr. C.) agreed that it was so in one that this bill would comprehend in its provisions all pub- sense, and that was, with or without this bill, the southlications touching the subject of slavery. In order to ern States would execute their own laws against the bring any publication within the provisions of the bill. circulation of such papers. It was a case of life and two qualifications were necessary. The first was, that death with them; and did any body suppose that they it must relate to the subject of slavery; and the next would permit so many magazines in their bosom to blow was, that it must be prohibited by the laws of the State them to destruction, as these post offices must be, if
(JUNE 6, 1836.
these incendiary publications continued to be circulated w. said, must look into the newspaper mail to see if through them?' While the southern States contained so there were any publications in it touching the subject many postmasters opposed to their institutions, as it was of slavery, calculated to excite insurrections among the in his own State, where almost every postmaster was slaves. opposed to it, it was absolutely necessary for them to Now, said Mr. W., the country would have been rent take effectual measures for their own security. It was into atoms if the sedition law, instead of saying that the assertion of the principle, that the States had a right papers should not be published in such and such a way, to protect themselves, which made the bill valuable in had declared that the deputy postmasters should have his eyes; it prevented the conflict which would be likely the power to search the mails to see if they contained to take place between the General and State Govern any publications calculated to bring the Government ments, unless some measure of the kind should be adopt- into disrepule, promote insurrection, and lead to foreigir ed. The States had a right to go to the extent of this war,” the evils the sedition law intended to guard bill; and they would be wanting to themselves and to against. All the papers described in the law of '99 posterity if they omitted to do it. It was on the doctrine were unlawful by the laws of any of the States; and yet of State rights and State intervention that he supported that law, which had created so much excitement, and this bill, and on no other grounds.
met with such general reprobation, contained nothing The Senator from Massachusetts objected to the re- like the power claimed by this bill. Any law distinturning of these papers whose delivery was prohibited. I guishing what shall or shall not go into the mails, foundHe regretted this as much as the Senator did; but his ed on the sentiments of the paper, and making the objection was, that it did not go far enough: he thought deputy postmaster the judge, be should say was exthat these papers should be delivered to the prosecuting pressly unconstitutional, if not recommended by gentleofficers of the States, to enable them to ferret out the men of such high authority. This bill, said Mr. W., designs of the incendiaries.
went beyond the recommendation of the President; for Mr. WEBSTER remarked, that in general it might his recommendation was, that the person who circulated be safely said, that when different gentlemen supported the papers described by bim, should be punished by sea measure admitted to be of a novel character, and vere penalties. Now, this was the old law of liberty, placed their defence of it on different and inconsistent there was not a word of previous restraint in it as imgrounds, a very simple person might believe, in such posed by this bill. Mr. W. then went into an argument
there were no very strong grounds for adopt to show the vagueness of the bill in describing the
sure. The Senator from Pennsylvania and paper the delivery of which was prohibited. Under it the Senator from South Carolina, not only placed their it was impossible to determine what publications should defence of the bill on opposite grounds, but each op- | be prohibited: abolition pamphlets were to be stripned posed the principles on which the other founded his at the South, and anti-abolition papers were to be stopsupport of it. Where the object to be gained was ap- ped at the North.' In reply to Mr. Buchanan, he said parently good, and the case urgent, as it was represent that he did not assume that these prohibited publications ed to be, how could limitations of power stand against either were or were not property. All be said was, powerful opponents, which have always been urging to that they ought not to make the deputy postmasters the despotism? Now, against the objects of this bill he had I judge, and take away the property without the authority not a word to say, but with constitutional lawyers there of law. What he had to say was, that it was a question was a great difference between the object and the means of property or no property; and that they could not to carry it into effect. It was not the object to be gain. make the deputy postmasters the judge of the fact, as ed, but the means to attain it, which they should look | he could not be a judge of property known to the conto; for though the object might be good, the means stitution and the law. might not be so. His objections went to the means, and Mr. BUCHANAN said he had not anticipated, when not to the object; and he did not yield the argument he first addressed the Senate upon this subject that he because the object was a good one, and the case was should have occasion to make any further remarks; but urgent. It was better to limit the power, and run the the Senator from Massachusetts had replied to his argurisk of injury from the want of it, than to give a power ment in such a special manner, that he felt himself which migbt be exercised in a dangerous manner
constrained to reply to some of his remarks. Now, perThe Senator from Pennsylvania said that this bill was mit me to say, (continued Mr. B.,) that he has not at all calling on Congress to do nothing but to abstain frommet the point of my argument. He has invested this violating the laws of the States. It was one thing, said subject with an air of greater importance and responsi.. the Senator, for Congress to abstain from giving these bility than it deserves; he has played around it with all incendiary papers circulation, and another to pass laws his powers, but without touching the real question insaying that they shall not be published. But if Con-1 gress had no mail through which these papers could be Congress has no power (says the gentleman) to pass transmitted, what did the gentleman mean by Congress any law abridging the freedom of speech or of the abstaining from giving them circulation? It meant that press. Granted. fle most freely admitted that ConCongress should interfere, and create an especial ex- gress had no power to touch the press at all. We can ception as to what should be transmitted by their ordi pass no law whatever either to prevent or lo punish any nary channel of intelligence, and that that exception publication, under any circumstances whatever. The should be caused by the character of the writing or pub. sedition law violated this principle. It punished libels lication. He contended that Congress had not the power, against the Federal Government and its officers; and drawn from the character of the paper, to decide whe- having met with general reprobation, it was repealeil, ther it should be carried in the mail or not; for such de. l or permitted to expire by its own limitation, he did not cision would be a direct abridgment of the freedom of recolk ct which, the press the confessed that he was shocked at the Mr. B. said he admitted these premises of the gentle. doctrine. He looked back to the alien and sedition man in their broadest extent; but did they justify his laws, which were so universally condemned throughout conclusions? In order to maintain his argument, he the country; and what was their object? Certainly to must prove that the constitution, in declaring that Con. prohibit publications of a dangerous tendency. [Mr. w.gress shall not pass any law abridging the freedom of here quoted the sedition law, to show the objects it in the press, has thereby, and from the force of these tended to effect.] But the deputy postmasters, Mr. terms alone, commanded us to circulate and distribute,
JUNE 8, 1836.]
through our post offices, every thing which the press from adopting the principle that it should be conclusive may publish, no matter whether it shall promote insur- evidence in all cases. Congress must judge for itself rection and civil war or not. This is the proposition under all the circumstances of each particular case. which he must establish. All the gentleman's remarks In reply to the Senator from Massachusetts, Mr. B. in favor of the liberty of the press met his cordial ap- said that this bill would not be a penal law. Every thing probation; but they did not apply to the constitutional like a penalty had been stricken from its provisions, unquestion then onder discussion. He had argued this less the removal of a deputy postmaster from office by question precisely as if, in addition to the words already the Postmaster General might be viewed in that light, in the constitution, that “ Congress shall make no law | By it we merely directed our agent not to violate State abridging the freedom of speech or of the press," there laws by distributing publications calculated to excite inhad been inserted, “or to prevent the circulation of surrection. He would not have occasion to study all the any production of the press through the post offices." laws of all the States on the subject of slavery, as the But these words were not in the instrument; and the Senator from Massachusetts had alleged. All that would only question was, whether the one prohibition could be required of him was to know the laws of the State be inferred from the other. Mr. B. said he was in favor of which he was a citizen, and to take care not to violate of a plain and literal construction of the constitution. them. He took it for his guide; and he could never consent to The gentleman had said that he (Mr. B.) had mistainterpolate what its framers never intended should be ken the recommendation contained in the President's there. They have conferred upon Congress, in express message. Now he undertook to assert that this bill was terms, a general discretion in regard to the Post Office in conformity with the recommendation of the President, Department; and the question then was, shall we exer and carried it out in all essential particulars. cise it in the manner proposed by this bill, for the pur [Here Mr. B. again read the last paragraph of the pose of preventing servile war, bloodshed, and dis message which he had read before.] union?
Now, sir, (said Mr. B.,) does not the President exHow had the gentleman from Massachusetts met his pressly assert that Congress has authority to regulate argument? He says that the principles upon which the what shall be distributed through the post offices, and Senator from South Carolina (Mr: CALHOUN) and him does he not "suggest the propriety of passing such a self had sustained this bill, were at variance with each law as will prohibit, under severe penalties, the circulaother; and that this of itself was sufficient to cast doubt tion in the southern States, through the mail, of incenover the measure. But was it the first time the gentle diary publications, intended to instigate the slaves to man had ever known correct conclusions to be drawn insurrection?” Except that this bill contained no severe from varying or even unfounded premises? The bill penalties, it was framed, both in its spirit and in its letter, itself ought not to be condemned for the arguments of according to the suggestion of the President. What its friends. He would remind the gentleman of the ad other bill could we pass of a milder character than the vice given by a distinguished English judge to a young one now before us, to prevent the circulation of these friend about to occupy a judicial station in the West In incendiary publications? Let the President's recomdies, which was, never to give reasons for his judgm endation be entitled to what weight it might, this bill ments where it could be avoided; because his natural was in exact accordance with it. sense and perception of justice would almost always en- The Senator from Massachusetts had contended that able him to decide correctly, though he might, and this bill conferred upon deputy postmasters the power of probably often would, assign insufficient reasons for his depriving individuals of their property in newspapers decisions. This bill ought to be judged by its own pro and other publications, in violation of that clause in the visions, and ought not to be condemned for the reasons constitution which declares that no person shall be dein support of it which had been advanced eitheir by the prived of his property without due process of law. By Senator from South Carolina or himself.
this bill we had not attempted to shield any postmaster The Senator from Massachusetts had argued as from legal responsibility for his conduct. We could not though he (Mr. B.) had said, that as the end proposed do so, if we would. We had merely prescribed for by this measure was good, he should vote for it, not him, as we had done for our other agents, the line of withstanding the means might be unconstitutional. his duty. We did not attempt to protect him from
[Here Mr. WEBSTER explained, and said he had not the suit of any person who might consider himself agimputed to Mr. B. such an argument.]
grieved. If any individual to whom a publication was Mr. B. proceeded. The Senator did not mean this | directed, and who had demanded it from the postmaster imputation; but his argument seemed to imply as much. and had been refused, should believe our law to be unHowever necessary he might believe this bill to be, if constitutional, he might bring this question before the he did not find a clear warrant for its passage in the judiciary, and try it, like any other question. All our constitution, it should never have his support. He officers and agents are liable to be sued, and if the law never could believe that this Government, baving the under which they acted should prove to be unconstituexclusive control over the Post Office Department in all tional, it would afford them no protection. On the presits various relations, was yet so impotent to prevent evil, ent occasion, we proposed to proceed in the spirit of the that it must, under the fundamental law which called it common law principle, that any individual may abate a into existence, whether it would or not, distribute publi nuisance, though he thereby rendered himself responsications tending directly to promote servile insurrection, ble, in case it should appear afterwards that the thing and to produce its own destruction.
abated was not a nuisance. So here, the postmaster reThe Senator from South Carolina (Mr. CALHOUN) had fusing to deliver a newspaper under our law, would be misapprehended him in one particular. He (Mr. B.) | responsible in damages to the party aggrieved, in case it had disclaimed all authority to pass this bill derived from should appear that the law under which he had acted State laws, or from any other source than the constitu was unconstitutional. tion of the United States. He had not said he would As to the necessity for passing this bill, he should say vote for a similar bill in all cases where the State Legis. | but a few words. It was very easy for gentlemen to say latures might think proper to pass laws to prohibit the tbat necessity was the plea of tyrants. He admitted circulation of any publication wbatever. He considered it had been so, and would be so in all time to come. But, the passage of such laws merely as evidence of the ne. after all, if we possessed the power to legislate in this case, cessity for legislation by Congress; but he was very far from our situation we were compelled to judge whether SENATE.)
(JUNE 8, 1836.
it was necessary to call it into efficient action or not. must judge whether these papers are legal or not. He This duty devolved upon us. We could not avoid de holds in his hand papers which the laws of his State have ciding this question. Was it not, then, within our own said shall not be circulated, under a penalty. Is he not knowledge that the slaveholding States had been at- to decide whether he shall incur that penalty or not? tempted to be flooded with pamphlets and pictorial rep- How stood the argument of the Senator from Massacburesentations calculated to excite servile insurrection setts. He requires that the officer sball violate the Had we not seen upon this floor many of those pictorial laws of his State, or that the General Government shall representations, whose direct effect would be to excite protect him in it. With regard to the members that the wild and brutal passions of the slaves to cut the compose the Senate, every gentleman was conscious in throats of their masters! Within the last few months, I his own breast of a strong desire to prevent the evils of had there not been bloodshed? and bad there not been a servile war in the southern States. Of this he was several attempted insurrections in some of the southern confident. But with regard to the Senator from MassaStates? These facts were incontestable. Believing and chusetts, he should be guilty of a want of candor, if he knowing all this to be true, he said the case of necessity, allowed him that clearness of judgment which belonged in his judgment, was fully established, and he should to the statesman; he should be wanting in that sincerity vote for the passage of the bill.
of heart, on which he had ever prided himself, if he de Mr. CUTHBERT was not desirous to throw himself clared his conviction, that the honorable Senator had into the current of this debate at this time. The posi. treated this subject with the liberal and impartial spirit tion which he held, the infrequency of his occupying it deserved. The gentleman's course had uniformly that floor, and the indisposition under which he labored, been opposed to all those measures which tended to authorized him to expect the attention of the Senate for quiet the country, and heal those sectional dissensions a short time, when he should be better able to address which disturb the Union. them than he then was. He therefore hoped the Senate When a large and overwhelming vote was taken in would indulge him in an opportunity of being heard on the Senate, on the motion of the Senator from Pennsylthe subject, by postponing it, to be taken up within a vania, believed by all to be so necessary to settle a quesvery short period. It appeared to him that the Senator tion threatening the most fearful consequences, it was from Pennsylvania had said precisely what should have held to be highly desirable that there should be a unanibeen said in support of this bill. It appeared to him that mous yote. Yet, on an occasion when the Senator that Senator had given an unanswerable reply to the could well have shown a desire to harmonize and conSenator from Massachusetts on points on which he prin ciliate, his vote was found in the negative. Again, the cipally relied for his opposition to the measure before Senator from Massachusetts had put forth a paper calcuthem. What is the state of the case? (said Mr. C.) lated to excite great distrust in the body of the people The deputy postmaster in one of the States holds in his affected by it. He alluded to the resolutions adopted hand an incendiary publication, intended to carry blood at a meeting held in Boston on the subject of slavery, of and desolation through the land. Is he bound in duty which the gentleman was said to be the author, in which to hold it from circulation? If he gives it to another, it was declared that Congress had the power to regulate the evils intended by that publication will ensue; but the transfer of slaves from one State to another. Mr. then your officer, contends the Senator from Massachu. C. said that he had aildressed the Senate but seldom, setts, is bound to deliver it, because you have no power and as he wished to be heard on this subject more at to pass a law abridging the freedom of the press. Ac large, when his health was better and under more favor. cording to this doctrine, that which an individual cannot able circumstances, he hoped the Senate would indulge do, your officer is bound to do. It appeared to bim that him by a postponement. the obvious necessity of this law was to prevent the post Mr. WebSTER said that he had heard the remarks office agents from committing a criminal offence against of the Senator from Georgia (Mr. CUTHBERT) with attenthe laws of the States, and then shielding themselves under tion and with respect; and considering his speech of a the post office law. But the Senator from Massachu-personal character, it became him to notice it; but as the setts had not met this point, but had rather evaded and gentleman proposed to discuss this subject more at large played around it. This was a question wbich should when his health was better, and, as he said, under cirnot be discussed with the chicanery of a pettifogging cumstances less tending to irritation, he should postpone Jawyer, but should be considered with those enlarged bis reply till then. He should hear the gentleman with ideas and noble sentiments which belong to the states-pleasure, and he looked forward to it with much soliciman. They should argue as it became enlightened tude, and should endeavor to reply to him according to patriots, anxious to promote harmony and good feeling his best abilities. Mr. W. then entered into a lengthy through our common country, and to preserve all its reply to the remarks of Mr. Buchanan, in the course of parts from the dangers of insurrection.
which he contended that the law was unnecessary, beHe denied that property could be affected by this cause the States had at present the power to punish the law, as contended by the Senator from Massachusetts. deputy postmasters who should circulate incendiary pubThere could be no property in these incendiary publi- | lications in violation of their laws. cations. The postmaster holds in his hand that which, Mr. BUCHANAN did not rise again to argue the by the laws of the States, is in the condition of stolen question. He did not feel any petty desire to have the property, and he is bound to give it back. He holds in last word. He should now merely remark that the Senahis hand what, by his own judgment, he considers not tor from Massachusetts, in his last observations, had to be property--which his own judgment condemns, and done nothing more than again to restate his proposition, he is therefore bound to resign it. The Senator from without offering any new argument in its support. He Massachusetts said rightly, that the person to whom this reminded him of another powerful man, in the ancient publication is directed may come forward and demand time, who was condemned to roll a large stone to the it, under the provision of this law. Now, if the Senator top of a mountain, which was always falling back upon thought there was any thing wanting in this provision of him, and which he never could accomplish. The genthe bill, why did he not propose an amendment? If he tleman's position was one which even his great powers did propose any, he (Mr. C.) had not heard it. The did not enable him to maintain. property is not to be destroyed; it must be returned to Mr. B. should not again have arisen but for the purhim who sent it.
pose of making a single remark. The Senator from In another point of view (Mr. C. said) the postmaster Massschusetts bad just expressed the opinion that dep. JUNE 9, 1836.]
Public Deposites-Michigan School Lands, &c.
uty postmasters could be punished, under State author- taxation for five years all lands sold by the United ity, for circulating inflammatory pamphlets and papers in Stales. violation of State laws. If this be true, then all the Mr. WRIGHT said, if the object was to have the lands power over the post office which we confer by this bill, settled and sold for no other purposes, it was highly imalready exists in the States. The effect of it, then, will portant that the practice of exempting those lands froin be nothing more than to express our assent to the exer taxation should be discontinued. He said the custom cise of a power over deputy postmasters by the States, was established, when the practice of the Government which the gentleman admits to exist already. Upon was to sell on five years' credit, for the minimum price this principle there can be nu objection to the adoption of two dollars; the subsequent reduction of the price, of the present measure."
for cash sales, had been a sufficient inducement to purMr. CUTHBERT only rose to repeat the request chasers, and he did not think any one actual settler had that the Senate would, by the postponement of the sub. ever been induced to buy by the exemption from taxa. ject for a short time, allow him an opportunity of being tion; but speculators in large amounts were often so heard on it when his health was better.
induced; and he hoped the practice would be abanMr. C. then moved to lay the bill on the table; which motion was lost.
Mr. WALKER was in favor of the exemption, and The bill was then rejected by the following vote: explained the effect upon lands in Louisiana. It would
YEAS--Messrs. Black, Brown, Buchanan, Calhoun, operate, he said, as an encouragement to construct Cuthbert, Grundy, King of Alabama, King of Georgia, levees, and reclaim valuable back lands. Mangum, Moore, Nicholas, Porter, Preston, Rives, Mr. GRUNDY said he was decidedly in favor of the Robinson, Tallmadge, Walker, White Wright--19. amendment of the Senator of Kentucky, because he was
Nars--Messrs. Benton, Clay, Crittenden, Davis, opposed to admitting the State of Michigan upon differEwing of Illinois, Ewing of Ohio, Goldsborough, llen. | ent terms from those upon which other new States had dricks, Hubbard, Kent, Knight, Leigh, McKean, Mor- been admitted. If, after the State had been admitted, ris, Naudain, Niles, Prentiss, Ruggles, Shepley, South- it was found desirable to abolish the practice generally, ard, Swift, Tipton, Tomlinson, Wall, Webster-25. he would go for it, but now he wished to put this State
on the same footing as neighboring States. PUBLIC DEPOSITES.
Mr. EWING said, if he could see any benefit to the The Senate proceeded to consider the bill to regulate United States from the exemption, he would not object the deposites of the public money.
to the introduction of the amendment; but he thought it Mr. WRIGHT obtained the floor, and indicated his operated only as a restraint upon the States, without any intention to move the Senate to proceed to the consid. benefit to the country. He thought there was no dimi. eration of executive business.
nution in the eagerness to purchase lands; and where it The deposite bill was then postponed, and made the was done for speculation, he thought it for the good of special order for to-morrow.
the country in some measure to discourage it. He stated After transacting some other business,
that he had learned this morning, that a million of dollars On motion of Mr. BENTON,
bad been received froin sales of lands in the peninsula of The Senate proceeded to the consideration of exec Michigan, and he looked with anxiety, instead of exulutive business; and, after some time, the doors were re tation, upon the immense sales he heard of daily. He opened, and
did not think the old States which had come in with the The Senate adjourned.
restriction, would feel any jealousy if it was not imposed upon the new States. He, as a representative of one of
the oldest of the States which had been admitted with THURSDAY, JUNE .
the restriction, felt no jealousy. It was but of little imMICHIGAN SCHOOL LANDS, &c.
portance to 'Ohio, for the time had nearly come when it
could not affect her in any way. He thought the same On motion of Mr. WRIGHT, the bill supplementary to principle should be extended to all States hereafter to the bill to establish the northern boundary of Ohio, and be admitted; and unless it was proper so to extend it, for the admission of Michigan into the Union, with the
of Michigan into the Union with the he should not be in favor of it. It had been first sugamendment thereto proposed by him, was taken up and
gested to him some time since, and he was satisfied then considered.
and now that the exemption was of no benefit to the Mr. EWING explained the provisions of the bill and United States, and was inconvenient to the States. of the amendment, which was to make the usual reser- / Mr. CLAY replied at length, and said he thought the vations, in behalf of Michigan, of school lands, and of argument of the Senator from Tennessee was conclusive, five per cent. of the nett proceeds of sales of public and ought to be satisfactory to the Senate. If the lands, on the condition of the recognition of the abso.change was to be made at all, Michigan ought to be adlute right of the United States to dispose of the vacant mitted upon the same terms as the other States; and lands, &c. &c. The only peculiar feature in the bill then the change should be made general for them all. he pointed out to be, that it did not contain the usual ex. But he was opposed to the proposition to change the exemption from taxation for five years of lands purchased emption from taxes for five years, not only in this appli. by individuals from the United States. Dispensing with cation in detail, but to the general principle. He said this exemption, it was thought, would tend to discourage it would affect actual settlers most unjustly and injuri. purchases merely for speculation, and be otherwise of ously. The purchasers who, according to custom, made general benefit.
their purchases in the spring to remove in the fall, if Mr. BENTON expressed his approbation of the prin- they should be prevented from entering for any longer ciples of the bill.
time, would often find that they had lost their lande, in Mr. CLAY said he was not in favor of this change in consequence of sales for taxes, of which they had no the compact with the new States. He considered the knowleilge; while the sharp-eyed speculator would have knowledge that for a period of time the lands were knowledge of the facts, and would not be in any way to be exempt from taxation, was a powerful motive to injuriously affected. The worst class of speculators he purchasers; and he hoped the bill would not be passed considered those who attend sales of land for taxes, to without the usual exempting clause. Mr. C. moved to get for a mere song the property of the poor man, whose amend the bill by inserting a provision exempting from I misfortunes had prevented his complying with the re