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happen under a Governmount founded upon the of establishing some regulations on the subject. true principles of democracy; besides, I think we is not this a matter of serious concern to the peohave had a sufficient lesson before our eyes to ple of the United States, which requires our imguard us against the attempt.
mediate attention? Then, if this is the case, if Much will depend upon the energy and force of the subject is of such vast magnitude in all these the Government established in that country; it points of view, it only remains to consider what ought to be such as will furnish sufficient power is to be done with respect to it to procure the for its own internal purposes, and also to secure greatest good to the United States, and the greatit to the Union. But that is not the only tie by est benefit to the people. which its union is held. That country is attached I apprehend it will be found that a Land Office to the Atlantic States by its natural situation. will effect these objects better than any other To be convinced of this truth, nothing more is plan that can be devised. If this should be effecnecessary than to look upon the chart: all the iual
, and no doubt can be entertained but it will, commerce of that country must come through the inhabitants of the United States cannot, with the States upon the sea coast. We know, at a good grace, be called upon for heavy taxes in Pittsburg, that we are a thousand miles nearer to order to pay the interest on a debt which can be the market, than settlers at the mouth of the Ohio so easily and properly extinguished. Every indiriver. When we export our produce by that and vidual who contemplates the subject, will see how the Mississippi, we know we can get easier home much it is his interest to buy a few dollars in cerwith our returns by the way of Philadelphia, than tificates, and purchase a piece of land with them, the others can by turning up and stemming the which will annihilate the debt, and prevent the current of the Mississippi. Therefore, the im-demand for taxes to pay the interest; besides, it ports for all that territory must come through the will remain as a security to reimburse the princiUnited States. From these considerations, I con- pal to the proprietor, as the population of the clude it would be madness in the extreme for country extends; but, at all events, it would be them to think of a separation, unless they were but advancing tour or five years' interest, and the driven to it by a fatal necessity : they will be too whole debt would be absorbed. How much better sensible of its ill effects ever to attempt it. is this than paying interest during our lives, and
But suppose, for a moment, that they break off leaving our children to discharge the principal, or from the Union, and even become our enemies, it continue on their own shoulders the burden of an would be good policy in us to get as much as we annual interest of six per cent. From this view can from them first, especially as they are dis- of the subject, it would appear every man's inposed to give it us; let us make them extinguish terest to become a purchaser in that country. part of our national debt before they leave us. This mixing of the interest would incorporate the The soil and climate of that country, as I said body, and tend to increase the bands of union; it before, will be great inducements for emigrants to will occasion ties of consanguinity and affinity settle there. If they were to break off, they among us, which, added to the similarity of laws, would know how to get money enough from the customs, and manners, will form an inseparable sale of the territory to support their Government, cement, and compress the whole into the closest without any other resource whatever. If I, as a union. If it should be thought inconvenient for resident in that country, had the remotest view of the citizens in the Atlantic Siates to purchase so a separation from the Atlantic States, I should be largely as I have intimated, let them lay out but sorry to see Congress sell an acre of that land; the amount of one year's tax in this way, and it for selling it, in that case, would be neither more will nearly extinguish the domestic debt, for nor less than preventing us from putting the which, otherwise, they will have to pay annually, money into our pockets when we became inde-forever, an equal sum to what I propose for them pendent. If they meditate independency, the to advance. * By the establishment of a Land most likely way to make them so, will be to let Office such purchasers could be supplied. their lands alone, in order to supply them with I think this plan better on another considerafunds sufficient to support them in the measure. tion. If we mean to sell our lands for ready moIf they are sold, it will not be in their power. ney, or mean to trust, we have a superior advan
Another consideration which shows the subject tage. It is more probable that the necessitous to be of great consequence to the Union, is the person who wants the land for the subsistence of sales already made there, a partial mention of himself and family, will labor harder to procure a which I made in one of my former observations. property of this kind, and secure it for himself, By the terms of those sales, the United States are than the speculator who never means to pay a obliged to complete the surveys; this has not farthing until he has received it from the sale of hitherto been done; of consequence, the money the land ; besides, the necessitous person is better due for them cannot be had, nor the accumulating able to buy of Government than of the speculainterest be suspended. The amount, as I stated tor, because he can get it cheaper. The purchabefore, is near five millions of dollars: of this sers of large tracts retail out their land to this sum, $771,310 have been paid into the Treasury; class of men, and certainly charge them somethe whole of the remainder will continue unpaid thing for their trouble. But if we sell on credit, till the surveys are completed, namely $4,165,553, as under the Proprietary Government was the paying a daily interest of $6841. This, gentle- practice in Pennsylvania, those who take out men, is what we actually lose every day, for want I small quantities get their land surveyed, and set
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themselves down; they cultivate the ground, and and balanced as any other; the expense of it will erect buildings for their own accommodation. be nothing, because the officer may be supported Land, in this improved state, furnishes a better out of the fees. This being the case, I shall consecurity to Government for any arrearage of clude with moving that the committee adopt the purchase money, than a large tract sold on spec- resolution reported by the committee, and recomulation, and which lies in the same state of nature mend it to the House to appoint a select commitas it did when it was disposed of, perhaps adding tee to bring in a bill accordingly. thereto the expense of making the survey. If the Mr. Fitzsimons asked if it would not be better land must revert to Congress at last for default of to settle all the principles of the bill first, that the payment, we get nothing in the latter case; select committee might not lose their labor, as whereas, when sold in lots, if a man has settled had been once or twice experienced, for want of himself down, and paid for his warrant and sur- this precaution. vey, which costs the Union nothing, but for the He was in favor of some measure of this kind, first price and interest thereon, it must strike every though he had some doubts of the necessity gentleman's mind that it would be disagreeable, there was supposed to be of establishing a Land after a man had made a settlement for three or four Office. years, to have to turn out. Rather than do this, The question was now taken on the resolution, he would make every exertion to discharge the and agreed to. price; if his situation was so wretched as not to Mr. Scott then brought forward a string of furnish the means, some of his neighbors, on such propositions, to be put into the hands of the select security, might befriend him ;_but at any rate committee, containing the principles upon which Government would be secure. By this argument, he wished the Land Office established, and the I do not mean to insist that Congress should sell | manner in which it should be regulated. their lands on trust; they may do so, or sell for One proposition was, to place the office under ready pay, as their wisdom may think eligible. I the direction of the Governor of the Western shall be satisfied either way.
Territory. The plan does not prevent the sale of large Mr. STONE objected to this, because he contracts, (your million-acre purchasers may be ac-ceived the Legislature would in this case apcommodated with the quantity they desire it point the officer, which is contrary to the Cononly admits the sale of smaller quantities; and to stitution. that kind of people who stand in need of land, Mr. SHERMAN thought it best to delay the dethis plan would be much better than the one here. cision of this subject. It is certainly a matter of tofore pursued. It would be an immense saving, high importance to the Union, that this land be we should have no expense attending on the disposed of in the best manner. No doubt, if it sales, no surveys to pay for, which have already is properly managed, but it will pay the princibeen very expensive. We find that two thousand pal and interest of all the debts of the United and eighty-one miles of a common survey line, States, said he; but I have great objection to the has been run, at the rate prescribed by Congress, manner of settlement proposed by the honorable to 20,690 specie dollars, more than nine hard dol-gentleman from Pennsylvania. I think it would lars for every mile. This expense is absolutely tend to greater advantage, to settle the country so enormous, that Congress had better give away gradually, in compact bodies, as the inhabitants their lands to those who will take and settle them, can be spared from the other parts of the Union. than pay it.
But this business ought to be managed with a I think the convenience of the people is a sub- degree of caution, lest we open a door to that field ject not unworthy of being taken into view. My of speculation in the certificates of the United plan proposes that they should be able to perfect States, by which the holders of the securities may their titles on the spot. I fear not the objection be treated with injustice. which has been raised. It may be said, the titles It will be a better plan to settle the country by ought not to be completed until it was done im- townships ; so far I would be willing to go, and mediately under the eye of Congress. Let this also make arrangements for completing the surbe as it may, I will make one remark: can we not vey of those tracis already disposed of. Perhaps have every tie, every check, and security upon it might be well to give some of the township these officers that we have upon the collectors of lots to settlers, without any charge, reserving the revenue ? I think there is as much room for others to sell at some future day, when they beconfidence in the one case as in the other. We come moee valuable, in consequence of the settlecan take care that the Secretary of the Land of ments around them. I apprehend we should get fice shall send in his accounts of patents and more money in this way than in that proposed. warrants. I think we may depend here upon a If men are to take out warrants, and lay them true return.
where they please, the settlers will break up the The Receiver of the office shall take nothing ground, and we shall be forced to sell after a but public securities, which are not quite so great while, for less money, because the lands will be a temptation to embezzlement or illicit practices picked and nothing but the refuse left; besides, as money; The Surveyor will be a check upon people not knowing where others have located, both. I think the gentlemen employed in this bu- may take up the same lots, and lay a foundation siness cannot be of very trifling character. In for eternal lawsuits and discontent. short, this department may be as well checked Mr. Lee thought the Land Office ought to be at
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the seat of Government, consequently he differed precede them, their settlements would be more from the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. safe than they are. Scott) in his first principle. This being the Mr. Sedgwick had no doubt of the necessity case, he advised the rising of the committee, and and propriety of disposing of the lands in the wished the appointment of a select one, to inves- Western Territory, but he thought the office tigate the subject, to examine all papers and con- ought to be kept at the seat of Government, betracts respecting the Western Territory, both of cause it would be necessary to check the enterCongress and the several States, the deeds of ces prising spirit which might grow up under the resion and the Articles of Confederation; from the gulation. He knew much might be said on both report of such an examination, the House might sides: but he thought the people who were genebe able to discover some proper plan for conduct- rally the first settlers on a frontier, were of that ing the business. The magnitude of the subject class who had little money or property, and condemands the fullest investigation, and the wisdom sequently unable to purchase ; if they wanted of the Legislature will no doubt induce them to real purchasers, they must go to those who had treat it according to its importance. He had no the money to pay; not that he meant to argue other view in moving the rising of the commit- against the accommodation of the one class or tee; but if gentlemen insisted upon a decision, the other ; indeed, he should be happy to serve he should vote against the resolution.
both, if it would enable Congress to get the best Mr. SCOTT.—The first gentleman who remark- market and the highest price for their lands. To ed upon my proposition, thinks we have no right bring the question fairly before the committee, he to appoint the officer who is to direct the business. would move to strike out “Governor of the WestIf I understand what I brought forward, it does ern Territory," and insert the “ principal officer not go to appoint the officer, but to give additional of the Treasury Department." duties to an officer already appointed; therefore, that objection falls to the ground.
Mr. Vining said it was a very important subThe gentleman last up alleges, that the Land ject, but perhaps gentlemen were not prepared Office ought to be at the seat of Government. I for a decision; if so, the question had better be would ask him if all those who want the lands put off till to-morrow. For his own part, he felt live at the seat of Goverernment? or rather will some diffidence in saying much on ihe subject, not the applications come from the remotest cor
but he agreed perfectly with the honorable genners of the continent ? It will be more difficult tleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Scott) in the for real settlers to go to the seat of Government, ving that the committee rise.
principles of his plan. He concluded with mothan to purchase the land; but will it accommodate any class of men ? There are few, who Mr. Moore thought very well of the plan, but know what they are about, will come here to buy was not prepared to decide. He suspected that if land, and then go up to the Ohio to look for it; if the last motion obtained, it would iend to favor they act the part of prudent men, they will go speculators, and therefore he should be against it. and see the land first, and when they are there, He believed there was some justice in the obserthey can more conveniently apply for what they vations thrown out by the gentleman from Conwant, than return by a circuitous march to the necticut, (Mr. SHERMAN,) but this might be comseat of Government for that purpose. I had the plied with by limiting the sales to certain boundconvenience of the purchasers in view when I aries, so that the purchasers should not run over made the proposition, and by far the greater part the whole Territory. of them reside in the neighborhood. Men who A desultory conversation arose, whether the reare well able to pay you the price of the land can- solution reported by the select committee, and not afford to travel to New York; they will be adopted by the Committee of the Whole on the losers by the bargain if you were to give them state of the Union, should be reported to the the land without charge, for a journey down here House; when it was understood to be only one of would require three times the price of a common
the number brought forward by Mr. Scott, and, farm.
as such, not to be reported till the whole were The gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Sher- gone through. MAN) seems to run away with an idea of settling The committee now rose, and Mr. BOUDINOT that territory that can never take place; it has reported that the committee, according to order, been tried without any success; the experiment had the state of the Union under consideration, shows that it tends to cull and destroy the land more but had come to no resolution thereupon. than any other mode; besides, a man will give a COMPENSATION OF THE PRESIDENT, &c. third more for a spot of ground when he takes his choice, than he will if obliged to take it good Mr. Vining wished to call the attention of the or bad as it may be. There is no necessity for House to a business he apprehended not very compelling people to settle close together in town- lengthy; it was the report of a committee on the ships; the nature of the country and dread of the subject of compensation to be made to the PresiIndians will force them to do ihis; they always dent, Vice President, the members of the Senate settle in strong parties for their own convenience. and House of Representatives, for their services;
The late settlers from New England experience he wished gentlemen to consider the situation of the inconvenience of settling by townships; if every one concerned in this business, themselves, they had suffered the pioneers I spoke of to land the continent at large. He hoped they would
[July, 1789. consent to take it up, and he flattered himself but I am clearly for examining into the princithe discussion would not last longer than a day. ples before I agree to the conclusion.
Mr. WHITE wished to go into a Committee of Mr. Page was sorry to see gentlemen spinning the Whole on the business.
out the time to little purpose; certainly, after Mr. Fitzsimons did not like to enter upon a having the subject under consideration for nearly lengthy discussion of a point that was incapable three months, they might be able to decide. of much elucidation by reasoning; he therefore If this business was fixed, and gentlemen knew was against going into a committee at this stage they were to have but moderate salaries, it might of the business. He observed that the committee perhaps tend to make them more expeditious; had reported something, and the members had but at all events, they ought to know the rate at been pretty generally consulted on the same. He which they attend, in order to regulate their hoped the House would despatch the business expenses. To some it might be a matter of no without delay or loss of time, if they were at all concern, because they could bear every thing of inclined to take it up:
this kind for a twelvemonth without inconveMr. Wuite thought it necessary to go into a nience; but they ought to consider the situation committee, because there were a number of things of others. We are, said he, keeping the Presimentioned, the reasons for which appeared to him dent here without any provision for his support; very uncertain.
but in this we may think ourselves right, because, Mr. Vining said it was a subject of considera- in his patriotic ardor, his love for his country, he ble delicacy, and he supposed very few gentlemen told us he was willing to pursue that illustrious would be inclined to speak three or four times on example which he set during the period of our a point; yet this was all the advantage gained calamity; he refused compensation for his serby going into a committee. He was no more in-vices. But the Constituion requires that he shall terested than others; every gentleman might receive a compensation, and it is our duty to projudge of his own case, but after it had been vide it. We must also provide something for our before a committee of twelve, in order to get the own expenses, or it may reduce gentlemen not fullest sense of the House upon the subject, he better prepared than I am to depend upon a friend was inclined to receive it without so much cir- for what the public ought to furnish. cumlocution. He observed, that the business had Mr. Vining had said the subject was delicate, originated in a Committee of the Whole, and it but he did not conceive there was any indelicacy was unusual to recommit it without showing in asking or answering questions on this or any some reasons why.
other occasion, where the good of his country was Mr. White gave up his motion for a Commit- concerned. tee of the Whole, and said, before he consented Mr. LAWRENCE did not know whether the sum to the report, he should be glad to know in what proposed was enough for the President or not; style it was expected that the President would but according to the terms of the Constitution, it live. He observed, there was provision for the ought to be granted as one sum, because he is to expenses of a house, furniture, secretaries, clerks, receive no other emolument whatever from the carriages, and horses. Perhaps the sum proposed United States, or either of them. Now, if it is might be too much or too little. He should like declared he shall receive twenty thousand dolto see an estimate of how much was necessary lars, and, exclusive of that sum, we make him an for keeping the table, the equipage, &c., before he allowance for furniture, horses, carriages, &c., decided. He hoped the committee would eluci- such an allowance is an emolument beyond the date this subject.
compensation contemplated in the Constitution; There was another thing he wished to inquire but I have no objection to blend these sums toof them. The Vice President's salary was charged gether, declaring the whole to be the compensaat five thousand dollars ; he could not conceive tion required by the Constitution. Besides, if we upon what principle that sum was reported. Did establish salaries for his secretaries and clerks, we it bear a proportion to his services, or was it in establish them officers of the Government; this proportion to what the members of the Senate and will be improper, because it infringes his right to this House were to be allowed? There is nothing employ a confidential person in the management which obliges him to be attentive to his business of those concerns, for which the Constitution has No doubt but the gentleman who holds that office made him responsible. For these reasons, Mr. at present will be regardful and diligent in exe- L. moved to strike out all that related to horses, cuting the business assigned him; yet there is carriages, furniture, &c. nothing to prevent the Vice President from resi- Mr. SHERMAN thought it much better to give a ding at home and receiving his salary, without net sum, because the President would then have coming within the walls of the Senate-room. no accounts to settle with the United States. The Union is obliged to support him; but I, said Mr. Sedgwick considered this a Constitutional he, would make that support conditional; he question, and therefore thought it deserved serishould have a liberal provision while in public ous investigation. The provision made in the life, but no longer. As to delicacy, I know of report, for paying the expenses of enumerated none, sir, that ought to be used while we are in articles, does not leave the President in the situapursuit of the public good. I speak, there tion intended by the Consti on, which was, with candor what are my sentiments on this sub- that he should be independent of the Legislature ject. Other gentlemen, no doubt, do the same;'during his continuance in office; that he should
Compensation to the President, fc.
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have a compensation for his services, not to be on the same principle, and provide for the rest; increased or diminished during that period; but he was satisfied it should be so, because it could be there is nothing that will prevent us from making no infringement on the Constitution. further allowances, provided that the twenty Mr. LIVERMORE hoped the words would be thousand dollars is all that is given as a compen- struck out; indeed he was sorry they had ever sation. By this construction, one of the most been put in. The clause in the Constitution is salutary clauses in the Constitution will be ren- intended to tie down the Legislature, as well as dered nugatory. From these considerations, he the President; they shall make him no compliwas led to believe that the report was founded on ments while in office, he shall receive nothing but unconstitutional principles.
a fixed compensation for his services. Give him Mr. Baldwin said, the Committee of the Whole, then this compensation, let it be equal to his usewhen the business was before them, had not deter- fulness; but do not direct him to employ so much mined any thing on this point; that, consequently, to one use, and so much to another; it cannot be the select committee were to frame a report upon called a compensation when you direct how it is such principles as they judged proper. * In order to be expended; besides, it was wrong on another then to have every thing distinct and accurate, account; why should we pretend to direct him in they had brought their opinion forward in the the style in which he shall live ? Let him have a form it now appears.
If it be deemed proper to salary, and expend it in the manner he shall think grant an aggregate sum, the House would no proper. doubt add to the twenty thousand dollars what it Mr. Page was for striking out all the words, was supposed these expenses would amount to. because he conceived it would be against the
However, he did not think the Constitution spirit of the Constitution. It would be much was infringed; it was intended that the compen- more handsome to make one general provision, sation should not be increased or diminished, than to be thus particular in enumerating the artiduring the President's continuance in office. Now cles of expense. It has been hinted, that these it might be as well fixed, by making the allow- articles of expense would amount to half the sum ance in part money, and part furniture, &c., as mentioned in the report to be given as a compenby declaring a precise sum; it will still be a stated sation; if so, he would propose to strike out all compensation.
that related to the subject, and to insert twentyMr. Tucker thought furniture and plate ought five or thirty thousand, as the House shall deem always to be provided by Government, because, if most eligible. it was necessary for every new President to buy Mr. STONE thought the President ought to be these articles, it might put him to great inconve- at liberty to live in any style he thought proper, nience, unless he received a year's salary in ad- and that the House ought to give him such comvance; besides, when he retired from his situa- pensation as they thought his services merited. tion, they would not sell for half the first cost. If you furnish him with a house, horses, and carHe therefore wished this part of the report to riages, you declare that this is the house, the stand, together with the rent of a house ; but horses, and the carriages which he shall use. would join in striking out all the rest.
There is certainly some degree of indelicacy in Mr. Madison did not think the report inter- this; if he was a private gentleman, he would be fered with either the spirit or letter of the Consti- at liberty to use such as he liked best. Suppose tution, and therefore was opposed to any altera- he dislikes them, and will not have them, he is tion, especially with respect to the property of a guilty of a breach of the law; is it intended by the fixed nature. He was sure, if the furniture and House to impeach him for it? I apprehend it is plate, and house rent, could be allowed, some of not, for no part of the Constitution gives us a the other articles might also. The horses and right to dictate to him on this head. He would carriages will cost money, and sell for little, after rather let the President set the example how he being used for four years; this will be a certain ought to live, than to see the Legislature direct loss to the President, or his family; besides, the him. Economy is by no means disadvantageous House have already undertook to defray expenses to the United States; if the President chooses to of this kind, and so set a precedent for the enume- live in an economical manner, we ought not to ration which had been reported.
prevent him. Mr. White said, if a certain sum was assigned Mr. Vining thought, as the President was the for the expenses, the report would be better; but representative of the nation, that there ought to as it now stood, there was no certainty in it. One be a proper degree of dignity attached to the President might circumscribe it to a quarter part office; he did not wish for splendor, but hoped to of the expense another would; consequently, the avoid the appearance of penury. If he was right compensation could not be fixed.
in this opinion, the House had a right to show He admitted the propriety of paying the salary what they expected of the President, and, consein advance for the first year, as mentioned by the quently, had a right to enter into the enumeration gentleman from South Carolina. He expected proposed in the report, and establish a uniform this would be sufficient to defray the extra ex- rule of conduct in the Presidential chair. penses without subjecting the President to any in- With respect to its Constitutionality, his mind convenience.
was perfectly easy, the Constitution appeared to Mr. Boudinot.-If the Legislature may pro- be silent; if so, the House had the right of intervide the house and furniture, they may go further fering. He wondered how gentlemen could agree