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[JARUARY 7, 1833.
deavor to alleviate it as far as possible. But if there was no foundation for it; if you discovered that it was merely one portion of the Union demanding that which belonged to the whole; if there was no just ground for complaint, would you, to gratify this murmuring portion of the Union, give to it that which was the property of all? Would you behave like the weak and foolish parent, who, seeing one child crying for the bauble which another possessed, would unjustly take it away from the posses: sor, and, by giving it to the other, set the one who had been bereaved crying also? Would you allay discontent, if discontent existed in a new State, by raising a more formidable and greater discontent in the other States? And would you not do this, if youadopted the partial, narrow scheme of distribution which was proposed by the substitute of the Committee on Public Lands? Beware, Mr. President, on this, as on other great subjects of contention, that you do not shift the theatre of discontent. It becomes us to take care that we do not raise a storm full of menace, not only to the integrity of the Union, but to every great interest of the country. He could not conceive a more happy disposition of the proceeds of the public lands, than that which was provided by this bill. It was supposed that five years would be neither too long nor too short a period for a fair experiment. In case a war should break out, we may withdraw from its peaceful destination a sum of from two and a half to three and a half millions of dollars per annum, and apply it to a vigorous prosecution of the war—a sum which would pay the interest on sixty millions of dollars, which might be required to sustain the war, and a sum which is constantly and progressively increasing. It proposes, now that the General Government has no use for the money, now that the surplus treasure is really a source of vexatious embarrassment to us, and gives rise to a succession of projects, to supply for a short time a fund to the States which want our assistance, to advance to them that which we do not want, and which they will apply to great beneficial national purposes; and, should war take place, to divert it to the vigorous support of the war; and, when it ceases, to apply it again to its peaceful purposes. And thus we may grow, from time to time, with a fund which will endure for centuries, and which will augment with the growth of the nation aiding the States in seasons of peace, and sustaining the General Government in periods of war. The bill proposes to nurse and preserve this fund, to apply it when wanted to the purposes of the General Government; and when its application is made to the States, what are the objects? The honorable Senator complains about colonization; and asks what interest Illinois has in it? He (Mr. C.) was somewhat surprised at the question. “He supposed every part of the Union was interested in the humane object of colonizing the free blacks. He supposed that }. part were exempt from the evils of a mixed population, it would still not be indifferent to the prosperity of less favored portions. The darkest spot in the map of our country is undoubtedly the condition of the African race. And every benevolent and patriotic mind must hope that at some distant day it will be effaced. Colonization has opened the only practicable scheme which, by draining first the country of free blacks, and then, either by the authority of the States, or by individual emancipation of those now held in slavery, holds out a hope of the ultimate deliverance of our country from this great evil. Suppose that, fifty or a hundred years hence, the country could be entirely rid of this African race; would the gentleman from Illinois—would any gentleman —say that he should be indifferent to such an auspicious result? In his judgment, if the people of the United States were ready to unite heartily in any practical scheme, if there could be one devised, by which this country could be delivered from all portions of the African race amongst us, both free and bond, it would be the
happiest of all events for the Union. But why did the gentleman from Illinois restrict his view to this single point? The bill did not confine the States to colonization. What was the bill? It presented three great objects for the consideration of the States, out of which they were at liberty freely to select. It proposed colonization, education, and internal improvement, in the reimbursement of such debts as may have been incurred for internal improvements in the States. The gentleman objects to this latter clause. But, Mr. C. would ask, why those States which have gone ahead in the cause of internal improvement, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio, should not be allowed to rid themselves of the debts which they may have contracted? If they had outstripped the other States, why should they be required to remain under burdensome debts, and engage in new objects, perhaps not wanted. With regard to education and internal improvement, these are objects in which all parts of the Union are interested. Education and internal improvement in any part of the Union are objects which affect, more or less, the interests of all other parts of the Union. There was a restriction upon the States. They were not left without limitation. The fund was directed according to the views of Congress, and the States were not left unrestricted as to its application. They were required to apply it to one of three great objects, in which all parties were interested, as objects of national importance. Thus it had been shown that, according to the plan of the bill, the fund was to be applied, in times of peace, for the benefit of the States which may stand in instant need of the means which the General Government does not want, for the improvement of their moral and physical condition; and in war, the fund was to be resumed, and applied to the general objects of the war. Thus, it was to be applied, in peace or war, and, according to the provision in the various acts of cession, the great object of the common benefit of all the States would be kept in view. This ample resource would be preserved for all the vicissitudes to which this nation may be exposed; and we should be enabled, if free from war for twenty or thirty years, to acomplish most of the great objects of internal improvement, in the completion of which the country feels an interest, should the States determine so to apply it. But there was another and the greatest object of all connected with the passage of this bill, to which, in conclusion of this part of the subject, he was desirous to refer. He alluded to the effect of this measure on the durability of our Union. He hoped he should not be mistaken when he made the suggestion, that, above all former periods in this country, this was the moment when it was most imperative upon every American statesman to bend all the efforts of his mind to the infusion of new vigor into the Union. It was a melancholy fact, that in all parts of the country the sentiment of union .. to have been greatly weakened. It was a melancholy fact that there was every where springing up, daily and hourly, an apprehension of insecurity, a fear that our republic cannot last, that it is destined to premature dissolution. He did not speak of one part of the Union, but of all parts. This was a policy which unhappily prevailed. Whatever course could restore confidence, produce harmony, create a new attachment to the Union in all its parts, and which could prevent the greatest calamity that could befal this people, ought to receive the favorable attention of the Legislature. He would ask if there was any project conceivable by man which was better calculated to strengthen the Union than the bill which was now on the table? What was it? It proposed that a sum amounting to about three millions of dollars, and annually increasing, which, twenty years hence may be
six millons, and forty years hence twelve millions, the Jasvaar 7, 1833.] Public
source from which the fund is drawn being specifically ceded or acquired for the benefit of the whole Union, shall be annually and parentally distributed by this Government through the whole confederacy, amongst all parts of it, for the purpose of improving the moral and physical condition of the whole. Let this project go into operation: let all the States be satisfied that it will last as long as the fund from which it is to be distributed, as long as the almost exhaustless public domain shall continue, and we shall cement this Union by the strongest of ties for five hundred years to come. What State will then be disposed to go out of the confederacy, and sacrifice the great advantages administered by this Government? -What State in the Union will be disposed to give up the advantage of this annual dividend, with all the rich fruits which are to result from the improved moral and physical condition of its people, and go forth in its forlorn, weak, and destitute condition, an outcast without hope, the scorn of its neighbors, an object of contempt with foreign powers, and exposed to thes insults of the meanest of them, and even to the aggressions of lawless pirates? Pass this bill, and satisfy the States of this confederacy that this fund, which is constantly increasing, is to be applied forever, in time of peace, to them, for the great objects which are specified, and, in time of war, to free them from that taxation which would be incident to a state of war—my life (said Mr. C.) on the sufficiency of the security which this would present for the continuance of the Union. No section, no State, will be found so lost to its own interest, as to be induced to cut itself loose, and to abandon its participation forever in this rich and growing resoutce. One or two words on the question immediately before the Senate, and he would conclude. That question was to substitute a new proposition, by adopting the amendment proposed by the Committee on the Public Lands, in lieu of the other bill. And what was this new project? It was at one stroke to cut down three-fifths of the revenue derived from the public lands. The minimum price of these lands is now $1 25 per acre, and it is proposed to reduce it to fifty cents per acre, on all the lands which remain unsold at public auction. It thus proposes, by a single provision, to take three-fifths from this fund; and what does it propose to do afterwards? - [Here Mr. C. read a clause from the bill of the committee.] Now this was not a project for the poor. No such thing. Any man, without any regard to the amount of his wealth, or his condition, may settle down on the lands, and acquire a right to them by five years' cultivation; but he has to settle upon the lands. By the proclamation issued by the King of Great Britain in the year 1763, and afterwards by the Royal Colonial Governments, and by several of the States which subsequently became independent, this condition of cultivation has been required to perfect the title to waste land; and yet, invariably, as far as his knowledge went, this provision had been dispensed with, or been considered a mere nullity. There were various kinds of settlements formerly required by Vir. ginia. [Here Mr. C. specified the various conditions, but was not distinctly heard.] She required that the individual should settle on the land. Now, what did they do? They went on the lands, and put up a small cabin, somewhat resembling those which are set up in Kentucky as traps to catch wild turkeys, and this was considered an improvement! Well, with regard to the cultivation of the soil; sometimes they turned up the earth and planted a few hills of corn; and this was considered cultivation. The settlers gained their object, and there was no attempt to exact a too rigid observance of the conditions. No onc sat down upon
his property with a view to make it bis permanent resi
dence. Now, at this moment, old James Masterton, who lives near Lexington, and is eighty years old, excepted, he did not recollect a single individual, or the descendants of any individual, who had remained on the lands which they had originally settled. ' The settlers acquired their lands, made their entries, and then disposed of them for bear skins, rifles, or any other marketable commodity. With regard to the settlement and the cultivation of the soil, in the project of the committee, there is no specification of any in provement required; there is no condition for the cultivation of any specific quantity, nor in any defined mode. What does the amendment propose? It allows any man, whether rich or poor, to acquire the right of settling the land, by paying fifty cents an acre. Here is a man who will send one son, or substitute, to set up a cabin and cultivate half an acre on one side of his farm; another, who may set out his potatoes, cy plant some corn, and raise a few pumpkins on the other side, and so on, to acquire their patents; and they will afterwards find their way into the market, and be sold as cheap as military patents have been sold at the brokers’ on Pennsylvania Avenue. How many of the soldiers, during the late war, are now to be found residing on their lands? All their patents were disposed of for a mere song, and go into the hands of speculators in our great cities. He had heard of a single individual in New York, holding at this moment a principality in Illinois, and who is retarding the settlement of that part of the country by holding up the lands at an extravagant price. Land is not the only want of man; he must have money to meet his necessities, and gratify his pleasures; and many have less inclination to the occupations of agriculture than to other pursuits. He regretted that every man did not appreciate farming as he did. But it is impossible to change the characters of men. Many who are eager for land desire it not for the purpose of cultivation, but will part with it as soon as they have nominally complied with the conditions which the laws prescribe. He objected to the amendment, because its benefits were not confined to the poor settlers, and on account of its inequality. What chance would the people of Virginia, Kentucky, New York, or Pennsylvania, stand with the people of Illinois, who were well acquainted with the vacant land around them? We had been told by the President, as well as by the gentleman from Illinois, that population is more important to the country than land; and the sentiment is undoubtedly true. It should be recollected, however, that the mere transfer of population from one section of the country, or from one part of a State to another, adds nothing to the sum total. If it be so important to augment and not to shift the population of the United States, the privilege of settlement should be held out to foreigners, to induce them to come hers and increase our numbers. When Georgia distributed her lands by a lottery, although one man might obtain more lands than he possessed before, it produced no increase in the population of the State. It was not a shifting, but an increasing population which was desirable. He wished that our country was densely populated, from the shores of the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean, and that all were endowed with our principles and love of liberty, and our devotion to human rights. But he could not, because he felt this sentiment, consent to be caught by a project which, altogether delusive, whilst its tendency is to sacrifice the public domain, leaves the total amount of our population identically the same. Pass the amendment of the committee, and the lands will be swept by those who are on the spot; but the population will remain precisely as it is now. The scheme, while it would destroy the public domain, would engender speculation, and lead to numerous frauds and evasions; and, while fraught with palpable injustice to the people in all other parts of the Union, would be found to be far
Public Lands.--Documents, &c.-South Carolina Resolutions. [JAN. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1833. less conducive to the prosperity of the new States than the obtaining copies of their own papers. It was therefore proposed distribution of the proceeds of the lands. considered right to cause the expense of making authenti
He had not intended, when he came into the Senate, to cated copies to be paid by the Government. make more than a very few observations; and regretted Mr. HOLMES expressed regret that the committee that he had been induced to take up so much time. He had come to this conclusion, and that they could not hoped, however, that the Senate would excuse the length reconcile it to their sense of duty to intrust these into which he had been betrayed by the deep feeling papers into the hands of a commissioner. He would inwhich he entertained of the vast importance of the sub- quire of the chairman of the committee whether any ject which was now under consideration, resulting from a trouble had been taken to ascertain if authenticated cothorough conviction that no measure which does not em- pies of the documents could be received as evidence by brace the interests of all the people of the United States the commissioners under the French treaty, while the ought to receive the favorable consideration of Congress. originals were in existence? He thought it doubtful whe. He trusted that the Senate would reject the amendment, ther such copies would be received as sufficient, while and settle forever, on the basis of comprehensive equity the originals were to be had. He believed that such also proposed by this bill, this important question, which, if was the opinion of the clerk of this commission, with not speedily and permanently settled, was more likely to whom he had had some conversation on the subject. He produce dissension throughout the country than any other wished to know if there had been a discussion of this point subject which at this time pressed itself upon the conside in the committee. ration of Congress.
Mr. FORSYTH replied that this point had not been In conclusion, he should only invoke the Senate to ex-discussed. It had, he presumed, been taken for granted tend to his bill the same favor which it had received at that authenticated copies of the documents, made under the last session.
the authority of an act of Congress, would be taken as The Senate then adjourned.
sufficient evidence before any tribunal. The removal of
the documents from the State Department could not take TUESDAY, JANUARY 8.
place without a violation of the existing treaty with Spain; The sitting to-day was occupied principally in acting and if they were removed, whenever a new treaty was on sundry appropriation bills, and on executive business, made, they might be found travelling throughout the
country, from hand to hand, and might, not without diffiWEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9.
culty, be replaced in the department. After disposing of various private bills, the Senate re
The resolution was then agreed to. sumed the subject of the
The Senate then proceeded to the special order of the Mr. BIBB addressed the Senate about an hour and a day, being the bill to appropriate for a limited time the half on the subject, when he yielded to a motion for ad- proceeds of the public lands, &c. journment.
The question being on the amendment reported by the
Committee on the Public Lands-
Mr. BIBB resumed the remarks which he commenced
yesterday, and concluded them. DOCUMENTS IN THE STATE DEPARTMENT.
The question was then about to be taken, when The following resolution offered yesterday, by Mr. Mr. KANE suggested that a gentleman who wished to FORSYTH, was taken up:
address the Senate was now absent, and he would, to Resolved, That the Committee on Finance be instructed give him an opportunity to be present, move to lay the to provide, by appropriation, for the employment of bill on the table for the present. temporary clerks in the Department of State, to furnish, The motion was subsequently withdrawn, and, after during the continuance of the commission under the treaty some conversation, a motion, submitted by Mr. BIBB, to of indemnity with France, authenticated copies of such postpone the further consideration of the bill and amend. of the documents and vouchers deposited in that depart. ment, and to make it the special order for tomorrow, ment, according to the stipulations of the treaty of 1819, was agreed to. with Spain, as may be required by individuals, or by the After executive business--adjourned. commission for the elucidation of claims under the said treaty with France.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 11. Mr. FORSYTH briefly explained that this subject had been sent to the Committee on Foreign Relations by a
SOUTH CAROLINA RESOLUTIONS. resolution which was offered by the Senator from Maine Mr. MILLER presented certain resolutions of the Le(Mr. HOLMES.) The committee had considered the sub- gislature of South Carolina, in reply to the proclamation ject, and in a conversation with the head of the State of the President, viz: Department, he had received the assurance from the Se Resolved, That the power vested by the constitution cretary, that the department had every disposition to ren- and laws in the President of the United States to issue der such facilities to the individuals interested, as would his proclamation does not authorize him in that mode to be within its sphere of duty and its means; but that it had interfere, whenever he may think fit, in the affairs of the not the power to permit the original documents to be respective States, or that he should use it as a means of taken from the department, or the dispensable labor promulgating Executive exposition of the constitution, which would be necessary to make the requisite copies. with the sanction of force; thus superseding the action of The committee, on consideration, had deemed that they the other departments of the General Government. could not, consistently with the contract made with Spain, Resolved, That it is not competent to the President of authorize the removal of the documents. 'They there- the United States to order, by proclamation, the constifore directed their attention to the best mode of obtaining tuted authorities of a State to repeal their legislation; authenticated copies, which would be sufficient for the and that the late attempt of the President to do so is unpurposes of the claimants. The clerks in the department constitutional, and manifests a disposition to arrogate and were too fully occupied to permit their labor to be trans- exercise a power utterly destructive of liberty. ferred to this object; and it was deemed unjust to throw Resolved, that the opinions of the President in regard on the claimants themselves the expense of making or to the rights of the States are erroneous and dangerous,
JAN. 11, 12, 1833.]
South Carolina Resolutions.—Public Lands.
leading not only to the establishment of a consolidated Government in the stead of our free confederacy, but the concentration of all power in the chief Executive. Resolved, That each State of this Union has the right, whenever it may deem such course necessary for the preservation of its liberty, or vital interest, to secede peaceably from the Union; and that there is no constitutional power in the General Government, much less in the Executive Department of that Government, to retain by force such State in the Union. Resolved, That the primary and paramount allegiance of the citizens of this State, native or adopted, is of right due to this State. Resolved, That the declaration of the President of the United States, in his said proclamation, of his personal feelings and retaliations towards the State of South Carolina, is rather an appeal to the loyalty of subjects than to the patriotism of citizens; and is a blending of official and individual character heretofore unknown in our state papers, and revolting to our concentions of political propriety. Resolved, That the undisguised indulgence of personal hostility in the said proclamation would be unworthy the animadversions of this Legislature, but for the solemn i. official form of the instrument which is made its veticle. Resolved, That the principal doctrines and purposes contained in the said proclamation are inconsistent with any just idea of a limited Government, and subversive of the rights of the States and the liberties of the people; and, if submitted to in silence, would lay a broad foundation for the establishment of monarchy. Ilesolved, That while this Legislature has witnessed with sorrow such a relaxation of the spirit of our institutions, that a President of the United States dares venture upon this high-handed measure, it regards with indignation the menaces which are directed against it, and the concentration of a standing army on our borders; that the State will repel force by force, and, relying on the blessing of God, will maintain its liberty at all hazards. * Resolved, That copies of these resolutions be sent to our Members of Congress, to be laid before that body. The resolutions were read and laid on the table, and ordered to be printed.
The Senate then proceeded to the consideration of the bill to appropriate, for a limited time, the proceeds of the public lands, &c. Mr. BUCKNER, who was entitled to the floor, assigned indisposition as a reason for asking further indulgence, and moved to postpone the bill and amendment, and make it the special order for to-morrow. Mr. CLAY objected to the postponement, as there would be other opportunities for the gentleman from Missouri to be heard before the final disposition of the bill. if the gentleman would permit it to be engrossed, he would himself consent to put off the question on its passage, until the gentleman should have had an opportunity to make his observations. Mr. BUCKNER stated that his object would be defeated by that course, as he wished to be heard against the engrassment. After a few remarks from Mr. POINDEXTER and Mr. FORSYTH, the question was put on the motion to postpone, and decided as follows: YEAs.-Messrs. Benton, Bibb, Black, Brown, Buckner, Calhoun, Dallas, Forsyth, Grundy, Hendricks, Hill, Kane, King, Mangum, Miller, Moore, Rives, Robinson, Ruggles, Smith, Tipton, Tyler, White, Williams—24. Nars —Messrs. Bell, Chambers, Clay, Clayton, Dudo, Ewing, Foot, Frelinghuysen, Holmes, Johnston, Knight, Naudain, Poindexter, Prentiss, Robbins, SeyVol. IX.--6
mour, Silsbee, Sprague, Tomlinson, Waggaman, Webster——21. So the motion to postpone was agreed to.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 12.
A bill granting a township of land to each of the States of Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Alabama, for the promotion of female education, was taken up in Committee of the Whole. Mr. EWING moved to amend the bill, by inserting the State of Ohio before the State of Indiana, which was agreed to. The bill was then reported to the Senate, and the amendment was concurred in. Mr. CLAY moved to lay the bill on the table for the present, which was agreed to.—Yeas 19, nays 12.
The Senate then passed to the consideration of the special order of the day, being the bill to appropriate, for a limited time, the proceeds of the sales of the public lands, &c. The question being on the amendment proposed by the Committee on Public Lands, substituting a bill to reduce the price of the public lands:
Mr. BUCKNER rose and remarked, that he was thankful to the Senate for the kindness shown him in having postponed this subject on his account, and, though he felt his health somewhat improved, yet he felt both unwilling and unprepared, from bodily debility, to engage in this discussion; nor would he do so, was he not impelled by a deep sense of duty to his constituents. He had waited for others, abler than himself to do justice to the subject, to lead in the debate. The subject had been so ably and so frequently debated heretofore, that he apprehended Senators had generally formed their opinions upon it. He was not so vain as to believe he could shed much new light on the question, whereby to convince any one, or to change the opinion of any one already formed. He would, therefore, endeavor to avoid fatiguing the Senate, by travelling over the ground heretofore occupicq by those who had preceded him. He did not speak for the paltry purpose of being heard either, or of making a display, but because he considered it a question of great interest to his immediate constituents, to all the new States, and the whole American people: and he knew his constituents to be alive to this interest. His object was faithfully to represent them, and to convince the whole American people that, though we may fail in our wishes, yet that we are not ignorant of our rights, and that the fear of failure shall not dismay us from the attempt to assert and maintain them, and to assure those who oppose us that we shall continue to press them until justice be done us. He considered the bill, as reported by the Committee on Manufactures, which is the bill now introduced by the Senator from Kentucky, to contain principles not only hostile to the interest of the new States, but deleterious to the welfare and prosperity of the whole nation. He proposed,
1. To consider the bill.
2. To review some of the arguments urged in support of it.
3. To consider the proposed amendment.
4. To notice the argument of the Senator from Kentucky (Mr. CLAY) against the amendment, and also his argument in support of the bill.
I am opposed (said Mr. B.) to the bill, because I consider it unequal, unjust, and unconstitutional; unequal, and consequently unjust, because the sums of money heretofore appropriated and applied to the use of the old States are much greater than those sums applied to the use of the new States. See, sir, what has been appropriated for the erection of light-houses, breakwater improvements of the ports and harbors, for SENATE.]
[JAN, 12, 1833.
fortifications, for the benefit of those old States, and likewise for the internal improvement of those same States. Then see, sir, what sums, I may say from the date of this Government, have, from time to time, not only been laid out and expended for the benefit of the old States, but see how the citizens of those States have been benefited by circulating those vast sums among them. Now, also, look to the great sums that are paid to the people of those States as officers of the General Government; not less than five hundred thousand dollars yearly are paid from the treasury in this way to the State of New York, and seventy thousand to the State of Maine, and all the other old States in like proportion. Now, see how much has been paid in this way to the new States—how much has been paid to Missouri. I invite gentlemen just to turn over their documents, and they will see all this. Before this distribution is made, this thing ought to be equalized; if it is a matter of contract, if we consider this as a settlement of partnership account, (and, indeed, so it has been treated by its friends,) the account ought to be fairly stated from the commencement of the firm. Then we ought to go back to the date of the Government, and see what was put in stock, who has drawn out, and then make a sair dividend of the stock on hand. This bill does not do this, but, without any just rule, arbitrarily says, each shall have so much. This bill makes no allowance for the future increase of the population of the new States; this it should do. Our population is increasing every day, whilst that of the old States is stationary. Our territory is much greater than that of the old States; and in this the provision of the bill bears no just proportion. It is the territory, it is the face of the country, that we ought to improve; and where there is greatest need for improvement, there ought the greatest sums to be applied. But this is not the case under this bill. Little Delaware gets within one share of the same amount that Missouri gets, when many of the counties in Missouri are larger than all Delaware, and need as much improvement; and every other State, though most of them are much smaller in district, gets as much and more than Missouri, under the provisions of this bill. It is clear, from this view of the subject, that there is no system of equality and justice in the bill. This bill contemplates the establishment of a great system of internal improvements, to be carried on by the proceeds of the public lands; and the new States furnish the whole sum, (the lands being in those States.) And yet those who have the most land, and will contribute most to this great scheme, will get less. The people of the new States will never be content with this; for, talk as you may, you never can make them believe they have no superior claim, much less will you make them believe they have less claim than the old States, as this bill clearly asserts. Apart from all other considerations, the location of these lands amongst us (protected as they are by the different acts of Congress forced upon the new States) embarrasses these States, and operates greatly to their dis. advantage; and besides, the constant improvement of the country in which they lie, by the citizens of these States, enhances the value of the public domain thus proposed to be parcelled out by the bill. And are we to have nothing in consideration of all this? But the Senator says, we get seventeen and one-half per cent. more than the old States. Was there ever a greater delusion (to use no stronger word) than this? . Sir, let us examine this bounty, and its virtue fades before the power of truth and justice. Now, sir, five per cent., which is part of this seventeen and one-half, is actually the right of the new States now, under former compacts palmed, I will say, on us, when we were minors, before we were allowed to come into the Union; although, by treaty and compact, we had a right to come in without conditions. And what were the conditions extorted from us? Sir, we were compelled to surrender the right to tax the lands of the United States;
and, not content with this, we were still compelled to surrender the right of the State to tax the land sold to individuals for five years after the sale; and we were required never to assert the right of the States to the lands within their limits. It required that those new States should never interfere with the primary right of these United States to dispose of the soil. Thus, you see, we paid dear enough for the five per cent. But, sir, we get, say the friends to this bill, an additional advantage of twelve and a half per cent. Now, sir, look at the provisions of the bill, and the favor it confers on other States, and the losses and inconveniences the new States sustain; and this great boon sinks into contempt—its inequality and injustice arc manifest. This bill contains another principle which is excessively odious to me. It asserts the doctrine that the General Government have a right, and ought, to direct and control the funds of the States. In this it is disrespectful to the sovereignty of the States. If we grant this, let the States dispose of them to their minds, and let not Congress dictate to them; it corrupts and demoralizes the habits of the people, by tempting them to idleness, and begetting the habit of looking to the treasury for money, and the means of living—creating the habit, on the part of candidates for seats in the Legislatures and Congress, of making vain, corrupt, and improper moneyed promises to the people; thus destroying the freedom and purity of elections, and substituting a hope of pecuniary reward for correct principle and patriotism; thus polluting the pure streams of legislation, by producing a scramble, first, here for the money, and then in the State Legislature for its appropriation. Every neighborhood will want it, and that which can give the most votes to a candidate will get it: thus the strongest neighborhood, and not the most destitute and needy, will get the appropriation of the money; and not the poor but the rich will be aided by this fund, for all objects of schools and internal improvements; this must inevitably be the case; and the most influential leaders of religious societies will get the colonial amount. But, Mr. President, anyopr all of this amount can be applied to any” or all of the three objects specified. Does not every one see that these three interests will eternally be warring with each other for the whole amount? The fanatics will want all for the colony of Liberia; the friends to internal improvement will want it all applied to objects of internal improvement, whilst others will say, let us have schools; and thus you will see, in all sections, a bitter war between them for the money. Can it be good policy to create such a source of strife in society, which must pervade all neighborhoods, and destroy all social harmony? Sir, the bill is delusive—is well calculated to deceive and to captivate the people. Whilst it presents the cup of hope, yet within is contained the gilded pill of bitterness and death: it is deceptive, and offers favor and benefits that are not real, whilst it professes to bestow moneyed favors on the people. Yet, the truth is, that the people are actually paying a tax to make the sum thus pretended to be bestowed. I am opposed to this mode of legislating; we ought not to do an act which may mislead and deceive the people; all our acts should be open, so that the people, who have a right to review our work, may see and understand what we have done. Sir, there is another principle in the bill very mischievous in its consequences, which is this: it is well calculated to disturb the quiet and peaceable enjoyment of a certain description of property in the slave-holding States. Does not every one in those States know, that the more those unfortunate beings are tantalized with a hope of emancipation, the more ungovernable they are, and, consequently, the more wretched they are? If we then furnish the means, do we not invite the intermeddling by fanatics with those people? and will this not be an evil greatly to be dreaded? and wherever there are many fiee