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Jax. 12, 1833.]
blacks, there always the slave is less manageable, and his condition will be imbittered by harsher treatment. Is not a free black population the worst of all others in our country? Suppose, then, you by this bill furnish the means; will not many be purchased and emancipated? and after they are, who has the power to say they shall go out of the country? If they choose to stay among us, how can we get rid of them? Look, sir, only at what we see every day in this city for a proof of what I say. Sir, this bill is unconstitutional, because in no part of the constitution of the United States is the power expressly given or impliedly given to Congress to use the revenue of the nation for the support of an African colony, or for the benefit of any foreign power, or for any other purpose than the general welfare of the American people. Sir, what will your constituents and mine say, when they come to understand that they are paying a heavy tax to support a parcel of free negroes and adventurous clergymen in Liberia? If we are exonerated from the payment of a tax here at home within our own limits for the support of a church, why shall we be compelled to do it without our own limits? (at Liberia, in Africa.) Is this the liberty of conscience secured to the people under the constitution of these United States? Where, I repeat, is the power to be found within that instrument, sanctified and consecrated to liberty by the blood and sufferings of our illustrious ancestors? Shall we so soon disregard the obligations of the constitution, and view with indifference the high value of that rich inheritance, when we, and we alone, can boast of having descended from those mighty men whom God had chosen as his peculiar instruments, with whom to demonstrate his power, before the children of men? Sir, it was a peculiar demonstration of power and goodness, such as age or country never witnessed before. I am aware, sir, that it will be said I mistake the object of the colony; that it is not to establish a church there, but only to afford an asylum to those unhappy people (the free blacks.) I understand all that, sir, and I also understand what description of people are engaged on this project; and I ask whether there is not a strict re-ligious discipline kept up there, and whether the liberty of conscience is enjoyed there? Sir, I will not dwell upon this part of the subject. I am not opposed to this colony; I am only unwilling to see an unconstitutional appropriation of money for its benefit; and I would have this same objection to any other object, if I thought the step to be unconstitutional. I know, sir, I will be answered with the assertion that the States will do this: that it is the act of the States, and not the United States; but sir, this is not true; the principle is qui facit per aliem se. So, if the United States order it, then it is the act of the United States. Now, sir, how does this matter stand? The States are enjoined to do this thing by an act of Congress, and they are furnished with the funds; the States are only the instruments to execute the wish of Congress. Then it is not the act of the States, but the United States; and if we lack the power to do this ourselves, we cannot give it to the States. Sir, we cannot convey a right which we do not possess. All the right and ability which the States have, are derived from the General Government. But if the States have this right already, why shall we attempt to give what they do not need? If, then, the right in the General Government is imperfect, the grant from her to the States of that imperfect right must be unavoidably imperfect. The Senator from Kentucky, who sits furthest from me, [Mr. Clay,] said, in reply to a call from my honorable friend and neighbor, the Senator from Illinois, who sits nearest on my right, [Mr. KANE, that the power to make this distribution is to be found in the deed of cession, and in the opinion of the President. I know of no such opinion ever expressed by the President, and, judging from the course that Senator [Mr. CLAy] takes, I should sup
pose the President had not expressed such an opinion. But, he says, the power is in the deed of cession: this is a broad answer, and amounts to none at all; he has fired at the whole world, and missed it too. Will the Senator quote that part, if any, of the deed of cession, which gives this power? can he put his finger on the page or place where I could find it? I confess I never saw it, often as I have looked for it. Its inequality makes it unconstitutional; this system contemplates to continue that inequality which now exists between the old and the new States, though it is the duty of Congress to remove this injustice, and put all on an equal footing, expressly made so by the terms of the treaties and deeds of cession under which these lands are held. The constitution declares that the constitution of the United States, and treaties made under it, &c. shall be the paramount law of the land. Then any law against a treaty made by virtue of the constitution is void and unconstitutional. In the land laws of the United States, page 43, we have this provision in the treaty with the republic of France, which ceded Louisiana to the United States: “The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States, and admitted as soon as possible, according to the principles of the federal constitution, to the full enjoyment of all the rights, advantages, and immunities of citizens of the United States.” The words in this paragraph are pregnant with much meaning and force. Mark you, sir, the inhabitants of Louisiana (the territory ceded by that treaty, and the people, to whom its protection extends) were to be incorporated into the Union; they were to be made an equal part of the body of the Union of the United States, in the full enjoyment of all the rights, advantages, and immunities of citizens of the United States; and this was to be done as soon as possible. Now, sir, what is the duty of the Government under these terms of the treaty? The word possible is an expression of great import. As soon as possible these people were to be put into the full enjoyment of all the rights of citizens of the United States. Had we under this treaty any power to delay or refuse to do this? Have we any right to take any step, which mecessarily produces delay? Is this a true interpretation to the admission as soon as possible of these people into the full enjoyment of all these rights, on equal terms with citizens of other States, as guarantied to them by the terms of the treaty? They have, it is true, been admitted into the Union; but are there not other rights which the old States enjoy, which those new States do not? If there be such rights in the old States, then they are not equal with the old States, and the terms of the treaty are not yet complied with; and, I ask, are we not bound to remedy this inequality? If we are, how can we pass this law, which disregards this obligation by postponing the rightful enjoyment of those equal privileges? Sir, there are rights which other States have, and important ones too, which the new States have not. All the old States have jurisdiction over all their citizens, and all the property, real and personal, and tax it for the support of the Government of the State; but we in the new States have not this right, nor have we the right fully to legislate over all the property in the State, for public purposes; the public land being exempt from taxation, and from the legislative action of the State. This bill being calculated, not to remove these embarrassments, but to continue them continues an inequality among the States, and is therefore unconstitutional. But how, it will be asked, are we to remove this inequality? I answer, reduce the price of lands to a fair value; let them pass into the hands of the citizens, subject to taxation; and then, and then only, will the States be equal. By the bill, and the report which accompanied this bill last session, it is admitted that the money is not needed by the Government for revenue
purposes; for by both the money is proposed to be given
(Jax. 12, 1833.
away. Why not then reduce the price of lands? But and so did I; but where is that now? Its binding efficacy no; rather than do this, or reduce the tariff, we will has gone, and it is with great difficulty that, with the supsquander the whole proceeds of the public lands. Sir, 'port of many of the ablest men in the nation, it is kept does not every body see that this is a tariff measure in alive. I hope it may survive: I will give it my hearty asdisguise? Do we not see that whatever of revenue is sistance. But, sir, how is it expected that this bill, which raised by the sales of the public lands, that amount will is the ricketty, ill-bred stripling and descendant of this be taken off the protected articles? Then to throw away aged, sickly, sinking sire, can do more than the parent these three millions, raised from the public lands, will be could in its meridian strength? Sir, this bill cannot give to add that amount to the protected articles, and thus content, but must widen the breach among the people; keep up the tariff and the lands too; and an attempt we ought not to legislate thus against the will and interest to do so is a strong argument against the tariff.
of the people, though that will and interest be a minority. I am not opposed to the tariff
, nor do I object to this The majority ought to rule, it is true; yet they should almeasure because it will benefit the tariff; but I will not do ways exercise their power and right respectfully, and with an indirect thing; I will not consent to see every interest a due regard to the interests of the minority; otherwise in the country sucked into the vortex of the tariff, and made we act not as freemen, passing laws for the government of subservient to it; nor will I consent to see any one interest freemen, but as so many tyrants, regardless of the rights control every other in the land. Sir, when the tariff of those we govern. Virtuous monarchs respect the feel comes up, I will act on that as becomes a member of this ings and interests of those they govern; and shall that mabody; I will then vote as my judgment directs, and stand jority which governs a free people do less? openly before my constituents, and the whole American How, sir, can this bill give contentment to those oppospeople, subject to that great accountability which I owe ed to the tariff? It settles no principle they are contending them. As we have an excess of revenue, why not reduce for; on the contrary, it adds to their misfortunes. But, sir, the amount gathered off the people? Perhaps it would be can any one believe that the wretched pittance distributed sufficient to reduce the price of the lands; if not, then to the States will buy off South Carolina from that stand take part off the tariff. "I submit it to the friends of the which she thinks necessary to maintain on great and imtariff, whether it be prudent and wise to stir up every portant principles, or any other State opposed to the other interest against the tariff; will they not, by such a tarif? Sir, is not this bill adding insult to injury, and movement, unite a force which will put down the whole fanning the flame of madness throughout the whole counsystem? Gentlemen ought to beware how they rouse the try? Ought we to do this? Shall we goad an angry slumbering lion. I know this-reduction of the public brother to his destruction, though he may be in the wrongi lands is thought to .operate against the interest of the but shall we not rather turn him from the cause of his manufacturers; but the tariff, it is said, operates against uneasiness, that he may cool? Sir, in all climes, and in the Southern States, and the present price of public lands all ages, the best and wisest have erred. Is it best to cast against the new States. Now, will it be desirable to see away an erring brother, or is it not our duty to reclaim the interest of the South and West united against the him? Why, in the moment of his exasperation, add new tariff? Is the small amount which may be lost to the ma- causes of excitement? If we cannot relieve, do not let nufacturer by the proposed reduction of the price of the us insult and mock the complaints of our own household!-public lands equal to that which must take place if the tariff those whom we are bound to cherish and defend. Let us is destroyed, (which I hope may not be?) I ask Senators do all that is right, and all that we can, to restore confiwho act with me on this great tariff interest, to pause and dence and contentment among the people and the States, see where their movements will take them. Will Southern and leave no man any excuse for wrong doing. And if gentlemen see this waste of fifteen millions of revenue in (which may God in his boundless Providence avert!) this five years, and still say the tariff oppresses them? Will fair land is to follow the fate of other republics, and to be members from new States, knowing it to be the interest covered with disgrace, sorrow, and wretchednessif, inof those States to reduce the price of land now, aid in deed, the ghosts of the mighty heroes and statesmen who the passage of this bill, which must forever cut off all founded this republic are to be made wretched, by the hope of any reduction? Will Southern men, whose in- baseness of their degenerate sons, let the world bear terest it is to keep up the tariff and reduce the price of proof that we who administer the affairs of this people are the public lands both, vote for this bill? Will gentlemen innocent. It is not fear, but the love of country I feel, in slave States vote for this bill, and thus hire the meddler that dictates these remarks. This course, recommendeel to instigate their slaves to rebellion? Sir, the time is at by the Senator, (Mr. CLAY,) as a means to reconcile the hand when something must be done with these lands or discontent, cannot have that effect, but the contrary, Let the tariff-perhaps both. The Senator from Kentucky us, then, not do any thing that may exasperate public says he is willing to do all in his power to remove the dis- excitement, nor leave undone any thing that may properly contents of the people. I was rejoiced to hear him say be done, that may have the same effect. Let us be temso, for I know he can do much; his very name is of itself a perate, prudent, and discreet, and do justice to all. host. I fully reciprocate that sentiment, and declare that Yield nothing from timidity, nor press any thing to gratify I will stand by his side, and do all in my power to restore an unbridled ambition in any one. Sir, the destinies of harmony, peace, love, and contentment to our beloved, this nation are in our hands. The eyes of the American unhappy, and distracted country. Sir, at such a time as this, people, and indeed the whole world, are upon us. The allwhen gloom has mantled the manly face of many a pa- seeing eye of Heaven is upon us; and we must not only triot, and the whole country appears shrouded in the crim- be judged by those that now are, and by generations to son robes of civil war, and the loved bosom of America, come after us, but by that Power which, sooner or later, it may be said, is smoking with the blood of ber slaugh- we must all feel and account to. How awful is the retered sons, will the son of Kentucky again stand forth the sponsibility we are under, and how great is the necessity pacificator of his country's discontent? No man can of duly weighing the bearing of all our acts at this moreap a richer reward than is within his reach: this act of mentous crisis! Shall the blood of our citizens fall on conciliation will be the brightest diamond in the crown of our heads, or will we not so shape our course, that should his immortal fame.
blood and carnage cover the fair fields of our country, The Serator says this bill will produce harmony; this beaven and earth will witness that we are innocent' bill is to bind up all the wounds and heal the discontent of I am the advocate of the tariff, and, on proper terms, the whole land. . Sir, how easy it is to be mistaken; he mean to maintain it. I surrender my opinions to no man, once thought so of his old friend the American system, nor am I to be alarmed by the present excitement. But,
Jas. 12, 1835.]
sir, I ask the friends of that measure, whether the course recommended is not calculated to injure the tariff?. In the first instance, the disguise of this bill is not sufficient to conceal its real object from the people. Then does not the attempt to do this beget, by that indirect movement, a distrust among the people? And shall we not forfeit public confidence in the measure? Again: this bill brings the interest of all those who wish to reduce the lands against the tariff, which, added to the opposition now existing, will, I fear, be highly prejudicial to the tariff. Can this step be wise on the part of the friends of the tariff’ I tell gentlemen more liberality towards other great interests must be practised, or the consequences will be more serious than they apprehend. Shall we thus disregard the high value of that rich inheritance of which we, and we alone, can boast having descended, from those mighty men, whom God seems to have taken as his chosen and peculiar instruments where with to demonstrate his power on earth? What, Mr. President, is the argument to sustain this bill? The sordid love of gold, sir, is the argument; money is to be given the States; they are to be bought out; they are asked to surrender their sovereignty for a sum of gold. Who, sir, will take this bribe? What State will, for that paltry trash, surrender her independence, and throw herself in the lap, to be dandled by the General Government, or spurned when she may please? Will those who adhere to the doctrine of state rights do this? . I for one will touch not, handle not, the unclean thing. The sovereignty of these States is now bid for; and we are told, in a spirit of haughty menace, that we had better take what is offered, or we may never have such a chance for a good bargain again, and we will have to reproach ourselves with having let slip so great an offer. Let it go, sir, and in God’s name I ask that it may never again be seen within these sacred was ls. I will not purchase a field with the reward of inequality.
We are likewise told that our constituents will reproach
us; that is, indeed, a matter of great delicacy, and very desirable to be avoided by every man, who has a proper sense of his representative duty. He would be pained to give a just cause of discontent to his constituents. But, sir, we have a duty to perform, and it ought to be done in good faith for the benefit of the country; and when that duty is honestly discharged, though it may give offence to some, whose good will we desire, and whose judgment we respect, yet we have an approving conscience within, which is of itself a treasure, that buoys an honest man above the wrangling waves of persecution and deadly hate; and in this vote, I can say before God and my country, that an approving conscience is mine. But should the chastising lash of our constituents come, (which may Heaven avert,) yet then beneath its to tures we will not call on the honorable Senator to interpose his kindness, or heave a single sigh of sympathy for us. I know my constituents, and they know me, and we will settle the account without troubling the Senator from Kentucky with our differences. Sir, no man feels the force of those remarks more than myself. I know what it is to meet the black ingratitude
of those with whom I have acted, and who by my labors
have been profited, and I know what it is to put all such things at defiance. . I am, Mr. President, fully sensible of the exposed situation I occupy: standing on my own principles, bound to no party, I am often shot at by all; but, sir, I shall now, as I have always heretofore done, act on this question as befits an American Senator, and maintain such a course as in my judgment best comports with the interests of my country and my constituents. Sir, I will not erouch beneath any imprecations. I have drunk deep of the bitter cup of unkindness; I have often known what it was to meet the cold ingratitude of those I have served and with
whom I have acted; but, thank God, I have also known the healing comfort of kindness; and though clouds at present hover over me, yet when I shall return to the bosom of that State at whose hands I have received so much kindness, I still expect to grasp the hand of kindness there. The Senator [Mr. CLAy] says these lands. were pledged for the payment of the public debt, and, as that debt has been paid by the people with other funds, that now the lands stand chargeable, and therefore ought to be distributed to the States for the use of the people. Has the Senator reflected on the force of this argument? If his principles be true, it would seem that the impost duties have paid the debt instead of the land paying it; that now the land ought to"make that sum good to the impost, by taking that amount off the impost and putting it on the sands, or applying the amount of the sales of the land to the reduction of the tariff. Will he consent to this? and yet this is the force of his argument. No, he will not do this, but proposes to give away the lands, not to the people, as the bill delusively pretends, but to Liberia and other things, and all the while the people are still taxed to keep up this very amount thus wasted. But pray, what part of the public debt did Liberia pay, that she must come in for a part of this public treasure? There is no symmetry in the gentleman's plan; but, sir, the truth is, that this view of that pledge of the lands is erroneous. These lands were never pledged to pay that debt, as he views it; it was never stipulated that the lands, and they alone, should pay that debt. They were pledged, but that was only as collateral security, intended to create faith on the part of the public creditor in the ability of the Government to pay the debt, just as if a man should mortgage a tract of land to secure a debt due some other person; but as soon as the debt is paid, the mortgage is discharged. So, here, as soon as the public debt is paid off, the lands are discharged; and they are not, therefore, to be distributed among the States, but they are to be applied to the common benefit of the whole nation. How is this to be done? Why, sir, by selling them, and putting the proceeds into the treasury of the nation, and applying that revenue to the general welfare of the nation. Thus the people will be saved from the payment of so much taxes, and they will likewise be benefited by a proper and just use of the revenue applied to the common good and general welfare of the nation. The Senator [Mr. Clay) alludes to the discontent, and says, take care we do not shift the theatre of discontent. I return him that same good advice, with this addition, that the very step now recommended by himself is not only calculated to continue the discontent, but to enlarge its theatre. What does he mean by shifting the theatre of discontent? Does he mean to say that, unless we keep up the tariff, and keep up the price of the public lands too, and then give away the proceeds, a certain part of the Union will rise on us, far more formidable than all the rest? Sir, we are not to be intimidated by such threats, and drawn from the support of just rights; we court no differences with any part of this Union; but we will fearlessly maintain our rights; we censure none for doing likewise; but we say, let us act like brothers, be liberal and just; it is all one family, and we will not quarrel about fractions. Sir, what objection is there to the adoption of the amendment? What does the amendment propose? It is not necessary that it should destroy the bill. If the amendment succeed, the bill will be improved, and give more satisfaction. The amendment proposes to reduce the price to fifty cents per acre, in favor of the Western settler. If the money should thus be left in the pockets of the land purchasers, it would be more valuable than if appropriated to the object of the bill. The design of the bill is to keep up the price of the public lands. If
the bill passes, it will be strong and conclusive evidence that the prophecies of its opposers will be verified. The amendment embraces a principle which I have advocated for years. I rejoice that it does so. The true interest of the West is to reduce the price of the public lands. It is of the utmost importance to the West that their vacant lands be occupied, and their population augmented. It is not necessary to go over former grounds, but I will say a few things on this point. Whenever the public lands shall be sold out at a fair price, the population will be more dense, and readier and able to aid in promoting the object of the Government; society will be improved; the interests of religion, education, good morals, and manners will be better promoted; and the people will be better able to extend the facilities and blessings attendant upon them. They will be able, in all respects, to provide better for their families. The Senator from Kentucky said, people want something else besides land. But if the land is thrown away, there is nothing left. The people do want something else besides land; and by reducing the price of land you enable them to get that something else. You will ameliorate their condition, and remove the hardships to which they are now subjected. They now suffer every hardship imaginable. Remote from mills and other similar conveniences, it is only with great trouble that they procure those advantages. Remote from, medical aid, their lives and health are in constant danger. Distant from schools, their children grow up without education. Destitute, in want of churches, they are left without the means of religious instruction. Still, under all these disadvantages, they press onward. They possess a spirit of enterprise and industry, which keeps them above water. It is this, in a higher degree than in any other part of the country, that keeps them from sinking. Is it not as well to promote the interests of these defenders and citizens of the country, as of the free blacks? Why should not the price of lands come down? The price of private lands is lowered; why should not the price of the public lands undergo a corresponding reduction? There is no good reason, no other than the one I suggested—to continue and increase the expenses of the Government, for the purpose of maintaining the tariff. Where is the hope of contentment under such a result? Then let us adhere to the amendment; if the bill must pass, let the amendment go with it; but I had much rather it had been the amendment alone. Our constituents expect us to maintain, and never surrender, the principle embraced in the amendment. They expect us, on this subject, to do our duty. They have honored us, and we ought not to desert them. The people of the West have laid out much for their lands, and have trusted to Providence to afford them the means of getting free from their embarrassment. Nothing but their industry and the fertility of the soil has sustained them. If it had not been for industry and enterprise, unequalled, except in these States alone, they must have sunk beneath their burdens. The Senator says, that at the end of five years the bill may be altered, if found desirable. Sir, so may the price of the public lands be altered at any time. Reduce that price now, and next year, if you think best, you can raise it. Shall we, notwithstanding, rivet this bill upon us for five years? The Senator said he would not surrender the lands. There is no proposition in the amendment to give away the lands, or to surrender them. The Senator has argued this amendment as he did the bill to open a commercial canal through the Big Swamp. He assumes facts, and provisions, and principles, not to be found in either. Perhaps he had not read the canal bill. He treated that as an arduous attempt to drain
Lands. [JAN. 12, 1833.
away. Now, sir, there is none of this in the amendment; no such principle there. All his argument on that subject, every one will see, is foreign to the question under consideration, and need not, therefore, be answered. I can see po force in it, unless it is intended to raise the impression that we are about to lay violent hands on these lands, and convert them to pur use; and, therefore, they are justifiable in doing so first. But, sir, the people will see and understand this matter in its true light, and apply to it its appropriate merit. The Senator says, speculators will engross the lands. This, sir, is an old song—too long sung—it has lost its merit and charms; no one believes in it now! The rage for land speculation is over. Can any one be so blind as to believe, that at the price and rate fixed by this amendment, any one will attempt to speculate? The price is too great to induce speculation, and five years' settlement and occupancy is too long for a speculator; besides, the occupant cannot sell his possession. If, sir, in Ohio and Kentucky, where the price of lands was, in early times, much lower than under this amendment, the speculators in land could not stand up, how can they do it under the price proposed by the amendment? Sir, the taxes on the lands, added to the price, will forever check the attempt to speculation. But why, if this provision is favorable to speculation, is it that speculators are opposed to it? These men were never known to go against their interest. I know many land speculators, and in the whole scope of my acquaintance there is not one in favor of reducing the price of lands, nor do I know many moneyed men for it, who use their money in trade. The argument of the Senator proves that all this supposed danger about speculation is a delusion, and that it is their interest to support the present price of lands; for he assumes the ground that we ought to keep up the price for the benefit of speculators. Did he pot tell us that, if the price of the public lands was reduced, it would put down the price of private lands; and insisted that we were bound to sustain the foumer purchasers in that value? Who is it that is interested in this value? Not the farmer, but the speculators, who buy and sell land. Thus, sir, if this position be true, how are the speculators benefited by the reduction? Not so; those who now hold large tracts of land will be compelled to sell for a less price instead of acquiring more; and thus, not the speculator, but the tiller of the soil, will be benefited, by getting his land for a fair and moderate price, and the country settled and improved, according to the rights of the people secured to them under the treaties and deeds of cession, and the constitution of the United States, which put all the States and citizens on an equal footing; (see 1st volume Laws United States, page 480, and page 8 Constitution United States;) until which is done the terms of those instruments are not complied with. Five hundred years from this time, our descendants will, in this chamber, be legislating on this land, says the Senator, [Mr. Clay.] This is monstrous. Then, by passing this bill, are the new States to understand such a system of oppression is to be adopted, in direct violation of our secured rights? For five hundred years these States are to lose the right of taxing their real estates like other States! Does the Senator thus propose to embarrass the new States? Is this a fulfilment of the treaties and deeds of cession, and the object for which those lands were granted? On the contrary, is it not a direct violation of it? This, sir, is making colonies of the new States, and not sovereign, equal, and independent States, as you are bound to do. If you have the right thus to disregard the object of the grant, and terms of the treaty, you had a
swamps, all the swamps on the Mississippi, &c., when there was no such provision or principle in that bill. so now he assumes the ground that the proposed amendment is to cede all those lands to the States, or to give them
right at the beginning never to settle those States; and thus perpetuate the Territorial Gevernment. To keep them back by not selling those lands for five hundred years, and to perpetuate a Territorial Government, would
Jan 12, 1833.]
(SENATE be a direct violation of the treaty. And is not this the contented with the present policy, after the payment of same principle? Will gentlemen representing new States, the public debt. To avert the consequences which may contending for the equality of States, vote for this bill, be apprehended from this cause, to put an end forever to and thus surrender their own views, and seal their fate! all partial and interested legislation on the subject, and to Does it not tie our hands hereafter? Shall we return to afford to every American citizen of enterprise the opour constituents, and tell them we made a good trade, and portunity of securing an independent freehold, it seems sold them for the best price we could get? Were we sent to me, therefore, best to abandon the idea of raising a fuhere to trade, or to maintain great and important princi- ture revenue out of the public lands.” ples! Shall the pecuniary considerations of this bill daz And we have seen that reported by the Committee on zle our judgments, and lead us from our own principles Manufactures. That is a departure from the object of Shall we give up the contest for the pittance allotted to these grants, whilst that recommended by the President us in the bill? Were I to do this, I would stand justly is a fulfilment of the objects. condemned beneath the burning censure of my consti Sir, in this opinion the President sustains the power of tuents.
the constitution, the plighted faith of the Government, By the constitution of the United States it is expressly and the rights of the States and people; and, sir, the peodeclared, that the citizens of each State shall be entitled to ple will sustain
him, however he may be denounced by the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several particular individuals. Sir, I do not stand here to euloStates.
gize the President, or any man, nor to denounce any one. Did it ever enter into the minds of those great and good But, sir, I have given my public support to that individumen who recommended the acquisition of those lands, al, and it is due to myself, and the course I have taken in that the districts were to be made colonies? or was it not the political affairs of the country to say, that whatever their object that they should speedily be settled, and ad- may be his errors and his faults, I believe there lives not mitted into the Union as sovereign states, equal in all re on earth a purer patriot and more honest man, or one spects to the other States and was it not to strengthen and more wholly devoted to the interest and happiness of his Enlarge the Union? I pray gentlemen to look into the his country; and that the plan just alluded to, however it tory of this matter.
may be taunted and denounced by certain men, will live in Did that great apostle of liberty and equality, the ever the grateful breasts of his countrymen, and be hailed as a memorable republican reformer, under whose wise ad- monument of wisdom, patriotism, and justice, when that vice Louisiana was acquired, expect to see her colonized which is proposed as a substitute will sink beneath the thus) Look to the treaty, and, sir, you see the reverse. anathemas of those whom it is destined to injure. Sir, She is to be an equal and sovereign member of the Union! this excitement of the age will pass away, and the calm of Is she so, whilst other States enjoy rights she does not? sober reflection succeed the tempest of irritation and re. Is Louisiana now again, at this late hour, to be revisited venge, and then justice will be measured out to all men. with that same spirit which resisted the purchase and The Senator says there is no general discontent in the settlement of the province, and that, too, coming from a West. Thus he speaks for the whole West. I will only quarter, of all others, she least expected it--from Ken- say, the Senator is not sufficiently informed, or he would tucky?
not use this language. It is not reasonable to suppose he The Senator says, that the plan recommended by the could be well informed on this subject; for, although he President is contracted, unjust, and partial. This he recom- represents one of the Western States, yet there are many mends is broad, equal, and just. In general, I have beyond him, among which he would not be considered great respect for the opinions of that Senator, but cannot the best authority. It is long since his was a frontier agree in this with him.
State; great changes are every day going on, too; some I beg gentlemen to contrast the two schemes--we have men haye gone from the North and East, to the West, them both before us.
beyond him, and, strange as it may appear, yet it is true, This is the plan recommended by the President: “It that some men who were once devoted to the West have seems to me to be our true policy that the public lands gone to the East. The glory of the setting sun is lost to shall cease, as soon as practicable, to be a source of reve. us, and he now wastes his golden rays in the cold and nue; and that they be sold to settlers in limited parcels, at heartless regions of the North. a price barely sufficient to reimburse to the United States I live in the West, I represent a part of the West, and the expense of the present system, and the cost arising I assure gentlemen there is great discontent there, and under our Indian compacts. The advantages of accurate that it will increase until the cause is removed. Gentlesurveys and undoubted titles, now secured to purchasers, men delude themselves, and mislead their friends, by enseem to forbid the abolition of the present system, be. tertaining and sending out such notions. He says we cause none can be substituted which will more perfectly bought Louisiana, and therefore can exercise our discreaccomplish these important ends. It is desirable, how- tion on the subject of her lands. . By this it is meant that ever, that, in convenient time, this machinery be with there is no limitation of power, and that Congress can do drawn from the States, and that the right of soil, and the as they please over her lands and her citizens. This is future disposition of it, be surrendered to the States re- not so; she is protected by the treaty. (See Land Laws, spectively in which it lies.
page 43, as before referred to.) i ask, could the Govern** The adventurous and hardy population of the West, (ment sell or retrocede Louisiana, or could Congress have besides contributing their equal share of taxation under refused to admit her into the Union, without violating the our impost system, have, in the progress of our Govern- treaty? If the purchase implied the right to sell, as in orment, for the land they occupy, paid into the treasury a dinary cases, all this might be done. What, then, prevents large proportion of forty millions of dollars; and of the it? The constitution; the articles of compact, which revenue received therefrom, but a small part has been ex- make all the States equal; and the treaty with France, pended among them. When, to the disadvantage of which says she shall be admitted into the Union, to the fulí their situation in this respect, we add the consideration enjoyment of all the rights and privileges and immunities that it is their labor alone which gives real value to tire with the other States. And, remember, France was a relands, and that the proceeds arising from their sales are public then, and did not intend to sell her citizens as distributed among States which had not originally any slaves. Where is our power, then, to restrict any of those claim to them, and which have enjoyed the undivided rights? And, sir, are we not by the terms of that treaty emolument arising from the sale of their own lands, it can to remove all embarrassments to those rights? Can we renot be expected that the new States will remain longer fuse to legislate, with a view to continue those embarrass