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Jax. 12, 1833. ]
sir, I ask the friends of that measure, whether the course whom I have acted; but, thank God, I have also known recommended is not calculated to injure the tariff? In the healing comfort of kindness; and though clouds at the first instance, the disguise of this bill is not sufficient present hover over me, yet when I shall return to the to conceal its real object from the people. Then does bosom of that State at whose hands I have received so not the attempt to do this beget, by that indirect move much kindness, I still expect to grasp the hand of kind. ment, a distrust among the people? And shall we not ness there. forfeit public confidence in the measure? Again: this bill The Senator (Mr. Clar) says these lands were pledged brings the interest of all those who wish to reduce the for the payment of the public debt, and, as that debt has lands against the tariff, which, added to the opposition been paid by the people with other funds, that now the now existing, will, I fear, be highly prejudicial to the lands stand chargeable, and therefore ought to be distributtariff. Can this step be wise on the part of the friends ed to the States for the use of the people. Has the Senaof the tariff?. I tell gentlemen more liberality towards tor reflected on the force of this argument? If his prinother great interests must be practised, or the conse ciples be true, it would seem that the impost duties have quences will be more serious than they apprehend. Shall paid the debt instead of the land paying it; that now the we thus disregard the high value of that rich inheritance land ought to make that sum good to the impost, by taking of which we, and we alone, can boast having descended, that amount off the impost and putting it on the lands, or from those mighty men, whom God seems to have taken applying the amount of the sales of the land to the reduc23 his chosen and peculiar instruments wherewith to de- tion of the tariff. Will he consent to this? and yet this is monstrate his power on earth?
the force of his argument. No, he will not do this, but What, Mr. President, is the argument to sustain this proposes to give away the lands, not to the people, as the bill? The sordid love of gold, sir, is the argument; money bill delusively pretends, but to Liberia and other things, is to be given the States; they are to be bought out; they and ail the while the people are still taxed to keep up this are asked to surrender their sovereignty for a sum of very amount thus wasted. But pray, what part of the gold. Who, sir, will take this bribe? What State will, public debt did Liberia pay, that she must come in for a for that paltry trash, surrender her independence, and part of this public treasure? There is no symmetry in throw herself in the lap, to be dandled by the General the gentleman's plan; but, sir, the truth is, that this view Government, or spurned when she may please? Will those of that pledge of the lands is erroneous. These lands who adhere to the doctrine of State rights do this? were never pledged to pay that debt, as he views it; it was
I for one will touch not, handle not, the unclean thing. never stipulated that the lands, and they alone, should The sovereignty of these States is now bid for; and we pay that debt. They were pledged, but that was only as are told, in a spirit of haughty menace, that we had better collateral security, intended to create faith on the part of take what is offered, or we may never have such a chance the public creditor in the ability of the Government to for a good bargain again, and we will have to reproach pay the debt, just as if a man should mortgage a tract of ourselves with having let slip so great an offer. "Let it land to secure a debt due some other person; but as soon 80, sir, and in God's name I ask that it may never again as the debt is paid, the mortgage is discharged. So, be seen within these sacred walls.
here, as soon as the public debt is paid off, the lands are I will not purchase a field with the reward of inequality. discharged; and they are not, therefore, to be distributed We are likewise told that our constituents will reproach among the States, but they are to be applied to the comus; that is, indeed, a matter of great delicacy, and very mon benefit of the whole nation. How is this to be done? desirable to be avoided by every man, who has a proper Why, sir, by selling them; and putting the proceeds into sense of his representative duty. He would be pained to the treasury of the nation, and applying that revenue give a just cause of discontent to his constituents. But, to the general welfare of the nation. Thus the people sir, we have a duty to perform, and it ought to be done in will be saved from the payment of so much taxes, and good faith for the benefit of the country; and when that they will likewise be benefited by a proper and just use duty is honestly discharged, though it may give offence to of the revenue applied to the common good and general some, whose good will we desire, and whose judgment welfare of the nation. we respect, yet we have an approving conscience within, The Senator (Mr. Clay) alludes to the discontent, and which is of itself a treasure, that buoys an honest man says, take care we do not shift the theatre of discontent. above the wrangling waves of persecution and deadly I return him that same good advice, with this addition, hate; and in this vote, I can say before God and my coun- that the very step now recommended by himself is not try, that an approving conscience is mine. But should the only calculated to continue the discontent, but to enlarge chastising lash of our constituents come, (which may its theatre. What does he mean by shifting the theatre Heaven avert,) yet then beneath its tortures we will not of discontent? Does he mean to say that, unless we keep call on the lionorable Senator to interpose his kindness, or up the tariff, and keep up the price of the public lands heave a single sigh of sympathy for us. I know my con- too, and then give away the proceeds, a certain part stituents, and they know me, and we will settle the account of the Union will rise on us, far more formidable than all without troubling the Senator from Kentucky with our the rest? Sir, we are not to be intimidated by such threats, differences.
and drawn from the support of just rights; we court no Sir, no man feels the force of those remarks more than differences with any part of this Union; but we will fearmyself. I know what it is to meet the black ingratitude lessly maintain our rights; we censure none for doing of those with whom I have acted, and who by my labors likewise; but we say, let us act like brothers, be liberal have been profited, and I know what it is to put all such and just; it is all one family, and we will not quarrel about things at defiance.
fractions. I am, Mr. President, fully sensible of the exposed situa Sir, what objection is there to the adoption of the tion I occupy: standing on my own principles, bound to amendment? What does the amendment propose? It is no party, I am often shot at by all; but, sir, I shall now, not necessary that it should destroy the bill. If the as I have always heretofore done, act on this question as amendment succeed, the bill will be improved, and give befits an American Senator, and maintain such a course as more satisfaction. The amendment proposes to reduce in my judgment best comports with the interests of my the price to fifty cents per acre, in favor of the Western country and my constituents. Sir, I will not crouch be- settler. If the money should thus be left in the pockets neath any imprecations. I have drunk deep of the bitter of the land purchasers, it would be more valuable than if cup of unkindness; I have often known what it was to appropriated to the object of the bill. The design of meet the cold ingratitude of those I have served and with the bill is to keep up the price of the public lands. If
(Jan. 12, 1833.
the bill passes, it will be strong and conclusive evidence away. Now, sir, there is none of this in the amendment; that the prophecies of its opposers will be verified. The no such principle there. All his argument on that subject, amendment embraces a principle which I have advocated every one will see, is foreign to the question under confor years. I rejoice that it does so. The true interest of sideration, and need not, therefore, be answered. I can the West is to reduce the price of the public lands. It see no force in it, unless it is intended to raise the im. is of the utmost importance to the West that their vacant pression that we are about to lay violent hands on these lands be occupied, and their population augmented. It lands, and convert them to our use; and, therefore, they is not necessary to go over former grounds, but I will say are justifiable in doing so first, a few things on this point. Whenever the public lands But, sir, the people will see and understand this matter shall be sold out at a fair price, the population will be in its true light, and apply to it its appropriate merit. more dense, and readier and able to aid in promoting the The Senator says, speculators will engross the lands. object of the Government; society will be improved; the This, sir, is an old song—too long sung—it has lost its interests of religion, education, good morals, and man- merit and charms; no one believes in it now! The rage ners will be better promoted; and the people will be for land speculation is over. Can any one be so blind as better able to extend the facilities and blessings attendant to believe, that at the price and rate fixed by this amendupon them. They will be able, in all respects, to provide ment, any one will attempt to speculate? The price is too better for their families. The Senator from Kentucky great to induce speculation, and five years' settlement and said, people want something else besides land. But if the occupancy is too long for a speculator; besides, the occuland is thrown away, there is nothing left. The people pant cannot sell his possession. If, sir, in Ohio and Kendo want something else besides land; and by reducing the tucky, where the price of lands was, in carly times, much price of land you enable them to get that something else. lower than under this amendment, the speculators in land You will ameliorate their condition, and remove the hard- could not stand up, how can they do it under the price ships to which they are now subjected. They now suffer proposed by the amendment? Sir, the taxes on the lands, every hardship imaginable. Remote from mills and other added to the price, will forever check the attempt to similar conveniences, it is only with great trouble that speculation. But why, if this provision is favorable to they procure those advantages. Remote from medical speculation, is it that speculators are opposed to it? These aid, their lives and health are in constant danger. Distant men were never known to go against their interest. I from schools, their children grow up without education. know many land speculators, and in the whole scope of Destitute, in want of churches, they are left without the my acquaintance there is not one in favor of reducing the means of religious instruction. Still, under all these price of lands, nor do I know many moneyed men for it, disadvantages, they press onward. They possess a spirit who use their money in trade. The argument of the Sen. of enterprise and industry, which keeps them above ator proves that all this supposed danger about speculawater. It is this, in a higher degree than in any other tion is a delusion, and that it is their interest to support part of the country, that keeps them from sinking: Is it the present price of lands; for he assumes the ground that not as well to promote the interests of these defenders we ought to keep up the price for the benefit of speculaand citizens of the country, as of the free blacks? Why tors. Did he not tell us that, if the price of the public should not the price of lands come down? The price of lands was reduced, it would put down the price of private lands is lowered; why should not the price of private lands; and insisted that we were bound to susthe public lands undergo a corresponding reduction? tain the former purchasers in that value? Who is it that There is no good reason, no other than the one I suggest is interested in this value? Not the farmer, but the speculaed-to continue and increase the expenses of the Govern- tors, who buy and sell land. Thus, sir, if this position ment, for the purpose of maintaining the tariff. Where be true, how are the speculators benefited by the reducis the hope of contentment under such a result? Then tion? Not so; those who now hold large tracts of land let us adhere to the amendment; if the bill must pass, will be compelled to sell for a less price instead of acquilet the amendment go with it; but I had much rather it ring more; and thus, not the speculator, but the tiller of had been the amendment alone. Our constituents expect the soil, will be benefited, by getting his land for a fair us to maintain, and never surrender, the principle em- and moderate price, and the country settled and improved, braced in the amendment. They expect us, on this according to the rights of the people secured to them unsubject, to do our duty. They have honored us, and we der the treaties and deeds of cession, and the constituought not to desert them. The people of the West have tion of the United States, which put all the States and laid out much for their lands, and have trusted to Provi- citizens on an equal footing; (see 1st volume Laws United dence to afford them the means of getting free from their states, page 480, and page 8 Constitution United States;) embarrassment. Nothing but their industry ard the fer- until which is done the terms of those instruments are tility of the soil has sustained them. If it had not been not complied with. Five hundred years from this time, for industry and enterprise, unequalled, except in these our descendants will, in this chamber, be legislating on States alone, they must have sunk beneath their burdens. this land, says the Senator, (Mr. Clar.] This is monThe Senator says, that at the end of five years the bill strous. Then, by passing this bill, are the new States to may be altered, if found desirable. Sir, so may the price understand such a system of oppression is to be adopted, of the public lands be altered at any time.
in direct violation of our secured rights? For five hundred Reduce that price now, and next year, if you think best, years these States are to lose the right of taxing their real you can raise it. Shall we, notwithstanding, rivet this estates like other States! Does the Senator thus propose bill upon us for five years? The Senator said he would to embarrass the new States? Is this a fulfilment of the not surrender the lands. There is no proposition in the treaties and deeds of cession, and the object for which those amendment to give away the lands, or to surrender them. lands were granted? On the contrary, is it not a direct
The Senator has argued this amendment as he did the violation of it? bill to open a commercial canal through the Big Swamp. This, sir, is making colonies of the new States, and not He assumes facts, and provisions, and principles, not to sovereign, equal, and independent States, as you are be found in either. Perhaps he had not read the canal bound to do. * If you have the right thus to disregard the bill. He treated that as an arduous attempt to drain object of the grant, and terms of the treaty, you bad a swamps, all the swamps on the Mississippi, &c., when right at the beginning never to settle those States, and there was no such provision or principle in that bill. So thus perpetuate the Territorial Government. To keep now he assumes the ground that the proposed amendment them back by not selling those lands for five hundred is to cede all those lands to the States, or to give them years, and to perpetuate a Territorial Government, would
Jas 12, 1833.]
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 eulo. States.
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 individu. men 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 sce 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 have 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 devoled 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 reimbuise 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 ! 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 full Dieir 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 the 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
[Jan. 12, 1833.
ments? Could we have kept her out of the Union by not of the causes that led to the revolution. Our fathers comallowing the lands to be sold and disposed of, and thus for- plained that George III., King of England, had obstructever make her a colony? Could we have done so for five ed the population of the colonies by refusing to pass laws hundred years, as is now proposed by this bill, by continu- for the encouragement of migration hither. (See laws of ing hier embarrassment? Can we do all this, and yet main- the United States, 1st volume, page 8.). And are the Contain our faith under the treaty ?
gress of the United States going to do this very same I ask gentlemen to reflect and see where this distribu- thing against the new States? And yet do gentlemen say tion is about to carry them. Away with the notion of the States are equal. Strange equality! The people State rights and equality, if this can be done. The Sen-may move from one old State to another, but are not to be ator often alludes to Ohio as an example for the new allowed to go to a new one; that is, they may go from States. I envy not the prosperity of Ohio, but am proud one manufacturing State to another, but not to a planting of it. But that State is differently situated from the other or farming State. This is the pith of the argument. And new States. They never suffered the same privations does a Senator, called a republican, too, advocate such that the other new States do, because much of their lands doctrines before the American people? Are these doc. were taken up on private grants, such as military war-trines republican? Are they such as freemen ought to rants, and they were soon taxable in the hands of private maintain? I ask the whole American people to open
These large landholders greatly control public their eyes and judge for themselves. sentiment, and by that keep up the price of the lands for The Senator says, the people of the old States will not their benefit. That is not the case with the other new States. have an equal chance with Illinois and the other new In many of those States the number of private grants are states to enjoy the benefit of this law. Why will they few, and, by losing the right to tax lands, the taxes must not? Cannot the people of the old States now purchase fall heavy on all other kinds of property; and, sir, if now lands at the present price of $1 25, as well as those of the Ohio could tax all the land within ber limits, she would new States? And are not large quantities of lands now soon be relieved of the great canal debt, which hangs owned in the States by non-residents? And should the over and harrasses that State. But when those lands reduction take place, cannot they still enjoy the same cannot be taxed, the citizens are compelled to pay enor-right to purchase at $1 per acre? In this respect, the mous taxes to make up the deficit, to the great injury of amendment makes no change in the right of all to pur. the laboring class of men; and this is the case in all the chase. And, I ask, why will not a citizen, coming from new States, and in all to a greater degree than Ohio. It is an old State, have the same right to settle as those now against this oppression we object; to this inequality we in the new States? There is nothing in the amendment object; and this bill is not calculated to remove these ob- to prevent it. To me, sir, there is no force in the whole jections, but it is admitted will rivet this injustice on us argu ent. Again he says, this only shifts the population for five hundred years to come. How vain is such a hope! from one State to another; but, sir, the, amendment does In less than one-twentieth part of that time, the voice of not meddle with the people. In that respect it only leaves the mighty West, in this chamber, will do herself justice, them free to act for themselves; and this is what it should and dispense it to those who now oppress her; and may do. He says we ought to invite the people from Europe, she be more just to them than they have been to us. not from the old States. Sir, the amendment invites no But why push this measure at this time? why not wait one. It only regulates the price of public lands, and the until the next Congress, when the West will be fully rep- people are left to exercise their own will. But why is resented by her twenty-one additional members? Why he more anxious for Europe than for his own country? now strive to saddle us for five years irrevocably with a Why is he more willing to provide for Europeans than he matter to which we are opposed? It is but a few months is to provide for his own fellow-citizens? before those who are knocking at your door will enter Sir, let Europe mind her own affairs, and let us attend to defend the West; then let us see what will be the voice to our own. In this argument the Senator admits his deof the full West on this subject. Sir, after all, the Gov- sire to check the migration to the new States. Would ernment cannot enforce this measure against the will of the Senator bave preached this doctrine twenty years ago the West. Why adopt measures calculated to disgust the to the people of Kentucky? Sir, Decius was once the people with the Government? The strength of a repub. friend of Cato; but other views changed his mind, and lic is the devotion of the people to the Government; and bound him fast to Cæsar. devotion cannot exist without confidence in the adminis The Senator contended that these lands were obtained tration of the affairs of the Government. The people are by the common blood and treasure of all the States. Now, now willing to buy those lands, whilst the proceeds go sir, how did Virginia get the great Northwestern terriinto the treasury, and thereby diminish so much the tory? Did the other States aid her in obtaining it, or amount of their taxes. But if this bill passes, and the mo- did she not claim it under the charter from the King ney is applied to the Liberia colony, or thrown away, of Great Britain? And who captured that country? the people will examine into this matter; and, sir, I would Was it not the State of Virginia? Was it not that gallant not be surprised to see them just sit down on the land son of the Old Dominion, George Rogers Clark, who con. without purchase. How would you get them off? Pub- quered that country? and did not Virginia, in the true lic sentiment would forever prevent the execution of your spirit of her chivalry, graciously and generously surrenlaws. Who would inform of the occupant? Who, sir, der the whole of those lands to the United States? Now, would go round the lines to see if he was on the alleged sir, what common blood and treasure were expended in tract, when he saw a few brawny buckskin lads, with all this? Who, sir, has since defended those lands? Has their rifles, hunting game? Let us not incense the peo- not that been done in two wars by the gallant sons of the ple by our laws. Sir, another strange argument against West? Look, sir, at the movements of the troops last sumThis amendment is, that to reduce the lands will draw off mer. Look at the names of those noble sons of the West. the population from the old States. Can we, sir, pass What common claim has any but the West to the fame laws to prevent emigration? Have not the people of the of the heroic Dodge, of whom it may be said he was United States a natural right to prosecute their happi- born, trained, and seasoned in all the hardships, all the ness and fortune wherever they choose? See Declara. privations and dangers of the West, and is justly entitled tion of Independence-there this right is asserted. If we to a share in all her glories? Tell me not about your claim have no right to pass such laws, is it a good reason to re- being founded on the expenditure of common blood and fuse to pass a law, because it will allow the free enjoy- treasure. Do not the labors and improvements made ment of this natural right? This very principle was one and laid out by people of the West enhance the value of
Jax. 12, 14, 1833.]
(SexATE. the common domain? I should not have drawn this distinc- terms for the purchaser, than the public lands are sold. tion, but they were elicited by the argument of the Sena- The Senator from Kentucky says, the reason why those tor from Kentucky, (Mr. Clar.] The Senator says, this second-rate lands do not sell in Missouri is, because the law will be evaded like the settlement rights of Kentucky. emigration does not go there as it has in others; that peo. He has impeached the honesty of the West, and said they ple will not buy lands until they are ready to go on them. will join together to defraud the Government--the peo- in this he is entirely wrong, and shows that he does not ple will swear for each other. He taunts their poverty, too; understand the subject. Sir, let any one look at the mancalls their houses wigwams, huts, lodges, and, indeed, has ner in which the country is settled, and the quality of the compared them to turkey pens. Sir, if we are poor and land sold and that unsold, and the location of those lands, rough, we are honest, and loyal to the Government; we and he will see that he is entirely misinformed, and, be. will neither cheat nor desert our country. Sir, has the sides, does not at all know that people do not wait to setgentleman wholly forgotten that he was himself once a tle on lands before they buy, or even to remove to the Western man? and that t?ris same voice which now derides, country. Do not many purchase lands that never settle once gloriously and triumphantly defended them? And, on them, or migrate to the country at all? Sir, what sir, those were the proudest days of his whole life, to quantities of land are owned by non-residents in all the which, I have no doubt, he often looked with mingled new States! feelings of pleasure and regret. Sir, how will the lofty Mr. President, I have done with the argument; I come spirits of the West meet this cold rebuke from one who to a close. I have attempted to explain my views on this once was their idol, and who yet commands the affections subject, and now leave it to be decided by others. of thousands there? I couldi, sir, myself have desired the omission of that part of the Senator's argument: but,
MONDAY, JANUARY 14. sir, the Rubicon is past. He would have it so.
ENDLESS LIFE. look a little at this argument. He says the law will be evaded by fraud. How, sir, can this be? Has not the Gene Mr. CLAY presented the petition of Leonard Jones ral Government land offices posted over the whole and Henry Banta, of Kentucky, representing themselves country? Will it not be their duty to see that the provi- subjects of endless life, who had made important discovesions of the law are complied with? And if any one is base ries connected with the morals, religion, and eternal existenough to attempt, by forgery or otherwise, to defraudence of man, and asking a grant of land for the purpose the Government, it will be very cay to detect all such. (of enabling them to extend and propagate their disThis was not the case in Kentucky when those settlement covery. rights were taken up. The settlements in the country Mr. C. remarked that he felt some doubts as to the prowere sparse, and none were appointed to take care of the priety of presenting this petition; but as it was couched lands. But, sir, I did not think even then the people in respectful language, he had concluded to submit it, deserved the broad denunciation we Trave heard. How- lest, by neglecting to do so, he might incur the endless ever, the Senator is from Kentucky; and he best knows enmity of the petitioners. The memorial asked for a the character of his constituents. But all I will say is, grant of public lands, upon terms which were very mothat Kentucky is my native State, and I hoped better of destly left entirely to the discretion of Congress. They her. I have often been proud to say that I am the grand would accept of them even in perpetuity; but if, as they son of the Old Dominion, and the son of Kentucky. intimated, they had discovered the secret of living for.
Mr. President: this amendment, I repeat, presents ever, he would suggest to the Committee on Public Lands the truc interest of the new States; and whilst there is the propriety of scrutinizing the subject before they com, hope, let us not despair. The principle is gaining ground; plied with the prayer of the memorialists. Mr. C. moved we have now an open expression of the Executive in sup- to refer the petition to the Committee on Public Lands, port of it. I wouid say to the new States and their friend, which was agreed to. not to substitute any project which may delude and lead
FRENCH SPOLIATIONS. us from our interest and duty. Let us, then, adhere to the amendment, and reject the bill; and if the amendment Mr. WEBSTER, pursuant to notice previously given, does not yet do us justice, we may still improve the prin- moved that the Senate now proceed to the consideration ciple. But, sir, how can we expect to obtain a reduction, of the bill to indemnify certain citizens of the United if now the principle of reduction is rejected by rejecting States for spoliations committed on their commerce by the the amendment?'We commit ourselves, against our own French prior to 1800. desire, to reduce; one of the very objects of the bill is to Mr. CLAY expressed his regret that the motion should prevent a reduction; and shall we swallow the hook in be made at this time, when the discussion of the bill relathe bait that is set for us? Or if the original bill must tive to the public lands was unfinished. That subject pass, I pray gentlemen friendly to the principle of reduc- bad been before the Senate for some days, and might be tion to retain the amendment with the bill, and thus save speedily disposed of. But if the French spoliations were the principle of reduction; but if we now take the bill to be taken up and discussed, it would occupy several without the amendment, there is an end to all hope fur- days, and probably the whole week. As to the imporever: this very vote is an expression against us, and the tance of the two subjects, without intending to undervainevitable operation of the bill will forever close the door lue the bill which was the subject of the present motion, against us. Let us reduce the price of those lands to a fair he must be allowed to give precedence to the former. price. What objection can there possibly be to putting Mr. BUCKNER expressed his willingness, in consepublic lands on a fair footing with private lands that lie in quence of indisposition, to waive his right to the floor, in the same State or neighborhood? All other property order to conclude bis remarks. [Mr. B. had delivered, within the last fifteen years has come down; and why not the day before, only a part of the speech which is given these lands? Sir, seventy-five cents per acre is a better above, and was to-day entitled to the floor.] He prefer. and fairer price now, than one dollar and twenty-five cents red that the Spoliation Bill be taken up to-day, and the fifteen or twenty years past. Sir, private lands are now, subject of the public lands should be allowed to lie over in Missouri, with improvements, selling for a lower rela- Juntil tomorrow. tive price than the public lands; yet, gentlemen say, if we Mr. CHAMBERS expressed a hope that the Senator reduce those lands, speculators will be benefited, where from Kentucky would withdraw his objection, as the gennow, in consequence of the high price of those public tleman from Missouri had expressed his desire to delay the lands, private lands are sold by the speculator, on better residue of his remarks until tomorrow.