Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Jas. 11, 12, 1833.]

South Carolina Resolutions.--Public Lands.

(SENATE

leading not only to the establishment of a consolidated mour, Silsbee, Sprague, Tomlinson, Waggaman, WebGovernment in the stead of our free confederacy, but the ster--21. concentration of all power in the chief Executive.

So the motion to postpone was agreed to. Resolred, That each State of this Union has the right, whenever it may deem such course necessary for the

SATURDAY, JANUARY 12. preservation of its liberty, or vital interest, to secede

A bill granting a township of land to each of the States peaceably from the Union; and that there is no consti- of Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Alabama, for the protutional power in the General Government, much less in motion of female education, was taken up in Committee of the Executive Department of that Government, to retain the Whole. by force such State in the Union.

Mr. EWING moved to amend the bill, by inserting Resolved, That the primary and paramount allegiance the State of Ohio before the State of Indiana, which was of the citizens of this state, native or adopted, is of right agreed to. due to this State.

The bill was then reported to the Senate, and the Resolved, that the dechuration of the President of the amendment was concurred in. United States, in his said proclamation, of his personal

Mr. CLAY moved to lay the bill on the table for the feelings and retaliations towards the State of South Caro- present, which was agreed to.—Yeas 19, nays 12. lina, is rather an appeal to the loyalty of subjects than to the patriotism of citizens; and is a blending of official

PUBLIC LANDS. and individual character heretofore unknown in our state The Senate then passed to the consideration of the spe. papers, and revolting to our conceptions of political pro- cial order of the day, being the bill to appropriate, for a priety.

limited time, the proceeds of the sales of the public lands, Resolved, That the undisguised indulgence of personal &c. The question being on the amendment proposed by hostility in the said proclamation would be unworthy the the Committee on Public Lands, substituting a bill to reanimadversions of this Legislature, but for the solemn duce the price of the public lands: and official form of the instrument which is made its ve- Mr. BUCKNER rose and remarked, that he was thanklicle.

ful to the Senate for the kindness shown him in having Resolved, that the principal doctrines and purposes postponed this subject on his account, and, though he felt contained in the said proclamation are inconsistent with his health somewhat improved, yet he felt both unwil. any just idea of a limited Government, and subversive of ling and unprepared, from bodily debility, to engage in the rights of the States and the liberties of the people; this discussion; nor would he do so, was he not impelled and, if submitted to in silence, would lay a broad founda- by a deep sense of duty to his constituents. He had tion for the establishment of monarchy.

waited for others, abler thap himself to do justice to the llesolved, That while this Legislature has witnessed with subject, to lead in the debate. The subject had been so sorrow such a relaxation of the spirit of our institutions, ably and so frequently debated heretofore, that he apthat a President of the United States dares venture upon prehended Senators had generally formed their opinions this high-handed measure, it regards with indignation the tipon it. He was not so vain as to believe he could shed menaces which are directed against it, and the concen- much new light on the question, whereby to convince any tration of a standing army on our borders; that the State one, or to change the opinion of any one already formed. will repel force by force, and, relying on the blessing of He would, therefore, endeavor to avoid fatiguing the God, will maintain its liberty at all hazards.

Senate, by travelling over the ground heretofore occuResolved, That copies of these resolutions be sent to pied by those who had preceded him. He did not speak our Members of Congress, to be laid before that body, for the paltry purpose of being heard either, or of making

The resolutions were read and laid on the table, and a display, but because he considered it a question of great ordered to be printed.

interest to his immediate constituents, to all the new States, PUBLIC LANDS.

and the whole American people: and he knew his consti

tuents to be alive to this interest. His object was faithful. The Senate then proceeded to the consideration of the ly to represent them, and to convince the whole Ameribill to appropriate, for a limited time, the proceeds of the can people that, though we may fail in our wishes, yet public lands, &c.

that we are not ignorant of our rights, and that the fear of Mr. BUCKNER, who was entitled to the floor, assigned failure shall not dismay us from the attempt to assert and indisposition as a reason for asking further indulgence, maintain them, and to assure those who oppose us that and moved to postpone the bill and amendment, and make we shall continue to press them until justice be done us. it the special order for to-morrow'.

He considered the bill, as reported by the Committee on Mr. CLAY objected to the postponement, as there Manufactures, which is the bill now introduced by the would be other opportunities for the gentleman from Mis-Senator from Kentucky, to contain principles not only souri to be heard before the final disposition of the bill. hostile to the interest of the new States, but deleterious If the gentleman would permit it to be engrossed, he to the welfare and prosperity of the whole nation. He would himself consent to put off the question on its pas- proposed, sage, until the gentleman should have liad an opportunity

1. To consider the bill. to make his observations.

2. To review some of the arguments urged in support Mr. BUCKNER stated that his object would be defeat- of it. ed by that course, as he wished to be heard against the 3. To consider the proposed amendment. engrossment.

4. To notice the argument of the Senator from KenAfter a few remarks from Mr. POINDEXTER and Mr. tucky (Mr. Clar) against the amendment, and also his FORSYTH, the question was put on the motion to posl. argument in support of the bill. pone, and decided as follows:

I am opposed (said Mr. B.) to the bill, because I conYEAS.--Messrs. Benton, Bibb, Black, Brown), Buckner, sider it unequal, unjust, and unconstitutional; unequal, Calhoun, Dallas, Forsyth, Grundy, Hendricks, Hill, Kane, and consequently unjust, because the sums of money King, Mangum, Miller, Moore, Rives, Robinson, Ruggles, heretofore appropriated and applied to the use of the Smith, Tipton, Tyler, White, Williams-24.

old States are much greater than those sums applied Nars -Messrs. Bell, Chambers, Clay, Clayton, Dud- to the use of the new States. See, sir, what' has ley, Ewing, Foot, Frelinghuysen, Holmes, Johnston, been appropriated for the erection of light-houses, Knight, Naudain, Poindexter, Prentiss, Robbins, Sey-I breakwater improvements of the ports and harbors, for

Vol. IX.--6

SENATE.)

Public Lands.

[Jax. 12, 1833.

fortifications, for the benefit of those old States, and like and, not content with this, we were still compelled to surwise for the internal improvement of those same States. render the right of the State to tax the land sold to indi. Then see, sir, what sums, I may say, from the date of this viduals for five years after the sale; and we were required Government, have, from time to time, not only been laid never to assert the right of the States to the lands within out and expended for the benefit of the old States, but their limits. It required that those new States should see how the citizens of those States have been benefited never interfere with the primary right of these United by circulating those vast sums among them. Now, also, States to dispose of the soil. Thus, you see, we paid dear look to the great sums that are paid to the people of those enough for the five per cent. But, sir, we get, say the States as officers of the General Government; not less friends to this bill, an additional advantage of twelve and than five hundred thousand dollars yearly are paid from a half per cent. Now, sir, look at the provisions of the the treasury in this way to the State of New York, and bill, and the favor it confers on other States, and the losses seventy thousand to the State of Maine, and all the other and inconveniences the new States sustain; and this great old States in like proportion. Now, see how much has boon sinks into contempt-its inequality and injustice are been paid in this way to the new States--how much has manifest. been paid to Missouri. I invite gentlemen just to turn This bill contains another principle which is excessively over their documents, and they will see all this. Before odious to me. It asserts the doctrine that the General this distribution is made, this thing ought to be equalized; Government have a right, and ought, to direct and control if it is a matter of contract, if we consider this as a settle the funds of the States. In this it is disrespectful to the ment of partnership account, (and, indeed, so it has been sovereignty of the States. If we grant this, let the States treated by its friends,) the account ought to be fairly dispose of them to their minds, and let not Congress dicstated from the commencement of the firm. Then we tate to them; it corrupts and demoralizes the habits of the ought to go back to the date of the Government, and see people, by tempting them to idleness, and begetting the what was put in stock, who has drawn out, and then make habit of looking to the treasury for money, and the means a fair dividend of the stock on band. This bill does not do of living-creating the babit, on the part of candidates this, but, without any just rule, arbitrarily says, each shall for seats in the Legislatures and Congress, of making vain, bave so much. This bill makes no allowance for the fu- corrupt, and improper moneyed promises to the people; ture increase of the population of the new States; this it thus destroying the freedom and purity of elections, and should do. Our population is increasing every day, whilst substituting a hope of pecuniary reward for correct printhat of the old States is stationary. Our territory is much ciple and patriotism; thus polluting the pure streams of greater than that of the old States; and in this the provi- legislation, by producing a scramble, first, here for the sion of the bill bears no just proportion. It is the terri- money, and then in the State Legislature for its appropriatory, it is the face of the country, that we ought to im- tion. Every neighborhood will want it, and that which prove; and where there is greatest need for improvement, can give the most votes to a candidate will get it: thus the there ought the greatest sums to be applied. But this is strongest neighborhcod, and not the most destitute and not the case under this bill. Little Delaware gets within needy, will get the appropriation of the money; and not one share of the same amount that Missouri gets, when the poor but the rich will be aided by this fund, for all many of the counties in Missouri are larger than all Dela- objects of schools and internal improvements; this must ware, and need as much improvement; and every other inevitably be the case; and the most influential leaders of State, though most of them are much smaller in district, religious societies will get the colonial amount. But, Mr. gets as much and more than Missouri, under the provi- President, anyeor all of this amount can be applied to any sions of this bill. It is clear, from this view of the sub- or all of the three objects specified. Does not every one ject, that there is no system of equality and justice in the see that these three interests will eternally be warring bill. This bill contemplates the establishment of a great with each other for the whole amount? The fanatics will system of internal improvements, to be carried on by the want all for the colony of Liberia; the friends to internal proceeds of the public lands; and the new States furnish improvement will want it all applied to objects of internal the whole sum, (the lands being in those States.) And improvement, whilst others will say, let us have schools; yet those who have the most land, and will contribute and thus you will see, in all sections, a bitter war between most to this great scheme, will get less. The people of them for the money. Can it be good policy to create such the new States will never be content with this; for, talk a source of strife in society, which must pervade all neighas you may, you never can make them believe they have borhoods, and destroy all social harmony? Sir, the bill no superior claim, much less will you make them believe is delusive-is well calculated to deceive and to captivate they have less claim than the old States, as this bill clearly the people. Whilst it presents the cup of hope, yet asserts. Apart from all other considerations, the location within is contained the gilded pill of bitterness and death: of these lands amongst us (protected as they are by the it is deceptive, and offers favor and benefits that are not different acts of Congress forced upon the new States) real, whilst it professes to bestow moneyed favors on the embarrasses these States, and operates greatly to their dis-people. Yet, the truth is, that the people are actually advantage; and besides, the constant improvement of the paying a tax to inake the sum thus pretended to be be country in which they lie, by the citizens of these States, stowed. I am opposed to this mode of legislating; we enhances the value of the public domain thus proposed to ought not to do an act which may mislead and deceive the be parcelled out by the bill. And are we to have nothing people; all our acts should be open, so that the people, in consideration of all this? But the Senator says, we get who have a right to review our work, may see and underseventeen and one-half per cent. inore than the old States. stand what we have done. Was there ever a greater delusion (to use no stronger Sir, there is another principle in the bill very misword) than this? Sir, let us examine this bounty, and chievous in its consequences, wbich is this: it is well calits virtue fades before the power of truth and justice. culated to disturb the quiet and peaceable enjoyment of

Now, sir, five per cent., which is part of this seventeen a certain description of property in the slave-holding States. and one-half, is actually the right of the new States now, Does not every one in those States know, that the more under former compacts palmed, I will say, on us, when those unfortunate beings are tantalized with a hope of we were minors, before we were allowed to come into emancipation, the more ungovernable they are, and, conthe Union; although, by treaty and compact, we had a sequently, the more wretched they are? If we then furright to come in without conditions. And what were the nish the means, do we not invite the intermeddling by conditions extorted from us? Sir, we were compelled to fanatics with those people and will this not be an evil surrender the right to tax the lands of the United States; Igreatly to be dreaded? and wherever there are many fiee

Jax. 12, 1833.]

Public Lands.

(SENATE.

blacks, there always the slave is less manageable, and pose the President had not expressed such an opinion. his condition will be imbittered by harslier treatment. But, he says, the power is in the deed of cession: this is a

Is not a free black population the worst of all others broad answer, and amounts to none at all; he has fired at in our country? Suppose, then, you by this bill furnish the the whole world, and missed it too. Will the Senator quote means; will not many be purchased and emancipated? and that part, if any, of the deed of cession, which gives this after they are, who has the power to say they shall go out power? can he put his finger on the page or place where of the country? If they choose to stay among us, how I could find it?' I confess I never saw it, often as I have can we get rid of them? Look, sir, only at what we see looked for it. Its inequality makes it unconstitutional; every day in this city for a proof of what I say. Sir, this this system contemplates to continue that inequality which bill is unconstitutional, because in no part of the constitu- now exists between the old and the new States, though it is tion of the United States is the power expressly given or the duty of Congress to remove this injustice, and put all impliedly given to Congress to use the revenue of the on an equal footing, expressly made so by the terms of the nation for the support of an African colony, or for the treaties and deeds of cession under which these lands are benefit of any foreign power, or for any other purpose held. The constitution declares that the constitution of the than the general welfare of the American people. United States, and treaties made under it, &c. shall be

Sir, what will your constituents and mine say, when the paramount law of the land. Then any law against a they come to understand that they are paying a heavy treaty made by virtue of the constitution is void and uncontax to support a parcel of free negroes and adventurous stitutional. In the land laws of the United States, page clergymen in Liberia? If we are exonerated from the 43, we have this provision in the treaty with the repubpayment of a tax here at home within our own limits for lic of France, which ceded Louisiana to the United States: the support of a church, why shall we be compelled to “ The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incordo it without our own limits?" (at Liberia, in Africa.) Is porated into the Union of the United States, and admitted this the liberty of conscience secured to the people under as soon as possible, according to the principles of the the constitution of these United States? Where, I repeat, federal constitution, to the full enjoyment of all the is the power to be found within that instrument, sanctified rights, advantages, and immunities of citizens of the Unitand consecrated to liberty by the blood and sufferings of ed States.". oar illustrious ancestors?' Shall we so soon disregard the The words in this paragraph are pregnant with much obligations of the constitution, and view with indifference meaning and force. 'Mark you, sir, the inhabitants of the high value of that rich inheritance, when we, and we Louisiana (the territory ceded by that treaty, and the peoalone, can boast of having descended from those mighty ple, to whom its protection extends) were to be incormen whom God had chosen as his peculiar instruments, porated into the Union; they were to be made an equal with whom to demonstrate his power, before the children part of the body of the Union of the United States, in of men? Sir, it was a peculiar demonstration of power the full enjoyment of all the rights, advantages, and imand goodness, such as age or country never witnessed inunities of citizens of the United States; and this was to before. I am aware, sir, that it will be said I mistake the be done as soon as possible. Now, sir, what is the duty object of the colony; that it is not to establish a church of the Government under these terms of the treaty! The there, but only to afford an asylum to those unhappy peo-word possible is an expression of great import. As soon ple (the free blacks.) I understand all that, sir, and I as possible these people were to be put into the full enalso understand what'description of people are engaged joyment of all the rights of citizens of the United States. In this project; and I ask whether there isnot a strict re- Had we under this treaty any power to delay or refuse to - ligious discipline kept up there, and whether the liberty do this? Have we any right to take any step, which neof conscience is enjoyed there? 'Sir, I will not dwell upon cessarily produces delay? Is this a true interpretation to this part of the subject. I am not opposed to this colony; the admission as soon as possible of these people into the I am only unwilling to see an unconstitutional appropri- full enjoyment of all these rights, on equal terms with ation of money for its benefit; and I would have this same citizens of other States, as guarantied to them by the objection to any other object, if I thought the step to be terms of the treaty? They have, it is true, been admitted unconstitutional. I know, sir, I will be answered with the into the Union; but are there not other rights which the assertion that the States will do this: that it is the act of old States enjoy, which those new States do not? If there the States, and not the United States; but sir, this is not be such rights in the old States, then they are not equal true; the principle is qui facit per aliem se.

with the old States, and the terms of the treaty are not So, if the United States order it, then it is the act of the yet complied with; and, I ask, are we not bound to remeUnited States. Now, sir, how does this matter stand? The dy this inequality? If we are, how can we pass this law, States are enjoined to do this thing by an act of Congress, which disregards this obligation by postponing the rightand they are furnished with the funds; the States are ful enjoyment of those equal privileges? Sir, there are only the instruments to execute the wish of Congress. rights which other States have, and important ones too, Then it is not the act of the States, but the United States; which the new States have not. All the old States have and if we lack the power to do this ourselves, we can jurisdiction over all their citizens, and all the property, not give it to the States.

real and personal, and tax it for the support of the GovSir, we cannot convey a right which we do not pos- ernment of the State; but we in the new States have not sess. All the right and ability which the States have, are this right, nor have we the right fully to legislate over all derived from the General Government. But if the states the

property in the State, for public purposes; the public have this right already, why shall we attempt to give land being exempt from taxation, and from the legislative what they do not need if, then, the right in the General action of the State. This bill being calculated, not to reGovernment is imperfect, the grant from her to the States move these embarrassments, but to continue them continues of that imperfect right must be unavoidably imperfect. an inequality among the States, and is therefore unconsti

The Senator from Kentucky, who sits furthest from me, tutional. But how, it will be asked, are we to remove (Mr. Clas,] said, in reply to a call from my honorable this inequality? I answer, reduce the price of lands to a friend and neighbor, the Senator from Illinois, who sits fair value; let them pass into the hands of the citizens, nearest on my right, (Mr. Kane,] that the power to make subject to taxation; and then, and then only, will the this distribution is to be found in the deed of cession, and States be equal. By the bill, and the report which acin the opinion of the President. I know of no such opin- companied this bill last session, it is admitted that the ion ever expressed by the President, and, judging from money is not needed by the Government for revenue the course that Senator [Mr. Clar] takes, I should sup-purposes; for by both the money is proposed to be given

SENATE.]

Public Lands.

(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,

Jar. 12, 1833.]

Public Lands.

(SENATE.

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. CLAY] 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 reducas 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 all 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 efroneous. 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 baughty 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 go, 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 painesi 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 ration. 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 lie mean by shifting the theatre Hearen avert,) yet then beneath its toitures we will not of discontent? Does he mean to say that, unless we keep call on the honorable Senator to interpose bis kindness, or up the tariff, and keep up the price of the public lands heare 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, for 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 iny 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 slot at by all; but, sir, I shall now, not necessary that it should destroy the bill. If the as I have always beretofore 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 erouch 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 1 liare served and with the bill is to keep up the price of the public lands. If

« ZurückWeiter »