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The anxiety of all new formed settlements to increase but it is people that is wanted, to occupy those already their numbers is very great; and that anxiety not being exposed to sale. The gentleman from Florida had also gratified, and suffering under the inconveniences incident expressed his anxiety about this appropriation. In 1825, to a new country, they become greatly dissatisfied, and the amount surveyed in that territory was about three charge the whole fault to the Government. Hence the millions of acres, and he believed about the same quantity agitation that is constantly kept up on this subject in the had been surveyed within the last five years, while the new States, and the high toned pretensions of Illinois in annual sales in that territory do not amount to a fiftieth particular, about the right of property. We are now call- part of that quantity. The same remarks were applicable ed upon to add to and aggravate this distressing state of to Michigan, and, in general, to all the new States. For things, by surveying four thousand six hundred townships these reasons, he could not see any necessity for expend. more, amounting to one hundred and three millions of ing a larger sum than is proposed by the gentleman from acres, at an expense of a million of dollars. The appro- Virginia. His amendment would leave at the disposal of priation proposed in the bill will survey twelve millions of the department, after discharging the arrearages now due, them, and is but the entering wedge of others that are to thirty thousand dollars, which would survey three millions follow to execute this great project. Can any man enter- of acres for the current year, while the sales will not protain a doubt as to the effect of adding to the quantity now bably much exceed one million. If we should come back in market the enormous amount of one hundred and three again to the old principle and practice before the war, millions of acres?
from which we have departed, and hereafter survey some It has been already shown that there are now in market two or three millions per annum, we should then keep many millions which we have no ability to people; and is constantly on hand and exposed to sale one hundred times it not far better that some portion of the vast regions now as much as the annual demand. But in that way we should in market should be disposed of and settled, before we prevent things from growing worse, and avoid further bring any considerable additional quantities into market? unnecessary depression in the public property, or that of If any particular settlement should take a direction into individuals. He thought it to be our duty to afford a reaan unsurveyed region, Mr. V. said he would survey and sonable protection to both. Entertaining these opinions, bring it into market, so that the market might always be he hoped the amendment of the gentleman from Virginia kept fully adequate to any demand. Beyond that he would be adopted. would not go for the present.
Mr. DUNCAN, of Illinois, said, though he felt very The quantity of land now in market being far greater anxious that an appropriation should be made to continue than any existing demand for settlement, and of as good the surveys of the public land, he had intended to permit quality as any that remains to be surveyed, it follows as a the vote to be taken without submitting a remark, as he necessary consequence, that, by increasing the quantity, considered the requisition of the Treasury Department, you do not in reality open any additional room for settle- and the recommendation of the Committee of Ways and ment; nor can you expect in that way to add a single in- Means, as ample evidence for the House to form their habitant to the aggregate population of the new States. judgment upon; but, he said, the gentleman from Ohio All that you can effect by this operation, is, to diffuse our [Mr. Vinton] had spoken of pretensions set up by Illinois, population over a greater region of country, where, in in such a manner as to justify him, he hoped, in troubling point of fact, the sparseness of population in that already the House with a few remarks in reply: He said he had settled is among the greatest evils it has to overcome. heard nothing of Illinois until the gentleman had himself He said he most conscientiously believed that the vast mentioned it, and was at a loss to know what was meant bodies of land that now glutted the market, had depressed by the gentleman's remark. He assured him that he the actual value of the public domain, and of private would urge nothing for Illinois, on this or any other occaproperty, at least fifty per cent. below what it would have sion, that was not just and proper to granted. He said, been if a proper regard had been paid in adjusting the by the gentleman's own showing, it would be seen tha: supply to the demand; while he did not believe the ag- a very large portion of the State of Illinois was yet to be gregate population of the country is any greater than it surveyed-only twenty-seven out of forty odd millions had would have been by keeping the market always fully sup- been surveyed. Mr. D. spoke of the quality of the plied, without going materially beyond that point. The soil and beauty of the country in the northern section of hundred millions now proposed to be prepared for sale Illinois, and north of it, and the prospect of its immediate must inevitably produce still greater depression, in both settlement when surveyed and brought into market. He public and private property, to an extent that no one can, said there was now, and had been for several years, a with certainty, foretell. The land now in market is diffused large number of citizens, estimated at near ten thousand, throughout all the new States and Territories. There is residing in the northern part of Illinois, far beyond the not one of them where the quantity in market is not now present surveys; that an equal or greater number resided more than thirty times as great as the annual sales, and in north of the State, in the Northwest territory, where there many of them many hundred times as great. And, singular was not an acre of public land surveyed. He hoped that as it may seem, where the disproportion is the greatest, a statement of these facts would suficiently show the nethe call for additional quantities is the most urgent. cessity of extending the surveys in Illinois and Michigan;
The gentleman from Arkansas is very anxious for this and from statements he had heard made by other gentleappropriation, and informs us the settlement of that ter- men, it was clear to his mind that the necessity was equally ritory is retarded for want of land in market. Now, it pressing in other sections of the country. He said, if appears that, so long ago as 1825, more than eleven mil. further evidence of the necessity of these surveys was Lions of acres had been surveyed in that territory. What necessary, he could refer the House to several petitions quantity had been since surveyed, he did not know; but now upon their files. the entire amount of sales for the last year did not exceed Mr. D. said, the argument of the gentleman from Ohio one thousandth part of the quantity surveyed and unsold: (Mr. Vintox] in opposition to this appropriation was such indeed, the whole amount sold would not make more than as he would have cxpected from the land speculator; and half a dozen good plantations; and the whole sales ever if he were permitted to make a guess, judging from his made there would very little more than pay the salaries speech alone, he should say, that the gentleman was himand expenses of making the sales, without taking into the self an extensive landholder or speculator in lands. account more than a hundred thousand dollars paid for the [Mr. VINTON here rose, and denied that he was a land surveys already made. Nothing can show more forcibly speculator, or that he was the owner of any quantity of than this case, that it is not additional land that is wanted; wild lands.]
H. OF R.]
Surveys of the Public Lands.
[Jan. 12, 1831.
The SPEAKER remarked, that the gentleman from Illi- necticut, the pretext (not the subject matter) of a long nois did not say that the gentleman from Ohio was a spe- and able debate in the Senate, upon every other subject culator; if he had, he should have stopped bim, as such a save the one proposed by the resolution. remark would have been out of order.
I hope, Mr. Speaker, it is not the wish of the gentleman Mr. D. proceeded, and said, that the whole argument to renew that discussion in this House upon an item in an of the gentleman was in favor of keeping up the price of appropriation bill. If it be the object of the member to private land, by keeping the public land out of market; get up a discussion upon the subject of the public lands, I which he said was a policy peculiarly favorable to the land invoke him to submit his proposition--let us see its length speculator, and oppressive to the poor, who has his home and breadth upon paper, in a tangible form, that we may yet to purchase. He said that a farmer, who wanted his discuss it, and vote it down. What are the objections of land for his own use, cared but little whether it was esti- the member from Ohio to the appropriation now under conmated at a high or low price; nor did such men generally sideration, and the arguments by which these objections care at how low a rate their poor neighbors purchased are sustained? The gentleman says, we have more land their homes; it was only those, he said, who had land to now surveyed than we shall be able to sell in thirty years; sell, that felt much interest about the price it bears. and he has furnished us with the tables of the quantity sur
Mr. D. believed it to be the true policy of the Govern- veyed, and number of acres sold. His statistics I do not ment to survey all the lands within the States and Territo-controvert. Admit the facts and his inferences, is it any ries as soon as possible, and bring them into market. He argument against continuing the surveying! If the arguthought it quite probable that there were enough settlers ment is worth any thing, it would have its full weight upon at this moment on the unsurveyed land, who are prepared a proposition to suspend, by law, the sales, not the surveyto purchase their homes, to pay enough at once to defray ing, of the public lands. We are not obliged to bring the the expense of surveying all the public lands yet to be lands into market so soon as surveyed, if it be the policy surveyed in the States. He said, in reply to the fear of the Government to limit the sales of the public lands, expressed by the gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. McCox,) and confine the population to the States and Territories that the public lands would have to be resurveyed, that already surveyed. If it were proper to do this, and a law he believed the suggestion was entitled to little or no con- were now passed, declaring that not another section of sideration, as there never had been a case of the kind; public land should be surveyed until the last acre now surand he believed, from the manner of executing those sur- veyed was sold and occupied, still it would be proper to veys, that there never would be such a necessity, unless progress with the surveying, that the Government should the survey should be erroneous. He thought it was too know something of the quality, soil, and situation of the late for gentlemen to succeed in an attempt to arrest the public domain. emigration to the West. People, he remarked, are now Other reasons might be urged why the surveying of the settled, in large or small bodies, in nearly every district public lands should progress rapidly; but I pass by them, of the public lands where the Indian title has been extin- to consider the main point in the gentleman's argument, guished; and he held it to be the duty, as well as the best which has often been presented to us in this or some other policy of the Government, to afford them an opportunity shape, and by the member from Ohio especially. And of purchasing their homes as soon as possible, and on the that is, if I understand it correctly, the United States, by most favorable terms.
her land system, by the reduction of the price of the pub. Mr. WICKLIFFE said he was opposed to the motion lic lands, holds out inducements to the citizens of the older made by the member from Virginia, (Mr. McCoy,) to re- States to emigrate, and purchase land for themselves, duce the amount of appropriation for the surveying of the thereby extending our settlements beyond the limits which public lands; and he observed he should have given a a true regard to the interest of the Government, and of silent vote on the question, but for the remarks of the individual landholders, will justify. And, again: By the honorable gentleman from Ohio, (Mr. Vixtox.) immense quantity of public land which the Government
If the amount of the appropriation in this bill is to de- has brought, and is still bringing into market, the quanpend upon the soundness of the policy which that gentle-tity is greater than the demand; consequently, the price man advocates, in reference to the public lands, this of landed estate in the hands of individual purchasers from House will bear with me, said Mr. W., for a few mo the Government is less, and more than one-half its value, ments, whilst I expose the unsoundness of such a poli- thus producing ruin upon whole communities, as well as cy--its utter ruin to the Western country. It is a policy operating injustice to individuals. which belongs not to the West: it has its origin and per I have, Mr. Speaker, given the substance of tlie gentlemanent residence in other regions. Feeling a lively inte. man's argument, if not his words. I invite him to review rest for the growth and prosperity of the land of my birth, it himself, and see if he is willing to stand by it. and of my home, I am compelled to rise in my place, to- pose to analyze it briefly, that we may see if it be founded day, and, in the name of the whole West, the entire upon that public policy which has, and which I hope ever West, the “further West,” repudiate the doctrines ad- will be pursued by this Government: a policy connected vanced by the gentleman from Ohio. These doctrines and with lier true interests and future welfare--a policy which opinions belong not to the West: they are exotics, and will give physical strength and moral energy to the popu. cannot flourish in that climate.
lation of the United States. I mean such a disposition of I do this, sir, thus explicitly, because these opinions, her public lands as will put it in the power of every man, emanating from so respectable a source as the member however poor and humble in society, to acquire a home from Ohio, may hereafter be referred to as furnishing evi- for himself, and a fireside for his family. With a popu. dence of the public sentiment now, among a people with lation of freeholders, of men who have their homes with whom it is my pride to have lived.
all the interesting endearments which belong to that name, The gentleman, as a representative of the West, is pe- and a Government to which they may turn and look upon culiar in his opinions on this subject. I doubt if another as a benefactor, what have our free institutions to fear man, west of the mountains, in or out of this House, thinks from intestine divisions or foreign invasion? Nothing, sir as he does upon this very interesting stion. I attribute --nothing. to the gentleman every sincerity of motive to which he is With a Government like ours, and our citizens freeholdentitled. His opinions are the results of early impressions ers, liberty must ever be secure in this her favored land. in the land of his birth, (New England,) where they have No hostile Power will dare plant upon our borders his been long cherished, and which were boldly unfolded at footsteps. I wish I could offer stronger inducements than the last session, in the resolution of a Senator from Con- at present exist, to my countrymen, who are the tenants,
Jan. 12, 1831.]
Surveys of the Public Lands.
[H. OF R.
and give more than half their substance and labor to land- surveyed, and subject to location. Stop the surveys, and lords, to pull up the stakes, and take up the line of march | limit the sales in other States and Territories, and you to a country where the labor of six months will buy them a will perhaps increase the tide of emigration to the great home of far better land than that upon which they eke and flourishing State of Ohio, and you may increase the out a miserable existence of labor and penury, that aris- value of lands owned by private individuals too. Is it tocracy may live in splendor and pomp. The effect of our duty to do this? Shall we, by our legislation, attempt the gentleman's policy is to continue this state of things. to restrain the tide of emigration? You might as well, sir, atHe insists that the United States shall not bring her pub- tempt to stay the tide of that mightiest of rivers which gives lic lands into market; because, by doing so, the value of name and consequence to the Western country: There the real estate of individuals is lessened—they can neither are reasons, however, sir, unconnected with this view of sell nor rent their lands so high. Our population is extend the subject, why the surveying of the public lands should ing itself, and the older States sustain a material injury. progress with accelerated rapidity. The tide of emigra
Land is too cheap already, says the gentleman. I well tion in front is forced on by its succeeding wave, and recollect the policy recommended by the Secretary of your public lands will be occupied by your citizens, and the Treasury, (Mr. Rush,) under the last administration; improved, whether you survey them or not; and what is and this argument of the gentleman from Ohio has called the consequence? At every session of Congress, at this it to memory at the present moment. He, sir, was in session, we are compelled to interrupt our regular system favor of what is now a very fashionable term, “the Ame- of disposing of the public lands, by granting to these rican system.” He was, in his report, justifying the prin-honest pioneers the right of settlement and pre-emption. ciple, that the agricultural interest of the West ought to No Congress has yet refused it; no Congress will refuse it. be taxed, to support the manufacturing interest of the My situation as a member of the Committee on the PubEast; because, in his opinion, Congress, by the reduced lic Lands, enables me to speak of the fact, if it has not price at which public lands were sold, gave to agriculture already attracted the attention of the House, that petia bounty equivalent to the increase of taxation in favor of tions from every quarter in behalf of this worthy class of manufactures; and if my memory does not deceive me, he four population no. lie upon your table, calling upon condemned the policy thus pursued, because it excited you to extend to them the privileges of the pre-emption to emigration from the manufacturing districts, and there-law of last session, upon the ground that the land on by enhanced the price of labor to the manufacturer; and which they reside had not been surveyed; consequently, thence deduced an argument in favor of this taxation upon they could not avail themselves of the beneficent provithe farming interests, for the benefit of the manufactur- sions of that act. We must grant it them; we cannot ing States. How was this argument received in the West refuse; and I hope no American Congress will be found With universal disapprobation, as the elections of 1828 willing to expose the home, the labor, of a citizen to the will attest. I protest against it in every shape, whenever highest bidder, with a view to wring from bim the last and however used. That policy which has for its object dollar to pay for that which his own labor has produced, to build up an interest in this country at the expense of his little tenement, the shelter of his family. There is the farming interest, which has for its purpose the con- but one way to stop these appeals, and that is, by surveycentration of population, in order to reduce the price of ing the land as speedily as possible. You cannot prevent labor, and exact from it its hard earnings to sustain a par- your citizens froin taking possession of the public lands. ticular interest-call it by whatever name you will, give You may pass your penal laws to prevent it, but you canto it all the charms which impassioned eloquence can not enforce them. The public sentiment and feeling are claim-I am utterly opposed to it.
against such laws, and they would be dead letters on your And this, Mr. Speaker, is the tendency of the gentle statute book. I trust, sir, thc amendment will not preman's argument. He, too, thinks that the facility which vail, and that the Government will be permitted to prothis Government affords to a poor man to escape from the gress with all reasonable despatch to execute the surveys, vassalage of a tenant to the freedom of a landhokler, les- and bring the lands into market. sens the price of lands in the hands of individuals, and Mr. WHITE, of Florida, said, that the delays and difincreases the price of labor. But, sir, the gentleman ficulties succeecling the acquisition of Florida by the claims it as an act of justice which we owe to those who United States, the time required for the examination and have bought lands of the Government heretofore at two decision of the claims derived from the former Governdollars per acre, to hold up our lands. For what purpose ment, and the removal of the Indians, had retarded the That these purchasers may sell again, to realize a profit, surveys of the public lands in that territory. Wbat. I suppose.
ever might be the necessity in other quarters, where Again: The gentleman says the price of land has fallen these embarrassments did not exist, he was sure it would to half its former value, in consequence of the policy operate injuriously to that part of the country whose inwhich the United States has pursued in reference to her terests it was his duty to guard on this floor. He was public domain for the last twelve or fourteen years. I opposed to striking out the proposed appropriation, and deny that it is owing to this canse entirely, if, indeed, at most solemnly protested against the arguments on which all. Other and more immediate causes must present it. it was urged upon the House. If he properly underself to the inquiring mind. Is it in this country alone stood the honorable member from Ohio, he was in favor that the price of real estate has fallen? Is real estate in of striking out that section of the bill, because there this country the only estate that has depreciated? No, sir, were lands enough surveyed for the market; and offerevery thing has sunk in value, and the true cause may ing new lands for sale would depreciate the price of that be traced by the political economist in the appreciation of before purchased. This might suit the meridian of Ohio, the medium of exchange-the precious metals; and the Illinois, and Missouri, but it is not in accordance with the man who buys his land now in Illinois at one dollar and rights or interests of Arkansas and Florida. The gentletwenty-five cents per acre, pays as much for it as the gen- man has said that eight millions of acres have been surveytleinan's constituents, who bought seventeen or eighteen ed in Florida, because he has a printed statement saying years ago at two dollars per acre. Sir, he pays more, that twenty-four millions were to be surveyed in 1825. according to the comparative value of specie then and I do not believe, at that time, that there was half a million now, as estimated by the report of the Committee of surveyed; and the only way in which it can be accounted Ways and Means on your table. This policy of stopping for is, that the author of the paper he holds in his hands the surveying of the public lands noit, will very well put down the private land claims that were held under the suit the gentleman's own State, where every acre has been treaty, as no part of the public lands to be surveyed.
H. OF R.]
Surveys of the Public Lands.
[Jan. 12, 1831.
[Mr. VINTON explained: He said he had derived his price of private property, Mr. P. said he was not disinformation from the statistical tables of Van Zandt and posed to attribute personal motives to the gentleman from Wattertson. From these, it appeared that, in 1825, three Ohio, but he did impute to him considerations of State inmillions of acres of lands had been surveyed in Florida; terest. The true secret is, that Ohio has no more public there were now seven millions surveyed. There were lands to be surveyed. All the public lands within her said to have been thirty-one millions of acres of land limits were surveyed during the time when, according to purchased by the United States in Florida. By a state- the gentleman from Ohio, the Government was pursuing ment of the delegates from that territory, read from an extravagant course in regard to these surveys.
We the Clerk's table yesterday, it appeared that twenty-four then heard no objection from Ohio. It is well known, millions of acres remained to be surveyed, and the gen- that, during that period, Ohio had grown up in a manner tleman could therefore make his own calculations of the unparalleled in the history of the world. Large appro. quantity that had been already surveyed.]
priations for surveying were then well enough. Nearly Mr. W. continued, urging the many considerations of all the public lands within her limits hare been sold, and policy and expediency of proceeding with the surveys, now we are called on to stop the surveys, for fear it may the necessity for encouraging settlement and population. have an injurious effect upon private property in Ohio. He stated that the poor settlers who were entitled, by the We must not, it is said, bring these lands into competition bounty of the Government, to a pre-emption, could not with private lands in that State. They have reaped their enter their lands for want of an extension of the surveys. harvest; they have had their lands surveyed and sold un
Mr. PETTIS, of Missouri, said the House was then en- der this system; the private property of the citizens of the gaged in a discussion on a subject about which it appeared old States has, if you please, been depreciated in value to be in order to say any and every thing, save that which for the benefit of 'Chio; this State has rapidly populated related to the subject itself. He was not disposed to fol- from the old States under this system; but now, forsooth, low the example set him. Whilst he was anxious to avoid Ohio having all she desires, the system of surveying is tu every remark calculated to produce the least excitement, be stopped for her benefit, to keep up the value of her he was very desirous of having an opportunity of placing private property, and to keep her population from being the subject of the surveying of the public lands in its pro- induced to migrate further west. This is not all; there per light before the House.
is another motive. On a certain occasion, a million of Mr. P. begged leave to remind gentlemen of what had acres of the public lands were given to Ohio for making frequently occurred in the House when any discussion took canals. He would not say it was given by way of bribe. place on the subject of the public lands. Whenever any pro. It is true, however, that, at a particular crisis, two bills position was before it proposing to amend the system in re were pushed through Congress, having different and gard to the mode of disposing of the public lands; whenever opposing friends, each bill making a donation of about it was proposed to reduce the price of these lands, yea, the 500,000 acres of land. These lands have been selected in refuse of these lands, and that to actual settlers, in small small parcels from the best of the public lands in that parcels; we of the new States have had it rung in our ears State; and now the survey of other public lands is to be from various quarters of the hall; we have been entreat- checked, to prevent other lands from being brought in ed by gentlemen not to interrupt the existing system in competition with these lands, thus given and thus selectregard to these la: ds.
We have been told that the sys- ed, and to keep up their value. Sir, said Mr. P., is this tem was devised by the wisest men of the nation, and ma- liberal? Is it generous? Is it fair? He would not say it tured by the wisdom of experience. They have said to us, was unjust, but he would say it was very unfair. The "let us go on in the usual way; we are disposed to be li- gentleman from Ohio, [M:. Vinrox,] not satisfied with beral to the new States.” Sir, said Mr. P., the tune is using these arguments, has thought proper to state that the now changed. The gentlemen are themselves proposing most of the revenue arising from the sales of public lands an innovation of the most prejudicial character to the new is drawn from the old land districts, and consequently States and to the Territories. Your Committee of Ways from Ohio. Sir, the gentleman is mistaken. The fact is and Means have told you that the estimate made by the not so. The sales of the public lands in the State of Illiseveral surveyors was $200,000 dollars; that made and nois
, for the last year, amount to nearly double the sent in by the Treasury Department was $150,000; and amount of those from Ohio. The sales in Niissouri, in Inthe committee propose appropriating but $130,000 for the cliana, and in Alabama, greatly exceed those of Ohio for surveys to be made the ensuing year. We all know that the last year. no appropriation was made for this object at the last ses The gentleman from Ohio las based his opposition to sion; and the committee have told us that the land office this bill on the ground that there is already more land in department was, in consequence, $30,000 in arrears. The market than is demanded by purchasers. He contends committee have stated that the appropriation recommend that the Government should act as an individual, and not el by them is about the average of such appropriations permit the supply to exceed the demand for it. Was not made during the last seven or eight years, and not so much this the case when the Government was making such liberal as had been appropriated for many ycars previous thereto. appropriations for surveys in Ohio? Could the gentleNotwithstanding these facts, we have seen the gentlemen man, at any period referred to, have said, in favor of more heretofore so much opposed to innovation, proposing to surveys, that the Government can sell more lands in the strike out the appropriation recommended, and inserting next year than are already surveyed? Shall we now change less than half that sum. We have been told by the gen- our course for the benefit of Ohio, who, from her proximtleman from Ohio (Mr. Vixtox] that this is an enormous ity to the old States, has always possessed a great adappropriation, and that the sales of the public lands do not vantage over other new States? Shall the Government justify it. The nett proceeds of these sales for the last hug the public lands as a treasure for mere purposes of year amounted to nearly two millions of dollars. Can revenue? Shall they prize their lands as the sordid miser this appropriation, then, be considered enormous? That does his gold? This doctrine has been utterly disclaimed gentleman hias told us that, from 1815 to 1820, the Go- by all parties in another quarter. The proposition to vernment surveyed and brought into market too great a siop the surveys of the public lands had been discussed portion of these lands, and that the consequence had been at great length in the quarter referred to.
It received a a great depreciation in the value of lands in the hands of decisive negative, not only then, but, as was then believindividuals. And he now opposed the present appropria- ed, its everlasting quietus, by the good people of this nation, because, as he says, it will bring too much land into tion. Believing this question at rest forever, he had been market, and the result will be a furtherdepreciation of the taken by surprise in this debate. He would take this
Jar. 12, 1831.]
Surveys of the Public Lands.
[H. OF R.
occasion to say, however, that he considered it the duty said, of one thing, however, he was certain; the only way of the Government, and very important to the new States, the gentleman could refute the arguments would be, by that these lands should be brought into market as speedily voting against the measure if ever it shall come before as the United States can reasonably defray the expense him. thereof, and that every facility should be afforded to the But to return to the immediate subject before us, Mr. extinguishment of the title of the Government in and to P. said he considered the Government pledged to take these lands. And to this end, he contended the price of the most liberal steps to settle and sell the public lands. these lands should be reduced, especially in favor of ac- In 1780, the old Congress, when they invited the States tual settlers. He made these remarks, because he was to surrender their wild lands, made a sacred pledge that well satisfied that this opposition to the surveying of more these lands should be settled and sold, and formed into lands was a preliminary step to the stand to be taken distinct republican States, having the same rights of against any reduction of the price of public lands. Gen- sovereignty, freedom, and independence, as the original tlemen have been railing against innovation in the land States. Shall we not redeem this pledge? How can it be system, until they have got ready their own machinery; redeemed, but by having these lands surveyed? How can and now they are for a vigorous effort to oppress still fur- you have these lands sold and settled, without bringing ther the new States, in regard to the public lands. the price within the means of the great body of pur
Mr. P. said he felt himself bound to take notice of the chasers? Sir, said Mr. P., if no amelioration is intended remarks made by the gentleman from Ohio, [Mr. Vins to be extended to us, we cannot, surely, bear a more rigid Ton,) and by the gentleman from Kentucky, (Mr. WICK- system. Let us have the usual appropriation for survey. LIFFE,] relative to the claims set up by some of the new ing, and adjust other matters in relation to these lands States to the public lands. The gentleman from Ohio, hereafter. in opposing this appropriation, has thought proper to Mr. STRONG regretted that so much debate had taken urge, as a reason for his opposition, that some of the place on the proposed amendment. He said he was in States had certain pretensions to the right of property in favor of going on with the surveys, and believed the usual the lands within their limits; and insinuates that the Unit- appropriations for the purpose averaged about $50,000. ed States should survey no more of these lands, because He wanted to know, however, what had become of the he says it is for the States thus setting up their claims. $84,000, of which he had before spoken? Was it all exThe gentleman from Kentucky, in repelling these insinua- pended last year for surveys? Was the department now tions, has indulged himself in ridicule of those who enter in debt? His desire was to get at the facts. Had $84,000 tain such opinions. He has, indeed, uttered very severe been expended last year for surveys, and was the depart. denunciations against them. He was sorry to hear suchment in debt $80,000 more? If such was the fact, he remarks from that quarter; but he felt himself called on wanted to know the reasons for so great an expenditure to make a reply. Mr. P. said it was well known to the for the purpose. He was willing to give fifly or sixty House, that, during the last session, the new States were thousand dollars a year for surveys, but he saw no necesridiculed, taunted, reproached, for the pretensions some sity for granting a hundred or a hundred and fifty thouof them had made to the right of property in the public sand dollars a year to carry them on. He was desirous Jomain within their limits. This was urged then as a that the department should be out of debt, and then let reason why the proceeds of the lands should be divided the surveys go on as fast as they were necessary, anong all the States, for the purposes of internal improve Mr. VERPLANCK said his colleague would find an ment and education. On thai account, the public lands in answer to his inquiries, by turning to the report of the the new States were to be seized on, and divided out among Commissioner of the General Land Office, appended to the old States. Observing the strong prejudices which the message of the President at the commencement of had been excited by these insinuations, he attempted to the present session, (from which he read an extract.) He remove them, by frankly and fully stating the arguments said further, that the present appropriation would cover and grounds on which they relied for the justness of their all arrearages. conclusions. He had asked to be shown the part of the Mr. VINTON said it was not his intention, after what he constitution which authorized the United States to hold had said, to enter further into the debate; but the remarks lands within the limits of a sovereign State. He had in that had been made, applicable, not to the question, but sisted that, if the Government could hold these lands, and to himself personally, and to the State of Ohio, left no sell them, they could lease them, and make the citizens of alternative but to vindicate himself and the State from the new States tenants to the United States. He had which he came. When on the floor before, he had stated urged, that the practice of the Government, in regard to certain facts, and deduced from them what he thought to crown lands in the old States, showed what the first opi- be fair arguments and inferences. No gentleman had nions under the constitution were on this subject. Ile disproved the facts, or met the argument, or refuted the had, as politely and respectfully as he could, invited gen- inferences. But an attempt had been made to create a tlemen to answer bis arguments. No one, not even the prejudice in the House against those arguments, unworthy gentleman from Kentucky, bad met the argument. None the place and of those who have resorted to it. On every had undertaken the task. The subject had, it is true, side he had been assailed by imputations directed at him been touched on in another body, and barely touched on, personally and at his State. for the argument was not met. The gentleman from The gentleman from Illinois had thrown out the unKentucky had now, for the first time, alluded to the sub- founded insinuation that he was a land speculator, and ject, and, instead of meeting the argument, he has under had fitted his argument to his own interest; while the taken to denounce the doctrine as a dream, a vision, a gentleman from Kentucky, who was followed up by the popularity-hunting scheme. [Here Mr. WICKLIFFE asked gentleman from Missouri, had thought proper to open an leave to explain: He said he assured the gentleman from attack upon the State of Ohio, through him, by asserting Missouri that he did not allude to him. He had neither that Ohio had been the favored State of the West, and heard nor read his speech, and was not thinking of it.] when she had obtained all her ends, she was actuated by thought so, continued Mr. P. I thought the gentleman had a desire to oppress and keep down the other new States. neither heard nor read my speech; and that may be one He would say to those gentlemen, one and all, that to reason why he does not understand the subject. The answer an argument was one thing, and to fly away from House will pardon me for saying it is the gentleman's mis- it into insinuation was another. It was an artifice to escape fortune. If he had read my speech, he would not, I am from an argument, which no gentleman who had a proper sure, have indulged in the remarks he made. Mr. P. self-respect would hazard in the face of an intelligent as.