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rare foreknowledge, and the bees have with any of the New York delegates with whom I am discovered rich fields afar and made acquainted, because that government is wisely in
viting the eastern people to settle in that state. new hives in them ; while sedentary
Few Bingham and Kearney are our principal benevolence has indulged memories opposers. ... New York, Connecticut and rather than anticipations, and worked Massachusetts would sell us lands at half a dollar an over and over again the somewhat exhausted acres of the fathers.
The opposition which the Ohio comIn his own delicate and comprehen- pany encountered in Mr. Bingham was sive way Washington hinted at the eastern, and personal, and financial. neglect by the Atlantic east of the west, This William Bingham, to whom referwhich feeling he soon saw developed, ence has been made, and then delegate even to opposition. The letter of Gen- from Pennsylvania, was about this time eral Putnam to him in 1783, revealed a
the owner of nearly two and a half milchance for a noble movement into the lions of wild land in the Province of west, and he gave it his favor, and soon
Maine, and naturally would oppose the learned how skeptical and suspicious scheme before the continental congress, the east was of the west. The letter to put five millions of Ohio land on the was more than an epistle, in both vol- public market. There were other heavy ume and topic, and will hold place eastern operations in wild land which among eminent papers on the Missis- stood in the way of the Ohio movement, sippi valley, as inaugurating both the and one more may be stated. In a Ohio company and a general policy. letter to his secretary of state, WashingBy act of congress, October 27, 1787, then in session at New York, grants
It will be fortunate for the American public if of wild lands in the Northwest Territory private speculations in lands, still claimed by the
aborigines, do not aggravate those were made to the company, amounting which policy, humanity and justice concur to depreto near five millions of acres. In obtaining these lands it acted for other To this Sparks, editing the writings parties jointly with itself, and finally of Washington, adds this note : obtained, as its own, 964,285 acres, and Alluding to the large purchasers of new lands, Washington signed many of the patents situated in the eastern part of Massachusetts, which May 10, 1792. The Rev. Dr. Manasseh
had recently been made by Robert Morris of GorCutler acted as agent for the company Jefferson, was 1,300,000 acres, at five pence an acre,
ham & Phillips. The quantity, as stated by Mr. before congress.
In a diary, quite with an additional tract for the goss sum of £100,minute, he says: The delegates from Massachusetts, although ex
This additional tract, at the same ceedingly worthy men, and in general would wish to price, would be 4,800,000 acres—total promote the Ohio scheme, yet, if it should militate purchase by Morris, of 6,100,000 acres. † against the particular interest of this state, by draining her of inhabitants, especially when she is form- * Walker's History Athens County, Ohio,' pp. ing the plan of selling the eastern country (province 38, 39, 65, 67, et alibi. of Maine), I thought they would not be very warm +Washington to Jefferson, April 1, 1791, 'Writings advocates in our favor ; and I dare not trust myself of Washington by Sparks,' Vol. X, p. 151.
When Louisiana was added to our lowest.”I Here is the plan to keep up domain in 1803, the question of its set- the price of wild land east of the Mistlement by immigration became a lead- sissippi, now much in private hands and ing, and, at times, a very warm one. tending that way, by withholding the Under the treaty of cession Major Amos new purchase from the market. But it Stoddard took charge of the upper did not succeed, and the price dropped province for the United States, and to one dollar and a quarter. The authus states the great question :
thor goes on to say of the purchase : Will the United States permit the sale of the pub- It secures us against the danger of depopulation lic lands in Louisiana, and by this measure encourage by iinmigration from these states to Louisiana. the settlement of that country
It has The rage for acquiring lands in Louisiana and been suggested that the more effectually to promote migrating thither to settle, if encouraged, must at the national interests, we must first dispose of the no very distant day weaken and reduce the populapublic lands on the east side of the Mississippi. tion in the Atlantic States, and not improbably all
Settlers entertain a predilection for the lands that lie eastward of the Mississippi. The consein the upper Louisiana.*
quence of such a seduction must prove ultimately Here, as in the case of the Ohio fatal to the United States, for we may boldly pro
nounce that the confederacy can never be perma. company, the sale and settlement of the nently extended beyond the Mississippi, nor preserved new lands in the west are made of among its present numbers, whenever Louisiana doubtful policy because the east has so
shall become a populous country. Whenever that much unsold on the market. When the
event takes place, the constellation of the present acquisition of Louisiana was probable,
United States will probably set forever. either by negotiation or conquest, popu
Yet Iowa and Minnesota, and Mislar discussion took up the topic, and in souri and Kansas have not caused an a tract, those who wished it through eclipse of that constellation ! war are thus set forth :
Must we, then, never dispose of this immense The speculators of all kinds anticipate new scenes
quantity of valuable lands which we have purchased
at such a price? No, never, as long as the United for their rapacity, and the eastern states indulge States have lands to dispose of and settle on this their apprehensions of the rising prosperity and strength of the western. +
side the Mississippi.
In no possible view
can I perceive any benefit likely to result to the Another author pleads the seaboard United States by opening a land office in Louisiside of this question more pointedly, ana, whilst a thousand mischiefs threaten to flow and shows the advantage of the pur
any attempt of the kind. chase for the east, “in having effectually
And Sylvestris balances, finally, his secured ourselves against future rival- hopes and fears over the Louisiana purship in the sales of our lands on this side chase with a fair prayer, in a pagan the Mississippi. Our western lands now tongue, that the United States might command two dollars per acre at the discover the fact that they are already
well off.|| * Sketches Historical and Descriptive of Louisiana.' By Major Amos Stoddard, 1812, pp. 259
I'Reflections on the Cession of Louisiana to the 262.
United States.' By Sylvestris, August 10, 1803. + The Mississippi Question Fairly Stated.' By & Do., pp. 16, 22, 23, 24. Camillus, 1803.
11 "O fortunati, nimium, sua si bona noverint !"
our inquiry. Only its expressed senti
In 1807, Rhea of Tennessee proposed in the house some surveys in the
ments on the east as related to the Louisiana, that more of the public lands west are now pertinent. might be put on the market, but Var- In reporting the causes which the num of Massachusetts opposed the committee of the convention thought scheme, and it was laid over.
had sadly depressd the commerce, manA political and partisan philippic will ufactures, trade and general business of show some of the darker shades of this
New England, they state this as the question, as set in New England light,
sixth : when the admission of the state of Lou- The admission of new states into the Union, isiana was claiming attention :
formed at pleasure, in the western region, has de
stroyed the balance of power which existed among There is no subject of complaint against the Demo
the original states, and deeply affected their intercratic administration which presents such a variety of disgraceful features, which involved so many and so various causes of censure , in its origin, principles, for relief and future safety, a second
In recommending measures of action progress and effects ,as this shameful purchase of a colony of Frenchmen. In its origin it was corrupt. committee reported: In its principles, it was hostile to our con
2. That it is expedient to make provision for stitution and unfriendly to our Republican habits.
restraining congress in the exercise of an unlimited . . In its effects it has been a vast whirlpool
power to make new states, and admit them into the which has not only swallowed up the original pur- Union. chase money of eleven millions and a half, but the
So far as the records show, this recimmense sums which have been expended in exploring its unknown frontiers; in regulating, with France
, ommendation was adopted. the adjustment of boundaries purposely left unsettled; In commending this restriction of conin fortifications and a navy for its defense, as well as gressional power, the first committee, in the maintenance of an army who have gone thither only to fertilize its soil with their miserable remains.
The origin of this monstrous purchase, the By the admissions of these states that balance effects of which will be felt to our latest posterity, it (between the original thirteen) has been materially is well known, is to be found in the necessity which affected, and unless the practice be modified, must the transmontaine or western states were under to ultimately be destroyed. The southern states will have the free navigation of the Mississippi
first avail themselves of their new confederates to all to be charged to the account of those backwoods- govern the east ; and finally the western states, mulmen, who are so hostile to commercial interests, etc. * tiplied in number and augmented in population,
will control the interests of the whole. It would be unjust to the topic in
Those who are immediately concerned in the prosehand not to introduce evidence from
cution of commerce will, of necessity, be always a another source, and all the more worthy minority of the nation. They are, however, best as furnished by a representative and qualified to manage and direct its course by the ad
vantages of experience and the sense of interest. deliberative body. What the Hartford
But they are entirely unable to protect themselves convention of 1814 was called to do, or against the sudden and injudicious decisions of bare did, or failed to do, does not concern
majorities, and the mistaken or oppressive projects
of those who are not actively concerned in its pur* * The New England Patriot.' Being a candid suits. Of consequence, this interest is always excomparison of the principles and conduct of the posed to be harassed, interrupted and entirely Washington and Jefferson administrations. Boston, destroyed upon pretense of securing other interests. 1810, pp. 58, 59.
Had the merchants of this nation been permitted by
their report, say:
and for European so largely set forth in It will be observed that the most of these vast figures, are furnished almost these items, as population, live stock wholly by the west. All the wheat of and cereals, and the practical and New England would not call for her hot special metals which have carried our ovens three weeks a year. All the nation, in a century, to the fulfillment oats raised in New England in 1880 of Washington's predictions, and to the would feed all the working horses of very front among the nations of the the country only three days at a peck a world, were produced “out west.” The day.
aggregates given may not be unfamiliar The Americans now make one-fifth of the iron
to our princely and international men and one-fourth of the steel of the world. i
of commerce, and to eminent railroad half of the gold and one half of the silver of the men, but the great body of the people world's supply. , . Taking, in globo, all the receive such statements with profound mining interests, of the world, the United States represents thirty-six, Great Britain thirty-three, and surprise and with the skepticism usually the other nations thirty-one per cent. of the total.* underlying the remark, “western sto
During the last ten years, 1870-1880, ries." These immense gains of national railway mileage has doubled in the strength have come “sooner than most United States, being forty-one thousand people conceive.” eight hundred and eighty-three miles.
The very extent and development of This is more than the entire increase in
our new country have put it to a disadEurope for the same time. In the in- vantage before the older sections, as dustries of the world, “at present Great regards its areas and increase and imBritain holds the foremost place, but portance to the entire body politic, by the United States will probably pass it compelling statements of them which in the ensuing decade."I As to taxa
seem incredible to the unread and untion in the United States, it is nine and
traveled. Sometimes a lack of appre
hension has been followed, rationally, one-fourth per cent. on the earnings of the people, as against thirty-one per by a lack of appreciation; and somecent. in Italy, seventeen and a half in times it has been so far measured and
estimated France, and twelve in Great Britain.
as to create jealousy and After this array of facts, measuring the stimulate repression by the older states. growth of our country, in so many of
As to any attempts, however, locally the essentials in national prosperity, and provincially, or nationally, to reMulhall may well say : “It would be press western growth, it was as futile as impossible to find in history a parallel to serve an injunction on an active volto the progress of the United States in
cano, or move to stay proceedings in the last ten years."'S
the process of an eclipse. Yet our
history is not barren in this line. Fail* 'Mulhall' pp. 110, III.
ure to foresee and anticipate has led to +'Mulhall' pp. 113, 114. I'Mulhall,' pp. 3, 41.
some unfortunate neglects, and the loss & Page 108.
of grand opportunities. Wealth has