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our own race, instead of holding out a general invitation to all the paupers of all the European governments to come here, and compete with our own honest poor.

Mr. Clay, in reply to Mr. Buchanan, said ;

The honorable Senator from Pennsylvania has alluded eulogistically to foreigners. Does he mean to compare the De Kalbs, the Steubens, the Lafayettes, the Pulaskis, with the hordes of foreign paupers that are constantly flooding our shores? There were other foreigners who mingled in our revolutionary struggle, but on the other side, the Hessians,—and can they be compared with those gallant men who came here to aid in the cause of struggling liberty ? He thought this government had been quite as liberal in its policy towards foreigners, as was proper or desirable ; and no Senator would vote against the proposition of the Senator from Maryland, with more pleasure than that with which he would vote for it.”

James Buchanan said :

This amendment proposed to make invidious distinction, which had never been made heretofore in our legislation, against foreigners who had settled upon the public lands, and had not been naturalized prior to the first day of December last. Whilst it granted pre-emptions in such cases to our own citizens, it excluded these foreigners. Why had this change been proposed in our settled policy ? He had observed with regret, that attempts were now extensively making throughout the country, to excite what was called a native American feeling against those who had come from a foreign land to participate in the blessings of our free Constitution. Such a feeling was unjust—it was ungrateful. In the darkest days of the revolution, who had assisted us in fighting our battles, and achieving our independence? Foreigners, yes, sir, foreigners. He would not say, for he did not believe, that our independence could not have been established without their aid; but he would say the struggle would have been longer and more doubtful. After the revolution, immigration had been encouraged by our policy. Throughout the long and bloody wars in Europe which had followed the French revolution, this country had ever been an asylum for the oppressed of all nations. He trusted that at this late day, the Congress of the United States were not about to establish for the first time, such an odious distinction between one of our citizens who had settled upon the public lands, and his neighbor who had pursued the same course under the faith of your previous policy, merely because that neighbor had not resided long enough in the United States to have become a naturalized citizen. He was himself the son of a naturalized foreigner, and perhaps might feel this distinction the more sensibly on that


Mr. B. had been asked by the senator from Kentucky if he would compare the hordes of foreign paupers that are constantly flooding our shores with the De Kalbs, the Steubens, the Lafayettes, and the Pulaskis of the Revolution ? It was easy to ask such a question. He felt a deep and grateful veneration for the memory of those illustrious men. They were leaders of our armies; but what could they have accomplished without soldiers ? Was it not a fact known to the world, that the immigrants from the Emerald Isle--that land of brave hearts and strong arms—had shed their blood freely in the cause of our liberty and independence? It was now both ungrateful and unjust to speak of these people, in the days of our prosperity, as hordes of foreign paupers. Such was not the language applied to them during the revolutionary war, when they constituted a large and effective proportion of our armies. The senator had asked if he (Mr. B.) would grant pre-emptions to the Hessians. It is true they had fought upon the wrong side, and were not much entitled to our sympathies. Still some apology might be made, even for them. They were the slaves of despotic power : and they were sold by their masters, like cattle, to the British Government. They had no will of their own, but were under the most abject subjection to petty princes, who considered themselves, by the grace of God, born to command them. But the condition even of the poor Hessian has since been greatly improved. The principles of liberty, which were sanctified by the American Revolution, are winning their way among every civilized people. In no country have they made greater progress than among the people of Germany. The Hessian of the present day is far different from what his fathers were ; and let me tell senators from the West that the best settlers they can have amongst them are the Germans. Industrious, honest, and persevering, they make the best farmers of the country ; whilst their firmness of character qualifies them for defending it against any hostile attacks which may be made by the Indians along our western frontier. As to the hordes of foreigners of which we had heard, they did not alarm him. Any foreigner from any country under the sun, who, after landing with his family on our Atlantic coast, will make his long and weary way into the forests and prairies of the Mississippi, and there, by patient toil, establish a settlement upon the public lands, whilst he thus manifests his attachment to our institutions, shows that he is worthy of becoming an American citizen. He furnishes us by his conduct, the surest pledge that he will become a citizen the moment that the laws of the country permit. In the mean time, so far as my vote is concerned, he shall continue to stand upon the same footing with citizens, and have his quarter section of land at a minimum price.

John C. Calhoun expressed himself friendly to the amendment, but opposed to the bill.

The question on the amendment was taken by yeas and nays, and decided in the negative—for the amendment 15, against it 28, as follows:

Yeas–Messrs. Bayard, Clay of Kentucky, Clayton, Crittenden, Knight, Merrick, Prentiss, Preston, Rives, Robbins, Smith of Indiana, Southard, Spence, Tallmadge, and Tipton--15.

Nays-Messrs. Allen, Benton, Brown, Buchanan, Calhoun, Clay of Alabama, Cuthe bert, Fulton, Grundy, Hubbard, King, Linn, Lumpkin, Lyon, Morton, Nicholas, Niles, Norvell, Pierce, Roane, Robinson, Sevier, Walker, Webster, White, Williams, Wright, and Young—28.

At a later stage of the debate, Daniel Webster referred to the proposition of Mr. Merrick thus :

“ It has been proposed to amend this bill, so as to limit its benefits to native or naturalized citizens of the United States. Although I have heretofore been disposed to favor such a proposition, yet, on the whole, I think it ought not to pass; because such a - limitation has been altogether unknown, in our general system of land sales, and to introduce it here, where we are acting on rights already acquired, would be both invi. dious and unjust.”

Henry Clay subsequently commented on the manner the bill had been carried, and spoke as follows :

“ What, he asked, had they seen? A proposition was made by an honorable senator from Marylaud (Mr. Merrick) to limit the pre-emptions to citizens of the United States,

native and naturalized; rejected. And could any body say, after that naked vote of the Senate, that it had not become the permanent policy of the country to go on inviting all the hordes of Europe to come over and partake of this bounty, derived from our ancestors, and which we should preserve for our posterity ?"



On the 22d of January, 1850, Daniel Webster submitted the following resolution :

Resolved, That a provision ought to be made by law, that every male citizen of the United States, and every male person who has declared his intention of becoming a citizen, according to the provisions of the law, of twenty-one years of age, or upwards, shall be entitled to enter upon and take any one-quarter section of the public lands which may be left open to entry at private sale, for the purposes of residence and cultivation ; and that when such citizen shall have resided on the said land for three years, and cultivated the same, or if dying in the mean time, residence and cultivation shall be held and carried on by his widow, or, his heirs, or devisees, for the space of full three years from and after making entry of such land, such residence and cultivation, for the said three years, to be completed within four years from the time of such entry, then a patent to issue for the same, to the person making such entry, if living, or otherwise, to his heirs or devisees, as the case may require : Provided nevertheless, That such persons 80 entering and taking the quarter section as aforesaid, shall not have, nor shall his devisees, or heirs have, any power to alienate such land, nor create any title thereto, in law or equity, by deed, transfer, lease, or any other conveyance except by devise, or will.”—See Congressional Globe, vol. i., pp. 210, 666.

In the House of Representatives, propositions of a similar character were introduced by Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee, and Henry D. Moore, of Pennsylvania, but no action was had on them. See Congressional Globe, vol. i., pp. 295, 1122, 1449, 1474.

At the first session of the thirty-second Congress, Mr. Johnson, of Tennessee, again introduced the subject in the House of Representatives, which was discussed at great length, and finally passed. See Congressional Globe from p. 29 to 1348. The bill was brought into the Senate, May 13th, but was not acted on during the remainder of the session, nor at the succeeding session. See Congressional Globe, page 1352 to 2266. At. the first session of the thirty-third Congress, as early as December 14th, John L. Dawson, of Pennsylvania, again introduced in the House of Representatives the subject, and, after much discussion, it was again

passed by the House,—(See Congressional Globe)—and finally by the Senate, but vetoed by President Pierce. Pending its consideration in the Senate, Benjamin F. Wade, of Ohio, offered an amendment providing that the benefits of the bill should not be limited to those then residents in the country, which led to a long and interesting discussion. See Congressional Globe, vol. xxviii., part 2, p. 944. Mr. Wade said :

The object of my amendment is to strike out the limitation which restricts the benefits of the bill to persons who are now residents of the United States, and prevents its operating in favor of those who may come into the country after its passage. I can see no good reason for the distinction now made in the bill. I am willing that foreigners who come into this country, and go on to the public lands and settle there and labor for five years, should then have the advantages of this law. I am willing, so far as I am concerned, that the law shall operate as an inducement for such persons to come here and settle on our public lands. The effect of the amendment will be barely to strike out this restriction, and to make the bill operate in favor of all foreigners who may come in hereafter, as well as those who are now here. This is the only object of the amendment.


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Mr. Adams, of Mississippi, said :
I cannot, Mr. President, vote for the amendment of the Senator from Ohio.

The proposition of the Senator from Ohio is, that you shall not only tax one portion of the people for the benefit of another, but that you shall tax the native born and adopted citizens of this country for the benefit of foreigners; that you shall say, by this bill, to every man who may reside without the limits of the United States, if he will come here, that your citizens shall be taxed to the value of one hundred and sixty acres, and a bounty of that amount of land bestowed upon him. To that I am opposed.


My friend from Iowa said he hoped the time would never arrive when the people of this country would cease to remember, with sentiments of gratitude, the claims of the descendants of the Lafayettes and Montgomeries, and others who aided our fathers in the revolution. I hope so too; but times have changed. The time has ceased, in my humble judgment, when we should continue to hold out other and different inducements to individuals to immigrate and become citizens of this country, than are afforded by the character of our institutions. I would not change the policy of this government, and refuse to hold out inducements such as we have heretofore held to foreigners. I desire to see this country continue to be a home and an asylum for the oppressed of all nations. I desire, whenever a foreigner sets his foot upon our soil, to have thrown over him the panoply of free institutions, to protect him in his person, his property, in pursuit of happiness, and an unbounded liberty of conscience; and with that, from this day forth, I will stop. To every man who has come here under the existing laws, I would extend all the rights which our present laws promise him, and to every man who comes to this country in the future, with the rights I have indicated, I would cease to offer more. Have

you not seen, sir, within the last few months, petitions presented here and laid upon your table, remonstrating, in the name of foreigners, against the action of this body? Not content with that, have you not learned through the public newspapers that a mob of foreigners, under the style of foreigners, assembled together, and hanged in effigy an honorable member of this body? What does that indicate? If the act


indicates any thing or has any significance, it is that, in the estimation of those men, the individual referred to, the Chairman of the Committee on Territories, (Mr. Dou. glas,) ought to be hung by the neck until he is dead, and for what, sir ? For doing his duty to the Constitution, to his oath, and to his country. I ask Senators if they do not see indications in this of a combination in retaining the notions of the olden country which shows that it is necessary that we should check it by legislation. I do not propose that at the present time—but that we should cease to hold out any further inducements. What do we need of further immigration from other countries? We have a sufficient population to protect ourselves against the world. We have a sufficient population to settle every portion of our country which it is necessary to settle. For the purpose of a free and happy government we have a sufficient population, and I think we should not adopt the amendment of the Senator from Ohio, and thereby tax native born and adopted citizens to purchase one hundred and sixty acres of land for those who may think proper to come here hereafter.


John B. Thompson, of Kentucky, said:

The old thirteen States are to get nothing. Whatever we may claim, we are to have nothing. The Senator's proposition not only comes up to that, but it turns round and says, in reference to Nebraska and the Missouri Compromise, to Southern Senators, not only are the old thirteen States to be deprived of their rights, but we will let these Irish and Dutch, and any body you please-—I do not speak in disrespectful terms—come into the territory, and, if you want to go any where from Virginia, or Louisiana, or Texas, you must stand back and let them take the land. Is there a Southern man, who has a regard for his constituency, or the interest of the section which he represents, who intends—as he knows it is a foregone conclusion that this is all to be free soil territoryto let them take it, and let them snatch it away from them, and say that men from the South are not to go into it, because they are tainted with a nigger? Are we to be told that we must stand back, and let strangers, and aliens in blood, in feeling, and language, have it? But I do not know what Southern Senators, or Senators from the old States, may think in reference to this sort of thing, because they have got recently to arguing about matters in such a way that a man scarcely knows, unless he examines closely, what they really design.



Mr. President, I do not know that I exactly concur with him who said some years ago, in commenting upon this matter, that we never would have a first-rate man again as President; for he said, that understrappers and understrikers would never let a man of prominent ability attain to the position; that no such man could ever come to the Presidency of the nation, because the understrappers and seekers of office would be eternally for catching a man whom they could control. He thought we never would have a President of any size or account again. So far as that is concerned, the first thing that you see these Presidential aspirants do—I am sorry to say it; I apply it to no party, or men—is to start a demagoguing; and, sir, he draws himself up; he is not an American at all; his father was an Irishman, and his mother a Dutchman. [Laughter.] That is the beginning of it. Then, though he has no respect for religion, no regard for things of that sort, supposing himself in his peculiar views to be in the minority, and though he may be an infidel, and hate all religion, the next thing we hear, he is making the sign of the cross, and muttering all sort of insensible jargon over the country to catch Catholics (Laughter]; and then, sir, to top off the thing, he offers all his land to these men, just as the wicked one of old offered to our Saviour the kingdoms of the

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