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reference to the great principle contained in it. They have been explained heretofore. I am decidedly for a distinction between the American citizen and the alien. I am not one of those who cry out against aliens, or one of those who have opposed the immigration of foreigners to this country. Let them come here; we have land enough for them. Let them become Americanized here ; let them learn the institutions of the country. The naturalization laws direct that they shall reside here long enough to understand these institutions. Is it asking too much to say that they shall reside here five years before they become entitled to a donation of one hundred and sixty acres of land ?
I am entirely opposed to offering a premium to immigration from Europe, and, in offering that premium, placing the foreigner precisely upon the same foundation as an American citizen. That has never been the policy of this government, and I trust it never will be. No nation that ever cheapened the right of citizenship prospered by it. I would teach every American citizen, if I had my way, to be proud of the name of an American citizen, and to honor it, and I would have it respected throughout the whole world. It should be a matter of boast, in a foreign country, that he was an American
a citizen. While making no distinction between the naturalized citizen and native born, yet I would have them all proud of the name of an American citizen. But, sir, if you pass this measure, it will necessarily require the adoption of another measure hereafter, to let all aliens who may come here in future, participate to the same extent in the enjoyment of the public property of the United States with native born citizens. The effect of it is to cheapen and degrade the character of the American citizen. Yes, sir, it tends to cheapen and degrade it, because it places the American citizen upon the same foundation precisely with every man in Europe ; no matter whether that man be an outcast of a prison, no matter what crime he may have committed, he comes here and acquires that right.
Augustus C. Dodge, of Iowa, said :
I was about to ask him, (Mr. Clayton,) but I will not-I will inquire of the most determined opponent of this foreign born population, if he will propose to repeal our naturalization laws ? For if it be an evil those laws produce it, and should be repealed. If those laws are to remain as they now are, and immigration shall continue to pour into the country, I humbly submit that it is much the wiser course to adopt such measures as will cause these people to feel the deepest possible interest in our country and its institutions. At present the fight is upon allowing them to become owners of soil, that soil which many of them have fattened with their blood, as I know was the case in Wisconsin and Iowa. Here you fight them upon the simple privilege of allowing them, as your native born citizens, when they take their lives in their hands, and go to Nebraska and Kansas, the right to become the owners of a quarter section, after hav, ing complied with the conditions of the law, and settled and cultivated the land for five consecutive years. there any party, faction, or segment of a party, except that misguided and proscriptive faction called “Native Americans” or “ • Know Nothings,” who have the hardihood or the courage to propose to repeal the naturalization laws of the United States ? I sincerely hope and trust not.
A. G. Brown, of Mississippi, said :
I am, perhaps, as much opposed as any gentleman in the Senate to conferring political rights on foreigners, as long as they are such ; but when they have been naturalized, when they have been, by our laws, placed upon the same footing with American born citizens, then, and then only, am I ready to admit them all to all the rights of citizenship. But, sir, during this session of the Senate we have made a very marked exception to that general rule. We have, by almost the unanimous vote of the Senate, authorized, in the two important territories which we have just organized—Kansas and Nebraska--foreign born people, who are not yet citizens, to vote, and we have admitted them to all political rights of our own citizens. And now, sir, shall we hesitate when we are asked simply to allow these same people to settle upon a piece of public land ?
If I could have had my way, I never would have admitted these people to political rights until they had been here long enough to learn something of our laws, long enough to learn and study our Constitution; but the policy of the country, as marked out by the two branches of the Legislature, and sanctioned by the President, has been different. It has been to admit them to all the rights of citizenship, so far as voting and holding office in these territories are concerned. Now, sir, I am not going to stop short and say to a man, “ though you may have the same right to vote as a native born citizen; though you have the same right to hold office as a native born citizen, you shall not have the same right to occupy the land; though you may govern you may not occupy the soil.”
You committed a grievous fault when you authorized foreigners to vote and govern the country. You cannot atone for it by refusing them the right to work the land which they govern.
William C. Dawson, of Georgia, said :
It is not a controversy between foreigners, and American or native citizens. It is unjust to the character of the country and to the respective parties of this confederacy, to charge against one or the other. It is, sir, a question of justice between the foreign population and the natives of the country. Like the Senator from Delaware, I maintain that, if there be any property to be distributed, or an advantage in the administration of bounties, the native American, the citizen of the country should be entitled to it. I maintain that the man who has up to this period lived upon your soil, defended your frontier against the savage population, of which my able and distinguished friend from Iowa has spoken, defended it from the incursions and attacks of the very nations from which these foreigners may come, should be entitled to it. The man who does not possess that feeling is lacking something of that patriotism which attaches to me in my native country.
The Constitution of the United States contemplates a difference between the native and the foreigner, and requires a uniform system of naturalization. There is a constitutional difference between personal and political rights in some degree. By our naturalization laws we declare to the world that all foreigners, whatever may be their age, who arrive within the limits of this country, are not of full age-speaking after the manner of men—are not twenty-one years of age until they remain here five years, and qualify themselves to become American citizens. Those persons, then, who are not qualified for want of proper time or examination into our institutions, are to be entitled, according to this bill, as it stands, to one hundred and sixty acres of land, when the sons of native American people over the age of sixteen, understanding our language, living here, having in all probability rendered some service to the country, cannot, in anticipation of their majority, claim to settle upon one hundred and sixty acres of land, because they are not of full age. A foreigner who cannot utter an English sentence, whose parents, and who himself never rendered a particle of service to this country, can go, under this bill, and settle himself upon one hundred and sixty acres of land, while an American young man of intelligence, even if he be in his nineteenth year, is not entitled to it.
Now we have here a legislation special in its character, for the benefit of foreigners special legislation for them-contemplating the giving of land to them, because we were to propose
their value to our own citizens by special legislation ! Here is an antagonistic proposition. Will you give the land, or an equivalent value, to the mechanics in the country, who cannot leave their present homes; or will your prefer the foreigner who has not yet been naturalized, to the mechanic ? That is the question.
Salmon P. Chase, of Ohio, said :
There is a sound and sufficient ground of distinction between citizens in fact or intention, and aliens who do not design to become citizens, but no reason at all for any such distinction between immigrants who do intend to become citizens. The section as it stands, draws a line between immigrants already arrived and immigrants to arrive hereafter. Those who arrive to-day are to have the benefit of the act; those who arrive to-morrow, if the bill.in the mean time should become a law, will be excluded from its benefits. Can any body assign a reason for such a discrimination between (if I may be allowed to coin a phrase) the ante-venients and the post-venients ?
Sir, the principle for which I contend now, of non-discrimination between different classes, was sanctioned in the recent Kansas and Nebraska act. I congratulated the country at the time upon the recognition of the right of such immigrants, without distinction, to the elective franchise. I was glad to witness the breaking down of old prejudices against immigrants coming into this country, which led to a nearly unanimous vote in this chamber in favor of retaining the clause which allowed them to vote in the territories. That vote recognized no such narrow and illiberal discrimination as this bill now makes. It went upon a sound reason. It allowed all to vote after declaration of intention, and taking the oath prescribed by the act. It excluded none, whether arrived before or after the passage of the act. It made no distinction between those who might, and those who might not, exercise the right of suffrage, except the distinction between those who should manifest a disposition to become citizens, and a readiness to qualify themselves for the exercise of the franchise, under the provisions of the act, and those who might not be ready to become citizens, or so to qualify themselves.
A. P. Butler, of South Carolina, said :
Now, no man from a foreign country can become a citizen of the United States bcfore he takes the oath of allegiance, and takes the oath to support the Constitution of the United States; and according to the usage which prevailed in South Carolinabut, perhaps, it is a usage not universal, or not observed any where else—no one could become a citizen until he not only swore to support the Constitution of the United States, and absolved himself from all allegiance to any foreign potentate or power, but until he brought into court a certificate of three citizens that he was a worthy man.
But, sir, under this section, who may not come in? A man may come reeking from the jails and poor-houses of Europe. I will go further, and say that the deserters upon your field of battle may come in-men who fought against those who won your territories can come and take land without having sworn the oath of allegiance. Yes, sir, the very deserters upon the plains of Churubusco, who shot down your regiments, might come and take possession of your lands, to the exclusion of those who were more worthy,
I have no disposition, Mr. President, to disguise my opinion on this subject, though I know this foreign influence is strong, is increasing and will be stronger. When foreigners come from abroad, become naturalized, and give the guarantees required by the naturalization laws, I will make no distinction between them and other citizens.
I am perfectly willing to recognize the political power of naturalized citizens ; but I will never consent to invite immigrants to come here who have not given any of the guarantees required by the Constitution and laws of the country. I am not one of those who fear to defy such a power, though I know it is an increasing one, and I apprehend it is one that is courted.
I was opposed, therefore, to the introduction of the clause referred to by my honor. able friend from Mississippi into the Nebraska bill, which favored somewhat the doctrines of my honorable friend from Michigan, (Mr. Cass.) While we were delegating the power of moulding the institutions of these territories, I was willing to trust it to those who could think through the medium of the American mind. I went with him very far, when I was perfectly willing to delegate all the power to those who were ca. pable of making laws; but when the proposition was introduced that we should delegate the power to any body who might settle upon the lands, I thought it was going too far.
Mr. Clay, of Alabama, said:
A great deal has been said here in condemnation of what are called Native Americans, or Know Nothings. I am neither one nor the other, in the political sense of those terms; but let me ask the Senator from Iowa, who is the zealous friend and champion of the foreign population, whether there is any measure which could be conceived of, or projected, or passed by Congress, which is better calculated to excite, to foster, and encourage a Native American feeling, than this very bill? I tell him that, if this bill passes, he will see realized what I had hoped never to witness in this country-he will see a Native American, or Know Nothing party growing up in the Southern States of this Union. And, sir,—and I say it with no less pride than pleasure,-as much tra. duced, libelled, and slandered, as those States have been by the fanatics at the North, they have been freer from all species of radicalism than any other section of this confederacy; and, but for the pure, conservative principles, and true American feeling of the South, in my opinion, the radical, meddlesome spirit of the North would, ere this, have involved this government in a foreign war. You saw no man-worship of Kossuth exhibited at the South, during his pilgrimage among us. And you have seen no indications of jealousy, envy, or hatred of foreigners among Southrons. We neither feel nor exhibit towards them such evil passions. You have no disposition there to embark in the policy of intervention with the affairs of foreign countries, or to exclude foreigners from participating as citizens in the privileges of this country. But pass this bill, and impress upon the public mind throughout the South, the idea that, not content with sheer justice of foreigners, you will be generous to them, and unjust to your own citizens, and the spirit of Native Americanism will soon develop itself where, hitherto, it has been unfelt and almost unheard of. Let the friends of foreign immigrants on this floor beware lest they injure rather than benefit that class of our population.
Mr. Stuart, of Michigan, said :
I shall not vote to strike out this section. I do not think it is worth while to confine entries under this act to native born citizens. I think that a man who is here to-day,
a resident," in the language of the bill, “ of one of the States or Territories,” may properly enter upon this land and cultivate it.
I discover no magical effect in this question of citizenship. I do not believe that a man is
better to-morrow, after having perfected his naturalization and become a citizen, than he is to-day, when it is unperfected. He is the same man. He stands before the country and his God in the same attitude. He has the same morality, the same propensities, the same inclinations, and the same judgment.
William H. Seward said :
I-address myself for a moment to the proposition which is immediately under consideration : the amendment proposed by the honorable and distinguished senator from Delaware, [Mr. Clayton.] That amendment proposes substantially to strike out that provision of the bill which provides that foreigners not naturalized, but candidates for naturalization, shall participate in this distribution of the public lands; and in lieu of that provision, substitute one giving a sum of money equivalent to the value of the lands to native born mechanics throughout the United States, who may not be able to avail themselves, by reason of their habits and circumstances of life, of the benefits which the bill gives generally in the shape of lands. Sir, I think the honorable senator will excuse me for saying that the last proposition seems to be merely designed to serve as a cover for the first, as a pretext by which we may compensate ourselves for something that we do, in striking out the proposition in favor of foreigners.
I look at this in two lights-one as a measure belonging to a general principle, sentiment, or policy; that is, the principle of discouraging immigration into this country. That will be its effect. In that respect it is a part, a single measure, of a whole system, which is commonly called Native Americanism; that is to say, of establishing a prefer. ence for native American citizens over foreigners. I do not know that my honorable and distinguished friend meant, by this single proposition, to extend his support to the general principle; but there are others here who have advocated it upon that ground. Now, then, it is well enough, if we are going into this principle at all, to see where it leads. I have in my hand the policy of exclusion of foreigners, or aliens, as it is elaborated and drawn out into distinct propositions by a journal which represents that class of society who support that principle. I find that there are sixteen articles in this creed. Here they are:
1. Repeal of all naturalization laws.
American common school system. 4. War to the hilt on Romanism.
5. Opposition, first and last, to the formation of military companies composed of foreigners.
6. The advocacy of a sound, healthy, and safe nationality.