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of Congress, and the Legislatures of the several States, to the public lands, as a fund from which appropriations for the purposes of education may with justice be claimed by all of the original States, and some of the new ones.
Your committee have, with much attention, examined the grounds upon which this claim is supposed to rest; and, from this examination, are satisfied that the principles contended for are just and equitable, and, therefore, do concur in the opinion expressed in the aforesaid documents. It is not, however, deemed necessary on this occasion to enter into an elaborate exposition of the principles on which this claim is founded, as this would lead merely to a repetition of the circumstances relied upon, and the arguments deduced by the committee, who matured the report and the resolutions now under consideration. It may be proper, notwithstanding, to present for consideration a few of the points brought to view in the report of that committee.
It is alleged that, before the war of the revolution, these States were regal and not proprietary provinces, and that the right of disposing of them was claimed and exercised by the Crown in some form or other; that, by the treaty of peace of 1783, Great Britain relinquished "to the United States all claim to the government, property, and territorial rights of the same, and every part thereof; that, between 1783 and 1802 the United States acquired an indisputable title to all of the public lands east of the Mississippi, by cessions from all of those States which had exclusively claimed the unsettled lands within their respective limits, except a small part of the territory which now constitutes a part of the States of Mississippi and Alabama, which was acquired under the treaty ceding Louisiana; that all the territory west of the Mississippi river, together with the southern extremity of the States of Mississippi and Alabama, was purchased of France for fifteen millions of dollars, and that all the sums of money required to pay France, to extinguish the Indian title to the land, and the like, was paid out of the treasury of the United States, the common fund of the whole Union. Forasmuch, therefore, as the property and jurisdiction of the soil were acquired by the common means of all, it is contended that the public lands, whether acquired by purchase, by force, or by acts or deeds of cession from individual States are the common property of the Union, and ought to enure to the common use and benefit of all the States in just proportions, and not to the use and benefit of any particular State or States to the exclusion of the others, and that any partial appropriation of them, for State purposes, “is a violation of the spirit of our national compact, as well as the principles of justice and sound policy."
On the inquiry whether the acts of Congress in relation to the appropriation of public lands have been strictly national, it is ascertained that, by the existing laws relating to the sale and survey of them, one-thirty-sixth part thereof has been reserved and appropriated in perpetuity for the support of common schools; besides which, large appropriations have been made in the new States generally for the erection and maintenance of seminaries of learning of a higher grade than common schools, equal, it is calculated, to one-fifth part of the appropriations for common schools.
It is said, on good authority, that all the States and Territories in whose favor appropriations have thus been and are to be made, according to the existing laws in support of literary institutions, contain 437,297,125 acres, and that the total amount of these literary appropriations in the new States and Territories will be 14,576,5693 acres, which, at two dollars per acre, a sum less than the average price of all the public lands which have heretofore been sold, the amount in money will be $29,153,139.33.
The State of New Hampshire contains 6,074,240 acres; of course, her proportionate share of the public lands for literary purposes, on the principles above stated, would be 202,473 acres.
It is admitted that, so far as the public lands have been sold, and the money paid into the National Treasury, or appropriated for purposes of defense, all the States have derived a justly proportionate benefit from them. Nor is a spirit of envy attempted to be cherished toward the new States on account of the bountiful appropriations made to them for literary purposes; but it cannot be denied that such appropriations in favor of any State or States, to the exclusion of the rest, where the appropriations would have been beneficial, and might have been extended to all alike, would be a departure from sound policy, as well as from impartial justice. These appropriations are of such a nature that they might have been, and still may be, extended to all the States. These States, therefore, for whose benefit such appropriations have not yet been made, will not be true to themselves if they do not make known to Congress, who alone possess the powers to make them, their request for such appropriations, not as a matter of favor but of right.
Whereupon, your committee beg leave to recommend the adoption of the following resolutions :
Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of New Hampshire in General Court convened, That each of the United States have an equal right to participate in the benefits of the public lands as the common property of the Union; and that the States, in whose favor Congress has not yet made appropriations of land for the purposes of education, are entitled to such appropriations as will be in just proportion with those heretofore made in favor of the other States.
Resolved, That His Excellency the Governor be requested to transmit copies of the foregoing report and resolutions to each of our Senators and Representatives in Congress, with a request that they will use their endeavors to procure the passage of an act to appropriate to the use of the State of New Hampshire, for the purposes of education, such quantity of the public lands as shall be equitable and just.
Resolved, That His Excellency the Governor be also requested to transmit copies of the foregoing report and resolutions to the Governors of the several States of the Union, with a request that they will communicate the same to the legislatures thereof respectfully, and solicit their coöperation to carry into effect the just principles therein set forth. All of which is respectfully submitted by
EHEMIAH EASTMAN, for the committee.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE, IN SENATE, June 18, 1821. The foregoing report and resolutions were read and adopted. Sent down for concurrence.
JONATHAN HARVEY, President. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, June 21, 1821. Read and
ICHABOD BARTLETT, Speaker. June 22, 1822. - Approved : SAMUEL BELL.
A true copy. Attest: SAMUEL SPARHAWK, Secretary.
APPLICATION OF KENTUCKY FOR A GRANT OF LAND FOR THE PUR
POSE OF EDUCATION
Communicated to the Senate, January 14, 1822 Resolutions in relation to a portion of the public lands of the United States as a means of creating a fund for promoting education, and to the right of the several States of the Union to a part of the same for that purpose.
The committee, to whom were referred the communications from the Legislatures of the States of Maryland and New Hampshire, ask leave to report :
That the communications submitted to them embrace reports and resolutions thereupon adopted, by the legislatures of those States, and the objects of which are to direct the attention of Congress, and the legislatures of the several States of the Union, to the national lands as a source from which appropriations for the purposes of education may with justice be claimed by those States for which no such appropriations have yet been made.
Your committee, highly sensible of the fact that the most effectual means of achieving or perpetuating the liberties of any country is to enlighten the minds of its citizens by a system of education adapted to the means of the most extensive class of the population, and, alive to any just means within their power for the achievement of this great object, not only within their own State, but alike to all members of the great political family of which they are a part, and for whose common interests they are thus united, have, with much interest, examined the facts stated, and the arguments used in said reports, and do not hesitate to concur in the opinions therein expressed, that the national lands are strictly a national fund, and, in just proportions, the property of all the States of the Union; and that, from the extent and nature of the fund, appropriations may, with great propriety, be extended to all the States of the Union.
It is deemed unnecessary, in a report of this kind, to enter at large into all the arguments that might be used to establish the opinion above expressed. A few of the facts which have presented themselves in the investigation of the subject are submitted.
It is ascertained that all the States and Territories, whose waters fall into the Mississippi, have been amply provided for by the laws of Congress relating to the survey and sale of the public lands, except the State of Kentucky.
Why these appropriations should have stopped short of Kentucky, your committee are not able to see, especially when they take into consideration its situation in relation to the other States of the Union, the contest it has maintained in establishing itself, protecting, at the same time, the Western borders of the old States, and extending the more Northern and Western settlements. Kentucky long stood alone in a forest of almost boundless extent, separated from her parent settlements by extensive ranges of mountains and forests, fit receptacles for her savage enemies, and from which she was cut off from the succor, and almost from the knowledge of her friends; yet maintaining her stand, and, at the same time, forming a barrier by which the more Eastern States were protected from the common enemy, she has not only established herself, but has also gone forward to the establishment and support of those States and Territories which now form the great national domain which is the subject of this report.
Notwithstanding many arguments might be used which would go to prove that Kentucky has claims to appropriations of those lands without extending the system to all the States, yet your committee believe that such arguments are not necessary, and that a few facts here submitted will prove that those appropriations may be made generally without affecting the national revenue.
Relying upon the apparent correctness of the able document before the committee, received from the State of Maryland, it appears that the total amount of literary appropriations made to the new States and Territories will amount to 14,576,569 acres; that the additional amount required to extend the same system to those States for which no such appropriations have yet been made, would be 9,370,760 acres; that the State of Kentucky, as her part of such appropriation would be entitled to 1,066,665 acres, and estimating the whole quantity of unsold lands, yet owned by the United States, at 400,000,000 acres, that the additional amount required to extend the same scale of appropriation to all the States which have not received any, would not amount to two and a half per cent upon the landed fund as above.
Relying, therefore, upon the foregoing considerations as sufficient for their purpose, and believing that the magnanimity of their sister States in the West will produce a unanimity in the Congress of the United States upon this subject, your committee are prepared to close this report, and beg leave to recommend the adoption of the following resolutions :
Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, That each of the United States has an equal right, in its just proportion, to participate in the benefit of the public lands, the common property of the Union.
Resolved, That the Executive of this State be requested, as soon as practicable, to transmit copies of the foregoing report and resolution to the Governors of the severaì States, and to our Senators and Representatives in Congress, with a request that they will lay the same before their respective houses, and use their endeavors to procure the passage of a law to appropriate to the use of the State of Kentucky, for the purposes of education, such a part of the public lands of the United States as may be equitable and just. GEORGE C. THOMPSON, Speaker of the House of Representatives. WILLIAM T. BARRY, Speaker of the Senate. Approved, December 10, 1821.
By the Governor: JOHN ADAIR. J. CABELL BRECKINRIDGE, Secretary.