Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

SENATE.]

Mr. Foot's Resolution.

(Jax. 13, 1830.

This resolution is any thing but what it has been repre" ous infuences of this project upon the public revenue, sented to be. One gentleman (Mr. HOLMES) supposes that and of showing how completely it will place all estimated the proposed inquiry will be, whether certain principles receipts of public lands upon an ocean of uncertainty, per'of reform cannot be applied to surveyors of public lands; mit me, sir, to allege and prove-whether sinecures exist, and may not be dispensed with.

1st. That nearly half of the public land now offered fur How different is the fact! The Committee are to inquire sale is unfit for cultivation. into the expediency of limiting, for an indeterminate peri

2d. That so much of it as can be cultivated is not of od of years, future sales of lands to such as are now in equal value, and cannot be sold at equal prices. market. Of course, the business of surveying is postpon- 3. That the demand for land is large, and cannot be ed, and the office of surveyoris to be made a sinecure, and satisfied without a thorough change in the existing syg. then abolished. The question is, whether a sinecure shall tem, and a great diminution of price. be created; not whether a sinecure shall be abolished. There is no propriety in connecting with the single project voluminous documents presented to Congress, which esta

I will not fatigue your attention, sir, by going over all the of thus confining sales and stopping surveys, considera-blish the truth of these positions. I have been long convinctions so distant and inappropriate as those referred to. ed, that the greatest difficulty the new States had to encounThe Western People and their Representatives are not ter in their application to Congress for relief and a change to be drawn off from a course of determined resist. in your land system, was to make known the whole facts ance to this attempt to check their growth and prosperi- in such a mode as to show that the interests of the nation, ty, into discussions about sinecures and reform, which are as well as of those States, equally called upon you for the -trifles light as air” in comparison.

change. With this view, a call was made, under the auThe language of this resolution is too plain, its objects (thority of this body, at the instance of an honorable Senatoo pointed, to be misunderstood. It appears to me strange tor from Missouri, (Mr. Bextox) upon the proper authothat this particular time should have been selected by the rity, for information upon the following points: honorable gentleman from Connecticut to make his pro- 1. Quantity and quality of land at minimum price, unposition: that, at a time when the whole people of the sold, 30th June, 1828. United States are looking with intense interest to a spee. 2. Probable character and value of same. dy payment of the public debt, which is to present an in

3. Length of time same has been in market. cident in the history of nations as remarkable as it will be favorable to the reputation of free governments, he should

In answer to this call, a statement from the commissioner think it bis duty to set on foot an inquiry which, in its re- of the general land office was made, exhibiting information sults, may disturb one of the established sources of the received from almost every lard office in the new States public revenue. Since the year 1801, the probable re

and Territories. It will surprise any gentleman unacquaintceipts from the sale of lands has formed a regular item of ed with the subject, to discover how much of the vast doestimate. Every Secretary of the Treasury has presented main of this Government is absolutely worth nothing, in this item as one of the means of discharging the debt, and the present condition of the country. The register and of defraying the expenses of Government for the ensuing receiver at St. Louis report that, out of more than two year. În 1801, the estimate of probable receipts from millions acres of unsold land, in that district, three-fourths this source was four hundred thousand dollars. It has of it is unfit for cultivation. By the officers at Huntsville, has since risen to more than a million of dollars. Upon Alabama, we are informed that, out of a quantity of more what basis were these estimates formed? Upon the quanti-than three millions of unsold land, within that district, ty of land at the time, compared with the probable annual there is a very inconsiderable part, if any, that may be demand? Constantly recurring disappointments would termed first rate land, and they estimate the greatest porhave followed such a calculation, as the history of every tion of it as mountainous, and unfit for cultivation. The year has proved. No, sir. The estimates have been made officers at Tuscaloosa, in the same State, say, that, of not only upon the quantity in market at the time, but

more than three millions of unsold land, in that district,

upon the additional quantity intended to be thrown into mar- no part of it would come under the head of first quality, ket within the year. Its quality, and more especially its and that there is not exceeding ten thousand acres fit for locality; I speak of locality, because settlement and culti- cultivation. Reports from other districts disclose a more vation have usually preceded surveys and sales; advanta- favorable view of the matter. From the whole, I have ges, real or imiginary, have induced migrations to the selected the report of the register and receiver at Edmost distant points. The first American settlements in wardsville, in Illinois, as presenting, in my judgment, a Ohio and Illinois were nearly simultaneous. During the fair average view of the whole. The statement from that last session of Congress, we were informed that, within quarter is, that the amount of unsold land was, on the the contemplated limits of the Huron Territory, where 30th June, 1828, two millions seven hundred and severitynot a single acre of the public land has been surveyed, eight thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven acres and there was a population of ten thousand souls. Petitions twenty-eight hundredths. The amount unfit for cultivahave reached us from various and opposite quarters of the tion, one million one hundred and ninety-five thousand country, stating the fact that settlements were formed be- two hundred and thirty-eight acres eighty-seven hunyond the surveys, and praying for pre-emptions. I have dredths. We may then, sir, safely infer, that nearly onehad the honor of presenting the memorial of many of my half of the whole quantity of land now in market is unfit constituents, residing in the northern parts of Illinois, re- for cultivation, and cannot be sold at any price. Morepresenting that a large population inhabited a region not over, the same documents disclose the fact, that not more in market, and praying for the establishment of a land of than one-twelfth part of the land fit for cultivation is of fice, that sales may be authorized. Does the Senator that class called first quality, and although the most of this from Connecticut believe that a people thus situated, cither has been in market for many years, it remains on hand at desire, or can be induced to purchase, lands in Louisiana, the minimum price. Obio, or Indiana? No, sir. When you get the hard earn- So long as the same price shall continue to be demandings of these people into your treasury, it will be for the ed for lands without regard to quality, so long will your lands and homes of their choice. Do not be deceived in sales be confined to such as are the best, and all inferior the expectation of augmenting your revenue by selling lands may be considered as withdrawn from the market. them lands at a distance from their residences, and such, If this be true, it is at cnce perceived that the amount of too, as have been in market ten and twenty years. land in market for revenue objects has been greatly over

For the purpose of exhibiting more clearly the danger-/rated. For we have have seen that half of the whole is

Jax. 13, 1830.]

Mr. Foot's Resolution.

(SENATE..

good for nothing, and that but one-twelfth part of the would not furnish cause for complaint: for we have seen remainder is first rate, So that, for every twenty-four that the quantity of surveyed land there is comparatively acres we have been in the habit of counting, we ought large. Poorly, indeed, should I represent her character only to have counted one. The idea has bien frequently by consenting to a measure so unjust and ungenerous tosuggested, that there is no demand for land beyond thic wards her sister States. That State contains more than quantity already surveyed. If, by this, is meant that sales forty million

of acres. By the means proposed, you not must be confined to the surveyed regions, and that the only deprive her of the use of more than one-half of her same price is to be asked for all sorts of land, and that the beautiful territory, but that half is by nature the most minimum is not to be reduced, there is much truth in the wealthy', the most desirable, and the most likely to be suggestion. And as, under these circumstances, the de- densely populated. It lines the shores of Lake Michigan, mand will be very much limited, your revenue must be from whence the products of the soil are to be transportdiminished in the same proportion. That there are people, ed to the North Atlantic markets. It contains her extenand a great many of them, without land, who want it upon sive mineral grounds, which will give employment to fair terms, and who are unable and unwilling to procure thousands of your fellow-citizens, and it is intersected, at it, under the existing state of things, is unquestionable. convenient distances, with the purest streams of the naviAgain (I refer to documentary evidence to prove my gable waters which pay tribute to the great father of ri. position. By a message transmitted to the Senate, by vers. Is it reasonable to believe that a State, thus de. the President of the United States, in the month of De- prived of her choicest blessings, thus cut off from her cember, 1828, we were informed that, in the State of fondest hopes, will be consoled by the reflection that her Ohio, there were fifty-seven thousand two hundred and neighbors are more hardly dealt by than herself? eighty-six free taxable inhabitants who were not free- Need I go into argument to prove, what is so self-evi. holders: that, in the State of Missouri, there were ten dent, that, whilst you close up the one-half of the lands thousand one bundred and eighteen persons of the same from sale, within all the new States, and much more than description; and it is not probable that in any one of the that in soine, you deprive them of the advantages upon new States the proportion of non-freeholders is less. In which they have calculated from migrationI will not sich States as Illinois and Missouri, then, more than half believe that such a disposition exists on the part of any of the persons entitled to vote are not owners of the soil. man. Connected with this subject, there is a view to be Do you beleve that these people do not want lands and taken, compared with which all I have said is insignifihomes of their own? Did it never occur to gentlemen, cant. I now speak of the power of this Government, in that the reason for this state of things was found in the the just exercise of its authority, under the constitution, fact that, for the best of your lands, you ask more than and upon a fair interpretation of the spirit of its obligathey can afford to give, and for those of inferior quality |tions, contracted with both oki and new States, to pursue you demand the same price? As well might a merchant, the course indicated by this resolution. I am not about to in possession of a stock of goods of every variety, from renew the argument, heretofore urged upon this floor, the finest silks and broadcloths, down to the coarsest cot- and elsewhere, that the lands, in virtue of the sovereignty tons and woollens, fix the same price upon every yard of of the new States, belong to those States. The little faeach, and, after selling the finest, conclude that there was vor which that proposition has heretofore met with in no market for the remainder, though he should see the Congress, admonishes me to forbear the argument. Howgreat body of his neighborhood without cotton shirts and ever clearly you may distinguish between the sovereign woollen blankets. But, sir, upon this branch of the sub- rights of States, and the proprietary rights of the Federal ject, I will detain you no longer.

Government; whatever may be the construction of words I think I have succeedel in showing that, when the ob. and phrascs employed to secure your authority, it is not jects of this resolution are accomplished, the interests of difficult to show that, by withdrawing from market a por: the nation will be more generally affected than has been tion of the territory of the States, or by refusing to sell supposed. It is to the especially injurious consequences the whole upon cquitable terms, you, in point of fact, of this measure upon the interests of the new States that exceed your powers, violate your plighted faith and soI invite the attention of the Senate. In the first place, lemn obligations, and lay the sovereignty of the new Statcs sir, it will be extremely unjust, because its operation will in the dust. be partial to an extent not justifiable upon any ground Your right to withhold a part cannot be distinguished whatever. The amount of lands in market in these sere- from your right to withhold the whole' of your lands withiral States is very unequal. In the State of Illinois, the lin any one or all of the new States from market; and what number of acrés surveyed and unsold is not less than do the rights of sovereignty, for any practical purpose, twenty millions: in Indiana, the older and more populous over vacant territory, amount to? The rights asserted by State, not more than one-half that number. In Missouri, this resolution extend to the selling all the lands in one not less than twenty millions: in Louisiana, the older State, and withholding all or nearly all from sale in anoState, not more than three millions. In the Territory of ther. Where, sir, then, is the sccurity for that “ equal Arkansas, about fifteen millions: in West Florida, less footing” of the new States, for all substantial purposes than half a million; and, in the Northwestern Territory, of State Government, so emphatically expressed in your not one acre has been surveyed. How unequally will the compacts? people of these several States and Territories be situatech You have stipulated to aclmit not less than three nor with regard to all their prospects, domestic and political! more than five States into the Union, out of the lands A sense of justice, apart from every view of the organic ceded by Virginia. The time wlien is not fixed. Can you principles of free and equal political associations, pro- get round this obligation, with regard to the Northwestnounces it unjust. Could any man be satisfied with the ern territory, by refusing to survey and sell the lands integrity of his own motives, and declare that it was in therein, and prohibiting its population forever? trinsically right to perinit the inhabitants of Arkansas to Surely there must be some standard by which the relaenjoy the blessirgs of improved society, and the benefits tive rights and duties of the Government and the new of an increased and increasing population, and forbid them States and Territories can be justly fixed; and I am wil. all by law, to the people of Florida, or the Northwesternling that the standard shoukl be good faith. What this Territory? Such must be the certain consequences of requires must be determined by a reference to the state carrying into operation the principles of this resolution. of things which existed when these lands became the pro.

As a Representative from Illinois, were it possible for perty of the Federal Government, the objects of the cesme to be governed by unworthy motives, this inequality sions, and by an honest interpretation of the caning of

SENATE.]

Mr. Foot's Resolution.

[Jan. 13, 1830.

one,

Í very

the parties, as derived from their written contracts. With- shall not be divided among the several States, not acout intending to go into all the particulars of history con cording to the proportions of charge and expenditure, nected with this view of the subject, I will content myself but according to their representation in Congress. by saying, that the difficulties winich surrounded the Con- It is not wonderful that those who are willing to disgress of the Confederation induced them, in September, regard the original understanding of the parties to these 1780, to invite the States having unappropriated lands to cessions should be at a loss to know what to do with so make liberal cessions for the general good. The resolution of much money. To get rid of the objection that it was that venerable body of the following month declares, that never intended to make this Government unnecessarily the unappropriated lands that may be ceded or relinquish- rich, and to place in its hands the destinies of ten or a ed to the United States, by any particular State, pursuant dozen States of the confederacy, as this resolution proto the recommendation of Congress, of the 6th day of poses to do now, some States of older date, by their reSeptember last, shall be disposed of for the common be presentatives, very kindly offer to take the money themnefit of the United States, and be settled and formed into selves, and their younger brethren into their kind keeping distinct republican States, which shall become members also. l'or

much desire to see the day, when of the Federal Union, &c. Thus, we see, the object then the new States shall neither be an object of envy or cı!was to acquire lands, not to be held up in the hands of a pidity. When the people thereof can be permitted to rest great speculator, but to be disposed of and settled; not under their own "vine and fig tree,' without being to be reserved from settlement as this resolution proposes. cternally subject to the projects of other people. This Let us proceed a little further, and see what was meant time will arrive, whenever the energies of this Governby the common benefit, for which the lands were to be ment shall be directed with fidelity to the honest discharge disposed of. The State of New York appears to have of its obligations and constitutional duties; wherever it been the first in point of time, to comply with the invita- shall in good faith dispose of the land to pay its çlebts, tion referred to. The preamble of her act of the Legis- and with a view to its settlement. But if the national lature of the 17th Marchi, 1780, is as follows: “Whereas honor is to be sacrificed to gratify national cupidity ; if nothing, under Divine Providence, can more effectually the immediate and pressing interests of the new States are contribute to the tranquillity and safety of the United to be sacrificed for the remote and speculative interests of States of America, than a federal alliance, on such liberal scme of the old ; if, for the interests of those who wish :o principles as will give satisfaction to its respective mem- monopolize the manufactures of the country, land is to bers; and whereas the articles of confederation and per: be kept from muket in the new States, that labor may be petual union recommended by the honorable Congress of cheap in the old, it will be for the new States, embracing, ihe United States of America, have not proved acceptable as they do, the fairest portions of this hemisphere, to deto all the States, it having been conceived that a portion cide, whether they shall not accomplish the destinies to of the waste and uncultivated territory, within the limits which Heaven itself invites them. or claims of certain States, ought to be appropriated as a Mr. BARTON said, as he should vote differently from common fund for the expenses of the war,” &c. The those with whom he usually acted on questions respecting States of Virginia, and North Carolina appear to have had the public lands in the new States and Territories, it the same object in making cessions. For they both de- might be prudent to assign his reasons.

if this were a clare that the ceded lands should be a common fund for peremptory resolution, affirming the expediency of makthe use and benefit of such of the States as had or should ing any radical change, in that respect, that could retard become members of the confederation, “according to tlic migration to the West, or lessen the facilities of actheir usual respective proportions in the general charge quiring lands by the settlers, and the encouragement of the and expenditure.” What “ usual respective proportions great agricultural interests in the West, he should vote in the general charge and expenditure" were here meant against it. But being a mere proposition for inquiring Precisely what was meant by New York, when she spoke into the subject, and that, too, by a coinmittee known, and of the expenses of the war. Can it be supposed that the mentioned by the gentleman from Connecticut, [Mr. Foot] objects of Virginia, New York, and North Carolina, were to come from the very States most directly concerned in to make the Federal Government a rich and more power- this matter, he should vote for the inquiry. ful one? Or did they intend only to remove existing em- It was an unusual and an ungracious thing, (said Mr. B.] barrassments? The old Congress declared before the in the estimation of Uris body, to vote against inquiries, cessions that the lands should be disposed of and be settled, and they had become almost a matter of course.

Ise was and formed into distinct republican States. The time was not afraic to let the people of the United States, cast of not fixed, it is true, within which either the lands were to the Alleghanies, look fully into this matter and see the be sold and settled or the States admitted. I may, how- plain truth as it really exists in the West. He feared the ever, at least infer that it was not then intended, that if, creation of unfounded and unfavorable suspicions, by thus in fifty years, the land was not sold, that one half of it stepping forward, at the approach of a portion of the should be withdrawn from market, and not settled at all. owners to examine how this interest of theirs has been My interpretation of the intentions of these parties is, managed, and blowing out the light, as if afraid they that the debt was to be paid as far as might be, by sale of really would make some unpleasant discoveries, if permitthe lands; and the proinise that they should be settled, ted to come in and examine. Let them examine. He and be received into the Union, was the guarantee that no gave the gentleman fair notice of his prepossessions in unecessary delay in the sale or settlement should be inter-favor of going on with the surveys and sales. We had posed. How different are we in the habit of considering pow, (said Mr. B.] in existence all the offices, officers, this matter! The public domain is now considered an ob- and their subordinates, necessary to complete the surveys; ject of great national wealth, and it is believed to be the and why arrest their progress? The survey of our counduty of Congress to play the part of land jobber, and try was necessary to know its physical features and capahold it up for the highest prices, making the settlement bilities; to know the rivers and streams; the prairies and of the ceded country, and its admission as States into the forests; hills, mountains, arable lands, minerals, and the Union, solely dependent upon the pecuniary interests of situation and general aspect of our great purchase from the Federal Government. Nay, sir, I have heard it alleged, France, as well as of all our other domains. The surveys that the lands ought not to be brought into market exten- were necessary to correct descriptions and maps of our sively, because it would affect the prices of real estate in country; and, as the machine was now in useful motion, the old States ; and I have understood that it is seriously it would be a saving, even in an economical view, to go on debated elsewhere, whether the proceeds of the lands and finish the surveys rather than demolish the machine,

Jax. 13, 1830.]

Mr. Foot's Resolution.

(SENATE.

and, after a lapse of ten or twenty years, rebuild it and be nothing now properly before the Senate, but the simple gin anew. The marks of surveyors, he said, like other question--Is the subject proposed in the resolution prohuman marks, could not last always; but, if faithfully per for inquiry? Mr. M. said that, as the merits of the made, they would last long enough, for the purpose of proposed system had been, and would probably be furfinding and disposing of our public lands. With respect ther discussed, he ventured to say, if the sales of public to the sales, it was necessary that our Presidents, under lands were confined to those which had been already oftheir discretionary powers of selling public lands, should fered for sale, (excluding the reverted and relinquished be liberal. It promoted the great agricultural class of our lands) the treasury would not receive two hundred thoupeople; the agricultural interests of the country, which sand dollars a year from that source. lie at the bottom of all the others as their foundation. It In Alabama there were a great many millions of acres was upon this very ground that the late Secretary of the of land which had been offered and not sold; and if no Treasury [Mr. Rusu) gave a correlative encouragement other land but that were permitted to come into the marto manufactures. He had understood Mr. Rush only to ket for five years to come, not one acre in five thousand draw an argument from the great ease with which lands would bring one dollar and twenty-five cents, not one were acquired and agricultural interests fostered in the in two thousand would bring a dollar, and not one thouUnited States, in favor of a similar encouragement to the sand would bring seventy-five cents, or any other price. other great interests of manufactures and the useful arts The Senator from Illinois (Mr. KANE) had said that he was of mechanism; and not to be unfriendly to the growth of not one of those who contended that the new States were the West. And to that intent Mr. Rush was certainly entitled to the public domain within them, in virtue of their correct. Without the manufacturing arts in our country, sovereignty. Mr. M. said, he did not consider that there agriculture could not thriva, when all Europe refuses to was any merit in holling the one opinion or the other, receive the products of our soil. Agriculture feeds manu- provided it be honestly entertained. But as it had been factures, and manufactures encourage and sustain agricul- his fortune, or rather fate, to be the first to advance the ture, by affording it a market at home. They mutually doctrine that the new States, in virtue of their sovereignty, aid each other, and are necessary to each other's pros- had a right to the public lands within their respective perity. There may be details in our land laws which limits, and that the United States could not constitutionought to be reformed. But the great feature of liberality ally lold them, he would now merely say that his opinion in ihem, he should be unwilling to mar, even for a week. on that subject remained unchanged; and that the arguso long as that was retained, you might encourage and ment which he had delivered in this Senate some two practise manufactares east of the mountains, where they years ago, on that subject, remained, in his opinion, unanmust necessarily spring up first, as much as you pleased, swered. Should it again become necessary to discuss that it could never injuriously affect the migration to the West. question, he would maintain the same opinion; but while So long as the attractions of land, liberty, and free space, he did so, he did not ask to control the opinions of others. are there on their present easy terms, the tide of migra- He regarded that question, for the present, as decided tion will set towards them.

against him, and therefore should discuss all other quesBut why use arguments? Cast your eyes towards the tions, in relation to the public lands, as if they did conWest and you will see the streams of migration to your stitutionally belong to the United States. new countries setting in that direction wide and deep and Mr. HOLMES wished the resolution to lie on the table unrestrainable by the manufactures of the East, which for the present. He wished to offer the following resoluhad required a high consideration in this nation, and he tion for the adoption of the Senate: regretted that they were thought prejudicial to any part of Resolret, That the Commissioner of the Land Office be the Union.

directed to inform the Senate of the quantity of public Mr. McKINLEY said he was in favor of the adoption of land which is now, or can be brought into the markci, the resolution, not because he expected or wished the distinguishing in what States or Territories such lands are; inquiry to result in the adoption of a new system, such as But, upon the suggesion of Mr. FOOT, he abandoned that implied in the resolution; but because he was in favor his resolution. of a full and fair inquiry into every subject connected with The people of the United States (said Mr. H.] are an the public lands. "To refuse it was but to create new inquiring people; they wish for light. If you refuse this prejudices and suspicions, and to increase those already inquiry, they will be apt to suspect that we "love darkexisting. Public attention was now directed to the public ness rather than light, because our deeds are evil, and that lands, with a view to the distribution of their proceeds; we will not come to the light, lest our deeds should be and every subject connected with them would of course be- reproved.” come more interesting to the people. Although Congress We have [said Mr. H.] a report of the quantity and had been legislating upon this subject for more than forty quality of the public lands which were in market at the years, a great portion of the members from the old States commencement of the ycar 1828. I wish to know what were ignorant of the land system, and the laws relating 10 quantity of land has been brought into the market since it, (and he mcant no disrepect when he said so.). The that period; what is the quality of it, and in what part of reason is obvious. They did not consider it their duty to the country it is located. If on inquiry it be found proper become minutely acquainted with this subject, and there to go on with the surveys, he should vote for this continufore generally left it to those who represented the States ance and for the continuance of the officers employed for where those landslie, to investigate and explain all matters that purpose. So far as the subject has been developed, connected with them. This (said Mr. M.] furnishes an there is a large quantity of land now ready for the market; additional reason why inquiry should not be refused. For probably it was not all ready. But I believe there is a himself, he said, he had nothing to apprehend from any large quantity owned by the States. The States would investigation that might take place. And although it was soon become competitors of the United States: for Ohio a novel proceeding in the Senate, to discuss the merits of has a vast quantity of her own land for sale; so has India resolution of inquiry, so far as the discussion was intend- ana, and, I believe, so has the State of Illinois. Besides, ed to throw light on the subject, and aid the committee in there are large tracts which have been sold to speculators, coming to a correct conclusion, he had no objection to it; (hy speculators I mean those who purchase the lands, not but so far as it was intended to arrest inquiry, he was op- for the purpose of settling them, but to re-sell them again) posed to it. It does seem to me, however, (said Mr. M.] which land is now in the market. If all the lands were not that the proper time for discussing the merits, is upon the sufficient to gratify the desires and wants of purchasers, coming in of the report of the committee; there being (which would be ascertained by the inquiry proposed) let us

[ocr errors]

SENATE.]

Indian Affairs.

(Jan. 14, 1850.

It was ne

then give them more. He wished the inquiry to bemade, but priation contained in the bill. The sum of forty thousand he was desirous of having the information his resolution dollars was much greater than could be necessary to de. contemplated, before he voted for the resolution of the fray the legitimate expenses of holding a treaty. He pregentleman from Connecticut, (Mr. Foor.] But, as he sumed, therefore, that it was intended to form a part of would probably obtain the information from the Commis- the consideration to be given for the lands which were sioner of the Land Office, or the Committee of Inquiry to be obtained by the treaty. This he considered impromight obtain and present it to us, he was willing the dis-per, because, if the money was paid to the Indians imcussion should go on; still he was surprised that any at- mediately, the treaty would be carried into effect before it tempt should be made to smother investigation.

should bave been submitted to the Senate for their approMr. FOOT said he had supposed that his proposition to bation and ratification; thus depriving that body of its conrefer this subject to the Committee on the Public Lands, stitutional right, and executing the treaty without their composed exclusively of Scnators from the States most sanction. The proper course was to stipulate in the treaty deeply interested, would have screened him from any im- what should be done hy the United States--then to submit putation, and even the slightest suspicion of unfriendly it to the action of the Senate, and, if approved by them, feelings or sinister views, in offering this resolution for execute it in good faith according to its terms. inquiry merely: His object was to obtain information, Mr. WHITE replied that the purchase money was not and he knew of no committee better qualified to give full contemplated in the hill, but an appropriation sufficient information on this subject; it was their peculiar province; to defray the expenses of holding the treaty. he had full confilence in that committee, that all the cessary for the purpose of entering on any negotiation information would be coinmunicated in their report, if the with the Indians to subsist them and their families while resolution should be referred to them, of which he could the treaty was going on. It was also necessary to give not entertain a doubt. But if the Senate should refuse to them presents, as every one know who was acquainted let this resolution for inquiry go to the committee, the with the matter. The expense of holding Indian treaties Senator from Maine (Mr. Holmes) could then obtain from was, he said, very great, but he did not know that this apthe Department the inforınation le desired, and he [Mr. propriation would be all required. However, if any balF.] hoped the Senator would not delay the decision on ance remained after the object of the bill will have been the resolution, by renewing his motion for postponement. accomplished, it will not be lost.

Mr. HOLMES said he would not renew the motion; he Mr. SPRAGUE said that the explanation of the Senadid not wish delay.

tor from Tennessee, who was at the head of the CommitMr. BENTON opposed the resolution. lle said he tee on Indian Affairs, had not removed his objections to would noi, at the present advanced hour of the day, enter the amount of the proposed appropriation. Is the sum of into a statement of the reasons which induced him to op- forty thousand dollars necessary to defray the expenses of pose it. He would, however, to-morrow, undertake to merely holding a treaty? With what nation does it cost show the mischievous consequences which would result to half that sum to negotiate? But it was said we must make the new States from the adoption of this resolution, not- provision fər presents to be made to the Indians at the withstanding it only proposed, as was said, an inquiry. time of the negotiation. He believed that he understood (Here the inatter dropped for today.)

how this power to make presents had been sometimes ex

ercised. When the Indians, the primitive, original proTHURMAY, JANUARY 14, 1830.

prietors of the soil, were unwilling to part with their INDIAN AFFAIRS.

lands, particular chiefs, or other infuential individuals,

were applied to, their necessities and their cupidity were "l'he following bill, to enable the President to extinguish appealed to, their promises and appetites were solicited, the Indian title within the State of Indiana, was read a and presents were made to them to purchase their consent second time, and considered in Committee of the Whole: and their influence, to sacrifice the interest of their tribes,

Be it enacted, &c. That the sun of forty thousand dol- to betray the trust reposed in them by their nation. Such lars be, and the same is hereby, appropriated, for the pur- practices he reprobated, and he would not willingly put pose of holding Indian treaties, and extinguishing Indian into the hands of our commissioners the means of resorting title within the State of Indiana."

to them.

He would appropriate a sufficient sum to pay Mr. WHITE briefly explained the objects of the bill, our own agents and commissioners, and their necessary which he said was reported in consequence of a memorial expenses. He would leave the cther party with whom we received from the State of Indiana, stating that the Legis- are about to make a solemn compact, to act freely and inlature of that State had appropriated a sum of money for clependenly, according to their own conviction of their the purpose of cutting a canal tlırough a part of the coun- interest

. Upon these terms he would treat, or not at all. try in which a large number of Indians now residerl We He wished not to acquire their property, nor divest them of all know [said Mr. W.] that there will be constant colli- their lands, unless it were done honestly, fairly, and justly. sions between the laborers who will be engaged in the con- Mr. HENDRICKS said he would vote for the approstruction of this canal and the Indians who inhabit the sec- priation which the bill proposed; and although it might tion of the State through which it is to pass, and it is for be that the whole amount would not be required to defray the purpose of preventing the carnage and bloodshed the expenses of holding the treaty, yet he was confident which must ensue from these collisions, that this bill has that whatever remained unexpended for that purpose been reported. It was very desirable to bare these In- would not be lost; it would be returned to the treasury: Ile dans removed, which could be efiected much more easily considered the opposition to this bill arose from a misconat this period than when the canal will have been made ception, as well of its principles, as of the objects it had in through the country. The committee were of opinion view; and he was confident when gentlemen came to a corthat the sum mentioned in the biil would be required for rect understanding of these points, their opposition would holding the treaty, and for subsisting the Indians and their cease. It was impossible (Mr. H. said] to treat with the families while holding it. Mr. W. concluded by calling Indians without making them presents. We must treat with the attention of the Senate to the facilities which would them as they are, and not as the Senator from Maine and now be experienced in making this purchase, and to the the Senate would wish them to be; and it would be idle to opportunity which it afforded of carrying into effect what think of entering into any negotiation with them without mawas regarded as the settled policy of the country-the re- king an appropriation adequate to subsist their women and moval of the Indians beyond the Mississippi.

children, who always accompany them on such occasions. Mr. SPRAGUE objected to the amount of the appro. Mr. H. 'illustrated the necessiiy of such an appropria

« AnteriorContinuar »