« AnteriorContinuar »
sent minister to London ; and in renewing an gratification was general—but not universal; application which had been so lately and so cate- and these very instructions, under which such gorically rejected, some reason had to be given great and lasting advantages had been obtained, for a persistance which might seem both impor- were made the occassion in the Senate of the tunate and desperate, and even deficient in self- United States of rejecting their ostensible author respect; and that reason was found in the simple as a minister to London. But of this hereafter. truth that there had been a change of adminis The auspicious conclusion of so delicate an aftration in the United States, and with it a change fair was doubtless first induced by General Jackof opinion on the subject, and on the essential son's frank policy in falling back upon Washingpoint of a "right" in us to have our productions ton's ground of "privilege,” in contradistinction admitted into her West Indies on the same terms to the new pretension of “right, "-helped out a as British productions were received; that we little, it may be, by the possible aster-clap sug. were willing to take the trade as a “privilege," gested in the second part of his maxim. Good and simply and unconditionally, under the act of sense and good feeling may also have had its inParliament of 1825. Instructions to that effect fluence, the trade in question being as desirable had been drawn up by Mr. Van Buren, Secretary to Great Britian as to the United States, and of State, under the special directions of General better for each to carry it on direct in their own Jackson, who took this early occasion to act vessels, than circuitously in the vessels of others; upon his cardinal maxim in our foreign inter- and the articles on each side being of a kind to course: Ask nothing but what is right-sub- solicit mutual exchange-tropical productions on mit to nothing wrong.' This frank and candid one part, and those of the temperate zone on the policy had its effect. The great object was ac- other. But there was one thing which certainly complished The trade was recovered; and contributed to the good result, and that was the what had been lost under one administration, and act of Congress of May 29th, of which General precariously enjoyed under others, and been the Samuel Smith, senator from Maryland, was the subject of fruitless negotiation for forty years, and chief promoter; and by which the President was under six different Presidents—Washington. John authorized, on the adoption of certain measures Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Quincy Ad-by Great Britian, to open the ports of the United ams—with all their accomplished secretaries and States to her vessels on reciprocal terms. The ministers, was now amicably and satisfactorily effect of this act was to strengthen General Jackobtained under the administration of General son's candid overture; and the proclamation Jackson; and upon the basis to give it perpetu- opening the trade was issued October the 5th, ity—that of mutual interest and actual recipro- 1830, in the second year of the first term of the city. The act of Parliament gave us the trade administration of President Jackson. And under on terms nearly as good as those suggested by that proclamation this long desired trade has Washington in 1789; fully as good as those been enjoyed ever since, and promises to be enasked for by him in 1794; better than those in- joyed in after time co-extendingly with the dura serted in the treaty of that year, and suspended tion of peace between the two countries. by the Senate; and, though nominally on the same terms as given to the rest of the world, yet practically better, on account of our proximity to this British market'; and our superabundance of articles (chiefly provisions and lumber) which
CHAPTER XLIII. it wants. And the trade has been enjoyed under this act ever since, with such entire satisfac
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GLOBE NEWSPAPER. tion, that there is already an oblivion of the forty years' labor which it cost us to obtain it; and a At a presidential levee in the winter of 1830 generation has grown up, almost without know-|-'31, Mr. Duff Green, editor of the Telegraph ing to whom they are indebted for its present newspaper, addressed a person then and now a enjoyment. But it made its sensation at the respectable resident of Washington city (Mr. J time, and a great one. The friends of the Jack- M. Duncanson), and invited him to call at his son administration exulted; the people rejoiced; | house, as he had something to say to him which
would require a confidential interview. The call the farmers and mechanics of the country, and was made, and the object of the interview dis- made so cheap as to go into every workshop and closed, which was nothing less than to engage cabin. Mr. Duncanson was a practical printer his (Mr. Duncanson's) assistance in the execu- -owned a good job office—was doing a large tion of a scheme in relation to the next presiden- business, especially for the departments-and tial election, in which General Jackson should only wished to remain as he was. Mr. Green be prevented from becoming a candidate for re- offered, in both interviews, to relieve him from election, and Mr. Calhoun should be brought for that concern by purchasing it from him, and as ward in his place. He informed Mr. Duncanson sured him that he would otherwise lose the that a rupture was impending between General printing of the departments, and be sacrificed. Jackson and Mr. Calhoun; that a correspond- Mr. Duncanson again refused to have any thing ence had taken place between them, brought to do with the scheme, consulted with some about (as he alleged) by the intrigues of Mr. friends, and caused the whole to be communicatVan Buren; that the correspondence was then ed to General Jackson. The information did not in print, but its publication delayed until certain take the General by surprise ; it was only a conarrangements could be made ; that the demo- firmation of what he well suspected, and had cratic papers at the most prominent points in been wisely providing against. The history of the States were to be first secured; and men well the movement in Mr. Monroe's cabinet, to bring known to the people as democrats, but in the ex- him before a military court, for his invasion of clusive interest of Mr. Calhoun, placed in charge Spanish territory during the Seminole war, had of them as editors; that as soon as the arrange- just come to his knowledge; the doctrine of ments were complete, the Telegraph would nullification had just been broached in Congress; startle the country with the announcement of his own patriotic toast: “ The Federal Union: the difficulty (between General Jackson and it must be preserved”—had bee delivered ; his Mr. Calhoun), and the motive for it; and that own intuitive sagacity told him all the rest—the all the secured presses, taking their cue from the breach with Mr. Calhoun, the defection of the Telegraph, would take sides with Mr. Calhoun, Telegraph, and the necessity for a new paper at and cry out at the same time; and the storm Washington, faithful, fearless and incorruptible. would seem to be so universal, and the indigna- The Telegraph had been the central metrotion against Mír. Van Buren would appear to be politan organ of his friends and of the demoso great, that even General Jackson's popularity cratic party, during the long and bitter canvass would be unable to save him.
which ended in the election of General Jackson, Mr. Duncanson was then invited to take part in 1828. Its editor had been gratified with the in the execution of this scheme, and to take first rich fruits of victory—the public printing charge of the Frankfort (Kentucky) Argus; and of the two Houses of Congress, the executive flattering inducements held out to encourage him patronage, and the organship of the administrato do so. Mr. Duncanson expressed surprise and tion. The paper was still (in 1830) in its regret at all that he heard-declared himself the columns, and to the public eye, the advocate and friend of General Jackson, and of his re-election supporter of General Jackson ; but he knew -opposed to all schemes to prevent him from what was to happen, and quietly took his mear being a candidate again—a disbeliever in their sures to meet an inevitable contingency. In the success, if attempted—and made known his de- summer of 1830, a gentleman in one of the pubtermination to reveal the scheme, if it was not lic offices showed him a paper, the Frankfort abandoned. Mr. Green begged him not to do so (Kentucky) Argus, containing a powerful and -said that the plan was not fully agreed upon; spirited review of a certain nullification speech and might not be carried out. This was the end in Congress. IIe inquired for the author, ascerof 'the first interview. A few days afterwards tained him to be Mr. Francis P. Blair-not the Bír. Green called on Mr. Duncanson, and inform- editor, but an occasional contributor to the Argus si himn that a rupture was now determined upon, -and had him written to on the subject of takand renewed his proposition that he should take ing charge of a paper in Washington. The apcharge of some paper, either as proprietor, or as plication took Mr. Blair by surprise. He was editor on a liberal salary—one that would tell on not thinking of changing his residence and pur
suits. He was well occupied where he was— tion, if sanctioned upon inquiry and carried into clerk of the lucrative office of the State Circuit legislative effect, would have been to check emiCourt at the capital of the State, salaried presi- gration to the new States in the West—to check dent of the Commonwealth Bank (by the elec- the growth and settlement of these States and tion of the legislature), and proprietor of a farm territories—and to deliver up large portions of and slaves in that rich State. But he was devot- them to the dominion of wild beasts. In that ed to General Jackson and his measures, and did sense it was immediately taken up by myself, not hesitate to relinquish his secure advantages and other western members, and treated as an at home to engage in the untried business of injurious proposition-insulting as well as injueditor at Washington. He came-established the rious—and not fit to be considered by a conGlobe newspaper—and soon after associated with mittee, much less to be reported upon and adopJohn C. Rives, -a gentleman worthy of the ted. I opened the debate against it in a speech, association and of the confidence of General Jack- of which the following is an extract: son and of the democratic party : and under their
“Mr. Benton disclaimed all intention of harmanagement, the paper became the efficient and ing any thing to do with the motives of the faithful organ of the administration during the mover of the resolution: he took it according to whole period of his service, and that of his suc
its effect and operation, and conceiving this to be cessor, Mr. Van Buren. It was established in of the new States and Territories, he should jus
eminently injurious to the rights and interests time, and just in time, to meet the advancing tify the view which he had taken, and the vote events at Washington City. All that General he intended to give, by an exposition of facts Jackson had foreseen in relation to the conduct and reasons which would show the disastrous of the Telegraph, and all that had been com
nature of the practical effects of this resolution.
“On the first branch of these effects-checkmunicated to him through Mr. Duncanson, came ing emigration to the West—it is clear
, that, if to pass : and he found himself, early in the first the sales are limited to the lands now in market term of his administration, engaged in a triple eniigration will cease to flow; for these lands war-with nullification, the Bank of the United are not of a character to attract people at a disStates, and the whig party :-and must have years picking under the Spanish Government
tance. In Missouri they are the refuse of forty been without defence or support from the news and twenty more under the Government of the paper press at Washington had it not been for United States. The character and value of this his foresight in establishing the Globe.
refuse had been shown, officially, in the reports of the Registers and Receivers, made in obedience to a call from the Senate. Other gentlemen would show what was said of it in their respective States; he would confine himself to his own, to the State of Missouri. and show it to be
miserable indeed. The St. Louis District, conCHAPTER XLIV.
taining two and a quarter millions of acres, was
estimated at an average value of fifteen cents per LIMITATION OF PUBLIC LAND SALES. SUSPEN. acre; the Cape Girardeau District, containing
SION OF SURVEYS. ABOLITION OF THE OFFICE four and a half millions of acres, was estimated OF SURVEYOR GENERAL. ORIGIN OF THE UNI. at twelve and a half cents per acre; the WesTED STATES LAND SYSTEM. AUTHORSIIIP OF tern District, containing one million and three THE ANTI-SLAVERY ORDINANCE OF 1773. SLA- quarters of acres, was estimated at sixty-two VERY CONTROVERSY. PROTECTIVE TARIFF. and a half cenis; from the other two districts INCEPTION OF THE DOCTRINE OF NULLIFICA: there was no intelligent or pertinent return; but
assuming them to be equal to the Western Dis
trict, and the average value of the lands they Ar the commencement of the session 1829–30, contain would be only one half the amount of Mr. Foot, of Connecticut, submitted in the Sen- the present minimum price. This being the ate a resolution of inquiry which excited much state of the lands in Missouri which would be feeling among the western members of that body. lution, no emigrants would be attracted to them.
subject to sale under the operation of this resoIt was a proposition to inquire into the expe- Persons who remove to new countries want new diency of limiting the sales of the public lands to lands, first choices; and if they cannot get these, those then in market-to suspend the surveys
they have no sufficient inducement to more.
“ The second ill effect to result from this resoof the public lands—and to abolish the office of lution, supposing it to ripen into the measures Surveyor General. The effect of such a resolu- / which it implies to be necessary would be in
limiting the settlements in the new States and depriving the country of all the evidences of the Territories. This limitation of settlement would foundations of all the land titles. This would be the inevitable effect of confining the sales to be sweeping work; but the gentleman's plan the lands now in market. These lands in Mis- would be incomplete without including the souri, only amount to one third of the State. General Land Office in this city, the principal By consequence, only one third could be settled. | business of which is to superintend the five SurTiro thirds of the State would remain without veyor General's offices, and for which there could inhabitants; the resolution says, for 'a certain be but little use after they were abolished. period,' and the gentlemen, in their speeches, “ These are the practical effects of the resoluexpound this certain period to be seventy-two tion. Emigration to the new States checked; years. They say seventy-two millions of acres their settlement limited; a large portion of their are now in market;, that we sell but one million surface delivered up to the dominion of beasts ; a year ; therefore, we have enough to supply the the land records removed. Such are the injuries demand for seventy-two years. It does not en- to be inflicted upon the new States, and we, the . ter their heads to consider that, if the price was senators from those States, are called upon to adapted to the value, all this seventy-two inil- vote in favor of the resolution which proposes to lions that is fit for cultivation would be sold inquire into the expediency of committing all immediately. They must go on at a million a these enormities! I, for one, will not do it. I year for seventy-two years, the Scripture term of will vote for no such inquiry. I would as soon the life of man-a long period in the age of a vote for inquiries into the expediency of conflanation; the exact period of the Babylonish cap- grating cities, of devastating provinces, and of tivity—a long and sorrowful period in the his- submerging fruitful lands under the waves of the tory of the Jews; and not less long nor less ocean. sorrowful in the history of the West, if this "I take my stand upon a great moral principle: resolution should take effect.
that it is never right to inquire into the expedi"The third point of objection is that it would ency of doing wrong. deliver up large portions of new States and Ter- - The proposed inquiry is to do wrong; to inritories to the dominion of wild beasts. In Mis- flict unmixed, unmitigated evil upon the new souri, this surrender would be equal to two-thirds States and Territories. Such inquiries are not of the State, comprising about forty thousand to be tolerated. Courts of law will sustain square miles, covering the whole valley of the actions which have immoral foundations; legisOsage River, besides many other parts, and ap- lative bodies should not sustain inquiries which proaching within a dozen miles of the centre and have iniquitous conclusions. Courts of law make capital of the State. All this would be deliver- it an object to give public satisfaction in the aded up to wild beasts: for the Indian title is ex- ininistration of justice ; legislative bodies should tinguished, and the Indians gone; the white peo- consult the public tranquillity in the prosecution ple would be excluded from it; beasts alone of their measures. They should not alarm and would take it; and all this in violation of the agitate the country; yet, this inquiry, if it goes Divine command to replenish the earth, to in- on, will give the greatest dissatisfaction to the crease and multiply upon it, and to have domin- new States in the West and South. It will alarm ion over the beasts of the forest, the birds of the and agitate them, and ought to do it. It will air, the fish in the waters, and the creeping connect itself with other inquiries going on elsethings of the earth.
where—in the other end of this building-in the ** The fourth point of objection is, in the remo- House of Representatives—to make the new val of the land records—the natural effect of States a source of revenge to the old ones, to de abolishing all the offices of the Surveyors General. liver them up to a new set of masters, to throw These offices are five in number. It is proposed them as grapes into the wine press, to be trod to abolish them all, and the reason assigned in and squeezed as long as one drop of juice could debate is, that they are sinecures ; that is to be pressed from their hulls. These measures will say, offices which have revenues and no employ- go together; and if that resolution passes,
and ment. This is the description of a sinecure. this one passes, the transition will be easy and We have one of these offices in Missouri, and I natural, from dividing the money after the lands know something of it. The Surveyor General, are sold, to divide the lands before they are sold, Colonel McRee, in point of fidelity to his trust, and then to renting the land and drawing an anbelongs to the school of Nathaniel Macon ; in nual income, instead of selling it for a price in point of science and intelligence, he belongs to hand. The signs are portentous ; the crisis is the first order of men that Europe or America alarming; it is time for the new States to wake contains. He and his clerks carry labor and up to their danger, and to prepare for a struggle drudgery to the ultimate point of human excr- which carries ruin and disgrace to them, if the tion, and still fall short of the task before them ; issue is against them.” and this is an office which it is proposed to The debate spread, and took an acrimonious abolish under the notion of a sinecure, as an office with revenues, and without employment. turn, and sectional, imputing to the quarter of The abolition of these offices would involve the the Union from which it came an old, and early necessity of removing all their records, and thus policy to check the growth of the West at the
cutset by proposing to limit the sale of the west- be sold out complete before township No. 2 should ern lands to a “clean riddance” as they went-- be offered for sale, was like requiring the bones selling no tract in advance until all in the rear of the second one should be touched. Yet such
of the first turkey to he eat up before the breast was sold out. It so happened that the first or
was the provision contained in the first ordinance dinance reported for the sale and survey of west- for the sale of the public lands, reported by a ern lands in the Congress of the Confederation, committee of twelve, of which eight were from (1785,) contained a provision to this effect; and the north and four from the south side of the
Potomac. How invincible must have been the came from a committee strongly Northern-two determination of some politicians to prevent the to one, eight against four: and was struck out settlement of the West, when they would thus in the House on the motion of southern members, counteract the sales of the lands which had just supported by the whole power of the South. i been obtained after years of importunity, for the gave this account of the circumstance:
payment of the public debt!
- When this ordinance was put upon its pas“ The ordinance reported by the committee, sage in Congress, two Virginians, whose names, contained the plan of surveying the public lands, for that act alone, would deserve the lasting grawhich has since been followed. It adopted the titude of the West, levelled their blows against scientific principle of ranges of townships, which the obnoxious provision. Mr. Grayson moved to has been continued ever since, and found so strike it out, and Mr. Monroe seconded him; and, beneficial in a variety of ways to the country. after an animated and arduous contest, they sucThe ranges began on the Pennsylvania line, and ceeded. The whole South supported them; not proceeded west to the Mississippi ; and since the one recreant arm from the South; many scatteracquisition of Louisiana, they have proceeded ing members from the North also voted with west of that river ; the townships began upon the South, and in favor of the infant West; prorthe Ohio River, and proceeded north to the Lakes. ing then, as now, and as it always has been, that The townships were divided into sections of a the West has true supporters of her rights and mile square, six hundred and forty acres each ; interests—unhappily not enough of them-in and the minimum price was fixed at one dollar that quarter of the Union from which the meaper acre, and not less than a section to be sold sures have originated that several times threatentogether. This is the outline of the present plan ed to be fatal to her.” of sales and surveys; and, with the modifications it has received, and may receive, in gradua
Still enlarging its circle, but as yet still confined ting the price of the land to the quality, the plan to the sale and disposition of the public lands, is excellent. But a principle was incorporated the debate went on to discuss the propriety of in the ordinance of the most fatal character. It selling them to settlers at auction prices, and at was, that each township should be sold out complete before any land could be offered in the next
an abitrary minimum for all qualities, and a reone! This was tantamount to a law that the fusal of donations; and in this hard policy the lands shonld not be sold; that the country should North was again considered as the exacting part not be settled: for it is certain that every town of the Union-the South as the favorer of liberal ship, or almost every one, would contain land unfit for cultivation, and for which no person would terms, and the generous dispenser of gratuitous give six hundred and forty dollars for six hun- grants to the settlers in the new States and Terdred and forty acres. The effect of such a pro- ritories. On this point, Mr. Hayne, of South vision may be judged by the fact that above one Carolina, thus expressed himself: hundred thousand acres remain to this day unsold in the first land district ; the district of Steu “ The payment of “a penny,' or a 'pepper benville, in Ohio, which included the first range corn,' was the stipulated price which our fathers and first township. If that provision had re- along the whole Atlantic coast, now composing mained in the ordinance, the settlements would the old thirteen States, paid for their lands; and not yet have got out of sight of the Pennsylva- even when conditions, seemingly more substannia line. It was an unjust and preposterous tial, were annexed to the grants; such for instance provision. It required the people to take the as settlement and cultivation ;' these were concountry clean before them ; buy all as they went ; sidered as substantially complied with, by the mountains. hills, and swamps; rocks, glens, and cutting down a few trees and erecting a log cabin prairies. They were to make clean work, as the ---the work of only a few days. Even these congiant Polyphemus did when he ate up the com- ditions very soon came to be considered as merely panions of Ulysses:
nominal, and were never required to be pursued,
in order to vest in the grantee the fee simple of No entrails, blood, nor solid bone remains,'
the soil. Such was the system under which this Nothing could be more iniquitous than such a country was originally settled, and under which provision. It was like requiring your guest to eat the thirteen colonies Hourished and grew up to all the bones on his plate before he should have that early and vigorous manhood, which enabled more meat. To say that township No. 1 should them in a few years to achieve their independence;