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of these tariffs, instead of by their help. Busi- Behold, on the other hand, the flying steamness had been brought to a stand during the boats; and the fleets of floating arks, loaded disastrous period which ensued the establish with the products of the forest, the farm, and
the pasture, following the course of our noble ment of the Bank of the United States. It was rivers, and bearing their freights to that great a period of stagnation, of settlement, of paying city which revives, upon the banks of the Misup, of getting clear of loads of debt; and start- sissippi, the name* of the greatest of the empeing afresh. It was the strong man, freed from rors that ever reigned upon the banks of the the burthen under which he had long been pros- heroic exploits by giving an order to his legions
Tiber, and who eclipsed the glory of his own trate, and getting on his feet again. In the never to levy a contribution of salt upon a RoWest I knew that this was the process, and that man citizen! Behold this double line of exour revived prosperity was entirely the result ports, and observe the refluent currents of gold
and silver which result from them! Large are of our own resources, independent of
, and in the supplies-millions are the amount which is spite of federal legislation; and so declared it in annually poured into the West from these doumy speech. I said:
ble exportations; enough to cover the face of
the earth with magnificent improvements, and “ The fine effects of the high tariff upon the to cram every industrious pocket with gold and prosperity of the West have been celebrated on silver. But where is this money ? for it is not this floor: with how much reason, let facts res- in the country! Where does it go ? for go it pond, and the people judge ! I do not think we does, and scarcely leaves a vestige of its transit are indebted to the high tariff for our fertile behind! Sir, it goes to the Northeast ! to the lands and our navigable rivers; and I am cer- seat of the American system! there it goes ! tain we are indebted to these blessings for the and thus it goes !" prosperity we enjoy. In all that comes from the soil, the people of the West are rich. They Mr. Clay had commenced his speech with an have an abundant supply of food for man and apology for what might be deemed failing powbeast, and a large surplus to send abroad. They have the comfortable living which industry cre
ers on account of advancing age. He said he ates for itself in a rich soil; but, beyond this
, was getting old, and might not be able to fulfil they are poor. They have none of the splendid the expectation, and requite the attention, of the works which imply the presence of the moneyed attending crowd; and wished the task could power! No Appian or Flaminian ways; no have fallen to younger and abler hands. This roads paved or McAdamized; no canals, except what are made upon borrowed means; no aque
apology for age when no diminution of mental ducts; no bridges of stone across our innume- or bodily vigor was perceptible, induced severable streams; no edifices dedicated to eternity; ral speakers to commence their replies with alno schools for the fine arts: not a public library lusions to it, generally complimentary, but not for which an ordinary scholar would not apologize. And why none of those things ? Have the admitting the fact. Mr. Hayne gracefully said, people of the West no taste for public improve that he had lamented the advances of age,
and ments, for the useful and the fine arts, and for mourned the decay of his eloquence, so eloliterature ? Certainly they have a very strong quently as to prove that it was still in full vigor; taste for them ; but they have no money! not enough for private and current uses, not enough and that he had made an able and ingenious to defray our current expenses, and buy neces- argument, fully sustaining his high reputation saries! without thinking of public improve- as an accomplished orator. General Smith, ments. We have no money! and that is a tale of Maryland, said that he could not complain which has been told too often here-chanted too dolefully in the book of lamentations which himself of the infirmities of age, though older was composed for the death of the Maysville than the senator from Kentucky, nor could find road-to be denied or suppressed now. They in his years any apology for the insufficiency of have no adequate supply of money. And why? his speech. Mr. Clay thought this was intended Have they no exports ? Nothing to send abroad? Certainly they have exports. Behold to be a slur upon him, and replied in a spirit the marching myriads of living animals annually which gave rise to the following sharp encounter: taking their departure from the heart of the West, defiling through the gorges of the Cum
"Mr. Smith then rose, and said he was sorry berland, the Alleghany, and the Apalachian to find that he had unintentionally offended the mountains, or traversing the plains of the South, honorable gentleman from Kentucky. In referdiverging as they march, and spreading them- ring to the vigorous age he himself enjoyed, he selves all over that vast segment of our territorial circle which lies between the debouches of
* "Aurelian," whose name was given to the military stathe Mississippi and the estuary of the Potomac!cans.
tion (presidium) which was afterwards corrupted into ** OrVol. I.-18
And totter on in blunders to the last.'
had not supposed he should give offence to others
Old politicians chew on wisdom past, who complained of the infirmities of age. The gentleman from Kentucky was the last' who “Mr. Smith.-The last allusion is unworthy should take the remark as disparaging to his of the gentleman. Totter, sir, I totter? Though vigor and personal appearance; for, when that some twenty years older than the gentleman, I gentleman spoke to us of his age, he heard a
can yet stand firm, and am yet able to correct young lady near him exclaim— Old, why I his errors. I could take a view of the gentlethink he is mighty pretty.” The honorable man's course, which would show how inconsisgentleman, on Friday last, made a similitude tent he has been. (Mr. Clay exclaimed: "Take where none existed. I, said Mr. S., had suggest- it, sir, take it-I dare you.' [Cries of order."} ed the necessity of mutual forbearance in set- No, sir, said · Mr. S., I will not take it. I will tling the tariff, and, thereupon, the gentleman not so far disregard what is due to the dignity vociferated loudly and angrily about removals of the Senate.” from office. He said I was a leader in the system. I deny the fact. I never exercised the
Mr. Hayne concluded one of his speeches with least influence in effecting a removal, and on the contrary, I interfered, successfully, to prevent the a declaration of the seriousness of the Southern removal of two gentlemen in office. I am charg- resistance to the tariff, and with a feeling appeal ed with making a committee on roads and canals, to senators on all sides of the house to meet their adverse to internal improvement. If this be so, Southern brethren in the spirit of conciliation, it is by mistake. I certainly supposed every and restore harmony to a divided people by regentleman named on that committee but one to be friendly to internal improvement. To the moving from among them the never-failing source committee on manufactures I assigned four out of contention. He said: of five who were known to be friendly to the protective system. The rights of the minority, “Let not gentlemen so far deceive themselves he had endeavored, also, in arranging the com as to suppose that the opposition of the South to mittee, to secure. The appointment of the com- the protecting system is not based on high and mittees he had found one of the most difficult lofty principles. It has nothing to do with parand onerous tasks he had ever undertaken. One-ty politics, or the mere elevation of men. It third of the house were lawyers, all of whom rises far above all such considerations. Nor is wanted to be put upon some important commit- it infuenced chiefly by calculations of interest, tee. The oath which the senator had tendered, but is founded in much nobler impulses. The he hoped he would not take. In the year 1795, instinct of self-interest might have taught us an Mr. S. said, he had sustained a protective duty easier way of relieving ourselves from this opagainst the opposition of a member from Pitts- pression. It wanted but the will, to have supburg. Previous to the year 1822, he had always plied ourselves with every article embraced in given incidental support to manufactures, in fix- the protective system, free of duty, without any ing the tariff. Ile was a warm friend to the other participation on our part than a simple contariff of 1816, which he still regarded as a wise sent to receive them. But, sir, we have scorned, and beneficial law. He hoped, then, the gentle in a contest for our rights, to resort to any but man would not take his oath.
open and fair means to maintain them. The “ Mr. Clay placed, he said, a high value on the spirit with which we have entered into this compliment of which the honorable senator was business, is akin to that which was kindled in the channel of communication; and he the more the bosom of our fathers when they were made the valued it, inasmuch as he did not recollect more victims of oppression; and if it has not displayed than once before, in his life, to have received a itself in the same way, it is because we have ever similar compliment. He was happy to find that cherished the strongest feelings of confraternity the honorable gentleman disclaimed the system towards our brethren, and the warmest and of proscription; and he should, with his appro- most devoted attachment to the Union. If we bation, hereafter cite his authority in opposition have been, in any degree, divided among ourto it. The Committee on Roads and Canals, selves in this matter, the source of that division, whatever were the gentleman's intentions in let gentlemen be assured, has not arisen so much constructing it, had a majority of members from any difference of opinion as to the true whose votes and speeches against internal im- character of the oppression, as from the different provements were matter of notoriety. The gen- degrees of hope of redress. All parties have for tleman's appeal to his acts in '95, is perfectly years past been looking forward to this crisis safe; for, old as I am, my knowledge of his course for the fulfilment of their hopes, or the confirdoes not extend back that far. He would take mation of their fears. And God grant that the the period which the gentleman named, since result may be auspicious. 1822. It comes, then, to this : The honora “Sir, I call upon gentlemen on all sides of the ble gentleman was in favor of protecting man- House to meet us in the true spirit of conciliation ufactures; but he had turned— I need not use and concession. Remove, I earnestly beseech the word he has abandoned manufactures. you, from among us, this never-failing source of Thus:
contention. Dry up at its source this fountain
of the waters of bitterness. Restore that har- complishment of these great reforms in the mony which has been disturbed—that mutual land system when the session of 1831–32 openaffection and confidence which has been impaired. And it is in your power to do it this day; ed, and with it the authentic annunciation of but there is but one means under heaven by the extinction of the public debt within two which it can-by doing equal justice to all. And years—which event would remove the objection be assured that he to whom the country shall be of many to interfering with the subject, the indebted for this blessing, will be considered as lands being pledged to that object. This sesthe second founder of the republic. He will be regarded, in all aftertimes, as the ministering sion, preceding the presidential election, and angel visiting the troubled waters of our politi- gathering up so many subjects to go into the cal dissensions, and restoring to the element its canvass, fell upon the lands for that purpose, healing virtues."
and in the way in which magazines of grain in I take pleasure in quoting these words of Mr. republican Rome, and money in the treasury in Hayne. They are words of moderation and of jus- democratic Athens, were accustomed to be dealt tice—of sorrow more than anger-of expostula- with by candidates for office in the periods of tion more than menace—of loyalty to the Union election ; that is to say, 'were proposed for dis--of supplication for forbearance ;—and a moving tribution. A plan for dividing out among the appeal to the high tariff party to avert a nation States for a given period the money arising al catastrophe by ceasing to be unjust. His mo- from the sale of the lands, was reported from deration, his expostulation, his supplication, his the Committee on Manufactures by Mr. Clay, a appeal—had no effect on the majority. The pro
member of that committee—and which properly tective system continued to be an exasperating could have nothing to do with the sale and distheme throughout the session, which ended with position of the lands. That report, after a genout any sensible amelioration of the system, eral history, and view of the public lands, came though with a reduction of duty on some articles to these conclusions : of comfort and convenience: as recommended by
“Upon full and thorough consideration, the President Jackson.
committee have come to the conclusion that it is inexpedient either to reduce the price of the public lands, or to cede them to the new States. They believe, on the contrary, that sound policy
coincides with the duty which has devolved on CHAPTER LXX.
the general government to the whole of the
States, and the whole of the people of the PUBLIC LANDS.-DISTRIBUTION TO THE STATES.
Union, and enjoins the preservation of the ex
isting system as having been tried and approvThe efforts which had been making for years to in consequence of the extraordinary financial
ed after long and triumphant experience. But, ameliorate the public land system in the feature prosperity which the United States enjoy, the of their sale and disposition, had begun to have question merits examination, whether, whilst their effect-the effect which always attends the general government steadily retains the
control of this great national resource in its perseverance in a just cause. A bill had ripen
own hands, after the payment of the public ed to a third reading in the Senate reducing the debt, the proceeds of the sales of the public price of lands which had been long in market lands, no longer needed to meet the ordinary less than one half—to fifty cents per acre—and expenses of government, may not be beneficialthe pre-emption principle had been firmly esta- y appropriated to some other objects for a limblished, securing the settler in his home at a
" Governments, no more than , individuals, fixed price. Two other principles, those of do- should be seduced or intoxicated by prosperity, nations to actual settlers, and of the cession to however flattering or great it may be. The the States in which they lie of all land not sold country now happily enjoys it in a most unexwithin a reasonable and limited period, were all be grateful for the blessings of peace and plen
ampled degree. We have abundant reason to that was wanting to complete the ameliorated ty, and freedom from debt. But we must be system which the graduation bills proposed; forgetful of all history and experience, if we inand these bills were making a progress which dulge the delusive hope that we shall always be
exempt from calamity and reverses. Seasons promised them an eventual success. All the of national adversity, of suffering, and of war, indications were favorable for the speedy ac- | will assuredly come. A wise government
should expect, and provide for them. Instead “ In conformity with the views and principles of wasting or squandering its resources in a pe- which the committee have now submitted, they riod of general prosperity, it should husband beg leave to report a bill, entitled 'An act to and cherish them for those times of trial and appropriate, for a limited time, the proceeds of difficulty, which, in the dispensations of Provi- the sales of the public lands of the United dence, may be certainly anticipated. Enter- States.?" taining these views, and as the proceeds of the sales of the public lands are not wanted for or The impropriety of originating such a bill in dinary revenue, which will be abundantly sup- the committee on manufactures was so clear that plied from the imposts, the committee respect- acquiescence in it was impossible. The chairfully recommend that an appropriation of them be made to some other purpose, for a limited man of the committee on public lands immeditime, subject to be resumed in the contingency ately moved its reference to that committee; of war.
Should such an event unfortunately and although there was a majority for it in the occur, the fund may be withdrawn from its peaceful destination, and applied in aid of other Senate
, and for the bill as it came from the commeans, to the vigorous prosecution of the war,
mittee on manufactures, yet the reference was and, afterwards to the payment of any debt immediately voted ; and Mr. Clay's report and which may be contracted in consequence of its bill sent to that committee, invested with genexistence. And when peace shall be again re-eral authority over the whole subject. That stored, and the debt of the new war shall have been extinguished, the fund may be again ap
committee, through its chairman, Mr. King of propriated to some fit object other than that of Alabama, made a counter report, from which the ordinary expenses of government. Thus some extracts are here given: may this great resource be preserved and rendered subservient, in peace and in war, to the “ The committee ventures to suggest that the common benefit of all the States composing the view which the committee on manufactures has Union.
taken of the federal domain, is fundamentally “The inquiry remains, what ought to be the erroneous; that it has misconceived the true specific application of the fund under the restric- principles of national policy with respect to wild tion stated ? After deducting the ten per cent. lands; and, from this fundamental mistake, and proposed to be set apart for the new States, a radical misconception, have resulted the great portion of the committee would have preferred errors which pervade the whole structure of that the residue should be applied to the ob- their report and bill. jects of internal improvement, and colonization " The committee on manufactures seem to of the free blacks, under the direction of the contemplate the federal domain merely as an general government. But a majority of the object of revenue, and to look for that revenue committee believes it better, as an alternative solely from the receivers of the land offices ; for the scheme of cession to the new States, when the science of political economy has ascerand as being most likely to give general satis- tained such a fund to be chiefly, if not exclufaction, that the residue be divided among the sively, valuable under the aspect of population twenty-four States, according to their federal and cultivation, and the eventual extraction of representative population, to be applied to edu- revenue from the people in its customary modes cation, internal improvement, or colonization, or of taxes and imposts. to the redemption of any existing debt contract “ The celebrated Edmund Burke is supposed ed for internal improvements, as each State, to have expressed the sum total of political wisjudging for itself, shall deem most conformable dom on this subject, in his well-known proposiwith its own interests and policy. Assuming tions to convert the forest lands of the British the annual product of the sales of the public crown into private property; and this commitlands to be three millions of dollars, the table tee, to spare themselves further argument, and hereto annexed, marked C, shows what each to extinguish at once a political fallacy which State would be entitled to receive, according to ought not to have been broached in the ninethe principle of division which has been stated. teenth century, will make a brief quotation from In order that the propriety of the proposed ap- the specch of that eminent man. propriation should again, at a day not very far ". The revenue to be derived from the sale of distant, be brought under the review of Con-the forest lands will not be so considerable as gress, the committee would recommend that it many have imagined ; and I conceive it would. be limited to a period of five years, subject to be unwise to screw it up to the utmost, or even the condition of war not breaking out in the to suffer bidders to enhance, according to their mean time. By an appropriation so restricted eagerness, the purchase of objects wherein the as to time, each State will be enabled to esti- expense of that purchase may weaken the capimate the probable extent of its proportion, and tal to be employed in their cultivation. * to adapt its measures of education, improve- The principal revenue which I propose to draw ment, colonization, or extinction of existing from these uncultivated wastes, is to spring from debt, accordingly.
the improvement and cultivation of the kingdom;
events infinitely more advantageous to the reve- machinery of the land office department. Such nues of the Crown, than the rents of the best has been the difference between the revenue relanded estates which it can hold.
* ceived from the sales and from the cultivation It is thus that I would dispose of the unprofita- of the land; but no powers of cultivation can ble landed estates of the Crown-throw them carry out the difference, and show what it will into the mass of private property-by which be: for, while the sale of the land is a single they will come, through the course of circula- operation, and can be performed but once, the tion, and through the political secretions of the extraction of revenue from its cultivation is an state, into well-regulated revenue.
* annual and perpetual process, increasing in proThus would fall an expensive agency, with all ductiveness through all time, with the increase the influence which attends it.'
of population, the amelioration of soils, the im“ This committee takes leave to say that the provement of the country, and the application sentiments here expressed by Mr. Burke are the of science to the industrial pursuits. inspirations of political wisdom; that their truth « This committee have said that the bill reand justice have been tested in all ages and all ported by the Committee on Manufactures, to countries, and particularly in our own age and divide the proceeds of the sales of public lands in our own country. The history of the public among the several States, for a limited time, is a lands of the United States furnishes the most bill wholly inadmissible in principle, and esseninstructive lessons of the inutility of sales, the tially erroneous in its details. value of cultivation, and the fallacy of large cal " They object to the principle of the bill, beculations. These lands were expected, at the cause it proposes to change—and that most intime they were acquired by the United States, to juriously and fatally for the new States, the pay off the public debt immediately, to support character of their relation to the federal governthe government, and to furnish large surplusses ment, on the subject of the public lands. That for distribution. Calculations for a thousand relation, at present, imposes on the federal gomillions were made upon them, and a charge of vernment the character of a trustee, with the treachery was raised against General Hamilton, power and the duty of disposing of the public then Secretary of the Treasury, for his report in lands in a liberal and equitable manner. The the year 1791, in which the fallacy of all these principle of the bill proposes to substitute an visionary calculations was exposed, and the real individual State interest in the lands, and would value of the lands soberly set down at an aver- be perfectly equivalent to a division of the lands age of twenty cents per acre. Yet, after an ex- among the States; for, the power of legislation periment of nearly fifty years, it is found that being left in their hands, with a direct interest the sales of the public lands, so far from paying in their sales, the old and populous States would the public debt, have barely defrayed the ex- necessarily consider the lands as their own, and penses of managing the lands; while the reve- govern their legislation accordingly. Sales nue derived from cultivation has paid both prin- would be forbid or allowed ; surveys stopped or cipal and interest of the debts of two wars, and advanced; prices raised or lowered ; donations supported the federal government in a style of given or denied ; old French and Spanish claims expenditure infinitely beyond the conceptions of confirmed or rejected; settlers ousted ; emigrathose who established it. The gross proceeds tions stopped, precisely as it suited the interest of the sales are but thirty-eight millions of dol- of the old States; and this interest, in every inlars, from which the large expenses of the sys- stance, would be precisely opposite to the intetem are to be deducted; while the clear receipts rest of the new States. In vain would some just from the customs, after paying all expenses of men wish to act equitably by these new States; collection, amount to $556,443,830. This im- their generous efforts would expose them to atmense amount of revenue springs from the use tacks at home. A new head of electioneering of soil reduced to private property. For the would be opened; candidates for Congress would duties are derived from imported goods; the rack their imaginations, and exhaust their arithgoods are received in exchange for exports; and metic, in the invention and display of rival prothe exports, with a small deduction for the projects for the extraction of gold from the new ducts of the sea, are the produce of the farm States; and he that would promise best for proand the forest. This is a striking view, but moting the emigration of dollars from the new it is only one half of the picture. The other States, and preventing the emigration of people half must be shown, and will display the culti- | to them, would be considered the best qualified vation of the soil, in its immense exports, as for federal legislation. If this plan of distribugiving birth to commerce and navigation, and tion had been in force heretofore, the price of supplying employment to all the trades and the public lands would not have been reduced, professions connected with these two grand in 1819–20, nor the relief laws passed, which branches of national industry; while the busi- exonerated the new States from a debt of near ness of selling the land is a meagre and barren twenty millions of dollars. If adopted now, operation, auxiliary to no useful occupation, in- these States may bid adieu to their sovereignty jurious to the young States, by exhausting them and independence! They will become the feuof their currency, and extending the patronage datory vassals of the paramount States! Their of the federal government in the complicated ubjection and dependence will be without limit