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11. The doctrines of the revered Washington and his compatriots. 12. The sending back of all foreign paupers landed on our shores. 13. The formation of societies to protect all American interests.
14. Eternal enmity to all who attempt to carry out the principles of a foreign church or state.
15. Our country, our whole country, and nothing but our country.
16. And finally, American laws and American legislation; and death to all foreign influences, whether in high places or low!
Sir, this creed contains just half a dozen true, sound American principles.
Mr. Seward. I believe in Boston. I find in it a comprehensive view of the principles, some of them right and some of them wrong.
I am stating what purports to be the creed which comprehends all the articles of this principle of opposing foreign immigration. I need not discriminate here in favor of those principles which are national, those which are just, and those which are American. I need not point them out and show which they are. It is sufficient for me to say that, in my judgment, every thing is un-American which makes a distinction of whatever kind, in this country, between the native born American and him whose lot is directed to be cast here by an overruling Providence, and who renounces his allegiance to a foreign land and swears fealty to the country which adopts him.
Thomas G. Pratt, of Maryland, said :
I cannot accord either, Mr. President, with the doctrine of my friend from Michigan [Mr. Cass], when he says he can see no difference between foreigners and Americans, and that being an American citizen does not make a man purer, does not change his heart, his mind, or his morality. He can see no difference between American citizens and foreign citizens. Now, sir, we are living, I admit, in a new era. We are living in days of progress; but I regret that the day has ever come when, in the Senate of the United States, and by a senator as respectable as my honorable friend who has made the asseveration, it should be declared, scemingly with the approbation of many of those who heard him, that he could see no distinction between an American citizen and a foreigner, upon a question of disposing of property exclusively belonging to American citizens. Sir, this is an electioneering topic. The speeches here are made not for our consideration, not to have weight with us, but for home consumption. I can readily see that in those States where foreigners are allowed to vote and exercise the privilege of American citizens, their representatives here may feel bound to protect them; and their own political existence may require that protection; but I never can assent to the doctrine that there is no distinction between an American citizen and a foreigner, in giving one or the other a right to own the soil of this Union. I am not talking about naturalized or native citizens; but I am talking about citizens of the United States, recognized by the Constitution of the country as citizens.
I am thoroughly convinced, whatever may be considered the policy of the government in reference to the disposition of the public lands, it is undoubtedly impolitic (and I say further, for my friends from those States where foreigners are now allowed to vote before they are naturalized, the time is coming fast when the impression will pervade
every section of this Union that it is impolitic, and that it will become unpopular) to give the right, the sacred right, of making the laws of this country to those who do not owe allegiance to it.
Mr. Jones, of Tennessee, said :
My first impression was in favor of striking out the sixth section, as proposed by the senator from Delaware, (Mr. Clayton.) I do not exactly reconcile it to my feeling, or to my Americanism, if you please to allow that expression, that a foreigner shall come here a week before the passage of this law, if it shall pass, and occupy the same position in regard to the public property as an American citizen. I have that difficulty on my mind; and upon that impression I was inclined to act at first, and to vote with the senator from Delaware, in favor of striking out; my mind has, however, after thorough investigation, undergone some change on that subject, and I will ask the indulgence of the Senate while I give my reasons for that change.
I find on examination, that this has been the policy of the government from the first introduction of the system of granting homesteads; in 1850, the bill granting homesteads in Oregon was in the very identical words of this bill. Other laws for the same purpose have been passed since, containing the same provisions.
Mr. Geyer, of Missouri, said :
I object to this section, for another reason: Any alien, white or black, be his character good or bad, may make a declaration of intention to become a citizen. The naturalization laws contemplate the grant of citizenship only to men of goud moral character, attached to the institutions of this country. And, therefore, the alien must prove by two witnesses that he is a man of good moral character, attached to the institutions of this country, before he can obtain a certificate of naturalization.
We require that an American citizen, in order to obtain the benefits of the act, shall be the head of a family, or twenty-one years of age: and if he is a naturalized citizen, he must have been in the country long enough to give evidence of his attachment to the institutions of our country; he must prove such attachment in a court of justice; he must on oath renounce his allegiance to all foreign powers, and swear to support the Constitution of the United States. It is proposed, however, by the sixth section, to give land to those who have not shown any evidence of a good moral character; who present no proof of attachment to the Constitution or institutions of the country; who renounce no allegiance to any foreign government; and who may postpone until the end of time swearing allegiance to the Constitution of the United States.
Sir, I have said I was in favor of this bill; and if the sixth section shall be stricken out I will vote for it with much pleasure ; but while I will make no discrimination whatever between the citizens of the United States, natural or naturalized, native or foreign horn, I will discriminate between the citizen, naturalized as well as native, against the alien. I will not put the alien upon the same footing with the citizen, native or foreign born. That is the principle on which I act.
Pending the consideration of Mr. Clayton's amendment, Mr. Dixon, of Kentucky, moved the following amendment: “ Provided, That the benefits of this act shall not extend to the children, heirs, or devisees of aliens born out of the United States who are twenty-one years of age, until they shall file their declaration of intention to become citizens of the United States." The question being taken by yeas and nays, resulted yeas, 21; nays, 20; as follows:
Yeas-Messrs. Badger, Bayard, Benjamin, Brown, Butler, Clay, Clayton, Dawson, Dixon, Evans, Fitzpatrick, Geyer, Hunter, Johnson, Mallory, Mason, Pearce, Pratt, Sebastian, Thompson of Kentucky, and Toucey_21.
Nays—Messrs. Adams, Allen, Chase, Dodge of Wisconsin, Dodge of Iowa, Fish, Foot, Gillette, James, Jones of Iowa, Jones of Tennessee, Norris, Pettit, Seward, Shields, Stuart, Wade, Weller, and Williams-20.
Mr. Brown, of Mississippi, moved to amend further, as follows:
And provided further, That foreign born persons who fail to become citizens within six years from the time of entry on the land, shall lose all rights under this act.
This amendment was also adopted by the following vote :
Yeas—Messrs. Adams, Allen, Atchison, Badger, Bayard, Benjamin, Brodhead, Brown, Butler, Cass, Clay, Clayton, Dawson, Dixon, Evans, Fish, Fitzpatrick, Foot, Geyer, Hamlin, Johnson, Jones of Tennessee, Mallory, Mason, Norris, Pearce, Pettit, Pratt, Rusk, Sebastian, Shields, Slidell, Stuart, Thompson of Kentucky, Toucey, Weller, and Williams-37.
Nays-Messrs. Chase, Dodge of Wisconsin, Dodge of Iowa, Fessenden, Gillette, Jones of Iowa, Seward, Sumner, and Wade--9.
Mr. Benjamin, of Louisiana, offered still further to amend as follows:
And if any person of the age of sixteen years and upwards, born in the United States, shall, before arriving at the age of twenty-one years, make application for the benefit of this act, he shall be entitled thereto: Provided, however, That no patent shall issue in favor of such applicant before he shall have attained the age of twenty-one years.
Mr. Jones, of Tennessee, spoke against the amendment; in reply to which Mr. Benjamin remarked as follows:
What is the proposition against which it has pleased the senator to inveigh? He stands up and supports, before the Senate, the proposition of the bill, that any individual, who has not the remotest interest in the country, who was not born here, who may have arrived here but yesterday, should be entitled to go on to the public lands, which belong to the people of the United States, to settle there, to cultivate those lands, and by his settlement and cultivation to entitle himself to a fee-simple in the soil. He does not propose to wait until the immigrant shall have obtained the right of a citizen. He does not propose to subject him to any apprenticeship before he is entitled to enter upon the soil ; but from the moment of his arrival he is to be placed upon the same footing as an American citizen born in the United States. Now, by the first section of the bill, a citizen born in the United States is not to be entitled to any of those privileges which the senator from Tennessee is willing to afford to foreigners, until he reaches the age of twenty-one years. The policy of your bill is to settle and cultivate the public lands My proposition is to carry out the policy, and to give the same advantages to citizens born upon the soil, as you give to foreigners who have come here but yesterday. Will the senator deny, for a moment, that if this policy can be carried out by granting these
privileges to citizens born on the soil, it ought not to be so carried out in reference to · foreigners? Without restriction of color, ay, character, or interest in the soil, or
in the institutions of the country, the foreigner, at the first instant he lands upon the soil, is to have the right to create for himself a title to 160 acres of your land, and the children of the man who has fought and bled, and, perhaps, died, in the service of the country, are to be deprived of the same right.
Mr. Benjamin called for the yeas and nays on his amendment, which were ordered ; and being taken, resulted—yeas 26, nays 20, as follows:
! Yeas-Messrs. Adams, Atchison, Badger, Bayard, Benjamin, Brodhead, Brown, Butler, Clay, Clayton, Dawson, Dixon, Douglas, Evans, Fitzpatrick, Geyer, Hamlin, Hunter, Mallory, Mason, Norris, Pearce, Pratt, Rockwell, Thompson of Kentucky, and Williams—26.
Nays—Messrs. Allen, Cass, Chase, Dodge of Wisconsin, Dodge of Iowa, Fessenden, Foot, Gillette, Jones of Iowa, Jones of Tennessee, Pettit, Rusk, Seward, Shields, Slidell, Stuart, Sumner, Wade, Walker, and Weller-20.
The section, as modified and amended, proposed to be stricken out, was as follows:
That any free white person now a resident of any one of the States or Territories, and not a citizen of the United States, but at the time of making such application for the benefit of this act, shall have filed a declaration of intention as required by the naturalization laws of the United States, and shall become a citizen of the same before the issuance of the patent, as made and provided for in this act, shall be placed upon an equal footing with the native born citizen of the United States: Provided, That the benefits of this act shall not extend to the children, heirs, or devisees of aliens, born out of the United States, who are twenty-one years of age, until they shall file their declaration to become citizens of the United States: Provided further, That foreign born persons who fail to become citizens within six years from the date of their declaration of intention to become so, shall lose all rights under this act. And if any person of the age of sixteen years and upwards, born in the United States, shall, before arriving at the age of twenty-one years, make application for the benefit of this act, he shall be entitled thereto: Provided, however, That no patent shall issue in favor of such applicant before he shall have attained the age of twenty-one.
The question being taken by yeas and nays, resulted-yeas 19, nays 29:
Yeas, Messrs. Adams, Badger, Bayard, Benjamin, Brodhead, Butler, Clay, Clayton, Dawson, Evans, Fitzpatrick, Geyer, Hamlin, Hunter, Mason, Norris, Pearce, Thompson of Kentucky, and Williams 19.
Nays-Messrs. Allen, Atchison, Bright, Brown, Cass, Chase, Dixon, Dodge of Wisconsin, Dodge of Iowa, Douglas, Fessenden, Fish, Gillette, Gwin, James, Johnson, Jones of Iowa, Jones of Tennessee, Pettit, Rockwell, Shields, Slidell, Stuart, Sumner, Toombs, Toucey, Wade, Walker, and Weller-29.
So the policy sought to be established by Mr. Clayton was not agreed to. Before the vote was taken, Mr. Fish stated that Messrs. Seward and Cooper had paired off, the former being against Mr. Clayton's amendment, and in favor of the bill, and Mr. Cooper being in favor of the amendment and against the bill.
CAUSES OF OPPOBITION TO FOREIGNERS.
The immense immigration of late years, and the palpable growing influence of the foreign born has become a source of anxiety, and it is not now regarded with great favor by any considerable portion of the native citizens. Many causes have conspired to produce this change of sentiment and feeling in the American people, and to induce a very general conviction, that the present unlimited and unguarded admission of foreigners into this country, is a serious public evil. And why do they so regard it, and are they anxious for some reformatory legislation on the subject? The inquiry is well answered in the pamphlet, written by a foreigner, already quoted from. It is, in truth, as he says :
“ Because any body and every body may come without let or hindrance. The rogues and vagabonds from London, Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna, Naples, Hamburg, Berlin, Rome, Genoa, Leghorn, Geneva, &c., may come and do come. The outpourings of alms and work-houses, and prisons and penitentiaries, may come and do come. Monarchies, oligarchies and aristocracies may and do reduce millions of the people to poverty and beggary, and compel the most valueless to seek for a shelter and a home in the United States of America, and they do so. And what are the consequences? The consequences are that about 400,000 souls from Europe, chiefly Germans, Irish, and Dutch, are annually arriving in this country and making it their permanent abode. That a vast number of these immigrants come without money, occupation, friends, or business ; many, very many, have not the means of buying land, getting to it, stocking it, and waiting for first crops, and many others would not settle upon land if they could. That, go where you will in the United States, you find nearly all the dens of iniquity, taverns, grog shops, beer houses, gambling places, and houses of ill fame and worse deeds, are kept by foreigners; and that numerous objects of poverty and destitution are to be seen crawling along the streets in every direction. That not a few become criminals, filling our prisons and putting the country to great expense. This is a fearful catalogue of consequences, but they are by no means all. This unlimited and unrestricted admission of foreign immigrants, is a serious injury to the native laboring population, socially, morally, religiously, and politically; socially, by overstocking the labor market and thus keeping wages down; morally and religiously, by unavoidable contact and intercourse ; and politically, by consequence of want and employment and low wages, making them needy and dependent, whereby they become the easy prey or willing tools of designing and unprincipled politicians. And in this way the native population is deteriorated and made poor, needy, and subservient: and these realities produce want of self-respect, hopelessness, laxity in morals, recklessness, delinquencies, and crimes.
“ But there is another consequence which is deserving of notice, and it is this. Our manufacturers, iron makers, machinists, miners, agriculturists, railway, canal, and other contractors, private families, hotel keepers, and manv others, have got into the way of