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Mounted Infantry Bill.
(MARCH 23, 1830.
cry of unconstitutional oppression be justly raised within sies to be mounted, not exceeding the limitation expressed these walls, and it will be heard abroad---it will be examined. in the bill. Such a discretion was properly vested in the The people are intelligent; the people are just; and in President, who, being charged with the defence of the time these characteristics must have an effect upon their country, and responsible for the safety of the frontiers, Representatives. But let the cry of danger to the Union should have some authority to use the species of force be heard, and it will be echoed from the White to the which the occasion required; and that the present President Rocky mountains; every patriotic heart will beat high preferred mounted men for the kind of service--defence with indignation; every hand will draw a sword in its against Indians--which this bill contemplated, was a fact defence. Let the partisans on either side of this ar- as well known by the events of his military career as by gument be assured that the people will not submit to the communication of his sentiments on the particular subconsolidation, nor suffer disunion ; and that their good ject of this bill. The Missouri Legislature, the officers of sense will detect the fallacy of arguments which lead the army on the Western frontier, and all the citizens of to either.
the West, interested in the question; the President, the Sir, I have done. I have uttered the sincere dictates Secretary at War, and the Quarter Master General, Jesup, of my best judgment, on topics closely connected with have united their voices in favor of the species of force our dearest interests. I have, because it was my duty, which this bill contemplates; and the granting of it may uttered them freely; without reserve, but, I hope, with justly be considered as one of the highest objects of Westout offence; with the respect that was due to the opin ern hope and desire. One object of the measure is, to ion of others, and with a becoming diffidence of my own. give defence and protection to the trading caravans be. It would be a cause of great regret if I should have mis-tween Missouri and Mexico--caravans which annually apprehended the tendency of any of the doctrines of bring home large sums of gold and silver, and now expe. which I have spoken. It would have been a greater, if, rience continued losses, in lives and property, for want thinking of thein as I do, I had omitted the animadversions of the species of protection which this bill proposes to give. which I thought their consequences required.
Another object, and a more extensive one, is to proride Gentlemen have spoken, with patriotic enthusiasm, of an adequate and appropriate defence for the Western the consolation they would receive, at their last moments, frontier, and that in its whole extent, from the Sabine 10 in seeing the flag of their country cisplay to their dying the Falls of St. Anthony, and thence to Green Bay, at the eyes its emblems of union and glory. "The period when upper end of Lake Michigan. This line of defence is largemine must be closed in night is too near to refer to it the ly upwards of a thousand miles in length, covering the duration of my country's happiness. But I can antici. frontiers of Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, and the pate for that beloved country a continuance of freedom new territory upon the upper Mississippi. To those to and prosperity, long after the distant, I hope the far dis- objects a third one, also of great imporiance--the securitant day, when the last of those honorable men shall have ty of the fur trade, now a dangerous pursuit to our own finished his useful career. I can apprehend for it the citizens on our own soil--must be added. For all those worst of evils before any one of them shall quit the stage. objects--for the just and necessary defence of the fron. These hopes are founded on the exertions of active and tiers, the fur trade, and the Mexican trade--a mounted enlightened patriotisın to preserve the Union; these fears, force is indispensable. The Indians who infest the on the madness of party that may destroy it.
frontiers, and attack the caravans and traders, are all mounted on fleet and durable horses, which live on
grass, and are trained to war and hunting. They come, [From the 16th to the 22nd of March, excepting Satur- and go, like Arabs--the attack and the flight being day and Sunday, the discussion of private bills and Execu- insta taneous. Our soldiers are all on foot, and can optive matters chiefly consumed the hours of business of the pose no appropriate movements to these sudden and fly. Senate.]
ing assaults. They may repulse an attack, but they can
not pursue, cannot chastise, cannot reconnoitre ; cannot Tuesday, March 23, 1830.
venture to quit the column when marching, the camp,
or the garrison, when stationary, without danger of being MOUNTED INFANTRY BILL.
cut off, and that in sight of their companions, who for want Mr. BENTON moved that all the bills preceding bill of horses are unable to get to their relief. The reports of No. 119 should be postponed, for the purpose of taking all the officers from the West, and of all the caravans
, atnp and considering that bill. The Senate agreed to the mo- test the truth of this distressing fact. The country where tion, and that bill was then taken up, and read by the Se- these troops are to act is open and champagne. It is a cretary. It consisted of a single section, and proposed to connexion of interminable prairies, destitute of large forvest the President with authority to mount and equip ten ests, and covered with grass; it is the native theatre fur companies of the army of the United States, to be employ- horsemen, the prairies giving them a clear stage for ae; ed as the public service might require, and appropriated the tion, and the grass furnishing subsistence for bürses, an! sum of
dollars for the purchase and equipment of the attracting and supporting game for the subsistence of men. horses. After it was read, Mr. B. proposed to add a se. This is the character of the country upon the whole froncond section, to appropriate the sum of - collars for pur- tier beyond the Mississippi, and indefinitely to the Wista chasing forage for the horses for the remainder of the pre. Every where--at every point--from the Sabine round to sent year; stating that his object was to keep the appro- the Wisconsin, the open prairie country approaches the priations for the different branches of the service distinct frontier, and lays open the settlements to the danger of inand separate. The motion to add the second section was roads from mounted barbarians. Men, on foot, pursuing agreed to : and, after stating that he should more, at the a march on such boandless plains, seem to stand still ; Inpropertime, to fill the blank in the first section with thirty- dians, mounted on horseback, gallop round them with 11three thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars, and that in punity. They approach the garrisons ; kill and scalp men the second one with eighteen thousand seven hundred and in its view, and gallop off in triumph. A mointed force
, fifty, he [Mr. B] entered into a particular examination of on our part, is indispensable. It is the appropriate de the nature of the bill, and advocated its policy and utility fence of the Western frontier. The ten companies prorid. He first remarked upon the terms, or phraseology of the ed for in the bill will give us that defence. They will bill, which were to authorize--not to require--the Pre- make a corps of regular rangers, or land fencibles
; sident to cause the ten companies to be mounted ; and such as all Governments have used, and such as we need which gave him a discretion over the number of compa- 'more than any Gvernment ever did.
Every post, and
March 23, 1850.)
(SENATE. every garrison, from the Gulf of Mexico to the lakes-fron Quartermaster General, (General Jesup) estimates this Louisiana to Canada--should have its proportion of this item at fifty dollars a year for each horse, which is nearly mounter corps. When necessary, the companies at differ. a dollar a week; but I must differ from him in this estient posts may be united, and form an expedition, either mate, and do it without derogating from his high and es. to meet and repulse expected incursions of the Indians, or tablished character for correctness, because, living in the to pursue and chastise marauders, or to visit hostile towns. country where the horses are to be employed, I have a The service to which the corps can be applied is general local knowledge on this subject which he could not possess. and indefinite; it can go wherever the public interest re- I reduce the expense of forage to less than one-half of his quires. The Western frontier now clemands it ; but the estimate. I make this reduction upon these data: First. Southern or Northern frontier may receive its aid when The horses will live upon grass full one-half of the year; necessary. The horses may form the basis for cavalry, of and that will reduce the Quartermaster General's estimate which the army is now destitute ; the men may be learnt one-half. Secondly. The cost of keeping horses, among the use of the sword and pistol, of which our magazines the farmers in Missouri, is about seventy-five cents a week, now cortain a useless supply. Some companies of flying including care and attention as well as food; consequently artillery may be trained. It will elevate the character of soldiers can keep their own for less than a dollar a week, the service, induce better men to enlist, and diminish de- when forage alone is to be paid for; and of that forage, sertions by giving active and attractive employment. The the hay will cost nothing, for the soldiers cut it in the President may mount the whole corps at once, or less; he prairies without expense, and haul it in with the garrison has a discretion; he may mount a part now, and the re- teams. Upon these data the annual subsistence of the mainder as necessity may seem to require. He may do as horses will be nearer to twenty dollars than to fifty dollars he thinks best ; but, in my opinion, the whole ten compa- each. I think ten thousand dollars will be enough for nies will be littk: enough to guard the extended frontier their annual forage; but I have proposed to fill the second of the West, and to perform the variety of service for blank with eighteen thousand seven hundred and fifty which they are intended. Every year American blood dollars for the remainder of the present year, 'according is spilt upon American soil
. Every year American ci- to the estimate of the Quartermaster, and leave it to time tizens are killed and robbed, pursuing a lawful com- and experience to ascertain the true amount. This will merce, upon the soil of their country. The road to Mexi- make the total appropriation, for the present year, about co is stained with their blood; savage Indians are loaded fifty thousand dollars. For each subsequent year it will with their spoils ; families are recluced to want. In the probably be about fifteen thousand dollars, say ten or region of the fur trade, where the Indians are excited twelve thousand dollars for forage, and the remainder to by the British, the destruction of lives and property is hor- supply the waste of horses and equipments. This is rible. The report of Gen. Clark and Gov. Cass, made nothing compared to the magnitude and variety of the at the last session of Congress, estimates the loss of lives, in objects which require the expenditure. It is nothing in this trade, at upwards of four hundred; the loss of proper comparison to the good to be accomplished. It is a grain ty at about five hundred thousand dollars. The destruction of of sand to a mountain, compared to the annual expenlives and property is still going on, and will go on, until ditures for Atlantic objects defence; compared to the the troops of the Federal Government shall make an ap- annual expenditures for fortifications for the defence of pearance beyond the Mississippi, calculated to impress the ser coast; compared to the annual expenditure for respect and fear upon the savage mind. Horses alone navy yards, light houses, and ships of war, for the safety will enable them to make that appearance.
General and accommolation of maritime commerce. But, small Ashley, with his mounted men, traverses the continent and inconsiderable as this expenditure for the mounted in safety; goes to the Buenaventura, and Multnomah, and force appears, there is still another point of view under returns in safety. For want of horses our soldiers are which it is to be looked at, and which reduces it still pursued, surrounded, insulted, harassed, and assassinat- lower, and, in fact, annihilates it as an object of expense, ed. Read the report of Major Riley, and see what his and converts it into a piece of economy. It is this: That, detachment suffered for want of horses. The mounted for the want of these horses, large sums are now exfurce is indispensable; it is the appropriate, and the only perded in chartering steamboats for moving troops in the appropriate, defence for the West; it is the true and ade- Western country, and for volunteer mounted gun men. quate, and the only true and adequate, protection for the The infantry have to be transported; and for this purpose fur trade, the Mexican trade, and the whole line of the steamboats are chartered. They need horsemen, and Western frontier. It is the security, and the only securi- for this purpose, mounted volunteers are accepted. Every ty, for the tranquillity of the frontiers, the preservation of Indian alarm on the frontiers renews the expense of these Jises, and the protection of two great branches of West. boats and volunteers; and the expense is heavy in proern commerce. This being shown; the great fact of portion to the suddenness of the alarm, the magnitade of the necessity of this species of force being established; the apparent danger, and the distance to be traversed. I feel confident that the consideration of the expense that The Illinois volunteers, which went to the Winnebago 17ay attend it, which is the next point to be examined, country three years ago, cost about forty thousand dollars.
ili present but little difficulty to the Senate. The The Missouri volunteers, for the last summer, when the enounted force being necessary, the cost of it, I feel per- alarm broke out on the frontier of that State, are not yet Buaded, will not be an over-ruling consideration, although paid, but their claims are considerable. On both occasions
at cost should be large, when, in point of fact, it will steamboats were chartered. The movement of Major be small, and, in comparison to its object, inconsidera- Riley's detachment last summer must also have involved ble and insignificant. Five hundred horses will be want- some expenditure for transportation. I know these vari- for ten companies of fifty men each; the price of these ous items to be considerable, and that they have been insurses, and their maximum price', will be fifty dollars each. curred, and must be incurred, just so long as we remain This will make twenty-five thousand dollars for the pur- without horses. The exact amount of what has been ex
ase of the horses. Their equipment in saddles, bridles, pended heretofore is unknown to me; the amount that -alters, &c. will not exceed seventeen or eighteen dollars may be expended hereafter, cannot be foreseen. It will
Seven or eight thousand dollars will defray the ex- depend upon the frequency and magnitude of the alarms ense of equipment; so that the sum proposed for filling on the frontiers--alarms which must arise upon every be first blank, thirty-three thousand seven hundred and point of a line, of more than a thousand miles in length, fty dollars, will meet the first and greatest expense to be covering the settlements of Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, schirred. Subsistence is the next item in expense. The Illinois, and the new territory upon the Upper Mississippi.
Purchasers of the Public Lands.
(March 26, 1830,
The amount of these casual and unforeseen expenditures quished a pre-emption in favor of the persons in possesmay be safely assumed to be equal to the expense of keep- sion. But the conditions of this pre-emption totally deing up the ten companies proposed in the bill. I make stroyeel the benefit intended to be conferred. It required this assumption advisedly, and would be willing to stake the person purchasing under this section of the bill to pay the passage of the bill upon the quartermaster general's the present minimum price, and in addition thereto the opinion of the fact, if the passage of such a bill, in the amount paid before relinquishment, subject to thirty-seven judgment of any statesman, ought to depend upon such and a half per cent on the last mentioned sum, provided a fact.
In this point of view, and I fully believe it to be that the whole amount shall not in any case exceed three correct, the annual keeping up of the ten companies of dollars and fifty cents per acre. Now, said Mr. H. this mounted infantry will be no expense at all; there will is worse than the law as it now stands. As the law nowis, be as much, or more, saved from steamboat transporta- the person in possession, it is true, must go into market tion and mounted volunteers, as will balance the expense and compete with others; but nobody will bid against him, of these horses. At the same time the mounted horse- and the result will be that the person in possession will men will be infinitely more efficient, and incomparably get the lands he relinquished, at one dollar and twentymore satisfactory to the West; so that the whole question five cents per acre. This section, howerer valuable it of passing the bill reduces itself to the mere problem of inight be to other portions of the Union, brought no relief good will to the Western country, without expense to the to the people he had the honor to represent. The effect Federal treasury. Mr. B. concluded with expressing of this provision would be to keep the relinquished lands his thanks to the Senate for taking up the bill before its so much longer out of market, for nobody would take the turn; stating the necessity for it to pass immediately, as pre-emption given where the lands had originally been the Santa Fe caravan would set out from Missouri in May; purchased at the minimum price, and where they can, afand declaring his readiness to answer any questions which ter the termination of the prescribed time, be had at the might be put to him for the further information of any present minimum price. Mr. H. then moved to amend Senator.
the second section of the bill, by inserting in the 27th Mr. SMITH, of Maryland, said he saw no objection to line, at the close of the first proviso, the following words: the passage of this bill. It read, that the number of men “And that the persons aforesaid, in all cases where the to be mounted was not to exceed ten companies, and of lands relinquished were originally purchased at the minicourse, the President, at his discretion, would not cause mum price, shall have the right of pre-emption, as aforethat number to be mounted, if a less number should be said, on payment of the present minimum price." found sufficient. This was, indeed, but an experiment, Mr. McKINLEY said that the amendment proposed by and, if it proved successful, it might become necessary the Senator from Indiana (Mr. HENDRICKS) had his entire to carry it farther.
He had examined into the subject approbation, if the whole bill could be made to conform and become fully acquainted with it, and was, therefore, to it. But if he would examine, he would find this amendsatisfied of the utility and importance of the measure pro-ment in opposition to the whole policy of the hill. Many posed by the bill. The trade to Mexico was very great, attempts had been made in Congress to relieve those who and the hazards to which it was exposed were equally bad relinquished their lands, and applied the payments great. It demanded protection; and this bill would operate made thereon to other lands retained. Several bills had in the same manner and on the same principle as the pro- passed the Senate for that purpose, and the great difficulty tection given by the Government to our merchant ships on had always been in reducing' lands which had originally the high seas.
sold at two dollars an acre, under the credit system, to The bill was then ordered to be engrossed and read a one dollar and twenty-five cents, the minimum price unthird time.
cler the cash system. The subject had often been re(On Wednesday, the 24th, and Thursday, the 25th of ferred to the Commissioner of the General Land Of March, the Senate was chiefly occupied in the considera- fice, and he had invariably refused his sanction to any tion of Executive business.)
bill which did not give the treasury one dollar and
twenty-five cents in addition to the first instalment. The FRIDAY, MARCH 26, 1830.
present bill was submitted to him, which makes the
minimum price three dollars and fifty cents; but does not PURCHASERS OF THE PUBLIC LANDS.
relieve those who have purchased at two dollars an acre, On motion of Mr. FOOT, the bill for the relief of the from paying one dollar and twenty-five cents in addition to purchasers of public lands was taken up; the question the firsi instalment. The relief intended by this bill being on certain amendments to the amendments made for that class of purchasers is the deduction of thirty. by the House of Representatives, proposed by the Com- seven and a half per cent. on the remaining instalments, mittee on Public Lands.
and the additional advantage of taking scrip for the Mr. McKINLEY said that although he thought that the amount paid on all lands which did not cost more than two amendments, proposed by the Committee of the Senate, dollars and fifty cents per acre. rendered the bill somewhat better than it was, as it came The relinquished lands are placed upon a better footing from the Ilouse of Representatives, yet, as it had been de-than those which had reverted, because the first instal. layed so long, he thought it would do more good to the ment to be paid on those, was subjected to a discount of people for whose relief it was intended, to pass it and re- thirty-seven and a half per cent; which, upon lanıl costing ject'the amendments, than farther to delay the bill. This but two dollars, would bring the whole amount to be paid was his wisii, and he hoped the Committee on Public to but one dollar fifty-six and a quarter cents. The bill Lands would consent to it. After some farther remarks was not devised by either House. It was framed to suit from Mr. McK. the two amendments were rejected. the views of the Land Office, and calculated for the bene
Mr. HENDRICKS said that, however much he regret- fit of the treasury. It would prove altogether useless to ted the necessity of retarding the progress of this bill, those who might derive benefit from it, if impedinients yet there was one amendment which he felt it his duty to were thrown in the way of its passage at this period of the propose. He regretted that the complexion of this bill session. He hoped, therefore, that gentlemen would had been so much changed since it passed the Senate. withdraw all amendments, and suffer it to pass in the shape The whole bill had been stricken out, and the present sub- it had been returned from the House, rather than run the stituted by way of amendment. The second section of risk of losing whatever good would result from it. There the bill proposed to give a preference, in becoming the were large classes of citizens who would derive benefit purchasers of relinquished lands, to those who had relin- from the provisions of the bill as it now stood. The pur
MARCA 26, 1830.]
Purchasers of the Public Lands.
ch:users of public lands, who had not yet fulfilled their en seven and a half per cent. on such original sum. It is manigage nents, and those whose lands had reverted to the Go- fest, then, that the purchaser of relinquished lands has vernment for non-payment, would receive benefit from it. much harder terms than the person paying out lands reHe observed, that, if the Senator from Indiana (Mr. H.] verted. If, on the reverted quarter section, there has would examine the bill a little farther, he would find that been two instalments paid, all that remains to be paid by the class of purchasers which he wished to protect, would the bill is one hundred dollars
. If, on the relinquished ultimately have to pay only one dollar and fifty-six and a quarter section there has been two instalments paid, the quarter cents per acre, after deducting the discount pro- purchaser is required by the bill to pay the whole minivided for by the bill. He observed that it was not such mum price, two hundred dollars, and also to pay the two a bill as he was desirous of having; but, he believed, from instalments paid before relinquishment, getting thirty-sethe discussion and the modification it had undergone in ven and a half per cent discount on them, making in all the other House, that it could not be got through that three hundred dollars. The Senators from Alabama (said House again, if embarrassed with any farther amend. Mr. H.) admit, that in cases of relinquished lands on ments. It was true it did not suit all, but we had to take which there had been one payment, and where it had such an one as we could get; not such as we would desire. been originally purchased at minimum cost, it would, ac
Mr. KING said he very much regretted that his friend cording to this bill, cost the purchaser one dollar and fifty from Indiana had thought it necessary to offer this amend- six and a fourth cents per acre. Now this is exactly that of ment. Our objects are the same, (said Mr. K.) we both which I complain, snd say it is unreasonable that these wish to extend relief to those who have been compelled, lands should cost more than one dollar and twenty-five from inability to pay, to relinquish a portion of their landscents per acre, because that is their price, if you say nothnecessary to their settlement; we both wish to keep the ing about this in the bill; that is the present minimum. actual cultivators of the soil from the grasp of the specu- The bill will
, as before said, have a tendency to keep lator; and, sir, I am confident, if the Senator from Indiana these lands longer out of market, for nobody will give had examined this bill with his usual attention, he would more than one dollar and twenty-five cents an acre for agree with me that these objects are fully and fairly at them. It will said Mr. H.] be no advantage to the peotained. What, I would ask, are the provisions of this ple I represent, unless giving a longer time for purchasers bill The first section gives to those whose lands have to prepare for the sales be an advantage. been forfeited for non-payment of the purchase money Mr. McKINLEY said that, by referring to the second the right to purchase them at private sale for the mini- section of the bill, not a doubt would remain. He would mum price of the Government, in addition to the amount read it, as follows: already paid and forfeited; but in no case shall the sum “Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That all purchasers, to be paid exceed three dollars and fifty cents the acre; their heirs, or assignees, of such of the public lands of with this the Senator from Indiana is perfectly satisfied the United States as were sold on credit, and which lands I will say to the gentleman, that the principle of the first have, by such persons, been relinquished under any of section, of which he approves, is precisely the principle the laws passed for the relief of purchasers of public contained in the second, which he proposes to amend. lands, and the amount paid thereon applied in payment of No relinquished lands are to cost the purchaser more thar: other lands retained by them, and which relinquished three dollars and fifty cents the acre; this is the maximum. lands, or any part thereof, may now be in possession of Take the case put by the Senator: lands which cost two such persons; or in case the certificate of purchase, and dollars the acre, have been relinquished; the payment part payment of said lands, lias been transferred by the made was fifty cents; from this sum, thirty-seven and a persons now in the possession of said lands, or part therehalf per cent is to be deducted, and the remainder add- of, or the persons under whom the present occupants ed to the minimum price of one dollar and twenty-five may hold such possession, to some other person not in cents, which makes precisely one dollar fifty-six and a possession thereo and the payment made thereon apquarter cents the acre, the amount to be paid under this plied by such other person, or his assignee, in payment for bill, for lands of this description. Is not my friend con- land held in his own name: in either case, the persons so vinced, by this view of the provisions of this section of in possession shall have the right of pre-emption of the the bill, that he has labored under an error, when he sup- same lands, according to the legal subdivisions of sections, posed that the purchasers of two dollar lands would be not exceeding the quantity of two quarter sections, [in compelled to pay more than the original cost? Is he not contiguous tracts] until the fourth day of July, one thouconvinced that the section he proposes to amend is in sand eight hundred and thirty-one, upon their paying instrict conformity with the principle contained in the first to the proper office the sum per acre therefor, which section and will he not, if convinced of the correct. shall, at the time of payment, be the minimum price per ness of the view I have taken, consent to withdraw his acre of the United States' public lands; and, in addition amendment, which must, if persevered in, and with suc- thereto, the same amount per acre heretofore paid there. cess, greatly delay the passage of this most important bill. on, and applied to other lands, subject to a deduction of
Mr. HENDRICKS replied that he understood the se. thirty-seven and a half per centum on the last mentioned cond condition of the first section of the bill more favor- sum: Provided, that the sum to be paid shall not, in any ably to the purchasers of reverted lands than the Senator case, exceed three dollars and fifty cents per acre: Pron from Alabama. The case was one of sheer calculation. vided, also, That such persons only shall be entitled to On the subject of reverted lands, to which the first sec- the benefits of this section who shall apply for the same, tion of the bill solely applied, the legal holder is permitted and prove their possession to the satisfaction of the Regis. to obtain his final receipt and patent, by paying the resi- ter and Receiver of the district in which the land may lie, du ary payments according to the present minimum, and in the manner to be prescribed by the Commissioner of on the principle of the land which expired on the 4th of the General Land Office, within nine months from the Ju ly last. For instance, if there be three payments due, passage of this act; for which such Register and Receiver the purchaser gets his patent for a quarter section, on pay- shall each be entitled to receive from such applicants the ment of one hundred and fifty dollars, where the land has sum of fifty cents, each: And provided further, That the originally been purchased at the minimum price. The provisions of this section shall not extend to any lands second section applies to relinquished lands, and requires that have, in any manner, been disposed of by the United the pre-emption to pay on a quarter section the present States.” minimum two hundred dollars, in addition to the amount He could not be mistaken, (Mr. McK. remarked] bepaid before relinquishment, with a deduction of thirty- cause the second section provided against the difficulty
[March 26, 1830. apprehended by the gentleman; the cost, by any calcula- objected to by any gentleman. If agreed to, it would retion, would only be one dollar and fifty-six cents per lieve the State Department from those duties which have
Would the Senator from Indiana desire to place suggested the project of establishing a Home Department, those who had relinquished their lands on a better foot- a measure urged by the former Executive. The Secretary ing than those who has retained them? Those who had of State will then be left to the conducting of the foreign retained their lands were certainly more meritorious than relations of the country, while the business of the Patent those who had relinquished, and obtained the benefit of Office, and the superintendence of the collection of debts their money in the purchase of other lands. He hoped, due the Governinent, will be confined to the Head of this therefore, the gentleman would see the propriety of pass. Department. The Attorney General is to be the Head of ing the bill as it was, and abandon his amendment. the Law Department; he is required to superintend all
Mr. McLEAN said that, when the amendment was first suits in which the United States is a party; and his pracproposed, he was clearly of opinion that it ought to pass. tice is confined to the Supreme Court-cases in inferior if the bill was intended to do any good to Illinois and Indi- Courts to be conducted by deputy. All the dutics perana, the amendment ought to be retained, otherwise it formed by, and all the powers and authority vested in, the would only benefit the Statc of Alabama. With us, (said Agent of the Treasury, are proposed to be tranferred to Mr. McL.] land is never worth more than one dollar and the Attorney General. We have been told (said Mr. R.] twenty-five cents per acre, because there is much land in that the Government has sustained scrious losses from the the market, and little demand for it. He was satisfied improper manner of collecting the revenue, and from the that the bill should pass without the amendment, as it mode of prosecuting defaulters. would benefit Alabama, and do no injury to his State, es Mr. WEBSTER, in a sportive manner, warnel Mr. R. cept to postpone, for nine months, tlie purchase of relin- not to infringe on the secret session discussions. quished lands; though the passage of the bill, with the Mr. ROW AN said, I was not aware that he was guilty amendment, would give to the citizens of Illinois an ad- of any violation of the rules in what he said; and he then vance of nine months. The delay would occasion no proceeded to state the evils resulting from the present great difficulty in his State, as one neighbor never pur- mode of collecting the revenue, and of instituting suits chased the land on which another is settled. The amend against delinquents. These evils the bill was intended to ment would be a convenience to us, (said he] for, as the remedy. The Attorney General is now a member of the bill stands, it will be of no earthly benefit to us.
cabinet; and this measure, if carried into effect, will not The question being taken, the amendment of Mr. impose upon him more duties than what, as a member of HENDRICKS was rejected.
the cabinet, he is now required to discharge. The amendments of the House were then concurred in. [The bill farther provided that an Assistant should be ap
pointed by Congress to the Attorney General, who was also OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.
io act as Chief Clerk in the Law Department, at a salary The bill “to re-organize the establishment of the At. of three thousand dollars per annum, besides Assistant torney General, and erect it into an Executive Depart. Clerks, Messengers, &c. The salary of the Attorney Gement," was taken up for a second reading.
neral was to be placed on a level with that of the other Heads Mr. ROWAN rose to explain the objects of the bill, of Departments, namely, six thousand dollars per annum.] which, he said, was of importance to the fiscal concerns of Mr. WEBSTER said, this was a subject which certainthe country, which have occasionally been injured by rea- !y required consideration. He was opposed to the obson of the incompetency of the United States District At-Ijects of the bill altogether, although he agreed that the torneys. The Treasury would also be benefited by the evils complained of, which it proposed to remedy, existed. enactment of the bill. It is provided that, after suit shall The business of the Departments had outgrown the provihave been ordered in any case whatever, no Collector of a sion made for their establishment; the business hail outDistrict, Clerk of a Circuit or District Court, United grown what the organization of the Departments contemStates' District Attorney, or any other person than the plated, especially that of the State Department; and so Marshal of the United States, shall be authorized to re- far as the bill proposed to remedy this evil, the objects ceive the money from any such debtor or debtors, but in of it were justifiable. But it proposes to transfer the duall cases payment shall be made to the Marshal of the Dis-ties of the Patent Office, with its clerks and officers to the trict where the suit has taken place. The duties of the Attorney General—to the Law Department. Mr. W. Agent of the Treasury are, by the bill, transferred to, and objected to any measure which would give this anoma. vested in, the Attorney General. It has been also believed lous, this ambiguous character to the Attorney General, by the Committee that a transfer of the Patent Office to while he was at the same time shut out from practising in the Department of Law would be an improvement. It any other than the Supreme Court of the United States. has been thought that all the duties connected with the You would thus (said Mr. W.] turn him into a half ac. Patent Office, which are now required by law to be per-countant, a half lawyer, a half clerk--in fine, a half of evformed by the Secretary of State, and all applications ery thing, and not inuch of any thing. The true course which are required to be submitted to him, ought to be will be, to have a Home Department, if you choose to call performed by, and submitted to, the Attorney General. it by that name; a Department, he meant, for the manage The Secretary has now to undergo considerable inconve- ment of the internal affairs of the country. This subject nience and trouble by those duties being imposed upon hac hitherto undergone discussion, and was referred to a bim, and it has been deemed proper to consign them all, select committee, of which he, in company with the Sena. by bill
, to the Attorney General. The bill also provides tor from Louisiana, (Mr. Johnston) had the honor to be a that the publication of the laws of the United States shall member. We recommended the organization of a Home be done under the superintendence of the Attorney Gen- Department, leaving the Attorney General as he is, a laweral-a duty which is now assigned to the Secretary of yer, to attend to the business of the Government in the State. The Clerk who is now charged with this duty in Supreme Court. Mr. W. said he was also opposed to the State Department is to be transferred to the Law De- the provision of the bill transferring the duties and pow. partment. This measure has been suggested by the con- ers of the Agent of the Treasury to the Attorney General
. sideration that the Secretary of State may not be, as he is The subordinate collectors of moneys ought to be attachnot required to be, a professional man. It is supposed that ed to the Treasury; whoever is concerned in collecting this duty can be better done by an individual who is still the revenue ought to be under the Treasury Department, engaged in the profession of the law than by one who is not the Agent of which is one of the most important and use.
Mr. R said lie did not know whether the bill would be ful officers we have. It requires a professional man--all