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Mar 5, 1830. ]
(SENATE. ought, and no doubt will, be put in force against these ag- application to lands which had been seven or eight years gressors. But a sound view of the true interests of the in market, it would have very little operation except in people of this country forbids a furtherexecution of it the State of Ohio. In that State, all the lands (with a so says the conduct of every President, and every Con- very small exception) had been in market at one dollar gress from that time to this. People unable to buy land and twenty-five cents per acre for eight years or upsettle upon public land, upon the faith of all the past prac- wards; but in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Alabama, Missistice of the Government. They feel security in its justice, sippi, and Louisiana, and the Territories of Michigan, Arwhich promises to them the same forbearance and favor kansas, and Florida, the mass of the lands have come into which have ever been extended to others. I have, sir, market since that time, and would be excluded from the another answer to this suggestion, which I think emphatic. operation of the bill. Mr. B. referred to official tables We have this session, without much opposition, passed a to show this fact, and went on to say that a motion had bill through this body, extending a right of pre-emption to been made in the Senate two years ago, when the graduaevery man in the United States settled upon public land. tion bill was under consideration, to introduce this prinIf these settlers are trespassers now, they are not likely ciple; and that it was then rejected by a decisive vote of long to remain so. The principle of a pre-emption bill is the Senate, because it was shown that its operation would a principle of discrimination in favor of the actual settler. be partial and unequal. Mr. B. was entirely friendly to It is no new thing. The truth, sir, is, that these trespas- the State of Ohio, and had given stronger proofs than sers, as they are called, have always been the favorites of words, that he would promote her prosperity. The bill, the Government, and will continue to be so, so long as sa- as it stood, would be highly advantageous to her, for she gacity, good sense, and patriotism shall prevail in its coun- had fifty-seven thousand non-freeholders, as was proved cils. Need I go into particulars to explain this sentiment? by the return of the marshal of the State; and she had Does not every man know and see that the value of the upwards of six millions of acres of public land which had public property is enhanced by cultivation and improve- been offered at one dollar and twenty-five cents for many ment; that the strength of the community, moral and phy- years without finding purchasers, and which were reportsical, is augmented by every encouragement given to agri-ed by the registers and receivers to be chiefly second culture; that the security of your frontiers is promoted and third rate land, and generally worth less than one by a settled population upon them; that the heavy evils of dollar per acre. The bill, therefore, could not but be poor rates and pauperism are avoided by a liberal disposi- highly advantageous to Ohio, as it stood. It would en. tion of the soil; that a general spirit of industry and inde-able many of these fifty-seven thousand non-freeholders to pendence is diffused by it; and that the strength, and vi- become freeholders; it would give the State revenue from gor, and health of the whole country is improved? Per- the taxes, and increased strength and wealth from in. mit me, sir, to ask the gentleman what he would do with creased cultivation. these settlers? Remember, they are numerous. Shall the Mr. JOHNSTON hoped the bill would not be postmarshal, accompanied by the military strength of the Go- poned at this stage; it had been fully discussed, and was vernment, be directed to remove these men, women, chil- perfectly understood. Most of the objectionable and dren, and all? Where will he send them to? Into the In- most of the beneficial provisions of the bill had been dian country, to the Mexican States, or to Canada? These stricken out; it contained but two propositions, simple neighbors of Mexico and Canada will be glad to receive and distinct. He hoped the direct vote of the Senate them, and give them land into the bargain. They are not would be taken upon them. powerful enough yet, and you will adil greatly to their Mr. J. said, it appeared to him there was a general con. strength; and if it be desirable to make our neighbors more currence of opinion upon two principles; first, that the powerful than ourselves, the plan will answer that object price of the public lands ought to be reduced or graduat. in due course of time. But I dismiss this part of the sub-ed to the quality; and, secondly, that the actual settler ject with a single remark: Such a policy is short sighted, ought to have the lands at a less price than the minimum injurious to the best interests of the whole country, inhu- selling price. He thought there was a great approximaman, and impossible of execution.
tion of opinion upon these two points. The reason and exThe competition created by this bill between the settler pediency of the measures seemed obvious. But the dif. and speculator must hasten sales, and add to the revenue. ficulty which presented itself was in the detail--the mode The former will use all his exertions to save his improve- of effecting the object. It is not pretended that an acre ments from the grasp of the latter, and the latter will be of first rate land, or a tract composed of a reasonable proanxious to secure lands before the more sacred claims of portion of that quality, is not worth the present price, the cultivator shall attach. There is something noble in but for that reason the inferior qualities are worthless. It the law which suspends the rapacity of a speculator, by as- is due to justice, to individuals, and to the States having signing privileges to honest industry. The mandate of large quantities of second and third rate land, to reduce the Government, which compels the jobber to pay at a the price to the relative value of the lands, so as to give rate of discrimination, before he possesses bimself of the them an equal opportunity of settling their lands and inlabor and comforts of another, conveys a just rebuke. creasing their population. You have sold twenty millions Mr. K. said, he had so frequently given his views at large of acres of the first quality, and most advantageously situ. upon the subject, that he felt it wrong to occupy more ated. Those States having these lands have been preferred, time. He could not conclude, however, without briuging and were first sold and settled, while the other States to the view of the Senate, once more, the fact, t'iat the re-have been, and must be, postponed until lanıls rise in ceipts into the treasury, from the sales of lands, had in no value, from the increased demand arising from increased one year been equal to a moderate interest upon the sum population. The price ouglit to be graduated to the qualiwhich the lands, all things considered, had cost the Go- ty, so as to put the States upon a fair equality, by bringvernment. If revenue was the object, some change musting their lands into the market upon terms of equal combe made. Throughout, it had been a losing concern. petition, and so as to give every class of people lands What so likely to increase receipts as a reduction of suited to their wants and their condition, upon fair relaprice? and what more consoling to the benevolent mind, tive terms. The great difficulty is not in the recognition than the consideration that increased receipts will be ac- of the truth of these principles, but how to effect the ob. companied by the increased comforts of one hundred and ject. The idea of classing them into three qualities sugforty thousand freemen?
gests itself as the most natural mode; and this will proba. Mr. BENTON replied to the suggestions of Mr. WEB- bly be finally adopted and carried into effect, but it will STEB, and stated that if the bill was to be confined in its require time and reflection to devise a plan which will be
The Graduation Bill.
MAY 5, 1830
safe, practicable, and fully comprehended and approved and this disproportion will be annually increasing; but how by the people of the United States. Such a system may greatly you would have increased the production, trade, be carried into effect, to the great benefit of the people commerce, and revenue, if you had left the forty millions, and of the States. The great object of all, however, as active capital, in the hands of these industrious citizens; seems to be to provide a moderate and inducing price to how far you would have thrown the country forward! the actual settier, who is in general poor, just commenco I believe the propriety of giving the settler lands at a ing the world; who is the pioneer that goes forth to sub- reduced price, is acknowledged; and I have no doubt a due the wilderness, to open and prepare the way for the general law would pass to give them the land, wherever march of civilization; who encounters all the bardships, they choose to settle, at fifty cents. and performs all the labor of extending your settlements It is the object of this bill partially to effect these tko and improving the country.
objects, of reducing and graduating the price. It is Sir, the people must have lands, and you must let them founded on the idea that those lands, having been offered have them at such price as they can pay;if they cannot buy, for sale, and not having been bought, are not worth the they must settle on the public lands, where they have no price, and, therefore, in justice, ought to be reduced inducement to labor, and where they will be always anx. one dollar, and that the actual settler ought to have the ious until they obtain the land, or they will be an idle, de- lands cheaper than the purchaser., pendant tenantry, unfit to exercise the rights of freemen. The first objection is to the quantity of land embraced in
The payment of the public debt will now allow Con- the bill, which is about seventy or eighty millions of acres. gress, in making a disposition of the lands for the common But it must be remembered that this is the remains of benefit, and not merely with a view to the revenue, to thirty years' sales; that twenty millions have been selected take a more enlarged view of the public interest. What out, and that a large quantity of this land is unfit for culis the view which the statesman, looking to the whole tivation--a very large proportion of third rate lands that country, and all our interests, to the happiness of the peo- no one would pay the taxes for; and of the remainder, ple, and the power of the Government, would take?' To where there is some good land, the cultivable part will the million of dollars a year, drawn reluctantly from the be a small proportion to the whole. A very large quantipoorest class of people? or would he look to the number ty of land has been surveyed; a much greater quantity of independent freeholders, the cultivation of the soil, than necessary, through mismanagement, neglect, or stand the improving condition of the country, and the rise of They have surveyed large quantities of pine woods, praflourishing States, and the addition of new republics to rie, and other inferior qualities, as a matter of speculathe Union? How would a great man, (Napoleon, for ex- tion--lards which can never sell, because unsuited to ba ample,) presiding over this great country, and looking bitation and cultivation. But that has been corrected only to power, view this question? Would he look to the within a few years, and will be better guarded in future. millions of dollars? No; but to the extent of territory, The second objection is, that it will have an effect upon the population, the productions, the trade, the commerce, the value of property in the Western country. the capital, the capacity to pay taxes, and the means of I do not think this small reduction can have any sensiincreasing all these national objects. He would look to ble effect, or :hat the public price has much effect on the the real elements of power, the number of people, the price of estates. Farms in the Western country rary amount of productive labor, the mass of wealth. But we from two to thirty dollars an acre, and depend upon the have other and higher objects to make citizens, and ren- quality of the soil, local advantages, and proximity to mar der them happy and prosperous.
ket or navigation; but in a great measure upon the real The system beretofore pursued illustrates, under all value of the improvements. Farms may, in general, be disadvantages, the effect on the people and the Govern- purchased for the value of the labor expended on them. ment. In forty years the wilderness of the West has been 'Those estates are, in general, bought by men of property, converted into a cultivated country; eight States have been and never by that class of settlers who go into the woods formed, with four millions of people, paying eight mil. to buy their farms, to improve by their own labor, because lions of revenue a year, and the whole rapidly advancing. they have not the means to purchase the improved lands; In this short space we have founded and established an and it is their poverty and necessity that compels them to empire out of a population of four millions.
encounter the hardships of settling a new place, and in a You have, at the same time, drawn forty millions of dol- new country: The price of landis can never rise much lars from this region, which has distressed the people, above the value of the improvements, although they will drawn from them the circulating medium, deprived the often fall below; while we bave an immense quanuty of inhabitants of the very means they wanted to cultivate land that must remain in the market for a great number and improve the lands, and thereby greatly retarded the of years. There is an intrinsic value in the production growth of the country, as well as individual prosperity. and in the comfort and enjoyment of a cultivated farm in
More enlightened views are now taken of this interest. an improved country, which will not be materially chang We begin to see the wisdom of inducing our people to ed by the reduction proposed. settle as soon as they arrive at manhood; which is done by Bút, sir, this bill is only a partial provision, and not adegiving them the lands on easy, moderate terms; the less quáte to the exigency of the case. It is a matter of jusprice and the greater inducement, the better. The new tice to the people, and to the States, to class these lands, generation, arriving at manhood, go forth into the new and graduate the quality and the price, so that all the States. The first object is independence, and a home, States may have a fair opportunity of setting, and all the and a habitation, which is obtained as soon as they acquire people of the different conditions of life an opportunity land. They then begin the work of life; they become of procuring the kind of land that suits them, at a proper citizens, thcy marry; and, while they subdue the earth, and just price. There is a large class of people that prealso multiply and replenish it. As soon as the land pro- fer the middle quality of land; the oak, hickory, and pire duces fruit, it goes into your trade, furnishes the elements lands, because it is more healthy, and better adapted to for navigation and commerce, and these furnish revenue; their habits and mode of life. and this revenue is the shape in which the people should It is a partial remedy for the settler, because it is limited make their returns for the bounty of the Government. to the lands already offered for sale, which ought to bare
The West now pay you eight times as niuch, in the form been extended to all lands that have been or may be surof duties, as you obtain a year for the lands. They pay you, veyed; and the price to the actual settler, who shall reste in ycarly revenue, four times as much as the interest of perinanently on the land, and make improvements, rugte the whole capital drawn from the sales of the public lands, lio be reduced to fifty cents.
MAY 6, 7, 1830.]
Officers, &c. of the Revolution--Virginia line.
Sir, it is in the hope of seeing these two objects ob- Naudain, Robbins, Sanford, Seymour, Silsbee, Smith, of tained that I vote for this bill, the benefit of which will not South Carolina, Sprague, Tyler, Willey--20. be felt in Louisiana. The lands offered for sale there NAYS--Messrs. Adams, Barton, Benton, Bibb, Brown, would not bring the minimum price, because they are in- Dudley, Ellis, Forsyth, Grundy, Hayne, Hendricks, Ireferior lands, and will not be sold or settled until the price dell, Johnston, Kane, King, Livingston, McKinley, Mc is graduated to the quality of the soil.
Lean, Noble, Rowan, Ruggles, Tazewell, Troup, White, Sir, I hope this bill will not be postponed.
Woodbury--25. Mr. BARTON said, the bill was no longer “a bill to The bill was then ordered to be engrossed for a third graduate the price of the public lands, to make dona- reading, by yeas and nays, as follows: tions to actual settlers, and to cede the refuse to the States YEAS--Messrs. Adams, Barton, Benton, Bibb, Brown, in which they lie.” The motions of the Senators from Ellis, Forsyth, Grundy, Hayne, Hendricks, Iredell, John. South Carolina and New Hampshire (Messrs, Harne and ston, Kane, King, J.ivingston, McKinley, McLean, No. WOODBURY] had divested it of that character, and re-ble, Rowan, Ruggles, Tazewell, Troup, White, Woodduced it to a mere proposition to reduce the price of the bury--24. lands that had been heretofore offered for sale, and give NAYS--Messrs. Barnard, Bell, Burnet, Chase, Clay. a preference to actual settlers. The bill, as it now read, ton, Dickerson, Dudley, Foot, Frelinghuysen, Holmes, (Mr. B. said) was nothing but his own project, offered to Knight, Marks, Naudain, Robbins, Sanford, Seymour, the Senate in 1828 as a substitute for the graduation bill, and Silsbee, Smith, of South Carolina, Sprague, Tyler, strenuously opposed by the friends of the graduation bill. Webster, Willey-22. Nay, it was less favorable than the substitute he had then offered; for his amendment proposed this same reduction
THURSDAY, MAY 6, 1830. of price to one dollar, and also to make a small donation [The Senate was this day chiefly occupied in the disto actual settlers upon five years' inhabitation and cultiva. cussion of bills of a private nature.] tion. That amendment was, therefore, more favorable to the actual settler than the bill as now amended; but he was content with the preference here given to actual
FRIDAY, MAY 7, 1830. settlers.
OFFICERS, &c. OF THE REVOLUTION--VIRGINIA Mr. B. said, he had then declared on this floor that there
LINE. would be no difficulty in reducing the price of public The bill for the relief of the officers and soldiers of the lands if the other scheme were out of the way. If the Virginia State line in the war of the Revolution was taken matter had been left to the Committee on Public Lands, up; when as it should have been without interference from other Mr. TYLER said, that he felt it to be his duty briefly quarters, the situation of the emigrants to our new lands to explain to the Senate the grounds on which he rested would at this day have been better than it now is. his support to this bill. He would premise this expla
He would vote, he said, against the motion to postpone nation, by stating that Virginia asked nothing of the libe. the bill, not because it now embraced his own project of rality or the bounty of this Government. He should make reducing the price; but because he did not consider re. no appeal to its gratitude in favor of those whose descendyenue from the lands as the greatest object to be attained ants were interested in the passage of the measure now in dispusing of them. The facilities to our citizens to before the Senate. If they liad no claim either in justice become freeholders was a greater object. The inequali. or equity; jf, in plainer words, they were not entitled ty in the operation of the law, mentioned by the gentle. :o obtain, provided this Government was suable, a decree man from Delaware, was unavoidable. Theoretical equa- or judgment in a court of law or equity, for that which is lity was unattainable in practice. When land was reduced, now demanded for them, he desired that the bill might be in 1820, from two dollars to one and a quarter, a like in- rejected. The General Assembly of the State, one of equality existed. The elder State of ohio had paid two whose representatives he was on that floor, had adopted dollars for most of her land; while the younger ones, that certain resolves upon this subject, not in the character of bought since that reduction, paid but one dollar twenty- a suppliant for Congressional bounty, but from a desire to five cents. So, in this reduction, should it be passed, a fulfil her engagements solemnly entered into with men like inequality would be found unavoidable.
who had evinced their fidelity to her and the cause of He hail little hope she said) that this measure, at this American independence, by long and faithful service. late period of the session, could be got through the other That State would scorn to be a suppliant to a Government House. It ought to have been introduced and acted on which has no power to bestow charity, or to exercise a sooner. It ought to have been accepted when he offered spirit of munificence. He had premised thus much, not it in 1828, when it was practicable.
only in justice to his State, but to himself. This matter ought to have been left to the control of He then entered into an exposition of the grounds on the Committee on the Public Lands, who never were in which the bill rested. The State of Virginia, by sundry favor of the impracticable project held forth in the now legislative resolves, commencing at an early period of the abandoned graduation bill. As the abandonment of that Revolutionary war, had held out inducements to her citi. bill, however, freed him from the shackles of those in- zens to enter into the military service. Amongst the most structions he had heretofore mentioned to the Senate, he prominent of which was, the promise of land bounties to would vote for this, his own old measure, hopeless as it her officers and soldiers, as well upon the State as continow was at this late period of the session; hoping, that if nental establishment. She was then the mistress of an exit did not pass at this session, it, or some more judi-tensive region; and if she had continued to retain her cious plan of reduction, would be adopted at the next, as sovereignty over it, no murmur of complaint would ever to those lands that had been long in market more espe- bave been uttered against her by those who fought not cially. His great object was to keep the lands out of the her battles only, but those of the confederacy. She drew hands of monopolists, and use them rather as a fund to no discrimination between her State and continental troops. make our citizens freeholders, than as a source of revenue. None in truth existed. The only difference between them
The question was then put on Mr. CLAYTON’S mo. was, a mere difference as to the Government by whom tion to postpone indefinitely, and decided in the negative they were to be paid. The service of the State troops by the following vote:
was as trying and as perilous as that of the continentals. YEAS--Messrs. Barnard, Bell, Burnet, Chase, Clayton, The same fields were embrued with their blood; and when Dickerson, Foot, Frelinghuysen, Holmes, Knigh*, Marks, | victory perched on the banner of the one, it alighted also
Officers, &c. of the Revolution—Virginia line.
Mar 7, 1830
on those of the other. In fulfilment of her plighted faith, its terms. It is much more creditable and just towards a resolution was adopted by her Legislature, on the 19th that committee to ascribe the omission to a mere oversight. of December, 1778, appropriating all the lands lying be. If he was right in this, it followed that the State troops tween Green river, the Cumberland mountain, the North had a full right to enter upon the reserved lands northCarolina Jine, the Tennessee and Ohio rivers, exclu- west of the river Ohio, in order to locate their warrants. sively to the purpose of satisfying the claims to military The lands reserved in Kentucky had proved insufficient, bounty; and, in 1781, she added the lands lying south of from two causes. First, in running the division line be. Tennessee river, and between the Ohio and North Caro- tween Kentucky and Tennessee, the territory of Tenneslina line and the Mississippi. He recited these facts to see had encroached considerably on those reserved lands; show distinctly to the Senate that she had ever considered and, secondly, a portion of that tract of country was inthe claims of both her lines as inseparable and undistin- habited by the Chickasaw tribe of Indians, up to 1819, guishable--a fact which it was necessary to bear faithfully when a treaty was negotiated with them; whereupon, in mind.
Kentucky claimed exclusive jurisdiction over the country, In 1781, she adopted the policy of ceding to the United and forbade the location of the military warrants. In the States her extensive territory northwest of the river Ohio, mean time, the State troops were not, and have not, at any which had been conquered exclusively by her own arms; time, been permitted to avail themselves of the reserva
. and, on the second day of January, passed a resolution au- tion on the northwest of the river Ohio, and now the per. thorizing her delegates in Congress to make the cession on mission to do so would come too late. certain conditions. Here [Mr. T. said] the difficulty ap The continental troops have taken up all the undisputed pertaining to this subject had commenced--a difficulty land, of any value, contained in that reservation; and, by which had heretofore prevented her from doing full and reason of a mistake in running the first boundary line, the ample justice to her gallant sons. By the resolution au- United States have sold a large portion of what properly thorizing the cession, (he would call it the power of attor- fell within that reservation. Thus it is that many of the ney under which her agents acted,) her reservation of State troops have never been satisfied in their just de. lands appertained as well to the benefit of her State as con- mands. Not by any fault on the part of Virginia, but from tinental troops. This was the only authority with which accidental circumstances, over which she had no control. she ever invested any one, in relation to the lands ceded. There remains now within the reserved territory no lands
Here Mr. T. read from a copy of the original resolution which would remunerate the labor and expense of location. the following words: “That in case the quantity of good The Government itself has sold a large portion of them; lands on the southeast side of the Ohio, upon the waters and, so far as a deficiency is produced from that cause, no of the Cumberland river, and between the Green river one can doubt but thai the United States are bound to and the Tennessee river, which have been reserved by make it good. But if the reservation, the interposition of law for the Virginia troops upon continental establish this Government apart, had proved deficient, this Government, and upon her own State establishment, should (for ment ought to make it good. It paid down no valuable the reasons therein stated) prove insufficient for their le consideration for that extensive domain. It received it as gal bounties, the deficiency shall be made up to the said a gratuity. If the reservation had exceeded the demands troops in good land, to be laid off between the rivers of the officers and soldiers, all the surplus would have be. Scioto and the Little Miami, on the north side of the river longed to this Government. Surely the rule should work Ohio,” &c. &c. No one will doubt that her agents were both ways. If you would take the surplus, if any, you bound by their positive letters of instructions; and that if ought to supply the deficiencies, if any. the deed varied in any essential particular from the terms But these claims rested upon another ground, which he of the authority by which, and by which alone, it was ex- considered equally strong. The contract with the soldier ecuted, waiving the question whether the deed might not created on his behalf a lien on all the unlocated lands held be entirely avoided thereby, a court of equity would cor-by Virginia at the time of entering into that contract. The rect such variation, and supply all defects. This was the whole Northwestern Territory was subject to his claim. fact in regard to this transaction. The deed assigned re- Virginia could not make void that lien. This Government, cited the whole of the conditions expressed in the resolu- therefore, must have been subject to it, since it was prior, tion, totidem verbis, but omitted all mention of the State in point of time, to the deed of cession. In a court of troops. How could this have arisen? The Legislature of justice, in a case between individuals, he apprehended Virginia gave no authority to any one, other than that that but one judgment could be pronounced in this matwhich he had just mentioned. She had never contem- ter; and he irusted that the Senate would not hesitate in plated a measure of justice for her continentals, which she fulfilling the demands of justice. No deep concern need did not, at the same time, deal out to her State troops. be felt :s to the amount of these unsatisfied warrants. He There was but one mode of accounting for it. There was in possession of a document which enabled him must have been an omission, either in the copy recited, or to arrive with something like accuracy at the quantity in the recital of the copy. No other rational explanation of land. could be given. He had, in fact, if his memory did not Office, from which the warrants had issued, furnished
It was a statement of the Register of the Land most egregiously deceive him, seen a certificate to that ef- in 1822. There issued to the State troops, prior to the fect, from Mr. Monroe, who assisted in executing the deed. year 1792, warrants, amounting in all to one million one He had not been able, recently, to lay his hand on that hundred and forty thousand five hundred and eighty-three document, nor did he esteem it material.
The narrative and two-thirds acres: and between 1792 and 1828, others into which he had entered served fully to establish it. fact, the journals of Congress, of 1783, showed how the nine and one-third acres; making in all one million one
In amounting to thirty-seven thousand four hundred and mistake had originated. A committee was appointed to hundred and seventy-seven thousand nine hundred and consider of the terms of cession, and to report thereon; ninety-three acres.
Of these, one million thirty-one thouand they undertook, in their report, to set forth, in the sand one hundred and thirty-four and two-thirds acres were very words of each, the various conditions on which Vir- located; leaving of unsatisfied warrants one hundred and ginia had proposed to make the cession. The fifth con- forty-six thousand eight hundred and fifty-eight and onedition was that appertaining to this subject; and in the re-third acres. Some small addition bas, no doubt, been deed afterwards. That committec had the resolution of rants covering but thirty-seven thousand four hundred and cital of that, the error was committed which ran into the made since; but when it is seen that
, in thirty years, wat dited, for a moment, that they intentionally recited falsely inferred that those which have been issued since are of
Mar 7, 1830.]
The Graduation Bill.
inconsiderable amount. When it is recollected that the of his constituents, whose interests would be promoted by Congress, but two years ago, appropriated one million of emigration to the State. acres in aid of the Ohio canal, and is engaged almost daily Mr. BENTON said that the persons who were interestin making extensive grants to other objects, he could not ed in these claims lived in different States, some of them persuade himself that it would hesitate to pass this bill, in in Missouri; and he had letters requesting him to get leave fulfilment of such a purpose as that which it proposed to to locate in that State. He had no objection to it. He accomplish.
would be willing that the whole quantity should be located Mr. KNIGHT said, he rose to obtain information on the in Missouri. It would increase the settlement and cultisubject under consideration, and to ask the Senator from vation of the State, and augment the number of tax. Virginia whether a reservation was made in the deed of payers. These were desirable things in a new State. Even cession in favor of the State troops, and whether they a non-resident proprietor was a more profitable landholdwere placed on a footing with the Virginia continental er to the State than the Federal Government; for such troops, in regard to the land or location of the military proprietors paid taxes, which the Federal Government warrants. He understood no reservation was made in the did not. deed of cession in favor of the State troops. Then why He should make no motion to amend the bill by enlargshould be given to the State troops of Virginia more than ing the sphere for the location of the warrants; he left it is given to other State troops? Other States had troops to the Senators from Virginia, who had charge of the bill, who were also found valiantly contending by the side of to conduct it as they pleased. He would vote for it in the continental troops, and who have applied here for aid, any shape, either confined to the territory which Virginia in the form of pensions, out of the common fund, and formerly ceded to the Federal Government, or extended they have been refused. They have been told to go to to the whole body of the public lands. Upon the United the States for compensation; that they were State troops, States he conceived the obligation to be the same, to yield and, therefore, the State must pay them.
land for the satisfaction of the warrants, whether it was reSir, it was stated that a reservation of lands was made quested in one place or in another. To the holders of the for the troops of Virginia, west of the Ohio, between the warrants, who were now the children and grandchildren Miami and Scioto, and that the United States had interpos- of the officers and soldiers of the Revolution, and who ed, and sold a part of the land reserved. It is conceived were dispersed through many States, it would be more that the United States could not sell these lands to the pre- convenient to have leave to locate in other States besides judice of these claims. If Virginia made the reservation, those mentioned in the bill. Doubtless we shall have apshe will hold them notwithstanding these sales. The Vir- plications next winter, if the bill passes as drawn, for leave ginia State troops have no right, either in justice or equity, to locate elsewhere, and I shall be for granting it. The to more than the troops of other States; and if the gen- only reason that the Senators from Virginia have given for tleman would consent to amend the bill, so as to include confining the locations to the land which Virginia formerly all the State troops, he would vote for it; but to give these owned, is the difference between strict right and equity; lands to the Virginia troops alone, would be doing more they contend for a strict right to locate on the old Norththan the Senate had been willing to do for others. Why western Territory; and, on this there seems to be reason; should be given to the State troops of Virginia that which but it is the same to the Federal Government to pay out of is withheld from others?
any portion of her lands. Sir, it is said that it was intended to have included the Messrs. TAZEWELL and BURNET severally opporeservation for the State troops as well as those on the sed the motion of Mr. HENDRICKS; which, on the quescontinental line. Was it so done by the deed of cession?|tion being taken, was rejected. It is not pretended. No, sir, it was not. Did no other The bill was ordered to be engrossed by the following vote: States make cessions to this Government but Virginia? YEAS--Messrs. Adams, Barnard, Barton, Benton, Sir, the United States ceded what they had; they ceded Bibb, Brown, Burnet, Chase, Clayton, Dickerson, Ellis, revenue, Virginia ceded lands. The revenue, it is be- Foot, Forsyth, Frelinghuysen, Grundy, Hayne, Holmes, lieved, will amount to as much as these lands; and if the Iredell, Johnston, Kane, King, Livingston, McKinley, Mc revenue be given back, compensation will not be asked Lean, Marks, Naudain, Rowan, Sanford, Seymour, Silsfor the State troops. We then should be able to reward bee, Smith, of South Carolina, Sprague, Tazewell, them ourselves; but to give to Virginia troops alone, is Troup, Tyler, Webster, White, Willey, Woodbury--39. doing more than is required, in my opinion. I have not NAYS--Messrs. Hendricks, Knight, Noble,' Ruglooked at the deed of cession, nor the conditions on which gles--4. the cession was made; but I have understood that the continental troops only were provided for by that instrument.
THE GRADUATION BILL. Mr. KANE moved to amend the bill, in the seventh line, by inserting, between the words “any” and “unappropri On motion by Mr. BENTON, the graduation bill was ated" the word "unsettled." [The effect of the amend- taken up, ayes 22, noes 18; and after, the blanks in the ment was intended to restrict the locations of Virginia fourth section were filled with twenty five cents and fifty land warrats to public lands unappropriated and unset- cents. tled; which amendment was agreed to.]
Mr. FOOT moved to refer the bill to the Commissioner Messrs. NOBLE and HENDRICKS opposed the loca- of the General Land Office, with instructions to report at tion of these land warrants in Indiana; not because of any the next session of Congress the quantity of land in each hostility to the principles of the bill—those they did not district, which has been offered for sale and remains un. question--but they objected to their location in Indiana, sold; the length of time the same has been in market, and in consequence of the difficulties which grew out of a subject to entry at private sale at the minimum price; the former similar bill, for the relief of the “Canadian volun- quantity and value of the land, and the prospects of selteers.” They feared that similar dissatisfaction and confu- tlement; the number of land offices in which no sales have sion would arise under the provisions of the present bill, been made during the last, or previous years; and what and would, therefore, move that it be amended by strik-will be the effect of this bil? upon the present land systein, ing out “ Indiana.”
and upon the revenue arising from the sales of public lands. Mr. KANE then said, that so far from its being an objec. He said, we are told by almost every Senator from the tion to him that any of these locations should be made in Western States that we do not understand this subject. his own State, he was decidedly in favor of them. He be- Sir, we have asked information, and it has been refused. lieved that, in expressing his own sentiments, he did those Senators express great surprise and astonishment that we