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320 CONG.... 20 Sess.
The Homestead-Mr. Newton.
Ho. of Reps.
Is it wise to omit and disregard this measure Wealth in the hands of the Government, as capacity, by the slow and tardy process of holdand this popular feeling and public sentiment, vis- such, is corrupting in its influences and tenden- ing up your public lands at a high price, and conible wherever we cast our eye, turn our thoughts, cies.
sequently holding on to them; or by means of or try our strength? Is it not wise to provide for Our public land, through its whole history, has citizens scattered over our territories, invited from and improve our own before we thirst for an- been a source of speculation and peculation. It the cities and scenes of vice and degradation, by other's strengthen our own stakes upon our has been a standing political hobby to ride into wise and liberal laws to engage in this great and own soil before we plant them upon another's ?- and out of power. Theories and schemes for its common enterprise? number and improve our own ranks before we disposal and distribution have been leading articles If our lands thirty years ago were worth $L 25 attempt to supervise and invade others ?-till and in the creeds of political parties for the last twen- per acre, every seventeen years this sum is doubled. improve our own soil before we trample upon our ty years. It has been the most fruitful source of Every settler over the nation that takes possesneighbor's?
political bargaining of any in the Government. sion of wild and uncultivated land, and subdues The vote given by us upon the bill we passed, These influences and results having reached the | and brings it into cultivation, adds to the aggregate is not sufficiently appreciated, or, in the multipli- ear and understanding of the great body of the amount of the wealth of the nation; and as the city of subjecis, passed over for an opportune people, they have cast about for some scheme by number increases, in that proportion is the wealth future, that never comes without being crowded which to use the fund for the greatest advantage augmented, and the means furnished to produce with its own cares. Each member in this body for the greatest number, and remove the temptation || the results to which I have referred. is supposed to reflect the views of the district he to evil. Our constant legislation upon this subject Our large bodies of lands that have been in marrepresents. There is no way the feeling of a na- has kept the public mind awake and thoughtful, || ket from ten to sixty years are not one third sold, tion can be so well known as by a vote we give, and in a condition to form correct conclusions as and will not be, even by this bill, for the next thirty and its very decided character justifies me in the to the best mode of disposition.
years; for there are but few among the many who decided influence I give it. A proposition upon Another great fact that has had its influence in will comply with its provisions and occupy until this subject, coming from the ever-vigilant senti- this process of maturation is, that property has a a title can be given. It is no ordinary undernel who guards his favorite measure, is now be- natural tendency to fall into the hands of the taking to go and settle in a new country, with or fore the committee of this House of which I am wealthy, influential, and sagacious, and to leave without a family, and be compelled to remain and a member, and it appears to me to be difficult or the other extreme destitute and dependent. Any improve it for five years before a title can be given, impossible to give it any other notice than in the one who will look to the history of older nations, and particularly for an American. No one will manner 1 now adopt.
and observe the great extremes of wealth and do it that is not composed of good materials to The particular manner in which this grant shall | poverty, can but see this truth.
make a good citizen. Look at our scheme of be made, to whom, and in what quantity, so as I The improvement of the condition of the masses giving a large quantity of land to those who would can secure an actual residence and improvement in any country is the strongest tower of strength go and settle in Oregon, and see how few have for five years at least, to me is comparatively un- any people can possess, and it is that which there gone. Scrutinize the policy of giving land to solimportant. I would go far in securing and ex- is the strongest tendency to neglect. The creation diers without requiring a settlement, and unqualitending the right of preemption and occupation, of wise laws that hold out strong inducements (fied freedom to sell, and see where the land will by which it might ripen into a perfect title, if im- and facilities to the people to acquire a permanent be in ten years. I predict, and it requires no provements can be kept up; for the public lands home, should be the study of every American prophet to foretell, that it will be piled up in the are fast falling into hands where they will remain lawmaker.
hands of wealthy men and families and compa. unimproved for half a century. But it is difficult To improve and elevate the condition of the un- nies, and unimproved for a quarter of a century. to fix the mind of a great nation upon any par. fortunate, the ignorant, improvident, and vicious, Land warrants, under the present.laws, are articular plan in any general practical measure; and without uprooting any general laws, is a most ticles of merchandise that are sold and hawked in as one was, with much labor and very general in- worthy, politic, and laudable object with any le- the market as common chattels, at less than a dolvestigation, agreed upon by us, and no time or gislator.
Jar an acre; and what farmer will go in the oldopportunity now to present another, I shall apply By our unprecedented growth and advance, our fashioned way, with his money in hand, and enter myself to its provisions; and if it is deficient | lands have been increasing over and above all our Government land at $1 25, and sellle on it, unless and inadequate, improvements cannot be made if various modes of conveyance, and objects of bounty, there is some way devised to counteract the preaction cannot be had.
to the amount of nearly fifteen hundred millions of i vailing policy? The truth is, the Government, In my estimation, this is the most important acres, extending to new, uncultivated, and unin- || by its laws and habits, has made it necessary to measure there is any hope of adopting this ses- habited regions, to which our inhabitants are pass this law to counteract the influence and effects sion. I wish to express my views while here, turning their attention. Here oceans, rivers, and of laws already passed, in order to settle and imthough they may do no good, for it may be some lakes are to be improved and made subservient to prove the lands. satisfaction to the people of the State I in part rep- the wants and interests of man. Civilization is to Review the policy of donating the lands to pubresent; they will be brief and confined to the sub- be extended by preparing the earth to yield her lic institutions and incorporated companies, and ject. If I can be heard, I shall at least be better treasures in the great work. Any law that will | reflect upon the effect it will have upon the settleunderstood. These remarks will be applicable incite and induce the settler to these lands, and to ment where the land is selected. From the course to various bills to be brought before us for action, || occupy and cultivate them permanently, or for a of business the owners necessarily lie by, while in attempting to show the advantage this measure given number of years, will add greatly to the the settler improves and increases the value of has over others now pending.
wealth and improvement of any country: All the their location. The actual settler will shun these I am in favor of granting lands to actual settlers statistics connected with their acquisition and localities because large bodies of the land are not as a public financial measure, and as a private and transfer have been given by others upon this floor | in market. individual improvement of the condition of the who have preceded me, and need not be repeated.
The nation under the bill introduces an agriculmasses.
Two great facts will be admitted by all, for they tural apprenticeship, and holds out strong induce. propose nor advocate no change in the great cannot be denied. The one is, that it is desirable ments to the apprentice for stability, industry, and laws by which property is acquired and regulated. | and advantageous to the country and the Govern- | enterprise, that in five years may change the whole We are yet a new country, possessing all the main ment that our wild lands be more rapidly and ex- character and habits from a state of dependence elements of prosperity and perpetuity; a wise and tensively settled than they have heretofore been. / and want, to one of independence and comfort. liberal Government, founded upon the great prin
The other is, that there is a surplus population in Every settler has his influence to a greater or ciples of equality and justice; no privileged or all our large cities that are not profitably employed | less extent, by his relationships and acquaintances, ders and classes, in which property can be entailed for themselves and the country. Any great na- and he cannot fail to bring more or less with him and enjoyed to the exclusion of the masses. Free- tional measure that is calculated to produce the or to him. Settlers invite wealth and capital, and dom io possess and enjoy is the great principle first, and at the same time remove the existence of from it improvements, public and private, spring that animates and stimulates all to acquire and im- a vast amount of wretchedness and misery attend. || up. Capital follows the settler with as much cerprove. The more general the acquisition of prop- ant upon the existence of the other, has for its | tainty as day succeeds night, and with the same erty among the masses, the greater will be the support policy and wisdom.
certainty it is invested, when the occupant opens wealth, prosperity, and happiness of a nation. As In all our new States and Territories, much re- the light that discovers his pathway. Nature has facilities multiply and accumulate to acquire, ac
mains to be done, and in many all is yet to be covered our forests with the richest fertility now quisitions will increase, and improvements open accomplished. The hand of the painter is but occupied with her productions, but she yields it new avenues of commerce and business, and just thrown over them, and their undeveloped re- all with gratitude to the call of man. She has greatly augment the general wealth of the nation sources and future greatness but barely sketched. filled the bowels of earth with the richest minerals, and improvement of the people.
All the great bodies of water that surround and I and all that is required to bring all to light and Our lands were acquired by the common strug. connect them together, now inaccessible or highly use, is to be preceded by the hardy axman and gles and effort of all, and of course are the com- dangerous even to the most skillful navigator, much the skillful miner. You look over our new coun-mon property of all. No one section or district more so to the pioneer enterprise of a new coun- try from your halls of legislation, and behold the can say to another, “ We contributed most and try, must be improved.
extensive forests and innumerable wants and prihave received least, and therefore claim a greater The heads of your principal rivers are now the vations, and barter and chaffer with each other as share;" for the laws that regulate it and us are so sepulchres of your dead, whose enterprise drove to priority of claims for bounty and protection; general and broad, that what one does or receives them upon their wild and unimproved elements, and we siep in and offer you five hundred thouis the act of all, and for the benefit of all, and goes whose banks are strewed with the wrecks of their sand hardy young men, inured 10 labor and fond to augment the general fund-the property of all. bold and daring adventures.
of it, with ax and spade and pick, to mark and Our Government is one of the masses-made by Roads are to be made, that link and bind to- open the way for your railroads and other great them and for them. Property and honors are gether a great and enterprising nation. Churches, ll thoroughfares, and will soon furnish means to alike open and free for all to acquire and enjoy. schools, court-houses, and all the details of civil | build them. Which will the Government choose It was not the design or object that it should amass life, are to be supplied. And how is this to be as the most efficient agent? and perpetuate wealth.
done? Is it to be by the nation in its aggregate We have a more extensive and unprotected and ! 32n Cong.....20 Sess.
Railroad to the Pacific-Mr. Cooper.
unimproved border coast than any other nation, Instead of multiplying farmers, it multiplies specu- | their property in a situation to help bear the buraccessible to any and all enemies and rivals, how. lation.
dens and expenses of the Government, by paying ever weak they may be. And it is against the As this bill is, you propose to change the fash- taxes and contributions. prevailing policy of the Government to improve it || jon from speculation to occupation. Instead of That the bill is a private and individual advantdirectly. How shall it be done? The strongest holding the warrants as a basis for bartering and age, seems to be admitted. If it is a public benefit, and most potent agent is the settlement of the sur- gaining, you hold the ax and hoe, by which to it is also a private; for the interests of the public rounding country, by owners of the soil, who domicil and feed and clothe yourself and family; 1 and of individuals are so intimately connected they would engage in the work.
from being alone a consumer, you become a pro- cannot be separated. Improve the one and you Our new States and Territories stand to the Gen-l ducer.
improve the other. eral Government as colonies, the older members Those who have money invested in wild land, It is said by the opponents of the bill, “No one having become rich by improvement and patron- instead of fearing this bill, should be its advocates, will embrace its offer that is not able to buy and age, with a surplus population, many of whom for it certainly tends to increase their investment pay for the land." I know it is difficult for a thrif. are anxious to embrace the provisions of this by improving and occupying that which surrounds iy man to see a good reason why a poor one canbill. theirs.
not earn and save enough to pay a five dollar debt; I believe, with this law, more land will be sold By the sale and appropriations of the products but the fact is so. You place before him a motive; and money paid in ten years than would be with. of your neighbor, the chance of selling your own find a plan for him; encourage him, and he can out it. This idea I know will be regarded by | is increased.
pay a hundred easier than he could the five while some as Utopian, but of its correctness I have no Those who oppose this bill because it appro- no object stimulated him. It is said, the bill will doubt. Many who enter upon the land with a priates all the land, are greatly mistaken, in my have no influence upon the population of cities. I view of acquiring it, will be impatient of delay and apprehension. By it but a small quantity will be think differently. Many who have been unfortuto add to its value will pay the money and sell, and taken; how much and in what localities, no one ňate in business, and those out of employment, buy again. The sagacious capitalist, ever ready can tell. But from the difficulties and embarrass- will embrace it. They may not all hold out and as by intuition for a good bargain, seeing the ad- ments that attend the settlement of all new coun- perfect a title. The aitention of our whole popuvantages the settlement has added to that which tries, no one can rationally infer that it will be lation will be turned to it. It will be talked of and remains, will invest his money, and that, too, ex. great enough to make it dangerous to any of our discussed; and the location of the lands, the geogtensively.
relations, or interfere with the prosperity of any raphy of the country, its capacity, her products, The neighbors of the settler will follow his trail localities.
and facilities for commerce will all be more studto his hut and buy in the neighborhood. The The settlement of any of our new States or Ter-i ied and generally understood. Our mountains are country will be more extensively explored, and ritories for farming purposes has in no instance filled with the richest minerals, as various and favorable situations. hunted up and bought, and injuriously affected the old States. It has rather multifarious as the wants and capacities of man; others occupied under the law, and by the labor quickened and brightened the energies of the old their rocks are fertilizers; at their base flow mabestowed, the land enhanced in value, and after- to improve and keep pace with the new.
jestic rivers upon which to manufacture and transwards abandoned before five years, and the im- It is now very common to emigrate from new port their treasures. Our valleys are covered with provements bestowed furnish new inducement to States to old. In new States property is heavily most luxuriant vegetable growih, enriching thembuy and invest money. Americans are restless taxed to make the improvements that old ones selves annually from age to age with their own and impatient and are constantly going and coming have. In old States, new improvements spring up resources and surrounding deposits, and preparfrom place to place.
that give them the freshness of youth, and furnishing for the hand and mind of man. All that is Every settler who goes to a new country, ex- additional employment for hands over new Suates. wanting to bring all into use, is to be sought and plores it, and discovers its resources and learns its They have the advantage of roads, markets, found, understood and appreciated. wants to a greater or less extent, and the inform- schools, and other improvements, over new States. ation he obtains is communicated, and from it, Many of the older States have permitted their new enterprises are undertaken and extended. land to run down and become very cheap. This
RAILROAD TO THE PACIFIC. No man by a course of reasoning and argument should never be. Land was not made to wear can demonstrate the extent and influence of any out, like man. It remains as the last thing to be
SPEECH OF HON. JAMES COOPER, given improvement. When once it begins, it be destroyed. It is populated and depopulated from
OF PENNSYLVANIA, gets sympathy and influence and effects, and it age to age, and it unabused, remains the same.
IN THE SENATE, February 18, 1853. widens and deepens and overreaches all our cal- | These lands now furnish instances more favorable culations, if it can be kept up. than any others for the enterprising farmer, for
The Senate, as in Committee of the Whole, reAll who are thrifty and prosperous are not very the culture of sheep and growth of wool, and will sumed the consideration of the bill for the protecready to perceive a reason why all men are not soon be sought after for this and other purposes.
tion of the emigrant route and a telegraphic line, 80, and impute some fault. But we must take Manufacturing in the old States will, from policy and for an overland mail between the Missouri men as they are, and furnish the materials if we and necessity, soon be much increased. They || river and the settlements in California and Oregon. have it, to make them what we would wish. Our | have nothing to fear from this bill.
Mr. COOPER said: country is unbounded in extent and resources, This bill is opposed, because it is an uncondi- Mr. PRESIDENT: I do not rise for the purpose but we cannot use it and realize its value without tional gift. It is not so. It is a grant upon con
of continuing the debate on the subject of the bil men upon it; and in its rude state we cannot fur- || dition you occupy five years, and, as an incident, which is now pending before the Senate, at any nish them without some strong inducement. We improve the country.
great length; nor do I design to follow the honorare indebted for our high position and present But the opponents say the Government will able Senators who have advocated the bill, through prosperity to the reward we give to mental and relinquish the occupation, and oppose it upon that the long labyrinth of questions of a character enphysical labor. Our haļls of legislation, profes- | supposition. The occupation is the vitals of the tirely foreign to the objects of the bill, which they sional skill, mechanic arts and agricultural prod- bill. Dispense with them, and it is subject to all have raised and discussed before the Senate. I ucts, all testify to and establish the fact. your objections; with it, to none.
will not follow the honorable Senator from Ten. Our proudest statue, that is to be a model for In this provision is the consideration to the nessee, (Mr. Bell,] in his inquiry whether peace the world, was conceived by an untutored mind, Government, and the advantage it has over all or war be probable in Europe, or whether, in the forged in a hovel, and built by faith and reared other schemes, as a financial measure.
event of a war, the United States is likely to be for admiring thousands. The brightest gems are Every additional freeholder the nation has is an involved in it. I will not inquire whether Cuba, made from the rudest materials; the most ex- additional pledge and safeguard of its stability and in a military point of view, is an important acquialted intellects are often culled from the neglected, | perpetuity. The stability of the property adds to
sition for the United States, and necessary to its and pointed to the road that is open and unoccu- ihe stability of character. Each freeholder has | safety. Nor will I indulge in vaticinations of what pied, to the summit. Occupation is education, and something to guard and protect and improve the present generation is to see in the character of education is capital. To multiply capital we Nine tenths of the mobs in our country are com- the improvements of the country. I do not know, must multiply occupants and occupation.
posed of 'those who are not freeholders. Make | sir, how many roads will span the continent from Under this bill, there is one condition precedent land-owners, and you make towers of law and ocean to ocean at the end of the existing generation, to a title being given, that is a powerful engine of order. Multiply freeholders, and you increase vir- | Nor is it pertinent to the issue that is now pending improvement. This is the five years'occupation. tue and sobriety, and decrease vice and debauch- || before the Senate, whether one or more shall follow Under it, the tenant or apprentice has a strong ery. Increase freeholders, and you diminish your this one which is now in contemplation. Nor will I interest to improve, for at the end of the term a bills of mortality. Increase your freeholders, and pursue the traces of my honorable friend from Con. title is conferred with all the improvements made. you increase the strongest basis of wealth the na- necticut, (Mr. Smith,jand inquire whether it would It cannot be affected by any contingency, not even tion has.
be competent for England or any belligerent Power, death, for that is provided for, and the title con- But the Government are the gainers in other with a single privateer to lay San Francisco under ferred upon him who represents the tenant by ! respects—by the amount of improved lands added contribution and conquer from us our Pacific posblood or affinity.
to that now occupied, and also the products drawn sessions. Nor will I indulge, sir, in ante facto As this bill is, the alternate section cannot be se- from it. Suppose, in five years, one hundred encomiums upon the incoming President. I shall lected, and it will soon be an object for some pur- | thousand take possession under this law, and each rather trust to my acts than to my words, to show chaser. Felling the timber in a new country is a one each year subdues and tills two additional that my course of conduct towards his Adminismost efficient agent to invite the investment of cap- acres, and raises from each acre three dollars intration, when he comes to be installed into power, ital in its vicinity. Its agency is various and gen. | value, how much would this amount to annually? | will not be a factious one. Sir, I regard it as uneral. It robs the gallows and jails, diminishes poor But the incidental and relative value they throw safe, altogether unsafe, to venture upon any great rates, multiplies agents of defense and protection. | around them is greater than the direct and imme- laudations of any officer in advance. Sir, even 'It erects buildings, builds roads, and opens com- diate product. All this is in addition to what when they are indulged in, in the case of friends munication with surrounding inhabitants.
would have been produced without this process. on whom we have bestowed the most extravagant As the land now is, it is a source of speculation. || Again: new settlers soon present themselves and encomiums for their wisdom and patriotism, we 32D CONG.....2D SESS.
Railroad to the Pacific-Mr. Cooper.
are oftentimes disappointed. We ought, the re- foot of ground has been known for a century, for at least for preliminary explorations of the country fore, lo fear somewhat to indulge in such enco- it is about a century ago since Washington first | between the western límits of Missouri, or Texas, miums as these upon those who have not heretofore traversed it on his expedition to Fort Duquesne. and the Pacific coast. merited by their conduct, very extensively, our Every foot of that ground is known and has My honorable friend from Illinois (Mr. Douge approbation. But these are foreign questions, and been traversed thousands and tens of thousands of Las] said that these wastes were not much better I shall not pursue them.
times, and every hill and every valley, between in the quality of their land than the State of Mr. President, I stated in the casual remarks those two points were filled with an intelligent Georgia, and that they would not yield much more which I had occasion to make some days ago on population at the time that the great system of corn or many more potatoes to the acre perhaps this subject, that my opposition to this measure internal improvements in that State was com- than the soil of Georgia. That was jocular, of was not founded in hostility to a road between the menced. But we did not embark in it without a course. The Senator did not intend to assert that Atlantic and Pacific sides, of the continent. I reconnoissance and survey, without having every these wild wastes, which produce no blade of grass, avowed then, and avowed in a spirit of sincerity. || foot of it leveled, and the practicability of the work through which no stream of water passes, are and candor, my approval of some great line of | demonstrated. We knew that it was practicable. I equal to that fertile State, or are capable at all of intercommunication of this kind; and my objec- || We knew that money, if plenty of it were expend- supporting human life. That was not his object. tions to this measure were founded upon the fact | ed, would conquer the intervening obstacles be- || It was a jocular expression of his, intended to meet that it was to be commenced without a preliminary tween the Delaware and the Monongahela, and statements perhaps equally extravagant. I may survey and reconnoissances, and because if it were although we embarked in it hastily and improvi- be permitted to say, on the other side, that is one completed, the company would possess powers | dently, as after facts demonstrated, yet we did of the reasons why I object to this road. that would make it inconvenient to the operations not think it safe to begin until surveys and resur- We are told that it is practicable—that we know of the Government, if not eventually dangerous. veys had not only demonstrated its practicability, it to be practicable. I do not deny that it is pracNow, sir, I have other objections, which I will but its practicability at no unreasonable or extrav- ticable to make a road, and to make a road at state in the course of the brief remarks which I agant cost.
grades that can be traversed, between the two propose to submit.
Now, if this be so in States almost every acre of points. But that is not enough. We are to look to We were told by the honorable Senator from which has its inhabitants; if it is necessary where | ihose other conditions to which I have just now reMassachusetts, (Mr. Davis,] in the remarks which every foot of ground is known, where the condi- || ferred; that is, the practicability of supplying fuel, he made some days since, that if the opponents of tion of the climate and the obstacles which nature not merely for ten years, or for a century, but for this bill had examined it with care and a proper has interposed with almost absolute certainty, that all that indefinite time in the future, during which degree of candor, (that was the word,) they would reconnoissances and surveys should be made, how this great Republic is to live, continually expandhave found that the reconnoissances were already much more so, when you have to traverse a conti- || ing until in the folds of progress the whole world provided for by the bill; and the Senator proceeded, nent in which the foot of civilization has not per- | shall have been embraced. Are we assured of the by inference, to show that such reconnoissances manently fixed itself? It is true that many have existence of those conditions that should be prewere provided for. Yesterday, in the course of || crossed the continent with wagons, on horseback, cedently understood ? No, sir, we are not. the debate which took place, another advocate of and on foot, and they are satisfied that it is possible We ought to know something of the probable the bill, (Mr. Smith,) more ardent, more enthusi- to get from the Atlantic borders to the Pacific; cost of this enterprise. We are told that the bill astic, if we may judge from his manner on the but, sir, when you embark in an enterprise which fixes the limits that the Government is to extend; occasion, admitted that there was no provision of is to cost millions of dollars, when you propose that those limits are embraced in the $20,000,000 that kind; and he justified his position, upon what an expenditure in land and in money, of forty or which are to be given to the company for the conground do you think? Why, that the reconnois- | fifty millions of dollars, ought you not to know | struction of the road, and in the twelve miles of sances and survey would require more time than first if the route is practicable without unreason- land on either side in alternate sections extending to make the road' itself. That was the position | able and extravagant delay! In the second place, from the east to the west. The bill, we are told, which the Senator from Connecticut took. One ought you not to ascertain whether it is practicable fixes that amount, and it cannot go beyond it. I gentleman tells you the bill provides for reconnois- to furnish the motive power which will be neces- know it does fix it, but there is no security that sances and surveys, and another tells you it would sary, and fuel in order to keep it in motion? All you will even stop at the end of that expenditure. be foolish to make them, because it would take as these things require not only to be ascertained to Far less extensive enterprises than this have been much or more time to make the reconnoissances be possible, but to be practicable, and within rea- undertaken; an entering wedge in the shape of an and surveys than to build the road. That was sonable limits of practicability. Sir, it is not enough appropriation to begin the work has been given, somewhat extravagant; and allow me,
that the trapper or hunter, with his traps or his rifle, and Congress has been induced afterwards to spend erally follow that Senátor almost blindly in what- has penetrated from one ocean to the other. It is millions before the work was completed. We have ever course, political or otherwise, he chooses to not enough that Lewis and Clarke, and their suc- l had some experience in our steam lines. We compursue, to doubt in this case whether his usual cessors in adventure, have followed the meander- menced by giving those lines of intercommunicasagacity, if not to say his usual candor, was ings of the mountain valleys from one coast to the tion between the Old World and the New bonuses, not wanting. I am, then, having no one to follow, other. They must show us how, where, at what sums of money to enable them to start their great obliged to grope along and find my way by my cost this great work can be done before I shall be enterprises; and presently, when the appropriation own miserable rush-lights.
willing to embark in it. Is it not necessary, sir, | failed, they come here, appealing to our patriotism Mr. President, is it no objection to such an en- that we should know something of the grades, || and our pride of character as a nation, and they terprise as this, that preliminary reconnoissances how much elevation is to be overcome, and how have induced us to double the appropriations and and surveys have not been made? We are told it can be overcome? Is it not necessary to know continue them from year to year. They forced by Senators who are the advocates of this bill || with some accuracy the distance? Perhaps that themselves upon us as beneficiaries, and they will on all sides, that this in unnecessary. We are may not be so necessary. If any of these things || remain our beneficiàries as long as they possess told that Captain Sitgreaves, Major Emery, and be unnecessary, that perhaps would be because the power of appealing to the sentiment of pride Professor Bartlett, have traversed these wastes distance is but a simple thing.
which inhabits the bosom of every American; and between the western limits of what was formerly We have been told by travelers, and it remains while they can bring outside in Quences to bear the United States and California, at various times, || uncontradicted to the present hour, except the upon the two branches of the National Legislaand that they have pronounced opinions favorable | speech of my honorable friend from Illinois (Mr. ture, such as are within the command of these comto the practicability of such a route as this. The DOUGLAS) may be considered a contradiction of it, I panies. You, sir, have seen it, and I have seen honorable Senator from Tennessee told us that that there are wastes extending hundreds of miles it. You have felt it, and I have felt it. I do not hunters and trappers had penetrated these wild in which there is not a stick of timber, scarcely a mean that influence has been exerted upon us, but wilderness wastes, and that they too had expressed | blade of grass, or a drop of water. From what we we have felt it in the atmosphere, and we knew opinions favorable to the practicability of a route know of the ability to propel locomotive engines it was useless to resist it. Stimulated by what I between the waters of the Atlantic and those of at this day, I would ask how are cars and great believe exists as strongly in your—and if I were the Pacific. Are not these opinions, expressed railroad trains to be carried over such wastes as not a modest man, I would say, to some extent in by men under circumstances such as these under | those? Sir, I doubt exceedingly, if fuel be not my own-bosom, patriotism, and a disposition to which those men expressed them, rather unsafe | found in greater abundance than it is believed to see our own marine eclipsing in speed and all the to act upon when a measure of such immense be in those wastes, that a railroad will be found essentials of maritime excellence, that of Great magnitude - "magnificence," the Senator to be practicable on that account. If coal shall be Britain, we have voted thousands upon thousands, from Connecticut said yesterday-is in contem- found of a quality such as would be proper for and hundreds of thousands, to keep up that suplation? Why, sir, in your State and in mine, consumption in the propelling of the machinery pereminence of our marine. Give this corporation (Mr. Mangun in the chair, although every foot || necessary for this purposes, that obstacle would be $20,000,000, give it fifteen million acres of land in of the ground within their limits has been trav- removed; but at present we do not know whether alternate sections from the Atlantic to the Pacific, ersed, and has been known for almost a century, there is coal, or whether it is to be found in quan- or from the starting point to the Pacific, and with who would undertake to make a road from the tities sufficient for that purpose. Now, is it not what kind of an influence will you have clothed it Atlantic waters upon your coast to your western
the part of wisdom that exploratory surveys should at once? I shall be told directly that it is not a border without a preliminary survey? Would it be made for these purposes; that geologists should corporation. I do not care whether it is in terms be enough that you, in your carriage, or upon be sent to examine the country, and to ascertain clothed with corporate powers or not. To all inhorseback, had traversed for the last forty years whether those wastes indicate the presence of this tents and purposes it is a corporation, and one the country between the remote points ? No, sir; kind of fuel? for if nature has not provided for with the most fearful powers that has ever existed it would hardly be deemed sufficient by wise and traversing those wastes in this way, by beds of in the world, or which ever was about to exist. prudent men to induce them to embark in so great fuel being found in them, in no other way has she || It does not exist yet, and I hope in God it will an enterprise; one, however, comparatively insig- done it, for wood, which is used in many places | not. I say, sir, that clothe this company with nificant when compared with this. for that purpose, is not to be found there.
the power and influence which it will derive from In my own Slate, from Philadelphia, on the Del- I think that I have now demonstrated, by simply || commencing this work, and the expenditure of a aware, to Pittsburg, on the Monongahela, every stating the difficulties, that there is sonie necessity il portion of these funds, and see where you will be
32D CONG.....20 Sess.
Railroad to the Pacific-Mr. Cooper.
as to ability to resist further applications. Help: company, those who are under the control of the stitutional objection; but it certainly does give to less, absolutely helpless; tied hand and foot, and company, and who have managed in India all the those States advantages which the other States driven perforce to all such expenditures as may be concerns of the British Government
with power cannot enjoy. By the provisions of the bill, as necessary to the completion of the road. This
to make war at their pleasure, always dictated by you are aware, you are io commence the road at te nplation, as my friend from Connecticut called the company, and also to establish the terms of each end; and when fifty miles are completed, so it-and it was an admirable word in the shape peace. That is what I alluded to.
much money and so much land are to be delivered of $20,000,000 in money, and $20,000,000 in land, These were my principal objections: first, that over to those who have built it. We may very with the profits in the distance, will glitter in their a preparatory survey ought to be made; in the well suppose that they will proceed at any rate eyes, and great companies will be congregated for second place, that the powers conferred upon this | until the money and the land, or the principal part the purpose of carrying out this vast project. All company were of a character to induce apprehen- of the money and the land is exhausted; and by portions of the country will rival each other in en- sion in the eyes of those who have looked to his. that time they will have finished the road through deavoring to reap the advantages of this magnifi- tory to see how such power has been exercised | Texas, and finished it through California. Thus cent temptation which is held out. And, sir, and abused. We have been asked to point out those two Slates will have this magnificent boon when Maine and Florida—when Pennsylvania how a power of this kind could be abused. Sir, accorded to them at the expense of the other and the other sea-board States unite with the far it would be very hard to point to the specific States, and without the slightest benefit to any of West, through those who will embark in this en- measures that a corporation might pursue; that them. Now, sir, that, if not unconstitutional, is terprise, in pressing Congress to make new appro- would be very difficult, but it is not difficult to see unequal and unjust, and I trust that Senators all priations, do you think Congress will have the that, having such a power as this, it would exer- around me will see it in that point of view. This, power to stop it? No, sir.
cise it, as all companies founded upon pecuniary || sir, is the third objection to the bill in my mind. I say, then, that there is no certain limit to the considerations do. Is it not natural, that possess- Sir, I shall not detain the Senate much longer; expenditure in this bill. There is no knowing, ing power to coerce the Government into such and I will only advert now to some of the arguaccording to it, what expenditure Congress may measures as would be necessary for the increase ments used by the various Senators who are ad. not be called upon to make. Then, when it is of its grandeur, its wealth, and its dignity, it vocates of the bill. probable that in the end all will be shouldered upon should exercise it. All other companies that have The Senator from Tennessee (Mr. Bell) tells us, ought we not to know in advance, from a pre-existed in the world have done so.
us that there can be no difficulty about this road liminary survey, what is the probable amount Sir, our friends on the other side of the Cham- at all that there are some twenty-five passes, which we shall be finally compelled to pay? It ber used to be terrified by a monster which had through each of which a road might be constructed. seems to me that statesmanship, the commonest its den in my own good Stale-the bank of the If there be so many, we ought certainly to select wisdom that actuates individuals even in relation United States—and they supposed that with its the best. We ought to send out companies for to their domestic economy, should induce us to capital of $35,000,000 it had it in its power to the purposes of exploration, and to ascertain which look at least for information to satisfy us upon break down and trample under foot the liberties of those twenty-five passes is the best. That I this point. I do not know what others think, but of the country. Have men grown better than they think would be the part of wisdom and judicious I know that is my impression.
formerly were? Are there any indications in the statesmanship; certainly we ought not to go blindI have stated that there has been no corporation || moral world that men would now be less likely to fold into a work of such immense magnitude as in any country which would possess such powers abuse great power conferred upon them than they this. My honorable friend from Connecticut (Mr. as these under this bill. Gentlemen have told us would ten, fifteen, or twenty years ago? No, sir; SMITH) told us yesterday that he did not apprenot to deal in round assertions, and I will try to see no signs abroad, in the political or moral hend there was any difficulty from the snowsdeal as little as possible in them. I said in the heavens, that indicate a change for the better in that he had learned that on the route between this course of the remarks which I formerly submit- || that respect. Sir, are the powers that are con- and California, the snows were not much deeper, ted-and they were exceedingly brief-ihat Fox's ferred here of a character which would be likely and the winter not much longer than in correspondEast India Company did not possess powers and to permit of an unwholesome exercise, such as in ing latitudes in the States. That is true, to a very influence so enormous as would be conferred by the case of a bank? In my judgment they permit considerable extent; but in the gorges of those this vast amount of money and appropriation of of greater abuse. I have seen, in a neighboring | mountains through which the road must pass, in lands upon this company. 'I was somewhat called State, the influence of these railroad corporations. all the northern latitudes, there will be found in to task about my historical knowledge on that | There are two or three railroads, not, perhaps, | those snows an insurmountable barrier during six point. The Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. more than four hundred or five hundred miles in or seven months of the year. I have it from auDavis) told me there was no similitude between extent, and yet they control, politically, socially, thority not to be questioned at all, that very often, the one and the other-between that corporation and morally, the whole population of that State. || during the winter and spring months, the snows and this. I did not say they were alike. 'I should They make and they unmake at pleasure. And are found in those gorges and valleys between the have been a fool to have said so. Their objects | let a railroad of this kind be built across the con- mountains, to a depth of fifty or sixty feet, and were entirely different; they were not at all the tinent; let the company have at its command the Jie to a very great depth until the latter end of May same; nor did I say that they were the same. I transportation of ihe commodities of the whole or June. That is not true of the southern lati. only spoke of the character of the powers, and eastern world, as you are told it will supposing tudes; and in all probability this road will take a said that the powers here given were greater, and that fuel and everything else can be found in suf- southern route. 'I will state here that I do not that the influence which the company would be | ficient abundance to make the communication be- care a fig which way the road goes, or rather from able to exert would be greater than that company, tween the East and the West in this way practica- what point it starts, north or south. It is entirely under the provisions of Fox's bill, would have ble and easy-and what kind of powers will it | immaterial to me. I only desire that the best route been able to exert. The gentleman himself, or possess? Unexampled in the history of the world. shall be selected, and that over that route, if found from the promptings, I believe, of a gentleman repeat, I cannot particularize in what way it practicable, and to contain all the conditions newho sat by him at the time, said that Fox's bill might affect the public interests; how it might cessary to the safety of such an enterprise, in adgave to the East India Company the power to eventually be used to the danger of the public lib- vance, a road shall be constructed. make war and conclude peace. Sir, the Senator erties. There are things in the future which wis- Now, Mr. President, I think the arguments • was entirely mistaken; Fox's bill did no such | dom cannot foresee. It is not necessary that I made use of against my colleague's amendment thing. Long before Fox's bill was thought of should particularize, that I should, in short, do are not just, and that they condemn themselves. war had been made by the company, and it had that which is impossible to be done; but it is | Yesterday, we were told by the Senator from conquered provinces extending from Cape Com- enough to repeat, that possessing such powers as Connecticut, that a hundred thousand dollars was orin to the Himalaya mountains an extent of it will possess, and such vast pecuniary resources, nothing like sufficient for the purpose-that even territory larger than all the British possessions | it will use them as other corporations have used a million of dollars would not be sufficient for this elsewhere in the world up to that moment. Ori- || theirs, and it will abuse them as other corporations | reconnoissance, and that it would take as long to ginally the East India Company was a mere com- have abused them. There is nothing more certain make the reconnoissance as to make the road. It pany of traders; but powers were conferred upon than this.
seems to me that that is no good argument against it from time to time, and it made war, conquered But let us look at the question in another aspect; my colleague's amendment. If $100,000 be not provinces, and when it was called to an account and in this view there is a strong objection in my sufficient, amend it and make it sufficient by infor it by Parliament-and that was why I pro- mind. Let the eastern terminus of this road be creasing the sum. duced this measure for the purpose of comparison | Texas; let it commence in Texas, and be made We have been asked over and over again, if we -it had power and influence enough in the coun- across Texas. Let the other end commence, as the were afraid to intrust the incoming President with try to scout at the objections which had been made bill requires it shall commence, in California. Let the selection of the route? No, sir, I am not. I to the policy which it had pursued. Warren it run eastward across California. You have was not a supporter of that gentleman for the disHastings was impeached, as you, sir, very well then a road made through these two States, at the tinguished seat which he is soon to fill, but, sir, I know, for his conduct; and although he had vio- expense of the General Government. Sır, is that never doubted his integrity; and thank God, E lated all the laws of his country and humanity, to be doubted? What good would the forfeiture never, without doubting,
assail the integrity of any. the company had influence enough to screen him be? You are told that if the road be not completed | body. I believe his integrity would be sufficient from punishment. I believe he deserved well of | there will be a forfeiture; yet there is nothing in for this, and I trust, for all the exigencies of the England in many respects, and I never found fault the bill providing for the way or the means in public service which he will be called upon to perwith the British House of Lords for their decision which this forfeiture is to be brought about. But, form. But, sir, he has other duties than those of in that case. I was only referring to the great | sir, forfeiture or no forfeiture, the road would be a surveyor. He has his Executive functions, powers that such great companies possess. It there, and the States through which it passed | which will require all his time and all his attenwas with this view that I referred to Fox's East would have the advantage of this great outlay of tion. And, sir, how is he to judge? Is he to India bill. The East India Company had extrav- money. Now, I call the attention of my south- traverse those in hospitable wastes which exist beagant powers conferred upon it by the act of 1773. ern friends, those gentlemen who are strict in their tween the States of the Mississippi valley and It has gone on under those powers making war, construction of the Constitution, to this. I do not the Pacific ocean? It must be done through the until finally it has become clothed-or, if not the I think, I must say in all candor, that it forms a con- medium of engineers sent out for the purpose. 321 CONG.... 2n Sess.
Railroad to the Pacific-Mr. Geyer.
He cannot guess at it. He would not do it if he tial to their highest interests, political, social, and power when it intrusted to the President of the could. No, sir. I have confidence in him, if it religious. Hau Congress then seconded the voice United States the selection of the plan for the ad. were a duty pertinent to his position, and if he of the people, one road would now be nearly or ditions to the Capitol? Whether Congress abdicates had information to enable him to act judiciously quite completed, and we should be ready to com- its power to raise and support a Navy when it on the subject; but he has not. The mere books mence a second instead of spending our time in commits to the President the construction of vegof travels, of which we have published so many debating how long it shall be postponed.
sels for the public service under his superintendo in this body, form very poor criteria for the com- With the acquisition of California came upon ence? Are we, under the power to authorize the mencement of such a work as this. To acquire the us new difficulties. Our line was extended to jiear construction of this road, to superintend as a body information necessary to the commencement of the thirty-second degree of latitude. Several of contractors composed of two branches, the ensuch a work as this, he musi have something more passes were ascertained to exist that were per- tire operations on the road? certain than these books, by which he will be en- fectly practicable, and then came up the difficulty Bui it is said we cannot proceed without a preabled to judge as to which route to select. We which stands in the way of the execution of the liminary survey; that we have not knowledge are told ihat he must indicate the points in the work to this hour. Difference of opinion arose as enough upon the subject; that it is necessary that mountains. All require the same kind of exam- to the pass that should be selected. The South a detailed survey of the line and grades of the ination and exploration precedently
by engineers, Pass, which before had been approved by the al- road should be reported to Congress, and that whether you begin at El Paso, or further north. most unanimous voice of the people, is now in the Congress should then fix the termini and locate It would not be very convenient to change, if it judyment of some gentlemen unfit; and we are the route by an act. The honorable Senator inshould be found out afterwards to be wrong. You divided in opinion, according to the section of quires if Congress cannot now locate the road ought, as is the case in every wisely-managed en- country in which we happen to reside, and from bow shall the President do it? Sir, if Congress terprise of the kind, to have a complete survey which we come. Every town on the Mississip- il has not been able to locate the road in ten years, from one point to the other before commencing | pi, from St. Paul to the Gulf, is contending for is it to be expected that it would be very prompt, the work. Then, sir, if any incidental advantages the terminus of the road. Every principal town when the bone of contention will be presented to which due experience furnishes during the prog- || supposes that it is entitled to thai favor, and im- them in the form of surveys of the different ress of the work occurred, they can be made use agines that the evidences are conclusive in favor of passes of the mountains and the grades of the of. But, sir, it cannot be that a work of this its point as a terminus. The Senator from Cali- road, to the different points on the river? Shall we magnitude is to be commenced in this way in the fornia (Mr. Gwin) attempted to meet these diffi- not encounter the same difficulties that we have dark.
culties by furnishing a branch to each one of the encountered all along? Do we not see it apparent I agree in many of the suggestions which have States on the west of the Mississippi. That did now, that one of the sources of opposition to this been made as to the value of this great enterprise
bill is an apprehension that the President may of the Pacific railroad. I think it will be one of lect Committee was appointed to take into consid- select a point which is not the first choice of honthe most magnificent that human genius and hu- eration the whole subject. It had before it the orable Senators? Is there not a trembling anxiety man skill have carried out and perfected. But this various plans that had been suggested. One of i upon that subject to which much of this opposiis nothing to the purpose. It can only be thus them, which seems to find favor with the Senator tion may be traced ? niagnificent, it can only add to the character and from Pennsylvania, looked towards the construc- - ! It is said that we propose the same sort of surthe grandeur of this country, by being what it tion of this road out of the National Treasury, vey and examination by the bill that is proposed ought to be-as perfect as possible. I therefore, | under the superintendence of the National Gov- in the amendment. That may or may not be. in view of the character of the country, desire ernment; another proposed to make a road by the What we propose is, that there shall be a sufficient that this enterprise shall be undertaken upon such intervention of a private company, to whom was examination, and that sufficient information shall principles as will insure as much perfection as to be granted a bonus in money; and still another be obtained by the President to enable him to fix possible
. If it be completed, it will be, as has proposed to make a road entirely out of the pub- the termini and the passage through the mountbeen stated by my honorable friend from Con- | lic lands. The committee has reconciled these ains. That is all the survey that is required. necticut, a grand and magnificent project--not a difficulties by the proposition now before the The amendment does not propose to limit the project, for it will have ceased to be a project-but Senate.
survey or the inquiry to particular points, but it a grand and magnificent work, placing us in that It proposes not to increase the patronage of the asks for a survey and an examination which shall respect above all nations which have preceded, or Government, or the duties which now devolve enable Congress to exercise its power so as to which exist with us at present. I admit it; but I upon it, by committing to it the management of control the location of the road. But suppose that desire that we shall not disgrace American genius this railroad, organizing the Government into a the surveys are to be of the same character and by hurrying forward into a great enterprise of sort of railroad corporation, for the pụrpose of the require the same time; we shall by the bill gain this kind, and making it a miserable patchwork transportation of merchandise across the continent. this advantage: that a question which we have thing, when it ought to be one grand and magnifi. That plan it rejected. At the same time the com- found ourselves unequal to, will be decided. On cent whole, honorable to the skill and genius of mittee was aware that the work could not be exe- all hands it is said that the incoming President the country, as it will be beneficent to the world. cuted exclusively by private enterprise and private may be trusted with a subject so momentous as Sir, for this reason, as well as for others, I am
It has, therefore, combined lands and this; and in my judgment without intending any
always hope to succeed in carrying a favorite plan. of the United States will have enough to do in the
to the location of railroads; he will not have time
The multiplication of the difficulties has not de- to make an examination for himself, and he must SPEECH OF HON. H. S. GEYER,
creased in the least the intense anxiety of the pub- depend upon the reports which are made by the
lic that the road should be built; and now that it engineers. And, I pray you, Mr. President, will OF MISSOURI,
seems to be admitted on all hands that it is prac-Congress have time to examine the road for themIN THE SENATE, February 18, 1853,
ricable, that it is essential to the public interests, selves? Will the members of either House feel
that it is necessary to the national defenses, and it a part of their duty, or consistent with their On the bill for the protection of the emigrant route indispensable in the time of war, I cannot forbear high obligations, to absent themselves for the purand a telegraphic line, and for an overland mail
to express my astonishment that there is a propo- pose of making a personal inspection? Congress between the Missouri river and the settlements sition before us to postpone the execution of the will have to rely, as the President must,
upon the in California and Oregon.
work until some future day. If this work is found surveys and reports that are made. Congress, Mr.GEYER said: Mr. President, the construc- to be impracticable, it is because of the impracti- then, will have more to do than the President. tion of a railroad to connect the valley of the Mis- | cability of Congress, and not because the work | Congress will be embarrassed, as I have already sissippi with the Pacific ocean has attracted the cannot be accomplished.
remarked, by the conflicting interests of various attention and commanded the approbation of the But it is said to be indispensably necessary that sections of the country bordering on the Missispeople of the United States for a number of years. we should have preliminary surveys. The hon- / sippi, nay, sir, the conflicting interests on the seaLong before the acquisition of California, when orable Senator from Ohio tells us that the billitself board, and those who are interested in the lines our possessions upon the Pacific were bounded by provides for that; and he states, and states truly, of roads which now take a particular direction, the forty second degree of latitude, the popular the question to be whether the location of the ter- whether north or south. mind had been earnestly directed to this great mini and general route of the road shall be made Another objection taken by the honorable Sensubject. At that time there was no division of by the President or by Congress; but he says that ator from Pennsylvania, is to the cost, which he opinion as to the pass of the mountains through by transferring it to the President, we abdicate the estimates at $40,000,000. It is not $40,000,000 which it should go. The South Pass being within power of Congress. I was at a loss to understand given away without an interest in, or control over half a degree upon our southern boundary line, his meaning until I heard the speech of the honor- the road; but it is $40,000,000 advanced in lands was the only one deemed practicable, then within | able Senator from Pennsylvania. He requires a and money, to execute the work, retaining a conour territory. The will of the people was almost survey in order that the grades of the road may trol over the use of the road for public purposes. unanimously expressed, sometimes represented in be ascertained, and its exact line laid down, and But, Mr. President, I imagine that the honorable primary assemblies, sometimes expressed through then that there shall be a specific direction as to Senator is entirely mistaken. He has described the medium of the Legislatures. Congress was the mode of construction; and unless Congress the country through which the road will probably implored to take the subject up. The people then maintains its power over that subject, we shall be pass, as a sterile waste, and yet he estimates it at noi only believed in the necessity for the construc- held to have abdicated it. Sir, I would ask that à price for which choice lands will not sell within tion of such a road, but they felt that it was essen- honorable Senator whether Congress abdicated its the organized States. He estimates it, at least, at