Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

32D Cong.... 20 Sess.

The Homestead Bill-Mr. Adams.

SENATE.

Union-that the citizens of each State have a com- | enough to pay for the quarter section on which My opinion upon this subject is formed upon mon interest in the fund, and that Congress is the they had erected their humble hut, cleared and the reflections and observations of my life, and I trustee, charged with the duty of disposing of the fenced a small field. If the speculator should bid am confirmed in the correctness of them when I lands in such manner as shall best promote the one dollar above the Government price, their home- find that they are in accordance with the views and interests of all, without doing injustice to any. 1 stead was swept away, and their wives and chil-recommendations of President Jackson. That The power of Congress over the public domain dren left without a shelter to protect them from the illustrious patriot, sagacious statesman, and just differs materially from its power over money in li pelting storm. I have witnessed the settler as the man, in his message of the 4th December, 1832, the Treasury. If the best interests of the cestui crier, proceeding in numerical order, approached says: que trust will be promoted by it, it is not only the his tract; ! have gazed upon his anxious counte

" It seems to me to be our true policy that the public right of Congress, but it is its duty to give the nance giving expression to alternate hopes and lands shall cease, as soon as practicable, to be a source of lands away. But we have not the power to col- fears, while his heart beat responsively to his alarm revenue, and that they be sold to spulers in limited parcels, lect money in the form of taxes to give away, for and apprehension. And as his home was struck at a price barely sutficient to reimburse to the United States the conclusive reason that the Constitution has not down to him, I have witnessed the glow of joy

the expense of the present system, and the cost arising

under our Indian compacts." conferred the taxing power for any such purpose, with which his countenance was lit up, as he turned and we cannot appropriate money when collected from the stand and retraced his steps, to convey “ The adventurous and hardy population of the West, and in the Treasury for any other object than that the good news to his expectant wife and children,

besides coniributing their equal share of taxation under our for which we were authorized to collect it. With that his improvement had become the family impostas stem, bar, in the progress of our Government, for this view of the power and duty of Congress over homestead. They only can appreciate such a pic- portion or $10,000.000, and of the revenue received therethe subject, I proceed to consider the merits of the ture and realize its truth, who have felt the sting from but a small part has been expended among them.

When, to the disadvantage of their situation in this resprel, bill. The object sought to be attained by the bill of poverty, and witnessed the scenes I have at

we add the consideration that it is their labor alone which is, that every head of a family shall have and en- tempted to describe.

gives real value to the lands, and that the proceeds arising joy one hundred and sixty acres of the public land And, sir, it is no fancy sketch that I have pre- from their sale are distributed chiefly ainong States which upon his or her making the application in due sented to your view, but one of the sober realities had not originally any claim to them, and which have enform, taking an oath that he or she is the head of of everyday frontier life. Nay more, sir, the joyed the undivided emolument arising from the sale of their

own lands, it cannot be expected that the new States will a family, and not the owner of any estate in lands, settler is honest, kind-hearted, and hospitable. If

remain longer contented with the present policy after the and with the additional requirement that the appli- | the stranger or weary traveler calls on him, he is payment of the public debt. To avert the consequences cant shall occupy and cultivate the same for five “ taken in,” not in any doubtful sense, but with which may be apprehended from this cause, 10 put an end

forever to all partial and interested legislation on this subjeci, consecutive years; that after all these requisites || cheerfulness and a hearty welcome, which more

and to afford to every American citizen of enterprise the shall

have been complied with, a patent shall issue. than compensates for his homely fare. He never opportunity of securing an independent freehold, it seems These are the leading features of the bill.

forgets a favor, either from an individual or the o ine, therefore, best to abandon the idea of raising a future Mr. President, I am by no means certain that Government. I recollect an occasion at a land tevenue out of the public lands." it would not be a money-making operation, having sale, of being requested by some settlers to bid off This statement of facts made by President in view its effects on 'imposts, to give to actual || their lands for them. I did so. Some years after. || Jackson in his annual message is, io my mind, settlers the public lands, in preference to the pres- | wards I was canvassing for the office of circuit unanswerable, and I now propose to adopt his ent mode of selling them at $1 25 per acre. Bear || judge. On approaching a certain neighborhood, I recommendation. Twenty years after its delivery in mind that the Government has adopted the 1 met a man with whom I was unacquainted, but I find it to be as true in fact and sound in principrinciple of raising revenue for its support al- | when I made myself and the object of my visit ple as it was on the day it was read to the two most exclusively from duties on imports.' Then known, he remarked that I need not go into his Houses of Congress. I shall at the proper time go with me to the dwelling of the poor man, who | neighborhood seeking votes; that they had learned move to strike out from the enacting clause of the feels that he is but a tenant at will either of the || that I was a candidate; that they remembered me bill and insert the following as a substitute: Government or of a wealthy speculator. Observe as having aided some of the seulers in purchasing

That all of the public lands of the United States shall be that man toiling for years upon a rented farm; he | their homes, and that they all intended to vote for

subject 10 sale and entry at one dollar per acre, and any pays one third of the proceeds of his labor to his me. I did not lose a vote at that box. I allude portion which shall have been in market for five years or landlord, and nine years out of ten he secures but to this incident, in passing, to prove the truth of upwards, prior to the time of application to enter the saine

under the provisions of this act, and still remaining unsold, a scanty subsistence for his family. His improve my remark, that these people are never ungrateful

shall be subject to sale at the price of seventy five cents per ments, repairs, and cultivation of the soil, are car. Sir, I have not overstated the attachment of the

acre; and all the lands of the United States that shall bave ried on from year to year to meet present wants. settler to his homestead. If misfortune overtakes been in market for ten years or upwards, as aforesaid, and Not knowing what a day may bring forth, his him, he will surrender all his other property before still remaining unsold, shall be subject to sale at fify cents labors look not to the future for their fruition. his homestead. A lady will yield to her husband's have been in market for fifteen years or upwards, as afore

per acre; and all of the lands of the United States that shall But, sir, let some fortunate turn in his affairs oc- creditors her carriage, and other valuables almost said, and still remaining unsold, shall be subject to sale at cur, so that he is enabled to secure a freehold in without a murmur, but when you come to take the twenty-five cents per acre; and all of the lands of the Unihis own right, and you will see him work with homestead, that spot which has become endeared

ted Siates that shall have been in market for twenty years

and upwards, as aforesaid, and still remaining unsold, shall new energy. His improvements are made with a to her by so many associations, the deep-drawn

he subject to sale at ten cents per acre; and all lands of the view to permanence, knowing that he, and those sigh and the unbidden tear attest the strong hold United States that shall have been in market for twenty-five who are most dear to him, will reap the benefits | it has upon the human heart.

years or more, shall be subject to sale ai five cents per acre: of his labors in years to come. His farm is en- Mr. President, I cordially approve the object of provided, This section shall not be so construed as to er

tend to lands reserved to the United States, in acts granting larged, his property improves, he begins to count this bill, and appreciate the anxiety of its friends

laud to States for railroad or other internal improvements, the years when his orchard will yield its various for its passage, and I think I shall not fall behind or to mineral lands held at over one dollar and twenty-fivé fruits, his garden blooms, his children are educa- | them in any proper effort to make glad the hearts cents per acre.

Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That upon every ted, he has artificial wants which he knew not of the poor. But neither this, nor any other object

reduction in price, under the provisions of this act, the ocbefore, he is able to purchase and pay for imported good in itself, should be attained at the expense of cupant and settler’upon the lands shall have the right of pregoods, and by these means the receipts in your justice. I have some objections to the bill, which emption at such graduated price, upon the same terms, Treasury are swelled far beyond his contribution I shall proceed to state. In the first place, it is not conditions, restrictions, and limitations upon which the pub of two hundred dollars for his one hundred and founded on the proper basis. I respectfully sub

lic lands of the United States are now subject to the right

of preemption, until the next graduation or reduction shall sixty acres of land, which when once paid, he mit, that the correct principle for the disposition

take place; and it not so purchased, shall again be subject never pays again.

of this trust fund, is io sell it to actual soutlers at to right of preemption for iwelve months as before, and so As many of the Senators from the older States | cost. Let us so dispose of it as to provoke no on from time to time, as reductions take place: Provided, are not personally acquainted with the characters complaints from the old States, that they have

That nothing in this act shall be so construed as to inter of those who are intended to be the beneficiaries | paid for these lands, and the new States have | fere with any right which has or may accrue by virtue of of this bill, and with the privations they are com- reaped the benefits of them. "Graduate the price and get granting preëmption to actual settlers upon public pelled to endure, I shall be pardoned for advert- | according to their value by such a scale as will c. 10. And be it further enacted, That any person aping briefly to them. In the first place, your lands restore to the Treasury every dollar of the cost of porioz enter any of the aforesaid lands under the provia: are absolutely worthless in the wilderness, until acquisition, survey, sale, and incidental expenses; required to uske alfidavit before the register or receiver of

the proper lana fice, that he or she enters the same for his the pioneer prepares the way for others. By his but let not the Government turn land spoonlator enterprise and labor he makes the settlement at- Every principle our citizens, forbid it. Tacknowls cultivation, or for the spor'an adjoining farı or plantation,

or her own use, alt for the purpose of actual settlement and tractive, and your contiguous lands.vale n. edge the plausibility of the claim of the old States to Thin Clientes Mis wovernment. But when you add a portion of the proceeds of sales ofthe public lands. States, under the provisions on his act, more than three

said entry, he or she has "int acquired from the l'hited to this, that our complex yet model Government But sir, it seems to me that if the people of those

hundred and twenty acres according to the established suris maintained and supported by the confidence States will reflect upon the privations and coils of

veys; and if any person or persons taking such oath or affi. and affection of the people, we see that it is the the early settlers in the new States in making the

davit shall swear falsely in the premises, he or she shall be highest duty of the Government, no less than its lands valuable—if they will recollect that these set

subject to all the pains and penalties of perjury : Provided, true policy, to afford every facility for its citizens

That any person entitled to a preomplion shall be author tlers are their children, (for the new States are to become freeholders, because by having an in- ! composed of emigrants from the old,) they will

ized to enter forty acres of the public land, to include the

dwelling-louse, at ten cents per acre.” terest in the soil, you increase their interest in the come to the conclusion to which I have arrived, Government.

Mr. President, in the amendment which I shall I have witnessed scenes at land sales that con

that the lands should not be sold on speculation. | propose, I have preserved the principle set forth in vinced me of the love of the settler to his house.

There is something abhorrent to every generous General Jackson's message. "If it possesses any I have seen men attend such sales who had en- ulating upon the homesteads of her citizens, and graduation proposed will certainly reimburse the

mind in the idea of this Federal Government spec- merit it is due to his memory, not to me. The countered all the toils, hardships, and privations of that class of her citizens, too, who have the Treasury. 'I think it will rather exceed it. But á frontier life; who, knowing the Government price, strongest claim upon her paternal regard and it is impossible to arrive at any certainty either as had managed, by pinching economy, to save barely ! fostering care.

to the amount of the expenditures or the receipts

320 CONG..... 20 Sess.

The Homestead Bill-Mr. Adams,

SENATE,

ance,

under a graduation system, such as I propose. surveyed and brought into market, every tract States. Another party, greater in numbers, reWe know, however, that the receipts into the worth the Government price is entered and paid sisted the policy, and appealed to the people upon it. Treasury from the sales of the public domain for in less than five years, and the sales after that Their opposition to it was ingrafted upon their amounted to upwards of one hundred and thirty- test of its value are owing to the improvements of platform of principles, and was sustained by the one millions of dollars in 1847, and now amounts the pioneer settlers, by which an enhanced value popular verdict. There it stands yet, with the to near one hundred and forty millions. We is imparted to the contiguous lands. In a vast seal of the people reversing the policy of distribu. know, 100, that the sales of the lands ceded by the number of instances, these contiguous lands be tion. It cannot be denied that this bill just alluded Chickasaws, where alone the graduation principle come necessary to enlarge the farms of the settlers to, violates the spirit and intent of ihat feature has been tested, and the price of the land reduced for stock ranges, &c., when, in fact, the lands are in the platform of principles to which I have reto twelve-and-a half cents per acre, has resulted in not worth, intrinsically, the money paid for them. ferred.' It is substantially the distribution system, bringing into the Treasury a larger sum than the In this way, and for these reasons, the Gov but in a much more objectionable form. The sales in the same extent of territory anywhere else ernment has extorted millions from her citizens. Whig party proposed to divide the proceeds. The has done. Sir, the practical operations of the gradu- I trust no one desires to see it longer continued. Bennett bill proposes a division of the lands, ation system in the Chickasaw cession has often My proposition is a more liberal one to the set thereby making freeholders of the old States and been the subject of discussion in both ends of this tler ihan any that has been heretofore made. tenants of the new. The soil of a sovereign State Capitol, and" until the system becomes general, | Since the origin of our land system, public senti. is proposed to be owned and controlled by thirty and its beneficent influence is made to spread over ment has undergone a great change with regard other States; the land to be leased, renied, or sold your whole public domain, it will continue to be to the true policy of disposing of the lands. The for the highest possible price, according to the adduc d as triumphant proof that it is the true first plan was to sell the lands to the highest bid whim or caprice of the proprietor. Perhaps the principle for the disposition of the public lands. der, giving the occupant no preference by pre Senators from Maine could tell us something of It is owing to this system that the Chickasaw emption or otherwise, and fixing the minimum the practical effects. counties in Mississippi have become so densely price at two dollars per acre. This policy was We have heard much said from time to time on populated. Thousands of men, poor, no doubí, | pursued till 1820, when it yielded to a more just the subject of State sovereignty and Federal enbui happy, contented, and prosperous, are now and liberal one, by which the price was reduced croachments; but, in my humble judgment, there scattered over those counties, whose homestead to $1 25 per acre, and secured a right of preemp. never has been a proposition introduced into either have cost them but twenly dollars. For that sum tion to the actual settler upon payment of that branch of Congress since the adoption of the Conof money they have been enabled to purchase one sum. Much of your lands have been in market stitution, which involves a more outrageous viola. hundred and sixty acres of land-noi rich land, it at that price for thirty years, and remain unsold, tion of the just rights of the States, than the bill is true-but having ten or twenty acres of fair for the obvious reason that it is not worth the to which I have alluded. I have ever been opposed cultivable soil, on which they are now supporting i price you ask for it, and I might safely add, never to the doctrine of nullification; but, sir, if any their families. Search the habitable globe, and I will be, unless in the progress of railroad im law passed by Congress would justify such resistdefy you to find a country where a man is in the provements, a demand should arise in specially

it would be this. For the same reason, I enjoyment of civil and religious liberty, that opens favored districts of country. The man who would opposed another bill on your calendar, known as such facilities to your citizens for becoming free- || hold his rich and poor, valuable and valueless Miss Dix's bill. No one appreciates more highly holders, as the Chickasaw counties have for many lands at the same inflexible price, would be con than I do the motives of that most benevolent years presented, in consequence of the system of sidered a very unwise land operator. What would lady and public benefactress; but I can never graduation in the price of ihose lands.

be unwise in an individual, seeking to increase his consent to make a donation of lands within a sov. Sir, I think my proposition has many advant own gains, is surely still more so in the Govern- ereign State, to a corporation without its limits. ages over the House bill. In the first place, it does ment, which does not or should not seek to re When this is done, you retard the settlement of no injustice to any State or individual in the plenish its Treasury at the expense of the best the country, corrupt the morals of the people, deUnited States. In the nexi, it does full justice to class of its citizens.

press the énergies, and violate the sovereignty of a meritorious class of our citizens, and I believe, if As the price was reduced from $2 to $1 25 thir ihe State. Congress has in several instances dothe sense of those who are intended to be bene- ty-three years ago, it is quite time that it should nated alternate sections of the public land to aid in filed by the act were taken upon the subject, a be reduced to $1 per acre, and then graduated as the construction of railroads. This was right and large majority of them would prefer my amend- ) proposed by my amendment. If you will adopt || proper, because the lands penetrated by those imment to the original bill. The bill gives to the this amendmeni as a substitute for the original provements are thereby enhanced in values sought man who has no land one hundred and sixty bill, and the House concurs, as I have no doubt it after and sold, and the reserved lands sell for more acres, while his neighbor, who by his industry will, not a whisper of discontent will be heard than the whole would have done without the immay have secured a tract of forty acres, is exclu- | throughout this broad land. Our people have never provement. I am not informed how it is in other ded from its benefits because he is not a landless been known to complain of Congress for doing i States, but the greater portion of the lands granted man in the common parlance of the day, and must justice to her citizens. By the adoption of this to the Mobile and Ohio railroad, as well as those pay $150 to increase his tract to the size of that of amendment you will do not only an act of justice, i reserved to the Government, were not worth one his more fortunate neighbor. It is only necessary | but you place homesteads within the reach of cent per acre, and never would have sold for even to state the objection for every one to see its forcé. || thousands who cannot obtain them under the pres- | that, without the improvement; but with it, they Again: the bill requires the party to reside on the ent law. And what is equally as important, you will be valuable. Beside this, the State of Missis. land for five consecutive years before he can be present him no temptation to forfeit his self-re sippi has already paid into your Treasury imcome entitled to his patent. This feature of the spect. Men do not like to become paupers upon mense profits on the entire cost of the lands sold bill is very objectionable to many persons. While the Government, unless I have utterly mistaken within that State. perhaps every man who settles a tract of new land, l the characters of those with whom I have lived all If I have not greatly deceived myself, Mr. Presfully expects to occupy it continuously for five my life. I firmly believe that this amendment || ident, I have shown that if the amendment I years, yet it is very repugnant to him to take it would not only be more acceptable to the people | propose should be adopted, strict justice will be clogged with such a condition. He wishes to be generally, but would be hailed with more joy than done to every interest concerned, yet so tempered at liberty to sell out and settle a new place, should | any act of Congress that has passed within the with mercy that it will be acceptable to this great his location prove unhealthy or'the neighborhood || last thirty years.

nation; that it will reimburse the Treasury every not be agreeable to him, or for any other cause Mr. President, it must be obvious to all who dollar expended in the acquisition, survey, and that suits his fancy. He would greatly prefer have closely observed the indications of public sale of the lands; that it will relieve the Governpaying the price I propose, with the privilege of opinion, that something must be done with the ment from the odious character of land speculator selling at pleasure, rather than have his land given public lands; some radical change in our policy upon its own citizens; that it will augment the to him embarrassed with the restrictions of the with regard to their disposition must be made. revenues of the Government by the increased bill. And more especially is this true, when his You have an overflowing Treasury, arising from prosperity of our citizens, it being the consumer homestead can only be obtained by the oath of in duties on imports amply sufficient to meet the of goods who pays the duties; and that it will be solvency. Sir, I have always had an unconquer most extravagant wants of the Government. We really more acceptable to those who are intended able aversion to the insolvent debtor's oath. It is have, therefore, no excuse for persevering in the to be its beneficiaries than the original bill. It galling enough to the just pride of an unfortunate policy of selling these lands at a profit; no just will be carrying out the humane recommendation man to be compelled to admit his poverty to cred reason for refusing to act liberally with the setiler. of President Jackson, made twenty years ago. itors, and those who are yet more keenly to suffer I am confident that if this subject could be fully | It is substantially the homestead bill without its by it-- wife and children; but it is cruel to compel understood, and fairly presented to the American objectionable features. It will benefit a much or require him to go before an officer of the law | people, and their wishes could be expressed there larger class of citizens. It will preserve the selfand swear to it. Many proud-spirited men who on at the polls, that nine-tenihs of them would respect of those who are to enjoy its benefits, and would be entitled to the provisions of this act, say with General Jackson, sell for such sum as will not be opposed by the people of the old States would refuse it on such terms.

wilt reimbuse the Treasury, but not on specula or the new. These, in my judgment, are sufficient The graduation principle was recommended by || tion. And if the other sex, man's better half, reasons for the adoption of my amendment. President Polk, advocated by Mr. Calhoun and were consulted, their vote would be unanimous. Before concluding, I will invite the attention of Mr. Walker, passed at different times by this I have said, and repeat, that something must be the Senate to a significant fact connected with this body, and has been sustained by such unanswer done.

question. Since this bill has been pending in this able arguments in this and the other branch of It will be recollected that we have on our calen- body, many petitions have been presented prayCongress, to say nothing of its practical advant dar a bill passed by the House, known as the ing its passage; but, so far as I recollect, not one ages where it has been tested, that I deem it useless Bennett bill, which provides for a distribution of petition has been introduced here from any point to consume the time of the Senate in offering the lands among the States. There was a time south of Philadelphia or west of Cincinnati, exfurther arguments of my own, or in repeating in our political history when a great party in this cept Arkansas. Why is this? How comes it, those of others, in its support. Every Senator is country passed an act for the distribution of the that the people from the land States as they are aware of the fact, that when a new country is proceeds of sales of the public lands among the II called, are not asking the passage of this' bill?

THE HOMESTEAD BILL.

320 Cong....20 Sess.
The Homestead BillMr. Dodge, of Iowa.

SENATE. The reason is to be found in the fact, that the lobby or special delegates to meet Senators and such as we could wish-for it contains hateful people of those States do not desire the lands upon Representatives whenever they go without the bar restrictions coupled with onerous conditions—but the terms proposed, and that these petitions origin of their respective Houses, to make interest for yet much that is good, and above all, an acknowlate in cities crowded to excess.

them. Several times during the last twenty-five edgment of the homestead principle. Therefore Mr. WALKER. I have introduced several or thirty years, their friends have succeeded in I hope the honorable Senator will not interpose petitions in favor of the passage of the bill-one passing through one or the other House of Con-objection to the bill, but rather aid its passage from the Senator's own State.

gress measures similar to this, but not receiving through the Senate. Mr. ADAMS. I had not noticed the introduc- the sanction of both, they fell between them; and Mr. President, there are few subjects—I think tion of the petitions referred to by my friend from I say, with feelings of the deepest apprehension no other-of more interest to our nation and Wisconsin. So many were introduced from Bos- | and regret, that I believe this, the best bill of the people than that introduced incidentally by the ton and New York, the others escaped my no- kind which has passed either branch of Congress, | amendment of the Senator from Wisconsin, (Mr. tice.

is in imminent peril from the inattention or indif- || Walker,) and discussed at length by the SenaSir, we of the West and Southwest desire ference of some of those who ought to be its best tors from Mississippi and Georgia, (Messrs. nothing by way of charity at the hands of the friends. I repeat, that twenty-five or thirty years | Adams and CharlTON)--the best disposition of Government. We desire to purchase your public ago the Senate of the United States passed å bill the public lands. I had hoped, bui it seems lands, but we want them at reasonable prices. to donate the refuse lands to such persons as from the course of argument of the Senator from Grant us this, and by our industry we will be would actually inhabit and cultivate the same for Georgia (Mr. Charlton) vainly hoped, that the come independent, self-sustaining freeholders, and a period much shorter than that fixed in the bill | day had passed by when it was necessary to enter enrich the National Treasury.

spoken at. After seven years' struggle of the into any formal argument to establish the genpeople's Representatives in the other House, thaterally-conceded fact, that the independence, combill, thus assailed in advance in this body, passed, fort, and wealth of a nation depend more upon

And I now have in my eye its indefatigable and its success in agriculture than in any other branch SPEECH OF HON. A. C. DODGE,

indomitable author, an esteemed friend and mem- of human industry. It is the farmer who feeds

ber of the House, (Hon. Andrew Johnson, of the manufacturer, the artisan, the ship-builder, OF IOWA,

Tennessee,] to whom, as one deeply sympathizing the beggar, and the king; and yet how little of IN THE SENATE, February 24, 1853,

with him in sentimeni, I return my thanks as an protection, much less aid, has he ever received from

lowa man. He is the type of the men for whom our Government! The despotisms of the Old In favor of the principles of the Homestead bill. this bill is intended-now a most able and faithful World, in this respect, contrast most favorably

Mr. DODGE, of Iowa, said: Mr. President, that member of Congress, once a mechanic struggling with our Government, considering the day and a discussion upon the merits and principles of the with poverty and working with the hands which generation for which they acted. °From the dishomestead bill should have arisen to-day, and God gave him, and expending that sweat by which covery of the continent of America they adopted upon the amendment now before the Senate, was it was the decree of the Almighty that man should a policy of bountiful munificence in the bestowmost unexpected to me; but the views and opin- | obtain his bread. Cannot those who profess friend- ment of their domains by gratuitous donations of ions I entertain of the measure which has been so ship for the people be willing to take his seven land to those who would settle upon and improve bitterly assailed, forbid that I should sit by in years' labor and exertion at least sufficiently long them. It was not on the strength of their armies silence and permit what has been said to go unan- io try the practical operation of this bill:

or navies; not in the rigor or lenity of the adminswered. Though unexpected, I am not unprepared, Let me tell my friends, the Senators from Geor- istration of their governors-general, intendents, or in my feeble way, to defend the bill. Sir, the prin- gia, (Messrs. Charlton and Dawson,] that I military commandants; nor in their ability to overciple upon which that bill, providing homes for often meet Georgia emigrants in Iowa. His come and subdue the aboriginal įnhabitants of the the landless, is based, is one dear to my heart- colleague will well remember a numerous family New World, that the European potentales expectit has grown with my growth, and strengthened of emigrants, (of the name of Wooddy,) neighbors ed to establish their power on this continent. It with my strength. It was my fortune to have and friends of his, who moved from Dahlonega, in was a wiser system which governed the policy of been born upon the west bank of the Mississippi | Georgia, and were among the very first settlers the statesmen of England, Spain, and France, river, and to have lived in Territories upon the ex- upon the lands acquired from the confederated tribe beginning on the part of Great Britain, with her treme frontier, and next to the aboriginal inhabit of Sacs and Foxes in 1842, in the then Territory of commission at the close of the fifteenth century to ants of the country, until the State of which I am Iowa. The old gentleman was of revolutionary Cabot, the discoverer of North America, and prosnow a resident became a member of the Union. I memory, and it was my great pleasure to succeed ecuted in spirit from that time until now as her prohave thus been enabled to learn something person- in getting him a pension for his services in the War || vincial policy-pursued also in principle by the ally, of the dangers, hardships, and difficulties, | of Independence. He had numerous descendants; other two great Powers since the foundation of their which are incident to the settlement of the public and as an evidence of their deep attachment for the respective land systems on this continent. What domain of this country, and which every individ- || place whence they came, they named a little town were those systems. They were certainly not, in ual who undertakes it has to encounter before he || which they laid off on the publis lands, Dahlonega. many of their provisions, such as we would adopt reaches that spot called a homestead, and which I Could those Georgians, male and female, be at this day. But I think that they were eminently now call upon you, sir, (Mr. Badger in the chair,] | brought as witnesses to the bar of this Senate, wise and judicious in this, that their tendency and others from the land of Macon, to help me to they would testify that which I do now—that if was to encourage the settlement of the country secure to the immigrant settler-not my constituent, there are any people on God's footstool who de- by every means which could induce emigration; by but your own-who, impelled by all the higher serve the helping hand of their Government, it is gratuitous concessions of immense bodies of the and 'nobler impulses of our kind, is seeking to those who go into the wilderness to reclaim it to richest lands upon chosen spots, in anticipation better his condition, and that of the wife and chil- | the use of man, who fell the forest, erect the log that these would be future cities, great commercial dren dependent upon him. That eminently wise cabin, and plow that earth in which has lain points, villages, and the homes of thriving farmand practical statesman, (Mr. Macon,) once said golden harvests ever since the flood. Let me tell ers, and of an active and busy population. These that he never saw an emigrant wending his way the junior Senator from Georgia that that voice of grants were not merely restricted to small parcels over the hills of North Carolina towards the val- his, musical with poetry as it is, would fall most for individual accommodation, but frequently of ley of the Mississippi, that he did not wish him unharmoniously upon the ears of those former immense extent, designed for the reception of hun“God speed;" that he knew the landless poor neighbors and friends of his colleague.

dreds of families, to whom it could be subdivided man, who thus quit the place in which his lot had Senators, when they speak of the gift made by in small allodial allotments. It has become a fixed been cast-your State, if you please, (respectable the homestead bill, should be reminded that it is | principle of the public law, conceded and estabin everything, and in some respects advantageously no gift at all. You, who claim the ownership of one lished by the civilized Powers of the world, that situated)—and seeking a home in the rich and fertile billion four hundred millions of acres, stretching the possessory claims of wandering tribes must West, was on the road which would probably lead with slight exceptions from the Balize to the forty- | yield to the natural and revealed rights of man, to independence and prosperity for himself and his ninth parallel of north latitude, and to the Pacific which confers on him the privilege of reducing the children.

ocean, are called upon-to do what? To settle earth into possession, and of gaining from it his Sir, let me tell you that the bill which has to- those great forests and desert prairies in the West, subsistence by the sweat of his brow. day met the taunts and jeers of the Senator from by saying to the man who may be wearing out his I have said that on the part of Great Britain Georgia, (Mr. CHARLTON,) who has ridiculed it in body upon the poor hills of North Carolina, East this principle was recognized in the commission to both poetry and prose, is a measure long held dear Tennessee, or elsewhere, and who is obliged to Cabot, conferring the right of discovery and posto the hearts of western people-to the tenant and give a large portion of his labor to some landlord, session, notwithstanding the occupancy of the Inpoor man of every Staie in the Union, who is if you go to this distant domain, settle and improve dians, and asserting the superiority and priority struggling to make a living by the sweat of his it, you may, after five years' actual residence and of absolute right over them of every Christian face. These, and such as these it is, who call for cultivation, obtain a patent for the one hundred people. The British charter, in the last quarter this measure. More than twenty-five years ago acres thus occupied and improved. Can that which of the sixteenth century, to Sir Humphrey Gilbert, the Senate passed the bill of the late eminently is so well, so dearly earned, be called a gift? I affirmed the same right; and the first permanent distinguished Senator from Missouri, (Mr. Ben- think not.

English settlement was under a charter at the beton,) graduating the price of the public lands and The homestead bill is not now before us, but if | ginning of the seventeenth century from the Britmaking donations to actual settlers, and for that it were, I would beg my friend from Mississippi, ish King to Sir Thomas Gates and his associates, measure the Randolphs and Tazewells of Vir. (Mr. Adams, in all sincerity and earnestness, and of the sea-coast lands, from the thirty-fourth to ginia, and the Macons of North Carolina voted. || with that perfect respect which I entertain for him the forty-fifth degrees of north latitude, which But, sir, by a resort to that system of legislative as a man and for his motives, not to interpose any was shortly afterward followed by an enlarged tactics and opposition, such as the enemies of this obstacle to its passage. I would say to him, charter to the adventurers of the city of London measure seem ever willing to have recourse to, it | Your friends and my friends in the House of Rep- || for colonizing in Virginia, giving them an absowas defeated. The persons for whose benefit this resentatives, after a long and severe struggle, have | lute proprietary right of several hundred miles of bill is intended are not here. They have no succeeded in passing a bill, not in all its features sea-coast, and from sea to sea. The title to these

320 CONG.....20 Sess.

The Homestead Bill-Mr. Dodge, of lowa.

SENATE.

etate:

was....

38,782

40-acre tracts.

lands having been subsequently re-vested in the with conditions and restrictions, the salable quan- | Wisconsin, and numerous other instances of Crown, a new and more enlarged charter was tity as low as forty acres.

absentee landlordism in other western States and granted in the year 1620 to the Plymouth com Almost every one within the sound of my Territories. pany, giving them an absolute right in all the voice knows how bitterly and vehemently some The seliler, only when his necessities demand lands between the fortieth and forty-eighth de of the ablest and most patriotic stalesmen, during it, appears at the door of the Government official grees of north latitude. The New England States nearly the whole of the last quarter of a century, seeking to purchase a home. He finds that imin a great measure have been settled under this have opposed and fought the passage of laws mense tracts, nay whole counties, and almost charter, and in like manner might be traced granting the right of preemption to the pioneer in whole Territories, are thus excluded from actual the progress of British policy, by which other the purchase of his home.

settlement for an ordinary lifetime, and he is English colonies, now integral parts of our Union, Now, what is the attitude in which our own driven further in his pursuit of land, or is forced were traced out and established—the Crown exer Government stands to the subject? Why, we to become a tenant. "Could any system be decising the granting power in all cases where the hold as a Government to the people the position vised more destructive of equal righis and Repubproprietary interest had not been conceded. of a great monopolist land-holder, with an abso- lican principles? In vain will we have eschewed

And so, if we glance at the administration of the lute proprietary right in fourteen hundred millions of || the feudal system, with its relation of lord and vasauthorities of France and Spain in Louisiana acres ! This magnificent estate is parsimoniously sal, if we defeat the homestead bill, and create and notwithstanding that Province was settled by emi- doled out at a fixed price per acre to its own peo continue to issue, as is proposed by numerous gration from Canada, where the feudal principles ple. By this system, and through the medium of mammoth schemes now before us, this

paper curand the ancient French noblesse existed, yet the land warrants with which you have so bountifully rency, called land warrants, to be used as it is, to settlers there held their lands, both under the furnished him, the wealthy speculator is enabled absorb the public domain and regulate the terms French and Spanish regime, by allodial tenures, to seize upon immense tracts of country as they of its sale and settlement. or, in our parlance, by absolute fee-simple right. are brought into market, whole counties perhaps, Excluding the years 1835 and 1836, the averThe spirit of the royal authorities was a liberal and hold them until the stern necessities of an age sales of the public lands from 1796 down to and magnanimous one to the feeble colonist seek- | advancing population, and a resistless tide of set 1847, is about one million and a half of acres per ing a home upon a far-distant territory, and tlement, enable him to command his own price. annum. Owing to an increase in the circulating excluded from the comforts and luxuries of the Look at the ruinous effects of this, growing out medium, but more especially to the enormous parent land. Hence we find that Louis XIV., of the monopolist speculations of 1836, when the issue of land warrants, the sales amounted 10 in whose reign the Province of Louisiana was sales under å bloated paper currency rose up to $4,870,067 during the last fiscal year. Of these first settled, exhibited the utmost liberality to more than twenty-five millions in a single year, and sales nearly three and a half millions of acres those engaged in colonizing the country; and, de was followed by disastrous results. The settler were for bounty land warranta; being an increase parting from the feudal exactions and restraints, became tributary to the capitalist, money was un over the previous years of nearly a million of he fully recognized, first in his charter to Crozat, naturally diverted from its legitimate channels, acres thus absorbed by these warrants, which I in 1712, and afterwards in his grant to the Indian individual and public prosperity was checked, greatly fear are being most extensively used to Company of the West, in 1717, the principles of and, indeed, for the time, almost hopelessly pros pass the title from the Government to the specuallodium, or absolute proprietary rights in the trated. In the commercial changes and revolutions lator. The following letter from the Commin. grantees.

to which, at times, every nation becomes subject, sioner of the General Land Office, bears upon this It might be both interesting and instructive, did there is nothing so certainly calculated to increase point. the occasion permit, to give the details, and to trace the elements of distress and public and private

GENERAL LAND OFFICE, February 12, 1853. out the practice and progress of the great Euro- | mischief, as a system having the authority of law, Sır: In answer to your inquiry, I have the honor to pean colonizing powers on this continent; but suf- which could countenance such speculation.

That the whole amount of lands sold during the years 1844, fice it to say, that the history of the past fully es The whole cost of the public lands to the 1st

1845, 1846, and 1847, was...........

.......8,383,326.66 acres. tablishes the fact, that their policy was conceived | January, 1850, including their purchase, survey, Making a yearly average of... .2,095,831.66 acres. and administered in an enlarged and magnanimous sale and management, was $74,957,879 38.

The whole number of entries during said period spirit. A review, however, of the history of our The aggregate receipts from their sale to the

.155,130

Or a yearly average of.. own system will be more to the point, and will year and month named, was $135,339,093 17. This makes an average of 54 4-100 acres to ench entry, furnish, it seems to me, a strong argument in favor This estimate does not embrace California, Ore showing that a large majority of the entries were in 80 and of what is sometimes sneeringly called in this body gon, New Mexico, or Utah. Deduct the aggre“progress.” It is curious to look back at the gate cost from the aggregate receipts, and we

In the year 1846, there were sold in the Fairfield district,

in Iowa, 180 tracts of 160 acres each, equal to..28,80) acres earliest law passed by Congress for the sale of the have a net balance in favor of the United States of

1,028 " lands of the United States. It provided for their $60,381,213 79.

967

38,680 sale in tracts of four thousand acres each; and did Twenty millions of dollars were paid for Loui

149,720 acres not allow the selling of a smaller quantity, except | siana and Florida. These acquisitions would have

Tota). 2,175

Making an average for each sale of 68 8-10 acres, in cases of fractions created by the angles and been worth more than that amount for their com

With great respect, your obedient servant, sinuosities of the rivers. This law, in effect, was mercial and maritine capacities and advantages,

JOHN WILSON, Coinmissioner, &c. a prohibition to the poor man from even purchas- | and not including the fee-simple of the soil—they,

Hon. A. C. DODGE, Senate. ing a freehold, and enabled capitalists to become if you please, retaining it as Texas has. Deduct This shows the average of sales for the four the exclusive proprietors, and to sell the land to the amount of their cosi, ($20,000,000,) and the years therein named to be about two millions of the cultivator at exorbitant prices, or else force the actual profit to the Government from the sale of acres as the maximum quantity required for an. latter to be tenants under the former.

its domain is eighty million dollars and upwards, nual settlement and cultivation. The absence of The views and opinions of many of our states ($80,381,213 79.) It is proper to make this de all artificial causes exciting speculation in the four men, derived from Great Britain, and which, at that || duction, for the value of the land in Louisiana and years enumerated, and the preponderance of forty day, were impressed upon them with all the force Florida was not the consideration which induced and eighty-acre entries, show that the great body of education and association, make it not surpris- their purchase. The United States, for great na of the land sold was purchased by those who deing that they should have deemed it advantageous tional purposes, needed the control of the mouth sired it for homes and improvement. to create a landed aristocracy; but their error may of the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico. The Now, if the Government of the United States have arisen from accident, or circumstances of same high considerations and wise policy dictated really consulted its own interests in a pecuniary which we have not now a just appreciation. It is the expediency of our acquiring California, with point of view, would it not, instead of making the not, however, uninteresting to take a retrospect of her unrivaled bay and harbor of San Francisco. public lands a source of direct annual profit by the the first awkward attempts at Republican legisla- As a mere question, then, of dollars and cents, the sales producing a revenue now of some two or ihree tion, and to observe how gradually we have shaken | Government might here be willing to stop, for it millions a year, discard that system and throw open off the habits of thought in which we were trained, has been more than reimbursed.

this estate to an industrious and energetic populaand how slowly the shackles of prejudice have Our prosperity and growth as a nation will, in tion, which would give back in exchange a rich and fallen from around us.

my opinion, be greatly accelerated by the adop perpetual stream of wealth, fed by all the elements The first progressive movement from the ori- tion of a different principle: one that will repudiate of a nation's prosperity? But not only in this reginal system of selling large tracts, and on credit, the system of doling out the public lands at a cer spect should we consider ourduties and obligations. was the passage of the act of the 10th of May, || tain number of shillings per acre, as a source of This Government stands in the position of a polic1800, which provided for sales in sections and half revenue and Treasury profit. The new States and ical parent, whose duty it is to watch over, guard, sections. This law was certainly one of a most the Territories will suffer most by continuing this and protect the interests of every citizen. That beneficial tendency, and its passage forms an era system, and especially by the passage of measures duty requires that we should enable every one in the history of this Republic of perhaps greater tending to excite and aggravate it, such as I have within the limits washed by the Atlantic and Pamagnitude and interest than any other in our an before adverted to. The mania of speculation will cific oceans, to secure a farm or homestead for nals. No other act of the Government has ever soon sweep over them like the Sirocco blast, pros

himself and family. That is a generous, nay, just borne so immediately upon the settlement, the trating all within the range of its poisonous and and noble system, which would repudiate this selfrapid improvement, and permanent prosperity of desolating career. These embryo States, so far ish policy of shillings, and look to one which is the western States. Previous to the year 1820, as regards the public domain, will cease to be the more in accordance with the genius of our instituthe United States required two dollars per acre territories of the Union, and become the property tions. Let this Congress of the United States come one fourth of which was paid at the time of pur .of monopolists, possessing their soil, delaying their up to the important subject under a proper sense chase, and the remainder in three equal annual admission into the Union, and thus shaping their of what is due to our people and our country, and installments. This mode of selling did not, how- | destiny for half a century. Witness the deplor by adopting a measure like this they will rescue ever, work well, and was abandoned in the year able condition of Ireland; the sad evils of anti from a state wholly unproductive, thousands of last named for the present system and price of rentism in New York; of non-resident proprie square miles; will convert them to the great pur$1 25 per acre. Since then, Congress has, from torship of the Half-breed lands—so called-in poses of life--thus subserving the ends of our betime to time, modified the system, and reduced, ll lowa; Lord Murray's possessions in western ing; and will add new stars of equal brilliancy to

82,240

66

80 6 40 6

66

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

"It is thus I

those now constituting the galaxy of the American wise to screw it up to the utmost, or even to suffer bidders name, and by the authority of Abbys Mirza, King of PerUnion.

to enhance, according to their eagerness, the purchase of sia, offers to those who shall emigrate to Persia, gratuitous Mr. President, the homestead bill, so called,

objects wherein the expense of that purchase may weaken grants of land, good for the production of wheat, barley,

the capital to be employed in their cultivation. The prin- rice, cotton, and fruits, free from taxes or contributions of comes to us with a strong indorsement from the

cipal revenue which I propose to draw from these unculti- any kind, and with the free enjoyment of their religion, the people's Representatives. It passed the House, vated wastes, is to spring from the improvement and popu- King's object being to improve his country.”

lation of the kingdom ; events infinitely more advantageous after having been before that body for nearly to the revenues of the Crown than the rents of the best

The object here stated by the Persian King, to seven years, during which time it was considered landed estate which it can hold."

improve his country, is one worthy to be observed and discussed in nearly all its aspects and bear- would dispose of the unprofitable landed estates of the and imitated. Shall this Government, the creature ings. It is emphatically a measure of progress,

Crown: throw them into the mass of private property; by of the people, and made for their benefit, be less and one which I think, if enacted into a law, is which they will come, through the course of circulation,

and through the political secretiona of the State, into well wise in its policy, and less generous to its citizens destined to produce benefits to our whole country.

regulated revenue.” * * * " Thus would fall an ex- than the despotismsofthe Old World, or the Repub. In examining the objections which have been pensive agency, with all the influence which attends it." lics of the New? I trust not! Land was given, not urged against this measure, I am astonished to

But I have higher authority than even that of sold, in that country which was the peculiar care perceive that they are but a repetition of those England's great statesman. We are commanded of God, "God gave the earth to the inhabitants which were made against every preemption and in that book which should be the rule of life for thereof." The promised land was a gift to the graduation bill that has ever been brought before all, not to glean either the "sheaf,” the "grape,” children of Israel; one dollar and twenty five Congress since the commencement of our land the "olive," or the “ corners of the land." 'The cents the acre was not demanded for it; nor the system; and yet, at this day, so great has been soil of a country is the gift of the Creator to his actual cultivator expelled from his home, if he the triumph of correct principles, that few, if any, creatures, and 'in a government of the people, possessed not the two hundred dollars to pay down can be found who will raise their voices against that gift should not become the object of specula- , for the one hundred and sixty acres, and his home preëmption or graduation. Try this measure in

tion and monopoly. I am strongiy of the belieľ | sold, under the hammer, to the highest bidder; its practical workings for but a few years, and that these donations will work great good both to land was then the gift of God to man, and to like results, I venture to predict, will be produced. || the Government and the people. All other Gov. woman also; for the daughters of Manasseh were This homestead bill is but a just tribute to agricul- ernments have made them. The domain of the permitted to inherit and partake of the bounty of tare-chat first, noblest, and God-favored calling United States is the only one, I believe, for which the Giver of all good. of man. It is the only measure at all likely to pay was ever demanded in gold and silver, before Mr. President, to show the evils of the present come before Congress for the benefit of those who it could be settled and cultivated. Different was land system, I call your attention to a letter from till the earth for a support; and this consideration, the conduct of other Governments, and even that the Commissioner of the General Land Office reof itself, is sufficient to commend it to my support. of the States owning and: Kentucky, Tennessee, specting the State of Missouri. From this letter it It will not only be an evidence of the favor with

and one third of Ohio, and a considerable portion is seen that that State contains a superficial area of which Congress views the cultivation of the soil, i of Georgia—if my information be correct-were about 65,037 square miles, or 41,623,680 acres; of but it will tend greatly to increase the number of settled by free grants of land. Upper and Lower this quantity 17,125,174 acres have been sold, and those engaged in that pursuit, thus augmenting Louisiana, and the two Floridas, as I have before 188,901 acres absorbed by Spanish and French the productions of our country, and the comfort, remarked, were settled by gratuitous donations grants, leaving 24,309,605 acres unsold upon the independence, and happiness of our people. Some from the Kings of Spain.' Since those countries 30th day of June last, according to the Commisthink that it will destroy the receipt of all reve- have become ours, the early settlers, to whom these sioner's statement now before me. nues from the public domain. In this opinion 1 grants were made, have been harassed and an- Under the present wretched system of disposing do not concur. Indeed, I may say, I fear they noyed by having their titles contested by the Uni- of the public lands, the first sales in Missouri took are mistaken; for I have long been of the opinion ted States officers in the courts, and in every other place in 1818. Thus, if it has taken thirty-four that the best interest of the Republic demand an conceivable manner. Very different has been the years for the Federal Government to sell 17,125,abolition of the auction or private sales of the policy of the conterminous and other Govern | 174 acres, by the same ratio, estimating by the public domain, and that it should be conveyed ments on this continent. Are not the British rule of proportion, it will take forty-eight years only to those who design to settle upon and im- || lands in Canada given at this day to all who will to dispose of the remaining lands in that State. prove it. The gigantic and ruinous speculations come and take them? In 1825, the British Parlia- The 24,309,635 acres, divided by 160, the quantity in the public lands in 1835-136, to which I have be- ment, with a view to the strengthening of a remote given to each settler

under this

bill, would add to fore alluded, can never be forgotten in the history | province, appropriated £30,000 sterling (nearly the population of the State 151,935 land-owning of this country. It was in the year last named | $135,000) to pay the expenses of emigrants moving and tax-paying inhabitants. that the late distinguished Secretary of the Treas- to Canada. 'Look at what Mexico and Texas In Michigan the state of things is even worse, ury, R. J. Walker-then a Senator from Missis- have done. They have given land in immense as is seen from the following letter of the Commis. sippi-brought forward a bill in this body to put quantities to any one who would go and take it sioner of the General Land Office: an end to all speculation in the public domain, || within their limits. It is a well-known historical

GENERAL LAND OFFICE, February 25, 1853. and to restrict its sale to actual settlers and culti- | fact, that a large number of our citizens abandoned SIR: In reply to your inquiries of this date, I have the valors. It was the measure of a statesman, and, this, the land of their nativity, and the freest honor to inform you that the first public sale' of lands in if it had been adopted, would, I humbly con- Government on earth, many years since, about

Michigan was made in the year 1818. From that date to ceive, have wrought great benefits to our whole the time that Austin went to Texas, and accepted

the 30ih June last, a period of thirty-four years, there was

sold and located by land warrants 9,858,670 acres. On the country:

the landed bounty of foreign, and at that time des- 30th June last there remained undisposed of the quantity of The fact, so often mentioned, that a poor man | potic Governments—their own offering none.

19,679,811 acres. Estimating the future by the past, it will can now buy one hundred and sixty acres of land In the West Indies, and all over South America,

require, to dispose of this remaining land, a period of about

sirty-eight years. for $200, is, according to the conceptions of my | the same liberal system of disposing of the public With great respect, your obedient servant, mind, no objection to this bill. There are many | domain has prevailed. I read from a decree of the

JOHN WILSON, Commissioner. thousands of families in this country-good and Republic of Colombia, dated June, 1823:

Hon. A. C. Dodge, U. S. Senate. deserving people-who never saw the day, and “The Senate and House of Representatives of the Re

These are but fair samples of the injury inflicted never will see it, when they will have that sum,

public of Colombia, united in Congress, considering: Ist. upon the West by the present system. Is there or the half, or the fourth of it, ready to pay down That a population, numerous and proportionate to the terri- any Senator so dead to the interests of Missouri for a quarter section, an eighty acre, or a forty tory of a state is the basis of its prosperity and true greatacre tract. I further give it as my earnest belief, ness ; 2nd. That the fertility of the soil, the salubrity of

and Michigan as to wish to prolong this state of the climate, the extensive unappropriated lands, and the

things? that no one hundred and sixty acres, in a state of

free institutions of the Republic, permit and require a nu- To show how much the advantages of this bill nature, on the extreme verge of civilization, is merous emigration of useful and laboring strangers, who, by are overrated, I call attention to the fact that a few worth $200 to him who buys for no other purpose improving their

own fortunes, may augment the revenues than settlement and improvement. I think the of the nation, have decreed :

years since we passed a law granting to settlers “ That foreigners emigrating to Colombia shall receive

in Oregon, free of cost, and on condition of settlepolicy of holding on to the public domain, with a

gratuitous donations of land, in parcels of two hundred ment and five years'occupancy, much larger quan. view to extorting the last dollar from the cultiva. fanegas (about four hundred acres) to each family. That tities of land than are proposed to be given by this tor, unwise and impolitic. I can quote eminent it may be chosen in the middle or the mountainous districts, authority to show that it is so. Hear the great in the regions favorable to the production of sugar, coffee,

bill; and yet you find the people, owing to the cocoa, indigo, rice, cotton, wheat, barley, rye, and all the

abundance of money, caused by the discovery of Edmund Burke, who said, in the British Parlia- varieties of fruits, both of tropical and high latitudes. That gold in California, asking a repeal of the restricment:

five years' cultivation shall entitle a foreigner to naturaliza- tion, and that they be permitted to pay for their " A landed estate is certainly the very worst which the tion. That $1,000,000 be appropriated in aid of agriculture,

lands. Crown can possess."

Such a law has been passed during the to be distributed in loans to industrious farmers.” “ All minute and dis

present session, and those settlers now have their persed possessions-possessions that are often of indeter- Such was the conduct of the free Republics of minate value, and which require a continued personal at

option of purchase or conditional gift. I only retendance-are of a nature more proper for private manageSouth America. All of them did the same;-but

fer to this circumstance to show that the conditions ment than for public administration. They are filter for it is unnecessary to cite their numerous laws to

imposed by the homestead bill are rigorous, and the care of a frugal land steward than of an office in the that effect. Throughout the New World, from Btale." "If it be objected that these lands, at

are so regarded by its beneficiaries—those at Hudson's Bay to Cape Horn, (with the single ex- least of them who are so fortunate as to accumu. present, will sell at a low market, this is answered by showing that money is at a high price. The one balances ception of these United States,) land, the gift of

late the means necessary to pay for their claims the other. Lande sell at the current rate, and nothing can

God to man, is also the gift of the Government to before the expiration of the five years. sell for more. But be the price what it may, a great object those who will improve it. This wise policy has is always answered, whenever any property is transferred not been circumscribed to the New World—it has

The constitutional power to pass the homestead from hands which are not it for that property to those that

bill I regard as clearly conferred. Ite language is: are. The buyer and the seller must niutually profit by such even prevailed in Asia.

"Congress shall have power to dispose of, and make all a bargain; and, what rarely happens in matters of revenue, The King of Persia published, in the London needful rules and regulations respecting, the territory of the relief or the subject will go hand in hand with the profit | newspapers in 1823, a proclamation, from which other property belonging to the United States." of the Exchequer." from the sale of the forest lands will not be considerable I read:

What more needful rule and regulation could be so many have imagined ; and I conceive it would be on. “Mirza Mahomed Saul, Embassador to England, in the established than settlement and cultivation? And

« PoprzedniaDalej »