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vate it. It may be laid down as a maxim, that no measure can avert it, which is not adopted with the approbation and consent of the new States; for the simple reason, that they must soon become the predominant power ; when that which was established against their consent, would be certainly overthrown. Such would be the case with the measure under consideration. If adopted, it must not only be without the consent of those States, but with their strenuous opposition, of which we have had the most conclusive evidence on the present occasion. When moved by its author, as an amendment to this bill, it was violently opposed at the threshold from that quarter, and received but a single vote from the new States. It is not necessary to inquire whether this opposition on their part is reasonable, or not; whether it is the result of mere prejudice, or of deliberate conviction that it is hostile to their interests. The fact itself, that there is an almost universal and determined resistance to the measure on their part, right or wrong, is, of itself, sufficient proof that it cannot be relied on to avert the threatening danger. On the contrary, its necessary effect must be to accelerate and aggravate it. Its adoption would, at once, bring the old and new States into violent conflict, in which the former would be arrayed, almost to a man, in determined effort to overthrow the arrangement, or some more hostile measure. Add to this, that the presidential contest would not fail to run into the controversy, and thus redouble the excitement and animosity, with all the fatal consequences which I have shown must follow from blending the two.

Assuming, then, that the scheme is both objectionable and inefficient, the question again occurs, what ought to be done ? My mind is made up, after the most serious and deliberate reflection, that there is, and can be, but one remedy: to cede-no, that is not the proper, the constitutional word—to dispose of the public lands to the States within the limits of which they respectively lie, on such terms and

under such conditions as shall, at the same time, be just and liberal to the new States and safe to the old. We must, in a word, part with the ownership and administration of the lands lying within the States, leaving those in the territories, and beyond, under the operation of the present system. The evil lies in ownership, and administration, and without parting with them no permanent or effectual remedy can be applied.

But what shall be the terms—what portion of the proceeds of the sale of those lands shall be left to the States, to remunerate them for the expense, trouble, and responsibility of their administration, and what portion shall be paid over to the Government annually as a compensation for the land ? I am not prepared to answer this question. Its decision must depend on a careful and minute examination of all the facts and circumstances of the case. But I am decidedly of the opinion that the portion to be left to the new States ought not only to be ample to cover the trouble, expense, and responsibility of management, but very considerably beyond ; so as to unite their interests with ours, in order to give stability to the arrangement and insure care and fidelity in the management. Resting my estimate of the compensation on these principles, I have supposed that the new States might pay over annually one-half of the gross proceeds of sales to the Government, and have an ample sum left for their compensation. But this is a mere estimate, without sufficient data ; and is, of course, liable to be increased or diminished after a careful calculation founded on facts.

With these suggestions as to the terms, I next proceed to the conditions on which the lands ought to be disposed of. I propose to suggest only the most prominent, without pretending to a full enumeration.

In order to give stability to the arrangement, it will be indispensable that the whole transaction should assume the form of a compact ; and for this purpose, that Congress should pass an act containing the terms and conditions of the transfer; and that each of the new States should pass one, on their part, to be irrevocable; assenting to the same, before it is made. The act of Congress should, of course, determine what part of the proceeds is to be paid annually to the Government, and the time and manner of payment ; and also provide for keeping regular books of accounts, to be open to the inspection of the Government; so that the exact state of the account between it and the States, may, at all times, be ascertained by the former.

The act of Congress should also contain all the prospective provisions which may become necessary in the future administration of the lands under the arrangement; and should then provide that the land laws, as modified by the act, and as far as they are applicable to the new state of things, shall remain unchanged, without the consent of Congress. A provision of this kind would be not less essential to the States, than to the Government. Without it, there could be no stability nor uniformity. Without it, the States would, in a short time, enter into a competition to turn the current of immigration, each towards itself, which would commence by a reduction of price, and end by a loss of the lands. But with the provision proposed, the system would retain its uniformity, and become more stable than at present.

To enforce the faithful execution of the compact, the act should also contain a provision that, in the event of the violation of the conditions of cession, all grants thereafter made by the State should be null and void. This would place the compact under the protection of the courts of the Union, and make it the interest of the State and its citizens to observe it. In this connection, the liberal allowance proposed to be made to the States, in order to unite their interests with ours, would be important. The revenue which they would derive from the land would be applied to roads,

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canals, and other improvements, that would create a powerful interest in favor of the arrangement ; which, with the conditions proposed, and their sense of justice, would insure, I trust, on their part a faithful execution of the compact.

Such, as it appears to me, should be the leading conditions; but, doubtless, there are many others which would be suggested by a full and careful examination of the subject.

This, Mr. President, is the general outline of the measure which I propose as a remedy; and which brings up the important question—Would it accomplish the object intended ; that is, would it arrest the growing conflict between the new and the old States ? Would it prevent the public domain from being converted into a fund to make presidents, and to be squandered away in the struggle ? And, finally, would it substantially, and more effectually than any other measure, secure to the Union the benefit of the public lands lying within the new States ? It is the conviction that it is better calculated to secure these important results, than any other measure that can be devised, which has induced me to present it for consideration; and it is on that issue, exclusively, I intend to rest its fate. All I ask is a calm and impartial investigation, confidently believing it will bear the test, and willing to abide the result. Without attempting to enter on such an investigation now—for which I have not the necessary information, and, if I had, it would not suit the occasion—I propose to limit myself to a few very brief remarks in support of my conviction.

That a measure such as I have suggested, if it should be adopted with the hearty consent of the new States, would arrest the growing conflict between them and the old, and take the public lands out of the vortex of the presidential contest, must be obvious on a little reflection. It would remove the cause of conflict,—the only effectual mode of preventing the threatened danger. Transfer the lands, and the

administration of them, on just and liberal terms, to the States, and close our land offices within their limits, and you will, at once, place the States beyond the reach of the action of the Government, and the influence of Executive control, and would thereby leave both the new and old, as far as the land question is concerned, free from all improper bias in the election of the Chief Magistrate. The only point of conflict that could possibly remain between them in reference to the lands, would be as to the conditions of the cession ; but it may be easily shown, that if the terms should be liberal and satisfactory, in the first instance, to the new States, as I have proposed, they would neither have the disposition nor the interest to disturb the compact ; or if they should, the hazard of losing the lands in consequence would be far less than it would be should the present system be continued. But there may be some who may admit this to be true, and yet object that the advantages which I anticipate from the measure, would be purchased, on the part of the old States, at too great a sacrifice. It would be premature to undertake to answer this objection, before it is ascertained what portion of the proceeds should be left to the States, and what paid over to the Government, and this cannot be done till after a laborious investigation, as has been stated. All I maintain at present is, that the portion allotted to the States should be not only just and liberal, but such as would interest them in preserving the arrangement. Thus far it would be obviously the interest of both parties, as has been shown. In the mean time, I have suggested an equal division of the proceeds, under the belief that it would be satisfactory to the new States, and probably not far from the division which a rigid investigation would establish.

But of one thing I feel assured, that, when the subject is fully examined, it will be ascertained that an apportionment of the proceeds may be fixed on, which will give to the Government a sum per acre as large, or not much less, on all the

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