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houn rose in his place, and read from Gales & Seaton's Register of Debates, in support of his position, the following extract from the speech of Mr. John Randolph of Virginia, in the Senate of the United States, in March, 1826, in reply to General Harrison of Ohio, the subject of the Cumberland road being under consideration :
“Mr. Randolph again rose and said: The gentleman is mistaken if he supposes that I begrudge the people from Ohio the lands within the body of Ohio. I wish that every new State had all the lands within the State, that, in the shape of receiverships and other ways, these States might not be brought under the influence of this ten miles square. In other words, I wish that all the patronage of the Land Office was in the hands of the individual States, and not in the hands of the General Government. I am the friend of State rights, and will cut down the patronage of this General Government, which has increased, is increasing, and must be diminished; or we, the States, shall be not only "shorn of our beams,' Sir, but 'abolished quite."
Mr. Benton then rose, and read the following extract from a speech of Mr. Van Buren on the same subject, delivered in the Senate on the 18th of May, 1826 :
“Mr. Van Buren said: The subject of the public lands was becoming daily more and more interesting, and would occupy much time in legislation. It extended the patronage of the Government over these States to a great extent; it subjected the States in which those lands were situated to an unwise and unprofitable dependence on the Federal Government. Mr. V. B. said he should vote for every call on that subject, to enable them at some future day to act understandingly on it. No man could render the country a greater service than he who should devise some plan by which the United States might be relieved from the ownership of this property by some equitable mode. He would vote for a proposition to rest the lands in the States in which they stood, on some just and equitable terms as related to the other States of the Confederacy. He hoped that, after having full information on the subject, they would be able to effect that great object. He believed that if those lands were disposed of at once to the several States, it would be satisfactory to all.”
Mr. Benton also read from the Senate Journal of May 20, 1826, the following motion, as having been submitted by Mr. Tazewell of Virginia, to the effect as stated :
“Mr. Tazewell submitted the following motion,
" Resolved, That it is expedient for the United States to cede and surrender to the several States, within whose limits the same may be situated, all the right, title, and interest of the United States to any lands lying and being within the boundaries of such States respectively, upon such terms and conditions as may be consistent with the due observance of the public faith, and with the general interest of the United States."
On the subject of graduating the price of the public lands, Mr Tazewell said, in 1828, in his place in the Senate:
“ That he was pleased with the plan of the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Benton), but he thought it ought to extend further. He would wish to have the arrangement something like this: while the lands are at the highest minimum, one dollar, allow the actual settlers to have the pre-emption right at seventy-five cents; when they are at seventy-five cents, allow actual settlers to enter them at fifty cents; and so on down to the lowest. This, he thought, would be productive of a good effect, as it would be a continued encouragement to actual settlers, and give them an advantage over other purchasers.”
After the reading of these extracts, the vote was taken on Mr. Calhoun's proposition, as submitted by Mr. Young, and resulted as follows:
Yeas :-Messrs. Allen and Tappan of Ohio, Anderson and Nicholson of Tennessee, Benton and Linn of Missouri, Calhoun of South Carolina, Clay and King of Alabama, Fulton and Sevier of Arkansas, Lumpkin of Georgia, Mouton and Nicholas of Louisiana, Norvell of Michigan, Pierce of New Hampshire, Roane of Virginia, Robinson and Young of Illinois, and Walker of Mississippi—20.
Nays:-Messrs. Bates and Webster of Massachusetts, Bayard and Clayton of Delaware, Buchanan and Sturgeon of Pennsylvania, Clay and Crittenden of Kentucky, Dixon and Knight of Rhode Island, Graham and Mangum of North Carolina, Henderson of Mississippi, Hubbard of New Hampshire, Huntington and Smith of Connecticut, Ker and Merrick of Maryland, Phelps and Prentiss of Vermont, Porter of Michigan, Preston of South Carolina, Rives of Virginia, Ruggles and Williams of Maine, Smith and White of Indiana, Southard and Wall of New Jersey, and Tallmadge and Wright of New-York-31.
Of the eighteen Senators from the nine new States, fourteen voted
for the amendment; and four, Messrs. Smith and White of Indiana, Mr. Henderson of Mississippi, and Mr. Porter of Michigan, voted against it.
IN SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES.
Twenty-Sixth Congress and Second Session, January 30th, 1841. Submitted by Mr. Young of Illinois, and ordered to be printed,
Mr. Calhoun's Land Bill, to dispose of the public lands to the new States in which they are situated. Proposed by Mr. Young as an amendment submitted by Mr. Crittenden,
to recommit, with certain instructions, the bill (S. 28)“ to establish a permanent prospective pre-emption system in favor of settlers on the public lands who shall inhabit and cultivate the same, and raise a log cabin thereon,” viz. : Strike out all after the word “report,' in the second line, and insert the following as an amendment to the original bill:
A provision to dispose of the public lands within the limits of the new States, to the following effect:
That all the public lands within the States of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan, with the exceptions of the sites of fortifications, navy and dock yards, arsenals, magazines, and all other public buildings, shall, after the thirtieth day of June, eighteen hundred and forty-two, be disposed of to the States within the limits of which they are respectively situated, they having preriously complied with the following conditions :
First. That the said States shall severally pass acts, to be irrevocable, that they will monthly, as the sales of the said lands shall progress, pay into the treasury of the United States, at the most convenient places of deposit, and to such officer as may be appointed to receive the saine, sixty-five per cent. on the gross amount of the sales of such lands, including under sales, grants, and donations by the States; estimating the lands at the selling price at the time of the grant or donation, on or before the first day of February of each succeeding year.
Secondly. That the minimum price, as now fixed by law, shall remain unchanged until the thirtieth day of June as aforesaid ; but, after that period, the price may be reduced by the States respectively, according to the following scale: all lands theretofore offered at public sale, and then remaining unsold ten years or upward, preceding the thirtieth day of June aforesaid, may be reduced, by said States, to a price not less than one dollar per acre ;
and all lands that may have been offered at public sale, and remaining unsold fifteen years or upward, preceding the said thirtieth day of June, eighteen hundred and forty-two, may thereafter be reduced by said States to a price not less than seventy-five cents per acre; and all lands that may have been offered at public sale, and remaining unsold twenty years or upward, preceding the said thirtieth day of June, eighteen hundred and forty-two, may then be reduced by said States to a price not less than fifty cents per acre; and all lands that may have been offered at public sale, and remaining unsold twenty-five years or upward, preceding the said thirtieth day of June, eighteen hundred and forty-two, may thereafter be reduced by said States to a price not less than twenty-five cents per acre, and all lands that may have been offered at public sale, and remaining unsold thirty years or upward, preceding the said thirtieth day of June, eighteen hundred and forty-two, shall be ceded immediately to the States in which said lands are situate: Provided, That all lands which shall remain unsold after having been offered at public sale for ten years, and which do not come under the above provisions, shall be subject to the provisions of pre-emption, graduation, and disposition aforesaid, at the respective periods of ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, and thirty years, after said sale, commencing from the expiration of ten years after the same had been offered at public sale.
Thirdly. That the lands shall be subject to the same legal subdivisions in the sale and survey as is now provided by law, reserving for each township and fractional township the sixteenth section, or the substitute, for the use of schools, as heretofore provided by law; and the land not yet offered for sale, shall be first offered by the State at public auction, except in cases of pre-emption, and be sold for cash only in the manner now provided by law. And any land now or hereafter remaining unsold after the same shall have been offered at sale at public auction, shall be subject to entry for cash only, according to the graduation which may be fixed by the States respectively, under the provisions of this act; and that the acts of Congress which may be in force at the time of assenting to this act shall remain unchanged, except as modified by this act, unless with the assent of Congress: Prorided, That any of the said lands may, after they shall have become subject to private entry, be sold at the option of the purchaser, in quarter sections, without any limitation what
Fourth. This disposition of public lands, together with the portion of the sales to be retained by the States respectively, under the provisions of this act, shall be in full of the five per cent. fund, or any part thereof, not already accrued to any State; and the said State shall be exclusively liable for all charges that may hereafter arise from the surveys, sales,
and management of the public lands, and extinguishment of Indian title within the limits of said States, respectively.
Fifth. That, on a failure to comply with any of the above conditions, or a violation of the same, on the part of any of the said States, the cession herein made to the State, failing to comply with or violating said conditions shall be thereby rendered null and void; and all grants or titles thereafter made by said State, for any portion of the public lands within the limits of the same, ceded by this act, shall be, and are hereby declared null and void, and of no effect whatever.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That, upon every reduction in the prices of said lands, which shall take place by the graduating process of this bill, the legislatures of the several States in which the lands are situated shall, at their discretion, have power to grant to the respective occupants or settlers upon any of said lands, rights of pre-emption at such graduated or reduced prices; which rights shall extend to a period of ninety days from and after the dates at which the respective graduation shall take place; and any lands not taken up by the respective occupants or settlers within that period, shall be liable to be entered or purchased by any person, until the next graduation or reduction in price shall take place, when it shall, if not previously purchased, be again subject to the right of pre-emption for ninety days, as before; and so on, from time to time, as said reductions shall take place.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That whenever the President of the United States shall be officially notified that any of the States aforesaid has passed an act in compliance with the above conditions, it shall be his duty, after the thirtieth day of June aforesaid, or forthwith after the passage of said act, if passed subsequent to that period, to adopt such measures as he shall think proper to close the land-offices, including the surveying department, within the limits of said State; and that the commissions of all officers connected therewith shall expire on a day to be fixed by him, but which day shall not be beyond six months after the thirtieth day of June aforesaid, or, if subsequent thereto, from the day he received the official notification of the passage of said act.
Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That on such notification being made, the said State shall be relieved from all compacts, acts, or ordinances, imposing restrictions on the right of said State to tax any lands by her authority subsequent to the sale thereof, ceded by this act ; and all maps, titles, records, books, documents, and papers, in the General Land Office at Washington, relative to said lands, or duplicates thereof, where the originals cannot be properly transferred, shall be subject to the order and disposition of the executive of said State, in such manner as the legislature of said States may respectively appoint.