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action of the causes already explained ? This is the difficult question. In answer,

I say, we must do as we are often compelled to do in our progress through life--accommodate ourselves to circumstances; to mitigate evils we cannot overcome, and retard or lessen those we cannot prevent, Such are the laws to which beings of our limited powers and control over events must necessarily yield.

Without, then, undertaking the impossible task of arresting the tide of emigration or expelling the settlers, I would advise the adoption of the most judicious and efficient measures for converting them into freeholders, with the least sacrifice consistent with effecting that object. The first step towards this should be to unite the interests of this Government with those of the States within which the lands lie, so as to combine the power and influence of the two for their preservation. Without it nothing can be done. If they should not be united, the necessary consequence would be, that the interest of the States would be invariably found to be opposed to that of the Government, and its weight thrown on the side of the settlers on all questions between them of which we have daily proof in our proceedings. In the end, their united power and influence would prevail. If this indispensable step be not taken in a short time, instead of graduation and pre-emption, we shall have a demand, not to be resisted, for donations and grants to the settlers. A leading inducement with me to dispose of the lands to the States was to effect this important union of interest. It is the only way by which it can be accomplished ; and to render it sufliciently strong to effect the object intended, I am in favour of a liberal compensation to the States for the expense and trouble of their management.

But something more is indispensable to prevent the loss of the lands; and that is, to hold out adequate inducements to the settlers to become freeholders by purchasing the land. This can be effected with the least loss to the Government, and the greatest advantage to the settlers, by a judicious system of graduation and pre-emption; and it is with that view that provisions are made for both in the amendment which I intend to offer. It provides that the States may, at their discretion, reduce the price of all lands which have been offered at sale ten years and upward, to one dollar per acre, after the 30th of June, 1842; and all that may be in market for fifteen years and upward, to seventy-five cents per acre, after the 30th of June, 1847; and all that may have been twenty years and upward, to fifty cents per acre, after the 30th of June, 1852 ; and all that have been twenty-five years and upward, to twenty-five cents, after the 30th of June, 1857; and all that have been thirty years and upward, to twelve cents, after the 30th of June, 1862 ; and all that should remain unsold five years thereafter to be surrendered to the States; with the right also, at their discretion, to allow pre-emption for ninety days to settlers, at each step in the reduction of the price. It also provides that all lands, after having been offered for sale in those States, shall, at the expiration of ten years from the time of being offered, become subject, in like manner, to graduation and preemption.

The object of these provisions is to hold out inducements to the settlers to purchase, by bringing the lands, within a reasonable period, to a price which would not only justify, out hold out strong inducements to them to purchase. One great difficulty in the way of purchasing, as the system now stands, is, that the great body of the lands are not worth, in reality, the price of $1 25, at which they are sold by the Government. There appears to be a great mistake on this point, which it is important to correct. Instead of almost every acre, as is supposed by some gentlemen in debate, being worth that sum, the reverse position is true,--that none was worth it but that which was, at the time, coming in demand by purchasers. I rest the assertion on the well-established principle that demand and supply regulate price,—and the fact that an article which is in the market at a fixed price, open to the demand of all, and not taken, is the best proof that the price is above the market value at the time. It is in vain to talk of intrinsic value-a thing wholly different from price. There are many things of the highest intrinsic value that have no price, as air and water, while many of but small value would, from their great scarcity, command a very high one. In the language of business, a thing is worth what it will sell for—and no one is willing to give more, unless compelled by some particular reason. The occupants of the public lands partake of this feeling. They are unwilling to give for the inferior lands, which for the most part they occupy, $1 25, when a small part only of the best lands

a offered for sale would command that—and feel that they have something like justice on their side in not giving so high a price for their possessions.

This feeling must be met, and it is proposed to meet it by the provisions for graduation and pre-emption which I have just stated ; a policy so liberal towards a large, though poor class, not less honest and patriotic than the rest of the community, could not fail to have a happy effect, not only in reference to them, but in a more enlarged point of view. One of the most important would be the great increase of the number of small freeholders, which, in the hour of danger, would prove of vast importance, especially in the weakest portion of the Union-in the Southwestern States—where the provision would have the greatest effect. It would be the class that would furnish the hardiest and best soldiers, with the advantage of being inured to the climate. Combined and modified as they would be, they cannot but have a powerful weight in inducing the occupant to purchase. It will work a revolution in his character. He will regard himself, on his little domain, more a freeholder than a squatter; and, as the price in the descending scale of graduation approaches the price that lands such as he occupies would sell for, his industry and economy would be exerted to be prepared with the requisite means to make the purchase. The liberal character of the policy would impress him with deep feelings of respect for the justice and care of the Government; and the security it would afford would put an end to the esprit de corps, which otherwise would be so strong; and all, combined with the influence of the States on the side of the Government, would, I feel confident, guard effectually against the danger of losing the lands, as far as the occupants are concerned, in the only way that would be practicable.

The amendment proposes to leave it to the States to graduate and grant pre-emptions or not, at their discretion, within the limits prescribed. The conditions of the several States are very different in reference to the expediency of exercising the right. In the uniformly fertile region in the upper portion of the great Valley of the Mississippi, it may not be necessary to resort to either, or, if so, to a very limited extent ; while in the Southwestern States, including Arkansas, it would be indispensable ; and hence the propriety of giving the right, but leaving the exercise to the discretion of the States. Each State would be the most competent judge whether it should be exercised or not, and to what extent.

Having considered the provisions intended to guard against the danger of losing the lands from mere occupancy without payment, I next propose to make some remarks on that of their being lost, in consequence of the conflicting policy between the new and old States in reference to them, should the present system be continued. To understand this danger, we must have a just conception of the cause in which it originates, which I will endeavor first to explain.

In the nature of things, it is impossible that the new and old States can take the same view of the policy proper to be adopted in reference to the public domain. Their respective

position, interest, and extent of knowledge in reference to it, are wholly different, which cannot but have a correspondent effect on their views. The old States stand in reference to the new somewhat in the light of an absent owner of a large estate, and not without some degree of his feelings ; while the new stand, in some degree, in the situation of those who occupy and work his estate, with feelings not a little akin to those which belong to that relation. That such is the case, and that it leads to diverse views of the policy that ought to be adopted,—and this, again, to conflict between them,the questions now before us, the discussion now going on, the feelings it excites, and the yearly and violent agitation of these questions for the last eight or ten years, abundantly prove. Nor is it less clear that they have increased, and must increase with the growth and influence of the new States over the action of the Government, till their rapid growth will give them the ascendency, when they will decide it in their own way,—under the high pretensions and excited feeling of real or supposed injustice, which must necessarily grow out of a long-continued and violent conflict. It is, in like manner, clear that the evil originates in the ownership and administration by the Government of the lands lying in the new States, and constituting a large portion of their territory. If to these considerations it be added, that the questions growing out of this great subject must extend to and embrace, and influence in their bearings, every other question of public policy, -as is illustrated by the amendment for distributing the proceeds of the sales of the lands among the States, which, in its consequences, takes in the whole eircle of our legislation,--and that it must enter into and influence all our political struggles, especially that in which all others are concentrated the presidential election,--some conception may be formed of the distracting influence, the agitation and danger which must grow out of this great question if not speedily settled.

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