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OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE TWENTY-FOURTH CONGRESS:
LAWS, OF A PUBLIC NATURE, ENACTED DURING THE SESSION:
WITH A COPIOUS INDEX TO THE WHOLE.
APRIL 25, 1836.]
into an account of dollars and cents. Heasked whether the power was doubted, in passing the distribution bill, this public lands were to be debited with the expenses of the Post Office bill was still more objectionable. He relied removal of the Indians and the payment of agents. The upon the sound integrity of the Chief Magistrate in retrustee was bound to give all the benefit to the person considering his former views, when he found the people for whose trust he held the money, and the person for desired this distribution of the surplus. If, then, they whose use and benefit the trustee undertook to apply had money enough, and none of these projects were his money faithfully had a right to expect the full ben. | received with the same fasor as this, the question was, efit. He spoke of the great importance of the purchase whether it would not be sound policy to adopt it. It of Florida to the country, and especially the southern was said that its passage would have the effect to destroy States, in preventing a lodgement of a foreign enemy, a spirit of manliness, which was necessary to keep the independent of its pecuniary value. He had no doubt federal Government in tone. When the people would that, after deducting these sums improperly debited to understand that the money they received was not a the public lands, and allowing a reasonable sum for all gratuity or a bounty, but was taken from their own funds, necessary appropriation, there would be enough left to and returned to them, they would not be decoyed into fully equal the amount proposed for distribution. He useless experiments. He would never think of distribuwould not go into so labored an argument as some others ting, except in cases of an extraordinary accumulation to show what would be left in the Treasury.
like the present. The State Governments understood At the close of the last quarter, there was in the quite as well how to manage their affairs as the United Treasury thirty-one millions; and, at the end of the next States did to manage its affairs, and would make a judi. quarter, there would probably be thirty-three millions, cious disposition of the quota they would respectively and they had in bank stock, nominally, seven millions, receive. but which would probably be equal to seven millions Another difficulty was suggested. There was a fire hundred thousand dollars, and by adding these sums number of new States, and some going to be admitted; together, they had at the end of the year about seventy and if they went into the system of dividing the revenue two millions. To avoid every thing like mistake, he from the public lands, the old States would hold on to deducted three millions five hundred and sixty-seven the high prices, and never consent to the reduction of thousand dollars, and still there would be upwards of them. It was right for gentlemen from the new States, sixty-seven millions left. The late Secretary of the who really thought so, to oppose this bill. But he did Treasury (Mr. McLane) had estimated all the ordinary | not believe the objection well founded. They must wants of the Government at fifteen millions, and, taking always suppose an integrity and magnanimity of character that as the data, there would still be twenty-five millions in the thirteen old States, upon which they could rely left; and he confidently asked, if, after all the wants of for justice. He had been raised in a new State himself, the Government were provided for, there would be and he was ready to say that the moment he voted for twenty-five millions needed, unless they increased the the distribution, he should be as ready to vote for a rearmy and navy to an unreasonable extent? He cited duction, so as to enable the inhabitants of the new States documents from the War Department to show that a to purchase land for a home for themselves and families. great increase of the army was not wanted, and that the He had voted against the amendment offered by the notion of fortifications, on the scale contemplated, was Senator from Mississippi, (Mr. WALKER,] because he exploded, as not calculated for general defence; and they did not think it could answer the purpose intended, but were useful only at certain important points; and that a declared himself friendly to a gradual reduction that board of examination had been recommended to point would benefit the settlers, let the fate of this bill be what out the most eligible points for their ercction; and it might, and would vote for a graduation principle, that it was not recommended to go on with all the forti such as would protect the honest settler. If any thing fications this year, but to expend the appropriation this should put him out of humor on that subject, it would year in completing those already begun. Forts, if not be because his own State had not received any thing manned and armed, might serve the enemy as a place from the general Government. He spoke of the facili. of security and annoyance, instead of defence against ties loans from banks afforded to combinations for the them. The radicals in 1822–'3-'4, and '5, were in favor purposes of speculation, and of the inability of those not of the fortification system. They might think they could concerned in them to compete with them in the purchase take the lead and regulate public opinion on that sub. of public lands. Those speculators lived upon their ject; but they would find that public opinion would wits instead of their labor. He closed by portraying regulate them, if they saddled a standing army on the the general benefits that would result from the passage country. These armies employed to fight for the Gov. of the bill, which would check this system of speculaernment would think it necessary to do their voting, and tion, and bring back a return of a wholesome and sound the militia of the country would rise en masse, and vote currency; it would be the means of sustaining these to abolish them. They might give what they pleased banks; it would be invested in internal improvements for their navy, and get out all the timber they could to and general education, and none of the other projects build all the ships they could, and they could not con. ought to come into collision with it, as there was money sume the surplus. He understood there was a project enough for them all. It was returning to the States started to invest the surplus in stocks-but that would what was their own money, and he would never consent increase the difficulty, and instead of getting clear of the that they should be treated as infants, incapable of acting surplus, they would have an increase of it.
for themselves. The Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads had Mr. WALKER submitted the following amendment: brought to bear a steam power to help them to get rid which was to strike out the distribution according to the of it; and to that system he entered his solemn protest. last census, and insert a distribution according to the The Postmaster General had now the power to make compound representation of the respective States in the contracts with these steam car companies for the trans Senate and House of Representatives. portation of the mails; and if he had not the power, he Mr. W. said that if this distribution bill should be was in favor of giving it to him. He argued at very forced upon us, whether he should vote for or against considerable length against the measure proposed by the it, he wished to see it made as perfect as posible. That Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads, to show bis amendment was in accordance with that feature of the difficulties in which it would involve the Government the constitution which regarded the States as coequal in becoming connected with these companies; and if the l sovereignties, which provided for their equal represent