The Congressional Globe, Volume 14: Twenty-Eighth Congress, Second Session Page: 72
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showed that the system never had been uniform.
At one time the credit system prevailed, and at
another cash payments were required; at one time
the price was $2 25 per acre, and at another, it was
SI 25. He mentioned various other changes which
had taken place, as knowledge in relation to the
public domain had increased, and the interests of
the country required. He also entered into some
statements in relation to the course pursued in many
of the old States, and quoted from published declara-
tions of many illustrious men of the old States of
this country to show, that they were in favor of the
Bystem for which he contended. He quoted from
Mr. Randolph, of Virginia, to show that he was
not only willing that the price of the public lands
should be reduced, but that they should be ceded to
the States in which they lie. He then proceeded to
inquire into the prospective operation of this meas-
ure as a measure of finance, and to notice what class
of lands it would operate upon. It was land that
had been long in the market; inferior lands, which
it would be vain to expect to bring as great a price
as lands of better quality.
Mr. McC. referred to the former history of the
administration of the public lands, and mentioned
one case in particular, which was inaudible to the
reporter, where the graduation system had been
adopted, and its wisdom been proved by actual ex-
periment, under which, within four years, more than
two millions of acres of land had been sold, and the
remnant thereof had been sold at fair prices.
The gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Vinton] had said
the operation of this bill would be to stimulate the
agricultural interests and population, and, therefore,
it should not pass. This was similar to another
argument from the same quarter, viz: that agricul-
ture needs no protection. The same gentlemen,
however, who held this doctrine, were in favor of
jhe high-tariff system, which -would give to
•astern manufacturers a monopoly of the market,
and compel the other classes of the community to
pay, tribute to them out of the proceeds of
their honest, unprotected industry. They found, in
this sentiment avowed by the gentleman, the ex-
planation of the course of the gentleman's party—
the federal party. While they would stretch, and
even violate, the constitution to conferupon the man-
ufacturers exclusive privileges at the expense of
other classes of society, they at the same time
would fight against the pre-emption policy, would
vote to increase the prices of the public lannds to
actual settlers, and would support other kindred
measures. Protection and encouragement to manufac-
tures—hostility to the agriculturists, was, if not their
avowed motto, at least the principle upon which
they acted. The agricultural interest was the great in-
terest of the country, the source from which all
wealth, individual and national, was derived; it
■was the strength of the mechanic's arm, the
breeze which spread the sales of commerce;
it constituted the sinews of war; it was the spirit of
hospitality, of liberty, of independence; it was the
staff on which the government leaned for support:
and yet this was the very interest which the gentle-
man rose and said needed no protection, no encour-
agement, and that it was already too predominant.
If the true policy of this government was not to in*
terfere with the different branches of industry—to
permit labor unmolested to receive its own rewards,
—then let the rule be carried out; let 110 invidious
distinction be made in favor of other interests, at the
expense of the agricultural interests of the country.
Mr. McC. presented other considerations in sup-
port of the policy of the bill, and in reply to some
of the objections that had been urged against it.
One of its beneficent effects would be ti reduce the
power and patronage of this government in the new
States. In them, there were something like sixty
land offices, with twice that number of registers, re-
ceivers, &c.—all whose salaries, and expenses con-
nected therewith, amounted to half a million of dol-
lars, which would be saved by its passage. He
urged thai this was a favorable time for the adjust-
ment of this matter.
They frequently heard it said that the great and
interesting question of the annexation of Texas
had been passed upon by the people in the late
presidential election. They of the West claim-
ed that this question had also been set-
tled by the election. An if rae had been made up
between Mr. Clay and Mr. Polk. Mr. Clay was
in favor of distribution, and his powerful intellect
and eloquence had often been directed to the support
of that policy. Mr. Polk was in favor of the grad-
ration awl reduction of the price* of the public
lands—he had so voted and so spoken. The coun-
try had decided in favor of the position of Mr. Polk;
and they of the West now called on this Con-
gress, especially upon their democratic friends, to
carry out this decree of the people. This was an
auspicious'periodforthe adjustment of this question;
and if gentlemen from the old States were apprised
of the present and prospective condition of things—
as they doubtless were—they would seize on this
opportunity for adjusting this matter. It was evi-
dent that the numerical strength of the new States
had been increasing rapidly for the last few years,
while that of the old States had decreased; and this
would continue to be the case, so that, in 1850, they
would have the power in their own hands to ac-
complish themselves, what they now asked of
their brethren of the other portions of the Union as
a matter of justice." Mr. McC. concluded with a
brief and spirited appeal to gentlemen from all sec-
tions of the country to unite and extend to this
bill a cordial support as a matter of justice to the
hardy settlers of the West, and as a beneficent
measure of great national policy.
Mr. THOMAS SMITH next obtained the floor,
and moved that the committee rise. He however
yielded for a moment to
Mr. THOMASSON, on whose request a substi-
tute which he proposed to offer for the bill, if in
order, was read by the Clerk.
The CHAIRMAN decided it out of order at pres-
ent—an amendment to the bill already pending.
On motion of Mr. SMITH, the committee then
rose and reported progress.
On motion of Mr. CAUSIN, by general consent,
the said substitute of Mr. Thomasson was ordered
to be printed.
At the suggestion of Mr. J. R. INGERSOLL,
by general consent,
The SPEAKER laid before the House a commu-
nication from the Secretary of the 1 reasury, trans-
mitting a report from ths superintendent of the coast
survey showing the progress of the work.
On motion of Mr. INGERSOLL, by general
consent, it was laid on the table, and ordered to be
printed, the usual number, and 500 extra copies
On motion of Mr. SLIDELL, by general con-
sent, the following bills from the Senate were taken
from the Speaker's table: read twice and appropriate-
ly referred, viz:
An act for the relief of J. McFarlane.
An act for the relief of Gideon Batchelder and
An act for the relief of James Ritchie.
An act for the relief of the legal representatives
of Pierre Menard and others.
A joint resolution authorizing an allowance to
Purser D. M. F. Thornton in the settlement of his
A joint resolution explanatory of an act making
appropriations for the payment of revolutionary
pensions for the fiscal year ending 30th June, 1845.
Mr. D. L. SEYMOUR moved that the latter res-
olution be put upon its passage at this time.
Mr. WELLER moved to refer it, but subsequent-
ly withdrew the motion.
Mr. CALDWELL briefly explained the object of
the resolution, and urged its passage at this time.
Mr. RATHBUN moved its reference ta the Com-
mittee of the Whole on the state of the Union.
Mr. PARMENTER moved the previous ques-
tion; which, if sustained, would cutoff the motion
to commit, and bring the House to a direct vote on
The House refused to second the demand for the
And the question being taken on the reference of
the resolution, the vote stood—ayes 56, noes 25.
No quorum voting,
Mr. WM. J BROWN moved that the House ad-
Mr. HOGE moved that, when the House ad-
journ, it adjourn over to Monday next.
And the yeas and nays being called for and
ordered, the q jiestion was taken, and decided in the
affirmative—yeas 87, nays 61.
The House then adjournrd.
The following notices of petitions presented to-
day, were handed to the reporter by the members
By Mr, a;C DODOE; The petition •' W J, A. Brad. !
ford, esq., praying compensation for reporting the decisions
of the supreme court of the Territory of Iowa: referred to
the Committee of Claims. Also from Josiah Scott, of Scott
county, Iowa, praying Congress to pass a law authorizing
the land officers to correct an erroneous entry of land made
By Mr. N. F. STONE: The memorial of 69 citizens, pray-
ing for reduction of postage, and the abolishment of the
franking privilege: referred to the Committee on the Post
Office and Post Roads. Also the petition of William Grant,
praying for a pent-ion: referred to the Committee on Revo,
lutionary Pensions. Also the petition of Roxanna More
praying for a pension: referred to the Committee on Revolu-
tionary Pensions. Also the petition of Hannah Wightman
praying for a pension: referred to the Committee on Revo-
By Mr. McDOWKLL: The petition of sundry persons of
the county ofBrown, Ohio, asking a reduction of postage:
referred to the Committee on the Post Oflice and Post
By Mr. BIDLAGK: The petition of citizens of Wyoming,
Pennsylvania, for a reduction of the rates of postage, and
the restriction of the flanking privilege: referred to the
Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads.
Bv Mr. HOUSTON: The petition of sundry citizens of
Walker county, Alabama, playing Congress to pass a law
authorizing and allowing Michael Robins, of said county,
to draw back pay as an invalid pensioner: referred to the
Committee on Invalid Pensions. Also the petition of sun*
dry citizens of Walker county, Alabama, praying Congress
to pass a law allowing N. A. Penland back pay as an inva-
lid pensioner: referred to the Committee on Invalid Pen-
By Mr. JOHN W. DAVIS: The petition of Isaac Spencer,
of Monroe county, in said State, praying compensation for
a horse lost in the service of the United States.
By Mr. FULLER: The petition from about 60 citizens of
Athens, Bradford counly, Pennsylvania, praying for a re-
duction of the rates of postage, and a modification of the
By Mr. PRATT: The petition of Thomas Thoraly and J.
R. Queen, Committee of Anacostia Navy-yard Fire Com*
pany: referred to the Committee on Public Buildings and
Grounds. Also the petition of Francis Dodge: referred to
the Commitee on Pensions.
By VIr. SAMPLE: The petition of Israel Johnson, Cass
county, Indiana, praying relief
By A. P. STONE: The memorial of Charles Townsend,
praying for compensation for services rendered as coinmis.
sioner to examine and report upon claims growing out
of the last war: referred to the Cnmmittee of Claims. Also
the petition of C. Neswanger for relief: refened to the Com-
mittee of Claims.
By Mr. BAYLY: The petition of the heirs of Thos.Un-
derbill, for compensation for depredations on his property
by American troops during the revolutionary war. The
petition of Teakle Savage, administrator of Bolltha Laws,
praying compensation for brick furnished the government.
Also the petition of Sarah B. Stith, to be relieved from an
imprudent purchase of atract of land in Virginia, made by
her late husband.
By Mr. HERRICK: The petition of John G. Perkins, and
one hundred and seventy-six others, citizens of Kennebunk
Port, in the State of Maine, for a light-house at the entrance
of the harbor at said Kennebunk Port: referred to the Com.
mittee on Commerce.
By Mr. OWEN: The memorial of E. M. Ragland and 205
others; the memorial of Marlus Sherwood and ISO others;
the memorial of Richard Jenkins and 180 others; the memo-
Hal of Wm. Whittlesey and 62 othern: the memorial of Wm.
Reans and 115 others; the memorial of J. R.Montgomery
and others; all praying a grant of lands to aid the State of In.
diana in completing to tile Ohio river the Wabash and Erie
Monday, December 30,1844.
The journal of Thursday last having been read,
Rev. Mr. Tcston offered up the following prayer,
Great God ! in closing the labors of another year,
and in entering upon the duties of another week,
we desire to gather up around thy feet, that we may
receive from thy lips the lessons of heavenly wis-
dom. Do thou, O God, instruct us in the know-
ledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, whom
to know aright is everlasting life. Sanctify to us
all the dispensations of thy righteous, though some-
times profoundly mysterious, Providence. Thou
hast seen fit, during the few months that are past,
to erase from the register of the living the name of
an honored, lamented, and beloved senator. May
we listen with attention and reverence to the voice
which comes to us from Ins far-distant grave, say-
ing to each and every one of us, "be ye also ready,
for at such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man
shall come." And O thoa who dost temper the
piercing north wind to the sides of the lamb
newly shown of its fleece, do thou sustain and com-
fort tile heart which, by this bereavement, has been
shorn of its joys and its hopes. Be thou the hus-
band of the widow, and the father of the fatherless.
And grant, 0 Lord, that the changes which are
here continually transpiring, may induce us all to
seek a permanent connection with the general as-
sembly and church of the first born, whose names
are written in Heaven; and this, with the forgive-
ness of all our sins, persona? and national, we hunir
bly beg, for Jesus Christ's sake, Araen,
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United States. Congress. The Congressional Globe, Volume 14: Twenty-Eighth Congress, Second Session, legislative document, 1845; Washington D.C.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2366/m1/88/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.