H. OF R.]
Northwestern Land Offices.

[FEBRUARY, 1796.
that the greatest quantity of the money in this the point to be decided upon. If these desultory
country lay in the hands of agriculturists. These discussions were permitted, there would be no end
purchasers, then, should be met; for if the quanti- to the business. Amendments have been made,
ties of land offered be too great, or the price too he said, with a view of bringing before the House
high, these men would be shut out from the mar- the question, whether the land should be laid off
ket; but he thought a system might be devised in large tracts, in part large and part small, or all
which would equally suit moneyed men and men small. Some members have given their opinion
of small property. In the extent of country they in one way, some in another. He wished the
were about to dispose of, there was land enough question to be decided, whether all the tracts
to satisfy the demand of purchasers of every class. should be of one size or not.
The only question is, the best way of doing this. Mr. Havens again rose to support his amend-
It must be on terms which they can embrace. ment, and, in answer to the objection which had
Men of little money must have small parcels of been brought against the plan of small lots on the
land, whilst men of large property may have as ground of expense, said that the charge of survey-
much as they please. "Shall these purchasers being the land into lots of a mile square would not
mingled together or separate? Persons purchas- exceed 2d. per acre. In support of his argument,
ing small lots, would wish to be near their friends he referred to the experience of the State of New
or connexions, who might also have been pur- York.
chasers, that they might be of mutual service to Mr. Cooper said, that though the land in the
each other. The way then, in his opinion, to meet State of New York' had been sold in lots of 100
both demands, would be to lay off one part of the acres, no farmers were purchasers. He said, he
land in large tracts, and the other in small lots. bought many of the tracts himself. Neither did
Besides, said he, suppose a lot of six miles square farmers purchase when land was sold at 8d. per
settled, the adjoining lots would immediately in acre, at vendue. The true cause of the land sell-
crease in value, and as no one would have a claim ing high in that State, was the competition of
to it, it ought to go the Treasury of the United moneyed men at vendue.
States, which it would do, if the lands were un Mr. Havens answered, that it was sufficient to
disposed of. The two plans, he observed, should support his amendment, to prove that land in small
by all means be kept distinct, as there was an im- lots produced a better price than when disposed of
possibility of doing two things at the same time. in large tracts.
One would interfere with the other. He said, the Mr. CRABB, was in favor of the original amend-
land they were about to dispose of, was a great ment as embracing both the wholesale and retail
common right to which every citizen in the coun- plans. No attention, it is said, should be paid to
try was entitled to a share, therefore, to bring it moneyed men, they will take care of themselves.
to market in such lots as but few can purchase, Though this was true, yet if the Treasury was to
was injustice; besides, persons of small property be served, it was necessary to accommodate them,
would be lost as purchasers by such a conduct. if as they could not be expected to become purcha-
the Treasury, indeed, alone was considered, small sers, if obstructions were thrown in their way. If
lots would best answer the purpose. He said it our 'Treasury was indeed swelled with riches,
would be also unjust to bring the whole of the there would be no necessity, perhaps, for this at-
land into the market at once ; for, as it is a com- tention ; but, in its present state, their money
mon right, all ought to have a chance of purchas- would be useful. We might say there is no man
ing, and some persons who cannot just now raise in the community who has not a claim upon our
money, might be able to buy in the course of a few unappropriated lands. Every man has a right in
years. Nor would it be prudert, he said, to glut them; but policy will not admit of a strict inqui-
the market. The quantity necessary for the pre- ry into this, yet we must go as near the mark as
sent demand might easily be calculated.

possible. It has been said, that selling a part of With respect to boundaries, Mr. M. thought it these lands would raise the price of those adjoineasy to describe lots sufficiently correct, by means ing. This was true, and the strongest incitement of rivers, creeks, &c. As one part of the country, to purchasers. Men of property, he said, would he said, became settled, another would increase in not lay out their money, if no chance of gain was value, and by a proper disposal of these lands the held out to them. He thought if the price of the National Debt would be extinguished ; but, if this land was fixed at two dollars per acre, speculators plan failed, there would be no resource left but who purchased it would not injure, but benefit the taxation, which it would be desirable to avoid. It United States. If nothing, he said, was contemhas been said that the survey should be bound plated but the sale of a small portion of land, Godown by the cardinal points; this method, he said, vernment might reserve a part for future demands; might prove to be the most inconvenient of any but the Treasury wanted the money. No calcuHe concluded by saying, that policy and justice lation, he observed, could be made of the quantity equally required that purchasers of every descrip- of land necessary for the present demand. Many tion should be attended to, and hoped, therefore, persons would become purchasers who had not yet that the amendments would be agreed to, and the applied. He said the only way in which the bill recommitted. Mr. Harper wished to call the attention of the be by means of the purchasers of large lots, who

poorer classes could get possession of land, would House to the business immediately before it. would give them long credit. Members still wandered, he said, and lost sight of Mr. Gallatin thought the difference betwixt

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FEBRUARY, 1796.] Distilled Spirits, Northwestern Land Offices.

[H. OF R. his amendment and that proposed by the member Mr. HARPER observed, that though it might not from New York, was not so great as had been be found practicable to carry all the proposed conceived by that gentleman. He did not mean measures into effect, yet he wished them to be by his amendment (as seemed to have been un- committed to the committee he had mentioned, derstood by several members) that one-half of in order to have their report thereon. every tract should be laid out in small lots, but After a number of observations from several memthat certain townships should be laid out in large, bers, for and against the resolutions being commitand others in small lots. He thought the plan heted, it was finally agreed to, 39 to 44. proposed, would provide as many small lots as

AMERICAN SEAMEN. would be wanted, and more was unnecessary. The large tracts, he said, would be purchased by

Mr. Livingston said, as the unfinished business men of large property, and they would sell again might take up much time of the House, before it to the poorer classes on credit, which was the only was entered upon, he wished the resolution to be way in which they could get possession of a part taken up, which

he yesterday laid upon the table of this land, as Government would not be inclined relative to the case of American seamen. to give the credit necessary to be given to these

The House consenting, the following resolution purchasers.

was read, agreed to unanimously, and referred to The question being called for, the second amend- a committee of five members. ment for all small lots was first put and lost, and

Resolved, That a committee be appointed to inquire then the first for large and small, which was car- is necessary for the relief of such American seamen as

and report whether any and what Legislative provision ried without a division ; and the House adjourned. may have been impressed into the service of any foreign

Power-and also to report a mode of furnishing AmeriFriday, February 19.

can seamen with such evidence of their citizenship as The committee to whom was referred the bill may protect them from foreign impressment in future.” for establishing trading houses for the Indian tribes, LAND OFFICES NORTHWEST OF THE OHIO. with the amendments proposed by the Senate, re The order of the day on the bill for establishing port it as their opinion, that the amendments Land Offices for the sale of the Northwestern Tershould not be adopted, except one of them which ritory, being again taken up, and the House havwas read.

ing formed itself into a Committee of the Whole, The bill for relief of certain officers and soldiers and the second section being read, who have been wounded or disabled in the actual Mr. HARPER said he wished to move an amendservice of the United States, was read a third ment. The vote of yesterday, he observed, had detime. And the blank which was at first filled up cided upon one principle of this business, viz: that with the words, “ 4th of March, 1789," was agreed the land should one-half be sold in tracts of a large to be again so filled, as the member who moved size, and one-half in lots of a small size. Another these words to be struck out, said he found that the important principle which he thought proper now amendment would not include the persons he in- to be determined upon, was, what quantity of land tended to include. The bill was then passed. should be sold-whether the whole of the ex

The bill for relief of Lieutenant Benjamin Stro-tensive territory, or a part of it only. It had been ther was read a third time and passed.

observed, that the two important objects in view DUTIES ON DISTILLED SPIRITS.

were to produce revenue, and to lay off the land in

such a manner as to conduce to its settlement. Mr. Harper wished the unfinished business be- These were certainly important objects, he said, fore the House to give way for a short time to en- but not the only ones. Another object was, to able him to present some resolutions relative to adopt such a mode of settlement as should prethe duty paid on distilled spirits, for the purpose serve peace, and continue to give a stable and orof committing them to the

Committee of Ways derly system of government to this new society: and Means. The resolutions were accordingly The object of revenue, he said, was not the most read as follows:

important though desirable—as we might do withResolved, That the duties now payable on spirits out this for the present-but to settle this land in distilled within the United States, ought to be transfer- a way so as to secure order and good government red from the commodity, and laid upon the instrument, was of the first importance. Resolved, That the collection of those duties, and

The bringing of the whole of this land into the of all other internal revenues of the United States, ought market at once, Mr. H. observed, would be a great to be made by the Collectors of the various States under the direction of the Treasury Department, and of the price of a commodity always depended on the

disadvantage; as it was a well known fact, that the Supervisors of the Revenue, except in cases where proportion the quantity to be disposed of bore to the District Judge, on application of the Supervisor, the demand. Here is a country, said he, containshall declare any such Collector to be an improper ing twenty millions of acres a part of which are person

Resolved, That all fines and forfeitures incurred un- appropriated and part unappropriated. The unapder the Revenue Laws of the United States, ought to propriated part he supposed would amount at least be sued for in the State Courts ; unless where the Com- to ten millions of acres-a tract considerably larger missioner of the Revenue, under particular circum- than many large States-larger than Maryland. stances stated to him by the Supervisor, shall otherwise What number of people, said he, is necessary to direct."

people this tract of country? More than can be

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spared from other States. To bring the whole unsold land, as each settlement would enhance of this land forward to sale at once would over-the value of the land in its vicinity. stock the market; and if you sold at all it must Mr. H. concluded by saying it was an imporbe at a low price to moneyed men, and it would tant object to attend to the manner of settling this be even doubtful whether purchasers of this class country. Perhaps, he said, the most important could be found sufficient.

differences which had arisen betwixt the different It will, therefore, said Mr. H., be necessary to States in America, was owing to the different make the object of revenue productive, to pro- methods adopted in their original settlement. If portion the quantity of land to be disposed of, to a settlement was commenced by degrees, order the demand. If, instead of the present plan of begins at first, and grows with its growth, and laying out the whole Territory, one and a half strengthens with its strength; but if a country be million of acres were to be set out, this quantity settled before any regular order takes place, if a would sell at a good price, be soon settled, and good Government is ever established, it is by strugthen an additional quantity adjoining to this might gling with a variety of difficulties. For these reaafterwards be laid off, which would bring a higher sons, he thought it of vast importance to adopt the price, and be bought by actual settlers. The price plan he proposed, and read his resolution, the of land must ultimately be paid by the cultivator, purport of which proposes to divide and subdivide and if Government can meet his wants, it will be the lands within certain limits, having reference better than referring him to second-hand dealers. principally to natural boundaries. There were a class of cultivators, indeed, he said, Mr. Macon asked if the motion was in order; who could be accommodated only by speculators. he supposed it was not, as the section had already (In speaking of speculators, he said he did not been amended. He thought it would be best to mean to cast any odium upon the character; he proceed with the bill, in the mode now pursued ; thought land as fair an object of speculation as he was sure the House would not get through the coffee, or any other article of merchandise.) The bill by next March twelve-month. He suggested operation will be this: Government offers the to the mover the propriety of reserving his moland for sale at a minimum price. Persons ap- tion for the purpose of bringing it forward in the plying for land will offer their plans, explain their | House. wants, and fresh parcels of land can be laid off as The Chairman considered the motion as out of occasion requires. Though, by a plan of this kind, order, unless part of the amendment agreed to so much money be not raised this year or next yesterday was first struck out. Mr.HARPER agreed year to the Treasury, it will be best ultimately. to alter his motion, so that it might not interfere Had a private individual a large stock of land to with that amendment, which he was not opdispose of, he would adopt a similar proceeding; posed to. he would sell it off in parts and reserve the re- Mr. SwanWICK.-The only thing that appears mainder in his hands to meet future demands as to me to be material to inquire, is how far we they should arise.

have occasion for money, so as to engage us to In support of his argument, Mr. H. cited the enter into the sale of these lands. It is allowed example of other States which had experience in on all hands to be a very desirable measure to pay business of this kind. If the whole ten million off our Debts. The President has strongly reacres were to be exposed to public sale at once, commended it in each of his Addresses to several it would either not be sold at all, or fall into the successive Legislatures. No blame can rest upon hands of capitalists. The 150,000 families which him if it be not done; the moment appears favorhave been said to be ready to settle in this country able. Owing to the war in Europe all funded would do but little towards purchasing this land. Debts are low in price; though we are not enBy this plan, Government would put into the gaged in the war, yet our stocks feel the effect; hands of capitalists, to retail on any terms they they are even below the British in the market pleased, that land wbich it should keep in its own rate in London, according to prices lately quoted for the accommodation of its citizens.

from thence, which I attribute in a great measure The next object, Mr. H. said, was to secure such to the interest being payable, and the principal a mode of settlement as would preserve peace and transferable here only. At the peace it is probagood government. This, he said, would not be ble all these funds will rise, perhaps twenty-five done by selling the whole at one time, but by sell- to thirty per centum or more, beyond their actual ing it progressively. To offer the whole for sale rates; as in Britain, before the war, their three at once, and let persons settle on any part of this per cents. were nearly at par value; at that rate wide extended country, would be to put them out our six per cents. may be worth twenty-five to ot all government, out of all reach of the laws of thirty shillings per pound deferred, and three per society, and take away from them all power of cent. in proportion. Whether lands will rise in defence. On the contrary, to limit the settlements, proportion to the rise of the price of our Public would be to obviate all these difficulties. It might Debt in the market, is uncertain. The general not, however, he said, be expedient to confine set- eagerness to sell lands, and the general idea of tlements to one point-there might be settlements their present high prices, seems to indicate the in three different parts of this land, so as to accom-contrary as the most prevalent opinion. Be this, modate emigrants from different quarters of the however, as it may, I cannot see that it is less United States. Besides, this plan would increase right for a nation, than it would be for an indiin a greater proportion the value of the remaining vidual, to sell off his landed property to pay off

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his Debts. On this principle, therefore, consult- | market. Mr.D.did not understand what the mover ing all due fairness and publicity in the sale, and meant by fixing settlements in different quarters dividing the tracts so as to accommodate the of the land to suit different parts of the United greater number of purchasers in the market, I be- States. lieve we shall run no risk of doing wrong in bring- Mr. Harper explained. ing these lands to sale.

Mr. NICHOLAS said it was necessary to throw Much has been said about speculators and set- land enough into the market to meet the demand. tlers; a good deal about laying out the lands in He said they had not only land to dispose of, but particular divisions to suit emigrants from differ- they had a million and a half acres of such land ent States; but, however laudable I consider the as could not be found anywhere else, and if they views of gentlemen who have supported these should limit purchasers to certain districts of the ideas, yet I cannot conceive them as solid as they country, where there is good and bad land, if only suppose. It is immaterial to us who buys the one-fifth be good, four-fifths of purchasers will be lands so we get a good price for them. Specula-discouraged. If inducements, said he, are to be tors will probably purchase, because they have held out, they must be such as cannot be resisted. capital, and can afford to give long credit on the Suppose, he said, they were successful in selling lands; but our plan being to pay off our Debts one and a half million of acres on the frontiers, most advantageously, we must have the money nothing would be added to the value of the land soon to effect it. I have, therefore, no fears of in the interior country. The demand for good speculators. Their money laid out in paying off land, he said, would be certain, and all the rest our Debts, will do us at least as much good as our would become so by settlement. With respect lands will do them; for the moment we get our to civilizatiou, so much dwelt on by the mover of Debts paid, our revenues of seven or eight mil the amendment, he had so little theory on the lions a year will be freed, and at our disposal ; subject, that he should not have thought of introby this means we shall cease to be told that our ducing it. He lived, he said, where Government

Treasury is empty, and that we must sell off the scarcely showed ics arm, and there seemed to be materials of our frigates, because we cannot afford no defect. The people were just, orderly, and half a million of dollars to finish them. Our roads, happy; and yet this State was settled in the way the object of a gentleman from Virginia, can then which was described as introducing nothing but be perfected ; and our seamen, the object on disorder. which another gentleman from New York has Mr. Gallatin said, there were two consideralaid a motion before you, will receive ample pro-tions which favored the mover's principle of bringtection. In short, nations, like individuals, are re- ing forward only a limited quantity of land at a spectable only in proportion to their resources. time for sale, which were the self-interested landIf ours are released from their actual embarrass- holders, and the fear of too great an emigration ments; if our Debts are paid, and our revenues from the Atlantic States to this country. He dwelt left at our disposal, a few acres in the wilderness a considerable time in remarking on these two difwill have produced the great blessings of peace, ferent views, and concluded with dissenting from union, and respectability, on the Atlantic, and the the amendment in its present form. independence and sovereignty of our country will Mr. HARPER replied to the several objections be, as it ought, properly asserted. For such pur- which had been made to his amendment. The poses I think it worth while to employ the present propriety of the remarks of the gentleman from moment of avidity to speculate in our lands, so as Pennsylvania [Mr. SWANWICK relative to the to clear off our Debts and produce a nett revenue funds, derives all its force from the practicability to our Treasury, to be employed to the most salu- of immediately raising a sufficient sum of money tary purposes of internal improvement and of ex- from the sale of the lands, in order to going into terior defence.

the market now while the funds are low; but he Mr. DAYTON said, if he approved of the princi-conceived that no gentleman had an idea that this ple, he should not approve of the loose manner in could be suddenly done. The diminution of the which the proposed amendment was drawn up. Public Debt is a most desirable object; but an imIf the principle recommended in the resolution mediate operation to this purpose, from this source, was adopted, tracts should be marked by certain was a thing quite out of the question. » lines or boundaries; but as he disapproved of the He next noticed the remark of Mr. Dayton, reprinciple, he should not dwell upon the form of lative to sparse settlements. He said the gentlethe resolution. He thought the arguments of the man's reasoning might apply to a comparatively mover more specious than solid. Every one would small territory, but applied to a territory of see that by limiting the price of the land, the twenty millions of acres, was lost. The gentlequantity was also limited. The settlement of man had reference to Symmes's purchase, a tract land, he said, increased the value; but if pur- of about 1,200,000 acres, settled by about 5,000 chasers be confined to a certain situation, no value families. That tract had appreciated in value in will be put upon land five hundred miles distant. consequence of the sparse settlement. But extend If the plan of the committee be adopted, he said, the idea to twenty millions of acres, and twenty all the land will increase in value. Lana con- times five thousand families would form but a tiguous to a settlement now not worth a dollar an thin settlement of the country supposed to be laid acre, will then be worth two dollars. Every year open. a fresh quantity of land can be brought into the His amendment, however, agreed in some mea

H. OF R.]
Loan to the City of Washington.

[FEBRUARY, 1796. sure with that of the gentleman. He was in favor LOAN TO THE CITY OF WASHINGTON. of a sparse settlernent, so far as extended to form

It was moved that the unfinished business of ing three or four grand central points, round

Friday be laid aside, to take up the consideration which settlements may be extended to certain

of the bill authorizing a loan for the use of the limits. Mr. H. added many other observations

City of Washington. in support of his amendment, which he defended The resolution being carried by a vote of fortywith great ability and ingenuity.

eight against thirty-four, the House formed itself The motion being put on the amendment, it in

into a Committee of the Whole, Mr. MUHLENwas lost.

BERG in the Chair, and the first section of the bill The third section of the bill being read, Mr.

T: being read, and also the resolution of the House HARPER said there was a necessity of striking out

authorizing the committee to bring in the billsome words in order to accommodate it to the

Mr. Swift wished to know why the committee amendment passed yesterday.

had deviated from the principles contained in the Mr. Williams moved an amendment to have the lands sold by auction, in order to bring the By this bill the buildings in the City of Wash

resolution directing them to bring in the bill. question before the House.

ington are to be conveyed to the PRESIDENT OF Mr. Nicholas proposed a motion to supersede

THE UNITED STATES, though there were no inthat of the last member to nearly the same effect.

structions in the resolution of the House to this After several observations from different mem

effect. bers, principally in favor of a sale by auction, the

le Mr. JEREMIAH SMITH said the lots were conCommittee rose, reported progress, and asked leave

veyed to the PRESIDENT, in order to reimburse to sit again.

the loan authorized by the Senate, and as a security for the sum to be borrowed by the PRESIDENT,

in consequence of the present bill. Monday, February 22.

Mr. BRENT said the bill was framed in a mode The committee to whom was referred a bill / which the committee thought best calculated to originating in the Senate, for the amendment of carry into execution the resolution of the House. an act to encourage Useful Arts, report as their Mr. SwaNWICK objected to the bill on the prinopinion, that it would be inexpedient and impoli-ciple, that if the United States were to accept a tic to pass the said bill into a law.

grant of the lots in the Federal City, they might, The report was ordered to lie on the table. if they thought proper, afterwards grant such a Mr. Heath proposed to the House a resolution sum as they should suppose sufficient for comto the following effect:

pleting the public buildings, out of the general « Resolved. That until a Stenographer be appointed, funds; but he was entirely against opening a loan or further provision made for taking the debates of this for the special purpose; first, because he thought House, no printer be permitted to publish abstracts of it degrading to the United States to have it obthe Speeches of members, unless permitted by the mem- served in Europe, or elsewhere, that they could bers making the same."

not complete the buildings requisite for their own Ordered to lie on the table.

immediate use, without making a loan for the

purpose; and secondly, because he had no notion WASHINGTON'S BIRTH-DAY.

of superadding to the public faith any security of Mr. W. Smith moved that the House adjourn lots, as it might prove injurious to the United for half an hour.

States to have loans opened in various quarters This motion occasioned a good deal of conver on different securities, though ultimately bottomed sation upon its propriety. In favor of it, it was on the same stock, viz: the credit of the United said, that it had been a practice ever since the

wire ever since the States. On these grounds, he was for having the commencement of the Government, for that House | bill recommitted, to be new modified. to make a short adjournment on that day in order. Mr. Nicholas offered his observations upon the to pay their compliments to the PresIDENT, and bill; but from the firing of cannon, the beating of that several members were absent, from an idea drums, &c., which took place during his speakthat the House would adjourn at 12 o'clock asing, in honor of the PRESIDENT's birth day, the usual. On the other hand, it was objected that it was reporter could not hear his sentiments sufficiently the business of the members of that House first to distinct to attempt an abridgement of them. do their duty, and then attend to the paying of Mr. S. Smith moved that the fourth section of compliments; that just at that time the house of the bill offering lots as a security of money borthe PRESIDENT was filled with militia and others; rowed, be struck out as altogether unnecessary. and that, therefore, it would be better, upon the Mr. CRABB said the lots were not offered in aid whole, to wait upon the PRESIDENT after the bu- of the credit of the United States; but as a sesiness of the day was finished.

curity to them for the money borrowed under Mr. GALLATIN moved that the words “half an their authority. hour" be struck out.

Mr. Brent said, if this section of the bill was The sense of the House was first taken on the struck out, the object of it would be defeated. amendment, which was lost, without a division. The preceding clause provides for the conveying The motion was then put and negatived, being of the lots to the PRESIDENT as a security for 38 for it, and 50 against it.

any sum of money he shall borrow for com

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