« ForrigeFortsett »
and to insert 160 in their place, so as to reduce all them ten years to locate their warrants by the the 640-acre lots into lots of 160 acres each. The mode prescribed in the bill, as they could only be motion was negatived without debate.
laid out in proportion to the quantity of land sold. The third section was amended by fixing that He hoped the men who held these warrants would, all the lands west of the Great Miami should be at length, have justice done them. The tract sold at Cincinnati, and the rest at Marietta. which it was proposed to appropriate for them
No amendment in the fourth section; in the was land of a middle quality, lying between the fifth, Mr. SirGREAVES proposed, instead of a for- land of the Ohio Company and Sciota river. This feiture of land in a failure of non-payment, to take seemed to be approved, and he was, therefore, for the usual security of bond and mortgage. This striking out the clause. amendment was opposed by Messrs. W. Smith, Mr. WILLIAMS said, it mattered not to him from NICHOLAS, HARTLEY, SEDGWICK, DAYTON, and what motive the clause was struck out; if it was Williams. Negatived.
struck out, he knew it would be of considerable adAn amendment, that a deposite of five per cent. vantage to the sale. Agreed to. on that part of the purchase-money for which cre Mr. CRABB wished to introduce an amendment dit was to be given, should be made at the time in the second clause, viz: “ that one half of the of sale, was agreed to.
640 lots should be sold in lots of 160 acres each." The Committee then rose, and had leave to sit Several members observed, the sense of the again.
House had been taken upon the question yesterA communication was received from the Se- day. cretary of the Treasury with a letter from the Mr. HOLLAND said the present amendment was Comptroller, with an account of the salaries paid not a similar question with that of yesterday, but to the officers employed in receiving the duties on would, in some degree, meet the wishes of gentleimports and tonnage. Referred to the Commit men who opposed it, as this proposition only contee of Commerce and Manufactures.
templated one-half of the six hundred and forty acre lots to be divided, whereas the former mo
tion proposed that the whole should be su divided. Tuesday, April 5.
The principal objects of the bill were to aid the The House took up the amendments of the revenue, and one other object ought to be to acSenate to the Indian trading-house bill, and re-commodate real settlers in preference to those solved to insist upon their disagreement to the who purchased with a view of selling again. This Senate's amendments.
amendment, he trusted, would tend to both those Ordered, That a Committee of Conference be objects. Few men who would be inclined to setappointed to confer with the Senate on the sub tle in that country would have so much money as ject-matter thereof.
would purchase six hundred and forty acres, and
the clause directing a forfeiture of the land would LAND OFFICES NORTHWEST OF THE OHIO. prevent association, as in case of a default in any
The House, in Committee of the Whole, again of their associates the rest would be liable to lose took up the Land Office bill.
the land they had purchased, and the money they The 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th sections of the bill had paid. The amendment proposed would cerwere agreed to, with a few amendments of little tainly increase competition, and, consequently, consequence. .
the price of the land; and that it would accomMr. Williams moved that the 10th clause modate a large body of men, who would other(which enacted that military warrants should be wise be obliged to purchase at second-hand, was allowed to be paid for one-seventh part of pur- also evident. It would have another good tenchase of land) should be struck out. He said he dency, viz: to prevent monopoly, which ought had on a former occasion given his reasons for not to be lost sight of, as it had ever been held by wishing this clause to be struck out, and he be- writers as dangerous to the existence of free Gólieved there was no necessity for repeating them. vernments. And, what would be allowed to be If there were any objections to the measure, he very desirable, it would accommodate, as much as should be glad to hear them.
possible, the poorer class of their citizens-a class Mr.Nicholas hoped the clause would be struck of men who were the most valuable in a commuout. It would be best that a tract of land should nity, because it was upon them that they could be laid off by itself upon which these warrants chiefly rely in cases of emergency, for defence, might be laid, as, in the way proposed originally, and, therefore, they ought to be accommodated six millions of acres must be sold before the war- and made happy ; to be put into a situation in rants would be satisfied.
which they might exercise their own will, which Mr. DAYTON (the Speaker) said, it would be they would not be at liberty to do if they were best that the clause should be struck out, not be- obliged to become tenants to others. To live in cause it offered a better chance to the military that dependent way had a tendency to vitiate and warrants (which was the ground of objection with debase their minds, instead of making them free, the gentleman from New York) but as worse than enlightened, and independent. By this amendany other. On consulting with persons who had ment, this class of citizens would be enabled to earned and held these warrants, he found it would become possessed of real property-a situation inbe better that a tract of land should be set apart cident to freedom, and desired by all. As the for them; as it would be likely that it would take committee were tired with the business, and their
H. OF R.]
[APRIL, 1796. minds made up, he did not wish to trespass on He did not think there would be any considerable their patience. He was a friend of the bill
, and expense attending it. He thought the more the his only wish was that it might so pass as to give lands were divided the greater would be the comgeneral satisfaction. If this amendment did not petition ; and if this were not the case, he was take place, he knew the bill would be reprobated apprehensive that though land might be worth six by many. He did not wish particularly to en- dollars an acre, they would not sell for more than courage adventurers to that country, but he wished two. He was therefore, for so dividing the land every class of citizens, who had a desire to pur- as that speculators might not have it in their power chase this land, to have a fair opportunity of pur- to play into each other's hands. chasing, in proportion to their capital, of the Go Mr. Crabb said he was induced to bring forvernment, and not from private persons. He ward this amendment, because he did not believe, wished mankind to be as independent as possible. as the bill stood, that one-half their citizens who He did not like the idea thrown out, that these might wish to become purchasers and actual setpeople were likely to fall off from this Govern- tlers of these lands, would be accommodated by ment. He thought the peace, and happiness, and the present provisions of the bill. The poor man, attachment of the people, would be more likely to he said, was more likely to go into that country be secured, when the land was occupied by real than the rich, but he insisted that the bill, as it proprietors, than if possessed by persons who were now stood, was a prohibition to all poor men acsubject, by being tenants
, to the will of others. quiring these lands, and he had heard no arguHe thought it a curious idea that had been thrown ment to convince him the amendment would not out, that lest these settlers should become too in- be a good one in point of policy as well as justice. dependent, that the bill should so pass as to pro- Gentlemen had said poor men may join together duce sparse settlements, lest they, being connected, and so purchase; but there were difficulties atwould involve us in an Indian war. This pre- tending such associations. A man must not only supposes, said he, our citizens always to be the look to his own resources, but to his associators? aggressors, which he did not admit.' But on the resources and integrity, lest, by a failure in comcontrary, being extended thinly over a large ex- pleting their purchase, the land should revert to tent of country, they would be an easy sacrifice the Union. This apprehension would prevent in to the savages, and render their circumstances a great degree such associations. The dividing more miserable. He hoped the amendment would of the land into small lots would put it into the prevail, without which he must be opposed to its possession of real proprietors, and have a tendency passage, although with reluctance, as he was im- to make good Republicans instead of servile tenpressed by the necessity of an addition to the re-ants dependant upon tyrannical landlords. It
would not be denied, that the more land was diMr. Hartley thought that if this amendment vided and subdivided the stronger would be the was agreed to, it would change the principle of settlement, and the more firmly would be the peothe bill. He thought the division proposed would ple's attachment to Government; for it was well unreasonably delay the survey and increase the known that the strength of a country did not so expense of it; and that, as the bill now stood, per- much consist in its great extent as in its compactsons might join together and purchase a six hun- ness of settlements and the attachment of the peodred and forty acre lot, with as much ease as they ple to the Government. By this means, he said, would purchase them if smaller. There was no encouragement would be given to useful, indusoccasion for them to go into such minutiæ in the trious men, and it would not be in the power of a business. He had as much a wish as any one to few men to engross the whole. serve the poorer class of citizens, but thought they Mr. C. said it might even require two or more should not carry the division farther than they had poor men to purchase one hundred and sixty acres, done.
and this, he trusted. was not a consideration too Mr. Van Allen hoped the amendment would low to occupy the attention of that House. For prevail. It would little increase either the time his part he could see no reason which could be or expense of surveying. The chief alteration it urged against passing of the amendment he had would make would be an increase of the number proposed, since it would not only serve a valuable of sales; but a trifling sum put upon each lot, body of people, but would tend to get more money which would be cheerfully paid, would more than into their Treasury by, opening the door and inrecompense for it.
viting a considerable class of citizens to market. Mr. COOPER hoped the amendment would not He said there would remain one-half the land in prevail. The intention, it was said, was to ac- large tracts to meet the demands of moneyed men; commodate poor men; but, did practice tell them one-fourth in tracts of six hundred and forty acres that poor men would buy these lots when divided ? to accommodate substantial farmers: and that He referred to sales of land in the States of Penn- House could not, he trusted, refuse the small porsylvania and New York, where, though land was tion asked for to accommodate the poorer class of sold in small lots, there were not twenty instances their citizens. Some gentlemen had urged that of farmers buying it. The moneyed men had al- people would never travel so far to a new country ways been the purchasers at those sales, and he to acquire so small a portion as one hundred and apprehended it would be the case in the sale of sixty acres of land. He was of a different opinion. this land.
Lands had become so high in most of the old Mr. CLAIBORNE was in favor of the amendment. States, that the hope of acquiring possession of
Northwestern Land Offices.
[H. of R.
the soil, and becoming independent, was lost; and of men, however small, would be accommodated the rents of lands had risen so high, that the tenants by dividing one-half of the six hundred and forty sorely felt the oppression of their landlords, and acre lots into lots of one hundred sixty acres each, their last hope of releasement from this oppres- the competition, and consequently the price of the sion was by emigration to this new country, which land, would be increased. The gentleman from New they looked on as common property. And will York (Mr. Cooper) had said there were no such this House, he exclaimed, blast this last remain-men who would purchase. How did he know this? ing, this flattering hope, this natural and laudable Was he informed of the number of small farmers desire of independence ? He hoped not. One more who wished to go into that country ? Certainly observation, he said, he would beg leave to make, pot. He went entirely upon supposition and analoand he would conclude and leave the amendment gy. He informed the House, that in the States of to its fate. This observation he meant to apply to Pennsylvania and New York, poor men never purthose that thought men would not emigrate to chased any lands in the sales which were held acquire and possess so small a property as this. there. With respect to Pennsylvania, he could He replied, that the poor and the oppressed had say the gentleman was totally mistaken. He the greatest inducement of all men to emigrate. would maintain that not more than one thousand And the man must know but little of human na-persons in the State of Pennsylvania had purture indeed, that did not believe that when a man chased large tracts of land ; the other seventy had been in a state of dependence, and by strenu-thousand inhabitants were mostly possessors of ous exertions of industry, rigid economy, and fru small tracts. The cause of its being sold in large gality, had saved a small sum, which would tracts at all was the quantity offered for sale at scarcely buy him a garden in the old settled coun-lonce, and the low price at which it was sold. It, tries where land is so high-has not such a man, was evident that by selling a part of the land in Mr. C. said, the most cogent reasons to move to these small lots they should get a greater compethis new country where he could, with three hun-tition in the sales; for, if a greater quantity of dred and twenty dollars, become an independent land be offered for sale than a certain description master of soil sufficient comfortably to support his of men have money to pay for, though they would family on ? And give me leave, said Mr. C., to tell gladly purchase a smaller lot, they cannot become those gentlemen, that the man possessing one hun bidders for lots they are not able to pay for. The dred and sixty acres of land, in his own right, un- other analogy which the gentleman refers to in der those circumstances, feels the sweets of it as the State of New York, was a sale of land, at a much, and thinks himself as independent, and time when the sale of land was very dull, and perhaps more happy, than the lordly nabob that land was not wanted. Objections had been made holds a million, not acquired by the sweat of his to this plan of dividing, on account of the expense brow.
of surveying, and the time it would take to make Mr. WILLIAMS was in favor of the amendment, the survey ; both of which he thought perfectly as he thought it would be productive of the best groundless. The expense would be trifling, and consequences, as it would encourage freeholders, would be more than repaid by a small sum put and get a good price for the land. It was cer- upon each farm; and the time it would consume tainly their interest so to parcel off the land as to in making the additional survey would throw no meet every degree of purchasers. He was at first obstacle in the way of the sale. He therefore saw for dividing the whole of the land into small no objection which could be reasonably urged tracts; but he believed if they laid a part of it off against this amendment. in one hundred and sixty acre lots it would an- Mr. S. Smith thought the same question had swer every purpose. He said the dividing of half been negatived yesterday. If the mover would the six hundred and forty acre lots each into four alter the size of the lots to three hundred and parts would be attended with little expense; and twenty, instead of one hundred and sixty acres, whatever expense it might be, it would be more he would vote for the amendment. than repaid by the advanced price it would com- Mr. Nicholas hoped the amendment would not mand. Besides, it was a duty incumbent upon prevail. He did not believe it would be of any them to accommodate every class of their citi- real use. He need not say that he was as much zens; by doing which they did an essential ser- a friend of the poor man, and of a Republican vice to their country; as the best way to make a Government, as any man. But he did not beman love and serve his country was to make him lieve, except it was the few persons already in interested in it. It was, therefore, much better that country, that the proposed division would acthat they should accommodate useful industrious commodate one man. If the gentlemen would citizens than that they should put their land into consider what was necessary to be done before a the hands of rich speculators to exercise their will man became purchaser of this land, they must be
convinced of the truth of his assertion. A man Mr. Cooper again insisted that poor men never intending to purchase must first go and explore attended at any sales which had been made for the country, in order to find out a piece of land the purpose of purchasing land, but that they al- which would suit him; and it would not be sufways got it from the large purchasers.
ficient to fix on one particular spot, because others Mr. GallaTIn hoped the amendment would might want the same. The uncertainty of vendue pass. He did not think any solid objection had been would also prevent many from going into the made to it. It must be agreed, that if any number country to make the necessary examinations.
H. of R.]
[APRIL, 1796. Persons of small property would rather wait till a small addition of fee to the 160-acre lots. Tracts the sale was over, and the land come to be laid of this size, he said, would command a higher price. out and divided into farms. The persons whom He should wish that there might be a portion of the mover and supporters of the present amend- the land in tracts of half a mile square, or 320 ment had in view would not embrace the offer acres. He thought lots of both sizes might be made, meant to be held out to them. He did not think and that would meet the ideas of the gentleman one such person would attend the sale. The ad-from Maryland. ditional expense of the survey, he said, would not Mr. Van Allen and Mr. Nicholas said a few be less than two hundred dollars on every town words upon the expense-the former insisting that ship. This was a certain expense which he it could not be anything like that stated by the thought they ought not to go into for the possi- latter. bility of accommodating a small number of pur Mr. Milledge thought there was no necessity chasers. He hoped the propositions would not be for taking up the time of the Committee any longer agreed to, as there would be an additional expense on the subject: he believed there was not a memattending the survey of fifty thousand dollars, and ber who had not made up his mind. he believed it would not be repaid by the advan Mr. Madison was sorry to add any observations tage of the proposed sales.
on the subject, after what had fallen from the Mr. FINDLEY said, if he could believe the ex- gentleman from New Jersey; but he thought the pense of surveying would be so great as had been arguments which had been used in favor of the stated, he would never agree to a Land Office being proposed amendment had great weight. If the opened at all. If the land was offered in such par- lots of one mile square could be easily divided into cels as that farmers could only become purchasers four, (which it appeared to him they might,) he at second-hand, he did not think the land would could see no reasonable objection to the measure; be sold, as the best land in the State of Pennsyl- for, if it could accommodate any number of real vania was now offered at that price. But if it occupiers, it was desirable that it should be done. were only the few in the neighborhood of these The expense of exploring the country had been lands who would be accommodated by the pro- urged as an objection ; but it occurred to him that posed division of these lands into small lots, it was a number of persons would go and explore the very desirable it should be done ; for these few, he country without an intention of returning, and believed, were several thousands, who had built consequently the expense of their journey could and made improvements upon the land, and to re- be reckoned as nothing. Whether so large a pormove whom would be a task which he was sure tion of the country as gentlemen expected would the Government would not willingly undertake. be settled in this way, he should doubt; but still
, Would it not, therefore, be very proper to divide he thought attention was due to them. And he the land in such a manner as that these present found this to be the opinion of men who lived in occupiers may become purchasers ? The present that part of the country, and was conversant in rage for going into that country was great. Land the business of dividing and selling lands. He was and provisions had become high in the Atlantic not sure whether the amendment was worded in States, and some persons were so desirous of emi- the best way possible. grating, that, if they could not go upon this land, Mr. HARTLEY again objected to the division of they might be inclined to go out of the Territory the land into small lots, on the ground of expense of the United States. Gentlemen say they ought and the time it would take to lay them out. He to be certain there would be purchasers before added, that the Senate would not agree to this they thus parcelled out the land. He thought the division, if it were to pass that House. probability was very much on their side, and no Mr. Havens was surprised to hear the amendgentleman could be certain there would not be ment objected to on the ground of expense: he purchasers for small lots. Persons were more gen- said the expense would be trifling. The survey: erally inquiring for 100-acre tracts than others, ors would only have to mark every half mile, and and it behooved them to provide for such persons. to run the same line on the map. The gentleman from New York (Mr. Cooper] Mr. Van Allen said, that every objection to had made frequent allusions to the State of Penn- expense might be obviated by an amendment that sylvania. When the land in that State was sold the land should be divided on the map without it was generally in the power of the Indians, and running the lines. was disposed of in large tracts; but in that part Mr. COOPER spoke again in opposition to the of the country in which he lived, few farmers had motion, and said they might as well lay out garmore than 300 acres. But the law for dividing that den spots as propose these small lots. land gave a tone to the settlement of the country. Mr. Heister hoped the bill, thus modified, would There were very few large tracts in Pennsylvania. pass; and that, when the interests of the TreasuHe was desirous they should give a tone to the ry, and those of men most likely to become settlers settlement of this country. The smaller the tracts were united, there would be but one opinion upon were made, the more saleable they would be the subject.' The gentleman from Maryland had Great numbers of persons were going to that coun- said that application had been made to him on try, and others would follow. It was improbable the subject; and he could say that many such had that rich land-holders would go there the emi- been made to him by persons who wished to go grants would be chiefly of the poorer class. The into that country. The land should be laid off in additional expense of surveying would be repaid by tracts suitable to the pockets of these people, in
[H. OF R. order that they may become land-owners in com- the one-fourth part in lots of 160 acres, and all the mon with others. There were many persons with rest in lots of 640 acres--with precisely the same out the bar of the House that could give informa- surveying which was now directed to be performed; tion on the subject, if it were necessary. Some and that, therefore, no additional expense could be might wish to purchase a mile square, some half incurred. a mile, and a greater number 160 acres. It would He then adverted to the sales, and observed, that be the interest of Government to accommodate actual settlers might become purchasers from the them all, and he hoped no objection would be made Government of lots of 160 and of 640 acres; that to the present amendment.
none would be prohibited from purchasing; that Mr. Venable wished the lines might be so run of course the competition would be increased, and, as that no dispute might arise hereafter. He was he believed, the land sell best ; that as the large in favor of the principle of the amendment: it lots would, at the minimum price, amount to would accommodate more people than any other 11,520 dollars, settlers were by no means likely to clause in the bill. It would require from 300 to become purchasers, as it was presumable few could 500 dollars to purchase one of these small tracts, command such a sum, and therefore they were as which was no inconsiderable sum. He doubted effectually prohibited as if a clause to that effect not a number of farmers' sons would go into that had been inserted in the bill; that the competition country without any intention of returning, and would of course be lessened, and the land purtherefore no expense could be reckoned on their chased chiefly, if not altogether, by speculators, exploring the country. It was right these persons and consequently sell for a less price. One reason should be accommodated; nor did he think it would which had been assigned for this measure was, that be found either difficult or expensive to carry the all purchasers might be accommodated. He was amendment into effect.
willing to accommodate all such as were to be The amendment was put and carried.
settlers, but no others. No one man, he thought, Mr. Van Allen observed, that the selling one wanted to purchase so large a lot for his own achalf the land in lots of three iniles square, or 5,760 tual improvement. acres, as contemplated by the bill, appeared to him It had been said, the price fixed upon the land to be a measure replete with such evident advan- would prevent speculation. He believed that might tages to that part of the wealthy class of citizens be the case if the fixed price was the full value, or whom they had been in the habit of styling specu- so nearly so, as not to afford a profit. But these lators, that he conceived it his duty to state his gentlemen understood figures, and considered more objections to it, and, if in his power, to obtain an the per centage they could make than the high or alteration. He moved an amendment which went low price they paid for an article. to selling no larger lots than 640 acres.
It had been frequently said, and he believed, this He considered the land now about to be sold as was an excellent tract of land; that some of it the joint and common property of every citizen would sell at from three to eight dollars per acre; in the United States, and that therefore it ought and if so, would it not, he asked, afford a handto be disposed of in such manner as would best some profit? promote the general interest of the whole commu He said, it was fair to presume no land would nity: that, if this idea was a correct one, it would be purchased to sell again, which could not afford naturally lead to an inquiry what would be such a reasonable prospect of at least 25 per cent. profit. disposition: the result of which he believed would This, at the lowest stated price, would be half a be, first, to accommodate actual settlers; and, dollar per acre; that about five millions of acres secondly, to bring money into the Treasury; and were contemplated
to be sold
in large lots, which, added, that, as he conceived the first to be the at this rate, would eventually be a loss of two milgreatest object
, it ought to be attended to, even if lions five hundred thousand dollars, besides the it would in some degree require a sacrifice of the difference of the granting fees, (which he made no other. But he hoped it would not be opposed, if doubt would nett a profit,) and answer no other it could be shown that it might be accomplished purpose than that of enriching individuals; that, without any additional expense or loss to the to sell the land when it was not wanted for actual public.
settlement, or in a manner which would preclude He observed that the bill directed the whole tract settlers from becoming purchasers, would be makto be laid out into townships of six miles square; ing a sacrifice: that, he thought, could only be to subdivide one-half of them alternately into lots justifiable under peculiar circumstances, such as of 640 acres; and by an amendment one-half of did not now exist; that it was but another way of those lots were to be subdivided on the map into paying a high rate of interest, and establishing a lots of 160 acres; that the remaining half of the bad precedent; that, to sell the land in such large townships were also to be divided on the map into lots would, he thought, operate as an indirect tax four equal lots of 5,760 acres, for the purpose of upon the cultivator-of so much at least as the selling them in the above described lots. small lots would sell per acre more than the large
He stated, that, by actually running and mark- not to say anything about the rise of the land. ing the lines round every four lots that were to be which would be increased in proportion to the sold, they could be separately granted with as settlements they made, without benefiting the Gomuch accuracy and certainty of description as if vernment. In short, he considered it as an act of each had been fully surveyed; that, upon this plan, favoritism towards that class of citizens, for which the whole of the land might be laid out and sold he could see no reason, unless it was their having