« ForrigeFortsett »
overruled here, and which the executive authority of the United States has refused to acknowledge. It will be in vain, after this commission shall have been appointed, to say that this proviso means nothing; that if Texas has acquired no rights since the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, then that the proviso stipulates to reserve no rights. And why? Because Congress would not be presumed to use a form of expression which would be absurd. They will be deemed to have considered and determined that Texas has acquired, in some way, some rights since the execution of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. And, if they failed to define what her rights are, the commissioners themselves must undertake to determine what the rights she acquired subsequent to the treaty are. And when they come to examine these rights, they must, it seems to me, come to the conclusion that Congress assumes that Texas has acquired rights by extending her territory since that time.
Now, for myself, I believe that no action which has been taken by the state of Texas since that treaty; that no action which has been taken by any military or civil officer of the United States has affected that question in the slightest degree. I believe that the rights of the parties (New Mexico and Texas) remain precisely as they were at the time of the execution of that treaty, and cannot be changed. I have, in all the attention I have bestowed upon this subject, looked upon the supposed estoppels of the United States, by the action of the different functionaries of this government, partial as they were in their character, and limited in their authority, as having no bearing on this subject. But this commission will not be at liberty so to treat; and therefore they will come to the conclusion that Texas has acquired some rights.
Now, I say that if Texas has acquired any rights by any action of her own, then New Mexico has acquired rights by her action. If Texas, by taking possession of El Paso, by holding an election there, as is contended, has acquired any right in that region, then I hold that New Mexico, by holding a convention, and denying the jurisdiction of Texas, and establishing a constitution for herself, has equally acquired rights which are to be upheld against the pretensions of Texas. And again, if the action of the executive or military officers of the United States has given an advantage, then I insist, on the other hand, that the subsequent action of the government of the United States, in consenting to the erection of a provisional state government within the region of New Mexico, is to be taken as an act on the part of the United States disaffirming the right of Texas, and conceding to New Mexico her rights.
It is, therefore, that I am opposed to this amendment, not for what it contains, but for what it does not contain. It must be equal, before I can agree to adopt it. If the Congress of the United States come to the conclusion to give this whole territory of New Mexico to Texas, let it be done at once. I am willing to submit, the people of the United States will submit, to any decision that Congress may make on this question. Texas is the only party who refuses to submit. I want no delay in settling this question of boundary; I do not want to wait one, two, or three years for its settlement. I want no intervention of commissioners; I want no armistice; I want no war. I propose to have the matter settled in a constitutional way. Nobody here has resisted the settlement of this controversy between Texas and New Mexico. The only resistance that has been offered, has been resistance to the measure which was proposed ; first, because it was connected with other questions, and other measures, to which it had no relation, and upon which it had an injurious tendency; and, in the second place, because the plan of settling it, proposed by the Committee of Thirteen, was supposed to be improper in itself.
Now, it appears that the latter objection was well taken. The plan which we have resisted has been abandoned and cast to the winds, and we have now another one submitted to us. This may obtain favor in the Senate; it might obtain favor in the House of Representatives. There would be much greater opportunity for settling this question directly, if it were separated from this bill. For myself, I have not the least desire to oppose any just claim of Texas. I believe that Texas has better claims upon the treasury of the United States, for the payment of her revolutionary debt, than she has for territory.
Sir, I am willing to meet this question. If I am overruled, I am willing to submit. I only insist that, if we establish this commission, we shall submit the case to the commissioners justly and fairly; and not make up the case for them. And now, what reason is there for excluding all affirmance of the right and title of New Mexico, and all affirmance of the right and title of the United States, and recognizing indirectly the rights of Texas? I
have heard no reason, except that Texas is armed for resistance against the United States. Then, I ask, whether it has come to this, that the state of Texas, by assuming an attitude of resistance to the authority of the United States, shall dictate to the Congress of the United States her own terms, her own time, her own extent of dominion, and her own extent of compensation or equivalent? I, for one, am not prepared to sanction any such proposition.
A MIN BEY.*
I THANK the honorable Senator who has recalled the incident of the visit of the ambassador who came with a present from the Imaum of Muscat. If I remember well, the ambassador was not in the roll of common men. He was a minister at home-a Secretary of State. I passed through the navy yard, at Brooklyn, with him. Among the objects of curiosity and interest there, I pointed his notice to an exquisite bust of Washington. He looked upon it thoughtfully, and inquired “who was Washington?” Shall we not instruct the Oriental nations in our arts and civilization ? How shall we instruct them if we do not first win them to visit our shores? I think that the quality of hospitality, like the " quality of mercy,"
is twice blessed :
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest.” If we were seeking how such a nation as this might employ the small sum indicated in the most beneficial manner, I think we should find it in disseminating among the nations and the people of the East knowledge of the institutions, the arts and the history of the West-knowledge of the progress of human society. The Turk is a willing learner. Let us receive him with the rites of his own native hospitality.
* Remarks on a donation of $10,000 to Amin Bey, a commissioner from the Sultan of Turkey, the first dipl atic agent from that powor.
PRE-EMPTION PRIVILEGES TO EMIGRANTS. *
SEPTEMBER 17, 1860.
Note.—Mr. Mason moved to amend a pre-emption bill by striking out the words " and all persons who shall have made declaration to become citizens of the United States,"
Mr. PRESIDENT,—I shall vote against this amendment of the Senator from Virginia, as I am sure every senator would who might have taken the trouble to go into the western states and see how they are colonized. I shall refer to Wisconsin for illustration. I think it is now fifteen years since the state of Wisconsin, or what is now the state of Wisconsin, contained a population of only about five thousand souls, then organized as a territory, together with Iowa, under the care of the honorable Senator opposite, [Mr. DODGE] as its Governor. In the space of fifteen years, Wisconsin has grown to be a state, numbering four hundred thousand people, which is a population nearly equal to one-seventh part of the population of the greatest state in the Union. Any person who has visited that region cannot have failed to see that, in all which goes to constitute the elements of political strength and wealth, of moral and political power, it is worthy of being ranked among the most prosperous and happy communities in the world.
Now, sir, I think if a census were taken so as to discriminate between those of foreign birth, and those who are natives of the United States, there would be found among the whole population of Wisconsin one-half who by birth are foreigners, and who went upon the public domain as such. And yet I think no community on earth shows more of industry and thrift, and gives higher evidence of social improvement and of republican loyalty and patriotism. It is upon such observations as these that I have adopted the conclusion, that the welfare of this country requires that the invitation, if I may call it so, should be freely extended to foreigners, and that the privilege should be allowed to them as well as to our own citizens to fill up the lands of the west, and that the more speedily they shall be so filled up the better.
* Remarks on admitting emigrants to privileges of pre-emption on the public domain.
MINING PRIVILEGES TO EMIGRANTS.*
SEPTEMBER 24, 1850.
I move to amend the bill by adding after the word "citizen," in the second section, the words, “and persons who shall have, in pursuance of law, declared their intention to become such," so as to make the section read:
" That the said agents, each within his district, shall have authority to grant permits to American citizens (and persons who shall, in pursuance of law, have declared their intentions to become such] to work the placers on public land by manual labor, and also to work by mining and quarrying the mineral lodes or veins occurring in the work, by machinery driven by horse, steam, or water power, and every permit shall specify for which kind of mining it is granted.”
I discover that this bill contemplates a restraining of its benefits to American citizens. The amendment I offer, proposes to extend them to those who shall have declared their intentions to become citizens, in the manner prescribed by law.
At this late stage of the session there is no time for discussing the principle involved in this amendment. That principle, however, was adopted in the bill for disposing of the public domain in Oregon, which was recently passed. I gave my reasons for adopting it on that occasion.
I will add now only this, that the objects of the United States in regard to the gold mines in California, should be, in the first place, to bring to the general public use of the people of the United States the largest possible acquisition of national wealth from their newly-discovered fountains; and, secondly, to render the mining operations conducive to the best and speediest possible settlement of our vast countries on the Pacific coast, which are so soon to exercise boundless commercial, social, and political influ
* Remarks on admitting emigrants to the mines in California.