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Page:Register of debates in congress, v6.djvu/204

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[Feb. 25, 26, 1830.]
Mr. Foot's Resolution.

minority for greater tranquillity, and, as in other monarchies and despotisms, sec how admirably minorities can govern. One accidental instance of such a government, by way of illustration, may possibly have been given to us this session, in respect to the printing of the public documents; and, I must confess, it has not diminished my aversion to such kind of governments, and especially to their practical doctrines on public economy. If the gentleman from Missouri, on my right, [Mr. Bartos] seeks by such measures to pull down this administration, he may not find it so "downhill a business" as he represented the pulling down administrations in this country usually to be. Perhaps it would be well, before further taunts of this kind are repeated, to set history right, and to recollect that pulling down administrations in this country has never proved quite so easy and downhill a business as seems to be supposed, when the administrations have been democratic—not a very downhill concern when it was attempted on either Mr. Jefferson's, Mr. Madison's, or Mr. Monroe's administration; but rather easier to be sure—rather more of a downhill concern—in the two four-year administrations in this country, suspected, at least, of no very great devotion to some of the leading principles of democracy.

But I shall neither vaunt nor prophesy; but only express a doubt that, if the present administration may yet be as easily pulled down, it will not be pulled down by such measures as the printingresolution, nor exactly by such politicians as now lead in the attack on that administration. If beaten ever in that way for a few days, the friends of it probably have Antxan vigor enough to rise stro nger from the fall, if the administration, relying upon its real friends, and on the true principles of democracy, is still occasionally beaten^ whether in fact, or only on paper and in party credulity, the opposition may find it will not long stay beaten. And this "downhill business" may prove, an uphill job to the undertakers. At least if this administration is ever, by such leaders, and in this way, rolled to the bottom of the hill, 1 may, as a Yankee, be allowed to guess, that those leaders, like Sisyphus, will find it must speedily be rolled back again.

I have thus finished [said Mr. ] what my sense of duty, painpdly, in some respects, has urged me to say on this occasion; and if, in the cause of my political friends, I may have flung myself on the spears of my enemies to perish, I shall be content to perish in a cause which my heart loves, and my judgment approves. [Here the debate closed for this day.]

TllfltSDAT, FEBRUARY 25, 185U.

The Senate resumed the consideration of the resolution offered by Mr. FOOT.

Mr. SMITH, of South Carolina, addressed the Senate until three o'clock, when he gave way for a motion to adjourn.

FmoAr, Fkbiu-abt 26, 1830.

Mr. SMITH, of South Carolina, addressed the Senate in continuation and conclusion of the speech which he commenced yesterday.

He remarked that the debate had assumed a wide range, and encircled almost every political subject that had aritatcd the Government for the last forty years, and more. Although about to give my own views to the Senate, [said Mr. S.] I do not aspire to ornament, but to illustrate what I may say. This debate has been one of -feeling; and especially as it related to the disposition, by the General Government, of the public lands. And if I am to judge from tile niauncr in which it bas been treated by gentlemen who liave aaid a great deal concerning it, I should suppose they h:ul examined but superficially its extent and importance to the people of the United States. If your treasure is worth preserving for the use of the Government, why should you sport away your public land more than your public moneys? For the manner in which it is proposed to get rid of it, if not sporting it away, is probably as bad.

I do not intend to limit my remarks to the subject of the public lands, entirely, but," after 1 shall have done with that, will take a cursory view of several other topics that have excited much interest; which, perhaps, I may not treat precisely as other gentlemen have done, yet, 1 will endeavor to treat them fairly. I have always found that matters of fact give a fairer view of party subjects than your abstract speeches. A gentleman who speaks abstractedly generally docs little more than give you what is best suited to his purpose. But if these topics arc discussed for public use, the public are entitled to hear all; otherwise the public arc imposed upon; they arc misguided by seeing but one side of the question. The public are always prepared to judge rightly, and, if correctly informed, will aluuys do so. On the subject of party politics—a subject from which there is more to fear than from any other that agitates your Government—the truth lias not been half told; and when I reach it, 1 may perhaps differ from other gentlemen in the view that I may take of it.

On the subject of the public lands, their importance, which seems to be overlooked, and the manner in which the gentleman from New Hampshire [Mr. Voo»BCBi]aud my colleague [Mr. IlAYNt:]proposeiodisposeof them, their views arc so totally different from my own, as to require my first attention. And believing, as l"do, that they have not treated that subject as its importance requires, I will first notice what they have respectively said on that question, and then give my reasons, founded on facts, why I differ from them.

The gentleman from New Hampshire says, in addition to doing justice to the people of the Western States, it is necessary to accelerate the sales of your public lands, as fast as possible, lest you drive your citizens to foreign countries, to seek for lands and comfortable homes. In support of this opinion, that gentleman informs us that the British Government is now selling lands at reduced prices, not only in their colonies in New Holland, but in the Canadas, and are thereby holding out inducements to jour citizens to emigrate thither. That other European nations have adopted the same seductive policy. Even Persia holds out inducements to emigrants, by selling her lands at reduced prices. In consequence of your own delays, and this liberal policy of other nations, your citizens, we are told, are actually departing from the United States; by which we arc to understand, your States are to be depopulated, and your physical strength transferred to ether countries, and to foreign enemies. This would be an injudicious policy, indeed, on the part of our* Government, could we assent to the premises. But what possible inducement could an American citizen have to break up his household, sell off every thing, and transport himself to New Holland—a country that not one American in twenty thousand ever heard of—there to speculate upon a quarter s.ction of land, when there are millions of acres lying at his own door, at one dollar and twenty -five cents per acre? Or can we imagine that any motive whatever could induce an American to forego all the comforts held out at home, to look for better times in Persia'

What is the fact [Mr. S. inquired] as regards the Canadas' In 1825 I visited that country, and whilst at Quebec, and elsewhere, was informed, from high authority, that their Government imported from Ireland, annually, ten thousand people, and that another ten thousand, at least, came of their own accord, or were brought from that country by their wealthy friends. That most cf these people went to Upper Canada, being esteemed the best portion of the British possessions in America, and there received a bounty in lands, farming utensils, and provisions, by the Government, and were there kept un