United States. Congress.

Abridgment of the Debates of Congress, from 1789 to 1856. From Gales and Seatons' Annals of Congress; from their Register of debates; and from the official reported debates, by John C. Rives online

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Online LibraryUnited States. CongressAbridgment of the Debates of Congress, from 1789 to 1856. From Gales and Seatons' Annals of Congress; from their Register of debates; and from the official reported debates, by John C. Rives → online text (page 99 of 183)
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words of a former report) it is nnt shown at what
period they made the settlement, nor had they any
title to the land on which they settled and made im-
provements. No such title indeed could have been
created, as those lands remained within the houndary
of the Cherokees until the year 1798, when a part of
this territory was purchased by a treaty held at Tel-
Uco. It does not appear that the lines that bound
the tract of land m question, and divide it from Caro-
lina, have ever been established by public authority.

After the transfer of this territory by the United
States to Georgia, the Legislature of that State, in
compliance with the earnest request of those self-
governed people, praying that they might be allowed
to participate in the civil rights enjoyed in common
by the people of the United States, passed an act in the
year 1803 to organize the inhabited part of the ter-
ritory, and to form it into a county, authorizing, at
the same time, the Governor to appoint commission-
ers, to meet such commissioners as should be ap-
pointed by the Government of North Carolina to
ascertain and plainly mark the line dividing this
territory from North Carolina. The Governor of
North Carolina expressed a readiness to accede to
the proposition, under the provisions of a former act
of the Legislature of that State, but clogged with a
condition which the Legislature of North Carolina
refused to depart from, and which the Legislature of
Georgia refused to ac6ede to. Her reason may be found
in a letter from General Pickens, of the State of South
Carolina, attached to a report made to the House
respecting that territory whUe the property of the
United States. The letter states, that before the
people inhabiting that territory settled on the lands,
it was surveyed, and grants obtained for most part of
it from the State of North Carolina, and probably
by men who oared little whether the land was within
the Indian claim or the limits of South Carolina.
Your committee conceive that they have no right to
enter into the feelings of either of the parties, or to
pronounce upon the justice of the condition made by
North Carolina on the one part, or its rejection by
Georgia on the other, and have therefore confined
their attention to that part of the memorial which
calls upon Congress to define and mark out the thirty-
fifth degree of latitude — the line which North Caro-
lina admits to bound her State — upon the south and
north of which Georgia can have no claim of territo-
ry. Your committee, after giving to this point the
most deliberate consideration, are of opinion that the
United States are bound, in good faith, to use their
friendly offices with the State of North Carolina for
obtaining an amicable adjustment of the limits of the
territory, which they have transferred to Georgia, in
aU parts where such limits may be disputed.

Your committee, therefore, beg leave to offer the
following resolution:

Resolved, That the President of the United States
be authorized to appoint a commissioner, to meet
such commissioners as may be appointed by the States
of North Carolina and Georgia, for the purpose of
ascertainiii g and rnnning the line which divides the
territory transferred by the United States to Georgia,
from North Carolina.

The report was read, and referred to a Com-
mittee of the whole House on Friday next.



Thuesdat, February 13.
Society of Hwrmony.

The House went into a Committee of the
Whole on the bill received from the Senate, the
object of which is to authorize the location of
a quantity of land in the Indiana "Territory by
George Rapp and his associates, they paying
two dollars therefor, and giving them a credit,
without the payment of interest, for six years,
when they are to pay one-fourth of the pur-
chase money, and the residue in six annual
payments, on condition that, agreeably to pre-
scribed terms, the vine shall be cultivated.

Mr. MoCeebet stated that George Rapp and
his associates, amounting to about 3,000 per-
sons, were natives of the Electorate of Wirtem-
berg ; that they were Lutherans, who had fled
from oppression in that country; that they
were mostly cultivators of the vine, and wished
an extension of the usual time 'for paying for
public lands, they not having the means of the
common payment ; they wished to live together,
and to cultivate the vine for their principal
support, for their prosperity, and for the good
of the community, in introducing its culture
into this country.

Mr. Ely observed that the bill appeared to
give a preference in the sale of the public lands ;
that the biU was presented from the Senate
without the documents or testimony which
might justify this preference; he therefore
moved that it should be committed to the Com-
mittee on Public Lands.

Mr. Gebgg. — They obtain a whole township
of the best land at only two dollars per acre,
and it is proposed to extend to them an unusual
indulgence in the time of payment. He would
not agree to it.

Mr. FiNDLAT spoke in favor of the bill.

Mr. CosTEAD. — The indulgence of time for
payment is not unprecedented. He showed an
act granting twelve years for payment where
land was purchased for the same purpose, and
that act does not bind the purchasers to plant
the vine, whereas this does. It were better to
make a present of the land than not have the
settlement among us of such persons. If not
thus sold, it is more than probable that the land
win lie waste and unsold more than the six
years.

Mr. Oldj.— If we can be justified in a sale
of this kind, why oblige foreigners instead of
our own countrymen 3 "We have citizens enough
of our own who would be glad to purchase on
such terms.

Mr. Sloaist. — ^Though I drink no wine myself,
I have no wish to prevent others, for I think it
may often be serviceable. I consider the in-
dulgence as to the time of payment in the light
of an encouragement or bounty, that may prove
useful to us as well as the applicants.

Mr. Smedib. — I cannot say with the gentle-
man from New Jersey that I drink no wine,
for I certainly do when I can get it. I do not
consider it as a valid objection that the peti-



DEBATES OP CONaKESS.



405



FEBKnARY, 1806.]



Indiana Territory,



[H. OF R.



tioners are foreigners. I am myself a Euro-
pean, who have fled from oppression in the
country where I was horn. How great a part
of Pennsylvania is settled by such characters !

Mr. MoCeeeet. — The applicants are men of
piety and industry. Let us give them a good
chance, for our own sakes as well as theirs, to
introduce the culture of the grape here.

Mr. FiNDLAT. — If this indulgence be not given,
the land will lie waste. We wish to populate
the territory. Their settlement will enhance the
value of the public lands ai-ound them.

Mr. Ely. — I am sorry my motion has occa-
sioned so much debate. I was ignorant of the
cireumstances relating to this society, and to
the character of it ; my object was information,
not an intention to defeat the bill. We deviate
from the usual mode, which Is to have the re-
port of a committee in cases of this sort.

Mr. Geegg. — This bill very improperly au-
thorizes a deviation from the established prac-
tice of selling public lands — it is a change of
principle. I do not wish to see so great a body
of foreigners settled together ; we shall have a
little Wirtemberg ; we must legislate for them ;
they cannot speak our language; they cannot
serve as jurymen, and from the information I
have received, I am confident they will not suc-
ceed in cultivating the vine in that Country.

Mr. Bedingee. — I am a shareholder in a vine-
yard in Kentucky, and our success has exceeded
our most sanguine expectations.

Mr. Maoon. — In order to try the sense of the
committee, I move to strike out the words
" George Eapp and his associates." Why should
we not grant bounties for raising wheat or
corn as well as the vine ? If wine can be made
here to advantage, there is no need of the en-
couragement of this House. A few years since
we raised no cotton, but the profit of this cul-
ture once known, it has become an article of
vast exportation. What claim have these aliens
over our own citizens ? They have been op-
pressed ; put your finger on any spot of Europe
that is not under oppression. If you commence
this new system, all the best sections of land
will be taken up in this manner. Who will
not pm-chase on such terms ?

Mr. Lyon. — ^Lands not belonging to the pub-
lic may be had for less than one dollar an acre
in many places.

Mr. OuN. — We have men that can cultivate
the vine as well as those foreigners. It is a
plain, smiple thing.

Mr. Jaokson. — If disposed to grant favors,
let us grant to those who have the greatest
claim. There are many old soldiers of the
Kevolution, who would rejoice to purchase land
on these terms. Why encourage the making
of wines ? They are luxuries, not necessaries.
Lands on the Ohio are from six to eight dollars
in many places ; this bill gives the petitioners
their choice of the best, and they pay no inter-
est for their purchase, at two dollars.

Mr. Sloan. — This bill will enhance the value
of lands adjoining. It will be a humane acL



Mr. Jackson. — ^I rise merely to state a fact I
have just now learned. There are at this very
time men waiting for the passage of this bill,
who are ready to give six dollars per acre for
much of the very land the bill contemplates.

Mr. Holland. — Some small tracts only may
sell for six dollars. We bind the purchasers to
plant the first year 9,000 plants, and 3,000 an-
nually after.

Mr. MoEEOW, of Ohio. — I rise only to reply
to the gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. Jaokson:)
I never seek for%formation in the lobby, nor
the gallery, nor Pennsylvania avenue. The
gentleman is misinformed.

Mr. Jaokson. — My authority is an honorable
member near me — an authority at least as
respectable as any the gentleman from Ohio
can have.

The question was taken — 60 for striking out,
51 against it. The committee rose, and the
House considered the bill.

Mr. Oeowhinshield. — There is no interest to
be received. I have made a calculation that,
considering the want of interest to the time of
the last payment, we now get only ninety-seven
cents per acre. I move to strike out two, and
insert three dollars per acre.

The motion was lost — 44 only for it.

Mr. CrowninShibld. — There are in a section
about 23,000 acres, making about 46,000 dol-
lars. I move to insert six per cent, interest till
paid.

Mr. Nicholson. — Public lands are sold with-
out interest for a certain time. If the money
be not punctually paid, I am willing the debt
should be on interest after.

Mr. Jaokson. — I move to postpone the con-
sideration of the bin indefinitely.

The ayes and nays were called for, and taken
on this motion — ayes 53, nays 59.

Mr. Geowninshield's motion for the insertion
of interest was lost — 52 to 49.

Mr. D. E. Williams moved the insertion of
two instead of six years for payment of the
land. Motion lost — 54 to 45. The bill passed
to a third reading for to-morrow.



Feidat, February 14.
Indiana Territory.

Mr. Gasnett, from the committee appointed
on the eighteenth of December last, to whom
were referred the report of a select committee
on the letter of William H. Harrison, made the
seventeenth of February, eighteen hundred and
four ; a memorial of the Legislative Council and
House of Representatives of the Indiana Terri-
tory, and several petitions of sundry inhabi-
tants of the said Territory ; made the following
report :

That, having attentively considered the facts stat-
ed in the said petitions and memorials, they are of
opinion that a qualified suspension, for a limited
time, of the sixth article of compact between the
original States and the people and States west of the
river Ohio, would be beneficial to the people of the



406



ABKIDGMENT OP THE



H. OP R.]



Society of Harmony.



[Febeuaby, 1806.



Indiana Territory. Tlie suspension of this article is
an object almost universally desired in that Territo-
ry. It appears to your committee to be a question
entirely different from that between slavery and
freedom, inasmuch as it would merely occasion the
removal of persons, already slaves, from one part
of the country to another. The good effects of this
suspension, in the present instance, would be to ac-
celerate the population of that Territory, hitherto
retarded by the operation of 'that article of com-
pact, as slaveholders emigrating into the Western
country might then indulge any preference which they
might feel for a settlement in the Indiana Territory,
instead of seeking, as they are now compelled to do,
settlements in other States or countries permitting
the introduction of slaves. The condition of the
slaves themselves would be much ameliorated by it,
as it is evident, from experience, that the more they
are separated and diffused, tbe more care and atten-
tion are bestowed on them by their masters, each
propiietor having it in his powe^ to increase their
comforts and conveniences in proportion to the small-
ness of their numbers. The dangers, too, (if any are
to be apprehended,) from too large a black popular
tion existing in any one section of country, would cer-
tainly be very much diminished, if not entirely re-
moved. But whether dangers are to be feared from
this source or not, it is certainly an obvious dictate of
sound policy to guard against them, as far as possi-
ble. If this danger does exist, or there is any
cause to apprehend it, and our Western brethren are
not only willing but desirous to aid us in taking pre-
cautions against it, would it not be wise to accept
their assistance ? We should benefit ourselves,
without injuring them, as their population must
always so far exceed any black population which can
ever exist in that country, as to render the idea of
danger from that source chimerical.

Your committee consider the regulation contained
in the ordinance for the government of the Territory
of the United States, which requires a freehold of
fifty acres of land as a qualification for an elector of
the General Assembly, as limiting too much the
elective franchise. Some restrictions, however, be-
ing necessary, your committee conceive that a resi-
dence continued long enough to evince o, determi-
nation to become a permanent inhabitant, should
entitle a person to the rights of suffrage. This pro-
bationary period need not extend beyond twelve
months.

The petition of certain settlers in the Indiana Ter-
ritory, praying to he annexed to the State of Ohio,
onght not, in the opinion of your committee, to be
granted

After attentively considering the various objects
desired in the memorials and petitions, the commit-
tee respectfully submit to the House the following
resolutions :

1. Resolved, That the sixth article of the ordinance
of 1787, which prohibits slavery within the Indiana
Territory, be suspended for ten years, so as to per-
mit the introduction of slaves, born within the United
States, from any of the individual States.

2. Resolved, That every white freeman of the ao'e
of twenty-one years, who has resided within the Ter-
ritory twelve months, and within the county in which
he claims a vote, six months immediately preceding
the election, shall eiyoy the rights of an Elector of
the General Assembly.

3. Resolved, That the petition of certain settlers in



tbe Indiana Territory, praying to be annexed to the
State of Ohio, ought not to be granted.

4. Resolved, That it is inexpedient, at this time, to
grant that part of the petition of the people of Kan-
dolph and St. Clair which prays for a division of the
Indiana Territory.

Referred to a Oommittee of the Whole on
Thursday next.

Society of Mmrmony.

The hill allowing George Eapp and his asso-
ciates to locate a township of land in the Indi-
ana Territory on certain conditions, was read a
third time.

Mr. Claek moved to recommit the hill to the
Committee on Public Lands. The bill wants
several amendments. There is no penalty,
should the petitioners neglect to plant the vines.

Mr. Jackson. — I second the motion of my
colleague. These public lands formerly he-
longed to the State of Virginia ; when ceded
by that State, the Government of the United
States were made trustees " for the common
benefit of the Union ; faithfully and hona fide
for that use, and for no other," to use the words
of the act granting the cession. This is a con-
tract between Virginia and the United States ;
we are in the place of trustees ; we cannot vio-
late the trust, yet this mode of selling the land
for the benefit of individual foreigners is a viola-
tion of the trust. This precedent will be quoted
hereafter, and will operate most injuriously.
Notwithstanding what the gentleman from Ohio
(Mr. MoEBOw) has said, I cannot help saying, that
there are men ready at this time to give six
dollars per acre for this very land, or land of
this description. This bUl will give them a
whole township, 23,000 acres of land of the
first quality. 1 cannot conceive the cultivation
of the vine as a national benefit, as being " for
the common benefit of the Union." It will
diminish the revenue, should vines be raised in
abundance here. Wine is heavily taxed, and
the tax is paid by the rich. I am altogether
opposed to the hill.

Mr. Smilie. — A new argument indeed is
brought forward by the gentleman from Vir-
ginia. We can hardly turn round without
somehow invading the rights of Virginia.
If we talk of building a bridge or erecting
a dam, at once the rights of Virginia are in-
vaded. If we wish to dispose of some of our
public land in the West as we think proper, the
rights of Virginia are invaded. Virginia claimed
lands stretching to the north pole; she took
what she wanted, and gave a quit claim to the
United States for the rest. Some of the House
think this sale, this indulgence in the payment
for the purpose of introducing the cultivation
of the vine, and of serving these worthy for-
eigners, will be " for the common benefit of the
Union;" some think otherwise; it is merely
a matter of opinion, and a majority of opinion
must decide.

Mr. Morrow. — There are some small tracts
of land, on which what are called sqttatters are



DEBATES OF CONGEESS.



407



Febkuabt, 1806.]



Non-Impartation of Slaves into Territories.



[H. OF R.



settled, and where already improvements have
been made, which would sell for four or six
dollars per acre; but I doubt whether any
township of land would sell for two dollars,
even with the usual instalments.

Mr. Paeke, of the Indiana Territory. — Even
in the settled parts of the Territory, lands are
not above three dollars.

Mr. Ely. — Gentlemen have said that poor
lands were proper for the vine. It may be so ;
but the petitioner and his associates mention
also the raising qf hemp, which requires the best
bottom lands. I am far from wishing to dis-
courage these settlers; but they are already
among us, and will not leave this country.
They are represented to be (and I fully believe
the representation) men of piety and morality ;
the United States are not beyond improvement
in piety and morality ; instead of putting them
in one, and that a far -distant place, let them be
scattered over the Union, that all parts may be
benefited. Such a body of men, of one sect, of
one language, wUl wish to seclude icself from
the rest of the Union ; they will wish what this
bill gives them, and what I think injurious, an
exclusive territory. We are deviating from our
common usage in the sale of land. Is the devi-
ation necessary or proper? Gentlemen have
said they were iiying from oppression to this
land of liberty ; liberty was their object ; a re-
publican Government ; yet it appears that when
they left "Wirtemberg, their expectation and in-
tention was to settle in Louisiana, then under
the Spanish Government. The bill obliges them
to plant a certain number of vines ; perhaps the
expense of this will not be $100, and there is
no forfeiture even if they should refuse to com-
ply. It may prove a fine speculation for them ;
they may get perhaps the finest land and the
best salt lick in the territory.

Mr. ITiOHOLsoBT, (after recapitulating the ar-
guments previously adduced.) — I have no ob-
jection to the settlement of the applicants in
one body ; nor can I see any probable evil re-
sulting from it. The gentleman from Massa-
chusetts has informed us that the people of the
United States are bad enough, and that the dis-
tribution of this society over the whole States
might prove advantageous to the Union ; if not
in one body, they must settle on lands for sale
in different parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio,
&c. This distribution would be unfair, as Mas-
sachusetts has not lands for sale, except perhaps
in the district of Maine ; hence that State would
be deprived of the advantage it might obtain
by an improvement of its piety and morality
from a distribution of a part of this society
among the citizens of that State. I know not
why the sale of this land, according to the
terms of the bill, should be considered as not
conducing to the good of the nation. We have
given lands for colleges and schools, and for the
support of clergymen ; we have also sold lands,
the proceeds of which were to be expended for
the improvement of roads — roads by which the
pubho at large would be benefited, though the



citizens of Maine or Georgia might never travel
them.

The bill was recommitted to a Committee of
the Whole — 62 to 53, and made the order of the
day for Monday next.



Monday, Febmary 17.

Non-Importation of Slaves into Territories.

Mr. David R. Williams, from the committee
appointed, on the seventh instant, "to inquire
whether any, and, if any, what, additional pro-
visions are necessary to prevent the importation
of slaves into the Territories of the United
States," made the following report :

That the act of Congress, passed the 7tii April,
1798, authorizing the establishment of a Government
in the Mississippi Territory, permits slavery within
that TerritmjT, by excluding the last article of the
ordinance oWl3th July, 1787. The seventh section
of this act prohibits, after the establishment of a Gov-
ernment, the importation of slaves from any port or
place without the limits of the United States ; of
course, the right to import slaves from any place
within the limits of the United States is not re-
stricted.

The act of 2d March, 1805, further providing for
the Government of the Territory of Orleans, secures
to its inhabitants " all the rights, privileges, and ad-
vantages, secured by the ordinance of 13th July,
1787, and now enjoyed by the people of the Missis-
sippi Territory." The importation of slaves, from
any place within the Kmits of the United States, is
one of those rights ; consequently, the inhabitants of
the Territory of Orleans may exercise it also.

The tenth section of the act of 26th March, 1804,
" erecting Louisiana into two Territories, and provid-
ing for the temporary government thereof," prohibits
the introduction of slaves into that Territory, from
any place, " except by a citizen of the United States,
removing into said Territory, for actual settlement,
and being at the time of such removal honajide owner
of such slave or slaves." This tenth section, being
repugnant to the first section of the act of 2d March,
1805, was repealed by the last section of said act,
which declares : " that so much of an act, entitled
' An act erecting Louisiana into two Territories, and
providing for the temporary government thereof,' as
is repugnant with this act, shall, from and after tha
first Monday of November next, be repealed."

The committee are in the possession of the fact, that
African slaves, lately imported into Charleston, have
been thence conveyed into the Territory of Orleans ;
and, in their opinion, this practice will he continued
to a veiy great extent while there is no law to pre-
vent it.

Upon this view of the subject, the committee he-
Ueve it is expedient to prollbit any slave or slaves,
who may be hereafter imported into the United
States, from being carried into any of the Territories
thereof; they, therefore, respectfiiUy recommend tha
following resolution :

Resolved, That it shall not be lawful for any
person or persons to import or bring into any of the
Territories of the United States any slave or slaves
that may hereafter be imported into the United
States.



Online LibraryUnited States. CongressAbridgment of the Debates of Congress, from 1789 to 1856. From Gales and Seatons' Annals of Congress; from their Register of debates; and from the official reported debates, by John C. Rives → online text (page 99 of 183)