William Jagger.

A book addressed to the people of Suffolk County, upon some important points of national policy online

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Online LibraryWilliam JaggerA book addressed to the people of Suffolk County, upon some important points of national policy → online text (page 1 of 6)
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^ 1836.

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Permit me to address you, and call your attention to the
affairs of our government. It is well known that I take a
great interest in these affairs, a subject I never have until with-
in two years, scarce taken any interest in. It appears strange
to the people that I should quit my business for the sake of
becoming a politician. It is quite as strange to me as it is to
them. It is what I never thought would happen to me. I
have taken so little interest that I never even attended a polit-
ical meeting.

I will state the cause of my becoming a politician. One
of our best and most learned gentlemen told me that if the af-
fairs, of our government did not soon alter we should have
another form of government that would not be a republican
government. The Hon. gentleman who told me this was
Hull Osborne, Esq. (since then deceased.) He was well
known to the people of Suffolk County as a learned, wise, and
good man. He told me, the leaders of the administration
party did not regard the Constitution, but violated it to suit
their own selfish purposes. This wise and good man felt
much for the good of his County, and the Constitution. What
he said to me made a strong impression upon my mind, and I
quit my business with a determination to know how our affairs
were situated, and I have not spared any labor in finding
out. And I can say to you, they are in a much worse state
than I had any idea of. If the leaders do not regard the con-


stitufion nor what Gen. Jacksofi recommends to be done for
the p-eople, but act to the reverse, as J kuotc f^et/ hare done in
a most important CAse, are we to expect they will regard us ?
I know we have been most dreadfully deceived within eight
years past, by those who pretend to be our friends. I will
prove to you that we have been most dread/ nli^ deceived
and prove that the leaders have not regarded what General
Jackson recommended to be done for the srood of the people,
but they have tried to act to the reverse, and greatly to the
injury of the people. They tried last winter to pass a law that
would injure us, and take from ns Hundreds c^' Millions oC
our property. This I know they tried to do. It appears
tlieir object for this was to get ^lartin in as president. Are
you not willing under these circumstances to become person-
ally acquainted with the aflairs of our government and no lon-
ger snifer yourselves to be led by blind and partially deranged
office holders and oiBce seekers ? I hope the reader will en-
deavor to understand me. for I can assure him that h^ has acs
EULch interest in the subject as I have, and has as much to ex-
pect from any party as I do. It will not make any difference
to me who we have for officers if they are honest and capable
men. I do not want any favors from them that others do not

I do not want an office from any party, and I here promise
that I never will hold an office to receive any thing {or mjr
services ; no one will hardly believe Hiat I want an offite to-
serve the people for nothing.

I will now prove that we have been most dreadfully decei-
ved and wronged out of our money within eight years.

Before Goi. Jacksen was president, and while Mr. Adams
"«:as president we were told that he (3/;-. Adams) spent out
money wrongfully ; that is, spent it for purposes that he ougliat
not to have spent it for, and spent mixrh more thaa he should
have done. We were told that he spent forty thousand dollars
to furnish the east room of the President's house as it is called —
we were also told that if Gen. Jackson was president he would
not spend so much of our money, but would save it for us.
This they repeatedly told us, and now let us see how much,
truth there was in these charges against Mi\ AdamSy and see

if this administratfon has saved our money ag they promtseJ,
and have actually spent less than Mr. Adams.

I went to Washington for the purpose of finding out the
truth of a number of charges, and how our affairs were mana-
ged. And I stayed near six months there for this purpose
and to hear what was going on. I was told by a number of
gentlemen that Mr. Adams did not furnish that particular east
room. I spent a number of evenings with Mr. Adams, and he-
told me he did not furnish the room that he was charged with
furnishing. He said he did not lay out one dollar to furnish
said east room. But since Gen. Jackson has been president
this room has been furnished, and it cost, as I am credibly
informed, forty thousand dollars. You may depend that thi»
charge against Mr. Adams for spending forty thousand dollars
to furnish that particular room, is as false as it would be
for you to say you had not this paper in your hand. Are wc
to put up with such charges that are made for no other purpose
but to deceive us and to injure- an honest president? Will we
suffer a public officerto be treated in this way,and ourselvesde-
ceived, and pass it off with scarce any notice ? I hope it will be
long remembered by all persons. If any person dare dispute
me or does not believe what I have stated, if said person will
give me three hundred dollars, if I can prove it to the sati^ac^
tionof Abraham Gardner, Esq. (Merchant of Sag-Harbor) and
Col. Benjamin Case (Merchant of Southold)that Mr. Adams
did not lurnish said east room, I will give said persons one
thousand if I cannot prove it to their satisfaction that Mr.
Adam,s did not furnish the said room.

The above gentlemen must go to Washington and hear
what can be proved concerning this case. This is a fair offer
and these gentlemen are both administration men.

As it respects Mr. Adams^ spending our money for other
purposes, wrongfully, and spending more than he ought to
have done, I believe is as false as the charge of his furnishing
that particular room. He told me he did not spend any more
than it was necessary.

You may judge from what Gen. Jackson's administration
has spent, whether Mr. Adams did spend and squander our

money away. As it respects Gen. Jackson^s spending less
than Mr. Adams, it is false.

A plain statement of the e.vpejises of the present administration
as compared with those oj former administrations.

I here present you with the expenses of the Government for
twelve years. This is for two years of President. Monroe ;
four years of President Adams, and siS years of President
Jackson. I presume it is correct. I employed a competent
person to assist me and I instructed him to spare no pains to
have it correct, and I attended to it myself also. President
Monroe and President Adams spent in six years, sixty nine
millions two hundred and seventy-eight thousand five hun-
dred and seventy-one dollars and sixty-nine cents. This is
exclusive of what they paid on account of public debt and
what they paid on account of awards under former treaties
which is the same as a public debt. They paid on account of
public debt in six years, sixty-seven millions four hundred and
one thousand nine hundred and forty-three dollars and sixty
cents. They paid on account of awards under former treaties,
(which is the same as a public debt) six millions three hundred
and thirty-six thousand six hundred and forty dollars and
ninety-two cents. These two sums make seventy-three mill-
ions seven hundred and thirty-eight thousand five hundred and
eighty -four dollars and fifty-two cents. There was spent un-
der president Jackson's administration in six years, ninety-six
millions seven hundred and twenty-one thousand four hundred
and forty-seven dollars and seventy-nine cents. This is ex-
clusive of payments on account of public debt and money
paid on account of awards under former treaties. There was
paid in six years under president Jackson's administration on
account of public debt, sixty-five millions four hundred and
seventy-four thousand three hundred and forty-five dollars.
There was paid on account of awards under former treaties,
seven hundred and fourteen thousand nine hundred and thirty-


tme dollars. These two sums make sixty-six millions one
hundred and eighty-nine thousand two hundred and seventy-
six dollars. You will observe by this statement that there
was spent in six years imder President Jackson's administra-
tion twenty-seven millions four hundred and forty-two thou*
sand eight hundred and seventy-six dollars more than was
spent in two years of President Monroe and four years of
President Adams. Is this fulfilling the promise that Presi-
den Jackson would spend less of our money than John
Q. Adams had done? Is it not as ialse as the charge of
his having furnished that east room ? Presidents Monroe,
and Adams paid on account of Public Debt and on account of
awards under former treaties seven millions five hundred and
forty-eight thousand three hundred and seven dollars and thir-
ty-six cents more than was paid under President Jackson's
administration in the same time — six years. This must ap-
pear strange to all persons who did not well understand this
before. How often have we heard and been told that President
Jackson was paying off our Public Debt. One would really
conclude that it was a fact that President Jackson was
paying off our Public Debt, while the other Presidents paid
but a small sum compared with what Gen. Jackson was actu-
ally paying. Why were we often told about President Jack-
son's paying off the Public Debt ? We heard scarce any thing
of any other President's paying off the Public Debt. This
was told to flatter and deceive us — to convey the idea that
President Jackson was actually doing more for us than any
other President had done. Is it possible that there is a person
in this County who wishes to be called a man of information
and veracity that will support leaders that result to such mean
acts to deceive us ; for no man of information and candor can
deny that the people have been not willfully deceived by the
leaders of the administration party, while those opposed to them
have dealt honestly with the people. I say honestly, for I
cannot find an instance where they have not dealt honestly.
Strange as it must appear it is no more strange than true,
that, after we had been told that president Jackson would sa^^e
our money he has, as appears, spent and squandered away
piore in six years, than was spent in six years previous, which,


if it had been saved and divided equally among the people, if
Ave allow twelve millions and a half in the United States, then
allow thirty thousand for this County, it would give to this
County sixty-five thousand eight hundred and fifty dollars.
This sum would about pay all your taxes, and pay for school-
ing all your children for four years. This sum has been spent
and squandered from us and no one has seemed to know it.

Turn your attention now for a moment, to what we were
told about the United States Bank spending our money,— this
was rung over and over again in our ears. They say the
Bank spent forty thousand dollars. One fifth of this sum be-
longed to the people. That would be eight thousand dollars;
this sum divided Avould give this county about twenty dollars.
You see the difference yet you heard much of the twenty dol-
lars being spent and but little of sixty-five tlwusand eight hun^
dred and fifty dollars. Who can be so blinded as not to see
their deception their object being to keep up an excitement to
blind us. Who can be so deceived as to hold up those who
are trying to pull all the people down. I observe in a public
Journal that was printed at Washington that they have taken
pains to show us what will be expended for the support of
our Government for sixteen years. This is for four years of
President Monroe, four years of President Adams, and eight
years of President Jackson's administration. If they spend
this year all that is acti.ally appropriated for this year inclu-
ding^the unexpended balances, as officially reported by the
^cretary of the Treasury, that was appropriated a year or
two ago — if this money that is actually appropriated is all spent
ibis year, there will be a difference between the eight years of
Monroe and Adams, and the eight years of Jackson, according
to tiieir account, of seventy-two millions four hundred and
fifty-five thousand five hundred and fifty dollars and twenty-
six cents. If this enormous sum is spent this year it will be
spending for each person five dollars seventy-nine cents.
What a tax this would be for us to pay ! Suffolk County would
have to pay one hundred and seventy-three thousand seven
hundred dollars. If Old Suffolk had to raise that sum in eight
years by a tax, we all should feel the burden to be very great,
i believe this is a greater sum than Suffolk County has paid


In ten years for schooling and taxes. This is enougii to atari
any man from his eight years of slumber. I would not have
believed that it was possible for a few political aspirants to
keep up such an excitement among the people, until they
could spend and squander one quarter of that sum. It shocks
me to know what wicked men and knaves can do. If you
will not look to your interest I shall feel that I have done my
duty. If you are sufficiently awake to your interest to come
out boldly and fearlessly for GEN. HARRISON for your pres-
ident^ your money will be divided among the States and your
land will not be sold at one half that it is now selling for. An
honest man will not wrong you, and you should not hesitate
to place confidence in him.

I have not the least doubt but this account is correct, as
twelve years of their account agrees with mine, they present
each year separately. The appropriations for this year are
very large and I cannot believe they can spend it this year as
large as it is. It is not near as large as the leaders of the ad-
ministration party tried for near six months to have it. They
do not appear to have any bounds for appropriations, for the
great leader of the party Col. ThoiMA-s H. Benton tried to have
all the surplus set aside for fortifications.

If this administration spends this year all that is actually
appropriated, it will spend lacking seventeen millions throe
hundred and eight thousand seven hundred and sixteen dollars,
as much again as Mr, Monroe and Mr. Adams spent in eight
years previous. Are we to pass this off unnoticed ? surely
not. It is high time the people began to look to their interest
themselves, and not trust office holders and office seekers, for
I am surprised to see how deaf and how blind an office makes
a person ; it appears to be all self with a part of them, regard-
less of the interest of the people. Are we to be told that Mr.
Adams injured us by spending our money wrongfully ? are
we to be told that such a person would save our money when
in fact he has spent almost double ? Gentlemen, do not let
this pass unnoticed — do not read the above and lay it aside but
a few days before you read it again. 1 feel a great interest in
the people's becoming acquainted with the acts of leaders of
this party. As to my statement of their expenses, I am willing



to pay the expenses of any competent person whom the peo^
pie will put confidence in if he will go to Washington and
investigate the expenses of the government for the last sixteen
years. I will recommend him to a competent person who
will prepare the books and assist him if required. This person:
must be an administration man.

7%e Public Lands and the interest which every member of
comnuinity and every man in Suffolk County has in themf

It is high time tliat all persons became acquainted with the
affairs of our government. If they could but see the millions
of our money that has been squandered; and see, and under-
stand, those who are trying to destroy our Constitution, and
our Republican Government, for the purpose of building up-
on the ruins,, a government that would' deprive us- of our liberty,
a proper view of this would rouse them up. As our money
is spent and cannot be got back we must bear it. I now wish
to call your attention to your interest in your land : you have-
a great interest in land, that is, if you are a man of a family^
According to a report of the Committee on Public lands made
to the Senate there were one billion six hundred and ninety
million eight hundred and seventy-one thousand seven hun-
dred and fifty-three acres of land that were unsold, and that
belongs to the people.

There are about twelve millions five hunulred thousand peo-
ple in the United States exclusive of Indians and colored peo-
ple. This includes old and young. Now this land divided
among the people gives to each person eighty seven acres.-
This gives to each person who has a wife and three children'
four hundred and thirty-five acres — you see this is making all
persons rich in lands. Tliere is about thirty thousand people
in this County, and the right which this County owns in thefr
lands is two millions six hundred and ten thousand acres..
There is in this County about seven hundred and sixty-eight
thousand acres of land which is not one third as much as we
own in common with all the people. This land sold at the


price we are now selling it at, which is c«ie dollar twenty-five
cents per acre, amounts to the enormous sum of three millions
two hundred and sixty-two thousand dollars. There was
«old of our lands last year, (as Mr. Ewing, Senator, gave me
the account,) fifteen miUions eight hundred and sixteen thou-
sand dollars worth. This sum divided among the people
would give to this County thirty-seven thousand nine hun-
dred and fifty-eight dollars. This sum is about twice as much
as the people of this County pay for schooling and for taxes.
Is it not worthy of your notice to receive as much as you now
Jiave to pay for schooling and taxes ? This is your due and
you can have it, if you will but look to your interest.

If there is no more lands sold than for this County tolhave
thirty thousaitd dollars a year for its shai-e, it would take one
hundred and eighty years w sell all our lands. You see you
iiave a great interest in lands. This you ought to know so
that you may know how to prize them. Your title for this
land is just as good as your title is for your hat or any other
larticle you possess. This land might be divided among the
States, and Counties, and people. Suppose they were, and
leach person had his own share set off" to him, and he knew
where to find it, he could theii know how to prize it ; and he
would prii^e it high, for much of it is of the best quality. It is
perhaps better that the land is all together, for now it is offered
for sale at a very small price, and in small parcels, so that a
poor man that has fifty dollars can purchase forty acres of
good land, and we all know that a man that cannot raise fifty
(dollars had better not own a farm, for he would be too lazy to
work on it, and can do better to work by the day or month,
if our land was set oft' to us, we would not sell it perhaps for
five times as much as it is selling for now. As part of it is
poor land, then of course the poor people would have to take
part of the poor land for their share; and they could not sell
it nor could they buy the good land as the price would be so
high that they could not pay for it; as we do own the land it
eannot make any odds to us whether we pay for it when we
want land for a farm, or whether it was set off to us ; if we
pay for it then, of course, if we should five to see the land ali
iiold, then we receive the money the land sells for, which is tije


same as to have our land set off to us. This you must, I be-
heve, see and understand. Any person that wants land can
buy at the small price of one dollar and twenty-five cents per
acre. This price is so low that it will cause speculators to
buy almost all the land, then the poor man must buy of them
at their price. As there is so much land to sell, the speculators
cannot buy all of it at the price it is now selling for; if the
price was low enough, then of course they could buy it all.
You see then, to sell it for a less price would put into rich
men's hands the most of the lands, and no man can complain
of the price now. You know that land has risen very much
within a few years ; this makes our land appear low as it re-
ally is. Our public lands sell now for the same price they
have for about twenty years. You must see plainly that to
sell this land for any less price would injure the poor and help
the rich, as the rich would buy almost all the land and the
poor must pay their price.

Can any one make you believe, under these circumstances,
that it is best to sell our land for just half the price that it is
selling for now, and where Suffolk County can receive thirty
thousand dollars a year that it is not best to receive but fifteen
thousand 1 No man it appears to me can be of the opinion
that it is better to sell our land for half it is selling for. The
land cannot be settled any faster for it, unless we Irave our
land and business here, or it is settled by foreigners, (which
it would be) and it appears to me that foreigners are coming
here fast enough without any other inducements being held
out to them.

At any rate whether you can see any reason for selling our
land for half the price in is selling for or not, I will assure you
that a number of the members of Congress have been trying
to reduce ihe price of our land, and last winter the Committee
on Public Lands did actually bring in a bill that it might be-
come a law, that our lands should be sold for just one half they
are selling for at this time and have been for twenty years.
These lands appear very low from the great sale last year.
There was more of our land sold last year than has been sold
for many years before. This is a proof that they are low
ftnd that they were bought mostly by speculators, y?t ft»


strange as it may appear the Committee on Public lands ac-
tually brought in a bill for the purpose that it might become a
law to graduate the price of our lands to just one half the pre-
sent price. That was not all — but to give away a great part
of our lands ! What right have our public Servants to give
away our lands? They have no such right. Under these
circumstances had this bill became a law our land would have
been sold after the fourth of July past for one dollar per acre,
for one year ; next year for seventy-five cents per acre ; the
next year for fifty cents per acre ; the next for twenty-five
cents per acre ; and what did not sell for that price in one year
were to be given to the States that the lands are in. As there
is so much land for sale there would of course be much that
would not sell even at the small price of twenty-five cents per
acre, and this we should lose. You wish to know why some
of the members wanted to sell our lands at this rate? it is
strange I admit, — not very strange neither if understood. I
believe it was done to hold out a great inducement for the
people of the new states to support Martin Van Buren and
his party, who were trying to give our land to them ; you see
it would not only give them much land, but it would give
them a great opportunity to buy our land for half price. I
found this idea of selling our lands for half price and giving
away the remainder much pleased the people from the new
States. I found they would support Martin, when they
would not have done it had it not been for the sake of getting
our land in this way. This I know is the case for I have
seen a number of persons from the new states, and in conver-
sing with them I found they did not like Martin, but for the
sake oj the land they would support him, for they well knew
no honest man would let them have our land for half price if
he could help it. It is strange to tell, but it is true ; the lea-
ders well know that those in office in this State will support
Martin let what will become of our land. The next object
was to get all the people of the new States or rather a major-
ity of them ; they then thought of course they could get in
Martin, and I found it operated well for him. They may pos-
sibly get in Van Buren but I am not the least afraid of their
getting our land if you will only look to your interest


ill your land. For our members dare as well die as
to give our lands away after the people find out we have them,
or to reduce the price when they know it is low already.

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Online LibraryWilliam JaggerA book addressed to the people of Suffolk County, upon some important points of national policy → online text (page 1 of 6)