MVB Senate remarks on the public lands, 14 February 1827

MVB Senate remarks on the public lands, 14 February 1827


Mr. VAN BUREN said that he thought a better disposition might be made of the bill than that proposed by the Senator from Indiana. If the time had not arrived, it certainly was fast approaching, when a due attention to the other great interests of the country would make some general and permanent disposition of the public lands indispensable. In its interference with our legislation, and a great variety of other respects, the present state of the matter was greatly adverse to the interests of all concerned. But it must be obvious that it would not be proper to enter upon a subject of so much embarrassment and such great magnitude at the present advanced stage of the session. There was another and a conclusive reason why the matter should not now be acted upon. At the last session, resolutions were adopted the Senate, on the motion of one of the Senators from Indiana, (Mr. HENDRICKS,) calling for full information on the whole subject, and embracing among other points, the following, viz: the present extent of the public lands—the amount which had been sold, and that which had been surveyed and remained unsold—the amount received from sales, and the amount expended by the Government in respect to them, &c. &c. Without such information it was impossible, he said, that the Senate could act understandingly upon the subject; and, in a matter of such intense interest, it would be almost criminal to act upon speculations and conjecture. The call he referred to had not yet been answered. There were, he said, doubtless, good reasons for the delay; but such was the fact. At a future day, and when the Senate have full information, he would most cheerfully unite his exertions with those of others, in endeavoring to fix upon some plan, which, whilst it was equitable as it regards the old States, should relieve all from present mischief, and be beneficial to the new States. He did not despair, notwithstanding the conceded difficulties of the subject, of the ultimate adoption of some measure that would lead to those results. He therefore moved to lay the bill upon the table, with an understanding that it would not be taken up again at the present session.

*    *    *

The motion of Mr. VAN BUREN was then agreed to, and the bill was ordered to lie on the table.

Note: Because this document is only a verified first-pass transcription, it and the document metadata may still contain errors.