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THE NORTH STAR. FREDERICK DOUGLASS, } M. R. DELANY, } EDITORS. RIGHT IS OF NO SEX——TRUTH IS OF NO COLOR——GOD IS THE FATHER OF US ALL, AND ALL WE ARE BRETHREN. JOHN DICK, PUBLISHER. VOL. I. NO. 37. ROCHESTER, N. Y., FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 1848. WHOLE NO.——37. The NORTH STAR is published every Friday, at No. 25, Buffalo Street, (Opposite the Arcade.) TERMS. Two dollars per annum, always in advance. No subscription will be received for a less term than six months. Advertisements not exceeding ten lines inserted three times for one dollar; every subsequent insertion, twenty-five cents. [[column 1]] THE object of the NORTH STAR will be to attack SLAVERY in all its forms and aspects; advocate UNIVERSAL EMANCIPATION; exalt the standard of PUBLIC MORALITY; promote the moral and intellectual improvement of the COLORED PEOPLE; and hasten the day of FREEDOM to the THREE MILLIONS of our ENSLAVED FELLOW COUNTRYMEN. PUBLISHER'S NOTICES. [[symbol: index]] All communications relating to the business matters of the paper, names of subscribers, remittances, &c., should be addressed to JOHN DICK, Publisher. [[symbol: index]] Agents, and all others sending names, are [[r]]equested to be accurate, and give the Post Office, [[t]]he County, and the State. Each Subscriber is immediately credited for money received. [[symbol: index]] Any person sending in the payment for four subscribers, to be forwarded to one address, may have a fifth copy for one year. [[symbol: index]] All letters and communications must be postpaid. LIST OF AGENTS. MASSACHUSETTS.——R.F. Walcutt, 21, Cornhill, Boston; Nathan Johnson, New Bedford; Horatio W. Foster, Lowell; James N. Buffum, Lynn; George Evans, Worcester; Bourne Spooner, Plymouth; Charles H. Seth, Springfield; David Ruggles, Northampton; H. Carpenter, Upton. MAINE.——Oliver Dennett, Portland. VERMONT.——Rowland T. Robinson, North Ferrisburg. CONNECTICUT.——Jonathan Leonard, New Haven NEW HAMPSHIRE.——Weare Tappan, Bradford. NEW YORK.——Sydney H. Gay, 142, Nassau Street; James McCune Smith, 93, West Broadway; Joseph Post, Westbury, Queen County; Mary Harper, Albany; Elias Doty, Macedon; Willetts Keese, Peru, Clinton County; William S. Baltimore, Troy; J. F. Platt, Penn Yan; J. Jeffrey, Geneva; E. L. Platt, Bath. RHODE ISLAND.——Amarancy Paine, Providence. PENNSYLVANIA.——J. M. M'Kim, 31, North Fifth Street, Philadelphia; G. W. Goines, 8, Exchange Place, Ditto; B. Bown, Pittsburgh; Wm. Whipper, Columbia; Isaac Roberts, Jacob L. Paxon, Norristown, Montgomery County, Milo A. Townsend, New Brighton. OHIO.——Christian Donaldson, Cincinnati; Watson and Gaines, Ditto; Valentine Nicholson, Harveysburgh, Warren Co.; Samuel Brooke, Salem. MICHIGAN.——Robert Banks, Detroit. INDIANA.——Joel P. Davis, Economy, Wayne Co. Selections. MR. VAN BUREN'S LETTER OF ACCEPTANCE. LINDENWALD, Aug. 22, 1848. GENTLEMEN; I have had the honor to receive your letter, giving me official information of the proceedings of the Buffalo Convention. The composition, character, and proceedings of that body, as described by you, and the concessions of feeling, and, to some extent, of opinions, also, on the part of its members, which enabled them to unite their exertions upon a common, and, to the country, a vitally important question, show it to have been governed by a pure and lofty patriotism, and demand from me a grateful acknowledgment for the expression of confidence you have communicated. My position, in regard to the Presidential election, is a p[[e]]culiar one: and it is due to me, that the knowledge of it should be co-extensive with that of every material step I take in the canvass. In 1844, I announced my determination to continue in retirement for the rest of my life: and my earnest desire to do so has been undiminished and invariable, from that moment to the present. I declined, respectfully but explicitly, numerous offers from my friends in other States, to promote my nomination at the late Baltimore Convention; and in the same spirit, refused permission to the New York delegation to present my name to that body, under any circumstances whatsoever. The refusal would have been equally decisive, if it had been certain that they had it in their power to carry their friendly wishes into effect. The New York delegation to the Utica Convention requested my opinions, in regard to the obligations imposed upon them by the Baltimore nominations, and the constitutionality and expediency of a prohibition, by Congress, of the introduction of slavery into territories now free from it. They also asked my consent to the use of my name, by the Convention, as its candidate for the Presidency. I cheerfully gave them the opinions they desired, but declined the last request absolutely. That they sincerely desired to respect my wishes in this regard, I have never doubted. But the Convention were of opinion, that the use of my name was necessary, as well to enable the Democracy of New York to carry forward, with a reasonable prospect of ultimate success, the great principle for which they contended, as to sustain themselves in the extraordinary position to which they have been driven by the injustice of others; and that the relations, which had existed so long between us, gave them a right so to use it, not only without my consent, but against my known wishes. Entertaining these views, they decided to nominate me, and omitted to give me the usual notice of their proceedings. The reasons why I did not feel myself at liberty to interpose any further obstacles to their wishes, have been given to the public, and need not be repeated. It is in this form that my name, as a candidate for the Presidency, has been brought before the people. Occupying this position, I shall feel myself honored by the support of an assemblage so enlightened and patriotic, and so devoted to the maintenance of the great principle we contend for, as that in whose behalf you have addressed me. I have examined and considered the platform adopted by the Buffalo Convention, as defining the political creed of the "Free Democracy," with the attention due to the grave subjects under which it is presented. It [[column 2]] breathes the right spirit, and presents a political chart which, with the explanations I am about to make, I can, in good faith adopt and sustain. In regard to the chief topics of the resolutions, it is not to be doubted, that the present unprecedented movement of the public mind in the non-slaveholding states, upon the subject of slavery, is caused mainly by an earnest desire to uphold and enforce the policy in regard to it, established by the founders of the Republic. That policy, in addition to the prospective prohibition of the foreign slave trade was—— 1st. Adequate, efficient, and certain security against the extension of slavery into territories where it did not practically exist. 2nd. That in the language of your own condensed and excellent resolution, "Slavery, in the several States of the Union which recognize its existence, should depend upon State laws, which cannot be repealed or modified by the Federal Government; and—— 3d. A spirit of considerate forbearance towards the institution, in localities where it was placed under the control of Congress. By a wise observance of this policy, we have, until recently, been able to neutralize the injurious tendencies of an element of discord, more difficult to deal with than any to which our institutions are exposed. But unhappily for the present harmony, and posibly for the future welfare, of our beloved country, a pretenison has been recently set up by our brethren of the slaveholding states, in regard to the first branch of this policy, so inadmissible upon principle, and so revolting to our feelings, as to produce a rush of public sentiment towards the point of resistance, which, with a population so considerate and so staid as ours, is never seen, except when a conviction exists that the honor and safety of the country are at stake, and then, always. A train of events, all tending to the same general end which have, for a few years past, followed each other in rapid succession, has raised this feeling to an elevation hitherto unknown, and produced resolves which it is not in the power of individuals to induce the people to recede from. The constitutionality, the justice, the humanity and the expediency of the ground they have taken, are all so clear as to preclude the possibility of a continued diversity of opinion or action in the non-slaveholding States. The consequences that may result from this conflict of opinion between us and those who are, unhappily, our opponents——if their pretensions are persisted in——are known only to that omniscient and kind Providence which has hitherto protected our country and its institutions from the dangers which have threatened them. The claim set up by our Southern brethren, is a departure from the platform raised by our common ancestors, at a period when the chain of our Union was the brightest, and the fraternal feeling between the States that composed it, the strongest. It comes upon the back of a series of events well calculated to awaken, at the North, that deep, and, as it respects ourselves, overwhelming sensation in the public mind, to which I have referred. A brief review of them, at a moment so critical, cannot fail to be useful. The further condition of the respective States, in regard to the probable continuance or abolition of slavery, were correctly foreseen at the formation of the government. Those of the old thirteen which are now exempt from it, acted under a confident anticipation that they would soon become so; whilst those of the number where slavery still exists, would not look forward to an equally favorable result in regard to themselves. It was, therefore, well understood at the adoption of the Constitution, that although a large and highly respectable portion of the members of the confederacy would probably for a long, certainly for an indefinite period, remain slaveholding States, a majority of the States would be non-slaveholding; and that a constitutional preponderance in the federal government would be thus secured to the latter. To make assurance of this result doubly sure, the slaveholding States themselves were prominently active in a measure——the ordinance of 1787——by which six new states were first designed to be, and five actually were, arrayed on the same side. These, added to the seven in which slavery had been, or was expected to be abolished, would make the division in this regard, twelve to six. The evidence we possess of the circumstances and dispositions of the times, warrants us in assuming that no one, at that day, anticipated that this difference in the respective conditions of the States, in regard to slavery, would ever be overcome or neutralized, by accessions to the confederacy of new slaveholding States. Yet, in the brief period which has elapsed——we may well say brief, when viewed in connection with such great results——we have witnessed the addition of nine slaveholding and only three non-slaveholding states to the confederacy, beyond those which were provided for before the adoption of the Constitution, making them to stand fifteen to fifteen. The preponderance originally secured to the non-slaveholding States, and with a knowledge of which they assisted in investing the institution in the States, with the privileges and guarantees of the Constitution, has thus been annihilated. These facts cannot be controverted or concealed, and when once fully understood and appreciated by the people of the non-slaveholding States, they must have a controlling influence over their future [[column 3]] course. The emotions they have already excited, ought not to surprise intelligent and ingenuous minds of any quarter. But this is not the only, nor even the most repulsive view which we are compelled to take of the present pretensions of our brethren of the slaveholding States. Slavery is now presented in a livery it never wore before. On every previous occasion when there has been a conflict of opinion in regard to it, the question has only been, how far the policy of 1787 should be carried out by prohibiting or restricting the extension of slavery into territory which was, at the time, subject to its introduction. Most of the territory of the United States which was thus situated, save the State of Iowa, which was excepted by the Missouri compromise, has been converted into slave States, and admitted into the Union as such.——Now, for the first time, the attempt is made to permit the introduction of slavery into territories which are now free from it——territories from which it was expelled, within the last fifteen or twenty years, by the express and solemn act of their former government and people——a government and people with whom, in respect to the attributes of freedom, ours could not brook a comparison. Nor is this its only or its worst feature. In annexing to our Union Texas, an extensive slave State, covering an area capable of being formed into many more such States, we became involved in a war with Mexico, which claimed dominion over that State. The territories in regard to which the question is now made, are among the conquests of this war. It is, therefore, in effect, whatever may have been the original objects of this war, an appeal to the inhabitants of the non-slaveholding states to sanction the extension, through our instrumentality, of slavery into territories, which the United States have, in fact, acquired by the sword, but which others had relieved from that great evil. Such a proposition need only to be stated, to ensure its prompt rejection by the non-slaveholding States. Upon what grounds is it attempted to sustain a principle so repugnant to our feelings, so destructive in our views to our national character, and so well calculated, if successful, to cloud the glory of this great republic? That there should be diversities of opinion and feeling upon the subject of slavery between us and our Southern brethren, is certainly natural. The strength of Northern aversion to the institution, has been recently very truly stated on the floor of the Senate, by a very distinguished Southern statesman. The people of the North could not overcome this aversion, if they would; and they cannot desire to do so, because they religiously believe that the highest earthly interests of man are based on its permanency and ultimate universality. At the South the feeling is very different, because the culture of their minds and dispositions and the force of habit, have had an opposite tendency. This known, and for a season, at least, incurable diversity of opinion and feeling, should beget a spirit of conciliation, and inculcate mutual forbearance in speech and action. This duty has doubtless been occasionally lost sight of on both sides; but it cannot be denied that the departure from it has been the greatest on the part of our Southern brethren. No one will venture to insist that it is, at this day, either expedient or right to originate slavery in territories that are free from it, if it can be properly pre[ven]ted. But it is insisted that this cannot be done in the case under consideration, and under the form proposed. First, because the Constitution does not give Congress the power to prohibit slavery in the territories; and that, consequently, the great number of acts for that purpose which have been passed for the last sixty years, with general assent, were but so many infractions of the Constitution. All will remember the solemnity and rapidity with which State after State, at the South, in succession, announced this doctrine, and the acrimonious vehemence with which their conventions denounced political proscription, in the form of political exclusion from the offices of President and Vice-President, of all who refused to adopt it. But it is already apparent that differences of opinion upon this important subject cannot be settled by vehement assumptions, nor conciliation in regard to it, prompted by denunciation. In our country such difficulties must be solved by appeals to the tests provided by the Constitution. For the rectitude of our motives, and the correctness of our conduct, we are responsible, on earth, to the opinion of the civilized world, and hereafter to a power that is greater than all. The question of the constitutionality, the gravest of all objections that can be made against a public measure, has just passed through the ordeal of public discussion, and the doctrine in question has been so thoroughly rejected and condemned by the voice of the nation, that it is no longer necessary to spend words in refuting it. Two circumstances have, however occurred, which, though not necessary to its overthrow, give to that overthrow a sanction that entitle them to notice. It now appears that, twenty-eight years since, at the time of the Missouri compromise, Mr. Monroe, then President, a slaveholder, and elected from a slaveholding State, submitted this very question, save only that it was then applied to slave territory, to a cabinet composed, among other great men, of such giant intellects from the slaveholding States, as Crawford, Calhoun an Wirt, the latter the law officer of the government; that they were unanimously of opinion that [[column 4]] Congress did possess the power in question; and that the then president, a man who was on the scene of action when the Constitution was formed, concurring in that opinion approved the bill. The documents which attest these interesting circumstances, are before the country, and every one will judge for himself of their claims to credence, considered in connection with what has been said upon the subject by the survivor of the Cabinet referred to. To bring the matter nearer to our own times, within a few days, upon the very heel of the recent discussions upon this point, a bill containing this restriction-the very bill which has,in part, produced this discussion-has passed both branches of the national legislature, and received the constitutional approval of the present executive-an approval which it was his sworn duty to withhold, if he had not been satisfied that all the provisions of the bill were in conformity to the constitution. The present President, also a slaveholder, elected from a slaveholding state, with a large portion of his cabinet in the same situation, has given the highest sanction to the doctrine we contend for that is known to our institutions; and although he felt himself called upon to make an extra message, setting forth his reasons for believing that the restrictions ought not to be applied to our Mexican territories, he does not take the slightest notice of the constitutional objection on which so many southern states have based their opposition to the general measure. This branch of the subject has been thus, and we hope forever disposed of. It is further contended that slaves are so far to be regarded as property as to authorize their owners to carry them into any of the territories, and to hold them t ere, notwithstanding any act which Congress may pass upon the subject. If Congress have the constitutional power to prohibit slavery in the territories, its laws place the subject on the same footing there, as the state laws do in the states. As well, therefore, might the slaveholder contend that he can bring his slaves into a state which prohibits slavery, as that he can bring them into territories where slavery is prohibited by Congress. If his slave runs away, and enters one of the non-slaveholding states, he does not thereby become free, but shall be delivered up upon the claim of the person entitled to his services. But this is not in consequence of the recognition of the right of property in such person, not withstanding the state laws; but in virtue of an express article of the constitution, which constitutes one of its compromises upon the subject of slavery.–This view of the matter was placed in a clear light in the recent debates, by one of the oldest and most distinguished members of the Senate, when he insisted that the claim, on the part of the slaveholders, though nominally to remove their property, was, in reality, to transport their laws into the territories. One has, therefore, only to imagine a territory governed by the various and conflicting laws of thirty independent states, to appreciate the absurdity of the pretension. But it is insisted that the prohibition carries with it a reproach to the slaveholding states, and that submission it would degrade them. This is obviously the principle, if not the material, ground of opposition to the measure that is persisted in; and most assuredly, if it were well founded, we would have no just ground to take exception to the earnestness with which it is sustained. Let the objection, therefore, be fairly and dispassionately considered. Very erroneous opinions of the dispositions of the northern people are entertained by those, who think them capable of desiring the degradation of any of the states of the confederacy, whether they be slaveholding or otherwise. They entertain too enlightened a sense of their own interests; they have too just a conception of the true glory of the confederacy, and of the extent to which the humiliation of a part would tarnish the lustre of the whole; and they are, above all, too national in their feelings, not to cherish a deep solicitude for the honor and welfare of all its members.–If they could, therefore, believe that the success of this measure would draw after it such grave consequences, they would be among the last to uphold it.–If it can have such a tendency, it will certainly not be owing to any want of generality in its application. The restriction will, of course, be obligatory on all who settle in the territories, from whatever State or country they may have emigrated. They will all, in this respect, stand upon an equal footing. If any inhabitant of any of the non-slaveholding states, who removes to the territories has his capital invested in business transactions which are not permitted by the laws of the territory, he must change the investment.–If a slaveholder desires to remove there, he must dispose of his slaves, and employ free labor as his countrymen and neighbors did, when they removed to different portions of the north-western territory, and in doing so made themselves prosperous, contented and happy. Let us for a moment look at the character of this measure, and compare it with others that have gone before it.–It is a re-enactment of the ordinance of 1787, which prohibited the introduction of slavery into territories which had been ceded by several of the States to the United States. The difference between the effects of the two measures, consists only in the fact, that the territory to which the ordinance of '87 was applied, was, previous to its cession, subject to the introduction of slavery; whilst the territories to which it is now sought to be applied, had, at the time [[column 5]] of the cession to us, been already exempted from it by law. Who first proclaimed the principle which triumphed in the enactment of the ordinance of 1787? Thomas Jefferson. Who promoted and secured its passage through the Continental Congress? All the distinguished and patriotic men who that year represented the slaveholding States in that body, without a solitary exception. Who gave to the measure his official sanction, by approving a bill to carry it into effect, under the new government? George Washington.– Within the last sixty years, and down to 1838, the same enactment has been again and again repeated, with the general concurrence of the Southern members, and often through their particular instrumentality. A full fifth of the States of the Union has been organized as territories under its restrictions. In respect to Ohio, the oldest of them, conformity to this principle in the ordinance of '87, was required, even in the State constitution and government, and the bill giving the ordinance this application, was reported by a committee of which William B. Giles, of Virginia, was chairman, and John Rutledge, of South Carolina, a member. It was passed in the Senate by a vote of sixteen to five, and among the ayes will be found the respected names of Baldwin and Jackson, of Georgia, Breckenridge and Brown of Kentucky, Franklin and Stone of North Carolina, Stevens, Thompson, Mason, and Wilson Cary Nicholas of Virginia, Sumpter of South Carolina, and Wright of Maryland.– The States which have grown up under and in conformity to that ordinance have, in a very great degree, been settled by emigrants from the slaveholding States. Thousands of these hardy and enterprising pioneers, many of them among the most respectable of their fellow citizens, for a series of years in succession, left their friends and neighbors in the slaveholding States for what was then the far west, accompanied by their prayers and benedictions; it never entering into the imagination of either that in doing so they submitted to any personal or sectional reproach or degradation. Prosperous and happy in their new abode, they and their associates, and the great enterprise they accomplished, have been honored and admired by all who have witnessed their success. One of those very settlers, after assuming and for many years discharging the responsibility of enforcing the ordinance of 1787, and after enjoying a large share of his country's confidence and respect in other forms, was finally elevated to the Presidency, and died in that exalted station. Another highly distinguished inhabitant of one of the territories, subject to the same restriction, after having also, for a long series of years, borne the responsibility of seeing to the execution of this now derided ordinance, as Governor of the territory, is, at present, the favored candidate for the same high office, of portions of the citizens of the slaveholding as well as of the other States. In the face of facts like these, is it possible that the application of this restriction to New Mexico and California can operate to the disparagement of our brethren of the slaveholding States?– No impartial mind can, I think, regard it in this light; and if there be any other objections insisted on that are worthy of notice, I am not apprised of them.– None that are tenable, can, in my judgement, be offered. The measure is right in itself; and what is right may be done with ultimate safety. The present generation stand in the same relation towards these very extensive territories, in which the sages of 1787 stood towards the north-western territory. If we act as wisely as they did, results not less glorious than those which reflect such undying honor on the policy of that day, will follow the labors and perpetuate the memories of those by whom it is now upheld. The sixth resolution embraces the subject of slavery in the District of Columbia; and I observe in it a generality of expression, in respect to the time when, and the circumstances under which, it was the opinion of the Convention that it should be abolished which has not been usual on the part of the friends of immediate action. Most reflecting and philanthropic minds live in the hope, that they will one day see slavery abolished, not only in the District, but in the States also, in the latter through the agency of the State governments, to whom the constitution wisely leaves exclusive power in the matter, and in the former by Congress. I may be mistaken, but I think I see in the guarded language of the resolution, evidence of an apprehension, on the part of the Convention, that a difference in opinion, to some extent at least, existed among its members, upon the point referred to,and of an enlightened and truly patriotic resolve, not to suffer that circumstance, if it existed, to weaken the moral power of their unanimity on the great question which had brought them together. My opinion, in favor of the power of Congress to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, has been repeatedly avowed, as well when a candidate, as while president; and every day's reflection has but served to confirm my conviction of its correctness. I at the same time, expressde myself strongly against the expediency of exercising it; and in a recent letter to the New York delegation at Utica, I referred to my continued opposition to that measure. The subject was only incidentally introduced, and there was, consequently, but little care taken, in regard to the terms in which the suggestion was made. The form of expression which I employed has, it appears, led many honest and intelligent men to assume that the [[column 6]] remark related, exclusively, to the past, and was not intended to convey my present views on the matter. This construction, though, perhaps, not unwarranted by the words employed, is, in fact, erroneous; and it is due to truth, to fair-dealing, and to all who take and interest in the matter, that the subject should now be placed in its true light. It is not to be denied that many of the reasons which in 1837 and before operated to produce the convictions I then expressed, no longer exist; and if, when writing to the New York delegation at Utica, I could have anticipated what has since occurred, I should have felt it my duty to discriminate between the reasons which had passed away, and those which yet remain. But when my letter to them was written, nothing could have been further from my expectations, than that I should ever again be a candidate for the presidency; and, of course, it was not my intention to say what my conduct would be on this or any other matter, if again and incumbent of that place. I have spoken, in a former part of this letter, of the three leading features of the policy, in regard to slavery, adopted by the Fathers of the Republic. History, if true, must record the fact, that the north has hitherto faithfully sustained her part, in the maintenance of this policy, and in none more so than in that which inculcates forbearance on the point now referred to. I wish to see the forbearance which has so long characterized her conduct in this matter, stil farther continued. Approving of the Platform which the convention has adopted, and conscious, from my impressions of right and duty in regard to it, that I shall be among the last to abandon it, I prefer not to connect our efforts to sustain it, with an issue which, all must admit to be, in some degree at least, affected by different considerations. In my judgment, all that is necessary to insure success, is dispassionate, but steady and firm action. Let the great principle we are now contending for, be once more re-established in the councils of the nation, and the institution of slavery in the District of Columbia will fall of itself. Other and more important interests will intervene, and induce the inhabitants themselves to labor for its removal. I must not, however, be understood, either by what I now say, or by what was said in my letter to the New York Delegation at Utica, as repeating the declaration that I would, if elected, withhold my approval from a bill for the abolition of slavery in the District. I could not now give any such assurance, for the reason, that the circumstances by which the question is now surrounded. are widely and materially different from what they were when the declaration was made; and because, upon a question of expediency circumstances must control. At that time, the apprehension was honestly entertained, that there was danger of a servile war, in consequence of the extent to which the agitation of this question had been pressed. Participating in the apprehension and believing that such a declaration, in advance of any action of Congress upon the subject, would have a salutary influence in allaying excitement, and warding off the danger which menaced the peace of the slave-holding states, I did not hesitate to make it. Whilst, on the one hand, all grounds for this apprehension have passed away, we are, on the other, threatened with a subversion of the spirit and character of our government, through the successful encroachments of the slave power. If, under such circumstances, two branches of the national legislature should decide that a due regard for the public interest requires the passage of such a law, I should not, if President, think it within the line of my duty to arrest its passage by the exercise of the veto power. Among the difficult subjects that occupied the attention of my illustrious predecessor, whilst I was a member of his cabinet, and of myself whilst President, that of river and harbor improvements by the aid of the federal government, occupied a prominent position. Whilst the conviction was very general with our slaves and others that a large class of them was deserving of aid from that quarter, and that it could be extended to them without exceeding the prescribed powers of the government, all were strongly impressed with a deep sense of the liabilities to abuse, to which the legislation of Congress upon the subject was unavoidably exposed. The matter was one of frequent and earnest conference between President Jackson and myself, during the first two years of his first, and the whole of his last term. The result was a conviction that no better course could me adopted than to approve such bills as we were satisfied came within the class referred to, and do all that could be rightfully done by the Executive, to prevent abuses by appropriations for objects that were not entitled to the aid of the Federal Government. The appropriations for river and harbor improvements contained in acts of Congress approved during our respective administrations, will show the results of that conviction; and I know of nothing that would prevent me from pursuing the same course if I should again occupy the office of President. The subject is one of vast importance, and well deserving the attention bestowed upon it by the Chicago Convention of last year. I have not before me the letter addressed by my lamented friend, Governor Wright, to that body, but I was strongly and [[column 7]] favorably impressed by the views he expressed upon the general subject. The views which I have for many years entertained in regard to the best disposition by Congress, of the public lands, have been recently set forth in my published letter to the "Industrial Congress" They were–– First, That Congress ought to act upon the principle, that the U. States have a greater interest in the early settlement and substantial improvement of the public lands, than in the amount of revenue which may be derived from them. Secondly, That the accumulation of large tracts in few hands, should be discountenanced, and Thirdly. That liberal facilities ought to be afforded, for the acquisition of small portions, by such of our citizens, wherever residing, as in good faith desire to possess them as homes for themselves and their families. These opinions were announced as far back as 1835, whilst a candidate for the Presidency. I set forth, also, in my letter to the Industrial Congress, the recommendations I had whilst President made to Congress, and the acts I had approved to promote the policy I had avowed. The General principles I have sustained upon the subject of the disposition of the public lands, are in harmony with the resolution of the convention, with this difference: that whilst the convention propose free grants of limited quantities for actual settlement, the farthest that I had gone, was to recommend grants of portions of them, at prices little, if anything more than sufficient to defray the expences of survey and location. The policy to which I have so long adhered, and for the success of which I have been sincerely solicitous, makes the early and, as far as practicable, substantial settlement of the public lands, the principal, and the revenue derived from the sales of them, a secondary, and comparatively unimportant object. I regard the question of revenue, as only important, because it affords a prospect of securing regularity, and a greater degree of stability in the settlements. If a plan can be devised by which these objects would, in all reasonable probability, be as well effected, as they can be by the exaction of a pecuniary consideration from the settlers, the relinquishment of that consideration would, with me, be no objection to the measure. From a report of the committee on public lands, which has lately been forwarded to me, it appears that the sales of the public lands have been pledged to the public creditors for one of the loans of the last year. If this is so, Congress will, without doubt if and plan for the free gift of any portion of the public lands to actual settlers, should hereafter find favor in their eyes, see that the objection arising from this cause, be, in some proper way obviated. Come what may, the good faith of the nation must always be scrupulously maintained. My opinion in regard to protective duties and the best sources of revenue, were very fully given in my letter to the Indiana Convention in 1813, which was extensively published; and they are the same now. I, on that ocasion, gave my reasons for regarding the system of taxation in force in the states, viz: a direct tax upon assessed property, as more equal and equitable than a system of duties on imports. I gave also my reasons for believing that duties on imports would for a long time continue to be used, as the mode by which the federal government would collect its revenues, in preference to a resort to a direct taxation. Although the latter policy is, I believe, steadily gaining in the public mind, its advance had not yet been sufficient to authorize us to expect its early adoption. In the mean time the government must have revenue for its support, and the very heavy debt which it has recently incurred ought to be payed as soon as practicable. Under these circumstances I acquiesce in the resolve of the convention, that the means for these purposes should be raised by a revenue tariff. I have deemed it due to the convention, and to the occasion, to depart thus much from the rule which I prescribed to myself in my letter to the industrial Congress, in regard to farther exposition of my opinion upon public questions. Having done so, I shall, for the rest, of the canvass, adhere to that rule, and leave the whole matter in the hands of the people, with whose disposition of it all should be, and I certainly will be, satisfied. I am, Gentlemen, very respectfully your friend, M. VAN BUREN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, JOSEPH L. WHITE, and SALMON P. CHASE, Committee of the Buffalo Convention A JOLLY LIFE.––Insects generally must lead a truly jovial life. Think what it must be to lodge in a lily! Imagine a palace of ivory or pearl, with pillars of silver and capitals of gold all exhaling such a perfume as never arose from human censer! Fancy, again, the fun of tucking yourself up for the night in the folds of a rose, rocked to sleep by the gentle sighs of summer air, and nothing to do when you awake, but to wash yourself in a dew drop, and fall to and eat your bed-cloths! THE FRENCH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ––See, see! From ten to twenty Members dash at the tribune at one moment; they climb the stairs, they cling to the balustrade, they appear to cling to each other like a living string of onions, they seem to have studied the scenes of the monkey-cage in the Garden of Plants as worthiest of imitation; they all shout at once–Bentley. [[?]] New York
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