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gress; then 155,466,667 acres remain for sale. Now, suppose this sold at half a dollar per acre (which is of a dollar below what any has been sold for as yet), and it amounts to 77,733,333 % dollars; but it may be said this is the price in Public Securities, and that the lands will not fetch more than a quarter that sum in hard money. Be it so; and then the net proceeds will amount to 19,433,333 100 dollars. This, Sir, is no trifling sum, but is by no means the greatest advantage to be derived from those lands. Three lots of one mile square are (by the ordinance of the late Congress) reserved in each Township for the future disposition of government, and the local situation of these lots are such as to command a high price, and at the end of half a century (in which time they are to cost the government nothing), it is a very moderate calculation to rate them at four dollars the acre in Specie, and then their amount will be 56,533,332 dollars, a sum sufficient to build and equip a fleet superior to that of any nation in Europe.
We have before hinted that the produce of the Western Country will afford a great source of remittance for European and West India goods, and in a very few years that country will be able to supply the Atlantic States with such abundance of the raw material for making duck and cordage as will prevent all necessity of sending abroad for those articles. The particular advantage to be derived from the peltry trade I am not able to ascertain ; however, this we know, that it is considered as a very lucrative business, that it affords materials for manufactories much to the advantage of the English subject, and the advantage this trade must be to us would undoubtedly exceed what it is or can be to them. In the year 1773 I heard Mr. Chester, then Governor of West Florida, say that from the duty paid in London on the American peltry it appeared the Indians paid a tax to the King of two shillings sterling on each poll, including men, women, and children; and why a revenue to the United States might not be derived from this quarter I know not. Again, while those countries remain a part of the United States they will pay the same duty on all imported goods which they consume as the other subjects of the Union, which in case of a separation would be totally lost. The same observation applies equally to all goods furnished for the Indian trade. At present this revenue may not exceed 20,000 dollars, but in the course of half a century, if we only suppose the number of inhabitants to be one million, and the goods they shall consume to be at the rate only of three dollars and one-third per person (which is a very modlerate allowance for an annual consumption), this only at five per cent will amount to 166,500 dollars per annum. I am sensible there will be some expense attending this business. For the Indian treaties and presents we will allow 20,000 dollars a year, for fifty years, which will amount to no more than one million dollars, and we will allow three regiments of infantry, and an artillery corps equal to a regiment of infantry in expense, and to this we will add a corps of horse of like expense, then we shall have the annual expense of five regiments, and we will allow the pay, victualing and clothing of each regiment to annually cost one hundred thousand dollars, then the amount of expense of the whole will be half a million dollars. This, Sir, is making a very extravagant charge against that country for its protection; yet, when we take into consideration the value of the lands when sold, the products of the country for remittance and manufactures, the peltry trade, etc., with the duty on imported goods sent into that country for the Indian trade and the consumption of its inhabitants, the balance in favor of retaining that territory as a part of the United States, appears evidently to be very great. But there is another point of light in which we ought to consider this matter, for if we would know the real advantage that country must be to this, remaining united, we ought to consider what probable mischief will ensue by a division. Among these may be reckoned the loss of more than seventy-five million dollars in the sale of lands, an annual revenue of more than one hundred and sixty thousand dollars on European and West India goods, with all the advantages that can possibly arise from the peltry trade. And, what is a matter of serious consideration, it is more than probable (in case of a separation from the United States) that country would be divided between Great Britain and Spain, for I can see no reason to suppose they will maintain a separate existence. Then
I suppose the western boundary of the United States must be the Alleghany Mountains. A miserable frontier this (and yet the best to be found if we give up the Western Country) that will require more expense to guard than the protection of all the Western Territory. The natural boundaries of the great lakes and the Mississippi River added to the inhabitants of the western quarter will give such strength and security to the old States, if properly attended to, as they must most sensibly feel the want of in case of a separation.
But I have no doubt but you, sir, and all the members of Congress, will give the subject a full examination, and determine on such measures as will most promote the general good of the nation, and in that case I think one might reasonably hope soon to see the forces of the United States in the western country so increased in numbers that, if the British posts are not given up; yet ouch establishments may be made in the Indian country as to bring the natives, who at present remain hostile, to submission, and protect the natives who are well disposed toward us, not only from their savage brethren who are so much under British influence, but also from the people on the Frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia, too many of whom regard not the authority of their own states, nor yet of Congress, more than the savages themselves. In this place, sir, I will take the liberty to inform you that in the year 1783 a petition was presented to the then Congress, praying for a grant of land in the western quarter, that the utility and policy of establishing Posts and forming Settlements that should extend from the Ohio to Lake Erie was clearly pointed out in a letter from the Commander-in-Chief and other papers accompanying said petition, and which I presume are now among the files of the late Congress, which I wish you to consult at your leisure. I beg leave at this time to add that I conceive, the more this subject is examined, the greater will appear the consequence that it should be effected as soon as practicable, for, from Lake Erie, by a very easy navigation and short portages, an army may descend by the Alleghany, Muskingum, Scioto, Big Miami, or the Wabash rivers, into any part of the Ohio country, and so, from Lake Erie as from a common center, fall on any part of the Ohio country extending more than • one thousand miles in length on that river, and thus the whole
Western Territory is liable to be lost by surprise. On the other hand, were there posts established on or near Lake Erie, even though we were not in possession of Detroit or Niagara, the natives disposed to peace would be protected, their numbers and attachment increased, the Indian trade greatly augmented, and that country soon filled with inhabitants in such manner that every reasonable fear of losing it in case of a war with Great Britain would be forever banished. Was this protection given, we might reasonably hope to see so numerous a body of well-informed and well-disposed citizens placing themselves in that quarter as would be able to counteract all the measures which any might attempt toward a separation from the old States. And if this protection is given, might we not also hope, from the lands already granted for a University and others appropriated for the support of schools in general, with some further provisions of little expense, I say, might we not hope soon to see such means of education set on foot as will have a most favorable effect on the manners of the people in that country, and remove the danger that, in a state of ignorance, with the art of designing men, they will always be under to mistake their true interest. If, sir, the western country is to be retained as a part of the United States, I conceive, the immediate protection and peopling of that tract between the Ohio and Lake Erie has a direct tendency and is the first link in the chain of arrangements toward compassing the great object; and if neglected, may prove an infinite mischief to the United States, for it was in full confidence that such protection would be afforded that the Ohio, Scioto, and other companies have contracted for lands to a very great amount. Now, sir, unless this protection is given, these contracts must all fail (to the loss of many millions of dollars to the United States), for, of what value are lands without inhabitants, and who will wish to inhabit a country where no reasonable protection is afforded ?
Another circumstance which renders the present moment important, in point of giving that district protection, is this : The people settling at Muskingum and Miami, not having those prejudices against the natives which commonly arise
from long wars with them, are led into such a line of conduct toward them, under the wise inanagement of Governor St. Clair and other principal characters, as gives the fairest prospect of peace and tranquillity to the frontiers in general, if such military force is established as shall make the government of the United States in the western territory a terror to evil-doers and a protection to such as shall do well. I have already exceeded the common bounds of a letter, but there is one circumstance I can not forbear mentioning, which is the opposition that many New England people, and particularly in Massachusetts, express against the settlement of the western country, especially by their own inhabitants removing thither. This opposition, I presume, arises chiefly from two sources, viz., the drawing off her inhabitants and preventing the settlement of their eastern lands. As to the first, I conceive, it will make no material odds, for, if they do not remove to Ohio, they will emigrate to New York or Vermont; while there is any vacant lands to be come at, the population in the cultivated part of the country will remain nearly the same. I believe, in old Massachusetts, the number of polls has varied very little this many years, and the reason is obvious, for, within that tract, there is no room for new settletlements of any consequence. And, as to the eastern country, it is a very fine place for lumber, and in that respect is of great service to Massachusetts; but any considerable number of people more in that district than to carry on this business will be a disadvantage in destroying the timber which ought to be preserved. That country, in general, is not fit for cultivation, and when this idea is connected with the climate, a man ought to consider himself curst, even in this world, who is doomed to inhabit there as the cultivator of the lands only. I can not suppose, however, that the Ohio country will much affect the settlement of the eastern lands, because those people who have not a double curse entailed to them will go to New York or Vermont rather than to the eastward..
Massachusetts, Sir, is in no danger of being depopulated for the Ohio country; even heaven itself will not invite them in such multitudes as to lessen her present numbers. Nor, on the other hand, will any policy prevent the emigration of