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They died in the defense of their country, and their resting places are hallowed spots. Sir, I am ready, for one, to say that if need be we will fight through another war to hold forever sacred the graves where our heroes sleep.
On the question involving the reconstruction of Virginia and Georgia, the senator indulged in a discussion covering the whole ground of secession and constitutional restoration-of democratic and republican records-diagnosing the disease and prescribing the political remedies. Notwithstanding all the two states had done in responding to the demands of congress, he desired further indemnity for the past and greater security for the future.
For congress he had words of eulogy, and for her champions garlands of perpetual renown.
For the first time in our history it struck down the prop of despotism, the doctrine of caste of race, or color, and declares the broad, philosophical, supremely just, and only true republican principle-the complete equality of all men in the possession of all civil and political rights. It invested a race with the order of citizenship, it invested a race with the rights of manhood. By its command that race, bowed down with the wrongs of centuries, stood forth erect under the broad panoply of eternal right.
So much was the republican party divided upon questions at issue and the democrats silent that the General said:
I have remarked that a portion of the members of this body, those who belong to the opposite political faith, have remained entirely silent. They seem to be as serene and composed as a summer's morning, or, to be still more poetic, as calm and unruffled as the waters of a moon-lit lake.
Turning upon his witty friend from Nevada, he said:
Mr. Nye described with affecting pathos the hardships inflicted upon this long-suffering, patiently waiting state of Virginia. She has waited till her locks are wet with the dews of night. Sir, let me say to that honorable senator, there are many people in Virginia today who are tired of waiting, waiting for that protection which this great government of the United States has vouchsafed to every citizen who respects its authority and obeys its command.
After a twenty years' calm, war having "smoothed his wrinkled front," and the sulphur of battle been replaced by the odor of flowers, and the great generals of the past having answered to roll call of death, and the rival orators of reconstruction just waiting to join the silent procession, all efforts to portray the stormy past by mutilated extracts must be as unsatisfactory as an attempt to represent the Pantheon of old by a single block of Roman marble. The closing speech upon Georgia was worthy of the place and occasion.
The fruits of this legislation will reach on through the ages. Our task will be ended, our mission will be fulfilled, only when every other citizen of every state, of every hamlet within our wide border, be he poor or rich, be he humble or exalted, be he white or black, and of every religion and opinion, and of every nationality, and every color or doctrine, shall be in the full and equal possession and enjoyment of every blessing which a beneficent government can bestow. Then we may witness the ushering in of the reign of universal justice, of universal liberty, and of universal law. These shall be the crowning glories of the Nation. Then shall every citizen, wherever he may dwell between the oceans, feel and know that he is indeed and in truth a child of the great Republic. Then may all exultingly exclaim, "This is my country; this is my nation."
SENATOR P. W. HITCHCOCK.*
March 4th, 1871-March 2nd, 1877.
Mr. Hitchcock moved that the senate take up Bill 680, "To encourage the growth of timber on the western prairies."
This with him had become a pet measure. The bill was his own. Grand in conception, economic and benevolent in design and bold in fancied execution. An effort to supply a defect of nature, to modify the rigors of climate, to add health, comfort and gain to the citizens, was worthy of a fair and honest experiment. Mr. Hitchcock stated the object of the bill as follows:
It provides that any person who shall plant, protect and keep in a healthy growing condition for five years, one hundred and twenty acres of timber, the trees thereon not being more than eight feet apart each way, on any quarter section of the public lands of the United States, shall be entitled to a patent for the whole of the quarter section at the expiration of five years on making proof of such fact by not less than two credible witnesses; but only one quarter in any section is to be thus granted.
By amendments from the committee on Public Lands, the number of acres was reduced from 120 to 40, and the space between trees extended to 12 feet.
Mr. Harlan of Iowa moved an amendment extending the time of cultivation to ten years and sustained it with an argument.
MR. HITCHCOCK: There is clearly no time to discuss a measure of this importance at this period of the session. I had hoped and intended to prepare some remarks on this question, which I thought, and still think, deserves the careful consideration of the Senate. I am surprised at the style of the remarks made by the senator from Iowa. It is evident that he does not desire the passage of the bill at this time. But, Sir, preferring that the bill shall pass, even with this amendment rather than it shall fail entirely, I will accept it.
*For the record of Mr. Hitchcock as territorial delegate, see ante, page 100.
An effort being made to limit the privilege of the bill to such only as had less than 160 acres of land, Mr. Hitchcock said:
The senator from Mississippi totally misapprehends the object and intention of this bill. The object of the bill is to encourage and develop a growth of timber west of the Missouri River.
It will take capital, it will take money, to plant, cultivate and protect forty acres of timber for ten years, as the bill now provides. A man without capital can get his land now without money under the homestead law.
The object of this bill is to encourage the growth of timber not merely for the benefit of the soil, not merely for the value of the timber of itself, but for its influence on the climate.
The bill was passed as thus amended and was operative for twenty-two years.
On the 24th day of February, 1875, the senate proceeded to the consideration of a bill for the admission of Colorado, as a state. Mr. Hitchcock, having the bill in special charge, and the session being within eight days of its close, was anxious to see it passed without amendment, which might cause its defeat in the House of Representatives for want of time.
Feeling that sufficient population and ample material resources existed, but that no very recent census had been taken, his ingenuity was tested in the condensation of statistical estimates and historic facts. Knowing the temper of the senate, when time was short, and each one anxious to pass special measures, he combined directness with brevity, as in his opening speech.
Mr. President, at this period in the session, with the calendar filled with a long list of bills which have received favorable action at the hands of the different committees and which are pressing for the formal and favorable action of the Senate, I believe that no extended discussion of this bill is needed or would be justifiable.
There is, I apprehend, and can be, but one possible objection and but one possible question to be considered and but one point upon which opposition can be made to the present admission of Colorado. That question is in regard to her
present population. Upon that point the Committee on Territories believe from the best information which they were able to obtain that Colorado to-day contains a population of one hundred and fifty thousand. Of course this must be based to a great extent on statistics and estimates, as no official formal census of the Territory has been taken for the last five years.
The population of the Territory, by the census of 1870, was about 40,000. There are some comparative estimates which can be made from the statistics of the Territory at that time, and statistics since that time which go to show the ratio of the increase of population. For instance, the revenue of the postal department in 1870 was twenty-nine thousand and some hundred dollars. The revenue of the same department for the year 1874 was $102,000, nearly four times the revenue derived from the postal service in the year 1870.
I think there is no better, no surer test than that. The increase in the population is represented perhaps as accurately by the increase of revenue of the postal service as in any other way. So in other respects. At the time the census of 1870 was taken there was not in the territory a single line of completed railroad, and now there are 735 miles built at an estimated cost of about $30,000,000. So that it is probable that no territory has been admitted with the aggregate of wealth, the aggregate of business, the aggregate of commercial importance that Colorado has at the present time. Since the original constitution was adopted twenty-four states have been admitted to the Union. Of these, Texas, Maine and West Virginia were separated from other states or admitted as independent sovereignties, as in the case of Texas. Consequently twenty-one states have been admited from a territorial condition since the gov ernment was founded.
Of these twenty-one, but two were admitted as states. which had at the time of their admission a greater population than Colorado now has, and these were Michigan and Wisconsin, each of them having, I think, a population of about 200,000; Minnesota having a population of about the same amount that Colorado now has, and the others, such states as Illinois and Ohio, having only about one third the population which Colorado now has. Situated in the center of the continent, extending from the 37th parallel of latitude on the south to the 41st parallel of latitude on the north, and from the 25th meridian of longitude on the east to the 32d meridian of longitude on the west, embracing an area of 106,000 square miles; with a vast mineral wealth hidden away in the recesses of her lofty mountains and her lovely