John Adams’ Diary

John Adams’ Diary

 

John Adams’ Diary


FEBRUARY 22, 1756

Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged, in conscience, to temperance and frugality and industry; to justice and kindness and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love and reverence towards Almighty God. In this commonwealth, no man would impair his health by gluttony, drunkenness, or lust; no man would sacrifice his most precious time to cards or any other trifling and mean amusement; no man would steal, or lie, or in any way defraud his neighbor, but would live in peace and good will with all men; no man would blaspheme his Maker or profane his worship; but a rational and manly, a sincere and unaffected piety and devotion would reign in all hearts. What a Utopia; what a Paradise would this region be

MARCH 2, 1756

Began this afternoon my third quarter. The great and Almighty author of nature, who at first established those rules which regulate the world, can as easily suspend those laws whenever his providence sees sufficient reason for such suspension. This can be no objection, then, to the miracles of Jesus Christ. Although some very thoughtful and contemplative men among the heathen attained a strong persuasion of the great principles of religion, yet the far greater number, having little time for speculation, gradually sunk into the grossest opinions and the grossest practices. These, therefore, could not be made to embrace the true religion till their attention was roused by some astonishing and miraculous appearances. Ile reasoning of philosophers, having nothing surprising in them, could not overcome the force of prejudice, custom, passion, and bigotry. But when wise and virtuous men commissioned from heaven, by miracles awakened men’s attention to their reasonings, the force of truth made its way with ease to their minds.

MARCH  7, 1756

Heard Mr. Maccarty all day. Spent the evening and supped at Mr. Greene’s with Thayer. Honesty, sincerity, and openness I esteem essential marks of a good mind. I am, therefore, of opinion that men ought (after they have examined with unbiased judgments every system of religion, and chosen one system, on their own authority, for themselves), to avow their opinions and defend them with boldness.

MAY 1, 1756

If we consider a little of this our globe, we find an endless variety of substances mutually connected with and dependent on each other. In the wilderness we see an amazing profusion of vegetables, which afford sustenance and covering to the wild beasts. The cultivated plains and meadows produce grass for, the cattle, and herbs for the service of man. The milk and the flesh of other animals afford a delicious provision for mankind.

A great part of the human species are obliged to provide food and nourishment for other helpless and improvident animals. Vegetables sustain some animals; these animals are devoured by others, and these others are continually cultivating and improving the vegetable species. Thus, nature upon our earth is in a continual rotation.

If we rise higher, we find the sun and moon, to a very great degree, influencing us. Tides are produced in the ocean; clouds in the atmosphere; all nature is made to flourish and look gay by these enlivening and invigorating luminaries. Yea, life and cheerfulness is diffused to all other planets, as well as ours, upon the sprightly sunbeams.

No doubt, there is as great a multitude and variety of bodies upon each Planet in proportion to its magnitude, as there is upon ours. These bodies are connected with, and influenced by each other. Thus, we see the amazing harmony of our solar system.

The minutest particle, in one of Saturn’s satellites, may have some influence upon the most distant regions of the system. The stupendous plan of operation was projected by Him who rules the universe, and a part assigned to every particle of matter, to act in this great and complicated drama. The Creator looked into the remotest futurity, and saw his great designs accomplished by this inextricable, this mysterious complication of causes. But to rise still higher, this solar system is but one very small wheel in the great, the astonishing machine of the world. Those stars, that twinkle in the heavens, have each of them a choir of planets, comets, and satellites dancing round them, playing mutually on each other, and all, together playing on the other systems that lie around them.

Our system, considered as one body hanging on its center of gravity, may affect and be affected by all the other systems within the compass of creation. Thus it is highly probable every particle of matter influences and is influenced by every other particle in the whole collected universe.

JULY 26, 1796
Cloudy . . .

The Christian religion is above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modem times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity, and humanity, let the blackguard Paine say what he will; it is resignation to God, it is goodness itself to man.

AUGUST 24, 1796

One great advantage of the Christian religion is that it brings the great principle of the law of nature and nations–Love your neighbor as yourself, and do to others as you would that others should do to you,–to the knowledge, belief, and veneration of the whole people. Children, servants, women, and men, are all professors in the science of public and private morality. No other institution for education, no kind of political discipline, could diffuse this kind of necessary information, so universally among all ranks and descriptions of citizens. The duties and rights of the man and the citizen are thus taught from early infancy to every creature. The sanctions of a future life are thus added to the observance of civil and political, as well as domestic and private duties. Prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude, are thus taught to be the means and conditions of future as well as present happiness.

Jim Crow Laws

Jim Crow Laws

 

What Was Jim Crow?


No Dogs, Negros, Mexicans Jim Crow was the name of the racial caste system which operated primarily, but not exclusively in southern and border states, between 1877 and the mid-1960s. Jim Crow was more than a series of rigid anti-Black laws. It was a way of life. Under Jim Crow, African Americans were relegated to the status of second class citizens. Jim Crow represented the legitimization of anti-Black racism. Many Christian ministers and theologians taught that Whites were the Chosen people, Blacks were cursed to be servants, and God supported racial segregation. Craniologists, eugenicists, phrenologists, and Social Darwinists, at every educational level, buttressed the belief that Blacks were innately intellectually and culturally inferior to Whites. Pro-segregation politicians gave eloquent speeches on the great danger of integration: the mongrelization of the White race. Newspaper and magazine writers routinely referred to Blacks as niggers, coons, and darkies; and worse, their articles reinforced anti-Black stereotypes. Even children’s games portrayed Blacks as inferior beings. All major societal institutions reflected and supported the oppression of Blacks.

Seated in Rear The Jim Crow system was undergirded by the following beliefs or rationalizations: Whites were superior to Blacks in all important ways, including but not limited to intelligence, morality, and civilized behavior; sexual relations between Blacks and Whites would produce a mongrel race which would destroy America; treating Blacks as equals would encourage interracial sexual unions; any activity which suggested social equality encouraged interracial sexual relations; if necessary, violence must be used to keep Blacks at the bottom of the racial hierarchy. The following Jim Crow etiquette norms show how inclusive and pervasive these norms were:

 

  • A Black male could not offer his hand (to shake hands) with a White male because it implied being socially equal. Obviously, a Black male could not offer his hand or any other part of his body to a White woman, because he risked being accused of rape.  
  • Blacks and Whites were not supposed to eat together. If they did eat together, Whites were to be served first, and some sort of partition was to be placed between them.  
  • Under no circumstance was a Black male to offer to light the cigarette of a White female — that gesture implied intimacy.  
  • Blacks were not allowed to show public affection toward one another in public, especially kissing, because it offended Whites.  
  • Jim Crow etiquette prescribed that Blacks were introduced to Whites, never Whites to Blacks. For example: “Mr. Peters (the White person), this is Charlie (the Black person), that I spoke to you about.”  
  • Whites did not use courtesy titles of respect when referring to Blacks, for example, Mr., Mrs., Miss., Sir, or Ma’am. Instead, Blacks were called by their first names. Blacks had to use courtesy titles when referring to Whites, and were not allowed to call them by their first names.  
  • If a Black person rode in a car driven by a White person, the Black person sat in the back seat, or the back of a truck.  
  • White motorists had the right-of-way at all intersections.

 

Stetson Kennedy, the author of Jim Crow Guide, offered these simple rules that Blacks were supposed to observe in conversing with Whites:

  1. Never assert or even intimate that a White person is lying.
  2. Never impute dishonorable intentions to a White person.
  3. Never suggest that a White person is from an inferior class.
  4. Never lay claim to, or overly demonstrate, superior knowledge or intelligence.
  5. Never curse a White person.
  6. Never laugh derisively at a White person.
  7. Never comment upon the appearance of a White female.

restroom sign Jim Crow etiquette operated in conjunction with Jim Crow laws (black codes). When most people think of Jim Crow they think of laws (not the Jim Crow etiquette) which excluded Blacks from public transport and facilities, juries, jobs, and neighborhoods. The passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution had granted Blacks the same legal protections as Whites. However, after 1877, and the election of Republican Rutherford B. Hayes, southern and border states began restricting the liberties of Blacks. Unfortunately for Blacks, the Supreme Court helped undermine the Constitutional protections of Blacks with the infamous Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) case, which legitimized Jim Crow laws and the Jim Crow way of life.

In 1890, Louisiana passed the “Separate Car Law,” which purported to aid passenger comfort by creating “equal but separate” cars for Blacks and Whites. This was a ruse. No public accommodations, including railway travel, provided Blacks with equal facilities. The Louisiana law made it illegal for Blacks to sit in coach seats reserved for Whites, and Whites could not sit in seats reserved for Blacks. In 1891, a group of Blacks decided to test the Jim Crow law. They had Homer A. Plessy, who was seven-eights White and one-eighth Black (therefore, Black), sit in the White-only railroad coach. He was arrested. Plessy’s lawyer argued that Louisiana did not have the right to label one citizen as White and another Black for the purposes of restricting their rights and privileges. In Plessy, the Supreme Court stated that so long as state governments provided legal process and legal freedoms for Blacks, equal to those of Whites, they could maintain separate institutions to facilitate these rights. The Court, by a 7-2 vote, upheld the Louisiana law, declaring that racial separation did not necessarily mean an abrogation of equality. In practice, Plessy represented the legitimization of two societies: one White, and advantaged; the other, Black, disadvantaged and despised.

Blacks were denied the right to vote by grandfather clauses (laws that restricted the right to vote to people whose ancestors had voted before the Civil War), poll taxes (fees charged to poor Blacks), white primaries (only Democrats could vote, only Whites could be Democrats), and literacy tests (“Name all the Vice Presidents and Supreme Court Justices throughout America’s history”). Plessy sent this message to southern and border states: Discrimination against Blacks is acceptable.

drinking fountains Jim Crow states passed statutes severely regulating social interactions between the races. Jim Crow signs were placed above water fountains, door entrances and exits, and in front of public facilities. There were separate hospitals for Blacks and Whites, separate prisons, separate public and private schools, separate churches, separate cemeteries, separate public restrooms, and separate public accommodations. In most instances, the Black facilities were grossly inferior — generally, older, less-well-kept. In other cases, there were no Black facilities — no Colored public restroom, no public beach, no place to sit or eat. Plessy gave Jim Crow states a legal way to ignore their constitutional obligations to their Black citizens.

ticket Jim Crow laws touched every aspect of everyday life. For example, in 1935, Oklahoma prohibited Blacks and Whites from boating together. Boating implied social equality. In 1905, Georgia established separate parks for Blacks and Whites. In 1930, Birmingham, Alabama, made it illegal for Blacks and Whites to play checkers or dominoes together. Here are some of the typical Jim Crow laws, as compiled by the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site Interpretive Staff:

    • Barbers. No colored barber shall serve as a barber (to) white girls or women (Georgia).  

 

  • Blind Wards. The board of trustees shall…maintain a separate building…on separate ground for the admission, care, instruction, and support of all blind persons of the colored or black race (Louisiana).  
  • Burial. The officer in charge shall not bury, or allow to be buried, any colored persons upon ground set apart or used for the burial of white persons (Georgia).  
  • Buses. All passenger stations in this state operated by any motor transportation company shall have separate waiting rooms or space and separate ticket windows for the white and colored races (Alabama).  
  • Child Custody. It shall be unlawful for any parent, relative, or other white person in this State, having the control or custody of any white child, by right of guardianship, natural or acquired, or otherwise, to dispose of, give or surrender such white child permanently into the custody, control, maintenance, or support, of a negro (South Carolina).  
  • Education. The schools for white children and the schools for negro children shall be conducted separately (Florida).  
  • Libraries. The state librarian is directed to fit up and maintain a separate place for the use of the colored people who may come to the library for the purpose of reading books or periodicals (North Carolina).  
  • Mental Hospitals. The Board of Control shall see that proper and distinct apartments are arranged for said patients, so that in no case shall Negroes and white persons be together (Georgia).  
  • Militia. The white and colored militia shall be separately enrolled, and shall never be compelled to serve in the same organization. No organization of colored troops shall be permitted where white troops are available and where whites are permitted to be organized, colored troops shall be under the command of white officers (North Carolina).  
  • Nurses. No person or corporation shall require any White female nurse to nurse in wards or rooms in hospitals, either public or private, in which negro men are placed (Alabama).  
  • Prisons. The warden shall see that the white convicts shall have separate apartments for both eating and sleeping from the negro convicts (Mississippi).  
  • Reform Schools. The children of white and colored races committed to the houses of reform shall be kept entirely separate from each other (Kentucky).  
  • Teaching. Any instructor who shall teach in any school, college or institution where members of the white and colored race are received and enrolled as pupils for instruction shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined… (Oklahoma).  
  • Wine and Beer. All persons licensed to conduct the business of selling beer or wine…shall serve either white people exclusively or colored people exclusively and shall not sell to the two races within the same room at any time (Georgia).

 


riprap The Jim Crow laws and system of etiquette were undergirded by violence, real and threatened. Blacks who violated Jim Crow norms, for example, drinking from the White water fountain or trying to vote, risked their homes, their jobs, even their lives. Whites could physically beat Blacks with impunity. Blacks had little legal recourse against these assaults because the Jim Crow criminal justice system was all-White: police, prosecutors, judges, juries, and prison officials. Violence was instrumental for Jim Crow. It was a method of social control. The most extreme forms of Jim Crow violence were lynchings.

Lynchings were public, often sadistic, murders carried out by mobs. Between 1882, when the first reliable data were collected, and 1968, when lynchings had become rare, there were 4,730 known lynchings, including 3,440 Black men and women. Most of the victims of Lynch-Law were hanged or shot, but some were burned at the stake, castrated, beaten with clubs, or dismembered. In the mid-1800s, Whites constituted the majority of victims (and perpetrators); however, by the period of Radical Reconstruction, Blacks became the most frequent lynching victims. This is an early indication that lynching was used as an intimidation tool to keep Blacks, in this case the newly-freedmen, “in their places.” The great majority of lynchings occurred in southern and border states, where the resentment against Blacks ran deepest. According to the social economist Gunnar Myrdal: “The southern states account for nine-tenths of the lynchings. More than two thirds of the remaining one-tenth occurred in the six states which immediately border the South.”

Many Whites claimed that although lynchings were distasteful, they were necessary supplements to the criminal justice system because Blacks were prone to violent crimes, especially the rapes of White women. Arthur Raper investigated nearly a century of lynchings and concluded that approximately one-third of all the victims were falsely accused.

Under Jim Crow any and all sexual interactions between Black men and White women was illegal, illicit, socially repugnant, and within the Jim Crow definition of rape. Although only 19.2 percent of the lynching victims between 1882 to 1951 were even accused of rape, Lynch law was often supported on the popular belief that lynchings were necessary to protect White women from Black rapists. Myrdal refutes this belief in this way: “There is much reason to believe that this figure (19.2) has been inflated by the fact that a mob which makes the accusation of rape is secure from any further investigation; by the broad Southern definition of rape to include all sexual relations between Negro men and white women; and by the psychopathic fears of white women in their contacts with Negro men.” Most Blacks were lynched for demanding civil rights, violating Jim Crow etiquette or laws, or in the aftermath of race riots.

Lynchings were most common in small and middle-sized towns where Blacks often were economic competitors to the local Whites. These Whites resented any economic and political gains made by Blacks. Lynchers were seldomly arrested, and if arrested, rarely convicted. Raper estimated that “at least one-half of the lynchings are carried out with police officers participating, and that in nine-tenths of the others the officers either condone or wink at the mob action.” Lynching served many purposes: it was cheap entertainment; it served as a rallying, uniting point for Whites; it functioned as an ego-massage for low-income, low-status Whites; it was a method of defending White domination and helped stop or retard the fledgling social equality movement.

Lynch mobs directed their hatred against one (sometimes several) victims. The victim was an example of what happened to a Black man who tried to vote, or who looked at a White woman, or who tried to get a White man’s job. Unfortunately for Blacks, sometimes the mob was not satisfied to murder a single or several victims. Instead, in the spirit of pogroms, the mobs went into Black communities and destroyed additional lives and property. Their immediate goal was to drive out — through death or expulsion — all Blacks; the larger goal was to maintain, at all costs, White supremacy. These pogrom-like actions are often referred to as riots; however, Gunnar Myrdal was right when he described these “riots” as “a terrorization or massacre…a mass lynching.”7 Interestingly, these mass lynchings were primarily urban phenomena, whereas the lynching of single victims was primarily a rural phenomena.

James Weldon Johnson, the famous Black writer, labeled 1919 as “The Red Summer.” It was red from racial tension; it was red from bloodletting. During the summer of 1919, there were race riots in Chicago, Illinois; Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee; Charleston, South Carolina; Omaha, Nebraska; and two dozen other cities. W.E.B. DuBois, the Black social scientist and civil rights activist, wrote: “During that year seventy-seven Negroes were lynched, of whom one was a woman and eleven were soldiers; of these, fourteen were publicly burned, eleven of them being burned alive. That year there were race riots large and small in twenty-six American cities including thirty-eight killed in a Chicago riot of August; from twenty-five to fifty in Phillips County, Arkansas; and six killed in Washington.”

The riots of 1919 were not the first or last “mass lynchings” of Blacks, as evidenced by the race riots in Wilmington, North Carolina (1898); Atlanta, Georgia (1906); Springfield, Illinois (1908); East St. Louis, Illinois (1917); Tulsa, Oklahoma (1921); and Detroit, Michigan (1943). Joseph Boskin, author of Urban Racial Violence, claimed that the riots of the 1900s had the following traits:

    1. In each of the race riots, with few exceptions, it was White people that sparked the incident by attacking Black people.  

 

  • In the majority of the riots, some extraordinary social condition prevailed at the time of the riot: prewar social changes, wartime mobility, post-war adjustment, or economic depression.  
  • The majority of the riots occurred during the hot summer months.  
  • Rumor played an extremely important role in causing many riots. Rumors of some criminal activity by Blacks against Whites perpetuated the actions of the White mobs.  
  • The police force, more than any other institution, was invariably involved as a precipitating cause or perpetuating factor in the riots. In almost every one of the riots, the police sided with the attackers, either by actually participating in, or by failing to quell the attack.  
  • In almost every instance, the fighting occurred within the Black community.

 

Boskin omitted the following: the mass media, especially newspapers often published inflammatory articles about “Black criminals” immediately before the riots; Blacks were not only killed, but their homes and businesses were looted, and many who did not flee were left homeless; and, the goal of the White rioters, as was true of White lynchers of single victims, was to instill fear and terror into Blacks, thereby buttressing White domination. The Jim Crow hierarchy could not work without violence being used against those on the bottom rung. George Fredrickson, a historian, stated it this way: “Lynching represented…a way of using fear and terror to check ‘dangerous’ tendencies in a black community considered to be ineffectively regimented or supervised. As such it constituted a confession that the regular institutions of a segregated society provided an inadequate measure of day-to-day control.”

 

 

 

 

 

Many Blacks resisted the indignities of Jim Crow, and, far too often, they paid for their bravery with their lives.

Transcript of Jefferson’s Secret Message to Congress Regarding the Lewis & Clark Expedition (1803)

Transcript of Jefferson’s Secret Message to Congress Regarding the Lewis & Clark Expedition (1803)

 

Transcript of Jefferson’s Secret Message to Congress Regarding the Lewis & Clark Expedition (1803)

Jefferson’s Secret Message to Congress Regarding the Lewis & Clark Expedition (1803)

The modesty of the request, couched principally in terms of promoting commerce, belied the grandeur of the vision behind it. Jefferson had long been fascinated with the West and dreamed of a United States that would stretch across the entire continent.

Jefferson instructed Meriwether Lewis, who commanded the expedition jointly with William Clark, to seek new trade routes, to befriend the western tribes of Indians, and to report on the geography, geology, astronomy, zoology, botany, and climate of the West. The 8,000-mile expedition provided the U.S. Government with its first glimpse of the vast lands that lay west of the Mississippi River.

President Jefferson worked closely with Meriwether Lewis to ensure that he was well prepared—anticipating what the party would need in the way of arms, food, medicines, camping gear, scientific instruments, and presents for the Indians. They planned well. While the expedition ran out of such luxuries as whiskey, tobacco, and salt, they never ran out of rifles and powder, needed both for self-defense and food supply—and they never ran out of ink and paper, needed to record their findings.

 

 

 

Confidential

Gentlemen of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:

As the continuance of the act for establishing trading houses with the Indian tribes will be under the consideration of the Legislature at its present session, I think it my duty to communicate the views which have guided me in the execution of that act, in order that you may decide on the policy of continuing it, in the present or any other form, or discontinue it altogether, if that shall, on the whole, seem most for the public good.

The Indian tribes residing within the limits of the United States, have, for a considerable time, been growing more and more uneasy at the constant diminution of the territory they occupy, although effected by their own voluntary sales: and the policy has long been gaining strength with them, of refusing absolutely all further sale, on any conditions; insomuch that, at this time, it hazards their friendship, and excites dangerous jealousies and perturbations in their minds to make any overture for the purchase of the smallest portions of their land. A very few tribes only are not yet obstinately in these dispositions. In order peaceably to counteract this policy of theirs, and to provide an extension of territory which the rapid increase of our numbers will call for, two measures are deemed expedient. First: to encourage them to abandon hunting, to apply to the raising stock, to agriculture and domestic manufacture, and thereby prove to themselves that less land and labor will maintain them in this, better than in their former mode of living. The extensive forests necessary in the hunting life, will then become useless, and they will see advantage in exchanging them for the means of improving their farms, and of increasing their domestic comforts. Secondly: to multiply trading houses among them, and place within their reach those things which will contribute more to their domestic comfort, than the possession of extensive, but uncultivated wilds. Experience and reflection will develop to them the wisdom of exchanging what they can spare and we want, for what we can spare and they want. In leading them to agriculture, to manufactures, and civilization; in bringing together their and our settlements, and in preparing them ultimately to participate in the benefits of our governments, I trust and believe we are acting for their greatest good. At these trading houses we have pursued the principles of the act of Congress, which directs that the commerce shall be carried on liberally, and requires only that the capital stock shall not be diminished. We consequently undersell private traders, foreign and domestic, drive them from the competition; and thus, with the good will of the Indians, rid ourselves of a description of men who are constantly endeavoring to excite in the Indian mind suspicions, fears, and irritations towards us. A letter now enclosed, shows the effect of our competition on the operations of the traders, while the Indians, perceiving the advantage of purchasing from us, are soliciting generally, our establishment of trading houses among them. In one quarter this is particularly interesting. The Legislature, reflecting on the late occurrences on the Mississippi, must be sensible how desirable it is to possess a respectable breadth of country on that river, from our Southern limit to the Illinois at least; so that we may present as firm a front on that as on our Eastern border. We possess what is below the Yazoo, and can probably acquire a certain breadth from the Illinois and Wabash to the Ohio; but between the Ohio and Yazoo, the country all belongs to the Chickasaws, the most friendly tribe within our limits, but the most decided against the alienation of lands. The portion of their country most important for us is exactly that which they do not inhabit. Their settlements are not on the Mississippi, but in the interior country. They have lately shown a desire to become agricultural; and this leads to the desire of buying implements and comforts. In the strengthening and gratifying of these wants, I see the only prospect of planting on the Mississippi itself, the means of its own safety. Duty has required me to submit these views to the judgment of the Legislature; but as their disclosure might embarrass and defeat their effect, they are committed to the special confidence of the two Houses.

While the extension of the public commerce among the Indian tribes, may deprive of that source of profit such of our citizens as are engaged in it, it might be worthy the attention of Congress, in their care of individual as well as of the general interest, to point, in another direction, the enterprise of these citizens, as profitably for themselves, and more usefully for the public. The river Missouri, and the Indians inhabiting it, are not as well known as is rendered desirable by their connexion with the Mississippi, and consequently with us. It is, however, understood, that the country on that river is inhabited by numerous tribes, who furnish great supplies of furs and peltry to the trade of another nation, carried on in a high latitude, through an infinite number of portages and lakes, shut up by ice through a long season. The commerce on that line could bear no competition with that of the Missouri, traversing a moderate climate, offering according to the best accounts, a continued navigation from its source, and possibly with a single portage, from the Western Ocean, and finding to the Atlantic a choice of channels through the Illinois or Wabash, the lakes and Hudson, through the Ohio and Susquehanna, or Potomac or James rivers, and through the Tennessee and Savannah, rivers. An intelligent officer, with ten or twelve chosen men, fit for the enterprise, and willing to undertake it, taken from our posts, where they may be spared without inconvenience, might explore the whole line, even to the Western Ocean, have conferences with the natives on the subject of commercial intercourse, get admission among them for our traders, as others are admitted, agree on convenient deposits for an interchange of articles, and return with the information acquired, in the course of two summers. Their arms and accoutrements, some instruments of observation, and light and cheap presents for the Indians, would be all the apparatus they could carry, and with an expectation of a soldier’s portion of land on their return, would constitute the whole expense. Their pay would be going on, whether here or there. While other civilized nations have encountered great expense to enlarge the boundaries of knowledge by undertaking voyages of discovery, and for other literary purposes, in various parts and directions, our nation seems to owe to the same object, as well as to its own interests, to explore this, the only line of easy communication across the continent, and so directly traversing our own part of it. The interests of commerce place the principal object within the constitutional powers and care of Congress, and that it should incidentally advance the geographical knowledge of our own continent, cannot be but an additional gratification. The nation claiming the territory, regarding this as a literary pursuit, which is in the habit of permitting within its dominions, would not be disposed to view it with jealousy, even if the expiring state of its interests there did not render it a matter of indifference. The appropriation of two thousand five hundred dollars, “for the purpose of extending the external commerce of the United States,” while understood and considered by the Executive as giving the legislative sanction, would cover the undertaking from notice, and prevent the obstructions which interested individuals might otherwise previously prepare in its way.

TH. Jefferson
Jan. 18. 1803.

Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists

Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists

 

Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists

Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists

 

Indian Removal Act of 1830

Indian Removal Act of 1830

Indian Removal Act of 1830

INTRODUCTION

On May 26, 1830, the Indian Removal Act of 1830 was passed by the Twenty-First Congress of the United states of America. After four months of strong debate, Andrew Jackson signed the bill into law. Land greed was a big reason for the federal government’s position on Indian removal. This desire for Indian lands was also abetted by the Indian hating mentallity that was peculiar to some American frontiersman.

This period of forcible removal first started with the Cherokee Indians in the state of Georgia. In 1802, the Georgia legislature signed a compact giving the federal government all of her claims to western lands in exchange for the government’s pledge to extigiush all Indian titles to land within the state. But by the mid-1820’s Georgians began to doubt that the government would withhold its part of the bargain. The Cherokee Indian tribes had a substantial part of land in Georgia that they had had for many generations though. They were worried about losing their land so they forced the issue by adopting a written constitution. This document proclaimed that the Cherokee nation had complete jurisdiction over its own territory.

But by now Indian removal had become entwined with the state of Georgia’s rights and the Cherokee tribes had to make their claims in court. When the Cherokee nation sought aid from newly elected president Andrew Jackson, he informed them that he would not interfere with the lawful prerogatives of the state of Georgia. Jackson saw the solution of the problem with the removal of the Cherokee tribes to lands west. This would keep contact between Indians and colonists rare. He suggested that laws be past so that the Indians would have to move west of the Mississippi river.

Similar incidents happened between the other “civilized” tribes and white men. The Seminole tribe had land disputes with the state of Florida. The Creek Indians fought many battles against the federal army so they could keep their land in the states of Alabama and Georgia. The Chickisaw and Choctaw had disputes with the state of Mississippi. To ensure peace the government forced these five tribes called the Five Civilized Tribes to move out of their lands that they had lived on for generations and to move to land given to them in parts of Oklahoma. Andrew Jackson was quoted as saying that this was a way of protecting them and allowing them time to adjust to the white culture. This land in Oklahoma was thinly settled and was thought to have little value. Within 10 years of the Indian Removal Act, more than 70,000 Indians had moved across the Mississippi. Many Indians died on this journey.

 

“The Trails of Tears”

The term “Trails of Tears” was given to the period of ten years in which over 70,000 Indians had to give up their homes and move to certain areas assigned to tribes in Oklahoma. The tribes were given a right to all of Oklahoma except the Panhandle. The government promised this land to them “as long as grass shall grow and rivers run.” Unfortunately, the land that they were given only lasted till about 1906 and then they were forced to move to other reservations.

The Trails of Tears were several trails that the Five civilized Tribes traveled on their way to their new lands. Many Indians died because of famine or disease. Sometimes a person would die because of the harsh living conditions. The tribes had to walk all day long and get very little rest. All this was in order to free more land for white settlers. The period of forcible removal started when Andrew Jackson became Presidentin 1829. At that time there was reported to be sightings of gold in the Cherokee territory in Georgia which caused prospectors to rush in, tearing down fences and destroying crops. In Mississippi, the state laws were extended over Choctaw and Chickisaw lands, and in 1930 the Indians were made citizens which made it illegal to hold any tribal office. Also in Georgia, the Cherokee tribes were forbade to hold any type of tribal legislature except to ratify land cessions, and the citzens of Georgia were invited to rob and plunder the tribes in their are by making it illegal for an Indian to bring suit against a white man.

When President Jackson began to negotiate with the Indians, he gave them a guarantee of perpetual autonomy in the West as the strongest incentive to emigration.

The Five tribes gave all of their Eastern lands to the United States and agreed to migrate beyond the Mississippi by the end of the 1830’s. The Federal agents accomplished this by bribery, trickery,and intimidation. All of the treaties signed by the Indians as the agreed to the terms of the removal contained guarantees that the Indians, territory should be perpetual and that no government other than their own should be erected over them without their consent.

The land retained by the five civilized tribes was known as the Indian Territory. The 19,525,966 acres were divded among the the five tribes. The Choctaws received 6,953,048 acres in the southeast part of Oklahoma; the Chickisaw recieved over 4,707,903 acres west of the Choctaws reservation; the Cherokees received 4,420,068 acres in the northeast; the received 3,079,095 acres southwest of the Cherokees; and the Seminoles purchased 365,852 acres which they purchased from their kin, the Creeks. The Chickisaw and the Choctaw owned their lands jointly because they were so closely related but the tribes still exercised jurisdiction over its own territory though.

Besides the land that the tribes obtained, they also received a large sum of money fom the sale of its Eastern territories. This money was a considerable part of the revenue for the tribes and was used by their legislatures for the support of schools and their governments. The Cherokee nation held $2,716,979.98 in the United States trust; the Choctaw nation had $975,258.91; the Chickisaw held $1,206,695.66;the Creek had $2,275,168.00; and the Seminole had $2,070,000.00 by the end of 1894.

After the end of the Trails of Tears, the conversion tof all tribes to Christianity had been efected rapidly. The Seminoles and Creeks were conservative to their customs but other tribes were receptive to any custom considered supperior to their own. The tribes found Christian teachings fitted to their own. Mainly the modernization change began at the end of the removal.

Andrew Jackson Gave a speech on the Indian removal in the year of 1830. He said, “It gives me great pleasure to announce to Congress that the benevolent policy of the government, steady pursued for nearly thirty years, in relation with the removal of the indians beyond the white settlements is approaching to a happy consumation.”

“The consequences of a speedy will be important to the United States, to individual states, and to the Indians themselves. It puts an end to all possible danger of a collision betweewn the authorities of the general and state governments, and of the account the Indians. It will place a dense population in large tracts of country now occupied by a few savaged hunters. By opening the whole territory between Tenesee on the north and Louisiana on the south to the settlement of the whites it will incalcuably strengthen the Southwestern frontier and render the adjacent states strong enough to repel future invasion without remote aid.”

“It will seperate the indians from immediate contact with settlements of whites; enable them to pusue happiness in their own way and under their own rude institutions; will retard the progress of decay, which is lessening their numbers, and perhaps cause them gradually, under the protection of the government and through the influences of good counsels, to cast off their savage habits and become an interesting, civilized, and christian community.”

FORT GIBSON

For two decades Fort Gibson was the base of operations for the American army as they tried to keep the peace. During the 1810’s to 1830’s, John C. Calhoun, James Monroe’s secretary of war, tried to relocate several Eastern tribes beyond the area of the white settlements. Fort Gibson was brought up because it served as barracks for the army. The relocation area for the Eastern tribes was part of other tribes land. The other tribes wanted toprotect it so they fought for it.

The soldiers from Fort Gibson began to make boundaries, construct roads, and escort delegates to the region. The soldiers also started to implement the removal process in other ways to. The soldiers of Fort Gibson were fiercly hated by the Indian tribes of that region. Yet during the many years of the indian removal, there was never a alsh between the soldiers or the tribes. An Indian was never killed by the Army. The soldiers at Fort Gibson served as a cultural buffer between the whites and the indians.

The Fort was established in the 1820’s by General Matthew Arbuckle. He served and commanded it through most of it’s two decades during the Indian removal. He wrote his last report from it on June 21, 1841.

 

THE CHEROKEE INDIANS

The Cherokee Indians live in many parts of the United states, but more than 100,000 live in parts of Oklahoma. Many Cherokee have moved elsewhere. In the 1800’s, the Cherokee Nation was one of the strongest Indian tribes in the United States. They were part of the Five Civilized Tribes.

The Cherokee Nation began to adopt the economic and political stucture of the white settlers in the early 1800’s. They owned large plantations and some even kept slaves. The Cherokee Nation was a form of republican government. A Cherokee Indian named Sequoya introduced a system of writing for the Cherokee language in 1821 also.

White settlers began to protest the Cherokee’s right to own land in the early 1800′. They demanded that the Cherokee Nation be moved west of the Mississippi to make room for white settlers. Some members of the Cherokee Nation signed treaties with the government in 1835 agreeing to move to designated areas in Oklahoma. Most of the tribe did not want to be relocated so they opposed the treaty. But most of the Cherokees, led by Chief John Ross, were forced to move to the Indian Territory in the winter of 1838-1839. More than 17,000 Cherokees marched from their homes to Oklahoma. This march was called the Trail of Tears. Many Indians died on this journey. Even though most of the Cherokee nation had

 

been forced to move, more than a 1,000 Cherokee escaped and remained in the Great Smoky Mountains, which is in parts of Tenessee and North Carolina. These tribes became known as the Eastern Band of Cherokee.

The Cherokee who went west reformed the political system that they had before. The Cherokee Nation set up schools and churches. But all this progress was stopped in the late 1800’s. Congress voted to abolish the Cherokee Nation to open yet more land for settlement by whites. Today most of the Cherokee remain in northeastern Oklahoma, where they have reestablished their form of government.

 

CHICKISAW INDIANS

The Chickisaw Indians were a tribe that lived in the southern United States. Their land included western Tenessee and Kentucky, northwestern Alabama, and northern Mississippi before the Indian removal. They were relocated to Oklahoma by the government in the 1830’s.

The Chickisaws lived in several small vilages with one- room log cabins. The people supported meach other by trading with other tribes, fishing, farming, and hunting. Each village was headed by a chief.

The Chickisaw Indians were known as fierce warriors. They fought for Great Britain when they fought France and Spain for control of the southern United States. They also helped them fight against the colonists in the Revolutionary War (1775-1783). And During the Civil War, the tribe fought for the Confederacy (1861-1865).

The tribe was relocated to the Indian Territory in 1837 by the National Government. They also took part in the Trail of Tears. In 1907, the Chickisaw Indian territory became part of the new state of Oklahoma. About 5,300 Chickisaw descendants live in Oklahoma. They have a Democratic government in which they elect their leaders for the welfare of the tribe.

 

CHOCTAW INDIANS

The Choctaw tribe originates from Alabama and Mississippi. They believed in the primitive ways and hunted and farmed to support themselves. They raised corn and other crops to trade with other Indians. They celebrate their crops with their chief religious ceremony which is a harvest celebration called the Green Corn Dance. One of their legends states that the Choctaw Indian tribe was created at a sacred mount called Nanih Waiya, near Noxapater, Mississippi.

After the Indian Removal Act was passed, the Choctaw Indians were forced to move west in order to make room for more white settlers. They were forced to sighn the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek after fierce fighting with the United States army. This treaty exchanched the Indians land for the assigned Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma. In the early 1830’s, over 14,000 Choctaws moved to the Indian Territory in several groups. Although many groups of Indians were gone, over 5,000 Choctaws remained in Mississippi.

The Choctaws who moved to the Indian Territory established their own way of life. They modernized themselves by establishing schools and an electoral form of government. In the Civil War, the Choctaw Indians fought on the side of the Confederacy and when the south was defeated, they were forced to give up much of their land. Their tribal governments were dissolved by 1907, when Oklahoma became a state. It stayed that way unttil 1970 when they were recognized by congress and allowed to elect their own chief. Today, many Choctaw are farmers. About 11,000 still live in Oklahoma and nearly 4,000 still live in Mississippi as a seperate tribe.

 CREEK INDIANS

The Creek Indians a part of a 19 tribal group that once resided in much of what is now Alabama and Georgia. Today, many of the 20,000 Creek Indians live in Oklahoma. The Muskogee and the Alabama are the largest Creek tribes. Most of them live north of the other Creek tribes. They are called the Upper Creeks. The lower Creek tribes belong to either Yuchi or Hitichi tribes.

In the 1800’s, the Creeks fought wars with people trying to settle on their lands. They fought in the first and second Creek Wars. They were great warriors who attacked with the element of surprise. After the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, the Creeks were forced to sign a Treaty that made them give up their land. In the 1830’s, they were forced to move to the Indian Territory in what is know Oklahoma. Very few Indians were left behind and they ones who did leave had to leave their belongings behind. The Creeks recieved very little payment for their lands.

The Creeks were forced to live in poverty for many years. Many Creeks are still very poor today. Some struggled with crops and became fairly prosperous. Much of the land given to them was not of much value. Also in 1890, a series of laws broke up many tribal landholdings of the Creeks and they were sold to individual Indians. After this, many Creeks were forced back into poverty.

 

SEMINOLE INDIANS

The Seminole Indians are a tribe the used to reside in Florida in the early 1800’s. The Seminole originally belonged to the Creek tribe. They broke apart from them and moved out of Alabama and Georgia and moved into Florida in the 1700’s They became known as Seminoles because the name means runaways.

The Seminoles opposed the United States when they came for the Seminole’s land. The United acquired Florida in 1819, and began urging them to sell their land to the government and to move to the Indian Territory along with the other southeasten tribes. In 1832, some of the Seminole leaders signed a treaty and promised to relocate. The Seminole tribe split at this time. After the Indians that agreed to move had gone the other part of the tribe fought to keep their lands. They fled into the Florida swamps. They started the Second Seminole war (1835). This was fought over the remaining land that the Seminole had fled to. It lasted for seven years. 1,500 American men died and the cost to the United States was $20 million. The Seminole were led by Osceola until he was tricked by General Thomas Jessup. Osceola was seized and imprisoned by Jessup during peace talks under a flag of truce. Osceola died in 1838 when he still in prison. After the war, many Seminoles moved west but still asmall group stayed hidden in the Florida swamps.

Inaugural Address of John F. Kennedy 1961

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Inaugural Address of John F. Kennedy  1961

Inaugural Address of John F. Kennedy

FRIDAY, JANUARY 20, 1961

Vice President Johnson, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon, President Truman, reverend clergy, fellow citizens, we observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom–symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning–signifying renewal, as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago.

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe–the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans–born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage–and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge–and more.

To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do–for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.

To those new States whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom–and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.

To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required–not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge–to convert our good words into good deeds–in a new alliance for progress–to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty. But this peaceful revolution of hope cannot become the prey of hostile powers. Let all our neighbors know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas. And let every other power know that this Hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house.

To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support–to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective–to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak–and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.

Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction.

We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.

But neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our present course–both sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, both rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of mankind’s final war.

So let us begin anew–remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.

Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms–and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations.

Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.

Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah–to “undo the heavy burdens … and to let the oppressed go free.”

And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.

All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.

In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than in mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.

Now the trumpet summons us again–not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are–but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation”–a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.

Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shank from this responsibility–I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it–and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.

I Pencil

 

I Pencil

By Lawrence W. Reed

Eloquent. Extraordinary. Timeless. Paradigm-shifting. Classic. Half a century after it first appeared, Leonard Read’s “I, Pencil” still evokes such adjectives of praise. Rightfully so, for this little essay opens eyes and minds among people of all ages. Many first-time readers never see the world quite the same again.

Ideas are most powerful when they’re wrapped in a compelling story. Leonard’s main point—economies can hardly be “planned” when not one soul possesses all the know-how and skills to produce a simple pencil—unfolds in the enchanting words of a pencil itself. Leonard could have written “I, Car” or “I, Airplane,” but choosing those more complex items would have muted the message. No one person—repeat, no one, no matter how smartor how many degrees follow his name—could create from scratch a small, everyday pencil, let alone a car or an airplane.

This is a message that humbles the high and mighty. It pricks the inflated egos of those who think they know how to mind everybody else’s business. It explains in plain language why central planning is an exercise in arrogance and futility, or what Nobel laureate and Austrian economist
F. A. Hayek aptly termed “the pretence of knowledge.”

Indeed, a major influence on Read’s thinking in this regard was Hayek’s famous 1945 article, “The Use of Knowledge in Society.” In demolishing the spurious claims of the socialists of the day, Hayek wrote,“This is not a dispute about whether planning is to be done or not. It is a dispute as to whether planning is to be done centrally, by one authority for the whole economic system, or is to be divided among many individuals.”

Maximilien Robespierre is said to have blessed the horrific French Revolution with this chilling declaration: “On ne saurait pas faire une omelette sans casser des oeufs.” Translation: “One can’t expect to make an omelet without breaking eggs.” A consummate statist who worked tirelessly to plan the lives of others, he would become the architect of the Revolution’s bloodiest phase—the Reign of Terror of 1793–94.

Robespierre and his guillotine broke eggs by the thousands in a vain effort to impose a utopian society with government planners at the top and everybody else at the bottom. That French experience is but one example in a disturbingly familiar pattern. Call them what you will—socialists, interventionists, collectivists, statists—history is littered with their presumptuous plans for rearranging society to fit their vision of the common good, plans that always fail as they kill or impoverish other people in the process. If socialism ever earns a final epitaph, it will be this: Here lies a contrivance engineered by know-it-alls who broke eggs with abandon but never, ever created an omelet.

None of the Robespierres of the world knew how to make a pencil, yet they wanted to remake entire societies. How utterly preposterous, and mournfully tragic! But we will miss a large implication of Leonard Read’s message if we assume it aims only at the tyrants whose names we all know. The lesson of “I, Pencil” is not that error begins when the planners plan big. It begins the moment one tosses humility aside, assumes he knows the unknowable, and employs the force of the State against peaceful individuals. That’s not just a national disease. It can be very local indeed.

In our midst are people who think that if only they had government power on their side, they could pick tomorrow’s winners and losers in the marketplace, set prices or rents where they ought to be, decide which forms of energy should power our homes and cars, and choose which industries should survive and which should die. They should stop for a few moments and learn a little humility from a lowly writing implement.

While “I, Pencil” shoots down the baseless expectations for central planning, it provides a supremely uplifting perspective of the individual. Guided by Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” of prices, property, profits, and incentives, free people accomplish economic miracles of which socialist theoreticians can only dream. As the interests of countless individuals from around the world converge to produce pencils without a single “master mind,” so do they also come together in free markets to feed, clothe, house, educate, and entertain hundreds of millions of people at ever higher levels. With great pride, FEE publishes this new edition of “I, Pencil” to mark the essay’s 50th anniversary. Someday there will be a centennial edition, maybe even a millennial one. This essay is truly one for the ages.

—Lawrence W. Reed, President
Foundation for Economic Education

***

I, Pencil

By Leonard E. Read

I am a lead pencil—the ordinary wooden pencil familiar to all boys and girls and adults who can read and write.

Writing is both my vocation and my avocation; that’s all I do.

You may wonder why I should write a genealogy. Well, to begin with, my story is interesting. And, next, I am a mystery —more so than a tree or a sunset or even a flash of lightning. But, sadly, I am taken for granted by those who use me, as if I were a mere incident and without background. This supercilious attitude relegates me to the level of the commonplace. This is a species of the grievous error in which mankind cannot too long persist without peril. For, the wise G. K. Chesterton observed, “We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders.”

I, Pencil, simple though I appear to be, merit your wonder and awe, a claim I shall attempt to prove. In fact, if you can understand me—no, that’s too much to ask of anyone—if you can become aware of the miraculousness which I symbolize, you can help save the freedom mankind is so unhappily losing. I have a profound lesson to teach. And I can teach this lesson better than can an automobile or an airplane or a mechanical dishwasher because—well, because I am seemingly so simple.

Simple? Yet, not a single person on the face of this earth knows how to make me. This sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? Especially when it is realized that there are about one and one-half billion of my kind produced in the U.S.A. each year.

Pick me up and look me over. What do you see? Not much meets the eye—there’s some wood, lacquer, the printed labeling, graphite lead, a bit of metal, and an eraser.

Innumerable Antecedents

Just as you cannot trace your family tree back very far, so is it impossible for me to name and explain all my antecedents. But I would like to suggest enough of them to impress upon you the richness and complexity of my background.

My family tree begins with what in fact is a tree, a cedar of straight grain that grows in Northern California and Oregon. Now contemplate all the saws and trucks and rope and the countless other gear used in harvesting and carting the cedar logs to the railroad siding. Think of all the persons and the numberless skills that went into their fabrication: the mining of ore, the making of steel and its refinement into saws, axes, motors; the growing of hemp and bringing it through all the stages to heavy and strong rope; the logging camps with their beds and mess halls, the cookery and the raising of all the foods. Why, untold thousands of persons had a hand in every cup of coffee the loggers drink!

The logs are shipped to a mill in San Leandro, California. Can you imagine the individuals who make flat cars and rails and railroad engines and who construct and install the communication systems incidental thereto? These legions are among my antecedents.

Consider the millwork in San Leandro. The cedar logs are cut into small, pencil-length slats less than one-fourth of an inch in thickness. These are kiln dried and then tinted for the same reason women put rouge on their faces. People prefer that I look pretty, not a pallid white. The slats are waxed and kiln dried again. How many skills went into the making of the tint and the kilns, into supplying the heat, the light and power, the belts, motors, and all the other things a mill requires? Sweepers in the mill among my ancestors? Yes, and included are the men who poured the concrete for the dam of a Pacific Gas & Electric Company hydroplant which supplies the mill’s power!

Don’t overlook the ancestors present and distant who have a hand in transporting sixty carloads of slats across the nation.

Once in the pencil factory—$4,000,000 in machinery and building, all capital accumulated by thrifty and saving parents of mine—each slat is given eight grooves by a complex machine, after which another machine lays leads in every other slat, applies glue, and places another slat atop—a lead sandwich, so to speak. Seven brothers and I are mechanically carved from this “wood-clinched” sandwich.

My “lead” itself—it contains no lead at all—is complex. The graphite is mined in Ceylon [Sri Lanka]. Consider these miners and those who make their many tools and the makers of the paper sacks in which the graphite is shipped and those who make the string that ties the sacks and those who put them aboard ships and those who make the ships. Even the lighthouse keepers along the way assisted in my birth—and the harbor pilots.

The graphite is mixed with clay from Mississippi in which ammonium hydroxide is used in the refining process. Then wetting agents are added such as sulfonated tallow—animal fats chemically reacted with sulfuric acid. After passing through numerous machines, the mixture finally appears as endless extrusions—as from a sausage grinder—cut to size, dried, and baked for several hours at 1,850 degrees Fahrenheit. To increase their strength and smoothness the leads are then treated with a hot mixture which includes candelilla wax from Mexico, paraffin wax, and hydrogenated natural fats.

My cedar receives six coats of lacquer. Do you know all the ingredients of lacquer? Who would think that the growers of castor beans and the refiners of castor oil are a part of it? They are. Why, even the processes by which the lacquer is made a beautiful yellow involve the skills of more persons than one can enumerate!

Observe the labeling. That’s a film formed by applying heat to carbon black mixed with resins. How do you make resins and what, pray, is carbon black?

My bit of metal—the ferrule—is brass. Think of all the persons who mine zinc and copper and those who have the skills to make shiny sheet brass from these products of nature. Those black rings on my ferrule are black nickel. What is black nickel and how is it applied? The complete story of why the center of my ferrule has no black nickel on it would take pages to explain.

Then there’s my crowning glory, inelegantly referred to in the trade as “the plug,” the part man uses to erase the errors he makes with me. An ingredient called “factice” is what does the erasing. It is a rubber-like product made by reacting rapeseed oil from the Dutch East Indies [Indonesia] with sulfur chloride. Rubber, contrary to the common notion, is only for binding purposes. Then, too, there are numerous vulcanizing and accelerating agents. The pumice comes from Italy; and the pigment which gives “the plug” its color is cadmium sulfide.

No One Knows

Does anyone wish to challenge my earlier assertion that no single person on the face of this earth knows how to make me?

Actually, millions of human beings have had a hand in my creation, no one of whom even knows more than a very few of the others. Now, you may say that I go too far in relating the picker of a coffee berry in far-off Brazil and food growers elsewhere to my creation; that this is an extreme position. I shall stand by my claim. There isn’t a single person in all these millions, including the president of the pencil company, who contributes more than a tiny, infinitesimal bit of know-how. From the standpoint of know-how the only difference between the miner of graphite in Ceylon and the logger in Oregon is in the type of know-how. Neither the miner nor the logger can be dispensed with, any more than can the chemist at the factory or the worker in the oil field—paraffin being a by-product of petroleum.

Here is an astounding fact: Neither the worker in the oil field nor the chemist nor the digger of graphite or clay nor any who mans or makes the ships or trains or trucks nor the one who runs the machine that does the knurling on my bit of metal nor the president of the company performs his singular task because he wants me. Each one wants me less, perhaps, than does a child in the first grade. Indeed, there are some among this vast multitude who never saw a pencil nor would they know how to use one. Their motivation is other than me. Perhaps it is something like this: Each of these millions sees that he can thus exchange his tiny know-how for the goods and services he needs or wants. I may or may not be among these items.

No Master Mind

There is a fact still more astounding: The absence of a master mind, of anyone dictating or forcibly directing these countless actions which bring me into being. No trace of such a person can be found. Instead, we find the Invisible Hand at work. This is the mystery to which I earlier referred.

It has been said that “only God can make a tree.” Why do we agree with this? Isn’t it because we realize that we ourselves could not make one? Indeed, can we even describe a tree? We cannot, except in superficial terms. We can say, for instance, that a certain molecular configuration manifests itself as a tree. But what mind is there among men that could even record, let alone direct, the constant changes in molecules that transpire in the life span of a tree? Such a feat is utterly unthinkable!

I, Pencil, am a complex combination of miracles: a tree, zinc, copper, graphite, and so on. But to these miracles which manifest themselves in Nature an even more extraordinary miracle has been added: the configuration of creative human energies—millions of tiny know-hows configurating naturally and spontaneously in response to human necessity and desire and in the absence of any human masterminding! Since only God can make a tree, I insist that only God could make me. Man can no more direct these millions of know-hows to bring me into being than he can put molecules together to create a tree.

The above is what I meant when writing, “If you can become aware of the miraculousness which I symbolize, you can help save the freedom mankind is so unhappily losing.” For, if one is aware that these know-hows will naturally, yes, automatically, arrange themselves into creative and productive patterns in response to human necessity and demand— that is, in the absence of governmental or any other coercive master-minding—then one will possess an absolutely essential ingredient for freedom: a faith in free people. Freedom is impossible without this faith.

Once government has had a monopoly of a creative activity such, for instance, as the delivery of the mails, most individuals will believe that the mails could not be efficiently delivered by men acting freely. And here is the reason: Each one acknowledges that he himself doesn’t know how to do all the things incident to mail delivery. He also recognizes that no other individual could do it. These assumptions are correct. No individual possesses enough know-how to perform a nation’s mail delivery any more than any individual possesses enough know-how to make a pencil. Now, in the absence of faith in free people—in the unawareness that millions of tiny know-hows would naturally and miraculously form and cooperate to satisfy this necessity—the individual cannot help but reach the erroneous conclusion that mail can be delivered only by governmental “masterminding.”

Testimony Galore

If I, Pencil, were the only item that could offer testimony on what men and women can accomplish when free to try, then those with little faith would have a fair case. However, there is testimony galore; it’s all about us and on every hand. Mail delivery is exceedingly simple when compared, for instance, to the making of an automobile or a calculating machine or a grain combine or a milling machine or to tens of thousands of other things. Delivery? Why, in this area where men have been left free to try, they deliver the human voice around the world in less than one second; they deliver an event visually and in motion to any person’s home when it is happening; they deliver 150 passengers from Seattle to Baltimore in less than four hours; they deliver gas from Texas to one’s range or furnace in New York at unbelievably low rates and without subsidy; they deliver each four pounds of oil from the Persian Gulf to our Eastern Seaboard—halfway around the world—for less money than the government charges for delivering a one-ounce letter across the street!

The lesson I have to teach is this: Leave all creative energies uninhibited. Merely organize society to act in harmony with this lesson. Let society’s legal apparatus remove all obstacles the best it can. Permit these creative know-hows freely to flow. Have faith that free men and women will respond to the Invisible Hand. This faith will be confirmed. I, Pencil, seemingly simple though I am, offer the miracle of my creation as testimony that this is a practical faith, as practical as the sun, the rain, a cedar tree, the good earth.

***

Afterword

By Milton Friedman, Nobel Laureate, 1976

Leonard Read’s delightful story, “I, Pencil,” has become a classic, and deservedly so. I know of no other piece of literature that so succinctly, persuasively, and effectively illustrates the meaning of both Adam Smith’s invisible hand—the possibility of cooperation without coercion—and Friedrich Hayek’s emphasis on the importance of dispersed knowledge and the role of the price system in communicating information that “will make the individuals do the desirable things without anyone having to tell them what to do.”

We used Leonard’s story in our television show, “Free to Choose,” and in the accompanying book of the same title to illustrate “the power of the market” (the title of both the first segment of the TV show and of chapter one of the book). We summarized the story and then went on to say:

“None of the thousands of persons involved in producing the pencil performed his task because he wanted a pencil. Some among them never saw a pencil and would not know what it is for. Each saw his work as a way to get the goods and services he wanted—goods and services we produced in order to get the pencil we wanted. Every time we go to the store and buy a pencil, we are exchanging a little bit of our services for the infinitesimal amount of services that each of the thousands contributed toward producing the pencil.

“It is even more astounding that the pencil was ever produced. No one sitting in a central office gave orders to these thousands of people. No military police enforced the orders that were not given. These people live in many lands, speak different languages, practice different religions, may even hate one another—yet none of these differences prevented them from cooperating to produce a pencil. How did it happen? Adam Smith gave us the answer two hundred years ago.”

“I, Pencil” is a typical Leonard Read product: imaginative, simple yet subtle, breathing the love of freedom that imbued everything Leonard wrote or did. As in the rest of his work, he was not trying to tell people what to do or how to conduct themselves. He was simply trying to enhance individuals’ understanding of themselves and of the system they live in.

That was his basic credo and one that he stuck to consistently during his long period of service to the public—not public service in the sense of government service. Whatever the pressure, he stuck to his guns, refusing to compromise his principles. That was why he was so effective in keeping alive, in the early days, and then spreading the basic idea that human freedom required private property, free competition, and severely limited government.

I HAVE A DREAM

I HAVE A DREAM

–by Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves, who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity. But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacle of segregation and the chains of discrimination.

One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual.

There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds.

Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must ever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.

We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.

No, no, we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecutions and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow. I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed – we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I will go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning “My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!” And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that.

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every tenement and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”

Homestead Act (1862)

Homestead Act (1862)

Homestead Act (1862)

The Homestead Act, enacted during the Civil War in 1862, provided that any adult citizen, or intended citizen, who had never borne arms against the U.S. government could claim 160 acres of surveyed government land. Claimants were required to “improve” the plot by building a dwelling and cultivating the land. After 5 years on the land, the original filer was entitled to the property, free and clear, except for a small registration fee. Title could also be acquired after only a 6-month residency and trivial improvements, provided the claimant paid the government $1.25 per acre. After the Civil War, Union soldiers could deduct the time they had served from the residency requirements.

 

Although this act was included in the Republican party platform of 1860, support for the idea began decades earlier. Even under the Articles of Confederation, before 1787, the distribution of government lands generated much interest and discussion.

The act, however, proved to be no panacea for poverty. Comparatively few laborers and farmers could afford to build a farm or acquire the necessary tools, seed, and livestock. In the end, most of those who purchased land under the act came from areas quite close to their new homesteads (Iowans moved to Nebraska, Minnesotans to South Dakota, and so on). Unfortunately, the act was framed so ambiguously that it seemed to invite fraud, and early modifications by Congress only compounded the problem. Most of the land went to speculators, cattlemen, miners, lumbermen, and railroads. Of some 500 million acres dispersed by the General Land Office between 1862 and 1904, only 80 million acres went to homesteaders. Indeed, small farmers acquired more land under the Homestead Act in the 20th century than in the 19th.

 

 

 

 

Transcript of Homestead Act (1862)

CHAP. LXXV. —An Act to secure Homesteads to actual Settlers on the Public Domain.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That any person who is the head of a family, or who has arrived at the age of twenty-one years, and is a citizen of the United States, or who shall have filed his declaration of intention to become such, as required by the naturalization laws of the United States, and who has never borne arms against the United States Government or given aid and comfort to its enemies, shall, from and after the first January, eighteen hundred and. sixty-three, be entitled to enter one quarter section or a less quantity of unappropriated public lands, upon which said person may have filed a preemption claim, or which may, at the time the application is made, be subject to preemption at one dollar and twenty-five cents, or less, per acre; or eighty acres or less of such unappropriated lands, at two dollars and fifty cents per acre, to be located in a body, in conformity to the legal subdivisions of the public lands, and after the same shall have been surveyed: Provided, That any person owning and residing on land may, under the provisions of this act, enter other land lying contiguous to his or her said land, which shall not, with the land so already owned and occupied, exceed in the aggregate one hundred and sixty acres.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the person applying for the benefit of this act shall, upon application to the register of the land office in which he or she is about to make such entry, make affidavit before the said register or receiver that he or she is the head of a family, or is twenty-one years or more of age, or shall have performed service in the army or navy of the United States, and that he has never borne arms against the Government of the United States or given aid and comfort to its enemies, and that such application is made for his or her exclusive use and benefit, and that said entry is made for the purpose of actual settlement and cultivation, and not either directly or indirectly for the use or benefit of any other person or persons whomsoever; and upon filing the said affidavit with the register or receiver, and on payment of ten dollars, he or she shall thereupon be permitted to enter the quantity of land specified: Provided, however, That no certificate shall be given or patent issued therefor until the expiration of five years from the date of such entry ; and if, at the expiration of such time, or at any time within two years thereafter, the person making such entry ; or, if he be dead, his widow; or in case of her death, his heirs or devisee; or in case of a widow making such entry, her heirs or devisee, in case of her death ; shall. prove by two credible witnesses that he, she, or they have resided upon or cultivated the same for the term of five years immediately succeeding the time of filing the affidavit aforesaid, and shall make affidavit that no part of said land has been alienated, and that he has borne rue allegiance to the Government of the United States ; then, in such case, he, she, or they, if at that time a citizen of the United States, shall be entitled to a patent, as in other cases provided for by law: And provided, further, That in case of the death of both father and mother, leaving an Infant child, or children, under twenty-one years of age, the right and fee shall ensure to the benefit of said infant child or children ; and the executor, administrator, or guardian may, at any time within two years after the death of the surviving parent, and in accordance with the laws of the State in which such children for the time being have their domicil, sell said land for the benefit of said infants, but for no other purpose; and the purchaser shall acquire the absolute title by the purchase, and be en- titled to a patent from the United States, on payment of the office fees and sum of money herein specified.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That the register of the land office shall note all such applications on the tract books and plats of, his office, and keep a register of all such entries, and make return thereof to the General Land Office, together with the proof upon which they have been founded.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That no lands acquired under the provisions of this act shall in any event become liable to the satisfaction of any debt or debts contracted prior to the issuing of the patent therefor.

SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That if, at any time after the filing of the affidavit, as required in the second section of this act, and before the expiration of the five years aforesaid, it shall be proven, after due notice to the settler, to the satisfaction of the register of the land office, that the person having filed such affidavit shall have actually changed his or her residence, or abandoned the said land for more than six months at any time, then and in that event the land so entered shall revert to the government.

SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That no individual shall be permit- ted to acquire title to more than one quarter section under the provisions of this act; and that the Commissioner of the General Land Office is hereby required to prepare and issue such rules and regulations, consis- tent with this act, as shall be necessary and proper to carry its provisions into effect; and that the registers and receivers of the several land offices shall be entitled to receive the same compensation for any lands entered under the provisions of this act that they are now entitled to receive when the same quantity of land is entered with money, one half to be paid by the person making the application at the time of so doing, and the other half on the issue of the certificate by the person to whom it may be issued; but this shall not be construed to enlarge the maximum of compensation now prescribed by law for any register or receiver: Pro- vided, That nothing contained in this act shall be so construed as to im- pair or interfere in any manner whatever with existing preemption rights : And provided, further, That all persons who may have filed their applications for a preemption right prior to the passage of this act, shall be entitled to all privileges of this act: Provided, further, That no person who has served, or may hereafter serve, for a period of not less than fourteen days in the army or navy of the United States, either regular or volun- teer, under the laws thereof, during the existence of an actual war, do- mestic or foreign, shall be deprived of the benefits of this act on account of not having attained the age of twenty-one years.

SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That the fifth section of the act en- titled” An act in addition to an act more effectually to provide for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States, and for other purposes,” approved the third of March, in the year eighteen hundred and fifty-seven, shall extend to all oaths, affirmations, and affidavits, re- quired or authorized by this act.

SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That nothing in this act shall be 80 construed as to prevent any person who has availed him or herself of the benefits of the fir8t section of this act, from paying the minimum price, or the price to which the same may have graduated, for the quantity of land so entered at any time before the expiration of the five years, and obtain- ing a patent therefor from the government, as in other cases provided by law, on making proof of settlement and cultivation as provided by exist- ing laws granting preemption rights.

APPROVED, May 20, 1862.