The Campaign Text Book of the Democratic Party of the United States, for the Presidential Election of 1888 (1888)

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General Books LLC, 2009 - 666 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1888 Excerpt: ...extent, and roads chartered by Congress, built with donations of thepublic domain, spanning more than half the Continent, and owned and controlled by a few rich men in the great cities of the East. Before I leave this topic, I must call your attention to an alarming step taken at the last session of Congress in the matter of these land grants. Before then Congress had never granted any but the alternate sections, designed by odd numbers, and in defense of these grants it was said that the construction of the railroads would double the value of the even-numbered sections retained by the Government, and hence there would be no Iqss of money, and accordingly the price of the retained sections was raised from $1 25 to $2.50 per acre. This defense never had any weight with me, for it treated the Government as a speculator in lands, seeking to extort the highest price from the settler; whereas I thought, and yet think, that it is not as a speculator, but as a beneficent parent that the Government ought to regard and administer these lands. But that was the defense, and with those who look at nothing but dollars and cents it sufficed. But at the last session the Senate threw even this defense away. For, in face of the most determined opposition, and after full discussion, it deliberately passed a bill granting to the Central branch of the Union Pacific Railroad the even-numbered sections, the odd numbered having been already given to other railroad companies. And so, for a distance of about three bundled miles, lying partly in Kansas, partly in Nebraska and partly in the Territory of Wyoming, every fo t.-f land belonging to the Government was granted, so far as the Senate could do it, to railroad corporations. And this leads me to observe that you must not suppose...

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