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SPEECH OF MR. SMITH.
SPEECH OF MR. HAGER.
could hold two hundred feet along the gulch. Then, when that was gration has been cut off from California, because it is almost an impossiworked away these old forty-niners came along and said, you are gob- bility to get land. I don't know that I am prepared to support the bling up all the wealth of the country, and then they made a law that whole of the proposition offered by the gentleman from San Francisco, we could only hold one hundred feet. They wanted the thing divided Mr. O'Sullivan; in fact, I have never advocated that measure. My plan up and cut down. There's where we learned the rule of division. is not to wrest from you your lands already acquired, but to put a stop There is where I got the spirit of dividing the land, and now we are to this wholesale grabbing; stop this grabbing large tracts of land, holdgoing to apply it to these gentlemen who applied it to us. I don't ask ing it out of the market. Let these gentlemen who hold these large to take a foot of land from Mr. Wilson, or any body else. But when the tracts of land cultivate them, and pay their fair share of taxation, and gentleman from Alameda tells us there are yet forty million acres of we will not complain. But when we hear of men like Lux & Miller, land belonging to this State, we want to apply a limit to that to stop owning six or seven hundred thousand acres of land out of marketthe land grabbers from gobbling it up. I don't blame my friend from bolding it entirely for grazing purposes—and when their representative Gilroy, Mr. Tully, for speaking in the interest of the land grabbers. I is so anxious to protect their interests, and tells us there is no land like to hear a man speak his sentiments fearlessly. I don't want to take monopoly in this State, then we must beg to differ. I shall propose an anything from Lux & Miller, or from anybody else. But we want to fix entirely different plan, and I shall offer an amendment, when the time some limit, so as to protect the remainder of the public domain from being comes, that the Legislature shall provide by law for the breaking up of stolen by the land grabbers. We want to fix some limit. It has been large tracts of land, of uncultivated land, by a graduated system of taxtreated as a humbug. It has not been fairly considered by this Conven- ation. I maintain that the only way to reach this evil is by taxation. tion. We are not trying to take anything from any man who has come by We don't propose to take land from any man who has a title, unless it it honestly. But we want to apply the limit to the lands which are still has been acquired by doubtful means. We don't propose to confiscate owned by the State, and prevent them from being gobbled up by the any of your lands, or rob you, but we propose that you shall pay taxes great corporations. I am here to go for what is right. I want to restrict on it. Therefore, I propose if a man has one thousand acres, to tax him corporations, and I will not here speak of the railroad company, but I by one system; if he has two thousand acres, to tax him by another; will say that amidst all, the Central Pacific Railroad Company has done and three thousand at a still higher rate, and so on, until it will become something for the country. They have opened up a market, they very convenient for him to sell. That will take the land and place it have helped to settle up the State. They have made it possible for the within the reach of poor people, just as it was when these gentlemen settler to get his grain io market. But I want some gentleman to tell found it here in eighteen hundred and forty-nine. Other people, who me what in the name of the people of California any land grabber ever have come since eighteen hundred and forty-nine, should have somehas done for the people. They are doing nothing. They are a fraud thing. It is no reason, because they came in eighteen hundred and on the face of nature. If the railroad companies have taken our lands forty-nine, that they should have the whole country. Now, we don't they have given us something in return, but the land grabber is a dead propose to disturb your titles. The Workingmen's party do not desire weight.
to take a single acre of your land. The gentleman from Tulare, Mr.
Brown, says that sheep tramp the ground in his county; and yet he is MR. SMITH, of Fourth District. Mr. Chairman: I would not detain not willling that the land should be cultivated. I would like to offer an the Convention if I had had a fair opportunity before to give my views additional amendment, if it is in order. on this question. I wish to speak on this ainendment offered by Mr.
THE CHAIRMAN. Not in order at present. McCallum, and I shall not detain you long. Now, if the gentlemen of
MR. WELLIN. When an opportunity offers I will try to present it. this Convention knew the history I have gone through in my county for It is simply for a graduated system of taxation. the last four years no such accession would be made. I have fought this Mr. TULLY. I move the previous question. question before I ever heard of the Workingmen's party. I have not [Not recognized.] fought it because I have any prejudice against land holders; not because I was a Workingman, but because I was laboring for the best interests of the State. We don't want the public domain for sheep and cattle alone, very important question. I have listened with a great deal of interest
MR. HAGER. Mr. Chairman: I had not intended to speak upon this owned by men who live in New York or Washington, leaving their to the arguments here, and I am very glad to find out that there are so Superintendents in charge. We want the country settled up by men with families, who will live on their possessions, become a part of our many of the Workingmen who are anxious to take up lund. I am very community, and have an interest in common with ours. Every impar- glad to know there is such affiliation between the Workingmen and the tial man knows that California is far behind other States in this respect. that close conversation they had during the session, they have imbibed
Grangers who belong to this Convention. I presume in consequence of Now, I was told by a President of a railroad company--the largest rail this feeling. I do not happen to be one of those men who own large road company in the United States-a man who has had experience in
tracts of land, though there is another gentleman of my name who owns many other States, and ought to know whereof he speaks, and he told me
a large lot of land. I have heard it reported that I was that very man. that a great deal of injury had been done to the prosperity of the State in this way. That the policy was detrimental to the capitalists, as well willing to dispose of my land. Having none, of course I made no reply.
I am not. I have had a great many letters inquiring whether I was as to poor men.
The gentleman from Santa Clara, whom I admire very I have a little swamp land down here on the bay. If any body can take much, says it is nothing but humbug; and he goes to the extent of say it and pay me what it cost me, I will be glad to dispose of it
. I never ing that there is no such thing as land monopoly in this state. Is there could get to it for the water, not having a right of way; As far as the no such thing as land monopoly in this State? Now, it seems to me, if we are sincere in this proposition; we cannot object to this amendment. land question is concerned, to use a favorite expression. I am willing to It is the policy which has been pursued by this state heretofore. Thave pool-our lands, and have an equal divide all round. My friend Wilson, before me the law which limits the sale of school land to three hundred large landholders; and my friend Biggs, from Butte, another one; my
from Tehama, and my friend from Los Angeles, General Howard, both and twenty acres. It is the law and the policy of the Government of friend from Marin, Judge Shafter, and various others, to them I say, let the United States to limit the amount of land which an individual may
us pool our lands and have an equal divide. I would be willing to do purchase. It is limited to actual settlers on the public domain. Why:
that. you might as well say that a few men may own all the air, as to say that a few individuals can own all the soil upon which the people must
Now, sir, what is the fact? The public lands of the United States rely for sustenance as much as they do on the air which they breathe. have been open to every body. Anybody who saw fit could go and take The large land holder can afford to make five per cent. on his money; them up. I have been asked time and again if I did not want to join whereas, if the land is divided up, it will yield twenty-four per cent parties and take up land in the San Joaquin and other valleys, and I You might as well say that a man would have a right to enter and hold declined to do it because I did not think it was profitable. I have no the Bay of San Francisco, where the commerce of the State is done; doubt there are many on this floor who didn't do it because they didn't where the trade of the State centers. It has been argued here that a
think it would be profitable. It was a venture which they did not choose man has a right to buy all the stock there is on the market; and, to be to make. I recollect the time when the Palo Alto Ranch, where Oakconsistent, he must be allowed to buy all the land he pleases. But there land now is, could have been bought for ten thousand dollars. Some is a vast difference in the propositions. I do not advocate this in the gentlemen went to look at it, and came back and said they would not interest of any party.
am not a candidate for office, else I would not give ten thousand dollars for the whole country. They declined to take stand here and advocate a proposition of this kind, for the capitalists a ranch that is now worth millions. Who could foresee the future of and land holders control my county to a very great extent. They are a California at that time? It is only when success becomes success that power in themselves. There is no man on this floor who has less desire we slow-goers, who run behind the race, find out that we have lost the for public notoriety than myself, if I do have to say it.
opportunity of making fortunes. That is the truth these people are now beginning to realize, because, as I said, these lands have been open to
you all. The State lands and United States lands are open to you now. Mr. WELLIN. Mr. Chairman: I have been listening to this dis- There is a large quantity of Government land accessible now to any one cussion for two days, and I am very sorry to see these large landed gen- who wants to take it up. When we came here this was a country sometlemen from the interior falling into such a state of error in regard to thing like that which prevailed in the days of Abraham, where the our position. They seem to think that the people of San Francisco are Mexicans had large tracts of land which had been given to them determined to steal their land, and at the same time they talk about because they had cattle. It was a grazing country. They had no marwhat good titles they have. We don't propose to take a single acre of ket except for cattle. They owned large ranches, and herds of cattle
man in the State, not even from the clients of the gentle and horses. The Americans came among them, like the wolf on the man from Santa Clara, who have one million seven hundred thousand fold, and swept away their herds-took them without license and withhave got it, let them have it. acres of land in two of the largest counties of the State. We say, if they out consent. "I know cases where they took possession of springs, and
But when gentlemen tell us there is no deprived them of the privilege of watering stock. They had large land monopoly in the State, that there is plenty of land to be had, they tracts of land simply for grazing purposes, and by these means they are mistaken. He is the only gentleman on this floor who asserts that were really divested of their lands. In that way they were deprived of there is no land monopoly in this State. I am very glad to find out their possessions. That is the way these large tracts of land came into from him that there is nothing to complain of. Now, the gentleman the possession of individuals, because it was necessary for their purposes ; says: “Do you know of anybody who wants land?" I do. I know of because they had no use for it for anything else. And I cannot see, several people who want land. I know very well that the tide of immi-l after all I have heard, that anybody has been injured. Why, the largest
SPEECH OF MR. WELLIN.
3,064 3,224 12,248
SPEECH OF MR. LARKIN.
land holder in this State is as much a workingman as any one in this last addressed us, and to many other gentlemen, that it is no answer to Convention. He commenced as a hard working laboring man. Lux & the argument against land monopoly, that the time once was when the Miller commenced as humble butchers, working at their trade. I know land could have been had for the taking. The facts are that it has been another who commenced as a clerk, on a salary of one hundred dollars taken in large quantities, and held for speculation, and not for use. a month. These are the men you are hurling your anathemas against. These are the facts, and are overwhelming reasons against the arguments Go and do as they have done. They built their fortunes by persever- advanced here on the other side. I want to call attention to some figures ance and industry. There are many who might be better off if they that were cited bere this morning by the gentleman from Los Angeles. had saved their inoney instead of wasting it. Do as they have done. As they were read they convey a deceptive impression. The figures Be industrious and saving, and you will acquire a competence for your show the munber and size of farins in California in eighteen hundred selves and for your children, and then you will have less, perhaps, to and sixty and eighteen hundred and seventy respectively: complain of. Many of these rich men were in the same position you Three acres and under ten MR. SMITH, of Fourth District. There is no proposition here to take Twenty acres and under fifty
Ten acres and under twenty
1.102 1,086 a dollar away from these men.
Fifty acres and under one hundied.
6,541 That is the complaint here. It is the people of the country who have Five hundred acres and under one thousand.
262 made the laws, who administer the laws, and if there is any fault to-day One thousand acres and overit is because these lands have been acquired too easily from the Govern- Now, in criticising these figures, we find, that of the farms of fifty ment. Now, if a man buys three hundred and twenty acres, can't he acres and over, and less than one hundred and sixty acres, the number has sell it to the man who wants to accumulate land? The same process of has scarcely increased; that of farms of twenty acres and under fifty, the accumulation would still go on.
number was scarcely increased at all; and the number of small holdingsMR. TULLY. I want to ask a question. What right has a man to ten acres to twenty-was scarcely increased at all. The number of farms the exercise of superior sagacity in this country?
of three acres up to ten, was about doubled, while the number of one MR. HAGER. "Do you mean political sagacity? I think this is owing thousand acres and over, was more than trebled; hence it will appear, to the Republican party. Under the old Democratic party we didn't according to this table, that during these ten years, the number of large have this monopoly. It was the policy of the Republican party which holdings were increased manifold more than the small farms. But gave to these men the opportunity to gobble up lands.
the enlargement of the evil lies not in large farms, but in the ownership of large tracts of land which are not farms. Not in the putting of the
land to use, but in holding these immense tracts of land for purposes of Mr. LARKIN. Mr. Chairman: I don't intend to detain the commit- speculation, and putting the land to no use at all; there is where the tee but a few moments. I desire as far as possible to regulate this ques- evil lies. The land monopolists have made the assertion that a man has tion of land monopoly, and to correct these abuses. I have supported the right to buy all the land he can pay for. Let us see where that propositions declaring that no corporation in this state shall hold land leads to. The logical result is, that a man, if he has the money, may exceeding five years, except such as is absolutely necessary for their buy the whole State of California, and give the nine hundred thousand purpose. That is one of the greatest and most important measures passed people notice to quit, and declare that they must go, that they are tresin correcting the abuses of land monopoly. If the provision prevails passers. Is that public policy? What advocate of land monopoly will (and I believe the Supreme Court will sustain it) it will do away with answer, aye? I pause to hear. That is the logical result, and there is grants covering nearly one third of the State, and throw it open to the no getting away from it. Has the State a right to prevent this? I people, which it ought to do. I believe it is practical, I believe it is answer, that it has just as much right as it has to guard against infected correct. But whether it is sustained or not, we have provided, in this ships, or to impose taxes, or to do any other act of sovereignty. The Constitution, which I am satisfied a majority of this Convention will State has a perfect right, and now the question is: Shall the State exerdetermine on, that no corporation shall hold land exceeding five years. cise this right? I wish I had time to rehearse a few facts in answer to That regulates the matter. That regulates it in the proper manuer. some of the arguments here. Land monopoly is a question, the impor
Another proposition we have made, is to compel the assessment of tance of which was early seen and recognized in this country. The land by sections and fractions of sections. That will do more to regulate question of a limited ownership of land is rapidly becoming one of this land question than any of the propositions offered, though they are national importance. When the public mind became once agitated on offered in good faith. I am aware he is in earnest in this matter. But the subject of slavery, it culminated in civil war, and the conflict this proposition will not accomplish as much as requiring the lands of against land monopoly was, for the time, forgotten. The result of it this State to be assessed by sections. You have done that. You will was the amazing and almost incredible fact that, from eighteen hundred stand by it when the final vote, when the ayes and noes come, and you and sixty-two to eighteen hundred and seventy-two, Congress gave away will correct land monopoly, because each section will be assessed the to railroads, over one hundred and nineteen millions of acres of land. same as cultivated land adjoining. When you come to assess these large The Central Pacific, or rather, seven of the Directors, were endowed tracts of lands at what they are really worth, then they will divide them with one twelfth of this land. Add to this, that in eighteen hundred up into small farms, and i hat will correct these abuses. We have pro- and seventy, nearly ten years ago, over seven hundred holdings in this vided still further, that this land shall be assessed, cultivated and uncul. State exceeding one thousand acres each, and see where you are tivated, alike. Now, in order that the abuses which have grown up in [At this point the gavel fell.] the assessment of land in this State shall not continue, that even the MR. STEDMAX. Mr. Chairman: This discussion has only led us to Assessor of each county may be under the control of the land owners no believe what was already believed before, that vast concentrations of longer, we have provided a State Board that will place the land upon its land under one ownership are great evils; and we have also been led to cash value. That limits large tracts of land, because they could not believe what we believed before, that if these monopolists are not make it profitable. In addition to the proposition offered by the author stopped they will seize upon every river and creek in the country. Now, of the resolution, we have prohibited persons not citizens from owning sir, I believe we are all agreed upon this subject. I believe the disland. That proposition I believe to be wrong. This Convention should cussion can do no more good, and I now move the previous question. determine that a person ineligible to become a citizen shall not have a Seconded by Messrs. Biggs, Evey, McConnell, and Ayers. right to own land. It will go into the Constitution that a man ineligible THE CHAIRMAN. The question is: Shall the main question be now shall not own any land. We have invited men from Europe to come put? into our mines and settle, and help develop them; and to say to them, Carried. you shall not own any land, is wrong. We will take your land from THE CHAIRMAN. The question is upon the amendment of the genyou. That policy will never do, because they have an immense amount tleman from San Francisco, Mr. Dowling. of money invested in the mines of this State, helping to develop these
Lost. mines; encouraging immigration; encouraging capital to help develop THE CHAIRMAN. The question is upon the amendment offered by the resources of the country. Accept this proposition to prohibit corpo- the gentleman from Alamela, Mr. McCallum. rations from owning land over five years, this proposition to assess land Division being called for, the amendment was adopted, by a vote of according to its agricultural capacity, with the proposition that land 71 ayes to 26 noes. shall be equalized by the State Board of Equalization, and the prohibi- MR. BEERSTECHER. Mr. Chairman: I wish to offer an additional tion against persons incapable of becoming citizens of the United States section. from owning or renting lands, and you have done all that is in your THE SECRETARY read : power. You will have accomplished a revolution when the Constitu- “ Perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a free govtion goes into effect, a greater revolution than ever was made in correct-ernment, and shall never be allowed; nor shall the law of primogeniing abuses. We have accomplished all that the most sanguine men in ture or entailments ever be in force in this State.” this State could expect. I say, we have done all we should do in this Mr. BEERSTECHER. Mr. Chairman: I do not desire to speak upon
The proposition pending, of Mr. McCallum's, is not as complete the curse of land monopoly. It has been canvassed by others. But I as the present law. It is not from the law, it is from the mismanage- call attention to section sixteen of the old Constitution, which provides ment of it. The Surveyor-General's office of this State has been con- that no perpetuity shall be allowed except for eleemosynary purposes. niving at the sale of land contrary to law. With the exception of the This is substantially the same thing. It prevents land being vested in present incumbent, there has not been one that has been sustained by a member of the family, or in a corporation for ever. law. The present law is correct; but the present proposition is this, to Mr. MCCALLUM. That belongs under the head of Miscellaneous limit to three hundred and twenty acres of cultivated land in this State. Subjects. It is already in that report. It does not affect the amount of land a man may own to keep sheep on. MR. BEERSTECHER. I don't know anything about that report.
It is better to put it here. It also guards against primogeniture. If
this amendment is worth adopting, there is no better time and place MR. REYNOLDS. Mr. Chairman: It is not because I have any ill than the present, under the head of land and homestead exemption. will towards this committee that I desire to occupy a moment or two of This provision is found in almost every Constitution in the United your time, but because I am profoundly impressed with the importance States. of this question. It is but a few words I can say within the limited Mr. JONES. I apprehend, from the importance manifested, that it time. But allow me to say to the gentleman from San Francisco who is the intention of the Convention to vote down the amendment.
SPEECH OF MR. REYNOLDS.
MR. ROLFE. I offer a substitute.
Seconded by Messrs. Beerstecher, White, Howard, of Los Angeles, and THE SECRETARY read :
Lindow. “No perpetuities shall be allowed, except for eleemosynary purposes." THE CHAIRMAN. The question is: Shall the main question be now
MR. ROLFE. Mr. Chairman: That is the language of the present put? Constitution. It is the provision which has stood for twenty-nine years, Carried. under which no perpetuity has ever occurred in this State.' It includes THE CHAIRMAN. The question is on the substitute offered by the everything that there is in the amendment of the gentleman from San gentleman from San Francisco, Mr. Barbour. Francisco, which is only redundancy.
Division was called, and the substitute was lost, by a vote of 49 ayes
to 53 noes. THE PREVIOUS QUESTION.
TAE CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment of the gentleMR. AYERS. Mr. Chairman: I move the previous question. man from San Francisco, Mr. Wellin. Seconded by Messrs. West, IIoward of Los Angeles, Murphy, and
MR. MCCALLUM. Mr. Chairman: I move that the committee rise THE CHAIRMAN. The question is: Shall the main question be now and recommend that the amendments adopted by the Committee of the put?
Whole be adopted by the Convention. Carried.
Division being called for, the motion prevailed, by a vote of 63 ayes THE CHAIRMAN. The question is on the substitute of the gentle- to 45 noes. man from San Bernardino, Mr. Rolfe.
IN CONVENTION. Division being called, the substitute was adopted by a vote of 73 ayes to 35 noes.
THE PRESIDENT. Gentlemen: I am instructed by the Committee MR. WELLIN. Mr. Chairman: I offer an additional section.
of the Whole to report that they have had under consideration the The SECRETARY read :
report of the Committee on Land and Homestead Exemption, have “ The Legislature shall provide by law for the breaking up of large adopted certain amendments thereto, and recommend the adoption of tracts of uncultivated lands by a gradual system of taxation."
report as amended. MR. BARBOUR. Mr. Chairman: I offer a substitute. THE SECRETARY read:
Mr. CAPLES. I move we take a recess until seven o'clock. “ The Legislature shall have power, and it is hereby made its duty to MR. SHIOEMAKER. I move we adjourn. pass laws to prohibit and prevent the monopoly of land, by regulating Carried. the representation, use, and occupation thereof, by restricting the possez- And at five o'clock P. M., the Convention stood adjourned until tosion and tenure thereof, and to pass all necessary laws, not in conflict morrow morning, at nine o'clock and thirty minutes. with the Constitution and laws of the United States, to prevent the accumulation of large landed estates in single bands.”
SPESCH OF MR. BARBOUR.
MR. BARBOUR. Mr. Chairman: I offer this, sir, because it seems to ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTIETH DAY. me from the discussion here, that it ought to be free from objection, except the objections of those who are contending upon the floor of
SACRAMENTO, Saturday, January 25th, 1879. this Convention that there is no such thing as land monopoly in this The Convention met in regular session at ten o'clock A. M., President State. To those nothing is acceptable. There is another class who pro tem. Belcher in the chair. believe that the thing is self-regulating. If they are satisfied that there
The roll was called, and members found in attendance as follows: is no such thing as land monopoly, they really ought not to object to a proposition of this kind. Now, sir, the assertion has been made upon this floor, that there is no such thing as land monopoly. Those of the
Prouty, very last Slate platform of their party, and ask them what they meant
Pulliam, when they came before the people of this state saying, that land monop- Barton,
Reddy, oly is a curse, and ought to be abated? There must have been some Beerstecher,
Reed, reason for that platform. And the Republicans of this Convention stood
Howard,of Los Angeles, Rhodes, upon about the same platform before the people of this State; and now
Howard, of Mariposa, Rolfe, gentlemen of this particular faith come upon this floor and tell us that
Shafter, it is all a myth. No sir, they say, there is no such thing as land
Shoemaker, monopoly in this State. Is it, sir, merely to play with the people that
Shurtleff, these platforms are made? Are they simply táffy to catch flies? I
Smith, of Santa Clara, want to tell the Democratic members upon this floor, whose grand old
Smith, of 4th District, party was organized in the United States on the principle of opposition Burt,
Smith, of San Francisco, to monopolies, that they will not be able to explain to the people how
Soule, it was, after they have been talking so glibly about the reserved power Chapman,
Stedman, of the State, the sovereign power of the State, that they can find
Steele, no way to do anything about land monopoly. They can find law to
Stevenson, regulate the Chinese; they can find power to put them in ships and
Stuart, send them away from this coast; they can curb corporations; but they Dean,
Sweasey, cannot curb this great evil of land monopoly. Sir, it will never do.
Swing, trol it is over this very matter. It is by the very power and protection Dudley, of Solano, Lindow,
Terry, of the State that these men own and hold their property. If a man
Tinnin, has a cattle range extending over a thousand bills, how long would he
Martin, of Santa Cruz, Tully, be able to maintain possession of it against the tide of settlement, should
Turner, the protection of the State be withdrawn? What mean the laws with
Vacquerel, respect to the subjects of ejectment, partition, adverse possession, and
Van Voorhies, the whole list of laws regarding the acquisition, transfer, recording, and
Walker, of Marin, con veyance of land. It is the power of the State, sir, over the subject
Walker, of Tuolumne, matter. Now, sir, my time is too short to discuss this whole question as
Webster, been for two days misrepresenting the position of my colleagues upon Gorman,
Weller, this subject. They have been for two days declaring that we were in
Wellin, favor of dividing up the property of this state. There never was a
West, more infamous misrepresentation of our position. We do not want one Hale,
Wickes, foot, or one inch of it, and gentlemen know it. But we do want to have
White, this matter under State control, so that this may be the land of the people, Harvey,
Wilson, of Tehama, and not the land of the monopolist. We only want to harmonize the IIeiskell,
Reynolds, the report of the Committee on Land and Homestead Exemption be
Ringgold, indefinitely postponed.
Schomp, committee rise and ask leave to sit again.
Townsend, amendment is pending?
Martin, of Alameda, Tuttle, THE CHAIRMAN. The committee can rise at any time. The ques. Dudley, of San Joaquin, MeComas,
Van Dyke, tion is on the motion to rise.
Wilson, of 1st District, Lost.