Date Original

1835 January 21


Article from the Arkansas Gazette arguing for Arkansas statehood.


[Page 1] Washington City, Dec. 18, 1833
DEAR SIR -- You will percieve, from the
papers of this city, that, on yesterday, I
introduced a resolution, which has been re-
ferred to the standing committee on territo-
ies, inquiring into the expedience of per-
mitting the people of Arkansas to form a
constitution, and come into the Union upon
an equal footing with the original states. I
have been inducted to take this step, from a
variety of erasons. The territory of Mi-
chigan is now applying for admission, and I
have every reason to believe that her ap-
plication will be granted. Michigan, of
course, will be a free state; and, should she
go into the Union as such, the happy ba-
lance of political power now existing in the
senate, will be destroyed, unless a slave state
should go in with her. The Delegate of
Florida is not now in his place. If he were
here, and were to press Florida successfully,
it would probably exclude us, and, in that
event our admission in all probability,
would be deferred until Wisconsin (the
newly-to-be-formed territory) should apply.
When would this application be made?
Not for a quarter of a century yet. Such
a procrastination, I have every reason to
believe, would be unwillingly subscribed to
by any one of our fellow citizens. Upon
the whole, I think this not an unfavorable
opportunity for our admission. We shall
doubtless be able to obtain liberal grants of
per centage upon the sales of our public
lands, together with absolute grants to all
the salines within our limits. Much, of
course, ought to depend upon the terms we
should be able to obtain of Congress. At
this time, also, we should be able to come in
without trammels upon the subject of slave-
ry. It may be said, however, that, in the ad-
mission of Missouri, that subject was final-
ly settled by a compromise. It is true, that
a compromise was made -- but I beg leave
to reply, that no Congress has a right to
bind a succeeding Congress upon the sub-
ject of slavery, or on any other subject --
and the same body who made the compro-
mise might rescind and disregard it. It is
by no means impossible for political bodies
to disregard compacts of compromise, if
they have the power, however explicitly
they many have been made.
It should also be observed, that any bill
upon this subject, which congress may pass,
will not be binding upon us. We can ac-
cept or refuse their permission -- and, as I
have before stated, in deciding upon this
step, much will of course depend upon the
value of our marriage portion, or outfit in
political life.
[Page 2] An obstacle may present itself, on the
score of appropriations to works of internal
improvement. In reply to that objection,
I beg leave to state, that, during the neces-
sary delay to our admission, it is to be
hoped that provision will be made for many
of our most important works. another dif-
ficulty occurs, which is the expenses that
a State government will bring us, of which
we are now pretty generally exempt. This
reason, in a great measure, will loose much
of its force, when we consider that grants
will be made us to meet such a contingen-
cy; that our population (boy, I suppose,
well on to fifty thousand) will be greatly
[Page 3] increased by such a step; and, lastly, that
additional objects of taxation are daily mul-
tiplying. We shall commence our new sys-
tem of government wholly unembarrassed
with debt, and, by a proper regard to rigid
economy, it is not unlikely that we shall
continue so, without incurring the necessi-
ty of imposing additional burthens upon the
people. To be a free and independent
State, is a condition on all hands "devoutly
to be wished for."
These reasons, hastily sketched, in ad-
dition to the constant pressure on the part
of our friends here upon this subject, have
induced me to take this important step. --
Our want of a sufficient population, and our
embarrassed condition, has hitherto induced
me to oppose our going into a State gov-
ernment, and even now, if Michigan was
not applying, I should think it the wiser
policy to defer our application for a few
years yet to come.
Having no memorial from our Legisla-
ture upon this subject, and no petitions from
the great body of the people, I have taken
upon myself this responsibility, with great
reluctance. It would not have been in-
curred, if my acts were to be binding upon
them. The people cannot be injured by
my application , inasmuch as their accept-
ance or refushal of a State government will
depend entirely upon themselves. I have

Physical Description




Geographical Area

Arkansas, Missouri, Michigan




MFILM NEWS 000430 Roll 5


Newspaper microfilm collection


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Editorial, Arkansas Gazette, January 21, 1835, Newspaper microfilm collection, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


Use and reproduction of this lesson plan supplemental material for instructional purposes is allowed without prior written permission. For further information on reproducing images held by the Arkansas State Archives, please call 501-682-6900 or email at


United States History


image preview



Download Full Text (2.8 MB)

Editorial, Arkansas Gazette, January 21, 1835