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Foote, Samuel Augustus 1780-1846

Legislator; born in Cheshire, Conn., Nov. 8, 1780; graduated at Yale College in 1797; engaged in mercantile business in New Haven; was for several years a member of the State legislature; was a Representative in Congress in 1819-21, 1823-25, and 1833-34; and was United States Senator in 1827-33. He resigned his seat in Congress in his last term on being elected governor of Connecticut. In 1844 he was a Presidential elector on the Clay and Frelinghuysen ticket. In 1829 he introduced a resolution in the Senate which was the occasion of the great debate between Robert Young Hayne, of South Carolina, and Daniel Webster, of Massachusetts. The resolution, which seemed a simple affair to elicit such a notable debate, was as follows:

Resolved, that the committee on public lands be instructed to inquire and report the quantity of the public lands remaining unsold within each State and Territory, and whether it be expedient to limit, for a certain period, the sales of the public lands to such lands only as have heretofore been offered for sale, and are now subject to entry at the minimum price. And, also, whether the office of surveyor-general, and some of the land offices, may not be abolished without detriment to the public interest; or whether it be expedient to adopt measures to hasten the sales, and extend more rapidly the surveys of the public lands.” For the debate in full see Hayne, Robert young, and Webster, Daniel. Senator Foote died in Cheshire, Dec. 15, 1846.

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